Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Georgia O'Keefe in Brooklyn

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern

The exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum through July 23, 2017  is organized in sections that run from her early years, when O’Keeffe crafted a signature style of dress that dispensed with ornamentation; to her years in New York, in the 1920s and 1930s, when a black-and-white palette dominated much of her art and dress; and to her later years in New Mexico, where her art and clothing changed in response to the surrounding colors of the Southwestern landscape.

The final section explores the enormous role photography played in the artist’s reinvention of herself in the Southwest, when a younger generation of photographers visited her, solidifying her status as a pioneer of modernism and as a contemporary style icon.

It was an intimate visit with Georgia OK - I felt as if I was going thru her closets and shopping with Georgia at Marimekko.

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern is part of A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum, a yearlong series of exhibitions celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Charlemagne Palestine’s Bear Mitzvah in Meshugahland


Norman Kleeblatt's masterfully curated show of Charlemagne Palestine's vision is full of humor. Bear Mitzvah, at the Jewish Museum, is contemplative and bursting with a rainbow of color and whimsy.

The teddy bear’s invention in 1902 by an immigrant couple in the same Brooklyn neighborhood where Palestine was born has become a near obsession for the artist. The first bear was hand sewn by Morris and Rose Michtom as a tribute to President Theodore Roosevelt following his much publicized hunting trip during which he refused to shoot a bear cub that had been readied for his aim. The incident was popularized by the prominent illustrator Clifford Berryman’s cartoons in the Washington Post. The Michtoms, along with the rest of America, became fascinated by the story and thus dubbed the newly invented toy “Teddy’s bear.” The bear’s invention quickly became a commercial and media success

Charlemagne Palestine’s Bear Mitzvah in Meshugahland, March 17 - August 6, 2017. The Jewish Museum, NY.

Monday, January 16, 2017

MLK Birthday

                                                                                                   Gordon Parks

I was raised in Mobile, Alabama. Today, on Martin Luther King's birthday, I happened upon a Gordon Parks photo - a true miracle.  “Ondria Tanner and Her Grandmother Window-shopping, Mobile, Alabama,” (1956).  Mr. Parks has captured the feel and texture of that time in Alabama.

This photo was taken at the entrance of my family's department store.

Segregation Story: Gordon Parks continues at Salon 94 Bowery (243 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan) through January 17. Photos from the same series are currently also on view in Gordon Parks: A Segregation Story 1956 at Rhona Hoffman Gallery (118 North Peoria Street, Chicago) through February 20.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Monk With A Camera

Nicky in Central Park
I had the great pleasure to see the magnificent movie, "Monk With A Camera".  Seeing Nicolas Vreeland's spiritual journey was inspiring in this intimate and honest documentary.

Nicky with the Dalai Lama
Nicholas Vreeland walked away from a worldly life of privilege to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Grandson of legendary Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, and trained by Irving Penn to become a photographer, Nicholas' life changed drastically upon meeting a Tibetan master, one of the teachers of the Dalai Lama. Soon thereafter, he gave up his glamorous life to live in a monastery in India, where he studied Buddhism for fourteen years. In an ironic twist of fate, Nicholas went back to photography to help his fellow monks rebuild their monastery. Recently, the Dalai Lama appointed Nicholas as Abbot of the monastery, making him the first Westerner in Tibetan Buddhist history, to attain such a highly regarded position.

You can watch the film on line. Click to download the film.  

Nicholas Vreeland

Nicky Vreeland's photos can be viewed. Please click to see portfolio.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Louise Bourgeois: Suspension

Louise Bourgeois LEGS 2001
76 x 34 x 22 1/2 inches
193 x 86.4 x 57.2 centimeters

I am most interested in mature artists making great works throughout their careers and especially in their later years.  Often artist’s work can be considered better as they evolve.

The recent show Louise Bourgeois: Suspension at Cheim & Read (October 30, 2014 - January 10, 2015) is a fine example of greatness in later years. Many of the art works found in this show were created when Bourgeois was 91 years young.

The sculptures in this magnificent exhibition all hang from the ceiling. Along with a group of drawings from the 1940s, in which pendulous forms are delineated in black ink, the selection of works traces the theme of suspension throughout Bourgeois’s long career. Spanning more than forty-five years – from the organic Lair forms of the early 1960s and the Janus series of 1968, to the cloth figures of the 1990s, the hanging heads of the 2000s, and the torqued spirals of shining aluminum made in the last years of Bourgeois’s life – they demonstrate the myriad ways in which she approached material, form, and scale.

Most interesting is her explanation and approach to the works. For Bourgeois, the sculptures’ suspension is an expression of the psyche; as she stated: “Horizontality is a desire to give up, to sleep. Verticality is an attempt to escape. Hanging and floating are states of ambivalence.”  In psychology, ambivalence refers to conflicting but coexisting feelings for the same person, place, or event.

I found the hanging pieces and the installation very playful and humorous in spite of the artist’s serious references. The technical execution of each sculpture is absolutely beautiful.  

It was truly a wonderful moment with a great artist, Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010).

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
A Group of Artists (The Painters of the Brücke), 1925-26
Oil on canvas
Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Photo: © Rheinisches Bildarchiv Cologne


Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937

March 13-September 1, 2014

I saw the exhibition this week and was speechless. I saw some of the greatest works by the most prominent artists in art history.  The show at the Neue Galerie is truly a gift to the NYC.

On March 13, 2014 Neue Galerie New York opened the exhibition "Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937." This is the first major U.S. museum exhibition devoted to the infamous display of modern art by the Nazis since the 1991 presentation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The term "degenerate" was adopted by the National Socialist regime as part of its campaign against modern art. Many works branded as such by the Nazis were seized from museums and private collections. Following the showing on these works in a three-year traveling exhibition that criss-crossed Germany and Austria, most were sold, lost, or presumed destroyed. In this light, the recent discovery in Munich of the Gurlitt trove of such artwork has attracted considerable attention. The film "The Monuments Men,"directed by George Clooney, is about this amazing moment in history and shows the growing interest in the subject.

Max Beckmann
Departure, 1932-1935
oil on canvas
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Given anonymously (by exchange)
Digital Image © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY
© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Highlights of the show include a number of works shown in Munich in the summer of 1937, such as Max Beckmann's Cattle in a Barn (1933); George Grosz's Portrait of Max Hermann-Neisse  (1925); Erich Heckel's Barbershop (1913); Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's Winter Landscape in Moonlight (1919), The Brücke-Artists (1926/27); Paul Klee's The Angler (1921), The Twittering Machine (1922), and Ghost Chamber with the Tall Door (1925); Oskar Kokoschka's The Duchess of Montesquiou-Fezensac (1910); Ewald Mataré's Lurking Cat (1928); Karel Niestrath's Hungry Girl (1925); Emil Nolde's Still-Life with Wooden Figure (1911), Red-Haired Girl (1919), and Milk Cows (1913); Christian Rohlf's The Towers of Soest (ca. 1916) and Acrobats (ca. 1916); Karl Schmidt-Rottluff's Pharisees (1912); and Lasar Segall's The Eternal Wanderers (1919), among others.

The Neue Galerie exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue published by Prestel Verlag.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Commemorating WTC in Scarf Line for 9/11 Museum

Collection 18 Commemorates WTC in Scarf Line for 9/11 Museum

By on May 15, 2014
“Liberty Between the Towers” photograph by Paula Barr

New York – Paula Barr, a world-renown photographer known for her images of iconic New York, has licensed Collection 18 to reproduce two of her images of the World Trade Center on a silk scarves to be sold exclusively at the 9/11 Memorial Museum Retail Store.

BW_WTC_ (6)
“Lunchtime on the WTC Plaza” photograph by Paula Barr

Barr was commissioned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the late 1980s to photograph the most important images of New York City, which included the World Trade Center, The Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, The Bridges of New York, and more.
The first scarf is based upon a color photograph titled, “Liberty Between the Towers,” which Barr shot from an abandoned pier to capture Lady Liberty centered between the two World Trade Towers. It shows the skyline of the city on a beautiful day. The second print on a scarf is a black and white photograph called, “Lunchtime on the WTC Plaza,” depicting visitors and workers gathering on the World Trade Center’s plaza in 1986.

The scarves will retail for $95 and will be sold at the 9/11 Memorial Retail Store at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, which opens May 21. The scarves will also be available at 9/11 Memorial Store