Culture: April 2005 Archives

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Do not miss David Humphrey's installation at Morsel, up through June 5th, titled Oven Stuffer Roaster. The title comes from the fact that he created these works using those turkey balloons with pilgrim hats one sees around Thanksgiving in the front yards of houses in neighborhoods such as Williamsburg.

Tickets are still available to my favorite art benefit.

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Photo by Matt Connors from from April 11th march


Yale opposes the unionization of graduate students, who do a great deal of the teaching at most universities these days. Matt Connors, who recently had a show of his paintings at Jeff Bailey Gallery, is working on his MFA there, and wrote to me about it. There was a strike last week, and I believe Columbia grad students were involved in a solidarity action. Quoting his email:

The art school is one of the only graduate programs at Yale that receives almost no tuition remission, no health care and gets paid less than half of other graduate student teachers.

Knowing what it costs to get an MFA at Yale, and knowing the odds of an artist making enough money to pay off the debt required, this means the diversity of the student body becomes rather limited -- those rich enough or crazy enough to risk it.

Here is a web page on the strike, plus an article from the Yale Daily News.

P.S. I have four(!) significant consulting projects going on right now, so I apologize for the rather light blogging.

After I mentioned her statement in my last post, several people have asked me about it. Her web site is in the process of being updated, so I've put up a copy of the statement PDF here.

Also, James now has a post with images from the show.

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Shell casings on the floor - Margeret Evangeline at Stefan Stux. Pick up a copy of the artist statement while you're there. It's one of the best I have read in a long time. This new body of work consists of stainless steel panels shot by the artist using various weaponry. I think it's a strong show, but I didn't get a good photo of the works, so you're getting this one instead.


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Details of a scuplture and a wall piece - Jim Drain at Greene Naftali. He is one of the founders of Forcefield, the first of the Providence, RI collectives to become famous. Most people first saw their work at the 2002 Whitney Biennial, but the cognoscenti discovered them via Dean Daderko and his Parlour Projects gallery.


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Jesse Bercowetz describes this as the "Uri Geller eye" from the sculpture he and Matt Bua did for a group show at Alona Kagan. I couldn't get a good photo of the live scorpion in the sculpture's head. It think their piece plus Jane Benson's are the strongest of the show. Their web site is here.

My favorite art benefit will occur on April 30th. Momenta Art is my favorite art non-profit in the city, and not just because their benefits are so good, and an incredible bargain. I appreciate their incredible curating taste, the fact that everyone running the place is an artist producing interesting (and political) work, and the fact that they publish a newsletter for each show with background information on the artists and their work.

You can buy one or more tickets via the enigmatic "Add to Cart" button on the home page.

Tom Moody has a post with some more images, plus a photo of the work he is donating.

We have gotten to know a number of artists whose work we first saw at one of the benefits, including Christy Rupp and Michael Cambre.

Speaking of Momenta Art, don't miss the great group show they are presenting in the UBS lobby gallery in midtown.

Isn't "log rolling" what Spy called their regular feature where they showed people trading positive reviews? Here is mine: Poet Alex Gildzen, who lives in Santa Fe and has a blog titled Arroyo Chamisa, mentions me as a blog he reads in an interview in Newtopia. Newtopia describes itself as "a journal of the new counterculture." Snappy name.

Today I received some mail from a Chelsea gallery with a Reagan stamp on it.

Were they being ironic?

I updated my links page on ArtCal today, including the addition of a similar guide in Tokyo called Tokyo Art Beat which has RSS feeds, email alerts, and more. Some day I'll add RSS feeds, but my work that actually makes money is taking a lot of my time lately. In fact, I'm even doing a day trip to the middle of the country on Monday, for the first time since I started freelancing.

I'm sure I've left off some good things, so feel free to email me with suggestions, or add them in the comments.

Also, if you have contacts at any NYC area visual arts non-profits, let them know that I provide free ads for them.

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Eric Heist
detail Travel Agents (Baghdad), 2005
Pencil on paper
22 3/4 × 29 3/4 inches


While I'm on the subject of artists who can really draw, I should mention Eric Heist's show at Schroeder Romero. I like the fact that Eric's work combines conceptual art, strong political content (whether critiquing our perverse work/materialist culture or our foreign policy), and good drawing and craftsmanship. As a friend said at the opening, it's good to see drawings like the one above from conceptual artists. It's a handy antidote the New Criterion-esque school of "conceptualists and minimalists just don't have enough skills" attitude.

The lovely and talented Dante Woo has started helping me keep ArtCal up to date. I'm still the editor (with some help from James), but I was having trouble finding time to put all of my picks into the database.

After only one day of looking at press releases and show announcements, he has some observations, titled things to loathe.

Publicity still from Nobody's Lunch


Some of you readers whose mailing address is in my possession will receive an invitation in the mail to this. The rest of you in NYC are encouraged to buy a ticket, and tell them James and I sent you. I noticed Lauren Cerand is on the benefit committee too, so maybe we will finally meet each other.

How wrong can you go with an event that will have James, me, the Wau Wau Sisters, Princess Superstar, and Alix Lambert in attendance?

I have written about The Civilians many times, but if you want to hit the highlights, go to these:

Gone Missing (includes MP3s)

Nobody's Lunch

The Ladies

Quoting the announcement:

underCOVER VAUDEVILLE Thursday, April 28, 2005
Cocktails and undercover mingling 8pm, showtime 9pm
Tickets: $65 (Benefit and Afterparty); $10 (Afterparty only)

El Flamingo
547 West 21st Street
(between 10th & 11th Avenues)

With COVERversions of Michael Friedman's songs performed by members of The Civilians with special guests >>> Tony winner KAREN ZIEMBA (Contact, Chicago), neo-roots music group OLLABELLE, cabaret chanteuse MAUDE MAGGART, Broadway star JEFFREY CARLSON (Taboo, The Goat), the vivacious and acrobatic WAU-WAU SISTERS, the incomparable DALE SOULES, Her Royal Rhymeness PRINCESS SUPERSTAR, and our underCOVER MC, funnylady BAYNE GIBBY.

Ticket price includes performance, silent auction, afterparty, and
complimentary Coraz├│n Tequila cocktails and TsingTao beer. Cash bar for other drinks.

underCOVER AFTERPARTY
10pm to Midnight
with dancing and music by DJ Kozmik

[like our previous benefit parties underCOVER Vaudeville promises to be a rollicking good time so feel free to spread the word, but remember it's underCOVER -- please don't tell Robert Novak]

Click this link to purchase tickets.

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Abigail Lazkoz
More Medals, Bigger Responsibility, 2005
Indian and pigmented ink on paper
42.5 × 65.5"


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Vicki Sher
Safe, 2005
colored pencil, ink, and gouache on paper,
22 × 15"

I feel like such a bad print journalist when I write about shows right before they close (in the case of Abigail Lazkoz), but I wanted to mention these two drawing shows that really struck me.

"Struck me" is an interesting phrase to use, given the reason for this post. Both of these shows are drawing shows with some admirable subtlety. A lot of drawing shows today seem to be aimed at showing the kind of work that will stand out at big art fairs. That's not to say that a lot of it isn't still worthwhile, but to find a couple of shows with excellent drawing that don't have that kind of improvisatory, "look at me" quality is refreshing. These are thought out, well-executed drawing shows not to be missed.

Laskoz is up through this Saturday, and Vicki Sher's show closes on the 19th.

Updated: I forgot to mention that I first wrote about Vicki Sher's work last year.

I love Paula Cooper's history of supporting good causes, ranging from ACT UP to the Critical Art Ensemble Defense Fund. Joy Garnett's NEWSgrist is the best place, other than the CAE's site linked above, to follow the case.

Quoting the press release:

An April 17 auction to benefit the Critical Art Ensemble Defense Fund has attracted donations from some of the biggest names in the contemporary art world, including Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Alexis Rockman, Ruben Ortiz Torres, Hans Haacke, Kiki Smith, Chris Burden, and a great many others.

We may not make it to the event, as we already have tickets to an American Symphony Orchestra concert at 3.

Street art is one of my favorite things about walking around in a city. Some recent examples, seen in person or on the web:


polaroid scene

Williamsburg images by James


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Cut Up Show in London, via Wooster Collective

"At the forefront of a new breed of urban intervention, Cutup have rethought traditional methods of making a statement through the subversion of the visual landscape of the city. CutUp's billboard images are created by slicing up adverts and collaging the pieces into a newly ordered image."

In Brunnhilde's immolation scene in G├Âtterdamerung at the English National Opera, she is a suicide bomber.

It makes sense to me.

This page is an archive of entries in the Culture category from April 2005.

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