This week I went on an adventure! I had to make a trip down to Wall Street for the first time since our work-from-home directive went down in mid-March, because I had dermatologist appointment. Wee! After braving my masked-up, socially distanced subway ride, I had about 30 minutes to kill before my appointment time, and I enjoyed walking about in the financial district in relative solitude. It was awesome. And what a fun surprise to see artist Arturo Di Modica’s now-iconic bronze statue, Fearless Girl, rocking a face mask to reflect the Covid Life we live in. Inspiring! If you happen to be in that area, you can find her on Broad Street standing across from the NYSE.
Parisian born sculptress Claude Lalanne (b. 1924) did not come into her own until she was in her sixties. She and her husband, François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008), were known as Les Lalannes as they both worked and exhibited together, she creating garden-inspired works to his slightly surreal animal sculptures.
This provocative cast bronze sculpture of a Cabbage with Chicken Feet, entitled Choupatte Moyen (2012) is part of the Impasse Ronsin group exhibit at Paul Kasmin Gallery on West 27th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Ascetic, sharp features give this bust (circa 1909) of conductor/composer Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) an aristocratic look. Mahler modeled for Rodin, though the sittings were difficult to endure for the nervous composer, who saw rest as “time wasted away from his work.” This, according to his wife, Alma Mahler.
Trivia: After Mahler’s death in 1911 (at age 5o) from a bacterial infection of the heart valve, Alma Mahler went on to be married to Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, for five years.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art on NYC.
The Birth Machine Baby sculpture pictured above was photographed by me in the Last Rites Gallery in Manhattan, which has a number original HR Giger pieces on display. Giger, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 74, is perhaps best known in popular culture as the designer of the Alien creatures in the film franchise of the same name, or, if you are a bit older, the designer of the cover of Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s 1973 epic prog rock masterpiece, Brain Salad Surgery. But his career was about so much more than that.
The limited edition Bullet Baby sculptures (30 in Bronze, 30 in Aluminum) sit inside the shell of a 9mm Luger Casing: the bottom surface of the sculpture is finished to look like a real bullet and is marked ‘9mm Giger,’ along with the artist signature and the edition number.
The inspiration for the Bullet Babies is the 1967, pen and ink Giger artwork, Birth Machine, a cut-away image of a fully loaded Walther pistol, in which the bullets are these crouching mechanical-looking babies.
Birth Machine, 1967 (Image Source)
The Birth Machine is HR Giger’s artistic manifestation of his strongly held belief that the greatest threat to our civilization is the approaching overpopulation of the planet. Conceived nearly 40 years ago, the Birth Machine Babies have made appearances in a number of Giger paintings. A Birth Machine Baby – as well as a sculptural representation of the Birth Machine painting – stands guard in front of the HR Giger Museum in Gruyères, Switzerland.
Modern Art 1970 – 1974 is a cast-in-two-parts Bronze and Aluminum modular sculpture by American Sculptor and Visual Artist, Lynda Benglis. The work (created between 1973 and 1974) includes four individual sculptures that are identical in form while maintaining an organic feel. To me they look like molten lead, tongues or platypus bills. Modern Art 1970 – 1974 can be viewed at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art in Painting and Sculpture II, Gallery 23, 4th Floor.
Hey, remember back in January when I met music industry legend Herb Alpert? That was cool. In addition to his exhibit at ACA Galleries, Herb also has this public installation of three of his monumental, 16-foot Bronze Spirit Totem Statues installed at Dante Park, a triangular lot at the intersection of Broadway, Amsterdam and 65th Street, just in front of Lincoln Center.
Hers a close up on one of the sculptures which I managed to crop most of the foot traffic out of.
Many passersby stopped to admire, pose with and photograph the sculptures, but I’d bet that most of them had no idea that Alpert is the talented artist behind this work, because the above identifying sign is mounted very high up on a pole, not really in the sight lines of a person just walking by on the street. Geoffrey and I just happened to recognize them as we walked to the 1 Train after checking out the Beatles Exhibit, because they looked just like the sculptures that we saw at his ACA Galleries exhibit earlier in the year.
The sculptures will be on display until April 15th, 2014.
If you enjoy looking at sculptures of dicks and phallus-shaped objects, then have I got an art exhibit for you! Sarah Lucas’s Nud Nob, up now at the Gladstone Gallery, features a series of large-scale bronze and cast-concrete sculptures displayed either on pedestals or installed directly on the gallery floor. Most of them look like penises. Just being serious.
The large sculpture of a gourd or squash, seen above, is perfectly innocent — I mean it’s obviously a vegetable — until you see it being placed in the context of a collection of phallic symbols. And then it just becomes a penis. Likewise, there is large photo on the rear wall of the gallery in which this squash sculpture is displayed that features a chicken carcase contextualized to look so much like a vagina that I couldn’t even bring myself to photograph it. So, maybe don’t bring the kids to this one, is what I’m saying.
Does this a sculpture depict two people having sex? You be the judge.
In this gallery you can see floor to ceiling photos of an attractive model enthusiastically eating a Banana. And, oh yeah, there’s a huge concrete Penis in the center of the room. Art!
Nud Nob by Sarah Lucas will be on Exhibit Through April 26, 2014 at Gladstone Gallery, Located at 515 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Do you like Herb Alpert? I sure do, My parents had his records with the Tijuana Brass playing all the time in our house, so I have loved his music since I was about five years old. Just being serious.
But did you know that Herb also makes art? This I did not know this until Geoffrey and I stumbled upon one of his art shows that opened Thursday January 16th at ACA Galleries in Chelsea. The show is called Totems & Deities: The Sculpture of Herb Alpert and Anita Huffington — Huffington being a fellow artist who is a successful dancer.
The exhibition features a large selection of Alpert’s abstract bronze sculptures, which (according to the exhibit’s Press Release) “can be compared to the freedom and spontaneity of his improvisational work as a jazz musician.” The fluidity and random free-form shapes of Herb’s gorgeous sculptures reminded me of the “Lost Wax” casting method that was a very popular technique in jewelry making back in the 70s.
Alpert began working on the Spirit Totem series, as they are called, in 2000, originally taking inspiration from the totem poles of the indigenous tribes of the Pacific Northwest. In conjunction with this exhibition, three monumental 16’ bronze Spirit Totem sculptures will be on public view in Dante Park, New York City from January 25th through April 15, 2014.
These sculptures shown in the photos above and below are in the range of 12-inches high and under.
Herb was at present at the reception and it was fun to have the chance to meet such a music industry legend. He was very nice.
Sculptures by Herb Alpert, part of the exhibit Totems & Deities in conjunction with sculptress Anita Huffington, will be on Exhibit through March 1st, 2014 at ACA Galleries, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 5th Floor, NYC.
There are two things you can usually count on when attending an art opening at Pace Gallery: The art will be physically imposing in some way and the room will be absolutely packed. Such was the case last Thursday when we attended the reception for an exhibit by Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang, who has been represented by Pace since 2007.
For this exhibit, Zhang fills both of Pace’s adjoining galleries with monochromatic painted bronze sculptures depicting youth of both sexes dressed in what look like school uniforms. There is also a selection of sculpted, unclothed infants seated on pedestals around the gallery, which weren’t as compelling to me as the stoic-expressioned, uniformed busts of the youth.
A press release nailed these sculpture’s unique presence, offering that the bronze busts, which range in size from six inches to over five feet tall, are “Sculpted with great clarity in a political-realist style that echoes the state-sanctioned sculptures of the Cultural Revolution.” A few of the subjects are repeated over the course of the two room exhibit, but in different sizes or colors.
In the smaller of the two gallery rooms, you can see four of Zhang’s large scale oil paintings, which often depict fully realized representations of the youths seen in the assorted busts. According to the exhibit press release, the paintings “continue Zhang’s inquiries into the domestic interiors to which people returned after the Cultural Revolution, and in which the artist came of age.”
The Artist was in attendace at the opening and can be seen in this photo being interviewed by the news media.
I enjoyed these sculptures – and the deep cultural back-story they hinted at – very much and would encourage anyone intrigued by this post to check out the show while it is still up.
Zhang Xiaogang’s Bronze Sculptures and Paintings will be on Exhibit through April 27, 2013 at Pace Gallery, Located at 508 and 510 West 25th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.