Three Art Review Haiku’s for three of the artists at The Hole Gallery in NYC.
Solar pleixs edge
Sneezed stars with tomb resonance
Square held universe
Pretend depth via,
skimmed surface deconstructed
Each hole dripped with sharp
A tape worm home kit is good
Food removed with glee
The exhibition they participated in was called “…”
Chris Bors of ArtReview reports in on the Bad at Sports gallery show “Don’t Piss on Me and Tell Me It’s Raining” which has been up at Apexart Gallery in NYC since April 7th & will continue till May 22nd. In the review Mr. Bors comments on the relationship of the Art world to the internet & blogging especially. Pointing out Richard Flood’s recent statement at the Portland (Oregon) Art Museum about bloggers being prairie dogs; popping up one after another with no communication between themselves & no (editorial) oversight. A statement that one can debate the merits of but also one that Bad at Sports for over five years has been working to prove false.
In the review Mr. Bors recounts the history of Bad at Sports, the artists it has been lucky enough to work with over the years and the work they donated to be part of the gallery show. While also commenting on one piece in particular saying:
The liveliest work on view, however, is in apexart’s window, where a monitor shows animated credits listing Bad at Sports’s contributors. Created by B@S member Christopher Hudgens in the style of designer and filmmaker Saul Bass, well known for his masterful film titles, the retro graphics, limited animation and jazz soundtrack mesh seamlessly, while managing to get in a dig at Flood for good measure.
Bad at Sports would like to thank Mr. Bors for coming out to see the show and taking the time to review it. More so we want to thank every artist that was involved in the opening which in reality is nothing but an extention of the generous giving of time, ideas & energy those same people have shared with us for over 250 hours of interviews, talks, laughs & drinking since Bad at Sports first aired in 2005.
I just started reading Six Nonlectures by E.E. Cummings and I love it. Each time I set down my book I fantasize about being a Harvard grad class of 1936 (or earlier) and I want to write in that canonical W.A.S.P.-y literary style. A style first introduced to me in middle school through The Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye, and later impressed upon me in college through Burroughs, Stevens, Kerouac, and other dudes. These frequently referenced stories are part of an American myth that I can’t seem to shake.
My friend Paul Cowan knows what I’m going through. He recently released a collection of short stories entitled The Music and the Wine that follow a series of unnamed protagonists through everyday scenarios. The vignettes are about “nothing,” meaning ideas that are hard to describe: why your favorite pants are your favorite or what it feels like when someone steals your jokes. Paul once told me that he thought reading fiction was indulgent and his writing is decidedly enjoyable.
The Music and the Wine is a bizarre homage to the great American novel. In Wilke Dairy Co. Cowan acknowledges his indirect nostalgia for a time that only really exists in retrospect. He celebrates the Midwest and the 1950s. In Wilke Dairy Co. the narrator recalls a perfect night making out with Ann Wilke, a dairy heir, in her parents’ basement. The narratives are funny, nearly satirical, and my favorite is about a divisive social butterfly. It begins, “It’s a thin line between love and hate. And I never walk that line.”
The Music and the Wine is available from Paul Cowan and Golden Age. On Saturday, March 27th 7-10pm please join us at Golden Age for Alla Prima, a show of new works by Paul Cowan. Visit www.shopgoldenage.com for more information.
Hope everyone has had a great week. On this weeks roundup we check out Murakami’s latest video for Louis Vuitton, a new article on Marina Abramović, and Wallpaper Magazin’s collection on Tart Cards. Have a good weekend and hopefully we will see you at the closing of Green Lantern.Viva La GL!
- Lori Waxman has a great article on the Tamms Year Ten mud stencils in New City.
- Takashi Murakami released his new ad for Louis Vuitton, Superflat First Love. Why do I feel like I have already seen this?
- Wallpaper Magazine lets designers take a stab at London’s tart cards. Here are my faves: 1, 2, 3,
- Art Review has a write up on Marina Abramović.
- Disco jail? Adrian Searle’s video of the Venice Biennale highlights.
- Want to know what is going on at Basel besides Brad Pitt and his new Neo Rauch? Check out what Art Fag City is checking out here, here, and here.
- IDK if anyone has said this but ThreeWalls has extended their residency and project deadlines until July 1. So, get on it.
- Camera or Voltron? The toy I always wanted.
- The Museum of Modern Art will be hosting a retrospective of Tim “I ruined Planet of the Apes” Burton on Nov. 22
Carrie Schneider @ Monique Meloche; Lora Fosberg @ Linda Warren; Amy Mayfield @ threewalls
Artwork copyright the original artists; text and documentation copyright Paul Germanos.
Friday, October 17, 2008, Chicago:
Carrie Schneider @ Monique Meloche
“ognuno vede” — Niccolo Machiavelli:
As I ride east, the sky fades to red behind me.
And according to no particular rhythm, drops of rain infrequently appear on the visor of my helmet.
Bike parked, block walked, I cross the threshold of Monique Meloche Gallery and find the photography of Carrie Schneider.
Schneider’s prints are large — an easy meter on any given side — and in full color.
The subjects are human figures, and products of human artifice, as found in landscapes of great natural beauty.
Meloche’s exhibition program has seemed at once gutsy and cerebral, demonstrating a sustained interest not only in the sensual human experience of the world, but also favoring a cool, museum-like intellectual framing of contemporary issues.
And so I suppose there’s something here in addition to pretty scenery and clever portraits.
Clue: the consistently idiosyncratic aspect of Schneider’s photography is the focus upon some type of covering.
The human figure in the piece entitled We, and the canoe in Dazzle Camouflage, are draped with a Riley-like, black-and-white canvas.
But “dazzle” is a reference not to Op Art, rather a battlefield technique that disrupts an opponent’s perception through the use of striking, high-contrast patterns wholly unrelated to the object so treated.
Certain of that, conscious of the fact that Carrie Schneider’s work has, for several years, evidenced an artistic strategy concerned with ambiguity,
it seems likely that her first solo show is in large part an exploration of the tactics of camouflage.
Continuing to view the work, continuing to think about camouflage, the self-portrait beneath a mask of juniper boughs in Queen of This Island seems not unlike a ghillie suit:
that covering of organic materials drawn from the environment into which one desires to blend,
most familiar in the form of a rude crown of grass and twigs ringing the helmet of military snipers.
The application of such substances to the human figure is a familiar process in Chicago:
A photograph of one of Nick Cave’s “suits” hung on the same gallery wall a few short months ago;
and while not “wearable,” and more distant (ten to twenty years prior) historically, there is also the example of Tom Czarnopys’ cast figures encased in bark.
Maybe most notable in their exploitation of camouflage have been local artists Tom Burtonwood & Holly Holmes.
In their piece Price War!, as see at the Consuming War exhibition, B & H applied a non-threatening commercial pattern to threatening, military shapes.
Later reversing that figure/ground relationship at artXposium 2.0, B & H applied a threatening military pattern to a non-threatening commercial shape in their piece Urban Camo Santa.
That Burtonwood and Holmes examine the relationship between commerce and war is writ large for all to read.
Coyly, Schneider looks out from her work: young, beautiful and self-satisfied.
She’s not really hiding.
What is Schneider’s interest in camouflage?
In both her projected and also in her printed films, the message, the revelation, is delivered by means of the obscurement.
What is she attempting to communicate?
Lora Fosberg @ Linda Warren
There are times when the clarity and simplicity of an artist’s message, amplified by the means of delivery,
overwhelm and even stupify the viewer.
In the past, Barbara Kruger’s bold font has seemed to shout at me;
Jenny Holzer’s animation and projections have quite literally circled menacingly, and towered ominously above me.
I’ve been told that this confrontational mode of delivery was carefully chosen for the purpose of forcing certain issues into the public consciousness.
But, fighting — and the work of Kruger and Holzer alluded to above is combative — with the weapons and armor
of the enemy, they, at times, appear to belong to his camp…to be propagandists.
Exposed to loud noise, I cover my ears; in the presence of a bright light, I shield my eyes.
But when someone whispers, I draw near and listen.
And seeing something delicate and small, I’m inclined to study it with care.
And so it is at 1052 W. Fulton Market: I find myself drawn into Lora Fosberg‘s text-ladden pieces at Linda Warren Gallery.
And I attribute my reaction to her subtle treatment of the material.
Admittedly, I’ve tended to recoil when confronted by large amounts of text in what is nominally visual art.
But Fosberg’s words and phrases are well-integrated with the purely aesthetic elements of her design.
Fosberg shows a deft hand when practicing the craft of draftsmanship.
Clean, sure strokes of brush and pen define figures with what appears to be little effort.
I’m caught unaware by the content, having been more-or-less lulled into a receptive state by the combined effect of the subtle tones of her palette, the easy grace of her execution, and the modest scale of the pieces on display.
Fosberg’s made visible dialogues, dialogues that, in her own words,
“suggest the familiar while maintaining ambiguity.”
As in Schneider’s show, here there are figures active in a landscape.
But Fosberg’s models aren’t literal representations of herself;
and they aren’t looking out of the frame at me — seeking my attention and approval.
No, the subjects of Fosberg’s ink and gouache caricatures are busily about their given work.
Amy Mayfield @ threewalls
Up the stairs, down the hall, to threewalls I go.
It’s the crazy aunt’s attic in which I’ve found voodoo dolls, horror films, and even whole trees.
Tonight a heavily embroidered curtain hangs between the body of Amy Mayfield‘s installation and the external world of the gallery’s front room.
Passing through that membrane I entered a hot vermillion space.
fornus, fornax, fornix
Mayfield has wholly invested herself in the process of transforming the back room of the gallery:
choosing to place some found objects, fabricate other pieces, and treat the environment as well.
The surfaces — from the tiles beneath my feet to the walls on which framed items are hung –
are well-painted, sometimes thickly, sometimes possessing a glossy sheen.
Rising up from the floor are foam concretions that resemble stalagmites,
the floor having been re-tiled with brightly colored geometric units of her own creation.
It’s the contrast between the line quality of those two things that really strikes me.
There’s a wild, almost schizophrenic, swing from style-to-style, piece-to-piece;
the unifying compositional element being the vivid color that she favors.
Mayfield, like Schneider and Fosberg, I think, is involved in a process that is somewhat autobiographical.
Schneider, as a model, quite literally appears in her own work.
Fosberg presents artifacts of thought processes.
Mayfield manifests externally some internal space, viscerally fusing the physical and psychological.
+ + +
It says something good about the scene in Chicago that it’s now possible
to experience, back-to-back, strong shows by three women at different
points in their lives and careers. Go and compare:
Amy Mayfield @ threewalls through Nov 15, 2008
Lora Fosberg @ Linda Warren through Nov 29, 2008
Carrie Schneider @ Monique Meloche through Dec 6, 2008
 See: The “dazzle” cars of Patricia van Lubeck, circa the early 90′s.
 See: Comments on Schneider’s Derelict Self series, 2006-2007, made by
Aura Seikkula, curator of the Finnish Museum of Photography.
 See: False Colors: Art, Design and Modern Camouflage by
Roy R. Behrens,
Professor, Art and Design, University of Northern Iowa (noting especially the text’s cover art) for more on the relationship between art and camouflage.
 See: Camouflage at London Imperial War Museum, 2007;
“The first major exhibition to explore the impact of camouflage on modern warfare and its adoption into popular culture.”
 See: Jenny Holzer: Protect Protect @ MCA through February 1, 2009.
Written by Paul Germanos