• 217 Films: Considering Kenneth Clark’s ‘Civilisation’ and America

    Richard Friswell

    “Civilisation has been a series of rebirths. Surely this should give us confidence in ourselves.”  ~Lord Kenneth Clark

    In the latest in their series entitled, ‘Essays in Film,’ documentary film makers, Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton (217 Films) have once again shed light on a complex historical theme, placing it in the context of our vast American cultural narrative. After tackling topics like, Art in the Gilded Age, Arts of the Works Progress Administration, and the 1913 Armory Show, among others, this time their sights came to rest on British art historian and BBC star, Lord Kenneth Clark, and his much-touted 1970’s TV series, “Civilisation.” The video’s late-2020 release celebrates the 50th anniversary (1970-2020) of the American public television premiere of Lord Clark’s ground-breaking, thirteen-part BBC documentary series. Featuring archival footage from the original programs, as well as contemporaneous interviews with Sir David Attenborough and James Stourton (Clark’s definitive biographer), this documentary, entitled, “Civilisation and America,” focuses on the ways in which the series, airing in American homes in the midst of a time of great political and social upheaval, was received on this side of the Atlantic.

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  • A serendipitous opportunity to read ‘Enraptured by Raptors’!

    Katherine Arcano

    The newly published work by photographer/author, Jennifer Packard, Enraptured by Raptors, offers a most welcome, positively uplifting saga. In an unlikely stroke, its action centers around the recent real life of a family of red- shouldered hawks; it is replete with wonders of discovery, raptors’ behavior and activities that we can actually relate to, and an encouragingly heartwarming response to it all, by an urban Wahington, D.C. community.

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  • NYC’s Pace Gallery- “Adrian Ghenie: The Hooligans”

    Mary Hrbacek

    Pace presents “Adrian Ghenie:  The Hooligans,” an exhibition of nine large-scale semi-abstract oil paintings and three charcoal drawings rendered on paper.  The term “hooligans” refers to an underground group of individuals who ignore the limitations of polite society, shaping their lives to be free of constraints.  In his powerful new works, Ghenie explores the artists who formed movements that rocked established academies, challenging the status quo of their times with new visions of transformed realities, reinvigorating art in the process.  Ghenie has identified J.M.W. Turner, the Impressionists, especially Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin as the artist “hooligans” whose activities he chooses to emulate.  His focus is on the primacy of oil paint in a semi-abstract approach which downplays figurative imagery.  This daring exhibition is beautifully installed, presenting bold monumental paintings and intriguing charcoal drawings, but it is unfortunate that it is located on the second floor, where it is possible that the public may overlook it.  

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  • 14-Year old Musician/Actor Joshua Turchin Takes the Stage by Storm

    Aaron Krause

    Joshua Turchin wrote the book and lyrics, and composed the music, to an original, award-winning, Broadway-bound musical which wowed New York critics. Not bad for a 14-year-old, huh? But the New York-based youngster, who is also an actor, would rather you not dwell on his age. Instead, he wants people to focus on his accomplishments. And there are many. For instance, Joshua recently released the cast EP of his Broadway-bound musical, The Perfect Fit. The EP, or extended playlist, is available on platforms such as Amazon, iTunes, and Apple Music.

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  • Streaming: Jessica Sherr’s ‘Bette Davis Ain’t For Sissies’

    Edward Rubin

    Of all the celebs channeled by drag queens and female impersonators, Bette Davis, like flies to honey, has always been at the top of every performers list. Her mannerisms, her clipped New England cadences, her famous lines like “fasten your seatbelt this is going to be a bumpy ride,” and the forever dangling cigarette in her airborne hand, like the actress herself, are legendary.

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  • ABE: A MASKED LINCOLN PORTRAIT

    Amy Henderson

    George Washington may be revered as the tradition-setting first President, but Abraham Lincoln remains the President we turn to in dire times. His words and understanding have a timeless human sensibility–his accessibility makes him “present” when we need national reassurance.
    Lincoln’s ability to remain high on our radar is reflected in how often he’s been showcased. In 1922, the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated on the National Mall. Architect Henry Bacon created a neoclassical temple, and Daniel Chester French designed the remarkable interior Lincoln sculpture that looms over the Mall.

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  • NYC’s Mnuchin Gallery—Church and Rothko: Sublime

    Mary Hrbacek

    “Church and Rothko: Sublime,” an exhibition of twenty-seven oil paintings on canvas, brings into focus, in the context of the ‘Sublime,’ the similarities and divergences of two deeply contrasting artists who extended the art of painting to suit their overriding visions, separated by a span of nearly 100 years.  Michael Altman Fine Art and Christopher Rothko collaborated with Robert Mnuchin and the Mnuchin team to present this respectful, comprehensive and deeply appreciative journey through the pictorial language of a 19th and a 20th Century master, who succeeded in transmuting their art to the level of the emotional and psychological sublime, through purely visual means.  The show adheres to an expanded, unconventional definition of the ‘Sublime,’ which includes not only the contemporary sense of the ‘majestic,’ but the Romantic era version, as well, of a frightening, perilous dark side. There are ten abstract Rothko works and seventeen Frederic Church oil paintings on view.

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  • HBO’s ‘Coastal Elites’- Grappling with Politics, Culture and the Pandemic

    Edward Rubin

    Ever since Covid-19 shut down our theatres, movie houses, museums, concert halls, opera houses, jazz clubs, and stadiums – in short, our entire country’s entertainment industry – thus robbing thousands upon thousands of singers, actors, writers, producers, directors, musicians, athletes and countless others, of their livelihood, not to mention their raison d’etre, there has been a marked increase in entertainment offerings on TV, cable, online, blogs, websites and streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Disney. Some are free, some are for pay, and all are being eagerly snapped up by pleasure seeking audiences.  

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  • Expressions of Artistic Freedom Proven in Film, ‘Married to Math’

    Scott Bennett

    “Married to Math” is a film made as if it were a mathematical equation with unknown expressions of value being moved towards a solution. Created by Nina Zaretskaya, founding director, Art Media Center, ‘TV Gallery,’ this documentary presents three mathematicians from the former Soviet Union who released the artistic expression of their youth after the distraction of their training in formal mathematics.

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  • Artist, Julia Arriola, in Conversation with Elaine A. King

    Elaine A. King

    Julia Arriola is an artist living in Tucson, Arizona.  Her art is interdisciplinary and she works across materials.  Underlying much of her work is a unique perspective of Native Americans symbolism, social awareness as well as an intertwined interest in the mechanical age that comprised the late 19th century.  This conversation took place from September 22-28, 2020.  After the first introductory exchange Elaine A King will be EAK and Julia Arriola will be JA.

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