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Andrea Alessi

20150818134417-screen_shot_2015-08-18_at_2 Late Summer Reading List: 15 Novels About Art and Artists   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 8/17/15

I’m a proud escapist and year-round fiction reader, but summer’s a particularly good time to catch up on my to-read list. If you’re anything like me, right now you’re thinking you’ve got a couple more weeks to squeeze in another book—or two, or four—before gallery openings and art fairs start vying for your autumn attentions. Heading for a final lounge on the beach or loaf in the park, I’ll be loading up my Kindle and packing in those paperbacks. A... [more]

20150812162334-phyllida-barlow-untitled-hangingmonument2015 Nasher Sculpture Center Establishes Acquisition Fund for Art by Women   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 8/12/15

On Monday, the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas announced its establishment of a new acquisition fund dedicated to the purchasing of work by women artists. A seed gift from the Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation will provide an initial $750,000 for the fund's creation. The announcement follows last week’s New York Times profile of the Guerilla Girls—an article that did much to underscore how little has changed in the three decades since the radical collective first began donning gorilla masks and co... [more]

20150728115851-image_views_monica_de_miranda Portugal Contact Zone at Art Marbella: The Complexity of Cultural Interplay in Southern Europe   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 7/28/15

Europe's refugee crisis has reached political and humanitarian extremes this year, with an unprecedented number of asylum seekers—many fleeing conflicts in the Middle East and Africa—risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean. Across the continent a social and political atmosphere fueled by racism, xenophobia, fiscal conservatism and austerity has given rise to a radical disconnect between many Europeans and their southern neighbors. Horrifically, Greek Isle holidaymakers have been... [more]

ArtSlant Editons Issue 5: Conscience  
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7/9/15

Are You Living The Life You Always Wanted? Do you fall asleep fulfilled with everything you've done? Are you making meaningful friendships? Spending time on your family? Giving everyday your all? If you are, good for you. Keep being you. If you, like many Americans, are poor, bored and overworked, it's time you stop living like you're dying. You may have thought of filing for bankruptcy, moving away, changing names, dealing drugs, cheating taxes... You may have even fantasize... [more]

20150702123701-dom_ The Tour de France: The Art of Le Grand Départ   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 7/2/15

The small Dutch city of Utrecht is receiving worldwide attention this weekend as its charming canals and cobbled corridors play host to Le Grand Départ: the launch of the Tour de France, which hits the road on Saturday. As with any major sporting event, the rights to host Le Grand Départ are as much rights to major commercial and tourism opportunities as they are to the Majesty of Sport. Naturally, Tour merch abounds and nearly every shop in town has a decorated Peugeot racer, sle... [more]

20150526173813-dries7 Dries Verhoeven’s Controversial Grindr Performance Is Back… with Some Changes   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 5/26/15

When Dries Verhoeven decided to put himself—and all his Grindr dating app interactions—on public display in real time in Berlin last fall, he had no idea the sort of community outrage he’d be met with. Now the Dutch artist’s controversial performance Wanna Play? Love in Times of Grindr is back—with edits—after its Berlin debut was shut down 5 days into a 15-day run last October. For the duration of the performance (10 days in its current iteration) Verhoeve... [more]

Welcome to Local: Issue 3 of Editions  
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5/7/15

LOCAL Table of Contents: Lost in the Local | James Pepper Kelly Bottling Local | Edo Dijksterhuis The Place of the Museum | Joel Kuennen New York State of Grind | Darren Jones We Are All Synecdoches | Himali Singh Soin Relocating Home | Nicole Rodriguez The latest issue of Editions was inspired by the preponderance of “local” movements—particularly in food and craft culture. We so often hear this heart-warming, feel good idea that local is somehow better, more sustainable—and w... [more]

20150501152806-peter_schjeldahl_is_tired_but_i_m_wide_awake__garbage_removal_at_moma__edited_digital_image_from_moma_s_exhibition_the_forever_now-_contemporary_painting_in_an_atemporal_world_2015 Artist-Writer-Curator: "Triple Threat" or "Triple Debt"?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 4/30/15

It started with wordplay. This winter, artist, writer, and curator Darren Jones emailed me musings about the art world equivalent of “triple threat.” In musical theatre a “triple threat” is someone equally skilled in singing, acting, and dancing. Are artist-writer-curators, Jones asked, the art world analog to these stars of the stage? Or is this particular combination of professions more accurately described by a turn of phrase: “triple debt,” or perhaps “tri... [more]

Welcome to Brand: Issue 2 of Editions  
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4/24/15

Sam Rolfes, RareGIF No.40130612, 2015 Animated gif. During the Cold War the CIA secretly promoted Abstract Expressionism at home and abroad as evidence of the United States’ intellectual freedom and cultural prowess. By exporting modern art—offered as a counter-narrative to Socialist Realism—the country engaged in a complex, not to mention expensive, branding exercise, long before the term “branding” entered common use. The twentieth century strategy of creating me... [more]

Welcome to ArtSlant Editions Issue 1: Platform  
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3/25/15

Theodore Darst, Untitled, 2015. Animated gif. We don’t have websites, software, online marketplaces, or editing tools anymore—we have platforms. In recent years the digital domain has seen once literal platforms—stages, plinths, furniture, buildings—proliferate into the immaterial and spread their surfaces everywhere. But what is a platform exactly? We hear the word all the time—in computing, fashion, marketing, politics—but has sudden ubiquity diluted its meaning? Is a... [more]

20150312170706-skateistan_155 Afghanistan’s Skater Girls Roll into the Saatchi Gallery   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 3/12/15

The most popular women’s sport in Afghanistan right now? It’s not soccer or cricket. It’s not track and field. Afghan girls aren’t picking up tennis rackets or hockey sticks. They’re hopping on skateboards. Girls are skateboarding in Afghanistan? They are. And the country’s young female skaters will be rolling into the spotlight next month when the Saatchi Gallery hosts an exhibition of UK photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson’s portraits from her serie... [more]

20150311125012-screen_shot_2015-03-11_at_1 Sonic Acts: This Is What the Anthropocene Sounds Like   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 3/10/15

As Caroline Picard pointed out earlier this year on ArtSlant, we’ve been living in the anthropocene our whole lives, but never before have we talked quite so much about it. Despite all the “age of man” chatter, “images of the anthropocene are missing,” argues one of two articles explicitly addressing the anthropocene in the latest e-flux journal. Irmgard Emmelhainz’s “Conditions of Visuality Under the Anthropocene and Images of the Anthropocene to Come” argues that the anthropocene “ann... [more]

The Dream of the 90s Is Alive… in the Art Museum  
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2/6/15

The 2010s are so 90s. The decade’s enduring nostalgia moment—perhaps first identified, or at least concretized in Portlandia’s hilarious 2011 pilot—endures longer still. Look no further than this Jimmy Fallon Saved by the Bell reunion sketch, one of the most joyful things circulating the internet this week, to feel the prevailing 90s love. We’re seeing 90s allusions in fashion’s grunge resurgence—piercings are mainstream, midriffs have resurfaced, f... [more]

20150116110930-_mg_5341 Needle in Haystack Found: The Story of an Artwork Lost at Sea   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 1/16/15

When Lotte Geeven released two floating robots into opposite sides of the Atlantic last fall, she questioned the probability of them meeting within such a tremendous space and hoped to learn about the ocean by following their paths. “The moment the two robots touch the water,” she wrote, “the project's outcome is entirely ruled by the forces of nature.” Four months into the project, what she’s learned instead, and perhaps knew all along, is that oceans will do what... [more]

The Whitney Relaunches Online Collection, Adding 21K New Artworks  
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1/9/15

A new building is not the only upgrade the Whitney is getting in 2015. The Museum of American Art relaunched its online collection Thursday, introducing the expanded collection.whitney.org. Making some 21,000 new artworks available for online viewing, up from a mere 700, the Whitney has contributed a sizeable resource on twentieth century and contemporary art to the artistic community. The digital database includes works from over 3,000 artists working in all mediums, as well as texts, educati... [more]

20141024112240-dandelion_lamp Photo Report: Inside Dutch Design Week   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 10/23/14

Recently, a “Stereotypes of the Netherlands” map made its rounds on the Internet, describing how the Dutch conceptualize their small country’s terrain. Down south, in the middle of Brabant’s “Catholic Carnival Country,” a short distance from “Dumb People, Great Beer” (apologies, Belgium), is the technological oasis of “Philipstown,” so named for the diversified technology mega-corporation. If the city is known for innovation in technology and indu... [more]

20141010103219-destroy How to get an honest opinion about your artwork   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Jonas Lund at Boetzelaer|Nispen September 6th, 2014 - October 11th, 2014
Posted 10/9/14

"Empty, alienating, soul-less, superficial, formulaic, repetitive, awkward, thick, one-dimensional… Imitation of bad work does not flatter." "Yet another denim jeans riff on Yves Klein." "DESTROY." These are the types of criticisms Jonas Lund’s paintings have been receiving lately, but the Amsterdam-based Swedish artist is likely unconcerned. The offending artworks were not yet his—and it appears they never will be. While the works were made at his behest following guidelines from a 300... [more]

20141008115632-orangerie_kassel Documenta 14 to be held in Athens   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 10/8/14

Documenta, hosted in Kassel, Germany, every four or five years since 1955, announced yesterday that 2017’s documenta 14 will add a second host city: Athens. The mega-exhibition won’t abandon its Kassel home, but rather will run its signature 100 days in both locations. Artistic Director Adam Szymczyk hopes this gesture will address “the current social and political situation both in Europe and globally, which motivates artistic action.” Rather than dislocate the art world institutio... [more]

20141005172344-unseen_talent_billboards A Different Kind of Fair Vibe: Specialization Rules at Unseen, Unfair, and Amsterdam Drawing   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 10/5/14

As the fall art fair season in Europe gets properly underway with Frieze next week followed by FIAC and Artissima (not to mention that other fair across the pond come December) it's easy to get overwhelmed by overload: the glitz, cash, hype, ADD, FOMO, last big thing, current big thing, next big thing, and all the other BIG THINGS that are par for the course market-side of the art world. But it doesn't have to be that way. Amsterdam kicked things off last month with a trio of specialized mid-Se... [more]

Forgotten time capsule found in Boston lion sculpture  
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9/25/14

via Wikimedia Commons When copper statues of a gold lion and silver unicorn were installed above Boston's Old State House in 1901, the majestic creatures weren’t the only objects left for posterity. Inside the lion’s head was a sealed copper box filled with “things that will prove interesting when the box is opened many years hence,” wrote The Boston Globe at the time. The future is now. Earlier this month the lion and unicorn sculptures—emblems representing the b... [more]

Robots Lost at Sea: Tracking an Artwork Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean  
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9/24/14

On September 9th, a robot was released into the Gulf of Mexico, set adrift in the Gulf Stream. Off the southern tip of Portugal its transatlantic counterpart awaits sendoff into the strong Canary Current this week. Once offshore, these passive robots—floating spheres one-meter in diameter with sensors submerged below sea level—will be left on their own, without human intervention. Their mission: to unite in the middle of the Atlantic, carried only by currents and the forces of nat... [more]

20140905173811-katie_paterson_mg_0183 The Margaret Atwood Book You'll Never Get to Read  
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9/5/14

Word of Katie Paterson’s Future Library made the rounds this summer when the Scottish artist launched her 100-year-long project to build a library literally from the forest floor up. Future Library is back in the news again after it was announced this week that the first author to contribute a new work to the library will be none other than Man Booker Prize winner Margaret Atwood. Paterson is known to think big—on a geological or even astronomical scale. She embedded a cell phone in a g... [more]

20140904164646-still_life_with_fish_and_forsythia-1 Art critic pattern blindness: On ignoring trends in Amsterdam this September   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 9/4/14

One of my colleagues crafted his city’s fall preview around the challenge of choosing exhibitions to visit when there’s so much to see. It’s a difficult task we all face, and quite frankly, I might have taken this approach myself. Instead, when charged with writing about September offerings I ended up looking for patterns; like a gallery staging a summer group show, I wondered what ad hoc themes I might attach to Amsterdam art this month. Of course, it’s a task more hopele... [more]

20140828064348-bandaged_ear_comparison Too Much Van Gogh: A journey from 3D to 2D and back again   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Vincent Van Gogh at Beurs van Berlage May 24th, 2014 - December 24th, 2014
Posted 8/28/14

There’s some buzz in New York this summer because all seventeen of the Met’s van Gogh paintings are on view together for the first time in over ten years. That’s nice, though an abundance of van Gogh paintings isn’t something that preoccupies us too much here in Amsterdam. In fact, right now we’ve got too many—including quite a few of the ones currently installed at the Met. Packed wall-to-wall in the basement of the Beurs van Berlage these days are some two hund... [more]

20140702165411-onzichtbare_man__1_-_michiel_voet How to Depict the Invisible Man?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Michiel Voet at Nieuw Dakota June 15th, 2014 - September 7th, 2014
Posted 7/2/14

One of the most remarkable images in the Jeff Wall exhibition currently at the Stedelijk Museum is the constructed photograph After "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison, The Prologue (1999-2000). Ellison’s nameless protagonist sits in his underground hideaway, surrounded by 1,369 light bulbs illuminated by currents rerouted from Monopolated Light & Power. To counter his invisibility he surrounds himself in light. And if the world doesn’t want to see him, he’ll exploit that, thumbing... [more]

20140425083244-hitosteyerl_how_not_to_be_seen_a_fucking_didactic_educational_mov_file_2013_9 How not to be eaten by an out-of-focus monster: A fucking didactic educational exhibition review.   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Hito Steyerl at Van Abbemuseum April 12th, 2014 - June 22nd, 2014
Posted 4/25/14

“I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry, and that's extra scary to me. There's a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside. Run, he's fuzzy, get out of here.” – Mitch Hedberg Mitch Hedberg’s enduring Bigfoot joke is predicated on a misunderstanding that conflates image-making technology and distribution with real world appearances. It’s the same one that Berlin-based writer and filmmaker Hito Stey... [more]

20140409133755-safe_from_harm_2012_c_richard_mosse__courtesy_of_the_artist_and_jack_shainman_gallery__new_york Can war photography be beautiful?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Richard Mosse at Foam - Fotografie Museum March 21st, 2014 - June 1st, 2014
Posted 4/9/14

“Are you an artist or a journalist?” Marcel Feil, the Deputy Director of artistic affairs at Foam, wasted no time getting to the big questions. The recipient was Richard Mosse, who had arrived in Amsterdam that morning for the installation and opening of his exhibition The Enclave. Once the jokes about typical Dutch candor died down the Irish photographer swiftly dismissed the idea that he might be a journalist: “I’m an artist, though I’ve got documentarian blood.&rdq... [more]

20140303002605-installation_view2 F.A.T. Lab, F.A.T. GOLD Europe: Five Years of Free Art & Technology   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Mike Baca, Aram Bartholl, Magnus Eriksson, Michael Frumin, Geraldine Juarez, Katsu, Tobias Leingruber, Greg Leuch, Golan Levin, Zach Lieberman, LM4K, Kyle McDonald, Jonah Peretti, Christopher “moot” Poole, James Powderly, Evan Roth, Borna Sammak, Randy Sarafan, Becky Stern, Chris Sugrue, Addie Wagenknecht, Theo Watson, Jamie Wilkinson, Bennett Williamson, Hennessy Youngman at MU | Witte Dame November 13th, 2013 - January 26th, 2014
Posted 3/2/14

I crouched down, picked up a marker, and tried to remember the illegible scribble that used to be my “tag”: a gesture of sharp points and steady curves punctuated by a strategic line slashed through the whole inscription. In high school I would trace it onto book covers and notepads and think I was cool. It came to me eventually, the first delivery unsteady as I carefully considered which shapes fit where; in a second, more successful attempt, I let my arm do the work, confidently forging... [more]

20131231113020-mondrian_girls1 Amsterdam 2013 Superlatives   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 12/31/13

By a contingency of scheduling, our Amsterdam 2013 superlatives always seem to get published at the start of 2014. That’s okay. This hangover week, as we recover from festivities, resolving to eat lentils and drink lots of water, is as good of a time as any to reflect on the year past. The galleries prepare to open; the work we’ve put aside tiptoes from periphery to center. Sure, we could fall right back into pensive reviews and editorial, but instead, let’s have one last recap to... [more]

20131219075549-cutaways Phantoms Inc.   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Agnieszka Kurant at Stroom Den Haag December 1st, 2013 - February 23rd, 2014
Posted 12/19/13

Did you know that in the 1920s a con artist sold the Eiffel Tower – twice? Or that Spain and Portugal once claimed discovery and settlement of the same nonexistent island? That MoMA might own an artwork by Marcel Broodthaers that isn’t an artwork at all? Collecting this sort of fun factoid is all in a day’s work for Agnieszka Kurant, the New York-based Polish artist who is equal parts scholar, editor, necromancer, and philosopher. In her interdisciplinary practice, stories, rumors, and... [more]

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