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Will Art Advisory's tweets and The WAA List share discoveries, artist news, exhibitions, experiences, ways to give, lectures, studio visits, acknowledgments, a little social opinion and much more.

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⟠ Nicole from Will Art Advisory takes Ally & Steve from SIT-IN through three LES exhibitions ⟠

April 27, 2018





⟠ Recent Press ⟠

June 30, 2017

Nicole Will was interviewed by Emerson Rosenthal for the Creators section of the recent (June) issue of Vice Magazine. The article focuses on independent curators and trends in curating. Click here to read in full. 


♞ Stein's advice to Hemingway ♞

January 01, 2020

Recently, I re-read A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. There is a great passage where Gertrude Stein gives advice to Hemingway on collecting "pictures" which I thought I'd share:

"'You can either buy clothes or buy pictures,' she said. 'It's that simple. No one who is not very rich can do both. Pay no attention to your clothes and no attention at all to the mode, and buy your clothes for comfort and durability, and you will have the clothes money to buy pictures.'

"'But even if I never bought any more clothing ever,' I said, 'I wouldn't have enough money to buy the Picassos that I want.'

"'No. He's out of your range. You have to buy the people of your own age – of your own military service group. You'll know them. You'll meet them around the quarter. There are always good new serious painters. But it's not you buying clothes so much. It's your wife always. It's women's clothes that are expensive.'" 


⌔ The WAA Game: Part IV ⌔

May 10, 2017

♔ FOUR ♛


Pictured above: Blinky Palermo and Imi Knoebel, Madrid, New Mexico, 1974 (Palermo and Knoebel traveled in the Southwest area of the United States by car in 1974. They visited the de Menil's Rothko Chapel, 1971 in Houston, Walter De Maria's Las Vegas Piece, 1969 and Michael Heizer's Double Negative, 1969.)



Blinky Palermo's life could be the plot of a Hollywood film. He was born a twin in Leipzig Germany in 1943 with the name Peter Schwarze. He was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Wilhelm Heisterkamp becoming Peter Heisterkamp and when his adopted mother died in 1958, he learned of is biological identity.

Studying graphic design in the Bauhaus style in his early adult-hood led him to the Düsseldorf Academy in 1962 where he was classmates with some of the most recognized German artists today. 

His name, Blinky Palermo, was assigned to him by a classmate referencing the con-man and fight fixer in Philadelphia. 

In 1964, he took classes with the ever-affecting Joseph Beuys where he quickly became his star pupil. Beuys supported Palermo's identity change having been quoted saying "To change your art, change yourself." 

Heiner Friedrich (co-founder of Dia Art Foundation), of Heiner Friedrich Gallery in Cologne who represented artists including Robert Ryman, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd and Fred Sandback and many more (not a woman among them), first met Palermo in 1966 during the Academy's student exhibition. He would remain an important source of support for the rest of his life

Palermo had visited the United States, with Gerhard Richter, once in 1970 before he moved to New York City for three years in 1973. The city, and the country, would have a strong effect on him and be the impetus for one of his most loved installations. 

His life ended early, possibly related to drug and alcohol use, while on vacation in the Maldives. At the age of 33, in 1977, Palermo died leaving a concise and ultimately brilliant body of work


The most important aspect of his work, to me, lies in the relationship he exemplified between the mind (inner) and location (outer), or what art historian Suzanne Hudson has called 'Psychic Geography'. Below is an excerpt from her essay in Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964 - 1977 published by Dia and Yale, 2010 on the occasion of the exhibition curated by Lynne Cooke. 

"Resigning his habit of leaving works untitled, Palermo referred to New York as a place as much as a psychic geography in the titles of numerous works from 1975 including Coney Island and Wooster Street. The following year he began the epic To the People of New York City. The work typically, and not undeservedly, described as Palermo's "magnus opus," in the words of Robert Storr...."

"....contingency on location is not the same thing as transparency to it, especially once the painting has been detached from its referent's site. Indeed, the Metal Pictures evince a move from reflexive site-specificity continuous with its architectural surrounds to a present organization of space based on excerption from elsewhere."


Both Blinky Palermo and Ellsworth Kelly offer two sides of the same coin: alternate cut - outs of reality and an extensive liminal nature. 

"There's no smoke without fire, as the saying goes; Kelly does not deny this, but he is solely interested in the smoke, and couldn't care less about the fire, as he prospects this illogical object, an index without a referent," said Yves-Alain Bois. Perhaps, we could argue that for Palermo, fire and smoke are equally present. 


❡ The WAA Game: Part III ❡

April 24, 2017



The Black Mountain College defined a uniquely generative moment in the history of art. A radically independent school in North Carolina open from 1933-1957,  it fostered a true spirit of experimentation and artistic community. Once a professor at the Bauhaus, Joseph Albers, with artist Anni Albers, fled Germany in 1933 and found themselves in new teaching positions at the BMC at the recommendation of Philip Johnson, then curator at MoMA.

The Albers' spoke little English but became an influential axis point at this college in the South which would invite professors Jacob Lawrence, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Xanti Schawinsky and Buckminster Fuller to teach. Students who attended include Ruth Asawa, Lorna Blaine Halper, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Martha Parks Washington, and many others including WAA's number three pick: Dorothea Rockburne

Rockburne (b. 1932) arrived to Black Mountain from Montreal directly after high school in 1950. Her first retrospective was held at the MoMA when she was 81 years old. Throughout her career, her work has maintained a rigorous exploration of geometric mathematics as it relates to nature's organization, primarily the golden ratio.


The text below has been transcribed from a brief video on MoMA's website to provide some information in Rockburne's own words:

"Drawing is the bones of thought. I always find I am reading or seeing or doing something and the only way I can think is with my hands, drawing.

"I went to BMC in 1950 and two weeks after I was at Black Mountain I must have said something because Max came up to me and said 'I want you to take my class.' Max Dehn was a mathematician. While people came from all over the world just to study with him, he never had more than 3 students, but the students he had were really significant.

"When he asked me to take his class I was horrified because I said 'I've had no training, I can't take your class.' And he said 'You haven't been math poisoned which is right' he said 'I will teach you mathematics for artists.' And he showed me mathematics in nature. He wasn't teaching a mathematician he was teaching an artist how to think mathematically but it was so wonderful, so heady, I felt big..."

"I was studying transitive geometry and I wanted to find a transitive material. I located the carbon paper and by folding and unfolding the sheets I could transpose the equations I was working into a materialized artwork. I was very interested in the fact that the whole room should represent the art. I painted the walls with the brightest white paint you could find. As people walked into the room their footprints became part of the drawing, that was my plan...

"I lived on Chambers Street. I was working all kinds of jobs at once plus I had a child I was raising. And I didn't have the money to buy art supplies, they were expensive. So I went across the street to the hardware store and I bought crude oil, gallons of crude oil. People look on the crude oil as a big insight into material, believe me it was not, it was accident. But I also had done some tests and I knew what it would do and I knew it had incredible properties and color wise it fell right into my Beaux-Arts training because this was a natural in-the-earth material. And to me it has a lot of color..."

"By this time I had been looking at a lot of Italian painting and realized that they were all based on the golden mean. I was very familiar with what the golden mean looked like. Now our bodies are all golden mean... every thing is, you begin to realize. It's a magic proportion. If you do anything using it you can't go wrong, its bound to be a success. It's amazing..."

"I wanted to work with curves, because every thing in the universe moves on an elliptical... When one is dealing with art, or mathematics, there is always an element of magic. If everything adds up and works out well you are on the wrong trail."


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