~’NIGHTJAR’ . . UNDERDONK

Rockin’ . . the Mystery.
Exploring . . the Biology.
Feeling . . the Science.

‘NIGHTJAR’
an all woman show, curated by a woman/artist at . . UNDERDONK / in BUSHWICK.

‘NIGHTJAR’ – curated by ASHLEY GARRETT
opened May 12, 2017
the show runs thru JUNE 18, 2017
featuring the work of:
SHARON CORE, PRISCILLA FUSCO, VALERIE HAMMOND, DEBORAH MASTERS, & RUTH MARTEN

UNDERDONK, 1329 WILLOUGHBY AVE, #211, Bushwick / Brooklyn

the gallery is open weekends !!
HRS: SAT & SUN / 1- 6 pm / & by appointment

“At last we saw water gleaming at a distance, and came to a clear tarn, lined with brown leaves and holding a fair picture in its bosom….what a place fir summer, and how one envies the frogs!”
~UNA HAWTHORNE / press release

‘UNDERDONK . . is pleased to present ‘NIGHTJAR’ a show of 5 artists confronting human relationship with nature and animals. This relationship is rapidly changing as the ecosystem becomes increasing hostile and threatening to both humans and animals. The exhibition explores the conceptual, spiritual, personal and investigative ways in which we can relate to the organic, natural world around us.’
~gallery press release

ASHLEY-GARRETT---nightjar-Underdonk
the show’s curator, artist ASHLET GARRETT on the right.
that’s Priscilla Fusco’s clay ‘bell’, and . . on the wall behind her, photographs by Sharon Core

Priscilla-Fusco---nightjar-Underdonk
PRISCILLA FUSCO, ‘Grunter (bell) 2017. ceramic, EU speaker, Grunter, sound file.
the large hand-built, coil technique / clay bell is suspended from the ceiling by a strong wire.
it’s quite stunning, and . . strange.
($1,200)

Priscilla-Fusco-bell
inside the bell a sound loop is playing: a ‘geophone recording conducted by Dr. Kenneth C. Catania, included in his report “Worm Grunting, Fiddling, and Charming – Humans Unknowingly Mimic a Predator to Harvest Bait.”

PRISCILLA FUSCO, b. 1973, Maine . . is a recent graduate (2016) of the Hunter MFA program.
see: PRISCILLA FUSCO – PORTFOLIO WEBSITE

Valerie-hammond--nightjar---underdonk
VALERIE HAMMOND, ‘Reverse Reflection’ series. edition of 18.
set of 6 drypoints, 16 x 15-1/2 in paper / 5-7/8 x 5-7/8 image.
($800 unframed / $970 framed)

Valerie-Hammond-drypoint-nightjar-underdonk
VALERIE HAMMOND, ‘Reverse Reflection’ series, drypoint.
Valerie Hammond come to us by way of Santa Maria, California.
She received her MFA from the University of California at Berkeley, she now is New York City based.
she has an impressive international list of exhibitions in her C.V.
see: VALERIE HAMMOND – PORTFOLIO WEBSITE

a-ha, so !!
I wasn’t so far off regarding: BUSH-wick !!
light that spark, my darlin’ chicks !!
curators, artists & poets !!
women ruling this . . art season.

more on the other artists & artworks in ‘Nightjar’ – up next !!

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~wow, that was such a . . ‘girls’ !! only trip !! illustration by RUTH MARTEN / UNDERDONK

finding stepping stones / in the art world . . . brook /
NYC, Spring 2017.

loving nothing better, then when the path I take through the various shows I see – takes on a subtext of it’s own !!

this past month – it was really quite the WILD ride !!
and it was all about . . GIRLS !!!!!!

EMBRACE – THAT !!!!!!

RUTH-MARTEN---UNDERDONK
RUTH MARTEN, ‘Possession’, 2012.
POSTCARD . . OBTAINED FROM UNDERDONK, on a visit last weekend / May 14, 2017.

yeah, that was so F . . is for femme, femme, femme tripppppy !!!

it seems to have started, most unknowingly . . with the ‘SURREALIST DINNER ‘ at the woman-artist run SELENA / OLIVIA SWIDER, and ANJULI RATHOD.

that, got me to – thinking: Surrealist, Symbolist.
women / artists.

then, about a week later I walk into ‘Like Oxygen’ at MOUNTAIN / expecting a very tech-oriented / cutting-edge underground experience, only to be awe-struck by . . the shaman-centered ‘Crystal Flowers Radio’ 2017, install by ALLISON WADE !!

where the artist, ALLISON WADE . .
was presenting recorded seances, she had set up in the former apt/home of . . FLORINE STETTHEIMER !!
if, this wasn’t pushing ‘Surreal’ & ‘Symbolist’ . . right off the map / it was definitely raising the spirits.

because . .
not more than 4 days later, on Tuesday May 2nd, I found myself at the JEWISH MUSEUM for the press preview of one of the most wonderful exhibits you will ever happen upon, ‘Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry’ !!
& up thru Sept 24, 2017 – don’t miss it.

now, not only was this . . a ghost come to life / but a woman artist, who is long over-due a revival of interest & recognition !!
here we not only a have a . . . a ‘SYMBOLIST’ – !!
but, a magic realist / visionary.
resplendent with the most passionate paintings, and imagine that: passionate & whimsical in one sentence !!
including the most surreal theatrical costumes, fortune telling cards & . . garden scenes. imagine that: surreal and domestic in the same sentence ??/!!
you go, FLORINE !!!!

then somehow, while chasing the Old World treasures . . of Count Carl Gustaf Tessin (1695-1770) / which morphed into the ‘Treasures from the Nationalmuseum of Sweden’ at the Morgan Library, me & my friend . . took a stroll into another exhibit running concurrently: ‘I’m Nobody! Who are you?’ – a sweet, new take on EMILY DICKINSON, which had me totally enthralled, so much so, that I even hit up the movie: ‘A Quiet Passion’ – a new re-telling of her story.

so, it was all in all, all, all / it was: all-women . . stepping stones !!
though, what was even more surprising . .
was how the tour, took a most strange, and winding, and unexpected, but . . p-a-s-s-i-n-a-t-e turn !!

flowing from surrealism, and seances / thru symbolism . . . onto the fanciful / magic realism !! of GILDED AGE . . FLORINE STETTHEIMER,
to the . . classic Victorian parlor . . of EMILY DICKINSON !!
via herbarium / scientific nature collections, black paper profile cut-outs, Daguerrotypes / shaped poetry & the hand-bound / hand-stitched fascicle booklets of Emily DICKINSON !!

so how strange, is the meandering art world I prowl . . . ?

that last weekend . . .
I find myself at . . ‘NIGHTJAR’ / at UNDERDONK !!!!




~CHARLES BURCHFIELD . . double your money at CHRISTIE’S

there’s a CHARLES BURCHFIELD painting from 1955 / Estimate: $120,000 – $180,000
up for auction – this weekend,
at Christie’s ‘American Art Online’ sale / open for bidding / from 17 May – 24 May, 2017.

see: CHRISTIE’S ‘AMERICAN ART ONLINE’ . . 17-24 MAY 2017

and, it’s no small potatoes, either /
titled: ‘June Wind’ . .
it is: 27 x 39-3/4 in / 2ft-4in x 3ft-1/4in !!

though it is watercolor & charcoal & chalk on paper, but laid down on board / vs. oil on canvas.
but prob very durable, if taken proper archhival care of.

if you wanted to double your money as soon as you dropped it / this would be it – art world-wise.
and, art world-wise . . this is small change / chump change.

jump the chump, is all I can say !!!

Burchfield-at-Christies
Image via Instagram @christies

CHARLES EPHRAIM BURCHFIELD (1893-1967), ‘June Wind’, 1955.
watercolor, charcoal and chalk on paper laid down on board
27 x 39-3/4 in.
executed in 1955.

LOT 110

Estimate: $120,000 – $180,000

Bidding starts at $100,000.

note: the lots from this auction, including this work / can be viewed at Christie’s Rockefeller Center Galleries, NYC
20 – 22 MAY 2017.

and, don’t say . . I never tell you – anything !!!! $$$ blue chip $$$ !!!!!




~’A QUIET PASSION’ . . EMILY DICKINSON FILM / TERENCE DAVIES

EM & me . . .

yesterday, May 16 . . was the day Emily died – in 1886, at her home in Amherst.
the Ghost – is in the room !!!!!

Emily-Dickinson---A-Quiet-Passion---poster

besides the current exhibit on Emily Dickinson, ‘I’m Nobody! Who are You?’ at the Morgan Library, up only til the end of the month / don’t miss it.

a feature length film . . on EMILY DICKINSON, titled, ‘A Quiet Passion’ / opened last week, here in NYC.

between the two of them / one can begin begin to feel closer to the austere Emily.
her times, her family and friends, her upbringing, and her life’s work . . with each endeavor, the museum show and the feature length film – dovetailing with the other, to fill in the blanks.

‘A QUIET PASSION’, (2017) . . . a feature film on EMILY DICKINSON,
directed by TERENCE DAVIES & starring CYNTHIA NIXON as Emily Dickinson – is now playing,
at the Quad Cinema . . here in NYC.

unlike the press I saw online just now, I would say, no – it is not a brilliant blockbuster, lordy.
what-ever . . are they thinking ?
it’s really only for . . diehard Dickinson fans; and perhaps some diehard poetry, and early Americana religious & history buffs / or . . . . ,
those with stressed-out jobs in, say . . the fashion world, who are just dying to veg-out on a pretty & yet informative / sensitive & delicately . . spaced-out 2 hour, period docu-drama, with . . good costumes.

speaking of which:
the various, period-correct / hand-tatted lace collars, seem to be authentic museum pieces ?!!!

PASSION ?
did somebody say: passion, albeit . . quiet ?

turns out, at the beating heart of the Emily Dickinson real life drama / lies a most passionate & most illicit, yet apparently hardly hidden . . love affair; that between her brother Austin, and his mistress . . MABEL LOOMIS TODD /
while of course, wouldn’t you know: EMILY and his proper wife, SUSAN . . were best friends.
go figure !!

it gets even more complicated by the evil woman Mabel’s apparent utmost devotion to Emily’s poetry, if not to Emily herself, but who really knows ?
. . turns out, it was MABEL who first edited, preserved and published Emily’s poems, after her death !! and a most interesting facet of the whole tale – and which is more fully addressed in the Morgan Library exhibit.
and, in fact not mentioned here at all. the publishing. the devotion to Emily’s work.

instead, this film’s focus, is to try / to fill us in on, cinematic-ally . . on how hard it was, for the contrarian Emily, so rebellious, and yet in her own way / so very rigid . . to come to terms with her brother’s absolute flaunting of convention / to live and to work . . amidst a very complicated betrayal of her life, on all levels.

it’s a long meandering road, but we do get . . how Emily’s stubborn, questioning & contrary views – the depth of which gave rise to her inward / haunting voice, and which followed closely nevertheless upon the strict & repressed Protestant / Puritanical upbringing she had been raised in; and whose conventional practices she upturns & questions at all turns . .

and which clearly has its own individualist / stubborn yet undeniably ‘passionate’ set of narrow beliefs, . . how that ‘QUESTIONING’ . . . is thrown right back at her, to rationalize and ask her to accept Austin’s deviant behavior.

as in: doesn’t everyone have a right to find their own path, passion, and way / and, most importantly to ber to be . . forgiven ?

there is some gentle alluding – to the fact that the long suffering wife, Susan . . might be lacking in the passion department / or else, ‘why did she resist Austin’s proposals of marriage – so many times ‘?

there’s also some ‘alluding’ to some ‘acceptable’ veneer for the affair; as to the fact that ‘Mabel’s husband might be compromised by . . venerality’/ or, as we say . . std / and in those days, it was quite a devastating situation, re final solution ‘surgery’.

at any rate, unlike the Morgan museum exhibit, which keeps a petty tight pace attuned to the intellectual & ‘literati-life’ / whirl of passion, that complicated Emily’s life, and I guess made her akin to a contemporary reality star – in her own little village, no ?
college town, or not.

‘A Quiet Passion’ . . treats us to a physical, lustful . . . scene of Emily actually walking in on Austin and Mable, getting it on, while innocently on the way to the kitchen – for a midnight snack !!!
oh my !!!!!

you know, and then all that Protestant – faith questioning /comes on-board / so you see them all argue it out – from both sides of the ‘righteous’ ledger / or any side, actually.
back & forth endlessly !!
one thing’s for sure, Mabel does not get kicked out.

but, my question is: is it ever directly addressed in the poems, or in any of the huge correspondence she is supposed to have kept up ? how Emily felt about this affair ?
what was the low-down ?

what’s in the real . . archive / and, what was . . re-imagined by these filmmakers ?

a poem is narrated overhead, after the ‘outing’, to the effect that: ‘why has my world spun out of my control’ ?!!

I don’t think there is much mention, either on paper, in letters or diaries / or at least in ones that haven’t been long burnt (!!) by now . . . because there’s absolutely no portrayal in this film, on how that relationship / the between Emily and her brother’s mistress, Mable – evolved over the years. though it seems it did, re the Morgan exhibit.
and that’s one reason I would like to read the poems – now.
searching for references . . to the ‘goings-on’ / between the . . lines !!

though, that’s where the Morgan Library pipes in again, letting you know how MABLE was a big fan of Emily’s work, and sent her letters, and Emily sent her poems.
in fact, it was red letter ‘Capital A’ MABEL LOOMIS TODD, and not wife/ friend Susan, who was to publish Emily’s poems after her death . .

the Morgan does give us some tantalizing facts, but with very little emotional detailing.
again, I guess none exists on record ?

but still, who knew . .

that under all that carefully crafted, minimalist phrasing, a questioning, troubled emotional ‘storm’, based on a most purple love triangle, though not of her own making / but one sibling step away – was a-brewing,
all along . . confounding & confusing her ????

no wonder, she looked so outward for order – in the world.

but the singular, most important aspect of this film, and one that fills in a big void at the Morgan exhibit, is not an emotional ‘coloring’, of her life, but an actual . . DEMONSTRATION !!

of EMILY, at work on her famous ‘fascicles’ / or hand-sewn tiny packets of poems, small folded paper pages stitched together / or, in other words . . as we would say today, DO-IT-YOURSELF-BOUND !!
at the ‘spine’, or fold.

although the Morgan exhibit speaks of these ‘fascicles’, or ‘packets’ – there are no photos or reproductions, let alone a precious archival one. turns out Mabel, who actually gave the name ‘fascicle’ to these little hand-sewn packages of poems, and the other early editors . . dismantled them !!
oh. no !!!!!!!!

wow, that’s a whole other story, somebody else – has to write.

A quiet passion . . ?
indeed !!!!!!!

Emily-Dickinson---A-Quiet-Passion
CYNTHIA NIXON, as a pretty good, very believable . . EMILY DICKINSON, first stabs a few holes, clear through a few leafs of folded paper, upon which she has scribbled her poems / to ready them for hand-stitched sewn binding, or DIY, as we would term it today !!

and that’s another reason, Dickinson is seeing a sudden revival, & relevance today.
her shaped pages, scraps, collages . . and DIY binding !!
are allowing us to see her / through the magic of modern digital / photographic reproduction, not just the old typeset printing of yore, as the singular poet – artist / she really was !!
the times, they just be a-catching up . . to her.
rebel, outsider. visionary. self-driven.

Emily-Dickinson---fascicle
Emily pulls the thread – through the holes, to hand-bind the tiny books into packets, the easier to store the poems.
or . . what we would call today, self-published ZINES !!!!!!!

Emily-Dickinson-stitching-poems
a priceless moment in the film . . ‘A Quiet passion’.
EMILY stitches . . a hand-bound – ‘fascicle’.
you can see how good CYNTHIA NIXON is, too.

all 3 images: screen grabs / via a short clip on the @aquietpassion / Instagram page

how strange / funny, well actually sad:
that although, as the Morgan gets it . . Emily is now being seen through new eyes as a poet-artist, and they, the filmmakers . . did make a point of re-creating this well-informed scene of her hand-binding her little books, and it’s produced so well, and so lovingly . . .
the footage doesn’t make the . . commercial trailer ???

I guess they forget, that in the end, probably . . it would be only artists and writers, in effect the scholars . . who know, and are desperate for this kind of historical detail / that would be the ones who would be watching the trailer, and they should have included it.
they should not never have dumb-ed it down, for the masses.
a ‘Hallmark’ film, despite the illicit affair – this is, not.
a cross-over film / this is . . not !!
why not revel in what it – is.
it definitely has its moments.

see: ‘A QUIET PASSION’ – OFFICIAL WEBSITE / TRAILER

A-Quiet-Passion




~’Nightjar’ . . UNDERDONK, BROOKLYN / opens to-night

UNDERDONK / Bushwick Artist Collective PRESENTS: ‘NIGHTJAR’
OPENING FRI MAY 12 / 7-9 PM
the show runs thru JUNE 18, 2017
UNDERDONK, 1329 Willoughby Ave, Bushwick
HRS: SAT & SUN: 1- 6 PM & by appointment

a group exhibition, curated by . . ASHLEY GARRETT
including . .
SHARON CORE, PRISCILLA FUSCO, VALERIE HAMMOND, RUTH MARTEN, and DEBORAH MASTERS

is this too coarse ?
BUSH-wick / great spark – for an all women show / !!

~from the press release:

“At last we saw water gleaming at a distance, and came to a clear tarn, lined with brown leaves and holding a fair picture in its bosom…what a place for summer, and how one envies the frogs!” ~UNA HAWTHORNE

“UNA HAWTHORNE, NATHANIAL HAWTHORNE’S eldest daughter, describes in a personal letter .. following in the footsteps of THOREAU’S journey through Walden Pond.”

read more: ‘NIGHTJAR’ – GROUP SHOW at UNDERDONK

RuthMarten-907
RUTH MARTEN, ‘#907’, 2015
Watercolor on 19th c. print, 7-3/4 x 8 in.
image via UNDERDONK




~NANCY SMITH . . I’m somebody ? me & Em !!

Me & EM . . .

as in EMILY !!
DICKINSON . . . both stick postal stamps – into our diaries / journals / notes / & in her case: poems.

nancy-Smith---postal-stamp-collage
NANCY SMITH, detail collage with postal stamp – on my current journal / notes.
the U.S.A. postal stamp is . . FLANNERY O’CONNOR.

Nancy-Smith---fortune-cookie-collage
the fortune cookie paper slip: ‘Po Says: It is good luck to feed the dragon warrior.”

write that damn journal / scribble them damn poems !!
feed – that . . damn stubborn / contrarian, inner voice.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~EMILY DICKINSON . . ‘I’M NOBODY! Who are you?’ / THE MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM / 2 more weeks

EMILY DICKINSON . . .

TO PARAPHRASE:
IN . . MY MOST HARD-CORE, CONTRARIAN, INDIE, REBEL, STUBBORN . . PROTEST-ANT / HEART.
I REACHED OUT, . . . “BUT THE WORLD DID NOT REACH BACK”.
well, something like that.

It seems to be the season of recognizing – in capital letters, the female outsider geniuses that walked so unassumingly, but stubbornly among us.
though, what a contrast: EMILY DICKINSON vs FLORINE STETTHEIMER.

about the most they have in common, beyond sharing a stubborn faith in their own forward-reaching, somehow . . ‘future’ vision, & a singular, uncharted creative .. drive.
was that they both lived at home for their entire lives, and were generally unrecognized in their own times.

though of course, EMILY DICKINSON (1830-1886) predated FLORINE STETTHEIMER (1871-1944) by a 50 year birth gap, which is such a small generational number in the greater picture, yet seems so far apart seen through the lens / bedrooms / living rooms . . . of their individual life-styles.

while Emily D. shined a stylist poetic flashlight that was so fast forward – we are only just beginning to really catch up, she feels so much of an earlier American / Puritanical time / while Florine S. born to assimilated cosmopolitan Jews who traveled between NYC & Europe on a regular basis . . lived a life that included, MARCEL DuCHAMP. (!!)
maybe another way to put it:
Emily D. lived through the Civil war / Florine S: through WWI & WWII.

while one – Emily D. was a ‘poet /artist’ . . the other – Florine S. was an ‘artist/painter/poet’.

both were ‘consummate’ . . insider-outsiders / involved with stimulating intellectual communities, yet with no ‘consummate’ / translate: intimate relations / translate: romances (at least on record.)

though not internationally ‘cosmopolitan’ in the lavish & wealthy sense that we associate with Florine Stettheimer . . Emily D. did not live in a remote cabin, though she worked from her bedroom. and is generally considered a ‘recluse’. in fact, Emily D. lived within the vibrant society of a ‘college town’, her grandfather having co-founded Amherst College. and she read many leading magazines etc.
and she had to deal with . . scandal !!
major scandal. her married bro & his mistress. some little buzzing garden that was.
you don’t hear that about Florine’s family !!

though you kind of wonder: what really went on with Florine S. and her sisters, behind closed doors – besides high-end couture, with lots of shopping trips to Bendels !!
not too much is revealed on the record, except for some unhappy poems . . Florine was to pen / about scaring away suitors with her bright ‘light’.

so, it’s kind of shocking to find that Emily D. was one step away from her sibling’s full-blown, torrid love triangle, that if it had been 19th Bloomsbury . . might have touched and rocked her world, as well.
one can only imagine.

lucky for us, both had their works, Emily D. her poems, collage poems & hand-stitched ‘booklets’ / Florine S. her artworks, poems, plays, stage sets, etc preserved for us, by immediate family members, who also went on to donate the bulk of these precious estates to museums & libraries. so, they were recognized within their own circles – well, that’s about the best you can hope for, as an ‘outsider’ – isn’t it ?

but mostly, what’s most compelling about both them, these American ‘soul sisters’ – is that their inner worlds propelled . . both of them forward, so far forward / that flash forward 2017: both Emily D. and Florine S. . . are subjects of newly rapt acclaim & . . solo museum shows.

Emily D. at the Morgan Library Museum, while Florine S. is concurrently, beautifully presented at the JEWISH MUSEUM – thru Sept 24, 2017.

see: ‘Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry’ – Jewish Museum

‘I’m Nobody! Who are you ?’ – The Life and Poetry of EMILY DICKINSON’
through MAY 28, 2017
THE MORGAN LIBRARY

1a-The-only-authenticated-image-of-Emily-Dickinson
EMILY DICKINSON, Daguerrotype, ca. 1847. The Emily Dickinson Collection, Amherst College Archives & Special collections. gift of Millicent Todd Bingham, 1956.
PHOTO: via The Morgan Library & Museum
which also has a very good online presentation on the exhibit . . .

see: ‘I’m Nobody, Who are you ? – MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM

and also, the very best cafe food – of all the museums & libraries in NYC – by the way.
though strangely enough, the JEWISH MUSEUM is a very close second, with their authentic Russ & Daughters’ bagels & buttery lox / smoked salmon !!

Emily-Dickinson--daguerrotype
I have to admit, I knew more about Florine Stettheimer, from living in avant-garde NYC all these years, there were some previous exhibits associated with her, or her circle / than I did about Emily Dickinson – esp being Canadian & thus under-educated in general re American culture. I had a big catching up to do, and maybe that’s what fascinated me.

At any rate, young Emily D. looks just like someone I went to high school with, and even more, she looks she could just step out off the L train, albeit in different garb.
my heart sunk to see her so young & earnest, and to later be so beat down by a repressive culture.
though what else is new for outsiders, anyway ?
even the fabulous Florine, wanted her artwork destroyed upon her death, due to cultural disappointment, to put it politely.

Emily-Dickenson---shaped-letter
EMILY DICKINSON (1830-1886), ‘A Pang is more conspicuous in Spring’.
Poem, ca. 1881. / Amherst College Archives & Special Collections.

when I saw this ‘shaped’ poem I got it right way, and so will you – why they call Emily Dickinson, . . a poet – artist.
she wrote her poems out in teeny tiny handwritten script, something of which we might be much more curious about today – despite or actually because of . . computers !!
which has ironically resulted in our endless fascination with all things . . graphic design & fonts, but esp DIY hand-script !!
apparently, she also wrote on all kinds of different papers, (texture-wise, etc) not just oddly shaped ones, and left-overs from envelopes, etc.
the effect of which is hard to translate through written language, let alone limited old fashioned typeface / and is much easier to convey today – with our easily accessible, modern means of photographic reproduction.

though I was super disappointed upon reading, in the exhibit texts, about her use of ‘fascicles’ or hand-sewn manuscript booklets, not to find any here.
not even a photograph ?
I guess they are too fragile to travel, but what about an archival photograph ?
did I miss it ?

Emily-Dickinson---stamp-collage
EMILY DICKINSON, (1830-1886), ‘Alone and in a Circumstance’.
Poem with “George Sand” and “Mauprat” clipped from Harper’s Monthly pasted to sheet, ca. 1870.

“This collage is one of Dickinson’s most enigmatic manuscripts. The two clippings tucked under the postage stamp were cut from the May 1870 issue of Harper’s Monthly Magazine, which included a brief sketch of George Sand (!!).
. . . Interpretations of this poem range widely from playful verse about sitting in the outhouse, to a Freudian meditation on Dickinson’s father, represented by the locomotive on the stamp.” (!!)
~exhibition text

ps: May 1870 !! – that’s like 147 years ago – almost to the day !!
a whole century – and . . a half.

pss: if you came to my workroom / bedroom – you’d see my journals are full of the same kind of tiny stamp collages, maybe I’ll post one or two, next – just to show you how contemporary / out of the box – she was.

Emily-Dickinson---herb-collecting-book
EMILY DICKINSON, digitized slideshow of her ‘Herbarium’, an album of pressed botanical specimens – which she began compiling ca 1839, when she was about 8 or 9 years old.

I found it interesting how literary and scientific her family was, and that seemingly, she and her sister, or even mother did no handiwork ? no embroidered samplers ?
no hand-stitched quilts ?
no hand-crocheted collar lace / or shawls ?

Emily-Dickinson-vs-MABEL-LOOMIS-TODD
MABEL LOOMIS TODD (1856-1932), ‘Indian Pipes’.
oil on card. 1882.

of course, I was totally blown-away by the love triangle, illicit p-a-s-s-i-o-n (!!) repressed, self-righteous Emily’s brother – Austin dropped on the family.
esp because his wife, Susan was Emily’s best friend, and his 20-something years younger mistress, Mabel Loomis Todd, seems to have been quite enamored with Emily, herself, and/or her talent, at the very least. It was she, and not Susan, who ultimately played an important role in getting Emily’s work published !!

I believe ‘Indian Pipes’ must be a kind of American wild flower ?
the drawing is quite beautiful,
and way !!
black & white . . drama queen / DRAMATIC !!!!!!!

“Todd sent this painting of Indian pipes to Emily Dickinson in late summer 1882 while Todd was staying in Washington, DC. . . .
A rendition of this piece was used to decorate the covers of all the editions of Dickinson’s poetry and letters edited by Todd and published by Roberts Brothers between 1890 and 1896.”
~exhibition text

so, just how did Emily D. and the mistress . . interact, if only we had got that part of the story, too.

life was so complicated – even for that literary . . minimalist.

Amherst, Bloomsbury . . not ?!!!

I mean, there is not a peep of this, in the poems, right ?

what about in her letters ?

that would have been amazing, I bet they got destroyed pretty fast, if there were any – no matter what they said.

but damn it, color me: C-U-R-I-O-U-S !!!!!

EMILY DICKINSON vs. FLORINE STETTHEIMER ???

now, that’s a strange bird . . up against / another.

and plenty of secrets – to go around !!

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH – UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED




~FLORINE STETTHEIMER . . IN MY LIVING ROOM / JEWISH MUSEUM

IN MY LIVING ROOM . . WITH ALFRED STEIGLITZ & GEORGIA O’KEEFE !!
FLORINE vs GEORGIA / NOW THAT’S A THOUGHT !!!!!
SOMEBODY . . should write a paper on that !!!

LIVING ROOM / GALLERY / SALON !!
PARTY . . ON !!

YOU GO GIRL. INDIE, R-E-B-E-L . . FLORINE !!!!!

‘FLORINE STETTHEIMER: Painting Poetry’
MAY 5 – SEPT 24, 2017
THE JEWISH MUSEUM, New York

Florine-Stettheimer-Family-Portrait---Jewish-museum
FLORINE STETTHEIMER, (1871-1944) . . ‘Family Portrait II’, 1933.
oil on canvas, 46-1/4 x 64-5/8 in.
Museum of Modern Art, New York, Gift of Miss ETTIE STETTHEIMER, 1956

Florine-Stettheimer--mother
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, Y’ALL !!

they were a close-knit family, the 3 sisters and their imposing mama. the father split early on.
& note her life span – covered . . 2 World Wars !!

“BORN to a wealthy Jewish family in Rochester, New York, STETTHEIMER studied at the Art Students League in New York City and then in Europe, where she encountered two profound influences: the SYMOBLIST painters and poets, and the BALLETS RUSSES.

Stettheimer’s return to New York in 1914, as World War I began, was a turning point for the artist, who was then in her mid-40s. She made her New York art debut with a 1916 solo show at the prestigious Knoeldler Gallery, but it proved disappointing, attracting lukewarm press and no sales.

She and her sisters Carrie and Ettie, and their mother, Rosetta, then developed a stratagem for unveiling her new works, characteristic of the period: parties.

Their elite salon attracted many of the leading lights of the artistic vanguard , including her close friend MARCEL DUCHAMP, as well as ALFRED STIEGLITZ, CARL VAN VECHTEN, GEORGIA O’KEEFE . . “(!!)
~press release

Florine-Stettheimer---skinny-brushwork
her ‘skinny’ brushwork – usually in black, top-painted as embellishment, is a detail that pops up throughout the exhibit – and is a nice re-discovery – re: painting technique.

mamas-fortune-telling-cards
mama’s fortune telling (?) card game – is another good example of that . . fine, laced & expressive brush work.

Florine-Stettheimer---flower-detail
of course, she’s drop dead gorgeous with the . . the FLOWERS !!

speaking of . . which !!!!!!!

I wonder, what kind of conversations, FLORINE STETTHEIMER . .
and GEORGIA O’KEEFE – had ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I mean, com’on – in many ways she, FLORINE . . is just as an innovative painter as GEORGIA O’KEEFE, but obviously, though ALFRED STEIGLITZ frequentd her parties – he didn’t seem to have championed her seriously, as an artist ???

could it be that same old same old (story) – who ya F..K – gets the CROWN.

and, too damn bad.

YOUR BAD – MR.STEIGLITZ !!!!!

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~FLORINE STETTHEIMER . . FORTUNE TELLING CARDS / JEWISH MUSEUM

Her painter’s palette – held the KEY !!
& the Grim reaper . . got the / LAST LAUGH !!

‘FLORINE STETTHEIMER: Painting Poetry’
MAY 5 – SEPT 24, 2017
JEWISH MUSEUM, 1109 FIFTH AVE, NYC

see: FLORINE STETTHEIMER – JEWISH MUSEUM

Florine-STETTHEIMER---jewish-museum
one of the most delightful surprises . . among a small treasure trove of . . DELIGHTS !!
came early on – in this jewel box of – an exhibit !!

in the introductory table / display case,
‘Twelve hand-painted fortune-telling cards from a set of twenty-five, c. 1885’ – (!!)
Watercolor on card
Florine Stettheimer papers, Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Columbia University in the City of New York.

FLORINE-STETTHEIMER---fortune-telling-cards
FLORINE . . was fourteen, when she painted these cards, probably for a family pastime.
The figures include a mixture of traditional Tarot images (time, death) and some
that suggest the artist’s own future: a young woman and an artist’s palette . . .”
~Jewish Museum display text

I’m thinking: you will take a trip ? / where am – I going . . in life ?

Florine-Stettheimer---fortune-telling-card
turns out, she lived with her two sisters and their mother – her whole life !!
but they were not hermits – they had an incredible & brilliant salon revolving around them – all the time & they decamped to Europe frequently.

Florine-Stettheimer---fortune-telling-card--boy
though, she definitely was wondering . . about BOYS !!

Florine-Stettheimer---cupid
but . . that was not to be, or . . the full story – hasn’t been told !!

Florine-Stettheimer---painter's-palette
her painter’s palette . . .

Florine-Stettheimer---key
held the key . . to her life !!

Florine-Stettheimr--grim-reaper
the grim reaper !!
the ultimate – outsider !!
but, not always – the last word. nor, the last card.
turn it upside down, and it means: CHANGE !!

I found out, that she – FLORINE !!
asked for her artworks to be burned !! after her death. oh no.
she was so disappointed by the mainstream art world – oh lord, nothing much has changed !!
thankfully, one of her sisters saved the work and dispersed it among several prestigious library & university collections, and thus it has been saved – & – surely, slowly but surely . . . the times have finally caught up with her.

in truth, far from being a “lightweight feminine artist with a whimsical bent” – she was a true AMERICAN VISIONARY.

a magic realist. a symbolist. a surrealist. an observer.

a classic: insider-outsider !! of her time, and yet – way ahead.

this exhibit is a revelation: don’t miss it.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~’LIKE OXYGEN’ . . MOUNTAIN, BUSHWICK / PIX FROM THE OPENING / & FLORINE STETTHEIMER opens at the JEWISH MUSEUM – this week !!

‘LIKE OXYGEN’ – where cutting edge TECH / info, questions & magic . . MERGE !!

SEEMS LIKE WE ALL NEED TO BREATHE IN – a LITTLE MAGIC, with . . the air / intake.

Magic Realism . . ?
and, I thought it was going to be an . . audio show, oh, yeah.

all I can say is:
LIVING ROOMS, then & now !!!!!
and, what’s a living room gallery – if not a ‘SALON’, anyways ?

‘LIKE OXYGEN’ . . at MOUNTAIN

if you could picture a museum quality show – in a Brooklyn living room, this would be it !!
with serious content, and an ambitious desire to communicate; this was an enticing & exacting (!!) invitation to explore . . the unknown, the archival, and the brand new.
all underground / all art scene . . forward !!

a perfect tiny storm !!

of huge intent !!

there was a lot to listen to, I would say I need to go back and really . . listen.
since artlovers is image-based, here’s a . . snapshot / visual impression.
in truth, I got carried away by the visuals, and even more distracted (!!) chatting up the young artists !!
but, from the snippets I did hear – I would say: definite worth a dedicated trip back, sometime soon.
count me – in: CURIOUS !!

note: you can schedule an appointment by emailing the gallery 24 hrs in advance / mountain.bushwick[at]gmail.com

read: more about the show & watch a video clip from the George Terry film / MOUNTAIN WEBSITE& don’t forget to download / check out the PRESS RELEASE – it has brief, but complete descriptions of all of the varied projects.

the show is up thru . . MAY 21st, 2017.

Pix from the Opening Reception, SAT APRIL 29, 2017 . . .

Allison-Wade-at-Mountain-radio
ALLISON WADE, ‘Crystal Flowers Radio’, 2017.
the show starts off – real low fi / but . . low key, NOT !!

these were the pocket radios . . that held the seance . .
that Allison Wade set up – to communicate with the dead !!
and not just . . any dead !!
we are talking . . FLORINE STETTHEIMER !!

so that’s spooky, esp in light of all the new age tech going on, and not just because Ms. Wade’s West Side apt was supposedly the former home & salon of the fantabulist Florine, and she, Allison . .
held actual seances, shaman and all – to try to contact her or anybody in her glorious circle, recorded here,

but because . .
well, just maybe she – did !!

the FIRST MAJOR U.S. EXHIBIT – DEVOTED to Artist FLORINE STETTHEIMER – in over 20 years !!

OPENS – JUST THIS WEEK !! . . . MAY 5 – SEPT 24, 2017

at the JEWISH MUSEUM, here in NYC !!

see: ‘FLORINE STETTHEIMER: Painting Poetry’ at the JEWISH MUSEUM . . !!

I just caught the advance press preview yesterday / it’s an amazing little capsule exhibit.
which just goes to show, some artists, labelled outsiders, who for whatever reason – fly over everybodies heads – without garnering mainstream appreciation or critical recognition / have a way of coming back and . . biting everybody, & with a good dose of magic usually thrown in, for good measure, too.
decades . . on.
the exhibit, the work – is PURE MAGIC !! ON EVERY LEVEL !! ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING.

& t-o-t-a-l-l-y relevant – to the scene, today . . . LIVING ROOMS – and ALL !!!!!!!!

Allison-Wade--Crystal-Flowers-Radio,-Mountain
ALLISON WADE, ‘CRYSTAL FLOWERS RADIO’, 2017

so, yeah . . I would say something quite magical, and not just just ‘sounds technical’ . . is going on – here !!
and, that’s also coming through, loud and clear – in this strange, besotted . . sound/sculpture/work !!

Allison-Wade-detail,-radio-
ALLISON WADE, detail . . ‘CRYSTAL FLOWERS RADIO’.

see: ALLISON L. WADE – PORTFOLIO WEBSITE

from the gallery description:
“Allison Wade presents a project about communing with the dead. After discovering that her Upper West Side apartment was once the former home and salon of painter/poet FLORINE STETTHEIMER, Wade has hired a shaman to communicate with potential spirits in the space (which based on the salon’s guest list could be anyone from DUCHAMP to O’KEEFE to STEIN). The audio recording of this shaman’s seance (normally broadcast from the artist’s apartment) will temporarily be broadcast via pirate radio from the gallery during the opening & on select days during the run of the exhibit.”

oh my . . . . . . !!
how
strangely the art cards – do play out . . . this season.

George-Terry-filmmaker-April-29,-2017-Brooklyn
the other visual stunner . .
was GEORGE TERRY’s short artist interview film: ‘You Can’t Go Home Again (version II)’, 2017.
that’s . . GEORGE TERRY, at center.
looking most . . dada-ist ? symbol-ist ? surreal-ist ?
and, not just . . Brooklyn hipster-ish / just joking (!!)
if, I don’t say so, myself. (!!)

Trudy-benson---George-terry-film
TRUDY BENSON.
yeah – there was even a SMOKE or FOG MACHINE, that initiated each interview / what could be more magical than that ?!!

Adam-Parker-Smith---George-Terry-film
ADAM PARKER SMITH, sitting on a great quilt, btw.
all the artist interviews took place, in their own homes or studios, but at the exact same cinematic – angle & spatial / inset . . that was really, really good, as a purely visual narrative, never mind the words.
I could just so get / into that . . subtle shallow spatial, but extremely poetic / dynamic.

Esperanza-Mayobre
ESPERANZA MAYOBRE . .

there was this great big old, comfy couch – placed against a wall so you could sit & view the film, which looped.
though the audio was a little hard to hear, in a room full of young artists !!
buzzing like the busy bees – they are !!
but, it was such a richly visual film, words almost didn’t matter.
or: next visit !!

Katrina-Fimmel-in-George-Terry-film
KATRINA FIMMEL.
just watching it go by – was so compelling. it was like a a river, it flowed . . so well.
it seems Mr. GEORGE TERRY – has a real a handle on the camera.
and, indeed: a truly meaningful / focus on . . cinematic s-p-a-c-e.

Kendal-Bennett
KENDAL BENNETT.

Dan-Estabrook-=-mountain
DAN ESTABROOK.

Gabriela-Galvan---mountain
GABRIELA GALVAN.

Gabriela-Salazar---Mountain
GABRIELA SALAZAR.

Gabriela-Salazar-&-george-Terry
artist GABRIELA SALAZAR, with filmmaker GEORGE TERRY,
and yes, I do . . want to go back, and hear it !!

GEORGE TERRY: “is a sculptor, video, installation artist & curator. He was born in Lynchburg, VIRGINIA, and grew up in the BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS (!!) Terry received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, his MFA from RISD / Rhode Island School of Design . . .
He now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.”

see: GEORGE TERRY – PORTFOLIO WEBSITE

wow, the BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS . .
home of my beloved hand-painted vintage Blue Ridge /Southern pottery, & many a fine & honest early, and vintage, rural Appalachian quilt / fiddle & banjo music roots, too.
that’s got to be some special place, to grow up in / though prob very hard scrabble – for an aspiring contemporary artist.
but obviously, something . . like magic – in that real ‘hillbilly’ mountain water !!
hillbilly, ha. just flying over everybodies heads, as usual.

gotta love that:
FLORINE STETTHEIMER, and . . HILLBILLY – in the same breath / must be . . the OXYGEN !!

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH