Monday, July 17, 2017

World Premiere A PINK CHAIR (In Place of a Fake Antique at BARD

"Tadeusz Kantor was to Poland what Any Warhol is to America: an iconic postwar artist." It might be best to be open-minded to fully appreciate the avant garde performance of The Wooster Group's A PINK CHAIR (In Place of a Fake Antique). The experience is mesmerizing, an experimental performance incorporating video in the theatrical landscape that pays tribute to to the late visionary, Polish artist and director, Tadeusz Kantor. 
     Annandale-on-the Hudson, NY:  This summer, the Bard SummerScape 2017 festival presents the world premiere of a new theater production from The Wooster Group, the internationally recognized Obie and Bessie Award-winning experimental theater company. Each Scene in the piece, there are five, is a re-imagined installment of Kantor's work, revisiting as it does his previous pieces, Case in point, Part  III: A Miserable and Suspicious Inn (The Company encounters the film of I shall Never Return), and then in Part V: The Return of Odysseus, the Company reenacts the Odysseus Story From Kantor's I Shall Never Return with Some Disruptions. Haunting musical accompaniment included Ani Ma'amin a Jewish prayer set to music, an Argentinian tango a work by Chopin, a song from the Warsaw ghetto and others.
     It is interesting to note that  this new work by the Wooster Group not only pays homage to  Tadeusz Kantor, but his daughter, Dorota Krakowska serves in a spellbinding presence as A Pink Chair's dramaturge. Then too, the piece is directed by Wooster founding member, Elizabeth LeCompte, whose string of honors include prize recognitions and a National Endowment of the Arts Lifetime Achievement award.
    This innovative work is performed in the LUMA Theater of the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center on Bard's Hudson Valley campus.  Remaining performances include the following: Wednesday, July 19 at 2 pm, Thursday, July 20 at 7:30 pm, Friday, July 21 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, July 22 at 2 pm, Saturday July 22 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, July 23 at 2 pm.
     TADEUSZ KANTOR (1915-90) the stage director, set designer, creator of happenings and writer, was the artist behind such revolutionary theatrical works as The Dead Class (1975) . He founded the Independent Theater in Poland , and served as well as a director of the experimental theater in Krakow from 1942 to 1944.  WWII influenced his work and he is best known for his "Theater of Death" a series of surrealist works in which the shadow of Poland's experience of war and totalitarianism, he sought to create what he called "a bridge between the audience and the kingdom of death. The presence of  pink chair at the end of the performance alludes to the title of Kantor's piece and perhaps is a harbinger of "hope" in the aftermath.
   Ta ta Darlings!!! BARD'S SUMMERSCAPE 2017 FULL SCHEDULE OF PERFORMANCES CAN BE ACCESSED AT www.bard.edu/fishercenter.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.
Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Patek Philippe's "Art of Watches" Grand Exhibition: Opens July 13 at Cipriani

Whether you are a watch aficionado or not, here is your chance to enter the splendid hallowed halls of the former Bowery Savings Bank building across from Grand Central Terminal to view the Patek Philippe's tradition of high-precision watch manufacturing as well as the company's 178-year history and its heritage in the domain of Haute Horlogerie. Located in Geneva, Switzerland and the Vallee de Joux, Patek Philippe designs and manufactures timepieces and movements, including some of the most complicated mechanical watches, and many experts and aficionados consider Patek Philippe to be one of the most prestigious watch manufacturers. Owners of their time honored watches have included kings and queens. In 1851 Queen Victoria wore an exclusive Patek Philippe timepiece, a watch suspended from a diamond enamel brooch.  Patek Philippe popularized the perpetual calendar, the split-seconds hand, chronograph, and minute repeater in watches and modern captains of industry own such watches for their status and unique appeal.
     
Cipriani former  Bowery Savings Bank ballroom interior
     The 11-day exhibition, THE ART OF WATCHES GRAND EXHIBITION, running from July 13-23rd, is free and open to the public at Cipriani 42nd Street, 110 East 42nd Street and will be open to the general public from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Here is a rare opportunity to discover the world of the last privately family owned watch company from the inside featuring a curated selection of luxury pocket watches and wrist watches, from new ones to styles dating back to 1530. Rather than selling watches, the exhibition format is meant to educate visitors about the historical significance of time-keeping and the awe-inspiring ingenuity of the watches. 


    A UNIQUE STRUCTURE: For the first time ever, a two-story structure has been created within Cipriani, the former Bowery Savings Bank building, to accommodate the square footage required for an exhibition of this scale. Ten specific rooms include the Theater Room, Current Collection Room, Museum Room, US Historic Room Rare Handcrafts Gallery and Grand Complications Room. All have been created to showcase unique environments.
    DEMONSTRATIONS: As a way to educate visitors on the inner-workings of fine watchmaking, watchmaker and Artisan demonstrations are among some of the interactive activities taking place during the exhibition. After visitors have concluded their tour they are welcome to rest in the Patek Philippe Cafe. 
George Washington Pocket Watch 
COMMEMORATIVE CATALOG: A one-of-a-kind commemorative catalog available for purchase at a nominal fee during the storied exhibition, will highlight the historical timepieces, current novelties, rare handicrafts and grand complications showcased during the exhibition. 

And, did I mention Patek Philippe will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the catalog to The Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, which offers innovative after-school and enrichment programs for more than 10,000 youth, ages 6 through 18, in ten locations throughout the Bronx. Daniel Quintero, Executive Director of the Kip's Bay Boys & Girls Club said, "We are honored to be partnering with Patek Philippe during this exhibition, and grateful that they have chose our organization as the recipient of the catalog's proceeds."
       THE ART OF WATCHES, GRAND EXHIBITION is like a gift to New York and revers the memory of its founders (Antoni ) Patek and (Adrien) Philippe who landed in New York in the 1800s when they began to explore the new world.  Today The Henri Stern Watch Agency manages all of the business operations for Patek Philippe in the United States. 
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! I look forward to seeing you at Cipriani and delve into the unique world of watchmaking history. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Polly's Blogs on fashion, visionary men, women determined to succeed and poetry can be accessed on www.pollytalk.com, just click on the links to the Blogs that resonate with your interest.

Monday, June 26, 2017

REVISITING CALDER at Whitney Museum: Review by Polly Guerin

Elements of Calder's mobiles vibrate, sway, or unfurl creating a captivating visual dynamism. His airborne mobiles hang from ceilings and stand on floors, their elements rotating independently and at times causing chain reactions with their composition. They are fascinating structures that intrigue, but when these metal sculptures move they become airborne masterpieces.
     CALDER: HYPERMOBILITY at the Whitney Museum of American Art, focuses on the extraordinary breadth of motion achieved by Alexander Calder (1898-1976) in his works from the moment he turned to radical abstraction in 1930 and continuing throughout his career. The exhibit is extended to October 23, 2017.
     Thanks to an unprecedented collaboration with the Calder Foundation, this exhibit, enchanting as it is, engages visitors with a rare opportunity to experience works set in motion by motors or air currents and further animated by touch.     

In 1931 Calder set abstract forms in motion, using motors to re-imagine the spatial and temporal relationships of compositional elements.  The mechanized sculptures on view here are newly restored for this exhibition, and several are operating for the first time since they were initially presented by the artist. Each work, driven by a hidden electric motor, consists of components that transform and interact, either within a designated open space or as offset by a monochrome backdrop.
      These subtly oscillating shapes create the sense of a painting in motion, and as with his earlier mobiles, many of the sculptures feature circular forms inspired by the dynamics of unseen forces in nature.  Always experimenting, Calder would soon push beyond the repetition of the motorized works and by 1932 he made his first suspended mobile, Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere, which quickly led to various other mobiles incorporating spontaneous movements activated by air currents, human intervention, or chance. 
 BIRTH OF THE MOBILE: Calder began with kineticism in the 1920s while living in Paris, where he developed a close association with leading European avant-garde artists, including Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian, Edgard Varese and Fernand Leger.
     In 1931 Calder invented the mobile, an entirely new mode of sculpture. The term was coined by Duchamp, the friend of American Artist, Florine Stettheimer. In French, mobile is  pun that means both "motive" and "that which moves."  Combined with carefully balanced components of wire, metal and wood, each mobile performs is own set of movements, enacting an infinite series of potential forms. 

In tandem with his kinetic works, he also made stabiles, sculptures that while stationery nonetheless convey a heightened sense of implied movement through their composition. 
     For this exhibition, musician Jim O'Rourke has composed a works in response to Calder's sculpture.  Listen on the mulimedia guide and whiteney.org/calder.  A complete  schedule of performances and activations for updates and to purchase or reserve tickets in advance, visit
whitney.org.calder.
    Ta Ta Darlings!!! Calder's mesmerizing mobiles engage, enchant, entertain and move our imagination into spheres of uncharted beauty.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com. Just click in the left-hand column to topics that resonate with your interest on fashion, beauty, women determined to succeed, visionary men, and poetry.

Monday, June 19, 2017

FORCE OF NATURE---Museum at FIT: Review By Polly Guerin

Charles James, "Tree" evening dress and "Petal stole
What better source of inspiration than Nature---its flora and fauna, geology, and physical beauty   has been the muse for designers throughout fashion history.  As Alexander McQueen said, "I have always loved the mechanics of nature, and to a greater or lesser extent my world is always informed by that."
     The Museum at Fit's exhibit, FORCE OF NATURE spans the eighteenth century to the present in ten sections, each focusing on a facet of fashion's connection to nature---on view through November 18, 2017. Curator Melissa Marra's research blends a fascinating marriage of fashion and nature in unexpected comparisons on display.
     Image Left: Charles James, "Tree" evening gown with "Petal" stole, 1955.  This evening gown with a petal-like stole bestows upon its wearer a sensual elegance by transforming her into a flower.
     Garments, textiles and accessories, exclusively from the collection of The Museum at FIT, illustrate how principles of the natural sciences, such as the dynamics of sexual attraction, have informed fashion design. For instance, elaborately feathered women's hats, show how the plumage of male birds use for sexual display has been appropriated to emphasize female beauty.  The natural world has influenced fashion in positive ways, but fashion's impact on the environment has been largely detrimental. Take the case of the thousands of birds almost made extinct by the use of their feathers and taxidermy bodies for use as decoration on women's millinery.  It is good to note that this style was abandoned and today many designers are engaging in more sustainable practices. This shift indicates a new attitude towards nature, from one of dominion to participation. 
     
Pierre Hardy, shoes 2015, France
During the Enlightenment, as naturalists classified plant species, exotic botanic gardens flourished throughout Europe. These gardens inspired the work of textile designers, who began to depict flowers from around the world.  The sexuality of plants and the symbolism of flowers such as roses and orchids 

     Fashion and nature is an international love affair. A pair of shoes by Pierre Hardy challenges traditional representation of flowers by rendering realistic images of lilies in saccharine, artificial colors. (Image Right: Pierre Hardy, shoes summer collection 2015, France.
      The bold patterns of animal skins have been appropriated by fashion designers for their strong visual impact and their exotic appeal. The striking patterns of the leopard, zebra and ocelot, for example, that serve to camouflage animals in the wild are often used in fashion as a way to stand out. Remember Josephine Baker famous scenario. She paraded around Paris wearing a matching leopard print pant suit while out walking her pet leopard. Superstars today wear to the limelight outrages animal inspired trappings to create exotic, out-of-the norm images.
   
Shrimpton Couture
In a never ending search for inspiration discoveries relating to celestial bodies, the greater universe, and the physical forces that created them have also led to extraordinary designs. Science and technology play key roles in transforming the shift in a new attitude toward nature. This is evidenced by designer interest in biomimicry (employing design principles that imitate nature's processes) and biomaterials that are grown using biological organisms. For further information contact the Museum information line: 212 217 4558. Internet access at

exhibitions.fitnyc.edu/force-of-nature.
    Ta Ta Darlings!!  It is always FREE admission at The Museum at FIT, then, too, there are the supplemental I-pad content, executed by Javier Alvarez with more informative details about each section of the show.  Fan Mail welcome at pollytalk@gmail.com  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com on subjects ranging from visionary men to women determined to succeed, fashion and poetry.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reinventing the Bank Experience at Union Square: Review by Polly Guerin

Union Square, one of the most vibrant and historic intersections in New York City, is a pulsating hub. Throughout nearly 185 years it has been the gathering place for commerce, for entertainment, for labor, political events, farmer's markets and happenings. 
     It is the place to be and see the young and mature cognoscenti especially enjoy the park which owes its name to the location at the intersection---or union---of two major roads in New York City;  Broadway, the former Bloomingdale Road, and Fourth Avenue, the former Bowery Road. 
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION The site was authorized by the State Legislature as a public place in 1831 and acquired by the City of New York in 1833. For those you have forgotten their American Revolution history, the equestrian statue of King George III, pulled down by patriotic citizens and the historic moment November 25, 1783, is recognized as Evacuation Day, when the British were finally driven out of the city.  For years Evacuation Day was celebrated as a major holiday to commemorate the end of British rule in the United States.
    Who resides in the Park today? The equestrian statue of United States President George Washington, by Henry Kirke Brown, the first public sculpture erected in New York City, was unveiled in 1856.
    With such an illustrious past Union Square, surrounded by trendy neighborhoods, such as Chelsea, the Flatiron District, East Village and Gramercy Park, is a fast paced epicenter that attracts multi-national pedestrians and tourists from all over the world. It is any wonder, therefore, that a major bank's headquarters are located here?
By David Aquino Sanchez
WHERE IS THE BANK? When I first walked into the bank's headquarters, on the bank's storefront street level there were people sitting by the windows working on their laptops, just like a trendy restaurant. Then too, further into the street level, an artist, David Aquino Sanchez was painting a large mural, a replica of his rendering of a New York City themed painting, the apple morphed into an eagles head, plus other iconic images. "What are you doing here I asked?"  He explained that through a community outreach program, the bank features an artist every three months and that he would be at the location finalizing his masterpiece until September. This engaging artist has a large repertoire of works in color that identify with his diverse oeuvre. He takes pride in the charity he has formed to help the youths of Santa Domingo.  Called, the Shoeshine Boys, he plans to garner funds to help to elevate the young boys and girls out of their poverty circumstances. Visit David at www.davinaquinoart.com.
Yet there still was no sign of a traditional bank.
     Instead there was a glamorous staircase to ascend to the next level which again did not look like a bank and had even more remarkable spaces such as individual mini booths by the windows, which were already taken up by business and personal Internet people working. Then, too, there is a tablet station, but most impressive is a rather spacious open viewing lounge with huge windows overlooking the park. No reservations required, just take one of the colorful seats,  where weary individuals can, if they wish, merely sit and take in the panoramic view of the Union Square intersection. What's this all about I asked?  
Window Booths (individual work areas) and elongated Tablet Station 
REINVENTING THE BANK  A well informed individual explained, "It's Capital One's flagship bank, bringing back the human element in banking, returning to a place of hospitality and offering diverse fast-land Manhattanites an opportunity to slow down and perk up, and visit anytime they wish to---even when they are not banking."  And, did I mention--there's Peet's coffee shop where customers can take a breather and sip a hand-crafted cup of coffee, even bring it with them. Of yes, by the way, this is a bank, there is not doubt about it, and there's time to do traditional banking or discuss the diverse banking opportunities; all this in an innovative open environment. 
For further information Capital One Bank, 853 Broadway, NYC 10003 www.capitalone.com.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!!  Destination Union Square is the place to be and relaxing in the new bank experience is worth a trip downtown. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the left-hand column to the Blogs that resonate with your interest.

Monday, June 5, 2017

AL HIRSCHFELD Legendary Caricaturist at Algonquin Hotel Review By Polly Guerin

Al Hirschfeld's Tony Award Winning Black-and-White Images 
There is never a dull moment on historic West 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. It is known to the cognoscenti as Club Row, and at the end of the street the legendary Algonquin Hotel, famed as the site of The Round Table, was the gathering place of the elite stars of stage, screen and theater. 
    Now fans and aficionados of the legendary caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, who was well known for his black-and-white portraits of celebrities and Broadway stars, can enjoy a unique exhibit of his work in the celebrated lounge of The Algonquin Hotel. Hirschfeld, whose artwork graced the pages of the New York Herald Tribune and later The New York Times and many other publications and magazines was actually a frequent visitor at the The Algonquin Round Table. He knew and worked with many of its members and you will remember best that he sketched the famous portrait of Dorothy Parker and her cohorts in 1962. The connection of Hirschfeld and the cult of celebrity runs deep in the annals of his oeuvre. His style was unique and almost always of pure line in black ink, into which he dipped not a pen but a Crow's quill. Hirshfeld's outpouring of whimsical and comedic images chronicled nearly all of the major entertainment figures of the 20th century as well as politicians, TV stars, and such musical legends as Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Count Basie and many others.
The Algonquin Round Table
PRIOR TO THE TONY'S:  In collaboration with the Al Hirschfeld Foundation, THE ALGONQUIN HOTEL CELEBRATES THE TONY'S AS SEEN BY HIRSCHFELD" in an exhibit which opened recently, just prior to the Tony Awards taking place June llth. There is plenty of time to visit Hirschfeld's black-and-white portraits of Tony Award winning Broadway musicals and plays that grace the Hotel's legendary lobby lounge and and whilst there sip a libation or two.  The exhibit is on view through August 8, 2017.   Free for the viewing, just walk into the lobby of the hotel for a heads up on this unique exhibition. New Yorkers and tourists alike are welcome to visit The Algonquin Hotel Lobby Lounge, marvel at Hirschfeld's works and guess the name of the show in each drawing, and, of course there is the subject of "Nina" the name of his daughter that Hirschfeld managed to conceal in each piece.  So have fun trying to find it. Maybe take an opera glass with you as the works are ceiling high.   
Hirschfeld's THE PRODUCERS
The panorama of  larger-than-life reproductions  features a total of 23 drawings, reproduced three feet tall. You must look up, look up my dear, the stunning black-and-white reproductions are hanging atop the iconic Lobby Lounge's oak paneling. Although the focus of this exhibition is on Hirschfeld's black-and-white, it is important to know that a whole body of his work was also in color, particularly in magazines and the subject of magazine covers. 

THE ALGONQUIN: Although The Algonquin Hotel, which opened November 22, 1902, is the oldest and longest operating hotel located in the heart of New York City's Club Row, 59 West 44th Street,  it is as modern as one would expect. www.algonquin.hotel.com 
Many celebrities and famous clientele have been guests, but the one character I always look for is the celebrated hotel house cat, Matilda, a celebrity herself who is usually the official lobby greeter. The tradition of having a house cat started in the 1920s. Over the years there have also been some male counterparts called, Hamlet.   Recently I asked for Matilda III and found her curled up sleeping in her favorite spot, in a street window, where even the passing crowd on the way to the theater can see her. A placard tells her story.
     Ta Ta Darlings!! It's the perfect place to rendezvous with a special friend(s) and relax with a "Dorothy Parker" or "Matilda" cocktail. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click on the links in the left hand column to visionary men, womendeterminedtosucceed, poetry from the heart and others.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

LIVE OUT LOUD'S 2017 Young Trailblazers Gala June 5 at TIMESCENTER

What does it take to be sweet sixteen and bring to the fore a nonprofit organization that empowers LGBTQ youth to live authentic lives? Just ask Leo Preziosi, Jr., Founder and Executive Director of Live Out Loud. He has has been spearheading this organization from the beginning and announces this year's honorees including the Soaring Spirit Award being presented by Mary-Louis Parker to BRUCE COHEN, an Academy Award-winning director of film, television and theater (pictured left). He is executive producer of "When We Rise," an eight-hour miniseries on the LGBTQ rights movement from 1971 to today.  The film is an epic event and as it chronicles the real-life personal and political struggles, setbacks and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBTQ people who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. equality movement from it turbulent infancy in the 20th Century to today.
      WHO ATTENDS? The Young Trailblazers benefit gala draws more than 400 influencers and community leaders from the worlds of business, arts, politics, fashion, and recognizes individuals and companies who have made a positive impact among the LGBTQ youth community.
      If you're like me and you want to support this organization you, too, can become part of this sweet sixteen anniversary. Live Out Loud celebrates at the YOUNG TRAILBLAZERS GALA, Monday, June 5th, at the TIMESCENTER, 242 West 41st Street, New York, N.Y.  For tickets call 212.378.4095 / email leo@liveoutloud.info. Tickets start at $250 and sponsorship opportunities are still available. Proceeds from the gala event will benefit Live Out Loud's educational school programming for LGBTQ youth.
      Red carpet arrivals start at 5:30 pm, Award presentation from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, Reception and Silent Auction from 7:39 - 9:30 pm.  The Gold Sponsor for this year's event is GILEAD.
      Raphael Miranda, Meteorologist for NBC 4 New York will Emcee and Mary-Louis Parker who presents the Soaring Spirit ward to Bruce Cohen is appropriately designated as she plays lesbian feminist activist Roma Guy, a co-founder of The San Francisco Women's building, a women-led arts and education community center and non-profit organization. The Educator of the Year will be presented to Annabell Louis, Linden High School.
   Why Does LIVE OUT LOUD MATTER? This nonprofit organization guides and empowers LGBTQ youth not only to live authentic lives but connects them to positive role models, and affirmative experiences in the LGBTQ community. Every week, the Live Out Loud High School Program is out in high schools and communities bringing  together students and role models. 
      Then too,  Live Out Loud's Homecoming Project, invites the LGBTQ community nationwide to return to their hometown high schools to share their personal stories with the next generation  Live Out Loud's Behind the Scenes program partners with corporate LGBTQ affinity groups to connect with professionals who can provide career advice and personal guidance. 
      The Young Trailblazers Scholarship Fund---Every year, three LGBTQ high school seniors are recognized and awarded scholarships for $10,000 at the Annual Young Trailblazers Gala for their outstanding leadership and community activism. For more information, go to http://www.liveoutloud.info.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! As the audience at the Young Trailblazers Gala at the TimesCenter reaches a high pitch of unbridled enthusiasm PollyTalk will be there cheering on the LGBTQ youth. Be there, it's an enriching experience.  Fan mail to pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's other Blogs at www.pollytalk.com.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A WORLD OF EMOTIONS at Onassis Cultural Center: Review By Polly Guerin

WHY DO EMOTIONS MATTER?  Life would  be pretty dull without emotions that  penetrate every aspect of our lives, they are the background of every form of art and literature and are interwoven with memory, attention, cognition, and decision. Emotions are such heady stuff that they determine our interpersonal relations, our private life, the public sphere, and religious worship. 
      Perhaps we need more emotion in our lives, let's see how the ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTER'S stunning ancient Greek masterpieces bring emotions to the fore in a groundbreaking exhibition, A WORLD OF EMOTIONS Ancient Greece, 700 AD-200 AD on view through June 23, 2017, Free admission and public programs, Onassis Cultural Center New York, 645 Fifth Avenue at 51st Street.
     Image Right Features two heads: The Head of PENTHESILEA Marble, Roman copy of a Hellenistic original. (c) Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig. Second head ACHILLES, Marble, Roman copy  of a Hellenistic original. (c) Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig. 
      The exhibition brings together more than 130 masterpieces from world-renowned museums including the Acropolis Museum, the National Archaeological Museum Athens, the Louvre, the British Museum, the Vatican museums and many more opening pathways to a wide world of unending, conflicting, universal emotions. A World of Emotions explores the ideas and attitudes of people in classical antiquity toward emotion and the ways in which the emotions are depicted, revealing how some are strikingly familiar to us and some shockingly alien.  It features vase paintings, sculptures, theatrical masks, amulets, coins, and votive offerings, among other artifacts, many on view in the United States for the firs time, and some for the first time outside of Greece.  

Angelos Chaniotis, Professor of  Ancient History and Classics, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton wrote: "Emotions have a particular significance for Greek Culture. Greek  theorized emotions as early as the 5th century BC.  Emotions were personified and worshipped as divinities. The very first word of Greek (and European) literature describes an emotion: menis, "anger."  Emotions are manifest in every expression of Greek culture, in institutions and society, drama and poetry, rhetoric and history, art and philosophy." Image Left: Funerary Stele, Marble, early 3rd century BC, from the Cemetery of Ancient Thera. Archaeological Museum of Thera (c) Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports--Archaeological Receipts Fund. Photography Kostas Xenikakis.
     Think upon this: According to Aristotle's definition, tragic plays had a surging effect on spectators by arousing fear and compassion. The tragic poets drew their subjects from the passions of larger-than-life figures such as Euripides' Medea with themes of love, betrayal, jealousy, anger and revenge,  which become part of the world's cultural heritage. The myth of Medea inspired six operas, the best known being Luigi Cherubini's Medee of 1797. Maria Callas played this part in her only film role, in Pier Paolo Pasolini's Medea of 1969.  Presented on the theatrical stage, myths triggered fear and empathy that led audiences to catharsis, which according to Aristotle was the defining goal of tragedy.   
     Professor Chaniotis adds: "This exhibition presents an itinerary into a world of emotions. It confronts the visitor with question of timeless value: What were the means with which ancient artists represented emotions. How did images and texts arouse emotions that still resonate with a modern audience.
     A World of Emotions is the kind of exhibition that provides a timely opportunity to think about the role of feeling in our own personal, social, and political lives, and prompts questions about how we express control, manipulate or simulate feelings. Image Right
A marble votive relief of Greek mythology hero
Zeus from 340 BC.
     The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue of essays, available for purchase  at the Onassis Cultural Center New York.   Contact info: www.onassisusa.org/emotions.  
     Ta Ta Darlings!!!  This exhibition gives me cause of express my emotional reaction: Don't MISS this opportunity to revisit the Greek classics and immerse yourself in the emotional thrill  of seeing some Greek antiquities on view for the first time in the US.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs on www.pollytalk.com, and n the left-hand column click on the subject that resonates with your interest on visionary men,  women determined to succeed, the fashion historian and poetry. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

POSTERS and PATRIOTISM at MCNY: Review By Polly Guerin

 As Memorial Day approaches, it is fitting to pause to remember those who served and made great sacrifices in all the wars to keep our nation free and safe.  
    Then too, it is interesting to look into the annals of war propaganda and to note that although New York City is located some 4,000 miles from Europe's bloodiest battlefields during World War I,  it played an important role in the conflict, particularly as a producer of all types of war propaganda.
     The Museum of the City of New York's "POSTERS and PATRIOTISM: Selling World War I in New York" displays sixty original illustrations to sell the war to Americans, on view through October 9, 2017.
    Why does this exhibition matter? Just the magnitude of the outpouring of Posters, Patriotism, and the Power of advertising, the persuasive method that was used to promote patriotic responses during World War I captures our collective interest.  
      In order to unite
Americans in the war effort, a formidable propaganda machine was set up in New York. Three hundred illustrators and admen were recruited with producing posters leaflets, magazine covers and sheet music covers.                  During the 20 months of American engagement in the war, 2,500 illustrations were designed , reproduced and posted over all 50 states. However, at first their image of the war was innocent and romantic; often portrayed as a glorious and exotic adventure. 
    To mobilize the home front New York became a theater of war. Vibrantly colored illustrations covered newsstands, subway stations and billboard all over the city and department stores dressed their windows simultaneously to reflect the propaganda.  Few people thought that the war would drag on but it did and as news of the fallen victims reached the citizens. the reality of the war set in and the vibrant message was darkened.     

Once the Armistice of November 11, 1918 was signed, New York entered the Jazz Age. Spared by the destruction of battle New York City transformed, admen and artists cast aside propaganda for the Dada art movement and Harlem became a mecca of new clubs inspired by African-American soldiers.  It was the roaring 20s and the city was the epicenter of freedom and frivolity.   
 It is interesting to note, that John W. Campbell, the railroad executive most well-known today for his gilded age office in Grand Central Terminal, lastly as the bar, Campbell Apartment (now closed) made substantial donations from his private collection of propaganda posters.
    Something to ponder: Would such a propaganda campaign work in today's society? 
    Ta Ta darlings!!! Let's remember the men and women who so gallantly served and revere their memory this Memorial Day, and lay a wreath at a statue in their memory or throw a wreath into the water for those lost at sea. Fan mail always welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left
hand column click on the Blog that resonates with your interest on visionary men, women determined to succeed, the fashion historian or poetry.
    

Monday, May 8, 2017

NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY'S Center for Women's History: Review By Polly Guerin

Soaring Glass Grand Staircase by Norman S. Benzaquen 
Dazzling like sparkling colored gemstones, the custom-designed glass gallery of 100 illuminated Tiffany lamps displays works of artistic creation, many made by the "Tiffany Girls," who at last get their 15 minutes of fame in the groundbreaking new, CENTER FOR WOMEN'S HISTORY. The first of its kind I am told, in a major U.S. museum, the the fourth floor of THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY has been transformed into a space that tells women's stories and the impact women have made on American history.
     As the centerpiece on the fourth floor, the museum offers a rare opportunity to view a custom-designed glass gallery showcasing the Museum's preeminent collection of Tiffany lamps re-imagined in a permanent installation and displayed within a dramatically lit jewel-like space with its soaring glass Norman S. Benzaquen Grand staircase. 
      Quite true, the museum did have an earlier Tiffany exhibition but that was around 2005, and now the full scope of the museum's Tiffany lamp collection is on view in glorious drama, and to say the least, it is quite stunning, and tugs at one's mind to remember that many these faceted creations were designed and assembled by women.  
The fully renovated fourth floor reveals the often overlooked stories of women who had made an impact on American history.  Then too, the exhibition was inspired by the New-York Historical's discovery of the unknown story of Clara Driscoll, and her Women's Glass Cutting Department, who designed and created iconic Tiffany lampshades at the turn of the 20th century. It is interesting to note that Louis Comfort Tiffany so valued his
leading lady that he paid her the same salary as his employees in the men's glass cutting department.  Image right: The installation includes  multiple examples of the Dragonfly shade, a unique Dogwood floor lamp, a Wisteria Table Lamp, and a rare, elaborate Cobweb shades, among many others.
     With state-of-the-art interactive media, the visitor experience includes a hands-on "Design-a-Lamp" experience in the Tiffany gallery and a diorama that illustrates the rise of electrification. Putting it quite succinctly Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society said, "The reopening of our Henry Luce III Center on the fourth floor of our landmark building marks a new and dramatic phase in the museum's history. Many of the objects we now are able to have never been seen by the public before, others had not been seen for generations."  
     
Interactive Dolley Madison dining table invites visitors 
Of course, the The Women's Center, fourth floor, offers much more than the magnificent Tiffany gallery. SAVING WASHINGTON, for example, showcases the contributions of Dolley Madison and her female contemporaries to the fledgling democracy in early America. Image left: An interactive recreation of Dolley Madison's dining table invites visitors to practice their diplomacy skills. All photos by Corrado Serra.

     In the North Gallery the striking space presents treasures from the museum's holdings in 15 themes relating to the port of New York, Hudson River School artists, slavery in New York, and 9/11, among other objects on view. Highlights of early American silver include a display of silver and jewelry from the New York retailer Tiffany & Co.
    Ta Ta Darlings!!!  Here's to the women who made America great!!!  Visit the new Center for Women's History, where women take pride and place in American history.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the left hand column on the links to visionary men, fashion, women determined to succeed or poetry.

Monday, May 1, 2017

FLORINE STETTHEIMER; Painting Poetry: at The Jewish Museum: Review By Polly Guerin

Picnic at Bedford Hills 1918
Jazz Age Manhattan's influential American painter, designer and poet, Florine Stettheimer's sharp satirical wit, places her centrally in the modern dialogue of  high and mass culture. Her whimsicality and pictorial depiction of society gives us pause to be enchanted, and why not, her work continues to provoke comment and curiosity. Florine gives us a peak through the magnifier at a life well lived and well loved. She was an astute commentator on her social milieu and the American scene, including icons of New York City.
     Then, too, the leading lights of the artistic vanguard were attracted to her.  One dandy, in particular, Marcel Duchamp, the flamboyant epicurean was an intimate friend, and frequent visitor, but her circle also included Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keefe, Elie Nadelman, Gaston Lachaise, and many others. Image Left: Picnic at Bedford Hills, 1918, oil on canvas. Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia. Gift of Ettie Stettheimer, 1950.
     
Asbury Park 1920
By 1918,  Florine had articulated her unique style, typified in the painting Picnic at Bedford Hills. The figures are painted in a miniaturized, self-consciously naive manner that seemingly draws from folk art.  In other paintings she chronicled urban life---beauty contests, parties, the revelries of celebrities, gatherings, skyscrapers, Wall Street and consumer culture. Ahead of her time she anticipated many of the interests that would later animate Pop Art. Even Andy Warhol loved her art. Her oeuvre became a source of inspiration for some of the most fascinating artists working today.  At the height of her creative powers, the Manhattan salon she hosted with her sisters Carrie and Ettie,  attracted the best of the cognoscenti in society and the art world.

       Enchanting and  engaging your unique sensitivities deserve to view and first major U.S. exhibition in over 20 years focuses on Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944) at THE JEWISH MUSEUM, May 5, 2017 and remains on view through September 24, 2017. FLORINE STETTHEIMER: PAINTING POETRY showcases over 50 paintings and drawings in addition to costume and theater designs, photographs, and ephemera. Image Right: Stettheimer's satirical wit shines in Asbury Park South 1920. Against a golden background the lively movement of black and white beach goers intermingle on the New Jersey beach, when in reality, Asbury Park was a segregated beach. Here, Stettheimer depicts members of her inner circle including Duchamp in a pink suit, leading the actress Favia Marinoff. Carl Van Vechten is in the stand above it all, quietly examining the view of people, flirting, playing and promenading in their finest. Look deeper, Florine stands near the center of the archway, under a green umbrella. Oil on canvas. Collection of halley k harrisburg and Michael Rosenfeld, New York.     

     
Florine;s Unrealized Ballet 
In addition to her work as a painter, She was active as 
a and set designer and her vision for a ballet of her own. The exhibition includes many of Stettheimer's sketches, maquettes and sculptures of the designed for her unrealized ballet, Orpheus of the Four Acts. 
       Image Left: Procession Orpheus "Orphee of the Quat-z-ars, 1912, oil, fabric, and beads on canvas. Museum of Modern At, New York, Gift of Miss Ettie Stettheimer. Art Resources, New York.      A poet, too; at one time she offered an explanation of her strange, intoxicating, beguiling works in a poem, published after her death. She wrote: "For a long time, I gave myself, To the arrested moment, To the moment of quiet expectation, I painted the trance moment, The promise moment, The moment in the balance, In mellow golden tones, Then I saw, Time, Noise, Color, outside me, around me, knocking me, Jarring me, Hurling me, Rousing me, Sailing, singing, Forcing me in joy to paint them."
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! I can still visualize Florine in one of her stylish silk pajamas entering through the cellophane curtains in her studio high above Bryant Park. Take in the view and make a date to see Painting Poetry and awaken your child-like wonder.  Fan mail welcome at
pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Web Site: www.pollytalk.com and in the left-hand column click on the Blog that resonates with your interest for a direct link to visionary men, women determined to succeed, poetryfromtheheart, and the fashion  historian. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

MUSEUM of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION, Philadelphia; Review By Polly Guerin

Oh, to be in Philadelphia on Wednesday, April 19th!!! It marks the 242nd anniversary of the "shot heard 'round the world" that ignited the American Revolutionary War in 1775 and quite appropriately it also marks the newest portal to Philadelphia's great historic landmarks, the MUSEUM of he AMERICAN REVOLUTION'S grand opening in the heart of historic Philadelphia this Wednesday. It is a logical location making Philadelphia the most exciting destination for those interested in exploring the birth of our nation.
      The museum tells the story of the founding of America in authentic and vivid interactive exhibitions. "We are very proud to tell that story in both its contradictions and its inspirations. At that time nothing seemed more improbable---first that roughly two million colonists spread across thirteen states could stand up to the full military might of the British empire," said Michael Quinn, president and CEO. "And, secondly that a society with slavery at its foundation and dispossession of Native Americans at its heart could articulate such powerful ideals as equality, dignity and freedom as its core."
        One of the premier collections of its kind, the Museum includes several thousand objects that span the Revolutionary era, from an elaborately decorated mug wishing "Liberty Forever" to the town of Boston, to a religious book owned by Martha Washington, and from a British military musket used during the opening battles of the Revolutionary War to the first newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence.

     Then, too, there more than 20 life-like figures that appear individually or in historical vignettes, or tableaux, that re-create particular moments during the American Revolution. These include the statue of King George III as it is about to be torn down by a mob of angry New Yorkers, a pair of Loyalist cavalry troopers in the South (pictured left) and a conversation between enslaved Virginian and a black Loyalist soldier in 1781 (Above Right: picture MOAR jpg.) It is interesting to note that many enslaved African Americans joined the Loyalists because they were promised their freedom.
    While major skirmishes and battles of the War have their historic prominence, consideration is given to the Oneida Indians. There are lifelike figures of men and women wearing authentic 18th century apparel featured in a multimedia gallery dedicated to the Oneida Indian nation who supported the American Revolution. Sadly of note,  American leaders had promised that they would not forget their contributions, but after the war the tribe was pushed off its land and the Oneida scattered West to Wisconsin.
    The Museum is quite a treasure trove, recording as it does with such deep research and authenticity  Location 101 South Third Street (Corner of Third and Chestnut Streets).  All tickets are valid for two consecutive days and that is a good thing because you would need ta second visit; there is a wealth of information and a breathtaking number of visual enactments.
For ticket info: 267. 858.3308. www.AmRevMuseum.org. A restaurant and gift shop on the premises.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! Stop first and see the introductory film on the first floor and throughout the exhibitions there are mini theater filmings.  Did I mention WASHINGTON'S HEADQUARTERS TENT? A must see, it is one of the most iconic surviving artifacts of the Revolution. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's other Blogs at www.pollytalk.com.
     







Monday, April 10, 2017

JAZZ AGE: AMERICAN STYLE 1920s: Review By Polly Guerin

Muse with Violen Screen, Rose Iron Works
The Jazz Age conjures up a spirit of modernity, a time between the first and second World Wars when Art Deco came into vogue and Scott Fitzgerald's Daisy was kicking up her heels in celebration of a new era of streamlined chic and futuristic yearning
    The  Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum's exhibition "THE JAZZ AGE: AMERICAN STYLE IN THE 1920s, on view through January 14, 2018, is the first major museum exhibition to focus on American taste in design during the exhilarating years of the 1920s, a period in which this decade provided the pivotal inspiration for new modernistic ideas in design, art and lifestyle.      With a nostalgic nod to the Jazz Age came extraordinary furniture, textiles, tableware, paintings, posters, jewelry and architecture in bold colors and geometric forms that defined this age. The popularity of Jazz provided the era's African-American sound track as did entertainers such as Josephine Baker who captured Paris with her banana dance.  Stop and watch a film that captures her talent in black and white modernity. Film clips of Duke Ellington and other Cotton Club performers and "The Jazz Singer" illustrate how cinema introduced modern interiors, graphic design and fashion to the American public. Image Left: Muse with Violin (detail) 1930, Rose Iron Works, Inc. (American, Cleveland, est. 1904). Paul Heher (Hungarian, 1895-1990), designer. Wrought iron brass, silver and gold plating. 156.2 x 156.2 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art. On Loan from the Rose Iron Works Collections, LLC, 352.1996 (c) Rose Iron Works Collections, LLC. Photo: Howard Agriesti.   
Gorham Manufacturing Company, American 1927
Then too, there was the immense international design exposition in Paris in 1925---Exposition International des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes (whence Art Deco distilled its name)---a monumental exhibition where world designers, craftsmen, artists and manufacturers exhibited. One wonders why the United States declined to participate in this hallmark event. However, the Paris exhibition's innovative design influence quickly spread to New York and other major cities in department store furnishings and home decor, art galleries, in private collections and in high-end shops such as Cartier with its Art Deco inspired jewelry.
Image Right: Gorham Manufacturing Company, American 1927.  Master of modern silver, Eric Magnussen's iconic "cubic"silver coffee service with tray with patinated gilt decoration, which he did for "Gotham Lights and Shadows of  Manhattan." The Gorham Collection, Museum of Art, Rhode Island, School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island.
   

Through a rich array of more than 400 works drawn from both public and private collections, the new look included works by French makers such as Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, who used lavish veneers and modified traditional forms and influenced American makers such as the W.&J Sloan's Company of Master Craftsmen.
    Designers trained in Austria and Germany, who later immigrated to the United States, brought a new aesthetic to American decorative arts, combined with an appreciation of American forms such as the skyscraper. Furnishings assumed a new modernity and skyscraper influence can be seen in a desk by Paul T. Frank while the abstract geometry of screen design reflected the streamlined chic of geometric forms. Image Left: A chair, from left by Walter von Nessen, a wood desk and chair by Paul T. Frank, and a pair of lacquered doors by Seraphin Soudbinine and Jean Dunand for the residence of Solomon R. Guggenheim. Late 1920s. Artists Rights Society (ARS) , NewYork.  Photo Chang W. Lee/The New York Times.
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! NOT TO BE MISSED: Running concurrently with the blockbuster exhibit is an exquisite, intimate and personal exhibit "Jeweled Splendors of the Art Deco Era, The Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan Collection installed in the Carnegie Mansion's Teak Room with over 100 luxury vanity and cigarette cases, compacts and clocks all from prestigious houses including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron and Bulgari.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the left-hand column to the Blog that resonates with your interest on visionary men, amazing art deco divas, fashion historian and poetry.

Monday, April 3, 2017

REVISITING CHINA'S ANCIENT TREASURES at The MET: Review by Polly Guerin

Chariot Model (Modern Replica) Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.)
There is a popular adage"You can't take it with you," but the rulers of the Qin and Han dynasties thought differently and their view of their afterlife meant taking their entire household, artifacts and vast army with them.
      Fortunately for us the preservation of these artifacts affords a rare opportunity today to see some of the most remarkable objects and archaeology excavated in China. WHERE? At the LANDMARK EXHIBITION OF ANCIENT CHINESE ART--FEATURING TERRACOTTA WARRIOR SCULPTURES AND RECENTLY EXCAVATED TREASURES NEVER BEFORE SCENE IN THE UNITED STATES.
     Age of Empires: Chinese Art o the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.- A.D. 220) explores  the unprecedented role of art in creating a new and lasting Chinese cultural identity. The exhibit opens today and is on view through July 16, 2017 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gallery 899, The Tisch Galleries.
     The ancient works in the exhibition include extremely rare ceramics, metalwork, textiles, sculpture, painting, calligraphy, and architectural models, all drawn fro 32 museums and archaeological institutions in the Peoples Republic of China, but a majority of the works have never before been seen in the West. 
       In the first gallery, you'll stop in your tracks. Along with the warriors, are bronze chariots complete with braces of well matched horses. However, take note that these in the exhibit are modern replicas created half the size of actual chariot groups found in the emperor's tomb. One of the chariots replicated here was probably used in battle or on the emperor's inspection tours. Image above: Chariot Model (Modern Replica, half-size of original), China. Original Qin dynasty (221-206 B. C.) Bronze with pigments lent by Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum. 
     
Kneeling Crossbow Archer, Qin Dynasty
The Qin and Han dynasties together make up the classical period of Chinese art and culture, when the basic forms of political organization and intellectual and paradigms were formed. The central theme of this period, and of this exhibition, is unification of the vast territory of China under the powerful Qin emperor, Qinshihuang, and its maintenance and expansion in the Han dynasty. 

     In his foresighted wisdom and desire to preserve his dynasty before Qinshihuang died, maybe he thought, "why go alone to the afterlife?  He took with him to his tomb an army of life-size terracotta warriors, over 700 archers, cavalry, infantry and officers, all in full armor made of stone (representing the iron armor used by the emperor's army).       They were buried with him in the emperor's mausoleum. The archer (right) had to shoot from a kneeling position, rather than standing. Take note, a modern replica of a crossbow such as he would have held is near by. 
     In creating the terracotta army, molds were used, in different arrangements, to compose the bodies of the warriors, but the faces were created with such diverse individuality that one can only stand in awe at the accuracy of their life-like expressions.
Image right: Kneeing Crossbow Archer, China, Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.) terracotta with trades of pigments, H48 in. Lent by Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum. All photos Robert Ruben and Yvonne Korshak)
     
Female Dancer Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 9)
Though the army was high priority the emperor had a greater plan in mind. He made sure he had in his mausoleum everything he needed and most enjoyed in life. Believing that the soul could continue to enjoy in the afterlife all of he pleasures of living, he created a tomb that resembled underground palace--replete with entourages of favorite followers and entertainers, particularly images of court dancers, rare personal treasures, artifacts and even a dog.

     The highlights of the Han Dynasty in the exhibition include a monumental stone sculpture of a crouching lion, a a creature not native to China; a towering stone fluted column with dragons and a fluted silver box.  Luxury trade artifacts include necklaces made of amethyst, aquamarine, beryl, and rock crystal. Please note a small group of small, animal sculptures in carnelian and multifaceted gold beads. Image left: Female Dancer China, Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 9) Earthenware with pigment. H. 17 5/8 in. Lent by Xuzhou City Museum.
     The exhibition is accompanied by a full illustrated catalogue, written by leading Chinese and Western scholars in the field. A full program and a scholarly symposium is offered during the course of the exhibition. www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2017/age-of-empires. Or
#MetAeofEmpires,
      Ta Ta Darlings!!!  No need to travel.  This exhibition brings such remarkable treasures to our doorstep it's worth the visit just to see the Terracotta Warriors.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click on the links in the left hand column to fashion, beauty, Art Deco Divas, visionary men and poetry.
     
     
       

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

ALEXEI JAWLENSKY at Neue Galerie: Review by Polly Guerin

Byzantine Woman (Bright Lips) 1913
The twists and turns of destiny weave interesting stories and Alexei Jawlensky's is worth the telling. Destined for a life in the military, he was the son of a Colonel in the Imperial Russian Army.
     Yet it took one decisive incident to change that prospect when Alexei Jawlensky's life (1864-1941) was forever altered by a visit to the 1880 Moscow World Exposition, which introduced him to painting. After attending school in Moscow he ventured forward and studied painting with the Russian realist painter llya Repin in St. Petersburg.
     For anyone unfamiliar with this Russian-born artist's oeuvre, the first full museum retrospective devoted to the expressionist artist to be held in the United States, is on view at the NEUE GALERIE in New York through May 29, 2017. Image Right: Byzantine Woman (Bright Lips), 1913, oil on board. Centre Pompidou, Musee National d'Art Moderne/Centre de creation industrielle. Donation de M. Robert Haas in 1982.
    Often women paved the way to support Jawlensky's artistic endeavors.  After growing increasingly disenchanted with realism, and after meeting Marianne von Werefkin in 1896, Jawlensky moved to Munich, where he and Vasily Kandinsky studied with Anton Azbe. At this time, Jawlensky became an integral member of the artistic avant-garde that advanced important developments in Expressionism and abstraction.     
     
Oberstdorf Mountains 1912
Then, too, Jawlensky became deeply influenced by the work of the Fauves after several trips to France, where he became familiar with the work of Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse and Vincent van Gogh. His companion Marianne von Werefkin, a wealthy artist in her own right, eventually gave up her own career to promote his work and provide him with a comfortable life. 

     In 1908 Jawlensky and Werefkin joined Kandinsky and his companion Gabriele Munter for several weeks to paint in the Bavarian town of Murnau, south of Munich, where they lived. The following year, Jawlensky, Kandinsky and others formed the Neue Kunstiervereinigung Munchen, an artists' association. With his newly established status among peers Jewlensky was friendly with Paul Klee, August Macke, Franz Marc, and artists associated with Der Blaue Reiter. Image: Artists Rights Society (ARS) , New York. Murnau, depicting the Bavarian village he visited with Kndinsky).    At the start of World War I, Jawlensky fled to Switzerland, where he met another artist, Emmy Scheyer in 1916, who abandoned her own work to champion his in the United States. 
     The exhibition includes approximately 75 paintings ranging in date from 1900 to 1937 and explores the chronological and thematic development of Jawlensky's work. The exhibition begins with early figure paintings, still-lifes, and landscapes, and continues with a series of paintings created between 1914 and 1921 known as Variations.  
     
Abstract Head Late Summer 1928
Take note of the semi-abstract works known as Mystical Heads, Savior's Faces and Abstract Heads, which reduce the human face to simple geometric forms and contrasting colors. These created during the Art Deco we noted for its streamlined and architectural sensibilities and modernism.

     Jawlensky's life work, which spanned evolving styles, may be considered a meditation on the process of change in his personal life from representation to abstraction. 
      Image Right: Abstract Head, Late Summer (Crescent Moon) 1928 from the collection of Long Beach Museum of Art, Milton Wichner Collection 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS).
      The exhibition concludes with the artists' late Meditations and Still-Lifes, a series of spiritual paintings created towards the end of his life, which stem from the piety of his Russian Orthodoxy.  In 1921, Jawlensky relocated to Wiesbaden in southern Germany, where he lived and worked until his death in 1941. Though Jawlensky's oeuvre is not well known in the United States, he did, however, during his time, exhibit widely in world circles and exerted a strong influence on key developments in modern art. A fully-illustrated catalogue, published by Prestal Verlag, accompanies the exhibition. www.neuegalerie.org. Neue Galerie New York, 1048 Fifth Avenue @ 86th Street. 212-628-6200.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!!  I love the way Jawlensky progressed from realism to abstraction and particularly his Deco heads.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com.  In the left hand column click on the subject that resonates with your interest on visionary men, women determined to succeed, the fashion historian and poetry from the heart.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

MARSDEN HARTLEY'S MAINE at Met Breuer: Review by Polly Guerin

The Lighthouse (1940-1941) Marsden Hartley 
The rugged simplicity of his hardy subjects, the sound of the crashing sea against Maine's rugged coastal terrain and the magisterial Mount Katahdin epitomize the American Artist Marsden Hartley's lifelong artistic engagement with his home state of Maine.  
     The exhibition, MARSDEN HARTLEY'S MAINE, at The Met Breuer, through June 18, 2017, gives us pause to revisit Maine through Harley's creative lens.  On view are some 90 paintings and drawings that illuminate Hartley's extraordinarily expressive range that captures his Post-Impressionist interpretations to seasonal change in the inland Maine of the early 1900s. His folk-inspired depictions of salt--of- the-earth men---country hunks, lumberjacks, lobster men and loggers permeated his artistic world as did the rugged Maine coast, a theme that resonated with the wild and the majestic but brutal sea.  
Lobster Fisherman (1940-1941) The Metropolitan Museum of Art
NATIVE SON Born in Lewiston, Maine, in 1877, Hartley became known for his peripatetic nature, especially his time spent in Paris and Berlin, where he participated in the European avant-garde. Over the course of his career, his home state tugged at his heart strings and he returned to it repeatedly, painting Maine subjects even while living abroad.In the final chapter of his life Hartley proclaimed himself, "The Painter from Maine."  To Hartley Maine was a springboard to imagination and creative inspiration, a focus of memory and longing, a refuge, and a place for communion with earlier artists who painted there, especially Winslow Homer, the most famous American Artist associated with the State. 
     
Marsden Hartley,s Hunk at Old Orchard Beach 
Hartley began his career by painting and exhibiting views of the state's western hills in a vibrant painterly style, seen in works such as The Silence of High Noon--Midsummer (1907-1908), which he debuted in 1909 at his first solo exhibition at Alfred Stieglitz's art gallery, 291.  One entire gallery is devoted to Hartley's bold, audacious figure paintings, such as Man Hunk, a sex symbol of the man culture and a homage to Cezanne's 'The Bather.'  
The Met's presentation of the exhibition includes select works from the Museum's collection by other artists who shaped Hartley's vision, including Cezanne,and American painters Winslow Homer and Albert Pinkham Ryder.
     A series of related programs is planned in conjunction with the exhibition, includes a lecture, exhibition tours, a series of talks, a Teen Studio Workshop, and a Picture This! program for adults who are blind or partially sighted.  For futher details visit: www.metmuseum.org/Marsden Hartley. The exhibition is also featured on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via the hashtag #MarsenHartley.
     The performance IVES & HARTLEY LANDSCAPES OF MODERNISM---Sight and Sound Series with Leon Boststein and The Orchestra NOW, will take place on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at 2:00 pm in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at The Met Fifth Avenue. In this orchestral set---titled "Ives's Three Places in New England and the Artwork of Marsden Hartley---Connecticut-born composer Charles Ives set out to evoke through music the atmosphere and history of three locations in New England. Marsden Hartley, his contemporary was himself deeply attached to music. The artist returned to Maine in his final years and applied his modernist aesthetic to its landscapes. Hartley died in Ellsworth, Maine in 1943.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! Take a vicarious trip to Maine and upon alighting on the 3rd floor be welcomed by a panoramic pulsating film of the Maine's coasting with the relentless raging sea in cold gray visions of brutal nature. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's BLOGS at www.pollytalk.com and click in the left-hand column to links to visionary men, women determined to succeed, poetry from the heart and the fashion historian.