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20150511223827-img_9444 An Insider's Tip for Outsider Art: Lonnie Holley at Frieze Focus   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 5/11/15

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]

20150511224340-1_-_frieze__2013__paul_mccarthy__2048x1365__copy Art Fairs Aren't Evil, They're Just Boring (Most of the Time)   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 5/11/15

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]

20150507142404-60-1024x682 The Place of the Museum: Jacob Lawrence at MoMA   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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... [more]

20150506191007-10_chris How Two New Satellites Challenge San Francisco's Art Fair Scene   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 5/6/15

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]

20150507160356-640px-times_square__new_york_city__hdr_ New York State of Grind: A Suggestion for New York’s Beleaguered Artists   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 5/6/15

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]

20150604190811-to30 A Clown for the Machine: Tony Oursler Takes on Surveillance   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Tony Oursler at Lehmann Maupin - Chrystie Street April 29th - June 14th
Posted 5/3/15

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]

20150429165536-louhanviolet-lr-1 Peel Slowly and See: Bill Jensen's Ego-less Abstraction   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Bill Jensen at Cheim & Read April 9th - May 9th
Posted 4/29/15

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]

20150423183825-blogdaliartist A New Definition of Art in the Age of Celebrity   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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]

20150417155039-5970392182_d97de13cb7_o The Changing Treasons: It's Time for New York's Leading Critics to Surrender Their Crowns   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 4/17/15

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]

20150415114721-grains_of_paradise_7 How to Exhibit and Collect Design   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 4/15/15

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]

20150407153113-el135 Clean, It Just Looks Dirty: Basquiat's Unknown Notebooks   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Jean-Michel Basquiat at Brooklyn Museum of Art April 3rd - August 23rd
Posted 4/6/15

“Words are all we have.” —Samuel Beckett “I cross out words so you will see them more.” —Jean-Michel Basquiat There are some painters who are born great (Picasso), some who attained greatness due to circumstances of their time (David), and some whose work grows in importance posthumously (Kahlo); Jean-Michel Basquiat is a rare case of a painter who managed to fall into all three of these categories. He was a prodigious teenager who came out of the gate fas... [more]

20150331124728-_peter_williams_novella_4 Kicking Against the Pricks   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Peter Williams at NOVELLA March 13th - April 5th
Posted 3/31/15

“And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.'” —Acts 26:14 (King James Version) "We have art in order not to die from the truth." —Nietzsche The paintings of Peter Williams have, for a long time, addressed the nature of the body, specifically addressing how one might inhabit such a fragile space in such an arbi... [more]

20150319094644-2 Henry Taylor Filters Life Through Portraiture   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Henry Taylor at Untitled New York March 1st - April 4th
Posted 3/24/15

Near the entrance of Untitled Gallery on the Lower East Side is a slab of concrete with a shovel stuck into it. Chair legs and wire sprout off the shovel, as do branches wrapped in stretched pantyhose like wings on an urban angel. The shovel’s handle fits into the mouth of a plastic bottle shaped like a fuel container, painted black to resemble an African mask. On the adjacent wall hangs an antique wooden mirror frame, which now holds a hand-drawn Confederate flag found by the artist. Two to... [more]

20150312204907-s58_yoshitoshi_the-enlightenment-of-daruma Cat Obsession: A Chat with Life of Cats Curator Miwako Tezuka   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
at Japan Society Gallery March 13th - June 7th
Posted 3/12/15

If there’s one thing the internet is good for, it’s cats. So when the Japan Society in New York announced its Life of Cats exhibition—featuring ukiyo-e woodblock prints depicting cats from the Edo Period (1615-1867)—the internet duly erupted with fanfare. The show, which opens today, has made the rounds not only in the usual art publications, but also in myriad pop culture blogs and magazines, attesting to the near universal appeal of feline themes. I think we can be quite as... [more]

20150306152025-10982082_10203121760198641_8903736113105361187_n Playful? Or Childish? The Art We Deserve   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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 photo dip... [more]

20150306152136-screen_shot_2015-03-06_at_3 Armory Show 2015: The #Instagrammies   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 3/6/15

An art fair isn't the most innovative cultural event—it might even make you worry about the state of culture and raise concerns about the mental health of art industry workers. No, it's not the most relaxed way to experience art—bonus points for the most nauseating strip lighting in the world. Important questions are raised by this year's Armory Show, such as: why shouldn't I attach a GoPro to my dog? Why should a sweater have armholes? It also reminds us that the true frisson of art... [more]

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