Wednesday, February 1, 2017

trees on the hill ain't talking

        trees on the hill having nothing to say
                                  ---Nick Drake


       On a Thursday I went walking out... walking is shedding the recent present moment while in response to what is seen... a bringing back to life that something, that someone, that moment, in the garden between Second and First Avenue...

      ---five--- along First Street to HOWL HAPPENING  where they had AMPLIFIED SPACE  an installation by Jonnny Detiger.  You could sit in a series of plastic cubicles on a pillow covered cube and listen to versions of disco music.  Howl in a space that tries to capture the ephemeral aspects of the present and the recent past and more ephemeral the better...  the one word that is always avoided: why?...  There are usually nicely printed catalogues that sell for $20+ dollars and written in a language defying criticism or understanding.

And then.


           SPERONE WESTWATER on the Bowery.  I have been going to this gallery since the 80s when they were in SOHO.  Their building is a very functional modern building and the space is made up of three floors.  I often think it is the best gallery in NYC, the most sensual, the most...  and today paintings by KATHERINE BRADFORD  (the photographs do no real justice to her work because  long ago as a result of reading THE ART OF ARTS by Anita Albus who definitively for me anyway showed that any work of art had to be seen for one's self and not to rely on reproductions, no matter the quality. And I was glad to have never taken a art history class with those awful slide shows I had heard about.  There was a reason people went on tours of the grand places in Europe: to see for the self...)

and a second painting

and a third painting

         A certain mystery and a depiction of powerlessness, stasis, a hoping... the unwell in great baths... each isolated within his or her own pain.

        Or not...I guess we are to talk of paint, color,...

----five five---

          And one continues to walk south of the men's shelter... the frantic remodeling....  after saying goodbye to W.H. Auden... which recalls and I even discovered that I have been quoted:

       Which was a story I wrote about being at the moment W.H. Auden left NYC... that aftermath took place in a loft opposite the shelter...the woman... a go-go dancer of... a model... living with a dealer and another... years later I ran into this woman who had survived in some fashion...

      ---five five---  Of shoes designed by art students in Israel in the form of a pop-up display of shoes right down from a show of outsider art...complete with a pleasant friendly talkative hostess  who tolerates me going on about shoes in TRASH...the memorable scene of Holly Woodlawn resisting the welfare worker's demand for the shoes she is wearing and I am even talking about my Daughter in the musical Guys and Dolls because there is a shoe dedicated to Lady Gaga, and I am saying my daughter was in the play with the then girl who would become Lady Gaga... of course the photographs were only focused on the daughter rather than on the other girl who was going to be...though Elizabeth is now in this gallery and 

One of the displays saying more than the artist could possibly imagine or am I mistaken



         In another gallery 11R on Christie Street  the truly useless and vulgar and am surprised by my thinking this... a horse peeing by TM DAVY... to what purpose, what wall to bear such a work... the cock lake of Joyce opening..

                        ---five five five---

          Near the end of the walk and the finding myself back again living up MiLady's on the corner of Thompson and Prince in a tiny three room  apartment to which ruth and I moved from the Earle Hotel, back then when the woman who had the apartment was moving to a better one, a garden one at that, for less than what we would be paying $160 a month... and the working as a messenger for Maple Vail and also at New Morning Bookstore on Spring Street... 

....but the reason for being back then was looking at the work of Boris Lurie  that is on display t Westwood Gallery on the Bowery

          I should have taken other pictures of his work as he was doing something that must have caught my eye:  great collages using photographs from  men's magazines and combining them with news clippings... Lurie was a survivor of the Nazi murder camps, lived as bohemian anti-artist in NYC while slowly and very quietly acquiing a vast fortune in penny stocks and slum properties so that his estate is now keeping his work alive... that impulse embedded in the great dadaists of another time... but my own homage I still have and took a picture of part of it...and this hung on the wall of the apartment above MiLady's.  You can see Brezhnev makes an appearance as does Joan Crawford  and Catapult 70 was a construction on the top of the tall building on the southwest corner of Houston and Broadway...I don't remember the name of the guy..but you climbed up this ladder and then further as if to be thrown into space


     A review of a book that still remains of interest.

A CONSEQUENCE:  My article in the Village Voice on W.H. Auden followed by another one A SON'S FATHER'S DAY allowed me to believe the delusion that I was a published writer and did not need a second Master's degree, in this case from I didn't bother to type up the pages I had written in the two years I was at Columbia..though being at Columbia I was given among others friends and acquaintances such as Hannah Green, John Wesley, William O'Rourke, Anthony Burgess, Nicanor Parra, Julio Marzan, David Black, Jakov Lind, Nelida Pinon, David Huddle, Richard M. Elman,  Al Levine, Marcia Cebulska, T.E.D. Klein...