CURATOR'S CHOICE SM
Museums and Exhibitions in New York City and Vicinity
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GLENN LONEY'S MUSEUM NOTES
CONTENTS, March, 2009
Caricature of Glenn Loney by Sam Norkin.
Please click on " * " to skip to each subject in this index:
At the Asia Society: *
At the Brooklyn Museum: *
At the Broome Street Gallery: *
At the Frick Collection: *
At the Guggenheim Museum: *
At the Jewish Museum: *
At Knoedler & Company: *
At Madison Square Park: *
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art: *
At the Morgan Library & Museum: *
At the Municipal Art Society: *
At the Neue Galerie: *
At the New York Botanical Garden: *
At the New York Historical Society: *
At the New York Public Library: *
At the Park Avenue Armory: *
At the UBS Gallery: *
At the Whitney Museum of American Art: *
At the World Monument Fund: *
New York Museums & Galleries are not only now Cresting the Wave of the Internet, but they are also responding directly & sensibly to the Immediate Dangers posed by America’s Impending Economic Collapse by eliminating all Frills & Unnecessary Expenditures!
This is obviously mandated by the Financial Reverses of so many of the Celebrity Charity Fund Raiser Elites of Manhattan & Palm Beach--who, in the past, have so munificently founded or funded Museum Courtyards, Plazas, Corridors, & Exhibition Spaces. As well as their Generous Underwriting for Major Blockbuster Art Shows--which are now rapidly becoming an Endangered Species…
The Cost Cutting Change that makes the most sense--Depression or not--is the discontinuance of the once handsome & even bulging Press Kits for new exhibitions. Even the attractive Printed Invitations to Press Previews have largely disappeared.
Invitations are now usually sent email, which Your Scribe must at last master. Where once Photos & Illustrations were provided in Prints or Color Slides, they have been widely replaced by image laden CDs. But now, in fact, such Institutions as the Met Museum put all the Images, Curatorial Essays, & Press Releases on CDs--a Total Package.
A Collateral Loss to the New York Arts Press is the Virtual Disappearance of Coffee & Snackies at the Press Previews!
I used to joke--finding no free beverages or cookies near the Press Table--that: “A Hungry Press is an Angry Press!”No one took me seriously, of course.
But lately, some of my Older Colleagues--looking for their Early Morning Museum Coffee Fix & not Finding It--have proved especially Grumpy on entering the Sacred Precincts of the new Blockbuster Exhibitions!Can this affect the Attitude & Content of their Reviews?
It most certainly can! When Your Scribe first came to New York & began reporting on Theatre, Opera, Music, Dance, Museums, Architecture, & Art Galleries, there were even Omelets at the Met Museum!
Not only that: the handsomeExhibition Catalogues--often in the $65 to $75 price range--were given free to all comers; not only actual Arts Reviewers, but also to their Guests! No more!
TheOrdinary Arts Press usually gets a slip in the Press Kit, authorizing a purchase of the Catalogue at a 20% reduction in price!
Actually, thisFrugality may be a blessing in disguise: How many huge & handsome Museum Catalogues can you Stockpile in a small Manhattan Apartment?
Over the years, many of mine--as well as other valuable Arts Books--have gone to the Research Libraries of the Frick, the Morgan, the Brooklyn Museum, the Children’s Museum, the University of California at Davis & the Bancroft Libraryof UC/Berkeley.
Press Previews at the Neue Galerie used to be occasions not to be missed, not only because of the often astonishing examples of German & Austrian Expressionism & Jugendstil Design on view. But also because viewing would be followed by free hot Apfelstrudel mit Schlagobers & Viennese Coffee in the attractive Café Sabarsky!
No More. Ronald Lauder’s Neue Galerie doesn’t even have Press Previews anymore. You just drop by, show your Press Card, & hope they still have on hand a Press Kit for the new show. [One hopes that Estée Lauder’s admirably Arts Loving Son never played Golf in Miami Beach with Bernie Madoff!]
What is, of course, most important is that the Quality, Range, Relevance, & even Genius of the Artworks on display are worth the Public’s Visitto the Museum or Gallery in question.
AsEndowments rapidly contract, Patrons go Bankrupt--some, possibly, to Prison, & Tourists--both Domestic & Foreign--vanish from the Streets, Shops, Theatres, Galleries, & Museums of Manhattan, obviously there has to be a Major Shrinkage in all directions.
TheMet Museum has just announced a 20% contraction in its Endowment. This & the loss of Tourists has required the immediate reduction of positions & dismissal of some staff. Paid Admissions--Give What You Want!--are also waning…
Not only has theMetropolitan Opera had to make sudden Reductions & Curtailments. It has also put its Immense Chagall Magic Flute Murals in its front windows up for Pawn
Unfortunately, in these soon to beDesperate Times, there will be No Bail Out for the Arts. Detroit Yes! The Two Mets--No!
[TheNY Mets & other beloved American Teams are quite a different matter: That involves the Necessity of Ensuring Multi Million Dollar Contracts for Major Sports Stars! Everyone loves Baseball, Football, Basketball, Ice Hockey. But the Arts? Sorry, not so much…]
1979.205. Nyoirin Kannon (Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in the form of Chintamanichakra). Japan Kamakura period, early 14th century. Asia Society New York: Mr. and Mrs. John. Rockefeller.
At the Asia Society:
[725 Park Avenue @70th Street/NY, NY 10021/Phone: 212 288 6400]
ASIAN JOURNEYS: Collecting Art in Post War America
[Closing 9 August 2009]
Devising a new Museum Exhibition from Extant Holdings is not only Economic Wisdom in Action in these Dire Times, but it also offers a convenient excuse to take some remarkable Artworks out of Storage & put them on Temporary View.
When the Occasion or Theme of such shows is either Instructive or Fascinating--preferably both!--the Curators & Directors involved deserve Special Praise for their Ingenuity & Foresight.
If you have never heard of Sherman E. Lee--whose name curiously conflates two of the Great Generals of the Civil War!--you will surely find his career as an advocate & expert in the Arts of Asia of special interest.
Not only because he aided John D. Rockfeller III & his wife, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, in forming one of the most important Private Asian Art Collections in America, but also because his stewardship at the Cleveland Museum of Art also enriched its Asian Collections.
Thus, Asian Journeys--on which you can metaphorically travel with Sherman Lee--draws on both Cleveland’s & the Asian Society’s remarkable holdings of various forms of Asian Arts.
What is more, it also notes Acquisition & Provenance Problems associated with the Japanese Incursion into other Asian Lands: the Greater East Asia Co Prosperity Sphere, as they called this Colonialist Adventure--as well as Civil Unrest in China, which finally drove Chiang Kai Shek to Formosa, leaving Mao in Charge…
At the Brooklyn Museum:
[200 Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn, NY 11238/Phone: 718 638 5000]
UNEARTHING THE TRUTH: Epypt’s Pagan & Coptic Sculpture
[Closing 10 May 2009]
Sculpture from the exhibit "Unearthing the truth" at the Brooklyn Museum.
Sculpture from the exhibit "Unearthing the truth" at the Brooklyn Museum.
Your Roving INFOTOGRAPHY™ Reporter--climbing over the fallen stones & ruined late Pagan & early Coptic Christian Monuments & Church & Temple Portals on a recent visit to some of the sandy excavation sites in Egypt--had no idea that some similar carvings were already in Storage in the Brooklyn Museum.
Nor did he have a Clue that some unscrupulous Natives & Dealers would have faked such Historic Artifacts--or even re carved weather worn Antiquities--to sell to American Museums & Collectors!
Now you can see the Real Things at the Brooklyn Museum. Most of these sculptures are small scale, some of them Tomb Monuments, but many of them echo the styles of Classic Greece & Rome, rather than the Pharaonic.
Where ancient but weather eroded Images & Decorations have been re sculpted, it is often difficult to discover what is really Old & what is New, disguised as Old. These tend to be Post World War II, as these artifacts were not major collectibles in earlier eras.
HERNAN BAS: Works from the Rubell Family Collection
[Closing 24 May 2009]
The Gay Sensibility of the Miami based artist Hernan Bas informs almost all of the 38 works now on view at the Brooklyn Museum. They are on loan from the Rubell Family, which is also apparently Miami based.
Hernan Bas: "The Day Things Changed Between Us", 2004. Acrylic and watercolor on paper 13 5/8 x 13 in. (34.5 x 33 cm). Rubell Family Collection, Miami.
[This should not be taken to imply that the Rubells necessarily share in this Sensibility. Miami Collectors know when they are on to a Good Thing!]
Born of Cuban Expatriates--Castro would hate this kind of Art!--Bas exults in rich impastos of saturated color, illuminating swaths & swirls of black paint. There is something Late Impressionist about some of his canvases…
Not all of Bas’ Boys are Portraits of Dorian Gray, but there is often a Likeness.
Oscar Wilde is, of course, featured, as is Bavaria’s Swan King, Ludwig II--genannt Verrückter oder Wahnsinniger--the so called Mad King Ludwig.These paintings would not be out of place on view at the Leslie & Lohman Gay Arts Foundation, down on Wooster Street!
At the Broome Street Gallery:
[498 Broome Street/NY, NY 10013]
ARTHUR SZYK Illuminated--New York
From April 7 to 26 2009 at the Broom street gallery. Art work (left to right): Image from The Szyk Haggadah, The New Ordelies, The Lawyer, and The Canterbury Tales.
[Opening 7 April 2009]
The remarkable illustrations of Arthur Szyk--noted some time ago in this column--will be on view at the Broome Street Gallery, when Irwin Ungar unveils what promises to be a stunning show of Szyk Originals.
The dazzling details, as well as the satirical sharpness of Szyk’s pens & brushes in chronicling Modern History, the Nazi Menace, & Jewish Ritual & Social Themes made him famed in his time, if forgotten unjustly today.
His covers for TIME magazine were once eagerly collected. Who now would collect TIME covers, except those with Obama?
For more information about such works--prior to the show’s opening--try szyk.com & szyckhaggadah.com. Or contact Irwin Ungar at email@example.com or phone: 650 3343 9578.
At the Frick Collection:
[1 East 70th Street/NY, NY 10021/Phone: 212 288 0700]
MASTERPIECES OF EUROPEAN PAINTING: From the Norton Simon Museum
[Closing 10 May 2009]
Francisco de Zurbaran, 1598 1664. Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose (detail) 1633. The Norton Simon Foundation.
The Frick’s version of a Rotunda is more like the Oval Office in shape, so its capacity for large scale canvases is severely limited. This may be just as well, as the Norton Simon Museum has limited its loans of Major Paintings to five.
The Poster Painting--strung up on neighborhood lamp posts--for the show is the Lemons detail from Francisco de Zurbarán’s Still Life with Lemons, Oranges, & a Rose!
All five of these large paintings are impressive, but Guercino’s Aldrovandi Dog is especially arresting. It proudly stands, alert & erect, with a Castello & Village in the distance.
The remaining three Masterworks are: Murillo’s Birth of Saint John the Baptist, Rubens’Holy Women at the Sepulchre, & Bassano’s Flight into Egypt [“Aisle Seats & Kosher Meals, Mr. Joseph?”]
More of Norton Simon’s varied Art Treasures are shown & discussed in an accompanying Monograph: The Art of Negotiation: The Building of the Norton Simon Collection.
At least Simon had sufficient funds to build His Own Museum in Los Angeles. Other Rich Angelenos early on had to be content with having booth like cubicles in the Los Angeles County Museum, but each had a Plaque advising the Viewer who it was who had donated--or loaned--this or that collection of Paintings, Silver, Porcelain, Stained glass, Furniture, & Sculpture.
Later, these various objects & items were re assembled in exhibition rooms by Period, Country, Style, or Type, as the Original Arrangements suggested Vain Rich People vulgarly showing off their Possessions…
But the Lehmans did the same--only on a Much Grander Scale--in Manhattan at the Met Museum. The Lehman Wing reconstructed actual rooms in the Lehman Mansion, to show the Priceless Artifacts in their previous Context, although Simulated…
At the Guggenheim Museum:
[1071 Fifth Avenue @89th Street/NY, NY 10128/Phone: 212 423 3500]
THE THIRD MIND: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860 1989
[Closing 19 April 2009]
The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia at the Guggenheim Museum. Closing April 2009.
This is a really strange Thematic Concept in execution, but not because the Basic Idea is invalid.
In America’s Gilded Age--as well in France’s Belle Époque--the influence, or downright impact, of Japanese Arts & Images upon American & Continental Artists was often both obvious & celebrated.
So it is once again rewarding to see works by James McNeil Whistler, Mary Cassatt, & John La Farge echoing, translating, transmuting artforms & images from the Mysterious East.
Not to overlook the early contributions of Sadakichi Hartmann & Lafcadio Hearn: when was the last time you read anything by either Hartmann or Hearn? Hartmann’s remarkable Religious Drama Cycle has yet to receive a Major Production…
Other Americans of note in this show include Ernest Fenollosa, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Ezra Pound, John Henry Twachtman, Edward Steichen, Augustus Saint Gaudens, Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, & TS Eliot, of course!
Of course, various forms of artistic expression in varied Asian Arts have not remained fixed in place over the decades. But certain forms, styles, & images have endured.
That they have inspired later American artists is sometimes more difficult to discern--especially when the influences are so diffused as to be almost undetectable.
If you are not a Great Fan of Video as Art--some of the recent efforts wouldn’t make it as an NYU Film School Audition Tape--you may yet wonder if Asian Video Art is not more inventive than that of its American imitators?
As for Installations & Ephemera, some samplings suggest that it is American Artists who may be influencing the hapless Asians.
But among the 250 “works” in this show, not all are to the touch tangible or on the wall visible.
Some are, in fact, Works of Literature or Words of a Lesser Order. Here are utterances & screeds of Allen Ginsburg, Michael McClure, William Burroughs, & Jack Kerouc: Dharma Bums certainly was Asian Inspired!
Among the Usual Suspects of American Artist Big Names: Ad Reinhardt, Mark di Suvero, Walter De Maria, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Jackson Pollock, Agnes Martin, & Dan Flavin!
Chuck Close is not included, however. Nor is Michael Graves, though Morris Graves understandably Made the Cut!
Oh yes! Don’t miss the Authentic Asians, such as Isamu Noguchi, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, & Rabindranath Tagore.
Also Around: Robert Wilson, John Cage, Martha Graham, & Laurie Anderson!
Nonetheless, the show as an Entirety looks a bit of a Catch All…
At the Jewish Museum:
[1109 Fifth Avenue @92nd Street/NY, NY 10128/Phone: 212 423 3200]
RECLAIMED: Paintings from the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker
[Closing 2 August 2009]
Salomon van Ruysdael River Landscape with Ferry.
As with Vienna’s Die Goldene Adele--the magnificent Gustav Klimt portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer, bought at auction by Ronald Lauder, for Die Neue Galerie for the munificent sum of $135 Million--all the remarkable Masterpiece Paintings now on view at the Jewish Museum had to be legally pried loose from the Grasping Clutches of National Museums.
The Bloch Bauer Treasures were in Vienna, in State Collections. The Jacques Goudstikker Masterpieces, similarly, were in Dutch Museums in The Hague & Amsterdam.
When the Nazi Germans overran neighboring Austria--in the so called Anschlüss, which was to form Grosses Deutschland--Adolf Hitler & his art loving Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring were quick to claim important works of art from the collections of wealthy Austrian Jews, some of whom bought their way out of Austria with artworks, while others had everything they owned confiscated, only to perish in the infamous Gestapo Death Camps.
Immediately after World War II, a special task force of American Military Officers, Enlisted Men, & Art Experts began securing such criminally acquired Art Hordes in Austrian Salt Mines, Railway Boxcars, Bunkers, & other Repositories.
Their Goal was to return such Priceless Pillage & Looted War Booty to its Original Owners, some of whom were now Definitively Exterminated. As, also, in many cases, Their Heirs, as well.
Some Masterpieces, of course, had been looted from major museums in Nazi Occupied Countries, such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam & the Louvre in Paris.
As much of this Search & Return needed to be completed in a fairly short period, when No Heirs came forward--in a number of instances, they had no idea that they were the heirs to such Treasures--it was easier to give the Artworks to--or deposit them with--major museums in the countries where they had originally been in Private Collections.
For the Bloch Bauer Heiress, the legal battle with Vienna Museums was protracted, but she finally won the important artworks back. Not to necessarily to keep, but at least to reap some of the Accrued Value from their Sale at Auction, the Family having lost everything else to the Nazis.
Before the Nazi Invasion of the Netherlands, Jacques Goudstikker was one of the Continent’s most important & distinguished dealers in European Art, from the Renaissance onward.
Fat Herman the German--the infamous Nazi Art & Food Connoisseur--was almost immediately in Amsterdam, following the Blitzkrieg Invasion, to inspect the Goudstikker Gallery show rooms & offices & select his Prizes for their journey to Germany. He had over 1,400 artworks from which to choose!
[Hordes of the Göring Art Hoard were found in box cars on a railway siding near Obersalzburg at War’s End. Locals looted the box cars before the Troops got there, so a number of Masterpieces are still hanging on Bavarian--or more distant--Walls, unknown to the Experts & Authorities…]
Göring placed his subordinate henchman, Alois Miedl, in charge of the Gallery & all the Goudstikker Estates.
Jacques Goudstikker, his wife Dési, & his son Eduard--or Edo--were able to escape from Amsterdam, but he died on deck in a tragic accident. Found on his body was the so called Black Book, with closely typed pages listing all his artworks & their various Provenances. This is now also on view at the Jewish Museum.
Dési died before she could recover the 200+ Artworks returned to the Dutch Government--with the expectation that it would restore them to the Heirs. Which it did not, sharing them out to various National Museums.
Edo’s widow, Marei von Saher, finally succeeded in her lawsuits, so the paintings were returned at last.
Now you can see some of he finest works up on Fifth Avenue. Among them: Canaletto’s View of the Palazzo Ducale & the Riva degli Schiavoni in Venice, Jan Steen’s Sacrifice of Iphigenia, Pieter Lastman’s David Gives Uriah a Letter for Jacob, Ferdinand Bol’s Louise Marie Gonzaga de Nevers, Emmanuel de Witte’s Holy Family by Candlelight, & Jan van Goyen’s View of Dordrecht--Views of Dordrecht & its Groote Kerk are great favorites of mine, as my Dutch Cousins live there!
There is also an Oil on Canvas by Anonymous, titled Untitled!
Infinite Riches in Small Room, as the saying goes, although the Noble Chambers of the Warburg Chateau on Fifth Avenue are not so very small, after all…
THE DANUBE EXODUS: The Rippling Currents of the River
[Closing 2 August 2009]
Filmstrip reproduced from Captain Nándor Andrásovits' original 8mm film. Courtesy of Péter Forgács. Directed by Péter Forgács.
This is not a Collection of Masterworks, but it is installed in one of the Chateau’s Nobler Chambers.
On six large screens are projected amateur film footage in black & white, made some Seventy Years Ago on the Beautiful Blue Danube! Yes, it was blue then, but you cannot tell this from black & white film stock.
Even though the time is 1939--on the Eve of the Nazi Invasion of Russia & the Entgültige Lösung of Germany’s “Jewish Problem”--the folks on board Captain Nándor Andrásovits’Danubian Ferry seem to be having something of a Good Time, even swimming around in the Danube!
As well they might, as the Good Captain is aiding East European Jews--Ost Jüden, as they were known to German Jews of that time--to flee down the Danube to the Black Sea, where a ship will take them to Palestine & Freedom!
In 1940, Captain Andrásovits reversed directions on the Danube, bringing German Farmers who had lived all their lives on their lands in Bessarabia--now the Ukraine--to new lands in Nazi Occupied Poland. There was to be a Property Swap, as Stalin wanted all of the Ukraine for the Soviets: this did not include a population of Ethnic Germans. They left with virtually nothing, in almost no time, promised restoration of Personal Property & equal Land & Possessions when they reached their New Homeland.
Naturally, none of the Promises was kept. Worse yet, at War’s End in 1945, these German Unfortunates found themselves at the “Mercies” of Hate Filled Poles & Angry, Avenging Russkis!
There is even an Interactive Component to this show, devised by Hungarian artist photographer Péter Forgács. And this exhibition is only one part of the Extremely Hungary Festival in New York!
At Knoedler & Company:
[19 East 70th Street/NY 10021/Phone: 212 794 0550]
JOHN GERRARD: Knoedler Project
[Closing 21 March 2009]
Knoedler Project by John Gerrard. Sentry (Kit Carson, Colorado) 2008, digital still,Realtime 3D.
What makes John Gerrard’s Knoedler Project especially impressive is its All White Environment. Occupying the entire basement exhibition space at Knoedler, at the Project’s Virtual Center is a white Parsons Type Table, on which rests a large white framed Flat Screen TV.
On this is shown what in other parlance could be called an Endless Loop, made by a video camera endlessly circling a rusty orange oil well pump slowly pump thumping away. This is a Kit Carson Pump, so it gives its name to Gerrard’s Project piece: Sentry (Kit Carson, Colorado) 2008!
But, wait a minute! This is no Endless Loop: No, indeed! The Video Vision is intended to evoke a Chronology, with the constantly changing play of light that runs “accurately, 24 hours a day, 265 days a year.”
The Press Release explains it all: “The artist has pioneered the use of Realtime 3D, a medium whose origins lie in Virtual Gaming, to make time based photographic sculptures. He creates singular, painterly scenes, using the technology to explore Ideas relating to Power, Control, & Human Experiences of Time.” [Quote artistically enhanced by Microsoft Font Alteration Techniques!]
The Dance Theatre of Harlem debut at The Guggenheim Museum. Photograph by Suzanne Vlamis.
At the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library & Museum:
[40 Lincoln Center Plaza/NY /NY 10024/Phone: 212 870 1630]
DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM: 40 Years of Firsts
[Closing 9 May 2009]
As is usual with such Arts Ensemble shows in the Vincent Astor Gallery of the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, there are colorful posters, glittering costumes, dance scores, review scenarios, set designs, videos, audios, photographs, & other artifacts of the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Four Decades of Impressive Performances, Dynamic Growth, & Public Service!
At Madison Square Park:
[Madison Square/Between Fifth & Madison Aves@23rd Street/NY/Phone: 212 538 7042]
Sample work by Shannon Plumb.
MADISON SQUARE ART 2009: Shannon Plumb: The Park
[Closing 23 April 2009]
Most recently the Madison Square Park Art Works were a collection of various sized rough lumber Tree Houses, some more like Bird Houses.
Now, you can enjoy Shannon Plumb’s series of 12 short films--projected on four video screens near the Shake Shack--which effectually plumb the diversity of the Park & its Denizens!
Jean Baptiste Greuze (French, Tournus, 1725–Paris, 1805). Head of a Young Girl (recto). Two different red chalks, 15 1/8 x 11 7/8 in. Collection of Jean Bonna, Geneva.
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
[1000 Fifth Avenue @82nd Street/NY, NY 10028/Phone: 212 535 7710]
RAPHAEL TO RENOIR: Drawings from the Collection of Jean Bonna[Closing 26 April 2009]
Raphael to Renoir: Drawings from the Collection of Jean Bonna is the first comprehensive exhibition dedicated to European Old Master Drawings & 18th & 19th Century Drawings from this distinguished Swiss Collection.
Now on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Raphael to Renoir provides a rare opportunity to see 120 Master Drawings, ranging across 500 years of the History of Art, from the Renaissance to 1900.
Representing a range of Artistic Schools, the selection includes works by famous artists--such as Carpaccio, Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Parmigianino, Canaletto, Rembrandt, Claude Lorrain, Watteau, Chardin, Boucher, Fragonard, Goya, Ingres, Gericault, Delacroix, Manet, Burne Jones, Whistler, Degas, Cézanne, Redon, Renoir, Gauguin, Van Gogh, & Seurat--as well as superb & poignant drawings by lesser known artists.
“Jean Bonna is among the finest drawings collectors of our time, with discriminating taste & a wide breadth of interests,” commented George R. Goldner, Drue Heinz Chairman of the Metropolitan Museum’s Drawings and Prints Department.
Highlights of Raphael to Renoir include extraordinary drawings such as Raphael’s Study of Soldiers in The Conversion of Saul [ca. 1615– 16], Parmigianino’s The Holy Family with Shepherds & Angels [ca. 1523–24], & Jean Antoine Watteau’s Three Studies of Female Heads, as well as Hans Hoffmann’s beautifully rendered watercolor A Wild Boar Piglet , & Odilon Redon’s colorful pastel Sailing Boat with Two Passengers [La Barque, ca. 1900].
Jean Siméon Chardin (Paris, 1699–Paris, 1779) Portrait of a Young Girl 1777. Collection of Jean Bonna, Geneva.
At the Metropolitan Museum, the exhibition is organized by George R. Goldner & Carmen C. Bambach, Curator, both of the Department of Drawings & Prints.
Raphael to Renoir: Drawings from the Collection of Jean Bonna is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, written by a team of International Scholars. It will be published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art , distributed by Yale University Press, & will be available in the Metropolitan Museum’s book shops.
The exhibition & its related programs are featured on the Museum’s website at www.metmuseum.org. Following its showing at the Metropolitan, the exhibition will be on view at the National Gallery of Scotland, in Edinburgh, at the Royal Scottish Academy Building
PIERRE BONNARD: The Late Interiors
[Closing 19 April 2009]
The first exhibition to focus entirely on the radiant Late Interiors & Still Life paintings of Pierre Bonnard [1867–1947] is now on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Pierre Bonnard: The Late Interiors features 80 paintings, drawings,& watercolors that date from 1923 to 1947--when Bonnard centered his painting activity in Le Cannet, a hill town in the South of France.
Working in his modest house--which overlooked the Mediterranean--Bonnard created paintings that transformed the Rooms & Objects that surrounded him into dazzling images, infused with intense light. It is these luminous Late Interiors that define Bonnard’s Modernism & prompt a Reappraisal of his Reputation in the History of 20th Century Art.
Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867 1947). Basket of Fruit: Oranges and Persimmons. 1940 Oil on canvas 22 3/4 x 29 1/4 in. (58 cm x 74.5 cm). Private Collection.
Among the 45 paintings, 16 watercolors & gouaches, & 19 drawings & sketches in the exhibition are numerous rarely seen works from Private Collections, as well as loans from prominent museums in Europe and the U.S.
The exhibition will also reunite several pictures that once hung side by side on Bonnard’s Studio Wall in Le Cannet.
More Modern than is commonly recognized, the late work of Pierre Bonnard is remarkable for the artist’s individualistic approach to Color, Light, Perspective, & Composition--particularly as seen in his Interiors & Still Lifes. Although less well known than his paintings of Bathers, Bonnard’s late interiors & still life paintings are equally extraordinary.
Over the course of 24 years of painting the simply furnished, familiar rooms of his house at Le Cannet, Bonnard discovered Infinite Possibilities, much as Paul Cézanne had discovered in the landscape of Mont Sainte Victoire.
The exhibition will feature the artist’s finest interiors, including Corner of the Dining Room at Le Cannet, The White Interior, & The French Window, all from 1932.
Bonnard’s Late Interiors & Still Lifes explore a multitude of nuanced Color Relationships among glowing Yellows, Violets, Reds, Oranges, Greens, & Whites, as in Basket of Fruit: Oranges & Persimmons [ca. 1940] & Bouquet of Mimosas [ca. 1945].
Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867 1947). The French Window (Morning at Le Cannet) 1932. Oil on canvas 34 7/8 x 44 3/4 in. (88.6 x 113.7 cm). Private collection.
His images of fruits & bread baskets, teapots & milk jugs, in such paintings as Breakfast [ca. 1930] & The Dessert , transcend domestic narratives to speak of the artist’s process of creating pictures through a masterful orchestration of Color & Light.
Although Bonnard’s subjects were close at hand, he rarely painted directly from life, relying instead on pencil drawings sketched rapidly in little Diaries. Four of the artist’s diaries from his years at Le Cannet will be loaned by the Bibliothèque National de France, Paris.
The Diary Notations lay out idiosyncratic marks as reminders of Color, Tone, Intensity, & Contrast. These shorthand sketches were critical to the genesis of large scale paintings, which Bonnard developed slowly, through a process of continual Editing & Revision.
He often worked on several paintings at once, tacking the unstretched canvases to his studio wall in order to allow for alteration of the Periphery of the painting & its Overall Proportions.
In creating his paintings, the artist deferred to the memory of perception.
His interest lay in exploring how diverse objects interrelate within a Pictorial Field, rather than dwelling on the literalness of any object or figure.
For instance, in the paintings Still Life with Ham  & Young Women in the Garden (Renée Monchaty and Marthe Bonnard) [ca. 1921–23, reworked 1945–46], Equal Attention is paid to every component of a painting. Negative Spaces are as important as Positive Forms, thus achieving a kind of “overallness” in the composition.
Bonnard created a body of work that became less obviously descriptive & more metaphoric over time. The artist played with conventions of perspective & proportion & intensified the relationships among objects & figures to a disquieting effect.
Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867 1947). Portrait of the Artist in the bathroom Mirror [Self Portrait] 1939 46. Oil on canvas 28 ¾ x 20 1/8 in. Centre Pompidou, Paris. Musée national d’art moderne.
Bonnard’s paintings often convey a feeling of Forbidden Sights, as if one is trespassing among Private or Intimate Settings.
In Before Dinner (1924), the figures--though physically present--are emotionally absent. In later paintings, figures become peripheral, even lacking corporeality. Some figures begin to disappear off the Picture Plane, as in Dining Room Overlooking the Garden [The Breakfast Room] [1930–31) & Table in Front of the Window [1934–35].
Through a shimmering palette of intense, pulsating colors & a fluid interaction between foreground & background, the forms & spaces of Bonnard’s still lifes & interiors are not still at all, but quietly transient.
Pierre Bonnard is organized by Dita Amory, Acting Associate Curator in Charge of the Robert Lehman Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by Dita Amory, Jack Flam, Jacqueline Munck, Rika Burnham, & Rémi Labrusse. Titled Pierre Bonnard: Late Still Lifes and Interiors, the catalogue will be published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art & Yale University Press & will be available in the Museum’s book shops [$45 cloth, $30 paperback].
The exhibition is made possible by The Florence Gould Foundation, but the exhibition is also supported by an Indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts & the Humanities.
CAST IN BRONZE: French Sculpture from Renaissance To Revolution
[Closing 24 May 2009]
Beginning in the 16th Century, a tradition of Bronze Sculpture developed in France that was influenced by achievements of the Italian Renaissance, while manifesting its own distinct refinement & force.
Sarazin Loius XIV at the Age of Five.
Even though French Bronzes were among the glories of Royal Chateaux--including Versailles--& were collected eagerly by Connoisseurs, they have received relatively little scrutiny from scholars.
Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution--on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art--brings together a large number of spectacular bronzes & is the first exhibition to address this subject in 40 years.
Approximately 125 of the finest Statuettes, Portrait Busts, & Monuments reveal the French Genius for bronze from the Late Renaissance through the times of Louis XIV, Louis XV, & Louis XVI.
Jean Goujon, Germain Pilon, Barthélemy Prieur, Pierre I. Biard, Michel Anguier, Francois Girardon, Antoine Coysevox, Jean Baptiste Pigalle, & Jean Antoine Houdon are among the distinguished Masters featured in the exhibition who lent their prodigious talents to this Metallic Medium.
Evolving from a decade long collaborative study by curators & other scholars, Cast in Bronze is the first exhibition in a museum to display this rich array of achievements spanning the Renaissance to the Age of Enlightenment.
It features works from spectacular collections, including, most generously, the Musée du Louvre; the Royal Collection, Windsor Castle; the Museums of Dresden; & many Provincial Museums of France. Many of the works in the exhibition have rarely been seen in the United States.
Cast in Bronze is divided into periods in which French accomplishments in Modeling, Casting, & Chasing bronze sculpture--from monuments to statuettes--were most prominent.
Mannerist Style--inaugurated in the reign of Francois I--was carried to triumphant heights under Henry II.
The reign of Henri IV witnessed the formation of a robust Baroque Style that crystallized during the rule of Louis XIV, the Sun King, whose rule is gloriously reflected in a series of Masterpieces.
In the 18th Century, a new and highly attractive Rationalism developed during the reigns of Louis XV & Louis XVI.
Many bronzes made for the French Crown were melted down during Political Upheavals, but Canonical Works of the Renaissance & later periods survive intact--or in Fascinating Fragments.
The vast Expertise & range of Experimentation in Composition, Workmanship, & Detail that sculptors brought to their Metal Masterworks are on display.
Highlights of the exhibition include Germain Pilon’s relief, the Lamentation over the Dead Christ, Pierre I. Biard’s Fame, Jean Goujon’s Tomb Effigy of André Blondel de Rocquencourt, & Jean Antoine Houdon’s Diana, all from the Musée du Louvre; Jean Baptiste Lemoyne’s Louis XV Standing on a Shield Borne by Soldiers, Francois Dumont’s Prometheus, and Guillaume Coustou’s Julius Caesar from the Royal Collection, Windsor Castle; & Francois Lespingola’s The Infant Hercules Strangling the Serpent, from the Museum Abegg Stiftung, Switzerland.
Additionally, Equestrian Statues that were the glory of Louis XIV’s Reign are on view.
The Geniuses of the Age of Louis XV are celebrated in The French Parnassus--from the Musée National de Versailles--a monumental work that depicts a Vertiginous Gathering of Writers, Poets, & Artists, topped by Apollo, the Three Graces, & Pegasus.
The French Parnassus--which was begun by Louis Garnier & completed by Augustin Pajou--is specially installed in the Metropolitan’s Carroll & Milton Petrie European Sculpture Court for the duration of the exhibition.
Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution will be accompanied by a fully illustrated comprehensive catalogue written by a team of International Scholars. Published by Musée du Louvre Éditions & Somogy Art Publishers--in both French & English--the catalogue will be available in the Metropolitan Museum’s book shops [$85 hardcover].
The exhibition is made possible by the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation
At the Morgan Library & Museum:
Joseph Farris, A very special interest to see you, Senator, pen and black ink. The Morgan Library and Museum. The New Yorker collection.
[225 Madison Avenue @36th Street/NY, NY 10016/Phone: 212 685 0008]
ON THE MONEY: Cartoons for The New Yorker
[Closing 24 May 2009]
These original cartoon drawings forThe New Yorker could not come at a more Germane Moment! They all deal with Money Matters, some of them harking back to Previous Recessions & Depressions!
Of course, for those of us who have beenBrain Washed into regarding the Masters of the Universe as All Wise in matters of Tax Cuts for the Rich & Trickle Down Effects, some of these Visual Jests are now No Laughing Matter!
Actually, while many of the cartoons & sketchesare amusing, at The New Yorker, it is often the CAPTIONS that really Make the Joke.
ADrunk raises his glass in a seedy bar: “To the Dollar--as we knew it!”
Very wryly funny, but he could just as well have been toasting many otherAbsurdities…
Three cigar smoking gloatingScoundrels are plotting in a Luxurious Office, with Factory Chimneys belching smoke in the background.
They could beDick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, & Paul Wolfowitz, devising Energy Strategies, but the Caption reads: “Well, we’ve licked Taxes--that just leaves Death.”
Among the Artists:Lee Lorenz, George Booth, Roz Chast, William Hamilton, Dana Fradon, & Helen Hokinson.
Paul Gauguin, study for Breton girls dancing, Pont Aven. The Thaw collection. The Morgan Library and Museum.
THE THAW COLLECTION OF MASTER DRAWINGS
[Closing 3 May 2009]
When you are aMajor & Discriminating Dealer in Artworks, you obviously have the opportunity to construct for yourself very Special Collections. That Eugene Thaw has certainly done so is much in evidence in these two current exhibitions, & the Morgan has been one of his & his wife Clare Thaw’s major beneficiaries.
ThePoster Girls for this show are two Bretonnes, sketched by Paul Gauguin in 1888. There’s also a curious Centaur reading from a large book: could it be one of Odilon Redon’s sketchbooks?
There’s even a nostalgic sketch byJohann Wolfgang Von Goethe of the Bay of Naples, with two vine entwined trees in the center.
But here also areRomney, Grimm, Barocci, Greuze, Hollar, Ingres, Degas, Matisse, Schinkel, Menzel, Bonnard, Schwitters, Kokoschka, Cornell, Kelly, Kline, Dine, Hockney, Pollock, O’Keffe, Wyeth/Jamie, Giacometti, Martin, Motherwell, Knipp, & Zingg. And there is also Monet--which means Money, for those fortunate enough to own a canvas or two…
Surprisingly, in such a wide ranging collection, there was noCaspar David Friedrich on view…
STUDYING NATURE: Oil Sketches from the Thaw Collection
[Closing 30 Auust 2009]
This small show makes a lovelyPendant to the Thaw’s Master Drawings, as most of these images from Nature look rather like some of the Drawings, only rendered in Oils.
Among theThaw Naturalists: Constable & Corot, as well as Edward Lear!
[There areThaw Monuments in Pittsburgh, which also has given Arts Philanthropy such names as Carnegie, Mellon, Frick, & Heinz! Think Coal, Oil, & Steel. Also Ketchup & 57 Varieties!]
At MoMA/The Museum of Modern Art:
[11 West 53rd Street/NY, NY 10019/Phone: 212 708 9400]
MARTIN KIPPENBERGER: The Problem Perspective
Martin Kippenberger until 11 May 2009 at MoMa.
[Closing 11 May 2009]
Who would have realized thatMartin Kippenberger had so much Art in him?
MoMA’sGiant Atrium is filled with it. Also much of the Sixth Floor. And, while there are many, many drawings, sketches, lithos, Installations, paintings, photos, posters, books, sculptures, goofy constructions, collections of Found Objects, & jokey clutters, it does seem that there might have been some Curatorial Weeding Out, unless the Terms of His Will explicitly forbade that?
Descriptions in thePress Release about Kippenberger’s Life & Work suggest that he attempted to be All Encompassing: His L&W were “inextricably linked in an exceptional practice that centered on the role of the artist in the Culture & within the System of Art.”
[Caps added, but what can thismean? There seems nothing Systematic about the Art often on display at MoMA, the Whitney, & the Guggenheim… Do they mean Systemic here, as in a body pervasive infection?]
As I was--I thought,quietly--trying to explain to an Arts Colleague in one of the vast Kippenberger Exhibition Spaces that the Playwright Arthur Giron was not an Analyst, as she had thought, a man who sounded like a Teutonic Art Critic ordered me to be silent, as my speaking distracted him from paying Close Attention to the Kippenberger Ouevre on display…
Considering the ample Kippenberger Constructed Visual Distractions surrounding him, I suppose he needed all the Analytical Concentration he could bring to bear on each of the superfluity of Canvases & Sketches…
[Query: Is there any metaphorical significance in the fact that ANAL provides the First Two Syllables of both Analyst & Analytical? Like poking around in figurative feces as a form of Reading the Entrails? Just asking…]
KLARA LIDEN: Projects 89
[Closing 8 June 2009]
Klara Liden has piled tied up stacks of deconstructed corrugated cardboard packing boxes seemingly randomly atop an immense almost room filling white box like structure--which has No Apparent Point of Entry. Actually, it is supposed to be Kind of Visual Metaphor for the “Prevalence of the Cube in Modern Art.” [Oh! Wow! How about that?]
There is a narrow pathway around thisOpulent Obstruction, which looks out onto West 53rd Street from a floor to ceiling MoMA Window.
Down low on the floor, at the right hand side of the window, sits aTV which features Liden’s fairly banal but site specific NYC Video Loop: The Whole Entity has something to do with a “Vision of a City in Decay.”
Well, we alreadyknew that: Madison Avenue as an Open Trench!
MoreInstallations like this will do more damage to the MoMA Endowment than Bernie Madoff could ever devise!
Good Thing that Liden now lives inBerlin. She should now focus on Turkish Kreutzberg. Or Post Soviet Pankow & Treptow!
And how about my favoriteBerlin Building? In German, it’s called Rathaus Wedding, which conjures up images of Mickey & Minnie Mouse getting married. [Actually, it is the Wedding City Hall!]
At the Municipal Art Society:
[457 Madison Avenue/NY, NY 10022/Phone: 212 935 3960]
TheMuni Art Society has some potentially fascinating Walking Tours planned for March & April.
Not to overlook its excellentLecture Series in its Villard Houses home on Madison Avenue--which should be made a Permanent Open Trench, as Verizon, Con Edison, & the City have been digging it up & then filling it in over & over for the past six months at least. Infrastructure is Failing on Madison--as are a number of Flagship Showcases…
Among the Walking Tours are:From Lions To Lemurs: Greening a Landmark, The Plaza Inside & Out, Bauhaus Birthday!, Queensborough Bridge, Living Downtown, When New York Was Nieuw Amsterdam, Upper East Side Art Deco, Worshipping Downtown, Coney Island, Terra Incognita: The Great Circle Tour, & Go, Go, Gowanus!
Did you know this year is the100th Birthday of Two Great Bridges? Yes: The Manhattan & the Queensborough Bridges!
Some Tours are forMembers Only, but others are open to all for a small fee. Actually, as anyone can join Muni Art--“All Are Welcome!” as they say in Christian Science--members pay only $10, whereas non members & guests pay $15
For Tour & Membership Information, call Muni Art at212 935 3960. Or try them on line at MAS.org!
At the Neue Galerie:
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880 1938). Berlin Street Scene (Berliner Strassenszene), 1913 14 Oil on canvas, 121 cm x 95 cm (47 5/8 x 37 3/8 in.). Neue Galerie New York and Private Collection, New York.
[1048 Fifth Avenue @86th Street/NY, NY 10028/Phone: 212 628 6200]
BRÜCKE: The Birth of Expressionism in Dresden & Berlin, 1905 1913
[Closing 29 June 2009]
When Your Scribe lived & taught inWest Germany--in the 1950s--we used to call this adventurous group of Avant Garde Artists Die Brücke, but subtracting the Definite Article may make it easier for Americans to assimilate their colorful & confrontational brand of German Expressionism.
More than100 Paintings, Sculptures, & Works on Paper by the talents of Die Brücke are now on view at Die Neue Galerie. They include works by Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, & Karl Schmidt Rottluff.
TheseFounding Four were Architecture Students who banded together to live & create Communally. Their Idea was to Unify Art & Life, which, today, may seem Idiotic--given the Actual States of both Art & Life!
Max Pechstein& Otto Müller soon joined the Four, who imagined their Revolutionary Way of Looking at Nudes & Rural Life could provide a Bridge between the Academic Past & the Art of the Future. Although they did not call this Zukunfts Kunst, as they well might have done.
Their Communality was short lived. Founded in1905 in Dresden, the Bridge moved to Berlin in 1911. This was the End Station, as they dissolved in 1912…
Some “Made It” & some didn’t. But today they are now allCollectible!
At the New York Botanical Garden:
The Orchid show until April 2009 at the New York Botanical Garden.
[Bronx River Parkway @ Fordham Road/Bronx, NY 10024/Phone: 718 817 8700]
THE ORCHID SHOW: Brazilian Modern
[Closing 12 April 2009]
Obviously, in Winter, a Botanical Garden is not so attractive an outing as a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That is, only if you are thinking of Outdoor Gardens & Varieties of Trees & Shrubs.
Fortunately, although the New York Botanical Garden up in the Bronx has wonderful acres of Trees & Shrubs, it also has the Victorian Glasshouse that is the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, ready in all seasons with Special Shows!
The Orchid Show is the regular Winter Season indoor attraction, but this year it has been made even more Special than usual. Instead of the customary Thousands of Orchids in varied arrays, this time the thousands are presented in the handsome context of a Contemporary Brazilian Garden!
This is the seventh season of Orchid Shows. Miami based landscape architect Raymond Jungles--yes, that’s his Real Name!--has created this marvelous garden experience. He draws on his years of working with Brazil’s foremost garden artist, Roberto Burle Marx.
The impressive Henry Moore exhibition of major sculptural pieces around the Botanical Garden’s acreages continues but soon must come to an end.
Celebrate Spring with an outing to the Bronx & New York’s Garden!
John Sartain after W.H Hermans Abraham Lincoln, The Martyr, Victorious, 1866.
At the New York Historical Society:
[170 Central Park West @77th Street/NY, NY 10458/Phone: 212 873 3400]
AUDUBON’S AVIARY: Some Things Old, Some Things Borrowed, but Most Things New
[Closing 5 April 2009]
If you do not rush off to the New York Historical Society pronto, you will not be able to see the Forty Fabulous Audubon Aviary watercolors for another ten years!
Because the Sensitivity to Light of these Priceless Artworks--the basis for Audubon’s Masterwork, The Birds of America--they can only be shown to the Public for brief periods every decade.
This is the Fifth Year in the Cycle of Showings, as the complete collection is comprised of some Two Hundred Watercolors by Audubon, in preparation for the Great Book.
The N YHS has the largest collection of Auduboniana in the world. The current show also relates Audubon’s innovations in watercolor techniques to the achievements of his predecessors.
Among John James Audubon’s Birds are: the Wild Turkey, the Osprey, the Black billed Cuckoo, the Scarlet Ibis, the White breasted Nuthatch, & the Yellow breasted Chat!
It’s once again worth noting--as in previous mentions of the other parts of the Cycle of Showings in this column--that Audubon was able to portray accurately those American Birds with very long legs & very long necks & still keep them in the frame boundaries of his book pages by painting them bent over, perhaps searching for a seed or a worm on the ground!
Audubon’s Magnificent Monument--decorated with images of his Birds & Animals--stands as a Great Celtic Cross in Trinity Churchyard up on Broadway near Audubon Terrace!
Continuing the Celebrations of Abe Lincoln’s 200th Birthday, the Historical Society has a variety of Artworks, Documents, & Artifacts on display!
At the New York Public Library:
[5th Avenue @42nd Street/NY, NY 10018/Phone: 212 869 8089]
New Children’s Center in Operation!
You & your children no longer have to go to a NYPL Branch Library to borrow the latest Kiddie Books or listen to Recordings, look at DVDs, & play Video Games!
The new Children’s Center in the Main Library Building--at 42nd Street & Fifth Avenue--has a stock of 25,000 books, complete with a Circulation Desk. The attractively designed space--formerly the Dorot Jewish Division--is specially decorated with Suzy Pilgrim’s colorful murals of New York City scenes.
Sir Norman Foster To Design New Central Library!
The Historic & Landmarked 42nd Street Building of the New York Public Library will soon be transformed into “the World’s Largest Comprehensive Library Open to the Public” by Foster + Partners. Sir Norman & his Acolytes have already done wonders in the Make Over of the British Museum!
Previously--for the last 40 years, at least--this noble structure has served as a Research Library, not your basic Neighborhood Lending Library. In fact, it is one of the greatest Research Resources in the World…
As the deeply incised carving above the Main Entrance indicates, this building combined the Astor, Tilden, & Lenox Libraries.
The Lenox Library originally stood on the present site of the Frick Collection. Arts Loving Henry Clay Frick had it demolished to make way for his Magnificent Mansion, built to rival Morgan & Carnegie…
Joe Papp’s Public Theatre now occupies the former Astor Library. But Samuel Tilden’s Mansion on Gramercy Park now houses the National Arts Club.
Currently, the 42nd Street Building is shrouded in scaffolding & burlap, as its weather & pollution worn exterior stone gets a rejuvenation of sorts.
At the Park Avenue Armory:
[643 Park Avenue@65th Street/NY10065/Phone: 212 616 3930]
SANFORD SMITH’S 21st ANNUAL WORKS ON PAPER
One of theDownside Effects of the ongoing Economic Collapse of Capitalism as we know it is empty or closed Art Galleries around the City & the Nation.
Not to overlook what look likeDesperation Auction Sales of Elitist Art Treasures at Christies’ & Sothebys’. Owning Art Works may well have been viewed as a Good Investment of one’s Excessive Income, but not when you Need Money Fast!
But there is anUpside! At least for the various Dealer Shows at the Park Avenue Armory. Now Aisles seem wider; there seem fewer dealer booths, & the Refreshment Center at the rear of the Landmarked Armory Drill Hall is now immense.
Nor do you any longer have topush & shove to get a good look at the often admirable Artworks & Antiques on view & hopefully Sale. For Sanford Smith’s Works on Paper, there was lots of room to move about & even to back off to photograph some of the more striking works.
Your Scribe couldwrite a book about the many fine artworks on offer, some by artists previously unknown to him. Actually, if I had Unlimited Financial Resources & an Old Barn somewhere in Connecticut, I would have bought them all!
But just to mention a few dealers & their artists: theWilliam Weston Gallery, with original prints of Modern Masters such as Chagall, Hockney, Miro, Leger, & Dufy; the Stern Pissarro Gallery, with not only Camille Pissarro, but also others of the Clan, such as Lucien, Georges Manzana, Ludovic Rodo, Paulemile, & H. Claude Pissarro; Platt Fine Art, with the impressive Industrials of Edwin Fulwider, as well as the Workers of Max Arthur Cohn.
Strikingly modern are theArchitectural Renderings of a New Los Angeles, drawings of Carlos Diniz, shown by the Edward Cella Gallery. On offer from Reeves Contemporary are Doug Trump & Shuli Sadé, with Wade Kavanagh represented by Cynthia Reeves.
In thePeter Fetterman Gallery booth were the fashion photos of Lillian Bassman Elegance, as well as the overpowering photo images of Sebastião Salgado. From the Adam Gallery: Luis Feito & Fujio Akai!
Old Favorites such asLouise Bourgeois & Pablo Picasso--as well as the less old Donald Sultan--from John Stokes Editions. How about Tony Foster & his wonderful watercolors of Everest & the Grand Canyon, from Gerald Peters Gallery?
Sepheris Gallerywas showing The Kahlo Legacy as well as Shuli Sadé, while Dolan/Maxwell was offering the remarkable constructs of Cheryl Warwick & the compelling voids of Lynne Clibanoff. And so many more Galleries with equally arrestint Images on Paper!
Nota Bene: From 14 May to 14 June, the “World Renowned” Brazilian Artist Ernesto Neto will fill the Drill Hall with an immense on site/site specic drill filling Abstract Artistic Installation that promises to Overwhelm…
Lilian Bassman. Elegance. Barbara Mullen, Essex House. 1950. The Sanford Smith’s 21st annual Works on Paper. Ravi Varma, Vishnu Garud Wahan, Litograph 1900 1920. Ravi Varna press. The Sanford Smith’s 21st annual Works on Paper. The Verne Collection. "Snow at Zojoji Temple" 1925 by Hasui. The Sanford Smith’s 21st annual Works on Paper. Iceberg between the Paulet Islands and the Shetland Islands, Antartica 2005. The Sanford Smith’s 21st annual Works on Paper. Blues and Blacks, slikcreen and flocking on 4 ply museum board. The Sanford Smith’s 21st annual Works on Paper. Femmes entre elles avec voyeur sculpte by Pablo Picasso. The Sanford Smith’s 21st annual Works on Paper.
At the UBS Gallery:
[UBS Bldg: 1285 Avenue of the Americas/btwn 51 & 52/NY, NY 10019/Phone: 713 2885]
Milton Avery, American 1885 1965 Little fox river. Oil on Canvas.
PLACING AVERY: Paintings & Prints from Neuberger Museum of Art
[Closing 1 May 2009]
Yes, we Bailed Out UBS & Yes, UBS is essentially a Swiss Bank. But it has an immense High Rise over on Sixth Avenue--euphemistically known as The Avenue of the Americas!--complete with two matching ground floor Corridor Art Galleries.
The last Exhibition showcased Vintage Circus Posters & Big Top Photographs.
Currently, some of Milton Avery’s most beloved Signature canvases are featured, which would be richesse enough. But they are also shown in the contrasting context of interesting works by Avery’s American & Continental Contemporaries.
Sometimes, the Subject Matter is similar. In other comparisons, the affinity is Color or Composition. Here are works by Maurice Prendergast, Pierre Bonnard, Mark Rothko, Pablo Picasso, Marsden Hartley, & John Marin as well…
Not only are UBS shows free--you are just walking through the building--you can also take home an attractive booklet about each exhibition, richly illustrated in color!
At the Whitney Museum of American Art:
[945 Madison Avenue @75th Street/NY, NY 10021/Phone: 800 WHITNEY]
Jenny Holzer: PROTECT PROTECT
[Closing 31 May 2009]
For Your Scribe, the new Jenny Holzer show at the Whitney was déjà vu all over again, as I had seen some of these rapidly racing Zipper Lights & Freedom of Information Silk Screens several years ago at Kunsthaus Bregenz, where Holzer & Jeff Koons are Very Big!
One entire floor is covered with zipping yellow light paths, replete with Holzerian Slogans. In a narrow hallway, there is a kind of aerial staircase with front & back red & blue zippered fragments.
In Holzer’s early painted or printed, flashing or zipping Slogans & Mottos, there was a sense of fun & even parody of Chinese Fortune Cookie Maxims.
Over the years, Holzer has become both Gnomic & Serious.
In Bregenz--as at the Whitney, where it’s more of a Retrospective show--Holzer excited a lot of interest among European Museum Visitors by focusing on American Suppression of Information, especially as concerning the incomprehensible & indefensible War in Iraq.
Acting under the Freedom of Information Guidelines, Holzer requested some Reports & Interrogations from the Closed Files of the CIA & other Organs of America’s Secret Intelligence Armies.
Most of the documents she received had been severely Censored, with Names & Details heavily blacked out. One or two had only Headings & Closings remaining intact: all else was a black smudge…
Some of these Holzer enlarged & transferred--via silk screen processes--to sized canvas on stretchers, which she had over painted with shades of white or ivory.
At the Whitney Press Preview, Holzer led the breathless Press through her show, speaking easily & forthrightly about her concerns, themes, & work methods. She seemed very friendly & open, free of the Pretension, which so often afflicts Contemporary American Artists like Julian Schnabel.
My colleague Ed Rubin wanted to know what made the enlarged & reproduced Censored Documents on the wall actual Paintings.
It was then that Jenny Holzer pointed out that each of these canvases had varying shades of white painted under the silk screened black & white documentation!
World Monuments fund Paul Mellon Lecture. Stowe House, the rise fall and ressurection of an Architectural Masterpiece.
At the World Monument Fund:Actually, the above address of the worldwide WMF houses its US Offices & the occasional photo show of Monuments in Danger & Monuments Saved.
[95 Madison Avenue/NY, NY 11215/Phone: 646 424 9594]
In February--at the Morgan Library & Museum--WMF sponsored theAnnual Paul Mellon Lecture. It was given by Dr. Jonathan Foyle, who spoke about an important WMF Project: Stowe House: The Rise, Fall, & Resurrection of an Architectural Masterpiece.
One ofBritain’s largest & most impressive Country Houses, Stowe House is really a Neo Classic Palace. Unfortunately, it had been occupied by a Public School [which really means Private in Brit Speak] which led to an even more disastrous degradation of the once magnificent but already long neglected structure.
Dr. Foyle--any connection to famedFoyle’s London bookstore?--showed slides chronicling the development of this massive pile of stones from its Founding into its Glory Days.
Unfortunately for those who would like to know how theirTax Free Contributions are being used for such Restoration Projects, Foyle did not say much about what has been done recently. Or what needs to be done in the Future, as it is clear much more needs to be undertaken.
AsBuildings Curator at Hampton Court Palace & Kew Palace for nearly a decade, Dr. Foyle has won his spurs as an Expert. Earlier he was a Surveyor at Canterbury Cathedral.
Beginning in April, WMF will be showing a photo exhibition ofJohn H. Stubbs’ handsome photos of Ancient & More Recent Monuments, such as Meso American Pyramids, a Venetian Campanile, & a Golden Burmese Stupa. This show celebrates the publication of Stubbs’ photo book: Time Honored: A Global View of Architectural Construction.
The photos will be on view in spaces at thePrince George Ballroom, 15 East 27th Street, NYC. Stubbs is VP for Field Projects of the WMF!
If you are interested in the work of the World Monuments Foundation--either as aMember and/or as a Project Sponsor--contact the WMF by phone, as above or online at www.wmf.org.
Ask for a free copy of the Fall 2008World Monuments Foundation News.
It has fascinating photos & reports on such projects as the restoration ofJuanqinzhai, a Studio & Garden Complex for the retirement of the Qianlong Emperor of China: its name means Studio of Exhaustion from Diligent Service. [Not quite like the Bush Ranch in Crawford: much more elaborate & tasteful!]
Also featured in this issue: Restorations at theBibliothèque de l’Arsenal, notably the ornate silver highlighted Music Room, long used for Storage. [Ah, those Parisian French!]
WMF also wants to save the deteriorating & endangeredPhilip Johnson designed NY State Pavilion for the New York World’s Fair of 1964/5, at Flushing Meadows. [At its Inauguration, many thought it a Modernist Horror! Some still do!]
Copyright © Glenn Loney 2009. 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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