Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present

Posted in Art on June 15, 2010 by houseofcherrybomb

Marina Abramović. Portrait with Flowers. 2009. Black-and-white gelatin silver print; photo: Marco Anelli. © 2010 Marina Abramović. Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Abramovic has always dealt in shock and endurance, punishing the body, pushing viewers out of their comfort zones and the show at MoMA deals with these full on.  At MoMA she is attempting to go the limit, and also to reproduce literally the metaphysical interchange between artists and viewers. For the 700 hours of the exhibition, Abramovic will sit in the middle of MoMA’s atrium, at a table. You can sit across from her. There you will stare at her while she silently stares back. Viewers cried, ran away, or looked sick.  There’s something powerful and uncanny and pure about an unbroken gaze.

Probably the most talked-about part of the exhibition is a re-creation of a 1977 work in which Ms. Abramovic and her partner then, the German artist Frank Uwe Laysiepen, known as Ulay, faced each other naked within the frame of a gallery doorway, forcing people who wanted to enter to squeeze between them.  I felt it too personal, too much of an invasion of their space to walk between them but almost more interesting was watching how other people reacted and responded. Rather than shock or disgust, though, the overall mood in the galleries tended to be one of great seriousness, occasionally verging on reverence.

The one that moved me close to a trance was a woman perched nude on a bicycle seat high on a gallery wall, bathed in light, in a pose reminiscent of a crucifixion.  Another a nude man lay under a skeleton to make it appear to breathe. In “House With An Ocean View” (2002) she lived in Sean Kelly Gallery in Chelsea for 12 days, confined to three  rooms, together they suggested a triptych elevated above the floor, with the front wall open, allowing visitors to watch her ritualistically nap, shower, dress, drink water and urinate, then do the same all over again was beautifully recreated.

Whether you like this exhibition, laugh at it, or think of it a freak-show, there’s little doubt that Abramovic is opening up MoMA, injecting it with life, altering its course in ways that are excited to imagine for the future.

The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019-5497
(212) 708-9400

Anago Fillet….

Posted in Food on April 29, 2010 by houseofcherrybomb

“Kajitsu” Kyoto Temple Cuisine in NYC

Posted in Food on April 17, 2010 by houseofcherrybomb

In celebration of our wedding anniversary my itamae rider made reservations for us at the counter at Kajitsu an austerely beautiful Japanese Shojin restaurant.  Shojin cuisine refers to a type of vegetarian cooking that originates in Zen Buddhism. Even though it does not use meat or fish, shojin is regarded as the foundation of all Japanese cuisine, especially kaiseki, the Japanese version of haute cuisine.  Entering only gleaming wood surfaces and a naked slab of counter for the chef, Masato Nishihara, are visible along with the etherial waft of Japanese incense.  The 28 seat restaurant evokes the ceremonial tea rooms of Kyoto, I felt after a few cups of sake that we might have landed in Kyoto for the ocation.  The dishes were beautifully plated and as the food is considered Vegan the sauces, use of tofu and vegetables creates unusually new textures and flavors. The menu changes entirely each month, though house-made soba noodles are a constant. There are four-course ($50) and eight-course ($70) menus: the last includes dessert and matcha. A must for any Japanese food enthusiast Kajitsu is an authentic slice of Kyoto right in the middle of the East Village.

414 East Ninth Street  (212) 228-4873.

Tino Sehgal “Kiss” @ The Guggenheim

Posted in Art on March 13, 2010 by houseofcherrybomb

After all the snow in the city in February had melted I finally made it to see the show I wanted to see all month,  on the last day, Tino Sehdal’s part theater – dance performance piece “Kiss”. As you enter the Guggenheim rotunda the first thing you see is a sign forbidding the taking of photographs. This is standard Sehgal practice. If you have ever wondered what the museum would look like without any art, this is your chance all the art has been cleared away yet the space isn’t empty. On the rotunda’s ground floor, a man and woman entwine in a changing, slow-motion amorous embrace. It begins when you walk a short way up the rotunda ramp. A child comes over to greet you. My greeter, a boy of 9 or 10, shook my hand and  invited us to follow him and asked if he could ask me a question. “What is progress?” I gave a broad answer, then at his request, a clarifying example. We went further up the ramp. Soon we were joined by a young woman a teenager carefully and accurately our first guide paraphrased for her my response to his question and slipped away. I walked on with her, who commented on my comments on progress, which prompted me to try to refine my initial thoughts. About halfway up the rotunda, a man in his mid-30s and who introduced a new topic. As I had heard from others experiences it seems that we somehow missed a final pass off to someone who would end our journey up the ramp.  Non the less the experience of this conversation would never be the same as those of the other visitors and their guides. The only traces that would remain would be remembered ideas. A similarly material-free version of art was, of course, introduced by 1960s Conceptualism.

At the end, after the guides had disappeared, I felt moved and refreshed in the way I sometimes feel when I’ve seen art in some very bare-bones way. It really is about life and communication with no answers.  I was primed to go back for more but alas it was the last day and 5 pm at that.

“Tino Sehgal” was through March 10 at the Guggenheim Museum

Color Negative / Richard Misrach

Posted in Art on February 18, 2010 by houseofcherrybomb

Richard Misrach’s large-scale photographs now on view at PaceWildenstein are stunning examples of landscape photography.  All of the images in this show have been inverted to resemble enormous color negatives. The environments are still recognizable, many of the photos like one in which a lone figure appears in the distance seem almost other worldly.  These works mark a radical shift from his past work and show a new era in photography’s history. With the advent of digital photography, the analog process and the color negative will eventually be obsolete and with this body of work, Misrach carefully examines the evocative beauty of the color negative.

Pace Wildenstein

534 West 25th St., New York, NY 10001

Telephone: 212.929.7000

Locanda Verde / Tribeca Trattoria

Posted in Food on February 13, 2010 by houseofcherrybomb

A lazy afternoon at Locanda Verde in Tribeca is a perfect way to escape these cold winter days.  It actually looked balmy out with the sun streaming in along with the people.  The interior with wine-bottle-lined bookshelves, aluminum lamps, big baskets of fruit on the bar near the kitchen, has busy city vibe but still feels like you can spend the day sipping wine and sampling the delectable food as we did. The food is so seductive and reasonably priced you understand quickly why so many diners are clamoring to Andrew Carmellini’s bold family style fare. The menu is big but not overwhelming; the family style setup makes it easy to order from every section.  The Ravioli as delicate as silk handkerchiefs and the lamb sandwich cooked perfectly pared with the polenta sticks that I’m still asking our Itamae Rider to recreate for me, all have a wonderful lightness to them he’s got a knack for making hearty foods somehow taste light and Summery. Rising star sommelier Josh Nodel can assist you in selecting one of the reasonably prices wines, and do save room for Karen DeMasco’s homemade biscotti misti, it’s the best cookie plate in the city.

Locanda Verde

379 Greenwich St., New York, NY

212-925-3797

Joseph Beuys @ Mary Boone Gallery NYC

Posted in Art on February 6, 2010 by houseofcherrybomb

The Mary Boone Gallery has opened at its Chelsea location JOSEPH BEUYS: “WE ARE THE REVOLUTION”, a comprehensive exhibition of original works and multiples from the Hall Collection by this influential German artist. The exhibition has been organized and installed by independent curator and art historian Dr. Pamela Kort. This exhibition includes over one hundred and seventy-five of Beuys’ multiples, including such exceptional and sought-after editions as Celtic (1971), as well as the iconic Sled (1969), Felt Suit (1970), and Capri Battery (1985).

The two that stand out for me after seeing the show are the John Dillinger dollar bills (1974) and the “notable plastic” work (sculpture) The Horn (1969). These original works provide a philosophical and iconographical context against which his numerous and well-known multiples unfolded over time.

The making of multiples was integral to Beuys’ life; he used them as a vehicle for disseminating his aesthetic ideas to a wide audience, often utilizing commonplace found objects, materials and images that were familiar, yet loaded with personal significance (blood, fat, and felt chief amongst them). Clearly an influence on such artists as Mathew Barney, Tony Cragg , Martin Kippenberger , Robert Longo , Christian Marclay , and  Julian Schnabel.

Mary Boone Gallery

541 W. 24 Street
New York, NY 10011