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23 Hours at the Wintering Spiral Jetty

Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty” is arguably the most famous, least experienced work in the earthworks/land art canon. Most know it from iconic aerial photographs, some by Smithson’s accompanying text and some by his dry, factual, yet far-reaching film.

The Slow Ascent: Death and Resurrection of the Art Fair

Four years ago, Artseen editor and writer Ben La Rocco published a piece on the Miami Art Fairs in which he likened the experience to walking through a tomb


In one of the photographic collaborations between the late Polish artist, Edward Krasiński, and his friend, the photo-journalist Eustachy Kossakowski, the artist is pictured increasingly entangled in loops of cable, unable to find the end that would enable him to free himself. Performed and photographed in 1969, this absurdist series begins with coils of tubing on the floor and quickly gets out of hand.

JENNIFER BARTLETT’S Recitative: Fractions Between Concept and Decorum

Jennifer Bartlett’s work has a conceptual underpinning, less in terms of the presence of an idea than in the method employed to visualize the idea. What may entice the viewer is not a resounding or systematic philosophy in her work, but the manner in which she paints, draws, selects, builds, and designs sequences of modular forms in relation to a given architecture.

ON BECOMING AN ARTIST: ISAMU NOGUCHI and His Contemporaries, 1922–1960

He was born in Los Angeles to the Japanese poet Yone Noguchi and the American writer Léonie Gilmour. He spent his childhood in Japan, his youth in the U.S., and some formative time in Paris. Before the age of 30, he had visited Beijing (where he studied brush painting with Qi Baishi), Kobe, Tokyo, and Kyoto (where he studied pottery with Uno Jinmatsu).

Ace of Spades

There is a standard hierarchy in a deck of cards. The king is always more powerful than the jack or the queen; the nine is always higher than the five. The only card with the capacity to swing is the ace, and it swings in the extreme, alternately ranking as the highest or the lowest card in the deck.


Katrin Sigurdardottir’s current solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is part of the museum’s continuing series featuring the work of contemporary artists at mid-career—others in the series include Tara Donovan and Kara Walker.


Dear Reader, can you imagine the following scenario? One day, in the spirit of Institutional Critique, the curators of the Museum of Modern Art decide to organize a series of exhibitions under the collective title “Missed Opportunities” and announce that the first show will focus on Maria Lassnig

DAVID RABINOWITCH Birth of Romanticism: New Works on Paper

This is how Joan Waltemath opens her 2003 Rail interview with David Rabinowitch. She is referring to the point they had reached in their conversation (his reply: “Yes, we begin in the middle”), apparently marking a transition to topics of more immediate interest.

KURT KNOBELSDORF Postcard from Florida

Kurt Knobelsdorf is a young artist who recognizes that one way to gain authority—as well as negotiate the minefield planted by those who fervently believe in any of the currently popular, theoretical-cum-marketplace isms—is to paint (the death of painting be damned), while steadfastly refusing to assimilate into the mainstream, particularly in terms of subject matter.

Brooklyn in the Extreme

Tired of hitting the same five galleries along West 24th Street and seeing the same “commercial” products? Visited all the blue chip shows at the sleek spaces uptown? Looking for an authentic art experience that takes you off the grid, gets the blood pumping, or messes with your head like only unvarnished, challenging “art” can?


Galerie Johann König is a short walk from Potsdamer Strasse, a new neighborhood for the Berlin gallery scene now long decentred from the original art district of Berlin Mitte. What once formed a haven of cheap, available space after the fall of the Wall in 1989 has now become a chic and increasingly expensive neighborhood for the incoming wealthy of former West Germany.

IRVIN MORAZAN Temple of the Bearded Man

Irvin Morazan tangles with all manner of media to yank the viewer inside some sort of glittering, visual hallucination inside the Albuquerque International “Sunport” Concourse B gift shop in DCKT Contemporary’s Temple of the Bearded Man.

Painters and Poets

The Visible and the Invisible (from a time zone, a long time ago) O’Hara, O’Hara, I think of you on a Saturday, New York City, at dusk, where you once worked and wrote.

Winter Break

It would be nice to be able to write a story’s worth of criticism—or encouragement—about a four-person group show by underexhibited artists. But first there has to be a there there. Case in point: Winter Break at Momenta Art in Brooklyn, featuring either 11 or 25 works (depending on how one counts a set) by Marina Adams, Peter Hopkins, Robert Janitz, and Brooke Moyse.


Whenever I hear Jean-Luc Godard’s famous dictum, “Cinema is truth 24 times a second,” I always ask myself, “So what is it the rest of the time?

ART BOOKS IN REVIEW: Gerhard Richter is Speechless

The 2002 exhibition Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting, at the Museum of Modern Art—the artist’s first major retrospective in the United States—was greeted by many familiar with Richter’s art with a common refrain: How could this have taken so long?

GILLIAN JAGGER’s Reality—and Welcome to It

At the age of 80, there are few places Gillian Jagger would rather be than in the seat of a Kubota L245 or a Massey Ferguson 135, two kinds of rugged tractors that can push or pull thousands of pounds of rock, dirt, debris, or lumber as easily as a determined frat boy can lift a 140-pound keg of beer.


A glass-sided skeleton cabinet from Cooper Union, obsolete for art school purposes, was retired to Ellen Lanyon’s SoHo studio where, minus the skeleton, it became a repository for eccentric objects collected by the artist. The rest of her collection fills most available surfaces—walls, shelves, table tops—in her wunderkammer loft.


The beating heart of the three-person exhibit at Derek Eller is Adam Marnie’s larger-than-life, floral bouquet collaged and carved directly into the entrance foyer’s sheetrock. Color Xerox enlargements cut, torn, and glued; flower shapes, negative space, and shadow edges traced and carved out of the wall; and drips of adhesive all form elements of the rhythmic composition.


Mark Bradford has a striking presence and people like to talk about it. Even the most self-serious art writers set aside paragraphs to say that he’s impressively tall, thin, and disarmingly handsome.


 “Berthot is stuck.” “Is he?” “Yes, he is stuck in a place, but he’s stuck the way humans get stuck, and if you’re stuck that way, then he’s right.

The Talent Show

According to Nielsen research statistics, American TV-viewing has sharply increased over the past two years, as the economic downturn has forced people to spend more of their free time at home. Many artists I know now openly admit to sprees of TV-watching, marathon evenings with the boys of Mad Men.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2011

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