Making this week’s roundup are an upside down glass house, a floral puppy, fused bicycles and an empty white shoe box, a TV-inspired installation, two exhibitions focusing on American society, a few year-end lists, and an artist just two years shy of a century:
- Gravity is a Force to be Reckoned With, a new project by Season 4 artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, is now on view at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA). Taking Mies van der Rohe’s uncompleted project 50×50 House (1951) as his point of departure, Manglano-Ovalle has built this glass-walled structure at approximately half its original scale and inverted. The ceiling of the original becomes the sculpture’s floor, the floor becomes the ceiling, and all interior elements are installed upside down. Two of Manglano-Ovalle’s films are shown in conjunction with the exhibition: Always After (The Glass House), plays in a continuous loop at Mass MoCA; and the artist’s latest video Juggernaut is on view nearby at the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA). The Mass MoCA installation continues through Oct 31, 2010. (See images from opening night on Flickr.) WCMA’s show closes March 14, 2010.
- The Museum of Modern Art’s highly anticipated retrospective exhibition of works by Gabriel Orozco (Season 2) finally opened last week. Here’s a few articles and reviews to check out: Slicing a Car, Fusing Bicycles and Turning Ideas Into Art, New York Times; A Whale of a Return to MoMA, New York Times; Gabriel Meets the Globe, Artnet; Don’t Knock the White Box, Artinfo; and Sightlines: Great Bones, Wall Street Journal. On Tuesday, December 15, the museum will host a conversation between Orozco, art historian Briony Fer, and Chief Curator Ann Temkin. The event begins at 6:30pm; purchase tickets here.
- On December 17, the first Australian survey of works by Jenny Holzer (Season 4) will open at the Australian Center for Contemporary Art (ACAA). For ACCA’s main exhibition hall, Holzer will project poetry in the form of light onto the floors, ceilings, and walls. She will also display works from a series that began in 2005 where she translates declassified government documents into paintings. These works come from, Holzer says, her “frantic worrying about the war and attendant changes in American society.” Holzer’s projections and paintings will be supplemented by her LED installation, Torso. In this piece, Holzer’s signs display statements, investigation reports, and emails from case files of soldiers accused of crimes in the Middle East. The exhibition closes February 28, 2010.
- Works by Holzer, Kara Walker (Season 2) and An-My Lê (Season 4) are included in the exhibition America, now on view at the Beirut Art Center (BAC). According to the BAC, the exhibition is “Neither an accusation nor a celebration, [its] purpose is to reflect on the mythologies that have built and perpetuated the idea of America and to consider the ways in which America has been both imagined and imaged by Americans and non-Americans alike.” Time Out Beirut says, “America offers no didactic solutions – but plenty of interesting ideas.” Artists Naji Al-Ali, Wafaa Bilal, Jospeh Beuys, William Eggelston, Ayreen Anastas & René Gabri, Ziad Antar, Mounir Fatmi, Matt McCormick, Catherine Opie, Julia Meltzer & David Thorne, Melik Ohanian, Martha Rosler, and Greta Pratt are also included in the exhibition.
- Horizontal Tracking Shots, the first show in New York entirely devoted to paintings by Mike Kelley (Season 1), is on view at Gagosian Gallery through December 23. According to the gallery, “Kelley has devised a spatial push-pull effect through the arrangement of large polychrome panel paintings and smaller framed canvases.” In his smaller works, with titles such as Mort’s Mouth (2008-2009) and Twin Henrys (2008-2009), Kelley draws from elementary school textbook illustration, New Age painting, comic strips, and science-fiction. The free-standing construction after which the exhibition is titled, Horizontal Tracking Shot of a Cross Section of Trauma Rooms (2009), is inspired by televisual space and incorporates colored panels, TV color bars on monitors, and found footage from YouTube.
- Season 5 artists William Kentridge and Yinka Shonibare are named in Time Magazine’s list of the top 10 art exhibitions this year: William Kentridge: Five Themes, on view at the Norton Museum through January 17; and Yinka Shonibare MBE, on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art through March 7, 2010. (Five Themes also won first place for Best Monographic Museum Show Nationally at the annual awards ceremony of the International Association of Art Critics/USA.)
- The Whitney Museum of Art has announced the participants of 2010, the next Whitney Biennial. Season 3 artist Ellen Gallagher (working in collaboration with Edgar Cleijne) is among this group of more than 50 individual artists and collectives. Watch the video announcement on the museum’s website.
- Adrian Searle of The Guardian cites Promenade by Richard Serra (Season 1) as one of his most memorable visual art experiences of the decade. Read Searle’s complete list here.
- In last week’s issue of New York Magazine, in which writers reflected on the passing decade, resident art critic Jerry Saltz dedicated his piece to the monumental flower sculpture Puppy by Jeff Koons (Season 5). Saltz calls the sculpture “The first of this decade’s public-spectacle art extravaganzas.” Read the article here.