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
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.
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TSF Lecture at Art League of Long Island
by Debbie Wells
In recognition of Women’s History Month, the Art League of Long Island (ALLI) presented a lecture, “Honoring the Women of the Historic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911” in a unique way by having two speakers, both artists, describe their personal connections to this important part of American history. As the Chair of the Board of Directors of ALLI, I arranged for this dual lecture as a way of portraying my personal experience of researching the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory (TSF) tragedy and also reckoning with it as a subject for art.
About the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory was a company of over 500 employees (mostly hardworking young Jewish and Italian immigrant women) located in the heart of Greenwich Village, right near Washington Square Park. In typical sweatshop conditions, this company produced crisp “Gibson Girl” style blouses that were then the rage. The building, restored to its original glory, is now part of the New York University campus, but has a plaque commemorating its history that every American child learns about in school.
What happened was this: On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out on the TSF 8th floor at the end of the workday. Chaos ensued. It is contended that the doors were locked. There were certainly many fire hazards inside. People on the street witnessed helplessly as workers jumped out of windows to escape the flames. Fire trucks were ill equipped, lacking ladders high enough to reach the upper floors. Elevators ran as long as they could as workers pressed into
the cars, while some tumbled down the elevator shaft. All of this happened in only 18 minutes. In the end, 146 people died. Shortly after, there was a trial, but the two owners, known as the “Shirtwaist Kings”, were acquitted of wrongdoing, arousing the cry of injustice from the public. However, the lives of these workers were not sacrificed in vain because the tragedy impelled change in America – the rise of the labor union movement and fire safety regulations.
Uncovering My Family History and the Connection to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory
About 12 years ago, my son was doing his American History homework and mentioned that he was learning about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. My grandmother-in-law, Anne Nicholas-Lerman, was visiting from Florida and explained that her aunt was one of the 146 victims. The whole family immediately wanted to know more. Then she showed us a beautiful photograph of 18-year old Annie Nicholas, who was a button-maker at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. My son has the framed picture in his bedroom and we all treasure this family heirloom.
Armory Show at Pier 94, NYC – March 5-8, 2015 When one attends the annual Armory Show, it is easy to expect to be overwhelmed. One of the most celebrated international contemporary and modern art fairs, this show is always a whirlwind of color, media, canvases, photography, sculptures and more. Strolling through the aisles, I