“I visited a Ferrero chocolate factory, and it was incredible: millions of pieces of chocolate just churning out,” Thomas Bayrle once recounted. “It was absurd and somehow funny, but also terrifying and sublime in its vastness.” This sense of awe is conveyed in many of Bayrle’s works, in which he interlaces and repeats a single image to create a complex larger whole – an approach informed by his early training in weaving. Continue reading Eye On Design: Cups Wallpaper By Thomas Bayrle→
American People, Faith Ringgold’s first exhibition outside Harlem, opened at Spectrum Gallery on 57th Street in December 1967. The exhibition featured her three murals, including U.S. Postage Stamp Commemorating The Advent of Black Power (1967). Despite Ringgold’s determination to exhibit her paintings throughout the mid-1960s, she initially met with little success. The white-owned commercial galleries on 57th Street were dismissive, and Spiral, identified affectionately as the “old men of Black art“ by the painter Vivian Brown, declined to admit her into the group. But following public displays of her work in Harlem in 1966 — including in a traveling caravan exhibition organized by Amiri Baraka “(then LeRoi Jones) and Betty Blayton-Taylor for the Black Arts Repertory Theater — she was invited to join the cooperative Spectrum Gallery, where New York school abstraction was still prominent and every artist on the roster except Ringgold was white.
In the mid-1960s, electric music pioneer Robert Moog created modular synthesizers using transistor technologies. His early synths featured modules that generate and modify the pitch, timbre, and volume of sounds when connected, or “patched” by cables. This allowed for unprecedented control of sonic parameters but made it difficult to replicate the same sound twice. Moog’s inventions came to the attention of the rock world when they were demonstrated at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. The following year, Wendy Carlos’s album Switched-On Bach became the first chart-topping hit utilizing a Moog synthesizer. The instrument has its performance debut at a 1969 concert in the Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, where Moog introduced a quartet of synthesizers built specifically for live events. Continue reading Eye On Design: Keith Emerson’s Moog Synthesizer→
Robert Indiana (1928 – 2018) was closely associated with the hard-edged painting and Pop Art movements. Using the formal vocabulary of advertisements, his work often explores the power of words and numbers. In Purim: The Four Facets of Esther II (1967), he represents Stars of David and elements of the Biblical story of Esther, who was Queen of Persia in the fifth century BCE. Esther saved her fellow Jews from destruction, the feat to which Indiana refers in the fourth panel.
The Jewish Museum (where this photo was taken) commissioned this print in an edition of ninety for its annual Purim fundraising ball in 1967.
David Hockney’s most famous paintings of Los Angeles, such as A Bigger Splash (1967), depict a commonplace aspect of the city: private swimming pools. This is the final and the largest of three versions on the same theme, all based on an image that the artist found in a book about home pools. Hockney took care to keep the backdrop as flat — almost abstract — as possible, using rollers to apply the acrylic of the azure sky. The splash, in contrast, meticulously rendered with small brushes, took the artist nearly two weeks to finish. “I loved the idea of painting this thing which lasts for two seconds,” he said. “The painting took much longer to make than the splash existed for.” The result is one of the most iconic depictions of a certain upscale California lifestyle; aspirational, and perhaps more Hollywood make-believe than real.
Photographed as Part of the David Hockney Career Retrospective, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC Through February 25th, 2018.