CURATOR'S CHOICE SM
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GLENN LONEY'S MUSEUM NOTES
CONTENTS, MARCH 2014
Caricature of Glenn Loney by Sam Norkin.
Please click on " * " to skip to each subject in this index:
No! No! Don’t Throw Away Any of the Scraps in Jean Michel’s Waste Basket: Collectible Gold! *
How Much Would You Bid on Van Cliburn’s Bechstein? Even If You Cannot Read Music? *
Rockwell Wasn’t the Only Cover Man for The Saturday Evening Post: Falter Doesn’t Falter! *
Christie’s First "Open" of Post War & Contemporary Art Auction Totals Almost $12 Million! *
Millions Bid & Accepted by Auction Houses During Fabulous Asia Week! *
Barry Friedman’s Eclectic Eye Has Spotted a Lot of Decorative Goodies: $5 Million Plus… *
Other Folks Drinking Seagram’s Enabled Edgar M. Bronfman To Amass a Fabulous Collection… *
Asia Week Not Neglected at Bonhams on Madison! Tibetan Mandala Almost Makes a Million! *
NALINI MALANI: Transgressions *
HIMALAYAN SCULPTURES *
CREATING A TIBETAN SAND MANDALA *
GOLDEN VISIONS OF DENSATIL: A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery *
WITNESS: Art & Civil Rights in the Sixties *
Coming to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum in April *
Theodore Low De Vinne & the Art Preservation of All Arts *
THE PASSIONS OF JEAN BAPTISTE CARPEAUX *
LUCAS SAMARAS: Offerings from a Restless Soul *
RE COLLECTION *
ROBERT HEINECKEN: Object Matter *
JASPER JOHNS: Regrets *
DEGENERATE ART: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937 *
Rumaging in the Stalls of Trödelhändel & in Munich Attics-- *
Emil Nolde & the "Unpainted Paintings" in Salzburg-- *
Across the Baltic with an Ernst Barlach Sculpture-- *
The Cornelius Gurlitt Hoard in Munich-- *
BILL CUNNINGHAM: Façades *
THE BLACK FIVES *
AUDUBON’S AVIARY: Parts Unknown [Part II of the Complete Flock] *
BARBARA 14 *
THE WHITNEY 2014 BIENNIAL *
RAMBLES ROUND MUSEUMS, GALLERIES, INSTALLATIONS, & AUCTIONS--
At Christie’s Auction House:
- No! No! Don’t Throw Away Any of the Scraps in Jean Michel’s Waste Basket: Collectible Gold!
Up on the 20th Floor of that Sixth Avenue Publishing House adjoining Christie’s, T Shirts & Scraps of Failed Writing Efforts were recently celebrated.
They are the Left Overs of Jean Michel Basquiat, some of which his Great Friend, Alexis Adler, must have found crumpled & discarded in their Mutual Waste Basket?
- How Much Would You Bid on Van Cliburn’s Bechstein? Even If You Cannot Read Music?
When I went to look at that Fabled Bechstein at Christie’s just before the Actual Sale, I made the mistake of asking to see the Andy Warhol Piano. As Andy’s Works & Possessions seem to be Up for Auction almost everywhere these days, it was, I thought, a Natural Error.
Nonetheless, when I received the Christie’s Print Out of Sale Results--which combined the Van Cliburn Estate with that of the Honorable Noreen Drexel, of Newport, Rhode Island--the Piano did not make the Top Ten.
Nonetheless, both Noreen & Van’s various Treasures won a Grand Total of $2,280,500.
Top Lot in the Combined Sale were two "Chinese Carved Whitish Green Jade Plaques," which went for $87,500.
"Anonymous" bid $37,500 for a Full Length Portrait by Sir Martin Archer Shee, depicting "a Boy with a Spaniel on a Terrace with a Landscape in the Distance."
You don’t have to be able to Read Music to admire a Boy & a Spaniel on a Terrace, after all…
- Rockwell Wasn’t the Only Cover Man for The Saturday Evening Post: Falter Doesn’t Falter!
Never heard of John Philip Falter?
You don’t remember Spilled Purse on Steep Hill, that Saturday Evening Post Cover of long ago?
How about Chasing the Fire Engine, another Falter Cover?
At Christie’s recent American Art Auction, Falter’s Oil on Masonite Image of that Purse was bought for $131,000, but the World Auction Record for a Falter Oil was set with $461,000 being bid for his Fifth Avenue!
Anna Mary Robertson--better known as Grandma Moses--also recorded American Scenes with Oil on Masonite, but her Whoa There had Glitter added to the Oil.
It sold for $106,250.
Milton Avery’s Vermont Landscape was bought for $93,750, with Sales Totals adding up to $4.5 Million. This was the Highest Ever at Christie’s for a Mid Season Sale in this Category.
- Christie’s First "Open" of Post War & Contemporary Art Auction Totals Almost $12 Million!
This Show & Auction--to benefit Houston’s Museum of Contemporary Art--featured two works by Jean Michel Basquiat from the Collection of Alexis Adler.
His Olive Oyl--a Glyph like Work on Plaster, named after a Character in the Popeye Comics--sold for $569,000, but a Door "titled within as Famous Negro Athletes" won $773,000.
The Top Lot was Wayne Guyton’s Untitled , which sold for over One Million Dollars, after "arresting competition among bidders in the room, on the phone & online"
Christie’s described this as a "striking & emblematic work."
The fact that it is a "Unique Variant" from a "Series of Five" might have given some of those "Competitive Bidders" pause, considering that there must also be Four Other Untitleds somewhere out there.
Wayne Guyton is Very Big on Christening his Artworks with the Title of Untitled.
A Century from now, Arts Archivists are going to have Some Problems with this…
- Millions Bid & Accepted by Auction Houses During Fabulous Asia Week!
There were so many Buddhas & Ganeshes on view--Not to Mention Madalas!--at Christie’s, Bonhams, Sotheby’s, & Phillips de Pury that it was like Three Weeks of Free Admission at the Rubin Museum, which specializes in Asian Arts, especially Tibetan Mandalas.
Eight different Asian Art Sales at Christie’s totaled $ 72 Million!
In the Fine Chinese Ceramics Sale, the Top Lot was a Celadon Glazed Relief Decorated Archaistic Vase, which was bought for no less than $l,445,000…
Another Christie’s Sale--The Sublime & the Beautiful: Asian Masterpieces of Devotion--a Ming Dynasty Medicine Buddha fetched $5,541,000.
This Buddha sounds like Very Expensive Medical Insurance!
Can Christie’s find an Affordable Care Buddha to Auction?
- Barry Friedman’s Eclectic Eye Has Spotted a Lot of Decorative Goodies: $5 Million Plus…
When I was strolling through the Christie’s Galleries--just before the Barry Friedman Auction--admiring the Astonishing Variety of Oddly Designed Furniture & Kinky Decorative Objects, I stumbled upon a Live Interview, with Barry being interrogated by an Intense Interviewer.
A Christie’s Attendant was distraught that I had taken Digital Photo of this Curatorial Event, so I moved on, to Continual Amazement: Barry really does Have an Eye for the Unusual…
He has long had a Friedman Gallery, over Godiva’s, on Upper Madison.
I should have climbed the Stairs, to Have a Look!
The Top Lot in the Four Section Sale was an Important Pulegoso Vase, Model 3273, c1928.
Designed by Napoleone Martinuzzi for Venini, it has what look like Five Loopy Handle Loops attached to Both Sides.
Sold at Auction for $233,000, this Vase is now even More Important, for that Sale set a World Record for a work by Napoleone Martinuzzi.
Other Artists with More Familiar Names, who have caught Barry’s Eclectic Eye, include Wendell Castle, Ron Arad, & Gottfried Heinwein--whose Head of a Child also set a World Record for Good Old Gottfried!
- Other Folks Drinking Seagram’s Enabled Edgar M. Bronfman To Amass a Fabulous Collection…
Some of Bronfman’s Treasures will soon be Up for Auction at Christie’s!
They include works by Picasso, Monet, Matisse, Degas, but this Beloved Humanitarian was not content to Collect Modernist Standards.
No: there will also be works by Egon Schiele, Kees Van Dongen, & Milton Avery…
As the Christie’s Press Release Notes: "Christie’s Celebrates the Discerning Eye of a Beloved Humanitarian."
More on Bronfman: "Former Lead Executive of Seagram Company & President of the World Jewish Congress Curated a Remarkable Collection of Fine & Decorative Art."
Not To Worry: The Architectural Award Winning Seagram’s Building is not yet Up for Auction…
At Bonhams Auction House:
- Asia Week Not Neglected at Bonhams on Madison! Tibetan Mandala Almost Makes a Million!
A Thirty Two Deity Guhyasamaja Tibetan Mandala Painting brought $929,000 at Bonhams.
Divide 32 into $929,000 to see what each of those Buddhist Deities may be currently worth at Market Prices.
Top Prices were paid for other Tibetan, Nepalese, & Himalayan Religious Images & Devotional Objects.
I’d itemize them here, but the Typing Strokes required to Spell Out those elaborate Devotional Names would prove exhausting…
Chinese Art also did well at Bonhams: Portrait of a Royal Lady achieved $269,000, even though the Painter is "Unknown."
Return of My Sight brought $365,000: it has been a Gift by the Artist to his Ophthalmalogist!
At The Asia Society:
- NALINI MALANI: Transgressions
[Closing 3 May 2014]
In a Dimly lit Gallery of the Rockefeller Funded Asia Society, Four Transparent Lexan Cylinders--suspended from the ceiling--slowly revolve, throwing Ghostly Images of Elephants, Boxers, & Angry Female Deities onto the Long Back Wall, as a Three Channel Video is also projected through the Cylinders onto the Rear Surface.
The Effect is Magical; it is an Animated Projectional Magic that I first experienced in Kassel, in Documenta 13.
Malani’s Images were inspired by Edward Saïd’s Orientalism.
Born in Karachi--before the ill advised British Partition of India--Malani now divides her Time between Amsterdam & Mumbai, which was Bombay when India was part of the British Empire.
There was a Time when Queen Victoria was Empress of India, but Malani has Other Concerns with the Mystery of India…
- HIMALAYAN SCULPTURES
[Closing 18 May 2014]
These are Four Bodhisattvas--from the Collections of Mr. & Mrs. John D. Rockefeller III--who are helping the Asia Society celebrate Asia Week & also to complement the Tibetan Monastery Remains now on view.
Bodhisattvas are Legendary Buddhist Beings who have Postponed their own Enlightenment, so they can help Others attain This Blessed State, in which the Self is Lost & All Attachments to Worldly Things & Temporal Concerns Dissolve.
Considering the Huge Fortune that the Original John D amassed through Standard Oil, it is always of Interest to note how His Heirs have spent so much Time & Money to Share the Wealth through Cultural & Educational Endeavors.
Whether any Contemporary Rockefellers are seeking to Attain Enlightenment is Unknown, as Seekers do not advertise Their Quests.
Certainly Jay Rockefeller--in often seeking Public Office--shows Little Interest in Reaching Nirvana…
- CREATING A TIBETAN SAND MANDALA
[Only 19 23 February 2014]
A Team of Buddhist Monks carefully, lovingly, thoughtfully, & prayerfully constructed a Sand Mandala at the Asia Society, artfully pouring Millions of Grains of Colored Sands on the floor to create an Intricate Vision--or Cosmogram--of the World in Perfect Harmony: a Blessed State that can only be Dreamt of or Prayed for…
Such Temporary Cosmograms are designed as Aids to Meditation, & establishing a Sacred Space.
Although the Asia Society is located on the ever bustling Park Avenue, even Here can Buddhist Monks evoke the Infinite…
But--as in Asia, especially in Tibet--the Perfection illustrated by the Mandala is only a Brief Vision.
When the Monks have spent Five Days pouring Colored Sands in Elaborate Patterns & Images, they then Destroy the Mandala by walking around in it, scattering the Sands--if not To the Winds, at least to the Asia Society’s Air Conditioners.
Not To Laugh: Making & Destroying Mandalas is certainly preferable to Burning Heretics…
- GOLDEN VISIONS OF DENSATIL: A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery
[Closing 18 May 2014]
Today, Tibet is regarded as an Autonomous Region of the Communist Chinese Industrialized Empire.
Unfortunately, during Chairman Mao’s "Cultural Revolution," Tibet was almost Swallowed Up in Greater China.
Complete with the "Cultural Cleansing" that led to the Devastating Destruction of Buddhist Temples, Taoist Sanctuaries, & Confucian Shrines.
Mao wanted to Stamp Out Religious Superstition: Trashing Temples & Houses of Worship did not, however, erase Ages Old Beliefs & Traditions.
Even though the Densatil Monastery--in a remote Mountainous Region of Tibet--was extremely difficult to reach, the Cultural Revolutionaries destroyed it.
Densatil was famed for its Eight Great Stupas, each enshrining the Mortal Remains of a Buddhist Adept, possibly long, long ago already arrived in Nirvana in Perfect Enlightenment.
Actually, the Towering Structures rose Six Tiers on a Square Base, topped with the Distinctive Stupas.
On the Way Up, inlaid Gilt Copper Panels & Sculptures effectually created Three Dimensional Mandalas, with a Buddhist’s Spiritual Journey toward Enlightenment depicted.
Somewhat like Adolf Hitler--who despised "Degenerate Art," but didn’t destroy it, preferring to send Proscribed Paintings & Sculptures outside Aryan Germany to Zürich for Sale--Chairman Mao permitted the Broken Up Elements of the Eight Stupas to be Sold Abroad.
Now, some of the Finest of these Nepalese Reliefs & Densatil Sculptures are on view on Park Avenue.
Which is a Long Way Off from Enlightenment…
As well as being a Long Way Off from Mountainous Tibet, where the Densatil Monastery is being Re Built!
A Nirvana Seeking Question: If the Path of a Devout Buddhist is to Discard all the Temptations & Concerns of the Temporal World, Silently Meditating while on the Spiritual Road to Enlightenment, why all this Focus on Structures & Shrines?
Are the Stunning Stupas--in the Theological Framework of Esoteric Buddhism--actually a Stupid Manifestation of the All Too Human Wish to Materialize the Ineffable, Un Seeable, & Unknowable?
As for the Asia Society’s Verbot on Photographing the Surviving Stupa Elements--which will hardly be damaged by Flashless Digital Technology--I was both astonished & disappointed.
When I was last in Lhasha--Tibet’s Capital--I was permitted to photograph Every Aspect of the Great Potala Mountain Top Monastery, which dominates the City: From the Top of its Thirteen Stories all the way down to the Bottom, where there is now a Gas Station, for Locals & Tour Buses.
Top to Bottom? To enter Potala, you either climb up the Sacred Mountain, whirling a Prayer Wheel all the way, or you take a Bus to the Top.
At the Foot of the Uphill Road, there is a Long Line of Immense Prayer Wheels mounted vertically, so you can stroll along, setting each one In Motion, thereby achieving Innumerable Invocations.
Prayer Wheels? They are usually Copper or Silver Clad Cylinders containing Prayers, written in Tibetan Script. Hand Held Versions are mounted on a Stick--usually Wood, but sometimes Ivory!
When you give them a Whirl, as they Revolve, the Prayer inside is effectually being Recited, saving you Time & Effort, especially if you do not know Tibetan.
Centuries before there were such other Hand Held Devices as Cell Phones, Prayer Wheels were already Sending Messages: Buddha’s iPhones…
Also, Prayer Wheels are much more Efficient than saying Endless Rosaries, although their Urgent Invocations never reach the Divine Ears of the Blessed Virgin.
At The Brooklyn Museum of Art:
- WITNESS: Art & Civil Rights in the Sixties
[Closing 6 July 2014]
This Emblematic Exhibition should prove Instructive to School Classes coming to the Brooklyn Museum.
It is now Half a Century since the Signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
There are many Americans now living who don’t know who Rosa Parks was, or Medgar Evers, even though there’s a CUNY College named for him.
This is a Touring Show--beginning in Brooklyn--that Photographically & Textually Recaps the Horrors & the Victories of the Sixties.
But it is much more than an Historical Record.
Witness also offers an astounding array of Paintings, Graphics, & Sculptures by Major & Minor American Artists, moved to take up the Brush, the Chisel, the Glue Gun, & the Stapler to Testify to their Support of Equal Rights for Southern Blacks.
It may have been Incidental that they also hoped to take advantage of the Uprisings, Rebellions, & Marches to sell some of their Artworks…
Of course, the Civil Rights Legislation also applied to Other Minorities, not just those championed by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
But it is the American Southland & Abused Southern Blacks that are largely the Focus of this Show, so it is altogether appropriate that Robert Indiana targeted Selma, Alabama, in one of his Trademark Target Paintings.
Think of it! Indiana in Alabama!
[Why is it that we hear so little about the Artwork of Gary, Indiana?]
There are some 103 Artworks on view, representing the Output of some 66 Artists, of various "Races & Ethnicities," as the Catalogue--which is Excellent--notes.
Among Those of Note are Jacob Lawrence, Norman Rockwell, Philip Guston, David Hammons, Faith Ringgold, Mark di Suvero, & James Rosenquist.
Photographers such as Richard Avedon, Gordon Parks, & Bruce Davidson are also prominent.
As Adult Viewers & School Students leave the Show, there are small Note Sheets on which they can record their reactions to: "How is this History reflected in your Life?" & "What does your Activism look like?"
Teresa A. Carbone & Kellie Jones have done an excellent job as Curators. It must have been very difficult to Make Choices.
Ford, Barneys New York, & American Express are supporting this Exhibition.
- Coming to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum in April
JUDY CHICAGO--with Chicago in LA, Judy’s Early Work…
AI WEIWEI--According to What?, with lots & lots of his Stuff…
SWOON--transforming the Rotunda Gallery with a Monumental Site Specific Installation…
DEVINE FELINES: Cats of Ancient Egypt--Cats as Gods & as House Pets, from the Archives…
At the Grolier Society:
THE DEAN OF AMERICAN PRINTERS:
- Theodore Low De Vinne & the Art Preservation of All Arts
[Closing 26 April 2014]
"Print is Dead!"
"Long Live Print & Printed Books!"
On Line Publication is certainly Killing Off many Magazines, although some are Surviving through On Line Editions.
If you are an Unpublished Author--without an Agent or an Interested Publisher--you can now Publish Yourself or have Amazon do it for you--again, On Line!
But Beautiful Books will never Die: You will always be able to admire them at the Morgan Library!
The Problem is that it will soon be Unprofitable to Print a Book as handsome as those now on display at the Grolier Society.
Some of those on view are almost Ancient, going back to the Earliest Days of Moveable Type.
Those Tomes inspired Theodore Low De Vinne, Master Printer & Founding Member of the Grolier Society, which is composed of Lovers of Fine Printed Books.
De Vinne--whose first Printing House was down at Lafayette & 4thStreet--was fascinated by All Aspects of the Printed Book: Design & Layout, Typefaces, Effective Inks, Paper Quality, Elegant Ornamental Bindings, Hand & Rotary Presses…
He also believed that Handsome Books could--in Print & with Illustrations--effectively Preserve All of the Arts of the Past: Museums in Print!
But Printings of the famed Aldine Press & other Greats weren’t the only forms of Printing that commanded his Attention, for he was also Printer for Century & Scribner’s Magazines
In addition to Beautiful Books, Old & New, this engrossing Exhibition also features a kind of Life Line of De Vinne’s Career, complete with Medals & Honors, as well as an Honorary Stained Glass Window!
Personal Note: De Vinne also was the Master Printer for St. Nicholas Magazine, a Wonder World for Young Readers: Christmas with St. Nick every day of the Year!
This Beautifully Designed & Color Rich Child’s Anthology of Stories, Reports, & Verse--Illustrations by Howard Pyle & N. C. Wyeth--was edited by Mary Mapes Dodge, author of Hans Brincker & the Silver Skates.
I first read that fascinating Tall Tale of how Handsome Hans won the Skating Contest on the frozen Zuyder Zee in St. Nicholas Magazine & later in the Bound Book--printed, of course, by Theodore De Vinne.
That I had a Complete Run of St. Nicholas Magazine when I was only Ten Years Old--in the midst of the Great Depression when the Loney Family had No Money--would have seemed an Impossibility…
Except for the Fact that my Father, Merton Loney, was Manager & Chief Herdsman for the Golden Guernsey Barnegat Dairy, up in the Sierras, owned by Harry B. Cox, who summered at fashionable Barnegat Bay on the East Coast & who had the Good Fortune to have Married a Fortune.
Harry had wed Jessie Juliet Inness, Daughter of George Inness II & Granddaughter of George Inness I--Famed Painters of the Hudson River School.
So Jessie Juliet Inness Cox generously gave me all her Back Issues of St. Nicholas Magazine.
She also gave me some handsomely framed Prints of Important Works by George Inness: his Home of the Heron hung above my bed.
The Inness Family were Big Investors in the De Vinne Printed Century Magazine & its Offspring: St. Nicholas Magazine.
They were also Great Admirers & Supporters of Richard Watson Gilder, the Renowned Editor of the Century Magazine.
The Gilder Family lived on Gramercy Park, where their Historic Apartment was filled with Artworks, including Augustus St. Gaudens’ Bronze Reliefs of the Gilder Children, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as is the Gilder Stained Glass Fire Screen, created for them by American Artist, John La Farge.
On the Gilder Mantle piece were the Golden Hands of the Famed Italian Actress, Eleanora Duse, who often Baby Sat the Gilder Girls when she was in Manhattan on Tour, but not when she was appearing Onstage.
I know how these Fabled Hands & the Entire Apartment looked because, when I first came to New York, I was employed as a Writer/Reviewer--as well as an Assistant Editor--for Theatre Arts Magazine, founded years ago by Edith J. R. Isaacs & Rosamond Gilder, who became my Dear Friend & Advocate.
Ros was amused that I had, in effect, Grown Up reading St. Nicholas Magazine.
Years later, when I first came to know my Dutch Cousins in Delft & Dordrecht, I was surprised to discover that they had never even heard of Hans Brincker & the Silver Skates, let alone read it. It had never been published in Holland…
Oh! Another De Vinne Note: At the Grolier, you can see Theodore De Vinne’s handsomely Printed & Bound Edition of Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch.
This Odd Novel of Optimistic Poverty was a Huge Best Seller back before The Great War:
Mrs. Wiggs comes out of the Skid Row Shanty--where she is raising a Large Family alone in the World--to greet the Frigid Morning with an enthusiastic Welcome: "Land Sakes, the Thermometer’s done fell up to Zero!"
Grown Ups read it avidly, but later it became a "Children’s Book."
Nonetheless, it was so Universally Popular that it was soon adapted for the Broadway Stage, later Touring the Nation for years & years.
I read it as a Child--in the same De Vinne Edition on view at the Grolier--but, years later, I had to read it once again for my PhD Dissertation: Dramatizations of American Popular Novels: 1900 1917.
So, Thank You, Grolier Society!
At the Met--The Metropolitan Museum of Art:
- THE PASSIONS OF JEAN BAPTISTE CARPEAUX
[Closing 26 May 2014]
The Musée d’Orsay in Paris may be temporarily looking a bit De Nuded.
Not that all of its Fin de Siècle Nude Statuary has gone missing, but some Nude Figure Groups of Jean Baptiste Carpeaux are now on view at the Met Museum.
Not only Carpeaux’s Nudes, but also what seem to be Galleries crammed with Carpeaux’s Portrait Busts of Anyone who was Anyone in the Imperial Paris of Emperor Napoleon III.
Indeed, the Imperial Family--including Brothers, Cousins & His Aunts, to borrow from Gilbert & Sullivan--seem to have been Major Patrons.
The Only Son of Napoleon III appears Life Sized, with his Favorite Dog, Nero, in Marble, as well as in Terra Cotta & Silvered Bronze.
Although This Image continued to be marketed by the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory for years, the unfortunate Prince Impérial was impaled by a Zulu Spear in 1879.
After the Dethroned & Exiled Empress Eugénie took refuge in England, her Royal Son joined the British in their Campaign to make South Africa safe for European Settlers.
Actually, the most imposing of the Carpeaux Nudes, the immense Ugolino & His Sons--inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy--belongs to the Met, so it hasn’t had to be shipped over from the Musée d’Orsay.
The renowned Paris Opéra, the amazing "Wedding Cake" creation of Charles Garnier--whose Moustachioed Bust is on view--was graced with a Carpeaux Sculpture Group, the once scandalous The Dance.
The current Exhibition includes some 150 Carpeaux Works, including Paintings, Sculptures, Reliefs, Sketches, & Terra Cotta Models.
These come not only from the Musée d’Orsay but also from other Paris Museums, as well as from Valenciennes, where both he & Antoine Watteau were born. But years & years apart…
Carpeaux was subject to Violent Mood Swings & Physical Maladies. He led a Troubled Existence, dying relatively young, at 48.
But when you look at those Rooms crammed with Portrait Busts, you may well wonder when he had Time to Sleep?
- LUCAS SAMARAS: Offerings from a Restless Soul
[Closing 1 June 2014]
I remember Lucas Samaras most for his appearance in the "Happenings" of Allan Kaprow, Claes Oldenburg, & Jim Dine.
Judson Memorial Church was the Chief Sanctuary of the Most Memorable of these Performance Oddities.
Nothing at all to do with Appointment in Samara, for the Greek Born Samaras was long gone from that part of the Middle East.
Samaras was also involved in Polaroid Color Medium Manipulation & Schmall Film, as the Germans were pleased to call Avant Garde Cinematic Experiments of the 1960s.
Also a Print Maker, Painter, Sculptor, & Collagist, Samaras went Joseph Cornell One Better by making quite different Boxes than those that made Cornell famous.
How about a Cigar Box spiked with a Multiplicity of Pins?
The Samaras Boxes could become Quite Complex.
Anyway, you can now see a wide range of Samaras Artworks at the Met, hidden away downstairs on opposite sides of the Contemporary Art Collections in the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing.
Take Flight on the Wallace Wing?
No, no. Lila & DeWitt Wallace were the Founders of The Readers Digest, which made them Multi Millionaires.
At MAD: The Museum of Art & Design
- RE COLLECTION
[Closing 7 September 2014]
If you are a Regular at MAD, most of the 70 Art Objects now on view may seem like Old Friends.
They have been Curated/Collected for the Museum over the 16 Year Tenure of David McFadden, now Chief Curator Emeritus.
MAD was not always in the old Huntington Hartford Galleries at Columbus Circle, but its Move enabled McFadden to grow the Permanent Collection from some 800 Striking Artworks to more than 3,000, 730 having been acquired during the Last Five Years!
There are a lot of Oddities in this show. If my Webmaster can figure out how we can Post Some Photos, I’d rather Show than Tell…
Way back when I had created The Art Deco News, later The Modernist, David McFadden was a Great Help & Source of Information for the Art Deco Society of New York.
At MoMA--The Museum of Modern Art:
- ROBERT HEINECKEN: Object Matter
[Closing 7 September 2014]
If your Idea of the Best in Art Photography is Sharp Focus Black & White Ansel Adams or Edward Weston California Landscapes, then this new Photo Oriented Show at MoMA will be a Shock & Surprise.
Robert Heinecken’s Work incorporates Photography--Nudes, not Landscapes--but his Photo Images often are in Service of Other Goals.
As Curator Eva Respini notes, it’s "Not a Picture of, but an Object about Something."
He cut images from Newspapers & Magazines, collaging them with Porn & TV Pix to explore such Themes as Commercialism, Americana, Kitsch, Sex, Gender, & The Body.
Nor are the Heineckens all on the Wall. Some are 3 D, like Figure Cube & Figure in Six Sections.
How about Overprinted Magazine Pages & Covers?
Then there’s TV Dinner #10…
Nor could Heinecken resist co opting a Heineken Beer Bottle Image.
He founded the Photography Program at UCLA in 1964, continuing to teach there until 1991.
So his Heinecken Effects may well have infected some Hollywood Film Makers as well, over the years.
This is an Eye Boggling--as well as Mind Boggling--Experience, so you need to come prepared for Visual Shocks.
No Vistas of Half Dome in Yosemite by Ansel Adams…
More like Crotch Shots of "Professional Models" & Other Astonishments.
- JASPER JOHNS: Regrets
[Closing 1 September 2014]
If you thought Jasper Johns was dead, you are much mistaken.
He is Alive & Well & has been spending the last Year & a Half on his Regrets Project.
If you remember Jasper Johns as that Avant Garde Pop Artist who painted American Flags that sold for Millions at Auction, you have the Right Guy.
Just as Carl Orff is mainly remembered for Carmina Burana, so also may Jasper Johns remain in Collective Memory as that Flag Guy.
But, for over a year, he’s been working away on Regrets, inspired by an old rumpled photo of Lucien Freud on a bed.
The Freudian Photo was used by the Painter Francis Bacon for his own Inspiration.
You may recall that Bacon’s Triptych of Lucien Freud was recently sold at Christie’s for Millions & Millions.
So Sigmund Freud’s Nephew--who is also a Painter of Note himself--must have some kind of Magical DNA to appeal as a Central Subject to Two Important Artists.
What Jasper Johns has done with that Damaged Photo Image might well make the Original Photographer, John Deakin, have some Regrets about having taken it in the First Place.
Jasper Johns doubled Bacon’s Rumpled Original, making a Mirror Image. He also borrowed some of the Black/White/Gray Tonalities of the Torn Photo in his Backgrounds.
The Results--in Sketches & Multiple Pullings of Prints from his much Worked Over Copper Plates--can now be seen at MoMA.
There are Two Regrets Paintings among the Thirty Objects on view; the Remainder being Sketches & Prints related to Regrets.
But the Varied Versions of the Basic Freudian Bed Image become a bit Boringly Repetitive after while.
Only a Regrets Watercolor allays this Sensation for it "obscures the Image nearly into Abstraction."
Although Jasper Johns often prefers Untitled as Titles for his Artworks, the Regrets Title is taken from his Rubber Stamp for responding to Invitations, of which, of course, Famous Artists receive a Plenitude.
This is a very Small Scale Show, so you may want to send your Regrets as well, if you’d rather spend your Art Gawking Time at the Met Museum with Jean Baptiste Carpeaux…
At the Neue Galerie
- DEGENERATE ART: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937
[Closing 30 June 2014]
Just as Der Führer, Adolf Hitler, was formally opening his magnificent new Haus der Deutschen Kunst in Munich, nearby was another kind of Art Exhibition.
This was, for Hitler & Goebbels, the Nazi Propaganda Chief, an Appalling Show, so they called it Entartete Kunst, or "Degenerate Art."
On the walls were such Disgusting Artworks as the Scribbles & Dribbles of the Impressionists, the Post Impressionists, the Cubists, the Fauvists, & the Dadaists…
The Cultural Atrocities of Bauhaus Artists such as Oskar Schlemmer were on view.
The Horrors of Paul Klee, of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, of Ernst Barlach, of Max Beckmann, of Oskar Kokoshka, of Georg Grosz, of Karl Schmidt Rottluff, of Emil Nolde were all Exposed to Final View for an Honest, Innocent, Decent, God Fearing Aryan Audience, who would soon be Introduced to True German Art.
No longer to be led astray by the Cultural Pronouncements of "Metropolitan" & "Internationalist" Critics who had been busily promoting Non Aryan Art Atrocities.
For Goebbels, "Metropolitan" & "Internationalist" were really Code Words for Jewish Critics & Art Dealers.
He wasn’t accusing all of the Degenerate Artists of being Jewish, for, in fact, very few Jewish Artists were represented in the Entartete Kunst Show.
At the Neue Galerie--where you have to go through Airport Security to gain Admission--you will see some of the Modernist Masterpieces which survived the Nazi Purge.
Here are Max Beckmann’s Triple Panel Departure; Paul Klee’s The Angler; Ernst Barlach’s The Berserker; Oskar Kokosha’s Self Portrait on a Poster for Der Sturm.
In one large gallery, at one end, the wall is filled with a 1936 Photo of Dresden, Art City of Saxony.
On the opposing wall is a 1945 Photo of Dresden in Ruins, almost totally destroyed by "Bomber Harris," to bring the Nazis to their Knees.
Kurt Vonnegut has given us a Good Idea of what Dresden was then like, in Slaughterhouse Five…
For Good Measure, the Neue Galerie offers a Window into Approved Nazi Artworks with Adolf Ziegler’s Tri Partite The Four Elements, which is hardly Mythological, but rather Four Lovely Aryan Female Nudes, representing Fire, Earth, Water, & Air.
There are also some Busts of Adolf Ziegler--Hitler’s Art Expert--who was not all Hot Air, extolling some Approved Aryan Artists when he came to Manhattan before World War II.
Oddly enough, he gave an Interview--conducted by my late friend & colleague, Playwright Barry Stavis--to the New Masses, which was, if not Stalinist, at leas as Far Left as an American Publication could lean.
Long, long after the Thousand Year Reich went down in flames, the Remnants of Hitler’s Private Art Collection were secured in Bavaria’s Hauptzollamt--under Lock & Key--shown to No One.
After Repeated Entreaties, I was, somehow, allowed to Study & Photograph them, including the Nude that may have been intended to represent Hitler’s Mistress, Eva Braun. The Unfortunate Painter who hoped to Surprise & Please Der Führer with that Canvas soon disappeared…
After the Entartete Kunst Show toured Germany for three years--giving many their Last Chance to see some really Astounding Canvases & Sculptures--most of the Condemned Artworks were not--like the Condemned Books of Hermann Hesse, Erich Kästner, & of course, Karl Marx--burned, but sold in Zürich, to opportunistic Collectors & Dealers.
A Few Footnotes to the Aryan vs. Degenerate Art Controversy:
- Rumaging in the Stalls of Trödelhändel & in Munich Attics--
I did not manage to arrive in Western Europe until 1956--contracted by the University of Maryland Overseas to Teach Our Troops--but some Cities & Towns in West Germany could still accurately be described as "War Torn."
Munich, for instance, had been 90 Percent Destroyed by Allied Bombings in its Historic Interior.
Its Noble Classic Columned Opera House remained a Ruin until 1963, when it was finally Restored & Re opened, featuring the Young Americans, Jess Thomas & Claire Thaw--who had become, in effect, King & Queen of the Bavarian State Opera--in Die Meistersinger.
Jess--with whom I had worked in a Stanford University Opera Production, way back in 1951--had become, as well as Claire, a Fast Friend.
But when I wasn’t teaching English Comp & Public Speaking in Munich, Oberammergau, Murnau, & Augusburg, I was often rummaging around in the Bins & on the Shelves of various Trödelhändel or Second Hand Shops.
What a Surprise to find a Mint Copy of the Official Catalogue for the State Opening of the Haus der Deutschen Kunst, featuring Photos of Der Führer, accompanied by Gertie Troost, Widow of Paul Ludwig Troost, Hitler’s Favorite Architect, soon to be supplanted by Albert Speer.
Inside was a Purple Flyer for the nearby Entartete Kunst Show--the Catalogue of which I later found in the Attic of the War Widowed Mother of an Admired Munich Actor.
I’d been looking for Children’s Storybooks & Schoolbooks from the Nazi Era, interested to discover how Goebbels’ Propaganda had found its way into even these Teaching Tools.
When I showed the Proud Frau what I’d found--including some handsome Albums of Kunst im Dritten Reich--she exclaimed, in German, of course: "I cannot imagine how those things got there!"
- Emil Nolde & the "Unpainted Paintings" in Salzburg--
There is a Slight Mistake in the Wall Text for Emil Nolde in the Neue Galerie Exhibition: it identifies him as a "Nazi Sympathizer."
Actually, Nolde was one of the First German Artists to join the NSDAP, in 1921.
But, when New Paintings were being accepted for the Opening Exhibition of the new Haus der Deutschen Kunst, Nolde was not invited to submit anything at all.
In Anger & in Puzzlement, he went to the Secretary of the Exhibition to complain, pointing out his Early Party Affiliation.
To his Great Surprise, he discovered that his Party Card meant Nothing: his Paintings were already on view nearby as Entartete Kunst!
He was soon issued a New Identity Card--a Folded Cardboard Documentation that Everyone had to carry at all times, including Jews & Mischlings.
On its Inside was typed the Information that he was not to be sold any Art Supplies, of Any Kind, whatsoever…
So he began his Secret Series of "Unpainted Paintings"--tiny Colored Scenes & Images on the Smallest Pieces of Paper or Tissue he could find.
His Hope was that someday Things Would Change, so that he could Paint These Large…
I know about this only because these Mini Paintings were shown long, long ago at the Salzburg Festival.
Unfortunately, when Nolde tried to Enlarge His Images, the Original Creative Impulse was Gone…
Not only was he, by this time, a Much Older Man, but he was also a Broken Man & Artist.
- Across the Baltic with an Ernst Barlach Sculpture--
Ernst Barlach’s Studio was on the North Coast of Nazi Germany.
There, in Evergreen Enveloped Seclusion, he could chisel away at large Blocks of Native Hardwood to create Impressive Sculptures.
But these often Hulking Humans were Too Modern--perhaps Too Brutal--for the essentially Fascist Art Deco Tastes of the Nazi Leaders.
So it was that one of Barlach’s most Impressive Sculptures was spirited across the Baltic to Sweden Under Cover of Darkness.
I have a Dim Recollection that there was even a Play about this Desperate Adventure…
But I did Make a Point of driving my Blue Beetle VW all the way up to Barlach’s Studio, which is now under Denkmal Schütz.
- The Cornelius Gurlitt Hoard in Munich--
When the Nazis definitively decided to Ban Non Aryan Authors--not just Jewish Novelists & Philosophers, but also Liberals, Free Thinkers, & Communists--they held Elaborate Book Burnings: Ich übergebe dem Feuer die Unteutschen Werke Erich Kästner, Karl Marx, Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann…
Und so weiter…
The Book Burning in Berlin--in front of St. Hedwig’s Cathedral--was filmed & shown all over The Third Reich.
But not all Newly Aryan Germans burned their copies of The Magic Mountain or Buddenbrooks.
Das Kapital, perhaps, but Cherished Authors went up into many Attics.
There were, however, no Flaming Funeral Pyres of Un German Degenerate Paintings & Sculptures.
Canvas & Cardboard will burn, but not Steel, Bronze, Granite, or Marble…
So it was that those Banned Artworks that did not go secretly into the Private Collections of Hermann Goering & other High Ranking & Art Smart Nazis were Sold in Switzerland.
But not all of them were scattered abroad into the International Art Market.
Even before German Art Museums were ordered to Purge Their Walls of Degenerate Art, some Super Zealous Directors had already removed Precious Picassos, Bold Braques, Certifiable Cézannes, Brash Beckmanns, Regal Rodins, & Marvelous Matisses from their Galleries.
Some of these Modern Masterworks never made it down to Munich for the Entartete Kunst Show.
They were acquired by Cornelius Gurlitt’s Father, Dr. Hildebrandt Gurlitt, who also bought--at Fire Sale Prices--Picassos, Renoirs, Rodins, Matisses, & other Modern Treasures from German Jewish Collectors, eager to escape Nazi Germany before the Concentration Camp Roundups.
It has been said that Dr. Gurlitt promised some of them Exit Visas--which, after 1936, were almost Impossible To Obtain--that he was not himself empowered to Grant or Issue.
Dr. Hildebrandt Gurlitt was himself a Mischling--partly Jewish--but he was also a respected Art Dealer, with many Useful Contacts inside & outside The Third Reich, so the Nazis trusted him to take care of some Disposals & Acquisitions for them.
After the Senior Gurlitt died, his Astonishing Secret Hoard passed to his Son, Cornelius, who stored Hundreds of Canvases & other Artworks in his Munich Apartment & in a Salzburg Landhaus.
In fact, a Munich Acquaintance of mine lived on the same floor as Cornelius Gurlitt, with No Knowledge of what this Curious Old Collector was hiding there.
The Police raided his Schawbing Apartment in 2012, provoking a Procedural Juridical Scandal, because it may just be that Gurlitt does have Legal Title to All That Art!
In fact, his Official Position about the Gurlitt Hoard is that: "the Historic Truth that Dr. Hildebrandt Gurlitt legally acquired by way of purchase or trade from the German Reich the Artworks that had been confiscated as ‘Degenerate’ Art, no alternatives other than repurchase through German Museums come under consideration."
In any case, Gurlitt is prepared to Do Battle.
He even has a Gurlitt Website that you can Check Out: http://gurlitt.info/de
For Even More Information: http://www.lostart.de
At the New York Historical Society
- BILL CUNNINGHAM: Façades
[Closing 15 June 2014]
Way back in 1968, when there were Loud Cries for "Free Speech" & even Free Love, it was a Time of Change.
Not just Socially & Politically…
In New York City, Developers were lusting for Potential High Rent Building Sites, then occupied by Endangered Nineteenth Century Structures.
A Landmarks Commission was formed to protect some of the Most Interesting & Historically Significant Buildings.
In 1968, Photographer Bill Cunningham decided to Document some of the most Imposing Metropolitan Façades.
But his Innovative Method was to pose an Elegant Lady, dressed in Appropriate Period Costume, artfully in front of Said Façade!
Fellow Carnegie Hall Studio Photographer Friend Editta Sherman was his Most Frequent Model.
When you go to the NYHS Galleries, you can have some fun trying to identify the Famous Building Behind Editta, but, more often, you may be Amusingly Distracted by her Often Baroque Poses.
Bill Cunningham donated 88 Silver Gelatin Prints to the NYHS, hence this Stunning Retrospective!
- THE BLACK FIVES
[Closing 20 July 2014]
Basketball was invented in 1891.
It immediately became Popular among young Black American Men, but they were not able to Play Professionally along with their White Counterparts until 1950, when Teams became Racially Integrated.
This Compact Visual Survey documents Black Fives in New York City & Beyond, with Posters, Photos, Newspaper Accounts, Uniforms, & Actual Basketballs!
These Often Outstanding Teams were called "Fives," owing to their Five Starting Players.
- AUDUBON’S AVIARY: Parts Unknown [Part II of the Complete Flock]
[Closing 26 May 2014]
There are Many Things that seek to Avoid the Light: For Some, Exposure to the Sun is Death!
For the Initial Watercolor Studies of John James Audubon--for his Double Elephant Print Folio Print Edition of The Birds of America [1827 38]--Sunlight would be Sure & Sudden Death.
But even Limited Exposure to Artificial Light can be damaging.
So The New York Historical Society shows only Parts of its Priceless Collection of Audubon Watercolor Avian Portraits, at Stated Intervals.
This splendid spread of the Immense Double Elephant Watercolors fills the Entire Second Floor Long Gallery, spilling out into the Hallway as well, where there is a Wonderful Video of Audubon’s Images, matched with the Actual Birds in Action!
Wall Texts pay tribute to Artist Maria Martin, Audubon’s Sons, & others who helped with Bird Details, Floral Landscape Backgrounds, & Problems in the Actual Printing, for this Magnificent Book of Bird Portrait Plates was created before Lithography was invented.
Audubon was not always out shooting American Birds so he could bring their Remains back to his Studio for Studious Reconstruction in Watercolors.
He spent time in London & in Edinburgh, trying to find the Right Printer, as well as Rich Sponsors who would Subscribe to get the Project on & off the Presses…
So it is that we now have that Splendid Great Blue Heron on the Second Floor Walls!
Now, a Heron of This Stature really Stands Tall--Too Tall even for a Double Elephant Page.
So, for all the American Long Necked Birds, Audubon had them pecking around on the ground, so they would fit onto the Page…
The Atlantic Puffins posed no such Problem: One is Lying Low, while its Puffin Mate is standing as Erect as a Small Bird can.
Ohoh! That Heroic Golden Eagle is flying off with a Rabbit in its Clutches. In fact, a Talon is punched into the Rabbit’s Left Eye!
On The Street Where You Live & In Front of The Frick:
- BARBARA 14
[Various Venues in March]
Barbara 14 is a Mysterious Black Box.
What’s Inside is even More Mysterious.
But Let Me Explain…
I live across from The Frick--the Back Side, not the Front.
Our Post War  Emory Roth Designed Co op faces that Long Blank Gallery Wall that makes Our Street look a bit like an Elegant Block in one of the More Handsome Arrondissments in Paris.
Among the Impressive Townhouses is the former Axel Wenner Gren Villa, owned by "Duty Free" Miller, whose Lovely Blonde Daughters married, variously, Prince Paul of Greece, the Getty Heir, & a Von Fürstenberg Heir.
Next door is the Forbidding Fortress of Multi Millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who bought & expensively remodeled what had previously been the Birch Wathen School, where Jewish Kids--who couldn’t get admitted to Exclusive WASP Middle Schools--were always welcome, Grades & Bank Accounts permitting…
But we have Alternate Side of the Street Parking, so it was a Surprise to see--Day after Day--a Red Pick Up, with an Arkansas License Plate, & a Long Trailer attached, loaded with a Long Rectangular Solid, under a Black Plastic Sheet, parked almost in front of our Doorman Monitored Front Entrance!
This is not the Sort of Thing to which Upper East Siders are accustomed…
Some days, I came Home to find the Trailer Oddly Empty, but the Whole Rig still Unmoved.
So I asked Mike, our Genial Afternoon Guardian, who had also been Puzzled by what looked like a Prime Parking Violation.
Here’s the Note Mike left for me in my Letter Box:
March 19 23
70th Street Between Madison & Fifth Ave.
March 26 30
Fifth Ave. Between 80th Street & 81st Street.
So I scurried around the Frick Block to find that Black Box standing in Front of the Frick Complex, but not exactly the Front door.
Standing beside it was a Tall Silent Man, who watched me as I read the Black Letters on the Top Edge of the Black Box: B A R B A R A.
Just then, a Young Couple also stopped to look.
The Genial Man invited them to get inside the Black Box to inspect the Artworks therein Concealed.
To my Sudden Surprise--for I had No Idea that the Odd Box had Folding Doors in its Front--The Friendly Man opened Two Black Doors, each of which had Two Panels.
The Lad & Lassie got inside, seated Themselves on a Narrow Black Ledge, & waited for The Kindly Man to Close the Doors.
When They had Had Their Fill, the Doors Were Opened & They Went Their Way.
I asked if I might Have a Viewing, although I am Burdened with a Cane & Not as Young as I Used to Be.
Marvin Gates--for that is indeed the Christian Name of the Unusual Artist who has Created BARBARA 14--explained that the Artworks inside were lit by Natural Light, coming from below, as the Black Box is Open on Its Underside.
For me, the Engineering Problem with BARBARA 14 is that the Doubled Double Door Panels Open Inwardly, instead of Outward, so my Sore Forelegs took some Soft Whacks…
The Paintings inside the Black Box are Verticals: One of them--which Marvin Gates has named Fall 7-- is a Pair of Handcuffs on a Red Ground.
My Very Favorite is Meander 8, Greek Keyed Geometrics, quite different from Marvin Gates’ more Conventionally Representational Spring 5: A Yellow Sleeved Arm, with its Clasped Hand holding a Three Pronged Branch, with Three Red Roses just Beginning to Bud
Several times since My Private Viewing, Bussing Downtown on the M1, M2, M3, M4, or M72, I have seen Marvin Gates, Standing Tall beside BARBARA 14, waiting for Passers By--or even Strollers with Strollers--to ask him: What’s Inside that Mysterious Black Box?
Fascinated by BARBARA 14, as well as by Marvin Gates--who is an Immensely Sympathetic Mensch--I asked him if he had Any Brochures?
Not On Him, at That Moment, but he said he had some back in the Red Pick Up.
As I was On My Way Home--but Cane Impaired--I asked him to leave One with Our Doorman.
Better Than That…
He closed up BARBARA 14 & Loped on Ahead of Me, to produce Several Small Booklets from the Glove Compartment, I guess, if they still have Glove Compartments in Modern Pick Ups.
I am now the Proud Possessor of Two of a Limited Edition of only One Thousand Copies of the BARBARA 14 Brochure!
BARBARA 14 departed the Frick Front for the Neue Galerie up on Fifth Avenue, where Ronald Lauder is showing some Stunning Specimens of what Adolf Hitler & Josef Goebbels regarded as Entartete Kunst, or Degenerate Art.
Were we way back in 1937, when Der Führer opened the Haus der Deutschen Kunst in München--with the Last Gasp of Modernism nearby in the Glas Palast--an Art Work as Avant Garde as BARBARA 14 would surely have been on the Proscribed List.
If you want to know more about BARBARA 14, Marvin Gates, or even see his Video of an Encounter with a Ticket Issuing Cop outside the Park Avenue Armory, click on email@example.com.
You might well discover on that Site the Brochure Essay of Jessica Slaven, who has written, in part: Barbara focuses & magnifies Feeling. You engage Barbara with your Whole Observing Presence in order to achieve a Transported Sensation--a Sense of Awe, of Limitlessness, Weightlessness, of Connection to Others, and to Energy…
Caps & Hyphens added for Emphatic Emphasis, although there is already a Sense of Breathlessness!
If you Love Art & Artists--especially Those Creators with whom you can actually have a Conversation, because they are Not Full of Themselves--then you’ll want to meet Marvin Gates & Barbara!
Come To Think of It: Wouldn’t Curators at the Whitney Museum of American Art regard Marvin Gates as an Integral Part of the Barbara 14 Art Installation?
For That Matter, Why wasn’t Marvin Gates invited to Show His Stuff in the current Whitney Biennial?
At The Whitney Museum of American Art:
- THE WHITNEY 2014 BIENNIAL
[Closing 25 May 2014]
This is an Historic Moment on Madison Avenue!
The Newly Opened 2014 Whitney Biennial will be the Very Last of these Every Two Years Arts Festivals to be staged in the Magnificently Modern Marcel Breuer Building!
The Whitney Biennials were inaugurated way back in 1932, by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, whose Social Pedigree--as you can see--includes Two Noble Names from the Pantheon of American Capitalism.
Nonetheless, despite her Aristocratic Bloodlines & Financially Secure Savings Account, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney was herself an Innovative Artist--not just a Social Butterfly--who especially Championed the Cause of American Artists, notably advancing Female American Artists to the Critical Foreground.
Now, the Whitney Biennial is a long way off from the Venice Biennale--not only in Nautical Miles, but also in Visual Content & Artistic Aspiration--but it has achieved an Outsized Importance on the Local Cultural Scene, not least because of some of its Boldly Bizarre Arts Installations.
In fact, Anyone with a Seismic Sensor--who wants to go up to Woodlawn Cemetery to hunt for the Vanderbilt Whitney Monumental Tomb--might find that her Embalmed Corpse is Routinely Revolving.
Mere Words cannot Adequately Describe what the Three Independent Curators have chosen for their Respective Floors in the Whitney Museum, so I am hoping that the Whitney will lend me some Digital Information with which to Illustrate this Brief Report.
If not, then Regular Readers will either have to Avail Themselves of the Windows Phone App Digital Guide to the Whitney Biennial [whitney.org/Biennial] or take the MTA’s M1, M2, M3, or M4 up to 945 Madison & see it Live & Uncensored!
There are no less than 103 American Artist Participants, chosen by Curators Stuart Cromer, Anthony Elms, & Michelle Grabner.
Not all of them--the Artists, not necessarily the Curators--are On Site.
You can, for instance, have Tarot Readings by the "Flawless Sabrina"--in her Actual Apartment, just a Short Trot from Marcel Breuer’s Doomed Masterpiece--who is also known as Jack Doroshow, who has long maintained his Flat/Squat as a "Transitory Salon for New York’s Demimonde of Artists & Legendary Queers."
There has been Talk of turning the Breuer Building into an Architecture Museum, but will the Met & MoMA be willing to donate their Assembled Archives?
One Last Tribute to the Breuer’s Odd Framed Windows is a kind of Arts Installation which consists of blacking out the Great Window Pane, leaving only a Small Circle, to function as a kind of Camera Oscura, projecting Upside Down Shadows on the Opposing Wall of Structures Across the Street!
Stuart Cromer was formerly with the Tate Modern/London, which now occupies that Dis Used Power House on the South Bank of the Thames. He has since Relocated to MoMA, which has--even longer than the Tate--been Essentially Associated with Modernity in the Arts.
Oh, Not to Forget: There are a Lot of Arts Videos in the Current Show!
There are also a Lot of Re Cycled Photo Images on Display, Collaged & Otherwise: Porn & Otherwise…
Not to Overlook Donelle Woolford’s Performace of Dick’s Last Stand!
This "explores the Central Role given to the Male Sexual Organ in both American Art & Politics, perpetuating the Tradition of Phallic Humor in Popular Culture."
Also Exhibiting Exhibitionist Tendencies are such American Artists--from Alpha to Zed--as: Alma Allen, Dawoud Bey, Sarah Charlesworth, Jimmie Durham, Rhys Ernst, Rochelle Feinstein, Joseph Grigley, Channa Horwitz, Gary Indiana, Alex Jovanovich, Ben Kinmont, Fred Lonidier, Bjarne Melgaaaard, Dona Nelson, Pauline Oliveros, Charlemange Palestine, Miljohn Ruperto, Emily Sundblad, Sergei Tcherepnin, Pedro Vélez, David Foster Wallace, & Zachary [Drucker].
Whatever your Travel Resources, Madison Avenue is surely closer & cheaper than the Venetian Lido!
Copyright © Glenn Loney 2014. No re publication or broadcast use without proper credit of authorship. Suggested credit line: "Glenn Loney, Curator's Choice." Reproduction rights please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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