Centennial Celebrations: Klimt and Rodin – An Artistic Encounter

Centennial Celebrations: Klimt and Rodin – An Artistic Encounter

A dialog between grand masters on grace, beauty and sensuality 

The year 2017 is rich with the anniversaries. Centennial of the Russian Revolutions (March – November 1917), 150 years of the Alaska Purchase (March, 1867), 500 years since a publication of 95 Theses by Martin Luther that started the Protestant Reformation are just a few to mention. The art world is commemorating centenaries of two great admirers of female beauty, Auguste Rodin who lived until November 17, 1917 and Gustav Klimt, who died shortly after in February, 1918.

Klimt and Rodin artistic encounter at Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco
The Maiden, 1913 (oil on canvas) by Klimt, Gustav (1862-1918); 190×200 cm; Narodni Galerie, Prague, Czech Republic; Austrian, out of copyright / Image courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco is mounting an exhibition Klimt & Rodin: An Artistic Encounter which will be  on view in October 14, 2017 – January 28, 2018  to celebrate the centenaries of the grand masters. The show which will be held at the Legion of Honor is marking the first time the works of Klimt will be shown on the West Coast. The Legion of Honor had celebrated Rodin centenary with an installation which had officially ended in April of this year but the works had remained in place and will be jointed by the works of Klimt for an artistic dialog between the masters on their beloved and deeply explored topic of love, beauty and eroticism.

Centennial Celebrations: Klimt and Rodin - An Artistic Encounter
Gustav Klimt, “The Black Feathered Hat (Der Schwarze Federhut,” 1910. Oil on canvas, 79 x 63 cm. Private collection, courtesy of the Neue Galerie, New York / Image Courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Klimt and Rodin artistic encounter at Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco
A. Rodin, The Kiss; shot in situ / Image courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Auguste Rodin had only one in person meeting with Gustav Klimt when he traveled to Prague via Vienna in 1902. Rodin had accepted an invitation to visit an exhibition of Vienna Secession movement Beethoven Frieze by Klimt. The story of the encounter, as described by The Telegraph art critic, has a confession by Rodin that he had “never before experienced such an atmosphere – your tragic and magnificent Beethoven fresco, your unforgettable, temple-like exhibition, and now this garden, these women, this music.” In the words of art historian Berta Zuckerkandl, Klimt suggested that the reason for all of that is in one word: Austria. That insight had clearly worked for the Modernists and their circle in Vienna. The interplay between art, music and the beauties will be the main object of the exhibition in San Francisco.

If you are not planning to travel to San Francisco, you can still see all major works by Rodin at Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, PA . As for Klimt, Neue Galerie would be your fist stop to see modernists’ masterworks including Klimt’s. The Met has 2 paintings at Gallery 829 and several drawings which are not currently on view. There are also 2 paintings and several drawings at MoMA available to view online.


Venue: Legion of Honors, San Francisco, CA                             Time: October 14, 2017 – January 28, 2018

Dance in NY: Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal at BAM in Brooklyn, NY

Dance in NY: Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal at BAM in Brooklyn, NY

Historic double bill of Café Müller/The Rite of Spring on September 14-24, 2017

Dance in NY: Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal at BAM Brooklyn NY
Pina Bausch, Photo Credit: J. Paolo Pimenta / Image courtesy of BAM

This year Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch brings to New York two extraordinary ballets Cafe Muller set to the music of Henry Purcell and Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.  The psychological complexity conveyed by the Bausch’s powerful choreography will without doubt touch the souls of everyone from the dance aficionados to the novices to the art of ballet. The performances are part of the Next Wave Festival at BAM which will run from  September 14 till December 16, 2017.

Pina Bausch and her theater Tanztheater Wuppertal had made a New York debut in 1984 and became highly anticipated guests on NY dance scene from that time on.

Bausch formal dance education started when at the age of 15 she was accepted to Folkgangschule of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany to study under the direction of Kurt Jooss, a pioneer of dance-theater genre who connected the ballet with the theatrical drama. After graduating the Folkgangschule, Bausch studied at Juilliard School in New York in the early 60s and was part of the New York Ballet, Paul Taylor company and other groups. Returning to Germany in late 60s to continue her work with Jooss, she choreographed her first ballet Frangmente to the music of Bartok in 1968.

Dance in NY: Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal at BAM Brooklyn NY
From The Rite of Spring, Photo Credit:Ludovico Bastianini / Image courtesy of BAM

Assuming the role of artistic director for the Wuppertal Opera ballet in 1973, she continued to produce new ballets thus developing the style of tanztheater.

For the performances at BAM, Tanztheater Wuppertal will perform Cafe Muller and The Rite of Spring. Cafe Muller (1978) likely includes autobiographical elements, as Bausch family had also owned a café where Pina, still a child, had made her first dance performances entertaining the guests. In the ballet, the dancers make sleepwalking movements in a dark, deserted café interior acting out a tale about human emotions which are flaring up under the covers of night. Or it could be child’s interpretation of the complex and scary world of the grownups. The Guardian review of the piece for its 2008 performance at Sadler’s Wells, London,  notes that the characters are “trapped in an existential tape loop, they endlessly reprise their actions and interactions.” Amplifying the effect are the arias by Henry Purcell mixed with the moments of silence.  The repetitive movements seem to suggest that the characters are about to break themselves free but in the end are unable to do so.

Dance in NY: Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal at BAM Brooklyn NY
From The Rite of Spring, Photo Credit:Oliver Look / Image courtesy of BAM

The second part of the bill is The Rite of Spring (1975)  to the powerful score of Igor Stravinsky. In Bausch’s take of this ballet, which was originally written for Ballet Russes and choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, it at times seems that the dancers’  movements are making the music itself so close the choreography is in following the score. For this piece the stage is covered with dirt which plays a part in the performance. It is a character in the storyline along with the tribe and its rituals. The powerful and muscular movements of the male group are accentuated by the sensual and gentle actions of the female performers. This contrast between the sexes leads up to an emotional rite of the sacrificial selection by the tribe and its triumph over the individual expression and freedom. The ballet is so powerful that at time it feels like the composer and the choreographer were literally working together. Time is powerless to separate the geniuses of the music and choreography creators.

Nothing beats seeing the live performance but Chantal Ackerman’s documentary One Day Pina Asked shows how the danztheater is being made.

Book your tickets here.

Venue: Peter Jay Sharp Theater, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY        Time: September 14 – 24, 2017

Jazz in NYC: Norah Jones at Le Poisson Rouge in September, 2017

Jazz in NYC: Norah Jones at Le Poisson Rouge in September, 2017

Norah Jones with Brian Blade & Chris Thomas at LPG on September 10-14, 2017

Jazz in NYC Norah Jones at Le Poisson Rouge in September 2017
Norah Jones performs in 2010
Photo Credit: Larry Philpot, www.soundstagephotography.com

Norah Jones will perform in the informal and cozy settings of (Le) Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, NYC on September 10-14, 2017. Her presence on the global music scene had been established overnight after she won 5 Grammys for the album “Come away with me” released in 2002 by the Blue Note Records label. In all she is a 9 times Grammy award winner.

Jones delicate singing is rightfully falling into jazz fusion category for her mixing of jazz, country and intelligent pop. The FT review of her performance at 2016 London Jazz Festival at the London Palladium points out that “her success in selling nearly 50m records over her career has been in spite of prevailing trends”. This falling in between of the pre-defined musical genres makes Jones style so distinct and precious to those looking for new sounds.

Jones grew up in Grapevine, Texas. Born to a family of American concert producer Sue Jones and Indian sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, she was singing in church and taking piano lessons from yearly on in her life. The music of such jazz masters as Billie Holiday and Bill Evans had particularly strong influence on her. So it was not a coincidence that she had graduated from University of North Texas majoring in jazz piano.

In the years that followed the release of “Come away with me”, she deviated from jazz into country and soul music accompanying herself on guitar. Her returning to jazz for the 2014 Newport Jazz festival on Rhode Island was very well received by the fans with tickets sales topping the charts.

Her latest album “Day Breaks” released in 2016 features Jones firmly following her jazz and piano roots. For this project she has teamed up with such prominent musicians as the saxophonist Wayne Shorter and the bassist John Patitucci. In the words of the New York Times review of her 2016 tours and album release “rather than making some sort of prodigal return, she was accessing her musical core”.

The performance at (Le) Poisson Rouge will be a delight for the music fans!

Book your tickets on Le Poisson Rouge website.

You can find more information about Norah Jones and her upcoming tours here.

Venue: (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, NY                                     Dates: September 10-14, 2017

Art in NYC: Anselm Kiefer at Gagosian Gallery on West 21 Street

Art in NYC: Anselm Kiefer at Gagosian Gallery on West 21 Street

Transition from Cool to Warm

Art in NYC Anselm Kiefer Gagosian Gallery paintings watercolors books
Anselm Kiefer Les extases féminines (The Feminine Ecstasies), 2013 Watercolor on paper 65 3/4 × 60 5/8 inches (167 × 154 cm) © Anselm Kiefer. Photo © Georges Poncet. Courtesy Gagosian

Anselm Kiefer is known for digging deep into historical consciousness and renewal for people and land devastated by war and destruction. His usually large-scale, heavy paintings done in multiplayer of media are well-recognized precisely for portraying the secrets of the forgotten landscapes with metal or concrete chunks looking menacingly in your face. With the exhibition at Gagosian gallery , which in addition to the paintings includes a collection of watercolors showing women, flowers and their erotic interplay, the author moves closer to the stage of rebirth.

Being born in Germany two month before the end of Wold War II, Kiefer’s oeuvre confronts Germany’s dark past and the horrors of Holocaust. Another very distinguished element of his work is an intermix of various forms of artistic expression. As such, in his earlier works he used a reference to Romanian Jewish writer Paul Celan‘s poem “Todesfuge” (“Death Fugue”). And later he created a series of tributes to futuristic Russian poet Velimir Khlebnikov. His latest works are full of Wagnerian references. Last year exhibition at the White Cube Bermondsey gallery in London titled Walhalla had an explicit theme of final destruction. Some pieces looked like “a set for Wagner’s Götterdämmerung” in the words of The Guardian review by Jonathan Jones.

Art in NYC Anselm Kiefer Gagosian Gallery paintings watercolors books
Anselm Kiefer Ignis sacer, 2016 Oil, acrylic, and emulsion on canvas 110 1/4 × 149 5/8 × 3 5/8 inches (280 × 380 × 9 cm) © Anselm Kiefer. Photo © Georges Poncet. Courtesy Gagosian

This conversation between literature and art continues at Gagosian gallery with a collection of more than forty artist created books exhibited in glass cases. The gallery stresses the importance of these books to author’s body of work as they carry “the sequences of narrative information and visual effect”. The viewers are free to make up the rest of the storyline using their personal experience and interpretation of cues on the pages. This is not the first time in his career that the author turns to the watercolors. In fact, the title of the exhibition refers to his celebrated book from mid-70s full of sea-blues,warms and nudes.

Kiefer is often likened to Rodin in the depiction of emotions invoking historical dilemmas and human relationships. As this year the world celebrates a centennial of Rodin death, Rodin Museum in Paris and Barnes Foundation have Kiefer Rodin exhibition ongoing. It will be on view at Rodin Museum in Paris until October 22, 2017 then move to the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, PA from November 17, 2017 – March 12, 2018.

Art in NYC Anselm Kiefer Gagosian Gallery paintings watercolors books
“Anselm Kiefer: Transition from Cool to Warm”
Installation view © Anselm Kiefer. Photography by Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian

In November Anselm Kiefer will receive J. Paul Getty Medal. Getty Board of Trustees explained to Artnews that the medal recognizes Kiefer’s engagement “in big ideas and historic moments, and sharing with the Getty a passionate commitment to global culture.”







Venue: Gagosian Gallery 522 West 21st Street, New York, NY                     Time: May 5 – September 1, 2017

Jazz in NYC: Eric Alexander Quartet at Smoke Jazz Club in July, 2017

Jazz in NYC: Eric Alexander Quartet at Smoke Jazz Club in July, 2017

Engaging mix of high energy performance, transcendent tones and vibrant rhythm section for a summer night out in the city

Jazz NYC Eric Alexander Quartet Smoke Club July 2017
Eric Alexander; photo by Jimmy Katz / image source ericalexanderjazz.com

Eric Alexander Quartet featuring a pianist David Hazeltine, an impressive rhythm section including a drummer Joe Farnsworth, a bassist Gerald Cannon and a percussionist Alex Diaz is performing at a cozy Smoke Jazz and Supper Club on Upper West side on June 30 – July 2, 2017.

The musicians’ mastery is obvious right from the start and is only getting better as the program moves alone. Light humor and joyful chit-chat of the instruments are the highlights of skillful improvisations on well-known tunes like “In the shadow of your smile” and “Impressions”. As the musicians move from one composition to the next, the music seems to never get old leaving the audience with cravings for more as the performance comes to an end. This almost guarantees that the listeners would likely want to come back as the short sets taste like delicious hors d’oeuvre rather than a complete jazz session entrée.  But of course there are CDs for sale for those eager to extend the joy and pleasures of the music.

Alexander came to NYC jazz scene some twenty plus years ago and had already recorded more than 35 albums as a lead and numerous features. He started playing tenor sax in late 80s when at Indiana University, Bloomington and the obsession with the instrument had defined his future career. In his biography he says that his music is still influenced by bebop pioneers. With placing second in 1991 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition playing against Joshua Redman and Chris Potter, Alexander’s professional career had begun. He is touring extensively with both of his quartet and his sextet One For All.  In a review for AllAboutJazz, Jack Bowers stresses that “Alexander is a tireless craftsman who loves to play”. This love shows at each of his performances.

Alexander will return to Smoke Jazz club later in July for a set of performances with his sextet One For All. For future performances and tickets click here.

Venue: Smoke Jazz and Supper Club, 2751 Broadway, NY     

Dates for Eric Alexander Quartet performances: June 30 – July 2, 2017

Dates for One For All performances: July 28 – 30, 2017