Yvonne Korshak reviews Off-Broadway, Broadway, Film and Art

Category: Art Exhibitions Page 2 of 4

Reviews of Art Exhibitions in NYC and beyond.

Art Review | American Masterworks from the Corcoran 1815-1940 | Two Outdoor Paintings by John Singer Sargent | National Gallery

February 6 – May 3, 2015 | West Building, Main Floor

John Singer Sargent, En Route Pour la Peche (Setting Out to Fish), 1878, detail, o/c, Corcoran Collection

John Singer Sargent, En route pour la peche (Setting out to Fish), 1878, detail, o/c, Corcoran Collection

Outdoors – instead of the more usual indoors — with John Singer Sargent:  En route pour la peche ( Setting out to Fish), and Simplon Pass  —  two of my favorite paintings from the Corcoran Collection.

At a time when wealthy American art collectors placed European art at the pinnacle of artistic achievement – as the Andrew Mellon collection became the core of the National Gallery’s collection of Italian Renaissance art – William Wilson Corcoran saw it differently: his Corcoran Gallery, which opened in 1874, fulfilled his vision of a national collection focused on American art.  He wanted to encourage “American genius.  And genius is everywhere in this prime collection which, through a new agreement, has now been joined, mainly, with the National Gallery of Art.

Art Review | Thomas Hart Benton’s America Today Mural Rediscovered | Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thomas Hart Benton’s murals, America Today, have an immediate impact of color, exuberance, and resonant ideas.  Urban and rural, old ways and new, labor and entertainment, freedom and oppression, rich, poor, and all the way through the middle:  the view is so wide and comprehensive it seems to really encompass, in broad strokes and specifics, the essence of America in a defining view.  At the same time, the murals span in spirit two epochs  — the excesses and abundance of the “Jazz Age” of the 20’s, formative for Benton’s imagination, and the bitter advance of the Great Depression.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – The New David H. Koch Plaza, New York, NY

… one of New York’s favorite theaters …

The moment the fountains of the new David H. Koch Plaza at the Metropolitan Museum were first (officially) turned on

The moment the fountains of the new David H. Koch Plaza at the Metropolitan Museum were first (officially) turned on

The fountains that ran along the front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, though they still looked beautiful and continued to toss their refreshing waters, had severe internal problems in the pipes and plumbing.  Museum Trustee David H. Koch expressed willingness to pay for repairs, an offer that morphed into a total re-design of the public spaces, four blocks long, that span the front of the museum, including removing the old fountains and installing new ones.  We were told at the ceremony dedicating the new plaza that Mr. Koch said “Why don’t I pay for everything including the extras?” and he did at a cost of $65 million.

Art Review | Boxer at Rest, Greek bronze sculpture of the Hellenistic period, late 4th-2nd century B.C., loan exhibit | Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, June 1 – July 15, 2013

… humanity …

Boxer at Rest, Greek bronze sculpture

This is a rare opportunity to see one of the finest and most compelling works of art ever made. The bronze Boxer*  is somewhat over life-size but so immediate it’s hard to think it’s not a “real” man — and a man of total experience:  exhausted but powerful, brutalized but handsome, dazed by what’s hit him but alert for whatever’s coming his way.  Ready.

Art Review | The Civil War and American Art | Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, May 27 – September 2, 2013

… the storm of war …

This outstanding exhibition moves ones thoughts between intimate experience and vast philosophical and artistic vision, all combining to give a vivid sense of the Civil War at home and on the front.

Gifford | A Coming Storm

Gifford | A Coming Storm

A stunning aspects of the exhibit is the insistence with which, again and again, artists looked to the landscape to express thoughts and emotions, as if humans had a cosmic partner in nature.  In the years leading up to the war, paintings of storms and phenomenal portents and storms abound, such as Frederic Edwin Church’s dramatic Meteor of 1860, and Sanford Robinson Gifford’s A Coming Storm, expressing the sense of war’s prodigious imminence.

Art Review | Photography and the American Civil War | Metropolitan Museum of Art, April 2 – September 2, 2013

This exhibition is very interesting and also somewhat disappointing.

Inevitably, among the over 200 photographs relating to a vast defining event, the American Civil War, some are powerful in the way one would expect — photos of battlefields, of prisoners, of the injured and dead, and of the destruction the war wrought on all sides.   In sheer numbers, however, the weight of the exhibition is skewed toward studio portraits,

Captain Charles A. and Sergeant John M. Hawkins

Captain Charles A. and Sergeant John M. Hawkins (full caption below)

small tintypes and cartes de visite, as well as formally made medical photographs of ghastly war injuries.   So many “indoor” photos take away from the sense of the huge scale of events and the truth of a war fought for overarching issues by hordes of men on famous fields of battle.

Good News! Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC will be open 7 days a week starting July 1, 2013

Good News!

Metropolitan Museum of Art to Open 7 Days a Week
Starting July 1

Will Open Mondays throughout Year for First Time in 42 Years

As of July 1, 2013, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will open to the public 7 days a week. This new schedule will go into effect at both the Museum’s main building on Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street in Manhattan and at The Cloisters museum and gardens, its branch museum for medieval art and architecture in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan.

Also as of July 1, the Museum’s opening time each morning will change to 10:00 a.m. (from 9:30 a.m.). Otherwise the hours at both locations will remain the same. The new daily schedule as of July 1 in the main building will therefore be:
Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Sunday–Thursday 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

And the new schedule at The Cloisters museum and gardens will be:
March–October: Open 7 days, 10:00 a.m.–5:15 p.m.
November–February: Open 7 days, 10:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m.

Both locations will be closed January 1, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25, and the main building will also be closed on the first Monday in May.

The Metropolitan Museum has been closed on Mondays since 1971, with the exception in recent years of the Holiday Mondays program—in which the Museum has been open on a few holidays each year that fall on Mondays. The final Holiday Mondays to be observed before the new 7-day schedule goes into effect on July 1 will be March 25 and April 1 (during Spring Break), and May 27 (Memorial Day).

Full details on admission, group tours, and visitor amenities—including dining, shopping, and parking—are available at www.metmuseum.org/visit 212-535-7710.  Also visit the museum’s web site for current information and hours, since these changes will not take place until July.

About The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s largest and finest museums, with collections of nearly two million works of art spanning more than 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe. The Metropolitan Museum’s main building, located at the edge of Central Park along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, and The Cloisters museum and gardens, its branch museum for medieval art and architecture in northern Manhattan, welcomed 6.28 million visitors last year. For additional information about the Museum, please visit www.metmuseum.org.

Art Review | Matisse: In Search of True Painting | Metropolitan Museum of Art, December 4 2012 – March 17, 2013

… translations …

Although this large exhibit covers most of Matisse’s painting career, it has a specific focus: to bring together examples of the many pairs, trios and series of copies and reinterpretations of notably similar subject matter and composition, such as Le Luxe I  and Le Luxe II, above.  Usually (when the order of their creation is known) Matisse’s versions move from greater realism and detail to abstraction.

In this he’s like van Gogh who called these kinds of versions of his own work “translations,” and I think that’s a profound term;  it sees “realism” and “abstraction” as different artistic languages connected by a bridge.   Since a key theme of the modern movement was a development toward greater and greater abstraction, it’s not surprising that Matisse’s versions show his fascination with exactly that:  the relationship between “realism” and “abstraction”.

Massacre at Dinant. 1918, oil on canvas, 49 1/2×83 in (125.7×210.8 cm) Greenville County Museum of Art, Gift of Minor M. Shaw, Buck A. Mickel and Charles C. Mickel, and the Arthur and Holly Magill Fund

Art Review | George Bellows | Metropolitan Museum of Art, November 15, 2012 – February 18, 2013

Stag at Sharkey’s, 1909, oil on canvas, 36 1/4×48 1/4 in (92×122.6 cm), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Hinman B. Hurlbut Collections, c. The Cleveland Museum of Art

Stag at Sharkey’s, 1909, oil on canvas, 36 1/4×48 1/4 in (92×122.6 cm), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Hinman B. Hurlbut Collections, c. The Cleveland Museum of Art

As I began to walk through the George Bellows exhibition, I felt this is the greatest American painter ever!  That’s how powerful the early paintings are.  In front of those large and powerful canvases such as Stag at Sharkey’s, it took awhile to even start thinking of his powerful competition among American painters … including Thomas Eakins who had a great influence on him. 

Art Review | Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years | Metropolitan Museum of Art

Andy Warhol | Big Campbells Soup Can

… a popular artist …

This is a fascinating exhibit, stimulating for its irony, humor, kaleidoscopic glimpses at American culture in the last 50 years, and interrelationships between artists with Warhol the creative, generating the fulcrum. The overall impression is busy and dazzling. The 150 works, about a third of them by Warhol himself, hold surprise, even for those familiar with “Pop Art” and its variety of spin-offs.  Some of the surprises are owed to the intelligence and imagination with which the curators juxtapose Warhol’s paintings, sculptures and films with those of other artists, forming insightful connections.  (Full information on photos at bottom of page.*)

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