Sunday, January 20, 2013


Encountering Suzanne at Yale
Every once in awhile, when an occasion merits, we like to travel up to New Haven, Connecticut to the Yale University Gallery of Art. It's an easy ride from Grand Central and a pleasant one as the railway borders Long Island Sound once you reach the Nutmeg state.
 When you reach New Haven, you enter through a beautiful train station.
I recommend a taxi to the Gallery on Chapel Street, 
which is in the heart of the Yale Campus and near the Green.
The Yale University Art Gallery has just completed a renovation and expansion. In fact, three buildings have been joined to form one museum. These include the 1953 modernist structure by Louis Kahn, the 1928 Old Yale Gallery and the 1866 Street Hall.
A costumed figure from the African collection.
The straw in the last straw in au courant couture.
A glass bead assemblage of a bird in the African gallery.
The collection has been rearranged and hung in beautiful, light-filled spaces which incorporate old and new architecture when possible.

 A view from the fourth floor gallery on a gray day in January.
A signboard for The Société Anonyme by un artiste anonyme.
The inaugural special exhibit at the Yale Gallery is "The Société Anonyme -- Modernism for America." The Société Anonyme, Inc. was an organization founded in 1920 by the artists Katherine S. Drier, Marcel Duchamp, and Man Ray as America's first "experimental museum" for contemporary art.
The founding artists of The Société Anonyme.
The original gallery was at 19 East 47th Street in New York City.
It cost 26 cents to visit the first exhibition.
The organization showed works by renowned artists such as Constantin Brancusi, Piet Mondrian, Man Ray and Joseph Stella. The above painting of a crane is by Joseph Stella.
When I saw this portrait of artist, Suzanne Phocas, a member of the Société Anonyme, I was enchanted. With her little 1920s bob and sweet smile, she is truly lovely.
Child with Dog, 1925-26 by Suzanne Phocas
Suzanne was one of the lesser known artists in the Société Anonyme. Her work is idiosyncratic and uses naive and cubist forms. She was born in Lille, France and lived in Greece as a child.
This Kurt Schwitters construction is one my favorite pieces in the exhibition.
There are several wonderful Jean Arp constructions as well.
 The Painting kind of looks like my hats, don't you think?
Two gallery goers.
 The main floor lobby space provides a tranquil sitting area.
A fitting adieu.
a Femme and a Fleur
"Morning in the Flower Garden" by Emil Nolde.

The collection of The Société Anonyme was given 
to Yale University under the joint
auspices of the Société Anonyme (in 1941)
 and the Katherine S. Drier Bequest (in 1953.)

À Bientôt!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Matisse in Nice

Matisse & the Light of Nice
Beginning in 1917, Henri Matisse moved to Nice and lived in several hotels on the Mediterranean, including the one that we stayed at, Le Palais de La Méditerranée. On view now, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, is a exhibition called Matisse: In Search of True Painting.
This painting, Room at the Hotel Méditerranée, is in the
show at the MET, and was done in 1919.
Our terrace at Le Palais de la Méditerranée, and below,
the view of the sea from our room. 
Not quite the same decor, but the view is the same.
While we were in Nice, we took an excursion to the Matisse Museum situated on a hill above Nice in a town called Cimiez. The museum is easily reached by a bus which costs one Euro. It is housed in a pink villa which is set in a lovely park featuring statues of great American jazz musicians.

Before we went to the Museum, we stopped for
 a coffee at the charming kiosk in the park.

I think that French people like to take
the time to enjoy life as with this
mother and her son, setting up a table 
under delicate tree branches.

Every French park has a carousel! 
These must be sailboats on the Baie des Anges.
 The Matisse Museum is set in a bucolic grove of trees.

Matisse did not actually live in this villa.
Richard wore the colors of Matisse and Nice.
Immediately after taking this photo, I was told by
a guard "No photos!" 
So what else is new?
 Polynésie la mer. Papiers gouachés, découpés, collés et marouflés sur toile.
What I loved the most in the museum were
some fine examples of Matisse's gouache paper cutouts.
It's a trip worth making to this magical museum.
The Large Blue Dress, 1937
Back to the MET. This painting was done when Matisse moved further inland from Nice to Vence. He did this to get away from the threat of bombs during World War II. A Russian woman named Lydia Deletorskaya was his model and assistant at this time. She is the model for The Large Blue Dress.
And this, my dears, is the large blue skirt, sewn by Lydia expressly so that she might pose in it for the painting. The skirt is in the MET show, and of course, this is a totally purloined photo, taken when the eagle-eyed MET guard was looking another way. But one must have a photo of a big blue skirt!
Pretending to pose for Henri at The Gallery, Carlyle Hotel.

À Bientôt.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Color, Do It!

She'll Wake You UP!
Let's start the new year with color. Why not? One of my go-to designers is Alpana Bawa, who absolutely lives, drinks and dreams color. She's a fashion artist and master of color and shape who has been a fixture in Lower Manhattan for years in one shop or another, and now has opened a colorful den of design on Elizabeth Street in NoLita (that's north of Little Italy).

Dresses designed by Alpana Bawa hang in her
Elizabeth Street Shop.
I'm posing on the path at Seward Park, my apartment building,
in my wool/cashmere Alpana coat. The hood is a great touch,
no need for a hat!
 In a Lower East Side Gallery with the perfect art for Alpana-wear.
Yet another of my Alpana coats this time in Soho.
The purple is divine. Philip Treacy fedora.
 Alpana's loft, where she had a sample sale last year.

Alpana is from India and came to the United States
to study fashion design at Parson's School of Design.
 Some dresses have intricate embroidery patterns.
 The whole dress with color-blocked sleeves and a Nehru collar.
A jacket with multiple colors and fabric types.
No matter how many colors she puts together,
the whole piece always works and ends up
looking wonderful on the edge of wild.
 A painting or a jacket?

Alpana uses natural fabrics like cotton, silk and cashmere.
The clothing is made in India.
 Alpana also designs accessories.
Her bangle bracelets use wood and color for a unique combination.

Wonderful silk scarves.
 A canine visitor to Alpana's shop.
 You can buy beautiful pillows and bags in her shop.

Alpana had a chrome Mies van der Rohe chair and 
added rock-climbing straps for a seat.

Alpana's  clothes and accessories are a joy to see and wear.

Let's get intoxicated with color in 2013!
Absolutely no morning-after hangover, I promise.