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    Architecture as Privilege: the Rarified World of Private Clubs

    Maia Dickinson

    The following research was inspired by an architectural project with which the firm of William Green Architecture is currently engaged. This project spurred research on historical private clubs in New York City, which then naturally expanded to span from their historical roots to their place in modern society.

    The Origin of the Private Club


    A men’s gathering, 18th century print

    Private clubs have been a fixture of urban society for nearly two centuries, first in England and later in the United States. The motivation to form clubs derives from basic human desires: sociability; belonging to a larger entity; the comfortable safety net of being judged by a wider pool of friends and associations, rather than only one’s self. They are also arguably practical. Etymologically, “Club” derives from “cleave” – splitting the costs to reap the benefits of privilege [1]. The sensibility increases when clubs form around a common interest, as they are often wont to do. Members pool their resources, from financial to social, and their experiences, to create a hotbed of cultural production and consumption. xxxxxx (more…)

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    How to Watch a Movie: Salvation in a Darkened Room

    Nancy Kempf

    Hunger Games 2012

    “Cinema is truth 24 frames per second.” ~Jean-Luc Godard

    People like to talk about movies but few discuss film. Same with books. People talk about Harry Potter and The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey but few know how to get under the skin of literature because people rarely approach narrative other than superficially.

    If we accept cinema as literature — and I do — we are obliged to approach film through a critical lens rather than simplistically through linear plot: This happened, then this happened, then this happened; or through shallow emotional responses: That was so sad/funny/cool/scary.

    Nothing is inherently wrong with going to the movies, or reading, for fun, but it’s like a diet of Wonder Bread, deceivingly named being devoid of wonder and lacking even meager nourishment. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Stratford Festival with ‘Antony & Cleopatra’: Lacking Dramatic Force

    Herbert Simpson

    Yanna McIntosh as Cleopatra and Geraint Wyn Davies as Mark Antony in ‘Antony and Cleopatra.’ All photos by David Hou.

    Stratford’s latest Antony and Cleopatra is their usual first rate reading of a Shakespearean classic with a cast of superbly trained classical actors and an elegant looking production. But I was still less than thrilled by the experience; and, in fact, I’m beginning to think that despite all its great moments and beloved dialogue, I just don’t like the play. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Editor’s Letter: September, 2014

    Richard Friswell

    www/artesmagazine.com“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”   ~Jonathan Swift


    Left: Circus mural depicting the visual arts (c. late 19th c.) Private collection

    The ‘Art’ of Film

    You may not have noticed, but ARTES, a magazine dedicated for the last six years to covering the visual arts—in various iterations—has branched out to include theater and film as a primary editorial category. Inclusion of film in the arts is an empowering gesture, as the increasingly-diverse creative community always benefits from public exposure and thoughtful critique. And with video performance genre becoming more a part of contemporary arts scene—both in museums and other public venues—it seems appropriate to offer a vital forum, like ARTES, for review and debate of this important, time-honored medium. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Rates of Exchange: the Detroit Institute of Arts as Gift

    Stephen Kobasa

    Henri Matisse, ‘Coffee,’ 1916. Oil on canvas. Bequest of Robert H. Tannahill.

    “An urban society needs two institutions to deal with non-functional objects: the sanitation department and the museum.”  ~ S. Dillon Ripley, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution (1964-84)

    Detroit is currently renowned for its vanishing. Only its debts have any substance. And its museum.

    It cannot be entirely a surprise, then, that the holdings of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) have been considered as salable assets, the returns from which could be used to pay off the billions of dollars owed by the local government to an imposing list of creditors. Since the collection belongs to the city, it is a uniquely public institution, unlike many other major museums which function as independent corporations. The irony is that public ownership makes it vulnerable as the consequence of a municipal economic disaster. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, and Deborah Butterfield’s Horses

    Deborah Anne Krieger

    ‘New Sculptures,’ by Deborah Butterfield, at Chicago’s Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, with ‘Cascade,’ 2014, cast bronze, 37 x 121 x 65″ in foreground

     Deborah Butterfield’s New Sculptures collection, was recently on display at Chicago’s Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, displaying the sheer power of her craft and artistry, while investigating how life and art—as well as interior and exterior spaces—can intersect.

    The sculptor, Deborah Butterfield, is best known for her metal (often bronze,) larger-than-life sculptures of horses that simulate driftwood. Butterfield’s process includes creating an armature of metal, then carefully fitting selected pieces of wood in just the right spot on the armature. She then casts each piece of wood in bronze and attaches the resulting form to the armature, carefully painting each portion to resemble wood, in color and in texture. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Yale Center for British Art: Two Photographers Find Grace in the Living and Dead

    Stephen Kobasa

    Bruce Davidson, Wales, 1965, gelatin silver print, Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Henry S. Hacker, Yale BA 1965, © Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos

    Here is the surprise: a pure and unexpected delight in having an expectation shattered. It was with an unquestioned confidence that I walked into this exhibition knowing which of the two photographers would matter most to me. But I was wrong.


    And I needed only one image to realize this. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Exploring African Identity: An Interview with Photographer, Namsa Leuba

    Emese Krunak-Hajagos

    Namsa Leuba, ‘Statuette Ndoki Saleou Guinee’, from the series ‘Ya Kala Ben,’ 2011. All images courtesy of the artist

    Namsa Leuba’s photographic series, Ya Kala Ben, was part of this year’s Haute Africa, Knokke-Heist, Belgium, March-July 9, 2014, and the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, Material Self: Performing the Other Within, at Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), Toronto, in May, 2014. Toronto-based writer, Emese Krunak-Hajagos, interviewed the artist to learn more about her use of photography to explore her African roots. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Editor’s Letter: August, 2014

    Richard Friswell

    Warhol Ingrid the Nun 83 edit“Jump off cliffs. Develop your wings on the way down.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

    Left: Andy Warhol, Ingrid the Nun (1983). Private collection

    Them Bones, Them Dry Bones

    Once again, another round of stories has captured media attention and the public eye regarding the true identity of da Vinci’s, Mona Lisa. It appears to be the non-mystery that stubbornly resists solution, in light of decades of forensic study and scholarly examination. And if you’ve ever had the opportunity to see the diminutive work hanging in the Louvre, encased as it is, in a hermetically-sealed steel and bomb-proof glass vault, you might wonder what the fuss is all about. Does this painting, alone in the world of masterpieces, deserve a specially-designed, express elevator to the basement of the museum in the event of a terrorist catastrophe? xxxxxx (more…)

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    New York’s Bookstein Gallery on Leland Bell: Morning into Motion

    Tim Keane

    Morning (Small II), c. 1985. Oil on canvas 22″ x 19″ All images courtesy Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York and the estate of Leland Bell.

    While in Lori Bookstein Fine Art gallery, in New York City during midsummer the visitor might, for a moment, ignore the caption to Morning (Small II) that reveals it is the work of Leland Bell, or that this oil painting on canvas, which has a small-scale, timeless majesty, was completed relatively recently, in 1985. Morning (Small II) is less than two feet wide and two feet long, and is as deceptively modest as its title. A female nude stands near a bed with her left arm raised theatrically, beckoning, or entreating, a nude male in bed. The male is sat up, weary, his tired head supported by his hand and upraised arm. Near the bed, a dark gray cat arches its back. And, as far as narrative content goes, that is all there is to it. xxxxxx (more…)

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    A Conversation with Canadian Contemporary Painter, Attila Richard Lukacs

    Emese Krunak-Hajagos

    www.artesmagazine.comAttila Richard Lukacs is a Canadian-born, internationally acclaimed painter. He became well-known in the 1980s with his large scale canvases of skinheads. He has a rich oeuvre, with hundreds of paintings, but has also lived the tormented life of a 21st century artist.

    Left: Coo-coo-ka-choo, Mr. Robinson (1999). From  collection of Salah Bachir and Jacob Yerex

    Here is an interview with ARTES contributor, Emese Krunak-Hajagos: xxxxxx (more…)

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    City Lane Gallery, Dublin, Shows Contemporary Sculptor, Eva Rothschild

    Elaine A. King

    Eva Rothschild, ‘Cold Corners,’ Tate Britain, London

    The Eva Rothschild exhibition, curated by Michael Dempsey, at Dublin’s Hugh Lane Gallery, is an uplifting presentation, delivering a welcome alternative from widespread social community artwork-in-context, such as that in the recent Whitney Biennial—amounting to a banquet of confused nothingness! Rothchild’s astutely constructed sculpture is commanding, though, demonstrating her continual restless experimentation and expansively wide-ranging approach to making and defining sculpture. The eminent sculptor was born in Dublin in 1971, and currently lives in London. In the past decade Rothschild’s constructions have been exhibited internationally, including a monumental, site-specific 2009 installation, Cold Corners, at Tate Britain for which she created a continuous steel structure filling the entire Duveens Gallery. This enormous sculptural piece stretched across the space, gracefully drawing notice to the immense structure’s architectural details, including its roof and floor. Her work is also included in the 2014 Sydney Biennale. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Robin Rhode at Neuberger Museum of Art: Animating the Everyday

    Edward Rubin

    ‘New Kids on the Bike,’ 2002, Digital still, animation,1:21 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

    I come from a culture that is very spontaneous, with a lot of humor and sarcasm. People can laugh at themselves quite easily. After the horrendous political situation they have gone through, they can still find humor in themselves. And I think a lot of my work stems from this South African mentality….It has to do with freedom, with the possibility of imagining or reinventing another world quite rapidly.”

    The Neuberger Museum of Art, in Purchase, New York—less than an hour north of the City—is known especially for their beautifully curated exhibitions, as well as their intelligently timed choices. They always seem to have ten fingers on the pulse of the art world, with its hot-button subjects and important contemporary emerging and established artists. One of their most critically acclaimed and crowd-pleasing programs, named after the museum’s founder, is their Roy R. Neuberger Exhibition Prize. Given biannually, it celebrates early-career artists, giving them an exhibition, accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog. xxxxxx (more…)

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    Stratford, Ontario’s Festival Theater Puts Farquhar’s “The Beaux’ Stratagem” on the Boards

    Herbert Simpson

    The only time I ever saw The Beaux’ Stratagem before was in a knockout version in London starring a young Maggie Smith, way back in January, 1970. I suppose that I can understand why this long, messy, expensive, early 18th century offbeat comedy is seldom produced in our time and has had very few major »more

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    Westport Country Playhouse with ‘Things We Do for Love’: Sprightly Comedy

    Geary Danihy

    There are many views on why Adam and Eve got booted out of Eden, but what can be taken as a given is that it had something to do with love, or lust, or both. You can forget about all that Tree of Knowledge stuff, because both sexes apparently have not learned anything from that »more

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