Friday, March 11, 2011

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

Elizabeth Bishop the Artist

The renowned poet Elizabeth Bishop also was a visual artist. The New York Review of Books earlier this week published at NYR Blog an informative essay by William Benton, "Elizabeth Bishop's Other Art", an illustrated introduction to Bishop's works in watercolors, gouache, and ink. Benton is the editor of Exchanging Hats (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1st edition 1996), a book about 30 of Bishop's paintings. (The book is available on Amazon only via resellers. Purchasing information also is available at MacMillan.)

Online Slideshow of Alice Methfessel Collection of Paintings and Assemblages by Elizabeth Bishop, James S. Jaffe Rare Books LLC, New York City

Peggy Samuels, Deep Skin: Elizabeth Bishop and Visual Art (Cornell University Press, 2010)

Elizabeth Bishop Page at The New York Times

Art Talks and Other Programs for Everyone

Living in the Washington, D.C., area has its advantages, not the least of which are the many opportunities to see and learn about visual art and artists. The National Gallery of Art offers a particularly  fine array of art-related lectures, podcasts, films, and other programs, a number of which may be enjoyed online. Among my choices are:

✭ The newly released podcast "Art and Representation in the Ancient New World", a five-part series in which Mary Miller, Sterling Professor of History of Art at Yale University and dean of Yale College, presents an overview of pre-Columbian art history and detailed discussions of time, beauty, and truth in the visual cultures of ancient and colonial Mesoamerica. Miller's was the 59th presentation in the A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts.

✭ The March 14 lecture "Romare Bearden and the Aesthetic of the Grotesque", in which Mary Schmidt Campbell, dean of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, examines the "modernist vocabulary" in Bearden's late collages. Campbell is the co-author of Memory and Metaphor: The Art of Romare Bearden, 1940-1987 (Oxford University Press, 1991) and Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America (Harry N. Abrams, 1987, 1994). She also is the author of The Art of Romare Bearden (Harry N. Abrams, 2003).

The NGA's curator of Special Projects in Modern Art, Ruth Fine, will open the talk with "Romare Bearden, American Modernist: An Introduction". Fine is co-editor with Jacqueline Francis of the 14-essay Romare Bearden, American Modernist, part of the NGA's Studies in the History of Art. In the volume, curators, art historians, and artists consider Bearden's work in the contexts of American and international modernism and African-American art history.

The lecture, which begins at 4:30 p.m., is in the NGA's East Building auditorium.

✭ The podcast "Susan Rothenberg: A Life in Painting", in which Rothenberg and Harry Cooper, the NGA's curator and head of Modern and Contemporary Art, discuss the artist's life and career as a painter. This podcast, and others in the Elson Lecture Series, including one with sculptor Robert Gober and another with photographer Robert Frank, may be accessed here.

Art videos from the NGA, all available online. Some of my selections are "The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg", "Brice Marden in the Studio", "Rachel Whiteread: Ghost", "Martin Puryear Installation: Ladder for Booker T. Washington", and "Edward Hopper's New York".  These videos also may be viewed at ArtBabble. Also see this page.

✭ If you're reading this post and have a young artist at home, introduce her to the NGA's Sea-Saws, an interactive activity in which participants select photographs of natural and human-made objects and then use the pieces to create a seascape or abstract composition. The program includes a "build" option that facilitates construction and motion of animated characters. (Confession: This is fun for adults, too.) 

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ In New York City, one of my favorite art haunts, the Museum of Arts and Design is presenting "Judy Chicago Tapestries: Woven by Audrey Cowan" through June 19. The exhibit, which celebrates the gift by Cowan and her husband of the archive documenting the decades-long collaboration with Chicago, includes Chicago's original sketches, initial and final studies, black-and-white cartoons, and wood engravings. Among the tapestries on view are "The Creation" (from Birth Project) and "The Fall" (from Holocaust Project: From Darkness into Light). An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibit, as do video interviews with Chicago and Cowan. 

Judy Chicago

✭ At The Jewish Museum, also in New York City, 30 years of drawings and paintings by Maira Kalman comprise the first museum survey of Kalman's narrative art: "Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World". The show, which opens today and continues through July 31, features not only original works on paper but also photography, embroidery, textiles, and performance. Of particular note is the special installation Kalman has created that consists of chairs, ladders, and other objects from Kalman's own collections.

Image Above to Right: Maira Kalman, Woman with Face Net, 2000, Gouache on Paper, 17" x 14-3/4"; Julie Saul Gallery, New York

Maira Kalman

Selected Images of Maira Kalman at Julie Saul Gallery

2010 Artist Talk (65:25 minutes) 

The Jewish Museum on FaceBookTwitter, Flickr

The Jewish Museum Blog

✭ The not-widely-known Hungarian-American artist Jolan Gross-Bettleheim (1900-1972) is the subject of "Jolan Gross-Bettleheim: An American Printmaker in an Age of Progress", opening March 19 and continuing through July 31 at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. A master modernist printmaker, Gross-Bettleheim is known for exceptional prints of industrial scenes, machinery, and technology. 

Jolan Gross-Bettleheim, Home Front (Assembly Line), Lithograph, 1943
Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers
Gift of Miklos Muller and Jan S. Keithly

Gross-Bettleheim spent most of her life in Cleveland, Ohio and made prints there for the Works Progress Administration (renamed, in 1939) Work Projects Administration) from 1935 to 1937. Her work includes lithographs, etchings, and drypoints. A catalogue of her work, Jolan Gross-Bettleheim: The American Prints, was produced in 2001 for an exhibition at Grinnell College.

Zimmerli Art Museum on FaceBook

Gross-Bettleheim Lithographs in the Smithsonian American Art Museum

WPA Prints of Gross-Bettleheim

Women Artists in the WPA Collection, Special Collections, Case Western Reserve University 

WPA Artists: Jolan Gross-Bettleheim,  Special Collections, Case Western Reserve University (Kelvin Smith Library Images)

✭ In Atlanta, Georgia, the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art is featuring "Constant Triumph and Other Works by the Kenyan-German Artists Collaborative IngridMwangiRobertHutter". The exhibition, on view until May 14, features 13 works by the artists, Nairobi-born Ingrid Mwangi and German Robert Hutter, who married and merged their names and biographies to create a single artistic identity to which all their former and current work is attributed. Through their collective, IngridMwangiRobertHutter, the artists explore notions of race, gender, and cultural heritage through photography, performance, video, and installation. Their themes range over war, injustice, trauma, the self and other, and global understanding.

Spelman College Museum of Fine Art on FaceBook

Review of the Exhibit

Be sure to watch this moving video of Constant Triumph, 2008, created in memory of Mwangi's sister Helen Mwangi-Taylor; video stills are here; performance photos are here.

In the video below, the artists speak about their exhibition and work:

IngridMwangiRobertHutter: Constant Triumph" on The LaPass Report w/ Lillia DePass from Lillia DePass on Vimeo.

Artist Spotlight at Broad Strokes Blog, National Museum of Women in the Arts


Louise Gallagher said...

I must admit... I do sometimes have 'art locale envy' when I read of all the offerings happening in and around your area!

I watched the Helen Mwangi-Taylor tribute video -- wow! I was in tears.

Thanks my friend -- as always, coming here is an inspiring way to start my day.

Maureen said...

Louise, many of those offerings are available online, which is one reason I included them. Enjoy!

I also found the video enormously moving.

Kathleen Overby said...

You are better than hanging out with Sister Wendy! I couldn't get the video to load for some reason on my end. Will try to another way. If I come to visit, will you be my art guide? :)

S. Etole said...

very thought provoking video ...

Ruth said...

Sweet to know about Elizabeth Bishop's painting! Thank you.