The conceptual artist William Anastasi, whose career began in the early 60s, is probably best known for playing chess with John Cage everyday in the late 70s. A number of individuals, including both the artist himself and Thomas McEvilley have argued that his contributions to conceptual art and the trajectory of minimalism have been excluded from the historical narrative of Modernism, either through negligence or conscious omission.
SHIT HAPPENS/“In Search of the Miraculous, Continued…,” the two-person exhibition of Garry Neill Kennedy and Joanna Malinowska, pairs two artists whose work resists the proverbial Easy Read. Both artists make art that responds intellectually and perceptually to the conditions of its site.
While much of gay identity has been based within the modern image or film depicting either pornographic poses or sexual acts, the very nature of what it has meant to be gay has stayed outside the margins of mainstream society. American painter Thomas Eakins once depicted a group of nude men in “The Swimming Hole” (1884–85), who are portrayed collectively as young Adoni, either swimming or sunning within a serene landscape.
Energy/Experimentation: Black Artists and Abstraction 1964–1980, the current exhibition at the Studio Museum of Harlem, comes at an interesting time.
“How low can you go?” was the question Chubby Checker asked in his 1962 dance hit “Limbo Rock.” No doubt the ghost of Clement Greenberg would be doing its share of twisting and shouting if it could witness the current situation that has turned his theories of high art versus schlock as expressed in Avant-Garde and Kitsch into “Avant-Garde is Kitsch.”
Judy Glantzman got her start at Civilian Warfare and Gracie Mansion Gallery in the East Village, and her work still retains the shambling, honest intensity of eighties downtown art.
In the wake of the hubbub surrounding John McCains controversial commencement speech at the New School this past weekend, my stray thoughts were already preoccupied by the state of Americas divisive culture wars.
“Hans Bellmer: Petites Anatomies, Petites Images“ proves that shocking scenarios can be captured on a very intimate scale. A close inspection of each of the nearly seventy miniature vintage photographs reveals exquisitely disturbing images of Bellmer’s famous “dolls,” models, and surreal still lifes. The majority of these works were created between 1934 and 1938, in part informing the original German edition of Die Puppe (The Doll, 1934), a portfolio of ten black-and-white photographs, which the artist published privately at his own expense.
Jay Milder first came to recognition in the early sixties in relation to a group of figurative expressionist painters, including Peter Dean, Nick Sperakis, and Bill Barrell, called “Rhino Horn.” The name of the group relates to the powder ground from the horns of a rhinoceros.
Judging by the look of the eerie outcropping of debris that comprises “Panic Grass and Feverfew” (2006), Jon Elliot has a pessimistic outlook for the future of the environment.
Although he has shown extensively in Europe for many years, it’s only in the past decade, when he began showing with Peter Blum, that his stature in America has grown large in a more public way.
Man Ray’s portraits of famous men comprise an important slice of the avant-garde pie in the pantry of European and American arts and letters, vintage 1920s-1970s.
After a thirty-something-year career of relentless production, any exhibition of Matt Mullican’s work is going to have to severely abridge his story. Though compact, this well-chosen selection of work from the seventies and eighties is a handy primer in Classical Mullican that offers the viewer a chance to focus on discreet parts of a sometimes-overwhelming oeuvre.
Sometimes, in this smorgasbord of karma that is contemporary life, our most meaningful relationships start with intense arguments. The téte a téte that brought Regina Bogat and Fausto Sevila into initial contact, years ago, during a painting class at Rutgers University taught by Vivian Browne (to whom this show is dedicated)
Obstinacy and intensity seem to be the month’s theme. In modern times, we seem to have had a greater separation between the amateur and professional, Sunday painter and schooled artist. The appearance of the modern artist also seems to coincide with the discovery of the outsider. Be it Picasso’s interest in Le Douanier Rousseau or Ben Nicholson’s love of Alfred Wallis, it is as if the primal understanding of composition and storytelling, and unbridled intensity of application provides a salve to the intellectual revolutions and reductions of the modern thinker.
Berlin’s most special dinner invitation (for paying guests) during the last few weeks was definitely Alma Mahler-Werfel’s 127th birthday party at Kronprinzen-Palais (Crown Prince Palace) Unter den Linden. For twenty-five evenings, Alma Mahler (1879–1964), famous as the “widow of the four arts,” celebrated with her husbands—composer Gustav Mahler, architect Walter Gropius, writer Franz Werfel—and lovers like the painter Oskar Kokoschka as well as 200 other guests at the classicist palace where Germany’s last emperor, Wilhelm II, was born in 1859.
Sarah McEneaney is known for her autobiographical narratives rendered with jewel-like colors in egg tempera on wood. When an artist chooses to depict personal events as subject matter, there is a risk of being sentimental, anecdotal, or (in some cases) even boring.
In an exhibition entitled word play, signs and symbols, Knoedler and Company has insightfully paired collages and drawings by James Castle with a selection of Walker Evans’ late SX 70 Polaroids. Both artists found a way to flourish in isolation.
Till Gerhard’s painterly eye has been singed by the coruscations of a too-explosive LSD trip. Objects in his paintings either gleam too brightly, or disappear into shadow. Splotches of neon paint dapple his surfaces like retinal floaters, imbuing each work with a hallucinatory aura befitting, to a clichéd T, the era from which his narratives are drawn.