New Year-the journey continues

They say times flies. This idiom was first recorded about 1800 but Shakespeare used a similar phrase, “the swiftest hours, as they flew,” as did Alexander Pope, “swift fly the years.” When I realized that it’s been more than a year since my last post I ask myself, where did the time go? What have I been doing all the last year?

Well, it’s time to change that.

It’s February 2019, I will try to post more frequently. My goal is to write about the art I see and that talks to me, at least once a month.

A few weeks ago I made a list and headed down to Chelsea. I wanted to see the new works by Lynette Yiadom-Boake, an artist I discovered a few years ago at the art fair in Chicago. She was born in London, won a few prizes and is included in numerous institutional collections. The images in her paintings are pure imagination; she studies old paintings and lets her brush tell the story.

This show is called “In Lieu Of A Louder Love”. There is a poem which she wrote that might shed light on the images.

In Lieu Of A Louder Love
In the Shade of Hooded Cove,
In Debt to the Dead Oak.
In Range of a Twelve Gauge,
On Embers over Smoke.
 At Pains to Hold the Wanton,
At Home to all who Knock.
At Prayer on Prickly Hearth Rug,
An Eye upon the Clock.
 In the Parlance of the Pilgrim,
In Hallelujah Coat and Tie.
In Soul so Black Beguiling,
That the Ravens do Carp and Cry.
 In Memory of A Cipher,
At Peace beside resting Dove.
 In Light of Care and Kindness,
In Lieu of A Louder Love.

My next stop was at Mitchell-Innes & Nash.  What caught my eye was the detailed drawings of LA artist Karl Haendel.  The images draw from American life. You can see a portrait of Barbara Walters, a stack of lawnmowers, an American eagle and football players in a huddle. The common tread that links these images is the dialogue between memory, both personal and collective, and national identity. The artist gives his own interpretation and presents us with an alternate American reality.

Across the street I walked into James Cohen gallery to see the show ” Borders”.

It is a powerful show. A group exhibition that considers how contemporary artists engage in politics, ideology and formal borders. The exhibit seek to create a dialogue about borders both as a productive exchange and as a barrier.

I found some of my favorites artists: Yael Bartana; an Israeli pioneer black and white photo., although the photo is titled;The missing negatives of the Sonnenfeld Collection, https://www.bh.org.il/databases/visual-documentation/photo-collections/.                    Yinka Shonibare ; American Library. Shonibare uses African textiles to create books. The spines are  embossed in gold with names of American politicians who are first and second generation immigrants. Jordan Nassar, a Palestinian-American artist who uses tradition Palestinian embroidery in his abstract works. There is a nostalgic feeling to these works. Between the stitches one senses his desire for a peaceful resolution to the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. Dead Scott who imagines a world without America. A world without boundaries or borders.

 

“Imagine a World without America” was originally designed for and displayed as a panel of Mark di Suvero/Rikrit TIravanija’s Peace Tower at the 2006 Whitney Biennial. Subsequently it has been printed as a large print on canvas as well as a smaller version on paper.

As I was walking home I passed a Mark Di Suvero sculpture called Hugs.

Maybe it is a fitting ending to this first post of the year, sending hugs to all who are reading this.

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Dots, Dots and much more….

Once a month I take  a half day to walk two to three streets in Chelsea looking at art.

I compile a list of galleries, search for artists I like and look forward to discover new talent.

In November everyone was talking about the de Vinci, the most expensive art sold at auction to the tune of half a billion dollars. It was time to check what art is being shown at the galleries.

I decided to start my tour with the most talked about art show that opened in town. People are lined up for more then two hours to see  the Yayoi Kusama show at The David Zwirner Gallery.

A few months ago I saw an incredible installation at the Hirshhorn Museum of ten Kusama rooms. It was like diving into the rabbit-hole to Alice in wonderland. Here at the Zwirner gallery there were three rooms which were mirrored installations of balls. When I peeked through a window I could see myself on the other side. The highlight of the show for me was a room of recent works that looks like an a aboriginal work from New Zealand with African-like masks designed by Kusama who  lives and works in Japan. The colorful display makes you feel like you are in a field of flowers. You want to take each painting, transform it into a scarf and wrap yourself in these colors.

 

At The Jack Shainman gallery, Nina Chanel Abney works  are full of  abstract color but on second look one can discover the story behind the images. She touches on contemporary issues as race, politics, religion and art history. You feel drawn into the images that jump up from the collage-like art.

Cecily Brown’s work at Paula Cooper gallery with the title A Day! Help! Help! Another Day! is again full of references to art history’s iconic paintings such as The Raft of the Medusa by Eugene Delacroix and Shipwreck by Theodor Gericault but on closer inspection you can find a burka clad women, which transports us back to the present.

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William Villalongo at The Susan Inglet Gallery was a refreshing exhibit. I had not been previously aware of this artist but his cut-paper work with images of the black male figure lurking from among the cutouts conjures spaces of sensuality, humor and history.

The last two stops were a true surprise. I walked into The Hauser and Wirth Gallery to re-discover the sculpture of David Smith. I have been to Storm King and seen the outdoor sculptures but here in the space of the gallery were pairings of Smith paintings (or rather studies) with miniature sculptures. They were so delicate, yet strong . The show is called Origins & Innovations. The art  indeed reflects the subject.

 

Last stop was Richard Avedon Nothing Personal show at Pace Gallery which gives us a glimpse into the past. The photographs and archival materials are taken from a collaboration with James Baldwin. The two met in high school and throughout their writings dealt with issues of race, mortality or as Avedon wrote  “the future of humanity”.

I chose to highlight one photo of an iconic person – Marilyn Monroe.  We see her without the glamour we usually associates with her image. It’s like we can read her thoughts.

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There are many more shows to see but for now I will leave it to others to explore.

In today’s complex world the colors in the paintings bring a smile and fills my heart with the hope that although contemporary art represents the state of the world today, which is not always bright, there is a a ray of hope in all those red dots, yellow lines and blue skies.

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This images was taken at the Gagosian Gallery. Alex Israel Flying Pelican and Jeff Wall California Landscape.

Collecting – Life Moments

A little girl, red basket in her hand, walks along the beach. Every other step, she bends down and picks up a shell. When the basket is full she dumps its contents with her mother; who sits nearby, and she continues. The sun is going down, its time to go home. When she gets home she will line all the shells on a special shelf. She likes to collect. She has 30 Barbie dolls, all types; they are from different nationalities and life-styles: “exercise Barbie”, “fashion Barbie,” “stewardess Barbie” and more. Each Barbie gets a shell as a present.

As kids we collect toys. I remember my son’s obsession with having all the different Power Rangers and then all the Ninja Turtles. It seems that with each year there was a new interest. It’s hard to let go, so the comic books, the Transformers, the baseball cards and the key chains all found their place in the basement. All of these are mementos of childhood. Each generation has it’s own collective interest.

There is an interesting show at the New Museum called The keeper. The exhibit is dedicated to the act of preserving objects, artworks, and images, but what makes it most interesting is the passion for accumulating Teddy Bear images by artist Ydessa Hendeles. I have seen another show of her work at the Helena Rubinstein Museum in Israel where she collected wooden dolls from the past century.

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Her installation takes most part of the second floor but other artists tell their story through the display of model houses or, for example, a drawing describing the horrors of the holocaust or painting by Hilma of Klint found after her death.

At ICP here

The exhibit is called “Public, Private, Secret” and is about people telling their story. There is a dialogue between and about the diversity of photographic and visual culture in a wholly unique and unexpected way. Each of the artists presented,tells their own story and by that telling we are experience and are drawn to be part of that story.

One photograph is a compilation of photos of people at a fashion show. We see their expressions and imagine what they see, what they think.

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Collecting is not only about art. We all love shopping for cloths and by this act we do collect. The idea of letting go of a favorite sweater or jacket is hard so we are left with a collection of “favorite cloths” that don’t always fit or may be out of the current fashion.

When my family moved to Westport from the city, the movers complained about the number of book boxes we had. We built a library on the second floor; needless to say it was not enough. We tried to categories the books according to our interests, religion, math, art, travel and more. My collection of cookbooks found it’s place in the kitchen and again some books were delegated to the basement.

Life would not be interesting without friends. It could be someone we met on a flight that becomes a friend or someone we see at the gym. Over the years we keep collecting friends. The friendships are the ties that help us go through life. We share happy and sad moments.

What I find fascinating is that as we age, our collective memories make up the building blocks that helps with the challenges of what we call The Third Age. Each experience enriches us. Our mind is like a computer that’s filled with data.

I spend the last week in Israel visiting my Mom. The Biennale of Israeli Ceramics at the Erez Israel Museum is an exhibit not to be missed.

There is also an interesting Picasso show at the Israel Museum. It’s called Drawing Inspiration. What strikes me is that at the age of 86 Picasso painted 365, which is an artistic autobiography, and one can look at as a collection of life-moments.

I started asking my mom to tell me about her life in Tel Aviv. To which school did she go? Who were her friends? Where was she when Ben Gurion declared the birth of Israel? I want to collect these memories, these are her personal stories and through them I get a glimpse of her in a different time and place.

I have seen the performances of an artistic group called Public Movement at the Tel Aviv Museum where they reenacted the declaration of the state and then took a group of ten people through the museum, behind the scenes and through the exhibits. There is a show at the Guggenheim museum called But a storm in Blowing from Paradise: contemporary Art from the Middle East and North Africa. The show presents works by artists from different countries including an interesting video by Uri Gersht walking in Eastern Europe and an installation of sand by Attiya. This exhibit also hosts a performance by the Public Movement Group. I signed up for a one-on-one briefing about art in Palestine before 1948. I did not know but according to their research there is a void and although art was created at that time there is hardly any art to be found by Palestinian artists at any museum in Israel or the West Bank. When I arrived at the museum, it was in the middle of installing a new show. I was met by an agent and was lead through back doors to a room on the 7th floor by the agent who proceeded to tell me the story of the lost art. Here again I found a collection of memories.

In the age of technology when we hardly stop to smell the roses or send a hand written note or read a book in real print, Collecting takes on a different meaning.

 

 

 

Tel Aviv-learn by night

I started thinking about this post almost two weeks ago so although Shavuot is over, it is still on my mind.

It’s Erev Shavuot. On this night it is the custom to study till daylight. Some say it is a cabalistic tradition, maybe that’s the source for the reason we dress in white or it could be,to symbolize purity in preparation of getting the Torah.

I have an image in my head of kids at a kibbutz seated on a wagon singing about the new harvest. In Hebrew it’s called Bikurim which has the same root as the word for morning, “Boker”. I wonder if studying all night till sunrise is also connected to the custom on learning all night.

I am in Tel Aviv. It is Saturday; Shavuot starts tonight. When I grew up there was not much to do during Shabbat. Stores and restaurants were closed, but over the last 35 years things have changed. Movie theaters, restaurants, galleries are now open. But with all these changes there is  still a feeling of Shabbat as no one goes to work and the streets are less busy with traffic. The beaches are filled with families and the promenade looks like a track field full of walkers and bikers .You can also spot a chasid going to shul.

I met friends for lunch  and we chose to see a movie that came out  about the Settler Movement. I was astonished to discover how this movement, which started with a small group of thirty people, grew over the next 40 years to a staggering number of 400,000.  The Settler Movement which is a critical and important issue to the well being of the State of Israel began, we learn, with a forced agreement by a small group of religious people who chose to make a point and live in the West Bank right after it was occupied by the Israeli army in 1967.

This Agreement was signed by Shimon Peres of the Labor Movement. When Menahem Begin became prime minister in 1977, he issued, with the help of Arik Sharon, massive building approvalIMG_1117s to continue and develop the area.  It is an ideological movement but many who live in the West Bank do so for financial reasons. I have not  lived in Israel during this period so it was informative to me  and answered some questions and filled the gaps on some facts. I am not sure a solution can be found. It will have to be a compromise. There are 400,000 people living over the “Green Line” and I cannot imagine asking them to move to other parts of Israel, whether it be the North or South. I believe that we have to start by building trust between the Jews and Arabs who live side by side and enjoy the same sunrise and sunsets.

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/features/1.700387  (an interview with the film director)

http://www.ijs.org.au/The-Settler-Movement/default.aspx

As the sun went down, we sat to eat the Shavuot meal of blintzes and cheese cake.

The Tel Aviv Municipality sponsored many “tikunim” or studies for the evening of Shavuot. I chose the one at the pluralistic congregation of Beit Daniel. The subject was: “What tomorrow will bring?”. It was 10 pm when I walked into the crowded sanctuary of the synagogue. I heard the author Yair Sachar talk about his book “The Third” about the building and destruction of the Third Temple. An imaginary tale of a contemporary building and destruction of the Temple using the belief in the return of the monarchy as a metaphor for a uprising by an army elitist commander unit. Well, I can not say it was a promising future but everyone is entitled to his opinion. The next lecture was by the author Yochi Brandes who talked about Rabbi Akiva.

She talked about her most recent novel, “Akiva’s Orchard,” Yochi Brandes spins a brilliant chapter out of the incident in Beni Brak, familiar from the Passover Haggadah, when five rabbis study ToIMG_1128rah all night until their students announce it’s time for the morning prayers. In Brandes’ take, the night is not about interpretative one-upsmanship, but rather is the very moment the bery format and content of the Peach Seder was determined. Shavuot is 49 days after we read the Haggadah. She raised the question of how Rabbi Akiva could emerge out of the Pardes (orchard) unharmed yet was part of the horrific decision of the Bar Kochba revolt. Yochi who comes from an orthodox upbringing has a gift of retailing biblical stories or creating bibliographies around the figures in Jewish history. It was a fascinating lecture and I am sure to read her books

 

It is now after midnight. The synagogue is still full; some are singing in the yard, some take a cup of tea or coffee. The night is not over. They are planning to stay until sunrise. I am going home to sleep.

Some say Tel Aviv is unlike any other place. Tonight I could see a glimpse of a future that can bring peace. Looking at the Torah from a cultural and not only religious perspective can unite us all.

I am back home. In today’s times there is an article about the denial of the” Rabanut” (the high rabbinical authority in Israel) to approve an orthodox conversion by an American rabbi. I ask myself is this where we are heading? Let us learn from Rabbi Akiva’s mistake and learn to sit together in harmony.

 

 

 

 

Messages in posters

There are many ways to tell a story. We can write a book. We can write a poem. We can draw a picture.

When we read the newspaper about current events, we form an opinion in our mind or create an image. When we see a photograph, it tells the story . When we stop at a newspaper store and try to figure which magazine to pick, the cover image hints at what’s inside.

At the Tel Aviv Museum of Art there is a retrospective of work by a graphic artist; David Tartakover. You can follow Israel’s history through his images. He has an image called “Ima” (mom) where you see a Palestinian woman peaking from behind a wall that is built around her home and an Israeli soldier watching her. When I think of the word “Ima” I think of my mom but this image reminds you that mothers, have an instinct of watching and caring.  When you enter the second room you see a wall of skeletons called: “Heads” which is a series of 208 digital prints taken from the book: “Bibi: Who are you Mister Prime Minister?”  When he was asked why the image? He said he found a book in a store near his home in Neve Zedek with a Bibi biography from 1969 and after reading it he started drawing these images, he could not give an explanation. It is obvious that Tartakover is critical of the political situation in this country.

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There are some beautiful drawings and more reflections on the politics of the day.

The top left corner is Haim Nachman Bialik, a poet. The right corner is Mayor Dizengoff, the first mayor of Tel Aviv. The bottom left is Herzel and on the right is the Pasha from Jaffa.

The photo on the left is a composite of terror attacks in Tel Aviv (1994) , In Jerusalem (2001), in Hebron (2003), in Netanya (2002).

The writing on the right translates to :”Israel is not America”. This was done many years ago but it stands true today.

Last Wednesday I was watching a satirical show on Israeli TV with my mom. The show was interrupted by the news that there was shooting at the Sarona market. It is 15 minutes from her home. We saw helicopters circling above and heard sirens, as the hospital is also near. The mood changed immediately. There is a feeling of anxiety. Here we go again. After a relative quiet time with no terror attack or knife stabbing the sound of gunshot is an immediate reminder how a peaceful evening can be interrupted in a blink of an eye. Like a lion that woke from his nap; woke with a loud roar and with vengeance. The two terrorists dressed as business people  took handmade guns from their bags and started shooting. Four people dead and nine injured. It feels as though the whole country is mourning with the families. At this moment there is unity and political disagreements are brushed aside. How sad that terror has such power over our lives.

I read about an exhibit at the Islamic Museum of Art in Jerusalem called “A sign from Iran”. It gives us a glimpse into the contemporary design in Iran. Posters that describe the political situation. Posters that flood the social networks. All along the history of Iran, art was used as a tool to express political views. In a society when freedom of speech could cost a life. The art can transfer dual messages or messages hidden in a duality and allegorical way.

In this film,the traditional drawing of the woman is filled with letters.

We all wish for peace. It can be by spelling the word, SHALOM, or drawing a dove.

 

Contemporary art in old palaces

I returned few weeks ago from a trip to Morocco. As you read in previous posts we immersed in the culture and the jewish community but what picked my interest were two exhibits that showed that Morocco is moving forward.

The museum of contemporary art in Rabat was build by King Muhammad V in the last ten years and houses art by Morocco artist from the 60th till now. You can the influence of world art on the Moroccan artists.

The photo in the middle is of the king.

Next I found out that in the last 6 years Moroccans have been hosting a biennale in Marrakech and as this was out next stop on the trip I could not pass this opportunity to see it.

Artists from Africa and the middle east were invited to place their art in old palaces. It was fascinating to see Elanazue humongous piece as a wall hanging among the ruins of the palace. Each artist was given a space to crate and the results can be seen through some of the photographs.

My fascination with placing contemporary art in old mansions led me to the newly opened Renwick Gallery in Washington Dc. The show is called WONDER. Nine contemporary artists created site specific installations. Each artist took over a gallery. The artists used material that are found and therefore it gives the feeling of craft and not the usual paint or photography. Light plays an important roll in viewing the works. It does leave you with a sense of wonder and amazement.

 

 

Rendezvous in Casablanca – Weekend by the sea

It’s been 35 years since I visited an Arab country.  The first time was during our honeymoon to Egypt. I remember thinking at the time that even though Israel had signed a peace treaty I should not speak Hebrew. Well, after getting a cup of coffee, being polite, I said “TODA”. The waiter smiled and wanted to know all about the Israeli girls in Tel Aviv. There went my cover…

Fast forward last week, I flew from Israel through Paris to Casablanca. Men wearing long galabias, women with head coverings are the sights that welcome at the airport. I remind myself that I’m here on a JDC mission to explore the life of the Jews in this country. 350,000 Jews lived in Morocco prior to the 1950s and Jews have lived in Morocco since the 18th century. But only few thousands are left today. The king’s grandfather, King Muhammad the V protected the Jews during WWII.  Many Jews left after the six day war due to unrest but those who stayed do not currently have to fear for their safety.

There is something mysterious about this country-Morocco.  Maybe it’s the bright colors or the delicious food or the stories about Alibaba and all the evil eye superstition. I knew on coming that there is a lot to uncover.

We left the airport and  drove four hours South to the seaside town of Essaouira. The landscape reminded me of southern Israel. Flat, fields of wheat, some sheep grazing. Very picturesque.  Essaouira is a port city.  Its buildings are painted in blue and white. The sand is soft, the sea was calm but we heard it’s the best place for surfing. We entered the Medina, the walled city, walked through the shouk, picked fish at the port which we had cooked for lunch.

The Jewish history is rich but out of the 35,000 Jews who lived here, one is left.We visited the Rabbi Chaim Pinto synagogue which is used for ceremonies. The cemetery which is located by the sea had silhouettes of women and men on the gravestones but no names. We were told that the Rabbi had a list of who is buried where.  Later the custom changed and we found some graves with Hebrew writing but it was hard to find a name as the letters eroded over time. There are two other synagogues that are being restored but most of the houses in the Jewish Quarter (the Melach) were destroyed.

There was tranquility in the air, it felt like a vacation. Tomorrow we will go to Casablanca to meet the rest of the group and start our mission.

Ma’al-salamah (with peace) Essaouira.


  Portuguese arch , star of David signify a Jewish home  Annual “Fantasy” commemoration of Independence from the French
 Rabbi Chaim Pinto grave in cemetery. Nameless graves identified by chart.Which would you have for lunch??

  Berber Musicians  Argan nuts.

It was mostly a boring ride but we did discover some goats on a tree.  Yes it’s an argan tree and they just wanted to eat some nuts and entertain the passengers.

Casablanca is a bustling city, lots of people on the streets, just hanging , walking , haggling to sell something or just busy going to work. It’s a business city. We took a driving tour and saw some nice villas and lots of construction.

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King Hassan II commissioned a French architect to build a mosque that will provide Casablanca with a single landmark monument. He was hoping to finish it for his 60th birthday but it took few more years. The result is the third biggest mosque in the world. 25,000 worshippers can be inside and 80,000 outside. It took around 10 years to build the mosque.  The moorish designs are incredible. I must say it is intimidating to imagine so many people listening to one person. The influence that one person, the imam, can have on all those who came to pray is scary.

great mosque womens sectionWomen’s section at the mosquedsc05915The Mosque in Casablanca

great mosque hamama

The Hammam at the bottom of the mosque. It has never been used.

 There are 3 Jewish clubs in Casablanca. We ate at the one that has some tennis courts. We had a nice kosher meal and continued to the only Jewish museum in the arab world to see some of the treasures that were collected after the Jews left.

The Jewish community in Casablanca amounts to a few thousand Jews. There are many synagogues, most of them are family synagogues.  Few primary Jewish school, a co-ed Maimonides high school, some kosher butchers. We visited the Neve Shalom primary school. The kids were singing in Hebrew  and getting ready for Purim. At the high school we met with students.  Jewish and Muslims who are studying together and learning to respect each other. We visited an old age home and a clinic that serves the needy with their health needs. From a glance you can sense the pride that Jewish Moroccans have for their country and heritage. Although the young generation leaves the country to study abroad and, for the most part not return, the hope is that the king will continue to favor the Jews and maybe more will come back.

As they say in Arabic, Inshallah or in Hebrew Amen..

We bid goodbye to Casablanca and to Rick’s cafe and Humphrey Bogart and continue North to Fez. Stay tuned for the next post.

 

Art: New York – Tel Aviv

I am sitting at the  airport waiting for a flight to Israel reflecting on last week art exploration. I will miss the Armory show but i know I will see some art on my travels.

A weeek ago it was raining, sitting at home was not an option but seeing the show that just opened at the Guggenheim Museum was the thing to do.

It’s a show by two artists who collaborated together over 30 years. It’s really a retrospective by the Swiss artists Peter Fisceli and David Weiss. They use the alter ego of a rat and bear. One is ugly and one is cuddly. Their work spans multi disciplines. You can find incredible videos, sculptures of basic shapes like a circle or drawing with words that describe the world from their eyes. On the third floor there is a display of duo sculptures  which describe opposites emotions  as sad and happy, high and low and more. One feels like one is walking into the mind of the artists.

It is an unusual retrospective as the work is not set in a chronological order. One feels like an explorer and can be part of the creation of the art.

Next I chose to explore some exhibits in Chelsea. Here is what I was able to see within two hours.

Paul Kashmir Gallery on 515 west 27 had a show of Kenneth Nolan, bright colors, not so exciting. I think the show closed and he is showing some new artist.

Fredericks & Freiser Gallery on 24th street has a group show. Mostly it’s bright colors and geometric shapes. One artist in particular caught my eye; Cary Smith. I have seen his work at the Aldrich Museum, his work is  refreshing and it  makes me happy just think of it.

On the same Street, a few galleries east, Jack Shainman Gallery is showing a South African artist name Claudette Schreuders.  The sculptures are great but the lithographs are even better and  are actually affordable.

I will  have to go back to pick one.

Off to 20th street, the Jack Shainman second gallery which is really his first, has a show of three artists; El Anatsui with his metal scrap pieces that creates a carpet, Bernd and Hila Becher show their series of  water tower photographs and Maya Lin who designed the Vietnam memorial with sculptures and video that’s called “What is Missing”.  This group show is called “Of a Different Nature”. Each of these artists is great on his/her own.

My next stop was at David Zwirner Gallery. You have to take off your shoes and enter the mystical, magic world of Doug Wheeler. A play with fluorescent light. You can see the relations between light and space. It’s called “Encasements”.

To finish the day I stopped at Sikkema Jenkins Gallery on 22nd street to see the Amy Silman show. She had a retrospective a few years ago at the Boston Museum but here we see some familiar work and as well as some new and exciting pieces.

Five days in Israel, I had to check what’s new at the Tel Aviv Museum. I saw an amazing exhibit by the prolific, complicated artist Roee Rosen. It a survey of his works but this was not clear when you enter the exhibit.  There are four portraits and names of artists and I assumed that these are artists that Roee was inspired or influenced by. I asked myself whether he curated his own show or maybe some are his works and wondered, is so, which ones? Well, after spending two hours between the works that touched on different mediums: video, painting, writing, photography and the printed book I was still not clear whose work I was experiencing. Honestly I was confused, something did not compute. On further research I realized that my assumption was all wrong. Roee invents characters and creates body of work for them so Justin Frank, Maxim Komian, Mishkin are all Roee. The work “A virtual Journey through Eva Braun’s Eyes” is all from Roee’s own imagination.

He is either a genius or has multiple personalities, or maybe both… I will leave it to my psychology friends to analysis.

I think this show is a must-see but needs time to understand  the complexity of the work.

In the past few years I have started to work with clay so when I saw the display in the basement of the museum of what looked like a potter’s workshop I was drawn to explore.

Ben Hagari video of pottery starts with him making a vessel on a wheel. You only see hands, then the artist covers himself with clay and moves slowly towards the fire… while a snake crawls on him. The movements of creating the pot and the snake slithering seem to be in rhythm. It is amazing.

I find it interesting that the two shows; Peter Fisceli and David Weiss at the Guggenheim and Roee Rosen at the Tel Aviv Museum, although continents apart are both complex body of work by very creative prolific artists.

 

 

Art-Miami 2015

The week after Thanksgiving I flew South to Miami. Even with global warming, New York has started to get cold so a little sun and little art made sense.

Well…. I did see Art but although it was not cold it rained and was windy.

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Janet, Ronit and the Pink Ladies, Adele and Eva

Janet, Ronit and the Pink Ladies, Adele and Eva

 

When it comes to Art Basel – Miami 2015 it was an uber plethora of fairs. Close to 20 different fair and museum shows and gallery pop-ups . There was no way I could cover it all but here are some of my favorites.

Pink was the color chosen to welcome the fair goers: Untitled on the beach  and design Miami among them

Ceramic was everywhere, creative and looking primitive but colorful.

 

hass brithers

Hass Brothers

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley

Katsuyo Aoki

Katsuyo Aoki

Kusama

Kusama

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Talking about primitive…. the Perez Museum had a show of Aboriginal Art from Australia. I found it meditative and sometime … my eyes just saw dots. Maybe that’s what Kussama saw when she created her Christmas tree.

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The main fair at the convention center was full of big name artists and some emerging ones at Nova.

Overall there was comfort in seeing familiar names and colorful works. It brings a smile and elevates the spirit when it rains outside and the news is not so uplifting.

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Thursday morning , The Rubell’s presented their collection which this year was themed, No Man’s Land showing women artists and offered with an artistic breakfest created by their daughter Jennifer. This year we were treated to buttered bread.

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Hanukah is here! At Design Miami there was an installation called EL SOL, sun,  by FR-EE  Fernando Romero Enterprises, a Mexican artist using Swarovski crystals to create an installation that explores humankind’s relationship to the sun

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The Power of Water

Halong Bay is three hours from Hanoi. Once we get out of the city see rice fields and Buffalo grazing. We stop at a rest stop which really is a shopping trap for tourists.  You need to spend half an hour there in the hope that you’ll buy an embroidered picture or a semi precious gem. One can define it as “Capitalism” at it’s best..
Halong translates as ‘where the dragon descends into the sea’, and legend claims the islands of Halong Bay were created by a great dragon from the mountains. As the dragon charged towards the coast, its flailing tail gouged out valleys and crevasses. When it finally plunged into the sea, the area filled with water, leaving only the pinnacles visible.

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We boarded a “junk” sailing boat for the overnight exploration.
There is a mystical atmosphere as you look at the islands that pop out from the water at different perspectives. For a close look at the limestone rocks we take a kayak. It was a lesson in coordinating strokes as no one wanted to fall into the bay. We saw a floating fishing village although some boats were stuck on shore..

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The next morning we went back to Hanoi and flew south to Da-Nang. Da-Nang is the third biggest city. We did not stay there but arrived at the most amazing resort – The Nam Hai. There are three infinity pools ending at the beach… breath-taking.

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These are the best beaches in Vietnam by the China sea. Hoi-An is a historical village 15 minutes away which is another shopping mecca.  You can get a suit or shoes made in 24 hours . We took a tour of some old houses. It seems that the architecture of the house did not change there is a long room which is divided between living/bedroom and kitchen in the back.

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Half an hour bike ride took us through palm tree field, rice fields and into a farming village. The farmers grow rice for their own consumption, raise chickens, pigs , banana trees, papaya trees, lemon grass, basically anything they eat they grow.

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We were treated to a home-cooked meal of spring rice rolls and learned how to make rice by separating the husk till the white kernel emerges.
We then continued biking to a vegetable garden village where they grow vegetables to sell at the local market.

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we could see how the Viet-Cong were able to hide in between the palms or rice fields and come out at night.
Most days we woke up to a gray sea but on our last day the sun came out so we indulged in a day of rest, it is a vacation after all.

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