Over the course of a career that stretched from the 1920s to the 1980s, Alice Neel painted portraits of hundreds of friends, family members, lovers, artists art historians, writers, and political activists, believing that “people are the greatest and profoundest key to an era.” Seeking to express psychology above absolute physical likeness, she often used exaggerated colors and expressive brushstrokes and eliminated extraneous details in order to capture the inner lives of her subjects.
Neel was a longtime supporter of leftist causes. In the painting of Pat Whalen (1935), she depicts the Communist activist and union organizer for the longshoremen of Baltimore as a paragon of social justice. Whalen’s creased face and expression — along with a copy of the Daily Worker, the official newspaper of the Communist Party USA, resting beneath his large, clenched — suggest both a noble archetype of the blue-collar worker and an all-consuming commitment to the working man’s cause.
Magnet TV (1965) is an early example of Nam June Paik’s“Prepared Televisions,” works in which he altered the television’s image or its physical casing. This work consists of a seventeen-inch, black and white set with an industrial-size magnet resting on top of it. The magnetic field interferes with the television’s reception of electronic signals, distorting the picture into an abstract form that changes when the magnet is moved.
Paik’s radical action undermines the seemingly inviolable power of broadcast television by transforming the TV set into sculpture, one whose moving image is created by chance, and can be manipulated at will. Through his alteration of the television image, Paik challenged the notion of the art object as a self-contained entity and established a process of instant feedback, whereby the viewer’s actions have a direct effect on the form and meaning of the work.
Photographed in The Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC.
Abstract Browsing 17 03 05 (Google) (2017) is a machine woven tapestry depicting an abstract version of the Google browser’s interface. To produce his Abstract Browsing series, Rafaël Rozendaal created a plug-in for Google’s Chrome Browser. Available to anyone online, it reduces images and text on any website visited to colored rectangles. The artist surfs the web every day using his plug-in and compiles thousands of screenshots, which he then narrows down to a small selection to be produced as tapestries
The tapestries are created at the Textile Museum in Tilburg, the Netherlands, where Rozendaal’s screenshots are converted into a file for output by a weaving machine. His project connects layers of machine abstraction: the initial transformation of the webpage exposes a composition optimized to grab our attention, while the tapestry references the roots of computing in nineteenth-century weaving machines that automated the creation of patterns.
A hybrid of Pop and Minimalist aesthetics, this stacked sculpture, Mylar and Plexiglass Construction (1970) relates to Andy Warhol’s Mylar Silver Clouds from 1966 and extends his interest in seriality, color and the readymade into three-dimensional space.
Mylar Rolls, Detail
Comprised of six rolls of colored mylar on cardboard tubes, mounted in a Plexiglass case, the work offers a rare glimpse into a mode of artistic production that, for whatever reason, Warhol chose not to pursue further.
Photographed as Part Of the Exhibit, Andy Warhol: From A to B And Back Again, at The Whitney Museum in NYC Through March 31, 2019.
If you happen to be planning an outing to the Whitney Museum to see the new Andy Warhol exhibit, From A to B And Back Again, why not make a day of it: do some shopping, walk the High Line, enjoy a delicious lunch at Bubby’s, and stop by the outdoor Plaza at the Standard Hotel to check out their amazing Psychedelic Christmas Tree Forest!
As you can see, these trees are decorated with oversize sweets such as Gummy Bears, Candy Canes and Gum Drops! Fun!
While you stroll among the trees and take assloads of selfies for your Instagram feed, you can also enjoy a hot beverage!
Find This Forest of Colorful Holiday Trees at The Standard Hotel Plaza, Located at 848 Washington at 13th Street, New York 10014
David Wojnarowicz (1954 – 1992) used red string as a material throughout his practice. From his early supermarket posters to the flower paintings, he stitched red string into the surface of his compositions to suggest the seams and irreconcilable breaks in culture. In his unfinished film, A Fire In MY Belly (1986 – 87), Wojnarowicz included footage of the stitching together of a broken loaf of bread. This sculpture is a physical manifestation of that earlier idea. The film also included footage of what appeared to be a man’s lips being sewn together. A version of that image by Andreas Sterzing — featuring Wojnarowicz himself — would become one of the most galvanizing images to come out of the AIDS crisis.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, History Keeps Me Awake at Night, at The Whitney Musuem.
This photograph of artist David Wojnarowicz (1954 – 1992) was taken in late May of 1991 at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico while Wojnarowicz and his friend Marion Scemama took a road trip around the American Southwest. Cynthia Carr, the artist’s biographer, describes how the photograph came to be:
David had been there before and he knew exactly where he wanted stage this. “We’re going to dig a hole,” he told her, “and I’m going to lie down.” They began digging without saying word, a hole for his upper body and a bit for his legs. They used their hands. The dirt was loose and dry. He lay down and closed his eyes. Marion put dirt around his face until it was halfway up his cheeks and then stood over him, photographing his half-buried face first with his camera and then with hers.
This image was also licensed for use as the cover art for the soundtrack recording of the 1995 film, Postcards From America.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit History Keeps Me Awake at Night, on View Through September 30th, 2018 at the Whitney Museum in NYC.