Category Archives: cherchez la femme

dasha shishkin, “desaparecido,” at zach feuer gallery though june 11, 2011

all images copyright the artist and gallery

playful, light-heartedly perverse, color-saturated mylar non-sensical scenes that were exactly what i wanted to lift the rain-fueled gloom.  were the paint still wet, i’d dive in and not come back.  and i’m hardly the only fan: looking at the listing just before i left, almost all had sold.  something about them is reminiscent of george grosz, and henry darger, and illustrations from a subversive children’s book. very cool.  no idea what’s happening in them, which i think is the point.


marion peck at gallery sloan fine art, les

“what you are, so once were we”, new works by the artist, marion peck, on exhibition through february 5, 2011 at sloan, 128 rivington st.  the gallery is also selling copies of a book of her work, entitled animal love summer, pictured below

the woodmans, minus one

“Francesca’s pictures and quotations evoke an ambitious, driven young woman impatient for recognition, who is cursed with that volatile combination common to artists: a voracious ego and a fragile psyche. The word frequently used to describe her is “intense.” Making herself the center of so much of her work could only magnify that intensity. As a precociously brilliant student at the Rhode Island School of Design, she arrived there already knowing exactly what she wanted to accomplish. One fellow student recalls that she exuded a “rock star quality.”

Her story suggests the perils of becoming the subject of your work. As long as your creative fires burn, you are propelled forward. But if you are consuming yourself in the process, what is left when the fire begins to sputter?”

from the nytimes review, above, and read more from the piece here

this documentary, which was one of the films i was most saddened to not get into at last year’s tribeca film fest due to tix being sold out, is a composite rendering of the life, work, death and impact on the family of the suicide of artist francesca woodman.  the daughter of a family of artists, woodman was most notoriously known for her nude self-portraits with her body the subject, prior to her death at age 22 from throwing herself out a window. for the next week or so film forum is running the layered biopic, which interweaves her writings, art and her family’s story of her, illuminating the negative space she created and they have yet to fill.

the black swan opens today

from brooklyn-born director darren aronofsky, the man behind such darkly brilliant, bizarre and gut-wrenching films like Pi, requiem for a dream, the fountain (i loved, most didn’t) & the wrestler (critics loved, i thought a hot mess).  sure to be full of psychological warfare, haunting imagery, solid acting, striking costumes by rodarte, and a great soundtrack–is it clint mansell, again?–i can’t imagine what else to do but go sit somewhere tonight and watch, as far from the holiday-intoning madding crowd as i can get.  read the nytimes review


halloween sourcing

(this year heralds an “eyes wide shut” reprisal, though a non-naked version)

courtesy of tom banwell

judy pfaff, “five decades,” at ameringer mcenery yohe (and the comme des garcons exterior in chelsea)

exhibit ended yesterday, below from roberta smith’s write-up in the ny times:


“The consistency of Ms. Pfaff’s work lies in its relatively weightless, levitating profusion, whose natural habitat is three-dimensional space. (This is underscored by the routine, claustrophobic quality of the artist’s collages or at least the seven from 1999 to 2002 that are also on view.) The works here involve distinct mixtures of materials like lacquered wire, paper flowers, painted wood, paper, tin cans and painted wiggle board; they aerate the art of assemblage. Their suggestions range from obsessive scribbling in space (“Straw Into Gold” of 1992) to modernism aloft (“Es Posible” of 1989) to costume-department extravagance (“Said the Spider to the Fly” of 2010). The stark, bristling “Frio (From Badlands Series),” a 1984 work that remains one of my favorites, seems to have been plucked from a forest and blanched of all color, white and black, and resembles a fragment of a very bulky photograph.”

cdg exterior, below


sunday mass: (galway kinnell) the still undanced cadence of vanishing

femme maison, 1994, louise bourgeois

galway kinnell, “little sleep’s-head sprouting hair in the moonlight”


You scream, waking from a nightmare.

When I sleepwalk
into your room, and pick you up,
and hold you up in the moonlight, you cling to me
as if clinging could save us. I think
you think
I will never die, I think I exude
to you the permanence of smoke or stars,
even as
my broken arms heal themselves around you.


I have heard you tell
the sun, don’t go down, I have stood by
as you told the flower, don’t grow old,
don’t die. Little Maud,

I would blow the flame out of your silver cup,
I would suck the rot from your fingernail,
I would brush your sprouting hair of the dying light,
I would scrape the rust off your ivory bones,
I would help death escape through the little ribs of your body,
I would alchemize the ashes of your cradle back into wood,
I would let nothing of you go, ever,

until washerwomen
feel the clothes fall asleep in their hands,
and hens scratch their spell across hatchet blades,
and rats walk away from the cultures of the plague,
and iron twists weapons toward the true north,
and grease refuses to slide in the machinery of progress,
and men feel as free on earth as fleas on the bodies of men,
and lovers no longer whisper to the presence beside them in the
dark, O corpse-to-be …

And yet perhaps this is the reason you cry,
this the nightmare you wake screaming from:
being forever
in the pre-trembling of a house that falls.


In a restaurant once, everyone
quietly eating, you clambered up
on my lap: to all
the mouthfuls rising toward
all the mouths, at the top of your voice
you cried
your one word, caca! caca! caca!
and each spoonful
stopped, a moment, in midair, in its withering

you cling because
I, like you, only sooner
than you, will go down
the path of vanished alphabets,
the roadlessness
to the other side of the darkness,

your arms
like the shoes left behind,
like the adjectives in the halting speech
of old men,
which once could call up the lost nouns.


And you yourself,
some impossible Tuesday
in the year Two Thousand and Nine, will walk out
among the black stones
of the field, in the rain,

and the stones saying
over their one word, ci-gît, ci-gît, ci-gît,

and the raindrops
hitting you on the fontanel
over and over, and you standing there
unable to let them in.


If one day it happens
you find yourself with someone you love
in a café at one end
of the Pont Mirabeau, at the zinc bar
where white wine stands in upward opening glasses,

and if you commit then, as we did, the error
of thinking,
one day all this will only be memory,

as you stand
at this end of the bridge which arcs,
from love, you think, into enduring love,
learn to reach deeper
into the sorrows
to come – to touch
the almost imaginary bones
under the face, to hear under the laughter
the wind crying across the black stones. Kiss
the mouth
which tells you, here,
here is the world. This mouth. This laughter. These temple bones.

The still undanced cadence of vanishing.


In the light the moon
sends back, I can see in your eyes

the hand that waved once
in my father’s eyes, a tiny kite
wobbling far up in the twilight of his last look:

and the angel
of all mortal things lets go the string.


Back you go, into your crib.

The last blackbird lights up his gold wings: farewell.
Your eyes close inside your head,
in sleep. Already
in your dreams the hours begin to sing.

Little sleep’s-head sprouting hair in the moonlight,
when I come back
we will go out together,
we will walk out together among
the ten thousand things,
each scratched too late with such knowledge, the wages
of dying is love.

from The Book of Nightmares by Galway Kinnell