- Must. Read.: The self-destruction of the 1%.
- A fascinating essay on how women became readers, in the New Yorker. (Subscription required.)
- Just because: The Paris Review’s 1981 interview with Gabriel García Márquez.
- 21 lies writers tell themselves. I’m positive that #13 is directed at me.
- Faking it: An essay in the Boston Globe explores the long-running art of photo manipulation, tied to a related exhibit at the Met.
- In reference to another Met show: Fred Kaplan thinks Warhol’s imitators aren’t nearly as interesting as the man himself.
- An impromptu supper club where the discussion is all about art and race.
- On Yellowism, aka vandalizing Rothkos (which, btw, I just couldn’t get worked up about).
- Some new billboards from Ox, in France. Some of these are very John Baldessari.
- Things that work well together: R. Crumb illustrations of Charles Bukowski books.
- Why the internet exists.
Is Paris Burning? No, but this wax candle sculpture by Urs Fischer was. Part of an installation at the École de Beaux Arts, the piece had already lost his head.
On view through December 31. (Photo by Shoshi Nice.)
I recently braved the hundred-degree heat on Governor’s Island with a group of 30 or so conservators, curators, public art managers, fabricators, artist estate/foundation directors, and paint specialists to see an installation of Mark Di Suvero sculptures. The exhibit, which was organized by the Storm King Art Center, consists of a cluster of 11 big-to-monumental pieces that are a case study in industrial boner art. Crafted out of over-sized steel flotsam, many of them are rusted, gnarled or scarred. In some cases, they’ve been sprayed with the orange-red paint that Di Suvero has favored for decades.
My visit to Governor’s Island was part of a three-day meeting of conservation experts in New York. Sponsored by the Getty Conservation Institute and held at the Metropolitan Museum, the aim of the meeting was to figure out how to best care for pieces that occasionally require a paint overhaul because they spend their life outdoors: getting devoured by salt air, frozen in ice, or stewing in a lethal combination of heat and moisture. On sculptures such as Di Suvero’s, the elements can literally shred the paint. As part of the conservation process, it is then necessary to remove all of the old paint and completely re-coat the piece.
But it’s not that easy. Before we can even think about repainting, there are all kinds of questions that have to be answered as to what would constitute an appropriate new coating — both chemically and aesthetically. Using case studies of works by Lichtenstein, Di Suvero, Oldenburg, Tony Smith, Nevelson, Lewitt and several others, we had a nerdfest over issues such as defining the character of a paint coating (answer: color, gloss, and texture) and we debated how to best identify an artist’s intent. The latter is, naturally, the slipperier prospect, since artists are known to not write things down, use materials for arbitrary reasons (they’re crappy but aesthetically pleasing!) and change their minds over time.
There was also plenty of debate on how to keep skateboarders from shredding the surface of a painted sculpture. My view: You don’t. But if you insist, try building them so they don’t resemble skateboard ramps.
A sculpture by Robert Franca, on view at Valentine. Part of the group show Bob Seng, Robert Franca, Vince Gargiulo. Opens Friday, in Bushwick, Brooklyn. (Image courtesy of the artist and Valentine.)
- NYC: Pictures of the Moon: Artist Holograms 1968-2008 and Ghosts in the Machine, at the New Museum. Opens today, on the Lower East Side.
- NYC: Lawn School, with Marie Lorenz and Jeff Williams, courtesy of NurtureArt at McKibbin Park. Tonight at 7pm, in Brooklyn. Get ready to float: the artists will be addressing principles of buoyancy.
- NYC: Cut Up, at Storefront Bushwick. Opens Friday at 6pm, in Bushwick.
- NYC: Beyond the Bedroom, art from the collection of Jason Andrew, at Norte Maar. Through August, in Bushwick.
- NYC: Ryan James Macfarland, Tide Study, at Charles Bank Gallery. Opens Friday at 6pm.
- NYC: Systemic, with Tauba Auerbach, E.V. Day, Spencer Finch, Carsten Holler and various others, at Carolina Nitsch Project Space. Through August 11.
- Dallas: Ernesto Neto, Kink, at the Nasher Sculpture Center. Through September 9.
- L.A.: Gustav Klimt and the Magic Line, at the Getty Center. Through September 23, in West L.A.
From an exhibit by Los Carpinteros at the Faena Arts Center in Buenos Aires, opening Thursday. (Image courtesy of the artists and Faena.)
- Chicago: Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, at the Art Institute of Chicago. Opens today.
- Houston: Source Material: Works by Brian Dupont and Chris Rusak, at Skydive. Opens on Thursday at 7pm.
- San Francisco: [Invisible] Relic, at Park Life Gallery. Through June 10, in Laurel Heights.
- L.A.: Lawrence Weiner, Around & Around High & Low, at Regen Projects.
- L.A.: Aaron Young, No Fucking Way, at the Company. Through June 23, in Chinatown.
- Santa Fe: Seeing Red, at the David Richard Gallery. Opens Friday.
- Plus, get all my latest New York picks over at Gallerina…
Mercury: Principle of Polarity: The Orbital Rebus by Mel Chin, at the New Orleans Museum of Art. (Courtesy of the artist.)
The New Aesthetic 101
There’s been a lot of chatter on the internetz about the New Aesthetic, a cultural theory that posits that man is starting to see and interpret the world in machine-like ways — specifically, computer-ish ways. (Think: pixel-y sculpture, like the one at right.) All of this was stirred up by writer/design James Bridle and released into the media wilds at a panel at SXSW. (Sort of covered in this rambling essay by Bruce Sterling in Wired.) But, for my money, if you’re really trying to get at what the new lingo purports to describe, see Joanne McNeil’s notes — in which she succinctly examines (with images) how technology has affected the way we see and, as a result, produce culture.
- Who needs words when you have GIFs? I’ve decided that the world doesn’t need me writing reams of blather about art. It needs me vandalizing art on Blingee instead.
- Speaking of GIFs, I like Badlands publishing’s new GIF ‘Wall’ on its website, which greets visitors to the site with GIF works by a rotating selection of artists.
- Greg.org explores that bizarre-sublime intersection of the Google Art Project and copyright.
- And Paddy Johnson gets ranty (rightly so) on dude-centric ‘net art shows.
- On sweeping all that inequity and union-busting under the rug: Paddy, again, has a must-read on the state of art industry denial about inequity.
- Sort of related: What Jerry Saltz says he’d do with $200 million: “I’d buy a nuclear submarine and hang it on my wall.”
- Peter Schjeldahl pens an essay on the Art Fair Industrial Complex. And follows up with a blog post about how irritating art fairs are. Maybe if we as journalists stopped going to/covering them (even if it is to bellyache) they might assume a slightly less important role.
- Plus: ‘Cuz Schjeldhal’s been rather frisky of late, his review of the Met’s new audio tour.
- KCET unveils a new culture website, Artbound — which has a very nice video profile of the Date Farmers and a nice bit on Peruvian art beer Cerveza Tupac.
- Podcast: Tyler Green interviews Cory Arcangel about art historical and other influences in his work and photographer Zoe Strauss about what it was like to hold office hours at the Philadelphia Museum. (Hint: Dude talkin’ ‘bout his girlfriend’s periods. LOL.)
- Kind of amazing to learn that Duane Hanson’s Janitor at the Milwaukee Museum of Art has been pickpocketed. (Modern Art Notes.)
- The Day in Art Merch: A Jeff Koons bunny jacket…for only $2500.
- Architect Liz Diller explains the Hirshhorn Museum’s bubble. I have to confess: seeing some of the schematics make me think less ‘bulbous membrane’ and more ‘gigantic turquoise poo.’ (@kristoncapps.)
- Yevgeniy Fiks is looking for proposals for a monument to Cold War victory. And his judging panel is nothing to sneeze at.
- On WFMU: Josh Kun talks about the burst of hyperviolent narcocorridos, with plenty of music in between. Though I want to spank DJ Rupture for talking at the precise moment that Camelia La Tejana gets dumped in Contrabando y Traición. So wrong.
- An interesting episode of On the Media examines all kinds of issues related to book publishing, including business models and copyright.
- “The Pernicious Myth That Slideshows Drive ‘Traffic.’” Love the graphic.
- On Tina Fey’s “Thatcherite morality.” I love me some Tina, but this is interesting food for thought.
- “I’m Sick of Pretending: I Don’t ‘Get’ Art.” Me, too.
I’ll admit it: I often glaze over when I enter the Met’s Egyptian galleries, which are full of monumental everything covered in stiff hieroglyphics. But a new exhibit devoted to works created prior to the consolidation of pharaonic power in Egypt is mind-blowing for the humble scale of the pieces (many of which could fit in the palm of a hand) and their charming spontanaeity. Not to mention that some of these works are totally effin’ cute: those early Egyptians sure knew how to carve dogs.
The best part is that this show isn’t in the over-trampled Egyptian wing, but in the Lehman Gallery, at the rear of the museum. (That awful space that looks like a 1980s cruise ship atrium.) Which means it’s nice and quiet — making this just the right kinda show for a 420 chill.
The Dawn of Egyptian Art is up through August 10 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.