2011年7月31日 星期日

Hitchcock: The Man Behind the Movies

"The Revealer" clue for this week, revealed
June 16th, 2011
08:50 PM ET
June 16th, 2011
10:03 PM ET

Hitchcock: The Man Behind the Movies

He's been called the master of suspense. But Alfred Hitchcock isn't without a bit of mystery of his own. A rare collection of Hitchcock sketches was recently discovered in England.

They were storyboards from one of his movies. And they seem to offer some fascinating insights into the legendary director's creative mind. Nick Glass has the details in this week's edition of "The Revealer."

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Filed under: The RevealerbackstoryHitchcock

"The Revealer" clue for this week, revealed

He is the master of suspense, yes some of you guessed right. We're still not going to stay his name until "The Revealer" airs live on Back|Story on the day of this posting. Be sure to watch the show where we name who guessed correctly first. You're going to love this fine piece from Nick Glass and producer Deborah about this famous director who's curious working methods are examined.

And we'll tell you new details about the way he created motion pictures that you may not have known before.

2011年7月18日 星期一





写真:歌川国芳「金魚づくし ぼんぼん」1842年ごろ、中判錦絵。新発見作品の一つ=静岡市美術館で31日まで展示拡大歌川国芳「金魚づくし ぼんぼん」1842年ごろ、中判錦絵。新発見作品の一つ=静岡市美術館で31日まで展示




 豪快な武者絵、陰影が際立つ風景画、機知に富む戯画――。庶民文化が開花した江戸後期に独創的な浮世絵を次々と繰り出した歌川国芳(くによし) (1797~1861)。その没後150年を記念する大規模な展示が静岡と東京で開かれている。新発見の作品や近年の研究成果など、質量ともに充実した展 観となっている。


 静岡市美術館で開催中の「没後150年 歌川国芳展」の冒頭を飾るのも武者絵。大判を3枚つなげたワイドな画面で展開される活劇には、漫画に親しんだ世代も胸を躍らせるだろう。

 武者絵で成功した国芳は、洋風表現を採り入れた風景画や風刺を込めた戯画など新たな画境を切り開いていく。その全体像に迫る同展は、前後期合わせて421点を展示。戯画「金魚づくし ぼんぼん」など新発見17点を含め、初公開作品が73点を占めるという。


 東京・原宿の太田記念美術館では「破天荒の浮世絵師 歌川国芳」展の後期が開催中。テーマ別の構成で、武者絵や役者絵を中心とした前期に対して、後期は戯画や美人画、風景画など約140点(展示替えあり)を集める。





2011年7月13日 星期三

the Barnes Foundation

July 11, 2011, 7:00 am

An Interactive Tour Through the Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation, the stupendous collection of Impressionist and early modernist painting and sculpture amassed by Albert C. Barnes, a pharmaceutical tycoon, has been one of the strangest and most affecting art institutions in America since the day it opened in 1925 in the Philadelphia suburb of Merion. Much of what made it extraordinary was the idiosyncratic way Barnes displayed the art, in an antiquated-looking salon style that filled entire walls of its neo-Classical home with odd arrangements of paintings, organized to echo and rhyme their formal qualities and interspersed with decorative metalwork like ax heads and hinges.

Soon, though, the Barnes will become a lot more like other American museums. In 2004 a Pennsylvania judge’s ruling permitted the foundation, which had struggled financially, to bypass the rigid charter and bylaws laid out by Barnes, stipulating that no picture in the collection could be lent, sold or moved from the walls of the galleries he built. A new building for the collection in downtown Philadelphia is expected to open next May. Designed by the architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, it will be four times the size of the original Barnes, which closed for good at the end of June.

For those who missed the collection in its final days in Merion, The New York Times has created a virtual tour of the galleries to convey at least a little of the flavor of the home Barnes built for his art.

His choice of Merion as a symbolic removal from the city was a reflection of his disdain for the pieties of the art establishment and his fiercely unconventional ideas about what good art was, inspired by the pragmatist philosophy of William James and John Dewey. He routinely rejected requests for casual visits and ran the collection less as a museum than as a place where students, many of them underprivileged, could attend classes to learn about art in depth.

It is difficult now, looking at the artists that Barnes collected — Cézanne, Renoir, Matisse, Picasso, Modigliani, Seurat — to grasp how revolutionary such a collection was at the time he was building it, in the years just after the 1913 Armory Show in New York that shocked many Americans with the radical innovations of Cubism and Duchamp. A 1923 headline in The Philadelphia Inquirer, appearing as Barnes prepared to open the building that would house his collection, typified the view of many: “How a Pennsylvania millionaire is spending a fortune to prove the Futurists and Cubists not insane and teach us to admire their strange work as he does.”

Nearly all of this strange work soon ended up becoming canonical. But the way Barnes exhibited it kept the eccentricity of his vision front and center. It looked unlike almost anything else one could find in an American museum — a fact even more pronounced today.

Critics of the move argue that it will destroy the character of one of the last truly personal visions for what an art museum can be, putting the collection in a more conventional setting and surrounding it with the accoutrements of every other museum, like a cafe, a bookstore, an auditorium. But some supporters point out that the plan for the new building in some ways maintains the layout of the original. They add that the Barnes, like all great art collections, should not be preserved in amber, and will continue to live only if it is allowed to change.

Have you visited the Barnes? Share your memories of the collection in the comments field below.

2011年7月7日 星期四

個性化きわだつ「自腹文具」/redefining the humble office supplies

Tough times call for redefining the humble office supplies



photoInside the International Stationery & Office Products Fair TokyophotoThe prize-winning Otona no Enpitsu (Adult Pencil) developed by Kitaboshi Pencil Co.(Louis Templado)photoA demonstration of solar-powered toys, one way to brighten up darkened offices in the summer of 2011 (Louis Templado)photoBrass rulers, pencil cases and fittings on offer by Designphil inc. (Louis Templado)

Imagine Asia's largest trade fair for stationery and office products. It doesn't exactly set the heart aflutter or send people running for the door.

Yet, the the three-day International Stationery & Office Products Fair Tokyo, which ran from July 6 through July 8, drew 75,000 visitors on the first day alone. With more than 1,305 exhibitors on hand, there was much to keep the crowds occupied.

In fact there might have even been too much. With booth after booth offering everything from notebooks and staplers to adhesive memo stickers and nibs, it was easy to lose track of who made what, and moreover, the "why." How much further can pen and paper technology be pushed, after all, and don't we have computers now?

The answer lies in the humble pencil.

"It's all about trust. A pencil will never betray you, and it can write at angles that a pen couldn't," says Kazutoshi Sugitani, president of Kitaboshi Pencil Co., whose Otona no Enpitsu (Adult Pencil) took a top design prize at the show. Although the item looks like a pencil, it actually has the inner workings of a pen and is a surprise from a 60-year-old Tokyo firm that had exclusively been making pencils for schoolchildren.

"The older people get, the further they move away from pencils," says Sugitani. Most people are hesitant to use them, he says, because of the childhood association -- which is why there's a need for an encased graphite-writing implement for adults. "These days anyone can make a standard pencil. There's no business in selling a pencil simply as a pencil. You have to offer a pencil that has a special value."

It's a theme that runs through seemingly most simple products on display, among them writable roll tape for use as labels and tags. The Memoc variety offered by Yamato Co. (better known for the paste glue it manufactures), for example, comes in more pastel shades than you'd find in an ice cream shop. Again, there's a reason: "More and more offices are asking their workers to cover the cost of stationery materials themselves," says a Yamato representative. "Many people reason, 'If I'm going to have to pay for it, I might as well get something that reflects my taste.' "

Energy-saving, too, has been pushed to the personal level, as offices dim the lights and turn up their air conditioners. Pocketable, propeller-equipped mist sprayers such as those by Koei Trade Co., once novelties, may soon become standard desk equipment, along with neck scarves filled with freezable gel.

"The items themselves aren't new developments," explains a Koei Trade representative. "But until now we've marketed them for use outdoors -- at the golf range, for example."

A few meters farther down, another booth offered spiders and cockroaches -- solar-powered toy ones -- that could either be a good way to break the ice or earn cold stares from workmates.

One flash of inspiration comes from office supplies marketer Offinet.com. The firm, affiliated with the LED bulb producer Ecorica Inc., began renting out and installing LED bulbs in mid-May, with its first customer the headquarters of a shipping firm in Tatabayashi, Gunma Prefecture, one of Japan's most sweltering hot spots.

"Everyone understands the need to save electricity," says Offinet representative Masato Ogawa, "but not everyone is ready to put the money up for it."

LED bulbs use less wattage and produce no heat, but still cost about 15,000 yen ($184) for a ceiling light. The firm rents them out at 300 yen a month each, starting with a minimum set of 10. The system is one quick way to jump on the conservation bandwagon, says Ogawa. Whether it saves money or not in the long run, he adds, is a matter of personal judgment.

個性化きわだつ「自腹文具」 国際文具・紙製品展が開幕



写真:マスキングテープ「mt slim」:デザイン部門の「第20回日本文具大賞」グランプリを受賞したカモ井加工紙のマスキングテープ「mt slim」拡大デザイン部門の「第20回日本文具大賞」グランプリを受賞したカモ井加工紙のマスキングテープ「mt slim」〈「mt slim」を商品検索〉


 最新の文具を一堂に集めたアジア最大級のビジネス向け商談会「国際文具・紙製品展」が6日、東京ビッグサイトで開幕した。今年で22回目で、会期は8日 まで。主催社のリードエグジビションジャパンによると、同会場で国際オフィス機器展、国際雑貨EXPOなど九つの展覧会を同時開催し計1305社が出展、 約75000人の来場を見込んでいるという。初日の6日も若い女性や海外からのバイヤーなど多くの来場者でにぎわった。(アサヒ・コム編集部)


 同社によると今回、機能向上に加えて「女子専用はさみ」など色やデザインにこだわった商品展開はさらに強まっているという。印鑑・スタンプ大手のシヤチ ハタ(名古屋市)は認印「ネーム9」の交換用カバーに「ひまわり」「レース」などのカラフルなデザイン12種類を今秋追加投入。のりや接着剤で有名なヤマ ト(東京都中央区)は、付箋(ふせん)紙として使えるロールテープ「メモック」にファンシーな柄を入れた製品を展示した。同社商品企画室の宿谷尚代アシス タントマネージャーは「仕事で使う文具を自費で買わねばならない職場が増え、利用者個人の趣味を満たすデザインが求められている」と話す。

 同日発表された「第20回日本文具大賞」では、デザイン部門でカモ井加工紙(岡山県倉敷市)の和紙マスキングテープ「mt slim」、機能部門でコク ヨS&T(大阪市)の最大8枚までとじられる針なしステープラー「ハリナックス」がグランプリをそれぞれ受賞した。優秀賞は以下のとおり。

 デザイン部門 ゼブラ「アルベス ピールト シャープ」▽丸山繊維産業「ふすま地帖」▽呉竹「ZIG Letter pen COCOIRO」▽北星鉛筆「大人の鉛筆」

 機能部門 キングジム「SHOT NOTE」▽カール事務器「エンゼル5 プレミアム/ロイヤル」▽オルファ「キリヌーク」▽ニチバン「テープのり tenori」

Guangzhou Opera House 廣州歌劇院

  1. Architecture Review

    Chinese Gem That Elevates Its Setting

    Iwan Baan

    Guangzhou Opera House Designed by Zaha Hadid, the complex integrates a main hall and smaller stage with a park by a business district. More Photos »

    GUANGZHOU, China — It says something about the state of architecture today that the most alluring opera house built anywhere in the world in decades is in a generic new business district at the outer edge of this city, has no resident company and a second-rate program.




    The latest on the arts, coverage of live events, critical reviews, multimedia extravaganzas and much more. Join the discussion.

    Iwan Baan

    A lobby area in the Guangzhou Opera House. More Photos »

    And because this is China, a country that is still undergoing cultural growing pains and whose architectural monuments are mostly being built by unskilled migrant labor, the opera’s construction was racked with problems and the quality of some of it is abysmal.

    Still, if you’re an architecture lover willing to find your way to the building, you probably won’t care much. Designed by Zaha Hadid, the new Guangzhou Opera House is gorgeous to look at. It is also a magnificent example of how a single building can redeem a moribund urban environment. Its fluid forms — which have been compared to a cluster of rocks in a riverbed, their surfaces eroded by the water’s currents — give sudden focus to the energy around it so that you see the whole area with fresh eyes.

    The project is a vindication for Ms. Hadid. In the mid-1990s, when she was still a rising star with few buildings to her credit, she won an international competition for the design of the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales. It was a breakthrough moment. Yet the government refused to pay for her design and the project was eventually handed over to a lesser talent — an outcome that was devastating for Ms. Hadid and a blow to architectural history.

    It’s hard to imagine that the Guangzhou site seemed particularly promising when she first saw it. The project stands at the edge of a vast, featureless park that is the centerpiece of the district’s master plan, about a 15-minute drive from the old city center. An enormous library, a kitschy masonry building intended to resemble an open book, faces it across the park to the east; a 103-story tinted-glass tower stands directly behind it, dwarfing the few people passing by on the streets below.

    But the beauty of Ms. Hadid’s design stems partly from the skill with which she knits her forms into this insipid context. Approaching from the park, visitors climb a grand staircase or follow a long ramp that angles diagonally past a small, secondary performance space before arriving at an entry plaza in front of the main hall. The hall’s contoured granite and glass form angles out over the plaza. The smaller hall, about half the size, stands like a big dark boulder slightly back and to the right.

    The two structures shape a series of paths through and around the site. Visitors can slip between the halls, for instance, and down a staircase to a narrow roadway in back, or they can follow a wide concrete ramp that splinters off from this path and spirals down to a smaller outdoor plaza framed by a reflecting pool and a few shops. Other paths return you to the park or out to the main street.

    For some the plazas will conjure the alienating public spaces found in de Chirico paintings and Antonioni films. And one of Ms. Hadid’s aims over the years has been to rehabilitate those kinds of empty expanses, which went out of favor in the 1970s and ’80s. The difference is in her ability to convey a sense of bodies in motion. The design here is never static; there isn’t the oppressive sense of control found in some classical architecture, with its rigid perpendicular lines. At some points the curves of the paths create a sense of acceleration, propelling you forward; at others they create intimate pockets in which to loiter. Everywhere you turn, unexpected routes open up, so the architecture never feels manipulative.

    The experience of openness and possibility continues right into the lobby, an airy, cathedral-like room backed by balconies that curve around the exterior of the 1,800-seat performance space. Light enters through a faceted window that wraps around the front of the lobby; at night there is a view of city’s twinkling skyline.

    Stepping into the main hall is like entering the soft insides of an oyster. Seats are arranged in a slightly asymmetrical pattern, enveloping the stage on three sides, with undulant balconies cascading down in front of the stage. The concave ceiling is pierced by thousands of little lights, so that when the main lights dim before a performance it looks as if you’re sitting under the dome of a clear night sky.

    The smaller hall, by contrast, is a 440-seat black-box space, the kind of room that can be easily reconfigured to fit the needs of performers and has become an ubiquitous annex to concert halls in recent decades. Here, though, it is surrounded by a billowing, white-plaster foyer that imbues it with a rare touch of sensuality.

    But the biggest surprise is the way the various spaces connect. Escalators descend from both lobbies to a lower plaza, which will eventually be lined with a few shops and a cafe. (So far only a piano shop is open.) From there you can ascend the spiraling ramp back to the main plaza, or walk around a reflecting pool that extends toward the park. The sequence of spaces ties the opera house into the park around it, redeeming what until now was little-used space. As important, it establishes the opera house and its grounds as part of the public realm — something that belongs to everyone, not just elite opera fans.

    As for the poor construction, many of the 75,000 exterior stone panels were so shoddily made that they are already being replaced. Some plasterwork in the lobbies looks as if it was done by an untrained worker who had never picked up a trowel before. (At one point someone obviously tried to cover up a random piece of pipe that sticks out of a lobby wall by slathering it in more plaster.)

    But it may be worth remembering the challenges faced by many of the early Modernists, who pushed construction methods to the very limit in their quest for a new kind of architecture, but were often unable to find anyone with the tools or know-how to follow their lead. This was especially true in those countries that were the most underdeveloped — and that thus embraced modernity with a special fervor.

    In some ways China resembles Italy just after the turn of the last century or Russia in the 1920s — countries whose faith in modernity was driven, in part, by insecurities over their own relative backwardness. Seen in that light, the Guangzhou Opera House is a monument to a particular crossroads in China’s history, as well as to Ms. Hadid’s stellar career.

  2. Guangzhou Opera House」的圖片搜尋結果

    - 檢舉圖片

廣州歌劇院位於中國廣州市珠江新城J4地塊,與北京的國家大劇院、上海大劇院並列中國三大劇院。 工程由來自英國的女性建築大師薩哈·哈帝設計,其外形獨特,猶如一山丘上置放兩塊大小不同的石頭,而被稱為「雙礫」。

劇院由大劇場和多功能劇場兩個單體組成,總投資13.8億元人民幣。總佔地面積42393平方米, 總建築面積71197平方米,其中大劇場36400平方米,多功能劇場7400平方米,其它輔助設施26100平方米。大劇場(大石頭)地上7層,地下1 層,局部4層,層高4.5至6米,樓高43.4米,包括1800座的大劇場及其配套的備用房、劇務用房、演出用房、行政用房、錄音棚和藝術展覽廳等。多功 能劇場(小石頭)地上4層,地下1層,層高5米,樓高22.7米,包括400座的多功能劇場及配套餐廳。

工程於2005年1月18日動工建設,計劃2009年10月基本完工,次年5月投入使用。 廣州歌劇院工程以「代建制」的形式,由廣州市人民政府交由廣州市建築集團有限公司代建,負責工程招投標等工作,廣州市文化局則是業主單位。 [編輯] 工程造價 廣州歌劇院規劃工程總造價(不含地價)約8.5億元人民幣,當時已有不少人持保留意見,認為廣州歌劇院修建起來後其真實造價可能會高於預計投資額。至2004年歌劇院動工興建時,估算其工程總造價已至約10億元。截至2009年,歌劇院的總投資追加至13.8億元。巨額的投資,招致大量的反對聲音,也使廣州歌劇院的建設一度被指為「燒錢形象工程」。有報導指出,廣州歌劇院招投標存在黑幕。

当广州歌剧院(Guangzhou Opera House)于2005年破土动工时,周围还全是农田。随着工程的不断推进,周围的区域也很快随之发展起来。地处规划凌乱的珠江三角洲(Pearl River Delta)工业地带的广州,如今已经向远离传统市中心(围绕广州老城区而建)的地段发展,一直拓展至珠江新城(Pearl River New City)。广州的发展如此迅猛,折射范围如此之广,所以站在新的中央商务区(Central Business District)的任何一幢高楼上眺望,看到的是人口稠密的灰格子布局的城市圈向四处拓展,一眼望不到尽头,直至浅褐色的污染空气和因大兴土木而扬起的 水泥粉尘混杂的天际处。

让人瞠目结舌的是:摩天大楼林立的这块新区域从无到有还不到5年光景。它的收官的巅峰之作是沿着珠江边角即将完工的艺术建筑群——图书馆、博物馆以 及由扎哈•哈迪德主持设计、耗资达13.8亿人民币(约合1.3亿美元)的广州歌剧院。歌剧院已正式开馆,虽说自去年5月试运行后,一直举办各种演出。

几十年来,建筑师们一直在揣测未来广州新城的模样。如今他们无需再为此操心了。这座集高雅艺术与高层建筑于一体的建筑群就是答卷。当今最有才华的建 筑设计师之一的哈迪德(在官方发布的消息中把她简单地宣传为“英国最著名的建筑设计师”)主持设计了该歌剧院,她巧妙地融合了周围地形,营造出涡旋式的动 感与空间。这块开阔无比(又很平淡无奇)的地面上,歌剧院既象是天外来物,又仿佛是这一块独特地形的冲积物。

歌剧院的构思是珠江冲积出的两块砾石。灰色花岗石编织出的“大砾石”是大剧场;而黑色花岗石包裹的“小砾石“则是多功能剧场所在,两者比例颇为协 调。两幢建筑之间,地势渐趋升高,情不自禁地把观众从规划的都市吸引至这分割的流线形几何状歌剧院来,面对流淌不息的珠江、眼花缭乱的建筑风格,以及地处 翻腾变化的景区中心,它似乎都坦然处之。

它不由自主地把观众引到大厅之中,它属于典型的歌剧院风格。所有的商业性功能分区——票务、商业经营等等——都被安置至地下一层,从而使得整个大厅 在灯光的烘托下,呈现出艺术的造型,观众身临其中,感觉急切、充满期待。走廊、歌剧风格的豪华楼梯、波浪式蛇形灯,延伸出的俯冲式墙体,隔档及各个出口似 乎被动感十足的剧院消弭于无形中——所有这一切营造出一种雍容华贵的气质,这从哈迪德迄今为止设计的几件作品中就已为世人熟知——包括罗马玛茜艺术中心 (MAXXI)以及沃尔夫斯堡斐诺科技中心(Wolfsburg’s Phaeno)。

即便如此,整个建筑风格仍让人为之惊叹。从钢架大厅的白色空间,吸引着观众来到通往金色大厅的温馨入口处,金色大厅延续着其一贯的建筑风格,波浪形 的墙面往外伸出时走了样,给人一种绷紧后撕裂的感觉。容纳1800名观众的大厅巧妙地诠释了欧洲诸多大歌剧院金碧辉煌的氛围,这是个理想的演出场所,音响 效果及视觉效果上乘,恢弘与亲密之间很难拿捏的平衡关系处理得颇为得当。舞台前区常见的单纯的平面屏幕似乎与剧院内其它各个部分欢快的几何造型构成了强烈 的反差。

旁边的多功能剧院经由另一个壮观的大厅进入,水晶格子状的玻璃墙倾斜、紧拉或者延伸以与内部环境相协调。多功能剧院本身很简朴,这儿也设计了扭曲状 筛孔,而墙体则用来吸收回音;其它地方常见的那种忸怩的舞台效果这儿基本看不到。顶层的舞蹈排练厅通过玻璃墙直通公共空间,穹顶如同片片牡砺壳,灯光照射 下,营造出复杂的波浪形造型。几层包厢以及私人娱乐区悬吊在大厅半空,可以径直观赏远处灯火辉煌广州城夜景。

整个建造过程中,曾经涌现问题不断的谣传,说完工不彻底, 有时候建筑师的设计宏愿似乎超出了承建商的能力。歌剧院的演出效果取决于无缝处理,在有些地方,花岗岩的覆层切割得稍显粗糙。此外,数量众多的钢架筛条结 构以及安装在其下的雨水管(为确保外观的线条清晰)在粗重的节点上会合,从而妨碍了整座建筑的流线形。但白色墙体的总体效果以及平滑不断地在提示观众整个 设计构思源于珠江冲刷出的地貌。

中国人内心深处似乎崇尚简朴、自然的比喻:北京的“鸟巢”体育馆(Bird’s Nest Stadium)、“鸟蛋”国家大剧院(Egg theatre),以及广州的“砾石”歌剧院。毫无疑问,正是这种简单的类比使得哈迪德的构思中标,我想这种“阴阳”黑白交互的造型以及互相呼应肯定耦合 了对中庸的诠释。但在其它方面,中国建筑仍缺乏那种让人耳目一新的唯我独尊的感觉,原因何在,也缺乏解释。广州歌剧院纯粹就是一座迷人、欢快的、纯演出性 质的剧院。

新兴城市的新地标就是先建造摩天大楼,紧接着就是兴建文化设施:正如在达拉斯与休斯顿(Dallas and Houston)已经发生过的那样,同样的情景正在多哈及阿布扎比(Doha and Abu Dhabi)上演。歌剧院似乎仍是这个阶段到来的最终标志,而广州很明显已经到了这个阶段。问题是:它接下来向何处去?

2011年7月3日 星期日

Farm to Gallery: Peter Nadin’s Comeback

Farm to Gallery: Peter Nadin’s Comeback

Justine Kurland for The New York Times

“A carrot is not a work of art. I’m not proposing that anyone think of a carrot as a work of art. But what I am saying is that a carrot and the art I make here are both results of the same process.”

Gabrielle Plucknette for The New York Times

Instead of making art objects, this short-lived, late-’70s collective was founded to perform socially helpful work for hire.

Peter Nadin

‘‘Hooton’s Lightning,’’ oil on canvas, 1991.

Louise Lawler

Robin Winters, Richard Prince, Jenny Holzer, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Peter Fend, Nadin, around 1980, Los Angeles.

Peter Nadin

Christopher D’Arcangelo, Nadin, Daniel Buren, WallStreet, around 1978.

Peter Nadin

‘‘Still Life,’’ oil on canvas, 1982.

Victor Schrager; Justine Kurland for The New York Times

Cured hams made on Nadin’s farm; Nadin pouring wax on a sculpture; beehive housing that Nadin built.

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The artist Peter Nadin was laying out this distinction to me one morning in late April as we stood inside a humid greenhouse in upstate New York, looking down at a bunch of brilliant green carrot tops amid a forest of kale, sorrel, chard and rhubarb sheltering through a late winter that hung on spitefully into spring. I had taken the opportunity to solicit his art-historical views of root vegetables because, the longer I walked around the land in this neglected corner of the northern Catskills where Nadin has been farming and painting for more than two decades, the harder it became for me to understand exactly which part he considers farming and which making art.

The greenhouse we entered, with motorized roof louvers and thermally heated flooring, sat right next to his studio on a big swell of pasture. A swath of land was carpeted in dark red clover, planted there last year by his wife, Anne Kennedy, as a feasting ground for the honeybees he raises. Inside the studio sat a propane burner and a big aluminum pot filled with grayish-brown beeswax — much of it extruded by those same bees. He melts this and uses it to create a translucent “skin” on the terra-cotta figures he has been making, which look vaguely, and a bit terrifyingly, like the drawings of schismatics, cloven from chin to crotch, described by Dante in the “Inferno.”

Clumps of wool gathered from his small herd of Kashmir goats were stuck on large, anarchic, abstract paintings arrayed on the walls. And here the bees had been put to further use; Nadin daubs the paintings with propolis, the dark gluelike substance bees make to seal their hives. The bees themselves are also allowed to work on the surfaces of some of the paintings, leaving behind crusty patches when they congregate on the honey and wax that Nadin applies to the linen canvas.

Another corner of the studio is consumed by a walk-in cooling chamber with a half-dozen mold-covered hams curing inside, ones he makes from the Tamworth and Gloucester Old Spot pigs he has been raising for almost a decade. And just across the way that morning, one of those hams, which he had allowed to dry out and shrivel for several years until it looked like a deformed football or a petrified human heart, was tied up and dangling over a crude raft he built from the remains of a tree felled by lightning near his farmhouse.

Within a few weeks, most of these strangely affecting, vaguely talismanic pieces — which look at first glance as if they could have been made by a Papuan tribesman working with an Appalachian folk artist and some latter-day Brook Farm communards — would be put on a truck for a two-and-a-half-hour trip south to Manhattan. There, in an exhibition that opened this week, they form Nadin’s unlikely debut at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the far West Village, the brash gallery known for gleefully profane art-world darlings like Rob Pruitt and Urs Fischer, whose work could hardly be more unlike Nadin’s. Stranger still is that this will be the first time Nadin, who turned 57 earlier this year, has shown art commercially since he walked away, almost 20 years ago, from what was arguably the height of a prominent career and gradually dropped off the art-world radar.

“I have no idea, really, what people are going to make of it,” he told me when I first met him, adding that he planned to supplement the paintings and sculpture with a country store’s produce and pork products from his pigs, to serve at the opening and sell during the run of the show. “I hope they like it,” Nadin said of his work. “If they don’t, they can always leave with some eggs.”

But when Nadin talks about his worries, they almost never concern his art. They are the more frequent and unremitting worries of rural agriculture. To a visitor just up from the city, the calamities he describes can sound like riffs on Aesop or the Bible, except that they all really happen on a small mountain farm: a fox steals in and slaughters some of the chickens; a bear plunders the beehives to get its paws on the honey; caterpillars descend in a nightmarish plague, stripping the trees bare and covering everything in furry, smelly, larval goo. A few weeks before I arrived for my first visit, a fire swept through the farrowing house, and a sow and her newborn piglet barely escaped with their lives. The piglet, named Little Pete by one of Nadin’s local helpers, had to be taken into the farmhouse and bottle-fed for two weeks. “It was awful,” Nadin says. Little Pete’s stay in the house had consequences beyond the smell and the cleanup. “I was going to castrate him last week — which is what I should have done. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.”

The particular crisis today was of a similar order, though a little more comical. The farm had somehow ended up with too many roosters, said Nadin, who was making the feeding rounds in a pair of muddied blue Key coveralls, his horn-rimmed glasses fogging over in the lingering chill. The roosters were causing havoc, competitively mounting his Japanese Black Tailed White and miniature Sebright hens, crowing like a demon chorus before sunup. Up to that point, he had never killed any of his chickens except to put old or injured ones out of their misery, but he had decided to start looking for a good, flat tree stump.

“It’s time to cull the flock!” he announced loudly, turning his glare on one particularly lean, rust-colored malefactor who had just set upon an unsuspecting hen. “Look at him getting busy, boy just look at him. He’s for the pot soon, that one. He just doesn’t know it yet.”

Nadin, who grew up near Liverpool and still has traces of a lilting Northern English accent, made this pronouncement while grinning. But the issue of death on the farm — by natural causes or accident but particularly by his hand, the work of turning his animals into food that he and others will eat — is something that absorbs Nadin profoundly. And it circles directly back to the extraordinary obsession he has been nurturing on his land for almost 20 years now of trying to reinvent himself as an artist by being a farmer.

“If you eat ham from one of my pigs or honey from my bees, then you’re ingesting the landscape here itself — it’s not an objectification of it,” he explained, in one of many such formulations that I heard over a couple of months of visits to the farm. “It’s the thing itself. And what I’m trying to do with the paintings and with everything I have been making here is not to represent the landscape but to make things that embody it, to paint the underlying experience of consciousness.” He compares the pieces to relics in a world that might not be as post-religious as our rational minds would have us believe.

Viewed from the deeply urban art-historical perspective of the 21st century, post-Warhol, mid-Koons, such a quasi-mystical agrarian quest can be difficult to take at face value. It’s hard not to wonder sometimes whether Nadin and Gavin Brown, who has made his name running a riotously nose-thumbing kind of gallery, aren’t up to some elaborate conceptual ruse, or whether they might just be kidding around. But one 21st-century quality that Nadin, a briskly friendly, relentlessly industrious man, seems to lack entirely is a sense of irony.

“The pigs, for their part, might not agree that it’s such a good thing to have happen, I suppose,” Nadin said of his holistic art-food-landscape vision for the exhibition. “But it seems to me like a pretty noble end, all in all.” He looked out into the hazy green rolling up into the Catskills and added: “I wouldn’t mind being eaten, you know? Meet your end in the forest somewhere and the coyotes and other animals eat your body? In fact, I think it would be quite a dignified way to go.”

If you mention the name Peter Nadin in New York art circles, there is often a flicker of recognition, a memory of lively, idiosyncratic paintings that never settled into a recognizable style or fit comfortably enough into the Neo-Expressionism of the 1980s for him to be included among its practitioners. A few people talk fondly of the alternative gallery that Nadin and a fellow artist, Christopher D’Arcangelo, began in 1978, two years after Nadin moved to New York from England. They opened the gallery in Nadin’s loft at 84 West Broadway, where they invited friends like the French conceptual artist Daniel Buren and the painter Sean Scully to make pieces that more or less piled up over time, each new piece responding to what was already there. None of the work was for sale. (“Not the best model,” Nadin concedes.) First they showed the empty gallery as a work itself; then Buren installed his signature stripes inside and this was the show; then Scully went to work making one large painting, some of it over Buren’s stripes. A piece by Jane Reynolds involved simply cutting a peephole into Scully’s painting, allowing visitors to see through to a space behind the painting where Nadin slept and ate.

Nadin, who wrote and published poetry and sometimes incorporated it into his paintings, also collaborated with Jenny Holzer, pairing his images with her words in a series of memorable installations and artists’ books. And the two of them tried out the short-lived idea of working as a conceptual collective, joining Peter Fend, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Robin Winters and a prefame Richard Prince to form the white-shoe-sounding Offices of Fend, Fitzgibbon, Holzer, Nadin, Prince & Winters. The group rented an office on lower Broadway and offered, according to its business card, “practical esthetic services adaptable to client situation,” which Nadin recalls as a mostly serious attempt to redirect the impulse to make useless art objects into some kind of socially helpful work for hire. But the collaborative fell apart fairly quickly as a result of disagreements.

“I think we were supposed to hand out aesthetic advice, but I was never sure,” Prince told me by e-mail, adding: “I thought we were supposed to play music. But we never played.” Prince later organized an exhibition of Nadin’s paintings at his Spiritual America gallery, the semilegendary storefront that he ran briefly on Rivington Street, where he also showed the work of Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons and Louise Lawler.­ Prince said that he was drawn to Nadin back then both because he was a poet and because of a certain evanescent quality about him: “He had that . . . ‘I’m not a real doctor, but I play one on TV.’ I liked that about him.”

But Nadin’s outward self-possession belied a mounting turmoil during those years. His gallery partner and close friend, D’Arcangelo, committed suicide at 24, only eight months into their exhibition experiment, which Nadin then closed down. Nadin began to withdraw from the art world, and by 1982, he was making fairly straightforward still-life paintings. He recounts how a dealer he knew saw some of these and, embarrassed for him, said: “No, you don’t understand. In Paris there are people who still really paint like this.” Nadin told her, “What you don’t understand is I really paint like this.”

The still lifes morphed into a series in which Nadin began to paint giant bananas looming outside a house in a landscape, in a gauzy, impastoed style that recalled late Monet. Looked at through the lens of today’s painting revival, driven by artists romping through styles from Surrealism to neoclassicism, the paintings seem almost sophisticated in their slapstick simplicity. But what the bananas signified was, unfortunately, all too literal. “It’s when I went down the drain,” he said. “I was starting to have a nervous breakdown.” He barely went out for months, slept most of the day and had trouble taking care of himself. “I should have been in the hospital, but I didn’t have a penny.” He continued to make banana-centric drawings and wrote poetry that was later published in a small collection, “Still Life,” some of it so frank and unhinged he has difficulty talking about it now. “Who will speak to me today? Who will call and want to play?” begins one.

The breakdown caused Nadin to begin seeing the world in a fundamentally different way. It estranged him even further from the kind of appropriation work being done by friends like Prince and Lawler who came to be gathered under the Pictures Generation rubric — the wave of artists who took the image-saturated, heavily mediated culture as their starting point and Warhol as their guiding light.

“I felt none of it was close enough to the truth — can one say truth?” Nadin says. “I don’t mean to say that about other artists’ work, but it wasn’t close enough to the truth for me.” His own image bank felt as if it had been shattered, he said. “It was like there was no filter anymore, no mediation — all experience was just right there, confronting me. I had been making what I thought of as conceptual work at that point, but afterward, it was over. There was no going back.”

Little by little, Nadin recovered and started painting again, convinced that painting was the best means of representing human consciousness. Over a period of years, he made several bodies of work (none as strange as the banana paintings), struggling to find the right visual language to get him closer to his experience. Even as he cast about, his career thrived. He showed at the highly regarded Brooke Alexander Gallery, and his work sold briskly (the Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired a painting for its permanent collection), and he was getting admiring reviews. Had he continued to show, chances are he might be as well known today as many of his friends and contemporaries. But in 1992, he became, for all intents and purposes, a farmer, sitting out an era in which the art world, from the template established in the frenzied 1980s, transformed itself into a fundamentally different place, a behemoth increasingly driven by the demands of commerce and popular culture. The few times Nadin’s work has surfaced anywhere in the last few years, it has been far from that world, in places like Cuba — where he went not as an artist but as a United States delegate to a beekeepers’ conference and fell in with a group of Cuban artists and curators — and a desolate New Orleans neighborhood where he showed pieces at the behest of a nonprofit art program.

“It was one of those things where you really don’t feel like you have a choice,” he told me about walking away. “I wasn’t judging or condemning the art world. Of all of life’s evils, making art and selling it is hardly one of the more pernicious things, even the way it was in the ’80s. I just had to leave for myself. I wanted to be able to hold certain thoughts and ideas in my mind over long periods of time, and I couldn’t do that the way I was working.”

He paused and smiled. “I didn’t say to myself back then, ‘I’m going to hold my breath for 20 years.’ But that’s what happened, and doing it has been very fruitful.”

Gavin Brown, the gallery owner who is ushering Nadin back into the art world, got to know him in the 1980s, when Brown was paying the bills as an art handler and Nadin hired him to help paint his apartment. By the time Brown became a dealer in 1994, Nadin had already retreated from the art world, but he would stop by the gallery from time to time to say hello. Brown says he always saw Nadin’s decision as heroic. And when Nadin asked him to lunch several months ago and told him, “I’m ready to do this again,” Brown said that he didn’t have to think about it for long. He went to the farm to see Nadin’s work and returned with another of his artists, Rirkrit Tiravanija, who has become celebrated for shows in which he turns galleries and museums into social spaces, feeding visitors and sometimes allowing them to stay over. Brown and Tiravanija shared parts of a freshly butchered Nadin pig.

For Brown, Tiravanija and Nadin are both members of a growing “subtribe” of artists deeply interested in directly lived experience, a group that includes established practitioners like Tino Sehgal (whose work is often just about talking and listening) and a whole raft of young artists working joyously in a nebulous middle ground between food-making and art-making, drawing inspiration from 1960s and ’70s free spirits like the Fluxus movement and Gordon Matta-Clark, whose SoHo restaurant, Food, was a mess hall as performance art.

“I think we’re indulging in a kind of collective madness that has a lot to do with how mediated our experience is right now,” Brown told me later. “It’s a kind of amnesia we live in, about our connection to the earth, to other living things and to death. And in that sense, Peter’s work didn’t just seem interesting to me, it seemed crucial.” He added, in a portentous tone: “If people walk into the gallery and think he’s anything less than serious about this, then they’re really doomed.”

I started making trips to Nadin’s farm in April, just after the last frosts. Watching a small, diverse farm over a couple of months beginning in early spring is like watching the machinations of a Chekhov play. The cast included 160 mostly wooded acres; a few dozen chickens and a handful of ducks with the run of the farmyard; six Kashmir goats, plus an extra goat named Ham who preferred to commune with the humans; tens of thousands of bees, including a hive that swarmed away one morning in a thick black cloud to form another hive and raise a new queen; eight pigs, including the newcomer Little Pete, and Abe, a three-year-old, 400-pound registered Tamworth boar who came, like the rest of the pigs Nadin and his wife have bought, from High Meadows Farm in nearby Delhi, N.Y., which is certified, like the Nadin farm, by the rigorous Animal Welfare Approved program.

Three of the sows were pregnant, and not long after the last of my visits, the pig population swelled by 18, before dropping back to 16 when two piglets died. A big gelded boar, known only as Abe’s Pal, was scheduled to go to the slaughterhouse — Nadin planned to make parts of him into rillettes and pâté to sell during the run of the show — but the pig seemed to sense that the small trailer backed up to his fenced yard meant nothing good for him and couldn’t be lured inside.

“Isn’t he a good-looking fellow?” Nadin said, clapping him on the back and raising clouds of dust. “Pigs are very complicated little buggers. He knows something’s up. He knows that trailer is for him and wants no part of it.”

Nadin and Kennedy bought the farmhouse and five acres near Cornwallville, N.Y., in 1989, when Kennedy was pregnant with their daughter, Anna Page, and over the years they have added other parcels of land to return the farm to the size it was when it was first carved out of the wilderness in 1790. Thin gravestones on the property attest that this was never an easy place from which to wrest a living. Horace, Elizabeth and Almira Strong, the children of one of the farm’s original families, all died within days of one another in 1827, the oldest not yet 5. A handwritten pamphlet Nadin found in the Durham Center Museum in nearby East Durham showed that Selah Strong, their grandfather, was excommunicated from the church after congregants charged him with “habitually making an immoderate use of ardent spirits and with threatening to kill himself.”

Nadin has had an easier time of it as a farmer, though he says it has always been a struggle to keep the operation going. But he teaches at Cooper Union, and Kennedy is a successful entrepreneur: she helped found the agency Art + Commerce in New York in the early 1980s to represent art photographers. (Robert Mapplethorpe and Annie Leibovitz have been among its members.) And so the couple have not had to run the farm to support itself, or them, though their plan from the beginning was that it would eventually be self-sustaining. They keep the numbers of animals small, following a philosophy they call contribution farming, in which the livestock and plantings are chosen to complement each other and to not overtax the land. As the farm has grown, Nadin and Kennedy have started to sell more of what they make; they run a buying club for things like mushrooms, honey and pork products and also sell these through the New Amsterdam Market in Lower Manhattan. They provide eggs to a restaurant around the corner from their house in the West Village. And April Bloomfield, the pork auteur of the celebrated Spotted Pig and the Breslin, has bought a couple of their hogs, the equivalent of a papal blessing in the pig-farming world.

Nadin has not exactly been in Salinger-esque seclusion since leaving the art world. For the last decade, he has been a presence at Cooper Union, where his class focuses on new biological theories of consciousness and how they relate to artistic practice. But much of his time and energy are poured into the farm. His first interest was beekeeping, and the incidental marks of honey and wax that Nadin made on the sides of the hives while working with the bees were what led him to a breakthrough with his painting in the late ’90s. By that point, he said he felt as if he had forgotten enough about his old painting life to begin to see something “magnificent about these marks.”

“I realized that the first marks used in art-making were the universal ones made from the movement of the hand and body and that they had to be common to all human cultures,” he told the critic and curator Richard Milazzo in an interview in 2006. “In effect, they constituted the originating DNA of art.”

The body of work for the show is as seasonal and locavore as anything grown on the farm. It includes his terra-cotta sculptures arrayed on and around 50 columns of rough-cut local hemlock, which will rise like a forest inside the gallery, adjoining a room with a “pond” formed from three tons of honey bought from a neighboring county. The paintings were made over several years, only between mid-September and mid-November, because those were months when he was able to harvest black walnuts and boil them down into paint and when the most honey and wax were available. He painted outside, stretching long sheets of linen, some dyed with indigo and cochineal (two nonlocal materials he imported from Mexico), on the ground. He used the honey and wax and walnut paint as pigment, moving a frame along the strip of linen to figure out which portions he wanted to keep, “like an organic movie,” he says. He labored for years at losing conscious control over his creations. “I don’t want to say this because it sounds arrogant, but the one talent I know I have is to be able to be aware of when that happens, when I get there, when it’s right,” he says.

It’s a desire with a long pedigree in modern and postmodern art, from Dada to the Beats to Cy Twombly, who as a young artist practiced drawing in the dark. Nadin’s paintings can look like Twombly’s splashier work or like spare Jackson Pollocks, but he says he has no particular interest in abstraction or even in making work about natural processes, like Andy Goldsworthy, a fellow British artist. There’s a Robert Smithson photograph hanging in the farmhouse, but Nadin says he does not think his work has much affinity with earthworks or with the land artists of the ’60s and ’70s either. He sees his farm simply as an ideal place to watch life in its essentials and to try a thing-in-itself way of conveying this — which he considers a new kind of realism. If he draws inspiration from anywhere, he says, it is from the unorthodox antidualism of Blake and from Shitao, a charismatic 17th-century Buddhist painter-philosopher who wrote about an ecstatic union of artist and nature. “But I’m not being nostalgic, I’m not interested in looking back,” he said. “That would be a profound misunderstanding. I see this as a way to go forward.”

Of course, people have been trying to find a way to move painting forward, in a historical sense, at least since the end of Abstract Expressionism. I asked Nadin whether he had ever considered that what he was trying to do, to paint consciousness itself, might be an impossibility, or just ungraspable by anyone but him, because it is, after all, his consciousness. “Well, that’s the interesting point, isn’t it?” he said, laughing. “It very well may be the case.” But you get the distinct sense that, whatever the art world thinks of Nadin’s work and of his return from the long sojourn in the wilderness, it will ultimately make little difference to him and to what he is trying to do with the help of his pigs and chickens and goats and bees.

“Making the work is just part of what I do here,” he said one day in his studio, looking out at the red clover, thrumming with life. “And when this is over, I’m still going to be a farmer.”

Randy Kennedy (kennedyr@nytimes.com) is an arts reporter for The New York Times. His last article for the magazine was about Pipilotti Rist. Editor: Sheila Glaser (s.glaser-MagGroup@nytimes.com)