RoundAbout

A cabinet of curiosities in a MAD gallery.Dorian Zachai (United States, 1932-2015)
Lady Performing, 1971
Wool, rayon, silk, metallic lace, Dacron stuffing, wire and feathers


Dorian Zachai (United States, 1932-2015)
Allegory of Three Men, 1962-65
Wool, silk, rayon, wood, cotton, ceramic, metallic threads and Dacron stuffing


El Anatsui (Ghana, b. 1944)
Soleme, 2005
Aluminum liquor bottle caps and copper wire


David R. Harper (Canada, b. 1984)
Encyclopedia of the Familiar, 2015
Polyurethane, cowhide, linen, cotton embroidery floss, steel, synthetic hair, horsehair, epoxy clay and enamel

Combining David R. Harper’s primary working methods of sculpture and embroidery, Encyclopedia of the Familiar is a large-scale sculpture of a cross-sectioned horse, populated with a graphic, ordered collage of embroidered images from or in reference to medical texts and mathematical treatises.


Leonardo Benzant (United States, b. 1972)
The Chameleon’s Journey: Galveston, 2017
Textiles, string, monofilament, leather, acrylic, gel medium, glass seed beads and miscellaneous

Benzant creates his sculptures through a slow and labour-intensive ritualistic process, rolling and sewing fabric into tubular forms, wrapping them with string and strands of glass beads, and adding paint, glitter and other elements or ornament to entwine history, memory and imagination. These signature forms, while abstract, resemble chromosomes and roots, visually conveying his ties to an ancestral lineage. As a practitioner of the Yoruba faith, Benzant uses glass beads based on the eleke necklaces worn by practitioners during ceremonies for their symbolic spiritual power.


Ibrahim Said (Egypt, b. 1976)
Devotion, 2018
White earthenware and glaze

Said’s work represents a marriage between ancient and contemporary Egypt, where most of the population is Muslim. Devotion is an abstraction of two birds in flight, based on the ancient Egyptian deity Horus, traditionally depicted as a falcon.


Annie Evelyn (United States, b. 1976)
Nest, 2017
Vintage jewelry findings, leather and foam


Sterling Ruby (Germany, b. 1972)
Basin Theolody/The Pipe, 2018 & Basin Theology/Pentedrone, 2014

Sterling Ruby: Ceramics, was the first museum exhibition to focus on the ceramic works of the Los Angeles-based artist.

Museum of Arts and Design

November 11th, 2018

Bruce Sargeant (1898-1938): The Lost Murals

@ClampArt Gallery, curated by New York artist Mark Beard (Bruce Sargeant’s great nephew).

”Mark Beard has devoted more than two decades of his life to researching and collecting the work of Bruce Sargeant, a painter who largely concentrated on the idealization and celebration of the male form.” […]

”The Lost Murals brings together large-scale canvases that were known to exist but hidden from public view for over half a century. After years of meticulous research, Beard located the murals and painstakingly arranged for their return from a number of locations around the globe. In the murals, Beard’s great-uncle portrays his favorite subject: muscular young men at the peak of form and athletic prowess.” – Source & more: ClampArt

November 10th, 2018

The House of Jazz

“We’re right out here with the rest of the colored folk and the Puerto Ricans and Italians and the Hebrew cats. We don’t need to move out in the suburbs to some big mansion with lots of servants and yardmen and things.”

And so it was in 1943 that Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille came to live in this modest house in the working-class neighbourhood of Corona, Queens. They lived here for the remainder of their lives.

Today, the Louis Armstrong House Museum & Archives is open to the public, offering guided tours while audio clips from Louis’s homemade recordings are played, and visitors hear Louis practicing his trumpet, enjoying a meal, or talking with his friends.

No one else has lived in the house since the Armstrongs passed away; the rooms, furnishings, ornaments, the all-mirrored bathroom and that lovely show-stealing turquoise kitchen reflect their personalities, taste and times they lived in. I tried to stay behind every time our guide moved on, to take a better look at each room. I was sure that if I touched the walls I would hear the echo of Louis’ trumpet playing – and not from the audio clip.

The Museum is expanding across the street from the House. The new Education Center will complement the existing experience with an exhibition gallery, a jazz club where musicians will rehearse and perform their music, and a store. The museum’s research collections, currently housed at Queens College’s library, will move into an Archival Center on the second floor.

The anticipated completion was pushed back to 2021 (pre-Covid-19).

With the Louis Armstrong House Museum and Archives currently closed because of Covid-19, the Museum has launched “That’s My Home,” their first online exhibition – absolutely worth a visit.

November 4th, 2018

El Paso Museum of Art

An Art Institution in a binational, bilingual city like El Paso could showcase nothing less than an eclectic collection, rich in history, diverse in technique, open-minded and thought provoking, drawing inspiration from both sides of the Americas.

EPMA is the only American Alliance of Museums-accredited art museum within a 200-mile radius, one of the only accredited museums in all of West Texas, and serves as a major cultural and educational resource for West Texas, New Mexico, and Northern Mexico with nearly 100,000 visitors each year. The demographic characteristics of this region are diverse and unique among large cities in the United States because of the nature of its fluid, binational population which sees inhabitants working, learning, and socializing across international and state borders on a daily basis. El Paso and its sister city Ciudad Juárez, Mexico share three international bridges that bring 75,000 people from Juárez to El Paso each day (Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2016). According to Customs and Border Protection, 600 to 1,000 children legally cross the Paso del Norte bridge to go to school every day. Moreover, over 80% of residents identify as Mexican, Hispanic, or Mexican-American. [sourge: EPMA]

James Surls
Me, Knife, Diamond and Flower, 1999
Pine, poplar and steel


Tom Knapp
Springtime in the Rockies, 1978
Bronze


Manuel Guerra
Los huecitos le dan sabro a la música, 2008


Celia Álvarez Muñoz
Postcards: Sweet Orange, Oh! Chihuahua and Street Signs
Acrylic on canvas and metal street signs


Jeff Koons is omnipresent in American museums – here is a view of his One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank


Robert Gober
Untitled, 1993-94
Beeswax, wood, glassine and felt-tip marker pen ink


Eanger Irving Couse
Autumn Moon, 1927
Oil on canvas


Luis Jiménez
Barfly – Statue of Liberty, 1969 – 1974
Acrylic on fiberglass


Robert Massey
Colomba – Waikiki #2, undated
Etching on paper


Paola Rascón
Jaciel, 2012
Oil and mixed media on canvas


Paola Rascón
USA, 2015
Oil and mixed media on canvas


Paola Rascón
Low Rider
Oil and mixed media on canvas


Cruz Ortiz
After Posada: Revolution


César A. Martínez
Bato con Sunglasses, 2011
Acrylic on muslin


Andrea Bowers
Abolish Ice & Families Belong Together, 2018
Cardboard, LED lights
After Posada: Revolution

El Paso Museum of Art, TX

October 12th, 2018

 

Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done [@MoMA]

”For a brief period in the early 1960s, a group of choreographers, visual artists, composers, and filmmakers gathered in Judson Memorial Church, a socially engaged Protestant congregation in New York’s Greenwich Village, for a series of workshops that ultimately redefined what counted as dance. The performances that evolved from these workshops incorporated everyday movements—gestures drawn from the street or the home; their structures were based on games, simple tasks, and social dances. Spontaneity and unconventional methods of composition were emphasized. The Judson artists investigated the very fundamentals of choreography, stripping dance of its theatrical conventions, and the result, according to Village Voice critic Jill Johnston, was the most exciting new dance in a generation.” – [source: MoMA]

Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done was a walk through the history of Judson Dance Theater with performances, films, photographs, posters and other archival materials. It was also an introduction to the very beginnings of the life and work of artists I have been admiring for some time – and others that were completely new to me.

Instructed by the filmmaker Gene Friedman not to talk or hide their faces, Judith Dunn and Robert Ellis Dunn looked directly at the camera with deadpan expressions until they both broke into laughter. Judith Dunn was a choreographer and member of Merce Cunningham’s company, while Robert Dunn was a teacher and Cunningham’s accompanist.

Gene Friedman
Excerpt from Heads, 1965
16mm film transferred to video


In his workshops, Robert Ellis Dunn presented his students with Cage’s score for ”Fontana Mix” and asked them to use it as inspiration for a performance. The score instructed performers to layer transparencies containing lines and dots over a grid to create a random visual arrangement, with they then interpreted using a variety of movements and actions. This exercise exposed the students to chance operations, a composition technique popularized by Cage that introduced randomness into the art-making process.

John Cage
Fontana Mix, 1958
Ink on paper and transparent sheets


Laughter poem* for James Waring, 2 August 1960, by Ray Johnson


*If you are curious to know how a laughter poem sounds, please click on this page: Atlanta Poets Group to find out. You can also listen to the first one: Laughter poem for Ray Johnson, 30 July 1960, by James Waring
Judson Memorial Church, New York – March 16, 1966
Fred W. McDarrah


Yvone Rainer
”Bach” From Terrain, 1963
Performed at Judson Memorial Church, April 28th, 1963
By Trisha Brown, William Davis, Judith Dunn, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer and Albert Reid

Rainer’s first evening-length work Terrain, was a five-part dance for multiple performers. Some of the sections were choreographed, while others were structured like a game, with rules and strategies that defined each dancer’s behavior but still allowed for spontaneity and improvisation.

Lucinda Childs
Geranium, 1965. Performed at 940 Broadway, January 29th, 1965
Geranium was set to the sounds of a championship football game, complete with sports commentators describing the action on the field, to which Childs added her imitation of sports broadcasting and intervals of music. Using the tape as a score and its sounds as cues, Childs interacted with objects including a wooden pole, a tinfoil scrap, a hammer and a pound of soil. She used a hammock to support her weight as she performed, in slow motion, the movement of a football player who – according to the broadcast – raced toward the ball, stumbled and fell.

Huddle is part of Simone Forti’s Dance Constructions (1960-61), a continually shifting mass of bodies. Seven to nine performers create a solid base and take turns climbing over the group. In doing this, they create a sculptural form Forti has often described as a mountain.

Simone Forti’s Dance Constructions (1960–61) were key forerunners to Judson Dance Theater. Made from inexpensive materials, including plywood and rope, each “construction” prompts actions such as climbing, leaning, standing or whistling. Simultaneously sculptures and performances, the works were first presented at Reuben Gallery and the artist Yoko Ono’s loft, both in New York.

Huddle was performed live in intervals, throughout the exhibition.

September 15th, 2018

Obsession || Nudes by Klimt, Schiele and Picasso *Safe For Telework*

From the Scofield Thayer Collection.

Scofield Thayer (1889-1982) was editor and co-owner of the Dial, a journal that published writing and art by the European and American avant-garde from 1919 to 1926. An aesthete, he was a brilliant abstract thinker and a complex, conflicted personality. In the early 1920s, Thayer underwent psychoanalysis with Sigmund Freud in Vienna. While in Europe, he assembled a large collection of some six hundred artworks – mostly works on paper – with staggering speed, acquiring them from artists and dealers in Vienna, London, Paris and Berlin.

While Pablo Picasso’s work had been shown in America, Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele were unknown in this country at that time. Both artists were remarkable for their frank portrayals of female nudity and sexuality.

In 1924 a selection from Thayer’s collection was exhibited at a New York gallery and won acclaim, but it found little favour when shown in his native city of Worcester, Massachusetts. Offended by intolerant views toward provocative art, Thayer drew up his will in 1925, leaving his collection to The Met before retreating from public life until his death in 1982.

An exhibition of the bequest has been planned since its arrival at the Museum in 1984, but its diversity, unevenness and vast quantity proved a challenge. While a select group of paintings by artists of the School of Paris is always on view, the light-sensitive watercolours, drawings and prints have been rarely displayed. This exhibition, held on the centenary of the 1918 deaths of Klimt and Schiele, presented these erotic and evocative works together for the first time.

It ran from July through October 2018 at The Met Breuer.

Egon Schiele || Sorrow, 1914 || Drypoint


Egon Schiele || Squatting Woman, 1914 || Drypoint


Egon Schiele || Girl, 1918 || Lithograph


Egon Schiele || Reclining Nude with Boots, 1918 || Charcoal on paper


Egon Schiele || Standing Nude with Orange Drapery (recto): Study of Nude with Arms Raised (verso), 1914 || Watercolor, gouache and graphite on paper


Egon Schiele || Nude in Black Stockings, 1917 || Watercolor and charcoal on paper


Egon Schiele || Observed in a Dream, 1911 || Watercolor and graphite on paper


Egon Schiele || Two Reclining Nudes, 1911 || Watercolor and graphite on paper


Egon Schiele || Self-Portrait, 1911 || Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper


Egon Schiele || Seated Nude in Shoes and Stockings, 1918 || Charcoal on paper


Gustav Klimt || Reclining Nude with Drapery, 1912-13 || Graphite


Gustav Klimt || Two Studies for a Crouching Woman, 1914–15 || Graphite


Pablo Picasso || Fondevila, 1906 || Oil on canvas


Pablo Picasso || Head of a Woman, 1922 || Chalk on paper


Pablo Picasso || Erotic Scene (La Douceur), 1903 || Oil on canvas


The Met Breuer

August 19th, 2018

ICP Museum || The Decisive moment

Sometimes it happens that you stall, delay, wait for something to happen. Sometimes you have the feeling that here are all the makings of a picture – except for just one thing that seems to be missing. But what one thing? Perhaps someone suddenly walks into your range of view. You follow his progress through the viewfinder. You wait and wait, and then finally you press the button – and you depart with the feeling (though you don’t know why) that you’ve really got something. Later, to substantiate this, you can take a print of this picture, trace it on the geometric figures which come up under analysis, and you’ll observe that, if the shutter was released at the decisive moment, you have instinctively fixed a geometric pattern without which the photograph would have been both formless and lifeless. – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Prostitute, Calle Cuauhtemoctzin, Mexico City, 1934


Behind the Gare St. Lazare, Place de  l’Europe, Paris, 1932


Coronation of King George VI, Trafalgar Square, London, May 12, 1937


Dessau, Germany, May-June 1945


Downtown, Manhattan, New York, 1947


Manhattan, New York, 1947


Saul Steinberg, Vermont, 1947


Jean-Paul Sartre, Le Pont des Arts, Paris, 1946


Rangoon, Burma, 1948


The Forbidden City, Beijing, December 1948


Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment examined Cartier-Bresson’s influential publication, widely considered to be one of the most important photobooks of the twentieth century. Pioneering for its emphasis on the photograph itself as a unique narrative form, The Decisive Moment was described by Robert Capa as “a Bible for photographers.” Originally titled Images à la Sauvette (“images on the run”) in French, the book was published in English with a new title, The Decisive Moment, which unintentionally imposed the motto which would define Cartier-Bresson’s work. – International Center of Photography (ICP)

August 16th, 2018

You Say You Want A Revolution: Remembering the 60s

Any excuse to visit the New York Public Library is a good excuse. And this exhibition featuring material exclusively from the Library’s collections, on show on the ground floor of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the main Library branch in Bryant Park, was also an excellent lunch-time break. It was summertime and the livin’ was easy (in retrospect).

Terry Southern
The novelist, screenwriter and essayist Terry Southern was one of postwar America’s foremost satirists. Tom Wolfe credits him with having pioneered the New Journalism with the publication of ”Twirling at Ole Miss” in the February 1963 issue of Esquire. In addition to his satirical novels Candy (1958), based on Voltaire’s Candide, and The Magic Christian (1959), Southern is best known for his screenplays for the Counterculture classics Dr. Strangelove (1964) and Easy Rider (1969), the latter co-written with actors Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda. Candy, published by Olympia Press, was banned by the Paris vice squad. Its republication in the U.S., in 1965, made Southern both a mainstream and a Counterculture celebrity.


Selections from the United States Social Political Button Collection, dating from 1958 to the late 1970s.


Jay Belloli
Amerika is Devouring Its Children, 1970

Jay Belloli, a student at the University of California, Berkeley, created this poster for the school’s 1970 student strike protesting President Richard Nixon’s bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. The image is based on painter Francisco de Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son (ca. 1820) and was silkscreened on computer listing paper.


The Stop Our Ship Movement, Oakland, CA, November 1971

On November 6, 1971, more than 300 sailors from the aircraft carrier Coral Sea marched in an antiwar demonstration in San Francisco. Six days later, from 600 to 1200 protesters demonstrated outside the naval air station in Alameda, California, encouraging servicemen to desert the ship before its departure for duty in the Vietnam War. The Berkeley City Council and 10 area churches offered sanctuary to any who did. Thirty-five sailors failed to report for duty prior to the sailing. This broadside calls for a show of unity with those servicemen, ”who have asked for a display of public support. Bring Flags. Bring friends.”


Anton Refregier
Napalm/Made in USA, 1968

Napalm was a chemical used heavily by the U.S. in the Vietnam War. It is a mixture of plastic polystyrene, hydrocarbon benzene and gazoline, which creates a jelly-like substance that, when ignited, adheres to virtually any surface and burns for as long as ten minutes, generating temperatures of 1,500 °F to 2,200 °F. Its effects on the human body are excruciating and almost always cause death. It was first used by U.S. troops with flamethrowers, to burn down sections of forest that provided cover for Viet Cong guerillas. Later, it was dropped as bombs, as were other incendiary devices. Images of civilians, including children, who had been burned by napalm fueled American revulsion against the war.


Arnold Skolnick
Woodstock, 1969


John Judkins
Bob Dylan
London: I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet, 1969

I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet was a Notting Hill clothing boutique that achieved fame in 1966, the heyday of ”Swinging London”, by promoting vintage military uniforms as fashion. Among its customers were The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, and The Who. Jimi Hendrix bought his well-known hussar-style coat there. Peter Blake, who designed the album sleeve for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, reportedly got the idea for The Beatles’ outfits while passing by the shop, which also issued promotional posters, several by John Judkins.


Gay Liberation Front
Peter Hujar, photographer

Come Out!! Join the Sisters and Brothers of the Gay Liberation Front, New York ca. 1972-73


Reproduction of Jutta Werner’s Artwork in Fire, no. 2 (March 1968)  – detail


Reproduction from: Oracle/City of Los Angeles 1, no. 5 (August 1967)


Martin Sharp
Vincent


Joe Petagno
Ain’t Gonna Work on Dizzy’s Farm No More (1970)

This poster, the title of which play on Bob Dylan’s anti-establishment song ”Ain’t Gonna Work on Maggie’s Farm No More”, depicts three of Disney’s most famous characters – Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Goofy – seated around a smoke-billowing hookah, filled, presumably, with hashish. Each smoker holds a mouthpiece, his eyelids drooping over bloodshot eyes and mouth agape. Disney Studios responded with a copyright-infringement lawsuit, resulting in the destruction of most of the print run. The poster is signed ”Petagno III”, the early signature of artist Joe Petagno, best known for his album covers for psychedelic and heavy-metal bands, including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Motörhead and Nazareth.


Martin Sharp
Blowin’ in the Mind/Mister Tambourine Man


The New York Public Library

August 16th, 2018

Trip Hoppin’ w/Escher

A master manipulator of architecture and perspective, creator of geometric paradoxes, aka M.C. Escher.

Extase, 1922
Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita (M.C. Escher’s mentor)
Woodcut


Castle in the Air, 1928
Maurits Cornelis Escher
Woodcut


Tower of Babel, 1928
Maurits Cornelis Escher
Woodcut


Emblemata, 1932
Maurits Cornelis Escher
Woodcut


Dream (Mantis Religiosa), 1935
Maurits Cornelis Escher
Woodcut


Tropea, Calabria, 1931
Maurits Cornelis Escher
Lithograph


Lion of the Fountain in the Piazza at Ravello, 1932
Maurits Cornelis Escher
Wood engraving


”The crucial turning point in Escher’s artistic development was his second trip to Southern Spain in 1936. There, he visited famous Moorish architectural landmarks, such as the Alhambra Palace in Granada and the Mezquita in Cordoba. These visits inspired him to methodically study the patterns that 14th-century artisans used to decorate the walls and the arches of the Moorish monuments. He then developed a passion for tessellation: geometric decoration in which triangles, stars or squares are repeated like tiles to cover a plane without leaving any gaps. He meticulously produced 137 watercolours showing different motifs of tessellation in an exercise book. These motifs represented 17 different ways of filling a flat surface with regular patterns and included a study of various colouring possibilities.”


Hand with Reflecting Sphere (self-portrait) in Spherical Mirror, 1935
Maurits Cornelis Escher
Lithograph


Circle Limit IV (Heaven and Hell), 1960
Maurits Cornelis Escher
Woodcut, printed from two blocks


Circle Limit III, 1959
Maurits Cornelis Escher
Woodcut, printed from five blocks


Depth, 1955
Maurits Cornelis Escher
Wood engraving and woodcut, printed from three blocks


Drawing Hands, 1948
Maurits Cornelis Escher
Lithograph


Ascending and Descending, 1960
Maurits Cornelis Escher
Lithograph


From ”Escher: The Exhibition and Experience” – a travelling exhibition that ran in Industry City from June 2018 February 2019.

Brooklyn, N.Y.

August 4th, 2018