In this week’s roundup, Ellen Gallagher engages the empirical, Cindy Sherman breaks out of the frame, Nancy Spero is honored, Cao Fei employs virtuality and more.
- Ellen Gallagher‘s latest work will soon be on view at the Gagosian Gallery (NYC). Her experimental works on canvas constitute a syntax of marks, gestures and windswept ephemera collected by the artist. Gallagher’s approach navigates unfamiliar territories and liminal realms that swings back and forth between “legibility and blankness and which appears at different velocities, both sudden and perpetual.” This exhibition will run from January 22 – February 26.
- Nancy Spero is honored in Christopher Lyon’s Nancy Spero: The Work, a “sweeping survey” of her expressive text-and-image art, investigations of pain and torture in her innovative works on paper and bold site installations.
- Cao Fei‘s RMB City is part of the Museum of the Moving Image’s Real Virtuality exhibition. Coming from artists from multiple disciplines, the works on display employ “video game engines, motion- and position-tracking, stereoscopic (3-D) digital video, and sophisticated image processing software to create simulated worlds that extend, augment, or disrupt the physical environment of the Museum space.” This exhibition is on view January 15 – June 12.
- Cindy Sherman has new work on view at Sprüth Magers (London). For this series, Sherman has assembled a cast of uniquely individual characters on large photographic murals, marking a departure within Cindy Sherman’s artistic practice from the format of the framed photograph. This show will run until February 19.
- James Turrel‘s Atlan is a highlight of the Musee d’Art Contemporain (Montreal) Blue exhibition. Atlan is a room-sized optical illusion of ultraviolet blue lighting. The exhibition will close on March 27.
- In conjunction with Triumphs — the current Dublin City Gallery exhibition by Richard Tuttle — The Hugh Lane will present a seminar series that engages artists, critics, and curators in conversations as a response and “a point of departure to discuss current art practice.” The seminars will look at Tuttle’s work in the context of aesthetics, philosophy, science and history. These sessions take place starting on Thursday, January 20.
In this week’s roundup, William Kentridge receives the Kyoto Prize! Louise Bourgeois, Jeff Koons, Mike Kelley, and Paul McCarthy have childish things on exhibition and more!
- William Kentridge has been awarded the 2010 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, becoming the first African recipient of Japan’s highest private award for global achievement. The awards are Japan’s equivalent of the Nobel awards and the prizes honor “significant contributions to the betterment of humankind.” Kentridge was given the award for his insights into and reflections on human nature through his art.
- Jeff Koons, Mike Kelley, Louise Bourgeois, and Paul McCarthy all have work in Childish Things at The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh. This exhibition focuses on a very specific moment in the post-dada/surrealist take-up of toys and early childhood as themes in art. This exhibition is on view until January 23, 2011.
- Richard Tuttle: Triumphs at the Dublin City Gallery is a site-specific exhibition and collaboration with Richard Tuttle. The show presents recent drawings and a context which is provided by the selection of earlier work—an overlapping triumph which further illuminates the artist’s processes and current work. This exhibition is on view until April 10, 2011.
The invitation for Gedi Sibony’s solo show at Greene Naftali consists of a large grid of uneven lines with the exhibition details run along the edges. The work in the show itself proves to be equally asymmetrical and minimal with unpolished materials creating incomplete scenes around the gallery space. A large unfinished wall partition, The Cutters, greets visitors in the main space. Parts of the wall are missing and the inner framework is exposed on the sides. The white paint job is also only half done and two pieces of canvas hang around a doorway that leads to an industrial-looking door firmly attached to the back wall. An open, jerry-built wall leading to a firmly closed one.
In the following room, The Brighter Grows the Lantern consists of a large sheet of vinyl that blocks a direct view of the illuminated wall as you enter (echoing Olafur Eliasson’s recent installation at Tanya Bonakdar). The vinyl also reflects the warm shower of light back into the space and the atmospheric radiance is almost perfect until you turn to leave and find the wall by the door has been stripped away, overshadowing the corner with a darker tenor. Next door, Who Attracts All That Is Named seems like the makings of a shambolic living room stage set formed of objects plucked from the street, while the raised platform sculpture, Sets Into Motion, in the back space is equally ramshackle and resembles a flimsy, Richard-Tuttle-like loft bed, with the title also adding a domino-fall precariousness to it.
As part of this year’s Frieze Art Fair, Simon Fujiwara, the winner of the 2010 Cartier award, has conjured up a faux-archaeological Roman site, bits of which are sometimes exposed in the main body of the fair. It’s all genial and non-threatening fun-poking (there’s the unearthed house of a female collector, full of coins and an archaic handbag; you get the picture) and makes enough winking references to make the cognoscenti feel good, so it’s not much of a surprise why he won. This, by and large, is the tone of a selling event that has transformed itself into a cultural one. Disingenuous self-deprecation abounds, aimed at both the skeptical outsider and the knowing insider.
Much funnier is Annika Ström’s Ten Embarrassed Men, a group of identically dressed middle-aged actors, who huddle around en masse looking awkward, organized by the artist as a response to the representation of women in art fairs. How it really works is by providing a welcome bum note to the atmosphere of overweening economic confidence (however hyperbolic) that surrounds it. David Shrigley’s stand at Stephen Friedman Gallery is, as you’d expect, properly LOL-funny, which makes his presence at the art fair a bit anachronistic, and his appropriation by the art mainstream an ongoing puzzle. The artist himself was in attendance, painting temporary tattoos on people’s arms. I watched him slowly paint a fly on a man’s forearm. Everyone looked on, looking serious, filming on their phones.
“I enjoy working with drawing, painting and collage. My studio is full of little pieces of drawings, colour papers and different colour tapes. I find a piece of paper on my studio floor that has a shape of a tree. I will get to know the shape, I ask what other shapes it likes. One piece will lead me to another. My latest paintings show a world in a new order. You can find the tree there, the forgotten city, and the mountains that look soft like pillows.”
— Jenni Rope
While in much of the world, summer art-viewing options are comprised mainly of biennials and the ubiquitous group show, in Helsinki — and throughout the Nordic countries, I would venture — visible art is in short supply in June through August. Around the start of Juhannus, galleries close for months and museums have limited hours. How this is economically viable is beyond me. And forget trying to see anything in August, when the entire country takes off on extended holiday.
Eerikinkatu is a short street full of enticing boutiques, Asian restaurants, and Corona, the Kaurismaki brothers’ (Aki and Mika) infamous bar in central Helsinki. A short block down lies a small, intriguing gallery and shop named Napa. Run by the Finnish artist Jenni Rope, the sunny space is neatly organized, its spare shelves lined with artists’ books, zines, multiples, and even jewelry. All of this forms the backdrop to the rotating contemporary art exhibitions on view. This summer, I visited Napa the day after it shut down for Juhannus so it was between shows at the time (Jenni kindly opened it up for me). When it is up and running, Napa has recently featured a pop-up vintage café; a release party for Science Poems, a book of writing exploring the intersection of science and art; an annual flip book competition; and, as of last week, an exhibition by the international graffiti collective, WMD.
In this week’s roundup: Barry McGee tags Houston Street in NYC, Bruce Nauman and Richard Serra contextualize and collaborate, Robert Adams comes to Vancouver, Roni Horn channels Emily Dickinson, and more.
- Art Observed documented Barry McGee‘s new work on the “Deitch Wall” on East Houston and Bowery (NYC). With longtime collaborator Josh Lazcano (aka “AMAZE”), “McGee spray painted simple red tags of the names and crews of graffiti writers from both past and present generations.” Visit the site to watch AO’s short clip.
- The Indianapolis Museum of Art will present Framed, featuring work by several artists including a collaborative, contextualization of their work in relation to influential early films by Bruce Nauman and Richard Serra. The exhibition will highlight Nauman’s and Serra’s seminal works and “include a selection of videos by artists who revisit and expand major themes of early video art including measurement, duration, masochism, collaboration, and public interventions.” Framed will be on view in the IMA’s McCormack Forefront Galleries from November 5, 2010 – March 6, 2011.
- The Contemporary Art Museum Houston presents Dance with Camera, an exhibition and a screening program that “explores the work of a group of artists and dancers who make choreography for the camera. The exhibition features film, video, and still photography that exemplify the ways dance has compelled visual artists to record bodies moving in time and space.” The show features work by Bruce Nauman, Mike Kelley, and Oliver Herring. Dance with Camera is running now through October 17.
- The Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts will host a rare showing of Matthew Barney’s The Cremaster Cycle. “Made between 1994 and 2002, The Cremaster Cycle explores the processes of biological and artistic creation. The series joins characters as diverse as Harry Houdini, Gary Gilmore, Richard Serra and Norman Mailer.” The films be shown Wednesdays, September 15, 22, and 29 at 7 p.m. Barney will introduce the series before the September 15 showing Parts 1 and 4.
- Artpark: 1974-84 will present over 200 artists’ projects through original photos, drawings, maquettes, video and film, ephemera, and some material that has been re-fabricated for this exhibit. It opens in the UB Art Gallery on September 24 and will run through December 18. The “not-to-be-missed” event during this exhibit is the October 8-9 conference that will include a panel discussion with Richard Tuttle.
This week in the roundup … Barbara Kruger gets a celebration started, Cao Fei has her eyes on a prize, Cai Guo-Qiang goes in with a bang, Raymond Pettibon is into OFF!, Maya Lin dedicates her Confluence, Laurie Anderson opens BAM and much more!
- Barbara Kruger presents Plenty at Guild Hall through October 11. A special preview on August 13 celebrates the exhibition. “Barbara Kruger is one of the most important artists of this century. Her work is exciting and challenging. I have wanted to work with her since I first became Curator of Guild Hall in 1990 and am delighted that the opportunity finally arrived for our schedules to coincide and work together on this amazing exhibition,” said Christina Mossaides Strassfield, Museum Director and Chief Curator.
- The Guggenheim Museum and Hugo Boss announced the artists short-listed for The Hugo Boss Prize 2010, which will be awarded on November 4, followed by a solo exhibition for the winning artist in 2011. One of the Prize nominees, Cao Fei also had her work in the 17th Biennale of Sydney, and she was nominated for the Future Generation Art Prize 2010.
- Cai Guo-Qian has been invited by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to make Odyssey that will adorn a new Arts of China Gallery on October 17. “Cai Quo-Qiang is a master of the poetic on a grand scale,” director of the MFA Houston Peter C. Marzio said in a statement. He added that he believes Cai’s project will foster a “dialogue between artworks from different time periods within the galleries.” Continue reading »
This week in Roundup read about Pepón Osorio’s drowned art, Allora & Calzadilla getting shortlisted, Janine Antoni in motion, and a Hiroshi Sugimoto/James Turrell art counterpoint.
- Allora & Calzadilla are on the shortlist of artists to have their ideas selected for Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth. The winning concept will take its place in Britain’s premier public art spot after Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle by Yinka Shonibare is taken down at the end of 2011. The latest proposals will be revealed in central London next month and the selected work will be announced in early 2011.
- Drowned in a Glass of Water, an installation created by Pepón Osorio was commissioned by the Williams College Museum of Art and is currently on display at 69 Union Street, North Adams, MA (a former Gateway Chevrolet Dealership) until September 7. It will then move to WCMA itself on Sept. 25.
- White Cube Hoxton Square (London) presents Kupferstichkabinett: Between Thought and Action. The exhibition looks at the “pivotal role of drawing in current practice, the exhibition features over 200 works on paper by some of the most significant artists working today” and includes the work of Bruce Nauman and Gabriel Orozco. The show closes August 28.
- Property developer Paddy McKillen’s new arts center at Chateau La Coste (France) will include structures designed by five of the world’s top architects and feature a complementary sculpture park that will include works from artists Louise Bourgeois, Richard Serra and James Turrell. As a work-in-progress, it could be 2011 before the art is finally in place at the new center.
The “must-see show of the summer” is not, despite what the adverts on the buses might have you believe, the John Richardson-curated Picasso show at Gagosian Gallery. Not nearly as bedazzling as his last Picasso show, the 2009 Mosqueteros show at Gagosian New York, the show’s museum-like hush-hush installation is a smokescreen for quite a lot of churned-out joie-de-vivre stuff made after a boozy lunch with Cary Grant and the crown prince of Monaco. There’s more than enough great, charming work, especially the sculptures, to go around – after all, this isn’t the blue period – but after a while you get tired of being beaten about the head about how great the south of France is. The Picasso show is one of a few predictable offerings in London venues this summer – Surrealism at the Barbican, limp self-indulgence at the Hayward (Ernesto Neto), another dry-as-dust photography show at Tate Modern (Exposed), none of which should overshadow the fact that two of the most fascinating, prolific, and historically significant American artists are making their debuts in the city this summer. And they’re both dead.
That Alice Neel is one of the very great post-war portrait painters, far outstripping one-trick pony contenders like Lucian Freud, Alex Katz, Frank Auerbach, or anyone else you care to mention – compare, say, Neel’s magisterial portrait of Andy Warhol and any of Freud’s tired crusty aristocrats, each a different shade and texture of stale bread – should be cause for general celebration, but it’s only this year, twenty-six years after her death, that the first solo show of Neel is being held in London. To give some sense of how belated the show at the Whitechapel is, consider the facts. Neel was born in 1900 and came to prominence in the US in the 1970s, which means she came of age artistically in a thicket of -isms. This makes her, for art historians (watch out!) “problematic,” since her work is of no fixed aesthetic abode. Having a narrative to explain the work is the next best thing.
Female artists (like “outsider artists”) are required to have an overarching narrative (cf. Sylvia Plath, Eva Hesse, Virginia Woolf, Frida Kahlo, and so on) in order to make sense of their work – as though their creativity needed a sort of justification within a narrative of female experience. Neel’s narrative is of the batty old dame who made old-fashioned art in the face of seismic change. Her resistance is, like Freud’s, posited as enough to hang a reputation on. And yet it doesn’t take a master’s in art history to spot the difference between the portraits made by those doggedly resisting artistic change – see the appalling photo-realism dominating the ever-depressing BP Portrait Award in London – and Neel’s spare, poised works, which are every bit as conceptually and aesthetically compelling as anything produced at the time.
Back after a two-week hiatus Art21 blogger Nettrice R. Gaskins takes the Weekly Roundup baton, so to speak. In this week’s roundup you’ll read about Cindy Sherman wall decals, crying, cranky babies at the Whitney, Jeff Koon’s art on a BMW and the wall of a CT scan room, and much, much more (it’s been a very busy summer).
- BMW Drives selected Jeff Koons (Season 5) to join the likes of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, and Jenny Holzer (Season 4) in creating an Art Car for the 2010 The 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s oldest sports car race held annually near the town of Le Mans, France. The 17th BMW Art Car, customized with “a rainbow of good vibes” by Koons, led the competition in aesthetic appeal but was forced to retire early due to an incident on the track. “It’s unfortunate,” said Koons, “but it’s part of racing.”
- Koons‘s art has been permanently installed in the main CT scan room at Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital in Chicago, in cooperation with RxArt, a New York-based non-profit whose mission is to “bring contemporary art to hospitals, transforming otherwise sterile environments, which are often frightening and alienating to patients, to more comforting, meditative and positive environments.”
- The Getty Museum and artist Mark Bradford (Season 4) unveiled Open Studio: A Collection of Artmaking Ideas by artists, a new project conceived by Bradford to provide free online arts activities for for K-12 teachers to use in their classrooms.