• Sculptor, Patrick Dougherty and ‘A Passing Fancy’ in Falmouth, MA

    Elaine A. King

    Patrick Dougherty is motivated to work with stick materials because of increased massive urbanization and the destruction of forests all over the United States.  Knowing that sticks have been a foundation for human survival across cultures and throughout time –being used for building shelters, ladders, and tools for hunting in addition to keeping warm and cooking—he finds them a universal material for his work.  Since the early 1980s Dougherty has been fabricating huge environmental installations that he calls Stickworks.  The majority of his large, quirky and temporary pieces take approximately three weeks to construct and each monumental sculpture is distinctly unique.  Prior to starting a work he takes time getting to know the milieu in which it will be created, oft visiting the place several times prior to its actual construction. The installation’s final shape results from Dougherty’s observations about the overall locale, the interaction of the volunteers in the community who help build the work, as well as the specificity of the site where it is erected.

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  • The Art of D. Dominick Lombardi: Deciphering the Unconscious

    D. Dominick Lombardi

    In the late fifties my parents purchased a 1956 edition of the American Peoples Encyclopedia. I vaguely remember their being stressed about affording the encyclopedias, since my family had just moved into a home my father built himself, and we didn’t have much money left over, even for furniture. Despite his trepidations over the purchase price, my father carefully measured and built a bookcase for the encyclopedias so they would be safely stored until their future use. One day, when I was about three or four years old, I pulled down one of the books, opened it, and saw an image of Picasso’s anti-war masterpiece, Guernica (1939).


    Whistling Bird, 1998, Wood, acrylic and plastic laundry soap bottle, 16.5 x 17 x 13.5 inches 

    At that time I had no idea what I was looking at, but when I saw the image, a painting that expressed the collateral damage of the Spanish Civil War in one Basque town as an abstracted event, I was mesmerized. Right then and there, I knew on some deep level that I was face to face with a most significant and meaningful picture, not only based on the feeling I got from it, but that it was found in one of those very important books that seemed to both disturb and enhance my family’s lives. Later, I must have visited that painting, then located at the Museum of Modern Art, at least twenty times before it was sent back to Spain in 1981. I cherished every moment I spent with that painting, as it taught me so much about the power of art. 

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  • New York Gallery, Elga Wimmer PCC, with: ‘Pink Dreams in a Land with No Name’

    Mary Hrbacek

    On view at Elga Wimmer PCC, the exhibition “Pink Dreams in a Land with No Name,” curated by Roya Khadjavi, presents nineteen visual art works comprised of twelve mixed media pieces and nine laser cut canvas collages, created by Iranian born artists Sara Madandar and Shahram Karimi, who both currently reside in the U.S.   The show explores the strategies the artists have conjured in order to come to terms with their experiences as immigrants living a demanding cross-cultural existence, intensified by the anti-immigration political climate in the U.S. and the social constraints inherent in Iran.  Through the creative process of confronting, sorting, and clarifying painful memories and impulses, elucidating notions of place, nation, gender and self, the artists forge the essence of their inner identities and current personas, in works that speak to the feelings and difficulties of displaced people worldwide.

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  • Broadway’s Sea Wall/A Life: Love and Loss on a Bare Stage

    Edward Rubin

    Sea Wall/A Life, two extraordinarily, powerful, one-act plays, presented in monologue form, are holding court at the Hudson Theatre on Broadway. Fueled by strong reviews, and the star power of film and stage actors, Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Strurridge, it is one of the most deeply moving productions currently gracing the stage here in New York City. With word-of-mouth religiously shouting hosannas! this starry-eyed production is already being touted (by those that tout) as a Tony contender in several categories, acting and direction (Carrie Cracknell) among them. Closing night is Thursday, September 26 and tickets are tight. Just Saying!   

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  • Smithsonian AAM’s “Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975,”

    Elaine A. King

    In a time when exhibitions about gender, race and politics have become repetitive, one is habituated to seeing political art in museums and galleries.  Despite the prevalence of such shows, few offer much depth beyond routine media coverage or reveal substantive significant works of art. The poignant survey titled “Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975,” organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum is an exception to political shows not only because of the extraordinary selection of 115 works by 58 visionary artists of the time but also because of the diversity of the art and artists.  The inclusion of African-Americans, Asian American, Latinos and many women artists is admirable!  

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  • ‘Love, Noël: The Songs and Letters of Noël Coward’—Elegance of Yesteryear

    Edward Rubin

    “There are probably greater painters than Noël. Greater novelists than Noël, greater librettists, greater composers of music, greater singers, greater dancers, greater comedians, greater tragedians, greater stage producers, greater film directors, greater cabaret artists, greater TV stars, and so on. If they are, they are fourteen different people. Only one man combines all fourteen different talents The Master,  Noël Coward”— Lord Louis Mountbatten’s toast to Noël Coward on his 70th birthday.

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  • Three Washington, D.C. exhibits: Women’s Suffrage at 100—Equal Rights Delayed

    Amy Henderson

    In a letter written to her husband John on March 31, 1776, Abigail Adams enjoined him to “remember the ladies” as the Founding Fathers defined the rights of Americans under independence. “Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands,” she continued, for women did not want to be “bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

    Adams and his cohort didn’t abide by Abigail’s words, and even as we currently celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment’s passage this year—and ratification next summer—Suffrage remains but a landmark in the ongoing fight for equal pay and equal rights for women.

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  • New York’s Lincoln Theater with ‘The Rolling Stone’: Deadly Plight of Uganda’s Gays

    Edward Rubin

    While New York City recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising with much hoopla and an enormous traffic-stopping Gay Pride parade that went on well into the night, New York’s Lincoln Center Theater chose to feature the other side of the coin by mounting the American premiere of playwright Chris Urch’s The Rolling Stone. Sensitively directed by Saheem Ali – the play, an import from London – is scheduled to run through Sunday, August 25th.

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  • D.C.’s Smithsonian with David Levinthal Photos: “American Myth & Memory”

    Elaine A. King

    The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s exhibition “American Myth & Memory, curated by Joanna Marsh features the uncanny fictional photographs by American photographer David Levinthal.  Born in San Francisco, California, in 1949 he was shaped by the United States ‘Golden Age’ of television and the proliferation of commercial advertising during the prosperous economy of the 1950s and 1960s. 

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  • New York’s Playwrights Horizons: ‘A Strange Loop’—Revealing!

    Edward Rubin

    In the past year or three there have been a healthy number of beautifully  crafted, wonderfully acted, and solidly produced black-centric plays both on Broadway and Off that have examined from every conceivable angle – historically, sociologically, and psychologically – what it means to be black in the United Sates, both past and present.

    To joggle my mind as well as yours New York theatres have hosted Father Come Home From The Wars, Choir Boy, The House That Will Not Stand, Fabulation, The Color Purple, An Octoroon, American Son, Daddy, The Secret Life of Bees, The Slave Play (previewing on Broadway this coming September), and the still running The Rolling Stone, and Pulitzer Prize winning Fairview. Most all were favorably reviewed.  However, not since A Strange Loop which is currently running thru July 28th at Playwrights Horizons have we come across a many faceted in your face gay male character like Usher (the extremely talented Larry Owens) who spares no detail, however raw, intimate, personal, scatological and sordid–and it is all of those and more–in the telling and showing of his life.

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