Wednesday, December 1, 2010

On Line at MoMA with Jill Krementz

Žilvinas Kempinas, whose Double O is featured in MoMA's lobby. He is well-known for his site-specific installations using magnetic video tapes. Mr. Kempinas (b.1969) is from Lithuania, one of twenty nations represented in On Line: Drawing through the Twentieth Century. The conceit of the exhibit is that lines extend beyond flatness into real space as shown here.

Kempinas's career got a big boost when his entire 2006 exhibition at the Spencer Brownstone Gallery was purchased for the Margulies collection in Miami. The artist received his MFA from Hunter and now lives in Manhattan with his wife Angela Okajima and their two young sons, Andrius and Mantas.

The installation in the lobby is #6 in an edition of six. The other five sold for $50,000 each.
On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century
The Museum of Modern Art
November 21, 2010-February 7th, 2011


MoMA has mounted a monumental array of roughly 300 works with the aim of challenging the conventional definition of drawing as a work on paper.

Curated by MoMA's Connie Butler and Guest curator, Catherine de Zegher, the exhibition criss-crosses disciplinary boundaries (drawing, painting, sculpture, dance, film, and video) and represents over 100 artists from over 20 nations.

On Line derives its title from the essay written by Vasily Kandinsky in 1919 and his proposition that a line is a point set in motion.

I recognized the work of many artists: Paul Klee, Man Ray, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Vasily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Arp, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Ryman, Cy Twombly, Sol LeWitt, and Julie Mehretu (who has had recent exhibitions at the Guggenheim and Lincoln Center's Gallery Met). I discovered the work of many others. I was particularly beguiled by the Double O installation by Lithuanian artist Žilvinas Kempinas, which is featured in the lobby overlooking the garden.

On your way out of the museum (in the lobby) be sure to enjoy Nocturne of the Limax maximus, two botanical sculptures by Paula Hayes, curated by Ann Temkin. The blown-glass terraniums will be on view through February 28th.
ŽILVINAS KEMPINAS (Lithuania, born 1969)
Double O
2008
Magnetic tape, fans
Dimensions variable
This wonderful installation is in the lobby looking out into MoMA's garden. The two circles of magnetic tape are kept in the air, forming a double helix, by the two fans blowing directly at each other on either side. The patterns are constantly changing.
I asked the artist how it was installed and this is what he said: "I hold the two tapes in my hands, both ends of the loops resting open on fishing wire intersecting the loops and stretched from fan to fan. I turn one fan on, then immediately the other, so both are on full speed. I hold the loops in my hand and count until 10. After that the winds of both fans even out and I can release the loops. The centers pick up the wind and remains aloft because everything here is in balance: the top arch of both loops acts as a wing, while bottom arch is something like a tail. This all is in balance, which is a matter of all proportions and distances."
Guest Curator Catherine de Zegher and MoMA curator Connie Butler who, together, organized the exhibition. The structure in which they are standing is by the artist EL LISSITZKY (Russian, 1890-1941) and it is called Prounenraum (Proun Room); 1923.

Ms. de Zegher is the former director of The Drawing Center. Ms. Butler is MoMA's chief curator of drawings.
Between 1919 and 1927, El Lissitzky produced a large body of paintings, prints, and drawings that he referred to by the word Proun (pronounced pro-oon), an acronymfor “project for the affirmation of the new” in Russian. These works were prototypes for visionary inhabitable abstractions in which the visitor could experience geometric shapes and linear vectors wrapping around corners and launching toward the ceiling. In his transformation of the two-dimensional works into “abstract rooms” (such as this one), Lissitzky was part of a general blurring of disciplinary boundaries that took place as artists explored line throughout the twentieth century. His radical reconception of space and material is a metaphor for the fundamental transformations in society that he expected the Russian Revolution to produce. This reconstruction, based on an earlier version created by the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands reflects what is known about the original Proun Room today.
RANJANI SHETTAR (Indian, born 1977)
Just a bit more
2005-2006
Hand-molded beeswax, pigments, and thread dyed in tea.

This large and beautiful installation is in the entrance foyer to the exhibition on the sixth floor of the museum. In the distance: Walter Robinson, editor of ArtNet Magazine
Detail of Just a bit more.
LUIS CAMNITZER (Uruguayan, born 1937)
Two Parallel Lines
1976-2010
Mixed media and pencil on wall
Dimensions variable
MoMA press officer Daniela Stigh. MoMA press officer Paul Jackson.
LOIE FULLER (American, 1862-1928)
Danse Serpentine (II) (Serpentine Dance II)
1897-1899
Film by Société Lumière transferred to video, color, silent, 44 seconds
In a striking variation on the popular “skirt dance” of the day, in her Serpentine Dance Loie Fuller experimented with lengths of silk, extending her skirts with bamboo rods and undulating them under colored stage lights (another dancer performs the work in this video). These color and light effects
and the illusion of constant movement they produced, as well as their presentation in the new medium of film, were of great interest to Futurists and Cubists, whose experiments with collage and other techniques tried to capture movement within the two-dimensional picture surface.
Continuation of
Two Parallel Lines

1976-2010
Mixed media and pencil on wall
Dimensions variable
UMBERTO BOCCIONI (Italian, 1882-1916)
States of Mind: The Farewells
(1911)
Charcoal and chalk on paper

Set in a train station, these drawings explore the psychological dimensions of travel in modern life, relying heavily on line. In The Farewells, undulating lines express the chaotic, milling movement of people and the direct progress of the train through space as its steam billows into the sky. Oblique lines hint at departure in Those Who Go, in which Boccioni sought to express “loneliness, anguish, and dazed confusion,” he said. In Those Who Stay, vertical lines convey the weight of sadness carried by those left behind. These richly layered drawings exemplify the Futurist equation of line with movement and modern technology.
UMBERTO BOCCIONI (Italian, 1882-1916)
States of Mind: Those Who Stay
(1911)
Charcoal and chalk on paper
UMBERTO BOCCIONI (Italian, 1882-1916)
States of Mind: Those Who Go
(1911)
Charcoal and chalk on paper
FRANTIŠEK KUPKA (Czech, 1871-1957)
Amorpha: Fugue in Two Colors
(1912)
Gouache and ink on paper
FRANTIŠEK KUPKA (Czech, 1871-1957)
a selection of five drawings from the seven displayed
VASLAW NIJINSKY (Russian, 1890-1950)
Tänzerin (Dancer)
1917-1918
Chalk, pastel, and pencil on paper
GINO SEVERINI (Italian, 1883-1966)
Dancer
(1912)
Pastel on paper
GINO SEVERINI (Italian, 1883-1966)
Dynamic Hieroglyphic of the Bal Tabarin
1912
Oil on canvas with sequins
Details from Dynamic Hieroglyphic of the Bal Tabarin.
GEORGES BRAQUE (French, 1882-1963)
Guitar
(1913)
Cut-and-pasted printed and painted paper, charcoal, pencil, and gouache on
gessoed canvas
PABLO PICASSO (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Maquette for Guitar
1912
Cardboard, string, and wire (restored)

Sometime between October and December 1912, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) made a guitar. Cobbled together from cardboard, paper, string, and wire, materials he cut, folded, threaded, and glued, Picasso’s purely visual instrument resembled no sculpture ever seen before.

MoMA has an upcoming exhibit of Picasso's guitars opening on February 13th, 2011 called Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914. The exhibition will include some 70 closely connected collages, constructions, drawings, mixed-media paintings, and photographs offering fresh insight into Picasso’s cross-disciplinary process in the years immediately preceding World War I.
PABLO PICASSO (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Guitar
(1912)
Charcoal on paper
PABLO PICASSO (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Head
(1913)
Cut-and-pasted colored and printed paper, ink, and pencil on paper
PABLO PICASSO (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Guitar
(1913)
Cut-and-pasted paper and printed paper, charcoal, ink, and chalk on colored
paper on board
VASILY KANDINSKY (French, born Russia. 1866-1944)
Black Relationship
1924
Watercolor and ink on paper
VASILY KANDINSKY (French, born Russia. 1866-1944)
Im schwarzen Viereck (In the Black Square)
1923
Oil on canvas
VASILY KANDINSKY (French, born Russia. 1866-1944)
Drawings for Punkt und Linie zu Fläche (Point and line to plane)
1925
A selection of twenty-eight works, variously ink, ink wash, gouache, pencil, crayon, and chalk
on paper and tracing paper
Various sizes
VASILY KANDINSKY (French, born Russia. 1866-1944)
Drawings for Punkt und Linie zu Fläche (Point and line to plane)
1925
One of twenty-eight works, variously ink, ink wash, gouache, pencil, crayon, and chalk
on paper and tracing paper
Various sizes
In 1919–20, Kandinsky wrote a series of articles focused on various facets of modern art. One of these essays, “On Line,” inspired the title of this exhibition. Elaborating on themes broached there, the artist made a series of illustrations for his 1926 Bauhaus book Punkt und Linie zu Fläche (Point and line to plane), a treatise declaring the three nouns of its title to be the basic elements of art. They are closely related to another series of drawings, inspired by the dancer Gret Palucca. Published in the journal Das Kunstblatt to illustrate the article “Dance Curves: The Dances of Palucca," they were juxtaposed with photographs of her body in motion. Copies of each of those articles are on display in the case photographed here.
VASILY KANDINSKY (French, born Russia. 1866-1944)
Untitled
1930
Ink and watercolor on paper
Raj Roy, Chief Curator of Film at MoMA. Mr. Roy co-curated the brilliant Tim Burton retrospective at MoMA. "I'm off to Toronto for the installation of Tim's show at a new museum called the TIFF Bell Lightbox," he told me. Amei Wallach, an art critic and commentator, who is presently working on a film about the Russian artists, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. Ms. Wallach previously co-produced an excellent documentary: "Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine" -- an intimate look at the renowned French-American artist.
MARCEL DUCHAMP (American, born France. 1887-1968)
3 Standard Stoppages Paris 1913-14
Wood box 1m, with three threads glued to three painted canvas strips cm, each mounted on a glass panel, three wood slats, shaped along one edge to match the curves of the threads

It is “a joke about the meter,” Duchamp glibly remarked about this piece, but his premise for it reads like a theorem: “If a straight horizontal thread one meter long falls from a height of one meter onto a horizontal plane twisting as it pleases [it] creates a new image of the unit of length.” Duchamp dropped three meter-long strings from the height of one meter (about three feet) onto three stretched canvases then fixed the strings to the canvases in the random curves they had formed on landing. He cut the canvases along the string lines, creating templates for new units of measure that retain the length of the meter but undermine its rational basis.
MAN RAY (American, 1890-1976)
The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows
1916
Oil on canvas
JEAN POUGNY (IVAN PUNI) (Russian, born Finland. 1892-1956)
Relief
1915
Wood mounted on canvas, painted in oil
MARCEL DUCHAMP (American, born France. 1887-1968)
Sixteen Miles of String
Installation view of First Papers of Surrealism exhibition, New York
Photograph by John D. Schiff
1942
Gelatin silver print
ALEKSANDR RODCHENKO (Russian, 1891-1956)
Spatial Construction no. 12
c. 1920
Plywood, open construction partially painted with aluminum paint, and wire
PAUL KLEE (German, born Switzerland. 1879-1940)
The Angler
1921
Oil transfer drawing, watercolor and ink on paper with watercolor and ink
borders on board

In Der Angler a network of lines depicts a fisherman: jagged marks describe his face, and curving, parallel lines form his body, from which the fishing pole and line appear to sprout.

These Klees (the other one is below) are two of my favorite pieces in the show!
PAUL KLEE (German, born Switzerland. 1879-1940)
Twittering Machine
1922
Oil transfer drawing, watercolor and ink on paper with gouache and ink borders
on board
25 1/4 x 19" (64.1 x 48.3 cm)

Artistenbildnis portrays a tightrope walker—an elongated stick figure with bent knee and outstretched arms, balancing with the help of the balls or weights he or she holds. Klee said of his drawn line, “It goes out for a walk, so to speak, aimlessly for the sake of the walk.”
JEAN (HANS) ARP (French, born Germany (Alsace). 1886-1966)
Two Heads
1927
Oil and cord on canvas
JEAN (HANS) ARP (French, born Germany (Alsace). 1886-1966)
Leaves and Navels
1929
Oil and cord on canvas
JOAN MIRÓ (Spanish, 1893-1983)
Collage
1929
Conté crayon, gouache, ink, flocked paper, newspaper, abrasive cloth, and
various papers on flocked paper
ALEXANDER CALDER (American, 1898-1976)
A Universe
1934
Painted iron pipe, steel wire, motor, and wood with string

Calder’s objects, although they are three-dimensional, lack the mass of traditional pedestal sculpture and possess the linearity of drawing. In them Calder was outlining volumes in space, “much as if the background paper of a drawing had been cut away leaving only the lines,” he said. Line, not merely indicating motion, is itself in motion, responding to air currents or to mechanical stimuli.
ALEXANDER CALDER (American, 1898-1976)
Croisière (Cruise)
1931
Wire, wood, and paint
ALEXANDER CALDER (American, 1898-1976)
Swizzle Sticks
1936
Painted wood panel with steel wire, wood, and lead
ALEXANDER CALDER (American, 1898-1976)
Untitled
1930
Oil on canvas
PAUL KLEE (German, born Switzerland. 1879-1940)
Portrait of an Equilibrist
1927
Oil and collage on cardboard over wood with painted plaster border
GEORGES VANTONGERLOO (Belgian, 1886-1965)
Relation of Lines and Colors
1939
Oil on composition board
PIET MONDRIAN (Dutch, 1872-1944)
Tableau I: Lozenge with Four Lines and Gray
1926
Oil on canvas
PIET MONDRIAN (Dutch, 1872-1944)
Composition (Unfinished)
1938 or 1939
Charcoal on canvas
GYULA KOSICE (Fernando Fallik)
Argentine, born Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) 1924
Escultura movil articulada (Mobile Articulated Sculpture) 1948
Brass

In the early 1940s, inspired by the materials in the leather shop he owned with his brother, Kosice began to make artworks that are very different from the static monuments of traditional modernist sculpture and question conventional approaches to material. This transformable object, made from the metal bands used to reinforce leather handbags, was intended to be touched and moved. (To preserve the sculpture, viewers are no longer allowed to handle it.) Kosice was a founder of the Argentine artist group MADI, one of the earliest in the Americas that was entirely devoted to abstraction. Escultura movil articulada exemplifies the primacy for MADI artists of unconventional artistic structures such as irregular, broken frames and linear forms.
TOMÁS MALDONADO (Argentine, born 1922)
Desarrollo de 14 temas (Development of 14 Themes)
1951-1952
Oil on canvas
78 7/8 x 82 3/4" (200.3 x 210.2 cm)
Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
Detail:
TOMÁS MALDONADO (Argentine, born 1922)
Desarrollo de 14 temas (Development of 14 Themes)
1951-1952
Oil on canvas
78 7/8 x 82 3/4" (200.3 x 210.2 cm)
Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
LUCIO FONTANA (Italian, born Argentina. 1899-1968)
Spatial Concept: Expectations
1959
Synthetic polymer paint on slashed burlap
NINA CANELL (Swedish, born 1979)
On floor: Dead Heat 2008
Concrete, stick, neon, cable, and 1,000 volts

Suspended from ceiling: Beam Hang 2008
House beam, neon, cable, foam, and 3,000 volts

Mounted on wall: Break of Day (N,S,E,W) 2009
White cane and nails
Installation photograph of various plastic and plexiglass sculptural works by Belgiam artist Georges Vanteongerloo.

Vantongerloo’s works refer to geometry and astrophysics, the lines and vectors being those of cosmic energy. To suggest infinity while using a material ground he began to work with transparent Plexiglas, in which line and colored dots appear to float free, mobile in space. He fused the color of painting, the spatiality of sculpture, and the linearity of drawing, seeking a result that was none of the above: line made transparent void, devoid of contour.
Art Critic John Zeaman who writes for the Bergen Record. Mr. Zeaman has just published "Dog Walks Man," a memoir about art, nature, and the changing world through the lens of man's most dependable ritual. The book has been getting rave reviews. Art critic and photographer Larry Qualls who has for decades been documenting artists and their works. There is never a day that Mr. Qualls is not out visiting galleries, artists' studios and/or art museums.
ELLSWORTH KELLY (American, born 1923)
Brushstrokes Cut into Forty-Nine Squares and Arranged by Chance
(1951)
Cut-and-pasted paper and ink

Kelly revived the practice of automatic drawing—most closely associated with theDadaists and Surrealists of the 1920s and 1930s, who sought to tap into the unconscious mind—in works made either without looking at the paper or while blindfolded. While the lines evoke the horizontal sweep of a pine branch and its needles, the loose form indicates the artist’s surrender of control over the final product.
ELLSWORTH KELLY (American, born 1923)
Gate-Board
1950
Oil on wood with string
ATSUKO TANAKA (Japanese, 1932-2005)
Round on Sand
1968
16 mm film, color, silent, 9:50 min.
ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG (American, 1925-2008)
Automobile Tire Print
1953
Black paint on twenty sheets of paper, mounted on fabric

Rauschenberg instructed fellow artist John Cage, an avant-garde composer, to drive his Model A Ford in a straight line through a pool of black house paint and down a long strip of paper. The result is a print in which tire tracks form a direct record of the car’s movement down the street. This work pioneered a new form of art-making, blending elements of performance with the tradition of the readymade (artworks made of largely unmodified mass-manufactured objects) initiated.
FRANÇOISE SULLIVAN (Canadian, born 1925)
Danse dans la Neige (Dance in the snow), nos. 1-17
1948
17 gelatin silver prints (photographs: Maurice Perron) mounted on Masonite
mounted on wood
ANNA MARIA MAIOLINO (Brazilian, born Italy 1942)
from the series Desenhos objetos (Drawing objects)
EVA HESSE (American, born Germany. 1936-1970)
Hang Up
1966
Acrylic on cloth over wood, and acrylic on cord over steel tube.

In its subtle hybridization of drawing and sculpture, line and color, Hang Up does not present conventional relationships among line, plane, and space. The awkward loop of cloth-wrapped metal—an unexpected three-dimensional element—works against the concurrent suggestion of a framed two-dimensional artwork on the gallery wall. Made during the height of Minimalism in the United States, the work embodies a key theme of this exhibition: even as it occupies the traditional space of painting, the line moves outside the frame and away from the wall. Hesse considered Hang Up to be her first important work—it achieved a desired amount of “absurdity or extreme feeling,” she said. At the same time, it reaches toward the viewer, embodying a desire for connection and communication.
EDWARD KRASIŃSKI (Polish, 1925-2004)
N . . . (Interwencja 4, Zyg-Zag) (Intervention 4, Zigzag)
1969
KAREL MALICH
Czech, born 1924
Krajina (Energie) (Landscape [energy])
1974
Galvanized iron wire, aluminum, thread, and paint

Malich’s wire works were conceived, he has said, as “the expression of a new space and the investigation of it.” Although he has never realized any of them on an architectural scale, that aim has been part of his project: at once cosmic and utilitarian, his sculptures of the 1960s were created as designs for utopian cities in some imaginary future. He continues to think of his later tiedwire constructions as models for large-scale outdoor projects shaped by forces of light, air, and water.
With so many lines dancing through my brain it was initially hard to distinguish this emergency exit bar from the 300 artists' works on display.
CAROLEE SCHNEEMANN (American, born 1939)
Up To And Including Her Limits
1973-1976
Crayon on paper, rope, harness, and 2-channel analogue video, with audio, transferred to digital video
Two wall drawings and one floor drawing

Schneemann performed this work nine times between 1971 and 1976, always intending to make it into an installation. In a comment on what she has described as the “physicalized painting process” of Jackson Pollock, she marked the walls and floor in a paper covered enclosure with crayons as she raised and lowered herself in a tree surgeon’s harness, hovering just above the surface of the drawing; ultimately, the work records the lines her body made in space. The performances were videotaped, and that footage, along with the harness, rope, and drawings, is on display here. Schneemann’s work has always focused primarily on painting, but her important forays into film and performance have allowed her to explore the links between art and everyday life.
Detail of tree surgeon's harness used by artist. Detail of artist's "scribbling" on the wall.
ANTHONY MCCALL (American, born England 1946)
Five Minute Drawing
1974/2010
Charcoal on paper
Six sheets

McCall made this drawing in roughly five minutes. Standing in front of the wall, he snapped a string to make a long diagonal that approximates the length of his outstretched arms (video of the artist making the work may be viewed at MoMA.org). He first performed the work at Art Meeting Place, London, in 1974. “This drawing is one of a number of works in which I explored the idea that the unfolding of the idea, the process of execution, is the object,” McCall has said.

Larry Qualls, long-time art critic who is always getting me into hot water with curators with his provocative thoughts, thinks it is not accidental that Anthony McCall and Carolee Schneemann are installed adjacent to one another in the same gallery as they were long time lovers.
LUIS CAMNITZER (Uruguayan, born 1937)
The Instrument and Its Work
1976
Wood, glass, and metal

This piece is by the same artist who did the line installation which extends around the wall of the first gallery.
SOL LEWITT (American, 1928-2007)
Cubic Construction: Diagonal 4, Opposite Corners 1 and 4 Unit; 1971
Painted wood
MONA HATOUM (British of Palestinian origin, born in Beirut, Lebanon 1952)
Cube (9 x 9 x 9)
2008
Black finished steel
CILDO MEIRELES (Brazilian, born 1948)
Malhas da Liberdade I (Meshes of Freedom I)
1976
Cotton rope

“In the 1960s I was always doodling, like anyone who is bored,” Meireles said. “First, I’d draw a line, then another that intersects it, and so on, until I’d made a grid. In 1976, I decided to do the same with more rigid materials. Then it was no longer a matter of lines over lines; the second line was on an altogether different plane. This is the origin of Meshes of Freedom, of which the grid is just one manifestation. The work consists of a module and a law of formation: how the module intersects the previous one determines how it is then intersected by a third, and so on. The composition creates a grid, which spreads over a plane, but it also starts to grow in space, to create a volume.” Villeglé found his materials in his aimless strolls through the city of Paris, in peeling accretions of fliers, advertisements, and graffiti. Often friezes of scattered layers of torn and shredded paper, the artist’s décollages (from the French word décoller, to unglue or take off) are collaborations after the fact with the city dwellers who subjected the material to anonymous defacement.
JULIE MEHRETU (American, born Ethiopia 1970)
Rising Down
2008
Ink and synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Mehretu staples raw canvas to the wall, then covers it with gesso to produce a smooth surface. Using an overhead projector and technical pens and rulers, she draws in parts of urban-planning grids, architectural imagery, city plans, and her own sketches. She fixes that layer, letting it dry, then repeats
the process, adding more images, all reflecting the various strata of the modern megalopolis and combining highly structured schematics with her own expressively brushed marks in ink. The artist imagines these gestural lines and curves of energy as her “characters’” responses to the previous layers.

This painting is featured on the cover of the show's catalogue.

I like Mehretu's work. Several of her drawings and prints are currently on display at Gallery Met over at Lincoln Center.
MICHELLE STUART (American, born 1938)
Niagara Gorge Path Relocated
1975
Video, black and white, sound, 36 minutes

This is one of a series of works Stuart made using earth from Nazca, Peru. Nazca is an enigmatic archeological site where, between 500 b.c. and 500 a.d., lines depicting living creatures, stylized plants, imaginary beings, and geometric figures—hundreds of feet long—were scratched into the land. This work features similar lines in the main panel (drawn by rubbing the Peruvian earth on paper), juxtaposed with a star chart of the area and another drawing by the artist on the smaller panel. Related to the work of other Land artists working in the 1960s, Stuart’s process involves direct contact with and intervention in the natural environment, juxtaposing natural and human formations. Her choice of essential substances (such as earth pigments) and an ethereal subject (the linear paths of the stars) indicate a concern for natural history and the systems governing nature.
GORDON MATTA-CLARK (American, 1945-1978)
Untitled
1973
Stack of gessoed paper, cut, mounted on cardboard
27 1/2 x 39 3/4" (69.9 x 101 cm)
Collection Gail and Tony Ganz
EMILY KAM KNGWARRAY (Anmatyerr [Australian], c. 1910 - 1996)
Anaty (Wild potato)
1989
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas.

In her late sixties, Kngwarray—a member of the Utopia group of indigenous artists working in Australia’s Northern Territory—moved away from body painting and other traditional art techniques to batik and then to painting on canvas. In her work she often explored subjects from everyday life, such as animals, plants, and community lore, rendering them in complex patterns and colors. Kngwarray’s technique involved making a sequence of large dots of color and then dragging through them to create lines and networks on the canvas surface, which she further embellished with smaller dots and marks. The works’ weblike structures are reminiscent of the lines Australian Aboriginals etch into the desert sand and paint on the body to record their “dreaming,” a kind of storytelling.
MICHAEL HEIZER (American, born 1944)
Circular Surface Planar Displacement Drawing (deteriorated, detail)
1970
Tire markings on playa surface, 900 x 500' area, Jean Dry Lake, Nevada
Image © Gianfranco Gorgoni

Circular Surface Planar Displacement Drawing/90° Vertical Planar Rotary
1970
Fifty black-and-white photographs
Heizer is interested in the transformation of the earth’s surface through human action. These works relate to Circular Surface Planar Displacement Drawing (1970), an artwork in which the artist drove a motorcycle in circles in Jean Dry Lake, Nevada, creating a pattern of lines. The photographs document
the process; the photographer and camera were strapped to a twenty-four-foot scaffold that was moved sixteen feet for each for each new shot. Heizer was a key member of the Land art movement, whose adherents made monumental land-based sculptures.
Suzan Wines, who writes about art, architecture, and design for Domus, one of the oldest Italian magazines. "Mostly I'm an architect. I teach at Pratt and at city colleges in the architecture schools. I'm going to tell all my students to come and see this show."
Closeup of Ms. Wines' skirt, which is made out of socks. Look carefully and you will see the sock heel in the center and the sock's toe on the right near her thumb.

Come to think of it ... her sock skirt should have been in the show.
A Visit to MoMA's gift shop is always fun especially when you are looking for great holiday gifts
The exhibition catalogue ($50) which includes reproductions of nearly 250 works by 100 artists as well as essays by the curators. Steven Gerdts holding the show's catalogue. Mr. Gerdts is the assistant Manager of the MoMA gift and bookstore where he has worked for four years. He is an artist whose focus is drawing and architecture.
A display of exhibition catalogues.
Christmas tree ornaments. Great little stem vases for the holiday festivities.
In the lobby exiting to 53rd Street you will be enchanted by Paula Hayes's magical living sculptures: Nocturne of the Limax maximus
Fifteen-foot-long, wall-mounted horizontal sculpture called Slug.

New York artist Paula Hayes (born 1958) combines her training in sculpture and her deep interest in horticulture in what she calls “living artworks,” terrarium-like objects made from blown glass, silicone, or acrylic and filled with a rich variety of plant life.

Nocturne of the Limax maximus, an installation created specifically for MoMA, is Hayes’s response to the usual noisy bustle of this lobby space: a joyous meditation on fertility and fertilization.

The wall-mounted Slug and the free-standing Egg are inspired by the intricate mating ritual of the Limax maximus, or leopard slug, which takes place during early summer, usually at night.
As Hayes learned in a documentary film she watched while planning this project for the Museum, these diminutive, hermaphroditic creatures, usually reviled as disgusting, have a reproductive life of great mystery and beauty.

Hayes intends her living artworks to survive indefinitely, and she asks those who own or exhibit them to make an ongoing commitment to their care.

Combining natural and industrial materials, Slug and Egg bring nature directly into the Museum, enlivening the lobby space during the winter season.
A free-standing floor-to-ceiling structure titled Egg.
There was a private opening night reception for the artists and invited guests
Moma's Ann Temkin (Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture) and Catherine de Zegher who helped organize the On Line drawing show. Ms. de Zegher is wearing Issey Miyake. Artist Sheila Makhijani in front of some of her work. Ms. Makhijani was born in New Delhi in 1962.
Susan and Glenn Lowry with Gallerist Marian Goodman. Participating artist Ranjani Shettar and MoMA director Glenn Lowry.
Ann Temkin with Ranjani Shettar. Ms. Shettar's beautiful installation graces the entrance to the exhibition. The netted sculpure took two weeks for her to install and in my opinion is totally magical. Ms. Shettar, born in India in 1977, lives with her husband in Bangladore where they are growing bananas. "It's just a passion for us and a way to be involved in our present-day agriculture, " she said.
Jerry Speyer, Chairman of MoMA's board with Glenn Lowry. Mr. Speyer has just had shoulder surgery, hence the sling. James Siena and Glenn Lowry. Mr. Siena is an artist whose work is in MoMA's permanent collection, but not presently on view.
Curator Connie Butler is talking to Katy Siegal and Paul Mattick. Ms. Siegal is the editor-in-chief of Art Journal as well as an art critic, a curator, and a well-known teacher. Žilvinas Kempinas studied with her when he was a student at Hunter. Dr. Mattick, who is married to Ms. Siegal, is a professor of philosophy.
Alwar Balasubramaniam with his installation which took him about 30 hours to install.
Artist Ranjani Shettar talks with Alden Warner, a banker, and Peter Reed, who is MoMA's Senior Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs. Sabrina Breitweiser, MoMA curator for media and performance, with her husband, Werner Kaligofsky, who is an artist and a photographer. "Two Viennese in New York City," is how they describe themselves.
Luis Camnitzer (from Uruguay) the artist of Two Parallel Lines which you can see behind him. I figured if he got down there to install the work he could probably get down on the floor again. He's 73 and told me that he generally works at waist level. "It was Catherine de Zegher's idea and it was a pain in the ass," he said. "It took me 4 days. She told me I could go for 50 yards but I didn't."
Luis Pérez-Oramas, curator of Latin American Art Department of Drawings at MoMA. Žilvinas Kempinas, whose Double O is featured in MoMA's lobby, with his wife Angela Okajima.
Mark Mitton is a highly skilled magician who performs what is called "close magic," particularly with cards and jewelry. He is also involved in the Calder Foundation. Gallerists Marian Goodman and David Zwirner.
Laura Rutkute, a gallerist from Lithuania, Angela Okajima, and Mark Mitton.
Canadian artist Francoise Sullivan standing in front of her installation: Danse dans la Neige (Dance in the snow). Ms. Sullivan was thrilled that her work was adjacent to Jackson Pollack.

Danse dans la Neige was conceived as one of a cycle of four dances themed for the seasons. These photographs by painter Jean-Paul Riopelle are the only surviving documentation of the performance, which was entirely improvised. Sullivan was a member of Les Automatistes, a group of Quebecois artistic dissidents who combined Surrealist and Dadaist principles of automatic art-making (intended to tap into the unconscious mind) with an agenda of social change.
These three young artists in the show are all from India: Alwar Balasubramaniam, Sheila Makhijani, and Ranjani Shettar. Kathy Fuld and Luis Pérez-Oramas.
Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA Chief Curator-at-large and Director of MoMA P.S.1. Christopher Eigeman, Žilvinas Kempinas, and Raj Roy.
Mr. Eigman is an actor best known for roles in the Whit Stillman films Metropolitan, Barcelona, and The Last Days of Disco.
Looking like their own installation of parallel lines, artist Harvey Tulcensky and his daughter Sylvaini, who is three and a half. Mr. Tulcensky's work is in MoMA's collection.
Althea Viafora Kress, Associate Director of Hauser & Wirth Gallery. Casey Fitzpatrick, MoMA press communications.
Paula Hayes with one of her beautiful botanical sculptures on display in the lobby.

Ms. Hayes is represented by the Marianne Boesky Gallery. She will be having a big show at the Wexner Art Center in Columbus, Ohio, in September 2011.

Talking about her exhibit at MoMA: "I acquire living plants online that specialize in tropical plants with tiny leaves that I grow before placing in my terrarium gardens."

About the rest of her life: "I'm a horticulturist and a landscape designer. I do rooftops and large landscapes. I grew up on a farm in upstate New York so you could say it's in my blood."
Ian Berry, who is with the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, with MoMA's Ann Temkin. Jason Kaufman, who has his own arts blog, Artinfo. Mr. Kaufman also writes for Art + Auction and The Observer.
Lisa Parelka, who is a banker, and Beth Maffei, an interior designer. Both women are members of MoMA. Paula Hayes, New York Times staff photographer Damon Winter, and Ann Temkin.
Žilvinas Kempinas, Double O artist, on his vespa. Mr. Kempinas, like many artists, is headed (by plane) for Miami Art Basel this week where one of his works will be be shown by Gallerist Yvon Lambert - Booth L07. He'll also be visiting his major collector, Martin Margulies, who lives there. Known as "Marty," Mr. Margulies is the collector who bought Žilvinas Kempinas's entire exhibit in 2006.

Art Basel is one of the times visitors can be sure of getting a peek into this warehouse that houses one of the world's best, and largest, collections of contemporary art and photography.
Double O artist--headed to Miami Art Basel with the rest of the art world.
Text and photographs © by Jill Krementz
all rights reserved.