Episode 63: Rhona Hoffman

November 11, 2006 · Print This Article

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Chicago gallerist and legend Rhona Hoffman recorded live in a discussion with Bad at Sports at Three-Walls, on November 7, 2006, election day… when happy days arrived again.

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Rhona Hoffman
Donald Young
Sol LeWitt
Richard Tuttle
Fred Sandback
Barbara Kruger
Cindy Sherman
Lorna Simpson
Allan McCollum
Gordon Matta Clark
Vito Acconci
Museum of Contemporary Art
Shannon Stratton
ThreeWalls
Michelle Grabner
Paul Klein
Lisa Dorin
Hamza Walker
Tony Tasset
Judy Ledgerwood
Richard Rezac
Adam Brooks
Gerald S. Elliott
Art Institute of Chicago
Donald Judd
Dan Flavin
Robert Ryman
Leon Golub
Jenny Holzer
Brice Marden
P.T. Barnum
Alan Artner
Maria Rilke
Roy Lichtenstein
Spencer Finch
Richard M. Daley
Claude Monet
Susanne Ghez
Art Basel Miami Beach
Frieze Art Fair
Wayne Newton
Mickalene Thomas
Barbra Streisand
Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_63_Rhona_Hoffman.mp3

16 Responses to “Episode 63: Rhona Hoffman”

  1. I just don’t get how to hear the interviews, as a result when I receive an email from you I just delete it. Send me info or I’ll just click on the red line to “destroy and delete” your emails.

  2. What don’t you get Christine? Push the little play triangle on the blog.

    If you can’t make it work e-mail us at badatsports@gmail.com

    Richard

  3. will the panel discussion be posted as a podcast?

    Great interviews recently – people I enjoy hearing from. thanks!

  4. We are still discussing it. The Audio is not great and Richard sympathizes with your ears.

  5. Damnit, will you have some events on days/nights when I’m *not* teaching?

    (ps- where can I get this “destroy and delete” button?)

  6. Lynne Warren Says:

    I just wanted to let you know I noticed all the “dropped names” are spelled correctly and am assuming your plea for a proofreader/editor was met?

  7. No, we just lifted the two drink minimum.

  8. Actually our increased efforts toward proper spelling were in honor of Rhona.

    We do now have new help with things like spelling and general management, Audrey Mast is a recent addition to the BAS monster ensemble.

  9. Ahhh, I don’t SEE any names or links under the Rhona interview on this page….

  10. Now they are there — thanks!

  11. I’m not totally sure why, but for some reason this weeks podcast made me totally depressed.

  12. okay, I finally got around to listening to this podcast. Congratulations on a deep, informative interview. Who else but Rhona Hoffman would have this perspective on the art world, and Chicago’s place in it.

    I think Rhona underplayed her role, and the uphill battle that dedicated gallerists have to negotiate, in dealing with an ever-expanding art world, and its place in the social, economic and historical silos of modern-day-life. It pains me to configure a place for artists in Chicago, what with all the activity on such a global scale. But if anyone can decipher this place, set the groundwork and devise a context, it is Rhona Hoffman. What’s exciting is that there is so much opportunity — for sales, for exposure, for contact and collaboration. What is still tricky is the role of collectors, the role of the art world establishment (MCA, AIC, Renaissance Society, etc.) in promulgating our place in the grand scheme of things. They seem to be the guardians… and yet how are they reached?

    I should know this, as I have worked for the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs for years. But, I don’t. Not concretely, at least. Any thoughts out there…???

  13. Steve Hamann pointed out that “Rhona said she was tired of seeing artwork influenced by tv and comics. I shed a little tear…”

    I could go into depth about what SHE does that the entire artworld should be and is far more than tired of — BUT she does have a point.

    “This” influence is in the air and has been abused. Simple-minded, wanna-be-smarty-pants, art-school citations of comics has usually been slumming, condescending and decidedly middle-brow. Thus I and others who grew OUT of this mileu, work on the “gallery comics” idea and other alternatives that offer a knowing use, not a trendy one, of an important American and now international socio-political cultural fact. It is a question, as composer Duncan Youngerman has said too, of which direction you came to it.

    An important point is the personal development behind certain current comic/fine-art, and why it should be encouraged, rather than discouraged in the way she did, off-handedly. For me and for a number of other artists I know working in similar modes, it is important to be aware that we have developed from comics (and sign painting, etc.) into fine art, not the reverse, as was true of most of the pioneers of Pop Art (esp. Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol).

    Lichtenstein’s work began as “slumming,” yet he gained respect for comic art as he developed. Stuart Davis is probably the godfather of it all as well. He is far too seldom mentioned, and was not a direct influence on me, but important nonetheless.

    Yes, there are (recently ex-) students with no ideas once again stealing and slumming. But if they weren’t doing that, they’d be doing shitty drawing or mannerist Neo-Con installations. There are always such people. That’s all in the air. There were crappy Baroque artists too, using chiaroscuro, but not understanding it. Many fine artists today grew up with comics as their first art source, thus referring to them without cynicism or careerism, creating work coming from personal and socio-political foundations.

  14. That last comment began sounding too nasty. Especially since I agree wholeheartedly with her contention about a lack of interest in or knowledge of history. I suppose as a former art historian(whos till teaches that sometimes), I think contemporary artists and collectors and gallerists — and esp. curators where I often see the greatest lack — need to know more history and more cultural history and more general history. Those working with popular cultural references greatly need a knowledge of the history of THAT realm too — if you use comics, learn the history of comics too. I have even helped write some of thet history of comics for publication. But they also need knowledge of “normal” fine art.

    I went not long ago to Venice to see Tintoretto’s San Rocco, which has as much to do with my installations as comics do. I went just for the thrill and inspiration, it is a wonderful couple of rooms. head to toe and ceiling and stairway and and and in his works, all abutted, one guinat Sistine-Chapel-Comic-Installation. Anyway, a curator I know was very surprised that I did so, and asked in a funny tone if anyone could still learn from such old art! Yes. If one is smart enough to learn at all. Although, actually the fact of simple inspiration was my goal, as I already knew the work — but I of course was also able to analyze it in comparison to my work and so on as well.

    YAY! for Rhona for bringing the idea of broadened historical knowledge to the table. I know of very few others who currently have advocated that.

  15. Mark! That statement was told to you in the strict confidence in Sharkforum’s comment section! How dare you call me out like that!

    All kidding aside, I’m sure that Mrs. Hoffman can see past the pandering comic crap out there (cough cough steve hamann cough cough) and know there are some great artists out there who use the comic medium in conjunction with knowledge of art history to communicate in a way that is new and accessible.

  16. Oh, I’m not so sure. Showing tried-and-true blue-chips and their “tedious” local, failed copyists is no proof of an eye.

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