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    The Calder Family Legacy: Sculpting a City’s Image

    Richard Friswell

    William Penn atop City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

    The boulevard runs straight as an arrow from a towering city hall to the front door of its eponymous museum of art. Fashioned after Paris’s 19th century, Baron Hausmann-designed thoroughfares, Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway is the mile-long artery that daily pumps new life into this historic setting. And standing atop City Hall tower, a beneficent, 27-ton, 37-foot tall sculpture of Quaker, William Penn, hand out-stretched, surveys all. Today, this metropolis still bears the name he first assigned to it in the 1660s—phila-delphia, the city of ‘brotherly love,’ in his “Sylvania” (Latin for “forests” or “woods”), gifted by King Charles II. The towering figure faces northeast, toward Penn Treaty Park — the site where, legend has it, Penn once signed a treaty with the native Lenni Lenape. With his right hand he gestures in that direction, while his left holds the Charter of Pennsylvania. xxxxxx (more…)

  • Editor’s Letter: July, 2014

    Richard Friswell

    www.artesmagazine.com“Modern art…is an attempt to deal with the chaotic formlessness and swift flux of the modern city.”  ~Robert A. Bone, literary scholar


    Left: Salvador Dali, ‘Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln – Homage to Rothko’ (Second Version), 1976. Dali Museum, St Petersburg, FL.

    Bullets in the Name of Art


    Big 5: Jones says her first kill was a rare African white rhino, part of her quest to bag the Big 5 African game animals (rhino, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and lion.

    What do the names Kendall Jones and Satao have in common? For those interested in the plight of endangered species, the answer is that they are, respectively, perpetrator and victim in a vicious cycle of harvesting endangered species for personal ambition. Jones is the 19-year old,Texas Tech cheerleader who set a personal quest to bag the Big Five African game animals (lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and White/Black rhinoceros) on a recent expedition. She gleefully announce on her Facebook page, “The first animal I ever shot was a White Rhino with a .416 Remington!!” The White rhino, which number around 20,000, are among the rarest in the world. Jones’s ultimate goal—to garner her own 15-minutes of fame with a reality TV show in 2015, where she hopes to espouse her interest in hunting and animal conservation. The death toll continued until she reached her objective, giving each photo-op her best cheerleader smile, posing with the trophy animals as though in a prom date portrait—except her companion is not the star quarterback, but a creature of the wild, very hairy…and very dead. xxxxxx (more…)

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    National Gallery of Art: ‘Degas/Cassatt’- Joint Venture in Paris’s Belle Epoche

    Elaine A. King

    Edgar Degas, Two Studies of Mary Cassatt at the Louvre, 1879, charcoal and pastel on gray wove paper. Private collection, New York

    Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas shared a kindred sensibility toward making art in the 19th century not surprisingly because they came from similar backgrounds—privileged and born into cultivated upper-middle class banking families. Economic independence afforded Cassatt the luxury to devote her time entirely to being an artist, live a particular life style, pursue a career in a world ruled by men, as well as choose her destiny outside the boundaries of marriage. Few women of her day could claim an art education starting at the early age of fifteen studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia. Exasperated by the patronizing attitude of its male students and its teachers, exclusion from study of live nude models, as and sluggish teaching methods, Cassatt left the Academy and turned to the Old Masters. Moreover, she moved to Paris in 1866 with her mother and a family of friends, who acted as proper chaperones. xxxxxx (more…)

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    In Conversation with Contemporary Sculptor, Cornelia Kubler Kavanagh

    Richard Friswell

    Nature Revealed: ‘Liminal Biomorphism’


    TSUNAMI III. 2005. painted bronze. 12” x 15” x 11”

    Turning abstract concepts into tangible realities is central to the work of sculptor, Cornelia Kavanagh, who looks to the natural world for her inspiration. For Kavanagh, sculpture is an assimilation of both physical reality and the introspective, as she mediates on the power, beauty and dangers found in nature. The common thread in her work is a desire to access deeply-embedded emotions to be discovered in the sheer beauty of manipulated forms. Most recently, she has turned her attention to forms reflecting her commitment to environmental activism. Kavanagh’s goal: To have her sculpture connect with the world of our experience in a manner that is both pleasing and instructive. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Editor’s Letter: June, 2014

    Richard Friswell


     “A line is a dot that went for a walk.”  ~Paul Klee

    Left: James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Arrangement in Gray and Black No.2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (1872).

    East of America

    “A man may stand there and put all of America behind him.” ~Henry David Thoreau

    The Pilgrims considered it too foreboding, abandoning it after only a brief stay in favor of the secured anchorage of Plymouth harbor. It lay fallow for another two-hundred years, wind-swept and storm-prone, as its shifting shoals and fickle tidal currents laid claim to hundreds of colonial sailing vessels. Their crews dared to skirt close to its lee shore, in search of the shortest passage to their Portland, Boston or New York ports-of-call. Maritime disaster proved to be the enduring legacy of this narrow spit of sand, curling like a giant flexed arm into the cold Atlantic—the American anatomical equivalent of Europe’s Italian ‘boot.’ xxxxxx (more…)

  • Arkansas’ Crystal Bridges: All the Art Museum Wal-Mart Money Can Buy

    Charles Giuliano

    Crystal Bridges, Bentonville, Arkansas, is sited in a ravine over a pond of running water

    New England museums are expanding. The Museum of Fine Arts has completed its Art of the Americas wing, designed by Lord Norman Foster. The venerable Gardner Museum expanded with a design by Renzo Piano, who also designed the Harvard University Art Museums, unveiling in November, 2014.

    During the Fourth of July weekend, the Sterling and Francine Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass will introduce the design by Tadeo Ando. It hugs the ground with reflecting pools enhancing the horizon line of Berkshire Mountains. Its prior annual attendance of 150,000 is anticipated to double. Nearby, Mass MoCA expects an uptick of some 40,000 to 165,000 through both the Clark’s expansion and first full season of an Anselm Kiefer building, in addition to the one displaying works by Sol LeWitt. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Modernist Architect Hans Scharoun Shown at MIT’s School of Architecture + Planning

    Mark Favermann


    Hans Scharoun, Watercolor, 1919-23 [Akademie der Künste Berlin, Hans Scharoun-Archiv]

    Early 20th century German architect Hans Scharoun’s compelling story, as both a man and artist navigating perilous times, has been neglected (aside from architectural historians and seriously informed students) until relatively recently.

    When it comes to the popular history of the visual arts, the contributions of architects tend to be pushed into the background. A case in point is an important leader of the modern movement, the German architect and city planner Hans Scharoun (1893–1972). He was a visionary architect, a spectacular expressionistic watercolorist, and a master draftsman. Yet his compelling story, as both a man and an artist navigating perilous times, has been neglected (aside from architectural historians and seriously informed students) until relatively recently. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Pablo Picasso’s Innermost Self, Clark’s Room-Space, and Jacqueline’s Eye

    Martin Ries

    Yo Picasso, 1901

    In the end there is only love. However it may be. And they ought to put out the eyes of painters as they do goldfinches, in order that they can sing better.  ~Pablo Picasso, 1933

    T. J. Clark’s recent encomium, Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica [1], is based on the six A. W. Mellon lectures he gave at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. in 2009. Clark is a close reader of artworks; the acuity of his thought, his philosophical reasoning, and his breadth of references, makes him the ideal cross-examiner of Picasso. He began his 329 page volume with an assault on “the abominable character of most writing”, the “second-rate celebrity literature” notable for its “determination to say nothing, or nothing in particular, about the structure and substance of the work Picasso devoted his life to;” it tends to “gossip or hero-worship.” xxxxxx (more…)

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    Brooklyn Museum Features Swoon: ‘Submerged Motherlands’

    Richard Friswell

    Carrying around a heavy duty handle like Caledonia Dance Curry, means something remarkable is bound to happen. And with her installation, Submerged Motherlands, at the Brooklyn Museum, the street artist known by the ‘tag’ Swoon (aka, Curry) does not disappoint. For this exhibition, Swoon creates a site-specific installation in the towering rotunda gallery, transforming it »more

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    Interview with Toronto’s Stephen Bulger, Photography Gallery

    Emese Krunak-Hajagos

    EK: I remember when critics were arguing in the 1980’s about whether photography was an art form or not. What made you decide to open a Photography Gallery in March, 1995? SB: I started as a photographer expecting to have my work seen in galleries. When I went to Ryerson I started curating student exhibitions, »more

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    Robert Schultz’s ‘New Drawings’ at Koplin del Rio, Culver City, California

    Deborah Anne Krieger

    Robert Schultz’s show, New Drawings, on display at Koplin del Rio, in Culver City, until June 21, is, at first glance, a collection of technically dazzling graphite drawings, lithographs and silverpoint etchings of nude men and women in a variety of poses. However, upon digging deeper and looking closer, New Drawings becomes a study of »more

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    “Endurance,” an Engaging, Must-See Endeavor

    Geary Danihy

    What’s the connection between exploring Antarctica and getting fired from an insurance company that’s desperately downsizing after an economic meltdown? None, you might say, save that in both cases you find yourself out in the cold. Well, if that’s your answer then you’re just not creative, or at least not as creative as playwright Nick »more

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