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Museums and Christmas time

Museum the of the American Indian, Battery Park. Formerly the U S Customs House- it’s another example of some of the fine architecture here in New York

Dec 2nd Guggenheim Alberto Burri ‘ The Trauma of Painting'

I spent the best part of the entire day at this exhibition and was enthralled. Burri (1915–1995)was a process based artist best known for using burlap sacks , discarded clothing and for the destruction of the canvas. What really inspired me was his work with combustion and plastics , moving beyond the painted surface.

Metropolitan Museum of Art ‘A Sense of Style ‘ Jaqueline de Ribes

Socialite Jaqueline de Ribes is the subject of this exhibition which includes photographs and haute couture costumes. Those of an age to remember Grace Kelly’s wedding, Truman Capote’s Black-and-White Ball, and Jacqueline Kennedy’s pink Chanel suit will recall pictures of the Countess in her heyday: high cheekbones, eyes with a feline slant, the nose of an Egyptian queen. Yves Saint Laurent described her as “an ivory unicorn,” and Richard Avedon photographed her for Vogue Magazine.

Dec5th ‘Something Rotten’ St James Theatre , Broadway

‘Something Rotten’ was not the best musical I’ve seen to be honest –it was a spoof on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Tickets for Broadway shows do not come cheap but there is a booth at Times Square called TKTS which releases unsold tickets at half price on the day . There’s also a lottery at some theatres where the public put their names into a hat and 15 winners get two seats for the performance for free.

Dec 6th Whitney ‘ Frank Stella, A Retrospective’

This exhibition is a retrospective of Stella's work over the past 56 years . The Whitney is such a spacious gallery with clean lines - a great backdrop for the monumental works .One of his works was auctioned at Christies last year for $6.66 millon !

New York Art schools

I’ve been ‘checking out the competition’ and getting ideas at some of the local art schools in Manhattan :

Pratt School of Art, Greenwich Village - Mainly for photography and fashion.

Parsons, Greenwich Village ( Ai Wei Wei is amongst the alumni ).Below is some of the student work

SVA – School of Visual Art , West16th St

This School had by far the best fine art studios . Above is one of the MFA students, Alice who is staying at The Markle.

The Art Students League of New York…………… it’s a great place for a summer course

Dec 6th ‘Nutcracker Rouge’ , Minetta Theatre, East Village

Last night I went to see 'Nutcracker Rouge' which was a mix of Burlesque, Opera , Ballet and Cirque de Soleil , a visual feast . The Theatre which is an old traditional Greenwich Village space was bathed in a mist of frankincense for the performance , adding to the fantastical atmosphere . I love New York for the open minded acceptance of creative fantasy ! One of the best evenings ive spent in New York.

Dec 8th Jazz A well kept secret ……

Woody Allen plays with his jazz band every Monday night at The Carlyle Hotel on Madison . The venue is Cafe Carlyle and it's an intimate supper club which seats about 50 people.
I have ‘chumed up’ with an actress , Jacqui Malouf at The Markle where I'm staying . It was she who blagged our way in to this event and we had seats at the bar ! Woody Allen was very obviously there to play his music and not for any personal accolade . It was a memorable evening!

Woody Allen & The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band

In Chelsea which is a 10 minute walk from Greenwich, there are just over 100 small galleries which represent artists, from well known names, to emerging young artists ; all the work is for sale.
Bill Viola’s work below was exhibited at St Pauls Cathedral, London last year- its really amazing!
‘Inverted Birth’ video

Rachael Whiteread

Jeff Koons

Claus Oldenberg

Marina Abromovic

I was lucky enough to get one of the few remaining tickets for Marina Abromovic’s live performance at The Armoury on Park Avenue , this is the night before I fly back to UK . Below is the New York Times Review:

“We always project into the future or reflect in the past,
but we are so little in the present.”
—Marina Abramović

Among his most beloved works, J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations is a towering keyboard masterpiece with a life of its own, with themes, harmonies, and contrapuntal strands of the musical sequence that await the creative imagination of both performer and listener to connect them. Igor Levit, who made his impressive North American recital debut at the Armory in 2014, interprets this classic composition in an installation created by seminal artist Marina Abramović.

Having redefined what performance art is for nearly 40 years, she now re-imagines the concert-going experience by employing her Abramović Method to explore the relationship between performer and observer, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. Goldberg invites audiences to become a part of the music and experience the work in an entirely new context. The audience will prepare for Levit’s performance by dispossessing themselves of the trappings of everyday society by placing their personal belongings—including cell phones, watches, and other technological devices—inside a private locker. Upon entering the drill hall, the crowd will sit in silence for an extended period of time, after which Levit will perform all 30 variations to heighten the effect of the piece on their mind and body.

This concentrated durational work reflects upon music, time, space, emptiness, and luminosity, with the audience becoming a part of the work and in the process, connecting with themselves and with the present — the elusive moment of the here and now.

Below some Christmas scenes from the Big Apple:

Rockefeller Plaza ice skating rink.

5th Avenue

Goodbye New York
Especially to the Markle Ladies who have made New York feel like home!

That’s it from New York.I arrive back on Dec 18th - It’s the end of my semester here and I have had an absolute ball, Goodbye New York ……I’ll be back soon!