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Glenn's September 2013 Museums

October 7, 2013

Glenn Loney’s Rambles Round Museums, Galleries, Installations, & Auctions—

At The Asia-Society:


[Closing 5 January 2014]

Thanks to the US imposing Punishing-Sanctions on Iran, we don’t get many Arts-Imports anymore.

Whatever you may have thought of the Shah-of-Persia, at least he & his Sister were Great-Supporters of the ArtsPerforming & Otherwise.

Just Think! Almost in the Shadow of the Great-Mountain-Tombs of Darius & Xerxes, Peter Brook produced Orghast-at-Persepolis!

Indeed, the Shiraz-Festival showcased many 20th-Century-Greats, from Robert Wilson to Jerzy Grotowski.

In the Heyday of the Peacock-Throne, Iranian-Artists exhibited at the Venice-Biennale.

Shariah-Islamists, however, are not Big-Fans of Representational-Art: The Prophet had forbidden all Depictions of Men, Women—even with Burkhas, & Animals!

What Mohammad—Blessed-Be-His-Name!—would have thought of News-Photos & Al-Jazeera-TV only an Imam could determine…

Fortunately for the Vibrant-Installation of Modern-Iranian-Arts at the Asia-Society, Astute-Collectors bought when the Price & the Time was Right!

They also removed these Images, Sculptures, & Crafts from the Purlieus of Disapproving-Ayatollahs.


Over on Park-Avenue, you can now see some Hundred-Works by 26-Artists, working when Tehran was still a Cosmopolitan-Center.

At The BBC-Gallery:

WILLIAM KENT: Designing Georgian-Britain

[Closing 9 February 2014]

Opulent & Italianate do not begin to describe the Architectural-&-Decorative-Splendors that William Kent designed for Georgian-Monarchs & their Queens.

Not only the Historical-Fragments of Imperial-Rome but the Surviving-Actualities of Renaissance-Italy to be seen by Royals-&-Nobles on The-Grand-Tour were incorporated into Kent’s Palladian-Façades & Sumptuous-Interiors.

Of course, Queen Caroline would want some wonderfully Gilded-Furniture & Old-Masters to match the Delights of her new Drawing-Room

Once you have a Massive-Neo-Renaissance-Palace under construction, you surely would want Kent to design a Fantastic-Garden, not only with some Classic-Ruins but also a Chinese-Pagoda or two.

German Counts, Barons, Dukes, Princes, & Kings were so impressed with Kent’s Creations, that there are also some Fabulous-Gardens sprinkled around the Rhineland, Bavaria, Hesse, & Baden.

This Lavish-Show at the Bard-Grad-Center-Gallery even includes some of Kent’s Opulent-Furniture, as well as his Drawings & Renderings, thanks to the Victoria-&-Albert-Museum.

AMERICAN-STYLE: Global-Sources for New York Textile & Fashion-Design, 1915-1928

[Closing 2 February 2014]

When The-Great-War broke-out in 1914, European-Design-Influences were cut-off from American-Designers & Textile-Manufacturers.

[No-one then called it World-War-I, as it was, for America, the War-to-End-All-Wars…]

This cessation of Trans-Atlantic-Design-Traffic inspired the American-Museum of Natural-History to suggest to the Textile-&-Fabric-Folks that they might draw inspiration from Native-Sources in the Americas!

How about Blackfoot-Indian-Garb, Siberian-Fur-Jackets, Andean-Feather-Weavings, or even Mexican-Clay-Stamps?

Well, Siberia isn’t exactly in The Americas, but it’s just across the Bering-Straight, after all.

This Show documents the Results, with such American-Designers as Ilonka Karasz, Ruth Reeves, Jessie Franklin Turner.

At The Brooklyn-Museum:


[Closing 12 January 2014]

You didn’t have to be the Viceroy-of-Peru to enjoy a Lavish-Lifestyle in Spanish-Colonial-America.

But it certainly helped to be a Friend of the Spanish-Monarch’s-Deputy, especially if you wanted the Oversight of a Great-Gold-Mine.

Nonetheless—aside from wearing Elegant-Outfits when traveling in a Gilded-Coach to Venerate the Holy-Sacraments—it was not regarded as Good-Form to show-off the Family-Wealth in front of the Conquered-Incas & the Spanish-Soldiery.

Instead, the most Ornate-Costumes & the Richest-of-Jewels were reserved for the Home, to be seen & admired only amongst Intimates.

The New-Show at the Brooklyn-Museum is rightly-titled Behind Closed-Doors. Not only were the often heavily-carved Wooden-Doors of Colonial-Baroque-Palacios closed to the passing Incas, Mayas, & Aztecs, but also to Spaniards of the Lower-Orders.

They were built like Fortresses on the Avenidas: No Front-Lawns nor Pink-Flamingos

The Immense-Wealth on display in the Cathedral-of-CuzcoGold & Silver-Altars in not one, but Four-Separate-Naves!—cannot be reproduced on Eastern-Parkway.

Nonetheless, some of the Riches are, indeed, on display, along with elaborate Floor-Plans of each Chamber in a typical Colonial-Residencia.

The Current-Exhibition draws heavily on the Brooklyn-Museum’s own Amazing-Collections, amassed over time by various Expeditions. You will not only see Handsome-Portraits, featuring Spanish-Grandees & their Ladies, but also their Chairs, Tables, Fabrics, Silver, & Crystal

Even though the Great-Chieftans of the Aztecs, the Mayans, & the Incas were slaughtered—think of Montezuma & Atahuallpa—with their Sacred-Codexes destroyed & their Temples defiled, at least someone thought to have Images of The-Inca painted!

What’s especially fascinating about the Religious-Paintings on-view is that they were made by Native-Artists, following Spanish & Italian-Models.

Ordered to paint Images of such Saints as Michael & Gabriel for newly-constructed Churches & Monasteries, Los-Indios chose to depict San-Michel-Arcangelo with a Rifle, instead of a Flaming-Sword.

After all, the Spanish-Soldiers had conquered them with Guns, not with Swords

WANGECHI MUTU: A Fantastic Journey

[Closing 9 March 2014]

Born in Nairobi, Mutu has nonetheless, managed to become a Brooklyn-Based-Artist.

She is noted for her Large-Scale-Collages, one of which has been Specially-Commissioned for this Exhibition: The End of Eating-Everything.

Mutu is celebrated for her Afrofuturist-Landscapes, which often feature Cyborgian-Figures, "pieced together from Human, Animal, Machine, & Monster-Parts.”

Her Environments are said to be: "Lushly-Tropical & Post-Apocalyptic.”

At The Center for Jewish-History:


Saving Chassidic-Synagogues in Southeast-Poland

What a Surprise!

Down at the CHJ—to hear a Lecture on the Restoration of Shabby-Old-Synagogues in a rather Tattered-Section of Poland—I discovered that some of my Own-Dollars have been used in this Gargantuan-Effort.

If you have never been to Lublin, Lancut, Lesko, or Przemysl—all on the Chassidic-Circuit—you can have no idea of the Devastation left in the wake of the Nazi-Occupation.

Under Communist-Rule, things did not improve, nor did Most of the Congregants return to their Houses-of-Worship

As a Member of the World-Monuments-Fund, I found it fascinating to see the results of Restoration of the Historic-Zamosc-Synagogue.

But the WMF’s Jewish-Heritage-Program is at work Worldwide in preserving Jewish-Cultural-Sites—not only Synagogues, but also Shuls & Cemeteries

The David Berg Rare-Book-Room:

Not only does the CHJ have several Permanent-History-&-Culture-Installations—as well as a handsome Auditorium & Public-Lecture-Series—it is in process with an innovative way to Explore-Old-Torah-Scrolls & Rare-Books.

This Digital-Technology was recently on-view at the Jewish-Museum.

As we looked at Ancient-Scrolls or Centuries-Old Illuminated-Books—which necessarily can only be opened to One-Section or One-Page, when on-display—a Touch-Screen below the Treasures enabled us to Turn-the-Pages!

Not the Actual-Pages, but wonderfully-vivid Digital-Images!

A Word-of-Caution: When you visit either the CHJ or the Jewish-Museum, be prepared for Airport-Security-Measures!

Fortunately, I didn’t have to Take-Off-My-Shoes…

At the Morgan or the Whitney or MoMA, they never even ask to poke in your Backpack or Shoulder-Bag, but they are obviously worried at the CHJ.

Do they fear, perhaps, Vengeful-Palestinians—who want their Homes, Shops, & Farms in the West-Bank returned to them?

At Christie’s Auction-House:

How About That $387,750 On-Line-Bid for APPLE-1, Hand-Built by Steve Wozniak Himself!

You don’t have to go over to Christie’s at Rock-Center if you want to spend a Lot-of-Money.

You can do it now On-Line, as some Eager-Bidder did recently during Christie’s First-Bytes: Iconic Technology From the Twentieth-Century.

Officially-designated as Apple-1, this Tech-Wonder was one of the First-25-Apple-1s assembled, inscribed in Black-Ink—with No. 01-0025—by Steve Wozniak.

Bidders in this Record-Breaking-Sale were from 96-Countries, some 77% of them New-Bidders.

When an Auction-Sale is exclusively On-Line, you may be able to see the Objects-on-Offer only On-Line as well.

But Auction-Houses like Heritage—which sell only On-Line—often have Special-Previews in Manhattan, showing selected Items to be sold.

Even if all the Paintings, Jewels, Furniture, Carpets, Sculptures, or Whatever are actually able to be seen at Christie’s in Manhattan—always interesting, even if you have No-Intention of Bidding—On-Line-Bidders may well Win-the-Bid.

Last November, at the American-Paintings-Sale in New York, Edward Hopper’s nostalgic October on Cape Cod sold for $9.6-Million to an On-Line-Bidder: The On-Line-Record!

Asian-Art-Week at Christie’s Achieves $71.5-Million Total: Four-Days with Eight-Sales!

The Collection of Supratik Bose brought in almost $Three-Million, with a World-Record for a Tagore work titled Untitled (Siva Simantini).

Part II of the Lizzadro-Collection fetched $3,742,250, with a White-Jade Rectangular-Pendant winning $2321,750.

Japanese & Korean-Art totaled more than $5-Million, with nearly a Million-Dollars bid for an 18th-Century Blue-&-White Jar with Tigers depicted on it.

Over Six-Million-Dollars were earned for Archaic-Chinese-Bronzes. An Eleventh-Century Ritual-Wine-Vessel was sold for $2,363,750.

Indian & Southeast-Asian Arts brought in some $9-Million. Almost One-Million-Dollars were bid for a Bronze Parvati, circa 1100 AD.

The sale of Fine-Chinese-Paintings won $10,901,250, with Shen Zhou’s Mountains in Autumn being bought for almost $2-Million.

Chinese-Ceramics & other Artworks totaled more than $28-Million. An 18th-Century Bottle-Vase was sold for $1,683,750.

First Christie’s-Auction in Shanghai: First Picasso Ever Sold at Auction in Mainland-China…

Instead of Chinese-Bidders having to come to Manhattan—or Bid-Online—Christie’s is now taking the Artworks where the Money is.

Almost 1,000-Bidders & Spectators crowded the Sale, with Online & Telephone-Bidders from all over the world as well.

A Ruby-&-Diamond Necklace by Faidee was sold for $3,405,284.

Christie’s First-Open Auction of Post-War & Contemporary-Art Earns $13.6-Million.

How about $963,750 for Andreas Gursky’s Pyongyang II?

For that kind of Money, you could Charter a Plane & fly to North-Korea

Sandy Calder’s Starfish went for almost Half-a-Million-Dollars!

It was only Ink-on-Paper & titled Untitled, but someone bid $327,750 for a Keith Haring.

At The Czech-Center & Bohemian-National-Hall:


[Closing 31 October 2013]

If you have never heard of Czech-Artist Magdalena Jetelová, rush over to the Czech-Center!

In the small Second-Floor-Gallery, she has installed a long rod of Blue-Neon, which is reflected onto what looks like a Silver-Mylar-Panel attached to one wall.

When the Music of famed Czech-Composer Antonin Dvorak is played, the Panel seems to breath, in consonance with the Dvorakian-Melodies.

The Idea is that Jetelová is making the Czechian-Sounds suddenly Visible

Then there are some Black-&-White Photographs of Long-Bands of Bright-Laser-Light stretching across the Icelandic-Landscape.

This Project invokes the Geological-Divide between Europe & America: The 9,000-Miles-Long Mid-Atlantic-Ridge is only visible in Northern-Iceland. This Cleft is called Ingvellir, now revealed by Jetelová, working with Lasers.


[No Closing-Date Registered, but this Opened on Friday-the-Thirteenth!]

Since the Division of Czechoslovakia—with the Collapse-of-Communism—the Slovaks have had to look after themselves.

But the Justly-Proud Czechs not only celebrate their Long-History & Admirable-Culture, they also preserve their Natural-Wonders & Rural-Enchantments.

This interesting Exhibition is largely composed of handsome Photographs—mounted on Easels—which document various aspects of Czech Forests, Lakes, Rivers, & even Underground-Cave-Systems, as well as Wild Animals & Birds.

Of course, there are some Great-Castles & Bohemian-Churches looming high on the Rocky-Crags above the River-Elbe, so there is also a focus on Architecture-in-Nature.

In these times of Eco-Friendliness & Green-Economies, it is good to know that the Czechs are wisely guarding their Natural-Heritage.

At The Frick-Collection:

DAVID D’ANGERS: Making the Modern-Monument

[Closing 3 December 2013]

No, this is not Jacques Louis David, the famed French-Portraitist, but Pierre-Jean David D’Angers, who made marvelous Medallions of the Great & Famous of the Post-Revolutionary-Era.

But his Sketches, Terra-Cottas, & Works-in-Wax, as well as Bronze & Marble-Sculptures, made him widely-admired, even by Goethe, Paganini, & Balzac.

David’s 39-Monumental-Statues of such Immortals as Gutenberg, Racine, & Thomas Jefferson are today to be found, not in Major-Squares, but in Provincial-French-Cities & the famed Père-Lachaise-Cemetery in Paris.

Nonetheless, Père-Lachaise is always Worth-a-Visit. You can also see the Monument of Oscar Wilde & the Gravesites of Edie Piaf & Jim Morrison.

At The Galerie-St-Etienne:

KÄTHE KOLLWITZ: The Complete Print-Cycles

[Closing 28 December 2013]

Do Not Miss These Searing-Images.

Kollwitz was always uncomfortable with Color, so her Passions found a more remarkable Outlet in Black-&-White-Prints.

She was always opposed to Oppression, War, Poverty, & Injustice. She strongly supported Workers & Peasants. She understood the Pathos-of-Death

After you have studied the Images of the Peasant-War, the Revolt-of-the-Weavers, & the Death-Cycle, be sure to pick up a copy of Gallerist Jane Kallir’s excellent Essay on Kollwitz.

At The Jewish-Museum:

CHAGALL: Love, War, & Exile

[Closing 2 February 2014]

Following the Russian-Revolution, when many Princes, Dukes, & Counts fled to Paris, some distinctive Jewish-Artists, like Marc Chagall, also left the Motherland for the City-of-Light.

But, torn from their Native-Roots, they were effectively Aliens, lacking the Spiritual & Cultural Inspiration they had left behind.

Fortunately, Chagall carried with him the Folk-Memories of the Jewish-Shtetls. He also adapted himself to Parisian Themes & Colors, without losing any of his Unique-Shtetl-Imagery.

With the Looming-Threat of Nazism & its rampant Anti-Semitism, Chagall made another Move: to New York, where he was even more of an Alien.

The vibrantly-colorful Chagall-Show now at the Jewish-Museum documents both the External & Internal-Influences on this Iconic-Surrealist as he moved farther away from his Native-Ground.

One Gallery is dedicated to Images of the Crucified-Christ & His-Agonies, which Chagall saw as Metaphors for War, Persecution, & Jewish-Suffering.

Oddly, the Press-Release makes this Statement about these Paintings: "Jesus was often depicted as a Jew.”

What can they be thinking, up at the Jewish-Museum?

Of course Jesus was a Jew. He was what today might be called a Reform-Rabbi

The Romans crucified him because he was also a Trouble-Maker.

Jesus did not die a Christian. He died a Jew. A Persecuted-Jew.

Christianity was an Invention of Saul, inspired by his Accident on the Road-to-Damascus

Could it be an Accident that the Blue-Benches in the Crucifixion-Chamber are formed in a Cross?

If you love Chagall—in War, Peace, & Love—this is a Show not to be missed! Thirty-One Paintings & Twenty-Two Works-on-Paper


[Closing 2 February 2014]

In order to project their Video-Designs on what looks like a kind of Black-Pyramid, the Artists-Involved in the Mer Ka Ba Project have made their Gallery-Space almost Midnight-Dark.

This means that most of their Unusual-Female-Costumes—which seem to have been made by a 3-D-Digital-Printer—almost dissolve into the Surrounding-Darkness.

But if you go towards the back-wall—behind the Black-Construction—you will find that you can walk inside, engulfed by Mirrors that create an Astounding-World of Refracted-Light & Personal-Images.

ELAINE REICHEK: A Postcolonial Kinderhood Revisited

[Closing 20 October 2013]

Apparently, Elaine Reichek has had a difficult time Growing-Up-Jewish, in a largely Gentile-America.

Nonetheless, she has adapted the Old-New-England-Art of Needlepoint to document her Cultural-Agonies & Ethnic-Insecurities.

Fortunately, even being at Yale, but Not-One-of-Them, she was able to survive on Irony

At The Metropolitan-Museum-of-Art:


[Closing 5 January 2014]

These remarkable & moody Photo-Portraits & Set-Scenes have been said to "Mirror the Victorian-Soul.”

Although one of the Early-Photo-Portraitists, Julia Margaret Cameron did not use her Lenses nor her Darkroom with the aid of any Early-Photo-Manuals.

Cameron was an Original, with an almost Pre-Raphaelite-Vision.

She was lucky to have Alfred, Lord Tennyson as a Neighbor & Occasional-Sitter.

But she knew almost Everyone-of-Importance in the Victorian-Cosmos of Intellect-&-Culture.

In addition to Portraits of Poets-&-Intellectuals, she also staged Biblical-Scenes, as well as a haunting vision of King Lear & His Daughters

There are 38-Camerons in this small show & they are also small, so one needs to pause & look carefully.

Magnifying-Glasses will help bring out some Details.


[Closing 5 January 2014]

The Great-Cathedral in Hildesheim is undergoing Restorations, so these impressive Art-Works are free to travel abroad for the first time.

Saint Oswald lost his Head—he was Decapitated—but what remains is encased in an Oswald-Head-Reliquary, also on-view.

One might say of Bishop Bernward of Hildesheim that he also Lost-His-Head when commissioning so many priceless Religious-Ritual-Objects.

Hildesheim—in Nieder-Sachsen—was famed for its Bronzes. The Cathedral’s monumental Bronze-Baptismal-Font, an amazing feat of Bronze-Casting, has also crossed the Atlantic.

Even if you have never heard of HildesheimHeidelberg, perhaps?—it is nonetheless well worth a Visit. But only when the Cathedral is finally secure & sanitzed.

INTERWOVEN-GLOBE: The Worldwide Textile-Trade, 1500-1800

[Closing 5 January 2014]

It is amazing to see how Colored-Threads have been interwoven over the Centuries to create not only intricate Design-Patterns, but also Landscapes-&-Figures.

I think I found some Cookie-Monsters lurking in one large Weaving

These Magical-Fabrics come from the Heart-of-Europe, as well as from the Far-Off-Orient.

A Special-Dividend is provided with actual Dresses & Coats from various Periods, showing how Textiles-&-Laces were employed.

Look! Here is an Elegant-Parisian-Gown with a Watteau-Sac of Pleated-Fabric flowing down its back!

How many Belgian-Nuns went Blind, making the Lace for those Elaborate-Sleeves?

BALTHUS: Cats & Girls

[Closing 12 January 2014]

Even in Advanced-Age, Balthus was still painting Pussies

He loved including Cats in his Odd-Visions of Women-&-Girls. He was almost obsessed with The-Eternal-Feline.

His Last-Model was only in her Early-Teens, but she nonetheless Spread-Her-Legs for him.

Austria’s Egon Schiele once went to Prison for his similar Obsession, but he didn’t include Pussy-Cats in his Watercolors.

A Curatorial-Aside suggests that Balthus’ Cats were a Stand-In for the Artist-Himself: Ding-an-Sich?

Balthus’ real name was Balthasar Klossowski, but Family-Friend Rainer Maria Rilke encouraged the Young-Artist to shorten his appellation.

Rilke also arranged for Balthus’ juvenile Cat-Drawings of his Pet-Feline, Mitsou, to be published as Mitsou.

Few Beginning-Painters could hope for a Preface by Rilke, who wrote one for Balthus. But then, Rilke became the Lover of his Mother, Baladine

ARTISTS & AMATEURS: Etching in 18th-Century France

[Closing 5 January 2014]

There was a time when the finely-etched Prints—made from Painted-Originals by Famed-Artists—were admired but the Talented-Men who transformed Paintings into Prints were not so much esteemed.

In 18th-Century-France, however, the Painters themselves began to experiment with Soft-Ground-Etching.

When a Copper-Plate was coated with Varnish, it could be drawn upon with a Stylus—not quite the same as Engraving-a-Plate

This was almost as easy as Drawing-on-Paper. Fragonard & Hubert Robert both experimented with this Technique.

But it was so easy, so accessible that Talented-Amateurs also took up the Stylus, to try their Hand, as it were.

This form of Etching encouraged Spontaneity & Originality.

There are some 130-Prints on-view, but not all of them are Distinctive, Spontaneous, or Original.

There is a Plethora of Cherubs, for instance.


[Closing 2 February 2014]

Not true that if you’ve seen One-Buddha, you’ve seen them all…

There are some amazing Treasures in this almost Hidden-Show.

You will have to climb an Intricate-Stairway up into what looks like a Buddhist-Temple-Dome to reach the Artworks.

Well worth the Climb, however…

FEATHERED-WALLS: Hangings from Ancient-Peru

[Closing 2 March 2014]

Somewhere in the Met’s Vaults there must be a Feathered-Cloak from The Inca.

But these are only long Feathered-Panels: some Blue, some Yellow.


[Closing 12 January 2014]

What makes this exhibition especially appealing is that the varied forms of Calligraphy are often found on such Objects as Fans & Screens.

Scrolls—both Vertical & Horizontal—are the customary surfaces for magnificent Brush-Work.

There’s also a Taxidermified-Deer, encased in what looks like an Idealized-Stag-Form made of Crystal-Bubbles of varied sizes…

But No Brush-Work there!


[Closing 26 January 2014]

These Calligraphies, Designs, & Objects come from as Far-West as Spain—when Toledo was under Moorish-Rule—to the Far-East & India.

The Prophet forbade any Graven-Images of Man, Animals, Fish, & Fowl, but those Persians loved Miniatures

So here is the Shahnama, or Book-of-Kings, illuminated in the 16th-Century for Shah Tahmasp.

There are also some marvelous Calligraphies, as well as some dazzling Geometrics.

At The Morgan-Library & Museum:

TIEPOLO, GUARDI, & THEIR WORLD: Eighteenth-Century Venetian-Drawings

[Closing 5 January 2014]

The Ink-Drawings & Sepia-Brushwork of some of these handsome Tiepolos & Guardis—all from the Morgan’s own Priceless-Collections—may have faded a bit over time, but they are still subtle Testimonials to the Artistic-Excellence of the Resident-Talents of the Second-Golden-Age of that famed Maritime-Republic, Venice.

How about the Grand-Canal as seen by Canaletto?

The Morgan has some Two-Hundred of Tiepolo’s Drawings, with some Thirty on-view in this Exhibition.

The most engaging of these, of course, are those images of his Pierrot-Clowns, with their almost Conical-Hats.

Venice itself is the Star of this Show, but Hosts-of-Angels seem to encrust the Heavens in designs for Religious-Ceilings

At MoMA—The Museum of Modern-Art:

MAGRITTE: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938

[Closing 12 January 2014]

Is there an Iconic-Magritte missing from this Comprehensive-Retrospective?

Despite the Overarching-Sense of Déjà-Vu, where is that Man with the Apple in the Center of his Face?

Nonetheless, here is that Pipe that is Not-a-Pipe, as well as many other Surreal-Old-Favorites

Not to be Missed!

There is also that fascinating Image of a Huge-White-Egg inside a Bird-Cage.

But, when I ventured to make a Digital-Copy, a Guard warned me away: "No Photography! The Owner won’t permit it!”

Somewhere, there must be an Immense-Hen who owns the Copyright?

NEW PHOTOGRAPY 2013: Adam Broomberg & Aliver Chanarin, Brendan Fowler, Annette Kelm, Lisa Oppenheim, Anna Ostoya, Josephine Pryde, Eileen Quinlan

[Closing 6 January 2014]

Surely, someone at MoMA has to be Joking?

Are these Objects or Images about Photography or about Self-Promotion?

Supposedly, "they turn Pictures back into Questions, creatively-reassessing the meaning of Image-Making today.”

Bring back Weegee & Cartier-Bresson

Nonetheless, Anna Ostoya amuses with some of her tiny Photo-Rectangles, especially those mounted in Wall-Corners, so they seem almost to be looking at each other: A Hand with an Eye in the Center, for instance.

Recalls Buñuel & Chien-Andalou

These are titled Pseudomorphism of Art & Life Relations.

And Why Not?

DANTE FERRETTI: Design & Construction for Cinema

[Closing 9 February 2014]

Remember, in Hugo, when that Locomotive didn’t stop in the Paris-Station, but kept right-on-going through the Giant-Clock & the Façade?

How about that Fantastic-Vessel in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen?

Or those New-York-Society-Scenes in The Age of Innocence?

These are all the Design-Inventions of Dante Ferretti, who has not only won Three-Oscars but has also been able to work with such Film-Makers as Fellini, Scorsese, Pasolini, & Terry Gilliam & Tim Burton.

Ferretti was on-hand for the Opening of this Fantastic-Show, which features a Dazzling-Labyrinth of Twelve-Screens, surging with colorful-images from such Major-Film-Triumphs as The Aviator, Il Nome de la Rose, Cold Mountain, La città delle donne, Sweeney Todd, Casino, Gangs of New York, Arabian Nights, Hugo, E la nave va, & Hamlet.

The Press was treated to an Initial-Sample: the bizarre Todo Modo, a Jesuit-Sponsored-Religious-Retreat—in an Ancient-Roman-Catacombs, with a Modernist-Brutal-Concrete-Meditation-Hotel built over it—for some of Italy’s Leading-Politicians, CEOs, Bankers, Billionaires, & Fraudsters.

Marcello Mastroianni is the Bad-Priest who hides a Dark-Secret

This Haunting-Film—filled with Bloody-Murders & Stolen-Hosts—was made way back in 1976, by Elio Petri.

Too bad he didn’t wait for the Berlusconi-Regime

There will be Six-Months of Ferretti-Screenings at MoMA, featuring no less than Twenty-Two-Films for which he created Memorable-Designs.

But the Titus-Galleries—outside the MoMA-Film-Theatres—are filled with Ferretti-Drawings & Set-Plans.

Upstairs, on the Main-Floor, are Two Ferretti-Designed Lions-of-Saint-Mark, plus Two Ornate-Art-Deco-Chandeliers, saved from the Studio-Scrap-Heap, as well as that Paris-Rail-Station-Clock-face, with no Locomotive jutting-out from it…

At The New-York Botanical-Garden:

FOUR SEASONS: [Arcimboldo—Enlarged by Philip Haas]

[Closing 27 October 2013]

This Autumn, it is still not too late to see Autumn-writ-Large at the Botanical-Garden.

In fact, this Image-of-Autumn stands Fifteen-Feet-Tall, facing Winter, Spring, & Summer.

All of these Vegetable-Giants—composed of Oversized-Copies of Organic-Materials native to each Season—are inspired by the Surreal Renaissance-Portraits of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who imagined Faces with Noses of Squash & Hair of Wood-Brambles.

The Paintings themselves are astonishing, but it’s overwhelming to see these Seasonal-Faces in Three-Dimensions, in Full-Vegetable-Colors.

Words cannot, need not, do Justice to Haas’ Remarkable-Sculpture-Assemblages.

How about Four-Digital-Images of the Four-Seasons?

Even better: take Metro-North up to the Botanical-Garden before the Seasons move-on to another Venue

WILD MEDICINE: Healing-Plants Around the World, Featuring The Italian-Renaissance-Garden

[Closing 8 September 2013, But The Italian-Renaissance-Garden Is a Permanent-Installation.]

Hey! Don’t eat that Berry!

Absolutely Do Not Munch That Orange-Colored-Leaf!

In any case, you are usually not supposed to Feast-Upon—let alone Touch—any of the Growing-Plants on-show in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

Not all Medicinal-Plants are to be Taken-by-Mouth, especially not Twice-Daily.

Some Species—like Belladonna or Nightshade or Foxglove—have Healing-Properties, but not when ingested directly. Bayer or Pfizer have to extract the Key-Chemicals.

Vegetative-Poisons can Kill-You, but some may also Save-Your-Life

The Botanical-Garden’s Wild-Medicine-Show offered more than 500-Species of Medicinal-Plants—most grown in its own Greenhouses—making it the Largest-Exhibition of such Flora ever mounted.

If you cannot resist taking a Taste-of-Mint or sniffing a Crunched-Leaf, this Show provided Interactive-Stations such as The-Healer’s-House.

Yes, that is a Cannabis-Plant, but no Smokes are on-offer…

Over there are some Blood-Red Opium-Poppies!

Also: No-Smoking!

Did you know that the lovely Camellia can fight Cancer? Too bad that Camille had TB, instead of Cancer!

Desdemona sang the pathetic Willow-Song, but how could she have known that one day Aspirin could be made from Willow-Bark?

Unfortunately, Othello was a Major-Headache that could not be cured…

If you take Metro-North up to the Botanical-Gardens, you will now be too late for this fascinating Exhibition.

But the Italian-Renaissance-Garden is always on-view.

This entrancing Living-Catalogue of Medicinal-Plants was originally created by Scholar/Scientists at the University-of-Padua long, long ago.

Do not limit your Explorations to the Conservatory. Take the Tram for a Tour around the Grounds!

At The New-York Historical-Society:

BEAUTY’S LEGACY: Gilded-Age Portraits in America

[Closing 9 March 2014]

In the Wake of the Civil-War, the New-Found-Prosperity resulting from Industrial-Expansion—by the likes of Carnegie & Frick, as well as the Financial-Shenanigans by such Titans as JP Morgan & Mellon—urged these Founders-of-Fortunes to engage Leading-Artists to Memorialize Them & Their-Boundless-Wealth.

From its own almost Boundless-Archival-Vaults, the NYHS has mounted some of the Most-Memorable of these Gilded-Age-Portraits. It has even essayed to present them in Period-Settings.

Among the Notables are Emma Thursby, the Lewisohns, Sam Untermyer, Georgina Schuyler, James Hazen Hyde, & the Rev. Henry Codman Potter.

Among the Portrait-Artists of Note: Carolus-Duran, Eastman Johnson, John Singer Sargent, & Wm. Bougeureau.

Around the Town with the Public-Art-Fund:

Down at City-Hall-Park, you could see Lightness of Being, which featured Seminal-Works by Eleven-International-Artists, including Daniel Buren, Olaf Bruening, Franz West—who was already Dead, & Ugo Rondinone, who had those Stone-Giants on-view in Rock-Center all summer.

That Parade of Immense-Images was titled Human-Nature. Why not…

At Fifth-Ave & 59th, on the Doris-Freedman-Plaza, Thomas Schütte’s United Enemies has now been replaced with what looks like a Concrete-Block-House at Guantanamo

At The Whitney-Museum of American-Art:

T. J. WILCOX: In the Air

[Closing 9 February 2014]

TJ is under the impression that his Panorama—a so-called Birds-Eye-View of Manhattan, Videoed through the Changes-of-the-Day, from his Union-Square-Studio—harks back to the Panoramic-Projections created in the Dawn-of-Film-History.

Actually, it most resembles those Fabulous-Nineteenth-Century-Panoramas, which you entered into by Stairs leading up to the Painted-in-the-Round-View of such Wonders as Imperial-Rome or even The-Battle-of-Bull-Run, all lit by Natural-Light, coming from above. Or Gas-Light, for Evening-Visitors

But, if you are an American-Artist who has No-Real-Background in the Past, how would you know about Historical-Panormas?

Nonetheless: "His Historical-Narratives collage Historical-Fact, with Fiction, Myth, & Fantasy.”

So you also get some Film-Footage of Andy Warhol & Co at the Factory inflating what looks like a Huge-Silver-Helium-Condom to greet the Papal-Procession as it passed-by on into History.

Also: Footage of the Graf-Zeppelin & the Empire-State-Building-Mooring-Mast

In an Adjacent-Room, there’s another Early-Film-Technology on-view: An Actual-Film-Projector is projecting a Film-Loop! Not Digital at all!

This Show is padded-out by some Art-Choices that TJ has made from the Permanent-Collection, including a Box by Joseph Cornell, a Photo by Weegee, & a Painting by Florine Stettheimer!


[Closing 5 January 2014]

That Huge-Metal-Block that spells-out LOVE over on the Avenue-of-the-Americas is also on-view—in various Sizes-&-Forms—at the Whitney.

You will also be assailed by Commands to EAT & DIE, encircled by a Typical-Robert-Indiana-Circle.

The Whitney’s Fourth-Floor-Gallery is crammed with colorful Indiana-Circles, many of them looking like Targets, but celebrating American-Cities & Qualities.

America has long loomed large in Indiana’s Output, but this Overwhelming-ShowIndiana’s First-Major-American-Retrospective—also includes some of his Herms, which are, though Classic in Name, are actually Vertical-Found-Object-Sculptures, including a great many Rusted-Iron-Wheels

Although one of the Ikons of Pop-Art, Indiana has no Stuffed-Roosters on-view: Those belong to Bob Rauschenberg

Born in 1928—also the Birth-Year of your Arts-Reporter, who is not having a Retrospective—his Adoptive-Family, the Clarks, named him Robert Clark.

Clark is clearly not the Kind-of-Name that will resonate with Curators-&-Critics.

So Robert made-a-change, adopting the Name of his Native-State.

Look, it could have been Worse: How about Robert Indianapolis?


[Closing 1 December 2013]

These Works—some of which either Need-Repair, or are clearly Works-in-Progress, not yet ready to be hung on walls—are Recent-Acquisitions, cobbled-together by what the Whitney is pleased to call Young-&-Emerging-Artists.

They "encourage us to sift through Layers-of-Visual-Information…”

This Formulation encourages me to wonder whether there might be—in some Parallel-Universe—a Whitney-Museum of Un-American-Art?

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