Month: April 2015

An Artful Afternoon

By Jennifer Merz
April 23rd, 2015

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of joining an Artful Circle Tour ( for a trip to some blue-chip 57th Street galleries in Manhattan.  I was the invited guest of Debbie Wells, with whom I gave my Triangle Factory talk for the Art League of Long Island, and her business partner Franklin Hill Perrell, a very intelligent and distinguished art curator who was as informative as he was entertaining.  It was an afternoon of Artful fun, and now you are invited to come on this armchair tour with me!

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Richard Estes: Painting New York City

 by Franklin Hill PerrellThe-Plaza2

Richard Estes finally is accorded a feature exhibition at a New York Museum. Bravo to the Museum of Arts and Design! In reading Ken Johnson’s review, NY Times, Friday, March 20, the critic suggests that Estes and his photo-realist colleagues revive the veneration for bravura technique associated with the era of Bougureau and Gerome, the stars of the French salon who were supplanted by the Impressionists. While Johnson acknowledges the “spirituality and morality” of Estes art, he implies that its detail and veracity contrasts with 20th century modernists who de-emphasized if not abandoned technique. My question is, what happened in between? Read More

Artful Circle Report on Roz Chast

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by Debbie Wells

Artful Circle took our groups to visit Chelsea to kick off our first session of our Art Gallery Spring Series. One of the highlights was to Danese/Corey to see the original drawings, tapestries, and pysanka (dyed eggs) by Roz Chast. A cartoonist with over a thousand works printed in The New Yorker since 1978, her art epitomizes our lives today – filled with family relationships, humor, technology, worry and wit. Chast, age 61, was born in Brooklyn and received a BFA in from Rhode Island School of Design. Her working relationship with The New Yorker started almost immediately, as well creating editorial cartoons for countless publications and authoring and illustrating her own books over the years. Read More

She Never Gave Up: Mona Lisa of Austria in Triumph at the Neue Galerie

by Franklin Hill Perrell

Astonishing as a work of art, Gustav Klimt’s quintessential masterpiece, “Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” 1907, is at once the defining icon of Jugendstil, “young style” – Austria’s art nouveau, an embodiment of the period’s pinnacle of glamor, wealth, and aesthetic innovation, and above all an enduring testament to the triumph of good over evil.
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(L-R): Neue Galerie in NYC; “Adele Bloch-Bauer I” and Woman in Gold movie poster

The painting’s rightful heir, Maria Altmann (1916-2011), niece of its’ subject, Klimt’s patron Adele Bloch Bauer, never gave up on her just claim despite seventy plus years of lies, cover-ups at the highest level of government, and devious legal wrangling intended to deprive her of her rights, ever since the painting was stolen by the Nazis. Read More

Artful Circle’s Top Picks of the Week: Chelsea

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Hauser and Wirth, 511 W. 18th St., has a spectacular exhibition of Subodh Gupta, acclaimed as the Damian Hirst of India. Everyone has been very impressed with the first piece encountered: This is Not a Fountain (see above left) which displays a huge mound of well-used pots and pans with continuously re-circulating flow of water from pipe-mounted faucets throughout. Such cook-ware, in middle class Indian families, up until recently was likely passed from generation to generation and the wear and tear, as well as repairs attest to how essential, and valued, these may be, along with fresh water for cleaning and the renewal of life. There are also fool the eye sculptures and paintings that abound with symbolism and history which attest to the artists prodigious and diverse talents, along with the installations for which he is best known. Gupta’s rise to prominence is in keeping with India becoming a first class player in the world economy, edging up to China in rivalry, and meriting a significant market now for both its modernist and contemporary art.

At 550 W. 21st St., Skarstedt presents “Keith Haring: Heaven and Hell”, featuring giant works in fluorescent acrylics (see one example above on right). These include the artist’s boldly stylized images of televisions with the atomic symbol, vintage computers in densely populated compositions. Here, mutations of sexuality and species in an apocalyptic vision express Haring’s anguish in confronting what proved to be his ultimate demise from aids. Paradoxically, the colors couldn’t be more cheerful.

At Gagosian, at 522 W. 21st St. is the type of highest quality museum survey we have come to expect, considering the gallery’s history : John Elderfield, famed as Curator for MOMA, has put together In the Read More

A Visit to the Roth New York Bar at Hauser & Wirth in Chelsea

by Franklin Hill Perrell, Artful Circle

Our recent visit to Hauser and Wirth (511 W. 18) to see the exhibition of Sobodh Gupta yielded an unexpected surprise: the Friday and Saturday free espresso service at Roth’s New York Bar. If you didn’t know, the New York Bar is a permanent installation, in effect an art piece that does double duty as a functional bar. While in practice

this is not a liquor bar serving the public (though that would appear to be the theme, with actual liquor bottles on display) , it is a coffee bar- which purpose it certainly serves. A discrete sign indicates the availability of espresso on Fridays and Saturdays. I was able to secure a latte, and many other guests appeared in due course. Above all, however, it is a work of art and one that should be experienced as such.


Hauser and Wirth’s Chelsea Gallery, at approximately 25,000 square feet, is a second floor space, formerly the Roxy Discotheque-Roller Skating Rink. Read More