Of Blue Crystals and The Fountain of Life

Of the perfect synergy between man and nature that makes it possible to create such exquisite, delicate, fragile things of beauty out of mere grains of sand.

Of the teamwork between artists, technicians, designers, gardeners, landscape architects and light engineers that made this exhibition such a success.

Of the New York Botanical’s readiness to replant large parts of the Gardens to complement the glass sculptures and make them look like they were grown together organically, in perfect harmony.

Of the way the sculptures glow in the dark and become alive, like mystical creatures.

Blue polyvitro crystals, 2016
Glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly in The Lillian Goldman Fountain of Life, 1905
Sapphire Star, 2010
Glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly

Chihuly Nights, New York Botanical Garden

October 14th, 2017

Less is More @ MoMA [permanent collection, part 12]

The arrangement of objects on the floor (second image) is a sculpture by Richard Serra: Cutting Device: Base Plate Measure, 1969.

The artist took rolled lead sheets, wood beams, marble slabs, and steel piping, and then used a saw to slice them through. The objects were then arranged on the floor as they appeared directly after having been cut.

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The row of framed prints on the wall show VALIE EXPORT, photographed by Peter Hassmann for her signature work Action Pants: Genital Panic, 1969.

<<This series of screenprints relates to a performance in which EXPORT reportedly walked into an experimental art-film house in Munich wearing crotchless trousers and a tight leather jacket, with her hair teased wildly, and roamed through the rows of seated spectators, her exposed genitalia level with their faces. Challenging the public to engage with a “real woman” instead of with images on a screen, she illustrated her notion of “expanded cinema,” in which the artist’s body activates the live context of watching. EXPORT’s defiant feminist action was memorialized in a picture taken the following year by the photographer Peter Hassmann in Vienna. EXPORT had the image, in which she holds a machine gun, screenprinted in a large edition and fly-posted it in public squares and on the street.>>

MoMA, From the Collection, 1960 – 1969.

January 30th, 2017

Phallucinations and Prickly Sensations @ MoMA… [permanent collection, part 2]

Artistic interventions by Yayoi Kusama and Lucas Samaras on everyday objects rendering them unusable, thereby transforming them into memorable works of art.

Accumulation No. 1, 1962. Sewn stuffed fabric, paint and chair fringe || Yayoi Kusama

<<To make ”Accumulation No. 1”, her earliest sculpture, Kusama covered an armchair with stuffed and painted phallic protrusions. She hand-sewed each of these elements, later explaining, ”I make them and make them and keep on making them, until I bury myself in the process. I call this obliteration.” When she first exhibited this work, critics were shocked by the humorous, sexualized transformation of an ordinary domestic object. Since then, over the course of her fifty-year career, Kusama has created ”accumulations” of various materials on furniture, domestic objects, clothing and even room-sized environments.>>

Book 4, 1962. Book with pins, table knife, scissors, razor blade, metal foil, piece of glass and plastic rod || Lucas Samaras

<<”Book 4” is a multifaceted object and a miniature world in itself. Although it includes eight fictional narratives written by the artist and surprises such as pop-ups, pockets, interlocking layers, foldouts and hidden pamphlets, it is not a storybook. Encrusted with needles and shards of glass in addition to brightly coloured beads and pieces of mirror, it is difficult, if not dangerous, to handle – the better, perhaps, to guard the secrets that it might contain.>>

Structure

MoMA, views from the permanent collection.

January 30th, 2017

Dialogos

Not your average coordination meeting in the ECOSOC Chamber at the United Nations Headquarters! The Mission of Malta to the United Nations in collaboration with the Malta Arts Council organised an after-work concert to mark the launch of Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.  A tenor and a pianist interpreted works from European (with emphasis to the Maltese) and American composers. An unlikely combination with fairly good acoustics but horribly strong lighting; and Dialogos, the vivid curtain by Swedish artist Ann Edholm, an excellent symbolic backdrop during negotiations, was rather overwhelming on this occasion.

Any criticism however was quickly dismissed, replaced by a quiet excitement when on our way out through the – by then – empty corridors of the General Assembly Building, we spotted these familiar, functional yet almost sculptural armchairs. I would totally arrange my living room around a couple of them!

January 16th, 2017

Stand tall, Stand loud

With noose and moon.

Censored at first by the NYC Department of Parks, the noose was considered ”problematic and a disturbance to the park’s visitors”. The artist was asked to come up with a replacement piece but before long, the Department reconsidered and agreed to display the artwork in its initial form. It was on display in Riverside Park until May 2017.

Stand tall, Stand loud

by Aaron Bell

On the way to the baker’s

We were walking down Broome Street looking for Pi, a Greek bakery for a taste of nostalgia (it was approaching Christmas), when this shiny happy-creepy art display caught our attention. There were no accompanying tags, hence the working titles:

Arbitrary working title 1: Money grows wings and flies away
Arbitrary working title 2: Not yet, no, not today
Arbitrary working title 3: She danced the dance of stars and the dance of space. And then she danced the dance of flowers in the wind*

*From ”The Dancer”, a poem by Khalil Gibran

The cookies were good, if I may add. Provided Manhattan prices are not an issue or Astoria seems too far away just for a trip to the baker’s, Pi has your Greek phyllo-pie cravings well covered.

Eden Fine Art, Broome & Greene St.

Pi Bakerie, 512 Broome St.

Soho,
December 23rd, 2016

A bit of a bull

People queue in order to get photographed touching the bull’s balls, can you believe it. Like this fellow who ran the New York City Marathon the previous day; here, holding his medal with one hand and the bull’s balls with the other. This little ”good luck” ritual is repeated by all kinds of people all day long. Well what can I say – some people are born lucky, for others it takes balls!
:-:
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No, I didn’t… (in case you were wondering)

November 7th, 2017