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Glenn's Museum Report for May 2014

May 31, 2014

Glenn’s Museum Report for The Month of May 2014





New-Book-in-Town: The Supermodel & the Brillo-Box—Secrets of the Auction-Business!


The Global-Art-Market in 2012 generated $42-Billion in Sales.


That Staggering-Sum doesn’t mean that all those Art-Sales were from Painter-to-Patron or from Sculptor-to-Major-Museum.


As for Performance-Art, how can you Sell-It, Buy-It, & Preserve-It?


Deep-Freeze the Performers?


Author & Art-Market-Critic Don Thompson notes that the $42-Billion is about the GDP of Yemen or Ethiopia.


Just across the Arabian-Peninsula from Yemen, in the Arab-Emirates, however, there is Money-To-Burn.


Well, it is, after all, Oil-Money, so it may be Especially-Inflammable…


Big-Money-Winners at Christie’s & Sotheby’s Auction-Sales often are bound for New-Museums in Qatar & Abu-Dhabi.


More often, an Auctioned-Art-Work will end-up locked-up "in a Warehouse in New Jersey,” where No-One can see it.


It may well have been Bought-by-a-Banker or by a Ruble-Rich-Russian-Oligarch—who is just Stock-Piling it, hoping for an Increase-in-Value.


This is why Your Roving-Arts-Reporter so often Photographs the Paintings, Sculptures, Sketches, Posters, Objects-d’Art, Vintage-Photos, & "Important-Furniture” on-offer at Christie’s.


You would never have been invited to see that Million-Dollar-Manet in the Lavish-Mansion of its Previous-Owner.


Nor will Vlad Putin’s Best-Friend go over to New Jersey with the Storage-Keys to show it to you.


Gilded-Age-Plutocrats may have had Mansions full of Old-Masters, but they often—like Morgan & Lehman—founded Museums to show their Treasures to the Public.


That doesn’t happen much anymore.


Almost alone among Major-Collectors at Home & Abroad is Alice Walton—the Wal-Mart-Heiress—who has actually Founded a Museum to share her American-Artworks with the Paying-Public.


That’s why Your Roving-Arts-Reporter & INFOTOGRAPHY™ Arts-Archive-Photographer went down to Crystal-Bridges to See & Photograph the Extensive-Collection.


The Current-Auction-Fevers are largely fueled by "Caucasian & Chinese Men vying for Dominance.”


Women are "Entirely-Excluded.”


But this is Not-Entirely-True, for the Sheika-of-Qatar is one of the Biggest-Buyers of Major-Modern-Masterpieces.


Even with Ever-Rising-Museum-Admission-Prices, few American or European-Musea can compete with Deep-Pocketed-Bankers, CEOs, & Oligarchs for Major-Prizes.


Edvard Münch’s The Scream was sold, in fact, to Leon Black, of Apollo-Global-Management.


Whatever his Apollo-Group may Manage, Black was able to Out-Bid Everyone-Else: Sold! $119.9-Million!


That would have bought Edvard Münch enough Norwegian-Dried-Fish to Last-him-a-Lifetime!


Were Manet, Monet, & Renoir alive today, how could they share in the Multi-Millions their Artworks now command?


No-Way, José…


Even though Millions are being Bid for the Artistic-Achievements of the likes of Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, & Murakami—all of whose "Artworks” are, in a very real sense, "Factory-Made”—there may be some satisfaction in knowing that the Captains-of-Industry are Getting-What-They-Deserve.


It has been said that Koons & Hirst "…whose work routinely sells for Stupid-Amounts-of-Money, are Adolescent-Pranksters, responsible for some of the Least-Interesting-Art ever made.”



At Christie’s Auction-House:


Whoever Thought American-Art Was Inferior To That of European-Modern-Masters?

That Cliché Is Shattered at Christie’s: $64-Million-Total Realized in 22 May 2014 Auction!


Forget all those Scoffers who dismissed Norman Rockwell as merely an Illustrator.


Rockwell’s The Rookie (Red-Sox Locker-Room) was bought for $22,565,000 by a Private-US-Collector!


Rockwell didn’t do so well with his Patriotic-Pageantry: Spirit of America. It brought only $1,085,000…


Not far behind Rockwell’s Best-Bid was Thomas Moran, with his Victorian-Vision of The Grand-Canyon of the Colorado, which sold for $12,485,000.


Edward Hopper’s Coast-Guard Boat 1—not as compelling as Hopper’s Night-Owls in a Café—nonetheless was purchased for $1,745,000.


Also Sea-Related was Stuart Davis’ Anchors, which sold for $1,805,000.


From Edgar Bronfman’s Estate came Milton Avery’s The Mandolin-Player, sold for $1,445,000.


Edgar’s Heirs could buy a lot of Mandolin-Picks with that cash, while knocking-back some Shots-of-Seagrams, the Family-Franchise.



Suggested Bidding for Composition-TSF Set Between $1-1.5-Million: Dollars, Not Pesos!


Latin-American-Art, over the years, has Become-Very-Big with International-Collectors.


So Christie’s Spring-Auction—on 28 May—has excited a lot of Pre-Sale-Interest.


Among the Usual-Suspects will be Fernando Botero, Wilfredo Lam, Jésus Rafael-Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diaz, Beatriz Milhazes, & Rufino Tamayo, with his Iconic Mujer con sandia.


But Joaquín Torres-García may be the Star, with his Composition-TSF expected to Make-at-Least-a-Million.



Month-of-May Proves Month of Million-Dollar-Plus-Plus-Plus Auction-Sales at Christie’s!


It was hoped that the Impressionist & Modern-Art May-Auctions at Christie’s would break the Four-Hundred-Million-Dollar-Mark, but in Early-May, the First-Report was of only $285.9-Million…


Soon after, however, came a Report of Sales-Totals of $325,845,625, but that was only for the Period 6-7 May.



Hopes-Were-High for Evening-Sale of Post-War-&-Contemporary-Art on 13 May:

"In the Region of $500-Million…” So Here Are Some-Results of Sales of Modern-Masters!


Some Even-More-Important-Auctions were to Follow: How much would be bid for that Silver-Monster-Vintage-Railroad-Train, with Tanker-Cars for Jim-Beam-Bourbon?


This was another of those Jeff-Koons-Specials, with a Marvelous-Silver-Catalog that was produced Only-for-Potential-Bidders, so there are no Collector-Copies available for Love-or-Money.


Jeff Koons’ Early-Signature-Sculpture of Two-Basketballs-Suspended-in-a-Tank-of-Water was also Up-for-Auction. But not in the Same-Sale…


Here are some Representative-Winning-Bids—just in case you have a Monet, Manet, or Modigliani at home that you’d like to send to Christie’s for Auction, to Pay for the Kids-College:


Claude Monet: Nymphéas [Oil-on-Canvas] sold for $27,045,000.


Pablo Picasso: Portrait de femme (Dora Maar) [Oil-on-Panel] sold for $22,565,000.


Amadeo Modigliani: Jeune homme roux assis [Oil-on-Canvas] sold for $17,637,000.


Wassily Kandinsky: Strandszene [Oil-on-Board] sold for $17,189,000.


Joan Miró: Le serpent à coquelicots traînant sur un champ de violettes people par des lézards en deuil [Oil-&-Mixed-Media-on-Board] sold for $12,485,000.


Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Jeune filles jouant au Volant [Oil-on-Canvas] sold for $11,365,000.


Well, You Get-the-Idea…



"Important-Silver” Brings Christie’s Consigners Nearly $2.5-Million, Minus Fees & Charges…


If you are Crazy about the Sea & the Ships that Sail upon it, then you might well have envied the Collector who snapped-up The Good-Ship St. Andrew for a mere $533,000.


This is an Historic-Evocation, in Sterling-Silver, of a British-Three-Master—under Full-Sail—though it would surely have Sunk, had Omar Ramsden made it Full-Scale…


Paul Revere’s Silver-Quart-Cann [sic] was sold for an even $100,000.



Treasures of American-Heiress Huguette Clark on the Block on 18 June:

$Ten-Million-Estimate for an Old-Fiddle, Found in a Family-Closet…


Good that Someone found that Old-Violin in a Closet in the Clark’s Fifth-Avenue-Apartment!


It was, in fact, the famous Kreutzer-Stradivari, which Huguette Clark’s Parents, Senator & Mrs. William A. Clark, had bought for their Teen-Age-Daughter to play.


Whether the Young Huguette played Beethoven’s Kreutzer-Sonata on it is not now known, but surely she must have.


This Major-Sale will include Gilded-Age Interior-Furnishings, as well as Major-Paintings by William Merritt Chase & John Singer Sargent.


The Clark-Fortune had come out of the ground, literally, as it was founded on Copper-Mines.


The Clarks were famed for their Formal-Dinners & Elegant-Life-Style, so Tiffany & Cartier Treasures will abound.



LIMITLESS: Iconic Photographs from National-Geographic/Editor’s-Choice


The National-Geographic-Magazine has, apparently, a Limitless-Archive of Famous-Photos, many Lensed by "Renowned Award-Winning-Photographers.”


From 12-27 May, Christie’s was privileged to offer On-Line-Bidders some Seventy-Lots, chosen by the National-Geographic Senior-Editor, Elizabeth Krist.


Bids began at $400 [cheap at that price] & Photos will be accompanied by a Certificate-of-Authenticity!



At Bonhams Auction-House:


Audrey Hepburn’s Designer Chapeaux Are Prized "Entertainment-Memorabilia” Collector-Items!


Bonhams-Los-Angeles celebrated Audrey Hepburn’s Birthday by Auctioning-Off her Givenchy-Headgear, worn for her Cover-Portrait-Photo on the November-1964-Issue of Vogue.


A Phone-Bidder "took-home” this Handsome Jade-Green-Velvet-Hat for $46,250.


Hepburn’s Hat from Funny-Face sold in 2013 for $87,500.


Entertainment-Memorabilia—including Iconic-Rock-&-Roll-Posters—do very well at Bonhams-LA, which is currently Accepting-Consignments for its Second-Auction in Partnership with Ted Turner’s Classic-Movies, titled: "There’s No Place Like Hollywood.”


With Flagships in London, Manhattan, & Los Angeles, Bonhams styles itself as "The Third-Largest International Fine-Art Auction-House.”


One presumes the Rankings must go like this: Christie’s, Sothebys, Bonhams, Phillips…



American-Art On-View & On-Sale: 21 May Auction Featured Frieske, Bierstadt, Sargent, & Catlin.


If you’ve never heard of the American-Painter Frederick Carl Frieske, look him up in Wikipedia


He had a house in Giverney, near that of Claude Monet. It was in his Giverny-Garden that he painted The Garden Chair, which recently sold at Bonham’s for $962,000.


Not quite a Christie’s-Million, but still…


Western-American-Painter George Catlin’s Blackfoot-Indian-Group brought $338,000.


Catlin traveled with Lewis-&-Clark on that Famous-Expedition, depicting the Lives-&-Customs of more than Fifty-Indian-Tribes.


That was Long-Before the US-Treaty-Breakers put them in "Reservations.”


Albert Bierstadt—famed for his Breathtaking-Western-Landscapes—was represented by Brook in the Woods, a tranquil Woodland-Scene that looked nothing remotely like Yosemite-Falls.


Nonetheless, it fetched $146,500.


Famed American-Sculptors were also represented: The 19th-Century’s Hiram Powers, with Ginevra.


The 20th-Century’s Art-Deco-Master, Paul Manship, figuratively won $60,000 for his Briseis.


What would Rockefeller-Center look like without all those Paul-Manship-Bronzes?



Bonhams Stages The Story of the 20th-Century: Important Documents & Photos in June-Auction.


If you have $20,000 to $30,000 to spare—after Mortgage-Payments—you might want to bid for Robert Frost’s Autograph-Manuscript of Gold for Christmas.


Frost’s The Road Not Taken, The Hired-Man, or Mending-Wall are not On-Offer…


But there will be many Famous-Faces & Autographs available.


How about a Personally-Inscribed Photo of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy?


This Kennedy-Keepsake was once the Valued-Treasure of NATO-Commander General Lauris Norstadt, whom President Kennedy describes as a "Distinguished American Soldier.”


My own Kennedy-Autographed-Photo is, however, not yet Up-for-Auction.


A Cover-Letter from JFK’s Personal-Secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, assures me that "…he is most grateful for your confidence and support.”


Not only that: Ms. Lincoln also "extends the President’s every good wish.”


When I used to go down to Georgetown once a month, in the Good-Old-Days, I stayed with the Dean of Georgetown-University’s School of Foreign-Service.


The Dean lived just across the street from Senator Jack Kennedy & his Lovely-Wife, Jackie, whom we often saw departing for some Elegant-Reception or Dinner or Whatever.


Did you know that Lincoln’s Personal-Secretary was a Kennedy?


An Interesting-Happenstance: Lincoln-Kennedy; Kennedy-Lincoln…



At Sotheby’s Auction-House:


Looking-Forward To Evening-Auction of Contemporary-Art on 30 June 2014 in London!


Christie’s! Eat Your Heart Out!


Your Jeff-Koons-Aquarium has only Two-Spaulding-Basketballs in it…


Over at Sotheby’s—on Far-Distant York-Avenue—their Jeff-Koons-Aquarium contains Three-Spaulding-Basketballs!


You Must, by now, Understand that Multi-Millionaire-Art-Creator Jeff Koons does not actually Make much of the Signature-Artwork that is marketed under His-Name.


No, indeed! He hires Talented-Artisans to do that.


Jeff Koons is the Idea-Man: he Gets-the-Concept, even, perhaps, Sketching-Outlines of what the Finished-Product should look like.


So, those Ubiquitous-Trademark-Balloon-Dogs were not Fabricated by Jeff.


The Koons-Basketballs are almost an Afterthought, standing in the Entry-Hall leading to a Full-Sotheby-Floor of Contemporary-Art.


Much of this is as "Important” as anything Christie’s has had to offer in Recent-Auctions.


Sotheby’s also has the Advantage of having More-Spacious-Space in which to show its Sale-Headliners.


As Sotheby’s Contemporary-Art-Auction is to be an "End-of-Monther” in London in June, it is Thoughtful that Sotheby’s has brought these Modern-Astonishments across the Atlantic for American-Bidders to Have-a-Look.


Suggested Starting-Bids for Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer (on Light Ground) range from $25,000,000 to $35,000,000.


This is Not-Unusual for Bacons, especially now that he is Dead & cannot make More of these.


Nonetheless, had I been George Dyer, looking at the Studies for the First-Time, I’d have Called-My-Doctor immediately. Or Cancelled-the-Portrait?


Here’s an Elemental-Andy-Warhol: Dollar-Sign (Yellow).


The Actual-Dollar-Sign is Slightly-Slanted & a Somewhat-Scumbled-Black. The Ground is Yellow…


Suggested Starting-Bids range from $5,060,000 to $6,750,000.


Obviously, this won’t do Andy any good, for He-Is-Also-Dead.


When I was writing for Andy in Inter/View, he never paid me more than $25. I should have kept those Autographed-Warhol-Checks…


Andy may Fare-Better with his Nine Multicolored Marilyns (Reversal Series), for the Suggested-Starting-Bids range from $6,750,000 to $10,130,000.


How about a Square of Painted-Panel that is Nothing-But-Blue all over?


This has Suggested-Starting-Bids ranging from $4,220,000 to $5,910,000.


Its Title is Untitled Blue Monochrome.


Aha! But it is an Yves Klein!


A White-Canvas with a Trademark-Downward-Central-Slash has Suggested-Starting-Bids ranging from $3,710,000 to $5,060,000.


Its Title is Concetto Spaziale, Attesa…


On its Verso, Lucio Fontana has inscribed: Dovrei andare a Parigi con Crippa.


Was he taking the Baby along to Paris?



Not-for-Auction: Selling-Exhibitions at Sotheby’s include Vasarely, Dubuffet, & Guiness-Jewelry.


In a Darkened-Room, the Geometric-Optical-Tricks of Viktor Vasarely gleam Fluorescently.


In another Chamber—cleverly decorated with Signature-Visual-References—a Festival of Jean Dubuffet’s Quirky-Canvases & Contorted-Sculptures merrily Cavort, awaiting Deep-Pursed Art-Collectors.


For these, you do not Bid. You Pay-the-Price, although That may be Negotiable.


As for the Guinness-Jewelry, it is not fashioned by any of the Guinness-Brewing-Heirs, but is, instead, presented by the Louisa-Guinness-Gallery.


Among the Expensive-Oddments are Cufflinks, Rings, & Earrings by Anish Kapoor.


Also: Handsome Bracelets, Necklaces, Cufflinks, & Earrings by Claude LaLanne, as well as Bracelets, Chokers, Cufflinks, Rings, & Earrings by Sophia Vari.



Art-Fairs in Mid-Town: Three on One-May-Weekend, Plus Frieze on Randall’s-Island…


Whose Dumb-Idea was it to schedule Three-Major-Art-Fairs in Manhattan on One-Weekend?


Not only was it Exhaustive to try to Run-Hither-&-Thither to have a Really-Close-Look at all the Dealer-Booths-&-Wares in Several-Sites, but it was occasionally-unsettling to see the Same-Artists on-view in Several-Booths: Déjà-Vu & then some…


But it wasn’t just about Artworks—Mainstream & Outsider—but also about Architecture-&-Design: Interior, Exterior, Urban, Industrial, Landscape, even Digital!


From 9 to 20 May 2014, NYC X DESIGN was Celebrated-Citywide.


When the Weather is slowly improving in May, wouldn’t it make More-Sense to schedule the new Downtown-Fair, Pulse, & Outsider-Art on Three-Different-Weekends?


If Dealers are hoping to Make-Sales—rather than offer a Museum-Experience for Weekenders—obviously Not-So-Many-Purses are going to spring-open on Only-One-Weekend.


Something-to-Remember: Once-Upon-a-Time, it made Serious-Sense for an Arts-Reporter to provide Word-Pictures of the Art-on-Offer.


Now, Thanks to the Miracle-of-The-Internet, every Arts-Fair & every Dealer & every Gallery has its own Illustrated-Website.


That means, of course, that even Potential-Purchasers & Itinerant-Arts-Reporters could save Shoe-Leather by staying at home with iPhones, iPads, or Historic-Laptops!



Downtown-Fair in the Lex-Avenue 69th-Regiment-Armory:


No, No, No! This is Not the Park-Avenue-Armory!


That Landmarked-Fortress is now more a Performing-Arts-Center & Weekend-Dealer-Haven than an Active-Military-Outpost.


The Lexington-Avenue 69th-Regiment-Armory is still the Original-Bastion of "The-Fighting-69th,” with Military-Vehicles parked outside & Camouflage-Clad-Sergeants at-the-ready inside.


But this Armory has a Tradition-of-Sharing with the Arts, as it was The-Site of that shocking Armory-Show-of-1923, the Arts-Outrage that introduced many Manhattan-Collectors to the Horrors-of-Modern-Art, on both sides of the Atlantic.


The newly-inaugurated Downtown-Fair makes Good-Use of the Drill-Floor-Space, but it is not as Spacious as the Wade-Thompson-Drill-Hall over on Park.


That is All-to-the-Good, for, when you enter, it doesn’t look like it’s going to Take-All-Day to Make-the-Rounds of all the Dealer-Booths.


Here are some of the Dealers whose Offerings were Impressive:


The Danese/Corey-Gallery was showing Deborah Butterfield’s "not-yet-titled” Bronze-Horse-Made-of-Branch-Fragments.


Another one of these Butterfield-Skeleton-Horses is in the Stanford-University-Art-Gallery…


From the United-Kingdom came Archeus/Post-Modern, showing the late Ruth Osawa’s "Untitled.”


But they also had David Hockney, Lucian Freud, & Agnes Martin on-offer.


Actually, Osawa’s Signature-Sculptures—a Selection of which were recently on-view at Christie’s, on the 20th-Floor of the Simon-Schuster-Bldg—defy Simple-Titles.


The One on-offer is described thusly: "Hanging Single-Lobed Five-Layer Continuous-Form-Within-a-Form.”


Contessa-Gallery was showing Street-Art by Thierry Guetta, "now known as Mr. Brainwash.”


The Cynthia-Corbett-Gallery was presenting ar.chi.tec.ton.ic, featuring Andy Buress & Tom Leighton.


If you needed another Calder, Sandy was on-display, as were Keith Haring & Andy Warhol.


In Fifty-Years, will there still be Enough-Warhols to Go-Around?


The Warhol-Foundation is selling-off lots of Archival-Stuff, including Andy’s Old-Polaroids…



Outsider-Art-Fair at Center 548—Almost at the Chelsea-Piers:


OK, already!


Who is the Official-Dealer in Henry-Darger-Artworks?


The American-Folk-Art-Museum—whose Award-Winning-Ex-Home is now being destroyed by MoMA, so they can Accommodate-More-Crowds—used to display an Amazing-Array of Darger’s Odd-Writings & Long-Watercolor-Panels of those Little-Girls-with-Penises.


But Bits & Pieces of Darger-Works now turn-up in various Dealer-Booths.


When I saw those Inscribed-Skulls, I was interested to discover that they were being shown by Galerie-Toxic, which is at-home in Lux-City, Luxembourg.


But what hath Edward Deeds gone & done with all those Pencil-Sketches on Note-Pad-Forms from State-Hospital-No.-3?


Hirschl-&-Adler were showing a Remarkable-Range of Images made by this Obsesed-Man—who spent much of his Life in a Madhouse, although it was an Ingeniously-Designed-Insane-Asylum.


George Widener’s Visions are also Astonishing. Consider his Time-Lapse, from Ricco-Maresca.


Art-Brut was brought from Swiss-Lausanne by Galerie-du-Marché.


Traditional-Americana was represented by Just-Folk, from Summerland, CA, which is only Six-Miles-South of Santa-Barbara.


Possibly because I once used to live on Emerson-Street in Berkeley, I am partial to The-Ames-Gallery, located over on Cedar-Street.


More than that, however, I admire their Offerings of the Visionary AG Rizzoli & Alex Maldonado.


But they also have some of Jim Bauer’s Tiny-Metal-Sculptures, made of Common-Oddments. His Elephant has a Shower-Nozzle for his Trunk.


They have some Tramp-Art, as well as the Vintage-Visions of Esther Hammerman.


Gray Carter/Objects of Art—from McLean, VA, Home to the CIA—offered a Handsome-Brochure, even if one was not Acquiring-Outsider-Art.


Fascinatingly-Complex was Stephanie Lucas’ Masse, but the Fantasy-Medieval-Castle of Julian Nemethy was almost Otherworldly, with the Germanic-Title of Zwingen-Burg.


Although Jane Kallir, at Galerie-St-Etienne, specializes in Austrian & German Expressionists, she also has some Unsettling-Images made by Madmen, notably Adolf Wölfli.


Grandma Moses was her Father’s-Discovery, having made Anna Mary Robertson certainly one of America’s Most-Famous-Outsiders, but Kallir also has some Henry-Darger-Watercolors.


At Marion Harris’ Booth, one could savor the Paperback-Title of a Modern-Shakespeare-Edition: A LOAD OF FUSS ABOUT FUCK ALL.



Pulse-Contemporary-Art-Fair, at The Metropolitan-Pavilion:


From the Official-Press-Release, it appears that Pulse is not only concerned with Providing-a-Platform for Emerging-Galleries & Artists, but it also—at its Art-Fairs in both Manhattan & Miami—wants Visitors to have a Dynamic-Experience.


Pulse has Artist, Dealer, & Curator Panels, as well as a Pulse-Prize.


Among Previous-Pulse-Prize-Winners are: Cristina De Middel, Marjolijn De Wit, Sigrid Viir, & Duke Riley.


One of My-Very-Favorite-Galleries is Waterhouse-&-Dodd, with Showplaces in both London & Manhattan.


I’ve actually never been to either Gallery, but I have come to admire their Showmanship, at various Art-Fairs, with the Handsomely-Printed-Catalogues-&-Brochures they produce.


If you can get your hands on the Jean-François Rauzier Hyperphotos-Catalogue, Never-Let-It-Go!


His Visions of Layered-Images are Astounding: Vestibule, for example, is no Mere-Corridor.


Instead, it is a Multi-Level Grand-Barok-Treppenhaus, with Vista-upon-Vista of Great-Windows, White-Columns, & White-Marble-Stairs, studded with Baroque-Statues & Side-Staircases!


Photo-Shop Gone Crazy!


For his Super-Crowded-Vision of Manhattan, Jean-François Rauzier seems to have photographed each Historic-Building—as well as anything in-between—separately, then pasted them together, so Distinctly does Each-Structure-Stand-Out.


Made in New York is a Series-of-Brownstones-&-Apartment-Buildings with Prominent-Fire-Escapes shrouding their Façades.


On some of those Fire-Escapes are standing such Notables as Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mel Brooks, Al Pacino, Audrey Hepburn, Marlon Brando, & James Gandolfini.


A Grand-Baroque-Library—such as one might find in Vienna in the Hofburg—is transformed by Jean-François Rauzier into Endlessly-Rising-Shelves-of-Books.


This Vision he calls Longue-Histoire


Look! Look at all those Empty-Folding-Chairs, standing in that Meadow, looking outward toward that Big-Steaming-Tower!


Look! Look at all those Empty-Folding-Chairs, standing in near a Sand-Trap in Smooth-Mowed-Greensward on a Tree-Lined-Golf-Course!


Look! Look at all those Empty-Folding-Chairs, standing on an Auto-Free-Elevated-Autobahn, somewhere in Europe…


These are the Enigmatic-Images of Art-Photographer Aleix Plademunt, who calls them Espectadores.


Aleix is represented by galerieolivierwaltman, of 74, rue mazarine, in Paris, France…


But Waltman-Ortega can also be found in Miami!


Why Oh, Why Oh is that Girl up on a branch of that Furiously-Red-Tree crying so Hopelessly?


Perhaps only Armando Marino—the Responsible-Artist—can tell you.


After checking-out Armando Marino at Pulse, see more of his Artwork at Gallery Thomas Jaeckel in Manhattan.


For Something-Entirely-Different, how about Travis Somerville’s Collage of an 1864 Harper’s-Weekly Cover featuring an Engraving of General Sheridan, joined by a grinning Col. Harlan Sanders, seated on the ground, with a Big-Bucket of Kentucky-Fried-Chicken [Original-Recipe] on his Lap.


Plus a Negro-Lad, behind Sheridan, with his Hand-Raised. Does he want to Leave-the-Tent?


Somerville’s American-Rhetoric—represented by Beta-Pictoris, of Birmingham, AL—functions as Anti-Nostalgia, or so Travis Somerville is said to Believe.


But Anti-Nostalgia will only work for you if you spend some time actually Looking-At-It…


Check-Out Zadok Gallery way down in Miami, FL!


One of My-Favorites in Manhattan—also on-view at Pulse—is Davidson-Contemporary, on Fifth-Avenue, close to Prada & Abercrombie-&-Fitch.


Keep Your Finger on Pulse!



At the Brooklyn-Museum-of-Art:


AI WEI WEI: According to What?


[Closing 10 August 2014]


The Big-Thing about Communist/Capitalist-China’s Arts-Bad-Boy Ai Wei Wei is not so much that he was Imprisoned-&-Interrogated by the Chinese-Thought-Police—Effectual-Inheritors of the Thought-of-Chairman-Mao—along with having his Studio-Destroyed-by-Bulldozers, even though his Birds-Nest-Design of the Signature-Stadium of the International-Olympic-Games in Beijing was Admired-World-Wide, but that his Signature-Art-Works seem to be Everywhere-on-Exhibition…


Or can it be that I seem to be Following the International-Tour of According-to-What?


I first saw & photographed Ai Wei Wei’s Moon-Chest—a Pristine-Row of Wooden-Boxes, with Two-Viewing-Holes each—in Kunsthaus-Bregenz, during the Bregenz-Festival several seasons ago.


Also On-View were his Map-of-China & China-Log, both made from Tieli-Wood, taken from Dismantled-Temples of the Quing-Dynasty.


Chairman Mao—who would certainly Be-Appalled to see what Modern-China-Has-Become: Towering-Skyscrapers in Downtown-Shanghai; Bullet-Trains; Cross-Country-Freeways—wanted to Destroy-All Evidence of Ancient-Religious-Traditions.


So there was a Surplus of Temple-Wood-Elements for Ai Wei Wei to work-with.


Missing from the Brooklyn-Museum-Show is the remarkable Wooden-Replica of Modern-Beijing & Wooden-Designs for the Olympic-Stadium.


From that Bregenz-Show, I still have my Red-Bag, bearing the Legend: Free Ai Wei Wei!


At that time, Ai Wei Wei was still In-Custody.


At the Brooklyn-Museum, there are Six-Huge-Rectangular-Boxes, together labeled S. A. C. R. E. D.


If you get up on Foot-Rest & peer-down into a Rectangular-Window in the Top of any Box, you will see Models of Ai Wei Wei in Prison: Eating, Being-Interrogated, &&&&


The Problem for Ai Wei Wei seems to be that he Uses-Art to Criticize the Post-Maoist-Government in Beijing.


Being Photographed dropping a Han-Dynasty-Urn so that it will Break-into-Many-Shards might have, in fact, Delighted-Chairman-Mao, a Break with Tradition-&-The-Past!


But to fill an Entire-Gallery with Hundreds-of-Pounds of Straightened-Rebar is a Direct-Challenge to a Provincial-Government that could Allow-the-Use of Defective-Materials in Public-Schools, causing the Deaths of Scores-of-School-Children.


These Varied-Lengths of Cement-Reinforcement-Steel have been supposedly Straightened from the Crumpled-Condition in which they were found when a School-Collapsed…


New to me at the Brooklyn-Museum was that Ceiling-Snake that is symbolically-composed of Dead-School-Children’s Back-Packs.


But these look so Bright-Shiny-New that they were surely not Recovered from the Dead-Bodies?


Previously seen at the Met-Museum—but now over in Brooklyn—is Ai Wei Wei’s Coca-Cola Vase.


Ai Wei Wei has slyly painted the Coca-Cola-Logo on the side of a Neolithic-Chinese-Vase, circa. 5,000-3,000 BCE. [As in: Before-Christian-Era, which doesn’t sound at all Maoist!]


Yes, there are all those Porcelain-Crabs on the floor of the Brooklyn-Museum, not to Overlook the Two-Bowls-of-Pearls, or the Sad-Possessions of Dispossessed-Woman-Advocate for Sex-Workers.


What we do not have over at the Brooklyn-Museum are those Million-Porcelain-Sunflower-Seeds that Ai Wei Wei made for the Tate-Modern in London!


What we do have are all those Massed-Bicycles, now on-view in the Atrium of the Brooklyn-Museum—but not as many as were shown Outside the Hirschhorn-Museum in Washington, DC.


Nor do we see, over in Brooklyn, the Hundred-Antique-Chinese-Chairs Ai Wei Wei contributed to one of those Documenta-Exhibitions in Kassel.


You could be forgiven—after seeing this Extensive-Exhibition—for thinking that Ai Wei Wei has a Genius for Self-Promotion…



CHICAGO IN L. A.: Judy Chicago’s Early-Work, 1963-74


[Closing 10 August 2014]


Judy was born in Chicago as Judith Cohen, but she removed herself to the West-Coast & was part of all that Art-Ferment in the Sixties.


She is now Seventy-Five-Years-Old & the Brooklyn-Museum is celebrating that Anniversary with Examples of Her-Early-Work, a lot of which seems to be concerned with Pastel-Colors & Color-Charts.


Some of the Artifacts on-view are Plastic—that is to say that they are Three-Dimensional—in the Manner of those Three-Inverted-V-Shapes which are, in fact, Latex-Paint on Canvas-Covered-Plywood!


My Favorite among Judy’s varied & often Somewhat-Centrifugal-Paintings—how about: Through the Flower, Queen Victoria, or Female-Rejection-Drawing?—is that Majestic-Icon called Heaven Is for White-Men-Only.


But, like Carl Orff with Carmina-Burana, Judy Chicago will probably be Best-Remembered for her Triangular-Dinner-Party, with Bizarre-Vagina-Like-Ceramic-Table-Settings for Famous-Women through History.


This is Permanently-Installed in the Feminist-Dedicated-Sackler-Galleries of the Brooklyn-Museum!



SWOON: Submerged-Motherlands


[Closing 10 August 2014]


When you next visit the Fifth-Floor-Atrium of the Brooklyn-Museum, you may well be Astounded at what Swoon has constructed in that Lofty-Domed-Space!


Central is a Towering-Fantasy-Tree—an Immense-Fairy-Like-Fantasy-Redwood-Giant—flanked by what seem to be a Beached-Boat & a Battered-Platform, both Loaded-with-Stuff.


They looked Vaguely-Familiar—I was certain I’d seen them somewhere else—but they were Initially-Constructed to Sail-Down the Grand-Canal in Venice: Swimming-Cities of the Serenissima was the Title Swoon assigned to this Uninvited-Entry in the 2009-Venice-Biennale.


The Two-Odd-Crafts are largely composed of New-York-City-Garbage, which Swoon somehow transported to Slovenia, where a Crew-of-Thirty helped her sail them to Venice, collecting more Oddments along the Waterways…


Swoon’s Epic-Tree rises to the 72-Foot-Summit of the Atrium-Dome, but its Entrancing-Lacy-Lightness is achieved with Swoon’s Signature-Cut-Paper-Foliage, much of which is also splayed around the Atrium-Floor, along with some Super-Large-People-Images.


You have to See-for-Yourself Submerged-Motherlands to have Some-Sense of what Swoon is Up-To…


Hurricane-Sandy is evoked, with New-York-City as one of Two-Submerged-Motherlands.


The Other is called Doggerland, Swoon’s Name for the Long-Vanished-Landmass that once connected Britain to The-Continent.


This almost Mythical-Land-Link was destroyed by a Tsunami some Eight-Thousand-Years-Ago.


At least that’s the Environmental-Agency that Swoon swears made Doggerland Go-To-the-Dogs, figuratively-speaking…


As you may well understand—even before Actually-Seeing Submerged-Motherlands—Swoon is Environmentally-Aware & really worried about People & Climate-Change.


The Video showing how Swoon & her Co-Workers Spray-Painted the Atrium & otherwise Transformed it, is an Artwork in itself!


Swoon is a "Brooklyn-Artist” but Swoon is Not-Her-Real-Name.


She was Born & possibly Christened as Caledonia Dance Curry.



At the CUNY-Grad-Center’s James-Gallery:


A Story of Two-Museums: An Ethnographic-Exhibition


[Closing 7 June 2014]


The Visual-&-Narrative-Link between the Museum-of-Jurassic-Technology in Los Angeles [CA] & the Museum-of-American-Art in Berlin [DE] is that they are both—in a Certain-Sense—Museums about Museums & Collections.


The altogether-remarkable Museum-of-Jurassic-Technology seems like a Renaissance-Cabinet-of-Wonders, but on a Larger-Scale than that Wunder-Kammer still maintained in Salzburg-Cathedral, the Odd-Collections of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg, who still believed in Unicorns & Mermaids…


At least they still have some Unicorn-Horns on-display…


I have never visited the Museum-of-Jurassic-Technology in Los Angeles, but they seem to have Loaned CUNY the Most-Representative of their Treasures: Well Worth a Visit, if not to LA, at least to CUNY!


As for the Museum-of-American-Art—founded in 2004, to inform Berliners about the Burgeoning-Art-Scene across the Atlantic—I have visited it but did not realize how many Documenta-Catalogs they have to Share-Abroad.


Documenta takes place in Kassel, every so often, & it was there that I first saw all those Ancient-Chinese-Chairs that were the Artwork shown by China’s Ai Wei Wei!


Anyway, you do not have to go to Berlin to know about Modern-American-Art, but it might be interesting to see how Berliners are looking at us!



At the Frick-Collection:


The Poetry of Parmigianino’s "Schiava-Turca”


[Closing 20 July 2014]


Parma is famed for its Parma-Ham & its Parmesan-Cheese—not to Overlook its Fabled-Charterhouse: Stendahl’s Chartreuse-di-Parme—but it also has a Famous-Son, the Renaissance-Painter, Parmigianino.


The Occasion for Excitement at the Frick is the Loan from the Galleria-Nazionale-di-Parma of Parmigianino’s Enigmatic-Portrait of the so-called "Schiava-Turca,” or "Turkish-Slave.”


Because Parmigianino’s Unknown-Sitter seems to be wearing a Turban, it was long ago wrongly-assumed that this was possibly a Portrait of a Female-Slave, perhaps even an Unfortunate confined in a Turkish-Harem?


But just One-Look at the Lavish-Gown, the Elaborately-Ostrich-Feathered-Fan & the Richly-Jeweled-Headgear should have suggested that this Enigmatically-Smiling-Lady was Never-a-Slave, Turkish or Otherwise.


While her Mysterious-Smile is hardly Mona-Lisa-Quality, over time Experts have speculated about Who—among Parmigianino’s Female-Acquaintances—might have been His-Sitter.


Now, Aimee Ng surveys all the Speculations in a Handsome-Exhibition-Catalogue: The Poetry of Parmigianino’s "Schiava-Turca,” published by the Frick.


So that this will not seem like a One-Portrait-Show, "Schiava-Turca,” is Metaphorically-Escorted by Parmigianino’s Portrait of a Man, as well as by two of the Frick’s own Titians: Portrait of a Man in a Red Cap & Pietro Aretino.


For Good-Measure, the Frick’s Handsome-Treasure, Portrait of Lodovico Capponi, by Agnolo Bronzino, has also been Hung in the Oval-Gallery.


For the Record: Parmigianino’s Real-Name was Francesco Mazzola [1503-1540: Not a Long-Lifespan], but his Parmesan-Dimunitive followed him everywhere.


In fact, Very-Soon, all the way to San Francisco, where "Schiava-Turca” will be shown at the Palace-of-the-Legion-of-Honor in Lincoln-Park.


Aimee Ng’s Study of this Portrait is fascinating: Who Could This Woman Have Been?


What is the Significance of that Winged-White-Horse [Pegasus?] in the glowing Golden-Sunburst on Her-Costly-Turban?


For-That-Matter: Is there some Hidden-Significance in the Official-Name of the Loaning-Museum?


Look-at-It-Closely: Galleria-Nazionale…


Remember Benito Mussolini: Il-Duce?


Remember how Italy was allied with those National-Socialist-Germans above the Alps?


How About Galleria-NAZIonale


Just Asking.


Oh: Ordinarily, the Frick’s haunting St. Francis in the Desert, by Giovanni Bellini, would be flanked by the Two-Titians now in the Oval-Gallery.


Replacing them are two Renaissance-Visions of St. Jerome in the Wilderness: one by Fra Bartolommeo; the other, by Benvenutro Tisi, but both On-Loan from the Alana-Collection.



ENGLIGHTENMENT & BEAUTY: Sculptures by Houdon & Clodion


[From 1 April 2014 to 5 April 2015]


Considering that the much-vaunted 18th-Century French-Enlightenment culminated in the French-Revolution of 1789—with the Beheading even of some Enlightened-Aristocrats & the Smashing of the Stained-Glass-Windows of Chartres-Cathedral—it is amazing that both Famed-French-Sculptors, Houdon & Clodion, survived that Terminal-Turbulence.


Even More-Amazing about their Personal-&-Artistic-Survival is the Fact that they served Noble-Patrons—not Revolting-Peasants—basing their Remarkable-Portrait-Busts & Terra-Cotta-Figures on Classic-Models studied in Rome, where they had both won the Prix-de-Rome.


The Frick doesn’t own that Famous-Houdon-Bust-of-Ben-Franklin, but its Elegant-Houdon-Sculptural-Image of La Comtesse du Cayla—carved more than a Decade before Marie Antoinette Lost-Her-Head—is a Study-in-Stone, so-to-speak.


Clodion—whose Real-Name was Claude Michel—may be seen as the Lesser of the Two, but the Elegance of his Terra-Cottas, such as The Three Graces is Classic-Roman indeed.


Both Clodion’s & Houdon’s Works in the Frick-Collection will be on-view in the Now-Enclosed-Portico of the Frick-Mansion on Fifth-Avenue, but they will rotate, joined by Loans from Private-Collections.



At the Grolier-Club Galleries:




[Closing 2 August 2014]


Anyone who lived through World-War-II—sometimes called the Second-World-War—will surely be deeply affected by this wide-ranging Exhibition of Posters, Photos, Propaganda, Newspapers, Telegrams & other Important-Artifacts of a World-at-War.


It comes to the Grolier from the Museum-of-World-War-II in Boston, founded by Grolier-Member Kenneth W. Rendell.


Not only are such American-Patriotic-Posters as that Buy-War-Bonds—with Uncle-Sam up in the Clouds, clutching a Billowing-American-Flag—boldly displayed, but also Calls-To-Arms from the Nazi & Japanese-Enemies.


Adolf Hitler’s attempts to influence All-Aspects of German-Life—including his Attacks on Degenerate-Art—are documented, helping to explain why he could rally the Deutsches-Volk to fight for Domination-of-Europe.


Some Anne Frank Artifacts recall the Holocaust, but there are also Japanese-Patriotic-Banners & the Teletype of FDR’s "Day of Infamy” Speech.


There’s even a Movie-Poster for Casablanca, which was released just before the US-Invasion of North-Africa…


For those who were born long after the Japanese-Bombed-Pearl-Harbor [Sunday, December-Seventh, a Date that will Live in Infamy], this is also an Important-Exhibition, not only to Learn-About-Our-Past, but also to help avoid World-War-III, which some Angry-Old-White-Men think we need to Launch, to prove that we are Still-Exceptional.


These Words-&-Images help the Grolier-Club mark the 75th-Anniversary of the Outbreak-of-World-War-II.


The Public is Welcome & the Exhibition is Free: Mon—Sat, 10am—5pm.



At the Lever-House Art-Collection:




[Closing 30 May 2014]




You can not only Look-At these Three-Dimensional-Photo-Models of Common-Objects—mounted on Mirror-Boxes—but you can also See-Through-Their-Joints to Park-Avenue just outside the Lever-Gallery.


Urs Fischer was born in Zurich, but that did not stop him from settling in New York.


In this Show, he has sprinkled some 26-Mirror-Boxes—with Five-Digitally-Photographed-Visible-Sides of such Objects as a Banana, a Pencil, a Camera, a Clothes-Pin, & a Twenty-Dollar-Bill, Much-Enlarged—around the Rigid-Architectural-Space of the Gallery.


These Wonderful-Mirror-Boxes have Titles such as Erica, Cecille, & Brenda.


Oh, Don’t Ask Why…


Just Go!


Nota-Bene: Outside the Lever-Galley, there is an Open-Courtyard where you can Sit, Read, Snack, or Whatever.


There is also usually some kind of Sculpture on-view in the Open.


Once-Upon-a-Time, this Object was a Pregnant-Woman, with her Mid-Section Partially-Dissected.


Currently, the Open-Space is dominated by a Giant-Bronzed-Rat, modeled on those Inflatable-Gray-Rats you can see around the City, in front of Work-Sites that are not employing the Union-Workers whose Blown-Up-Rats those are…


Intimidation by Rodent-Power!



At The Lincoln-Center Library of Performing-Arts:




[Closing 16 September 2014]


Eugene O’Neill has been Dead for a very long time, but His-Ghost-Goes-Marching-On!


Seldom does Broadway do him the Honor of a Revival of, say, Mourning Becomes Electra.


It’s also been a Long-Time since Broadway has seen O’Neill’s Biographical-Epic, Long Day’s Journey into Night.


But the Actual-House that inspired that Powerful-Family-Drama is up in Waterford, CT.


It was & is an Inspiration to all the Theatre-Greats & Theatre-Hopefuls who trek up to Waterford every Summer to Learn & Share at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre-Center.


The Center was founded—with a generous Land-Grant from the City-of-Waterford—by Producer George C. White, who had an Epic-Vision of what might be achieved on what has now become Sacred-Ground.


When I first was summoned up to the O’Neill, I was asked to write about the Varied-Activities & Workshops, especially about the Play-Readings, in which Broadway-Talents were trying-out New-Scripts which might make their way down to Broadway.


In the Event, almost Anything that was selected for Readings or Rehearsals at the O’Neill was subsequently produced in Manhattan, more often Off-Broadway, but often with the same Actors who had tried them out at the O’Neill.


Over time, these are some of the Important-Organizations that were Birthed at the O’Neill-Center: the National Theatre of the Deaf, the National Critics Institute, the National Theatre Institute, the National Music-Theatre-Conference, the Cabaret & Performance Conference, & the National Puppetry Conference.


Yes, Gene! Even Puppets came up to Waterford!


Even though you wrote No-Puppet-Plays for them…


No! No! That’s not Quite-Right: I did once see a Puppet-Performance of O’Neill’s Emperor Jones.


Almost Everyone who is Anyone in American-Theatre—with some Foreign-Theatre-Guests as well—has been up to the O’Neill-Center, even as a Beginner or a Tony-Winner©.


Broadway-Designer David Hayes founded the National Theatre of the Deaf, which was an Amazing-Undertaking.


Because I’d previously written about David’s Design-Work, he asked me to keep Critical-Tabs on his Kids.


More important for me, however, was the Founding of the National Critics Institute, where Established-Critics would critique the Novice-Notices of Critic-Hopefuls, reviewing some of the Day’s Play-Readings or Rehearsals.


Ernie Schier, Master-Critic of the Philadelphia-Inquirer, was eventually in-charge.


For some Strange-Reason, Ernie thought I could provide a Cultural-Dimension to the Program, so I was periodically invited to come up to the O’Neill & give a Culture-Lecture on some Subject of Universal-Interest or Speculation that had Nothing at all to do with Theatre in particular.


My dear friend & Critic-Colleague, Dan Sullivan, was later in-charge of the National Critics Institute, where he said he’d learned how to be a Critic "on-the-hoof.”


Dan was First-String-Drama-Critic for the LA-Times, for which he’d made me a New-York-Stringer.


Thanks to those Initial-Critics-Workshops, a Powerhouse-Group of Drama-Critics from around the Nation formed ACTA—the American-Theatre-Critics-Association—of which I’m a Longtime-Member.


I’m also on the Board of FACTA—the ACTA-Foundation—for which I hope soon to establish a Glenn-Loney-Charitable-Trust-Award for Theatre-Designers.


Our Founders even recorded their Early-Impressions of the O’Neill-Center & its work in Under the Copper-Beech—the Last-Copies of which were finally distributed at our Annual-Conference down in Louisville at the Humana-Festival…


Now, my old friend & Playwright/Critic-Colleague, Jeff Sweet, has written a book about the Whole-Works up at the O’Neill, Puppets & All…


Jeff has titled his Extensive-Report: The O’Neill: The Transformation of the Modern American Theatre.


Yes: that is exactly what happened up at the O’Neill: it changed the way we Write-Plays, the way we Act-in-Plays, the way we Direct-Plays, the way we Design-Plays, the way we Produce-Plays, the way we Review-Plays, even the way Puppets-Play…


Fortunately, the Publication of Jeff Sweet’s Admirable-Book coincides with the Opening of the Admirable-Exhibition at the Lincoln-Center-Library–for-the-Performing-Arts: Launchpad of the American-Theatre: The O’Neill Since 1964.


With Posters, Photos, Printed-Reviews, Portraits, Production-Scenes, & even Puppets, everything is Covered in this Admirably-Designed-Presentation.


What is Not-Included is what it was like—when at the O’Neill—to Bunk in a Dorm of the Connecticut-College-for-Women.


They had Co-Educational-Showers!


Even Gene O’Neill might have been a bit Non-Plussed at the sight of Naked-Coeds so early in the Morning…



At The Met—The Metropolitan-Museum-of-Art:




The Count-of-Altamira was a Director of El-Banco-de-España, so he obviously could afford to engage Francisco Goya-y-Lucientes to paint some Family-Portraits.


Somehow, the Met, over the years, managed to acquire Two-of-Them.


One is the so-called "Red-Boy,” Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga.


The Other—from the Met’s Robert-Lehman-Collection—is a Portrait of Manuel’s Mother & Sister, La Condesa de Altamira y la sua Hija, Maria Agustina.


Goya’s Portrait of Le Conde himself still belongs to El-Banco, which has generously—but temporarily—lent it to the Met.


From an Anonymous-Private-Collection comes another Goya-Altamira-Portrait: Manuel Osorio’s Brother, Vincente Joaquin de Toledo.


A Fifth-Altamira-Portrait comes from the Cleveland-Museum-of-Art: This is Juan Maria Osorio, but he was portrayed in paint by one of Goya’s Pupils, Agustin Esteve.


Seeing these Goyas en-suite was rather like seeing a similar Goya-Family-Portrait-Gallery at Madrid’s Prado recently.



CHARLES JAMES: Beyond Fashion


[Closing 10 August 2014]


The Glory-Days of Lavish-High-Society-Balls may be over in Manhattan, but the Met’s Costume-Institute—now renamed in Honor of Anna Wintour—has temporarily brought them back with its Elegant-Parade of Charles James’ High-Fashion-Gowns.


In Honor of this Exhibition, New-York-Magazine has just published Photo-Portraits of some of Manhattan’s Surviving Grandes-Dames, including Gloria Vanderbilt, who still looks Fabulous at Ninety!


Owing to the Complicated-Set-Up of the Great-Tent over the Main-Steps of the Met-Museum, Entry there was Not-Possible, so a Breach was made in the Complicated-Street-Lane-Swallowing-Set-Up for the David-H.-Koch-Memorial-Fountains-&-Plazas, soon to open, running-along the Classical-Façade of the Metropolitan-Museum-of-Art.


Our Tiny-Tunnel-Entry was Blocked to the Press until Exactly-Twelve-O’Clock-High, so the Long-Queue of Arts-Reporters must have missed the Earlier-Official-Ribbon-Cutting for the New-Anna-Wintour-Costume-Center.


It was Rumored—along the Press-Waiting-Line—that Michelle Obama had come up from DC to cut the Ribbon.


But when we were finally allowed to Shuffle-on-in, there was No-Trace of the First-Lady-of-the-Nation, nor of that Devil-Wears-Prada-Lady…


There was, however, a Problem with this Exhibition.


Half of it is in the Downstairs-Cellar of the Costume-Institute, barely Illuminated in the Otherwise-Stygian-Darkness that has come to be the Vision-Defying-Hallmark of Costume-Shows.


To view the Other-Half, one has to trudge through the Egyptian-Galleries, temporarily Denuded of all those Glass-Showcases so Costume-Institute-Gala-Guests could freely Promenade To & Fro, between the Polar-Points of the Charles-James-Fashions.


In the Central-Atrium-Court of the Met-Museum a Huge-Bulging-Floral-Dress-Form was being stuffed with Thousands-of-Orange-Yellow-Roses, their Lives-Cut-Short for this Show.


Carpets were also being cut for all the Floors-&-Halls, so the Feet-of-the-Rich would not have to touch the Actual-Terrazzo or Marble-Chips-Composites.


When One finally passed through the Greek-Antiquities, another Stygian-Chamber was awaiting, filled with more Charles-James-Fashions, Sparely-Illuminated, but Crowded with Press-Photographers & Ink-Stained-Scribes—Leaking-Ballpoints?—bumping into One-Another in the Semi-Darkness.


Actually, making Notes on a Paper-Pad is now Passé, as iPads & iPhones are The-Thing.


But What-Is-It with these Costume-Institute-Shows that they have to be Shown-in-Shadows?


This worked rather well—even Dramatically—for Alexander MacQueen, who committed Suicide before he could see his Met-Show.


But it did not exactly Illuminate-Punk-Fashion the following Season.


Are the Silks, Satins, & Rayons of the Gowns of Charles James so Sensitive-to-Light that they cannot have some Soft-Spotlights on them, so One can clearly see how the Magic-Works.


Well, it’s not exactly Magic with Charles James.


James was, if anything, a Scientist, an Engineer when he Constructed a New Gown.


Unlike some Designers-of-High-Fashion, who Drape-Fabrics on Dress-Dummies or Live-Models to decide how to Cut, Fold, Pleat, Seam, or Stitch the High-Priced-Yardage into Fabulous-Fashions, Charles James Design-Engineered his Gowns.


There are Actual-Design-Process-Models, as well as Intriguing-Videos, that show How-He-Did-It.


It has been said that James considered himself an Artist, with a Sculptor’s-Eye & a Scientist’s-Logic.


That’s It!


Almost all of the James-Gowns on-view Look-Like-Sculptures!


Thee are some 65 of them to Visually-Savor, if not Emotionally-Devour.


The new Anna-Wintour-Costume-Center now has a Lizzie-&-Jonathan-Tisch-Gallery, as well as the Carl-&-Iris-Barrel-Apfel-Gallery, in which James’ Scrapbooks & Sketches are on-view.


Among the Classic-Gowns on display are James’ Butterfly, Tree, Clover-Leaf, & Swan.


Charles James was Not-Obsessed with Ball-Gowns; he also designed Clothes for Day-Wear.


But Both were influenced by his attention to: Spirals-&-Wraps, Drapes-&-Folds, Platonic-Form, & Anatomical-Cut—which suggests that the Resultant-Gown or Suit ought to suit the Body for which it had been designed.


That Impressive-Rose-Studded-Dress-Form in the Atrium was the Design-Inspiration of Raul Avila & it surely must have impressed The-Gala-Chair, Aerin Lauder, as well as Co-Chairs Bradley Cooper, Oscar de la Renta, Sarah Jessica Parker, Anna Wintour, & Lizzie & Jonathan Tisch.


If you have a Gallery named for you, Feeding you is the Least the Met can do to Show-Its-Gratitude!





[Closing 26 October 2014]


What did it Mean for a Trio of British-Artists to become Pre-Raphaelites?


What was so Wrong about the way Raphael Painted—or with His-Subject-Matter?


Effectually, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, & William Morris were turning their Metaphoric-Backs on the Staid, Stolid, & Stifling Academic-Art that ruled in Britain.


They were seeking a kind of Freedom of Line & Imagination that they believed they had Rediscovered in the Artists of the Italian-Renaissance.


Led by Rossetti, who was a Poet as well as a Painter, this New-Movement led to a Remarkable-Revolution in Painting, Sculpture, & Design—including Interior-Design, with William Morris’ wonderfully Intricate-Wallpapers, as well as Stained-Glass, Table-Ware, Textiles, & Furniture.


Not to Overlook the Pre-Raphaelite-Designs of Kelmscott-Press Printed-Books.


There was more than a Whiff-of-Medievalism in the Pre-Raphaelite-Painters, but they certainly knew how to Romanticize their Images-of-Beautiful-Women.


This is a Small-Scale-Show—in the Met’s Lehman-Wing—but all of the Met-Museum-Artifacts are Artfully-Precious.


There is also a Complementary-Exhibition of actual Italian-Renaissance-Drawings, downstairs in the Lehman-Wing.


It’s worth noting that the Wallpapers of William Morris have really never gone Out-of-Fashion & are still Marketed today.


Not only that: The Design-Styles of the Pre-Raphaelites were the British-Equivalent of French Art-Nouveau & German/Austrian Jugendstil.


Strange as it may seem, an Original-Edward-Burne-Jones-Outline-Drawing, for a Large-Stained-Glass-Window, was once on-view in the American-Victorian-Museum in Nevada-City, California!


The Museum is Long-Gone, as are its Teddy-Bear-Founders & the Burne-Jones, as well.


Not to forget the Pre-Raphaelite-Artifacts I gave to the Museum, as well as that Great-Yellow-Wax-Seal of the Young-Victoria, on Horseback on one side, but Enthroned on the Verso.


The Lesson-of-This, I guess, is that you should Leave-Stuff-to-the-Met, not to some Cockamamie-Museum out in the High-Sierra-Gold-Country…



LOST-KINGDOMS: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast-Asia…


[Closing 27 July 2014]


Fortunately for the Development of Hindu-Buddhist-Art in Southeast-Asia in the First-Millennium, there were then No-Christian-Missionaries on the Ground.


Otherwise, we might have Images of the Christ with a Long-Elephant-Trunk, a kind of Jesus-Ganesha.


Instead of a Hindu-Goddess with Eight-Arms, perhaps these Imaginary-Missionaries would have encouraged an Eight-Armed-Virgin-Mary, with Eight-Swords—instead of Seven—plunged into Her Sacred-Heart?


The All-Too-Familiar Christian-Iconography, however, cannot compete with the Stone-God-Wonders now on-display at the Met in Lost Kingdoms.


For Roman-Catholics, it’s hard enough to keep All-the-Saints sorted-out—especially as New-Saints are now frequently-added to the Devotional-List—but what a Quandry it must have occasioned for a Devout-Hindu-Worshiper, to decide to which God, Goddess, or Aspect-of-a-God-Head to make Sacrifices & Offer-Prayers.


The Impressively-Installed Met-God-Show features some 160 Sculptures—No Painted-Images—from Hindu-&-Buddhist-Temples & Royal-Palaces, ranging from very small Bronzes to Immense-Stone-Slabs.


Some are National-Treasures, loaned by Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, & Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.


To install some of these Heavyweight-Gods, the Met must have had to have the Loan of a Crane to get them into Place.


A few of the God-Figures are so sleek & slim & unadorned with Additional-Arms that they seem almost Pharaonic.


Could Early-Egyptian-Art-Influences have penetrated into Asia?



At The Morgan Library & Museum:


GATSBY TO GARP: Modern-Masterpieces from the Carter-Burden-Collection


[Closing 7 September 2014]


OK! So it was Dumb of me to have removed that Dust-Jacket from my copy of Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye…


It was even Dumber not to have kept my First-Edition of Catcher in the Rye, even without that Eminently-Collectible Dust-Jacket.


Over at the Park-Avenue-Armory—at every Antique-Book-Show—I marvel at the Prices set for a Pristine-Copy of Catcher in the Rye, necessarily with that Eminently-Collectible Dust-Jacket.


Just Imagine! Here’s a Copy of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, with an Inscription to his Son inside!


Well, maybe the Kid needed the Cash. Or he was Never-Right with his Cranky-Dad?


So, do not throw out that First-Edition of Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop that your Old-Lesbian-Aunt so treasured.


His Manhattan-Eminence, the Late Carter Burden [d. 1996], sometime City-Councilman, had the First-Edition-Virus in a Very-Virulent-Form.


Carter Burden paid Top-Dollar for thousands of First-Editions of Twentieth-Century-American-Books.


Preferably with Personal-Inscriptions & Authors’ Annotations…


Corrected-Galley-Proofs & Manuscripts were also Prized.


Fortunately for the Morgan-Library, after Burden’s Sudden-Death, his Family—did this include Amanda Burden, also recently in the City-Employ?—gave the Library-Museum some Twelve-Thousand of his First-Editions.


Here is Allen Ginsberg; here Ezra Pound, here Sylvia Plath, here Henry James, here John Steinbeck; here Ernie Hemingway, here Philip Roth, here Scott Fitzgerald, here Gertrude Stein, here Toni Morrison, Jack Kerouac, here Langston Hughes, here Tennessee Williams, here William Faulkner, here John Updike, & here John Irving—hence the Garp in the Show’s Title.


These Bibliophiliac-Treasures range from the Magisterial Henry James—an American who chose to live in England, to the Lost-Generation, the Harlem Renaissance, & The Beats.


Looking at some of these Dust-Jacketed-First-Editions, I realized—not without some Pangs-of-Regret—that I once had also owned them, with Dust-Jackets-Intact.


But No-Personal-Inscriptions…


Occasionally, I’d see Allen Ginsberg at the Sugar-Bowl, when we were both Professors at Brooklyn-College.


But I never thought to bring along my First-Edition of Howl, to have Allen Inscribe-It.


I did have Personally-Inscribed First-Editions of some of Joe Orton’s Plays, because we were Pen-Pals.


But those are now in the Berg-Manuscript-Collection of the New-York-Public-Library.


And Joe was, after all, a Dissident-Brit, not a Collectible-American-Author…



A DIALOGUE WITH NATURE: Romantic Landscapes from Britain & Germany


[Closing 7 September 2014]


These are perhaps Minor-Masterpieces, even though they are only Small-Scaled Drawings, Watercolors, & Oil-Sketches of various European-Landscape-Vistas.


If they are not, in fact, generally-viewed as Masterpieces, certainly most of the Artists whose works are on-view at the Morgan are Acknowledged-Masters of the Romantic-Era.


Some, like Caspar David Friedrich’s Landscape on Rügen, with Shepherd & Flocks, are almost Photographic in their Representations of Nature.


I once made a point of going to the Island-of-Rügen to check-out the Scenes Caspar David Friedrich had used in his Drawings & Paintings.


Much more Fantasy-Enhanced are the Romantic-Views of Joseph Mallord William Turner, famed for his Burning of the Houses-of-Parliament, sketched virtually on-site during the Conflagration.


But here are no Great-Thames-River-Visions.


Instead, On Lake Lucerne & Turner’s Lake-View of the City-of-Lucerne, with its famed Dance-of-Death-Bridge, crossing the Lake, have a Dream-Like-Quality.


For me, however, any Sighting of that Totentanz-Brücke reminds me unpleasantly of that Almost-Fatal-Day beside Lake-Lucerne, when I was preparing to photograph the Dance-of-Death-Bridge & Fell-Over-Backward.


Having previously Fallen-Forward-on-My-Head—after Photographing the Golden-Gate-Bridge in San Francisco—which led to Eight-Holes in My-Head to Drain the Still-Leaking-Blood under My-Skull, this was Not-Helpful.


I doubt I shall ever see Luzern again, although they continue to send me Press-Invites to the Annual Lucerne-Festival…


When the Berlin-Wall was still standing, the Best of Caspar David Friedrich was in the Staatmuseum in Weimar, in the Heart of the DDR.


I told the Show-Curator that I’d been able to get a General-Press-Visa—from the Polizei-Präsident of East-Berlin—that permitted me to rove around the German-Democratic-Republic, especially checking-out the Friedrichs-in-Weimar.


Goethe ran the Court-Theatre there. Schiller could be seen on a Clear-Day.


But you don’t have to go to either Lucerne or Weimar to appreciate the Romantic-Visions of Artists like Carl Philipp Fohr, Thomas Gainsborough, Thomas Girtin, John Robert Cozens, Johann Georg Wagner, & Samuel Palmer, whose Oak-Tree & Beech, Lullingstone-Park is Magnificent.


You may well think of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy as a Dead-German-Composer—famed for his Wedding-March—but here’s his Sketch of an Open-Window, from his Sketchbook of 1837-39…


This interesting Window-View is on loan from London’s Courtald-Gallery, as are some of the Other-Impressive-Landscapes.



MIRACLES IN MINIATURE: The Art of the Master of Claude de France


[Closing 14 September 2014]


The Actual-Name of the Master-Illuminator who created the two tiny Prayer-Books for Queen Claude of France—now on Darkened-Display at the Morgan—is Unknown.


Or: Unbekannt, as the Germans are fond of saying…


Nonetheless, this Unknown-Master must have had Very-Good-Eyesight, for the Fanatically-Detailed-Miniatures he painted for Queen Claude are bound in Very-Tiny-Books, measuring 2-Inches by 2½-Inches.


Queen Claude must have also had Very-Good-Eyesight—or a Very-Powerful-Magnifying-Glass?


One of the Prayer-Books is what is known as a Book-of-Hours, indicating the Proper-Prayers for Each-Hour of a Royal-Roman-Catholic’s Praying-Day.


After the Official-Press-Tour, I suggested to the Curatorial-Expert—the estimable Roger Wieck—that Queen Claude might have been Regally-Angry when the Master delivered her Devotional-Aid:


"Look here! I commissioned you to Illuminate for me a Book-of-Hours.


"But what have you done? This is so small, I’d call it a Book-of-Minutes!”


To which the Curator-Wieck genially replied: "How about a Book-of-Seconds?”


So I shared with him a Verse-Fragment from the English-Poet, Edith Sitwell: "When Great Queen Claude was dead/They buried her deep in the Potting-Shed…”


He had never heard this Claudian-Reference, but he did share with me that Queen Claude was a Great-Lover of Gardens & Gardening!


Does Anyone know where Queen Claude is actually Buried?


Tours? Lyon? Rheims? Paris?


In this Tiny-Exhibition—in the Tiny-Clare-Eddy-Thaw-Gallery—there is a Touch-Screen, so you can Digitally-Leaf-Through the Birth, Life, & Death of Jesus-Christ, without having to put on Cotton-Gloves & a Face-Mask.


In fact, there is Much now at the Morgan that you can Access literally On-Line…



Rembrandt Now On-Line at the Morgan: Study His Etchings in the Privacy-of-Your-Own-Home!


Both Museum-Directors & Curators try to restrict Access to Rare Sketches, Engravings, & Etchings by the Old-Masters.


Exposure to any kind of Light can be Harmful, not to mention the Dangers involved in Handling such Treasures.


Oddly enough, when I first went to the Albertina in Vienna, after World-War-II, I asked to see Albrecht Dürer’s Original-Sketch of that Famous-Rabbit.


I was given a pair of Cotton-Gloves; the Acid-Free-Manuscript-Box was brought from the Archives, & There-It-Was: Dürer’s-Rabbit!


In my Very-Own-Almost-Shaking-Hands…


Well, That was Then & This is Now.


Even a few years ago, Morgan-Curators & Archivists would have to have a Very-Good-Reason to let me look at a Rembrandt-Etching.


Now, I can go on-line & look at the Morgan’s Entire-Collection of Rembrandt-Etchings!


Even with a Zoom-Feature, so you can study Details—that formerly would only have been revealed by a Magnifying-Glass…


Five-Hundred Music-Manuscripts are already available On-Line, including Autograph-Scores by Mozart, Handel, Beethoven, & Bach.


In Progress is the Digitizing of the Morgan’s Unparalleled-Collection of almost Twelve-Thousand-Drawings.


Visit the Morgan at:


Of course, the Morgan’s Entire-Staff hopes you will also come In-Person to look at its Handsomely-Installed Special-Exhibitions: See the actual First-Edition of The Great Gatsby!


Not a Digitized-Version!



At MAD—The Museum of Arts & Design:


MULTIPLE EXPOSURES: Jewelry & Photography


[Closing 14 September 2014]


Looking at the Necklaces, Brooches, Rings, & Bracelets that feature some Form-of-Photography as Part of the Artists’ Design-Concept, it would seem that Neither the Photographs Nor the Jewelry complement each other strikingly-enough to pursue this Newly-Opened-Avenue down All-Four-Lanes.


All-Too-Often, Small-Photos—especially on Necklaces—are almost Impossible-to-Decipher, seeming only a Design-Conceit, like a Fleck-of-Decoration.


Nonetheless, that has not deterred such Artists as Gabriela Sánchez y Sánchez de la Barquera, Otto Künzli, Kiff Slemmons, Wafaa Bilal, Sooyeon Kim, Iris Nieuwenburg, & Bettina Speckner from Giving-This-a-Try, especially in this Digital-Age, when we are freed from the Tyranny-of-Kodachrome.


Oh, Kodachromes, Tintypes, & even Daguerreotypes are Not-Neglected, but the Onslaught-of-Selfies, as well as Internet-Available-Images—give New-Meaning to Social, Political, & Cultural-Issues.


Or so say this Show’s Spokespersons…


Also, International-Jewelry-Artists are exploring Changing-Concepts of Beauty & the Human-Body, probing Perceptions of Memory & Desire, as well as Questioning the Broader-Relation of Jewelry to Society & Personal-Identity.


Do You Really Need a Nipple-Ring with Your-Photo on it?



At New-York Historical-Society:


HOMEFRONT & BATTLEFIELD: Quilts & Context in the Civil-War


[Closing 24 August 2014]


Some collect First-Editions.


Others collect Antique-Quilts—Individuals, Families, & Museums.


This is Historically-Fortunate for the Current-Exhibition at the New-York Historical-Society, for the Amazing-Quilts on-display all have a Story-to-Tell: about the Civil-War, its Causes, & its Aftermath.


Consider the Quilt made with Uniform-Cloth from a Zouave-Union-Uniform from the Schuylkill-Armory in Philadelphia.


It features Patriotic, Military, & Zouave-Images on a field of slanted slashes of Uniform-Cloth.


It was probably made for a Zouave, returning from The-War-Between-the-States, as the Johnny-Rebels called this National-Conflagration.


Although Union-Soldiers, the Zouaves were not Boys-in-Blue, as were the Mass of Union-Soldiery.


Oddly enough, their Distinctive-Dress made them look a bit like Turkish-Waiters.


There are a number of Outstanding-Quilts in this Civil-War-Context, including Luncinda Ward Honstain’s "Reconciliation-Quilt,” which is composed of 84-Squares depicting Freed-Slaves, People finally at Peace, & even Jeff Davis, Ex-President of the Confederacy.


Every Quilt has a Story, but the Most-Plain-&-Pitiable of all was made by Two-Slave-Women who probably had No-Access to really Good-Cloth.


In a very real Sense, this Show is not only about War, but also about Cloth, Fabric, Manufactured-Textiles: Wool was challenging Cotton in the Markets…


Northerners didn’t need Slaves or Plantations to grow Sheep & Shear-Them.


Flags & Banners made of Cloth—as well as actual Uniforms & Civilian-Clothing—add Visual-Interest & Historical-Context to this fascinating & ingeniously-installed Exhibition.



At The Park-Avenue-Armory:




[From 1-4 May 2014]


And now for Something-Entirely-Different!


Most Dealer-Shows at the 69th-Regiment Park-Avenue-Armory have Sedate-Rows of Dealer-Booths, side-by-side, with as many as Four-Two-Sided-Rows in the Central-Space of the Wade-Thompson-Drill-Hall.


This is, of course, Confining & almost Ghetto-Like…


For the Entirely-New Spring-Masters: Art & Design, Antiquity Through the 20th-Century, Architect/Designer Rafael Viñoly has re-imagined the Vast-Space with a Series of Interlocking-Hexagonal-Booths that Open-Out the Space in ways previously Unimaginable.


As One entered this Treasure-Rich-Show, the Glittering-Chandeliers & Ornate-Period-Mirrors of Ronald Phillips LTD made it seem like an Entry into a Period-Palace-of-Wonders!


What’s more, Rafael Viñoly’s Ingenious-Design made it possible to Walk-Through the Open-Booths, from One-Treasure-House to Another.


Instead of Walking-Past what might be considered Tight-Packed-Rows of Push-Carts, but without the Wheels…


Some real Museum-Quality-Antiques & Old-Master-Paintings were On-Display.


One wondered what Baroque-Basilica had been Plundered to make available such a Handsome-Selection of Religious-Statuary: Jesus! Jesus & Mary!


Both Continental & American Dealers were represented, including Moeller Fine Art, Waterhouse & Dodd, Primavera Gallery, Leo Kaplan, Hollis Taggart, David Findlay, jr.


Click on the Sprigng-Masters-Website for some Photo-Views of the Rafael-Viñoly-Hexagonals, as well as some Outstanding-Artworks:


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