Let's Talk Off Broadway

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

Category: Art Exhibitions Page 3 of 4

Art Review | Cloud City by Tomas Saraceno — on the Roof … and above it – | Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden, through November 12, 2012 (weather permitting)

Tomas Saraceno | Cloud City

Tomas Saraceno | Cloud City | Roof of the Metropolitan Museum Summer 2012

Cloud City is a shimmering, spacious delight that plays with space and gravity and takes you to a new place.  What an adventure!

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Art Review | La Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul de Vence, France and Joan Miro’s World

Joan Miro, large blue stained glass at Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul de Vence, France, detail

Joan Miro, large blue stained glass at Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul de Vence, France, detail

The wild flowers are yellow and purple and the hills are terraced with olives, and amidst it is what I will always think of as Miro-Land — the Fondation Maeght, founded by Marguerite and Aime Maeght in 1964 for modern art, which remains a uniquely private museum.  Unique also:  it’s open every day of the year “sans exception” — I love the spirit of that!  And the total dedication.

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Art Review | New American Wing | Metropolitan Museum of Art | With Thoughts on Washington Crossing the Delaware

Albert Bierstadt, The Rocky Mountains, Landers Peak, 1863, oil on canvas, 73 1/2 x 120 3/4 in. 186.7 x 306.7 cm

Albert Bierstadt, The Rocky Mountains, Landers Peak, 1863, oil on canvas, 73 1/2 x 120 3/4 in. 186.7 x 306.7 cm (for other paintings, see full captions with dimensions at end)

The MMA’s New American Wing is a feast of paintings.  There are so many, and they are so fine and varied, and worth seeing for different reasons.  The overall effect is to give a sense of the strength of the American painting tradition, placing it on a par with the European traditions.  That’s clearly what the designers of the new wing intended, and they succeeded.  And why, evidently, the galleries are “a contemporary interpretation of 19th-century Beaux-Arts galleries,” according to a Museum description.  The general sense is familiar great.  It engenders a sense of pride in the accomplishments of American painting in the circumscribed period the Wing covers, from the 18th Century to 1920.

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Art Review | Silver Screen Silver Prints | Hollywood Glamour Portraits from the Robert Dance Collection | Curated by Ann H. Hoy | Grolier Club, NYC

… star struck …

Theda Bara as Cleopatra, by Albert Witzel, 1917, gelatin silver print, 10 x 8". Photo: Grolier Club

Theda Bara as Cleopatra, by Albert Witzel, 1917, gelatin silver print, 10 x 8″. Photo: Grolier Club

This exhibition brings together 90 publicity photographs, made by the big studios, of major Hollywood stars:  the earliest is of Theda Bara as Cleopatra of 1917, and the latest of Elizabeth Taylor — not as Cleopatra (that would have been fun) — but as Barbara in Ash Wednesday (a woman driven to plastic surgery to keep hold of her husband), dated 1974.

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Art Review | Anthony Caro on the Roof | Metropolitan Museum of Art | April 26, 2011 – October 30, 2011, (weather permitting)

Midday, 1960, Anthony Caro, painted steel, 7' 73/4" x 37 3/8" x 12' 1 1/4" (233.1 x 95 x 370.2 cm), collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NY, photo: MMA

Midday, 1960, Anthony Caro, painted steel, 7′ 73/4″ x 37 3/8″ x 12′ 1 1/4″ (233.1 x 95 x 370.2 cm), collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NY, photo: MMA

There are two ways to think about a sculpture exhibition on the MMA’s roof — the pleasure of being there, surrounded by rosy sun-lit skyscrapers in one direction, Central Park in another, the big sky and fresh air.  And then there are the sculptures themselves that are set against this gorgeous backdrop.

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Art Review | Rooms with a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century | Metropolitan Museum of Art

… observations and interpretations …

The exhibition includes 57 works of art by 40 artists, small oil paintings and works on paper.  Works are divided into three groups:  quiet rooms with figures, artists’ studios, and paintings without figures in which windows are the major motif.  The title is grander than the exhibit (at the risk of seeming “picky” — the windows aren’t always open, nor are there always views).

But what’s missing from this exhibition is a real view — that is a point of view — an insight that could emerge if the works had been brought together through a strong organizing vision.  The exhibition gives us the chance to see first hand a number of works not otherwise readily available but it’s a one by one kind of exhibit, lacking synthesis, and the leap into enlarged understanding.

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Review | Mummenschanz | Skirball Center for the Performing Arts of New York University

… Surrealism in motion …

Mummenschanz creates a world in which creatures take on forms different from our world but are governed by the same laws of physics as our world.  Performers dressed in fascinating and often beautiful materials create great shimmering shapes that roll, climb and cavort around the stage, as the properties of the materials and their construction drive original means of locomotion and unique negotiations with gravity. 

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Art Review | Big Bambu by Doug and Mike Starn | Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof

… urban atavism …

Installing Big Bambu. All photos courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art

Installing Big Bambu. All photos courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art

The roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is pleasant place to visit this summer, shaded by an overarching bamboo bower, a dense network of bamboo poles that pretty well covers the surface of the open roof area. The artists and the rock climbers who help them put it together will be working on it over the summer – it’s thought of as a work that “evolves” – but already at the start of summer its overall web-like structure with a rising wave like focus that is the climbing ramp are pretty much in place.

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A funeral ritual in a garden. Wall painting in the Theban tomb of Nakhtmin, early 18th Dynasty, ca. 1450. Facsimile painting by Charles K. Wilkinson, 1921. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1930. Photo: Museum.

Art Review | Exhibition: Tutankhamun’s Funeral | Metropolitan Museum of Art

… mighty warrior or frail human? …

Meet Pharaoh Tutankhamun…

Head of Tutankhamun with the hand of the god Amun behind. Limestone, H 15.2 cm (6 in). 18th Dynasty, reigned ca. 1336-1327 B.C. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund 1950. Photo: Museum

Head of Tutankhamun with the hand of the god Amun behind. Limestone, H 15.2 cm (6 in). 18th Dynasty, reigned ca. 1336-1327 B.C. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund 1950. Photo: Museum

A “blockbuster” exhibition of treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamum, “King Tut NYC Return of the King” will be opening in near Times Square in NYC April 23, 2010.  It will be filled with lavish and stunningly beautiful works in gold and other precious materials, and the art will show the pharaoh Tutankhamun as a mighty conqueror of Egypt’s enemies, a great hunter of wild animals, and a victor over death itself.  It will be a great event — see it, if you can get tickets.

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Back to a Remembered Time by Paul Johnson, photo by Robert Lorenzson

Press Release | Beyond the Text: Artists’ Books from the Collection of Robert J. Ruben | Catalog by Yvonne Korshak and Robert J. Ruben | Grolier Club

Beyond the Text: Artists’ Books from the Collection of Robert J. Ruben, originally shown at The Grolier Club in New York City March 25 through May 28, 2010, is now opening March 3, 2011 at the Bailey/Howe Library of the University of Vermont, http://library.uvm.edu/news/?cat=3

Beyond the Text:  Artists’ Books from the Collection of Robert J. Ruben by Yvonne Korshak and Robert J. Ruben, 2010, 156 pages, 74 color illustrations, ISBN 978-1-60583-026-1

… Beyond the Text …

Artists’ books take a leap beyond the kind of text and illustrations normally associated with the book to carry the viewer to new vistas of emotion and intellect.  Some artists’ books arrive on our visual doorstep bearing humor while others — all in mixed degrees — convey intellectual challenge, or emotions such as awe or joy.  Some are embassies from the dark side of human experience.

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