When my daughter Laurie and I attended the ANIMODULES Farewell Reception and Founders Talk at the Nassau County Museum of Art last month, I was revisiting the sculptures, and she was seeing the artistic Agents of Peace for the first time.
In 2013, Mayor Cory Booker issued a Proclamation declaring the Barat Foundation Animodules as the the official Peace Ambassador of the City of Newark, as they represent a powerful vision of community unity and peace.
While passing a studio on my way out, I saw MERYL FEUER with an ethereal crown of paper cranes, a symbol of peace. The dozens of small birds formed the airy mobile suspended from the ceiling above her.
FEATURE PHOTO at top of post: Roslyn, New York, U.S. September 13, 2019. L-R, Dr. HARVEY MANES and GARY BARAT discuss dragon Animodule sculpture during ANIMODULES Agents of Peace exhibit Farewell Reception and Founders’ Talk at the Manes Center, Nassau County Museum of Art.
Deciding to take advantage of the nice-in-the-shade weather the first weekend in July, my friend Bob and I went to the Nassau County Museum of Art on Sunday, the last day of its “That 80s Show” exhibit. I also looked forward to seeing Animodules at the Manes Center, and new outdoor sculptures by conceptual artist Marko Remec.
Click each photo to see a different, related image
After parking, we walked up the path leading to the Saltzman Fine Art Building, when I saw Pamela, a friend and fellow photographer, a few yards away from us, chatting with someone as they headed toward the parking lot.
After getting Pamela’s attention, we laughed… for ever since the exhibit opened, we’d planned to see it, but weather and scheduling conflicts got in our way. Now, serendipity had landed us at the same space at the same time, so we could at least capture a few photos by the “Girl on a Bicycle” (1964) sculpture by Bruno Lucchesi.
After renewing my membership, I entered a spacious gallery hung with five huge paintings and a few smaller, though not small, ones. [See above photo]
Since the gallery was part of the “That 80s Show” exhibit, it wasn’t chance the artists and I shared birthdays within about ten years of each other.
Two of the artists died at tragically young ages, and, as I feared, it was of tragically times-related causes. Jean-Michel Basquiat was only 27 when he died in 1984 of a heroin overdose. Tseng Kwong Chil was only 40 when he died in 1990 of an AIDS-related illness – which, near the same time, stole my much missed, musically gifted brother in his thirties.
More than once, I was struck how visitors looking at artwork impacted, even transformed, the experience. The above photo of a man looking at works from the “Men in the Cities” series by Robert Longo is one example, and a different man near a different lithograph by Robert Longo is another.
Perhaps in part because I’m fond of (literally) shiny things, I’m a fan of Marko Remec’s three outdoor sculptures commissioned by the Nassau County Museum of Art.
Remec’s “The Vertebrate Progression (Field Totem)” was a short make-your-own-path walk from the Manes Center, and typically would be viewed from the road, where one wouldn’t notice a couple of dome mirrors were damaged and some were removed from the end.
The convex dome mirrors of the other two sculptures – the 26-foot-tall “Would That I Wish For (Tall Totem)” [see feature photo at top of this post] and the horizontal “NYET” – were fine off the ground on well-beaten paths.
Even if the sweaty-in-the-open-field weather didn’t stop me from spending quite as much time as I’d like to capture far and close up views of the Field Totem, I’d want to return with my Nikon during each of the seasons.
Feature Photo at top of post: Roslyn, New York, U.S. July 7, 2019. “Would That I Wish For (Tall Totem)” 26-foot-tall sculpture was created, and installed in front of the Arnold and Joan Saltzman Fine Art Building, by artist Marko Remec, at the Nassau County Museum of Art, which commissioned the work.