VIDEO – Dan Christensen: The Stain Paintings

Ira Spanierman invites you to view the exhibition Dan Christensen: The Stain Paintings, 1976-1988 at Spanierman Modern as well as a retrospective of Christensen works on view at The Armory Show, Booth #240.

Dan Christensen: The Stain Paintings, 1976-1988, features the vibrant and poetic group of abstract paintings created by Dan Christensen (1942-2007), in which the staining of the canvas played a central role. Encompassing wide-ranging and innovative techniques, these color-soaked paintings, with their skeletal, skittish calligraphic lines and unusual harmonies of shape and tone, exude the artist’s pleasure and passion in the act of painting during a particularly joyous time in his life. The exhibition is accompanied by a 32-page catalogue, including color illustrations of the eighteen works in the show and an essay by Lisa N. Peters, Ph.D. (available for $30).

Max Weber’s Joel’s Café: A Forgotten New York Establishment Comes to Light

Lisa N. Peters

Max Weber - Joel's Cafe, ca. 1909-10, oil on canvas

Max Weber, "Joel's Cafe," ca. 1909-10, oil on canvas, 25-5/8 x 23-1/4 inches

When Max Weber’s Joel’s Café came into the gallery, we enlisted the help of Weber scholar Percy North* in researching the painting and writing about it for us.  An aspect of the work that interested us especially was the identity of the café portrayed in it.  Dr. North wrote that the scene in the background, portraying a violinist and two female figures that appear to be singing from a sheet of music, suggested a cabaret.  She noted that the “combination of café and cabaret in a single painting is thematically related to Toulouse-Lautrec’s paintings and posters of the Moulin Rouge,” several of which Weber owned and North stated that “Weber’s admiration for Toulouse-Lautrec’s work had inspired him to create a number of café scenes” beginning in 1906, during his 1905 to 1908 sojourn in Paris. Continue reading

Betty Parsons: Travels, Both Literal and Metaphorical

Betty Parsons and Timmy, on the Beach at Southold, Long Island

Betty Parsons on the Beach at Southold, Long Island, photograph, Parsons Estate

Lisa N. Peters

While working on our third exhibition of the art of Betty Parsons (1900-1982), opening February 9, I was once again amazed by Parsons.   She seems to have lived several lives at once and didn’t compromise on any of them.  Her New York gallery is viewed today as the most important and groundbreaking of the Abstract Expressionist era.  She championed the artists she showed, both famous (Jackson Pollock, Barnet Newman, Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko) and little known, with relentless energy and passion.  Friendship was important to her, and she kept close contact with her inner circle of friends; her work as a dealer was integral with her social life.  In addition to the artists she exhibited, her friendships included a surprising list of other well-known figures in the arts, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Martha Graham, Ezra Pound, Janet Flanner, and even Greta Garbo (for whom she was at times mistaken). Continue reading