Dusty Wright's Culture Catch - Smart Pop Culture, Video & Audio podcasts, Written Reviews in the Arts & Entertainment http://culturecatch.com/node/feed en Gig of the Week: Bokanté http://culturecatch.com/node/3924 <span>Gig of the Week: Bokanté</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/webmaster" lang="" about="/users/webmaster" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Webmaster</a></span> <span>February 23, 2020 - 11:02</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/766" hreflang="en">world beat</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KZrr5v9N4o4?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Grammy-nominated, world-music supergroup Bokanté are coming to Joe's Pub next Sunday, March 1st. Check out their <a href="https://open.spotify.com/album/4jy0qfVL2jNJOXFHsVf7WF?si=_nuM08gLQsOCFY2BTcO4FQ" target="_blank"><em>Strange Circles</em></a> (2017) and <em>What Heat</em> (2018) albums on <a href="https://open.spotify.com/album/2ks7K8DI5MjJWfm3W56qjm?si=cbuyVk_VQOyxrjF-4GcOdQ" target="_blank">Spotify</a> to get a taste of how wonderfully infectious and moving this music is. The band was formed by musician/composer <b>Michael League</b>, he of Grammy–winning, Texan–bred, New York–based instrumental jazz collective, Snarky Puppy. His new project collects epic players from five countries and four continents, different genders, races and generations "working in harmony, celebrating individuality." A band giving a voice to those that don't have voices, sharing their passion for life and justice through music. Vocalist Malika Tirolien sings in both French and Guadeloupean Creole, the language of her childhood home. Bokanté means "exchange." Make no mistake, this is world beat music for the masses.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3924&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="orNMTBCgHWqUYR41mJBpHav0lxgzg0ODkGvYiwA51Fo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 23 Feb 2020 16:02:28 +0000 Webmaster 3924 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3924#comments Song of the Week: "Runaway" http://culturecatch.com/node/3923 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Runaway&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>February 22, 2020 - 08:43</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/139" hreflang="en">singer-songwriter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uhQhfelnC5M?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Happened upon this singer/songwriter via a PR friend and was immediately drawn into his easy delivery and heartfelt lyrics, so much so that I started exploring his fantastic catalog of work. He's lived in NYC, Austin, and now Nashville. And he's absorbed the best of each city. He reminds me of early Jackson Browne. <a href="https://open.spotify.com/track/7q2Gop07LK0mswNlgeo4jS?si=M1qBKxfsSZuXINgWZ8SPEg" target="_blank">"Runaway"</a> is an easy slice of love balladry that will warm your soul. A refreshing song about commitment.</p> <blockquote> <p>"I refuse to runaway / I'm going to stay."</p> </blockquote> <p>If you don't know <a href="http://www.anthonydacosta.com/about" target="_blank"><strong>Anthony da Costa</strong></a> you may want to take some time out of your busy social media schedule and do so today.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3923&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="d8UMuuKk9i3jJxU5y8phlEhdlyqk8x85dgNdsXQ5sog"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 22 Feb 2020 13:43:12 +0000 Dusty Wright 3923 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3923#comments Muralism http://culturecatch.com/node/3922 <span>Muralism</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/users/kathleen-cullen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathleen Cullen</a></span> <span>February 13, 2020 - 21:55</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/867" hreflang="en">murals</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1560" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/mural_-_79369a.jpg?itok=aE0t_Xb6" title="mural_-_79369a.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>government palace mural by Diego Rivera, photo credit Pacific &amp; Atlantic Photos Inc.</figcaption></figure><p><em>Muralism: Identity and Revolution</em></p> <p>The Throckmorton Gallery, 145 East 57th Street.</p> <p>The new show at the Throckmorton Fine Art Gallery, <em>Muralism: Identity and Revolution</em>, serves as a important companion piece to the upcoming <em>Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945</em> at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The show actually documents this artistic period through photographs of both the art work and the artists. In fact the Whitney actually will be featuring photographs from the Gallerist Spencer Throckmorton's collection. We wanted to interview the gallerist to highlight both the show and the artistic period.</p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong>People are familiar with the mural work of Diego Rivera but may not know his work was part of a larger movement. Can you explain what started this movement and the subject matter?</p> <p><strong>Spenser Throckmorton: </strong>At the end of the Mexican Revolution, which historians place as happening between 1917 and 1920 there was a resurgence of Mexican art. Artists sought to reimagine the Mexican identity and focus the subject of the work on the poor, the Indian, the peasant, and the worker. This was a movement away from academic tradition which was viewed as elitist. The goal was to bring art closet to those Mexicans long marginalized. Murals were the most celebrated of the art forms and were painted all over Mexico in public sites including churches, palaces, government buildings, schools and museums.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>Who were the important artists? What themes did their work share?</p> <p><strong>ST: </strong>In addition to Diego Rivera, other artists include David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco. The themes were a celebration of the lives of everyday people, the work they did and the lives they lived.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1248" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/mural-28293_1.jpg?itok=YFd4ZE0A" title="untitled-Diego Rivera by Hector Garcia" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>untitled, Diego Rivera by Hector Garcia</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>What role did this movement play in the culture at the time?</p> <p><strong>ST: </strong>The murals depicted a true break from the past in that the subjects featured were non-European heroes including Aztec warriors fighting the Spanish, peasants fighting for the revolution and modern day laborers building Mexico City.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>Can you describe the work in the current show and what influenced you to do this show at this time?</p> <p><strong>ST: </strong>I've always been interested in this work because the murals in Mexico is so commanding and memorable. The photos in the show are very rare as they were not printed in great amounts and they were not seen as the artwork but seen as something cataloguing they work. There are photos of murals that no longer exist and these photos are the only documents.</p> <p>Diego Rivera hired Tina Modotti, who supported herself taking pictures of artists' work, to photograph his murals so he could advertise his and get commissions. People may be familiar with his murals in Rockefeller Center that were so controversial they were later destroyed. In the United States Rivera also did murals for the Detroit Institute of Arts and the City Club in the San Francisco Stock Exchange. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1510" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/mural-56010.jpg?itok=GCsH75JK" title="mural-56010.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>mural study: untitled (hanging laundry) by Tina Modotti</figcaption></figure><p>The show features 26 pictures by Modotti as well as other photographers with a focus on both the murals and the people in and around the movement. Modotti, who was Italian, was very familiar with this group, as, in addition to being a photographer, she was an activist for the communist party. She was actually exiled from Mexico in 1930 only to return in 1939 to live there under a pseudonym.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>What do you hope viewers will take away from the show?</p> <p><strong>ST: </strong>We hope to not only highlight this period and the work, but the show helps to both preserve and document this time in Mexico's and the art world's history. It’s also a way we connect this work to a new audience.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3922&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="O8HgWBt7Z7ls3g4tjJppUqZyVm3uRLzkr8KZvBKmOWs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 14 Feb 2020 02:55:23 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 3922 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3922#comments On The Road To Somewhere http://culturecatch.com/node/3921 <span>On The Road To Somewhere</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>February 12, 2020 - 10:47</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/theater" hreflang="en">Theater Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/852" hreflang="en">Broadway musical</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="695" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/american-utopia-byrne.jpg?itok=lz6xuf6X" title="american-utopia-byrne.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo Credit: d. Bindi</figcaption></figure><p><em>David Byrne's American Utopia</em></p> <p>Hudson Theatre, NY</p> <p>According to David Byrne during the encore we are all on a "road to nowhere" even if that message is delivered from the stage of the fabulously intimate and historic Hudson Theatre on West 44th Street in Times Square. This is not a musical, it is a full blown pop concert. It started as a tour for his 2018 solo album <em>American Utopia</em>. Many of the same musicians who graced the stage of that tour have migrated and morphed his vision onto a Broadway stage. And while it may be performed with grand theatrical gestures and choreographed movements, it is still an extraordinary theatrical performance, albeit one with intricate movements and 12 wireless musicians weaving in and out and around each other with each song. While there are songs from that aforementioned album there are plenty of crowd-pleasing songs from Talking Heads and his solo work, too. Those  songs were met by clapping and yelling and standing ovations after each number -- "Slippery People," "Once In A Lifetime," "Burning Down The House," "This Must Be The Place," to name but a few.</p> <p>Although this run is winding down and finally ending on February 16th, it was truly a "once in a lifetime" musical experience. Clearly it was as exciting and exhilarating as my first live encounter with Mr. Byrne's Talking Heads 40 years ago -- in full bloom and rock majesty -- played at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Oct. 31st (Halloween) 1980. (The Psychedelic Furs opened for them!) Mr. Byrne has carefully curated a celebration of his catalog while framing his favorite music with his new musical comrades. </p> <p>I have always been drawn to Mr. Byrne's existentially poetic and cerebral music from the moment I head the Talking Heads' debut album <em>77</em>. They were always a cut above the rest of their contemporary rock peers. Always with one foot into the future. So one should not be surprised at how forward thinking this thoughtful and artistic statement might be presented on the Great White Way.</p> <p>Some of the "tai chi" soft and flowing movements have been seen on stage before both in filmmaker Jonathan Demme's iconic <em>Stop Making Sense </em>rock concert doc and Byrne's dance/music collaboration with choreographer/dancer Twyla Tharp for <em>The Catherine Wheel</em>. Regardless, the movement during the various songs was never indulgent nor redundant unless purposely redundant to make a point. With his crack 11- piece band providing all the live/wireless instrumentation, this is music performed without incident in the age of bluetooth technology. In fact, Mr. Byrne even made a point of their "music" when he introduced every cast member and their place of origin before they shared their instrument's sound with the audience. It was a very clever sequence that put to rest that they were performing to tracks!</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ga97sIZlr1c?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>There was also a wonderful story about the song "Everybody's Coming to My House" that was recorded by a group of teenagers from Detroit -- Detroit School of Arts featuring the Vocal Jazz Ensemble -- who completely remade the song into a more positive and uplifting version of his brooding exploration of loneliness. The version above is so far removed from his staging that both need to be seen to fully appreciate their converse relationship. </p> <p>If Byrne continues to tour this pop art masterpiece, do not miss it. He will not stop making sense.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3921&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="PVz6UJ-WA5UJQaW2ltH-cixAqsovl573nDGtgadb5TM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 12 Feb 2020 15:47:43 +0000 Dusty Wright 3921 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3921#comments Take The Plunge http://culturecatch.com/node/3920 <span>Take The Plunge</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/leah-richards" lang="" about="/users/leah-richards" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Leah Richards</a></span> <span>February 10, 2020 - 11:22</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/theater" hreflang="en">Theater Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/88" hreflang="en">off broadway</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="800" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/christina_elise_perry_as_kat_and_david_rey_as_sam_in_chain_theatres_chasing_the_river_photo_by_matt_wells.jpg?itok=tOeEDgJb" title="christina_elise_perry_as_kat_and_david_rey_as_sam_in_chain_theatres_chasing_the_river_photo_by_matt_wells.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo Credit: Matt Wells</figcaption></figure><p><i>Chasing the River</i></p> <p>Written by Jean Dobie Giebel</p> <p>Directed by Ella Jane New</p> <p>Presented at the Chain Theatre</p> <p>February 7-29, 2020</p> <p>The title of Jean Dobie Giebel's play <i>Chasing the River</i>, making its world premiere as a production of the Chain Theatre, alludes to the act in poker of staying in the game against the odds until the final card is dealt in hopes of hitting a hand such as a flush or straight. However, given the play's concern with the past, and especially its traumas, the title also evokes the fruitlessness of trying to capture, or recapture, something that is always changing and always moving forward. How, the play asks, does one chase that winning hand when the effects of abuse make it a struggle to simply stay in the game?</p> <p><i>Chasing the River </i>introduces us to Kat (Christina Elise Perry). Most recently, Kat has been living in Philadelphia. Prior to Philadelphia, Kat was living in prison. And before prison, Kat lived in the small Pennsylvania town to which she has just returned when the play opens, a return occasioned by the need to deal with her family home now that her aunt, poker-aficionado Adelaide (Sara Thigpen), is no longer living. Kat's return brings her face to face with her high-school boyfriend, Sam (David Rey), who has remained in the town and taken over his father's small business, and her mother, Maggie (Robyne Parrish), who took Kat's younger sister, Beth (Caroline Orlando), but not Kat with her when she left their father and with whom Kat's relationship remains strained. Aside from these flesh-and-blood figures of bygone days, however, Kat is also confronted with the memories that are inextricable from the place, both of her beloved aunt Addie and, more painfully, those involving her abusive, alcoholic father, Nate (David Wenzel). In this unenviable position, the central question is whether Kat can -- or even wants to -- fashion from her fraught homecoming a true second chance in order not to be borne back ceaselessly into the past.</p> <p>The play interweaves Kat's memories with the present action not only through flashback scenes but also through the occasional ghost-like intrusion of characters or recorded voices into scenes set in the present. The non-linear progress of the narrative thought-provokingly evolves and complicates the audience's perspectives on characters and events. For example, Kat making the varsity high-school basketball squad as a freshman takes on slightly different cast when we learn later of her father's deep disappointment that neither of his children was a son. (A potential parallel also emerges between the way that the other players dislike Kat for being so good and the animosity that greets abuse or assault survivors who come forward.) Similarly, a scene of genuine happiness, brilliantly performed by Perry and Wenzel, in which Kat's face shines with love as she looks on a father who, overflowing with excitement, completely and sincerely believes, in the moment, his own promises of the most fun summer ever, cannot help but be heartbreaking because of everything else that we know. The characters themselves have clashing perspectives regarding both the events of the past and the shape of the future, on who was protecting whom, on what help looks like and on how and when one asks for it. The play highlights the guilt and misplaced blame that often accompany abuse and assault, the lack of understanding why someone didn't speak up or "just" leave, the way that abuse becomes a pattern passed from one generation to the next, and the way that suffering abuse leads women to prison -- a site of punishment rather than healing -- instead of to aid.</p> <p>The production is staged on and around a minimalist front porch with a couple of weathered metal chairs, a window, and a screen door in a mix of verisimilitude and suggestion that pairs well with the play's mix of memory and presence. While the entire cast brings an affecting emotional heft to their performances, Perry is particularly powerful, communicating so much with just Kat's body language: her closed-off wariness, for instance, is expressed in how much time she spends with her hands jammed in her hoodie pockets or pulling its sleeves down over her hands, or how she zips back into it like armor after one particular disappointment. Rey and Orlando both render relationships with Kat that feel authentically lived-in, and Rey not only lends Sam a sometimes thorny complexity but is also responsible for some of the funniest of the play's flashes of levity (although Orlando's small-child imitation is also pretty hilariously spot-on).</p> <p>Kat's very name functions as a symbol of potential self-determination. Others variously call her Katie, Katydid, and Chickadee, but Kat is the only name that she chose for herself (albeit when she went to prison). With the struggles of Kat and those around her, <i>Chasing the River</i> takes a plunge into the legacy of trauma and the possibilities that exist as long as one has, to paraphrase Adelaide, a single chip and a seat at the table.<i> </i></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3920&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="pTGnzqK_jPcPcJ8E0Vr3NQjnmulNkagfJ7CbtdY0hC0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 10 Feb 2020 16:22:00 +0000 Leah Richards 3920 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3920#comments Fuhgeddaboutit http://culturecatch.com/node/3919 <span>Fuhgeddaboutit</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/mark-weston" lang="" about="/users/mark-weston" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mark Weston</a></span> <span>February 8, 2020 - 11:07</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/theater" hreflang="en">Theater Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/88" hreflang="en">off broadway</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/romeobernadette.jpg?itok=dw5V9THG" width="1200" height="900" alt="Thumbnail" title="romeobernadette.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>Off Broadway theater is a medium where creative people devote their time, talents and passion, often with little or no recompense. It's a great disappointment when creative people with talent in abundance devote themselves to a show that is undeserving. If only that were the case of the show <i>Romeo &amp; Bernadette </i>produced lavishly and professionally by AMAS Musical Theatre and Eric Krebs.</p> <p><i>Romeo &amp; Bernadette </i>isn't just undeserving of the production it is currently receiving, it calls into question why it was chosen for development over what must be dozens, if not hundreds, if not thousands of more deserving shows.  </p> <p><i>Romeo &amp; Bernadette </i>is a musical comedy of little substance and few laughs. It's premise seems to be to take music from Italian songs and light opera and graft "modern" lyrics on to them. By modern I don't mean anything close to contemporary. The putative setting is Brooklyn, 1960. We know this because the word <i>fuhgeddaboutit</i> is a prime source of the show's humor.</p> <p>You've probably already guessed that this tale places Shakespeare's Romeo in Bensonhurst where he pursues -- not Juliet, but <i>Bernadette. </i>If that premise makes you double up with laughter, than this is the show for you. To say the show's genre is cartoonish is to unfairly impugn cartoons.  Instead of Montagues and Capulets there are two warring "mafia" families.  Romeo speaks in a stilted version of flowery Elizabethan-speak but soon learns to speak as crudely as everyone else in the show, including the aforementioned </p> <p><i>fuhgeddaboutit -- </i>a joke that the show's writer never gets tired of repeating... and repeating.  The frame of the show's premise (i.e. how does Romeo wind up in 1960 Brooklyn?) revolves around a Brooklyn "Guido's" attempt to get into his girlfriend's pants. Why? Don't ask.</p> <p>And that's the biggest puzzlement here: Why? To create a new musical around old Italian melodies is, by definition, a study in being old-fashioned. Layering in unfunny Italian-American stereotypes with a third-grader's idea of Shakespeare's romantic tragedy and then playing it all for giggles (except for the songs which are floridly "romantic") is head-shaking.  </p> <p>To its credit AMAS has assembled a great deal of talent on the ART NY stage. The young lovers Romeo (Nikita Burshteyn) and Bernadette (Anna Kostakis) are making appealing NY stage debuts. They are winningly supported by their friends Dino (Michael Notardonato) and Donna (Ari Raskin). Much of the rest of the cast is made up of Broadway veterans including Carlos Lopez as crime boss Al Penza and the Drama Desk nominated Judy McLane who's Broadway credits include over 4000 performances of <i>Momma Mia. </i>The director Justin Ross Cohen has a raft of Broadway credits as a performer including the original <i>Pippin </i>and <i>A Chorus Line. </i>He has assembled a stellar design team including Tony Award winner Ken Billington (lights) and Broadway veteran Walt Spangler (scenery).</p> <p>If only their talents were in service to something more deserving.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3919&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="3MruXU2eK4PmmVAmJmpmoyCrq67-I0QbTMDpgknMtZs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 08 Feb 2020 16:07:43 +0000 Mark Weston 3919 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3919#comments A Strange New Beauty http://culturecatch.com/node/3918 <span> A Strange New Beauty</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/users/kathleen-cullen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathleen Cullen</a></span> <span>February 8, 2020 - 10:20</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="800" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/tb_20_003l.jpg?itok=qaBCY5-n" title="tb_20_003l.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo Credit: Petzel Gallery</figcaption></figure><p>Troy Brauntuch explores the documentation of the Great German Art Exhibitions that have been compiled by GDK Research in order to expose how information can be manipulated and referenced later as truth. He accomplishes this through digital image manipulation adding elements that can reflect on our current socio-political climate. The show --  <em>A</em> <em>Strange New Beauty -- </em>is on view at the Petzel Gallery at 35 East 67th Street in New York City until March 7th. </p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong>You were put in the spotlight at a young age in 1977 with the <em>Pictures</em> show and have sustained a long career. Over the years much had been written about your work. Can you reflect on what has been written - not the positives and negatives? Has it impacted your work? How you deal with feedback and the press? Other areas of your life? </p> <p><strong>Troy Brauntuch: </strong>Usually when people have written on my work it has been critically positive, but I must say I remember the writings and critics that were not so kind the most. Many years ago, I had a review of an exhibition of mine that is memorable. One day, I visited the gallery and there was only one other person in the large space at the time. She looked like she was writing or sketching as she spent time in front of my artwork. It turns out she was reviewing my show for the NY times, an the review came out later that week. The review was void of most content but very descriptive of images that were not actually in the paintings. Things like schools of fish and swinging monkeys. Needless to say, not her favorite show.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>You have had a long career as a teacher. Is the way you teach different from the way the instructors you had taught?</p> <p><strong>TB: </strong>I was very close to, and am grateful for the teachers that I had in college. I think that the way that I was instructed is definitely in my DNA for my teaching. It was a very different time and my program felt much less academic than programs of today, but that’s why it was so special. It was a small community of faculty and students at Cal Arts in the early '70s when I was there, which made instruction intimate and generous. John Baldessari had an open seminar class that was the doorway to the art world of the day. My painting instructors had studios on campus and were always present for meetings and discussions. I played poker weekly with faculty and students as well as dean of the Music School, Leonid Hambro and Paul Brach, dean of the Art school. This was very cool and would not happen today.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="900" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/TB%2020_xxx8L.jpg?itok=eAgLjkf5" title="TB 20 xxx8L" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo Credit: Petzel Gallery</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>I don't know if you would agree but for most artists it's about light. Your work seems to be all about the dark (or ghost images?) What is the attraction to the palette you use?</p> <p><strong>TB: </strong>I really wanted all imagery and content to be and become very visible in this latest exhibition. I always felt during my career that if time was spent looking at my paintings, that slower and more difficult process of recognition was important to the content of the work. I specifically left glass off the framed letterpress prints so there could be no veil or refection to stop the light illuminating the metallic silver inked images. I would say light and dark co-exists equally in this exhibition as does beauty and the sublime. </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3918&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="CDLjNVgf743JSmIdaB9m3mZYfaiXFh78S2ljmZT02hw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:20:26 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 3918 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3918#comments St. Petersburg 2020, and a little bit of Tampa http://culturecatch.com/node/3883 <span>St. Petersburg 2020, and a little bit of Tampa</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/349" lang="" about="/user/349" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dom Lombardi</a></span> <span>February 7, 2020 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="868" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/virginia-cuthbert-inner-city_1.jpg?itok=KcXdYnWl" title="virginia-cuthbert-inner-city_1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Virginia Cuthbert (American, 1908 – 2001), Inner City Industrial Scene, 1942, oil on canvas, Museum purchase</figcaption></figure><p>One of the nice things about visiting a museum over the years is the strength and timelessness of the art displayed, as compared to how we evolve as individuals. When we change over time, we bring different references to each new experiences. As a result, our response to culture, visual art, film, music, theater, dance etc. will be transformed over time. Just think about how much your taste in music has changed in your lifetime, from the time you were a pre-teen to where you are now.</p> <p>With all this said, I return to the <b>Museum of Fine Arts, St Petersburg</b> and find new/old works to study and enjoy. Virginia Cuthbert’s <i>Inner City Industrial Scene</i> (1942) was painted shortly after she arrived in Buffalo, NY. It depicts the view from inside a street level store, looking out the front windows and glass door toward an industrial-looking swath of buildings. The somewhat geometric crumpled up paper and empty box in one window gives the viewer a sense of loss or exodus, as if a business just closed, while the scene outside, which is devoid of any people, enhances the desolate feeling of the entire location. I was immediately thinking of Charles Sheeler, a fellow <i>Precisionist</i>, who too created stunningly mesmerizing scenes like Cuthbert's to indicate a range of starkness or dread in certain aspects of 'modern life', while at the same time, getting us lost in the drama of a line/form dynamic.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1050" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/george-biddle-fletcher-martin.jpg?itok=1-Y5alBC" title="george-biddle-fletcher-martin.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="780" /></article><figcaption>George Biddle (American, 1885 – 1973), Portrait of Fletcher Martin with a German Pistol, 1943, oil on canvas, Museum purchase</figcaption></figure><p><i>Portrait of Fletcher Martin with a German Pistol </i>(1943) by George Biddle is another work that now gets my attention. As noted on the wall text, Biddle was the chairman of the <i>United States War Department’s Art Advisory Committee</i> and Martin, the subject of the painting, was on assignment for <i>Life</i> magazine. Painted when they were both in Tunisia, Biddle captures a quiet moment in an otherwise bucolic setting. The suspense comes in the form of Martin’s dark eyes that are darting to his left, as if to spy some very suspicious movement or activity outside the picture plane. Overall, the exceptionally even quality of the paint application and brushwork, and the scheme of color that emphasizes both nature and camouflage are all quite masterful.</p> <p><i>The Church at Montigny, Effect of Sunlight</i> (1908) by Francis Picabia, was painted when the artist was in his late twenties. Executed before he met the likes of Jaques Villon and Marcel Duchamp, Picabia was then influenced by the <i>Impressionists</i>. Done with rather heavy, deliberate vertical, horizontal and an occasional diagonal brushstrokes, Picabia clearly captures the time of day in pinks, blues and purples much in the same way Monet captured it in the <i>Rouen Cathedral</i> series from 1890. In the end, it is always a pleasure to see the works of a great and influential artist before they hit their more ‘well known’ period(s), when you can see their struggle to find themselves, and acceptance, in the art world.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1478" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/3._francis_picabia_french_1879_-_1953_the_church_at_montigny_effect_of_sunlight_1908.jpg?itok=w46UDiU3" title="3._francis_picabia_french_1879_-_1953_the_church_at_montigny_effect_of_sunlight_1908.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Francis Picabia (French, 1879 – 1953), The Church at Montigny, Effect of Sunlight, 1908, oil on canvas, Gift of Costas Lemonopou</figcaption></figure><p><i>A Wooded River Landscape, With a Fish Market and Fishing Boats</i> (1610) by Jan Brueghel the Elder is a brilliant work that captures the eye initially with its two-thirds bright and one-third dark composition, which is comfortably divided by a curved, ascending meridian. Once you are drawn in, you begin to see the bustling activity of this fishing village, which is immediately followed by a receding narrative -- first, in the form of two dark crimson figures on the right and left of the foreground, then to the slightly washed out, sunlit reds of a few more figures in the early mid ground, to the more faded pinkish tones of select figures in the far ground. In the end you find yourself at the proud windmill, where you realize just how carefully and surely the artist carried your gaze through the intricate depth of this vista.</p> <p>For the next few months, the Museum of Fine Arts will also feature a number of excellent exhibitions that address a wide range of interests including the <i>Ancient Theater and Cinema</i>, which correlates ancient Greek objects with stills from familiar feature films. <i>Explore the Vaults</i> is another fascinating exhibition that reveals a collection of works on walls and in modified print draws, of a number of prints and photographs that reflect the burgeoning and explorative age of Toulouse-Lautrec. On view through May 10th is <i>Art of the Stage: Picasso to Hockney</i>; and on March 14th, <i>In Full Bloom: Netherlandish Flower Paintings and Trade</i> will be open to the public.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="816" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/4._jan_brueghel_the_elder_flemish_1568_-1625_a_wooded_river_landscape_with_a_fish_market_and_fishing_boats_1610.jpg?itok=F0loJkTc" title="4._jan_brueghel_the_elder_flemish_1568_-1625_a_wooded_river_landscape_with_a_fish_market_and_fishing_boats_1610.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Jan Brueghel the Elder, (Flemish, 1568 –1625), A Wooded River Landscape with a Fish Market &amp; Fishing Boats, 1610, oil on copper</figcaption></figure><p>While I was at the <b>Morean Arts Center</b> to open a show I curated titled <i>I Am...,</i> I was able to walk through two one-person exhibitions in the adjacent galleries. The first is <i>Kirk Ke Wang: Landscape of Human Skins</i>. The term "Human Skins" is a metaphor for the used clothing seen at disaster sites. Calling his work "Social Abstraction," Wang focuses our attention on the environment as it relates to catastrophic events, as well as the migration that such tragedies create. In <i>Landscape of Human Skins -- Green Spring</i> (2017) we see a jumble of swirling representations: a fish, a bird, a section of broken chain link fencing and tree roots from a recently logged tree all hovering above what appear to be household items, and we get the immediate sensation of the suddenness of a severe storm and its aftermath.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="934" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/5._kirk_ke_wang_landscape_of_human_skins_green_spring_2017.jpg?itok=jQzkJuki" title="5._kirk_ke_wang_landscape_of_human_skins_green_spring_2017.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Kirk Ke Wang, Landscape of Human Skins, mixed media on canvas, 78 x 102 inches (photo: courtesy of the Morean Arts Center)  </figcaption></figure><p>The next solo show has the work of Perri Neri. The exhibition, <i>Perri Neri: Past Tense; Present</i>, features a number of angst-ridden, predominantly red and blue dynamic figurative paintings plus a few very detailed biomorphic drawings. Seemingly working against the clock as the artist observes the spiraling decline of humanity, Neri reveals some gut-wrenching moments when it all becomes too real and altogether overwhelming.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="729" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/6._perri_neri_bindle_2017.jpeg?itok=cUVPTazi" title="6._perri_neri_bindle_2017.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1000" /></article><figcaption>Perri Neri, Bindle (2017), graphite on Arches paper, 22 x 30 inches (photo: courtesy of the Morean Arts Center)</figcaption></figure><p>Crossing the street, my next stop is the <b>Chihuly Collection</b>. Being very familiar with the larger public installations of Dale Chihuly, and having never been to one of the museums that feature his work, I was pleasantly surprised by the many unfamiliar works. <i>Float Boat</i> (2007) consists of several 'glowing' planet like orbs that fill up and are scattered around a rowboat. The overall narrative made me think of some otherworldly, off-site area past the confines of the known universe where planets-in-wait might be held.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="900" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/7._dale_chihuly_float_boat_2007.jpg?itok=yrNz84xd" title="7._dale_chihuly_float_boat_2007.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Dale Chihuly, Float Boat (2007), gift of Bill and Hazel Hough, (photo: courtesy of the author)</figcaption></figure><p><i>Ikebana Drawing on Acrylic </i>(2010), which looks to be dripped, flung, swished and patted acrylic paint on a clear sheet of clear plastic glass that is front and back lit, brings forth the mindset of certain Modernists who favored the no-holds-barred primitive side of expression, while <i>Sliver Gilded Scarlet Piccolo Venetian with Curls</i> (2000) has just the right amount of whimsy.</p> <p>One gallery at the museum is dedicated to artists who relate in some way to glass. Currently, the duo of Jenny Pohlman and Sabrina Knowles offer <i>In the Light of Winter</i>. Their collaborations, which began some 25 years ago, culminate here in a series of works that embrace many facets of our global culture including personal stories, religion, politics and current affairs. In one instance, with <i>In the Light of Winter, Tapestry</i> (2019), the artists create something like an oversized charm bracelet with chains of glass and metal objects. I am reminded of the work of Esperanza Cortés, who created <i>I.D Bracelet</i> (2013) comprised of frescoes, amulets, glass beads, metal and chain. <i>Lodestar Portrait Series</i> (2017), the one consisting of thirteen circular portraits and birds, is the most powerful piece in the exhibition as it produces a very potent sense of sisterhood, freedom and community.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="900" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/Jenny-Pohlman-Sabrina-Knowles.jpg?itok=bKHyCdDU" title="Jenny-Pohlman-Sabrina-Knowles.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>In the Light of Winter, Tapestry (2019), blown, sculpted, mirrored, sandblasted and polished glass, metal, beads, 49 x 59 x 9 ½</figcaption></figure><p>Jenny Pohlman and Sabrina Knowles, <i>In the Light of Winter, Tapestry</i> (2019)</p> <p>There are two important exhibitions that just opened at the <b>University of South Florida's Contemporary Art Museum</b>. <i>FloodZone</i>, a solo exhibition by Anastasia Samoylova, consists of numerous large format color and black and white photographs that line the slickly colored walls of an angular gallery. This compelling installation is further enhanced by the addition of images mounted on both sides of freestanding kiosks sporadically placed throughout. My initial impression was one of a challenge, as various, and sometimes confusing messages quickly emerge. However, once engaged, the story of rising sea levels reveals the very strained relationship between "environmentalism, consumerism and the picturesque." If you have not already, after seeing this exhibition, you can not help but wonder seeing all the bustling boulevards and condo laden shorelines of the nearby area, which science-based predictors of future climate change the developers are looking at. It's nature vs. naysayers, as Samoylova brings the undeniable to the disbelievers.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="900" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/anastasia_-_instlallation.jpg?itok=EHnD-qR-" title="anastasia_-_instlallation.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo: courtesy of the author</figcaption></figure><p>Anastasia Samoylova, Installation<i> </i>view,<i> FloodZone</i>, (left to right) <i>Pink Sidewalk</i> (2017), <i>Painted Roots</i> (2017), <i>South Beach Reflection</i> (2017), <i>Green Mold</i> (2019), archival pigment prints, courtesy of the artist and Dot Fiftyone Gallery, Miami, FL.</p> <p>A second one-person exhibition is that of Hope Ginsburg. Her multi media installation is titled <i>Sponge Exchange</i>, which consists of three floating screens for video projection, an arcade-like "Coastorama dioramas" of educational discovery displays, and a side room with various photographs and paraphernalia created and accumulated during the lengthy process that lead up to the creation of this exhibition. The concept here is the exploration of "the impacts of the climate crisis on marine species." Working with USF students and professors Maxwell Parker and John Byrd, the exhibition emphasizes the role us humans can play in what amounts to something like reforestation, only this time it is happening in our seas and oceans to rebuild important and structural marine life.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="900" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/hope-ginbsburg-installation.jpg?itok=du9n90_0" title="hope-ginbsburg-installation.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Hope Ginsburg, Installation view, Sponge Exchange (photo: courtesy of the author)</figcaption></figure><p>Brava Ginsburg and Samoylova for your hard work, vision and ability to shed much needed light on one of our planets most dire emergencies. Time is running out and it is efforts like these two exhibitions that builds much needed direction and hope.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3883&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="NlvM5P3F7-IiFUC8Nwy1F3nqTxZE3e9o9jtInA2dyVg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 07 Feb 2020 15:00:00 +0000 Dom Lombardi 3883 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3883#comments Physical Graffiti http://culturecatch.com/node/3917 <span>Physical Graffiti</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/529" lang="" about="/user/529" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Bradley Rubenstein</a></span> <span>February 1, 2020 - 10:42</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/280" hreflang="en">sculptor</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p> </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-center"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="484" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/ehrsam-vanishing_point-1.jpg?itok=mhC_Yo_B" title="ehrsam-vanishing_point-1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="468" /></article><figcaption>Vanishing Point (Unifying Theory of Everything), 2019</figcaption></figure><p>Anna Ehrsam is a fine artist, patented inventor, and a professor of art history and studio art. Ehrsam is the Editor-in-Chief for <i>Battery Journal</i> and co-directs Park Place Gallery. She has also been involved in museum education and exhibition fabrication and design for over 20 years. A few of the museums she has created sculptural installations for include The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC National Mall; The National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN; and The Smithsonian's American History Museum, Washington DC National Mall. Ehrsam is an internationally exhibiting artist. Her work is interdisciplinary involving new technologies and the development of a unified theory, as it relates to relational systems order theory. She is engaged in a rigorous exploration of new ideas, technology, and forms. The objective of her work is to expand the languages of form, color, light, sound, text, and context, using their intrinsic physical properties to make concrete and ephemeral phenomena, which she embodies in large sculpture, intimate artifacts, immersive installations, images, drawings, documents, and social sculpture. Her recent work captures manifestations of the physical and metaphysical by generating and embodying moments expressed in infinitely permutable forms, images, text, light, video, performance, and photography. Ehrsam makes videos, books, performances, photographs and experimental work with digital and analogue space. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.</p> <p><b>Bradley Rubenstein:</b> When I sat down to start thinking about your work for this talk, I realized it has been about 20 years that I have been following it. I knew you when you were in grad school, and if I remember correctly we used to run together sometimes. Somehow that seems to be a good place to start. The thing that strikes me most about your early work in performance and sculpture was the physicality of it—in the sense that a lot of your work deals with the body as a subject or field and also that much of your work was very labor-intensive.</p> <p><b>Anna Ehrsam:</b> Proving and testing myself with feats of mental and physical endurance have always been part of my work. My physicality gives me the ability to shape matter, words, stone, video, and performance in a way that allows me to network and flow through ideas and material without recognizing limits. I always push beyond in my effort to explore and understand something new.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="698" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/ehrsam-being-1.jpg?itok=tK8XIfnN" title="ehrsam-being-1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="468" /></article><figcaption>Being, 1996, Plaster and Felt, 16 ’ x 12’ x 16'</figcaption></figure><p><b>BR:</b> This was at a time when a lot of work being made was what Chuck Close called "Staples Art," meaning that New York was expensive, artists couldn't afford large studios, so there was a lot of Conceptual Art being made from office supplies.</p> <p><b>AE:</b> As an undergrad in NYC at SVA I studied with Lynda Benglis, Alice Aycock, Jackie Winsor, Roni Horn, May Stevens, art history with Donald Kuspit, and other great minds to whom I owe so much. Here I discovered performance, video art, and installation and created immersive works of art with a wide range of materials such as steal, plaster, mold-making, video, performance, installation, film, as well as directing. My desire to create immersive works of art in the form of large installations was an attempt to make hermetic alternative realities for myself and others to explore. My work posed an alternative that questioned the collective cultural assumptions about gender, race, class, and power in a political and social context. I focused on issues of power and domination and the inequalities and cultural ills that I witnessed. My body is my primary tool in all of my existential and phenomenological experiments. I set up ways of exploring the physical world and embodying that exploration in the way that best suits the idea. I feel it is the artist's job to train and tune their sensory apparatus to facilitate the fullest perception, reception, and transmission of their experiential relatives in all of its subjective, object, and metaphysical complexity. Artscience is a way of exploring with an arsenal of tools, technology and methodology that allows for the fullest range of possibilities and a distinctly existential way of being, acting, and becoming through conscious self-making.</p> <p><b>BR:</b> And before that...</p> <p><b>AE:</b> I was an only child who successfully passed as a boy for years. Gender and identity politics are a part of my work. Gender is enculturated and is toxic for both males and females in this culture and at large. We need new behavioral models that allow for the expression of a much more nuanced and healthy form of gender expression and fluidity. I saw clearly the pervasive cultural inequalities of sexism, racism, and classism rampant in our culture of perpetual war. This bigotry was hostile, as was the cultural climate, and I saw these influences as they were enacted by children at play on the playground. Just as I fought to defend kids on the playground from bigotry and bullies as a child, I fight today to defend against the repressive forces in culture that plague society. The playground has changed to a global field of injustice, corruption, ignorance, and war, but my mission to bring about change in the world and help overcome the injustices remains. Through education, art, and technology I strive to enact positive cultural change.</p> <p>My countercultural upbringing gives me a unique cultural perspective as an outsider. As a child I perceived the adult hegemony as largely untrustworthy because they had clearly fucked up the world so royally. I knew at that time I needed to help change culture and vowed to be a champion for the underdog. I perceived the systemic, enculturated sexism, misogyny, and violence against girls, women, boys, and men as intolerably evil, and I vowed to fight back with all of my might.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="720" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/ehrsam-infinte_body-1.jpg?itok=gFGFP_Yd" title="ehrsam-infinte_body-1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="375" /></article><figcaption>Infinite Body, 2010
, Plaster, 9’ x 3’ x 2’ 
</figcaption></figure><p>I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, a progressive international college town where Indiana University is located. Bloomington was a cultural mecca; I was surrounded by artists, intellectuals, and an international academic community. Without a TV or computer I was engaged in deep, durational thought and exploration of my surroundings in a quiet, contemplative, and complex way. Immersed in this radical countercultural environment of artists, musicians, and intellectuals, during a time of social and political unrest and foment, I was often left to my own devices, necessitating that I invent things, draw, build, even make earth works, and construct new narratives. The forest was one of my classrooms. This shaped me in important ways. I spent my time roaming the woods with my dogs, communing with trees, nature, animals, minding my mind. All the while I was painfully aware of the threat of imminent Nuclear Armageddon and perpetual war. But my world was full of art, nature, animals, peace, love, and harmony in a community of artist intellectual hippies. I lived communally with other kids and parents for a time The adults started a daycare and a school, which is still going strong with kindergarten through twelfth grade under one roof. It's called Harmony School. I was distinctly aware of the cultural and institutional ills of the day, most of which still persist. My artwork stems from a desire to bring about cultural change.</p> <p>I went to Yale for graduate school where I received my MFA and studied with the brilliant art historian and artist Johanna Drucker, along with many great artists such as Richard Serra, Nayland Blake, Jessica Stockholder, Ron Jones, and John Newman. At Yale I continued my performance, video, sculpture, and installation work. I was in Yale University's first video class, taught by Carol Scully the protege of Ken Burns, both of whom are visionary documentarians. Strangely, this pioneering class was held in the video conferencing rooms for the medical school. During my time at Yale I made several monumental works concerning institutional critique, using my body, large architectonic sculpture, video installation, and performance to explore the nature of space, architecture, and ideology. This was institutional and cultural critique from the inside of the ultra-elite bastions of power. I focused on deconstructing ideological structures, rites, rituals, and power relationships using my body as the interlocutor. I moved back to New York City after graduating with an MFA from Yale University and embarked on a large collaborative project with a fellow Yale graduate.</p> <p><b>BR:</b> When you did move to New York, you and your partner at that time were collaborating a lot. I remember your big studio building in Long Island City that was like a giant installation. There was a piece you did that I saw at Exit Art, a large morphing thing, that very presciently used the World Trade towers as imagery.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="646" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/ehrsam-joint-1.jpg?itok=gDEpjr5r" title="ehrsam-joint-1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="468" /></article><figcaption>Joint, 2011, Steal, Magnets, 12’’ x 16” x 12’</figcaption></figure><p><b>AE:</b> I make multidisciplinary complexes, connections, and ideas embodied in installations, sculpture, video, as well as cultural documents. Working with a variety of materials and technologies, I created networks across disciplines to manifest the most stimulating and rewarding experiences, while learning as much as I could about all manner of materials, techniques, and disciplines such as art history, art and cultural theory, physics, materials science, and process. If I'm not making art for myself, other artists, or museums, I am reading, going to art exhibitions, or engaged in discourse about art, culture, and politics with other artists. It was an intense immersion and an invaluable period for me as a developing artist. My early work in NYC was largely based on social political issues of power and domination. I was reading Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Rosalind Krauss, Lynda Nochlin, and Donna Haraway, among others.</p> <p>The body is imprinted and imposed upon by culture; we become gender labeled, classified, and commodified. We need new models of gender performativity and new relationships to nature and power structures. The landscape contains the idea of freedom and openness, yet it is cultivated, circumscribed, colonized, bought and sold, commodified, and exploited. My sculpture is about body as it relates to landscape, architecture, culture, and power. We are all increasingly cyborgian and have bodies without borders. In terms of physics we are all connected in an infinite web of vibrating strings, exchanging molecules with each other all the time. We are all one organism and part of the same ecosphere. We need new narratives, language, and behavior -- and new ways of being in harmony with nature, animals, each other, and our environment. I am working on an app for conservation biology and ecology called Humanimal, which will promote health and wellness for humans, animals, and the planet.</p> <p><b>BR:</b> I have always made a distinction between experimentation in art and demonstration. There are a lot of artists who do their homework and then create things that pretty much look like homework. To experiment means you are manifesting your ideas in a material way, which sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t, but requires a greater degree of risk. Both kinds of work can produce interesting results, though. An aspect of your practice does involve pedagogical sculpture, work that has specific parameters. Can you talk about how that plays out in your work as a whole -- does that influence you at all? Joseph Beuys and Hans Hofmann come to mind as ones who synthesize their practice.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="560" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/ehrsam-hyper_object-1.jpg?itok=aiE06Nkx" title="ehrsam-hyper_object-1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="468" /></article><figcaption>Hyper Object, 2018, Mixed Material, 22” x 22’’</figcaption></figure><p><b>AE:</b> I am pleased you asked this question. Pedagogy and social justice are deeply embedded in my work and life. I have been a teacher for 20 years with a mission to encourage social activism and critical thinking. As for social sculpture, I have created an art and cultural journal to give a context to my fellow artists and cultural producers. It is important to me to make art that has the power to expand consciousness and promote equality and cultural change. In addition to teaching and art making, I expanded my art scholarship and radical pedagogy beyond the realm of text into a living dialogue with cultural producers. I am also co-founder of Park Place Gallery, where I host and curate exhibitions that promote art, science, and technology in the service of ecology. Art is the heart, soul, and intellect of a culture, and I believe as an artist and educator it is my mission to empower others by promoting critical thinking and creative problem solving in the service of conservation, biology, and equality.</p> <p><b>BR:</b> So, much of your recent work explores art, science, and perception. It seems like you have moved away from that physicality in your work and maybe on to something more abstract.</p> <p><b>AE:</b> The body's sensory apparatus and physical phenomena have always interested me and inspired me to invent and explore new ways to experience the world, using my body as a vehicle. My interest in physics, science, technology, and my patent work are all part of my exploration of the world.</p> <p><b>BR:</b> You are also involved in projects with your work in education and environmental issues. At first these might seem outside of your sculptural work, but I was thinking about Beuys and his idea of a social sculpture. Do you see it the same way in your practice?</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="468" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/ehrsam-beingperformance-1.jpg?itok=zLGF_B1R" title="ehrsam-beingperformance-1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="468" /></article><figcaption>Being, 1996, Plaster, felt, and performance</figcaption></figure><p><b>AE:</b> I believe artists, innovators, inventors, educators, and free thinkers can change the world by presenting radical alternatives to current repressive paradigms and systems, like capitalism, sexism, and racism. I implement a radical pedagogy that interrogates the repressive ideological systems of power, domination, and control. These systems are embedded in culture and inculcated and normalized in the body politic; these repressive systems and norms are accepted as reality. My students accept these repressive socio-political economic systems and conditions as natural because they have not been taught to question authority or the norm. I use art, cultural theory, and art history to present new narratives and possibilities. I show them that language itself is plastic and malleable and that they can control it and shift ideas and outcomes to create new ideas, forms, and meaning. I teach my students to question and interrogate authority through creative thinking and problem solving, and they learn to imagine new self-empowering forms, narratives, and language, which they embody.</p> <p>Art is the most fundamentally important tool for expanding consciousness and shaping intellectual growth. Through teaching I help shape, guide, and change people's lives. We could classify my creative endeavors as political art, activism, or even social sculpture. In this sense my work is engaged in a relational way with culture shifting and social praxis. Through my cultural production and mentorship I endeavor to promote change on a daily basis.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3917&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="-tc8nuNgOO-Kd0V1HvcHg0qD-pl6Za7LT8_-z1xHwDc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 01 Feb 2020 15:42:10 +0000 Bradley Rubenstein 3917 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3917#comments A 50 Year Gaze Forward http://culturecatch.com/node/3916 <span>A 50 Year Gaze Forward</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/users/kathleen-cullen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathleen Cullen</a></span> <span>January 30, 2020 - 09:23</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1168" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/139468-landfield126a.jpg?itok=BCBQo2Pq" title="139468-landfield126a.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1021" /></article><figcaption>Angel in the Wind, acrylic on canvas, 47 x 41 inches</figcaption></figure><p><em><strong>Ronnie Landfield 50th Anniversary Exhibition</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Findlay Gallery, NYC</strong></p> <p>In 1962 Ronnie Landfield first exhibited his work in New York and in 1969 had his first one man show at the David Whitney Gallery in New York City. Now over 50 years later Findlay Galleries is presenting a show of his latest work. We spoke with the Findlay Galleries Associate Director,  Matthew Shamnoski about the show.</p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong>The show recently got an important and really positive review. Can you describe how that happened and the impact on the show? </p> <p><strong>Matthew Shamnoski: </strong>The review came about through a lifelong follower of Ronnie’s work and career, Ara Osterweil. She felt that given the occasion -- 50 years since his first solo exhibition -- a review of his most recent body of work was in order. In addition to the 2019 paintings, our exhibition also included a few from the 1990s. These were important to give the viewer context, showing a bit of where Ronnie is from and where he intends to go next. Since the review, we have extended the length of the exhibition and have received an influx of gallery visitors. Beyond this, we have also received a very favorable response from our clients. Who could possibly ignore Ara's opening line,</p> <blockquote> <p>"He may not yet be a household name, but Ronnie Landfield is one of the best abstract painters in America."</p> </blockquote> <p>Any collector would be pleased to hear that an artwork they've acquired or are considering acquiring is described as such.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>How did Ronnie Landfield respond to the reception? </p> <p><strong>MS: </strong>Ronnie was ecstatic. As an artist of his magnitude, who often seems to be glossed over in the canon of art history, I think this review represented a big step forward for both him and his career. We hope that we can build on this momentum and achieve what Area mentions in her last line, which is "…a museum show in his hometown."</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>How do you think his work fits in the context of today's contemporary art scene?  </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="597" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/139481-landfield132a.jpg?itok=poV1EIKu" title="139481-landfield132a.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Vision of Tomorrow, acrylic on canvas, 37 1/2 x 75 inches</figcaption></figure><p><strong>MS: </strong>Ronnie Landfield provides a connection to a generation of the art world that has all but passed. His work at once reaches back to early Lyrical Abstraction and stain painting while also remaining fresh and relevant. Through his interest in current events and happenings, he has a remarkable ability to capture the feelings of this moment in which we live. His paintings are portals through which we are able to view nature as both an idealized world as well as one affected by humankind. </p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>Besides being a contemporary art pioneer, Ronnie, is an accomplished teacher and mentor. How was putting a show together with him differ than when you work with someone early in their career? What made it more difficult? What made it easier? </p> <p><strong>MS: </strong>We often do not change the ways in which we curate shows for artists early in their career versus artists like Ronnie who are much more established and historic. The basic ideas and principles remain the same -- shows are hung chronologically, thematically, or based on simple rules of design such as shape and color. Curating a show for Ronnie has never been difficult. All of his paintings have individual stories to tell, but are imbued with chromatic unity and an innate ability to create a dialogue with one another. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1106" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/138384_landfield_hr.jpg?itok=FlTBfVcc" title="138384_landfield_hr.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Edge of Ulysses, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 50 1/2 x 54"</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>Hope to get it out in late spring. I felt strongly about one of the smaller pieces. Having had a gallery, I always found that there was one piece I coveted. Is there one in this show that you feel that way about? Please tell us which piece and why?</p> <p><strong>MS: </strong>As you can imagine, it's always difficult to pick a favorite. But, if there was one that I would love to take home and hang on my own wall, it would be "Coming Home, 2019," the painting reproduced in the ArtForum article. "Coming Home" has all of the qualities one would want in a classic Ronnie Landfield, while also taking on a newer point of view. It incorporates bands, directive brush strokes, and of course organic staining. But "Coming Home" is also a decidedly more brooding, moody composition. Ronnie captures a subtle optimism through hues of orange and the emergence of vivid yellow -- as sunlight would break through clouds after a storm. In a way he's telling us a brighter future awaits.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3916&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="one5AqqQkCXcaNW0RaLobtFefg9CMA7WSPBuseRd8BA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 30 Jan 2020 14:23:43 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 3916 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3916#comments