Monday, January 27, 2020

THE WINTER SHOW at the Armory: Review by Polly Guerin

The WINTER SHOW,  steps forward into the limelight eliminating the word "antiques" from its title, and in its 66th year it remains the quintessential show with plaudits not only from New York City. but as an international icon in cultural and art circles With its refreshing facelift the show sparks with bright lights and innovative booth presentations that entice visitors with eye-popping wallpapers and reflect the theme of the artifacts on display. Speaking of wallpaper, Carolle Thibaut-Pomeranz, noted for antique wallpaper panels is also represented. 
THE WINTER SHOW On view through February 2, 2020, at the Park Avenue Armory,  offers visitors a rare opportunity to step into the ever fascinating  world of art, sculpture and antiques. Whether one is a collector, an antique enthusiast or an individual with novice interest, the show offers an opportunity to view, up close, artifacts from ancient times to modern paintings and sculpture.
UNRIVALED  Hispanic Society Museum and Library
The show's UNRIVALED loan exhibition from the Hispanic Society Museum and Library greets visitors at the entrance features masterworks from across the Hispanic world and is co-curated by the esteemed art historian and curator, Philippe de Montebello, Chairman of the Board of the Hispanic Society Museum and Library and acclaimed architect Peter Marino  At the press opening the sage Mr. Montebello alluded to the fact, "I do not think many of you know about the Hispanic
Society Museum & Library but the exhibit UNRIVALED represents significant masterworks from the Paleolithic age to the 20th century."
Elle Shushan  Exhibitor
THE WINTER SHOW is indeed UNRIVALED and with over 70 exhibitors to visit there's more than a day's visit to explore the booths.  Other highlights include Daniel Crouch Rare Books display of over 50 terrestrial and celestial globes dating from the 16th to the 20th century, Joan B Mirviss LTD, presents Kin to Gin/Gold and Silver, Luster in Japanese modern art, Lobel Modern, Inc. focuses on mid 20th century design while Peter Fetterman Gallery highlights vintage and contemporary photography. The show range of art and antiques includes international booths including Keshishian (London) brings a selection of rare carpets and tapestries.  Visit THE WINTER SHOW online at For full events and programming, exhibitor information visit
      TA TA DARLINGS!!! THE WINTER SHOW is owned and produced by East Side House Settlement a community-based organization serving the Bronx and Northern Manhattan. Visit to learn more.  The Winter Show, 2020, is a breathtaking experience, not only 
the antiques, but the decorative arts and a gentle sweep into modernism gives it an upbeat flair
that is refreshing and inviting to everyone.  Fan mail to:

Monday, January 20, 2020

VIDA AMERICANA &The Mexican Murialists: Review By Polly Guerin

Diego Rivera UPRISING 1930 
Art speaks of social and political upheaval and this tenet especially bore witness when Mexico underwent a dramatic cultural transformation at the end of its revolution in 1920. Artists responded by creating art that spoke directly to the people about social injustices and national life. You may not remember, but following the decade-long Mexican Revolution that ended in 1920, the muralist movement emerged when president Alvaro Obregon's administration established a public art program. Painters such as Rivera, Orozco and Sigueiros were offered walls to create frescoes that in large part paid tribute to the heroism of everyday Mexicans. While many post-war American artists traveled south to take in the street-art sights, the trio became  the toast of New York City art circles in the 1930s and exported the homegrown Mexican art form abroad. Image: Diego Rivera, UPRISING 1930 (c) Banco de Mexico-Rivera-Kahlo ARS. Reproduction authorized by the National Institute of Fine Art and Literature (INBAL) 2019. 
         VIDA AMERICANA: MEXICAN MURALISTS REMAKE AMERICAN ART 1925-1945 at the Whitney Museum will be on view from February 17 to May 17, 2020 in a stunning exhibition that will reveal the profound impact of Mexico's three leading muralists---Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Diego Rivera---on the style and subject matter of art in the United States during 1925-1945 With more than 200 works by more than 60 Mexican and American artists showcases the influences of Mexican artists on American counterparts. 
The murals and easel paintings that will be on display will be on loan from Mexico, Japan, Argentina, and the
Orozco's BARRICADA 1931
United Kingdom. These include works that are rarely exhibited in the United States, including Rivera's two  1932 studies for "Man at the Crossroads," Rivera's controversial fresco commissioned by New York's Rockefeller Center. After paying the full contract fee $21,000, Nelson Rockefeller had the mural demolished because Rivera

refused to remove a likeness of Vladimir Lenin from the composition. Borrowed from Mexico City's Museo
Anahuacalli, the two sketches will be exhibited in the United States for the first time, Other artists represented include Maria Izquierdo's My Nieces (1940) and Siqueiros's Proletarian Mother (1929) on loan from the Museo Nacional de Arte, and two paintings by Japanese-born artist Eitaro Ishigaki, on loan from Japan' Museum of Modern Art in Wakaayama. Image: Jose Clemente Orozco's Barricada 1931 Artist Rights Society (ARS) New York SOMAA Mexico City image (c) The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA Art Resources, New York.  The Whitney's ongoing initiative to improve access for Spanish-speaking visitors include a number of resources in both English and Spanish. A family guide will feature texts and in-gallery activities. The Whitney also announced plans including a full-day symposium featuring artists, curators, educators and scholars presenting new perspectives on the role of Mexican Muralists in the United States. For further details contact COMMUNITY AND ACCESS
Alfredo Ramos Martinez CALLA LILLY VENDOR
PROGRAMS: Tours for Immigrant Families Feb 1, March 7,
April 4, May 2, 2020 with Spanish speaking staff. Immigrant Justice Night, April 20, 2020 6-8 pm and COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP MURAL PROJECT with The Door and Sophia Dawson. The mural will be painted over four sessions by students at The Door.  Participants will also receive a guided tour of Vida Americana. Mexican muralists in particular had a "seismic influence" on the development of social conscious art and street art, says Barbara Haskell, curator of Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945. "This exhibition seeks to turn art history on its head," she said. "It's a good time to assess the creativity and aesthetic innovation that came out of the relationship between artists from Mexico and the United States," she explained, framing the show as a counterpoint to the physical and psychological borders that the Trump administration is seeking to enforce between the neighboring nations.  Image: The painter from Uruapan, Alfredo Ramos Martinez 1929., University of Arizona Museum of Art. TA TA DARLINGS!!! This is a ground breaking exhibition, timely and provocative. The new Whitney exhibition pays tribute to the Mexican Muralists too-long-forgotten legacy. Fan mail welcome at

Monday, January 13, 2020


Self-Portrait Asleep in a Tomb of Mereruka Sakkara
Contemplative, confessional and comedic the six-decade retrospective of photographer, Duane Michals, ILLUSIONS OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER at the Morgan Library & Museum, transcends the  conventional audience of photography and is an emotional tour de force.
       On view through February 2, 2020 the exhibition features the artist's choice selection of works from all corners of the permanent collection.  The exhibition takes viewers on a tour of the artist's mind, putting work from his expansive career in conversation with Old Masters and modern drawings, books, manuscripts, and historical Objects. Imge:
Self-Portrait Asleep in a Tomb of Mereruka Sakkaram 1978, The Morgan Library & Museum, 2018.42 (c) Duane Michals, Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York.
       A storyteller, Michals is known his picture sequences, inscribed photographs, and more recently films that pose emotional, conceptual  and cosmic questions beyond the scope of the lone camera. Since the early 1960's, Michals worked past what he sees as the limitation of the camera. He writes in the margins of his prints, creates sequences of images that explore intangible human
dilemmas (doubt, mortality, desire), and derives poetic effects from technical errors such as double exposure and motion blur.
A Letter From  My Father 1960-1975
In this first retrospective on Michals to be mounted by a New York City institution, the exhibition is organized around animating themes in the artist's work: Theater, Reflection, Love and Desire, Playtime, Image and Word, Nature, Immortality, Time, Death and Illusion. It showcases his storytelling instincts both in stand-alone staged photographs and in sequences Image: Duane Michals A Letter From My Father 1960-1975. Gelatin silver print. The Morgan Library & Museum. Gift of Duane Michals, 2019.78 (c) Duane Michals, Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York. 
       For Michals photography is not documentary in nature, but theatrical and fictive: the camera is one of many tools humanity uses to construct a comprehensive version of reality In his imaginative, visually rich photographs, the artist exploits the medium's storytelling capacity. For example, the six images in I Build a Pyramid (1978) find the artist in Egypt, staking stones in a modest pile that, from the camera's perspective appears to reveal the scale of the ancient pharaoh's monument. Michals reveals that the scenario echoes his childhood habit of  building stones in his backyard in McKeesport, Pennsuylvania  
A Story About A Story 1989
In the exhibition, Michals staged scenes are juxtaposed with those of his creative heroes, who include William Blake, Edward Lear, and Saul Steinberg. In his dual role as artist and curator he matches wits with writers, stage designers, toy makers, and his fellow portraitists of the past an present. Image: Duane Michals
A Story about A Story, 1989 The Morgan Library & Museum, 2018.47 . (c) Duane Michals, Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York. 
      Since 2015 Michals has focused his creative efforts on filmmaking, a natural outgrowth of his directional habits as a photographer.  On a screen in the exhibition, three short films are featured amid a cycle of over 200 photographs  from the series
Empty New York (1964-65), the project through which the artist first recognized his theatrical vision of reality. Illusions of the Photographer: Duane Michals is accompanied  by a 88-page soft-cover catalog featuring a wise ranging interview with the artist and illustrations of seventy works, including his selections from the Morgan's collection and the previously unpublished 1969 title sequence.
      TA TA DARLINGS!!! Just to on view till February 2, it's time to view Duane Michals artistic storytelling in photographs to amuse, entertain, and bewilder. Fan mail Visit Polly's other Blogs visionary men, women determined to succeed, fashion historian and poetry at, click on the links in the left-hand column.

Monday, January 6, 2020

POWER MODE: The Force of Fashion: Review By Polly Guerin

"Clothes make the man." The old adage, attributed to Mark Twain, rings true. From ancient times to today we distinguish ourselves in society by the peaceful or protest clothes we wear. From "Power Suits" and "Power Heels" there is a plethora of power symbols to consider.
     The Museum at FIT presents POWER MODE, The Force of Fashion in an engaging FREE exhibition that is on view through May 9, 2020. POWER MEANS DIFFERENT THINGS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE AT DIFFERENT TIMES. Consider the rules for court dress in the royal courts of the bygone centuries. The opulent fashions of the time made it perfectly clear who had the power and who were the peasants. Today, people and entertainers go to extremes to express powerful statements, but one point is clear, POWER means different things to different people at different times. The role fashion plays in fashion dynamics both historical and today is POWER MODE's most fascinating theme.       
Uniforms and Transformation into Fashion 
     The exhibition is divided into five thematic sections, each devoted to a certain sartorial "power."  The first section considers military uniforms and their transformation into fashion items, which calls to mind the Chanel suit jacket that Coco Chanel appropriated from military uniforms. Image Right: Burberry by Christopher Bailey, fall 1210
Gift of Burberry. Here it is the association with the military that gives the fashion garment its suggested power. The second section looks at status dressing from ermine
capes and luxurious brocade fabrics to contemporary "it" bags. Accessible luxury is a status symbol that anyone can obtain for the exorbitant price. From status dressing the exhibition moves on to consider the history of the suit. In courtrooms and offices, the suit isn't just a symbol of authority, it is also a sign of blending in--submitting to established norms and dress codes. The relaxing of the rules with casual Fridays gave way to the absence of men's ties and an
open neck shirt, yet politicians and senators still adhere to the well-suited-tie rule. Another section
considers the role of resistance dressing. Fashion can also be a vehicle for protest as in the recent work of Kerby Jean-Raymond for his label Pyer Moss.       
Most interesting is the fifth section, which analyzes objects associated with sex and sexuality. Corsets, leather, lingerie, high heeled boots and killer heel shoes are but a few examples. The power of dynamics of these garments are inherently complex. POWER MODE aims to let the visitor understand the complex nature of power in fashion as ways in which fashion can be key to a broader understanding of the power dynamics in culture.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! POWER MODE, The Force of Fashion is an eye-popping revelation that what we
wear each day is an expression of the power we wish to convey in the workplace and then, too, even to our family
or social events. Some of us go to extremes to express our
outlook on life, while others choose to conform to current cultural influences. No matter the case, there is much to be considered when making fashion choices each day.  Fan mail welcome
Visit Polly's other Blogs visionary men, women determined to succeed, fashion historian and poetry on the links on