Apr 192024
 

I was very sad to hear the news of artist and activist Faith Ringgold’s recent passing. Throughout her incredible career she created work in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, and narrative quilts. She also wrote and illustrated several children’s books- including the wonderful Tar Beach, based on one of the quilts, which won several awards.

Pictured above is American People Series #20: Die, 1967, currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

From the museum about the work-

Recalling her motivation for making this work, Ringgold has explained, “I became fascinated with the ability of art to document the time, place, and cultural identity of the artist. How could l, as an African American woman artist, document what was happening around me?” Ringgold’s American People Series confronts race relations in the United States in the 1960s. This mural-sized painting evokes the civil uprisings erupting around the country at the time. On the canvas, blood spatters evenly across an interracial group of men, women, and children, suggesting that no one is free from this struggle.

Mar 292024
 

Richard Serra passed away on Tuesday, 3/26/24. In the video above, as part of PBS News Hour, Serra takes an interviewer on a tour of his 2007 MoMA exhibition, Richard Serra: 40 Years.

The program also provides some background on his history and discusses a bit of his creative process. One technique was to use a list of verb actions. He would choose one from the list and apply that to different materials. He explains in the video how he used “to lift” for a rubber sculpture in the exhibition.

Richard Serra, “Verb List”, 1967 (image via MoMA)

If you are in Los Angeles, one of his most famous sculptures, Band (2006), is currently on view at LACMA. In NYC you can see Equal (2015), which consists of eight forged steel boxes stacked in pairs, at the Museum of Modern Art.

Nov 172023
 

Above is Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds’s work Surviving Active Shooter Custer, 48 monoprints, 2018, from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, on view in 2021.

From the museum about the work-

The term “active shooter” is one we hear too often in today’s news. Here, Heap of Birds uses this contemporary phrase to characterize massacres committed by United States troops against Native Americans in the 1800s. Each of this work’s panels contains six lines of text evoking the violence of not only this country’s history but ongoing acts of oppression against Indigenous communities. The prints on the right are “ghost prints” of those on the left, made by using the residual ink remaining on the printing plate after the first print was produced. For the artist, these prints recall the “ghosts of a whole culture.”

In the video below from the museum, the artist discusses the work with two of MoMa’s curators.

Jan 032020
 

Black Girls Window, 1969

Mystic Window for Leo, 1966

As part of MoMA’s Opening Season, they are showing Betye Saar’s 1969 work, Black Girl’s Window, along with several of her works on paper.

The exhibition “explores the relation between her experimental print practice and the new artistic language debuted in that famous work, tracing themes of family, history, and mysticism, which have been at the core of Saar’s work from its earliest days.”

This exhibition closes 1/4/20.

May 282018
 

William Eggleston, Tennesee (image via Metropolitan Museum of Art)

There are two great photography exhibitions happening in New York. William Eggleston’s Los Alamos, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art is comprised of seventy-five of his dye transfer prints from color negatives made between 1965 and 1974. The color in these images is incredible as is his ability to evoke feeling from work that is deceptive in its simplicity.  Enhancing the exhibition are a series of quotes from the artist located on various walls, which offer a glimpse into his process and philosophy.

 

The Museum of Modern Art’s Stephen Shore exhibition includes work from his entire career- his start as a teenager meeting with Edward Steichen, time spent with Andy Warhol at The Factory, his large format images from around America, and finally his work in Israel and his current Instagram.  The body of work is impressive and where Eggleston’s work feels like it’s creating a dreamworld from the mundane, Shore’s work seems to present things as they are in true documentary form. Pictures of meals and hotel rooms force the viewer to look at things they usually take for granted in a new way. Not to say that there aren’t images like the large format work, that present an idealistic beauty. Also included, and especially charming, are his stereographs- presented at a small table the images become three dimensional as you peer through the viewer.

 

Stephen Shore, Amarillo, Texas, July 1972 (1972) Image courtesy 303 Gallery

 

Stephen Shore, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California, August 13, 1979 1979. image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art

Both of these exhibitions close 5/28/18.

Dec 212016
 

42125_01_web3        Blue, 2016 (image via Matthew Marks Gallery)

42166_01_web3 The dead baby boy USA, Berlin, December 2015 / Shadow of baby, Berlin, December 2015 (image via Matthew Marks Gallery)

41994_01_web3-1Motherlove: Ayla and Tjioe in a Berlin bar, New York, June 2016 (image via Matthew Marks Gallery)

Nan Goldin currently has two exhibitions in New York City. The Museum of Modern Art is showing The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, a slide show of almost 700 images Goldin took documenting her life and the lives of those around her, starting in the 1970’s and continuing through 2004. The show has taken place in various iterations throughout the years and includes a soundtrack with music from The Velvet Underground and James Brown among others. While it plays you watch the people in these images party, fight, get married, have children, and sometimes, like Goldin’s good friend Cookie Mueller, die, all in a span of about 45 minutes. It’s hard to see these photos and not be left wanting to know more as you are drawn into this intimate world.  This exhibition runs until 2/12/17.

It’s interesting to see the work at MoMA and then to see Nan Goldin:blood on my hands, at Matthew Marks Gallery. It is the first public exhibition of her drawings as well as her new “grid” photos. The small drawings come from diaries Goldin has been keeping since childhood. They are often disturbing but the content adds insight into the personal life and thoughts of someone who has already shared so much. You can also see parallels in the drawings and her photo work, in terms of both content and style.

The photos in the exhibition are large pieces, each created around a specific color, and each taking up a wall in the gallery. The images that combine to make them are from different places and time periods and yet they flow as if they were always meant to be arranged with each other. The results are more contemplative then her other work and an interesting progression.  This show closes 12/23/16.