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Located in Long Island City, MoMa PS1 is, perhaps, the perfect place where one can get familiar with contemporary art in all of its controversial glory. Known for its propensity toward urbanization and renovation, the Long Island City is exactly where one would expect to find MoMa PS1. The local community is geared toward unceasing innovation, which is reflected in the artistic life as well. There is no place for ordinary in Long Island City; therefore, every single element must leave a mark that the audience will never forget.
Kinetic Painting by Carolee Schneemann is, perhaps, the artwork that leaves the most lasting impact on its visitors. The art piece captures the very essence of motion, thus, allowing the author to blur the line between a still image and a movement. The result seems both disturbing and fascinating; it makes the viewer see human nature as a fractured entity, therefore, building the idea of the complexity thereof. Furthermore, the artist pushes the envelope of the concept of beauty, creating the image that seems both attractive and frightening, thus, leading each of the viewers into their own uncanny valley.
The exhibition targets the audiences that seek an in-depth study of how the perception of a female body has changed over time and what shapes it currently takes. The specified approach toward representing the idea of beauty, in general, and the female body, in particular, seems quite legitimate seeing that Carolee Schneemann has been known as the pioneer in the study of subjectivity in art and especially in the cultural biases as the primary factors shaping the perception of women in media.
Placing the viewer where the boundary between the norm and the deviation from the norm lies, Carolee Schneemann takes a rather basic image that could have been on the cover of a Cosmopolitan issue and makes it gain the tints of nearly sinister ideas.
Therefore, the artwork that might seem as the representation of beauty, at first sight, turns out to contain a rather dark and brooding message within. The picture makes a rather lasting impression on the viewer by tricking them into exploring the current concept of femininity in the modern media, as well as the issues that are typically associated with gender and gender-based discrimination. The symbols used in the art piece are combined into what can be viewed as a cohesive narrative. The connotations that the picture of a shattered mirror contains are intertwined with the uncomfortably direct stare of the women in the picture, thus, creating a rather tense environment.
However, at a second glance, the viewer notices that to make the art piece even more complex and creepy, the eyes reflected in the glass pieces stare in different directions as if building the suspense and creating the impression of being watched. Thus, the portrayal of the issues faced by women due to the current representation of femininity in media is performed masterfully. Making the audience linger between staring into the mesmerizing eyes of the model and turning their glance away, Carolee Schneemann managed to create the artwork that strikes with its directness and ambiguity at the same time.
The Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum lies in the heart of the Upper East Side and welcomes anyone willing to find out more about the Jewish culture. With family-oriented ideas as the dominant values of the area, the active promotion of multiculturalism, which the Jewish Museum offers, seems a welcome change of pace. Located in the museum that remains an isle of the unique Jewish culture amidst the iconic New York imagery, the exhibition of Amedeo Modigliani’s works in Modigliani Unmasked seems to represent a celebration of multiculturalism and diversity.
Modigliani Unmasked features a set of portraits that might seem rather bland at first. Representing a mixture of artistic and stylistic tools and movements, the pictures created by Modigliani impress with their original linework and the complexity of emotions. Although the pictures created by the artist might be considered lacking in emotion and expressivity, they embrace a wide range of cultural influences, ideas, and philosophies.
Therefore, every image drawn by the artist is a quintessence of ethnic and cultural diversity. Thus, every picture addresses complex societal issues that are still persistent in the context of the global environment. The elongated faces portrayed in each picture are stylized to remind of different cultures and eras. As a result, the art pieces unite people not only across ethnicities and cultures but also across different eras.
The audiences appreciating contemporary art are likely to be fascinated with the exhibition, where each of the paintings tells a unique story. The representation of the social realities of living in a diverse environment of Paris allows exploring the complexity of intercultural influences on one’s personality. The pictures strike the viewer with the lack of positive emotions in the faces of the people in Modigliani’s portraits. Instead, the portraits stare at the audience as if questioning the possibility of a cross-cultural conversation in modern society.
Thus, it could be argued that the choice of the artistic technique affects the perception of the social interactions occurring in the realm of the multicultural world. The art pieces enthrall the audience with not only their simplicity and the mystery behind it but also with their unique message that leaves a powerful impact and leads to the further promotion of peace and cross-cultural communication. Therefore, it could be argued that the works by Modigliani are customized to appeal to the representative of any age group or culture.
Looking closer at some of the images created by the artist, one may come to the conclusion that Modigliani attempted at stretching the conventional concept of a portrait and, thus, attempted at creating the art piece that could embrace the increasingly fast pace of multiculturalism and globalization. Although Modigliani saw only the beginning of the globalization process, it seems that he could predict the tendency toward multiculturalism and diversity.
As a result, his artworks represent a blend between different artistic style sand movements, thus, contributing to a massive change in the current interpretation of cross-cultural communication. In a certain sense, Modigliani Unmasked can be considered the embodiment of a compromise as the foundation for a successful dialogue between the members of different cultures and ethnicities. One might deem Modigliani’s pictures as bland and lacking in expression, yet they, in fact, incorporate far too many ideas and emotions to produce a single and unambiguous effect.
Madison Avenue Galleries
The Almine Rech museum in the Upper East Side features the “Words without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go” exhibition. The reputation of the area where the members of the refined society reside contributes to the overall impression that the exhibition produces. The same can be said about Gagosian, the David Zwirner exhibition, and Haser & Wraith.
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The art pieces featured in the exhibitions allow exploring the connection between an image and the words that denote it. At first glance, the combination of the items that are featured in the exhibition might seem random. Indeed, the choice of the elements that make the exhibition is more than unexpected, the exhibition featuring Warhol’s Brillo Box, Cornellis’ Surrealisme, Gursky’s Bangkok, William Eggleston’s Los Alamos, to name just a few. However, a closer look at the elements of the exhibitions will reveal that each of them contributes to the creation of a single entity that can be defined as the attempt at locating one’s place in the realm of art.
Seemingly detached and cold, the artistic environment might be viewed as the refuge of an individual. Therefore, the opportunities for the audience to explore the ideas and emotional weight of artwork can be viewed as rather futile. The specified interpretation of the ideas that the art pieces represent, however, might lead to a different perspective. It could also be implied that, once artwork is viewed by the public, the artist no longer owns it; instead, it is open to interpretations and will inevitably be explored through the prism of one’s own ideas, philosophies, and emotional experiences. Therefore, the pictures at Almine Rech might be viewed as an attempt to make the vision of an artist and its further interpretation by the audience coexist in the same universe.
The exhibitions leave a rather mixed impression due to the wide array of works that are represented in it. The specified phenomenon should not be viewed as negative, though. The palette of emotions that the viewer has when exploring the wonders of the artworks exhibited in the galleries becomes the foundation for esthetic pleasure and personal growth. By opening new possibilities in connecting and interpreting ideas and symbols, as well as locating the balance between the intent of the artist and one’s own vision of the art piece, one will be able to reach the state of personal, internal harmony.
The choice of the location of the exhibitions seems natural since the artistic environment of the Upper East Side helps place the idea of an art piece imbued heavily with a new meaning derived from a specific word into a unique context. When combined with the profound ideas of the art pieces, the superfluous air of exquisiteness that is distinctly present in the area leads one to question one’s concept of self and even prompts the further search for artistic integrity.
The audience, which consists of people of all ages and cultural backgrounds, contributes to the idea of art being the lingua franca of the global cultural environment. The specified choice of viewers helps make the idea of seeing a unique art piece through numerous lenses even more profound and explicit. Inviting anyone to study the wide range of emotional experiences that the exhibition has to offer, its organizers vastly contribute to the idea of making art and popular culture collide.
The exhibitions feature an array of artists such as Ed Ruscha, Mario Schifano, Andy Warhol, etc. Thus, the concept of multiculturalism is rendered to the target audience in a very clear and, at the same time, a delicate manner. Furthermore, the idea of promoting a blend between popular culture and art as the means of exploring new opportunities in the artistic expression becomes all the more vivid and distinct.
When considering Christie’s auction as a location for presenting unique art pieces, one must admit that the unpredictability of the location and the unique opportunities or engaging in cross-cultural communication. The specified environment allowed for the uniqueness of the art piece to shine through and gain new meanings. As a rule, Alexander Calder’s Calderoulette is traditionally interpreted from the perspective of post-war art as the means of expressing the horror and pointlessness of war, as well as a small and cautious but still glimmering speck of hope for a brighter future.
When taken out of its context and place in the environment that can be described as multicultural and contemporary, the art piece suddenly becomes appealing to every single participant of the action, thus, turning into the symbol of living in the modern reality. The vulnerability and fragility of the elements, thus, becomes the metaphor for the existence in the present-day reality, with its numerous threats and new opportunities.
The image seems particularly appealing to me, and I would definitely purchase it since it is not merely a time capsule for the era that passed several decades ago. Quite on the contrary, the ideas that are concealed in this art piece seem timeless to me since they focus on the transience of being. In other words, Calderoulette embodies the ideas that can be viewed as both a snapshot of the post-war era and the concepts that remain ubiquitous and, thus, easily attributable to any era. For instance, the transience of life, the fleeting emotional experiences, and a combination of despair and hope that makes emotional experiences so deep and meaningful can be associated with Calderoulette.
Therefore, when deciding what kind of people can be viewed as the target audience for the specified art piece, it is possible to say that the artwork can find its home in the house of any auction visitor. Be it a connoisseur of the genre, a passer-by who became interested in the unique art piece, a multimillionaire, or a person spending their last money on the artwork that feels incredibly meaningful, the owner of Calderoulette will be able to feel its naïve charm.
Calderoulette sheds a lot of light on the artist and the possible prerequisites for creating the artwork. Marked as the representation of the post-war art, it has the air of frailty and despair in it. Even though only the bare minimum is told about the author, including his name, the year in which the work was produced, and the place where it was created, it bears the sense of motion and the need to go forward despite the threats and challenges that lie ahead.
Therefore, Calderoulette can be viewed as the embodiment of progress and cautious optimism. The unique combination of these emotions leaves a bittersweet feeling that makes the artwork seem even more attractive and inspiring. Calderoulette is the piece that is fascinating and miraculous in its simplicity, and it is the charm of childlike innocence combined with the weight of the past experiences that makes the work so enthralling. It catches the eye immediately, and it will not let the viewer go for a long time.