LACMA has a beguilingly weird show of surrealist artists up: In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women in Mexico and the United States tracks surreal art in North America during the middle years of the 20th century. There’s some freaky dark stuff in the show (including a picture by Lee Miller that show mastectomied breasts on a plate). But it also has its charmingly bizarre parts (love the Tanning stuffed couch piece above). And it includes little-known works by well-known artists. Definitely worth it if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary.
In Wonderland is up through May 6th.
- Why astronauts crave Tabasco.
- Gerhard Richter, asset class. (Nice kicker, BTW.)
- Plus: Speaking of good kickers, Christopher Knight picks apart the plan for a statue of Rush Limbaugh at the Missouri state house.
- “Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.” Nice essay on the state of architectural writing.
- And the award for best promotional book video involving a Teletubby costume goes to…Jonathan LeVine.
- Besides women, Rep. Darrell Issa also has Frank Gehry in his sights.
- Sort of related: Are women people?
- Somehow missed this in all the chaos of the past week: Shepard Fairy pled guilty to one charge of criminal contempt for misconduct (aka destroying evidence) in the Obama/Hope case. He faces up to six months in jail.
- A round-up of artists talks about Diebenkorn and what life was like in the Ocean Park area of Santa Monica in the 1970s — all tied to the very worthwhile Ocean Park show that is currently on display at OCMA in Newport Beach.
- Have to agree with Greg.org: These Robert Montgomery billboards are well done.
- The Denver Museum of Contemporary Art has been up to some interesting things.
- This Jeff Koons doc looks like the sorta thing that you’ll want to light up for.
- Chinese architect Wang Shu wins Pritzker, a figure who likes to use salvaged materials in his work. More here.
- Belated Linkage: I wrote a story about Yevgeniy Fiks’s Commie Tour of MoMA for ARTnews which is chock full of Commie Goodness.
- Sticky Buddy, getting at the hair between your cracks.
memorydoubled, 2012, by Franklin Evans. Part of the artist’s solo exhibit Eyes on the Edge, at Sue Scott Gallery. Opens Friday, at 6pm, on the Lower East Side. (Image courtesy of the artist and Sue Scott Gallery.)
**In the event that you’re looking for a Kickstarter project to support: sculptor Leon Reid IV is teaming up with documentary film producer Julia Marchesi to create a lending-library sculpture in Cobble Hill. Check it!
- Lyon, France: Robert Combas, Greatest Hits, at the Musée d’art Contemporain de Lyon, France. Opens Friday.
- L.A.: Lisa Sarfati, On Hollywood, at Rose Gallery. Opens Saturday at 6pm, in Santa Monica.
- L.A.: Deconstructing Perestroika, the Wende Museum at the Craft and Art Museum. Through May 6.
- NYC: Cage Transmitted Evening 2 Part 2, at Norte Maar. This Friday at 7pm, in Bushwick.
- NYC: What I Know, a group show, at NYCAMS. Through March 17.
- Plus: Find all my latest New York listings over at Gallerina…
The Ultimate Painting, 1966. Photo documentation of a collaborative work between Clark Richert, Richard Kallweit, JoAnn Bernofsky, Gene Bernofsky and Charles DiJulio. On view in the exhibit West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. This show looks all kinds of bad-ass. Through February 19. (Image courtesy of the artists and MCA Denver.)
- S.F.: Richard Aldrich, New Work, at SFMOMA. Opens Friday.
- S.F.: Blek Le Rat, 60/30, at 941 Geary. Opens Saturday.
- S.F.: Cordy Ryman, at Eli Ridgway. Through December 22.
- Laguna Beach: Slash: An International Survey of Contemporary Collage, at Carl E. Smith Fine Art. Opens Saturday at 6pm.
- L.A.: Jocelyn Foye, Rock n Roll, Rock n Roll, Rock n Roll, at Kristi Engle Gallery. Through December 17.
- L.A.: Samara Golden, at Night Gallery, in Lincoln Heights. Tonight, from 9:30pm. RSVP required.
- Phoenix: Seeing is Believing: Rebecca Campbell and Angela Ellsworth, at the Phoenix Museum of Art. Through January 22.
- Denver: The grand opening of the Clyfford Still Museum. This Friday.
- Hartford: Patti Smith: Camera Solo, at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Through February 19. (Artlog.)
- NYC: Andrew Moszynski, Recent Work, at Valentine in Ridgewood/Bushwick. Opens Saturday at 6pm.
- NYC: Paper Boys: Over Under, Labrona and ND’A, at Pandemic Gallery. This Saturday at 7pm in Williamsburg.
- Plus: Get all my latest NYC recommends over at Gallerina… It’s a big week: HIDE/SEEK is opening up at the Brooklyn Museum.
Painting, 1948, by Willem de Kooning. (Photos by C-M.)
As I’m sure you’ve well read by now, the Willem de Kooning retrospective at MoMA is all kinds of gangbusters. I’m not going to get into some dissertation about what he and his work signified, because I think there have been plenty of those — among them, the comprehensive 500-page catalogue. But I did want to highlight one of the aspects of the show I really dug: the black and white paintings from the late 1940s — mainly because I’m a sucker for black and white, but also because they seem to revel in a certain gritty New York City-ness (that seems to no longer exist). They also look like a type of proto-graffiti, what Jed Perl describes in New Art City in the following way: “De Kooning’s nitty-gritty New York was all knock-you-in-the-teeth actualities, all surprising particulars: the dramatically contrasted sizes of adjacent buildings, the abandoned lots and demolition sites, the oil stains and graffiti on the pavements, the reflections of neon signs on wet streets.”
This is also an opportunity to pimp my podcasts on New York City in the time of the Abstract Expressionists. Many more pictures after the jump.
de Kooning: A Retrospective is on view through January 9 at the Museum of Modern Art.
I have an interview over at WNYC with art critic Ken Johnson about his new book, Are You Experienced? which chronicles the influence of 1960s drug culture on the last half century’s worth of art. Also included: tips on the best New York museum to be stoned in. (Image of the painting Rabbit, by Judith Linhares, featured in the book, comes courtesy of Prestel.)
The Vincent Price Art Museum at East L.A. College is opening the doors to its brand new building and it looks like it’s going to be all kinds of boss. In fact, it’s making me wish I wasn’t going to be out of town — because the inaugural shows appear to be all kinds of fantastic, including one on the roots of Mexican modernism and another featuring eight high-profile alums (including figures such as Kent Twitchell, Gronk, John Valadez and Diane Gamboa — who painted the above piece, Consensual Behavior, in 2003). Things get rolling this Friday, May 20, at noon. If you live in L.A., seems like a must-do.