Art Stroll

Art Stroll: A Revolutionary Impulse – MoMA

A couple weeks ago my friend Julie Fei -Fan Balzer was in town and we had an awesome day filled with good food, chats, laughter and of course…Art. We went to MoMA to see A Revolutionary Impulse – The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde – a title that couldn’t make it in it’s entirety into my blog title- LOL.

“During the early 1910’s under the tsarist autocracy (in Russia) that had ruled for three centuries, avant-garde artists sought to overthrow entrenched academic conventions by experimenting with complex ideas that would transform the course of modernist visual culture. In 1915 as World War I raged, an abstract mode of painting called Suprematism abandoned all concrete pictorial references….With the October Revolution of 1917, Lenin’s party took command. Avant-Garde artists put individual expression aside and developed a structured abstract language called Constructivism which they hoped could be embraced by the masses. Constructivists rejected easel painting in favor of practical objects like ceramics, posters and logos. …By the late 1920s, the government, now headed by Stalin, had placed restrictions on all aspects of life, including the arts, and was commissioning artists to produce propagandistic books, posters and magazines touting Soviet achievement….This exhibition spans the years 1912 to 1935…Conceived in response to changing socio-political and artistic conditions, these works probe the many ways and object can be revolutionary.” From MoMA’s wall text about the exhibition

Olga Rozanova, War, 1916 – Linoleum cut illustrations out of a a book with ten illustrations.

The imagery for those lino-cuts is influenced by the abstracted forms of Cubism and Futurism but also by traditional Russian motifs. I was intrigued by the very simplistic way she created figures with crosshatching and just some hints of form here and there which your eye completes yourself as a person or else.

Lyubov Popova, 1914, Subject from a Dyer’s Shop – Oil on Canvas.

Note that Lyubov is another woman …

Kazimir Malevich, Samovar, 1913, Oil on Canvas. “A year later Malevich was painting cubes and lines and circles and balancing them in ways that had no relation to anything but geometry and the will to make something new. Malevich called his art “Suprematist,” hoping that it would have supremacy over forms found in nature.”

Vasily Kandinsky, Improvisation, c. 1915 – Watercolor and pencil on paper

Various artist: Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, Nikolai Rogovin, Vladimir Tatlin -Mirskontsa (Worldbackwards)-1912

These books were made with wall paper and I really love the shapes  too.

Natalia Goncharova Spanish Dancer –(c. 1914) . Isn’t this beautiful?

And then things changed…



Jean Pougny, Suprematist Relief-Sculptures, 1920s – Painted wood, metal and cardboard, mounted on wood panel. I did love this one – I wish it wasn’t behind a glass

Lyubov Popova, Six Prints ca. 1917-19 – linoleum cuts with watercolor and gouache additions

A pioneer of the avant-garde, Popova developed a style in the late 1910s that combined floating forms inspired by Cubist collage and by Suprematism. She called this print series – there are four more- “painterly architectonics” . She wanted to depict layered shapes, so that they seem to be continually shifting and rotating.

Varvara Stepanova, Figure, 1921 – This is in MoMA’s permanent collection and I always loved this one. BTW …another woman :)

Aleksandr Rodchenko, Non-Objective-Painting 1919, Oil on Canvas


I love the crosshatching and the expanding lines.

Naum Gabo, Head of a Woman, 1917-20 – Celluloid and Metal

Nikolai Suetin – 1923

In 1917 the Bolsheviks seized control of the government and took over the State Porcelain Factory which used to manufacture porcelain for tsars in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg). Suetin a Suprematist artist was invited to make decorative designs for existing porcelain found in the factory. These ceramics, once meant for imperial tables, were now reimagined for the proletariat.

I would totally wanna have this set and use it – and I find it so interesting how the forms and shapes painted on canvas speak so much more to me on this tea set.

How cool is this pop-up parachute ? The reflection of it is also a bit funny – guess I made Julie a new outfit ;)

I enjoyed this exhibition. The most eye catching fact for me was just how many women were in this exhibition since modern women artists are very underrepresented at MoMA. I regret that the exhibition is coming to an end, as I feel there is so much about this that I didn’t quite grasp and I more or less just floated around in this exhibition with a semi knowledge of the political time the art was created in Russia and a lacking mind for the ideas behind Suprematism and Constructivism. But you know what…I will be ok …I was still inspired ;)

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke


    That tea set is great and Julie’s new outfit is interesting. Glad to see that you two had fun with art again!


Leave a comment

Art Stroll: Matisse and American Art at MAM

A couple weeks ago my friend Heather pinged me on a Sunday morning and said “Hey, I need to see art today – let’s go to a museum”. I had seen a news report on the exhibition “Matisse and American Art” at the Montclair Art Museum and since I use Matisse as an inspiration for my classes sometimes, I convinced her to go there with me. It was soooo worth it!

The exhibition strives to explore Henri Matisse’s influence on American Artists from 1905 to the present. The list of profilic artists inspired and influenced by his work is immense and the exhibition showed in an interesting way how some artists explored some of his work  for a while and some of them took it even further and let it immerse into their own style.

Andy Warhol – Woman in Blue (After Matisse), 1985, synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen inks on canvas.

This painting by Warhol was directly inspired by the Woman in Blue by Matisse from 1937 and even though it is pretty much copied from Matisse down to the colors red, yellow, blue, black, and white, you can see the flatness of the painting so typical for Warhols techniques and the hand holding the necklace says Warhol to me.

Morton Livingston Schamberg- Studio of a Girl, ca. 1912 – Oil on Canvas

Schamberg traveled extensively in Europe and he must have seen many Matisse paintings during his time there. The paining reminds of Matisse’s painting Painting of Madame Matisse. The Green Line.

Roy Lichtenstein – Bellagio Hotel Mural: Still Life with Reclining Nude (Study), 1997 cut -and pasted, painted and printed paper on board.

Roy Lichtenstein had a longtime interest in Matisse and Picasso and many references to their artwork can be seen in his work like the simplification of form or direct references of elements in Matisse’s paintings. In this painting parts of his studio, the open window, the patterns.

Judy Pfaff – Six of One-Melone, 1987 – Color Woodcut

In her installations, prints and sculpture, Pfaff translates Al Held and Henri Matisse’s theories of color into her own visual language. Pfaff says that Matisse gave her “courage” and has been ” the source of how to teach and how to see”.

On a little side note: Heather and I saw this woodcut different than in the image above. It was hung upside down from what you see here and we remember this so well because Heather actually had a very strong reaction of dislike to the artwork and we stood in front of it discussing why. When we later talked about the exhibition and this piece with our friends we opened the exhibition catalogue to discover that it was displayed as above, and further research had me find it is also displayed differently on the artist website as well as on the MAM instagram account (I used their image above) . Heather like different display in the catalogue also way better than how we actually saw it.  So this haunted me for days and finally I wrote MAM and asked if there is a reason for hanging it the other way (artist instruction that it can be hung any way) or if this was an overseen mistake by the technical staff who hung the artwork. And here is their answer:

“Thank you for writing to the Montclair Art Museum. We had been in conversation with the artist about this issue since the exhibition installation, and have just now heard back. The image used in the catalogue and online was provided by and checked by Crown Point Press; when unpacked the artist’s signature placement indicated that it instead by installed as you saw it. Judy Pfaff has now confirmed that the way the artwork is hung is correct, and you’ll find that all publicity and use of the image going forward will be corrected.”

And so apparently the way we saw it as below – is the right way (btw- it is now changed on the Artist website as well) :)

Now which way does speak more to you? I actually liked it the “wrong” way in the catalogue and instagram page better than the way it is hung and apparently now supposed to be hung. the shapes feel more organically and right – and the forms are more balanced for me in the top version. But hey ….who argues with the artist. But I thought this was interesting.


Mark Rothko, No. 44 (Two Darks in Red), 1955 – Oil on Canvas

Mark Rothko called Matisse “the greatest revolutionary in modern art”. Rothko studied Matisse’s The Red Studio (1911) after MoMA had acquired it in 1949. He went to the museum and every day for several months just to stand in front of the picture. While viewing the painting he said ” You became that color, you became totally saturated with it as if it were music” .

William Baziotes, Toy Animal – 1947 – Oil on Canvas.

Baziotes was so inspired by his visit to the Matisse retrospective at MoMA in 1931 that he resolved to move to New York to study art. Baziotes’ basic shapes and luminous color recall many of the plant and human forms that populate Matisse’s work.

Al Held – The Space between the Two – 1992 – print

Al Held studied and used Matisse’s ideas about color, form, structure and scale.

Denice Bizot, Urban Flora, 2014 – 1960s Chevrolet truck hood cut with plasma torch

Bizot’s organic shapes are reminscent of Matisse’s paper collage cut- outs of the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Doris rosenthal, Gran Terrazo, ca. 1920-1922 -Pastel on Paper

This painting shows Rosenthal embracing Matisse’s vibrant color and idyllic subject matter. Matisse often used windows as a vehicle for exploration into color, light and interior versus exterior space.

Janet Taylor Pickett, Indigo Bottle Dress – Charms and Inspirations – Acrylic, digital photograph, glass bottles with written messages and twine on shaped Arches Paper.

Picket’s creative conversation with Matisse spans her entire  career.

Janet Taylor Picket, Dressing in Context 2, 2015  – Collage of various papers, thread and acrylic on Arches paper with grommets.

Janet Taylor Pickett, Me & Matisse, 2003 -04 – Handmade book

In this book, Taylor Pickett’s aspirations to become an artist are combined with her travels abroad to France and her longing for home, which she characterizes as “a metaphor, an idea for finding my voice as an artist”.

As you might imagine the books made me swoon and I want to do something like this !

It was an amazing and inspiring exhibition. I loved seeing all the different ways how other artists were inspired- and still are inspired by Matisse . I came home from the exhibition totally recharged and explored different – Matisse-inspired- things in my studio for several days.  It made me yet again so aware of our differences and our connections – magical! I was also surprised what a wonderful Museum this is and what a huge amount of artwork from even more than the shown well known artists (couldn’t show all) like Stuart Davis, Milton Avery, Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, Hans Hoffman, Robert Motherwell and many more the museum was able to show for this exhibition. I for sure have this museum on my list and if you are in the New Jersey area- check out this exhibition which is still on view until June 18, 2017.

I hope you enjoyed this little Art Stroll and found some inspiration in it!

Comments (6)

  • Sue Clarke


    Indigo bottle dress is super cool and I would love to have it in my bedroom.
    As to Judy Pfaff’s – Six of One-Melone I do not like it hung the “correct” way…seems off to me.
    Funny how that works.
    I always enjoy strolling with you Nat.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      I loved that dress too, Sue …I actually also want the red little alcove in my bedroom :) I agree with you on Six of One Melone! Have a gorgeous weekend!


  • Jean Goza


    Always enjoy your Art Strolls. Invariably I find new artists that inspire me. And Matisse has always been a favorite of mine so I enjoyed seeing other artist’s inspiration from his work. Regarding your question on Judy Pfaff’s Six of One Melone piece, I definitely like the “upside down” version better. The balance of the “correct” version feels off to me. It feels as if the larger components of the piece want to “collapse” into the small red and yellow area at the bottom. As you said, you can’t argue with the artist. It’s always fascinating to me the different emotional responses people will have to a piece of art.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      thank you Jean! Yes- I agree on the composition and how it feels better the “wrong” way. I am also fascinated that people have different emotional responses to art – sometimes certain artists use symbols or subject matters that resonate differently depending if you have the same cultural background as the artist which I find very interesting to discover with friends when going into museums.


  • Bea


    Really interesting…thanks…


Leave a comment

Art Stroll: Francis Picabia at MoMA

Last month I went with some of my friends to the opening of Francis Picabia “Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction” at MoMA

Dances at the Spring II

I had seen a couple of Picabia’s paintings before and love them a lot but to be honest, I didn’t know much of him. My friend Adam, was totally excited because he is a huge Picabia fan and told us, he was waiting for this exhibition for a long time.

I was pleasantly surprised and loved loved loved the exhibition. Every single one of the rooms in the exhibition offered something different in style and was often challenging.

Francis Picabia, 1913, Udnie (Young American Girl, The Dance), oil on canvas

The exhibition covered Picabia’s entire career. He was born to wealth in 1879 and apparently all he did was painting…and partying. He had a lot of humor and was by many, including himself called a Prankster.

Arriving in the next room all the artwork became very industrial, mechanical and added different materials to the flat canvas. He was also a big part of the Dada-Movement.

Très rare tableau sur la terre (Very Rare Picture on the Earth) (1915) Oil and metallic paint on board, and silver and gold leaf on wood, including artist’s painted frame

Amorous Parade, Francis Picabia, 1917- Oil, gesso, metallic pigment, ink, gold leaf, pencil and crayon on board.

And then just as you got used to it …everything changes once again

and again

Animal Trainer, Francis Picabia

The above painting is seen as one of Picabia’s typical jokes and mocking fine craftsman ship. The hand of the figure shows prominently bridges – a typical sign of using stencils – and the dogs as well are created with the use of stencils. This was frowned upon on when he painted this – which was in 1923 and not as he also placed as a joke onto the canvas in 1937. Also check out what the yellow dog is doing in the background.

I loved his playful use of unusual materials in the next gallery -like matches and canvas wedges, brushes, coins. It’s been all done before – it is fun – it is humorous and amazing.

Flowerpot , Francis Picabia, 1924-25. Enamel paint, Ripolin paint-can lids, brushes, wooden stretcher wedges, string and quill toothpicks on canvas.

One gallery was dedicated to his Transparencies 1927 – 1930. I also loved all the different frames- a topic I have talked about in many other posts . They are probably still original because museums weren’t that interested in his artwork up and until the 50s – and so fortunately they did not get destroyed to go with the “museum style frames”

Working in his large new studio in Mougins, Picabia painted his Transparencies by alternating layers of paint with layers of resinous varnish. This process allowed him to lay linear motifs atop one another while keeping them distinct. These richly layered, multi referential compositions interweave an often dizzying array of con tour images drawn from such diverse sources s Renaissance painting, Catalan frescoes, and the popular culture of the day.



Picabia’s unorthodox application of unusual materials sometimes resulted in surfaces that could be interpreted as damaged or in need for restoration. In fact, these effects were often deliberately induced by him. In Portrait of a Woman- shown below, Picabia enhanced some of the bumps with dark paint, purposefully amplifying the paints’s already pronounced topography.

Portrait of a Woman, Francis Picabia, 1935-37 -Oil on Canvas

Isn’t that amazing? And then…it changes again

Spring, Francis Picabia, 1937-38/c.1943 . Oil on wood

And again

The Adoration of the Calf, Francis Picabia, 1941-42, oil on board.

Although Picabia was a resolutely apolitical artist, it is difficult not to read this painting and its cynical vision of the worship of false idols as an engagement with contemporary politics.

Symbol, Francis Picabia, 1950, Oil on canvas

“If you want to have clean ideas, change them as often as you change your shirts.” (Francis Picabia). Our life changes, in that I guess we are consistent and so was Francis Picabia in his art.

If you are in the area make sure to visit this exhibition before it closes in March. I will definitely be back to see it once more :) I hope you enjoyed this little Art Stroll.


Comments (2)

  • Linda Faber


    Thanks, again, Nathalie, for a great tour of an intriguing exhibit. I love his abstract pieces! This artist is new to me and I wish I could get up to NYC (oh but it’s too cold for me now) to see it. And….last year you introduced me to Anselm Kiefer….whose name has been popping up in so many places, and is now on exhibit in Miami! As a retired teacher myself, I love getting these inspirations and knowledge from you….and I know it must be a kick for you as well.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      thank you Linda, for joining me :) Ha- it is cold here right now …not my favorite thing about NYC ;) Ohhh I have to come to Miami for the Kiefer Show- he is one of my very very favorites!!! Have a gorgeous week, Nat


Leave a comment

Art Stroll: Museum of Pre Columbian Art in Santiago, Chile


While I was in Santiago de Chile I went to the Museum of Pre Columbian Art, which is dedicated to the study and display of pre-Columbian artworks and artifacts from Central and South America. I was surprised and happy how inspiring this visit was. It reminded me that things that were done thousands of years ago have inspired art, fabrics and patterns over and over again …


Cultura Chorrera 1800-300 AC. These bottles are very sophisticated and just amazing.  I will take the fish bottle – thank you :)


I loved all the details and different materials used by different cultures.


Cultura pre-mapuche ca. 1300-1500 DC. The first Spanish observers saw Mapuche chiefs holding beautiful stone pieces in the shape of axes as symbols of the power of the war leaders. Love how this simple hatch cross pattern makes such a beautiful piece.


San Augustin Culture 1-1500 AD – Anthropomorphic Stone Sculpture


such a gorgeous piece!


Figurines from ancient Ecuador. The production of clay figurines and small statues was a long pre-Columbian tradition that began 5thousand years ago on the coast of Ecuador.


500 AC- 200 AC – those three figurines were funky cool!


Musician, 500 AC – 500 DC – reminded me a little bit of Pinocchio


And a lot of the artwork reminded me of the home decor of the 60s and also of course artists like Picasso come to mind.



1-700 DC – not sure if it was a mask or what it was used


Bottle – 300-600DC – I love this so so much!!!!


This one was eerie and beautiful at the same time. It had no real information – not even for the time it was made.


Diaguita Ceramics – characteristic is the minimalistic design. I love this pattern.



This was the room with the Exhibition called Chile before Chile.


some headgear – the fabrics were just incredible and intricate – It was breath taking actually.


This is a Quipu also called talking knots. “Quipu were recording devices and for the Inca, the system aided in collecting data and keeping records, ranging from monitoring tax obligations, properly collecting census records, calendrical information, and military organization. The cords contained numeric and other values encoded by knots in a base ten positional system. A quipu could have only a few or up to 2,000 cords.


Isn’t this amazing?


More fabric- gorgeous colors.




These wooden statues were placed on top of tombs in ancient Mapuche cemeteries. They reflect the spirit of those buried there and are to intended to assist them in their journey o the afterlife. Chiefs and great warriors were sent to the East after death to roam among the volcanoes of Kalfumapu, the “blue land” . All others went to the West, to eat bitter potatoes beyond the sea. mhhh- you sure wanted to be a great warrior- doesn’t sound like a fun outlook to have to eat bitter potatoes for afterlife to me ;)

Hope you enjoyed this pretty different art stroll ! Have a wonderful day

Comments (4)

  • Sassy


    What fun! We visited Santiago two years ago and I took photos (not nearly as well done) as several of the items you did — great memories.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      How wonderful to hear you were there too – wasn’t it an amazing museum?! Have wonderful week!


  • Linda Faber


    Thanks for the gorgeous tour! What an inspiring exhibit! Those colors and designs. Loved it and guess you will add some stamps to your collection from those patterns. Yes?
    Thank you for posting your tour…I’m home recovering from a painful broken rib and have no energy to even create art…so this tour was uplifting for me. :)


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Linda, I am so sorry to hear you broke a rib, I hope you are feeling better soon!!! Glad you enjoyed the tour – and maybe ;) there will be some inspiration for future stamps or stencils. Have a wonderful week and sending you big healing hugs! Nat


Leave a comment

Art Stroll: Museo De La Solidaridad Salvador Allende, Santiago Chile


While in Santiago de Chile major strikes caused the public museums to be closed for most of my time there. But this fortunately lead me to go to this little gem of a museum a friend of my husband pointed out to me. The Museum of Solidarity for Salvador Allende. It wasn’t just the collection of the museum, it was the history of it, the history of the building, the street and the country that made it so special to learn about! Upon walking towards the museum which is located on a beautiful street with huge and beautiful villas I noticed many were abandoned and boarded up and only later in the museum did I learn the reason – but let’s start the stroll first.


“The Museum of Solidarity was first envisioned in 1971. Mario Pedroza, a Brazilian artist exiled in Chile, and a small group of visiting European cultural leaders approached President Allende with a proposal to ask contemporary international painters and sculptors to donate works for a museum of modern art in Santiago to show support for Allende’s newly elected government.”


By mid-1973, 268 artists from all over the world, including Joan Miro, David Siqueros and Alexander Calder, had contributed paintings or sculptures.


Manuel Espinosa, Blabakhlud, 1969, Oil on Canvas

“But with the military coup of Sept. 11, 1973, works that were on exhibit in the Presidential Palace and many others still crated on the docks simply disappeared. The works that remained, including a 25-by-100-foot painting by Frank Stella, were wrapped and stored for 17 years in the basement of the Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Chile. Even after the military coup in 1973, the works of art continued to arrive to the curators, now in political exile around Europe and the United States. Under the title of Museums of Resistance exhibitions of the donated artwork were held in cultural centers in Sweden, Spain and France, but eventually the works were all returned. At one point, four or five people were responsible for the care of 200 works. After the dictatorship of Pinochet ended, the artworks were restored, and re-collected and the museum finally opened in 2005. “


Joan Miro, without a title, 1972, oil on canvas


Kazuya Sakai, without a title, ca. 1970-1972


Alexander Calder, without title, 1972



Carol Law, No peace ’til I agree, 1972


Raul Martinez, Repeticiones de Marti, 1068



in the background: Bernard Rancillac, Tour de France, 1965

These artworks were displayed in a room title Pop Critic.


Hanns Karlewski, The Duckpond, 1975, paper mache.


Eduardo Terrazas, 1972


Myra Landau, Ritmo No7, 1970



Helen Escoedo, Rincon para jazz, 1968



Octavio Bajonero, Chalchiutif

Before I left the museum which was set up in Spanish, I talked to the receptionists to find out more about the neighborhood and the museum itself. I was just baffled that many of the buildings next to the museum were boarded up – an area which in other cities, would count as main prime estate. It was at times eerie walking on the street, even though there were many universities sprinkled in between and a lot of young people on the street. I couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was off. I learned that the building housing the museum was one of the main communication centers to coordinate intelligence and secret police within the country and amongst South American dictatorships. It was used to detain and eliminate citizens beyond their own borders.


The building across the street and many others had been used to torture people during the Pinochet regime and after democracy was established again those properties fell to the new government. They put some universities into the buildings, but a lot of those buildings are hard to keep up with and since they are “haunted” by the terrible things that happened in them it is hard to get people to want to move into them and to restore them. Below another building next to the museum which looks “normal” at first glance, but at second is also unoccupied and boarded up.


The artwork itself in the museum was worth the visit, but the story of the collection made the artwork even more special to look at, the thought behind it, the contribution of so many artists around the world, the hiding of it for several decades, the building housing the museum and it’s context in the street where so many horrible things happened. It made the artwork so much more powerful to know all this and made me appreciate the collection even more. It reminded me that the context of how artwork was created or collected is equally important if not more than the piece itself, and that often artwork so valuable for our society.

I hope you enjoyed this little yet different kind of art stroll.

Comments (2)

  • Madeline Rains


    I too thought about our country and how important art is now even more than usual. And I thought about Isabel Allende, one of my favorite writers. She talks about this period of history in her book about her daughter, Paula.


  • Jean Goza


    Wow! A very powerful story. I couldn’t help but think about the things that are happening in our own country now. Artistic expression is so important.


Leave a comment

Art Stroll: JCAST Flagship Gallery, New Jersey


In October the Jersey City Art & Studio Tour 2016 – JCAST – took place and this was the third time I participated since I moved to the States. The flagship gallery in an old warehouse in JC was hopping and bopping with fun artwork and I was stoked to be part the group show.


I had thirteen paintings displayed – a series called “Urbanomics” and it was fun to see my family and friends coming out for the show


There was a lot of beautiful and inspiring artwork around – and I love getting to know more local artists and their work – there is so much talent here- it is mind blowing.


Unfortunately I forgot to jot down the name of the artist above. I loved it- the colors are actually different colored lights projected on the wall – the black lines of the geometric shapes are duct tape.


The paintings and the mural are by Blair Urban.


Lot’s of beautiful artwork in every corner.


Nupur Nishith, Panchtatva, acrylic and ink on canvas . Loved how intricate and colorful this was and Nupur explained to me the different elements of the painting.


Susan George, Ink on paper. Susan is my neighbor and I love how she made those paintings with ink on paper- inspired by zentangle and traditional mandala – every detail of these paintings were so perfect- it was amazing.


Tom Wilson, Blue Room, acrylic, enamel, speaker cones, epoxy – loved the use of material and lines and colors.



Juan-Ramiro Torres, Elan Vital, acrylic on canvas – I always love Juan’s paintings – the texture and forms – beautiful.


Dylan Egon with an installation of his iconic imagery.


Lina Hsaio, Mutant 1, Mixed Media on Wood – I love Lina’s work- her mix of materials and play with visual and actual dimension is stunning.


Monique Sarfity, Pushing Buttons, Keyboard Mosaic – this was really fun  !


Monique Sarfity, Brown Bird on My Shoulder, Scrabble Mosaic – as well as that.


Meghan McKee – this encaustic piece was my absolute favorite of the show – I so want to own it. Meghan does beautiful artwork and I definitely will source her out more :)


It was a great show and I am already looking forward to next year.

Do you have a local Art and Studio Tour where you live?

Comments (8)

  • Nupur Nishith


    Hey Nathalie, I happened to see this post today. It was great meeting you at JCAST. You are very talented. i loved your site. Its really beautifully presented. Thanks for including me in your JCAST story. Hope to be in touch in future.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Hi Nupur, it was wonderful meeting you! Hope to see you again in JC :) Love your work!!! Nat


  • Peg Hewitt


    Wow, what a fabulous art space! I love all the booths and the variety of art is so broad. Lots of ideas and inspiration there!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      So glad you enjoyed it Peg! good to hear from you too – hope all is well in Australia :) Nat


  • Nancy Faulls


    Hi Nat!
    Thanks for sharing. Maybe I will drive up from Delaware next year. I am in South Carolina for Thanksgiving so I missed the 22nd Southeastern Delaware art studio tour. It would have been so cool to see our local artists in their own creative spaces.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      That would be amazing Nancy! And yeah- hope you will see your local tour in 2017 – but hey- Thanksgiving in South Carolina sounds like a great place to be too :)hugs, nat


  • Judith


    Thanks Nathalie for this lovely little art exhibit — it cheered up my morning after 2 weeks of feeling sad about the election. Art does heal, in many ways! Please keep them coming, always a joy to experience the work of others and honor their efforts across cultures, styles, and materials!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      HI Judith, I am so glad I could cheer you up a little bit! Big hugs to you! Yes art does heal- I have been doing a lot o art the last couple weeks! Have a wonderful sunday!!! Nat


Leave a comment

Art Stroll: Interventions 3 in Brooklyn


When two of your artist friends invite you to a group show they are participating in and you have to sign a waiver before you enter the house, you know it must be good :)


Artist Isidro Blasco purchased a home in pretty bad shape but with loads of potential in Brooklyn and invited 16 artists to apply their ideas and practices to the structure before he begins a renovation that will allow his family to reside in the townhouse. The artists were encouraged to intervene into the hard structure of the house, incorporating the structural elements and interior fixtures into their pieces that are all made on site.


This was such a unique experience. The photos cannot reflect the feeling of the artwork and the house. The installation incorporated in a door frame by my friend Julia Carbonetta was so amazing, I wish I could have taken the whole door with me.


Adam Cvijanovic who some of you might remember from my Studio Stroll Post here, is a master of Trompe-l’œil and this upwards bent corner …which is actually painted – was so real it made everyone stop in the room and take a moment to get it.


A tree branch growing through the wall and a framed painting. kalbachinterventions05

Colored Shapes – I am not sure – but I am assuming from material in the house.

kalbachinterventions06  kalbachinterventions08

A beautiful window- with a new outlook on the bottom.


An eerie scene of a door of the house on the top …it had a bit of a Shining feeling to it.


A bar in the living room for a performance piece where on outside later you could see the top of the bodies of the peoplekalbachinterventions12

and with the blinds closed – you could only see the legs of the people form the inside.


The house was beautiful in it’s state and made you wonder who lived here before and what stories were lived in this house. It looked as if it was a Jewish Boarding house. The upper floor had all pink doors and the kitchen was pink , while the bottom floor had all blue doors with a blue kitchen and a mezuzah was attached on every door frame.


kalbachinterventions14 kalbachinterventions21

A light installation downstairs


And my friend Lori going all stripey in the stripe room ;)kalbachinterventions18

Outside the house the most awesome shed – probably later art studio to be. kalbachinterventions24

I loved the concept of this show. Every room was a discovery, either of art, or the untold story of the room or of both.

I hope you enjoyed this Art Stroll and hey…you didn’t even had to sign a waiver ;)

Comments (1)

  • Joi@RR


    For sure.. never have seen anything like this Nat. Well – old houses – yes… remade those myself!! But not artwork like this. I am blown away – almost in disbelief – so crazy unique and out of the box incredible. So glad you got to go view it all in person. What an experience. Thanks bunches for sharing. You always enlarge my universe and my artful thoughts! Xj.


Leave a comment

Art Stroll: Making Modern at MFA Boston


When I was in Boston a couple months ago to visit my friend Julie Fei Fan Balzer we went to the MFA in Boston and saw the Making Modern Exhibition. The exhibition explored “what it meant to be in the vanguard of Modern art in the 20th century. Modern artists working in the Americas were influenced by a variety of contemporaries, teachers, rivals, and friends. Incorporating diverse sources of inspiration, 20th-century painters took their artistic practice in dramatic new directions.”


Georgia O’Keeffe, Calla Lily on Grey, 1928 – Oil on Canvas. O’Keeffe was influenced in the composition of this piece by her teacher Wesley Dow who taught that artists should not copy from nature, but rather capture nature through the exploration of composition with elements like lines and colors.


Marsden Hartley, Arrangement – Hieroglyphics (Painting No. 2), 1914 – Oil on Canvas. Hartley who lived in Germany between 1913 and 1915 was deeply inspired by Native American art which he encountered at Berlin’s ethnographic museum and also by artist Wassily Kandinsky. I do love his frame, a perfect sample how artist often made frames being part of their artwork.


Stuart Davis, Hot Still-Scape for Six Colors- 7th Avenue Style, 1940 – Oil on Canvas. Davis painted this in his studio in Greenwich Village and it was as he said himself a “product of everyday experience in the new lights, speeds, and spaces fo the American environment” I love the colorful energetic composition and it does speak 1940s-jazz-time-NYC to me.


Stuart Davis, Adit, No. 2, 1923 – Oil on Canvas. Davis visited Paris in 1928 and this painting is inspired by the urban landscape of Paris.


In the 1920s and 1930s Artists and designers tried to capture the excitement, the speed, the intrigue and surprising loneliness of urban life, in their paintings, music, writings, fashion and furniture.

I love love everything in the above picture- can I have this in my living room, please!


Edward Hopper, Drug Store, 1927 Oil on Canvas. This painting conveys an eerie nocturnal solitude through the brilliance of electric light. It is slightly discomforting.


Walter Augustus Simon, 715 Washington Street Greenwich Village, 1947 Oil on canvas with additional Mixed Media. Simon lived in this building as a student and later with his family. It shows the intimate space with the ground level shops, failings, walls and fire escapes.


Eldzier Cortor, Room No. V, 1948 Oil on Masonite. Cortor build up the painted surface with delicate skins of color that suggest cracked walls. He also chose the distressed and old frame with this painting.


I love the visual and actual texture in this painting.


Eldzier Cortor, Environment, 1947 Oil on board. Cortor extends the thickly painted rooftop patched by newspapers and other items into our space.




Hans Hofmann, Swamp Series II – Autumnal Glory, 1957 -Oil on canvas. Hoffmann once said ” A picture should be made with feeling, not with knowing. The possibilities of the medium must be sensed. Anything can serve as a medium …” He taught his students to layer color and form, creating as in this painting, movement and depth.


Jackson Pollock, Troubled Queen, 1945 -Oil and alkyd on canvas. Pollock was familiar with Picasso’s early works, which often display masklike treatment of heads and interpenetration of figure and ground. This painting also marks a transitional moment in Pollocks career as he already moves toward the “drip” paintings for which he later becomes most known. I love this sample of where inspiration from another artist meets a different artists’ own interpretation and style.


I really loved this exhibition and its attempt to explore what influenced and inspired the work of those artists. It is amazing to see the connection between old ideas and new ideas, surroundings and Zeitgeist and how new movements are being born. It is what makes art so incredibly interesting and provides such a trove of inspiration while taking an Art Stroll.

I hope you enjoyed this Art Stroll as much as I did!

Comments (3)

  • JoAnn


    Thank you so much for sharing – JoAnn


  • Joi@RR


    Many of the designs in these and the buildings (of course) remind me of your art Nat. Thanks so much for sharing – I always enjoy your art walks! j.


    • Mary Jane Huth


      Thanks so much I love all your art walks! It’s soo great to see all the amazing art from all over the world!


Leave a comment

Art Stroll: MFA Boston Permanent Collection


At the end of August I visited my friend Julie Fei-Fan Balzer in Boston and of course we took some Art Strolls.


I wanted to share with you some inspiring pieces from the permanent collection …


besides this amazing view up


Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism by Josiah McElheny


It is a fascinating mirrored installation and McElheny hand-blew each glass vessel based on Italian, Austrian, Czech and Scandinavian designs from 1920-1990. I loved it so much and couldn’t stop looking at it. I wonder how I can incorporate the idea of endless elegance into a piece of my own art.


La Japonaise (Camille Monet in Japanese Costume), Claude Monet, 1876
The colors and details in this picture- from the Costume to the carpet are just mind blowing.  I did not like the frame around this painting- it is sooo pompous and takes away so much from the painting – I am sure it is not the original frame and one of those Museum’s early “let’s make sure all artwork gets the same frame” craziness, as I wrote about in my Art Strolls here.


Rouen Cathedral Facade, 1894 and Rouen Cathedral Facade and Tour d’Albane (Morning Effect), 1894 by Claude Monet – Oil on Canvas


I love those paintings. They glow, atmosphere and the texture and impasto is just unreal. It makes me want to touch it.


Paysage de Banlieue, 1905 by Maurice de Vlaminck. Students of my Art Rules class might remember that we talked about a couple of his paintings in the Fauvism part of the class. I always love how my students are as intrigued as I am by the marks and colors . It is truly inspiring to discover this style in your own art journal.


Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?, 1897–98 by Paul Gauguin. “In 1891, Gauguin left France for Tahiti where he created paintings that express a highly personal mythology. He considered this work to be his masterpiece and the summation of his ideas. Gauguin’s letters suggest that the fresco-like painting should be read from right to left, beginning with the sleeping infant. He describes the various figures as pondering the questions of human existence given in the title; the blue idol represents “the Beyond.” The old woman at the far left, “close to death,” accepts her fate with resignation. ” (from MFA Website). It is a massive painting and keeps you with it’s Narrative and Symbolism.


Lullaby: Madame Augustine Roulin Rocking a Cradle (La  Berceuse), 1889 by Vincent Van Gogh. I love the vividly colored patterned background! The texture of her hair – and the colors are just glowing.


The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, 1882 by John Singer Sargent.


Mrs. Charles E. Inches (Louise Pomeroy), 1887 by John Singer Sargent.


Rehearsal of the Pasdeloup Orchestra at the Cirque d’Hiver, about 1879–80 by John Singer Sargent. This last painting was actually my favorite of his paintings. I love the monochromatic color palette and that you can almost hear the music. Apparently John Singer Sargent was influenced by artwork by Edgar Degas he had seen in 1877 (check out my Art Stroll through the Degas Exhibition at MoMA recently) – and that makes total sense to me. Love how he took the inspiration and made his own piece.

Hope you enjoyed the Art Stroll through the Permanent Collection of the MFA in Boston. If I could I would go every week to a museum for a little art inspiration.

Comments (2)

  • Jean Goza


    What an amazing collection you shared this morning. I am hard pressed to pick a favorite. Thanks for the “stroll”.


Leave a comment