Art: February 2007 Archives
If you missed the performance of M.R. SONTAG (Mark Golamco and Rachel Mason) at M*A*S*H last Thursday, or if like us you were there and could barely see because it was so crowded, all hail the power of YouTube.
I feel dreadful -- probably got sick standing outside Pulse waiting for the shuttle to the Armory that never arrived, so here are my recommendations sans links before I'm off to bed. Images will be on flickr soon.
Top pick: Ivin Ballen's sculptures at Winklemen. Ed has made quite a discovery.
Also, go to the men's room to witness Jade Townsend's installation in a bathroom stall. I hope to upload a video with sound later.
- Bitforms - Mark Napier inkjet print plus a software-driven video
- Ruben Kindermans's minimalist performance videos -- like a stripped-down John Bock -- at Annie Gentils. You might have to ask to see them, so do that when you visit the booth.
- Chad Robertson (I wrote about his sexy zombies in the past) oils on paper, Heather Cantrell photos, and Wendy Heldmann (especially the works on paper) at sixspace
- Bari Ziperstein collages at Bank
- Shaun O'Dell's gouache on paper work, Brad Tucker's sculpture, and Gilad Efrat's painting at Inman
- Pretty much everything at Pavel Zoubok -- May Wilson, Christopher Tanner, Stefan Saffer, Ginnie Gardner, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt -- the most shiny and baroque booth!
- Tilman Peschel photos at Anne de Villepoix
- Chris Duncan painting and editioned zine at Jeff Bailey
- Stephen Brandes at Rubicon
- Elana Blasco mixed media on acetate sheets at Galeria Fucares
- Sam Dargan's political/conspiratorial paintings at Rokeby
- David Humphrey paintings at Keith Talent
- Brody Condon's video game meets Flemish religious painting work at Virgil de Voldere
The container on the south side of 24th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues (near Zach Feuer) has a great 5-minute video by Tommy Hartung, presented by Moti Hasson.
Sorry for the less than great photos, but Samson Projects' booth of work by Jeffrey Gibson was one of the best things I saw in a long day Thursday. Jeffrey is in a group show coming up in March at the National Museum of the American Indian in lower Manhattan.
Other Scope highlights:
- Ryan Humphrey's decor, and Brose Partington's installation (don't step on it!) at the entrance
- Paul Pagk and Dan Rushton at Moti Hasson
- Atsuko Ninagawa, who has curated some great shows in NYC, including a recent one at Mehr (Midtown), now has a gallery in Tokyo called TAKEFLOOR and had a booth at Scope. Don't miss the video by Chikara Matsumoto, or the beautifully delicate pen and ink drawings by Dale Berning, accompanied by a soundtrack created by the artist.
- Sara Nightingale's booth is great fun, including work by Goldmine Shithouse and Andrew Shoultz
James and I visited press preview for "The Art Show" of the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) today. Some general notes first. Given our usual focus on underknown art, one might might expect a show billed primarily as showing "museum quality work" might not be our thing, but I had a great time. I wonder if "the market" seems to be working better for work that's not by MFA students and recent grads, as I saw some phenomenal pieces by established (and yes, dead) artists including a lot of amazing work from circa 1950 New York -- Pollock, Avery, etc. Overall I enjoyed the work I saw more than quite a few shows of 20th century art I've seen lately at museums in NYC. Most surprising artist to see in several places? Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers. There were quite a few Albers and Rothko paintings in various booths. I also have to say that it is so nice to not be looked at as if one has two heads when asking to be sent a JPEG. Even two years ago I would get that at plenty of art fair booths.
CRG Gallery had one of the best booths, with a show of Jim Hodges spiderweb chain sculptures plus an ink on paper work called Wanted Poster 1 from 1991-1992.
David Tunick had this amazing screen by Helen Frankenthaler. I've never seen anything like it. Apparently she made twelve of these.
Three-panel bronze screen cast at Tallix Foundry, Beacon, N.Y., printed and published at Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford Village, N.Y.
Screen front: Lost-wax bronze wax casting with applied patinas and 28-color intaglio print with etching, relief, and aquatint, the borders hand-stenciled on three sheets of TGL handmade paper.
Screen back: Three sandblasted bronze panels hand painted by the artist with a mixture of chemicals, pigments, and dyes.
Dimensions: 81 × 99 × 4œ inches
More quick highlights:
- A collage/sculpture titled Pebble by Kurt Schwitters at Knoedler & Company
- 2 paintings from the late 1970s by Leon Golub of Henry Kissinger and Valéry Giscard d'Estaing at Rhona Hoffman
- A wall of Albers and Judd at Brooke Alexander
- The multiple-panel (ink, gesso gridwork) work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (7 Days of Bloodwork), 1991, positioned next to two Agnes Martin grid ink works from the 1960s at Andrea Rosen. Their booth also had some lovely Richard Tuttle works.
- I was wondering if this work by Joseph Raphael, listed with a provenance from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, is one that Tyler Green has written about. I don't know the story on how it came to be for sale.
- Adler & Conkright had an amazing maquette for a poster by Rodchenko
- L&M Arts had prices on some wall labels. I never saw a price tag of $3,200,000 written out before. It was for a Tom Wesselman Great American Nude.
- Hans P. Kraus, Jr. had some beautiful photos of Kiev by the British photographer Roger Fenton, famous for his Crimean War photos. My favorite was Post House, Kiev, circa October 1852, salt print from a waxed paper negative, 35.3 × 27.0 cm.
I have a few more images of works in a flickr set.
[Jim Hodges photo by me, Helen Frankenthaler images supplied by David Tunick, Inc.]
Museum Directors Must Wash Hands, 2005
Plaque (Curatorial Department, HoMu)
After I read the New York Times article on the somewhat unorthodox compensation plan for Glenn D. Lowry, director of the Museum of Modern Art, I waited with anticipation for the response I knew would come from Filip Noterdaeme, director of the Homeless Museum, or HoMu. They're having a bit of difficulty updating the web site, so I'm reproducing the letter here. This is one of a series of "open letters" from Filip to various powers in the art world.
February 19, 2007
Glenn D. Lowry
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street, Manhattan
I'm writing to you in response to Stephanie Strom's indiscreet, front-page article in the New York Times, in which she discloses details on personal financial arrangements between you and the New York Fine Arts Support Trust ("Donors Sweetened Director's Pay at MoMA, Prompting Questions", 2/16/2007). How dare Ms. Strom stick her nose into things that are really none of her business! What does she know about the deprivation and hardships we museum directors must constantly face, and the many compromises we must make on a daily basis just to keep going? Your courageous move from Toronto to New York City in 1995, for example: shouldn't this by itself attest to your selfless commitment to help out a cultural institution in dire need of your expertise?
God knows it is expensive to live here, and the meager salary the Museum of Modern Art is allotting you (barely $600 grand in 2005) is, by all accounts, wanting. If anything, the Trust's $5.35 million given to you between 1999 and 2003 is not much more than a token of appreciation exchanged among friends. Neither the press nor the IRS has any business meddling with these gentlemen's agreements.
But even more appalling than the New York Times story is the way you are now being besieged by other journalists eager to jump on the case. Can't they leave you alone so you can continue doing your great work for MoMA --- like cutting real estate deals with developer Hines and setting the stage for MoMA's next expansion? No! Lee Rosenbaum from the Wall Street Journal (a/k/a CultureGrrl) had to instantly contact you for a comment and, when you courteously pointed out to her (via BlackBerry) that you were on business in Mexico City and had not had a chance to pick up a paper, she had the nerve to urge you to look it up online, interfering with your very busy schedule. Who does she think she is?
It's a tragedy that people who only have the best intentions and give up profitable jobs in the corporate world to bring their talents to venerable cultural institutions are publicly scolded for accepting fringe benefits such as rent-free living, having an apartment bought for them by a beneficiary trust (and reselling it to the same trust a few years later at a profit of $1.3 million), and for receiving financial supplements to their salary, along with bonuses and benefits amounting to an annual $690,000.
To show you my support in the face of all this unnecessary and petty adversity, I'm sending you a custom-made plaque engraved with these words: Museum Directors Must Wash Hands. I had it made specifically for you (I have the same plaque posted in my museum's Curatorial Department/bathroom). I hope you can use it to demonstrate to your detractors that your work ethics are beyond reproach.
Warm greetings,Filip Noterdaeme
Related blog posts:
Disclosure: James and I will be having dinner with Filip, the director of the HoMu, and his partner Daniel Isengart, later in the month in their museum/apartment.
Update: Date of letter corrected.
Sixtyseven Gallery has rechristened itself Thierry Goldberg Projects. They will now be located on the Lower East Side, at 5 Rivington Street near The Bowery, right by my favorite German restaurant, Loreley. The first exhibition is a solo show by Swetlana Heger, and opens March 1, 6-9PM.
The name of the gallery comes from the maiden names of the two principals' mothers.
These are the art fairs I know about happening this week:
- The Art Show - Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA)
- The Armory Show
- DIVA - will also have containers with video spread around Chelsea
- LA Art
- Red Dot
This doesn't even count the various temporary exhibitions and events that curators and galleries are organizing. I'm sure all of you have received emails about events, but if anyone wants to add comments about their special happenings here, feel free to do so!
Other highlights today in Chelsea:
I just received a press release from them (at ArtCal) announcing that their store at Broadway and Driggs in South Williamsburg has been converted to an art space, with the first exhibition opening on February 23rd. The show includes video artist Kate Gilmore.
Brooklyn Industries, an artist-owned design and apparel company, will open its first permanent contemporary art exhibition space, Brooklyn Industries Contemporary Art, with the exhibition Out of the Loop. The exhibition will feature video work by Vahap Avsar, Selim Birsel, Lexy Funk, Kate Gilmore, Noritoshi Hirakawa, and Nasan Tur.
James and I visited this exhibition of BFA students' art at the SVA's 26th Street gallery on Saturday. My favorite pieces in the show were in the project room with print-related work curated by Gunars Prande, especially those by Matt Lifson and Lauren Baez.
Matt Lifson, Boy and Head, 2006
Silkscreen on paper
22 × 15 inches
Matt Lifson, Old on Boy, 2007
Silkscreen on paper
20 × 17 inches
Lauren Baez's work consisted of arrangement of small silkscreen and collage works organized with titles for each section of month titles, going from September to January. Here is an example:
And here are some detail shots from various months:
I rarely make it to midtown, and the excuse last week was a visit to the dentist. I'm certainly glad I did visit a couple of shows. First, the Donald Judd/Joseph Albers show at Pace Wildenstein is the kind of show I would expect from one of our city's museums, but it seems galleries like Pace, Cheim and Read (with the Soutine show), and even auction houses seem more likely to present them.
installation view at Pace Wildenstein
When the elevator doors opened on the gallery, I actually gasped slightly. It's that beautiful, feeling a bit like a temple. The contrast with the large windows viewing a busy 57th Street is quite wonderful.
The other show I saw was "The Nightly News" at Luxe Gallery. It is curated by Kathleen Goncharov (whom I met at a Momenta benefit last year) and Stephan Stoyanov. Any show that includes Robert Boyd and Jackie Salloum would attract me, but the new discovery for me was the work of a Turkish artist, Ahmet Öğüt. He was represented by a set of videos, including "Cut it Out", in which a young man dressed in American flag pants tries to recreate a hostage video in Iraq or Afghanistan, but keeps messing up and laughing. Keep your eye on Mr. Öğüt.
Ahmet Öğüt, Cut it Out, 2004, DVD
There was a surreal moment as I turned to leave Luxe Gallery. With the music from Robert Boyd's video on the subject of suicide cults playing in the backround, I spotted a sheet of paper from a notepad on the floor, shaped like a yellow star.
Moti Hasson has a great new ground floor space in Chelsea, with an excellent group show, titled "Beyond the Pale", as its inaugural exhibition. Now I see Moti's smiling face on the cover of Chelsea Now. I like the fact that he started as a collector and decided to run a gallery, sort of what I could imagine us doing if we didn't have to worry about New York real estate prices.
Friday night the 16th, we will be at the opening of 31 Grand, newly relocated to 29th Street. The first exhibition, titled "No New Tale To Tell", is described thusly:
inspired by the Love and Rockets song and our deep love of the narrative, this group show features a selection of our familiar artists, past and present, as well as some new discoveries. Please join us in celebrating these artists and our new location. Artists: Karen Heagle, Alessandra Exposito, Fanny Bostrom, Mike Cockrill, Jon Elliott, Rachel Frank, Helen Garber, Lauren Gibbes, Magalie Guerin, Jason Clay Lewis, Francesca Lo Russo, Christa Parravani, Tom Sanford, Adam Stennett, and Barnaby Whitfield
The opening has been postponed. I don't have more details, but it's probably moving-in difficulties, etc.