30 Wednesday Nov 2011
16 Wednesday Nov 2011
12 Saturday Nov 2011
02 Wednesday Nov 2011
30 Wednesday Nov 2011
by Bruce Matthews
24 Thursday Nov 2011
by Sally Steele
16 Wednesday Nov 2011
by Kim Steele
12 Saturday Nov 2011
by Kim Steele
02 Wednesday Nov 2011
by Sally Steele
Publisher’s Musings: Dateline Saigon ~ January 26, 2015
As publisher, I have vowed not to include politics. But after visiting the War Remnants Museum here, which brought tears to my eyes, I think my renewal of the power of photography urged me to reflect on this exhibition, which covers the second floor, of heart wrenching imagery. In an era that has eroded the value of images with self-indulging selfies, seeing photos by some of my heroes, Larry Burrows, Robert Capa and Phillip Jones Griffith (whom I met) rocked me to the core. Burrows and Capa died here. Visitors seemed unable to focus on them.
Life Magazine is well represented here with large reproductions. As an Air Force cadet, I was frightened by what I saw. The images contributed to my request for a Conscientious Objector status. It was considered the first ‘live’ coverage of a war. I remember clearly one issue with tiny pictures of the 58,000 men who died. Both the imagery of the devastation of incursions wreaked on the Vietnamese and the impact the war had on the shooters, it was the darkest period of U.S. history. In the name of stopping Communism, our inexcusable use of Agent Orange is illustrated in the museum in unfathomable images. It is the power of this photography that is widely considered to be what initiated President Johnson’s withdrawal from the war. Despite the pain, it was life-affirming to see the power of photography!
This is Picasso's umpteenth fifteen minutes of fame:
His renovated mansion in Paris, Musée Picasso Paris, has just re-opened after an exorbitant five year renovation, ribbon cut by François Hollande himself, but under the dark shadow of the Cultural minister, Korean-born Fleur Pellerin, who declared she has not ‘read’ a book in years and could not name a book of the recently awarded Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Patrick Modiano, France’s fifteenth in the category.
Back on home turf, there are two private gallery showings of his work that rival any museum exhibitions, in fact many of the pieces were loaned from museums. They almost seem to challenge one another, since they are both top tier galleries, The Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea and Pace Gallery, both in New York. The Gagosian is a photograph-based exhibition, titled "Picasso & the camera" curated by an old friend of his, John Richardson, designed by a Las Vegas show designer David Korens. There are many images of his various mistresses, s well as films. Despite his reputation as a misogynist, the museum’s president, Anne Baldassari, denies this but claims he only had difficulty maintaining relationships. I saw the MoMa exhibition in the 1990's of his with a room dedicated to his various wives and mistresses and the progressive horrification of their faces as he lost interest in them. Quite revealing. The Pace exhibition focuses in a different direction. On his enduring relationship with his last wife Jacqueline Roque, until his death, with tender imagery and a loving hand.
As an artist, I cannot help but to admire his vitality and fecundity. I read a memoir of life in the South of France, especially the summer jaunts to the country with the likes of Francoise Gilot. To top off the adoration, the exhibition at the Met of Lauder’s Cubist collection (Interesting Openings below) features many of his paintings from that period.
On every trip to NY, I visit one of my favorite urban spaces, The Grand Central Oyster Bar. Between my passion for oysters and my adoration for Guastavino's tile craft, this is my ideal spot. We traveled to 103rd Street this last trip to enjoy a beautifully illustrated and informative exhibition at The Museum of New York, of his sumptuous tilework throughout New York employed by McKim, Mead and White, and NY City (including the recently uncovered bottom to the Queensborough Bridge, now a Farmer's Market).
Guastavino tile is the "Tile Arch System" patented in the United States in 1885 by Valencian (Spanish) architect and builder Rafael Guastavino (1842–1908). Guastavino vaulting is a technique for constructing robust, self-supporting arches and architectural vaults using interlocking terracotta tiles and layers of mortar to form a thin skin, with the tiles following the curve of the roof as opposed to horizontally (corbelling), or perpendicular to the curve (as in Roman vaulting). This is known as timbrel vaulting, because of supposed likeness to the skin of a timbrel or tambourine. It is also called "Catalan vaulting" and "compression-only thin-tile vaulting".
Guastavino tile is found in some of New York’s most prominent Beaux-Arts landmarks and in major buildings across the United States.
"CreatureCast is a collaborative blog produced by members of the Dunn Lab at Brown University, along with assorted friends. This project, which is focussed on zoology in the broad sense, serves as a forum to present original content that we have produced and observations by others that we find interesting and beautiful."
CreatureCast from CreatureCast, Dunn Lab, Brown University
THE EY EXHIBITION: THE WORLD GOES POP
September 17, 2015 – January 24, 2016
This groundbreaking exhibition will reveal how artists around the world engaged with the spirit of Pop art, from Latin America to Asia, and from Europe to the Middle East.
Exploding the traditional story of Pop art, The World Goes Pop is the culmination of far-reaching new research, showing how different cultures contributed, re-thought and responded to the movement.
The exhibition will reveal how Pop was never just a celebration of western consumer culture, but was often a subversive international language for criticism and public protest.
TATE MODERN: TATE MODERN
MAKER & MUSE: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry
February 14, 2015 – January 3, 2016
Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry features more than two hundred and fifty pieces of jewelry created in the early decades of the twentieth century. During this vibrant period, jewelry makers in the world’s centers of design created audacious new styles in response to the growing industrialization of the world and the changing role of women in society. Their “alternative” designs—boldly artistic, exquisitely detailed, handwrought, and inspired by nature—became known as art jewelry.
Maker & Muse explores five different areas of art jewelry design and fabrication: the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain, Art Nouveau in France, Jugendstil in Germany and Austria, Louis Comfort Tiffany in New York, and American Arts and Crafts in Chicago.
Work created by both men and women are exhibited together to highlight commonalities while illustrating each maker’s distinctive style. And in regions or movements that saw few women present in the workshop, the female remained unquestionably present in the mind of the designer. Not only did art jewelers intend to highlight the fashionable clothing and natural beauty of a woman during this period, they also often represented her within the work itself.
While inspired by the broader art movements of the day and their unique cultures and contexts, designers strove together to create adventurous pieces of jewelry with dramatic forms, intricate craftsmanship, saturated colors, and semiprecious stones. Drawn from the collection of Richard H. Driehaus and prominent national public and private collections, this exhibition upholds the same ideal of beauty as did its talented makers.
DRIEHAUS MUSEUM: DRIEHAUS MUSEUM
RIVER CROSSINGS: Contemporary Art Comes Home
May 3, 2015 – November 1, 2015
The Thomas Cole National Historic Site and The Olana Partnership/Olana State Historic Site are co-hosting a landmark exhibition of contemporary art to highlight the pivotal role that the two historic properties — and the artists who lived and worked there — played in shaping America's tradition of contemporary art. The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is home to Thomas Cole (1801-1848), founder of the Hudson River School of art, the first major art movement in the United States. Olana State Historic Site is one of the most important artistic residences in the United States and is the 250-acre home and landscape of Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900), Cole's student who became the School's leading practitioner.
The exhibition provides an unprecedented opportunity for visitors to consider these historic spaces from a completely new vantage point – that of experiencing contemporary art in these iconic settings. Tickets to the exhibition can be purchased at both Olana and Thomas Cole Sites.
Olana and the Thomas Cole Site seek to expand the dialogue between past and present. In doing so, they enable visitors to consider new ideas about the meaning of the art and history of the mid-19th century and its resonance today.
The 28 artists (Romare Bearden, Elijah Burgher, Chuck Close, Will Cotton, Gregory Crewdson, Lynn Davis, Jerry Gretzinger, Don Gummer, Duncan Hannah, Stephen Hannock, Valerie Hegarty, Angie Keefer with Kara Hamilton and Kianja Strobert, Charles LeDray, Maya Lin, Frank Moore, Elizabeth Murray, Rashaad Newsome, Thomas Nozkowski, Stephen Petegorsky, Martin Puryear, Cindy Sherman, Sienna Shields, Kiki Smith, Joel Sternfeld, Letha Wilson, and Elyn Zimmerman) whose work is in the exhibition all have a connection to the region that Cole and Church helped ignite as a hot–bed of American art: from Greater New York City to Lake George and from Niagara Falls to Massachusetts.
Olana and the Thomas Cole Site, NY: Olana and the Thomas Cole Site, NY
ARTS & FOODS: Rituals since 1851
April 10, 2015 – November 1, 2015
An exhibition curated by Germano Celant, which will be held at the Triennale in Milan from April 10 to November 1, 2015 Under the architectural direction of Studio Italo Rota, visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves physically in a spectacular route where works of art, drawings and architectural models, films, objects, documents, books, menus, and album covers bring to life a narrative that set works and images in their own historical, sociological and anthropological context.
In the interior and exterior spaces of the Triennale - about 7,000 square meters, comprising building and garden - Arts & Foods will focus on the plurality of visual language and models, as objects and environmental representations that since 1851, the year of the first Expo in London, have to date revolved around food, nutrition and eating together. It is a global panorama of the interwoven aesthetics and design of eating rituals. It is also an international exhibition that uses a variety of media to offer a view across time, from the historical to the contemporary, of all levels of expression, creativity and communication from all areas of culture.
TRIENNALE in MILAN--EXPO 2015: TRIENNALE in MILAN
June 3, 2015 – October 11, 2015
The painter’s oeuvre was marked by a quiet approach to minimal abstraction, works composed of hand-drawn lines and grids in washed-out, earthy pastels. More than a decade after her death at age 92, Tate Modern presents the first posthumous retrospective of the American artist’s work, covering the entirety of her career. “Martin’s apparently minimal approach belied a deep conviction in the emotive and expressive power of art,” says curator Frances Morris. “This exhibition will cover the full breadth of her practice, reasserting her position as a key figure in the traditionally male-dominated fields of 1950s and ’60s abstraction, and demonstrating her profound influence on subsequent generations of artists.”
TATE MODERN: TATE MODERN
AMERICA IS HARD TO SEE
May 1, 2015 – September 27, 2015
Drawn entirely from the Whitney Museum of American Art’s collection, America Is Hard to See takes the inauguration of the Museum’s new building as an opportunity to reexamine the history of art in the United States from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Comprising more than six hundred works, the exhibition elaborates the themes, ideas, beliefs, and passions that have galvanized American artists in their struggle to work within and against established conventions, often directly engaging their political and social contexts. Numerous pieces that have rarely, if ever, been shown appear alongside beloved icons in a conscious effort to unsettle assumptions about the American art canon.
The title, America Is Hard to See, comes from a poem by Robert Frost and a political documentary by Emile de Antonio. Metaphorically, the title seeks to celebrate the ever-changing perspectives of artists and their capacity to develop visual forms that respond to the culture of the United States. It also underscores the difficulty of neatly defining the country’s ethos and inhabitants, a challenge that lies at the heart of the Museum’s commitment to and continually evolving understanding of American art.
Organized chronologically, the exhibition’s narrative is divided into twenty- three thematic “chapters” installed throughout the building. These sections revisit and revise established tropes while forging new categories and even expanding the definition of who counts as an American artist. Indeed, each chapter takes its name not from a movement or style but from the title of a work that evokes the section’s animating impulse. Works of art across all mediums are displayed together, acknowledging the ways in which artists have engaged various modes of production and broken the boundaries between them.
WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART: WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART
ONE WAY TICKET: Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series and Other Works
April 3, 2015 – September 7, 2015
In 1941, Jacob Lawrence, then just 23 years old, completed a series of 60 small tempera paintings with text captions about the Great Migration, the multi-decade mass movement of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North that started around 1915. Within months of its making, the series entered the collections of The Museum of Modern Art and the Phillips Memorial Gallery (today The Phillips Collection), with each institution acquiring half of the panels. Lawrence’s work is now an icon in both collections, a landmark in the history of modern art, and a key example of the way that history painting was radically reimagined in the modern era. One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North reunites all 60 panels for the first time at MoMA in 20 years.
Along with Lawrence's series, the exhibition includes other accounts of the Migration from the era, including novels and poems by writers such as Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Richard Wright; music by Josh White, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday; photographs by Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, Gordon Parks, and Robert McNeill; sociological tracts by Carter Woodson, Charles Johnson, Emmett Scott, and Walter White; and paintings by Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, and Charles White. The range of works in the exhibition sheds light on the ways in which Lawrence drew upon and transformed contemporary models for representing black experience in America.
In conjunction with One-Way Ticket, MoMA is collaborating with a variety of partners to create new commissions, projects, and events that explore the history and legacy of the Great Migration and its continuing influence on American culture—and on New York City in particular.
MOMA, NY: MOMA, NY
ORGANIC MATTERS -- Women to Watch 2015
June 5, 2015 – September 13, 2015
Depictions of nature can illuminate themes of sexuality, gender politics, the abject, and the sublime. In the fourth installment of the NMWA’s Women to Watch exhibition series, contemporary artists use imagery and materials taken from the natural world. The works on view recontextualize images of plants and animals and redefine the relationships between women, nature, and art. Calling to mind entrenched associations of women with nature, the exhibition opens a dialogue about these traditional views. Women to Watch is an exhibition series featuring emerging and underrepresented women artists held every two to three years developed in conjunction with the museum’s national and international outreach committees.
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN THE ARTS: THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN THE ARTS
BASQUAIT: The Unknown Notebooks
April 3, 2015 – August 23, 2015
Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat filled numerous notebooks with poetry fragments, word play, sketches, and personal observations ranging from street life and popular culture to themes of race, class, and world history. The first major exhibition of the artist's notebooks, Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks features 160 pages of these rarely seen documents, along with related works on paper and large-scale paintings.
A self-taught artist with encyclopedic and cross-cultural interests, Basquiat was influenced by comics, advertising, children's sketches, Pop art, hip-hop, politics, and everyday life. Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks emphasizes the distinct interplay of text and images in Basquiat’s art, providing unprecedented insight into the importance of writing in the artist’s process. The notebook pages on display contain early renderings of iconic imagery—teepees, crowns, skeleton-like figures, and grimacing faces—that also appear throughout his large-scale works, as well as an early drawing related to his series of works titled Famous Negro Athletes.
BROOKLYN MUSEUM: BROOKLYN MUSEUM
CHINA: Through the Looking Glass
May 7, 2015 – August 16, 2015
This exhibition, presented in the Museum's Chinese Galleries and Anna Wintour Costume Center, will explore how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries, resulting in highly creative distortions of cultural realities and mythologies. High fashion will be juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art, as well as films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery.
From the earliest period of European contact with China in the sixteenth century, the West has been enchanted with enigmatic objects and imagery from the East, providing inspiration for fashion designers from Paul Poiret to Yves Saint Laurent, whose fashions are infused at every turn with romance, nostalgia, and make-believe. Through the looking glass of fashion, designers conjoin disparate stylistic references into a pastiche of Chinese aesthetic and cultural traditions.
The exhibition will feature more than one hundred examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear alongside Chinese art. Filmic representations of China will be incorporated throughout to reveal how our visions of China are framed by narratives that draw upon popular culture, and also to recognize the importance of cinema as a medium through which to understand the richness of Chinese history.
THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
BARNETT NEWMAN: The Late Work
March 27, 2015 – August 2, 2015
The work of artist Barnett Newman (1905-1970) has come to define the spiritual aspirations and material innovations of American painting in the mid-twentieth century. Large and bold vertical planes of color, with thin upright lines that came to be known as “zips,” characterize Newman’s vocabulary of form. In contrast to the horizontal compositions that define the landscape tradition in Western art, Newman’s work reflects the upright posture of the human body. For the artist, this reorientation was deeply political. He felt it could free painting from the past and allow an entirely new awareness for the viewer through the ineffable experience of standing in front of his work. In his essay from 1948, “The Sublime is Now,” Newman wrote, “We are freeing ourselves of the impediments of memory, association, nostalgia, legend, myth, or what have you, that have been the devices of Western European painting. Instead of making cathedrals out of Christ, man or ‘life’ we are making it out of ourselves, out of our own feelings.”
Having come to a career as an artist later in life, Newman’s produced a relatively small body of work. In 1970, when he passed at the age of 65, he left a group of work in his studio that included unfinished paintings. In an arrested state of development, the unfinished works offer a rare opportunity to study the late work in relationship to Newman’s broader production. Because the artist did not make preparatory studies, these works, as paintings in process, reveal the remarkable material and technical innovations and transformations, including his shift from oil to acrylic paint, in his work from 1965-1970. In dialogue with his early work from the late 1940s and early 1950s, they also provide a way of understanding the formal evolution of his painting process throughout his oeuvre.
This will be the first exhibition to focus on Newman’s production in the last five years of his life.
THE MENIL COLLECTION, Houston: THE MENIL COLLECTION, Houston
FASHION VICTIMS: The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th Century
June 18, 2014 – June 30, 2015
Transport yourself back to the 19th century where beautiful outfits fashioned by seamstresses and shoemakers supplied the privileged with enviable ensembles. Swathed from head to toe in expensive garments and shod in delicate footwear, fashion-forward women graced the boulevards and the ballrooms with their colourful presence. Their tailored male companions cut equally refined figures in their black coats, spotless white linens, lustrous top hats and shiny boots. Yet presenting an elegant exterior was not without its perils. The discomfort of constricting corsets and impossibly narrow footwear was matched by the dangers of wearing articles of fashion dyed with poison-laced colours and made of highly flammable materials.
From the challenges faced by those who produced fashionable dress to the risks taken by those who wore it, this exhibition provides thought provoking insights into what it means to be a fashion victim.
THE BATA SHOE MUSEUM: THE BATA SHOW MUSEUM
RESTORING A LEGACY: Rothschild Family Treasures
March 1, 2015 – July 15, 2015
This exhibition celebrates recent gifts to the MFA that tell a story of a great European collection, which was looted during the Nazi era and ultimately restored to its rightful owners. The collection of 186 objects, originally owned by Baron and Baroness Alphonse and Clarice de Rothschild of Vienna, includes European decorative arts, furniture, prints, drawings, paintings, and personal objects including jewelry and jeweled objects, miniatures, and rare books, and is a gift of the heirs of Bettina Looram de Rothschild, who was a daughter of the Baron and Baroness. Her daughter, MFA Trustee Bettina Burr, is among the donors who have made this gift to the MFA.
The exhibition features nearly 80 objects that were personally meaningful to the Rothschild family including a portrait of Clarice de Rothschild (1925) by Philip de László, and much of her jewelry. Exquisite artistry and craftsmanship can be seen in objects such as a diamond necklace/tiara (1920s) with nine stunning, pear-shaped diamonds, and an Art Deco brooch (Austrian, about 1937) incorporating two emerald beads. Exquisite artistry and craftsmanship can be seen in a wide variety of objets de vertu made of lavish materials—including gold, agate, lacquer, enamel and gemstones. “Restoring a Legacy” offers an evocative sampling of the exquisite objects that earned the admiration of collectors around Europe, embodying what was once known as le goût Rothschild, or “the Rothschild taste.”
MFA curators address the issue of how to trace the provenance, or ownership history, of works of art in the exhibition. One painting on view—A Dordrecht nobleman on horseback with retainers and grooms (attributed to Nicolaes Maes, Dutch, 1634–1693)—is displayed in such a way that visitors are able to view the painting’s back. The inventory numbers that remain allow MFA curators and visitors to document the painting’s movements between the time of its seizure by Nazi forces in Vienna in 1938 and its return to Baroness de Rothschild in 1947.
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON: MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON
SARGENT: PORTRAITS OF ARTISTS AND FRIENDS
February 12, 2015 – May 15, 2015
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was the greatest portrait painter of his generation. Acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, he was closely connected to many of the other leading artists, writers, actors and musicians of the time. His portraits of these friends and contemporaries, including Auguste Rodin, Claude Monet and Robert Louis Stevenson, were rarely commissioned and allowed him to create more intimate and experimental works than was possible in his formal portraiture.
This major exhibition of over seventy portraits spans Sargent’s time in London, Paris and Boston as well as his travels in the Italian and English countryside.
NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, LONDON: NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, LONDON
THE LOST MUSEUM
July, 2014 – May, 2015
A group of students, professors, and artists calling themselves “The Jenks Society for Lost Museums” has spent the past year researching the Jenks Museum, re-collecting scattered relics and remnants, and transforming words into rooms and fragments of curatorial description into spectral art. They have built a three-part installation that re-imagines the office of the museum’s founder, showcases the remaining fragments of the collection, and conjures the ghosts of artifacts once found in the museum back into existence – as reimagined by over 80 artists.
An axe and a gun, bottles of arsenic and a walking stick, portray John Whipple Potter Jenks, founder of the museum. Tattered labels speak of fragility and decay. The installation tells the story of Jenks and the museum that was his life’s work, of his sudden death on the building’s steps and of the museums subsequent decline. The collection – 92 truckloads of artifacts and specimens – hauled to a dump on the Seekonk River.
It is a work of art that relies on subtlety and rewards the curious, a story that displays loss over time and demonstrates the uncertainties of preservation, an exhibit that presents a memory of the past and promotes hope for the future.
JENKS MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY and ANTHROPOLOGY: JENKS MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY and ANTHROPOLOGY