For the first time, Amnesty International awarded their annual Ambassador of Conscience Award to a visual artist.
Ai Weiwei received the international honor, which was presented at an award ceremony Thursday night at the Berliner Festspiele in Berlin, in absentia. The artist can’t leave China, being under government surveillance and having his passport revoked.
In place, he designated London’s Tate Modern curator Chris Dercon to accept the award on his behalf. The award is devoted to... [more]
Danny Volk talks to artists in their studios about life and art—while they do his make-up. This concept was a new one for us, and, unsurprisingly, it produces some unique moments: see artists like Theaster Gates, Pope.L, and Jessica Stockholder working in their studios as you've never seen them before.
Revisit Season 1 as we anticipate the all-new Made-Up Season 2, to be released this Spring on ArtSlant.
This week: "Made up... of what?" asks performance artist Amber Ginsburg, as she rumi... [more]
Gabriel Sierra creates structures of relation, platforms where humans, architecture, and paper media collaborate on the creation of artworks. His current exhibition at the Renaissance Society—the first solo exhibition in the United States for the Bogotá-based artist—is a scatter piece of sculptures, rules, and relationships in which 14 constructions, mostly in modernistically white plywood, lie on the gallery floor. They look at first like a kind of stern minimalism in the Ren&rsqu... [more]
The Oberhausen Short Film Festival, which hosted its 61st edition from April 30–May 5 this year, promotes the moving image's most essential and investigational format since its beginnings—and it feels like there’s never been a better time for the short film.
Without polemics or soap-boxing, but with much food for thought, a sense of what is happening in the world of short film today was woven into diverse screenings, talks, and special programs. Whether the festival’s works or them... [more]
In Jon Rafman’s 2013 film, Still Life (Betamale), we watch furries and hentai sourced from the deep web while a flat voiceover delivers a speech about leaving one world to enter another. It’s the promise virtual realities offer us: escapism. This idea is at the center of Grand Tour, the inaugural two-person show featuring new works from Rafman and Keren Cytter at Feuer/Mesler, one of two new Lower East Side galleries founded this year by Zach Feuer and Untitled director Joel Mesler (the sec... [more]
In the fall of 1987 John Knoll and his girlfriend Jennifer flew to Tahiti. For months they’d been working on the computer graphics of the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit and they needed a well-earned rest. It was at the pristine Bora-Bora beach that Knoll took a photograph which in the decades ahead became an icon of international geekdom: Jennifer, seen from the back, sitting topless on the white sand with the almost fluorescent blue ocean as backdrop. The picture would have remained just an... [more]
In Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Italo Calvino illustrates, with the aid of an Italian folktale, how love might be a force of attraction that holds the very craft of a story that brings seemingly disjunct events together. King Charlemagne, spellbound by a ring, falls in love with whoever possesses it: a young girl, an old man, and finally, a lake. “To hold this chain of events together, there is a verbal link, the word 'love' or 'passion,' which establishes a continuity between different... [more]
Los Angeles County Art Museum has been serving as a fortress of non-Western Contemporary art in California. With previous exhibitions concentrating on the Far and the Middle East, LACMA has made promising attempts to alter the Western hegemony in Western institutions by showcasing non-Western art. With its current exhibition Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art of the Middle East, LACMA presents a cross section of Middle Eastern and Islamic Art (for want of better terms). However, when we look closer at th... [more]
Famed for her portrayal of the upper class in New York, New England, and Long Island, Tina Barney’s work is an ethnographic study of the bourgeoisie. The eleven works on view in this retrospective are snapshots from a play where if one stares long enough, one might hear the muffled dialogue of Barney’s subjects travel through time. With shots capturing characters in mid-motion, such as The Reception (1985), the viewer is pulled into the scene right before a significant event is about to o... [more]
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.
It deserves attention that with Frieze Week underway in New York, Essex Street would open an exhibition of an anonymous artist. Late Work by Vern Blosum—a pseudonymous painter associated with the Pop Art movement, though never officially canonized—features the only work produced by the artist since his appearance in exhibitions from 1961–64. This work, which was shown again to the public in 2013 after being rediscovered by gallerist Maxwell Graham, among a few others, is familia... [more]
Opening Friday, May 15, 1:54 is the latest addition to New York's Frieze Week satellite circuit. Dedicated to contemporary African Art, 1:54 (the name references the number of countries that constitute the African continent) has already run two editions in London.
By bringing together 16 galleries engaged in the field the fair takes a cultural stand within the art market, an important way to redress the balance of previously neglected and underrepresented regions. Of 16 galleries to present at the... [more]
We all like to be a bitch once in a while. After all, gossip, as many historians will tell you, is one of the things that binds our society together and ensures our survival... plus, the art world just makes it a little too easy for us to make fun. If you're fed up with reading about the fair, here's our visual round-up of what's been going down on Randall's Island: from fashion misadventures to absurd aspirational art, here are the 2015 Instagrammies, selected from what you've all been posting... [more]
Stratospheres of experience have been described in art since the early narratives of heaven and earth. Since Biblical cosmology, our understanding of time and place has been oriented according to predetermined concepts of measure—even time is an invented unit. But how do we measure the intangible? In a system where contemporary art is increasingly judged by scale, how do we quantify the poetics of experience?
Robert Morris, Portal, 1964. Collection of the MCA Chicago, gift of Mrs. Robert... [more]
Frieze Week 2015 unveils a packed and fairly new line up of fairs and exhibitions. This year three exciting newcomers enter the Frieze fold, while just as many depart from the May satellite roster (gone, relocated, rebranded, or rescheduled are Pulse, Cutlog, The Downtown Fair, and The Outsider Art Fair). Despite fewer fairs than Armory Week (which still feels like yesterday, no?), Frieze Week requires just as much planning and perhaps even more legwork: the main event is a ferry or bus ride up... [more]
Frieze Frolic: 4 Hours in a Giant Turtle Shell Listening to Hip Hop by Nadja Sayej Mathis Altmann, Martha Araújo, Anna-Sophie Berger, Than Hussein Clark, Lital Lev Cohen, Liu Ding, Cécile B. Evans, Zachary Leener, Kris Lemsalu, Dashiell Manley, Alexandra Navratil, Georgie Nettell, Walter Pfeiffer, Philomene Pirecki, Charlotte Prodger, Eric Sidner, Lucy Stein, Ken Tisa, Sergio Zevallos at Frieze New York
May 14th - May 17th
Estonian artist Kris Lemsalu is no stranger to the art of keeping things weird—which is exactly what Frieze NY needs this week. Lemsalu, who is based in Berlin, has created everything from phantom sleeping bags to skirts made of playing cards (fit for the Queen of Hearts in “Alice in Wonderland”). But her secret talent is actually ceramics, an overlooked material in contemporary art pratice. Rather than inhabiting a Do Not Touch world, Lemsalu's gives her sculptures her own fan... [more]