On September 3rd, social media went wild with a distressing image of a dead Syrian boy lying face down in the sand after his tiny body was washed ashore from the saltwater of the Mediterranean Sea. Fleeing from war in Syria, seeking refuge in Europe, the little boy died when one of the boats, carrying six Syrians, sank after leaving Akyarlar, Turkey, in a desperate attempt to cross the sea straight to Kos, Greece. That same day, the 14th Istanbul Biennial, with its theme SALTWATER. A Theory of Tho... [more]
Art or Not? Every week we look at a lot of art, IRL, URL, and whatever lies in between. The more we see, the less we see the difference. What distinguishes art other than its context? Do we even need to fight for these distinctions? Art is vague. Experience is subjective.
This week, we were out at the first of the season's openings in New York, when we found ourselves, er, balls deep in the latest installation by a very well-known and cherished figure of the art world. Which was it? Clue: if you fol... [more]
“I’m scared to go back.”
We were all squeezed into wooden folding chairs with a crowd standing around the perimeter of the room at Last Projects, on the second floor, where an old air conditioner, inadequately exhaling intermittent wafts of cool air, and a set of heavy Venetian blinds blocked out the sights and sounds of Hollywood Boulevard below. It was nearing 10pm.
Their screening was over, and Pink, as she would like to be called, was at the front of the room, standing with her... [more]
Last week we gave you our top tips for shows big and small across Europe and the Middle East as the next season in culture gears up for new conversations and ideas. Fall is often the time to see the best in the museum and gallery's programming, and this year is no exception with a healthy choice of unique presentations.
This week, we look to a region that always has our readership rapt: North America. From the big institutions to the alternative spaces off the beaten track, here's what is in the person... [more]
An artist’s visual style is a tenuous thing. By looking at tendencies for particular colors, shapes, and patterns of brush strokes, an experienced viewer can immediately identify an unfamiliar Van Gogh or Cezanne—regardless of subject matter. But what distinguishes an artist’s visual style from the content they represent in a particular work? Scientists working in artificial intelligence are figuring that out.
In a recent paper, Leon Gatys and colleagues in Tübingen, Germany... [more]
Art or Not? Most of the art we feel is impressive is the art that doesn't feel possible. The corollary seems to be that the art that doesn't feel probable should also impress us: but when we see improbable art, our usual reaction is something like "I could have done that." The inevitable infuriating response "but you didn't, did you?" loops us back to the start. Is an artistic action enough in itself? What would all those could-have-been artworks look like?
This week: art, or knot?
(Or art and kno... [more]
One of the best things I read about the status of art in the public space this year was written by Edo Dijksterhuis, covering Taturo Atzu's rooftop intervention on Amsterdam's oldest church: "It becomes like urban furniture, not something people notice. No one seems to care about monuments or how they’re perceived, whether they’re perceived at all. It takes a conscious effort to really see them again."
This really made me think: public art is a huge commitment, but it's true—i... [more]
Michael Heizer once wittily described the Fall art season as the art world equivalent to duck hunting season, with collectors and viewers returning from their summer homes hungry for new art experiences. While it might seem a bit of a stretch, and maybe a little deprecating to the artist ducklings, there is some truth to that feeling of anticipation we have of wanting to see what is going on after the dog days of August.
Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2008, Oil and paper on canvas, 78 3/4 x 94 1/2... [more]
Hal Foster's new book, Bad New Days: Art, Criticism, Emergency, is set for release on Tuesday, September, 8. In it, Foster, Townsend Martin Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, works through art's recent history to find what is and isn't working within the arts.
Considering recent paradigms of art ranging from "abject" to "post-critical," Foster uses his plain, incisive style to help locate the failures of contemporary art in hopes that more novel and critical art can come to the f... [more]
It's time to emerge from our summer carapace and get on the gallery trail again. ArtSlant's editors and writers have been sifting through the torrents of press releases and Facebook events to find the best September has to offer—from the big institutes to the alternative art venues that might not be on your radar. How do we decide what makes it into our top 15? Of course, there are many good exhibitions to be found outside of this necessary reduction, but our editorial staff have an eye f... [more]
I was recently at an art fair where one gallery—that shall remain nameless—presented the work of a young artist in a solo booth. The work, while distinct in some ways, was at the very least derivative of Anish Kapoor’s wall mounted discs. Enameled aluminum panels in sweeping gradients, they were perfectly suited to the market of the fair: take it home, put it on a wall. They were robust, large works that shouted “wealth.” Sold for $800-$2000 apiece. By the third da... [more]
In today's mode of techno-voyeurism, we're constantly peeking into the factory to see how the sausage is made. The artist's studio has always had an allure, the inchoate site of creativity, the setting for private practice—like an escort's boudoir, the biggest mystery is, what do they do when they're alone in there?
We zoom in closer to see what artists keep on their most personal work space: their desk. What does it reveal about them, or about their art? We invite artists from very different... [more]
Amir H. Fallah’s portraits resemble the site of an archaeological dig. When Howard Carter discovered King Tut’s tomb, the young pharaoh’s body was wrapped in shrouds with his material possessions painstakingly arranged around him. Likewise, Fallah incorporates everyday objects from a subject’s home into ornate, unconventional portraits that obscure the figure’s face, finding profound connections in the seemingly mundane and charm in the ugly. It’s not coincidental t... [more]
When art and artists appear as a subject in cinema, it's typically in the form of a too lengthy/too sexy biopic (think: Mr. Turner or Frida) or a hyperbolic thriller that suffuses the cliché of scintillating glamor with filthy corruption (The Thomas Crown Affair, anyone?)
The big screen is always attracted to prurience, but there are some movies in the straight-to-dvd crate that, whether they present artifice or archetype, deserve to be revived for the morsels of wisdom they impart abou... [more]
Welcome to the eighth installation of the Artslant podcast series, Working (it) Out.
My name is Gillian Dykeman, and I'm a visual artist living in Toronto, Ontario. This summer, I am interviewing artists to ask about the role of audience in their practice. Each interview will begin with one question: "Does art require an audience?"
Working (it) Out with Gillian Dykeman
Episode Eight | Nicole Miller: Conducting Subjectivity
Laughing yoga (4:00)
The audience completes the work (5:45)
Sculptures We Do Not See, an exhibition showcasing Soviet Era art, opened last Friday at Moscow's Manege Center. The exhibition included works from participants of the LeSS group, active in parallel to conventional art of the Soviet era, including artists such as Vadim Sidur, Nikolai Silis, and Vladimir Lemport. Topics surrounding the works include religious themes—a censored subject during Russia’s Soviet reign between 1922 and 1991.
Decades after creation, and the sculptures stil... [more]