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

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, 2018.

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

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