• albert pinkham ryder crop

    In the Realm of Spectacle and Dreams [Part II]: 19th c. Artists and Writers Shape a New America

    Richard Friswell

    Fullscreen capture 8132012 31826 PM (2)Curator’s Note: This is Part II of a virtual ‘exhibition’ examining America’s self image during the Gilded Age, Mark Twain’s derisive term for a period of U.S. industrial and cultural expansion during the last quarter of the 19th century. It offered rich material from some of America’s best-known artists and writers.  This exhibition focuses specifically on the cities of the Northeast and here, their rural and coastal environs.  The art selected for inclusion in not intended to illustrate the text in any direct or literal sense; any more than the narrative excerpts are meant to be descriptive of the meaning or intent of any painting.  Rather, they combine to provide a contemporaneous view of the painter’s visible world and writer’s literary sphere.  The pairing of  ‘narrative’ painting with a ‘painterly’ narrative yields a multi-sensory experience for the virtual gallery visitor which will hopefully prove larger than the sum of its parts.

    The Waterfront
    “The seaside is a good place to rest in, especially if one can control his surroundings. The quiet, the calm, the peace, the pleasant color, the idyllic sights and sounds, all tend to allay nervous irritation, to tranquilize the soul, the repress the intellectual, and to invigorate the animal functions in a very remarkable degree.  But this is not rustic life; it is only the waterfront retreat of the city resident.” xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • Concerto Series  crop_17-001

    Paintings by Contemporary Artist, Bill Barrett: Humanism & Unbridled Joy

    David S. Rubin
    www.artesmagazine.com

    Bill Barrett, ‘Pinnacle VI’, 2007, fabricated bronze, 40 x 24 x 22 in. See 9/11 inspiration for this work, below.

    Throughout most of his long and distinguished career, Bill Barrett has been considered primarily a sculptor. The title of his 2003 monograph by Philip F. Palmedo, in fact, is Bill Barrett: Evolution of a Sculptor. Yet, a practice common to artists working today is to move back and forth among various mediums, and Barrett’s approach is no exception. The son of a painter who studied under the pioneering cubist Fernand Léger, Barrett watched his father paint in the studio as a child, and he himself explored the medium in his student years. Additionally, many of Barrett’s favorite twentieth century artists, including Arshile Gorky and Willem DeKooning, were painters. So the fact that Barrett would himself shift his main focus from the three-dimensional medium of sculpture to the two-dimensional format of painting is not all that surprising. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • portrait-of-gertrude-stein crop 05-002

    The Words of Gertrude Stein: ‘Composition…Master-Pieces…Identity’

    Edward Rubin

    www.artesmagazine.comGertrude Stein C’est Moi!

    I recently attended Obie Award winner, David Greenspan’s amazing performance of Composition…Master-Pieces…Identity at the Connelly Theater in New York. It consisted of two of Stein’s lectures: Composition as Explanation; What Are Masterpieces, and Why Are There So Few of Them; and one poem that could be a mini-play, as Greenspan acted it out, Identity A Poem. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • cailebotte 2 crop-001

    National Gallery’s Double-Header: Impressionist Gustave Caillebotte; Dutch Master, Joachim Wtewael

    Amy Henderson
    www.artesmagazine.com

    Gustave Caillebotte, ‘Portrait of Monsieur R.,’ 1877, oil on canvas, Private Collection.

    One of the most influential but least recognized of the French Impressionists, Gustave Caillebotte exemplified Charles Baudelaire’s definition of a “flaneur.” In an article published in Le Figaro in 1863, Baudelaire rhapsodized about the flaneur as a symbol of urban modernity—a “passionate spectator” who immersed himself in the city’s “ebb and flow of movement” as modern life created a kaleidoscope of the “fugitive and the infinite.” The flaneur rejoiced in his “incognito” while he recorded “the flickering grace of all the elements of life.” xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • moholy-nagy leuk-5-1947 crop

    Santa Barbara Museum of Art: Constructivist László Moholy-Nagy and ‘The Shape of Things to Come’

    Richard Friswell
    www.artesmagazine.com

    László Moholy-Nagy (or Ladislaus), CH Space 6 (detail), 1941, Oil on canvas, 119 x 119 cm, Estate of László Moholy-Nagy

    “The reality of our century is technology: the invention, construction and maintenance of machines. To be a user of machines is to be of the spirit of this century. Machines have replaced the transcendental spiritualism of past eras.” ~ László Moholy-Nagy

    Moholy-Nagy was an artist in a time of cultural revolution. He believed that humanity could only defeat the fracturing experience of modernity—only feel whole again—if it harnessed the potential of new technologies. He held that artists should transform into designers, and through specialization and experimentation find the means to answer humanity’s needs. And yet, throughout his career, he continued to fundamentally think of himself as a painter. His interest in qualities of space, time, and light endured as well, transcending the wide range of media he happened to be working in. Whether he was painting, creating “photograms” (photographs made without the use of a camera or negative), or crafting sculptures made of transparent Plexiglass, he was ultimately interested in studying how all these basic elements interacted. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • Oursler crop LM21336_ISO_LMG_2015_Inst_01_hr

    Luma Foundation, Arles, France with Tony Oursler: Intermingling Magic, Science, Life

    Elaine A. King

    Oursler_1 crop LM21418_TER3_01_hrTony Oursler is a prolific contemporary artist, known internationally for his inventive state-of-the-art combinations of technology, sculpture, and performance.  He has been an innovator of new media work since the early 1980s, focusing on video, digital projection and installation. In the last category, he merges the spoken word with other human-produced sounds, including burps, farts, whispers, breathing and sighs, into his sculptural assemblages.

    Above: TER3′ (2015) aluminum, acrylic, resin, LCD screens, media players, sound performed by Jinnie Lee 46.75 x 36.5 x 3.5” Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong xxxxx  (more…)

    Share This Post
  • Moments 9a-crop 001

    Washington’s Phillips Collection and Its 20th C. Photography Collection: ‘American Moments’

    Amy Henderson

    Phillips cropThe Phillips Collection is a lovely alternative to Washington, D.C.’s massive museums strung along the National Mall. Founded by Duncan Phillips in 1921, this private museum is nestled among row houses and restaurants in the vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood. Known as America’s first museum of modern art, the Phillips today continues its founding vision to be known as an “intimate museum combined with an experiment station.” xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • pentalum 5 crop

    Boston’s ‘Pentalum': Pushing the Boundaries of an Interactive Environment

    Mark Favermann

    www.artesmagazine.comLike some sort of unworldly mushrooms set on the Lawn on D next to Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in South Boston, the ‘Pentalum’ (exhibited on May 28 through 31) consisted of equal parts floating fantasy village, contemporary carnival ride, and pop-up environmental art installation. Though it has been seen by over 2 million visitors in 38 countries, the piece had never before been seen on the U.S. East Coast. The popularity is understandable: ‘Pentalum’ is a public art happening for every age. Based upon the physical integration of color and form, this walk-through experience is a very engaging and delightful serving of the light fantastic. It is just a lot of fun.

    Above: An interior view of the Pentalum’ on the Lawn on D in South Boston. Photo: Mark Favermann. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • man poster-crop001

    Barrington Stage with ‘Man of La Mancha’: Timeless Paean to the Human Spirit

    Charles Giuliano
    www.artesmagazine.com

    Jeff McCarthy (Don Quixote), Tom Alan Robbins (Sancho Panza). All photos: Kevin Sprague.

    Barrington Stage launches its tenth season in Pittsfield with a stunning revival of the now fifty-year-old musical, Man of La Mancha, directed by Julianne Boyd. Based on the raucous audience response, it is the first hit of what promises to be an outstanding summer of theatre in the Berkshires.

    While it is early to crank up the hyperbole, it is difficult to imagine that anyone will top Jeff McCarthy in the category of leading man in a musical. He has set the bar to an Olympics level with a stunning and career defining performance as the whacko, ersatz knight in tarnished armor, Don Quixote. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • Kiefer_NarrowAreTheVessels crop_500x300

    Mass MoCA and Anselm Kiefer: Agony’s Chapel

    Stephen Kobasa

    kiefer 1aThe wreckage is confined as if it were a crime scene display, solitary in a warehouse, awaiting the jury’s visit. This the antechamber to the installation of work by Anselm Kiefer now in place at MASS MoCA for the coming decade. The building on the former factory complex that was converted to house it was once a water storage tank for nearby boilers, and there is a sense of a pool having been drained to reveal these still decaying fragments on the floor, now making their long return to dust.

    Above: Anselm Kiefer, Étroits sont les Vaisseaux (Narrow are the Vessels), 2002, concrete, steel, lead and earth, 60 x 960 x 110”. All photos: Arthur Evans. Courtesy Hall Art Foundation © Anselm Kiefer. xxxxxx

    (more…)

    Share This Post
  • Editor’s Letter: June, 2015

    Richard Friswell

    Alfred kappes Tattered-and-Torn_smith colleg art“A voyage of discovery is not   new landscapes, but new eyes.” ~Marcel Proust

    Left: Alfred Kappes, ‘Tattered and Torn’ (1886). Collection: Smith College Museum of Art.

     ‘Uncle B’: A Remembrance

    “The Blues are a simple music and I’m a simple man. But the Blues aren’t a science, the Blues can’t be broken down like mathematics. The Blues are a mystery, and mysteries are never as simple as they look!” ~ BB King Music, color and deepest emotional expression converge in the African-American musical form known as the Blues. Derived from the color blue, the blues, in the plural form, express a wide range of emotions musically. Just as the color blue has wide variety of shades, so do the blues in terms of their intensity. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • hok 13 crop

    Ukiyo-e Print Master, Hokusai, Makes Waves at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts

    Charles Giuliano

    hok 15The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is currently displaying 230 works from seven decades by the Japanese master print maker, Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). In the custom his era and profession, he was known by many names. Most of the works in the exhibition, organized by Sarah Thompson, the museum’s assistant curator for Japanese prints, are drawn from the museum’s vast collection. The MFA is regarded as having the finest collection of Japanese art of any museum, including those in Japan.

    Above: Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849),Watanabe no Gengo Tsuna and Inokuma Nyûdô Raiun, from an 
untitled series of warriors in combat (c.1833–5), Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection. All photos © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • filthy 1 crop

    Freer-Sackler Gallery’s Peacock Room REMIX: Darren Waterston’s ‘Filthy Lucre’

    Amy Henderson
    www.artesmagazine.com

    The original Peacock Room (James Whistler, 1876-77), as it currently appears at the Freer-Sackler Museum.

    In 1873 Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner co-wrote a novel satirizing the grossly disproportionate class system that emerged in post-Civil War America. As industrial growth exploded, the Robber Barons/Captains of Industry (take your pick) accumulated vast fortunes that, in years before the income tax, seemed limitless. Inspired by the specter of such greed, Twain and Warner wrote The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today. They snagged their title from Shakespeare’s King John (1595), which warned that “To gild refined gold, to paint the lily…is wasteful and ridiculous excess.” Theirs was not a golden age, the authors sniggered, but the less worthy gilded variety, in which a thin layer of gold covered a baser metal. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • kiss crop 2 James T. Lane-001

    ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ at Hartford Stage: Not Just “Another Op’nin’”

    Geary Danihy
    www.artesmagazine.com

    Tyler Hanes and Megan Sikora in Hartford Stage production of ‘Kiss Me, Kate’

    With the success of “A Gentleman’s Guide…,” first in Hartford and then on Broadway, one might think that Hartford Stage’s artistic director Darko Tresnjak — given the “That’s great, but what have you done for me today?” syndrome — might take a musical comedy sabbatical. But no, Tresnjak has opted, in association with The Old Globe, to resurrect and re-stage Cole Porter’s 1948 come-back smash, “Kiss Me, Kate,” and he has done so with style, flair and inventiveness, albeit with major assistance from choreographer Peggy Hickey. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • echelmanFromNorth1square_crop Night court studio e-001

    Janet Echelman’s Dazzling Aerial Sculpture: for Boston, the Sky’s the Limit

    Mark Favermann

    5519_Janet-Echelman-Sculp 1With this one project, Boston has gone from a public art also-ran community to a serious cultural player.

    One glimpses a surreal vision when driving out of the Route 93 Tunnel at Boston’s downtown Purchase Street exit: a gigantic but benign jellyfish-like apparition is floating up in the sky. This diaphanous sculptural presence, gently dancing and fluttering in space, seems to be swimming on the wind. Artist Janet Echelman’s public art work, entitled As If It Were Already Here and hosted by the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, is a stunning achievement, an indelible image that manages to seem both ephemeral and permanent. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • Rodick, Portrait, crop Frances Rodick (red pearls), 2012, archival pigment print, 100 x 81 cm. Courtesy of the artist-001

    Toronto’s Articsók Gallery: In Conversation with Contemporary Artist, Frank Rodick

    Emese Krunak-Hajagos

    Rodick, Portrait, Frances Rodick, Time, 2012, archival pigment print, 190 x 95 cm. Courtesy of the artistE.K-H: You are an internationally acclaimed Toronto artist with many exhibitions to your credit and numerous articles about your photographs. This is your first solo show in the city. Why have there not been any shows of your work previously? How did you and Articsok Gallery find each other?

    Left: Frank Rodick, ‘Francis Rodick, Time’ (2012), archival pigment print. All images courtesy of the artist.

    F.R: Actually, it’s not my first solo show in Toronto, but it is the “first” in ten years. The simplest reason for that is I’ve been busy with exhibitions outside the country, mostly in the US, Latin America and Europe. I’ve generally shown where I’ve been invited. Articsók Gallery found me through LinkedIn and my website. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • imagesCACTUCU0

    America’s Spectacle of Desire: Teresa of Avila Meets Abercrombie & Fitch

    Richard Friswell

    Editor’s Note: In light of the recent sentencing of Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the death penalty, it is timely and meaningful to re-post an essay that appeared in ARTES in 2013, soon after that horrific day that killed and maimed so many. The intention here was not to focus on the events of the day, but to shed light on the dynamics of our American–and by extension– Western European culture. A tradition of conspicuous consumerism has long been a source of alienation and disenfranchisement for many, particularly those new to this way-of-life. Marginalized and angry, many seek out the comforting and enabling message of radical and reactionary groups, in an effort to gain a sense of personal power. Today’s headlines are filled with the narrative of inner city communities struggling with those very issues. Here, an examination of the history and precedent that might lead to dramatic acts against a consumer-centric society are examined, in an effort to attribute motive to an otherwise senseless act of violence… 

    “In a world which really is topsy-turvy, the true is a moment of the false.”  ~The Society of the Spectacle ~Guy Debord, French philosopher (1931-1994)

    www.artesmagazine.com

    Paris in the 1880s– Streets lined with posters advertising consumer goods

    On the night police intercepted the alleged Boston Marathon bombers, they were on their way to New York City to wreak more havoc—their objective: Times Square. With hundreds-of-thousands of people walking or driving through the square each day, it makes an ideal ‘soft’ target. But that doesn’t fully explain why the locale has been such an appealing destination for terrorists over the last decade. The deeper and more profound answer to the question, Why Times Square? rests with its symbolic value as a blatant manifestation of Western capitalism and fetishistic, material excess. It is the towering and imposing, flashing-neon equivalent of photographer, Eugène Atget’s 19th century photographs of Paris’ poster-strewn walls and jammed merchandise display windows, during its nascent rise as a modernized symbol of urban consumerism. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • Guys-Dolls-poster sq crop

    Goodspeed’s ‘Guys and Dolls,’ Got the Show Right Here

    Geary Danihy
    www.artesmagazine.com

    Scott Cote (Nicely-Nicely) and the cast of Goodspeed’s Guys and Dolls. All photos © Diane Sobolewski

    Goodspeed Opera House, on the banks of the Connecticut River in Haddam, CT, starts its new season under the guidance of executive director Michael Gennaro with the same style, spirit and professionalism that marked the productions of the Michael Price era. Its first offering is Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls,” one of the most successful of the Broadway musicals of the 1950s. It’s easy to see why the original show ran for 1,200 performances, and why this revival will please audiences throughout its two-month run. The show is well cast, artfully directed by Don Stephenson, and boasts an eye-catching set and period perfect costumes. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • hassam a-rainy-day-in-boston-1885 crop

    In the Realm of Spectacle and Dreams: 19th c. Artists and Writers Shape a New America

    Richard Friswell

    639 coverCurator’s Note: This virtual gallery ‘exhibition’ will examine the self-image of America during the Gilded Age, Mark Twain’s derisive term for a period of U.S. industrial and cultural expansion during the last quarter of the 19th century. It offered rich material for some of America’s best-known artists and writers. This exhibition focuses specifically on the cities of the Northeast and their rural environs. The art selected for inclusion in not intended to illustrate the text in any direct or literal sense; any more than the narrative excerpts are meant to be descriptive of the meaning or intent of any painting. Rather, they combine to provide a contemporaneous view of the painters’ visible world and writers’ literary sphere. The pairing of ‘narrative’ painting with a ‘painterly’ narrative yields a multi-sensory experience for the virtual gallery visitor which will hopefully prove larger than the sum of its parts.

    Part I of this ‘exhibition will focus on the late 19th c. New England city. Readers may want to familiarize themselves with the text of William Howell’s The Rise of Silas Latham (1885). In it, the author offer a rich and colorful narrative ‘picture’ of city life in Boston at the turn of the century. His ‘naturalistic’ style of story-telling set the stage for a new brand of novel—one in which everyday events and the interior lives of his characters are central—clearly the way for a new form of ‘modern’ literature in the next century. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • athen steeplechase_funny_face

    At Hartford’s Atheneum: ‘Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008’

    Richard Friswell

    athen LunaParkEntrancelg“The best show is the people themselves.” –Reginald Marsh

    The lights of Coney Island glowed on the horizon like a distant inferno, visible from miles at sea. A modern marvel of the Industrial Age, thousands flocked from the metropolis of New York to this beach-side park to witness the marvel of electricity, a crush of humanity drawn to its magical power like moths to a flame. The trap was cleverly set by its designers, combining the timeless allure of the beach with a garish display of carnival rides and circus-like freak show attractions, pushing the limits of human form and abilities. Towering edifices outlined against the night sky with rows of incandescent light bulbs too numerous to count served as a lure for the curious and seasoned visitor, alike. An acres-long boardwalk traced a line between the natural beauty of the sea and manmade wonders of the park. An ‘island’ in name only, the appellation itself—Coney Island—represented more a state of mind, free from life’s cares, than the physical reality of a narrow strip of real estate tucked along the margins of a sprawling cityscape. xxxxxx (more…)

    Share This Post
  • HAM crop_new2

    Stratford Festival, Ontario with ‘Hamlet’: Strong Performances, but 20th Century Setting?

    Herbert Simpson

    Short of doing a tedious textual exegesis or a pedantic comparison of specific lines and scenes, it’s difficult to review another Hamlet after seeing so many of them. We need and want to see more performances of great classic works like Hamlet or Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, or The Sleeping Beauty ballet; they should be kept »more

  • la cage poster

    Goodspeed’s ‘La Cage aux Folles': A Confusing Visual Pastiche

    Geary Danihy

    One thing you can count on is that Goodspeed Musicals knows how to produce a musical. Another thing you can count on is that director Rob Ruggiero knows how to stage a musical. Thus, it’s almost a sure bet that, by and large, you will enjoy La Cage aux Folles, which recently opened at the »more

  • KinkyBoots_crop 2 PhotobyMatthewMurphy_Photo4

    Rochester, NY’s Broadway Theatre League, ‘Kinky Boots’: Nifty Entertainment

    Herbert Simpson

    I saw this national tour of hit Broadway show Kinky Boots on its final performance in Rochester, New York on a Sunday evening; and the biggest surprise for me was that the mostly elderly audience reacted with the screaming enthusiasm of a younger audience at a rock concert. Left: J. Harrison Ghee (Lola) Probably the »more

1 2 3 4 61