On my last visit to New York, I was able to carve out an hour or so to sneak over to MOMA to see the jaw dropping Cindy Sherman show (more on that to come). When I was finished and needed to digest the range and intensity of what I had just seen, I slipped out to the sculpture garden. When I lived in New York, I spent many, many hours in the garden’s previous incarnation so was curious if the new version would stand up. I am thrilled to say that even on a brisk day with the trees denuded of their foliage, the garden was thrilling. Every element is considered from the placement of the magnificent sculptures, to the selection of the trees, to the architectural details. I forgot how much sculture, especially twentieth century sculpture, moves me. I love how evocative each piece is and that you can touch and feel the work. I dare you to remain unmoved:
I have a bunch of work in New York at the moment and naturally, I have been checking out all of the great exhibitions currently on display so I can sneak in a little eye candy and inspiration between meetings. One of the shows I am looking forward to the most is hosted by the elegant French Deco furniture store Maison Gerard. It is entitled Wrapped , and features tubular metal pieces created in post-war France that have been wrapped in natural materials (think leather and rattan) and man-made materials (think plastic wire, laminate and pleather). There are works on display by many of the big boys of the era – Jacques Adnet, Jacques Quinet, Jules Leleu, Jean Royere. Feast your eyes on a selection of these streamlined yet sumptuous goodies (and to kick things off, please enjoy this gorgeous gouache and pencil rendering by Jacques Adnet. J’adore! I hope there are more of these renderings on view…)
Labor Day is behind us and I must confess that though I thoroughlyenjoyed the long, sunny months of summer, I am excited for the fall to begin. Autumn is the time to put the lazy days behind us and get back to school, as it were. The fall is always chock-a-block full of inspiring new theatre and art shows and none is more exciting to me this season than the forthcoming restrospective of the works of Willem de Kooning at the MoMA. I am fortunate to have a few jobs in New York right now so will be a little more bi-coastal than usual and this show (opening September 19th) will be one of my first stops in the Big Apple.
I promise a full report from the show for those of you who can’t make it yourselves but in the meantime, I thought you might like a glimpse into the home of the artist himself. More studio than anything else, de Kooning designed his East Hampton house with soaring ceilings and ample sunlight. I don’t know if the house still exists in this incarnation since both Willem and his wife, Elaine have both passed away. I’d like to think that some appreciative patron of the arts bought it and kept is as is but with the property values in the Hamptons, I may be dreaming. Check out the interesting 1982 article from Architectural Digest for more and enjoy!
After one of the most harrowing taxi rides I have ever endured (think aggressive drag racing with another cab down 9th Avenue, agitated swearing, wild gesticulating and spitting), I spilled out in front of the Gagosian Gallery on 21st Street grateful to be alive. It took me a minute to catch my breath and get my wits about me but I pressed on and was rewarded with this majestic coif:
This ballsy lady was the guard who greeted me for the intense exhibition, Picasso and Marie-Thérese: L’amour fou. Look at the pride on her face. This woman is fantastic in every way…
So it turns out, Arnold ain’t the only one with a secret family. A married Picasso met Marie-Thérese on the street in 1927 when she was just shy of 18 years old (he was 46). He asked if he could paint her portrait but she had no idea who he was. Once he took her to a bookstore and showed her some of his published work, according to the press release, “flattered and curious, she agreed. Thus began a secret love affair that would establish Marie-Thérese as the primary inspiration for Picasso’s most daring aesthetic experiments in the decade to come.” It is remarkable to me that this woman:
I am just back from a week in the big apple and damn, did she ever hit the sweet spot this go round. The weather was magnificent and I walked all over the city soaking in the vitality and endless creatively that pulses through Manhattan. Lots to tell but as you can imagine, my first day back to work has been a bear. While I hustle to catch up, let me leave you with a few things I came across in my wanderings. Stay tuned for more, more, more!
As I was walking across the Upper East Side, I noticed a building that was under construction and boarded up. The construction wasn’t what caught my attention, though. It was the paintings adorning the barricades that stopped me in my tracks. All appear to have been done by school kids with lively imaginations and even livelier color palettes. God bless whoever thought to put these up. I was grinning from ear to ear: