Reich Richter Pärt

Reich Richter Pärt, an immersive live performance and exhibition in two parts—one conceived by composer Steve Reich and painter Gerhard Richter, the other by Richter and composer Arvo Pärt—explored the shared sensory language of visual art and music. The Richter Pärt partnership built on a concept developed by Alex Poots and Hans Ulrich Obrist for the Manchester International Festival and featured a live performance of Pärt’s captivating choral composition surrounded by Richter’s new work, including wallpaper and three jacquard tapestries. [source: The Shed] & [short video: Gerhard Richter]

The Shed, Apr 6 – Jun 2, 2019

April 13th, 2019

What is Good Design?

Elevating the functional to a timeless work of art.

Fiat 500f Berlina – 1968. The bestselling version of the Cinquecento, it remained in production until 1973
Resilient Chair, 1948-49 by Eva Zeisel || Stone on Stone fabric, c. 1950 by Vera Neumann
Floor lamp, c. 1950 by Serge Mouille
Werra 135mm film camera, c. 1955-1960. Manufactured by Zeiss-Werk, Jena, East Germany (DDR) || Microphone (model MD8-C), 1962 by Marko Turk. Manufactured by Elektroakusticni Laboratorij, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia
Lumio Book Lamp, 2013 by Max Gunawan
Communications receiver (model S-40A), 1947 by Raymond Loewy Associates

“Is there art in a broomstick? Yes, says Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art, if it is designed both for usefulness and good looks.” This quote, from a 1953 Time magazine review of one of MoMA’s mid-century Good Design exhibitions, gets to the heart of a question the Museum has been asking since its inception: What is good design and how can it enhance everyday life?

Featuring objects from domestic furnishings and appliances to ceramics, glass, electronics, transport design, sporting goods, toys, and graphics, The Value of Good Design explored the democratizing potential of design, beginning with MoMA’s Good Design initiatives from the late 1930s through the 1950s, which championed well-designed, affordable contemporary products. [source: MoMA]

The Value of Good Design
Feb 10–Jun 15, 2019

April 4th, 2019

Charline von Heyl: Snake Eyes

The Language of the Underworld || 2017 || Acrylic and charcoal on linen
Moky || 2013 || Acrylic, oil, and charcoal on linen
Lady Moth || 2017 || Acrylic and charcoal on linen
Mana Hatta || 2017 || Acrylic and charcoal on linen
Solo Dolo || 2010 || Acrylic, oil, and charcoal on linen
P. || 2008 || Acrylic, charcoal, and pastel crayon on linen

The largest US museum survey of this pioneering artist to date, Charline von Heyl: Snake Eyes featured more than thirty large-scale paintings that revealed the artist’s considerable influence in the field of contemporary art.

One of the most inventive artists working today, von Heyl has earned international acclaim for continually rethinking the possibilities of contemporary painting. Her cerebral yet deeply visceral artworks upend longstanding assumptions about composition, beauty, and narrative. Drawing inspiration from a vast and surprising array of sources—including literature, pop culture, metaphysics, and personal history—von Heyl creates paintings that are seemingly familiar yet impossible to classify, offering, in her words, “a new image that stands for itself as fact.”

In studios in New York and Marfa, Texas, von Heyl combines a rigorous, process-based practice that demands each painting develop through the act of painting itself. The spellbinding results invite viewers to explore a unique visual language that is both exuberant and insistent.

Snake Eyes ran at The Hirshhorn from November 2018 to April 2019.

March 18th, 2019

Jan Tschichold and the New Typography

Jan Tschichold: From Calligraphy to Penguin Books

Jan Tschichold was the most important typographer of the twentieth century; his career framed many of the great debates in graphic design. Trained as a calligrapher in German Gothic script, he rejected this ”nationalist” approach in favor of a style inspired by avant-garde Constructivist art. He even briefly changed his name to ”Ivan” in sympathy with Soviet art and politics. His writings helped define the New Typography, a movement that sought to make printed text and imagery dynamic, efficient, and attuned to the demands of modern life. Tschichold’s designs and theories were controversial and provoked hostility from conservative critics. Imprisoned by the Nazis in 1933, Tschichold and his family escaped to Switzerland, where he began to question the values of modernism. By 1947, when he was appointed design director of Penguin Books in London, he was advocating a return to classical design principles: orderliness, clarity, and uniformity.

In March 1947, Tschichold became design director of Penguin Books in London, the world’s largest paperback publisher. To ensure consistency across the firm’s books, one of his first tasks was to standardize the horizontal grid and color schemes that Edward Young had established in 1935: orange for fiction, green for crime, purple for biography, etc.

Designer unknown
Pelikan carbon paper packaging, after 1928
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Jan Tschichold Collection

9949Jan Tschichold (Swiss German, 1902-1974)
Buster Keaton in: ”Der General” Phoebus-Palast Poster, 1927
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Jan Tschichold (Swiss German, 1902-1974)
Phoebus-Palast: Music and Film Performances by rank; program, 1927
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Johannes Molzahn (German, 1892-1965)
Dwelling and Workplace poster, 1929
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Jan Tschichold Collection

Max Burchartz (German, 1887-1961)
International Exhibition: Art of Advertising poster, Essen 1931
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Paul Schuitema (Dutch, 1897-1973)
Nutricia, le lait en poudre advertisement, 1927-28
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Jan Tschichold Collection

The New Typography was a movement based in Germany during the period of the Weimar Republic (1918-33) that sought to make printed text and imagery a dynamic expression of modern life. Proponents advocated adopting asymmetrical layouts, sanserif letterforms, and integrating photography with text in a manner that expressed a new sensibility, shaped by advertising and the mass media. Jan Tschichold, a young typographer trained in Leipzig, was the author of the landmark texts ”elementare typographie” (1925) and Die neue Typographie (1928), which did much to define the movement. Tschichold contacted many leading artist-designers throughout Europe and the Soviet Union to acquire examples of their finest designs and added them to his personal collection, most of which is now in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

From the ”Jan Tschichold and the New Typography” exhibition @ Bard Graduate Center (February – July 2019)

March 02nd, 2019

Frida & I

And a lot more on display in Brooklyn Museum.

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving was ongoing, a collection of her clothing, jewelry, and other personal possessions like her corsets and prosthetics (themselves works of art), which were rediscovered and inventoried in 2004 after being locked away since Kahlo’s death, in 1954. Photography was strictly prohibited and all I managed was a couple of sneak pics. But, as is always the case in a museum, a whole world of other treasures is waiting to be discovered, photographed, and shared.

Ceremonial Wine Vessel on a Wheeled Phoenix, early 18th century
China, Qing dynasty

Head of Wesirwer, Priest of Montu
Green schist
Late Period, Dynasty XXX, ca 380-342 B.C.

Figure of a Recumbent Jackal (God Anubis)
Late Period-Ptolemaic Period, ca. 664-30 B.C.E.
From Saqqara

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Ran Hwang (South Korean, b. 1960)
East Wind, 2012
Plastic and metal buttons and beads, metal pins, wood panel

Kwang Young Chun
Born Hongchun, South Korea, 1944
Aggregation 18-JA006 (Star 1), 2018
Mixed media with Korean mulberry paper

Kwang Young Chun
Born Hongchun, South Korea, 1944
Aggregations (detail)

Kwang Young Chun
Born Hongchun, South Korea, 1944

Kwang Young Chun
Born Hongchun, South Korea, 1944

Kwang Young Chun
Born Hongchun, South Korea, 1944
Aggregation 15-AU043, 2015
Mixed media with Korean mulberry paper

Philip Pearlstein, b. 1924
Portrait of Linda Nochlin and Richard Pommer, 1968
Oil on canvas

Joan Semmel, b. 1932
Intimacy-Autonomy, 1974
Oil on canvas

Brookyn Museum

February 16th, 2019

Brenda Starr, Reporter: The Art of Dale Messick

Brenda Starr, Reporter debuted in June of 1940 and was an immediate hit with young women and girls. Brenda Starr’s name came from a 1930’s debutante, Brenda Frazier, and her body, fashion sense, and persona mirrored leading Hollywood actress, Rita Hayworth, complete with matching long red hair and a curvaceous figure.

At its peak, Brenda Starr, Reporter was included in 250 newspapers and read by more than 60 million readers. When Starr and her long-time “Mystery Man” boyfriend, whose very survival depended on the serum found in the fictitious but famous black orchid, finally married after 36 years in 1976, President Gerald Ford sent a congratulatory telegram. [source]

Random squares from an exhibition @ The Society of Illustrators

February 9th, 2019

Marguerite Humeau: Birth Canal

“Birth Canal,” the first US solo museum exhibition by Marguerite Humeau (b. 1986, Cholet, France), debuts a new body of sculpture within an installation of light, sound, and scent. Humeau’s work centers on the origins of humankind and related histories of language, love, spirituality, and war. She prefaces each project with a period of intense investigation in which she engages diverse authorities on her chosen subject, including historians, anthropologists, paleontologists, zoologists, explorers, linguists, and engineers. Through her interdisciplinary, speculative inquiry, Humeau enriches her own thinking as an artist and researcher, and refashions historical quests in ways that reflect the technological age in which we live. – New Museum

New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York

January 6th, 2019

Looking at Jerry Lewis || The Nutty Professor Storyboards

Of all the stars who worked in the golden age of the Hollywood studio system, few valued the acts of looking and being looked at more than Jerry Lewis. Lewis had years of stage experience behind him by the time he emerged as a major screen actor and director, and acknowledging the audience became an essential aspect of the ”comedy of looks” that characterized his work. In no other Lewis film is the experience of being seen so central a theme as it is in The Nutty Professor (1963), in which he treats his audience as a main character. In this adaptation of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story, his masterly dual performance as the self-effacing Professor Kelp and the narcissistic Buddy Love represents different sides of the Lewis persona, while on-screen students and night-club audiences who witness his character’s behaviour represent the critical gaze of the movie-going public.
[source: MoMA] Bill Avery
Jerry Lewis shooting a home movie, 1953

Bill Crespinel
Jerry Lewis mixing music at this home, 1961

John Jensen (American, 1924-2003)
Scenes from the Hangover sequence, 1962
Black and coloured pencil on vellum paper John Jensen (American, 1924-2003)
Scenes from the Stella fantasy sequence, 1962
Black and coloured pencil and pastel on vellum paper John Jensen (American, 1924-2003)
Mina bird cage sketches, 1962
Pencil on paper John Lauris Jensen’s storyboards for The Nutty Professor were on display between October 2018 – March 2019; they were a recent gift to the Museum of Modern Art.

January 5th, 2019