A Review

Paul Cézanne. The Apotheosis of Delacroix. 1878–80 (completed later). Pencil, ink, and watercolor on wove paper, with a strip added at the bottom, 7 7/8 × 9 3/16″ (20 × 23.3 cm). The British Museum, London © The Trustees of the British Museum

While walking through “Cézanne Drawing” at the Museum of Modern Art, page after page of the artist’s sketchbooks unfold across several rooms. Dark, hand-drawn lines oscillate between gray, silver and black tones while silhouettes of objects such as apples, oranges, flower-filled vases and stationary models unfurl and unwind before one’s eyes. This exhibition is not only extremely unique, but it is also an uplifting change from the many months spent in pandemic lockdown.

at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Alice Neel. Geoffrey Hendricks and Brian (1978). Oil on canvas, 46.75” x 36.75”. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, by exchange, through an anonymous gift.© The Estate of Alice Neel.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s survey of paintings by Alice Neel titled People Come First is stunning. Several rooms on the museum’s second floor contain numerous figurative paintings and portraits made by an artist whose vibrant color palette provided the way in to every one of her pieces. While the display of paintings is more thematic and less chronological, it is easy to notice that Neel’s early works, from the 1930s, lacked the kind of all-encompassing depth that eventually surfaced in her paintings from later decades such as the 1970s.

Art as Experience at l’Atelier des Lumières in Paris

A Visitor’s View of “Hundertwasser, in the Wake of the Vienna Secession” (2018) at the l’Atelier des Lumières by Culturespaces. Image courtesy of the Author.

A common desire directed toward painting is the wish for the ability to connect directly with the material through an imaginative window of nostalgia. Although this is the memory of a time that has never existed, historic paintings typically bring these moments to life, as seen in the 2017 movie titled Loving Vincent. Throughout this film one is taken into the world that was both seen and experienced by Vincent Van Gogh. Likenesses rapidly changed into tangible painted brushstrokes, bearing realistic hues of color.

An Interview with Gigi Garner

Gigi Garner. Siren, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 16" x 20". Copyright Gigi Garner. All rights reserved.

When the pandemic brought daily life to an eerie stand-still, a flare of creativity started brewing in West Hollywood, California. Gigi Garner was on her way to discover something new, to keep the lights on at her newly-established non-profit that had only been open for a year. You may have heard of Garner before. In 2019, five years after her father’s passing, she launched the James Garner Animal Rescue Fund. (JGARF) To honor her father’s legacy, Gigi chose a cause that had always been the most significant to him. …

A Review

Francisco Goya. The Seated Giant. 1818. Burnished aquatint, roulette, scraper, lavis. 11 3/16 × 8 3/16 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image coutesy of the Author.

Goya’s Graphic Imagination curated by Mark McDonald is currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and presents over 100 drawings and prints that reflect the expressions of an independent mind whose charisma evokes those Aristotelian feelings of pity and fear. Although Franciso Goya became the court painter of King Charles IV of Spain in 1789, it was not long before France declared war on Spain in 1793. The power of the aristocracy throughout Europe was quickly dwindling such that Goya’s honorable position became at once a paradoxical predicament.

Author Rebecca West focused extensively on the events…

A Film Review

Courtesy of Apple TV+

Based on Nico Walker’s 2018 novel of the same name, Cherry drops viewers into a series of flashpoints that emerge from one man’s return to the center of the opioid crisis in Cleveland, Ohio. Starring Tom Holland as Cherry, Ciara Bravo as Emily and directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, this film details a young man’s plight from the status of a distinguished, wartime soldier to that of a hopeless drug addict.

The film begins with an armed bank robbery that quickly journeys back in time to follow Cherry and Emily as they navigate high school, then…

A Film Review

Courtesy of Hulu

Set in the late 1940s, The United States vs. Billie Holiday begins in the quiet offices of journalist Reginald Lord Devine (played by Leslie Jordan) who interviews Billie Holiday (played by Andra Day) about her song “Strange Fruit” that had remained controversial from the start due to its slow-sung details of a lynching. The singer’s response to Devine’s inquiries takes the form of a series of recollections that become the substance of this film, beginning with Holiday’s 1939 performance at New York’s infamous Cafe Society, when “Strange Fruit” made its initial debut. If Holiday had written and performed her tune…

An Interview with Claire Lieberman

Claire Lieberman. Flower — Andy Warhol (2020). Black marble, 9.5" x 8" x 8". Image courtesy of the Artist.

Last Summer as New York City began re-opening after a three-month lockdown, the Massey Klein Gallery quietly opened “Elemental” a two-person exhibition that presented a selection of new black, marble sculptures by Claire Lieberman: Bunny Bomb (2020), Butterfly Machine Gun (2020), Fluffy (2020) and Flower — Andy Warhol. (2020). Lieberman’s work has appeared frequently in New York City for over a decade, but primarily in group exhibitions, and most recently in a 2017 show at the Massey Lyuben Gallery titled “UDBO Playground”. Her sculptures look like hybrids of feminine desires with a nondescript, aggressive subtext — a reflection of her…

By the Summer of 2020, the quarantine over New York City became the dominant theme of everyday life. The rapid spread of disease was accompanied by protests calling for social justice as well as an end to misrepresentations of monumentality. The urban fabric of New York City and its ephemeral, fleeting nature was under a re-examination that remains in process. During this time five books in limited edition were published, creating not only a basis for new starting points, but also renewing the tangible role of constructive critique.

Ethan Shoshan, SIGNS (2020). Disiterate, First Edition of 150.

The overwhelming emptiness that enveloped the streets of New York City appear…

When Experience Was Art

Jill Conner. Empire State Building, December 10, 2019.

Just south of Paris on October 19th, 1960 Yves Klein and his wife visited the suburb of Fontenay-aux-Roses. It was a slightly overcast day and the Kleins were meeting with friends at 5 rue Gentil-Bernard in order to coordinate the artist’s most stunning yet perplexing act of art to date. Pictures were taken by the artist’s two most-admired photographers, John Kender and Harry Shunk. Soon after, Kender and Shunk provided Klein with a combination of their photographs that took the form of one stunning print measuring about 10” x 7”.


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