2000-01-08 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance

"Dumb artist" was Susan Hartenstein's comment after trying to interview an artist at PS 1. (Photo by Denis Macrae, RAA)

Seeing double…Susan Hartenstein and Ed Ross explore their reflections at PS 1. (Photo by Denis Macrae, RAA)

By Susan Hartenstein

P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center is a place to stimulate your imagination and challenge your definition of what art is. From the moment you enter its grounds, where a prison yard sensibility accosts you, you are aware that you "ain’t at the Met". As with any museum you visit, you may not like everything you see. You may even hate everything you see. Most likely, however, you will at the very least be intrigued and presented with new ways of seeing and expressing. To illustrate my point, the day of the December RAA tour that visited P.S.1, a few exhibits particularly interested me. "Children of Berlin," which has since closed, consisted of various installations which presented images of the city in often interesting and creative fashion. In one installation, several projectors threw out changing images in coordinated intervals. In certain installations the viewer herself altered images simply by walking in front of a projector. I found myself instantly hating one particular installation. However, the longer I experienced the room, the more I found to appreciate. Confronting me simultaneously were two and three-dimensional works, several television screens and unusual music. Not to your taste? Well a more conventional exhibit still on display is "Rudy Burckhardt-A View from Astoria". Black and white photographs of the city in the 40’s, these beautiful pieces explore the gentler bustle of the New York of an earlier decade. They are composed with unusual perspectives and intelligent play of light and shadow and part to whole. RAA photographer Denis Macrae commented that they show what black and white photography can do—they glow and resonate. Located at 22-25 Jackson avenue, Long Island City, P.S.1 is a worthwhile experience.

Saturday, April 1 at 2 p.m., the Queens Museum of Art, the Forest Hills Symphony Orchestra String Quartet and the Rockaway Artists Alliance will present "Turning Points", an afternoon of music and art. Kate Judge has been asked to coordinate a slide presentation of RAA works that are reminiscent of the style of American artist William Glackens (1870-1938). His brightly-colored paintings were of everyday New York life. More information about Glackens and color images of his work are accessible on Artnet.com, click artists, go to G, then Glackens. Please contact Judge through the RAA office ASAP if you are interested in participating. Arrangements can be made to photograph your work.

And now, for something completely different. In RAA’s never-ending quest to bring you the new, the unusual and the semi-controversial, we present--the first "Rockaway Artists Alliance Test Your Art Knowledge Quiz". How much do you know about: the philosophical ideas underlying German expressionism; the controversy between Zola and Cezanne concerning the Dreyfus case; the true role of Emperor Justinian in Byzantine art? Nothing? That’s OK. We won’t ask you anything that will make your head hurt. Well maybe a few things, just for fun. So, here for your enjoyment—10 questions to test your art knowledge:

  1. Born in the West Indies, he was the only artist to show in all the Impressionist exhibitions. Who was he?
  2. What is the English translation of the word "renaissance"?
  3. In what medium, used by the Greeks, is Jasper John’s work, "Three Flags", executed?
  4. The body of what animal is that of the Great Sphinx?
  5. What reddish brown color bears the name of a city in Italy?
  6. What is the term used to describe art incorporating real or apparent movement?
  7. Name the film starring Kirk Douglas that depicted the life of Vincent Van Gogh.
  8. What was Rembrandt’s last name? (Spelling counts)
  9. Born in Pittsburgh, this artist’s work depicted the intimacy of mother-child relationships. Who was she?
  10. How many artists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Answers in next week’s column. Have fun.

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