Cities & artists...

13:16

The city of New York seems to have taken part in the suicide of many of the artists of the Abstract Expressionist movement, which made of Manhattan the capital of modernism during que first half of the 20th century. Those artists were born in the first decade of the past century and, most of them, in Europe. They all felt persecuted, carried tormented lived and died tragically. The Armenian Arshile Gorky, who was born in 1904 and then became American, committed suicide in 1948. Jackson Pollock died in 1956, in a car accident, though it is believed it could also have been a suicide, since que was driving completely drunk. Another suspicious car accident involved sculptor Davis Smith in 1965. Finally, Mark Rothko, who belonged to that same generation, seemed to have achieved it all, but he suffered a deep depression and an addiction to alcohol. He took his life one morning in 1970. Around that time, his formerly vibrant paintings have shifted to darker hues. Was the city to blame? It's impossible to know. However, it's sad that in such a populated place, no one was there to help them, robbing us from their enormous talents.
Light red over dark red, by Mark Rothko (1955-1957)
Technique: oil on canvas / Measures: 208 x 109 cm
Documentalist John Maloof bought, at an auction in 2007, a series of negatives which have belonged to a nanny in Chicago. He was up for a big surprise when, after developing them, he discovered street photos similar to those by Diana Arbus and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Vivian Maier (USA, 1926-2009), the nanny turned photography-aficionado, shot with her cámara more than 100.000 photos of local residents and the city itself, achieving an impeccable archive of the cities of Chicago and New York throughout 50 years. Better still, Vivian also documented, in film and tape, the world that surrounded her, thus providing a fascinating window to United States daily life by the mid 20th century.
Untitled, by Vivian Maier (1954)
Technique: black & white photography - New York
In Paris' recent Fashion Week, Dries Van Noten presented his collection transforming the runway into a long picnic field. The overall atmosphere resembled that of John Everett Millais' Ophelia. The entire runway was covered by a carpet done by Argentine artist Alexandra Kehayoglou, who also designed the carpet for MNBA's auditorium.

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Liliana Wrobel


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Carla Mitrani

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