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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Artful Circle Artist Spotlight: Fortuna Szpiro

by Debbie Wells

Stone Sculptures by Fortuna Szpiro at Leonard Tourné Gallery Exhibition: June 17 through July 31, 2015
Reception: Wednesday, June 24, 6-8pm
Also, one sculpture will be on view in the sculpture garden/public space at Art Southampton: July 9-13, 2015

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The Leonard Tourné Gallery is happy to announce that sculptures by artist Fortuna Szpiro will be on view as part of an upcoming art gallery exhibition this summer. The gallery, located at 46 East 65th Street in New York City (www.leonardtourne.com), specializes in established and emerging contemporary artists from around the globe and they are showcasing a selection of her stone sculptures in their gallery and its beautiful outdoor patio. Visit the artist section on the gallery’s website to see even more of her artwork. Read More

Five Facts about Peter Max – He’s Groovy!

by Debbie Wells Internationally acclaimed American pop artist Peter Max, now 77, known for his iconic images that epitomize the culture of the 60’s, 70’s and even today. His colorful paintings and graphic style captured the essence of the times, but are timeless in its appeal. To fully understand his art, learning about the man Read More

Lilly Pulitzer: Socialite turned Fashion Icon

by Debbie Wells

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A few years ago, I read a magazine article by Victoria Crosby about Kathryn Livingston’s book, Lilly: Palm Beach, Tropical Glamour, and the Birth of a Fashion Legend”.  Intrigued by the idea that a Long Island  woman transcended from wealthy socialite to iconic fashion designer, I contacted Victoria to find out more. Victoria was kind enough to introduce me to Kathryn Livingston and I arranged for her to speak at a local historical society event about Lilly’s life and career.
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The author (shown below) is as elegant as her subject as she tells the story of Lilly’s life, which is as colorful as her designs. She was linked to the Phipps family by her mother’s second marriage to prominent race-horse owner Ogden Phipps.

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Artful Circle Visits Madison Avenue

 by Franklin Hill Perrell

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Our recent visits to Madison Avenue galleries commenced at Skarstedt on E. 79th for the exhibition of Georg Baselitz’s series of Orange Eaters and Glass Drinkers from 1981-83. These dozen quite masterful neo-expressionist paintings are from the series that made the German contemporary artist famous in America, portraits in his typical palette of vivid colors and scumbled rich paint handling. Everything appears upside down: perhaps a comment on the state of world affairs but certainly a strategy for keeping a painting midway between abstraction and reality. It’s lively, engaging, and historic, and the work looks fresh, spontaneous, and relevant. Skarstedt, 20 E. 79 St., Georg Baselitz: Drinkers and Orange Eaters. Closes June 27.

Next door, we visited the ever wonderful Acquavella. Their exhibition, entitled Off Canvas, featured works in media other than paint-on-canvas, thus watercolor, pastel, pencil, pen and ink, and so on. Characteristic of the museum-like aura of this gallery, included are a dazzling array of major 20th century artists, from Picasso to Thiebaud: Matisse, Arshile Gorky, Sam Francis, Lucien Freud, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and more. It begins with Toulouse-Lautrec’s exquisitely rendered 1899 drawing of a circus equestrian. This piece is notable for its detailed depictions of spectators who could have stepped out of Moulin Rouge.
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The point of this show is not only to portray significant stylistic statements but to provide a glimpse of studio practice. Works on paper reveal the most direct expression of the artists’ immediate thinking and intent, whereas paintings in oil typically require a number of intervening technical stages.
Acquavella, 18 E. 79 St., Off Canvas. Closes June 12.

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Spirit of the Horse – Lumen Martin Winter

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by Alexander Katlan The Spirit of the Horse- Lumen Martin Winter (1908-1982) – Selected Horse Studies An Exhibition of artist Lumen Martin Winter (1906-1982) artworks at The Harness Racing Museum & Hall Of Fame 240 Main Street, Goshen New York Opening June 1, 2015 to May 31, 1916

Lumen Martin Winter (1908-1982) is an artist almost unknown today. The rediscovery of this artist is not as uncommon as one first thinks, with artists who have spent a large part of their careers as muralists. In this exhibition at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame Goshen, NY from June 1 2015 to May 31, 2015, The Spirit of the Horse, one sees drawings and watercolors that Lumen Winter created in Santa Fe New Mexico. Read More

Artful Circle Visits Yayoi Kusama exhibit at David Zwirner Gallery

   dots debbie  by Debbie Wells
Give me dots, dots and more dots is the theme of the “Give Me Love” exhibit at David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea. Pop artist Yayoi Kusama’s lifelong obsession with circles is evident in this triple-threat of an exhibition. Her iconic polka dot art is displayed in three parts – colorful paintings, whimsical sculptures and a show stopping one-of-a-kind art installation. Kusama is now acknowledged as one of the most important living artists of Japan.

Who is Yayoi Kusama?

It is hard to believe that this exhibition consists of new work done by the artist, who is now in her eighties. It has the freshness and energy of a person much younger, but as one learns about the life of Kusama, it becomes clear her vibrant art is reflective of her age-defying personal character and the universal love of pop art, color and shape that transcends time.

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Art Gallery Etiquette Guide by Artful Circle

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Always ask the gallery receptionist or security guard if photography is permitted in the gallery with your camera, video or phone camera. Often the use of the flash is prohibited.

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Respect boundaries. Make note of roped off areas or lines on the floor that instruct viewers to keep a healthy distance from the artwork. Also be aware of free standing sculptures, pedestals, stairs, wires , etc. so you don’t knock in anything.

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Be prepared to check your bags, backpack, umbrellas, etc. if asked upon entering a gallery. Read More

The New Whitney Museum of American Art – Part Two

By Debbie Wells

 press on stairs WHITNEY PRESS PIAZZA
Press waiting for speeches to begin

Welcome to the new era for the Whitney Museum of American Art! Now that the museum has been open to the public and getting rave reviews, I thought it was time to give some of the background information. People have been enjoying the Whitney’s new location and building, but what were the thoughts of the architect, curators and museum officials prior to opening day? At the press preview were assembled the illustrious group of people responsible for the museum’s new life.

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Left: Renzo Piano, left,  and Adam Weinberg; Right: Donna De Salvo

The key speakers included Renzo Piano, Adam Weinberg and Donna De Salvo. Each not only explained their role in the concept, design and construction of the new Whitney, they spent time expressing their enthusiasm and gratitude for their successful collaboration. Together, they accomplished a major feat – a $422 million building showcasing their unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art – with state-of-the-art architecture and sweeping views never so gloriously seen before from the vantage point of Chelsea’s High Line area.

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