A two million square foot cultural hub and one of the largest organizations dedicated to celebrating the arts and its creators invites you to step out of your bubble (New York City) and come on to the other side of the bridge. Mana Contemporary’s flagship location resides in a former tobacco warehouse in New Jersey.Art enthusiasts get an all around art experience by interacting with artist on residency during open artist studios, seeing live art performances, and by being up-close with some of the most captivating works by artist from all walks in life.
“Practitioners specializing in a variety of disciplines—including painting, sculpture, photography, dance, film, sound, and performance—work alongside each other in a forward-thinking environment that fosters experimentation, collaboration, and mutual inspiration.”
An eclectic group of art exhibitions were taking place during our first visit to this art wonderland. Located on the ground floor, in a sunlit immense room we came across the grandiose works of art by the nonconformist Austrian artist, Arnulf Rainer. Best known for his overpaintings, the process of masking artworks, Rainer has always preferred to create using unconventional and radical techniques.
The exhibition presented by the Ayn Foundation, showcases 19 paintings from the artist’s cross and angel series. Rainer’s attraction to the emotional sentiments associated with religious allegiance was the inspiration behind these works. The artist approached the matter from a “theological art historical” perspective with the inclination to recontextualize the allegories of the faith.
“For my own part, I have always been inspired by William Blake’s idiosyncratic visions of angels but also by those of Giotto and Fra Angelico, which encouraged me to become involved with the visual splendor of these beings. But this has been limited to shy, covert glances at their attire. I do not dare look at them in the face.” (The Menil Collection catalogue, 1992, p.113)
Alex Gingrow and Michael Scoggins: I Love You, But You Make Me Completely Crazy Explores the eccentricities involve within solidarity and connections among people. “Though created in the private space of each partner’s respective heart, head, and studio, demonstrate the paths we all walk seemingly alone, but never without the influence of the lives around us, for better or for worse.”
Here’s Looking Back at You: Images of Woman from the ESKFF Collection is a collective exhibition referring to the portrayal of women in society and “how both artist and viewer confront female representation.” Organized into four sessions; “Ancien Régime”, “On The Face of It” challenges the viewer by asking, can we really analyze women’s being via portraiture? “Here’s Looking at Her,” and “A Day in the Life of…” which surveys the viewers perception of anonymous subjects.
Made in California, another collective show presented by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation was next on our list. Works depicting the multidimensional vibe and culture of California by notable and established LA artists make up the impressive presentation.
One fact the masses might not know about world-wide recognized actor Anthony Quinn, is that he was also an enthusiastic art patron and visual artist. The collection includes over 3,000 works, including his first art possession, whose title of the exhibition takes its name after. The T’ang Horse, an antique ceramic horse sculpture. The exhibition showcases both of his on creations and highlights from his art collection.
To experience the rest of the art works and to explore the many aspects of this Art haven in person head to Mana Contemporary.
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Photo By:Erica Genece
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