In this week’s roundup Cindy Sherman arrives in Paris, Hiroshi Sugimoto tilts photos 90 degrees, Shahzia Sikander explores Islamic and East Indian art, Richard Tuttle mixes poetry and sculpture, Ai Weiwei presents his retrospective, and more.
- Cindy Sherman features a series of recent photographs on view at the Gagosian Gallery (Paris). This is Cindy Sherman‘s first exhibition in Paris following shows in Los Angeles and Rome. This series displays snapshots taken on the Capri and Stromboli islands, in Iceland during the volcanic eruption of 2010, and on Shelter Island, in New York. Afterwards, she digitally retouched them to create luxuriant pictorial effects. The exhibition closes October 10.
- Paul McCarthy‘s chess set made from kitchen items is on view in The Art of Chess at the Saatchi Gallery (London). This exhibition demonstrates the inspirational power of chess in the 21st century and how the game continues to provide an intriguing starting point for artistic expression. This show runs through October 3.
- Hiroshi Sugimoto‘s Lightning Fields and Photogenic Drawings is on view at Lille Metropole in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, France. The exhibitions present 30 large prints that are the direct result of his study of the invention and history of photography. This exhibition closes October 7.
- Hiroshi Sugimoto‘s Revolution will be on view at Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany. This show will feature large-format photographs of the sea at night that trace the movement of the moon over a long period. Their special presentation – the pictures being tilted 90° – creates a puzzling effect that varies considerably depending on the region in the world or the latitude. This group of works will be presented to the public for the first time in Munich. The exhibition will run October 24 – February 10, 2013.
High political season is underway with a particular sense of urgency this year, and it seems that nearly every aspect of American culture has joined in the debate. In keeping with a historical trend that began during the Enlightenment, prints are playing a role in today’s political arguments as a means of disseminating the views of artists and rallying the people. Recent releases of note are the Occuprint Portfolio 2012 and Artists for Obama 2012. Both are fundraisers to support their eponymous causes: the former was issued earlier this year through the Booklyn Artists Alliance–the latter debuted last night at Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles and will also be presented in its New York gallery in Chelsea later this month.
While these two print portfolios are both political in their aims, other similarities are few. The facture and content of Occuprint, as may be anticipated, reflects the values and concerns of the grass-roots Occupy Movement that spawned it. Issued in an edition of 100 with a net fundraising goal of approximately $30,000, the thirty screenprints it contains were selected from the thousands of submissions that have been posted for free download on the Occuprint.org website. Since last fall, these have been sent in by relatively unknown designers from all over the world in support of the various political aims that have sprung from the Occupy Movement, including We are the 99%, the ballooning costs of higher education, the subprime mortgage crisis, as well as May Day. The portfolio’s production was supported by pre-publication sales to twenty public institutions, including a number of top universities, and proceeds benefit the activities of Occuprint.org, a non-profit affinity group that operates independently of the Occupy Movement.
In this week’s roundup voting is open for a video portrait of John Baldessari, Martha Colburn’s cut out animation is showcased, Ann Hamilton works with factory workers, an upcoming Carrie Mae Weems retrospective and more.
- Martha Colburn‘s work will be showcased in Harsh Realities at the Rowan University Art Gallery (Glassboro, NJ). The exhibition is a survey of stop-motion animation, including puppets, clay sculptures, toys, dolls, surface-altering textures, and more. The show explores how stop-motion animation is so often used to underline the resilience of the human spirit within difficult and challenging circumstances. This work will be on view September 4 – October 6.
- Watch a portrait of John Baldessari in A Brief History of John Baldessari. Narrator Tom Waits guides you through a montage of the highlights of Baldessari’s life and career. You can also vote for the film at the official site of the ShortList Film Festival through Sept. 4.
- Ann Hamilton is participating in Factory Direct: Pittsburgh that showcases the artwork of established contemporary artists who conducted artist residencies in Pittsburgh-based factories. Artists worked closely with the management teams and factory workers within their host facilities to plan and execute a new work of art based on the factory’s history, technologies, materials, or processes. The exhibition is on view through September 9.
- Jessica Stockholder will soon lecture at Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University. During this afternoon talk she will speak about how her work has played a crucial role in expanding the dialogue between sculpture and painting, form and space. The event is scheduled for September 11, 4:30pm.
- Mark your calendar for Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video at the Frist Center for the Arts (Nashville, TN). This retrospective, which is composed of more than 200 objects—primarily photographs but also written texts, audio recordings, fabric banners and videos—will provide an opportunity to trace the evolution of Carrie Weems’s career over the last 30 years. The exhibition will run September 21 – January 12, 2013 and move to several other venues next year.
- Himmel Award & Lecture: Maya Lin at the Katonah Museum of Art honors Maya Lin, who draws inspiration from the landscape, asking the viewer to reconsider nature at a time when it is crucial to do so. The artist is currently at work on her last memorial, What is Missing?, a multi-sited artwork that raises awareness about the current crisis surrounding biodiversity and habitat loss. The event takes place on November 4, 5pm.
- Maya Lin is also teaming up with Cannon Design and Toshiko Mori, FAIA, to design a new, innovative research campus for Novartis, a pharmaceutical company. The new campus will change the way Novartis conducts research, promoting increased collaboration, idea-sharing and teamwork. The project will be completed in 2015.
While music mashups aim to synthesize multiple songs into a whole greater than the sum of its parts, they often linger in the realm of clunkiness, without improving on the original songs. Occasionally, however, mashups achieve a new totality and reveal something new about a familiar tune.
When you put works by John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Joseph Cornell, Mark Bradford, and a host of other contemporary powerhouses into a single space, the results can vary. But the star-studded lineup of L&M Arts’ summer exhibition, Mash Up: Collage from 1930 to the present explores the lineage of collage without forcing connections through overdetermined themes, and allows the plurality of contemporary art and the medium of collage to celebrate the heterogeneity of our world.
In this week’s roundup a Robert Adams retrospective, a Mike Kelley tribute, an honor for Ursula von Rydingsvard, a first for Laylah Ali’s Greenheads series, and more.
- Robert Adams: The Place We Live, A Retrospective Selection of Photographs is on view at the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT). Featuring over 200 photographs, this retrospective traces more than 45 years of work by Robert Adams, including his work on the suburbs of Colorado, his portrayal of southern California, and his recent meditations on the endangered landscape of the Pacific Northwest. The show runs through October 28.
- Mike Kelley 1954 – 2012, a tribute exhibition at The Watermill Center in New York, includes selected soundtracks from The Poetics, Mike Kelley’s art punk band, and videos by Kelley dating from 1978–1986. The various pieces in different media include models and banners from an initial Kandor-Con 2000 installation, seven large-scale projections (2007), one of the sculptures with video projection of Kandors (2007) and Kelley’s last performance video, Vice Anglais (2011). This work is on view through September 16 and can be seen by appointment only.
- Robert Ryman: A Painting in Four Parts, 1963–1964 is now on view at the Gagosian Gallery (NYC). The show features four untitled paintings from 1963–1964, on which Robert Ryman explores the nuanced effects of acrylic paint on aluminum. The exhibition ends August 24.
- Laylah Ali: The Greenheads Series will be presented at the Williams College Museum of Art (Williamstown, MA). The show includes over forty of Laylah Ali‘s gouache paintings—created between 1996 and 2005—that will be shown for the first time as a comprehensive body of work. The WCMA exhibition runs from August 18–November 25.
- Hiroshi Sugimoto will present a collection of his portraits of Henry VIII and his six wives at Sudeley Castle (Winchcombe, Gloucestershire). The show is in honor of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Queen Catherine Parr. The seven photographs feature wax figures staged and lit like Renaissance portraits and are drawn from Sugimoto’s Portraits series, which was commissioned by the Deutsche Guggenheim Museum in 1999.
- Ursula von Rydingsvard will be honored by the Storm King Art Center (Mountainville, NY) for an annual gala dinner and live auction that will take place October 17.
- Hans Ulrich Obrist interviewed John Baldessari for the Institute of the 21st Century (I21c), a non-profit initiative to consolidate and digitally archive the entirety of Obrist’s Interview Project. This event took place on July 29 at LACMA.
- Do-Ho Suh‘s Bridging Home, an outdoor installation originally commissioned for the Liverpool Biennial in 2010, will be part of Roundtable: 9th Gwangui Biennale at the Tate Modern. Made of a steel structural frame and finished with marine plywood, this structure was installed at an angle to highlight the sense of tension between the traditional Korean architecture of the miniature house and the more British architecture of its neighbors. This work will be on view September 7 – November 11.
- Sally Mann: Upon Reflection will be at the Edwynn Houk Gallery (NYC) and features an exhibition of new photographic self-portraits by Sally Mann. The artist will showcase a new technique based on 19th century processes but that incorporates a modern sensibility. The show runs September 13–November 3.
- Behind the Scenes Barry McGee at BAM/PFA covers Barry McGee‘s new installation in progress at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (San Francisco). This mid-career survey will span over three decades of work, from spray painted objects to a myriad of rainbow geometric patterns. McGee is currently artist-in-residence as he prepares for this exhibition, which will tour to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston next spring. This exhibition will run August 24–December 9.
- Krzysztof Wodiczko: Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection will be presented by Galerie Lelong and More Art later this year. This marks a return of sorts to Union Square for Krzysztof Wodiczko, who in 1986 developed Homeless Projection: A Proposal for Union Square. For his new project, slated to begin on November 9, approximately 30 veterans will animate the statue of Abraham Lincoln with their stories in the now commercially-thriving and historically civic center of Union Square.
In this week’s roundup William Kentridge discusses science, John Baldessari talks technology, Cindy Sherman and Bruce Nauman are honored, and more.
- William Kentridge and American science historian Peter Galison introduced The Refusal of Time, a work Kentridge created for dOCUMENTA (13). This work is, in part, the result of an extended series of discussions between Kentridge and Galison about the history of the control of world time, relativity, black holes, and string theory.
- John Baldessari is the subject of a new short film by Todd Coles, one in a series of shorts presented by Nowness in which an artist is asked a question about technology.
- Carrie Mae Weems‘ multimedia collaboration with Geri Allen, Slow Fade To Black, for CELEBRATE BROOKLYN! in Prospect Park has been posted online:
- Cindy Sherman and Bruce Nauman have been elected as new National Academicians. Elected annually by the National Academy, artists are recognized for their contribution to American art and architecture. For the first time, nominees include artists working in video, photography and installation, reflecting recently revised member designations of visual artist and architect.
- Barbara Kruger is coming to the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington. D.C. Her new installation scheduled to open August 20 will be based on the words, Belief + Doubt. This work will be visible from two floors, filling the entire lower lobby area, also covering the sides and undersides of the escalators. Visitors will walk on the artist’s words, be surrounded by walls of the words, and ride on escalators covered with them.
- Hiroshi Sugimoto‘s photographs will be juxtaposed with late paintings by Mark Rothko as part of a Pace art gallery installation in the west wing of the Royal Academy’s Burlington Gardens building in London. Rothko/Sugimoto: Dark Paintings and Seascapes, will open just before the Frieze art fair in October and will feature Rothko’s late black and grey paintings and Sugimoto’s photographs of the horizon line where sea meets sky.
- Ann Hamilton and Cindy Sherman are among several artists whose works will be presented in a major fall exhibition. Behold, America! Art of the United States from Three San Diego Museums is a collaborative effort that includes Frontiers, opening September 16 at the Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego), with an installation by Hamilton. The San Diego Museum of Art’s exhibition, Figures, opens November 10 and focuses on American portraiture, including those by Sherman. The exhibition will be on view at all three institutions through February 10, 2013.
In this week’s roundup, Jessica Stockholder’s new Chicago installation buzz, several artists’ works at SFMOMA, Pepón Osorio’s science fiction exploration, Richard Tuttle’s residency at the Getty, Laurie Anderson’s SVA commencement speech, and more.
- Jessica Stockholder‘s Color Jam will soon be completed at the intersection of State & Adams (Chicago). This outdoor installation features splashes of colored vinyl that will flood the streets and sidewalks, resolving in tight formation across the lower facades of neighboring buildings. The official opening is Tuesday June 5th, but if you live in Chicago, you can glimpse the installation action any evening over the next week. Or check out the streaming video feed.
- Richard Tuttle will be the artist in residence at the Getty Research Institute from September 2012 through June 2013. While pursuing his own research projects, the artist will have opportunities to collaborate with curatorial and conservation staff, give presentations, and participate in seminars at the Getty. The GRI will organize related public events as well a variety of lectures and conferences that will include the local academic community. The research theme for this round is color.
- Jenny Holzer has a new solo exhibition at Sprüth Magers (London). Sophisticated Devices explores ways in which Holzer makes narrative a part of visual objects, employing an innovative range of materials and presentations to confront emotions and experiences, politics and conflict. This work includes spray paint canvases, granite benches, LED works, painted signs, and cast plaques. The show is on view through July 28.
- John Baldessari, Vija Celmins, Mary Heilmann, Kerry James Marshall, Robert Ryman, Julie Mehretu and Lari Pittman are featured in Contemporary Painting, 1960 to the Present: Selections from the SFMOMA Collection. In the context of media-based works in contemporary culture, the exhibition at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art showcases the variety of styles and strategies artists have engaged to breathe new life into painting and to explore the medium’s expansive possibilities. The exhibition runs through August 12.
- Pepón Osorio‘s work is in Who More Sci-Fi Than Us, contemporary art from the Caribbean at Kunsthal KAdE (Netherlands). This exhibition features work by a representative selection of contemporary artists from all over the Caribbean. The show focuses on a shared identity, shared history and shared socio-economic conditions: a combination of factors that has produced a certain surreal way of communicating, both in words and images. This work is on view through August 26.
- Louise Bourgeois‘s work is on view for the first time in Korea, at Kukje Gallery (Seoul). Personages showcases fourteen pieces created between the 1940s and the early 1950s that established Bourgeois as one of the most prominent sculptors after World War II. The exhibition closes June 29.
- Mark Bradford‘s With That Ass, They Won’t Look at Your Eyes is on view at the UTEP Rubin Center in El Paso, TX. The show displays Bradford’s largest painting to date, a 40 feet wide mural about the Bill of Rights. The video installation Niagara (2005) will also be on display. This exhibition runs through August 31.
- Laurie Anderson recently addressed faculty, students and their families at the School of Visual Arts 2012 Commencement Exercises. Anderson explained, “The reason I’m an artist is that it’s one of the few things that you can do in this world in which you are totally free – absolutely no one tells you what you can do and what you can’t do.”
- Bruce Nauman’s seminal work Days is coming to the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London). This is a sound installation which presents a continuous stream of voices reciting the days of the week in random order. Fourteen flat panel speakers will be installed in the lower gallery, one voice emanating from each pair of speakers as the visitor passes between them. The exhibition will run June 19 – September 16.
In this week’s roundup Kiki Smith pays tribute to Josephine Baker, Tom Waits narrates for John Baldessari and more.
- Kiki Smith will be the third artist to be featured in the Art Production Fund’s Last Lot series that brings art to a deserted lot in Times Square at 8th Avenue and West 46th Street (NYC). Smith’s rainbow-colored star clusters will pay tribute to Josephine Baker, the American-born French burlesque dancer, singer and actress, who epitomized the sensuality and spectacle of the burlesque follies of the 1920’s. The piece will be in Times Square until September 4.
- Hiroshi Sugimoto‘s work is part of a large-scale exhibition of contemporary art organized by the Asian Art Museum (San Francisco). Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past features more than 60 works by 31 contemporary artists, including Sugimoto. The works on display explore the complex, diverse, cross-cultural perspectives of Asian cosmology and spirituality through a compelling interplay of art from the past and present. The show closes September 2.
- Josiah McElheny‘s Some thoughts about the abstract body is on view at the Andrea Rosen Gallery (NYC). McElheny uses historical examples of artistic clothing and costume design as a starting point to present his own set of models for abstract form today. The show consists of a series of sculptural assemblages, wall works, and performance with props to present a diverse library of possible forms for the expression of images of an abstract physical and psychic body. This exhibition runs through June 30.
- John Baldessari requested singer Tom Waits narrate A Brief History of John Baldessari which has been recently posted online. Waits moves between facts from the artist’s life, and includes a mash-up of his creations – films, sculptures, paintings, photographs, billboards, credit cards and an iPhone app – paired with details of the artist’s day, such as his push pins, coffee machine and Wi-Fi password.
- LaToya Ruby Frazier’s A Haunted Capital which was to have opened at the Brooklyn Museum (NYC) in June 2012 has been postponed to March 2013. The change in dates is due to scheduling conflicts.
In this week’s roundup LaToya Ruby Frazier curates and demystifies, Ai Weiwei goes worldwide, Andrea Zittel and John Baldessari have “must-click” websites, and more.
- Inheritance: LaToya Ruby Frazier and Tony Buba at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA) is a curatorial effort by LaToya Ruby Frazier that includes never before seen artwork. With documentary filmmaker Tony Buba the artist spans 20th and 21st century socio-economic change in Braddock PA. This show is on view until May 19.
- LaToya Ruby Frazier‘s work can be found on the 2nd floor of the Whitney Museum (as part of the Biennial) through May 27, and on May 11 she’ll be giving a performance, Demystifying the Myth of the ‘Urban Pioneer.’ She will be joined by filmmaker Tony Buba, artist Martha Rosler, and composer and sound artist Damian Catera for a multimedia exploration of the myth of the “urban pioneer” within her hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania. This event is free with museum admission, which is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays from 6–9 pm; there are no special tickets or reservations.
- LaToya Ruby Frazier was featured on NJTV’s State of the Arts which aired on April 1. Watch a preview of LaToya Ruby Frazier: Politics & Poetics here.
- Ai Weiwei set up a Weiwei cam website a year after police in China locked him up for 81 days, showing feeds from four live webcams in his Beijing home. This is in reference to the 24-hour police surveillance he has been subjected to since his detention and the camera feeds can be viewed by anyone online.
- Beryl Korot is at btforms gallery (NYC) and this is the artist’s first solo exhibition at this venue. Beryl Korot Selected Video Works: 1977 to Present features her landmark video installation Text and Commentary (1977), and the show also includes two of Korot’s more recent investigations into the medium, Florence (2008) and Yellow Water Taxi (2003). The show closes May 5.
Open Enrollment | Sometimes Doing Something Poetic Can Become Political and Sometimes Doing Something Political Can Become Poetic
It seems that in the past year the subject of political art, after a long hiatus, has returned to the forefront of art discourse. Political sentiment and popular discontent have awakened in ways unseen since the AIDS crisis of the 1990s. We live in a politically charged time, where art again is looking for content outside of itself. The Occupy movement has no doubt adopted strategies familiar to art discourse, from those of the Situationists to Fluxus.
In major museums, exhibitions of political art abound, from MoMA’s 9 Scripts from a Nation at War to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago’s This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, and even the Tate Modern’s Photography: New Documentary Forms, in which photographers focused on subjects such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the elections in Congo.
As an artist who skirts the territories of fine arts, social justice and political engagement, I am always looking to other artists that are in one way or another looking outwards to society for their content. Though the aforementioned exhibitions are rich in their breadth and certainly helpful to my practice, I found more compelling modes and explorations (and examples of political strategies) elsewhere, namely within the Art Institute of Chicago’s Light Years: Conceptual Art and the Photograph exhibition.