Exhibit Information

Jewish Museum

Address 1109 Fifth Avenue @92nd Street
New York, NY 10128

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Phone Number 212-423-3200

Website http://www.thejewishmuseum.org

MAIRA KALMAN: VARIOUS ILLUMINATIONS (OF A CRAZY WORLD)

Opening: 11 MARCH 2011 - Closing: 31 JULY 2011

MAIRA KALMAN: VARIOUS ILLUMINATIONS (OF A CRAZY WORLD)

 

On the Visual-Evidence of the Various-Odd-Materials on-display in one of the two major-galleries of the Jewish-Museum—devoted to the Art of Maira Kalman—this Adventurous & Innovative-Artist must have cleaned out all her Cupboards & Closets, in order to share with us all her Detritus & Incunabula.

 

Love those Mounted-Onion-Rings!

 

This is the first major-museum-survey of the work of the Illustrator, Author, & Designer. You may already know her from her New-Yorker Covers!

 

Or—if you are a Parent or a Teacher—from her delightful Children’s-Books

 

In fact, there is not only a Childlike-Quality to many of her drawings, but some of them look as though a Child had actually drawn them! But a Child with a lively Sense of Humor

 

This amusing show features a selection spanning 30 years of 100 original Paintings, Drawings, & Sketches, shown along with the many ways Kalman’s work has entered Contemporary-Culture: in Books & Magazines, in Commercial-Products, from Clothing to Watches!

 

Less-widely-seen works in Photography, Embroidery, Textiles, & Performance are also included.

 

Talk about Wide-Ranging!

 

To quote from the Museum’s glowing Press-Release—with some Editorial-Intrusions:

 

"Kalman illuminates Contemporary-Life with a profound Sense-of-Joy & a unique Sense-of-Humor.

 

"Many of Kalman’s best-known-works are on-display, including the Iconic-Covers she has created for The New Yorker magazine; Stay Up Late & Ooh-la-la (Max in Love), and other children’s-books she authored & illustrated; drawings from her Critically-Hailed, Illustrated-Edition of Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style, the classic Writer’s-Reference-Manual; & Artwork from her Online-Columns for The New York Times.

 

"To provide context for this survey, Kalman has created a Special-Gallery-Installation to display Source-Material she has gathered as Collector, Walker, Traveler, Reader, & Maker-of-Lists.

 

"Furnished with Chairs, Ladders & ‘many tables of many things’—such as Fezzes, Bobby-Pins, Balls-of-String, Things-that-have-fallen-out-of-books, Lists, Moss—this Closet-Cleaning offers a view of how she Sees the World, both in & outside the Studio.

 

"Born in Israel in 1949, Kalman emigrated to the United States & has lived in New York since the age of four. New York seems a perfect Milieu for her Sharply-Observed-World. As she explains: ‘There is a strong Personal-Narrative-Aspect of what I do. What happens in my Life is interpreted in my Work. There is very little separation. My work is my Journal of my Life.’

 

"Although she received No-Formal-Training as an artist, Kalman is well-studied in Art-Historical-Precedents. She counts among her influences the illustrators Saul Steinberg, William Steig, & Ludwig Bemelmans, as well as artists such as Henri Matisse, Marcel Duchamp, the Surrealists, & Marc Chagall.

 

"Literature is another important Inspiration. Exhibition supergraphics in Kalman’s own hand reveal her respect for Gustave Flaubert, Sigmund Freud, & Marcel Proust. In fact, some of these Cultural-Greats appear in Kalman’s work, including Emily Dickinson [2008], Matisse in Nice [2004-2006], & Steinberg Camera [2007].

 

"Her Map of New Yorkistan [2001, with Rick Meyerowitz], which appeared on the Cover of The New Yorker, in December 2001, became an Instant-Classic, a welcome Burst-of-Humor, after the Tragic-Events of 9/11.

 

"The year-long series of columns she created for The New York Times Online have been published in book-form as The Principles of Uncertainty [2007, The Penguin Press], comprised of Picture-Essays on Post-9/11-Life.

 

"And The Pursuit of Happiness [2010, The Penguin Press] offers Kalman’s fanciful & insightful considerations of American-Democracy. Throughout this book, Kalman addresses Sweeping-Themes, such as ‘how everyone got to America.’ She also integrates details from her Family-History, such as Childhood-Memories of a Red De-Soto & living on Henry-Hudson-Parkway.

 

"A Generation grew-up reading Oooh-La-La (Max in Love), the adventures of Max Stravinsky, the Parisian Dog-Poet, one of Kalman’s twelve books for children.

 

"Countless Adults sport the M&Co. Wristwatches she designed with her late-husband, the innovative Graphic-Designer Tibor Kalman, as part of a line-of-accessories for the Museum of Modern ArtMoMA.

 

"Also included are Fabrics she designed for Textile-Manufacturer Maharam & for Fashion-Designer Isaac Mizrahi.

 

"Short films by her son, Alex Kalman, provide other Perspectives on her work, including a Collaboration with Composer Nico Muhly.”
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