Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thursday's Three on Art

Today, Thursday's Three presents a trio of recently published or forthcoming art titles.

Gustave Caillebotte: Painting the Paris of Naturalism, 1872-1887 (Getty Publications, 2017) ~ Michael Marrinan, professor emeritus at Stanford University, offers an in-depth study of both the life and artistic development of French painter Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) in the context of 19th Century urban life in upper-class Paris. In addition to establishing connections between the artist's painting and literature, commerce, and technology, Marrinan explores how upper-class cultural life in Paris influenced and shaped the painter and his work. The 416-page book includes 116 color and 78 black-and-white illustrations.

Cover Art

East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography (Yale University Press/National Gallery of Art, March 21, 2017) ~ This 288-page book with 222 color and black-and-white images, focuses exclusively on "eastern photographs that helped shape America's national identity" and documents the effects on the landscape of industrialization, war, and tourism. More than 180 images from 1839  to 1900 — from daguerreotypes, salted paper prints, tintypes, cyanotypes, and albumen prints to stereo cards and photograph albums — are featured. Also examined are connections to other media, such as the paintings of Albert Bierstadt and the photographs of the Moran brothers. The authors are Diane Waggoner of the National Gallery of Art, Russell Lord of New Orleans Museum of Art, and Jennifer Raab of Yale University.

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The publication accompanies an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art (on view through July 16) that will travel to the New Orleans Museum of Art (October 5, 2017 - January 7, 2018).

Read "National Gallery of Art Features Earliest Photographs of Eastern American Landscapes" at Fine Books & Collections blog (January 6, 2017).

Collecting the World: Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, July 2017) ~ James Delbourgo's Collecting the World is the first biography of Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753) to be based on the full range of the wealthy society physician's writings and collections, which became the foundation of the British Museum, the world's first free national museum. (Sloane left his entire collection to King George II for the nation; his gift was accepted on June 7, 1753, with royal assent establishing the British Museum.) Delbourgo is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesday Artist: Catherine Opie

Can I get you to look at an image for longer than a second?
~ Catherine Opie

A photographer who says she "likes to stare", Catherine Opie trains her sight on the minority groups and sub-communities of our culture. Her work is intended to "create a platform for people to recognize themselves" and to get viewers to think about such subjects as attitudes, child labor, relationships, social conflicts and inequality, and discrimination. And while she admits she "can be political", she also says her interest is much more anthropological.

Below is another in Louisiana Channel's excellent series of video interviews with artists: "Catherine Opie: A World Beyond Selfies". Interviewed in January 2016 at her Los Angeles, California, studio, Opie discusses the challenges of being a photographer today and her approach to her subjects.

Opie's photographs are exhibited internationally, and her work can be found in numerous collections, including those of the Guggenheim Museum, Hammer Museum, The Israel Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The MacArthur Foundation, Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, Tate Gallery, Whitney Museum, and Yale University Art Gallery.

Opie currently is a professor of photography in the art department at UCLA.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

'accidentals (recalculated)' (Videopoem)

Australian poet and filmmaker Ian Gibbins is responsible for the text, video, sound, and performance of "accidentals" (Niteshifter Productions, 2016), embedded below, a videopoem that Dave Bonta at Moving Poems describes as "brilliant" (I agree!). The videopoem was a finalist in Carbon Culture Review's 2016 Poetry Film Contest.

Gibbins's other videopoems, found at Vimeo, include "sensurious", shortlisted for The Red Room Company's New Shoots Poetry Prizes 2016; "12 Sights of the Sea"; and "situs inversus viscerum totalis", part of a multi-media exhibition on art and health, "Body of Evidence", at Adelaide Convention Centre last summer. (See an alternative version of the video that was projected onto the center's windows during the exhibition.) "Situs inversus" also was shown in December 2016 at the 5th International Video Poetry Festival, in Athens, Greece.

Gibbins, who has a doctorate in zoology, has a fascinating background that includes work as a professor of anatomy and as an internationally recognized neuroscience researcher. Since retiring from academics, he has devoted himself to poetry, electronic music, and such other pursuits as windsurfing.

Gibbins's poetry has been published in Best Australian Poems 2008 (see his poem "Field Guide" in the Poetry section of Gibbins's Website), Found Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing, and other publications, and it has been shortlisted for The Australian Book Review Poetry Prize (2007), Newcastle Poetry Prize (2010), and 5 Islands Press's Ron Pretty Poetry Prize (2014). His debut collection of 45 poems, urban biology, was published by Wakefield Press / Friendly Street Poets in 2012. Gibbins also is the author of The Microscope Project: How Things Work (2014), containing 17 poems and color images by Catherine Truman, Deb Jones, and Gibbins; and Floribunda (2015), which features 13 poems and 19 full-color drawings by Judy Morris. Each of the collections is available to order via Gibbins's online shop.

Ian Gibbins on FaceBook

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday Muse: Derek Walcott

For every poet, it is always morning in the world.
~ Derek Walcott

The preeminent poet, Nobel Laureate, and playwright Derek Walcott (1930-2017) died last month at the age of 87. It is especially fitting during National Poetry Month to remember this great and gifted poet, whose work the writer Teju Cole has described as "written with a painterly hand, stroke by patient stroke."*

For those unfamiliar with Walcott's work, one of the best introductions to the man and his writing is the video interview below, "The Sea Is History, A Conversation with Derek Walcott", which was conducted in November 2010 at Hart House Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Walcott reads from his work and discusses his life and views on identity, culture, and language with English professor Christian Campbell. 

Another good interview is Bill Moyers's "Derek Walcott — A Conversation with the Great Caribbean-Born Writer", part of the series A World of Ideas. The poet's comments about "America as empire" and "the black man's dream" are notable for their currency today. Walcottt also reads from his poetry. A transcription is available at the link. Here's a video excerpt from that interview, in which Walcott talks about the human condition:


Walcott's poetry collections include his debut book 25 Poems (1948) and his final Morning, Paramin (Farrar, Straus, 2016). Between those two works, he published more than two dozen other volumes, among them, In a Green Night: Poems (1962; later, In a Green Night: Poems 1948-1960, 1969), The Caribbean Poetry of Derek Walcott and the Art of Romare Beardon (1983), Omeros (1990), several compilations of selected poems, including The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013, and White Egrets (2010). Walcott published in a wide range of literary periodicals, from Caribbean Quarterly to Poetry to Tamarack Review. He wrote some three dozen plays, one of which, Dream on Monkey Mountain, was awarded with an Obie Award. In addition to his 1992 Nobel Prize, Walcott received a MacArthur Foundation grant, a Royal Society of Literature Award, and the Queen's Medal for Poetry.


* Teju Cole, "Poet of the Caribbean | 'The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013'", The New York Times, February 21, 2014

Emily Temple, "The Writing Wisdom of Derek Walcott", Literary Hub, March 20, 2017

Derek Walcott Profiles Online: Academy of American Poets, The New YorkerNobel Prize, and Poetry Foundation

Jonathan Galassi, "Remembering Derek Walcott", Work in Progress (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux),  March 244, 2017

Peter Armenti, "Literary Treasures: Derek Walcott Reading His Poems (1986)", From the Catbird Seat, Poetry & Literature at the Library of Congress, March 23, 2017

Edward Hirsch, "Derek Walcott, The Art of Poetry No. 37" (Interview), The Paris Review, Issue 101, Winter 1986

A number of Walcott's lyrical poems can be found easily online.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Thought for the Day

How do we get back to the struggle over the future? 
I think you have to hope, and hope in this sense is 
not a prize or a gift, but something you earn 
through study, through resisting the ease of despair, 
and through digging tunnels, cutting windows,
opening doors, or finding the people who
do these things. They exist. [. . .]
~ Rebecca Solnit

Quoted from Rebecca Solnit, "An Afterword", in Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, With Possibilities (Haymarket Books, 2016), page 142 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday Short

Following is Grow (2017), an animated short by Nejc Polovsak of Slovenia, narrated by Graham Tracey and written by Will Jarvis. The sound design and music are by John Black. 

(My thanks to Cinematic Poems, where I first saw the short.)

Nejc Polovsak Website, Twistedpoly

Friday, April 21, 2017

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ New York-based Heide Hatry, who exhibits throughout the United States and abroad, was the subject last month of a feature in Hyperallergic, where I first learned of her work.  Her many projects include Icons in Ash, a series of remarkable portraits that Hatry creates from the ashes of the deceased. A selection of the memorial portraits currently is on view through May 12 in "Heide Hatry: Icons in Ash: Cremation Portraits" at Ubu Gallery in New York City. (See exhibition checklist in pdf.)

Visit the Website devoted to Icons in Ash, where you can view Hatry's mosaic portraits, cinerary drawing portraits, cinerary photo transfer portraits, and pet portraits (the latter can be made using any of the techniques for humans' portraits). A 268-page book (see image below), A Collaborative Conceptual Artist's Book (Station Hill Press, 2017), with 19 images, is available.

Cover Art

Hatry has produced some 200 artist books and has edited more than 24 books and art catalogues. She is known for body-related performances and work that uses animal flesh and organs. 

✦ Japanese artist-designer Shota Suzuki's metal art is exquisite. See images of the work, which takes its inspiration from nature and includes sculpture and jewelry. Suzuki had a solo exhibition at Ippodo Gallery in March.

Shota Suzuki Metal Arts on FaceBook

✦ Megan Mead's custom paper pet portraits are charming, beautifully cut, and affordable. Mead talks with Ann Martin at All Things Paper. See her work at paperpups on Instagram and visit her Etsy shop, Paper Pet Art. (My thanks to Ann Martin for the post.)

Ann has brought to blog readers' attention as well the creative and whimsical bespoke pet portraits of paper artist Kathryn Willis of Memphis, Tennessee

✦ UK-based Sarah Purvey, who exhibits widely in New York and London, creates beautiful ceramic sculptures. Her black-and-white vessels especially draw my attention. New work by Purvey currently can be seen through May 6 at New Craftsman Gallery, St. Ives, Cornwall.

Sarah Purvey on FaceBook and Instagram

✦ The video below is Surface Folds: Yukiya Izumita Clay Wares. Izumita combines the techniques of origami and sculpture to craft his beautiful layered-paper works.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Some 120 woodcuts, lithographs, mezzotints, and drawings by M.C. Escher are on view at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin. The works in "M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion", which continues through May 28, are from a large private collection from the Herakleidon Museum, Athens, Greece. Also included in the exhibition are early figure drawings, lesser-known book illustrations, Italian landscapes, and both architectural fantasies and tessellations.

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum on FaceBookInstagram, and YouTube

LYW Art Museum Blogpost "The Buzz About Escher"

✭ In New Orleans, Louisiana, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art is presenting paintings by the primarily self-taught sculptor and painter James Michalopoulos, who draws his inspiration from the city itself. (He's especially known for his New Orleans houses.) On view through July 16, "Waltzing the Muse: The Paintings of James Michalopoulos" features work from throughout the artist's career. Michalopoulos describes his styles as "an abstraction of the figurative; I like color, volumetric shape and graphic lines. While one may recognize the subjects of my paintings, through my work one discovers the spirit of them."*

* Quoted from Press Release

James Michalopoulos Paintings and Prints (Website)

Ogden Museum on FaceBook

✭ African American artist Sonya Clark's new, site-specific installations and performances exploring hair as an indicator of race and social status, a symbol of age and authority, a statement of contemporary style, and an object of beauty and adornment can be seen in "Follicular: The Hair Stories of Sonya Clark" through May 14 at Taubman Museum of Art, in Roanoke, Virginia. This is a major solo exhibition that includes live performances of Translations, in which a Richmond, Va., African American hair stylist, Kamala Bhagat, reinterprets a historic African hairstyle on Clark's head.  A selection of images is available at the exhibition link above.

A catalogue, The Hair Craft Project (see image below), co-winner of ArtPrize 2014, is available to order. (One of the stylists in the full-color-photo-and-essay book is Kamala Bhagat.)

Image of The Hair Craft Project Publication

Sonya Clark on FaceBook and Instagram

Taubman Museum on FaceBook and Instagram

✭ Pennsylvania's Philadelphia Museum of Art is showing phulkari, ornately embroidered textiles from Punjab, in "Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection". On view through July 9, the exhibition also includes traditional phulkaris from PMA's own collection, as well as phulkari-based high-fashion ensembles by Indian designer Maninsh Mahotra. Following is a trailer for the exhibition:

A 96-page publication with 95 color illustrations accompanies the exhibition (see cover image below).

Catalogue Cover Art

PMA on FaceBook, Tumblr, and Instagram

✭ Open through July 9, the exhibition "Focus: Katherine Bernhardt", at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, features a recent series of paintings in which Bernhardt juxtaposes common, everyday objects (e.g., household products, fruit, toys, cigarettes, food) that float atop solid grounds of color. Bernhardt, of Brooklyn, New York, depicts popular, consumer culture in a simplified and flat style, and often uses odd combinations of things as well as mixed styles of painting in a single work.

Katherine Bernhardt, Windex cigarettes basketball, 2016
Acrylic and Spray Paint on Canvas
120" x 96"

Read an interview with Bernhardt at Artspace.

Katherine Bernhardt at ArtNet, ArtsyCanadaSaatchi Gallery, and Xavier Hufkens

The Modern on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

Thursday, April 20, 2017

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Duy Huynh, A Mindful Garden, 2016
Acrylic on Wood Panel
30" x 30"


I am so pleased today to present Duy Huynh in my Artist Watch column at Escape Into Life. Duy's work first appeared at EIL in 2010. 

Born in Vietnam and currently a resident of North Carolina, Duy took to art as a way to cope with the difficulties of being a refugee and adapting to his new surroundings in the United States and his new language, English. Once Duy discovered how he could use his art to communicate and, as he says, "make a connection", art became his passion and life's work.

Today's Artist Watch column features nine images of Duy's poetic and contemplative paintings, five of which he painted this year; his Artist Statement, and a brief biography. Just click on the Artist Watch link to see why Duy has become so beloved an artist.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wednesday Artist: Laurence Edwards

I tend to work in very basic and raw environments—the elements are 
always present. My body influences the work, and the environment
 it's in does also. The sculpture is the meeting place. [. . .]
~ Laurence Edwards*

I first learned about British sculptor Laurence Edwards when his 14-foot work Beast of Burden, an altarpiece installed in 2012 at Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh, Suffolk, was featured in an ArtWay visual meditation by freelance fine art curator Meryl Doney, who specializes in exhibitions in cathedrals, churches, and other challenging spaces. I was taken immediately by Edwards's work, and particularly by the emotional range that seems to be imbued in his pieces — dark, haunting figures (primarily male) that cannot be ignored. That Edwards often situates his sometimes greater-than-life-size figures in natural surroundings complements and enhances their effect. (See the Archive on his Website.) To see these evocative figures in person must be a truly remarkable, even moving, experience.

The wonderful film A Thousand Tides (2016), below, helps explain my reactions. In the short, Edwards describes how, in 2016, he bid farewell to one of his extraordinary, site-specific, life-size bronze figures, A Thousand Tides, when he decided to vacate his Butley Mills studios (near Orford), which he had maintained for 15 years and where he had built a foundry. Edwards also talks about his conceptual approach and casting techniques. 

(A more complete description about the creation and final disposition of A Thousand Tides is found at Edwards's blog, and includes a number of sketches and images. For additional photographs, see the section Recent Work at Edwards's Website.)

Born in Suffolk, England, Edwards did post-graduate work at London's Royal College or Art and studied casting with Sri Lankan master founder Tissa Ranagsinghe. His artistic talents have led to numerous solo exhibitions and group shows in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Spain, and the United States, as well as commissions for site-specific installations in Spain and Germany, among other places. More recently, he was the subject of The Work of Laurence Edwards by former curator John Sheeran. Edwards's awards include being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors (2012). 

Not content to work solely in bronze, Edwards experiments with clay and organic materials, such as grasses, and has been constructing immense heads, documenting his progress on his blog. 

Edwards also draws and paints, both in oil and watercolor. I'm especially drawn to the latter. (See the Drawings and Paintings section of his Website to view his nests, birds, portraits, and landscapes.)

Edwards's current foundry and studio, where he can be found from March through June, are in Halesworth, in northeast Suffolk. 


* Quoted from "Q&A with Laurence Edwards" in Art Collector (Australia), 2015, accessible in the Recent Press section of the Laurence Edwards page at Messum's gallery in London. That same page shows exhibition catalogues and other publications featuring Edwards's work.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

'the one about the bird' (Poetry Film)

Based on poet and visual artist Melissa Diem's poem, the one about the bird was filmed in Ireland and was a finalist for the 2013 O Bheal International Poetry Film Competition; it also was screened in 2013 at Belfast Film Festival (Ireland), Filmpoem (Scotland), and Timeline (England). That same year, it was awarded Honorable Mention at The Body Electric Poetry Film Festival in Colorado (United States) and was a finalist at La Parola Immaginata - Trevigliopoesia (Italy).

Diem reads the poem. She also provided the visual images. Colm Slattery provided sound production.

the one about the bird (A poetry film) from Melissa Diem on Vimeo.

Text of Poem

Melissa Diem Website

Melissa Diem Page at Vimeo