Nordic Art In The Spotlight In NYC And At The Venice Biennale

Nordic Art In The Spotlight In NYC And At The Venice Biennale

Nordic Impressions at Scandinavia House

 

“Nordic Impressions” is up until June 8 at Scandinavia House – absolutely stellar show. Several of the artists are also representing their countries at the Venice Biennale.

 

Janine King and I toured this show recently with a Scandinavia House curator which added immeasurably to our understanding and appreciation of the work. Those Nordic artists are a quirky bunch, to put it mildly.

But even without an in-person tour, I highly recommend this show. Especially since several of the artists have been getting rave reviews for their installations at the just-opened Venice Biennale.

The show at Scandinavia House has been culled from a much larger and more comprehensive survey of Nordic art recently exhibited at Washington DC’s Phillips Collection.

This show features only contemporary works. Artists include Olafur Eliasson, Ragnar Kjartansson (video), Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter from Iceland but currently living/working in Brooklyn, Israeli-born Danish painter Tal R, Danish artist collaborative SUPERFLEX, video artist Tori Wrånes and Sámi artist Outi Pieski.

The show is up for only two more weeks so if you are into art and happen to be in NYC, I suggest you hightail it over to Park Avenue to check out. And if you have time, stop by their café for lunch or dinner. The Nordic fare is quite good even if the restaurant design and vibe is a little peculiar.

 

Scroll down for more photos and videos.

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Met Gala 2019: And The Award For “Worst Look” Goes To…

Met Gala 2019: And The Award For “Worst Look” Goes To…

 

Loved this year’s theme and picking the TOP 10 MOST FABULOUS is easy. But try coming up with a tight list of the most egregious looks – it’s much harder.

 

In part, because everyone brought their A-game and with a theme like “Camp,” it’s more challenging to figure out the intent of each get-up. For example, I did not know that Natasha Lyonne (who I thought was just wearing a hideous outfit) was channeling Klaus Nomi.

But I will say, in working on who belongs on which list,  I am clearly not a fan of Vegas showgirl looks, mullet dresses (i.e. short in-front, long in back), that whole jacket with no pants thing that Dapper Dan is into. And, most importantly, gold really turns me off (I had at least 5 women decked out in gold who I whittled down to one – sorry Julianne Moore, you’re the token gold wearer).

 

Scroll down to see my top 10 “Not Making The Grade” looks – hard to pick who would be #1 – but have to give Kim K top honors, in a tie with Amber Valletta.

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Are Jumpsuits Going To Be 2019’s Biggest Trend?

Are Jumpsuits Going To Be 2019’s Biggest Trend?

 

The Met Gala this week was pushing “Camp” as the look of the season but I’m sticking with utility dressing as the trend of the year.

 

And big shout out to Sheri Radel Rosenberg, my fashion guru for calling this trend years ago. I’m sure she’s having a (deservedly) “I told you so” moment right about now as jumpsuits are designated 2019’s hottest trend by everyone from Elle to Refinery 29 to Kym Barrett (costume designer for Jordan Peele’s movie Us).

I’m personally so ready to adopt the boilersuit look but have yet to find a style I want to wear.

I’ve also noticed the coolest stores outfitting their staffs in jumpsuits e.g. Glossier or Goop.

  • Wildfang apparently modeled their pink jumpsuit after Glossier’s. They look so awesome online, I trekked over to the store to try some one. Made me look like I was wearing a giant diaper. Not cool at all!

Even COS is getting in on the action. An email from them this week was headlined “Season of the Jumpsuit.” Styles, however, meh.

And guys are getting in on the trend also. Recently at an Apple presentation, Apple designer, Wyatt Mitchell, wore a white Dickies jumpsuit with Converses from a Virgil Abloh collaboration on stage. (Check out the link, it looks rad.)

While we’re on the subject, one thing I absolutely loathe is when they call them “rompers.” I’m a grown-ass woman, I don’t want to wear a “romper.” And I don’t think I would have wanted to at 20 either….

 

Scroll down for more examples of how this look is trending.

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Frieze NYC 2019: Lots To See But A Bit Low Energy This Year

Frieze NYC 2019: Lots To See But A Bit Low Energy This Year

 

Rodrigo Padilla and I spent several hours at Frieze yesterday. We even bought art and it didn’t break the bank (see below)!

 

Frieze opens to the public today (Friday) and runs thru the weekend. Weather permitting, take the ferry from East 35th Street. It’s a sublime way to take in the sights of the city and arrive in style!

 

There are two must-see installations:

  • The Yayoi Kusama/Chris Ofili installation at Victoria Miro. It greets you as you enter the tents and it is stunning. Unfortunately, it also attracts idiotic fair goers who feel Frieze is an amusement park for their instagram selfies. One couple was sitting on the Kusama sphere orbs while two other women backed into the Ofili painting with their backpacks and were outraged when admonished not to do so. It will be a stressful few days for the Miro staff if they don’t get security up to snuff – or at least rope off the installation – and they better do it pronto!!
  • Steve Keene at P.P.O.W.  At first I thought this was an art world joke but I was incredibly intrigued to see this artist on his stage/platform painting pieces that were then available for purchase by fair attendees (cash-only!). And they were priced according to size from $10 to $50. We watched the performance, had lunch, I did some research and we hightailed it back to the booth. Rodrigo and I each purchased a newly minted artwork for $20 a pop. Keene has sold over 250,000 paintings over his 25 year career. Although a Yale MFA, his influences come from his friends in the music world e.g. Pavement and from back in the day when there were album covers. Video and photos of our acquisitions below. An absolute highlight of the fair and kudos to PPOW for having the vision to tap into this populist moment.

 

Scroll down and join Rodrigo and I as we daytrip through Frieze. Interesting art and some amazingly interesting fair goers as well.

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Hilma Af Klint Tops Attendance Record At The Guggenheim

Hilma Af Klint Tops Attendance Record At The Guggenheim

 

This show freaked me out. The work is phenomenal but what really blew me away was the absolutely bizarre experience I had while in one of the galleries.

 

I was reading the text about the artist’s mystical practices and séances when my hair literally stood on end and I got goosebumps – I was experiencing what’s known as the spiritual chills.

  • Hilma af Klint turned to spiritualism after the loss of her sister. Working with a group of women called the Five, she committed herself, in near-secret, to an epic cycle of mediumistically inspired abstract paintings.
  • I had never experienced anything like it before at any museum or gallery. However, when I broached the subject with one of the docents, she readily filled me in on how many people had the exact same experience.

Artnet concurs:

  • The af Klint show has benefited from its connections beyond the typical art audience. Witchcraft has been trending in popular culture in recent years.
  • Hilma af Klint may not have been widely taught in art history courses, but her work has a large presence in contemporary occult communities. During the Guggenheim show, devotees even offered free “psychic tours” where visitors are taught to “practice receiving spirit messages through select paintings as a group.”

Yesterday (Tuesday April 23) was the last day of this glorious show. I cannot stress enough how exceptional it is – it just knocks you off your feet. I’m also not sure if it is traveling to another city but if you hear that it is, make sure you run to see it.

Bottom Line.

Here’s how good the show has been:

  • It was the most popular show in the Guggenheim’s entire 60 year history. It attracted over 600,000 visitors since it opened in October 2018.
  • Museum membership increased by 34% during the run of the show.
  • More than 30,000 copies of the catalogue were sold, surpassing the previous record set by the 2009 catalogue Kandinsky.
  • Hilma af Klint–inspired merchandise has been flying off the shelves – accounting for 42% of all Guggenheim Store sales.

 

Scroll down for more photos from the show.

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Brant Foundation + Basquiat: THE Most Spectacular Art Experience Of The Year!

Brant Foundation + Basquiat: THE Most Spectacular Art Experience Of The Year!

 

The new Brant Foundation in the East Village opened last week with a spectacular Basquiat show. Tickets are SOLD OUT but get yourself on the Wait List. Forget about this year’s art fairs, this is THE art experience everyone will be talking about. Another outstanding example of the trend to private art museums. Major culture shift.

 

 

Peter Brant bought this building in 2014 after Walter de Maria’s death in 2013. It had served as the legendary artist’s home and studio for over 30 years.

I was incredibly lucky to tour the building (a former Con Ed substation) shortly afterwards in December 2014.

  • The space at that point was authentic to how de Maria had lived/worked e.g. unenclosed toilet and kitchen sink next to each other was his only hat tip to domestication.
  • The Dan Colen show was installed in the untouched space – and it was fabulous.
  • Link here to the show with photos from my visit.

Four years later, after a major overhaul, the space has reopened with an absolutely stunning Basquiat show organized in collaboration with the Fondation Louis Vuitton (Gagosian appears to be involved as well possibly because he represents the Walter de Maria estate?).

Tickets are sold out but after having added myself to the wait list for pretty much all the days/times from opening til May (when it closes), my diligence was rewarded with two tickets for this past Sunday. I’m still hyperventilating. So good!

Address: 421 East 6th Street (between 1st Avenue and Avenue A)

 

Scroll down for photos from our visit.

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Fantastic Mid-Century Modern Is To Be Found In Boise.

Fantastic Mid-Century Modern Is To Be Found In Boise.

 

Who knew Boise was such a mecca of mid-century modern?

 

Friends and I are headed to Boise in August. Can’t believe I’ve never been, especially since I keep hearing how cool it is.

  • I’ve also heard that Boise is the number one relocation destination for Seattleites moving out of the Puget Sound Region (?).
  • In planning this trip I had absolutely no idea the city was a hub of Mid-Century Modern (MCM) – both housing and design (furniture, housewares etc.).
  • I should probably not have been so surprised since the initial attraction for me was the city’s Modern Hotel and Bar (where we’ll be staying). I’ve been following this former Travelodge on Instagram for a while and it’s 100% Mid-Century Modern.

Here’s what else I’ve uncovered to date about Boise’s MCM roots:

  • Notable architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Cliff May, Charles Hummel, Art Troutner, Nat Adams, Joe LaMarche, and Victor Hosford have all built amazing homes in Boise that many enthusiasts are preserving and living in.
  • Art Troutner is considered the Frank Lloyd Wright of Boise.
  • I’ve also been following Mid-Century Homes by Moniker Real Estate on Instagram. This Boise realty firm was founded by TJ Pierce as a ‘niche market real-estate team’ specializing in homes built during the 1950s & 1960s.
  • They had/have the listing for one of Art Troutner’s most original, unique and untouched homes (above pic, left).
  • I also discovered Idaho Modern, an advocacy group for Modern design. The group’s leadership, called the Mod Squad, plans tours, exhibitions and lectures, researches landmarks, and organizes field trips.
  • From their site, I learned that Idaho experienced a building boom during the 1950’s thru 70’s which left it with significant architectural gems, as well as many living architects and designers who contributed to the MCM landscape. Sadly, despite their best efforts, Idaho has lost several important mid-century modern buildings due to a lack of awareness of their value.
  • Boise Boys, a new HGTV show focusing on two house flippers in Boise has been renewed for a second season and frequently features MidCentury homes as well. It’s produced by the Fixer Upper team.

 

Read on below for more on the booming demand for Mid-Century Modern, PLUS the role Palm Springs’ Modernism Week is playing in raising awareness.

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Q+A With Artist Scooter LaForge: Painter In The Spotlight!

Q+A With Artist Scooter LaForge: Painter In The Spotlight!

 

Scooter LaForge, “full-time wizard with the paint brush” is a celebrated East Village artist renowned for his unique painting style. It is immediately recognizable, a blend of nostalgic pop and cartoon imagery with a nihilistic punk execution, and a sense of humor. He’s as famous for the work done on canvas as he is for his collaborations with the fashion world, especially with legendary downtown fashion doyenne, Patricia Field.

LaForge has also collaborated with Belgian designer Walter Van Bierendonck and Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard, and was chosen to be a keynote speaker at the Montreal Fashion & Design Festival. He is a recent recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award.

He recently participated in shows at the Leslie Lohman Museum in New York, Friedrichshof Museum in Vienna, and Spirit museum and Absolut Art Collection in Sweden.

His upcoming show of 5 mural-size paintings opens next Thursday. If you’re in NYC, check it out. I’ll be there!

Scooter LaForge “Homo Eruptus” at the Howl! Happening gallery, 6 E. First St., on Thurs., Feb. 14, Opening reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Read on below for Scooter’s Q+A:

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