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. Continue reading Pratt Manhattan Gallery Presents 0 to 60: The Experience of Time through Contemporary Art→