This week we discovered another art opening/event tracker in NYC: larryqualls.blogspot.com
. One of our scouts found this. Last night (Tu) artcards.cc had five events listed. LarryQualls had 20.
And one of them was sponsored by the Warhol Foundation beautiful display of Warhols, and an even more beautiful crowd – on 78th off Madison. Champagne & nibbles including filet mignon and tiny chocolate cones endlessly served from 6-9pm.
On the 11th, Wed, we hit The Plains Indians show, a short two month show at the Met. Its scope, interpretative panels, and the quality of its pieces are stupefying – borrowed from museums all over the world – as only the Met can do. Frankly it gives the Museum of the American Indian down on Bowling Green a run for its money. Why couldn’t they mount something of this quality? This show demands to be seen time and time again – so go! you’ve only two months to play with this one.
In the show I did what we both always do at the Met: talk to the guards – and ask if they’re an artist. The one I talked to today was like poking your finger in a dike: there was an outpouring of facts, analyses of trends, suggestions for resources, a tabulation of who’s who in the art world – from this painter/sculptor.
Here are some tidbits gleaned. A long discussion of how adequate funding in the 80s by public and private parties alike led to a renaissance in American art. And how the cutbacks triggered by the Cincinatti Maplethorpe show and the Jesus/Piss piece resulted in the present scene where art is not only not funded but also increasingly not valued.
This guard was pessimistic as to the future of art in Amerika. A world where art is bought on Instagram. Where art is no longer a currency, no longer discussed and viewed in public, together, but where it’s only had, possessed, monetized – with the artist like any factory worker seeing little or nothing of the rewards it generates. Yes, talk to the Art Guards at the Met….
On the way to the Society Library for that blessed hour of reading with others in the great reading room full of obscure journals, I stopped by a favorite gallery, ERARTA, 1430 Madison just above 79th. As part of Asia Week it is hosting a show organized by the OnishiGallery as – part of Asia Week NY 2015 (discussed in more detail below). Among the 11 artists whose work is shown, 9 are Japanese National Living Treasures. One third of the exhibition is work by these nine National Living Treasures. Simply stunning to realize.
We went to their opening, last night, Friday the 14th, 6-8pm, delaying our departure from NYC for Ct just to be at this opening – and acknowledge these great artists. Upstairs they had someone conducting a Japanese tea ceremony
After this we went to Shepherd W&K Galleries, 58 E 79th, for their opening night. Wisely next to each work of art for sale they put a doppel ganger in a museum collection somewhere in the world: all work shown is museum quality is the message – and the fact. This is an umbrella show – and it covers all the waterfront.
Many Chelsea galleries and dealers HQ’d elsewhere in the city have made the Upper East Side between 57th and 79th Ground Zero for Asia Week. So Fitzgerald Fine Arts has decamped from Greene Street to establish a beachhead at 1016 Mad Ave just below 79th with a mind boggling show of Chinese contemporary art. We were thunderstruck with the innovative reinvention of chinese traditions by Zhang Guojun and Gan Daofu. The former is a teacher. Both are major international artists. If you see only one dealer’s offers this would be my #1 choice.
But there’s so much to choose from! pick up an Asia Week orange guide from any gallery on the UES. Gagosian Gallery of course weighs in mightily in this combat of the dealers. In a show simply termed “Chinese Art Treasures” ceramics and bronzes look far better here than their museum counterparts. Consider the facts: even the Met has extremely limited wall space to cover all the art of humanity, of all of its cultures, over all the epochs of time. But the dealers of Asia Week have all the exhibition space of the entire UES at their disposal – and they’re making the most of it.
This brings me to the last outpost we investigated before collapsing from this avalanche of Asian Art at Navin Kumar 24 E 73 Himalyan & Indian Art 6-9. For me Kumar shall always be the Alladin with the secret cave of the best of Indian Art. He gave me a book on Indian Art by him that only documented my suspicion he knows this subject far better than most. Typical gallery: cramped, on an upper floor, and totally worth going to.
Lastly, the big news is that Asia Week is on NOW. Here are three results in searching “Asia Week – and of course there’s a lot more. Frankly, this is The time to explore every dimension of Asian Art. The events are very much on the Upper East Side. Last night there were 41 galleries having shows.
To handle this irrational exuberance you’ll need very good tools to size up where to go. Again, use artcards.cc to plan your journey – since their APP is phenomenal for choosing the galleries you want to visit – and having them all mapped out for you.
But don’t forget the new source outlined at the start of this post, larryqualls.blogspot.com
. Qualls seems like the kind of guy who day by day gives you a comprehensive overview of what’s being offered. His blog appeared about midday today for tonight’s events. For Quality and Comprehensiveness Qualls cannot be beat.