October 12, 2009 |
During a recent stay near Philadelphia, I was fortunate enough to see the Barnes collection. Probably like most visitors, I was overwhelmed by the mass of high-quality paintings packed into the premises. Nowhere will you find so many Renoirs in one spot, but being confronted with dozens of nudes from Renoir's late period raises a question: whether, for a nonexpert, less would be more. This is also the case with the presentation of the collection as a whole: Do the paintings by Cezanne or Matisse sustain the impact of all the other adjacent works?
November 3, 1987 |
After a week spotlighting casual clothes, glamour dressing took center stage yesterday in the big, lavish shows of Bill Blass and Carolyne Roehm that began the final week of Seventh Avenue spring collections. Naturally, the too-rich-and-too-thin set, gussied up in their new fall minis, were out in force to cheer on their favorite designers. Ivana Trump and her sister-in-law Blaine Trump, Nan Kempner, Jerry Zipkin and British fashion photographer Norman Parkinson headed up the celebrity contingent at Blass' show at the Parsons School of Design auditorium.
July 18, 1991 |
Robert Motherwell, 76, one of the founders of the movement that made American art an international force after World War II, died Tuesday after suffering a stroke at his summer home in Provincetown, Mass. His death leaves 87-year-old Willem de Kooning as the sole survivor of the New York School, which developed the movement known as abstract expressionism. The flowering of modern art, which Motherwell once described as "an art of alienation and a rebellion against . . . any form of art that might be called morally uplifting," waned in the 1950s, but Motherwell kept it alive through his painting, which never abandoned the heroic stance epitomized by his most famous theme, Elegy to the Spanish Republic.
May 25, 1990 |
The 16 new paintings by Mark McCullen at Janet Fleisher Gallery continue an exploration of the visionary landscape that by now has become his signature. In these paintings, however, intimations of mysterious, universal energy and of incipient menace seem more pronounced. McCullen's visions are intriguing because they stand precisely on the boundary between that which appears plausible, although improbable, and that which is clearly imaginary. Some of their imagery conforms to common experience, but some is so exotic as to belong to another planet, or to a surreal dream world.
May 20, 1993 |
Aside from being the author of a kiss-and-tell memoir about his years as director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas P.F. Hoving is a 1953 graduate of Princeton University. Hoving has called on his skills as a former curator to put together a small exhibition of American art selected from the collections of some of his college classmates. It continues at Princeton's art museum through July 3. The show, which celebrates the 40th reunion of Hoving's class, was proposed by Leonard L. Milberg, one of the more prominent collectors among the lenders.
January 29, 1993 |
Monstrous creatures abound this Super Bowl Sunday - off the playing field as well as on. At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the fun kicks off at 10:30 a.m. and, before the clock runs out at 4, kids can scrimmage with some mythological creatures, huddle with a friendly Matisse-style monster, and take time out to make a multi-colored collage critter. At halftime - actually at 11:30 a.m., with a replay at 1:30 - there will be a performance of "Mozart, Monsters and Matisse" by Marshall Izen, the Emmy Award-winning writer of the PBS children's mini-series The Adventures of Coslo.
March 27, 1989
THERE'S NOTHING HEALTHY IN FLAG DESECRATION Claude Lewis ("Who are the real flag desecrators?", Commentary Page, March 15) thinks it's OK to desecrate the flag because discrimination, despair and other ills still exist in this country. Why don't we just urinate on the Bible? Are we not among liars and thieves still? And for good measure let's spray-paint some civil-rights slogans on the Lincoln Memorial. Our flag is a tangible symbol of a noble (but imperfect) nation, the Bible of love and good will, and Lincoln of justice and unity.
August 2, 1996 |
Once American artists accepted the basic philosophy of modern art, they began to search for ways to make it their own - that is, indubitably American. Some artists - Thomas Hart Benton is a prime example - eventually rejected modernism completely, and expressed their Americanism through folksy storytelling. But others, notably Stuart Davis and Milton Avery, found ways to adapt the European example to the American experience. Davis' model was cubism, but for Avery (1893-1965)
May 3, 1987 |
At 9:30, the black iron gates swung open and 30 volunteer guides from Cincinnati's Charles Phelps Taft Museum stepped off the tour bus that was idling on an otherwise still Saturday morning in Merion. They checked in at the guard's shack, strode past a field ringed with flowering trees, and entered the Renaissance-style chateau. As they filed into the Great Hall, there were gasps. Straight ahead was a huge, green Matisse. Above that, a Matisse mural, commissioned just for this room, over the tops of the French windows.
October 4, 1992 |
The huge Matisse retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art may be the talk of the town, but New York's exceptional fall exhibition lineup also includes several other attractions of considerable interest and significance. In a year without Matisse, any one of these might merit top billing. At the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, you can examine one of the most fertile periods of modern art, that of the Russian and Soviet avant-garde, through a survey of unprecedented scope. At nearly 1,000 objects, the exhibition fills most of the expanded Frank Lloyd Wright building on upper Fifth Avenue.