I came back from New York last week. The first couple of days it rained a lot, but we got outside anyway. This is my favorite wall in the city...it surrounds old St. Patrick's Cathedral on Prince St. in Nolita.
At R Gallery a perfectly simple credenza...
A very lovely and very comfortable sofa at Ochre, 462 Broome Street in Soho.
On Tuesday the rain sent us running to the shelter of the Metropolitan Museum. We spent some time looking closely at the Greek antiquities.
Also at the Metropolitan was a show called The Mourners, in the Medieval Gallery. They were marble tomb sculptures of monks in flowing robes and hoods, my favorite of which encase their faces completely. Although photos weren't allowed, the statues are shown on this website which is quite incredible. You can turn the statues around and look at them from different angles. I do have this one to give you the idea.
After the museum we went to Ursus Books, an art book and rare book dealer on Madison Ave.and 77th Street, upstairs in the Carlyle Hotel. I added a tiny pamphlet on his rare lithographs to my collection of Matisse catalogs and graphics.
I was excited to see the Maira Kalman show at the Julie Saul Gallery. I love her sense of color, her idealism, and her deep appreciation of humanity, as well as for what is beautiful. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the show, which is on till May 1st. The pieces on America and Democracy are from the New York Times blog she published last year called "And The Pursuit of Happiness".
Lovers in Museum
Jefferson's Tea Set
Woman With White Hood
Thomas Edison Napping
This is the last picture from the series, "And The Pursuit of Happiness"...take a look.
At the ICP Museum, on 6th Avenue at 43rd Street, is an exhibition on Miroslav Tichy, a Czech photographer. Born in the 1920s, he started photographing seriously in the 1950s. His photos are intentionally grainy, blurry, scratched, and dirty. Tichy has spent most of his life wandering the streets of Kyjov, looking homeless and disheveled. He makes his own cameras out of cardboard and rubber bands. He photographed his subjects subversively in his private rebellion against the repressions of the communist government. The photos are almost all of women, or parts of women, generally done without their knowledge, but whether it's simply erotic or political is unclear. Because of his appearance, and the fact that the cameras don't look real, his subjects didn't take him seriously, ignoring him as a harmless eccentric. The New York Times ran a great piece about him, "An Ogling Subversive With a Homemade Camera", that helps to give him context. I think his cameras are compelling objects in themselves.
This is one of the cameras he made:
Some of his photos
A Picture of Tichy
Later in the week when the the sun came out the whole city seemed to be celebrating the arrival of Spring. At a well cared for community park on 9th Street and Avenue C there are a pair of stately willow trees looking dramatic in the brightest spring green against their dark branches...here's one of them.
At the park entrance and all along the fences there were flowers made from recycled materials...
Another community park on 6th Street between Avenues B and C. when we came to the entrance we heard Edith Piaf music mysteriously playing at a good volume from a window...it felt as though we'd found ourselves in a french film as we ambled through the garden.
All over the West Village there were white blossomed trees.
It was so beautiful we walked down to Chinatown, to Henry Street, near the Manhattan Bridge. There's a store there called A.B.K. Custom Leather Craft we wanted to see. The owner, the very lovely, talented, and hard working Alya Kazakevich sews everything herself and has an exquisite sense of design. Originally from Belarus, she's lived in New York about 10 years and studied with leather workers here prior to opening her own shop. The work has a character that's very traditional, yet simple and modern at the same time.
At the Gagosian Gallery on 21st Street there's a show of monumental sculpture by Calder. It's exciting to be able to walk around these strong pieces, seeing the way they change as you look at them from different angles, and seeing the way the huge mobiles interact with the floor pieces. There are only a few sculptures in a very large space, but it's very much worth a visit.
On our last day I walked by a restaurant called "The New French" (not a French restaurant in fact) on Hudson and 10th Street. I looked in as lunch was being set up and discovered that Maira Kalman, of all people, had painted drawings all over the walls, and written out the menus and place mats in her distinctive handwriting. I'll have to wait for the next trip to try it out...let me know if you've been there!