“What I am looking for is not happiness. I work solely because it is impossible for me to do anything else.” That’s how Alberto Giacometti summed it up, as told by James Lord in Giacometti: A Biography, published in 1997.
In 1945, Andre Breton traveled to the Haitian capital of Port au Prince to deliver a lecture on “Surrealism and Haiti.”
I found it rather soothing to watching two employees at the Museum of Modern Art polish the large Alberto Giacometti sculpture, “Tall Figure, III” (1960), in the museum courtyard.
How much more powerful to say “drawing surrealism” than something like “surrealist drawings.” It gets the action into the art, which is, often, exactly where it is. Unweighted by color, untrammeled by, oh you know, something like the history of painting and how the surrealists (in whatever grouping you choose to deal or not deal with them) dealt with that history. Very often, not at all.
For those who love the vibrant art scene of Bushwick and its younger sister in Queens, Ridgewood, it is a good time to venture through the area’s galleries to see a wide range of work that is sure to inspire and provoke conversation. These are seven shows that are worth a look.
Stendhal on Correggio, Baudelaire on Guys, Zola on Manet, Proust on Moreau. It’s a long-standing practice, French poets and novelists taking up art criticism. In the 20th century, the roster continues: Apollinaire,Breton, Leiris, Malraux, Sartre, Bataille, Bonnefoy, and there’s the French poet-painters: Picabia, Cocteau, Nouet, Jacob.
It’s inevitable not to compare the new show at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute to last year’s blockbuster, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, however unfair that might be. But it doesn’t matter, because Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, a pairing of two disparate designers that gives far too much precedence to the latter, falls flat, regardless of what preceded it.
Dik F. Liu is a Williamsburg-based artist who has compiled a fascinating list on his Facebook profile page of what he has termed the “Not as Famous – Lesser known relatives of well-known artists.” He has allowed us to publish a number of the gems he’s found. Love triangles, same-sex spouses, illegitimate children, there’s a lot of juicy stuff here.