CURATOR'S CHOICE SM
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GLENN LONEY'S MUSEUM NOTES
CONTENTS, June 2009
Caricature of Glenn Loney by Sam Norkin.
on " * " to skip to each subject in this index:
Arts Scripts for GERMANY
Oral Arts Reportage at WBAI: *
Creating Art Deco News & The Modernist: *
Professor Loney MEETS THE PROFESSOR & EXPLORES MUSEUMS on Channel
About this Website: Hopes & Plans… *
Teasing the Template: *
At the Ana Tzarev Gallery: *
At the Brooklyn Museum: *
At the Cooper Hewitt National Museum of Design: *
At the Frick Collection: *
At the Galerie St. Etienne: *
At the Grolier Club: *
At the Guggenheim Museum: *
At the Irish Arts Center: *
At the Jewish Museum: *
At Knoedler & Company: *
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art: *
At the Morgan Library & Museum: *
At MAD/The Museum of Arts & Design *
At the Municipal Art Society: *
At the Neue Gallerie: *
At the New York Historical Society: *
At the Park Avenue Armory: *
At the UBS Gallery: *
Museum Report for Month of May 2009:
Taking Stock on Museum Reportage:
For many seasons now, Your Museum Reporter
has been checking out new Exhibitions, Permanent Installations,
& Museum/Gallery Make Overs for a variety of Media.
For a time, Your Reporter functioned as
the Museum/Art Gallery critic/reporter for The East Sider,
The West Sider, & The
Chelsea Clinton News.
Each report or critique was rewarded with
a check for $15—not exactly Big Bucks—but one had
to cash it fast on Friday, as, by Monday, there might not be funds in
the Publisher’s Account.
[The late Clay Felker bought The
East Sider, intending to make it into a Society Photo Venue—the
Very Rich & occasionally Unjustly Famous just love
to see their faces & frocks in print!—but this rag soon died under
Other Loney Arts Reports have appeared,
over the years, in a number of Main Stream Magazines & Newspapers,
as well as Academic, Professional, & Specialist
for GERMANY TODAY:
For a number of years, Your Reporter wrote
Arts Radio Scripts for the late David Berger’s
Germany Today, created by Berger as a companion broadcast
to his widely syndicated Music from Germany.
My scripts also covered West German
Social Issues, Workplace Reforms, Religious
Topics, Urban Planning, & Transcripts of my
Interviews with Architects, Artists, Performing Arts Talents,
& Social Leaders.
Although David & I had become close
friends & colleagues, he would never let me read my
own scripts on the Broadcast, although he did pay
some of my CUNY PhD Students to do so! He did Audition
me, but said I made the News sound Too Dramatic! Too Exciting!
But who wants Boring Old News
Reportage at WBAI:
For a time, I did get to read my own Arts
Reports & Critiques on New York’s very own Pacifica Station,
WBAI. At times, I felt myself surrounded by the Last Stalinists,
as some of the Station’s Regulars certainly had Issues
My good friend & Fellow Arts Journalist,
Mark Laiossa, who was a WBAI Mainstay, did the sound
engineering & taping for these reports—which included my live
interview with Christo & Jeanne Claude about their Wrapping
of the Berlin Reichstag—the Process of which
I had photographed for over a week the previous summer—as well as discussing
their constantly rejected plans for The Gates in Central
Finally, when the Program Chief
mistook me for a Messenger & as I had never been Paid
or Thanked for my contributions, I decided to spend more
time sitting in Central Park & contemplating the Central
Park West High Rise Art Deco Towers above the treetops…
Art Deco News & The Modernist:
For virtually fourteen long years,
Your Reporter was creating four quarterly issues of The
Art Deco News, later re named The Modernist—when
people were getting sick of Art Deco for the second time.
Although four issues were
prepared each year, some never saw print—even though it
cost only about $850 to print a run sufficient for NY
Art Deco Society members & interested Professionals. Thus "virtually,"
as the prepared but unprinted issues died in the files,
now in the Glenn Loney Papers at the University of California/Davis,
which are some 140 Running Feet, at last count.
These two titles were almost entirely written,
edited, & illustrated—often with Glenn Loney’s INFOTOGRAPHY™
images made at home & abroad—by Your Reporter.
The money that could have
paid for publication—all other costs of editing, preparation, &
production being absorbed by Your Reporter & his friend & colleague,
lay out artist Debbie Lumpe Hughes—were used instead to pay for
Invitations & Decors for such events as the Annual Art
Deco Ball, with members dressed in Art Deco Roaring Twenties
For the final issues, former Christie’s
expert & frequent lecturer on 20th Century Arts,
Alastair Duncan, generously donated $1,000 for
The efforts of the Editor of The
Modernist to enlist members in the search for Art Deco Themed
Advertising went nowhere, as did the effort to expand publication
so that copies could be distributed to Museums & Art Galleries
around the Nation.
Once again, neither Paid
When each new issue appeared—some
were quite handsome & stylish, in fact—the
President of the NY Art Deco Society [now deceased] would
call to point out some Minor Typo: "The word THE
is spelled TEH on page 14!"
But never anything like: "The new
issue looks Great!"
Fortunately—I guess—for Posterity,
I’ve had all the issues scanned, so they will, before
long, appear On Line on the Internet on a new Website
tentatively to be named the GlennLoneyArtsArchive.
Loney MEETS THE PROFESSOR & EXPLORES MUSEUMS on Channel 31:
Way back when he was Creating &
Hosting EXPLORING YOUR MUSEUMS for Channel 31,
Your Reporter already had a list of some Four Thousand Venues
for Arts & Antiques. This weekly TV program was taped in
the actual museums & also at Brooklyn College in the TV
[I also Hosted & Drafted—or
"Winged"—another BC TV half hour show for Channel 31:
Meet the Professor! The idea was to introduce
a Brooklyn College Prof who was also an Expert in the
Real World to a Real World Professional—who would always
turn out to be an Adjunct Professor, evenings after his Day
time Job! Preferably from NYU, Fordham, or Columbia!]
But, once again, I was neither Paid
Although I was actually teaching Public
Speaking & Speech Correction in the School of General
Studies Evening Program—the Senior Professors in the Department
wouldn’t permit me teach in the Undergrad Day Program!—I
had to come in day times on Tuesdays & Thursdays to set up
& tape the two shows.
This was devised for me as a kind of Penance—or
they would put a Letter of Reprimand in my College
Records—because I had criticized the construction
of questions & the machine scoring of the Uniform IBM Exams
for students in Speech 1A + 1B!
The work in these classes could not effectively
be tested by a True False or All of These, None
of These machine graded exam! But my Professorial Seniors
didn’t want to waste their time reading a lot of scrawled Written
I was also required to come in day times
to coach & judge the College Bowl hopefuls, as well
as to coach the Debate Team, which preferred to
lift/borrow/steal successful debate strategies
from other college teams, before setting out on the Annual College
Debate Circuit. I was most useful to these contentious students—as
their Faculty Advisor—in signing the bills for Off Campus
So, over time, for reports in Print
or on Radio or TV, Your Reporter has visited a great number
of New York City Museums & Art Galleries. There was, of course,
for the BC Broadcasts No Way I could have covered all
of them—even a week at a time.
But I did check out a great many, including
the Museum of the American Piano, created by the Hungarian
Immigrant son of a lady of Budapest who is the Best Friend
of my best Budapest friend, Sari Balint—or Balint Sari,
as the Magyars prefer to write their names…
Website: Hopes & Plans…
When Webmaster Jonathan Slaff created
the website NYTheatre Wire.com & I joined the
Project with my regular column, Glenn Loney’s Show Notes,
I suggested he might also establish a Museum/Gallery website, focusing
on new New York Museum & Gallery Shows.
The late John Hammond—with whom
I’d worked at the now defunct Theatre Week, Opera
Monthly, & Christopher Street—devised all
the listings & other essentials, as he had done for our previous
publications. [For the Record: the New York
Post’s premiere Show Biz Gossip Maven, Michael
Riedel, was our Managing Editor!]
I put up some money so the websites could
have a Scanner, so I have not only a Spiritual Investment
in both sites, but also a fiduciary interest, which is yet to
pay off. Although I really didn’t think it would, as you
can hardly pay Contributors when there is no Huge Cash Flow
Readers who have checked out Your
Reporter’s columns on both sites may realize how much time has been
invested in seeing shows—both onstage & in museum
venues—as well as reporting on them.
Now, at 80 years of age, I’m wearing
out & want to sit in the sun for a bit…
But, if I do do that, who will continue
Museum Notes? Or will it & this site have to Die?
Colleague friends have, in fact,
written reports & critiques for the website, but, not being
paid, did not want to continue contributing.
So I have projected a new Purpose,
Content, & Design for the NYMuseums.com
Unfortunately, it is complex, labor
intensive, & time consuming, extending its Coverage
not only beyond New York, but across the Nation.
Perhaps, across the Atlantic, even around the World?
When Your Reporter is in Europe
on the Festival Circuit—or in Asia, Africa, Australia,
or Central & South America, he has, from time to time, filed
Arts & Museum reports on the NYMuseums.com
There is No Way that Jonathan Slaff
or I can make Museum Magic by ourselves.
Googling GOOGLE Doesn’t Work:
So I thought maybe I could ask the Experts
at GOOGLE to come to our aid. People are using GOOGLE
all the time to check out our websites, so why not? There is even a
GlennLoney.com website—based in Berlin—that
So—way back in March—I wrote
two letters to two different GOOGLE Executives,
whom I thought might be at least interested in my Proposals.
There have been No Answers!
Not even one of those Standard Dear
John Editor’s Letters: "Thank you for thinking of Harpers/The
Atlantic/The Nation/The New Republic, but your submission
is not right for us at this time. Please do keep us in mind…"
For your possible interest, here is what
I wrote, in part, to GOOGLE:
1 MARCH 2009
Dr. Urs Hölzle
Senior Vice President/Operations
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
Dear Dr. Hölzle:
Way back in 1996, my friend &
colleague Jonathan Slaff created the Performing Arts website,
NYTheatre Wire.com. From its inception, we got a lot of
hits, though later founded Broadway/Off Broadway site rivals insisted
to me that was only because anyone who Google searched for New
York Theatre would come up with our site first.
The non profit success of
our site encouraged Slaff to create for me a companion site: NYMuseums.com.
This also makes no money. The depressing result—although I am Chief
or Senior Correspondent for both sites—is that I am not now,
nor have I ever been, paid for anything I write. Nor am
I reimbursed for Arts Journeys around the world, which I do at
my own cost.
The reason I am now writing to you at Google
is the hope that I & Jonathan’s partner/wife, Shirley Slaff,
might be able to meet with the relevant Google Officer in Manhattan
to present my proposals for turning our Museum site into a Worldwide
Finder Link for Museums, Art Galleries, Auction Houses, Art Schools,
Art Fairs, & Arts Initiatives, etc. [But I do not know
who the NYC Google contact might be…]
From our beginnings in 1996/97,
I have always posted reports on visiting museums in Houston,
Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix, Philly, San Francisco, Denver,
Seattle—indeed, wherever I may go, initially to review theatre,
opera, & dance events—even though the site, by its very name, seems
New York Limited.
No way: I have also reported from the Musée
d’Orsay in Paris, the Germanisches National Museum
in Nürnberg, & the Tate Modern in London.
Wherever I may be, I file reports about
Museum Shows, as well as Performing Arts events & Major Festivals,
such as Salzburg, Edinburgh, Bayreuth, Munich,
& Bregenz—its Tosca on Lake Constance was featured
in the new Bond film: Quantum of Solace! So there’s also
always a summer report on what’s new at the all glass Kunsthaus
But the on going Problem is that
the site earns no money, so I am paid nothing
for my work nor for my travel. Nor can Jonathan afford to pay fellow
art critics who have in the past filed reports, but who quit contributing
when no paycheck was forthcoming.
I should here note that I was 80
years old on Christmas Eve!
Not that I am wearing out, but I am also
involved with my INFOTOGRAPHY™ 375,000 Slide,
Print, & Digital Photo Image Archive, as well as writing
my Memoirs, chapter by chapter, in four different computer book
As an OCC Theatre Awards Nominator,
as well as Chief Correspondent for NY Theatre Wire, I
also see & report on almost everything produced in
Things literally cannot go on this way!
But if I collapse or stop writing for NYMuseums.com, Jonathan
will have to terminate it, having no longer any freshly
posted Commentary Content.
In itself, this might seem no loss—as Google
is already supporting the Alliance for the Arts New York
website, which lists & links to New York Museums. Our museum listings
were made way back in 1996—the compiler long since dead—but there is
now no one to update them.
What Jonathan has done, however, is to
Archive all my Curators’ Choice reports since 1996, preserving
them completely formatted, with often stunning Images!
But it costs money to maintain these on
Servers, an expense he cannot continue to sustain, when no Income
is on the Horizon. I would hate for these now historic records
to be Lost, but what can I do about this? I have only
my own report texts on my hard disk: no visuals or formatting…
As early as 1999, I devised a Business
Plan, basing it on a possible Visa link, whereby both
our websites could actually make some money for us & our contributors:
not only carrying Advertising, but also providing Goods &
Services On Line. Nothing came of that, as Jonathan functions
more as a Public Relations consultant.
When the New York Sun definitively
set for the last time in November, New Yorkers lost one
of the most vivid displays of Major Museum Artworks & Show Posters,
as the Editors used to splash such glowing, fascinating Images across
It suddenly came to me—especially as my
own reports were devoid of e mail images from most of
these museums, unless they gave me them on CDs—that we could visually
remake NYMuseums.com by filling the site with just such
And also make some money in doing this:
so I devised a new Business Plan for the website. But this is
not something I can do on my own…
So that is why Shirley Slaff & I would
like to meet with someone from Google New York, to share both
my Plans, which could be integrated to the benefit of
a newly enlarged Worldwide Museum Finder Reporter! Unfortunately,
looking at the Google website, I have no idea whom to see in NYC. Nor
even at what address to ring the doorbell…
If this Officer finds the proposals of
Initial Interest, I assume he or she could then forward them
to the Appropriate Officials out in Mountain View. But
I think I need to present them initially in person in NYC.
For the Record: Shirley Slaff
is the factotum for Ann Gottlieb, who blends all
those special fragrances for Calvin Klein, Unilever, Marc
Jacobs, etc. But in the current Economic Collapse, neither of us
really can afford to fly out to California…
In studying your GOOGLE website—trying
to decide to whom I should send this letter—I was struck by how many
of your Senior Staff have degrees from UC/Berkeley &
Stanford. Not to overlook a University of Marylander,
Not that this will necessarily inspire
your Confidence in me as a responsible Planner & Provider
of Website Content, but I thought I ought to mention that
I graduated from UC/Berkeley—with a Group Major in Speech,
Journalism, English, & Theatre in 1950, "with Highest
Not only that, but I also earned my PhD
from Stanford in 1954—while I was in the US Army
down at Fort Ord—"with Distinction."
As both a Golden Bear—I am, in fact,
a member of the Order of the Golden Bear—& what once was
called a Stanford Indian, I am always torn at Big Game Time:
for whom shall I root?
We Stanford Alums here in Manhattan
see one of your Board Members every so often, when President
Hennessy is in search of Endowment Enrichments.
As for the University of Maryland, I was
a Professor for the University of Maryland Overseas, from
1956 1960 in EUCOM, teaching in Europe,
North Africa, & the Middle East, notably in Sa’udi
Arabia, where I completed my first book, for McGraw Hill,
in 1959: Briefing & Conference Techniques.
Between Berkeley & Palo Alto, for my
MA I went halfway East to Madison, Wisconsin, where I
studied—among other things at UW—Art History, with actress/teacher
Uta Hagen’s dad, Dr. Oskar Hagen [Dr.
phil. from the Universität v. Göttingen],
so I believe I have a good grounding to be writing about the Arts.
As for Historical Mountain View, working
my way through Stanford, I mowed lawns on weekends for friends in Menlo
Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Atherton, &
even for some cousins over in Santa Clara…
When the American Theatre Critics Assn.
had its annual convention in San Francisco several summers ago,
we were invited down to Mountain View to see a show in your handsome
new Arts Complex. I was astonished how Google’s Success
had transformed this formerly sleepy little Peninsula town!
As I know the Peninsula & the SF Bay
Area well, I could possibly find the cash—but not Shirley, alas—to fly
out to SFO & drive down to your offices if you or any of
your colleagues would like to discuss possibilities for turning my vision
of a Worldwide Website for Museums, Galleries, & All the
Arts into a Google Internet Online Virtual Reality!
I do hope Google won’t find it contrary
to Corporate Policy to consider talking about possibly working
with an Octogenarian? I may be an Old Fart, but I’m still
a Live Wire…
Hoping for an Opportunity soon to
discuss potential future developments of NYMuseums.com!
[If your or your colleagues would like
more Background—including my extensive Publications List—please
click on GlennLoney.com, a Berlin based web site created
by my friend Victor Homola, office manager of the NY Times
Enclosed are some sample reports to show
you what they look like & how they read…
PhD, Prof Emeritus/City University of
New York Grad Center; Senior Correspondent: NYMuseums.com &
NYTheatre Wire.com; Cont. Editor: Western European Stages
& Entertainment Design; Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk,
ATCA & International Theatre Critics Assn, Music Critics of North
America, Dance Critics of America, NY Municipal Arts Society, etc.
I sent a kind of follow up letter
to another Google Exec, whose Bio on line looked like
she might be interested in the Proposals, as well as in an AIDS Art
Show I had described in my column. Here are some excerpts from that
3 MARCH 2009
Ms. Megan Smith
Vice President/New Business Development
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
Dear Megan Smith:
Looking through the impressive roster of
Google Officers, I noted your work with Gay & Lesbian
Issues. I am wondering how a wider audience might be reached with
serious reportage, rather than the campy screeds of some Manhattan based
As I have been attempting to locate someone/anyone
at Google who might be interested in the Proposal I have made for NYMuseums.com
to be transformed into a Worldwide Arts Link, I am sending you
a copy of the letter I wrote to Dr. Urs Hölzle about this.
But, even more importantly, I’m sending
you print outs of two reports I wrote about Art Exhibitions mounted
at the Leslie Lohmann Gallery in Soho. Both were staged by my
old friend, the stage designer & painter Peter Harvey, who
has just returned from the Semper Oper in Dresden,
where he replicated his original designs for George Balanchine’s
The initial L&L show very handsomely
demonstrated the genius & achievements in stage, costume, &
lighting design by a number of our most outstanding & Award Winning
As you can see from the report, the real
theme of this stunning show—it should have traveled—was
not the Splendors & Wonders, but the fact that all the
men & women involved are/were Gay. [Were,
as in died of the Plague…]
The most recent of the two shows was composed
entirely of Peter Harvey’s own paintings, colorfully & inventively
evoking what we have lost in the Deaths of Gay &
Lesbian Artists, who have given so much Culturally
& Spiritually to an often spiteful Society
that has all too often mocked & spurned these amazing talents.
Or, as with Garcia Lorca,
beyond mockery, being shot to death by Franco’s
Peter asked me to write about these two
shows for publications that have special interests in such issues, but
I don’t know any & am not paid for what I write in any case. But
the very idea seems like Preaching to the Converted.
But what General Publications—if
there are any left standing by June 2009—has any
interest in Gay Designers or Great Writers, Poets, Painters,
Sculptors, & Photographers who have either been dissed
& dismissed for their "Lifestyle Choices"
or who have been taken from us by Untimely Deaths?
If there were any interest in touring the
Stage Design Show, Peter Harvey could re assemble it, but he
has no idea who could fund & who could organize such a tour… Nor
If there were any publication interested
in using my two reports—even though the shows are now closed—that would
be OK with me. I made some good color photos of Peter & his AIDS
paintings for that report, but our Website Intern couldn‘t use all of
When I was writing about Peter’s AIDS
Triangle Images, I most vividly remembered his sad comment about
putting them away in storage, where they’d never be seen again. [Vermont,
I think… No! He says Hartford, which is almost as bad…]
After I filed the report, I called Peter,
who was packing the paintings. On the spot—although I really cannot
now afford such splurges—I bought the Garcia Lorca
& the Ganymede/Carravaggio.
Possibly, when you are next in NYC, you
might like to see them? I also have some Duncan Grant originals…
I should here note that I was 80
years old on Christmas Eve! But you may already have read that
in the other letter…
Yours Truly, as they say…
Knowledgeable Colleagues who have
read these letters say, in General: "You are an Idiot
if you think any of those guys out there at GOOGLE will even
read your letters, let alone answer them…"
But Nothing Ventured, Nothing
Gained, as they say. But what do THEY really know?
Your Reporter long ago devised a kind of
Museum/Gallery Name, Address, & Phone Number Template. For
each Museum or Gallery opening a show during the Report Period,
the report or review could be typed in below the relevant Name.
When there was No New Show to report,
the Museum Listing could easily be Deleted.
For this Report, however, I will present
the Entire Template, so readers can see for themselves
the many Venues I have reported on in past columns. Obviously,
there are many more New York Museums & Galleries than are here listed,
but I cannot be Everywhere. Nor do I have a Secretary
or an Assistant, not that they could write my columns for me.
We also have no grant money, alas.
I should point out that many Museums now
send out announcements of Press Previews only by e
mail, instead of mailing handsome Printed Invitations
as they used to do. Advance information about new Exhibitions, appointments,
& architectural improvements are also e mailed now.
Thus, I may have missed a number of Press
Previews, as my fairly new APPLE Computer just died—the Hard
Disk expiring noisily, with the Capacitators in the Monitor
Unit bleeding orange gunk!
I do hope things will improve when I get
the e mail addresses of the venues listed below &
they get mine, so I can stay well informed.
With the sudden Collapse of Our Economy,
Press Previews are even disappearing.
Some Major Museums have for a long
time been serving Coffee & Danish, even sometimes offering
a Near Brunch to the Press Bunch: A Hungry Press
is an Angry Press…
But, with the disappearance of mid morning
Museum Spreads, some old time Regulars have now disappeared:
Were they only there for the Muffins & Juice after all?
Now—especially with small scale shows at
the Met & MoMA—surviving Arts Journalists,
whose newspapers & magazines are still publishing,
are receiving either snail mailed or e mailed Press
Releases regarding the new shows.
If you wish to report or critique, you
call the Press or Communications Office to arrange a convenient
time to come to see & scribble about the Exhibition. But no Muffins
& no Press Previews!
Even the handsome Press Kits are
vanishing. As CDs of Press Images have already replaced
print photos & color slides, it has occurred to the
Metropolitan Museum’s Press Corps to include all
the actual press releases, Wall Texts, Bios, &
Check Lists on their Press CDs as well!
Everything Changes… All things
Have an End…
But then: Plus ça change…
At the Ana
[24 West 57th Street/NY, NY
10019/Phone: 212 586 9800]
FLOATING WORLD: Paintings Inspired
by the Arts of Japan
[Closing 30 May2009]
Tzarev "Floating Wolrd Paintings Inspired by the Arts of Japan"
2004. This exhibition features paintings inspired by the artist's
longstanding interest in Japanese history, culture and the arts.
The bold & colorful paintings
of Ana Tzarev feature heavy Impastos of paint,
so that some of them seem almost to have been rendered in Relief.
They are, in fact, so richly & forcefully Achieved,
in broad, powerful brush strokes—possibly also palette knife dashes!—that
they seem almost Tactile.
So that you may want to reach out &
run your fingers along a ridge of rich red paint. But please
do not Touch!
Actually, Art Lovers—or anyone
strolling by Ana Tzarev’s handsome new Gallery on West 57th
Street—are made more than welcome to study her Art Works.
Indeed, when Tzarev stages an Opening
Night, there are live music, free drinks, & Goodie Bags
for one & all! Your Reporter’s bag was generously stuffed
with books & brochures about her varied areas of Arts Interest
& a richly bound collection of her own designs as Note Cards.
Although her previous show—inaugurating
her Gallery—featured Scenes & Characters from many Ethnic
Cultures, often celebrating distinctive Dances & Ceremonies—Tzarev
certainly is widely traveled!—the new Floating World exhibition
focuses only on Japan, notably on Themes & Styles
from the Edo Period.
of the installation of the exhibit "Floating Wolrd Paintings
Inspired by the Arts of Japan" by Ana Tzarev. Photo by Glenn
Although the Japanese People have,
for centuries, found themselves stratified in fixed
& ranked Social Classes, the rising Merchant Class
in the Edo Era was not so stiffly regulated. These rising
& newly wealthy men thus regarded themselves as living in a "Floating
This also offered them the freedom,
money, & leisure time to pursue Pleasures such
as the Kabuki Theatre, Tea House Ceremonies, the company
of Geishas, as well as to patronize noted Artists who
wonderfully recorded these often Highly Stylized Entertainments
Ana Tzarev has vitally captured many of
these moments, some of her canvases suggesting actual & notable
Edo art works. One long wall even has a black & white series
of Kabuki Portraits!
FRAMES OF REALITY: Israeli Palestinian
[Closing 9 June 2009]
of Reality." This exhibit features the works from a group of
18 Palestinian and Israeli photojournalists. Photo by Wissiam Nassar.
These often unsettling, but
also affecting Images have been briefly set on mounting
panels in the Tzarev Gallery, surrounded by the Floating World
paintings. This is a co production with ArtAction, in
the current instance dedicated to bringing together Two Divided Semitic
[Did you know that Arabs are also
Semites? So, to label Palestinian Protestors as
Anti Semitic isn’t etymologically or Ethnically
Taken by both Israeli & Palestinian
Photographer Artists, these images of scenes & people depict
a day to day Reality in which Arab Palestinians seem confined—not
only by that Great Wall of Israel—but also by their own Customs
From studying these photos, it would seem
that there is much about the situation & condition of both
Arabs & Israelis in this Divided World that is not
known to most Americans or reported by their
This exhibition is the fruit of Workshops
implemented by the Peres Center for Peace & "Local Testimony."
Proceeds from the sales of the hardcover book Frames of Reality—featuring
both the Photos & instructive Essays—will be donated to the Peres
Center, founded by the Nobel Prize for Peace Laureate,
Israel’s own Shimon Peres.
At the Brooklyn
[200 Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn, NY 11238/Phone:
718 638 5000]
GUSTAVE CAILLEBOTTE: Impressionist
Paintings from Paris to the Sea
[Closing 5 July 2009]
Why are there so many Boat Plans
& Yacht Sketches—not to overlook the actual Boat Models—now
On View at the Brooklyn Museum?
Caillebotte (French, 1848–1894). Oarsman in a Top Hat, 1877–1878
Oil on canvas 35 7/16 x 46 1/16 in. (90 x 117 cm). Private collection.
It’s because Gustave Caillebotte
was not only an Impressionist Painter—if a minor
one—but he was also a great fan of Sailing & Yachting, as
were some of his artist friends, such as Monet, Renoir, Degas,
In the current show, there are also a number
of handsome Boating, Rowing, & Fishing Scenes
created by this ardent Oarsman Painter Engineer. For instance:
Boats Moored on the Seine, Angler, Oarsmen
Rowing on the Yerres, Regattas at Villers, &
the show’s Signature Painting, Oarsman in a Top Hat,
which shows Caillebotte on the Seine, with both hands on the
oars of a rowboat.
There are some impressive Scenes of
Paris in the galleries, but Caillebotte really was in his métier
when he left Paris for the Seaside or the Country: Grassland on
a Cliff in Normandy, Trouville Toques Valley,
& Roses in the Garden at Petit Gennevilliers.
Also of special interest are Caillebotte’s
paintings of Craftsmen at work, preserving for Our
Time images of How Things Were Done in the 1870s:
The House Painters, The Floor Scrapers.
Caillebotte (French, 1848–1894). A Traffic Island, Boulevard
Haussmann, 1880 Oil on canvas 31 7/8 x 39 3/4 in. (81 x 101 cm).
Caillebotte was not exactly a Sunday
Painter—though some of his scenes certainly look like Something
Happening on a Sunday—perhaps Sunday in the Park with Gustave,
rather than George?—but he did not have to Paint
for a Living.
of the installation of the exhibit "Gustave Caillebotte"
at the Brooklyn Museum.
He was of a very Wealthy & Cultured
Family, having been trained as a Lawyer & Engineer.
But Paining & Boating were clearly Twin Passions.
The Brooklyn Museum showcased Caillebotte
way back in 1977, so the new exhibition is a welcome Reprise.
In fact, the Museum owns two of his more impressive canvases, notably
Apple Trees in Bloom & The Seine & the
Railway Bridge at Argenteuil. The latter will be, for
some Museum Visitors, a Familiar Image!
The Islamic Galleries Reinstalled
[Permanent Installation, opening 5 June
When you view this Re Installation
of the Brooklyn Museum’s Islamic Galleries, do not forget that
not all Muslims are Arabs. Nor are all Arabs Muslims:
There are Coptic Christian Arabs in Egypt &
Maronite Christian Arabs in Lebanon.
And in the United States, as well—but
who is going to fuss about such Minority Ethno Religious Sects
when it’s The Taliban we really fear?
After 9/11, it was interesting to
note the sudden Birth of—or Increase in—Interest
in Who Muslims Are & What They Believe,
with the All American Sub Text of : Why Do They Hate Us?
Although only 134 Islamic Objects
will be newly on view in the Museum’s Islamic Galleries, there are some
1,700 works in Storage that represent the Diverse Cultures
& Contexts of the Islamic World!
There will also be Rotating Exhibitions
in this new setting. Currently, the Blessed Qu’ran, Prayer
Books, & bios of Islamic Religious Figures will be showcased.
Somehow, these will "address the Common
Misconception that Figural Imagery is prohibited in Islamic
This Curatorial View poses a Generality
that is not really Common, as most Americans know almost
Nothing about Islam, Sunnis, Shiites, Ismailis,
Sufis, or Wahabbes.
Inspired by one of those Hebraic
Ten Commandments forbidding the making of Images of Man,
Animals, or Birds—Fish also?—The Prophet,
Praised Be His Name! also forbade such Image Making.
The Original Object of such a Prohibition—just
as Americans constantly seek to interpret the Original
Intent of the Framers of the US Constitution:
Do we really have the Right to Keep Assault Weapons
in the Bedroom Closet?—was to prevent the Worship
of Images of anything, reserving Prayers &
Praise for the One True & Unseen/Unseeable God, Allah,
When Your Reporter was teaching in Sa’udi
Arabia, way back in 1958, the Muslim Clerics were
so Puritanical—Sharia Law very much enforced!—that
pictures or posters were not to be seen outside the American
Compounds for ARAMCO engineers, administrators, & workers.
Forget about Persian Miniatures!
The Mughals weren’t Arabs anyway, were they? Muslims,
yes, Arabs, NO.
You might have thought the Sa’udi National
Flag would have a Camel —the Nomadic Arab’s Ship
of the Desert—on it, but NO.
Only Crossed Swords & Two
But all our ARAMCO classrooms had
black & white Photos of the Old King, Ibn
Sa’ud Abd al Aziz, right up front, over the Blackboard!
Didn’t that break The Commandment?
"No. Not really. Photos, you
must understand, are not Graven Images, which is
what Allah, Praised Be His Holy Name, forbids!"
Light of the Sufis: The Mystical
Arts of Islam
[Closing 6 September 2009]
Peter Brook’s memorable production
of The Conference of the Birds—which Your Reporter first
saw in rehearsal in Paris at les Gobelins, the Tapestry
Factory where Brook created his remarkable Internationally Touring
Productions—was solidly based on a new translation of an Ancient
The Sufi Inspired Birds make an
Arduous Journey—which not all of them survive—in Search of
the Simurge, a kind of Mystical God Source.
But what they finally discover is that they could have
found what they were seeking at Home, in Themselves!
During the Last Great Depression
in the United States, this Sufi Wisdom was popularized by H.
Russell Conwell, in his widely delivered & frequently reprinted
Inspirational Sermon: Acres of Diamonds.
The Essence of this Celebrated
Insight was that you could wear yourself out, traveling
all over the World, looking for Great Fields Studded with
Diamonds—as had been discovered in South Africa’s Kimberley Diamond
Mines, where my father’s Cousin, the California Engineer Charles
Stocks, died of Cholera years before I was born.
Failed, Despairing, returning Home
in Shame & Poverty, the Everyman in Conwell’s Sermon
turned over the doorstep in front of his back door, only to find Hordes
of Diamonds under the stone!
You don’t have to Leave Home to Find God
or Your Fortune!
Well, the Sufi Mystics were not
only great Fabulists & Poets, but they were also effectively
Acolytes of THE LIGHT & ENLIGHTENMENT.
Ignorance, for them, was not Bliss…
Find out more about the Sufis at
the Brooklyn Museum. Discover why their Insights &
Teachings continue to inspire men & women all over the World.
Not just Muslims…
In fact, Fundamentalist Muslims
often vigorously reject Sufi Ideas.
Yinke Shonibare MBE
[Closing 20 September 2009]
Shonibare, MBE. (United Kingdom, 1961). Leisure Lady (with Ocelots),
2001.Life size fiberglass mannequin, three fiberglass ocelots, Dutch
wax printed cotton, leather, glass. Vanhaerents Art Collection.
This potentially challenging show does
not open until 26 June, but posting news of it here now can alert
both Brooklynites & Beyonders, as the Nigerian born,
but British based Yinke Shonibare is widely
recognized as an interesting & eloquent metaphorical arts analyst
of the Relationship of European Colonialism to Contemporary
His Artworks & Cultural Tastes
have already been celebrated at the Cooper Hewitt Museum.
The MBE signifies that Queen
Elizabeth II has honored Shonibare as a Member of the Order
of the British Empire, so some aspects of Colonialism
are still in operation. Nigeria’s Yoruba Culture doesn’t confer
At the Brooklyn Museum, over 20
Sculptures, Paintings, Films, Photographs, & Large Scale Installations
created by Shonibare will be on view.
REFLECTIONS ON THE ELECTRIC MIRROR:
New Feminist Videos
[Closing 10 January 2009]
On View in the Elizabeth A. Sackler
Center for Feminist Art are Seven Up & Coming New
Video Artists, who are placing greater emphasis on their Performances
for the Video Camera than did Previous Women Video Artists,
who were occasionally interested in Complex Narratives
& Special Effects.
You might find Stanya Khan’s
Whacker amusing: Outfitted in Halter Dress, Heels
& Sunglasses, she wields a Weed Whacker to mow an
The Curatorial Insight on this short
Video is that the Artwork "…plays with Gender Stereotypes
by having a glamorously dressed Woman doing Yard Work, but [it]
also suggests the Transformative Power of
Emily Dickinson herself could not
have said that better. Gertrude Stein? Perhaps…
Kate Gilmore’s Site
Specific specially Video taped for this show Film & Installation
"captures Gilmore testing her Physical Endurance by repeatedly
moving heavy Plaster Cubes onto Paint Covered Shelves,
installed in the gallery. When the Cubes are placed on the Shelves,
the Paint will splatter & drip, creating a
Visceral Impression, related to her Physical Labor."
Wow! And here you
thought that Women had it Really Bad in
Obviously, both Manhattanites &
Brooklynites have No Idea how much Hard Work
goes into Creating a Feminist Video!
But you can now actually see
the Video Documentation of Gilmore’s Cube Moving on site,
as well as "observe the Physical Remnants left in
Artemisia Gentileschi, Mary Cassatt,
& Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, eat your Hearts
At the Cooper
Hewitt National Museum of Design:
[2 East 91st Street/NY, NY 10128/Phone:
212 849 8400]
[These Summary Reports are
Too Brief because Your Reporter is Wearing Out!]
[Closing 7 September 2009]
It’s remarkable how many Useful &
Artistic objects & constructions can be made from Felt.
It’s also instructive to discover how many kinds
of Felt there are.
of the exhibit Fashioning Felt at the Cooper Hewitt National Museum
This ingeniously designed & displayed
Felt Show at the Cooper Hewitt emphasizes that Felt is
unlike any other fabrics or textiles made from Wool. Usually,
Wool is spun or twisted as Yarn & then is knitted,
crocheted, or woven, but Felting is achieved by simply
matting together wool fibers with Humidity, Friction
The show demonstrates many interesting
uses for Felt in Fashion, as well as in Architecture,
Interior Design, & Industrial Uses. Not only can Felt
be shaped three dimensionally, even to form Furniture—especially
cutting edge Chairs!—but it is also water resistant,
wind proof, & fire retardant.
What is more, it is a Renewable Resource:
Wool bearing Sheep can be shorn as often as twice
a year. Worn out or discarded Wool Garments can be shredded
& turned into Felts!
Although Felts are often used in
Haute Couture—some Name Designers are represented
in this show—Felt has been known & used since the Neolithic
Period! It is, in fact, the first known Man Made Cloth!
Nomads have used Felt—especially
for Tentings, Blankets, & Garments for Centuries.
At the Cooper Hewitt, there is even a Felt & Silk Palace
Yurt in the Carnegie Mansion’s Conservatory! For a moment,
Live like a Mongol Chieftan!
DESIGN FOR A LIVING WORLD
[Closing 4 January 2010]
Wool also is featured in this Eco
Friendly installation, showing how Sustainably Grown & Harvested
Natural Materials can be used in a variety of Practical &
Decorative Applications. Of course, Bamboo can do
some things that Wool cannot…
This attractively designed, touring
ready Exhibition is a co production of the Smithsonian Cooper
Hewitt & The Nature Conservancy: Protecting Nature,
Not only does this show—often with magnificent
photographs of the Lands & Sites where such Growable
Natural Resources originate—demonstrate how the materials can be
used, but it also emphasizes the value of Cultivating
These Resources by Stressed Economies in the Third World.
One of the Conservancy’s Exhibition
Facilitators proved to be a valued if longtime no see colleague.
He was eager to point out the virtues of such resources as Bamboo
& Natural Wool.
I do understand this, but I couldn’t resist
praising Un Natural Wool, namely Synthetic
Wools: "Whatever you may say about Wool, it still
Shrinks. Synthetics do not!"
"Just buy your next Wool Sweater
two sizes larger & let it shrink to fit!’
What is special about this
show is the commissioning of Design Names from various Countries,
Areas, & even some of our States to put these products
to work: Maya Lin/Maine, Isaac Mizrahi/Alaska, & Kate
Will Isaac Mizrahi be able to help
Alaska’s Fashion Challenged Governor, Sarah Palin, to Improve
She may need something more Maternal
than Gubernatorial for daytime TV appearances, defending her
Daughter, Unwed Mother Bristol Palin, who is now apparently the
Poster Girl for Teenage Sexual Abstinence, in place
of forthright & honest Teen Sex Education.
This past week, Bristol was pictured
on the front cover of PEOPLE, dressed in a smart red Cap
& Gown, clutching her Out of Wedlock Kid in her arms.
What kind of Family Values
are these, especially as the known inseminator has now refused
to marry her, since the Palin Family has not gone—as Karl
Rove hoped—off to the White House?
Now she is paid to promote
Abstinence Before Marriage, holding that unfortunate little
baby in her arms on the cover of a National
Magazine—not to overlook her TV appearances. What can Sarah Palin
have been thinking, to allow this to happen!
What would Gov. Palin have done—had
she become President, in the event of John McCain’s
rupturing his Aorta—when North Korea’s crazed President
& Dear Leader flew his Piper Cub airplane, loaded with
Weapons of Mass Destruction, right into the Front Entrance
of the Presidential Manse?
For that matter, what would Rush Limbaugh,
Newt Gingrich, William Kristol, or George Will
have done in the same situation? William Buckley is dead, so
he can alas no longer Protect the Republic…
SHAZIA SIKANDER SELECTS: Works
from the Permanent Collection
[Closing 7 September 2009]
This is a really clever way to get some
of the Cooper Hewitt Treasures out of Storage.
In fact, Yinke Shonibare—now at the Brooklyn Museum
with his own show—had previously done the SELECTS Honors
at the Cooper Hewitt.
Shazia Sikander—the Ninth
Guest Curator—is already a well known South Asian Artist:
"Internationally Acclaimed," in fact.
That Sikander studied in Lahore,
Pakistan, & is also a Woman make her especially
attractive to Show Curators now.
Fortunately, she is also tremendously Talented,
so her distinctive work with traditional Miniature Painting—combined
with Contemporary Forms & Styles—makes her In Demand.
She has even created a new work especially for this show!
At the Frick
[1 East 70th Street/NY, NY 10021—Phone:
212 288 0700]
PORTRAITS, PASTELS, PRINTS: Whistler
in the Frick Collection
[Closing 23 August 2009]
Frick Collection presents "Portraits, Pastels, Prints."
James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), "Harmony in
Pink and Grey: Portrait of Lady Meux,” 1881–82, oil
on canvas, 76¼ by 36 5/8 inches.
Did you know that James Abbott McNeill
Whistler was one of Henry Clay Frick’s favorite modern
At least Frick acquired more
of Whistler’s work than he did for any other artist in his magnificent
What he missed hanging on the walls of
his Fifth Avenue Mansion was Whistler’s Arrangement in
Grey & Black—or should this be Black
& Grey? [Thanks to bedbugs, all my reference books
are now in storage…]
For many Americans—at least of the Older
Generations—this famous canvas is perhaps his best known artwork.
But it is generally, if incorrectly, known as Whistler’s Mother.
This summer at the Frick, his four full
length Whistler portraits of elegant & beautiful Society Ladies
will be shown together with pastels & etchings of his sojourn in
Venice. This is the first time in two decades that these artworks
are being shown together.
They will be shown in the Oval Room,
as the East Room—where they are often, but not always, on View—is
to be re furbished this coming summer.
As with his title for his Mother,
Whistler often named his canvases, not for the actual Sitter
or Subject, but for the Dominant Colors or Color
that unified the painting for him.
Thus, his notable Frick Portrait
of Lady Meux is correctly titled Harmony in Pink &
Grey. But Mrs. Francis Leyland’s portrait is actually
titled: Symphony in Flesh Colour & Pink.
Similarly, Frick’s two other full length
Whistler Portraits are titled Arrangement in Brown & Black
[Miss Rosa Corder] & Arrangement in Black &
Gold [Comte Robert de Montesquiou Fezensac.]
At the Galerie
[24 West 57th Street/NY, NY
10019/Phone: 212 245 6734]
FROM BRÜCKE TO BAUHAUS:
The Meanings of Modernity in Germany,
[Closing 26 June 2009]
Once again, Jane Kallir’s
illuminating essay—introducing her new show at Galerie St. Etienne—is
a Mini Masterpiece. Looking backward, she notes that there
was a widespread Ambivalence toward Modernity in
Germany, unlike other Western Nations.
Ludwig kirchner. Two Female Nudes. Circa 1908. Pastel on Paper.
Galerie Saint Etienne, New York.
The reasons are several, not just
because Industrialization had gradually changed the Basis
& Character of many Societies, with Rural People
abandoning the farms or estates—on which they were often only Workers,
not Owners—flocking to the Cities & Factories.
But the Industrial Revolution also
came later & much faster to Germany
than to, say England or France. This was
because Germany only became a True Nation—a Political Entity—in
1871, when the scores of Kingdoms, Principalities,
Dukedoms, Counties, & City States were Unified
by Count Bismarck.
This may well be why Expressionism
found such Fertile Soil, both in Germany & Austria. Not to
overlook the astonishing developments in Design—from Jugendstil
to Bauhaus Modernity…
Among the Artists & Designers
on view in this new show are some Old Standbys but also some
less well known names. How about Herbert Bayer, Lucian Bernhard,
Edmund Edel, Hans Rudi Erdt, Werner Daid Fest, Karl Hubbuch, Heinz Loew,
Walter Dexel, Bruno Paul, Rudolph Schlichter, Georg Scholz, &
Chances are you’ve never heard of most
of them. Your Reporter knows some of them from his research on German
& Austrian Jugendstil & Modernity for The
Art Deco News & The Modernist—both of which
he created, wrote, & edited for some years for the Art Deco Society
of New York.
Other talents on display are rather better
known: Otto Dix, Peter Behrens, Max Pechstein, Lyonel Feininger,
Georg Grosz, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Otto Mueller, Emil
Nolde, Karl Schmidt Rottluff, Marianne Brandt, & Max Beckmann.
At the Grolier
[47 East 60th Street, NY, NY
10022/Phone: 212 838 6690]
Commemorating the 500th
Anniversary of Henry VIII’s Accession to the Throne
[Closed 2 May 2009]
The Spanish Inquisition censored
of the exhibit "Vivat Rex!" commemorating the 500th Anniversary
of Henry VIII's accesion to the throne.
Fortunately, the Bard lived in Protestant
England, beyond the reach of their Spies, Informers,
Racks. Water Boardings, Iron Maidens, &
Burnings at the Stake!
That Shakespeare’s England was
actually Protestant—although occasionally threatened by European
Catholic Powers: think Spanish Armada!—was owing
to King Henry VIII, whose 500th Anniversary was recently
celebrated in Manhattan at the Grolier Society.
Among the original letters, papers, manuscripts,
books, engravings, portraits, maps, artifacts, & objects once belonging
to—or relating to—King Henry on view in the Grolier’s imposing
two story Library Chamber was a First Edition of
Shakespeare’s Plays, once owned by the Spanish Inquisition.
What made this rare volume so very Special—it
is not the only Surviving First Edition, after
all—is that the Roman Catholic Inquisition’s Censor had
blacked out any Negative References to the Holy
Roman & Apostolic Catholic Church, its Popes, its Saints,
its Rituals, its Beliefs & Superstitions.
References to Saint Joan of Arc—whom
Shakespeare’s English Warrior Lords regarded as a Witch—drowned
in a Sea of Black Ink!
But this Historically Damaged Bibliophiliac
Treasure was only one of many Rarities in the Grolier Exhibition.
But, if you missed it—the various components having been returned to
the shelves of the Grolier, the Folger Library in DC, the Morgan
Library on Madison, & the Houghton Library at Harvard
University—there is a handsome Catalogue available
from the Grolier Society.
What I missed from this fascinating show
was that famous Engraving—made from a large scale painting in
the Royal Academy—of a fat, gouty King Henry, his leg
extended onto a Cushion, flanked by his Chief Advisors
& his last Queen, whom he did not Behead, as he had
done to two of his five previous Queens. [The engraving
& the painting are of Special Interest to Your Reporter as the Artist
was a Distant Relative, Edward Armitage, RA.]
Although King Henry had been honored by
Pope Leo X for his pamphlet denouncing the Protestant Heresies
of Dr. Martin Luther—he accepted & retained the title of
DEFENDER OF THE FAITH, even after he renounced that Faith
to found his Very Own Church, of the Anglican Confession.
The New Church’s Immediate Basis &
Necessity was to permit King Henry to divorce his
Queen & Consort, Catherine of Aragon, who had given
him No Male Heir, only a daughter, who briefly Restored
the Faith, ordering the Execution of Protestants & earning
for herself, throughout History, the nickname Bloody Mary!
The Exhibition included a pathetic letter
from the Abandoned & Disgraced Queen Catherine to her Nephew,
The Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, initially a Spanish
King, who put away his own Mother, "Mad" Juana,
"for reasons of State."
So, is that where our word
ARROGANT is to be traced back: to the Arrogance
of the Aragons? After all, Ferdinand of Aragon & Isabella
of Castille crushed the last of the Muslims in
Spain, exiled or executed the Jews, & financed Columbus’
Voyage to the Americas.
Although the Grolier is now—as it was when
founded in 1884—a Private Club of like minded Collectors
& Lovers of Fine Books, to which membership is by Invitation
Only, its frequent Exhibitions are free &
open to the General Public. Qualified Scholars
are also welcome to use its vast & valuable collections for Research.
[For more Info: www.grolierclub.org]
In mid September, the Grolier will honor
the 600th Anniversary of Leipzig University
with an In Depth Exhibition: In Pursuit of Knowledge: Six Hundred
Years of Leipzig University, 1409 2009.
This Great University—even under East
Germany’s Version of Communism, it maintained Standards—has
produced many Great Men. But Not Hamlet—he went to the University
of Wittenberg, although he never graduated, as you
At the Guggenheim
[1071 Fifth Avenue @89th Street/NY,
NY 10128/Phone: 212 423 3500]
FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT: From Within
[Closing 23 August 2009]
Among the scores of Frank Lloyd Wright
Models, Sketches, & Plans that currently spiral down the Circular
Ramp of the Great Wright Rotunda in the Guggenheim Museum
are plans & models for remarkable new Wright Moderne
Monuments & Buildings for the City of Baghdad!
These, like so many of Wright’s Design
Projects, were never built.
Strong Automobile Objective and Planetarium (unbuilt). Sugarloaf
Mountain, Maryland 1924 25. Perspective, colored pencil on tracing
paper 50*78. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
Considering the Carnage that "Mission
Accomplished" Geo. W. Bush, "Stuff Happens"
Donald Rumsfeld, & "Slam Dunk" Dick Cheney
unleashed upon that Unfortunate Mesopotamian Metropolis, it is
doubtful that the US Government could—or would—now replace
what has been destroyed with Wright’s Visions…
The Keeper of the Wright Archives
in the Taliesin West HQ—a Scottsdale, AZ, suburban enclave—informed
the Press that there is enough Wright Material on file
to mount a completely new exhibition of the same size as the
current show, with No Repeats, for the next 110 years!
Fortunately for those who like to see
New Shows by or about a Variety of Artists & Architects
at the Guggenheim, this is not going to happen!
At the Irish
[553 West 51st Street/NY, NY
100xx/Phone: 212 757 3318
A DIFFERENT LAND: Irish Bogland
Different Land: Irish Bogland Interpretations."
These are interesting—but often Stark—paintings
of Scenes from the Irish Boglands in Eire’s Count Kerry
by Native Irish Artists. They are being shown in tandem
with Theatre Productions & other Eire Oriented
Cultural Events, having been unveiled for the impressive staging
of the true story of Fugitive Slave Frederick Douglass’ escape
from Slave Catchers in America to a Welcoming Ireland.
[For more Info about Paintings & Programs, check out their
At the Jewish
[1109 Fifth Avenue @92nd Street/NY,
NY 10128/Phone: 212 423 3200]
THEY CALLED ME MAYER JULY:
Painted Memories of a Jewish Chilhood
in Poland Before the Holocaust
[Closing 1 October 2009]
Kirshenblatt, "The Black Wedding in the Cemetery," c.
1892, 1996, acrylic on canvas. Collection of Barbara Kirshenblatt
Gimblett and Max Gimblett, New York. Courtesy of Barbara Kirshenblatt
These vibrant Naïve Paintings
of Mayer Kirshenblatt’s Memories of Shtetl Life
in Polish Opatow—before the invasion of the Nazis & the institution
of the Holocaust—are both Wonderfully Alive but also a
Minutely Detailed Testimony to the way Oppressed Jews
lived their lives early in the 20th Century.
Kirshenblatt & his family left Poland
for Canada in 1934—only shortly after Hitler came
to Power in Germany, but at a time when departure was relatively easy.
There is even a painting of the Kirshenblatts selling their possessions
for the trip across the Atlantic.
Kirshenblatt, "Escorting the Groom to the Wedding," 1995,
acrylic on canvas. Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Barbara
Mayer Kirshenblatt—who now is 97
years old!—had no artistic training, but began painting these
scenes from the Past from Memory when he was already 73!
They chronicle not only Family Life—including all sorts of neighbors,
even the Catholics, who also lived in Opatow—but also Jewish
Rituals & Customs.
You certainly do not have to be Jewish
to savor these scenes & what they mean. There is a kind of Universal
Bond in the Humanity they reveal! The paintings are also
crammed with physical & emotional power, underscored by Kirshenblatt’s
use of rich & varied colors.
Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Sponsors:
The 37th Annual Decorator
Show House 2008
[Closed 17 May 2009]
Every Spring, the Kips Bay Boys Club
People—who now include Girls in their title—raises
money for their Youth Welfare Projects by inviting Major Manhattan
Interior Designers to decorate individual rooms in some Major
Mansion that is currently Vacant between Croesus
Craig Architects, LLP. 2009 Kips Bay Decorator Show House, Middle
Bedroom and adjacent sitting area.
This Spring, the Election fell upon
a remarkable Mansion/Villa just down the street from Your Reporter’s
Modest Abode. This was the former venue of the notorious Salander
O’Reilly Art Gallery, recently forced into Bankruptcy &
Auction Sale of its Treasures somewhere Upstate,
rather than in Manhattan, where Competing Bidders—not just Dealers!—might
have been able to pay better prices. But who knows how these things
If the Real Estate Mavens of The
Observer are correct, the Manse or Townhouse,
as it is described by Sotheby’s—who is the Sales Agent—is now
the property of Developer Aby Rosen. But it is said he’s
asking some $75 Million for the Baronial Residence
or Urban Palace, although he probably doesn’t need more
Sitting room" 2009 Kips Bay Decorator Show House. Photo by
Durston Saylor. Design by Maru Leon Design.
The Exhibition Catalogue must weigh
ten pounds or more. It is crammed the Great
Names of Interior Decoration! It is, in fact, so handsome,
so packed with information & innovative Design Ideas that
it is definitely a Keeper!
As for Names, how about Albert
Hadley, Ann Getty, Clodagh, Kenneth Alpert, Mario Buatta, Gunkelman/Flesher,
Sandra Steele Schneider, Kathy Abbott, Charles Pavarini, Ike Kligerman
Barkley, Lichten Craig, Christopher Corcoran, Charlotte Moss, Bunny
Williams, & Florian Papp.
Among the Kips Bay Trustees, one
remarkable name stands out: Ketty Pucci Sisti Maisonrouge!
Rather than offer detailed descriptions
of the many handsome—as well as Antique & Artwork Stuffed—Decorator
Interiors, Your Reporter is giving Our Lovely Intern
from France a selection of the various Decorator Cards
which show sections of their Interiors: she will choose, so Readers
may have some idea visually of the Wonders of the
Annual Kips Bay Decorator Houses.
I do have to note the rather unusual War
Room! This was a small squared space that reeked
of Masculinity—it even had what appeared to be a Stainless
Steel or Chrome Toilet on a Dais in an Alcove.
Lounge" 37th Annual Kips Bay Showhouse 2009. Photo by Dan Eifert.
But what made it stand out among
all the rather Feminine Interiors were the two glass cases flanking
the Fireplace, well stocked with Rifles, Attack Weapons, Grenades,
Ammo Belts, Flak Jackets, Bullet Proof Vests & similar testimonies
to the American Man’s Right To Bear Arms in the Privacy
of His Own Home!
Were this Room the Domain
of such a Dominant Alpha Male as, say Ted Turner, you
can imagine this Invitation to a Conversation with the
Spouse: "Honey, come in here! I need to talk with you about
the way you always interrupt me when we have Guests! And
that $15,000 you just spent for a Gucci Bag! Make
it snappy, now!"
As with the East Side Settlement House,
the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club doesn’t any longer seem to
be where it initially doled out its Largesse to Under
Privileged Kids. The Club house is in the Bronx!
[19 East 70th Street/NY 10021/Phone:
212 794 0550]
of "Mimmo Rotella, American Icons and Early Work." Mimmo
Rotella (1918 2006) "La dernière Marilyn," 1966
MIMMO ROTELLA: American Icons
& Early Works
[Closing 31 July 2009]
Hughen, "Whorl of Bracts," 2009, Ink, graphite, and acrylic
paint on drafting film, 38*38.
SID GARRISON & AMANDA HUGHEN:
[Closing 22 May 2009]
These intriguing drawings are attractive,
interesting, & imaginative, something you do not often expect
to discover in a typical exhibition of recent works by Contemporary
Artists! You might even enjoy having one or more at home, where
they will be with you longer than merely in Memory. They also
seem reasonably priced…
Caslte Drawings "Vision and Touch." James Castle (1899
1977), Untitled, not dated, found paper, soot, 4*6 inches (two sides
JAMES CASTLE DRAWINGS: Vision
[Closed 28 April 2009]
Fascinating, even Haunting…
At Madison Square:
[Madison Square/Between Fifth & Madison
Aves@23rd Street/NY/Phone: 212 538 7042]
JESSICA STOCKHOLDER: Flooded Chambers
[Closing 15 August 2009]
This Site Specific Multi Media Genre
Bending Stockholder Installation "effortlessly embraces
the Landscape & Ethos of Madison Square Park."
It is also "born of an experiential
approach to Art Making." Its Major Feature is an
1300 square foot Arrow Shaped Platform "sprawling
across the Northern End of the Park’s Oval Lawn."
This is "Wildly Colorful"—an
Intricately Patterned combination of Custom Cut &
Colored Industrial Steel & Molded Fiberglass Grating—&
it emerges from a shock of Colored Rubber Mulch!
There is also a Stairway
to a Viewing Platform so you can have an Over View.
And don’t forget the Shake Shack,
which is almost the most Popular Feature of Madison Square Park!
At the Metropolitan
Museum of Art:
[1000 Fifth Avenue @82nd Street/NY,
NY 10028/Phone: 212 535 7710]
THE NEW AMERICAN WING:
Part 2: The Charles Engelhard
Court & the Period Rooms
Reconfigured Charles Engelhard Court,
Balcony Galleries, &
Historic Rooms Represent Second Part
of Multi Year Construction Project:
After two years of major construction &
renovation, The Charles Engelhard Court—the spectacular, light
filled pavilion along Central Park that has long served as the
Grand Entrance to The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American
Wing—now features a totally transformed presentation of the Museum’s
superlative collection of American Sculpture & Decorative
Morgan Art Pottery (1883–1884.) Matthew A. Daly (1860–1937)
Vase, 1883–84 Earthenware Cincinnati, Ohio H: 22–7/8
(58.1 cm) Promised Gift of Robert A. Ellison Jr. (L.2009.22.53)
Photograph Robert A. Ellison Jr.
The Museum’s unparalleled holdings of American
Ceramics, Sculpture, Stained glass, Architectural Elements, Silver,
Pewter, Glass, & Jewelry are now seen in all their glory.
So, too, for its Early American Period Rooms—12 of the Met’s
Historic Interiors, mostly from the Colonial Period,
located on three floors of the wing’s historic core—that have been Re
Ordered, Renovated, & Re Interpreted. The
popular American Wing Café will also reopen in its previous location
on the Park side of the Court.
Highlights include 33 examples of
newly installed American Statuary in the Court; a newly constructed
mezzanine level balcony gallery, where some 300 examples of American
Art Pottery—the recently announced promised gift of Robert
A. Ellison, jr, never before displayed in public—will be unveiled;
the introduction of touch screen monitors & fiber optic lighting
in many of the Period Rooms; and a new Glass Elevator. The opening
of the Galleries marks the completion of the second part [begun in May
2007] of a project to re configure, renovate, or up grade nearly every
section of The American Wing by 2011.
Thomas P. Campbell—Director of The
Metropolitan Museum of Art—commented: "The Re opening of several
major areas in The American Wing marks an important moment for this
Institution. From its very beginning in 1870 & continuing
to the present day, the Museum has collected & displayed American
Art, building a collection of extraordinary breadth & depth that
is unsurpassed anywhere.
"Nearly three decades have elapsed
since The Charles Engelhard Court and many of the galleries for American
Art were built in 1980, and this renovation project answers the
need for up graded galleries in which to house the Museum’s Great
American Treasures & provide ready access to information about
them, thus ensuring the best possible experience for our visitors."
The Charles Engelhard Court:
Upon entering The Charles Engelhard Court,
visitors will immediately encounter a new display of some 60
examples of Large Scale Sculpture, Mosaics, Stained glass, &
The Monumental Sculpture Collection
will be installed on a new Main Floor level—near the stunning Loggia,
designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, for the Main Entrance of Laurelton
Hall [about 1905], his Oyster Bay, Long Island, residence—as
well as on a lower level in front of the façade
of Martin E. Thompson's Branch Bank of the United States [1822–24],
originally located at 15 1/2 Wall Street in New York City.
Included will be marble & bronze figurative
works by such American Master Sculptors as Hiram Powers
[1805–1873], Augustus Saint Gaudens [1848–1907], Harriet Whitney
Frishmuth [1880–1980], & Paul Manship [1885–1966].
These familiar works have been re installed in new groupings to encourage
aesthetic & thematic comparisons & to allow viewers
unprecedented up close access.
Notable is the re location of the marble
Milmore & Melvin Memorials by Daniel Chester French
[1850–1931] from the balcony to the first floor, where they can be appreciated
in proximity to other superlative American Beaux Arts
The popular Pool feature has been
re designed to show case two bronze fountains by Frederick William
MacMonnies [1863–1937] & Janet Scudder [1869–1940] that
are piped to spout water.
John La Farge’s ambitious
allegorical Welcome Window [1908–9]—a virtuosic work in Stained
glass—is now installed next to Saint Gaudens’ marble & mosaic tour
de force Vanderbilt Mantelpiece [1881–83].
American Neo Classical Marbles of
the Mid 19th Century will return to the Courtyard, displayed
in a distinct group between a new seating area & the Branch Bank
Among the works on loan are two bronzed
plaster presentation panels Truth & Research
[1896–1898] that for many years were installed in the library at Erasmus
Hall High School in Brooklyn [Collection of the City of New York].
They were created by Olin Levi Warner [1894–1896] & Herbert
Adams [1858–1945], in preparation for the final bronze doors in
the Jefferson Building, Library of Congress, Washington,
The American Wing’s outstanding collections
of Ceramics, Glass, Silver, & Pewter is installed
in the Balcony Galleries in an integrated chronological
sequence, beginning with the Colonial Period on the east side
& continuing into the 20th Century on the west side—overlooking
Central Park. Individual cases are arranged by Medium
Among the highlights of the Silver Display
are the works of such familiar names as Paul Revere, jr.
& Tiffany & Company.
Pottery of the Saturday Evening Girls (1908–42) Executed by
Ida Goldstein (b.1894) Vase, ca. 1911–12 Earthenware Boston
or Brighton, Massachusetts H: 8–3/4 in. (22.2 cm) Promised
Gift of Robert A. Ellison Jr. (L.2009.22.233) Photograph Robert
A. Ellison Jr.
A newly constructed Mezzanine level Balcony—accessible
via a staircase in the northwest corner—is devoted almost entirely to
the display of a major recent acquisition: more than 250 superb
examples of American Art Pottery, crafted between 1876 &
1956, a promised gift of Robert A. Ellison, jr—that has never
before been publicly seen.
Stained glass Windows of the same
period—by Frank Lloyd Wright [1867–1959], William Gray Purcell
[1880–1965] & George Grant Elmslie [1869–1952], & George
Washington Maher [1864–1926]—that incorporate large amounts of Clear
Glass, are also installed nearby, with Central Park visible
Additional stunning examples of Mid
19th Century Ecclesiastical Stained glass Windows—installed
on the upper balcony to allow for close examination by
visitors—are now visible from the Courtyard, approximating their original
vantage points. Works by every major designer of American
Stained glass are represented in this display, the most comprehensive
presentation in any American Museum.
In all, nearly 1,000 Works
of Art are on exhibition! These include two new cases, devoted
entirely to American Jewelry, ranging from Early 18th Century
Mourning Rings to surprising works of the Arts &
Viewed from the Courtyard below, the new
glass fronted balconies now reveal a Panoply of Color, Form,
The American Wing’s 20 Period Rooms—19
of which returned to view this spring—provide an unparalleled
view of American Domestic Architecture & Interior
Design over Three Centuries.
Twelve rooms—dating from 1680 to 1810—have
been newly renovated. The new installation also involved the removal
of several interiors of Minor Interest, the re location
of two 18th Century rooms [the Verplanck Room, 1767,
& the Marmion Room, 1756], & the addition
of one new room—from the 1751 Daniel Peter Winne House
near Albany, New York.
Built in the Dutch Architectural Tradition,
the Winne Room is also used as a gallery for the display of the
Museum’s superb collection of Furniture, Silver, Painted
glass, & early Portraiture, made & used in the Dutch
Cultural Areas of Colonial New York.
With the renovation of the Period Rooms,
visitors cn now take a complete tour of American Interiors &
Decorative Arts, in chronological sequence, from the 17th
Century [the Hart Room, 1680] to the 20th
Century [the Frank Lloyd Wright Room, 1912–14]. A new Glass
Elevator now carries visitors directly to the third floor, where
the earliest rooms are located.
[Recent research has led to changes
in the appearance or interpretation of several of the
Touch screen Computers now allow
the Public to access many layers of information about
each room, with sections on the Objects that are displayed in
it, the Architecture of the house that the room came from, the
original Owners, & the History of the room—& its
Installation after it came to the Metropolitan Museum.
The rooms on each floor surround three
main Decorative Arts Galleries, which will be newly installed
with fine examples of American furniture & portraiture.
These will include Masterpieces
by 18th Century Cabinetmakers such as John Townsend
of Newport & Thomas Affleck of Philadelphia & 19th Century
counterparts Duncan Phyfe & Charles Honoré Lannuier
of New York, as well as paintings by John Singleton Copley &
The Erving & Joyce Wolf Gallery:
Hunt Diederich (1884–1953) Charger, 1925–35 Earthenware
New York City Diam: 16–5/8 in. (6.7 x 42.2 cm) Promised Gift
of Robert A. Ellison Jr. (L.2009.22.76) Photograph Robert A. Ellison
Located within The American Wing, The
Erving & Joyce Wolf Gallery is one of some 20 spaces
at the Museum specifically designed to accommodate several Special Exhibitions
per year. As part of this second phase of renovations, new wood floors
& new lighting were installed in the space. The first Exhibition
to be housed in the renovated gallery is Augustus Saint
Gaudens in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, opening 30 June 2009.
The final phase of the American Wing renovation
project will include the American Paintings & Sculpture
Galleries & the addition of eight completely new galleries
for the display of the Museum’s superb collection of this material.
Special on line features about The American
Wing are available on the Museum’s web site [www.metmuseum.org].
These include Conversations with American Wing Curators that are part
of the Met Podcast Series.
Also available is a special Video Presentation
from the Museum’s YouTube channel, [www.youtube.com/user/metmuseum]
in which Director Thomas P. Campbell & Morrison H.
Heckscher, the Lawrence A. Fleischman Chairman of The
American Wing, tour The Charles Engelhard Court.
Audio Guides for The American Wing
are available. Forty two new Audio Messages—featuring conversations
with American Wing Curators—have been produced about the works
in the new galleries. The fee for rentals is $6 for members of the Museum,
$7 for non members, & $5 for children under 12.
The Audio Guide Program is
sponsored by Bloomberg.
The project is under the general direction
of Morrison H. Heckscher, the Lawrence A.Fleischman Chairman of The
American Wing, & Peter M. Kenny, the Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator
of American Decorative Arts & Administrator of The American Wing.
The installations within The Charles Engelhard
Court were coordinated by Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, the Anthony W.
& Lulu C. Wang Curator of American Decorative Arts, together with
Beth Carver Wees, Curator of American Decorative Arts, & Thayer
Tolles, Associate Curator of American Painting & Sculpture.
The Period Room Installations were overseen
by Amelia Peck, the Marica Vilcek Curator of American Decorative Arts.
The Overall Project Architect is Kevin
Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates LLP; the Engelhard Court installations
are by Michael Lapthorn, Exhibition Designer; the gallery installations
are by Stephen Saitas Design; & lighting is by Richard Renfro Associates
& Clint Ross Coller & Richard Lichte, Lighting Design Managers.
New technology was overseen by Carrie Rebora
Barratt, Curator, American Paintings & Sculpture, & Manager,
The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art. Visitor Signage
& Object Labeling—including the Period Room Interactive Screens—were
designed by Small Design Firm, with the help of Juliette Cezzar.
Conservation of works of art in various
media was carried out under the general direction of Lawrence Becker,
Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge, with Linda Borsch, Marijn Manuels,
& Drew Anderson, Conservators, all of the Department of Objects
Michael Gallagher, the Sherman Fairchild
Conservator in Charge, & Dorothy Mahon, Conservator, both of the
Department of Paintings Conservation, examined & treated many of
the paintings on view in the galleries.
The Metropolitan Museum gratefully acknowledges
the following lead contributors to the Project: Margaret & Raymond
J. Horowitz & Anthony W. & Lulu C. Wang; Mr. & Mrs. Richard
L. Chilton, jr, The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, & Juliana &
Peter Terian; & Jan & Warren Adelson, Max & Heidi Berry,
Ambassador & Mrs. W. L. Lyons Brown, Joyce Berger Cowin, Jane &
Maurice Cunniffe, Barbara G. Fleischman & Martha J. Fleischman,
Peggy N. & Roger G. Gerry Charitable Trust, The Henry Luce Foundation,
Elizabeth & Richard Miller, City of New York, Oceanic Heritage Foundation,
Doris & Stanley Tananbaum, Barrie & Deedee Wigmore, & Roy
AT THIS POINT IN THE EXHIBITION EXPLICATIONS:
AN IMPORTANT & AMBITIOUS ARTISTIC ANNOUNCEMENT:
As one of the Major Sources for
Aspiring American Artists of Thematic Inspiration &
Potential Subject Matter has become the APPROPRIATION
of Other & Earlier Artists’ Works—through Collage
[aka Cut & Paste], Cannibalism,
Painting from Photos, & Re Photographing…
Your Reporter has been attempting to develop
something similar by Re Working Curatorial Inspired Press Releases,
using Bold Face, Italics, Caps, lower
case, Repetition, Repetition, Repetition, Repetition,
& Underlining to achieve a New Graphic
Look for Ordinary Prose Formulations!
the exhibit "Roxy Paine on the Roof."
SO THAT, IN EFFECT, YOU ARE NOT ONLY READING,
BUT ALSO LOOKING AT
A HITHERTO UNSUSPECTED PRINT FORM OF
ARDENT AMERICAN ART WORK!
ROXY PAINE ON THE ROOF: Maelstrom
[Closing 25 October 2009]
Paine on the Roof:
Paine on the Roof:
Paine on the Roof:
Paine on the Roof:
For the Record:
Maelstrom features a 130
foot long by 45 foot wide stainless steel sculpture, Maelstrom
, that encompasses the nearly 8,000 square foot Roof Garden,
& is the largest sculpture to have been installed on the
roof of the Metropolitan. Set against—& in dialogue with—the greensward
of Central Park & its Architectural Backdrop, this
swirling entanglement of Stainless Steel Pipe show cases the
work of an artist keenly interested in the interplay between
the Natural World & the Built Environment,
as well as the Human Desire for Order amid Nature’s
inherently chaotic Processes.
[This Exhibition is made possible by Bloomberg.
Some seasons ago, Mayor Bloomberg stood in the metaphoric shade
of a Roxy Paine Stainless Steel Tree in Central Park.
More recently, there were some splendid Silver Trees—could you
call them Paine Trees, borrowed from Pine Trees?—in
Madison Square Park, where they virtually up staged
the Real Trees!]
[Additional Support is provided by Cynthia
Hazen Polsky & Leon B. Polsky. The Exhibition is also made possible
in part by Jill & Peter Kraus.]
Gary Tinterow, the Museum’s Engelhard
Chairman of the Department of Nineteenth Century, Modern, & Contemporary
Art, stated: "Roxy Paine has created for the Metropolitan
Museum his most remarkable work to date, a stunning sculpture that commands
the environment through interaction. I feel certain that our visitors
to Maelstrom will marvel at the complexity
of the structure, & delight in its beauty."
[Italics & Bold Faces
added, of course, to make a necessarily bland Official Statement
more interesting Visually. –Ed.]
A Provocateur, Paine builds
elaborate & complex Constructions to address conceptually
[recast: to avoid a Split Infinitive!] Complex Concerns,
providing Fertile Ground for Thought & Contemplation.
Since the Mid 1990s, he has created a diverse body
of work that falls into several distinct yet related categories:
Naturalistic Works [startlingly
realistic, hand formed Replicas of botanical forms
and fungi, rendered with Synthetic Materials &
featuring various stages of Growth & Decay]; Machine
Based Works [intricate, computer driven machines
that mechanically produce Abstract Paintings, Sculptures, &
Drawings]; and a series of large scale stainless steel Dendroids,
fabricated from Industrial Components.
In the latter category, Maelstrom
is Paine’s most complex & ambitious Sculpture to date,
evoking a Da Vinci like study of Whirling Water
or a Neural Network.
It is part of a series of works, based
on Dendrites’ branching structures such as Trees,
Neurons, Industrial Pipelines, or Vascular Networks.
The Dendroids—as the series is called—began
in 1998, with installations studying the Innate Logic of
Exquisitely crafted & largely
hand wrought, Maelstrom is composed of thousands
of variously sized, cylindrical stainless steel pipes
& rods that have been welded together.
More than seven tons of material
comprise the Sculpture, which was hand welded in
the artist’s Upstate New York Studio.
Familiar Themes are at play—Artificiality
& the Natural World, Sly Humor & Irony, Control &
Chaos, Abstraction & Figuration, & the Machine Made
& the Hand made—while Conceptually Complex Concerns are addressed,
such as the Human Desire to control Nature & Nature’s
indifference to that desire.
Visitors are encouraged to
move throughout the Installation: to experience its Inherent
Drama & Turbulence.
Born in New York in 1966, Paine
grew up in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. He left home at
age 15, criss crossing the United States. Paine studied Art
at the College of Santa Fé, New Mexico [1985–86], &
Pratt Institute, New York [1986–88].
Since 1990, his work has been exhibited
Internationally & is included in a Wide Spectrum
of Public & Private Collections in the United States
and Abroad. He lives and works in Brooklyn, Long Island
City, & Treadwell, New York.
Statement by Artist Roxy Paine about
Statement by Artist Roxy Paine about
Statement by Artist Roxy Paine about
Statement by Artist Roxy Paine about
Statement by Artist Roxy Paine about
This Title exists in 5 States
1. A Forest that’s been Downed by an Unseen,
Violent, Catastrophic Force, either Natural or Man Made [The Tunguska
Meteor Event in Siberia is one reference.]
2. A Chaotic, Uncontrolled Force of Nature:
Swirling, Grinding, Boiling, Disordered, Tumultuous, like a Maelstrom.
3. A Tree that is in the Process of becoming
Abstract; that is Stretching, Expanding & Contracting, Breaking
Apart & Coalescing again.
4. A Metaphor for a Mental Storm, such
as occurs during an Epileptic Seizure. The Dendritic Forms suggest Neural
Forms; they reference Neural Networks.
5. An Industrial Pipeline run amok;
acknowledging & embracing the Industrial Origins of the Material
itself. This is industrial pipe used typically in pharmaceutical and
I call these Projects "Dendroids"
because it is a Term which opens up a Conceptual Framework. These Projects
have always referred to, & resonated with, not only Botanical Structures
such as Trees, but also Vascular, Neural, & Geologic Systems, as
well as Engineered Structures. The "oid" part
of "Dendroid" is important to me as it suggests "Android"
Hybridization and Robotization.
FRANCIS BACON: A Centenary Retrospective
[Closing 16 August 2009]
Bacon (British, 1909–1992) Portrait of Michel Leiris, 1976.
Oil on canvas, 13 3/8 x 11 7/16 in. (34 x 29 cm)
Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
Photo: Philippe Migeat.
The first major New York Exhibition in
20 years devoted to Francis Bacon [British, 1909–1992]—one of
the most important painters of the 20th Century—is now on
view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Marking the 100th
Anniversary of the artist’s birth, Francis Bacon: A Centenary
Retrospective brings together Bacon’s most significant works.
Drawn from public & private collections
around the world, this Landmark Exhibition consists of 66
paintings, complemented by never before seen artworks
& Archival Material from the Francis Bacon Estate,
which will shed new light on the Artist’s Career
and Working Practices. The Metropolitan Museum is the sole
US venue of the Exhibition Tour.
[The Exhibition is made possible in part
by the Daniel & Estrellita Brodsky Foundation & Paula
Cussi. The Exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of
Art, New York, and Tate Britain, London, in partnership with
the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.]
"Bacon is more compelling
than ever: despite the passage of time, his paintings remain fresh,
urgent, & mysterious. Never before has this
work been more relevant to young artists," noted
Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Chairman of the Metropolitan Museum’s
Department of Nineteenth Century, Modern, & Contemporary Art. "For
these reasons, we are very pleased to be able to present
a Retrospective spanning his entire career to our Viewing
Bacon (British, 1909–1992). Self Portrait, 1973. Oil on
canvas, 77 15/16 x 58 1/16 in. (198 x 147.5 cm).
Entirely Self Taught, Francis
Bacon emerged, in 1945, as a Major Force in British
Painting. He rose to prominence over the subsequent
45 years, securing his reputation as one of the Seminal Artists
of his Generation. With a predilection for Shocking
Imagery, Bacon’s oeuvre was dominated by emotionally
charged depictions of the Human Body that are among the
Most Powerful Images in the History of Art.
The Exhibition’s loosely chronological
structure traces Critical Themes in Bacon’s Work & explore
his Philosophy about Mankind & the Modern Condition
with visually arresting Examples.
The earliest group of works—from the 1940s
& ’50s—focuses on the Animalistic Qualities of Man, including:
paintings of Heads with snarling mouths
[Head I, 1947–1948, The Metropolitan Museum of Art]; images
of Men as pathetic & alone [Study for a Portrait,
1953, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany]; & the Human
Figure portrayed as base & bestial [Figures
in a Landscape, 1956, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery,
The Exhibition also features numerous versions
of Bacon’s Iconic Studies [1949 1953] after Diego Velázquez’s
Portrait of Pope Innocent X . Mortality is
addressed directly in his Last Works [Triptych,
1991, The Museum of Modern Art, New York].
In the 1960s, working in his Classic
Style of much looser, colorful, & expressive painting, Bacon
showed the Human Body exposed & violated as
in, for example, Lying Figure, 1969 [Foundation Beyeler,
Bacon’s studio at 7 Reece Mews, London. Collection Dublin
City Gallery The Hugh Land. Photography by Perry Ogden.
In the following decade, he increasingly
used Narrative, Autobiography, & Myth to mediate
ideas about Violence & Emotion, as in the 1971 painting In
Memory of George Dyer [Foundation Beyeler] & Triptych
Inspired by the Orestia of Aeschylus, 1981 [Astrup Fearnley
Collection, Oslo, Norway].
A number of important works by Bacon will
only be presented at the Metropolitan Museum, including
Painting, 1946 [The Museum of Modern Art, New York]; Study
for Portrait I, 1953 [Denise and Andrew Saul]; & Self
Portrait, 1973 [private collection, courtesy Richard Nagy, London].
Central to an Understanding of the
Artist’s Working Methods are the large caches
of Archival Materials that have only become available since Bacon’s
Death, especially the contents of the artist’s famously cluttered
A rich selection of 61 items from
the Studio, his Estate, & other Archives is also included in the
Exhibition. The objects include pages the artist tore
from books & magazines, Photographs, & Sketches—all
of which are Source Materials for the finished paintings on view.
The Curators of Francis Bacon: A
Centenary Retrospective are Gary Tinterow, Matthew Gale,
Head of Displays, Tate Modern, & Chris Stephens, Head of
Displays, Tate Britain. The presentation of the Exhibition at the Metropolitan
Museum is organized by Gary Tinterow & Anne L. Strauss, Associate
Curator, assisted by Ian Alteveer, Research Associate, all in the Department
of Nineteenth Century, Modern, & Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan
Museum of Art.
Bacon (British, 1909–1992) Portrait of Isabel Rawsthorne,
Oil on canvas, 31 7/8 x 27 3/16 in. (81 x 69 cm).
Exhibition Design is by Michael
Langley, Senior Exhibition Designer, with graphic design by Sophia
Geronimus, Senior Graphic Designer, & lighting by Clint Ross
Coller & Richard Lichte, Senior Lighting Designers, all of the Museum's
The Exhibition is also accompanied by a
fully illustrated Catalogue, with essays by Martin
Harrison, David Mellor, Simon Ofield, Rachel Tant,
Gary Tinterow, & Victoria Walsh. The Catalogue is
published by Tate Publishing & is now available in the Museum’s
Book Shops [$60 cloth, $40 paperback].
Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective
was exhibited at Tate Britain & the Museo Nacional
del Prado, Madrid, before its presentation at
the Metropolitan Museum [May 20–August 16, 2009].
ART OF THE KOREAN RENAISSANCE,
[Closing 21 June 2009]
The early Joseon Period—a time of
extraordinary artistic achievements in Korea—is
now being explored in a Loan Exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of
Art. Showcasing approximately 47 spectacular works—Painting,
Ceramics, Metalwork, & Lacquer—Art of
the Korean Renaissance, 1400 1600 illustrates the lively
& nuanced story of the formidable Cultural Renaissance that
flourished during these two centuries.
of Sin Sukju, 18th century. Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk;
65 3/4 x 43 1/8 in. (167 x 109.5 cm)
Goryeong Sin Family, Yeongseong gun Branch, Cheongju.
Drawn from Major Museums & Collections
in Korea, Japan, Germany, & the United
States, the Exhibition also includes the Metropolitan’s recently
acquired Mid 16th Century Hanging Scroll, Gathering
of Government Officials. This new Presentation
launches a series of Focused Exhibitions on important periods
in Korean Art History, to be held at the Museum over the next
10 to 15 years.
The Exhibition is made possible by the
Korea Foundation & The Kun Hee Lee Fund for Korean Art.
With the establishment of the Joseon—"Fresh
Dawn"—Dynasty in 1392, Secular Art & Culture
throve. The Neo Confucian Royal Court & elite Scholar
Officials—the Primary Patrons of the Arts—created an Environment
in which Korean & East Asian Classical Traditions were re
emphasized, & Innovative Art Forms were
At the same time, Buddhism—which
had been the State Religion on the Korean Peninsula for
over 1,000 years—though actively suppressed publicly,
remained an enduring part of the Korean Culture during the Early
Organized into six Thematic Sections,
the Exhibition displays many seldom seen Masterpieces. Among
them are a rare set of eight Hanging Scrolls, titled Eight
Views of the Xiao & Xiang Rivers [Jinju National Museum
of Korea], which exemplifies the Korean transformation
of an earlier Chinese Pictorial Tradition.
There are also on view a number of superlative
examples of early Joseon White Porcelain, including a striking
flask shaped bottle [Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art]; an
exceptional Buddhist Painting [dated to 1576; Seizan Bunko]
illustrating a Popular Narrative & featuring Inscriptions,
written in the Korean Alphabet, which was invented in
1443; & a winsome painting titled Mother Dog &
Puppies [National Museum of Korea] by Yi Am [1507 66],
a descendent of the Great King Sejong [r. 1418–50] &
an artist renowned for his unique paintings of Royal Breeding Animals.
Jing (1581–after 1645)
Gold Painted Landscape, first half of the 17th century. Hanging
scroll; gold on silk; 34 9/16 x 24 1/8 in. (87.8 x 61.2 cm). National
Museum of Korea, Seou.
A painting of a Majestic Falcon
[Museum of Fine Arts, Boston]—formerly attributed to a Chinese
painter & recently reattributed to Yi Am—is now being shown for
the first time as a Korean Painting.
The Exhibition is organized by Soyoung
Lee, Assistant Curator in the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of
It is also accompanied by a fully illustrated
Catalogue, written by Soyoung Lee, with JaHyun Kim Haboush
[Columbia University], Sunpyo Hong [Ewha Woman’s University],
& Chin Sung Chang [Seoul National University].
Am (1507–1566). Mother Dog and Puppies, first half of the
16th century. Hanging scroll; ink and colors on silk; 28 3/4 x 16
5/8 in. (73 x 42.2 cm). National Museum of Korea, Seou.
The first English language publication
on this subject, the book will be an important addition to a field that
still has a paucity of Scholarly—yet accessible—Publications
in English. Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed
by Yale University Press, the Catalogue will be available in the Metropolitan
Museum’s Book Shops.
The Catalogue is made possible by The
Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Foundation & The Kun Hee Lee
Fund for Korean Art. Additional support is provided by the
The Exhibition will be featured on the
Museum’s web site [www.metmuseum.org], including
a podcast episode recorded by Soyoung Lee, in both
English & Korean.
The lenders to the Exhibition are: the
National Museum of Korea; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art; AMOREPACIFIC
Museum of Art; Dongguk University Museum; Dongguk University Library;
Goryeong Sin Family [Yeongseonggun Branch]; Horim Museum; Jinju National
Museum of Korea; Kyushu National Museum of Japan; Museum of Oriental
Ceramics, Osaka; Seizan Bunko, Sakawa; Yomei Bunko, Kyoto; Museum of
East Asian Art, Cologne; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Cleveland Museum
of Art; Mary & Jackson Burke Foundation; & the Florence &
Herbert Irving Collection.
THE MODEL AS MUSE: Embodying Fashion
[Closing 9 August 2009]
[THIS OFFICIAL REPORT IS BEING PRESENTED
IN A LARGER TYPE FONT THAN THE OTHER MUSEUM BULLETINS
BECAUSE THE ANNUAL COSTUME INSTITUTE GALA AT THE MET
MUSEUM IS ITS MOST IMPORTANT FUND RAISING EVENT, PROVIDING
GREAT PHOTO OPS FOR PAGE SIX CELEBRITIES!]
Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute
The Role of Fashion Models as Muses
of Recent Era:
[Gala Benefit May 4, 2009, with Honorary Chair
Marc Jacobs &
Co Chairs Kate Moss, Justin Timberlake, &
The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion,
the Spring 2009 Exhibition organized by The Costume Institute
of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, explores the Reciprocal Relationship
between High Fashion & evolving Ideals of
Beauty, focusing on Iconic Fashion Models in the latter half
of the 20th Century & their Roles in projecting—&
sometimes inspiring—the Fashion of their respective
Model as Muse Catalogue Cover.
The Exhibition is made possible by Marc Jacobs.
Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.
"The Exhibition examines a Time Line
of Fashion, from 1947 to 1997, through the Idealized
Aesthetic of the Fashion Model," said Harold
Koda, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute.
"We look at the Power of Clothing,
Fashion Photography, & the Model to project the Look
of an Era. With a mere Gesture, a truly Stellar
Model can sum up the Attitude of her Time—becoming
not only a Muse to Designers or Photographers,
but a Muse to a Generation."
The Exhibition features approximately 80 Masterworks
of Haute Couture & ready to wear. Fashion Editorial,
Advertising, & Runway Photography, plus large scale
projections from Feature Films are used throughout the galleries
to contextualize the Fashion Zeitgeist.
The Exhibition—in the Museum’s second floor Tisch
Galleries—explores how Models transmit Cultural Change
via photographs that document Turning Points in Society
Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington,
Cindy Crawford in tops, 1990, by Giorgio di Sant’Angelo
Italy, 1933 1989). British Vogue, January 1990. Photograph by
Peter Lindbergh (German, born 1944)
Photograph courtesy of Peter Lindbergh.
With the Post WW II resurgence of the American
Fashion & Advertising Industries, the launch of Dior’s
New Look & a proliferation of Model Agencies, an environment
in which High Fashion Models, with Celebrated Personalities
& Distinctive Identities, emerged.
Lisa Fonssagrives, Dovima, Suzy
Parker, Sunny Harnett, & Dorian Leigh personified
this Golden Age of Haute Couture.
Photographers such as Irving Penn, Richard
Avedon, & Cecil Beaton portrayed the New Ideal
of Feminine Artifice. Day wear from Christian
Dior & evening wear from Charles James evoke the
mood of the time, & in some cases, recreate
scenes from important photographs.
A large gallery inspired by William Klein’s
1966 film Qui êtes vous, Polly Maggoo? evokes the
Sixties "Youthquake" with Bernard & François
Baschet’s metallic dresses from the movie & ensembles from
Paco Rabanne, Pierre Cardin, André Courrèges,
& Rudi Gernreich, designers who heralded the transformation
from a Sophisticated to a Youthful Ideal, with
Jean Shrimpton, Peggy Moffitt, Veruschka, &
in Christian Dior, 1957
Photograph by Loomis Dean.
The next gallery focuses on the 1970s, when
athletic All American Models such as Lisa Taylor &
Jerry Hall enlivened the simple, unstructured Goddess Dresses
of Halston, & an emerging group of Ethnic Beauties
like Mounia & Kirat presented the Haute Bohemian
Looks of Yves Saint Laurent.
In the 1980s, Supermodels expressed
an idealized glamour, dissolving boundaries between Runway, Editorial,
& Advertising work. Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista,
& Christy Turlington emerged as the "Trinity,"
appearing in Global Campaigns for Designer Brands seeking
to bolster their Identities. These models could
morph into a different persona at each Photo
Shoot, & still manage to convey their priceless Individual
By the 1990s, Grunge & Street
Style led to a radical shift from Glamorous Beauty
to the Rebel Chic of Kate Moss, much as Twiggy
supplanted Jean Shrimpton in the 1960s.
The Exhibition’s presentation of the Minimalism
of Donna Karan, Helmut Lang, & Prada that immediately
followed shows how Models of this Era became an Anonymous Cadre
of Replicated Perfection, allowing the clothing
to supersede all.
A coda to the Exhibition features
the Richard Prince & Marc Jacobs collaboration of
masked, anonymous nurses (Stephanie Seymour & Natalia
Vodianova) in Louis Vuitton, versus selections from
John Galliano’s 2007 Supermodel fueled runway show
in Versailles for the 60th Anniversary of Christian
Crawford, Tatjana Patitz, Helena Christensen, Linda Evangelista,
Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Karen Mulder, Stephanie Seymour
in Gianni Versace (Italian, 1946 1997), Autumn/Winter 1991 1992.
Vogue, September 1991. Photograph by Peter Lindbergh (German, born
1944). Photograph courtesy of Peter Lindbergh.
Designers in the Exhibition include Giorgio
Armani, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Pierre Cardin, Karl Lagerfeld for
Chanel, André Courrèges, Christian Dior, John Galliano
for Christian Dior, Rudi Gernreich, Halston, Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis
& Louis Vuitton, Charles James, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Helmut
Lang, Ralph Lauren, Prada, Paco Rabanne, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio
di Sant’Angelo, & Gianni Versace.
Iconic Models featured include Nadja Auermann,
Naomi Campbell, Janice Dickinson, Dovima, Linda Evangelista, Lisa Fonssagrives,
Jerry Hall, Shalom Harlow, Sunny Harnett, Lauren Hutton, Iman, Dorian
Leigh, Donyale Luna, Peggy Moffitt, Kate Moss, Suzy Parker, Jean Shrimpton,
Christy Turlington, Twiggy, Amber Valletta, & Veruschka,
of the exhibit 'The Model as the Muse" at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art.
Photographers whose images capture the Mood
of Fashion via their Subjects, & whose work is in the
Exhibition, include Richard Avedon, David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, Gilles
Bensimon, William Claxton, Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort, Hiro,
William Klein, Annie Leibovitz, Peter Lindbergh, Steven Meisel, Helmut
Newton, Norman Parkinson, Irving Penn, Gösta Peterson, Franco Rubartelli,
Francesco Scavullo, Melvin Sokolsky, Bert Stern, Juergen Teller, Deborah
Turbeville, Ellen von Unwerth, & Chris Von Wangenheim.
Credits & Related Programs:
The Exhibition is organized by Harold Koda
& Kohle Yohannan, guest co curator & a Cultural Historian.
John Myhre, an Academy Award winning
Production Designer & Art Director for Films, including
Dreamgirls, Chicago, & Memoirs
of a Geisha, serves as Creative Consultant.
Heads & wigs are created & styled
by Julien d’Ys & the Tamaris Team. The graphic design
of the Exhibition is by Connie Norkin, & the lighting is
by Clint Collier & Richard Lichte, all of the Museum’s
The design for the 2009 Costume Institute Gala
Benefit was created by John Myhre with Raul Avila.
A book, The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion,
written by Harold Koda & Kohle Yohannan, accompanies
the Exhibition. It is published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art &
distributed by Yale University Press: $50 for the hardcover & $35
for the paperback edition.
A T shirt designed by Marc Jacobs, on the occasion
of the Exhibition, is available in red or fuchsia in the
Museum’s on site shops & www.metmuseum.org
THE PICTURES GENERATION, 1974
[Closing 2 August 2009]
Simmons (American, born 1949)
Big Camera, Small Camera, 1977
Gelatin silver print 20.3 x 25.4 cm (8 x 10 in.). Collection of
B.Z. and Michael Schwartz.
The first Major Museum Exhibition to focus
on the highly influential group of New York Artists known
as the "Pictures Generation" is now on view at The
Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984
will trace the development of one of the most important Art Movements
of the last quarter of the 20th Century, which included some
of the Key Figures in Contemporary Art: Robert
Longo, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Sherrie Levine, David Salle,
Matt Mullican, Jack Goldstein, James Welling, & Troy
The "Pictures Generation" worked
in all mediums—Photography chief among them—to explore how Images
shape our perceptions of Ourselves
& the World.
Drawing from the Museum’s Collection—as
well as from public & private collections—the Exhibition features
more than 160 works by 30 artists, including photographic
works by Barbara Kruger, Laurie Simmons, James Casebere, Allan McCollum,
Sarah Charlesworth, & Louise Lawler, & film &
video by Ericka Beckman, Michael Smith, & Dara Birnbaum.
The Exhibition will also examine the pivotal roles played by lesser
known artists such as Paul McMahon & Michael Zwack.
The Exhibition is made possible by the
William Randolph Hearst Foundation & The Andy Warhol
Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Robert Mapplethorpe
The Metropolitan’s Exhibition takes its
name from the Landmark 1977 "Pictures" Exhibition at
the not for profit New York Venue Artists Space, which featured
works by Robert Longo, Jack Goldstein, Sherrie Levine, &
Birnbaum (American, born 1947)
Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman 1978–79.
This Exhibition was particularly notable
for the Artists’ renewed interest in using recognizable imagery—a clear
departure from the predominance of Minimal and Conceptual Art in the
1960s and early 1970s.
The tightly knit group of artists
who came to be known as the "Pictures Generation" includes
artists such as Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, David Salle, &
Matt Mullican, who were not featured in the Artists Space
Exhibition, but share similar interests & backgrounds.
The "Pictures Generation" was
born into the rapidly expanding post war consumer culture of
Advertising, Movies, Magazines, Television, & Pop Music.
However, as artists, they were educated in the cerebral &
visually reductivist approaches of Minimal &
As Adults, the Social & Political
Upheavals of the 1970s fostered their Skepticism
& Ironic Detachment. [This Press Release sentence
is Odd: the Upheavals were not, in fact,
Adults!] As a result, "Pictures" artists brought
both a critical & playful attitude toward the Plethora
of Images that surrounded them.
The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984
takes a broad look at this phenomenon through the works of 30
artists who were unified around the concept that the Media saturated
Culture had come to usurp Reality & frame
all our Perceptions.
With Images as their Subject,
the emergence of the "Pictures" artists marked a return
to Representation across all Media, including Photography,
Painting & Sculpture, Drawings & Prints, Film
& Video, even Music & Performance.
The Artists set out to make Art
that was as Thought Provoking & radical as
Conceptual Art, but that was also Visually Seductive—even
While the "Pictures" artists
have been considered most often in isolation from one
another, this Exhibition & its accompanying Catalogue traces their
Complex Interrelationships & Mutual Development
during the first decade of their work.
The Exhibition begins with the early works
of John Baldessari’s students at California Institute of
the Arts, including Matt Mullican, David
Salle, & Jack Goldstein, whose willfully unprepossessing
works challenged the Notion of what constituted
a Work of Art.
Baldessari’s Teaching Assistant, Jack
Goldstein, was the Ringleader of this group that came
to be known in New York, & he was one
of the most important Innovators of the "Pictures"
Kruger (American, born 1945). Untitled (You Are Not Yourself), 1982
Gelatin silver print 182.9 x 121.9 cm (72 x 48 in.) Private collection.
In 1975, he made a ground breaking
16mm film by copying footage of the Roaring
Lion, from the Opening Credits of MGM Movies.
He isolated this well known Image against a bright
red background & repeated its ROAR
for over three minutes, creating a Work that amused
& attracted the Viewer, but that was nevertheless Provocative.
In a New Era of readily available
forms of Mechanical Reproduction, such as VCRs, Photo
copiers, & Audio cassettes, the "Pictures"
Artists questioned what is an "original"
& what it means to be an "author."
In the late 1970s, as the Sensibility
of the "Pictures" artists developed,
one of the most critical Shared Aspects of their
Works was the borrowing—or "appropriation"—of
Images from every corner of Contemporary Culture.
Cindy Sherman & Laurie Simmons
drew on both Personal & Collective Memory,
reflecting on the Throwaway Products of their Youth—such
as B Movies & Dollhouses—as representations
of Untenable Illusions.
Richard Prince based his Work on
Magazine Advertisements of Gleaming Luxury Goods
& Impossibly Perfect Models; he Manipulated,
Cropped, Enlarged, & Re photographed
the Advertisements, in order to "turn the lie back on itself,"
as he put it.
The Image Scavenging of these
artists was not restricted to the Child’s Play
of Popular Culture: Louise Lawler photographed
Masterpieces of Modern Art, as arranged in Corporate
Boardrooms & cloistered Private Homes, while Sherrie
Levine re shot the works of Master Photographers,
lifting their Canonical Images from books & posters and claiming
them as her own.
In the early 1980s—in a marked
shift from the Predominance of Photo based Works—some
of the "Pictures" artists turned to Traditional
Mediums, such as Painting.
The final rooms of the Exhibition showcase
the spectacular large scale paintings & Assemblages
made by Jack Goldstein, Troy Brauntuch, Robert
Longo, & David Salle, & the often contentious
Responses by Women Artists, such as Barbara Kruger,
Ericka Beckman, & Dara Birnbaum, who chose to continue
their work in Photography, Film, & Installation.
The Exhibition also includes works by John
Baldessari, Barbara Bloom, Eric Bogosian, Glenn
Branca, Rhys Chatham, Charles Clough, Nancy Dwyer,
MICA TV [Carole Ann Klonarides & Michael Owen],
& Thomas Lawson.
The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984
is organized by Douglas Eklund, Associate Curator in the Department
In conjunction with the Exhibition, there
is a fully illustrated Catalogue—also by Douglas Eklund. The
Catalogue Essays trace the Evolution of the Artists’ Work—including
the influence of Conceptual Art, the development
of Appropriation Art, & an eventual return to an interest
in Painting. The catalogue is published by the Metropolitan
Museum & distributed by Yale University Press, & will
sell for $60 [hardcover] and $40 [paperback].
[The Truth is that since about 1968
there has been a Slag Heap of Aggressive Arts Crap produced—as
well as also being Eagerly Consumed by Taste Challenged
Millionaire Collectors, desperate for the Next Big Thing—because
of the Artists’ Certainty that their Pretentious Assemblages
would be Celebrated to the Heavens. Or at least
to the Galleries of MoMA, the Whitney, & the
At the Morgan
Library & Museum:
[225 Madison Avenue @36th Street/NY,
NY 10016/Phone: 212 685 0008]
CREATING THE MODERN STAGE:
Designs for Theatre & Opera
[Closing 16 August 2009]
It is a very good thing that the distinguished
Broadway Scenic Designer, Donald Oenslager, married a
very rich woman—who also had both Good Taste & Good Sense.
Walser Swiss, Teufen 1877–1943 Zurich Verona: A Public Place,
for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Act 1, Scene 1, 1907.
Gouache and graphite
Inscribed at lower center, Romeo u Julia; signed at lower right,
Karl Walser.Gift of Mrs. Donald M. Oenslage
Photography by Schecter Lee, 2009.
When Oenslager—who had a deservedly Long
Career in the American Theatre—was in his Prime, Broadway
set & costume designers were paid relatively little
for giving later famous Productions their Defining Look:
the Vision or Image by which theatre fans remembered great
As late as 1965, for instance, creating
a set of Broadway stage designs would earn the designer only $5,000—with
no extra fees for replicated productions on the Road or in Chicago,
LA, or London!—& he or she was also expected to supervise
the Painting & Construction of the sets.
What was more Painful, however,
was that the original sketches, elevations, & set
models were not returned to the designer.
They were the Property of the Producer—who might give
them to his wife, to friends, or to the Director.
Only with the establishment of a strong
Union were these problems rectified. Now many Collectors are
eager to acquire set & costume designs from Major Designers.
Fortunately, many Donald Oenslager designs have been preserved, &
not just at the Morgan.
But the Oenslagers did choose the Morgan
Library as the permanent repository of their remarkable collection
Gouache, with graphite and pen and black ink, over graphite, on
paper prepared with a blue gray ground.
Photography by Schecter Lee, 2009.
Stage Designs, beginning with such
early Innovators as Adolphe Appia, whose semi abstract
visions of Richard Wagner’s Ring were never realized
by the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth.
[Actually, the Appia Ideas were
finally given Life in the Jugendstil Arts Colony
in Hellerau, just outside Dresden. Before the Fall
of the Berlin Wall, Soviet Soldiers had made an Epic
Mess of the wonderful buildings & grounds, but they have since been
Not only are the sketches & renderings
now on view Powerful Artworks in their own right, but they are
also Important Documents of the emerging New Stagecraft
in Europe, which Stewart Cheney was bringing to America
through his own designs & the founding of Theatre Arts Magazine—for
which Your Reporter wrote before it died: because of the Publisher’s
Failure to Pay the Bills! [The young John Simon
was also a fellow critic then!]
NEW AT THE MORGAN: Acquisitions
[Closing 18 October 2009]
Paris Review poster, 1966
Silkscreen, no. 1 of 150. Printed by Chiron Press, New York.
Antoine Watteau (1684–1721). Head of a Woman, Turned Three
Quarters to the Right, ca. 1717. Red and black chalks.2 3/4 x 2
1/2 in. (70 x 65 mm).
There is a lot of really Good Stuff
here! Some of it almost Priceless, but all of it of interest
to both Scholars & to those Laymen who can understand
the Significance of what they are looking at & reading!
Adding to Mr, Morgan’s already fabulous
[even Golden?] Hoard of Medieval Manuscripts
are 11 newly acquired Medieval & Renaissance Mss.
There are also some 23 Literary & Historical Manuscripts,
14 Printed Books & Bindings, & 15 Music
Manuscripts & Printed Scores.
Richard Wagner & Ludwig van
Beethoven—who is now on Broadway, in 33 Variations,
along with Jane Fonda—both are represented among the new Holdings.
When Ancient Manuscripts are bound with
covers of Gold & Silver, studded with rich Gems, &
ornamented with remarkable Figures & Designs, it is often
not surprising that the contents of such books are not
on display: By Their Bindings Shall Ye Know Them!
PAGES OF GOLD: Medieval illuminations
from the Morgan
[Closing 13 September 2009]
of "Pages of Gold Medieval Illuminations from the Morgan."
This show opens on 19 June, after
this Report has been posted. From advance reports & images, this
is certain to be a glittering display, with a Magnificent
Page from the Winchester Bible, completed during the
last quarter of the 12th Century.
This is not the Entire Bible,
only its "Finest Leaf," as all the 50 Illuminated
Pages to be shown are Singles, cut, slashed, or carefully
extracted from their original manuscript books. To see their richly
jeweled & tooled covers, you’ll have to wait for a Book
Bindings exhibit at the Morgan!
The Intricacy of the Detail &
the Intensity of the Colors—after all these Centuries!—on some
of the pages to be displayed are stunning.
Museum of Arts & Design
[2 Columbus Circle@59th Street/NY, NY 10019/Phone:
212 299 7727]
Huntington Hartford—the Arts
Loving Heir to the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company
or A&P Fortune—was a former employer of Your
Reporter. When Hunt created SHOW magazine, I came aboard
briefly to write about the Performing Arts, which Hunt adored.
So much so that he even made a film with one of his Lady Loves:
The Bride Comes To Yellow Sky.
Takahiro, "Blue Mist Object, 2004" Photo by Maggie Nimkin.
[After it expired—Show Business Illustrated
& other fierce competition did it in—I was once again briefly on
board when Gloria Vanderbilt bought the title [& probably
the debts] for her husband—Anderson Cooper’s
[Wyatt & I had been buddies in University
Theatre at UC/Berkeley & he knew my interviews &
reports from Dance, After Dark, Theatre Crafts,Opera News,
& other arts publications.
[Like many of Hunt’s own Never Thought
Through Projects, this did not Last Long. One day, Wyatt
called: "Gloria’s pulled the plug on us! This is taking too much
of my time away from all those Benefit Galas!"]
I have never seen Hunt’s Paradise Island
Idea become Reality, but I was around when he asked Edward Durrell
Stone to create an Art Museum on the downtown side of Columbus
Circle. As everyone knows by now, that Footprint is
small, oddly shaped, & awkward, especially awkward of Access
from the surrounding Street Grid.
The result was—despite Stone’s beloved
Venetian "Lollypop" Pillars seemingly supporting the
Upper Floors of the Museum—an almost impossible space
for exhibiting large scale paintings, notably those of Salvador Dali.
The individual exhibition floors were/are
so small, narrow, almost Linear, that if
you backed off to view a picture from a distance, you ran the risk of
falling down the stairs at the entrance to the gallery floor!
So the unloved interior spaces of the apparently
Much Loved Stone Exterior—noted in the Landmark Fights
over the transformation of the building into MAD, the Museum
of Art & Design—were taken over by the City of New York,
for various kinds of Under Usage.
For a time, former Miss America,
Bess Myerson, held sway, overseeing the Arts in New York
as a kind of Cultural Commissioner. Former Mayor Ed Koch—whose
Election Campaign she Visually Aided—had previously
appointed her Consumer Affairs Maven, to be followed by the Arts
Myerson—who before Florida Retirement
used to live in my Coop: disclosure!—governed with
what she called "Tough Love." One of my Arts Management
Grads from Brooklyn College, who had become her Press Rep,
had other names for it…
Even if you cannot really SEE
Stone’s Stone Lollypops anymore—so well camouflaged
are they now—the Floor Conformations now prove almost Ideal
for showing the generally small scale arts objects & drawings
that are currently favored.
You may have to Learn to Love the
Exterior Make Over, but you should fall in love with the interiors
& their colorful exhibitions on your first visit! There are also
arts workshops, activities for kids, lectures,
films, & all that Good Stuff!
Villinski, "My Back Pages," 2006 2008. Photo: Courtesy
Morgan Lehman Gallery New York.
Not being on MAD’s Press List,
I was not invited to the Opening of the Museum,
nor to any of the recent Exhibitions. [Even though I used to write for
the publication of the Museum’s West 53rd Street predecessor,
Craft Horizons & reviewed their new shows. Oh well…]
Deciding to take matters into my own hands,
I called the MAD Press Office. Imagine my surprise to
discover that the Associate Vice President, Public Relations, is Heidi
Riegler. When she was Heidi Feldman, she had been
a student of mine!
So I can now share some of the shows with
Oh, MAD on Thursdays
is Pay What You Wish, which a student informed me means FREE!
Just try it…
PERMANENTLY MAD: Revealing the
MAD has amazing Collections—most
of which have to be consigned to Storage, as there is not space
enough to show all the Treasures at the same time.
One elegantly designed Rosewood Rocking
Chair immediately caught my eye: this is the Signature Furniture
Piece of Alta Loma’s Sam Maloof, a California &
a National Treasure himself.
An Old Friend—I did the wall texts for
Sam’s Furniture, shown at the Opening of the new Renwick Gallery,
in DC, some seasons ago—Sam early on made for me not only the earliest
version of the Rocker, but also an Arm chair, & a
Music Stand. His & my name are burned into the wood
of the undersides!
Examples of the Sam Maloff Rocking Chair—as
well as other pieces of his design art—are also in the Collections of
MoMA, the Met Museum, SF MoMA, & other Major
ELEGANT ARMOR: The Art of Jewelry
[Closing 5 July 2009]
Although its gallery sponsored by Tiffany’s,
this show is not a collection of your Grandma’s Louis Comfort Tiffany
Heirlooms. No Way! Every object is ferociously Modern or Post
Most of these handsome pieces have been
inspired by The Natural World & the Human Form, which
leaves out only Autobahns & Industries. So
the jewelry designers represented had a wide range of subject models
There are some 240 objects On View,
drawn from MAD’s collection of 450 Modern Treasures—from 1948
to the present.
Styles range from Minimal
to Theatrical, the Materials, from Mundane
The impetus of the show is
to demonstrate that these are not mere Adornments but also Artworks.
It’s divided into four sections: Sculptural Forms, Narratives,
Painted & Textured Surfaces, & Radical Edge.
These jewelry designs may be thought of
as Armor, but only in the Metaphoric Sense of making a
mere vulnerable human woman—you won’t find many Men wearing
stuff like this: they only Pay for It!—more remote, removed,
unaccessible, even powerful.
If a Street Thug wants your Golden
Carapace Collar, its "Armor" won’t protect you from
one of his random Slashings or Bullets!
TOTALLY RAD: Karim Rashad Does
[Closed 17 May 2009]
Although the Cairo born, half Egyptian/half
English designer, Karim Rashid, has in fact designed a handsome
Modern Radiator—Klobs, round moving parts that
radiate heat & hold bath towels—he has effectively
Curated this exhibit by selecting outstanding new Radiator
Designs created by other gifted Contemporary Designers.
Most of them look like amazing and/or amusing
Modernist Sculptures or Objects. But all of them are also functional:
they can heat a room, a space, or even a bed!
Considering that most Manhattanites—not
to mention Middle Americans across the Country—still have those
old steam leaking, water dripping cast iron radiators of the
Early 20th Century, the time for more efficient
heating, delivered in what are also Artworks, is definitely
Among Radiators displayed: designs produced
by Antrax, Caleido, Delacalor Irsap, Helios,
Runtai, & Gruppo Ragaini.
If you didn’t get to see this show, MAD
has graphics & text to show you what you missed, so you can
Upgrade your own Heating & become an Art Collector
at the same time!
GLASS ARTIST KLAUS MOJE: 30 Years
[Closing 16 August 2009]
Harper, "Shove causes a Push" (Neckpiece for Twyla Tharp
Klaus Moje—over 30 years of experimentation
& development—has raised the Art of Studio Glass to Heights
& Plateaus that Lalique & Gallé
could not have imagined.
What especially catches one’s attention
among the 68 objects on view at MAD are those in which Moje’s
unique Layerings & Fusions of variously colored Glass
provide a saturated luminescent color that is not possible
to achieve in other Media.
Although MAD’s predecessor was created
to celebrate American Crafts & Craftsmen, even then Curators
realized they were dealing with Artist/Craftsmen &
Works of Art, not merely Useful Objects that were handsomely
designed & carefully crafted.
Moje’s widely & eagerlycollected Creations
are not, in that sense, Useful, but his Glass Fusions
are regarded as "elaborate abstract arrangements of brilliant
hues," among other admiring descriptions of their attractions.
For his MAD show, Moje has designed
a large scale Glass Mural!
OBJECTS FACTORY: The Art of Industrial
[Closing 23 August 2009]
These are fascinating. Worth
the Trip & all that… [But I’ve been working on this column for
six days already, so it’s time to come to a Halt…]
At MoMA/The Museum of Modern Art:
[11 West 53rd Street/NY, NY
10019/Phone: 212 708 9400]
INTO THE SUNSET: Photography’s
Image of the American West
[Closing 8 June 2009]
of the exhibit "Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the
Aside from some Famed & Vintage
Images of the West by Carleton E. Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge,
William Henry Jackson, Edward Weston, Arnold Genthe,
Edward Curtis, & Ansel Adams, many of the Western
Photos in this show are more like Point & Shoot Pix of
Trailer Trash in Southern California Suburbias.
This sense is not dissipated by the images
of some more modern, more celebrated artists, such as David Hockney,
Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Lee Friedlander, Richard Prince, &
TANGLED ALPHABETS: León
Ferrari & Mira Schendel
[Closing 15 June 2009]
These Alpha bet & Omega bet
artworks are both fascinating & often Challenging…
For the Record: Some MoMA
Press Previews ago, Your Reporter noted to Glenn Lowry, MoMA’s
Chief, that we shared the first name Glenn, but that my Family
Name of LONEY was, in fact, Irish!
Glenn Lowry laughed: "So is
Lowry! You may know it in another form: Loughrey!"
So at least Glenn Lowry recognizes
me at the Press Previews—some of which I miss, as MoMA sends
e mails, not Printed Invitations now.
of "Tangled Alphabets" by Leon Ferrari and Mira Schendel.
As I had previously shown him some of my
INFOTOGRAPHY™ photo images of MoMA’s home in Queens
& am now 80 years of age—Nearing the End of the Road—owning
some Unusual Works of Art that I have commissioned from
Artists not known to MoMA, I though Glenn might be interested
to see some of them. MoMA could be a nice Retirement Home
for them, when I am gone…
So I asked him if he’d come by & he
said he would when he had time. To confirm this on paper, I wrote him
the letter reproduced in part below.
But I heard nothing until
I managed to get through to his Personal Secretary. She
explained that Mr. Lowry is so very busy with his many duties that he
simply cannot visit a lot of Artists’ Studios.
But this is not a Studio.
It is a Co op Apartment—in a handsome, if unassuming, apartment
block Behind the Frick! Not only that: Miss America, Bess
Myerson, once lived here!
Maybe even Holden Caulfied, even
though he’s fictional, but women & girls turn up on
his birthday to photograph Our Entrance!
25 MARCH 2009/Year of the OX!
Dr. Glenn D. Lowry, Director
MoMA/Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019
Dear Glenn Lowry!
This missive is to provide some background
about me & my work before you are able to come up & have a look
at my various arts odds & ends. Including the Flip Flops
I have developed since discovering this photo novelty after my visit
to MoMA’s Swingline Stapler Factory out in Queens.
Among other treasures, I have one of Sam
Maloof’s First Rockers: its runners are shorter than those of the
one in your Collections. I also have a Maloof Armchair—both of
these have Maloof & Loney burned into the wood of
As you may know, way back when, Sam insisted
on visiting your home & getting to know you before he would commit
to creating a piece for you. Actually, I had come to know him at Alta
Loma long before he came to my Brooklyn Heights apartment.
Friends at the Assoc. Colleges in Claremont were early
collectors & introduced me to Sam & Alfreda, who was
always especially kind to me.
When the Renwick Gallery was inaugurated
in DC—formerly the Corcoran—I did the Wall Texts for Sam’s
pieces. George & Wendell were the other Three American
Woodworker/Artists. I had already done an interview with Sam for
Craft Horizons, & Sam wanted me to work with him on
a book for Kodama, but they wanted someone famous: in the event,
the guy from Boston…
Sam also made a Music Stand for
me: it stands in my bedroom now. Over the years, every time I would
visit the Maloofs—my mother was in a "home" in Santa Paula
& I was a "Stringer" in Music & Theatre for
the LA Times, so I went West every six months—Sam would
plaintively ask why I had not commissioned another piece from him? I
had always wanted that fabulous swinging Cradle, but I had no
room for it in my apartment.
Sam said if it was a problem about the
money, he’d make me anything I wanted at the Original
Price! Alfreda looked squarely at me: No, Sam! We can’t do that.
We have bills to pay. Glenn, you understand!
Among my other treasures are a number of
colored engravings by Michael Matthias Prechtl, who did that
famous Schirmer’s poster, with an Orchestra in Beethoven’s
Hair. We became friends years ago in Nürnberg: I stopped
off every summer on my way to Bayreuth, where I’d always pay
a visit to Winifred Wagner, who gave her Best Friend
the pencil & paper to write Mein Kampf, which she
Prechtl, like Gunter Grass &
the Pope, had been a teen age draftee into the Wehrmacht,
so he spent six long POW years in a Soviet Quarry, breaking
stones as they tried to kill him off. I probably have the largest Prechtl
Collection in the US. He did two covers for Opera News,
at my behest, when I was still writing for that august journal: Richard
Wagner & Alban Berg!
He is now long gone, but in his lifetime,
he had only one US show, at the Goethe Haus
opposite the Met.
I also have two remarkable articulated
wood sculptures made for me—to my design suggestions—by the late Brit
Frank Egerton, whose work I first reviewed at a special Victoria
& Albert show. One is Loney’s Flying Theatre,
with Pigs with Wings: the other evokes the Four Evangelists,
with a flying Lion of St. Mark on its Summit. Frank was
going to make a half section of the Parthenon for me, with the
Great Statue of Athena on her Golden Throne, but he died
before he could finish it…
As I was 80 years old on last Christmas
Eve, you can understand my concern that these do not end up in the
Madison Avenue Dumpster. Some Sundays long ago, I’d see Andy
& Jean Michel rooting around in our city garbage basket at Madison
& 71st! [I used to write for Andy’s Interview,
before it became fashionable…]
Anyway, there’s a lot of stuff here, as
well as tons in storage. I’ve been commissioning small works by the
calligrapher Bernard Maisner, whose class in Gold Leafing
I once took at the Morgan. He creates intricate works based on
famous lines from famous poets: Dante, John Donne, Wm Shakespeare,
WB Yeats, & Emily Dickinson. He’s now working
on Walt Whitman for me…
Bernie’s is the hand you see in Ichabod
Crane & other films when a long dead hand has to write some
antique script. His Calligraphies are now on sale
at Bergdorf’s on the 7th Floor! He can do Medieval
Illuminations & the Book of Kells like no one else! I
told Bernie he can borrow back my Maisners if & when he gets
an important show…
Anyway, I do hope you will find a Loney
Grand Tour of interest: everything in the apartment has a Story!
I have also been photographing archivally all over the world for
the past 50 years: now some 375,000 slides, prints, &
digitals, collectively called INFOTOGRAPHY™…
The collection was to have gone to the NYPL, but in their financial
crisis, they could not service it, so it is mostly in storage now.
I’ve enclosed some Backgrounders
for your interest.
Please call me so we can arrange a day
& time for a visit to my Mini Museum! As I am Chief Correspondent
for both NYMuseums.com & NYTheatre
Wire.com, I am always in motion, but late Friday afternoons
are best for me.
PhD, Prof Emeritus/City University of
New York Grad Center; Senior Correspondent: NYMuseums.com &
NYTheatre Wire.com; Cont. Editor: Western European Stages
& Entertainment Design; Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk,
ATCA & International Theatre Critics Assn, Music Critics of North
America, Dance Critics of America, NY Municipal Art Society, World Monument
Fund, National Trust for Historic Preservation, etc.
At the Municipal
[457 Madison Avenue/NY, NY 10022/Phone:
212 935 3960]
CONEY ISLAND: The Walking Tour
The newly restored above ground Stillwell
Avenue D, F, & Q Subway Terminus at Coney Island is worth
a trip to the End of the Line by itself. But it’s also worthwhile
to see the Remnants of Former Greatness—especially the wild &
wonderful Rides, Freak shows, & Foodie posters—that
The World’s Fair Parachute Jump Tower
is still by the beach—where you can both swim & get sun burned—but
there are no longer any Parachutes. The Cyclone
still works, however, with Atmen Beraubenden Dives &
The Steeplechase is Long Gone:
a small Stadium now sits on the site. The broad, long Boardwalk
is in excellent condition. A number of Rides still function.
The New York Aquarium, just off
the Boardwalk, is very much in business.
Some of the Attractions have already
been sold off: No one knows the Future of the once fabled
Coney, as many of the shops & stores are now boarded up, owned by
the Developer who does not have Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s
Vision of a Re Vitalized Coney Island—named for the Conies
or Rabbits that once infested the place.
This is a Tour you can do for yourself.
But without the Muni Art Society’s Info Stuffed Guide, you will
miss much of the History: What Coney once was to New Yorkers
who could not afford to escape to Long Island,
Long Branch, or Tuxedo Park…
Take a Guidebook! A lot of
Summer Events are planned: do take them in!
TERRA INCOGNITA: The Great Circle
I thought we’d end up on the actual Circle
Line, cruising round the Isle of Manhattan. But by the time we’d
landed at Sailors’ Snug Harbor on Staten Island, we’d
lost most of our Golden Agers.
What I had No Idea would happen
was that I—at 80 years!—actually WALKED
ACROSS the Bayonne Bridge, from Bayonne Heights
to Staten Island!
I thought somehow we’d take a bus
across, but no, we needed to stop along the Bridge
Walkway, from time to time, to look at various Mud flats
& Shore lines.
One object of this All Encompassing
Tour—MTA Bus, NJ Light Rail, PATH, & the Staten Island
Ferry—was to understand some of the Historic Problems that
have arisen in NY & NJ trying—or blocking—working
together on Bridges & Harbor Related Projects that
have their Roots in the way in which the Dutch & the
British set up Original Enclaves & Areas of Influence.
This Summer, you can replicate some
of this Tour yourself by purchasing an All Day Ticket on PATH,
New Jersey Light Rail, & a day long Metrocard.
If you’ve only looked at
the New Jersey Shoreline, across from Manhattan, you will be
astounded at what you may discover Over There. Get off at each
Light Rail stop, just to enjoy the etched glass local
scenes at each station!
Don’t miss the Mona Lisa Ristorante
in Bayonne: Leonardo’s Enigmatic Image is everywhere:
on the Wall, on the Menu, even on the Delivery Truck!
At the Neue
[1048 Fifth Avenue @86th Street/NY,
NY 10028/Phone: 212 628 6200]
FOCUS: OSKAR KOKOSCHKA
[Closing 5 October 2009]
This focus show from the Neue Galerie’s
Collections opens on 16 July, featuring some of Oskar
Kokoschka’s Portraits, as well as his drawings. He was
noted for his ability to paint a sitter directly onto canvas, without
prior sketches or studies.
K’s portraits definitely urge Expressionism’s
Fractured Vision of Life, but they are certainly less abstracted than,
say, the Portraits of De Kooning…
SELECTIONS FROM THE PERMANENT
[Closing 5 October 2009]
The Major Focus of this special
survey of the Collection will be on Social Issues very
much in the news today. Georg Grosz’s savage caricatures
of Corrupt Weimar Era Plutocrats in a "debauched Civic
Landscape" will share the spotlight with Otto Dix’s
etchings of Crippled War Veterans "facing a pitiless Society."
In addition to Gustav Klimt’s
Masterpiece, "Die Goldene Adele," his glittering
portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer, other treasures include works
by Egon Schiele, Max Beckmann, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner,
Joseph Hoffmann, Kolo Moser, Mariannne Brandt,
& Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
At the New York Botanical Garden:
[Bronx River Parkway @Fordham Road/Bronx,
NY 10024/Phone: 718 817 8700]
SO MUCH SPRING:
[Through June 2009]
This you have to see for yourself, even
if it surges over into June! It’s Alive
& all around you up in the Bronx!
Most of the Spring Blossoms outdoors
are fading, but they bloom anew indoors in the wonderful Victorian
Glass Palace that is the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
A special show is The Glory of Dutch
Bulbs: A Legacy of 400 Years: this could be Tulip Mania
not far from neighboring Fordham University.
But it’s now too late for Earth Month—that
was in April—with its "Plethora of Programming,"
but not to worry as there are always Multiple Programs at the
GEORG EHRET: The Greatest Botanical
Artist of the 1700s
[Closing 19 July 2009]
These are remarkable Botanical Illustrations,
not only for their Accuracy of Detail but also for their Beguiling
Georg Ehret—whose middle name was
Dionysius!—was certainly both Dionysian & Apollonian
in his artistry. Even though his name is not so well known today—not
on a par with, say, Sybille Merian—he was clearly a Master of
These drawings are now on view in the LuEsther
T. Mertz Library, which has amazing holdings of manuscripts &
books on Matters Botanical, Antique & Modern.
Even if you miss this show, you can always
make an appointment to study works from the extensive collections!
THE EDIBLE GARDEN:
A Celebration of Growing &
Cooking Great Food
[Closing 13 September 2009]
Of course you will be able to see &
study all kinds of Vegetables & Fruits at the Botanical
Garden this summer. But, what is more, there will also be Top
Chefs on hand & the Audio Tour is narrated by Mario Batali
& Bette Midler—now a noted Activist in restoring &
creating NYC Parks & Community Gardens!
Among the Scheduled Chefs are Martha
Stewart, Lidia Bastianich, Daisy Martinez, Dan Barber, Emeril Lagasse,
Aida Mollenkamp, Sunny Anderson, & Anne Burrell.
Martha Stewart’s Culinary Herb Garden,
the Beginner’s Vegetable Garden, & Tropical
Fruits, Roots, & Shoots are special attractions.
There will be two Festive Weekends,
one in June, the other in September, saying Farewell
to Summer. For more Info on Events, Dates, & Times,
check out the web site: www.nybg.org.
At the New
York Historical Society:
[170 Central Park West @77th
Street/NY, NY 10458/Phone: 212 873 3400]
SLAVERY IN NEW YORK:
[Permanent Panel Exhibition]
Not to be Missed, especially
by School Classes! Do not think that just because New York City
was North of the Mason Dixon Line that there had
never been Slavery in Manhattan. Not all of it involving Africans,
ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN HIS OWN WORDS:
[Closing 12 July 2009]
In celebration of Lincoln’s 200th
Anniversary, these Letters, Papers, & Documents—many of them
significant during Lincoln’s Civil War Presidency—are well worth
There is also a book that enlarges on this
exhibition of Holdings from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, now
housed at the N YHS: Great Lincoln Documents: Historians
Present Treasures from the Gilder Lehrman Collection. Obviously,
Richard Gilder & Lou Lehrman are very proud of their
ability to amass such valuable original materials.
There’ even a Telegram from Lincoln
to General US Grant: Encouragement at a Turning Point
in the Civil War!
NATURE & THE AMERICAN VISION:
The Hudson River School
[Two Sections: First Closing mid July
2009; Second Section: September 2009 to March 2010]
The Historical Society has more than 100
famed paintings by American Artists of the so called Hudson
River School. [No, it was not an Art School:
they did not learn how to paint there!]
Among the painters to be exhibited are
such talents as Albert Bierstadt [actually of German
Origin], Thomas Cole, John F. Kensett, Asher B. Durand,
& Jasper F. Cropsey.
HARLEM IN TRANSITION: 1979 2009:
Photographs by Camilo José Vergara
[Closing 9 July 2009]
You don’t have to live in Harlem
or Bedford Stuyvesant to be intrigued by this Photo
Show. Gentrification is on the way. Check it Out!
LANDMARKS OF NEW YORK:
[Closing 9 July 2009]
Yes, such buildings as Fraunces Tavern
& the US Customs House are notable Historic Landmarks,
but there are more recent buildings that also have Historical Significance,
for their Designs, for what they Are or Represent, or
for what has happened in them or to them.
The photos in this show were taken when
these Landmarks were deemed worth Preserving. They
are not all buildings, either, but include Monuments, Museums,
Check it Out!
BETWEEN COLLABORATION & RESISTANCE:
French Literary Life Under Nazi
[Closing 25 July 2009]
Althusser at Stalag XA. Schleswig, Germany, January 1941.
Considering the great fondness often expressed
by American Jews for Paris & French Culture
in general, it is surprising that so many are not really aware of the
Depths of Anti Semitism that have long roiled beneath
the Grand Avenues of the City of Light & under the
Vineyards of the French Provinces.
Few seem to remember—if they are that old—or
to realize that it was the Paris Gendarmerie that rounded
up the French Jews & Jewish Refugees from Nazi
Germany & Eastern Europe.
They did this before being requested by
the Gestapo to do so. Rather too eager…
As the Police didn’t have prisons
large enough—or Detention Centers—the hundreds & hundreds
who were seized were confined in the Vél d’Hiver,
the Winter Bike Racing/Riding Arena. This collection point
made it easier for the Nazis to ship them off to "Relocation
Centers" in the East. From which most did not return…
Curiously, although the Nazis Occupied
Paris & Northern France, they made no attempt to take over
what was to become Vichy France, governed by the Collaborator
Puppet Regime of Pierre Laval & le Grand
Marechal Henri Pétain.
But for those French Poets, Painters,
Playwrights, Film makers, Essayists, Novelists, & Performing
Artists who remained in Paris, the Problem was how
to continue their Work in the Arts under the Heel & Censorship
of the Nazis—who were already looting their Museums
In 1941, French Artists, Writers,
& Performers could have had no inkling that
the Thousand Year Reich of the Nazis would collapse in 1945.
Actors, Dancers, & Singers—also
Cinema Directors—needed to perform: they couldn’t
sit at home, waiting for some eventual Defeat of Germany. Going
Underground in the Resistance, they would have No Audiences!
The current exhibition at the NY Public
Library shows in photos, posters, film clips, letters, diaries,
books, & manuscripts how some Famous Names & some not
so famous met the Challenges that Defeat & Occupation
R: Emmanuel Mounier, Yvonne Leenhardt, Max Pol Fouchet, and Loÿs
Masson at the Lourmarin Meetings to discuss the future of French
culture. Lourmarin, September 1941.
Some of these now mute Testimonies
have never before been seen in the United States. You will be able to
discover how Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Jean Cocteau, Paul Claudel,
Jules Romains, Antoine de St. Exupéry, Jacques Maritan,
Sacha Guitry, Pablo Picasso, & André Malraux
navigated the dangerous currents of these times.
Some, like Louis Ferdiand Celine
were favored by the Nazis. After the Germans were defeated, Celine finally
left France. Others who had, in effect, collaborated were
punished, blacklisted, or ignored. The beloved actress Arletty
had an affair with a German Officer: when this
became known, it was an Outrage to many.
Maurice Chevalier entertained: that’s
what Entertainers do, but the Post War French Public
did not soon forget.
There was a Problem, however, even in the
French Resistance—many of whom were already committed Leftists
or Communists—as some Political Conservatives also detested
the Nazis & the Occupation of their beloved Paris, thus wishing
also to Resist, but not being eager to cooperate with
those who took their Orders from Moscow.
Nonetheless, some notable works of Art
& Literature were created during these Difficult Times: Marcel
Carné’s brilliant film: Les Enfants
du Paradis, for instance…
At the Park
[643 Park Avenue@65th Street/NY10065/Phone:
212 616 3930]
PRESENTS: The New York Antiquarian Book Fair
As usual every Spring, the Antiquarian
Book Fair brought out a number of Important Dealers with
a wealth of rare & remarkable books, some especially Collectible
because of their Art Bindings. Others, of course, because they
were First Editions. Almost every booth had attractive
Catalogues of their stocks on offer.
Your Reporter actually brought home some
twenty pounds of fascinating Catalogues. Had this column not already
grown too long, he intended to note some of the most interesting items.
One certainly was the Catalogue listing & describing an astonishing
group of books by or about Charles Dickens.
My favorite catalogue—from Peter Harrington
Antiquarian Bookseller—shows the Children’s Book Collection
of Pat McInally. Most of the most famous Titles are here,
often in both the London & the American Editions.
What is especially attractive about the
catalogue—which also offers detailed descriptions of the books—is that
it depicts in full color the Covers or Dust Jackets of
Children’s stories that have become Iconic Images of their tales:
the OZ books, for instance.
Your Reporter was delighted to find Helen
Bannerman’s long beloved Little Black Sambo on
offer. Unfortunately, it is now also excoriated by some
African Americans, who see it as an Insult to African
Children & Africans in general.
Actually, it is nothing of the sort. This
brave little boy from India is a hero: he turns the fierce
Tiger into butter! There are no Native Tigers in Africa!
Helen Bannerman, who was my Grandmother
Alice’s Cousin—Family Connection!—was residing in British
India, in the Day of the Raj, where her husband was
stationed. She wrote illustrated letters home to Scotland—they
are now in the National Library in Edinburgh—which contained,
in installments, the story of Little Black Sambo, a little Hindu
At the UBS
[UBS Bldg: 1285 Avenue of the Americas/btwn
51 & 52/NY, NY 10019/Phone: 713 2885]
A PARALLEL PRESENCE:
The National Association of Women
Artists, 1889 2009
[Closing 31 July 2009]
Self portrait, 1933. Oil on board.
30 x 24 in. Collection of Robert B. Taylor and Richard S. Snedeker.
Photo: Morven Museum and Garden,
One of New York’s best known women artists
of the Past is Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney—whose early Village
studio space gave other women the opportunity to show their artworks.
Her Vision has long since grown into the Whitney Museum.
But even before her Name & her
Artworks commanded attention—way back in 1889, in fact—the
National Association of Women Artists was founded. The attractive
new exhibit in the ground floor galleries of the UBS Building
celebrates both the NAWA artists & its 120th
Some 56 Women Artists are represented
with Works on view, including: Louise Nevelson, Pat Adams,
Faith Ringgold, Virginia Snedeker, Bessie Potter Vonnoh
& Edith Prellwitz, one of the original five Founders.
The Artworks span a wide range of
Media, including Video, a current craze.
Snedeker’s Self Portrait—which
shows the trousered artist at her easel—with a Manhattan Skyline
seen through her Studio Window, is the Cover Image for
the free catalogue. The exhibition is also free, UBS being one
of those Financial Institutions that was Bailed Out.
Currently, there are some 800 Women Members
of NAWA, representing 42 States—though they may not always
be in their Home State.
You cannot just Join! When it was
founded, the First Five decided there would have to be an Admissions
Jury, to evaluate the Quality of the work submitted.
The Venice Biennale: 53rd
International Art Exhibition:
KUB 09 & Galleria d’Arte
Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo
JAN FABRE: From the Feet to the
[On view in Venice from 6 June to 20
of the "Feet to the Brain." by Jan Fabre.
The celebrated Belgian Artist/Poet/Photographer/Performer
JAN FABRE seems to be Everywhere. His works were
Major Presences at a recent Salzburg Festival.
Last summer, his From the Feet to
the Brain Installations filled all the broad floors of
Kunsthaus Bregenz, a Post Modernist Concrete Block
House, its exterior sheathed in huge glass slabs,
lit from behind.
of the exhibit "Jean Fabre, From the Feet to the Brain."
Now Fabre’s Five Corporeal Elements
of His Idea of the Human Body will be shown in Venice in the New
Arsenal: The Feet, The Sex, The Belly, The
Heart, & The Brain. Not quite Gray’s Anatomy,
but certainly Fabre’s Quixotic Visual Analysis of Body Parts.
Fabre’s Heart is Immense.
But his Sex consists of 150 Cracked Tombstones,
with Fabre lying in the midst of the heap with an Erection!
Normal Size, not Immense…
Surely this show will have to be exposed
in Manhattan? But where? Not the Whitney as Fabre
is not an American Artist. Not at the Guggenheim, as it
won’t fit on the Spiral Ramp.
So MoMA & the Brooklyn Museum
seem the most likely Venues. The New Museum
Second Annual MADISON AVENUE GALLERY
Who would have thought it! There were/are
some 48 Galleries & 1 Museum—The Whitney—included
in the Madison Ave Gallery Walk! The once yearly Walk stretches
from East 57th Street—where the Art Deco Fuller
Building is crammed with Galleries—up to 83rd Street,
so that Guild Antiques II can be included.
Sad to say, but the Shop Premises
next to the Guild is Vacant: Prime Gallery
As Vacancies increase all along
this stretch of Madison, there may be fewer venues to visit next
Caroline Kennedy was an Honorary
Chairman this year. Among the Big Name Galleries on the route:
Knoedler, Leo Castelli, Gagosian, Didier Aron, DeLorenzo, Neuhoff,
Sorry, you missed it. But it is a Great
Idea, so catch it next Spring! Funds raised support Art Education
in New York City Public Schools!
Another Gallery Heard From:
Someone must actually be reading
this web site! Here’s a very handsome catalogue from the June Kelly
Gallery for her latest show: SU KWAK: Light & Time.
This is closing 7 July, to be followed by a group show, Hidden
Unfortunately, as Your Reporter hardly
has time to study adequately the Major Museum Shows, he cannot
check out all the hundreds & hundreds of NYC Galleries. But
such attractive catalogues are always welcome! The Kelly Gallery
is sited at 591 Broadway, NY, NY 10012/Phone: 212 226 1660.
Mod Wing of Chicago Art Institute!
And here’s an Invitation to a Press
Luncheon from the Board of Trustees of the Art Institute
of Chicago—in NYC, most Museums don’t even serve the
Press Muffins & Coffee anymore!—to share in the Opening
of the new Modern Wing of the famed Institute.
This handsome facility—judging only from
the Photo, as I couldn’t afford to fly out
to the Windy City—is designed by Renzo Piano, whose team
also made over the Morgan Library on Madison.
With this addition, the Art Institute is
now the Second Largest Art Museum in the United States.
At least that’s what the Invitation indicates…
Has the Brooklyn Museum lost out
in the Size Sweepstakes?
The Goodman Theatre—now with impressive
new quarters in the Loop—used to be in the Art Institute Basement.
What have they done with that space: Mount their own shows there now?
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:
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