This monograph is an invaluable record of Jonas’ work. Along with that on Schneemann, above, they offer two crucial pioneering artists’ solutions to a very current question: the ephemerality of performance art and the possibility of extending the life of the form without distorting the artist’s ideas.Read More
I had the wonderful experience of taking a dozen college classmates and their spouses through the exhibition recently. Only one person had any background in art history and none of them recognized the artist’s name. I explained that Irwin’s work takes time–literally, time for the eyes to adjust. They concentrated on the floating sphere bisected by a dark, horizontal line which disappears towards the circle’s margins–and the magic began. The painting creates a series of changing optical effects which it would be useless to try to explain, and because the effects depend upon presence and time, the artist refused to have his work photographed for many years–he has since relented. Anyone who knows Robert Irwin’s work only from reproductions has no idea of what the work is about.Read More
Wu Hung’s Contemporary Chinese Art will be required reading for anyone wanting an introduction to the subject, and will also be useful to readers who want to understand the history of international art of the period, since Wu presents Western movements with as much clarity as he charts the uses Chinese artists made of them. It is a more nuanced and complete picture of a recent art culture than any other I know. The essays in The Dynamic Library present a variety of historical and theoretical approaches in clear language that are likely to interest scholars in the humanities, artists interested in classification, and anyone who owns enough books to be concerned with how to sort them.Read More
And perhaps this last is one of the most significant points the exhibition makes: despite an international interest in the commercial vernacular and the visual impact of the media, the works in the exhibition can only be truly understood within the cultures that produced them. This leaves serious viewers with the realization that the information in many of the introductory labels is insufficient background for a real understanding of the art and how it functioned in its native territory.Read More
The crowd of African-American students and younger scholars who attended Powell’s session indicates that the field is rich. It’s now up to the institutions to give them a chance.Read More
This beautifully produced and spectacularly illustrated book offers a six-continent tour of twenty-
five sculpture parks; readers are unlikely to know of most of the collections, which can be visited only with considerable planning, if at all. Three are exclusively private, one is open on a single day every year, and another is best viewed from a hotair balloon.