29 February 2016

medical selfies

When I posted a Bosch picture as a diptych with a picture of the current round of Mohs surgery for removal of skin cancer on my nose and reconstruction, the art librarian at Vassar College -- Thomas Hill -- speculated that "hospital selfies -- they seem to constitute a new and serious form of portraiture. I hate to look at mine, but I can't help wondering if they serve over time as trauma therapy."

I hope you'll forgive my using blog entries as more trauma therapy. The good part of the report is that I'm not in much physical pain.

This round of surgeries was originally scheduled in January and would probably not have conflicted with the joint ARLIS/NA + VRA conference in Seattle which is scheduled for March 8-12. And I've been dreaming of getting to the Bosch exhibition at the Noordbrabants Museum in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, since I first heard about it. This is the 500th year since Bosch died (1516). The progress of the surgery is dependent of the doctor's schedule and on the healing of the flap of skin which will be the new right exterior of my nose. Very much, one step at a time.

This morning's visit to the doctor involved removing the stitches on my forehead and replacement with steri-strips. Quite a lovely pattern:

One feels a weird mix of self-involved and over-exposed when you talk about these things on Facebook or in a personal blog entry but there's that other therapy: the simple "likes" and expressions of support and concern that mean an awful lot, especially when you're not at home and feeling rather adrift.

So it's a bit after 1 pm and there's a lecture at Eastman School by JoAnn Falletta, the conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic. The plastic surgeon's office is on East Avenue near the Eastman House. I'm staying with Rachel Stuhlman who lives next door. The lecture is downtown and I'm looking forward to the walk downtown, probably about a mile.

14 February 2016

separated at birth: suburban life

Top photo: Paul Cadmus, Aspects of Suburban Life, seen at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, February 2016. cf http://shermaniablog.blogspot.com/2016/02/cadmus-berry-sonsini.html

Bottom photo: "Dr. Kenneth B. Clark, the prominent black psychologist, scholar and educator, at home in the predominantly white New York suburb of Hastings-on-Hudson" cf http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/national/unpublished-black-history/kenneth-clark-at-home (part of the Times photo history for Black History Month)

Neither suburban existence was part of my growing up.

12 February 2016

Cadmus, Getsy, Berry, Sonsini

Last week was the annual conference of the College Art Association in Washington. The conference hotel, the Marriott Wardman Park, was pretty far from the museums so I didn't get in much galleryhopping, just a quick visit to the Smithsonian American Art Museum which shares its building with the National Portrait Gallery. There, I saw three paintings by Paul Cadmus entitled "Aspects of Suburban Life." Some suburb I've never been to. The paintings were transferred from the Department of State.

At the hotel, I saw David Getsy several times and did a fly-by greeting as we passed in the hallway. I was pretty excited that his new volume entitled Queer, in the Documents of contemporary art series co-published by Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press, was available at the MIT Press booth.

Last night at the library, I was looking at the February issue of Art in America and the "Sightlines" column was a selection of things that are inspiring Ian Berry at the moment. One of them was David Getsy's new book Abstract bodies. Berry says the essay on Nancy Grossman "should be required reading for anyone looking at and thinking about contemporary sculpture." Berry is the director of the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. He and the museum do the finest shows.

There was also an advertisement for a John Sonsini show at the Ameringer McEnery Yohe gallery in New York City. Sonsini hails from Los Angeles and paints wonderful portraits of Latino day laborers. The exhibition catalog is available online via issu.com and includes essays by Ian Berry, Jeffrey D. Grove, and Allan M. Jalon. The name Allan Jalon seemed very familiar and then I remembered that I ran into him at Anton Kern gallery in New York City when I lived there, in late 2002. Allan used some of my comments in an article on Matt Mullican that he wrote for the Los Angeles times. It's such a small world, except when it's huge.
This is a Sonsini portrait from the Ameringer McEnery Yohe artist page.