Western Art in America has seemingly changed little in over a century. Romanticized cowboys, portraits of Native Americans, and the persistent embrace of the sweeping Western landscape. While such paintings remain highly sought after and evoke nostalgia for the wild frontier, for painter and photographer Chuck Forsman, these images are relics of a dated tradition that has persisted beyond its relevance. Forsman is Westerner through and through: born in Idaho and raised in Oregon and Northern Californ... [more]
Escaping winter hibernation where our nests were barren with the winter blues (this year was particularly icy), New York City is kicking off its spring art season this month with a troupe of openings, events, festivals and fairs to activate our senses and reignite our passions. One of our fan favorites so far was the opening of The Affordable Art Fair (preview night: April 2nd, 2014) to a crowded audience of art aficionados. The AAF boasts contemporary eye candy with a grab-n-go price tag to make... [more]
Much has been said about the so-called “Belgian collector.” For captains of industry and local dentists alike, collecting contemporary art almost seems to be part of the Belgian DNA—which explains why the country is reputed for having the highest concentration of art collectors per square kilometer. Yet, as more and more Parisian collectors make the move to Brussels, the Belgian collector is becoming increasingly French. In addition to Art Brussels’ Portrait of the Collector as a Work of Art, the strong presence of collectors i... [more]
Can art speak for itself? Heather Phillipson's voice is the deadpan monotone to hyper coloured installations and playfully bizarre videos: the ironic, non-plussed commentary to match the over-saturated, sardonic simulacra of our now everyday existence. Her voice accompanies us in the first-person, along with the sounds of dreamy love songs, navigating the open-ended narrative, through Freudian slips and homophones. For Phillipson, language is paramount; her other vocation, as a poet, confirms this. He... [more]
Casey Gray’s studio is in a warehouse overlooking the shipyards of San Francisco, CA. It was once a recording studio and remnants of those days still linger. Like the Jerry Garcia-inspired tracking room with its tie-dyed walls and black-light posters or the original album artwork hanging around the space. Basically, Casey’s studio is that of a visual artist’s dream: tall ceilings, loading gates, and the immortal presence of rock star lore.
Everything you see in Casey Gray’... [more]
Amidst the capricousness of mass yoof culture of East London (which could just as well also be Silver Lake or Bushwick, Neukölln or Saint Martin) young ‘Frankie Bricks’ is an anachronism. His work is the kind that burns slowly: taking weeks to create intricate ink paintings of inner city social housing blocks, mostly around London, and now Newcastle. Not interpreting their social context as either glamourously gritty nor salaciously seedy, Frank Law’s paintings are an homage to... [more]
At a certain point as I was walking around the Mapplethorpe exhibition I thought, “You know something? I really don’t like Robert Mapplethorpe.”
This was during the first half of the show where most of the work was in his "nude portraiture" mode. I mean, I can appreciate the formality of it all—the lines and triangles, neat, original compositions, the sculptural references. But there’s just something in the gelatin-silver-shininess of it; it all seems too slick,... [more]
I lingered in front of Rex Ray’s Prednisporata (2013). Polychromatic shapes shimmer against a black sky. A firework-like flower bursts above that skyline of plump perfume bottles. Simultaneously hard-edged and fluid, the layers of colorful forms luminesce from the canvas, awaiting adoration, unflinching. I’m mesmerized more by the detail than the subject. Each filigree and wash of color hand-painted, each curving form cut out by hand. I move in very close to notice all the circular... [more]
Presently, the walls of the Venus Over Manhattan gallery are covered in every oceanic shade of blue, aqua, and green, drenching the concrete space with waves of intense cool. More than forty frames—some larger than chalkboards, some the size of table menus—fill Are Your Motives Pure?, an exhibition comprised solely of the surfer paintings Raymond Pettibon has made since 1985. Somewhere in the all the watery pigments small figures make their way across massive curls. Poised and up aga... [more]
Homage to the fair’s most important asset by Edo Dijksterhuis Stanley Brouwn, Ross Chisholm, Nigel Cooke, Thierry De Cordier, William Daniels, Hans Op de Beeck, Sam Durant, Simon Fujiwara, Jacob Kassay, Sol LeWitt, Lucy McKenzie, Juan Muñoz, Rob Pruitt, Wilhelm Sasnal, Jan Schoonhoven, Nick van Woert, Matthew Weir, Haegue Yang at Art Brussels
April 24th - April 27th
It was in the mid-eighties that the organizers of Art Brussels approached Amsterdam’s KunstRAI—later known as Art Amsterdam—with a proposition to merge the two fairs. Both events were then only a few years old and scraping along in a slowly developing art market. The new event would take place alternatingly in the Dutch and the Belgian capital. The Northern party declined.
In 2007 Art Cologne changed its date from fall to spring. The world’s oldest fair for modern and c... [more]
Neither a stranger to the press, nor to his now-trademark use of one such colour in particular, Brooklyn-based Buff Monster has come a long way since his formative poster-pasting days on the West Coast. Having developed and elaborated upon a theme that, initially, was a simple, yet immediately recognisable two-tone graphic, found anywhere from the streets of San Francisco to the galleries of Sydney and several cities in between, Buff has gone on to significantly bigger and brighter things. Literall... [more]
Pablo Bartholomew’s The Calcutta Diaries at Sakshi Gallery takes you back in time: literally, through photographs taken in the city in the ‘70s, and artistically, from a time when photojournalism was a hallmark of magazines like LIFE and National Geographic. Its transition today into the gallery space elicits two stories, one of a lost Calcutta—its very name has changed—and one of the place for contemporary photojournalistic photography itself.
In an age of pre-digital dissem... [more]
Aakash Nihalani is known for his geometric installations set in the cityscape, playing with perspective and scale. His work invites the public to play in their city, which we love, and we're also digging these photos of Nihalani himself interacting with his pieces, like a day-glo Robin Rhode. His works have enlivened the city streets in New York for quite some time, but now the artist is showing his work in Rome, as part of Wunderkammern's Public & Confidential exhibition series (which we've co... [more]
If pressed, I maintain that the reason I keep up with news about popular culture is that, for me, it adds all-important context to the various forms of "legitimate" art that I take in as a job. Visiting Richard Saltoun’s show of Viennese feminist art (that, specifically speaking, of VALIE EXPORT and Friedl Kubelka) for instance, the phrase "proto-selfies" played continuously in my mind: not a phrase of my own design, but one coined for the exhibition by a writer at Blouin Artinfo. Women these days—famous women, typically, but also the occasional civilian (the much-discussed personal train... [more]
“Why hang things on a wall when the wall itself is so much more a challenging medium?” —Gordon Matta-Clark
With the term conceptual art so much a part of our everyday language these days it’s sometimes possible to forget what motivated the early conceptual artists to adopt it.
One of the key objectives of conceptual art was to subvert the artwork as a singular unique object, a fetishized commodity suited to ownership and trade. A painted image can be owned, assigned val... [more]
It was a very nice hospital. It had a view and a private sitting area in the room. I had tubes sticking out. Some to drain fluids, others to pump fluids in. I was given observation and pain management, modern medical euphemisms for the twin social ailments of boredom and drugs. I ended up staying an extra night. Doctors often keep business hours and no one else was authorized to release me. Either as apology or just further negligence, I was treated to an extra night of pain management, melting... [more]