Saturday, October 21, 2017

Large work on paper October 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

not really in the mood

  • Not really in the mood for review writing today but would like to mention 3 shows that are worth your time.

    Ruth Asawa at David Zwirner. This is closing tomorrow so hurry up because this is a gorgeous group of Asawa's wire sculptures that are rarely shown. Hanging from the ceiling these are delicate wire meshed pieces that are also tough as nails. Another hidden artist who is finally getting her due after her death.

    Joyce Kozloff at D.C Moore Imaginative and autobiographical large mixed works mixing painting, drawing and collage with the main images being imaginary maps. Here Kozloff attaches many small examples of her childhood drawings that really are terrific little things in themselves. We all love maps, they bring us to lands unknown, and these are lands of our childhood. Colorful and intricate you can get lost in these beauties for hours, and will recall your childhood as well. For me they brought back memories of school displays and my beloved bulletin board that hung in my bedroom. Also on view are a nice series of drawings of maps very busy and dizzy with images of battles and war that incorporate tiny drawn images by her son when he was young of superheroes and other figures of a boy's childhood. This is a family act rich with delight and surprises.

    Art Povera. Hauser & Wirth. This is a 3 floor extravaganza of art by the Italian late 20th century art movement that is full of exciting pieces by an all male chorus. Where are the women? Certainly they could included Marisa Merz who just had a big show at the Met Breuer. Still it's a big visual slam dunk with terrific pieces by Mario Merz, Jannis Kounellis and many others who took unconventional materials and made some exciting work.
  • Danielle Darrieux 1917-2017

    Monday, October 16, 2017

    oooh oooh got me a ticket in early march to see Glenda. How excited am I. will be in God's country but the price of 39.00 was good for my budget.

    Sunday, October 15, 2017

    Large work on paper October 2017

    Friday, October 13, 2017

    In the Mood For Love 2000

              In the mood for swooning. Set in a never seen Hong Kong of 1962 the film directed by Wong Kar-Wai is an unrequited love story, one told and seen many many times, but never like this. A man and a woman separately take small apartments really just a room in a crowded boarding house for them and their spouses.
               The place is run by Rebecca Pan a good natured landlady, Pan who in her youth was a big star of the Chinese cinema and can be heard singing on the soundtrack. The man is played by Tony Leung and the woman is played by Maggie Cheung both veterans of Kar-Wai films. 
                    He is a journalist  for a small newspaper and she works as a secretary who covers up for her philandering boss. We never see their partners, maybe a brief glimpse of a back but they’re both always traveling for their jobs. Tony and Maggie are supremely beautiful; they simply stagger us with their glorious looks and sexuality.
                      They sometimes meet on the stairs on their way to work or on the way to the local noodle shop to buy dinner and slowly they strike up a bond and relationship and a secret is revealed. They work at keeping their relationship discrete as the house they live in is cramped and crowded with noisy mahjong players who spend nights that move into the early mornings playing the game, and a communal kitchen that is also cramped and crowded run by a pushy but friendly cook.
                     They meet in hotels, and in cheap restaurants but we don’t know if a sexual relationship occurs, we are kept in the dark, although on the extras there are out takes that show sexuality between the two. I prefer not to know and I’m glad that these scenes were not included in the final cut. No one makes movies like Wong Kar-Wai. They are always visual and busy, rich with colors and music that filter through the action.
                   Here the cinematography by Christopher Doyle, Pung-Leung Kwan  & Ping Bin Lee drop deep rich saturated colors on us, this is a nighttime movie with smoke filtering up from many cigarettes and streets that glisten with shadows and moonlight. There are near silent dinners and slow motion walks through alleys and by ways but we never seen any other people, the streets are there, the people are there but we never see them.
                      The spaces are cramped and tight, the air seems full of perfume and garbage. Someone said that Maggie has 46 changes of cheongsams, which are classic Chinese body fitting dresses that have high collars and are usually patterned. The cheongsams that Maggie wears are beautiful with wonderful floral designs (the only sign of nature we see) or geometrical designs these also take our breaths away because they are beautiful and Maggie is beautiful and the light and colors are beautiful and the music score by Umebayashi Shigeru and Michael Galasso is lovely, moody and sad. There are also songs by Nat King Cole presented throughout the film that follow the two as they deal with this hopeless relationship of theirs (and ours) he is the perfect voice for this love poem. The outcome is lonesome and predictable but I could live with it, because that’s really what life is for many. The ending, the outcome always reduces me to sobs. The best film of 2000.

    Sunday, October 08, 2017

    Columbus 2017

    At first I thought this little gem of a movie might be about Christopher Columbus or Columbus Ohio where I lived for 3 months in 1983 when I was a visiting artist at OSU, but it turns out to be set in Columbus Indiana and is about this place as much as it is about it’s characters. This was the birthplace of the horrible Mike Pence but we won’t dwell on that fact. It is also a hub of great Modernist architecture so much so that there are tours built around the buildings and the town and a cottage industry is born.

    This is not a documentary although we get to see plenty of these great buildings designed by the likes of Deborah Berke, Saarinen, Pei, Meier, Venturi and Stern to mention just a few but a fictional film about a resident of the city and an unexpected visitor.
    The film has two parallel stories that converge when a young Korean translator comes to the town to visit and kind of take care of his ailing father who is a visiting Korean architectural scholar and is in town to give a lecture. At the opening of the film we see him in the great Miller house where he collapses from what looks like a stroke and is saved by his colleague played by the great Parker Posey who comes running to his aid. His son Jin played beautifully by the attractive Korean actor John Cho has mixed feelings about his father and no interest in architecture so conflicts are in the forefront from the past and the present and he is prodded by Posey to show more concern about his dad. There is also a deep affection between the two that goes back to his youth.
    One day Jin meets the lovely Casey played with rare open faced beauty by a new actress Haley Lu Richardson who should have a marvelous career (she’s playing Louise Brooks as a young girl in the anticipated film “The Chaperone) and who recently popped up in two recent films I saw the charming coming of age film “The Edge Of Seventeen” and the horrible horror film “Split”.
    Casey works in a splendid library designed by I.M. Pei and has a sometimes combative but affectionate relationship with her co-worker played by Rory Culkin and she is a complete nut for architecture thus the opposite of Jin. She also has parent trouble having a recovering drug addict for her mother acted beautifully by the wonderful Michelle Forbes who works two jobs both of them in modernistic buildings and is pretty much being taken care of by Casey who longs to go to college but is fearful of leaving her mother.
    In fact she has an invitation to attend Harvard under the recommendation and guidance of Deborah Berke who met Casey on a visit and became impressed with her. Not hard to understand. Jin and Casey strike up a friendship and we wonder what is in store for the two, love, sex, or just tours of the many great buildings of Columbus. They wander and talk about what they see and this is the thrust of the movie and it is set off and highlighted by the director Kogonada’s strong visual sense.
    This is his first film and he frames scenes in unorthodox ways, sometimes set up like architectural spaces both wide and partial, interior and exteriors that mirror what the two characters are feeling and are sometimes seen reflected in mirrors, inside rooms or from far distances and in cropped compositions. This might be the truly first film that stars architecture in a leading performance with nods to Antonioni and Fritz Lang. Kogonada is no stranger to classic films having worked on documentaries and special features for Criterion and he knows his film history. The film opened in the summer for a one-week engagement at the IFC in the village, but demand has been so great that it is still playing in one of the very small theatres, which is perfect for this film. I loved this movie and will see it again when it comes out on dvd. One of the best films of the year.

    Work on paper October 2017

    Friday, October 06, 2017

    Blade Runner 2049

    I should say right off the bat that I am a huge fan of the original Blade Runner, I consider it one of the great films of the 80's and easily the best film of 1982, and I've seen it many many times. That said I found this sequel very disappointing and dull, well actually I hated it, all 175 minutes of it. The screen was huge, the sound blasted me out of my seat, the air conditioning was on way too high, and the dumb fucks who were crinkling their candy bags and finally I screamed at them to shut up and got me some applause. The film is dense and complex with plot threads some of which are outright silly and laughable, and I don't see how anyone who has not seen the original will get a lot or most of what is going on. The digital effects are advanced from 1982, but I wasn't that impressed with the special effects or the miniatures that looked somewhat shabby. The cast was ok mostly going through the expected steps and hitting their marks, but I hated the score and at nearly 3 hours I couldn't wait until it was over plus I had to take a wicked pee. See it if you must, after all I ran to the first showing at the Bam like a crazy person. I was really looking forward to it but no prizes from me. I think it will do well certainly on the opening weekend, but I think its going to die after the lousy word of mouth gets out. "Mother!" finally found her child. Unclean unclean.

    Thursday, October 05, 2017

    Some recent photographs

    Anne Wiazemsky 1947-2017

    has died. My birth year and age. Sadden by this loss, and meanwhile trump that bastard who has contributed nothing still walks this earth, and so does Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell and Sarah Palin and Pat Robertson and all the rest of the criminals they still walk the earth. Unfair.

    Max Ernst. Beyond Painting The Museum of Modern Art.

    From a statement written for a grant.

    “Growing up in New York gave me easy access to all the museums and at an early age I started to go to The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum Of Natural History, The MOMA and The Whitney. I was particularly attracted to the large dioramas at the natural history museum, not for the history they told ,but for how they told that history. I was fascinated by the artificial landscapes and how they were made. At the same time I was also seeing the great works of modern art. The one work that stands out as having an impact on me as a child was Ernst's "Two Children Are Threatened By A Nightingale" which left a lasting impression on me because of Ernst's use of strange perspective, bright almost acidy coloration and the three-dimensional miniaturization of a gate and house. Some other influences were amusement parks, notably Steeplechase Park, movies, Times Square and the artists Joseph Cornell and Louise Nevelson. Knowing their work from an early age was an education. Seeing what they (and others) had done with assemblage was inspiring and made me realize that although their accomplishments were magnificent, there was still room for an original new voice to be heard.”

    Which brings me to the fine but small Max Ernst show now showing at the Moma “Max Ernst Beyond Painting” which is comprised of works from the Moma’s collection. I was hoping for a much larger spread than the 100 or so pieces comprising paintings, sculptures, etchings, collages and books but this will have to do for now, and it does so nicely. I have been an admirer of this Surrealist Dada artist since I was a kid (see my statement above) and this nicely installed show reunites me with many familiar and often seen works especially “Two Children” (again see my statement above). There were also some surprises for me like the tiny tiny painting Adam and Eve Expelled From The Garden Of Eden which measures ½” x 1 3/8” one of several that Ernst painted in this scale and which he called “Microbes”. Also outstanding were his small etchings and his frottages (rubbings) which also take on a delicious sexual connotation especially in the gay world. Also notable and visually wonderful are the pages from 65 Maximiliana which is a series of twenty-eight etchings that Ernst mixed with text and haunting images inspired by a planetoid discovered in 1861 by the German astronomer Ernst Wilhelm Tempel. Scattered here and there are several sculptures and paintings but not enough to give someone a good idea of his movement and importance in these mediums. Maybe some other time. The show is really an introduction, a taste, a box of chocolates to be sampled especially for the many visitors who are unfamiliar with this great artist’s work and his long career and eventful life that would make one hell of a movie.
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