Friday, November 21, 2014

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ A multimedia projection of images and voices by Krzysztof Wodiczko, Homeless Projection: Places des Arts, 2014, has been enjoying a run at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal (Musee d'Art Contemporain de Montreal); it concludes November 23. Site-specific, large in scale though intimate in result, Homeless Projection was created with the help of the St. Michael's Mission and other community organizations to give those experiencing homelessness an opportunity to tell their personal stories. Wodiczko, winner of the 1998 Hiroshima Art Prize for contributions to world peace, has made more than 80 public projects around the world. He currently is designing and producing for the homeless, immigrants, and war veterans "instruments and vehicles for survival and communication". Read "Projection Art Project Will Have Everyone Looking Up at Montreal's Homeless" in the Montreal Gazette. Mark Vallen has written an essay about Wodiczko, "Illuminating Contradictions" at Art for a Change. Also see The Homeless Vehicle Project.

✦ Artist and composer Jem Finer, poet Lavinia Greenlaw, essayist Jay Griffiths, and filmmaker Ben Rivers are part of the year-long commissioned project Stay Where You Are, curated and produced by Steven Bode of Film and Video Umbrella, in the United Kingdom, and Gareth Evans and supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation. Begun on February 1, 2014, and slated to conclude on January 31, 2015, the project's participants, all world travelers, were asked to "pause to reflect on the appeal of the local" and to create work focused on their home environment. Each has won numerous awards for his or her work. 

Finer, who is based in the United Kingdom, has been exploring the area near his studio at Trinity Buoy Wharf, assembling his part of the project, 51ยบ 30' 44" N, 0' 0' 38" E, from layers of sound he's recorded at night, morning, afternoon, and evening in each new season of the year. London resident Greenlaw calls her project The Built Moment, a series of text she describes as "[s]itting somewhere between poetry and prose [and forming] the record of a yearlong inquiry into present-tense perception." Griffiths, who lives in Wales, has designed Hearth: A Thesaurus of Home, which she calls "meditations on the nature of 'home'." Also of London, Rivers is undertaking Things, which comprises a series of shorts about his "domestic surroundings and the familiar, often treasured objects he turns to for comfort or material." Take time to visit each link; the results of the individual projects to date, both singly and as a whole, are fascinating.

Begun October 22, 2014, and expected to conclude on May 31, 2015, FVU's newly launched commission A Light Shines in the Darkness (read the press release in pdf) is an exhibition of artists' films traveling to churches and cathedrals around England, including Winchester Cathedral (the exhibit there ends November 25), Holy Trinity Church in Lancashire, and Norwich Cathedral. The artists are Suki Chan, Alexander and Susan Maris, Melanie Manchot, Graham Ellard and Stephen Johnstone, Kathleen Herbert, and Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson.

Film and Video Umbrella on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ Last month saw the release by David R. Godine, Publisher, of Belinda Rathbone's The Boston Raphael: A Mysterious Painting, an Embattled Museum in an Era of Change, and a Daughter's Search for the Truth. The Rafael painting, previously unknown and uncatalogued but attributed to the Renaissanace master, was acquired by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1969. An Italian who researched the painting's export from Italy challenged BMFA's ownership rights, plunging into crisis the museum's director, Perry Rathbone. The book's author, Belinda Rathbone, is the director's daughter and a biographer and historian, and seeks, through research of primary source materials and interviews, to tell what happened to lead to Perry Rathbone's resignation.

Cover Art of The Boston Raphael

✦ Those familiar with the work of Leonard Baskin will recognize the master printmaker's influence on Michael Kuch, who studied with Baskin. (See Kuch's paintings and books.) And, like Baskin, who founded Gehenna Press, Kuch founded his own: Double Elephant Press. Holdings from the latter are housed in a number of important collections, including those of the Library of Congress and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kuch's etchings most recently were published in award-winning The Little River (Two Ponds Press, 2013). The exhibition "Michael Kuch: Selected Works from the Double Elephant Press" is on view through December 15 in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College Libraries.

✦ Virginia-based Reni Gower, who teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University, is a painter and paper-cut artist who describes her work as a "blend of both painting and sculpture." I'm especially taken with her contemporary encaustic-and-collage works detailed in brilliant colors and a variety of geometric shapes arranged in intricate patterns. Gower's exhibition "Heated Exchange" is touring through Mid-America Arts Alliance's ExhibitsUSA National Traveling Exhibition Program.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ In Northampton, Massachusetts, Neilson Library at Smith College continues its exhibition "Robert Seydel: The Eye in Matter". On display through December 15 are more than 100 collages, drawings, and illuminated writings from the fictional archive of Ruth Griesman, alter ego of artist and writer Robert Seydel (1960-2011). The exhibition will trail to Queens Museum of Art (July 19, 2015 - October 26, 2015) and the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago (February 11, 2016 - April 9, 2016). Accompanying the show is A Picture Is Always a Book: Further Writings from Book of Ruth by Robert Seydel (October 30, 2014), a collection of more than 70 "journal pages" and illustrated writings (many of the nearly 100 collages have never been published or previously exhibited). The book (see image below) is published by Siglio and Smith College Libraries.

Browse the Exhibition Brochure. (pdf)

Robert Seydel Collection at Hampshire College (The Robert Seydel Reading Room opened September 12.)

William Allan Neilson Library on FaceBook

✭ Forty works on paper, most on view for the first time, make up "The Intimate Diebenkorn, Works on Paper: 1949-1992", an exhibition at American University's Museum at The Katzen Arts Center, Washington, D.C. Featured are pencil and inks drawings, collages made of torn papers, and watercolors. The exhibition concludes December 14. (Note: I saw the exhibition on November 9. For anyone familiar only with the painter's abstractions, the exhibition is a fine introduction to Diebenkorn's figurative work and portraits. A book titled From the Model (Kelly's Cove Press, 2013), with an introduction by Chester Arnold, is available and includes the images of drawings in the show. Most of the 99 images in the book are published for the first time.)

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, c. 1958-1966

Among other late fall shows at the Katzen: "Prague, The City of Eugenic Minds", which includes a Pavel Stingl documentary, animations and paintings by Xenia Hoffmeisterova, and literary artwork by Czech author and translator Patrik Ourednik (English); "Sculpture Now 2014: WSG 30th Anniversary", current work by the Washington Sculptors Group; "My Oyster #7: Michelle Grabner & Brad Gillam", spouses who collaborate on art; "Ad Infinitum", comprising new site-specific works by Clifford Borress, Ian Pedigo, and Letha Wilson that examine form and context; and "Lay of the Land: Alan Sonfist & Karin F.  Giusti", featuring Sonfist's Surface Memory (1967-1971) and Giusti's Three Seasons at Black Forest Farm (2011). All conclude December 14.

If you visit any of the above exhibitions, take time to watch the fascinating documentary, which includes archival footage. Also, the highlights in the sculpture show are Foon Sham's Canyon of Salt (hickory and salt, 2012), Julie Zirlin's Detail, Waves (stoneware fired in sawdust, 2013), c.l. bigelow's nest #23 (copper pipe, tubing, and wire, 2014), and Janet Wheeler's Vessel V (red osier sticks, Kozo paper, raffia, paint, copper wire, 2013).

AU Arts on FaceBook and Twitter

The Katzen on FaceBook and Twitter

Art at The Katzen Blog

✭ Opening tomorrow at California's Oceanside Museum of Art is "Naked: 20th Century Nudes from the Dijkstra Collection". Continuing through March 8, 2015, the show draws from Bram and Sandra Dijkstra's extraordinary collection to present traditional and modern figurative paintings, drawings, and photographs featuring the male and female nude human figure. Among the artists represented in the exhibit are F. Humphrey Woolrych (1868-1941), Elliott Daingerfield (1859-1932), Charles Hawthorne (1872-1930), Isabel Bishop (1902-1988), Jan Matulka (1890-1972), James Aitcheson, Dan Dickey, and James Hubbell.

Oceanside Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ Abstract paintings by Russian artist Sergey Fedotov, who originally studied to be a physicist, go on view December 6 at Coral Springs Museum of Art, Coral Springs, Florida.

Here's an introduction to the artist, who had his first solo exhibition in Moscow in 2001:

Read Bruce Helander's critically appreciative article "From Russia with Love — Sergey Fedotov" at HuffPost Arts & Culture (2012).

Coral Springs Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Dorothy Grostern, You Know
Mixed Media on Paper, 41" x 29", 2012

Please join me today at Escape Into Life, where I've posted a new Artist Watch feature. I'm delighted to feature the emotionally expressive, provocative, and sometimes haunting work of Dorothy Grostern, who is based in Montreal. A member of the Society of Canadian Artists who exhibits internationally, Dorothy has been a professional artist for more than 25 years and works in pastels and charcoals, as well as oils, and also produces prints (etchings and monotypes) and sculptures.

At Artist Watch, you'll find images of Dorothy's ongoing series of narrative works on paper that use text from her personal journals (view more Journal Drawings), an Artist Statement, and a biographical profile, which are followed by links to galleries that represent her work.

Dorothy also is the author of a 173-page graphic novel, My House Has Many Rooms (image below), which includes images of her painting and drawings and handwritten text from her journals.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Joan Didion Documentary

Joan writes in order to live.
~ Griffin Dunne

A documentary about the remarkable writer Joan Didion (b. 1934), We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live, has been successfully funded at Kickstarter, though fundraising continues through November 21. A project by directors Griffin Dunne (Didion is his aunt) and Susanne Rostock, the film will tell Didion's life story through the writer's work and in her own voice. Family, friends, colleagues, actors, and critics, including Patti Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Graydon Carter, and Bret Easton Ellis, are among those who will be interviewed, and archival footage will enrich how the film relates Didion's personal life and family history. To date, Didion's life has never before been documented on film.

The buzz about the documentary — news of its production has been picked up far and wide — and its full funding within a day of the project's launch on Kickstarter attest to interest in the documentary's subject and promise what may be unprecedented attention when it is completed and released. 

Here's a preliminary look at what the directors and producers Annabelle Dunn and Mary Recine have in mind:

I was in college when I first began reading Didion's prolific and memorable work — it encompasses everything from political reporting to criticism, personal essays to playwrighting, novels to screenwriting — and I continue to read whatever she produces. Among her well-known books are the meditation Blue Nights (Vintage, reprint 2012), the memoir The Year of Magical Thinking (Vintage, reprint 2007), collected nonfiction in We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live (Everyman's Library, 2006), the essays Sloughing Toward Bethlehem (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, reissue 2008), Where I Was From (Vintage, reprint, 2004), the novel A Book of Common Prayer (Vintage, repring, 1995), the nonfiction collection The White Album (1979; Farrar, Straus & Giroux, FSG Classics 2009),  the novel Play It As It Lays (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2nd edition 2005), Miami (Vintage, 1st international edition 1998),  After Henry (Vintage, 1st international edition 1993), Democracy (Vintage, reprint 1995), the novel The Last Thing He Wanted (Vintage, reprint 1997), and Salvador (Vintage, reprint 1994). Her first novel was Run River (Vintage, 1994). All these books are still in print. 

In 2012, Didion was awarded a National Humanities Medal.

Joan Didion on FaceBook

Resources Worth Reading

Jonathan Van Meter, "When Everything Changes", New York Magazine

Megan O'Rourke, "Quintana's Story", Slate, November 2011

Boris Kachka, "'I Was No Longer Afraid to Die. I Was Now Afraid Not to Die.'",  New York Magazine, October 16, 2011

Gibson Fay-Leblanc, "Seeing Things Straight" (Interview), Guernica, April 15, 2006

Robert Pinsky, "The Year of Magical Thinking: Goodbye to All That", The New York Times, October 9, 2005

Martin Amis, "Joan Didion's Style", London Review of Books, Vol. 2, No. 2, February 7, 1980

Linda Kuehl, "Joan Didion, The Art of Fiction No. 71", The Paris Review, Fall-Winter 1978, No. 74

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Forty-three (Poem)


for the students of Iguala

Their dreams reduced
to lead and fire, these
forty-three become pure
silence we cannot hear.

Bones in a landfill, teeth
on the banks of a river—
mere fragments in black
plastic, giving no one a clue

to any body burned to dust.
The storm petrels refuse
to come ashore, their fear
the moon-lit night's echoes

of keening loons. The sky
swallows every last breath.

© 2014 Maureen E. Doallas

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Muse: Margaret Atwood on Writing

Canadian poet, novelist, critic, and essayist Margaret Atwood talks with Big Think about her creative process. Atwood was awarded in May Orion Magazine's 2014 Orion Book Award for her novel MaddAddam (Nan A. Talese, 2013).

Other Big Think Videos with Margaret Atwood

"Margaret Atwood: 'Stone Mattress: Nine Tales'", Interview, The Diane Rehm Show, WMAU, November 10, 2014 (The audio post includes an excerpt from Stone Mattress: Nine Tales (Nan A. Talese, 2014).)

(My thanks to Poets & Writers for the link to the video.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thought for the Day

Love's last urgency is earth
and grief is all gravity [. . . .]
~ Christian Wiman

Quoted from Christian Wiman's poem "Love's Last" from Once in the West

Christian Wiman, Poet and Writer, Essayist, Translator, Editor; Senior Lecturer in Religion and Literature, Yale Institute of Sacred Music

Wiman's most recent collection of poetry is Once in the West (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, September 2014).

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday Short

Today's short is a peek at From Scotland With Love, directed by Virginia Heath and scored by Scottish musician and composer King Creosote (aka Kenny Anderson). Seventy-five minutes long, the documentary, made entirely from archived Scottish film but without narration or interviews, creates composite portraits of ordinary people at work and play, in love, suffering loss. 

Currently screening, the film, commissioned as part of the Cultural Festival complementing the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, is available as a DVD; the score, released in July on Domino Records, is available on CD.

From Scotland With Love on Facebook

King Creosote on FaceBook

Friday, November 14, 2014

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Originally a travel and documentary photographer, Christophe Piallat now creates in paper  and light. His artworks, which have been exhibited internationally, are gorgeous. Of special note are his series Illuminal States, Illuminal Range, and The Natural Disorder. Visit his Website to see images from all three. (My thanks to Design Sponge, where I first learned of Piallat's work.)

Arts Council England is funding the launch of an on-demand channel for the arts. The channel is slated to debut next summer on YouTube. The digital content company Rightster will create and manage the network. Read the news release for more information.

Marilyn Henrion, a mixed-media visual artist, offers, on commission, unique and beautiful hand-quilted portraits in silk. She creates each work from photographs (usually, those photographs she herself takes), which she manipulates digitally.

Marilyn Henrion on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ Artists, here's a tax court ruling that might affect you.

✦ The Frick Collection has released an app that offers information on more than 1,000 artworks in the museum's collection.

✦ Today's video introduces the exhibition "Rembrandt: The Late Works" at The National Gallery, London, through January 18, 2015.

Exhibitions Here and There

Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York, is presenting "Strut: The Peacock and Beauty in Art", on view through January 18, 2015. Included in the museum's first scholarly survey of the peacock in art are paintings, sculpture, and decorative objects. The exhibition draws from work in more than three dozen museums, galleries, and private collections.

Cover Art for "Strut: The Peacock and Beauty in Art"

Browse the Strut catalogue (Fordham University Press), which includes sections titled "Peacocks, People, and the Sexual Masquerade", "The Perfect Plume", "The Peacock in Literature", "The Japanese Peacock: A Cross-cultural Sign", and "In Living Color: The Peacock as Icon in Popular Culture".

Watch an exhibition preview:

Hudson River Museum on FaceBook

PLEASE NOTE: Transformational Threads is offering through the end of the year a half-price special on custom, limited-edition hand-embroidered artworks created exclusively by Vietnamese artisans for Transformational Threads. These are unique, beautiful, and highly affordable—ready to frame and perfect for gift-giving. Included is this artwork, Peacock (Crimson), based on an original painting by Judith Olivia HeartSong. See the Transformational Threads Website for details about and images of other artworks recreated in thread.

Judith Olivia HeartSong
Peacock (Crimson)

✭ In Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art continues through January 11, 2015, at the MOCA Pacific Design Center the exhibition "Cameron: Songs for the Witch Woman", a survey of Cameron's work since 1989. Approximately 91 artworks, including paintings, drawings, and artifacts and correspondence, along with poetry and sketchbooks, are on view. A catalogue (see book cover image below) accompanies the exhibition.

Catalogue Cover Art

Cameron Parsons Foundation

MOCA on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ The exhibition "Beyond Memory: The Daydreams of Corinne Geertsen" remains on view through April 26, 2015, at Springville Museum of Art, Springville City, Utah. The show comprises a selection of Geertsen's digitally assembled images. Here's a quick look:

Springville Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ Contemporary mixed media artist Margery Amdur of Philadelphia hand-cuts and paints hundreds of pre-packaged cosmetic sponges and then arranges and adheres them to canvas, creating abstract sculptures. A show of Amdur's colorful compositions, "Abundance",  is at Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, through November 23.

Exhibition Brochure (pdf)

DCCA on FaceBook and Twitter

Here is a 15-minute film about Amdur:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NMWA Exhibition: 'Picturing Mary' in Art

Elisabetta Sirani, Virgin and Child, 1663
Oil on Canvas, 34" x 27-1/2"
Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay
National Museum of Women in the Arts

On December 5, the National Museum of Women in the Arts opens "Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea". The exhibition, which will remain on view through April 12, 2015, will display more than 60 Renaissance- and Baroque-era masterworks from private collections, churches, and museums, including the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and Rome's Vatican Museums. Complementing the artworks are manuscripts, embroideries, and other objects that enhance appreciation of Marian representations.

An examination of womanhood as well as the social and sacred uses of Mary's image, this promises to be a fascinating look at the Blessed Virgin. It will be organized thematically: Mary as daughter, cousin, and wife; Mary as mother and grieving parent; Mary as protagonist in a life story; Mary as unifying link between heaven and earth; and Mary as "participant" in lives of women who hold her sacred.

The NMWA will feature Marian paintings, sculptures, and drawings by Botticelli, Michelangelo, and other male artists, in addition to artworks by women, including Sofonisba Anguissola, Artemisia Gentileschi, Orsola Maddalena Caccia, and Elisabetta Sirani. The inclusion of the latter will provide much needed perspective on how, during the time the exhibition covers, women who were artists conceived of and portrayed Mary. (The NMWA's Archives of Women Artists organized into Artist files, Manuscripts, and Digital Archives, contain a range of useful information. See the links on the artists' names above.)  

For those unable to visit Washington, D.C., the NMWA is partnering with MapHook to offer an interactive online exhibition that will complement the show by looking at international traditions in Marian imagery up to the 18th Century. An "animation" facility provides thumbnail details about some of the artworks in "Picturing Mary" and images of other related artworks in lenders' collections. A map is included to show where each work is from. (Be sure to check the site periodically as other resources, such as videos, are being added before the exhibition opens.)

A hardcover, 160-page color catalogue (Scala Arts Publishers, December 15, 2014) will accompany the exhibition. (The catalogue will be available through the NMWA Museum Shop as well Amazon and other book retailers. Some information about the catalogue is included in the publisher's catalogue on pdf.)

Cover Art for Catalogue

Exhibition-related programming will include a series of gallery talks, beginning December 10, and a teacher workshop, which is scheduled for January 12, 2015. The gallery talks are free; reservations are required for the teacher workshop. Check the NMWA's Calendar for details.

NMWA on FaceBook and Twitter

Broad Strokes, NMWA Blog

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Wonder: Memorial to Pete Seeger

Halloween has come and gone but the wonder is ever-present. In the time-lapse video below, which I shared last week on FaceBook, Shawn Feeney carves the likeness of the late Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 - January 27, 2014) from a jack-o-lantern. In 2008, Feeney began creating the 3-D likeness of a musician who had died since the Halloween of the year before. To date, he has made likenesses of sitarist Ravi Shankar, rapper Adam "MCA" Yauch, songwriter Captain Beefheart, heavy medalist Dio, pop king Michael Jackson, and composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. All the memorial jack-o-lanterns are incredible! See his other work.

Carving the Pete Seeger Memorial Jack-o-lantern from Shawn Feeney on Vimeo.

Shawn Feeney on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube