Category Archives: Arts and Culture

Modern Art Monday Presents: Spring in Central Park By William Zorach

spring in central park photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Best known for his later work as a sculptor, William Zorach spent two years studying painting in Paris, returning to New York in 1912. He wrote that his depictions of NYC’s most famous park in Spring in Central Park (1914) were “painted at home from the imagination . . . in all wild colors, peopled with exotic nudes,“ but the bold hues in undulating outlines recall the work of the Fauves, notably Henri Matisse and Andre Derain, whose canvases he had seen in Paris. With his wife, Marguerite, an avant-garde painter herself, Zorach associated with many of America’s earliest Modernists in New York in the late 1910s, including Max Weber, Marsden Hartley, and John Maren. In 1913 both Zorachs exhibited at the prestigious international exhibition of modern art,  known as the Armory Show.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Cockle Shell Artwork By Tony Feher

pink shells by tony feher photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

These Pink-Painted Cockle Shells, carefully placed and adhered to a pink board is a work by artist Tony Feher (19562016). I first saw the piece from the side as I entered the gallery from another room and was intrigued by how much the shells looked like the suckers of a octopus (see detail photo, below)!  It may look like a ‘kid could do this,’ but consider the thought behind it in the scope of the artist’s oeuvre. The work is actually part of a series entitled It Didn’t Turn Out The Way I Expected from 2016.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Tomma Abts, Kobo

tomma abts kobo photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Tomma Abts (German, b 1967) produces her paintings following a strict, self-imposed procedure. For almost twenty years, she has used vertical canvases measuring precisely 48 by 38 centimeters (19 by 15 inches) for her paintings. Rather than begin with a preconceived structure in mind, she allows her abstract compositions to take shape as she works, sometimes over the course of several years. She paints with the support cradled in her arm, not on an easel.  As seen here, the surfaces of Abts’ canvases are composed of many layers of paint, with the ghosts of past compositions just barely visible underneath subsequent coats of acrylic and oil.  This work’s title, Kobo (1999) is pulled, like all of her titles, from an encyclopedia of German surnames.

Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. 

Sesame Street Characters on Box Truck

sesame street box truck photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

Anyone familiar with Sesame Street will recognize the likenesses of both Cookie Monster and The Count on the side of this well-tagged box truck, which I snapped a few photos of as it was stopped on Lafayette Street. The truck is the work of the COD Cru, a Bronx-based group of graffiti artists that’s been active since 1983! TC5 and KMS are two of the artists who left their tags on the truck. I wish I had been able to get a glimpse of the other side!

sesame street box truck photo by gail worley

Modern Art Monday Presents: Rosie Lee Tompkins, Three Sixes

rosie lee tompkins three sixes photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

To make this quilt, Rosie Lee Tompkins (19362006) drew on many techniques developed by Black women quilters in the American South who blended West African textile traditions, European patterning, and individual improvisation in their art.

Continue reading Modern Art Monday Presents: Rosie Lee Tompkins, Three Sixes

Modern Art Monday Presents: Ed Ruscha, The Old Tool & Die Building

old too and dye building photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

The title of Ed Ruscha’s The Old Tool & Die Building (2004) suggests that the industrial space pictured here — decorated with signage in a mix of altered, nonsensical Korean and archaic Mandarin characters, an unidentifiable corporate symbol, and graffiti — was once a place where machinists manufactured parts.

The Old Tool & Die Building is part of the Course of Empire series — a group of five paintings that revisit the subjects of Ruscha’s 1992 series Blue Collar. In those back and white canvases, the artist had pictured the industrial buildings once common to the American urban landscape. The newer paintings, rendered in color, capture old sites repurposed, abandoned, enlarged, or made obsolete

Ed Ruscha named the series after a group of paintings by the Hudson River School artist Thomas Cole (1801 – 1848). Cole’s The Course of Empire (183336) traces the transformation of an imagined civilization from an Edenic state close to nature, through the rise of culture, to a dominating Empire, and then on to decline and ruin. Although Ruscha’s coolly removed depictions do not editorialize on their subjects, like Cole’s works they chronicle the unrelenting developments and the inevitable cycles of human civilizations.

Photographed in The Whitney Museum in NYC.

 

Pink Thing of The Day: Swarovski Crystal Bulldog By David Flores

tomodachi david flores photo by keven gayton
Photo By Keven Gayton

Tomodachi (2020) is the Japanese word for ‘friend.’ This tiny Pink Bulldog‘s friendly appearance is enhanced with a coat of crystals made by Swarovski, an Austrian company that produces crystal glass used in jewelry and optical instruments. Combined with artist David Flores‘ organic contours and intersecting areas of pink and red, the surface of the canine’s body resembles a form of flamboyant camouflage.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Judson Studios: Stained Glass from Gothic to Street Style on View Through September 12th, 2021 at Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, CA. Find out more about the Exhibit at This Link.