Busman’s Holiday 1: Art, Music & Culture while driving a van through Pittsburgh, PA (Audio)

JP Collins

In this first audio podcast feature Busman’s Holiday, I talk about the Carnegie International, 57th Edition, 2018 running through March 25, 2019.

Listen to Busman’s Holiday 1

Although I talked extensively about the Richard Serra piece Carnegie (1984–85)in front of the museum, I completely missed a work that I really like but didn’t realize wasn’t permanent. Being a recent transplant to Pittsburgh and only passing the museum a few times on the bus, I thought that the piece Three Angles by El Anatsui (2018) was a permanent part of the building but is in fact part of the Carnegie International, 57th Edition, 2018.

El Anatsui, Three Angles, 2018, Carnegie International, 57th Edition, 2018. Photo: Bryan Conley.

I complained about the lack of interpretation in the galleries which really made it hard to understand the context and range of the work in the exhibition. As a result, there was lot of work in the show that I didn’t take photos of, partly because I wasn’t sure if it was part of the exhibit or not and if it did how did it fit in and why was it in that particular part of the show or there at all. In one room there were fabric works by Ulrike Müller and a a wall by Sarah Crowner. I snagged a photo from the Carnegie web site to illustrate her work.

Ulrike Müller, Wraps and Rugs, 2018, Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Bryan Conley


In another case, there were some portraits that I really loved by Lynette Yiadom–Boakye. Not having an image was entirely my own fault because I really wasn’t planning to review the show. But you can see her work at: http://www.jackshainman.com/artists/lynette-yiadom-boakye/

Julie and I liked the works of Pittsburgh native Mel Bochner, who grew up visiting the Carnegie. This collection of paintings (or prints?) entitled Exasperations resonated with us in their reinterpretation of online experiences.

Exasperations (2018) by Mel Bochner. Photo: Julie Collins

In the same gallery as Exasperations I talked about the work of Dayanita Singh and her new sculptural work titled Pothi Khana (2018) alongside her series of color photographs Time Measures (2016). Which again, I have no idea what they’re depicting but I liked the work.

Dayanita Singh’s Pothi Khana (2018) color photographs Time Measures (2016)
Once again, the lack of interpretation at the Carnegie International 57 led me to an incorrect conclusion about an artist and his work. I talked about the work of Abel Rodríguez as being that of a trained artist who’s work looks like that of a self-taught, “outsider artist” but in actuality, he is self taught. Read about his work on this NPR story.

Across from Rodríguez’s work were the kites I mentioned suspended from the ceiling as well as hammocks on the floor and a coffee bar which was closed by the Vietnamese art collective Art Labor who worked with Joan Joanas an American artist who painted the kites which were made by a father of one member of Art Labor.

Art Labor and Joan Joanas’s kites. Photo: JP Collins


From there, you can step into a small room where an installation piece, a neon and glass panel house called Rubber Pencil Devil (2018) by Mel Bochner is featured.

Rubber Pencil Devil (2018) by Mel Bochner. Photo: JP Collins

As we explored the museum and the International exhibit we stumbled into the Hall of Sculpture where we saw on the ground floor From Smoke and Tangled Waters We Carried Fire Home, 2018 by the art collective Postcommodity which I talk about briefly.


Postcommodity’s From Smoke and Tangled Waters, We Carried Fire Home (2018). Photo: JP Collins

We also noticed in the ambulatory of the Hall of Sculpture small works by Yuji Agematsu, made from found trash and placed in cigarette wrappers.

Found art by Yuji Agematsu. Photo: JP Collins
Works by composer Harry Partch in an exhibit that was inside the International 57 exhibit of music/composer related works. Photo: JP Collins


Captain Shit and the Legend of Black Stars by Chris Ofili was part of the more political work featured in 1945 to Now. Photo: JP Collins

Later we found our way into the exhibit: Crossroads: Carnegie Museum of Art’s Collection, 1945 to Now, which we both liked and I speak about

In the area between the Art and Natural History museums are stairs, classical architectural features and Frescos featuring steel workers and fairies, which I always think of together. Despite the odd paring, I really like these.

Carnegie Museum Frescos. Photo: JP Collins

I loved waking down the stairs of the museum with the sculpture garden on the outside of the glass and the Sol Lewitt wall drawings on the inside: Wall Drawing #493 https://collection.cmoa.org/objects/ae6b2ac1-384e-4256-bcd2-4c14f940dff6

Wall Drawing #450 https://collection.cmoa.org/objects/7909ad09-9566-4440-914b-103590b46eaf

My photos of Wall Drawing #450 or #493 by Sol Lewitt. Photo: JP Collins


Some sculptures by Pittsburgh artist Thaddeus Mosley are apparently part of the International 57 but you wouldn’t know it if you’re from out of town like me.

Wooden Sculptures by Thaddeus Mosley were outside in the garden but now inside for winter. Photo: JP Collins


Read more about the exhibit:

Art News



Pittsburgh City Paper

JP Collins is a mixed media and conceptual artist who works in collaboration with his wife Julie Collins as Book of Ours. JP works as a school bus driver in Pittsburgh, PA and records his Busman’s Holiday commentary while driving his van through Pittsburgh. And in case you were wondering, his students are never on board while he’s recording. Busman’s Holiday is a feature of the Book of Ours blog. You can contact us by email: info at book-of-ours.com