Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Art Break in NYC

yes, indeed, this is that time of the year when people go to New York to see Christmas lights and all what goes with it. I had two days full of art there. First, to the DUMBO in Brooklyn - I went to see Maddy Rosenberg in Central Booking where we chose 9 of my works which will be in the upcoming show. Then my dear friend Gail took me to the Park Avenue Armory to see Peter Greenaway's vision "Leonardo's Last Supper".   Peter Greenaway was trained as a painter, so it was really interesting to see what he saw in this painting. The first experience walking in and having a first glimpse of the painting reminded me of the time last year when David and I saw the original in Milan, except there you come in through the door on the right side of the painting. In this performance there is a time in the beginning to take it in as it is. I had another opportunity to check the lines of perspective in this painting, this time avoiding security guards jumping at me and checking what I have in my hand as it happen in Milan - there they thought I am taking forbidden pictures.  the look on their faces after I explained that I am mathematician and looking for geometric constructions in the painting was worth the entrance fee...
There is a special border, the border between art and life that often shifts deceptively. Yet, without this border, there is no art. In the process of being produced, art borrows material from life, and the traces of life still shine through the completed work of art. But, at the same time, the distance from life is the essence, the substance of art. And, yet, life has still left its traces. The more scarred the work of art is by the battles waged on the borders between art and life, the more interesting it becomes.
--Anselm Kiefer
Then Gail took me to the two openings - both near Chinatown - it was already dark and I was happy that Gail was leading the way. 

When we walked in the first one I saw a guy offering some wine to the guests, he had only one glass left on his try and I thought I should take it. When I took it, I could read in his eyes that he thought I did not deserve it because I am certainly not the one from this crowd. He was right. I found a huge gap in my art appreciation palette. I noticed a tiny sketch of nude, like the ones my classmates in 6th grade where drawing when they first discovered that girls are different from the boys. I thought it was a joke to frame it and put it on a show. I was wrong - these were all donated works and this one had a price....$17,500.....
At that point it was clear that I do not understand this show and it is time to move to the next, several blocks away.
Sorry for forgetting the author's name but he was a handsome man, originally trained as a painter. This place was small but tightly packed with a younger and more democratic crowd than the first place.
Then we returned to Brooklyn to see Gail's own painting.
More of Gail's work is on her webpage. I got to know Gail through her interest in my work, and I am so happy we found each other. I am really thrilled about the unexpected side effect of "hyperbolic crochet" - hundreds of people who did not know each other, get together and connect. One day I will write more about my own experiences, but my friendship with Gail is certainly one of them. Some times I never meet people but we have only e-mail contact. Like it was with Cat Bordhi - she has wonderful knitting books with a mathematical twist. Marie-Christine Bevington came to my talk in Kitchen (February 5, 2005). She told me that she was surprised to find out then that she was making hats with some hyperbolic crochet in them. That talk inspired her to further explore the possibilities and she came up with many more interesting hats. On Friday I had a chance to see all these hats.
This hat is Christine's original design - made of hexagons, pentagons, squares, and triangles. This hat snugs any head really nicely due to positive curvature formed.
All these different hats were fiber art objects on their own right. Thanks, Christine, for inviting me!
I visited also Cooper-Hewitt museum to see the National Design Triennale, and of course, The Bleached Reef in it.
How about the Christmas lights? Well, did catch some just before the bus back to Ithaca.

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