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
More reflective of how important this closing was than the claim that, ‘the owners let it go,’ were the results of the auction this week of items from the restaurant. The items went off the hook pricewise. The sign alone, estimated at $5-7,000 sold for $96,000! The ashtrays went for $10,000! (A fifteen-hour marathon auction!) This enthusiasm for artifacts, not only harkens back to the MAD MEN ERA, but also revered to very recently, indicates the longing for a place where the elite and the common folk, albeit New Yorker’s of means, can mingle and gawk at one another in a gorgeous setting. I had my last martini there, last fall.
This Publisher had the fortunate experience to eat there a few times, both with Time Inc. Editors, and with my parents. My Dad exclaimed…"$6.00 for carrots!" once in the POOL ROOM. I did not give it a second thought. I always coveted the chain ball curtains that lined the Grill Room windows to the outside. I intended for years to install them in my home, and even tried to source them at one point unsuccessfully. But the spirit of the restaurant was unique. There was the mention in the Metropolitan Section of the New York Times, of a conversation overheard by the Maître D' on the phone when asked to forward a message to a patron at the bar who was Indian. He inquired, Dot or Feather?
Everything about the place bespoke of power and success. The NY times recently published the seating chart of the patrons. A veritable who’s who of the publishing and financial world of the US. It did shift occasionally over the years since its opening in 1959, from various power brokers and intuitions. A number of the items were reserved for the Metropolitan Museum’s collection. This included the mid-night blue sofas designed by Philip Johnson. Martha Stewart was in attendance. She blurted out that she wished the nickel wine coasters, designed by the infamous architectural critic, Louie Huxtable, to be used at her ‘next’ wedding. A notable Saarinen Tulip table went for $36,000!
There has always been this murky history to the restaurant’s design. The renowned Mies van der Rohe designed the Seagram’s Building for the liquor magnate family, Bronfman. At that time, Philip Johnson was his assistant. Johnson claimed later to be a partner in design which has been disputed, but he was definitely involved in the design of the Four Seasons, which came a few years later.
Mr. Niccolini, the restaurant owner, who used salty language to refer to the building owner, ended the auction carrying a platter of pink cotton candy, a signature desert for the eatery, across the Pool Room upon which various patrons pulled off sections. A patron who flew up from Charleston to pick up ‘whatever’ she could proclaimed, “A place like this won’t happen again!"
Source: New York Times
Italian Fascism finally dies…with the recent death of supporter Licio Gelli. I must say I have a weakness for Fascist architecture. Visiting the Valle de los Caídos ("Valley of the Fallen"), a Catholic basilica and a monumental memorial to the dictator Francisco Franco of Spain shot chills of fear and admiration through my veins. Talk about “reductivism” at its purist, even the most libertarian minded person gasps at this monument. The scoundrel was convicted numerous times for bank fraud and embezzlement but never did hard time, due to his “health” but managed lived till 96 years of age. He personified the glorious phrase only Italians could invent, “dietrologia” which means that the widely held suspicion that behind official government narrative lurks a more sinister explanation.
His political and financial shenanigans set the bar for the unbridled greed that we see on Wall Street today.
The raking light of fall brings out the Flaneur in me, the season of Flanerie. Elaine Sciolino reminds us of the first establishment of this pastime in literature, “Tableau de Paris,” a twelve volume set of observations the gestalt the of ‘street’ in Paris. Half a century later, this sites’ figurehead, Charles Baudelaire, demarked the ‘wander-spectator’ activity as flaneur. “The crowd is his habitat, as is air for the bird or water for the fish” he quoted.
This activity is so important to the French, that Hermes created a pop-up museum on the left bank to honor its significance. The artistic director of the project, Pierre-Alexis Dumas also created an illustrated book on the subject. It’s a small single room structure with four window displays, including from the collection of a past president, Emile Hermes.
To observe yes, to interact no. The sounds, the smells and the visual jewels glistening in the shop windows- draws us to the streets of Paris, or London or our favorite ville, Roma. And of course, the most animated of them all – the people who stroll and sit and observe in the cafes, not the harried New Yorkers who are irritated by strollers in their path. Years ago, I proposed a story for Life Magazine, on the important promenades of the world, but to no avail. Sadly, it is not an American occupation.
Whether I imagined it as a child or I actually saw the magazine HOLIDAY, I knew it was a gem of graphic design and photography. I knew Slims Aarons was a rock star, even when I was a young photographer. Though I was more interested in ‘real’ journalism, I admired the veneer he lay over celebrities and glamour, locales-who did not want to be there? A few art directors changed the face of magazines - the “golden age of magazines”: Alex Brodovitch, Frank Zachary and Roger Black. They produced a short-lived magazine, Portfolio in 1949, regarded as the “definitive graphic magazine” by The New York Times. Zachary died at age 101 yesterday in East Hampton, NY.
Brodovitch changed the thinking on typography, especially for Harper’s Bazaar, that I subscribed to for years just to see his work (overlaying type); Zachary changed the importance of photography in magazines. The weeklies were in full bloom in the 1960's & 70's, Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look, Town and Country and Esquire were employing photographers and giving them extravagant exposure. Zachary assigned the greats: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and Arnold Newman.
Born to a Croatian immigrant parents (1914), named Frank Zaharija, his father a steel worker in Pittsburgh, Zachary never attended college, he climbed his way up through hard work. He art directed at Holiday (1951-1964) including being managing editor, Town and Country, Modern Photography to which I subscribed as a child, Travel and Leisure.
I think his brilliance is best described by a friend, Owen Edwards, “Like any good anthropologist, he studied this particular tribe, figured out what most interested them and their habits, and found writers [including Faulkner] and photographers who could show their world in the most entertaining way.”
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
FOREIGN GODS: Fascination Africa and Oceania
September 23, 2016 – September 1, 2017
Pablo Picasso once said that he only realized "what painting is really about" when he saw the African masks at the Paris Musée d’Ethnographie. The exponents of the Expressionist artists’ group Die Brücke also derived inspiration from the collections of the ethnological museums for their own carvings and turned their studios into exotic refuges. However, in their quest for an ecstatic natural state they often overlooked the fact that these objects of tribal art especially are based on strict design principles. The Dadaists liked to present themselves at times as wild mask wearers and sneered at the habitus of the European man of culture. The Surrealists saw the art and myths of Oceania as media for exploring hidden realms of the unconscious mind. This interest in and reception of the art of »indigenous peoples« not only provided a formal alternative to bourgeois tastes but was also a symptom
of a deep-rooted longing for a life reform.
Rudolf Leopold felt that the art of so-called "primitive" ethnicities was a priori Expressionist. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that his collection comprises more than 200 rare ancestral figures, dance masks, weapons, architectural sculptures and other extraordinary works from carvers from Africa and Oceania. This high-quality collection has recently been scientifically recorded and reviewed by the ethnologist Erwin Melchardt. Under this premise, the Leopold Collection’s compilation of tribal art will be presented for the first time in its entirety. At the same time, it will enter into stimulating dialogues with works by eminent representatives of Modernism, including Pablo Picasso, André Derain, Amedeo Modigliani, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Emil Nolde and Max Ernst.
This enthusiasm shown by the exponents of Classical Modernism for "primitive" forms of art is further contemplated and questioned in the exhibition as a cultural-sociological phenomenon through examples of post-Colonial discourse in contemporary art.
LEOPOLD MUSEUM: LEOPOLD MUSEUM
November 30, 2016 - April 24, 2017
The Centre Pompidou will present a major retrospective of the work of American artist Cy Twombly from November 30, 2016 through April 24, 2017, bringing together works from public and private collections around the world.
The comprehensive showcase will be structured around three major cycles – “Nine Discourses on Commodus,” 1963, “Fifty Days at Iliam,” 1978, and “Coronation of Sesostris,” 2000 – and will span the artist’s entire career, from his first works in the early 1950s to his last paintings.
Presented chronologically and featuring some 140 paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures, the exhibition will provide what the Centre Pompidou describes as “a clear picture of an extraordinarily rich body of work which is both intellectual and sensual.”
In addition to emphasizing the importance of series and cycles in Twombly’s practice, through which he reinvented history painting, the exhibition will also highlight the artist’s close relationship with Paris.
CENTRE POMPIDOU: CENTRE POMPIDOU
December 1, 2016 – April 2, 2017
The first US artist to win the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1963, Robert Rauschenberg blazed a new trail for art in the second half of the twentieth century. This exhibition at Tate Modern will be the first posthumous retrospective of Robert Rauschenberg’s work in the UK, as well as the first comprehensive exhibition in almost twenty years.
Moving between painting, sculpture, photography, print-making, installation and performance, he refused to accept conventional boundaries in art and in life, his quest for innovation fired by his boundless curiosity, enthusiasm for collaboration and passion for travel.
Bringing together a tightly edited selection of key works from different periods, Robert Rauschenberg will provide a long overdue opportunity to discover a remarkably consistent artistic trajectory which steadfastly refused to be straight-jacketed by rules and conventions.
Each chapter of Rauschenberg’s six-decade career will be represented by major works including loans that rarely travel. Among these is a selection of his Combines, hybrids between painting and sculpture, as well as his graphic screenprints which signal Rauschenberg’s early commitment to political activism. These signature bodies of work will be preceded by his early experiments at Black Mountain College, a hotbed for innovation in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and his first collaborations with fellow artists and friends John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns, David Tudor and Cy Twombly. The artist’s work with Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T), an organisation which developed collaboration between artists and engineers in the 1960s, will be explored, showing how he helped to blur the boundaries between the visual arts, dance and science.
In the mid-1960s Rauschenberg left New York for Florida and began to travel extensively across Europe, the Americas and Asia. His Cardboards from the early 1970s, a wry comment on the forces of globalization, and his sumptuous fabric works such as The Jammers, inspired by his visit to the Indian textile centre of Ahmedabad will be included in the show. The epic project Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI), which was completed between 1984 and 1991 taking in China, Cuba and Tibet, will also be on display.
Performance remained a key interest for Rauschenberg as did his interest in pushing the limits of image-making with new materials such as printing on translucent textiles, polished steel or oxydised copper, or with vegetable inks indicating his continued concern for the environment.
TATE MODERN: TATE MODERN
THE GREAT ANIMAL ORCHESTRA
July 2, 2016 – January 8, 2017
Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is pleased to present The Great Animal Orchestra, inspired by the work of American musician and bioacoustician, Bernie Krause. The exhibition brings together the work of artists from all over the world and invites the public to enjoy an aesthetic meditation, both aural and visual, on the animal kingdom, which is increasingly under threat in today’s modern world.
For over 40 years, Bernie Krause has collected almost 5,000 hours of sound recordings of natural habitats, both terrestrial and marine, inhabited by almost 15,000 animal species. His research offers a wonderful immersion into the sound universe of animals, otherwise known as biophony. Before developing a passion for animal recordings, far removed from the world of humans, Bernie Krause worked as a musician and acoustician in the 1960s and 1970s, collaborating with artists like The Doorsand Van Morrison. He also contributed to the creation of soundtracks to well-known films like Rosemary’s Baby by Roman Polanski and Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola.
Bernie Krause is unique. He contemplates the natural world as a poet, he listens to animal vocalizations as a musician, and through his recordings he studies these from the perspective of a scientist. Bernie Krause has become a master in the art of revealing the beauty, diversity and complexity of the languages of wild animals, increasingly reduced to silence by the din of human activity. He implores us to listen to these voices from the living, non-human world before they are definitively shrouded in silence.
FONDATION CARTIER: FONDATION CARTIER
EXHIBITIONISM: THE ROLLING STONES
April – September 2016
EXHIBITIONISM is the first international exhibition on The Rolling Stones.
Taking over the entire two floors of the Saatchi Gallery with 9 thematic galleries, EXHIBITIONISM combines over 500 original Stones' artefacts, with striking cinematic and interactive technologies offering the most comprehensive and immersive insight into the band's fascinating fifty year history.
From never before seen dressing room and backstage paraphernalia to rare instruments; original stage designs, iconic costumes, rare audio tracks and video footage; personal diaries; poster and album cover artwork; and unique wraparound cinematic experiences that celebrate every aspect of their Careers. Centre stage is the musical heritage that took them from a London blues band in the early 1960s to inspirational cultural icons.
The Rolling Stones have shaped popular culture, often in their own image, and this exhibition will offer a unique perspective that only the band's own archive can provide. Collaborations and work by a vast array of artists, designers, musicians and writers will be included - from Andy Warhol, Shepard Fairey, Alexander McQueen, and Ossie Clark to Tom Stoppard and Martin Scorsese.
SAATCHI GALLERY: SAATCHI GALLERY
ROMAN MOSAICS ACROSS THE EMPIRE
March 30 – September 12, 2016
In ancient times, mosaics decorated luxurious homes and public buildings across the Roman Empire. Intricate patterns and figural scenes were created by setting small pieces of stone or glass, called tesserae, into floors and walls. Introduced by itinerant craftsmen, mosaic techniques and designs spread widely, leading to variety of regional styles. The mosaics in this exhibition date from the 2nd through the 6th centuries A.D., and come from far-flung places: Italy, North Africa, Southern France, Turkey, and Syria. Recovered from various archeological contexts, they provide a glimpse into the richly embellished architecture of the ancient world.
GETTY VILLA: GETTY VILLA
UNFINISHED: Thoughts Left Visible
March 18, 2016 – September 4, 2016
Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible examines a subject that is critical to artistic practice: the question of when a work of art is finished. Opening March 18, 2016, this landmark exhibition inaugurates The Met Breuer, ushering in a new phase for The Met’s expanded engagement with modern and contemporary art, presented in Marcel Breuer’s iconic building on Madison Avenue. With over 190 works dating from the Renaissance to the present—nearly forty percent of which are drawn from The Met’s collection, supplemented with major national and international loans—the exhibition demonstrates the type of groundbreaking show that can result when the Museum mines its vast collection and curatorial resources to present modern and contemporary art within a deep historical context.
The exhibition examines the term “unfinished” across the visual arts in the broadest possible way; it includes works left incomplete by their makers, a result that often provides insight into the artists’ creative process, as well as works that engage a non finito—intentionally unfinished—aesthetic that embraces the unresolved and open-ended. Featured artists who explored such an aesthetic include some of history’s greatest practitioners, among them Titian, Rembrandt, Turner, and Cézanne, as well as modern and contemporary artists, including Janine Antoni, Lygia Clark, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Rauschenberg, who have taken the unfinished in entirely new directions, alternately blurring the distinction between making and un-making, extending the boundaries of art into both space and time, and recruiting viewers to complete the objects they had begun.
The accompanying catalogue expands the subject to include the unfinished in literature and film as well as the role of the conservator in elucidating a deeper understanding of artistic thought on the subject of the unfinished.
“Unfinished is a cornerstone of The Met Breuer’s inaugural program and a great example of The Met’s approach to presenting the art of today,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Met. “Stretching across history and geography, the exhibition is the result of a cross-departmental collaboration, drawing on the expertise of The Met’s outstanding faculty of curators. We hope the exhibition inspires audiences to reconsider the artistic process as they connect to experiences shared by artists over centuries.”
Using works of art as well as the words of artists and critics as a guide, Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible strives to answer four questions: When is a work of art finished? To what extent does an artist have latitude in making this decision? During which periods in the history of art since the Renaissance have artists experimented most boldly with the idea of the unfinished or non finito? What impact has this long trajectory had on modern and contemporary art?
The exhibition features works that fall into two categories. The first includes works of art that are literally unfinished—those whose completion was interrupted, usually because of an accident, such as the artist’s death. In some instances, notably Jan van Eyck’s Saint Barbara (1437), there is still debate about whether the artist meant the work to be a finished drawing, which would have been considered unusual at the time, or if it was meant to be a preparation for a painting. Because such works often leave visible the underlying skeleton and many changes normally effaced in the act of completion, they are prized for providing access to the artist’s thoughts, as well as to his or her working process.
The second category includes works that appear unfinished—open-ended, unresolved, imperfect—at the volition of the artist, such as Janine Antoni’s Lick and Lather (1993–1994). Antoni used a mold to create a series of self-portrait busts, half from chocolate and half from soap, fragile materials that tend to age quickly. After finishing the busts, she set to work unfinishing them, licking those in chocolate and bathing with those in soap, stopping once she had arrived at her distinctive physiognomy.
The unfinishedness of objects in this second category has been debated and appreciated at definite times, in definite places. Unlike the historical art presented in the exhibition, which includes a significant number of truly unfinished objects, art from the mid-to-late 20th and 21st centuries is represented almost entirely through the lens of non finito.
THOMAS DEMAND: L'IMAGE VOLEE
March 18, 2016 – August 28, 2016
“L’image volée”, a group show curated by artist Thomas Demand (Munich, 1964), will be held in the two levels of the Nord gallery at Fondazione Prada in Milan.
The exhibition revolves around the idea that we all stand on someone else’s shoulders, and explores how artists have always referred to existing imagery to make their own. Questioning the boundaries between originality, conceptual inventiveness and the culture of the copy, the project will focus on theft, authorship, annexation and the creative potential of such pursuits.
Situated in a special exhibition architecture by sculptor Manfred Pernice, the show will present 80 works realized by about 45 artists between 1820 and the present day, including commissions by John Baldessari, Oliver Laric and Sara Cwynar amongst others. An illustrated book will accompany the project, with essays by Russell Ferguson, Christy Lange, short stories by Ian McEwan and Ali Smith, and interventions by Rainer Erlinger and Don McLean, published by Fondazione Prada.
FONDAZIONE PRADA: FONDAZIONE PRADA
MANUS x MACHINA: Fashion in an Age of Technology
May 5, 2016 – August 14, 2016
The Costume Institute's spring 2016 exhibition, presented in the Museum's Robert Lehman Wing and Anna Wintour Costume Center, will explore the impact of new technology on fashion, and how designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. Often presented as oppositional, the exhibition will propose a new view in which the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) are equal protagonists.
With more than one hundred ensembles, dating from an 1880s Worth gown to a 2015 Chanel suit, Manus x Machina will look into the founding of the haute couture in the nineteenth century, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand and machine at the onset of industrialization and mass production. It will re-examine the dichotomy in which the hand and the machine are presented as discordant tools in the creative process, and question the significance of the time-honored distinction between haute couture and ready-to-wear.
The Robert Lehman Wing galleries on the Museum's first floor and court level will present pairings of handmade haute couture garments with their machine-made ready-to-wear counterparts. A suite of rooms will reflect the traditional structure of a couture atelier and its petites mains workshops for embroidery, feathers, pleating, knitting, lacework, leatherwork, braiding, and fringe work. These will be contrasted with ensembles incorporating new technologies including 3D printing, laser cutting, thermo shaping, computer modeling, circular knitting, ultrasonic welding, and bonding and laminating. The Anna Wintour Costume Center galleries will contain a series of "in process" workshops, where visitors will see the creation of 3D-printed garments over the course of the exhibition.
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART