Couples Who Art Each Other

Frida and Diego, Johns and Rauschenberg, Pollack and Krasner, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe, Lee Miller and Man Ray, ... these names are familiar to us as famous art couples. But what about Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, Herb and Dorothy, Cutie and the Boxer?

Through exhibitions and films, and with a little serendipity, the Brooks is currently celebrating three couples who have immersed themselves in the arts: Two power couple collectors, and a spritely artist duo.

Screen shot 2013-12-10 at 1.57.33 PM

Cutie and the Boxer


Ushio and Noriko Shinohara (aka Cutie and the Boxer)

Ushio put the "action" in action painting. In the 1960s, he made a name for himself punching blotches of pigment onto large scale canvases with boxing gloves, lending credence to the moniker, "the Boxer", as he is referred to in the title of the documentary film, Cutie and the Boxer. His wife Noriko (Cutie) had a different name for him; she called him "Bullie" in her memoir by way of graphic novel sketches. This film promises to depict all the challenges and rewards that the life of two struggling artists in love brings. Cutie and the Boxer will be showing at the Brooks on Thursday, December 12th at 7 pm.

For tickets, click here.

Dorothy and Herbert Vogel

"Proletarian art collectors" Herb and Dorothy Vogel amassed one of the most comprehensive collections of post-1960s fine art, all on the wages of a librarian and a postal worker. They cherished minimal and conceptual works, what Chuck Close called, "the most unlikeable art, the most difficult, the least decorative". Many, like Richard Tuttle's 3rd Rope Piece, could easily go unnoticed in their small Manhattan apartment. Perhaps this is part of the reason they turned over their collection to the National Gallery of Art in 1992, other reasons being that the National Gallery is free, and they wanted the collection to belong to the public. Furthering this sentiment, the Vogels started a project in 2008 entitled, The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, which the Brooks was blessed to be a part of. As the title implies, they distributed 2,500 works to 50 institutions across 50 states. Works received by the Brooks are currently on view in the Goodman Gallery, with a second component to be added mid-December.

In conjunction, the Brooks will screen two documentaries by Megumi Sasaki about the couple and their collection. Herb & Dorothy 50x50 on Saturday, December 14th at 2pm, and Herb & Dorothy on Saturday, January 11th at 2pm.

For tickets, click here.

Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla

Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla are the visionaries behind Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection of Photography, on view at the Brooks through January 5th. The two married in 1986, and bought their first image together shortly thereafter: A Robert Mapplethorpe. Their views toward collecting are much like that of a relationship. Sondra Gilman, in an interview with exhibition curators Ben Thompson and Paul Karabinis, on collecting:

"I think it's a love affair...that you know will end eventually...when you die [laughs]. Our emotion is love not ownership."


Richard Misrach, American (b. 1949)
Battleground Point, No 20, 1999, Print: 2001
Chromogenic dye coupler print
© Richard Misrach, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles; Pace MacGill Gallery, New York

Posted by Andria Lisle at 2:08 PM
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