Please join me in celebrating July 4, 2019 and the recent citizenship of one of our favorite artists Miljan Suknovic. In order to mark this happy occasion, Miljan decided to paint a work that expressed his joy. Then he decided to give this star-spangle-y painting to his new country. Today, you can see his work, An Immigrant Story, in person in JFK's Terminal 1.
Here is the text panel:
Congratulations, Miljan! Read more about Miljan Suknovic on his website.
Best wishes to everyone on this Independence Day 2019!
According to the gallery notes for Gagosian’s current Picasso exhibition, the late great art historian Leo Steinberg claimed that the famous Spanish artist (and infamous Lothario) did not paint a woman “as she presents herself to the world, but how she feels inside.”
Dora Maar, Picasso’s mistress from 1935-1942, told her close friend, the writer James Lord: “All his portraits of me are lies. They’re all Picasso’s, not one is Dora Maar.” (James Lord, Picasso and Dora: A Personal Memoir, 1993, p. 123).
Whom do you want to believe: the male art historian or the artist’s mistress and model? I choose to believe Dora. The evidence is clear in the current exhibition Picasso’s Women: Fernande to Jacqueline, A Tribute to Sir John Richardson, on view in Gagosian’s 980 Madison Avenue gallery, New York, from May 3- June 29, 2019.Comprised of 36 paintings, drawings and sculptures from mostly private collections, the exhibition came about through a “partnership with members of the Picasso family” to honor the memory of their close friend and colleague, British art historian Sir John Richardson, who passed away on March 12, 2019. Sir John’s magna opus A Life of Picasso, volumes 1-3 (the fourth will be published posthumously), based much of its contents on Picasso’s mistresses’ memoirs and oral accounts, which the gallery notes insist “attests to the central role and influence of many women in Picasso’s life.”
Richardson, Gagosian’s main curator for Picasso exhibitions, probably considered creating an exhibition about several Picasso women at one time or another during his long career (Richard died at 95 years old). Of the six shows he organized, two were dedicated to specific relationships: Marie-Thérèse Walther (begun in 1927 and lasting until the artist’s death in 1973; Marie-Thérèse committed suicide on October 20, 1977, five days before Picasso would have been 96) and Françoise Gilot (1943-53).Read more on Bonjour Paris
Another French Revolution
has taken Paris by storm in, of all places, the elegant Musée d’Orsay, a
tourists’ favorite because of its enormous collection of great
nineteenth-century masterpieces, from academic to avant-garde, from Thomas
Couture’s lascivious Decadence of the Romans (1847) to
Boleslas Biegas’s brooding proto-Cubist Sphinx(1902). The best known among “the Moderns” Édouard Manet’s Olympia (1863) shook the foundations of
traditional French “received ideas” for art at the Salon of 1865 and continues
to challenge our “received ideas” 154 years later, this time through the eyes
of an American curator, Dr. Denise Murrell, the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral
Research Scholar at the Wallach Art Gallery on Columbia University’s new Manhattanville,
situated near the Hudson River side of Harlem.
Dr. Murrell’s doctoral dissertation
on Manet’s model Laure became the exhibition Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet
and Matisse to Today on view at the Wallach Art Gallery from October
24, 2018 through February 10, 2019.Through her beautifully organized selections of art and documentation, she
invited “the viewer to reconsider Olympia
as a painting that is about two women, one black and one white, who are
both essential to achieving a full understanding of this work. . . [because]
our understanding of Western modern art cannot be complete without taking into
account the vital role of the black female figure, from Laure of Manet to her
legacy for successive generations of artists.” Posing Modernity grew from 140 objects to over 300 in the Musée
d’Orsay’s Le Modèle Noire de Géricault à
Matisse [The Black Model from
Géricault to Matisse], including 73 paintings, 81 photographs, 17
sculptures, 60 prints and drawings, 1 photographic installation, and 70
auxiliary documentation (books, magazines, posters, letters, etc.) that
populate several galleries.The New York show started in the mid-19th
century and ended with post-modern art.The Paris show starts in the late 18th century and ends with
Glenn Ligon’s Some Black French People/Des Parisiens Noirs (2019), a work especially
created for the cavernous great hall in the middle of the Musée d’Orsay.
The exciting exhibition of Frida Kahlo's art, fashion, personal possessions, and image in photos and film will close on Sunday, May 12th at 10 pm. All advance-sale timed tickets are no longer available, but you can try to purchase a timed ticket through the Membership link on the Brooklyn Museum's website, provided you become a member. Here is the info for new membership only
I will be among those unfortunates who missed the show - but such is life.
Conversation with Smaug, a watercolour painted by Tolkien in 1937 as an illustration for the first American edition of The Hobbit. In this image, Bilbo Baggins, rendered invisible by a magic ring, converses with the fire-breathing dragon, Smaug.
Tolkien:Maker of Middle Earth at the Morgan Library also closes on Sunday, May 12th. A brilliant show, I highly recommend going on Friday evening, when the Morgan is open until 9 pm. The lines for this show will be painfully long over the weekend, I am sure. (Don't forget to watch the video on the Morgan website, available with the link provided here.)
Augusta Savage, with Realization, 1938
For those of you who are seeking a less crowded museum visit for Mother's Day, may I suggest the New York Historical Society, which features two great shows:
Last January I visited Paris to review the Cubism show at Centre Pompidou and meet with my André Salmon colleagues to share our work. The trip was exhilarating and festive, especially around Notre Dame, still dressed in its holiday best for Christmas. This year's Crèche display was created in 2017 by Alain Deymier (the village) and Jean-Marie Fontanille (the manger). Here you see 15 meters of Provençal houses, shops, farms, and an inn arranged around the central theme, the Holy Family with shepherds and the 3 Magi, all in astonishing detail. Enchanting.
The manger in the 2019 Crèche
The village in the 2019 Crèche.
A view of the Crèche
A few days later, I decided to find that camera shot of Notre Dame in the distance which takes place in the new season of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel(on Amazon Prime). If you saw the series already, you may remember the scene where Midge Maisel's parents dance in front of an outdoor café in Paris with Notre Dame in the background. I couldn't imagine how the director found a place unobstructed by trees. So I just walked along the Quai de Montbello and the Quai de la Tournelle, looking backward as I sauntered on, all the way to Quai Saint-Bernard, and the Institut du Monde Arab (World Arab Institute). There, I turned toward the Pont de Sully and saw a path by the bridge leading to the banks of the Seine. I followed this inclined terrain down to the Port de la Tournelle along the right bank of the Seine. Lo and behold: a flat empty space came into view with an unobstructed view of Notre Dame. My quest had been fulfilled. Abe and Rose Weissman must have danced here.
Notre Dame from Port de la Tournelle
For more reminiscences of Notre Dame, please click on our "Homage to Notre Dame de Paris" in Bonjour Paris and Christopher Knight's historical perspective in the Los Angeles Times.
Standing in the narthex facing the altar
On the ambulatory behind the altar
A view of the ambulatory on the east side
From the crossing facing the Rose Window
A model in the a chapel off the ambulatory
International holiday greetings outside Notre Dame
Notre Dame facing the altar, April 16, 2019
Our hearts are with you, France, as we too mourn the devastation of this symbol of beauty, faith and spiritual transcendence. Contributions to the restoration of Notre Dame de Paris can be made through Friends of Notre Dame