Slumped against the pillows

Feeling

…Exhausted…
…Bored…
…Don’t mind me, go ahead…
…Melancholy…
…Wake me up the day after the day after…
…Mellow and relaxed…
…Waisted…
…Pretty fucked up…
…Peaceful…
…Alone, together at last…
…Too old for this…
Happy, tired and excited… (as seen through the humorous eye of Gil. You can check Gil’s funny, happy, tired and excited cartoons on his blog les dessins d’humeur de gil).
……..
(fill in the blanks)

I am the female version of this man, if only for a few minutes on any given day. Except bored – I’m never bored. And haven’t had a hangover in a long-long time.
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Rudolf Singel

Untitled (After Sam), 2005-6
Oil on canvas

The Whitney Museum of American Art

September 10th, 2016

New Yorkers I

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Howard Kanovitz
New Yorkers I, 1965
Acrylic, graphite pencil, fabricated chalk on linen

This painting depicts composer Richard Rodgers who, together with Oscar Hammerstein, co-wrote such legendary Broadway musicals as Oklahoma!, South Pacific and the Sound of Music. Howard Kanovitz based the painting on a newspaper photograph because he was impressed by its low definition quality which suggested an isolation of the figures from their environment. It was the same quality that made me want to capture the detail on the first photo above.

September 10th, 2016 at The Whitney

This Gentleman

wp20160910_194957Edward Hopper
Self Portrait, 1925-30
Oil on canvas

Edward Hopper’s wife Josephine was the model for this painting. She was 78 at the time but Hopper chose to depict a much younger version of her.

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Edward Hopper
A Woman in the Sun, 1961
Oil on linen

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Study for Office at Night, 1940
Fabricated chalk and graphite pencil on paper

A precious albeit brief encounter. Always a pleasure dear Sir!

September 10th, 2016 at the Whitney

Klimt and the Women of Vienna’s Golden Age, 1900–1918

It was a very cold day with breathtaking, eye blurring strong wind gusts, the first after an unusually long and mild autumn and it caught me unprepared. Then, there was a queue outside the Neue Galerie which, considering it was a weekday, also caught me unprepared. It was my second visit at the premises but the first one to the galleries, the last being a coffee break at the Vienna-inspired Café Sabarsky – for which there is a separate queue given its popularity which competes with that of the Galerie itself.

A staircase (or elevator) brings the visitor to the high-ceilinged reception rooms with their wood floors and wall panels, where Gustav Klimt’s Ladies await to welcome guests into their fin-de-siècle golden world of art nouveau, showing off their costumes, accessories, decorative objects and furniture. All this tends to feel a little cramped – this is a private mansion after all and the guests are eager and plenty – but it’s only a small inconvenience quickly brushed off once guests are made to feel at home by the charming Ladies.

Consisting of 12 paintings, 40 drawings, 40 works of decorative art, and vintage photographs of Klimt the exhibition is of a smaller scale compared to what we’re becoming used to in The City and certainly far smaller than the extensive collections I had the chance to experience in Vienna.

Having said that, I’m always surprised – with mixed feelings – when I finally get to see a work of art, like the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I for example, in the gallery that actually owns it and learn about its long trip home; a home sometimes to be found in the most unexpected places.

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Photography is strictly not allowed in the galleries and hallways but here is a photo of the elegant black-and-white staircase, the only place I could take one away from the accusing eyes of the guards.

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Klimt and the Women of Vienna’s Golden Age, 1900–1918 runs through January 16th, 2017 and while, as already mentioned, small and in no way representative of Klimt’s work it will certainly be an hour – or two – spent in good company. After all, we can all use some Golden Age glamour this holiday season, cant we all?

November 21st, 2016

Berdie

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Double Portrait of Berdie, 1955
Oil, fabricated chalk and charcoal on linen

Larry Rivers

Larry Rivers depicts his mother-in-law who was his primary model at the time, while she was living with Rivers and her daughter in Southampton, New York. Admiration of the artist’s style, brushwork and palette equals my surprise to learn about his relationship with the model. I’m thinking how strange to use your mother-in-law of all people, as a sitter for your nudes.

September 10th, 2016 at the Whitney

Odalisque in Grisaille

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Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Odalisque in Grisaille, ca. 1834-34, Oil on Canvas

This painting is an unfinished repetition, reduced in size and much simplified, of the celebrated Grande Odalisque of 1814 (Musée du Louvre, Paris), a work that was central to Ingres’s conception of ideal beauty. Ingres cited it in a list of works he executed in Paris between 1824 and 1834, a period bracketed by lengthy sojourns in Italy. Paintings in shades of gray—en grisaille—were often made to establish variations in tone as a guide to engravers of black and white reproductive prints. As this work has not been linked definitively to known reproductions of the Grande Odalisque, its intended purpose remains uncertain.

Description: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The simplicity, minimalism and cool monochromatic palette of this study, void of all embellishment and focussing on the model`s brilliantly lit-up body, fascinates me even more than the celebrated finished work.

August 27th, 2016

Woman in White

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Pablo Picasso, Woman in White, 1923, oil on canvas

Picasso’s Woman in White is a masterpiece of his Neoclassical Period, which lasted from 1918 to 1925. Here, the artist depicts a seated figure as a dreamlike vision of fragile perfection and refinement. He achieves this effect through the application of several layers of white wash and superimposed contours in soft shades of brown and gray. As in many of his other figures of the period, the idealized treatment of her facial features reflects Picasso’s study of classical art. Her informal pose, along with the loose-fitting, almost diaphanous dress, gives the figure a gentle and relaxed air. The muted color scheme adds a romantic and pensive tone.

On view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

It is such exquisite examples of his work that remind me what a superb artist Picasso really was.

August 27th, 2016