Friday, January 24, 2020

Amedeo Modigliani - 100th Anniversary of his Death

Amedeo Modigliani (July 12, 1884 - January 24, 1920)

On January 24, 1920, the Jewish Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani died of tubercular meningitis in the Hôpital de la Charité.  His companion Jeanne Hébuterne (eight months pregnant) commited suicide by jumping out of a window at 3 a.m. on January 26, 1920.  Modigliani’s funeral on January 27th, was attended by a huge crowd at Père Lachaise, including Pablo Picasso, Max Jacob, Moïse Kisling, André Salmon and his friends, who were then barred from Jeanne’s funeral by her parents. Not completely deterred, Salmon, Kisling, Modigliani’s dealer Léopold Zborowski, and their wives went to the little suburban cemetery in Bagneux to put a wreath of white flowers on her grave, after her father and brother left. In 1930 Jeanne is reburied next to Modigliani.

To learn more about Amedeo Modigliani's life and legacy, please visit the Modigliani Project's website and also click on my review of the Modigliani exhibitions in 2018, published in Bonjour Paris

Amedeo Modigliani, Portrait of  Jeanne Hébuterne, 1918
(April 6, 1898-January 26, 1920)

From Peindre [Painting] by André Salmon:

Comme on boit un coup pour se mettre en train
Tu criais un chant du PARADIS ou du PURGATOIRE
Quitte, ayant bien crié, à t’en retourner boire;
Ah! j'entendrai toujours tes cris sur leurs silences,
Martyr dont le destin commence.
Nous avons une dernière fois trinqué avec Derain,
Ton album bleu comme un cahier de ciel était si lourd!
Ton corps pliait sous tes beaux habits de velours
Quelle ombre te mordait aux reins?
Et cette forme exquise que toujours tu peignais
Intacte a suivi ton essence où vont les morts, Modigliani,
Où les morts vont enfin vivre ce que valut la somme de leurs peines.

Le Dôme de Florence se mirait dans le Seine.

From Peindre [Painting] by André Salmon: 
Translated by Sandra Smith

While having a drink to get us going
You shouted out a song from PARADISE or PURGATORY
Then done, having sung so well, you got back to drinking
Ah! I will always hear your cries amid their silences,
Martyr whose destiny is just beginning.
We clinked glasses one last time with Derain,
Your album as blue as a notebook made of sky was so heavy!
Your body bending beneath your beautiful velvet clothes
What darkness gnawed at your insides?
And that exquisite form that you always painted
Has followed your essence, intact, to where the dead go, Modigliani
Where the dead can finally live out what all their pain was worth.

The Duomo in Florence reflected in the Seine.

Amedeo Modigliani's work in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art

Best wishes for the weekend,

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange
On Facebook
Twitter @BethNewYork

Monday, January 6, 2020

Beth's lecture on January 7th - Last Call for January and the Winter Holidays!

Félix Vallotton, La Paresse (Laziness), 1896

Greetings, Friends and Happy New Year!

Today is Three Kings Day, "Little Christmas" and Christmas Eve for members of the Christian Eastern Orthodox churches. Thank you, Hyperallergic, for providing the list and a great source to keep us up to date on art happenings and issues. If you haven't subscribed to Hyperallergic, yet, please make that your New Year's resolution.  Thank you, Hrag Vartanian, for a great online art magazine that is absolutely free!

Félix Vallotton's print, Laziness, is part of a wonderful exhibition of this Swiss artist's paintings and prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, through January 26th.  The show is located in the Lehman Wing, so it's a small selection of his work - not too taxing for the weary.

Also, Vallotton and other non-French artists will be featured during my lecture at the Byram Shubert Library, Greenwich, CT on Tuesday, January 7th - that's tomorrow - at 5 pm.
The title is "When Modern Art Came to Paris: Immigration and Assimilation." The talk will highlight the great artists who came to Paris and contributed to modern art when this "City of Light" was the mecca for all aspiring artists. Those who stayed, the immigrants like Vallotton, belong to our concept of "French art."  Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Sonia Delauney, and Amedeo Modigliani were other immigrants who established their careers in France and became part of the French avant-garde during their respective lifetimes.  On January 24, 2020, we honor the 100th anniversary of the  death of Modigliani

I hope you will be able to join us at the Byram Shubert Library at 5 pm - it's free and open to the public.

Other exhibitions that are closing:
Vija Celmins, through January 12 (at the Met Breuer).
The Cloisters: The Colmar Treasures: A Medieval Jewish Legacy, through January 12.  
The Last Knight closed on January 5th - here is the exhibition page to view online.

Michael Amitage, through January 20
Energy, through  January 26
Betye Saar: The Legends of a Black Girl's Window, closed January 4 - here is the exhibition page to view online.

Hans Haacke: All Connected, through January 26

John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal, through January 12

Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere, through January 12

Abstract Expressionist Women of 9th Street Show, through January 26

Vera Neumann (Vera scarves), through January 26
Anna Sui, through February 23

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2020 -

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange
On Twitter: @bethnewyork

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!

Happy New Decade!

Wishing you peace, joy and plenty of art adventures in 2020!

The New York Arts Exchange