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As I prepare to move my studio to Carmel, CA, I want to alert you to the paintings of Patricia Qualls. Working in a tall-ceilinged building in Carmel Valley, some ten miles out from the village of Carmel, Qualls produces intensely expressive canvases on a large scale that draw you in to add your memories and insights to hers.

Like myself, I suspect that most of you are familiar with the dark canvases of Anselm Kiefer, usually laden with references to German history and culture. You may be surprised, then, to see his newest work on view at the Gagosian Gallery in New York. These pieces are laden with lush, sensual imagery done in watercolors. The title of the exhibition, "Transition from Cool to Warm", suggests the change to a less disturbed mindscape for the painter.

A review of another show by Art News takes a decidedly less laudatory tone. Their headline reads "A Disastrous Damien Hirst in Venice", as the article proceeds to describe the pieces as "devoid of ideas, aesthetically bland, and ultimately snooze-inducing". Although the reviewer does admire two pieces of sculpture, he basically pans the work as tasteless and vulgar, in spite of the obvious fortune spent in producing them.

For a lively view of what's happening in the art world today, surf over to the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Here you will see an exhibit called "The Creative Act: Performance, Process, Presence". In spite of the self-important title, there are some interesting projects shown - among my favorites are "New York Dancer I", by Gunther Uecker; "Pirodactyl", by Niki de Saint Phalle (always a stand-out); and "Painting", by Tanaka Atsuko.

Watch this Triadic Ballet by Bauhaus & Schlemmer first, before you read any more about it. Then think about the fact that it was performed in the 1920's by human dancers, not robots. The program was conceived of by Oskar Schlemmer, a painter, dancer, sculptor and designer, who wanted to "free art from its restrictions" by expanding the ways and the spaces that our bodies occupy. I find it both fascinating and somewhat chilling.

An artist living in a suburb of Milwakee has created his own distinct universe, now being shown at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Eugene Von Bruenchenheim is variously described as an autodidact, self-taught, and an outsider, all phrases that I find condescending and tactless, as though great artists are only made by great art schools. In spite of that unfortunate labeling, Von Bruenchenheim fashioned a fantasy world often revolving around his wife and muse, Marie. Passionately concerned about humanity's ability to destroy itself with its constant warring, he incorporated his love of biology and ceramics into a mini-environment pulsing with energy. "I am from another world, I always felt so", he said. We are fortunate to enter that world with him in this exhibition.

The world of art is indeed a curious place: a recent study of 2000 artifacts at San Francisco's Mexican Museum came up with the startling finding that 1917 of the pre-historic objects are either fakes or come from a more recent period. The report was undertaken by the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City. As a result, the Museum's entire collection of more than 16,000 pieces will be examined for authenticity. One of the problems appears to be that the Museum's former policy was to accept everything without questions: that policy has now changed.

Once more we visit a private collection, this time the Sammlung Goetz contemporary art collection located in Munich. Among some very interesting works I find also a delightful sense of humor which is quite rare in today's sturm und drang mindset.

For those of you who are fascinated as I am by the inventive genius of John Cage, there is a concert at the Guggenheim Museum of Cage's "Vexations" on September 26, starting at 7 pm and continuing through September 27 at 1 pm. Cage originally produced it in 1963 with a multitude of pianists: the score was to be repeated 840 times and the performance(s) lasted almost 19 hours. As of this writing, the Guggenheim had not yet announced the names of the performers.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2017