Friday, February 27, 2009
image via the Clockarium
Hey, kids. Just wanted to say sorry for the dearthular posting lately. The ol' 9-to-5 has been a little more than that, so the time and the brain have been a little drained. Not to mention how much it cuts into my art-gazing time.
Unrelated. Went to a Creative Council get-together tonight for Creative Time. Dudes. They've some amazing things in the pipeline, including Nato and Jeremy's Excellent Adventure. Which, honestly, putting it like that minimizes the weight of it all, but I couldn't help myself. The Jeremy Deller road trip is a small part of what's around the corner. And trust me, massive goodness is in the offing, including work with one of my FAVORITE artists. Man, I don't often do teasers here, but there ye have it. Like I said. Massive. Good. Trust me.
While we're here, there's a new Creative Time Comics up, this month by Lauren Weinstein, Speaking of which, how great is Lauren Weinstein? Click here and find out.
I had a Creative Time thingy tonight so I didn't make it to the Robert McCurdy opening at Venetia Kapernekas Gallery. But trust me, I'll be checking it out. I know that McCurdy makes paintings that look like photographs, but I've only ever seen the photographs that look like paintings. And that's fine by me. Bring on the shadows.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Defaced Gipperface on the street via Katmere's flickr site
Now this is a headline with which I can live: "Obama’s Budget Plan Sweeps Away Reagan Ideas". I'd like to think that Old Mother Reagan is rolling in his grave, but that would imply reanimation. No thanks.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I wasn't too moved by anything in the front rooms of Mona Hatoum's new show at Alexander & Bonin, BUT the installation in the back room was slammin'. Creepy and dreamily beautiful, this one. Made me want to listen to Muslimgauze (Always a good sign.). Plus, it smelled good. I couldn't figure out if it was on purpose or not. It actually reminded me of Charlotte Westergren's brilliant fragrance installation at Bellwether three years ago. Mmmm.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
25 years. How do you do this for and after 25 years? Apparently, this is how. The new Napalm Death album, Time Waits For No Slave is a jaw dropper, partly because the riffs line drive themselves into your face. They've been on on a roll the last couple albums, The Code Is Red... Long Live The Codeand Smear Campaign, but I wasn't prepared for the grand crushing affair that is this record. Furious, fast, and unrelenting from beginning to end. Don't stop.
Bonus usefulness: I listened to it simultaneously with Bobby Jindal's reaction speech last night. Made watching future of the Republican Party even better. Instant destruction.
Derek Jarman, still from Sebastian Wrap
I stopped by Elizabeth Dee on the last day of the exhibit of Derek Jarman's early films. I'd never seen them before. I've never seen anything by Derek Jarman, in fact. I always loved the idea Jarman though. I also loved the idea of people loathing his film Blue so much that they commonly left the theatre before it finished. Simon Fisher Turner's soundtrack for Blue was where I first encountered Jarman, if at a distance. So, I was thrilled to be greeted with the sounds of SFT when I walked into the gallery on Saturday. The music is a lovely still point that augments the mood of these early films. As frenetic as the images become at times, the steady, confident beat of Jarman's heart hold it all together. He knew exactly where we were going. Utterly consuming.
Mark Barrow, Off Balance,, Acrylic on Hand-Loomed Linen
But wait. There was more. Not in the films, but in the gallery. On the way in a painting in the room behind the reception desk had caught my eye. On my way out, there it was again. Of course, I asked about it. (Always ask about it.) A subtle canvas, it almost looked like it was coming at me from behind some kind of self-contained scrim. Turns out it was the work of Mark Barrow, a new addition to the gallery's roster. On a foundation of handmade textile, angles of soft color intersect and reflect. Closer inspection revealed micro hits of a vibrant orange. It was that tension between the muted and the piercing that carried this small painting across the room to me. Hello in there. Hello.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
I'm not buying Jerry Saltz's recent argument against the cube. Forgive me if I can't get excited when people--even my how-to-process-art hero Jerry Saltz--start talking about possibility of the "new", in this case breaking the cube, as a way forward. I don't deny that it's not a thrill to be in a new kind of space with great art (My first reference point? Creative Time's Art in the Anchorage series.), but I've seen too many shows in interesting non-cubes that haven't been good.
Good art is what moves things foward. There are plenty of gallerists and curators who couldn't put on a good show in the catacombs. You gotta bring the art. Everything else will take care of itself. No stretching necessary.
Helpful: Brian O'Doherty's Studio and the Cube.
Related: Thomas Dolby, George Clinton, and the Brecker Bros.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
And just in time for Fashion Week, the best 7" cover of the year! Vomit's Kate Moss. This coke mirror cover (lines included) will make all the girls swoon with envy and a throat-poky lightheadedness. Get your's now. And the music? Some kind of spazzyass hardcore attack, let me tell ya. 8 songs, 1 side, and all the venom we deserve. Fuck. You.
Big ups to the J-man at Chrome Peeler for the introduction.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I had Holland Cotter's article from Thursday's Times, The Boom Is Over. Long Live the Art!, fresh in my mind when I was reading Glenn O'Brien and Fabien Baron's conversational editorial in the last issue of Interview magazine. Can't get any more succinct than this. Just the Beat, please. And the recognition that whatever comes next will probably be a surprise, and not look anything like it did last time.
FB: So I guess this is a good year to have an anniversary, because of the recession.
GO'B: I like recessions. Punk rock started in a recession. Neo-expressionism started in a recession.
In the same issue, behind the door of the "Goodbye to All That." Department I found Damien Hirst interviewing Lily Allen. Like I said, Hello Goodbye.
LA: I’ve been getting into art recently. I don’t know if you knew that.
DH: I heard you bought some paintings by Paul Simonon from the Clash.
LA: Yeah, and I bought a Christian Marclay piece off Jay Jopling [HAA note: What, no mention of the snogging here???].
DH: Really? What did you buy?
LA: This piece called Untitled (Guns N’ Roses and Survival of the Fittest), which is this thing of tapes.
DH: You’re mental! What got you into that? You’ve got more money than sense, buying that rubbish. I bet you like those fucking guys who cut them cows in half and do all that rubbish. That’s not really art! [both laugh]
LA: That’s a good thing to buy, art. Isn’t it? In this day and age? In a recession?
DH: Yes, it is in any time.
LA: You timed your auction quite well, didn’t you?
DH: Yeah, I think I was very lucky.
Monday, February 16, 2009
The Stephen Sprouse show at Deitch is fun. As for the art about it, who cares. It's a tired argument in both directions. Don't get distracted by the "clothes" and "art" though. Make a B-line for the video monitors where they're showing recordings of Sprouse's runway shows. The best is the one where the models walk the catwalk, but instead of doing their pouty pivot turns at the end of the runway, they just fall into a big pile of Fuck You. Absolutely riveting.
Polaroid . . .
Clothes and art, all in quotes . . .
Polaroid . . .
Clothes and art, all in quotes . . .
Friday, February 13, 2009
Crack, 2008, oil on canvas, 16" x 20"
New baby. New art. New show. Good year. Matt Straub's new show, Stand Still, You Buzzards — Don't Go For Those Guns!, opening tonight at Lyons Wier • Ortt Gallery TONIGHT. Giddy the fuck UP, man!
Whoa. Hello, Zach Needler paintings. Stopped by the Christopher Henry Gallery tonight on Elizabeth to see Zach Needler's paintings for the first time outside of jpeg-land. Most awesome. Here's what you do. Go into the gallery. Spend a little time with the paintings, but not too much. Go upstairs to see the relatively astounding photographs of Ves Pitts. Or, maybe go back outside and look at traffic. Then head back in for another round with the paintings. The re-focus will bring out the lines and paths taken by Needler. The eye-punching colors will be even more vivid than they were the first time through. I don't know why it works like this. I just know that it does. I was pretty giddy when I left this show.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
There's an early passage in Chaim Potok's My Name is Asher Lev where Potok let's the reader into the head of the artist as a child. The world is seen in line and color. Mostly line. I thought of this when I saw the late Fred Sandback's miracle of a show at Zwirner last weekend. I can't imagine a more complete understanding of Line and its effects on the viewer.
I also found it difficult not to think of magic. There are spots in the show where I thought that if I stepped through the created spaces I'd enter another world. Come to think of it, I did.
Monday, February 09, 2009
I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to like the Imi Knoebel show at Mary Boone, but I do. At first I was reminded of Jason Adkins' blow-out color pallet sculptures (And yes, I mean "pallet". I'm talking skids.). Pretty quickly though I realized that nothing had anything to do with the other. Knoebel's works are paintings. They're not always flat on a wall, but they're still paintings. Follow the surface. The edges of this show are hard but there are a couple entry points. Mine was the corner of the piece against the back wall. Both the mesmerizing strength of the juxtaposed colors and the shapes created in reflection opened the door. All uphill from there.
The paintings that reminded me of pallets are like a linear take on Howard Hodgkin. But things aren't as perfectly ordered as they first appear. In all the paintings there are edges that peek out, that throw the line off course and you with it. A fine thing, that.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Image totally swiped from artmostfierce
Don't miss the artmostfierce interview with the tireless and fearless Marisa Sage of Like The Spice Gallery. LtS's program has only gotten stronger over the years. Read the interview and find out why. That whole faith in art and the artists thing seems to work really well, especially when it's disconnected from the bubble market in the first place. Even in tough economic times like these. And having a magical basement seems to help too. Everybody loves that basement.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Art. I miss you. Specifically, I miss looking at you. I got a little consumed with the show. No complaints. The immersion at that level was a new and good thing. But YO. The time, it did disappear, and it didn't include enough art gazing. Looking forward to changing that this weekend, and I'm going to kick it off tonight with a visit to the appropriately wonderful Like The Spice for their First Friday Lecture & Silent Auction shabang. Featured artists are Jenny Morgan (Who will be giving a gallery talk.), Colette Robbins, Reuben Negrón, and Noa Charuvi.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
I've very much been enjoying following Zoe Strauss' recent trekking through Alaska. It's always a blast to follow Strauss' process, but things are even more interesting when she doesn't know where they're going. The photos look great but she's not quite sure if they'll make the cut when the day comes. What is crystal clear though is that the experience itself--her discovery of Alaska with and without a lens--has been transformative. I can hardly wait to see how this plays out.
Oh, and say HELLO to the sexiest photo she's ever taken.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Photo: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Yeah, there's a cool article about Deitch's Nicola Vassell in the Times today, but more importantly . . . well, check out the background. Actually, I don't know if you could ever really call Eva and Adele "background".
Monday, February 02, 2009
David from pbe just sent me this great interview with electronic home wrecker, Uwe Schmidt aka AtomTM aka Atom Heart aka Senor Coconut aka Lisa Carbon et al. It's in support of his new release on visual/sound artist Carsten Nicolai's label, Raster-Noton. Color me a world of psyched. I have about 80 releases by the guy, and he never disappoints. In a single song he pulls off more than most artists do in their entire careers. Even his hard Acid releases I liked and I wasn't a fan of the genre. But the genre never matters for Schmidt. He does what he does when he wants to do it. I just follow. Will it be a record of Tangerine Dreamy excursions, funky glitch abstractions, easy listenings cut-ups, or maybe a collection of filthy porno Chilean rap songs? Who cares. If it's AtomTM, it's all Heart.
As a side note, R-N's been on a roll with the sumptuous packaging lately. Check it.