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Glenn's Report For May 2013

3 June 2013

Report for The Month of May 2013


©GLENN LONEY 2013 




THIS-WAS-THE-MONTH-THAT-WAS…


Yes, Virginia, the Official-Broadway-Theatre-Season used to end—either with a Bang or a Whimper—on 31 May each & every year.


Decent God-Fearing WASPs donned White-Summer-Clothing & fled the City for their Estates in the Hamptons, Connecticut, or the Jersey-Shore.


Some even took the Normandie to the Continent, or the Queen-Mary to Anglo-Saxon-Heaven.


Those Days are Gone-Forever


But so are the Days when Theatre-Lovers actually read Thoughtful-Reviews by Respected-Drama-Critics, representing Major-Newspapers & Serious-Journals.


Even well before Dailies & Magazines began to Hit-the-Dust, Editors were often opting for—instead of Considered-Critiques or even Racy-Reviews—a Color-Production-Photo, accompanied by an Information-Laden-Caption.


Arts-Reportage was becoming less important than chronicling the Latest-Mass-Murders by Disturbed-Adolescents & Political-Dissidents.


Laid-Off-Reviewers were reduced to Blogging.


Mass-Murderers seemed only Odd-Extensions of the National-Rifle-Association’s Fight for a Citizen’s-Right-to-Bear-Arms


Even Marginally-Surviving-Weeklies like The-Village-Voice were dumping the Performing-Arts.


Hoberman-on-Films was gone…


Then, Mid-May, Michael Feingold on Theatre & Michael Musto on Gossip & Arts-in-General were relieved of Regular-Responsibilities.


The Two-Michaels were the only reasons for anyone to bother to pick up a Free-Copy of The Voice, unless he or she wanted to scan the Sex-Ads


But even the Production-End of the Performing-Arts was in trouble:


The Met-Opera fired its long-standing Corps-de-Ballet.


Milan’s La-Scala—with declining State-Subsidies—reduced its Repertory


And-so-it-goes: Money—or lack thereof—always Calls-the-Tune!


À-propos of Memorial-Day—formerly called Decoration-Day, in which Grieving-Women decorated the Graves of both the Union-Boys-in-Blue & the Confederate-Men-in-Grey—it’s worth remembering that there are no Weapons-of-Mass-Destruction in Heaven!


Also: No TV or Starbucks




PASSING-GLANCES AT THE SHOW SCENES-SEEN:


After the Pre-Tony-Nomination-Glut of New-Plays-&-Musicals, you might well have thought that Openings would level-off.


And so they did, at least On-Broadway, leaving some Large-Theatres empty, notably Disney’s-New-Amsterdam, which is now a colorfully-animated LED-Billboard for Newsies & The Lion King, playing in other Houses.


Off-Broadway & Off-off-Broadway, however, seem determined to keep the Footlights on all summer long.


No Rest for the Wicked—especially not for Evil-Minded Theatre-Critics




Mark Nadler’s I’M A STRANGER HERE MYSELF [★★★★]


After the Weimar-Republic & Hitler, A Jewish-Boy in Iowa—the Pork-State—Recalls the Past…


The Lobby-Spaces at the York-Theatre are plastered with Iconic-Images of 1920’s-Berlin during the short-lived but All-Stops-Out Weimar-Republic.


Inside the modest Auditorium-Space, a Proscenium-Frame is handsomely-decorated with Art-Deco-Designs, inspired by the Collages of Kurt Schwitters, including such Modernist-Signifiers as BAUHAUS


But Mark Nadler’s fascinating Cabaret-Show is not so much about Christopher Isherwood’s I Am a Camera Weimar-Berlin—staged, in fact, as Cabaret—as it is really designed to tell the story of a variety of Refugees—not all of them Jewish—who had to flee their own countries, becoming, effectively, Strangers-in-a-Strange-Land, often unassimilated, despite their Best-Efforts.


Nadler sings their songs, notably those of Charles Aznavour, whose family fled the horrifying 1915-Armenian-Genocide by the Ottoman-Turks.


Of course, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Weill, Bert Brecht, & Friedrich Holländer are musically-invoked, but the energetic & engaging Mark Nadler also wants to honor those American-Jewish-Songwriters who gave the world Great-Songs from the 1920’s into World-War-II—the Era of Epic-Genocides


Not many Americans realize that Jews were not the Only-Targets of Hitler’s Extermination-Policies.


Socialists, Communists, Dissidents, Gypsies, & what the Nazis called Asoziale-Elemente were swept-up & interned in Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Bergen-Belsen, & other KZ’s & Death-Mills.


The Asocial-Elements were those very same people that the Republicans do not want to have the Civil-Right of Marriage: Gays & Lesbians


So, among Nadler’s Strangers, are also those who have been endlessly-persecuted because of their Sexual-Orientation.


In 1920’s Weimar-Berlin, almost anything was OK. But not when the Nazis came to power…


Nadler’s Grandparents were German-Jews, but they escaped.  That’s why he was a Pork-Shunning-Lad in Iowa: born as a Stranger.


So, this Show covers a Lot-of-Territory & Topics, in which Nadler—often at the Grand-Piano, backed by wonderful Vintage-Photos & Film-Clips—recalls All-That.


He is assisted by a Female-Accordionist & a Female-Violinist, establishing the 1920’s-Era’s-Vanished-Aura.


Interacting with the Audience—very Trendy, even in Broadway-Shows, this Spring—is not entirely successful.


Nonetheless, Mark Nadler is well-worth-watching at the York-Theatre, Weimar-Iconography & all that…


Still: A Strange-Melange




Leos Janácek’s THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN  [★★★★★]


All the Forest-Animals & Insects Are Running-Wild! Watch-Out for the Forester!


The Cunning-Little-Vixen—wonderfully sung & acted by Julia Bullock—is initially so cute that The-Forester [a Hunter-with-a-Heart, Aubrey Allicock] takes her home with him, to the immense annoyance of his Wife [a properly acerbic Lacey Jo Benter].


The Juilliard-Opera-Center’s Spring-Show was also a Salute-to-Spring, with all those Woodland-Creatures romping across the stage, with a background of Horizontal-Apertures that could have been designed by Piet Mondrian.


Eventually, Das-Schlaue-Füchslein—as she is called in German—escapes, runs-free, finds her foxy Fox-Mate [a charming Karen Vuong], & proceeds to have many Little-Foxes.


Then, a desperate Hunter kills her…


No one—not even Foxes—lives forever. Still, The-Hunter is very sad when he finds the Body.


In the meantime, however, Juilliard-Audiences got to know some Plucky-Chickens, a grousing Old-Badger, a Young-Frog, & many kinds of Chirping-Insects.


After so much Springtime-Joy & Music & Laughter, it is a bit of a Downer to have the Little-Vixen, now a Foxy-Mother, die.


But, when you consider some of Janácek’s Deeply-Depressing-Masterpieces—such as From the House of the Dead or Katya Kabanova—this charming Pastoral seems almost like Time-Out for the Lives-of-Ordinary-People & Animals, Tame & Otherwise


Anne Manson conducted with verve; Emma Griffin staged with a spritely Sense-of-Fun, & Laura Jellinek—how’s that for a Czech-Name!—created the Mondrianesque-Setting.


Costumier Jessica Trejos gave all the Animals & Insects either Masks—worn backwards—or Signifying-Headgear


But her White-Clad Flock-of-Chickens looked good enough to Eat!




JM Barrie’s THIS SIDE OF NEVERLAND  [★★★★★]


Buy a Typewriter for £12? You Must Be Dreaming—of a Barrie-Play!

The Pearl-Theatre has done it again: An excellent-exploration of two One-Acters by James Barrie, of Peter-Pan-Fame!


The better-known of the Duo is The Twelve-Pound Look, in which a very successful & Self-Inflated-Man is about to be Knighted.


This may be one of the First-Feminist-Dramas, even if written by a Scotsman.


The Typist who arrives to type-out responses to all the Greetings & Good-Wishes that have piled-up is none other than Sir Harry’s First-Wife. Thereby hangs a Tale


Actually, way back then, they were themselves called Typewriters, not Typists


The Soon-To-Be Lady-Sims—but not until Her-Gracious-Majesty taps Harry on both shoulders—is verbally-much-abused but also much-bejeweled, as befits the Dutiful-Spouse of a Self-Made-Man.


How much do those Machines cost?


The remarkable JR Sullivan has ingeniously-staged both Mini-Dramas, the Curtain-Raiser being Rosalind, in which a Famed-West-End-Actress takes a Lazy-Holiday-Incognito.


The estimable Sean McNall provides the Production’s-Glue, linking both plays as Barrie-Himself, though it is difficult to imagine that Barrie ever exuded as much Radiant-Confidence & Self-Regard as McNall does, dapperly-in-character.


Also admirable in the Cast: Rachel Botchan, Brad Cover, Carol Schultz, & Vaishnavi Sharma.




Richard Foreman’s OLD-FASHIONED PROSTITUTES (A True Romance)  [#!§#¥]


Out-of-Retirement, One-More-Time: New Characters, New Theme, but Same Old Stage-Décor!


How many now remember Dr. Selavey’s Magic-Theatre?


That was the first time the Hand of Richard Foreman was almost made visible in the Off-Off-Off-Broadway, Avant-Avant-Avant-Garde-Theatre.


Although his Unusual & Often-Unsettling Theatre-Experiments have been seen in Central-Park, at LaMaMa, & other venues, his Longtime-Home was upstairs in the back of a wing of St.-Marks-in-the-Bowery.


But Foreman also has a Long-Record at Joe Papp’s Public-Theatre, where his Old-Fashioned-Prostitutes are on Parade, along with Rocco Sisto & that Trademark-Foreman-Ontological-Hysterical-Décor.


It would be a Cop-Out to say that "Words cannot describe…” because they can do that, more or less.


But why bother, when there is so much Decorative-Detail that Wiki-Leaks could not find a Server able to contain all those Words?


Foreman himself notes: "All the junk says, ‘Look at this! Look at this!, but I’m making an environment that’s so complex you don’t see it anymore.”


Well, that’s what he thinks…


Foreman also insists: "I make work not for Audiences but for Art-History.”


Oh oh! That kind of talk will get you a MacArthur-Genius-Grant!


But Foreman surely now has had more Grants & Honors than have been heaped on Eugene O’Neill?


No no! Gene O’Neill won the Nobel-Prize. That may be beyond Foreman’s Grasp or Desire




David Bruce & Glyn Maxwell’s THE FIREWORK-MAKER’S DAUGHTER  [★★★]


A Runaway-White-Elephant Named Hamlet—with a Counter-Tenor Inside—Causes Fireworks!


Just as the new Broadway-Musical, Matilda, was based on a Tale by Roald Dahl, so also is The Fireworks-Maker’s Daughter adapted from the Novel by Philip Pullman.


Both Made-in-Britain!


There are Fireworks indeed in The Fireworks-Maker’s Daughter, some of them Metaphoric, as when the Peking-Opera-Style-King sentences the Fireworks-Maker to Death for Treason, blaming him for the Disappearance of his Beloved-White-Elephant.


What is especially interesting about this very Complicated-Libretto is that it is Through-Composed, in the manner of Richard Wagner’s Musik-Theater.


Everything is Sung—also without Mikes & the resulting Deafening-Amplification.


The Show’s Debut—at the New-Victory-Theatre, on New-42—was its US-Premiere, having been originally produced by The-Opera-Group, Opera-North, & the Watford-Palace-Theatre.


So it was that the Rear-Stage was crammed with Drums & Two-Xylophones, which would have made the Heart of Carl Orff glad.


For Theatre-Buffs & Theatre-Historians—as well as Stage-Designers & Technicians—this was also a remarkable show in terms of the variety of Stage-Techniques, such as Shadow-Puppets & Projections, that were employed.


Designer Dick Bird deserves a lot of credit for various Devices & Costumes, especially that of the White-Elephant, with a Pink-Parasol attached to its head. Its Trunk had a Life-of-Its-Own


Acting & singing Hamlet, Counter-Tenor James Laing is a Talent to watch


But the Entire-Cast—directed by John Fulljames—was admirable.


The Problem, in production, was that the Fable seemed to Invent-Itself as it rambled along…


At the Interval, about half of the Younger-Audience departed, Parents in tow.


Not only was the Narrative too-long & too-complex for many Children, but the Stage was at times Under-Lit, to facilitate the Projections & Shadow-Play-Effects.


Even though I savored many of the Asian-Theatre-Techniques, I feared the Show might prove to be as Long as Parsifal


With all the Musicians, Stage-Handlers, & Principals, this is surely a Very-Expensive-Production to Tour.


Could it be Simplified & Shortened, especially for Young-Audiences?




Stephen Sondheim’s SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM: A Musical Entertainment  [★★★★★]


Plundering All Those Sondheim-Hit-Shows for Famous &  Even Forgotten-Gems…


Some of Steve Sondheim’s Most-Beloved-Songs do not have his own Musical-Accompaniment.


The Score of West Side Story is, of course, by Leonard Bernstein.


Jule Styne composed the Music for Gypsy—with Sondheim’s ingenious Lyrics.


But there were also two Rodgers-Family-Collaborations: Steve’s Lyrics for Richard Rodgers’ Score for Do I Hear a Waltz? & for Mary Rodgers’ The Mad Show—which even Sondheim-Fans may have forgotten…


The End-of-Term Musical-Theatre-Production at the Manhattan-School-of-Music was Joyous-Recycling of Hal Prince’s initial Broadway-Staging, revitalized by Carolyn Marlow.


The glamorous Stars-of-Tomorrow in this MSM-Mounting were indeed impressive, but Peter Tinaglia—as a Burlesque-Nance, pretending to be a Dancing-Bug—could easily understudy Nathan Lane in The Nance.


There were, finally, a Grand-Total of Thirty-Sondheim-Songs, some of them from shows that rapidly disappeared, like Anyone Can Whistle, which didn’t make it, even with Angela Lansbury starring…


If anyone wondered why Send in the Clowns—from A Little Night Music—seemed almost like a Talked-Lyric, that was because Sondheim composed it especially for the Original-Desirée, Glynis Johns.


As Steve once told my CUNY-Grad-Center Music-Theatre-Seminar, Glynis had a Vocal-Range of about Six-Notes.


When Hal Prince was working on Company—represented by Seven-Songs in Side-by-Side—I was able to interview him about his Collaboration with Sondheim. He felt there was something that wasn’t-quite-working.


Knowing that this Unusual & Innovative Musical embodied some One-Act-Plays by George Furth, I told Hal that it seemed to me that the Character of Bobby—who doesn’t seem to have a Character-of-His-Own—was more like Glue, to hold the Real-Stories together…


Bobby is an Unmarried-Outsider, who is invited Over-to-Dinner, so he can be like an Observer, a Referee, or even a Tennis-Net, over which the Married-Combatants lob Balls.


Hal told me that Bobby was a lot like himself, before he got married to Saul Chaplin’s Daughter: Everyone wanted to have him for Dinner, possibly a bit like Sue Mengers’ I’ll Eat You Last.




Jason Robert Brown’s THE LAST FIVE YEARS  [★★★★★]


Blonde Shiksa from Ohio Meets Angst-Ridden Jewish-Author from Washington-Heights…


"Why oh why oh did I ever leave Ohio?”


That was a Hit-Song from My Sister Eileen, but Cathy—wonderfully embodied by Betsy Wolfe—goes back there when Things Don’t Seem To Be Working-Out…


In fact, the Entire-Cast of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years is excellent, as the Other-Half of the Cast is the powerfully-driven Jamie of Adam Kantor.


The Second-Stage—which will soon be moving to a New-Home in the Helen-Hayes-Theatre—is known for giving what used to be called Beautiful-Losers a Second-Look. Or Second-Chance


But that’s not a Problem with The Last Five Years—last seen in Manhattan eleven-years-ago—because, in the meantime, it has had over 500-Regional-Theatre-Productions, with Three-Thousand-Performances around the World!


Who knew there were so many Regional-Theatres, let alone so many American Towns & Cities with Producing-Theatres


Jason Robert Brown has not only drafted the Narrative, provided the Lyrics, & composed the Score, but he has also Directed.


But one wonderful Aspect of this production for which he cannot take All-the-Credit is/are the Remarkable-Video-Windows of Derek McLane [set-design] & Jeff Sugg [projection-design].


When Norbert Leo Butz & Sherrie Renée Scott premiered this Two-Hander—over a Decade ago, in the Minetta-Lane-Theatre—it didn’t have all the Production-Values of this Revival, so I was not persuaded that it was an Important-Play.


CD-Sales took-off; Post-Teens everywhere saw themselves in Cathy & Jamie.


You think First-Love is going-to-last. You think you can make-it in Manhattan


Guess-Again!




Julia Jordan & Juliana Nash’s MURDER-[HEART]-BALLAD  [★★★★★]


Hey! Just Like Once on Broadway, Now You can Have a Drink at the Union-Square-Theatre!


The Official-Title-Logo of this Dynamic-Show looks like it was made out of Leggo-Tiles, for Murder has a Leggo-Style-Heart separating it from Ballad.


Julia & Juliana obviously think their Powerful-Music-Drama will be at the Union-Square-Theatre a long time, for the floors are plastered with all kinds of Ads & Posters.


You not only won’t need to bring Bottled-Water—with Alcoholic-Stuff on-tap on-stage—but you can also leave your Hearing-Aids at home. Loud & Violent


The High-Powered & Emotionally-Fragile Sara is wonderfully embodied by Cassie Levy, having Two-Affairs at the same time.


One is with an Older-Book-Reader, called Michael—strongly played by John Ellison Conlee. He is obsessed by Sara, but she’s also having an Affair with Bar-Keeper-Tom [Will Swenson] who is actually married to the Narrator of this Four-Handed-Tragedy, powerfully-played by Rebecca Naomi Jones.


The No-Name-Narrator finally beats Tom to death with a Baseball-Bat, so there is a kind of Closure, although No-More-Drinks from the Bar


This Show was earlier seen at The-Manhattan-Theatre-Club & it is still staged by Trip Cullman.


What is now called the Union-Square-Theatre was once-upon-a-time the Auditorium of the Ladies-Garment-Workers-Union, who now have had most of their Stitchings & Cuttings deported to Bangladesh.




David Willinger’s Version of Saroyan’s Rock Wagram, Now Known as THE UPPER LIP  [recused]


Well, Rock, You Made Some Films in Hollywood, But How About Making a Family?


My Old-Friend & Colleague, David Willinger—who has quite a long Bio of Writing-&-Directing-Feats—has dug-up a long-forgotten Novel of the also almost long-forgotten William Saroyan, he of the Fresno-Armenians, which is, in itself a kind of Auto-Bio: Rock Wagram.


There was a Time—especially in Fresno, Modesto, & San Francisco—when William Saroyan was a Name-To-Conjure-With.


His Literary-Exploits were Trumpeted in The-Fresno-Bee & The-Modesto-Bee, both McClatchy-Newspapers, but also in The-Sacramento-Bee, which My-Family read religiously…


How about My Name Is Aram? The Man With The Heart in The Highlands? The Beautiful People? The Cave-Dwellers?


Who now remembers The Time of Your Life? No Foundation! No Foundation, all the way down…


Willinger’s Title, The Upper Lip, does not refer to having a Stiff-Upper-Lip—which Rock Wagram certainly needs—but, instead, to the Necessity for a Real-Man, especially if he is an Armenian-Man, to have a Moustache on his Upper-Lip!


After the Horrendous-Massacre of the Armenians by the Ottoman-Turks in 1915—which gave the World the Name & Concept of Genocide—it was all the more important for those Surviving-Armenian-Men to demonstrate their Masculinity:  a Heroic-Moustache was one way; another was having an Obedient-Wife & Lots-of-Children


As dramatized by Willinger, Rock’s Story seems to move back & forth in time. It is also a Complicated-Narrative, with a Number-of-Characters, some being played by the same Dynamic-Actors, compounding the Incipient-Confusion.


Live-Stage-Action is mixed with Rear & Front-Projections & Filmed-Footage of the Characters-in-Action.


This attempt at Multi-Media-Production, however, suffers from the Filmed-Segments being so Glossy & Professional that the Live-Action looks sometimes clumsy in comparison…


Frankly, given Dave Willinger’s dedication to Saroyan & Rock Wagram, The Upper Lip would really work much better as a Major-Motion-Picture.


Except that Rock seems a bit of a Loser




Richard Nelson’s NIKOLAI & THE OTHERS [★★★★★]


Maria Tallchief & Nicholas Magellanes Rehearse Orpheus for Balanchine & Stravinsky in CT.


What the Audience sees as Richard Nelson’s Nikolai begins is a group of Russian-Emigré-Women setting-up a series of Long & Short-Tables for an Outdoor-Dinner.


Even though Vera Stravinsky is overseeing everything, this is not a play about Talented-Russians having a Feast.


Nonetheless, it’s interesting to see how George Balanchine & Igor Stravinsky inter-act with the Others, as well as with Nikolai Nabokov—Cousin of Novelist-Vladimir—who, although initially a Composer, has become a Fixer for the Russian-Emigré-Community.


In fact, Nikolai is the Voice-of-America in Russian & he is also working for the CIA, as the Cold-War begins to Heat-Up.


One of the Guests has been involved with Hanns Eisler, who fled to East-Germany. Nikolai advises him how to behave if he is summoned to answer Questions.


HUAC is also Heating-Up: the House-Un-American-Activities-Committee will become notorious in Hunting-Down Commies & Fellow-Travelers.


But this is not a Political-Play. Not at all…


It is a Play about People; a Play about Making-Art—in which Maria Tallchief & Nicholas Magellanes will rehearse Balanchine’s new ballet, Orpheus, after dinner.


Richard Nelson has said: "As a Playwright, I do not write words; I write People… It’s not really what they say. [But] What they say, hopefully, is the best way for me to convey those People.”


For Nelson, the Exciting-Challenge was to work with Historical-People, which required a great deal of Research:


"So that the audience can feel that maybe this is how Stravinsky, Balanchine, Koussevitsky were on this particular day.”


That he has so brilliantly succeeded is in his Good-Fortune to have David Cromer as Director of a Large-Cast of Excellent-Actors.


Not only that: Nelson also has George Balanchine as his Choreographer—although that Master is now Long-Gone.


Nelson says: "I’m interested in tying important events—about a Society or a Human-Being—to something very Organic, very Domestic.”


So the Order of his Play is a Dinner, followed by an Artistic-Presentation, followed by People going to Bed.


At Table, we really get to know the Stravinskys, the amorously-inclined Nikolai, & Balanchine—who has made an American-Indian both his Wife & his Prima-Ballerina


This is because No-One onstage is visibly Acting: They are all in the Act-of-Being!


In fact, as Nelson has crafted his drama, there are almost no Supporting-Roles. Everyone is somehow important, each in his or her Own-Way.


Considering his Advanced-Age, it is marvelously-encouraging to see Alvin Epstein as the Aged-Designer, Sergey Sudeikin, still full of Piss-&-Vinegar


But Outstanding-Performances come from most of the Cast, which includes Blair Brown, John Glover, Stephen Kunken, Natalia Alonso, John Procaccino, Michael Cerveris, Dale Place, & Gareth Saxe, as our former Man-in-Moscow, Ambassador Charles "Chip” Bohlen.


At this Dinner-Party, we are witnessing the Birth-Pangs of the New-York-City-Ballet, as well as the Informal-Debuts of two of its Greatest-Artists: Tallchief & Magellanes.


On a Personal-Note: I was fascinated early-on with reports of Balanchine’s-Ballets, although I was far-distant in the SF-Bay-Area—but they eventually did Tour.


When writing for the Christian-Science-Monitor, I had the good fortune to meet Nicholas Nabakov & I was once introduced to Ambassador Bohlen at the Metropolitan-Club.


I never met Vera Stravinsky, but I did photograph her Gravesite, on the Isola-MortaVenice’s Isle-of-the-Dead.


Nearby was the Grave of Sergei Diaghilev, another Russian, but not in Nelson’s Play, as he was not only already Dead, but also not an American-Immigrant




Ernest Abuba’s DOJOJI: The Man Inside the Bell  [★★★★]


Of Buddhist-Bells & Demon-Lovers, with Some Karma & Anime Added…


The Tale of Dojoji, it is said, is as familiar in Japan as Romeo-&-Juliet is in the West.


Nonetheless, while R&J may be Star-Crossed-Lovers, the Emperor’s-Son, Anchin, has a Different-Problem: His Beautiful-Lover, Kiyohime, may also be a Demon, a Ghost


Tisa Chang’s new production for the Pan-Asian-Repertory—now celebrating its 36th-Season!—is a Visually-Lovely-Evocation of an Ancient-Love-Story, retold through aspects of Traditional Japanese Noh, Bunraku, & Kabuki Performance-Arts, as well as Modern-Anime & Multimedia-Effects.


The Enchanting-Dances of Sachiyo Ito are alone worth the trip to Theatre-Row’s Clurman-Theatre, where the Costumes of Carol Pelletier range from the most Elaborate of Traditional-Kimonos & Obis to the Dull-Black of Buddhist-Monks in a Silence-Ridden-Monastery.


It has been a very long time since Manhattan has seen Authentic Noh or Kabuki Productions, so Dojoji may be an Introduction to these remarkable Forms-of-Performance.


What a Horrible-Surprise to find that the Woman-You-Love has suddenly turned into a Ravenous-Fire-Breathing-Dragon


True, in the West, that may Metaphorically-Occur in Doomed-Marriages, but this Union was Mythically-&-Magically-Made way back in AD 929.


Overhead-Projections suggest the Seasons, while the Action occurs beneath on a Simple-Platform of Steps.


But—because the Action moves forward to an Anime-World of 2013—we are treated to Film-Clips of what looks like Downtown-Tokyo at Rush-Hour.


Having been There & done That—that is, making photos of the Ginza, the Neon, & the Thronging-Crowds—this Rebirth & Redemption didn’t work for me…


Nonetheless, this is an Overwhelmingly-Beautiful-Staging, outstandingly-performed by a Talented-Cast, led by Toshiji Takeshima [Anchin] & Kiyo Takami [Kiyohime].


I witnessed the first of the Pan-Asian-Rep’s productions at Ellen Stewart’s LaMaMa ETC, where Ellen was an Ardent-Supporter of Tisa Chang’s Vision, so I salute both our dear-departed Ellen & our wonderful Tisa!




Conor McPherson’s THE WIER  [★★★★★]


At Last: An On-Stage-Bar That’s Not Serving-Drinks To The Audience!


There’s this lonely little Irish-Pub way out in the country, see?


The Regulars include the Unmarried-Owner-Barkeep [Billy Carter], the feisty Unmarried-Jack [Dan Butler], & the gentle Jack-of-all-Trades, Unmarried-Jim [John Keating].


See, there’s long been this Thing about Rural-Irishmen not getting Married.


It’s a wonder the Irish-Race didn’t die-out, what with all that Emigration to America & to Liverpool!


So, it’s somewhat resented that the Married-Finbar [Sean Gormley], a successful Local-Realtor—well, we’re really not all that Rural here—is bringing out a lovely new Addition to the Community, Valerie [Tessa Klein], who’s just bought an Old-House from him.


But there’s a Problem about this House: it has a History!


How about Fairies? The Irish are Great-Believers in the Little-People


So, the Evening progresses increasingly-drunkenly, as even Finbar tells tales about That-House—which would make any Normal-Person take the next Bus back to Dublin.


Jaysus, Finbar! You’ve just sold that House to the Lady! Now you’re scaring the Bejaysus out of her!


Everyone has some kind of Tale-to-Tell about the Supernatural, even Valerie—who has had a Terrible-Loss, the Reason she has relocated.


The Entire-Cast—directed by Ciarán O’Reilly—is exemplary, in Charlie Corcoran’s dark & dusty Pub-Setting.


But, after hearing some of these Stories-of-Haunts-&-Apparitions, you may well want to get up on the Stage & have a Pint with the Others




Henrik Ibsen’s THE MASTER-BUILDER  [★★★★★]


Playmaster-Ibsen! Do You Think There Are Too Many Phallic-Images in Brygmester-Solness?


Oh oh!


Here comes John Turturro ranting, raving, & raging onto the Stage, like a Madman, instead of the Self-Important Famous-Norwegian-Architect he’s supposed to be Impersonating


Are we in for a Rough-Night of Post-Modernist-Ibsen, despite the fact that the Drama is firmly set in the Late-19th-Century?


From the Looks of Santo Loquasto’s Angular-Steel-Cage on stage, we could even be in Post-Post-Modernist-Bergen.


Not to Worry! This remarkable Structural-Sculpture encloses Victorian-Furniture & an amazing Black-Shaft of a Noble-Iron-Stove!


Even in Summer, it’s cold in Norway, but in Master-Builder Solness’ house, the Temperature is often near Freezing, especially when it concerns Relationships between him & his abused, neglected, & humiliated Wife, Aline [a noble Katherine Borowitz].


Things heat-up-a-bit when Solness is leaning-in on his Book-keeper, Kaja [Kelly Hutchinson], who has been engaged for five-long-years to his abused, neglected, & humiliated Assistant, Knut Brovik, [Max Gordon Moore].


Then there’s this Problem about how Solness was able to build his Remarkable-Career: That Terrible-Fire in Aline’s Parents’ Old-House, where they were living.


Not to overlook the Loss of the Only-Children they would ever have had…


Solness—who has dreamt of building Noble-Buildings, notably Norwegian-Churches with Noble-Bell-Towers—has instead been prospering by designing Modern-Homes for the Prosperous.


But his Life is Empty & Brovik’s Unacknowledged-Talent threatens him…


Suddenly & unannounced, Hilda Wangel arrives from Northern-Norway. She is a radiant, nubile Young-Woman.


She believes that Solness made a Promise to her ten-years-ago when he heroically Climbed-the-Steeple of the New-Church he had designed in her Village, to place the Inaugural-Wreath on its Weather-Vane.


Talk about Phallic-Symbols! Or Metaphoric-Penises, if you like…


If there are no more Church-Commissions, Solness can always put a Tower on a Noble-New-House!


As erotically, teasingly played by Wrenn Schmidt, Hilda seduces Solness with a real Mind-Fuck: He must climb the Tower of his New-Project & place the Wreath at its Summit.


For Her


Of course, Solness is now Much-Older & he has always had a Fear-of-Heights


You do not have to be George Bernard Shaw—an Early-Champion of Ibsen’s Well-Made-Plays—to guess how this is going to Work-Out.


Not well…


Andre Belgrader’s remarkable Production—thanks to Loquasto’s Genius—closes as a Modernist-Architectural-Background parts to reveal a Victorian-Era Red-Steeple slanting-sideways.


Cheered-on by Hilda Wangel, Solness begins his Epic-Climb—only to Fall to his Death.


For every Master-Builder staging I’ve ever seen—even in Norway, in Bergen & in Oslo—everyone on stage is always Looking-into-the-Wings when Solness makes his Ill-Fated-Ascent.


Even Ibsen honored that Aristotelian-Dictum that all Scenes-of-Horror must occur Off-Stage.


Much less Messy


This was the most Brilliant-Staging of Master-Builder that I have ever seen & I’ve seen many in different Lands.


Belgrader has his Excellent-Cast clad in Victorian-Costumes, thanks to the designs of Marco Piemontese. So the Period-Flavor is preserved, but the Modern-Implications are not Lost.


Previously, the Essential-Problem was that Solness has been basically portrayed as a Brilliant-Bourgeoise, surrounded by Boring-People, including his Prosperous-Clients.


Turturro breaks that Mold.


But Hilda Wangel, all too often, has seemed an Overgrown-Girl-Scout.


No!


Her Fanaticism & Essential-Selfishness in willing Solness’-Sacrifice is terrifying.


It’s believed that Master-Builder was partially-inspired by the Eager-Young-Women who swarmed about the Famous-Playwright, Henrik Ibsen—who wrote largely in Munich & in Rome, rather than in his Native-Norway.


Yes! There were Ibsen-Groupies, even though he didn’t have a Grammy-Album


Beginning with his Nora—who walked-out of her Doll’s-House, to be free of her Tyrant-Husband-TorwaldIbsen became a Champion of The-Liberated-Woman.




Bertolt Brecht’s Der Caucasischen-Kreiderkreis  [★★★★]


Better-Known as The Caucasian-Chalk-Circle, with Lyrics by WH Auden & Chris Lloyd as Azdak…


Bert Brecht would have hated Bryan Kulick’s Soviet-Inflected staging of The-Caucasian-Circle-of-Chalk.


Brecht liked keeping his productions very Simple, stripped-down. He even created Model-Books to show just how he wanted his Teaching-Plays to be done when he was No-More.


The recent Mahagonny Revival up at the Manhattan-School-of-Music came very close to an essentially Brechtian-Production.


That said—from One who was often in East-Berlin to see shows at the Berliner-Ensemble—the new Chalk-Circle at the CSC is both Colorful & Entertaining.


With the Vivid-Designs of Tony StraigesEpic-Soviet-Style-Posters plastered onto the Backstage-Wall—it seems no more than Politically-Correct to topple a Statue-of-Lenin.


A Cast-of-Seven—featuring the dynamic Mary Testa in a Variety-of-Roles & the Very-Venerable Christopher Lloyd as Azdak—animates Brecht’s Version of The-Judgment-of-Solomon.


A Violent-Uprising has just killed the Hated-Governor of what seems to be a Mythical-Province in Pre-Soviet-Georgia.


His Fur-Bedecked-Consort is fleeing the Wrath of the Troops, but she is more concerned with saving her Wardrobe than she is with protecting Her-Male-Child


The Babe-Bundle is left behind, forgotten by the Imperious-Mother [Testa at her best]—even though he is the Heir to his Father’s-Estates.


A simple Kitchen-Maid, Grusha [Elizabeth A. Davis], finds the Swaddled-Babe & cannot abandon him, even though she puts Her-Own-Life repeatedly in Peril, trying to escape from the Iron-Shirts.


When the Tide has changed, the Governor’s-Wife needs the Heir to claim the Estates.


Grusha—who has nourished the Babe & named him Michael—will not, cannot, Give-Him-Up, so Azdak, a kind of Drunken-Clown, who has been quixotically appointed Provincial-Judge, must decide to whom Michael best belongs: The Birth-Mother or the Kitchen-Maid


So he draws a Circle-of-Chalk, placing Michael in its Center.


Then he orders the Two-Female-Opponents to each take one of Michael’s Arms & pull him out of the Circle.


Grusha lets go, for she cannot bear to hurt Michael.


Guess What? Azdak gives Michael to her, just as King-Solomon understood that the Woman who most loved that Biblical-Baby could not bear to see him Cut-in-Half with the Royal-Sword


Well, there you have it!


With Lyrics by WH Auden & Original-Music [apparently meaning not lifted from an East-German-Composer] by Duncan Sheik.


Actually, as a Teaching-Play—or Lehr-StückeChalk-Circle is framed by the Drama of the Two-Tribes who have come together to contend for a Fertile-Valley that once belonged to the Raisers-of-Horses.


But, in all the Turmoil-of-War, it had been taken-over by Raisers-of-Food.


To whom should the Valley now belong?


Which would the People need more: Horses or Food?


Well, you can always Eat-Horses, but if you are a Tartar-Vegan


Thinking about the Framing-Structure of Brecht’s Chalky-Play now, could the Two-Contending-Tribes have been Chechnyans—back when it was still a "Soviet-Democratic-Republic”?




Tom Attea’s BENEDICTUS [★★]


The Pope Has a Visitation from Jesus, Mary, & God, Plus the Holy-Ghost…



OH, MY GOD!




Mark Brown’s Version of Jules Verne’s AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS [★★★★★]


Get Your Passports-Stamped for a Whirlwind-Journey into Primal-Monty-Python-Farce!


It’s not Really-Safe to take a Railroad-Train through the Middle-East into Asia anymore, but it’s Positively-Horrifying—as well as Hilariously-Funny—to take this Possibly-Doomed-Trip with the Unsinkable-Phileas Fogg, trying to Win-a-Wager by Girding-the-Globe in Eighty-Days.


Jules Verne—who wrote the Very-Original-Novel—would surely be dazzled by what has been wrought at the New-Theatre by Director Rachel Klein & her Super-Charged, Super-Talented Cast.


These Five-Brilliant-Farceurs play 39-Different-Characters, with Amazing-Dexterity & Rapid-Fire Costume-Changes.


Monty-Pythons, Eat Your Collective-Hearts-Out!


This is the kind of Goofy-Ensemble-Playing that you can only find in London. Until now…


If only Rachel Klein had been invited to stage The Mystery of Edwin Drood, it might have been almost as Laugh-Prone as Around the World in 80-Days.


Most American-Actors—trained in Stanislavsky & Lee Strasberg’s Method—really do not know how to do Farce. But the New-Theatre’s Ensemble is Pitch-Perfect.


This is also possibly the Gayest-Show-in-Town—with Kinky-Boots running a Close-Second


What used to be the Home of Primary-Stages—over on West-45thStreet—has been rechristened, by Producer Cedric Yau, as the New-Theatre, which even sounds like a London-Theatre-Venue.


The Yow! Theater-Company, it seems, plans to Run—if not Forever—for as long as Audiences keep flocking over to West-45th. 


The handsome & elegant Bryce Ryness is an equally elegant & imperious Phileas Fogg. Talk about Good-Breeding & Bespoke-Tailoring!


In the Cast I witnessed, the lovely Shirine Babb played the Eventual-Love-Interest, for Fogg is too much of a Gentleman to betray Emotion for a Poor-Hindu-Widow who was about be thrown onto her Late-Husband’s Funeral-Pyre, as they used to do along the Ganges


She has Made-This-Role-Her-Own, so sinuously & insidiously does she change Forms, Functions, & Costumes to help Fogg & his Serving-Man, Passepartout [the acrobatic John Gregorio] return to the Liberal-Club in London to Win-the-Wager.


But a Glance at the Program reveals that Babb is the Understudy for very-blonde Emily McNamara, who must be very good indeed. Maybe Cedric Yau will invite me back to see Emily-in-Action?


Two of the Cleverest-&-Cutest-Farceurs imaginable are Jimmy Ray Bennett & Stephen Guarino.


As Bette Midler/Sue Mengers might say: "I’ll eat you last…”


But all these Hysterical-Hi-jinx wouldn’t work so wonderfully were it not for the All-Encompassing Scenic-Environment that Robert Andrew Kovach has created inside the New-Theatre.


Not only have the Walls been Muralized with Jules-Vernian-Images, but the Dual-Level-Stage functions as many Locales, as well as including a variety of Prop-Tricks that astonish, not to overlook those Multiple-Doors that are Requisite for Classic-French-Farce!


A Large-Clock in the Upper-SL-Corner not only Tells-the-Time, but also serves as a Projection-Screen for the Ingenious-Images of Kate Freer: We are able to track the Frantic-Fogg-Journey on Pre-Google-Maps


Were I still writing for the Long-Defunct Theatre-Arts & Theatre-Crafts, as well as for Theatre-Design-&-Technology, I’d want to interview all the Design-Talents involved to discover out How-They-Did-It!





MORE PASSING-GLANCES AT THE MUSEUMS, GALLERIES, & SPECIAL EVENTS




Does Matthew Barney need a Restraining-Order? Morgan-Library Offers Subliming Vessel


One of Matthew Birney’s more memorable Art-Stunts involved trying to draw on the Slanting-Walls of the Guggenheim-Museum’s Frank-Lloyd-Wright-Rotunda, while physically-restrained by Ropes.


Another time, he let Hot-Melted-Beeswax run down the Spiraling-Rotunda


Or was that just some form of Petroleum-Jelly & Silicone—among his favored Art-Materials?


Now, at the Morgan-Library-&-Museum—where his Sub-Sublime-Drawings are on-view until 2 September 2013—he has created an Instant-Artwork on three of the walls of the Morgan’s Clare Eddy Thaw Gallery, with Drawings to match.


This is the Twentieth in the DRAWING-RESTRAINT Series, in which Barney is still exploring the "Relationship between Self-Imposed-Resistance & Creativity.”


One remembers that Serial-Killer who wrote in Lipstick on a Bathroom-Mirror: "Stop Me Before I Kill More!”


Looking at some of the Barney-Drawings, one might suggest: "Stop Me Before I Make a Fool of Norman Mailer & Harry Houdini…”


At the moment, Matthew Barney is inspired by Norman Mailer’s flaccid-novel, Egyptian Evenings, so there is an Ancient-Egyptian-Pharaonic-Votive-Figure of the God-Osiris in a Clare-Eddy-Thaw Glass-Case.


This Male-God is tethered to Barney’s own Artwork: Djed: The Case for Saving Detroit, which is made-up of Salt, Cast-Iron, Cast-Copper, Copper-Wire, & Gold-Electroplated-Copies of Time-Magazine


Several of my Colleagues were already busily photographing this & other Artworks with their Cell-Phones, when I was politely-asked not to make any Photos, owing to Copyright-Restrictions.


Considering that the so-called "Picture-Artists” have built their Considerable-Careers by Appropriating Photos & Ads & even Newsprint for their Ground-Breaking-Artworks, Copyright-Laws seem increasingly In-Danger.


Almost anything Interesting will soon turn-up on the Internet, so who is Policing-Copyrights anyway?


Probably the same Federal-Agency that is giving underhanded Oversight to such Problems as Bankster-Fraud & Despoliation of America’s Natural-Resources


Matthew Barney doesn’t seem to have any Problem with appropriating Photos of Harry Houdini or Norman Mailer, let alone Time—which is, in any case, Up-For-Sale, with David H. Koch waiting-in-the -Wings, to buy it, as well as the LA-Times, the Chicago-Tribune, & the Orlando-Sentinel


Although the Guggenheim is Barney’s Favored-NY-Exhibition-&-Performance-Venue, the Morgan has lucked-out because it has encouraged Barney to select from its Rare-Book-&-Manuscript-Treasures such Images & Texts as may relevantly-resonate with such Art-$-Performance-Sagas as Cremaster, Drawing-Restraint, the OTTOshaft-Trilogy, & the Egyptian-Inflected River-of-Fundament.


Here, for instance, is an Image from the Book-of-the-Dead: Weighing the Heart.


But how about a More-Modern-Source? Say, from 1999: The Hiram-Key: Pharaohs, Free-Masons & the Discovery of the Secret-Scrolls of Jesus?


This is exhibited close to Barney’s Fifth-Degree—not a Masonic-Third-Degree, fortunately—made with China-Marker, Graphite-Pencil, Petroleum-Jelly, Polypropylene, Adhesive-Residue, & Postcard-on-Aluminum-Clipboard.


Talk about an All-Inclusive-Artwork!


In a sense Illustrating-Ideas for Cremaster 3, we have Andrew Snape’s 1686 Anatomy of a Horse, alongside Death on a Pale-Horse, in the 1475 Apocalypse of Margaret of York, by the Master of the Moral-Treatises, Ghent.


This also recalls another kind of Artwork: Pale Horse, Pale Rider…


But how about bracketing Michelangelo with Julia Butterfly Hill: The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, & the Struggle to Save-the-Redwoods.


The Florentine-Master’s David Slaying Goliath is a long-way-off from the Sierra-Club.


Even today, there are no Redwoods in Florence, although my late friend, Luisa, the Marchesa-Fossi, lived in an Ancient-Villa called Sieti-Olivi, for all those Florentine-Olive-Trees


But enough of Ancient-Memories, possibly not so Salable as Mailer’s Ancient-Evenings.


Among the Morgan’s other Treasures on-view in conjunction with Subliming Vessel are a Diane-Arbus-Photo of Norman-Mailer-at-Home & Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.


Also selected by Matthew Barney are Maurice Maeterlinck’s La vie des abeilles & the 1868 Deseret-First-Book, printed throughout with Deseret-Characters, the Phonetic-Alphabet of the Mormon-Church, better-known as Jesus-Christ-Church of Latter-Day-Saints.


The Things that JP Morgan collected! They Boggle-the-Mind


My Absolute-Favorite is a 14th-Century-Image of A Beaver Castrating Himself


Bottom-Line: Whatever you may think of Trying-to-Draw when metaphorically Bound-&-Gagged, Matthew Barney can really Draw—even if some of the Works-on-View are very small, featuring Thin-Black-Lines on Dark-Red-Grounds


He also makes His-Own-Frames!




Press-Preview at Christie’s: When Did Picasso Find Time for Love & So Many Ceramic-Plates?


May is to be a Big-Month at Christie’s!


So the Press was invited—Video-Cameras & all that—to examine some Modern-Masterpieces to be offered in Up-Coming-May-Sales.


How about a Rare-Portrait of Matisse’s Wife, but not by the Master-Himself: André Derain, instead.


How about Roy Lichtenstein’s Woman with a Flowered-Hat? It’s a colorful Picasso-Knock-Off!


How about Jackson Pollock’s Number 19Oil & Enamel [Drips-&-Spatters] on Paper, laid-down on Canvas?


How about Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Dustheads? Christie’s is thinking you may want to begin bidding in the range of $25-$35-Million


Then there are all those Treasures from the Collection of Celeste & Armand Bartos, not to overlook the Artworks from the Collection of Mona Ackerman


Can they outdo the Collection of Andy Williams, "An American-Legend”?


Christie’s Rock-Center-Galleries cannot contain all the Goodies they are offering in May, so you may want to go up to the 20th–Floor of the Scribner’s-Building, to see Ruth Asawa: Objects & Apparitions.


There’s even The-11th-Hour-Auction—sponsored by the Leonardo-DiCaprio-Foundation, which wants to Save-the-Planet, at this its Eleventh-Hour—to be held on the Evening of 13 May 2013!


There are Major Major Major Artworks, including an attractive Portrait of DiCaprio, but not by George Bush


This Sale comes just in time to help promote that new Leonardo-DiCaprio-Movie, Gatsby, based on a Novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who does not seem to have had a Foundation.




At the Whitney: I, YOU, WE


Actually, the Graphic-Form of the Title of this new Second-Floor-Filling-Show is I, YOU, WE, with the emphasis on the WE WE WE WE WE…


Here are all the Usual-Suspects from the Whitney’s Storage-Vaults: Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sue Coe, Jackson Pollock, & You-Name-Them.


Some of these Photos, Paintings, Prints, & Sculptures are like Old-Friends.


But others have been put-away, in Drawers & on Racks, out of Strong-Overhead-Lights, which might make some of them fade.


A Novelty for me was the Large-Bronze-with-Gold-Leaf-Three-Paneled-Altarpiece by Keith Haring.


Still, Curators always need some kind of Hook on which to Hang a Show & get stuff out of Storage


A number of works seemed obsessed with Sexual-Orientation, American-Bellicosity, & AIDS.


There was No-Press-Preview & No-Press-Kit—saving on the usual Muffins & Coffee for the Always-Hungry-Press—so here’s what the Whitney-Museum-Guide has to say about this Show:


I, you, we: Three very Commonplace-Words. These Pronouns—with all their Implied-Complexities-of-Meaning—provide an Unexpected-Guide for assessing the Works-of-Art from the 1980s & early 1990s in the Museum’s Collection.


Well, Yes. If I, You, or We say-so…


The Point, apparently, is that all these Artworks demonstrate that the Personal, Social, & Collective Issues & Concerns of the Artists of this time are Still-Relevant several decades later.


Well, if they were not, would you Junk Them?




New Sales-Records at Bonhams & Christies: 


If your Dream was to be a Stand-Up-Comic, you missed-out on the Milton-Berle-Memorabilia-Auction at Bonhams in LA.


Berle’s "Joke-File” was bought for $64,900, but his Scripts from more than 85-Years in Show-Biz went for $158,500.


Oddly enough, his Custom-Bound-74-Volume-Collection of Working-Scripts fetched only $8,125.


Nonetheless, a Tiffany-Silver-Humidor—a gift from Mike Todd, who was once married to Liz Taylor—went under the Hammer for $5,250.


At the same Entertainment-&-Animation-Sale, Larry Hagman’s Custom-Made JR-Belt-Buckle sold for $18,750, which is not so much, considering that it was Encrusted-with-Rubies & there will never be another JR Ewing


Also On-the-Block: Sammy Davis Jr Scripts, a Painting & a Bust of Frank Sinatra; a Sammy Davis Jr Desk, & a Class-Photo of Marilyn Monroe, Personally-Inscribed to a Classmate from Ralph-Waldo-Emerson Junior-High.


Not to Overlook the Two Mount-Sinai-Granite-Tablets from Paramount’s Ten-Commandments; a Gold-Cigarette-Case that Barbara Stanwyck gave to Robert Taylor; a View-finder used by Francis Ford Coppola in filming Apocalypse-Now, & Stuff from George Lucas, Stanley Kubrick, & other Hollywood-Luminaries


In both San Francisco & LA, Bonhams used to be known as Butterfield’s, but it was bought-out. No matter what the Banner, Western-Arts-&-Memorabilia always do well in West-Coast-Sales.


Consider: The recent Western-Art-Sale totaled almost $5-Million!


It’s worth noting that Bonhams is the only International-Auction-House that features Sales dedicated to California & Western-Art.


The Difference between Western-Art & that created-in or inspired-by California may be that Western-Art is more about Boots-&-Saddles, as well as Native-Americans & Cactus?


A World-Record was set for a Painting by Charles Reiffel: $398,500 was bid for his 1937 Rainy-Evening. In case you’ve never heard of Reiffel, he was one of California’s most-admired Plein-Air-Painters.


Other Artists featured included E. Charlton Fortune—with The Señora’s Garden, Carmel-inflected; Granville Redmond, Maurice Braun, Guy Rose, & Oscar Edmund Berninghaus.


Alas, there was nothing by Albert Bierstadt on the Auction-Block: one of his Views-of-Yosemite could now fetch Millions


Andy Warhol & Joan Miró topped the $1.9-Million-Print-Auction at Bonhams-San-Francisco. Also up-for-sale were Prints by Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, Ed Ruscha, Richard Diebenkorn, & Wayne Thiebaud.


Meanwhile, back in Manhattan, a Fifty-Year-Old-Bottle of Macallan-Anniversary-Scotch sold for $40,460, with other Labels such as Remy-Martin, Springbank, Bowmore, Courvoisier, Old Weller, Green-River, Old Quarter-Century, & George-Washington-Vatted-American-Whiskey also on-offer…


Over at Christie’s, Prints-&-Multiples topped-out at over $10-Million, with a Complete-Set of Andy Wahrhol’s Campbell’s-Soup-Cans bid-in for $411,750.


Andy’s Mickey Mouse—even though it was sprinkled with Diamond-Dust—fetched only $129,750. Mind you, this is a Print, not an Original


Other Print-Makers who fared-well included René Magritte, Marc Chagall, Edvard Münch—with Der Küss, & of course Pablo Picasso.




At the Jewish-Museum: Long-Dead Appropriation-Artist Jack Goldstein Has Vinyl-Disks On-View!


Jack Goldstein was one of those Emerging-Artists—like Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo, & David Salle—who appropriated Images from Magazines, Advertisements, Books, & Film-Footage, being called "Picture-Artists” by Imaginative-Curators.


Damn the Copyright-Laws! Full-Speed-Ahead, John Baldessari!


It’s worth noting that Baldessari influenced even more Art-World-Celebrities than the Above-Named-Suspects when they were students at CalArts—in Anaheim, founded by the Walt-Disney-People!


Mickey & Walt! You have a-lot-to-answer-for…


The current show at the Jewish-Museum was initially supposed to be seen in LA at MOCA.


That didn’t happen, possibly because the Mega-Bucks-Collector, Eli Broad, prevented it?


Instead, Jack Goldstein x 10,000 opened in Orange-County—at the Orange-County-Museum-of-Art.


Orange-County is supposed to be Bankrupt, but apparently there’s still Funding for showing-off the Collections of the Super-Wealthy.


[Of course, not all Forms of Bankruptcy involve Money: there are also the Concepts of Moral-Bankruptcy & Spiritual-Bankruptcy…]


Anyway, the Reason for the Ten-Thousand in the Show-Title is that Jack Goldstein thought his Name wasn’t so important: There must be 10,000-Jack-Goldsteins in the Telephone-Book, he said.


Goldstein committed Suicide in 2003—at Age-57, possibly having run-out of Ideas for Quirky-Art?—so he was mercifully spared the Spectacle of a Nation now not anymore needing Telephone-Books!


Would he have been able to find 10,000-Golda-Meiers in a Telephone-Book?


In the new show, there are a number of Film-Projectors projecting brief & uninspiring Film-Loops of Goldstein-Appropriations.


Not quite the same thing as the Goldberg-Variations


Wall-Cases are filled with Vinyl-Phonograph-Records, but you cannot take them out & play them.


One Yellow-Wall has a Ring of Black-Vinyl-Phonograph-Records as its Sole-Ornament


Goldstein also liked to pile-up Pieces-of-Wood—without Internal-Supporting-Rods—so that they were held-in-place by the Force-of-Gravity.


There is one of these by the Gallery-Entrance, so walk-around with both Care & Gravitas!




At Grand-Central-Terminal: The Grand-Centennial Parade-of-Trains!


Now celebrating its 100th-Birthday, Grand-Central-Terminal has been mounting some impressive Exhibitions-&-Shows. The most impressive of all was the Two-Day-Only Parade-of-Trains.


On Tracks 34-35-36-37, Pullman-Cars & other Historic-Coaches were brought to Manhattan from all over America!


A real Blast-from-the-Past was the US-Railway-Car-Post-Office, created for the Pennsylvania-Railroad. Imagine Sorting-Letters while the Train was rushing through the Night !


How about the Phoebe-Snow Tavern & Lounge-Cars, built for the Erie-Lackawana-RR?


Or the Hickory-Creek Sleeper/Observation-Lounge-Car, built for the 20th-Century-Limited!


From the Southern-Pacific, an Overland-Trail-Coach; from Union-Pacific, the Pacific-Sands-Sleeper, & from the Boston-&-Maine-RR, the Salisbury-Beach-Sleeper


The Spectator-Lines were over-long, as Hundreds pressed to pass through the various Coaches, marveling that once-upon-a-time, you could See-America-First, on the Ground, with No-Security-Checks.


Among the Handsome-Coaches, it was depressing to see Cars from Metro-North that were scuffed & dirty. Does Mayor Bloomberg know they aren’t washing the Train-Windows often enough?


In Grand-Central’s ornate Vanderbilt-Hall—named for the Commodore who gave us the New-York-Central—there were Model-Trains, Train-Memorabilia, Railroad-Collectibles, & much, much more. 


But the Crowding was so severe, that it was difficult to get close to any of the Booths.


It did seem strange to bring all those Historic-Coaches into Grand-Central, from all over the Nation, for only One-Saturday & One-Sunday


Still, it was the Mothers’-Day-Weekend, so you could be reminded of that Old-RR-Song: Throw Mother from the Train, a Kiss…




More Millions Paid at Manhattan-Auctions: Christie’s & Bonhams Keep Setting Records!


Considering that Christie’s Auction-House posts regular Sales-Reports in the Millions-of-Dollars & Euros, Auction-Results at Bonhams—whether in London, New York, or San Francisco—do not seem so staggering.


Nonetheless, some very impressive Artworks are sold at Bonhams, at very encouraging Prices—especially for those who may just have an Edward-Weston-Photo-Print at home.


Edward Weston’s 50th-Anniversary-Portfolio—printed by his son, Brett Weston, in a Limited-Edition of only 100-Copies—was the top-lot in the Madison-Avenue Photo-Sale.


The Twelve-Photographs in the Portfolio brought $80,500.


Other Photo-Masters who achieved Good-Prices included Gary Winogrand, Ansel Adams, & Joel Peter Witkin.


Some of the Artworks from the Collection of Sir Anthony Quinn—you may remember Quinn in Major-Motion-Pictures, or even on-stage in Streetcar-Named-Desire, replacing Brando on the Road—sold well in Bonham’s New York Impressionist & Modern-Art Auction.


But Marc Chagall’s Les Amoreux aux Fruits ou Deux-Tetes was the Top-Lot, fetching $362,500.


A rare Gustav Klimt sketch from 1900 was bought for $45,000.


The NYC Bonhams May Sale-of-European-Paintings brought-in more than $2-Million. Hardly a Christie’s-Total, but still…


Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot achieved the highest-bid: $134,500—for a painting of his friend & fellow-painter, Constant Dutilleux, seated at an Easel.


The Artwork’s Title: Douai, glacis des fortifications, près la porte Notre-Dame




Meanwhile, Over at Christie’s: Impressionist-&-Modern-Art Win Totals of $158-Million!


Chaim Soutine’s Le petit pâtissier astonished with a Winning-Bid of $18-Million.


A World-Record for Soutine! Too bad he’s not around to enjoy the Added-Fame. If not to share in the Money made for the Painting’s Previous-Owner.


Soutine’s Vue sur Village won $1,803,750, so his Star may be Rising.


But who can keep-up with Pablo Picasso?


Here are some of his Million-or-More Bids in the same Sale:


$8,523,750 for Femme assise en costume rouge sur fond bleu.


$9,195,750 for Mandoline et portée de musique.


$6,283,750 for Homme et femme.


But let’s hear it for Egon Schiele, with $11,323,750 for his Selbstbildnis mit Modell.


How about Marc Chagall, with $13,003,750 for his Les trois acrobats?


Then there’s Joan Miró, whose Peinture fetched a fetching $10,987,750.


Amadeo Modigliani’s The Jewess—or La juive—was purchased for $6,843,750.


Even Claude Monet did very well: His Chemin was bought for $5,163,750, with his Argenteuil, fin d’après-midi winning $6,059,750


Henri Matisse called his $5-Million-Canvas Jeune femme assise en robe grise, but his Venus à la Coquille won only $1,143,750


Good Old Renoir, however, clocked-in at $3,595,750 for his Confidence.


Other French-Impressionists—such as Camille Pissarro & Edgar Degas—also had sales over $One-Million, with Beyond-Impressionism’s Fernand Leger achieving $4,603,750 for Nature-morte & $3,035,750 for Les Deux Figures.


Of course, if you are really interested in Art, the Prices being paid for Dead-Modern-Masters will be of No-Interest to you…


Still, it’s worth noting how Art-Auction-Prices are rising, with Bids coming-in from Asia & the Former-Soviet-Union, as well as from Western-Europe & the Americas.


Telephone-Bids are still accepted, but On-Line-Bidding is increasingly Popular. You do not have to be in New York or London to bid anymore.




Saving Wildlife & The-Environment with Leonardo DiCaprio’s 11th-Hour-Auction:

A Record $38.8-Million Is Raised with Important-Modern-Artworks!


Who knew that a Big-Spender like Jay Gatsby would be interested in Saving-Wildlife?


Considering that Two-Tigers together earned the Leonardo-DiCaprio-Foundation $6.5-Million, perhaps Jay had an Affinity with Tigers?


DiCaprio asked a number of Important-Artists to donate Artworks to the 11th-Hour-Auction, in order to raise Funding for Preservation-Projects.


But Funding-Donations also came from Collectors & Non-Bidders: Anonymous contributed $5-Million, to match the sums bid for Three-Tiger-Paintings, by Robert Longo, Zeng Fanhzi, & Takashi Murakami.


Here are some of the Donating-Artists, along with some of the Spectacular-Prices some Artworks achieved:


Banksy, Sherrie Levine, Sterling Ruby [$1,785,000 for SP 2321], George Condo, Andreas Gursky, Julian Schnabel, Raymond Pettibon [$1,575,000 for No-Title (The Lower-Half…)], Mark Grotjahn [$6,510,000 for Untitled (Standard Lotus No. II, Bird-of-Paradise, Tiger-Mouth-Face 44.01)],


Neo Rauch, Carol Bove, Joe Bradley, Rudolf Stingel, Bharti Khar [$1,758,000 for The Skin Speaks a Language Not Its Own], Urs Fischer [$1,102,000 for Good-Problem], Anish Kapoor, Walton Ford, Richard Prince [$1,260,000 for Silhouette-Cowboy],


Adam McEwen, John Currin, Elizabeth Peyton [$1,050,000 for Leonardo], Sergei Jensen, Rob Pruitt, Cecily Brown, Mark Ryden—with his Queen-Bee, complete with a Beehive-Hairdo-Frame, Dan Colen, Ed Ruscha, Peter Beard, Kai Althof, & Cady Noland.


Ugo Rondinone—now on-view in Rock-Center-Plaza, with his Huge-Stone-Giants, called Human-Nature—had his ersteraprilzweitausenunddreizehn snatched-up for only $283,500. The Title translates as April-First, 2013…possibly an April-Fools-Joke?


Donating such Artworks is not entirely an Exercise in Selflessness, Awareness of Environmental-Issues, & Public-Charity. It also helps establish new Upper-Ranges of what your Stuff will sell for…


The Leonardo-DiCaprio-Foundation is a component of the California-Community-Foundation, raising awareness about Critical-Environmental-Issues, as well as to benefit Innovative-Conservation-Projects.


As a Native-Son-of-the-Golden-West, Your Roving Arts-Reporter—born 1928, in Sacramento, California—is well-aware of Serious-Environmental-Concerns in the Golden-State.


Save-the-Redwoods is only one of Many


There’s the Eternal-Problem of Water. Not to mention Over-Development in SoCal.


Malibu may be OK, but how about San-Luis-Obispo & Fresno?




At the Met-Museum: Land-Marks on the Wall—Blood on the Roof!


Miss the Re-Marks, But Check-Out the Land-Marks


Considering the Vast-Scope of some Earthworks-Projects—notably Robert Smithson’s 1973 Bingham Copper-Mining-Pit—it is always Unfortunate that they usually have to be Admired/Experienced by looking at Black-&-White-Photographs of them.


When the Photographs themselves are not very impressive—as Photos, not necessarily for their Visual-Content—an Exhibition like Land-Marks at the Met can be a disappointment.


Especially when it is deployed in part of a Corridor that Met-Visitors use to get to Restrooms, Elevators, & Galleries. It seems a kind of Afterthought, a Space-Filler


Nonetheless, Christo Javacheff’s memorable Running-Fence, Project for Sonoma-County & Marin-County is worth noting once again.


Years ago—1975, to be exact—Your Roving Arts-Reporter went along that Fence, photographing it in both Color-Slides & Prints.


Later, he photographed both Christo’s Gates in Central-Park & the Process of Wrapping-the-Reichstag in Berlin, following Christo & Jean-Claude on their [very early] Morning-Rounds.



Nothing of Jeff Koons, of Bamboo, or Simply-Monumental on the Met’s Roof: Blood-Patterns


Usually, the Good-Weather & the Summer-Season at the Met-Museum are greeted with a Major-Show on the Roof, in what is charitably-called The-Roof-Garden.


Customarily, these Installations have been both Complicated & Monumental, Tourist-Magnets!


At the Press-Preview, there was a Clear-Field-of-View as one walked out onto the Terrace. Nowhere was any kind of Art-Structure to be seen, not even the Giant-Balloon-Dogs of Jeff Koons.


Instead, there—splattered on the floor—was a lot of Red-Paint!


It looked like a Red-Cross-Blood-Donation-Program gone-wrong…


But NO!


This was, instead, The Roof-Garden-Commission: Imran Qureshi, which will stay on the Tiles until 3 November 2013, as long as Torrential-Rains refrain from attacking the Artwork.


Actually, what’s on the ground—even if it resembles a Crime-Scene—is both Red-Acrylic Blood-Splatters & also Intricate-Fern-Like-Foliated-Patterns that are worked into the Gore.


Qureshi—who hails from Pakistan—is distressed at the Violence endemic in our Modern-World.


The 8,000-Square-Feet of the Roof-Garden now bear His-Painterly-Reaction to this Carnage.


He hopes for Regeneration & Lasting-Peace, even if Relations between the United-States & Pakistan do not seem so stable or friendly now.


The Paisley-Like Swirling-Fronds have been inspired by the Secret-Gardens seen in Mughal-Miniatures.


Nonetheless, it’s safer to go to the Met’s-Roof than it is to travel to Lahore




Not Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey, But Search-for-the-Unicorn at the Met’s Cloisters!


In honor of the 75th-Anniversary of The Cloisters—high on a Peak in Fort-Tryon—the General-Public is invited to study the fabulous Unicorn-Tapestries, as well as other Unicorn-Centered-Artworks.


There is even a Unicorn-Horn on-display, but even those Spiraling-Ivory-Shafts— often seen in Medieval-&-Renaissance-Wunderkammer—aren’t really from Unicorns, living or dead.


No.


At the Cloisters—as in the Wunderkammer of the Salzburg-Cathedral—the Horn is from a Norwhal—a Creature from the Briney-Deep.


Cloisters-Visitors, looking at the Tapestry-Sequence in which a Snow-White-Unicorn is Hunted-Down & Killed, are often surprised by this Elegant-Chase: Why would Anyone want to kill Anything so Beautiful?


Although it is now well-known that Unicorns were Mythic or "Fabulous-Beasts"—never Actualities, always Metaphors or Symbols—in the Dark & Middle-Ages, it was believed that the Powdered-Horn of a Unicorn was a Powerful-Medicine.


Indeed, it was the Viagra of its day: it was regarded as an Aphrodisiac!


Too bad Pfizer or Bayer cannot replicate it now.


Oddly enough, in the Renaissance & well-before, Unicorns were Symbols of both Virginity & Lechery.


The pristine White-Unicorn was the Mythical-Protector of Virginal-Young-Maids.


But Houses-of-Ill-Repute were often marked with a Randy-Unicorn-Sign: Just imagine the Damage that its Thrusting-Horn could do to a Hymen


There are so many Treasures at the Cloisters—including Actual-Courtyard-Cloister-Columns removed from their Mother-Houses in Catalonia & Basque-Lands—that you should plan to spend the day up at Fort-Tryon, where you can also look across the Hudson-River, still Searching-for-Unicorns.


Also: Take Money with you—Admission now costs $25!




The-Last-Supper at the Morgan: Celebration of the Holy-Eucharist in Medieval-Manuscripts…


There’s that Song about a Hundred-Million-Miracles are happening every day…


But for both Medieval & Modern-Catholics, Two-Miracles happen every day, when Mass is Celebrated.


When your Parish-Priest elevates the Chalice-of-Wine & when he elevates the Holy-Host, Bells sound three times to let you know that the Wine has been turned into the Blood-of-Christ & the Matzoh has been miraculously Transubstantiated into the Flesh-of-Christ.


At the Morgan, amazing Medieval & Renaissance Illuminated-Manuscripts depict these Daily-Miracles & even some of the Amazing-Effects the Sacred-Host has had on True-Believers.


The most splendid of the Manuscripts is the Hours of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, a 16th-Century-Masterpiece by Giulio Clovio.


It depicts Pope Paul III in a grand Corpus-Christi procession, winding its way into Old-St.-Peter’s-Basilica.


Another [Un-discussed] Miracle is how it was possible for Pope Paul to be the Grandfather of the Farnese-Cardinal


Weren’t these Clerics—both High & Low—supposed to be Celibate?


In the early Medieval-Era, the Holy-Mass was celebrated behind a Rood-Screen, so the Ignorant-Masses really could not see what was going-on. You had to take the Miracles for granted…


Nonetheless, every Roman-Catholic was expected to take part in the Lord’s-Supper at least once a year.


The Blessed-Juliana is credited with a Vision that launched the Corpus-Christi-Celebrations, when the Sacred-Host was paraded through Cathedral-Cities, often accompanied by Mystery-Plays!


Corpus-Christi was initiated in Liège, Belgium, in 1246.


What is it about the Belgians?


In Bruges, they have The-Holy-Blood-of-Jesus-Christ—not in a Golden-Chalice, but in a kind of Crystal-Tube—which miraculously Liquifies once a year.


Supposedly this is the Very-Blood that Joseph-of-Aramithea caught in a Chalice as Jesus was dying on the Cross!


Over the Centuries, however, even Holy-Blood tends to dry-up. Just like that of St. Gennaro in Naples, which Liquifies once a year, on His-Feast-Day.


When I was teaching in Naples—at NATO-HQ—I made a point of going to the Cathedral for the Magic-Moment. I was so far down the Nave that I couldn’t see anything.


But the Officiating-Bishop did tell us when the dry-dust became Holy-Liquid!


Had I been a Roman-Catholic—instead of a Methodist—& had I gone to Confession before beholding the Miracle, I would have won Remission for all my Temporal-Sins!


But Holy-Blood is not such a Big-Deal as Holy-Wafers that have been Transformed into the Body-of-Christ.


They can, of course, be ingested at the Holy-Mass, but if they are placed in Elaborate-Golden-Gothic-Monstrances, they can be on-view in Cathedrals & Chapels, to be Worshipped & to Heal-the-Sick—even Scrofula…


The best kind of Holy-Hosts are not those that merely look like  Communion-Wafers, but those that actually Bleed Christ’s-Holy-Blood!


One of the most famous of these was the Host-of-Dijon—for Three-Hundred-Fifty-Years—always oozing Precious-Drops of Jesus’-Holy-Blood.


Roger S. Wieck—Curator of the current exhibition at the Morgan—is the World’s-Leading-Expert on the Dijon-Host.


Unlike ordinary Communion-Wafers, this Host came already-embossed with an Image-of-Christ, as well as the Droplets of Holy-Blood that marked Christ’s-Holy-Wounds & which also marked its Circumference.


Ordinarily, your basic Matzoh or Wafer will crumble into Dust, over time, so the centuries-long Survival of the Dijon-Host seemed an added Miracle.


I told Dr. Wieck that—when I was teaching in France—I made a special Pilgrimage to Dijon, hoping to behold the Blessed-Host.


No such Luck!


It had been burned during the French-Revolution, by the Revolting-Masses


Fortunately, I was able to enjoy some Dijon-Mustard on my Roast-Beef instead. But there was No Remission-of-Sins. Not even the Sin-of-Gluttony!


Dijon was not the only Catholic-City that rejoiced in a Bleeding-Host. There were many such Hosts all over Christian-Europe.


But there is a Perfectly-Natural explanation for the Bleeding: it was caused by Micrococcus-Prodigiousus, a Microscopic-Organism that thrives on Bread, turning Red & Liquifying!


Illuminating Faith: The Eucharist in Medieval Life & Art will close on 2 September 2013, but it may not be of great interest to Satmars & Lubovitchers


Today, it is difficult to imagine the Power of the Holy-Church in enforcing Order in a Divided-Europe that was a Multiplicity of Counties, Earldoms, Dukedoms, Principalities, & Kingdoms.


Not only was it Important for Everyone—even the most Miserable-Peasant—to take Communion at least once a year, but there was also the Threat-of-Excommunication for Great-Kings who did not Obey.


Think of Henry, who had to come to Canossa & kneel in the Snow!


Although JP Morgan bought many of the most valuable Illuminated-Manuscripts dealing with the Eucharist & other Rituals of Religious-Piety, one wonders what Morgan ate for his Last-Supper?




At the Met-Museum: More About the War-Beween-the-States—American-Art & The-Civil-War:   Including Generous-Lendings from the Museum-of-The-Confederacy, Located in Virginia!


Lehman-Brothers crashed & went down in Economic-Flames


Fortunately for the Met-Museum, its Lehman-Wing is still flying-high!


It currently shelters the Smithsonian-Institute-Exhibition: The Civil-War & American-Art.


This now runs concurrently with the recently-launched Met-Show: Photography & the American-Civil-War.


Although Photography was not then so developed that Action-Shots could be made during, say, the Battle-of-Vicksburg, nonetheless Matthew Brady & his Assistants could make Plates of the Bloated-Corpses of both the Boys-in-the-Blue & the Boys-in-the-Gray.


Not to overlook those Shuddering-Images of the Shattered-Ruins of Noble-Plantations & Richmond & Atlanta


Famed American-Painters such as Eastman Johnson, Winslow Homer, & Frederic Edwin Church were not exactly like Modern-War-Correspondentsembedded with the Troops as Dick Cheney arranged for Our-Triumphal-Iranian-Cakewalk.


But Homer did, in fact, function as a Civilian-Artist-Correspondent, visiting Union-Front-Lines to make Sketches that would later be Wood-Blocked for Harper’s-Weekly.


If you can find any Back-Issues from that time in an Old-Book-Store, you have a Thing-of-Value.


Now, if you can even find an Old-Book-Store—as Lower-Fourth-Avenue-Bookstores have vanished—you also have a Thing-of-Value.


Lesser-known-Painters of the Civil-War-Era on display in this Show include Sanford Robinson Gifford, Conrad Wise Chapman, & Alexander Gardner.


It may be surprising to some—who know him best for his Huge-Canvases of Far-West-Visions—but German-born Albert Bierstadt painted a very taut-scene of Civil-War Guerilla-Warfare.


Sharp-Shooters crouch beneath a huge Oak, firing over a rickety Log-Fence at Horse-Borne-Soldiers.


To give a Flavor-of-the-Period—as well as the Aftermath of the War-to-Save-the-UnionPeacetime-Painted-Images are also included.


Notably Albert Bierstadt’s Looking Down Yosemite Valley—from 1865—which suggests that Bierstadt couldn’t wait to get out of the Eastern-United-States


According to the Exhibition’s-Curator, this Vision "…addressed the Nation’s Hopes for the Future.”


This is a Yosemite devoid of Humans or Animals—not even a Shoshone-Indian or two…


So it can be imagined to represent "…a new Eden that promises Renewal & Healing after the Trauma of War & Sectarian-Strife.”


Well, if you’ve ever actually seen Yosemite, that is certainly a Stretch




Paul Krugman at the CUNY-Graduate-Center, That Place with the Upside-Down-Flags


Fifth-Avenue is One-Way going Downtown.


When your M-1 or M-2 or M-3 or M-4 Muni-Bus approaches the former B. Altman’s Department-Store-Building—now the Home of the City-University-of-New-York’s Graduate-Center—you may notice that the Blue-Flags, with White-Letters, celebrating the CUNY-Location are hung Upside-Down.


They only look Right, if you get off the MTA-Bus at 33rd-Street & walk-back


Either way, All-Roads led to the Harold-Proshansky-Auditorium, where the New-York-Times’ Resident-Genius, Princeton-Prof & Nobel-Prize-Winning-Economist Paul Krugman was to discuss Inequality & Economic-Growth.


Actually, Krugman was not Alone—though, often at the Times, he seems to be the only Op-Ed-Writer who has his Head-Screwed-on-Right [or Left, as the case-may-be]—because he was In-Conversation with Sir Tony Atkinson, of Oxford-University.


Yes, Britain has Economic-Problems, as does the so-called European-Union, but both the UK & Western-Europe do not represent the Vastness-of-America, nor the Growing-Gap between the Super-Rich & Everyone-Else in the United-States, including the Growing-Group of the American-Poor.


It was suggested that, if Things-Get-Much-Worse—with the Erasure of the Middle-Class & with Massive-Unemployment—there might be Civil-Unrest


Gated-Communities & Secluded-Estates—even with Killer-Dogs, Electric-Fences, Machine-Guns, & Hovering-Drones—may not protect the Ill-Gotten Super-Fortunes of those who have forgotten their Fellow-Citizens.


Chrystia Freedman—of Thomson-Reuters—was the Moderator, but CUNY-Prof Vivian Gornick introduced the Session, in her Function as Director of the Luxembourg-Income-Study-Center at CUNY.


Gross-Herzogin Charlotte-of-Luxembourg might well be astonished—were she still with us—to know that the LIS-Cross-National DATA-CENTER is not only Registered in Lux-City, but is also Located there, on 17, rue des Pommiers, although the Satellite-Office is at the CUNY-Grad-Center.


Paul Krugman is noted for his insistence that the Concept-of-Austerity as a means of Healing the Worldwide-Financial-Crisis brought-on by International-Banksters is Dead-Wrong.


What we desperately need—although President Obama doesn’t appear to understand it—says Krugman, is a Public-Works-Program, similar to President Roosevelt’s 1930s-New-Deal, to Put-America-Back-to-Work.


Of course, World-War-II really got us out of The-Great-Depression, but the Wars we now have are Ruining us, so more Pentagon-Billions expended are not going to save Us—or the US.




Tribal-Arts-Week at Bonhams: Not the Whole-Canoe, Only the Prow!


If you were a Native of the Marquesas-Islands way-back-when, you might well have been distressed to discover that someone had stolen the Prow of your Canoe.


More likely, someone like the late Michael Rockefeller may have offered Hard-Cash—or Cowrie-Shells— for it, to take it back to Civilization for either a Rich-Collector or a Major-Museum.


The suggested Beginning-Bid was $8,000, but On-site, On-line, & Telephone-Bidders shot the Sale-Price up, up, & up to almost $80,000.


Your Roving Arts-Reporter regularly visits Bonhams to inspect & to photograph the Range-of-Treasures that it offers at Auction.


Most of the Multitude of African, Oceanic, & Pre-Columbian Artifacts on-view were certainly of Museum-Quality, so it’s no wonder New-Records were set.


Inca, Maya, & Aztec Cult-Objects were especially dazzling.


As at Christie’s, the Public is welcome before the Actual-Auctions, so Bonhams often functions as a Free-Museum-&-Art-Gallery.


If you cannot afford—or you don’t even have room in a NYC-Studio-Apartment for—a Senufo-Rhythm-Pounder from the Côte-Ivoire, you can buy a handsome Bonhams-Catalogue of the Entire-Sale


This Senufo-Artifact sold for $45,000!


But, when I was last in the Ivory-Coast, I bought Artworks much-less-costly directly from Native-Artists, whom I also interviewed for An African Arts-Safari, written in 1972, but Never-Published because—as I was told by a number of White-Editors: "A White-Man cannot write a book about Black-Africa…”




All-Time World-Record for Art-Auction-Sales Set at Christie’s: $638.6-Million!


Why couldn’t one of those Russian-Oligarchs or even a Mexican-Drug-Cartel-Billionaire have rounded-off that Figure to an even Seven-Hundred-Million-Dollars?


Nonetheless, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Eleventh-Hour-Auction alone brought-in almost $39-Million, with the Artifacts from the Armand & Celeste Bartos Collection being sold for almost $34-Million.


Andy Williams’ Treasures were even more admired, fetching some $53-Million.


In Leonardo’s Auction—to save Wildlife-Worldwide, it’s assumed—the Donated-Artworks established new World-Records for a number of already World-Famous-Kunstlers.


No less than Nineteen of the Artists represented had their works sold for over a Million-Dollars.


Elizabeth Peyton’s Portrait of Leonardo was the Low-Bid, for only $One-Million-Plus.


Soaring to the Top was Roy Lichtenstein’s Comix-Inspired Woman with a Flowered-Hat.


This not-very-large Canvas sold for $56-Million


But it was topped by Jackson Pollock’s Number 19, 1945, which could not have been donated by Pollock himself, as he crashed his Auto into a tree, many many years ago.


For some Artists, Death can indeed be a Good-Career-Move!


Jean-Michel Basquiat’s much-publicized Dustheads sold for almost $49-Million.


A Joseph-Cornell-BoxMagic-Soap-Bubble-Set—brought almost $5-Million.


Marc Grotjahn’s Peacock-Feather-Tiger-FantasyUntitled (Standard Lotus No. II, Bird-of-Paradise, Tiger-Mouth-Face 44.01)—found a Buyer at $6.5-Million. That’s a lot of Money, even for Feathers


To Fellini, by Philip Guston, fetched nearly $25-Million.


Other Million-Plus-Artists in this Sale included: Piero Manzoni, Hans Hofmann, Julie Mehretu, Richard Serra, Luc Tuymans, Kenneth Noland, Robert Longo, Ruth Asawa, Bharti Kher, Raymond Pettibon, & El Anatsui.


In other Christie’s Sales in this Mid-May-Week, other Million-Plus-Artists included Wayne Thiebaud, Louise Bourgeois, Sam Francis, David Park, Sean Scully, Christopher Wool, & Anish Kapoor.


John Currin’s meticulously-rendered Girl in Bed almost broke the Million-Barrier, selling for only $993,750.


Almost makes you wish you’d bought these Artists way back when they were Unknown




At the Whitney: Hopper-Drawings & David Hockney: The Jugglers…


If you cannot come to Manhattan to savor the Edward Hopper-Full-Floor-Exhibition of Hopper Drawing, go on-line to the Museum-Website to see for yourself these Wonders. You can also order the Catalogue on-line…


Before the Assembled-Art-Critics left the Press-Buffet to ascend to Hopper-Heaven, some expressed disappointment that we’d be seeing only some Old-Sketches, instead of Signature-Hopper-Paintings


Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!


All the Iconic-Paintings are here.


But what gives them Added-Expressiveness are the Multitude-of-Studies that Hopper made before he began to Paint: a Hand, seen from several angles; a row of Gas-Pumps, variously imagined; a bored Movie-Usherette, standing this way & that.


Even Studies of the Side-Corridor in which she is standing…


You like Victorian-Houses? Hopper sketched Every-Detail, including Window-Moldings!


The Third-Floor-Galleries have been partitioned & partitioned as never before. Each Important-Painting, thus, has its own Corner to demonstrate the Design-Process that led to the Finished-Image.


Christie’s has a Unique-Hopper that it is promoting for a Major-Sale, so it has prepared a handsome Booklet about Hopper’s Fascination with the way Light strikes Houses. As well as the Shadows


In this Show, that Focus is clearly seen, but Hopper was also interested in how Light-&-Shadow fall on Nude-Female-Bodies.


To Get-into-the-Act of promoting interest in Hopper Drawing, New-York-Magazine ran a Feature, featuring Photos of Period-Sites that might have inspired Hopper’s Epic-of-Loneliness, Nighthawks.


One of them is that odd Glass-Enclosed-Pie-Wedge jutting-out from the Flatiron-Building, down on West-23rd.


It can barely accommodate small Art-Projects, let alone a Diner-Counter & Customer-Stools.


Nonetheless, from Hopper’s Drawings & Old-Photos, this Site does indeed seem To-Be-The-Place!


Among the Hopper-Masterworks on-view are: New York Movie, Morning in a City, Office at Night, Rooms for Tourists, The Road, Route 6 Eastham.




David Hockney Shows his Jugglers-Video on Floor-Two of the Whitney!


There’s this wide, wide & dark, dark Video-Room at the Whitney that is now the Site of the US-Premiere of David Hockney’s The Jugglers, June 24th 2012.


Six Vertical-Sections of the Video-Screen—vivid in Reds & Blue-Hues—show Oval-on-going-Acts-of-Juggling, including not only Dumbbells but also Hula-Hoops.


All this to the accompaniment of Stars-&-Stripes-Forever!


Actually, this is not just any old Video. No: It is, instead, a Video-Installation!


What’s More-to-the-Point: "…Multiple-Perspectives can transform our Experience of the Moving-Image.”


Also: "Hockney mines the Histories of Cinema-&-Painting, through the Lens-of-Technology, to create a New-Way-of-Seeing.”


Wow! All of This in only a Nine-Minute-Long-Video!




New Ways-of-Thinking about Contemporary-Portraiture on the Whitney’s First-Floor!


Either shown Vertical or Horizontal, Stuart Uoo’s Dystopic-Cyborg-Mannequins look like Road-Kill after a Slash-&-Burn Tet-Offensive.


Also in this Designed-Environment is Jane Euler’s Painting, which—along with those Dystopic-Dummies—"…interrogate how the Social, Technological, & Cultural-Forces at work today shape the Contemporary ‘Self.’”


Well, you may well Scoff if you like, but you cannot accuse Curators at the Whitney of failing to conduct such Interrogations!


But even a Museum dedicated to The-American-Artist needs to be careful not to confuse Cultural-Forces with Cultural-Farces




More World-Records Shattered at Christie’s: $828.8-Million Finds Safe-Haven in Artworks!


Tallying the Results from the Two-Week Spring-Auction-Series at Christie’s finally adds-up to the Breathtaking-Sum of $828.8-Million.


The subsequent Sale of Important English, Continental & American Silver topped-out at almost Three-Million-Dollars.


Two Important 18th-Century German Soup-Tureens sold for $171,750


Is there such a Thing as an Un-Important-Soup-Tureen, German or otherwise?


Meanwhile, at Bonhams in San Francisco, a Case of 1961 Château-Haut-Brion was purchased for $18,445. That must have been a Very-Good-Year




Tour the Morgan-Library/Museum on Your Cell-Phone, Thanks to Google’s Art-Project!


With the rapid-development of Apps for just about anything, it seems no Stretch-of-the-Imagination to foresee a Time-not-far-off when it will be possible to see the Met-Opera & the Met-Museum on your Digital-Wristwatch.


Initially, I posited that as a kind of Wry-Joke, in which, once it is unnecessary to Pay-Real-Money & make the effort of going to the Met—either the Singing-One or the Art-Artifact-Warehouse—the Actual-Institutions & their Respective-Buildings would also become Unnecessary.


Thanks to the Google-Art-Project, that Day may not be far-in-coming


Just as Google’s Street-View-Trolley can roll down your Street, Avenue, or Blvd, it can now go inside Major-Museums & give you 360°-View of the Interiors, Room-by-Room & their Art-Contents.


Not only can you now study in Great-Detail some Hundred of the Morgan-Library-TreasuresPaintings, Sculptures, Rare-Books, & Manuscripts—you can also examine up-close the Architectural-Details & Interior-Decoration of this McKim-Masterpiece.


Online, you can now see the Remarkable-Murals on the 30-Foot-High-Ceilings as you cannot if you are actually There.


What’s More: You can even examine closely the entire 12’-x-24’ 16th-Century-Tapestry that hangs over the Library-Fireplace!


If you have ever tried to make a Photo of a Rembrandt or a Rubens at the Met-Museum, only to have a Guard rush over to stop you—owing to Copyright-Restrictions or some other excuse, Rembandt’s Copyrights having by this time surely run-out—the Google-Art-Project now removes that Problem.


In order to put Art, Archives, Heritage-Sites, & other Cultural-Goodies online, the Google-Cultural-Institute is digitizing Museums, Contents, & Sites all over the World.


Over Three-Million-Books in the Stanford-University-Library are now available online. But then most of the Google-Guys & Gals have Stanford-Degrees


If you want to discuss an Art-Favorite with Friends, you can Browse by Artist, Artwork, Type-of-Art, Museum, Country, Collections, & Century.


You could visit the Louvre or the Vatican-Library without ever having to go through Customs & Security


Using the "My-Gallery” feature, you can even build a Personal-Art-Collection to share with Friends & Family. You can even add your own Comments to the Digitalized-Art-Photos!


Soon—unless you need to Work to pay the Rent—you will never have to Leave-Home, least of all to go to the Metropolitan-Opera




Monster-Show at Met-Museum of Old-Masters: From 1300-AD To 1800-CE—Out-of-the-Vaults!


Google had better get their Google-Trolley over to the Met-Museum, where the European-Paintings-Galleries have been Refreshed & Re-Hung, with a Third-Again-New-Space added to the former Galleries.


Now there are more than Seven-Hundred-Old-Masters in Forty-Five-Galleries.


Although some of the most celebrated of the Met’s-Masters are still on-view—but in New-Conformations-&-Contexts—many of the Remarkable-Canvases must have been down in the Vaults for Decades.


I have been a Met-Regular since 1960, but I swear some of the Holbeins & El Grecos I’ve not seen on these walls before.


Instead of just a few Goyas, how about an Entire-Room of Masterpieces by Francisco Goya-y-Lucientes?


The Met’s Holdings of Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, David, Velázquez, & Goya are the strongest in the Western-Hemisphere.


Not only do some Galleries now have new Floorings & Moldings, but even some Paintings now have outfitted with handsome Period-Frames—which enhance the Viewing-Experience.


The Organizing-Principle has been Chronology-&-Geography.


You cannot do—let alone Do-Justice-To—all 45-Galleries in only One-Day.


So do plan to Return-Again & Again!




Kolo Moser at the Neue-Galerie: Die Wiener-Werkstätte Lives Again!


In France, they gave this Sinuous-New-Style the name of Art-Nouveau


Jugendstil was the name used in Germany & Austria, because it was a New-Style: Jugend=Youth.


In Scotland & England, it grew out of the Arts-&-Crafts-Movement, with the Scot, Charles Rennie McIntosh admired more in Austro-Germany than back home.


In Vienna, McIntlosh was revered, but so were the Local-Innovators: Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann, & Koloman Moser.


Last year in Vienna, the Secession-Genius, Gustav Klimt, was being honored all year long.


But every year there is Vienna-1900, thanks to the talents of Wagner, Moser, & Hoffmann—who somewhat overshadowed Moser.


Now—at Ronald Lauder’s Neue-GalerieMoser has at last Come-Into-His-Own for Americans who do not know about either Secession or the Wiener-Werkstätte, which Moser & Hoffmann co-founded.


Some years ago, when I had created & edited the Art-Deco-News for the Art-Deco-Society-of-New-York, I featured Secession in one of the Quarterly-Issues & the Wiener-Werkstätte in another.


Both were the result of Intensive-Research in various Vienna-Archives, notably those of MAK, the Museum-für-Angewandte-Kunst.


This is refers to Interior-Decoration, but I initially thought—when I was first learning German—that it meant Art-put-on-the-Walls, as Wand means, in fact, Wall


But I also went to Firma-Backhausen, in the Kärntnerstrasse, where they gave me Fabric-Samples of Kolo Moser’s wonderfully-intricate Designs.


So it was a renewed joy to enjoy so many of the Moser-Designs I’d first come to know in Vienna now up on Fifth-&-86th!


Of course, I’d already photographed Moser’s remarkable Stained-Glass-Windows for Die-Kirche-am-Steinhof years ago, as well as his "Golden-Cabbage”, as the striking Museum/Gallery for Secession is known.


There is a handsome Model of the Cabbage in the new show, as well as some innovative Moser Furniture I’d never before seen.


There is also a Prestel-Catalogue which glowingly preserves Photo-Images of Moser Ceramics, Silver, Crystal, Jewelry, Furniture, Wall-Papers, & Fabric-Designs.


This costs some $60 & seems to weigh about 60-Pounds


Following its run in Manhattan—closing 2 September 2013—Koloman Moser: Designing Modern Vienna, 1897-1907, will move to Houston’s Museum-of-Fine-Arts.


It’s now over a Century since Kolo Moser began designing Modern-Things for Still-Imperial-Vienna, but his Modernity is still Fresh & Striking. They do not look like Victorian-Remainders




Theatre-Folk at Sardi’s OCC-Get-Together: Cicely Tyson, Nathan Lane, Andrea Martin, & Others!


This Season-End was marked by the 63rd-Annual Outer-Critics-Circle-Awards.


The OCC-Honors always come before the Drama-Desk-Awards, which precede the Tonys.


Awards in Ascending-Order, so to speak…


But what makes the OCC-Party so special is that it’s more like a Theatre-Family-Get-Together.


Many Broadway & Off-Broadway Talents who are onstage eight-times a week, seldom have the chance to Compare-Notes—or even Family-Photos—unless they have been invited to the Always-Crowded-Eugenia-Room at Sardi’s.


Some Seasons ago, as a Table-Host, I sat between Rosemary Harris & Chita Rivera, who were busily visiting-across-me.


"Shall I change places, so you can talk more easily?”


"No, Glenn! This is just fine! But we seldom have the chance to see each other when we’re in shows…”


On Thursday-Afternoon, 23 May 2013, at 4pm, I found myself sitting next to Terrence Mann, who is the Holy-Roman-Empire’s Emperor-Charlemagne in Pippin.


Although quite different from the Bob-Fosse-Original, this new Pippin is a Circus-Wonder & it won a Cornucopia of OCC-Awards: not least to Gypsy Snider, for her Circus-Inflected-Choreography.


She shared this honor with Co-Choreographer Chet Walker, who honored Fosse by resurrecting his Straw-Hat-&-Cane-Vaudeville-Routines.


My Humble-Suggestion that we should present Posthumous-OCC-Scrolls to both Bob Fosse & George Balanchine—as their Signature-Choreograpies were once again on Broadway—was ignored.…


Balanchine’s Orpheus-Choreography is being reprised in Nikolai & the Others, now at Lincoln-Center.


Other OCC-Winners included Cyndi Lauper & Billy Porter, of Kinky-Boots, as well as Nathan Lane of The Nance, & Cicely Tyson, so beautiful in The Trip to Bountiful.


Not all the Stars were winning Awards. Some—who had previously won OCC-Awards—were busy awarding this Season’s OCC-Scrolls: Judi Kaye, Michael McGrath, Donna Murphy, Audra McDonald, & Tonya Pinkins!


John Gassner—who was a Founder of the OCC, because Minor & Out-of-Town-Critics couldn’t join the Drama-Critics-Circle—was once again remembered & honored with the John-Gassner-Award.


Gassner was Sterling-Professor-of-Playwriting at the Yale-Drama-School & the Mentor-of-Many—including me, although I went to Stanford, not to Yale.


John was famed for encouraging a number of Subsequently-Successful New-American-Playwrights, so his Widow, Mollie Gassner, & I helped set-up this Annual-Award, which this May went to Aaron Posner, for My Name Is Asher Lev.




NY-Philharmonic at St. John-the-Divine: Not as Tough as Being a Canterbury-Pilgrim…


Those LED-Billboards over at Lincoln-Center advertised a Free-Concert on Memorial-Day!


But it wasn’t to be held across Broadway from the Angel-Moroni. No, indeed!


It was scheduled for a More-Mainstream-Sanctuary: The Cathedral of St. John-the-Divine.


So I thought I’d take the No. 4 MTA-Bus over to Cathedral-Parkway, stopping-off for some Spoon-bread at Miss-Masie’s


They were fresh-out of Spoon-bread & even out of Corn-bread. So I ordered the Sampler-Platter, but it took over an hour to make it out of the kitchen.


The Concert was to begin at 8pm & it was already 7pm, so I grabbed a Doggie-Bag & scooted over to the Cathedral-Block.


The Line was up the hill from Morningside-Park already, so it took almost an hour for all of us to squeeze into the Vast-Unfinished-Spaces of NYC’s Episcopal-Cathedral.


Alan Gilbert led the NY-Philharmonic in an Echo-Chamber-Experience of Bruckner’s Symphony in D-Minor, supposedly his Answer to Beethoven’s Ninth


Unfortunately, the Cavernous-Nave of the Cathedral is not the best Resonator for Symphonic-Music.


When we had finished with our Free-Hour of Memorial-Day-Concertising—an Annual-Event—hordes of Music-Lovers pushed their Way out the Great-Doors.


One Dyspeptic-Spectator/Auditor snorted: "Well, Bruckner’s no Mahler!”


Alan Gilbert never said he was, did he?




At the Morgan Library/Museum: Old-Masters, Newly-Acquired…


But—Unlike the Old-Masters at the Met-Museum, These Are Drawings, or Works-on-Paper.


Thanks to gifts from such Morgan-Benefactors as the late Brooke Astor, Eugene V. Thaw, & former Morgan-Director, Charles Ryskamp, JP Morgan’s Collections of Drawings from the Renaissance to the 19th-Century have been, in the words of the Current-Director, "augmented & transformed.”


Obviously, only Certified-Researchers can have access to these Collections, so it is good that the Morgan has found some Wall-Space & Exhibition-Cases to show some of the best of the New-Acquisitions.


Among them are sketches & drawings by Redon, Vuillard, Manet, & Cézanne, not to overlook the Danes, Eckersberg & Lundbye, nor the Brits, John Martin & Samuel Palmer.


For that matter, there is a fascinating Sketchbook by George Romney—78-leaves, with 45-drawings—whose dates [1734-1839] suggest that he might have been an Artistic-Ancestor of Mitt Romney


Next to that Open-Book is the Sketchbook of Charles Francis Daubigny, showing a splendid perspective of a Victorian-Railway-Station, all Cast-Iron-Columns & soaring Glass-Vaults.


The most wonderfully-complicated of all the Drawings is Adolph-Gustave Binet’s Construction of the Eiffel-Tower.


One delightful Scene you do not want to miss—if you are able to come to the Morgan before this show is taken-down on 12 August 2013—is Tiepolo’s Dancing-Dogs with Musicians & Bystanders. There are almost a Dozen-Dogs, all dancing on their Hind-Legs!


It’s always good to see anything by Caspar David Friedrich, most of whose Major-Works were for so many years on-view only behind The-Iron-Curtain.


My favorite, however, has to be a Fuseli-Watercolor: Kriemhild at the Wake of Siegfried.


Not so much for its Wagnerian-Subject, but because I have a handsome large Engraving of this Mythic-Scene.


I bought it years ago off a Barrow in Farringdon-Market, for 2/6, having cut it out of an entire book of Fuseli-Engravings with a Razor-Blade. I also sliced-out Macbeth’s Three-Witches & other celebrated Fuseli-Scenes.


Only when the Raffish-Dealer was rolling-up my Purchases, did I think to ask him if I could have bought the Entire-Book before I slashed the Best from it…


Yes, he said. Because I was a Regular—I came down to London on Weekends from my Teaching-Post, at Burtonwood-Airbase in the Midlands—he would have sold me the Heavy-Tome for only £30.


There is a handsome Brochure available, with Color-Reproductions of a number of these Morgan-Treasures.




More Museum-Notes: American Folk-Art’s Innovative Former-Home Facing Destruction,

While Its Palazzo del Mondo Is Off To the Venice-Biennale!


The American Folk-Art Museum not so long ago moved from its older cramped-quarters on West-53rd-Street into a remarkable Rusted-Metal New-Home virtually across the street;


Unfortunately, the Footprint on which this Museum was constructed was very constricted, so that Visitors couldn’t really back-off from Wall-Exhibits to view them effectively.


Doubly-Unfortunate was the fact that the Funding was not there for the Museum to continue, so it was Padlocked-&-Chained.


Instead, it Bifurcated: One part of the Collection being installed in the Mormon-Building at Lincoln-Center. The other is now down at South-Street-Seaport


As the handsome, but abandoned West-53rd-Street-Premises abut the Museum-of-Modern-Art, it might well be thought that MoMA would be eager to reopen this Unusual-Structure as an innovative Work-of-Architectural-Art.


But No!


It’s Floor-Levels do not match those of MoMA, so it must GO!


Meanwhile, the Met-Museum is scheduled to take over the Marcel-Breuer-Designed-Whitney on Madison as a Museum-of-Architecture, so what’s wrong with the MoMA-Management about having an Architecture-Museum?


Oddly enough—although the Folk-Art-Folks have an immense collection of the somewhat Pedophiliac-Drawings of the seriously Odd-Man-Out, Henry Darger—it is their Enciclopedico-Palazzo-del-Mondo that will be going off to Venice for the Bienalle-2013, the 55th of these now-celebrated International-Art-Exhibitions.


In fact, Marino Auriti’s Palazzo is the Inspiration for this Summer’s Biennale!


An Italian-Immigrant, Auriti designed his Monumental-Palazzo-Model as a Skyscraper-Museum, to hold all the Works-of-Man in Whatever-Field, from the Wheel to the Satellite & Beyond…


He intended his Palazzo for the Mall in DC, but, as it would have stood some 2,322-feet, with 136-stories, it could have towered-over the Washington-Monument.


If you’ve never seen the Palazzo & you aren’t going off to Venice this summer, be sure to see it when it comes back to Lincoln-Center. The Angel Moroni will be up there blowing his Trumpet




End-of-Month Auction-House Sales-Results: Bonhams & Christie’s Break-Records, Again…


The Presidio-of-Los-Angeles is certainly not as old as some of the Dinosaur-Bones that Bonhams auctioned there recently in what is now the City-of-the-Angels, sometimes thought of as the City-of-the-Angles..


How about $86,500 for a Tyrannosaurus-Rex-Maxilla—complete with Seven-Teeth?


If you are into Jurassic-Crocodiles of Poseidon-Shale, one went for $84,100.


From Lebanon, came the 100-Million-Year-Old Rhombopterygia-Guitar-Fish-Fossil.


Although this is the Largest-of-the-Species ever discovered, it sold for only $17,500


Other Fossils—many of them Millions-of-Years-Old—came from such Rocky-Treasure-Troves as the Green-River-Formation, the Duck-Creek-Formation, the Bearpaw-Formation, the Morrison-Formation, & the Hell-Creek-Formation


Meanwhile, back at Bonhams in Manhattan, an Albert Bierstadt painting of another Rock-FormationSentinel-Rock in Yosemite—sold for only $338,500.


Eastman Johnson’s Indian-Family, painted when he was with the Ojibwe-Indians in Wisconsin—while not depicting the Far-West as Bierstadt did—fetched $442,500, the Sale’s Top-Lot.


Over at Christie’s, it was all about Edward Hopper—who now has an entire floor over at the Whitney, showing how his Meticulous-Drawings segued into his Iconic-Paintings.


Hopper’s also Iconic but also Epic-Canvas, Blackwell’s Island, sold for $19-Million, the highest bid ever made at Christie’s for a Single-Work in an American-Art-Sale!


That recent Multi-Million-Dollar Roy-Lichtenstein-Canvas doesn’t count, because that wasn’t in an exclusively American-Art-Sale


A Hopper Work-on-PaperKelly Jenness House—broke the World-Record at $4-Million.


A Saturday-Evening-Post Cover-Painting by Norman Rockwell, showing a cute boy admiring three Starlet-Photos—called Starstruck—went under the Hammer for $2-Million.


My Back Yard, a Canvas by Georgia O’Keeffe, was sold for nearly $4-Million.


A handsome Portrait of George Washington, by John Trumbull, won nearly $1.5-Million.


Other American-Artists breaking the Million-Dollar-Barrier were George Wesley Bellows, Sanford Robinson Gifford, & Maxfield Parrish.


Where is all this Money coming-from? There are Homeless-People in New York who would be very glad if some of the Christie’s-Bidders might drop a few Bucks in their Empty-Coffee-Cups


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