Friday, October 31, 2014

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Driftwood is an unusual choice for jewelry, and Nina Morrow has made a specialty of creating bracelets, bangles, pendants, rings, earrings, and necklaces from driftwood found on the banks of the Rio Grande (she lives in Santa Fe). The wearable results are as unique as they are stunning. See Morrow's portfolio.

✦ The documentary Art and Craft, about art forger Mark Landis, is screening at film festivals around the country. Here's the official trailer for the film, directed by Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman. Following its release, the documentary will be issued on DVD; it will air subsequently on television.

Art and Craft on FaceBook

✦ The natural world finds an inspired place in the woven forms of the largely self-taught sculptor Karen Gubitz. Following her legal career, Gubitz took up art full-time, subsequently winning awards for her work around the country. See her portfolio, which includes The Grand Gathering, an installation for ArtPrize 2014 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

✦ Hammer Museum at the University of California Los Angeles presented in 2012 the first museum survey in the United States of the sculpture of Poland's Alina Szapoczikow. Included in the exhibition by this significant but not so well-known sculptor were Szapocznikow's carvings in Carrara marble and assemblages in polyester resin; in all some 60 sculptures and 50 works on paper were on view, in addition to photographic works. Complementing the exhibition, "Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone, 1955-1972" (see a slideshow), was a program on the late Polish poet and Nobel Prize winner Wislawa Szymborska, presented for "cultural context". Listen to audio of that program; the speakers include poet and scholar Piotr and UCLA professor Roman Koropeckyj. Also available is this unusual remix incorporating the reading at Hammer.

Hammer Museum on FaceBookTwitter, and Vimeo

✦ Ohio's Toledo Museum of Art offers a digital edition of its exhibition catalogue "The Great War: Art on the Front Line". The show concluded October 19.

✦ Are you an arts instructor or otherwise interested in visual literacy? Take time to browse The Visual Literacy Toolbox: Learning to Read Images. The site includes online activities, lesson plans, a "bank of questions" to generate explorations of the components of visual literacy, and strategies for using the toolbox.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Opening November 8 at American University's Katzen Arts Center is "The Intimate Diebenkorn: Works on Paper, 1949-1992)". Featuring some 40 artworks, many never viewed publicly before, the exhibition includes the great Richard Diebenkorn's pencil and ink drawings on paper, collages, and watercolors created over four decades. The show will be up through December 14.

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, c. 1958-1966

The exhibition will travel to Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma, California, where it will be on view June 6, 2015 - August 23, 2015; it will conclude at Montana Museum of Art & Culture, The University of Montana at Missoula, from September 24, 2015 - December 12, 2015. A 128-page catalogue with 88 full-color images (Kelly's Cove Press) accompanies the exhibition (see image below).

Catalogue Cover

Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993)  Catalogue Raisonne

AUArts on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Opening today at Ohio's Toledo Museum of Art is "Speaking Visual: Learning the Language of Art", on view through January 25, 2015. The exhibition features artworks from the museum's own collection to instruct viewers in methods for and approaches to art interpretation.

November 5-8 the museum will present "The Art of Seeing: From Ordinary to Extraordinary", the 47th Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association. The public is welcome to attend the conference, which convenes with academic researchers, educators, museum professionals, artists, and business thought leaders discussing how people increasingly are communicating with visual language. The keynote speakers are David Howes, an anthropology professor and director of Concordia Centre for Sensory Studies, Montreal; ceramist Magdalene Odundo; Dr. Joseph Rosen, a plastic surgeon with Dartmouth Medical School; museum educator Philip Yenawine, director of education, MoMA; Nick Sousanis, co-founder of The Detroiter arts and cultural Webmagazine; Stephen Apkon, founder of Jacob Burns Film Center; Lynell Burmark, who won Stanford's Walter Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching; and artist Aminah Robinson. The sessions are free. 

Toledo Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ While it's closed for expansion, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is showing around the Bay Area. Among its offerings is "Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California", on view through April 12, 2015, at Oakland Museum of California. The show is about four creative communities: the circle of artists who worked with, influenced, or were influenced by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in the 1930s; painters and photographers, including Richard Diebenkorn and Mark Rothko, Minor White and Imogen Cunningham, associated with the California School of Fine Arts in the 1940s and 1950s; faculty and students at UC Davis in the 1960s and 1970s, including Wayne Thiebaud and William T. Wiley; and the Mission District artists of the 1990s and forward. Five videos related to artists whose work in in the exhibition are on the exhibition page.

Oil on Canvas
Collection SFMoMA
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Schorer
© Estate of Elmer Bischoff
Photo Credit: Ben Blackwell

SF MoMA on FaceBook, Twitter, and Tumblr

Notable Exhibition Abroad

✭ A group exhibition, "This is Me, This is Also Me", opens November 6 at McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. On view through March 14, 2015, the show presents the work of  thirteen artists whose work focuses on self-representation and self-portraiture. Included are photographs, paintings, drawings, prints, installations, sculpture, and video art addressing ideas about displacement, doubling, recognition, mis-recognition, and memory and counter-memory in autobiographical art. Featured are works by Carl Beam, Rebecca Belmore, Deanna Bowen, Cathy Daley, General Idea, Doug Guildford, Jin-Me Yoon, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Kent Monkman, Edvard Munch, Grace Ndiritu, Andy Warhol, and Joyce Wieland. The exhibition includes a curators' edited collection, Embodied Politics in Visual Autobiography (University of Toronto Press, 2014). A panel discussion is scheduled for November 27; a discussion with three of the artists is planned for March 12, 2015.

McMaster Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gorgeous Persian Calligraphy

A man with skill has at every fingertip
a key to the lock of daily sustenance.

The Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C., has created a short video to accompany an exhibition about the beautiful nasta'liq script. The exhibition, "Nasta'liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy", on view through March 22, 2015, includes examples of the calligraphy dating from 1400 to 1600. (I saw the exhibit last week and can attest that nasta'liq may be the most beautiful calligraphy I've ever seen. Several examples are written aslant. The colors, especially the golds and blues, and the ornate papers are visually stunning.) 

The calligrapher in the video is Manzar Moghbeli.

Masters and Pupils of Nasta'liq

For events related to the exhibition, including lectures in December by Harvard University's David J. Roxburgh and Ohio State University's Dick Davis, see this list.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday Wonder: Miles and Miles

...These installations so ethereal they become 
like these frozen layers of light....
~ Gabriel Dawe, Mixed-Media and Installation Artist

If you've ever wondered what an artist can do with ordinary sewing thread and a pole, wonder no more. Just be amazed. The installation artist Gabriel Dawe of Dallas, Texas, who came to the United States by way of Mexico and Canada, has created for the "State of the Art" exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art a 20-foot-tall sculpture, plexus no. 27, comprising thread that he has stretched between the ceiling and the floor so that subtle shifts in color occur as the eye moves across the piece. In the short below, Dawe explains the "Zen-like process" and concentration needed for this work, which required an estimated 40 miles to 60 miles of sewing thread in 16 colors. His dialogue with the space in which he worked was "the most challenging" aspect of the installation's creation, producing an artwork that "is almost kinetic". A photograph, he says, does not do justice to the work's richness.

The Crystal Bridges exhibition, in Benton, Arkansas, remains on view through January 19, 2015. Download the State of the Art mobile app on iTunes. To see more of the artworks in the exhibition, click on the exhibition link above.

(My thanks to PBS NewsHour Art Beat for the link.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Calculation (Poem)


There is nothing like sleeping
in the middle of a queen-size bed,
sheets tucked tight, comforter close
against slight shoulders. Once
your arms were blankets enough,
my back to your chest never
in the way. Too soon we were
staking twin claims, your side
and mine battling new divisions,
neither of us knowing how to
calculate all that we were missing.

© 2014 Maureen E. Doallas

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Muse Reads 'Catholic Boy Blues'

. . . if you learn how to listen to the deepest part
of yourself,  that's where the most important words
that are yours come from. . . .*
~ Poet and Writer Norbert Krapf

Cover, Catholic Boy Blues
Photograph by Author's Pastor Given to Parents in 1950s

For former Indiana Poet Laureate** Norbert Krapf, it took nearly 50 years of listening to the deepest, locked-away part of himself to address the profound abuse to which his Catholic parish priest subjected him when Krapf was a child. During the period of that abuse, the priest took the photograph (see image above) that became part of the cover art for Krapf's 2014 autobiographical collection Catholic Boy Blues (Greystone Publishing), and gave it to Krapf's parents. That haunting photograph, an evocative visualization of the painful words comprising Krapf's poems, contains both dark secret and starker truth. Krapf wrestles with both over the course of his four-part collection by assuming four dramatically different yet intertwined voices: the boy who suffers sexual abuse, the man who sets upon the "healing journey" that requires reconciling the boy to the adult he became, the priest whom Krapf allows to engage in dialogue with the boy, who finds in himself the extraordinary courage to speak back once and for all, and a wise figure Krapf calls "Mr. Blues". The latter speaks in four voices, too — friend, advice-giver, counselor, mentor — that if they could be sounded as one, might best be described as "savior", for Mr. Blues ultimately helps the boy Krapf was and the man Krapf is today to "break free" of "the language of pain" to sing as "one with the spirit inside me" where hope and forgiveness, even love, reside. Mr. Blues teaches boy and man to see that

there's always a hopeful boy inside the man.
Deep down lives a hopeful boy inside the man
won't quit fighting till he comes out best he can.

In that final "Love Song for  Mr. Blues" from which the above lines are quoted we find all the reasons Krapf is able to survive his harrowing journey.

* * * * *

Catholic Boy Blues, Krapf's twenty-sixth book, is dedicated to "my sisters and brothers of any age in all lands abused by priests or other authority figures". As anyone who pays even slight attention to the news knows, an enormous group of Catholics and former Catholics — Krapf now known to be among them — suffered a silencing, only now starting to be reversed, because of the presence of priest-pedophiles in their church. Krapf movingly describes that silence:

Not even the great
visionary wordsmiths
Isaiah and Jeremiah

had to find words
to tell their people
how it feels

for a boy
to be so defiled
by a priest

that for fifty years
he keeps his mouth shut
even to those he loves.
~ "Not Even Isaiah and Jeremiah" 

In his acknowledgment in the Preface that his "responsibility and mission as a poet" oblige him to share the "dirty little secret" with the public, Krapf, now 70, bears startling witness to art's power to save when, as the persona Mr. Blues says in "Mr. Blues Wakes Up", we can "sing it straight".

* * * * *

Krapf draws this collection of poems from the 325 that, he writes in his Preface, "began to come, with volcanic force, night and day". His recognition that "the time had come to testify" and his inspired approach to handling his difficult subject make for explicit and emotionally complex writing. Indeed, the voices in Catholic Boy Blues resound with anger, "heavy hurt", resentment, the shame and sorrow of "dirty old memories", descriptions of gut-wrenching violations by a priest who "taught the apprentice hunters / what it means to be hunted" ("Priest as Hunter"), and heart-felt feelings of abandonment and despair, perhaps, most sadly, because he had "parents who had no clue about the plot" ("Little Boy Blue Playbill") of the story Krapf was living. More than once I had to put aside my reading, so filled I was with revulsion and anger at what Krapf the child was subjected to:

[. . .]
Nobody to speak to me
or for me, nobody to see

where his hot hands went,
nobody to help me vent. 

Not to have any voice.
Not to have any choice.

To be left all alone
sore to the bone.
~ from "The Boy to the Man He Became"

The collection is no easy read. In relating his experience along "the rocky road toward forgiveness and healing", Krapf holds nothing back to ensure that as we travel with him, we don't miss the photographs he's taken and exposed, as in "The Hand" ("The hand that reaches / for the altar boy's crotch // rubs oil on the forehead / of the dying....") and poems such as "Pedophilia Nursery Rhyme", its title alone speaking volumes. And the questions Krapf asks — "Where Was God?", "You Wonder?", "Nuns", "Who Needs Dante?" — are the same we ask ourselves while reading. We cheer at poems such as "Cut the Crud, Priest" and "The Boy Shoves Back", and, like Krapf, we, too, want to hear the priest "Singing in the Slammer".

Remarkably, despite the "lasting memories" of his life-altering experience during childhood, Krapf finds refuge and solace, here in the perceptive, insightful person of Mr. Blues—the figure we all need in our lives. In "This Is Not the End", it is Mr. Blues who makes clear that even though "[n]obody in any of these stories, / wherever they take place, will // live happily ever after", it is possible that "if people / can summon what it takes to tell // the truth, they can live together and help others find their voice":

 One voice singing by itself can
   sound awfully small, but several

voices lifting as one can make
      a chorus that sings a mighty song.

In Catholic Boy Blues, Norbert Krapf adds his own huge and important voice to the choir. Long after his poetic aria has come to its end, his listeners will still hear his songs of lamentation and rejoice in jubilation "at growing together" in love that clears us a path out of our pasts.

* 2008-2010 (Read Monday Muse profile. Krapf has received a number of honors, most recently the 2014 Glick Indiana Authors Award (Regional).)

Norbert Krapf on FaceBook

Note: Norbert Krapf has recorded an essay, "A Boy Who Finally Spoke Out", that will air in the near future on NPR's "All Things Considered" program. Check Krapf's FaceBook page or Website for details. The essay also will be available at the site of the Indianapolis Spirit & Place Festival. Krapf's essay "Poetry and the Blues", which he wrote for the Indiana Author Awards site, is available on the site's blog. (My thanks to Norbert Krapf for this additional information.)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Thought for the Day

. . . the sound of change is silent. . . .
~ Drew Myron

Quoted from "Break" in Drew Myron's Thin Skin (Push Pull Books, 2013) 

Drew Myron writes at Off the Page.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday Short

Today's short is a feature about "Common Thread: The Anou Residencies", which resulted in a collection of six bespoke hand-woven rugs inspired by Berber heritage, surroundings, and personal stories. The artisans, who all live in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, collaborated with designer Sabrina Kraus Lopez of the United Kingdom to produce new designs and approaches based on the traditional weaving techniques of the Amazigh culture. The rugs were on view at last month's 2014 London Design Festival.

Anou is an online platform in which the crafts of the Amazigh people are fair-trade sold.

(My thanks to the British Council for the link to the film.)

Friday, October 24, 2014

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Painter and sculptor Hayal Pozanti has made her first prints at Tamarind Institute. The abstracted geometric forms in her colorful lithographs and monoprints are intriguing. Also not to be missed: the prints in Tamarind's exhibition "LandMarks: Indigenous Australian Artists and Native American Artists Explore Connections to the Land", which concluded last month. Watch a video about the show.

✦ Artwork by Daehyun Kim (a.k.a. Moonassi) recently graced the cover of the literary periodical Prairie Schooner. The Korean artist, who lives in Seoul, studied painting but calls his black-ink Moonassi drawings his "life-time project". The series is highly imaginative, full of unspoken narrative, and just waiting for a poet's interpretations. The artist has been involved in a number of fascinating collaborations; one involves Korean singer, songwriter, and actress Han Hee Jung. Kim also has done illustrations for The New York Times, among other publications.

Moonassi on FaceBook and Tumblr

✦ For artists with scientific inclinations: American Physical Society fellow Dr. J.R. Leibowitz's Hidden Harmony: The Connected Worlds of Physics and Art (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008; see image to right). Intended for a general audience, the book presents the disciplines as creative processes and includes numerous art images and their complements in physics.

✦ The Guggenheim Museum has made more than 40 additional art texts available to read on the Web, bringing the total number of free exhibition publications to 109. The first 65 were released digitally in 2012.

✦ Weaver Peggy Osterkamp, who also is a textile scholar and a teacher who has published books for both beginners and professionals, creates beautiful and inspired work, which includes fine wearables and gorgeous Japanese-influenced artworks. Her sculptural ruffle pieces of silk are especially beautiful. Currently, Osterkamp, who lives in Greenbrae, California, is showing her Four Veils at a juried Textile Society of America exhibition that continues through January 4, 2015. 

✦ Watch this video featuring Matthew Ritchie talking about his just-concluded exhibition "Ten Possible Links" at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York City. Ritchie's paintings, wall drawing, and sculpture, as well as a film, Monstrance, were inspired by Ritchie's work with philosopher Graham Harman. The music in the video is from Monstrance, which was composed and performed by Bryce Dessner; an excerpt from the performance is available at Ritchie's Website. (My thanks to ArtInfo for the video and this introduction to Ritchie's work.)

Exhibition Checklist

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Alabama's Coleman Center for the Arts presents the functional and somewhat whimsical baskets and woven sculptures of Mary Jane Everett in "American Castles", on view through January 9, 2015. Everett's work incorporates found objects that reference the land and rural farm structures (silos, grain bins, etc.) and farm tools or machine parts (hay rakes, chicken wire, tractor seats and gears, disc blades, brake rotors, and the like, all repurposed) of Mississippi and Alabama. The fibers she uses come from kudzu vine, feed sacks, sisal, and naturally grown reed. Work by Everett can be found at Asheville Art Museum (see her Wheels, 2004) and in other collections.

Coleman Center on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ A late 13th Century or early 14th Century Chinese-made tea-leaf storage jar — Chigusa — is the single object in "Chigusa and the Art of Tea in Japan", an exhibition at Princeton University Art Museum that continues through February 1, 2015. Organized by the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler galleries in Washington, D.C., the exhibition reveals how the functional stoneware jar, acquired its value as a Chinese antique during the 700 years it was in Japan. 

Tea-Leaf Storage Jar, Named Chigusa, Mid-13th C. to Mid-14th C.
Southern Song or Yuan Dynasty, 1260-1368
Stoneware with Iron Glaze
41.6 cm High, 36.6 cm Diameter
Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Purchase

Princeton University Art Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Work by Lynda Benglis, Carol Bove, Nick Cave, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Lari Pittman, and Yinka Shonibare is on view through November 30 at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in the exhibition "Earthly Delights". Drawn from MCA's permanent collection, the paintings, sculpture, and installations of all eight artists address social issues through beauty. 

MCA on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo

✭ In the "Lone Star Portraits" installation at Amon Carter Museum of American Art, on view through May 17, 2015, you'll find Texas artists' self-portraits paired with those of close friends, relatives, and colleagues. The featured artists in the exhibition are Dickson Reeder (1912-1970), Murray Bewley (1884-1964), Olin Travis (1888-1975), and Sedrick Huckaby. The latter paints quilts as backdrops for portraits. View the artworks.

Amon Carter Museum on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo

✭ The art of Cincinnati-based artist Bukang Kim will be presented in "Bukang Kim: Journey", opening December 13 at Cincinnati Art Museum. The exhibition, which will continue through March 15, 2015, will encompass the Korean-born artist's 40-year career.

Bukang Y. Kim, Morning Calm, 1988
Mixed Media on Canvas
Gift of Dr. Young Ghon Kim, Bukang Yu Kim, and Family

CAM on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday's Three on Art

Today, Thursday's Three presents a trio of art-related videos.

✦ Filmmaker and photographer Oguz Uygur, born in Turkey but a resident of the United States, created this short, originally for a promotional piece, to demonstrate his parents' talent in paper marbling, which is called Ebru in Turkish. The marbling is exquisite.

Seyit UYGUR { Ebru Artist } from oguz uygur (ozzie) on Vimeo.

Uygur creates documentaries, music and promotional videos, and independent movies. To see more of his work, including videos and photographs, visit his Website.

(My thanks to The Paris Review Daily blog for the video link.)

✦ Korea-born sculptor, performance artist, and installation artist Jung Ran Bae demonstrates in the video below how she created sculptures for "Teater-Totter: Human Betweens", an exhibition at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, on view through April 2015. Read "Jung Ran Bae Breathes a Dream Into the Museum" at the museum's blog.

✦ The Mark Rothko painting Black on Maroon (1958), one of the artist's Seagram murals donated to Tate Modern in 1970, was defaced with graffiti ink in October 2012. The video was filmed over the 18 months required to restore the painting, which returned to public view on May 13, 2014.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

On the Street: The Faces of Women

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is an artist and, like too many of us, a woman who has been subjected to gender-based street harassment. Her ongoing public art project is Stop Telling Women to Smile. In the video below, Fazlalizadeh describes her project to give women back a voice that addresses their harassers. Additional posters can be seen on Fazlalizadeh's Website.

The video, filmed and edited by Dean Peterson of Brooklyn, New York, was a winner in Smithsonian Magazine's 2014 In Motion Video Contest.

Read Tasbeeh Herwees's article for Good (October 15, 2014), "A Street Art Festival that Puts Women on Walls". Other articles about the art series have appeared in The New York Times, Huffington Post, and Gothamist.

Stop Telling Women to Smile on Tumblr

(My thanks to Good, where I learned of Fazlalizadeh's project.)