Monday, February 21, 2011

A Special New York Centennial Today

On 21 February 1911 Gustav Mahler made his final appearance as a conductor.  His New York Philharmonic program largely consisted of what were then contemporary Italian composers' works:

Sinigaglia  Overture to Le baruffe chiozzotte
Mendelssohn  Symphony No. 4 (Italian)
Martucci  Piano Concerto No. 2
Busoni  Berceuse élégiaque*
Bossi  Intermezzi from Goldoniani

The stars of Mahler and Busoni especially have not only refused to dim;  they have if anything intensified in recent decades.  May we take inspiration from (or at least be dazzled by)  these composers' spurning of complacency and ceaseless striving for new milestones in their works and lives?

Interested parties will be able to experience this program in Chicago later this year:

* Busoni's work available in full here:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gordon Onslow Ford - A Presence Among Us In New York

For the first time since 1946 an exhibition of Gordon Onslow Ford's work is available for viewing in New York City:  The exhibition will continue until Christmas Eve.

Ford is a key link between the European surrealism which originated well before World War II, and the New York School of painting which flourished in the immediate aftermath of that war. He is a member of a select group of figures who were able to exemplify and document noteworthy transitions between phases of their art -- examples in other fields are Hardy in literature and Busoni in music.  Such figures tend to be under appreciated for a time (perhaps because of the intellectual complexity entailed in defining their roles), then gradually acquire standing among connoisseurs over multiple generations.

Among the thirty one works - the large (46" x 60") Temptations of the Painter made an especially powerful, indeed visceral impression on me, with its sense of inexorable motion and the prospect of an alternative world caught in mid creation.  Ford also developed an incandescent style -- I was especially taken with Lunelipse (1951) and The Painter and the Muse (1943) in this regard.


for Martica Sawin's book, including extensive critical notes as well as the 1941 New School Lectures delivered by Ford.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New York Film Festival 2010 - Highlights

I appreciated many individual films - but here I would like to highlight "favorite ways to appreciate the adroit, almost magical editorial and curatorial process" of FSLC in creating the 2010 New York Film Festival:

-Shinoda series of twelve films.

I made a comment here as the series started; I managed to see eleven of the twelve films -- stunned by the range of subjects and techniques in Shinoda's work, from almost early-Almodovar-like brilliant color and corrosive irreverence in the early 1960s to formally elegant presentations on classical Japanese themes.

-Special events of real resonance --

Director Mike Leigh really investing himself wholly in the exploration of issues connected with his work -- Nuremberg restoration with actual participants joining us almost sixty-five years after their partcicipation

-The multiple opportunities to savor the Portuguese language in film -- 

Many participants looked forward to seeing Manoel de Oliveira's latest work - but who knew that his 1963 Rite of Spring would show up in the middle of the "Views from the Avant-garde" program. This Lusitanian thread triumphed on closing day this past weekend with Raoul Ruiz's Mysteries of Lisbon -- based in the 19th Century but shaped by the director's unique palette of surrealistic and non-linear techniques.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Distinctive Offering for Labor Day Weekend 2010

Saturday at 8:00pm - Sunday at 12:00am

LocationSurreal Estate
15 Thames Street
Brooklyn, NY

More Info
Presenting the work of:

Brian Rady
Hyatt Michaels
Mariana Valencia
Meghann Snow
Gratuitous Art Films

Join us Saturday, September 4th at 8pm as we explore intersections in contemporary performance practices, facilitate informal peer feedback on works in progress, and work to create a community of conscious, post-product-based working artists. 

Suggested donation of $5 at the door
BYOB or $2 PBR (proceeds to the arts and activism collective and performance space, Surreal Estate).

This PERFORMANCY FORUM, the fifth curated by the Panoply Performance Laboratory's Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle at Surreal Estate, includes hybrid performance art and video works.