GirlDriver, USA

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Robert Motherwell Collages Guggenheim Museum

Opens September 27th.

I  went to the press preview of the exhibit at the Guggenheim of Robert Motherwell's early collages.  Susan Davidson, the curator of the exhibit spoke lovingly about this period in Motherwell's development as an artist.  She noted that in this period, which covers about a decade from 1941-1951, he was probably the most connected to the materials he used.  The materials include paper he bought on Canal Street--5 sheets for $1.50.  And one of the reporters asked what one of the works was bought for--$150.  Makes one wonder how to value the contributions of artists in our world.  Today that collage would be worth . . .  but what is the worth . . . it inspired me, so that is its worth to me.

Motherwell grew up on the West Coast, graduated from Stanford, went to graduate school at Harvard, and attended Columbia where Meyer Schapiro encouraged him to devote himself to painting instead of scholarship.  Motherwell was influenced by his time in Mexico, he he had his first solo show
at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century museum/gallery in 1944.  He lectured widely on abstract painting, and he founded and edited the Documents of Modern Art series.

 In 1948, he began to work with his celebrated Elegy to the Spanish Republic theme, which he continued to develop throughout his life.  Robert Motherwell died in Provincetown, Massachusetts on July 16, 1991.

Robert Motherwell: Early Collages
Venue: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York
Location: Annex Level 4
Dates: September 27, 2013–January 5, 2014

The First--and Possibly Only--Bacon Theatre Festival

Sometimes I do other things besides cars.  And the" thing" this week is The First--and Possibly Only--Bacon Theatre Festival.  I'm partnering with some of the coolest playwrights in New York and we've all written six-minute plays, musicals--and in the case of Kate McLeod and Rob Hartmann, an opera.  The festival is being hosted by Wes Klein, the genius behind The Baconery restaurant on Columbus Avenue between 104th and 105th.  Everything in the restaurant has bacon in it.  What's YOUR definition of paradise.  We're holding it at the Ding Dong Lounge, presided over by the incredibly cool (as in, if I had strived everyday to be that cool I couldn't get there) Adrianna Ault Nolan.  Then we have the playwrights  David Johnston, Athur Giron, DeLora Whitney, C. S. Hanson, Lucile Lichtblau, Byron Nilsson, Tzila Levy, Rob Hartmann, Rob Ackerman, Nick Myers, Christie Baugher and Kate McLeod.  The performances take place from 6:45-8:30.  There's bacon mac and cheese, a bacon dessert and wine.  Tickets are $25 and can be bought at

We have talent coming out of the woodwork for this.  Singers, actors, directors.  No choreography for this one:  it's a reading and the space is, let's just call it limited.  It is, by the way.  Get tickets if you want to be there.  Like today!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Acura TL SE--Such a Sophisticate!

Doesn't this 2013 Acura TL SE have a sleek shape? 
One of my followers was asking me the other day where the hell I've been.  It's a long story involving a renovated bathroom.  You don't want to know.  But everything's back on track and I'm back at the computer.

I went to the International Motor Sports Association's Test Days last week at the Monticello Raceway in Monticello, N.Y.  It was a crystal fall day and as I walked around looking at all the cars that the manufacturers bring to test days for us to drive, I was feeling out of touch with the Japanese luxury brands--Infiniti, Acura and Lexus.  So, along with some of those cars, I drove the Chevrolet Silverado and the Ford F150.  We don't often get to drive these models back to back.  It's enlightening.  I loved both of these trucks but each is its own thing--they feel very different when you drive them.  I have more insight into the truck loyalties that are so strong.

Anyway, it was a great day for us auto journalists.  And I got to drive away in a 2013 Acura TL SE (special edition).  Loved this 4-door sedan with a power moon roof.  It has the coolest 18"x 8.0" chrome look alloy wheels and all season tires.  They looked hot and really set off the paint job in what Acura calls crystal black--a sparkly granite gray--very contemporary.

The  280 horsepower, 3.5 liter V-6 engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission was not only responsive, it was quiet, elegant and smooth.  There was just enough growl from the sport-tuned exhaust system to disallow senior discounts.

Fuel economy is 20/city-29/hwy/23 combined, nothing to write home about, but I did fine with mileage.  I wasn't on big highways but I moved along on back roads.

Nice deep cabin is roomy, roomy, roomy.  Loved it.
The way Acura has designed the driver and passenger space with the curved instrument panel makes the front very roomy.  There's also plenty of room in the front and so much room in the trunk my weekly haul practically rattled around.  I tote a lot of stuff back and forth on weekends.

I didn't have navigation in the car and I pretty much stuck with my regular radio--the broadway channel on XM and NPR.  The sound out of the radio was great.  And I went back to my paper instructions, which worked perfectly.  Back roads and all.

Price for this lovely car in 2013 is $38,300.  The 2014s are probably in dealerships now.  Check this one out.