Sunday, November 20, 2016

Roberto Burle Marx at the Jewish Museum

Back in September, in New York, John and I went to the Jewish Museum.
We entered beneath Beatrix Milhazes' chandelier-like Gamboa II (2013-16) to see the Roberto Burle Marx show.
Do you know Burle Marx -- the Brazilian landscape and textile designer?
I remember the buzz about him in the 1960's and loved being able to have a good look at his very recognizable work. Mr Burle Marx was a star of Mid-Century Modernism. 
 The ground floor gallery was filled with his drawings and maquettes.
 I particularly liked the huge Tapestry for Santo Andre Civic Centre (wool, 1969, right side).
It filled one whole wall (left side).
Burle Marx's Painted Ceramic Azulejo Tiles made in the late 1940s 
 and an organic drawing for the Juan Araujo Interior, 2015.
We loved this wooden maquette for an unexecuted Sculptural Fountain too (for São Paulo, Brazil, 1983). 
and of course his Avenida Atlântica -- Rio di Janeiro's Copacabana beach boulevard, 1970.
It was interesting to see some of Burle Marx' portrait paintings.
We'll leave you with this charcoal, Self-portrait, Berlin (1929).

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Expressionism at McMaster

John and I took the GO bus to Hamilton yesterday to see the "Art and Expressionism" show at McMaster University with our friend Roger Wood.
 The bus was fast and inexpensive and Fall was bursting the seams of the QEW.
Roger had arranged to meet us at the Hamilton GO station (1933).
He assured us it was a "Deco gem". 
 The interiors continue the Deco fantasy world.
 Roger drove us to the McMaster Museum of Art.
 The building has a nice retro-Deco style of the 1950s version.
The exhibition pairs German Expressionist work from the McMaster collection with contemporary art. Here's Joseph Beuys, Intellect Economy Law, 1984. 
 We both liked The Voice of the Turtle, 1984 by Stephen Andrews.
John caught a nice detail from centre-left of the piece.
We've seen a version of Jörg Immendorff's, Cafe Deutschland, 1983, in Europe. I guess he must have done a series of works with this title. Fun to see this one.
 One of Anselm Kiefer's dark pieces: Yggdrasil, 1985-1991.
A lady you want at your next party, Leonie, 1923 by Otto Dix.  
 I caught John taking a picture
of Chaim Soutine's Portrait of Richard X, 1915-1916. 
Loved the placement of Wilhelm  Lehmbruck's  bronze Storming Man, 1914, against Hermann Max Pechstein's 12 woodcuts called The Lord's Prayer, 1921
 and I loved Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's wonderful, crazy Acrobatic Dancers Cartwheeling, 1913.
 Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Female Head, 1915. The Denner Wallace Collection of German Expressionist and Weimar Period prints is utterly fascinating. Seems very NOW to me.
 I liked this little drawing of Bella, by Lucian Freud, 1987 -- his very distinctive style.
 George Grosz is such a great draughtsman. Self-portrait for Charlie Chaplin, 1919.
 John's detail from above.
August Sanders wonderful photo-portrait of Otto Dix and his wife Martha, 1925/26. Hip enough?
 Another piece by Stephen Andrews, Self-Portrait as Jim Black, 1985. I liked everything about this folded piece. Very inspiring!
 Sculptor and designer, Roger Wood, was looking dashing  in the Fall light
and after lunch in Dundas he took us up the Escarpment  
to enjoy views down on the East End of Hamilton
and over Dundas in the west. Thank you Roger for the wonderful day of adventure and fun!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Art Toronto 2016

John and I have attended "Art Toronto" -- our local art fair -- for the past half dozen years.
 It is held annually in the fall at the Metro Convention Centre on Front Street West across from  the CBC  building and Simcoe Park.
 I love American Plains Indian ledger drawings
 so I was thrilled by the exquisite collection at the booth of the Donald Ellis Gallery of New York.
 Katherine Mulherin was showing the tiny super-realist paintings of Mike Bayne.
Stephen Bulger Gallery had a fabulous display of Vivien Maier's photographs. The Chicago photographer's work of the 1950's and 60's was unknown until 2005.
John and I would put her among the top dozen 20th century photographers.
 John was much taken with these photographs by Serge Tousignant at the booth of Galerie Graff of Montreal.
Paul Petro Contemporary Arts showed a marvellous mural in chalk pastel on black paper by Zachari Logan, Eunuch Tapestry 5.
The details at the bottom of the drawing reminded us of Medieval illuminations.
 Paul Petro was also showing this photograph, Moi au Louvre, 2013, by Stephen Andrews
 and a new Foil Problem by Sandy Plotnikoff. We're big fans of both artists.
 Of course the hip visitors to the art fair
 are are always a visual bonus.
 John liked this vintage Ken Lum: You Don't Love Me, 1994, while I was caught by the backpack of the young art lover.
 We both liked Bradley Wood's Shark, 2016. It reminded us somewhat of the work of Parisian artist, Jean-Phillipe Delhomme.
 Kim Dorland's Gathering, 2016. Very mysterious and intriguing!
John liked Mara Korkola's No Place 380 (Belgrade), 2016.
 Always a crowd-pleaser, Cree and Irish painter Kent Monkman, delivered once again with Miss Europe, a huge painting that sold on opening night.
 We would have happily taken home one of Gro Thorsen's Night paintings (2016)
 at the Jill George Gallery booth. Just the right size to fit into our limited wall space!
 At the Monte Clark Gallery booth John caught me getting ready to take a picture of
 Alison Yip's The Sap Tappers, 2012. Nice painting.
 Let's end with the Barbara Edwards Gallery's fabulous collection of William Kentridge drawings.
We love these wonderful, loose, drawings
on printed sheets from a old books! File under "want".
Kentridge makes drawing look easy.
OK -- we'll squeeze in one more work -- Mitch Robertson's little corner sculpture: Fig 55a, 2015, (polished steel), at the Birch Contemporary booth. See you next year!