Flash Points

Raqs Media Collective. "Please do not touch the work of art," (2006). Courtesy the artists.

Flash Points

Careful Not to Touch

Flash Points

Careful Not to Touch

“If you could touch one artwork, in any museum, which would it be? And what would you be seeking?” Tim Svenonius writes for Flash Points.

Illustration on the Pioneer Plaque.

Flash Points

Art and Aliens: How Would an Artist Represent Humanity to Extraterrestrial Life?

Flash Points

Art and Aliens: How Would an Artist Represent Humanity to Extraterrestrial Life?

How might a contemporary artist represent humanity to extraterrestrial life? Guest poster Colleen Brogan considers the possibilities.

Charles Ray, "Hinoki," 2007. © 2007 Charles Ray. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

Flash Points

The Undead Tree of Charles Ray

Flash Points

The Undead Tree of Charles Ray

Caroline Picard looks at Charles Ray’s “Hinoki” and asks, how does this sculpture–a reproduction of a fallen redwood tree–tell a story about survival, time, nature and humanity?

Eleanor Antin during a re-creation of her performance "Before the Revolution" (1979) at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2012. Courtesy Los Angeles Times. © Robert Gauthier. Photograph by Robert Gauthier.

Flash Points

Eleanor Antin Takes Over @Art21 on Twitter Today at 2pm EST!

Flash Points

Eleanor Antin Takes Over @Art21 on Twitter Today at 2pm EST!

Today, artist Eleanor Antin will take over the @Art21 Twitter account to perform a special reading from 2:00–3:00 p.m. EST. Please follow along!

antin-hammer-lat-robert-gauthier-2012.1080

Eleanor Antin Takes Over @Art21 on Twitter

Eleanor Antin Takes Over @Art21 on Twitter

Artist Eleanor Antin will take over the @Art21 Twitter account to perform a special reading on Friday, October 26, from 2:00–3:00 p.m. EST.

Brad Kayal, "Job Creators,” from “Occuprint 2012.” Color screenprint, 18 x 12 in. Published by Occuprint.org, edition of 100.  Image courtesy Booklyn Artists Alliance, Brooklyn.

Ink: Notes on the Contemporary Print

Ink | Political Art for a Contentious Time

Ink: Notes on the Contemporary Print

Ink | Political Art for a Contentious Time

Following a trend that began with the Enlightenment, prints play a role in today’s political discourse by disseminating artists’ views and rallying the public.

Ellen Gallagher. "Bird in Hand," 2006. Image courtesy of Tate Liverpool.

Polyculturalist Visions Revisited

Polyculturalist Visions Revisited

Nettrice Gaskins revisits themes she first explored in her essay on “polyculturalism” for Art21.org’s Ideas series on “The Culture Wars, Redux.”

Illustration by Swanny Mouton.

Flash Points

The Museum as Memory Palace

Flash Points

The Museum as Memory Palace

Our new Flashpoints series on Storytelling kicks off with a look at how museums can weave narratives through the placement of objects in space.

Hera cukoo 1

The Storyteller: An Interview with Hera Buyuktasciyan

The Storyteller: An Interview with Hera Buyuktasciyan

Istanbul-based artist Hera Buyuktasciyan’s projects draw on the stories people tell–some tragic, others triumphant–about family, community, and their relation to individual self-worth.

Martha Wilson, I Make Up the Image of My Perfection/I Make Up the Image of My Deformity 1974, color photograph, text (Courtesy of PPOW Gallery)

The Tipping Point Between Laughter And Crying: An Interview With Martha Wilson

The Tipping Point Between Laughter And Crying: An Interview With Martha Wilson

Emily Colucci talks to Martha Wilson about the evolution of her art, Wilson’s relationship to feminism, and the Culture Wars.

Glenn Ligon (b. 1960), "Runaways," 1993 (detail). Suite of ten lithographs. 16 × 12 in. (40.6 × 30.5 cm each). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of the Peter Norton Family Foundation © Glenn Ligon; Digital Image © Whitney Museum of American Art.

Flash Points

Call for Writers: New Flash Points Series on “Storytelling”

Flash Points

Call for Writers: New Flash Points Series on “Storytelling”

The Art21 Blog is looking for writers to contribute to our upcoming Flash Points series on Storytelling!

Yelling Fire in the Hall of Presidents

Yelling Fire in the Hall of Presidents

John P. Hogan considers Utah artist Jon McNaughton’s controversial print “The Forgotten Man” in the context of history painting and politically-charged contemporary artworks.

Zoe Strauss, "Mattress Flip", 2001. Image: pdnphotooftheday.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Ten Years…… Right Between the Eyes: Zoe Strauss at the Philadelphia Museum

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Ten Years…… Right Between the Eyes: Zoe Strauss at the Philadelphia Museum

Every once in a blue moon you get surprised by an exhibit that takes your breath away. Kiki Smith did it to me in 2006 and last year Glenn Ligon …

Robert Adams, "Adams County, Colorado," 1973  Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Ambiguity and Teaching with the Photography Robert Adams

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Ambiguity and Teaching with the Photography Robert Adams

Teaching with and sharing Robert Adams’ photography with students can allow for a broader understanding of what makes a great picture.

assume vivid astro focus, "assume vivid astro focus VII", 2003. Courtesy Deitch Projects, New York

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Balancing Skill-Building and the Formation of Ideas

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Balancing Skill-Building and the Formation of Ideas

Finding a balance between teaching specific skills and techniques with teaching about how to explore process in order to form and pursue ideas is not easy. If you teach in a culture (or department, or school, or district, or university…) that emphasizes skills and techniques as the “meat” of the curriculum, it’s probably a good idea to begin talking about the kinds of skills that everyone really considers “essential”.

Janine Antoni. Image: arts.columbia.edu

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Talking with Janine Antoni and Getting Set for NAEA: Part Two

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Talking with Janine Antoni and Getting Set for NAEA: Part Two

Part two of my recent interview with Janine Antoni in advance of her keynote address and workshop at the National Art Education Association’s annual conference here in New York from March 1-4.

Janine Antoni, "Lick and Lather" (detail), 1993

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Talking with Janine Antoni and Getting Set for NAEA: Part One

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Talking with Janine Antoni and Getting Set for NAEA: Part One

This week’s column features a brand, new interview with Janine Antoni in advance of her upcoming keynote address and workshop at the National Art Education Association’s annual conference on March 1st here in New York City.

The MCA’s “This Will Have Been” and the Subjectivity of History

The MCA’s “This Will Have Been” and the Subjectivity of History

Westin reviews a new exhibition surveying the art of the 1980s that includes the work of numerous artists featured in “Art in the Twenty-First Century.”

Ted Kerr, Questions for a Revolution, 2011, courtesy the artist

Queer Past/Queer Future: In Conversation

Queer Past/Queer Future: In Conversation

What can the Occupy movement learn from the history of HIV/AIDS activism? Ted Kerr’s “Questions for a Revolution” offers a starting point.

Students in Maureen Hergott's class transform the space

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Contemporary Art in the Elementary Classroom

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Contemporary Art in the Elementary Classroom

Julia CopperSmith and Maureen Hergott made some important points in last week’s interview and this week we take the opportunity to point out two of them regarding how teachers construct elementary art-making experiences and use documentation to influence their work.

Jeff Koons. "Hand on Breast," 1990. Photo: Courtesy of Luxembourg & Dayan, New York.

Flash Points

A Willing Girl

Flash Points

A Willing Girl

Still controversial today, Jeff Koons’s 1990s “Made in Heaven” photographs tap into cultural anxieties about pornography, art, and commerce.

Paul McCarthy, "White Snow and Dopey, Wood", 2011. Image: artobserved.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Working with Memory

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Working with Memory

Working with memory presents challenges, like many themes and ideas we choose to teach with, that are terribly difficult to get rolling without an organized, broad and juicy introduction. This week’s column explores how looking back can help with planning forward for better introductions to thematic units.

Marina Abramovic's "An Artist's Life Manifesto," MOCA Gala 2011.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Local Dancer Meets Mother of Performance

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Local Dancer Meets Mother of Performance

When it comes to paying artists whose bodies provide the art, when is mere “compensation” not enough?

David Wojnarowicz, "A Fire In My Belly" screenshot, 1986-7, video (Courtesy PPOW Gallery)

Flash Points

All I Can Feel Is the Pressure and the Need For Release

Flash Points

All I Can Feel Is the Pressure and the Need For Release

  Perhaps ignorantly thinking that the culture wars related to David Wojnarowicz were over, I originally intended to reflect on the long-term effects of A Fire In My Belly (1986-7) in HIDE/SEEK: Difference …

Jeff Koons, "Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Two Dr J Silver Series, Spalding NBA Tip-Off)", 1985   Image: themainevent.us

Teaching with Contemporary Art

How Much Is That?

Teaching with Contemporary Art

How Much Is That?

“How much is that?” or “How much is that worth?” are popular questions students ask, especially when teaching with contemporary art. Often I find myself embarrassed having to admit that …

Ai Weiwei, "Study of Perspective- White House", 1999.  Source: artlog.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Occupy This

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Occupy This

Yinka Shonibare MBE says in his season 5 segment that he would like to have the “trappings of wealth” himself, even though he may be criticizing it. And being made …

Erik Hood and Sam Willcocks at the Hedreen Gallery, 2010.

Flash Points

How to Fire a Quaker Cannon: Tactical Gestures of Critical Discourse

Flash Points

How to Fire a Quaker Cannon: Tactical Gestures of Critical Discourse

  Beginning with the notion of a gallery as a charged or loaded space, Vancouver-based artists Erik Hood and Sam Willcocks produced a fleeting gesture based on military traditions and …

Johnny Hardstaff, "Sketchbook 3, Page 23". Image: johnnyhardstaff.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Taking Note

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Taking Note

This week I want to share what seems like a simple idea… While many of us insist that students keep sketchbooks or journals in our classes, it isn’t as popular …

Edward Hopper, "New York Movie", 1939   Image: heaviestcorner.org

Teaching with Contemporary Art

It’s OK to Make Art…

Teaching with Contemporary Art

It’s OK to Make Art…

It’s amazing… After over twenty years teaching I still get nervous. And I’m not thinking about the first day of classes (everyone gets nervous then), I was actually thinking about …

David Wojnarowicz, Fire, 1987. Synthetic polymer paint and pasted paper on plywood, two panels, 6 x 8 feet (182.9 x 243.8 cm). Gift of Agnes Gund and Barbara Jakobson Fund. © 2011 Estate of David Wojnarowicz. Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Flash Points

Call for Flash Points Writers | The New Culture Wars: What’s at Stake?

Flash Points

Call for Flash Points Writers | The New Culture Wars: What’s at Stake?

  In connection with Ideas, a new section of Art21′s website that will explore a single theme in depth over a period of several months, the Art21 Blog is calling for …

John Chamberlain, "King King Minor", 1982   Image: artinfo.com

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Set for PS1′s “September 11″

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Getting Set for PS1′s “September 11″

In two weeks I am taking a group of students to visit the September 11 exhibition at PS1. Most of the high school students in these two classes have some …

Amy Sillman, Untitled (object on table), 2007; courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Taking the Long Way Home: Working With a Theme in a Series

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Taking the Long Way Home: Working With a Theme in a Series

One of the students in my advanced classes is taking on the theme of “looking vs. seeing” for her first semester portfolio. She wants to explore the things people tend …

Action Figure encased. Photo courtesy Gregory Sholette

5 Questions for Contemporary Practice

5 Questions for Contemporary Practice With Gregory Sholette

5 Questions for Contemporary Practice

5 Questions for Contemporary Practice With Gregory Sholette

Artist, scholar, organizer, and professor, Gregory Sholette embodies multiple ways that artists can interrogate history, politics, and public discourse. Through his initial work with the group REPOhistory (1989-2000) (as in, “repossessing …

Lucas Blalock, untitled (crystalline screw), 2009

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with New York Close Up: Lucas Blalock’s 99¢ Store Still Lifes

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with New York Close Up: Lucas Blalock’s 99¢ Store Still Lifes

Lucas Blalock’s only plan is to work… preferably in the evenings. He deals with a set of parameters that his tools provide and brings things he purchases at local discount …

problematic

Problematic: Answering Questions with Questions

Problematic | The Artist As Entrepreneur

Problematic: Answering Questions with Questions

Problematic | The Artist As Entrepreneur

Most artists assume the role of an artist, perhaps by going to school, perhaps by having a studio, or not. Bruce Nauman made it simple by deciding that anything he …

Nancy Grossman, "T.Y.V.L.", 1970  Image: PS1.org

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Three Ways of Seeing

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Three Ways of Seeing

Nancy Grossman, “T.Y.V.L.”, 1970 Image: PS1.org On a recent trip to PS1, I had the unique opportunity to compare a few different approaches to visiting (and hopefully, seeing) exhibitions. Back …