Art News Roundup: Week 1

October 19, 2008 · Print This Article

News Roundup

Weekly art news roundup with all the news that we’re too busy to cover, but still talk about around the chuck wagon water cooler. Yeeehaaw lets get started:

Pulitzer widow donates art, $45M to Harvard art museum:
The Harvard Art Museum has received a gift of 31 works of art and $45 million US from Emily Rauh Pulitzer, a former assistant curator, 1963 Harvard graduate, spouse of Joseph Pulitzer Jr., and also was assistant curator of drawings at the museum from 1957 to 1964. This marks the largest gift in the history of the museum.


3 Canadian projects recognized for sustainable design:

The Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction has recognized three Canadian projects in its annual awards for the most environmentally responsible construction projects. The winners: The Living With Lakes Centre in Sudbury, Ont. – The Evergreen Brick Works project in Toronto. – The North Vancouver Outdoor School.

National Gallery exhibit designed to interact with viewers:
The National Gallery of Canada opens an exhibition Friday that’s designed to display how much impact a viewer can have on a work of art, rather than the other way around. Caught in the Act: The Viewer as Performer is made up of 17 large works, many of which interact with the viewer.

Birmingham Named Britain’s Ugliest City:
More than a third of 1,111 people surveyed thought Birmingham had the ugliest buildings in the country. Ugliest building? Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre has “won” that prize.

Roman Sim City Brought To Life:
A team of archaeologists, scientists and software programmers has created a 3D virtual model of the city of Cologne as it was 2,000 years ago. Though not yet online, the software allows visitors to fly through the city in its Roman glory, just in time for Gladiator 2: Chariots of Fire.

Damien Hirst Tops Art Review’s Power 100:
The uber-seller is no. 1 on the British magazine’s list of the art world’s most powerful people for the second time; runners-up include dealer Larry Gagosian and MoMA’s Kathy Halbreich. With the art world conquered he next shoots for Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Award.

Southern Illinois To Get Major Art Gift
New Yorkers Herbert and Dorothy Vogel… working with the National Gallery of Art in Washington and federal arts agencies, chose the University Museum at Southern Illinois University to receive 50 pieces [of the Vogel collection.] The gift is part of a plan announced in April to donate 50 works from the Vogels to one art institution in each state. Ten recipients were named then, and announcements about the remaining 40 are expected this week. Forget Harvard like it needs the money!




Episode 163: San Francisco Fall 2008

October 12, 2008 · Print This Article

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San Francisco Fall Review Freak Out

San Francisco is haunted by illusions of Sarah Palin, icebergs, and the Wicked Witch of the West! This week, Brian and Patricia sit down with guest critic Clare Haggarty to discuss the new fall gallery
openings. Unfortunately, the political and economic Zeitgeist invades their thinking as they digress into conversations of conceptual economics, election politics, and The Wizard of Oz.

Galleries reviewed include the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, Ampersand International Arts, Ping Pong, New Langton, Ratio 3, Marx & Zavattero, Jack Hanley, Haines Gallery, Southern Exposure, Queens Nails Projects, and more! Read more




The Aesthetics of Terror at The Chelsea Art Museum Cancelled

September 25, 2008 · Print This Article

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Art Fag City has just broke the news that The Chelsea Art Museum has cancelled their show The Aesthetics of Terror. According to the site, artists were informed yesterday of Dorothea Kesser’s decision stating that she felt the show “glorified terrorism and showed disrespect for its victims.”

Here is the roster of who was going to participate:

Josh Azzarella
Daniel Bejar
William Betts
Blue Noses
Jake + Dinos Chapman
Zoya Cherkassky
Jeanette Doyle
Harun Farocki
Coco Fusco
Johan Grimonprez
Kent Henrickssen
Jenny Holzer
Fransje Killaars
Jon Kessler
Yitzik Livneh
Naeem Mohaiemen
Claude Moller
Richard Mosse
Yves Netzhammer
Miguel Palma
Cristi Pogacean
David Reeb
Roee Rosen
Martha Rosler
Stephan Shanabrook
Ivana Spinelli
Avdey Ter-Oganyan
Jan Tichy
Sharif Waked
Catherine Yass




Black Romantic

September 25, 2008 · Print This Article

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Art21’s blog has posted an interview with former BAS guest Kerry James Marshall. They sat down with Marshall while he was installing his show ” Black Romantic” at Jack Shainman Gallery. The video on their website is worth checking out.

Below is an excerpt from the interview.

ART21: What’s the relationship between your series of Vignettes (2003-07) and what’s commonly referred to as post-black art.

MARSHALL: The work of African-American artists has for a long time been seen more as a kind of social phenomena instead of aesthetic phenomena. The social implications of the work — be it identity politics and things like that — seem to be privileged in terms of the way the work is received, as opposed to any kind of aesthetic project or intervention the work might be organized around. And so if you read any of the critique that was made around the Freestyle (2001) show at The Studio Museum in Harlem, you’ll find an undertone that seems to suggest that the mainstream critical world and art aficionados were tired of this whole identity politics and multiculturalism moment.

If you examine the subjectivity that a lot of African-American artists address, it often has a kind of cultural, social, political, or historical angle to it. So for the mainstream to suggest that it was sort of tired of having to address those kinds of issues, then, what’s really left for these artists to do if that’s something that’s meaningful to them? On some level, I thought maybe the only thing that was left to do was to make paintings about love. And to take a cynical approach to the concept of love, to the concept of the Vignettes (2003-07), so that they don’t seem to directly address the social and political issues that had been relevant to me and maybe to a lot of other artists who want to make work.

I began by looking at a lot of 18th Century French painting — Rococo work — like Boucher, Fragonard, Bouguereau, and other artists who themselves are also critiqued but critiqued for a lack of political depth in their work, for the frivolity of the work and for the work being kind of saccharine and sentimental and overly puffy and flowery. I started to take those two things and see if I could put them together — to preserve a certain element of the social, political, and historical narratives that are still important to me, but also to deal with the sentimentality, frivolity, and excesses that are embedded in Rococo painting.

ART21: Why are they painted predominantly in black-and-white?

MARSHALL: One of the reasons I use the grisaille technique in those paintings was to deny a bit of the Rococo. If you take a genre of painting that’s recognized for being pretty or flowery, but you want to start to do some other things, then you have to strip away some of those characteristics. One of the first characteristics is the over-investment in color that those pictures would have. So I stripped away the color, which reduces a certain amount of sweetness in the pictures. Black and white always tends towards a level of seriousness, and you can use it to avoid sentimentality when you’re dealing with highly keyed chromatic kind of relationships. The only color note in there is the cartoony pink in the hearts. The pink is a way of refusing to deliver on all of the points of which grisaille is supposed to deliver. And I chose to paint the hearts pink specifically to emphasize the disconnection between the overtly romantic imagery in the foreground and the historical or political imagery in the background.

ART21: What advice would you give to younger artists?

MARSHALL: The drive to be relevant — not just for yourself and the people who like your work — has moved a lot of artists throughout time to do the kinds of things they do. If you look how artists became artists in the past, there were smaller numbers of people vying for positions in the royal courts and churches and atelier system. They didn’t have five thousand people coming through the system back then. But now we have these graduate programs at universities that are putting out thousands of credentialed artists every year. And so what are these artists trying to do? They are all trying to get a gallery show. They’re trying to get the grants. They’re trying to get written about in the newspaper. They’re trying to get their work collected. They’re trying to do all of those things so they can keep on making their work.

Now the only way you can do that really is to distinguish yourself from what everybody else in the field is doing. And so if you were taught while you were in school that being a part of the club — being one of many amongst other artists — that that’s somehow worthwhile, then how do you sustain your development and your productivity? What do you aim for?

Whatever it is you’re aiming for has to be judged by somebody outside yourself as having a kind of value. But if you just leave that to people who are out there, who somehow supposed to know more about what you’re doing than you do, then I think you are in a world of trouble. If you don’t have any mechanism to determine to some degree what your chances might be of achieving the kind of success as an artist you want to achieve, then you’re in deep trouble. And I think there is a lot that can be done. I think you can decide. And the way you decide is to know what it is artists are trying to do and what is meaningful to the discipline above and beyond what you think is meaningful to you as a person trying to express yourself.

This is why I say it’s not about self-expression. If it were really just about self-expression, then that would require a receiver who is so sensitively attuned to your sensibility that they are capable of recognizing an intrinsic value — not in what it is you’re doing, but who it is you are.




Episode 158: Hello Chicago

September 7, 2008 · Print This Article

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2008 Opening Season

Here we stand, at the beginning of the most exciting part of our Art Year: opening night. So, what do we do? We return to past form, act like idiots, and debate the state of the Chicago Art World and Art Chicago with Michael Workman.

Also, a sober and sick Duncan MacKenzie can’t handle a rowdy and drunken Bad at Sports crew and totally melts down, then screams repeatedly at Richard Holland? Could the band be breaking up? Speculation ensues. Read more