New York City’s pay phones are obsolete, and, by early next year, they will also be history—removed to make way for Wi-Fi kiosks. Through Jan. 3, a dozen artists (including Glenn Ligon, Patti Smith, and Jimmie Durham, whose contribution is pictured above) are making creative use of phone booths along Sixth Avenue, from Fifty-first to Fifty-sixth Streets. The project, called “Titan,” was co-curated by Damián Ortega and Bree Zucker, in collaboration with the Kurimanzutto gallery.
Visual art has long played an important role in the novels of Ali Smith, 58, one of Britain’s leading writers and a four-time Booker Prize finalist. Her 2014 novel “How to Be Both” is jointly narrated by the 15th-century Italian artist Francesco Del Cossa and a British teenager in the 21st century, who becomes obsessed with one of his paintings in London’s National Gallery. She has collaborated on projects with her longtime partner Sarah Wood, an artist, curator and filmmaker.
But when Ms. Smith began her tetralogy of novels named after the seasons—whose final installment, “Summer,” was published in the U.S. last month—she didn’t know how important art and artists would become. In the four years covered by the books, a large cast of characters—among them a centenarian songwriter, a young art lecturer, a nature blogger, a brilliant near-juvenile-delinquent and a movie director—fall in and out of love, form de facto families and debate the political issues of the day, particularly immigration and Brexit. In each volume, fictional characters mingle with real-life artists, who play significant roles in the plot.
In 2015, when she was planning the first volume, “Autumn,” Ms. Smith happened to see a magazine reproduction of “Colour Her Gone,” a 1962 picture by the British Pop artist Pauline Boty. The painting is divided into three vertical sections: In the middle Boty depicts Marilyn Monroe at her most seductive, surrounded by flowers, while the flanking panels feature austere, abstract designs. The disconcerting effect is heightened by the way the Monroe panel is placed off center.
Boty, who died in 1966 at the age of just 28, struggled to be taken seriously as a female Pop artist. Her work addressed social and political issues head on, just as Ms. Smith does in “Autumn,” which she was writing at the height of the U.K.’s Brexit debate. Ms. Smith decided to make Boty a character in the novel, giving the artist a monologue-like chapter to herself. “A great many men don’t understand a woman full of joy, even more don’t understand paintings full of joy by a woman,” the character says. “Boty’s spirit—it’s the spine of that book,” Ms. Smith says now. “I’m thankful for it.”
Each volume in the series features a different 20th-century British artist, though in different ways. The second book, “Winter,” discusses the sculptor Barbara Hepworth, whose pierced stone abstract sculptures recall the work of Henry Moore. Ms. Smith says that Hepworth “knows how the physical universe and the human world come together and come apart.” In “Spring,” has-been director Richard Lease is inspired by the contemporary artist Tacita Dean, especially her 2017 work “The Montafon Letter,” an enormous picture of a mountain and avalanche: “As he stood there, what he was looking at stopped being chalk on slate, stopped being a picture of mountain. It became something terrible, seen,” Ms. Smith writes.
Finally, in “Summer,” Ms. Smith introduces two German artists who fled Nazism and took refuge in the U.K.: Fred Uhlman, known for his vivid landscapes and surrealistic drawings, and Kurt Schwitters, best known for his collages. In 2020, the 104-year-old Daniel, one of Ms. Smith’s fictional characters, recalls being interned as an enemy alien on the Isle of Man during World War II alongside the two artists.
Daniel recounts that Uhlman spent his time making drawings in which a little girl with a balloon moves unscathed through wartime horrors: piles of skulls, ruined buildings, hangings. In real life, children were on Uhlman’s mind at the time: The internment had prevented him from finding out any information about his pregnant wife. After the war, Uhlman published 24 of these drawings under the title “Captivity” (1946).
The antic Schwitters, by contrast, barks like a dog, sleeps in a basket and, for lack of better material, makes sculptures out of porridge that then molder and turn green. “These sculptures are alive…there is no higher accolade,” Daniel diplomatically assures Schwitters. In real life, Schwitters left the camp in 1941 for London, where he met with little success, though his work was later recognized as a forerunner of Pop art.
For Ms. Smith, the purpose of making art and artists so central to these novels is that the arts “ask response. They ask for our thinking, feeling presence. The visual arts do it with an immediacy we think we’re used to…but we’re never used to art, which will always shake us out of ourselves and into new, renewed selves.”
Source:- The Wall Street Journal
First virtual Carmichael Art History Lecture 'absolutely fabulous' – OrilliaMatters
ORILLIA MUSEUM OF ART & HISTORY (HISTORY COMMITTEE)
“Absolutely Fabulous.” “A wonderful presentation, truly exceptional experience of art and land.” “A true labour of love.”
These were some of the online comments about Jim and Sue Waddington and their presentation, “In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson.”
The Waddingtons appeared live via Zoom at the first ever virtual Carmichael Art History lecture hosted by the Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH) on Oct. 21.
When the OMAH History Committee, who coordinates this annual OMAH fundraiser, confirmed with the Waddingtons that the lecture planned for May would have to be cancelled, Jim and Sue rose to the occasion.
“Would you be interested in holding the lecture virtually?”
They were keen to help OMAH with their fundraising efforts by sharing their story this way.
Forced to step outside their comfort zone, OMAH and the History Committee partnered with the Waddingtons to make this virtual event a huge success.
Through their rich narration Jim and Sue shared with viewers a snapshot of their 43-year quest to find the over 800 actual sites where the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson painted, exhibiting their stunning photographs of the locations that mirrored each particular sketch or painting.
Special for the Orillia audience, they included many details about the Orillia-born Franklin Carmichael.
The audience was also treated to a “reveal” of the location where Carmichael painted Old Barns, Miner’s Bay, the painting OMAH hopes to purchase, which is in the la Cloche region of Ontario, not in the Minden area as was first thought.
It was a wonderful evening. Thanks go to the Waddingtons and to the community for supporting this event.
OMAH will be sending out a general survey regarding future virtual programming. In addition, a survey will be sent specifically to attendees at the virtual Carmichael Art History Lecture. We want to hear about what is in important to you so we can develop rich online experiences that meets your needs and interests.
OMAH is committed to find ways to stay connected to the community both at the museum and virtually. Stay tuned for more virtual programming in the future.
Qaumajuq_new name of Winnipeg Art Gallery's Inuit art centre, an act of decolonization – Turtle Island News
By Adam Laskaris
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
WINNIPEG, MAN-The Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre has a new name.
In a ceremony on Oct. 28, the gallery, known as WAG, announced the centre would be renamed Qaumajuq 1/8HOW-ma-yourq 3/8, an Inuktitut word meaning “It is bright, it is lit”.
Qaumajuq is set to open in February 2021 after construction began in March 2018 on a new 40,000-square-foot-building designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture with Cibinel Architecture. It’s home to the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.
The WAG building itself was given a name in Anishinaabemowin,Biindigin Biwaasaeyaah 1/8BEEN- deh-gen Bi-WAH-say-yah 3/8, meaning “Come on in, the dawn of light is here” or “the dawn of light is coming.”
The naming ceremony was hosted by Dr. Stephen Borys, director and CEO of WAG. The ceremony occurred with a small gathering of Borys and Julia Lafreniere, WAG manager of Indigenous Initiatives. A Qulliq lighting ceremony was conducted by Elder Martha Peet, with virtual appearances from Theresie Tungilik and Elder Dr. Mary Courchene. The latter two formally announced the new names in Inuktitut and Anishinaabemowin respectively.
Tungilik, an Inuk artist from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, said “Qaumajuq will be a place where all walks of life will experience, through the creation of Inuit art, our survival, hardships and resilience.”
Courchene, who comes from the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, said the Biindigin Biwaasaeyaah name was created to “include all the Indigenous populations of Manitoba, the First Nations, the Metis, and the Inuit populations.”
“The language keepers and Elders came together in a powerful moment of cross-cultural reflection and relationship-building,”
Borys said. “This initiative is an act of decolonization, supporting reconciliation and Indigenous knowledge transmission for generations to come in an effort to ensure WAG-Qaumajuq will be a home where Indigenous communities feel welcome. Where everyone feels welcome.”
In addition to the new name of Qaumajuq, which will serve as the primary name for the space, various areas within the WAG will also have new names in Inuvialuktun (Inuit), Nehiyawewin (Cree), Dakota, and Michif (Metis) that were given by Indigenous language keepers.
“Indigenous-focused and Indigenous-led initiatives will be at the heart of this new space and giving the spaces Indigenous names is just the start,” reads the WAG’s website where pronunciations and audio clips for the new names are available.
“We are thrilled to share the names of the spaces in the seven Indigenous languages of Manitoba and Inuit Nunangat,” said Dr.
Heather Igloliorte and Dr. Julie Nagam, co-chairs of the Indigenous Advisory Circle for Winnipeg Art Gallery, in a joint statement.
“The Circle demonstrates the breadth of knowledge that represents the relationship to the collection and the buildings and it has been an incredible experience for all Circle members. We are so honoured to gift the institution with these new names that point to a new path forward for galleries and museums in this country,” the statement continued.
The WAG also states that the “historic naming responds to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Article 13 and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 14i, both of which reference the importance of Indigenous languages.”
Article 13 reads:
Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.
TRC Call to Action 14i states: Aboriginal languages are a fundamental and valued element of Canadian culture and society, and there is an urgency to preserve them.
A press release issued by WAG states that Qaumajuq “will innovate the art museum, taking art from object to full sensory experience with Inuit-led programming.” One of these features includes the three-storey tall column called the `visible vault’ that is filled with thousands of Inuit carvings and immediately viewable upon entry into Qaumajuq.
“This is a place that amplifies and uplifts Inuit stories, connecting Canada’s North and South. This is a site for reconciliation… We can’t wait to unveil this new cultural landmark in the heart of the country with these new names honouring Indigenous voices and languages,” Borys said.
Adam Laskaris is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of Windspeaker. com. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
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