CURATOR'S CHOICE SM
Museums and Exhibitions in New York City and Vicinity
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GLENN LONEY'S MUSEUM NOTES
CONTENTS, November 2010
Caricature of Glenn Loney by Sam Norkin.
Please click on " * " to skip to each subject in this index:
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM *
STIEGLITZ, STEICHEN, STRAND *
HAREMHAB: The General Who Became Pharaoh *
OUR FUTURE IS IN THE AIR *
AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY *
BRAIN: The Inside Story *
THE GRENFELL PRESS: Thirty Years of Collaboration *
GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM *
CHAOS & CLASSICISM: Art in France, Italy, & Germany, 1918-1936 *
FREDERICK BROSEN: Recent Watercolors *
WHITNEY MUSEUM *
CHARLES LeDRAY: workworkworkworkwork *
MODERN LIFE: Edward Hopper & His Time *
JEWISH MUSEUM *
HOUDINI: Art & Magic *
Kips Bay Decorator Show House *
ON LINE: Drawing Through the 20th Century *
LINCOLN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS *
ALWIN NIKOLAIS' TOTAL THEATRE OF MOTION *
PARK AVENUE ARMORY *
IFPDA PRINT FAIR 2010 *
BROOKLYN MUSEUM *
NORMAN ROCKWELL: Behind the Camera *
VILCEK FOUNDATION *
TOSHIKO NISHIKAWA: Senbazuru *
STIEGLITZ, STEICHEN, STRAND
[10 November 2010 to 10 April 2011]
There's nothing quite like looking at Old Photographs.
They may be grainy, faded, curled, even coming loose from their framing mounts. But they have Survived!
The Cameras & Lenses used to create them are certainly now almost Archaic.
In some cases, the Photographic Papers & Developing Chemicals have not stood the Test of Time.
Nonetheless, in the Met's current photo show, viewers will surely recognize some Iconic Shots, memorialized in coffee table Photo Tomes!
The diverse & groundbreaking work of Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, & Paul Strand is documented in a presentation of 115 photographs, drawn entirely from the Museum's Collections, including Stieglitz's famous portraits of Georgia O'Keeffe, Steichen's large colored photographs of the Flatiron Building, and Strand's pioneering Abstractions.
Alfred Stieglitz [1864-1946] was a photographer of Supreme Accomplishment & a Forceful & Influential Advocate for Photography & Modern Art--through his Gallery "291," as well as in his Sumptuous Journal: Camera Work.
Stieglitz also laid the foundation for the Museum's Collection of Photographs.
In 1928, he donated 22 of his own works to the Metropolitan; these were the first photographs to enter the Museum's Collection as Works of Art.
In later decades, he gave the Museum more than 600 photographs by his Contemporaries, including Edward Steichen & Paul Strand.
The exhibition includes numerous photographs from Stieglitz's extraordinary Composite Portrait of Georgia O'Keeffe [1887-1986], part of a group of works selected for the Museum's Collection by O'Keeffe herself.
Stieglitz made more than 330 images of O'Keeffe between 1917 & 1937--of her Face, Torso, Hands, or Feet alone, Clothed & Nude, Intimate & Heroic, Introspective & Assertive. [How about that! A Considerable Achievement!]
Through these photographs, Stieglitz revealed O'Keeffe's Strengths & Vulnerabilities, almost single handedly defining her Public Persona for generations to come…
HAREMHAB: The General Who Became Pharaoh
[16 November 2010 to 4 July 2011]
The Centerpiece of this small scale show at the Met is the seated statue of a Scribe, long on view on the way to the Temple of Dendur--which one hopes the Met won't have to give back to Egypt!
Actually, the Met earned the Temple, which was going to disappear anyway under the waters backed up by the Aswan High Dam. It also cost a lot to construct that impressive Glass House in which to show it off.
Recently--in the very space that now enshrines the Scribe--the Met mounted an exhibition dealing with King Tut's Funerary Preparations. All those objects that actually came from King Tutankhamun's Tomb will now be returned to Egypt. But more of that later…
For the Record: Haremhab [ca. 1316-1302 BCE] was a strong leader in a time of Political & Religious Transition.
As Commander in Chief of Tutankhamun's Army, he oversaw important Military Campaigns at the border with Nubia & in the Levant. Later--as the last King of Dynasty 18--Haremhab instituted laws that secured the Rights of Civilians & curbed Abuses by powerful groups, including the Army.
The Scribe Statue was created before Haremhab became Pharaoh, while he was still a General. He was never actually a Scribe: this is only Symbolic, to show he was an Administrator & a Wise Man. [But not one of the Magi, those Wise Men who came out of the East, seeking Christ, much, much later…]
The show features some 70 additional objects in various Media--Wall Reliefs, Works on Papyrus, Statuettes, & Garment Fragments--from the Metropolitan, with the addition of a Pivotal Loan from the Louvre & another from a New York Private Collection
Haremhab's statue shows him in the Scribal Pose, seated on the ground with his legs crossed. Across his knees is a Papyrus Scroll on which is written a Hymn to Thoth, the God of Scribes.
In his right hand--now missing--he probably held a reed, the pen of ancient Egyptians. A shell of ink lies on his left knee. Over his left shoulder is a strap, with a miniature Scribe's Kit at each end.
A figure of the God Amun is incised on his forearm. Although his face is youthful, the folds on his belly suggest the torso of an older, wiser man. He is attired in an ornately pleated Tunic, & a broad Shawl is wrapped around his hips.
A prayer to Ptah, the God of Creation, is inscribed on the statue's base. By choosing to be depicted in this way, Haremhab--the leader of the Pharaoh's Army--declares himself to be both Literate & Pious.
Weapons & a Chariot Model illustrate the Wars that dominated the period. A Stela shows a Procession in which Priests carry the Shrine of Amun. Inscriptions indicate that a movement of the God's Processional Shrine was interpreted as an Oracle that made Haremhab Pharaoh.
A prolific builder, Haremhab began construction of the Great Hypostyle Hall at Karnak. He also usurped buildings originally erected & decorated by his two Post Amarna predecessors, Tutankhamun & Aya.
During Haremhab's lifetime--both as General & Pharaoh--Egypt's struggles with the Hittites of Anatolia began, so his Military Encounters set the tone for ancient Egypt's Foreign Relations for a century to come, benefitting both great Pharaohs Seti I & Ramesses II.
As for King Tut's & the Met's 19 left over objects from Howard Carter's opening of that fabulous Tomb, they supposedly should never have left Egypt. But who was monitoring such matters then…
Dr. Zahi Hawass--who inaugurated the King Tut Exhibition midtown at the Discovery Center--is now including the Met's 19 in the Discovery show. When that closes, the 19 will return to the Met, but only for Six Months!
After that, they fly off to Cairo, temporarily to be on view in the Tut Galleries of the Egyptian Museum. But, in 2012, they will be installed--along with the other magnificent Tut Keepsakes in Cairo & on Tut Tour--in the new Grand Egyptian Museum at Giza. Virtually in the shadow of the Great Pyramid of Giza!
Dr. Hawass has noted that he originally proposed the current Tut Show to the Met, but he required a Multi Million Dollar Co payment that would help with Construction Costs of the new Museum Venue.
As the Met has its own Financial Problems, this offer was turned down.
But 2012 will surely encourage a Flood of Tourists in Cairo, on the Nile, & out at Giza! Your chance to see the restored Sphinx as well…
OUR FUTURE IS IN THE AIR
[10 November 2010 to 10 April 2011]
This Eclectic Centennial Exhibition devoted to Photography of the 1910s, provides a fascinating look at the Birth of Modern Life--through 58 photographs by some 30 artists, including Eugène Atget, E. J. Bellocq, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Eugène Druet, Lewis Hine, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Adolph de Meyer, Christian Schad, Morton Schamberg, Charles Sheeler, & Stanislaw Witkiewicz, among others.
Drawn exclusively from the Museum's Collection, the exhibition also features Anonymous Snapshots, Séance Photographs, and a Family Album made by Russian Nobility, on the Eve of Revolution!
The exhibition's title is taken from a pamphlet for Military Aviation that figures prominently [in French] in a 1912 Cubist Table top Still Life by Pablo Picasso, but is used here because of its Double Meaning: the feelings of Excitement & Anxiety that accompanied such Radical Change. [Oh! Thanks for the Explanation!]
Our Future Is In The Air opens in Dramatic Fashion, with a series of photographs showing moments in the Funeral Procession & Burial of Count Leo Tolstoy, on November 9, 1910.
The great Russian Novelist passed away just after walking away from his Great Wealth & Literary Fame to lead a life of Christian Charity.
Certain Details that can be seen in the Photo Postcards--such as whether or not to kneel by the grave--represented a long simmering struggle between Old & New, Spiritual & Secular, that would lead to the Soviet Revolution seven years later…
Photography also became an Agent of Democratic Communication. Documentary Photographers used its growing influence to expose Degrading Conditions of Workers, the Injustice of Child Labor, & the Devastation of War.
Beginning in 1908, Lewis Hine made 5,000 photographs of children working in Mills, Sweatshops, Factories, & Street Trades.
Featured in this exhibition is Hine's Newsboy asleep on stairs with papers, Jersey City, New Jersey, February 1912. Hine's Reports & Slide Lectures were designed to trigger a Profound, Empathetic Response in the Viewer.
During World War I, photography was utilized to document the Mass Casualties of Mechanized Warfare. In this show is an Affecting Image from 1916--by an Unknown Artist--that presents Wounded French Soldiers performing Military Drills in the Nave of the Grand Palais in Paris as part of their Rehabilitation.
Also in the exhibition is an evocative 1918 photograph of Charlie Chaplin & Douglas Fairbanks entertaining a huge crowd at a War Bonds Rally on Wall Street.
AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
BRAIN: The Inside Story
[20 November 2010 to 14 August 2011]
"Leave Your Mind Alone!" was once an amusing Cautionary Essay in The New Yorker.
The admirably designed--with some special Artworks included--new Brain Show at the American Museum of Natural History certainly offers Food for Thought.
At the opening launch, Dr. Ellen Futter--AMNH's President--pointed out that "the Human Brain is the most complex & fascinating Biological Structure known…"
There has certainly been a lot of Brain Storming to devise such a wide ranging exploration of what we now know about the Brain, its Functions, & its Malfunctions.
What Children will specially enjoy--Adults, as well--are the Inter Active show sites that amusingly introduce Inter Actors to a variety of aspects of the Brain in Action.
For Your Reporter, new research about the Brain's Ability to Re Wire itself as a response to Disability & Trauma was of special interest, having fallen on my head 14 July 2009. Eight Holes were drilled in my Skull to permit the still bleeding Hematoma to drain--with Local Anesthetic…
This is a Very Painful Topic still, so do click on the AMNH Website to get full particulars on this challenging show.
THE GRENFELL PRESS: Thirty Years of Collaboration
[18 November to 30 December 2010]
Founded by Leslie Miller in 1979, the Grenfell Press has specialized in producing beautiful books in which Authors are paired with Artists especially attuned to their works.
Among the Pairings: John Ashbery & Trevor Winkfield, Wm. Burroughs & Brion Gysin, Robert Duncan & RB Kitaj, & Rick Moody & Fred Tomaselli.
Since 1986, Grenfell has issued limited editions of Prints in varied Media.
A range of the Press's handsome work is on display…
CHAOS & CLASSICISM: Art in France, Italy, & Germany, 1918-1936
[1 October 2010 to 9 January 2011]
When Your Arts Reporter went to teach in Europe after World War II, he was surprised to discover how much of the Art & Architecture of Classic Greece & Rome had been adapted by Adolf Hitler's own Artists & Architects, notably Arno Breker, Paul Ludwig Trost, & Albert Speer.
With the tremendous Stimulus Packages the Nazis created to put of the Bankrupt Weimar Republic's Jobless Citizens back to work, building the Autobahn System & many State Buildings--including Art Galleries such as Munich's Haus der Kunst--Germany's Ruined Economy began to recover.
This was thanks to Deficit Financing--the Money was not in the Reichsbank: it was created by Fiat--which put the German Nation Back to Work!
[Although the GOP detests Deficits, such Stimuli would also work in the US, but not to construct more Neo Grecian Bank of America Neo Temples…]
This Debit Spending not only helped build the Nazi War Machine, but it also scattered across the National Landscape numerous Noble Neo Classic Buildings: simplified Imperial Roman Architecture, stripped of elaborate decoration.
It struck me immediately--as an avid Art Deco fan--that Speer & Trost's Marble Fantasia were actually what one might call: Fascist Art Deco…
The same thing happened in Benito Mussolini's Italy, recalling the Classic Glories of two thousand years ago & Mare Nostrum.
Now the Guggenheim Museum has mounted a show that explores this & more.
EXHIBITION EXAMINES THE RETURN TO CLASSICISM IN EUROPEAN ARTS & CULTURE BETWEEN DESTRUCTION OF WORLD WARS.
Full Rotunda Show includes Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Architecture, Film, Fashion, & Decorative Arts, featuring many works never shown before in the United States.
Rising from the Ruins & Horror of World War I [Also known as The Great War!], European Art & Culture returned to the Classical Past, seeking Tranquility, Order, & Enduring Values.
Artists turned away from Prewar Experimentalism & embraced the Heroic Human Figure & Rational Organization.
Chaos & Classicism: Art in France, Italy, & Germany, 1918-1936 is the first exhibition in the United States to focus on the vast transformation in European Culture between the Two World Wars.
With approximately 150 works by more than 80 artists, this Thematically Organized exhibition examines the Return to Order in its Key Manifestations: the Poetic Dream of Antiquity in the Parisian Avant Garde; the Politicized Revival of the Roman Empire under Benito Mussolini; the Functionalist Utopianism of International Style architecture that originated at the Bauhaus; as well as--ultimately--the Chilling Aesthetic of Nascent Nazi Society.
The Exhibition presents works by Established Masters of the Period, including: Georges Braque, Carlo Carrà, Giorgio de Chirico, Otto Dix, Fernand Léger, Aristide Maillol, Henri Matisse, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Pablo Picasso, Gio [Giovanni] Ponti, Emile Jacques Ruhlmann, & August Sander.
As well as works by artists lesser known outside of their home countries, such as: Julius Bissier, Felice Casorati, Achille Funi, Marcel Gromaire, Auguste Herbin, Anton Hiller, Heinrich Hoerle, Ubaldo Oppi, & Milly Steger.
Obviously, Albert Speer & Arno Breker didn't Make the Cut, although some of their work certainly falls within the parameters of this show. Or they are not listed here, so as not to Offend?
The years after World War I were marked by a striking Modernist Avowal of Traditional Aesthetics: a retour à l'ordre [return to order] in France, a ritorno al mestiere [return to craft] in Italy, & Neue Sachlichkeit [New Objectivity] in Germany.
Pablo Picasso was a leader of this New Historicism & proved to be particularly influential in promulgating a Classical Aesthetic from 1918 to 1936.
Picasso--although Spanish--was based in France from 1904 onward. His great Classical Figure Paintings of the early 1920s demonstrate how decisively the Parisian Avant Garde adopted the new Post-World War I Aesthetic.
Chaos & Classicism presents several of his works, as well as other examples of this style, such as Fernand Léger's canvases of Mechanized Figures & Commedia dell'Arte paintings by André Derain & Paris based Gino Severini.
The notion of a Latinate Civilization comes to the fore in the emerging influence of Jean Cocteau. The exhibition features excerpts from his 1930 film The Blood of a Poet [Le sang d'un poète].
Le Corbusier's architecture & design--as well as the Purist Paintings he created alongside Amédée Ozenfant--forge a Visual Link with Abstraction & Synthetic Cubism.
Madeleine Vionnet's Neo Greek Fashion Designs & Art Deco Objects by Ruhlmann translate the more Abstruse Aspects of Classicizing Art & Theory into Functional Items. [Rough Trans: You could put your sox in Jacques' drawers!]
In Italy, de Chirico's paintings, along with those of Carrà, bridge the transition to the New Sobriety of Italian art immediately after the war. De Chirico's essay "Il ritorno al mestiere" ("The Return to Craft"), published in 1919 in the influential journal Valori Plastici, was especially vital for this classicizing moment as it renewed interest in the Italian Renaissance painters Fra Angelico and Piero della Francesca. Chaos and Classicism also includes paintings by artists such as Massimo Campigli and Giorgio Morandi. Architectural models and design objects, including a version of Giuseppe Terragni's Casa del Fascio in Como, Italy, and porcelain by Ponti, demonstrate the power of the neoclassical paradigm for postwar Italian modernists. Sculpture, the quintessential classical medium, was especially strong in interwar Italy and is represented throughout the exhibition.
In Germany, Mies van der Rohe's synthesis of classical form and modern technology was central to the ethos that challenged Expressionism in interwar Germany: iconic elements of his Barcelona Pavilion (1929), including Georg Kolbe's Morning (Der Morgen, 1925), the life size nude sculpture so well known from original photos of Mies's seminal structure, are featured in the exhibition. Renowned Bauhaus teacher Oskar Schlemmer's modernist figurative paintings testify to the German translation of the Italian revival (Schlemmer was deeply influenced by the art of Piero della Francesca, among others). Moreover, after the perceived excesses of Expressionist art, the Neue Sachlichkeit movement represented the search for aesthetic Klarheit ("clarity") in Weimar Germany. Works by Dix, Georg Scholz, Georg Schrimpf, and Wilhelm Schnarrenberger reveal this rationalist approach along with August Sander's radically pared down photographic portraits. However, modern German aesthetics also leads viewers toward the exhibition's dramatic conclusion. As the Weimar Republic collapsed and Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, the new classicism--Parisian myths, Italian role playing, and the German search for objectivity--was monstrously transformed into a quasi scientific doctrine of human perfection under the Nazis.
Also On View on Annex Level 7:
The Dark Side of Classicism: The 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin were a classicizing spectacle, recorded & refashioned by the greatest Nazi Propagandist, Filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, in her Olympia [1936-38], excerpts of which are in this final section.
Well, at last! But still no Speer… He sat in Spandau Prison along with Rudolph Hess for many years.
As for Leni, I got to know her slightly in the 1960s--as I also did Winifred Wagner, the woman who gave Hitler the pen & paper to write Mein Kampf.
I still have Leni's Schoenheit im Olympischen Spiel, a large Presentation Book with impressive Riefenstahl Photos. She autographed it as a gift to a Hollywood Producer--before WW II, of course!--for she hoped she'd be invited to make a film in America…
HIRSCHL & ADLER
FREDERICK BROSEN: Recent Watercolors
[18 November to 30 December 2010]
Even if you are an inveterate Walker in Cities, chances are that you've never seen Paris or New York quite the way Frederick Brosnan has: he has both an Artists' & a Photographers' Eye for quaint details, as well as for the Big Picture…
His talent for sketching, as well as his ability to build up layers of color on a graphite ground, are remarkable, evocative even.
When I saw La Friterie, Paris, I gasped: "I took that picture, way back in… Well, way back…"
But his colors are much more subtle than my Kodachrome™ slides.
CHARLES LeDRAY: workworkworkworkwork
[18 November 2010 to 13 February 2011]
Charles LeDray has been busybusybusybusybusy with his Needle & Thread!
The current Whitney LeDray Retro fills an entire floor.
Not only are there glass cases with multiple shelves crammed with tiny white or black objects--Miniature Wonder Cabinets!--but there are also tiny racks of miniature suits, coats, shirts, trousers, all carefully crafted by LeDray.
There are also piles of such clothing, in various sizes.
Of course, if you are functioning as a Mini Tailor for the Little People, you'd also want to provide them with tiny chairs to sit in, while they are waiting for their Fittings…
Ralph Lauren's show window for elegant Suitings for Tiny Tots is just down Madison Avenue from the Whitney.
It could be an interesting Adjunct to the Whitney's current celebration of LeDray's ingenious & obsessive talents to put some of his Mini Jackets alongside Lauren's slightly larger Tweed Jackets for two year olds.
People who purchase such Lauren mini clothings must be Incredibly Rich: a month or two later, these jackets & trousers will no longer fit. Kids grow fast, especially Rich Kids, as they have richer diets!
Actually, the darling little outfits in Lauren's window look like Doll's Clothing. But you'd have to look around hard to find a doll small enough to wear LeDray's finely tailored clothes…
MODERN LIFE: Edward Hopper & His Time
[28 October 2010 to 10 April 2011]
For regular visitors to the Whitney Museum, seeing the new Edward Hopper show will be a lot like seeing Old Friends again after a long absence. The Vaults have been raided to bring back into the galleries not only Vintage Hoppers, but also important works of his distinguished Contemporaries.
Actually, one of them--Charles Burchfield--has just had a whole floor to himself at the Whitney.
In terms of Hopper's development as a painter & sketcher--as well as the way he looked at Manhattan & Beyond--it's something of a Revelation to trace his influences from the Ashcan School of Artists, through the Precisionists, with their distinctive treatments of American Industry, onward to Hopper's defining sense of the Aching Solitude in much of Modern American Life.
It's a striking way to enter this show, to be confronted with the powerful black & white moving images of Paul Strand & Charles Scheeler's digitally restored 1921 Manhatta. Here's the Brooklyn Bridge; there are the steam & smoke puffing rooftops of Manhattan's low & high rise buildings!
In an historical sense, Pride of Place in this admirable exhibition belongs to Robert Henri's seductive portrait of a luxuriously reclining Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.
An interesting Artist herself--as well as one of America's most influential Patrons of the painters & sculptors who created a distinctive new American Aesthetic--Whitney's 1920 Studio Club, showing these artists, developed into the Whitney Museum, which now celebrates Her Artists…
HOUDINI: Art & Magic
[29 October 2010 to 27 March 2011]
Many popular Vaudeville & Variety Artists of the early 20th Century have now been forgotten: George M. Cohan, anyone?
For that matter, whatever became of Doug Henning? [He died, but Houdini lives on & on…]
One name stands out from all of these, a Man who became a Legend: Harry Houdini!
The interesting new show at the Jewish Museum is the first--in an Art Museum--to throw the spotlight on Houdini, not only as a Stage Magician & a famed Escape Artist, but also as an Inspiration to Contemporary American Artists.
Notably Matthew Barney…
Barney's Cremaster 2, with Norman Mailer as Houdini--is worth a one minute film clip in this show, but an entire Sealed Chamber is devoted to his Cremaster 5: The Ehrich Weiss Suite. Houdini's birth name was Ehrich Weiss.
In this Installation, SEVEN LIVE KITE JACOBIN PIGEONS deface Houdini's Coffin. As if this were an actual Outdoor Gravesite, exposed to the Natural World.
This Artwork teaches us that Nature Endures, while Life Is Fleeting. Barney's Pigeons remind us of Houdini's Fate, as well as of Human Mortality!
These modern artworks do help pad out the show, but Houdini's Posters, Escape Photos & Film footage, as well as his actual Handcuffs--a case full of them, Straight Jacket, Escape Trunk, Milk Can, & reconstructed Water Torture Cell are far more interesting.
Of course, it was good to be reminded--by the Movie Poster!--that the recently deceased Tony Curtis played Houdini on the Silver Screen. Alas, neither Ehrich Weiss nor Bernie Schwartz could escape from the Coffin of Death…
Kips Bay Decorator Show House
By the time you read this, it will be too late for you to check out the Vacant Town House selected for this year's Decorator Makeover. Last year, the Chosen Mansion was the Amazing Space that was formerly the Salander O'Reilly Gallery--until the unfortunate Gallerist ran into financial & other Problems.
For Your Arts Reporter, this was really handy, almost across the street from me, just down a few doors. I'm across from the Frick Art Reference Library, which has a beautifully appointed chamber for you to study their Archives!
Next door is the former Axel Wenner Gren Villa--built by the Swedish Industrialist--but owned for a long time by Duty Free Miller, whose lovely daughters Married Well. One wed Getty Money, while another married the Presumptive Heir to the Throne of Greece, making her now Princess Paul of Greece!
Recently, doing a report on Sotheby's & Christie's Multi Million Dollar Real Estate Properties, one brochure astounded: it featured a Grand Spiral Staircase, photographed from the top down!
This year, walking only two blocks East, to see the Kips Bay Decorator Show House, I was amazed to discover that very Spiral Staircase--which I have photographed from both top & bottom, as you can see here!
"Magnificent Limestone Mansion Sees Top Interior Designers Create Living Spaces to Awe & Inspire."
That's from the Kips Bay Press Release, but can a Mansion really SEE?
"Twenty Top Interior Designers, Landscape Artists, & Photographers are participating in the 38th Annual Decorator Show House, to benefit the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club." Well, there you have it!
I thought the Spiral Staircase had always been there, but No. This Mansion was originally but a segment of Row Houses for apparently Ordinary People.
What you can now see--even if you missed the Kips Bay Extravaganza, you could ask Sotheby's to give you a Showing, posing as someone with $25 million to spend on a piéd a terre in Manhattan--is, in fact, not Historic, but a newly renovated Limestone Mansion, at 106 East 71st Street.
This is "the most High Profile Renovation Project in America!"
"Each of the 17 rooms in the six story, 10,000 square foot mansion will delight Design Enthusiasts & anyone looking for Inspiration in decorating their own Living Spaces."
Here's a Complete List of Participating Designers:
2Michaels Design, Aman & Carson Inc, Brett Design, Coffinier Ku Design, Ltd, Cullman & Kravis, Darren Henault Interiors, Eve Robinson Associates, Jean Paul Gaultier, The JeffreyDesign Group, Jennifer Post Design Inc, Katie Ridder Design and Decoration, McMillen Plus, Monica Rich Kosann Photography, Nancy Boszhardt Inc, Plants Specialists, Robert Verdi and Deirdre A. D'Elia Interior Designs, Rod Winterrowd Inc, Sculpt du Fleur by Nina Helms, Sherrill Canet Interiors, Ltd, & Vicente Wolf Associates.
And here are some Highlights of the Show House:
Katie Ridder--Entry Foyer:
To create Drama in a small space, Ridder made the Focal Point the Light Fixture, with its Oversized Lampshade, custom made for the designer. The Shape--modeled on an Old Shade--was blown up & attached with a large Glass Coral Branch, from Rossetti & Gow. The Ceiling is gold leafed with gold paper cut in Triangles & the walls are Pagoda--the designer's newly released wallpaper, carried at Holland & Sherry. The floor is dark, with the panels below the Wainscot painted brown to match the background color of the Wallpaper.
Jean Paul Gaultier for Roche Bobois--Entrance Hall:
The collaboration between Roche Bobois & Jean Paul Gaultier reveals the Common History that Fashion & Interior Design share: Creativity, Aesthetics, Audacity, & Attention to Detail. This Collection includes Sofas--The Mah Jong, Roche Bobois' iconic model, as well as complementary pieces of Furniture & Accessories. It reflects the fashion designer's Original & Creative Vision, combined with Roche Bobois' know how.
An intimate resting place for Kips Bay Show House Volunteers, the room is covered in snake patterned wallpaper from the Brett Design Inc. Collection. Done in Lipstick Red, the room evokes a Mad Men esque Era. Well, you get the Idea…
Actually, all the rooms are inventive & admirable. But, if you want to have more detail, you can click onto the Kips Bay website!But here are some unedited samples of the copy: Rod Winterrowd - Parlor Floor Stair Landing and Stairwell A subtle, tranquil, and fluid transitional space is what Winterrowd envisioned for his stair landing and stair well.
The values and materials chosen are all about texture, scale, and bold statements embellished with classical architectural interior details, a "return to rights." Bored by the traditional "rules" of design, Winterrowd peppered his spaces with an eclectic selection of antiques and works of art from 19th century neoclassical pieces alongside Jansen French 1940s furniture, 20th century art and photography contrasting with ancient Roman sculpture.
Eve Robinson Associates - Kitchen
Everyone agrees that the kitchen has become the hub of family life in the contemporary home. This kitchen is no exception. It complements the formality of the architecture of the house yet adds comfort and whimsy that satisfy the craving for a relaxed home. Its success is based on the subtle juxtaposition of opposing elements: traditional and modern; light and dark; formal and casual. Like any delicious recipe, this kitchen is composed of only the best ingredients. The furnishings, a mixture of vintage and contemporary, provide a timeless approach to design that promise longevity.
Cullman & Kravis - "Dinner at 8" Dining Room
Cullman & Kravis' "Dinner at Eight" honors eight of the great chefs of NYC: Mario Batali, April Bloomfield, Daniel Boulud, David Chang, Anita Lo, Eric Ripert, Michael Romano, and Marcus Samuelsson. Ellie Cullman, a passionate foodie, conceived this room as a celebration of food and dining. Some of the decorating highlights include an iconic image of a slice of pizza by Neil Winokur, a classic Joel Meyerowitz city streetscape of an NYC deli, and the focal point, a whimsical seven foot sculpture titled "Homework Tower" by Studio Job, composed of a cast bronze tower of cooking pots. In addition, Cullman adds antiques to the mix, ranging from a set of Biedermeier dining chairs circa 1810, to an Art Deco sideboard by Maxime Old from the 1930s. (http://www.cullmankravis.com/#/home)
Elizabeth Pyne for McMillen Plus - Room for Daydream
Pyne was inspired by the rural fantasies of Marie Antoinette as well as her own love of daydream and memory. This small room is in the scale of the petites apartements that were in vogue during the reign of Louis XV. At the center of the room is a Charles Beckley daybed with a canopy, and an aging plastic modular base that serves here as a desk pedestal. From the eyelash Mandala comprised of real hair from China, and Papier Mache frame, to the marble ribbon sculpture by Elizabeth Turk, there is nothing in this room that does not evoke a daydream. Truth Be Told: Many of the Antiques & other Decorative Tshotskes are more interesting than the actual pieces of furniture, but you cannot sit on most of them with any degree of Comfort…
ON LINE: Drawing Through the 20th Century
[21 November 2010 to 7 February 2011]
If you think of Drawing, as practiced by Artists over the long centuries--before the Twentieth, at least--as something as essentially simple as Putting Pencil or Pen to Paper, or a Gravure Stylus to a Copper Plate, then you have been Limiting Your Horizons.
Curators at MoMA have considerably Enlarged that Activity to include Assemblages, Collages, Constructions, Installations, & Wire Sculptures…
With the Concept of the "Organic Line," old time Delineation moves off the page into Space & Time.
There are some grainy Videos of Performance Art in performance. There's even an old film clip of Loie Fuller gracefully waving her fabulously pleated gown & sleeves in a Symphonic Frenzy that would have delighted Fortuny, innovator of Fab Pleating.
Yes, we've all heard about Drawing a Line in the Sand, but how about clawing Circles in the Earth that can be best admired from a low flying Helicopter?
There is actually a reconstruction of El Lissitsky's Proun Room in this wide ranging exhibition.
Years & years ago, Elizabeth Wilson was reconstructing Famous Rooms in Art & Art History in small galleries. How about Vincent Van Gogh's Yellow Bedroom?
When she recreated El Lissitsky's Proun Room, she begged Your Reporter to come on down to Chelsea to "have a look." [I was reporting for the Eastsider, the Westsider,& the Chelsea Clinton News.]
The Reconstruction--like that at MoMA, which uses more costly materials than Wilson could afford--certainly looked like the Archival Photo of the Original.
"Elizabeth! I came all the way down here to look at a copy of a Cubist/Contructivist space? Wouldn't it be a more interesting idea to have some kind of complementary Movement or Dance Performance in this Space?"
Wilson did just that--with some young & small scale Swiss Mimes!
LINCOLN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
ALWIN NIKOLAIS' TOTAL THEATRE OF MOTION
[21 October 2010 to 15 January 2011]
If only we had a new WPA Federal Theatre Program, perhaps we could nurture a new Alwin Nikolais, who was so greatly helped to develop his Distinctive Dance Theatre during the Great Depression.Beginning as an Innovative Puppeteer, Nikolais came to dance later, but soon developed a new Free Form kind of Dance Movement.
It was almost Abstract, his dancers often costumed in unusual forms which they animated in ways that made it seem these colorful, vibrating, undulating Sculptural Structures had lives of their own!Nikolais' uses of Light--as well as of Space, Sound, & Structure--made his Creations a Revelation to many Theatre Practitioners. This intriguing show in the Astor Gallery is image rich in Posters, Photos, & Dance Videos, but it also provides some of Nikolais' actual Tubal Structures to let viewers imagine how they might be able to animate such Dance Movement Challenges.
Your Arts Reporter--writing for Dance, Theatre Crafts, & Cue Magazine's In the Words of…--was privileged to interview both with Nikolais & Murray Louis, long one of his Leading Dancers & Collaborators. What days those were…
PARK AVENUE ARMORY
IFPDA PRINT FAIR 2010
Sanford Smith used to offer a Works on Paper Park Avenue Armory Show, but it's no longer on his show roster. Perhaps it's been subsumed? The IFPDA PRINT FAIRis also managed by Smith.If Your Arts Reporter not mistaken, most of the same dealers have presented their Estimable Wares at both shows. But I wouldn't have known about this Print Fair at all, had not a dealer from Chicago sent me a card with all the Info… The first IFPDA Print Fair took place in 1991. This year's event was linked to Breast Cancer Research! Not only were all the dealers I spoke with very supportive of this Worthy Cause, but they were also unfailingly generous of their time in talking about the Engravings, Etchings, Prints, Lithographs, & other Arts they had on display.
If I had another Bookcase at home & had had two Shopping Bags, I could have brought home two shelves worth of stunning Catalogues!Oddly enough, one is not permitted to bring a Shoulder Bag into the shows at the Armory, so one can soon have hands & arms crammed with valuable Backgrounders… But with no hands free to take photos! As longtime Editor of The Art Deco News & The Modernist, I thought I'd seen all of the best Art Deco print makers. But the elegant, energy implied Deco Curves & Swirls of Cyril Power were entirely New to me.
Rather than try to describe some of the more fascinating Print Stalls, I'd like to share a series of INFOTOGRAPHY™ shots I took of various Booths & Trophy Prints.As they say, One Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words…
NORMAN ROCKWELL: Behind the Camera
[19 November 2010 to 10 April 2011]
When Spring comes along, you might want to drive up to the newly leafing Berkshires, stopping along the way in picturesque Stockbridge. While there, you should visit the Sculpture Studio of Daniel Chester French, who created that immense Seated Lincoln for the Nation's Capital.
More popular, however, is the Stockbridge Studio of Norman Rockwell, one of the most popular Magazine Illustrators of the 20th Century. His Iconic Images of Ordinary Americans at Work & Play were the most distinguishing feature of the Saturday Evening Post for many years.
Ordinary Americans collected Norman Rockwell Post Covers the way Elitist New Yorkers collected the covers of The New Yorker.
The difference in Taste & Attitude that motivated the two groups of Collectors, however, was that Manhattanites appreciated the Subtle Social Satires of the New Yorker Covers.
Whereas, out in the Heartland, Rockwell's weekly Sentimental Celebrations of the Very American ness of Our Daily Lives spoke to a much wider & admiring Public!
Over time, Rockwell's obvious talent as a technically accomplished painter--along with his predictably sentimental approach to many Aspects of American Life--encouraged Art Experts to dismiss his work as Illustrations, not as Art, with a Capital A.
Nonetheless, Rockwell was proud of that designation, as he had been preceded by Howard Pyle & NC Wyeth, also beloved Illustrators, who came to be recognized as important Artists as well
What many did not--even today, do not--know about were the Minute Preparations that Rockwell made before he completed a definitive Post Cover. He was, in effect, a Stage Director, a Prop Manager, & a Set Designer for all of his Signature Paintings.
To create many of his Iconic, Quintessentially American paintings--most of which served as magazine covers--Norman Rockwell worked from carefully staged Study Photographs.
These are now on view for the first time at the Brooklyn Museum, alongside his actual Paintings, Drawings, & related Tear Sheets. This fascinating show was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, following a two year project that preserved & digitized almost 20,000 negatives.
Beginning in the late 1930s, Norman Rockwell [1894-1978] adopted Photography as a tool to bring his illustration ideas to life in studio sessions. Working as a director, he carefully staged his photographs, selecting props, locations, & models, orchestrating every detail.
He began by collecting authentic Props & Costumes. What he did not have readily available, he purchased, borrowed, or rented--from a Dime Store Hairbrush or Coffee Cup to a roomful of chairs & tables from a New York City Automat.
He created numerous photographs for each new subject, sometimes capturing complete compositions or combining separate pictures of individual elements. Over the forty years that he used photographs as his painting guide, he worked with many skilled photographers, particularly Gene Pelham, Bill Scovill, & Louis Lamone.
Early in his career, Norman Rockwell used Professional Models, but he eventually found that this method inhibited his Evolving Naturalistic Style.
When he turned to Photography, he preferred using friends and neighbors to create his many detailed study photographs, which he found liberating.
Working from black & white study photographs also allowed Rockwell more freedom in developing his final work: "If a model has worn a red sweater, I have painted it red--I couldn't possibly make it green.… But when working with photographs, I seem able to recompose in many ways: as to Form, Tone, & Color."
Included in the exhibition are more than 100 framed Digital Prints, along with paintings, drawings, magazine tear sheets, photographic equipment, & Archival Letters, as well as an Introductory Film.
Among the paintings on view is the Brooklyn Museum's own Rockwell painting: The Tattoo Artist.
This is one of many that Rockwell created during World War II. It shows a young Sailor stoically having his arm tattooed, adding a new girl's name below many others, already crossed out by the Tattooer's Needle.
This exemplifies the Humor & Sentimentality that made Rockwell's Post Covers the Objects of Scorn of many professional Art Critics & Art Professors…
Among the magazine covers included in the exhibition are several from The Saturday Evening Post, for which Rockwell worked for nearly fifty years before turning his attentions to more socially relevant subjects for Look Magazine, with which he had a decade long relationship.
TOSHIKO NISHIKAWA: Senbazuru
[29 October to 9 December 2010]
Walk into the Vilcek Foundation--on the ground floor of the ex Carriage house at 167 East 73rd--to be confronted, surrounded, enveloped even by 1,000 Mirrored Orbs!
Hanging from the stark white ceiling--in the stark white chamber--the small balls are suspended on springy coils that permit, even INVITE you to see yourself in a new way. You might also connect with others standing near, also looking into the Mirror Balls.
These are not Crystal Balls: You won't see into the Future, but you may have a sense of your place in the Greater Cosmos.
This could be because of Toshiko Nishikawa's Dream of many years ago: To create a Microcosmic Representation of the World!
Her Orbs offer you a thousand ways to see yourself. Senbazuru means 1,000 Origami Cranes…
No Origami Cranes are hanging from the ceiling, but the almost Holographic 3 D Mirrored Orb Program Cover is a Keeper!
Copyright © Glenn Loney 2010. No re publication or broadcast use without proper credit of authorship. Suggested credit line: "Glenn Loney, Curator's Choice." Reproduction rights please contact: email@example.com.
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