Northern Manhattan ArtsÂ AllianceÂ (NoMAA)Â in partnership with theÂ New Leaf CafÃ©Â presents the firstÂ NoMAA Artistsâ€™ Salon, a gathering of local artists at the New Leaf CafÃ© inÂ onÂ Monday, March 31stÂ at 6pm. Representatives fromÂ Manhattan Mini StorageÂ will be at the NoMAA Artistsâ€™ Salon.Â Manhattan Mini Storage is launching its WorkSpaces in the former Verizon building on Broadway atÂ W. 214Â Street.Â These are office spaces that could be turned into artists spaces, painters studios, rehearsal rooms, etc.Â They are interested in hearing what needs artists have so they can try to accommodate them. Please refer to the attached document for more details on the Artistsâ€™ Salon.Â For more information contact NoMAA at 212.568.4396.
March 30, 2008
March 29, 2008
I just learned of this interesting grass-roots granting organization from a Now:Here:This contributor. You can make small contributions to their kitty. They give artists grants. From their web site:
Now Art Grants combine the small donations of many individuals and make these available to artists whose work creates art that catalyzes social change. These artists often work with no pay and slim budgets because the activist nature of their work is often dismissed as “not fine art” or because art remains devalued as a viable career choice by society. You can donate any amount you choose to the grant pool. This money is combined and granted to artists who show their commitment to social change through their work. The art created by Now Art Grants will have a component that is delivered directly to those who have donated the grant funds as a direct return of your investment.
Artists creating work that engages dialogue about current social issues will receive grant funds (minimum $500), three months mentorship and the exposure to a mailing list of over 3000 people.
Don’t miss the activities of AU and friends at KB Gallery on 181st St. this week. Thursday is the second in ourÂ composer series, featuring Ken Wessel. The first concert last month was packed and we’re looking forward to Ken’s group, which includes Ken on guitar, Badal Roy on tablas and Stomu Takeishi on bass.Â Stop by the next day to see Perfect 8 founderÂ Diana SchmertzÂ in a solo show at the gallery.
March 26, 2008
New music band Alarm Will Sound performed at the Kitchen March 21st to a full house. When Bjork walked in behind me, I figured it was a good place to be, and sure enough, the evening-long work, 1969, was an event that was well-conceived and executed. Alarm… takes the step that so many audience members seem to desire: explaining things; while at the same time doing things that are outside the realm of what most audiences see: innovative performance.
The title of the program, 1969, is the result of the band’s desire to focus on one year during which history and the arts went through dramatic changes (another year that were considered was 1945). The theme that emerged from 1969 was “revolution” and the band drew on music from Berio, Stockhausen, Bernstein, Wolf, Stravinsky, the Beatles and their own keyboardist, John Orfe, for the musical fare. The band is very tech-savvy, and 1969 is a multi-media piece. A colleague told me he last saw them in an ipod symphony of sorts; this work pairs a typical classical orchestral setup with a continuous power-point style backdrop (granted that your average marketing pro doesn’t have this kind of typographical acumen — the visuals were beautiful).
Conceptually the piece is right on. Alarm Will Sound’s Managing Director, Gavin Chuck, prefaced the work by saying the group will be working on this material for a while; that we were seeing it at the beginning of the process. I think it’s kind of a cheap caveat, but okay. As a work in progress, 1969 is interesting. The evening began and ended with a play on long notes. It began with an excerpt from Kalheinz Stockhausen’s “Aus den sieben Tagen: Meeting Point,” and the group entered one by one on the note and left similarly at the end of the evening with the sound moving from tonic confusion to harmony (a second excerpt from the Stockhausen piece, “Set Sail for the Sun”). Variations on the Beatles’ “Michelle” with classical treatment were notable and featured first violinist Courtney Orlando as an equally talented soprano. The group shared some of its background research with us. A piece from Bernstein’s Mass was introduced with the story of a radical priest whose letters from prison served as the basis of “Epistle,” arranged in this performance by Stefan Freund, also the cellist. The song was performed by Michael Harley, another instrumentalist, who sang in addition to his duties on bassoon.
The band was very likeable. They balanced a sincerity with lightheartedness. The topic of revolution, though, is not a lighthearted topic. “Revolution 9,” the Beatles’ work, arranged by Matt Marks (horn player of Alarm…) was a dazzling display of orchestration and recreating sound effects and tape loops live. But the entire evening left me feeling less like I was present at a revolution than at the study of one. Which brings me back to the premise of the night: that it is a work in progress…
…as hopefully this review will be as I follow Alarm Will Sound from this point on…
March 21, 2008
I’ve been working with choreographer Laura Peterson at my day gig for the past few months, and she’s the rare artist who is both good with people and good with art. Consequently, we all love her, and I’m going to shamelessly promote her here. Her new work Electrolux stems from a consideration of man’s affect on everything he touches. Peterson, Kate Harris, Christopher Hutchings and Kate Martel rock out in a landscape of carpet and construction material to songs by Led Zeppelin.
Peterson likes the connection between dance and visual art (her last piece was called I love Dan Flavin) and she arranged for visual artist Edie Nadelhaft, who is collaborating on Peterson’s next work to show paintings of cow snouts and flies in the adjacent gallery. For more info and a video interview with a preview of the dance, click here. Shows are next weekend. Don’t miss this one!
March 20, 2008
Being known as â€œa painterâ€™s painter,â€ or more broadly, as â€œan artistâ€™s artistâ€ has always connoted a significant cachet, in that artists themselves hold a special distinction as arbiters of quality when it comes to art. This is just one aspect that makes the annual invitational exhibition at the American Academy of Arts and Letters uniquely and reliably appealing. The exhibiting artists must first be nominated by a member of the academy to submit work for consideration. Following nomination, finalists are culled by a selection committee composed of some of the most esteemed artists in our nation.
A coincidence of timing, AAA&Lâ€™s Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts opened March 5th, just the day before the Whitney Biennial. As Holland Cotter noted in his NY Times review of the Whitneyâ€™s exhibition,â€¦ â€œAdvertisements for the 2008 Whitney Biennial promise a show that will tell us â€œwhere American art stands today,â€ although we basically already know. A lot of new art stands in the booths of international art fairs, where styles change fast, and one high-polish item instantly replaces another. The turnover is great for business, but it has made time-lag surveys like the biennial irrelevant as news.â€ The AAA&L has mounted a survey of contemporary art that may garner a lot less hype than the Biennial, but which is anything but irrelevant.
Cotter notes that at the Whitney, â€œDevotees of painting will be on a near-starvation dietâ€¦â€ and â€œHard-line believers in art as visual pleasure will have, poor things, a bitter slog.â€ Pushing the criteria of ‘hipness’ and art market trends aside, the AAA&L show presents a very different picture of original and exceptional American art today. Overall, the show is not as outstanding as last yearâ€™s, but for those who want to be visually nourished and believers in art as something more than the latest in high-end consumer accessories, Iâ€™d still heartily suggest hopping on the 1 train to 155th St and Broadway, and paying a visit.
The exhibition is housed in two elegant buildings that face each other across Audubon Terrace. In the southern building, one is immediately struck by the monumental presence of three concrete and steel pieces by Ledelle Moe. Two enormous heads, each titled Memorial (Collapse), 2005-06, nearly fill the entire gallery space. The third piece, Congregation, (2006-07) consists of a grouping of portrait-like heads arranged on the galleryâ€™s western wall. While not the direct intention of the artist (discussed on her website), these works were the first I have encountered that invoke and commemorate the tragedy of the World Trade Center in such a moving, effective way. Moe has managed to express the inexpressible by being subtle, shunning the literal references, and powerfully integrating content and materials in complex, multi-layered meanings. The two massive pieces are perceived first as structural forms even before one identifies them as heads. The metal armatures and dark, internal spaces of the heads recall the eerie, silent chasms of seminal works by Lee Bontecou. The disembodied heads, hollow forms of concrete and steel, are potent death-portraits of the twin towers. Along with Congregation, which could represent those who perished as well as those who remain and mourn, this installation is an environment conducive for reflection and remembrance. For those struggling with the question of what would be an appropriate memorial at the site of 2001â€™s horror, they should take note of Ledelle Moeâ€™s perceptive work.
There were several other outstanding artists also in the southern building. Robert Yasudaâ€™s canvases of layers of iridescent paint on fabric stretched over carefully shaped wooden supports bring a new twist to the realm of color field painting. The colors shift and change as the viewer moves, making it all but impossible to capture them photographically. Here is art defiantly insistent upon an in-person experience with the viewer, and those willing to show up and look will be rewarded. These coolly luminous paintings draw the viewer in, inviting the kind of internal wandering that the changing colors of the sky at dusk, the shimmer of a mist over water, or a close look at a dragonflyâ€™s wings could inspire.
Heide Fasnacht is another artist of consistent strength and originality. An exceptional draftsman, her contribution to this show is Jump Zone, a huge installation that is part wall-drawing and part 3-D realization of the cartoon-like explosion of an architectural armature. With sculptural â€œpoofsâ€ made of the expanding, hardening foam more than a few New Yorkers have used to plug up mouse-holes (sometimes sold under the name â€œGreat Stuffâ€), Fasnacht reveals that our attempts at structure and fortitude are merely flimsy illusions. Fasnachtâ€™s installation is less obsessively fragmented than Cornelia Parkerâ€™s work, less extravagant than Cai Guo-Qiangâ€™s â€œexplodingâ€ car at the Guggenheim, yet perhaps more substantial and engaging, even as its cartoonish elements give the initial appearance of something far less serious.
The northern building in the plaza houses the majority of the works in the show. A half-dozen silver gelatin prints of Paris shot in 2005-06 by Bruce Davidson stand out amidst the painting and sculpture.Â There’s not enough room to write in detail about everything, but these pieces are some of the most understated gems of the show. Davidson has written of this body of work, â€œAs I explored the urban green spaces of Paris, I became aware of its old weathered trees, variety of flowers, and array of plant life that are an integral part of the Parisian experience and help to define the city’s beauty and significance. I thought of what trees see and endure. Their presence have inspired passion and sustained my quest throughout the project.â€ The vaguely disturbing, idiosyncratic, and incredibly detailed paintings by Mark Greenwold are also among the highlights here.
If you make the trip up to see this show (on view until April 6th), I always recommend stopping by the Hispanic Society of America too, which, in addition to the treasures one expects to see there (El Greco, Velazquez, and more), thereâ€™s a Dia Foundation project by Francis AlÃ¿s also up until April 6th, free and open to the public.
[Images from top to bottom: Ledelle Moe, two views of "Collapse (Memorial)" concrete and steel, 5 x 7 x 6 feet and 6.5 x 8.5 x 10 feet, 2005-06, courtesy the artist and Reynolds Gallery, VA; Robert Yasuda, "Panorama," 2007, acrylic on fabric on wood, 48 x 80", courtesy the artist and Elizabeth Harris Gallery, NY; Heide Fasnacht, "Jump Zone," 2008, tape, urethane foam, styrofoam, variable dimensions, courtesy the artist and Kent Gallery, NY; Bruce Davidson, "Eiffel Tower" 2005, silver gelatin print, 21 x 21", courtesy the artist and Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY. All copyrights belong to the respected artists.]
March 17, 2008
VENTURES , a new program for baby boomers presents An Evening of Chocolate Making and Tasting with Beryl Brenner, BA,MA Recreational Therapist with the Department of Veteran Affairs. Spend a sweet evening by creating chocolate and sampling gourmet milk and dark chocolates as you expand your knowledge of chocolate. Everyone is invited to participate, not just “chococonnoiseurs.”
March 26th @7pm at the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood. Admission $5 prepaid in advance, $8 at the door.
March 12, 2008
After four years of Now:Here:This, I have watched two trends flow among participants:
1st, everyone is very keen on the NOW of the project, and makes something exactly at 16:00 GMT, or something very time-oriented in general.
2nd, everyone gets caught up in the competing rhythms of life and begins ignoring the time and focuses on the THIS aspect. They take whatever they are in the process of making around the art spark week and share that energy with the project.
I am planning an exhibition of Now:Here:This in New York this spring; and would like to see if we could explore the 3rd aspect: HERE. For some of you, this is the modus operandi, but for others, it may be new ground. I trust your artistic judgement implicitly and look forward to what you create.
The next several art sparks will be the source of the exhibition. I will be in touch about specific pieces sometime in May for a June exhibition.
The next spark is this Friday, March 14 at 16:00 GMT (11:00 in NYC, 8:00 in California, 17:00 in Central Europe). Be HERE or be SQUERE.
Submit your work to email@example.com. Click here for details/
March 10, 2008
There was a moment in the 90’s when I could think of nothing more satisfying than turning Head Like a Hole up to 11 on my car radio. My ability to listen to Nine Inch Nails for more than a song has waned, but I still think Trent Reznor has found the nectar of the downward spiral and put it to music. NIN (I don’t know how to turn the second one backwards in HTML) has just released a new album, and I use the word precisely. It comes out on double disk vinyl. It also comes on CD. It also comes as a download. It also comes as a free download of the first 9 songs. It also comes as totally remixable with rights to release your own music based on it, as long as you credit Nine Inch Nails (under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license).
And the cover photography, which you get with the free download, too, isÂ a w e s o m e!
The free download is utterly recognizable. It has those snakey piano lines, odd sounds, great guitar pleas, and in a few songs, that thumping groove Reznor does so well. Sadly, there’s none of his rich baritone to be found. I read that there is some vocal used as instrumental somewhere in the 36-track set.
All the details at http://ghost.nin.com
Tales of New York and Beyond
Jonathan Baumbach reading from You or the Invention of Memory
Nava Renek author of Spiritland
Steve Schrader author of Stories from a New York Life
Sunday Best Reading Series
Spoken-word performances by fiction writers, poets, and dramatists
The Lounge, Hudson View Gardens
Pinehurst Avenue and 183rd Street
March 16th at 4:00 p.m.
Suggested donation of $7 includes one free drink and free snacks
Reception after to meet the writers
The bookseller for this event is MOBILE LIBRIS (Sharon Preiss, Proprietor)
By subway from downtown: Take the A train to 181st Street. Be at the front of the train. Exit the uptown (north) end of station; take the elevator to Fort Washington Avenue. Cross the little park you’ll see (Bennett Park), bearing left around the great circle. When you’ve crossed the park, you’ll be on Pinehurst Avenue. Look left. Youâ€™ll see 183rd Street, which continues into Hudson View Gardens as a private road. To your right, about 100 feet in, youâ€™ll seeÂ â€œThe Lounge.â€
Ask about our program of special discounts for student and other groups.
Patricia Eakins, Curator
Sunday Best Reading Series
More info at firstname.lastname@example.org
March 1, 2008
Andrea Cukier: Paintings
April 10 - April 30, 2008
Thursday, April 10 from 6 to 8 PM
Consulate General of Argentina in New York
12 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 603-0440
Gallery Hours: Monday â€“ Friday, 11 AM â€“ 5 PM
This exhibition will feature two aspects of Ms. Cukierâ€™s work that have never been shown together before. Both her outdoor landscapes on paper and her abstract paintings on canvas play with subtle variations of color temperature and hue. Every piece, in its own way, reveals a sensitive tension between the expressive, often impulsive, brushstroke and an evocation of a delicate atmospheric climate.
Her landscapes, she has said, seek â€œthe humidity in the atmosphere and the smell in the air.â€ Her abstract works, which she also regards as kinds of landscapes, are darker and moodier, inspired by the artistâ€™s memories of the port areas of Buenos Aires. They evoke in equal measure the quiet pleasure and melancholy of recollections. In the words of Lucid Culture, they are â€œpowerfully captivating paintings, many of which peer out from the shadows at an illumination whose source is never visible.â€
At the core of Andrea Cukierâ€™s work is the search for an emotional quality of light embraced by its contemplation.
Ms. Cukierâ€™s work is in private collections in the United States, France, Japan, Argentina and the United Kingdom. She is an elected member of the Art Studentsâ€™ League of New York and of The Women in The Arts Association.
For further information: Please contact A. Cukier at (917) 698-7392 or call The Consulate General of Argentina in New York at (212) 603-0440.
You can visit www.andreacukier.com to view some of the artistâ€™s work online.