In this week’s roundup Ellen Gallagher plays on black vernacular, John Baldessari considers crowds, William Wegmen displays vintage prints, Ai Weiwei addresses his detention, and more.
- Ellen Gallagher‘s first major solo exhibition in the UK is on view at Tate Modern (London). Ellen Gallagher: AxME explores recurring themes in the artist’s work. The title of the show is, according to an article in The Guardian, “a play on the fictional Acme corporation that supplied Wile E Coyote with mail-order gadgets in the cartoon Roadrunner, as well as a reference to the African-American vernacular for ‘Ask me.’” Public programs scheduled in conjunction with the exhibition include “Afrofuturism’s Others” on June 15. AxME is on view through September 1.
- John Baldessari has collaborated with Mixografia on a show at ForYourArt (Los Angeles, CA). Works on view depict individuals gathered together in formation or haphazardly while captivated by the unknown. Soldiers, onlookers, harem girls, and a wide assortment of people become participants in an event that was undoubtedly defined before the artist altered the image. John Baldessari: Crowds runs through June 16.
- Ann Hamilton is half of a two-artist exhibition at the Spencer Museum of Art (Lawrence, KS). Hamilton and Cynthia Schira were commissioned by the museum to create the room-sized works of art in An Errant Line: Ann Hamilton / Cynthia Schira. Using digital technologies to explore the essential nature of cloth and the ways museums organize and maintain material legacies, the artists considered the role of the hand and thread, and the meanings of gesture and notations. The show closes August 11.
- William Wegman has an exhibition at Marc Selwyn Fine Art (Los Angeles, CA). William Wegman: He Took Two Pictures. One Came Out presents the artist’s text-based black-and-white photographs from the 1970s. The show features vintage prints, as well as prints made from recently discovered vintage negatives. The exhibition is on view through July 6.
- The Artist’s Voice: Fred Wilson in Conversation with Lauren Haynes will take place at The Studio Museum in Harlem on May 30 at 7pm. The program will begin as a discussion about Fred Wilson‘s installation Local Color—originally created in 1993 for The Studio Museum exhibition Artists Respond: The “New World” Question—and then make connections between this installation and Wilson’s project Black Now. Seating is limited and RSVP is essential.
How does an artist resist reality?
In this film, artist Diana Al-Hadid creates sculptures and drawings that embrace illusionism and the unknown, culminating in the exhibition The Vanishing Point (2012) at Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York. “I want to explore the limits of my own thinking,” says Al-Hadid. The artist begins with a careful study of her materials—wax, clay, fiberglass, and bronze—and then experiments in her Williamsburg studio, getting the materials to “misbehave.” Looking to Renaissance and Mannerist artists such as Robert Campin, Hans Memling, and Jacopo da Pantormo, Al-Hadid finds inspiration for her sculptures in the way paintings take liberties with the laws of physics. “For me to get a sculpture to lift off the floor…that’s the first way to rebel,” says the artist. Al-Hadid also reveals how her work evolved from realist drawings, done as a child, to her current sculptures and drawings made from the slow buildup of layers. Featuring the works Blind Bust III (2012), Untitled (2012), At the Vanishing Point (2012), Divided Line (2012), Antonym (2012), and Suspended After Image (2012).
Diana Al-Hadid (b. 1981, Allepo, Syria; raised in Cleveland, Ohio, USA) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Watch the full film below.
In this week’s roundup, models don Cindy Sherman masks, Carrie Mae Weems’s retrospective moves to Portland, Laurie Anderson presents new multimedia work, and more.
- Cindy Sherman was the inspiration for GARAGE magazine‘s fourth issue, based on the theme of mutability of modern identity. Photographer Patrick Demarchelier shot a group of models wearing masks of Sherman’s face that were created via www.thatsmyface.com.
- Carrie Mae Weems‘s 30-year retrospective, Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video, is on view at the Portland Art Museum (Oregon). The exhibition features some of the artist’s most groundbreaking work. At the opening lecture, Weems reflected on some of the major themes in her work, including an overarching commitment to promote justice as it relates to issues of race, gender, and class.
- Laurie Anderson’s Landfall: Scenes from My New Novel premiered at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, in collaboration with the equally venerated Kronos Quartet. An interview with Anderson about this new work can be found here.
- Mel Chin is one of nine artists in residence at the McColl Center for Visual Art (Charlotte, NC). Visitors can meet him at Open Studio Saturdays on February 23 and March 9. Chin’s residency with the Center ends March 26.
- Diana Al-Hadid will speak in the Pruyne Lecture Hall at Amherst College (Massachusetts) on February 21 at 4:30pm. Supported by the Rapaport Lecture in Contemporary Art Fund, the fund was established to provide support for an annual lecture by an artist, art writer, or art critic on some aspect of contemporary art. Al-Hadid’s lecture is free and open to the public.
- Kimsooja will represent South Korean at the 55th Biennale. The artist will work with curator Kim Seung-duk, director of international projects at France’s Le Consortium, to turn the pavilion itself into a work of art based on bottari, a recurring concept in Kimsooja’s work. According to GalleristNY (via Artinfo.com), “The artist’s concept of bottari as a self-contained world will be reflected in the transformation of the pavilion’s space–not physically with glass, metal, or wood, but with nonmaterial elements such as sound, light, and color.”
In this week’s roundup, Diana Al-Hadid explores art history, El Anatsui has his first solo exhibition in New York, Cai Guo-Qiang travels a solo show in Brazil, Charles Atlas presents two moving-image works, and more.
- Diana Al-Hadid opens this week at The Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina (Greensboro). The exhibition highlights Al-Hadid’s use of art historical references to examine sculptural and pictorial space. The work will be on view from February 9–May 5. The artist’s talk and opening reception takes place February 8 at 6pm.
- El Anatsui‘s first solo exhibition in a New York opens this week at the Brooklyn Museum. Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui features over 30 works in metal and wood that transform appropriated objects into site-specific sculptures. Anatsui converts found materials into new works that are at the intersection between sculpture and painting. The work combines aesthetic traditions from Ghana, Nigeria, and explores the global history of abstraction. The show runs February 8–August 4.
- Charles Atlas’ newly completed film, Exchange, will be screened at Electronic Arts Intermix (NYC). Atlas created this work from never-before-seen footage that he shot in 1978, that was only recently rediscovered by the Merce Cunningham Trust. It captures a performance by Cunningham and his company, with costumes and backdrop designed by Jasper Johns and music by David Tudor. The screening will take place February 7 at 6:30pm.
- Charles Atlas collaborated with Bloomberg SPACE and the South London Gallery to create a 360 degree video installation using original, manipulated and found footage from a variety of sources including the Bloomberg digital archives. Charles Atlas: Glacier consists of projected images that scroll across the large windows and walls of the gallery space to create an immersive environment. The show closes March 30.
In this week’s roundup, Ai Weiwei’s work is part of the celebration of the U.S. Presidential Inauguration, Trenton Doyle Hancock wins the Greenfield Prize, several artists participate in group shows and lectures, and much more.
- Ai Weiwei‘s work was projected on the facade of the Newseum (Washington, D.C.) during Presidential Inauguration weekend. The outdoor installation included Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn and quotations about freedom.
- Trenton Doyle Hancock has won the 2013 Greenfield Prize from the Hermitage Artist Retreat. The Greenfield Prize rotates among theater, visual art, and music disciplines. Hancock will have two years to produce a work of art to be exhibited at the Ringling Museum of Art (Sarasota, FL).
- Robert Ryman is in a group show at the Wade Wilson Gallery (Houston, TX). The Illusion of the Precise is an exploration of the conversation between the language of line and the language of space, and the emotive and aesthetic responses the dialogue elicits. The exhibition brings a curated selection of works from each artist to explore their breadth of possibility. The show closes February 2.
- Pierre Huyghe‘s work is part of a group show at the Istanbul Modern (Turkey). Modernity? Perspectives from France and Turkey looks into the phenomenon of modernity and the confrontation of artists with the modernity project, which is still valid today. The exhibition runs through May 16.
- William Wegman: The Traveler will be at the Westport Arts Center (Westport, CT). The exhibition will feature a collection of postcard paintings, drawings, Polaroids, and video, illustrating William Wegman’s work with found images. Works date from the mid-1980s to the present with new paintings on view for the first time. This show continues through March 24. An opening reception will be held on January 25 at 6:30 pm; it is free and open to the public.
- Shana Moulton, Charles Atlas, Diana Al-Hadid, and Carrie Mae Weems will lecture as part of the Spring 2013 School of Art Lecture Series at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburg, PA). Moulton will speak on February 5, Atlas on February 12, Al-Hadid on February 26, and Weems on March 26. All lectures will take place at 5pm in the CMU Kresge Theater.
Between getting ready for the start of another school year and serving grand jury duty here in New York, it’s been quite a few weeks. Before I share some words of wisdom for teachers and students from three artists, I want to thank everyone who pitched in on the last few posts regarding David Brooks’ Desert Rooftops. Making meaning and making sense of works like these with you is what I live for!
Because I so love questions and quotes, and use them in my own teaching to get students thinking about process, predetermined notions about contemporary art and even prejudices, this week I wanted to offer three dynamite thoughts to get students thinking out of the gate in late summer…
First, for all of us working with young photographers (and who isn’t today?), some perspective from Duane Michals:
I don’t think photographs should tell you too much. Photographs should make you come to them. They shouldn’t spill the beans.
Students should be gently reminded that an element of mystery, or involving the viewer in completing the story, can become a way of engaging our audiences.
Second, a note about awareness from Gregory Amenoff:
I think all painters make paintings that may not represent their best work but are nonetheless pivotal in their development. That is, they discover something in a piece that represents a moment of realization. It might be color, it might be paint handling, it might be hooking onto a personal subject matter, or whatever else.
As artists and educators, we want to be aware of when these possibly pivotal moments present themselves. We want to encourage students to explore what may not be their best work but may be an approach or idea that has legs.
Finally, a wonderful reminder from Sandy Skoglund:
An interesting thing about work that goes out and has an audience is that there’s a discrepancy between what you think or intend and how it’s perceived. Also, of course, the way things are perceived changes through time.
Skoglund’s quote reminds me of a recent visit this summer to Diana Al-Hadid’s studio and how she seemed so receptive to the stories that viewers construct versus what may have inspired the work. It’s important for us to remind students, often, that a dialogue with the audience can be much more rewarding than simply telling the viewer what the work is about and filling in all the blanks for them. Sometimes, I dare say, the viewer comes up with a more interesting story.
Our latest New York Close Up is now live! Click to watch “Diana Al-Hadid’s Studio Boom” on Art21.org!
How does growing a business and maturing as an artist go hand in hand? In this film, artist Diana Al-Hadid and her crew of dedicated assistants strike a balance between work and play while finishing a new sculpture on a tight deadline. Filmed over several months at Al-Hadid’s studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the collaborative team of young artists devote long hours towards the completion of Nolli’s Orders (2012) for its debut in the Invisible Cities exhibition at MASSMoCA. In a year marked by rapid growth in the studio, Al-Hadid keeps pace with the demand for her massive sculptures by enlarging her workspace, teaching specialized sculptural techniques to others, and making efficient use of time and resources. Charting the expansion of her operation over the years—from working alone in a small space to renovating and managing a floor of artist studios for additional income—Al-Hadid’s artistic ambitions are made possible by her ability to create an enjoyable, yet highly productive working environment, and to problem-solve on a grand scale. As moving day steadily approaches, Al-Hadid and her team create a manual detailing the complex assembly instructions for Nolli’s Orders, slowly dismantle and crate the intricate sculpture, and clear out the studio to begin work on the next project.
Diana Al-Hadid (b. 1981, Allepo, Syria; raised in Cleveland, Ohio, USA) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.