13 June 2018

What's up for four more days..

Chichiriviche, 1960/2014
Up til this Saturday at Henrique Faria (35 e 67th, 4th fl): Alfredo Cortina's photographs of his wife, the Venezuelan poet and playwright Elizabeth Schön, who wrote in 2003 of "un sentimiento reflexivo-intuitivo, llega mucho más allá que el simple hecho del ver" ("a reflective-intuitive feeling goes far beyond the simple fact of seeing"), "como propone Rilke: '…dulcemente debo desprenderme de la apariencia…' Solamente desprendiéndonos de ella, nos acercamos más a ese silencio absoluto que existe y al que no podemos atrapar" ("..as Rilke proposes: '..sweetly I must detach myself from appearance..' Only by detaching ourselves from it, do we get closer to that absolute silence that exists and that we can not entrap..")

Sin título, 1965/2014

A shot from 1957 depicts Carlos Puche photographing her in a rural doorway..

Sin título, 1957/2014

.. and while the past obscurity of this series makes it presumably impossible for Jeff Wall to have seen this in the 70s, it is not without its similarities to "Picture for Women" - not only is the male photographer on the right and the female subject on the left..

Picture for Women, 1979

..but in both shots there are two vertical lines between the figures - one (the side of the house) isolating the photographer and the other extending from the left shoulder of the subject.  The foregrounding of the figures is inverted but since one is a mirror image that doesn't really count.

Also ending Saturday on 24th St are twelve 5'x7' paintings by Terry Winters at no. 523 and a pedagogical and sculptural offering at no. 531 by Oscar Tuazon referencing Steve and Holly Baer's solar powered home which uses water for heating and cooling, along with Winona's Water School (below) honoring two-time Ralph Nader running mate and Native American activist Winona LaDuke.  Two of Tuazon's structures inspired by the Baers will be installed within anti-pipeline protest sites in Minnesota.

10 June 2018

One cannot be judicious about the obit function of a blog fwiw.. for Kovel I re-read about 3-4 of his books after he passed and couldn't find an ideal quote out of context, thinking I would do Robert Parry first as after a great career he'd become in his last months perhaps the US's most important journalist, but I don't have any of his books and his web articles mostly don't strive for crystallizing aphorisms (he died back in January), then after the second day of multiple shootings at the Gaza demonstrations I thought I could find that book of Kovel's under a pile and there it was. Piri' Miri Muli' readers know you don't have to die or comment publicly on the Middle East to be mentioned on my blog, but

I'm struck by the outpouring of gratitude for Bourdain by Mexicans, who will have in a few months an elected anti-corruption president with a majority of the country's support while the gringos have a military junta run by a sexist ethnic supremacist billionaire that mysteriously outperformed exit polls in battleground states. One of AMLO's least remarkable moments was hiring Giuliani as a consultant for Distrito Federal, so perhaps a future leaked transcript will tell us if "Rudy es Rudy" is indeed a diplomatic icebreaker this fall.  I recall Bourdain's plebeian critique of vegetarianism, of which my longest attempt was spoiled by a trip down south. A fellow New Jerseyan I was also thinking the other day of blogging that I had discovered putting pork rolls (down here we don't say Taylor) in the George Foreman grill, not finding another mention of that preparation online, in addition to my breakthrough of Dan Dan Scrapple Noodles using Spicy King brand Dan Dan sauce which contains those peppercorns, best enjoyed in these environs at Flushing's Golden Shopping Mall, that couldn't be imported to the US til 2005, but my cholesterol is high and ..

16 May 2018

Joel Kovel 1936-2018

"The elements of bad conscience are played out across various dimensions, especially that of guilt, the feelings of which become intolerable to the degree it is fed by archaic streams of hatred and revenge. The resulting feelings become projected and turn into the blaming of others - whether these be expropriated Palestinians or critics of Israel, who become either antisemites or that curious entity, the 'self-hating Jew.'.. The rising of the Jewish state transformed a normally harsh conscience into a full-blown bad conscience.. Thus what is 'bad' about the bad conscience is the walling off within, the splitting introduced by the irreconcilability of a collective will whose guiding principle had once been ethical superiority and is now shaped by an aggressive, militarized and vindictive state.

"It is an essential feature of bad conscience to drive toward greater transgression. We have observed that recognition of common humanity and acceptance of moral responsibility leads to reconciliation and forgiveness. However, the bad conscience of Zionism moves in the opposite direction, to join the cycle of violence that stains human history.."

- Overcoming Zionism, 2007, 158-159

05 May 2018

What's up for two more days, v. Ж

Also if you haven't seen the Mitchell/ Riopelle show at the Art Gallery of Ontario, get to Toronto by early Sunday afternoon to allot it proper consideration. "At a party thrown by Hedda and Saul.. Riopelle made his overture to her in a raucous Quebecois accent: 'Tonight I will teach you how to fuck. Tomorrow I will teach you how to paint.' Surely Joan wore her mischievous little cat grin thirty-seven years later when she bragged to his biographer, Hélène de Billy, 'I impressed him because I was Wasp.'" (Patricia Albers, from Joan Mitchell, Lady Painter)

Joan Mitchell, Girolata, 1964

Last weekend was my first visit to that museum since the Peter Doig show four years ago, and seeing the Canadian painters contemporaneous to Bonnard who applied his methods to the Northern wilderness strongly reinforced the impression I got then - how Doig was the bridge between them and those that have emulated his figurative palette.

14 April 2018

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07 April 2018

This is my first post since Bolton was picked but I'm full of hope someone will read our chief the mainstream backlash and perhaps explain Fox's selection process for TV analysts enabling a Scaramucci-speed 'you're fired' or at least the codes will confuse him after a two-person meeting, not inclined to hysteria here in the suburban 'first world' I cite here cultural events of perceived proximity, as when Radha Sadasivam died I couldn’t pass up that vocal duo with her stepmom M. S. Subbulakshmi, who'd just checked out of the hospital, and her granddaughter is singing tomorrow a few necks north of me on a bucolic single carriageway named after a neck, in an ashram where it seems everyone they book is a master to be reckoned with..

I am predictably allotting spare hours in the near future to search for online CT perfs

for uploading and looking for notebooks where I wrote down quotes of his, but the bassist Buell Niedinger who checked out nine days before, opened this in closer intervals with him.

10 March 2018

What's up for two more days (Armory week edition)

I’ve never regarded an Armory as must see (1912 excluded) and that continues but I enjoyed it and there is much to detain the visitor in the more crowded weekend hours.  I saw Art Basel Miami last December for the first time and though I was unfortunately a bit rushed for both, it took me exactly half the time to see all the booths at Armory (1:45 vs. 3:30).  Pier 94 has a slow security check queue which gives incentive to see all that in one shot - starting at Pier 92 and taking one’s time there is not a bad idea. The Insights series in the back of 92 has a lot of classics, including the Arte Povera offerings of London’s Repetto and Gary Nader, who keeps a gallery in Miami only for the moment.  Here Nader devotes his booth exclusively to major works by Matta, Lam, and late Picasso, which I predictably relished while looking intently for his more contemporary holdings of artists I would enjoy at his New York address.  I honestly don’t know why the city of Miami has not been more helpful to him in his quest to build a museum there but that is a major loss for the city, known otherwise for a paucity of permanent collections.  In the Insights section in the back of 94, Lyles & King presents four large scale paintings by Miami’s self-taught Farley Aguilar, born in Nicaragua, ‘with the paint still drying,’ depicting flag-waving Floridians and sewing circles in his uniquely haunting style.

I hope to blog more about current gallery shows but I should note that if you have any chance to see Luisa Rabbia's five paintings at Peter Blum's Little Italy address before April 7 ('Birth,' 'Death,' - one of my favorite paintings of recent years - and three lingams; 'Love,' part of the series, just showed in Reggio Emilia) do so, as no reproduction can do justice to them.

04 March 2018

What's up for one more crowded day (ADAA Art Show edition)

It was crowded today but my plans to go Friday were grounded by wind patterns.

Mary-Anne Martin always coughs up some luminous Leonora Carringtons and this time there's an ample selection of her 1940 Down Below sketches which employ, in at least two instances each: the frottage method and anthropomorphic figures with bird heads, suggesting her emotional connection to Max Ernst on the heels of their traumatic separation.  Later I'm not aware of her use of frottage and her vision becomes more individualistic.  Wearing masks and removing them is a recurring theme of the drawings.

Salon 94 has portraits and works on paper of Ibraham el-Salahi, on the more realist side of his production. The small scale works on paper, which portray Sudanese city life, are a highlight, but the oils here aren't as compelling to me as his more Surrealist work which I've never seen in person.  Two galleries have major Joseph Cornells and Philly's Locks Gallery tops in this category. Peter Blum presents a selection of Chris Marker's series from North Korea in 1957.  Altman Siegel has paintings by Liam Everett.

This blog has no scoop on when and where the Moving Pictures fair is this year nor, it seems, does any other online publication or their website.  My email is listed somewhere if you have a tip.

10 February 2018

What's up for another week

Susan Meiselas' photo of a photo of slain Sandinista guerrilla Arien Siu, Jinotepe, 1978

At Washington Square's 80WSE, "Dream of Solentiname" (til Feb 17) was put together without the cooperation of the Nicaraguan government, which had wrested its Ministry of Culture from the administration of Solentiname Island’s priest, the poet Ernesto Cardenal, in 1988 after eleven years in favor of Rosario Murillo, El Presidente Ortega’s wife.  This past year, Ortega’s corrupt judiciary handed down an $800,000 judgement against Cardenal, now 93.  Former Frieze curator Nicola Lees, now director of the newly expanded galleries, sees the show challenging the growing materialism of the art world, as the first room harkens back to the joint statements against Reagan’s Contra War signed by luminaries of the visual arts, which unintentionally highlight how Obama and company have pacified fashionable gringo dissidents while fixing elections in Honduras, Brazil, and Haiti.  Rooms feature architectural panels from Marcos Aguelo’s reconstruction of Solentiname's church, Susan Meiselas’ photography of the revolution, and the wildlife sculptures of Cardenal, whose belief in the ecology of the revolution has been betrayed by Nicaragua’s proposed canal, but the highlight of the show is a room of  liberation theology oil panels by various artists likening the battles of the Sandinista revolution to Christ’s passion.

In the basement of the Grey next door til March 31 is a collection of Baya gouaches from the Maight collections, the family that sponsored her when she moved from Algeria to the South of France. The Grey owns a few ceramics from Picasso’s Vallauris period, and the occasion of Baya befriending him while living there is a propitious excuse for showing them here. Despite the show's subtitle 'Woman of Algiers,' there is no known connection between Baya and Picasso's appropriations of the Delacroix painting. In the “What Andre Breton said” department (pdf): “I speak, not like so many others to deplore an end but to promote a beginning, and over this beginning Baya is queen. The beginning of an age of emancipation and concord, radically severed from what came before and one of whose principal levers is, for man, the systematic and always greater impregnation of nature. The primer of this age is in Charles Fourier, the brand new motor has just been supplied by Malcolm de Chazal. But the rocket heralding it, I propose we call it Baya.”

Miguel Abeu's two Chinatown galleries feature til March 11 "Collage(s) de France," Jean-Luc Godard's dioramas for a 2006 show at the Pompidieu that was truncated due to the auteur’s conflict with the institution. What remains is what he describes as an ‘archeology’ of the cinema, which arrives at that synthesis through the construction of dollhouses of Godard’s consciousness, rewarding repeated visits from Godard enthusiasts.  The dollhouses are at Abreu’s 88 Eldridge outpost along with projected screenings of some harder to find Godard projects, while other materials and screenings of features on a TV can be found at its Orchard St location. On the 5th floor of 88 Eldridge til March 18, David Lewis has the best Thornton Dial selection I've seen (pdf).   33 Orchard has more Indian tantra works, some signed by contemporary artists and other anonymous, from various collectors.

Leon Golub at the Met Breuer til May 27 is sanitized of any historical specificity: at one point a card describes a series of portraits of Brazilian military junta leader Ernesto Geisel “as aged and wizened."  In the second to last year of Geisel’s administration, he responded to a legislative loss by dismissing congress under the A1-5 laws and ensuring the elections would be won by the junta supported by the CIA, while continuing to open the economy to US investment, a history their description card omits while attributing Golub’s likeness of Geisel to “the social construction of authority and masculinity.”  In the Thomas Cole show, the Met curators relish Cole’s cartoon lampooning a Luddite leader and rather ridiculously speculate that the fires in The Course of Empire: Destruction may relate to Luddite fires, when there is direct source material tying the series to Byron’s anti-war poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, wherein he broke with other Romantics in its denunciation of the Napoleonic Wars, a poem which had already provided the inspiration for Turner’s The Field of Waterloo.

Thomas Cole, The Course of Empire: Destruction, 1836

Their are, though, a half dozen loans of major Turners from British museums here til May 13.  Joseph Cornell’s Homage to Juan Gris til April 15 is well worth seeing as it literally shows both sides of his works and some that are not shown at their host museums due to being considered unfinished or minor. The industry of presuming to read Cornell’s mind is in full throttle and there are some stated cultural associations I don’t agree with here.  Some works are from the Bergman collection at Art Institute of Chicago, to whom Cornell said ‘you have too many of my works’ at which time Bergman turned to third party sources.  The second best Cornell collection is in New Orleans due to a gift by the Cornell foundation.  Michelangelo (through Sunday Feb 12) has quite a lot of drawings, including many from the Ashmolean in Oxford, many that are once-in-a-lifetime views, though it helps to share his taste for the male anatomy. About the Met price hike, institutional elitism prevents museums from developing a process for deaccessioning works that seeks the input of scholars and the community.  The public would get a list of works that have no chance of ever being exhibited and can have their complaints about specific works mediated by a museum employee and an external advisor.  In the case of the Met, $20 million of their two billion dollar endowment could give them four years to devise such a system. Common sense.  Met President Weiss hails from American university administration, often a contest determining who can position themselves to dictate terms to others and is willing to raise the prices.  Then you have museums like Fisk and La Salle announcing without public input they are going to sell the crown jewels pending litigation. Obviously if a museum president deceptively cites statistics to the public about their voluntary contributions he should be immediately removed from his office and return to being a mediocre Medieval art professor. PAFA made Sundays free during its Norman Lewis retrospective and the place was full of black Philadelphians. The Met has sent the opposite signal to low income North Jersey residents and their more contemporary exhibitions suffer from this privileged insularity ‘in this room, Hockney presents us with two monumental portraits of the curator.’

While de Chirico “sought correction in the ancient world of his childhood in Greece,” the Greek Philadelphian Thomas Chimes went from Neoclassicism and religion to immersion into Artaud and Jarry in the mid-60s, and the resulting metal boxes and panel paintings can be seen in a small retrospective at Philly’s own Washington Square for another week.  Fellow Artaudian Baselitz has a selection at Werner for another fortnight.

28 January 2018



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18 January 2018

Audrey Chen and Phil Minton in Philly tomorrow night..


13 January 2018

Sunny Murray 1936-2017

Radha Viswanathan 1934-2018