The Biddington's Bentley Takes to the Road

New York City Winter 2007 Update
Manhattan Art Events & Museum Exhibitions

Editor's Note: See archived Jake Biddington's NYC articles below for more art museum, entertainment and dining information.

Otto Dix portrait of Anita Berber

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Glitter and Doom--German Portraits from the 1920's
Through Feb. 19, 2007

The five fabulous and daring Otto Dix (1891-1969) drawings at the beginning of the show are nearly sufficient. When combined with the Max Beckmann's (1884-1950), the George Grosz's (1893-1959) and the dozens more Dix's, the viewer grows queasey with the scent of clammy spent bodies, cheap perfume and stale tobacco smoke. In this exhibition organized by Sabine Rewald, Weimar Germany comes to life as a decadent, brutal and opportunistic world where neither "great" men nor grandmothers merit compassion and where artists flip-flop easily between modernist and Old Master representational styles--depending on how much they despise their sitter. Were its images less technically and emotionally brilliant, this exhibition would be disgusting. If you miss the show, at least buy the catalogue: it's the one with the woman sporting an attractive cigarette burn on her shoulder.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
81st Street and 5th Avenue, New York City

Bonevardi book

Argentine Consulate: Bonevardi
Through Feb. 28, 2007

With its high ceilings and period moldings, the consular building on 56th Street lends a suitably Argentinean backdrop to the sculpture and drawings of Marcelo Bonevardi (1929-1994). Well-made and intellectually engaging, Marcelo Bonevardi's sculptures have the appearance of earth-toned cubist paintings realized in 3-dimensions. In his black and white drawings, Bonevardi explores a more spiritual territory: Joining rigid, hardware-like forms with pliable, worm-like ones, Bonevardi creates an intricate, entirely imaginative, world of symbols and stories. The result is poignant; it enters the place where visual art expresses what words only begin to suggest.

Curated by cultural affairs consul Luis Pablo Beltramino, the handsomely mounted exhibition is presented in concert with the publication of the monograph "Marcelo Bonevardi: Chasing Shadows--Constructing Art" compiled by architect John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi, the artist's son.

Consulate General of Argentina, 12 West 56th Street, New York City
Exhibition Open to the Public through February 28, Monday-Friday 11 to 5 PM

Salander O'Reilly: Graham Nickson--Watercolors
Through March 7, 2007

In this gallery exhibition, dean of the New York Studio School and painter Graham Nickson has traded his heroic-scale paintings and drawings of bathers for the less time-consuming, more transportable medium of watercolors. These vivid landscapes and sunsets were produced recently in Tahiti and Todii (Italy). One normally thinks of Nickson constructing his works with line, but these pieces show that he can compose effectively with color alone.

Salander O'Reilly
22 East 71st Street, New York City

Goya Portrait

Guggenheim Museum: Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso--Time, Truth and History
Through March 28, 2007

In concept and execution, this fine Spanish painting show functions marvelously. The exhibition is organized by genres including: still life "bodegones", male portraits, female portraits, mother & child paintings and crucifixions. Since the show explores type and time, we have the pleasure of seeing a Cubist work (1916) by Juan Gris hanging next to a still life (1602) by Juan Sánchez Cotán, and a Picasso portrait (1937) next to a Goya (1816). The flowing, yet punctuated, hanging space of the Guggenheim snail is perfect for focusing attention on these specific side-by-side comparisons. Curators Carmen Giménez and Francisco Calvo Serraller nail their visual point: Modernist movements like Cubism and Surrealism have such strong links to their antecedents in Spanish painting as to be almost the logical consequences of the earlier works.

Since many paintings included in the exhibition are drawn from remote sources, these works are not the Spanish pieces we know in person and by heart. One could quibble and say that Picasso is overused in the show; in fact, two of his pieces appearing here are not good paintings. At the other end of the quality spectrum, so sublime is the range and beauty of the works by Goya, that it confirms, once again, his standing among the best painters in the world.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Fifth Avenue at 89th Street

MOMA: Armando Reverón
Through April 16, 2007

Evidence to the fashion for all things Latin American is the retrospective of Venezualan artist Armando Reverón (1889-1954) at the Museum of Modern Art. This Venezuelan master depicted a world bathed in the blinding equatorial light whose power deprives objects of their color and leaves ghosts in place of solid forms. Reverón's main body of work consists of ethereal figurative paintings--some so faint as to recall the images of death shrouds. (Forming and dissolving with light, Armando Reverón's painterly vision finds more recent echos in the sensitive works of Argentine artist Miguel Diomede (1902-1974) and in those of contemporary Taiwan-born painter Vivian Tsao.) The illusive quality in Armando Reverón paintings is emphasized by the rough burlap on which the painter often worked. Such poor materials don't harm our enjoyment of Armando Reverón's vision, but they do testify to the difficult circumstances of his life.

Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street

More Art & Culture Destinations with Jake Biddington:
Tigre & the Paraná Delta, Argentina
Touring Montevideo, Uruguay
Tucumán, Salta & Cafayate, Argentina--Anthropology & Art
San Antonio de Areco, Argentina--Daytrip from Buenos Aires
Geography, Politics & Art Santiago & Valparaiso, Chile
Art Tourism New Haven, Connecticut
Art Tourism New York City 2006: Museum Shows
Art Tourism New York City 2005: Christo's Gates
Art Museums, Neighborhoods & Dining in Buenos Aires
Art and Touring along Italy's Amalfi Coast
Art Museums & Restaurants in Amsterdam
Cultural Touring along Spain's Costa del Sol
Art Touring in Lisbon
Art Touring in Milan
Art Touring in Antwerp
Art Touring in Barcelona
I-80 Park City to New York City Art & Antiques
Art Tourism New York City 2003 (Archive)
Art Tourism New York City 2002 (Archive)
Art & Wine in the Finger Lakes of New York State
Art & Antiques in Hudson, New York (Columbia County)
Art & Restaurants in Rome 2002 Update
Hartford & Wilton, Connecticut
San Francisco Jackson Square
New Hampshire Route 1A
Morris County, New Jersey

Jake Biddington's 2005 Art Collecting Series:
Art Appraisals and Valuations
Investment Grade Contemporary Art

Jake Biddington Art Investing (Archives):
PPP Test: Judging Quality in Contemporary Art
Art, Time and Technology
American vs. European Paintings
Jake Biddington's Art as Entertainment
Jake Biddington's Vetted Antiques & Art Shows
Jake Biddington's Patent Numbers as a Dating Tool
Jake Biddington's Hard Assets as Portfolio Diversification
Jake Biddington's Buying Fine Jewelry at Auction
Jake Biddington's Long Term Investing
Jake Biddington's Short-Term Investing
Jake Biddington's The Craft of Art


Here at BIDDINGTON'S, our work is also our play. When we're not exhibiting and discussing art & antiques online, we're learning about wonderful artworks in galleries, at great shows and in museums all over the world. In these articles, Jake Biddington offers suggestions and descriptions of interesting art tourism destinations. Some of these venues are always in open; others revolve around special or seasonal events. These are art travel excursions we at BIDDINGTON'S--online contemporary art gallery and art information site--have enjoyed making. We hope you'll like them, too.

Contact Jake Biddington about His Travels

COPYRIGHT: Images and information within are Copyright Biddington's, Inc.--except where preceded by individual copyrights of the artists.
Downloading or printing for online or print reproduction of any materials without specific written permission from Biddington's, Inc. is prohibited.

PEDIGREE & PROVENANCE--art words & terms defined. CREATIVE PROCESS--artists' studio visits.
JAKE BIDDINGTON'S INVESTING--financial advice on art & antiques collecting. MY ART--art for kids.