Saturday, February 26, 2005

Artwork by Committee

The National Endowment for the Arts and the State Department have agreed to reinstate an advisory committee to recommend artists to represent the United States at international exhibitions like the various Biennials.

"We are going back to the traditional way the N.E.A. helped manage exhibitions," said Dana Gioia, the endowment's chairman. "It's important that this process be open, transparent and well understood."

And may I add: "And that it doesn't have a New York only filter."

Read the story here, and thanks AJ.

Elsie Hull at Sprectrum

By Rosetta DeBerardinis

The Elsie Hull exhibition at Spectrum Gallery is a subtle display of black and white photographic oval jewels. The show, "Portals" is an array of prints mounted on white canvases of various sizes creating a two or three dimensional installation.

This show is a fine exhibit at a cooperative gallery with a most innovative installation. And the back walls, with works of its gallery member artists, offers some interesting works as well.

But, if you care about quality photography at prices that are indeed affordable, this show is worth a visit. It has captivating black and white images of cats, cows, etc. And the staff is friendly and helpful.

Elise Hull, "Portals." Open from February 25 until March 13th at Spectrum Gallery, 1132 29th Street, N.W.; 202-333-0954.

Modigliani: Beyond the Myth

By Rosetta DeBerardinis

Modigliani: Beyond the Myth opening Saturday, February 26th at the Phillips Collection is worth the price of admission. The show originated at the Jewish Museum in New York; however, the Phillips added twenty-five works to its show. It features about 100 paintings, drawings and sculptures by the artist.

The third floor of the new renovated annex has been transformed from a sterile museum atmosphere into a lovely warm gallery with soft colored walls, arches and columns. The five galleries have interesting lighting and the installation is excellent.

Now, I am not a fan of Modigliani, but I could not resist embracing his work during this exhibition. It includes much more than his women with the skinny necks. In the first gallery there are beautiful sculptures lined up on a platform and lots of crayon and pencil sketches. In galleries three and four are his controversial nudes and the last gallery has a powerful presentation of his famous signature paintings of women with the skinny necks.

The Phillips Collection, 1600 21St., N.W. $14 for general admission, $12 for seniors and students, no charge for persons under eighteen. Show runs through May 29th. (202)387-2151.
And at the WaPo' new Entertainment BLOG, Maura McCarthy has a second mini review of the Modigliani show, which includes a link to great images of the show.

Boot Camp for Artists

Tomorrow we will be doing the "Success as an Artist" seminar that was postponed from last week.


Just back from San Diego, just for the weekend and then fly back there on Monday. There has been a lot of rain in SoCal and everything around is either sliding or very green.

view from my hotel
View from my hotel room's window

Anyway, when I arrived on Tuesday night, it was still raining here, and the next morning there was still rain and some rare skies around there (clouds).

cloudy San Diegan skies
San Diego Wednesday Morning Clouds

But by noon, the ocean that Balboa discovered was once again spectacular. The below photo was taken from around the area where that Spaniard is believed to have stood when he focused the first set of Caucasian eyes to see the ocean that he then named Pacific.

the ocean that Balboa discovered
The Pacific Ocean on Wednesday afternoon

And by the time the sun was sinking down later that day, one of the great joys of living next to the ocean was about to happen: the green flash. The pic below is a few minutes before the sun sinks into the horizon and Nature takes your breath away with the color green.

The sun before the green flash
The Ocean a few minutes before the green flash

On the flight back I had a plane change in San Francisco, and I discovered this almost representational version of Airportism (which is what I dubbed a few years ago the sort of artwork that gets selected for exhibition as "public art" in American airports).

Below is a huge William Wiley piece near gate 85 at the airport. Typical airportism...

William Wiley painting in San Francisco Airport
Void by William Wiley