Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday Sharing (My Finds Are Yours)

Today's final edition of Saturday Sharing for 2011 offers an animation of a John Siddique poem and a video feature on choreographer Bill T. Jones, plus links to Eric Fischer's beautiful maps of Twitter's language communities, Wave Book's Erasures poetry project, the Library of Congress's wonderful new ViewShare platform, and two sites where you can pin poems to Google maps.

✭ My friend the poet John Siddique has now completed his animated series "year of full moons" with the release of "Yew Moon - We Are Russian Dolls to Ourselves", from his collection Recital, which I reviewed here. Enjoy!

Yew Moon from John Siddique on Vimeo.

See all the moon animations here.

✭ Eric Fischer has posted on Flickr his beautiful mappings of the language communities of Twitter; the map colors correspond to languages typed on Twitter. The Big Think posted a feature about the maps and what they tell us.

✭ Introduce yourself to the erasure process at Wave Books, an independent poetry press in Seattle, Washington. As conceived, the online project allows you to select a source text and, through a process of "disappearing" words or punctuation marks, create a new "sculpted text" or poem. You may save the program to the project archive, or print or e-mail it. Currently, there are more than 3,000 erasure poems available to view.

✭ The Library of Congress has launched a wonderful new site: ViewShare: Interfaces to Our Heritage, described as "a free platform for generating and customizing views (interactive maps, timelines, facets like a search box, tag clouds) that allow users to experience your digital collections." The site's facilities work with spreadsheets and other record types, allow you to import and upload your own collections, and also copy-paste and embed interfaces in any Web page. For an introduction to how ViewShare works, view the Screencast.

✭ Don't let your poems go unmapped. With Google maps in place, you can now pin poems to place at Poetry Atlas or Poetry4U. The former site boasts "thousands" of poems about places (browse by poet name and poem title or first line, or search by location), while the latter allows you to post your own Twitter-length inspirations to a Google map. (My thanks to Harriet the Blog for the links.) 

✭ I was privileged to see the premiere of choreographer Bill T. Jones's "Fondly Do We Hope. . . Fervently Do We Pray", which honors the Bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln. I found it an engrossing piece of dance-theatre. Last month, American Masters broadcast Bill T. Jones: A Good Man, a chronicle of Jones's creation of this and other work. In the following video interview, Jones talks briefly about his creative process and inspiration. For screening information, go here.

Additional videos, a biographical essay and tribute, interviews, and related information are found in the sidebar here.

Jeffrey Brown of the PBS News Hour Art Beat program talked with Jones in 2009 about the choreography.

Here's the official trailer for the documentary:

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company on FaceBook (Videos on FaceBook)

A Good Man on FaceBook

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ For a "very personal" talk about Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993), a painter known for his "sensitivity to light and color of a particular place", take an hour off during the holidays and enjoy this excellent podcast by Diebenkorn's daughter, Gretchen Diebenkorn Grant.  

While speaking about her father's drawings and other artworks, as well as gifts such as hand-made cards for family members, Diebenkorn Grant remarks on Diebenkorn's "fantastic" sense of humor, delight in useful objects, and comfort "going in and out of fantasy." She also addresses how he taught her to see, especially variation in color. Her comments on her father's "aggressive, active involvement" with a work, how "physically involved [Diekbenkorn was] with the paint and canvas", and how he "used the strength of his hands to express his ideas" are particularly interesting. Also noteworthy are three of 10 notes on beginning a painting: "Do search but in order to find other than what is searched for." "Mistakes can't be erased but they move you forward from your present position." "Tolerate chaos." A "very opinionated" man who "valued his own autonomy" and resisted all labels, Diebenkorn, says his daughter, "was interested in evidence of changes a work went through as it evolved". He basically worked 365 days a year, she notes. "He was always working because he was always looking and deeply noticing." His work, she adds, is "a series of intimate spaces the viewer is allowed to enter."

The podcast was produced in conjunction with the exhibition "Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series" at the Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth, Texas. The exhibition remains on view until January 15.

✦ In late October I featured in an All Art Friday post a video of Gerhard Richter that showed the artist using giant squeegees while painting. The Tate Modern posted on its blog this fascinating conversation with painting conservator Rachel Barker about how Richter makes his artwork. Images of a trio of marvelous work are shown. (My thanks to Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes for his link to the Tate blog.)

✦ Do take some time in the virtual Reading Room at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which offers a remarkable collection of art-related materials, such as exhibition catalogues, monographs, and other publications, on European art, German Expressionism, and, most recently, the wonderful Pacific Standard Time initiative. 

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is presenting through  January 22, 2012, "Glenn Ligon: America", a retrospective mid-career exhibition of approximately 100 paintings, prints, photography, drawings, and sculptural installations, including previously unknown early material and the reconstruction of such works as the "Door" paintings, the coal dust "Stranger" canvases, and the "Coloring" series. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition, which appeared earlier this year at the Whitney in New York City.

In conjunction with the show, Ligon (b. 1960) took time to talk about his work (see video) for which he draws on American history, literature, and society. I found particularly interesting his comments on Robert Mapplethorpe and about Ligon's own "Coloring" series, a reinterpretation of images of civil rights leaders in coloring books from the 1960s and 1970s.

LACMA's Limited-Edition Ligon Print

Ligon Work at Walker Art Center and Museum of Modern Art

Ligon in LACMA's Collections (Ligon's Rugenfigur (2009), which is part of the "America" works, recently was acquired by LACMA.)

LACMA on FaceBook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube

LACMA Blog Unframed

Of related interest: Jason Moran, "Glenn Ligon", Interview; "Glenn Ligon Reframes History in the Art of 'America'", NPR, May 8, 2011; and Ben Davis, "Glenn Ligon and Post-Civil Rights America", ArtInfo, April 21, 2011

✭ In New York City, take some time for the Museum of Modern Art exhibition of Diego Rivera's "Murals for the Museum of Modern Art", on view through May 14, 2012. The last Rivera retrospective at the museum was 80 years ago; the current show brings together five "portable" murals Rivera created for the 1931 exhibition. Among the murals presented are The Uprising, Electric Power, Pneumatic Drill, Frozen Assets, and Indian Warrior. Here's a brief video introduction to the exhibition:

In addition to the murals, the exhibition includes full-scale drawings, working drawings, archival materials related to the commission and production of the murals, and Rivera's design for Rockefeller Center's mural, Man at the Crossroads (listen to the audio recordings here and here). The MoMA, the sole venue for the exhibition, has issued a catalogue, Diego Rivera: Murals for the Museum of Modern Art by Leah Dickerman and Anna Indych-Lopez (2011) that includes 128 illustrations.

Diego Rivera, Agrarian Leader Zapata, 1931
Fresco, 7' 9-3/4" x 6' 2"
The Museum of Modern Art/Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund

If you can't get to the Big Apple, don't miss the audio recordings available on the exhibition site. Go here and browse the playlist to the right.

ArtInfo Slideshow of Images of 11 Murals

Diego Rivera Mural Project, City College of San Francisco

Video of Work in Diego Rivera Museum in Mexico City

MoMA on FaceBookTwitter, and YouTube

✭ Artworks by poet Elizabeth Bishop have been much in the news this year, and those of you who might have missed the earlier exhibitions of her work in celebration of the centennial of her birth, take heart. New York City's Tibor de Nagy Gallery is running through January 21 a show of her watercolors and gouaches, in addition to several assemblages and constructions reminiscent of Joseph Cornell. Titled "Elizabeth Bishop: Objects & Apparitions", the show also features paintings by Gregorio Valdes and John Ferren, and an early Calder print. Two family portraits and an inherited landscape are included. A 48-page book with contributions from writers Dan Chiasson, Joelle Biele, editor of Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker, and Lloyd Schwartz accompanies the exhibition.

Elizabeth Bishop, Red Flowers on Black, Undated
Gouache and Graphite on Paper
9-3/4" x 6"

Selection of Exhibition Images (Click on the page for the image to appear.)

Gallery Press Release (pdf)

The Alice Methfessel Collection of Paintings and Assemblages by Elizabeth Bishop (Go here to learn about some of the artworks in the de Nagy exhibition.)

Elizabeth Bishop at Vassar College (Vassar is the repository for Bishop's papers.)

Also of interest: "From Pens to Brushes", Critical Analyical Essay by Davis Nguyen

✭ The Indianapolis Museum of Art has mounted "Universe Is Flux: The Art of Tawara Yusaku". On view through April 1, this is the first large-scale show of the contemporary Japanese painter's gorgeous and expressive work, which is primarily in ink on paper. This video is an introduction to the artist (1932-2004) and the exhibition, which features 77 works. A catalogue accompanies the show.

Go here to see a collection of Yasaku images dating from the early 1990s to 2002.

IMA on FaceBook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and ArtBabble

IMA Blog

Notable Exhibitions Abroad

✭ The Whitworth Art Gallery of the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, is showing until January 15 "Dark Matters: Shadow_Technology_Art". The exhibition, which includes a commissioned installation, The Veil, by Korea's Ja-Young Ku and work by nine other artists, examines the effects of scientific, digital, and mechanical invention on visual culture. 

Don't miss the Dark Matters Website for a selection of images and information about the artists and their work (additional links are provided on each artist's page): Daniel Rozin, Pascal Grandmaison, Barnaby Hosking, Brass Art (a group of artists),  Hiraki Sawa, R. Luke DuBois, Idris Khan, Elin O'Hara Slavick, Pavel Buchler, and Ja-Young Ku. Here's a very brief video:

Dark Matters Blog

✭ The first French retrospective for fascinating Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, comprising 150 works, including paintings and soft sculptures, from 1949 to 2011, continues at Centre Pompidou through January 9. This video from Vernissage TV is a walk-through of the show:

Website for Yayoi Kusama

Kusama: Princess of Polka Dots (Documentary Work-in-Progress)

Yayoi Kusama in the MoMA Collection

Yayoi Kusama at Gagosian Gallery

Of related interest: Deborah Barlow, "Brilliant Mind Meets Freakish Individuality", Slow Muse, June 10, 2009

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Roger Feldman's Art of Kinesthetic Experience

Since 1976 my work has used human perceptual processes
as subject, content, and the driving vehicle for [my] work. . .
All of the works [rely] on one premise: viewer participation. . .
As the work has matured, materials, context, and perceptual
sequencing have all developed into a more cohesive relationship. . . 
The overarching interest throughout has been an underlying
fascination with the spiritual. . . The work continues to ask, 
"What is this intangible reality?"
~ Roger Feldman

Take the time to view the many images of site-specific work on award-winning artist Roger Feldman's Website, and you begin to notice the provisions he makes for engaging his viewers: His constructions expose angled walls and curved planes, sloping platforms, tilted stairs, circular ramps, hanging apparatus, fields of different colors that assault the eye, sheathes of fabric, various heights of level or irregular but walkable surfaces, the inclusion of "intentional" components such as natural or constructed sound, video, or movement — all arguing for not only openness to the conceptual vision behind each piece, which may be room-size and made of wood, concrete, mortar, steel, sheetrock, paper, or mixed media, but also for visual, perceptual, and even spiritual connection, or what Feldman describes in his biographical notes as "kinesthetic experiences", tensions, and vulnerabilities. Also evident is the obvious care with which Feldman situates each artwork in its respective environment to promote and take full advantage of interactions with viewers. There are rewards to be had in just looking closely but greater rewards are to be experienced when you step into, onto, or around one of Feldman's sculptures.

Feldman's interesting charcoal-on-metal, pastel-on-metal, and pastel-on-wood-and-mortar drawings are full of movement and seem to experiment with illusion and scale. His digital work is wonderfully textured like collage, frequently arresting in color, and, perceptually, playful; you're impelled to look deeper, go under or through the surface. 

Feldman, who makes his home in Seattle, Washington, currently is constructing an installation on the grounds of Freswick Castle in Scotland. The castle, built on the foundations of a 12th Century Viking settlement, an important archeological site, engages an international community of artists through conferences, exhibitions, retreats, and other creative initiatives sponsored or supported by The Wayfarer Trust. In the 13:48-minute documentary, EKKO, below, Feldman's seen discussing the site and what he wants the work to accomplish. He will complete his artwork, made entirely of stone, in 2012.

EKKO from Fionn Watts on Vimeo.

Feldman's installations can be found around the United States, including in Anchorage, Alaska; Claremont, Pasadena, and Santa Ana, California; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Rochester, New York; McMinnville, Oregon; and Dallas, Texas; and abroad, including in the United Kingdom and Austria. 

Also Of Interest

Roger Feldman, "Off-Centered Consequences", Image Journal, Issue 30, Spring 2001

Roger Feldman, Artist of the Month, Image Journal, November 2001

Roger Feldman Site-Specific Sculpture Installations, BilHenry Gallery

Prayer Book Project Interview with Roger Feldman

My thanks to Transpositions, where I first learned about the documentary. That site's feature on Feldman addresses the issue of "philosophical and religious undercurrents" in the artist's work.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Played Into Silence (Poem)

Played Into Silence ~ A Villanelle

Your violin in its beat black case
takes your shape as I did dream
you, played into silence. I race

for time lost to words without grace,
and hollow. How worn you seem,
like your violin in its beat black case

lashed with leather belts. I could not face
your face tender in hers but did not scheme
against you, only played into silence. I race

the day into night now, try again to trace
to one place my fall from your esteem.
In its corner, your violin in its beat black case

absorbs your every note of my disgrace
you reduced to variations. This one theme
too well you played, and into silence I still race,

forever more that one, fingered and replaced.
What's composed you can't erase, and too extreme's
the screeching of your violin in its beat black case.
From you, even played into silence, I race.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas

No one is going to mistake this poem as embodying the "sounds of Christmas", unless she suffered a broken heart this season or was listening to Christmas carols played achingly on the violin. The poem is, however, a villanelle and I'm offering it up for TweetSpeakPoetry's call for Random Acts of Poetry, which earlier this month issued a call for work in the form. 

Today is the deadline for poems (and for participants in the related PhotoPlay); so, if you've written a villanelle (the challenge is described here), drop a link to your poem on the T.S. Poetry Press FaceBook wall as soon as you can. Your poem, if selected, could end up featured at TweetSpeak or in Every Day Poems.

You'll find my villanelle "Few Precious Words" here.

Update: A recording of "Played Into Silence" is available at SoundCloud:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

That My Hands Might Open (Poem)

That my hands might open

to re-welcome you
and my mouth to shape

the words hemmed
with forgive

and my eyes to deny
no more

than this day brings
and my heart too

hold no expectations
more than

I am without you
and my ears to hear how

this, this would be
my prayer for thanks given.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas

Monday, December 26, 2011

Stern Shoots Marilyn (Poem)

Stern Shoots Marilyn

The bad boys all think
        they know her type,

want to be sure she gets
        their number. Who can

blame them? Every shot
        of her leaves them wanting

what the picture-taker made
        his own in just three days

of close-ups the six weeks
        before she died. He caught

her before the glitter rubbed
        off, got intimate in a way

that never did convey what
        the camera couldn't see

and wouldn't produce once
        the focus blurred. The last

sitting had nothing to do
        with how diamonds reflect

what a lover's worth. His
        romance was turning her

into tones and planes, his own
        living doll on the printed page.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas

This poem is my response to today's photo prompt at Magpie Tales. The image is titled "Diamonds" and is from Bert Stern's Marilyn Monroe Collection, "The Last Sitting", comprising more than 2,000 images shot over three days in 1962, six weeks before Monroe's death. The poem's last couplet borrows a bit from this quotation by Stern: "I was preparing for Marilyn's arrival like a lover, and yet I was here to take photographs. Not to take her in my arms, but to turn her into tones, and planes, and shapes, and ultimately an image for the printed page."

The photograph and others by Stern (b. 1929) can be seen here and at Magpie Tales, as well as at many other fine art photography sites displaying Stern's work. Stern published a selection of his photographs in 1992 in Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting. In 2008, Stern shot actress Lindsay Lohan as Monroe in "The Last Sitting". (See a New York magazine article about that here.)

Write your own poem or flash fiction response to the prompt, using the image provided, then go here to add your own link and to read the other participants' contributions.

Monday Muse Checks Out eBook Treasures

Those who own an iPad or iPhone have a new way to experience the pleasures of reading: eBook Treasures. Created for the British Library by new media agency Armadillo Systems, eBook Treasures aims to bring readers facsimile editions of "the greatest books in the world" now in the collections of prestigious libraries. In using the interactive format, readers will be able to explore text and hear critical commentary about or interpretations of rare and wonderful texts.

Currently, eBook Treasures offers Shakepeare's Sonnets, A Medieval Bestiary, The Bedford Hours (a medieval prayerbook), Henry VIII's Psalter, Sultan Baybars's Qur'an, William Tyndale's English translation of the New Testament, Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, The Luttrell Psalter (a medieval prayerbook), William Blake's Notebook, and Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures Underground, in addition to Gerardus Mercator's Atlas of Europe, Jane Austen's History of England, and Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Arundel. Plans are to increase the number of offerings to at least 75 titles within the next two years.

All of the books are viewable in full-screen high-definition, and can be read offline after being downloaded. All are available via iTunes. They also may be purchased directly from the eBook Treasures site.

You may search for books by institution (currently, British Library, Natural History Museum, and John Rylands Library) or by type (currently, science and nature, literature, sacred texts, and Shakespeare).

Take a look at how eBook Treasures works:

You'll find information about required devices and downloading capabilities in the FAQs on the eBook Treasures site. 

Currently available eBook Treasures for Kindle, Android, and Windows tablets are found here.

An iPad app providing access to an extraordinary 19th Century collection of some 45,000 titles in the British Library is described here

eBook Treasures on FaceBook

The Fine Books & Collections blog published earlier this month an interview with Michael Stocking of Armadillo Systems. Stocking talks about the creation of eBook Treasures, the process of selecting books to feature, upcoming launches, and plans to extend eBook Treasures to other devices.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

'Songs on Nativity Poems by Joseph Brodsky'


Konstantin Bliokh set a number of poet Joseph Brodsky's "Nativity Poems"* to music. In this studio recording for soprano and two guitars, Songs on Nativity Poems by J. Brodsky, op. 27 (2009), you will hear the settings for "Imagine", "Lullaby", "Snow Is Falling", and "No Matter".

Joseph Brodsky, 1940-1996 

United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, 1991-1992, Brodsky also was the recipient of the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature. His other prestigious awards included a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant (1981).

* Brodsky wrote a poem every Christmas. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux published in 2002 a bilingual collection of 18 of his Nativity Poems; the book is out of print and available only through resellers. A 2001 review of the collection is here; a 2003 review is here. An audio recording of his "A Season" (translation by Mark Strand) is here.

Sven Birkerts, "Joseph Brodsky, The Art of Poetry No. 28", Interview, The Paris Review, Spring 1982, No. 82.

Joseph Brodsky Profile, Poems, and Articles at Poetry Foundation 

Poems at The New York Review of Books

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Saturday Sharing (My Finds Are Yours)

Today's just-before Christmas issue offers links to PennSounds' Threads Talk Series, the interactive online story Balloons of Bhutan, Westminster Abbey's Poets' Corner, the Smithsonian Institution Archives Education Page for teachers of K-12, and the new poetry journal Aesthetix. The video feature is the trailer for a documentary, Made in India, about the remarkable phenomenon known as "outsourced surrogacy". 

May all my readers enjoy the beauty of this holiday season!

✦ A series titled Threads Talk Series, with poets, artists, publishers, and scholars, curated by Steve Clay of Granary Books in New York City, can be found at Penn Sound. Begun in 2009, the series includes talks on book arts with Charles Alexander, Alan Loney, Simon Cutts, Jerome Rothenberg, and Johanna Drucker, and others.

✦ Brooklyn artist Jonathan Harris has put his Balloons of Bhutan: A Portrait of Happiness in the Last Himalayan Kingdom online as an interactive story.

Jonathan Harris, "The Web's Secret Stories", TED Talk (17:14 minutes)

We Feel Fine (Website of Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar)

✦ One of the highlights of Westminster Abbey is Poets' Corner in the South Transept. A stone commemorating the late Ted Hughes was placed there December 6, at the foot of the stone memorializing T.S. Eliot.

✦ Browsing online educational content for K-12 students can be time-consuming. If you're a teacher or a parent who enjoys exploring fascinating content with your children, begin with the Smithsonian Institution Archives Education Page. There you'll find online versions of primary sources, from diaries and letters to historic photographs, as well as lesson plans to make the most of the Smithsonian's resources.

✦ A new poetry journal has come online: Aesthetix, which publishes a single featured title in its quarterly issues. Themes to date have been "Red Car in the Future" and "Arrow". Submissions from new and established writers are welcome. Submission guidelines are here. (My thanks to Newpages for the link to the journal.)

Aesthetix on FaceBook and Twitter

Rebecca Haimowitz and Vaishali Sinha have produced an award-winning documentary, Made in India, about the "outsourcing" of surrogacy. The film follows a working-class couple from San Antonio, Texas, in their quest to find a surrogate mother in Mumbai, India. The social, economic, and cultural implications and ramifications of this experience in reproductive surrogacy are profound. Here's the trailer for this extraordinary, thought-provoking film:

The film was screened in Washington, D.C., on December 4 and will premiere in Bangladesh in January. For information on educational or other copies for screening, go here. Interviews and other news features about the film and its topic can be found here.

Made in India on FaceBook

Friday, December 23, 2011

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Devoted to promoting "awesomeness", the worldwide network known as The Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences distributes monthly, no-strings-attached cash grants of $1,000 to projects and their creators. To date, projects in the arts, technology, social welfare, and other areas have received these "microgrants" from self-organized chapters formed around topics of interest of geographic areas. Check the FAQs to learn more about the organization and then submit your application.

The Awesome Foundation Blog (The blog includes a variety of posts on projects that have received grants.)

The Awesome Foundation on FaceBook and Twitter

Of related interest: Al Kratina, "Grants Make City a Better Place", The Gazette, November 5, 2011

✦ Now a New York City resident, Swedish-born paper sculptor Ivar Theorin is one of a half-dozen artists privileged to participate in the Museum of Arts and Design's program Open Studios: Artists at Work Daily. Theorin takes his inspiration from history, current events, and observations of daily life, using animal forms — fashioned from brown paper, canvas, metal wire, wood, plastic, clay, concrete, and, more recently laptop, video projection, or other technology — to explore the paradoxes of human behavior. Take a few minutes to browse images of his thought-provoking work and if you're in New York City, stop by his studio at the museum.

Ivar Theorin, Indentured Transcendence, 2009
Paper Over Armature, Wood, and Steel
© Ivar Theorin

✦ A book, Jim Denevan: Lake Baikal, and DVD, Art Hard, is now available about land artist Jim Denevan's journey to Lake Baikal, in southwestern Siberia, where Denevan aimed to create the world's largest work of art on a frozen surface (a spiral of circles, along a Fibonacci curve, that grow from 18 inches to several miles in diameter). Short videos of work-in-progress and still photos of the environmental art can be seen at the ANTHROPOLOGiST. Here is one video showing the work on its completion in 2010. It's stunning!

Take some time at Denevan's site to view his land art in sand and earth. I think it rivals Robert Smithson's "Spiral Jetty", which I love. Denevan also is the founder and organizer of a worldwide moveable feast, "Outstanding in the Field".

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ In Reno, the Nevada Museum of Art is showing through January 15 "The Altered Landscape: Photographs of a Changing Environment". Marking the museum's celebration of its 80th anniversary, the show draws from the museum's own The Altered Landscape Photography Collection, which was founded in the 1990s and numbers more than 900 images. Among the extraordinary photographers whose work is included are Robert Adams, Edward Burtynsky, David Maisel, and Fandra Chang. A book of the same title, co-published with Rizzoli, accompanies the exhibition.

David Maisel, Terminal Mirage 13 (Ed. 4/5), 2003 (Printed 2007)
Dye Coupler Print, 48" x 48"
Collection Nevada Museum of Art
The Altered Landscape, Carol Franc Buck Collection

Nevada Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ Diverse work by 21 emerging and established Korean artists is featured in "Korean Eye: Energy and Matter" at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. On view through February 19, the exhibition showcases photography, video, painting, and mixed media by, among other artistsJi Yong Ho, Kim Hyun Soo, Choi TaeHoon, Jang Seung Hyo, Inbai Kim, Koh Myung Keun, Joon Kim, Lee Dong Wook, Shin Meekyoung, Ayoung Kim, Lee Jae-Hyo (also go here), and Park Seung Mo. Selected images of these artists may be seen here. A catalogue, featuring work by 75 contemporary Korean artists and including their biographies and artist statements, accompanies the exhibition.

The exhibition, for which a Website has been created, will travel in 2012 to Abu Dhabi and London.

Image Above at Right: Lee Jae-Hyo, 0121-1110=111038, 2011, Chestnut Wood, 91-1/2" x 47-1/4" x 47-1/4"; © Lee Jae-Hyo

Here's a short exhibition-related video:

MAD Museum on FaceBookTwitter, and YouTube

MAD Blog

✭ In Minneapolis, a group show of prints, "Highpoint Editions—Decade One", is showing at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts through June 10. The featured artists include Carlos Amorales, Rob Fischer, Julie Mehretu, Clarence Morgan, Lisa Nankivil, and Jessica Rankin, all of whom have published prints with the internationally known Highpoint Center for Printmaking.

Here's a brief exhibition-related video:

✭ The New Mexico Museum of Art has extended to January 8 its exhibition "New Native Photography", which features 25 photographs by 19 artists from federally recognized United States and Canadian tribes, nations, first nations, and pueblos. Among the artists included are John FeodorovRichard Ray Whitman, and Tiffiney Yazzie

New Mexico Museum of Art on FaceBook and Twitter

Cypher Space - The Museum of Art Blog


Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Re-Imagination of Aparna Rao

. . . we don't really love technology. . . but we use it
because we're interested in the way that it can help us
to express the emotions and behavioral patterns in
these creatures that we create. And once a creature pops
into our minds, it's almost like the process of creation
is to discover the way this creature really wants to exist
and what form it wants to take and what way it wants to move.
~ Aparna Rao of Pors & Rao

Bangalore, India-based artist Aparna Rao (b. 1978), a 2011 TED Fellow, gave a talk in Edinburgh, Scotland, this past summer that will delight you. Rao, who collaborates with Danish artist Soren Pors (b. 1974), re-thinks and re-imagines the ordinary into something that is high-tech, playful, witty, and incredibly creative. Watch as she introduces a few of the duo's creations: the "Uncle Phone" (see image below) that is "so long that it requires two people to use it", an electronics-embedded typewriter that sends her uncle's commands as e-mails, a sound-sensitive installation titled "The Pygmies", and a video installation "The Missing Person" that is equipped with a camera that can follow you and also make you invisible.

Rao has worked since 2004 with Pors, whom she met while on a research scholarship at the Interaction Design Institute, Ivrea, Italy. Known as Pors & Rao, the couple's multidisciplinary art practice draws on knowledge of mechanical and electronic engineering, programming, and manufacturing. Their work has been shown in Spain, India, Israel, Italy, Norway, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. Their solo exhibition "Applied Fiction" was earlier this year at the Vadehra Art Gallery in India.

Pors and Rao, The Uncle Phone, 2003
Plastic, Metal, and Electronics
4" x 6" x 78"
Private Collection
Photo: Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

The phone, which is functional, was featured earlier this year in the exhibition "Roots in the Air, Branches Below: Modern and Contemporary Art from India" at San Jose (New Mexico) Museum of Art. (A review of that show is here.)
DAT Feature on Pors and Rao (This feature includes an interview with the duo.)

Exhibition Installation Images from Vadehra Art Gallery (Included are images of several of the works mentioned in the TEDTalk.)

Georgina Maddox, "When the Toys Come Alive: Artist Duo, Pors and Rao, Weaves Interactive Fun Into Their Unusual Work", Indian Express, January 27, 2011

Amitava Sanyal, "Two to Tango", Hindustan Times, February 27, 2011

Vadehra Art Gallery Profile of Pors & Rao

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Why Quilts Matter

. . . [Quilts] hold so much information that isn't
accessible in other art-making mediums. . . They reflect
the pulse of every moment from multiple perspectives.
~ Stacy Hollander, Senior Curator, American Folk Art Museum

Why Quilts Matter Collage of Quilts 

Open a quilt and you open the beginning of a story. The story may be a political statement, a rendering of a moment of personal or national significance, a commemoration of a loved one's birth or death, the marking of sheer delight in the look and feel of fabric. In the United States, where more than 21 million individuals are involved in the thriving $3.6 billion industry, quilts are more than big business; they hold a unique place in American arts and fine craft, history and politics, and education and culture.

A special and important documentary series Why Quilts Matter: History, Art, & Politics takes an in-depth look at the stories quilts tell, the quilters who tell the stories, the scholars who research quilts, the collectors and dealers who buy and sell quilts, and "quilt culture" in America.

Intended for a broad audience, the nine-part series, which is available on DVD and to PBS stations through 2013 (and Kentucky Educational Television through January 2012), was independently produced and funded by the nonprofit Kentucky Quilt Project. KQP, established in 1981 in Louisville, was the first state quilt documentation project (such projects are in nearly every state now), fostering research, exhibitions such as 1992's "Louisville Celebrates the American Quilt", and a range of quilt-related publications and other resources, including the extraordinary Quilt Index, an online resource comprising more than 50,000 records.

The documentary's episodes comprise:

1 ~ Quilts 101 — Antique and Contemporary Quilts 

2 ~ Quilts Bring History Alive

3 ~ The Quilt Marketplace

4 ~ What is Art?

5 ~ Gee's Bend — 'The Most Famous Quilts in America?'

6 ~ How Quilts Have Been Viewed and Collected

7 ~ Empowering Women One Quilt at a Time 

8 ~ Quilt Nation — 20,000,000 and Counting!

9 ~ Quilt Scholarship — Romance and Reality

At the link for each episode you'll find a summary introduction to each episode and a selection of very brief video previews. Of particular note are the biographies for series participants and especially the Image Resource Guides. The IRGs are downloadable files (in pdf) that provide a complete catalogue of all the quilts and images featured in each episode. The information included with each image is as detailed as possible, with name, maker, date, material used, size, and owner or collection (individual, museum, etc.) noted if available. Funding is being sought to make the guides searchable via Google. The guides are indispensable to anyone viewing the series and anyone who makes quilts, teaches quilt-making, or is interested in the history of quilts.

Here's the trailer for the documentary series:

The series is available to libraries, universities, museums, guilds, craft shows, and educational institutions under public performance rights. See Screening Guidelines for more information.

Why Quilts Matter Website

Why Quilts Matter on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

The Kentucky Quilt Project Profile at The Quilt Index

The Quilt Index on FaceBook and Twitter

The Quilt Index Blog

International Quilt Association

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Battery (Poem)


Mirrors don't exist
        on Rikers. You don't need

glass there to see
        what your heart could not

expand enough to hold
        the last time you struck

back after a fist lifted
        to put you in your place

and a tiny crack of red
        pooled on your lower lip

before you spit. You're guarded
        at Rikers, know to let your body

adjust to its down time there.
        Still, you have to wonder how

your face can make up
        so naturally where light is

denied. You no longer are
        on the run or need a hotline

and a connection. That bridge
        you crossed in Queens showed

one way in, not another way out.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas

 Audio Recording of Battery by mdoallas

I wrote this poem in response to a recent Lens blog post at The New York Times that featured the photography of Clara Vannucci, who for several years has been documenting women who are victims of domestic violence and imprisoned at New York City's Rikers Island on abuse charges. Vannucci, who is an assistant to Donna Ferrato, also a photographer and documentarian of domestic violence, has worked inside a European prison as part of a group that uses theatre and photography as tools for change; see some of her remarkable images here. Rikers, which conducts the program "Steps to End Family Violence", does not allow the women to have mirrors, which could be broken and the shards used as weapons, or photographs, which could be used to create fake identification.   

Art Talk (Poem)

Ben Steele, The Bataan Death March, c. 1950
Oil on Panel, 30" x 48"
Museum of Montana Art Permanent Collection
Gift of Ben and Shirley Steele
© Ben Steele

Art Talk

I was awful sick and I thought I was going crazy. . . so I
        started to draw on the floor. ~ Ben Steele

A charred pointed stick,
        a hunk of filched coal

make their impressions
        on bare concrete floor.

Later, it's what hidden
        paper will absorb:

your mind letting you think
        you've bought the farm

by letting you dream up
        tall booted cowboys, big

sky, Montana mountains,
        more than anything else

the taste of food denied.
        No one checked columns

for what ailed you —
        dysentery, pneumonia,

malaria, blood poisoning,
        beriberi — you got it all,

and last rites, too, twice,
        as you longed to go home.

Some people ask me how
        I can draw that stuff, but

it's very easy. Not like you
        marching on Bataan, feet

blistering, bloating faces
        in all the roadside bays

the night's visions as you fall
        in for another sixty miles.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas

The image above is from an exhibition earlier this year at the Montana Museum of Art, "War Torn: The Art of Ben Steele - Paintings and Drawings from the Bataan Death March", comprising 68 drawings and paintings by World War II veteran and Montana artist Ben Steele. Looking at the images and reading of Steele's experiences as a prisoner of Japan during World War II (Steele says art helped him survive the Death March), I was moved to try to write a poem. The italicized words are Steele's own.

Prisoner of War: Ben Steele's Personal Chronicle from Bataan to Hiroshima (Images of some of Steele's artworks are accessible here.)

Website for Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath (Ben Steele is among those interviewed for the book.)

J.C. Lexow, "Artist Found Inspiration in POW Camp", DU Today (University of Denver), May 26, 2011

Joe Nickell, "Exhibit of Ben Steele Artwork Opens at UM Museum", Billings Gazette, September 23, 2011

Joe Nickell, "Museum Acquires Ben Steele Art Collection", Billings Gazette, September 24, 2010

"The Memorial of the Mind", The New York Times, May 25, 2009; also see: Michael Norman and Ben Steele, "The Memorial of the Mind", The New York Times Opinion, May 24, 2009

"War Torn: The Art of Ben Steele", Art Works Blog, November 10, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Muse Writes Adventus (Poem)


I could wait:
for the night

to fall in after
the last leaf

has fallen,
the stars to shake

out what glisters
in the moon's

December face,
the clouds to fold

back like curtains
to lift the dark

in which we make
our way, turning

the calendar's pages
on light-short days.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Perspective (Poem)


      You don't have to go looking for pictures. You go
      out and the pictures are staring at you. ~ Lee Friedlander

He had a talent
for putting himself

in the picture, always
adjusting the mirrors

just so, setting up
his shoots to make light

go where he needed it
most. Getting into the plane

with his subject anchored
him in place and time,

let us see who was looking
back at us, gave us a frame

of reference to reflect a lot
more than we could mean

in a single moment, alone.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas

This is my response to today's photo prompt at Magpie Tales, where you'll find the 1966 image by the influential photographer Lee Friedlander (b. 1934) that was provided by Tess Kincaid. Join in by writing your own poem or flash fiction, using as inspiration the photo provided, then go here to add your link and to read the other participants' contributions.

Of Interest

Lee Friedlander Catalogue at ArtNet

Lee Friedlander Jazz Portraits

Lee Friedlander Page at The New York Times

Thought for the Day

In a dark time, 
the eye begins to see....
~ Theodore Roethke*

* From "In a Dark Time" by Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke (1908-1963), American Poet and Writer

Profiles of Theodore Roethke at Modern American Poetry, Poetry Foundation, Academy of American Poets, PBS (I Hear America Singing Series)

Theodore Roethke Home Museum (This site includes a selection of poems.)

Edward Byrne, "Theodore Roethke: 'My Papa's Waltz'", One Poet's Notes, June 16, 2007