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    A Gourmand’s Guide to Louisville, Kentucky’s Most Happening City

    Edward Rubin

    louisville friedrich_wand.1818Part One features two of Louisville’s most popular hotels, one overflowing with  museum-quality works of art, along with eight of the city’s most-talked about restaurants with special attention paid to the food and cocktails that not only fueled my stay but allowed me to, in the course of nine days, to move with ease from one place to another.

    Arriving is a State of Mind

    It seems that no matter what city I visit I tend to fall in love with it, sometimes deeply. Yes, wherever I go—the result is that I meet myself there, face to face. The world of commerce being what it is, it is not often that I get to quietly experience myself unhindered by daily annoyances in this manner. Being able to look at where I am coming from, where I have been, where I am now, and just perhaps where my next step in life might take me without having to spend a month in rehab, is a joy. This, coupled with indulging my intellectual and hedonistic desires—always a must on any trip made (why else leave town?). xxxxxx  (more…)

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    ‘Vida y Drama de México': Mid-20th C. Political Posters at Yale Univ. Art Gallery

    Stephen Kobasa

    Fullscreen capture 1212015 94606 AMMelancholy defines revolutions; the triumph is always followed by the terror or the bureaucracy. But before that inevitability asserts itself, there is always an exuberant conviction that it will not happen again. In contrast to this righteous delusion, ink pressed onto paper can be, in itself, an act of defiance which asserts that the struggle against injustice never ends. And so it is in the work of the Taller de Gráfica Popular offered by this comprehensive and challenging exhibition.

    Left: 1. Alberto Beltrán, Vida y drama de México: 20 años de vida del Taller de Gráfica Popular (Life and Drama of Mexico: 20 Years of the Life of the Taller de Gráfica Popular), 1957. For ‘Footnotes’ for complete citationsxxxxxx (more…)

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  • People walk past a grafitti tag reading "I am Charlie" as they take part in a solidarity march (Marche Republicaine) in the streets of Paris

    Cover of ‘Charlie Hebdo,’ French Satirical Newspaper

    Richard Friswell

    IN MEMORIAM: For the innocent victims of the recent Paris attack on the satirical publication, Charlie Hebdo. And, in support of all who make art, editorial content and literature as political and cultural commentary, we run the cover of their magazine, appearing just a week after twelve cartoonists and five others were gunned down by extremists in places where they worked, lived and shopped. Now, in the name of free expression, we are all ‘Charlie!’

    Fullscreen capture 1182015 84834 AM

    Recently, in another part of the world, artists and activists gathered in a public square in Havana, Cuba. They assembled on the day President Obama announced new U.S. political and cultural relations with the Castro regime. In spite of the spirit of openness that supposedly accompanied this diplomatic initiative, several artists at that celebratory event were detained, questioned and held for two days by police . One such detainee was Tania Bruguera, whose work was reviewed by ARTES Magazine in 2010. Read more about her political art here:




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    Surrealist Painter, André Masson: Sophocles, de Sade, and Oedipus

    Martin Ries

    Masson intro a“This is the very ecstasy of love, whose violent property fordoes itself.” – William Shakespeare

    “… mortal man must always look to his ending, And none can be called happy until that day when he carries His happiness down to the grave in peace.” – Sophocles

    From childhood André Masson was introspective, contemplative—a youthful dreamer and reader of books. In cities all over Europe at the turn of the twentieth century young people were enthralled by Impressionism, and Symbolism, Nietzsche, and Wagner. Something of a drifter in his teenage years, Masson read avidly in literature and philosophy, became a vegetarian, went barefoot, considered himself a Wagnerian and a Nietzschean. Defying social convention, he was seized by the authorities more than once.

    Above, left: André Masson, ‘Metamorphosis’ (1939) xxxxxx (more…)

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    From Museum to Your Neighborhood Theater: Matisse, Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh, and Turner

    Edward Rubin

    matisse 3This has been a banner year for mainstream movies and documentaries about art, artists, and the act of creating. And I have been in the 4th row of Pig Heaven watching every one of these offerings at my local movie house. So far, we have had some half dozen mainstream offerings: from Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner; Frederick Wiseman’s National Gallery; Tim Burton’s Big Eyes, the story of painter Margaret Keane and her alleged sociopathic husband, Walter; to Julian Jones’ 3D, Inside the Mind of Leonardo. And now, thanks to Fathom Events, in association with Arts Alliance and uber producer/director Phil Grabsky, and his company Seventh Arts Productions, five more art and artist documentaries are on their way to the big screen.

    Above: Museum staff hang one of Matisse’s late-in-life florals for the Tate/MoMA ‘Cut-Outs show xxxxxx (more…)

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    Elga Wimmer PCC with “Resonance and Memory: The Essence of Landscape”

    Mary Hrbacek

    www.artesmagazine.comThe exhibition at the New York City gallery, Elga Wimmer PCC, “Resonance and Memory: the Essence of Landscape,” organized by Katharine T. Carter & Associates and curated by Robert Curcio, displays eight distinctive artists whose fresh perspective on landscape reinvigorates the genre by infusing it with issues that span time, real space, digital intervention, and altered observed reality.  This diverse show includes paintings, sculpture, digital drawings, photography and glass works by Kathleen Elliot, Sandra Gottlieb, J.J. L’Heureux, John Lyon Paul, Rebeca Calderón Pittman, Gerry Tuten, Gail Watkins and Martin Weinstein.

    Above, left: Sandra Gottlieb, “October Waves no. 2,” (2014) Archival Digital Print xxxxxx (more…)

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    Noguchi Museum and Garden: When Art & Functional Design Meet

    Mark Favermann

    www.artesmagazine.comA visceral connection between what is art and the best design has always been an intense inner quality radiating visually and materially resonating. It is underscored by an aesthetic convergence of form and function.

    Left: Interior, Noguchi Museum, Long Island City, N.Y. Photo: M. Favermann

    The overlap of elegance of function and beautiful form is due to great talent, lucky coincidence or probably a bit of both. This is most often translated by sculptural form.

    Great three-dimensional design is almost always great sculpture. The sculptural form gives the functional design a visual eloquence, an elegant objectness. This articulated sculptural quality makes a statement of intrinsic value. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Disney’s, ‘Into the Woods’: Fables Still Have the Power to Teach

    Amy Henderson

    www.artesmagazine.comStephen Sondheim’s woods are scary. Wander off the well-trodden path, and you can be thrown into a Freudian wilderness filled with bodice-ripping terror. Sondheim may assure us that “No One Is Alone,” but we also learn that togetherness doesn’t guarantee safety from pain.

    Above, left: Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood in “Into the Woods.” All photo credits: Walt Disney Studios.

    Composer Sondheim and lyricist/librettist James Lapine brought Into the Woods to Broadway in 1987. A conglomeration of nineteenth century fairy tales by the Grimm brothers, the musical has deeper roots in Bruno Bettelheim, notably in his Freudian view that “The Uses of Enchantment” could help children cope with fear, violence, abandonment, and death. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Editor’s Letter: January, 2015

    Richard Friswell

    www.artesmagazine.com“The art one chooses to collect becomes a self-portrait.” ~Dennis Heckler, Artist


    Left: Emile Nolde, “Portrait of the Artist and His Wife” (ca. 1932), watercolor. Collection Detroit Institute of Arts.


    Out of the Blue

    “Nothing is as tedious as the limping days [of winter],” decried Baudelaire. Our world is once again draped in a veil of blue. Summer’s yellow-orange glow has, of late, been rudely displaced by a cold, indifferent blast of winter chill. Landscapes, once verdant, appear as medieval tapestries, their muted tones of purple-gray, deep maroons, rich ochre and black now enshrouding us. Slanting early afternoon light extends trailing sapphire shadows of bare tree branches, like innumerable swaying, gnarled fingers, across vast expanses of snowy fields. While many welcome the season, others, like Sinclair Lewis, were not so inclined. “Winter is not a season, it’s an occupation,”he protested. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Bard Graduate Gallery of Art Retrospective, ‘Barbara Nessim: An Artful Life,’ Pioneering Artist, Illustrator

    Edward Rubin

    nessim unknownNote: The author is indebted to Bard’s press department and Hollis Barhart, as well as exhibition curator, Douglas Dodds, for permission to borrow liberally from gallery and catalogue material for the completion of this review.

    Barbara Nessim: An Artful Life at the Bard Graduate Gallery of Art, in New York City, presents an overview of the work of this pioneering American artist and designer from the 1960s to the present day. Nessim’s distinctive illustrations have appeared on the covers of nearly every major American magazine, including Time, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times Magazine. Her work ranges from provocative prints, drawings, and paintings that represent her feminist views to illustrations for advertising cam­paigns for companies such as Levi’s and Ralph Lauren. She employs a wide variety of techniques, including line drawing, watercolor, printmaking, photography, and col­lage. In a career that spans more than fifty years, she is still actively working on new projects.

    Above, left: “Beware of the Blue Sky Syndrome” (1967), pen and Ink, watercolor, collage. Courtesy of the artist. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Smithsonian American Art Museum: Richard Estes, All-pervading Twists of Realism

    Elaine A. King

    www.artesmagazine.comIn today’s Post-Studio art world, filled with anti-object sentiment, conceptual social critique and contextual public art practice saturating theoretical discourse, most do not think of Richard Estes as an avant-garde trailblazer. However, in the 1960s he was viewed as a groundbreaking artist who employed photographs to produce a new style of painting.

    Above: “Joe” Diner (1979), oil on canvas, 36 1/2 x 48″. Private Collection. xxxxxx (more…)

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    New York’s Museum of Modern Art Shows ‘Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs’

    Charles Giuliano

    matisse 1During the busy holiday season The Museum of Modern Art is featuring the blockbuster exhibition of the artist’s triumphant and inventive last works Henri Matisse: The Cutouts. The exhibition drew some 500,000 visitors last summer to London’s Tate Modern.

    To control the flow of visitors through the New York exhibition, tickets are issued for specific dates and time.

    Above: Blue Nude III (Nu Bleu III), spring 1952, gouache on paper, cut and pasted, on paper, mounted on canvas, 44 1/8 x 28 15/16″. Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Purchase, 1982. 


    The often enormously scaled works with brightly colored paper collage are both joyous and fresh as well as fragile and ephemeral. A major panorama that once adorned his dining room in Nice “The Swimming Pool” has undergone several years of restoration and is again displayed, carefully, at MoMA, which owns it. xxxxxx (more…)

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    National Museum of Women in the Arts, ‘Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea’

    Amy Henderson

    www.artesmaagazine.comThe National Museum of Women in the Arts has opened a “landmark exhibition” on the Virgin Mary that functions not as a religious tribute, but as an artistic exploration into the image of “the most frequently depicted woman in Western art.” Curated by Monsignor Timothy Verdon, the exhibition brings together masterworks of the Renaissance and Baroque eras, filling the museum with works by such extraordinary artists as Botticelli, Caravaggio, Durer, and Michelangelo.

    Above: Gerard David, ‘The Annunciation’ (ca. 1490), oil on oak panel, 13 ¾ x 9”. Detroit Institute of Arts, City of Detroit Purchase; inv. 27.201. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Long Wharf & Steve Martin’s ‘Picasso at the Lapin Agile’: Laughs as Left Brain Meets Mr. Right

    Geary Danihy

    picassoSo it’s 1904. We’re on the cusp of a new century, one-hundred years that stretch out like a road paved in silver, glistening, beckoning; and two young men stand staring down this road, wondering where it will lead them. Both men believe that greatness awaits, for they are full of themselves, of the achievements that tremble before them in their minds, the ideas that swirl. One is a painter, a hedonist, the other a physicist and, as the old joke goes, they walk into a bar one evening, the Lapin Agile, to be precise, a Paris bistro. The punch line to this particular joke is bathed in dramatic irony, for the painter is Picasso, the physicist Einstein, and the audience watching Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” which recently opened at Long Wharf Theatre, knows exactly where these two men are headed, what they will achieve, and what will happen once they begin walking down that road, the discoveries and creative insights that will change the world forever, and the darkness that will, at certain moments, threaten to lead to the abyss.

    Above: Robbie Tann (Einstein) and Grayson DeJesus (Picasso) in a scene from ‘Picasso at the Lapin Agile’ at Long Wharf Theatre. All photos © T. Charles Erickson xxxxxx


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    Philadelphia’s Penn Museum Cooking with ‘Culinary Expeditions: A Celebration of Food & Culture’

    Katherine Arcano

    www.artesmagazine.comFood and—more specifically—its consumption are intimately linked to our identity as social beings, anchoring us together as families, communities and nations. Wolves consume calories the same way each time, hurriedly to avoid losing their kill to another. For creatures of the wild, swallowing trumps savoring every time. Not so with the human species. We suspend food on our tongues, rolling our eyes with delight with each bite. Chewing releases vital flavors as taste buds and the brain’s sensory and memory centers revel in the experience.

    Left: Tarentine Red Figure, Bull’s Head Rython, Apulia, Italy (ca. 350-320 BCE)

    Only our most primitive Paleolithic ancestors likely consumed their food without cooking it. Once fire was discovered as a means of enhancing mastication and digestion, it was a short step to specialty meal preparation. The regionalization of herb and spice enhancements, grain and vegetation cultivation soon demarcated one tribe from another, one culture’s culinary traditions from that of their neighbors. Given our rapidly-evolving omnivorous propensity, gourmet kitchens became a Darwinian evolutionary inevitability! xxxxxx (more…)

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    New York’s Ricco/Maresca Gallery Exhibits Bastienne Schmidt’s ‘Topography of Quiet’

    Richard Friswell

    Bastienne Schmidt, ‘Measuring Light, Strehlen, Germany’ (2008)

    Bastienne Schmidt has a roving eye, eagerly assimilating the world around her. Her most recent body of published work, Topography of Quiet, demonstrates her extraordinary ability as an artist to visualize the myriad details surrounding her, then filter them through the screen of her artistic sensibilities. Once in the studio, the images she visualizes become larger than the sum of their parts. The reasoning is straight-forward: She believes the quiet corners of the ordinary world have important things to teach us—about order and chaos, balance and form, identity and sense of place. Any transformation of non-trivial data into an image will leave out information, but what lies just beyond the frame of a Schmidt photograph, or just beyond the edge of the canvas, speaks as convincingly to her compositions as what she opts to include. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Springfield Museum & Contemporary Art of Gloria Garfinkel: Origami Interpretations

    Mary Hrbacek

    Square Flip (2008), Painted Aluminum 30x30x1.5”

    Gloria Garfinkel’s exhibition of twenty-five prints, paintings and sculptures, from her output of the 1980’s, accentuates the artist’s dramatic intellectual and emotional interconnection to the art, culture and nature of Japan.  The unprecedented fusion of Japanese culture in her works is stunningly apparent in the Hanabi (Celebration) Maquette sculptures, the Ginko Kimono painting series, and the related narrow Obi (Kimono sash)-shaped canvas paintings. The various woodcut prints, etchings, and collaged etchings from the Kiku (Chrysanthemum) group present a rewarding selection of her extensive print oeuvre.  “Flip” interactive aluminum wall paintings complete the rich roster of diverse yet harmonious works whose origins in cross-fertilization with Japanese heritage bring a refreshingly unique vision to Western sensibilities. xxxxxx (more…)

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