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Things I've Seen Lately

At the turn of the last century, Louis Vuitton began his career with a novel idea, a steamer trunk for the fashionable and wealthy who were traveling the world on shiny new gilded steam ships. Vuitton covered his hand-crafted luggage with a weather-resistant wax canvas, and into the wax he embossed his signature emblem. Thus began a fashion empire and the beginning of the signature brand.

The architect Frank Gehry has created his own signature brand of building design which made him the perfect choice to design a home or, more precisely, land ship, to hold the historical collection of Louis Vuitton designs at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, in the Bois de Boulogne, in Paris.

Unfortunately for me I visited on the first day the center was opened to the public, and the line to enter was cued around the building. Nonetheless it was a beautiful fall day, perfect for strolling around the impressive, billowing sculpture. Clearly this new addition to the Paris cultural scene will be a destination point with many music, art, and performance programs going on.

Back in New York there has been an interesting phenomenon happening, the gallery as museum. Some of the best curated exhibits can now be seen in blue-chip galleries. Gagosian Gallery's West 21st Street location has a fascinating exhibit, Picasso and the Camera. Curated by Picasso scholar John Richardson, it's a pretty concise look at the influence the camera had on Picasso's work and being Picasso, his imprint on the camera. Lots of photos, some paintings I've never seen, from private collections and many drawings and preparatory sketches. The show is up through January 3rd.

On West 27th, Paul Kasmin, in partnership with the Dedalus Foundation, has a survey of Robert Motherwell works on paper. Again it is a museum-quality survey that explores Motherwell's role in blending European Surrealism with the work of the Abstract Expressionists in New York. A whole gallery of drippy, washy, splashy genius, including forty works from his Lyric Suite, an ode to Japanese Zen calligraphy.

The painter Sharon Horvath traveled to India this past year on a Fulbright-Nehru Scholarship. She was already a painter of dazzling scapes and imaginative environments, and her travels have added an interstellar dimension that she didn't previously have. I think she may have found her water-lilies. Horvath's work is up until the 8th at Lori Bookstein.

An exhibit that has created a bit of buzz and discussion was David Hockney's recent show of large inkjet prints of his iPad drawings, titled The Arrival of Spring, at Pace Gallery. Hockney has been an avid iPad user from the start. The program seems perfect for his matter-of-fact style. Spring rain in the Yorkshire countryside never looked better.

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