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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
    www.artesmagazine.com

    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
    www.artesmagazine.com

    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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    Goodspeed Opera House, ‘Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn’: Style, Quality and Talent

    Geary Danihy
    www.artesmagazine.com

    Hayley Podschun and Noah Racey in Goodspeed Opera’s production of “Holiday Inn.”

    What a lovely dessert to serve for Michael Price’s going-away party. After 48 years, Price, executive director of Goodspeed Musicals, is moving on, leaving behind a legacy unmatched in Connecticut—and national—theater. He is, without a doubt, the defining force behind all that Goodspeed has come to stand for, so it is fitting that the final production of his career at Goodspeed, “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn,” display the style, quality and talent that has drawn crowds to the venerable theater for decades.xxxxxx (more…)

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    Beaux Arts Architecture: Toward a Classical Metropolis

    Eldis Sula
    www.artesmagazine.com

    Grounds of the Columbian Exposition, Chicago , 1893, a Beaux-Arts extravaganza.

    One in a series of articles completed by BiLLY BoY Enteprises, the division of William Green Architecture that focuses on self-generated creative projects. This investigation was inspired by a project with which the firm is currently engaged, influenced in part by Beaux Arts architecture.

    Introduction

    Beaux Arts architecture was very much a style of its time, an architectural reflection of imperial ambitions and an embodiment of formal opportunities given birth by technological advances in the building industry. With its origins in the École des Beaux-Arts, France’s leading art academy in the nineteenth century, the style was informed by a strong scholarly tradition in the architectural orders of ancient Greece and Rome. The erudite heritage of the Beaux Arts style was balanced by its unique response to the rapidly evolving industrialism of the nineteenth century. Architects of the period made increasing use of iron, a material that became more available as new manufacturing methods significantly reduced production costs. An extremely malleable material that could be mass produced and quickly assembled like no other material previously employed, iron allowed for the proliferation of grand buildings designed as celebrations of national pride. Unique in its attempts to negotiate the old with the new, Beaux Arts architecture culminated in the early twentieth century, when its strong Classicist streak was superseded by the industrial forms dear to the metropolis which it had come to define. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Editor’s Letter: December, 2014

    Richard Friswell

    DSCN7609“To the artist there is never anything ugly in nature.” ~Auguste Rodin

     

    Left: Abbott Handerson Thayer, Winged Figure on a Rock (1903/16), oil on canvas. Freer Gallery, Washington, D.C.

     

    Comet Sense

    “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him” (Matt. 2:1-2, NASB).

    Somewhere in every picture of the Biblical Christmas scene—eliciting warm and happy emotions—is a star. The star dominates the nighttime sky with its size and brightness and its long tail pointing to the earth.

    Wait a minute…TAIL? xxxxxx (more…)

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    ‘Little Dancer’ Premieres at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center

    Amy Henderson
    kennedy center amy henderson artes fine arts magazine

    Tiler Peck (Young Marie), in Kennedy Center production of “‘Little Dancer” All photos: Paul Kolnik/The Kennedy Center

    Recently, Washington’s Kennedy Center presented the long-anticipated world premiere of its production Little Dancer.  A star-studded creative and performance collaboration, the show is a modern musical rooted in the grand tradition of Broadway’s heyday.

    From the moment the curtain goes up and music swells from the twenty-member pit orchestra, Little Dancer captures a swirling world of gorgeous color. Sets, costumes, and music drench each scene in the feel of Belle Epoque Paris. In the decades following the Franco-Prussian War, the city vibrated with creative fervor. Everything moved, and art became a showcase for spontaneity. xxxxx (more…)

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    Harvard Art Museums Reborn: A New Architectural Frame for Art, Education, Conservation

    Mark Favermann
    Harvard Art Museums mark favermann artes fine arts magazine

    A Renzo Piano-designed steel and glass ‘lantern’ and one-story addition sit atop the original 1925 Fogg Museum. Photo: Harvard Univerity

    When a visitor enters the new Harvard Art Museums, there is a feeling of great institutional arrival, a sense of an art historical place and an overall atmosphere of beauty of light and materials envelops the space.

    However, with that said, the newly renovated and expanded Harvard Art Museums tries to put too much great art and great educational resources into just a good, not great structure. xxxxxx (more…)

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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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    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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    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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  • World PremiereWARBy BRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINSDirected by LILEANA BLAIN-CRUZCommissioned by Yale Repertory Theatre

    Yale Repertory Theater’s [WAR]: A Tale of Life and Death in Need of Resuscitation

    Geary Danihy

    [WAR], a new play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins that is having its world premiere at the Yale Repertory Theatre, starts out as a surreal trip inside the mind of a woman who has recently suffered a stroke, a trip to the Planet of the Apes, if you will, and ends up with a jaunt down Main »more

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