This past September, I did a curatorial residency at Casa Chuck in San Antonio, Texas. This was not my first time there (years before I curated an exhibition for the Contemporary Art Month) but, as it always happens when you are installing a show, I barely poked my nose out of the gallery. Happily, during this second visit I had the time to experience the best of San Antonio's arts community. San Antonio has a diverse, vibrant, and welcoming art scene that gets together in ever-fluxing arts initia... [more]
A week from my deadline, I was regretting the assignment I’d asked for: an article about street art in Bushwick. The source of my slowly developing dread about the piece, apart from the challenge of avoiding the issue of gentrification as a central consideration, was my sense of inadequacy as a journalist. I tend to get distracted and lose sight of the angle, and I hate conducting ad hoc interviews. So instead of scheduling meetings and striking up convos with local residents, and with pl... [more]
Thank God for a new generation of artists! Today’s emerging artists stay away from the pushy know-it-all attitude of macho modernists who for half a century were quick to dismiss as inferior anyone supporting a dogma not their own. Neither are they infected by the postmodern virus of egalitarianism, which in the end robs everything of value and reduces art to an ironic game of smart references and endless footnotes. Artists of today are not afraid to shop around for culturally diverse icono... [more]
How do objects "end" their "lives"? Where do they go to die? How does an object have this presence beyond the monumental, a soul that is passing through time and place? Can both history and the ahistorical be dialectics in the same image? What is the afterlife of a technological process?
Shumon Ahmed's When dead ships travel, a show of photographic prints at Project 88, captures in its title a multitude of interpretations. These are images that speak for themselves over and over again. The “wh... [more]
The Max Mara Art Prize for Women shortlist was revealed on October 4, 2015. Of Ruth Ewan, Ana Genovés, Emma Hart, Tania Kovats, and Phoebe Unwin, one artist will be awarded a six-month residency in Italy, subject to an artwork proposal presentation, and in 2017 a major solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery.
Ruth Ewan is an installation artist who works with printed matter and events. In a 2015 installation, Back to the Fields, at the Camden Arts Centre in London, Ewan used plants and live... [more]
In conjunction with Laughter and Forgetting, an exhibition curated by Swiss-based arts writer and curator Olga Stefan within the frame of the second edition of Bucharest Art Week, a series of interviews were conducted with participating international artists.
In the weeks leading up to Laughter and Forgetting, ArtSlant will be publishing this series with artists including Clemens Von Wedemeyer, Dread Scott, Himali Singh Soin, and Agnieska Polska.
Laughter and Forgetting is a citywide project... [more]
Recently the Independent reported on new revelations concerning Duchamp's Fountain including the possibility that it was made by a feminist Dada practitioner. Why does this story interest us—and why does it change our understanding of that iconic work of art? Aside from the gender politics at play around the pissoir's origin, the article shows us something about the psychology of iconography in the western-centric capitalist mindset: we want our icons to be original. We expect icons, (signs, sym... [more]
The Mona Lisa, Vermeer’s Milkmaid, Fabritius’ Goldfinch. At the time of their creation they were considered exceptional works, no doubt. But only by a limited audience. These works hung in private homes or palaces, exclusively on display for their owners and the occasional visitor. This changed dramatically with the advent of the museum in the eighteenth century and even more so with the museum’s transformation into a fully-fledged public institution two centuries later. At the Louvre, Rij... [more]
Female Artists and the Museum: Visibility, Iconography, and Legacy by Lauren Tresp Eleanor Antin, Judith Francisca Baca, Louise Bourgeois, Ligia Bouton, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Angela Ellsworth, Micol Hebron, Eva Hesse, Nancy Wilson Kitchel, Ana Mendieta, Faith Ringgold, Juane Quick-to See-Smith, Pat Steir, May Stevens, Beatrice Wood at New Mexico Museum of Art
September 11th - January 17th, 2016
New Mexico enjoys—or sometimes suffers from—a number of artworld stereotypes and iconic images. This is a good thing, as it draws many people to this very special, out-of-the way place. But images of western landscapes and traditional Native American pottery looms so large in popular consciousness, that the whole other-world of contemporary artists working in Santa Fe, and the Southwest in general, can be overshadowed or obscured completely. This is not at all to diminish the value of thes... [more]
Palmyra, Nimrud, Khorsabad, Bosra, and Jonah’s Tomb are just a noted few of many ancient sites that have been decimated by ISIL bulldozers, sledgehammers, bombs, and looters recently. It is clear that the group has calculated plans to culturally cleanse the Arab world of history that doesn’t reinforce its narrow interpretation of Islam, thereby removing all memory of the Assyrian, Mesopotamian, and Akkadian civilizations as well as any legacy of peaceful pluralism.
In February, the United N... [more]
Almost immediately after British sculptor Anish Kapoor's solidarity walk for refugees with Ai Weiwei through London, he flew to Moscow to open a solo exhibition at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center. Entitled My Red Homeland, he shows four artworks from 1993-2007 in a museum which typically focuses on Jewish history with multimedia presentations. Just recently have they decided to start showing temporary exhibitions with contemporary artists—and Kapoor is the first.
The show is strange for... [more]
On day 22 of his hunger strike, Amnesty International calls for the immediate release of Cuban artist, Danilo Maldonado known as "El Sexto."
Cuban censorship led to the artist’s arrest on December 25, 2014—just eight days after it released 53 political prisoners at the request of the United States. Police apprehended Maldonado after they found two pigs with “Fidel” and “Raúl” painted on their backs in the trunk of his car. Maldonado was on his way to an art... [more]
A Bay Area artist was shot and killed yesterday, Tuesday, September 29 as he worked on a community mural in West Oakland. The mural depicted a view of the Oakland landscape–now a tragic reminder of the events that took place Tuesday morning at the 3500 block of West Street under Interstate 580. The victim’s family, friends, and the community are now working to digest and overcome this caustic act of violence.
27-year-old Antonio Ramos of Emeryville was one volunteer of a team of 60 w... [more]
The progressive narrative sells. The vision of an outsider is what is most appealing to both left and right. The fact that most Americans distrust their government—75 percent according to a 2014 Pew Poll—places us in a very precarious position. Rhetorical devices become exaggerated and people begin to grasp for emotional bonds rather that rational motives. This explains why people who distrust government can rationalize either extreme of political discourse: Trump on one hand and San... [more]
“Icon” and its derivatives are some of the most overused words in arts writing today. We’re all guilty of bumping an artist up to “iconic” status with a little rhetorical flourish. Sure, some artists really embody the word—Warhol comes to mind—but we typically deploy “iconic” as a hyperbolic substitute for “famous,” “memorable,” “influential,” or—at worst—shorthand for “What do you mean you a... [more]
As the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art opened last week, there was everything but controversy. Last time around, there were photos from Pussy Riot rallies by Tom Molloy. This time there was barely a peep about Vladimir Putin or Edward J. Snowden (who lives in Moscow) nor mention of the anti-gay propaganda law in Russia—or even Elton John. Instead, artists traveled to Russian industrial towns to take pictures of placid landscapes, while Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis spoke at a p... [more]