In this roundup (with a few exceptions), it’s a week to honor women with exhibitions, events, and articles highlighting the work of several female artists.
- Janine Antoni, Kiki Smith, Nancy Spero, among others, are a part of Heroines, a “comprehensive survey of the depiction of women as the protagonists of key roles and as manifestations of the gender identity crisis in western art”at Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and Fundación Caja Madrid in Spain. In each section the voices of one or more great women artists respond to the images created by their illustrious male colleagues. The exhibition is on view until June 5.
- Carrie Mae Weems, Janine Antoni, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, Kara Walker, Shahzia Sikander, Nancy Spero, Collier Schorr and more are featured in a 7-part editorial series on women artists and writers who chart out, cross, or strive to level the “homosocal divide” on the Huffington Post. XX Chromosocial: Women Artists Cross The Homosocial Divide by G. Roger Denson is a critique of patriarchy that analyzes art by women who make a “seemingly hard biological fact like gender appear as a pliable and transposable tool of the individual will.”
- Laylah Ali will lecture on the art of Joseph Beuys as part of the Artists on Artists Lecture Series at Dia:Chelsea (NYC). The event will take place on March 21.
In this week’s roundup, Cao Fei puts avatars on stage, Laurie Anderson to be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Barbara Kruger looks back in Dazed & Confused, Laylah Ali and Do-Ho Suh have uncommon portraits, and much more.
- Cao Fei‘s RMB City Opera is at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the first place in the United States to host this installation, and it is the only place in the world to host it at the moment. RMB City Opera highlights RMB City’s virtual cityscape and allows the viewer to enter the city and experience interaction as actors on a stage and as avatars in the virtual world. The show is open until June 5.
- Laurie Anderson will perform on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this Thursday, February 24. The show is giving Anderson’s fans a shot at sitting up-close as the performance unfolds.
- Nancy Spero‘s work will be on view at the Serpentine Gallery (London) in the first major presentation following her death in autumn 2009. Spero drew upon a broad range of visual sources to create images representing women from pre-history to the present. The exhibition will be on view March 3 – May 2.
In keeping with the season (and the artist on/as celebrity theme) this week’s roundup finds James Franco revisiting Bruce Nauman. Also, Jenny Holzer inscribes the theme of anguish, a Fred Wilson work is at the center of a local controversy, and a few artist talks are happening this week.
- As part of Anguish at the Memphis College of Art, Jenny Holzer contributes 17 Cibachrome prints titled Lustmord (sex murder), which cut deep into the psyches of women ravaged by war and into the collective consciousness of wartime Bosnia. Holtzer records the actual words of victims, family members who witnessed the atrocities, as well as the perpetrators. This exhibition is on view until November 7.
- Actor-turned-artist James Franco channels his inner Bruce Nauman by appearing in artist/filmmaker Alison Chernick‘s film short, wherein the actor recreates Nauman’s 1967 piece, Art Make-Up. Here’s the original Bruce Nauman video to view as a comparison.
- A recent public sculpture by Fred Wilson is at the center of a fiery debate in Indianapolis. Wilson’s image of a freed slave digs deep into the heart of local sentiment regarding its slavery past. Many support Wilson’s work which is currently on display at the southwest corner of the Indianapolis city-county building.
In this week’s roundup: William Kentridge makes several appearances, Mark Dion renovates Walden, Nancy Spero is celebrated, Louise Bourgeois draws on fabric, Kiki Smith debuts a stained glass window, Maya Lin asks us “What is Missing?” and much more.
- William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible, premieres on PBS this week. Check your local listings to find out when the program will air on your local PBS station. The program gives viewers an intimate look into the mind and creative process of William Kentridge.
- Kentridge is also on view at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Two exhibitions — Ambivalent Affinities and Projects — are currently on view and showcase Kentridge’s work from 1989 to present. The show closes on December 11.
- Ursula von Rydingsvard will be exhibiting her new works in handmade paper for Deckle Deckle at the Dieu Donné (NYC). The show begins October 21 and runs through December 4.
- Mark Dion and J. Morgan Puett co-founded Renovating Walden. This participatory art installation explores the meanings, readings, and misreadings spawned by Henry David Thoreau’s 1854 book Walden, or Life in the Woods. This also includes numerous special events and is on view through November 14, at Tufts University Art Gallery at the Aidekman Arts Center.
In this week’s roundup: An-My Lê captures the American armed forces, Allora & Calzadilla explore physical and temporal displacement, Julie Mehretu examines the metaphysical aspects of art, and more!
- “Memory, materiality, monsters, and motion” provide the basis for Stop Motion, an exhibition at Friedrich Petzel Gallery that juxtaposes the work of artists Allan McCollum and Keith Edmier. “The new and newly combined pieces embody both artists’ desire to bring life to the inanimate, invisible, absent or imaginary. The concept of frozen time — or life stopped and examined at a single moment – forms the mirror side of this desire.” Stop Motion is on view September 9 – October 23.
- Murray Guy will present a solo exhibition with An-My Lê, featuring a “series of exceptional new photographs from the artist’s recent travels with the American armed forces.” The work will be on display September 16 – October 30. An opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, September 16 from 6 to 8pm, and a conversation between An-My Lê and Lynne Tillman will take place Saturday, October 16, at 4:30pm.
- Galerie Chantal Crousel (Paris) presents Allora & Calzadilla, which includes five works by the artists that are organized around physical and temporal displacement. “Gathering material elements from different social, geographical, and cultural systems into the field of a single image/form, the works presented here use metaphor as a structuring and distributional force to expand the frame through which normal circuits of meaning are determined.” The exhibition closes October 16.
Episode #118: Dancer/choreographer Dean Moss discusses his collaboration with visual artist Laylah Ali, entitled figures on a field (2005). This behind-the-scenes look features preliminary rehearsals at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts, as well as a preview performance at The Kitchen in New York City.
An artist working in both dance and video, Dean Moss’s recent projects use the irrational logic of the body to articulate personal, cultural, and socioeconomic forces that impact a perception of self and environment. Nameless forest, Moss’s newest work (developed in collaboration with artist Sungmyung Chun), premieres at The Kitchen in May 2011 with previews at the Arts Presenters and Producers Conference (APAP) and Yale University.
Artist Laylah Ali creates gouache-on-paper paintings that take her many months to complete. Ali meticulously plots out in advance every aspect of her work, from subject matter to choice of color, achieving a high level of emotional tension in her paintings as a result of juxtaposing brightly colored scenes with dark, often violent subject matter. In style, her paintings resemble comic-book serials, but they also contain stylistic references to hieroglyphics and American folk-art traditions.
Laylah Ali is featured in the Season 3 (2005) episode Power of the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS. Watch full episodes online via PBS Video, Hulu, or iTunes (link opens application).
Greek tragedy, cross dressing, cooking shows, needlework, rowdy teens, storytelling, nighttime walks, and a few mystery plays in this week’s roundup:
- Virtuoso Illusion: Cross Dressing and the New Media Avant-Garde at the MIT List Visual Arts Center explores how experimental art has been enlivened and advanced by artists who cross dress as part of their conceptual process. “The show is not intended,” according to MIT, “as an exploration of identity issues specifically, but more as an in depth look at current and historical strategies of cross dressing as an art of the irrational, the unexpected.” Artists include Charles Atlas, Matthew Barney (both Season 2), Claude Cahun, Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn, Marcel Duchamp, Michelle Handelman, John Kelly, Katarzyna Kozyra, Kalup Linzy, Ma Liuming, Manon, Pierre Molinier, Yasumasa Morimura, Brian O’Doherty, Ryan Trecartin, and Andy Warhol. Atlas created video mock documentaries about the evolving twentieth-century performance avant-garde during the years he collaborated with Merce Cunningham. In Son of Sam and Delilah (1991), Atlas provides “a transporting view of a flock of gender indiscriminate performers.” Virtuoso Illusion, organized by guest curator Michael Rush, former director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, is on view through April 4.
- The highly anticipated exhibition Kiki Smith: Sojourn opens at the Brooklyn Museum this Friday. Smith (Season 2) draws on a variety of experiences in the cycle of life, from the milestones of birth and death to the daily chores of domestic life, with particular attention to the lives of women artists. An eighteenth-century silk needlework by a woman named Prudence Punderson that inspired Smith’s installation is on loan to the museum from the Connecticut Historical Society and included in the exhibition. Via the museum website: “Punderson’s stark depiction of a woman’s journey from childhood to death in the years leading up to and immediately after the United States gained its independence intrigued Smith because rather than following the stereotypical rites of passage in a woman’s life of the period…this young woman chose to depict a life of the mind for her subject, presenting a woman engaged in creative work.” Smith will install her work in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art as well as in two of the museum’s eighteenth-century period rooms. Sojourn closes September 12.
- Works by Laylah Ali (Season 3), Kara Walker (Season 2), Ghada Amer, Shary Boyle, Amy Cutler, Chitra Ganesh, Wangechi Mutu, Annie Pootoogook, Leesa Streifler, and Su-en Wong are on view at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery in Ontario, Canada. The exhibition, titled Pandora’s Box, offers a new twist on the myth of Pandora in which it is no longer about what is hidden inside of the box, but what is metaphorically reflected on the outside. Pandora’s Box continues through March 21.
- Through February 28, Tank.tv is showing two works by Season 5 artist Paul McCarthy: Family Tyranny and Cultural Soup. Both works — cut from two days of taped performance at a community television studio in 1987 — feature Season 1 artist Mike Kelley. Tank.tv calls the videos a “disturbing tableaux of familial horror, steeped in the stomach turning abjection” of McCarthy’s practice. Performed within a “barely credible domestic set,” the format and characters in the videos enact several tropes of television entertainment: the unruly teenager (Kelley), and the how-to format of cooking and DIY programs.
- Fifty photographs of nocturnal landscapes by Robert Adams (Season 4) are on view at Matthew Marks Gallery in the exhibition Summer Nights, Walking. These images of trees and houses, mountains and streets, fields and sidewalks captured between dusk and approaching dark were made between 1976-1982 near Adams’ home in Longmont, Colorado. Adams first showed photographs from this series in 1985. He recently said of editing his night pictures: “When I have looked again at the photographs that I might have chosen but did not, it has seemed to me that if I had included a wider variety, the result would have been, though less harmonious, more convincing, closer to our actual experience of wonder, anxiety and stillness.” This exhibition celebrates the publication of Summer Nights, Walking, co-published by Aperture and the Yale University Art Gallery, a revised and updated version of an earlier book. The exhibition continues through April 17.
- Delusion, a new work by Laurie Anderson (Season 1) will premiere at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company, February 16-21. The piece is described as “a series of short mystery plays” populated by “nuns, elves, golems, rotting forests, ghost ships, archaeologists, dead relatives and unmanned tankers.” Delusion was commissioned by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and The Barbican Centre in London. Tickets can be purchased here.
- The lecture series Critical Conversations at the Roski School of Fine Arts in Los Angeles features talks by visiting artists, curators, theorists, writers, and other cultural producers, who engage in open conversations with graduate students and attending members of the public. Season 4 artists Mark Dion and Mark Bradford will speak on February 23 and March 2, respectively.
- Season 5 artist William Kentridge will lecture at The Cooper Union in New York City tomorrow, February 9. The event begins at 8pm and is free and open to the public.
- BMW has announced that Season 5 artist Jeff Koons will design their 17th art car. Read more about the project here.
What a year it’s been! We’re taking a look back at the 42 Exclusive videos that premiered here on the Art21 Blog, and subsequently on YouTube and iTunes. We hope you’ve enjoyed this new feature for 2009 and, as always, look forward to your comments.
What’s our New Year’s resolution? We’ll be premiering more behind-the-scenes moments with contemporary artists such as Beryl Korot, Shahzia Sikander, Allan McCollum, Julie Mehretu, Cao Fei, Florian Maier-Aichen, and many, many more. Check out what happened in year one.
Once in a while teachers are so amazed and proud of the work their students accomplish that they just have to share it, and I’m all about flying in that time zone this week. Two weeks ago, I wrote a column called The Same, But Different, which discussed beginning a painting unit for the second year in a row that incorporates the theme of power with my Studio Art students. While we are well under way with forming some ideas for our paintings, I wanted to share a partial list of “powerful words”, “words we associate with power”, and “forms of power” that my Studio Art classes recently compiled. After a few partnered and small group conversations, here is a sample of what they discussed and came up with this past week:
Powerful Words: Outrageous, Wallin’, Loyalty, Perseverance, Death, Love, Hate, Faith, Pride, Terminal, Permanent, Never, Art, International, Soul, Law, Skyrocket, Boom!, Nuclear, Life, Morose, Wisdom, Cancer, Magic, Fight, Burn, Supernatural
(You can see why I’m smiling, right?)
Words We Associate with Power: Domination, Independence, Control, Strength, Bravery, Conquer, Mighty, Superiority, Confident, Intelligent, Love, Action, Wealth, Energy, Leadership, Stamina, Sexuality, Fear, Corruption, Time, Chaos
Forms of Power: One person over another; Family; Independence; Age; Manipulation; Karma; Terrorism; Co-dependence; Sexism, Rejection, Friendship, Love, Luck, Knowledge, Segregation, Censorship, Authority, Weapons, Sickness, Money, Addiction, Size
And these are just a few of the answers the students generated!
Now, here’s where the “help wanted” part comes in…..
While we discussed and viewed the work of Ida Applebroog, Cai Guo-Qiang, and Layla Ali last year, I’m looking for new artists to add to the mix. Inspired by a suggestion from my colleague Marc Mayer, I decided to share the brainstorming students have done and put the call out right here in the column: Looking at these lists so far, which artists would YOU suggest we incorporate in the new Painting About Power unit? Please share your ideas and comments!
While painting in her Williamstown, Massachusetts studio, artist Laylah Ali discusses the imperative she feels to make things and the nuanced relationship of political and personal events to the work.
Laylah Ali creates gouache-on-paper paintings that take her many months to complete. Ali meticulously plots out in advance every aspect of her work, from subject matter to choice of color, achieving a high level of emotional tension in her paintings as a result of juxtaposing brightly colored scenes with dark, often violent subject matter.