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.
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 entrance-way, 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.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957 – 1996) was an active member of the artist collective Group Material (1979 – 1996), which supported an agenda of feminism, civil rights and gay rights in a time of increasing political conservatism. His own understated installations consist of everyday materials such as light bulbs, newspapers, and candy, and address concerns both wholly personal and universal – impermanence, love, loss, and the cyclical nature of life. With Untitled (Toronto), 1992, Gonzalez-Torres has imbued light bulbs, common utilitarian objects, with poetic significant. The lifespan of each bulb, like that of a person, is of a particular duration and will ultimately burn out.
Photographed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Yinka Shonbare MBE, Girl Girl Ballerina (All Photos By Gail)
What an amazing treat it is to have Flag Art Foundation founder Glenn and his wife Amanda Furhman share a selection of sculptures and assorted artworks from their own private collection with fans of their very cool gallery. Geoffrey and I attended the opening reception on Saturday (in the middle of a snow storm!) and were just blown away by an amazing collection that looks like it belongs in a museum. Here are a few of our favorite pieces!
Anish Kapoor, Blood Solid
This is may be my favorite small scale sculpture by Anish Kapoor The color and quality of the surface is just outstanding.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled
You might have seen Elaine Sturtevnat’s reproduction of the work of Gonzalez-Torres at her recent retrospective at MOMA.
Jim Hodges, First light (Beginning of the End)
You can see the Gonzalez-Torres piece reflected in this work by Jim Hodges which is composed of small tiles of mirrored black glass. Very beautiful.
Louis Bourgeois, Topiary
The Fuhrmans must be big fans of Louise Bourgeois, as this was one of three pieces by the late artist included in this show.
Louis Bourgeois, Couple
Maurizio Cattelan, Frank and Jamie
Imagine having this piece by Maurizio Cattelan in your private collection. How cool would that be?
Matthew Barney, Cremaster 1: Goodyear Lounge
I can run pretty hot and cold when it comes to the art of Matthew Barney, but this, I love. See a detail shot below.
Look at the art direction on this. Just look at it. Amazing.
Katharina Fritsch, Oktopus
What a fantastic and fun sculpture by German contemporary artist Katharina Fritsch. I love her work.
Thomas Schütte, Grosser Geist (1)
German Sculptor Thomas Schütte has done a series of these large statues called Grosser Geist — which means “Great Spirit” in German — though no two of these works are exactly alike.
Subodh Gupta, Spooning
I left the guard’s legs in the shot so you can see how large these spoons are. Another very fun sculpture!
Robert Gober, Untitled
This one looks like a over-sized stick of Butter in a Baby Crib surrounded by Yellow Apples. Everything in the crib is fabricated from Beeswax.
Ron Mueck, Two Women
Sculptor Ron Mueck creates startlingly lifelike miniature sculptures of people. These ladies stand about 33 inches high and you could swear they are about to talk to you.
Marc Quinn, Sphinx (Fortuna)
British artist Marc Quinn has created dozen of sculptures of supermodel Kate Moss in various contorted poses.
As you can see just from these few photos, this is an enormously exciting exhibit presenting a very rare opportunity to experience a private art collection of such high quality and displaying such exceptional taste. Absolutely do not miss this one!
A Secret Affair: Selections from the Fuhrman Family Collection will be on Exhibit Through May 16th, 2015 at Flag Art Foundation, Located at 545 West 25th Street, 9th and 10th Floors, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Gonzalez-Torres Untitled America (2004) By Sturtevant (All Photos By Gail)
When Geoffrey and I were at MOMA a week or so ago to see the Matisse Cut Outs exhibit, we accidentally stumbled upon another fantastic exhibit which we’d somehow managed to avoid even knowing about: Double Trouble — featuring the works of the late Pop artist, Sturtevant — which is nearing the end of its run in just a couple of weeks. You should not miss this exhibit if at all possible.
In the likely case that you have no idea who Sturtevant even was, here is a bunch of background information on the artist that I ripped off from her Wikipedia page! Elaine Frances Sturtevant, also known simply as Sturtevant, was an American artist who achieved recognition for her carefully inexact repetitions of other artists’ works that prefigured appropriation.
Duchamp Fresh Widow, (1992 – 2012)
Sturtevant spent the first years of her life working in New York, where she began in 1965 to manually reproduce paintings and objects created by her contemporaries with results that can immediately be identified with an original. Sturtevant thus turned the concept of originality on its head. All of her works are copies of the works of other artists; none is an original. She initially focused on works by such American artists as Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol. Warhol gave Sturtevant one of his silkscreens so she could produce her own versions of his Flowers paintings.
Johns Target with Four Faces (Study), (1986)
After a Jasper Johns flag painting that was a component of Robert Rauschenberg’s combine Short Circuit was stolen, Rauschenberg commissioned Sturtevant to paint a reproduction, which was subsequently incorporated into the combine.
Elastic Tango (2010), Nine Chanel Video Installation
From the early 1980s she focused on the next generation of artists, including Robert Gober, Anselm Kiefer, Paul McCarthy, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres (see first photo in this post). She mastered painting, sculpture, photography and film in order to produce a full range of copies of the works of her chosen artists. In most cases, her decision to start copying an artist happened before those artists achieved broader recognition. Nearly all of the artists she chose to copy are today considered iconic for their time or style. This has given rise to discussions amongst art critics on how it had been possible for Sturtevant to identify those artists at such an early stage.
Kill (2003-2014) Digitally Printed Vinyl Wallpaper inspired by the 2003 Quentin Tarrantino Film, Kill Bill
Ethelred II (1961), Oil on Canvas with Inside-Out Paint Tube
Rather than taking the form of a traditional retrospective, Double Trouble offers a historical overview of her work from a contemporary vantage point, interspersing more recent video pieces among key artworks from all periods of Sturtevant’s career. Elaine Sturtevant passed away in May of 2014 at the age of 89.
Sturtevant: Double Trouble will be on Exhibit only until February 22nd, 2015 at MOMA, Located at 11 West 53rd Street, NYC.
Pratt Manhattan Gallery presents 0 to 60: The Experience of Time through Contemporary Art, a multi-medium exhibition that explores time in its many iterations — real time, virtual time, historical time, recorded time, manipulated time and more. Named for the phenomenon in which the average museum visitor spends less than one minute looking at a work of art, the exhibition features artists who use nontraditional media (including robotics and computer software) to encourage viewers to think about time in new and varied ways. The artists hail from New York City (Alison Collins, Dan Estabrook and Jeff Liao) and across the country.
Felix Gonzales-Torres Untitled (Portrait of Dad)
0 to 60 includes well-known artists such as Felix Gonzalez-Torres, the late Pratt alumnus whose interactive installation Untitled (Portrait of Dad) consists of 175 pounds of individually wrapped candies, and rising artists like David Chatt, whose Bedside Table is adorned with thousands of tiny seed beads.
Background: Alison Collins’ Garden of Pleasure
Foreground: Bedside Table By David Chatt
The exhibition also includes two installations uniquely tailored to Pratt Manhattan Gallery — Lisa Hoke’s expansive wall mosaic and Alison Collins’Garden of Pleasure. Also of note is Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Last Breath, which uses a respirator, a digital counter and other items to capture and circulate a viewer’s breath, inflating and deflating a paper bag 10,000 times a day to mimic the respiratory cycle of a typical adult at rest.
Richard Hughes, Untitled (Triptick)
“Modern society is obsessed with time, and we’ve noticed the concept bubbling up in contemporary art,” said Linda Dougherty, who co-curated the exhibition with Jean McLaughlin. “These works reference a longstanding tradition in art—whether it be through historical paintings that tell an unfolding story or through still lifes that capture one fleeting moment,” she added, In addition to those mentioned above, other artists featured in the exhibition include Dan Bailey, Walead Beshty, Jana Brevick, Paul Chan, Sonya Clark, Caetano de Almeida, Tehching Hsieh, Richard Hughes, Peter Matthews and David Shapiro.
Afro Abe (Progression) By Sonya Clark
Detail from Afro Abe
0 to 60 will be on Exhibit Through January 25, 2014 at Pratt Manhattan Gallery, Located at 144 West 14th Street, Second Floor, New York, NY. Gallery Hours are Monday – Saturday, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Thursdays 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM.
All Photos By Gail, Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail
Summer weather has finally come to NYC and – after hiding in your apartment for six months – it’s the perfect time to get outdoors on the weekends, explore the city, and even get to the outer boroughs, which I hardly ever do. This past Saturday, Geoffrey and I went exploring in the far off land of Queens to check out the Socrates Sculpture Park and its current exhibit, Do it Outside! Woo!
Do it Outside is a very fun and thought-provoking exhibit conceived and curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, in which a selection of artists’ instructions are interpreted by other artists, performers, community groups and the public. It is pretty cool and exciting to see what people come up with based on just a printed sheet of instructions and the projects that come out as the result. Art!
Folly By Toshihiro Oki Architects (Crystal Chandelier In Tree Framed By 2x4s)
To fully appreciate this art exhibit – which also includes elements of performance art and installation – you really need to see it in person, but I have included a selection of my photos here so you can get the idea of what Do It Outside is all about.
Tracey Emin, What Would Tracey Do? (Instructions)
What Would Tracey Do? (Executed Project)
Yoko Ono Wish Project (Instructions)
I’d Say This Person Got His or Her Wish!
Felix Gonzalez-Torres Untitled, Instructions
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Executed Project
Alison Knowles, Homage to Each Red Thing (Instructions)
Alison Knowles, Homage to Each Red Thing, Executed
Tobias Rehberger, Instruction and Completed Project (Click to Enlarge)
Instructions for Project Conceived by Paul McCarthy
Paul McCarthy Project, Executed
Most of the exhibit is under a shaded walkway, so that helps to deflect the sun, but fair skinned peeps should still wear sun block and a hat or bring an umbrella to protect you from burning or passing out from heat stroke, because a little sun goes a long way.
After you are done walking through the exhibit you can also visit the small Green Market where local growers sell stuff like fresh vegetables, baked goods and cheeses. The Market is open Saturdays from June through November 16th, 2013, from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
There are some nice gardens also.
They also had a shaded area set up for children’s crafts, which you / your child can participate in. Saturday’s craft was called Heads on Sticks. Which, yes.
Do it Outside will be on Exhibit through July 7, 2013, at Socrates Sculpture Park, Located at 32-01 Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens NY 11106. Phone (718)956-1819 or visit This Link. Socrates is open 365 days a year from 10:00 AM to Sunset.