This September will mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In commemoration, the AKC and Museum of the Dog will honor the Search and Rescue Dogs that participated in the 9/11 rescue and recovery efforts by sponsoring an art contest for which everyone is encouraged to participate, no matter your age or artistic ability.
Interlocking organic shapes of dull and sharp appendages support one another like a monument in the characteristic space of Yves Tanguy’s My Life, Black and White (1944). Having met the poet Andre Breton in 1925, Tanguy remained true to the Surrealist movement throughout his work, borrowing shapes and motifs from Jean Arp and Joan Miro.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
The Eternal City (1934 – 37) was inspired by a trip Peter Blume took to Rome in 1932 — ten years after the fascist takeover of Italy. The dictator Benito Mussolini, depicted here as a deranged Jack-in-the-box with a green head, bulging eyes and pouting red lips, dominates the composition.
He lords over a woman begging for money amid marble ruins and an incongruous shrine of a bejeweled Christ. In the distance, people wind through labyrinthine catacombs toward the Roman Forum, where they are greeted by threatening officers. A searing indictment of fascism, the painting presents a nightmarish vision of a once glorious city being steered toward ruin.
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
The National Museum of Mathematics (aka MoMath) might not be a venue where one would expect to also find an art gallery, but they have one: and in the case of sculptor Anton Bakker, the venue is ideally suited.
Bakker is a contemporary artist specializing in sculpture and its digital possibilities. He has been influenced by his life experiences in the Netherlands, France and now the US, where his artist practice has been based for more than ten years. Mo Math’s Composite Gallery is currently hosting Alternative Perspectives, an exciting exhibit of Bakker’s work — including several monumental pieces — that is complemented by the inclusion of nine rare works by the artist’s biggest influence, the legendary MC Escher.
In 1962, Alice Neel (1900 – 1984) moved to her final apartment and studio on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Delimited by what was visible through a north-facing window, this scene in 107th and Broadway (1976) excludes the streets below that give the painting its title. Indeed, this absence animates the composition, whose dominant feature is the crisp shadow cast by the cusped moldings and straight edges of Neel’s apartment block on the whitewashed building across the street. The presence of people, too, is discernable only indirectly through the half-opened windows and partially shuttered blinds. Capturing the effects of sharp light on a hot summer day, this window onto the world becomes the occasion for a painterly exploration of color, form and structure.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Alice Neel: People Come First, Which Continues Through August 1st, 2021 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.
One of the great things about public art is how the viewer can have such a wholly unique experience of the piece depending on the time of day it is viewed. In the case of Day’s End, the new, permanent sculpture by David Hammons (b. 1943), I saw it up-close for the first time at, well, day’s end. Watching the sun set through the sculpture and dip behind the New Jersey skyline was a beautiful thing to behold, especially as many of us are only just now able to walk outside free of masks for the first time in over year.
Jean Dubuffet (1901 – 1985) sought to replicate the immediacy of the art of the untutored. In this sheet, he incised four figures into a ground of opaque watercolor, exposing the sandpaper he used as a support. The technique shares more with graffiti and the scrawls of children than with academic drawing. The artist once remarked, “When I say ‘draw,’ I’m not to the slightest degree thinking of faithfully reproducing objects . . . No, its a matter of something quite different: to animate the paper, to make it palpitate.”
Photographed in the Morgan Library in Manhattan.