Art exhibition expressly for canine critics debuts in New York City

The works of art were strategically placed at eye-level for attendees - or, in this case, a touch over.
JASON FALCHOOK/DOGUMENTA

The works of art were strategically placed at eye-level for attendees - or, in this case, a touch over.

You won't find any pictures of dogs playing poker at DoGUMENTA in the US.

A three-day art exhibition curated expressly for dogs is attracting hundreds of canines to a marina in New York City, where hounds and terriers are feasting their eyes, and in some cases their mouths, on nearly a dozen masterpieces created expressly for them.

The idea is the brainchild of former Washington Post art critic Jessica Dawson, who says she was inspired by her rescue dog Rocky, a tiny morkie (Yorkie-Maltese mix), who regularly joins her at exhibits of the human variety.

Doggy shock and awe: The bone room.
JASON FALCHOOK/DOGUMENTA

Doggy shock and awe: The bone room.

"When Rocky accompanied me on my gallery visits, I noticed that he was having a much better time than I was,'' explains Dawson, who moved to New York four years ago.

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A four-legged art-lover "expresses" himself on a work called "Fountain".

A four-legged art-lover "expresses" himself on a work called "Fountain".

"He was not reading the New York Times reviews, he was not reading the artists' resumes, and so I said he has something to teach me about looking, and all dogs have something to teach us about looking at contemporary art and being with it."

Organisers of the exhibit, which takes its name from Documenta, which takes place every five years in Germany, and put on by Arts at Brookfield, staggered the arrival times of the dogs to keep things orderly.

"I think she's enjoying it," said Lorraine Gates, who attended with her tiny Japanese chin, Maltese and Papillon mix. "I love this idea; I think it's really wonderful."

Organisers staggered the arrival times of the dogs to keep things orderly.

Organisers staggered the arrival times of the dogs to keep things orderly.

The 10 works of art at the outdoor exhibit were all strategically placed at eye-level for the canines. One featured an elaborate display of dog biscuits and other treats that attendees were invited to munch on.

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At another exhibit, four-legged art critics were lifting their hind legs and "expressing" themselves on a work called Fountain. As the dogs left their marks, scribbles of blue streaks were left behind on the white blocks.

Dawson said Rocky had visited several times.

Susan Godwin and her morkie, Tasha, were soaking up the art vibes. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Godwin gushed. "You can go to museums all over New York and you can never bring your dog."

 - AP

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