visits on art, design, architecture and literature

Category: New York

A visit at The New Yorkr, an incredible story “Sixty Nine Days”

published at the New Yorker, July 7th, 2014

While in Maremma, Italy and indulge on my reading, I found this story “Sixty Nine Days” quite extraordinary.  It is  the ordeal of  the Chilean miners in August 2010. Hector Tobar has given an amazing inside of the mountain and the inside of all the miners being trapped and their lives.


photo by Moise Saman (published photo at The New Yorker, July 7, 2014)

….The San José Mine is situated inside a round, rocky, and lifeless mountain in the Atacama Desert, in Chile. Once every dozen years or so, a storm system sweeps across the desert, dropping a torrent of rain. When that happens, the dust turns to mud as thick as freshly poured concrete. Charles Darwin briefly passed through this corner of the Atacama in 1835. In his journal, he described the desert as “a barrier far worse than the most turbulent ocean.”

….In the early-morning hours of August 5th, two thousand feet belowground, the night shift was finishing its work. Men covered in soot and drenched in sweat gathered in one of the caverns, waiting for a truck that would take them on the forty-minute drive to the surface. During their shift, they had noted a wailing rumble in the distance—the sound of many tons of rock falling in forgotten caverns deep inside the mountain. The noise and the vibrations caused by these avalanches were transmitted through the mountain much as lightning strikes travel through the air and the ground. “The mine is weeping a lot,” the men said to one another.


a visit at New Yorker’s May 26th issue, the week fiction, Alejandro Zambra on ‘Camillo’

Alejandro Zambra, Fiction, “Camilo,” The New Yorker, May 26, 2014, p. 62

GetImage.aspx“I’m Camilo!” he shouted to me from the gate, opening his arms wide, as if we knew each other. “Your daddy’s godson.” It seemed terribly suspicious to me, like a caricature of danger, and I was nine then, already too big to fall for a trap like that. Those dark glasses, like a blind man’s, on a cloudy day. And that jean jacket, covered in sewn-on patches with the names of rock bands. “My dad’s not here,” I told him, closing the door, and I didn’t even give my father the message; I forgot.

But it turned out to be true: my father had been a close friend of Camilo’s father, Big Camilo—they’d played soccer together on the Renca team. We had photographs of the baptism, the baby crying and the adults looking solemnly into the camera. All was well for several years—my father was an engaged godfather, and he took an interest in the child—but then he and Big Camilo had a fight, and later, some months after the coup, Big Camilo was imprisoned, and after he was released he went into exile. The plan was for his wife, July, to bring Little Camilo and meet up with him in Paris, but she didn’t want to, and the marriage, in fact, ended. . . .

more here  http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/features/2014/05/26/140526fi_fiction_zambra

New York: Lehman Maupin Gallery; Klara Kristalova “big girl now”

feb 27, 2014-april 26, 2014

A fantastic exhibition at Christie street location at Lehman Maupin gallery of the exhibition of new ceramic sculptures by Czechoslovakian-born and Sweden-based artist Klara Kristalova

In her second exhibition with the gallery, Kristalova continues her work in ceramics to visualize psychological states of being and explore the complexity of the human condition…..





Klara Kristalova, “Big Girl Now”
Installation views, 201 Chrystie Street

The arresting nature of Kristalova’s imagery is further heightened by the handcrafted quality of the surface and awkward scale of the sculptures. The female figure in Birdwoman (2013), for example, confronts the viewer with her black almond-shaped eyes, conveying a sense of scrutiny and confidence, but simultaneously seems uncomfortable with her beak for a nose and a body covered entirely in white feathers, each carefully textured and molded by the artist’s hand….” (gallery press) 

New York; Museum of Modern Art MoMA:”Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963-2010″

April 19-August 3, 2014

My week visit in New York City, highlights the exhibition at MoMa of Sigmar Polke (1941-2010)


This retrospective is the first to encompass the unusually broad range of mediums he worked with during his five-decade career, including painting, photography, film, sculpture,drawing, printmaking, television, performance, and stained glass, as well as his constant, highly innovative blurring of the boundaries between these mediums. 

Four gallery spaces on MoMA’s second floor are dedicated to the exhibition, which comprises more than 250 works and constitutes one of the largest exhibitions ever organized at the Museum.

The exhibition is organized by MoMA with Tate Modern, London. Organized by Kathy Halbreich, Associate Director, MoMA; with Mark Godfrey, Curator of International Art, Tate Modern; and Lanka Tattersall, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA   Museum details 

New York; “Warhol:Jackie” at Blain Di Donna gallery curated in collaboration with Bibi Khan

April 10-May 17, 2014

I attended a lovely opening of “Warhol:Jackie” at Blain Di Donna gallery and dinner followed at La Grenouille.

and dinner that followed for a wonderful exhibition of _MG_5159

“Deeply affected by the media coverage of JFK’s assassination, Warhol began the Jackie series in February 1964, continuing the Death and Disaster theme of his first European exhibition with Ileana Sonnabend in Paris, in January of that year.

The exhibition begins with the paintings of Jacqueline Kennedy on the day of JFK’s assassination on November 22, 1963, from the smiling Jackie arriving at Dallas Love Field, through the motorcade, to the administration of the oath for the new President Johnson on Air Force One, and finally, at the funeral, as she transforms from glamorous and iconic First Lady to grieving widow. Warhol cropped images taken from Life magazine and silkscreened them on to canvas. By cropping her face and repeating it, Warhol focused on Jackie’s grief and courage. The news was a unifying force during the President’s assassination as people repeatedly watched and read about the events of that week. Warhol gives us a reenactment of this tragic moment in America’s history through Mrs. Kennedy’s powerful image.” (gallery press release)

Warhol: Jackie has been curated in close collaboration with Bibi Khan, former curator of the Andy Warhol Foundation; it will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an introduction by Bob Colacello, writer, former Warhol associate, and an essay by Judith Goldman, writer, former Whitney Museum curator and noted Warhol expert.

gallery details 

visit my New Yorker recent issue at the culture desk:PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN’S GENIUS posted by Richard Brody

February 2nd, 2014 at the New Yorker

here is the best  I have read  for Philip Seymour Hoffman  loss written by Richard Brody.


“Philip Seymour Hoffman gave one of the greatest onscreen performances that anyone ever gave, in “The Master”; he won an Oscar for “Capote”; from 1991 until now, he acted in what IMDb reckons as sixty-three filmed productions; in recent years, he gathered accolades virtually every time his feet hit the boards of a stage or his face caught the light in a camera; and he began a career as a director. Today, he died, at the age of forty-six, reportedly from a drug overdose. The intimate agony—his partner lost a partner, his children lost a father, his friends lost a friend—is unspeakable except by those who knew and loved him. For those who didn’t know him personally (I never met him), the horror is inseparable from art—the love of his performances, the acknowledgment that there’s nothing more of them beside what’s in the can, and the sense that the torment and the talent are inseparable.

Work that’s only good is limited to its technique; when it’s great, a work is virtually inseparable from the artist’s life because it gives the sense of being the product of a whole life and being the absolute and total focus of that life at the time of its creation. The most depressing thing about “The Master”—in which the art of the director and the actors converged with a rare, white-hot fury from beginning to end—is, now, its basis in substance abuse. The movie begins with the traumatized, transient veteran, Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix), fleeing the scene of a likely crime (his homemade alcoholic concoction killed a co-worker on a farm) to stow away on a yacht. The vessel’s owner, Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman), seems, at first, merely a bombastic grandee but turns out to be the charismatic leader of a cult. What seals their bond—what transforms Freddie from a mere intruder to a suddenly necessary member of Dodd’s entourage—is the incendiary drink. Dodd’s visionary fires and rage for power are fuelled by the poisonous cocktail that Freddie provides. And Dodd’s intense, tormented, and tormenting self-control is tested all the more by the universal solvent of inhibition. His liberation and his constraint, his attempt to create dependents and his own dependency, are inseparable.

In the tension between flamboyance and rigor, between the flagrant imperatives of power and the intense self-discipline that concentrates it, Hoffman made his own prodigious, sometimes overly conspicuous theatrical prowess the very subject of the film. With terrifying speculations regarding the supreme performer’s motives, he thrust his art and his life, his public face and his sense of identity, into the balance. Plenty of great artists plumb the soul’s depths without recourse to drugs or alcohol, but it’s naïve to discount the connection between artistic ecstasies, self-surpassing exertions, uncommonly powerful desires, and altered states of consciousness.

The controversy over “The Wolf of Wall Street” also involves the allure of drugs; though the movie makes it pretty clear that the character Jordan Belfort acts monstrously under their influence, it also leaves little doubt regarding the pleasures and powers that they provide him and his cohorts. It also suggests the poison pill of imagination, the diabolical—even self-destructive—power of theatrical rhetoric, its eruption from the depths of a soul that hardly dares to consider itself. Hoffman, with his seemingly infinite range of possibilities and self-transformations, was at the diametrically opposite end of the spectrum: he couldn’t help but look at himself, from angles he had never anticipated and in aspects he might not otherwise have fathomed. Genius, whether at its most constructive or destructive, its most sublime or its most repugnant, is unnatural; Hoffman lived for great art, and it’s impossible to escape the idea that he died for it. The complete price of his nearly superhuman ability has yet to be reckoned.”

“Le Tricorne”, a canvas 19 feet high that Pablo Picasso painted for Ballets Russes, is in peril

New York – feb 3, 2014

my favorite place in New York to have lunch, Four Seasons,seen this at New York Times, I needed   to share  it here   tonight:

At Four Seasons, Picasso Tapestry hangs on the Edge of Eviction (by David Segal at New York Times)

photo published @NYtimes

For more than half a century, it has hung in the hallway of the Four Seasons Restaurant on Park Avenue, an immense work by one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. But Picasso’s curtain is coming down — and that might just destroy it…..

The interior of the Four Seasons was given landmark designation in 1989, canonizing the achievements of Mies van der Rohe, the architect who designed the 38-story skyscraper, and Philip Johnson, who designed the restaurant, the costliest ever constructed when it opened in 1959. The Picasso, however, was excluded from the designation because, as the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission explained in a statement, it was owned separately and could be moved.

more here 

a New Yorker visit for the story; Haruki Murakami: Samsa In Love

I love Haruki Murakami for years..  this a recent short  story at the New Yorker. copyright: New Yorker

Samsa in Love 

“He woke to discover that he had undergone a metamorphosis and become Gregor Samsa.

He lay flat on his back on the bed, looking at the ceiling. It took time for his eyes to adjust to the lack of light. The ceiling seemed to be a common, everyday ceiling of the sort one might find anywhere. Once, it had been painted white, or possibly a pale cream. Years of dust and dirt, however, had given it the color of spoiled milk. It had no ornament, no defining characteristic. No argument, no message. It fulfilled its structural role but aspired to nothing further.

There was a tall window on one side of the room, to his left, but its curtain had been removed and thick boards nailed across the frame. An inch or so of space had been left between the horizontal boards, whether on purpose or not wasn’t clear; rays of morning sun shone through, casting a row of bright parallel lines on the floor. Why was the window barricaded in such a rough fashion? Was a major storm or tornado in the offing? Or was it to keep someone from getting in? Or to prevent someone (him, perhaps?) from leaving?

Still on his back, he slowly turned his head and examined the rest of the room. He could see no furniture, apart from the bed on which he lay. No chest of drawers, no desk, no chair. No painting, clock, or mirror on the walls. No lamp or light. Nor could he make out any rug or carpet on the floor. Just bare wood. The walls were covered with wallpaper of a complex design, but it was so old and faded that in the weak light it was next to impossible to make out what the design was.

The room had perhaps once served as a normal bedroom. Yet now all vestiges of human life had been stripped away. The only thing that remained was his solitary bed in the center. And it had no bedding. No sheets, no coverlet, no pillow. Just an ancient mattress.

Samsa had no idea where he was, or what he should do. All he knew was that he was now a human whose name was Gregor Samsa. And how did he know that? Perhaps someone had whispered it in his ear while he lay sleeping? But who had he been before he became Gregor Samsa? What had he been?

The moment he began contemplating that question, however, something like a black column of mosquitoes swirled up in his head. The column grew thicker and denser as it moved to a softer part of his brain, buzzing all the way. Samsa decided to stop thinking. Trying to think anything through at this point was too great a burden.

In any case, he had to learn how to move his body. He couldn’t lie there staring up at the ceiling forever. The posture left him much too vulnerable. He had no chance of surviving an attack—by predatory birds, for example. As a first step, he tried to move his fingers. There were ten of them, long things affixed to his two hands. Each was equipped with a number of joints, which made synchronizing their movements very complicated. To make matters worse, his body felt numb, as though it were immersed in a sticky, heavy liquid, so that it was difficult to send strength to his extremities.

Nevertheless, after repeated attempts and failures, by closing his eyes and focussing his mind he was able to bring his fingers more under control. Little by little, he was learning how to make them work together. As his fingers became operational, the numbness that had enveloped his body withdrew. In its place—like a dark and sinister reef revealed by a retreating tide—came an excruciating pain.

It took Samsa some time to realize that the pain was hunger. This ravenous desire for food was new to him, or at least he had no memory of experiencing anything like it. It was as if he had not had a bite to eat for a week. As if the center of his body were now a cavernous void. His bones creaked; his muscles clenched; his organs twitched.

Unable to withstand the pain any longer, Samsa put his elbows on the mattress and, bit by bit, pushed himself up. His spine emitted several low and sickening cracks in the process. My God, Samsa thought, how long have I been lying here? His body protested each move. But he struggled through, marshalling his strength, until, at last, he managed to sit up.

Samsa looked down in dismay at his naked body. How ill-formed it was! Worse than ill-formed. It possessed no means of self-defense. Smooth white skin (covered by only a perfunctory amount of hair) with fragile blue blood vessels visible through it; a soft, unprotected belly; ludicrous, impossibly shaped genitals; gangly arms and legs (just two of each!); a scrawny, breakable neck; an enormous, misshapen head with a tangle of stiff hair on its crown; two absurd ears, jutting out like a pair of seashells. Was this thing really him? Could a body so preposterous, so easy to destroy (no shell for protection, no weapons for attack), survive in the world? Why hadn’t he been turned into a fish? Or a sunflower? A fish or a sunflower made sense. More sense, anyway, than this human being, Gregor Samsa.

Steeling himself, he lowered his legs over the edge of the bed until the soles of his feet touched the floor. The unexpected cold of the bare wood made him gasp. After several failed attempts that sent him crashing to the floor, at last he was able to balance on his two feet. He stood there, bruised and sore, one hand clutching the frame of the bed for support. His head was inordinately heavy and hard to hold up. Sweat streamed from his armpits, and his genitals shrank from the stress. He had to take several deep breaths before his constricted muscles began to relax. (…)”

read the whole text at the New Yorker: newyorker.com/fiction


New York; visit Blain/Di Donna gallery;DADA & surrealist objects

New York; an amazing exhibition at Blain/Di Donna gallery .. visit on november 21,2013

Blain /Di Donna Gallery, New York

“……The exhibition presents a retrospective overview of all aspects of this subject, and encompasses a full selection of works by every serious creator of objects from both the Dada and Surrealist groups. Chronologically, this exploration begins with Marcel Duchamp, whose invention of the readymade in 1913 gave birth to the separation of foundor handmade objects from the more limited world of sculpture, usually confined to plaster, bronze, marble and occasionally carved wood that had previously represented, exclusively, in the realm of the third dimension in art..”

read more 

New York: MoMa: Isa Genzken – Retroperspective

Thursday, November 21st -Museum of Modern Art, New York

Isa Genzken, Venetia Kapernekas

Preview opening of Isa Genzken – Retroperspective (November 23, 2013 – March 10, 2014) 

The exhibitions shows nearly 150 objects of Isa Genzken,  one of the most important and influential female

artists of the past 30 years.




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