I don’t spend much time in midtown, so when I passed by this mural
All Photos By Gail
I don’t spend much time in midtown, so when I passed by this mural
All Photos By Gail
I don’t spend much time in midtown, so when I passed by this mural by Eduardo Kobra on 44th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues I thought it might be new. As it turns out, this work, which features an image of American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, has been up since August 2018.
Aside from the striking likeness, which is a hallmark of all Kobra murals, I love how he honors Lichtenstein’s style with the inclusion of background dots and a conversation bubble, which are featured in many of the artist’s comic strip-influenced works.
By the 1970s, Roy Lichtenstein’s comic-strip style of painting had become his trademark. While he had adapted his early compositions from actual comic books, here Lichtenstein referred to an art historical rather than a pop culture source: Henri Matisse’s Red Studio (1911, in the collection of MoMA), which features Matisse’s canvases casually set around a room. Into the flattened studio space of Artists Studio Foot Medication (1974), Lichtenstein similarly inserted whole of partial versions of his own real and imagined artworks across a range of subject matter, including geometric abstraction. This painting’s title calls out the 1962 print Foot Medication, reimagined as a monumental painting at the upper left. This kind of self-quotation, at once playful and thoughtful, would become anther feature of Lichtenstein’s production.
Brushstroke Group is a public sculpture by pop arist Roy Liechtenstein that you can hardly miss if you are walking on Seventh Avenue between Madison Square Garden /Penn Station and Macys. The problem is: it’s nearly impossible to get photos that don’t have a ton of people them. Because, Midtown.
Lichtenstein liked the idea of making brushstrokes that were not brushstrokes so much, he finally arrived at the idea of making a brushstroke that is actually a sculpture. His sculpture on 7th Avenue and 33rd Street is a 3D version of his brushstroke paintings — and only one of many other, different Brushstroke Group sculptures located in other US cities.
This same sculpture was previously displayed at Navy Pier in Chicago in 2012. At some point, it will surely move along to a new home.
Photographed at 7th Avenue and 33rd Street, Adjacent to Madison Square Garden!
A Section of the Greene Street Mural at Gagosian Gallery (All Photos By Gail)
In December 1983, Roy Lichtenstein created Greene Street Mural, an unprecedented, site-specific and temporary wall painting measuring 18′ × 96 1/2′ at Leo Castelli Gallery, located at 142 Greene Street. In accordance with Lichtenstein’s intention, the work was destroyed after the six-week show.
More than thirty years later, Gagosian Gallery presents to a new generation of viewers a full-scale painted replica of the original work, based on documentation from Lichtenstein’s studio and produced by sign painters under the supervision of his former studio assistant.
In conjunction with the showing of the Mural, Gagosian has also collected an impressive selection of Lichtenstein’s distinctive, primary color paintings, along with a set of pyramid sculptures which I’ve never seen before.
When I attended the opening reception a couple of weeks back, there were fairly strict guidelines in place as to which works in which rooms on which walls could be photographed, and which could not. So much so that I lost track and just decided to snap as many photos as possible until somebody tried to stop me.
Art Nazi Approaches
Because, seriously, it’s not like anyone at Gagosian is going to even see this post, let alone suddenly become an avid reader of this blog. So, who gives a shit.
Here are some of my favorite paintings from the show!
Aren’t these amazing? He was so talented.
The reclining head in the foreground reminds me of This. I doubt that is an accident.
Untitled (To Barry, Mike, Chuck and Leonard) 1972 – 1975 (All Photos By Gail)
Dan Flavin (April 1, 1933 – November 29, 1996) was an American minimalist artist famous for creating gorgeous sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures. David Zwirner Gallery which represents Flavin’s estate, is currently hosting an exhibition of the artist’s significant Corner, Barrier and Corridor works from the late 1960s and early 1970s at its West 20th Street in New York. This is a must-see exhibit.
The exhibition at David Zwirner examines how Flavin established and redefined space through light constructions in three formats that were at the core of his practice. The artist’s “corner,” “barrier” and “corridor” works explicitly implicate their surrounding architecture while physically mediating the viewers’ experience and perception of space.
Above and Below: Untitled (to Sonja), 1969
Among the works on view will be a notable two-part Barrier in yellow and green dedicated to his wife, Untitled (to Sonja), 1969, which was first shown as Flavin’s contribution to the significant group exhibition Spaces at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1969-70.
Flavin’s installation comprised rectangular units of colored fluorescent tubes that formed two interior barriers that begin in the corners of the entrance wall and extend to the far end of the room, altering space with colored light and physically modifying the visitors’ experience of the room. This will be the first time it has been shown since the MoMA exhibition.
Also in the exhibition is a rare barrier that shines white fluorescent light into an empty room while rendering it inaccessible: Untitled (to Dorothy and Roy Lichtenstein on not seeing anyone in the room), 1968. This piece was first shown at the Dwan Gallery, New York, in 1968 and has not been exhibited since 1970. The work’s title makes reference to a 1961 painting by Roy Lichtenstein entitled I Can See The Whole Room!…And There’s Nobody in It!
A Corridor in Yellow and Pink fluorescent light from 1972-75, Untitled (to Barry, Mike, Chuck and Leonard), will also be presented. The work divides an architectural passageway into two mutually inaccessible, obstructed fields of color and light, playing on the viewers’ cognitive and physical perception of distinctly colored, opposite ends of the same space.
The show will also feature a room devoted to a sequence of four related corner constructions dedicated to the artist Barnett Newman: Untitled (to Barnett Newman) one-four, 1971, which highlight the four corners of the room by serially investigating the same rectangular form in different configurations of yellow, red, and blue fluorescent light. These works have not been on view in the United States since their first presentation in Flavin’s 1971 solo exhibition at the Dwan Gallery, New York.
Another work in the exhibition features the artist’s less-known use of circular light fixtures: Untitled (to a man, George McGovern) 2, from 1972, succinctly illuminates the corners of a given space in its wall-mounted triangular construction of warm white circular lamps.
Dan Flavin, Corners, Barriers and Corridors will be on Exhibit Through October 24th, 2015 at David Zwirner Gallery, Located at 537 West 20th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
By the 1970’s, Lichtenstein turned his eye toward the history of art, appropriating figures and motifs from the first half of the twentieth century and repainting them with Benday dots – the means of shading in newsprint and magazine pictures – in his signature palette of bright primary colors. For Stepping Out, (1978), he took one of Fernand Leger’s famous compositions, Three Musicians (1944), and added a female figure whose dramatically reduced and displaced features resemble the Surrealist women painted by Picasso in the 1930s.
Roy Lichtenstein’s Stepping Out is part of the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
I pass by this cool mural nearly every time I take a train into or out of Times Square, but I just stopped to take a photo of it this past weekend, when I had a few minutes to spare on my way way to see Hedwig and The Angry Inch starring Michael C. Hall (which, by the way, is fantastic). Installed in 2002, Times Square Mural captures the spirit of the subway, its linear movement and dynamic energy. With a nod to both the past and the future- its central image is a futuristic, bullet-shaped car zipping through an underground station. And not just any station, this is Times Square, in the heart of New York City.
Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York in 1923 and spent his last years here. Times Square Mural reflects his career, with references to, and variations on, his earlier works. Lichtenstein also freely appropriated and incorporated images from the works of other artists and designers in his work. For instance, the hooded figure at the right of the mural is from the old Buck Rogers comic strips and the iconic 42 image is from a series of drawings of the architectural detail of the subway. It is a signature work that honors its creator and the place in which it is located.
Times Square – 42nd Street Mural is located on the wall of the mezzanine adjacent to the entrances of the N, Q, R, S, 1, 2 and 3 trains.
Now, here’s a must see exhibit that you have six entire months to check out (so, maybe go more than once): Roy Lichtenstein’s Intimate Sculptures at Flag Art Foundation. This extremely well staged exhibit features a selection of the artist’s sculptures and maquettes (scale models), works that playfully and pointedly blur the boundaries of drawing, sculpture and painting.
Comprised of everyday and mass-produced objects – a mirror, water glass, and coffee cup – as well as the artist’s signature brushstrokes, the works highlight Lichtenstein’s ability to elevate the everyday to the iconic. Presented in a gallery space populated with furniture, the exhibition encourages engagement, inviting audiences to view historic works in an intimate setting.
The Two Sides of Maquette for House I (Above and Below)
Maquette for House I (1996) inspired the domestic context for this environment, a later work wherein Lichtenstein reduces the structure of a cookie cutter suburban house to black outlines and primary colors – yellow siding, a blue roof, and red to accent the shutters and chimney.
Often overlooked but routinely used, commercial subjects become monuments in the artist’s hand, wherein shadow, contour, and highlight are rendered in patinated bronze. In Mirror II (1977), Lichtenstein transforms a vanity mirror into a static, unchanging reflection – focusing on the form of the object while negating its intended function.
Mobile III (1990) directly references Alexander Calder’s archetypal mobiles, “freezing”  an item whose sole purpose is to respond to movement. Rather than condense volume and function into a linear still life, these sculptures become intimate metaphors for the disposable society in which they exist.
Nodding to the physicality of the Abstract Expressionist movement and its influence on Western art, Lichtenstein’s brushstroke sculptures democratize mark-making and painterly authority through isolation and reproduction. Lichtenstein describes his desire to separate the brushstroke from the canvas and distill it to its purist form.
One of the most fun things about Intimate Sculptures is the way it is staged so accessibly; as if you are walking through a private home and enjoying these works as part of someone’s “intimate” personal collection. It is very cool.
Roy Lichtenstein’s Intimate Sculptures will be on Exhibit Through January 31st, 2015 at Flag Art Foundation, Located at 545 West 25th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.