• 2014 RxArt Party Tickets

    Please join us at RxArt's 14th Anniversary PARTY honoring artist KAWS! 

    Tickets are now available here: Eventbrite

    We hope that you will join us to pay tribute to the generous artists and donors who have made projects in over 20 hospitals nationwide possible. 

     

    The RxArt Party will also include a Live and Silent Auction with artwork by revered artists such as, Kaws, Rob Pruitt, Walead Beshty, Matthew Brandt, Mike Bouchet, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Mark Hagen, Klara Kristalova, Erik Parker, Jose Parla, Ry Rocklen, Hugh Scott-Douglas, Tony Tasset, Lawrence Weiner, and many more.

    All proceeds support RxArt's mission to transform pediatric hospital facilities into comforting and engaging spaces through site-specific installations by contemporary artists.

     

    We look forward to seeing you at what will be a wonderful night!

  • Welcome to RxArt

    My name is Gabi Pérez. I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I am the current film/video intern for RxArt. Being born and raised on an island has given me the opportunity to experience a life that most people dream of. The whole "I live where you vacation" was a very true statement for my first 18 years, but ever since moving away from home, I have realized that there is so much that I still have left to learn about the world. In the past four years, I have crossed paths with situations that have expanded my curiosity about life. I believe that is where my interest in art truly stems from; being able to communicate through visuals is the universal language. 

    I recently graduated with a BFA in Art Photography from the college of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. I am currently amongst the many who make up the city of New York and have decided to take a plunge into the art world here. I am positive that joining RxArt will give me the opportunity to exercise my photography skills and in turn promote this fantastic organization. I strongly believe that art helps to heal, is essential for a child's growth, and I am very happy to be a part of this organization.

  • Rob Pruitt's Dry Erase Wall is Finally Up at St. Mary's Hospital for Children

    Last Thursday morning RxArt successfully installed the much anticipated Rob Pruitt dry erase wall at St. Mary's Hospital for Children...and we couldn't be more excited!

     (Jan Mittan, Senior VP of Development and External Relations at St Mary's, gave Jeffrey, an enthusiastic patient at St. Mary's, a hand to help him color the wall)

    The children were elated to see the wall go up and couldn't wait to get coloring. It was so moving to see their faces turn to smiles. Although most of them were challenged by a broad spectrum of conditions, as soon as they got hold of that crayon their faces lit up and they became proud of their colorful drawings and names written in the white zebra stripes on the wall.

      (Diane Brown, President and Founder of RxArt, and Andrew Craven, advisory board member, colored with patients at St. Mary's to test out the newly installed Pruitt)

    We hope this wall will give countless children struck with illness and their families moments of joy and of relief from the incredible struggles they face.

  • Exciting New Addition to RxArt

    My name is Albert Fis and I am a new intern for RxArt. I was born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in Mexico city. I lived in Mexico City until I finished high school and then decided to move to Boston to complete my BSBA in Entrepreneurship at Suffolk University. Growing up in a city so rich in culture has made me passionate for art and this passion has grown immensely during the past couple of years. Traveling has also made me very interested in art because I just find it fascinating how you can experience each different culture through their art. Although I appreciate all of the different types of art I like Contemporary the most since it makes me over think and positively alters my feelings. When I found out about RxArt I thought about how great the idea of placing art in medical institutions is. Art will completely change a space and has such a powerful way of altering somebody's state of mind. I look forward to be part of this phenomenal organization.

  • In A Different Vein

    If you will be in Long Island over the next month, make sure to see Jason Middlebrook's, Every Tree is a Map, up at Silas Marder Gallery in Bridgehampton until September 14!

    From left: Black Lines on Black Birch (2014); Many Types of Woodgrain (2012); and Inspired by a Diner in Nyack (2013). Photo courtesy of Hamptons-Magazine.com (http://hamptons-magazine.com/lifestyle/articles/jason-middlebrook-exhibits-his-series-of-paintings-on-planks-at-the-silas-marder-gallery).

    In 2007, Jason generously partnered with RxArt to create a wall painting, Traveling Seeds, in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit of Mount Sinai Hospital, in addition to creating prints for San Francisco General Hospital's Psychiatric Emergency Unit in 2011, and for an outpatient clinic waiting area at New York City's Metropolitan Hospital in 2013. The installations have been a huge success, transforming bleak areas into spaces that soothe and bring a smile to hospital patients and staff. His current works on exhibition are similarly inspired by nature's regenerative cycles. In his plank paintings, he paints elaborate patterns on various types of wood to emulate organic growth rings. As the title reveals, each cross-sectional slab traces a lineage of experiences that reflects the state of the natural environment as well as man's place within it. The gallery, an oversized barn that sits on landscaped grounds filled with hay bales, is the perfect venue to display these works. The embellished planks highlight the wonders of evolution, while reminding us of the human interventions that shape and change nature's path.

    Photo courtesy of patch.com (http://patch.com/new-york/north-fork/jason-middlebrook-every-tree-map-opens-silas-marder#.U_Ig8oBdXi8).

    Every Tree is a Map is on view at Silas Marder Gallery until Sunday, September 14. 

  • Party Time!

    It's that time! Save-the-date for RxArt's annual party honoring the amazing KAWS: Monday, November 17, 6-9pm. This year's auction features works by an incredible group of artists. Details to come soon. Mark your calendars!

  • Purple Magazines Interviews Diane Brown on RxArt

    Founder and Executive Director, Diane Brown discussed RxArt in a recent interview with Purple Fashion Magazine. 

    Purple : For those who don’t know what exactly is Rxart?

    Diane :RxArt is a non-profit organization that transforms pediatric hospitals into more comforting and engaging spaces by introducing site-specific installations by contemporary artists. The therapeutic potential of visual art to stimulate healing is well known, and we provide children and their families with creative respite from the anxiety and the pain of illness, offering hope.

    Purple: How did it come into being?

    Diane:I started RxArt in response to a personal medical experience. I was having a CT-Scan and was extremely anxious - afraid of what the results might show. The room was very austere and there was nothing to take my mind off the test and the possible results. I felt panicky and wanted to get out of the room but that was impossible; the only escape for me was my imagination. As a spontaneous defense, lying on my back on the gurney, I visualized a painting on the ceiling of the room. I became completely immersed in the imagined painting and before I knew it the test was over. I decided that I wanted to help others who were in the same situation but might not have the ability to conjure an artwork to escape to. I began exploring the possibility of putting original artwork in the areas of hospitals where there was a great deal of stress.

    Purple : Why is art an important part of recovery?

    Diane:Creativity and imagination are agents of wellness and RxArt's projects capture the importance of humanizing medicine by embracing art as a vital part of patient care and by improving the quality of hospital environments. Anne Ridenour (1998) wrote in the Journal of the AMA, "Art helps children forget that they are ill while being in a strange place that otherwise might be frightening. Art connects children to delight and discovery and brings back some of the experiences of being a child, not just a sick child." The hospital community is one that constantly struggles with loss, fear, and anxiety. Experiencing visual art in a healthcare facility provides the 'mental vacation' that can be transformative in the healing process. We strongly believe that art transforms lives, and that in combination with first-rate medical care, hastens recovery. Studies have shown that patients who experienced visual arts in a healthcare facility had significantly reduced levels of depression, required less pain medication, and had shorter lengths of stay.

    Purple : Can you tell us a personal story about how you have seen the project in action?

    Diane :In one of RxArt's early installations, Polish artist Dominik Lejman used daylight videos of animals taken at the Bronx Zoo, the Central Park Zoo and the New York Aquarium. When daylight video is projected on a wall, there is no visible edge to the image so the animals projected appeared to actually be in the space. We tested Lejman's work in the hospital lobby during the busiest time of day. Responses from the children were pure fascination and wonder. The first video we projected was of a herd of flamingos that appeared to be moving around in the waiting room. The children went up to the wall attempting to make the animals respond by petting and hitting the walls. When the flamingos finally took flight, all of the children screamed BOO - trying to take credit for scaring them away. A ten-year-old boy who was battling cancer asked me if I happened to be with the animals. When I said yes, he explained that he had to go to his radiation treatment, but it would not take long, and he hoped other animals might be there when he returned. Shortly after he left the tiger video came on. It was exciting because the tiger appears to walk directly toward the viewer and then lies down briefly so that only the tips of his ears are visible above the baseboard. I was eager for the young boy to return. Just as the big cat lay down I heard footsteps running down the hall and saw the boy with an optimistic smile on his face. I had hoped that during his radiation treatment the thought of getting back to the animals provided him with a healthy distraction. From where the boy stood in the distance, however, he could only see the white wall, and not the tiger's ears. His smile dropped until suddenly the tiger stood up and began walking toward him. I watched as the boy's eyes grew bigger and an enormous smile returned to his face. In that moment he didn't look like a sick child, but a child full of wonder and hope.

    Purple : How do you find the artists you collaborate with?

    Diane ;My entire adult life has been spent working in contemporary art, as a gallerist and a private curator. I knew many artists when I started RxArt and as our organization grows we continually meet new ones. We are introduced to younger artists by our current collaborators, by our supporters, and our board. Everyone on the RxArt team actively follows contemporary art and participates in the conversation to select the best and most appropriate artists for each project

    Purple : Tell us a little about the products you sell?

    Diane :In addition to our hospital projects, RxArt also publishes the RxArt Coloring Book every two years. Four volumes have been published to date, each featuring more than 50 original line drawings by contemporary artists. They are distributed free of charge to children in our partner hospitals and sold on our website and select retail outlets to benefit RxArt projects. The coloring book truly exemplifies our mission. A hospital visit is often a frightening experience for a child, and this book is intended to take their minds elsewhere, easing anxiety, sparking imagination and enhancing the healing process. It is also a great book for the collector. We have also produced three wonderful 200-piece puzzles. Our first puzzle featured Terry Richardson's iconic piece, The Clown. Subsequently we produced puzzles featuring a Dan Colen bubblegum work and a Yoyoi Kusama self portrait. This past holiday season RxArt partnered with Nordstrom to produce a series of RxArt products. Nate Lowman created ornaments, Andrew Kuo designed a tee shirt with an image of a grumpy cat that dreamt of candy canes but ended up with a lump of coal, Ryan McGinley produced a mug featuring a naughty lemur, Julia Chiang designed beautiful lollipops that were almost to pretty to eat, and Jose Parla designed a beautiful notebook. We also worked with Ann Craven and Will Cotton independently to produce wrapping paper. All of our products are available in the RxArt online store on our website and 100% of the proceeds benefit RxArt.

    Purple : Do you have an new collaborations coming up?

    Diane :We have many projects in the pipeline. Rob Pruitt, RxArt board member, friend, and brilliant artist, has transformed his iconic images of zebras and pandas, integrating orbs of vibrant color, into a dry erase wall for the pediatric patients at St. Mary's Hospital for Children in Bayside, NY. The image will cover the major wall of the Child Life Room, becoming a permanent and interactive art piece. Pruitt's dry erase wall will provide patients with a healthy distraction. a creative outlet, and inspire social interaction. In addition the dry erase wall has the potential to provide physical therapy benefits for patients with impaired fine motor skills. St. Mary's children are challenged by a broad spectrum of conditions, including chronic illness, complications of premature birth, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, and other neurological, respiratory and orthopedic disorders. We are currently working to complete two projects with artist Eli Sudbrack, of the artist collective Assume Vivid Astro Focus, in the cafeteria/all purpose room of The Special Children's Center in Lakewood, NJ and in the waiting room of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation's family center, La Clinica del Barrio, in Harlem, NY. AVAF's exuberant colors and patterns expand the limits imposed by the walls, altering the entire environment and making the viewer an active participant, absorbing the positive energy that surrounds them. In collaboration with Urs Fischer, Sam Falls and Laura Owens, RxArt plans to produce original site-specific art for the ceilings of pediatric in-patient rooms in a highly respected Los Angeles hospital. Rather than staring at a blank ceiling, the images created by these generous and creative artists will stimulate the patient's imagination and provide healthy distractions.

    Purple : How can people support Rxart?

    Diane :RxArt's annual fundraiser, the RxArt PARTY, is always a terrific event - with great art, a super chic crowd that includes many of the participating artists, and wonderful food! This year the RxArt Party will honor KAWS, celebrated contemporary artist and good friend of RxArt. The party will be held on November 17th, 2014. Supporters may also access the RxArt website, rxart.net, to donate general operating funds, or to select a specific project to support. They can also mail in their tax-deductible donations directly to the RxArt office at 208 Forsyth St., NYC 10002. 

    Text Paula Goldstein Di Principe

    Check out the link below to learn more about RxArt!

    http://purple.fr/boutique/stories/rxart-how-art-can-help-heal 

  • Artists Curating Artists

    When artists curate works by other artists, it creates a dialogue between artistic sensibilities. Often we are unsure if the artists personally know (or knew) each other, if they were influenced by each other, or if their collaboration was the result of a stimulating first encounter. And we start to look for clues—the visual and thematic links that join the artists in their uneasy union. Two gallery shows up now, Some Artists’ Artists at Marian Goodman and A Machinery for Living curated by Walead Beshty at Friedrich Petzel, provoke these questions of aesthetic preference, lineage, and influence. Similar to MoMA’s Artist’s Choice series, most recently overseen by Trisha Donnelly, the shows present intriguing, frequently surprising, connections between the selectors and selectees, generating an unresolved tension between two artistic practices.

    Installation view of Some Artists' Artists at Marian Goodman. Photo courtesy Marian Goodman and the author.

    Marian Goodman’s exhibition includes 23 international artists from countries spanning Albania, Cuba, Holland, Portugal, Taiwan, and the US. The selecting artists, established figures like John Baldessari, Tony Cragg, Tacita Dean, Gabriel Orozco, Julie Mehretu, and others, were not restricted in their choice of artists, yielding a pool both young and old, known and emerging. Interestingly, the gallery does not reveal who has chosen whom in its press release nor in plain sight in the gallery itself (you must inquire at the front desk). By leaving its curators anonymous, the gallery squashes any direct associations between artists, leaving the work to speak on its own.

    There were a few standout pieces. I loved Edi Hila’s series of paintings depicting landmarks from his home country of Albania—in particular, this frothy pink painting of the Parliament building. Almost like Gerhard Richter’s blurry photo-paintings, Hila’s images allude to his country’s shrouded history, and are simply beautifully-rendered paintings.

    Edi Hila, Parlement, 2011. Photo courtesy Marian Goodman and the author.

    In Jessica Rankin’s Dear Another, the artist placed cut-up words in poetic juxtapositions against a spongy monochromatic backdrop that was inspired by constellations, and that to me resembles cellular globs.

    Jessica Rankin, Dear Another, 2014. Photo courtesy Marian Goodman and the author.

    Abraham Cruzvillegas’ Self-Portrait sculptures are tributes to the traditions of his native Mexico, while also referring to other forms of regional construction that combine generic manufacturing with unique handicraft. Using gravity and weight, Cruzvillegas strikes a precarious balance that represents the gap between local and foreign cultures.

    Foreground: Abraham Cruzvillegas, Tectonic Self Portrait Thinking of the Possible Disappearance of the Baja California Peninsula and Reading Anthonio Gramsci's "Gli Intellectuali e L'Organizzazione della Culturea", 2014. Four Edi Hila paintings in background. Photo courtesy Marian Goodman and the author.

    Lastly, Thomas Schütte’s startling Glass Heads are comedic takes on the heroic busts of historical sculpture.

    Thomas Schütte, Glaskopfs (Glass Heads), 2013. Photo courtesy Marian Goodman and the author.

    In his show at Petzel, A Machinery for Living, Beshty, a London-born photographer and writer based in Los Angeles, set out with an enigmatic agenda. Beshty’s own work explores the fraught relationship between photographic images and political issues. Using the camera as a social tool, he has focused on the decrepitude of shopping malls, abandoned buildings, and airports, examining the ways in which fact and fiction intermingle at these controversial sites. And from the first moment you enter the gallery, you get the sense that Beshty’s exhibition leads the viewer on a carefully choreographed journey.

    Atelier EB, Manet. Photo courtesy Petzel and the author.

    Atelier EB’s elaborately costumed mannequins are situated in two galleries, imbuing the gallery with a mysterious human presence, no matter how “fake.” The installation was meticulously arranged from every angle. Strange human silhouettes are presented against the purity of Josiah McElheny’s ceramics, angular tables, and the repeated motif of xeroxed hands in works by Jay DeFeo and James Welling. Welling’s chaotic tangle of wire hangers and Rachel Harrison’s whirling assemblage make a marked contrast to the mechanical precision of images like Christopher Williams’ cross section of a camera, and the ordered bookshelves of Thomas Barrow’s black and white photographs.

    Petzel installation views. Photo courtesy Petzel and the author.

    Jay DeFeo, Untitled, 1979. Photo courtesy Petzel and the author.

    Christopher Williams, Cutaway model Nikkor zoom lens..., 2008. Photo courtesy Petzel and the author.

    My favorite works in the show were the delicate “jewelry” pieces by DeFeo. Her talisman-like pendants made of wood, metal, glass, and wire dangle in the center of white window boxes that allow for views of the adjacent galleries—again creating mini vignettes that emphasize the graphic interplay of form, shadow, and light in the gallery space.

    Jay DeFeo, Untitled, c. 1953-55. Photo courtesy Petzel and the author.

    Instead of producing a traditional press release, Beshty included four statements on everyday life. Referencing class struggle, revolution, uneasiness, subversion, spiritual emanation, and enclosed rooms, the quotes suggest that there is a political charge to Beshty’s curatorial premise. He seems to be advocating for social awareness and activation over apathy and complacency. Just how this conflict is manifested in the art of Beshty’s artists, though, is what compels us to dig deeper and to look closer at their work.

    Some Artists’ Artists is on view at Marian Goodman through August 22, 2014.

    A Machinery for Living is on view at Friedrich Petzel Gallery through August 8, 2014.

  • The Morgan's Technicolor Dreamcoat

    Last weekend, while everyone was flocking to Central Park or decamping to the nearest beach, I found myself happy to be inside, in midtown Manhattan, admiring Spencer Finch’s installation, A Certain Slant of Light, in the atrium of the Morgan Library. Finch (American, b. 1962) applied 365 colored film gels to the windows and to glass panels that dangle in the center of the four-story glass courtyard. As the natural light changes throughout the day, the Mondrian-esque grid--inspired by calendars and medieval prayer books--shifts and sparkles. Finch will change his palette in conjunction with each season, various (secular) holidays of his choosing, and the movement of the sun, creating deliberate and scientifically conceived alignments and overlaps of light and shadow.

     

    Spencer Finch, A Certain Slant of Light, 2014. Photo courtesy of the author.

    Conflating human and natural cycles, Finch’s abstract installations convey the subjective and often subconscious nature of our perceptions and memories. He recently created an enormous curtain wall featuring 26 different shades of glass for the facade of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, an homage to Monet's Impressionist landscape paintings. 

    Spencer Finch, Johns Hopkins Hospital Project, 2009. Photo courtesy of mikebloomberg.com

    His work reminds me of synesthetic artists like Kandinsky or Scriabin, or Olafur Eliasson, who uses scientific configurations involving light and color to produce startling sensory encounters. I also thought of William Lamson’s beautiful Solarium (2012), a greenhouse with caramelized sugar panes, temporarily installed at Storm King a few years ago.

    Courtesy the artist and Pierogi Gallery. Photography by William Lamson.

    William Lamson, Solarium, 2012. Steel, glass, sugar, plants. Courtesy the artist and Pierogi Gallery.

    But what I found so compelling about A Certain Slant of Light was not necessarily its dazzling and emotionally evocative visual quality, but rather how the work gives a subtle examination of the function and effect of filters: the aesthetic, cultural, religious, and psychological transparencies that shape our lives. The museum atrium provides an apt framework for this multi-faceted investigation of how we approach our daily interactions and how we internalize these experiences, highlighting what may be foregrounded, imagined, or lost in the process.  

      

    Spencer Finch, Painting Air, 2012. Photography by Erik Gould. Courtesy of Spencer Finch.

    Installation at Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. More than 100 panels of suspended glass of varying reflectivity refract and distort the wall mural, which is an abstraction of Monet's garden at Giverny. 

    A Certain Slant of Light: Spencer Finch at the Morgan is up June 20, 2014 through January 11, 2015.

  • RxArt Featured in CODAworx Magazine

Blog

Associated Press

Shop