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This past month the Bushwick Starr hosted a special series with the Target Margin Theater (TMT)inspired by the literary prowess of Gertrude Stein. Curated by TMT Artistic Producer John Del Gaudio, over 75 artists contributed to seven original pieces and three special events. In discussing why Gertrude Stein was chosen to be the matron saint of this year’s Lab series, Del Gaudio stated, “There is much room for play, but at the end of the day you are left with this language, this poetic and, yes, sometimes repetitive language, and these rigorous structures that make her work exciting for some of us and frustrating for others. It challenges and provides different points of access. It pushes boundaries and can be polarizing.”
Getrude Stein (1874-1946) was a leading poet, playwright and patron of the arts during the Avant-Garde era. Although born in the U.S., Stein moved to Paris in 1903 where she lived for the remainder of her life. As a patron of Modern Art, Stein ran in an elite circle that included the creme de la creme of Modern Art including Pablo Picasso and Matisse.
Her “stream of consciousness” literary style is both rhythmic and repetitive, inspired by the life she lived in Paris. Stein happened to live during two tumultuous moments in history, witnessing first hand WWI and WWII at ground zero. She also lived on the fringe of society as an openly gay woman during a time homosexuality was very much a taboo. Her idiosyncrasies in life played out in her novels, plays, stories and poems.
The art exhibition I curated for the SciArt Center, Un-Natural Nature, is featured in the magazine Issues in Science and Technology. The feature starts on page 80 of the PDF below. Issues is normally a hard copy magazine, you may be able to order them through their website as well.
Visit the virtual exhibition Un-Natural Nature on the SciArt Center website.
View the PDF of Issues Winter 2015_2.
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Mourning practices during the 19th century were more than a private grievance, they were a public ritual upholding status through fashionable style. Curated by the Costume Institute, Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire examines the aesthetic convergence of customary black mourning attire with the stylish trends of the day.
The burden of mourning fell mostly on women as men were expected to upkeep economic responsibilities. As a result the majority of the 30 looks on view are examples of upper to middle class women’s wear. Exhibited chronologically on a central stage in the Anna Wintour Costume Center, bright spotlights highlight the multiple layers of textured fabrics used to skillfully craft a dutiful yet fashionable ensemble. Projected onto the surrounding walls are anecdotes from diary entries, fashion magazines, and other historical documents contextualizing the ensembles with personal narratives.
One of my favorite selfies I took at the Jeff Koons show at the Whitney
Read this review on Metro New York
Download the PDF of this Metro review here
Appropriation artist Richard Prince is back at his controversial antics again with a series of “New Paintings.” Well, they’re “paintings” in that they’re ink-jet prints, and they’re “new” in that these are Instagram photos taken by other people. If the sheer absurdity of seeing the best selfies of everyone’s favorite social-media app in an art gallery is not enough, here are three other reason you cannot miss “New Paintings.”
For the rousing debate of Contemporary Art
These paintings are not strictly a product of Prince’s artistic genius. The “New Paintings” are not even painted by the artist himself, but are inkjet prints created from Instagram screenshots. Is this art or is this copyright infringement? Prince is not new to legal controversy — he was sued in 2013 by photographer Patrick Cariou, who claimed Prince unrightfully appropriated his art. Prince came out of court victorious, which only added to his work’s caustic mystique.
“Fox and Internevean Vole,” digital collage, 21 x 21 inches, 2013
See this review published in SciArt in America
My senses always appealed to collage since I first studied Dada Art. Dada collage by Hannah Hoch and John Heartfield submersed a political foundation underneath its satirical facade. Davies continues the agency of Collage in his digital work which comments on 21st century urban sprawl. As Davies states, “I use collage to explore the idea of evolutionary dislocation that occurs when a species is abruptly ousted from its evolutionary context.” His artwork is very attune to what Un-Natural Nature is meant to explore: how our ever-changing world affects the living organisms that call it home. Combining a technological medium with organic subject matter, Davies imprints an image of a 21st century ecosystem to show how nature continually adapts to the man-made.
Read on for an interview with the artist that expounds on his scientific inspirations, what he thinks is so “Un-Natural” about nature today, and what “SciArt” means in regards to his work.
“Flora,” archival pigment print, 44 x 44 inches, 2014
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This article is part of the exhibition “Un-Natural Nature” curated by Danielle Kalamaras
Photographer Susi Brister recreates fantastical worlds usually kept secret in the realms of dreams. Her landscapes are filled with luscious fauna and through dramatic lighting and color enhancement, the everyday world becomes a sublime yet stoic scene. Taking center stage of these scenic worlds are aberrant figures draped with decorative fabrics and fully covered to the viewer as to not give a hint to the living organism beneath the dress. She dresses models in patterned textiles and fabrics to echo the natural world around them. As these playful figures mimic the world they are planted into, the photograph becomes a surreal montage that blurs the the line between the reality of the landscape and the fantasy of the rogue figure.
Read on for an artist statement by written by Susi Brister.
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The Chelsea Art Season is in full swing as unconventional materials take center stage. From repurposed junk to iPad drawings, ditch the usual painting show for 3 art exhibitions a bit more out of the ordinary.
‘David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring’
Veteran artist David Hockney depicts the gradual changes between seasons in his home county of East Yorkshire. His personal affiliation to the landscapes — and his use of technology — uplift a trying art show about nature into an engaging experience. “The Arrival of Spring” at Pace Gallery is a tech-driven exhibition of iPad drawings and video installations. Monumental prints drawn from his iPad of quiet U.K. landscapes exemplify the artist’s signature gestural style and soft palette. The culmination of this exhibition is Hockney’s 9-frame video installation exhibited across a multi-screen 3×3 grid. Filmed with nine cameras attached to a moving SUV, frames comes together to create a visual journey of a changing landscape.
If you go:
Through Nov. 1
Pace Gallery, 508 W. 25th St.
Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Free to the public
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See this review published on Metro New York
The artwork of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901), who seized the exuberant fin de siecle atmosphere of the Belle Epoque Paris, is currently on view in “The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters” at The Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition — featuring over 100 examples of Toulouse-Lautrec’s avant-garde works — is drawn almost exclusively from MoMA’s permanent collection of posters, lithographs, printed ephemera and illustrated books.
Toulouse-Lautrec documents the cult of the celebrity and the rise of popular entertainment in his prints, posters and lithographs for magazines and journals. The exhibition is organized into five subjects: Parisian nightlife, celebrities, artists of the avant-garde, prostitutes and the daily pleasures of the upper class. The famous Moulin Rouge takes center stage in the section devoted to the rise of nightlife culture in France. Cafe concerts and dance halls come alive in Toulouse-Lautrec’s distinct style characterized by vibrant color and swift brushstrokes. His energetic approach arrests the star power of the famous actresses, singers, dancers and performers filling these venues — including dancer Loie Fuller and stage actress Jane Avril.
German artist Christoph Schlingensief is a reactionary performance/video/installation artist with mature content/explicit images/and overall radical artwork. His current retrospective at MoMA PS1 which runs through September 7th is a valiant attempt to capture an artist’s ouevre not mean to be caught. Born in 1960 he worked until his death in 2010 on experimental and feature film, theater, opera, performance, installation, literature, TV shows, radio plays. He directed plays by William Shakespeare and operas by Richard Wagner, and was profoundly influenced by Joseph Beuys, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and the Viennese Actionists.
His career is speckled with documentary vocational voyages around the world preaching the gospel of human rights and political indecency to the humanism of today. He continually engaged the audience in his art—in “The Stairlift to Heaven” (2007) (above) viewers are invited to ride a chairlift to a small video projection on view, all while becoming the star on stage as Schlingensief’s film is also projected onto the ascending trail. His career unearths the politics of the post-war German landscape—a mixture of an unknown future full of liberal unrest and its historical lineage that perpetually creeps its weary head into the present age.
Read more about his art, and his retrospective, on MoMA PS1.org