May / June 2013 Issue


Opening night of Unlimited at Art Basel, June 2013. Photo by Natalie Musteata.

Travelogue No. 4: Experimental Time-based Media Galore in Switzerland

For her fourth and final travelogue entry, Natalie Musteata walks us through Art Basel in Switzerland.


Praxis Makes Perfect

Topography of Time

As she settles into her new home in Brooklyn, columnist Erin Sweeny reflects on a year of wandering after graduate school.

Bob Adelman, “No Man Is An Island, Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, Alabama,” 1963. Gelatin silver print; printed later. 30 x 40 in. Edition of 15. Courtesy ??

Editor’s Picks: “1963” and “Time of Change”

Two exhibitions at Howard Greenberg Gallery “seem well timed, even mildly prophetic, given the demonstrations and court proceedings of the last few weeks.”

Vaginal Davis + Susanne Sachsse. "Communist Bigamist," 2010. Graphic design by Nebojsa Tabacki.

Queer Berlin

A Look Back at the Career of Vaginal Davis

Ali Fitzgerald sits down with legendary “terrorist drag” performer Vaginal Davis to talk about her nearly 30-year career and next chapter.

Ragnar Kjartansson’s S.S. Hangover, a repurposed Icelandic fishing boat, in which a crew of tuxedo-clad musicians played a composition for brass instruments while ferrying the boat from one dock to the next in a procession that recalls the sixteenth century Venetian tradition of floating Theaters of the World. Photo by Natalie Musteata.

Travelogue Entry No. 3: Singularity and Repetition in Venice

Continuing her trek through Europe, Natalie Musteata reports on this year’s Venice Biennale and “an almost 1:1 reconstruction” of Harald Szeemann’s landmark exhibition of 1969.

Xavier Veilhan, Lautner, Aluminum and polyurethane paint. From the exhibition "Architectones" in 2013 at Goldstein Sheats Residence Los Angeles. Courtesy Galerie Perrotin.

Looking at Los Angeles

The Architect, the Artist, and the House That’s Become a Star

Catherine Wagley visits the famous Sheats-Goldstein House and considers the pop culture present of this fifty-year-old residence by architect John Lautner.

Darique sharing his portfolio with classmates.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

You Say You Want Evolution: Looking Backward and Forward with Portfolios

Similar to in-progress critiques, portfolio reflections and evaluations do not have to arrive at the end of things. Utilized during the course, it allows for both looking back and looking forward.

The first issue of Night Papers, published in August 2011

Word is a Virus

Night Papers

Carol Cheh reports on an L.A.-based literary journal that “has the look and feel of a humble neighborhood rag” but is filled with “surprising moments.”

Gina Pane_AzioneSentimentale

Gimme Shelter: Performance Now

A Brief History of Sacrifice

Columnist Marissa Perel considers the lives of four women who “emerged from a modernist, male-centered art world” and “redefined studio art.”

Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume

Travelogue Entry No. 2: Nouvelles de Paris

Reporting from Paris, Blogger-in-Residence Natalie Musteata visits the solo exhibitions of Lorna Simpson, Ahlam Shibli, Simon Hantaï, and Mike Kelley.


Art in the After

Crys Moore writes about her experience working with the late artist Beatriz da Costa and asks, how does one continue an artist’s work posthumously?


New Kids on the Block

All Who Muster with Allison Smith

The Civil War remains one of the most poignant periods of American history, perpetuated by reenactments and examined by artist Allison Smith.


Travelogue Entry No. 1: On and Off the Beaten Track in Europe

Blogger-in-Residence Natalie Musteata reports on Nottingham Contemporary, one of the largest contemporary art spaces in the UK, and “the real gem” of her recent visit.

Paul McCarthy, “White Snow, Bookends,” black walnut, 2013. Image: twi-ny/mdr

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Size Matters

Teaching students about scale in a work of art is “a tricky thing for art educators.”

Rain Room_Art21 Instagram

Staff Pick

Staff Pick: Rain Room

Development Associate, KC Forcier,

Tim Hetherington

Untitled, 1999-2003

Gelatin Silver Print

© Tim Hetherington, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

Sight Unseen: Tim Hetherington’s Portraits of the Blind

“Tim Hetherington frames the blind in a visual purgatory between extremes: posed or disturbed, drenched in light or enshrouded in darkness.”

jetty road


In her final post as Blogger-in-Residence, Danielle Sommer takes us to the center of Robert Smithson’s canonical work of land art, “Spiral Jetty.”

Heather Mekkelson. "Limited Entry" (detail). Installed at Old Gold, 2008.

Center Field: Art in the Middle

Heather Mekkelson and the Flood That Never Came

Columnist Caroline Picard reflects on a 2008 installation by Heather Mekkelson and the stories of disaster conveyed by the artist’s distressed objects.


Praxis Makes Perfect

Welcome to the Funhouse: Mike Kelley’s “Mobile Homestead”

“Mobile Homestead,” a project by the late Mike Kelley, has a new permanent home in Detroit. Columnist Erin Sweeny revisits this “fitting tribute” to the artist.


Teaching with Contemporary Art

The Changing Shape of Teamwork

Back in October, 2009 I wrote a post called Teamwork which focused on the fact that, as educators, we often have to work creatively with others in order to construct meaningful, age-appropriate and fun lessons. The best lessons and units of study are often the product of people working together, including educators, community members, parents, and of course students. When I look back just four years ago I realize that my experience with collaboration has changed and evolved into other forms.

warburg image 1

To Know Is to Touch and Be Touched

In her third post on the theme of hindsight, Danielle Sommer considers the “confusing” cataloguing system of German art historian Aby Warburg.

Public Fiction in Los Angeles, set up to look like a foreign correspondent's office

Word is a Virus

Public Fiction: The Play’s the Thing

Public Fiction, an exhibition and event space in Los Angeles, hosts events that “provide constant stimuli” but “the journals really are the gems of the project.”

Irwin and Turrell in the anechoic chamber. Courtesy Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Looking at Los Angeles

Escaping the Corporate Frame

More than 40 years ago James Turrell and Robert Irwin teamed up on a “hair-raising” art and technology initiative. Columnist Catherine Wagely looks back.

Carl Cheng, U.N. of C., 1967. Film, molded plastic, Styrofoam and Plexiglas; 15 x 20.75 x 9 inches. Image courtesy of Cherry and Martin.

Pulling Things Forward

“…the clumsiest narratives are often the narratives that assume prescribed movement from A to B. “


New Kids on the Block

“Mapping Soulville” with Aisha Cousins

Mapping the life of Malcolm X at the intersection of New York’s past and present. #Art #Community #Change

Created with GIMP

Gimme Shelter: Performance Now

Of Consequence: Santiago Sierra’s “Veterans” at Team Gallery

Santiago Sierra’s third solo exhibition at Team Gallery, Veterans, displays nine photographs of war veterans standing in corners.

Oliver Herring, "PATRICK," 2004, Courtesy Meulensteen, New York

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Five Years of Teaching with Contemporary Art

When I go back to my first post, I had only a vague idea about how I was going to write on teaching with contemporary art.



Danielle Sommer responds to the current theme on the Art21 Blog: “Hindsight is like an arrow, shot from our own time into another…”

Richard Serra, "To Lift," 1967. Vulcanized rubber 36 x 80 x 60 inches. Courtesy David Zwirner Gallery. Photo by Peter Moore © 2013 Richard Serra/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

On View Now

Alchemy: Richard Serra’s Early Work

David Zwirner Gallery revisits early works by Art21-featured artist Richard Serra. Columnist Max Weintraub says this show is “not to be missed.”


Change Begins with Hindsight: Announcing Art21 Blog Themes

Art21’s Digital Content Editor announces a change to the Art21 Blog.