Dog Star / A Creative Arts Guide






Image above: Vik Muniz

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Édouard Manet, from the Pictures of Magazines 2 series, 2012.

Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life. Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, painted in 1882, explores the treachery of nineteenth-century Parisian nightlife through the depiction of a bartender attending to a male patron reflected in the mirror behind her. Muniz plays on Manet’s style, replacing Manet’s visible brushstrokes with the frayed edges of torn paper and lending the work immense visual interest.

“Thank you for DogStarNYC, in general. The site speaks to so many kinds of interests; it discerns which qualities will appeal to many different tastes in a tremendous number of activities. I love how it encourages young people to pay attention to the unusual.

In New York we let so many teens walk around the periphery, mildly shell-shocked by life, while the information that they need to make sense of their world sits in the center of the room. DogStarNYC welcomes them into the middle of the room; the blog tells them how to walk there. ” - Stacy L.


DOG STAR is the creation of a high school English teacher in New York City. This blog began in 2008 as an online community for a journalism class and has since evolved into a curated site on the creative arts, arts-related news and a guide to free and low-cost events for teens. Our mission is to offer teens real-life options for enjoying all the creative arts in New York City. May wisdom guide you and hope sustain you. The more you like art, the more art you like!

IMPORTANT NOTICE OF NON COMMERCIAL & EDUCATIONAL CONTENT Unless otherwise stated, we do not own copyrights to any of the visual or audio content that might be included on this blog. Dog Star is for criticism, commentary, reporting and educational purposes under the FAIR USE ACT: Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. If you own the copyright to any images and object to them being included in this blog, please advise and the content will be removed. No attempt is made for material gain from this blog's content.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Louis Bourgeois's CELLS at Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany

Over her long career as an artist, Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) developed concepts and formal inventions that later became key positions in contemporary art; these included the use of environmental installation and theatrical formats, and the engagement with psychoanalytic and feminist themes. 

Both her distinctive sculptural forms and her outstanding drawings and graphic works are second to none. Among the most innovative and sophisticated sculptural works in her extensive Œuvre are the Cells, a series of architectural spaces that deal with a range of emotions. Created over a span of two decades, the Cell series presents individual microcosms: each Cell is an enclosure that separates the internal world from the external world. In these unique spaces, the artist composes found objects, clothes, fabric, furniture and distinctive sculptures into emotionally charged, theatrical sets. 

If one includes the five precursor works to the Cells that first emerged in 1986 with "Articulated Lair", Louise Bourgeois created a total of 62 Cells over the course of her career. Two of these precursors and 30 Cells are presented in Haus der Kunst

The exhibition, planned and organized by Haus der Kunst in collaboration with international partner institutions, is the largest overview presentation of this body of work to date. 

Cells I to VI, first shown in 1991 at the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, are reunited in the Haus der Kunst's installation for the first time. The term ‘Cell' originated during the preparations for the Carnegie exhibition. For Bourgeois, the term had many connotations, referencing both the biological cell of a living organism and the isolation of a prison or monastic cell. 

Three years later, in 1994, the artist created her first spider sculpture. Although Louise Bourgeois was already over 80 years old at the time, she succeeded, once again, in reinventing her working methods. The artist then created some of her greatest works, aided by the acquisition in 1980 of her first large studio. 

Before this she had worked in a townhouse in Chelsea, where the width of the rooms, barely more than four meters, determined for the most part the dimensions of her sculptures. 

Her new studio in Brooklyn paved the way for large-scale works. The Brooklyn studio also provided Louise Bourgeois with a wealth of new raw materials. Objects from the surrounding neighborhood and from the artist's private life are integrated into Cells: steel shelves from a sewing factory (Articulated Lair, 1986), a water tank taken from the roof (Precious Liquids, 1992). 

When she finally had to vacate the Brooklyn studio in 2005, she kept and later incorporated its spiral staircase into one of her last Cells (Cell (The Last Climb), 2008). The entire Cell series revolves around the desire to simultaneously remember and forget. "You have to tell your story and you have to forget your story. You forget and forgive. It liberates you," Louise Bourgeois once claimed. She has described her sculptures from the mid-1940s to the mid-1950s as an attempt to summon together all the people she missed. 

Bourgeois created her first environmental installation with these Personages, carefully arranging them to stand upright, directly from the floor, and thereby allowing the viewer to walk amongst them. In this sense, the Personages can be regarded as a kind of family constellation, her recreation of the past a form of exorcism. 

The Cells also contain references to individuals and past experiences. Thus, the needles, thread and spindles incorporated in the Cells allude to the artist's childhood and her parents' work - her mother restored valuable tapestries. The Cells also tell of abandonment, betrayal and loss. 

The Bourgeois family unit was subject to great strain: Louise's father betrayed her mother by having an affair with the family au pair Sadie, who lived in the family home for almost a decade. Further, in a reversal of roles, Louise nursed her mother, who had influenza. When she began coughing up blood, Louise was asked to help hide her illness from her husband. Louise soon became entangled in a web of conflicting emotions: admiration and solidarity, anger and powerlessness. 

The artist established the connection between her work and the processing of her personal traumas. In 1982, she created an illustrated autobiographical text for Artforum about her traumatic childhood experiences. In the same period, the Museum of Modern Art in New York honored the artist, who was already 70 years old, with a retrospective. It was the first time the museum had dedicated a retrospective exhibition to a woman. 

As a new sculptural category, Louise Bourgeois's Cells "occupy a place somewhere between museum panoramic, theatrical staging, environment, installation, and sculpture, which, in this form and quantity, is without precedent in the history of art" (Julienne Lorz).

It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World - Orchestral Funk James Brown Cover ft. Morgan James

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

After Paradise by Czeslaw Milosz (poem)



Don’t run any more. Quiet. How softly it rains
On the roofs of the city. How perfect
All things are. Now, for the two of you
Waking up in a royal bed by a garret window.
For a man and a woman. For one plant divided
Into masculine and feminine which longed for each other.
Yes, this is my gift to you. Above ashes
On a bitter, bitter earth. Above the subterranean
Echo of clamorings and vows. So that now at dawn
You must be attentive: the tilt of a head,
A hand with a comb, two faces in a mirror
Are only forever once, even if unremembered,
So that you watch what it is, though it fades away,
And are grateful every moment for your being.
Let that little park with greenish marble busts
In the pearl-gray light, under a summer drizzle,
Remain as it was when you opened the gate.
And the street of tall peeling porticos
Which this love of yours suddenly transformed.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Snow Fairy by Claude McKay (poem)

The Snow Fairy 

By Claude McKay


Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,
Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,
Whirling fantastic in the misty air,
Contending fierce for space supremacy.
And they flew down a mightier force at night,
As though in heaven there was revolt and riot,
And they, frail things had taken panic flight
Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.
I went to bed and rose at early dawn
To see them huddled together in a heap,
Each merged into the other upon the lawn,
Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.
The sun shone brightly on them half the day,
By night they stealthily had stol’n away.


And suddenly my thoughts then turned to you
Who came to me upon a winter’s night,
When snow-sprites round my attic window flew,
Your hair disheveled, eyes aglow with light.
My heart was like the weather when you came,
The wanton winds were blowing loud and long;
But you, with joy and passion all aflame,
You danced and sang a lilting summer song.
I made room for you in my little bed,
Took covers from the closet fresh and warm,
A downfall pillow for your scented head,
And lay down with you resting in my arm.
You went with Dawn. You left me ere the day,
The lonely actor of a dreamy play.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

On a Day Like Today, Romanian Sculptor Constantin Brâncusi, was Born

 DOG STAR's favorite artists include today's birthday celebrant, Constantin Brancusi.  We first discovered Brancusi in the Museum of Modern Art and later found that he had a huge impact on Isamu Noguchi and the way Noguchi would forever make his own sculpture (more abstract, hands-on work with the materials, no longer trying to represent the figurative world).

Constantin Brancusi is the latest person to be celebrated with a Google Doodle - on the 135th anniversary of his birth.  The Romanian sculptor was born on 18 February 1876, and would produce more than 215 sculptures by the time of his death in Paris on 16 March 1957.Romania's Communist government turned down the collection bequeathed to it on his death, and instead it was the French government who benefited from part of his body of work.  During his time working in Paris from 1904, Brancusi mixed with a vibrant artistic community and was encouraged by French sculptor Auguste Rodin. His circle of friends included Pablo Picasso, Man Ray and Henri Rousseau.  Brancusi revolutionised sculpture by introducing abstraction to the art form, and his influence on sculpture was rated as significant as Picasso's paintings were to the development of modern art.  Danaide set the high mark at $18 million in 2002, surpassed three years later by the $27.45 million paid for Bird In Space - the sculpture used to make the 'l' of the Google Doodle. In 2009 Madame L.R. fetched an extraordinary $37.1 million.

His works are housed in the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the National Museum of Art of Romania (Bucharest), and the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), as well as in other major museums around the world. The Philadelphia Museum of Art currently has the largest collection of Brâncusi sculptures in the United States.

The Horse of Selene

from the website of the British Museum:

Head of a horse of Selene from the east pediment of the Parthenon

Acropolis, Athens, 438-432 BC

One of the best loved sculptures from the Parthenon

The east pediment of the Parthenon shows the birth of the goddess Athena from the head of her father Zeus. The event was witnessed by various figures shown on either side and filling the triangular space of the gable end of the temple. In the very corners of this triangle, the time of day was set by the chariot of Helios, god of the sun, rising at dawn, and the chariot of Selene, the Moon goddess, sinking beneath the horizon. Selene's torso is in Athens, while the head of one of her team of horses is in the British Museum.

This is perhaps the most famous and best loved of all the sculptures of the Parthenon. It captures the very essence of the stress felt by a beast that has spent the night drawing the chariot of the Moon across the sky. As the unseen vehicle was shown sinking low in the west, the horse pins back its ears, the jaw gapes, the nostrils flare, the eyes bulge, veins stand out and the flesh seems spare and taut over the flat plate of the cheek bone.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


"A Philistine is someone who is content to live in a wholly unexplored world." - Robertson Davies.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

GO SEE Spring Exhibitions at NYC's Museums


Dog Star's mini-guide to the Spring 2015 museum exhibitions.

Keep it in your agenda or refer to it and make dates to see these exhibitions with family and friends.

All of the museums have a free or pay-what-you-wish (it can be just $1) night so be sure to check the website - it is linked in BOLD in the name of the museum.

You may read about artists here that you've never heard of before - that's a good reason to check it out.  Read the list and make a plan to see at least three to start - pick one you are excited about seeing and invite your family.  Choose another one and invite two friends to join you!  On the third go by yourself - it will be an entirely different experience and you would be doing less socializing, less talking, less talking ABOUT the art and MORE LOOKING. 

And always keep your phone in your pocket.  It's tough to make a real connection to the artwork if you are texting, taking pictures or researching.  Give yourself the chance to have a "phone-free" experience with art. 

While we encourage everyone to see as many of these exhibitions as possible we know that's not likely to happen.  (There are about 35 exhibitions listed here.)  Here's FIVE that we think are DO NOT MISS SHOWS.  If you had to be selective - because of work schedules and school - we recommend these FIVE TO SEE IN THIS ORDER OF PRIORITY:

1.  Romare Bearden at the Wallach Art Gallery (Columbia University)
2.  Kehinde Wiley's First Career Retrospective (Brooklyn Museum)
3.  Jacob Lawrence's Great Migration Series (Museum of Modern Art)
4.  Jean-Michel Basquiat's Unknown Notebooks (Brooklyn Museum)
5.  Re-Opening of the Whitney Museum on The High Line

Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey
Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University
January 21–March 14, 2015
Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey presents and explores the artist's 1977 cycle of collages and watercolors based on Homer's Odyssey. One of the most esteemed and beloved African American artists of the 20th century, Romare Bearden (1911 – 1988) underscores the epic text in the service of his most significant artistic theme: searching for a way home. Bearden works with and against Homer, translating the ancient stories through a 20th–century visual voice while considering their enduring relevance. Bearden's black characters raise the issue of race, inviting us to consider the Odyssey as a truly global classic.

Takahiro Iwasaki: In Focus 
Asia Society
January 27 - April 26, 2015
Takahiro Iwasaki creates detailed miniature landscapes using towels, toothbrushes, used clothing, and other found and recycled materials. This exhibition is a part of Asia Society Museum’s ongoing In Focus series, which invites contemporary artists to create new works, often in conversation with the Asia Society Museum’s permanent collection of traditional Asian art.

Also at the Asia Society:
Buddhist Art of Myanmar
February 10 - May 10, 2015
Buddhist Art of Myanmar will be the first exhibition in the West focusing on works of art from collections in Myanmar. The exhibition comprises approximately 70 spectacular works—including stone, bronze and wood sculptures, textiles, paintings, and lacquer ritual implements—from the fifth through the nineteenth centuries. Artworks include objects created for temples, monasteries, and personal devotion, which will be presented in their historical and ritual contexts. The exhibition will explore how Buddhist narratives were communicated visually and the multiplicity of regional styles.

Titus Kaphar: The Jerome Project
Studio Museum in Harlem
Nov 13, 2014 - Mar 8, 2015
Titus Kaphar (b. 1976) is celebrated for producing paintings, drawings and installations that initiate a contemporary dialogue with history. Marrying eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American portraiture with modernist gesture, Kaphar produces aesthetically striking, intellectually engaging artworks that often blur the line between historical fact and fiction. Representing a marked departure in his practice, Titus Kaphar: The Jerome Project is composed of small-scale works that engage with contemporary social issues, particularly the criminal justice system.

Judith Scott - Bound & Unbound
Brooklyn Museum
October 24, 2014 - March 29, 2015
Born in Columbus, Ohio, with Down syndrome, Scott (1943–2005) was also largely deaf and did not speak. Judith Scott’s work is celebrated for its astonishing visual complexity. In a career spanning just seventeen years, Scott developed a unique and idiosyncratic method to produce a body of work of remarkable originality. Often working for weeks or months on individual pieces, she used yarn, thread, fabric, and other fibers to envelop found objects into fastidiously woven, wrapped, and bundled structures.

Escape Route:
Paintings and Drawings by Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave
Bronx Museum of the Arts
February 12 - May 31, 2015
Escape Route: Paintings and Drawings by Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave will present a selection of works by the New York based artist created from 2011 to 2014 that deal with issues related to race, religion and sexuality. Since 1998 Hargrave has produced a compelling, deeply personal body of work incorporating painting, drawing, sculpture and video that explore the dynamics between race, sexuality and religion in relation to his upbringing in the south and early adulthood as an African American gay male coming to terms with racial and sexual identity.

New Territories:  
Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America
Museum of Art & Design (MAD)
November 4, 2014 to April 6, 2015
The term “new territories,” as evoked by Italian architect and designer Gaetano Pesce, refers to the state of making in today’s globalized society, a phenomenon that has helped to spur a confluence of art, design and craft. The exhibition New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America will examine this trend in several distinct cities throughout Latin America, where some of the most pertinent new directions in arts and design are emerging today.

Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power
The Jewish Museum 
October 31, 2014 - March 22, 2015
This is the first museum exhibition to focus on the cosmetics entrepreneur Helena Rubinstein (1872 – 1965). Rubinstein – as businesswoman and arts patron – helped break down the status quo of taste by blurring the boundaries between commerce, art, fashion, beauty, and design. Her innovative business and style challenged conservative taste and helped usher in a modern notion of beauty, democratized and accessible to all. Beauty Is Power will reunite much of Rubinstein’s famed collection, including modern artworks by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Elie Nadelman, and Joan Miró, among others, as well as her iconic collection of African and Oceanic sculpture, miniature period rooms, jewelry, and fashion.

Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion
New York Historical Society
September 26, 2014 - April 19, 2015
Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion explores the centuries-long history of trade and immigration between China and the United States—a history that involved New York from its very beginnings—and will raise the question “What does it mean to be an American?” The exhibit narrative extends from the late eighteenth century to the present and includes all regions of the country, thus interpreting the Chinese American saga as a key part of American history.

UNDER THE MEXICAN SKY: Gabriel Figueroa—Art and Film
El Museo del Barrio
March 4, 2015 – June 27, 2015
From the early 1930s through the early 1980s, the Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa (1907–1997) helped forge an evocative and enduring image of Mexico. Among the most important cinematographers of the so-called Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, Figueroa worked with leading directors from Mexico, the United States and Europe, traversing a wide range of genres while maintaining his distinctive and vivid visual style.

Becoming Another: The Power of Masks
Rubin Museum of Art
March 13, 2015 - February 8, 2016
Becoming Another illuminates the common threads and distinct differences in mask traditions from Northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Mongolia, Siberia, Japan, and the North-West Coast tribes of North America. Featuring masks used in shamanistic practices, communal rituals, and theatrical performances, this exhibition speaks to the human impulse to transform one’s identity.

Russian Modernism:
Cross-Currents in German and Russian Art, 1907-1917
Neue Galerie 
February 19-June 15, 2015
This exhibition will be dedicated to the radical modernist movements in German and Russian art at the beginning of the 20th century. Their development was parallel and often intersected. Such artists as Vasily Kandinsky or Alexei von Jawlensky are claimed by the Germans but remain Russian artists for the Russians.

Björk: The Exhibition
Museum of Modern Art 
March 8–June 7, 2015
The Museum of Modern Art presents a retrospective of the multifaceted work of composer, musician, and artist Björk. The exhibition draws from more than 20 years of the artist’s daring and adventurous projects and her seven full-length albums—from Debut (1993) to Biophilia (2011)—to chronicle her career through sound, film, visuals, instruments, objects, costumes, and performance. The installation will present a narrative, both biographical and imaginatively fictitious, cowritten by Björk and the acclaimed Icelandic writer Sjón Sigurdsson. Björk’s collaborations with video directors, photographers, fashion designers, and artists will be featured, and the exhibition culminates with a newly commissioned, immersive music and film experience conceived and realized with director Andrew Thomas Huang and 3-D design leader Autodesk.

Also at MoMA:
The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters - Through March 1, 2015
This exhibition is the first MoMA exhibition in 30 years dedicated solely to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and features over 100 examples of the best-known works created during the apex of his career.

One-Way Ticket:  Jacob Lawrence's
Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North
Museum of Modern Art 
April 3 – September 07, 2015
MoMA marks the centennial of the beginning of the Great Migration, the multi-decade mass movement of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North, with Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series.  The show highlights the ways in which Lawrence and others in his circles developed a set of innovative artistic strategies to offer perspectives on this crucial episode in American history. One-Way Ticket reunites all 60 panels of Lawrence’s Migration Series at MoMA for the first time in 20 years, and includes other accounts of the movement in a broad variety of media, including novels and poems by writers such as Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Richard Wright; music by Josh White, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday; photographs by Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, Gordon Parks, and Robert McNeill; sociological tracts by Carter Woodson, Charles Johnson, Emmett J. Scott, and Walter White; and paintings by Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, and Charles White.

Bazm and Razm Feast and Fight in Persian Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
February 17–May 31, 2015
For centuries, Persian kingship was epitomized by two complementary pursuits: bazm (feast) and razm (fight). The ruler's success as both a reveler and hunter/warrior distinguished him as a worthy and legitimate sovereign. The pairing of bazm and razm as the ultimate royal activities is an ancient concept with roots in pre-Islamic Iran. It is a recurring theme in the Shahnama (or Book of Kings)—the Persian national epic—as well as other poetic and historic texts.

Also at the Met:
Madame Cézanne - November 19, 2014–March 15, 2015
Madame Cézanne, the first exhibition of the paintings, drawings, and watercolors by Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) of his most painted model, Hortense Fiquet (1850–1922), will open at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on November 19. The exhibition will trace Cézanne’s lifelong attachment to the woman who was his model, his wife, and the mother of his son, Paul. She profoundly inflected his portrait practice for more than two decades, yet despite this long liaison, she was not well received—by either his family or his friends.

Paul Cézanne: Drawings and Watercolors from the Metropolitan Museum’s Collection will be on view from November 18, 2014 through March 15, 2015.

Reimagining Modernism is a re-installation of the Met's American and European modern paintings, decorative arts, photographs, sculpture and works on paper from 1900-1950.  On view until 2017.

Coypel’s Don Quixote Tapestries: Illustrating a Spanish Novel in Eighteenth-Century France
Frick Collection
February 25, 2015 - May 17, 2015
A masterpiece of comic fiction, Cervantes’s Don Quixote (fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha) enjoyed great popularity from the moment it was published, in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615. Reprints and translations spread across Europe, captivating the continental imagination with the escapades of the knight Don Quixote and his companion, Sancho Panza. The novel’s most celebrated episodes inspired a multitude of paintings, prints, and interiors.

Lincoln Speaks: Words That Transformed a Nation
The Morgan Library
January 23 - June 7, 2015
This exhibition focuses on Abraham Lincoln’s mastery of language and how his words changed the course of history. Today, nearly 150 years after the end of the Civil War, he remains an exemplar of exalted leadership in a time of great crisis and people the world over continue to look to him as a standard-bearer for principled governance. Lincoln Speaks explores Lincoln as a writer and public speaker whose eloquence shaped the nation and the world, in his time and in ours.

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic
Brooklyn Museum
February 20 – May 24, 2015
The works presented in Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic raise questions about race, gender, and the politics of representation by portraying contemporary African American men and women using the conventions of traditional European portraiture. The exhibition includes an overview of the artist’s prolific fourteen-year career and features sixty paintings and sculptures.

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks
Brooklyn Museum
April 3 – August 23, 2015
Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat filled numerous notebooks with poetry fragments, word play, sketches, and personal observations ranging from street life and popular culture to themes of race, class, and world history. The first major exhibition of the artist's notebooks, Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks features 160 pages of these rarely seen documents, along with related works on paper and large-scale paintings. A self-taught artist with encyclopedic and cross-cultural interests, Basquiat was influenced by comics, advertising, children's sketches, Pop art, hip-hop, politics, and everyday life.

On Kawara
Guggenheim Museum
February 6 – May 3, 2015
Through radically restricted means, On Kawara’s work engages the personal and historical consciousness of place and time. Kawara’s practice is often associated with the rise of Conceptual art, yet in its complex wit and philosophical reach, it stands well apart. Organized with the cooperation of the artist, On Kawara—Silence will be the first full representation of Kawara’s output, beginning in 1964 and including every category of work, much of it produced during his travels across the globe.

After Midnight:
Indian Modernism To Contemporary India 1947/1997
Queens Museum of Art
March 1 2015 - June 28 2015
After Midnight: Indian Modernism to Contemporary India 1947/1997 presents a comparative study of art created in the wake of two defining moments in Indian history. The first, Indian independence in 1947 was notable for the emergence of the Progressives Artists Group. The second was 1997, which marked 50 years of India’s independence, a period that coincided with economic liberalization, political instability, the growth of a religious right wing, as well as a newly globalizing art market and international biennial circuit, in which Indian artists had begun to participate.

Also on view at the Queens Museum
Robert Seydel - The Eye in Matter
Jul 19 2015 - Oct 26 2015
The art of Robert Seydel (1960-2011) is a rare hybrid of the visual and literary that dissolves boundaries between the lyrical, the narrative, reading and looking, marked by an unrelenting sense of play. Seydel merges the historical past with the present by merging actual personages with fictional characters – for example, the viewer/reader meets Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp. Much of his work is made under the auspices of various personas in place of the singular first person perspective. 

Inaugural Exhibition - Re-Opening of
the Whitney Museum on The High Line
Whitney Museum
When the Whitney Museum’s new Renzo Piano-designed home on Gansevoort Street opens its doors on May 1, 2015, the inaugural installation will be the largest and most comprehensive display to date of the Whitney’s unparalleled permanent collection of 20th and 21st century American art. This ambitious display will offer new perspectives on art in the United States since 1900, following the Whitney’s in-depth analysis of its collection of more than 21,000 works, an initiative that has been underway since 2012. The sweep of the collection is echoed in the building’s magnificent multiple perspectives: the new Whitney looks south toward the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, east into the city, and west across the Hudson toward the expanse of the country.

Everything Is Design: The Work of Paul Rand
Museum of the City of New York (MCNY)
February 25 - July 19, 2015
"Everything is Design. Everything!" —Paul Rand Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand features more than 150 advertisements, posters, corporate brochures, and books by this master of American design. It was Rand who most creatively brought European avant-garde art movements such as Cubism and Constructivism to graphic design in the United States. He argued that visual language should integrate form and function. Born in Brooklyn in humble circumstances, Rand (1914-1996) launched his career in the 1930s with magazine cover design and, starting in the early 1940s, he worked as an art director on Madison Avenue, where he helped revolutionize the advertising profession.

Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera
NYU - Grey Art Gallery 
April 21 - July 11, 2015
Born in Hong Kong and later based in New York City, Tseng Kwong Chi (1950–1990) produced a large body of witty, playful, performance- based photography that both captures the pivotal Manhattan downtown and club scenes and reflects the increasingly globalized movement of people across nations and continents. In so doing, he raised critical questions about identity and culture.

Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection
Japan Society
March 13 — June 7, 2015
Since arriving in Japan aboard Chinese ships transporting sacred Buddhist scriptures in the mid-sixth century, cats have proceeded to purr and paw their way into the heart of Japanese life, folklore, and art. Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection illustrates the depth of this mutual attraction by mining the wealth of bravura depictions of cats to be found in ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the Edo Period (1615-1867).

Looking Back at Manhattan's Lost Gilded Age Mansions

Charles M. Schwab built an ornate mansion on an entire city block on Riverside Drive between 73rd and 74th Streets.

In 1901, Schwab, a partner in the United States Steel Corporation, spent the unheard of sum of $865K—that's more than $22M in today's dollars—on the building lot alone, then had French architect Maurice Hebert design an absurdly elaborate residence for the park-like grounds.

Construction lasted six years, in part because of the sheer complexity of the building, which incorporated a four-car garage, a service tunnel beneath the garden, an indoor swimming pool, belfry with chimes, roof garden, and private chapel.

Though the completion of this massive home, which replaced a decrepit orphanage, sparked a new wave of building on Riverside Drive.

It survived until 1939, when Schwab shuttered the 50,000-square-foot, 75-room spread, disbanded his staff of 20, and unsuccessfully attempted to sell to the city as a mayoral residence. It was finally knocked down in 1948 and replaced with the Schwab Apartments.  via Curbed.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Shakespeare's Sonnet 116


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark, 
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle's compass come; 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

Let me not to the marriage of true mindsLet me not declare any reasons why two
Admit impediments. Love is not loveTrue-minded people should not be married. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,Which changes when it finds a change in circumstances,
Or bends with the remover to remove:Or bends from its firm stand even when a lover is unfaithful:
O no! it is an ever-fixed markOh no! it is a lighthouse
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;That sees storms but it never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,Love is the guiding north star to every lost ship,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.Whose value cannot be calculated, although its altitude can be measured.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeksLove is not at the mercy of Time, though physical beauty
Within his bending sickle's compass come:Comes within the compass of his sickle.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,Love does not alter with hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.But, rather, it endures until the last day of life.
If this be error and upon me proved,If I am proved wrong about these thoughts on love
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.Then I recant all that I have written, and no man has ever [truly] loved.

Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: Tracy Chapman's FAST CAR

You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere

Any place is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we'll make something
But me myself I got nothing to prove

You got a fast car
I got a plan to get us out of here
I been working at the convenience store
Managed to save just a little bit of money

We won't have to drive too far
Just across the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living

You see my old man's got a problem
He live with the bottle that's the way it is
He says his body's too old for working
His body's too young to look like his

My mama went off and left him
She wanted more from life than he could give
I said somebody's got to take care of him
So I quit school and that's what I did

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so we can fly away?
We gotta make a decision
We leave tonight or live and die this way

So remember we were driving, driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder

And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
We go cruising entertain ourselves
You still ain't got a job
And I work in the market as a checkout girl

I know things will get better
You'll find work and I'll get promoted
We'll move out of the shelter
Buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs

So remember we were driving, driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder

And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
I got a job that pays all our bills
You stay out drinking late at the bar
See more of your friends than you do of your kids

I'd always hoped for better
Thought maybe together you and me'd find it
I got no plans I ain't going nowhere
So take your fast car and keep on driving

So remember when we were driving, driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder

And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so you can fly away?
You gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way..

Friday, February 13, 2015

Social Security by Terence Winch (Poem)

Terence Winch

Social Security

No one is safe. The streets are unsafe.
Even in the safety zones, it’s not safe.
Even safe sex is not safe.
Even things you lock in a safe
are not safe. Never deposit anything
in a safety deposit box, because it
won’t be safe there. Nobody is safe
at home during baseball games anymore.

At night I go around in the dark
locking everything, returning
a few minutes later
to make sure I locked
everything. It’s not safe here.
It’s not safe and they know it.
People get hurt using safety pins.

It was not always this way.
Long ago, everyone felt safe. Aristotle
never felt danger. Herodotus felt danger
only when Xerxes was around. Young women
were afraid of winged dragons, but felt
relaxed otherwise. Timotheus, however,
was terrified of storms until he played
one on the flute. After that, everyone
was more afraid of him than of the violent
west wind, which was fine with Timotheus.
Euclid, full of music himself, believed only
that there was safety in numbers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

IN THE STUDIO @ Gagosian Gallery - FREE!

American artist Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky and the only American in the Left Bank group) taught Brancusi how to use a camera.  

Brancusi's photographs of his own work became an integral part of his studio practice:  documentation of works in process, inventory, works sold to collectors, works staged for display in different configurations and as works of art on their own.

I mention all of this because photos by Brancusi will be part of an ambitious and rich pair of exhibitions at two Gagosian galleries opening next week.  Images of artist's studios in photography (Madison Avenue) and in paintings (Chelsea).

Photo above:  CONSTANTIN BRANCUSI, View of the studio: Plato, Mademoiselle Pogany II, and Golden Bird, c. 1920, gelatin silver print, 11 3/4 x 9 1/2 inches

Link to Gagosian

Iconic Hollywood Films Remade with an African Twist

See more at this link.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Artist Creates New Music from Sampled YouTube Videos (Kutiman - Thru You Too - GIVE IT UP)

For Ophir Kutiel, a stylistically omnivorous musician and producer based in Tel Aviv, conventional sampling – taking a musical fragment from an existing recording to help build a new one – is kids’ stuff. Mr. Kutiel, who performs and records under the name Kutiman, has transformed sampling into a multimedia art, building his songs from bits of YouTube clips – the video as well as the audio – with amateur and instructional videos as his favored sources. 

The new track refines what Kutiman has been doing to some acclaim – and, for several of his earlier songs, roughly a million and a half YouTube hits – since 2009, when he completed his first collection, “Thru YOU.” 

It begins with a singer introducing her song and giving it a tentative title, “Give It Up,” then cuts to a 6-year-old girl in a pink party dress playing an elegant, Chopinesque figure from what a screen title says is an improvisation. Kutiman edits the figure into a repeating loop that becomes a hypnotic bed for the song. 

Added over the course of the song are the unwitting contributions of three drummers of various ages and proficiency; and performers on acoustic and electric basses and guitars, trombone and tuba (each in short bursts); an old-fashioned synthesizer, which adds occasional bleeps; a string ensemble; a high-school saxophonist from whom a short but hot figure is lifted; and an acoustic piano, all supporting a bluesy vocal. 

All these lines, including the vocal, are manipulated: you can see the picture jerk along with Kutiman’s editing and looping. But the finished piece is a fully produced song with a hook (thanks to the 6-year-old pianist) that makes it memorable. 

A spokesman for Kutiman said that the musician does not seek permission to use snippets from performers’ clips, but has not had any complaints. “As far as he and his manager are aware,” the spokesman said, “these people are excited to see what Kutiman has done with their videos.” 

No money changes hands: he does not sell them commercially, or allow advertisements or sponsor links on either his YouTube page or his website. 
via The New York Times

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Discover Annie Lennox's Creative Process Behind NOSTALGIA

A solid cover of a song combines the original’s music and lyrics and the covering artist’s own take on the track. So when a great artist covers a great song, you know you have something special. When Annie Lennox covers 12 of the greatest songs of the 20th Century, you know you’ve got something incredible.

Nostalgia, the Scottish singer’s 7th solo album, features Lennox taking classics like “I Put a Spell on You,” “I Can Dream, Can’t I?,” and “Strange Fruit” and making them her own.

“For me I went deeper,” says Lenox. “Because for me, the origins of these songs are coming from the blues and blues comes from something beautiful and painful and it’s the mixture of the two things, which is an area I know very well.”

The former Eurythmics frontwoman chose songs that are both beautiful and have themes that are still relevant, even now.

“I want it to be relevant to today," explains Lennox. "I don’t want it to be just simply a saccharine journey into the past. I want it to have resonance for what is happening today.”

1. Memphis In June
2. Georgia On My Mind
3. I Put A Spell On You
4. Summertime
5. I Cover The Waterfront
6. Strange Fruit
7. God Bless The Child
8. You Belong To Me
9. September In The Rain
10. I Can Dream, Can’t I?
11. The Nearness Of You
12. Mood Indigo