Saturday, October 17, 2020

Zooming with artist Ruby Silvious: An interview hosted by the Greenwich Arts Council on Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 7 pm


Recycled & Refashioned: An Interview with Ruby Silvious

  • This virtual event is part of Greenwich Arts Council Selective Space Series

    To RSVP please at You will receive a Zoom link to participate in this virtual lecture.

  • Looking forward to seeing you there!

  • Beth

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Simmie Knox, 2000

Simmie Knox, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2000

Thank you for your wisdom, your courage
 and your numerous contributions -

May your memory be for a blessing


Friday, September 11, 2020

Remembering Michael Rolando Richards (Brooklyn, August 2, 1963-WTC, September 11, 2001)

Michael R. Richards, Winged, 1999


 “The idea of flight relates to my use of pilots and planes, but it also references… the idea of being lifted up, enraptured, or taken up to a safe place–to a better world.”  

 ---  Michael Richards

Michael R. Richards in Miami, 1999

On September 11, we remember the vibrant Michael Richards, whose career was certainly on the ascendant when planes attacked the World Trade Center, killing him in the studio of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council on the 92nd floor of the North Tower. Thousands perished on that day and subsequently from health-related conditions caused by spending time at the site, cleaning up or living in the area.  The devastation of this heinous act goes well beyond the recorded and unrecorded. We are still processing the moment and the aftermath.

Michael R. Richards, Tuskegee Airman, 1999

We are also still processing the loss of Michael Richards, especially at a time when his work is more relevant than ever.  We see the model Mustang planes piercing his sculpted body in a Tuskegee Airman's pilot suit and think "how prescient!"  The miniature planes remind us of the attack from the massive passenger jets piercing the WTC Twin Towers on that sunny morning in 2001.  

Michael R. Richards, Are You Down?, Franconia Sculpture Park, created in 2000, installed in 2012

Today, nineteen years later, Michael Richards' work seems more relevant to the Black Lives Matter moment, because he work always addressed BLM issues: Black aspirations met with systemic racism that weighed down upward mobility. In Winged (1999) we see black arms fringed in feathers, spread out like Christ on the Cross, reminding us of persecution and the desire to transcend the daily grind of microagressions.

Richards said that his work“allows for an examination of the psychic conflict which results from the desire to both belong to and resist a society which denies blackness even as it affirms. In attempting to make this pain and alienation concrete, I use my body, the primary locus of experience, as a die from which to make casts. These function as surrogates, and as an entry into the work.”

From this statement, we can continue to believe that Michael Richards still lives among us, in these personal effigies that speak more powerfully and poignantly in our current political climate. 

Michael Richards: Winged, a retrospective exhibition  on Governors Island, Summer 2016

The Michael Richards Grant to support a Miami-Dade artist was established by Oolite Arts a few years ago.  For more information click on to this link.  For more information about Oolite (formerly known as the ArtCenter/South Florida), click on to the link here:

Today we remember Michael Rolando Richards.  May his memory be for a blessing.


Friday, September 4, 2020

Zooming into Fall with Lectures, Online Articles and Museum Appointment Info


Vincent van Gogh, Tree Roots, 1890

Dear friends of the New York Arts Exchange,

September is here with the promise of refreshing autumn breezes. And yet, confusion still reigns over the New York area as we continue to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic.  Whom do we trust?  Where should we go without concern for our health?  Should I make an appointment with a museum or wait a bit until the museums test their new procedures?  

I prefer prudence and will continue to Zoom my classes at Mercy College and at other venues this fall.  

Here is Beth's Fall Schedule on Zoom.  Click on the titles to find the website and register with the specific organization.

Wednesday, September 23rd at 7 pm: "Vincent van Gogh's Auvers Period: Considering the Latest Revelations."  Hosted on Zoom by the Greenwich Arts Council
Free for Members of GAC; $15 for non-members.  Register through the GAC

Tuesday, October 13th at 10 am: "Three Important Contemporary Black Artists: Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley and Yinka Shonibare."  Hosted by Learning in Retirement. 
Fee: $5.  Register through LIR.

Wednesday, October 21st at 7 pm: "Recycled and Refashioned: The Art of Ruby Silvious." Hosted by the Greenwich Arts Coucil.  This is an interview with Ruby Silvious with plenty of time for a Q and A.  Mark your calendars - not to be missed! 
Free to member of the GAC. $15 for non-members.  Register through the GAC

Thursday, November 12th at 7 pm: "Andy Warhol and the Pop Revolution." Hosted by Byram Shubert Library, Greenwich, CT.  Free.  Register through BSL.

James Tissot, Seaside (Portrait of Kathleen Kelly NewtonP, 1878

People often ask: What are you up to these days?  Well, I am ashamed to admit, I didn't "Marie Kondo-ize" my house, as I promised myself back in March  Instead I wrote articles on art, because this is my #1 passion.  Here are a few examples on the New York Arts Exchange blog: Lester Rapaport, Fereshteh Priou, Chizuru Morii Kaplan, and Ruby Silvious.

Jacqueline Marval, Les Odalisques, 1903

Here are my articles in Bonjour Paris articles since April 2020:

And finally, museums are beginning to open again.
You have to make appointments, which at first seems strange until you discover that you don't miss navigating through the midday mobs.

Here are the websites for reservations in NYC:

New York Historical Society:

El Museo del Barrio has posted guidelines, but does not require reservations:

Farther afield:
Hudson River Museum, Yonkers:
Il Magazzino, Cold Springs:
Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, NY:

Best wishes for your Labor Day Weekend,

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Perfect Pleasure: Ruby Silvious' Exhibition at Albany Institute of History and Art, through August 30, 2020

Recycled and Refashioned: The Art of Ruby Silvious reminds us that art must be seen in person. Even if today's digital approximations satisfy our curiosity, the artwork itself cannot be known, unless, of course, the work was meant to be only a digital image. Ruby Silvious' magnificently painted teabags, books, eggshells, kimonos, and whimsical pistachio nutshells require careful study. The textures and colors offer the eye such pleasure, lingering over every detail.  The creativity and beauty in every millimeter make this substantial show even grander. There is so much to see and savor.   

Ruby Silvious' show opened on January 25th and closed in March during the Covid-19 shutdown.  Fortunately, New York State museums opened on July 25th.  The Albany Institute of History and Art is housed in a beautiful building with plenty of space for social distancing. Visits require a timed ticket. And don't forget your mask! It's required.  NB: the show ends definitively on Sunday, August 30th.

Days open are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm.  Sunday, 12 noon - 5 pm..  Please make an effort to see Ruby Silvious' Albany Institute exhibition as soon as possible.The pilgrimage is worth it!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Bonjour Adrienne Fidelin, Man Ray's Muse and Model, and Beth's First Museum Quiz

Dear Friends,

Bonjour Paris recently relaunched its website with a beautiful new look - refreshed and ready for the reopening of museums and other "non-essential" activities. Please support Bonjour Paris, the insider's guide to la vie française by signing up for the weekly newsletter today -  Merci beaucoup

Photo from Roland Penrose, Portrait of Picasso, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1971, page 64.
Photographed by Beth S. Gersh-Nesic

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the art historian Wendy A. Grossman about her fascinating article on Adrienne Fidelin, the little-known muse and model who lived with Surrealist  American artist Man Ray for about 5 years (1935-1940).  The photograph above records the tight-knit group of Surrealists vacationing during the summer of 1937, hosted by the gallerist Marie Cuttoli (now the subject of an exhibition at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia) and her husband Senator Paul Cuttoli. Note that Adrienne Fidelin, sitting on the extreme left, was identified as "a friend," as if the author did not know her.  That was far from the truth.  Adrienne Fidelin, known as Ady to Penrose et al., came from her birthplace Guadeloupe to Paris as young teenager, following the deaths of her parents. Dr. Grossman's essay about Ady, who was also the first black model to grace an American high fashion magazine, Harper's Bazaar, asserts that Picasso's painting Woman Seated Against Yellow and Pink II (1937) is based on her likeness. Indeed, we might consider this a Surrealist "portrait" in the same vein as other portraits from this period. In her Bonjour Paris interview Dr. Grossman described how she researched a person who became "invisible even in plain sight."

Claude Monet, Impression: Le Havre, 1872

Also in Bonjour Paris, my first museum quiz!  

Do you remember where you can see Claude Monet's Impression: Le Havre, the great namesake of the Impressionist movement?  Is it in the Musée d'Orsay or Musée Marmotton?  Test your memory of where to find Paris' best known works of art right here.

Bonne chance - et bon weekend,

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Fourth of July Greetings

Friday, June 19, 2020

Juneteenth 2020 - Celebrating 155 Years Since the End of Slavery

From the mouths of babes we learn so many historically significant facts. Schools have been teaching youngsters about Juneteenth through children's picture books for several years. However, if you haven't been around elementary school children for a while, you may not be up on your Juneteenth traditions. This year consider sharing All Different Now: Juneteenth, The First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson, adorned by the magnificent illustrations of E.B. Lewis.  Here is a sample on Amazon, along with other suggestions for books on the holiday. You can also check out your local libraries' websites and other websites on Juneteenth for information. Hopefully, Juneteenth will be an official national holiday next year.

Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900, in Texas
An annual celebration in Texas sinc 1866

Juneteenth 2020 marks the 155th anniversary of the arrival of Union General Gordon Granger in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was made law on January 1, 1863. While it was believed these African Americans were the last slaves freed, evidence tells us slavery was not totally abolished in the US territories until December 1865 with the ratification of the 13th Amendment. Today, in the age of Covid-19, we can celebrate in social-distanced gatherings, such as one at St. Barnabas Church in Irvington, from 2 - 6 pm; Mount Vernon this morning on the steps of the City Hall; and Haverstraw City Hall, Rockland County, at 6 pm. Or virtually, through numerous programs online. In Greenburgh, N.Y, we have a motorcade at noon, followed by a Zoom presentation at 8 pm. The link is here.

Courtesy of the New York Public Library
Courtesy of the New York Public Library

Programs are available through the New York Public Library System throughout the day too, online.  For more information click here.

Let us rejoice in the celebration of freedom for all.
Best wishes,
Beth and the New York Arts Exchange

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange