In this week’s roundup, William Kentridge films to be shown at the New Museum, Gabriel Orozco talks at the Guggenheim, a Fred Wilson magazine feature and lecture, Laurie Simmons is honored, Ai Weiwei covers “Gangnam Style” and much more.
- William Kentridge‘s animated films will be shown at the New Museum (NYC). Felix in Exile (1994), Ubu Tells the Truth (1997), and Shadow Procession (1999), were all included in the exhibition William Kentridge, the artist’s first career survey in the United States. This special Get Weird program pairs Kentridge with Alexis Gideon, an emerging animator and songwriter. The event takes place November 2, 7pm.
- Gabriel Orozco will talk at the Guggenheim Museum (NYC). For Conversations with Contemporary Artists: Gabriel Orozco with Benjamin Buchloh the artist will talk about his practice and his work in Gabriel Orozco: Asterisms, on view from November 9, 2012–January 13, 2013. The artist talk will take place on November 13 at 6:30pm.
- Laurie Simmons was honored by the Aurora Picture Show (Houston, TX). The Aurora Award is an honor given to an artist who has exhibited extraordinary originality in the fields of media and multimedia art. The event took place on October 16.
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, Gabriel Orozco exhibits detritus, Cai Guo-Qiang, Jeff Koons, Shahzia Sikander, Kiki Smith and Carrie Mae Weems are honored, Sally Mann in Stockholm and more.
- Gabriel Orozco has chosen to exhibit two collections of artwork at Deutsche Guggenheim (Berlin). Sandstars is culled from the wildlife reserve in Isla Arena, Mexico, and Astroturf Constellation take as its inspiration a soccer field on pier 40 in New York City. Asterisms was arranged from collections of detritus to create a catalog of human and natural impacts on two separate environments, one organic, and the other manufactured. This work is on view through October 21.
- Cai Guo-Qiang, Jeff Koons, Shahzia Sikander, Kiki Smith, and Carrie Mae Weems have been selected in recognition of their commitment to the ART in Embassies Program (AIE) mission of furthering diplomacy through the visual arts and expansive cultural exchange initiatives. AIE will be honoring these artists for its 50th Anniversary in Washington, D.C. on November 30, 2012.
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 to overlook (or under-see) and over the next four months will create about a dozen works of art that explore the theme from different angles:
- What does it mean to see something?
- How is looking different from seeing?
- When you really see something, how do you know?
And this is just one of the many outstanding themes students are exploring. Others include:
- Picturing sound
- The relationship between drawing and photography
- Beauty and youth
- Fairy tales and false promises
I even have one student who wants to explore, visually, particularly elusive phrases connected by the word “and” (such as “body and soul”).
Asking students to not only work thematically, but to work thematically in a series allows for the kind of immersion that most teachers dream about. Testing, unfortunately, has many of these teachers flitting from topic to topic trying to “cover a curriculum” that will surface on some standardized test vs. making space for students to become invested in exploring a theme and the big questions that go with it.
But getting to a theme that a student really wants to explore is perhaps the hardest hill to climb. Prior to choosing themes in the fall semester, I asked students to do a LOT of sketching as well as research into artists that have similar passions, ideas, or approaches to making art. We did a lot of exploring and talking about what makes us particularly happy, angry, confused and excited. We made lots of lists and notes. In just two weeks I have shared the “portfolios” of artists such as Eleanor Antin, Marilyn Minter, Ed and Nancy Kienholz, Amy Sillman, Sally Mann, Cindy Sherman and Barry McGee, to name a few.
In order to visualize working in a series, students need to see artists that not only work this way but think this way. Artists that do this especially well, and I am sure to bring into the classroom soon, include Dana Schutz (who happens to have a great show at the Neuberger Museum right now), Mark Rothko, Diego Rivera, Carrie Mae Weems, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Nancy Spero, Collier Schorr, Rineke Dijkstra, William Eggleston, Robert Mangold and Mary Heilmann. Too often, students expect to generate great ideas by staring at a blank piece of paper and waiting for lightning. Instead, I encourage them to visually “wander” in order to compare the ideas they have with other artists, or compare the approaches and processes that some artists use with their own in order to inform their work… and ultimately inform the series.
How many of you get the opportunity to work with students on developing a body of work around a theme? What are your experiences? Are there other artists you use to illustrate working in a series? Share your stories with us!
In this week’s roundup, Mel Chin commemorates 9-11, Hiroshi Sugimoto creates art with lightning, Mike Kelley delves into Superman, Oliver Herring throws art parties, Kiki Smith creates with paper, and much more.
- Mel Chin‘s 9-11/9-11, which premiered in New York and Santiago, Chile, on Sept. 11, 2007, is part of an exhibition at the Louisville Visual Art Association (Kentucky). The film follows the family and intimate relationships of a small circle of people involved in the attacks in New York, as well as others touched on that same date in 1973, when a presidential coup led to the violent rule of dictator Augusto Pinochet.
- Hiroshi Sugimoto‘s selections from the Lightning Fields series are currently on view at the Edinburgh International Festival (Scotland). Lightning Fields is a series of dramatic photographs produced through violent electrical discharges on photographic film. The images suggest a range of associations, from lightning flashes to strange forms of primordial life. The show closes on September 25.
- Barry McGee participated in Art & About Sydney 2011, a project that aims to transform the Australian city into a canvas, or a living gallery. As part of the Laneway Art program McGee joins a select group of artists and created an “evocative work that teeters between the free spirit of graffiti, the random energy of the urbane and the pure intent of controlled artistry.” This work is on view from September 23 – January 31, 2012, and is free to the public.
- Art by Vija Celmins, Allan McCollum, Bruce Nauman, John Baldessari, and Eleanor Antin are part of the Getty Center’s online archive, Pacific Standard Time. This collection provides materials about hipsters and happenings at venues in postwar Los Angeles, and documents where all the action took place through images and first-hand accounts from the artists.
- Pieces by Louise Bourgeois and Andrea Zittel are featured in Contemporary Works from the Permanent Collection at the Palm Springs Art Museum (California). This exhibition includes Prototype for A-Z Cool Chamber by Zittel and Spider II by Bourgeois. The show is ongoing.
- John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Martin Puryear, Susan Rothenberg, Kiki Smith and more are occupying all three floors of the Fisher Landau Center for Art in Long Island City, NY. The Center has extended LEGACY: Selections from Emily Fisher Landau’s Gift to the Whitney Museum of American Art, through Sunday, October 9, 2011.
- Kiki Smith is co-curating and has work represented in Papertails at NYU Steinhardt’s 80WSE Galleries (NYC). The exhibition includes examples that range from printmaking and collage to photography, painting, and sculpture. The show will open Sept. 14 for a special viewing from 6 to 8 p.m. and remains on view during regular gallery hours through November 5.
- Mike Kelley‘s Exploded Fortress of Solitude is currently on view at the Gagosian Gallery (London). The Kandors series, which Kelley initiated in 1999, are sculptural depictions of Superman’s birthplace Kandor. Selecting 20 examples from the myriad two-dimensional renderings of the famous fictional city, Kelley has created three-dimensional Kandors and variant works. This exhibition closes on October 22.
- Oliver Herring is traveling the U.S. throwing parties involving a game called TASK, a straightforward activity with very few rules. Its open-ended, participatory structure creates almost unlimited opportunities for a group of people to interact with one another and their environment. Herring is throwing a new party on October 21 at Gallery 210 at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.
- Susan Rothenberg has new work on view at Sperone Westwater (NYC). The exhibition features 13 paintings, including one of a raven perched on a tree branch and a large profile of a head outlined in grey and black. The artist mines the tactility of her medium to extract emotional truths about perception, memory and the human condition. The show closes on October 29.
- Sally Mann‘s Proud Flesh is on view at Jackson Fine Art (Atlanta, GA). Using the human body as her main subject, Mann’s photography explores familial and spousal relationships. This exhibition is on view until October 29.
- To mark her 100th birthday, the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland is featuring an homage to Louise Bourgeois. The exhibition represents a concentrated selection from the artist’s collection and addresses its key themes: an involvement with other artists, a concern with her own biography, and the translation of emotions into objects of art. This exhibition is on view until August 1, 2012.
In this week’s roundup, Mark Bradford repurposes South L.A. urban detritus, Allora & Calzadilla perform at MoMA, Raymond Pettibon goes hard in the paint, artists have a couple of firsts, and much more.
- Mark Bradford: Alphabet features new work relating to an ongoing poster project in which Mark Bradford repurposes messages from advertisements his finds in South L.A. as social commentary. This exhibition is currently on view at The Studio Museum in Harlem until March 13, 2011.
- William Wegman and Fay: Polaroids 1987 – 1995 is now on view at the Senior & Shopmaker Gallery. This show features the photography of William Wegman and includes an e-catalog for online viewing. This exhibition closes on December 24.
- An exhibition preview of the work of Vija Celmins will be on display as part of the Menil Collection on November 18. Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster, 1964-66 explores a specific time frame and subject matter of the artist’s work and will uncover groundwork that helped build her career. This exhibition is on view from November 19, 2010 – February 20, 2011.
- Miami Art Museum presents Susan Rothenberg: Moving in Place, the artist’s first museum show in over a decade and the first exhibition in South Florida. The exhibition features the work of Susan Rothenberg, including work ranging from her early horse paintings of the mid-1970s to more recent pieces. This show is on view until March 6, 2011.
Among the elements explored in Art21′s William Kentridge: Anything is Possible, the film looks at his many influences, from his personal background to his love of the performing arts. What better way to celebrate the film than to dedicate the topic of the next Flash Points to the subject of Influence and the various forms this can take in an artist’s work?
Our particular backgrounds shape how we interpret the world around us. Kentridge says in the film, “I think there has to be a fundamental insistence of having to leave a kind of snail trail behind of who one is and what one’s been.” For him, this consists of a country dealing with the effects and aftermath of apartheid, the legacy of which is steeped in his art. His hometown of Johannesburg and the political climate of South Africa make appearances throughout, as does the artist himself, specifically in the physical resemblance of his two main characters, Soho and Felix. His work is imbued with a sense of self. Similarly, in addition to Kentridge, artists such as Sally Mann or Louise Bourgeois are strongly influenced by their family and backgrounds, drawing from these experiences to shape their work. As Ms. Bourgeois stated, “My childhood has never lost its magic, it has never lost its mystery, and it has never lost its drama.”
Beyond the cultural and personal, we’ll look at how other forms of art and artists themselves can be great sources of inspiration. In Kentridge’s case, his artistic perspective was influenced by his art historical predecessors. Russian modernists Kazimir Malevich and Vladimir Tatlin shaped his definition of political art, and references to Picasso, Beuys, and Goya (to name a few) can be found in his work, 7 Fragments for Georges Melies. Kentridge is heavily influenced by other art forms as well, merging the performing, literary, and visual arts in projects such as The Nose, his interpretation of Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera, which is based on the short story by Nikolai Gogol. Involvement with the performing arts was a childhood dream of his, and “this was the closest I’ve got back to [my] early ambition of working with opera.” Artists such as Bill Viola or Laurie Anderson work in a similar vein, engaging in projects that bridge the gap between the performing and visual arts, creating an artistic hybrid that’s mutually influenced by these worlds.
Kentridge’s love of the stage was fostered by early theatrical and mime classes in Paris, forever shaping his work as an artist. We’ll explore the role that institutions play in an artist’s growth, from the courses and mentorships fostered in art school, to the relationships developed during the exhibition process with a museum or gallery, and how these affect the evolution of the project.
There are myriad influences on how an artist approaches his or her creative process. Here are a few of the questions we’ll be addressing over the coming months. We’d love to hear your own thoughts and ideas in the comments below:
- What is the impact of outside influences on an artist’s work?
- How does an artist’s background inform his or her work, and how does our experience as a viewer inform our understanding of it?
- What kind of impact do art education programs or mentorships have on an artist?
- How are artists influenced by each other or by other forms of art?
- How do institutions play a role in an artist’s development?
In this week’s roundup, abstraction is the theme, with James Turrrell on view in Brussels, Sally Mann preparing to push boundaries, while Allan McCollum’s work is on view as Jessica Stockholder co-curates, Mike Kelley and Arturo Herrera are keeping it real, and more.
- Almine Rech Gallery (Brussels) is currently exhibiting a James Turrell retrospective that engages viewers’ visions of light, matter, color, shape and explores the role of the spectator in the gallery installation/exhibition space. The exhibition is on view until October 21.
- Allan McCollum joins several artists whose abstract artworks were selected for The Jewel Thief, a new exhibition at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. The exhibition closes on February 27, 2011. Jessica Stockholder co-curated The Jewel Thief with Ian Berry and they were interviewed about how the exhibition was organized.
- Carrie Mae Weems will join curator Deborah Willis for a discussion about the contested perspectives of African and African American beauty as part of Posing Beauty, currently on view at the Williams College Museum of Art. On October 21, the museum will host this free event at the Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall. The exhibition is on view until November 21, 2011.
- Laurie Anderson premiered her latest stage piece, Delusion, at BAM (Brooklyn), the first of 12 performances. The work launched BAM’s Next Wave Festival that was previewed by the Wall Street Journal.
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.
In this week’s roundup you’ll find two island exhibitions, some curiosities of Monaco, a photographer who pushes buttons, and a group of artists who keep it real:
- Indianapolis Island, a floating habitat by Andrea Zittel (Season 1), was commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art for installation on the lake inside of 100 Acres, one of the largest museum art parks in the country, and the only one to feature the ongoing commission of site-specific artworks. Two students of the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will live on the Island for six weeks. Michael Runge and Jessica Dunn, who will graduate from Herron next May, will move into the piece by June 20, the park’s opening day. Follow them as they chronicle their experience on the IMA blog “Give and Take.”
- Clasp, a solo exhibition of works by Zittel, is on view at Sadie Coles Gallery in London through July 31. Here’s an excerpt from the artist’s exhibition statement: “The works in this show present a study into the four dynamic modes of experience –pure (or what I call native) experience and the three methods of its representation: A representation of the experience (Factish Depiction); an idea of an experience (Ideological Resonator); and the result of an experience (Material Manifestation). In all of the works presented there is the common denominator of touch. Touch is the single mode through which we physically negotiate and impose our will on the world around us and on those who reside with in it. It is the prosthetic activity of our brains. In the case of this exhibition the strand is seen as the extension of this touch – as a ligament of will, control, and support.” Continue reading about Clasp.
- Mark Dion (Season 4) has created a piece for EMSCHERKUNST.2010, the biggest art project of the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010. Scheduled to last 100 days, the project is staged on Emscher Island, which is in the process of being transformed from “a grim by-product of the industrial revolution” to the new Emscher Landschaftspark. It is currently the largest nature restoration project in the world. Forty artists have created 20 public works on the island, including a “singing” rock, a community garden, and an itinerant Punch-and-Judy puppet show. EMSCHERKUNST.2010 runs through September 5.
- Works by Louise Bourgeois (Season 1), Kiki Smith, Gabriel Orozco (both Season 2), Arturo Herrera, Mike Kelley (both Season 3), and Julie Mehretu (Season 5) are included in the Whitechapel Gallery exhibition Keeping it Real. The exhibition, which will be installed in four “acts,” explores the way that artists have used materials to look at the relationship between art and reality. The objects are drawn from the D. Daskalopoulos Collection based in Greece. Bourgeois and Smith are featured in Keeping it Real: Act 1: The Corporeal, which continues through September 2010. Kelley, Mehretu, Orozo and Herrera are included in successive installations, namely Act 2: Subversive Abstraction, and Act 4: Material Intelligence.
- Recent works by Season 3 artist Fred Wilson are on view at Mitterrand+Sanz in Zurich. The objects were selected by Paris-based curator Ami Barak who has helped to “transfigure” the artist’s language of institutional critique for the gallery space. Included in the display is Regina Atra (2006), a copy of a diadem made for the coronation of George IV, in this case, constructed of black diamonds; a bust representing Ota Benga, the Congolese pygmie who was exhibited in the Saint Louis World Expo of 1904, with a white scarf obscuring his ethnic identity label; and a series paintings of flags of African and African diaspora nations, stripped of color and reduced to their graphic forms. Fred Wilson closes July 24.
- From June 18 to September 19, works by Sally Mann (Season 1) will be on view at The Photographer’s Gallery in London. Mann’s first solo show in the U.K., it will include images from various series made throughout her career, such as Immediate Family (1984-94), Deep South (1996-98), and What Remains (2000-04). On the occasion of the exhibition, titled The Family and the Land, Blake Morrison of The Guardian talked to Mann about why she likes “pushing buttons.” Read Morrison’s article Sally Mann: The naked and the dead.
- Models, sculptures, photographs and videos by Season 5 artist Yinka Shonibare MBE are on view at Nouveau Musée National de Monaco through January 16, 2011. With this exhibition, Shonibare embarks on a new series entitled Looking up…™ Alongside Shonibare’s own works are recently restored works belonging to the artistic history of the Principality of Monaco, many presented for the first time. These include the Visconti Maquettothèque of the Monte-Carlo Opera (a collection of model set designs), the Bosio brothers’ sculptures and etchings, Eugène Frey decors, the Marquis du Périer de Mouriez’s collection of transparent paintings, religious boxes from the de Galéa Collection, and many other “artificialia” that evoke the cabinets of curiosities of the 17th and 18th centuries. Looking up…™ will be accompanied by a 180-page French/English full-color catalogue.