Posts By andrea kirsh

Painting

Books that have crossed my desk

[Andrea offers brief reviews of two books she recently enjoyed, each very different. One focuses on how light–in its many incarnations–appears and is used as a tool in African Diaspora visual practices; the other on artists’ interest in history and its artifacts. — the artblog editors] Krista Thompson, Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice (Duke University Press, Durham: 2015) ISBN 978-0-8223-5807-7 Krista Thompson explores the common use of light, shine, and “bling bling” as a means of self-fashioning and collective agency by African-American, Bahamian, and Jamaican youth culture. She also traces these effects in the work of contemporary ... More » »

Installation view

Destroy, she said — a group show at the Boiler in New York

[Andrea enjoys a few chuckles at a show that asks viewers to re-examine the value of objects and material experiences, and also asks artists to obliterate their work after showing it only once. — the artblog editors] Saul Anton and Ethan Spigland curated the provocative, lively, and thoughtful exhibition Destroy, she said, on view at the Boiler, in Brooklyn, March 5 – April 5, 2015, on behalf of Pierogi . It coincided with the establishment of an online archive, the “Foundation for Destroyed Art,” where according to the announcement, “works of art will exist only in their documented destruction and ... More » »

Panel painting

Ink and Gold — The Art of the Kano at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

[Andrea shares how the Japanese shogunate influenced styles in one family of artists; introduces us to star artist Tan’yü; and recommends going to see this exhibit, as these invaluable works are very rarely shown in the U.S. — the artblog editors] Ink and Gold: The Art of the Kano at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) through May 10, 2015 offers multiple sources of visual delight. There’s the sweeping drama of scenes that unfold across more than 20-foot expanses, creating the illusion of distant landscapes nestled in an atmosphere of actual gold. Viewed up close, the painted screens, sliding doors, hanging scrolls, ... More » »

Artwork

Two books on Matisse and Picasso from the Museum of Modern Art

[Andrea praises two recent volumes detailing Matisse’s cut-out works, and 15 of Picasso’s early Cubist works, respectively, and enjoys the depth provided by the second book’s e-book format. — the artblog editors] Art historians working in museums, as opposed to those in academe, are always aware that the artworks they deal with are things–embodied, resulting from a series of decisions made by the artist, and subject to subsequent change. The literature on art, both academic and in museum catalogs, has not always acknowledged this physical reality, but fortunately it is becoming more common. Two recent publications from the Museum of ... More » »

Jewelry

From Ancient to Modern at NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

[Andrea leads us through the discovery of ancient Sumerian art and artifacts, and some of the modern works inspired by “Primitivism”. — the artblog editors] Unlike other exhibitions held in the two compact galleries of New York University’s elegantly-housed, uptown Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW), this one focuses on the past century. From Ancient to Modern: Archaeology and Aesthetics, on view through June 7, 2015, investigates the reception of Sumerian objects excavated at Ur by Leonard Wooley in the 1920s, and by Henri Frankfort in the Diyala River Valley in the early 1930s. The fascinating exhibition makes ... More » »

8

Thomas Chimes and Mari Shaw — a Philadelphia story

[Andrea attends a performative reading of a new book on Thomas Chimes, written by his longtime friend and artblog contributor Mari Shaw. — the artblog editors] Philadelphia artist Thomas Chimes (1921–2009) had a promising start: His work was shown in exhibitions across the country, in solo gallery exhibitions in NYC, purchased by the Museum of Modern Art, and displayed in a large-scale retrospective organized by the Ringling Museum of Art in 1968. When he heard that Marcel Duchamp, during a panel discussion in Philadelphia in 1961, had suggested that the great artist of the future would go underground, Chimes took ... More » »

The artist, surrounded by one of her sculptures, photo: L. Falquet, Paris: Anderson.

Books on Claire Falkenstein and Marie Zimmermann, successful women who should be better known

[Andrea reviews beautifully designed books on two female artists whose work, while successful during their lives, has largely been overlooked since. — the artblog editors] Claire Falkenstein Claire Falkenstein (The Falkenstein Foundation, Los Angeles: 2012), ISBN 978-1-4675-0834-6 This volume is a welcome survey of a successful, mid-20th-century artist, primarily known as a sculptor, whose work and reputation have inexplicably faded from view. She has disappeared from the record even more thoroughly than other artists working in the ’40s through ’60s who created cast and welded sculpture. That generation, deeply marked by the experience of war, was the last in a ... More » »

Crocodiles

Buried Panamanian treasures and mummy conservation –- live! –- at the Penn Museum

[Andrea digs into an engrossing exhibit that will fascinate art lovers and archaeology enthusiasts alike; she points out that the Penn Museum’s ancillary programming allows for some seriously in-depth connection with this show. — the artblog editors] Like the artifacts on view, many of them hidden in museum storerooms since the 1940s, the exhibition Beneath the Surface: Life, Death, and Gold in Ancient Panama at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (the Penn Museum), on view Feb. 7 – November 2015, exists on multiple levels. The collection of figured gold objects and particularly striking ceramics made by the Coclé ... More » »

Print

From the Digital Toolbox at Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts

[Here’s an in-depth look at a fascinating four-artist show delving into origins and variations of photography, memory, neural connections, and digital painting. This is the catalog essay of From the Digital Toolbox, curated by Andrea Kirsh. — the artblog editors] Now that cell phones and cameras allow everyone to generate digital images, it seems a good time to look at what artists are doing with digital technology. All four artists in From the Digital Toolbox trained as painters; yet each turned to digital tools, either adding them to studio equipment of brushes, paints, and drawing materials, or replacing traditional tools entirely. The artists were selected ... More » »

James Baldwin

Represent showcases 200 years of African-American art at the PMA

[Andrea investigates a varied show of African-American work at the PMA, and hopes it indicates a continuation of the museum’s recent outreach efforts. — the artblog editors] In 2001, the Philadelphia Museum of Art ( PMA) established the African-American Collections Committee to assist in the development of the museum’s collections. A catalog of the PMA’s holdings of work by African-Americans was a major goal of the committee, and has been in the works for the past decade. To celebrate its publication, the museum has organized the exhibition of 75 works by more than 50 artists, calling the show Represent: 200 Years of African ... More » »

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