Your eyes and ears on the world of art and culture. We remind you that 16 years of back issues of eMusings can be found on our archives page.
Nicole Eisenman is an artist with a fearless approach. She doesn't shrink from the warts of contemporary society, which is why we should not be surprised that her latest exhibit at the New Museum is called "Al-ugh-gories". Eisenman is a story-teller with an acid tongue. Her relentless jabs at our follies and furies leaves us no place to hide. If you have any doubt, look at the image tilted "Dysfunctional Family" or another called "Coping".
Martin Puryear is representing the United States in the 2019 Venice Biennale. He is described as "A Visual Poet of the Highest Order", and there is no question that his sculptures achieve maximum effect with minimal form. Be sure to scroll down to "Big Bling" on the lawn at Madison Square Park in New York: is this an apartment building or a mammoth threatening creature? Standing in front of similarly-toned apartment buildings it could be both, a condemnation, a threat, a warning. Puryear has had work in 3 Whitney Biennials and was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1989.
I have long been an admirer of Louise Bourgeois. Her "Destruction of the Father", from 1974, can best be described by the artist herself: "The children grabbed him (the father) and put him on the table. And he became the food. They took him apart, dismembered him. Ate him up. And so he was liquidated...the same way he liquidated his children. The sculpture represents both a table and a bed." More of her work can be seen at an exhibition called "To Unravel a Torment" at Glenstone in Potomac, Maryland.
San Francisco sculptor Charles Stinson has recently returned to the figurative, in light of the acute problems confronting humanity. His Ife Buddha and homeless figure bring the current crises to the forefront. Stinson is also President of the Pacific Rim Sculpture group and holds a prominent place in the Northern California art world.
"Portrait of our Neighbors" brings us some of the winners of the Portrait of Humanity Photography Prize. We are indeed a diverse lot, we humans, as these photographers let us know.
Put the common zipper in the hands of a talented artist and you get some surprising results. Alex Chinneck unzips buildings for his installation in Milan during Milan design week.
I suspect by now you have seen the Met's "Camp" extravaganza, but in case you have not here is a place to start. There is no lack of talent, money, verve and flash here, from the exquisite to the weird. I love the exuberance and over-the-top imagination of many of these outfits. The sense of joy, competitive or not, is catching. Another site forcuses on the Men of the Met with their innovative outfits. At the same time I worry about its effect on the millions of homeless, tortured, displaced humans trying desperately to find a home for themselves and their families. And I question how many medical treatments for disabled veterans could be bought with the $91. million USD just paid at auction for a metal rabbit. "The Beheading of Culture is Irrevocable" presents a more vitriolic counter-opinion.
"Universal Everything" takes you inside an immersive video where swarms of creatures, 5000 to be exact, try in vain to express their individuality while in a crowd. Shown originally at this year's Sundance Film Festival, the film was seen by viewers wearing a VR headset and was part of a showcase of experimental media.
Albert Paley is a multifaceted sculptor who has earned numerous accolades for his work. Be sure to see his 41' high Boynton Beach sculpture, currently in production, and his forged and fabricated glass-topped steel tables. Paley states that his personal aesthetic is founded on symbolism and metaphor, both evident and implied.
Many of you know of my love for works in glass. Habatat is presenting its 47th international exhibition, in Royal Oak, Michigan, with some exceptional pieces. The presentation continues through July 5.
William Cobbing is producing some sculptural works that will take your breath away. From the "Squeaky Bum Time" installation in Denmark to videos like "The Kiss" and "Long-distance", Cobbing uses clay and human forms in unusual combinations.
Photographs of indigenous tribes have evoked conflicting responses from the public, ranging from admiration to dismay. However you feel about them, the work of British photographer Jimmy Nelson is at the forefront. Nelson has visited some of the world's most remote areas. His images have evoked praise for bringing unknown cultures to the greater world, and horror for the possible fetishization of his subjects.
Sopheap Pich was born in Cambodia and eventually came to the United States. He works primarily in bamboo and rattan, with weaving techniques drawn from his cultural background. Reviewers have written of his biomorphic constructions as "spare organics geometries", suggesting "a scaffolding for as-yet unbuilt forms". Additional pieces may be seen here.
Let's look at a grand expression of what a city could look like if it were handed over to a visionary for redesign. Bodys Isek Kingeleze, in an exhibition called City Dreams, takes us on a tour of the city he envisions, not only for Kinshasa, his native town in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but for cities all over the world. Using ordinary materials like soda cans and bottle caps, the artist has constructed vibrant sprawling designs that enchant the eye and reawaken the urban spirit. Be sure to scroll down to see the 29 installation images of his retrospective at MOMA. In another article you will see some more detailed examples of his fertile imagination at work.
c. Corinne Whitaker 2019