The DART Board: 09.14.2021

By Peggy Roalf   Tuesday September 14, 2021


The harvest season is on, with examples of the bounty of our planting fields on view at the New York Botanical Garden. The annual Giant Pumpkin display will seem more at home than ever, with Yayoi Kusama’s sculptural ode to its seedy cousins currently on view. Showcasing the artist’s lifelong fascination with the natural world, KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature is installed across the Botanical Garden’s landscape, in and around the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, and in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building.  Above: Dancing Pumpkin, 2020. © Yayoi Kusama. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro, and David Zwirner. Photo by Robert Benson Photography


NYBG’s annual displays of varieties of pumpkins and gourds will be featured on the Haupt Conservatory Plaza and at the Mertz Library Building this year—each location a gateway to Kusama works within those venues—from September 18 through October 31. Info Above: a one-ton pumpkin grown at NYBG in 2020


NY Artists Circle presents Full Tilt Boogie Woogie online tonight at 7 pm.
From curator Ann Aptaker, “Artists are restless people, adventurers in the riskier reaches of emotional and intellectual experience. Now, after more than a year of confinement and isolation imposed by the Covid pandemic, of days that seemed an endless repetition of sameness both tedious and deadly, restlessness is once again unleashed….Right: Karin Bruckner, Leaving it All Behind; painting on monotype with Chine-collé

“Though at this writing the threat of the Covid-19 virus is not completely behind us, New York and much of the United States is emerging from its worst ravages. The creation of effective vaccines in record time—itself a testament to the restless and adventuresome spirit of science—is allowing social interaction to revive, and with it creative energy”. CLICK HERE TO JOIN ZOOM EVENT Meeting ID: 876 4113 5901   Passcode: NYAC    



The headline and deck in a recent New York Times online article reads, “Hands Off the Library’s Picture Collection: Cornell, Spiegelman and Warhol browsed the famous collection of images in the New York Public Library. Now a century of serendipitous discovery will come to an end if the collection is closed off to the public.” The library administration has decided that the collection will be archived off-site, and available only by specific item request. Below: Jessica Cline, the current head of the Picture Collection; photo: Gus Powell [@dirtywhitebucks] for The New York Times

Friends of the NY Picture Collection are staging a rally on Tuesday, September 21, from 10am to noon on the steps of the main branch at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.  Headed by artists Kelly Doe and Steve Brodner, the Friends will have posters to hand out, or you can make and bring your own.  

In an email yesterday, Steve wrote, “The New York Public Library Picture Collection is a hidden crown jewel of New York. It has helped generations of artists do better work. It has also helped them develop better ideas! There is no way one may find this kind of cultural information and visual knowledge anywhere else. It must be preserved and made more accessible, not less. See you at the rally!”

Carol Fabricatore said, in response to the news, “I have very fond memories of going to the New York Public Library Picture Collection as a young illustrator. I could always find the most obscure, interesting photos on any subject….I always encourage my students to use this collection, not only for the experience, but to see the vast holdings and depth of subject matter…. Without access to the New York Public Library Picture Collection, students and professionals will have to work even harder to find unusual image reference materials.” —Carol Fabricatore @cfabricator For more info, see this feature in DART

If you can’t get to the rally, here are three simple things you can do:
1. Sign the petition to keep the Picture Collection at NYPL accessible to all, here.
2. Write a letter to Tony Marx, president of the NYPL, saying the same. email:
3. Or maybe better, send a physical letter to:
Tony Marx
476 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10018


More from NYPL: Join the Library online tonight at 7pm to kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations with a lineup of Latina writers who have recently published new novels. Carolina De Robertis, Naima Coster, Patricia Engel, Daisy Hernández, Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Angie Cruz will gather for an evening of conversation to discuss their work and the power of writing your own story. Tonight’s event features Carolina De Robertis (The President and the Frog); Naima Coster (What's Mine and Yours); Patricia Engel (Infinite Country); Daisy Hernández (The Kissing Bug); Quiara Alegría Hudes (My Broken Language); in conversation with Angie Cruz (Dominican)a.

Presented by LIVE from NYPL. Register here




Opening on Thursday, September 16, 7:30 pm at The Czech Center, Peter Sís—The Wall will showcase a series of original illustrations from his book and a documentary installation featuring drawings, photographs, and objects made by Sís, as well as objects and ephemera from the period of 1950s-1980s. 

“Peter Sís’s book is most of all about the will to live one’s life in freedom and should be required reading for all those who take their freedom for granted.” —Václav Havel, former president of the Czech Republic

Presented on replicas of red street noticeboards, which were used for propaganda of the communist regime, the installation creates a powerful account of the artist’s experience in Cold War-era Prague. The exhibition is organized by the Czech Center New York and produced by the Labyrint Publishing House in collaboration with the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art and Czech Centres.
Peter Sís—The Wall, at The Czech Center New York, 321 East 73rd Street, NY, NY Info 



Pictoplasma, the world’s leading platform for contemporary character design and art, just held its first in-person conference since COVID-19, in Berlin. Now the conference moves online, September 17-18 for everyone. Below: Interactive Media Installation at Pictoplasma Berlin 2019

This global project pushes forward interdisciplinary discussion, development and promotion of a new breed of visual vocabulary—from illustration to animation, game to interactive design, urban to graphic arts. 

Founded in 1999 by Peter Thaler and Lars Denicke to investigate possibilities and limitations of current character representation, Pictoplasma formerly held a second conference in New York, at Parsons School of Design | The New School. Until conditions permit a return of this live conference, you can delve into the spirit of this enterprise with the new Pictoplasma magazine. For more info, go here



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