At the Bronx Museum of Art, the most evocative exhibition was that of Joan Semmel‘s A Lucid Eye. Upon walking into the display room, one feels exposed. The place, sparsely furnished, with stark walls of white, bathed in a soft light, on a deep mahogany floor, seemed to command attention and all the familiar trappings of a museum exhibition, such as glass cases, flamboyant frames, and excessive descriptions were missing. The feeling was disconcerting, because the “clothing” that usually wraps art exhibitions were gone.
We are forced to look at Semmel’s creation raw: in the sense that the artist had looked at it, without all the trappings of display, as if it was still in the studio. The room had no doors, seemingly inviting all those who couldn’t bear the honesty to leave. The portraits, all of the artist herself, stared either at the viewer or a faraway direction. Although some were not very flattering, they all seemed to communicate the same nonchalant pride, just as if saying “this is me, with all my wrinkles, gray hairs, and aging body. I admit that I have many faults. I may not be the prettiest woman in the world, but I accept myself, and you should also accept me for who I am. I am confident that you are attracted by my work. After all, you can’t take your eyes off of it!”
“After the Museum” at the Museum of Arts and Design is an impressive art exhibition that is inspiring in the way included artists expand their use of materials and color. [click to continue….]
There are infinite ways to express ideas and opinions about artwork, whether you are showing appreciation of it or creating an original piece yourself. [click to continue….]
At the Fall Kick-Off event with the NY Neo-futurists in October
This fall, High 5′s TRaC program went to see some pretty awesome performances all around NYC from MoMA, to Harlem Stage, to Playwrights Horizons, and so much more! We’ve compiled a running list of their reviews right here! Take some time to peruse through a few as we look ahead to the spring.
If you’re interested in the TRaC program, this is definitely the place to start. We have an open house coming up at our headquarters on Thursday, January 31 and applications for the spring semester will be due Friday, February 8. More info, including the application, will be online soon!
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Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation in the exhibition title alone implies alteration and re-creation through human influence. This new perspective into contemporary American Indian art at the Museum of Art and Design is empowering as it shows the strong and unique voices of one of the most stereotyped and held-back populations. But many of the pieces in the exhibit depict nature, above humans, as the definitive artist. Nature frequently acts as both subject matter and shapes the art as a whole. A clear example of this is Robert Tannahill’s “The False Face,” a series of reinterpreted Iroquois masks made from wooden slabs filled and shaped by glass. On each mask there are visible dark, chalky spots from where the hot glass burned the wood. And though Tannahill has the artist’s role of carving the wood and binding the two wood slabs with wire, it seems the natural heat of molten glass was the main sculpture of each mask. [click to continue….]
“Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an object as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”—Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, Number 1.
The centerpiece of the New American Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Emmanuel Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware, invites strong reactions from whoever happens to behold it. Responses, which range from anecdotes of soldiers, who stood in tears before the masterpiece, to tourists, who laugh out their bellies at the same piece, are in no short supply. What is so interesting is the fact that the emotions evoked by the painting are either on one extreme end of the spectrum or the other. Initially, I found the romantic style and excessive patriotism of a German-“American” artist painting in Germany quite repulsive, to say nothing of the relative lack of symbolism in this 150” x 255” piece. After spending three weeks trying to create a film from the piece under the auspices of the Met Teen program, however, I realized this painting has already become a symbol of the ethos of the American people. This sentimental and histrionic still attempts to convey a story just as compelling as any theatrical performance or film that anyone could happen upon. Given that Washington Crossing the Delaware is the blockbuster of its day (which is more or less true, since it was created in 1851), it’s no wonder that a reasonable viewer cannot help either exalting or disdaining it. [click to continue….]
New Jersey has a hidden treasure in the Zimmerli Art Museum of Rutgers University. Every time I volunteer there as a ZAMbassador, I encounter a new world of fascinating exhibits just waiting to be explored.
That said, the much-vaunted Art=Text=Art exhibition utterly disappointed me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate art; I do, very much so. But when the exhibits are so abstract, so aimed towards a narrow and fringe audience that finds value in a newspaper defaced with random splotches of paint, I can’t appreciate it as much as I do the collection of Soviet nonconformist art which screams of political oppression. To me the Zimmerli houses artwork with a much more clearly defined purpose in its famed Dodge collection than in this transient exhibit. But, in deference to the wonderful museum, let me point out what I could glean from the bizarre motley of Art=Text=Art. [click to continue….]