November 13, 2013 § 2 Comments
It was time to make a quick getaway to see a few selected exhibits in New York for inspiration and a new perspective. With only two days to spare my art buddy, Trish Berube and I, hopped the Acela from Boston to New York on a whirlwind visit that turned out to be the perfect ‘day at the office’ for artists. Although we stood out like colorful sherpas landing from Mars in a sea of New Yorkers perfectly dressed in their black attire we managed to pull it off without a hitch. There were many occasions when we were ‘shsssed’ for unexpected bursts of exclamations and laughter which is to be expected while experiencing profound art pieces.
First stop was the Museum of Modern Art for ‘old times sake’. Trish worked there for several years and needed to visit some of her favorite paintings that she’d grown fond of during her tenure. There are so many well known pieces of art here like colorful, painterly masterpieces by Matisse to Dorothea Rockburn’s geometric designs on paper.
With the goal in mind to visit two museums each day we left the MOMA for the Upper East Side to visit the Vasily Kandinsky: From Blaue Reiter to the Bauhaus, 1910-1925 exhibit at the Neue Gallerie. This is an extraordinary exhibit of several large, colorful paintings by Kandinsky that show his love of color, composition and musical inspiration. There is a book published by the Neue Gallerie that catalogs the exhibit with high quality reproductions. The Neue Gallerie is one of my favorite spots in New York as houses an incredible collection of Germanic arts and crafts from the turn of the twentieth century all housed within a beautifully restored building located at 1048 Fifth Avenue, at 86th Street and named after the famous Neue Gallerie in Vienna.
Time for a break at the Cafe Sabarsky inside the museum where there’s plenty of european style pastries and coffees. It’s like taking a break in a traditional Viennese cafe.
For our second day it was on to the Guggenheim Museum to see the special exhibit by Christopher Wool . Although I’m not as familiar with this artist’s work I’ve always enjoyed his pieces when I’ve come across them. I was struck by how complimentary his work integrated with New York, the design of the Guggenhiem architecture and even the people of the city who dress in similar colors as his palette.
Most of the pieces in the exhibit were quite large with the majority of the work in black and white. Coming from a licensing, illustration, design background I was struck by the decorative appeal his work would have for the hip, corporate culture. The artist often uses off-the-shelf imagery and adds glitches that create interest and celebrate human error. This piece is from the Estee Lauder Companies Inc., New York and I can just imagine it hanging at their headquarters.
A close inspection of Wool’s work reveals a dot pattern that is created by reproducing his previous pieces and using the duplicates for a starting point. Imperfections become the inspiration for creating new imagery.
Yellow! Although Wool’s art is predominantly white or black when there is a burst of color it stands out like an exclamation point.
One of the highlights at the Guggenheim was the Robert Motherwell: Early Collages exhibit. As you enter the exhibit space there’s a large of photo of Motherwell as a young man working in his studio dressed up in a tie and shirt. Several of the collages feature torn kraft paper, sand mixed in paint and droplets of glue. The materials are so childlike and basic but the results are profound. The almost sixty pieces are masterful in the use of color, composition and textures. The Guggenheim has published a catalog of the exhibit that is not to be missed.
The Conservatory Gardens in Central Park on Fifth Avenue between 104 and 105th Streets is the perfect spot to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It has beauty no matter what time of year you visit-a work of art that never stops evolving. On this particular day it was snowing for the first time this fall.
One more art stop before leaving the Manhattan was at the Jewish Museum to see the Chagall: Love, War, and Exile exhibit. Many paintings and works on paper are included that Chagall created from the 1930s, during the rise of fascism, up until 1948 when the artist lived in Paris and then in exile in New York. These deeply personal pieces depict Chagall’s response to war and loss through color and symbolism. There is a museum catalog that was published for this exhibit.
Champignon Cafe at 1389 Madison Avenue, between 96th and 97th Streets, is one of my favorite neighborhood places to relax and have a casual breakfast or lunch. Mushroom focaccia and a cappuccino…
If you live in New York or only have a small window of time to visit-this was the perfect itinerary for artistic inspiration. All of the exhibits were worth the effort and we enjoyed every single minute. bye bye New York…
October 31, 2013 § 2 Comments
The gallery season is gaining momentum as we move towards the holidays and there seems to be a new exhibit popping up every other day. One hidden gem of a gallery on the South Shore of Massachusetts is the Gallery at Thayer Academy in Braintree, MA. Gallery Director, Karen Koskores, is passionate about bringing a wide spectrum of sophisticated exhibits by local artists while allowing faculty and students from Thayer Academy showcase their work. Take Five is an enchanting and diverse show presented by five women artists from Massachusetts that originally had their first group exhibit 25 years ago and continue to connect along their artistic journeys.
As you enter the gallery you’ll immediately be struck by the contemporary and feminine vibe of this show that you’d expect to see in lower Manhattan or the South End in Boston. Artists Cathleen Daly, Carol McMahon, Lesley Cohen, Ellen Wineberg and Lois Tarlow have thoughtfully pulled together their most recent work for a diverse yet cohesive display of art pieces that includes painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, collage and installations.
These two large and impressive pieces on the wall and floor were created by Cathleen Daley with plastic grocery bags, glue and acrylics. They are reminiscent of Cathleen’s family ancestors who worked hard with their hands and this is her modern day interpretation of their creations.
These large black & white charcoal and chalk pastels by Lesley Cohen are expressions of her calligraphic language that reveal her interest in urban, fence-like structures and geometric formations.
Throughout the exhibit are various assemblages painted in white with added re-purposed elements created by Carol McMahon. These miniature installations are dreamlike, childhood stories that are cleverly executed and arranged to bring whimsy and a sense of humor to the exhibit.
Multi-layered, tactile pieces skillfully created by Ellen Wineburg are dense with content yet express themselves with simplicity and airiness that give the impression of the artist’s joy of paint, color and texture. Her pieces are an amalgamation of her personal treasures and found objects that fuse together to reveal stories to the viewer.
Lois Tarlow is the ringleader for this group of artists who credit her for being the glue to the cohesiveness of their relationships and explorations in artistic adventures. Tarlow’s pieces are geometric and yet organic. Her love of language and the written word are the inspiration behind her many art pieces in the exhibit.
Visit the Take Five exhibit at Thayer Gallery which is on display thru November 15, 2013. If your looking for a place for lunch nearby try Sake in South Braintree Square-it’s one of my favorite neighborhood spots. The Gallery is located on the beautiful Thayer Academy campus at 745 Washington Street, Braintree, MA. Hours for the gallery are 8 am – 3 pm during the school year.
October 16, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Take an inspirational trip around the world at Hassan Gallery and leave behind the hassle and expense of traveling. This local gem will have you looking no further to find beautiful and authentic pieces that depict a country’s heritage and culture…
Richard Hassan is at the helm of Hassan Gallery and has been in the Oriental rug business for over 25 years. Richard’s family immigrated from Al-Fakiha, Lebanon where his family has a history in rug weaving. This village is one of only two towns in Lebanon that is well known for creating exquisite rugs.
Throughout Richard’s career he has cultivated a network of individual dealers that source items on a piece-by-piece basis One such piece, in the photo above, is a 100 year old antique Susani from Uzbekistan that Richard acquired in Istanbul. Susanis are traditionally created for a couple’s wedding day and would then be used on their bed as a covering or hang on the wall as a decorative piece. Richard makes the trip to Istanbul once per year to meet with specialized sellers who handle the finest textiles, copper, rugs, felts and handmade Turkish towels.
Find a vast array of pieces that are unique and unusual with prices that range from $10 to $10,000 and are individually selected to accommodate any budget for the individual who has an appreciation for uncommon pieces that tell a story. The hallmark of this gallery is authenticity-meaning handcrafted and one-of-a-kind.
Richard recently acquired a selection of intricately crafted Thai metal statues from one of his network of dealers that are currently being offered at surprisingly low prices.
Meditative peace and serenity exude from this carved Chinese Buddha placed on an old cabinet from India in front of an African mud cloth from Mali.
Warriors Riding a Camel depicted as a metal casting sculpture in the traditional, local, representational style from Chad.
This incredible 100 year old Turkish Kilim was acquired by Richard on his recent trip to Istanbul. Rugs have been a major part of his business and still are today. Richard offers rugs from Turkey, Afghanistan, Armenia, Iran, India and China that are all handwoven and unique. From finely-woven silk florals to geometric tribal designs. Sizes run from small 1′ x 1′ for tabletops or intimate areas to large 10′ x 14′ pieces.
Turn your abode into a museum with artistic pieces that are affordably priced at Hassan Gallery. Spend some time and have lunch at the popular Cedar Cafe in front of the gallery that serves deliciously prepared fresh Mediterranean foods.
The Hassan Gallery is located inside Merchants Row at 2071 Washington Street, Hanover, MA. Hours are Tues – Sat from 10 to 5 pm, Sun 12 to 4 pm. Tel. 781-871-0030.
September 25, 2013 § 1 Comment
There’s a new visual treasure trove on exhibit at the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset, MA now through November 3, 2013. This collection of carved stone sculptures has been in hiding since the closing of the Reece Galleries in New York City in 2008. The exhibit entitled “Transforming African Modernism: 25 Years of Zimbabwe Stone Sculpture (1980-2005)” consists of beautifully crafted and designed stone sculptures with clean lines and an appreciation of both the subject of the pieces while showcasing the aesthetics of the stones that are used for their creation.
Many of the show’s pieces depict the female figure as does this large sculpture by Chituwa Jemali. This stone carving has a simplistic, modern look that is elegant and regal with it’s elongated, curving neck and flowing hair with her chin in the air with a half moon face. Like it’s title, ‘Facing the Future’, it projects a strong, confident women ready to take on the world and at 475 lbs. she has an impressive presence.
One of my favorite corners of the exhibit is this display of many various female torsos. All shapes and sizes made with an assortment of stones that enhance the beauty of the figures. All of these inspired sculptures have the option of adding a simple stand that enables the piece to be rotated easily for viewing.
This is a charming piece by Colleen Madamombe has a light and airy appeal that combines roughly textured and softly smooth stonework.
There’s an earthy, modern appeal with an array of styles and artists represented in the exhibit. Black & white linotypes along with Basquiat-style silkscreens line the walls with unframed prints available as well.
For more in-depth information about this exhibit there’s a gallery talk this Sunday, September 29th, 2013 at 4 pm with curator Russell Schneider at the South Shore Art Center at 119 Ripley Road in Cohasset, MA. There’s also a very informative article in the current Sept/Oct issue of Artscope Magazine written by Donna Dodson. Get out and enjoy this inspiring exhibit of modern Zimbabwe stone sculptures right here on the South Shore of Massachusetts. The majority of pieces are available to purchase.
August 31, 2013 § Leave a Comment
If you’re looking for artwork that’s unique and unconventional visit the new exhibit by Coastal Printmakers, a group of about 45 printmakers hailing from the South Shore of Massachusetts, that has opened at the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, Ma. Although the group has organized 17 exhibits since it’s inception in 2008 this is the first juried show organized by the group. All of the work submitted was required to be smaller in size to fit comfortably in the atrium gallery as you enter the building. Black frames along with white mats give a continuity to the vast array of creative imagery all accomplished by one form or another in the printmaking medium.
Coastal Printmakers was initiated by the efforts of Elaine and Bob Cunniff, from Kingston, in 2008 as their passion for printmaking and a sense of artistic connection to other printmakers inspired them to form this community of like-minded artists. Many of the artists in the group have studied under the tutelage of Esther Maschio, from Scituate, who has been teaching printmaking at the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset, MA for several years. Esther’s support and encouragement has created a following of printmakers who are interested in creative exploration and personal expression through various printmaking techniques.
This figurative monotype by Deedee Agee Sprecher is both colorful and expressive and is a culmination of the many hours that Deedee puts into her work.
These two mixed media prints are a combination of monotypes with collage, oil inks, cardboard, collage paper, watercolor, glue and string. So simple-yet complex at the same time.
This large clay piece is monoprint on clay. Ann Conte is always experimenting with both pottery and printmaking and this is a fine example that marries the two mediums.
Lee Leonard’s houses are both abstract and realistic that evoke a sense of community in a village where we’d all like to live.
These two scenic monotypes depicting the shoreline of Massachusetts are by Flora Moynahan and Elaine Cunniff. An intimate viewing of these pieces reveals very expressive abstraction while accurately depicting the locations.
This very fluid and dreamy monotype collage by Deanne Noiseux is inspired by her pilgrimage to China.
Many more of these intriguing and engaging prints are on display at this Coastal Printmakers Exhibit juried by Craig Bloodgood, the museum’s curator, at The Art Complex Museum, 189 Alden Street in Duxbury, MA now until November 10th, 2013. Hours for the museum are Wednesday through Sunday 1 to 4 pm. The Opening Reception for the exhibit is Sunday, September 22nd, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm. There’s also an artist’s talk on October 17th from 10:30-noon. The best way to view these original and unique prints is in person.
July 16, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Members of the South Shore Art Center are invited to exhibit one of their pieces for this exhibit. One of my new monotypes will be on view. It’s from a series of pottery forms integrated with organic elements and inks that are shimmery and textural along with embossing. In the past few years I’ve become a ‘pottery junkie’ seeking out potters locally that inspire me with their forms and earthy designs. A large part of the process is letting go of a preconceived idea of the finished piece which goes through a glazing and firing that is transformative. Some of my favorite haunts are local pottery, Ann Schunior Pottery, Bob Green Pottery and, of course, Pucker Gallery. Please visit this Blue Ribbon Members’ Show and look for this original monotype inspired by ceramic forms and nature.
South Shore Arts Center 119 Ripley Road Cohasset, MA 02025
July 19-September 1, 2013
Opening Reception: July 19th, 6-8 pm
Gallery Hours: Mon-Sat 10-4
June 26, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Looking for affordable art? Visit the group printmaking exhibit entitled Under Pressure now on display upstairs in the Crossen Gallery (a hallway really..) outside the printmaking studio at the South Shore Art Center. Artists are always seeking ways to connect with their audiences in ways that may not be a traditional route. Two of my favorite movies are Beautiful Losers and Exit Through the Gift Shop. Both illustrate how artists’ work are validated in unconventional ways. Barry McGee, one of the artists featured in Beautiful Losers, currently has a more conventional exhibit venue at the ICA in Boston that inspires the viewer to appreciate art with a sense of humor and originality that supports the concept of taking a unique path to success. The Under Pressure exhibit at the SSAC in Cohasset, MA runs until further notice. Artwork is for sale directly through the artists without a commission fee. No frills, just art.