Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thought for the Day

. . . a poem brings back, also in its brokenness,
a heart to a heart, and to what is not.
~ Tuvia Ruebner

Quoted from "Poem" in In the Illuminated Dark: Selected Poems of Tuvia Ruebner (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014), Translated and Introduced by Rachel Tzvia Back (The book features the poems in both Hebrew and English.)

Tuvia Ruebner (b. 1924), Israeli Poet, Translator, Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature, Haifa University

Read Vivian Eden's article "Poem of the Week / Tuvia Ruebner Confronts the Angel of History", Haaretz, July 2, 2013. (The featured poem is "Angelus Novus".)

Rachel Tzvia Back, Poet, Translator, Professor of Literature, Oranim College, Haifa (Among Back's work is her 2012 poetry collection from Singing Horse Press,  A Messenger Comes (Elegies).) 

Read Rachel Tzvia Back's discussion about the art of translation, "Translating Poetry: An Act and Art of Preserving the Essential" at Marginalia, May 20, 2014. A selection of her poems can be found at World Poetry Movement.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday Short

What would it be like to play chess as an unsighted person? Today's short is the trailer for Algorithms, a 96-minute documentary that addresses the question and how, in particular, the game of "Blind Chess" in India thrives. Recipient of a 2014 "Best Story Award" at the Krasnogorski International Festival of Sport Films in Moscow, the film is directed and edited by sociologist Ian McDonald, who also is the cinematographer, and produced by AkamPuram, an independent production company. Read brief biographies of the featured chess players.

The trailer also is available on YouTube.

Friday, November 28, 2014

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Helping artists who are experiencing homelessness, as well as artists with disabilities or other disadvantages, is the primary mission of ArtLifting, which travels around the nation in search of artwork made by the creatives who are its focus. Founded a year ago this December, ArtLifting describes itself as a "low-profit limited liability" social enterprise. Currently, it offers work, both originals and prints, as well as various products that use the images (e.g., iPhone cases), by the more than two dozen artists it has discovered. Work by two artists in the Washington, D.C., area recently was added (read "Two Homeless Artists Find a Platform for Selling Their Work"). Under contract to ArtLifting, the artists receive "the majority of proceeds" from sales of each original artwork and 55% of gross profit from sales of prints of the work. The organization keeps a portion to pay operating costs. Giftcards are available. Keep ArtLifting in mind when you're wondering what to give as a gift.

ArtLifting on FaceBook and Twitter

ArtLifting Blog

Andrew Simonetti, founder and director of Philadelphia-based Artists U, has written Making Your Life As an Artist. The book is reviewed at Fractured Atlas Book Club. It is available in print and downloadable as a free pdf at Artists U.

✦ Her art making, says paper-cut artist Elise Wehle, helps "remind [her] that not everything is as instantaneous as a click of a mouse." Additional work, including portraits in paper-cut collages, can be seen on Paper Thought, Wehle's blog. (My thanks to Seth Apter for the link to Wehle's Website.)

Elise Wehle Artwork on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ Nature inspires the new mixed-media work of Marilyn Henrion. Henrion's series Portals comprise digitally manipulated photographs that are pigment-printed on silk and then hand-quilted. Each 12" x 12" piece is mounted on a stretched canvas "floated" on a painted wood panel. Unique and beautiful.

✦ A selection of Van Gogh's letters, The Best Letters by Van Gogh (Dutch Media Group, 2014), is available in print and as an e-book. The version shown in the image below is in Dutch. An English edition is expected soon.

Cover Art of Dutch Edition of The Best Letters

✦ Art including photo-essays is just one of the features of the online not-for-profit magazine Warscapes.

Warscapes on FaceBook

✦ Below is the trailer for Buddhist Art: A Fragile Inheritance from Mark Stewart Productions.

BUDDHIST ART: A FRAGILE INHERITANCE - TRAILER from Mark Stewart Productions on Vimeo.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ In an introductory exhibition titled "From Neoclassicism to Futurism: Italian Prints and Drawings, 1800-1925", the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., is presenting 70 prints, drawings, and illustrated books organized in three sections. In the first, examining traditional styles and the role of art academies through the first half of the 19th Century, are engravings, stage designs, and topographic views. In the second are works stressing naturalism, individual expression, and creative approaches to printmaking through the end of the century. In the third are examples of modernism's precursors, the short-lived Futurism movement, and early modern artworks. Drawn from the NGA's collection of Italian prints and drawings and showcasing work by 52 artists, including Luigi Sabatelli, Giovanni Boldini, Gino Severini, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, and Giorgio Morandi, the show continues through February 1, 2015.

Woman of the Gabbro [Donna al gabbro], 1886-87
Etching on Wove Paper

NGA on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ At Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Ft. Worth, Texas, contemporary artist Benito Huerta is presenting his drawings, watercolors, and prints, together with a selection of works on paper drawn from the museum's collections, in "Fresh Perspectives". Huerta worked with assistant curator Maggie Adler in choosing and organizing the artworks. The exhibition, which continues through January 11, 2015, is in addition to the museum's installation of Huerta's painting Axis Mundi v. 2.

Amon Carter Museum on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo

✭ Maine's Portland Museum of Art has drawn from The Berger Collection, which it calls "the most significant private collection of British art in the United States", to present "Treasures of British Art 1400-2000". Included are 50 masterworks by Hans Holbein the Younger, Sir Anthony van Dyck, Joseph Wright 'of Derby', Sir Thomas Lawrence, Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, George Stubbs, and Sir Howard Hodgkin. The exhibition, organized by Denver Art Museum and on view through January 4, 2015, also includes artists Angelica Kauffman and Adam Birtwistle.

A full-color catalogue is available. The exhibition will travel to Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee (January 25, 2015 - April 19, 2015); Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, Utah (August 14, 2015 - January 5, 2016); and then back to Denver Art Museum, where the catalogue also is available.

Cover for Treasures of British Art 1400-2000

In its audio series, the museum offers the exhibition-related "The Backstory: To Be Fried by the King", an episode with Karen Sherry, PMA's curator of American art and collections director, who talks about changes in painting style leading to Benjamin West's cancelled commission The Ascension (9:55 minutes):

✭ At the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville, you'll find "The New Art of the Loom", on view through January 25, 2015. Showcasing 24 contemporary international tapestries by artists from 16 countries, the exhibition examines the incorporation of traditional weaving techniques into contemporary work that addresses such themes as cultural identity, history, and storytelling. Among the featured artists are Christina Altona, Susan Hart Henegar, Sayed Mahmoud, Inge Norgaard, Bum Soo Song, and Henriette Zegers ten Hom.

KMAC on FaceBook


✭ The installation Apex by Wendy Red Star, a Crow who grew up in Montana, is on view through December 7 at Oregon's Portland Museum of Art. Part of an ongoing series of exhibitions of Northwest-based artists, Apex makes use of historic photographs, tapestries, text, and objects to re-conceive and "re-humanize" the tribal leader Chief Medicine Crow.

Wendy Red Star on FaceBook

Wendy Red Star at Bockley Gallery

Portland Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thursday's Three on Art

Today, Thursday's Three brings you a trio of art exhibition catalogues for holiday gift-giving. I've selected these with an eye toward building art lovers' personal libraries.

★ Dublin-based painter Anne Madden is the subject of Ann Madden. A Restrospective (Scala Arts Publishers and Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2007). The 192-page monograph, which includes 80 images, ranges over Madden's entire artistic career, beginning in the 1950s. Among important works showcased in the catalogue are Madden's Self-Portrait (1950), Clare Land (1967) and other paintings from a series inspired by Ireland's Burren landscape, and selections from her gorgeous series Megaliths, Monoliths, and Doorways. Enrique Juncosa, the IMMA's director, contributes the foreword; Derek Mahon provides an essay and the poem "Triptych (for Anne Madden)". 

The internationally exhibited artist has received numerous honors, among them the French Government's award of Officier des Arts et des Lettres (2008) and an honorary doctorate from University College Dublin (2006). She is the subject of the excellent documentary Anne Madden Painter and Muse; it's a remarkably deep portrait of the artist.

Madden's work is spectacular in effect and exquisite in technique. Among her sources of inspiration  are myths and the Northern Lights (see Paintings 2003-2010 on her Website. Also be sure to see the images of the Pompeii & The Garden Series and The Odyssey & Icarus Series of 1995-1997 and 1998-2000.) 

Cover Art for Anne Madden. A Retrospective
Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2007

Madden also is the subject of Anne Madden: Painting and Reality (Charta Art Book/Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2011).

Stoney Road Press Ireland carries prints of Madden's work (her artist page).

IMMA Press Release on 2007 Retrospective

Images of Madden's Painting in the IMMA's Collection

"Of Myths and Madness: An Interview with Painter Anne Madden", Irish Connections

★ A series of 18 never-before-seen photographs by Robert Adams comprise Robert Adams: A Road Through Shore Pine (Fraenkel Gallery, September 2014). All were taken in Nehalem Bay State Park in Oregon in late 2013. On the archival print box (see image below) in which Adams had stored his photographs, he wrote this line by Greek poet George Seferis: "A marvelous road, enough to make you weep; pine trees, pine trees...." Adams's book is available through Amazon.

An exhibition focused on the series recently concluded at Fraenkel Gallery.

Cover Art for A Road Through Shore Pine

Fraenkel Gallery Page for A Road Through Shore Pine

★ The National Portrait Gallery's William Morris: Words & Wisdom (October 31, 2014) comprises a collection of quotations by William Morris and those who knew him, including Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. Morris (1834-1896) founded Kelmscott Press and was both inspiration for and influence on Arts and Crafts designers. In addition to being an artist and textile designer, Morris was a writer and poet.

William Morris Society

William Morris & Co.

William Morris at Victoria & Albert Museum

Kelmscott Press Collection at University of Glasgow

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Poetry Broadsides Roundup

I have long been interested in (and on occasion purchase for my art collection or as gifts for poetry lovers) poetry broadsides. For those who might wonder where to go in search of broadsides, I've rounded up a dozen sources, some well-known and others known primarily to fine press collectors. Numerous other sources exist, and a number of educational institutions, including the University of Rochester Libraries, the University of Arizona Poetry Center, University of Louisville University Libraries, Lewis & Clark College, Emory University MARBL, and Cary Graphic Arts Collection at Rochester Institute of Technology, have notable and often rare collections.

✭ The Academy of American Poets currently offers broadsides signed and featuring poems by Donald Justice ("There is a Gold Light in Certain Old Paintings"), Carolyn Kizer ("On a Line from Valery), W.S. Merwin ("Returning Season"), and Mark Strand ("The Beach Hotel"). Each costs $50. The organization also has an "80th Anniversary Renga" comprising 75 lines by poets including Toi Derricotte, Mark Doty, Juan Felipe Herrera, Edward Hirsch, Jane Hirschfield, Khaled Mattawa, Marilyn Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Marie Ponsot, Claudia Rankine, Alberto Rios, Arthur Sze, Anne Waldman, and C.D. Wright. Images with text are available at the links.

✭ Some exceptional broadsides are available through Abigail Rorer & The Lone Oak Press. Among them are broadsides ($50 and up) with quotes by Henry David Thoreau and Virginia Woolfe.

Broadsided Press, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2015, features monthly collaborations between artists and poets. The literary-visual collaborations are posted for downloading. They are free.

✭ In New York City, The Center for Book Arts produces broadsides from its Broadside Reading Series; these range in price from $20 to $300 (the more expensive feature images from a woodcut or monoprint and are letterpress-printed). Some editions are printed in limited editions.

✭ The Poetry Foundation includes on its Website what it calls "For the Fridge Broadsides"—poems that viewer themselves may print in color or black-and-white on 8-1/2" x 11" paper. While not valuable as fine press broadsides are, these comprise an interesting and varied collection of work by such poets as Frank O'Hara, Emily Dickinson, Denise Levertov, John Ashbery, Naomi Shihab Nye, Kay Ryan, and Billy Collins.

✭ Smith College's Poetry Center produces original letterpress broadsides in limited editions that cost between $200 and $250, although prices rise as an edition diminishes. Among them are beautiful broadsides by Sharon Olds ("April, New Hampshire"), Naomi Shihab Nye ("Cross That Line"), Adrienne Rich ("Fox"), and Seamus Heaney ("Hofn"). All are signed by the poet; most also are signed by the artist. The Heaney broadside features a particularly striking image by Barry Moser. Quality reproductions ($15) also are available.

✭ Inexpensive laser-printed and hand-stamped broadsides may be purchased from Thrush Press. The collection is eclectic.

✭ Although more than a half-dozen limited-edition broadsides produced by the Friends of William Stafford are out-of-print, others are still available at prices of $10 to $25; one, "Ask Me", in a limited edited of 200 and featuring an original drawing by Henk Pander, is considerably more costly ($75, numbered edition; $125, lettered edition). All are suitable to frame. Proceeds benefit literary outreach programs and ongoing work of Friends of William Stafford.

✭ At Rye House Press, poets, artists, and letterpress printers collaborate to produce the series "The Rally Broadsides". Currently, the Rye House Press store offers 11 Rally Broadsides at a reasonably low price ($15).

✭ The Poetry Society of America has limited-edition broadsides of poems by Hayden Carruth and Adam Zagajewski ($20-$45). Numbers are limited. 

✭ At Virginia's Hampden-Sydney College, the Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review publishes a series of limited-edition letterpress broadsides that are hand-printed and signed by the poets, including Jessica Greenbaum ("Day After Memorial Day"), A.E. Stallings ("A Ditty for Persephone"), Billy Collins ("Daydream"), Todd Boss ("Today It Seemed I Had Nothing to Say"), and Dan Albergotti ("Chapter One, Verse One"). The cost is $20.

✭ Poetry broadsides featuring poems by Joy Harjo, Billy Collins, Mary Wehner, and others may be purchased at Red Hydra Press. Prices vary; some may be viewed as pdfs only.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Called to Thanksgiving (Poem)

I wrote the poem below two years ago and repost it now, because all that is different is this: a feeling that the loss is greater, the love steadfast.

Patrick William Doallas
March 25, 1950 - May 5, 2009 

Called to Thanksgiving

    for my brother

With your body laid down,
we begin the unforgiving

pattern of forgetting what
we cannot hold before us.

We re-run the memories
time disfigures then re-cuts:

a silhouette cannot contain
the whole of you—who you

were before your final hour,
quieting just as the sun was

rising to the point of the day.
Our fingers numb as we patch

through old albums for clues
to the flesh the blood the bone,

we find and lose our faith
in answers, still want for praise

of the priest once more calling
us to our own thanksgiving.

© 2014 - 2012 Maureen E. Doallas

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Muse: A Writer's Courage and Wisdom

At the most recent National Book Awards presentation, writer Ursula K. Le Guin (b. 1929), whose work encompasses novels, children's books, short stories, essays, and poetry, received a lifetime achievement award, the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Le Guin gave a wonderful, generous, courageous acceptance speech that is worth seeing and hearing:

Le Guin left us with these marvelous words that should not be forgotten:

"[. . .] I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality.

"Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. [. . .]

"Books, you know, they're not just commodities. The profit motive often is in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art—the art of words. [. . .]"

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thought for the Day

Like a life, a journey assumes a shape and a meaning that are only 
clear afterward, and like a journey, a life requires that you learn 
to let go of the plan when the actuality departs from it, to embrace 
what's arriving, let go of what's departing, 
to move forward and not get stuck.
~ Rebecca Solnit

Quoted from Rebecca Solnit, "The Art of Arrival: Rebecca Solnit on Travel and Friendship", Orion, Summer 2014 (This essay also was featured as a Longreads Exclusive.)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Short

Today's short is the ZEBRA Prize for Best Poetry Film, "The Dice Player", an interpretation by Nissmah Roshdy of Mahmoud Darwish's poem "La-eb al Nard". English subtitles are provided.

The ZEBRA Prize (EUR 4,000) is donated by Literaturwerkstatt Berlin. The 7th ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival took place October 16-19, 2014.

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