March 25th, 2018
Getting acquainted with the work of Tarsila do Amaral, whose art is as stunning as the artist herself; capturing the minimal geometry of New York’s temple of modern art; feeling the urge to stop by ”The Piano Lesson”, one of Matisse’s most interesting compositions (a few more times and I might even begin to like it); leaping from modern art to ”New Photography” and its 2018 edition examining how photography can capture ”what it means to be human”. Tarsila do Amaral, Estudo (Academia no. 2), 1923, oil on canvas
MoMA, March 25th, 2018
The Art is in the stairwells, meeting face-to-face with Abigail Lazkoz’s agonizing Cameramen; walking In the Woods, deep into Ernesto Caivano’s dark, magical forest; bathed in nature’s ephemeral reflections, outside in the courtyard.
Abigail Lazkoz: Cameraman
Abigail Lazkoz created the series Cameramen in 2002 and displayed it for the first time in MoMA PS1’s exhibition Greater New York 2005. The work consists of three large-scale drawings that reinterpret Jose Guadaulpe Posada’s 1914 engraving Se Aproxima el Fin del Mundo Las Profecias Se Cumplen Temblores, Erupciones, Guerras, Pestes, Hambres E Incendios. La Celebre Madre Matiana (The end of the World is Near, Prophecies Come True, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Wars Diseases, Famine, and Fires).
Ernesto Caivano: In the Woods
For MoMA PS1’s stairwell A, Ernesto Caivano created a wall mural based on an ongoing story he developed over three years called After the Woods. While After the Woods consists of drawings and paper sculptures, In the Woods is composed of black latex paint and gouache to create a dense visual web of images composing Caivano’s larger-than-life sized environment. The exaggerated scale of the piece creates a total experience for the viewer, allowing an escape into this imaginary world. Naked and gnarled tree branches wind around the walls and sprout up and out onto the ceiling, entangling the viewer in their dark and magical embrace.
March 24th, 2018
MoMA PS1, one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States, was founded in 1971 by Alanna Heiss as the Institute for Art and Urban Resources Inc., an organization devoted to organizing exhibitions in underutilized and abandoned spaces across New York City.
In 1976, Heiss opened the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in a deserted Romanesque Revival public school building, exponentially increased the organization’s exhibition and studio capacity. This building, dating from 1892, served as the first school in Long Island City until 1963, when the First Ward school it housed was closed due to low attendance and the building was turned into a warehouse.
Site-specific art includes James Turrell’s Meeting, one of his famous Skyspaces.
Staircase art by:
William Kentridge || Stair Procession
Ernesto Caivano || In the Woods
March 24th, 2018
In 2017, MoMA – jointly with Columbia University – acquired the vast archives of Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most prolific architects of the 20th century. To mark that acquisition, as well as the 150th anniversary of his birth on June 8, 1867, MoMA presented Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, an exhibition that comprised some 450 works made from the 1890s through the 1950s and included architectural drawings, models, building fragments, films, print media, furniture, tableware, textiles, paintings, photographs, and scrapbooks. According to its curator, Barry Bergdoll, the show was meant “to announce that Frank Lloyd Wright is open to new interpretations” and that “the archive is here and it’s open.”
Having had a closer look on Mr. Wright’s incredibly detailed, delicate, at once artistically accomplished and architecturally precise designs, I can attest to the show’s success in opening the work of one of America’s – and the world’s – greatest architects, to new interpretations. At least to my, not-so-expert, eyes. Goron Strong Automobile Objective and Planetarium, Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland
Project, 1924-25 // Pencil and coloured pencil on tracing paper
This project is often seen as a forerunner of the Guggenheim Museum, built two decades later.
Fallingwater (Kaufmann House), Mill Run, Pennsylvania 1934-37
Pencil and coloured pencil on paper
The bold design of a house over a waterfall for Pittsburgh department store magnate Edgar Kaufmann put Wright back in the public eye at a moment when he was increasingly anxious that his fame had faded. This drawing landed Wright on the cover of Time magazine in 1938 – he was only the third architect ever to receive that honour – and was also displayed that same year in an exhibition at MoMA devoted solely to his unprecedented house design.
Moore House, Oak Park, Illinois, 1895
Ink on paper
Madison Civic Center (Monona Terrace), Madison, Wisconsin
Project, 1938-59 // Ink and pencil on paper mounted on plywood
Even as Wright reimagined Chicago as a city dominated by a few super-tall skyscrapers but otherwise given over to a prairie landscape, he also designed urban projects – many of the megastructures, such as this one for Monona Terrace, which integrated transportation and infrastructure with public and commercial programmes – with the intention of revitalizing urban cores and engaging the preexisting city and its surroundings. This project was realized decades after Wright’s death.
The Mile-High Illinois, Chicago
Project, 1956 // Pencil, coloured pencil and gold ink on tracing paper
In this perspective drawing, Wright inserts his imagined mile-high skyscraper into the lakefront area of Chicago, which he transforms into a green landscape, rendering obsolete many of the city’s older, densely packed towers. The Mile-High becomes a singular object, in dialogue only with another Wright proposal: a tower called the Golden Beacon, visible in the background.
Plan for Greater Baghdad
Project, 1957 // Ink, pencil and coloured pencil on tracing paper
In 1957, Wright, along with a number of ”starchitects” including Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, was commissioned to design a signature building in Baghdad as part of an Iraqi government programme to bring Western architecture to the capital city. Although asked only to design an opera house, Wright expanded the programme into an entire cultural centre – including a university, two museums, a zoo and various recreational facilities – and moved the site to an island in the Tigris River. Wright’s project, like most of the others, was cancelled after the revolution of 1958.
Butterfly Wing Bridge, San Francisco
Project, 1949-53 // Ink, pencil and coloured pencil on tracing paper
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 1943-59
Gouache on paper mounted on board
American System-Built Houses for the Richards Company
Bogk House, Milwaukee, Wisconsin – 1916-17
Watercolour, gouache, gold paint and graphite on paper mounted on Japanese paper
The two winged figures depicted in this sculptural frieze for the Bogk House recall, in their blocky, geometric forms, Mayan and Aztec motifs, while their wings resemble the eagle imagery prominent in the Pueblo Eagle Dance. The Eagle Dance was one of the most popular ceremonial dances performed at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego, which Wright attended and where he encountered theories positing that contemporary American Indians were descendants of a venerable, ancient American civilization.
Lake Tahoe Resort, Lake Tahoe, California
Project, 1923-24 // Pencil and coloured pencil on tracing paper
Eugene Masselink (1910-1962)
Pattern studies // Pencil and coloured pencil on paper
Various cacti, rock formations and lichen are distilled into their essential organizing forms in these applied pattern studies, demonstrating the generative relationship between nature and architecture in Wright’s practice. According to Wright, the cellular structure of desert plants, for example, offered lessons in economical construction. Believing the artist should approximate nature through a process of conventionalization or abstraction – seeking underlying geometries rather than outward forms – Wright incorporated such pattern studies into his educational approach at the Taliesin Fellowship. Eugene Masselink, one of Wright’s most talented apprentices, drew these examples.
Frank Lloyd Wright and his assistant Eugene Masselink installing the exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright: American Architect at The Museum of Modern Art, November 13, 1940-January 5, 1941. Photographic Archive. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York
Photo: Soichi Sunami
Preliminary scheme for Imperial Hotel, Tokyo 1913-23
Ink and pencil on drafting cloth
The Imperial Hotel in Tokyo took over a decade to build and exerted a profound influence on both Wright’s designs and the architecture of a modernizing Japan.
Having survived the Great Kantō Earthquake in 1923 and the American bombing of the city during World War II, it was finally demolished in 1968 to be replaced with a modern hotel tower.
Portions of the Imperial Hotel, including the grand entrance/lobby and the reflecting pool, were saved and painstakingly relocated to the Meiji Mura Museum, an open-air architectural theme park in Inuyama that contains more than 60 historic, culturally significant buildings from Japan and beyond. [source]
March Balloons, 1955
Drawing based on a cover design for Liberty magazine, c. 1926
From Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, an exhibition that ran through October 1st, 2017 at MoMA.
September 25th, 2017
Staring into your soul.
Bourgeois created shapes by turning and tracing common household objects – scissors, a knife and a candy dish, among them. She published this set herself, under the imprint Lison Editions. Lison, Lise, Lisette, Louison and Louisette were among her childhood nicknames.
The pages of this book are composed of linen hand towels saved from her trousseau. Many contain the embroidered monogram LBG (Louise Bourgeois Goldwater). Bourgeois later issued and editioned version of this book in twenty-five examples. In that version, the pages are tied together through buttonholes instead of bound so all of the pages can be displayed simultaneously, as seen on this wall.
“The subject of pain is the business I am in.“ – LB
Note from Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait, an exhibition that ran at the MoMA, until end January 2018: ”[…] explores the prints, books, and creative process of the celebrated sculptor Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010). Bourgeois’s printed oeuvre, a little-known aspect of her work, is vast in scope and comprises some 1,200 printed compositions, created primarily in the last two decades of her life but also at the beginning of her career, in the 1940s. The Museum of Modern Art has a prized archive of this material, and the exhibition will highlight works from the collection along with rarely seen loans […].”
September 25th, 2017
There is such thing as too much art if you are a young kid, it’s late afternoon and all you dream about is how to get hold of your PSP again; or maybe an ice cream treat; or -ideally- both!
Leaving MoMA for now; we’ll be heading to the Upper East Side next.
January 30th, 2017
From the accompanying tag: ”In 1926, the review ‘This Quarter’ reproduced thirteen of Picabia’s ‘Monster’ paintings, including this one, which bore the title ‘Woman with Pink Gloves’. By the time of the painting’s first known exhibition in 1956 however, it had acquired the title ‘Man with Gloves’. The work is displayed here with both titles restored. Although neither necessarily originated with Picabia, both speak to the androgynous character of his wasp-waisted, white-suited figure. With its green face, single oversized eye, and pustule-pink hands presumably clad in driving gloves, it is one of Picabia’s quintessential Côte d’Azur Monsters. The Surrealist André Breton was one of its early owners.”
From the accompanying tag: ”This work began as a portrait of Picabia painted by the German artist Bruno Eggert in 1934. Eggert gave it to Picabia, who then added his own touches: a pair of dark-tinted glasses on his nose, a face in the lover left corner, a transparent female body across the picture, the edge of a stretcher in the upper right corner. He also signed and dated the work. Here, Picabia adopted another artist’s work as the support for his own, with over-painting used to assert rather than deny.”
Part 5 concludes our round of Francis Picabia’s retrospective at MoMA.
Connecting the pieces:
January 30th, 2017
makes pretty things on paper
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