Thursday, February 02, 2006
Peace Tower at the Whitney Museum: Day for Night, Opening in March 2006
We are proud to be showing new work on the Peace Tower, reconstructed now by the original designer, Mark di Suvero, as part of the Whitney Museum Biennial opening in March of 2006. On the original 1966 Artists Tower Against the War in Vietnam we were among the almost 400 New York artists who voiced our protest, and we do so now against this unscrupulous and cruel war on the people of Iraq.
In the Sixties, the Terrain Gallery showed where we stood: buttons saying "We Are Ashamed of What Our Country is Doing in Vietnam; exhibitions titled, "All Art Is For Life and Against the War in Vietnam, and printing more than 1000 copies of the poem by Martha Baird, "We Are Responsible." In 1967 together with hundreds of others, including our colleague film-maker Ken Kimmelman, we were part of the "Collage of Indignation" at the Loeb Student Center in NYU.
Ken Kimmelman's 2005 film based on Eli Siegel's famous poem "Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana," has been winning awards all over the US.and is being nationally televised over PBS; the poem and the film have the true democracy of poetry, a musical oneness of opposites asked for and needed by our world. The film is produced by Imagery Film, Ltd., and the poem is the title poem of the book, with an introductory letter by William Carlos Williams, published by Definition Press in New York City. Chaim and Dorothy Koppelman and Ken Kimmelman are on the faculty of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation website
at the National Museum of Women in the Arts
In the current exhibition "Alice Neel's Women" there is the artist's portrait of me done in my studio in 1944. At the opening of the show, on October 26th I was happy to tell to the filmmaker doing a documentary of Alice Neel's life and art, about the circumstances of this portrait. I have told about this when the portrait was shown at the Locks Gallery in Philadelphia last year. And I am so happy that I could say again how my early study of Aesthetic Realism affected our conversation and this painting.
I told about how I was beginning to learn from Mr. Siegel about the opposites in painting, and in a person. As I looked at the painting again, I saw more how that conversation got into the work; it is in the way Alice Neel showed me as a painter too.
The exhibition will continue until January 14th, and I hope other people will be moved as I was by the depth of seeing that comes through as one goes from one portrait to another. Alice Neel wanted to know women. What I was learning from Mr. Siegel affected Alice. It is, I think, in the way the light is in the painting, and in the way the leaves curl up the stretchers, on the back of the canvas. What is hidden and what is shown change places--there is an action here that is like conversation--as I see it. To the question I love so much, "Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?" I think this painting is an early answer: Yes.