Thursday, September 10, 2015

THE ARMED MAN: A Mass for Peace, FREE Concert 9/24

The pomp and circumstance of events paying tribute to Pope Francis’ visit to New York brings “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” by Karl Jenkins as a timely opportunity to celebrate not only the humble Pope but also to celebrate a Mass for Peace.  “It is an inter-religious and cultural melting pot, and there is no better way to celebrate Pope Francis’ visit to our great city,” said Richard Owen, music director of Camerata New York.
          Camerata New York, under the baton of Maestro Owen, and the Amor Arts chorus will perform the rarely heard evocative work in New York, on Thursday, September 24 at 8 pm at a FREE concert, open to the public, at St. Jean Baptiste Church (Lexington Avenue at 76th Street). Reservations are requested. For more information, call 212.874-3990.
Amor Artis Chorus
“It is  a tremendous privilege for Camerata New York, in collaboration with the Amor Artis Chorus, to be performing this seldom heard work,” said Owen. The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace is a multi dimensional performance, based on the famous 15th century French folksong, “L’homme arme, a multi-religious work. The performance, accompanied by a video slide-show, is composed of traditional mass movements and Old-Testament Psalm settings, a Muslim call to prayer, and poetry by noted 19th century poets. In a world of turmoil and grief the work affirms that change is possible, and proposes that in the new millennium, in the words of Tennyson, we “Ring out the thousand wars of old, Ring in the thousand years of peace.”
          This epic event is a powerful reminder Owen said. “It is a tremendous privilege for Camerata New York, in collaboration with the Amor Artis Chorus. “What makes the piece so special is that it is inspired by the Mass, the Islamic call to prayer, and the Mahabharata, as well as Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Sankichi Toge, who survived the Hiroshima bombing.”
St. Jean Baptiste Church
What is Camerata New York? Now celebrating fourteen successful seasons in New York, the orchestra is made up of the finest young musicians in this great city. The orchestra has performed in major concert venues and hailed by critics for its “lustrous tone-quality with collaborations with some of the finest artists of the day including Alvin Ailey, cellist Nathaniel Rosen, soprano Aprile Millo and film star Alec Baldwin. For more information visit
          It would be remiss not to mention something about conductor Richard Owen. His celebrity is prolific and in addition to being the music director of Camerata New York Orchesta he is principal conductor with the Adelphi Orchestra and music director Saints John and Paul church in Larchmont, New York.
          Just to give equal billing to Amor Artis let it be said that for more than fifty years, it is one of New York’s beloved institutions. Its chorus and orchestra gained renowned as a pioneer of the early music revival in the U.S. Under its founder, Johannes Somary, it issued the first recordings ever of Handel’s oratorios, Theodora and Jephtha, and after 9/11, Amor Artis was there, making music with renowned musicians from around the world. For more information visit
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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

MODERN SUMMER: ABEX+: Review by Polly Guerin

Paul Jenkins' Phenomena Cry of the Peacock
One of my cultural finds this summer is the Jenn Singer Gallery, a boutique bijoux of a small space, masterminded by the petite gallery owner Jenn Singer. The gallery may be modest but it offers art on a grand scale---works on canvas and paper by some of today's most Influential Abstract Expressionists--hand picked from an important private collection in New York City. The gallery is located in New York City's historic Gramercy Park neighborhood, 72 Irving Place. The ongoing current exhibit opened in July and runs through August 28, 2015.
    Bright raw colors, rough edges and spontaneity define the paintings on view by established artists including Paul Jenkins, Syd Solomon, Robert Natkin and Stanley William Hayter. These artists are seasoned poets of the brush---with a focus on pieces from the 1970s and 80s, by postwar modern artists working at the height of their careers. All of the artists represented at the Jenn Singer Gallery have enjoyed prominent exhibition histories and their works are held in the permanent collections of top institutions including MoMA, the Guggenheim, The Whitney and the Tate.
     Paul Jenkins had a personal relationship with color and its purity, and was recognized as one of the leaders of the American Abstract Expressionist movement. Jenkins was known as a pioneer in uniting the concepts of color-field painting and action painting. His strong abstracts soar to heights of inspiration and resonate with hidden messages. Defined by the viewer Phenomena, for example, provides endless wonderment..Jenkins once proclaimed, "I paint what God is to me." In his paintings Jenkins flows, pulls, and pushes "pure color" to create almost celestial imagery on his paper and canvases. Two of his watercolors and oil on canvas are on view. Pictured here: Phenomena Cry of the Peacock, 1972. Watercolor on paper.
"Untitled"by Robert Natkin
      In an "Untitled" painting by Robert Natkin, a work from his Field Mouse series ca. 1970--- the mood is lightened and yet its compelling interaction of textures, patterns and space.grips our senses to look deeper into depths of its meaning,  and revel in the seemingly never ending tranquility of merging soft colors and shapes. Pictured here: Untitled oil on canvas.
    The series was inspired by an Ezra Pound translation of a Chinese poem, (below) which Natkin referred to as a "sweeping landscape of emotion.
And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life goes by
Like a field mouse,
Running through the grass not touching.
     Natkin once said, "I want the eye of the viewer never to tire, never to cease."
Syd Solomon;s Baytop, 1980
     Syd Solomon's direction cast his creativity to the sea, earth and sky as inspiration for his often-explosive action paintings. Soloman gained notoriety in the 1960s, and pictured here is Baytop, oil and acrylic on canvas 1980.
      It is interest to note that another artist represented here, Stanley William Hayter's roots in printmaking and Surrealism were a formative influence on Pollock and other abstract expressionists via his printmaking studio, Atelier 17, where he taught Pollock and other well know artists including Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz and Alberto Giacometti. In his work on canvas "Curtain," the artist plays with his love of color, abstraction and the fascination with waves.
   For additional images, information contact the gallery: Summer hours: Monday-Friday: 11am-6pm. Saturday by appointment only. T. 917.722.6119.
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