This Artist Is Making a Life-Sized Replica of the Parthenon out of Banned Books

by Andrea Alessi
When documenta 14 opens next spring in Kassel, Germany, with the theme “Learning from Athens,” one of the biggest callbacks to the ancient Greek city will be a to-scale replica of the Parthenon installed right in the middle of the Friedrichsplatz—built out of some 100,000 books. Flash back 34 years. In 1983 the Argentinian artist Marta Minujín built El Partenón de libros (The Parthenon of Books) in Buenos Aires after the collapse of the country’s military dictatorship. Erected along a central boulevard, the artwork comprised nearly 30,000 books that had been ban... [more]
Posted by Andrea Alessi on 10/26

BELIEVE ME: Trump’s Pussy Riot and Artists’ Abandonment of Their Political Legacy

Donald Trump’s degenerate lurch for the presidential ring to rule them all is, for any decent person, a terrifying threat to social and civic sanity. Not only does this malignant cultural tumor, and suckling plunderer of female genitalia—ably assisted by his hell-bound apprentice, the godless homophobe Mike Pence—aim to unzip the fabric of decency in which a culture must be clothed against the chill of hate, but he does so with a sickening appetite for racism, xenophobia and cinematic lies, surpassed only by his ghoulish surrogates, who like their Third Reich ringmaster spread... [more]
Posted by DARREN JONES on 10/19

The Curator as Advocate: Spotlight on ICA LA's Jamillah James

by Anni Irish
Jamillah James, who was announced as the curator of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) this August, comes to the new institution, formerly the Santa Monica Museum of Art, after serving as the assistant curator at The Hammer Museum. For the past two years she has worked at a breakneck pace organizing exhibitions for the Hammer with the nonprofit Art + Practice at their Leimert Park space. Prior to moving to LA, James held curatorial fellowships at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Queens Museum, and was co-organizer of the 2010 Queens International Biennial. The ICA LA is sl... [more]
Posted by Anni Irish on 10/24

Wednesday Web Artist of the Week: Julia Greenway

by Christian Petersen
This week’s Web Artist of the Week is not an artist, but a gallerist and curator, as we zoom out to feature the arts professionals working to expand the spaces and visibility of new media and digital art. Julia Greenway is part of a slowly growing global movement of people dedicating physical galleries to new media art. Shows featuring new media are now fairly commonplace but gallerists deciding to focus on it exclusively are still relatively rare. Greenway’s Seattle gallery Interstitial stands as the sole permanent beacon of new media in a city that has been surprisingly slow to embr... [more]
Posted by Christian Petersen on 10/19

Jamian Juliano-Villani's Awkward Paintings Make Discomfort an Asset

by Cassie Davies
“I’d never put this shit in my house, ever,” Jamian Juliano-Villani told Hans Ulrich Obrist during a Frieze Week artist talk. She was referring to her own paintings, installed around the audience at Studio Voltaire. There is nothing pretty about Juliano-Villani’s garish, and slightly disturbing, cartoon paintings—no offence to the artist, and probably none taken. Juliano-Villani began painting four years ago, after leaving New Jersey and moving into an apartment in New York City. She taught herself how to paint, learning from internships at artist studios, YouTube videos, a... [more]
Posted by Cassie Davies on 10/17

Wednesday Web Artist of the Week: Elizabeth Mputu

by Christian Petersen
Orlando-based Elizabeth Mputu is part of a rising wave of new media artists using digital platforms to express powerful political and social ideas through their work. Her art deals thoughtfully and forcefully with issues of feminism, gender, sexuality, inequality, and race, all projected through the lens of someone who has grown up saturated in all aspects of digital culture. Mputu’s work combines abstract conceptualism, experimental video, performance, poetry, found digital ephemera, selfies, music (and much more) into defiantly cohesive trains of thought. Although her work is profoundly con... [more]
Posted by Christian Petersen on 10/5

Backstage in Kahlil Joseph’s Wizard of the Upper Amazon

by Julie Weitz
After a Bob Marley concert in 1979 at the Santa Barbara County Bowl, the artist Henry Taylor found himself backstage, seated next to the legend himself. Eyes closed, Marley sat silent in meditation for twenty minutes before engaging Taylor in what felt like an hour-long conversation. What was exchanged between them is unknown, but the memory stayed with Taylor forever. Kahlil Joseph’s new film and installation Wizard of the Upper Amazon (WOTUA), which accompanies Taylor’s three-room exhibition on class, race, and painting at Blum & Poe, is a dreamlike impression of Taylor’s... [more]
Posted by Julie Weitz on 10/5

These Artists Took Politics into Their Own Hands

by Edo Dijksterhuis
American politics has always had its fair share of weirdness, but with presidential debate season underway we’ve reached new levels of surrealism. In the days following the first debate, YouTube videos circulated showing guys bashing in TV screens with baseball bats, dropping them from balconies, or even head butting them into oblivion. Not very productive, but at least these disgusted viewers cared enough to react. But there are also those who, instead of punching TVs in frustration, have taken their grievances, and their ideas, to the campaign trail. Over history—and even in this very... [more]
Posted by Edo Dijksterhuis on 10/4

Genevieve Gaignard: “You’re Not That, But You’re Not Not That.”

by Alex Anderson
Los Angeles, September 2016: Genevieve Gaignard is a magician. She sees you and she sees you seeing her. Revealing our experience and understanding of race, gender, sexuality, and their complex perceptions under the western heteropatriarchal gaze, the Los Angeles-based artist uses self-portraiture and sculpture to find truth in the abstract aporia of identity. The characters she creates and portrays engage with the aesthetic language of Afropunk, substance chic Hollywood glamor, and the suburban working class of generations past to create layered caricatures of the myriad ways people see her many se... [more]
Posted by Alex Anderson on 9/29

In Long-Awaited Museum Survey, Toba Khedoori Drafts Exquisite Solitude

by Emily Nimptsch
It is odd to think that minimalist Toba Khedoori’s solo exhibition, currently on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is her first major museum presentation in her adopted hometown of Los Angeles, considering that she has been a staple and original voice in the city’s art scene since the early 1990s. This long overdue survey, featuring work spanning 25 years, beautifully highlights Khedoori’s career and intricate draftsmanship. It also delves into a significant theme in her work: belonging, or the lack thereof. Just as her images reside in the no man’s land... [more]
Posted by Emily Nimptsch on 9/29