Monday, April 14, 2014

URBAN LANDSCAPES IGNITE NEW YORK'S CULTURAL SCENE (c) By Polly Guerin

Landscapes and gardens are still on the agenda in cultural venues that brighten the outlook that spring is the best time of the year to visit museum and nearby gardens. It’s the best of New York my dears, right here waiting for your visit. Here’s the scoop!!!

THE NEW YORK CHINESE SCHOLAR’S GARDEN: This oasis of incredible silence offers another serene venue for meditation. Its presentation reflects on our understanding of life in ancient China. The Garden’s design, based on the Suzhou Couple’s Retreat Garden built in the 18th century during the Qing Dynasty features unique rockery that resemble mountains that used to inspire poetry and paintings of Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist monks and scholars. Now it is your turn to explore the eight pavilions--just walk the bamboo path, take time to gaze at waterfalls and visit a Koi-filled pond. As you come upon the Chinese calligraphy and a variety of Ghongshi scholar’s rocks you will be amazed by the fifteen-foot tall formation that towers over the central courtyard. It was designed by Zou Gongwu and is one of the two authentic scholar’s gardens in the United States. A team of 40 Chinese arts and craftsmen spend a year in China creating the Garden’s components and then another six months on Staten Island as craftsmen in residence at Sung Harbor to complete the construction. Open 10 am-5pm. Closed Mondays. You simply take the Staten Island ferry, a short bus ride, walk a little and presto you arrive in a magnificent Chinese garden right next door to New York City.

URBAN LANDSCAPES The Paris-born author of the Last Garden of Versailles: Marie-Antoinette at Trianon (Rizzoli 2008) Christian Duvernois open a gallery at 648 Broadway, Suite 804. Duvernois is an expert on classical European landscape design and regularly lecture on the subject. Yet, he is equally rooted in the present, seeking to incorporate contemporary art into the high-end residential projects—many of them an oasis in the sky on Manhattan rooftops. His new gallery showcases contemporary art related to landscape and the environment, as well as limited-edition garden sculptures. Come May, the space will be turned over to the abstracted landscapes of the Paris-born, New York-based artist Vicky Colombet. The Christian Duvernois Gallery: Tel: 212.268.3628.

RENE LALIQUE; Enchanted by Glass at The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG), Corning, N.Y. is another chance to escape from the city. Indulge yourself and discover how Lalique designed decorative glass for every part of the home, his early success in the French perfume industry and how he introduced decorative glass in architecture, luxury trains and cruise ships and established a legacy of excellence and innovation in luxury glass production. The exhibition which opens May 17th, traces Lalique’s transition from jeweler to industrialist, including his leading role in creation of bijouterie (the incorporation of semi-precious stones with non-traditional materials like glass, enamel, horn, and bone). His triumphant display at the 1925 Paris Exposition had a marked influence on the Art Deco movement. CMoG is located in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Country of New York State. More info: cmog.org

A DIALOGUE WITH NATURE: The Morgan Library and Museum collaborates with London’s Courtauld Gallery to explore the beauty and innovation of British and German Romantic landscape drawings that again engage our attention with the works of artists such as J.M.W. Turner, Samuel Palmer, Caspar David Friedrich and Karl Friedrich Lessing. The exhibition traces the unfolding of this new Romantic sensibility with a selection of drawings, watercolors, and oil sketches chosen from the renowned collection of the Morgan Library & Museum. It is relatively rare to see British and German drawings side by side but it gives us a chance to take a fresh look as the artists’ “dialogue with nature.” A Gallery Talk: A Dialogue with Nature; Romantic Landscapes takes place June 13 at 6:30 pm. At the Morgan Library and Museum 225 Madison Avenue, at 36th Street. 212.685.0008.

Ta Ta Darlings!!! Pollytalk is crossing over the pond to visit The Scholars Garden in Staten Island, you should, too! Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon. Visit Polly’s website pollytalk and in the left hand column click on my other Blogs on fashion, visionary men and hidden treasures in New York.







Monday, April 7, 2014

NEW YORKER'S ESCAPE to a GARDEN (c) By Polly Guerin

In the cacophony of New York sitting in a garden or manicured park oft provides the solace to contemplate and meditate, releasing all tension and restoring one’s connection with one's imagination and nature. Such is the theme of this week’s column. Here’s the scoop!!!
HEAVEN IS A GARDEN- Designing Serene Outdoor Spaces for Inspiration and Reflection (St. Lynn’s Press) The book, Heaven is a Garden, by landscape designer and author Jan Johnsen is of interest to everyone, especially all gardeners and landscape designers, and to wit it has been chosen as an Amazon “Big Spring Book 2014. Anyone seeking peace and reverie will find it through the pictorial imagery and themes such as: The Power of Place, Creating Music for the Eye, Calling on the Trees, The Magic of Water, A Rock’s resonance, Color-Nature’s Catalyst. The book gives us pause to reflect on the health inducing qualities of a natural, beautiful setting which impacts on mind, body and spirit. Just reviewing the pages can be bliss itself, an escape the noise of the world revealing the deep connection of the natural world and its impact on serenity. Jan Johnsen illustrates how we can create an oasis that transforms our hectic lifestyle into one instilled with calm and a sense of oneness with nature. With lush color photographs throughout, her book illustrates how any garden setting, be it only a balcony or even a tiny space, her design philosophy and practical ideas inspire even the neophyte gardener. This book takes its cue from Jan’s popular garden blog, the same name as the book, and Facebook page, Serenity in the Garden blog. In her varied role as designer, gardener, teacher and writer, Jan Johnson’s insights on gardens teach us how to create a divine, unhurried landscape, a sanctuary of contemplative reverie. The book also lists Gardens and places to visit. Contact jan@johnsenlandscapes.com
THRIVE:The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well Being, Wisdom, and Power (Crown 2014) by The Huffington Post, founder Arianna Huffington says, “How we play the game of life, will be determined by what we value.” She advises that if we worship power, recognition, and fame, we will never feel that we have enough. Instead we should find our place to stand, a place of wisdom, peace and strength. Was she speaking of finding a garden of serenity to balance our lives, that even Jan Johnsen advocates? I wonder! Huffington recommends mediation which is not a new concept. The cognoscenti know that this is an ancient wisdom for centuries practiced by mystics, new age individuals and followers of the great American psychic, Edgar Cayce’s philosophies on meditation and natural healing. Ms. Johnsen’s garden or beautiful landscape can also do this for us. So here is another book worth investigating. Huffington says, “Find your place to stand and remake the world so we can ‘THRIVE’ and live our lives with more grace, more joy, more compassion, more gratitude, and yes, more love.”
GUIET NEW YORK Author Siobhan Wall introduces her book, Guiet New York in the Lecture Series at The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York tonight at 6:30 pm. Profiling over 120 quiet places and covering all five boroughs the book is a guide where tired tourists can enjoy enticing small museums and peaceful gardens, and harried natives can discover places to relax and recuperate--places of sanctuary and worship, eclectic shops and cafes, libraries, galleries and waterfront parks. The evocative photographs and short description of each location (including travel, access and contact details) Guiet New York reveals the tranquil corners of the world's most stimulating city---only in New York my friends, the best of New York. Location: GSMT 20 W. 44th St.  FREE ADMISSION, advance registration call 212.840.1840 or email: karin.taylor@generalsociety.org.
A DIALOGUE WITH NATURE: Just in time with this garden/nature thee The Morgan Library and Museum collaborates with London’s Courtauld Gallery to explore the beauty and innovation of British and German Romantic Landscape drawing opens May 30 through September 7, 2014.The exhibition features the works of artists such as J.M.W. Turner, Samuel Palmer, Caspar David Friedrich, and Karl Friedrich Lessing, to name a few. These romantic artists delighted in the particular rather than the general and found pleasure in things transitory more than things permanent. They celebrated the individual imagination. Perhaps above, all, they understood and explored the inherent tension between direct observation of the visible world and that of the imagined---a tension that Caspar David Friedrich aptly summed up as a “dialogue with nature.” More on this exhibit in a May posting of pollytalk.
A GARDENS THEME: Swedish fashion designer Gudrun Sjoden, who is celebrating 51 years as a designer this year, presents her summer collection "Inspired by Gardens," Swedish design with a green soul and just in time to coordinate with today’s pollytalk garden theme. Gudrun says: “The most beautiful summer collection of the year offers lush florals, lively contrasts and loads of color--all inspired by gardens. Timeless garments and delightful home ware in nature’s own materials made for colorful garden-lovers all over the world.” The designer’s inspiration for her “Shadow” dress is a the play of light and shadow among the leaves. Location: 50 Greene Street in SoHo. Visit: www.gudrunsjoden. or call toll free 1.877.574.1486.

Ta Ta Darlings!!! Pollytalk is visiting, The New York Botanical Garden where Jan Johnsen teaches and lectures, you should, too! Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon. Visit Polly’s website pollytalk and in the left hand column click on my other Blogs on fashion, visionary men and hidden treasures in New York.







PollyTalk from New York,

April 7, 2014

By Polly Guerin

NEW YORKER’S ESCAPE TO A GARDEN ©



In the cacophony of New York sitting in a garden or manicured park oft provides the solace to contemplate and meditate, releasing all tension and restoring one’s connection with nature. Such is the theme of this week’s column. Here’s the scoop!!!



HEAVEN IS A GARDEN - Designing Serene Outdoor Spaces for Inspiration and Reflection (St. Lynn’s Press) The book, Heaven is a Garden, by landscape designer and author Jan Johnsen is of interest to everyone, especially all gardeners and landscape designers, and to wit it has been chosen as an Amazon “Big Spring Book 2014. Anyone seeking peace and reverie will find it through the pictorial imagery and themes such as: The Power of Place, Creating Music for the Eye, Calling on the Trees, The Magic of Water, A Rock’s resonance, Color-Nature’s Catalyst. The book gives us pause to reflect on the health inducing qualities of a natural, beautiful setting which impacts on mind, body and spirit. Just reviewing the pages can be bliss itself, an escape the noise of the world revealing the deep connection of the natural world and its impact on serenity. Jan Johnsen illustrates how we can create an oasis that transforms our hectic lifestyle into one instilled with calm and a sense of oneness with nature. With lush color photographs throughout, her book illustrates how any garden setting, be it only a balcony or even a tiny space, her design philosophy and practical ideas inspire even the neophyte gardener. This book takes its cue from Jan’s popular garden blog, the same name as the book, and Facebook page, Serenity in the Garden blog. In her varied role as designer, gardener, teacher and writer, Jan Johnson’s insights on gardens teach us how to create a divine, unhurried landscape, a sanctuary of contemplative reverie. The book also lists Gardens and places to visit. Contact jan@johnsenlandscapes.com



THRIVE: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well Being, Wisdom, and Power (Crown 2014) by The Huffington Post, founder Arianna Huffington says, “How we play the game of life, will be determined by what we value.” She advises that if we worship power, recognition, and fame, we will never feel that we have enough. Instead we should find our place to stand, a place of wisdom, peace and strength. Was she speaking of finding a garden of serenity to balance our lives, that even Jan Johnsen advocates? I wonder! Huffington recommends mediation which is not a new concept. The cognoscenti know that this is an ancient wisdom for centuries practiced by mystics, new age individuals and followers of the great American psychic, Edgar Cayce’s philosophies on meditation and natural healing. Ms. Johnsen’s garden or beautiful landscape can also do this for us. So here is another book worth investigating. Huffington says, “Find your place to stand and remake the world so we can ‘THRIVE’ and live our lives with more grace, more joy, more compassion, more gratitude, and yes, more love.”



A DIALOGUE WITH NATURE Just in time with this garden/nature theme The Morgan Library and Museum collaborates with London’s Courtauld Gallery to explore the beauty and innovation of British and German Romantic Landscape drawing opens may 30 through September 7, 2014.The exhibition features the works of artists such as J.M.W. Turner, Samuel Palmer, Caspar David Friedrich, and Karl Friedrich Lessing, to name a few. These romantic artists delighted in the particular rather than the general and found pleasure in things transitory more than things permanent. They celebrated the individual imagination. Perhaps above, all, they understood and explored the inherent tension between direct observation of the visible world and that of the imagined---a tension that Caspar David Friedrich aptly summed up as a “dialogue with nature.” More on this exhibit in a May posting of pollytalk.



SUMMER 2014 With a GARDENS THEME: Swedish fashion designer Gudrun Sjoden, who is celebrating 51 years as a designer this year, presents her collection Inspired by Gardens, Swedish design with a green soul just in time to coordinate with today’s pollytalk garden theme. Gudrun says: “The most beautiful summer collection of the year offers lush florals, lively contrasts and loads of color. All inspired by gardens. Timeless garments and delightful home ware in nature’s own materials made for colorful garden-lovers all over the world.” The designer’s inspiration for her “Shadow” dress is a the play of light and shadow among the leaves.” Location: 50 Greene Street in SoHo. Visit: www.gudrunsjoden. or call toll free 1.877.574.1486.

Ta Ta Darlings!!! Pollytalk is visiting, The New York Botanical Garden where Jan Johnsen teaches and lectures, you should, too! Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon. Visit Polly’s website pollytalk and in the left hand column click on my other Blogs on fashion, visionary men and hidden treasures in New York.







Monday, March 31, 2014

BEYOND FASHION, Culture Vultures Convene (c) By Polly Guerin

The passion of fashionistas and savvy New Yorkers heads up to May when Charles James gets his due in May and the culture vultures are out to sink their fangs into the most cultural events in the city. Don’t forget to arrive early or you won’t get in. Here’s the scoop!!!
CHARLES JAMES
: Beyond Fashion is opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Didn’t I tell you about this several columns ago? Well, the press and members will get the first viewing, and then it’s up to you to get in before the crowds jam the exhibit, which opens May 8th. Now the accompanying book of the same title, by the Costume Institute’s Harold Koda and Jan Glier Reeder, demonstrates just how inspiring the oeuvre of Charles James was, and just how much “beyond” clothes that influence goes. Did you know that this Anglo-American designer has roots in the privileged life he was born into in 1906 at his family’s Surrey, England, estate? Yet, a fashion designer par excellence James defied the fashion establishment and many of the looks he created, particularly the spectacular, almost architectural conceived evening gowns, are as contemporary today as when they introduced. If you want a heads up on the James phenomenon see the book’s various chapters that capsulate James’ craft of drapes and folds, spirals and wraps and architectural shaping. Ralph Rucci’s upfront prologue is a treasure in itself as are the ensuing pages gifted with colorful images. Yale University Press. The exhibition runs through August 10 and those cognoscenti will celebrate at the Costume Institute’s gala benefit on May 5 with Anna Wintour honored for raising millions for the Museum. Image: Charles James gown Metropolitan Museum of Art.
HERMES' EQUESTRIAN ROOTS Hermes USA went to Wellington, Florida during the Winter Equestrian Festival and honored its first customer --- the horse. Style met sport in a state-of-the-art stable at the Grand Prix Village, connected to the festival’s show grounds where Hermes fitted out U.S. Team riders with their uniforms, which actually made their debut at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, in August. In patriotic colors, the riders wearing red 'pinque' jackets emblazoned with the American Crest and white jodhpurs, looked, tres chic!!! The fitted show coats come in jacket length red for jumping and a blue for dressage. When I visited the Hermes Museum in Paris I noted the exquisite leather saddles and the 177-year equestrian heritage that influences the Hermes design team’s scarf prints and fashionable daywear. The scope of the Museum collection goes beyond saddles and trunks into personal artifacts. Of significance, Hermes was fascinated with American innovation and licensed the zipper to pioneer it in Europe in the 1920s. Only the fashion cognoscenti seem to be able to get an invitation to the Museum, but I had that privilege when I was a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. It is one of the best kept secrets in Paris.
STRADIVARI VIOLA, Finest in Existence. Just a bit of cultural history. Stradivari’s name has become synonymous with perfection in the field of musical instruments, and only ten survive. Sotheby’s and Ingles and Hayday are offering for sale the finest viola in existence. A Stradivari viola is the ultimate prize for collections and the “Macdonald’ of 1719 is one of only two violas made during Stradivari’s Golden Period’ (1700-1720). The ‘Macdonald’ viola was purchased by Peter Schidlof of the Amadeus Quartet in 1964 and is being offered for sale by the family of the late musician, who died in 1987. The curator commented, “The Stradivari is a living instrument and should be played at regular intervals, it would be a pity if a collector obtained it merely to showcase it behind a glass display case.” Get out your check book!!! Ha!!! The viola will be offered through a sealed bid process, with bids expected in excess of US$45 million.
GRAND CENTRAL QUILTING: The New York Transit Museum’s exhibition at Grand Central Terminal represents the work of quilt artists representing 15 states. It is a craft person’s dream and a visitor’s privilege to see these amazing quilts. The City Quilter designed four fabrics to commemorate Grand Central Terminal’s Centennial in 2013 and recruited Meredith Corporation’s American Patchwork & Quilting, the largest circulation magazine serving the quilting audience, to sponsor a national quilt-making “challenge,” a competition to make commemorative quilts that use the City Quilter Grand Central fabrics that exemplified what Grand Central theme. The quilts exemplify the artistic diversity of quilt art and among the fascinating quilts the first prize winner is Ligaya Siachongco, New York, NY, Quilt name: Grand Central Terminal Mandala. You know where to go, so be there!!! The exhibition will be in Grand Central through July 6. I wrote about The City Quilter, located at 133 West 25th Street, in an earlier column.

Ta Ta Darlings!!! Pollytalk is visiting Grand Central Terminal’s Quilt exhibit, you should, too! Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon. Visit Polly’s website pollytalk and in the left hand column click on my other Blogs on fashion, visionary men and hidden treasures in New York.







Monday, March 24, 2014

DESIGNER SHOWHOUSE, DIETIES, MODERN ART, FASHION TALK (c) By Polly Guerin

Not a day goes by in New York’s multi-cultural venues that there is more than a dozen events to schedule on one’s agenda. It’s the best of New York and only in New York my friends where such treasures enlighten us with such diverse entertainments on Manhattan’s East Side. Here’s the scoop!!!

SOTHEBY’S INAUGURAL DESIGNER SHOWHOUSE headlines events this week at the East Side. The show opens today through March 30th and is free and open to the public, where six innovative and inspired interior designers have curated a room on the sixth floor exhibition space of Sotheby’s Manhattan headquarters, 72nd Street and York Avenue. The showhouse in partnership with Sotheby’s 1744 Young Collectors Club includes rooms by Ryan Korban,, known for his retail design including Balenciaga’s men’s and women flagship stores; McMillen Inc., the oldest full service design an decorating firm in America; Catherine Casteel and Maximilian Sinsteden, whose collective background includes working for Bunny Williams and Charlotte Moss to name a few. Each space evokes the designer’s unique aesthetic and is comprised of items from Sotheby’s upcoming spring auctions including English and Continental furniture, 20th century design, contemporary and impressionist prints, African and European sculpture, carpets, old master paintings and silver. Info: sothebys.com/desginershowhouse

GOLDEN VISION OF DENSATIL: A TIBETAN BUDDHIST MONASTERY Stroll over to Park Avenue and visit Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue (70th St.) where the physical layout of the exhibit temps your imagination; on view an actual stupa, moving from lower layers of deities to higher level deities shed light on enlightenment. The monastery, a Tibetan treasure, was pillaged centuries later during the Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and now only fragments remain with pictures of monastery artworks to fill in the gaps. The stupa is topped by a bell-shaped, domed metal reliquary and a four-armed female deity sits on top of a lotus blossom. A peek into the historical past, the monastery may inspire your noblest ideals.

DEGENERATE ART: THE ATTACK ON MODERN ART IN NAZI GERMANY 1937 takes you to the Neue Galerie New York, at 1048 Fifth Avenue at 86th Street where the amazing exhibition focuses on the Nazis’ infamous degenerate Art exhibition of 1937. Many of the modern art works on view were seized from museums and private collection while expressionist masterpieces explore the traumatic psyche of the time. The term “degenerate” was used to describe the campaign b the National Socialist regime used in its campaign against modern art. Through June 30. Info: neuegalerie.org
Image: A group of Artists (The painters of the Brucke) by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1925-26 oil on canvas, Museum Cologne, Germany.
POLLYTALKS ABOUT FASHION Now that the curtain has come down on the fashion shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris I have not recovered from the exhausting blur of garments and wonder what’s the point, where’s the trend, where’s the statement, who are those fierce-looking mannequins? I remember when I could come back from Europe and have a definite trend in mind, but as for today it’s a Hodge Podge of costume-looks, a soupcon of fabrics and gimmicky effects. The staging is entertaining, the venues amazing, but what about the clothes, if one looks at themuarely in the face, there’s not much to say, except “Really!!!” Quite frankly, today there’s no distinct message but one thing comes to mind. I think it is the consumer, women at large who set their own trends. Quite frankly I like the fact that women are taking charge and creating their own ‘look’ with what they already have in their wardrobe and tweaking it with accessories. So go for it ladies, create your own style, forget about the fashion machine it’s steering you wrong this time.

Ta Ta Darlings!!! Pollytalk’s going to the Sotheby’s Designer Showhouse today, you should too! Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon. Visit Polly’s website pollytalk and in the left hand column click on my other Blogs on fashion, visionary men and hidden treasures in New York.







Saturday, March 15, 2014

ASIA WEEK March 14-24 INVITES NEW AND SEASONED COLLECTORS (c) By Polly Guerin

What is Asian Art and what does Asia Week mean to New Yorkers? Well, for those of you who are novice collectors this week offers an opportunity to buy both ancient and contemporary art from
Japan, India, southeast Asia, Korean and yes, even China.
   When considering a work of art the best advice is to purchase art that resonates with your creative senses, something that you are drawn to and would enjoy for years to come as a centerpiece in your home. All it takes on your part is an eye for beauty and an appreciation for the hand-craftsmanship of artifacts with timeless design that will never go out of style. You should never compromise or be put off by a small budget; always buy the best you can afford.
   Adding to the value of the object you purchase is its provenance, which authenticates its origin. The dealers are knowledgeable and invite you to ask questions, but it is also a good idea to get a heads up on Asia Art. A comprehensive guide with maps, the agenda of lectures and symposia is available at participating galleries, auction houses and cultural institutions.
   Some 47 galleries open their doors to loyal customers and a new generation of collectors all this week from March 14 to March 22. It’s not only an educational and entertaining experience but gallery hopping will confront you with affordable range of Asian works of art priced to fit even a novice collector’s budget. To pinpoint a few of the galleries: Here’s the Scoop!!!
PATHS TO THE DIVINE: NANCY WIENER GALLERY, 2109 Broadway, Suite 10-18 (Hotel Ansonia) explores the vast range of sacred imagery from the ancient Hindu and Buddhist traditions of India, the Himalayas and Southeast Asia. This year, in addition to stone and bronze sculpture, the gallery is offering Nancy Weiner’s collection of Indian Miniature paintings. Perhaps “small” is the point to begin your collection. However, do see from Tibet, a serenely posed 11th century painted book cover, terracotta red background, devoted to Buddhist goddess, TARA, shown left. And from Thailand, a fine and rare 8-9thcentury figure of Vajrasattva from the Srivijaya period.
KIDERA YUKO METALWORK Byron Kehoe from the LESLEY KEHOE GALLERIES in Melbourne, Australia (exhibiting at Fuller Building, 41 E. 57th St. 5th floor) says that Japanese contemporary arts offer wonderful opportunities for new and young collectors. Japanese metalwork is unique and features a number of extraordinary techniques that have evolved from time-honored traditions and are now interpreted by contemporary artists. One such artist, Kidera Yuko resonated with her technical mastery of flat sheets of metal that she transforms into song and dance themes in her work. With the female form as a central motif, Yuko uses the anonymity of faceless, body-less costume to express the personalities of her sculptures. In ‘Dancing Girl’ and “Diva” one is captivated by the free swinging swirling skirt that evokes the faceless personality.
LANDSCAPE and NATURE IN CONTEMPORARY CHINESE INK at THE CHINESE PORCELAIN COMPANY, 475 Park Ave. at 58th St. features ancient and contemporary art including a group of exquisite green-glazed stoneware such as the famed celadon pieces of the Song Dynasty’s funerary jar, known as hunping which is the most dramatic type of Yue ware. Landscape and Nature is a dynamic painting show that includes new work of the masters of contemporary ink and their disciplines. Liu Dan, for one, arguably the forefather of Chinese contemporary ink painting presents his magnificent poppy finished in breath-taking detail, showing the master’s subtle brushwork and delicate coloration.
PRECIOUS LITTLE THINGS (The Diminutive and Dynamic) at JADESTONE, 41 East 57th St., 9th floor, presents artifacts of miniature to small scale. However, the works of art are, for the most part, not just small but miniature forms and objects that you might recognize. A small Carnelian Snuff Bottle in an unexpected bright orange color might resonate with you. The selection of miniature carvings of a Heavenly Maiden or a snuff dish are among a wide range of precious little things that you might afford to collect and most importantly be the inspiration for starting a collection. By the way, a singular artifact indeed may be a thing of beauty but a ‘collection,’ in a specific genre, can become a more valuable asset.
KOO NEW YORK at MARK MURRAY GALLERY, 39 East 72 St, 5th floor, Korean Traditions: Arts of the Interior presents exceedingly rare Korean antique furniture that is difficult to find in this country. ‘Not to be missed’-- among the Florida-based gallerist’s offerings is an 18th-century Confucian wood alter chair for adoration of male ancestors, which is finely reticulated with lotus motifs. Another furniture piece, that looks like a repository for books, is incised at each side with images that look like Swastikas but they are instead the reverse design of the same image that are actually ancient symbols of good tidings. Magnificent screens include a ten-panel screen, called Scholar’s Articles, colored on paper and mounted on silk brocade.
INDIAN PAINTINGS and COURTLY OBJECTS: FRANCESCA GALLOWAY exhibiting at Lesley Feely Fine Art, 33 E. 68th St., 5th floor revolves around core collection Indian paintings in exquisite color and storytelling scenes including: The night of Shab-barat, Ladies with Fireworks on a Terrace by the artist Mola Bagas. This delightful late-18th-century work depicts courtly ladies, in beautiful attire, celebrating with fireworks rendered in opaque pigments with gold on paper. Rama and Sita enthroned with Laksmana and Han is a scene from the epic, Ramayana. It tells the story of Rama and Sita and how overcome many obstacles in their endeavor to be together. The elegance of these paintings should appeal to the modern aesthetic of a young collector's portfolio.

This brief report in no way covers the magnitude of the galleries which are open and free to the public. This is a rare and wonderful opportunity to view some of the rarest and finest Asian examples of artworks—all representing the artistry, ingenuity and imagination from every corner and time period of Asia.







Monday, March 10, 2014

FASHION IN THE CITY, REBELLION and PEACE (c) By Polly Guerin

Fashion never disappoints!!! It makes us all marvel at the theatrics on the runway, the rebellion of style and the ever on-going message of peace through fashion statements. Only in New York, the best ofNew York my friends. Here’s the scoop!!!
BEYOND REBELLION: Fasten your seat belt!!! Take a ride on the wild side and go and see  "Fashioning the Biker Jacket" exhibit, organized by the graduate students in the fashion and Textile Studies program and the Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology. Image: Schott, Perfecto jacket, black leather, circa 1980, USA. Courtesy The Museum at FIT purchase.
Find out about the genesis of the biker jacket and its evolution into a high-fashion garment now coveted by fashionistas worldwide. Although the biker jacket emerged in the early twentieth century as a protective garment to shield riders from the elements, leave it to the fashionistas to claim the biker jacket as their own.
The mystique of the biker jacket has attracted movie stars, young adults and some senior citizens and of course, fashion designers, leading labels such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent and Rick Owens to name a few, who are featured in the exhibit.
Where did this function fashion come from? Well, over the years the biker leather jacket evolved from utilitarian outwear to icon symbol of rebellion, function, and “cool.” By the 1950s, due in part to its appropriation by motorcycle gangs, associations fostered by the movies as The Wild One the jacket has become an emblem of the outlaw biker.
The final section of the exhibit explores the avant-garde reinterpretations of the classic biker jacket such as the 2005 Comme des Garcons ensemble from the Biker and Ballerina collection featuring a sculptural masculine black leather jacket with a girlish pink gingham and tulle skirt…obviously the allure and mystique of the jacket remains on exhibit through April 5, 2013. At 27th Street & Seventh Ave. Tues-Fri, noon to 8pm, Sat 10-5 pm. FREE admission. Image Right: Comme des Garcons (Rei Kawakubo), jacket and skirt, black leather, pink gingham and tulle spring 2005, Japan. Courtesy The Museum at FIT purchase.
HEADPIECES FOR PEACE and  FASHION AT FIAF Celebrates the new forces in fashion from the hottest designers and bloggers to filmmakers. In the Gallery: JESSICA SOFIA MITRANI’S HEADPIECES FOR PEACE offers a wiry examination of fashion and feminism. For the first time in New York, see this video along with the 11 headpieces made from printed fabric designed by threeASFOUR. Style Stories with Garance Dore, March 20 at 7pm, Inside Web-based Fashion Companies, March 26 at 7pm, Thom Browne, March 31 at 7pm.
THE FASHION SCOOP: Fashion runway took on high-jinks theatrics this season. Who doesn’t enjoy tabloid shot of celebrities at the supermarket? Women’s Wear Daily’s sightings: At the Chanel show, staged amid a mock supermarket, the aisles were teeming with celebrities. They marveled at the hundreds of mock products on display as models ventured down the runway with shopping card antics. At the Dolce & Gabbana show the velvet curtain opened to reveal an enchanted forest, with an enormous rotating tree that rises from the floor with falling snow. Then there was the full orchestra at Prada and Roberto Cavalli’s fireworks. What beats me is fashion as theater is fine but with all the theatrical elements does it really make us sit up and take notice of the clothes, the fashion trend or message, if there is one?
FUZZY WUZZY FASHION  Well, DSquared2 put us suddenly back in the Sixties in a mental institution (or rehab facility) where model Malaika Firth and her equally fashionista friends are waiting to be discharged. WHEW!!! What’s the fashion message…seems like by fall there is going to be a lot of fuzzy wuzzy fur flying around the fashion world in fantastically different fur coats.…and I wonder, dear readers, what are those anti-fur groups going to do about it? Watch as the protest fur action unfolds later this year. ALL DOLLED UP Jason Wu has designed a fashion doll for retailer Montaigne Market. Priced at 150 Euros or $200, at the current exchange rate, the limited edition of 250, is a replica of a style from his spring collection.

Ta Ta Darlings!!! Pollytalk went to the preview of ‘Beyond Rebellion,’ it’s a real eye-opener! Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon. Visit Polly’s website pollytalk and in the left hand column click on my other Blogs on fashion, visionary men and hidden treasures in New York.





Friday, March 7, 2014

MIRA SCHENDEL, LANDMARK ARTIST, BRAZIL (c) By Polly Guerin

To Mira Schendel’s family she was known as “A strong, highly intelligent woman who affected everybody by the sheer magnitude of her personality and artistic achievements,” said her grandson Max Schendel, who in collaboration with Olivier Renaud-Clement organized the exhibition at Hauser & Wirth gallery. No less significant is the fact that to the art world Mira Schendel is known as one of the most important Latin American artists of the 20th century, who has her due recognition in the exhibit at the Hauser & Wirth, 32 East 69th Street gallery through April 26, 2014. Works on view span Schendel’s full career and include the installation, ‘Ondas paradas de probabilidade (Still waves of probability)’, Mira’s luminous masterpiece which was introduced at the 10th Sao Paulo Biennial in 1969. Image Right: Mira Schendel in front of 'Todos,' (All). Courtesy of Mira Schendel and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Mira Schendel archives
INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION
This exhibition follows the acclaimed, first-ever international survey devoted to Schendel held this past autumn at Tate Modern, London, England.
Her work was described by the late Brazilian poet Haroldo de Campos as ‘an art of voids, where the utmost redundancy begins to produce original information; an art of words and quasi-words where the graphic form veils and unveils and symbols which print on the blank page of their luminous foam.’
A woman determined to succeed Mira’s move to Sao Paulo, Brazil would prove the ideal place for her to create a unique visual language that conveys her spiritual and intellectual ideas. Born to a Jewish family in Zurich, Switzerland, Mira was educated in Italy and raised Roman Catholic. The tides of war torn Europe forced her family to move between Bulgaria, Austria and Sarajevo to avoid Fascist persecution, and then emigrated to Brazil in 1949.
VISUAL SILENCE
On the second floor of the gallery thousands of nylon threads hang suspended from the ceiling. Extended to the floor, these delicate strands create a volumetric space at once opaque and transparent. While light filters through Schendel’s installation dematerializes in our presence. It asserts the artist’s desire to establish a relationship between transparency, human existence, and the intangibility of God.
Downstairs in another venue is Mira’s ‘Variantes II’ comprised of fourteen parts and developed in a way that allows the work to be viewed from both sides. Characterized by geometric motifs, delicate lines, or typeset letters,
Schendel’s ‘Monotpias (Monotypes) are rendered with a feeling of temporality and transience. These works give the viewer a sense of floating in space imbuing one’s senses with spiritual awareness.

MIRA SCHENDEL lightens our concept of art, raising our spirit by creating luminous and reflective geometric forms. The ‘Sarrafo’ (Batten) seeries was conceived during the last years of her life and reflects its cerebral and poetically inspired integrity. It reaches beyond the materiality of art and invites the viewer to understand and experience space as a new medium of expression. Mira does this with the most delicate, lighthearted art forms that leave us to ponder their meaning and inspire our appreciation of airy space, movement and suspended time.
Image Left: Untitled (from the series Discs/Discos) Acrylic glass (opague), transfer lettering 1971-1973.Courtesy of Mira Schendel and Hauser & Wirth.