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Many of the artists will be present at the opening and happy to talk about their work. Some of the art works are nudes, but parents who are not prudes will find the exhibit child friendly.

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Video portrait by John Feldman of artist Helen Frankenthaler commissioned by Purchase College School of the Arts for the 2008 Nelson A. Rockerfeller awards.

LA Times obit

NY Times critic's notebook: Two Artists Who Embraced Freedom

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This series of illustrations via Rumpus comics is cool and adorable and fascinating. If you're not a librarian and have never used a library nor loved an illustration you can skip this. If you are, or have, or do, go ahead and click: therumpus.net

Read more... )
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The Great Wall of Vagina

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THE GREAT WALL OF VAGINA is FINISHED!!. The world Premiere will be in the Brighton Festival Fringe in May 2011

For this, my latest major sculpture, I cast, over the course of 5 years, the vaginas (well the vulva area in fact) of hundreds of volunteers. The Great Wall of Vagina is an exploration of women's relationships with their genitals. When I assembled the first panel of 40 casts in summer 2008, I stepped back disappointed. I realised the sculpture would need to be much bigger to have the impact I wanted. From this original piece (called Design A Vagina) has grown an epic sculpture. The final piece now has 400 casts arranged in 10 panels of 40.

"Why did I do it and what's it all about?" I hear you ask. Well, it became clear to me whilst working on a not dissimilar piece for a sex museum that many women have anxiety about their genital appearance. It appalled me that our society has created yet one more way to make women feel bad about themselves. I decided that I was uniquely placed to do something about it.

The sculpture comments on the trend for surgery to create the 'perfect' vagina. This modern day equivalent of female genital mutilation is a bizarre practice which suggests that one is better than another. Taste in nothing is universal and any desire for 'homogyny' could be very misguided. 400 casts arranged in this manner is in no way pornographic, as it might have been if photographs had been used. One is able to stare without shame but in wonder and amazement at this expos´┐Ż of human variety. For the first time for many women they will be able to see their own genitals in relation to other women's. In doing so they may dispel many misconceptions they may have been carrying about what women look like 'down there'. The sculpture is serene and intricate and it works on many levels.

Included are identical twins, mothers and daughters and examples of male to female and female to male transsexuals. Ages range from 18 year old students to a grandmother of 76. I really wanted to include as many possibilities as I could. I spent the entire 5 years seeking a victim of female genital mutilation who would like to be included but sadly without success. The more inclusive and complete I could be in this survey the more power this sculpture would have.

***I will be creating one more panel of 40 casts to be auctioned for a women's charity. If you'd like to be cast for that please get in touch. NB Casting for the Great Wall of Vagina in now completed. ***

As featured in The Argus, You Tube, Channel 4's G-Spot and The Sun

For more info get in touch via the Contact page...

Frequently Asked Questions about The Great Wall of Vagina

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Art works in Tabla Rasa's ongoing exhibits in the front of the gallery are more expensive, but after viewing those exhibits continue to the backroom (where art works are stored and packed for shipping and the gallery owners have their office) for an art sale in which all art works have prices no greater than $400. 

 

View the slideshow and read the entire article on examiner.com

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On Friday October 29, 2010 The Jewish Museum will present Houdini: Art and Magic, the first major art museum exhibition to examine the life, legend and enduring cultural influence of Harry Houdini. The exhibit will explore the career and lasting impact of the magician, escape artist, vaudeville entertainer, silent movie actor, author and lecturer through 163 objects including 26 recent works of art inspired by Houdini. The exhibit, which will appeal to both children and adults, will remain at The Jewish Museum through March 27, 2011, after which it will travel to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Madison, Wisconsin.

Houdini was born Ehrich Weiss in cosmopolitan Budapest, Hungary, in 1874, and emigrated with his parents in 1878 to rural Appleton, WI where his father, a rabbi, was hired by the local Reform synagogue. After several years the congregation decided they wanted a native born rabbi whose English was more fluent, and the family moved to New York where as an avid runner, swimmer and boxer Weiss developed the training regimen that would prepare him for the rigorous physical feats he would later perform as an escape artist.

Weiss began his career as a magician after his father's death in 1892, initially performing card tricks. He chose the name Harry Houdini in honor of the French magician Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin; his family affectionately nicknamed him "Ehree" which became Harry. Houdini married Bess Rahner, a Coney Island song and dance performer who became his stage partner. One of their first acts was the "Metamorphosis" where Bess was locked in a trunk and in a matter of three seconds she and Houdini would trade places. In another trick he would apparently swallow several needles and a yard of thread and then pull the tread from his mouth with the needles threaded on it.

But his greatest fame came from his ability to free himself from handcuffs, ropes, or straightjackets sometimes dangling from a suspended rope or immersed in a tank of water. In a press conference during a press preview of the exhibit on Monday guest curatorBrooke Kamin Rapaport pointed out that Houdini was one of fourteen million Europeans who immigrated to the United States in the final four decades of the nineteenth century in search of personal, religious, political and economic freedom and who responded viscerally to his courageous acts of self-liberation. At the same press conference magician David Blaine said that he feels most alive, that his senses are most acute and colors are more vivid, when he places himself in danger as did Houdini before him. To be continued...

The Jewish Museum's Shifting The Gaze: Painting and Feminism exhibit that I discussed in my September 12, 2010 article continues until January 30, 2011. If you haven't seen it take time to do so when you come for the Houdini show.

Museum hours are Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays 11:00 AM to 5:45 PM; Thursdays 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM; and Fridays 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, $7.50 for students, and free for children under 12 and for Jewish Museum members. Admission is free on Saturdays. The Jewish Museum is located on the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street in Manhattan.

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"Brooklyn 2010" by Joan Snyder

The works of two abstract painters who are also Jewish New Yorkers are the subjects of solo shows at two Manhattan galleries. The Betty Cunningham Gallery is displaying fifteen paintings by Joan Snyder through October 30, 2010 in an exhibit entitled "A Year in the Painting Life." The gallery is located at 541 W 25th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues in Chelsea and is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Readers of this column may recall that Joan Snyder is one of the artists whose work is included in the Jewish Museum's "Shifting The Gaze" exhibit which I described in my September 12, 2010 article.

This exhibition focuses on paintings reminiscent of Snyder’s early stroke paintings of the 1970’s and field paintings of the 1980’s. In her newest paintings Snyder continues to use a variety of media. In "Oh April," a triptych and the largest painting in the show, Snyder uses (in addition to oil and acrylic on linen) burlap, fabric, pastel, dirt, herbs and seeds. In "Ode to B," a memorial to a close friend, red strokes, some appearing to be hearts, drip to the base of the painting, and small ghost-like sail boats traverse the impastoed white surface. Joan Snyder was born in Highland Park, NJ in 1940. She received an AB from Douglass College in 1962 and a MFA from Rutgers University in 1966. She lives and works in Brooklyn and Woodstock, NY. Throughout her career, Snyder has received a host of prestigious awards and honors. Most recently, in 2007, as mentioned above, she was honored as a recipient of The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

Heskin Contemporary is featuring the work of Russell Roberts through December 4, 2010 in an exhibit entitled RUSSELL ROBERTS: POCKETS OF ACCUMULATION includes a new series of oil paintings and a selection of works on paper. The gallery is located at 443 West 37th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues and is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from noon to 6:00 PM. The following is an excerpt from the catalogue adjoining the exhibition written by the artist and writer Jennifer Riley:

Russell Roberts is an accomplished mature abstract artist working in the medium of paint for some time. In his new abstract paintings multiple gestalts and provocative explorations of painting history combine into images that resist easy categorization. Roberts embraces the flexibility and fluidity of the medium of painting for both its literal and metaphorical possibilities.

In a time of widening spectacle, gloss and speed, Roberts exploits the slowness of the mediums liquidity and transparency, its opacity and density. Some works feature line others celebrate form, many juggle or balance both. Using fragments, layers, lines, drips, washes and erasures these works depict a stratified and changing world in which multiple formal differences and often opposing elements conjoin to form new and integrated identities. In his complex structures, he collides organic irregularity with geometric and biomorphic shapes, and articulates stretches of canvas with an expansive range of unpredictable and constantly surprising color.

Mr. Roberts grew up in New York city, graduated from Vassar College, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and received an MFA from Boston University in 1995. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Painting in 1997, a grant from the Mass Arts Council in 2002 and an Albee Foundation Fellowship in 2006 and 2008, among others. He was the Artist-in-Residence at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 2003. He has had one- person exhibitions at Binghamton University, UNC Chapel Hill, Farrell- Pollock Gallery, Boston University and a two- person show at the Painting Center, NY. This is Roberts’ first exhibition at Heskin Contemporary.

For more info: David Cooper

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Regular readers of this column are familiar by now with my coverage of Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition's thrice yearly large group shows in a Civil War era warehouse building on the Red Hook waterfront (see my article on the Spring 2010 show). This past Sunday I previewed the Summer 2010 show that opens on Saturday July 17 and continues on weekends from 1:00-6:00 PM through August 22, and I was struck by the high quality of the work (see the slideshow below). In past articles I have noted its affordability, the diversity of styles and backgrounds of the artists, and that Jewish artists are somewhat overrepresented, all of which applies to this show as well.  As was the case in the earlier BWAC shows my wife Shoshana Cooper is one of the BWAC artists whose work is exhibited.




4 Ways of Green, glass and metal, by Renee Radenberg
David Cooper


Many of the works offered this time are quite affordable (there are small, and in at least one artist's case framed, photos for $25) for people on middle to upper-middle class budgets; most are priced from the mid two figures to four figures, and there is a charity auction where prices start at $50.  The exhibit is located at 499 Van Brunt Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn opposite the Fairway Supermarket (see the BWAC website for directions). The views of the harbor outside the exhibit space would be worth the trip and with the exhibit are a lovely bonus (see my article about the Summer 2009 show for photos).

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To read the article click here

These listings, which supplement those in Friday's article, include a gay Jewish film festival, an author talk, a pro-Israel rally, an Israeli rock band's performance, and an exhibit of work by Latino-Jewish visual artists.

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To read the article click here

These listings, which supplement those in Friday's article, include a gay Jewish film festival, an author talk, a pro-Israel rally, an Israeli rock band's performance, and an exhibit of work by Latino-Jewish visual artists.

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I've been trying to remember on which other websites I've used my old FB password and have been changing those that I do recall. I was going to write another examiner.com article but that has been preempted. I suspect most Matisyahu fans already know about his concert tomorrow anyway. Shoshana's next BWAC show opens Saturday in Red Hook; this time she's showing works on paper instead of her usual reverse paintings on clear plexiglas.

Next month we'll spend a week in Maine (after we celebrate my MIL's 75th birthday in CT). From central CT we'll drive up to Camden, ME and spend 3 nights there, and then we'll drive down to Portland and spend three more nights there after which we'll drive home to Brooklyn. We're looking forward to it.
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I've been trying to remember on which other websites I've used my old FB password and have been changing those that I do recall. I was going to write another examiner.com article but that has been preempted. I suspect most Matisyahu fans already know about his concert tomorrow anyway. Shoshana's next BWAC show opens Saturday in Red Hook; this time she's showing works on paper instead of her usual reverse paintings on clear plexiglas.

Next month we'll spend a week in Maine (after we celebrate my MIL's 75th birthday in CT). From central CT we'll drive up to Camden, ME and spend 3 nights there, and then we'll drive down to Portland and spend three more nights there after which we'll drive home to Brooklyn. We're looking forward to it.
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Richard Diebenkorn
Obama Is Changing the Art on the White House Walls - WSJ.com

Diebenkorn in the White House! Thank you, Mr. President and First Lady!

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