Anita Rogers Gallery at 15 Greene Street presents The Divine Joke, curated by Barry Schwabsky. One hundred and one years ago — it seems like only yesterday! Or maybe it’s still tomorrow? April 10, 1917: Henri-Pierre Roché, collaborating with Marcel Duchamp and Beatrice Wood, published the first of what would be two issues of The Blind Man.
By Chelsea Frisbie for WYFF4.
Andrea Yi studied engineering in college, then spent a decade working with fashion designer Donna Karan. After having her fourth son, she realized there was a gap in the marketplace for fun, educational activities that incorporated both the left and right brain.
About a year ago, she was having so much fun creating activities involving both sides of the brain with her boys Nate, Dylan, Oliver and Alexander that she decided to share them online. She created “Raising Dragons,” a website dedicated to helping other parents and educators come up with fun science, technology, engineering, art and math activities.
Most of her science experiments are modern updates on the classics, like the baking soda volcano. The materials she uses are usually items she finds around the house.
Her kids still use technology, like tablets and other gaming devices, but she says they’re only allowed a little bit of screen time each day. “Yet another reason why I like doing these STEAM activities — to give them other options than screen time.”
Since the creation of the blog, Raising Dragons has amassed nearly 500,000 followers. Their videos have been viewed more than 50 million times by over 100 million people. Andrea recently published a book called “STEAM for Babies,” which became the No. 1 new release in the STEM category in its first week on Amazon.
For the third volume of this ongoing series entitled New York Studio Conversations (Part II) art historian Stephanie Buhmann conducted interviews with twenty artists, whose ages range from early 41 to 96. While the featured genres, processes and aesthetic approaches vary decisively, all participants have one thing in common: they work and usually live in New York.Conceived as a counter-balance to the notion of art as a commodity, which has spread in the media with ever-soaring auction records, the project further aims to provide a permanent forum for some of the inspiring female artists working today. To this end, Buhmann has visited the artists in their studios or on site of a major public installation, discussing their unique processes, individual philosophies, inspirational sources, and personal histories.
New York Studio Conversations (Part II) introduces the following artists: Mary Abbott, Ghada Amer, Petah Coyne, Louise Fishman, Judy Glantzman, Lorrie Goulet, Julie Heffernan, Alicia Henry, Virva Hinnemo, Sharon Horvath, Julie Mehretu, Keiko Narahashi, Shirin Neshat, Leslie Roberts, Carolee Schneemann, Shahzia Sikander, Rebecca Smith, Pat Steir, Jessica Stockholder, Kim Uchiyama.
In her interview, Virva Hinnemo discusses her practice, her children, her studio rituals and her inspirations.
Buhmann: There’s always beauty in the act of giving new meaning to a throwaway object by stripping it off of its former context. Suddenly, all the details, including the remnants of graphics and lettering, gather new attention; they become a secret code of sorts.
Hinnemo: Right, it’s transformative. I feel that I have a real language at this point. My work looks abstract, but I find that my forms refer to landscape, the figure, or better, a figure/ground. On other occasions, they look like letters.
Virva Hinnemo lives far out on eastern Long Island, and her artwork looks very much like the art of the ab-ex painters who made that area so well known. Her art, overwhelmingly black and white, and sometimes on such proletarian surfaces as cardboard, has a touch of the primitive to it. The compositions are direct, unmannered and actively self-sufficient. They point to a time when such unfettered abstraction was the dominant idiom in the New York area; we pretend that is so still, although it is clear by now that the style is currently a matter of individual performance, practiced by talented persons such as Hinnemo. In such a show as this, where the work necessarily participates in a historical, indeed what amounts to a scholarly, situation, we must see it with a bit of a prepossessed eye. There is nothing wrong in doing so–in all the arts, it looks like artists are referencing the past if they are working with traditional idioms–it does mean that such painting takes place, inexorably, alongside what was distinguished before it. Foreign painters such as Hinnemo, who is Scandinavian by birth, inevitably align with previous efforts here (Franz Kline comes regularly to mind on seeing her paintings), even if she comes from far away.
Like many of the images, Road and River (2017) is small: 14 by 11 inches. It is very much Kline-like in its declaration–a bold, highly structured, but also intuitive design. The overall composition might resemble a person bending over, on his knees, but the title offers guidance toward a reading based on nature. Looking at the image as if one were above the landscape, as the painting’s name indicates, it does seem like a road is connecting two parts of a major waterway. The overall pattern of the image would then be viewed as if its audience was flying over it. Doing so would enhance the experience of the painting, but it would also lessen its abstract qualities when looking at it straight on. It has been remarked that abstraction occurs in realism, and the other way around; maybe this work illustrates the comment quite well. Still, it is impossible to see it as nonobjective or realist in the same moment; we shift from one perception to the other. The same is true with Four Feet (2017), which is larger at 24 by 28 inches. Again, the name of the painting orients us toward a view based in real life, but in visual terms, the work actually seems highly abstract–or at least poised between figuration and abstraction (it also looks a lot like a simplified landscape). Four Feet doesn’t make very clear the meaning of its title, but like Road and River it balances across the continuum of realism and nonobjective painting.
The acrylic-on-cardboard painting Horizon (2017) is also small: 5 ¼ by 6 ½ inches. It consists of a V-shaped stroke, on the left, and two columnar forms with tops, standing next to and slightly above the two circular holes cut into the brown ground of the cardboard. The work is whimsical and free, perhaps to the point of excessive freedom, although this kind of abandonment has been the staple of lyric abstraction in America for a long time. To fully acknowledge the success of the piece, the viewer also has to appreciate the act of its making, which is silently recorded in the painting. This is the key generally to abstract expressionism, and specifically to Hinnemo’s art. (The artist does this sort of thing very well, but its historical repetitiveness can also be noted.) Laundry I (22 by 30 inches) is one of the larger pieces in the show. It consists of a group of four very dark colored, reddish-black thick strokes imposed on thinner black lines, which describe an open, more or less vertical and horizontal structure. The design has been established on a piece of paper. With the help of the title, we can easily see the composition as clothes hanging on a line, although this tends to be done after we read the work abstractly. Whatever the criss-cross between abstraction and realism might be, Laundry I works as a painting, its ambitions accomplished both within recent art history and outside it. It looks like it is impossible for the work–and the show–to be other than historically minded even as Hinnemo rekindles life into a lyric idiom. But it may also be true that her work can stand alone, without support from the past; the show is strong enough to uphold this reading.
– Jonathan Goodman
By Sara Ahmed
If your kids have any kind of device — phones, gaming systems, tablets, what have you — it can feel like you’re constantly fighting for their attention. It becomes harder and harder to share experiences with them, but one thing they usually can’t deny? Movies. Sure, watching a big blockbuster is always fun, but documentaries can be an incredible way for a family to connect.
Watching these films with your children is a compelling way to help nurture their sense of curiosity and compassion without feeling tedious (or, God forbid, educational). From inspiring stories of Muslim high school football players in Michigan to the haunting tale of Tilikum, the killer whale in captivity, a good documentary can alter your child’s perception through the power of empathy. Keep reading for a list of the most powerful documentaries to watch with your kiddos during your next movie night.
1. He Named Me Malala:
He Named Me Malala tells the poignant story of a young Pakistani girl and her fight for education. Your kids won’t fuss about going to school after watching this documentary.
Appropriate For Ages: 12+
The East Hampton Star Reviews Virva Hinnemo: Four Feet
Virva Hinnemo appears to enjoy blurring lines that have always defined classic formalism as well as the borders between pure abstraction and naturalism.
Although the cardboard she adopted as a primary medium a few years ago is still present in the Anita Rogers Gallery in SoHo, Virva Hinnemo’s focus has lately shifted back to paper and, ultimately, to canvas.
In the solo show “Four Feet,” the Springs artist moves back and forth freely between mediums and different forms of supports, including a rather complicated piece, “Under the House,” which is painted on framed plywood and propped up with wooden blocks, resembling sculpture on an improvised and unusual pedestal.
The artist appears to enjoy blurring lines that have always defined classic formalism as well as the borders between pure abstraction and naturalism. How else to explain works with titles such as “Waterfront,” “Still Life,” and “Laundry” that also evoke those subjects in the subtlest ways?
Recycling and repurposing are appealing trends in art-making and they don’t appear to be losing steam. As humans create more and more detritus, artists have seized the day and the trash, to transform it into something more pleasantly enduring. These pieces can deliver both depth, with their inherent cultural critique, and a sense of aesthetic surprise and delight (“See what they did with that tire, radio, computer monitor, etc.?”).
Ms. Hinnemo’s cardboard pieces include a bit of play, as well. The wide daubs that make up her painting “Still Life” actually come from a bright blue-and-white striped box top. It can be debated whether those are Cezanne apples in a bowl or Morandi vases, but what is indisputable is that the piece has an air of lighthearted fun.
“Two Plus Two” looks like a face. The artist’s cutouts — both those she made herself, as in “Close to the Wall,” and prefabricated, as in “Horizon” — address the sculptural properties of the support, introducing an air of uncertainty about how ultimately to define these objects.
Nowhere is that uncertainty more apparent than in “Under the House,” in which her acrylic paint seems to evoke flames in a stove or furnace, with the black, gray, and white palette looking like coal and ash. The title could be reassuring (hearth and home) or ominous (what lies beneath? unchecked passions or peril?). A simple panel is not a radical support for a painting, but what of the framing? It could be a shed or cellar door or some other found bit of hardware. The rough blocks that keep it upright don’t appear to be part of the piece; their measurements are not included in the work’s description. Yet, purely functional or not, it is hard to divorce their presence from the overall impression of the piece.
In “Laundry,” a work on paper, she places paper over a painted section in the tradition of collage, but the beige paper matches the background in the way correction tape covers up mistakes in text. That there is still a hint of the painting concealed beneath it gives the piece a mysterious air. What was the motivation to hide what is underneath?
Those pieces leave a lot to contemplate, but the canvas paintings are the real treat in the show. They, too, benefit from extended viewing. A quick pass might offer hints of Robert Motherwell, Franz Kline, even Mark Tobey, but it wouldn’t reveal the depth of the artist’s unique approach. Seemingly just black and white with shadings of gray, almost all of them have some color in their underpainting. In “Ground Glow,” it is a purplish red, maybe wine, maybe something more sanguine. In the piece that shares the title of the show, “Four Feet,” it is a lovely, peaceful blue thinned with white.
In some canvases, central portions are left blank, creating voids and pauses in the composition. “The Crossing,” a rare vertical piece in the show, seems to suggest all manner of meanings, from the soaring spires of the architectural crossing of a medieval church to the harrowing journey war refugees are still undertaking to leave their ravaged countries. Or, to take it down a notch, it could be the energy of a busy city intersection. That so much allusion could be packed into these paintings speaks to their emotive qualities and to their restraint.
The exhibition will remain on view through April 21.
by Jennifer Landes
Editors’ Picks: 14 Things to See in New York This Week
by Sarah Cascone
Each week, we search New York City for the most exciting and thought-provoking shows, screenings, and events. See them below.
1. “Women & the Art World” at Anita Rogers Gallery
Women of Culture & ELNYA present a panel discussion about what it means to be a woman working in the male-dominated art world, featuring art dealer Anita Rogers; Danika Druttman, director of creative programming at the Roger Smith Hotel and Lisa Small, senior curator of European art at the Brooklyn Museum. The evening will include wine, snacks, and a chance to see the gallery’s current exhibition, “Virva Hinnemo: Four Feet” (on view through April 21).
On Monday March 12th, you are invited to join Women of Culture and the Emerging Leaders of New York Arts (ELNYA) for a Conversation About Women & The Art World. Part of the Women of Culture Conversation series, this evening of networking and discussion will be an amazing opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the world of fine art through the perspective of the women who work in it.
While historically women have played a huge role in building arts institutions and collections (think Peggy Guggenheim, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, among others) the industry as a whole is still predominantly run by men. According to Artsy, women working across arts professions make almost $20,000 less per year than men and ArtReview’s 2017 Power 100 list of the “most influential people in the contemporary art world” was only 38% women. Additionally, work by women artists makes up only 3–5% of major permanent collections in the U.S. and Europe (Guardian), and only 30% of artists represented by commercial galleries are women (Hyperallergic).
But women like our three panelists: Anita Rogers, Danika Druttman and Lisa Small, are all working against these odds and forging successful careers in the arts nonetheless. We will get a sneak peek into three different facets of the art world, learn about their unique careers and discuss how they have each overcome some of the hurdles women face in this male-dominated industry.
There will be wine, snacks and goody bags for all as well as plenty of time for networking and viewing the current exhibit entitled Four Feet by Swedish/Finnish artist Verva Hinnemo. Artists, Arts Administrotors and Arts Enthusiasts of all kinds will benefit from this vibrant and relevant discussion.
$20 through March 9th; $25 thereafter.
Tickets can also be purchased directly through the Women of Culture site here.
6:30-7pm | Check-in & networking
7-8pm | Panel & Conversation
8-8:30pm | Networking & exhibition-viewing
More about the Panelists:
Anita Rogers is the Founder of Anita Rogers Gallery and British American Household Staffing, the nation’s leading domestic staffing and childcare agency. She was born in the United Kingdom but raised in Greece, which she considers home. She holds a degree in Ethnomusicology from The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) as well as a degree in Western Classical Composition from King’s College London. She is a classically trained harpist and opera singer.
Danika Druttman is a cultural consultant based in New York City. As Director of Cultural Programming at Roger Smith Hotel, she has produced over 40 exhibitions, 5 years of monthly storytelling, poetry, music and performance events; conceptualized and run Window at 125 exhibition space; and developed the RS Artist Residency and fellowship opportunities. She is the founder of Mira Muse, a consultancy that specializes in conceptualizing and producing arts programming and cultural initiatives for organizations within a non institutional context.
Lisa Small is the Senior Curator of European Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Most recently, she organized the exhibition and edited the catalogue for Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe(2014). She also co-curated the traveling exhibition French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850–1950 (2017) as well as the Brooklyn Museum’s presentations of Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern (2017), The Rise of Sneaker Culture (2015), The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk(2013), and Jean-Michel Othoniel: My Way (2012). She has also taught art history and the history of photography at Hunter College, Brooklyn College, and the School of Visual Arts.
More about the Anita Rogers Gallery & the exhibit on view:
Anita Rogers Gallery represents a diverse roster of emerging, mid career and posthumous artists whose work speaks to the contemporary landscape of the 20th and 21st centuries. The gallery, active in both primary and secondary markets, strives to cultivate the careers of exceptional painters and sculptors, both figurative and abstract, who have earned their place in the contemporary art market.
Virva Hinnemo continues to make eloquent, evocative paintings that link her uniquely physical process to a visual territory all her own. Hinnemo’s images are intimate and sublimated translations of things and objects delivered from a reservoir of visual annotations. Her language is spare and unaffected. Only what she genuinely intuits is for us to see. The virtues of paint are abundant but frugal, open-ended yet tough-minded. Hinnemo’s attitude is straightforward and not-to-be denied. If Motherwell made enduring images, Hinnemo makes hers persistent and resolute; her lyricism is of another kind. Hinnemo’s blunt inscriptions are made exclusively by hand and give the impression of signs or symbols observed directly from life and always on her own terms. She does nothing lightly.
More about ELNYA:
ELNYA is a multidisciplinary arts network and professional development group for creative leaders in their 20s and 30s. Through innovative programing, open dialogue, and a collaborative community, we redefine what it means to be an emerging arts leader in New York City.
February 21 – April 21, 2018
Anita Rogers Gallery presents Four Feet, an exhibition of new work by Swedish/Finnish artist Virva Hinnemo. The exhibition will be on view February 21- April 21, 2018 at 15 Greene Street, Ground Floor in SoHo, New York. There will be an opening reception on Wednesday, February 21, 6-8pm. RSVP Required. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m not saying I am a cave woman but on a subliminal level I get what she painted in her cave. I fill my studio walls with marks: at times awkward and careless looking ones. I submit to an internal drive to move, to be physical and to be alone. I want to leave a trail of light and atmosphere that defies my doubt. Ideas can’t do this for me; I need to re-route my energy and tap into something else, somewhere beneath the surface. I’m wide-awake watching my paintings as if they might leap out at me.
Virva Hinnemo continues to make eloquent, evocative paintings that link her uniquely physical process to a visual territory all her own. Hinnemo’s images are intimate and sublimated translations of things and objects delivered from a reservoir of visual annotations. Her language is spare and unaffected. Only what she genuinely intuits is for us to see. The virtues of paint are abundant but frugal, open-ended yet tough-minded. Hinnemo’s attitude is straightforward and not-to-be denied. If Motherwell made enduring images, Hinnemo makes hers persistent and resolute; her lyricism is of another kind. Hinnemo’s blunt inscriptions are made exclusively by hand and give the impression of signs or symbols observed directly from life and always on her own terms. She does nothing lightly. Her shorthand images are like words that pop into her head; she recites from a list: “chimney, radiator, orchid, basement, solar eclipse, fortune cookie, beats, tires, quiet, morning, wind, drive, lentil soup, blanket, questions, timetable, magic, tall grass, song, family, four feet.”
The exhibition will showcase drawings by Gloria Ortiz-Hernández, a Colombian artist whose work is included in the permanent collections of museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and in private collections throughout the United States and in Switzerland, Brazil and Colombia. Robert Szot, an artist from Texas currently based in Brooklyn, will show collages and paintings. Jan Cunningham, an American artist, will show her “Arabesque Paintings” of 2016 and 2017, celebrating the materiality of color and light and juxtaposing the anticipated with the unexpected.