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The New York art scene still proves to play a major serious role in the development of contemporary art and artists. Even with today’s diverse worldly influences, massive market and expansive global communication, New York provides, within the distance of a walk, bicycle ride or short public transit commute, more intimate interaction to a greater variety of artists and art experiences than any other single place. It is in such intense, fertile and free exchange environments that artists are nurtured and develop to create significant art. In Art as in Nature species diversity is both an ingredient and an indicator of a thriving balanced environment. It is more than "The Market". Some dealers even do more harm than good. ( Example Read - "The Legacy of Mark Rothko" )( Book )
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
Francoise Gilot about Matisse, Picasso and others in Collioure :
“Time and time again ideas had been thrown into a boiling cauldron in that area---metaphysical questions about the nature of reality and illusion, and libertarian theories about the necessity of political freedom and freedom of expression."
( Francoise Gilot – Matisse and Picasso a Friendship in Art )
( Francoise Gilot Archives )
In the first decade of the twentieth century Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, after returning from Europe, expressed her feelings and wishes for American art; ..."would that we practical Americans with our love of money, our unbounded belief in ourselves, could cultivate an eye for the artistic in all phases of life.
Not in art alone, though alas we need it sadly there, but in every part of our too full and hurried lives. If we could but rise in the morning artistically, to work or play artistically, to eat, sleep, and love artistically!"
In 1914 she opened her Whitney Studio in a building at West Eighth Street and 19 MacDougal Alley, "Greenwich Village".
On the ground floor were two large rooms for exhibitions of the artists she realized had no place to exhibit in New York that was a city still obsessed with it's European heritage.-Video
Videos are selected by content not by location or date
Most videos courtesy of Loren Munk aka James Kalm (Facebook)
Marguerite “Peggy” Guggenheim is another early New York art patron that deserves recognition. While she paid a high personal price for her rebellious unorthodox surrealist lifestyle (and her galleries never made a financial profit), she probably made more important contributions to advance the New York modernist movement than most current “gallerists” have, or ever could. Peggy not only brought emigre artists and a new generation of American artists together, she brought the cultural freedom and egalitarian spirit she felt in Montparnasse.
"ART OF THIS CENTURY",With its interactive exhibits in an atmosphere of play was a natural draw for the press. It was a gallery that could change popular culture, not just the buying habits of the wealthy.
During 1947 in "The Nation", Clement Greenberg wrote "...the fact remains that in the three or four years of her career as a New York gallery director, she gave first shows to more serious artists than anyone else in the country ( Pollock, Hare, Baziotes, Motherwell, Rothko, Ray, De Niro, Admiral, McKee, and others). I am convinced that Peggy Guggenheim's place in the history of modern art will grow larger as time passes and as the artists she encouraged mature".
( Read - Mistress of Modernism) or
( Read - Peggy Guggenheim - Shock of the Modern)
Perhaps Flora Miller Biddle said it best in her book about the Whitney Museum;
… Since Neolithic times, art has been a necessity for human beings, and artists have been the heart and soul of culture and society.
No one, not even the artists who make it, can control art.
These men and women are in touch with an ultimate mystery, with the essence of life’s meaning, and they bring it to us as a gift."
What do some pioneers have to say about their communities?