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    Philadelphia Barnes Museum’s Rare Display of Early Modernist, William Glackens

    Richard Friswell
    www.artesmagazine.com

    ‘Bathers at Bellport’ (c. 1912), oil on canvas, 25 x 30″

     William Glackens is one of those artists from the tumultuous, early 20th century American art movement that time and history have pushed to the margins. While likely underserved, his work—appearing to back away from the radicalism of his day, in favor of stark color and themes drawn from nature —is being re-evaluated in a new light. Glackens dared to experiment with his paint and compositions and, as such, he did not attract the cadre of devotees as many of his contemporaries. A member of the School of Eight, or Ashcan School, of the nineteen-teens and 20s, Glackens counted as his contemporaries such well-known artists today as, John Marin, Robert Henri, John Sloan and George Luks. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Metropolitan Museum of Art & The L. A. Lauder Cubism Collection: ‘There at the Creation’

    Richard Friswell
    www.artesmagazine.com

    Georges Braque (French 1882–1963), ‘The Terrace at the Hôtel Mistral L’Estaque and Paris,’ (autumn 1907), Oil on canvas, 32 × 24 1/8”. All works pictured are promised gifts from the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection.

    To walk through the Met’s current exhibition of early Cubist paintings by Picasso, Braque, Gris and Léger, recently gifted to the museum by cosmetics mogul and avid art collector, Leonard A. Lauder, is to serve as witness to the formation of modernist painting. Everything we think we know about the tumultuous years of early 20th century Paris and its venerable place in art history is there: in the relationships between the great artists of the day; the process of tentative trial and error that made up a ‘movement;’ the radical nature of the work—now casually accepted—and the marginal lives each artist was compelled to live (the ‘starving artist’ stereotype started here) as an outgrowth of their belief in making something new…art that could change the world as they knew it. (more…)

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    Heard Museum, Phoenix, Channels ‘Modern Spirit: The Abstract Art of George Morrison’

    Charles Giuliano
    www.artesmagazine.com

    ‘Spirit Path, New Day, Red Rock Variation: Lake Superior Landscape’ (1990), acrylic and pastel on paper, 22 x 30″. Coll. Minnesota Museum of American Art.

    In terms of art history and identity politics, the abstract artist George Morrison (1919-2000) is an enigma. The artist, whose Chippewa name was Wah Wah Teh Go Nay Ga Bo (Standing in the Northern Lights), was an integral part of the mainstream avant-garde of the New York school and running mate with the abstract expressionists. There are few overt signifiers in his lyrical, meticulously crafted paintings, drawings, prints and reliefs in wood of his Native American heritage. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Steven Rockefeller at the Mattatuck Museum: the Permanence of Change

    Richard Friswell
    www.artesmagazine.com

    Unless otherwise noted, all Illustrations are stills taken from Steven Rockefeller’s untitled 10-min ‘Fixed Frame Video’ series

    Video artist, Steven Rockefeller wants you to stop and take time to notice the world around you. Our lives are filled with the pressures of time, perpetual movement and the built environment we inhabit, and we learn to function on a structured schedule— as the simple elements of nature surrounding us often go unnoticed. Using his still-shot camera as a digital video recorder, Rockefeller pauses in front of scenes that might hold little interest for a casual passer-by or preoccupied vacationer, calling attention to the beauty and serenity in settings where ‘almost nothing’ appears to be happening. I emphasize the ‘almost,’ because through his lens he discovers—and invites us to share—the stunningly beautiful world of the ordinary, expressed through subtle, often imperceptible motion. Rockefeller’s multi-media installation at Waterbury, Connecticut’s Mattatuck Museum, A Park Bench View, fascinates with the world of the everyday, with mesmerizing results. xxxxxx (more…)

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    LA County Museum of Art Shows Marsden Hartley: The German Paintings 1913 to 1915

    Charles Giuliano

    www.artesmagazine.com

    With just 28 works roughly of the same scale installed in three galleries Marsden Hartley: The German Paintings 1913 to 1915, on view at the LA County Museum of Art through November 30, manages to capture lightning in a bottle.

    Left: The Iron Cross (1915), oil on canvas, 47 x 47″. Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis. University Purchase, Bixby Fund, 1952

    In a tiny window of just three years Hartley (1877 – 1943) embraced Cubism and European modernism in a brilliant manner that identifies him as America’s most advanced artist of his generation. This remarkable body of work ranks him shoulder to shoulder with the greatest European artists of that remarkable era. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): Beginners at Love

    Nancy Kempf

    www.artesmagazine.com  “All great amusements are dangerous to the Christian life; but among all those which the world has invented there is none more to be feared than the theater.” ~Blaise Pascal

    Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman is spectacular! A cast of marvelous actors delivers energetic, committed performances – Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts – and unite as a near perfect ensemble with a kinetic Michael Keaton at the center. Keaton is Riggan Thomson, a washed up actor who came to fame and fortune as superhero Birdman. Riggan risks humiliation and ruin in his Broadway debut, directing and starring in a dramatic adaptation he has written of Raymond Carver’s short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” xxxxxx (more…)

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    Editor’s Letter: November, 2014

    Richard Friswell

    www.artesmagazine.com“To create one’s own world takes courage.” ~Georgia O’Keeffe

     

    Left: Jankel Andler, The Artist (1927). Private Collection

    Time’s Odds and Ends

    “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly: what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Antoine de Saint Exupéry, The Little Prince (1943).

    Our legacy, both individually and as a culture, can be found in the mundane objects of everyday life: a photograph, trinket or souvenir, or maybe a letter. Recall, for example, the utter joy of a tornado survivor who recovers a wedding album in the rubble of a home where all else is lost. No grand gesture is needed to memorialize our brief presence here on this earth, or in the sweep of history. Memories are not cached in blocks of years or even weeks—but in moments. And objects, most small enough to hold in our hands and freighted with personal meaning serve as vivid reminders, refueling thoughts and emotions tied to those fleeting instants in the continuum of time. In other words: objects often lose their objectivity once embedded in our personal lives. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Hartford Stage and ‘Hamlet’: The Catcher in the Court

    Geary Danihy
    www.artesmagazine.com

    Andrew Long (King Claudius) and Kate Forbes (Queen Gertrude), with Zach Appelman (Hamlet) in the distance, in Hartford Stage production of ‘Hamlet.’ All photos by T. Charles Erickson.

     Over the centuries, critics and playgoers alike have had, if not problems, at least questions about “Hamlet,” most centering on the eponymous character himself. Chief among these “questions” is the prince’s apparent madness – is it pretense, real, or a little bit of both? The current production of Shakespeare’s tragedy at the Hartford Stage, under the sure-handed, creative guidance of artistic director Darko Tresnjak, appears to answer this and many other questions. This illuminating and totally enjoyable night of theater gives us a Hamlet for the twenty-first century while staying true to the Bard’s original intentions. It is a must-see production for theater-goers of all ages, but especially for students who think Shakespeare is “boring!” (more…)

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    Contemporary Chinese Artist Huang Yue at Rockefeller State Park Preserve Art Gallery

    Richard Friswell
    www.artesmagazine.com

    Detail, Huang Yue painting. Works are untitled, so presented here without captions

    A Westchester County park beloved for its miles of walking trails and acres of natural habitat just a few miles north of New York City, is also a regular host to a variety of artists. Recently, curator Audrey Leeds hung a show of contemporary art by the Chinese artist, Huang Yue. This invitational exhibition evokes the spirit and imagery of traditional Chinese brush painting, but with a contemporary twist. Nature is very much the focus of this artist’s work, but on closer examination, delves deep into human consciousness and aspiration. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Philadelphia Museum of Art Showcases Paul Strand, Early Modern Photographer

    Richard Friswell
    www.artesmagazine.com

    ‘Blind Woman, New York,’ 1916. *For caption detail, see End Note, #1

    Sometimes, small is beautiful. And by any standard, the photography of Paul Strand (1890-1976), whose vast body of work is now on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in the exhibition, Paul Strand, Master of Modern Photography, meets that standard. A maze of galleries are hung with row-upon-row of muted, sepia-toned, atmospheric prints. Turning each corner becomes a well-planned adventure, as work after work, covering the duration of his career, invites discovery and closer examination. The reward for the exhibition visitor can be seen in the painstaking effort that went into the production of each piece, and the discovery—just as Strand, himself, did—of the captivating the world of the particular. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Long Wharf Theater: Where, exactly, is ‘Our Town’?

    Geary Danihy
    www/artesmagazine.com

    Don Parks (Dr. Gibbs) in Long Wharf Theater production of ‘Out Town.’ All photos: Charles Erickson

    Well, based on the themes Thornton Wilder wove into his 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, it can be anywhere, for no matter what town or hamlet you visit there will be stories of love and loss, youth and old age, friendship, courtship, marriage and despair, plus, if you step back for a moment, the sense that life goes by too fast and it is only after all has passed that you realize what you have missed, the small moments you do not recognize as containing the essence of what it means to be alive. xxxxxx (more…)

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    London’s Tate Modern Highlights Malevich’s ‘Black Square’

    Jennifer Francis
    www/artesmagazine.com

    Kazimir Malevich, Black Square (1913). © State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

    “Up until now there were no attempts at painting as such, without any attribute of real life…Painting was the aesthetic side of a thing, but never was original and an end in itself.”    ~Kazimir Malevich

    A gloriously, insightful and refreshingly revelatory exhibition, presenting the work of Russian artist Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935), has been the subject of a major exhibition, Malevich: Revolutionary of Russian Art, at Tate Modern, London. It is an expansive retrospective, charting his entire artistic career and presenting the first opportunity to see many of his iconic paintings, such as the infamous Black Square. When this work was first created in 1915, a very big year for Malevich as well as the course of modern art, it scandalised audiences due to rejection of the conventions of pictorialism. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Domaine de Chantilly, France, with Mystery of Fra Angelico Renaissance Masterpiece

    Mary Skinner
    www/artesmagazine.com

    Fra Angelico, ‘Saint Romuald forbidden to enter the convent of Camaldules of the Emperor Otton III, charged with adultery’ Collection, The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium

    The Domaine de Chantilly in France is honoring the prized collections of the Condé Museum with a special exhibition of 14th and 15th century Italian paintings. The exhibit, Fra Angelico, Botticelli…Rediscovered Masterpieces will be on view from September 8, 2014 to January 4, 2015. One of the highlights of the exhibition is the reunion of five of the six paintings that comprise the Fra Angelico Thebaïde (‘solitary retreat’).

    But, one is still missing… xxxxxx (more…)

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    Peabody Essex Museum’s Calder Sculpture: Poetic Whimsy in Form and Motion

    Mark Favermann
    www/artesmagazine.com

    ‘Little Face,’ 1962, Sheet metal, wire, and paint. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Joseph B. and Ann S. Koepfli Trust in honor of museum’s 40th anniversary, M.2011.139

    Calder 20140389_8411Calder 20140389_8411“The underlying sense of form in my work has been the system of the Universe…that is a rather large model to work from.” ~Alexander Calder, 1951

    A natural reaction in the form of a smile, either external or internal, occurs whenever anyone encounters a piece of art by Alexander Calder. His sculptural forms are that pleasurably visceral.

    Creatively original, he set modern sculpture apart from abstract painting and figurative sculpture. He invented the sculptural forms of the mobile and the stabile.

    For decades his sculpture has been called wonderfully whimsical, delicately balanced and visually in-motion. But the works of Alexander Calder (1898-1976) are much, much more. Currently, in a superb exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), in Salem, Massachusetts, 40 of Calder’s signature sculptures celebrate this 20th Century abstract form-giver master. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Understanding “Black Film”: Fresh Perspective on the Human Condition

    Nancy Kempf
    www/artesmagazine.com

    Chadwick Boseman (as James Brown), in ‘Get On Up.’

    The popularity of Get On Up, on the heels of the awards sweep for12 Years a Slave, and the number of recent films exploring the black experience, might have us asking what accounts for the wave of “black films” since 2000? Whatever it is, the number per year has escalated, perhaps simply because the number of influential African-Americans in Hollywood has grown. According to the New York Film Academy, ten of the top 100 films in 2013 were black films compared with six in 2012 and four in 2011. At the same time, in the early 2000s, black actors played 15% of roles in film and TV, while today that number is 13%. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Picasso’s Woman: Study in Symbolism and Manifest Desire

    Martin Ries
    www/artesmagazine.com

    Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (c. 1907). Museum of Modern Art, NY

    “Au fond il n’y a que l’amour” [At bottom there is only love].  ~Pablo Picasso  

    “The facts show that it was the heart—albeit the heart of an artist—that dictated Picasso’s actions.”                   ~Olivier Widmaier Picasso

    When Pablo Picasso was in his early twenties, poverty-stricken and living in his studio in Montmartre, he sold his drawings for as little as twenty francs. In 1906, at 25, he painted Les Demoiselles d’Avignon; four years later, married and a father, Picasso was relatively free from money worries. However it wasn’t until the autumn of 1923 that Les Demoiselles d’Avignon was finally sold. From age 38 he was wealthy. The Wall Street Crash of October 1929 had little effect on the artist (then 48), and the following spring he bought the Château de Boisgeloup near Paris as Europe fell into an economic depression. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Modernism and the American Idiom: A Conversation with Film-maker, Michael Maglaras

    Richard Friswell

    “No author, without a trial, can conceive of the difficulty of writing a romance about [America] where there is no shadow, no antiquity, no mystery, no picturesque and gloomy wrong, nor anything but a commonplace prosperity, in broad and simple daylight, as is the case with my dear happy land. It will be very long »more

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