December 10th, 2017
If the crystal balls are not helping, there is always hope in dreamcatchers, voodoo dolls and Louise Bourgeois’ Articulated Lair (to this day I have no idea what these black objects, hanging like deflated balloons, might be).
Broken Dance, Ethnic Heritage Series, c. 1978-82
Articulated Lair, 1986
The Long Run @MoMA, December 3rd, 2017
Although in our multilateral, multifarious, multidisciplinary, multicultural world of multimedia, where fake becomes the norm and the norm is synonymous with loudly expressed – read hysterical – opinions, one would be better off checking with at least a few dozen.
Part of a four videos on custom screens, two custom benches and crystal sculpture; two wooden theater boxes with video ; fifteen ink drawings on paper; three oil stick drawings on paper, and two china marker wall drawings Soundtrack and voice: Joan Jonas Sami yoik singing: Ánde Somby Piano and additional sound effects: Jason Moran
@MoMA, December 3rd, 2017 (still on view)
On October 1st, 2017, MoMA opened a new exhibition with the inquiring title ”Items: Is Fashion Modern?”, sparking waves of excitement across the worlds of fashion and design. Not so much because of the items themselves, which were mainly clothes and accessories we are all familiar with in our everyday lives, but mainly because ”Items” was the first fashion show that MoMA had organised in more than 70 years, the last time being in 1944 with a similarly inquiring exhibition, called ”Are Clothes Modern?”
The 2017 show consisted of 111 items of clothing and accessories that had had a strong impact on the world in the 20th and 21st centuries. It had also invited some designers, engineers, and manufacturers to reexamine these familiar items with the view of rendering them – or at least some versions of them – useful, updated and ”Modern” further into the future.
Somarta developed a computer-aided design and manufacturing process to produce seamless, three-dimensional knitted garments that are halfway between tattoos and tights
Pia Interlandi’s Little Black Dress incorporates all of the classic principles of the LBD – versatility, sophistication and understated glamour – to form, in the words of the designer, a garment ”to carry one from this world to the next, a garment literally created for the grave.” The ensemble upends the traditional relationship between person and dress: its wearer participates in its creation but never sees herself wearing the final result; its major function is to shroud a lifeless body. Interlandi uses a fabric that is responsive to the touch of the hands of grieving loved ones, turning from black to white through the transfer of body heat. The act is a symbol of the energy embodied in the process of decomposition and the cycles of mourning, from despair to acceptance. Sandals, S/S 1996
One of the items presented in the 1944 exhibition ”Are Clothes Modern?”. A statue representing what a female body should have looked like to match the fashion of that particular time in history. This one, the bustle of 1875, transformed its wearer into a four-legged centaur.
A-POC Queen is a textile generated from a single thread by a computer-programmed industrial knitting machine. The customer can cut along the seams without destroying the tubular structure of each individual item, and virtually no material is wasted in the process of creating – without needle or thread – a complete monochromatic outfit from this single swath of cloth. Jumpsuit Specimen, 2017
Richard Malone, Irish, born 1990
Disposable paper dresses became widely available by 1966, eschewing tailoring and washability in favour of affordable, faddish designs. Graphic designer Harry Gordon released a series of poster shift dresses inspired by pop culture and politics, including a 1967 version with an image of Bob Dylan; the packaging encouraged buyers to repurpose it as a poster or pillow covers.
Bret.on is a reinterpretation of the classic Breton shirt by the fashion technology company Unmade, which allows brands and individuals to create unique, customized knitted garments on an industrial scale.
A collective of young designers based in Johannesburg and Cape Town, The Sartists combine collaborative design processes, found materials, astute brand awareness and reflections on their country’s political history, namely apartheid and colonialism.
Ray-Ban Sunglasses, 1970s
When American test pilot Major Rudolph William ”Shorty” Schroeder injured his eye mid-flight in 1920, fellow pilot Lieutenant John Macready, alongside optical company Bausch & Lomb, designed googles to mitigate both frost formation and sunlight, aptly named Ray-Ban. These goggles in turn inspired the development of sunglasses branded the Ray-Ban Aviator in 1938.
MoMA, December 3rd, 2017
Those early buildings, assured and unassuming. Their understated beauty is not eye-catching; you can walk past them day after day, without ever noticing them. Perhaps because they are overshadowed by their more famous neighbours, like the one here. CUNY Graduate Center sits diagonally opposite the Empire State Building so, obviously, there’s no comparison. But once you do notice the wavy art nouveau canopies, the adorned columns, the wood carved doors, you’ll inevitably begin to wonder what took you so long.
365 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan
November 19th, 2017
At 1 p.m. the shadows recede and The Glory of Commerce, shines through. We are outside Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street, walking past a masterpiece: the Tiffany glass clock surrounded by a sculptural group by Jules-Félix Coutan, representing Minerva, Hercules and Mercury – or to us Greeks, Athena, Hercules and Hermes.
November 29th, 2017
We were back at The Morgan to see the magnificent Old Masters’ drawings from the Thaw Collection, that were displayed at the time.
These are some highlights, which I hope you’ll enjoy.
Odalisque with Slave, 1839
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) and Jean-Charles Thévenin (1819-1869)
Black chalk and graphite, black and brown wash with white and grey opaque watercolour
Energized by his visit to the seaside town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, van Gogh wrote enthusiastically to Bernard about his explorations of complementary colours (“No blue without yellow and without orange“) and his consideration of black and white as colours. He included several sketches to explain his ideas and enclosed a sheet containing drawings of canvasses in progress.
Writing to Gauguin, who was to arrive later that month, van Gogh extolled the attractions of Arles and chronicled his progress on one of his masterpieces from the period, Bedroom at Arles (1888; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam), even including a sketch.
Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection, on view November 2017
November 18th, 2017
of the Gotham Galaxy
About the art:
Public art sculpture >> The Guardians: Superhero (2013) by Antonio Pio Saracino, in Three Bryant Park
From my collection >> Davros and Baby Groot reading the news about Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci, which had just been sold at Christie’s for a staggering $450 million, the most expensive painting in the world ever sold in an auction. The buyer was a Saudi prince and the painting was supposed to go on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi but he exhibition was cancelled without any explanation. Salvator Mundi has gone missing from the public eye ever since. Its whereabouts but also its authenticity are subjects of much debate and speculation.
At the Morgan Library >> An early sixteenth century figure of St. Elizabeth of Schoenau (1129-1165), a German nun who published three volumes describing her divine visions, probably the reason she is shown here holding a book.
November 16-18, 2017
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