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Joel Kuennen

20150827120407-screen_shot_2015-08-27_at_1 Knock-Off Art and Tales of Artistic Production in Advanced Capitalism   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 8/27/15

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]

20150817200511-o39a01944 AICAD Announces New Residency for Non-Students   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 8/17/15

The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), purveyors of the prestigious New York Studio Residency Program (NYSRP) have announced a new initiative for non-student artists called the Studio Practice Residency. The Studio Practice Residency, currently accepting applications, is lead by William Powhida, Artistic Co-Director of NYSRP, and is comprised of six, four-month residencies in the AICAD facility in DUMBO. The Studio Practice program will include visits with prominent New York critics and artists in... [more]

Random International: Art & Technology's Magical Realists  
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7/14/15

Random International is an arts collective founded by Florian Ortkrass, Hannes Koch, and Stuart Wood currently based in London. They exploded onto the international art stage in 2012 with their extremely popular Rain Room, a work that was supremely Instagrammable, but also illucidated the magical realism that the marriage of art and technology can produce. After extremely successful installations at the Barbican in London and MoMA PS1, Rain Room is set to occupy LACMA in November 2015. We got the chan... [more]

20150708192731-06-jerry-facebook-2 Jerry Saltz: The Conscience of the Critic   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 7/8/15

What does the conscience of a profession look like? Physicians and futurists have ethics councils. This or that Board or Agency marks the boundaries of most fields and enterprises to better direct cooperative human energy in mutually agreed upon trajectories. Sometimes it doesn’t matter, but overall, it’s a system that has worked well for the past century. Arts writers don’t have a sanctioned conscience as such. Instead, we have a much more free-market approach, a loose band o... [more]

20150619105848-ookie_canvas_i_detail Faith Holland's Cum "Paintings" Aren't Your Usual Cum Paintings   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Faith Holland at TRANSFER June 13th - July 11th
Posted 6/19/15

First, apologies for the puns to come. It’s difficult to talk about sexuality and eroticism without making a bad pun or two. Sexuality has seemingly always been a site of discomfort in our culture: through it, we are laid naked and bare, both literally and via the fetishes that express the darkest sublimations of gendered relations. The advent of a communication tool and platform for largely consequence-free expression—the internet—has greatly affected the role pornography and sexu... [more]

20150611133047-screen_shot_2015-06-10_at_3 Systems: Issue 4 of Editions   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 6/11/15

Table of Contents: Arte de Sistemas | Ionit Behar Map Art: Systems Unite | Gillian Dykeman Activating the Archive | Jessica Lynne Living Images, Digital Decay | Taylor Dafoe Systems for a Downer: on Artistic Failure | Philippa Snow Ed Fornieles, installing pole for ami, 2015. Part of a new body of work that documents the artist's apartment using a live webcam. At the same time, a cartoon dimension will be layered over the top, unfolding its own narrative. All Systems Are Go It could be said that c... [more]

20150515160947-20150514222113-img_2778web Dreaming in Daylight: Creative Time in Central Park   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Spencer Finch, Alicia Framis, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Nina Katchadourian, Ragnar Kjartansson, David Levine, Karyn Olivier, Lauri Stallings at Central Park's North End May 15th - June 20th
Posted 5/15/15

If you happen upon a couple in 1920s garb having a heated discussion about love on a park bench in Central Park, don’t worry, you didn’t fall asleep watching Netflix. If you spot a pastel solar-powered ice cream truck handing out soft-serves that tastes like sunshine, you’re not hallucinating. If you happen upon an Icelandic sailboat revolving around an island on the Harlem Meer while a brass band plays a haunting melody, no, you haven’t died and gone to Valhalla. Creative Time, a 40-year-old organization based in... [more]

20150507142404-60-1024x682 The Place of the Museum: Jacob Lawrence at MoMA   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 5/7/15

You see, there are so many kids in this country who look at places like museums and concert halls and other cultural centers and they think to themselves, well, that’s not a place for me, for someone who looks like me, for someone who comes from my neighborhood. In fact, I guarantee you that right now, there are kids living less than a mile from here who would never in a million years dream that they would be welcome in this museum. That was Michelle Obama at the opening of the new Whitney Mu... [more]

20150423183825-blogdaliartist A New Definition of Art in the Age of Celebrity   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 4/23/15

The last two months have seen two great celebrity-become-artist scandals. Björk’s retrospective and Kanye’s doctorate. Two years prior, Abramovic's The Artist is Present paired with a performance by Jay-Z stoked the same flame that threatens to consume our conceptions of aesthetics and Artist—with a capital A. Because that exists, still. Art, it seems, may need a new definition. One that fits with current conceptions and usage. $$$$$$$$$$ @zoeschlanger Can't stop watc... [more]

20150318124817-kanye-west It’s Official: Kanye West to Receive Honorary Doctorate from SAIC   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 3/18/15

As an SAIC alum, my newsfeed has been abuzz the past week with artists and writers decrying the honorary doctorate Kanye West told France’s Clique TV that he would be receiving this coming May. Last night, it was made official with a statement released by SAIC. Other honorees include legendary Chicago gallerist, Rhona Hoffman, artist/donor Janet Neiman, and German painter Albert Oehlen who will be the commencement speaker. Walter E. Massey, President of the School of the Art Institute of C... [more]

20150306152025-10982082_10203121760198641_8903736113105361187_n Playful? Or Childish? The Art We Deserve   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 3/6/15

Hopping around the fairs you start to notice some trends in material and content. We’ve noticed a healthy use of floral foam at Independent and Armory, rock-climbing grips as wall plinths, new-media on canvas, and a whole bunch of animated icons making their way into the pictorial plane. There is a lot of playfulness this year… but it’s all rather childish. Per Fhager at Stene, exhibiting at Volta NY On a far wall in the upper reaches of Independent, there’s a phot... [more]

20150305114038-screen_shot_2015-03-05_at_11 No Need to Be Anxious, Neil Patrick Harris—the Paintings Are All Right   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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at The Armory Show March 5th - March 8th
Posted 3/5/15

As I was walking around the Armory Show preview on a slushy Wednesday afternoon, I overheard Neil Patrick Harris say, like a self-assuring mantra, “This is not going to make me anxious” as he walked into the fair. I empathized, ridden already with the anxiety of two hours' worth of art-gazing and glad-handing behind me. Fairs are bound in anxiety for a lot of reasons. They are sheer feats of organization, for one, but it’s the clash of cash and creation that makes them uneasy terri... [more]

20150103152323-pl049_qf_wiley_kw-pa12-033-shantavia-beale-ii-crop_428w Kehinde Wiley's Empire of Vulnerability   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Kehinde Wiley at Brooklyn Museum of Art February 20th - May 24th
Posted 2/20/15

“Kehinde Wiley is everywhere right now,” said Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum, as the small press tour began. This was not an exaggeration by any means; Wiley garnered recent attention when his paintings appeared as backdrops in Fox's Empire, a highly stylized melodrama from Lee Daniels and Danny Strong that collages black stereotypes while positioning black bodies into a King Lear-like drama, and for his fashion week photoshoot wit... [more]

20150119221007-img_2186 Smack Mellon's RESPOND and the New Imaginary   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 1/19/15

There is no better point in time to enact change than during a cultural rupture. Popular culture—the expressions that bind a collective group—is a smooth stream of images and ideologies that flows at an overwhelming and indomitable rate. This is part of the mandate of contemporary culture: to express with as many images and words as experienced time will allow. Smack Mellon, a New York venue in DUMBO that supports emerging and underrepresented artists put its exhibition schedule on hold t... [more]

20141205162436-drawings_grid Adam Douglas Thompson: Dialogical Particulars   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 12/5/14

A word forms a concept of its own object in a dialogic way. —Mikhail Bakhtin, Discourse in the Novel, 1941 Adam Douglas Thompson’s drawings are words. His installed formations are sentences. His words, however, are not defined. His sentences are not linear. They are dialogic imaginations, each image acts a concept which through their relational grouping gains meaning. The groupings can and should be read multidirectionally. This approach is how Thompson believes thought works, a concept trail... [more]

20141205155154-oren_pinhassi A Play on Material: Oren Pinhassi   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 12/5/14

Material can be transcendent. Postmodernism is failing. History is a spiral. These three assumptions underlie Oren Pinhassi’s work. Beginning with the familiar—towels, a backpack, a dwelling—objects are transformed through the addition of another common material, plaster. Through this addition, he transubstantiates the everyday into thematic sculptural and architectural forms, an act that Pinhassi describes as transcendent. There is a key definition being explored throug... [more]

20141118200334-growth-1234__1_ Arts and Banking: Umpqua's Foray into the Arts   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 11/18/14

Corporatism pervades the art world: BMWs are wrapped in Jeff Koons vinyl, museum exhibitions and art fairs are sponsored by global financial institutions, one mega luxury conglomerate even has an entire museum. It's a simple fact now: money and art go hand-in-hand. Usually, the issue taken up is the cooption of art for financial/political purposes and the impure state in which this leaves art but, frankly, it’s hard to believe this argument is still around let alone received as valid. Not since t... [more]

20141103150439-img_0172 Hallowqueen! At MoMA PS1: A Costume Recap   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 11/3/14

MoMA PS1 threw their annual Halloween Ball last Friday - the theme this year: Hallowqueens! The galleries remained open during the costume ball making for some interesting juxtapositions. First, four dumpsters sat in the courtyard marked with "THROW YOUR ART AWAY", a project from Bob and Roberta Smith (actually one person) that asks gallery goers to bring in their old art and treat it as the commodity it is. If your art is lucky (read: good enough), MoMA will display it on the second floor for a... [more]

The DIS collective Appointed Curatorial Team of the 9th Berlin Biennale  
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9/24/14

Office Planter by Lizzie Fitch, $200 on disown DIS, the collective behind a variety of interruptive enterprises such as dismagazine, disown, and disimages has been appointed the curatorial panel of the 9th Berlin Biennale. While the 8th Biennale was curated by Juan A. Gaitán and focused on themes of post-colonialism, the selection of DIS for the next iteration marks a commitment by the KW Institute for Contemporary Art to keep the Berlin Biennale an exciting and semi-unpredictable exhibi... [more]

Practicing Wellness: An (Art) Therapy Session with Zachary Cahill  
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8/3/14

Chicago, Aug. 2014: Zachary Cahill is an interdisciplinary artist working in Chicago. He is a lecturer at the University of Chicago Department of Visual Arts and Coordinator of the Open Practice Committee. His work was recently included in the 8th Berlin Biennale, curated by Juan A. Gaitán; USSA 2012 Wellness Center: Snow, curated by Abigail Winograd at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and the Smart Museum of Art in a project curated by Sarah Mendelsohn. The Wellness Center is the third... [more]

20140320130240-aiyr5_for_joel 12 Residencies in 5 Months: One artist's attempt to redefine patronage   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 3/20/14

Liliya Lifanova received her MFA from SAIC in 2010. Following that, she found herself asking a familiar question to many young artists: what next? Nurtured by the inclusive, critical and supportive, art-centered environment of graduate school, her first post-graduation initiative was a take on the practice of residencies. Called Artist in YOUR Residence, the purpose of the project was to explore concepts of modern patronage and bypass the traditional models for a direct relationship between Artist and... [more]

20140307151612-leonard_photo In Conversation: First Impressions of the 2014 Whitney Biennial   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Terry Adkins, Etel Adnan, Alma Allen, Ei Arakawa, Uri Aran, Robert Ashley, Michel Auder, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Julie Ault, Darren Bader, Kevin Beasley, Gretchen Bender, Stephen Berens, Dawoud Bey, Jennifer Bornstein, Andrew Bujalski, Elijah Burgher, Triple Canopy, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Sarah Charlesworth, Yve Laris Cohen, Public Collectors, Matthew Deleget, David Diao, Zackary Drucker, Paul Druecke, Jimmie Durham, Rhys Ernst, Rochelle Feinstein, Radamés “Juni” Figueroa, Morgan Fisher, Louise Fishman, Victoria Fu, Malik Gaines, Gaylen Gerber, Jeff Gibson, Jade Gordon, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Tony Greene, Joseph Grigely, Miguel Gutierrez, Karl Haendel, David Hammons, Matt Hanner, Philip Hanson, Jonn Herschend, Sheila Hicks, Channa Horwitz, HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN?, susan howe, Jacqueline Humphries, Critical Practices Inc., Gary Indiana, Doug Ischar, Carol Jackson, Travis Jeppesen, Alex Jovanovich, Angie Keefer, Ben Kinmont, Shio Kusaka, Sensory Ethnography Lab, Chris Larson, Diego Leclery, Zoe Leonard, Sherrie Levine, Tony Lewis, Pam Lins, Fred Lonidier, Ken Lum, Shana Lutker, Dashiell Manley, John Mason, Keith Mayerson, Suzanne McClelland, Dave McKenzie, Bjarne Melgaard, Rebecca Morris, Joshua Mosley, Dona Nelson, Ken Okiishi, Pauline Oliveros, Joel Otterson, Laura Owens, Paul P., Taisha Paggett, Charlemagne Palestine, Véréna Paravel, Jessie Mott & Steve Reinke, David Robbins, Carissa Rodriguez, Sterling Ruby, Miljohn Ruperto, Jacolby Satterwhite, Peter Schuyff, Alexandro Segade, Allan Sekula, semiotext(e), Trevor Shimizu, Amy Sillman, Valerie Snobeck, A.L. Steiner, Catherine Sullivan, Emily Sundblad, Ricky Swallow, Tony Tasset, Sergei Tcherepnin, Philip Vanderhyden, Pedro Vélez, Charline von Heyl, David Foster Wallace, Dan Walsh, Alex Waterman, Donelle Woolford, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung at Whitney Museum of American Art March 7th, 2014 1:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Posted 3/7/14

ArtSlant editors Natalie Hegert, Joel Kuennen, and Charlie Schultz met up at Agra, an Indian restaurant on Lexington Avenue, to discuss the opening of the 2014 Whitney Biennial, its surprises, best in show, and disappointments. They touch on trends and themes of scale, archives, lists, dongs, and objectness—parsing the line between artwork and artifact. Charlie Schultz: I guess I’ll start by saying I found this year’s iteration of the [Whitney] Biennial to be far less crowded than in... [more]

20140214102048-img_6269 Deep Systems at Public Works   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Theodore Darst, Peter Jellitsch at Public Works February 7th, 2014 - April 4th, 2014
Posted 2/14/14

In writing this review, Dear Reader, it has been difficult to retain a narrative thread. Each work at ONLY REAL, Public Works latest exhibition, seems to reference another work in the exhibition while simultaneously opening up further implications and complications in a seemingly endless cascade of elusive meaning, contributing to a feeling that each explication is about to collapse in on itself. This feeling of anxiety of collapse is an apt affect for a series of visual explorations of the invi... [more]

20131203210000-rodolfo-diaz-cervantes UNTITLED. Needs No Title: A Talk with Omar Lopez-Chahoud   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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at UNTITLED. December 4th, 2013 - December 8th, 2013
Posted 12/3/13

Call him Omar. A bundle of kind energy dedicated to his curatorial craft, Omar Lopez-Chahoud guided UNTITLED. through its first iteration last year during Miami Art Week to a very successful conclusion. Much more than a white whale beached on the sands off Ocean Drive, the great white tent designed by Keenen/Riley Architects (K/R Architects), and redesigned this year by the same, promises to be as exhilarating as last year, a welcome respite amidst the floundering chaos of Miami Art Week. The ma... [more]

20131124212909-20121004183631-4kang_corememory ArtSlant Prize 2013: Robin Kang - Playing with Machines   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 11/23/13

Robin Kang - First Place, ArtSlant Prize 2013 Robin Kang interrogates machinery. From her roots as a photographer (BFA) and through her MFA in printmaking at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, it’s always been about how the machine affects the artwork produced and what exactly can be done within that process of translation: idea to object. Her latest projects involve two very different explorations. Using digital jacquard looms, she recreates patterns taken both from ancient weav... [more]

20131023223025-2934 Canadian Content   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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at Art Toronto (Toronto International Art Fair) October 25th, 2013 - October 28th, 2013
Posted 10/23/13

In 1968, the idea of Canadian Content was set down as law in the Broadcasting Act of Canada. It ensures that “each broadcasting undertaking shall make maximum use, and in no case less than predominant use, of Canadian creative and other resources in the creation and presentation of programming.” As Ryan Edwardson aptly points out in his book Canadian Content: Culture and the Quest for Nationhood (2008), Canadian Content is a cultural response to a very determined approach to country-b... [more]

20130919202846-tc73 EXPO CHICAGO: The Start of the Circuit   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 9/19/13

On August 21st, the New York Times published an article entitled, “For Art Dealers, a New Life on the Circuit.” In it, a great lament for the loss of the fat times when dealers had but to sit in their galleries and wait for buyers to walk through the door. Now, they must trot around the globe, hawking their wares like common international businessmen and businesswomen. Reeling back the snark, traveling is tough; it keeps a person on-edge, off-center but it’s an increasing reality for thos... [more]

20130910090256-blackmon70 Fall Preview: Bacchanal Chicago   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 9/10/13

Chicago has doubled-down in September. The month of openings is now a full-on arts bacchanal. The nascent EXPO has proven itself a powerful nexus, pulling together the disparate art worlds of Chicago into a dense cloud of top-notch openings, performances, events and fairs – many scheduling their openings around the weekend of the 20th to coincide with an amassing of collectors. Yet many galleries chose to open their Winter program on the first weekend of September as usual, perhaps to test... [more]

20130813193902-jim_gentry_2 Small Consultancies and the Working Artist: an Interview with Jennifer and James Wallace of nAscent Art New York   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 8/13/13

Jennifer and James Wallace, co-founders of nAscent Art New York, have made it their mission to champion emerging artists. Not only that, but they have made it their business. In 2007, nAscent Art began as a small auction house to represent emerging artists. Finding it difficult to drum-up buyers let alone a buyer for emerging artists’ works, they decided to employ a different tact in bringing unknown artists to the marketplace and shifted their model to that of an art consultancy. Since 2010, this h... [more]

Generator/Recycler, Producer/Consumer: Interview with Laura Hyunjhee Kim  
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7/28/13

San Francisco, Jul. 2013: Laura Hyunjhee Kim won ArtSlant’s first Award in New Media earlier this year and lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Kim is currently exhibiting at SoMArts, San Francisco and recently exhibited with popular French new-media gallery, SPAMM (Super Art Modern Museum). Blurring lines between performance and new media practices, Kim presents a mirrored personality, absorbing and expressing the dominant pressures of a mediated society through producing and reproducin... [more]


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