Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Coming Soon, Abstraction, The Whitney’s O’Keeffe Exhibition

The final days of August slowly saunter into September.
Despite lingering humidity and sultry temperatures we know too well
that change is in the air, classrooms will soon fill again, and schedules intensify.
Autumn is my favorite season anyway but this September offers a special treat,
a visual harvest of rarely seen early work by Georgia O’Keeffe at the Whitney Museum in New York!
As much as I enjoyed the Dove/O’Keeffe show at the Clark this summer, I yearned for more of the radical, intellectual work from 1918-1922.

I am delighted to learn that the Whitney Museum of American Art will feature over 130 early paintings, drawings, and watercolors as well as sculptures in Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction opening September 17th and closing January 17th.
Adding to the excitement will be Alfred Stieglitz’s photographic portraits of her and the fully illustrated catalogue contains excerpts from the recently unsealed correspondence between this exceptional couple.

The curatorial team is top-notch: Barbara Haskell of the Whitney, Barbara Buhler Lynes of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Emily Fisher Landau of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center and other noted scholars.
This exhibit insures that Georgia O’Keeffe is finally going to be seen as the creative force she was outside of the representational work the critics and public more easily embraced.

I can’t help but feel Georgia’s enduring spirit will wryly smile and say”At Last!”
For more information go to http://whitney.org/www/exhibition/okeeffe.jsp

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Annual Santa Fe Indian Market and Tribal Art Shows Begin

Santa Fe, New Mexico is a delightful experience in any season, but for nine days in August it becomes a Mecca for lovers of art, artifacts and textiles made by traditional peoples of the Americas and the world.
The 88th annual Santa Fe Indian Market fills the historic plaza with the best contemporary Native artisans on August 22 and 23 this year. The setting, the people, the dazzling array of high quality art and just the euphoria of good feelings that circulate the grounds as artists casually interface with the admiring public is unlike anywhere else.

Always a highlight on Sunday (8/23) is the Native American Clothing Contest.
Tribal members from many nations wear their best regalia and traditional designs and vie for the coveted prizes. For pictures and more info on this unique event go to

Kicking off the celebration in the newly constructed Santa Fe Community Convention Center on the corner of Grant and Marcy St.are two not to miss events. These are the Whitehawk Antique Shows which run from the Preview Gala of the Antique Ethnographic Art Show on Friday, Aug. 14 until Aug. 19 which brings the beloved Antique Indian Art Show to a close. Savvy collectors and lovers of museum quality art have beaten a path to these shows for 30 years, as dealers from around the world gather to show exceptional objects and celebrate Tribal Art.For more times and details on these events go to http://whitehawkshows.com/

For those of you not in the Santa Fe area or readers that aren’t familiar with the terminology, but are curious about what “Tribal Art” implies, I invite you to click here on my site http://deborahgarnercollection.com for a sampling of tribal adornment, textiles and objects that I have enthusiastically packed full of information to encourage you to look carefully but joyfully!Be forewarned that the deeper you go into learning about the cultures and artisans that created this powerful work, the deeper your appreciation and desire to learn more!

It quite easily becomes a lifelong obsession…ergo that inescapable feeling that will have Santa Fe abuzz in coming days!

Monday, August 3, 2009

MASS MoCA's Art Carnival for the Mind

MASS MoCA is the largest center for contemporary arts in the United States.
Located in North Adams, Massachusetts this sprawling 13 acre campus of multistory 19thC. brick factory buildings is a leading-edge exhibition space of art that is currently being made in size, dimensions and techniques that defy the confinement of traditional museum gallery space.
The ten year old institution is “dedicated to the creation and presentation of provocative visual and performing arts pieces, and works that blur conventional distinctions between artistic disciplines.”
MASS MoCA also actively functions as “a laboratory for the contemporary arts, fostering experimentation by artists, encouraging collaborations among institutions, and allowing visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process.”
This progressive, pro-active mission statement can not prepare the visitor for the transformational experience of being confronted by the gargantuan spaces of football length galleries, Matrix-chic industrial design and art that stops you dead in your tracks but curious to learn more.
One must commit to the intellectual participation of viewing works that are more about a concept and the process of creating an expression of that idea than simply admiring form, line and texture. It is rigorous and demanding work but unavoidably expansive.
The current exhibitions lead the visitor through rabbitholes of self-deprecating humor: “This is Killing Me” which is a group show exploring the many facets of psychodrama involved in being an artist to apocalyptic despair “These Days: Elegies for Modern Times” to Sol Lewitt’s full spectrum “Wall Drawings” that fill many galleries and explore his color theories around meticulous inkwashes and lines of grey,red,yellow,and blue.
In the lighter hearted show Sean Landers “Le’Go My Ego”(2007) is a large text based canvas covered with free- hand painted flow- charts of influences/ ideas peppered with self-sabotage. It is a hilarious exercise in grappling with an artistic temperament that is not sure about anything but “has a lot of hope for something”. I kept hearing David Sedaris’s voice reading the thought fragments as I followed the arrows around the canvas. Joe Zane’s hilarious group of works on ambition and failure offers “I wished I was a Giant” (2006), a glass vitrine lined with meticulously reproduced art magazines, Artforum etc.with him on the cover or opened to articles on his contributions to seminal art historical texts. Lampooning this quest for fame and favorable reviews the vitrine is coated with thick brown dust where mindless graffiti has been scrawled by a public that could care less.
So much to enjoy in this show and to confront in the Elegies.
In Elegies, large format videos create walls of screens and a huge cyclorama features Pawel Wojtasik’s “Below Sea Level”. It surrounds the viewers and immerses them in a dizzying 360 panorama of New Orleans after Katrina with an amazingly liquid soundscape that mourns and celebrates the vibrancy of this special city at the same time.
Sam Taylor-Wood’s “Prelude in Air”(2005) features a powerfully built cellist passionately playing a beautifully poignant Bach prelude. We hear the lovely music and see his muscles creating it… but there is no cello….
There is so much to see and experience at this art carnival for the mind…go to http:www.massmoca.org to learn more and plan to spend the day!