... constantly working out the details...

... constantly working out the details...

Monday, April 24, 2006

The whitney

The whitney biennial exhibit.

I recently went to a panel discussion of various curators, and gallery directors and heard a phrase mentioned with half sincerity "Is any biennial ever successful?" Curious question, and I cannot say that I am in any position to argue one way or another about it,as my experience in biennials is minimal.

I will say that the Whitney is as always hit and miss, across all genres. Also the show is very busy, some may say it is overhung, there is more work than one person can see in 3 hours, so plan to take the day off to get the full effect. Personally I started at the top and worked my way down through, (going down stairs is much easier than going up them.)

On the top floor one is presented with something you don't see in a gallery everyday, giant holes cut in the walls with a sawsall, that people;e are allowed to pass freely through. At first these holes irk the viewer, "who does this guy think he is?" then as you look and pass through them, you realize that they open up and change your interaction with the gallery space. Also at this level is the highlight of the show for me, and by the same artist Urs Fischer, the piece is untitled, made from cast aluminum branches, motors and candles, which slowly draw intersecting circles. It is beautiful in its simplicity.

In the painting and drawing world, make an effort to see "Frederick Douglass Self-Defense Manual Series, Infinite Step Escape Technique #1: Hand Seeks Cotton", as well as Rudolf Stingel, Mark Bradford. Francesco Vezzoli, and you can even grab your own Richard Serra original (photocopy).

It is annoying how with much of the drawing in this show is done with magic markers and pens and other crappy office depot supplies. While it is Liberating to have more barriers broken down as far as media, these pieces leave the viewer feeling cheap and sort of taken advantage of.

Once again with the links.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Louise Bourgeois

Through the 21st of may, The Walters art gallery in conjunction with the Contemporary Museum will be showing work by renowned 20th century artist, Louise Bourgeois. The work, spread throughout both buildings presents work from all stages of the artists career, from the 1930s until today.

the show is aptly titled femme, and is a departure from the spiders that many people associate with Bourgeoisis. Work focuses instead on the strength, sensuality, Fertility and vulnerability of women in the world.

Mostly sculpture, the exhibit in the Contemporary houses the most recent work, and includes prints and video work, as well as reference material to the artists life and work.

The Walters chose to display the work spread throughout their permanent collection, supposedly to show the work alongside of historical pieces that confront the same issues, and or inspire the type of work. For the most part, the work blends seamlessly with the collection, emphasizing many of the themes that involve them.

This method of presentation though interesting, and effective in may cases does leave some of the work stretching for a connection to the permanent collection pieces surrounding them. In addition, it gets rather tiresome having to hunt and peck throughout the museum for specific pieces amongst five millennia of artesian work.

Lastly, the comments left behind by the artist five the work presented a more personal and intimate feel, as well as help to explain the pieces to the intimidated viewer.

There is a Charge to get into the Walters side (with extensive discounts for students) but I highly recommend the show, especially for people who may not be familiar with feminine/feminist work.

here are some links The Walters
The Contemporary
Louise Bourgeois

Monday, April 17, 2006

NYC pt 1


I just got back from NYC, an afternoon of gallery (and bar) hopping. I saw the whitney. (more on that later) Sad that i missed the david smith retrospective at the guggenheim (sp). There was lots of good art, and lots of crappy stuff (i might still just not understand art too well) Chelsea piers were as always fun to visit, but enough to drive me crazy at the same time. so many hipsters to bag on, so little time.

I will say one thing that has always bothered me, is the trend of not labelling artwotk in a gallery. there is a shiek practice of hanging work on the wall, and simply numbering it according to what is like a slide reference sales sheet, that you have to ask the attendant to look at, who usually gives you a hairy eyball if you dont look as though you actually intend to drop 10,000 $ on a fucking photo. fuck that.

any way, aside from the trangent, there was some cool cool stuff there. here are some pics from Fred Wilsons "My Echo, My Shadow and Me" At pacewildenstein. It was probably my favorite that I saw while i was there, but it came down on fri so you might have missed it. either way...

Right on, also a big thanks to Blaize at caren golden fine art for his personal tour, as well as a sneak peek at the upcoming exhibits. The Show at the gallery looks great.here is a link

Lastly my good friend lorna Sent me the invitation to art farm2006 a big two day art festival on a farm in NC, complete with exhibts, music, demos, booze, the whole niner. Her paintings are great too (i have two of them) so i cant wait!

Other than that there isnt much more to talk about.

coming soon, I will be bagging on myspace, taking of personal history with myspace, and finnally caving in and joining in on the fun/ fucking dorkieness of it all.

Monday, April 10, 2006


I feel I should preface this post with the fact that I probably have no idea what I am talking about. A feminist friend of mine who is very much smarter than me, once told me that most people, including many who identify as feminists, ( I assume she meant me) have no clue about what actual feminism is.

So. Feminists.

I have never really been a fan of feminists, or any ist for that matter (ie socialist, racist, fascist, communist, anarchists, rapist, etc,etc,) It seems to me that being a feminist is one of the only ists that average people are ok with other people being. It isn't that I believe women are somehow inferior to men, that would make me either sexist, or chauvinist, two more silly groups of people.

I do however wonder what the role of feminism in art really is, I will say that in my experience, feminists can be exceptionally hard to work with. Story number one. A group of women, lead by this loudmouthed feminist decide that they cannot carry a heavy pot of metal around, and so they should build a smaller, less efficient smaller one so that they can partake in certain aspects of a team oriented project. Long story short, they built a tool that was heavier and required two extra people to carry around, was harder to manipulate and was less efficient than what they started with. The bitch of it is (no pun intended) that if I pointed this out to them, I got chewed out, and I look like the ignorant a-hole...

Later in my life I was a witness to a reception for a group show, entirely made of "feminist artists." Most of the work there was very good work, and then, there was the flowerpot. A lady had done something that teeterd between installation, performance, and just plain nonsense. She put a potted plant on the floor next to a 6 foot tall wooden cross, and then proceeded to read an essay on ties between the church and male dominance, and something else that sounded high and preachy. This was hands down the most boring thing I have ever seen or heard, which might have been cool, if it was like one of those 'secretly ironic' things, but it wasn't. She was serious.

So what is the role of feminism in art, I don't really think of it that often, I would like to imagine that it is more than a matter of pretentious posturing and a sort self fulfilling concept. I would hope that it is more about getting things done, and doing things well, regardless of sex. But it isn't. When we hear and think of feminist artists, we see (mostly) women, doing work about women and being women. Perhaps I simply don't identify with the concept, but it seems kind of weak to me.

One other person I met who I was sure was a feminist, was a sculptor friend of mine from Florida, and she was tough, I mean fuckin tough, and yet intelligent, very well spoken and read, and she worked hard. She probably could have kicked Rosie the riveters ass. I talked to her about it a little, and she doesn't think of herself as doing a lot for a woman, I think is more along the lines of she is a woman who can do everything and anything, without broadcasting the fact. I am not sure if she was a feminist or not, but I hope that that is where the movement is going.

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