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. Continue reading Fool the Eye at the Nassau County Museum of Art – Victor Vasarely
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. Continue reading Fool the Eye at the Nassau County Museum of Art – Christian White
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.
Derrick Guild, Root Crop (Champagne), 2007, Oil on Resin with CZ Diamonds , 5 x 4 x 3 inches, Collection of Alexandra Harounian
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. Continue reading Fool The Eye at the Nassau County Museum of Art – Jean Lowe
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. Take a few steps to the right and observe, draw your conclusions about what you think you see. Then, a few steps to the left reveals a whole new image. The guesses multiply. Is it a flat surface or a sculpture? Is it a photograph or a painting? Is it made of wood or bronze, rubber or steel? Is it real or faux? Expect the unexpected through moments of fascination, intrigue, shock, and astonishment.
By Franklin Hill Perrell
Florine Stettheimer- A Life in Art by Parker Tyler
(Published 1963, Farrar, Strauss, and Company, Inc.)
Book designed by Patricia de Groot
“Prelude” by Carl Van Vechten
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. Stettheimer’s collaboration with Virgil Thomson evoked a living figure who was enjoying then a vogue for his recordings; Gertrude Stein as well, the other collaborator (d. 1944), also was very much in style during the 60s, everyone having read Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.
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 (though a significant moment of actual collaboration did occur) , the relationship with other artists was overtly manifest through her famed salon and as the portrait subjects, often in groups, of her art. Only one person, however, significantly overlapped in contact with both artists, the notably long lived Marcel Duchamp.
Looking at either Rauschenberg or Stettheimer in this sense, a portrait of their eras emerges in respect to avant-grade figures and trends.
By Marina Press
About Marina Press: Marina holds a Master’s Degree in Art History and Museum Studies from the City College of New York (CUNY). She has contributed to art gallery exhibition catalogues that are currently in the collection of notable libraries like the Smithsonian Institution Libraries and the Art Institute of Chicago. Marina’s career began at the Neue Galerie New York and she later continued to serve as Associate Director at Bernarducci Meisel Gallery until December 2016. In addition to her expert background in art gallery and museum work, she is fluent in Russian, and conversational in Spanish.
Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction (on view at the Museum of Modern Art through August 13, 2017) is an exhibition not just about art but also about making space for women in the recent history of art.
Walking through the permanent collection galleries in the MoMA, few women artists are seen. As a matter of fact, in mid-1980s the feminist art group, the Guerrilla Girls, counted the ratio of men to women artists in major museums; MoMA included. (Side note: They were called “weenie counts.”) They concluded that there was a lack of art by women hanging on the walls. Earlier, in 1971, art historian Linda Nochlin wrote the article “Why have there been no great women artists?”, which observed that the art historical canon doesn’t have a great deal of artists from the fairer sex because women were not given the same opportunities as male artists.
by Debbie Wells
Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern at the Brooklyn Museum
March 3-July 23, 2017
What happens when a museum takes the art of a celebrated American artist and combines it with female empowerment, fashion, creativity, geography, and history? The result is the blockbuster exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum entitled Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern. As part of their current long term project, A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism that began in October 2016, it is surely one of the highlights of the series.