‘RAY’S A LAUGH’ – CURATED BY LEO FITZPATRICK
“artists respond to the work of Ray Johnson in a group show”
AUGUST 1 – SEPTEMBER 7, 2011
HALF GALLERY – 208 FORSYTH – LOWER EAST SIDE. NYC
PIX – FROM THE OPENING – MONDAY AUGUST 1, 2011
ADAM McEWEN, ‘untitled’, 2011. mixed media, 24.5 x 17.5 in.
from the minute I stepped in, I liked the very first piece I saw. I knew right off – it was gonna be a great show. and a fun opening.
the dead man says: smile . . .
RAY JOHNSON, ‘untitled (Red Patterned Skull), collage on cardboard panels. 8.5 x 7.5 in.
detail, RAY JOHNSON.
like I always tell young artists. there’s a reason people get their reps. and there’s a reason why history gets re-written. and re-visited. and hopefully the best thing about the artworld is – eventually yes, talent outs.
BILL POWERS of HALF GALLERY – with a beaut of a show on his hands.
the show’s curator: LEO FITZPATRICK.
he is standing next to the other ghost in the room: a ‘found’ shell piece manipulated to the edge of supremo – by DASH SNOW. apparently Dash was a big fan of Ray’s . . . and if herein lies his spirit – that’s alright by me.
fittingly behind – is the RAY JOHNSON valentine, ‘Untitled’ (The Queen’s Fingernails), collage . . .
yo . . . ‘IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME!!’
LEO FITZPATRICK had a piece of his own in the show – which was garnering a lot of admiration outside – among the ‘critics’ on the street.
close-up, LEO FITZPATRICK, ‘Dime Bag Darrel’, (button) collage on canvas, 2011
RAY JOHNSON, ‘Untitled (Pop heart school)’. Fax Art, 8 x 20 in.
the other Ray Johnson piece that caught my attention, and held it . . .
detail, RAY JOHNSON, ‘Untitled (Pop heart school)’ – because, ha. ‘HA’ is one of my very favorite words !!
from HA . . . to GOD. . . . minimalism at its darn best. this whip smart collage, message plus dig those colors . . . by DAN COLEN. who else ?
close-up, DAN COLEN, ‘God’, Collage, 2011. 11 x 8 in.
SAM ORLOFSKY. a live wire, and thank god. always a much needed and seldom found, commodity in the blue chip art world. according to mainstream buzz, Sam is responsible for bringing Dan Colen into the LARRY GAGOSIAN orbit.
a piece from NATE LOWMAN’s wall . . . looks to be a xerox copy. nice. real nice. Americano.
outside on the street – voila: NATE LOWMAN, himself with collector ELEANOR CAYRE.
DAN COLEN, center, showed up too . . .
WES LANG made the scene, here greeting ELEANOR CAYRE . . .
as did, BRIAN DeGRAW.
and LEIF RITCHEY.
JOSEPH. . . . as in aka JOSEPH IAN HENRIKSON – of the now temporarily it seems, deceased ANONYMOUS. the gallery, not the hacker collective. NYC location anyways. Joseph says he is opening up a branch – in Mexico City. come September.
don’t blink. they put up some of the city’s best shows in their short run here.
who ? ELTONO & MOMO. SP.ONE.
fixed gear bikes parked outside the gallery . . .
. . . and the women who love their riders,
maybe . . .
ALL PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
OPENING TO-NITE !! – MONDAY AUGUST 1, 2011 / 6-8 PM
‘RAY’S A LAUGH’ – CURATED BY LEO FITZPATRICK
‘ARTISTS RESPOND TO THE WORK OF RAY JOHNSON’ . . . . . featuring work by:
JOE BRADLEY, DAN COLEN, LEO FITZPATRICK, RAY JOHNSON, HANNA LIDEN, NATE LOWMAN, ADAM McEWEN, JOSH SMITH and DASH SNOW
the show runs thru SEPT 7, 2011
HALF GALLERY – 208 FORSYTH STREET – LOWER EAST SIDE – NYC
yep, 2011 – the SUMMER Of DEATH. well, at least – this is a celebration.
RAY JOHNSON circa 1968. that would make him about 41 at the time this was taken.
RAY JOHNSON, 1927-1995 has been famously termed “New York’s most famous unknown artist”. according to WIKIPEDIA, Johnson lived in NYC from 1949 to 1968, when he then moved to a small town in Long Island, where he remained until his suicide in 1995.
as WIKIPEDIA has it: “on January 13, 1995 Johnson was seen diving off a bridge in Sag Harbour and backstroking out to sea. His body washed up on the beach the next day. He was 67.”
67, not bad. I remember walking on Orchard St in the Lower East Side, that day, and hearing the street buzz about his death – the street story was that he just upped and walked into the ocean and never came back.
see: RAY JOHNSON/WIKIPEDIA
Following his suicide, filmmakers ANDREW MOORE and JOHN WALTER spent 6 years “probing the mysteries of Johnson’s life and art. Their collaboration yielded the award-winning documentary ‘How to Draw a Bunny’ (?!!) released in 2002.”
RAY JOHNSON – ‘How To Draw a BUNNY’/image courtesy: WEIRD WOLF
from ROTTEN TOMATOES: ‘How to Draw a Bunny’ is the story of the life of artist RAY JOHNSON (which was) cloaked in mystery not only at the moment of his death, but also throughout a career that was difficult to know and understand. As one of the seminal figures in the POP ART era, Johnson is known ‘as the founding father of mail art’, and as a ‘collagist extra ordinaire’. But overshadowed by those like Andy Warhol who manipulated that world in a very dissimilar (more effective ?) manner, he was also, reclusive and sometimes enigmatic …”
FOR SURE !! MOST DEF, WATCH: ‘HOW TO DRAW A BUNNY’ – the TRAILER, a one minute excerpt from the feature length documentary – a winner of a Special Jury Prize at SUNDANCE 2002.
watch: WATER IS PRECIOUS . . . USE IT WISELY – !! – like to suicide by ? just saying.
‘How to Draw a Bunny’ – The RAY JOHNSON MEMORIAL SHOW – DVD EXTRA FEATURE.
AND THE ENVELOPE . . . GOES TO ……………….. MORE on MAIL ART:
from Wikipedia: “MAIL ART is a worldwide cultural movement that began in the early 60s and involves sending visual art (but also music, sound art, poetry) through the international postal system. After a peak in the late 80s early 90s mail art – gradually migrated to the INTERNET”.
(!!!!!!!!!!). no, duh.
and WIKIPEDIA continues with some of the most beautiful words on the web:
“out of the reasonable assumption that the commercial gallery system (and the art magazine industry that surrounds it) is limited and perhaps corrupt (no say !!), many artists emerging in the 70s and 80s around the world decided it would be more feasible to exhibit their work not through galleries …. but through the postal system … using (then state-of-the-art, ha !!) photocopying and rubber stamps …”
“it’s main promoter was RAY JOHNSON, who with his New York Correspondance (sic) School, institutionalized the free exchange of postal messages between artist and artist and artist and audience …”
“RAY JOHNSON’s correspondence art provided Mail Art with a blueprint for the free exchange of art as opposed to its commercialization.”
“The New York Correspondance School show, organized by RAY JOHNSON and MARCIA TUCKER at the WHITNEY MUSEUM in New York is considered the first important public exhibition of the genre.”
RAY JOHNSON’S INVITATION TO THE FIRST MAIL ART SHOW – 1970. (WIKIPEDIA)
as well, on a more personal note:
FILE UNDER: FROM THE MOUTHS OF THE UNKNOWN ARTISTS – WHO JUST MIGHT, USURP & RATTLE YOUR CAGE . . .
artlovers roving correspondent & music critic SIMON CERIGO adds this:
“I met RAY JOHNSON at the RED BAR (7th St and S.E. corner 1st Ave !! in the East Village) in the SUMMER of 1982 – he was in his mid to late fifties – and he was writing postcards . . . at the bar. all alone.
I used to go there early to meet DAN ASHER (another recent member of the DEAD ARTISTS CLUB, though cancer took him down, as opposed to suicide). . . like around 6 PM when they were just setting up for the night. RAY lived in the area, and he would come in all alone and write postcards at the bar. He was sort of a loner, a lonely figure. he didn’t talk much. He was doing his art.”
so, ok. a little more . . . . FLASH FROM the PAST:
I don’t have any (personal) pix of RAY JOHNSON, but I do have some golden nuggets from the iPhoto vault – and a more charming cream of the crop – you could not find. how bout, LEO FITZPATRICK – the curator of this summer’s – a dead artist is the only good artist – RAY JOHNSON centered show.
LEO FITZPATRICK !! playing low-profile at the now deceased (!!) COLLECTIVE HARDWARE. NYC, MARCH 8, 2009.
LEO FITZPATRICK – an underground mag-net, for sure. a natural, if I ever did see one. it’s no wonder LARRY CLARK put him in ‘KIDS’.
he was DJing with NATE LOWMAN.
see: the original post.
3 PHOTOS of LEO FITZPATRICK BY & COPYRIGHT: NANCY SMITH
BUNNY, BUNNY EVERYWHERE ?
BUNNY by RAY JOHNSON, from MEMORIAL CLIP
ANDERS NILSEN at the most recent, (ok. the second !!) BROOKLYN COMICS & GRAPHICS FESTIVAL, DEC 4, 2010.
WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN, NY.
born in northern New Hampshire in 1973, which makes him 38. ANDERS NILSEN is now based In Chicago.
they have: a good bio for him on DRAWN & QUARTERLY.
he’s signing the great, as in g-r-e-a-t !!
as in: SUBLIME, if not downright SUPREMO poster he did for the 2nd Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival, 2010.
one of the most interesting things about it – was that, unlike the first Brooklyn Comics & Graphics poster – which was done by the inimitable CHARLES BURNS as a limited edition run, (not numbered) on large scale. i.e. oversize archival paper, and was for sale. as I remember $50 ? – and don’t get me wrong, well worth the price !! yeah, indeed I scored one. as in put up the bucks – it was that good. The Anders Nilsen poster went the complete opposite route !!
it was mass produced on newsprint, and was stacked everywhere – to be picked up, and had for free.
as many as you wanted !!
all photos above: NANCY SMITH
the ANDERS NILSEN newsprint poster for the 2nd annual BROOKLYN COMICS & GRAPHICS FESTIVAL, DEC 4, 2010.
11-1/2 x 8 in. folded – 23 x 16 in. total surface when opened up.
image courtesy: Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival
you can check out more on ANDERS NILSEN – on his whimsical website – which has the sweetest drawings & animations ever . . . just what the Dr. called for – in this long hot SUMMER of the DEAD & SUICIDED.
sweet=violent, go figure. he does it.
you know just like in those ole time fables and GRIMM BROS. FAIRY TALES. though maybe in this case, it might be more apt to reference HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN.
yeah, def see: ANDERS NILSEN !! – and have fun, playing around…
ANDERS NILSEN – BOOK COVER: ‘Great Gtasby’ for Penguin UK (2010)
and, where if you browse even briefly – you can come across this recent book cover – he did for Penguin UK.
plus you gotta love his subject ‘headings’ !!
this illustration is for: PRESS.
he also runs a blog – which he updates with pix, sketches, book signings & tour dates and, a fine line humor !!
see: the monologuist !!
from a recent tour diary entry: “The guy across the aisle” !!
and “EUTHANASIA JONES” . . . !!
(Crackula – armed with an Alfredo Martinez Saturday nite special – move over !!)
detail, ANDERS NILSEN, POSTER for the BROOKLYN COMICS and GRAPHICS FESTIVAL – DECEMBER 4, 2010.
let’s turn the SUMMER of the DEAD, a little (sad) background music, please . . .
BRITS: ALEXANDER McQUEEN, and AMY WINEHOUSE. at home in the USA: skier JERET “Speedy” PETERSON, and really at home, the BUTCHER of BROOKLYN . . . to the NORWEGIAN fascist madman – who just made STIEG LARSSON words – jump to life, again with meaning. . . . not to forget (my) theivin’ lyin’ Aunt Piggy, gross !! in Toronto. not to forget the free-for-all wild wild west frisbee – that is the web. topic no. 1 on CNN this week. put it all together and what do you have. the dead artists club. oh yeah.
yeah, let’s turn back the summer to: the beach ? gardening ? peace ? love and hope.
pastrami sandwiches ?
not surfing. they just lost one, too. not the local Amish. they just lost 5 seeking state-of-the-art “high tunnel low tech greenhouse” technology – to, what else a drunken driver. we are a fragile, squishy lot aren’t we.
and, leave it to a cartoon artist – to give it a shot.
ANDERS NILSEN . . . a ‘chapter’ logo from his website.
ANDERS NILSEN – ‘PICTURES of BIRDS’ / SOLO ART EXHIBIT, BOOK RELEASE & SIGNING
OPENING To-NITE – TUES JULY 26, 2011 / 7-9:30 PM
the exhibit runs through AUGUST 28, 2011
NEEDLES & PENS – 3253 16th STREET – SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
featuring . . .
original pages, scraps, cover paintings and stray panels from his epic comic book fable: BIG QUESTIONS (Drawn & Quarterly)
see: PRODUCTS BY ANDERS NILSEN/DRAWN & QUARTERLY
Needles & Pens tell us: “Nilsen is going on a book tour for his recently completed 600+ page masterpiece Big Questions (Drawn & Quarterly) – and lucky for us, his San Francisco stop at Needles & Pens will also include an art show. Nilsen will be putting up original works in the gallery – his only gallery exhibit of the entire tour. In addition, he will be projecting a slide show and signing copies of his new book.”
FILE UNDER: wish I could be there !!
ANDERS NILSEN, BIG QUESTIONS, (Drawn & Quarterly) 2011.
from the press release:
Big Questions by ANDERS NILSEN is a haunting post modern fable and the magnum opus of Anders Nilsen, one of the brightest and most talented young cartoonists working today. This beautiful and minimalist story, collected here for the first time, is the culmination of ten years and over 600 pages of work that details the metaphysical quandaries of the occupants of an endless plain existing somewhere between a dream and a Russian steppe. A downed plane is thought to be a bird and the unexploded bomb that came from it is mistaken for a giant egg by the group of birds whose lives the story follows.
The indifferent and stranded pilot is of great interest to the birds – some doggedly seek his approval, while others do quite the opposite, leading to tensions in the group.
Nilsen seamlessly moves from humor to heartbreak. His distinctive, detailed line work is paired with plentiful white space and large, often frameless panels, conveying an ineffable sense of vulnerability and openness.
BIG QUESTIONS has roots in classic fable – the story’s birds and snakes have more to say than their human counterparts and there are hints of the classic hero’s journey, but the easy moral that closes most fables is left here as open and ambiguous. Rather than lending its world meaning, Nilsen’s parable lets the questions wander out to go where they will.
ok. already. artlovers is coming back to life.
didn’t you know – a dead artist apparently – is the best artist.
not that playing dead got me anywhere – but hey a person can dream, can’t they ?
and, yes the NYC summer belongs to a dead artist – ALEXANDER McQUEEN !!
whose SAVAGE BEAUTY on display at the MET – is racking up the crowds, and you know the locals don’t stand in line for naught. get there early. there’s already a 45 minute wait by 10:30.
the production is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. the backdrops intense, the music severely disco spooky, and absolutely apt.
the only thing that beats the choice of brief quotes – straight from the maestro’s heart – “I live between life and death” – are the clothes themselves.
which are almost unbearably sublime and dynamic. from the chic chic severe tailoring of his graduate student days thru the RAPE OF .. Scotland McQueen tartan pieces, to the riffs off Japanese kimonos. it’s all there. with a couple of magical holograms thrown in for good measure . . . just in time to join those other out-of-this world forces, for sure . . . of that other big summer hit – the Harry Potter last hurrah, and good-bye world, too.
those Brits. what a strange race, so up-tight and so-knock down magical – all at the same time. hey that’s the motherland for ya.
they also have some great runway clips. my fave ?
the huge skirt – spray painted on the spot – by robotic arms. yes !! oh yes !!
DRESS, THE HORN OF PLENTY, AUTUMN/WINTER 2009-10
Alexander McQueen, British, 1969-2010.
Black duck feathers.
COURTESY OF ALEXANDER McQUEEN
Photograph copyright Solve Sundsbo / Art + Commerce
Postcard copyright 2011 by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
the show, which was supposed to end July 31, 2011 – has been extended thru AUGUST 7, 2011.
see: ALEXANDER McQUEEN/SAVAGE BEAUTY/the MET
the MET also put out a wonderful hard cover book to accompany the exhibit. well worth the $45.
just the cover alone – is worth the price tag.
a super dramatic hologram that starts out like a devil – and ends up a hard-faced Scot – McQueen himself.
now that’s what I call: ghostly.
the only cover that I can think of that comes close – would be one of those MORIKO MORI prism-like ones from the last decade, or so.
PHOTOS OF: ALEXANDER McQUEEN ‘SAVAGE BEAUTY’ hard cover exhibit book – by NANCY SMITH
OR: CREST FEST PRESENTS AAKASH NIHALANI VS. EVERYTHING SHITTY – BUT ESP. BASEL ART FAIR 2011 and (SHITTY) ABSTRACT PAINTING: TAKE TWO
and, yep. CREST FEST and ASKASH NIHILANI – WIN !!
AAKASH NIHILANI: IF YOU WANT TO SEE SOME SUBLIME & TRULY FRESH, ABSTRACT CONCEPTS – THAN THIS IS YOUR MAN.
AAKASH NIHILANI – LIKE A PORTAL – TO ANOTHER TIME & HEAD SPACE . . .
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH – SAT JUNE 18, 2011, AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE BACKYARD, CREST ART FEST/HARDWARE
588 METROPOLITAN – CLOSER TO LORIMER – WILLIAMSBURG. BROOKLYN.
OR: ABE LINCOLN, Jr VS. SHITTY ABSTRACT PAINTING – move over.
. . . AND, LET OLEK TAKE OVER !!
OR: CREST FEST VS. SHITTY ABSTRACT PAINTING – TAKE ONE: OLEK.
and . . . CREST WINS.
in fact . . .
CREST FEST VS. BASEL ART FAIR – TAKE ONE: OLEK CROCHET-TAGS A SHOPPING CART.
duh. CREST WINS.
CREST FEST HAS A SUPER TIGHT – OLEK STREET CROCHET – SHOPPING CART – commissioned, I guess.
bicycle-locked to a traffic meter right in front of their CREST FEST headquarters/hardware store !!
CREST HARDWARD – 588 METROPOLITAN AVE – BTWN UNION & LORIMER – ON THE NORTHSIDE. WILLIAMSBURG.
NEW YORK FRIGGIN’ CITY
. . . yep.
it seems Williamsburg had got so big,its own little nation. it had to split into two: NORTHSIDE VS. SOUTHSIDE.
it been a long time acomin.
candy-wrapper colored camo, pink & green and yellow and purple, wow how’d he, as in ANDY WARHOL !! – know those would be the synthetic yarn colors of choice of the 2011 decade . . . florescent synthetic – acrylic fab.
I guess everybody is crocheting baby blankets, that can’t be real wool – yo, allergies – or something . . .
IN BRIEF: ANDY WARHOL AND HIS COTTON -CANDY COLORED – late 1980s – CAMOUFLAGE SCREEN PRINTS – MOVE OVER . . .
see: WARHOL CAMO PRINTS
yeah, but what REALLY sets it apart – is it’s message YO: DON’T STEAL FROM THE PUBLIC.
amen. dedicated to all the aunt piggys and uncle banksys and corporate charlies – out there.
p.s. its damn hard, technically, to ‘write’ in crochet – esp free form !!
the view from the other side.
sooooo dimensional. cool, or what ?
define: almost a stationary un-human street performance – by an object ?
whoa. check out the bottom . . .
CREST FEST PRESENTS OLEK – VS. SHITTY ABSTRACT PAINTING. and VS. BASEL.
CREST FEST – WINS !!
see: CREST HARDWARE SHOW
ALL PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
yep, looks like I was right, in my dreams, BASEL ART FAIR 2011 was, almost – ALL about Warhol !!
and yo, JEFF KOONS, ANDY WARHOL, and PICASSO ? do NOT constitute, or define the word: contemporary art ?
unless you realize ‘contemporary’ is gonna become like ‘modern’, a definition of a past era, (modern) the 50s, (contemporary) the 60s, the 80s ? and, not what’s happening now.
ANDY WARHOL’S 1964 – !! – CAMPBELL’S CARTOONS at ART BASEL 2011.
PHOTO: ARND WIEGMANN/REUTERS/COURTESY: THE NEW YORK TIMES
wow. the silver-wrapped installation – almost photographs – like a JACK GOLDSTEIN ‘LIGHTNING ‘ PAINTING.
see: CAROL VOGEL/ART BASEL/NEW YORK TIMES – JUNE 17, 2011
yeah for sure, we jumped at that prospect !!
so this past Sat, June 18, 2011 – we took the bait and strolled by.
happily the rain had stopped its relentless pounding.
and yeah we caught:
AD DEVILLE – aka SKEWVILLE – at the site – of his 100 ft. long mural, sponsored by BROOKLYN STREET ART (BSA).
located at 82 NORTH 11th Street – bet BERRY & WYTHE in WILLIAMSBURG. 24/7 viewing.
AD told us he had been working on the mural since the weekend before. even through the rain.
he said: spray paint dries fast, and . . . “if the rain is coming straight down – it’s good to go”. !!
it was a pretty big project.
he said “his bro showed up for about 2 hours and did the top black part.” ha.
dig that real !! NYC water tower – on Brooklyn skyline – to the left !!
my fav part ?
the BROOKLYN BRIDGE . . . person-i-fied !!
it was real cool – how the real brick wall – got incorporated into the mural as well – even when painted flat black !!
come on !! great little face, or what ? looked like a time-piece, a clock face – for some strange reason. too.
more like the man-in-the-moon, than the ‘honeymooners’. more mechanical, and sweet than human.
for sure. more old school than sci-fi, no ?
loved the ‘syringe’ effect, too. spoke to NYC grit . . . and ‘survival’ – between the lines.
life above the grid – being managed by the skyline, itself !! like some run-away RICHARD SCARRY book.
it kinda looked like the bridge ‘hand’ – was throwing the needle away ?
or was it placing a building into the grid ?
no matter, how you took it – it spoke to New York, and its resilient, not to mention – landmark-loving denizens !!
passersby were also digging the yellow plane – a sky-writer, for sure.
the primary colors were trademark – SKEWVILLE.
AD DEVILLE running some finishing touches along the mural’s lower length . . .
SKEWVILLE . . . also did the seriously fab – shark fin border – at the bottom edge . . .
you can look down the street toward the East River and see the Manhattan skyline – just beyond !!
that’s also where that ‘needle’ inspiration – comes from. those old-school city skyscrapers !!
I guess those are SKEWVILLE sneakers, hanging from the old overhead wires !!
. . . and, there’s even – an American flag blowing in the wind !! a little bit of ole glory red, white and blue.
against the golden spires and hot, hazy horizon.
LAST EXIT TO SKEWVILLE . . . Brooklyn-side, NYC.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN, NY. JUNE 18, 2011.
meanwhile back in BROOKLYN . . .
BROOKLYN STREET ART presents SKEWVILLE live in action . . .
in honor of the big weekend-long – JUNE 16-19, 2011 – NORTHSIDE MUSIC & ART FEST !!
SKEWVILLE – A TWIN COLLECTIVE – AD DEVILLE and his twin bro DROO – BORN & BRED IN QUEENS, NY & CURRENTLY BASED IN BUSHWICK – ARE GOING TO PUT UP – A HUGE NEW STREET MURAL – ON WILLIAMSBURGS’ NORTH SIDE.
The 100 foot long wall to be called ‘LAST EXIT TO SKEWVILLE’ will pay tribute “to the cityscapes of industrial and everyday blue collar Brooklyn . . .” and will be located on NORTH 11th STREET . . .
to be exact: 82 North 11th Street, between Berry and Wythe – !!
so stroll by, hipsters – and get a fresh take on the SKEWVILLE “warped crooked sense of irony and humor . . . with a specific style of lettering, abstract figures and cityscapes that are instantly recognizable by Street Art fans everywhere. ” (BSA)
and, yeah, check out: SKEWVILLE !!
or: THE ART WORLD AIN’T WRITTEN in STONE – TAKE TWO !!
and thank the lordy that the art world is – always self-correcting.
case in point: the new-found respect for the work of YVES TANGUY and KAY SAGE – which has been overlooked, but with a fresh curatorial insight, most likely influenced by all the recent street and comic world imagery, not to mention cutting edge web graphics – has found a new relevance . . .
though the NEW YORK TIMES pretty much sucks in its contemporary art reviews, particularly regarding emerging artists (sic) – it does mid-career stuff ok – it’s historical and institutional reach is its best offering. witness KAREN ROSENBERG’S recent super super great article on the new exhibit in nearby KATONAH: ‘Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy’ – at the KATONAH MUSEUM of ART, running thru SEPT 18, 2011.
see: KAREN ROSENBERG/’SURREALIST PARTNERS IN PAINTING, BUT DON’T CALL THEM A TEAM’/NEW YORK TIMES/JUNE 10, 2011
see: KATONAH MUSEUM OF ART
YVES TANGUY: ‘Multiplication of the Arcs’, 1954 – (!!)
PHOTO: MUSEUM OF MODERN ART/LICENSED BY SCALA, ART RESOURCE. PHOTOGRAPH ESTATE OF YVES TANGUY/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK/COURTESY THE NEW YORK TIMES
the images speak for themselves and the re-surgent interest, not to mention newly-found critical respect for the work.
while in the KAREN ROSENBERG article – some interesting historical facts are hi-lighted . . .
for starters, their only joint show until now. more than 50 years later – was back in 1954 when the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford Connecticut, and the oldest public art museum in the United States, bye the way – mounted a survey of Sage’s and Tanguy’s works.
KAY SAGE: ‘I Saw Three Cities’ , 1944 – (!!)
PHOTO CREDIT: PRINCETON UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM. PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRUCE M. WHITE/COURTESY THE NEW YORK TIMES
ROSENBERG goes on to state:
“Although SAGE and TANGUY lived in America in the 1940s and ’50s, they were out of sync with American painting of the time. Unlike their fellow Surrealists and Connecticut neighbors MATTA and GORKY, they did not make the leap to Abstract Expressionism. As late as the early 1950s, with POLLOCK and de KOONING ascendant , they were still fixated on de CHIRICO.”
and again: thank the Lordy for revisionism !!
The KATONAH show is co-organized by JONATHAN STUHLMAN, a curator at the MINT MUSEUM of ART in Charlotte, North Carolina, who is writing a dissertation on Tanguy, and independent curator STEPHEN ROBESON, who is writing a book on Kay Sage.
go to ROSENBERG’S article, (link above) for more critical description & biographical details, but interestingly Yves Tanguy (1900-1950) came from the Brittany coast, “home to prehistoric rock formations” . . . and he “attended school with PIERRE MATISSE, the painter’s son, but his real entree into the art world came later, after World War I, when he met ANDRE BRETON in Paris.”
Kay Sage (1898-1963) “came from a wealthy upstate New York family, but had a European upbringing, travelling the continent with her divorced mother. She came to surrealism in the mid-1930s after a decade-long marriage to an Italian that had frustrated her artistic ambitions.”
WOW – THIS IS BEGINNING TO SOUND – LIKE THE GREAT BEGINNING TO – A NEW – WOODY ALLEN FLICK !!
“She was taken with Tanguy’s work from the moment she saw it, at the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition in London; the painting that most captivated her, she later recalled was proleptically titled ‘I Am Waiting for You.’
Two years later, at a Paris salon, Tanguy saw Sage’s work and was just as impressed . . . a mutual friend finessed an introduction,adn the toe became an item.”
WOW – SHADES OF JOHN, YOU KNOW WHO !! – AND – YOKO !! . . . OR WHAT !!
YVES TANGUY and KAY SAGE – AUGUST 1954.
PHOTOGRAPH BY IRVING BLOMSTRANN/COURTESY THE WADSWORTH ATHENEUM MUSEUM OF ART ARCHIVES/C/O KATONAH MUSEUM OF ART
YVES TANGUY, ‘A Little Later’, 1940. PRIVATE COLLECTION
COPYRIGHT 2011 ESTATE OF YVES TANGUY/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK/COURTESY KATONAH MUSEUM OF ART
re: ARS that’s as in …. so don’t be appropriating, dude !! hands off the image.
ROSENBERG does refer to the presentient aspects of the work.
“. . their visions became more distinct but share an element of science fiction. Sage builds shadowy skyscrapers that look like something out of ‘Blade Runner’, while Tanguy amasses fields of post-apocalyptic rubble.” (!!)
YVES TANGUY, ‘The Mirage of Time’ (Mirage le temps), 1954.
THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
COPYRIGHT 2011 ESTATE OF YVES TANGUY/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK./COURTESY KATONAH MUSEUM OF ART
KAY SAGE, ‘The Answer is No’, 1958.
YALE UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY, BEQUEST OF ALEXANDRA DARROW. COURTESY KATONAH MUSEUM OF ART.
. . . and this was all way way !! before cell phone towers dotted the landscape, ‘screens’ dominated social communication, and digital social networks were all the rage !! . . . I mean, grid !!
“Five years later”, (after Tanguy died), Sage . . . . “still grieving and partially blinded by a botched cataract surgery . . . shot herself in the heart.”
yeah, for sure: check out the KATONAH site for more images . . . see the box: VIEW IMAGES/on the RIGHT HAND SIDE of the page.