Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2001 - We Remember

Remembering and Honoring artist Michael Rolando Richards

We remember our dear friend and colleague artist Michael Richards, who perished in his studio in one of the World Trade Center towers.  Please read about his life and work on About.com: Art History.

He was best know for his Tuskegee Airmen Series.  Here is one:

The Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian, 1999

Please view the permanent installation of Are You Down? on the website for Franconia State Park. 

We still miss you, Michael.

Artist Todd Stone Remembers:

Todd Stone, 4 Raising, 2012

How can we adequate commemorate in art over 3,000 people who perished on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center towers, Shanksville, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon, plus those who died or live with chronic ailments because they worked at Ground Zero?   Todd Stone answered this question 11 years ago as he witnessed the attacks on the WTC towers from his studio in Lower Manhattan.  He recorded what he saw and he continues to record the rebirth of the site.   Recently he sent me a new image, 4 Raising, which interprets the shiny resilient surface and spirit of this new building at 150 Greenwich Street. 

Upon completion, the buildings at the former WTC should look like this:
A digital illustration of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 WTC

To learn more about Todd Stone's September 11th series Witness and Downtown Rising, please visit his website: www.toddstone.com and read my review of his 2011 exhibition at 7 World Trade Center, which included poetry readings and other commemorative events.  A film of the events on August 27, 2011 entitled Witness Downtown Rising Renga premiered last March.  The next venue will be Berlin's ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival, October 18-21, 2012. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Last Call- French Drawings at NYU's Grey Art Gallery through July 14th

"Storied Past: Four Centuries of French Drawings from the Blanton Museum of Art" and "French Art from NYU's Collection," Grey Art Gallery, New York University, 100 Washington Square East, April 17 through July 14, 2012.

Alexandre-Louis Leloir
Moroccan Girl Playing a Stringed Instrument, 1875
Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on ivory wove paper
9 5/8 x 13 9/16 in.
Gift of the Wunsch Foundation, Inc., 1983

Celebrate Bastille Day 2012 (known in France as Le Quatorze Juillet - July 14th) with a splendid array of French drawings executed from the 16th through 20th centuries. Comprised of 50 drawings from the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas as Austin and about two dozen more from New York University's permanent collection, these two separate shows feature narratives of heroes, femme fatales, and contemporary street life from the years before and after the French Revolution.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers and Sons: Max Ferguson's "Paintings of My Father," 1982-2011*

Max Ferguson: Paintings of My Father, Hebrew Union College, Brookdale Center, One West Fourth Street, New York, April 16 through June 29, 2012

My Father on Fifth Avenue, 2011
oil on panel, 9 1/2 x 12 inches
Collection of the artist

Some critics see Edward Hopper's urban loneliness, some critics see Johann Vermeer's geometry.  I see none of that, really.  Max Ferguson's Post-Modernist Realism is warmer than Hopper's and more complex than Vermeer's.  That complexity doesn't stop with his formal considerations.  Ferguson takes on the complexity of a  relationship.  In this case, the Father and Son Relationship, which has so many dimensions.  From hero worship to disillusionment, from constant camaraderie to unspoken boundaries, fathers and sons slog through different stages of their development together and, hopefully, remain friends.

In Max Ferguson's meticulous paintings of his father Richard Jacob Ferguson sometimes there is truth and sometimes there is fiction.  I asked the artist a few questions so that I might understand his choices.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Last Call: Francesca Woodman at the Guggenheim, closing June 13

Francesca Woodman, Guggenheim Museum
March 16-June 13, 2012

Francesca Woodman, Polka Dots, Providence, Rhode Island, 1976
Francesca Woodman, Polka Dots
Providence, Rhode Island, 1976. 
Gelatin silver print, 13.3 x 13.3 cm. 
© George and Betty Woodman,
 courtesy George and Betty Woodman

One of this season's most important exhibitions is about to close: the first survey of Francesca Woodman photographs in New York since the first traveling retrospective in 1986-88, presented at Hunter College in NY, Wellesley in Massachusetts, University of California at Irvine and Krannet Art Museum in Champaign, Illinois.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review of Chasing Aphrodite: The Getty Mess Sparks a Summer Sizzler

(originally published in Venice Magazine, July-August 2011, and posted on Chasing Aphrodite Facebook page)

Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino, Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 2011)

How would Gustave Flaubert update his Madame Bovary in 2011?  Perhaps, he would recast her as an ambitious art history student, eager to please and aching to get away from a boring working-class life just outside of Boston (Newburyport, to be precise).  Let’s say this updated Emma Bovary completes her degree at NYU and continues on to Harvard for a Ph.D. program but drops out when she meets an older, well-off cardiologist, looking for a trophy wife.

Now this contemporary Emma Bovary first seeks upward mobility through her marriage, just like her nineteenth-century counterpart, and spends far in excess of what her husband’s prenup lifestyle considered reasonable  – just like Flaubert’s Emma who hitched her wagon to a lowly country physician.  Dissatisfied and frustrated, our contemporary Madame Bovary takes $50,000 out of the join bank account to put a down-payment on her own condominium.  No suicide for this desperate housewife.  She got herself a Honda CVCC (surprisingly, not a Porsche) and rode out of the marriage into a heterosexually gay-divorcĂ©e sunlight.

Then what?