Monday, January 29, 2007


For the last week or so most of my art blogging energy has been going into my attempt to blog Doug Aitken's Sleepwalkers on a daily basis over on my Creative Time Blog. I fell in love with it opening night, and I thought that I'd go up to see it a few more times before it ended. When I went to see it the Friday night after the opening I realized that I wanted to try to see it every night after that. I've only missed one night since then, and the piece just continues to unfold and reward.

Here. Wait. This'll make it easier.
Night 1
Night 4
Night 5
Night 6
Night 7
Night 9
Night 10
Night 11
Night 12
Night 13
Night 14
Night 15

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Tyler Green's post today reminded me of one of the best photo policies in the history of the world . . .EVER. The Tom Museum in Pittsburgh. Run by artist Tom Sarver, The Tom Museum is a project of The Mattress Factory. The Tom Museum allows you to take a photo of anything on the premises with one simple provision: Tom has to be in the picture. Sorry, but that's nothing short of genius.

Monday, January 22, 2007


Yael from Creative Time sent me these stunning pictures of Jim Hodges' Look and See in its permant home at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. My post about it back in September of 2005 was one of the reasons that Creative Time asked me to do a blog for them. Hodges' sculpture was one of the reasons that I wanted to do the blog for them.

I've Been Busy.

Not here, but here. Sleepwalkers, Days 4, 5, 6 and 7. Digging in.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Jessica Rylan @ Issue Project Room TONIGHT.

Sound artist Jessica Rylan will be ripping both you and pop music a new asshole tonight at Issue Project Room. Also killing . . . the ever-open transmitter, Loren Connors, who will be collaborating with David Daniell and Greg Kelley. Don't be missin' it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Silent Rhythm.

Here's my first post over at Creative Time about Doug Aitken's Sleepwalkers.

Monday, January 15, 2007

LA: Not A Circle.

Last month, in my review of Meg Cranston's show I used the line, "LA is a circle, but it's not a jerk." In the comments section a well-qualified semi-anonymous reader, V2, kindly pointed out to me that LA is, in fact, not a circle. I thought of that this morning when I read Carla Bozulich's 2006 Rewind entry in the new issue of The Wire. Granted, it's mostly about music, but its themes are the same that I hear from people working in the visual arts in Los Angeles. There seem to be two rules when it comes to discovering LA . . . assume nothing and then dig.

At any rate, this is what Bozulich had to say . . .

"Los Angeles in 2006. LA has never been for someone looking for an easy connection to the outsider art/music/politics scene. I like that about it. I like that if you want it handed to you easy all you'll get is watered down pap from the regular clubs/papers and a bellyache from whining about how lame the city is. We have pockets that spring open in unlikely places but you can't turn every corner and find a cafe with Arundhati Roy action figures and Henry Cowell blasting from the basement. You gotta get off your butt and look for it, baby . . . cuz you won't find it in the papers. Still, this year there are a few steady sight where a person can go find something unusual, hear things, freak out, lull, whatever . . . . For me the Smell and il Corral are the best. The Smell is a not-for-profit drink and drug free music hang. The punk underground lives at the Smell. The scene is really young so maybe if I wasn't such a kook I'd notice that I'm old or something but I can't be bothered with that because all I know is that new music happens there. In LA you can't go to regular clubs for that. Il Corral is the other great place--a little more sound exploration stylez. The lights are dim, couches soft, a fucked up piano and there a doggy that is really sweet. You never pay more than $5 to see a show at these places, no matter if it's Wolf Eyes or some kid's 8 millimeter orthodontic surgery video set to interpretive dance.

There are also two grown-up improvisor music series with no rules or coolness quotient. Come in your fucking pajamas if you want. The music is tops. The out of town guests are fantastic. The great jazz/Improv drummer/composer Alex Cline co-curates the Eagle Rock Concert Series the first Sunday of every month. The other, Cryptonite, is Thursday nites in LA run by Jeff Gaultier--creator of Cryptogramophone Records and a very wicked violinist. Now will you please ignore what people tell you and go have fun in your ear holes the next time you're in LA?"

Originally printed in The Wire, issue 275.

May The Cube Be With You.

Michael Brecker, March 29, 1949 – January 13, 2007

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I stopped by Pluto--a couple blocks from the BMA--this past weekend to grab a second look at Norf*ckneasters, a lively show of paintings and drawings curated by Nicole Eisenman. The show--which runs through February 24th--includes artists Rosanna Bruno, Dana Carlson, Andrea Champlin, Jennifer Coates, Nicole Eisenman, Sarah Peters, and Wendy White. Not only are there some wonderful pieces, but there are two slammin' collaborative paintings.

Wendy White

Andrea Champlin

You've heard me go off here in the past year about Bruno, Eisenman, Coates, and White but trust me when I tell you that the other three have some solid tricks up there sleeves. I've been a fan of Champlin's for a long time and Sarah Peters has an upcoming show at Winkelman / Plus Ultra in June.

Dana Carlson

The real revelation in the show though was Dana Carlson. This is a public admission of sorts. I've known Carlson's work for about a year or so, but I haven't gotten it at all. I always wanted it to be something else, an unusual internal gesture for me when it comes to reacting to art. I either like something or I don't. It's not a complicated thing. This got complicated. Let me pause here and say that I love how this process works sometimes. The last time it happened was with Howard Hodgkin so Carlson is in good company. Anyway, at one point over the year I started to notice her backgrounds, and then I fell in love with them. I still didn't get the paintings though. I thought to myself, "Why doesn't she just get rid of everything else and stop the painting when she's done with the backgrounds." Um, no. I couldn't have been more misguided in my thinking. When I looked at the first painting at Pluto, the background worked it's way toward me and carried with it all that was on top of it. Simple as that . . . finally. The painting had come home in all it's overloaded and slightly caustic beauty. There was only one thing to say, and it was "Oh."


Monday, January 08, 2007

Dougfest 2007.

It's been a total Dougfest over at my Creative Time blog lately. I even found a pair of boots to throw in the mix.

Screen grab from the January issue of Art Review

Friday, January 05, 2007

Top 10 Art Things 2006

10. The Whitney Biennial

I stopped hating this predictable train wreck last time around. It's much more fun to just embrace the mess of it all, and be done with it. That way I'm free to focus on the entertainment value of the human folly that surrounds it. Also, I get to enjoy the good art that does make it through the doors. Paul Chan, Jim O'Rourke, Robert A. Pruitt, Marilyn Minter, Zoe Strauss, Mark Bradford . . . killers all. It was a kick to run my hand over so many of the art world's exposed seams. The Biennial is a necessary vomiting of the soul, whether it means to be or not.

9. Marilyn Minter Studio Visit Via Creative Time

At one point a painter friend leaned over and whispered into my ear, "I have chills." Yep. At the very least, yo. Learning more about Minter's labor-heavy process made me love the work even more. She rules, utterly and completely.

8. The Société Anonyme at The Hammer

Easily one of the most perfectly installed and curated shows I've seen in my life. And one of the most generous, from every possible angle.

7. Robert Rauschenberg's Combines at MOCA

When I saw this show at the Met I wouldn't have thought it possible to improve upon it, and then I saw it at MOCA. The installation in LA allowed for a lively conversation among the pieces that wasn't as freeflowing when it was in New York.

6. Nicola Tyson at Friedrich Petzel

I'm sad to say that I wasn't familiar with Tyson's work before this. I mean, like, really sad. Like, crying-myself-to-sleep-at-night sad. This show of paintings was all luscious wonder and unexpected drives to the basket.

5. Bunny Love at The NY Burlesque Fest

Trust me. It was art. And it was the most cathartic bit of it that I saw all year. I had pretty much given up on any protest art carrying much power until Bunny Love and my number 4 pick came along. I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or scream so I did all three.

4. Susan C. Dessel's Our Backyard: A Cautionary Tale at Dam, Stuhltrager

This installation reminded me of how much I hated that damn Peace Tower at the Biennial and the crushingly boring Thomas Hirschorn at Barbara Gladstone. Quite simply, this show delivered a body blow. Pun very much not intended. It affected me on a visceral level and it wouldn't let go.

3. Wendy White at Sixtyseven

The fact that Mary Boone hasn't scooped up White just tells me that the Hardest Eye In Town needs to start doing more of her own work again. This show had me giddy and muttering the word "Fu-u-uck." in the middle of the gallery.

2. Kate Gilmore all over the damn place

Group shows, a solo show at Pierogi, and one of the best damn studio visits I've ever had. I wasn't very familiar with her work until I saw her piece, Cake Walk, in a group show at ExitArt. Just like Gilmore, I fell fast and I fell hard.

1. Zoe Strauss's I-95 Show

Hell, yeah! For two hours in May--after a year of plotting--Zoe Strauss posted her photographs to the pillars underneath I-95 in South Philly and made everything right in my world. It was one of those rare times when art fulfilled every promise it's ever made to me. Nothing in 2006 reached in and grabbed me the way this installation did. The sheer audacity of it was inspiring. The viewpoint was mad powerful. It was all there: beauty, horror, compassion, anger, hate, love . . . everything was a broken wall.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


You really don't need to see the Annie Leibovitz show at the Brooklyn Museum if you've seen her work in magazines. That's not a cut on Leibovitz's work. It's just that nothing is gained by putting it on a wall in a museum. In fact, taking it off the racks feels like a bad kidnapping.

However, I have to say that I loved seeing this image of Karen Finley in a larger format. My favorite detail is the paperback copy of Alice Miller's The Drama of The Gifted Child sticking out of the stack of books. The original title of the book was Prisoners Of Childhood which seems appropriate in light of Finley's take on our culture as a psycholocial organism making conscious/unconscious choices. Like a good mother Finley, patiently, has been showing us a way out of childhood. Like a tall, dumb kid we keep hitting our head on the door and passing out.