NYC Museum Tour Summer ‘19
 #ARTWISEUP by SAL McINTYRE
JULY 19, 2019 
 

If opportunity allows for a visit to some of the art museums in New York City this summer, then the inspiration gleaned could follow all the way through to your wall decor. There is nothing better than seeing a work in person that ignites a passion and then getting to walk away with a souvenir afterwards— something to act as a bookmark to that feeling, to be accessed at any time. And New York’s museums are especially skilled at reflecting on great moments of the past while aspiring towards ever more evolving themes into the future, paving the ways oftentimes for radical new thinking, perspectives and art appreciation that yet anchors itself in the rich and varied history that we have collectively experienced.

Richard Anuszkiewicz – New York City Opera, silkscreen 1968
Ellsworth Kelly – Noir Et Rouge, stone lithograph 1958

At the Whitney Museum of American Art you will find an exhibit titled ‘Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s’ on view through August 18— and some of the artists featured are a few of our house favorites. Richard Anuszkiewicz is known for his mesmerizing Op Art paintings, a style of visual art that uses optical illusions, the antecedents of which can be traced back to Neo-Impressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism and Dada, and seen in this 1968 silkscreen print New York City Opera.

Ellsworth Kelly, the American painter, sculptor, and printmaker associated with hard-edge painting, Color Field painting and Minimalism championed the spirit of mid-century trailblazing with deceptively complex shapes, minimal yet deep with information, as in this 1958 stone lithograph Noir Et Rouge.

Helen Frankenthaler – Aerie, SIGNED silkscreen 2009

Helen Frankenthaler is the female American abstract expressionist painter to produce a major contribution to the history of postwar American painting alongside male counterparts like Rothko, Motherwell, Hofmann and Pollock. Her distinctive Color Field paintings stand out like songbirds, as in this signed 2009 silkscreen Aerie.

Alex Katz strikes a chord unlike any other, his mellow and stylized portraits setting an ambiance of happy hour cool, perfect for a home bar or cocktail verandaSasha is a signed 2016 silkscreen and Diana is a signed 2014 linocut— a charismatic pair.

Alex Katz – Sasha, SIGNED silkscreen 2016
Alex Katz – Diana, SIGNED linocut 2014

And Frank Stella’s minimalism and post-painterly abstraction leads us through the best of the combination of color and geometry, fulfilling some unknown attraction to lyric light and form that seems wholly satisfying. In his 1967 work Lincoln Center Festival he is at the top of his game.

Frank Stella – Lincoln Center Festival, offset lithograph 1967

At MoMA PS1 is a show on Félix Fénéon titled ‘The Anarchist and the Avant-Garde — From Signac to Matisse and Beyond’. Fénéon was a Parisian anarchist and art critic during the late 19th century who coined the term Neo-Impressionism in 1886 to identify a group of artists led by Georges Seurat, and ardently promoted them. This Portrait of Félix Fénéon by Paul Signac, the painting of which was completed in 1890 and is on view in this exhibition, is an ode to his close friend Félix, art dealer, collector, curator, political activist, critic and important contemporary of Signac, who depicts his unconventional and enigmatic personality.

Paul Signac – Portrait of Félix Fénéon, offset lithograph
 
"New York’s museums are especially skilled at reflecting on great moments of the past while aspiring towards ever more evolving themes into the future..."
 

And at the MET can be found an exhibition titled ‘Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera’ which features some more of our house favorites, beginning with the unparalleled Jackson Pollock, whose action painting drip expressions forever changed the face of visual art. This work Number 28 is from an original MET exhibition from 1988.

Jackson Pollock – Number 28, offset lithograph 1988

Also on view there is the pioneering aesthetic of another noteworthy female Louise Nevelson, whose fierce attitude matched her deep and stunning use of the color black. This Untitled work from 1972 is a glowing example of her visionary prowess.

Willem de Kooning’s brushwork, which often walked the line between semi-abstract dream visions and fully abstract outbursts, carries more than its weight in gold, and Untitled (Black and White) hints in both directions— both timeless and incurably human.

Louise Nevelson – Untitled, offset lithograph 1972
Willem de Kooning – Untitled (Black and White), offset lithograph 1991

And Franz Kline and Mark Rothko always seem to be able to communicate volumes while utilizing few motions, this 1991 silkscreen New York, NY and this 1970 stone lithograph Marlborough Galleria D'arte Roma both cases in point.

Franz Kline – New York, NY, silkscreen 1991
Mark Rothko – Marlborough Galleria D'arte Roma, stone lithograph 1970

And lastly, also at the MET is an exhibition celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo moon landing with ‘Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography’. For those collectors out there who have a piece of moonrock under a glass dome in their libraries, The Tintin Rocket 30 Figurine from Hergé’s classic graphic novel and a companion poster of the cover of Les Aventures de Tintin: On a Marché Sur La Lune are going to be must-haves.

Hergé – Les Aventures de Tintin: On a Marché Sur La Lune, offset lithograph 2010
Hergé – The Tintin Rocket 30 Figurine, resin figurine 2017