Art Stroll

Art Stroll: Anselm Kiefer – Transition From Cool To Warm

A couple days ago my artist friend Natalya Aikens and I went into the city to go to the Gagosian Gallery to see Anselm Kiefer‘s work. If you participated in Creative Jumpstart 2016,  you know that Kiefer is one of my all time favorite artists. When Natalya told me about this exhibition I was crazy excited – and I wasn’t disappointed.

Kiefer is mostly known for his gigantic textured paintings, but he also paints with watercolor on a smaller scale and this exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery shows those two different bodies of works. It fits since Kiefer is interested in opposites.

Anselm Kiefer, For Segantini: die bösen Mütter (For Segantini: The Bad Mothers), 2011–12, oil, emulsion, acrylic, shellac, wood, metal, lead, and sediment of an electrolysis on canvas.

I love how Kiefer incorporates all kinds of materials and he doesn’t really care that a painting could change through aging, or natural alterations. In fact he welcomes this. He says he is more interested in the process – not only the process of making art but also the process of what happens to a painting naturally later – than in an absolute result. I think this is a totally freeing, interesting and open minded approach to art and life.

Anselm Kiefer aller Tage Abend, aller Abende Tag (The Evening of All Days, the Day of All Evenings), 2014 Watercolor on paper

Anselm Kiefer Ignis sacer, 2016 Oil, acrylic, and emulsion on canvas

Anselm Kiefer des Malers Atelier (The Painter’s Studio), 2016 Oil, emulsion, acrylic, and shellac on canvas

What I found interesting about his watercolor work was how freely he uses the colors, letting them do their thing – something I struggle with then using this paint medium.

Anselm Kiefer Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen (The Waves of Sea and Love), 2017 Oil, emulsion, acrylic, and lead on canvas

Look at Natalya taking a picture of me taking picture of her in front of a picture …well – hey … little bit of fun is ok ;)

For this painting Kiefer poured liquid lead on top of a painting and then pealed it back to reveal the original painting again.

Kiefer also makes a huge amount of Artist Books. He is fascinated by books and stories, they have always played a huge role in his artwork.

In an interview he once told the interviewer that he starts his morning by going into his library and in a state of still being absence, he blindly grabs a book which usually turns out to be just the right book for the day and often inspires him for his artwork.

These books are quite big – which is hard to see in these photos  – they are more sculptural than books and you are tempted to touch them and flip the pages, although given how heavy they look that might be something you need more arm muscles …and you might never be able to set foot in this gallery again ;)

I love the marbling effects Kiefer created – with plaster – maybe gesso and watercolor.

Klingsor’s Garden was the room with all those books called. Klingsor is a magician in the opera Parsifal. He has a garden full of beautiful flower maids.

The way those books are set up is like a labyrinth and I guess it is no coincidence that you might get lost in looking at those books from all angles.


Anselm Kiefer, Und Du bist doch Maler geworden (and you became a painter nethertheless)

I didn’t see it in the gallery as this is a huge painting but when I actually took a look at the photo of the painting at home I realized there is painter’s palette carved into the painting – a painting about painting.

Anselm Kiefer, Aurora, 2015–17, oil, emulsion, acrylic, shellac, and sediment of an electrolysis on canvas

The texture and dimension in his work is just unreal . You have to see his work in person.

Given that this painting is so new- I would bet that it is still changing, drying, and processing. Now …if that is what the artist likes and wants… who are we to preserve it and have conservators going nuts about up-keeping the status quo?

When I first looked at Kiefer’s watercolors I thought they were so different to his big paintings because of the missing texture but the closer I looked, the more I realized that he actually included a lot of texture with charcoal in some of them – and then there is also a lot of visual texture especially in the one above. But even the ones I showed earlier in this post have areas of texture quite unusual for watercolor painting.

In one of the videos I saw a while back about Kiefer’s work I saw him hacking with a machete into his thickly layered painting. Big pieces of paint chips fly off the canvas, revealing yet even still thick layers of paint underneath. There was something so liberating and yet shocking seeing his actions.

I love the beauty that get’s revealed by the act of slashing, scraping and peeling.

I also loved how some of the books had these raw edges – and as a viewer who always makes up their own story when looking at artwork for me Kiefer’s work is about human beings.

We are complicated, controversial, complex, layered, good and bad, we change, we can transform. Behind all the ugliness of human beings are always layers of beauty. There are no monsters and that is for me what explains why people can be horrible and cruel but then also be loving and like-able. That is what in my eyes his artwork represents.

This exhibition has inspired me to no end – lot’s of thoughts, ideas, craving to explore. If you are in NYC – check this exhibition out– it got extended and it is open until September 1st. Don’t be intimidated that it is a gallery – the people at the desk barely lift their head when you come in- they know you are not there to buy but it seemed utterly fine for them and I think Kiefer approves ;)

Comments (2)

  • Janis Loehr


    Thank you Nathalie for sharing!


  • stephanie


    What an amazing exhibit!


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Stroll Through the Hood – July 2017

Time for a Stroll Through the Hood . Strolls through my hood get me out of my studio, they help me unstuck and often I get inspired by what I see and to get new ideas to create something. It is part of my philosophy about Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – which is the subject of my book. Here are some photos that I gathered in the last couple weeks.

When I had to go to get an MRI after hurting my shoulder playing table tennis (yes…you heard right) – I had to walk underneath the turnpike – ugly ugly- but there was a bit of Norman Kirby Fence Art to make the feel better. The funniest thing – the tongue on the right moved in the wind :)

I love how the color bands come out of the R and the movement in this mural.

This is the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery again – they had an Oddity Market there one weekend and ha- that is a great location for this. I loved seeing the Before I die… Wall there. I thought it was so clever to have it at a cemetery what a fitting place for this public art project. I did a painting a long time ago called “Before I die, I want to become the person that I am ” – but I think it is time to do this again in my art journal and think about it :)

I also found humor in seeing those to guys in sitting in the grass in between the headstones typing on their cellphones ;)

Ok – this one is a bit cheated- as it wasn’t in my walkable hood – but close enough – I went to a U2 concert and our General Admission spot was spot on ;) Well…it pays when you go with friends who are die-hard U2 fans and know the ins and outs of where to stand at the tour- LOL. Love the swirls- the whole concert was a feast for the eyes.

Of course there was 4th July celebration – we had a small party on our deck and saw several fireworks at the same time -here to the left the NYC Macy’s firework on and on the right at the same time the Jersey City firework.

And this one was apparently a “personal” one  – in the neighborhood – but I take it-as the next day was my birthday- so basically I get free fireworks for my birthday- not too shabby, right? This reminded me of ink/paint splatters.

And those here are also a bit cheated- but hey- I am the boss of my hood- LOL- and this month Manhattan belonged to it too- I mean…I can basically just spit over the river from my hood. We went to the Freedom Tower with family as part of a family day. What a view. Look at the reflection in the skyscraper – I love that- I want to do something with this in one of my paintings.

And oh man ….amazing. It never ceases to amaze me to look at Manhattan from that perspective – it looks all so unreal and orderly and cool. It made me really itch to continue my big Manhattan painting, I am working on for a while now.

And – just because- Jersey City from the Manhattan side- HA  – at Battery Park. I love the juxtaposition between plants and garden and skyscrapers.

And just for fun – I am sure my sister in law at a different idea when she wanted a photo of the girls- but here we are, my niece and I being goofy and my sis in law being her awesome self ;)

Hope you enjoyed this stroll through the hood – until next time!

Comments (2)

  • Robin S.


    I truly enjoy your strolls through the ‘hood. I may have made a comment like this before, but I am a country girl through and through and am amazed by how much beauty there is to be found if a person is willing to look for it with an open mind; you are a constant source of inspiration to me. LOVE that reflection in the skyscraper!! Keep up your creativity, imagination, and free spirit!


  • Sue Clarke


    Love the reflection in the side of the building and what a view of the city!
    I totally enjoy strolls through your hood especially since they are so different from mine.
    I see wildlife and no street art (bummer).
    Happy belated birthday and keep that inspiration coming.


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Art Stroll: Where We Are – Whitney, NYC

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Whitney to see the Calder exhibition – which was fantastic- but I also took some time for the Where We Are exhibition with selections from the Whitney’s collection 1900-1960.

“Where We Are traces how artists have approached the relationships, institutions and activities that shape our lives. The Exhibition is organized in five themes: family and community, work, home, the spiritual and the nation. During the six decades covered in the exhibition, the U.S. experiences war and peace, collapse and recovery, and social discord and progress. The artists and their works suggest that our sense of self is composed of our responsibilities, places and beliefs. Where We Are is titled after a phrase in W.H. Auden’s poem “September 1, 1939”. The title of the poem marks the date Germany invaded Poland. While it’s subject is the beginning of the war, Auden’s true theme is how the shadow of a global emergency reaches into the far corners of everyday life. Where we Are shares Auden’s guarded optimism, gathering a constellation of artists, whose light might lead us forward.”

Ellsworth Kelly, 1961 – Red, White and blue – Oil on linen

Ellsworth Kelly’s earliest works of art were created in service to the United States, as part of a special camouflage unit in France during World War II. Kelly and his fellow artist-soldiers were tasked with fooling the Germans—using rubber and wood to construct fake tanks and trucks—into thinking the multitudes of Allied troops on the battlefield were much larger than reality. While this seems an unconventional early training for an artist, it proved a fitting one for Kelly. After his service, Kelly enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. After knowing this – doesn’t the painting now feel like a camouflage flag? ;)

Herman Trunk, Jr., Mount Vernon, 1932.  Oil on canvas

Jasper Johns, 1958 – three Flags, Encaustic on canvas

Johns saw the American flag as a symbol that is usually “seen and not looked at, not examined”. The execution and composition of Three Flags encourages close inspection. What do you think, is the middle panel actually fully painted with the flag or not? Apparently it is still a bit of a mystery although infrared hints it is incomplete.

Jasper Johns, 1959, watercolor and graphite on fond paper

Having just seen the Rauschenberg exhibition at MoMA this made me excited – and I love the mail-art.

George Grosz, 1947-48, Waving the Flag, Watercolor on paper

Marsden Hartley, 1914-15, Painting, Number 5, Oil on linen

Marsden Hartley began this work before the First World War, during an extended stay in Berlin. The painting is a memorial to Karl von Freyburg, a young German officer whom Hartley loved and who was killed in battle soon after the war began. The way he painted has the effect of a collage.

Jacob Lawrence, 1946 and 1947- War series – Tempura on composition board

I had never seen the war series by Lawrence before and it really grabbed me. He painted the series while serving during WWII. These paintings are timeless and the narrative is ingrained in our heads with wars we have experienced or know about.

I would like to go back and see the other paintings in the gallery in this series with more time- but it was quite full that day.

Archibald Motley Jr., 1948 – Gettin’ Religion, Oil on linen

Archibald Motley’s primary artistic inspiration were the inhabitants of Chicago’s South Side, a culturally thriving neighborhood at the time. In this night scene he captured the full spectrum of urban experiences.

Charles Demuth, 1930- Buildings, Lancaster – Oil and graphite pencil on composition board

Louise Bourgeois, 1941 – Quarantania 1941 – painted wood

Soon after emigration from Paris to New York 1938 Louise Bourgeois made this sculpture. Quarantania resembles a group of standing figures huddled together and reimagines people she has left behind in her native France. Additionally the five elements might also evoke sewing needles or weaving shuttles, tools used in her family’s tapestry restoration trade.

James Castle, Interior with Stove and below Shed, Soot and spit on found paper.

I had never heard before of James Castle who lived from 1899-1977, but boy did his story and his paintings touch me.  Castle was profoundly deaf from birth.

He never learned to speak, sing, read or write; largely unschooled and self-taught he developed his own techniques for creating works of art and used his art as a tool for communcation. To make his black-and-white-drawings, he combined salvia with soot from a wood-burning stove and used sharpened sticks, sometimes fruit pits,  to apply the mixture to his paper.

James Castle, 1910- 77 , artist’s books with sooth and spit on found paper

In addition to the numerous works on paper, James Castle produced hundreds if not thousands of handmade books. Using commercial food packaging or heavy paper as covers, he stitched together blank pages and filled them with drawings of letters, pictographic symbols, collections of mock photos and sketches based on advertisements.

He frequently made use of both sides of papers he found around the house- flattened matchstick boxes, ice-cream carton lids, envelopes and even his niece’s old homework assignment. Amazing!


Andy Warhol, 1961 -$199 Television – acrylic and oil stick on canvas

I love this – it hints of things to come but still shows an artist hand – Warhol’s.

Minnie Evans, 1935 – My Very First and My Second

Minnie Evans crated both drawings on Good Friday when she was 43 years old. She said a spiritual force compelled her to begin drawing – these are her very first drawings hinting at the subjects of her later work – biblical imagery, plants and fantastical bests.

Morris Louis, 1958 -Tet – Acrylic on canvas

Morris Louis learned the method of staining unprimed canvas from fellow artist Helen Frankenthaler. He had a really small studio and this canvas is massive. For a long time no-one really could figure out how he made these big paintings. Conservators found out that he would roll the canvas in portions and pour, and then re-roll the canvas and dry and then continue. So he never saw the entirety of the painting while working on it.

Joseph Stella, 1939, The Brooklyn Bridge

This looks so timeless again – I love this painting of the Brooklyn Bride.

It was a great exhibition, thought provoking and interesting. It is open now and does not have an end date yet. Check it out when you are at The Whitney!

Comments (2)

  • Kim


    Wow! The technique used by Morris Louis was a surprise! How cool!


  • Sue Clarke


    The artist books by James Castle struck me the most. I can only imagine what it meant for him to be able to communicate through drawing.


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Book Signing at The Ink Pad, NYC

Last week my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media was officially released and The Ink Pad in NYC invited me to have a book signing. It was so much fun!

I was really excited and I was really happy to see so many wonderful people coming to this event.

So cool to see Kathy who I had just met a couple months ago in my class in Ohio at Artiscape made a short trip to The Ink Pad while on a NYC trip. Thank you so much – it was so wonderful seeing you again!


Can you see how giddy I am? We have this saying in Germany: “If I hadn’t have ears, I would have smiled in a circle.” I assure you …I would have ;)

Thank you to all of you who came and celebrate this special day with me and to Anna from The Ink Pad. <3 You are amazing!

And if you are not in the area but still would like to have a signed copy- I will sign Artful Adventures in Mixed Media where ever I teach in the next couple months (See my In-Person Workshops here) . Or order one of my free bookplate stickers, which I will sign for you and send out for free to you.

Comments (6)

  • Jackie P Neal


    I am thrilled and over the moon excited for you and your new publication!! How fabulous that you have put together this book- can’t wait to get my copy!
    Yes, your success is Truly! well deserved- I do believe you are unstoppable! Best wishes to you!
    Jackie xo


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Awe- thank you so much Jackie! Hope you will like the book and that it is coming soon :)
      Have a gorgeous weekend!


  • Stephanie


    How fab! So great that Kathy was able to stop in during her trip


  • Sue Clarke


    I look pretty giddy with my signed (bookplate) book!!!
    Enjoy it Nat, your success is well deserved.


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Art Stroll: Rauschenberg Among Friends Part 2

As promised Part 2 of my visit of the Rauschenberg Among Friends Exhibition – you can read about Part 1 here. When you are reading this I have been already back to the show and have scheduled another visit next week …I am obsessed- HELP – LOL

“Ace”(1962) , Oil, paper, cardboard, paint-can label, umbrella, doorknob, fabric, wood, nails, and metal on canvas – on five panels

I love how reading the signage becomes the start of a scavenger hunt trying to find all elements mentioned on the panels.

“Black Market” (1961), Oil, watercolor, pencil, paper, fabric, newspaper, printed paper, printed reproductions, wood, metal, tin, street sign, license plate and four metal clipboards on canvas with rope, chain and wood suitcase containing rubber stamps, ink pad and typed instructions regarding objects to be given and taken by viewers

Black Market was first on view in Amsterdam in 1961 and viewers were invited to take out an object from the suitcase and replace it with their own and then make a drawing of their contribution on one of the clipboards. Unfortunately people were mostly just stealing the objects in the suitcase and so Rauschenberg withdrew his invitation. – I just love the concept and thought -so sad it didn’t work out!

“Pilgrim” (1960), Oil, graphite, printed paper and fabric on canvas with painted wood chair.

If you look closely you can see that Rauschenberg actually used the chair as a painting tool to drag down the paint in the canvas and then attached the chair as an collage element. It looks as if you are invited to take a seat to be part of the painting- but Natalya and I refrained from doing so – LOL.

Marcel Duchamp “Bottle Rack” 1960

Rauschenberg purchased this work for three dollars after he saw it in an exhibition, and then asked Duchamp to sign the work. Duchamp agreed and signed and left an inscription saying “Impossible for me to recall the original phrase” . Jokesters- LOL- I wonder how much this readymade art piece is worth nowadays.

I loved how the exhibition was laid out – and of course early morning hours are the best to ensure a more empty space.

“scanning” (1963) Oil and silkscreen -ink print on canvas

the canvas includes a photo of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company with Steve Paxton how lived with Rauschenberg when the piece was made.

The paw prints here were added by Sweetie, Rauschenberg’s pet kinkajou who strolled across the canvas while Rauschenberg was making it on the floor of his studio. He simply embraced the accident as part of the work. HA YES!

“Overdrive” (1963) Oil and silkscreen -ink print on canvas

I am so in love with this piece and the one below

“Estate” (1963) Oil and silkscreen -ink print on canvas

Rauschenberg started in the early 60s to use more and more readymade images into his paintings and visited Andy Warhol in the studio in 1962 to get an intro into the silkscreen technique. He had a friend destroy his stock of screens to avoid the pressure of repeating himself in his artwork.

I could look at them forever- and as you can see below the paintings are actually quite big.

“Volon” (1971)

Come on- admit…this makes you look at your boxes in a whole different way, no?

Untitled (1972) – Tape and cardboard boxes with rubber hose.

and so something that some people call trash becomes a piece of artwork – I love it!

“Sor Aqua” (1973) Wood and metal suspended with rope over water-filled bathtub with glass jug.

Rauschenberg found the inspiration for this piece in Venice – where he gathered found materials for a series of assemblages. The water- filled bathtub evokes the Venetian canals, the suspended tangle of rusted metal refers to aging, deteriorated surfaces throughout the city.

“Mirthday Man” (1997) Water-soluble inkjet dye and pigment transfer on plylaminate

You can find an x-ray of Rauschenberg which he called “self-portrait of inner man” and surrounded it with photographs he had taken over the year. Rauschenberg created this piece in one day on his 72nd birthday.

“Bible Bike” (1991) Tarnishes on brass, bronze and copper

The imagery and coloration in the metal painting series, Borealis, was produced through chemical reactions (which Rauschenberg called “corrosions”), sometimes with the addition of acrylic paint. Tarnishing agents, such as acetic acid and ammonium salts, are brushed or silkscreened onto brass, copper, or bronze surfaces, resulting in a muted range of colors: green, brown, or black, depending on the type of metal support. By painting or drawing with a tarnish-resistant medium before applying the tarnishing agent, the artist could create coloristic variations by contrasting the tarnished and untarnished metal.

I hope you enjoyed the Art Stroll- you can find all Art Strolls here on my website. But seriously if you are in NYC visit this exhibition – it is open until September 17, 2017.

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke


    I just love “scanning” and the pet paw prints!
    Thanks for all the photos.


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Denim Mending at the Textile Arts Center in NYC

A couple weeks ago I took a class at the Textile Arts Center in NYC: Denim Mending.

The TAC is located in Brooklyn but has a great small studio space in Manhattan with tons of classes at different times of the day and since I totally into embroidery for a while now, I thought this would be a perfect class. And it was :)

We got to work with all kinds of fun dyed fabric (they offer a variety of amazing dying classes as well) .

and started out with some basic stitches , applique stitches and back applique (in the picture another student’s practicing samples- I looooveee the polka dot fabric with the blanket stitch so much!)

Later in the class we got a short intro to Shashiko which means little stabs and is a form of Japanese embroidery originating in the Edo period (1615-1868)

These are some samples- – I fell in love instantly …although it does kinda like tell you to do neat and straight stitches – LOL- which you know…is not me ;)

But here is my first try in Shashiko

Not too shabby – I like it and oh man- now I want all kinds of Jeans being ripped so that I can start mending them and I bought all kinds of supplies of course  – and is it bad if I bought some shirts that I just want to do this on?  I am ready LOL

It was a fantastic class by Jennie Maydew -(check out her website with beautiful textiles and artwork too). I learned heaps, and it inspired me and I am full of ideas how to incorporate what I learned into my own artwork – I am so glad I went. A great example yet again how good it is to sometimes take classes that are totally different from what you usually do :) If you are in NYC – check out the TAC – what a gem place to take classes.

Comments (3)

  • Tara


    I made a commitment this year to be more creative. I spent the past few months collecting different products and materials and watching a lot of tutorials online. I find myself gravitating towards collage and mixed media. Your books sounds incredible and would be helpful for me to learn technique. I would love your book to enhance my budding art technique library. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!


  • Sue Clarke


    IF you seriously want ripped jeans I can send you some Nat.
    I have one pair with a floral print (lightly in the background).


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      LOL. thank you Sue for the offer. i will patiently rip my jeans and spice them up I guess …meanwhile I am playing on denim swatches – also fun :)


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Art Stroll: Rauschenberg Among Friends Part 1

Last week Natalya Aikens, who is a wonderful artist, and I met at MoMA to see the Rauschenberg exhibition in the early hours. I have been looking forward to this exhibition for a couple months now since I am a huge admirer of Robert Rauschenberg’s work. That is also noticeable when you read my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media as I have used some of his work in on of the chapters.

“Grand Black Tie Sperm Glut” (1987)

What I loved particularly about this exhibition was that it reflected the fact that Rauschenberg was a very social person and many of the people he met, artists, friends, lovers shaped his work and he fed off their company.

“Sue” (c. 1950), Exposed blueprint paper

The exhibition starts with blueprints created by and with artist Sue Weil, who was for a short while Robert Rauschenberg’s wife. One of them would lie down on a sheet of photo-sensitive paper and the other one would hold the bright lamp for a while to expose the image on the paper.

“Short Circuit” (1955), Combine: oil, fabric and paper on wood supports and cabinet with two hinged doors containing a painting by Susan Weil and a reproduction of a Jasper Johns Flag painting by Elaine Sturtevant

Rauschenberg was highly influenced by his teacher Josef Albers and the Bauhaus mentality to consider and focus on readily accessible and ordinary materials and to combine them.

“Charlene”(1954), Combine: oil, charcoal, paper, fabric, newspaper, wood, plastic, mirror, and metal on four Homasote panels, mounted on wood with electric light

Rauschenberg called those readily materials “real objects” – he included a letter from his mother and a man’s undershirt.

“Bed” (1955), Combine: oil and pencil on pillow, toothpaste, fingernail polish, quilt, and sheet, mounted on wood support
Rauschenberg recalled once that he could not afford to buy a canvas and so he decided to make a painting on a patchwork quilt given to him by the artist Dorothea Rockburne (she btw once said that when she was doing laundry she realized her quilt was missing and saw it later on again in this Piece :) ) . The pencil strokes on top of the pillow are very likely by Cy Twombly. Rauschenberg and Twombly were in a relationship and traveled together, making art.

“Rebus” (1955), Combine: oil, synthetic polymer paint, pencil, crayon, pastel, cut-and-pasted printed and painted papers, including a drawing by Cy Twombly, and fabric on canvas mounted and stapled to fabric
Rauschenberg gathered many of the materials in Rebus from and near his studio in Lower Manhattan. He used commercial paint samples, included a piece of a painting by Cy Twombly

and three of the drawings this series were also included in the exhibition

Cy Twombly

I loved seeing all the different materials and you really get a sense of a highly humorous person in Rauschenberg

a person who doesn’t take himself too serious- what a wonderful streak.

“Factum I ”  and “Factum II” 1957, Combine: oil, ink, pencil, crayon, paper, fabric, newspaper, printed reproductions, and printed paper on canvas
Rauschenberg created these two paintings, repeating the same falsely spontaneous brush strokes in both. Rauschenberg wanted to show that neither impulsive painting or planned painting alone make an artwork, but that it rather is a mix of intention and chance, impulsive gestures and thought.

“Monogram” (1957-59), Combine: oil, paper, fabric, printed paper, printed reproductions, metal, wood, rubber shoe heel, and tennis ball on canvas with oil and rubber tire on Angora goat on wood platform mounted on four casters
This mixture of a painting, sculpture and assemblage is probably one of the best known works by Rauschenberg, seeing it in person was definitely a treat as a picture is not really capturing it.

“Summerstorm” (1959) Combine: oil, graphite, paper, printed reproductions, wood, fabric, necktie, and metal zipper on canvas
I loved going to this exhibition with Natalya as she uses a lot of plastic and fabric in her artwork she was looking at all pieces in different ways then I did – and pointed out that the tie was not attached, she wondered if it was meant to be to flap in the wind – and once we saw a tie in this Combine – we saw ties in Rauschenberg’s work everywhere :)

“Painting with Grey Wing” (1959), Combine: oil, printed reproductions, unpainted paint-by-number board, typed print on paper, photographs, fabric, stuffed bird wing, and dime on canvas
This was one of my favorite pieces in the exhibition.

Niki de Saint Phalle “Shooting Painting American Embassy” 1961, Paint plaster, wood, plastic bags, shoe, twine, metal seat, axe, metal can, toy gun, wire mesh, shot pellets and other objects on wood.

“Each of the colours appears to have dripped down the canvas from a hole, which exposes a dark surface beneath the white. Saint Phalle made this work by shooting with a gun at bags of paint that were placed on the canvas. Before the shooting began, the surface was covered with white plaster and pigment to resemble a blank canvas. As the shooting commenced, the bags would be punctured and the coloured paints released to flow and splash.” The piece is part of a series and in which artist would shoot at the pieces as a performance. Robert Rauschenberg as well as Jasper Johns took aim at this painting.

And what is Natalya laughing about here? At a framed letter and the work is called “This Is a Portrait of Iris Clert if I Say So” (1961) Telegram

This telegram was Rauschenberg’s submission to a show of portraits of the Parisian gallerist Iris Clert in 1961. Rauschenberg realized about two works before the show, that he forgot to make the work. And so…he made a conceptual portrait via telegram sending it to Iris Clert, one whose maker shifts depending on the “I” who reads it. – CLEVER guy- LOL. I guess he got away with it ;)

Now there was so much more in the Art Stroll and since I am such a big fan of Rauschenberg I decided to show it in two parts- so another one on this is coming in a week. Hope you enjoyed the Art Stroll so far. If you are anywhere close to NYC go and see this exhibition – seriously! It is open until September 17, 2017.

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke


    I of course like “Sue” and have used that paper for flowers and shells but not people (too small).
    I love the story of the quilt. LOL


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      LOL- of course Sue ;) Oh how cool you used it before- I want to – I need to get this. Yeah the story of the quilt was hilarious – there were several of those stories that made me really laugh -he must have been such a funny- also the good kind of prankster :)


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Meet & Greet Nat – Stamp Demo @ The Ink Pad April 22

Meet me at The Ink Pad in NYC for an afternoon of fun product demos, stamping techniques, and tons of inspiration! I’ll be there to answer questions, talk art-making, and to demo lots of mixed media techniques using some of my new rubber stamps with RubberMoon.

Saturday, April 22, 2017: 1pm – 4pm

Looking forward seeing you there!

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A Tourist in NYC

Having my friend Birgit Koopsen visit me a couple weeks ago brought the opportunity to play tourist in NYC. Living so close to Manhattan (a 10 minute path ride) makes you often just go in for your goals and chores and forget to explore it the way you would if you wouldn’t live to so close. Since Birgit was already here a couple years ago – I was able to show her some different things. Here are some fun highlights :)

Last time Birgit was here the WTC station wasn’t yet finished …I always rush through it …On the first day we went to the Russian Vodka Room for dinner  (it is a fun place – piano player, good food and drinks included- a great place when you are around the Broadway for a show) before

going to a MoMA Party with my friend Kim and we had the galleries almost to ourselves – so cool. It was great to go to the Picabia show for a third time :) I still saw new things and it is always awesome to talk with artsy friends about art.

The party was ok – young rich NYC kids – meh … but you know – look at the gallery above – ALL OURS

On another day we explored the East Village a bit (ok ok …I got lost …but hey…it is the best way to get to know a hood- LOL)

and went to Russ & Daughters – ohhhh yummie. The store exists for over 100 years – the Cafe offering their yummie delicatessen was opened a couple years ago.

We couldn’t stop eating (as we both love pickled fish and fish and pickles and potatoes latkes and dessert)  and we bought loads of their fish in store too which we indulged throughout the week at home …heaven :)

We went to Kremer’s Pigment– oh still my heart. A gem open since 1977 in the middle of a buzzing city- a candy store for artists

you can buy pigments there and they make their own watercolors. But they also offer workshops on how to make your own watercolors and gesso. I heard those classes are fantastic.

We went one day downtown

saw the Fearless Girl facing the Wall Street Bull (tons of people there- CRAZY!- that was the moment I turned back into a Jersey/NY girl and had to contain myself from just pushing through the crowd to be able to walk)

We took a Staten Island Ferry Ride- free and with the best picture opportunities of Manhattan, Jersey City, The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

And just enjoyed the sun and glorious day

Another day we meet a friend of mine in Brooklyn – Bushwick

strolled around

and had Pizza at the Roberta’s – sitting outside in the garden – yummie!

And then went to the Brooklyn Navy Yard to visit my friend and artist Adam in his studio to see some of his amazing artwork .

and then walked through Vinegar Hill to the Brooklyn Bridge which we crossed at the perfect time of the day with beautiful light

And who says New Yorkers have now humor ;)

We also did a Cheese Tasting in our local cheese store- all cheeses made by female cheese makers in the U.S. and spent some time in my hood. I really enjoyed having Birgit here and I miss her already :)

Hope you enjoyed the little sightseeing tour, I know we did !

Comments (10)

  • Torsa Saha


    Love the small sightseeing through NYC !! Love you both !! Hugs !!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Thanks for joining Torsa! Huge hugs back to you and a wonderful start into the week!


  • susan debourguignon


    oh, thanks so much for my armchair visit! i will get there someday. we will definitely visit Kremer Pigments and then have a lovely meal at Russ & Daughters. i don’t eat fish (just don’t care for it) but i will still have to make tough choices for lunch or dinner. and what a treasure of a trip to MoMA! Nathalie, thanks again for all that you share with us … we appreciate your nourishing art information!!!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Thank you for coming with us Susan :) There are loads of yummie things on the menu at Russ&Daughters – their Potato Latkes- yumm and …hey…their sweets ….delicious :) Have a wonderful rest of your week!


  • Sue Clarke


    Love Fearless Girl and looks like you had a great visit with Birgit. I can’t believe that you are that close to NYC.
    Thanks so much for sharing our pics Nat.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Thank you Sue – yeah it was a fantastic time with her. It pays off to live so close (15min with public transportation) – as I always say ” it is awesome to be quick in and awesome to be quick out” ;)


  • Cindy Langston


    Ohhh…thank you so much for this post Nat! My husband and I will be making our annual trip to NYC in a couple of weeks and we are always on the look out for new things to see. You have definitely added to our list with your post. Would love more off the beaten path ideas if you want to share!



    • Nathalie Kalbach


      thank you Cindy, I am glad you enjoyed the post and wish you and your husband an amazing time in NYC!


  • Joi@RR


    Loved every INCH of this post Nat. The art, the food, the sights and best of all… the story of your time together. Never having been to that part of the country – it’s all just AMAZING. Thanks so much for sharing. Xj.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      thank you Joi – it was a super fun time! NYC is a great place to visit :)


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