art

‘Photography and Foul Play’ at the Met

Sandra Bertrand

Unquestionably, this is one exhibition that gives the viewer plenty to look at.  As a walk along history’s treadmill, it divvies up a rich array of humanity—replete with all its smiles and snarls.  Samuel G. Szabo (1854-61) was an early bird who snagged shoplifters, wife beaters, pickpockets, burglars and highwaymen in his lens, then meticulously placed them in an album with oval cutout frames and descriptions in the finest calligraphy.  

Meet the Staff at Highbrow Magazine: Chief Art Critic Sandra Bertrand

Sandra Bertrand

For the last several decades, I have been actively pursuing my interests in the fine arts.  My writing has encompassed plays, articles and reviews on many aspects of the fine arts, i.e., paintings, film, theatre, books and the popular culture at large. My travels have recently taken me to Crete, Greece, Peru, Belize, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Spain, and wherever the muse calls.  My own paintings are often the result of these wanderings and I am an active member of the National Association of Women Artists, (NAWA). As Chief Art Critic for Highbrow Magazine, and a long time resident of New York City, I love covering the art scene in museums, galleries and venues, reading the pulse in one of the most fascinating places on the planet.

Picasso’s Sculpture Show at MOMA – The Artist’s Giant Playpen

Sandra Bertrand

Occupying the entire fourth floor galleries, the exhibit allows the spectator to experience many enthralling works in the round, returning to re-examine, question, and wonder at the prolific, unstoppable genius of the man.   A handy takeaway pamphlet with sketches and accompanying descriptions eliminates the need for wall notes.  This reinvention of gallery space to accommodate approximately 140 sculptures is the handiwork of curators Ann Temkin and Anne Umland, with the assistance of Virginie Perdrisot, Curator of Sculptures and Ceramics at the Musee National Picasso in Paris. 

‘The New Rijksmusuem’ Sheds Light on the Renovation of the Netherlands’ Most Famous Museum

Gabriella Tutino

While the designs and construction of the museum are being worked on, restoration and organization for the museum’s art collection—1 million objects ranging from sculptures to paintings to furniture—is also underway. The documentary sheds a light into some of the processes and behind-the-scenes of the work it takes to maintain art, as well as acquire pieces. For example, the film follows Curator of Asian Art Menno Fitski as he procures two Japanese temple guards for an exhibit, and it follows Curator of Furniture Reinier Baarsen as he oversees the reproduction of a 17th century room.

Pathos and Minimalism: Doris Salcedo at the Guggenheim

Sabeena Khosla

Constructing memorials to those lost in conflict requires simultaneously painting with both a broad and fine-toothed brush (metaphorically speaking). The artist should not ignore nuanced suffering, yet the main goal is at the service of events that affect people en masse. While Doris Salcedo’s pieces, focusing on the Colombian Civil War, do not employ the typical tropes of memorials, they are still imbued with the sensitivity required of them due to her process and personal history, having lost family members to the conflict.

The Art of Al Hirschfeld – The 'Line King' Reigns On

Sandra Bertrand

So distinctive were the portraits from the line king’s pen that celebrities lined up in droves to be “Hirschfelded.”  And the roll call is staggering:  Charlie Chaplin, Carol Channing, Winston Churchill, Ella Fitzgerald, Jane Fonda, Ringo Starr, Liza Minnelli and Tommy Tune, just to name a few.  Over a hundred original drawings and other ephemera from his early work in Hollywood to his latest iconic portraits for The New York Times are currently on dazzling display at the New York Historical Society.  

Discovering Japanese Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sabeena Khosla

Nestled next to the expansive, multi-floor exhibit, however, is the Japanese wing housing a long-term show dedicated to the process by which the Met was able to collect art and artifacts from Japan since the 19th century. Being acquainted with the Japanese wing of the museum might instill some disappointment as there are not a whole lot of new additions to see or information to know – however, if you go without the expectation of seeing a new take on their collection, you can have a pleasurable and familiar experience while engaging with a bit of back story. 

No Longer Empty – From Courthouse to Art Gallery and Beyond

Sandra Bertrand

Thanks to No Longer Empty, a New York-based nonprofit involved in pumping new life into community spaces abandoned or left behind, the Old Bronx Borough Courthouse is opening its doors once again.  Only this time, after being shuttered for 37 years, its walls no longer resound with the smack of a judge’s gavel.  Instead, artists, performers, and the community-at-large can enter its cavernous space and call it home.

Meet Annika Connor, the Art World’s ‘Socialite Realist’

Kristin Sancken

A studio visit with Connor is an experience in itself. In lieu of a stuffy warehouse studio in Bushwick, the artist chose to work from her bright and cheery Dumbo loft. The walls are covered salon style with her whimsical portraits of ballet dancers, ruminating women, kissing couples, decadent interiors and stylized landscapes. Upon entering, you are greeted with a warm hug, cup of spiced coffee and invited to relax as you take in the sheer complexity of Connor’s diverse body of work. 

The Brash New World of Trenton Doyle Hancock

Sandra Bertrand

If you think paying a visit to your local museum exhibit is a relatively safe endeavor, then beware.  It’s likely you have not visited the The Studio Museum of Harlem’s current exhibit,  Trenton Doyle Hancock: Skin and Bones, 20 Years of Drawing.  Chronicling the evolution of his comical, often nightmarish universe, it’s a show that may alternately delight and repel but guaranteed, one you will not soon forget.   

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