CURATOR'S CHOICE SM
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GLENN LONEY'S MUSEUM NOTES
CONTENTS, April 2005
Please click on " * " to skip to each subject in this index:
Caricature of Glenn Loney by Sam Norkin.
THE GATES IN CENTRAL PARK: Orange/Saffron Banners Billow *
DIANE ARBUS: Revelations *
MAX ERNST: A Retrospective *
THOMAS DEMAND *
GROUNDSWELL: Constructing the Contemporary Landscape *
THE EYE OF THE STORM: Works in situ by Daniel Buren *
JEWISH WOMEN & THEIR SALONS: The Power of Conversation *
WILD THINGS: The Art of Maurice Sendak *
PORTRAITS OF AN AGE: Photography in Germany & Austria, 1900-1938 *
RENAISSANCE & BAROQUE BRONZES: From the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge *
AMERICAN BEAUTY: Painting & Sculpture from the Detroit Institute of Arts *
EDGE OF DESIRE: Recent Art in India *
FATAL LOVE: South Asian American Art Now *
GLAMOUR: New York Style *
PUERTO RICAN NEW YORK CITY *
PERFORM: History of Broadway Theatre *
RADICALS IN THE BRONX *
CHERISHED POSSESSIONS: A New England Legacy *
FIRST LADIES: Political Role & Public Image *
BEYOND THE RAINBOW: Music of Harold Arlen *
EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY: Narrative Impulse in Modern & Contemporary Art *
ANDRÉ RAFFRAY: The Brooklyn Bridge *
GROUNDED/SUSPENDED: Herbert Ferber/Sculpture from the 1970s *
Sanford Smith’s WORKS ON PAPER: *
NY INTERNATIONAL ART & ANTIQUES SHOW: *
THE GATES IN CENTRAL PARK: Orange/Saffron Banners Billow
[In Bleakest Winter—12-27 February 2005]
Christo & Jeanne-Claude's THE GATES in Central Park. Photos: ©Glenn Loney/INFOTOGRAPHY/2005.
Despite churlish sniping from some conservative art-critics, Christo & Jeanne-Claude’s The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005 proved to be an immense success with the General Public and many Visitors from Abroad. But the Art Mavens kept insisting that this was not a Work of Art.
And there were the usual angry outraged outcries from the Super-Rich on the Upper East Side: the same people who are furious with the ongoing exterior & internal improvements at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One irate lady even wrote a Letter to the Editor to complain that her little dog was frightened of the flapping orange banners!
A number of letter-writers expressed their ire that His Honor, Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City, would support such an arrogant, self-serving project. Some were furious that Christo’s Gates were costing the city millions that should have been spent on improving the schools. Others feared that the project would attract "the Wrong Element," whatever that may be.
It was indeed amazing how many New Yorkers were so ill-informed about this long-gestating project. In fact, it was completely financed by the sale of Christo’s artworks depicting details of the project. Mayor Bloomberg himself bought three of them!
Christo & Jeanne-Claude donated some $4 million to the Central Park Conservancy, after their expenses in creating, installing, maintaining, and removing The Gates were covered. More than a thousand workers on the project—including 700 New Yorkers—were paid by the Christos, not by the City. It is true, however, that more police than usual had to be deployed as thousands of people thronged the Park, even on remote walkways few ever frequent.
Christo & Jeanne-Claude's THE GATES in Central Park. Photos: ©Glenn Loney/INFOTOGRAPHY/2005.
Your photographer/reporter followed this project with cameras at the ready, from beginning to end. I had already made some shots of Christo’s Umbrellas and his Running-Fence on the California coast some seasons ago. And I spent an entire week in Berlin, photographing the before and after of his Wrapping of the Reichstag.
The autumn after this technically complicated and visually stunning Berlin Art Action, Christo & Jeanne-Claude made a presentation of this event in the Great Hall of Cooper Union. They also showed slides of the Umbrellas, the Fence, and other Wrapping Projects.
And they discussed their long-term discussions with the City—since 1979—to erect The Gates in Central Park, showing slides of Christo’s sketches. All this time, he had been selling these artworks to finance the project, even though various killjoy Mayors such as David Dinkins and Ed Koch had fought the project.
Later, I interviewed the Christos in their studio for WBAI, for which I was doing commentaries on the arts. Christo noted that some opponents feared the project might change the landscape, kill tree-roots, and inflict other kinds of damage on the Great Work of Frederick Law Olmstead & Calvert Vaux.
The initial designs showed the Gates’ metal poles set into the ground beside the walkways. There were legitimate worries about this method of installation. What if high winds blew down the posts, taking some of the concrete walkways or tree-roots with them?
In the event, the long delay proved fortuitous. Over the years, a new method of installation was developed that did not involve any implantations: Very light-weight hollow orange vinyl posts—supporting vinyl lintels carrying the banners—bolted to heavy steel bases, sitting on the actual walks.
I photographed Christo’s workers measuring—virtually with micrometers—the placement of the heavy steel bases. Followed by the setting of the bases, using a fleet of palette fork-trucks. As well as the walking-up—by a youthful team of workers—of the many frame-units of two posts & lintel-bar.
Christo & Jeanne-Claude's THE GATES in Central Park. Photos: ©Glenn Loney/INFOTOGRAPHY/2005.
On the joyous day of the Banner Unfurling, orange or saffron Velcro tapes were ripped from the lintels, and down cascaded the banners! Even former Texas Governor Ann Richards was on hand to help zip the tapes!
When the steel bases were being set out, I said to one crew that it was a shame the project could not have been laid out in Spring, when Central Park did not look so bleak. The chief of the crew pointed out—what I should have remembered from Christo’s Cooper Union presentation—that it was precisely the bare-tree winter that the Christos had wanted for the project. Springtime leaves would obscure the Gates!
In the event, at least two-million people came to see the Gates and stroll through the Park. The Met Museum—flanked by Gates—had more visitors in the two weeks of the project than ever before: 200,000 per week! Millions of Tourist Dollars "trickled-down" into hotel, restaurant, theatre, and store cash-registers.
There were 7,500 Gates, sited along 23 miles of pedestrian walkways. Following all these paths, I discovered unusual parts of Central Park I had no idea existed. Some of which are usually not safe even on the brightest of days.
Given their point-and-shoot cameras, I took family pictures for tourists from Sweden, Italy, Mexico City, and even Newark! Famously private—even sullen—Manhattanites were chatting animatedly with absolute strangers!
Near the Reservoir, a group of African-American ladies—in their Sunday-best attire and fabulous hats—were admiring the way the orange banners fluttered in the wintry breeze. One said she’d like to have a banner for a bed-spread. Another thought it would be just fine for a table-cloth: the fabric doesn’t stain! Yet another asked me if I didn’t think two of them would make "really cheerful kitchen-curtains?"
A nearby Monitor came over, gave us little square samples of the fabric, and explained that all the materials in the project would be shredded and recycled. And that is just what happened. Delayed a bit by snowstorms, the crews rapidly dismantled the various elements, throwing the metal connecting-plates in dumpsters and placing the posts and banners in large vans parked throughout the park. The Gates came down in record-time.
Christo & Jeanne-Claude's THE GATES in Central Park. Photos: ©Glenn Loney/INFOTOGRAPHY/2005.
One rich art-collector tried to buy a section of The Gates but was refused. Not at any price were Christo & Jeanne-Claude going to permit any part of this project to survive—except in Memory.
Before, During, and After the Event: Arguments raged over Is This Really a Work of Art? My view is that all of Christo’s sketches sold to finance the project are artworks, but the Central Park installation could more properly be called Landscape Architecture!
I shot some 30 rolls of slide & print film on the project. Some of my favorite views are reproduced with this report.
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
DIANE ARBUS: Revelations
[Closing May 30, 2005]
DIANE ARBUS: "Teenage Couple on Hudson Street." Photo: ©1967 / The Estate of Diane Arbus.
Oddly enough, this fascinating blockbuster of a photo-show was first exposed to the public at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, or SFMoMA. That’s odd because Diane Arbus was born in New York and chose most of her unusual—if not always downright peculiar—subjects from citizens of the five boroughs, as well as from upstate and New Jersey.
Some of Arbus’ starkly unsettling black & white photos have by now become virtual Icons of Oddness. Who is not familiar with her image of A Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx? And how about The Human Pincushion, among Arbus’ portraits of sideshow freaks and transvestite entertainers? Or Teenage Couple on Hudson Street?
Among my favorite Arbus photos is Patriotic young man with a flag. This is also titled: Boy with a straw hat waiting to march in a pro-war parade, NYC 1967. In his straw-boater, he looks like a startled deer just caught in the headlights of an automobile. I also like the Arbus images of very serious dowagers, proudly dressed in all their finery, totally unaware of how ridiculous they look.
Arbus’ shots of odd-looking people doing—or wearing—unusual things are unlike those caught-on-the-sly photos of human peculiarities that win prizes.
It is clear from the often front-and-center poses of her subjects that they are complicit in the portraits. It’s also obvious that they have no idea of how Arbus really sees them, nor of how they will be perceived later by people who see their photos in art-galleries or books.
Considering Arbus’ interest in spending time with Nudists, institutionalized Downe’s Syndrome people, Carnie folks, and Muscleman contestants, it can hardly be argued that she was merely lensing the American Passing Parade. Although parade curiosities did catch her eye and her cameras. She obviously sought out the Odd.
The press-presentation, nonetheless, asserts: "Arbus’ gift for rendering strange those things we consider most familiar continues to challenge our assumptions about the nature of everyday life and compels us to look at the world in a new way."
Oh, really now! Get a Grip!
Arbus’ most powerful images have virtually nothing to do with most people’s "assumptions about the nature of everyday life," whatever they might be. Nor to they challenge mine, even though, at 76, I think I’ve seen it all.
More to the point is a quote about her work from Arbus herself: "I want to photograph the considerable ceremonies of our present because we tend while living here and now to perceive only what is random and barren and formless about it." She regarded her work as "contemporary anthropology," which is interesting, although she largely dealt only with a biased sampling.
Arbus committed suicide in 1971, which was not a good year for many. Was this death caused by a Virginia Woolf-like despair? Or was she more of a Sylvia Plath type?
One aspect of the current show that is especially interesting is the creation of three "libraries" which offer insight into her life, her books, her working materials—cameras, negatives, contact-prints, and her diaries and jottings.
There is a 352-page Random House book, Diane Arbus Revelations, with important illustrations and essays. Diane Arbus: The Libraries, published by the Fraenkel Gallery, presents a visual record of items shown in the show’s "libraries." As the Met no longer gives your scribe review-copies, I cannot discuss their contents nor their merits…
MAX ERNST: A Retrospective
[Closing July 10, 2005]
MAX ERNST: Surrealist painting. "Celebes" 1921.Oil on canvas.49 3/16 x 42 1/2 in. (125 x 108 cm).Tate Modern, London. ©2005 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP Paris.
Eager theatre-goers can get to know something about the Surrealist painter Max Ernst if they hurry off to the Promenade Theatre, where Mercedes Ruehl is currently impersonating Peggy Guggenheim. After her disastrous marriage to Lawrence Vail, Peggy married Max—whose paintings she championed at a time when he was fairly unknown.
Whatever the domestic disasters of this star-crossed liaison, at least she helped Ernst escape the Nazis—he was arrested and interned several times by the French—and find sanctuary from the Holocaust in America. [His son, Jimmy Ernst, was a colleague at Brooklyn College.]
A founder of both Dada and Surrealism, Ernst has nonetheless had less press than some of his illustrious compatriots, such as André Breton and Paul Éluard. This is his first US retrospective in three decades—with 175 of his works: books, frottages, sculptures, drawings, paintings, and collages—so it should spark renewed interest in his remarkable achievements as "one of the most ingenious artists of the 20th century."
Displayed in developmental sequence at the Met, his creations are sure to intrigue those who know little or nothing of Ernst, especially those who have no familiarity with the devices of collage or of frottage—which has another meaning entirely, aside from artwork.
First-time viewers may find Ernst’s early sketches and paintings dark and overly complicated. But they are worth careful study. As his vision matured, and his techniques evolved, the canvases become simpler and more powerful. But the subjects and their renderings are still mystifying and challenging.
There are also some enlarged black & white photos in the catalogue room that show Ernst in his milieu. Ernst’s life was almost more interesting than his body of works. He was once the lover of the fantastic surreal painter, Leonora Carrington—who found sanctuary in Mexico.
Yes, there is a catalogue of the show. But I did not get a review-copy, alas.
At the Museum of Modern Art:
[Closing May 30, 2005]
THOMAS DEMAND: "Poll." 2001. Chromogenic color print, 71" x 8'6" (180 x 260cm). The Museum Of Modern Art, New York. Fractional and promised gift of Sharon Coplan Hurowitz and Richard Hurowitz.
This show demands to be seen. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that word-usage, but that’s apparently Thomas Demand’s real name. He’s a German conceptual-artist and photographer, born 1964—a year after Jack Kennedy was killed.
That doesn’t exactly put him in Context, but he’s definitely Post-Something-or-other. Trained as a sculptor, he began to make life-sized constructions in paper and other materials of real-life scenes or images. Initially, he photographed them for archival recording.
Now, Demand creates entire rooms and scenes, photographs them, and then destroys the models. His photograph remains the only record of his fantastically-constructed models. Photographed with a large-format camera with telescopic-lens, the photos have the look of the Real Thing—although there is always a deliberate imperfection or lighting-effect to give away the game.
There are 25 of these astonishing large-scale photos on view at MoMA. Most impressive—creating a three-dimensional effect on a flat chromogenic photo-plane—is Demand’s Clearing. The viewer is looking at leafy green trees in a grove, with the view mistily extending in sunlit depth to trees farther away. This is a haunting visual experience.
Even if you were willing to pay a very great many Euros, Demand will not sell you the models for his photos, not even on demand. Part of the art-gimmick is that they must be destroyed after being lensed!
GROUNDSWELL: Constructing the Contemporary Landscape
[Closing May 30, 2005]
Ordinarily, if you lived in Bradford, Barcelona, Seattle, or San Francisco, you would be seeing Urban Renewal projects such as these at Community Board meetings or at City Hall. This is the first time MoMA is presenting the sketches, models, photos, computer-animations, and videos of important and innovative Landscape Designs in the framework of an art-exhibition.
Photos and models showing shabby, neglected center-city spaces, with their actual or proposed makeovers are impressive. But much more so are the simulations that are shown on MoMA’s walls—in moving color, step-by-step—how the renovations are to be completed. Some of these projections are as large as 6’x11’.
Indeed, some of the large-scale computer-animations projected for spectators are far more interesting than most of the so-called Video-Art much beloved at MoMA and the Whitney.
Innovative projects have been chosen from Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East, some 23 of them!
Among the projects are a rethinking of the uses and layout of Crissey Field, adjacent to San Francisco’s Presidio and Marina. [Your reporter landed here once years ago when in the US Army, flown from Fort Ord for a medical board at Letterman General Hospital, where Army doctors threatened to amputate his right forearm—now involved in typing this report! This was during the Korean "Police Action," though not in Korea…]
The dying City Centre of Bradford—an English Midlands city now home to more Asians and Africans than Anglo-Saxon descendants—has been brilliantly re-orchestrated by Alsop & Partners. As is Manchester’s dowdy old Exchange Square, thanks to architect Martha Schwartz and her team from Cambridge, Mass.
Although the show is tagged as a "Landscape" exhibition, it is not soley about trees, plantings, and gardens. New architecture, roads, promenades, and renovations of old, even historic, buildings are also involved.
New York’s plans for a rejuvenated waterfront—or watersides, on many fronts—are comparable to some of these. Local projects have been shown at the Municipal Art Society’s Urban Center.
But there are many more American cities and towns that desperately need rethinking and makeovers. Too many historic cities—think Charleston & Savannah—need downtown attention, beyond the famous squares or ante-bellum mansions.
At the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum:
THE EYE OF THE STORM: Works in situ by Daniel Buren
[Closing June 8, 2005]
DANIEL BUREN: "Murs de Peintures (Walls of Painting)." Typical Striped Buren Paintings. Photo: Courtesy Guggenheim Museum/Paris Museum of Modern Art.
Way back in 1971, Daniel Buren’s immense vertically striped banner, Peinture-Sculpture, hanging in the Guggenheim Museum’s Rotunda, had to be removed before the opening of the Guggenheim International Exhibition.
This 65’ x 32’ sheet of fabric blocked the view of other artists’ works across the spiraling ramps of the great space. Understandably, they protested, and it was taken down. Cries of "Censorship" arose.
This time around, Buren has the Rotunda and the empty ramps all to himself.
Known for his works using striped fabric in bold alternation of white and blue, or green, or red, or yellow stripes, Buren has been "…reducing his paintings to their simplest visual and physical elements, emptying them of all illusion and subjectivity." [This quote is from the museum’s bulletin, which specializes in this kind of Curatorial Bull.]
Some of these squares and rectangles of white & colored stripes are on view in the High Gallery. As there obviously was no illusion nor subjectivity there to begin with, emptying them out of the canvases should have posed no artistic problems for the facile & fashionable Paris-based Buren. These look much alike, although they cover an artistic-maturation-span from 1966 to 1977!
Instead of bringing back his big banner to the Rotunda, Buren has constructed two sides of a towering House of Mirrors, reflecting the bare ramps, whose exhibition-spaces have been emptied of artworks, except for the stripes in the High Gallery.
Buren’s reflecting surfaces are not distorting, so you won’t have the added funhouse fun of seeing yourself reflected as pencil-thin or grotesquely fat—unless those modes are already your "visual and physical elements."
The rotunda skylight has been covered with transparent pie-wedges of alternating white and lavender stripes!
In the Thannhauser Galleries, Buren has bonded some transparent colored plastic forms to the windows. This is called Color, Rhythm, Transparency, works in situ.
Seeing this for the first time, you might think anyone with sheets of colored gels could do this with scissors and model-airplane glue.
These colors "…allow visitors to see conditions of display that may often go unnoticed. Instead of re-creating an illusion of light on canvas, Buren harnesses the light in the actual space. The patterns of the colors are adhered directly to the body of the museum, which becomes itself a support for and a part of the art. Shadows on the floor and ceiling further integrate the room into the work…"
Actually, some of the paintings look a bit sick, with red or blue light misting on them.
What is missing from the Guggenheim show are some examples of Buren’s Affichage Sauvage. Don’t ask!
At the Brooklyn Museum:
[Closing June 5, 2005]
JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT: The Barefoot Artist.Photo: ©Lizzie Himmel.
My fondest memories of Jean-Michel Basquiat are of watching him and his chum, Andy Warhol, rummaging on a Sunday through the Muni trash-basket at the corner of Madison and 71st. Just down the street from me.
I used to write for Andy’s INTERView—before it became really trendy—so I thought it wisest not to say hello. Some of the treasures they found in the trash sold for Big Bucks at the Andy Warhol Auction after his unfortunate demise from Medical Malpractice.
There are those who regard Basquiat’s canvases as very close to visual trash, or glorified graffiti, because both graffiti and images of junk & ruin are crammed into their two-dimensional confines.
Even if that biased, denigratrive evaluation were plausible, it cannot account for Basquiat’s vivid clash of colors, his vibrant energy in line and form, and the cultural collision of image-symbols in most of the 70 paintings and 50 works on paper now on display at the Brooklyn Museum.
The Curatorial Word is that his "meteoric career coincided with the emergence of the hip-hop movement" and that he "…contributed to the revival of painting in the United States before his untimely death." It would be even more remarkable had he contributed to this alleged revival—when had American Painting died previously?—after his death.
Actually, he has in fact done so, largely thanks to curatorial re-evaluations and national tours such as this one.
And there is no denying that there is something very special about Basquiat’s "…unique and complex iconography, his integration of text into his canvases, and his development of themes from the African Diaspora." One might argue with the rest of this quote, regarding his "skillful use of color" and his "aptitude at drawing."
Of Haitian and Puerto Rican heritage, Basquiat developed a severe drug dependency that ultimately killed him. Despite his early demise, he created a very large body of work—much of which sold at top prices. Thus, the Brooklyn Museum is able to fill two entire floors of galleries with Basquiat sketches and canvases.
A number of Basquiat’s paintings may stop you in your tracks. How about St. Joe Louis Surrounded by Snakes? Or Leonardo Da Vinci’s Greatest Hits? Or Price of Gasoline in the Third World? And check out his Griot images!
At the Jewish Museum:
JEWISH WOMEN & THEIR SALONS: The Power of Conversation
[Closing July 10, 2005]
JEWISH WOMEN & THEIR SALONS:Madame D'Ora, "Berta Zuckerkandl," 1908, photograph. Bildarchiv, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna.
At a time when many Christian women—either married to wealth, or having inherited it—were cast in the roles of dutiful, loving wives and gracious hostesses for their husbands’ dinners and balls, some outstanding Jewish women is Berlin, Vienna, Paris, & London were presiding over Salons in which new ideas in the arts, politics, and society were discussed.
It is, however, true that the idea of such Salons—presided over by personable and preferably wealthy women of some social position—did not originate in the Jewish Communities of great European capitals. They were first noted in Paris, where they provided forums for discussion of literature and fashions. As early as the 17th century, Molière made fun of them in his comedy, Les precieuses Ridicules, or The Learned Ladies.
The essential differences of the great Jewish Salonistas—from the more trivial or superficial Christian hostesses—was their encouragement of a much wider range of interests and the seriousness of the discussions at their salons. Also worth noting is the importance and the variety of their guests: poets, politicians, painters, philosophers, and composers, with no regard to their religion, gender, or position in society.
Not only in the Jewish salons of Paris did major issues of the Enlightenment find resonance, but also in Berlin and as far distant as Vienna. Among the most celebrated of these brilliant and Enlightened Jewish women were Rahel Varnhagen and Henrietta Herz, who set the model for glittering salons in late 18th century Berlin. In the 19th century, Felix Mendelssohn’s beloved sister, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel presided over one of the most sought-after salons in Berlin. [The refreshments and musical entertainments were also first-rate, as Fanny and others reported in letters!]
Later, in 1890s Paris and London, the literary salons of Geneviève Straus and Ada Leverson were often cited as centers of intellectual and cultural ferment. Leverson even invited Oscar Wilde after his disgrace, when no one in London society would receive him.
In the 20th century, Gertrude Stein’s salon in Paris attracted such talents as Picasso & Hemingway. In Milan, Margherita Sarfatti advanced the cause of Marinetti’s Futurism and Mussolini’s Fascism.
Across the ocean in America, among the notable 20th century Jewish salonières were Manhattan’s Art Deco artist Florine Stettheimer and Los Angeles’ Salka Viertel.
At the Jewish Museum, rooms are devoted to various famed salon hostesses, with portraits, properties, and documents relating to them and their often notable guests—in ingeniously designed installations. Documenting the personalities who graced various salons with evidences of their genius, there are artworks by Aubrey Beardsley, Max Beerbohm, Gustav Klimt, Umberto Boccioni, August Rodin, and others.
The Museum also offered an evening’s evocation of a Fanny Mendelssohn Salon Evening, complete with music by both Fanny and brother Felix. Largely reconstructed from their letters, this presentation revealed not only Felix’s love for his sister, but also his determination that she should NOT publish her compositions nor draw undue attention to herself as a musician and composer. As she had married a very wealthy—and loving—husband, Felix believed her proper duty was as a wife and mother, not as an aspiring artist.
WILD THINGS: The Art of Maurice Sendak
[Closing August 14, 2005]
THE ART OF MAURICE SENDAK:Maurice Sendak, final illustration for "You Fitcher's feathered bird, where are you from?" from "Fitcher's Feathered Bird" in The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm (1973), pen and ink on paper. From the Maurice Sendak Collection at the Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia.
Although some of Maurice Sendak’s hairy monsters seem smiling and fairly friendly, not all of his Wild Things are so benevolent and unthreatening. As the new Sendak retrospective at the Jewish Museum makes clear, both his imagery and his texts for children’s books are deeply influenced by his European Jewish Heritage and the devastating losses of family-members in the Nazi Holocaust.
Born in Brooklyn, Sendak nevertheless had an early fascination with the images of East European Shtetls and their people and folklore. A number of such Sendak illustrations are included in this very large show of some 140 works. Even his drawings for Grimm’s Fairy Tales have a Tevya-Look. There are 112 original drawings, as well as sketch-series showing the development of children’s books.
Among the popular Sendak-illustrated books represented with drawings are The Sign on Rosie’s Door, Dear Mili, Outside Over There, The Night Kitchen, Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Zlateh the Goat, and Sendak’s own father’s In Grandpa’s House.
Sendak’s Wild Things often seem—even on small pages—Larger Than Life. This show makes his dreams/nightmares into reality with large-scale three-dimensional installations of some memorable monsters and props. There’s even a Sendak-designed Children’s Corner, where kids can hunker down and leaf through some of his prize-winning storybooks. [In San Francisco, at the Yerba Buena & Moscone Convention Center, Sendak’s Night Kitchen has been recreated on giant-scale in the new Multiplex Theatre.]
Sendak’s designs for the theatre, opera, and ballet are on view, as well as actual costumes from productions at the Houston Grand Opera and the Chicago Lyric Opera. He has brought his visual fantasy to Mozart’s Magic Flute and to Humperdinck’s Hansel & Gretel. Where the Wild Things Are became a ballet—with Sendak sets & costumes, naturally.
One of the operas he has designed, Brundibar, was first performed by Jewish children, prisoners in the Nazi Theresienstadt/Terezin Concentration Camp. Hans Krása, the Czech-Jewish composer of this quest-fable, did not survive the gas-chambers. Neither did the children—almost all of the Terezin internees were removed to Auschwitz for the "Final Solution."
On May 3 & 4, at 8 pm, there will be a concert performance of this work at the Jewish Museum, followed by a discussion with Sendak himself and librettist Tony Kushner.
At the Neue Galerie:
Museum for German & Austrian Art:
PORTRAITS OF AN AGE: Photography in Germany & Austria, 1900-1938
[Closing June 6, 2005]
DORA KALLMUS: Portrait of a Dancer on view at the Neue Gallerie.Photo: Courtesy of Neue Galerie.
Although the Neue Galerie has an impressive permanent collection of Jugendstil arts & crafts—from the Wiener Werkstätte, among others—its changing exhibitions have largely focused on painting & drawing, as well as the decorative arts. Photography was included only as documentation for the larger subjects.
Portraits of an Age is an important departure, for these stunning photo-images are certainly artworks in themselves, as well as historical documentation and, on occasion, intellectual provocation.
Organized by Monika Faber, of Vienna’s Albertina, the show includes images made by August Sander, who tried to record what he regarded as different aspects of German types, long before the Nazis were busily categorizing German and Inferior Types, such as Slavs and Gypsies. The Met Museum recently had a major exhibition of his Ethnic Portrait-Photos.
Also on view are fascinating portrait photos by Dora Kallmus, Hugo Erfurth, Helmar Lerski, and Marianne Breslauer. These photographers may not be so well known to New Yorkers as Sander, but they are certainly important names in Europe.
In fact, some 35 German and Austrian lensmen & women are represented in this show of more than a hundred portraits. Marlene Dietrich is of course on view!
A film-program—beyond Portraiture into People in Motion—includes Maximillian Schell’s Marlene and Bertolt Brecht’s Kuhle Wampe.
At The Frick Collection:
RENAISSANCE & BAROQUE BRONZES: From the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
[Closing April 24, 2005]
BRONZES AT THE FRICK: Lion Attacking a Horse.
Radio WQXR ads suggested that New Yorkers did not have to make a trip to Cambridge—not the one in Massachusetts—to enjoy the remarkable bronze statuettes of the Fitzwilliam Museum. Actually, this beautiful show by no means had all the Fitzwilliam Treasures on view. But the selection of 36 bronzes was astonishing in its range and brilliance. Twelve of these precious little statues were part of a bequest to the museum of the collection of an English planter in what is now Kenya: Col. Mildmay Thomas Boscawen.
A number of the bronzes are by "Anonymous Masters" from Florence, Venice, Padua, France, the Netherlands, and Germany. Others are the known creations of such artists as Alessandro Algardi, whose relief of The Rest on the Flight into Egypt—an eight-sided plaque—is especially fine in its details. His Pietà, from the mid-1660s—is bolder, stronger, but with the same attention to flowing folds of fabrics.
Willem Van Tetrode, previously shown at the Frick, is now represented by his elegant Bacchus Standing. Giovanni Francisco Rustici’s Mercury may be small, but the musculature is very well defined.
The ingenious Florentine sculptor Massimiliano Soldani Benzi’s Leda and the Swan and Ganymede and the Eagle could be magnificent bookends, the first surging upward to the right, the latter surging toward the left.
As a complement to these Fitzwilliam statuettes in the two downstairs galleries at the Frick, in the more intimate ground-floor gallery, Animals in Combat is the center of attraction, with Lion Attacking a Horse and Leopard Attacking a Bull, by Giovanni Franceso Susini, on view. Both are from the Frick’s own collections, and they are supported by drawings, prints, and even books dealing with these and similar subjects involving powerful struggles between animals.
At the Frick Art Museum—Pittsburgh:
AMERICAN BEAUTY: Painting & Sculpture from the Detroit Institute of Arts
[Closing June 12, 2005]
Although the Frick Collection in New York is housed in Henry Clay Frick’s magnificent Fifth Avenue mansion, his artworks in Pittsburgh are on view in his Frick Art Museum, rather than the rambling Victorian family mansion, Clayton. The paintings and decorative arts he enjoyed at home are considerably less impressive than those in his Manhattan palace and in his Art Museum sited on the grounds of the Pittsburg Estate.
After a powerful Augustus Saint-Gaudens exhibition, the Art Museum is now showing a fine selection of canvases and figures from the Detroit Institute of Arts. For New Yorkers, Pittsburgh may be more easily accessible than Detroit—and certainly closer than Cambridge, England.
On the visual evidence of the 90-plus artworks on display at the Pittsburgh Frick, Detroit should be well worth a visit for the Institute alone, even if most of the auto-factories are now in remission. This show has already toured to Dublin, Amsterdam, and Giverney. [I saw it in Dublin, oddly enough.]
The thrust of this exhibition is to show how distinctive American visions developed—even though early artists were heavily influenced by British and Continental painters and sculptors. Notable among the pioneers are John Singleton Copley and Benjamin West, though the American West made his career in Britain, not in the Colonies.
Other American Greats in the show are Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, George Caleb Bingham, and Winslow Homer. European influences are documented in the works of Mary Cassatt, James McNeill Whistler, and John Singer Sargent. Nor is the famous "Ashcan School" neglected: Robert Henri, George Bellows, and John Sloan—with McSorley’s Bar.
For more info, phone 412-371-0600, or log on to www/frickart.org!
At the Asia Society & Queens Museum of Art:
EDGE OF DESIRE: Recent Art in India
FATAL LOVE: South Asian American Art Now
[Closing June 5, 2005]
EDGE OF DESIRE: "Taurus" from Precision Theatre of the Heavenly Shepherds, 2002-2003. Surendran Nair; born 1956, Onakkoor, Kerala. Lives and works in Baroda, Gujarat. Watercolor on paper. 50 x 65cm (framed). Collection of Nitin Bhayana.
The Asia Society is reaching out into the Boroughs! First it was a bus-trip from the Society’s galleries on Park Avenue to the Noguchi Museum in Northern Queens. Recently, the buses ran from Park again to Queens, but this time to the Queens Museum on the site of the 1964/5 World’s Fair.
The reason for the buses are two new shows, Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India & Fatal Love: South Asian American Art Now. The artworks on view on Park Avenue are the handiwork of native Indian artists, while those in Queens were created by Indian-American artists living in the New York area.
Over 80 works of painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, video, and interactive-media are on view at the Asia Society. Although traditional Indian imagery, landscapes, folklore, religions, and customs are visually invoked, they are often skewed satirically—some in an almost cartoonish style.
Small multi-doored shrines, created by Gulammohammed Sheikh, are especially evocative. The hallmark image of both shows is a cross-legged Hindu fakir—with a devil’s tail—floating in the air above a brass vessel. This is Surendran Nair’s Mephistopheles.
The very colorful and unusual Edge exhibition comes to New York from Perth, in Western Australia, where it was curated. Some 38 artists from the Asian sub-continent are included, with works from 1993 to the present.
As the Queens spaces are much larger, artists’ installations can spread out. Some 29 artists are represented in this adjunct but no less interesting show. Among the talents are Prema Murthy, Rina Banerjee, Sofia Fatimi, Chitra Ganesh, Shahzia Sikander, Mala Iqbal, & Anna Bushan.
While at the Queens Museum, you can also enjoy the immense three-dimensional model of Manhattan and the Boroughs. Some of the art-installations are arranged around its outer perimeter. And there is an impressive permanent exhibit of Tiffany Glass! As well as the Unisphere and other left-overs from the two World’s Fairs held in Flushing Meadows Park.
At the Museum of the City of New York:
GLAMOUR: New York Style
[Closing July 4, 2005]
At the Museum of the City of New York, Glamour is the keyword this spring! Not because the museum itself is so glamorous, but because its collections include some very impressive gowns, robes, shoes, jewelry and other fashion accessories that shimmer with Glamour and High Style.
With Manhattan skyline backdrops, this is an historical survey of fashions over the past two centuries. The artifacts span the years from Sarah Jay to Sarah Jessica Parker, as in Sex and the City. John Jay’s wife is represented by pink satin slippers. Mrs. Caroline Webster Schermerhorn Astor—doyenne of Ward McAllister’s famed "400"—is recalled by a Paquin purple silk evening-gown.
Peggy Guggenheim’s fabulous Fortuny tea-gown is also on view—as is another of her Fortunys at the Promenade Theatre where Mercedes Ruehl is currently recreating this famous art-collector. Then there’s Marian Anderson’s concert gown, donated by Bette Midler. And Renata Tebaldi’s cloak for Tosca, as well as one of Babe Paley’s many, many evening-gowns. Costumes for Truman Capote’s Black & White Ball are on view, as are gowns worn by Lauren Bacall and Ivana Trump.
Among the famed designers represented are Worth of Paris, Tiffany, Vionnet, Chanel, Adrian, Mainbocher, Halston, Norell, and, of course, Yves Saint Laurent. A nod to the Museum’s African-American neighbors farther up Fifth Avenue is given in the person of designer Ann Lowe, who has not achieved the celebrity her creations merited.
But this is not just another Dress-Parade, for the development of New York Society and its customs and fashions are also chronicled. Because of the age and delicacy of some of the fabrics, the light-levels are low, so bring your glasses!
What this show suggests—as well as those lavish exhibitions at the Met Museum’s Costume Institute—is that to be long remembered, a Society Lady with no special talents should plan to leave several very costly and very glamorous gowns, designed by leading designers of her time, to major museums in her city.
PUERTO RICAN NEW YORK CITY
[Closing June 12, 2005]
As the Museo del Barrio is in the very next block, it might seem showing an excess of Ethnic Concern to mount a photo & documentary exhibition about Puerto Rican Life in Manhattan and the Boroughs at the City Museum. Nonetheless, the museum must represent the various groups of New Yorkers, as well as appeal to them and their children as potential museum-visitors and users. School-children from African-American Harlem and Spanish Harlem flock to the museum, where they are given many opportunities to interact with varied installations.
This is a small-scale show, but it is made especially interesting with scale-models, photos, videos, and documentation in both English and Spanish. The photo-archives of Hiram Maristany have proved invaluable in recapturing the Puerto Rican past in the city.
Not only can Puerto Ricans learn more about their own community—and how it has developed—from this exhibition—but others from quite different backgrounds can become more attuned to this distinctive Latino Culture as well.
PERFORM: History of Broadway Theatre
This colorful exhibition is mounted with a lot of Showbiz Razzmatazz., so its pictorial and textual survey of New York Theatre History is never boring. It is not really all about Broadway, either, for Manhattan Theatre did not really move uptown to what is now Broadway until the beginning of the 20th century. The New Victory/Belasco dates from 1900, with the New Amsterdam and the Lyceum opening in 1903.
From the Park Theatre of 1830, through the now odious Minstrel Shows and lost & forgotten Vaudeville to contemporary Broadway Musicals, this show manages to cover years of theatre innovation and convention. Not only are documents, posters, and photos smartly displayed with colorful graphics, but costumes and props of such musicals as On the Town, Chorus Line, Rent, and The Producers give a special "Live" feel to the show.
There’s also a Gypsy Robe on view. The tradition of these robes is that when a new musical opens, the chorus-kids—known as gypsies—of the most recent musical, having added souvenirs of their own show, bring it to the dressing-rooms of the chorus of the new show. And so it is passed on, from show to show, until no more can be added, and a new robe must be inaugurated.
In an adjacent gallery, New York’s most important African-American theatre ensembles and personalities—Past & Present—are saluted. This makes an effective pendant to the Broadway Mainstream show, which also pays tribute to such talents as Paul Robeson and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.
RADICALS IN THE BRONX
[Closed March 20, 2005]
Did you know that the City once drew up Manhattan maps that showed in colors the distributions of various Ethnic Groups by areas and blocks? One of these was recently on view at the Museum of the City of New York, an artifact relating to Radicals in the Bronx. And there are surely others—and more material of this kind—in the Museum’s capacious Archives. If you are interested in where the Irish, the Germans, or the Italians lived, you’ll find it on such maps!
In the 1920s and 1930s, when mainstream American commentators were beginning to worry about The Reds, up in the Bronx there were at least four major cooperative housing-projects, created by predominantly Jewish Radical Activists. Not only was their aim to provide affordable, equitable living-quarters for workers, but also to promote a more radical political, social, and cultural life among the members.
The Major Symbol of these Co-ops was a green circle with two elemental green trees enclosed. This image can still be seen in Berkeley, CA, where the Co-Op Idea has long flourished, even though it has died out in the Bronx.
Even way back in the 1940s, it was clear that some of the Bronx Radicals—and certainly their children—had emigrated to the Bay Area, importing their Super-Liberal Visions. [When I returned home on holiday from the University of California, the thigh-slapping question was: How are things at the Red School at Berkeley?]
The two green trees were much in evidence in this show, along with photos, letters, programs, posters, paintings and books. There was even an old mimeograph—the precursor of the Xerox—for getting out radical newsletters and Co-op information.
The four living-complexes were begun in 1926/7 as alternatives to the crowded conditions on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. They were the Sholem Aleichem Houses, the Amalgamated Houses, the United Workers Cooperative Colony, and the Farband Houses. Models of some of the co-ops were on view at the museum.
The buildings are still standing—and occupied—but they have not functioned as co-ops for a long time. The Red Scare before and after World War II, when it transmuted into the Cold War, muted Leftist protests, even if it did not entirely silence them.
At the Bard Graduate Center:
CHERISHED POSSESSIONS: A New England Legacy
[Closing June 5, 2005]
Shoes. Jonathan Hose and Son. London, ca. 1770. Gift of Miss Mary C. Wheelwright.
Seeing works of art, as well as decorative arts and even household furnishings, in a museum can be very instructive—especially if the wall-texts are enlightening as well. But these antique testimonies to the Past and to Past Lives are usually viewed totally out-of-context.
Some smart Yankees up north understood this some time ago. Coming together as the SPNEA—the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities—they began acquiring historic homes that they made into House-Museums. The Family Portraits, the hand-made tables, the hand-printed drapes, the Import China, the silver ewers: all were exhibited virtually in situ. Only the original owners were long gone.
There are now 35 of these houses around New England, fully fitted with beautiful objects that were once prized Family Heirlooms. Now, for the first time ever, a choice selection of these handsome items is on display at the Bard Grad Center on West 86th Street. Although the exhibition-spaces in this gracious townhouse are small—or "intimate"—varied objects have been carefully chosen to provide a wide visual and historical spectrum of the antiquities the SPNEA preserves.
Not all the artifacts were made in New England. There’s a Wedgwood pitcher with a black & white image of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on its side. A Chinese-inspired High Chest, with intricate wooden inlays, was made in Boston. A handsome case displays a set of cameo vest-buttons made in Rome. How about an English articulated silver fish that encloses sewing items?
My favorite object is not a house-furnishing, but it might be considered allied to the Decorative Arts. It is a small slate "sampler," with letters, borders, and crude faces incised on it. It is probably the only surviving example of a gravestone-carver’s demonstration-piece for potential customers. Fortunately, there are still many gravestones carved in this style in New England cemeteries—but even slate wears away over the generations.
There are family portraits—one suite of pictures offers five family members, each with his or her own framed image. Then there’s the portrait of Richard Codman by John Singleton Copley. And the painting of an upholsterer at work.
One fairly grim visage is a portrait of a New England ship-owner who engaged in the Slave-Trade Triangle: Caribbean Molasses to Massachusetts, Rum to Africa, and African Slaves back to the Caribbean.
Of course the SPNEA is not the only preserver of entire historic houses as museums. Electra Watson Webb created an entire community of such houses in Vermont, called Shelburne Village. But you have to go to New England to see any of these houses. Now, for a brief moment, you can sample their contents in Manhattan!
At the New-York Historical Society:
FIRST LADIES: Political Role & Public Image
Your reporter used to be on the press-list for this important Historical Archive & Exhibition Venue, but he seems to have fallen off the roster. Requests to be returned to the fold have been graciously acknowledged, but no press-kits or invitations to press-previews have been forthcoming. The Alexander Hamilton bi-centennial exhibition was the last invite.
But because he is a regular at the Gilder-Lehrman Institute series of lectures on Slavery—held at the NYHS—he found a Smithsonian brochure on the show noted above, but obviously designed for children. Unfortunately, none of the museum’s exhibitions are open for viewing when lecture-audiences arrive.
Most of the objects now on display are apparently from the Smithsonian’s own collections, chosen for this touring show. But the museum has augmented it with a special pendant exhibition featuring two New York First Ladies, Eleanor Roosevelt and Jackie Kennedy Onassis. It has important letters, photos, and documents relating to both of these remarkable women.
Among the Smithsonian’s archival treasures is a photo of Laura Bush reading to small children. Her husband was doing exactly that when Jihadist Suicide Bombers hit the Twin Towers on 9/11. Or were the kids reading to George W? The Bush Family seems very fond of reading: Leave No Child Behind!
Other artifacts include Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of Dolley Madison, as well as one of her lovely gowns. How about Martha Washington’s wall-lamp? Or a photo of Mamie Eisenhower’s huge E-shaped table for official White House dinners?
Considering how many history-oriented exhibitions must now depend on documents, sketches, and photos to tell their stories—as some pertinent artifacts are simply too large to tour, or do not exist anymore—some curators might be well-advised to mount entire shows on the museums’ websites and on DVDs so the expense of preparing a real show can be avoided. This would also keep the museums free of dirty shoe-tracks and vandalism…
At the NYPL Library for the Performing Arts:
BEYOND THE RAINBOW: Music of Harold Arlen
[Closing May 27, 2005]
Judy Garland’s theme-song, "Over the Rainbow," has been called "the best-loved song in movie-history." Although Judy made this song her very own, as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, its haunting tune was the creation of Harold Arlen.
The new show at the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library celebrates Arlen’s 100th Birthday. The walls are covered with large-scale photos of famous performers in Broadway and Hollywood Musicals for which he composed memorable music. Arlen was fortunate to be able to collaborate with genius-lyricists such as Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin, & Yip Harburg.
Showcases are filled with programs, scores, and Arlen’s musical jottings: whenever a melody came into his head, he’d jot it down for future use. The documentation of the gestation of various films and Broadway musicals—as well as his contributions to the world of Cabaret—are variously illustrated.
More than 50 recordings of Arlen songs are also on tap—with earphones and the occasional photo or video to complement the sound—from the Performing Arts Library’s own Rodgers & Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound. Even when this show has closed, these songs—and countless others by Arlen and his compatriots working on Broadway & Hollywood Musicals—will be available for listening at the library.
At the Galleries:
Galerie St. Etienne:
EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY: Narrative Impulse in Modern & Contemporary Art
[Closing May 27, 2005]
Every new exhibition at the Galerie St. Etienne is accompanied by a brochure with an instructive essay setting forth the rationale for each show. These are often by Jane Kallir, founder Otto Kallir’s worthy successor.
The current essay is unsigned, but it is especially insightful and provocative in its premise that the Discovery of Photography in the 19th century gradually made the narrative tradition in painting seem redundant, as the "mechanism" of the camera could render reality far better than the painter.
This, in turn, inspired artists to find new modes and styles in reflecting the world around them—or to move away from it into forms and abstractions.
Nonetheless, the urge to tell or imply stories on canvas—and in sketches and prints—survived, often adapting the new modes and fashions in painterly styles to the old narrative impulses.
Every Picture Tells a Story richly illustrates that premise. Among the artists on view in this show are some of the gallery’s Central European favorites: Max Beckmann, John Heartfield, Alfred Kubin, Oskar Kokoshka, Käthe Kollwitz, Max Pechstein, Lovis Corinth, Gustav Klimt, & George Grosz. Beyond Berlin and Vienna, there are also works by Sue Coe, Eric Fischl, William Kentridge, and Alexis Rockman. Not to overlook the strange Little-Girl fantasies of Henry Darger, who even wrote thousands of pages of actual narratives concerning these Vivian Girls.
Achim Moeller Fine Art:
ANDRÉ RAFFRAY: The Brooklyn Bridge
[Closing April 23, 2005]
Initially inspired by Joseph Stella’s magisterial Brooklyn Bridge, the French painter André Raffray has re-interpreted Stella, but in colored-pencils rather than in oils. The detail of his work is astonishing—and yet his vision of the great bridge has a magical, misty quality.
The show at Achim Moeller is made more impressive by bracketing Raffray’s Bridge-works with three diptychs: John Marin’s Brooklyn Bridge, from the Met Museum, and two of Stella’s Brooklyn Bridges, one from the Whitney, the other from the Hirschhorn. There are also 1948 Brooklyn Bridge photographs by Andreas Feininger.
Knoedler & Co:
GROUNDED/SUSPENDED: Herbert Ferber/Sculpture from the 1970s
[Closing May 7, 2005]
HERBERT FERBER WITH BALDWIN HILL: Photo: ©Edith Ferber 1979.
Herbert Ferber’s metal-sculptures—some of them of impressive size and unusual form—are not as famous, nor as slick, as those of Sandy Calder. Nor are they as famous nor as technically adept as those of David Smith. And they are certainly not as boldly presented in nature as those of Mark di Suvero, many of whose welded masterpieces have been strewn around the grounds of the Storm King Art Center. [In fact, on June 8, Storm King will be showing some 20 Di Suvereos, along with 80 photographs of the Di Suvereo sculptures by his friend, Richard Bellamy.]
So it was good to be reminded of the late Herbert Ferber’s quirky works at Knoedler. Of necessity, these had to be smaller of scale than his most impressive achievements. A handsome catalogue, however, made up for that lack.
Recently at the 7th Regiment Armory:
Sanford Smith’s WORKS ON PAPER:
MIGUEL ZAPATA'S ROBE: Photo: ©Glenn Loney/INFOTOGRAPHY/2005.
Any Art & Antiques show at the 69th Street Armory is worth a visit. But my favorite is Sanford Smith’s Works on Paper. One of the reasons is that this is the only show that prominently features Photography, an artform that seems still to be in disrepute or dubious for traditionalist dealers.
Even if a vintage photographic image is preserved on a prepared glass-plate—or on a Daguerreotype plate—it can qualify for the show, especially when it’s bracketed with art-photos printed on photographic paper.
As in previous shows, there seems to be an inexhaustible supply of Parisian Posters from the Belle Èpoque. How could Toulouse-Lautrec have known, more than a century ago, how strong the demand would remain for his stunning poster-designs, even in the 21st century? Jane Avril will live forever!
In one booth, a few pre-World War II London Transport Posters were on sale for $2,500 & $3,000. As I had bought just such designs years ago at Transport House for only a few pounds, I marveled at the implicit increase in value of my own posters.
The artwork that really caught my eye, however, was a sort of coat or robe on a hanger, a work by Spain’s Miguel Zapata. But this was no ordinary coat, nor could it ever be worn. As with a number of his recent works, it was made of cast-paper and embellished with plaster and splotches of color. Certain images—faces, for instance—which recur in his work are replicated in this art-garment. You want to touch the cast-sculpted surfaces of such works.
Having had celebratory exhibitions in Dallas, TX, Zapata now divides his time between Cuenca, Spain, and Dallas! He is represented in Texas by the Valley House Gallery & Sculplture Garden. For Info: email@example.com or www.valleyhouse.com…
The original drawings of Maurice Sendak—as well as his prints—were on sale in rich array in the booth of Battledore Ltd, of Kingston, NY. Sendak is also having a magnificent retrospective at the Jewish Museum.
NY INTERNATIONAL ART & ANTIQUES SHOW:
This column is long overdue and is also much too long. So trust me, there was a lot of Good Stuff in this elegant show. It’s amazing how handsome the various booths are, considering the short time the dealers have to show their wares. Many galleries create very inviting interior-environments to showcase their best pieces.
The Inside Info is that you should wait for the last day of an Armory Show, preferably the last hour, and then let foreign dealers know of your interest in artworks or objects. It is said that they’d rather sell at a lower price than ship the works back to London or Paris. Some dealers, however, have outlets on both sides of the Atlantic. And there is a lot of trading among the exhibitors.
Trowbridge, of both London and New York, had some very interesting and complex golden scrollings appliquéd on rich red grounds, framed in gold. [Loney]
Copyright © Glenn Loney 2005. No re-publication or broadcast use without proper credit of authorship. Suggested credit line: "Glenn Loney, Curator's Choice." Reproduction rights please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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