Saturday, December 31, 2005

barr.gif (GIF Image, 723x762 pixels) - Scaled (75%)

barr.gif (GIF Image, 723x762 pixels) - Scaled (75%)Here is a link to the Barr original.

Cubism and Abstract Art Chart

Charts - Information Design - Diagram - Story Selling Design
Here is a chart based on the famous Alfred Barr original.

[object HTMLImageElement]

[object HTMLImageElement]A small smattering of Cubist paintings fromthe Guggenheim in NYC.

Friday, December 30, 2005

village voice > nycguide

village voice > nycguide

The Whitney Biennial 2004 - Favorite Artists

The Whitney Biennial 2004 - Favorite Artists
This looks interesting and very savvy: a video re-creation of a famous painting: in this case Velasquez.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Art Institute of Chicago: Art Access

The Art Institute of Chicago: Art AccessPost-Impressionism here, there and everywher...we are all post-impressionists!

Timeline of Art History : "It's NOT history and it's NOT art!"

Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of ArtActually, this is a great resource for all things art history and the timeline is, well, sort of artistic n'est-ce pas?

switch building, new york city

Check out the Switch Building, in progress on the lower east side of Manahatta..."narchitecture" for sure. Of the moment? Yes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005

Model of The Pantheon, Rome

Great model of the Pantheon with a section view here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


ART HISTORY RESOURCES ON THE WEB: ContentsThis iste has been up and running since 1995. A great place to start the study of Art History on the Web.

Modernism: The End of Art

The End of Art? Great resources for the study of Art History here.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Art is: interaction, communication, dialogue / Marina Abramovic in context

Harold Rosenberg had said that art was "a space open for the individual to realize himself in knowing himself." Today, after decades of narcissistic and exhibitionistic spectacles, when it's possible to grasp the limits of Rosenberg's libertarian ethos, we can see that he should have said art was not only a space for the individual to realize himself in knowing himself, but also a space to enable others to know themselves, as well as a space to evoke the bonds that exist between artist and spectator in their common self-awareness, which is to say in their common humanity. It's a definition that understands art is necessarily a social interaction, communication between people, dialogue, not merely the unfettered expression of the boundless ego as has been the case with so much work over the past few decades. But what does such dialogic art look like?

Marina Abramovic has often been linked to Chris Burden, and with reason. She has staged extreme masochistic spectacles that shock and repel. In "Lips of Thomas," she carved a pentagram in her abdomen and whipped herself senseless. (She recently recreated this piece, and as she brought a razor blade toward her bloodied stomach for a second time, one woman among the spectators cried out, "You don't have to do that again!") But her best work is a dramatization of human vulnerability and personal responsibility. It involves the viewer as much as the artist.

Last month Abramovic completed an enormously ambitious one-week series of performance works in the rotunda of the Guggenheim museum called "Seven Easy Pieces," but her most famous work is probably "The House With the Ocean View," performed in New York in 2002 (and featured in an episode of "Sex and the City"). For 12 days, the artist lived on three platforms in a Chelsea gallery. She had a bed, a shower and a toilet, but denied herself any nourishment except for mineral water, and any distraction; she could neither read nor write nor speak. Her life was reduced to a minimum, less than the bare essentials. "This piece will be about living in the moment," she said, "in the absolute here and now." But if the piece made demands on Abramovic, it also made demands on the spectators. Upon entering the gallery, a viewer was immediately confronted with a moral choice: did one take a quick look at Abramovic up on her platforms and then depart, treating her like some kind of animal in a zoo, or did one linger and absorb the experience? For those who lingered - and there were many, including Susan Sontag, Salman Rushdie and Bjork - the effect was magical (or perhaps metaphysical). The entire outside world slipped away, as did time itself - one hour, two hours, three passed imperceptibly. A sense of the immediate present, with its suggestion of the infinite, became palpable in the room. Abramovic was offering her viewers a gift of spirituality without the doctrines, rituals or consolations of religion. On the final day, the gallery was packed, and when Abramovic was helped down - she had lost 21 pounds - she told the audience, "This work is as much you as it is me."

State of the Art
Published: December 11, 2005

Review of "The Artists Body"

State of the Art
Published: December 11, 2005

"IN 1974, Chris Burden had himself crucified on the roof of a Volkswagen. He was creating a work of art. A decade later, Hermann Nitsch staged a three-day performance in which participants disemboweled bulls and sheep and stomped around in vats, mixing the blood and entrails with grapes. Another work of art. Rafael Ortiz cut off a chicken's head and beat the carcass against a guitar. Ana Mendieta, who had a retrospective at the Whitney last year, also decapitated a chicken and let its blood spurt over her naked body. As one commentator has observed: "animals are not safe in the art world." Neither are the artists. They have sliced themselves with razor blades, inserted needles in their scalps, rolled naked over glass splinters, had themselves suspended by meathooks and undergone surgical "performance operations" during which spectators could carry on conversations with the artist-patient.

Has the art world gone crazy? Don't ask. Anyone interested in learning just how crazy can find many of the most extreme artworks created over the last 40 years - which include everything from public cervical inspections to necrophilia - described in Tracey Warr and Amelia Jones's remarkable volume, "The Artist's Body."

Review of "The Artists Body"

State of the Art
Published: December 11, 2005

IN 1974, Chris Burden had himself crucified on the roof of a Volkswagen. He was creating a work of art. A decade later, Hermann Nitsch staged a three-day performance in which participants disemboweled bulls and sheep and stomped around in vats, mixing the blood and entrails with grapes. Another work of art. Rafael Ortiz cut off a chicken's head and beat the carcass against a guitar. Ana Mendieta, who had a retrospective at the Whitney last year, also decapitated a chicken and let its blood spurt over her naked body. As one commentator has observed: "animals are not safe in the art world." Neither are the artists. They have sliced themselves with razor blades, inserted needles in their scalps, rolled naked over glass splinters, had themselves suspended by meathooks and undergone surgical "performance operations" during which spectators could carry on conversations with the artist-patient.

Has the art world gone crazy? Don't ask. Anyone interested in learning just how crazy can find many of the most extreme artworks created over the last 40 years - which include everything from public cervical inspections to necrophilia - described in Tracey Warr and Amelia Jones's remarkable volume, "The Artist's Body."

"Anything Goes"

State of the Art by Barry Gewen - New York Times
December 11, 2005
"At the conclusion of "Art Since 1900," the four authors hold a round table, and their prognosis is equally dismal. Art, they believe, has become little more than "commodity production, investment portfolio and entertainment." Everything, they say, is turning into kitsch...Rosenberg lamented modern art's "anything goes" attitude. Ruhrberg writes that "in painting today, anything goes." By the early 70's, according to the authors of "Art Since 1900," "it seemed, as the song had put it, 'anything goes.' " Kramer has said: "With the eruption of the Pop Art movement, an element of demystification came into the art world, an element of cynicism, an element of . . . 'anything goes.' " If there is a presiding spirit over the art of recent decades, it is not Jackson Pollock, and not Andy Warhol. It is Cole Porter.

But how can art criticism cope with an ethos of anything goes? In an environment of perfect freedom, what is there left for a critic to criticize? For critics at newspapers and magazines, who astutely discuss current shows and exhibits, this is less of a problem than it is for writers who stake out theoretical positions. Some, like the writers for October, have turned to politics, interpreting art in terms of Marxism, or feminism, or gay activism or old-fashioned anti-Americanism (while the writers around The New Criterion have reacted to this leftist tendency with their own conservatism). Or they have found refuge in the higher realms of French and German philosophy, usually producing jargon-ridden criticism that is incomprehensible to anyone without a Ph.D. in European theory. We live at a moment when artists have been asking the kinds of questions children ask - What is art? What is it good for? - and critics have for the most part been giving answers not even an adult can understand. "Mommy, why have we come all this way to see pictures of soup cans?" "It's Andy Warhol, sweetheart, and he's wielding a sharp, insinuating heuristic chisel to pry at the faultlines and lay bare the sedimented faces of his surround. "

Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - The First Art Newspaper on the Net

A sad note: the end of the "First Art Newspaper on the Net" established in 1996.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Dreams in the Abstract: Paintings 1933-2005

Interested in Abstract Art? This show is definitely worth checking out.

artnet Magazine - Sophie’s Choices

artnet Magazine - Sophie’s Choices
Looks like this show could be worth a visit, these paintings are so bad that they are good, if you get my drift.

Eye Level : New Blog on the Block

Eye LevelA new "blog" about American Art from the folks at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Is this a museum web site masquarading as a blog?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Marina Abramoviç: Seven Tough Nights in NYC

What a week… I just got back from the last performance of Marina Abramovic: the finale of her seven night run @ the Guggenheim. I was lucky to have been present for five of the seven nights. In my estimation, the last two performances were the most riveting. Too much to digest fully so I’ll write more after the dust has settled.

From November 9 through November 15, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents Marina Abramoviç: Seven Easy Pieces,seven consecutive nights of performances in the Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda from 5 PM to 12 AM.
Since the early 1970s, Marina Abramoviç has pioneered the use of performance as a visual art form. The body has always served as her subject and medium, and the parameters of her early works were determined by her endurance. Exploring the physical and mental limits of her being, she has withstood pain, exhaustion, and danger in the quest for transformation. With Seven Easy Pieces Abramoviç reenacts seminal performance works by her peers dating from the 1960s and ’70s.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Marina Abamovic Performance@Guggenheim Museum

The opening night of the 7-day "performance marathon" by acclaimed artist Marina Abamovic on Nov.9th was a powerful and intense experience for anyone lucky enough to be in attendance in the famed Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda. An historic moment in contemporary art began with Ms. Abramovic re-enacting a piece by Bruce Nauman.
To be in the audience in that space felt like witnessing a comet that comes once in a lifetime. time stood still as the power and intense concentration of the artist on stage drew you into the her very breathing so riveting was her focus and energy. There was a hushed aura like being in the eye of a storm: the air was crackling with energy and you could feel the electricity in the room. A heightened awareness was transmitted by the artist to viewer in a way similar to that of a highly skilled musician playing a very difficult piece. The space could not have been more fortuitous to this performance as it allowed the audience to perambulate the circular stage and to also ascend the ramp and orbit the stage and view the performance-in-the-round. The proportionate relationships between Ms. A on the stage and the physical space around her demonstrated another facet of the harmony of spatial relationships that is any signature of Frank Lloyd Wright building, but especially so at the Guggenheim.
The idea that one performance artist can re-create the work of another is being likened to a band covering a song; the intention is to red-interpret the original work not re-create it. This may herald an entire new way avenue of expression in contemporary culture. Think of it: performances of famous pieces by artists could presage a flood of re-interpretations of the entire thirty-plus year canon.
The NY Times coined a wry headline:“Self-Mutilation is the sincerest Form of Flattery”

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Study for Two Sisters by John Graham

I couldn't resist posting this drawing which is a study for the sumptous painting currently on view at the Allan Stone Gallery.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Esoteric Beauties on Carnegie Hill: John Graham@ Allan Stone Gallery

I visited the Allan Stone Gallery just the other day and was knocked back by the proximity of two unparalled masterpieces of American Art: Two Sisters (on loan from MoMA) and Marya (in the collection of Allan Stone and incidently, Not for Sale). This show is the show of the season: you would be hard pressed to see better painting on view in NYC at any gallery of contemporary art. Perhaps you could to go to the Fra Angelico show (currently at the Met) or even the Hans Memling exhibit (currently at the Frick) to see such sumptuous, intelligent and compelling images but no recent painting is equal to what Graham accomplished over fifty years ago. These paintings have gotten better with age, as we catch up them. These images look surprisingly at home to 21st century eyes accomstomed to Henry Darger(kindred spirit), John Currin (who wishes he could paint this well) and the current fascination with the self-mutilation of performance artist Maria Abramovic.

I had been looking forward to seeing this latest show of Graham's work, the largest exhibit in New York in two decades; lingering impressions of that earlier exhibit still haunt my soul. The sheer force of these paintings which burst forth from under the shadow of Picasso and greatly influenced both Gorky and de Kooning impressed me with their virtuosity and utter weirdness. This show is not to be missed.

This from Jed Perl on John Graham:

"Esoteric forms of knowledge have had a special appeal for modern artists because they could provide a mystery or complexity that was otherwise missing in twentieth-century life, and these esoteric forms of knowledge were most often appealing when they were hyper-personalized, presented obsessively, paradoxically, so that esotericism became an especially stylized kind of individualism. Harry Smith’s Heaven and Earth magic has this quality;…so do the paintings of cross-eyed dames decorated with geometric emblems that John Graham, that old friend of de Kooning’s, was exhibiting in the 1950’s. looking at Graham’s paintings and drawings, you do not really know why there is a model of a dodecahedron placed right next to a particular woman, or why another woman’s face is covered with a grid of images of suns and moons. And yet this seems to be the way it has to be for Graham, and you may feel that this is the only explanation that is needed."

-Jed Perl New Art City, page 303

Friday, October 28, 2005

John Graham@ Allan Stone Gallery

Allan Stone Gallery
The work of John Graham is not nearly as well-known as his protégés Arshille Gorky and Willem de Kooning. Yet Graham has achieved a place in the history of the New York School of painting. New Art City by Jed Perls is the most recent book to chronicle the influence of John Graham on the pioneers of the new abstraction.
John Graham is an acquired taste. His last eforts were devoted to a strange mix of classicism (inspired by Ingres), surrealism and the occult that precludes a wider acceptance by the genteel museum-goers who flock to the latest post-impressionist exhibit yet shy away from anything more difficult than late Monet. Second, there have been few opportunities to see any paintings by John Graham in the galleries and museums.
Thankfully, the Allan Stone Gallery exhibit may change some of this. Perhaps time has caught up with the mysterious and strange imagery of this enigmatic painter. Fans of Henry Darger may respond to John Graham. Note: the squeamish and conservative may be offended by the explicit imagery and implicit violence in the late works on view in this show.

“John Graham: Sum Qui Sum will be on view at the Allan Stone Gallery from October 22 – December 22, 2005. The most comprehensive John Graham show in almost two decades, this exhibition presents a survey of John Graham’s oeuvre, including his alchemy-inspired paintings and drawings, his majestic horses and soldiers, and his best-known work—the beautiful, elegant, and yet increasingly disturbing paintings of women.”

-from the press release of the Allan Stone Gallery

Saturday, October 22, 2005

New Art City by Jed Perl: book review

New Art City by Jed Perl: book review
This book, along with de Kooning: An American Master by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan, covers the well-worn territory of the “heroic” period of American Art and the importance of New York City as the locus that made the new art possible. Indeed in Mr. Perl’s book, subtitled Manhattan at Mid-Century, the City itself is the main character whereas in the de Kooning book, the city is the backdrop and catalyst for the remarkable career of one painter.
The history of this period has become myth, legend, caricature and satire for generations yet both books offer fresh insight and perspective from a vantage point that is several steps removed from the gallery propaganda and art world hype inimical to books about this period. To speak of the “triumph of American painting” was to glorify and obfuscate an historical shift of power from the Old World to the New, from the old guard to the avant-garde.
I have been immensely pleased with the writing in both of these books: the story is told in a straight forward jargon-free and direct style that is appealing and fresh as the art that is described. I haven’t yet finished New Art City but I am confident that it will sustain the sense of drama, destiny and desire for the new art in the new city for many readers as the Stevens/Swan book has done for de Kooning.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Drawings by Vincent

Get in the van, go to the Met, see the drawings. You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

22nd St. Double Bill: Daniel Libeskind / Sue Williams

Freedom Tower by Daniel Libeskind

Painting by Sue Williams

Daniel Libeskind@Max Protech
A retrospective for the battered architect of the new WTC tower.
Opens Oct. 7 (now open)
511 W 22nd St.

Sue Williams@303 Gallery, 525 W 22nd St.:
this show of recent paintings by an artist at the top of her game, right next door to the Libesking exhibit at Max Protech.

Top 10 shows, top 10 Chelsea galleries, top 10 small museums, etc. to see right now

-from The Autumn Art Scene The L Magazine

Friday, October 14, 2005

What Art to see in NYC: Fall '05 (part II)

More Art to see in NYC: Fall '05:

Jeremy Blake; sodium Fox @ Feigen Contemporary

Went to see this latest projected "time-based painting" today... great activity for a rainy afternoon. Jeremy Blake continues to intrique me with his multifarius multilayered multimedia extravaganzas. Definitely worth checking out even if the weather improves.
535 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011
Tel 212.929.0500

Memling's Portraits
is at the Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street, (212) 288-0700, through Dec. 31

Thursday, October 13, 2005

View from the Eiffel Tower - The First Art Newspaper on the Net - The First Art Newspaper on the Net - The First Art Newspaper on the Net
3D images of Architecture

Google Homage to Frank Lloyd Wright

This from a CAD blog...could't resist "borrowing" it.

Two Franks

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao by Frank Gehry
Beauty and the Industrial City
“Not since the Sidney Opera House, has a building achieved more recognition and admiration than the new Guggenheim art museum in Bilbao (1997).”
Definitely one of the first buildings of the 21st Century.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water

The Story of Fallingwater
“Fallingwater is recognized as one of Wright's most acclaimed works, and in a 1991 poll of members of the American Institute of Architects, it was voted "the best all-time work of American architecture." It is a supreme example of Frank Lloyd Wright's concept of organic architecture, which promotes harmony between man and nature through design so well integrated with its site that buildings, furnishings, and surroundings become part of a unified, interrelated composition. Wright embraced modern technology to achieve this, designing spaces for living which expressed architecturally the expansive freedom of the American frontier.”

What Art to see in NYC: Fall '05

Art to See in NYC:
Russia! @ the Guggenheim

This show is exquisite. My favorites are the early modern masterworks collected by Sergei Shchukin. The Picasso and Matisse paintings from this collection alone are worth the price of admission.

"Shchukin collected passionately, and he largely based his decisions on instinct, focusing on one or a few artists at a time. Among his favorites was Claude Monet, whose work he first acquired from 1898–1904. From 1904–10 he collected the works of Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, and Vincent van Gogh; and from 1910–14, he championed Matisse, Picasso, and André Derain. Shchukin developed an especially close relationship with Matisse, buying thirty-seven of his paintings within a few years and inviting him to Russia." -from The Guggenheim web site

Van Gogh Drawings @ the Met
This is one for the ages.

Jeremy Blake @ Feigen Contemporary
“Time-based painter” Jeremy Blake recent work including his new film Sodium Fox on view now at Feigen Contemporary.
535 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011
Tel 212.929.0500

Monday, October 10, 2005

Bronzino/Velazquez : Linear and Painterly

From the classic Principles of Art History(the problem of the development of style in later art) comes this comparison of two modes of seeing and consequently two modes of painting: linear (Bronzino) and Painterly (Velazquez).

In the words of Heinrich Wölfflin:
“is particularly interesting as the presentment of a sumptuous costume perceived by an exclusively linear taste. No human eye can see things in this way—I mean with this even firmness of line. Not for a moment does the artist depart from the absolute distinctness of the object, it is as if, in the representation of a bookcase, an artist were to attempt to paint book by book, each equally outlined, while an eye attuned to appearance only grasps the shimmer playing over the whole in which, in varying degrees, the separate form is submerged. Velasquez had an eye thus attuned to appearance. The dress of his little princess was embroidered in zigzag patterns: what he gives, however, is not the ornamentation in itself, but the shimmering image of the whole. Seen uniformly form a distance, the patterns have lost their distinctness, yet without looking indistinct; we can see perfectly clearly what is meant, but the forms cannot be grasped, they come and go, the highlights of the fabric play over them, and the whole is dominated by the rhythm of the light-waves … which also fills the background.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Learning in Motion: Web Animation

Here is an elephant walking, based on the work of Eadweard Muybridge.

This is an article about animation.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Animated Gifs from Math World

Animated Gifs from Math World


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Animated GIFS

Animated GIFs in Photoshop 7 and ImageReady
This is an in-depth tutorial on creating animated GIFS. Refer to this article to review everything you need to know to create animated.

Examples of Student Animated GIFS

These animations were created by 8th graders (at Poly Prep) to demonstrate their knowledge of the Archimedes Principle.

Savage Earth:
My students (again, at Poly Prep) were asked to create animation to illustrate earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes.

Cell Biology:
These animations were created by 7th grade students (yet again, at Poly Prep) as part of a science unit on cellular processes.

Introduction to Animation Using Flash

What is Flash?
Macromedia Flash is a multimedia graphics program specially for use on the Web
Flash enables you to create interactive "movies" on the Web
Flash uses vector graphics, which means that the graphics can be scaled to any size without losing clarity/quality
Flash does not require programming skills and is easy to learn

Animation Basics

Idlewild: Tutorials: Bouncing Ball
This is everything you need to understand the basic principles of animation, especially squash and stretch.

Cartoonster: Fun Animation Tutorials
This site demonstrates the effect of frame rate (frames per second). Squash and stretch are also covered again in this simple tutorial

Flash Basics

Phong (Flash Animation Tutorial)
“When an object squashes and stretches, it appears to be composed of a softer, organic, elastic material. Objects which do not stretch appear rigid and plain.” Tutorials: Flash : Bouncing Ball
This is another approach to the bouncing ball, try it this way for homework: try to understand “Easing In” and “Easing Out”.

Macromedia Software
Download the trial version of Flash MX 2004 from this site, if you want to work at home.

FLASH Tutorials:Animation the old Fashioned Way with Flash

Animation Tutorials for Flash

STOP MOTIONFrame Thief for stop motion animation

Examples of Animation
Schlumberger SEED, the science education web site.
Using Macromedia Flash, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe ImageReady, I created these animations to illustrate a unit on Science in the Bathroom.

In the Bathroom
Using Macromedia Flash, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe ImageReady, I created these animations to illustrate a unit on science in the Bathroom.

Illustrations and a flash animation linked on this page; “Watch the soap bubbles form”

Mist on the Mirror

Floating Duck

The Bath is Too Cold!

Flushing Vortex

The Drying Hairdryer

Illustrations and animation about other science topics:
The Cartesian Diver


Build a Buckyball

Salvadori Foundation education and the built environment.
This site is an animated companion to The Art of Construction by Mario Salvadori. I created over 150 illustrations and animations on this site.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Floating Island To Travel Around Manhattan Island

Floating Island
Just got back from the launch celebration of Robert Smithson’s “Floating Island To Travel Around Manhattan Island” on Pier 45 in the far West Village. This Art event promises to be one of those quintessential New York experiences not unlike Christo and Jean-Claude’s Gates Project seen just over six month’s ago in Central Park. 2005 may be remembered as "the year Conceptual Art went mainstream."

Last Chance to see the Matisse: The Fabric of Dreams @ The Met.

This is a totally enjoyable exhibit of the paintings of Henri Matisse displayed alongside many fabrics from the painter;s private collection. In some cases, the fabrics are more beautiful than the paintings. If you get a chance to see it before it closes on the 25th of September, you won’t regret it. Matisse: The Fabric of Dreamsis a quiet and elegant presentation of overwhelming beauty.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Aboriginal Art in Northern Queensland, Australia

Well, it's certainly a long way from NYC but here we are in North Eastern Australia in search of the real deal: authentic aboriginal rock art, that is. Well, after being inundated with innumerable "aboriginal" art galleries in all of the tourist centers, I finally got to see some of the actual rock art in situ. I imagine it's almost like seeing the cave paintings at Lascaux in France or Altimara, Spain (also on my list of things to see).
While there has been little of worth to see in any of the "galleries" in Port Douglas, Cairns, Palm Cove or in the Daintree Village, Mother Nature has provided us with more wildlife than I have seen in a lifetime.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Animation Links

Animation Links

Animation the old Fashioned Way with Flash

Frame Thief
Shareware for stop motion animation

Creating Animated GIFS

Animation Tutorials for Flash

Cinemation: History of Animation

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Einstein / Picasso: An Interesting Read

Reading Einstein/Picasso Space Time and the Beauty That Causes Havoc by Arthur I. Miller, I was struck by the following quote within a quote:
Positivism fit very well with the materialism of the day and its unsavory association with rampant industrialism and literary and theatrical commercialism. The avant-garde felt the world was drowning in mediocrity. There was “a sense prevalent among intellectuals of alienation and exclusion from the forefront of public life, coupled with a political disillusionment which was exacerbated by the scandals and corruption of contemporary political life."
-Keith Beaumont, 1984 Alfred Jarry: A Critical and Biographical Study. Leicester: Leister University Press

Sounds a little too close to home with the current “Two Hummers in every Garage” time we live in. N’est-ce pas, mes amis?

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Freedom Tower Redux

"I feel better about this than the original," said the building's chief architect, David M. Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. "The building is simpler, architecturally. It is unique, yet it subtly recalls, in the sky, the tragedy that has happened here."

I feel better too. The original design with it’s asymmetrical tower intended to mimic and parallel the nearby Statue of Liberty seemed rigid and forced. The forms lacked elegance and seemed contrived and contorted.
The original design featured a torgued rectangle which is an inherently unstable design visually; this is not the kind of message you want to send in a structure on this site. The new design is much sleeker and the crystalline structure speaks of clarity and crispness.
According to Nicolai Ouroussoff, of the NY Times:
The new obelisk-shaped tower, which stands on an enormous 20-story concrete pedestal, evokes a gigantic glass paperweight with a toothpick stuck on top.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Resources@Abstract Art Dot Com

Abstract Art Dot Com
A good resource for seeing abstract painting and sculpture from 1960 to the end of the last century (not much in the way of 21st Century work).

An interesting take on the post-painterly abstractionists, color field painters, minimalists, geometric abstractionists, abstract expressionists and often-neglected (some say rightly so) groups: the lyrical abstractionists and abstract illusionists.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

More on Sean Sculley

"Bricks and Mortar" indeed, keeping the tradition of abstract painting alive:

For almost thirty years Sean Scully, at times single-handedly, has kept the tradition of abstract painting vital and renewed. Employing a vocabulary of horizontal and vertical forms that is deceptively reductive, the artist both humanizes and sanctifies the formal language of painting. Scully’s paintings envelop us physically with their internal structure and light. The artist’s recent paintings, known as the Wall of Light series, are inspired by and reference architecture and light and body and light, seeming opposites reconciled in the picture plane.

See images from the Galerie Lelong web site.


Friday, June 24, 2005

Pissarro's embroidery, Cézanne's brick-and-mortar.

Holland Cotter of the NY Times gets it exactly right in his description of the difference between the two 'Pioneers of modern Painting':Pissarro's embroidery, Cézanne's brick-and-mortar. Wish I said that...actually I tried to convey a similar distinction in my review (see below) but, truth be told, Mr. Cotter "laid it down and it stays down."

Funny, "bricks and mortar" is an apt description of the latest show by Sean Sculley@ Galerie Lelong in Chelsea going on right now.

“He has built a 9 x 12 foot stone wall of sweeping brushstrokes, with flashes of light for mortar.”
-From the Village Voice listings
Thru June 25th. 528 W. 26th Street, Chelsea

Thursday, June 23, 2005

William Kentridge@Prospeck Park

Among the very best concerts ever held in Prospect Park just ended.
The concert featured a performance by Hugh Masekela, the jazz trumpeter par excellance. After a spirited and moving set by Mr. Masekela and his band, an unprecedented presentation of a different sort took place at the bandshell.
William Kentridge presented 9 Drawings for Projection - a collection of animations accompanied by a string quartet conducted by Philip Miller.

Now I see the connection between Robert Gober’s latest work and the drawings on William Kantridge: the straight-forward hard-nosed graphic style is common to both.

William Kentridge: Quite the Opposite of Cartoons
by Philippe Moins

Soho Eckstein is a fat person; some kind of real-estate magnate. With his striped suits and pudgy features, you would place him somewhere between Bolshevik caricatures of capitalists and the expressionist images of the Weimar Republic.

Felix Teitelbaum we only see from the back--to begin with at least. Passive and dreamy, he's around for the rise of Soho Eckstein, and again for his downfall, which is the only time we see Soho in a more humane light. Around them, South Africa, confiscated by the whites, breaks free. Felix only becomes active when he deceives Soho by having an affair with Sarah Eckstein, the entrepreneur's wife. Even then, only his tongue is active, as if his sacred body dedicated all of its life to this substitute for sex.

In each short animation, Felix Teitelbaum progressively resembles his creator William Kentridge more and more, like those self-portraits from the Renaissance in which the artist depicts himself in one corner of the picture. However, there is also something of Kentridge in Soho Eckstein, this privileged white man who thinks that nothing can resist him, and builds massive monuments to his own work.

In a universe of devastated landscapes, wounded bodies, and out-dated means of communication (bakelite telephones, megaphones, and stadium-style loudspeakers) and measuring instruments (theodolites and sextants) signaling unknown shores, the heroes of this animated drawing evolve--and the term animated drawings can be taken in its most literal sense.

In contrast to the first episodes in which Soho and apartheid absolutely rule, where everything is either good or bad, black and white, as judged by our western viewpoint, a more subtle, moving and sincere point of view followed, culminating with Felix in Exile, History of the Main Complaint, and Weighing and Wanting.

The uncertainty of the times and the relationships between people is mirrored in the landscape and figures which are rendered in black, sometimes soft, sometimes hesitant, charcoal, drawn mostly in shadows and sketches rather than with well-defined details.

-Read more here.

Cézanne / Pissarro@MoMA: Two Thumbs Up

This tightly organized and focused exploration of the relationship between two precursors of modern painting makes for perfect viewing on a Summer's day. For us who have become accustomed to the radical simplifications and distortions of Picasso, these paintings seem tame and almost timid, yet it is the incredible and indelible influence of Cézanne that made Cubism possible in the first place.
A revelation of this show is how important Pissarro was to Cézanne. Many paintings by Pissarro directly inspired the paintings by the “Man-from-Aix”. Almost as Picasso and Braque would do in the next century, these two painters worked together to forge a new vision. Also like Braque and Picasso, it is difficult to tell who painted what at several junctures in thjeir shared output.
A general observation about the main difference between the two painters: in almost all cases (a major exception being and early still life by Pissarro in which the paint was laid on thick with a palette knife) Cézanne is the bolder of the two. Pissarro tended to break his forms into smaller units while Monsieur Cézanne tended towards a less nuanced and blockier application of paint. In fact, it is easy to see the appeal of divisionism or pointillism would have for Pissarro, who became a practitioner and fellow-traveller with Signat and Seurat.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

MoMA membership: the best deal in Town!

As I've said before, for 75 clams, you can't beat the membership @ MoMA... I just recieved 2 more guest passes (a toal of 4 this year). Considering the $20. admission price, what's not to like? I am planning to visit tomorrow (Wed.) to see the Freidlander show.

Update: just got back from MoMA; got in to the member's preview of the Cezanne/Pisarro exhibit: thumbs up, more to follow.

Monday, June 20, 2005

"Vermeer in Bosnia" : A Summer Read

I couldn't resist this book, the title alone grabbed me. I have always been a "Vermeer nut" and this book jumped off the shelf at the Superhero Supply Store in Park Slope.

Read an interview with the author, Lawrence Wechsler on the American Prospect Online.

One of my goals in life is to see all of the known paintings of Vermeer; there are about 35 of them. I estimate that I have seen a total of about 25-6 (there are 4 at the Met, 3 at the Frick and another 4 at the National Gallery); I sort of cheated by by getting tickets to the Vermeer show at the National Gallery about ten years ago…but the idea is to travel to all of the museums. It remains a goal. (I have seen The Art of Painting at the Kunthistorisches Museum in Vienna and The Lacemaker and The Astronomer at the Louvre).

Of course, there was a Vermeer painting stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum which may never be recovered…

Read more about Museums with Vermeer Paintings from the Essential Vermeer site.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Exhibits to See This Week: a personal listing

Okay, okay…things to do THIS WEEK:
I have a little time off to check out the following shows:
Wednesday or Thursday (Moma is closed Tuesday)
Freidlander @ MoMA:
First of all, if you haven’t figured out that the membership fee of $75. is the best deal in town, well I guess you like waiting in line to spend the $20. on admission. Being a member gets you in with no wait, (I even like the “members coat check”) and this year I received two guest passes…well worth the $75. Here’s the rub: I bet the membership fee rises next year to at least $100. You heard it first, here. Even then I may consider the membership but that depends on the exhibition schedule and how often I would plan to visit. Support the Arts! Join a museum!
About the exhibit, Freidlander promises to be a knockout, he's done it all in photography. I also want to check out the Highline exhibit about the planning and design of the elevated railway that courses through Chelsea and the West Villiage.

Wednesday or Thursday (The Whitney is closed Monday and Tuesday)

Remote Viewing (Invented Worlds in Recent Painting and Drawing) @ the Whitney:
A major overview of recent abstract paintings and drawings.
Did you know that there is an “Artist” or “teacher” category for membership at the Whitney that is only $40.? Nice deal if you plan to visit a few times a year, it’s a no-brainer…again, no lines and invites to member previews and other perks. With this year being a biennial
year, makes even more sense. I am always impressed with the way the Whitney smacks me out of my complacency with cutting-edge shows time after time. Last year’s standouts: Bill Viola, Tim Hawkinson and Ellen Gallagher all blew me right out of the water, absolutely right on.

Thursday or Friday (The BMA is closed Monday and Tuesday)
Monet’s London @ BMA

I know, I know Impressionism is so two centuries ago and I wouldn’t dare see this show on the weekend; the idea is to get there early on Friday (around 10 a.m.) and enjoy this pairing of Monet, Whistler, Derain and a host of photographs and stereographs.

Check back to see reviews of these exhibits; not bad pickings for a slow week in the city.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Flash Art By the People

Here's an interesting take on the Flash revolution:

Cartoons By the People For the People
— When Disney closed the doors of its Orlando, Florida animation studio in January 2004, many saw it as the death knell for traditional hand-drawn animation. Of the 18 big-studio animated films to be released this year, only a handful will be done in 2D animation and of those, only a couple will even make it into theaters, according to In 2001, the first Oscar for an animated film was given out and the 3D animated Shrek took the prize.

IMHO, I find a lot of the Flash animation that is out there to be "rude, crude and insensitive" but the fact is that Flash makes animation easy. Flash puts the means of production in the hands of the artist and changes the equation of studio/assistants/budget.

To see some of the Studio 827 Flash Art see "In the Bathroom"
created for the SEED Science and education web site.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Kindred Spirits: Bellamy/di Suvero@Storm King

If you’ve never been to the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, N.Y. do yourself a favor and take a day trip. The current exhibit reveals two kindred spirits in the most beautiful Hudson River landscape; while this does not replace the “Kindred Spirits” recently sold by the NYPL ( perhaps a void to large to fill), it may soothe the soul and provide a little respite from the heat wave.

“comprising more than eighty of Richard Bellamy’s photographs of the sculptures of Mark di Suvero and more than twenty works by di Suvero opens at the Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York, on June 8,2005. Richard Bellamy and Mark di Suvero is the first exhibition to bring together the work of these two close friends and, as the exhibition reveals, kindred spirits.”

Directions and info. to the Storm King Art Center

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

"The New Illiterati"

"It is not the person ignorant of writing but the one ignorant of photography who will be the illiterate of the future" - Lazlo Moholy Nagy

-Walter Benjamin "News About Flowers" from Art of the Twentieth Century A Reader edited by Jason Gaiger and Paul Wood. p.110

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Jim Nutt, Henry Darger et al @ Feigen Contemporary

An interesting mix of artists in the Life and Limb exhibit at Feigen Contemporary (535 West 20th St., Chelsea, through July 30th). With 26 artists in this show, it’s a mixed bag but there are enough quirky connections across media, decades, styles and genres to make for an interesting cocktail. My favorites here include the three early modern titans Max Beckman, James Ensor and George Grosz coupled with a few more contemporary nuts such as Jim Nutt and Henry Darger. This is a fun show for the summer doldrums.

Feigen Comtemporary site.

Lars Arrhenius
C-prints by Lars

London Underground, also by Lars

Check it out, fresh and funky C-prints of the London tube.
Lars has an interesting C-print in the Life and Limb show.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Iron deficiency in Bilbao Diets

This just in from the NY Times Arts discussion forum:
datsmi2 - 2:15 AM ET June 9, 2005 (#8821 of 8822)

Serra's new installation at Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

At the recent opening of Richard's Serra's entire floor thru exhibition of his new installation at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao,Spain I observed a dozen or more desperate urchin poor children pushing up against Richard Serra's new sculpture kissing the surface hoping that the art would provide them with substance and succor and the needed iron they lacked in their diets. It was a truely inspirational sight to behold.

I wonder if they still use lead-based paints in Spain?

Recommended Viewing: Julio Gonzalez@ Instituto Cervantes

Richard Serra’s most recent extra large-scale steel sculptures are Janus-like in that they look both towards a new century and back at the last. These massive torqued ellipses, spirals and maze-like enclosures represent the culmination of the tradition of welded metal sculpture started by Julio Gonzalez and subsequently Picasso in the early-thirties of the last century.

Looking forward to this new century, Serra’s work seems to predict an Art that is industrial in scale, technological in means and unpredictable in effect. If you haven’t walked through the sculptures themselves you have not experienced the intense wonder and indescribable vertigo induced by such seemingly cold and impersonal slabs of rusted steel. I haven’t been to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain but it is definitely on the list. A close second would be a trip to see the Julio Gonzalez exhibit; easily reached with a Metro card.

Recommended FREE Event Through June 18
Julio González: Sculptures and Drawings
Instituto Cervantes Gallery
Tuesdays through Fridays: 12:30 to 6:30 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am to 1:30 pm
Sundays and Mondays: closed
Collection of the
Institut Valencià d Art Modern (IVAM)
Free admission
Instituto Cervantes at Amster Yard
211-215 East 49th Street
New York, NY 10017
Tlf:1 212 308 77 20
Read the NY Times Review of the Julio Gonzalez exhibit here.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

What Art to See in NYC: Late Spring into Summer 2005

Wowie-zowie! Late Spring in NYC and the Art world still offers many interesting exibits to see before the sleepy summer.
Springtime in Nueva York:
Here is my "to do" list, check back to see reviews and postings related to this rejuvenating and refreshing encounter with the best in museums, galleries and off-beat locales not-just-for-locals.
My short-list (not in order of prominence or priority):

Hilla Rebay: The Art of Tomorrow @ the Guggenheim Museum through Aug. 10.
Anyone with an interest in abstract painting and the development of abstraction in America should see this exhibit.
Remote Viewing (Invented Worlds in Recent Painting and Drawing) @ the Whitney through October 9th. If you are interested in some contemporary takes on abstraction head to the "uptown concrete bunker for difficult art during difficult times." BTW, the Whitney has won (in compromise) the bid for expansion after several false starts over the last decades; this is a good thing as we need the Whitney to kick around every other year for the biennnial mishmash.

The Whitney is Dead! Long Live the Whitney!

Did I fail to mention Monet's London at the Brooklyn Museum of Art? See this one on a weekday; Impressionism always draws crowds.

"the movement of abstract art...bears within itself at almost every point the mark of the changing material and psychological conditions surrounding modern culture." p.31
-Meyer Shapiro "The Nature of Abstract Art" from Art of the Twentieth Century A Reader edited by Jason Gaiger and Paul Wood.

On another planet entirely is Neo Rauch @ David Zwirner through June 18th. Read about it on another artblog.

Monday, May 30, 2005

A Little Help From My Friends

The skinny, my friends: My entryKrooklyn is now in 6th Place and comin' on strong!
If you have a blog that links to this site, we gain in our quest for #1. We are in 6th place and hope to move up to fifth place with YOUR HELP.
You hold the key to unlock this door
BTW, contest ends in 2 weeks...

Krooklyn, "Every Blog has a little Krooklyn in it."

What will happen to NYC Arts in the off-season?
With the end of the art season and the summer doldrums approaching, NYC Arts will finish out the Contagious Media Showdown and go into slo-mo until the end of August...we may (or may not) be posting from down under at the Great Barrier Reef when the spirit moves us.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Johns Reviewed in the NY Times

..."another round of seeming constipation and truculence."
-from today's NY Times Arts section. It's nice when the MSM (main steam media) agrees with us after the fact...

J.J. @ M.M.: A Little Disappointing

Jasper Johns is an indisputably important artist; one responsible for helping chart the way out of the Abstract Expressionist corner that painters found themselves in the late fifties. That said, his latest showing (his first showing of new work in eight years) is disappointing in that it consists of 30-odd variations on the same image; the serial technique (essentially variations of the same image) is a bit long in the tooth by now, in this case a catenary curve described by an actual hanging piece of string in some cases and a painted string in others.

-from NYC Arts, "I quote myself to myself."

As you all know by now, Contagious Media Showdown is a sort of "stupid web site" contest. We have an entry that has been picking up a little momentum as of late:
Please link to my site, we are serious contenders in the blog links category, thanks to y'all/
You hold the key to unlock this door
BTW, contest ends in 3 weeks...and we can go back to being just a plain old boring art blog.

Krooklyn, "Every Town has a little Krooklyn in it.

Stopped by to see the latest exhibit What Sound Does A Color Make? at EYEBEAM earlier today, it sounded more promising then it actually delivered, but this after a quick walk-through. I plan to go back and give it another shot; EYEBEAM has the spirit and the Moxie to be a real player in the NYC arts scene.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Misc. on Blogger

Well, here's a neat blogger person who supports our Krooklyn efforts... and we return the favor with a "link back". Misc. is a sort of miscellaneous collection of Art related items, pretty neat at that it is too.
Can youse guys out there with a blog link to Krooklyn too? All favors will be repaid in full. See below for more info.

is at #7 in the Contagious Media Showdown, Technorati category.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Little Help Goes a Long Way

Short version: My entryKrooklyn is now in 6th Paceand comin' on strong!
If you have a blog that links to this site, we gain in our quest for #1. We are in 6th place and hope to move up to fifth place with YOUR HELP.
You hold the key to unlock this door
BTW, contest ends in 3 weeks...

Krooklyn, "Every Town has a little Krooklyn in it."

Krooklyn in Kontagious Media Kontest

Short version: Contagious Media Showdown is a sort of "stupid web site" contest. This is my entry:
Please link to my site, we are serious contenders in the running; in fact we are in 6th place and hope to move up to fifth place with YOUR HELP.
You hold the key to unlock this door
BTW, contest ends in 3 weeks...

Krooklyn, "Every Town has a little Krooklyn in it."

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Krooklyn : Dumber and Dumberer

O.K. once again bloggers, here's the deal: Contagious Media Showdown is a sort of "stupid web site" contest. This is my entry:
If you have a Blog, please link to my site in order that we may have a respectable showing.C'mon bloggers, together we could be big.
For more info. see previous posts.
Thanks again for all of your support, it will come back to you, scout's honor.

Krooklyn, "Just like I pictured it."

Losing sleep, Contagious Media ? Robert Slutzky Passes On

Not to beat a dead horse, but jsut like Giacomo and Aflleet Alex, our entry in the Contagious Media Showdown can not be counted out. Our site, Krooklyn (a work in progress) is moving up to # 47 overall (out of 85 total) and more importantly holding steady at #8 in the separate category of "Technorati".

Here's how you can help:
just link to Krooklyn on your blog, and we gain in the standings.

What's at stake here? Pride, bragging rights and a juicy check for a thousand skackeroos... not to shabby for a poor boy from Krooklyn.

On another note, the painter Robert Slutzky recently passed on. His paintings were in the great tradition of Mondrian’s New York City paintings; he will be missed .

Monday, May 23, 2005

Krooklyn in the Top Ten! #48 Overall!!

is at # 10 in the "Technorati" category, as of this moment, thanks to the bloggers who have created a link to my site, this is definitely respectable and all kindness will be paid back in full.

"What does "Krooklyn have to do with Art?"...
Well, there is that exhibit at the museum of Contemporary Art called "Contagious Media" which is in conjunction with the Contagious Media Showdown presented by the folks at EYEBEAM...

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Krooklyn Movin' On Up!

My entry
is at # 48 as of this moment, thanks to all of you who have checked it out and also special thanks to the bloggers who show me the love with a link, big thank you; we are looking to finish strong so keep it coming.
Reminder: a Blog that links to my site, gives us a strong showing in the "Technorati" category.
Just like Giacomo, just like Afleet Alex we are not out of the race.
Please refer to earlier posts if you need more info.

"Krooklyn, My Krooklyn"...sung to the tune of "Maryland, My Maryland" recently heard at the Preakness.

"What does this have to do with Art?"...
Absolutely Nothing.

Calling All Bloggers! Throw Me A Bone Here...(pleeze)

O.K. bloggers, here's the script: Contagious Media Showdown is a sort of "stupid web site" contest. This is my entry:
If you have a Blog that links to my site, then we will have a respectable showing in the "Technorati" category. Thanks so far to the ten bloggers who have done so, we are in the running.
C'mon bloggers, a little help here.
For more info. see previous posts.
Thanks again for your support.

Krooklyn, "Just like I pictured it."

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Krooklyn: A Work in Progress

First, thanks to those of you who have already visited my entry: "Krooklyn" in the Contagious Media Showdown sponsored by the fellow travelers at EYEBEAM. My aim is to have a respectable showing, and thanks to you fellow bloggers (who link to my Krooklyn site) it's already happening. Unique visitors count in the tally so 'spread the word' in any way you can.

In a short while the showdown will be over and this little experiment in net nonsense will be herstory.

Every little bit helps and it will come back to you, if not in this lifetime then in the next, I promise.

Hilla Rebay@ The Guggenheim
Went to seet the Art of Tomorrow exhibit just yesterday. While not a blockbuster there are a number of gems in this first-time exhibit paintings by Hilla Rebay alongside many paintings collected at the former Museum of Non-Objective Art (now known as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum). Rudolp Bauer comes off looking very good, Kandinsky emerges triumphant as always and H. Rebay's paintings look a little thin and slighty anemic. See had the eye but not the hand, the will but not the means; yet her contribution to advanced art can not be easily dissed.
If you are interested in the long history of abstract art in America this is a must-see. The Daniel Buren Eye of the Storm exhibit contimues there as well.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Krooklyn @ Contagious Media Showdown

O.K. people, here's the skinny: Contagious Media Showdown is a contest. This is my entry:
More unique visits = more points to win. Tell your friends, tell your ex-spouse. We need you to check this out and go back for more updates often.
Oh, yeah: If you have a Blog that links to my site, more points.

C'mon people, a little help here.

Thanks, 'preciate it, team effort.
"All Power to the Blogs"
All Krooklyn, All the Time

Saturday, May 14, 2005

J.J. @ M.M.: A Little Disappointing

Jasper Johns is an indisputably important artist; one responsible for helping chart the way out of the Abstract Expressionist corner that painters found themselves in the late fifties. That said, his latest showing (his first showing of new work in eight years) is disappointing in that it consists of 30-odd variations on the same image; the serial technique (essentially variations of the same image) is a bit long in the tooth by now, in this case a catenary curve described by an actual hanging piece of string in some cases and a painted string in others.

Jasper Johns: Catenary Matthew Marks Gallery, 522 West 22nd Street through June 25, 2005.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Gober's homage to Duchamp goes to the highest bidder: MoMA

It seems that MoMA will be the future home of Robert Gober's latest installation seen at Matthew Marks Gallery last month. Carol Vogel in the NY Times gets it right in saying that this peice is an homage to Duchamp.
(See our recent review below: Robert Gober: Timing is Everything).

Read more about it in today's NY Times.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Art of this Century: John F. Simon, Jr. @ Sandra Gering Gallery

Sandra Gering Gallery
"Endless Victory"

This exhibit of new work should be seen by anyone with an
appreciation and understanding of Mondrian. I often think of Mondrian as the first digital artist; in
Mondrian's mature paintings we have a binary approach to color (on/off) and a limited direction of line (either/or) and a reduction of the
visual stimulus to discrete blocks of “picture elements” (pixels).

John F. Simon Jr. has combined an amazing array of visual stimuli that builds on Mondrian's greatest New York City paintings: the Victory Boogie-Woogie and Broadway Boogie-Woogie. Mr. Simon creates an "Art of This Century" that is intelligent, witty, wry and compelling.

This show is open through May 28th.
534 West 22nd St., NYC
Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 6pm.
The exhibition will feature Endless Victory and Endless Bounty, two new editions in which John Simon expands both the content and presentation of his software art. By incorporating a wide range of media and programming styles in the software, Simon makes it possible to combine the central aspects of his artistic practice — coding and drawing. The screens that display the software are framed within elegant compositions of intricately cut and engraved Plexiglas. The first edition, Endless Victory, is inspired by Mondrian's unfinished painting of 1943/44, Victory Boogie-Woogie. Using traffic flow in New York City as a motif, Simon improvises on the endless merging, dividing, overtaking, turning, starting and stopping motions that surround him. This piece continues themes begun in Simon's earlier work, ComplexCity (2000).The second edition, Endless Bounty, emerges from the tension between Simon's urban lifestyle and his longing for nature. The software flips between the two ideals displaying maps, drawings, photographs and three-dimensional models in a continual effort to capture our gaze.

Friday, May 06, 2005

The ART World

The ART World
Art is defined in many different ways. But, it's best defined on a piece of paper. There are all different kinds of styles in art. In the early days people tried to master perfection in a face, a nature scene, and all other things around them. Now people are looking for style and creativity when people look at art. A popular art form that contains a lot of style is abstract art. This type of art is unique because it's a design that in many cases gives you a message, rather than art that is based on a real life picture. But, abstract is only one form of stylish art for art is stretched in so many different ways. People have even played around with the human face made it into more of a design. Art has never stopped changing and as I speak someone is creating new art forms.
Admiring other people's art is great, but in my opinion it's not at all as satisfying as creating your own masterpiece. Although, occasionally you run out of influences and you may have to look at other people's work. People make art f'or many different reasons. For example some art is supposed to make you feel relaxed (Matisse), some is to make you think (Picasso), and other artists make art only for their pure enjoyment (me).
The most interesting art that I recently came across was at the Drawing Center in Manhattan. The art was done on graph paper by a woman named Emma Kunz. She invented a method using the graph paper to make designs. That is my definition of art.
Alex D., age 12

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Take a Walk on the SoHo Side

Take a trip to SoHo this spring (remember SoHo?) to see some Art. There are still a few galleries holding out in the former Arts district, in between the boutiques and chic restaurants. A particularly strong showing on Wooster Street features several known masters of minimalism, a Bauhaus master and a pair of outstanding “outsider” artists. While you're there, stroll down Canal Street to take in the bizarre bazaar before it too morphs into a high-rent district faster than you can say "Williamsburg".

The Drawing Center
35 Wooster Street, New York, NY
3x Abstraction: New Methods of Drawing
by Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz, and Agnes Martin
March 19 – May 21, 2005
Agnes Martin’s drawings have never looked so good as they are presented here alongside two of the strangest and most esoteric off-shoots of theosophical speculation since Kandinsky and Rudolf Steiner. I’m speaking of Hilma af Klint and Emma Kunz; both of whom have rarely been seen in New York. The important publication “The Spiritual in Art Abstract Painting 1896 – 1985” accompanying an exhibit at LACMOA featured a chapter “The Case of Hilma af Klint” but as to Emma Kunz, it is my first encounter with her inspired graph paper drawings. Many well known painters (Alfred Jensen, for one) have followed similar paths yet here is a true original; a pioneer of abstract art as ground breaking as many more touted male painters.
Down the street, Wooster that is, is an exhibit of more familiar pioneer abstract artists paired together to great effect: Josef Albers / Donald Judd @ Brooke Alexander Gallery. Judd liked the “real space and real color” of sculpture yet the Albers “Homage to the Square” paintings hold their own in this exhibit.

Structure & Color
Josef Albers / Donald Judd
@ Brooke Alexander Gallery
59 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10012
Until May 21, 2005

See more Hilma Af Klint images here.

Modern Art at Auction: See the Works for Free, Buy for Millions

So you don’t want to pay $20 to see great works of modern art at MoMA? Check out the Impressionist and Modern Art exhibit at Sotheby’s this weekend (and early next week), you won’t be disappointed. There are some really strong examples of Fauvist painting by Braque, Derain, Dufy (both Jean and Raoul) and Vlaminck along with a slew of School of Paris masterpieces. A painting by Chaim Soutine and a late Picasso (Women of Algiers) alone are worth the trip. Take a break and have a latte on the roof terrace of Dean & DeLuca’s and you will feel like a millionaire.

My personal favorite is an early Kandinsky,
Zwei Reiter und Liegende Gestalt (Two Riders and Reclining Figure). Estimated at 15 – 25 million dollars, it’s a little out of my price range but definitely worth the trip to East 72nd St. and York Avenue.

The first decade of the last century was truly a watershed period in the history of Art comparable to Florence in the 1420’s or Rome in the early 1500’s. The works on view here are very high in quality, quantity and price.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Cartoon Skeletons: Pigpen and the Dead

From Artist Michael Paulus' Website:
"A character study of 22 present and past cartoon characters (including Pigpen)".

Speaking of skeletons and Pigpen, here is an interesting letter to the editor published the NY Times:
When the Bad Trip Began
To the Editor:
Seth Mnookin gets it right concerning the decadence and decline of the Grateful Dead, and ultimately of the music itself as the band became too popular to play in anything smaller than stadiums ["Now the Dead Will Always Be With Us," last Sunday]. What he gets wrong is the timing. The beginning of the end was already chronicled in Tom Wolfe's "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" in 1967, with Mountain Girl, Jerry Garcia's girlfriend at the time, bemoaning the introduction of hard drugs into the Haight during the "summer of love." In addition, the death of the original band member Ron (Pigpen) McKernan in 1973 marked a significant change in the musical direction of the Dead.

The throngs of urchins, burnouts and hangers-on at the huge arenas was a shallow echo of the close-knit atmosphere of the earlier concerts, where you saw the same faces in the crowd and felt like part of something unique, American and ours.
Published: April 24th, 2005

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Robert Gober; Timing is Everything

Robert Gober @ Matthew Marks
Timing is everything. I was just lucky enough myself to catch this show on the last day of the exhibit, ducking in on my way to Chelsea Piers for some R & R.

Robert Gober’s installation came at the precise moment when the leadership of the Catholic Church changed hands. The headless body of Christ on the Cross was surely of the moment, and as a metaphor and portent for the future of the Church this installation hit the proverbial nail on the head, as it were.
Art based on the events of 9/11 comes at a time when many artists across disciplines ranging from theater, dance, film, graphic novels are grappling with an event that will shape the world we live for a long time. New York artists of all stripes are just now recovering from the shock and are able to address this harrowing era in ways that may help all of us come to terms, Art is an important and potent ritual that is vital to survival and recovery from tragic events.
Robert Gober does not shy away from the most difficult subject nor does he give us easy answers, smug platitudes or quick fixes of cathartic grief. This installation currently served as the memorial to those who perished; at least that may have been the artist’s intention. But an more apt and compelling memorial will be hard to find.
“Mr. Gober has turned the Marks gallery into a kind of church, complete with a central aisle, an altar and two inaccessible side chapels. When we peek through the nearly closed doors of those chambers, we see the legs of a figure (male in one case, female in the other) seated in a bathtub with water running from its handmade pewter faucet.

There is even clergy: the first work on display involves a priest's shirt and collar. And also the suggestion of stained-glass windows, with their traditional tales of trials and tribulations: a suite of eight drawings, four on each side wall, that depict fleeting, partial views of embracing couples. They are drawn on replicas of two-page sheets from The New York Times of Sept. 12, 2001, which have, appropriately, been drained of color. The newspaper pages on one wall have been reproduced normally; the opposite wall has mirror images of the same pages, a device that knits the room together spatially and also implies that in some way we are still stuck in the reported events.”

Roberta Smith NYTimes
Published: March 25, 2005

Robert Gober has produced a large-scale installation of new sculpture exploring questions regarding sexuality, human relationships, nature, and religion, all informed by the current political climate. The artist conceived this new body of work over a three-year period, beginning shortly after the events of September 11, 2001, and culminating shortly after the recent presidential election.

-from the the Matthew Marks Gallery, 522 West 22nd Street.

The next exhibition @ the Matthew Marks gallery space will be Jasper Johns: Catenary, opening May 7, 2005. Something to look forward to, hopefully Mr. Johns will be in good form for when 'he is good he is very good, and when he is bad...'

Saturday, April 23, 2005

FS/LS: The Good and the Not-So Good in Chelsea

New Work by Frank Stella @ Paul Kasmin, Lucas Samaras @ Pace MacGill

Frank is still working space. Like many artists of his generation, Stella emerged from under the shadow of de Kooning. In fact, Frank once had a reproduction of 'the king’s' work taped to the wall of his studio to remind him of “what not to do”. And of course, Stella’s early black and white paintings were the anti-de Kooning: an antidote to miles of second-rate, second generation re-treads of the masterful meanderings of Willem I. (Stella’s early work prefigured so much that lesser talents have made entire careers out of their implications; Sol Lewitt, for one).
Since 1975 and the “Painted Bird” series first seen at MoMA in that year, Stella has displayed a knack for creating sculptural work which to my eye appear to be like 3-D recreations and ruminations inspired by master Will. It seems that the ambiguous and open-ended gesture-based abstraction was impossible for Frank to resist forever so Frank finally gave in to the power of the small postcard taped to his wall so many years ago.
Some of Stella’s work fails in the same way that de Kooning did on numerous occasions: too much Sturm and Drang without a solid core; this is the price of risk. I’m sure that there are as many Stella “misses” as discarded de Kooning drawings. All of this is old news yet few people regard Stella as “hot” in the over-heated tulip-crazed frenzy of Chelsea.
I have long been a FS fan and if you haven’t read his “Working Space” yet, it’s an education in itself.
As for this show, it’s a stunner, even better than his show at Paul Kasmin last year. My personal favorite involves an open-ended “Buckyball” intertwined with various other free-form sinuous curves.

PAUL KASMIN GALLERY New Work by FRANK STELLA from April 2 – May 14, 2005.
293 Tenth Avenue
New York, NY 10001

Lucas Samaras @ Pace MacGill, Chelsea

"LS? Who is LS?" I wondered aloud as I entered the gallery yesterday in Chelsea, ducking out of the cold rain. Oh, yeah. Good ol' Lucas Samaras, the irascible, unpredictable, irreverent and just-plain 'in-your-face fun where you’d least expect it' artist. As you walk in and you see all of these people sitting at computer work stations not unlike any cubicle farm dot-com hell from the recent past. As it turns out, LS has created some dozens of iMovies and umpteen Iphotos for your viewing pleasure.
Now don’t get me wrong I have great admiration, respect and genuine awe of much that LS has created over the decades, especially his fabric paintings but as someone involved in new media, this is “a little too little, a little too late.” All of the ho-hum Photoshoped self-portraits are such old news that it is a little embarrassing to sift through them; this is “art of this century” by someone from last century.
Other voices, to the contrary.

Lucas Samaras :: PhotoFlicks and PhotoFictions
Pace / MacGill
534 West 25th Street

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Max Ernst @ The Met / Diane Arbus, Too

Max Ernst
Through July 10, 2005
Ah, good old Max Ernst, the first multimedia artist. I forgot how various and varied his work could be. This show is a knockout on several fronts: for the sheer quantity of iconic works and for the range of formats included. The only works missing from this retrospective are the miniscule paintings from the Arizonia years. This exhibition is a must-see for anyone unfamiliar with his technically expansive paintings, his inspired and lurid collages and the “frottages” made of rubbings of diverse textures.

Diane Arbus Revelations
March 8, 2005–May 30, 2005

I ducked in to see the Diane Arbus photos on exhibit; it’s a good double bill with the Max Ernst show. You could easily see both shows without getting “museum-headache” –that awful feeling of information overload that one gets at the larger museums… the shows complement each other in odd ways, maybe because they are so foreign to each other yet there is a shared eeriness or tinge of voyeuristic pleasure in transgressing “good taste” that makes these shows so prescient right now.
I recently watched Kubrick’s masterful “The Shining” and realized for the first time that the Diane Arbus Twins
was the inspiration for Kubrick’s treatment of the sibling ghost sisters in the film; no wonder they are so haunting. “If you’re going to steal, steal from someone good.”

Just for fun, see the twins on this page (towards the bottom of the page).

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Gehry in NYC

One of my favorite architects will soon have three major structures in New York City...see for yourself:

#1. The New Brooklyn Nets Stadium (in development)
Bring Basketball to Brooklyn

“This is an important opportunity for everyone,” added Frank Gehry. “Our goals are to create a great Arena for a great team, and to create something really special for Brooklyn.”

#2: Headquarters of IAC/Interactive in Chelsea (under construction now)
Frank O Gehry in Manhattan

Does anyone know what the third one will be?

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Michelangelo Code

The idea that art imitates life is always being turned around out with life imitating art (Schwarzenegger as the Gov’ner is right out of a Phillip K. Dick Sci-fi send-up) but this new one is too much!

In today’s news that there is a conjecture that Michelangelo forged the “Laocoön” marble sculpture; this is comparable to Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code” speculations about the Catholic Church.

“A scholar has suggested that "Laocoön," a fabled sculpture whose unearthing in 1506 has deeply influenced thinking about the ancient Greeks and the nature of the visual arts, may well be a Renaissance forgery - possibly by Michelangelo himself.”
NY Times, 4/18/05

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Endless Walking but Getting Nowhere

Julian Opie’s Walking Animations
Animation of “Kiera Walking” on this page is an example of the electronic billboard currently installed on the steps of the Tweed Courthouse on Chambers Street, downtown NYC. There are two separate “animated” billboards, each one shows a figure walking but getting nowhere, very Zen and also both hi and lo-tech. I’ve seen this animation at night and it is very effective visually as the moving lights cut through the surrounding visual clutter, such as the tail lights on the car in front of you.
Seen during the day, the walking figures come alive as their movement is echoed by the many everyday New Yorkers walking to and fro. The futility of the urban constant rush is also wryly commented on as these figures spin their wheels yet go no further. Isn’t the Department of Education housed in the Tweed Courthouse?

See photos and read more at Gothamist.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Fric Fischl @ Mary Boone Gallery

Sure, go ahead and see the Damien Hirst “paintings” at the Gagosian gallery. Decide for yourself if they are interesting or not. I found them a trifle tedious after the initial surprise at the use of Photorealism (such a tired style at this point). But while you are on 24th Street, check out the recent paintings by Eric Fischl.

In contrast to Mr. Hirst (who showed thirty paintings), Mr. Fischl presents us a handful of large-scale paintings. These new works are continuations of the style forged in the go-go eighties and it is more than curious that these painted are being exhibited at this point in time in Chelsea. The world changed so much since Eric Fischl burst on the scene in 1984 at the Mary Boone Gallery yet these images almost seem like items from a time capsule from the era of Michael Douglas in “Wall Street”. These images seem forced and strangely cloying, in spite of the fact that they are well painted; all that talent could be put to better effect than essentially copying photographs at a large scale and adding a dash of bravura brushstrokes. For all the smoldering desire in the images there is a ho-hum feel to the whole venture.

Through April 23rd
541 West 24th St.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Why is there an Arts Blog?

To provide an unbiased and informative view of selected highlights in the NYC arts: on the streets, in the galleries, museums and auction houses.

What makes this source important?
A down-to-earth yet educated and sincere look at the art with an eye for trends, interesting and stimulating exhibits and relevant news in the cultural life of this great city.

Are the views represented here truly unbiased?

The opinions expressed here are free from commercial interest and not affiliated with any for-profit business.

Does this mean that this site aims to be a comprehensive listing without personal likes, dislikes, or values of any kind?
No. Discerning the best and most compelling art from the wide range of current exhibits without hype, without an agenda and with an eye toward sharing insights into what is for many an awfully complicated scene. A broad perspective, mature and nuanced inquiry and an educated eye inform the views expressed here.

Can people add comments and opposing viewpoints to counter the opinions expressed here?
Yes, definitely.

What to see in NYC:
Max Ernst @ the Metropolitan Museum.
Does anyone remember the last NYC retrospective of this enigmatic artist? The show at the Guggenheim (I think in 1974) was a real eye-opener. More to come on this important exhibit.

Frank Stella @ Paul Kasmin Gallery
New Work April 2- May 14
An old standby, Frank Stella is always the thinking man’s artist. It may take a while before we catch up to his latest works but the never fail to provide visual force to what can be static and stale in lesser hands.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Damien Hirst’s sculpture, installed at the Lever House

While I definitely agree with Jerry Saltz’s opinions of the recent paintings “by” Damien Hirst, (see the article “The Emperor’s New Paintings”) I can’t agree with his take on the sculpture recently installed at the Lever House:

this from Jerry Saltz, published in the Village Voice, 4/5/05:

Worse than the paintings because it's permanent—not to mention marring the entrance to the beautiful Lever House on Park Avenue—is Hirst's hideous Virgin Mother, a 35-foot bronze eyesore of a naked pregnant woman with a cutaway view of her womb. ...Virgin Mother should be removed straightaway and those responsible for placing it here should be fired or whatever is done with reckless, imbecilic billionaires.

Yes, the Lever House is beautiful, especially in light of the recent renovation but this provocative sculpture is a perfect compliment to the pious modernism evoked and evinced by this building. I hate to say how utterly innocuous are the stone sculptures of Isamu Noguchi next to this brash bronze monstrosity. I love the irreverent insouciance of this strident Virgin Mother who literally bares all with such cosmopolitan élan and verve. I can’t explain why I love it (I know I’m supposed to like the Noguchi sculptures) but I took some people to look at the sculpture in the pouring rain and we all felt a similar sense of awe. Damien Hirst, after all is a sculptor first and foremost.