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Impressionistic Summer’s Eve…

 

All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez

Impressionistic summer clouds

perfectly blending perfectly with the music

of Ravel & Debussy at a concert

performed by the incredibly talented Salastina Music Society

 

Huntington Salastina

 

 

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In the news: Jackson Pollock painting found in garage?!

A man apparently found a painting allegedly done by Jackson Pollock in his garage.

When the Arizona man called an auctioneer to appraise a signed Laker poster valued at $300, the auctioneer stumbled upon a painting possibly worth 15 million.

The tale and provenance involve a New York Socialite, a Scottsdale garage, and a tenacious art appraiser.

It seems as though the Laker fan may have found himself a real slam dunk.

For the news story, please read CNN’s coverage here:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/12/us/lost-jackson-pollock-painting-garage-trnd/index.html

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Post- Museum Stroll in Montecito

“In all of nature, there is something of the marvelous”- Aristotle

All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez

yello roses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Montecito 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Montecito 3

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Review: Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Taking a Trip

Figuratively Speaking!

By

Leticia Marie Sanchez

Santa Barbara Museum of Art 2

Despite the Seismic retrofitting currently taking place at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, this gem of a museum is well worth a visit due to the strength of its permanent collection and its innovative, thought-provoking exhibitions. The master works in the vividly curated permanent collection include masters like Maillol, Monet, Degas, Chagall, and Picasso. Auguste Rodin’sThe Walking Man” greets visitors as they enter the museum through the Ludington Court.

Aristide Maillol; Bather Putting Up Her Hair; 1930; Sculpture; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Bequest of Wright Ludington 

Santa Barbara Museum of Art 5One not-to-be missed work is Christian Marclay’s Video Installation “Telephones.” This riveting 7-minute work reveals the hopes, fears, and drama behind the incessant ring of a telephone. Drawn from more than a 100 films, this work, produced in 1995, includes images of actors ranging from Humphrey Bogart and Grace Kelly to Danny De Vito and Whoopi Goldberg. Remarkably, there is no narrator. The only narrative thread is the telephone itself. The audience is forced to play an active role, piecing together the mysterious inferences behind each look, sigh, and facial expression. The film reveals the whole gamut of emotions behind a phone call: panic, tragedy, love, expectation, concern, boredom.

Image above: Christian Marclay, Telephones 1995; Video, running time. 7:30 minutes. SBMA, Museum Purchase; @Christian Marclay. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

A second highlight is the current timely exhibition: “You Are Going On A Trip.” Organized by independent curator Michael Duncan, this exhibition coincides with summer, a time when many embark on adventurous journeys. In this exhibit, the trip is purely figurative. Inspired by an etching by Charles Garabedian that depicts the hand of the artist touching the viewer’s consciousness, the exhibition encourages metaphorical travel. The themes of the exhibit include dreams, icons, notions of home and travel, history, and images of humans and wildlife.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art 7

 

Charles Garabedian

You are Going on A Trip

1980

Etching 

Santa Barbara Museum of Art,

Gift of Stephen Acronico 

On the note of summer wandering, my artistic meandering brought me to one of the museum’s crown jewels, “The Pleasures of the Evening” by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. The transcendent use of light envelopes dancers at crepuscule: mystical, free spirited kin of Botticelli’s “The Three Graces.” The intoxicating light conveys the blissful warmth of a receding sunset. One presumes it is a summer eve, as the ladies bask barefoot in thin, gossamer dresses. Enraptured in the moment, they sway carefree, imagining that the sun will never leave. Admiring Corot’s work, I too did not want to leave a light so resplendent, imbued with all the promise of youth and summer. Summer proves an ideal time to expand one’s geographic and artistic horizons.

pleasures-of-the-evening-jean-baptiste-camille-corot

 

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

The Pleasures of the Evening

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

 

 

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Jeff Koons- Balloon Dog- a Sculpture that’s Grrreat!

Koons Balloon Dog

 

At LA’s Broad Museum, Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog (Blue)

 

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Wise Man of the Day: Arthur Schopenhauer


 

I’ve never known any trouble that an hour’s reading didn’t assuage.”

-Arthur Schopenhauer

 

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Today at the Getty Center

 

“I always start a painting with the sky.”- Alfred Sisley

 

Clouds swirling above Aristide Maillol’s “Air” at the Getty Center.

 

All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez

 

Getty Clouds

 

 

 

 

 

Getty Clouds 2

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Maven with Moxie: Galka Scheyer at the Norton Simon

 A Maven with Moxie

Galka Scheyer

 By

Leticia Marie Sanchez

Imagine a world with no Lorenzo Medici, Sylvia Beach, or Joseph Duveen. Sylvia Beach published the work of James Joyce, encouraged Ernest Hemingway, and helped to advance the works of American expatriate writers living in Paris between World War I and World War II. Lorenzo Medici’s Renaissance court advanced the works of Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Botticceli, and other premier artists.  The sales of savvy art dealer Joseph Duveen now line many collections including, the Frick Collection, the National Gallery of Art, the Huntington and the Norton Simon.

In this coterie of prominent patrons and dealers belongs Galka Scheyer, a formidable art dealer who stopped at nothing to promote the works of “Blue Four”—German Expressionist artists Lyonel Feininger, Alexei Jawlensky, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky. Their vivid works are currently on view at the Norton Simon.

Scheyer was a dealer without a gallery. In the era before powerpoint (the 1920′s) she often lugged impossibly heavy suitcases filled with glass slides of the art work as she headed to lecture sites around the United States in an attempt to shed light on these artists.

Norton Simon Curator Gloria Williams Sander described the tenacious art dealer during a recent lecture at the museum. The resourceful Scheyer picked up a phone book and found the names of university administrators and museum dealers, writing hundreds of letters, hoping to get a bite.

Scheyer got along famously with artists. She once boldly went to the apartment of Diego Rivera, forged a friendship with him, and convinced him to help her get an exposition for the Blue Four artists in Mexico. In addition to her bravado, she had a soft side. She let composer John Cage pay for Jawlensky in installments, for the first of which he handed her a dollar bill. Williams Sander noted, “Rather than the art of the deal, Galka Scheyer relished in connecting people with art.”

Scheyer’s passion for her profession arose after she saw a painting done by Jawlensky. It was, according to Willams Sander, a “Conversion Moment.” She abandoned her own ambitions as an artist and found her path as an art dealer. She truly loved her calling although it certainly did not pay her bills. In order to supplement her income, Scheyer gave lectures as well as taught art to children for two decades.

In fact, it was Jawlensky who gave Emmy Scheyer the nickname “Galka”, meaning jackdaw, a gregarious, intelligent crow. The exhibit contains a letter in which Jawlensky told Scheyer that the nickname came to him in a dream. The vast exhibit contains not only works by the Blue Four but also paintings from Scheyer’s own person collection.

One of the most humorous anecdotes about Scheyer is that after purchasing a plot of land in the Hollywood Hills for $150, she petitioned the city to make her address 1880 Blue Heights Drive.  (1 for Myself, 8 for Two Times the Blue Four, and 0 for Nothing).

There on Blue Heights Drive, Scheyer lived on her on astral plane and converted many to become devotees of the Blue Four.

Maven of Modernism: Galka Scheyer in California

Norton Simon Museum of Art

April 7- September 25

Galka ScheyerEmil Nolde (German, 1867-1956),

Head in Profile, 1919, Watercolor and India ink on tan wove paper,

14-1/2 x 11-1/8 in. (36.8 x 28.3 cm),

Norton Simon Museum,

The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection,

© Nolde Stiftung Seebüll, Germany

 

 

 

 

 

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Review: The Colburn Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Dancing and playing into our hearts

The Colburn Orchestra and Dance Academy at Walt Disney Concert Hall

By

Leticia Marie Sanchez

Colburn Orchestra

On Friday evening, the Colburn Orchestra had the audience at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on the edge of their seats. It was a night celebrating the trajectory of of love, from the sweet lightness of the music of Irving Berlin to the dissonant passionate struggle in Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Leonard Bernstein’s “Overture to Candide” opened the program with enthusiasm and proved a fitting bookend to the intensity of Prokofiev.From the music of Bernstein, the music flowed smoothly to the music of Irving Berlin arranged by Scott Ninmer. The transportive choreography by L.A Dance Project Founder Benjamin Millepied added to the uplifting nature of the evening. Dancers from Colburn Dance Academy conveyed a soaring spirit of optimism, their Grand Jetés evoking the sunny buoyancy of Berlin’s music.

Got no silver,

 got no gold

What I got can’t be bought or sold

I got the sun in the morning

 and the moon at night”

Irving Berlin

The rich, sonorous voice of tenor Joshua Wheeker augmented shades of profundity to the blithe music of Berlin, enhancing the score in a way not done by prior vocalists who have sung the works of the Broadway king. What Millepied, Wheeker, the Colburn Orchestra, and Colburn Dance Academy were able to accomplish was to create moments where time stood still. Even more than moments, they created an actual atmosphere of endearing lightness. For Angelenos getting off the freeway after Friday night rush hour, this atmosphere proved a much needed balm for the soul.

In sharp contrast to the tripping-the-light-fantastic aura of Berlin, the music of Prokofiev plunged the audience into the tragic, turmoil-filled Sturm und Drang of the ill-fated teen lovers, Romeo and Juliet.

The musicians of the Colburn Orchestra, only a few years older than Romeo and Juliet, performed with boisterous passion akin to those in the throes of love. What made the performance of Prokofiev’s work even more exciting was the fresh and raw energy that the musicians of the Colburn Orchestra brought to the stage. With his dynamic electric physicality, Christian Arming was able to reign in the orchestra when needed and elicit a clean, passionate performance.  The rendition of the rousing theme during the passage of the Montagues and the Capulets was nothing short of thrilling.

More programs that would include dance and vocalization would be welcome at Walt Disney Concert Hall. When the Muses work together, the results can be sublime.

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Review: “The Originalist” at the Pasadena Playhouse- A Must See Production

Sparring with Scalia

Review: The Originalist at the Pasadena Playhouse

by

Leticia Marie Sanchez

All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez

New Scalia Image

In Ancient Greece, theater played a central role in keeping citizens of the city-state politically informed. John Strand’s The Originalist, which is currently playing at the Pasadena Playhouse, harkens back to the days of civic-minded theater by delving into political issues and polemics in a way that is equally thought-provoking and entertaining. Beyond the highly engaging Beatrice and Benedick-like sparring of the two talented leads (Edward Gero as uber-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia and Jade Wheeler as “flaming liberal” Supreme Court Clerk Cat), the play probes a deeper philosophical issue. In his program notes, playwright John Strand asks, “How did we become so polarized that we see our political opponents as demons? What happened to the political middle?”  The timely play delves into political divergences through its compelling actors, operatic motifs, and humor in a lively verbal jousting match.

The play’s premise is that brash, intimidating conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia hires outspoken liberal young clerk Cat. In the play, Scalia boasts, “I like to have a liberal around to remind me how right I am.” Scalia apparently would hire “counter-clerks” to solidify his own views while writing court opinion. A core strength of the play is the acting by leads Edward Gero and Jade Wheeler. The narrative essentially unfolds as a philosophical tug of war, and Wheeler gives as good as she gets, throwing in exceptional punches as the earnest idealist with the chutzpah to challenge the heavyweight. The play includes a brief appearance by Brett Mack as Brad, the fawning obsequious foil (the Supreme Court clerk you love to hate) to Cat’s straight-shooting sparring partner. But other than Brad’s cameo in conservatism, the entire play focuses solely on the formidable acting chops of Gero and Wheeler cast with very little in the way of set enhancements, and the duo successfully keeps the audience engaged for the duration, which is also a testament to Strand’s zinger-filled writing.

Another strength of The Originalist, lies in its operatic motif. The Originalist opens dramatically with the music of Verdi’s “La Traviata.” In real-life Scalia was an opera fanatic who performed with the Washington Opera in Ariadne Auf Naxos with his (surprising) buddy Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. In the play, Scalia compares opera to the Constitution. “A great opera must always be what it is—the notes are the notes then, now, and a hundred years from now…That is also my opinion of the Constitution.” In that line, Scalia encapsulates his position as an Originalist. In addition to legal philosophy, the play explores politics as theatre. Cat tells Scalia that he is a “a showman at heart,” one who enjoys the verbal wrangling of court proceedings. At one point Scalia reenacts his senate confirmation hearings, with Gero humorously mimicking the accents of Senators Kennedy and Strom Thurmond as he relished the clash with gusto, “It’s political theater…the opera of my confirmation.”

Humor and double entendres also add to the fast-paced nature of The Originalist. When Cat asks Scalia how Justice Ginsberg keeps from strangling him, he quips. “That’s what they mean by Judicial Restraint.” In another scene, Scalia recalls that someone named his pet fish after him. When Scalia asked the person if they had any another pet fish named after Supreme Court Justices, the reply was “No, Scalia ate them all.”

The play humanizes a polarizing figure, particularly his regret at not becoming Chief Justice. Scalia reveals to Cat that he was told by the Bush administration.  “You would be as popular as a second invasion of Baghdad.” Dark minor chords are emitted from Scalia’s usually boisterous blustery self, as he bitterly remarks, “Did he (George W. Bush) forget the recount crisis?”

At the play’s conclusion, the graduating clerk announces that she will be leaving her role not for a plum corporate position but to engage in a grassroots effort to bring polarized Americans closer together. Cat observes, “There is a middle, and we’re all hiding in our bunkers.” She remarks that the current state of dialogue is “poisonous,” to which anyone currently fatigued from the political vitriol on Facebook News Feeds can attest. “Half the country sees me as a monster,” Scalia declares. In a year of polarizing figures, Strand’s play is particularly salient. The only way to move past polarization is to take a lesson from the Greeks: use plays like the Originalist as a catalyst for dialogue and civic engagement.

Finally, the play is extremely relevant to the current events that unfold daily. “We are everywhere now,” Scalia warns Cat about Originalists. And Scalia was right. With Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s first week on the job, the play could not be more timely.

Below. The Pasadena Playhouse. April 14, 2017

Pasadena Playhouse 1Pasadena Playhouse 2Pasadena Playhouse 3

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