Posted in Uncategorized, tagged alienation, art, artist, charles burchfield, Charles Sheeler, edward hopper, gallery, george tooker, grant wood, isolation, magritte, museum, one act, play, subway, theater, tom stoppard, whitney museum, yves tanguy on November 25, 2011 |
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We went downtown to have lunch at the Whitney Museum with friends and to take in the Real/Surreal exhibit.
Favorite artists like Charles Sheeler, Mardsen Hartley, and Grant Wood were featured. I liked the eerie emptiness of Edward Hopper’s “Seventh Avenue” and the anxious denizens of George Tooker’s subway world.
Sounds unnerving, but in surfacing the alienation, I think the artists make one feel the possibility of getting a grip on it.
Afterward, we walked up Madison, stopping at a gallery in the Carlyle Hotel that was showing Magritte works, some for sale.
I have always liked Magritte, with his bowler-hatted men blocked by giant green apples and his nighttime streets overarched by daytime skies. And I especially like him because once in a workshop, I directed a Tom Stoppard one-act play inspired by him, After Magritte. It was the best fun!
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged arrangements, art, artist, columbia flute choir, economist, flute, flute choir, gallery, installation, jeff fuhrer, korea, kyan bishop, sculpture, tough mudder on September 22, 2011 |
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I like to think I know something about the nonwork interests of my colleagues, interests that may be — in spite of their workday professionalism — at least as much a part of who they are as their jobs. There’s the woman employed as a customer service rep who gets her kicks out of Tough Mudder competitions (extreme sports in mud). Or the editor who bakes bread every day. Or the economist who composes choral music and creates arrangements for flute choir.
Everyone has at least one other life.
But I guess if you’re not physically in the same office, if don’t have lunch together or chat in the ladies room or on the subway, you never find out about people’s other lives.
That’s why I was utterly floored this week when a hard-driving, business-oriented colleague in the Washington office sent around an e-mail saying she would be away from her desk for a month at an artist retreat in Korea. Huh?
Says I, “Oh! Are you an artist?”
Says she: “Yes” and sends me her website.
Oh, my gosh. This is who she really is: a sculptor and installation artist with a record of shows and a gorgeous portfolio. How does she even find time to be hard-driving and business-oriented in the day job?
It makes me wonder what else I’m missing, whose real life is right in front of me and I’m not noticing.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged art, gallery, jessie edwards studio, kathleen noonan lang, kathy lang, lobster, lobster pot, monotype, opening, Sally Frank on July 6, 2011 |
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The first art opening of the season at Jessie Edwards Studio is great not only for the art but for catching up with friends after the long winter.
I greeted David and asked why he hadn’t been at the 350th anniversary festivities, given that his family goes back so far on the island. He said he had been putting in lobster pots that day. He has put in 30 this year. Last Saturday he pulled 11 lobsters, which he doesn’t think is much for 30 pots. His extended family eats them all.
Another friend is writing a biography of his parents, which he intends to self-publish. He hopes the cost doesn’t keep him from getting the words that he wants on his tombstone: “I broke even.”
Given the crowds at openings and all the catching up, you have to be pretty determined to see the art. I nudged my way through temporary gaps and checked out everything.
Kathleen Noonan Lang was showing her island monotypes. See them here. I especially liked her “Sailor’s Delight,” with its rosy evening sky reminiscent of the weather rhyme “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.”
When my cousin Sally had a show of her monotypes in Connecticut, I asked her to describe her approach. She wrote:
“To make a monotype, you basically create an image on a sheet of plexiglass and run it through a press. There are dozens of techniques but my tools of choice are primarily paper towels and Q-tips; very sophisticated. I roll on a layer of ink on the plate and then push it around with the paper towels and Q-tips, run it through a press and then work on the plate again and print another layer. Often I’ll develop several prints at one time, working on the ghost impression left over on the plate, rolling on a transparent base to raise the viscosity of the remaining ink (as my father would have said), and print it again. That’s the short version. Most of my monotypes have 3-4 layers. It is a very exciting process and there is always an element of surprise as when the paper is pulled from the plate.”
I like that sort of surprise. It’s kind of like writing a blog post and being surprised by where your train of thought leads you. In playwriting class we are encouraged to surprise ourselves that way.
I wanted to include some clay art from Suzanne here, but she says she hasn’t been taking pottery long enough to have anything to display. Her brother said, “How about the shell she painted for my birthday?”
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