Art News: The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994

STEPHEN BARKER, “The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994”

Exhibition dates: September 14 – October 28, 2017

Daniel Cooney Fine Art (508-526 West 26th Street, Suite 9C, New York, NY 10001, 212 255 8158. dan@danielcooneyfineart.com. Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 11 – 6) is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of photographs, “The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994“, by renowned photographer Stephen Barker. The exhibit will showcase approximately 15 never before seen black and white photographic portraits of AIDS activists – in the studio and at home – taken by Barker during his time working within the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) 1991-1994, and Barker’s unique artist’s book Funeral March, which chronicles the carrying of Mark Fisher’s body in an open coffin from Judson Church, up Sixth Avenue, to the steps of the Republican National Committee on the eve of the presidential election in 1992.

Rod Sorge (1969-1999) ACT UP Needle Exchange, 1991

Rod Sorge (1969-1999) ACT UP Needle Exchange, 1991

Barker became involved with ACT UP in the late 80s working primarily with the needle exchange program. The photographs were never intended as an encyclopedic project, but rather the portraits evolved organically out of Barker’s working relationships, friendships, and intimacies. The exhibition is especially timely during this 30th anniversary year of ACT UP when once again all underserved communities, including those living with HIV/AIDS, are threatened by our own government. It is a call to arms for activism and a reminder of the distance we have traveled and battles we have won.

Stephen Barker, 'Gay Wachman, ACT UP Needle Exchange,' 1992, Gelatin Silver Print

Stephen Barker, ‘Gay Wachman, ACT UP Needle Exchange,’ 1992, Gelatin Silver Print

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New-York Historical Society To Present Unprecedented Exhibition On The History Of The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War: 1945–1975, On View October 4, 2017 – April 22, 2018

One of the major turning points of the 20th century, the Vietnam War will be the subject of an unprecedented exhibition presented by the New-York Historical Society from October 4, 2017April 22, 2018. Bringing the hotly contested history of this struggle into the realm of public display as never before, the exhibition will offer a chronological and thematic narrative of the conflict from 1945 through 1975 as told through more than 300 artifacts, photographs, artworks, documents, and interactive digital media.

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American infantrymen crowd into a mud-filled bomb crater and look up at tall jungle trees seeking out Viet Cong snipers firing at them during a battle in Phuoc Vinh, north-northeast of Saigon in Vietnam’s War Zone D, June 15, 1967. Henri Huet / Associated Press

Objects on display will range from a Jeep used at Tan Son Nhut Air Base to a copy of the Pentagon Papers; from posters and bumper stickers both opposing and supporting the U.S. war effort to personal items left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC; from indelible news photographs (such as Eddie Adams’ Execution) to specially commissioned murals by contemporary artist Matt Huynh. While no gallery exhibition can provide a comprehensive, global perspective on this vast subject, the materials brought together in The Vietnam War: 1945–1975 will comprise a sweeping and immersive narrative, exploring, from a primarily American viewpoint, how this pivotal struggle was experienced both on the war front and on the home front. The Vietnam War: 1945–1975 was curated by Marci Reaven, New-York Historical Society vice president for history exhibitions.

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Interior of the USNS General Nelson M. Walker. Courtesy of Art and Lee Beltrone, Vietnam Graffiti Project, Keswick, VA. American servicemen initially traveled to Vietnam aboard WWII-era troop ships like the General Nelson M. Walker. Nearly 5,000 Marines and G.I.s crowded the Walker on each three-week voyage from Oakland, California to Danang or Qui Nhon, South Vietnam.

The Vietnam War: 1945–1975 signals a new ambition for the New-York Historical Society, which is to include in our exhibition program histories that are not only difficult but also as yet unresolved,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president, and CEO of New-York Historical. “This monumental exhibit challenges received wisdom about the origins and consequences of the War, relying on sources only recently made available to scholars as well as first person accounts of those who fought. As the exhibition shows, the War continues to provoke debate and discussion today and to dominate much of our thinking about military conduct and policy. The Vietnam War was the longest armed conflict of the 20th century, and today—more than 40 years after it ended―it continues to influence both public policy and personal convictions. We are grateful for the opportunity to offer the public a chance to better understand events and protagonists of the 20th century that reverberate well into the 21st.

Exhibition Overview

The Vietnam War: 1945–1975 sets the scene for the coming conflict through a display in an introductory gallery, where texts and materials about the onset of the Cold War document how the U.S. and its allies began to maneuver against the Communist bloc in regional confrontations after World War II while avoiding head-on engagement between the nuclear powers. Objects on view include a series of oil paintings by Chesley Bonestell imagining the destruction of New York City by Soviet atomic bombs and a newsreel from 1950 making the case for U.S. military action in Korea.

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Men of the 173rd Airborne Brigade on a search and destroy patrol after receiving supplies, 1966. National Archives at College Park, MD. The primary mission of U.S. forces was to destroy the enemy and their logistical network. American ground troops operated throughout South Vietnam, supported by naval and air campaigns. They defended the DMZ, pursued units in the hills along the Central Coast, combed through Viet Cong base areas in the Iron Triangle, and ranged across the upper Mekong Delta as part of an Army-Navy mobile riverine force.

The exhibition then takes up the story of Vietnam by recalling the successful struggle of the Communist-nationalist coalition Viet Minh to force France to abandon its claim to Vietnam, then part of the French colony known as Indochina. Archival footage from a CBS News broadcast illustrates the “domino theory” put forward by the Eisenhower administration in support of its desire to halt the spread of Communism in Asia, a mindset which contributed to the partitioning of Vietnam into North and South. Among the objects representing the experiences of the North Vietnamese and southern insurgents are a 1962 painting by the Hanoi-based artist Tran Huu Chat and a bicycle of the sort used by North Vietnamese forces for transport of arms along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Also on view is a scale model of the USS Maddox, one of the destroyers involved in the Gulf of Tonkin encounter with North Vietnamese forces in August 1964, which gave the Johnson Administration grounds for seeking Congressional authorization to increase U.S. military operations without a declaration of war.

On July 28, 1965, President Johnson spoke to the nation on TV to explain that it was up to America to protect South Vietnam and fight communism in Asia and that to be driven from the field would imperil U.S. power, security, and credibility. He also announced a dramatic escalation in the military draft.

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Draft card. Courtesy of Joseph Corrigan, C Troop, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Dak To, Vietnam 1967–68. President Johnson’s order to send more troops to Vietnam affected all men between the ages of 18 and 26. Registration for military service was compulsory. The Selective Service called up only the men needed while excusing the rest through deferments. Twenty-seven million American men were of draft age during the war. Forty percent served in the military, and about 2.5 million went to Vietnam.

Objects on view, like an original draft card, and displays will address various responses to the draft, which affected all men between the ages of 18 and 26. Archival footage of Johnson’s address announcing the doubling of the draft will be shown. Artifacts, such as graffiti created by soldiers on their canvas berths, from the troopship General Walker, which ferried draftees during the three-week voyage to Vietnam, will demonstrate the personal side of soldiers as they headed toward war.

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Detail. Tran Huu Chat, Spring in Tay Nguyen, 1962 and 2016. Lacquer engraving. New-York Historical Society. Hanoi art student Tran Huu Chat received high marks in 1962 for his lacquer engraving that depicted Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh organizing among the people to depose the French colonialists. Fellow Vietnamese would have understood that the artist was using the heroism of the Viet Minh to symbolically refer to the National Liberation Front, organized in 1960 to oppose the Diem regime and its U.S. backers. The original artwork hangs in Hanoi’s Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts. The 84-year-old Tran Huu Chat made an exact reproduction for this exhibition.

With this escalation of U.S. military involvement, the exhibition moves into a section that examines the conduct of the war and its repercussions both in the field and among American civilians. Two large, illustrated murals by noted artist and illustrator Matt Huynh, titled War Front and Home Front, depict key aspects of the years 1966 and 1967. War Front depicts the four combat zones in South Vietnam to show differing types of combat and highlight significant moments and battlegrounds. Home Front illustrates activity in the United States, including the Spring Mobilization, the largest antiwar demonstration to that date in American history, in which hundreds of thousands marched through midtown Manhattan on April 15, 1967.

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71st Evacuation Hospital patch belonging to Barbara Chiminello (left) and 57th Medical Detachment patch belonging to Thomas Chiminello (right). Courtesy of Barbara, Philip, and Eugene Chiminello. Siblings Thomas and Barbara Chiminello served alongside one another in Vietnam—Tommy as a Medevac helicopter pilot and Barbara as a nurse. These are their unit patches. In October 1967, Barbara received devastating news. Tommy and his crew had all been killed while responding to an urgent evacuation request.

The mural also shows a pro-war demonstration from May 1967 and other scenes of the war’s impact on national life. Interactive kiosks placed next to both murals bring them to life, allowing visitors to explore the events depicted through videos and photographs. Notable objects displayed in this section include a poster of a woman fighter in support of the southern insurgents, recreated by Tran Thi Van; helmets worn by U.S. and South Vietnamese government soldiers, dog tags, military patches, and field implements; letters from soldiers to their loved ones back home; a condolence letter on the death of a son; period magazines; posters and buttons both demanding an end to the war and urging support for the military effort; and a recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s April 1967 speech against the war. Continue reading

The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum Announces 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award and Hall of Fame Inductees

The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum announced its 2017 class of Photography Hall of Fame inductees, and first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Kenny Rogers, Ernest H. Brooks II, Harry Benson, Edward Curtis, William Eggleston, Anne Geddes, Ryszard Horowitz, James Nachtwey, Cindy Sherman, and Jerry Uelsmann will be recognized for the contributions they’ve made to the photography industry by the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum. (IPHF)IPHF-Logo

The IPHF annually awards and inducts notable photographers or photography industry visionaries for their artistry, innovation, and significant contributions to the art and science of photography. The 2017 Awards and Induction Event will take place on November 17th, 2017 in St. Louis, MO, home of the IPHF in the Arts District, Grand Center.

A nominating committee of IPHF representatives and notable leaders with a passion for preserving and honoring the art of photography selected the inductees. To be eligible for induction, nominees were considered based on the noteworthy contributions they made to the art or science of photography that had a significant impact on the photography industry and/or history of photography. The inductees, though widely differing in style and practice, are individually seen as significant innovators in their respective fields. They are all risk takers who introduced the world to new means of artistic representation and expression.

Kenny Rogers, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, photographer, and author, will receive the 2017 IPHF Lifetime Achievement Award, the first of its kind awarded by the IPHF. Continue reading

Canada’s Museum of Modern Art, Remai Modern, Announces October 2017 Opening

Inaugural Program Features World’s Largest Collection Of Picasso Linocuts, Artist-Led Projects, Immersive Installations, And Modern And Contemporary Art From Canada And The World

Canada’s museum of modern art, Remai Modern (pronunciation Note: the last name is pronounced RAY-mee), will open to the public October 21, 2017, in Saskatoon. The launch aligns with the international trend of world-class museums opening in unexpected destinations.

Remai Modern is located in Treaty 6 Plains Cree territory and the traditional homeland of the Métis. The museum is informed by the rich history of the Prairies, including Indigenous artists and cultures, progressive political support for art, and unique modernist legacies. The museum’s collection of nearly 8,000 works once resided inside popular local cultural center, the Mendel Art Gallery, and features the foremost collection of Picasso linocuts (406) and 23 Picasso ceramics. Remai Modern builds on the region’s arts legacy created by the former Mendel Gallery and the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops.

Remai-Modern-entrance-view

Remai Modern will open to the public October 21, 2017 in Saskatoon, Canada.

In 1944, the province of Saskatchewan elected the first democratic-socialist government in North America, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. In 1948 the Saskatchewan Arts Board was founded to provide vital funding to artists in all disciplines. At the time, it was only the second agency of its kind in the world. In the 1950s and 60s, influential modern artists and critics flocked to the Emma Lake artist workshops, just north of Saskatoon. Workshop leaders, including Clement Greenberg, Kenneth Noland, Barnett Newman, Donald Judd, Frank Stella, Anthony Caro and John Cage responded to the wilderness landscape and introduced new concepts. These retreats had a lasting impact on regional aesthetics and fostered exchanges between Canadian artists and the international art world.remai_modern_logo

Remai Modern’s collection of nearly 8,000 works was developed by the Mendel Art Gallery, which opened in 1964 and closed in 2015. An important component of Field Guide will be the Mendel Gift, 13 paintings by Canadian and European modern artists – including Lawren Harris, Emily Carr, and David Milne – donated by Fred Mendel in 1965 and forming the nucleus of the Mendel Art Gallery‘s collection.

Remai Modern will be opening on Treaty 6 territory in the newly developed River Landing area of south downtown Saskatoon, the largest city in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Located in Canada’s heartland, Saskatoon is a budding cultural hub for the worldly traveler to experience the region’s arts scene, local craft breweries, and food movement.

With an international airport only 10 minutes from downtown, travelers can access Saskatoon via daily flights from major Canadian and U.S. destinations. Air Canada and WestJet offer flights through major Canadian cities like Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa/Montreal and Toronto while Delta, United Airlines, and American Airlines fly to Saskatoon through destinations including Minneapolis, Denver, Salt Lake City and Chicago. Saskatoon is also home to a VIA Rail Canada station and is conveniently accessed by major highways.

This project is made possible thanks to contributions from Government of Canada, Province of Saskatchewan, and the City of Saskatoon. As well as program support from SaskCulture, Sask Arts Board, SaskTel, Canadian Heritage, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

The inaugural exhibition, Field Guide, curated by Executive Director & CEO, Gregory Burke, and Director of Programs & Chief Curator, Sandra Guimarães, will animate the entire building. Selected works from the museum’s collection will be displayed in dialogue with contemporary projects by international and Canadian artists. The collection includes some 8,000 works inherited from the (aforementioned) former Mendel Art Gallery, and the world’s most comprehensive collection of Picasso linocuts (406), plus 23 Picasso ceramics. Upon opening, Remai Modern will be an artist-centered institution that raises questions, inspires discussion, and enables transformative experiences among both local and global audiences.

Field Guide is not a thematic exhibition but rather a series of singular positions and coherent groupings of works that introduce Remai Modern’s program philosophy and direction, providing an open framework that invites consideration of a network of issues and questions impacting art and society today.

The concept for Field Guide emerges from a set of questions we asked ourselves during the establishment of Remai Modern, including What is modern? Can art confront reality? What is urgent and why? How will Indigeneity shape the future? And what role can be played by a new art museum opening in Saskatoon, Canada?” said Burke. “These questions, and others will continue to inform the development of our programs, articulating a spirit of active engagement, curiosity, and disruption.”

Rather than being a static display, the exhibition will change over time, creating new conversations and rethinking the idea of “modern” from multiple cultural, historic and contemporary positions. Accompanied by a strong focus on live and artist-driven programming, Field Guide introduces the museum as a dynamic field of relations.

The exhibition will be anchored by several major artist projects that propose new social, personal, and political engagements with the institution and its audiences. A full list of artists included in Field Guide will be announced in the fall and will feature emerging and established artists working in a wide variety of media and across disciplines.

New collaborative project by Tanya Lukin Linklater and Duane Linklater

As part of the opening program, renowned Ontario-based artists Tanya Lukin Linklater and Duane Linklater will introduce a new collaborative project in the Connect Gallery, Remai Modern’s free, ground-floor space sponsored by the TD Bank Group.

Responding to the museum’s positioning on the South Saskatchewan River, the artists are developing a physical and conceptual vessel to carry or hold Indigenous ideas, histories, objects, and forms. Titled Determined by the river, the installation will be activated with selections from Remai Modern’s collection, as well as works the artists will bring to Saskatoon. The river has been a gathering place and catalyst for movement for millennia, and the artists see it as a way to imagine Indigenous presences in the past, in the now, and into the future — a continuance. Their project asks, “How are these continuous presences activated in relation to the site of the museum?

The artists are also organizing a series of discursive events to accompany the installation, with contributions from Indigenous artists, filmmakers, curators, and writers, many of whom are based in Saskatoon, or have a relationship to Saskatchewan or the Prairies.

Debut of the Picasso Collection, curated by Ryan Gander

Remai Modern is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of Picasso linocuts, donated to the museum in 2012 by the Frank and Ellen Remai Foundation. The inaugural presentation of this collection will be curated by internationally renowned artist Ryan Gander.

Gander’s interest in the linocuts focuses on portraits, as a way to contemplate self-projection and self-image. For Gander, Picasso’s iconic persona makes it difficult to separate the artist’s work and life—they become one grand, extravagant self-portrait. Faces of Picasso: The collection selected by Gander proposes that to understand Picasso, we have to understand his representation of the self.Picasso-widget940x320final-620x211

While Picasso’s works line the gallery walls, the center of the room will be held by Gander’s installation Fieldwork (2015), also recently donated by the Frank and Ellen Remai Foundation. Through a window, viewers are presented with a rotating display of idiosyncratic objects connected to the artist. This personal inventory blends biography, memory, and fiction, with Gander’s distinctive sense of humor. Especially for this exhibition, Gander is producing a new object for the installation: a stack of drawings of every Picasso linocut in the museum’s collection. The drawings will also be reproduced in a publication, Picasso and I, offering an intimate catalogue of the collection as interpreted by Gander. Inexpensively produced and available at cost, the book aims to circumvent restrictions around reproductions of Picasso’s work, making the collection more accessible to all.

Critical Work-shop by Thomas Hirschhorn

As part of Field Guide, Thomas Hirschhorn will produce an immersive Critical Work-shop at Remai Modern, titled, What I can learn from you. What you can learn from me. (Critical Work-shop). In advance of the Work-shop, Hirschhorn will spend time in consultation with community groups and organizations in Saskatoon, conducting fieldwork and reaching out to “Teachers” and “Learners” – roles that can also be reversed. The artist will be onsite for the entirety of the Work-shop, from morning to evening, facilitating exchanges of knowledge, skills, and histories between Saskatoon residents and visitors. The gallery will be transformed into a true “Work-shop-Space,” with its own furniture, materials, tools, and hardware, proposing its own organization and logic.

What I can learn from you. What you can learn from me. (Critical Work-shop) will be the first “Presence and Production” work realized by Hirschhorn in Canada. It continues the artist’s approach of constant onsite engagement, as developed in recent projects such as Flamme Eternelle (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2014), and Gramsci Monment (produced by Dia Art Foundation and installed at Forest Houses in the Bronx, NY, 2013). These inclusive projects oppose hierarchies of culture and artistic value, encouraging unexpected encounters and critical social discourse. What I can learn from you. What you can learn from me. (Critical Work-shop) closely aligns with Remai Modern’s direction as a museum rethinking the conditions for learning.

The Remai Modern Experience

Set where the South Saskatchewan River meets downtown Saskatoon, Remai Modern has a dramatic impact on the city’s skyline. Designed by architect Bruce Kuwabara, founding partner of renowned Canadian architectural firm KPMB, the structure features four cantilevered, horizontal spaces inspired by the low, flat topography of the surrounding Prairie landscape. Portions of the museum’s exterior are covered in a copper-colored mesh screen created by James & Taylor, in a reference to the copper roof of Saskatoon’s landmark Bessborough Hotel.

In addition to acting as a gathering place for the local community, the elaborate museum will be an attraction for visiting Canadians, international travelers, and the global art community. Remai Modern‘s spaces are designed for dynamic experiences and will allow for world-class art to be showcased around every corner. The museum will boast intimate spaces and dramatic expanses, along with an atrium and outdoor terraces offering stunning views of the river and sky. The ground floor will feature large-scale art commissions, a changing gallery space, and an active learning studio, as well as a fireplace and open lounge areas, an art and design store, and a restaurant. On the second and third floors, visitors will find Remai Modern’s main programming spaces including collection galleries, a Picasso gallery and sizeable spaces for temporary and internationally touring exhibitions.

Other areas of the building include a 150-seat lecture theater, and impressive event and entertainment spaces, which will be used for performances, members’ nights, private rentals and community events.

The Whitney To Present Solo Exhibitions By Two Emerging Artists

Two New Exhibitions By Emerging Artists Will Be Presented By The Whitney This Summer.

Following close on the heels of the Biennial, The Whitney’s summer season builds on the strong energy of our emerging artists program,” remarked Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. “Both born in 1990, Bunny Rogers and Willa Nasatir offer a pair of distinct but complementary visions. Each explores mysterious, often dark, narratives within stagey, lapidary tableaus, Rogers through sculpture and video, Nasatir in photography.

Bunny Rogers (b. 1990), Clone State Bookcase, 2014

Bunny Rogers (b. 1990), Clone State Bookcase, 2014 (detail). Maple wood, metal, limited-edition Elliott Smith plush dolls, “Ferdinand the Bull” third-place mourning ribbons, and casters, 97 × 121.5 × 24 in. (246 × 309 × 61 cm). Courtesy the artist and Société. Photograph by Uli Holz

BUNNY ROGERS

For her first solo museum exhibition, Rogers will create a new body of work to be installed in the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gallery on the Museum’s first floor, which is free and open to the public. The exhibition goes on view on July 7.

In her work, Bunny Rogers (b. 1990, Houston, TX) draws from a personal cosmology to explore shared experiences of loss, alienation, and a search for belonging. Her layered installations, videos, and sculptures begin with wide-ranging references, from young-adult fiction and early 2000s cartoons, like Clone High, to autobiographical events and spectacles of mass violence, such as the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. Rogers’s techniques are as idiosyncratic as her subject matter. She borrows from theater costuming, design, and industrial furniture manufacturing, and often crafts her work by hand. This hybrid approach gives Rogers’s objects and spaces a distinct texture; they read simultaneously as slick and intimate, highly constructed, but also sincere.

Elisabeth Sherman, an assistant curator at the Whitney, who is co-curating the exhibition with curatorial assistant Margaret Kross, noted: “Rogers’s work reveals how certain emotions and traits that we consider to be completely opposite, like empathy and hate, sincerity and deceit, really exist in shades of grey. To paraphrase Rogers’s own words, the viewer may find that both extremes sit within themselves.

Rogers has had solo exhibitions at Greenspon Gallery, New York; Foundation de 11 Lijnen, Oudenburg, BE; Société, Berlin; and Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris. An artist book, Flowers for Orgonon, will be published in 2017. Continue reading

Museum Watch: “Irving Penn: Centennial” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Exhibition Dates: April 24–July 30, 2017

Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, Gallery 199

Irving Penn is one of the most important modern masters of photography and has inspired future photographers of all genres with his portraits, still lifes and fashion pictures. He is most famously known for having worked as a magazine photographer for Vogue and created numerous personal projects. His work forms significant parts of the world’s most renowned public and private photography collections.

Single Oriental Poppy (B)

Irving Penn (American, 1917–2009), Single Oriental Poppy, New York, 1968. Dye transfer print, 1987. 16 ⅞ × 21 ⅛ in. (42.9 × 53.7 cm). Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. © The Irving Penn Foundation

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present a major retrospective of the photographs of Irving Penn to mark the centennial of the artist’s birth. Over the course of his nearly 70-year career, Mr. Penn (1917–2009) mastered a pared-down aesthetic of studio photography that is distinguished for its meticulous attention to composition, nuance, and detail. Opening April 24, 2017, Irving Penn: Centennial will be the most comprehensive exhibition to date of the work of the great American photographer.

Rochas Mermaid Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn)

Irving Penn (American, 1917–2009), Rochas Mermaid Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), Paris, 1950. Platinum-palladium print, 1980, 19 ⅞ × 19 ¾ in. (50.5 × 50.2 cm). Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. © Condé Nast Publications, Inc.

The exhibition follows the 2015 announcement of the landmark promised gift from The Irving Penn Foundation to The Met of more than 150 photographs by Penn, representing every period of the artist’s dynamic career with the camera. The gift will form the core of the exhibition, which will feature more than 200 photographs by Penn, including iconic fashion studies of Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, the artist’s wife; exquisite still-lifes; Quechua children in Cuzco, Peru; portraits of urban laborers; female nudes; tribesmen in New Guinea; and color flower studies. The artist’s beloved portraits of cultural figures from Truman Capote, Pablo Picasso, and Colette to Ingmar Bergman and Issey Miyake will also be featured. Rounding out the exhibition will be photographs by Penn that entered The Met collection prior to the promised gift.

The exhibition is organized by Jeff L. Rosenheim, Curator in Charge of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Photographs, and Maria Morris Hambourg, an independent curator and a former Met colleague who founded the department.

After Dinner Games

Irving Penn (American, 1917–2009), After-Dinner Games, New York, 1947. Dye transfer print, 1985. 22 ¼ × 18 ⅛ in. (56.5 × 46 cm). Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. © Condé Nast Publications, Inc.

Irving Penn was born June 16, 1917, in Plainfield, N.J. Educated in public schools, he attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art from 1934 to 1938, where Alexey Brodovitch (a Russian-born photographer, designer and instructor who is most famous for his art direction of fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar from 1934 to 1958) taught him advertising design. While training for a career as an art director, Penn worked the last two summers for Harper’s Bazaar magazine as an office boy and apprentice artist, sketching shoes. At this time he had no thought of becoming a photographer.

His first job on graduating in 1938 was the art director of the Junior League magazine, later he worked in the same capacity for Saks Fifth Avenue department store. At the age of 25, he quit his job and used his small savings to go to Mexico, where he painted a full year before he convinced himself he would never be more than a mediocre painter.

Mouth (for L'Ore¦üal)

Irving Penn (American, 1917–2009), Mouth (for L’Oréal), New York, 1986. Dye transfer print. 18 ¾ × 18 ⅜ in. (47.6 × 46.7 cm).. Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. © The Irving Penn Foundation

Marlene Dietrich (B

Irving Penn (American, 1917–2009), Marlene Dietrich, New York, 1948. Gelatin silver print, 2000 . 10 × 8 1/8 in. (25.4 × 20.6 cm). Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. © The Irving Penn Foundation

Returning to New York, he won an audience with Alexander Liberman, art director of Vogue magazine, who hired Penn as his assistant, specifically to suggest photographic covers for Vogue. The staff photographers didn’t think much of his ideas, but Liberman did and asked Penn to take the pictures himself. Using a borrowed camera, and drawing on his art background and experience, Penn arranged a still life consisting of a big brown leather bag, beige scarf and gloves, lemons, oranges, and a huge topaz. It was published as the Vogue cover for the issue of October 1, 1943, and launched Penn on his photographic career.

Penn soon demonstrated his extraordinary capacity for work, versatility, inventiveness, and imagination in a number of fields including editorial illustration, advertising, photojournalism, portraits, still life, travel, and television.

Naomi Sims In Scarf

Irving Penn (American, 1917–2009), Naomi Sims in Scarf, New York, ca. 1969. Gelatin silver print, 1985. 10 ½ × 10 ⅜ in. (26.7 × 26.4 cm). Promised Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. © The Irving Penn Foundation

Truman Capote (4 of 4)

Irving Penn (American, 1917–2009), Truman Capote, New York, 1948. Platinum-palladium print, 1968. 15 7/8 × 15 3/8 in. (40.3 × 39.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith. Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1986. © The Irving Penn Foundation

In his earlier work Penn was fond of using a particular device in his portrait work, replacing it with a fresh one from time to time. At one time he placed two backgrounds to form a corner into which his subject was asked to enter. It was, as Penn explains, “a means of closing people in. Some people felt secure in this spot, some felt trapped. Their reaction made them quickly available to the camera.” His subjects during this ‘corner period’ included Noel Coward, the Duchess of Windsor, and actor Spencer Tracy, most of whom complied readily. Continue reading

The Jewish Museum Announces New, Major Collection Exhibition to Open Fall 2017

The Jewish Museums long-running collection exhibition, Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, originally mounted in 1993, recently close, making way for a major, new collection display, Scenes from the Collection, opening in Fall 2017. Culture and Continuity’s last day on view was Sunday, February 12, 2017.

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The Jewish Museum (New York) logo

The Jewish Museum‘s unparalleled collection spans 4,000 years of Jewish culture through nearly 30,000 objects, including painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, ceremonial objects, antiquities, works on paper, and media. Scenes from the Collection will transform the Museum’s third floor and feature over 650 works from antiquities to contemporary art – many of which will be on view for the first time at the Museum. The exhibition was designed by Tsao & McKown Architects.

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Hanukkah Lamp, Orivit-Aktiengesellschaft (1900-1905), Köln-Braunsfeld (Germany), 1900-05. White metal: cast and silver-plated; glass: mold formed, 13⅞ x 12¾ x 5 5/16 in. (35.3 x 32.4 x 13.5 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York, Gift of Dr. Harry G. Friedman (?), F 3573.

The new exhibition will be divided into eight different sections, or scenes, highlighting the diversity and depth of the collection. The new installation will present the collection as a reflection of the continual evolution that is the essence of Jewish identity, as well as a powerful expression of artistic and cultural creativity.

Scenes from the Collection will immerse our visitors in a dynamic and engaging experience. Developed collaboratively among the Museum’s curatorial staff, the new installation is a reflection of the Jewish Museum’s unique position as an art museum exploring Jewish culture and identity through a contemporary lens,” said Claudia Gould, Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director of the Jewish Museum.

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Torah Binder, Rabat (Morocco), 19th century. Cotton: embroidered with silk thread, 9 1/2 × 103 3/4 in. (24.1 × 263.5 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York, Gift of Sonia Cohen Azagury, 2004-64.

In addition, Scenes from the Collection will be flexible, with four scenes changing annually, and one changing every six months, so that different subjects can be examined while more of the collection is on view. The stories the works of art tell will illuminate multiple perspectives on being Jewish in the past and present, how Jewish culture intersects with art and the art world, and how it is part of the larger world of global interconnections.

The eight scenes are:

Origins

Scenes from the Collection will start from the beginning – the year 1904 when the Museum was founded with a gift of ceremonial objects from Judge Mayer Sulzberger. Central to this section will be the question of what, why, and how the Museum has collected and what this says about the changing identity of the institution, the Jewish community, and the art world.

Constellations

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Laurie Simmons (American, b. 1949), Woman Listening to Radio, 1978. Gelatin silver print, sheet: 7 15/16 × 9 15/16 in. (20.2 × 25.2 cm); image: 5 3/16 × 8 in. (13.2 × 20.3 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York, Purchase: Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Fund, 2013-1. © Laurie Simmons, image courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York

In “Constellations,” over 50 of the most visually powerful and culturally significant works in the collection – from antiquities to the twenty-first century – will be exhibited as individual gems but with powerful thematic connections to one another. Such issues will be explored as transforming and transcending tradition, cultural distinctiveness and universality, and ever-changing notions of identity. Groups of works will relate to each other aesthetically or contextually, creating multiple conversations. For example, three works that can be seen as challenging tradition are Peter Blume’s Pig’s Feet and Vinegar (1927), Laurie SimmonsWoman Listening to Radio (1978), and Nicole Eisenman’s Seder (2011).

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Nicole Eisenman (American, b. France, 1965), Seder, 2010. Oil on canvas, 39 1/16 × 48 in. (99.2 × 121.9 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York, Purchase Lore Ross Bequest; Milton and Miriam Handler Endowment Fund; and Fine Arts Acquisitions Committee Fund, 2011-3 © Nicole Eisenman.

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