The forms of Agnes Pelton’s Sea Change (1931) channel the movement and energy of water, which the artist regarded as a metaphor for the ebb and flow of human thought. Created the year she left Long Island for the Southern California desert, Sea Change can be understood as a meditation on personal transitions; however, Pelton refused such specific readings of her art. Influenced by modern Theosophy, an esoteric blend of religion and philosophy, as well as the mysticism of the American Symbolist painters, Pelton believed that art channels the universal energies of the natural world through color and light, which are experienced rather than purely seen. She described color as “active,” likening it to a voice or “vibration” that is ideally perceived like “the fragrance of a flower [which] fills the consciousness with the essence of its life.”
Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC.
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.
This very colorful mural by renowned street artist turned fine artist Kenny Scharf adorns one side of a building located near the corner of Lafayette and Prince Street in SOHO. The 50-foot high abstract painting is part of the Taking Back the Streets campaign from WAT-AAH bottled water to promote the popularity of drinking water among children and teens. Find out more about the campaign at This Link.
Variations on the Theme: Ice (Various Artists. Above Photo by Gail. All Other Photos Courtesy of Goldstein Communications)
The idea of “wearable art” in the realm of modern design is fascinating me to, so I was very excited to attend an opening reception last week for the American Jewelry Design Council (AJDC)’s exhibit at Forbes Galleries showcasing 25 years of outstanding jewelry design. The exhibition, Variations on a Theme: 25 Years of Design from the AJDC, will dazzle museum visitors with one-of-a-kind works from over 40 Designers who are AJDC members.
Cornelia Goldsmith Ring, Theme: Ice (Also seen as part of the collection in photo above)
Annually, the AJDC and goldeneaglecoin.com asks each of its members to create a design project, interpreting a single concept or theme; the final product is a collection of unique jewelry pieces joined by a solitary concept. Past themes include simple conceptual elements such as Water, Spiral, Ice, Pyramid, Wheel and Flight imagined into breathtaking masterpieces made of precious metals, gemstones and unexpected materials. On view in this exhibit at Forbes jewelry gallery is a selection of works from various annual AJDC Design Projects from the very first theme, in 1996 to the most recent, in 2013. Each thematic collection is displayed beautifully in a separate glass vitrine.
Sandy Baker Brooch for the Theme “Wheel”
“The jewelry pieces shown at the Forbes exhibition have been created over time for the sole purpose of exhibiting creativity, originality and excellence in design,” says Barbara Heinrich, President of the AJDC. “They are purposely noncommercial but rather inspirational in nature, created by some of the foremost American jewelry designers alive. Due to the unique nature and concept of the show, it is sure to excite and inspire its audience.”