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New York shows

Post #1030 • July 18, 2007, 10:40 AM • 20 Comments

Manhattan - After a visit to the Teachout Museum and lunch with its gracious, brilliant director, I had a bit of time, so I walked eastward across the northern latitudes of Central Park, bursting in its green summer glory, and sauntered up to 79th Street.

Shepherd & Derom has a show of 19th Century objects, mostly drawings, with a few wonderful surprises. Chief among them were watercolors by Henri Harpignies, a buddy of Corot of whom I had never heard. Harpignies used dashing brushwork and he applied dark hues courageously, so much so in one piece that it recalled Munch. The show also featured a knockout Millet, whom, based on this piece, I nominate as having drawn fields of grass better than anyone in the history of Western Europe. Rating: 3.6. The back room of the gallery has a dozen Klimt drawings of subprime caliber but they're handsomely installed and the master didn't exactly have off days; the taut, sexy linework is in full effect. Rating: 3.5. Catalogues are digitally available: 19th C. html, 19th C. PDF, Klimt PDF.

Adam Baumgold is showing Text Messages, which focuses on artists using text in some manner or another. The show demonstrates that the genre is divided into two groups: Saul Steinberg, and everyone who is not Saul Steinberg. Steinberg's use of text, here poigniantly garbled, there turned into a landscape, exudes such poetic wit that similar attempts placed nearby wilt a little. Not suprisingly, the comics guys and quasi-illustrators run the show, with notable entries from Chris Ware, Robert Crumb, and Adam Dant. The salon hanging works against the more constructivist pieces like Ruscha's and favors fussier statements by Alexandra Grant and Marc Bell, which would probably be ideal in book form. Joe Amrhein's work might mark the first instinctively warm feelings I've had towards text-driven, signage-inspired fine art since Jenny Holzer's early oeuvre. Rating: 2.5.

The ratings bear explanation.




July 18, 2007, 1:19 PM

Wait a second, here...You said you were closing up shop and going on sabbatical, so I stopped checking...Now it turns out there have been something like 250 comments since then. I demand an explanation for this egregious misinformation. Don't you have some secretary or other to notify people of these things, now that you're an academician, of sorts?



July 18, 2007, 1:46 PM

An 80% reduction in posting was as much sabbatical as I could manage. would like to hire a secretary but at the present can only pay in bon mots.



July 18, 2007, 2:08 PM

The reason you have never heard of Harpignies is the same reason you have probably not heard (very much, at least) of Valenciennes, Theodore Rousseau, Daubigny, Troyon, Benouville, Diaz, Dupre, Michel, Jongkind and other wonderful early landscape painters, many of the Barbizon school, becuse they got too popular in the 19th C. and then were so completely overshadowed (so to speak) by the Impressionists.

It's one of those discrepancies the art world needs to work on.



July 18, 2007, 4:55 PM

This is off topic, but I'm thinking about repainting my studio apartment. The main room would be white and ????. Any suggestions?

The Kitchen will be yellow and ????. Any suggestions?




July 18, 2007, 6:34 PM

Well, Franklin, I suppose I'll get over your thoughtlessness and inconsistency. I've managed to skim over the stuff I missed, some of which was quite good. It would have been a major task to go over everything, but by now I pretty much know whose comments are and are not worth my time, so it didn't take too long.

Anyhow, I ran across this recently in Richard Lane's Images from the Floating World and found it interesting:

The traditional Japanese criticism of Hiroshige says that, out of 100 prints, 80 are dull, 10 excellent, 9 superior and one breathtaking.

And yes, this is the Hiroshige.



July 18, 2007, 9:35 PM

It's one of those discrepancies the art world needs to work on.

I agree, opie--love that stuff--but can't help but note that some people have done work on it.



July 19, 2007, 12:15 AM

ehh-heeehhhh ehhh-haahhh hheehhf whewww I've... been holding... my breath for this moment.

Why chocolate ice cream (2.7) when there's pistachio gelato (3.5)?



July 19, 2007, 10:06 AM

The rating system meets with your approval, then?



July 19, 2007, 10:18 AM

The approval rating system is interesting but nerdy.

BMD72: white only & go tone-on-tone w yellow.
..a flexible no-regrets base for a small area...



July 19, 2007, 11:03 AM

Thanks for the article, JL. In fact it proves my point: the "The Rise of Landscape Painting in France: Corot to Monet" exhibit it discusses took place 17 years ago and opinion has not changed much since. The curator was an old friend of mine, Kermit Champa, one of the all-time good guys in the art business, who died recently, alas.



July 19, 2007, 11:04 AM

BMD are you asking about painted trim or accessories?



July 19, 2007, 11:44 AM

BMD, you might want to rty painting the walls horizontally,that is, cutting them out and laying them flat. That way you could take advantage of pouring, textures, dry pigment etc.
I don't think it'd be too difficult to right them.



July 19, 2007, 2:22 PM

what are your goals with this project?



July 20, 2007, 12:37 AM

...where's George ?



July 20, 2007, 12:41 AM

I really don't have any trim, except around the door frames.

My goal is to repaint my walls as well as get a new couch or futon frame. I live in a studio apartment.

I guess I was wondering what people would think would make good color combinations.

My main room I want to be a bit subdued but not boring old white.

My studio/kitchen I want a bit of life too it. I was thinking of a citrussy-orange.



July 20, 2007, 10:53 AM

BMD, you need art .



July 20, 2007, 3:16 PM

White is not boring, BMD, it is to set off other things, like pictures. Also there are a lot of "whites" - when you go to the store look at their "Ceiling white", which is usually a dead white, and compare the samples to other so-called whites.

Rich colors go with white, especially muted reds, oranges and greens, dark wood, brown leather, oriental rugs, fabrics from India & the middle east. Pastels, blues, violets, pale wood, metallic surfaces go less well. Bold patterns are OK as long as there is not a lot of white in them. You have to have something on the walls.

Some people like very pale minimal interiors with white walls but I think this is is arty and doesn't wear well.



July 20, 2007, 8:49 PM

Opie: I was a student of Champa's in grad school--that's part of how I know of the exhibition and its review. He definitely was one of the all-time good guys; gruff (at least by the time I knew him) but unfailingly generous and kind--and a great eye and mind. He's much missed. It's true that I don't know of any more ambitious or better exhibit than his on those artists in the years since (though I may have missed some), but I know there have been other ones, including where I work, in recent years. Not as much as sustained attention as there should be, though, that's true; Champa's exhibition was itself the first in many years devoted to the subject.



July 20, 2007, 10:45 PM

You were lucky to have him as an instructor. I appreciate all the more, after 15 years in academia, what a rarity he was.



July 22, 2007, 4:02 PM


the best way to head in the right direction quickly is to hit barnes and noble or borders and flip through a few "home" magazines. take notes of which rooms work for you that have pictures on the wall and take notes. use other resources like books that focus on homes with nice interiors that appeal to you. i'd also recommend looking at some old world mansions, castles and royal dwellings. this will give you a different taste to a lot of the other resources that focus on contemporary. they often used bold colors that worked well.

here is my 2 cents..

for the kitchen area yellow and or orange will give you some life. it's unlikely that you will be hanging many pictures in your kitchen so that should be fine. with pictures on the walls in the kitchen you could go with a strong, high key yellow, light or dark. i think with the orange you have a little more flexibility. but i would not lean to washed-out or pastel with either yellow or orange with art.

if you are going for one primary color for your main living/studio area walls my first choices would be either blue or red if you don't want white except maybe for the trim. green is another possibilitity, but the particular shade, tone and key are more vital in making it work with pictures on the wall.

blue is cool like white and will be most similar to providing a neutral background like white , but still not be "boring" white. the range that will work within the blues will be pretty wide open. yet this may be to similar to white for you, but i doubt it.

red is another fairly good wall color that works with pictures. it will come off a little warmer/richer than blue yet still be fairly neutral while not being "boring" white. your range here to make it work is also wide though less so than blue.

if you want to use more than one color in the same room i would stick to one primary color and vary the key, tone and shade. or maybe a white accent wall. getting more aggressive than this can be tricky and possibly turn into a problem.

antique white, beige and many creams that most people have on the walls are not might cup of tea.

yet for lighter colors i do like pure white, very light blues and very light blue/grey and many other light blues with hints of other colors and some light reds.

in almost every room; steel, silver, gold, wood, pure white and usually black will be positive. not exacly for a paint color, but these elements in different forms usually enhance and add to the cohesiveness. they are easy to work with and add depth.

now if you don't have pictures on the wall, everything changes in regards to what you do with the walls.



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