Wednesday, November 23, 2016

"Picasso's Picassos" @Gagosian on Madison Avenue delights!

Yet another terrific intensely focused Picasso exhibit at the Gagosian Gallery: "Picasso's Picassos"
Curated by Marie-Thérèse's granddaughter, the art historian Diana Widmaier, these works are selected from the the collection of Maya Ruiz-Picasso. Maya is the daughter of Marie-Thérèse and Picasso and she was the subject of several important paintings.

Marie-Thérèse avec une guirlande, 1937
Oil and pencil on canvas
24 × 18 1/8 inches (61 × 46 cm)
© 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Photo by Béatrice Hatala
This "most Picasso-esque" painting was also included in the "Picasso and Marie-Thérèse" exhibit with good reason: it is a powerful example of painterly handling and surrealist distortion.

Maya à la poupée et au cheval, 1938,
Oil on canvas
28 3/4 × 23 5/8 inches (73 × 60 cm)
© 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society. (ARS), New York
Photo by Béatrice Hatala
One of two "Maya à la poupée" paintings from 1938, this painting was also included in the "Picasso and Marie-Thérèse" exhibit which also paired it with the portrait of her mother to great effect.

Marie-Thérèse accoudée, 1939
Oil on canvas
25 5/8 × 18 1/8 inches (65 × 46 cm)
© 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society. (ARS), New York
Photo by Béatrice Hatala
I have to confess that this painting made the trip uptown so worthwhile: it must be seen in person as the reproduction merely hints at the thickly textured paint handling that gives the painting a tactile and almost haptic palpability.

An addendum to this exhibit is held at the Gagosian Shop which is hosting a "Picasso Takeover". The Shop (Exit through the Giftshop") features a range of "all things Picasso" including etchings, ceramics, tapestries, posters along with rare books and magazines. As a Picasso-fanatic, I was only to glad to be immersed in the plethora of offerings.

We New Yorkers have been treated to several Picasso exhibits presented at Gagosian and curated by John Richardson (the estimable Picasso biographer) over the last several years. Here are some links to previous Picasso exhibitions at Gagosian in NYC:

"Mosqueteros” (2009)
This exhibit from 2009 featured a treasure-trove of late works that forced many to re-evaluate this period in Picasso's oeuvre. As I recall from that year, this was the best painting exhibit in NYC that year; the work looked fresh, current and very relevant nearly forty years after Picasso's death.

“Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour fou” 2011

“Picasso and Françoise Gilot: Paris–Vallauris 1943–1953”
This exhibit from 2012 paired paintings by Picasso with those of his partner of nearly ten years.

"Picasso and the Camera"
This exhibit from 2014-early 2015 provided "an unprecedented survey of his unique relationship with the camera".

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

‘Calder and Picasso’ @Almine Rech Gallery / Picasso's Picassos @Gagosian uptown

Just got back from two terrific exhibits that feature Picasso: one at the new Almine Rech Gallery and one at the Gagosian Gallery, both on the upper east side.

'Calder and Picasso' @Almine Rech offers a rare viewing of works from the private family collections; with startling revelations by way of the proximal juxtapositions of works by each artist.

‘Calder and Picasso’Almine Rech Gallery

‘Picasso's Picassos’ offers a fascination range of works from the early 1930's through the early 1970's (Picasso died in 1973).

"Picasso's Picassos: A Selection from the Collection of Maya Ruiz-Picasso"
Gagosian Gallery

976 Madison Avenue 
Through Dec. 17

NY Times Review: Calder and Picasso in Parallel, and as They Diverge By Will Heinrich Nov. 10, 2016
"Picasso's Picassos" Unpacks Paintings form the Family Vault By Robin Pogrebin Nov. 10, 2016

Picasso exhibits uptown NYC

Alexander Calder / Constellation with Diabolo. 1943. Wood, wire, and paint. 24 1/4" x 18 1/4" x 16".
© 2016 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.  
Pablo Picasso / Femme. June 8, 1946. Oil on plywood. 51 1/8" x 38 1/8".
Zervos XIV-175 © 2016 Succession Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.                                                 

Two Picasso exhibits on Madison Avenue that I am planing to see:
"Picasso's Picassos" - November 10 - December 17, 2016 - Gagosian
and "Calder and Picasso"

Saturday, January 11, 2014

MoMA Expansion Involves Demolishing Folk Art Museum

The 54th Street entrance to the Sculpture Garden @MoMA will be free and open to the public.

I applaud the work of DS+R in their efforts to open up the facade of MoMA; making the 54th Street approach accessible and open to the public is a great gesture to those who balk at the exorbitant admission fees. 


I was not a fan of the American Folk Art Museum; the gallery spaces felt cramped, awkward and dark. The experience did not enhance the works but rather detracted from viewing them. The heavy and overwrought materials ran counter to the 'white cube' aesthetic that for better or worse at least provides a neutral setting for the art on view.


I still lament the the DS+R plans for EYEBEAM in Chelsea were never realized.

More about the ill-fated EYEBEAM project here:

Architizer Article Here:
New Diller Scofidio + Renfro Plans For MoMA Finalize Folk Art Museum Demolition

NY Times Article Here:
 Voices Rise in Objection to MoMA Decision to Tear Down Folk Art Building

Monday, January 06, 2014

NYC Games:

NYC Games

Museum of the Moving Image: 25 Must-Play Video Games

Indie Essentials: 25 Must-Play Video Games

December 14, 2013–March 2, 2014

IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games and Museum of the Moving Image present a playable exhibition of more than two dozen games that represent the breadth and depth of the “indie” video game scene. The designers and developers of these games, individuals or small teams independent of large studios and publishers, take daring creative risks to explore new forms and methods of play. The exhibition features recent cutting-edge titles, including the IndieCade 2013 award winners, alongside a selection of games that have had great impact on game design and culture in the last decade. Independent games are a fountain of innovation and experimentation, pushing games forward as one of today’s most dynamic and important cultural forms. 


Saturday, July 09, 2011

Leonardo da Vinci Painting Re-Discovered in NYC!

The image on the right Salvator Mundi c. 1500 was just confirmed as an authentic Leonado da Vinci original painting of Christ as Savior of the World. The image on the left is an unfinished painting with the same title and subject by Leonardo's contemporary, Albrecht Durer from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.

I include both images here as an interesting art history compare/contrast exercise: is it possible the Durer was aware of the da Vinci painting and this is his reaction to the Florentine master's work? I'd like to think so.

For more information on each painting see the links below:
Da Vinci Discovered: Painting Gains Attribution After Careful Scholarship and Conservation

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Salvator Mundi, c. 1500 Oil on walnut panel, 25 13/16 X 17 7/8 inches (65.6 X 45.4 cm) © 2011 Salvator Mundi llc. Photo: Robert Simon, Tim Nighswander.

"A lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci has been identified in an American collection and will be exhibited for the first time this November. Titled Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World) and dating around 1500, the newly discovered masterpiece depicts a half-length figure of Christ facing frontally, holding a crystal orb in his left hand as he raises his right in blessing."

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Salvator Mundi
Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528)
Oil on wood

22 7/8 x 18 1/2 in. (58.1 x 47 cm)
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931 (32.100.64)

Source: Albrecht Dürer: Salvator Mundi (32.100.64) | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

"Devotional images of Christ as Salvator Mundi, or Savior of the World, were especially popular in Northern Europe. Christ raises his right hand in blessing and in his left holds an orb representing the earth. Dürer probably began this painting shortly before he departed for Italy in 1505, but completed only the drapery. His meticulous preparatory drawing on the panel is visible in the unfinished portions of Christ's face and hands."

Source: Albrecht Dürer: Salvator Mundi (32.100.64) | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Line By Line

Great series of lessons on drawing by James MacMullan in the NY Times.

-James MacMullan

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Christian Marclay's 24-hour video work: The Clock

So I just stumbled into the Paula Cooper Gallery on my way to the Gym at Chelsea Piers and I was transfixed by this strangely compelling film. I started watching at 4:20 pm and I soon realized that all of the clocks in the film said 4:20 pm. It took me a while to realize that time passed in the film just like real time!!! The film is composed of cut scenes drawn from the history of cinema and many recognizable actors and films are put in service of this clever conceit. I can rattle off a few that I can remember: Bette Davis, Humphey Bogart "Casablanca", Jack Nicholsen "About Schmidt"...
I plan to go back and see more as the show just opened and will close on February 19, 2011.

In The Clock, Marclay samples thousands of film excerpts indicating the passage of time. Spanning the range of timepieces, from clock towers to wristwatches and from buzzing alarm clocks to the occasional cuckoo, The Clock draws attention to time as a multifaceted protagonist of cinematic narrative. With virtuosic skill, the artist has excerpted each of these moments from their original contexts and edited them together to form a 24-hour montage, which unfolds in real time. While constructed from a dizzying variety of periods, contexts and film genres whose storylines seem to have shattered in a multitude of narrative shards, The Clock uncannily proceeds at a unified pace as if re-ordered by the latent narrative of time itself. Because it is synchronized with the local time of the exhibition space, the work conflates cinematic and actual time, revealing each passing minute as a repository of alternately suspenseful, tragic or romantic narrative possibilities.