Tag Archive | Brooklyn Museum

Modern Art Monday Presents: Portrait of Paul Cadmus By Luigi Lucioni

Portrait of Paul Cadmus
Photo By Gail

Luigi Lucioni and Paul Cadmus probably met as students, and they doubtless shared acquaintances within New York’s circles of gay artists and writers. Lucioni’s likeness of Cadmus (1928) celebrated the shared passion of two young moderns for the ideal forms of Italian Renaissance art, particularly the paintings of Piero della Francesca. Within a modern close-up format, the artist captured a gaze that is at once tentative and mesmerizing.

Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Stuart Davis, The Mellow Pad

The Mellow Pad
Photo By Gail

The starting point for this lively patterned abstraction was an earlier canvas by Stuart Davis (18921964) entitled House and Street (1931). Treating each subsequent version as a  riff on a jazz theme, Davis moved further and further away from his original composition to establish independent, rhythmic color patterns that retained only a few direct visual cues to the initial design. The Mellow Pad (194551) refers to the phrase “the mellow pad” — jazz lingo for the “cool” place to be. The pulsating colors and meandering forms seen here effectively mimic the dynamic rhythms of jazz. Davis developed his own style of Synthetic Cubism in which he dissolved figure and ground and referenced popular culture, adding a distinctly American sensibility to his abstractions

Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Synchromy No. 3

Synchromy No 3
Photo By Gail

Although this abstract composition, Synchromy No. 3 (1917), bears many traces of European Cubism — angular shapes, fragmented forms, and multiple perspectives — it asserts the primacy of color as a key component of space and form. In 1912, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, together with the painter Morgan Russell, coined the term Synchromism to describe abstract compositions primarily concerned with the rhythmic use of color — a phenomenon they likened to a symphony’s use of sound. Synchromism was one of many diverse approaches to abstraction that flourished in the Americas and Europe on the 1910s, radically departing from traditional vocabularies of painting and sculpture

Photographed in The Brooklyn Museum.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Deborah Kass, OY / YO

OY YO
Photos By Gail

Since the 1980s, Deborah Kass has riffed on modern artworks by famous white men to reflect her experience as a Jewish lesbian. Here, Kass remakes Robert Indiana’s LOVE (itself a coded homage to queer male desire) with the twinned words Oy (a Yiddish exclamation of alarm or bother) and Yo.

OY YO

The artist considers herself to be a “total, absolute, 100 percent provincial New Yorker.” This work uses the city’s culturally specific, yet universal lingo to communicate the collective pride and exasperation of living here. Originally conceived as a monumental sculpture, it was installed for limited time in Brooklyn Bridge Park. OY/YO (2017) became an instant New York icon and photo op for tourists and residents of al backgrounds, for whom the pluralist spirit of the double-sided interjection resonated deeply

Photographed in the Jewish Museum in Manhattan. Note that This Work is Currently On View In Front of The Brooklyn Museum (as of 10/1/18).

Eye On Design: Current Chair By Vivian Beer

Current Chair By Vivian Beer
All Photos By Gail

The dynamic, curvilinear design of the Current Chair (2004) by Vivian Beer seems to defy the strength and hardness of the steel from which it is made. Historically, few women have worked in metal other than to fashion jewelry, and fewer still have made metal furniture.

Current Chair By Vivian Beer

About her innovative design Beer remarked, “I wanted this chair to seem as if it had been cut and crushed out of a single sheet of metal. At the same time, I wanted it to feel as fast and clean as water its silhouette . . .The balance and the trickery are important.” The chair’s title suggests that the artist’s choice of  the color blue alludes to swiftly moving water.

Current Chair By Vivian Beer

Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum.

Yes, It Exists: David Bowie Paper Dolls!

Paper Boy David Bowie
All Photos By Gail

The only real bummer about David Bowie Is, the Brooklyn Museum’s immersive and wildly fascinating career retrospective on the late, great rock superstar is the fact that photography is not allowed inside the galleries. Huge Bummer! Once you enter the exhibit, the rule makes sense, because crowding: but still. Fortunately, photography is fully permitted in the museum gift shop, and thank god, because that is where I found these (unofficial) David Bowie Paper Dolls! Squee!

Bowie Underpants Model
Ziggy-era Bowie in his Skivvies: Ready for some Hot Dress-Up Action!

If you’ve ever wanted to know what the Thin White Duke looked like in his underwear alone, wonder no longer!

Bowie Black Jump Suit
Tokyo Pop Vinyl Bodysuit (1973) Designed By Kansai Yamamoto for the Aladdin Sane tour

From Ziggy Stardust to Halloween Jack, Major Tom, and many other characters, David Bowie continuously reinvented himself. The stage outfits recreated in Mel’s Music Icons’ Ziggy Paperboy book highlight a selections of Bowie ’s numerous identities and are as much a tribute to Bowie as is his music! Here are just a few of the fun outfits you can dress him up in!

Bowie Blue Boa

Two Outfits

Blonde David

The book also includes a few differently-styled versions of David, to accommodate all of his ch-ch-ch-changes!

Bowie Blue Suit

Here is the famous Ice Blue Suit that David wore for the Mick Rock-directed video for “Life On Mars.” Iconic!

Bowie One Leg and Sleeve Costume

OMG so much Fun!

David Bowie Is Runs Through July 15th, 2018 at the Brooklyn Museum.

Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty at The Brooklyn Museum

Still from Smash 2014
Still from Smash, 2014 (All Photos By Gail)

Marilyn Minter’s sensual paintings, photographs, and videos vividly explore complex and contradictory emotions around beauty and the feminine body in American culture. She trains a critical eye on the power of desire, questioning the fashion industry’s commercialization of sex and the body. Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty, now on view at the Brooklyn Museum, is the first retrospective of her work.
Little Girls #1
Little Girls #1

Big Girls
Big Girls

Spanning more than four decades, the exhibition begins with the artist’s earliest artworks, from 1969 through 1986, including rarely exhibited photographs as well as paintings incorporating photorealist and Pop art techniques.

Sink Study
Sink Study

Marbles
Marbles

Minter Exhibit Disclaimer

The show continues with works from the late 1980s and 1990s that examine visual pleasure in visceral depictions of food and sex. I didn’t take any photos of the “Junk Shots,” as I like to call them, because that doesn’t really do much for me: I find it boring and it detracts from the other works, in my opinion. But if pictures of penises are your thing, them come on down!

Puff
Puff

The exhibition culminates in Minter’s ongoing investigation of how the beauty industry expertly creates and manipulates desire through images.

Installation View
Installation View

These fashion / beauty shots, which are all so elegantly manipulated and transformed, were my favorite pieces in the show.

Pop Rocks
Pop Rocks

Glazed
Glazed

This one is so beautiful. For some reason, it reminds me of an old photo I’ve seen of Peter Gabriel,when he was still fronting Genesis. It’s surprising to me that more Rock Stars don’t commission Minter to shoot their portraits and album covers. Maybe that is because there are no real Rock Stars anymore. Sad.

Black Orchid
Black Orchid

Still from Smash 2014

The exhibit also features a short, silent film called Smash, which I liked very much. In Smash, a pair of metallic-toned manicured feet wearing bejeweled high-heeled sandals kick and shatter glass, in the middle of a rain storm, or something. Smash reminded me of when I used to go clubbing back in the late eighties and early nineties. Good times.

Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty will be on Exhibit Through April 2nd, 2017 in the Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 5th Floor at the Brooklyn Museum.