Posts By andrea kirsh

Book cover

Book review — Mika Rottenberg, Minimalism in ’60s Germany, and “the contemporary”

[Andrea offers concise reviews of three recent art books. If you’d like to put your idea of “contemporary art” in context, check out Richard Meyer’s tome. Those interested in video artist Mika Rottenberg will enjoy a wonderfully designed exploration of her work; and if you weren’t aware of the depth of German Minimalist work in the ’60s, now’s your chance to get up to speed. And remember, if you’re book buying on Amazon, please shop through Artblog’s Amazon Smile account and support your favorite little art blog. — the artblog editors] Mika Rottenberg: The Production of Luck (Gregory R. Miller & ... More » »

Installation view

Forms of Elegance — Dynastic Chinese ceramics at the PMA

[Andrea tours the PMA’s Chinese ceramics collection, enjoying the wares’ restraint and the museum’s attention to providing context. — the artblog editors] The recently installed gallery of Chinese ceramics at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), painted a soothing celadon green, is as subtle and elegant as its contents. Curator Hiromi Kinoshita showed me around and was justly proud of her new, long-term installation. The period covered in Forms of Elegance: Chinese Ceramics from the 9th to the 14th Centuries–the Song and Yuan dynasties–was not only considered the pinnacle of ceramic production by subsequent generations in China, but was the ... More » »

Print

Both/And Richard Tuttle Print and Cloth at the Fabric Workshop and Museum

[Andrea explores the depth of artist Richard Tuttle’s work, which currently sprawls across several floors of the Fabric Workshop and Museum, but manages to stay restrained. — the artblog editors] Richard Tuttle is a magician whose work speaks modestly and softly about big ideas. He avoids emphasizing virtuosity of craftsmanship in order to demonstrate the unconventional possibilities he finds in the materials themselves. And Tuttle’s use of materials calls attention to what we, the viewers, might do with the same ordinary bits of wood, cardboard, cloth, string, ribbon, wire, or mesh–at least as much as it emphasizes what the artist ... More » »

Painting

Books that have crossed my desk

[Andrea offers brief reviews of two books she recently enjoyed, each very different. One focuses on how light–in its many incarnations–appears and is used as a tool in African Diaspora visual practices; the other on artists’ interest in history and its artifacts. — the artblog editors] Krista Thompson, Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice (Duke University Press, Durham: 2015) ISBN 978-0-8223-5807-7 Krista Thompson explores the common use of light, shine, and “bling bling” as a means of self-fashioning and collective agency by African-American, Bahamian, and Jamaican youth culture. She also traces these effects in the work of contemporary ... More » »

Installation view

Destroy, she said — a group show at the Boiler in New York

[Andrea enjoys a few chuckles at a show that asks viewers to re-examine the value of objects and material experiences, and also asks artists to obliterate their work after showing it only once. — the artblog editors] Saul Anton and Ethan Spigland curated the provocative, lively, and thoughtful exhibition Destroy, she said, on view at the Boiler, in Brooklyn, March 5 – April 5, 2015, on behalf of Pierogi . It coincided with the establishment of an online archive, the “Foundation for Destroyed Art,” where according to the announcement, “works of art will exist only in their documented destruction and ... More » »

Panel painting

Ink and Gold — The Art of the Kano at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

[Andrea shares how the Japanese shogunate influenced styles in one family of artists; introduces us to star artist Tan’yü; and recommends going to see this exhibit, as these invaluable works are very rarely shown in the U.S. — the artblog editors] Ink and Gold: The Art of the Kano at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) through May 10, 2015 offers multiple sources of visual delight. There’s the sweeping drama of scenes that unfold across more than 20-foot expanses, creating the illusion of distant landscapes nestled in an atmosphere of actual gold. Viewed up close, the painted screens, sliding doors, hanging scrolls, ... More » »

Artwork

Two books on Matisse and Picasso from the Museum of Modern Art

[Andrea praises two recent volumes detailing Matisse’s cut-out works, and 15 of Picasso’s early Cubist works, respectively, and enjoys the depth provided by the second book’s e-book format. — the artblog editors] Art historians working in museums, as opposed to those in academe, are always aware that the artworks they deal with are things–embodied, resulting from a series of decisions made by the artist, and subject to subsequent change. The literature on art, both academic and in museum catalogs, has not always acknowledged this physical reality, but fortunately it is becoming more common. Two recent publications from the Museum of ... More » »

Jewelry

From Ancient to Modern at NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

[Andrea leads us through the discovery of ancient Sumerian art and artifacts, and some of the modern works inspired by “Primitivism”. — the artblog editors] Unlike other exhibitions held in the two compact galleries of New York University’s elegantly-housed, uptown Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW), this one focuses on the past century. From Ancient to Modern: Archaeology and Aesthetics, on view through June 7, 2015, investigates the reception of Sumerian objects excavated at Ur by Leonard Wooley in the 1920s, and by Henri Frankfort in the Diyala River Valley in the early 1930s. The fascinating exhibition makes ... More » »

8

Thomas Chimes and Mari Shaw — a Philadelphia story

[Andrea attends a performative reading of a new book on Thomas Chimes, written by his longtime friend and artblog contributor Mari Shaw. — the artblog editors] Philadelphia artist Thomas Chimes (1921–2009) had a promising start: His work was shown in exhibitions across the country, in solo gallery exhibitions in NYC, purchased by the Museum of Modern Art, and displayed in a large-scale retrospective organized by the Ringling Museum of Art in 1968. When he heard that Marcel Duchamp, during a panel discussion in Philadelphia in 1961, had suggested that the great artist of the future would go underground, Chimes took ... More » »

The artist, surrounded by one of her sculptures, photo: L. Falquet, Paris: Anderson.

Books on Claire Falkenstein and Marie Zimmermann, successful women who should be better known

[Andrea reviews beautifully designed books on two female artists whose work, while successful during their lives, has largely been overlooked since. — the artblog editors] Claire Falkenstein Claire Falkenstein (The Falkenstein Foundation, Los Angeles: 2012), ISBN 978-1-4675-0834-6 This volume is a welcome survey of a successful, mid-20th-century artist, primarily known as a sculptor, whose work and reputation have inexplicably faded from view. She has disappeared from the record even more thoroughly than other artists working in the ’40s through ’60s who created cast and welded sculpture. That generation, deeply marked by the experience of war, was the last in a ... More » »

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