Tag Archives: MoMA

long island city

long island city

long island city – oil and collage 14″ x 11″

on my next visit to NY there will be a stop at MoMA PS1 in long island city

until i get there this will have to do

…must get there soon



it is day one of exploring, ” the emergence of the New York School and its links to a new global economy centered in New York City, Dada’s revival, Pop art’s flowering in mass consumer society, and Minimalism’s formal refinement and emphasis on spatial context.”

before i, ” then consider Conceptual art’s fundamental questioning of art, the development of multimedia artistic practices and performance art, and the influence of identity politics on art.”

MoMA’s online Modern & Contemporary Art: 1945 – 1989

Andy Warhol – Mick Jagger 1975, Image by Flickr User Oddsock

it is good for my brain


modern art

my MoMA Techniques of Post-War Abstract Painting course is near ended

abstraction and i remain wary friends

though, as with any art history i digest

it is the artist’s personal story that is most satisfying

getting inside their minds

to find similar comforting twisted thinking

or humour

or honesty

or clarity

Ad Reinhardt’s tree “How To Look At Modern Art in America”

i am particularly fond of Ad Reinhart’s take, in which i find all

i like a strong voice alongside a strong image

take for example Adam the Great!

(my affectionate name for artist, instructor, friend Adam F. Davidson)

Adam F. Davidson – Palette Knife #12   2010  above my staircase

before i was familiar with his work Adam introduced me to his discourse

thoughtful honest clarity

after, his work and i were introduced

it went very well

then to learn some of Adam as an artist, some of his technique

my acquisition has depth of meaning

what a treat!

thank you to my mentors, both online and in the real world

for their knowledge

i am grateful and better for it on many levels


p.s. i see MoMA has added some new courses just in time

…Modern and Contemporary Art: 1945–1989?

Mo’ eduMAcation – part two

ahem, I was saying…

module six: Modigliani & the school of paris

Picasso, Hemingway, Modigliani, Edith Piaf, Gertrude Stein, Cocteau, Coco Chanel…

My heart breaks…where was I?! Not glorious times I understand, but that creative stew feels intoxicating even from this distance!

I walked those streets this past July. It was difficult to find their vibe in the now narrow streets of touristic cancer. I escaped the commercial-feeling first floor of Shakespeare and Company to a quiet corner in the library on the second floor. I read Hemingway awhile. Others quietly came and went. A sudden downpour of Paris rain blew open the little window overlooking the Seine, and for one glimmer of a second I felt connected to that School of Paris.

Oh Amedeo!

Amedeo Modigliani “Reclining nude” c. 1919. Oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 45 7/8″ MoMA

module seven: Malevich, Mondrian & utopian visions

“A revolution strengthens the impulse of invention. That is why there is a flourishing art following a revolution, when the interrelationship between the initiative individual and the collective is clearly defined.” – Vladimir Tatlin

I previously never felt deeply about this crew. Visually speaking. Speaking emotionally. It reflected the times, but I have grown fond of Malevich and company for their intention of, “supremacy of pure emotion in the arts”. I now feel the divine in Malevich’s “White on White” and am reminded of the power of the story that lurks in the shadows of any art.

Kazemir Malevich “Suprematist Composition: White on White” 1918. Oil on canvas, 31 1/4 x 31 1/4″ MoMA

module eight: Moholy-Nagy & the Bauhaus

Again, upon first sight, this is a group I am not immediately drawn to. The industrial, mass-produced aesthetic leaves me cold. However, the key word there was “group“. The Bauhaus did for considerable time manage to be a formidable model of integrated collaboration amongst artists and artisans, students and teachers creating for the greater good. There is great power in collaboration, and great heART in collaboARTing! (I must certainly be on some watch list)

Paul Klee did warm up to spirit girl with this… “Art doesn’t reproduce what we can see, it makes it visible.”

module nine: Duchamp & dada

Can I just say that I am relieved to finally understand the origin of the word “dada”. Meaning any number of trivial things in a few languages, it was, more importantly, chosen at random, they say, by pointing blindly and haphazardly at a dictionary. I get it. I have made decisions that way. One might think it would be the collage, the assemblage and the move toward a more conceptual approach to art-making. No, it is the reverence for the laws of chance that capture me. And the pervasive humour. We mustn’t take ourselves to seriously.

module ten: Dalí & surrealism

I am not going to concern myself with too many words here. It seems futile.

I will give specific applause to my girl Frida Khalo. An early self-portrait of mine was done as a nod to her. A piece of my heart belongs to Mexico. She, therefore,  is the easiest entrance into a connection with surrealism. And perhaps, as far as I should go right now.

Frida Khalo “Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird”

“I defy any amateur of paintings to love a canvas as much as a fetishist loves a shoe.” – George Bataille

With that I will say thank you, to MoMA for time well spent, and to those that came before, and are around me now, and who will continue to inspire me daily.

now what?


Mo’ eduMAcation – part 1

Some weeks ago, in an effort to exercise that hamster in my brain, gather more formally my education of modern art history, I enrolled in a self-directed online course entitled Modern Art: 1880-1945 offered by the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

As a graduate (with a 96% average and a t-shirt, thank you very much) the single largest message I surprisingly take away is one of COLLABORATION. I was unaware previously the important role that collaboARTing, collective creativity played in the evolution of modern art during that period.

Of equal importance, I affirmed that my unique angst, my divine process, my search for community, my wishes for humanity, are all part of what is, being an artist.

To really EARN my t-shirt I promised myself I would share here a quick thought, image, inspiration from each module. My final project if you will. (Gawd, I miss school!)

module one: impressionism & post-impressionism

“I paint as I see, as I feel, and I have very strong sensations.” – Vincent van Gogh

Should I be alarmed about those same very strong sensations? Oh right. There are meds for that now.

module two: Klimt & symbolism

My connection to the spirituality of the symbolists resonates deeply.

The intricate, thoughtful, breath-taking work helps too.

The Hope oil on canvas painting 1903 by Gustav Klimt, 189.2 cm x 67 cm, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

I visit her regularly. She has a bronze Rodin behind to keep her amused. I like that. Merci, National Gallery of Canada.

module three: Matisse & fauvism

When I think Matisse, I invariable think of his later work. His gallery in Nice. That sunny day those many years ago. Getting lost  looking for Matisse, but ending up instead in the most unbelievably beautiful rose garden in full bloom on the top of a cliff overlooking the sea at the near-by monastery. And no one to bother me, not even a monk! Glorious!

What I wasn’t familiar with were his earlier works. Playful paintings filled with warmth. I felt particularly at home in “The Red Studio”.

Henri Matisse The Red Studio, 1911. Oil on canvas, 71 1/4″ x 7′ 2 1/4″  MoMA

My little still life of a few weeks back, directly inspired by this work, was painted whilst  mentally visiting his studio.

module four: Kandinsky & expressionism

This module happened to align with the start of my expressionism class at the Ottawa School of Art. Quelle chance! Informative, though if I am honest, early Russian, German expressionism isn’t really for me. However, Austrian, and Klimt protégé, Egon Schiele rocked my week.

Egon Schiele Female Nude

module five: Picasso & cubism / Boccioni & futurism

For obvious reasons I am drawn to the synthetic cubism of Picasso and Braque. The extra dimension that I personally feel collage, papier collé, assemblage adds to the story of piece. And what a story they shared. A reverent nod to the dynamo duo of Pablo & Georges. We could have had fun boys!

This has been an enormous number of words for little ol’hBg. Hope some of them were interesting.

I will send the rest in part two in a day or three…