This week: The Amanda Browder Show vs. Tom Friedman. As a sculptor myself, I find his work to be some of the most interesting and innovative of the last 20 years. This is an interview that has been on our wish list for a long time! Yay NYC bureau!
Tom Friedman was born in St. Louis, MO in 1965 and received his B.F.A. at Washington University, St. Louis, MO and his M.F.A. at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Tom Friedman’s art has been exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally. The quirky, and flawlessly executed work tends to defy categorization. While his art is often linked to 1960s Conceptualism and Minimal art, Friedman invents his own visual language through his almost obsessive attentiveness to detail and his striking ability to transform the familiar into the unexpected. He uses common household materials such as aluminum foil, spaghetti, fishing line, hair, Styrofoam, and Play-Doh to create works that rearrange the viewer’s perceptions of the everyday environment. Often humorous and always inventive, Friedman’s work raises questions about the making and seeing of art.
This week: This week we talk with artist, writer, and WhiteWalls co-founder Buzz Spector!
Buzz Spector is an artist and critical writer whose artwork has been shown in such museums and galleries as the Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA. Spector’s work makes frequent use of the book, both as subject and object, and is concerned with relationships between public history, individual memory, and perception. He has issued a number of artists’ books and editions since the mid-1970s, including, most recently, Time Square, a limited edition letterpress book hand altered by the artist and published in 2007 by Pyracantha Press and ABBA at Arizona State University in Tempe. Among his previous publications are Between the Sheets, a limited edition book of images and text published in 2004 by The Ink Shop Printmaking Center in Ithaca, NY, Details: closed to open, an artists’ book of photographic details from images in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, (List Art Gallery, Swarthmore College, 2001) and Beautiful Scenes: selections from the Cranbrook Archives (Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI, 1998).
Spector was a co-founder of WhiteWalls, a magazine of writings by artists, in Chicago in 1978, and served as the publication’s editor until 1987. Since then he has written extensively on topics in contemporary art and culture, and has contributed reviews and essays to a number of publications, including American Craft, Artforum, Art Issues, Art on Paper, Exposure, and New Art Examiner. He is the author of The Book Maker’s Desire, critical essays on topics in contemporary art and artists’ books (Umbrella Editions, 1995), and numerous exhibition catalogue essays, including Conrad Bakker: untitled mail order catalogue (Creative Capital, Inc., 2002) and Dieter Roth (University of Iowa Museum of Art, 1999).
Spector’s most recent recognition is a 2005 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA Fellowship. In 1991 he was awarded a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship, and in 1982, 1985, and 1991 he received National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Awards. He is Dean of the College and Graduate School of Art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.