Monday, October 15, 2018

TINTORETTO'S LASTING IMPACT ON VENETIAN ART: Review By Polly Guerin

Seated Nude ca. 1549
The breathtaking mural panorama of the magnificent Palazzo Ducale and Scuola Grande of San Marco sets the stage for what lies ahead at the entrance to the Morgan Library and Museum's current exhibit, DRAWING in TINTORETTO'S VENICE on view through January 8, 2019. 
      Organized to mark the 500th anniversary of Jacopo Tintoretto's birth (1518/19-1594), this exhibition focuses on the artist's drawing practice and lasting impact on Venetian art. The dramatic canvases of their muscular expressive bodies reveal Tintoretto's famous quickness (prestezza) capturing both the spirit and characteristics of the sitter. Image: Tintoretto's seated male nude, ca. 1549. Black and white chalk on blue paper. Musee du Louvre, Paris, inv. 5385 (c) RMN-Grand Palais/Art
Resource NY. 
      Drawing in Tintoretto's Venice is the first exhibition since 1956 to present the drawing practice of this major artist. It also offers a new perspective on Tintoretto's evolution as a draftsman, his individuality as an artist, and his influence on a generation of painters in northern Italy. 
     
Inside Palazzo Ducale
Who was Tintoretto? Born to the son of a fabric dyer (tintore in Italian) from whose profession the young artist derived his nickname, the artist rose to prominence in the 1840s. By the time of his death in May 1594, he was the pre-eminent artist in Venice, responsible for the vast pictorial cycles in the Palazzo Ducale and the Scuola Grade di San Rccco as well as paintings found through-out 
the churches and palaces of Venice.  Even during his lifetime, he was considered an impetuous genius, an artist who worked hastily without careful design or studied consideration.  However, he was an innovator and over the course of his career he forged his own distinctive style of drawing and his own way of producing a prolific oeuvre. As Tintoretto's fame grew, his expanding workload required more assistants, and his drawing practice evolved. In training those assistants, he influenced a generation of artists.
      The Evolution of His Drawing Practices:  A decisive moment in Tintoretto's careers was the unveiling in 1548 of his Miracle of the Slave. the work of a monumental drama, and richness unseen in his paintings to that point. The confraternity of San Rocco then commissioned Tintoretto to take up the decoration of their church. Tintoretto also painted two vast painting for the church of the Madonna dell'Orto, the last Judgment and Making of the Golden Calf.    

These highlighted Tintoretto's abilities and soon led to the commissions at the Palazzo Ducale and the Scuola Grade di San Marco, a project that would take nearly 20 years and occupy him on and off for the rest of his career. Although there are no extant drawing directly related to the Miracle of the Slave, the exhibition includes studies connected with each of these other projects.
         PUBLIC PROGRAMS and gallery talks, adult workshops and concerts are scheduled. Visit the museum's website for further details www.themorgan.org. 
      Gallery Talks, Drawing in Tintoretto's Venice, are led by John Marciari, Charles W. Englehard Curator and Department head, Drawings and Prints. Tours are free with museum admission, no tickets or reservations required. Mark your calendar for the following dates: October 26, 6 pm and Friday, November 16 at 1 pm.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! It's plain to see that Tintoretto's famous quickness (prestezza) was a break with tradition and yet, produced works of great beauty.  Please send fan mail welcome and comments to pollytalknyc.gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the left hand column links to the Blogs that resonate with your interest.
      
    

Sunday, October 7, 2018

HARRY POTTER: A History of Magic: Review by Polly Guerin

The Wizarding World will have one of its busiest years ever in the United States, with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway and the film Fantastic Beasts and Crimes of Grindelwald opening in cinemas.                Nonetheless, the most spectacular show of all is the British Library's exhibition HARRY POTTER: A History of Magic which opened recently at the New York Historical Society. It showcases an extravagant exploration of the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories with an vast selection of historical objects that are on view to the public for the first time. The exhibition features centuries old treasures including rare books, manuscripts and magical objects as well as original griffins to the origins of the sorcerer's stone from the collections of the British Library, the New York Historical Society an other museums. 
      Aficionados of the Potter books can explore the subjects studied at Hogwarts and see J.R. Rowling's hand written first draft of the Philosopher's Stone and Deathly Hollow. From descriptions of dragons and griffins to the origins of the sorcerer'stone, visitors can explore the subjects stuided at Hogwarts and see the original work of Harry Potter illustrators Jim Kay, Mary GrandPre, Kazu Kibuishi and Brian Selznick.
      Image: Study of the phoenix by Jim Kay. On loan from Bloomsbury Publishing. Background image; detail from a Medieval Bestiary (England, 13th century) Phoenix illustration by Jim Kay (c) Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016.
       This exhibition marks 20 years since the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and the worldwide phenomenon that is the Harry Potter stories.  In writing the books, J.K. Rowling drew on rich traditions of folklore, mythology from across the globe.
      In this expansive exhibit you can explore some of the subjects learned by Harry an his friends at Hogwarts School of Magic and Wizardry, through magical and historical collections from the British Library and New York Historical Society, together with original manuscripts penned by J.K. Rowling.     
Harry Potter: A History of Magic delves into a magical world with centuries-old treasures, including rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects. The breath and scoop of the exhibition
is accompanied by a special audio tour featuring the voice of actress Natalie Dormer, available to ticket holders as a free audible download providing in-depth contents on the subjects on view. 
     Image: Jacob Meydenbach's Horus Sanitatis (Latin for "The Garden of Health") 1491, the first printed encyclopedia of natural history featuring sections devoted to plants, animals, birds, fish, and stornes. The hand-colored woodcut illustration shows a Potions class. (c0 British Library Board. 
      Harry Potter: A History of Magic is organised around the subjects studied at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry including; POTIONS and ALCHEMY showcasing the bezoar stone that reputedly provided a powerful antidote to poison, the tombstone of Nicolas Flamel, the medieval Parisian rumored to be an alchemist who inspired a character in Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone. Then too, visitors are invited to create a potion in a hands-on installation and this seems to particularly delight the youngsters.
     Herbology, also on the curriculum at Hogwarts features herbals (directories of plants and their powers), such as Giovanni Cadamosto's 15th century manuscript showing the harvesting o a mandrake plant with a root that resembles the human form. CHARMS includes the first record of the incantation "abracadabra,' dating from the 13th century and much more. A 1690 celestial globe by famed cartogrpaher Vincenzo Coronelli highlights ASTRONOMY.     
CARE OF MAGICAL CREATURES includes a 13th century bestiary manuscript depicting a phoenix rising from the ashes and John James Audubon's watercolor of snowy owls. Image: John James Audubon Snowy Owl (Bubo Scandiacus) New York Historical Society by public subscriptions from Mrs. John J. Audubon.
     First year students at Hogwarts were allowed  to bring an owl, a cat, or a goat to school---all animals with historic magical significance. Here you can see a pair of Snowy Owls, the same breed as Harry's owl, Hedwig.
     THE NEW YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY is presenting a wide variety of exhibition related events for grown-up Harry Potter fans throughout the run of the exhibition through
January 27 2019, including trivia nights, art workshops, creative writing classes, social meet-ups, open mics, book clubs, and engaging courses that explore the Hogwart's curriculum. Programs include a special evening with actor Jim Dale, for his narration of all seven Harry Potter U.S. audiobooks. Family activities feature history of Magic Family days with hands-on activities and crafts, a Harry Potter family book club, historical Halloween celebration, and trivia for families.  Additional programming information is available at harrypotter.nyhistory,org. TICKETS: TIMED ENTRY TICKETS for the exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic can be booked in advance. Visit the New York Historical Society's website
     Ta Ta darlings!! It's wonderful to know that magic can still enthrall us with its mesmerizing
stories. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's other Blogs at www.pollytalk.com.

Monday, October 1, 2018

POSING MODERNITY at Wallach Art Gallery: Review By Polly Guerin

Edouard Manet's Olympia
Not every student of art history could become the inspiration for an art exhibition, but one such student, Denise Murrell's Thesis indeed  inspired the Wallach Art Gallery's upcoming exhibition,  POSING MODERNITY at Columbia University. This groundbreaking investigative show focuses on a seemingly neglected subject; "How Black people have been pictured across art history."
        It all came about when inquisitive Columbia University student, Denise Murrell viewed Edouard Manet's Olympia, his brazenly un-idealized take on the odalisque theme. In his rendering a black maidservant is bringing a bouquet of flowers to a naked prostitute who stares directly out at the viewer. What struck Ms. Murrell most about the art instructors discourse was the absence of any reference to the black maidservant. She said, "His neglect to ignore her, to say nothing about her, to not knowledge her presence rendered her invisible." 
      This experience motivated Murrell to find out more about the black figure as portrayed in art. So she embarked on a journey that began was a seminar paper, expanded into her PhD thesis and on OCTOBER 24, POSING MODERNITY, will open as an exhibition at the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University, which will be expanded at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris next year.     

Posing Modernity is an eye-opening investigation into the legacy of that influential work of art, specifically the evolving representation of the black female figure. Image: Henri Matisse, Dame a la robe blanche (Woman in White) 1946, oil on canvas. Des Moines Art Cener, ACC.No. 1959-40. Courtesy: The Matisse Foundation (c) 1917. Succession H Matisse//Artists Rights Society. The exhibition explores the little-known interactions between avant-garde artists in the 19th century Paris and the city's post-abolition community of free black people.
        Archival photographs, correspondence, and films shed light on artists' relationships with their models, students, entertainers, and others. 
        HARLEM IN THE 1930s: Includes paintings, drawings and prints executed by Henri Matisse before and after his visits to Harlem in the 1930s, portraiture of the Harlem Renaissance; and the influence of these earlier depictions on artists of the post-war period and beyond. Bazille, Nadar, Carpeaux, Bearden, and Ringgold are just a few of he names featured. 
Edouard Manet's Baudelaire's Mistress Jeanne Duval
Image: Edouard Manet's Baudelaire's Mistress (Portrait of Jeanne Duval) from 1862 is part of the "Posing Modernity" exhibition, Photo: Csanad Szeszlay(c) The Museum of Fine Art Budapest/Scala/Art Resource NY.
Wallach Art Gallery; wallach.columbia.edu. 
        Ta Ta Darlings!!!  I hope this review invites your interest to see how one student's challenge brought about Posing Modernity to give black women in paintings their due recognition.
      Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the right-hand column for the subject that resonates with your interest on fashion, visionary men, determined women and poetry.

      

Monday, September 24, 2018

New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) Lectures at SCAN: Review by Polly Guerin

Scandinavia House New York City
Never a dull moment in New York City!!!The fall season kicks off with a plethora of Lectures launched by a great number of organizations that offer New Yorkers an opportunity to mini educate on a wide landscape of subjects. 
      THE NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN, for one, launches a new season of lectures and symposia in which outstanding landscape architects and designers present their signature works and insights from a local and global aspect.
        If you cannot travel to the New York Botanical Garden. where other lectures take place at Ross Hall,  the NYBG is coming to New York City to engage the interest of people like you. The 20th ANNUAL LANDSCAPE DESIGN PORTFOLIOS LECTURE SERIES, Time, Place and Story: Design at the Crossroads will be held on Three Mondays: October 1, October 15 and November 5, 2018 at Scandinavia House right in the heart of the Murray Hill district at 58 Park Avenue (at 38th Street New York, NY.  There is an individual lecture charge and the three lecture series charge. Contact: www.nybg.org for pricing details.
     The 20th year of this series features three innovative leaders in the field of contemporary landscape design. From the advocacy of The Cultural Landscape Foundation to the timeless design of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, the collective work of this year's speakers demonstrates a steadfast dedication to ensuring that the public has access to beautiful landscapes that heal the land, tell powerful stories, and celebrate history, culture, and ecology.
     
Charles Birnbaum's Madrid, Rio Park Space
October 1: Charles Birnbaum, Founder and CEO, The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLP) will speak on CHANGE and CONTINUITY. As urban space continues at a relentless pace, Charles Birnbaum believes it is crucial for landscape architects to weave a site's history into new designs, but not in ways that are nostalgic of staid.  In addition to numerous citations for landscape design, Mr. Birnbaum is currently a Visiting Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation.  Image Credit:  Charles Birnbaum's Madrid Rio Park Space Photo (c) La Citta Vita, Park Space, Madrid, RIO.

     October 15 Beka Sturges, Principal, Reed Hilderbrand, topic GIVING VOICE TO THE LAND. "We gave the landscape voice and turned the museum toward the land."  This is how Beka Sturges describes her firm's award-winning expansion of The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, for which she served as landscape architect and manager. Other work includes landscapes at Yale and Brown Universities, Boscobel House and Gardens, Storm King Art Center.
     
The Mill Eastern Connecticut 
The sensitive integration of architecture, ecology, and history can also be seen at The Mill, a residential project that draws inspiration from Eastern Connecticut's rolling terrain and agrarian traditions and unifies upland meadows with the stream and raceway of a former industrial mill. Caption

Credit: Beka Sturges, The Mill, East Haddam, Connecticut. Courtesy NYBG. 
     November 5: Thomas Woltz, Owner, Principal, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects. His topic AT THE INTERFACE OF ECOLOGY and CULTURE For 20 years, Thomas Woltz has been on the cutting edge of ecological restoration.. He has called his landscapes "living paintings" that regenerate the land and honor local traditions with arresting beauty. Woltz has forged a body of work that integrates the beauty and function of built form and craftsmanship with an understanding of complex biological systems and restoration ecology that has yielded hundreds of acres of reconstructed wetlands, reforested land, native meadows and flourishing wildlife habitat.     
Eden by Victoria Johnson
       Then, too, on Thursday October 18, 6-8 pm at Christies, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, the NYBG stages the Andrew Carnegie Distinguished Lecture 2018, AMERICAN EDEN: David 
Hosack, Botany and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic. 
      When Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr fought their famous duel i 1804, they chose the same attending physician, their mutual friend David Hosack. Historian VICTORIA JOHNSON Ph.D, Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College, will discuss her acclaimed new book, American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of Eden in the Early Republic. For ticket info www.nybg.org.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!!  Just in case you can venture out of the City remember that The New York Botanical Garden is also hosting several more lectures at Ross Hall. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the left-hand column on the Blog link that resonates with your interest.

Monday, September 17, 2018

THE RUSSIAN AVANT-GARDE at The Jewish Museum: Review By Polly Guerin

Chagall Over The Town
"I found myself in Vitebsk when the great celebration of the October Revolution were over, but the city was still resplendent with Malevich's designs---circles, squares, dots and lines of different colors---and with Chagall's flying people. I have the impression of being in an enchanted city, but in those days everything was wonderful, and everything was possible, and at that moment the people of Vitebsk had become Suprematists." ---Sofia Dymshits-Tolstaia. 1921.
      This introductory quote opens the exhibition, CHAGALL, LISSITZKY, MALEVICH, The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918-1922, at The Jewish Museum, through January 6, 2019.  It is the first major exhibition to explore a little known chapter in the history of modernity and the Russian avant-garde: Chagall's encounter with the leading figures of abstraction, EL (Lazar) Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich, at the time of the Russian Revolution. The exhibition focuses on the People's Art School, founded by Marc Chagall in his native city of Vitebsk (in present day Belarus).  He was soon joined by Lissitzky and Malevich along with other  teachers and students, many of them Jewish, including Lazar Khidekel and David Yakerson.     
El Lissitzky, Beat the Whites with Red Wedge
The Jewish museum offers visitors a rare opportunity to visit the extraordinary years following the Russian October Revolution of 1917, during which Vitebsk, a small city with a significant Jewish population, became a incubator of avant-garde art.  Image: El Lissitzky, Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge, 1919-20. Image provided by the Library of Congress, Photographs Division.

     Through nearly 160 works and documents loaned by museums in Vitebsk and Minsk, and major American and European collections, the exhibition reveals how the three major figures sought, each in his distinctive fashion, to develop  a leftist art in tune with the new revolutionary emphasis on collectivism, education and innovation.  Chagall remained  faithful to a figurative and allegorical style, in contrast to Malevich, whose recent invention, Suprematism, offered a radical view of geometric abstraction. Lissitzky, a trained architect, applied the concepts of Suprematism to his innovative geometric compositions that he called, " a transfer station on the way from painting to architecture."
       
Kazmir Malevich, Mystic Suprematism
It is interesting to note that in this period of intense artistic and political ferment, history was made through art. Visionary creativity was nurtured in a city far from the cultural centers of Moscow and Petrograd (now St. Petersburg). The five years, THE RUSSIAN AVANT-GARDE IN VITEBSK, 1918-1922, transformed Vitebsk into the laboratory of a new world.   Image: Kazimir Malevich, Mystic Suprematism (Red Cross on Black Circle) 1920-22. Stedelijk Museum Collection, Amsterdam. Ownership recognized by agreement with the estate of Kazimir Malevich, 2008. 

     CHAGALL'S 100th Anniversary: The year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of Chagall's appointment as Commissar of Arts for the Vitebsk region, a position the enabled him to carry out his idea of creating a revolutionary art school in his city, open to everyone, free of charge, and with no age restrictions. The People's Art School was he perfect embodiment of Bolshevik values, and was approved in August 1918.  A month later, Chagall was appointed Commissar of Arts.  El Lissitsky and Kazimir Malevich, leading exponents of the Russian avant-garde, were the two of the artists invited to teach at the school. Each of these major figures sought, in his own distinctive fashion, to develop a "Leftist Art" in tune with the revolutionary emphasis on collectivism, education and innovation.
      In ensuring years, Chagall's dream was to develop a revolutionary art independent of style or dogma, but this came to an end in the spring of 1920. He decided to leave Vitebsk in June and went to work for the Jewish theater in Moscow.  A number of designs he produced for the theater are also on view. 
      PUBLIC PROGRAMS:  In conjunction with the exhibition, the Jewish Museum presents a series of public and family programs featuring speakers such as Marc Chagall's granddaughter Bella Meyer December 6 and noted architect Daniel Libeskind on December 13, and a family day on October 21.  Visit: TheJewishMuseum.org or call 212.423.3200. Located 1109 Fifth Avenue, at 92nd Street.
      Ta Ta Darlings!!!  This breathtaking leap into modernism at revolutionary times is worthy of a trio uptown. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Check out the links to Polly's other Blogs at www.pollytalk.com. Just click in the left hand column to the Blog that resonates with your interest.

Monday, September 10, 2018

COMPETING WITH GIANTS: Book Review By Polly Guerin

The dynamic Phuong Uyen Tran, a spokeswoman who not only represents her family's business, Tan Hiep Phat (THP) as its world ambassador, she represents the new Vietnamese woman making her mark with an innate focus on modern Vietnam. 
       Phuong recently arrived in New York City and invited friends, family and press to an extravagant book launch party for COMPETING WITH GIANTS at her publisher, Forbes Books Center on lower Fifth Avenue. I was there, and to my delight her mother and father (the founders of THP) happened to sit on a sofa at the presentation right next to me, and through an interpreter I had the most delightful opportunity to learn more about the company.
      Phuong's debut monograph, COMPETING WITH GIANTS, is a riveting story of how her family launched a business against a devastating backdrop of war, crippling trade sanctions and record hyperinflation. "It is never easy to compete with giants," says Phuong, "let alone face them down. For families that lived through the early post American years in Vietnam, it was one crisis after another.  Yet our family not only survived and thrived, it built one of the largest businesses in Southeast Asia from scratch."
     Proficient in English and never at a loss for words, Phuong recalls how her father, Tran Qui
Thanh, started out with nothing but two rice bowls and four chopsticks. Eventually the company grew so large with market share that Coca Cola wanted to buy it for more than $2 billion. 
 
Guest and right Phuong Uyen Tran
  FATHER KNOWS BEST Her father, Tran Qui Thanh, founder, chairman and CEO of the beverage 
company, Tan Hiep Phat (THP) turned down the offer from Coca Cola and with good reason. 
      A visionary businessman Thanh's THP company was ahead of its time and with close ties to local culture it was on the wavelength of people's preference for healthy drinks. The company now supplies beverages, including herbal and green teas, sports and energy drinks, soya milk and purified waters across Vietnam plus 16 countries, including China and Australia.
     Today, THP is Vietnam's largest family-owned manufacturer in the "fast moving consumer goods category, employing more than 5,000 staff members nationwide."  Phuong's family legacy is a story that proves that David can indeed compete with (and even outperform) Goliath.
WHAT PHUONG LEARNED FROM HER FATHER ALWAYS APPLIES IN ANY FAMILY BUSINESS is revealed in detail in the book. Herewith is an abbreviated  summary of three of the five values:
CreateAuthentic Products  Authentic local products are heard to beat because they can beat the big guys in product, price, promotion and place.
Govern Growth The best companies prepare for the inevitable ups and downs of business by by growing slowly and methodically.
Motivate Employees As companies get bigger, they must focus on how employees work with each other, as well as senior management and customers. 
      COMPETING WITH GIANTS is a consuming book of interest narrated by the author who watched her parents overcome numerous obstacles to achieve success.  The book shows that small companies , which take advantage of their local knowledge and marry it to the best of international standards, can hold their own and even outflank giant global corporations. Phuong says, "Whether you start with rice bowls or owning the entire rice factory, scaling a business requires discipline and good old fashioned family values."    
Tran Qui Thanh and author/daughter Phuong Uyen Tran 
PHUONG UYEN TRAN CEO of the THP Group is a powerful woman representing modern Vietnam with an entreprenural spirit filled with the fire of multi-faceted optimism . She is responsible for the company's marketing, public relations, and CSR programs nationally and across Vietnam's 63 provinces. She also leads THP's international marketing programs across 16 countries where 
HTP's products are distributed including Canada and China.  (http://www.thp.com.vn/en/.
       Her book,COMPETING WITH GIANTS was realized wtih Jackie Horne and John Kador. Forward by Brian Tracy. www.ForbesBooks.com.
    Ta Ta Darlings!!! As reviewer John Murphy, Founder of Interbrand said, "A seriously valuable contribution. If you aspire to build a major international brand on foundations rooted in an emerging economy, this is the book for you."  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.
Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com. Click in the left hand column to the link to the Blog
that resonates with your interest.
      


Monday, August 27, 2018

PINK: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color:: Review By Polly Guerin


Stirring up a rich palette the passion for pink provokes exceptionally strong feelings of both attraction and repulsion.  Yet, it is increasingly being regarded as cool and androgynous, powerful and political.  Although pink is popularly associated with little girls, ballerinas, and all things feminine. the stereotype of pink-for-girls and blue-for-boys only really gained traction in the United States in the mid-20th century. It is interesting to note, however, that in ancient heraldic parlance pink (not blue) was designated for boys, because it was determined that the red undertone in pink represented courage and masculinity.

The Museum at FIT presents PINK: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color September 7 to January 5, 2019.  Organized by the museum's director and chief curator, Valerie Steele, PINK features approximately 80 ensembles from the 18th century to the present, with examples by designers and brands such as Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Alessandro Michele of Gucci, Jeremy Scott of Moschino, and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons. Image left: Comme des Garsons ensemble, "18th Century Punk" collection fall-winter 2016, Japan, Museum purchase.
    PINK corrects popular misconceptions, encourages viewers to question cliches and received opinion, and demonstrates that "It is society that 'makes' color, define it, gives it meaning," said
the great color historian Michel Pastoureau.
      Topics will include the significance of pink clothing in Western and non-Western cultures, including India, Africa, Mexico, and Japan, the use of pink in eighteenth century portraiture, associations of pink with politics, gender and sexuality, and the use of pink in cinema. 
        For instance, THE 1950s are notorious as the era of the "feminine mystique" when gender stereotyping was reinforced throughout society and the pink-for-girls, blue-for-boys gender coding took off  Naturally there are many 1950s feminine pink dresses for girls and women, but Brooks Brothers took a leap into the pink phase and sold pink shirts for men.  THE 1960s continued to witness the popularity of many "pretty in pink" dresses, such as a 1960 cocktail dress by Yves Saint Laurent for Christian Dior.
Then, the THE 1970s saw a decline in pink fashion, although fluorescent pink emerged as a stunner. by THE 1980s, pink was back in fashion, although often, as with a 1980 hot pink "power suit" by Claude Montana, it also served to acknowledged women's growing authority.      

In addition to the clothing and accessories on display, there is a fascinating diorama of pink toys and dress-up clothes for girls, dating from the 1950s to present including dolls, "princess" costumes, My Little Pony and other highly gendered commodities. Image Right: Celine dress, spring 2017, France.
Gift of Celine.
    A FASHION SYMPOSIUM, October 19 will be held in the Marvin Feldman Center, second floor Admission to the symposium is FREE. To register go to fitnyc.edu/museum or call the number 212-217-4585. In addition, Special Programs include THE HISTORY OF PINK, Thursday, September 16th, at noon when author Valerie Steele, will discuss the exhibition and book, THE HISTORY OF a PUNK, PRETTY, POWERFUL COLOR. A book signing will follow the presentation.  
        Reservations are required for all events, as space is limited. To register go to fitnyc.edu/museum. Seats are first come, first served with RSVP.  Family activities EXPLORING PINK will be held Friday, November 9, 4 pm and Friday November 16, 4 pm.
    TA TA DARLINGS!!! Just naming PINK has had its run of amusing colorful names including Lilly Pulitzer pink, Flamingo Pink, Watermelon pink, Persian Rose, Schiaparelli Pink. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com. It may also interest you to order my latest book THE DYNAMICS OF COLOR, sold on Amazon. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Brooks Brothers 200th Anniversary: Review By Polly Guerin

Two centuries of remarkable staying power marks BROOKS BROTHERS, 200 YEARS OF AMERICAN STYLE, in a special exhibition tracing the iconic retailer's accomplishments, cultural significance and global influence.            Acclaimed as the oldest men's clothing store in the United States, Brooks Brothers flagship store was opened in 1915 at 345 Madison Avenue at 44th Street, where it remains today. 
        The retrospective exhibition, however, is held at Grand Central Terminal - Vanderbilt Hall, where a sampling of of men's and women's fashion, artifacts and ephemera trace---Brooks Brothers inventions and innovations---such as the ready-made suit and other ready-to-wear tailored clothing in the 19th century. Some visitors will wax nostalgic over the original Polo (r) Button-down oxford, the reverse-stripe rep tie, the polo coat and sporting apparel later adapted as "de rigueur" daily wear.    
Brooks Brothers Exhibit at Vanderbilt Hall
"Our anniversary marks a significant and important milestone not only for Brooks Brothers but also for the retail industry," said Claudio del Vecchio, chairman and CEO of Brooks Brothers. "This is a moment to celebrate 200 years steeped in both tradition and innovation."

200 HUNDRED YEARS: Since opening its doors in downtown in Old New York, Brooks Brothers has held a steady pace of growth from a small family haberdasher to a global brand that has shaped and defined American style.
      On April 7, 1818, at the age of 45, Henry Sands Brooks opened a store on the northeast corner of Catherine and Cherry Streets in lower Manhattan. An astute businessman, he proclaimed that his guiding principle was, "To make and deal in merchandise of the finest quality, to sell at a fair profit, and to deal with people who seek and appreciate such merchandise."
        In 1833, his four sons, Elisha Daniel, Edward, and John, inherited the family business and in 1850 renamed the company, "Brooks Brothers.  Throughout the years, maintaining its reputation as a pinnacle of quality and taste, Brooks Brothers has been associated with New York's historical events. For instance, in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln wore a custom-made Brooks Brothers coat to his second inauguration. He was also wearing it when he was assassinated a month later.  In addition to outfitting Abraham Lincoln, Brooks Brothers outfitted 40 of the 45 American Presidents in the late 19th century and tailored many distinctive uniforms for elite regiments of    
Archival Exhibit Abraham Lincoln
the New York National Guard. 
        The haberdasher's legendary association
with political figures, celebrities, corporate moguls, and their devoted followers, men of style, runs deep into their archival history. In 1957 Brooks Brothers introduced Argyle socks to America and in 1961 they designed the #2 suit--a favorite of longtime customer
President John F. Kennedy. 
       Entering the global market in 2008 Brooks Brothers was one of the first international brands to expand in Japan.
THE GOLDEN FLEECE SYMBOL: The Golden Fleece symbol was adopted as the company's trademark in 1850 and has signified heritage, quality and legendary service ever since. The logo, a sheep suspended from a ribbon, has served as a symbol of fine wool since the fifteen century, when Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy---an area renowned for its woolen fabric---founded the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1430. Reflecting its association to the symbol of fine woolens, the Knights of the Golden Fleece were among the best dressed and most colorful in all of chivalric Europe. When the four Books brothers painted this lamb over their door, they used the icon to symbolize the European tradition on which the company based its early identity. As standard bearers of tradition the Golden Fleece signifies that behind Brooks Brothers' doors, customers find quality, heritage and excellence.
       Ta Ta Darlings!!! It's nice to know that Brooks Brothers is a as modern as modern gets and even has a women's fashion division. Fan mail welcome, email pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit
Polly's other Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the left hand column to the Blog that
resonates with your interest.

    

Monday, August 6, 2018

BRANCUSI, The Originalist at MoMA: Review By Polly Gueri

Mille Pogany, Version 1 1913 
Constantin Brancusi's risk taking and inventive approach to form changed the course of the art that followed. As such he is often regarded as the most important sculptor of the 20th century.  
       "Simplicity is not the end of art. We usually arrive at simplicity as we approach the true sense of things."   Constantin Brancusi quote           
        The Museum of Modern Art's exhibition celebrates MoMA's extraordinary holdings---eleven sculptures by Brancusi are shown together for the first time alongside drawings, films and photographs. A selection of never-before-seen archival materials shed light on his relationship with friends, sitters, and patrons On view through November, 2018
      Looking back at the first showing of Constantin Brancusi's work in the 1913 Armory Show, one writer reflected that sculptures on view were "disturbing, so disturbing that they completely altered the attitude of a great many New Yorkers towards a whole branch of art." 
       Indeed Brancusi's beguilingly simple forms looked like nothing else, then or since. This sculpture is a portrait of Margit Pogany, a Hungarian artist who sat for Brancusi several times, while she was in Paris studying painting. Shortly after her return to Hungary, Brancusi carved a marble Mille Pogany from memory, then cast four versions, including this one in bronze. The work was a significant departure from conventional portraiture. Large almond-shaped eyes overwhelm the oval face, and a black patina represents the hair. As with other motifs, this was a subject Brancusi would return to and rework in the years to come.
     
Bird in Space,  1928
His visionary sculptures often exemplify ideal and archetypal representations of their subject matter. Bearing icon titles such as Fish, Princess X and Bird in Space, his sculptures are deceptively single, with their reduced forms aiming to reveal hidden truths. Unlike Auguste Rodin, for whom Brancusi briefly assisted early in his career, Brancusi worked directly with his materials pioneering the technique of direct carving, rather than working in plaster or clay models. 

       Explaining that "The artist should know how to dig out the being that is within matter." Brancusi sought to create sculptures that conveyed the true essences of his subjects be they animals, people, or objects by concentrating on highly simplified forms free from ornamentation. While many regarded his work as abstract, the artist disagreed; he insisted on representational nature of his works, asserting that they disclosed a fundamental, often concealed, reality.
     Brancusi once said, "Do not look for obscure formulas or mystery in my work. It is pure joy that I offer you. Look at my sculptures until you see them. Those closest to God have seen them"
       Brancusi's work was largely fueled by myths, folklore, and "primitive" cultures.These traditional old-world sources of inspiration formed a unique contrast to the often sleek appearance of his works, resulting in a distinctive blend of modernity and timelessness. 
      Rather than modeling in clay like his peers, Brancusi carved his work directly from wood or stone or cast it in bronze. Simultaneously, he rejected realism, preferring that his sculptures evoke rather than resemble the subjects named in their titles.    
Brancusi Installation at MoMA
CONSTANTIN BRANCUSI (1926-1957) was born in rural Romania and moved to Paris in 1904 where he established his studio and quickly immersed himself in avant-garde art circles. In his adopted city, he embraced an experimental modern spirit, including an interest in modern machines and popular culture. With his friend, Man Ray, he made films that captured his life in the studio--working with his materials and muses, activating his artworks through movement and recombination, and revealing his sources of inspiration such as animals at play, light in nature, and dance. Yet, until his death her proudly presented himself as an outsider, cultivating his image as a peasant, with a long beard, work shirt, and sandals.

      Ta Ta Darlings!!!  The contradiction of Brancusi's appearance also informed his art making which was dependent on ancient techniques as much as modern technologies. Fan mail is always
welcome pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's other Blogs on www.pollytalk.com. 
      
      

     

Monday, July 23, 2018

REBEL WOMEN: at MCNY: Review by Polly Guerin

Rebellious Women of the 19th Century
The Hewitt sisters, Sarah and Eleanor, granddaughters of Peter Cooper were among society's Victorian women who deferred to their father or brothers to make decisions for them.  They weren't the only women who were willing to accept the commonly known constraints on their lives. White, middle-class women were relegated to domesticity and held under the power of masculine rule. Any woman could be considered a Rebel simply by walking alone in the street, speaking in public, working outside the house, or disregarding middle-class morality or decorum.Yet, 19th Century New York City was full of rebellious women who defied those rigid expectations in both overt and subtle ways. Caption: L-R Hetty Howland Green, ca. 1897, Courtesy Library of Congress; The Real Ellen Jewett, 1836, MCNY; Portrait of Elizabeth Jennings Graham 1895, Courtesy Kansas State Historical Society, Adah Isaacs Menken in Mazeppa, 1863, MCNY.
         REBEL WOMEN: Defying Victorianism, a historic exhibition on view at the Museum of the City of New York, through January 6, 2019, explores the trailblazing women who challenged Victorian social norms in 19th Century New York City.  The exhibit is divided into three categories, political working and professional featuring photographs, garments, ephemera, and prints primarily drawn from the Museum's collections. 
       "At a time when the subject of women's rights is at the forefront of a national conversation, this exhibition and Beyond Suffrage: A Century of New York Women in Politics demonstrates the Museum's commitment to documenting and celebrating the important contributions of women in the City's History," said Whitney Donhauser, Ronay Menschel Director of the Museum of the City of New York.      
Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Steward
        Remember dear readers, even their attire was a challenge. Rebel women in the pursuit of individuality and purpose were also burdened by confinements such as constricting Victorian corsets and wearing heavy drapery or voluminous skirts that might curtail their drive and activity. The museum brings to light the compelling and often untold stories of these independent and unconventional women who had an indelible impact on New York's society, culture, and economy by the 20th century.
      This exhibition highlights pioneers for women in professional careers in medicine and journalism like
Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Steward (1847-1918), the first African-American woman to earn a medical degree and the first in New York state. McKinney-Steward's medical career focused on prenatal care and childhood diseases. She ran her own practice in Brooklyn and co founded the Brooklyn Women's Homeopathic Hospital, and in 1911 attended the Universal Race Congress in London and delivered a paper entitled, "Colored American Women."    
       Elizabeth Jennings Graham was another Black woman was ahead of he time. She refused to leave an all white streetcar in 1854.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
The exhibition features other well known figures who entered public life with a political agenda, demanding women;s rights as social activists or a politicians, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) and Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927). A feisty 
personality, in 1872 she ran for president of the United States, so ya see Hilary was not the first.
         Adah Isaaca Menken (1835-1868) was an American actress who broke the rules of decorum and became the highest earning actress of her time. She was best known for her performance in the melodrama Mazeppa, with a climax that featured her apparently nude whilst riding a horse on stage. A celebrity who created sensational performances in the United States and Europe Menken was also known as poet, painter and writer. Menken expressed a wide range of emotions and ideas about women's place in the world and her collection Infelicia was in print well into 1902. 
       Hetty Howland Robinson Green (1834-1916), a successful stock broker branded "The Witch of Wall Street," went on to become one of the richest people in the country, but stingy to the end. 
Then, too, there were women of questionable character but activists as well, like Helen Jewett (1813-1836). New York's most prominent courtesan is also represented. Before her sensational murder, she turned a shunned profession into a source of power. Ground breaking investigative reporter, Elizabeth Jane Cochrane (1864-1922) better known as "Nellie Bly," may be a household name but she was a courageous forerunner. In conjunction with one of her first assignments, for the New York World, she spent several days on Blackwell's island, posing as a mental patient for an expose. Her book "Ten Days in a Mad House (1887) led to lasting institutional reforms. 
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! One hundred years later: Ladies can we say that things have changed? No doubt some of the racial and gender inequalities still exist today. Fan mail welcome please send
your comments to pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Polly's Blogs can be accessed on www.pollytalk.com.

       

Monday, July 16, 2018

DEVOTION TO DRAWING: Eugene Delacroix: Review By Polly Guerin

Remembering Eugene Delacroix with admiration as one of the leading artists of the 19th Century's French Romantic period may have been your first encounter with the celebrated painter. Yet it will surprise you to know that Delacroix was equally a dedicated and innovative draftsman.
"To imagine a composition," according to Delacroix, "is to combine elements of objects that one knows, that one has seen, with others held inside, in the soul of the artists." The drawings he made in direct preparation for works in other media exhibit precisely this blend of components: the observed, the remembered and the imagined. 
DEVOTION TO DRAWING: The Karen B. Cohen Collection of Eugene Delacroix opens at
The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Tuesday, July 17-November 12, 2018. The exhibit explores the central role of drawing in the artist's practice through more than one hundred works--from finished watercolors to sketchbooks, from copies of old master prints to preparatory drawings for important projects. This is the first North American exhibition devoted to Delacroix's drawings in more than 50 years and as such introduces a new generation to the artist's Cratfsmanship.
Horse Frightened by Lightning 
STUDIES OF HORSES 
Early in his career Delacroix expressed his desire to master the subject of horses. He noted in 1823, "I really mjust settle down seriously to drawing horses. I shall go to some stable or other every morning." His depiction of horses racing at speed combines observation with memory and imagination.
The artist undoubtedly studied the animals in motion, but then inevitably based his drawing to some degree on memory. The third section in the exhibition reveals how Delacroix the possibilities offered by graphic media, including ink, wash and watercolor.
REFINING IDEAS FOR PAINTINGS ON CANVAS Looks at how Delacroix used drawing to invent, research and refine his ideas for painting on canvas, decorative and religious murals. A catalogue published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art is distributed through Yale University Press and is available for purchase in the Met store.
Liberty Leading the People

This exhibition Devotion to Drawing overlaps with a major retrospective in North America devoted to the artist---on view at The Met from September 17, 2018- January 6, 2019. 
     Titled DELACROIX, it will illustrate the artist's resless imagination through more than 150 works, the majority of them paintings. 
Ta Ta Darlings!!! It is interesting to see how Delacroix's blend of components: the observed, the remembered, and the imagined form the base of his creative oeuvre. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the left hand column on the Blog that resonates with your interest.
      

Monday, July 9, 2018

BERNSTEIN;S Peter Pan at Bard's 2018 SummerScape: Review By Polly Guerin

The dreamlike abandoned Amusement Park Set
Bard SummerScape, the celebrated art festival at Annandale-on-Hudson lures sophisticates out of the Big Apple to attend the season's most innovative (and at times most unusual) cultural experiences. Such is the case with Bard's innovative production of Peter Pan with a new agenda and re-imagined cast. All photos herewith by Maria Baranova.
      To honor the Leonard Bernstein's centennial, 2018 Bard SummerScape is celebrating with a provocative production of Bernstein;s score for Peter Pan and a production set in a dreamlike abandoned amusement park including a working 1950's carnival ride on stage. Obviously, this isn't the 1954 Broadway Musical I am talking about, but an adaption of J.M. Barrie's play that debuted in the 1950s and ran for 321 performances and has rarely been revived since. Bernstein wrote the lyrics of the nine songs, as well as the music.
Comedian/actor Peter Smith as Peter Pan
CHRISTOPHER ALLEN  
Bernstein specialist Christopher Allen's adaptation presents an intimate contemporary production for modern audiences. Taking his cue from Peter Pan's desire for eternal childhood, Alden situates the story in a dreamy environment reminiscent of an abandoned fair ground. His treatment features a young, diverse cast, a dreamlike concept, and a humorous off-kilter energy that combine to propel the period classic into the 21st century. Kudos go to Bard for bringing this new production to the stage. It is the only one of Bernstein's theatrical works staged in the New York area during the centennial year. Allen's psychological gripping treatment reveals an "on trend" take of the story. The result is an innocent children's tale turned into something darker with up-to-date action and vivid characters.
     It all makes sense. Peter Smith as Peter and Erin Markey as Wendy represent a growing community of young trans and nonbinary performers who are gaining increased visibility in the mainstream.   
SUMMERSCAPE PRODUCTION
The Summerstage production features new choreography by Jack Ferver who also portrays Tinker Bell whilst holding a disco ball throughout. By turns whimsical and sinister, it is transfigured with Leonard Bernstein's shimmering score. The production's cast is led by "America's Baritone" (Broadway World) William Michals as Captain Hook who sonorous voice is breathtaking. Then, too, the energetic Peter Smith "cabaret powerhouse comedian/entertainer" takes center stage as Peter scaling the heights aboard the carousel and interacting with mesmerizing Erin Markey, another trans star of the New York performance scene,. 
Accolades go to Marsha Ginsberg's vivid sets, striking lighting and costume and lighting design by Terese Wadden and Jax Messenger.
           For Bard's take on Peter Pan Garth Edwin Sunderland re-scored Bernstein's music for a band of musicians. Fully integrated with the action kudos go to the excellent playing by a young instrumental sextet on stage.
      The new production premieres with 25 performances in the LUMA Theater of the Frank Gehry designed Richard B. Fisher Center of the Performing Arts on Bard's Judson Valley campus until July 22.
JUST THE FACTS 
Originally an Edwardian play by Scottish dramatist J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up owes is an enduring children's classic and owes its long status to two popular American adaptations, both of which date from the 1950s. Three of the songs"Who I Am?", "Build My House", and "Dream With Me" have been incorporated into the American songbook.
For tickets contact Fisher Center Box Office at 845-758-7900 or visit: 
www.fishercenter.bard.edu/summerscape. 
    Ta Ta Darlings!!!  Get out of town and day trip up to BARD for an unforgettable journey with Bernstein's Peter Pan.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's Bllogs
on www.pollytalk.coim.
       

Monday, July 2, 2018

OBSESSION: Nudes by Klimt, Schiele and Picasso at The Met Breuer: Review By Polly Guerin

The Met Breuer turns up the summer heat with a brilliant group of erotic and evocative watercolors, drawings, and prints by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Pablo Picasso whose subjects, except for a handful are nudes.  
OBSESSION: Nudes by Klimt, Schiele and Picasso from The Metropolitan Museum of
Art's Scofield Thayer Collection presents some fifty works in an exhibition opening Tuesday,
July 3 through October 7, 2018.  The exhibition is the first time these works are shown together and will provide a focused look at this important collection, it also marks the centenary of the deaths of Klimt who died at 55 of a struck and and Schiele who died at 28 during the Spanish flu epidemic. Image: Egon Schiele (Austrian, 1890-1918). Standing nude with orange drapery, 1914. Watercolor gouache, graphite on paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bequest of
Scofield Thayer, 1982.
 INTRODUCING AMERICA to MODERNISM   An aesthete and scion of a wealthy family, Scofield Thayer (1889-1982) was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. His family fortune accumulated in the textile business Scofield afforded Scofield opportunity to enlarge his passion for modernism He was co-publisher and editor of the literary magazine the DIAL and from 1920 to 1929 was an influential outlet for modernist literature in English. 
       The avant-garde journal introduced Americans to the writing of Ezra Pound, D. H. Lawrence, Arthur Schnitzer, Thomas Mann, E. E. Cummings, and Marc Proust, among others. The first publication of T. S. Elliot's "The Waste Land," appeared in the Dial and the poetry prize that accompanied it had enormous influence at the time. The roster of contributors represented the who's who of the most celebrated poets and writers of the era. 
       Then too, let's not forget the poet, Marianne Moore's affiliation with the DIAL The prolific Greenwich Village poet served as editor of the DIAL along with other luminaries in the literary and art world.
       Scofield often accompanied these writer's contributions with reproductions of modern art never seen in America..  Throughout his life he was a passionate friend of Picasso.
      Thayer assembled his large collection of some 600 works---mostly works on paper in London, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna Ebetween 1921 ad 1923. 
SCOFIELD THAYER While he was a patient of Sigmund Freud in Vienna, he acquired a large group of watercolors and drawings by Schiele and Klimt who at that time were unknown in America. When a selection from his collection was shown at the Montross Gallery in New York in 1924, five years before the Museum of Modern Art opened, it won acclaim.      

However, it found no favor in Thayer's native city, Worcester, Massachusetts, that same year when it was shown a the Worcester Art Museum.
     Incensed, Thayer drew up his will in 1925, leaving his collection to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. With ongoing illness and  psychological difficulties his mental condition became worse.  He withdrew from life in the late 1920s ad lived as a recluse on Martha's Vineyard and Florida until his death in 1921.
EXHIBITION CATALOGUE The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by The Met.
An essay by James Dempsey, instructor at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an authority on Scofield Thayer discusses the collector's professional and private life. Sabine Rewald discusses
in depth the works of the three artists and also examines Thayer's purchases between l921 and 1023, as documented in invoices.The exhibition is featured on the Museum's website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using hashtag #MetObsession.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! This is a steamy exhibition, most nudes. Visitors are advised that some images at this exhibitio contain explicit erotic content. Fan mail welcome, please contact
pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs on www.pollytalk.com and click on the Blog in the left column that resonates with your interest.

          

Monday, June 25, 2018

GIACOMETTI: at Guggenheim: Review By Polly Guerin


The Giacometti Exhibition within the Museum's Rotunda 
Although most of us remember Giacometti, as the preeminent modernist sculptor renowned for creating distinctive figurative sculptures the exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum examines anew the artist's expansive oeuvre. Encompassing the entirety of the artist's career, GIACOMETTI opens up a rare opportunity to see decades of his works installed within the museums rotunda. Through September 12, 2018.
       Featuring nearly 200 sculptures, paintings, an drawing, this is the first major museum exhibition in the United States in more that 15 years dedicated to the Swiss-born artist. some of which have never before seen in the United States as well as archival photographs and ephemera. 
Alberto Giacometti in his Paris studio, 1958
THE FIGURATIVE SCULPTURES Renowned for the distinctive figurative sculptures that he produced in reaction to the trauma and anguish of World War II, includes a series of elongated standing women, striding men, and expressive bust-length figures.  Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) investigateted the human figure for more than forty years. He moved to Paris in 1922 and eventually settled in a 15-by-16-foot studio in the artists' quarter of Montparnasse. Image: Alberto Giacometti in his Paris studio, 1958. Photo Ernst Scheidegger. (c) 2018 Stiftung Ernst Scheidegger-Archiv-Zurich.
He produced the greater part of his work in this tiny space, which he maintained until the end of his life. Giacometti's brother Diego, also an artist , became his assistant, he and Annette Arm, whom Giacometti wed in 1949, were the artist's most frequently rendered models. It is interesting to note that the new Giacometti Institute will soon open in the historic Montparnasse district where the artist lived and worked.
RETROSPECTIVE Visitors will have the opportunity to view works from across Giacometti's career. Examples of his early production reveal his engagement with Cubism and Surrealism as well as African, Oceanic, Cycladic art, and reflect interaction with writers including Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.  
The Nose (Le nez) 1949
The selection of paintings and drawings on view demonstrates his attempt to capture the essence of humanity which identifies with his incessant sculptural investigation of the human body. Rich historical photographs and ephemera, such as journals ad sketchbooks containing drawings, also provide insights into Giacometti's process and artistic development. Image: The Nose, (Le nez) 1949 (cast 1964) Bronze, wire, rope and steel. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 66.1807 (c) Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York. Photo: Kristopher McKay (c) The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.
      Education and Public Programs with details are posted at
guggenheim.org/calendar.  Including: REFLECTIONS ON GIACOMETTI, Tuesday, July 31 at 6:30 pm. Film Screenings take place in the New Media Theater, Level B and are free with museum admission including Alberto Giacometti (1966), dir. Ernst Scheidegger and Peter Munger, 28 min on Friday September 7 at 3 pm, 3:30 pm and 4 pm. For more information visit: guggenheim.org/films.
      Ta Ta Darlings!! Giacometti's oeuvre transcends the stick figures and emerges at the Guggenheim shedding new light on the artist's notable works in paintings and sculptures of another kind.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's other Blogs at
www.pollytalk.com. Just click in the left hand column to links on visionary men, women determined to succeed, fashion and even poetry.

Monday, June 18, 2018

SUMMER OF MAGIC at New-York Historical Society: Review By Polly Guerin

An enchanting adventure into the magical world of illusion and mesmerizing feats of dare devil fate invites children and adults with childlike wonder and awe to an unforgettable SUMMER OF MAGIC at the New York Historical Society on display through September 16, 2018.
      With an exciting, museum-wide line-up of mesmerizing displays, evening programs, family
activities, and free films the exhibit offers a historical spectacle of magic and the magicians, like the legendary Houdini, who became famous performing death-defying feats. 
      You may not be an aficionado of the magic genre but at his exhibit you will surely respond to the opportunity to discover the tricks, illusions and escapes that mystified audiences in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Then, too, the historical reenactors portraying the great illusionists of the past will invite you to try your hand at magic tricks, learn about mind reading, women in magic, tragic performances, unsolved mysteries, and more.
DAVID COPPERFIELD.
       The exhibition features highlights from the International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts and the unrivaled treasure trove of magical historical artifacts from Emmy Award-winning illusionist David Copperfield's private collection. Image: middle-Harry Houdini's Milk Can, ca. 1908. Copperfield Collection. Photo Glenn Castellano. 
     Displays showcase iconic objects used by Harry Houdini in his famous escape stunts,
culminating with the spectacular installation of the DEATH SAW, one of Copperfield's ground-
Harry Houdini Artifacts
breaking illusions.
     Recalling his childhood experiences Copperfield related how his family endorsed, his passion for magic. "Every week my mother took me to Macy's," Copperfield told an enthralled audience. A re-creation of a magic shop includes archival information on how Copperfield learned magic tricks at MACY'S MAGIC COUNTER,  where magic demonstrator, DannyTsukalis (1965) 
mesmerized the young Copperfield, who learned magic there.  David was already an accomplished conjurer by the age of twelve, and at sixteen, he was an adjunct professor at New York University, where he taught a course called 'the Art of Magic."  Copperfield is an artist with numerous accolades in the fields of television, Broadway shows, literature and in popular culture. He is the first illusionist to be honored with a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.
Handcuffs used by Harry Houdini
FAMILY PROGRAMS
     Family fun takes on Saturdays and Sundays during the Summer of Magic when the magical past comes to life with historical magicians, fortune tellers, escape artists and other marvelous illusionists from the past---all portrayed by Living Historians from the present. Image: Handcuffs used by Harry Houdini for the Daily Mirror challenge, 1904. Photo Homer Liwag. 
For in depth information about Summer of Magic and its related programs, visit the museum's website:
http://www.history.org/summer-magic. Would be magicians and illusionists will have a wide scope of subject matter to attract their attention, such as the Magic Workshop, Tuesday, August 7 at 7pm with Jeremy the Magician, when everyone will learn more astonishing magic to wow their friends. No prior magic experience is necessary. Then, too, there's Parlor Mind Reading, Tragic Magic, The Escape Game to name a few. SUMMER OF MAGIC Free films on pay-as-you-wish Friday evenings---free film screening's including Houdini, Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles, and War of the Worlds, and more.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! I can't wait to attend Women in the Golden Age of Magic, when magician Margaret Steele tells tales about the first glamorous female illusion partners.  Fan mail always welcome pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's website at www.pollytalk.com to click on links
to other Blogs on women determined to succeed, visionary men, fashion or poetry.