Art Stroll

Art Stroll: New Museum, NYC

A couple weeks ago my friend Thomas visited us from Germany and we spent a wonderful day with Kim and went to the New Museum in NYC for the Songs of Sabotage: New Museum Triennial 2018. This major exhibition, held once every three years, looks to highlight young, international artists working in a variety of media. .

Wilmer Wilson IV – staples and pigment print on wood.

Wilmer Wilson IV enlarges photos of people, most of them African-American, that he finds on fliers for parties and church events in his West Philadelphia neighborhood. He attaches the the prints to wood with thousands of staples so that the photograph is almost entirely covered, leaving just small sections clear.

Amazing from afar but upon coming closer eerie!


Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude – The New Zimbabwe (2018


Chemu Ng’ok’s paintings consider individual and collective identities and the role protest plays in their formation. Ng’ok was a student at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, during the Rhodes Must Fall student protests, a social justice movement across universities in South Africa calling for the decolonization of education.

“Senzenina” (2018), an installation by the South African artist Haroon Gunn-Salie, memorializes the 2012 police massacre of striking miners in his homeland.

Cian Dayrit’s uses tapestry-like mappings, part fact, part fiction, of Philippine colonial history.

Zhenya Machneva, CHP-14 (2016)

Zhenya Machneva reflects on the collapse of the Soviet Union in a series of tapestries depicting scenes of industrial factories. Her use of traditional weaving methods mirrors the demise of traditional manufacturing in the wake of technological advances.

Janiva Ellis’s “Thrill Issues” (2017). Her vivacious paintings incorporate religious and racial stereotypes.

Daniela Ortiz, who is based in Barcelona, brings a selection of tabletop-size ceramic prototypes for anti-colonialist monuments, including a beheaded alternative to a Christopher Columbus statue in New York City. Ms. Ortiz has proposed replacements for monuments to Christopher Columbus in Madrid; Lima, Peru; and New York

Tomm El-Saieh, a Haitian-born painter based in Miami. His works are made up of tiny, obsessively applied marks

I really loved his work- I could get lost in it!

Tomm El-Saieh, Walking Razor (2017–18)

Claudia Martínez Garay, Cannon Fodder/Cheering Crowds (2018)

Claudia Martínez Garay deconstructs visual imagery in propaganda as a way of understanding worldwide labor and social movements. For the triennial, she scoured the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam for posters and leaflets across the political spectrum, focusing on repetitive imagery of fighting warriors and animals. She is interested in how the same types of images have been used by right and left ideologies to manipulate the viewer. She reproduced the figures as painted wood cutouts and juxtaposed them attacking each other in this mural-size work.

It was an interesting and for sure thought provoking exhibition. It was interesting how different the three of us would “read” the artwork. This is the best part of an Art Stroll -going with different friends and then discuss. Highly recommended :)

Hope you enjoyed this Art Stroll to the New Museum.

Comments (6)

  • Sue Clarke


    Wow…I’m totally loving the work of Wilmer Wilson IV!
    The detail in the staples…when just the hands show through…very powerful.
    TFS again…I look forward to your posts every day Nat.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      So happy to have you Sue!!! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Yes- the work of Wilmer Wilson IV was super powerful !


  • Janene


    So grateful to you for posting these diverse and amazing pieces. I keep going back to “Walking Razor” – the colors and tiny little texture-strokes are really intense, and very inspiring. I also really loved the Russian woven textile pieces. It’s not a medium I’ve ever worked in, so I appreciate seeing it up-close. Thank you again, dear Nathalie!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Janene- yeah the Walking Razor was super intriguing and I kept trying to figure out how it was done. Just like for you the woven pieces are super interesting to me – painting with yarn :)


  • Deb


    Thank you so much for continuing to share your Art Strolls. We get to see exhibits that we otherwise would not. Your last comment in this post about seeing how differently we each “read” the various pieces is so true. Good to have friends to discuss it with. The “debriefing” of the stroll.

    Love the variety of your blog posts. Have enjoyed your posts from your Japan trip and the subsequently inspired journal pages. I look forward to your daily posts. Thanks for all the effort you put into them.

    Happy Friday!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Happy weekend Deb-!!! so happy to have you and that you enjoy the blog!
      I love going with friends and talk with them about art. Our different backgrounds and experiences as well as different knowledge makes up for interesting “readings” and conversations. My friend Thomas is much older and so it was really interesting what his perspective was – plus his knowledge of Latin for some of the tapestry was unbeatable- LOL. Have a wonderful sunday!


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Art Stroll: MoMA NYC

A couple weeks ago I went on an Art Stroll at MoMA – I love how there are always pieces exchanged in the permanent collection

James Ensor, Masks Confronting Death – 1988 – Oil on Canvas

I love the visual texture in this painting …yet the death masks are a bit disconcerting.

Pablo Picasso Woman Plaiting Her Hair – 1906

I love those three Picasso’s – it shows the development into cubism so well.

Pablo Picasso Bather 1908-09

Pablo Picasso Woman with Pears 1909

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Street, Berlin 1913

Kirchner’s colors are always make my heart swoon!

Henri Matisse The Blue Window 1913 

so beautiful !

Henri Matisse The Morrocans 195-16

Matisse developed this painting of what he described as “the terrace of the little cafe of the casbah” in the years following two visits to Morocco in 1912 and 1913.

Paul Klee, Mask of Fear, 1932 Oil on Burlap

Jackson Pollock, Echo 25 – 1951

Jackson Pollock Easter and the Totem 1953

After 1952 dripping and pouring paint were no longer the primary means of expression for Pollock. The bright colors and expansive spaces anchored by large swaths of black suggest the influence of Henri Matisse, who was the subject of a large retrospective that Pollock would have seen at MoMA the previous year.

Robert Gober, Intaglio Print 2001

The Long Run was an exhibition I found very interesting. Innovation in art is often characterized as a singular event- a bolt of lightning that strikes once and forever changes the course of what follows. But artists are continual experimenting  longer after their breakthrough moments. Invention results from sustained critical thinking, persistent observation and countless hours in the studio. The exhibition shows artworks from the later years of certain well known artists.

Philip Guston – Edge of Town – 1969

“When the 1960s came along I was feeling split, schizophrenic, the war that was happening in America, the brutality of the world. What kind of a man am I, sitting at home, reading magazines, going into a frustrated fury about everything – and then going into my studio to adjust a red to a blue.” In 1968 Gaston emphatically embraced figuration and his new paintings were scathing and satirical, often implicitly addressing current events.

Willem de Kooning, Untitled III 1982

I could not believe how different this painting by Kooning was from everything I knew from him.

Elizabeth Murray, Do the Dance 2005 – Oil on canvas on Wood

A very interesting part of this exhibition was how many women were included in this exhibition …it makes you wonder why there are not more artwork of the exact same artists from earlier years are included in the permanent collection ..hey MoMA …you could step your game up a bit and then it would make this exhibition round !

Ed Clark – Untitled 2009

Cy Twombly always makes me swoon


Cy Twombly – the four seasons – 1993 -1994


Roy Lichtenstein – Study for Interior with Mobile – 1992 –

I was really sure how this was really different from the former work of Lichtenstein.

Andy Warhol – The last Supper –

James Rosenquist – Lady Dog Lizard – 1985


Frank Stella, Giufa, la luna, i ladri e le guardie 1984 – synthetic polymer paint, oil, urethane, enamel, fluorescent alkyd and printing ink on canvas and etched magnesium, aluminum and fiberglass

I love how Stella how was so minimalistic and colorless in the past embraced color late in his life.

Geta Brătescu Medea’s Hypostases VI – 1980

Geta Brătescu Medea’s Hypostases III – 1980

Geta Brătescu Medea’s Hypostases II – 1980

Again a women that I do not know much about ..but I do love those fabric pieces.

Lee Bontecou Untitled 1980-98

It was a fun and inspiring visit – it reminded me that you always have to keep going, exploring and being curious.

Hope you enjoyed the Art Stroll :)

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Art Stroll: National Museum of Modern Art- Tokyo, Japan

I spent a day in the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and it was such a wonderful visit. It was refreshing to see Modern Art not from the usual suspects in Western Museums! The world …including the art world is so much bigger than what we think …it als always good to branch out and see things outside of the edge of our plates (probably a very German expression ;) )

Portrait of Chin-Jung,Sataro Yasui – 1934 – oil on canvas.

Yasui always sketched his portraits in a variety of angles and then intentionally combining different body parts from sketches with various viewpoints in an unbalanced way to create the impression the figure might begin moving at any moment.

The Five-Storied Pagoda of the Hokanji Temple, Kyoto by Kunitaro Suda, 1932 – oil on canvas

The area in the foreground of the pagoda is packed with utility poles and houses showing a striking contrast of changing times.

Wonderful views out …it was a gorgeous day

Junikai, a Twelve Story Building in Asakusa from Views of Tokyo by Kazuma Oda – 1916 – litography

Oda had a keen interest in the cities, especially in buildings that were undergoing a dramatic transformation during this period. The building depicted which was completed in 1890 was equipped with Japan’s first elevator. The tower was actually partly destroyed by the Great Knot Earthquake in 1923 and then demolished. Oda wrote immediately after the earthquake “Now, when I point to a tattered ukiyo-e print as a more durable thing than buildings constructed with reinforced concrete, you might laugh it off. But when we look at what the great earthquake has done, it becomes even more clear that I was not speaking thoughtlessly”.

Hirokoji Boulevard, Ueno from Views of Tokyo, Kazuma, Oda – 1916 – lithograph

Road to the Tank, Toshiyuki Hasekawa 1930 – oil on canvas

This gas tank was located in Senju and a unique Tokyo landmark. The color were just unreal!

Design for the Frontispiecie of Kodomo no Kuni, Harue Koga, 1932 – pencil and ink on paper

I loved this little dude!

Portrait of a Jewish Girl, Tomoyoshi Murayama, 1922 – oil, paper, wood and collage

Murayama dropped out of the university in Tokyo and went to Berlin in 1922, where he encountered various new Western art movements. The title of this work refere to a Jewish girl who lived downstairs in the rooming house where he stayed in Berlin. Such a beautiful piece!

Down, Taro Okamoto – 1948 oil on canvas


Flooded Town, Hiroshi Katsuragawa – 1950 – Oil on canvas

Illustration no. 12 ot the Novel The Wall by Abe Kobo, Hiroshi Katsuragawa 1951 – sumi, color on paper

another adorable dude!

Figure on the Back, Saburo Aso – 1961 – oil on canvas

The texture on this and the one below were incredible!

Mother and Child, Saburo Aso, 1959 – oil on canvas

Young of Grey Mullet, Seison Maeda, 1944 – Sumi on Paper

The title refers tot he young offspring of a fish called the gray mullet. the work makes it seem as though we are peering through the glass of a fish tank. It is a beautiful piece, unbelievable that it is not a photograph but a painting with sumi!

Girl, Gakuryo Nakamura, 1948 – Color on silk

Silk – so sheer and fragile and beautiful!

The whole museum was beautiful. Here are some tatami mats and some chairs to rest, the frames weren’t pompous but made sense with the artwork, everything was so tasteful and I noticed how orderly, quiet and thoughtful everyone was looking at the artwork – even at the most crowded special exhibition areas.

An Amazing Landscape, Gen’ichiro Inokuma – 1968 – oil on canvas

Purple Violet, Natsuyuki Nakansishi, 1983 – oil on canvas

a stunning piece with a 3D tactile effect.

Work, Toeko Tatsuno – oil on canvas

I love the pattern and colors on this piece!!!

It was such a great Art Stroll and I loved writing this post too because it made me look more into each of the artist’s work. What caught your eyes on this particular Art Stroll in Tokyo?

Comments (2)

  • julie b


    Ok, sign me up for your new stencils and stamps based on the last stunning piece! Donna will take a set too.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Awe- LOL- it is a beautiful pattern indeed! I hope to see you two in the summer when I am back in San Jose <3


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Art Stroll: Hakone Open Air Museum, Japan

Strolling through the Hakone Open Air Museum in Japan was so amazing- especially- because I did not expect this crazy collection! We spent only a day in Hakone as we stayed in a traditional Ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) and I had not really looked what was around there. But apparently my husband did and he had this planned as a little surprise for me :)

In this little resort town known for its hot springs you get to this museum by taking the slowest but most fun little train up the mountain.

Marcello Mascherini – Chimera con Ali – 1963 – Bronze

Auguste Rodin, Balzac 1891 – 98 – that is when I was like wowowowow- what is this Rodin doing here

Henry Moore – Reclinging Figure: Arch Leg 1969-70

Many pieces of Henry Moore.

Nicolas Schöffer, Spatiodynamique No. 22 – 1954-80

The weather was wonderful and it was great walking around and get some fresh air but also look at art at the same time.

Susumu Shingu – Never Ending Dialogue 1978

There are about 120 sculptures on permanent display across the huge park.

I love when people are interacting with art :)

Carl Milles, The Hand of God  1954

Henry Moore, Reclining Figure 1969-70

This tower was my absolute favorite- kind of unassuming but once you go inside the full beauty of the windows is revealed

There are a couple buildings with collections of sculptures- including one dedicated to Pablo Picasso with about 300 pieces of his work (no photography allowed- so no photos of that part)


Oh Max Ernst you always make me laugh!

Seiko Sawada, Maiko (Dancing Girl) 1974

So beautiful!

Francois Morellet, Spere-Trames 1862-63

Joan Miro, Personnage 1972  in front of this wooden construction

in which kids were playing in this colorful climbing thingi :)

Shin Yamamoto, Hey! 1992 – How can you not smile at this?

Isamu Noguchi – Rain Mountain 1982

Takao Tsuchida, Sound of Wind 1988 – I loved this!!!

and this ….

And …oh man …my husband…LOL – can’t bring him anywhere ;)

And a Dubuffet.

Hope you enjoyed this sculpture Art Stroll  in Japan. Which is your favorite sculpture I showed?

Comments (7)

  • Sue Clarke


    The black and red one with a human interacting with it!
    I love the theme of so many of these…kinda like humans are just a small bit of the planet and yet we cover so much of it.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      I loved that one too – Art that brings out any reaction in people is fascinating but especially when it makes people doing something fun and mimick it.


  • Jill McDowell


    What an awsome experience. I’m so impressed that your husband set this little side trip up.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Yeah …he is a keeper …guess I need to more jazz concerts to pay back – LOL


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Art Stroll: Noguchi Museum, NYC

A couple weeks ago my friends and I went to the Noguchi Museum in NYC . Isamu Noguchi was an American Japanese artist (1904-1988) who is most known for his sculptures and later mass produced lamps.

Especially his lamp designs are known to many because of Ikea’s take on it – be assured though that his original lamps are so much more beautiful than Ikeas.

Loved this cloud of lamps above! the lamps are made of handmade paper on bamboo frames and they give a beautiful warm light.


It was wonderful to see his sketchbook of lamp designs

as well as some of his molds for his lamp -they are beautiful designs by itself.

Noguchi broke the mold for the lamp sculpture below so that only one would exist- it is stunning.

Here is a video on how those lamps are to this days are handmade:

Love it!

And here you see me actually in a lamp – that was such a cool feeling the light and the paper made you feel super cocooned. I want this as my reading area- wouldn’t that be something?


My friend Heather “needed” to see how the foot was attached

I loved Noguchi’s sculptures – some are amazingly textured- some are smooth.

I also loved the sculpture garden – I can only imagine how beautiful it will be in the summer.

While we were at the museum there was also an exhibition of the work of Gonzalo Fonseca (1922–97), an Uruguayan sculptor.

His work was so intriguing and I loved looking at the little niches and engravings.

A wonderful Art Stroll through a gem of a Museum – I highly recommend it. It is a bit of a hike from Manhattan since it is on Long Island – but if you are close by- check it out! Hope you enjoyed this Art Stroll!

Comments (2)

  • Donna B.


    I also enjoyed watching the video! Thanks for sharing that!! It was amazing …


  • Sue Clarke


    Noguchi’s lights are so delicate. I really enjoyed watching the video and what patience he used.
    The sculptors made by Fonseca were fun to see and the details would make me want to study them for a while if seen in person.


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Art Stroll: Modern Art at the Met, NYC

Loved strolling a bit around to see some of the Modern Art displayed at the Met a couple weeks ago while I was there. I just recently saw a documentary about one of my favorite illustrators Christoph Niemann – follow his instagram feed, it is brilliant and makes me laugh! – and he said that “experiencing art is the gateway drug”. I agree – and here is some of fine substance ;)

Henri Matisse, Seated Odalisque, 1926

I have said so much about my love for Matisse’s pattern play …there …once again …swoon

Rufino Tamayo, Children’s Games, 1959

Love looking at this and discovering the shapes and scene.

Kouros, Isamu Noguchi, 1945 – Marble

Marc Rothko, No 16, 1960

Color inspiration anyone? Love it!

Willem de Kooning, Easter Monday, 1955-56

Texture Galore and collage elements – swoon

Joan Mitchell, Sunflower, 1969

I love the texture rich and voluminous flower painting – so gorgeous!

Alma Thomas, Red Roses Sonata, 1972 – Acrylic on canvas

This was so intriguing ! Speaking of making colors sing!

Creative art is for all time and is therefore independent of time. It is of all ages, of every land, and if by this we mean the creative spirit in man which produces a picture or a statue is common to the whole civilized world, independent of age, race and nationality; the statement may stand unchallenged.
-Alma Thomas, 1970

Spectrum V, Ellsworth Kelly, 1969


Claes Oldenburg, Soft Calendar for the Month of August, 1962

Canvas filled with shredded foam rubber, painted with Liquitex and enamel – I thought that was interesting – painted with “Liquitex” . But then I remembered that Liquitex was the first water-based acrylic paint created in 1955 – the name deriving from liquid texture hence the name of the company later. I have never seen a painting stating the material instead of acrylic paint with Liquitex – I guess having worked with them made me stumble upon this.

Jim Dine, Two Palettes, 1963

Oil, acrylic, enamel and charcoal on primed canvas

Pablo Picasso, Guitar and Clarinet on a Mantelpiece, 1915

It was especially great to see this painting as I was reading Matisse and Picasso: The Story of their Rivalry and Friendship and this painting plays a little “story” in the book. The book is interesting btw but not extremely great.

I love the Met but it is just such a hike to get there and it is always so crowded. Strolling through the Modern Art Galleries at the end fo the visit was a wonderful way to catch some breath after an insanely crowded stroll through the Hockney and Cornell exhibition. The next art stroll will probably come from a Museum in Japan …we will see ;) I hope you will join me!

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Art Stroll: Joseph Cornell at the Met, NYC

A couple weeks ago I went to the Met and one of the exhibitions I enjoyed in this art mecca was a small exhibition “Birds of Feather” Joseph Cornell’s Homage to Juan Gris. I loved this exhibition because it is about an Art Stroll – which was inspirational and turned into some beautiful art!

In 1953 Joseph Cornell saw Juan Gris’s painting below at an exhibition

“The Man at the Cafe” , 1914 by Juan Gris – oil on canvas with newspaper collage.

This painting captured Cornell’s imagination and he created 18 glass fronted boxes, two collages and one sand tray over the following thirteen years in homage to Gris. Here are just a few of the boxes:


“Josette; Juan Gris #5” ca. 1959-60

This ox is named for Josette Herpin, Gris’s companion. In 1959 Cornell dreamed of a blue cockatoo and explained in his diary that “Josette came to life” . Cornell knew of her two portraits by Gris, where she sits in a black armchair the contour of which mimic the projected shadows of Cornell’s first cockatoos. He was likely inspired by the blue hues of her bust-length portrait. for the colored silhouette in this box.

Untitled (Juan Gris Series, Black Cockatoo Silhuette) ca. 1959-60

Cornell’s interest in cut-and-pasted paper was a direct response to Gris’s collages.

The artist lined his cockatoo boxes with pages from 19th century French texts, which he found in Manhattan book stalls. The photo below is actually the back of one of the boxes -I love this!


Other elements that characterize the Gris boxes are fragments of floral wallpaper, marbleized paper, and commercial labels.


I love Cornell’s boxes- makes me really want to do more assemblage again. I also loved seeing the original inspiration and then so many different versions on how he spun the inspiration. The first box shown here still has some traces of the inspiration  – but only if you know about the piece by Gris – but you would not know with the other ones without knowing about the story. Fascinating, don’t you think?

Hope you enjoyed this art stroll- see you soon for another one :)


Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke


    Pretty cool that Cornell was so inspired after seeing Gris’ art.
    I can see that they would be fun to view, but I have to say that it makes me ask the question:
    Why is that in a museum more than anything else that has been created?
    Interesting what is determined to be “worthy of a museum” art versus anything that someone around me might create.
    Just saying.
    I tend to enjoy art that makes me question it and evaluate just what the artist was trying to get across.
    Just my thoughts.
    Enjoy your weekend and thanks for sharing Nat.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      It is a good question- love it. I think you always have to see art also in context of art history. Joseph Cornell was a pioneer in using found objects to create 3D art and create assemblage pieces. Taking what once was used and beautiful and then regarded as garbage to create something new was still a pretty new concept and he was taking it a step further from Collage. He inspired many influential artists with his work like Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol. What you see other artists doing today is what sprung from those roots. I think it is easy to forget how new and shocking some things were at certain times. But he who was a pioneer and inspired so many people after him, was also inspired of course by other artists- in this case by Gris who was part of the Cubism movement which again was CRAZY back then (and sometimes even for some people today) That is what fascinates me. I also think that those photos cannot convey the magic of his boxes – they are little wonder boxes. I love that you asked this question – I wonder myself with other art pieces a lot – but the greatest task is trying to find the answer or try to understand – wether it will be satisfying or not – it opens the world and makes us receptive to learn so much about so many things. That is what makes those Art Strolls besides the instant inspiration through color, texture, subject etc. so valuable for me.


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Art Stroll: David Hockney at The Met, NYC

A couple weeks ago I went to the David Hockney exhibition at the Met. I was super excited about it because I have show some of his work in some of my classes as an inspiration to the students. His use of color is fascinating.

I loved seeing his early work- it was so different!

Loved the different materials he used. Lots of texture which is changing soon.

“The Cha-Cha That was danced in the Early Hours of 24th March” 1961

While at the Royal College of Art, Hockney went to a party where one of his fellow students danced the cha-cha for him.

“Rocky Mountains and tired Indians” 1965

What made me laugh out loud was that apparently the American Indians referenced in the title were “tired” because he needed to explain the presence of the chair, which he had only added as a compositional prop. That is hilarious, don’t you think? LOL

Already in the next paintings you can see his use of colors becoming more bold but also that he is tarting to paint more flat.

Love the different swimming pool paintings. His most famous painting “The Splash” was impossible to look at – there were sooo many people in front of it, it was insane.

Love this painting of Mount Fuji.

His people are always a bit weird to me- so lifeless and stiff …

I love the one below

It totally reminds me of a Matisse painting- the window, the iron work of the balcony…

And then below super fascinating

a photo collage – you could think it is a painting from afar, but nope-. He played with those photo collages for 4 years to do something else and exciting and this is his final one.

And then look at these colors and how bright and fun the next paintings are!

I love the details here and how he added texture here. The perspective is so cool!

And then again he changed …

“Colorado River” 1998 – Oil on canvas

I love how he painted this on different panels. The colors are so intense and it felt magnificent just as the view he depicted.

And then his recent work -paintings of his terrace view.

I love those so so much!!!

with the final one below which has this really cool shape !

This was a great exhibition. It was fascinating to see his work change so much throughout his live but I was mostly inspired by Hockney’s use of color. If you have a chance to see Hockney’s work in person – go and see it. You feel the color !

Comments (4)

  • stephanie


    Hi Nat – how fab! I am still inspired by his work from my class with you last spring. I’d love to see it in person.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      awe- so glad you liked that! I hope you will have a chance to see his work in person- the colors are just incredible and my photos do not do them justice of course!


  • Sue Clarke


    I am usually a person who loves color and his is nice, but the first one is my favorite one (I think that it speaks to my past depressions).
    The people are flat, especially the woman in the pink bathrobe.
    Quite the change in style…thanks for sharing.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Yeah the flatness of his work is interesting – the figures he painted in the sixties and seventies are so emotionless too I feel -it is a bit eerie :)


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Art Stroll: Anselm Kiefer at Met Breuer, NYC

While at the Met Breuer I also strolled through the small Anselm Kiefer exhibition because as some of you might know I admire his work so much, the themes, the materials …. Some of the pieces I had just recently seen on an Art Stroll at the Gagosian Gallery , so I am not posting those again, but there were many other pieces that I loved to study.

Broken Flowers and Grass, 1980 – Gouache, acrylic, watercolor and shellac on photograph.

During the 80s Kiefer began reusing earlier self-portraits to create new works. Dressed in a crocheted gown, the artist presented himself as if asleep , but the broken flowers and grass cover his body as if he were dead and buried, the ultimate state of transformation.

The mixture of the photo and the crude painting on top fascinates me.

Aziluth, 2004 – painted photograph and collage on paper

Stunning- and guess how much I wanted to touch this piece. I just love the interplay of photo, collage and painting!

No touching of the one below:

Heavy Cloud, 1985 – Lead and shellac on photograph, mounted on cardboard

Kiefer has often used lead to represent something usually thought to be weightless. Here the title is a pun on “heavy Water” a synonym for radiation in nuclear reactors. Kiefer has pointed out that even though lead is used to “seal radiation” his Heavy Clout has “a radiation leak” symbolized by the yellow shellac streaks seeping form the bottom of the cloud in the direction of the bleak landscape.

Brünnhilde/Grane 1982/93 – Woodcut and acrylic on cut and pasted papers, mounted on canvas

Woodcut is a traditional medium in German art. Kiefer began to experiment with woodblock printing in the early 1970s and returned to it in the late 70s focusing on subjects related to German history and myth. Fo all theGermanic tradition evoked in his turn to the woodcut, his practice was nontraditional in his choice of a larger format and a visibly seamed composition. One of the artist favorite themes at this time was Grane, the sacred steed ridden by Brünnhilde, when she sacrificed herself on Siegfried’s funeral pyre at the close of Wagner’s opera Götterdämmerung.

The texture, the details, and then the size- just amazing!


His gigantic paintings are just breath taking- the texture – omg – I could sit in front of this forever. Unfortunately the hallway as the entrance to the exhibition where this was hung was so narrow that it was hard to take the painting in in total. Plus the museum was super crowded …even if not as crowded as in other galleries of the Met Breuer.

It was a very inspiring Art Stroll that let me think about more and different ways to integrate photos, collage and painting …printing …texture …all of it in my work. Hope you enjoyed the stroll as well :)

Comments (4)

  • Seth


    What? Wait? Kiefer is at the Met Breuer? Who knew? Oh yeah – Nat did. Will have to get there too see this. Thanks!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      LOL maybe I will ping you next time and we go together ;) It is a small but fine little exhibition – combine it with the MET to make the day worthwhile ;)


  • Kathryn Gallanis


    I too love Anselm Kiefer. Many years ago there was an exhibit of Kiefer’s large works at the Art Institute of Chicago. I was in awe of the scale and texture. There was hay and dirt in one of the works! I had never seen anything like it. The principle that art maybe isn’t supposed to last was also new to me. I went back several times and loved it. Thank you for the great visit.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      I agree- I love how he is working so much with the concept of transforming art! It must be such an liberating feeling to do art with that concept- I wish I was there yet :) Thank you for joining me on the stroll Kathryn!


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