Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday Short

Today's short is Queen of Code, directed by actress Gillian Jacobs and produced by Nate Silver and others for the Signals series at FiveThirtyEight. The 16.31-minute documentary is about Rear Admiral Grace Hopper (1906-1992), who worked on the Harvard Mark 1, the first computer. In addition to making numerous other contributions to computer science, Hopper helped develop the programming language COBOL.

A graduate of Vassar College (my and Silver's alma mater), where she excelled in mathematics and physics, Hopper earned a doctorate in mathematics in 1934—she was one of just four women in the 10-student Yale University Ph.D. program. Hopper was deemed a visionary, an exceptional and inspiring leader, and a pioneer in software development concepts. She held nearly 50 honorary degrees and received a number of other awards, including, in 1986, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.

FiveThirtyEight on FaceBook

Of Interest

Anita Borge Institute for Women and Technology's Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (FaceBook)

Grace Hopper Profiles at Amazing Women in History, CBS NewsFamous Women Inventors, PBS (A Science Odyssey: People and Discoveries)

"Grace Hopper, Computing Pioneer", Harvard Gazette, December 3, 2014

Laura Sydell, "The Forgotten Female Programmers Who Created Modern Tech", WTF Public Radio, November 12, 2014 (This feature also is found at NPR.)

Selena Larson, "Gillian Jacobs Discusses Her Upcoming Grace Hopper Documentary", Interview, ReadWrite, October 13, 2014

"There'd Be No Steve Jobs Without Grace Hopper", Rethink Science, World Science Festival, October 8, 2014

Friday, March 27, 2015

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ David Zwirner Books has published Alice Neel: Drawings and Watercolors 1927-1978, with texts by curator, writer and lecturer Jeremy Lewison and novelist Claire Messud. The book, containing more than 60 color plates thematically organized and offering an overview of the artist's themes and styles, coincides with an exhibition at David Zwirner of Neel's drawings and watercolors that covers the same period. The exhibition continues through April 18.

David Zwirner represents the estate of Alice Neel (1900-1984). The artist's work is found in collections around the world. 

Cover Art
Alice and Jose, Pastel on Paper, 1938

Website of Alice Neel Estate

David Zwirner on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ "Wolff" is a new art history iPad app. Created by Greg Bryda, it was launched officially at last month's College Art Association 2015 annual conference in New York City. Read a Yale Daily News article about the app.

✦ Take a half-hour to view "Illinois Artists at Work: Cannot Live Without" at WTTW Arts Online. Featured in the documentary are five artists: Allison Ruttan, a visual artist; Daniel Borzutzky, a poet; Jeremiah Huissebos-Spofford, a project-based artist; Cynthia Oliver, a choreographer and performer; and Kathleen Ginther, a composer.

✦ I serendipitously came across a link from Orion magazine that led to images of the sculpture of Jennifer Maestre, born in South Africa and based currently in Massachusetts. As her Artist Statement notes, the inspiration for her work is the sea urchin and nature generally. The sculptures' foundation comprises colored pencils, as well as nails and other materials, such as beads. Full of surprise, all the work is extraordinary.

✦ The 3:34-minute video below, taped in 2014 by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and released last month, features Brice Marden, whose lyrical work I remember seeing for the first time many years ago in New York City. Marden talks about his approach to abstract painting and how abstract paintings may serve as "vehicles to take you to some other place."

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Wellesley College's Davis Museum, Wellesley, Massachusetts, has mounted the first museum exhibition in the United States of acclaimed Iranian sculptor Parviz Tanavoli. The retrospective, which continues through June 7, features work from the 1960s to today; his oeuvre extends to paintings, prints, ceramics, rugs, and jewelry. He also is a poet, scholar, and art collector.

This video offers a selection of work in the exhibition:

Also see "Parviz Tanavoli Interview" on Vimeo.

Here's a short televised conversation with the artist:

Davis Museum on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo

✭ On view through May 24 at Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts, is "Mary Bauermeister: The New York Decade".  The first exhibition in more than 50 years to concentrate on Bauermeister's work, the exhibition brings together the artist's optical lens boxes, assemblages, stone reliefs, drawings, and other works created between 1962 and 1972. 

In addition to a selection of images, the exhibition page includes links to an introduction to the artist and her work, the artist's use of natural materials (sand, stones, honeycombs), the lens boxes, hand-written texts and words as embellishments on the lens boxes, the artist's themes and motifs, methods, and a sound-space collaboration with German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. 

A catalogue with more than 60 color plates and 71 black-and-white images accompanies the exhibition.

Catalogue Cover Art
"Palette", Painted Wood, Glass, Optical Lenses, Ink, 1966

Extracts from Open Atelier: Mary Bauermeister (Documentary) on Vimeo

SCMA on FaceBook and YouTube

✭ In Stanford, California, Stanford University's Cantor Arts Center continues through June 15 "Interaction of Color: Josef Albers — Highlights from the Marmor Collection". Drawn from a donation of some 200 contemporary artworks, the exhibition features a selection of works on paper by the abstract painter and theorist. 

Cantor Arts Center on FaceBook and YouTube

✭ Just days remain to see! In Massachusetts, Boston University Art Gallery's "DIGNITY: Tribes in Transition" comprises 60 black-and-white photographs of indigenous peoples from around the world. This is the show's U.S. debut (it first went on view in 2011 at the United Nations in Geneva; see video). The photography is by Dana Gluckstein. Gluckstein has produced a book, Dignity: In Honor of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, sales of which benefit Amnesty International.

BUAG at Stone Gallery on FaceBook and Twitter

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, is presenting "Area 919: Artists in the Triangle*", a survey of work by Casey Cook, Andre Leon Gray, Harrison Haynes, Lavar Munroe, Hong-An Truong, and Stacy Lynn Waddell, among others. On view through April 12, the show includes paintings, works on paper, video installations, photographs, sculpture, and mixed media. See a selection of images from work in the exhibition. (*The eight-county Triangle comprises the cities of Raleigh and Durham and the town Cary and Chapel Hill.)

Nasher Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Documentary: 'The Artist of Silicon Valley'

Painter Mitchell Johnson of California is the subject of the short documentary below, The Artist of Silicon Valley, by Meg Smaker.

Johnson was a Visiting Artist this year (from February 9 to March 9) at the American Academy in Rome, Italy.

The Artist of Silicon Valley on FaceBook

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

In Remembrance

In remembrance and with all my love. . .

Patrick William Doallas
March 25, 1950 - May 9, 2009

Poems for My Brother

"After" (2014)

"Just This . . ." (2013)

Neruda's Memoirs: Poems (T.S. Poetry Press, 2011)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Body Treatment (Poem)

Body Treatment

Treat your body like it
belongs to someone
you love. Oh, no, not

the guy who leaves
you black-eyed,
balled-up in a corner,

iPhone speed-dialing
9-1-1. And not the good
-looking health food

addict who checks you
out only after praising
the purifying qualities

of special bran flours.
And not the aged yogi
declaiming your body

a temple of gold to be
visited outside class.
You look him in the eye

and see no soul, none
you'd trade for free
lessons or even the best

of bottled waters. Let
your corpus be a filter,
process and gesture

both. Then imagine all
the room you'll have
to be your one same self.

© 2015 Maureen E. Doallas

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday Muse Asks Did You Know

Today's post is another in an occasional series providing information about poets, poems, or poetry-related items that you might not know.

Did You Know . . . 

✦ The president of Ireland, poet Michael D. Higgins, published his first poem, "The Prophets Are Weeping", since assuming office in 2011. Read the text of the poem.

"President Michael D. Higgins Releases Text of His New Poem", The Irish Times, February 10, 2015

✦ China has its own 21st Century version of Emily Dickinson: Yu Xihua, whose poem "Cross Half of China to Sleep with You" ("Chuan Guo Da Ban Ge Zhong Guo Shui Ni") went viral. Read "Hubei Women Dugged China's Emily Dickinson After Poem Goes Viral".

✦ Text and audio of poems by two dozen poets featured in Bread and Steel: Illinois Poets Reading from Their Works (2007), an anthology edited by Illinois's current Poet Laureate Kevin Stein, are available at Bradley University's Illinois Poet Laureate Website. Among the poets in the anthology are Edward Hirsch, John Knoepfle, Li-Young Lee, and Christian Wiman

✦ Among the books seized by New York City's police department during Occupy Wall Street events was People's Library by the late Philip Levine (1928-2015). Read "Subject Focus: Poet Laureate Philip Levine at Wayne State University" from Wayne State University's Walter P. Reuther Library, which holds some archives from Levine's time at WSU.

✦ President Warren G. Harding was a poet! Read Peter Armenti's Library of Congress blog post "'Wild to be loved': The Poetry of President Warren G. Harding", February 16, 2015.

✦ The "library of record" for 20th Century and 21st Century poetry in English, The Poetry Collection at University of Buffalo Libraries is described as "one of the world's largest collection of first editions and other titles; little literary magazines, broadsides and anthologies; a substantial collection of artworks; and more than 150 archives and manuscript collections." 

✦ The site Imediata features Brazilian visual poetry. (This is an archived poetry site, for years 2001-2007 but interesting nonetheless.) Also see the current homepage.

✦ At the 19th annual Ex Tempore salon on January 23, 2015, poems in Albanian were presented for the first time. A literary journal, Ex Tempore is published annually by the United Nations Society of Writers in Geneva. Membership in the society is open to active and retired employees of the U.N., specialized agencies, CERN, Permanent and Observer Missions, inter-governmental organizations, and others. The journal's issues are available online. (Read "Presheva Jone Promotes Albanian Poetry at UN Society of Writers Event".)

✦ The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs sponsored in 2011 a "Poetry for Peace Contest." First, second, and third place winners were announced at U.N. headquarters in New York City. Poems submitted to the contest are available to read here.

✦ Each year, March 21 is celebrated as World Poetry Day. The proclamation of the decision establishing the date was introduced, adopted, and announced at the 30th UNESCO meeting in Paris in 1999.

World Poetry Day 2015 at UNESCO

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Thought for the Day

You can be the perpetrator of your own
 emptiness, it can be the very thing you need,
and it can still undo you.
~ Alexandra Fuller

Quoted from Alexandra Fuller, Leaving Before the Rains Come (Penguin Press, 2015), page 254

I have read and recommend Fuller's memoirs, which include, in addition to the title above, Don't Lets Go the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood (Random House, 2003) and Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness (Penguin Books, reprint 2012). She also is the author of Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier (Penguin Books, 2005).

Below is a short February 2015 PBS NewsHour conversation between Jeffrey Brown and Alexandra Fuller:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Short

Today's short is Flower Box by A-J Aronstein, illustrated by Bianca Stone, who also is a poet. It is an Electric Literature Single Sentence Animation. Anne Carson and Robert Currie collaborated with Stone, who contributed the drawings that overlay the text, to create Antigonick (New Directions, 2012).

Friday, March 20, 2015

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Photographer-of-ruins Andre Govia has published the inspired Abandoned Planet (Carpet Bombing Culture, December 2014), which showcases his evocative, mysterious, and haunting images of decrepit homes, long-abandoned hospitals, forgotten schools, deserted theme parks, burial grounds for cars, frozen-in-time industrial landscapes, and sundry other records of buildings decayed or decomposing. Govia shot the beautifully produced photographs all over the world; some are haunting, some are creepy, some reduced to a state of wildness that will be forever changing.

Cover Image of Andre Govia's Latest Photography Book

Andre Govia on FaceBook and Flickr

✦ Pages from antique ledger books underlie the free-hand, colored-pencil and graphite drawings of Louise Despont, who lives and works in Brooklyn. Sometimes, Despont also uses inks and gold leaf. Her meticulous artworks, which are often large-scale, are intricate and beautiful. See a slideshow.

Watch a short film about Despont from Art21's New York Up Close Series.

✦ How would answer the question, "What is digital art?" This video from British Council Arts features aims to provide a definition.

✦ Delight in the narrative storytelling of Vietnam-born Duy Huynh's lyrical paintings. (My thanks to Hannah Stephenson from whom I learned of Duy Huynh.)

✦ Below you'll find a video about the virtual Museum of Stolen Art, created and curated by Ziv Schneider. (My thanks to Wired magazine, where I first saw the video as part of the post "See the World's Greatest Stolen Artworks in This Virtual-Reality Museum".)

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Continuing through April 10 at Chicago Photography Center is the juried exhibition "I Am Woman". The show opens March 8 in celebration of International Women's Day.

CPC on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ In Union, New Jersey, the Human Rights Institute Gallery, part of Kean University Galleries, is presenting through May 18 "How to Spot One of Us", a collaborative exhibition comprising narrative photographs by Aliza Augustine and film (How I Knew and When, 2013) and poetry by Janet R. Kirchheimer. Read Rukhl Schaechter's article "How Family Holocaust Stories Became Multimedia Art Exhibit" in Forward (February 21, 2015) to learn more about the artists and their moving, remarkable, and important project.

Aliza Augustine on FaceBook

Janet R. Kirchheimer on FaceBook

✭ The exhibition "Mark Rothko's Harvard Murals" continues through July 26 in the special exhibits gallery at Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge. Using a camera-projector system, the show of 38 murals, as well as related studies on paper and canvas, reveals how noninvasive digital projection may be used as a conservation approach by which the murals are "restored" to their original colors. A variety of technology is present in the gallery so that viewers may learn more about Rothko's creative process and the conservation project. A number of images are available at the exhibition link above. (Read the News Release.)

Harvard Art Museums on FaceBookTwitter, and Vimeo

✭ In Iowa, Des Moines Art Center has mounted "Field, Road, Cloud: Art and Africa". On view through April 19, the exhibition comprises African art from the center's permanent collections (the center owns more than 100 objects, including masks, ceramics, and textiles) and work by contemporary artists to foster discussion of geography, colonization, and import/export culture. Among the contemporary artists are El Anatsui, Nick Cave, Leonce Raphael, Alfredo Jaar, and William Kentridge.

On April 2, artist Nick Cave will join senior curator Gilbert Vicario to talk about Cave's artworks, which include sculpture, installations, sound, and performance. The exhibition features Cave's sculpture Property (2014).

DMAC on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Continuing for the next month, through April 19, is "LIFT: Contemporary Printmaking in the Third Dimension" at Tennessee's Knoxville Museum of Art. An exhibition of both emerging and established international contemporary artists, the exhibition examines techniques being used to give printmaking a sculptural dimension. The techniques range from low-relief printing and embossing, to relief printing, to digital techniques employing 3-D forms. The featured artists are Enrique Chagoya, Lesley Dill, Red Grooms, Robert Gober, Hideki Kimura, Nicola Lopez, Oscar Munoz, Leslie Mutchler, Marilene Oliver, Dieter Roth, Graciela Sacco, Olafur Eliasson, and Jonathan Stanish.

KMA on FaceBook and Twitter

KnoxArt Blog

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Mara Light, Portrait Study, 2014
Oil on Linen with Layered Materials
36" x 30"
Copyright © Mara Light

You'll find me today at Escape Into Life, where I've posted my latest Artist Watch feature, showcasing the beautiful paintings of Mara Light, who currently lives and works in Pennsylvania.

Deeply evocative, Light's paintings reveal simultaneously light and dark, surface and underlayer, the revealing and the hidden, intimacy and distance. They look as though they might have come from another period of time that has left its deliberate marks without distorting any of the beauty.

You'll find in my Artist Watch feature seven images of Light's paintings, a brief biography, and Light's Artist Statement, as well as information for two exhibitions of her work.

Mara Light on FaceBook