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]
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]
Lonnie Holley can find layers of history and meaning in the simplest of things, often ones that have been discarded by the rest of us. His sculptures, direct descendants of the oldest forms of African American sculpture, are constructed by combining objects into narrative artworks that commemorate places, people, and events. Most of Holley’s works are additionally given clever and sometimes long-winded titles like: Climbing to Paint Your Pane, You Forgot to Give Me Power, or Keeping It Freezing: The... [more]
Art fairs are evil—or so I’ve heard. They are not the devil incarnate come to steal your children, per se, just the dollar incarnate come to swallow your art. The criticism usually goes something like this: capitalism corrupts art by turning it into a common commodity and (more importantly) depriving it of its critical capacity as a consequence. Because if you are part of a system, you cannot objectively critique or reject that system. You become complicit by default.
Can you beli... [more]
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... [more]
Aside from artMRKT, two other art fairs happened in San Francisco this past weekend: StARTup Art Fair and Parking Lot Art Fair. Each attempted to unfold controversial aspects of what it means to gather en masse, and to expose the public to a variety of artists in one place for a concentrated amount of time. The venues missed and seized opportunities, respectively, and each presented their own set of risks surrounding the art fair model.
Parking Lot Art Fair installation view, held at the artMRKT parking lot, Saturday May 2,... [more]
Despite ceaseless, futile complaints regarding the stalking reaper of gentrification, the influence of nepotism and money, and the difficulty of making professional progress, for many artists, New York remains the supermassive black hole at the center of the artistic galaxy. The staggering density of galleries, museums, fairs, events, and personalities, all shrouded in the glamorous veil of openings and parties—dutifully fomented on social media—convey an immense sense of possibility... [more]
When Edward Snowden released classified information from the National Security Agency to mainstream media in 2013 he was globally marked as either a traitor or a patriot. The top-secret documents revealed that the NSA has been collecting data from anywhere and everywhere, including 55,000 quality images daily through social media and personal communications to use in facial recognition programs. The revelation confirmed civic anxieties that the dreaded future is here: your face can be used agains... [more]
There was a time in modern music when the role of the artist changed from being the custodian of cultural knowledge to something more of an autobiographer. We might choose that moment in the late sixties when Lou Reed abandoned the writing of pop ditties about boys and girls to focus on his own, more personal interests, like boys and girls and heroin. In other art forms this sea change was happening; in comedy, where once jokes were shared, un-authored, between performers in Vegas, the Catskills,... [more]
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]
It is an astonishing peculiarity that in New York there is just one newspaper setting the tone of cultural opinion: The New York Times. There are others, of course, but they haven’t a fraction of its influence. There is no audible counter-argument. Conversations on the street rarely begin, “Did you see that thing in the New York Observer?” Even national papers such as the Wall Street Journal and USA Today are unable to penetrate the shield that the New York Times has formed over the c... [more]
With the scope of art continually expanding to include everything from film to fashion wear, the design world is finding itself on the up and up. More art collectors are including works by iconic designers into their collections, and many major art institutions—MoMA for instance—either have departments dedicated to architecture and design, or they’ve presented major exhibitions of prominent design figures and movements (David Adjaye, for example, is currently having a huge retrospect... [more]