ArtSeen

A Statement from the ARTSEEN Editors

The Editors and Advisory Committee of ARTSEEN would like to applaud Roberta Smith for the stand she took in “Post-Minimal To The Max,” her recent article in the Sunday edition of the New York Times.

TINO SEHGAL

‘This is visual art we’re talking about, period,’ Ms. Spector said. ‘Tino made that distinction. Either you respect it or you don’t. It makes perfect sense to many of us.'

ROBERT RYMAN Large-small, thick-thin, light reflecting, light absorbing

Robert Ryman is always testing things. In 1953, while working as a guard at the Museum of Modern Art, he bought some paint and brushes because he “wanted to see what the paint would do, how the brushes would work. That was the first step. I just played around. I had nothing really in mind to paint.

WILLIAM KENTRIDGE Five Themes

I had one idea walking into the Museum of Modern Art’s William Kentridge: Five Themes, and no ideas walking out.

FREDERICK SOMMER’S PARADIGM OF ART AND REALITY

Although primarily known as an innovative photographer fraught with obsessions ranging from black-and-white images of lyrical cut-paper patterns and torn posters to gnarled coyote bones and splayed chicken parts, Frederick Sommer was much more than that.

WHIRLED PEAS AND LYING BY DEGREES

Every day, I pick up The New York Times from my stoop, slide it out of its blue sheath, unfold it, and scan the headlines as I weave back inside my apartment. The headlines are always there, big news day or small, with a uniform urgency.

VIRGIL MARTI

Housed in the front lobby of downtown L.A.’s Standard Hotel is an analog outfitted organ replete with hippie-era kitsch: neon bells and whistles, not to mention the glimmer of quartz and crystal streaming from the Mod chandelier overhead, refract zaps of color off of keys equal parts the shade of ebony and California sand.

THE GRAPHIC UNCONSCIOUS

A video in Óscar Muñoz’s “Biografías” series (2002) shows a floating, ethereal portrait rendered in powdery black charcoal. As we watch, the cheek elongates and skews into the eye; we hear the familiar slurp of water sucked down a drain, and abruptly the likeness is gone, slumped into a black heap against the curve of the sink.

SFMOMA: 75 YEARS OF LOOKING FORWARD

My companion and I were halfway through The Anniversary Show, the centerpiece of the bouquet of exhibitions celebrating the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s 75th birthday, when he turned to me and said, “This is the best show I’ve ever seen.”

STUART SHILS Selected Paintings

Stuart Shils’s intimate, easel-sized landscape paintings were suitably installed in Coleman Bancroft’s Upper East Side walk up living-room-converted-gallery-space, whose grand fireplace mantel was absorbed into the exhibition’s arrangement.

ARTS OF ANCIENT VIET NAM: FROM RIVER PLAIN TO OPEN SEA

It’s an occasion to celebrate, even in New York, when heavy, fragile cultural treasures arrive from the other side of the world—especially from a culture with which we have little exchange. Current case in point: the multi-millennial cultural and religious artwork from Viet Nam at the Asia Society.

EMIL ALZAMORA Random Mutations That Work

Alzamora’s sculpture, concept meets craft at a very high level, a union as rare as the teeth of the proverbial hen. With the general de-skilling of art and the rise of conceptual strategies, which have gone hand-in-hand since the early 1960s, it has been too little noted that what amounts to an old-fashioned, Henry-Fordish division of labor has taken over in the art world.

TWILIGHT VISIONS: SURREALISM, PHOTOGRAPHY, AND PARIS

In this exhibit the independent curator Therese Lichtenstein explores the complex connection between popular culture, in the form of prints, books, magazines, and postcards, with the emerging movement of surrealism.

LOUISE BELCOURT

For years Louise Belcourt has divided her time between Williamsburg and a small Canadian town on the south side of the St. Lawrence river where she spent summers as a child. More than 12 years ago, she built a studio on a high cliff overlooking the river; the clear Canadian light, majestic water views, and looming, manicured hedges that surround her family’s nearby property have figured prominently in her work ever since.

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MAR 2010

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