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Art Break: The Power of Art Through the Ages at the Frick Collection, and Kasmin, Lisson, and Shiva Galleries

The Power of Art

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 17, 2018

This week, Art Break is looking at a wide variety of art movements as well as their purpose and meaning. The oldest material on our list comes from The Frick’s exhibition of fifteenth century religious and devotional art. These paintings and objects, using techniques new for the time, represent the melding of heaven and earth in a truly memorable way. Leaping forward to the twentieth century, there are three shows featuring aspects of the sculptural tradition, ranging from the Surrealist and early abstract work of Brancusi and Duchamp at Paul Kasmin, to the grounded in engineering and scientific principles works of Calder and Rickey, showing at Maxwell Davidson Gallery, and finally the purely three dimensional abstract shapes lifted directly from the page, as created by Carmen Herrera and presented by Lisson Gallery. Ultimately, we arrive at art that is a corrective to previous forms of narration and representation, as seen at Shiva Gallery with a powerful exhibition of three generations of female artists discussing and analyzing the act of rape as experienced by women. It’s a showcase for what art can do: begin a long overdue conversation in society and hopefully lead to both healing and changes for all.


The Power of Art

Marcel Duchamp: Nu aux bas noirs (Nude with Black Stockings), 1910; oil on canvas; 45 5/8 x 35 1/8 inches, 116 x 89 cm; Vicky et Marcos Micha Collection, Mexico City; © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris/Estate of Marcel Duchamp; photo: Francisco Cohen / courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery.

Paul Kasmin: Brancusi & Duchamp: The Art of Dialogue (September 20 – December 22) is a museum-quality exhibition examining the artists’ close relationship in personal and professional terms, using a variety of sources from archival documents to the art itself. Paul Kasmin, 515 West 27th Street, Hours: Tue – Sat: 10-6, Admission: Free

The Power of Art

Constantin Brancusi: Le Nouveau-Né (The Newborn I), 1920; polished bronze; 5 7/8 x 8 3/8 x 5 7/8 inches; 15 x 21 x 15 cm; edition of 8, cast by Susse Fondeur, Paris in 2003; © Succession Brancusi (2018) Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY/ADAGP, Paris / courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery.


The Power of Art

Jan van Eyck and Workshop: The Virgin and Child with St. Barbara, St. Elizabeth, and Jan Vos, ca. 1441–43; oil on panel; 18 5/8 × 24 1/8 inches; The Frick Collection, New York; photo: Michael Bodycomb.

The Frick: Charterhouse of Bruges: Jan van Eyck, Petrus Christus, and Jan Vos (September 18, 2018 – January 13, 2019) reunites two paintings commissioned by the Carthusian monk Jan Vos when he was the prior of Bruges Charterhouse of Genadedal, a wealthy and influential monastery in the fifteenth century. A selection of historical objects in the exhibit gives context to the history of the paintings and their subject matter. The Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street, Hours: Tue – Sat: 10-6, Sun: 11-5, Admission information is here.

Some recent openings worth checking out are:

Maxwell Davidson Gallery: Alexander Calder + George Rickey (September 13 – October 27) explores the many links between these two artists who used movement as an integral part of their abstract sculptural works. Maxwell Davidson Gallery, 521 West 26th Street, Hours: Mon – Sat: 10-6, Admission: Free

The Power of Art

Carmen Herrera: Estructura Amarilla, 1966/2016; acrylic and aluminium; 69.9 x 124.5 x 12.7 cm, 27 1/2 x 49 x 5 in; © Carmen Herrera; courtesy Lisson Gallery.

Lisson Gallery: Carmen Herrera: Estructuras (September 14 – October 27) takes the artist’s work off the page and into the third dimension. Herrera’s sculpture uses the negative space of the gallery walls to great effect and enhances the power of each piece. Lisson Gallery, 504 West 24th Street, Hours: Mon – Fri: 10-6, Admission: Free


The Power of Art

Carolee Thea: A Sabine Woman, 1991; chicken wire, electrical wire, sockets, bulbs, sound, dimensions variable ©1991/2018; courtesy of the artist / Shiva Gallery, John Jay College.

Shiva Gallery: The Un-Heroic Act: Representations of Rape in Contemporary Women’s Art in the U.S. (September 4 – November 2) This difficult subject is examined by women artists from a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and artistic techniques. Shiva Gallery, 860 Eleventh Avenue (59th Street), Hours: Mon – Fri: 10-6, Admission: Free

The Power of Art

Kathleen Gilje: Susanna and the Elders, restored with X-ray, 1998; oil on canvas, 67.5 x 47.5 in, and X-ray, 67 x 47 in © 2018; courtesy of artist / Shiva Gallery, John Jay College.


Click here for ZEALnyc’s complete list of New York City art and museum exhibitions and shows.

Click here for the latest news in New York City art, museums and galleries.


Cover: Carmen Herrera: ‘Kyoto (Green)’, 1966/2016; acrylic and aluminium; 106.7 x 101.6 x 12.7 cm 42 x 40 x 5 in.; © Carmen Herrera; courtesy Lisson Gallery.


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