Took a long walk today, from Long Island City to Greenpoint, passing over the Pulaski Bridge. It was absolutely clear and warmer than New York in February should be; there were oh so many things to see along the way. I suppose I'll be posting a few glimpses -- as in so many little corners of New York, even temporary walls become installations in the museum that is the city.
Down in the Village, the walls are watchful.
A sloping, tiered wall, with grass peeking from behind, near Dia:Beacon.
Tyree Callahan's chromatic typewriter -- a hack where he replaced ink stores with paint -- is ingenious. The modified 1937 Underwood Standard typewriter is an entry in the 2012 West Collects West Prize Competition. I sometimes find, in writing, that words are insufficient for illuminating certain brilliant ambiguities; conversely, in painting, I wrestle with wanting to exercise as much control as I can in a well-crafted sentence, a taut paragraph. Perhaps this is an appropriate compromise?
Sometimes, I paint. Not very well, of course, but I paint nonetheless. This is a little canvas, at a few different stages, that I worked on last weekend.
Spending a lot of time in the arts and crafts drawer these days. Collage, mostly, but I dipped into the pastels tonight. This hinged, segmented box is filled with nubbins and odds and ends; its contents and the way they lay together are probably higher art than the little study of a teapot and cups I produced, though.
Oh, if only I lived in Amsterdam! At The Future of the Photography Museum, Foam offers an exhibition that includes the above: Erik Kessels made prints of every photograph uploaded to Flickr in a 24-hour period. In the Creative Review, Kessels said, "[The content of] image-sharing sites like Flickr, networking sites like Facebook, and picture-based search engines ... mingles public and private, with the very personal being openly and un-selfconsciously displayed. By printing all the images uploaded in a 24-hour period, I visualise the feeling of drowning in representations of other peoples' experiences."
I can't help but wonder: What 24 hours? Did I upload something then? Could there be a picture of my cat at the bottom of that very pile?
Sylvia Plath would have been 79 today; this curious French cat is one of her sketches, part of a collection of 44 pen-and-ink works on exhibit in London's Mayor Gallery through mid-December. Such tremendous talent. From "Lady Lazarus":
And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.
Just around the corner and down a block or two from our apartment, there's a storefront that is, more often than not, shuttered. But every so often, I walk by and see something a little bit magical in the otherwise unassuming area: an exhibition of photographs, say, or an invitation to take classes to learn Italian.
Today, a lovely little exhibition of paintings closed."Sicily Through a New Mirror," which presented a selection of Ida Saitta's work, was a breath of fresh air; the paintings were lively and colorful and made me want to learn more about Sicily, and Saitta, and the Cultural Association of the Molise Region (the organization responsible for the gallery and event space, which is at 31-16 36th Ave. in LIC).
If you missed out, fret not: there are more shows coming up. From October 22 to 29, "Colori d'Italia" will showcase photographs of Danilo Susi; in November, an exhibition on Jackson Pollack is planned and will feature the photojournalism of Tony Vaccaro; and in December, there will be something from Angela Grancagnolo.
We've been by a few times before, but it's always fun to stop and see the art at Welling Court (near 30th Avenue and 12th Street in Astoria). This was the second year that art (under the aegis of Ad Hoc Art) was splashed across buildings in the area; the new pieces were unveiled in June. Artists include Alice Mizrachi, Fumero (who did Einstein, below), Darkclouds, Lady Pink, OverUnder, Ron English, Stormie Mills, TooFly, and many, many more.
Marc Hundley's Dictionary caught my eye at the Art Book Fair. A book was released, and there is also an exhibition of Hundley's work:
[His] second book Dictionary focuses on a series of suggestive illustrations from the American Heritage Dictionary that hold an idiosyncratic, personal ... significance for the artist.
Art Since the Summer of '69 has closed its Chrystie Street space; it is now a mobile and online project.
Ah, fall: when New York bestows upon its citizens a plethora of fests, fairs, and fun! The New York Art Book Fair, which closes tomorrow, is a lovely free-for-all at MoMA PS 1 in Long Island City (so convenient!).
L Magazine highlights 10 things you shouldn't miss; I'll just present a list of book and zine titles from the fair's presenters that I found poignant, amusing, or otherwise noteworthy:
- Once Upon No Time
- Wasted Time
- Scream at the Librarian
- Reduced to Silence
- Dirt, Detritus & Vermin
- Surprised by French Fries
- And If You Don't Go Crazy I'll Meet You Here Tomorrow
- Teenage Kissers
- You Make Me Want to Die in the Countryside
- A Fiesta of Tough Choices
- That Would Have Been Wonderful
- Footnotes to a Manual of Shaker Furniture
- Re-Reading the Riot Act
- Things Are Conspicuous in Their Absence
- An Eruption of Anti-Time
Buy a book -- or two, or three! Or just marvel at the wonderful design, the creamy pages, the odd tchotchkes on offer (such as the clip-in inchwide streak of gray hair, the Sontag: Feminist Hair Wear, yours for the low, low price of $25!), the hipster glasses, the plethora of limited-edition totes.
Another highlight of the Maker Faire was P.Nosa's embroidered tableaux. He "draws" scenes on fabric using his sewing machine, which is powered by a solar panel or a bike electrical generator. At his booth, you can whisper five words to him, and he'll stitch up the scene; you can buy it, or it can just become part of his book.
The Urs Fischer teddy bear installation ("Untitled (Lamp/Bear)") on Park Avenue started coming down yesterday. Between that and the dismantling of Jaume Plensa's "Echo" in Madison Square Park, I'm a little bummed -- and can only hope some great new large-scale sculpture will debut soon!
The balloons, they sag. On 36th Avenue, near Cafe Triskell.
Things we liked! Things that confused us! Things that made us think!
It was hard to pry myself away from this Megan Suttles installation at the Governors Island Art Fair. Little pieces of a translucent material (shards of glass? bits of hardened plastic?) were strung on fishing line that extended between two walls of an apartment in one of the island's old residences. The sculpture felt kinetic, explosive -- but the material was quiet, reflective, almost not there, and the way it captured light tranlsated something that might otherwise have been overwhelming and chaotic into a moment of contained poetry.
From Suttles' artist's statement on her Web site:
Every now and then I find myself in these situations where it is very difficult to control the way I see, touch, smell, talk, breathe, everything. My vision becomes blurry, the world spins. It happens randomly, triggered by seemingly mundane occurrences: sound, wind, large crowds, solitude. Over the years I have learned to conceal these episodes by constructing a container. Through various breathing techniques and concentration, I am able to contain the chaos to the point where it becomes invisible. My work has become focused on revealing this chaos; making the invisible visible again. ... Through this work I have been exploring the eternal struggle between restraint and disorder: the way we tend to conceal our inner confusion with the outward appearance of refinement and perfection.
Took a (brief) trip back home earlier this week; too busy to take many pictures of, say, friends and fam (a terrible mistake in retrospect), but I did stop to admire some signs of the street. At left, small extract of a mural off NE Alberta.
Caricature giving good side-eye is from the side of a newspaper box on Hawthorne; the cat in the party hat I believe was somewhere on NE Mississippi; and the snail was pasted to a dead-end sign near Hawthorne.
Sumeet's eye is excellent; these are just two snaps (with an Instagram filter applied, I think) near his office.
If you giggle over one picture of a dog in a hat today, make it this one from the archives of the Kennel Club in the United Kingdom (image from the Statham Cook collection, via Flavorwire). And, if you are so lucky as to be in London, you can see more vintage dog photography (from the 1850s to the 1950s) at the Kennel Club Art Gallery -- I'll have to settle for outfitting my mom's Plott hound when I visit her in Oregon next month.