Tag Archive | 2019

New U.S. Postage Stamps Honor American Minimalist Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly 2019 Postage Stamps
Images Courtesy of USPS

America artist Ellsworth Kelly (19232015), whose work I have often covered here on ‘The Gig, forged a distinctive style of abstraction over his seven decades as an artist. On May 31st, 2019 Kelly was commemorated with 10 U.S. Postal Service stamps highlighting his work.  Amazing!

The Ellsworth Kelly Forever stamps were dedicated at the Ellsworth Kelly Studio in Spencertown, NY. News about the stamps is being shared on social media using the hashtags #EllsworthKelly and #EllsworthKellyStamps.

Ellsworth Kelly honed his artistic voice as a soldier during World War II when he created camouflage patterns and designed posters for the U.S. government,” said USPS Marketing Vice President Steve Monteith, who served as the dedicating official. “Today we celebrate the American master of abstract painting with these dynamic stamps that truly capture the creative talent of Kelly that will be seen by millions as Forever stamps on cards and letters.”

Characterized by precise shapes rendered in bold, flat colors, Ellsworth Kelly’s art and minimalist / color field aesthetic encompasses painting, sculpture and works on paper, drawing on careful observations of light and shadow, negative space, and line and form. In painting shapes — like a tennis court, a smokestack on a tugboat, or the roof of a barn — as flat planes of color, Kelly removed their dimensionality and turned reality into abstraction. He was also one of the first artists to create shaped canvases and to integrate art with modern architecture, taking great care in the decisions he made about the size of a painting, its boundaries, and its placement in relation to walls and floors.

Even late in his career, Kelly continued to refine his vision, constantly returning to his notebooks and earlier works to further develop ideas and explore new directions. Fittingly, his last work, an ambitious free-standing building titled Austin, seamlessly melds color, sculpture and architecture into a single experience.

Ellsworth Kelly received the National Medal of Arts in 2013. Today his work is in the permanent collections of major museums in the U.S. and around the world.

Ellsworth Kelly 2019 Postage Stamps

The 20 stamps on the pane feature 10 of Kelly’s artworks, each represented twice in the following order: top row, L to R: Yellow White (1961), Colors for a Large Wall (1951), Blue Red Rocker (1963), Spectrum I (1953), South Ferry (1956); and second row, L to R: Blue Green (1962), Orange Red Relief for Delphine Seyrig (1990), Meschers (1951), Red Blue (1964), and Gaza (1956). The selvage features a detail from Blue Yellow Red III (1971), as well as Kelly’s name and the years of his birth and death.

Ellsworth Kelly’s name appears at the bottom center of each stamp in bold black type. “USA” and “Forever” are printed alongside each artwork. Derry Noyes served as art director and designer for this stamp sheet. The Ellsworth Kelly stamps are being issued as Forever stamps, and will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price. The Ellsworth Kelly Forever Stamps can be purchased at at Post Office locations nationwide, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and  from the USPS official website/ online store at This Link.

Lastly, contrary to what our Idiot president would have you believe, it is worth noting that The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Advertisements

Frieze 2019: A Photo Recap of The Fair’s Best Art!

Yayoi Kusama Narcissus Garden
Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden Sculpture/Installation Paired With Chris Ofili’s Painting To Take and To Give (All Photo By Gail)

On a very rainy Sunday in NYC, the ideal indoor activity turned out  be a ferry ride over to Randall’s Island for the Frieze Art Fair! Because what’s a little mud on your shoes compared to the joy of browsing for hours through thousands of prohibitively expensive artworks?

Yayoi Kusama Narcissus Garden
It Isn’t an Art Fair Without Yayoi Kusama!

Looking back through the digital archives, it appears that my previously most recent Frieze recap dates all the way back to 2015 — wow — for reasons that take too long to talk about. One thing that is abundantly clear though is that my skills as a photographer have improved greatly in the last four years! Let’s take look around this year’s Frieze Art Fair and check out a selection of my favorite art!

Carlotta

Carlotta (2017) is monumental 3D-effect stiles steel sculpture by Juame Pensa, found at Richard Grey Gallery. That’s an Alex Katz abstract painting at the left.

Colored Mirrored Circles

It didn’t take me long get distract by shiny things, because I neglected to note the artist of this installation of Colored Spherical Shaped Mirrors, which is just fantastic.

Metal Weed

It might look like a weed has sprouted up though a crack in the wall at the booth for the Marlborough Gallery, but that weed is actually a metal sculpture. Clever!

Quartz Eroded Newspaper Machine

Quartz Eroded Newspaper Machine (2019) by Daniel Arsham.

Quartz Eroded Newspaper Machine

Here’s the view of another side: Coffee Cup included! Spotted at Perrotin Gallery.

You Drive Me Crazy.

Two colorful, feathered bears wrestle playfully in this sculpture by Paola Pivi entitled You Drive Me Crazy, also at Perrotin Gallery.

Numbers

You know how it is when you have to wait so long for all of the people to clear out of the shot that your forget to make note of what you were photographing? This is one of those times.

Untitled After John Singleton Copley
Untitled (After John Singleton Copley) By Ewa Juszkiewicz

Mermaid Sculptures By Olivia Erlanger

Mermaid Sculptures by Olivia Erlanger at And Now Gallery sell for $8,000 each!

Back and Forth May Marilyn Lerner
Back and Forth (2016) By Marilyn Lerner at Kate Werble Gallery

Alyson Shotz at Derek Eller Gallery

Alyson Shotz created this iridescent suspended soft sculpture made from interlinked, dichroic-dyed aluminum discs, found at Derek Eller Gallery. Check out two detail views of this work, below.

Alyson Shotz at Derek Eller Gallery

Surface of Discs. Exterior.

Alyson Shotz at Derek Eller Gallery

Surface of Discs, Interior.

Gabriele Beveridge True Bone

Here’s a unique blown-glass work by Gabriele Beveridge called True Bone. It’s so lovely I am compelled to offer a side view from which you can see how the glass ‘weeps’ over the chromed Steele frame, or bone.

Gabriele Beveridge True Bone

Men Who Cannot Cry

Men Who Cannot Cry (2018) Neon Sculpture by Alfredo Jaar.

Mark Thomas Gibson The Snowman

Mark Thomas Gibson, The Snowman (2018) at Fredericks and Freiser.

Seung-Taek Lee
Stainless Steel and Urethane Vinyl Sculptures and Drawings by Seung-Taek Lee at Gallery Hyundai.

Alex Da Corte Orb Weaver Weft
Alex Da Corte, Orb Weaver Weft (2019) at Karma Gallery.

Indigo Illusions
Indigo Illusions (1991) By Betye Saar at Roberts Projects.

Empowered Women
Empowered Women (2019) By Andrea Bowers at Andrew Kreps Gallery

This neon sign switched up its timely message by having the “ed” in “Empowered” flicker off and on. Nice.

Metaphysical Leg Pull By Duggie Fields
Metaphysical Leg Pull (1976) By Duggie Fields, at The Modern Institute / Toby Webster Ltd.

You Should Be Dancing (2018)
You Should Be Dancing (2018) By Jim Lambie

This reflective wall sculpture made from the lenses of sunglasses was also spotted at the both for at The Modern Institute / Toby Webster Ltd.

Mirror Balloons By Jeppe Hein
Mirror Balloons By Jeppe Hein (2019) at 303 Gallery of New York.

Sculptures By Marta Chilindron

Colorful Acrylic Sculptures By Marta Chilindron (Above and Below).

Sculpture By Marta Chilindron

My Life As A Tree
My Life As A Tree By Edouard Duval-Carrie (2019) at Lyle OReitzel Gallery.

Shiatsu
Shiatsu (2019) By Max Hooper Schneider

Now here’s a modern sculpture that has everything! Max Hooper Schneider’s Shiatsu takes a custom acyclic vitrine  — that an observer might easily mistake for an ordinary household aquarium — and creates a surreal habitat filled with hand tools scattered among the lush terrarium plant life and accented with a vintage neon sign! Let’s take a closer look.

Shiatsu Detail

Spectacular! Hooper Schneider’s work is represented by Maureen Paley Gallery of London.

Gate By Tony Cragg

Avid readers of The ‘Gig might recognize this freeform abstract sculpture as the work of sculptor Tony Cragg from This Post, though the one above, entitled Gate (2017) is of a much, much smaller scale!

Sound Suit By Nick Cave

Look Up: It’s one of Nick Cave’s Sound Suits!

Raked Leaves (Apparition)

Raked Leaves (Apparition) (2019) by Patrick Jacobs is a tiny diorama that was embedded into the wall of the booth for Pierogi Gallery of New York.

February (2018) by Devan Shimoyama

Check out this fabulous silk flower and bead-embellished hoodie sculpture, February (2018) by Devan Shimoyama. I would wear it.

Well that about wraps up this year’s Frieze coverage. If you dig the photos in this post please share the love and share the link on your social media! Art!

Eye On Design: Glass Block Couch By Arcana Furniture & Lighting

Glass Block Couch
All Photos By Gail

It didn’t take long for me to spot the clear favorite piece of the entire 2019 Architectural Digest Design Show. This Glass Block Couch from Arcana Furniture & Lighting of NYC had the entire show buzzing!

Installation View
Installation View

Designed by sculpture Jack Erikkson and meticulously hand-crafted from architectural glass block and powder-coated steel window guard, with a chartreuse velvet cushion, the couch is not only eye-catching but also very comfortable to sit on (you better believe I tried it out). I can’t stop Looking at it.

Glass Block Coach Detail
Detail

What a fantastic addition this piece would make to any modern decor. Dustin John, Jack’s architect partner in Arcana, explained that the piece is meant to fuse two  common building materials, glass block and steel — both traditionally exterior finishes — in one furniture piece.  “We’re interested in the creative mid-use of the elements, slicing two materials down to a furniture scale and making it work,” he told me.

Cropped Shot

The price of the couch is $15,000 wholesale, if there are any architect / designers reading this who are looking for the ideal statement piece for a well-off client!  Subscribe to updates from Arcana by visiting This Link!

Mark Manders Tilted Head at Doris C. Freedman Plaza

Tilted Head Front View
All Photos By Gail

Mark Manders’ Tilted Head is a work of fiction. It has the appearance of unfired clay combined with everyday objects but in fact is made entirely of cast bronze. The cracks and fissures that cover its surface imply an organic process of drying and decay, yet its metal form is fixed.

Tilted Head 1

It might suggest an incomplete model, abandoned in the artist’s studio, if not for the fact that its colossal size and civic location lend it the air of a grand monument. Eyes shut, the androgynous figure’s mask-like features are at rest, undisturbed by an abrupt slice through a third of its face. The unfinished side of the head is held as if in a splint by wooden planks, one tied with rope.

Tilted Head Rear View

At the back, chairs and a suitcase, all slightly reduced in size, protrude from a mass of formless material. These shifts in scale, unexplained objects, and trompe l’oeil bronze effects alter our perception and spark the imagination.

Tilted Head Back Detail
Back of Sculpture, Detail

Mark Manders (b. 1968, The Netherlands) has been interested in the human figure throughout his career, and is particularly fascinated with the head, which he sometimes depicts detached from the body and juxtaposed with different elements. These heads are always stylized representations rather than individualized portraits.

Tilted Head Side View

His approach creates a paradoxical sense of both immediacy and timelessness, of something newly made with fresh clay yet belonging to the traditions of classical statuary. With Tilted Head, Manders has rendered a compelling fiction of human form that inhabits a poetic space between representation and abstraction, serenity and rupture, life and mortality.

Tilted Head Right Side View

Mark Manders’ Tilted Head is Curated by Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator Nicholas Baume. It Will be on Display at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Fifth Avenue and 60th Street, Adjacent to Central Park, Through September 1st, 2019.

Update: I was near the Park over the Memorial Day weekend and got this new shot of the sculpture with Summer’s lush greenery in the background!

Tilted Head in Summer

 

Video Clip of The Week: Swervedriver, “Spiked Flower”


‘Transcendent’ is not a world that I find myself using very often these days when talking about modern music, if I talk about it at all. I looked at the Billboard charts a couple months ago for the first time in probably a decade — just being serious — and when I realized that every band or artist in the top 20 or so positions on that chart was either someone I’ve never heard of, or someone I am familiar enough with to have a strong distaste for their songs, I knew l’d made the right decision to abandon rock journalism and start writing about art and food. Because I would rather listen to The Beatles or Led Zeppelin for one hundred million billion years than any of the boring, shitty, derivative, eardrum excoriating garbage that ‘the kids’ are downloading for 15 minutes. Fuck the kids.

Of course, it’s not that everything sucks, but the really good stuff is now back in the underground, and this is why it takes me a week to uncover even one song worth featuring in this column. Fortunately, hard work pays off. This week’s clip, “Spiked Flower,” comes to us from the band Swervedriver, who were being pitched to me when you were in diapers: when I was cranking out CD reviews and long-form interviews with top musicians at a pretty steady clip. How are they still around, and how do they still sound so fucking good? “Spiked Flower” is song that’s transcendence distilled, and I don’t even feel compelled to defend it beyond offering that it sounds like if Husker Du had a baby with the Jesus and Mary Chain. Sometimes the only quality that good music has to have to is that it sounds good“Spiked Flower” can be found on Swervedriver’s upcoming album, Future Ruins — earning bonus points for featuring Coney Island’s iconic Parachute Drop and Thunderbolt roller coaster on its cover — which will be released on January 25th, 2019 on Dangerbird Records. Enjoy!

future ruins hi-res cover

Welcoming 2019!

Dec 31 Subway Tile
Photo By Gail

The New Year’s Eve tile above is part of Times Square Times: 35 Times, a public artwork commissioned from Ceramic sculptor Toby Buonagurio by the MTA Arts for Transit. It is permanently installed in illuminated presentation windows embedded in the glass block passageway walls throughout the Times Square – 42nd Street Subway Station. The artworks are owned by the MTA New York City Transit. However you choose to celebrate this evening, have fun , be safe and stay cozy warm!

Happy New Year and All The Best for 2019!