in eMusings

Your eyes and ears on the world of art and culture. We remind you that 16 years of back issues of eMusings can be found on our archives page.

As one who spends a great deal of time trying to decode the future, I sometimes overlook the recent past. A gallery called 19C has some splendid examples of 19th century painting. While I am bothered by their current subject of male painters looking at women, I must admit that there are some beautiful paintings here.

Vivian Greven is a relatively new name to the art world. She lives and works in Dusseldorf, Germany. Her works achieve a sense of fragility and delicacy that is not often seen in this raucous world. Greven's signature pastel tones are deftly applied to the female form, gently abstracted and frequently passionate.

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi has been beset with controversies, like other planned projects on Saadiyat Island, under the direction of the Emirati government-owned TDIC (Tourism and Development Investment Company.) Now apparently on target to be completed in roughly 4 years, it will be part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation's world-side complex of museums. This one, first revealed 13 years ago, will be the largest of the Guggenheim museums, with an expected size of 320,000 square feet. Shown here is the wonderfully complex design by Frank Gehry.

During the first 40 years of the 20th century, both Austria and Germany saw a resurgence of the self-portrait in painting. The Neue Galerie in New York has assembled approximately 70 examples of the genre, giving viewers an unusual opportunity to think about how artists in that period saw not only themselves but also the world around them. Be sure to view the video in which the curator takes us through this exhibition, titled "The Self-Portrait, from Schiele to Beckmann". In a comment with eerie similarities to today's angst-ridden world, the Economist's 1843 magazine wrote: "German and Austrian artists…channelled their anxiety and existential dread onto the canvas, depicting themselves with ambiguous expressions or in visible distress."

50 years of the work of Villem de Kooning are being shown at the Mnuchin Gallery in New York City, the 11th deKooning exhibition shown at this space. On view through June 15, the show highlights the top works from each decade.

You can always identify the photographs of Erwin Olaf by their spare, lean, classically severe approach. No unnecessary details are allowed in these images. Every breath seems calculated, carefully punctuated, elegant in their apparent simplicity, while at the same time inviting a complex thought process that expands far beyound the picture's edges. No matter what the subject appears to be, it is fundamentally stripped down to its barest elements making its social and historical references that much more potent. This is a gifted eye.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has its fans and its detractors, but no one can deny the impact of this mammoth display of art and music. Last year saw over 100,000 people attend the festival. Outdoor sculpture is one of the essential elements of this sometimes raucous event, offering artists complete freedom to express their viewpoints in super-sized celebration. At this site you can see the works of 7 artists who participated in 2019, along with their comments about the experience.

A 22 foot high bronze sculpture of folded arms has been chosen to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King in the city of Boston, MA. The giant sculpture will be placed in the Boston common after near-unanimous selection by the art committee and several members of the public.

The paintings of Carroll Dunham are not for the faint-hearted. Anger, violence, and aggression vault off of the surfaces, often in a heightened sexual environment and frequently highlighted with bright colors and thick black lines. We may not be able to determine which figure is trying to destroy which, but it is clear that annihilation and physical damage are about to occur. Even when creating sculptures in painted aluminum and wood, Dunham cannot avoid an atmophere of confrontation with sensual overtones. In either medium Dunham's works are bold and dramatic.

Human body parts interwoven with the natural world are the hallmarks of Sarah Slappey. Fluidity and gesture dance together in a world of sensual reverberations, where restrained colors call attention to the sometimes sinister but always compelling flow. Slappey comments, "I think being in a human body is to be in a constant state of vulnerability", and that sense of fragility fills her canvases.

Abstractions with gesture and human dismay identify the works of Louisa Gagliardi currently being shown at the Rodolphe Janssen Gallery in Brussels. The human bodies are faceless and sexless, rendered flat in somewhat indecipherable environments, more helpless than hopeful. Computer techniques are mixed with other mediums in a puzzling world that appears caught out of context and blandly exposed.

The first textbook written by artificial intelligence has been published by researchers at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. Titled "Lthium-Ion Batteries: A Machine-Generated Summary of Current Research", the book was written by an algorithm and published by Spring Nature. It consists of 250 pages of research divided into chapters according to their subjects, with hyperlinks, introductions, and quoted sections all done without any human intervention.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is delighted with the response to its exhibition of the paintings of Hilma af Klint. More than 600,000 museum-goers have come to see the works of this Swedish artist since the show's opening in October of last year. The purpose of these mystical abstractions were described by a reviewer in Artforum in these words: "to make visible what the eye cannot see, to communicate esoteric knowledge without betraying it or distorting it with earthly references".

c. Corinne Whitaker 2019