I’ve had a long career in government and had a brush with greatness when I worked with iconic pop artist Keith Haring shortly before his tragic death at age 31. In the late 1980’s I served as the Director of Employer Relations for the New York State Department of Labor (DOL). My division’s mission was
THE ARTIST – David Hockney is eighty years old: born 1937 in Bradford, England, a former textile producing industrial city (Britain’s fifth largest) in Yorkshire, two hundred miles north of London. Like Manchester and Liverpool, Bradford fell into decline after World War II. While Hockney’s family were working class, the artist notes that his upbringing was
REGARDED AS THE FOUNDER of Op Art, Victor Vasarely was born in Hungary and educated there in the national equivalent of the Bauhaus. There he was exposed to the most advanced art of that era, chiefly Cubism and Constructivism, and especially advanced theories of color and design. Vasarely produced art in an Op spirit as early as 1929, painting the alternating black and white stripes of a zebra.
ERIN O’KEEFE explores architectural shapes and properties through photography. These seemingly straightforward photographs are mystifying because it is difficult to see how they were made or even that they are photographs at all. The compositions of boards, plexiglass and dowels are framed in white stained maple wood for a soft yet sleek look. The extraordinary result is that pure color and light becomes the true material subject. The visual abstraction intensifies when the geometric shapes, colors and shadows appear defined and then the eye is fooled into believing a different perspective.
CHRISTIAN WHITE is a contemporary artist whose practice varies between the vivid realism of the two works on display and a more painterly, at times nearly abstract approach, that is probably a more familiar aspect of his oeuvre. Still Life ‘s subject reflects the artists studio with its glazed ceramic pitcher filled with artists supplies and the vase with delicate spring bouquet gathered from his adjacent garden. These forms are represented in a space, which suggests a shelf or boc. This configuration echoes the renaissance idea of art as a window on the world. The space is just deep enough that the objects cast a shadow on the backdrop, but not so shallow as to comprise the very flattened space of a typical trompe l’oeil. Nonetheless, light is so carefully and accurately transcribed, modeling the forms, that the result is utterly convincing.
DERRICK GUILD’S bejeweled potato ironically renders one of natures’ most humble foods as precious and ornamental. He creates a true trompe l’oeil carving, illusionistically painted with add-on stones, presumably where the potato bud would normally be.
JEAN LOWE, a California artist with strong Pop affinities, uses the trope of book cover illustration to produce simulated volumes out of papier–mâché and lacquer. Expressive in handling, their carefully attuned graphic style and exact transcription of printed colors convincingly capture the eye -catching appeal of vernacular book covers. Her satirical images with parody titles take on society’s obsession with a panoply of populist themes including nature, ecology, the body, self-help, advice-lit, and success.
Get ready to be amazed by an exhibition filled with optical illusions and artistic sleight of hand! To separate what’s real from what is a clever ruse in Fool The Eye, takes an alert eye and the willingness to examine art carefully. Enjoy the visual journey.
By Franklin Hill Perrell
I had the good fortune to be given this book by my family when I was twelve years of age. The book was published in 1963, and this was three years after that. Looking at it now, I realize better what it meant to me. First, the introduction by Carl Van Vechten – famed as both a literary figure, critic and novelist, as well as photographer, created a link to the intellectual world of NY from the 30’s to the 50’s with reference spanning the Algonquin Round Table to the Harlem Renaissnce.
By Franklin Hill Perrell
No one has yet observed that these two exhibitions address a number of parallel points: here are artists situated amidst a cultural ambience defined by their connections with musicians, composers, dancers, photographers, and fellow artists in relationships that became embodied in the spirit of their art- with Rauschenberg, specifically, of collaboration, and with Stettheimer