a tale of a few cities

Whitney of the Future

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Situated in NYC’s Meatpacking District at the southern end of the High Line, the new Renzo Piano-designed Whitney Museum Of American Art will replace the current Marcel Breuer building on Madison Avenue. The Whitney’s new outpost, climbing up nine stories and topping out at 270 feet overlooking the Hudson River, will open in 2015. Inside will be “essential new space for its collection, exhibitions, and education and performing arts programs” spread across 200,000 square feet, with the largest column-free gallery in NYC.

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Visual AIDS, Postcards From the Edge, NYC

I am in such good company here – who doesn’t  recognize a Marilyn Minter when they see one?

Visual AIDS utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over. Visual AIDS is the only contemporary arts organization fully committed to HIV prevention and AIDS awareness through producing and presenting visual art projects, while assisting artists living with HIV/AIDS.

Postcards From the Edge is a unique fundraiser where each of the 1,500+ postcard-sized artworks are uniformly priced at only $85.00. All works are displayed anonymously, with the artis’s identity revealed only after the work is purchased. Featuring artworks by Jeff Koons, Yoko Ono, John Waters, Donald Baechler, Marilyn Minter, Ed Ruscha, Polly Apfelbaum, Adam Fuss, Kiki Smith, John Baldessari, Louise Fishman, Ross Bleckner, Barry McGee, Kay Rosen, Marcel Dzama, Jonathan Lasker, Mary Heilmann, Louise Lawler, Bill Jensen, Jane Hammond, Ann Hamilton, Hans Haacke, William Wegman, Kate Shepherd, Zoe Leonard, Jack Pierson, Lawrence Weiner, Pat Steir, Thomas Woodruff and over 1450 others.

There will be a Preview Party Friday, January 6 from 6 – 8 p.m. The Benefit Sale of postcard-sized art begins on Saturday, January 7th from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and continues through Sunday, January 8th from Noon until 4 p.m.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit VisualAIDS.

Chilling Moments in Occupy Movement’s ‘Day of Action’

Posted in Crisis, New York City, Occupy Wall Street, Photography, pictures, portraits, Reportage, surrealism by petercombe on November 18, 2011
Photograph: Randy L. Rasmussen/AP

A police officer uses pepper spray on an Occupy Portland protester at Pioneer Courthouse Square, Oregon. 

Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Brendan Watts is seen with blood on his face while surrounded by three police officers in Zuccotti Park, New York. 

Makes me think about something Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last year – “We are deeply concerned about the use of violence by Egyptian police and security forces against protesters and we call on the Egyptian government to do everything in its power to restrain the security forces.”

 The Guardian >

Washington Post: Dudes – The Epicenter Was in Virginia

Posted in clever, Gif, humour, I♥NY, text, tumblr by petercombe on August 23, 2011

mrgif: I survived NYC earthquake of 2011.

washingtonpoststyle: Dudes. “New Yorkers.” The epicenter was in Virginia. If anything, this is OUR quake. So step off. And take your GIFs with you. #ownershipofharmlessnaturaldisasters

Lost Bohemia

Posted in appropriation, architecture, Art, Interiors, New York City, Photography by petercombe on May 20, 2011

(Photo: Josef Astor)

Lost Bohemia,” a new documentary by Josef Astor, is a sad and spirited elegy for the Carnegie Hall Studios, which for more than a century provided working, living and teaching space for all kinds of artists on the floors above the famous concert hall. Mr. Astor, a photographer who moved into the building in 1985, pays tribute to his neighbors and friends who made up the last generation of studio residents. He also acknowledges the famous ghosts who haunt the place, ranging from Isadora Duncan and Enrico Caruso to Marilyn Monroe and Martha Graham.

Astor, who’d been in his skylighted space since 1985, was once surrounded by hundreds of creative neighbors—painters and dancers, photographers and composers—who lived and worked in 170 studios built directly above the grand midtown concert hall. The studios are in the process of being gutted and remodeled by the Carnegie Hall Corporation (the building is owned by the city, but the corporation is its primary tenant). According to a CHC spokeswoman, the spaces will be converted to “educational facilities” for young musicians.

When Andrew Carnegie built the Towers over the Hall—the project was completed in 1896—he intended for the studios to be occupied by working artists. It wasn’t cultural altruism—the rents were a source of revenue. But architect Henry J. Hardenbergh (who also did the Dakota and the Plaza Hotel) designed the apartments as studios, with high ceilings and north-facing skylights. The roster of names who lived and worked there is stellar: Isadora Duncan, Agnes de Mille, Garson Kanin, Marlon Brando, Leonard Bernstein.


Editta Sherman is known as the Duchess of Carnegie Hall. The sprightly 98-year-old had lived in her twelfth-floor studio since 1949. She raised five children while working as a successful photographer of the cultural elite. Dramatic black-and-white examples from her collection of 2,500 portraits were displayed against the mirrored walls and bold checkered floor: Henry Fonda, Mary Martin, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. A cast-iron circular staircase led to a loft filled with studio props. Photographer and past fellow resident Bill Cunningham enlisted Sherman as his model and muse for his 1978 book Facades, which fuses fashion and architecture photography.

The corporation promised to find comparable apartments for the seven rent-controlled tenants still living in the Towers, and to pay the difference in rent for the remainder of each tenant’s life, but the 26 non-rent-controlled commercial and residential tenants—including Astor—had no such guarantee.

The last residents moved out last year, and while “Lost Bohemia” mourns their dispossession, it also allows us to spend time in their eccentric, artistic company and to appreciate their contribution to the life of the city. Among them are Bill Cunningham, the New York Times photographer who is the subject of a marvelous recent documentary, and Don Shirley, a pianist who recalls playing with Duke Ellington “downstairs” — that is, in Carnegie Hall itself.

An anonymous, unseen poet who lived above Mr. Astor and left him eloquent phone messages observed that studios and the hall below, though commissioned by a plutocrat, “were built not on power, but on love.” The power of this documentary resides in that proud and fragile sentiment. Photo below is Astor’s studio after demolition.

Jeremiah’s New York >

The New York Times >

Peter Combe, I FRICK’N <3 NEW MUSEUM

Posted in New Museum, New York City, Peter Combe Design by petercombe on December 3, 2010

Peter Combe, I FRICK’N ❤ NEW MUSEUM, 2010

Back in September, I posted a graphic to New Museum’s Facebook page (http://on.fb.me/gZSIVc). After some revisions the tote and mug are now available at www.newmuseumstore.org.


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