Photography & Art

The National Association of Women Artists: Celebrating 128 Years of Art

Sandra Bertrand

Susan G. Hammond, the executive director of the first national organization to support women’s art, has made “Our history is our future” her mantra. It’s for good reason.  A long line of dedicated women artists, given unswervingly to the mission of “fostering and promoting awareness of, and interest in, visual art by women in the United States,” have enabled members like Faith Ringgold, Judy Chicago and legions of others to find their way.  

Conscious Consumerism: Trending Organic and Hypoallergenic Designs

Elice Baxter

The 21st century design industry has become saturated with organic materials and hypoallergenic textiles moving business away from strictly aesthetic elementals. Due to the rise and demand by conscious consumers, a new wave of artists focused on innovative, practical and health conscious living have permeated the trade world with certified organic textiles being at the forefront. 

Paying Homage to a Photography Legend: Diane Arbus at the Met Breuer

Sandra Bertrand

A decade after her untimely death by suicide in 1971 at the age of 48, a trove of never-before-seen images were unearthed, stored in a basement darkroom on Charles Street in the West Village. And two-thirds of those images on display have been generously produced by her daughters, Doon and Amy Arbus for this exhibit.   What a viewing experience it is.   

‘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.  

The Unruly Isaac Mizrahi at The Jewish Museum

Sandra Bertrand

From the streets of Flatbush, Brooklyn to the lofty runways of high fashion, designer Isaac Mizrahi broke all the rules.  Just consider:  Adidas sneakers in place of spike heels, handbags worn as hats, a simple T-shirt paired with a taffeta ball gown skirt.  On view at The Jewish Museum in Manhattan, this mesmerizing new exhibit Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, shows how one man turned the fashion world on its head and put it back on its feet—his way.  

French Revolutionary Artist Vigee Le Brun Reigns Supreme at the Met

Sandra Bertrand

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s current exhibit, Vigee Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France, fast on the heels of its showing at the Grand Palais in Paris, is long overdue.  Katherine Baetjer, Curator in the Department of European Paintings, remarked to Roberta Smith in the New York Times’ own coverage, that it was the first time in her 40 years in the Department that a monographic exhibition has been held for a woman artist.  

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. 

MOMA Features Anti-Authoritarian Art From Eastern Europe, Latin America

Sandra Bertrand

If art for art’s sake is your main reason for visiting the Museum of Modern Art’s latest cross-current crazy quilt, Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960-1980, then this exhibit may not be for you.   But if art as persuasion, as process, as anti-authoritarian political protest whets your curiosity, then go.  It’s an in-your-face look backwards—when the Prague spring revolts were in full bloom and uprisings from Cuba to Argentina were creating seismic changes in public sensibility. 

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.  

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