The Cool House: culture
Showing posts with label culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label culture. Show all posts

Monday, February 22, 2010

Little Phallicies

You know how it is when you are walking around an art gallery or a museum, something unexpected catches your eye;

you wonder if it's just you but it seems that everywhere you look


or down


or out

there always a tiny piece of Classic art staring you right in the face

it's enough to make one swoon!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tails 'n' Fur

Three images from a morning at MoMA.

Appropriate for this time of year, Tim Burton's Deer Topiary from Edward Scissorhands, part of the Tim Burton retrospective that runs through April 26, 2010. Look at Rudolph's rear, it's almost wagging.

Merrit Oppenheim's sensual Object, a fur cup, saucer and spoon from The Erotic Object: Surrealist Sculpture from the Collection. Until January 4, 2010.

Mobile Matrix (2006) the breathtakingly beautiful reassembled sculpture of a whale skeleton, part of the Gabriel Orozco exhibition that runs though March 1, 2010.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Ripe Art

Big art, small art, insects and of course, houses at Nadine Bouler's show, part of the current exhibition at Ripe Art Gallery.

Part of the House series - just prior to the red stickers going up.

House in Flight

Some of the Big Girls

The Alphahouse series

Despite the appalling weather the room was packed: The Loyal Blog Reader, the Artist, The Guy and the Awesome Designer in front of some of the House series of paintings

the Gallery owner and artist, Cherie Via met up with some old friends.

It's an awesome collection; besides Nadine's beautiful and haunting work, Triple Deuce Jewels was showing some rocking silver jewelry; there were ceramics and felted scarves and some fetching blue and pink Pet Semen globes that invited closer inspection. In fact I'm going to go back mid-week for a second viewing. The show runs from today until the end of December. Unfortunately after today you might not see Nadine's fabulous vintage dress but you should go anyway:
Ripe Art Gallery
67 Broadway
Greenlawn, NY 11740-1302
(631) 239-1805

Friday, November 13, 2009

Getty Museum

With all the reupholstery/renovation/yard/maintenance drama that's been happening on the home front I completely forgot to post some of the photos from LA where we ended up after our trip to Palm Springs. So, with minimal commentary, this is what we packed into 4 hours one afternoon...

The breathtaking architecture that is the Richard Meier designed Getty Center

The juxtaposition of rough and smooth surfaces

The Robert Irwin designed Central Garden at The Getty Museum - a growing maze in a water-filled arena. Stunning!

More hard/soft shapes and textures

Feeding my Magritte obsession

The plaza at the end of the day.
That's just the exterior, the Getty collection is just as stunning - as anyone who saw last week's Project Runway 6 will attest to. More from California tomorrow.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Homes for the Holidays

I couldn't leave the whiney, moaning post up front any longer - on to brighter, more positive topics. The wonderfully creative author and painter Nadine Bouler of Bouler Design Group dropped in to The Cool House yesterday bringing an invitation to the opening of her latest show Homes for the Holidays at The Ripe Gallery on December 5th.

Her last show explored houses as emotions and the new works are also house-themed. The paintings are intricate, atmospheric, whimsical in a good way, with just a hint of danger. Almost as soon as I saw the butterfly landing the aqua villa I said "I should ask you to paint this house", and as simply as that a project was born. I can't wait to see what Nadine has in mind for this house - which angle she'll choose to portray, if it will be a night painting and which animal or insect will find it's way into the frame. Whatever she decides I know we'll be able to see in it far more than just a house... which is, perhaps, just a little disconcerting.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Day at the Museum

We're doing touristy things this week, like hanging out with this guy at The American Museum of Natural History

exploring Indonesia at the Margaret Mead exhibition

and of course, meeting "Dim Dum"
Off to New England for a few days of lobstah and sundownahs so posting will be light non-existant. Byeeee

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Luminous Landscapes

Sag Harbor artist April Gornik's exhibition at the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington presents twelve huge canvases, including Suspended Sky (2004) (above) that blur the boundaries between representation and imagination to produce works of mystery, luminosity and power.

In this collection paintings inspired by trips to the Caribbean, China, and Namibia are shown alongside landscapes of New Mexico and Long Island. In each piece Gornik plays with the juxtaposition of light, in the form of water, moon/sunlight or a lightening strike and dark weight: rocks, sand dunes, pounding seas or a threatening sky, contrasting calm and menace in a way that provokes an almost physical reaction to each painting.

From Turning Waterfall (1997), where the viewer seems to be enveloped by a swirling cascade of silken water, pinned on either side by foreboding rock walls, to Mirror Lake, China (2004), where we gaze from the side of the lake upon an ethereal hazy landscape, the sun only a reflection in the water, we are compelled to be engaged in her landscapes.

The Luminous Landscapes of April Gornik runs through July 5, 2009. In conjunction with the show, Heckscher Museum's Voices and Visions series will feature a lecture/gallery talk with the artist on June 18 at 7pm. Admission to the talk $5.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Artistic License

The Pierre Bonnard painting, Table in Front of the Window, in the previous post must have left more of an impression than I thought.

It influenced something I'm calling Forsythia Through The Office Window.... on a rainy day.

I got sunshine

Actually I'm about to get buckets of rain but yesterday I took this photo in the middle of cleaning the house, doing the laundry and locating and re-attaching screens - it was a summery 78F on Saturday and we wanted all the windows open and I couldn't remember where we had stored them (yes, we do have that many closets and no, I am not complaining) - all the things we do as spring finally gets a grip on Long Island.

Pierre Bonnard: Table in Front of the Window

The day before we had managed to catch the Pierre Bonnard: The Late Interiors exhibition at The Met Museum before it closed and I was stuck by the summery mimosa in his paintings that reminded me of glorious warm days in the south of France - sunshine and azure blue skies.
When I saw the yellow forsythia in full bloom I knew I had to run and get a shot before the incipient rainstorm ruined it for another year, it might be the last sunny thing we see for the rest of the week. It ain't mimosa but it will do.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ceci n'est pas un musée

Well not quite yet anyway but in six short weeks the long awaited Magritte Museum will open in Brussels. In somewhat surreal fashion the website is still under construction but there is a link to this fantastic video that shows the stately Beaux-Arts Museum as well as the virtual Magritte Museum.
Visitors to The Cool House may get a clue how much I love Magritte's art, and I've been to many retrospectives that brought together paintings from all over the world but this museum will house the largest single collection of his work - more than 170 paintings - as well as letters, photographs and films.

The Musée Magritte Museum opens June 2 2009 in the former Hotel Altenloh, a neo-classical building on Place Royale, Brussels. Tickets can be reserved now: by email or phone: +32 (0)2/508 33 33.

I'll be there as soon as possible.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Vintage and Modern's Video Inspiration

Bill Indursky from Vintage and Modern shares his design inspiration, some new items from V & M and a story about Achille Castiglioni's favorite design - a pair of sunglasses made from 35mm film.
My favorite piece on V&M, if you asking, or better yet, buying, is a 1970s carpet by Edward Fields that will go perfectly in the great room. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Unnatural Disasters

The Guardian has a feature on Edgar Müller, Master of 3d Pavement Art, today and I was fascinated by the Lava Burst in a German street and this crevasse in Ireland. I couldn't get my head around how it was done. Luckily Mr Müller posted this video on youtube... just to satisfy my curiosity, and yours. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Dreaming of Down Under

This Dwelling print (available on etsy) by 11 year old Sydney resident Moofus was commissioned for the Theme Attic feature in Dwell Magazine. I want to live in this eco-friendly modern house full of colour in the middle of an Australian summer. I'd also like to be as talented as this kid or his mom artist Kate Banazi. Check out her silkscreen prints, too.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Renaissance Porn

A literal Testa de Cazi or dickhead from the profane section of the Met Museum exhibition Art and Love in Renaissance Italy. We stumbled upon this gem of an exhibition quite by accident. After viewing the Baroque Christmas Tree we wanted to see some European art to complete the old world feeling. Somewhere past Caravaggio's Denial of Saint Peter we wandered through the exit of the exhibition and were entranced by the images of the Bella Donna and Venus. It was entrancing. All aspects of love, marriage, family, platonic, as well as sensual both heterosexual and homosexual, are covered by works on paper, paintings, ceramics, sculpture, glass, jewelry and furniture. Other standouts are the maiolica childbirth plates and the wedding rings, including a beautifully ornate Jewish ceremonial ring. The curators have provided a thorough explanation of the imagery employed in these works of art. Let's just say I will be looking at keys, birds and vegetables in a totally different way from now on. And it gave us a new insight into the holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman that we saw later that evening.
The exhibition runs until February 16th and, brilliant idea this, accompanying lectures are available on the youtubes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Unique Flower

There have been (verbal) comments that this blog has become more political of late, and I guess the last post won't have helped but I think it still skews more "uniquely modern" than leftist. Anyway, back in Buenos Aires (and don't get me started on the politics there) there was another sculpture, a more modern (2002) but equally unique piece that took my breath away. Designed and paid for by architect Eduardo Catalano, Floralis Genérica sits on a reflecting pond in the Plaza Naciones Unidas. Using hydraulic mechanics, the petals of the huge (60') metal sculpture open in the morning and close with the last of the sun's rays.
Catalano also built the famous mid-century modern Raleigh House in North Carolina, a unique structure with a hyperbolic paraboloid roof that was named "House of the Decade" in 1955. Sadly, the house is no longer standing, it was bulldozed in 2001. Let's hope for a better fate for the metal flower.

Jesus Christ on a Jet Bomber

Buenos Aires is a city of art: sculptures in the parks, paintings in cafes and fantastic museums including MALBA. It was at the last that I saw a work that has haunted me ever since. La Civilización Occidental y Cristiana (Western-Christian Civilization) 1965 by León Ferrari hangs at the end of the exhibition space on the second floor and is as profound and valid today as it was when Ferrari made it to protest the Vietnam War forty years ago. Exploiting religious beliefs to make a case for war or imposing democracy on a country is arrogant, imperialistic and costs thousands of human lives; it doesn't work. I doubt if we'll ever learn this lesson from history, maybe art as arresting as this can make the case.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cafe life

Sometimes you just need to sit down and catch your breath. Where better than a cafe with a well-stocked bar

in exquisite Beaux-Arts surroundings

and its own permanent art gallery - quality art everywhere you look. Cafe Tortoni in Buenos Aires is a landmark, it may be a little touristy but the architecture is spectacular. The only question is: do I need an espresso or a G&T?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


How fortuitous is it that Richard Fuld, ex-Lehman Bros CEO and chairman and his wife Kathy put their art collection in the hands of Christie's with a guaranteed price of $20 million back in September? The Guardian called this deal "remarkable" because the guarantee ensures that even if the art market has tanked and the auction fails to deliver that much the Fulds will get their $20 million anyway.
The auction, which includes three Willem de Koonings and an Ashille Gorky appropriately entitled Agony, is going ahead as I type.


We'd gone to the Moma to see the Van Gogh and the Colors if the Night and the Joan Miro: Painting and Anti-Painting exhibitions but it was Kirchner and the Berlin Street that really thrilled us. This small show, that sadly finished its run on Monday, was a true delight. Depicting Berlin's working women in the years just before World War I, the colors are thing you notice first about Kirchner's art; vibrant pinks and luminous yellow, moody greens and blues. The stylised figures, elongated streetwalkers and their furtive clients with blackened eyes, reminded me both of El Greco and the masked characters in James Ensor's paintings.

Potsdamer Platz, 1914

Danger is here on the Berlin streets, you feel the furtiveness of the figures in the background, but there is also vitality, the women dress alluringly in furs and plumed hats. It's almost like looking at stills from My Fair Lady or mannequins in a department store window.
This exhibition along with other works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner can be seen next at The Brücke-Museum in Berlin, if you are planning a visit to Germany between December 13 and March 15 2009.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Today is Armistice Day, the 90th anniversary of the end of World War One. Even in this time of war it is difficult to image the trauma that millions went through fighting "the war to end all wars", but if you have lived in Flanders there is a constant reminder in the landscape and the rebuilt city of Ieper.
One of the starkest, most powerful experiences is to visit the Menenpoort or Menin Gate and see the names of the missing 54,896 soldiers inscribed into the walls. No one leaves there unaffected by the sacrifice the mostly very young men made in the name of civilisation. Further out of town there are the Cemeteries where thousands of soldiers are buried and the harrowing but compelling In Flanders Fields Museum that tells the story of The Great War from the perspective of witnesses, both soldiers and civilians, to the misery and horror of Ypres, Passchendaele and The Somme. The war ended at 11 am on 11th of November 1918, and is remembered every year at this time with a minute's silence. Lest we forget.

In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- Lt.-Col. John McCrae