Posts Tagged ‘art’

Oskar Kokoschka at Neue Galerie

In Uncategorized on August 8, 2009 at 10:15 am

It’s pretty easy to spot those Oskar Kokoschka portraits: emaciated, contorted looking figures, expressive lines that somehow can render a face demented but composed. And that big initialed, mildly ironic signature in the corner: OK. An Oskar Kokoschka painting rarely leaves the impression that everything is “OK.”

Oskar Kokoschka, Rudolf Blümner, 1910, oil on canvas

Oskar Kokoschka, Rudolf Blümner, 1910, oil on canvas

Kokoschka’s portraits and drawings are the subject of an exhibition that opened at the Neue Galerie a few weeks ago. As the recession is finally catching up with exhibition schedules, you may see more museums putting on collection shows–it is a lot cheaper to make an exhibition from one’s permanent collection than spend thousands of dollars on loaned paintings. Focus: Oskar Kokoschka is a selection of the artist’s work from the Neue Galerie‘s permanent collection, which is still very much a treat–with such small gallery space, the Neue usually has a fragment of its illustrious collection on view at any one time, so an assemblage of Kokoschka’s haunting work should be pretty fabulous.

The exhibition is up until October 5.


TONY’s take on museums

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm
This funky sculpture might catch your eye, on the cover of the new TONY.

This funky sculpture might catch your eye, on the cover of the new TONY.

The cover of this month’s Time Out New York caught my eye: the headline read “Museums: the actually cool guide.” Ahem, clearly TONY is not aware of my blog. But nevertheless, I looked at the online feature of the article, and their many superlative lists were interesting.

For their list of “not-boring museums” they’ve included some of my favorite spots, including places I’ve blogged about: the Met (easy one), Museum of the City of New York, Queens Museum, Rubin Museum of Art, and the Asia Society. Some unexpected–and I admit, for me, unheard of–additions included the Museum of Finance (wonder how morale is over there) and the Paley Center for Media. You’ll definitely learn about some new cultural spots in their list of “NYC’s most underrated museums” too–did you know Williamsburg hosts the City Reliquary Museum? If vintage pasties are in the collection, as the article states, I have a feeling it won’t exactly be a house of saintly remains.

And let us remember to thank TONY for conveniently putting all the “best museum parties, open bars, and more” in one place. It’s a really great list of some fantastic events one should especially take advantage of before the summer is out.

I do admit, TONY has assembled an “actually cool guide.” Crap, is my blog out of business?

The Frick Collection

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2009 at 12:16 pm
The Frick Collection, Fifth Avenue (at 70th Street), New York

The Frick Collection, Fifth Avenue (at 70th Street), New York

One of the many illustrious mansions on Fifth Avenue is the Frick mansion at 70th street, which houses the extensive collection of Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), a Pittsburgh coke and steel magnate. Upon his death, Frick bequeathed his impressive collection–which includes Old Masters, 17th century Dutch art, Italian Renaissance works, Chinese porcelains, and Eighteen-century furniture and painting–to establish a public gallery. To this day, the Frick is still one of the most outstanding private collections to feature works by such artists as  Rembrandt van Rijn, Giovanni Bellini, El Greco, Johannes Vermeer, Francois Boucher, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and J.M.W. Turner, to name a few. Also of note for you art history scholars out there, the Frick also has one of the largest art history libraries in the country, open to scholars affiliated with a credited institution.

In addition to the permanent collection (which is slowly expanding), the museum also puts on special exhibitions: the 2009 summer show is Portraits, Pastels, Prints: Whistler in The Frick Collection (June 2 through August 23). While it seems to be a small show, given Mr. Frick’s good taste, I am sure the Whistlers will be worth seeing.

Photographs at MoMA

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2009 at 9:25 am

I went to MoMA (it’s really hard to get tired of this place) this weekend to see the new photography exhibit on the American West. I thought it was an excellent show with a great combination of well known contemporary artists (like Richard Prince and Cindy Sherman) and super old school daguerrotypes from the 1850s. It was very comprehensive, covering a wide variety of subjects, time periods and themes. I highly recommend people seeing it if you’re got an afternoon to spend at the museum.

MutualArt.com and Beyond

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2009 at 10:16 am

I’ve just found an answer to all our questions (which perhaps speaks to the eventual and inevitable doom of my blog). I’ve found a website that predicts, organizes, and refers all different sort of art world events, organizations, shows, exhibitions (basically everything you could ever think of) to people. It’s awesome! Like amazing! 

Here’s the site: MutualArt.com. and I highly suggest that anyone who cares anything about the museum world – not only in New York but across the world – check this out. I put in a few preferences and it told me all these crazy cool exhibitions to see. And if you sign up right now its freeeeee! They have a trial version thing going on because they’re just launching the site right now. Get in early. 

So with my newfound knowledge of the art world at my fingertips, I’ve discovered this way cool exhibition at Sotheby’s in their 20th Century Design division as a part of the upcoming auction! it was so cool – but then again I’m sort of a furniture junkie. 

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

In Far Off Places on March 12, 2009 at 10:28 am

I’m here in Santa Fe this week and haven’t a really wonderful time. I made some time yesterday to see the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. It really is a must-see. The space is really small, the selection of works excellently curated and showing the variety of O’Keeffe’s style and works. They even have this lovely video on view about O’Keeffe’s life and love. I never knew that the sexualization of her work really stems from this Steiglitz exhibition of photographs of Georgia looking pretty “sensual.” And it was after that point that she stopped working in the abstract and starting working with flowers, etc. New Mexico really is a more colorful place after having seen how this landscape influenced one of America’s greatest painters. 

So go on, and visit this great museum if you’re in the area. And if you don’t find yourself in NM, then take a trip on down here. It is well worth it and quite an extraordinary place.

Auction Houses

In Manhattan, Uncategorized on March 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm

In addition to gallery shows, auction houses normally have some really fantastic shows of the collection they are going to sell. I’ve seen some incredible art (completely museum quality) at these sort of shows and all for free. And this out-does a gallery show because the quality truly is museum quality – and may in fact be bought by a museum or another high quality institution. 

To check out these shows, check the websites of the major auction houses for details. If you hear of a good auction coming up – the contemporary and modern evening auctions come to mind – it’s likely that they’ll have a really excellent preview of these for-sale pieces. 

Check it out. The best art is often found in the most unexpected places.


In Brooklyn, Manhattan on March 2, 2009 at 11:12 am

Just as I am beginning to run out of constructive things to say – at least until I get myself to some more museums and see some more great art – I had a brilliant ideas. People are stuck on Museums being the arbiters of great art – they are a bastion of art history, of talent, of genius. Well – how to artists become museum-artists? Of course they come by way of galleries. 

Some galleries (the really professional and big-money ones at least) have museum quality shows. Only the catch: they’re free! That’s right, if you want to see some Damien Hirst or Cecily Brown head over to Gagosian and you’ll see newer work, in great depth, than you ever will in a museum. You certainly don’t have to buy to go to the galleries shows. And if you’re really smart you’ll start hitting up the openings – where you’re likely to meet some likeminded souls and maybe score some free wine. Check the New York Times for openings and keep an eye out for the Gagosian GalleriesPaula Cooper GalleryMary Boone Gallery and the other big names. 


National Museum of the American Indian

In Manhattan on February 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm

So this is a little off topic but this is one of the best museum in NYC that no one visits: the National Museum of the American Indian. It’s located right at the tip of Manhattan in the Financial District in the old customs house. It’s a wonderfully beautiful building and a bit of history right in itself. 

It is part socio-historical museum, part art museum, and it really celebrates a crucial and oft ignored part of American History. 

It is well worth a subway ride downtown (which is really really quick – and I know because I live down there) and you’ll get a walk around Battery Park, a FREE entrance into the museum (since it is a Smithsonian institution), and a lovely glance into the financial meltdown. I would highly recommend this place and maybe we can start a trend and get people to go here more often. 

Bermuda Glass-Blowing

In Tropical Locations on February 20, 2009 at 10:08 am

So I was in Bermuda for the long-weekend (thus, the long silence on this end) and came across some interesting art and museums. While this isn’t a museum in the strictest sense – in that there is no admission, no tours, art is for sale, etc. – it is still VERY cool and something I’ve never seen before. 

You walk into this large factory-like space down at the dockyards on the west end of the island. I discovered after seeing the space that this was infact an old ship workshop. Someone, with the help of monstrously large pulleys, would hoist a boat into this space and hang it by the rafters. They’d then make repairs, etc. on the boat until it would then be lowered down again and set to sea. Anyway, this space clearly hasn’t been used in this way in quite some time. There is now a glass-blowing “factory” (if you can call two women blowing glass a factory) here. I’ve never seen glass blown before so this was particularly cool for me. We sat there for maybe 30 minutes watching these women create an elaborate bowl in a mix of colors. They had two HOT (and I mean 2700 degrees hot) kilns and a bunch of sticks lying around. Somehow they managed to use all this to create some pretty fancy dinnerware. 

Now the pieces are more utilitarian than artsy so I don’t want any of you to be disappointed if you’re looking for some really conceptual work, but the skill it takes to make these things is pretty fantastic. I would highly recommend check this place out if you ever find yourself in Bermuda (and I hope that you will because it is such a fantastically beautiful place like I’ve never seen before – we’re already planning our return).