Category Archives: Artists

The Photography of Joan Weiss Takes You Places

By Debbie Wells

I sometimes feel like I’m in a dream, where things are not what they seem but serve as clues to a deeper, more elusive truth. That truth is revealed to me more vividly through the camera lens than through the naked eye. I see textures, and layers, and the way objects interact in geometric patterns to form other creations. I see shadows and reflections and the blur of human motion, and sometimes an incongruous fusion of all these elements. What I see in the camera lens joins with the impressions stamped in my mind’s eye, informing the images that are printed and framed and seen here. In essence, I translate the real into the surreal. A world that I can dream in as well as live in.”                   – Joan Weiss

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A Passion for Photography

Joan Weiss has experienced life in virtually every part of the New York Area: Born and bred in Brooklyn, moved to Manhattan after college, raised her family in Queens and is currently residing in Long Island. She holds every part of her life close to her heart, from her childhood summer memories in Coney Island to her visits to sites in New York City and even right in her own backyard in Jericho, Long Island. Throughout her life, she readily admits that photography was always a love of hers.

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Artful Connection: Larry Rivers and Uncle Herb

 larry rivers and uncle herb (susan merson)larry rivers and uncle herb (susan merson) bronx
Renowned artist Larry Rivers was born Yitzroch (Irving) Grossberg in the Bronx. He grew up on Mace Avenue. Before he studied at NYU and Julliard, he was in a band as a teenager. This photo was submitted by Artful Circle member Susan Merson, whose Uncle Herb Genis (on right, with Rivers) was in the band with Rivers when they were about 16 years old. What a wonderful artful connection!

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“The Palette Reveals the Artist” Lecture

“The Palette Reveals the Artist” Lecture with Alexander Katlan
Sunday, December 13th at 2pm
at the Art League of Long Island (107 East Deer Park Rd, Dix Hills, NY, 631-462-5400)www.artleagueli.org

alex katlan at his desk
Esteemed art conservator Alex Katlan will present an informative art talk based on his book “The Palette Reveals the Artist: The Grumbacher Artist Palette Collection and the Salmagundi Club Palette Collection”.

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The palette collection of the historic Salmagundi Club represents a piece of art history. Many well-known artists of the past 140 years such as William Merrit Chase and George Inness, Jr. have participated in the club tradition of leaving their palettes for display at the iconic brownstone in Greenwich Village.

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Artful Circle in the Hamptons: The Dan Flavin Art Institute

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by Debbie Wells

There are so many famous artists that have Long Island roots and it is always a treat to see them showcased in their hometowns. Everyone knows that artists such as Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner called the Hamptons home, but did you know that contemporary artist Dan Flavin (1933-1996) was a resident of Wainscott, a village nearby the resort town of Bridgehampton? The Dan Flavin Art Institute is a gem of a museum, located in the heart of the main street area and perfect for a delightful break from the usual Hamptons activities.

IMG_2506  IMG_2497(Above): On view at the museum

Dan Flavin: The Artist of Light

Born in New York City in 1933, he studied art history at the New School for Social Research and Columbia University. His first work with electric light was shown at the Judson Gallery in New York in 1961. He also exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the National Gallery of Canada in the 1960’s. Continue reading Artful Circle in the Hamptons: The Dan Flavin Art Institute

Art-Themed Exhibit at the Jewish Museum

The Steerage on view September 25, 2015 – February 14, 2016
By Debbie Wells

Attending the Press Preview

On September 21st, I was invited to a media/press preview of the latest exhibits at the Jewish Museum to report my observations on our Artful Circle on-publication, Artful Observer. I hadn’t been to the Jewish Museum iIMG_1502n a long while, but was quickly reminded of its beauty as I approached its stately home on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street directly across from Central Park. Housed in the elegant Warburg Mansion on Museum Mile since 1944, the building was designed in French Gothic chateau-style by architect Charles P.H. Gilbert in 1908.

2000-6,The Steerage,Artist: Stieglitz, Photographer:John Parnell, Photo © The Jewish Museum, New York
Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946), The Steerage, 1907, photogravure, 15 7/8 × 11 1/8 in. (40.4 × 28.1 cm). The Jewish Museum, NY, purchase: Mr. and Mrs. George Jaffin Fund, 2000-6

The Deputy Director Jans Hoffmann and the museum curatorial staff presented all its newest exhibits to the press and then encouraged us to explore the galleries for a few hours on our own before the museum opened to the public. I was immediately attracted to an exhibition that I thought would be of interest to our Artful Circle members. Many times, our groups have enjoyed the work of Alfred Steiglitz and his wife, famous artist Georgia O’Keefe at art galleries and museums. This exhibit at the Jewish Museum centers around a single photograuvre by Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) entitled, The Steerage which the artist considered the greatest of his career. He even stated later in his life, “If all my photographs were lost, and I’d be represented by just one, The Steerage, I’d be satisfied.”

IMG_1464 Masterpieces & Curiosities  Series –
The Steerage

I met with Rebecca Shaykin, Leon Levy Assistant Curator, for a close-up look at the exhibit. First, she explained the concept behind their popular Masterpieces & Curiosities series, in which The Steerage is the fifth exhibit. The series showcases individual works in the Jewish Museum’s world-renowned collection.

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT ON ELLEN HALLIE SCHIFF

by Debbie Wells
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Ellen Hallie Schiff in her art studio in Glen Cove, Long Island

The Artist’s World

Upon entering the charming home of Ellen Hallie Schiff in Glen Cove, Long Island, you immediately know you are in an environment designed by an artist. There, she displays her own work, as well as paintings by fellow local artists and mentors, such as Christian White and Steve Lampasona. Also on view are framed pictures by artists she has met on her travels, including a printmaker in Cuba.

Behind her home is a converted garage filled with wonderful light and bright white walls. Her canvases are neatly piled everywhere in process of being organized for her next showing. Bits of materials, paints and supplies are stored throughout the space. Pinned on the walls are scraps of motivational articles and pictures. She has reference material and artist books on the ready for inspiration. Continue reading ARTIST SPOTLIGHT ON ELLEN HALLIE SCHIFF

At the Studio & Garden: Artist Roy Nicholson

by Debbie Wells

IMG_0011Meeting the Artist

The Long Island Rail Road is my choice mode of transportation when Manhattan is the destination of our Artful Circle gallery visits. My own personal travel experience begins at the popular Hicksville train station. Always bustling, it certainly would never be considered a place with particular visual appeal. However, there is one notable exception – a set of large mosaic murals flanking the seating area of the station’s lobby.

Whenever walking by, I make a point to gaze at the colorful tiles of the mosaic art. Although an abstract composition, its horizontal design alludes to a landscape. There are two murals, each with a different color scheme. Not knowing anything about them, I felt compelled to step close and imagine how they were created and the meaning behind the swirls of color and texture. It wasn’t until much later that I spotted the plaques identifying the artist and title of the works.

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Artful Circle Artist Spotlight: Max Ernst Greis

By Debbie Wells

When your parents name you Max Ernst Greis, it seems inevitable that you would choose a career in art. New York born and bred, he is a master of the art of collage and has invented a hybrid of techniques way beyond traditional cut and glued paper. From traditional painting to multi-media, he constructs scenes with architectural, industrial, military and natural imagery.

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I met Max Greis this spring while on one of our Artful Circle classes. As Franklin was curating art gallery visits for our groups, he arranged for the artist to meet us at Pavel Zoubok Gallery in Chelsea to talk about his debut solo exhibition entitled Samsara.

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Art Exhibit at the Harness Racing Museum

by Franklin Hill Perrell

If you are traveling from New York City to points north, the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, Orange County, NY, is worth a visit. Presently, they are featuring an exhibition of works by American artist Lumen Martin Winter. Winter (1908-1982), an artist of considerable renown, during his lifetime, is presently the focus of renewed interest. His art flourished in the period following the WPA when he began his career as a muralist, later exhibiting paintings and drawings at an impressive array of museums and galleries.

LMW 7 LMW 10Lumen Martin Winter watercolors: Gift of Alexander Katlan in memory of Dr. Nathaniel R. & Lucille Katlan and Dr. Roberta Katlan Helfgott.

“The Spirit of the Horse” is the theme aptly chosen for this venue where a selection of Lumen Winter’s works (representing only one chapter of his oeuvre) exemplifies his verve of execution. In lively

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Beyond the Museum – Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Studio on Long Island

By Debbie Wells

The Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan opened its new building to rave reviews and much excitement. To honor its founder, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, an enchanting portrait adorns the entrance of one of the main floor galleries. Mrs. Whitney commissioned this work in 1916 from her friend Robert Henri. When Henri’s painting was finished, Harry Payne Whitney refused to allow her to hang it in their grand Fifth Avenue town house. The plaque in the museum explains: He didn’t want his friends to see a picture of his wife, as he put it, “in pants.” She is portrayed as a vibrant and stylish, yet forward-thinking – clearly someone ahead of her time. The painting intrigued me, so I decided to delve and learn more about her.

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Robert Henri, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Oil on Canvas, 1916, Whitney Museum of American Art, Gift of Flora Whitney Miller, Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art

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