Category: Cubism

Impressions from the AMR Open Studios Tour 2017

Launched in 2012, AMR Open Studios Tour has grown into a major art destination, forging new and unexpected connections between artists, and their patrons from near and far. Given its success in previous years, in 2017 AMR – Artists Making aRt ™ – Open Studios Tours 2017 expanded to include some 40 artists from Margaretville, Roxbury, Stamford, Delhi, and surrounding areas. The tours took place on two different weekends in July: Saturday and Sunday, July 8 – 9 in Stamford-Delhi art community, and Saturday and Sunday, July 29-30 in Margaretville-Roxbury art community. Both weekends attracted a myriad of visitors, many artists as well as collectors from the Catskills, New York City, and abroad.

AMR 2017. Photo © 2017 Simona David

On the first weekend, watercolorist June Lanigan who, at 91, continues to paint and make collages, showed recent works and discussed what moves her these days. Although Lanigan works in other media as well (i.e., oil, and acrylic), she is most fond of watercolors; and everywhere she goes she brings along a sketchbook to take in the environment. The portrait of a flapper draws my attention in Lanigan’s immense home that she shares with her family while painting in the Catskills. Lanigan is the founder of MURAL Gallery in Hobart, and has had a long connection with the area.

June Lanigan. Photo © 2017 Simona David

Both Lanigan’s daughters Tracy Jacknow and Toni Layden-Rodgers as well as her grandson Jess Zimmerman are painters; each has a distinctive style, and is attracted to different subject matters. Jacknow, for instance, paints abstract and impressionistic like landscapes, while Layden-Rodgers is interested in domestic scenes, still lifes, and portraits, whereas Zimmerman paints bold, urban scenes.

Jess Zimmerman. Photo © 2017 Simona David

Jacknow is married to stained glass artist Barry Jacknow, whose work is inspired by the Art Deco movement, and the work of architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright. Stained glass has had a long tradition in New York going back to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Art Nouveau lamps and decorative objects that became synonym with sophistication. Jacknow sources his stained glass locally in Stamford, and works meticulously to create patterns and contrast colors for most effect.

Barry Jacknow. Photo © 2017 Simona David

My next stop was at Robert Schneider and Susan Goetz’s mansion in Stamford. Husband and wife, Schneider and Goetz had studied at the Art Students League of New York, and also privately with accomplished painters. While Schneider specializes in landscape, Goetz dedicates most of her time to still life and portrait. Her studio is filled with family portraits and domestic scenes signifying opulence and good taste. Goetz was commissioned by West Point’s class of 1931 to paint a series of portraits which included Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan, and Bush, and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Goetz comes from a family of artists – her father Richard Goetz, who passed away in 1991, was an accomplished painter as well. A portrait of her mother by famous painter Nelson Shanks illuminates the hallway.

Susan Goetz. Photo © 2017 Simona David

Both Goetz and her husband Schneider were featured in American Artist in November 2007.

Schneider, who is very much fascinated by the Hudson River School of Painting, captures through his plein airs spectacular views of the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson Valley as well as the Leatherstocking region where the family has spent a lot of time. Schneider was featured at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown in 2016 in a one man show called “A New York View.”

Robert Schneider. Photo © 2017 Simona David

My last stop that weekend was at Solveig Comer’s ceramics studio in South Kortright. Located in the basement of a former church, the studio has three electric kilns, and lots of fine porcelain for many bowls and cups to come. The artist patiently explains the difference between using an electric kiln versus a gas one, and the differences in output each creates. It is a laborious process, but Comer doesn’t seem to mind.

Solveig Comer. Photo © 2017 Simona David

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The second weekend was a marathon of exhibits, demonstrations, conversations, and parties centered around Roxbury which had a stellar participation this year with the likes of Adam Cohen and Brian Tolle opening their studios as part of the AMR Tour for the first time.

Roxbury Abbey. Photo © 2017 Simona David

Brian Tolle showed several of his works at Roxbury Abbey including three Levittown style houses made of platinum silicone rubber. Also, visible in his studio was a head sculpture of Benjamin Franklin, as seen by Brian Tolle. In 2016 Tolle exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia as part of “Commander in Chief” art show dedicated to American presidents.

Brian Tolle. Photo © 2017 Simona David

In addition to works by Tolle, Roxbury Abbey also hosted that weekend a group show curated by Ace Ehrlich who brought several artists from the city just for the event, including German artist Thorsten Brinkmann.

Brian Tolle’s Studio. Photo © 2017 Simona David

The youngest participant in the tour was Sophia Maduri, who showed her work at the Grange in Halcottsville, and sold her first drawing right there – the beginning of a career. My book “How Art Is Made: In the Catskills” was also for sale at the Grange, and provided more context for some of the artworks shown during the tour, a symbiotic relationship.

Sophia Maduri. Photo © 2017 Simona David

Also in Roxbury painters Esther De Jong and Michael Guilmet opened their studio for the first time. De Jong showed some of her oil paintings and pencil drawings, while Guilmet displayed two dozen oil paintings in various styles, and depicting various subject matters – winter landscapes, abstract compositions, and lots of portraits, many of those on commission. Recently De Jong and Guilmet curated an exhibition at Orphic Gallery in Roxbury that included some of the best artworks produced in the region from painters like Adam Cohen, Ann Lee Fuller, and Christopher Durham.

Esther De Jong. Photo © 2017 Simona David
Michael Guilmet
Michael Guilmet. Contributed Photo.

Lisbeth Firmin was one of several artists participating in Margaretville area – her studio is located in the Commons Building. This year Firmin showed some of her urban landscape paintings as well as monotypes produced while studying at Scuola Internationale di Grafica in Venice this past spring. Later this month Firmin will lead a one-week drawing workshop at MURAL Gallery in Hobart, designed as an intensive combination of lectures, demonstrations, and studio exercises.

Lisbeth Firmin’s Studio. Photo © 2017 Simona David

AMR Open Studio Tour 2018 will include even more artists and activities to showcase the abundance of artistic endeavors our region is known for.

© 2017 Simona David

 

 

Visit at Guggenheim

Re-posted from Short Compositions on Life, Art, PR and More (originally posted on 5.15.2009)

Situated on Fifth Avenue, nearby the Metropolitan Museum of Art and overlooking Central Park, Guggenheim Museum is one of the main attractions on the touristic map of New York City. The Museum is home to major 20th century art works by Picasso, Braque, Chagall, Miro, Magritte, Dali, Modigliani, Kandinsky, Brancusi as well as 19th century masterpieces by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh and many more. The museum hosts a beautiful collection of impressionist, post-impressionist, expressionist and surrealist art, which ensures Guggenheim’s status as one of the most important museums of modern art in the world.

Philanthropist and art collector Solomon Guggenheim originally opened the museum in 1937, but as his collection continued to grow, he hired architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design a new building. The building designed by Wright, which opened in 1959, is a masterpiece in itself: the gallery is designed in the form of a helical spiral, starting at the ground level and going up to the top of the building. Art works are displayed along the walls of the spiral as well as in small annexes attached to the central exhibition space. A big skylight is placed at the center of the building.

I visited the museum for the first time a couple of years ago and did get to see an important part of its collection. To mention some of the most beautiful, “Woman with Yellow Hair” (Picasso, 1931), “Accordionist” (Picasso, 1911), “Green Violinist” (Chagall, 1923), “The Clarinet” (Braque, 1912) and “Composition 8” (Kandinsky, 1923).
Picasso’s and Braque’s paintings are a faithful reflection of their cubist and surrealist periods, whereas Kandinsky is the expressionist par excellence. As for Chagall, anytime I find myself in front of any of his paintings, I am under the impression that the artist was dreaming with open eyes when painting: houses upside down, planes interrupted and juxtaposed, people floating through space.

Picasso’s “Woman with Yellow Hair” depicts a curved profile of a woman with yellow hair and pink skin (the contrast of yellow and pink always being a striking one). The woman is taking a nap on a sofa, while somehow still in a vertical position. “Accordionist” is an expression of Picasso’s analytical cubism period. The object of this painting is deconstructed into small components, displayed in various geometric figures, on nuances of mainly brown, gray and beige.

Chagall’s “Green Violinist” is a cubist masterpiece as well, depicting a violinist in a position that resembles the shape of a violin. He plays violin in a dream-like scenery, wearing a purple coat with geometric figures, a purple hat and checkered pants with unmatched shoes.

“Composition 8” by Kandinsky is a mix of circles, semi-circles, triangles, quadrilaterals and lines, arranged in various forms and colors, representative for the abstract art of the 20th century. As a matter of fact, this year Kandinsky’s work will be subject to an ample retrospective, hosted by Guggenheim Museum as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

If you are in the neighborhood this summer, you may want to visit.