Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Art Holiday, NYC

Looking forward to a few days in New York, and "making my list, checking it twice". Here are some of the art shows I hope to see:
Matisse, The Snail, 1953

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, at the Museum of Modern Art,  until February 10, 2015.

Having recently seen the documentary about this late-life stage in Matisse's career, and the mounting of the show at the Tate Modern, I am very eager to see its installation at MOMA. I have always loved Matisse and his bold use of colour, and I can particularly relate to his collages. He is said to have taken great joy in being able to "cut directly into colour" and that is what I experience when I cut into cloth.

Amy Sillman, Untitled (Head), 2014 

The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World, at the Museum of Modern Art, until April 5, 2015.

Peter Schjeldahl, opens his review of this show (The New Yorker, January 5, 2015) with two quotes from T.S. Eliot: "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? / Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?" He observes that in today's world we are constantly "distracted from distraction by distraction".  The curator of this exhibit, Laura Hoptman, assumes that art is in a "post-Internet condition", in which "all eras seem to exist at once", leaving contemporary artists no option but to adopt or re-animate familiar "styles, subjects, motifs, materials, strategies, and ideas."

This exhibition of seventeen contemporary artists (more than half of them women) is the first large survey strictly dedicated to new painting that MOMA has organized since 1958. Writes Schjeldahl, "Hoptman strives to shoehorn painting back into a museum culture that has come to favor installation, performance, and conceptual and digital work." I am reminded of the Peter Doig show staged at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts one year ago, and how exciting it was to see a contemporary painter given such recognition, in a time when painting has lost ground to more contemporary art forms. Indeed, Doig's work strongly references painters like James Wilson Morrice and Tom Thomson, active 100 years ago.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,
Aristide Bruant dans son cabaret,

The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters, at the Museum of Modern Art, until March 22, 2015.

Over 100 of his best-known works, organized thematically, exploring five subjects that together create a portrait of Lautrec's Paris.

Pablo Picasso,
Portrait of Helena Rubenstein,

Helena Rubenstein: Beauty is Power at The Jewish Museum, until March 22, 2015.

"The exhibition reunites selections from Rubinstein’s famed art collection, dispersed at auction in 1966, featuring works by Pablo Picasso, Elie Nadelman, Frida Kahlo, Max Ernst, Leonor Fini, Joan Miró, and Henri Matisse, among others, as well as more than thirty works from her peerless collection of African and Oceanic art. Other highlights include Rubinstein’s beloved miniature period rooms, jewelry, and clothing designed by Cristóbal Balenciaga, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Paul Poiret." 

Egon Schiele, Self-Portrait 
with Peacock Waistcoat, 1911 

Egon Schiele: Portraits at the Neue Galerie, until January 19, 2015. (extended to April 20)

Schiele is considered one of the twentieth century's most important artists. The approximately 125 paintings, drawings and sculpture are organized in six groupings: Family and Academy, Fellow Artists, Sitters and Patrons, Lovers, Eros, and Self-Portraits and Allegorical Self-Portraits.

Paul Cezanne,
Madame Cezanne in a Red Armchair
c. 1877

Madame Cezanne, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, until March 15, 2015

Featuring twenty-four portraits of Hortense Cezanne, in graphite, watercolour and oil, completed over a period of twenty years. His wife was Cezanne's most frequent model.

Fernand Leger,
Composition (The Typographer)

Other shows include Cubism: The Leonard Lauder Collection at the Met until February 16, 2015 and...

El Greco,
View of Toledo (detail), c. 1598-99

... El Greco in New York, also at the Met, until February 1, 2015.

Vasily Kandinsky,
Landscape near Murnau with Locomotive, 1909

Kandinsky Before Abstraction, 1901 - 1911 is at the Guggenheim until April 1, 2015.

Will I get to all these shows? Maybe not, but I hope to be able to share whatever I do see in a future post.

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