Monday, October 28, 2013

In Praise of Color, Rust and Exuberance

Greg Haberny installation-"Burn All Crayons"

Dearest Readers,
On Sept. 19th I explored the galleries of one street in the Chelsea Art District of Manhattan. I walked along e. 24th from 10th to 11th Streets, crossed to the south side and walked back to 10th, strolling in and out of galleries on both sides. It took about two hours. I photographed my favorite pieces and will share them here. I found them robustly inspirational. Almost all are marked by an exuberance of color, courage, paint application, and joie de vivre.
Cristina de Miguel Untitled?
Elizabeth Murray-"Pleat"

Michael Brown-Versailles

Allison Miller at Susan Inglett Gallery

Marcello Lo Giudice

The rusty sculptures by Michael Brown with otherworldly photos of similar sculptures on snowy terrain, and the Versailles photo prints are perhaps exceptions to the exuberant theme, but they exude a gutsy love of odd yet daring juxtapositions of formal objects in ambiguous space and time.

I'll  conclude with a wildly funny paper mache installation of a NY City Bus by Red Grooms, part of a solo exhibition of his 3D paintings and assemblages at the Brattleboro VT Art Museum that I visited two days earlier. My friend Eleanora is a passenger half way down on the right. Grooms left one seat open for viewers to participate. I'm not a Red Grooms fan. He's captured the spirit and earthiness of the NYC commuter, but his work does not move me. It's a one-liner. Nevertheless he is exuberant, colorful and gutsy. I have to admire that.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Misty today, but a balmy 70˚. Mockingbird runs through her songbook outside my open window. A chipping sparrow relentlessly whittles away.

Dearest Readers,

I’m banged up, but finally getting back to blogging and to my life in GA after a summer in VT and a long drive home. I’m icing my jaw today after periodontal surgery, and sporting a semi-immobilizing cast on my left arm after a fall on the sidewalk in Brooklyn last month that also cracked my knee-cap. Life is doable, but clumsy.
Canna leaves_dried hydrangea and mulberry leaf_Decatur GA backyard10.13.2013

Canna flower, leaf and seed pods_mulberry branch_Decatur GA backyard10.13.2013

I made two ikebana arrangements this weekend from the remnants of foliage and flowers around my condo complex. It felt good to be creative. Please note that I take some liberties with the rules of Ikebana. I usually am sure to include the three main plant elements that represent heaven, earth and humanity, and the small guys called “helpers” , but I play around with the stem angles, often adjusting the recommended degree of tilt in favor of an inner sense of equilibrium.

I’ve also included a selection of woodland ikebanas I created in Vermont. Some you’ve already seen in previous blogs. The plants I used grew wild along the forested roadsides in a Northeastern region of the state that is moderately mountainous, damp and often dimly lit. Some flowers are invasives, like the Queen Anne’s Lace in the piece called Evening Ikebana, and a few seem to be runaway outcroppings of vegetation from nearby landscaping, like the thorny rosehips from a seed that found a patch of extended sunlight. That’s my guess. 
Bushy aster, unknown seed cases, branches and goldenrod_Peacham VT 9.5.2013

Day lilies, ferns_Peacham VT 7.22.2013

Evening Ikebana_Queen-Anne's-Lace, branches and misc. wild greenery_Peacham VT 7.29.2013

Goldenrod, "eyeball" berries (my name), unknown cluster-flower over a woodland leaf_Peacham VT 9.3.2013

Black eyed susans, bishop's weed, and misc. woodland greenery_Peacham VT 7.22.2013

Goldenrod and wild berries_Peacham VT 8.13.2013

1. Eyeball and poison berries (my names), and woodland foliage_Peacham VT9.3.2013
2. Same arrangement reworked of eyeball and poison berries (my names) + spiny wild cucumber_Peacham VT 9.5.2013

Rosehips, goldenrod, and wild berries with foliage_Peacham VT 8.22.2013

Wild grass, eyeball berries (my name), woodland berries with foliage, and black-eyed susans_8.24.2013

Wildflower bells, vetch, fern and unknown yellow star flowers_Peacham VT 7.2.2013 

That's it. I'm getting  back on the " art horse".