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Articles on this Page
- 02/24/14--15:27: _Canvases on the Cat...
- 02/24/14--17:14: _The Pierre Argillet...
- 02/24/14--23:01: _Pre-Baselworld 2014...
- 02/25/14--09:38: _534 West 25th Street
- 02/25/14--09:38: _32 East 57th Street
- 02/25/14--10:24: _Slideshow: Highligh...
- 02/25/14--11:21: _Matthew Brandt, Viv...
- 02/25/14--11:40: _Museum of the City ...
- 02/25/14--12:14: _VIDEOS: Pomellato L...
- 02/25/14--12:27: _New York
- 02/25/14--12:56: _ARTINFO's Definitiv...
- 02/26/14--04:06: _Review: Alfred Lesl...
- 02/26/14--04:06: _Sale of the Week: C...
- 02/26/14--10:21: _Slideshow: Paris's ...
- 02/26/14--10:29: _Paris's Hot New Cul...
- 02/26/14--10:40: _Slow Burn: The Quie...
- 02/26/14--10:57: _Slideshow: An Artfu...
- 02/26/14--11:26: _Slideshow: BVLGARI'...
- 02/26/14--12:11: _New Tony Award Rule...
- 02/26/14--12:54: _New York
- 02/24/14--15:27: Canvases on the Catwalk: Art for Fashion Fall 2014
- 02/24/14--17:14: The Pierre Argillet Collection
- 02/24/14--23:01: Pre-Baselworld 2014: 5 New Dress Watches
- 02/25/14--09:38: 534 West 25th Street
- 02/25/14--09:38: 32 East 57th Street
- 02/25/14--10:24: Slideshow: Highlights from SCAD's deFine Art Festival 2014
- 02/25/14--11:21: Matthew Brandt, Viviane Sassen, Alfredo Jaar at SCAD's deFine Art
- 02/25/14--12:14: VIDEOS: Pomellato Launches Icon Movies
- 02/25/14--12:27: New York
- 02/25/14--12:56: ARTINFO's Definitive Ranking of Amazon TV Pilots
- 02/26/14--04:06: Review: Alfred Leslie's Multi-Panel Mammoths at Hill Gallery
- 02/26/14--04:06: Sale of the Week: Ceramics at Tajan, Paris
- 02/26/14--10:21: Slideshow: Paris's New Cultural Space, Carreau du Temple
- 02/26/14--10:29: Paris's Hot New Cultural Space, Carreau du Temple
- 02/26/14--10:40: Slow Burn: The Quiet Intensity of Sundance Channel's "The Red Road"
- 02/26/14--10:57: Slideshow: An Artful Lunch Honoring Larry Gagosian- Feb 25, 2014
- 02/26/14--11:26: Slideshow: BVLGARI's "Decades of Glamour" Oscar Party- Feb 25, 2014
- 02/26/14--12:11: New Tony Award Rule Can Put More Broadway Producers in a Bind
- 02/26/14--12:54: New York
The recently concluded London and Milan Fashion Week saw a showcase of art resemblances. Inspiration was drawn from various art movements, including the Bauhaus (Prada and Marni), Abstract Expressionism (Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo and Sportmax), American hard-edge painting (Giorgio Armani) and Japanese manga comics (McQ Alexander McQueen).
Sportmax, which in its recent collections had sent out feminine silhouettes in restrained palettes on unique materials, this season opted for Jackson Pollock's splatter paintings as inspiration for the colorful numbers that closed the show.
Sarah Burton, McQ's creative director, enlisted popular manga artist Yoshiyasu Tamura to create a comic book strip print for the collection, resulting in a largely black-and-white palette, with splotches of bright orange and deep purple, recalling the neon lights of Tokyo's famous Shibuya district.
Meanwhile, Prada's coats and dresses had motifs from Joost Schmidt's poster for the 1923 Bauhaus exhibition in Weimar. The green-and-blue closing gown of Giorgio Armani's show recalled Ellsworth Kelly's Meschers, and a particularly pliant, pleated, pastel striped dress that Tomas Maier sent down Bottega Veneta's runway was mesmerizing with its resemblance to Lee Krasner's Number 3 (Untitled).
Mention Savannah and most people think of creepily beautiful fingers of Spanish Moss, or the haunting events captured in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” But this idyllic Georgian city is also the home of the Savannah College of Art and Design, which — despite being founded only in 1978 — is now a sprawling, deep-pocketed institution that hosts the annual deFine Art festival. (SCAD has also turned out some top-notch alums, like Wendy White, Michael Scoggins, Whitney Stansall, andMarcus Kenney.) This year’s deFine Art, from February 18 through 21, featured exhibitions from Alfredo Jaar(2014’s honoree and keynote speaker), Dustin Yellin, Matthew Brandt, Nathan Mabrey, and others, as well as the premiere of a dance performance by curator and choreographer Jonah Bokaer. Truck driver-cum-art critic Jerry Saltz was also on hand to lecture students on the road to success.
At the SCAD Museum of Art — where most shows are on view through June or July — Jason Middlebrookhung his signature painted planks in the lobby, along with a “medieval chandelier” that he’d constructed from yellow pine wood reclaimed from Savannah’s former piers. Tim Rollins and K.O.S. unveiled works that referred to Duke Ellington, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Huck Finn, made in collaboration with local junior-high students; South African artist Sam Nhlengethwapresented mixed-media paintings and photographs that, in one instance, were shown alongside collages by Romare Bearden, a clear (at times overbearing) influence.
Matthew Brandt brought photos from his “Lakes and Reservoirs” series, for which he photographs bodies of water and then submerges the prints in that same water, generating brilliant effects: flying debris, melting blobs, fiery bursts of yellow, orange, or magenta. In the courtyard outside the main galleries, Nathan Mabrey installed “Process Art (B-E-A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E),” a bronze sculpture inspired by Rodin’s “The Burghers of Callais” (in this case all of the figures are wearing the sort of animal masks you’d see on sports mascots). Viviane Sassen’s inclusion in deFine Art nodded to SCAD’s focus on fashion — André Leon Talley is on the Board of Trustees — and featured a slideshow of editorial images that happily blurred the lines between commercial and fine art photography.
Alfredo Jaar debuted a new work at SCAD: “Shadows,” which used a traumatic image taken in 1970s Nicaragua by Dutch photographer Koen Wessing as its centerpiece. The shot — which captured two female relatives of a man who has just been murdered — was presented without much context, but rather as an iconic image of suffering. Jaar, during his keynote lecture, would nonetheless stress that “context is everything,” and that his practice involves a “constant effort to try to change the order of reality.” A survey of past works certainly attested to that activist mission, ranging from interventions in Montreal to spotlight the city’s homeless problem to a unique memorial for los desaparecidos at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago, Chile. Jaar’s lecture also divulged two fun facts: He was once a magician; and one of his first artworks was a nearly 10-minute video that featured him heroically blowing into a clarinet until he succumbed to exhaustion.
New York magazine critic Jerry Saltz spoke the night after Jaar, with considerably more levity. While his talk was titled “The Good, The Bad, And The Very Bad,” he mainly kept things positive — despite a brief dig at Dustin Yellin’s reliance on craftsmanship over content, and a reference to the current school of NYC abstraction that he’s on the record as despising. Saltz had a smattering of advice for SCAD students: Marry money, if you have to; “Bring the chaos” and “bypass the gatekeepers”; don’t worry about making sense with your work. He also gave some insight into the music he’s able to listen to while writing. (SPOILER ALERT: It’s Enya and Alannis Morisette.)
Saltz went on to bemoan the hermetic state of the art world — “the same 255 people doing the same 55 panels on the same 55 subjects” — before assuring the student body that there was no need for them to relocate to New York in order to launch their careers. “You’ve got everything you need,” he said. “It’s your turn. You’ve got to fix this.”
Pomellato has launched three film shorts that show off its iconic jewelry as well as showcase young Italian filmmaking talents. Titled “Pomellato Icon Movies,” the shorts feature the Nudo, Capri, and Sabbia rings, interpreted through different stories, personalities, and styles by Francesco Carrozzini, Filippo Silvestris and Pierluigi Ferrandini, and Alex Tacchi respectively.
It's a fittingly refreshing move for the Italian jeweler known for bold, contemporary designs that resemble polished marbles or sugar cubes rather than classical, highly faceted gemstones. In fact, it said the films embody the Pomellato spirit of fostering creativity and new possibilities for distinctive communication, as well as nurturing new talent.
In the hands of Carrozzini — a photographer and film director known for his portraits of boldfaced names like Morgan Freeman, Keith Richards, Jeff Koons and Marina Abramovic, as well as filming the music video for Beyonce's single "Jealous" — Nudo is conceptualized as a modern take on "Orlando" by Virginia Woolf; a stylish piece playing with light and shadow conveying transformation and female empowerment.
Capri taps on the southern Italian island for which it is named, exploring the color of the Mediterranean sea, nostalgia of good times shared with family, and the memory of a childhood love — all co-directed by Silvestris and Ferrandini as a languorous, sun-dappled summer dream.
Sabbia, meanwhile, is a darker tale of how a single grain of sand can hold history, both small and great, across the universe. Tacchi's fantastic special effects journey of black-and-gold meteorites shooting through outer space culminates on the sparkling surface of the Sabbia ring.
Is traditional television dead? With the advent of Netflix original programing, it sure seems like it, and Amazon has been quick to jump on the bandwagon. But they’ve taken it one step further. Instead of introducing new original programing, they’ve commissioned a bunch of pilots and posted them online, letting the public decide. There’s no voting system — just a section on the site where viewers can leave feedback and comments — so it’s hard to understand exactly how the public really makes the decision of what gets picked up and what gets left behind. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to watch all the dramatic and comedy pilots — five in total — and rank them based on their chance of success.
There was early hype for this one, and I was quick to judge. The milieu — white upper middle class Los Angeles bohemianism — is boring and limiting, and I’ve never been impressed with Jill Soloway, a writer on the not-as-good-as-everyone-says “Six Feet Under,” and the creative force behind one of out most Sundance-y Films of Sundance from 2013, “Afternoon Delight.” But the cast, for the most part, was good — especially Gaby Hoffmann, as one of three siblings (Jay Duplass and Amy Landecker play the other two), whose father gets them together for an important announcement. The reveal at the end makes the whole thing more interesting, and I’m curious to see where they take it over an entire season. I imagine this one will keep going.
“Mozart in the Jungle”
This looked good. A comedy set in the world of classical music, starring Malcolm McDowell as a conductor on his way out the door and Gael Garcia Bernal as the cocky hotshot who is pushing him out, created by a team including Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman. Unfortunately, it was boring and not really funny. This could get picked up based on the behind-the-scenes team alone, and has potential to do something over a number of episodes — it’s just not clear what that something is.
Based on a series of novels by airport bookstore superstar Michael Connelly, the title character, real name Hieronymus Bosch (Titus Welliver), is an LAPD homicide detective who is caught between trying to solve a murder case and standing trial for the killing of an unarmed man. I’m a sucker for this kind of thing, and the mystery at the center of the show — a pile of bones are found buried on a mountain outside Hollywood — will give it enough gas to withstand an entire series order. The only thing going against it is that it’s a cop show, and one that is not trying anything different than most other cop shows. Hit-or-miss, really, but I’m willing to give this a chance.
A trophy wife — a former cheerleader — inherits the football team owned by her recently deceased husband. It’s billed as a comedy. There was little I enjoyed about this and little I hated about it. It seemed like something my parents might watch, or some bros relaxing after a long day trading stocks or whatever it is they do. It could easily air on the USA Network, squashed between “Burn Notice” and “White Collar,” which I think is probably the best description I could give.
An end-of-the-world drama from “X-Files” creator Chris Carter that owes a bit of its apocalyptic last-man-on-earth thrills to “Lost” and “The Walking Dead.” The only problem, unfortunately, is that the show isn’t thrilling and seems more of an opportunity to jump on a popular (if already tired) trend. It doesn’t help that the acting is atrocious and the dialogue is laughably absurd, the kind of stuff that gets cut during first-year scriptwriting class. Throw this one in the Dumpster and call it a day.
BIRMINGHAM, Michigan—Who knew pink could so restively bully other colors? In the quadrant Pink Square, 1957–60, the hue monopolizes an entire panel and intrudes upon the three others, overruling the confining boundaries set by canvas. This immense work, one of Alfred Leslie’s multi-paneled mammoths, strikes one first upon entering Hill Gallery (the exhibition runs through February 28). Its architecture ruminates on the arbitrariness of borders and surprising articulations of power. Layers of paint trace the vestiges of what came before. Pink Square and the other massive canvases made from 1956 to 1962 permit an acute viewing of the artist’s evolving techniques in Abstract Expressionism.
Working as a painter and filmmaker, Leslie left Abstract Expressionism altogether in the mid ’60s for grisaille figurative painting, a maturation running against the grain of his peers. The six paintings on view are some of the most pivotal of his abstract stretch, and the majority of them haven’t been seen outside of storage since their creation.
An interdisciplinary artist, Leslie knows how to traffic different senses. Another giant in the show, Ornette Coleman, 1956, comparable in approach to the first, alternates between dripping paint and broad strokes. By naming the canvas after the jazz musician, Leslie conjures a synesthetic experience, invoking a lively soundscape of battling staccato and sonorous vocals. The paintings that the artist termed Abstract Illusionist display the technique to which he turned after Ornette Coleman and Pink Square: a crisper method reminiscent of collage. In Lake Front Property, 1962, casually resplendent with its bright palette and narrative qualities, beach elements are nailed down to their archetypal colors and then blown up to monochromatic rectangles, as if torn bits of paper. Biscuity sand, cerulean blue, sun-bleached and sunburned strips frame a chaotic smudge of strokes and movement at the painting’s center, huddled around some illegible summer scene.
Since Leslie’s oeuvre is frequently compartmentalized—sometimes severed—into his periods of abstraction and representation, the candid presence of one figurative painting is an important contextual aid. Though not technically part of the show, Afternoon Soaps, 1983, functions as a surprise bookend for his behemoths. The figurative work has an undeniable compatibility with Lake Front Property, encouraging a reading of correspondence between his works that is long overdue. The mammoths, in their riotous colors and immensity, of course are compelling on their own.
A version of this article appears in the April 2014 issue of Modern Painters magazine.
Timed well with the popularity of contemporary ceramics, Parisian auction house Tajan’s March 4 “Ceramics” sale offers some historical precedents. The highlight of the auction is the sale of the Jean and Liliane Derval Collection. Comprising some 70 lots of the total 329 in the sale is the work of Jean Derval (1925-2010), one of the most important post-war ceramicists. From 1948 to 1951, Derval worked in Vallauris, a town in the south of France so known for its pottery that Picasso worked there when he was trying his hand at the medium. Derval became Picasso’s thrower. He would then go on to establish his own school, Le Portail, where rather than creating a factory, he pursued the fabrication of “unique pieces” and created architectural works as well, such as monumental fountains and sculptures.
This sale will include some spectacular work by Derval from this period, including a 1955 enameled clay wall sculpture, “L’Ange De L’Annonciation,” of the Angel Gabriel in flight, estimated to sell for €20,000-30,000 (roughly $28,000-41,000). There will be a monumental 1980 chamotte clay sculpture of a couple seated on a bird, which was presented at the International Biennial of Vallauris that year and is also estimated at €20,000-30,000 ($28,000-41,000). A clay coffee table for €3,000-5,000 ($4,000-7,000), as well as numerous smaller charmotte clay sculptures and domestic anthropomorphic and zoomorphic pottery with strains of cubism and abstraction can be had for under €5,000 ($7,000), as well as small bowls and vases for under €1,000 ($1,400), and works on paper and photographs of Derval. Preceding the sale the Paris auction house will be holding a conference on the potter and sculptor on Monday, March 3, at 6 p.m.
Black metallic earthenware vases by 20th-century ceramicist Paul Bonifas, and porcelain figurines, bottles, and boxes by Art Deco design house Robj are also on offer, as are a graphite drawing by author and Picasso muse Francois Gilot, for €5,000-7,000 ($7,000-10,000), and a Picasso poster for a Vallauris exhibition.
Paris’s trendy 3rd arrondissement has just gained a new cultural playground with the renaissance of a dormant historic monument, the Carreau du Temple, following more than four years of restoration. Saint Laurent has already booked the space for its fashion show on March 3, while the site’s March-to-June calendar of events features an eclectic lineup of multidisciplinary happenings spanning theater, circus, art, sport, music, fashion, and dance. They include a “twisted” adaptation of “Twelfth Night” by André Markowicz and Bérangère Jannelle, and “Drawing Now,” a five-day event where 85 galleries selected by a jury of personalities from the art world will present contemporary drawings by some 400 artists. The site, which calls to mind New York’s Park Avenue Amory — another historic building that was repurposed in 2006 as a cultural institution and hosts immersive performance productions and large-scale installations — officially opens on April 25, with performances by Malian singer-songwriter SalifKeita and Canadian singer Mélissa Laveaux.
Behind the accomplished redesign of the Carreau du Temple — a listed monument originally used to sell clothing and the last remains of the Temple market, which was demolished at the beginning of the 20th century — is Jean-François Milou and his agency, Studio Milou Architecture. Known for mixing classicism with a contemporary aesthetic, the company has worked on a number of heritage restoration projects in France and abroad, particularly in Asia, including the National Art Gallery in Singapore, where two major historical monuments are being transformed into a museum of modern and contemporary art dedicated to the arts of Southeast Asia.
The Carreau du Temple building is one of the few surviving structures from the 19th-century tradition of metal-framed architecture in Paris, echoing the iconic design of Les Halles, which was demolished in the 1970s, using steel, glass, and brick with a zinc roof covering.
Milou’s aim was to emphasize the refinement of the existing structure and reduce its apparent weightiness by opening it up to light and to the gaze of pedestrians. He demolished the original masonry walls and replaced them with steel and glass grills to make the site transparent at night. Oak figures among the main design materials, offering a warm contrast to the building’s metal structure.
The site’s central nave remains intact, serving as an orientation space for activities in two neighboring halls, including an auditorium with a seating capacity of 250. The ground floor, which boasts a bar and terrace, can be opened up for various activities such as fashion shows. A new basement is dedicated to sports like martial arts and dance, and the building’s other features include a gymnasium and a recording studio. The site measures around 70,000 square feet in total.
Other France-based projects by Studio Milou Architecture include the Burial Mounds Museum in Bougon, built in the oldest necropolis in Europe; La Cité de la Mer aquarium in Cherbourg (2002), housed in the city’s former harbor building; and the National Automobile Museum in Mulhouse (2006), located within a former wool spinning factory listed on the French register of historic monuments.
“The Red Road,” a new series premiering on the Sundance Channel February 27, exists in a violent divide. On the borderline of New York and New Jersey, trees loom large over the winding roads skirting through the Appalachian Mountains and bad blood lingers between the white population and the local Lenape Indian tribe. On a dark night up in the hills, a hit-and-run sends a small Lenape boy to the hospital, igniting long simmering tensions between the two groups. The moment pushes two men together — one a Lenape criminal, the other a white cop — who both have their own reasons to share secrets in an effort to cover up a murder.
Created by screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski, “The Red Road” feels similar in tone to “Top of the Lake,” Jane Campion’s award-winning series that aired on the Sundance Channel in 2013. Like that show, which traded the histrionics of “The Killing” and absurd pulpiness of Cinemax’s “Banshee” for quiet intensity, “The Red Road” creeps up on you quietly instead of grabbing you by the lapels.
The first episode, directed by James Grey (“Two Lovers,” “The Immigrant”), sets the tone for the show beautifully. The choice of Grey to direct the pilot says something about what this show is not trying to be. Grey is a filmmaker who is interested in naturalism and stillness, and his attention to sense of place — here a very specific small town — is the perfect way to set the show in motion.
As Philip, the Lenape ex-con, Jason Momoa (“Game of Thrones”) is a terrifying presence, his physical bulk felt in every scene he’s in — people back up when he’s in the room. As Harold, Martin Henderson is shaky and confused, pushed into a corner and in over his head.
There is a relationship between two teenagers, one a Lenape foster kid and the other the daughter of Harold and his wife, played by Julianne Nicholson, which feels more like a narrative tool and, hopefully, won’t weigh down would could be a tense thriller with paeans to young love. The only other flat note in the first two episodes is the quickly descending mental health of Harold’s wife, which seems a little cartoonish.
But over six episodes, it’s hard to imagine that “The Red Road” will fizzle out. Along with the more sweaty and brooding “Rectify,” the Sundance Channel is quickly building something that is tonally in opposition to what is happening all over cable. There’s little concern for water cooler moments or appeals to cultivate the shock of the new. Almost classical in its pace and structure, “The Red Road” is concerned with quality, which is displayed over its first two episodes flawlessly.
On paper, it’s good news for Broadway producers: the Tony Administration Committee recently announced that the number of nominees could be expanded from four to five in the following categories: Best Play, Best Musical, Best Play Revival, and Best Musical Revival. This would only be in effect if there were at least nine eligible productions. Conversely, if there were less than nine, the committee ruled that the nominees could be reduced to three.
The ruling means that a deserving show which may have just missed the cut could now be included. That may well be the case this season when the nominations are announced on April 9, leading up to the June 8 annual Tony telecast, which will be hosted by Hugh Jackman. Let’s just consider the category of Best Musical, since this is the only one that guarantees a boost at the box office. The conventional wisdom holds that “The Bridges of Madison County” and “Bullets Over Broadway” — unless it shockingly stumbles — are assured of nominations. Also likely to be nominated are two well-reviewed shows: “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” and “After Midnight.” In the past, that would be it. But should the nominators choose to exercise the new rule, it means that “Beautiful,” “Rocky,” “If/Then,” and “Aladdin” have a chance to duke it out for the fifth slot. (It doesn’t appear that the now-closed “Soul Doctor,” “A Night With Janis Joplin,” and “First Date” are in the running; an exception might be the short-lived “Big Fish.”)
What’s at stake for the producers are prestige and the consequences of diverting capital to pay for a campaign to trumpet the nomination and for a production number on the Tony telecast. The prestige part is easy: the nomination gives the producers bragging rights — a not insubstantial perk (you’d be surprised by how many big-money investors come aboard because they want to win a Tony Award). It also allows the production to promote the show on Broadway and on a national tour as having been “Tony-nominated.” The rub comes when the lead producers of a musical have to decide how much capital to devote to a Tony campaign, which can run thousands of dollars, and how they will pay for the segment on the telecast, to which a nomination entitles them. The four-minute opportunity to raise a show’s profile before a national TV audience is a no-brainer for a show that is a hit. For example, “Beautiful,” the Carole King jukebox musical, is raking in the dough. But for a show that is struggling to stay alive, like the critically-acclaimed “Bridges of Madison County” or “Gentleman’s Guide,” it can be a dicey proposition. Do you spend the money on keeping the show running or divert the funds to pay for a segment on the telecast, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars and reap little in return? The only ones certain to receive financial dividends from the addition of nominees are media advertising departments. But the Tony Awards, which have always purported to be about saluting excellence in the theater, have just widened the playing field. And that’s probably for the best, although it won’t stop the second-guessing about which show was unfairly snubbed.