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The Moon is a Drum: Géographie II – 1988 – Photography by Patrick Tosani

May 25, 2016. New Post Goes Up Each Wednesday, by Jack Dziamba

Each week you can find the presentation of a piece from the photographic collection of CNAP and L’Oeil de la Photographie. Available in French and in English.

Patrick Tosani

The piece below is from L’Oeil de la Photographie, edition, May 25, 2016, with additional links added by wtb, which will introduce you not only to the work of Patrick Tosani, but also the  Théâtre de la Photographie et de l’Image in Nice, and the Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea in Milan. Both institutions are worth hours of viewing in themselves.

The Moon

“Geography II is a “photo-painting” created in 1988 by Patrick Tosani and acquired the same year by the Centre national des arts plastiques. This work belongs to a set of seven images, each of which represents the surface of a drum and bears the singular stamp of the musician who played it.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 11.47.36 AM

“At the time, Patrick Tosani was interested in things rather than objects, and in “surfacing” reality as a way of expressing his intentions. We encounter here the idea of surface both in the skin of the drum and in the surface of the photographic image representing it. In 1989, Jean-François Chevrier featured this work in the landmark exhibition entitled Another Objectivity.

Born in France in 1954, Patrick Tosani made a name for himself in the early 1980s with work combining the heritage of the 1970s’ avant-gardes and the affirmation of the photographic medium as a mode of experimentation.

The artist has continuously explored the photographic process, its potential as well as its limitations, and its relationship to reality, through series focusing on objects, bodies, items of clothing.

Patrick Tosani’s work is on view at the Théâtre de la Photographie et de l’Image in Nice until May 29, 2016. It will be followed by an exhibition at the Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea in Milan, which will be held until September.”

Patrick Tosani, "Glacon."

Patrick Tosani, “Glacon.”

“Thanks to Pascal Beausse, head of the photographic collections, and to the teams of the Centre National des Arts Plastiques who have allowed this project to be carried out.”

“Coordination: Annabelle Oliveira, Communications and Information at CNAP. Assisted Zelie Davin, Responsible for acquisitions photography, video, audiovisual and new media Cnap. Translation: L’Œil de la Photographie.”

P.S. Nice Jacket!

More on CNAP








1.8 Million Works of Art, Free, Online, So What?

May 18, 2016. New Post Goes Up Each Wednesday, by Jack Dziamba

"Mrs. Fiske-Warren (Gretchen Osgood) and her Daughter Rachel," John Singer Sargent.

“Mrs. Fiske-Warren (Gretchen Osgood) and her Daughter Rachel,” John Singer Sargent.

Fine Art – On the Brink of a Paradigm Change

The New Media via the internet has induced a paradigm change in the way we view and experience art.  As we wrote in the Purpose Page of this blog,

“THE BOOK, both print and even current versions of the electronic reader, are already near artifacts. Book publishing is in the death throes of the last century, bound up in static, linear publications.”

“[However], the technology of the new media has developed to such a degree of creativity and innovation that Alice Rawsthorn, in the New York Times of November 28, 2010 observed that,

“‘These devices offer thrilling possibilities for us to do much more than read words on a screen, and it is deeply disappointing that so few designers and publishers are embracing them.”‘

“At the same time, the Fine Art community, artists, museums, and developers have risen to the challenges and opportunities of new media. [which] enable artists and art lovers to experience art in the most comprehensive and dynamic ways. Just as the iPod changed the shape of the music industry, the Fine Art … is on the brink of a paradigm change. “

Has the Paradigm Change Occurred?

The short answer is “yes.” The long answer is “yes.” “We have written a number of pieces on e-museums on how museums have adopted New Media technology to their purpose of making art accessible. These prior posts included,

‘”the Van Gogh Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, both the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia. Overall, we continue to believe that museums are in the forefront of adapting New Media technology to their mission (see the blog piece, “e- Museums Leave e-Books in the Dust – A View from Two  Different Centuries“’.

The Google Art Project – A New Dynamic

The Google Art Project introduced a new dynamic in viewing Art which we call “Art without Words.”  Just as Andre Malraux, before the internet,  envisioned  a museum without walls, “E-MUSEUMS: ANDRE MALRAUX’S “MUSEUM WITHOUT WALLS,” The Google Art Project brought that concept to reality in the internet age.

As described by Derek Allen, Malraux’s concept of the musée imag­inaire is that,

“Given that the breadth and diversity of today’s world of art far surpasses the capacities of any single art museum, or even two or three, and that many of the objects are in any case not moveable, the musée imaginaire is our imaginary coll­ection of all the works, both inside and outside art mus­eums, that we today regard as important works of art.” (Source: “E-MUSEUMS: ANDRE MALRAUX’S “MUSEUM WITHOUT WALLS.”

The Google Art Project consists entirely of Art as a Visual Experience. This means, “without text”,  without the pernicious “wall texts,”  and without the “pre recorded commentary”, but presents just the art itself, allowing viewers to experience and interpret the art through their own visual reactions and interpretations.

Thus, in our view, the Google Art Project marks a paradigm change because it presents art as “Art,” and not as Art History.” This makes it possible to view the art as long as one wants, enlarge it to detail not able to bees seen in the traditional museum setting, and without crowds. This is a critical difference.  Try this with Mrs. Fiske Warren (Gretchen Osgood) and Her Daughter Rachel 1903, by John Singer Sargent, featured above, and see how much more the visual experience is enhanced, here, over the view in a museum.

Now, 1.8 Million Works of Art, Free

From Open Culture’s Post, 1.8 Million Free Works of Art from World-Class Museums: A Meta List of Great Art Available Online,

“The vast collections in the virtual galleries listed below await your visit, with close to 2,000,000 paintings, sculptures, photographs, books, and more. See the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum … See Van Gogh’s many self-portraits and vivid, swirling landscapes at The Van Gogh Museum. Visit the Asian art collection at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries. Or see Vassily Kandinsky’s dazzling abstract compositions at the Guggenheim.”

“And below the list of galleries, find links to online collections of several hundred art books to read online or download. Continue to watch this space: We’ll add to both of these lists as more and more collections come online.”

“Art Images from Museums & Libraries

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Vincent van Gogh, LIVE! Another Fantastic use of Fine Art in the New Media by the Van Gogh Museum

May 11, 2016. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday, by Jack Dziamba

Fine Art in the New Media

The Van Gogh Museum continues to astonish and break new technical ground in its use of the New Media tools to make Van Gogh, and his art accessible  to everyone, showing the artist as well as the art in ways not yet seen from other major institutions. Two of our earliest Posts, in 2012, featured The Van Gogh Museum itself, and The Van Gogh Letters. *

Recently, the Museum has released a number of new features on its website. In keeping up with its  level of excellence in the use of the tools of the New Media by the the Museum, each one is of the highest production, design, cleanliness, making their use seamless, and UN-encumberded by the “bells and whistles common to much of the use of the New Media today. Our Post, today, features one of them – Vincent in 2016.

Vincent in Amsterdam, in 2016

As the Museum states,

“What would Vincent do on Friday if he lived in Amsterdam in 2016? This was the question that took centre stage in our campaign for the Vincent on Friday evening programme. We commissioned 12 short films showing a modern-day Vincent in everyday urban situations. Can you spot all of the references to the work and life of Vincent van Gogh?” Check them out in the video above.”

This video presents the humanism of the art, and the humanism of the artist.


* One of Vincent’s Letter to His BrotherVanGoghLetter

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EVA HESSE, ARTIST – A Brief History of a Brilliant Life

May 4, 2016. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday, by Jack Dziamba

Eva Hesse1-2-13

A Brief History of a Brilliant Life

“Eva Hesse (1936-1970) is one of America’s foremost postwar artists. Her pioneering sculptures, using latex, fiberglass, and plastics, helped establish the post-minimalist movement. Dying of a brain tumor at age 34, she had a mere decade-long career that, despite its brevity, is dense with complex, intriguing works that defy easy categorization.

EVA HESSE, the first feature-length appreciation of her life and work, makes superb use of the artist’s voluminous journals, her correspondence with close friend and mentor Sol LeWitt, and contemporary as well as archival interviews with fellow artists who recall her passionate, ambitious, tenacious personality.”

“I don’t mind being miles from everybody else,” she said confidently, just months before she died.

“The best artists are those who have stood alone and who can be separated.”


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Video – Eva Hesse: “Life doesn’t last; art doesn’t last”

“Art critic Arthur Danto has written that her work is: “full of life, of eros, even of comedy… Each piece vibrates with originality and mischief.” The documentary captures these qualities, but also the psychic struggles of an artist who, in the downtown New York art scene of the 1960s, was one of the few women to make work that was taken seriously in a field dominated by male pop artists and minimalists.” (Source: Film Forum)



More: “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Portrait of Eva Hesse on Film,” Craig Hubert, ArtInfo, April 28, 2016

Eva Hesse Images

Eva Hesse, Artsy

The Estate of Eva Hesse: Video

Francesca Woodman: Photographer


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If You Don’t Understand Conceptual Art, It’s Not Your Fault

New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday, by Jack Dziamba
John Baldessari "Two Unfinished Letter, 1992-1993"

John Baldessari Two Unfinished Letter, 1992-1993

“If You Don’t Understand Conceptual Art, It’s Not Your Fault,”

is the title of an excellent Artsy Editorial By Isaac Kaplan, published on Mar 31st, 2016.

The Article is reprinted here:

“Conceptual art gets a bad rap. It’s the butt of endless jokes. Works of this genre that were nominated for the high honor of the Turner Prize were called BS by the U.K. culture minister. Shia Labeouf used it as an excuse to put a bag over his head. So why is conceptual art so confounding? How do curators make it palatable? And what are we even talking about when we talk about “conceptual art”?

What Is Conceptual Art?

“It’s not a movement, it’s not a style, it’s a set of strategies,” says Andrew Wilson, curator of the Tate’s upcoming exhibition “Conceptual Art in Britain 1964–1979.” One can see the rub instantly: A “set of strategies” is a spot-on description, but hardly a straightforward one.

Conceptual art—its Western variant anyway—emerged in the 1960s as a reaction to Clement Greenberg’s militant commitment to formalism and art that concerned itself with the flat surface of the picture plane, such as Abstract ExpressionismSol LeWitt laid out the terms for conceptual art in his seminal “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art,” published in the June 1967 issue of Artforum. “In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work,” LeWitt wrote. “When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair.” That planning is, essentially, a set of strategies.

But isn’t all art planned with a concept? The nebulous taxonomy of conceptual art isn’t easy, even for the experts. Jens Hoffmann, deputy director of exhibitions and programs at the Jewish Museum, told me he long pondered similar questions himself, though a meeting with John Baldessari offered some clarity. A towering figure at 6 feet 7 inches, known for, among other things, putting dots on faces, Baldessari told him that “conceptual art wasn’t about art that had a concept, but about interrogating the concept of art,” as Hoffmann recalls.This interrogation, not confined to any one medium, has historically been seen as the province primarily of white men (we’ll revisit this glaring issue later). Among the touchstones of early conceptual art are Bruce NaumanJoseph BeuysEva Hesse, and Joseph Kosuth, whose One and Three Chairs (1965) features a physical chair, a photograph of that chair, and the dictionary definition of a chair. It’s what you’ll see in any Art History 101 class and it’s guaranteed to make students’ eyes roll—and not without good reason.

Curating Conceptual Art

The self-reflexive underpinnings of Kosuth’s work run dangerously close to reinforcing art as the domain of an elite few with the requisite knowledge. Indeed, the experience of engaging with conceptual art is often marked by the suspicion that the work’s central, revelatory idea is somewhere in your mind’s peripheral vision, just out of sight. A bad conceptual work makes you feel that the idea isn’t worth finding. A good one spurs you to keep searching. Why did Maurizio Cattelan hang every work of art he’s ever created from the ceiling of the Guggenheim? It’s a funny but cerebral question that’s likely to leave visitors puzzling, and happily so, for some time.

Providing a viewer the information to get to that central thought, or set of strategies, without overwhelming them is a perpetual challenge, but curators confronting how to make conceptual art digestible without inducing a tummyache must tackle it. Hoffmann, who has staged ambitious re-thinks of seminal conceptual art exhibitions like “Other Primary Structures,” recommends a balanced diet of programming, tours, and didactics (aka, words that tell you things). But the strategy isn’t without peril. The wall texts that accompany conceptual shows can grow dense “to the point at which the artwork becomes difficult to see,” as Wilson puts it.

  • John Baldessari, 'Hegel's Cellar: Two Boats,' 1986, Diane Villani Editions

    John Baldessari Hegel’s Cellar: Two Boats, 1986 Diane Villani Editions Not for sale

  • Ideally, wall text is superfluous. In the late 2000s, curator Leslie Jones of LACMA worked in conjunction with the the Tate’s Jessica Morgan to mount “John Baldessari: Pure Beauty,” a major retrospective of the artist’s work that traveled around the globe. “Baldessari’s work is very clear,” Jones told me. (“Clear” is not often a word one hears used to describe conceptual art.) Sometimes pared down to just words scrawled on a canvas, the tongue-in-cheek pieces were effectively their own wall texts. “Humor puts people at ease. They laugh first and then they start thinking,” Jones said.

Conceptual Art in the World

Baldessari’s visual language challenges the perception that conceptual art is either wholly the domain of the over-informed (Kosuth) or of those hungry for vapid spectacle (Koons). “In the ’60s, when [Baldessari] was first leaving painting behind, he wanted to talk to people in a language they understood,” Jones told me. “And for him that meant text and photographic image. That seemed the most democratic.”

Even in the founding document of conceptualism, one finds an impulse towards populism—or at least the recognition that it is people who make meaning. That may seem strange given that conceptual art today is often viewed as hermetic, self-reflexive, and impenetrable except to the mind that divined it. But “once it is out of his hand the artist has no control over the way a viewer will perceive the work,” LeWitt wrote. “Different people will understand the same thing in a different way.”

And that “thing” wasn’t a flat splatter canvas but bits and pieces of the real world. It’s a fact that Wilson wants to impress upon viewers when they see “Conceptual Art Britain,” which opens in April. “One of the things that I would very much hope people might come away from this exhibition with is actually understanding how engaged [conceptual art] is with the stuff of everyday life,” he told me.

Case in point: Roelof Louw’s Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges) (1967). The conceptual work is part of an art-historical dialogue about form (“against the modernist ideas of geometrical syntax,” says Wilson), but it is also a pyramid of 5,800 oranges. As they rot or are taken away by visitors, the geometry shifts and changes, thanks to the organic processes, be they our hands or the passage of time. Go on, eat one—it’s a good idea.

Conceptual Art’s Legacy

For all its navel-gazing, conceptual art also tackles issues of authorship, time, space, identity, and even ownership (how do you buy a concept?)—themes that have very tangible manifestations in the real world. Anyone can employ the instructions that LeWitt used for his art (he often used assistants himself) and create a perfect geometric wall drawing, but trying to hang your DIY conceptualism at the MoMA is not recommended. Still, the question is raised: How is authorship ascribed? Conceptual artists “were putting the condition of the art object in question,” says Wilson, “but in doing that they were taking the strategies that they’d evolved to put the condition of society in question as well.”

Trying to craft entirely self-referential works of art is doomed to fail anyway, either because viewers will be bored to tears or because the work will be unable to escape the world outside of the museum. But ultimately, it’s that outside world that can lend conceptually minded art its meaning and value. Around the same time that Thelma Golden’s “Black Male,”—a now-iconic exhibition that the New York Times once derisively called “slanted toward conceptual political work”—opened at the Hammer in L.A., the O.J. Simpson trial began in the city. A courtroom is no more hermetically sealed from the broader context in which it exists than a museum or piece of conceptual art is, and Golden’s exhibition has become a hallmark for how art can parse pressing political conditions.

Indeed, despite all the claims made to conceptual art’s intellectual purity, broader societal inequity is partly why it was historically dominated and defined by white men. No doubt more study will reveal overlooked minority and women artists forced to practice conceptual art outside the lens of art history’s white microscope. But regardless, subsequent politically engaged and inclusive modes of artmaking that harnessed some of the tools of conceptual art, like feminist art, institutional critique, and performance art, have explicitly looked for meaning beyond the white walls. Where conceptual art ends and those movements begin is difficult to say.

During a panel about black conceptualism at the Hammer, artist Rodney McMillian spoke of the relationship between Charles Gaines and Sol LeWitt. Though rooted in conceptualism, Gaines’s practice expands on LeWitt’s foundational paragraphs, he said, opening them up to include ideas around representation in art so that “there could be space for artists of color and gendered minorities.” When LeWitt died in 2007, Gaines sent around a message with a few thoughts, which McMillian shared with those who had gathered to hear the talk. “Sol was the most generous person I know,” the message read. “His passing leaves an enormous hole for me personally and I dare say to the world of contemporary art.”’ —Isaac Kaplan.

More: Phaidon, Understanding Conceptual Art in Less than Three Minutes,  Conceptual art on Artsy




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April 20, 2016. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday by Jack Dziamba

Shakespeare’s First Folio: “The greatest work in English literature.”

WHEREFORE ART THOU, MACBETH? ArtDaily -The “First Folio” was published in 1623 — just seven years after Shakespeare’s death — preserving “Macbeth” and 17 other works that were never published in the Bard’s lifetime and would otherwise have been lost.

The anthology contains 36 works including 18 that were published for the first time in the book and would probably have disappeared including “Macbeth”, “The Tempest”, “The Taming of the Shrew”, “All’s Well that Ends Well” and “A Winter’s Tale”.  Around 750 “First Folios” were published and only around a third of them have been preserved. ” (ArtDaily ).

Shakespeare Coined over 1,700 works for the English Language – including “Unfreinded.”

“Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.”

Shake Pic First_Folio_

 The first four Folios of William Shakespeare’s collected works — including an unrecorded First Folio — are to tour New York and London, where they will be auctioned. Christie’s is to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare (1564-1616) with a landmark sale, offering the first four Folios of his collected works in a special four-lot auction in London on 25 May.


shakes Folio Group-1


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April 13, 2016 – New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday, by Jack Dziamba
PaulKlee Insula_Dulcamara

PaulKlee Insula Dulcamara

   “A new exhibition exploring the themes of irony and satire in Paul Klee’s work recently opened at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, in what is the first major retrospective of the German-Swiss artist work in France in over four decades.” (Source: France24)

The Exhibition

‘“L’ironie à l’oeuvre (Irony at work)” at the Centre Pompidou in Paris until August 1, 2016 is the first major retrospective in France of the work of the German-Swiss artist Paul Klee since the 1969 exhibition at the Musée National d’Art Moderne.

“Featuring about 230 works on loan from the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern and other international and private collections, the retrospective is the first to take a fresh look at Klee’s work through the prism of Romantic irony and the related ideas of satire and parody.”

“Encompassing the breadth and scope of his career, which spanned cubism, primitivism, and constructivism, the exhibition examines Klee’s oeuvre in the context of the artistic movements of his time as well as the work of his peers.” (Source: “The Irony of Paul Klee at the Centre Pompidou in Paris,” by Nicholas Forrest, AI, April 7, 2016.)

Klee’s Approach to Irony

“Klee’s approach to irony originated in early German Romanticism and is characterized by what the Centre Pompidou describes a constant shift between a satire and the affirmation of an absolute, finite and infinite, real and ideal.

‘“L’ironie à l’oeuvre (Irony at work)”’ is organized around seven themes: Satirical Beginnings (the early years), Klee and Cubism, Mechanical Theatre, Klee and Constructivism (the Bauhaus years in Dessau), Looking Back (the 1930’s), Klee and Picasso, and The Crisis Years.” (Nicholas Forrest.)

The Exhibition – Here – Fine Art in the New Media

The Centre Pompiedou has made it possible for anyone, anywhere to see the Paul Klee Exhibition. The Centre’s whebsite contains all of the pictures in the Exhibition (Click, then scroll down the page), which can be enlarged for viewing. Below is a screen shot of one of the works, Ein Haus.


 Paul Klee Ein Haus

Paul Klee Ein Haus

Press Kit

The “Press Kit” for the exhibition contain the text, which allows the viewer of the art to see the works unhindered.

The website focuses completely on the art itself, for as long as you want, unhindered by crowds (and with no language barrier). Often, in an actual museum exhibition, visitors spend most of their time reading the wall tags, rather than looking at the art. Notice the next time you visit.


Paul Klee “L’ironie à l’oeuve” –  Centre Pompidou –  From 6 April 2016 to 1st August 2016


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