Sunday, September 28, 2008
I stopped by to see Yevgeniy Fiks' Adopt Lenin at Winkleman on Saturday and it made me think of the increasing frequency of Jim Cramer's Lenin references. Timely much? (I guess this was the week for timeliness.)
The real kick though was when the good Dr. Winkleman started to tell me about the next show. Yes, kids. It's time to meet The Chadwicks, not to be confused with The Cowsills. Oh. My. God. I was given a little sneak peak at what this band of merry men do. It's art history hit over the head with a bottle of Heineken. Trust me. This is going to be one of the most entertaining shows of the season.
“It [an "art scene"] adds value to any neighborhood,” David Walentas said in an interview at a conference table in his unflashy Dumbo office. “It’s like good architecture. Good architecture is cheap and adds value. People will pay a premium for it.”
NY Times, March 6, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Yo, kids. Get thee to the Armory. Today is the last day to stick your tongue down the throat of Creative Time's Democracy in America: Convergence Center at Park Avenue Armory.
And yes. This is the first time I've made a Black Oak Arkansas reference in a Creative Time post.
Friday, September 26, 2008
The new Christian Marclay show at Paula Cooper is surprising in it's elegant beauty. I'm a huge Christian Marclay fan but I don't think I've ever used the word "elegant" in describing his work until now, but this show deserves it. And the details in the hanging gardens of Marclay's landscapes are a world of fun for the nostalgia-fiend in you. I've never met a dead tape I didn't like, especially when their afterlife looks this good.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung's Residential Erection at Democracy in America: Convergence Center at Park Avenue Armory. The full video can be found here on Hung's site.
Do NOT miss Creative Time's political art extravaganza, Democracy in America: Convergence Center at Park Avenue Armory, at the always-breathtaking Armory. There's so much amazing stuff here you'll practically explode. Tomorrow night one of my art heros, Karen Finley, will be kicking ass before the Guerilla Girls take the stage. This shit is urgent, kids. It's up every day through Saturday from 12 to 10 pm. Having some trouble with Blogger and the sudden suckiness of their third-party blogging function so I'll be posting some Creative Time-related posts here and then moving them over to my Creative Time blog when things get straightened out.
Last December when Anne Pasternak announced that Creative Time was embarking on a journey into the heart of darkness to discover what democracy means these days, I don't think she could have imagined that it was going to get this bad. But here the hell we are, and CT is, as ever, on top of it.
The stand out in a show of stand outs in the show is Sharon Hayes. Whew! This is what all political art should do. It works on the political and personal levels. I mean, I burst into tears Faultline. The ledge that drops the viewer into the deep silence of the final section is just crushing. Overwhelming and beautiful. Where do we go from here? I don't know, but now the ride feels a little less lonely.
Oh, and when you leave the Armory shout and holler, just to piss off Mike Wallace.
NOTE TO SELF: Next time Creative Time has cocktails in conjunction with Brooklyn Museum’s Contemporary Arts Council, Guggenheim’s Young Collector’s Council, MoMA’s Junior Associates, P.S.1’s Student Body, Studio in a School Associates, and the Whitney Contemporaries . . . dress better. Leave those shorts (In September no less!) and Xasthur t-shirt at home. Heh-heh.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Photo: Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times
On the same day that our lame-ass gaping hole of a press decided to fucking FINALLY raise a ruckus over the Invisible Woman, the Times published this rip roaring piece by Holland Cotter about Creative Time's latest timely blowout, Democracy in America. Awesome. Democracy, motherfuckers! Remember that? Creative Time. Always on time.
I ran into Meredith on Court Street on Sunday who was just coming from the events of the day. Big ups to Nato and the entire crew for even attempting the massive massiveness of this event, let alone pulling it off the way they have. I'm full of love right now, kids. As always.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
So. Odd. This was a bizarre, lame, and feeling-left-out-in-the-cold move by Gagosian. He put a Damien Hirst spin/skull painting in his "shop window." He basically closed off the small gallery room behind the reception desk from the inside and opened the window. Thanks for sharing, dude. I guess it takes attention away from the totally crap show of paintings by Cecily Brown inside the gallery.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Neil Campbell, Faultline @ Marianne Boesky Gallery
1. Walk into the gallery and go, "Hmmmm. OK.". 2. Walk into the curtained back room and have your head ripped off. 3. Walk back out into the main room and look at what unimpressed you on the way in. It shifts a little. 4. Walk back into the curtained room and check out the different shades of color that you missed the first time while your head was being ripped off. Neo-Geo paintings in the ether, man. In the end and in the corners, this show is really a stunner. This is the wonderstuff.
Friday, September 19, 2008
I don't know why people waste their time talking about Robert Bordo's paintings. I mean, it takes up time that could be spent looking at them. His new show at Alexander & Bonin, it’s always raining, is my favorite painting show of the year. Hands down. Nobody else has come close. You might remember how stubborn my eye was the first time I encountered his work in 2005. It took me seeing that show three times before it found it's way in. But once it got there, it wasn't leaving. Still hasn't.
I still don't know how Bordo does what he does to get me there. I don't want to know. I started to read the gallery's press release and it actually felt wrong. Not because it's poorly written or filled with artspeak. The mystery in these paintings seems impenetrable, but in a delicious way. When I'm standing in front of them I'm not thinking "Oh. These paintings are so filled with mystery." Nope. These paintings couldn't be more direct, the way they pull me into the moment. It's just me and them. It's a nice little home for a few minutes. But I'm going to stop talking now, and you should stop reading. We both know what to do next.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times
Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, in the Times today talking about commissioning a portrait by Julian "Mr. MasterCard" Schnabel for the 40th anniversary of Placido Domingo's first performance at the Met . . .
"He [Gelb] added: 'The Met has a long history of very large and not necessarily well-painted portraits of singers in costume. Some of them are quite good, but some are the painting equivalent of what you’d see in a wax museum.' Ever since Mr. Gelb took over in 2006, the Met has reached out to visual artists; in approaching Mr. Schnabel, the opera house was hoping to buff up its collection still further, Mr. Gelb said, and to expand on its mission of rebuilding connections to contemporary culture and society."
Lowest ticket price for Plácido Domingo's 40th Anniversary Celebration: $1,500. Keeping traditions alive: Priceless.
hat tip: C-Monster
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
On Saturday I stopped in at Commes Des Garcon to see if there were any new fragrances. There were a bunch, but the one that really stood out isn't going to be released 'til Tuesday (Heh. I said, "'Til Tuesday".). I was lucky enough to get to check it out ahead of time though because the people at the Chelsea shop are so damn nice. A collaboration with Stephen Jones Millenery, it's a sweet and rooty concoction that rests on a delicious edge of olfactory disorientation. Like all my CdG faves there's an initial scent that hits you, and then the layers around it unfold and it becomes something else and something even better. Appropriate for our times, the exquisite design of the bottle and its box gives off the feel of a widow's hat. Just imagine that the widow is Ann Magnuson and you've got the picture. Yu-um. Yuh-uhm . . . hmmm.
Brill, baby, brill!
Friday, September 12, 2008
EJ Hauser, untitled walker, 2008
EJ Hauser, who will be kicking your ass in the show I'm pulling together, is included in the Chris Martin-curated Party At Phong's House opening tonight at the Janet Kurnatowski Gallery. That was a long sentence.
Did I just say that Chris Martin and I have the same good taste? Why yes, I just did. Seriously, kids. Check the roster on this one. Whew. Plus, any show that exists so there can be an after-party is fine by me.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Jack Whitten, 9.11.01
Then I went to lunch. I walked away from Broadway to avoid the crowds and the nutcases. Walking in front of me on Wall Street was a woman holding a couple of those tiny American flags. Just as I was thinking that an over-the-shoulder shot would make for a snappy photograph she turned slightly and I saw that she was also holding a framed picture of someone she lost. Fuck. On my way back from lunch I came across a fire fighter in his dress blues at the intersection of Wall and Broad. He was standing there in a daze with a friend and I noticed that his coat was unbuttoned, accentuating how the body's cage drops in grief. It might have been 7 years ago for you and me, but not for these two. Not today.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This was some sad news. The supremely inventive Hector Zazou has died. Sixteen years ago David at pbe introduced me to his Sahara Blue album and upon the umpteen millionth listening tonight it still sounds fresh. Not an easy feat given the space between then and now. On that album Zazou set Rimbaud to music using a cast that included Bill Laswell, John Cale, Dead Can Dance, David Sylvian, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sussan Deyhim, Steve Shehan, Keith LeBlanc, Paul Simenon, about 30 others, and, oh yeah, Gérard Depardieu. The album is a stunning accomplishment of synthesis. This project would have been impressive even if it had failed. But it didn't. It's nearly perfect. No, actually, it is perfect. Nobody else could have pulled this off. Now nobody else ever will.
PS: If you really want a treat, do a little digging and find the Depardieu-voiced "I'll Strangle You" extended EP. Très massif!
For those about to rock. Fire! We. Salute. You!
Jennifer Coates at Kinz, Tillou and Feigen, y'all. Opening tonight, like a big beautiful hole in the wall of your world into another. You know how I feel. And it looks like she's gone even further out with this one. Oh, hell yeah.
UPDATE: OK. So. Like I said, I'm a big fan of Jennifer Coates work. I had a feeling from the first exhibition .jpeg that she had roughed up her template for this show. And damn, I was sooooooo right. This show isn't just a knockout, it's a serious leap forward for Coates. She goes deeper into space with a bigger bag of tricks, and she'll be taking you along for the ride, thank you very much.
PLUS, in addition to the paintings there are six drawings included that are all killer. When I did a studio visit with the Coates a couple years ago the first thing I saw when I walked into the studio were a group of drawings. Here you can almost feel the curator thinking, "Man. We gotta put these in the show. We just have to." And there they are. Six of 'em on the wall ready to drop your jaw just like they did mine. Get lost, and get lost now.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Some people think that Jennifer Steinkamp's work is too pretty (You know who you are, G.), but I'm not too troubled by that. It might be because the first piece I ever saw was in a collector's home and it was intimate and had a touch of death in it. I stopped by the last 5 minutes of the opening her new show at Lehmann Maupin on Sunday night. It's pretty awesome. It's like a visual Merzbow playing major chords. Although I have to say that I agree with her critics to a certain extent. A little more filth would be nice.