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

Bodys Isek Kingelez || City Dreams @MoMA

I first became aware of the work of Bodys Isek Kingelez, captivated by his intricate, colourful maquettes, at the retrospective that was presented at MoMA during the second half of 2018. There is a joyous, optimistic quality about these toy-like cities that brought a smile to the child in me; but make no mistake – these tiny sculptures, made from modest materials like glue and paper, straws and bottles, soda cans and bottle caps, are no toys. They are a delicate body of artwork, visions of utopian cities, images of a better world. Like, for example, the U.N. (1995), made in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, reflecting the artist’s belief in a world of democracy, peace, and cooperation. Or his Ville Fantôme (1996), a peaceful city in which doctors and police are unecessary.

An extract from the artist’s bio (for more info click on his name):

”Visionary artist Bodys Isek Kingelez created dazzling, intricate architectural sculptures that he called “extreme maquettes.” Born in the agricultural village of Kimbembele Ihunga in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1948, he came of age in a period of enormous political and social transformation. In 1970, he relocated to Kinshasa—the capital of the newly independent nation renamed Zaire—to pursue a university education. After his studies, motivated by a desire to make a civic contribution to his country, Kingelez worked briefly as a secondary school teacher. However, he soon became “obsessed with the idea of getting my hands on some scissors, a Gillette razor, and some glue and paper…” and began to create sculptures that took the form of buildings, constructed from modest materials like paper, cardboard, and repurposed commercial packaging, and embellished with push-pins, straws, elaborate hand-applied designs, and more. It was through these sculptures that he felt he could help shape “a better, more peaceful world.” The technical excellence of Kingelez’s early work led to his hiring as a restorer at the National Museums Institute of Zaire, where he repaired traditional objects in the collection until he devoted himself to art making full-time in the early 1980s.”


“Art is the grandest adventure of them all…art is a high form of knowledge, a vehicle for individual renewal that contributes to a better collective future.” – Bodys Isek Kingelez (1948–2015)

MoMA, New York

July 28th, 2018

Funny Ladies at The New Yorker: Cartoonists Then and Now

”With the vote won in 1920, and a new found freedom, many women moved to the city to find work. In 1925, journalist Harold Ross and his wife Jane Grant, a reporter for the New York Times, created The New Yorker, a humor magazine for the urban elite. When Ross began to look for talent to contribute to this new endeavor, he sought the best. Some of the best included cartoonists who were women; with the support of The New Yorker, they became some of the most heralded cartoonists the art form has known.” [source]

”I’m going to leave him – I’m tired of being Duse* inside.” – by Barbara Shermund

*Eleonora Duse (1858-1924) was an Italian actress, often known simply as Duse. She is regarded as one of the greatest actresses of all time, noted for her total assumption of the roles she portrayed.”

Barbara Shermund
Dear no, Miss Matberry – just the head.” – by Mary Petty
Doris Matthews
Liza Donnelly
Mary Lawton
Carolita Johnson
Liana Finck
Victoria Roberts
Pia Guerra
Maggie Larson
Maggie Larson
Bishakh Som
Julia Suits
Nurit Karlin
Nurit Karlin
Kim Warp
Kim Warp
Roz Chast

These were just a few of the many talents showcasing their work in this exhibition, their creative, witty personalities expressed in their cartoons and beyond – as in Roz Chast’s bio, above.

All of the cartoons shown in the exhibition were published in The New Yorker magazine, © The New Yorker & the artist. The majority of art is the property of the cartoonist.

The Society of Illustrators

July 28th, 2018

The Art of The Avengers and Other Heroes

For all the Marvelites out there…!

Daredevil King-Size Special #1
Electro, and the Emissaries of Evil! – 1967
Written by: Stan Lee || Penciled by: Gene Colan
Inked by: Marie Severin || Lettered by: Sam Rosen


The Avengers #1
Once an Avenger… Page 16-17 – 1968
Written by: Kurt Busiek || Penciled by: George Pérez
Inked by: Al Vey || Lettered by: Richard Starkings


Marvel Knights = Black Widow #1
The Itsy-Bitsy Spider 1/3: ”Uninvited” Cover – 1999
Written by: Devin Grayson || Art by: J.G. Jones
Lettered by: Richard Starkings


The Amazing Spider-Man #94
On Wings of Death! Page 4 – 1971
Written by: Stan Lee || Penciled by: John Romita Sr.
Inked by: Sal Buscema || Letter by: Artie Simek


The Amazing Spider-Man #94
On Wings of Death! Page 6 – 1971
Written by: Stan Lee || Penciled by: John Romita Sr.
Inked by: Sal Buscema || Letter by: Artie Simek


The Incredible Hulk #287
Loose Ends Cover – 1983
Written by: Bill Mantlo || Penciled by: Ron Wilson
Inked by: Al Milgrom || Lettered by: Jim Novak


Incredible Hulk Special Vol 1
Battles the Inhumans (Preliminary) – 1972
Art by: Jim Steranko


Avengers Assembled – Private Commission, 2009
Art by: John Byrne


The Mighty Thor #159
The Answer at Last! Page 20 – 1968
Written by: Stan Lee || Penciled by: Jack Kirby
Inked by: Vince Colletta || Lettered by: Sam Rosen


The Amazing Spider-Man #119
The Gentleman’s Name is… Hulk! Page 1 – 1973
Written by: Gerry Conway || Art by: John Romita Sr.
Lettered by: John Costanza


The Amazing Spider-Man #86
Beware… The Black Widow! Page 9 – 1970
Written by: Stan Lee || Penciled by: John Romita Sr.
Inked by: Jim Mooney || Lettered by: Sam Rosen


From an exhibition at the Society of Illustrators with original artwork showcasing characters from the Marvel Universe, featuring the Avengers and other heroes. It run between July – October 2018.

July 28th, 2018

A Heavenly Garden

Of Earthly Delights

Dolce & Gabbana
”Penelope” wedding ensemble, S/S 2013


Valentino
Evening dress, S/S 2014


Undercover, Jun Takahashi
Ensembles, S/S 2015, printed with iconography from Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych ”The Garden of Earthly Delights”


House of Dior
Raf Simons, Evening dress, A/W 2015-16
A more abstracted interpretation of Hieronymus Bosch’s painting ”The Garden of Earthly Delights”


Valentino
Evening Dress, A/W 2015-16


Jean Paul Gaultier
‘Lumiere’, Evening ensemble, S/S 2007


Steinunn Thorarinsdottir
Armors, 2016-2018


Rick Owens
Ensemble, A/W 2015-16.
With a pee(p) hole at the crotch, Owens’ playful,  subversive ”habit” evokes the popular literary stereotype of the lecherous, debauched and scandalous medieval monk, satirized by Geoffrey Chaucer in ”The Canterbury Tales” (1387-1400).


The Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park

July 14th, 2018

Heavenly Bodies || The Cloisters

Well, I don’t know about the bodies but some of the gowns were heavenly, indeed! The exhibition was two-part, the main segment being at The Met on Fifth Avenue, and an annex displayed at the medieval monastic environment of The Cloisters, where the gowns seemed to have found their natural habitat, as if they had always belonged there. If I had to describe the display, setting & ambience in one word, that would have been ”sublime”.

Viktor & Rolf, ensemble, 2018 original design: A/W 1999-2000


Valentino, evening ensemble, A/W 2015-16


Philip Treacy, ”Madonna Rides Again II” hats, 1998 – 2001


House of Chanel, wedding dress, A/W 1990-91 by Karl Lagerfeld


The Unicorn in Captivity
Wool, silk and silver and gilded-silver wrapped thread
South Netherlandish, ca. 1495-1505


Altarpiece with the Virgin and Child and Saints
Master fo the Burg Weiler Altarpiece
German, Swabia, ca. 1470

Reliquary busts of female saints
South Netherlandish, Brabant, possibly Brussels, ca. 1520-20


Valentino, red silk velvet dress, S/S 2015


Thom Browne, wedding ensemble, S/S 2018


Olivier Theyskens, evening dress, S/S 1999


House of Dior ”Hyménée” wedding dress by Marc Bohan, 2018; original design: S/S 1961


House of Balenciaga, wedding dress, spring 1967

Fashion history has designated this garment by Cristobal Balenciaga the ”one-seam wedding dress.” If the dress were indeed made from a single length of fabric, it would claim a biblical source: Jesus’ seamless robe at the Crucifixion. The dress, however, is made of two pieces of fabric stitched together and it has three shaping seams – two at the shoulder and one down the centre of the back.


Grisaille Panels
French, probably Normandy, ca. 1270-80


Jean Paul Gaultier
”Regina Maris” evening ensemble, S/S 2007


House of Dior
Ensemble, S/S 2006 by John Galliano


Book of Hours
Simon Bening (1483/84 – 1561)
Tempera, gold and ink on parchment
South Netherlandish, Bruges, ca. 1530 – 1535

This tiny Book of Hours is one of Simon Bening’s prayerful jewels, intended for use at regular intervals throught the twenty-four-hour day (ideally every three hours). It was a reminder of the omnipresence of God, meant to be attached to its owner, or stored with precious possessions.


Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Chasuble for Saint John Paul II (reigned 1978-2005), 1997

This chasuble was created for Saint John Paul II to wear on World Youth Day in 1997.


The Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park

July 14th, 2018

A Fashion’s Guide to Heraldry

How many hours did it take to create this modern coat of arms, would you say?

Gown:
Jean Paul Gaultier
”Ex-Voto” evening ensemble, S/S 2007
Grey silk mousseline, white silk-metal lace, crocheted gold and silver silk and iridescent crystals, appliqued holograms and aluminum ex-votos

Rosary:
Ivory, silver and partially gilded mounts
Carved in Germany, ca. 1500-1525

This rosary’s Latin inscriptions read ”Think on death” and ”This is what you will be.”

Reliquary arm of Saint Valentine:
Silver, gilded silver and blue cabochon
Made in Switzerland (Basel), ca. 1380-1400

Headdress:
Alexander McQueen – Shaun Leane, A/W 1998-99
Silver and faceted red crystals

Breastplate:
House of Givenchy
Alexander McQueen & Shaun Leane, S/S 2000
Silver-plated metal, resin and old gold

From the Heavenly Bodies exhibiton, held @The Met in 2018

July 14th, 2018

Ascetic Opulence

From over the top opulence to extreme modesty and back. Fashion is inextricably connected to human nature. To understand the former, you may want to start deciphering the latter first.

Spinario (Boy Pulling a Thorn from his Foot)
Bronzse, partially gilt hair and silvered eyes
Antico (Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi)
probably modeled by 1496, cast. ca. 1501


Seated Paris
Bronze statuette, partially gilt and silvered
Antico (Pier Jacopo Alari-Bonacolsi)
Mantua, ca. 1500


Christian Lacroix
”Gold-Gotha” ensemble, A/W 1988/89


Gianni Versace
Evening top, A/W 1991-92


Gianni Versace
Evening top, A/W 1991-92


Gianni Versace
Jacket, A/W 1991-92


Jean Paul Gaultier
”Surprise de l’Icine” ensemble, A/W 1997-98


Dolce & Gabbana
”Idamante” ensemble, S/S 2016


Dolce & Gabbanna
”Angelica” ensemble, S/S 2016


From the Heavenly Bodies exhibiton, held @The Met in 2018

July 14th, 2018