Newsletter #29

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NEWSLETTER November - December 2013 1


NEWSLETTER #29 Contents





Director Al Orensanz

In the Steps of Gargallo: Figurative Monuments in Metal Plates .................................6

Graphic Design Yuliya Novosad

ARTSCAPE Magazine Now Available!...........................................................................12

Articles Al Orensanz Zoe V. Speas

Musicians. We. LOVE. Katy Gunn & Fred Baker – New York Music..............................16 Art News: Miami Art and Design (MA+D) 2014............................................................22 3

Museum. Events. Art Gallery. 172 Norfolk Street, New York NY 10002 Tel. (212) 529-7194 4

Monumento a la Jacetania. テ]gel Orensanz. Monumental sculpture. 1969. Artwork by Angel Orensanz 6

In the Steps of Gargallo: Figurative Monuments in Metal Plates By Jesus Pedro Lorente

Abstract or figurative? This was the disjunction which all the artists of the time were faced with, and even though pictorial modernity in Spain had for some time already been inclined to informalism, Orensanz followed the cautious steps of his admired Pablo Gargallo and Julio González, or those of so many other more recent sculptors that also vacillated between both options.

remained confined to a tall poured-cement podium. This serves simultaneously as a backdrop for the ground level statue of a well-built singer of jotas, and as a podium on which are raised those of a pair of young dancers: they are once again hieratic figures —something striking in the representation of joteros, even though the dance of Albalete is known for its grace.

This was especially true if they aspired to dedicate themselves to monumental sculpture, since this type of commission is almost always given by the authorities, who in the Spain of that time were not as open and modern as some more advanced private or corporate patrons. It is thus not at all surprising that it was for a private collector, owner of a sculpture park in Bellaterra (Barcelona), that the first totally abstract exempt monument erected by our artist emerged in 1969: a menhir of 7 meters in high which he executed in two blocks of stone, worked by direct carving into grooves and irregularities, which this time were not reserved only to the upper parts, but also extended throughout the lower parts.

They are formed of geometric planes, like those of the Saragossan monuments to the Mother and to Tío Jorge; but this time Orensanz uses for the first time cut and welded steel plates, marking out planes and hollows in a style derivative of the cubism which was so widespread in the Spain of the transition and the start of democracy, one of whose most tenacious exponents would be the Aragonese José Gonzalvo. This said, the model for this solemn mastery in the evocation of volume based on plates and striking hollows was none other than Pablo Gargallo, Aragonese sculptor well known to Orensanz, since he had dedicated to Gargallo, Jean Arp and Henry Moore his graduation essay from the Escuela Superior de San Jorge. We can say that Gargallos’s splendid Gran Profeta (Great Prophet) has as adopted sons two colossi of imposing beards and manes made by our artist for the cities of Jaca and Monzón.

In contrast, on September 25, 1970, feast day of the patron saint of the village, he inaugurated in Albalate del Arzobispo (Teruel) his Monumento a la Jota (Monument to the Jota), in which for a change the abstract geometries


The Monumento a la Jacetania (Monument to the Lands of Jaca), raised in 1969 in the square of Biscós in Jaca, is a gigantic titan 7 meters in height and more than two tons in weight, which represents in concrete and steel a pilgrim of the Road to Santiago. The figure’s facial xpression shares the limelight with a model of the cloister of the monastery of San Juan de la Peña carried in an offertory gesture with arms outstretched, also in steel. In the lower part, below an oculum of Romanesque reminiscences, the pillars that evoke his body have on each side of a split which represents the Aragon river crosssing the Jacetania in vertical alignment, four sculptural vignettes decorated with fired-enamel gold paint, in which are paid homage other typical elements

of the region. These include the Holy Grail of San Juan de la Peña, the Cathedral of Jaca, The Book of La Cadena and musical instruments—and also a modern industry as well as an skier (of which he also made a larger version, with welded iron plates, which has been in the exhibition Los Orensanz de Orensanz). His Monumento a Joaquín osta (Monument to Joaquín Costa) in his native city of Monzón is also colossal: in this case the homage to Gargallo’s largest and most well known sculpture is even more evident, since the celebrated deputy raises his arms like a prophet preaching. This imagery is not typical in any picture of Costa, but is very appropriate for the staging of the “Grito

Monumento a la Jacetania. Ángel Orensanz. Monumental sculpture. 1969. 8

del Agua”, when every September 14th social groups of all kinds gather before the monument in homage to the great apostle of regeneration and irrigation. His strange gesticulating figure in plates of enameled steel presides over the Avenue of Lérida from a podium of coffered concrete, before some pillars, also of concrete, which serve as a visual backdrop on the other side of the fountain. Once again then, a very stage-like composition in two parts, like in the monuments to Tío Jorge and the Jota, although the style here is already very different, much more abstract than figurative, since it is of much later date, for it was inaugurated by the local authorities on September 21, 1978, as is stated on the identifying plaque. This same plaque alludes to the financing of the work by CAMPZAR, a savings entity which a few years later would place works by Ángel Orensanz in front of their Saragossa headquarters.

Monumento a la Jacetania. Ángel Orensanz. Monumental sculpture. 1969.

“Monumento a Joaquín.” Costa Monzón, Huesca, Spain. Angel Orensanz. Sculpture. 1978.


Special Preview:

1986 to the Present: The Orensanz Years On one evening in February 1986, Angel Orensanz, having recently arrived from Atlanta, Georgia, took a stroll around the Lower East Side looking for a building where he could establish his studio. He walked from Delancey street, past the corner of Rivington and Norfolk streets, and up to Houston, finally stumbling upon the former Anshe Slonim synagogue on Norfolk Street. Grim, silent and abused, the building seemed to look grounded and frightened. Thomas McEvilley, an accomplished art critic and scholar, imagined the building sitting “like an ancient spirit with folded wings.” Orensanz moved up the steps and peeped through a crack in the cinderblocks covering the entrances. The sun was setting, casting a ray of light over the ark and the eastern wall of the temple. Support beams from the balconies were leaning into the main space, and the entire area was strewn with debris, broken glass, and decaying books. Orensanz still saw something wonderful in the space, and later set about locating the owner, a developer with numerous holdings in the neighborhood, who eventually sold him the building. Angel Orensanz had arrived in New York after doing sculpture projects in Atlanta, Boca Raton, Los Angeles, and other parts of the country. However, it wasn’t until after his return to Europe that he discovered the Lower East Side and was charmed by its European colors and flavor. Soon after purchasing the property on Norfolk street, he unsealed its doors and windows. He then had proper doors and windows installed to protect the space from pigeons and the wind and snow. Next he secured the floors and brought in electric light for the first time in years.

Coming Out Now! 11

ARTSCAPE magazine - in print and available for purchase at The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts. 12

ARTSCAPE Magazine Now Available! By Zoe V. Speas

It’s here! The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts proudly presents the latest issue of ARTSCAPE Magazine. Now available for print or online subscription, ARTSCAPE Magazine is LIVE and ready for you to download today.

ARTSCAPE Magazine reflects the cultural and artistic activities of the Angel Orensanz Foundation, a Manhattan-based organization for the arts and culture. Operating out of a beautiful, gothic-inspired building designed by Alexander Saeltzer in 1849, the Foundation seeks to reflect and maintain the artistic energy that pervades the New York City community. Our magazine serves as a conduit between the affairs of the Foundation and the network of producing artists and innovators throughout New York City. By presenting content that relates art to implications of society and global culture, ARTSCAPE provides up-to-date artsnews coverage in the universally accessible format of vivid imagery and engaging texts. The goal remains, as always, to spark conversation and foster connectivity in an ever-expanding and ever-changing city. This edition features a collection of all-new reports on the arts scene in New York City and beyond. ARTSCAPE Magazine Articles Include: • Sacred Space: Art in Non-Neutral Environments • Language, Mind and Memory • Building an Art Paradise • Origins: The Influence of Space and History on the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

ARTSCAPE Magazine website

Visit the Angel Orensanz Foundation homepage for more information about the Foundation and upcoming issues of ARTSCAPE Magazine and our NEWSLETTER. 13



Y SHOW 2014

Piers 92 & 94 March 6 - 9, 2014 New York City


Musicians. We. LOVE. Katy Gunn & Fred Baker – New York Music. By Zoe V. Speas

Musician. We. LOVE. Katy Gunn in performance. 16

The “We. LOVE.” series at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts is proud to present a new chapter - Musicians. We. LOVE. This week, we’re excited to introduce to you the talents and stylings of Katy Gunn and her brother Fred Baker. I’ve believed for a long time that musicality is an inherited trait as specific and definite as brown eyes vs. blue, or a crooked thumb vs. straight. Katy and Fred have the gene, it’s undeniable, and while they both trained from their youth as classical violinists, today they’re searching for the soul of the city in their respective songwriting and poetry-rap explorations in the world of New York music. I first encountered these musicians at a private concert hosted by the Lower East Side’s New York music venue - the Living Room – a gorgeously intimate “talent incubator” established in 1988 by Jennifer Gilson, who owns it with her husband, Steve Rosenthal. Katy Gunn was one of the last few performers to have a night at the Living Room before it closed its doors temporarily.

Fred Baker performing his unique style of what his sister refers to as “poetry-rap”

It was not Katy’s first time at the venue—she has performed there before with other musical groups— but the evening was made even more special by the invitation I received by two wonderful members of the team at NOoSphere Arts on East Houston Street in the Lower East Side. Founding Artistic Director Sol Kjøk and gallery manager Annemarta Mugaas are friends of Ms. Gunn’s and have adopted her as a musician-in-residence at NOoSphere, where the brother and sister team have performed frequently in the past, often in conjunction with performance art and dance pieces sponsored by the gallery. Before I first parted the curtains to the private backroom performance space where Katy and her brother were performing, I was expecting a fully stocked band complete with percussionist, strings, guitar, and backup vocals. When I stepped into the room and found only Katy and her brother and vocalist Thea Beemer, I was amazed. The trio created such fullness and variety of sound through Fred’s work on the sound pad and Katy’s ability

Katy Gunn and Fred Baker perform at NOoSphere Arts on E. Houston Street in the Lower East Side. 17

to sing and orchestrate her violin simultaneously as Thea harmonized seamlessly with her melodies. “The problem with my music,” said Katy of this complicated blending process, “is that there’s so much wacky instrumentation and orchestration—it’s a challenge to make it work live.” Through use of live sampling, Gunn’s multifaceted sound elicits the intimacy of a jazz/blues background, with an infectious pop/electronic dance beat. The lyrics she composes touch on a variety of issues, from religion and faith (“All the People”) to the obsessive and allconsuming nature of love (“Beautiful Things”)—they speak to the search of an artist trying to understand the world and New York music through louder questions, and more colorfully.

Musicians. We. LOVE. Katy Gunn, New York Music. 18

“The more we divorce ourselves from religion, if art doesn’t replace that idea of spirit, we’ll all be in trouble,” Gunn says. Learning about the process and resultant navigation of the New York music world can be an overwhelming experience, even sitting across from Katy Gunn and Fred Baker at a cozy Thai restaurant on the Lower East Side. Especially when she doesn’t seem to recognize it as such in the least. As I ask her about the process she undergoes to develop a new song or new lyric idea, and she begins to explain with difficulty, at times - I’m comforted to realize that it’s the same challenge, the same difficulty even that I face as a writer, grasping at wisps of an idea in the hopes of weaving it into something resembling a story.

Top image – From - Katy Gunn’s photoshoot in Brooklyn. Bottom image – Katy Gunn performs at the Living Room in New York’s Lower East Side with Fred Baker and vocalist, Thea Beemer. 19

Katy Gunn and Fred Baker, in performance. “It starts as an imprint,” says Gunn. “One I keep coming back to. I get a beat down, and then find lyrics that match with that rhythm. Sometimes I’ll wake up after sleep with ideas and I’ll try to go and find them again. When it’s something, I’ll listen to it and think, ‘I must have heard this somewhere before…’” I’m nodding and swallowing heaps of Pad Thai at this point. I think Katy notices my far-off expression and dismisses my confusion with a sweep of her hand. Then she says something to me and to Fred that I’ll remember forever. Especially his response. “Anyone can do it, if you put your mind to it,” Katy Gunn assures me. Fred looks up from his curried chicken and rice dish and lifts an eyebrow. “Not anybody,” he adds firmly, and she doesn’t argue. Just smiles. The truth of the matter is that Katy and Fred do what they do for the same reason that an artist creates, or a writer composes, or an actor takes the stage. “When I do it well, it’s the only thing that makes me happy,” says Gunn. 20

“I’m totally paranoid leading up to it, but if it goes well, I’m lost in this lovely place—there have been times I’ve performed when I find myself in a separate world, watching it all happen. There’s no self-identity. It’s a living meditation.” Listening to her music - and to the music of other upand-coming new singer/songwriters of the New York music scene - is to participate just as fully as performing it. You become aligned with the artists’ message, you’re rooting for them, like noble underdogs fighting for the survival of art in the face of an increasingly oppressive Gotham City. Follow Katy Gunn at her website for updates about performances, music downloads, and album releases! Zoe V. Speas is a writer and editor for the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts. Follower her on tumblr and twitter.



Art News:

Miami Art and Design (MA+D) 2014 By Zoe V. Speas

Art of Angel Orensanz to be presented at the upcoming Miami Art and Design 2014 (MA+D) Fair. MIAMI ART+DESIGN (MA+D) debuts President’s Day weekend, February 14-18, 2014 with an opening night preview February 13th benefiting the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum. The Fair takes place in a spectacular, new waterside pavilion “in the round” at downtown’s Bayfront Park surrounding the Noguchi fountain. The pavilion will feature a glass-walled restaurant overlooking Biscayne Bay and an outdoor beach bar. Organized by International Fine Art Expositions (IFAE) in collaboration with the French SNA (organizers of the Paris Biennale), it will feature prestigious international dealers presenting fine art and design of all periods as well as daily art talks and lectures. The new Miami Art and Design 2014 Fair (MA+D) will be held President’s Day weekend in downtown Miami organized by International Fine Art Expositions (IFAE) in collaboration with the French SNA, organizers of the Paris Biennale.

The location of Miami Art and Design 2014 (MA+D) this year will be the beautiful Bayfront Park in Miami.


Miami’s President’s Day weekend is Florida’s largest winter visitor destination. The fair is designed to serve the affluent Latin American, European, Russian, Canadian, and American collectors who visit and reside in Miami during winter high season. It is strategically located in the midst of the new Miami Arts District and adjoining Miami’s new 5-star hotels and world class restaurants including il Gabbiano, Zuma, DB Modern, Cipriani and Wolfgang’s. Angel Orensanz, in association with the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts and Fine Arts Museum, will present The Collective Unconscious, a series of dramatic new sculptures and paintings by the Spanish artist. Orensanz has been exhibiting internationally since the 1960s and has a permanent exhibit at the Orensanz Foundation, located inside the former “Norfolk Street Synagogue” in New York City’s Lower East Side.

BURNING BRONZES Burning Bronzes, a series of miniature-to-middle scale sculptures, speaks to the artist’s journey from Earth and Land Art into his current medium.

Miami Art and Design 2014 – MA+D – Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

“Working with the bronze and stoneware, according to Orensanz, “brings me into closer communion with the earth through my art.” The sculptures on display will represent a continuation of the artist’s study of the human form and its manipulation, while paying homage to a tradition of indigenous art from around the world.

From the Burning Bronzes episode of the Collective Unconscious series, which Angel Orensanz will present at the Art Palm Beach 2014 and Miami Art and Design fairs.


BODIES Bodies consists of an incredibly diverse sequence of drawings in charcoal, graphite, ink, and, occasionally, coffee grounds. Angel Orensanz explores human anatomy through a highly vibrant mix of line weight and texture. The figures he depicts contort and bend in an expression ranging from agony to ecstasy. Orensanz began his training in the 1950s at L’Ecole Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris with in-depth, literal study of the human body. Over the decades, his use of “body” and “form” has become an abstraction and a metaphor for the human condition and for the current project, Collective Unconscious, which will be included in the array of works and sculptures to be presented this year at MA+D in Miami Beach, Florida.

From the ‘Bodies’ series by Angel Orensanz – an exploration of the human figure continues this winter at Art Palm Beach 2014 and Miami Art and Design.


THE LANGUAGE OF FIRE Language of Fire bridges the worlds of painting, sculpture, and photography. Through his use of fire, plastics, and vivid color, Angel Orensanz illustrates the universal language of creativity, which defies boundaries of nationality and race. The artist employs a range of scale and perspective in these living photographs, verging almost into the realm of optical illusion. The images are often reflections and, being taken from the artist’s perspective, the shadow of Angel Orensanz’s figure may often be found within the complex layers of each portrait. Orensanz and hundreds of other artists and galleries in representation will attend Miami Art and Design this winter. The location for the fair in the heart of downtown Miami is home not only to Miami Art and Design, but the new Miami Art Museum and Frost Museum at Museum Park. Miami Art and Design 2014: Events and Information

• Opening night Vernissage to benefit the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum

• The fair, with convenient valet parking at Chopin Plaza, will be open on “Miami Time” - 2PM to 10PM daily

• Convenient to Brickell Avenue, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Key Biscayne and Miami Beach and the major 5-star hotels where visitors congregate during President’s Day weekend • Concurrent with and adjoining the Miami International Boat Show with 80,000 attendees. Miami Art and Design will have a major presence at the new NMMA SuperYacht Show adjoining the fair at Bicentennial Park. The shows will share promotional efforts and luxury water taxis. • The Fair features unique amenities such as an outdoor beach bar and scenic waterside dining. • Symposia, lectures and panels adjoining the fair.

Angel Orensanz presents the Language of Fire as part of the upcoming Collective Unconscious exhibit for Miami Art and Design.





VERNISSAGE February 13th, 2014 To benefit the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum PUBLIC FAIR DAYS February 14 - 18, 2014 2pm - 10pm (til 8pm on 18th) FAIR INFORMATION David Lester, Organizer 239 272 5851 LOCATION Bayfront Park Pavilion Miami, FL 33132 WEBSITE 27

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