Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jill Krementz covers Götterdämmerung by Dana Schutz

Artist Dana Schutz in front of the posters outside Gallery Met. The 35-year-old American painter has gained a reputation for what Carol Vogel (New York Times) describes as "her colorful, grotesque creatures that are whimsical, absurd and often a bit horrifying."
Götterdämmerung by Dana Schutz
Gallery Met at the Metropolitan Opera
January 12-May 12, 2012
Gallery Hours: Monday through Friday, 6pm through last intermission
Saturday-noon through last intermission
Closed Sundays

Opera Lovers, especially devotees of Wagner's Ring Cycle, are eagerly awaiting the new Robert Lepage production of Götterdämmerung. The six-hour finale opens at the Met on January 27th. For a glimpse into the world of Brünnhilde you can go see the new exhibition by Dana Schutz at Gallery Met.

In 2006, Peter Gelb, the Met's General Manager, and curator Dodie Kazanjian created Gallery Met, located in the south lobby of the opera house. The venue has been a showcase for major visual artists who have displayed works echoing the operas being performed. For example, in the past years we have seen shows by Chuck Close (Portraits of his composer friend Philip Glass coinciding with Glass's Satiyagraha), and William Kentridge (whose art works were tied to the premiere of the South African artist's production of Shostakovich's The Nose.)

Richard Wagner has inspired the last few shows. Previously seen were Peter Doig's Siegfried and Poster Project, Elizabeth Peyton's Wagner, and Julie Mehretu's Notations after the "Ring."

Artist Dana Schutz is the fourth, and final part of this two-year series on Wagner's Ring. "Wagner can be very heavy," say Ms. Schutz, "since I wanted to approach this project in a way that could seem lighter, I chose to make watercolor monoprints with crayon and pencil. The Ring is incredibly visual. There's so much in it: Rhinemaidens, a dragon, incest — even the world in flames."
Dodie Kazanjian, Director of Gallery Met, and Peter Gelb, The Met's General Manager.

The venue, created by Gelb and Kazanjian in 2006, hosts work by many of the art world's most innovative and provocative figures.

Artists over the years have included Chuck Close, Cecily Brown, John Currin, David Salle, Francesco Clemente, Anselm Kiefer ,George Condo, James Rosenquist, and
William Kentridge.
Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker's brilliant art critic, and Dana Schutz.

One of the most important artists to emerge in the past ten years, Schutz has developed a distinctive visual style characterized by vibrant color and raw, tactile brushwork.

An exhibit, "Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels," is on view at the Miami Art Museum from January 15 through February 26, 2012, when it travels to the Denver Art Museum.
Wotan, 2011. Watercolor monotype with colored pencil, crayon and pastel on paper. 60 x 46 inches. Fire Girl, 2011. Watercolor monotype with colored pencil, crayon and pastel on paper. 60 x 46 inches.
Brünnhilde, 2011. Watercolor monotype with colored pencil, crayon and pastel on paper. 60 x 46 inches. Young Brünnhilde, 2011. Watercolor monotype with colored pencil, crayon and pastel on paper. 60 x 46 inches.
David Lasry of Two Palms Press, publisher of the artist's monotypes exhibited at Gallery Met.
Licking a Brick, 2011. Watercolor monotype with colored pencil, crayon and pastel on Lanaquarelle watercolor paper; 46 x 60 inches.
Rhinemaidens, 2011. Ink on paper, 96 x 72 inches.
Wotan Down, 2011. Ink on paper, 72 x 96 inches.
Pulitzer prize-winning biographer Edmund Morris, who has recently published Colonel Roosevelt, the final volume in his trilogy on the life of the 26th President. Artist and provocateur Maurizio Cattelan, whose one man-show will be dangling from the ceiling of the Guggenheim through January 22nd. Click here to see my previous coverage.
Edmund Morris in front of Wotan, 2011.
On display at the top of the stairs: A display of 5 black and white drawings by Dana Schutz.
Ascend the staircase to the Grand Tier, and you will find five more works.
Rhinemaiden, 2011
Ink on paper
Brünnhilde and Stone, 2011
Ink on paper
Siegfried, 2011
Ink and conte on paper
Drowning Wotan, 2011
Ink on paper
Brünnhilde and Siegfried, 2011
Ink on paper
Peter Schjeldahl and Dodie Kazanjian. Gallerist Friedrich Petzel, whose Chelsea Gallery represents Dana Schutz.
Maurizio Cattelan and Dodie Kazanjian.
Fabio Luisi, principal conductor at the Metropolitan Opera. Maestro Luisi will be conducting Robert Lepage's new production of Götterdämmerung, opening on January 27th. Barbara Luisi and Larry Qualls. Ms. Luisi is a fine art photographer whose photos appear in her book, Pearls, Tears Of The Sea. Mr. Qualls writes about, and photographs, the art world.
Curator Dodie Kazanjian with Fabio and Barbara Luisi.
Chuck Close.

"My girlfriend is an African American artist who is six feet three from Alaska? What chance is that? I only wear African clothes now, which I buy off the street."

The 2007-08 season of Gallery Met featured Close's "Philip Glass 40 Years," a selection of the artist's portraits of his composer friend, coinciding with the Met premiere of Glass's Satyagraha.
Chuck Close and Jerry Saltz. Mr. Saltz is the art critic for New York Magazine.
Chuck Close and Dana Schutz.
Video artist Erik Levine, whose work is being shown in Taiwan as part of Videonale 13, an international survey of video art that originated at the Kunstmuseum in Bonn last April. Diane Brown is the founder and President of RX Art. "We commission art and put it into hospitals."
Dodie Kazanjian and Maurizio Cattelan. Ms. Kazanjian is wearing a Valentino dress. Maurizio Cattelan and Friedrich Petzel.
Elaine Turner and David Genser. Mr. Genser is a collector whose insurance company is involved in insuring art works.
Photographer Eric Boman and ceramic sculptor Peter Schlesinger. Artist Sean Landers who shows in New York at Friedrich Petzel. Mr. Landers' next exhibit will be in London in May at Greengrassi.
Writer Calvin (Tad) Tomkins and artist George Condo. Mr. Tomkins has written more than 80 artist profiles for The New Yorker, including one on Mr. Condo (in conjunction with Condo's 2011 mid-career exhibition at the New Museum). George Condo and his wife, Anna Achdian. When the couple met in a Parisian Café in 1987 it was love at first sight. They married in 1989 in Antibes, with Claude and Sydney Picasso as their witnesses.
Octavia Rosenblum is 5 months old. "Is she a very young artist?" I asked. "No," her parents replied. "Not yet. We're hoping she'll be a lawyer."
Octavia's parents, who are both artists. Theo Rosenblum and Chelsea Seltzer. Mr. Rosenblum and Ms. Seltzer will be having a collaborative show in February at The Hole on Bowery.
Painters Caitlin Cherry and Lisa Cobbe, both of whom revere Dana Schutz. Caitlin Cherry. "I go to Columbia where Dana teaches."

I got a headache just photographing those piercings. My head still hurts after looking at my picture of her forehead.
Artist Derrick Adams, whose show "Deconstruction Worker" is on view at the Tilton Gallery until February 11. Adams is an alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He received his MFA from Pratt. He has shown at P.S.1/MoMA, Performa 05, The Kitchen, and The Bearden Project at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Freelance writers Claire Austin, 23, and Stephanie LaCava, 27.

Ms. Austin is wearing a camel coat by Shin Choi, a Stella McCartney dress, and YSL shoes. Ms. LaCava is in a Thakoon jumpsuit.

Asked what brought them to Gallery Met, Ms. LaCava replied: "Dodie has been such an inspiration in my life. I think she's an elegant, talented woman with a kind and generous spirit."
Claire Austin. Stephanie LaCava.
Cronin's Naked Embrace.
Artists Patricia Cronin and Chuck Close. Ms. Cronin is famous for her Naked Embrace, a marble self-portrait of herself and her partner Deborah Kass, which is installed on their gravesite, Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. The piece was sponsored by Deitch Projects. A bronze version has been shown at a number of museums and galleries.

Ms. Cronin's solo show, "Bodies and Soul," opens in February at Conner Contemporary Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Artist Cecily Brown, Dodie Kazanjian, and Dana Schutz. Ms. Brown was born in London in 1969 and currently lives and works in New York. She had her first solo exhibition in New York at Deitch Projects in 1997 and a second in 1998.

Represented by Gagosian Gallery since 1999, Brown had exhibitions in New York in 2000, 2002, 2005, and 2008, and in London in 2006 and 2011. This summer her work will be part of a curated show, "Heroines," at a gallery in Essel, just outside of Vienna. "The exhibit covers my work of the past ten years," said Ms. Brown. "I sort of overdid it."
George Condo and Cecily Brown.
Dana Schutz and George Condo.
John Elderfield and Tad Tomkins. Mr. Elderfield curated the recent de Kooning blockbuster at MoMA, as well as the Bob Dylan exhibit at Gagosian.
Cecily Brown, Friedrich Petzel, David Lasry, and John Elderfield.
Larry Qualls and Cecily Brown. Tad Tomkins and his wife, Dodie Kazanjian. A very symbiotic couple, Dodie accompanies her husband on all his interviews while Tad is always at his wife's openings at Gallery Met.
Rachel Feinstein, sensualist sculptor. Ms. Feinstein is the muse and wife of painter John Currin.
Rachel Feinstein taking some photographs on her iPhone.
Cecily Brown and David Lasry. Anna Achdian, Rachel Feinstein, and George Condo.
Dana Schutz and Casey Elsass. Mr. Elsass works at the Met and is Ms. Kazanjian's deputy.
Jerry Saltz on his way to more galleries. Anna Netrebko stars in the title role of Donizetti's Anna Bolena. Click here for my coverage of opening night. Ms. Netrebko will be performing the role of the ill-fated queen on February 1st and 4th. I thought she was wonderful and I enjoyed David McVicar's production.
Outside the Met and on their way to dinner: Anna Achdian, Dodie Kazanjian, Rachel Feinstein, George Condo, and Tad Tomkins. Luckily, he did not need his umbrella.
Retrieving my coat I jokingly mentioned that the tags were probably worth more than some of the coats. "Don't laugh," said the man in charge. "These tags cost a fortune. We get them in triplicate copies and it's $500 for a set of 100."

Well, one more thing that only your hat-checker knows.

Text and photographs © by Jill Krementz: all rights reserved.