Tag Archive | Art

Sunbathers II On The High Line

Sunbathers Ice Cream Cone
All Photos By Gail

Kathryn Andrews appropriates images from popular culture, often American movies, television, and stock photography archives. She then alters and re-contextualizes these images into three-dimensional configurations to create new narratives where viewers are invited to rethink the photographs in relation to their own bodies.

Sunbathers

For her High Line Commission, Sunbathers I (not shown, located at 18th Street) and Sunbathers II (shown here), Andrews responds to two contrasting aspects of the elevated park: its relationship to nearby billboards and to the natural landscape. Andrews describes the High Line’s environment as a “hyper-surreal image world,” composed of large-scale advertisements and commercial signs that surround park visitors as they stroll high above the bustling cityscape.

Sunbathers II is a large, horizontal aluminum box containing a giant fan and featuring a photograph of an ice cream cone. The fan’s movement is juxtaposed with the adjacent static image, mirroring the park itself.

Kathryn Andrews’ Sunbathers I and II Will Be On Display Through March, 2017.

Sunbathers Distant View

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Vasily Kandinsky, Black Lines

Black Lines
Photo By Gail

With its undulating colored ovals traversed by animated brushstrokes, Vasily Kandinsky’s Black Lines (1913), is among the first of his truly nonobjective paintings. The network of thin, agitated lines indicates a graphic, two-dimensional sensibility, while the floating, vibrantly hued forms suggest various spatial depths. By 1913 Kandinsky’s aesthetic theories and aspirations were well developed. He valued painterly abstraction as the most effective stylistic means through which to reveal hidden aspects of the empirical world, express subjective realities, aspire to the metaphysical, and offer a regenerative vision of the future. Kandinsky wanted the evocative power of carefully chosen and dynamically interrelated colors, shapes, and lines to elicit specific responses from viewers of his canvases. The inner vision of an artist, he believed, could thereby be translated into a universally accessible statement.

The artist realized, however, that it would be necessary to develop such a style slowly, in order to foster public acceptance and comprehension. Therefore, in most of his work from this period he retained fragments of recognizable imagery. “We are still firmly bound to the outward appearance of nature and must draw forms from it,” he wrote in his essay Picture with the White Edge, but suggested that there existed a hidden pictorial construction that would “emerge unnoticed from the picture and [would thus be] less suited to the eye than the soul.”

— Nancy Spector

Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Mannequin Bust

Pink Mannequin Bust
Photo By Gail

What’s most interesting about this Hot Pink bust of a lovely African American lady, is that it’s not in use as your standard display mannequin, despite the fact that it is clearly in the middle of a clothing section of a department store. In this instance, it is really more like a sculpture; more like  a work of art meant to enhance the consumer’s shopping experience, I think. In my case, it was highly effective.

Photographed at Saks Fifth Avenue, The Gardens on El Paseo, Palm Desert, California.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Kay Kurt, Hallelujah

Hallelujah 1995 - 2016
Photo By Gail

Kay Kurt (b. 1944) is a New Realist painter of large-scale confections. Her candies lay the foundation of her compositions, structuring her canvases abstractly, and freeing her to meditate on content. As Richard Hamilton, Robert Watts and Claes Oldenburg also used candies as subject matter — and she often enlarges the scale tenfold, like a billboard — Kurt’s work became associated with Pop Art early on. The scale of the Pop Art movement opened Kurt’s eyes to the possibility of a new vision based on objects instead of landscape.

Typical candies featured in her body of work include Licorice, Bon Bons, Jordan Almonds, Jujubes and Gummi Bears. She chooses and collects these candies from various countries, being specifically interested in those of German origin, which reflect the values, attitudes, and cultures associated with the people who produce them. She does not used mediated or advertising images like the Pop Artists, nor photographs like the Photorealists. These paintings are developed through observation. Kurt prefers painting generic-looking candy, as the luxurious ones are too refined for her taste. The sole instance of exquisite candy in her oeuvre is a Godiva chocolate box painting that she made for a friend. Her choice of subject reflects her interest in mass production and consumer culture around the world.

Compulsive and exacting to an extreme, Kurt can take years to complete a canvas. As the 1980s progressed, Kurt gradually found herself excluded from the New York art world where she had found acclaim for over a decade. Although never giving up on her painting practice, she almost completely withdrew from the public eye and it was not until her inclusion in the 2010 traveling exhibition, Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958-1968 presented at the Brooklyn Museum, that her work was re-introduced.

Hallelujah (1995-2016) is part of the exhibit Kay Kurt: For All Her Innocent Airs, She Knew Exactly Where She Was Going, on view through February 16th, 2017 at Albertz Benda Gallery, Located at 515 West 26th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Sleepwalker on The High Line

Sleepwalker
All Photos By Gail

On my way to a Press Preview at the Whitney Museum last week, I decided to take the scenic route; walking along the High Line from 14th Street to Gansevoort Street. Because why not. As I hit the top of the stairs, I was met with this somewhat disquieting vision.

Sleepwalker From The Rear

Yes, creepy! Of course, after a split second, I realized that I was looking at a statue, and not some random bald guy clad only in tight whities, stalking unsuspecting nature lovers in sub-40 degree weather. As it turns out, I had come upon Tony Matelli’s Sleepwalker (2014), part of the Wanderlust series of public art installations along the west side’s elevated High Line Park. Very fun!

Sleepwalker Close Up

For Sleepwalker, Matelli presents a hyper-realistic painted bronze sculpture of a somnambulant man lost and adrift in the world, meandering about in a deep sleep. An amusing take on the theme of walking, Matelli’s sculpture challenges preconceived ideas about traditional monumental portraiture, and questions the extent to which any one of us is ever fully aware of our surrounding.

Sleepwalker Selfie
“Wait, Let Me Put My Hat On Him…”

And based on what I observed in the five or so minutes I was hanging out, the number of degrading selfies that this poor sculpture is likely subject to on a daily basis is certainly limitless. Oy.

Sleepwalker

Sleepwalker will be on display on the High Line at 14th Street until March 31, 2017.

Sleepwalker
Brains…”

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Night Bloom Still Life By Jonas Wood

Night Bloom Still Life
Photo By Gail

In  Jonas Wood’s (b, 1977) paintings, he often uses intricate decorative patterning to render ordinary objects that hold personal resonance for him. Some of the pots depicted in Night Bloom Still Life (2015)  were make by Wood’s wife, Shio Kusaka.   Thus, the painting  is just as much a self, or family, portrait as it is a still life. “You could call it a visual diary or even a personal history,” the artist has said. This  everyday quality, accentuated by flat planes of color and uniform detail, makes the spatial ambiguities in Wood’s work — such as the impossible perspective of the table — all the more disorienting.

Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (Water) at the Brooklyn Museum

Water
All Photos By Gail

Felix Gonzales-Torres (1957 – 1996) ever-generous artworks invite viewers to participate in them — by eating candy from a gleaming pile of sweets making up one of his works, for example, or removing a poster from an endlessly replaceable stack of paper. Yet despite their decisive ephemerality, these works are imbued with both personal and political undertones. While invoking the allegedly content-free vocabulary of minimalism, Gonzalez-Torres nonetheless subtly hints at possible meanings through parenthetical subtitles he assigned to each untitled work.

Water

The luminous, blue-beaded curtain Untitled (Water) evokes images of an aquatic landscape but also dreams of travel and escape. The strings of faceted, blue plastic beads have as their source the humble curtains often found in bodegas, but when stretched across the expanse of the entranceway, the shimmering strands resemble a waterfall. Installed in the lobby of the Brooklyn Museum, Untitled (Water), 1995, serves as a threshold, a place of passage, marking off the activity of the street from the theater of the exhibition.

Water Detail
Water, Detail

Water