You just have to wonder: which part in this painting is responsible for the lions’ bewildered expressions? Is it the shock of the nude? The shrill tone of the flute? Am I, the spectator, that scary?

The Dream, 1910 || Henri Rousseau || Oil on canvas

“Entirely self-taught, Henri Rousseau worked a day job as a customs inspector until, around 1885, he retired on a tiny pension to pursue a career as an artist. Without leaving his native France, he made numerous paintings of fantastical jungle landscapes, like the one that fills The Dream.

Living in Paris, he had ready access to images of faraway people and places through popular literature, world expositions, museums, and the Paris Zoo. His visits to the city’s natural history museum and to Jardin des plantes (a combined zoo and botanical garden) inspired the lush jungle, wild animals, and mysterious horn player featured in The Dream. “When I am in these hothouses and see the strange plants from exotic lands, it seems to me that I am entering a dream,” he once said.

The nude woman reclining on a sofa seems to have been lifted from a Paris living room and grafted into this moonlit jungle scene. Her incongruous presence heightens its dreamlike quality and suggests that perhaps the jungle is a projection of her mind, much as it is a projection of Rousseau’s imagination.” [source: MoMA]

June 16th, 2019

Bodies of Art


Night || Aristide Maillol || Bronze, 1902-9
Constantin Brancusi || Sleeping Muse || Bronze, 1910
Edgar Degas || The Tub || Bronze, Modeled 1888-89, cast 1920
Edgar Degas || Woman Bathing in a Shallow Tub, 1885 || Charcoal and pastel on light green wove paper, now discoloured to warm grey, laid down on silk bolting
Philip Pearlstein || Two Models with Bent Wire Chair and Kilim Rug || Oil on canvas, 1984

June 1st, 2019


“Camp is ‘those men and women…leaking laughter and tears while reliving their favorite nuances from…Off-key strains of Somewhere over the Rainbow.'” —J. Bryan Lowder, 2013

Burberry, Christopher Bailey Cape, A/W 2018-19
Salvatore Ferragamo Sandal, 1938, designed for Judy Garland & Gucci, Alessandro Michele Shoe, resort 2017
Bridget Riley, Elysium, 1973/2003 – Acrylic on canvas

Camp: Notes on Fashion @The Metropolitan Museum of Art, paired with Bridget Riley’s painting from the Met collection.

June 1st, 2019

Broadening Perspectives


Edward Ruscha || The Right People || Those Other People || 2011 || Acrylic on linen
Edward Ruscha: Turn Around, 1979 – Gunpowder on paper || Will 100 Artists Please Draw a 1950 Ford from Memory?, 1979 – Pastel on paper || The Girl Always Did Have Good Taste, 1976 – Pastel on paper || Hollywood Is A Verb, 1979 – Pastel on paper
Ellen Gallagher || DeLuxe, 2004-05
Ellen Gallagher || DeLuxe, 2004-05
Ellen Gallagher || DeLuxe, 2004-05
Robert Therrien || Under the Table, 1994 || Wood, metal enamel
Robert Therrien || Under the Table, 1994 || Wood, metal enamel
Mark Tansey || Four Forbidden Senses, 1982 || Oil on four canvas panels
Jenny Holzer || Inflammatory Essays, 1979-82 || Offset posters on coloured paper
Jenny Holzer || Inflammatory Essays, 1979-82 || Offset posters on coloured paper
Jenny Holzer || Inflammatory Essays, 1979-82 || Offset posters on coloured paper
Wadsworth Jarrell || Black Prince, 1971 || Acrylic paint on canvas
Wadsworth Jarrell || Revolutionary (Angela Davis), 1971 || Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
Yayoi Kusama || Longing for Eternity, 2017 || Mirrored box and LED lights
Barkley Hendricks || Blood (Donald Formey), 1975 || Oil and acrylic on cotton canvas
Betye Saar || Spirit Catcher, 1977 || Rattan, wood, leather, mirror, bones, feathers, shells, rope, acrylic paint

Downtown L.A.

May 9th, 2019

The Alphabet of Art

Lee Krasner || Primeval Resurgence, 1961 || Oil on canvas
Alberto Giacometti || Tall Figures II & III, 1960 || Bronze
Robert Rauschenberg || Coca-Cola Plan, 1958 || Pencil on paper, oil on three Coca-Cola bottles, wood newel cap, cast metal wings on wood structure
Mark Rothko || Black on Dark Sienna on Purple, 1960 || Oil on canvas
Rosemarie Trockel || Untitled, 1991 || Enameled steel and three stove plates
Robert Gober || Untitled, 1998 || Wood, steel, enamel
Senga Nengudi || R.S.V.P., 1975|| Nylon mesh and sand
Dan Flavin || ”monument” for V. Tatlin, 1969

”Flavin’s work generates ambient light that reaches into the viewer’s space. The form, resembling a skyscraper, refers to a never-realized, but nonetheless influential, monument to an organization supporting Communist revolution designed by the Russian constructivist artist Vladimir Tatlin in 1920. It was to be a spiraling steel framework thirteen hundred feet tall in which rotating glass rooms would be suspended. Though utterly impractical engineering-wise, it remains an influential symbol of the artist’s efforts to combine art and technology. Flavin’s “monument,” despite its low-tech, small-scale nature, pays homage to Tatlin’s futuristic, utopian ideals.” [source: MOCA]

Robert Smithson || Mirage No. 1, 1967 || Nine units of mirrored glass
Roy Lichtenstein || Man with Folded Arms, 1962 || Oil on canvas
Cady Noland || Basket of Nothing, 1990 || Wire basket with assortment of building tools and materials
Julia Wachtel || Landscape No. 2 (Aerobics), 1989 || Oil, flashe, lacquer ink on canvas
Manuel Ocampo || Untitled, ca. 1991 || Oil on canvas

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

May 9th, 2019

The fabulous geometry of art

And a pleasant surprise, as we wandered through the galleries of LACMA, those ones that remained open during the museum’s extensive renovation and expansion. The surprise was finding out that Magritte’s ”Ceci n’est pas une pipe” belongs to LACMA; for some reason, I was convinced it would belong to the permanent collection of the Magritte Museum in Brussels. What a fittingly surreal connection between my two favourite cities in the world!

Ellsworth Kelly || Blue Curve III, 1972 || Oil on canvas
Joel Shapiro || Untitled (Dancing Man), 1981 || Cherry wood, oil, paint
David Smith || Cubi XXIII, 1964 || Stainless steel
Juan Gris || Seated Harlequin, 1920 || Oil on canvas
Pablo Picasso || Centaur, 1955 || Painted wood
Pablo Picasso || Woman with a Blue Veil, 1923 || Oil on canvas
Richard Pousette-Dart || The Edge, 1943-45 || Oil on linen
Georgia O’Keeffe || Horse’s Skull with Pink Rose, 1931 || Oil on canvas
René Magritte || The Liberator, 1947 || Oil on canvas
René Magritte || The Treachery of Images (This is Not a Pipe/Ceci n’est pas une pipe), 1929 || Oil on canvas
Jean Charlot || Portrait of Sergei Eisenstein (Retrato de Eisenstein), 1932 || Oil on canvas
Amedeo Modigliani || Reverie (Study for the Portrait of Frank Burty Haviland), 1914 || Oil and graphite on cardboard
Georg Schrimpf || Child Portrait (Peter in Sicily), 1925 || Oil on canvas
George Grosz || Portrait of Dr. Felix J. Weil, 1926 || Oil on canvas
Magnus Zeller || The Orator, c. 1920 || Oil on canvas
Yee Sookyung || Translated Vase, 2013 || Ceramic discards, epoxy, 24k gold leaf
Zhu Jinshi || Wave of Materials, 2007/2019 || Cotton, bamboo, stone, xuan paper

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) 

May 7th, 2019

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Black Hollyhock Blue Larkspur, 1930 ~ Oil on canvas
Canna Leaves, 1925 & Corn No.2, 1924 ~ Oil on canvas
Blue Line, 1919 ~ Oil on canvas
Alfred Stieglitz ~ Georgia O’Keeffe – Hands, 1912 ~ Gelatin silver print
No. 17 – Special, 1912 ~ Charcoal on paper
Anything, 1916 ~ Oil on board
Abstraction, 1945 ~ Charcoal on paper
Todd Webb ~ Georgia O’Keeffe with Camera, 1958 ~ Gelatin silver print
John Loengard ~ Grooming Dogs, Abiquiú, 1966 ~ Gelatine silver print
Dan Budnik ~ Georgia O’Keeffe with Chow and Friends at Ghost Ranch, 1975 ~ Gelatin silver print
Ansel Adams ~ Georgia O’Keeffe at Yosemite, 1938 ~ Gelatin silver print
Flagpole, 1925 ~ Oil on canvas
Untitled (City Night), 1970s & Ritz Tower, 1928 ~ Oil on canvas
The Barns, Lake George, 1926 ~ Oil on canvas
Detail of a built-in bench with a rattlesnake from Georgia O’Keeffe’s home, in Abiquiú
Horse’s Skull with White Rose, 1931 ~ Oil on canvas
Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory, 1938 ~ Oil on canvas
Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico/Out Back of Marie’s II, 1930 ~ Oil on canvas
Kokopelli, 1942 ~ Oil on board
Kokopelli with Snow, 1942 ~ Oil on board
Blue – A, 1959 ~ Oil on canvas

A Great American Artist ~ A Great American Story

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe

April 27th, 2019

Joan Miró || Birth of the World

Head of a Man, 1937. Gouache and oil on coloured paper
The Beautiful Bird Revealing the Unknown to a Pair of Lovers, 1941. Gouache, oil wash, and charcoal on paper
Still Life I, 1922-23. Oil on canvas
Still Life III, 1922-23. Oil and gouache on canvas
Still Life II, 1922-23. Oil on canvas
Woman (Opera Singer), 1934. Pastel and pencil on flocked paper
”Hirondelle Amour”, 1933-34. Oil on canvas

“You and all my writer friends have given me much help and improved my understanding of many things,” Joan Miró told the French poet Michel Leiris in the summer of 1924, writing from his family’s farm in Montroig, a small village nestled between the mountains and the sea in his native Catalonia. The next year, Miró’s intense engagement with poetry, the creative process, and material experimentation inspired him to paint The Birth of the World.

In this signature work, Miró covered the ground of the oversize canvas by applying paint in an astonishing variety of ways that recall poetic chance procedures. He then added a series of pictographic signs that seem less painted than drawn, transforming the broken syntax, constellated space, and dreamlike imagery of avant-garde poetry into a radiantly imaginative and highly inventive form of painting. He would later describe this work as “a sort of genesis,” and his Surrealist poet friends titled it The Birth of the World. [source: MoMA]

Self-Portrait I, 1937-38. Pencil, crayon, and oil on canvas

The exhibition ran between February-June 2019 and featured artwork from the Museum of Modern Art’s collection of Miró’s works, which is one of the finest and most comprehensive in the world. However, the most comprehensive selection of Miró’s oeuvre actually on view has to be that of the Fundació Joan Miró, in Barcelona, a dedicated space created by Joan Miró himself with the idea of making art accessible to all.

MoMA, New York City

April 4th, 2019