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.
Amidst the negative effects of the covid pandemic, a positive is taking place: more and more art is being offered online, giving us access to seldom-seen treasures as well as experimental works.
The venerable New York Times brings us a virtual exhibition space with a multi-player game called Occupy White Walls. The site began 16 months ago. To date, roughly 50,000 galleries created by gamers have appeared.
Ceramic lovers will appreciate the artistry of Tamsin Van Essen. Van Essen spends her time between New Delhi and London. She admits to a fascination with the space between repulsion and attraction and expertly pushes ceramics into unusual forms.
If the Avant Garde and Surrealism are your cup of java, the Weinstein Gallery in San Francisco offers an excellent roster of artists who excel in the genre. Among my personal favorites are the works of Yves Tanguy and Rolph Scarlett.
The Cleveland Museum of Art has come up with its first commissioned art work for its Ames Family Atrium. Called "Ama: The Gathering Place", it was devised by Nigerian artist Emekak Ogboh, who utilized music, sculpture and fabric to entice visitors to relax and enjoy. Music offers both entertainment and sacred performances, scattered among 3 areas of sound. Trees and seats are covered with akwete cloth, one of Africa's honored textile traditions. You can learn more about the installation artist in this interview.
The Wellcome Galleries at the Science Museum in London offers some highly unusual and stunning exhibits of items not usually seen in a museum setting. Be sure to see the Forest of Rods and the model of a cat.
We have referred in the past to the work of Niki de Saint Phalle, whose exuberant sculptures enliven the campus of the University of California at San Diego. Her work has been more appreciated in Europe than in the United States, but she was scheduled to have a major survey at MoMA PS1 in New York. A fascinating discussion of her tumultuous life and journeys through art, illuminating her anger at the mistreatment of women by a patriarchy, are discussed in this article.
Surf over to a brief but fascinating presentation by the Bassins de Lumieres in Paris. Beginning with so-called Naive artists, you can then cotinue on to a postponed exhibition of Gustav Klimt, reimagined, and then to a "city" populated by the colorful abstractions of Paul Klee. This is an extremely creative type of installation.
You might take a fresh look at the works of Alexander Calder. Seeing so many of them in one viewing gives a sense of the uplifting nature of his imaginings. You can go from there to an overview of the art of Takashi Murakami at the Ibid Gallery in London. Although these are commercial sites, hoping for sales, they provide an excellent way to see artists in some depth.
YouTube, as many of you know, is an excellent source for music lovers, among other offerings. You might enjoy this presentation of Songs by Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti, and The Three Tenors singing music from La Traviata.
You may not get to Brazil's Inhotim outdoor art museum, especially during covid travel restrictions. But you can still experience online some of the gems available at this 250 acre sculpture park just outside of Belo Horizonte. From Chris Burden's "Beam Drop", involving beams dropped by crane into 10 feet of wet concrete to Matthew Barney's lively installation, there is much to admire here.
Christie's Auction House does an excellent job of presenting art on the web. This site is titled Ten of the Best Virtual Museum Experiences in Europe. It takes you to places like the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum in Madred, among others. A rare treat.
Choreographer Merce Cunningham was admired for his willlingness to take chances. During a career spanning 7 decades, he worked closely with artists like John Cage (himself an inveterate explorer of chance occurrences), Marcel Duchamp, and Robert Rauschenberg. Cunningham refused to accept restrictions and boundaries, preferring radical new approaches to the body, the stage, and the music. This video from the Walker Art Center gives an excellent insight into the man and his dance intensities. An additional video, called "50 Looks", one of Cunningham's early routines, is now being taught online.
You won't want to miss this article on Gerhard Richter, titled "Master of Doubt". It is a rare opportunity to see so many pieces at once, beautifully reproduced. Richter examines tragic events with a cool detachment. Even if you don't know the historical references, the paintings stand on their own as powerful presences. As Richter himself asked, "What is contemporary art really for? Can it do anything? Have I accomplished anything?". Those sentiments strike at the heart of being an artist in these troubled times.
Here is an interesting new take on jet plane design. A start-up called Volerian is using flapping wings mounted into large ducts. Will it fly? Right now it is only dream shown in CAD/CAM.
c. Corinne Whitaker 2020