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Posts By andrea kirsh

Costumes

Books for holiday giving, part II

[Andrea continues her gift recommendations for art lovers. — the artblog editors] Inside Nick Cave’s “Soundsuits” Nick Cave: Epitome (Prestel: Munich, London, New York), ISBN 978-3791349169, $65 Nick Cave’s performative sculptures, which he calls “Soundsuits,” disguise their wearers and transform them into extravagant creatures of the artist’s imagination. The fact that many of them maintain evidence of the homey materials that Cave employs–including twigs, baskets, crocheted potholders, woven straw handbags, stuffed toys, and small ceramic figurines, as well as pipe cleaners, buttons, sequins, and beads–only makes his creations more magical, emphasizing Cave’s ability to discern the extravagant and theatrical potential of ... More » »

Art Basel Miami

Miami Project, on the periphery of Art Basel Miami

[Andrea singles out several favorites from Miami Project, one of ABMB’s satellite fairs. She found herself particularly drawn to drawings this year. — the artblog editors] Miami Project is a fairly new member of the 22 smaller fairs that circle, like small fish, around the shark that is Art Basel Miami Beach. The dealers are all well-established galleries across the U.S. As usual, I paid attention to the work that was unfamiliar, and found a lot of it interesting. Rare sketches from Mel Chin Mel Chin’s work was on view at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery (New Orleans): a wall piece in ... More » »

Book cover

Books for holiday giving, part I

[If you’re in the book-giving camp when it comes to holiday presents, here’s the perfect post for the art appreciators and design devotees in your life. — the artblog editors] Artistic abodes abound Margot Th. Brandlhuber and Michael Bhurs, eds., In the Temple of the Self: The Artist’s Residence as a Total Work of Art in Europe and America 1800-1948 (Hatje Cantz: Ostfildern), ISBN 978-3-7757-3593-3, $75 This very handsome and generously illustrated volume presents 20 artists’ residences, selected because their interiors, and in some cases their structures, create an integrated whole–a Gesamtkunstwerk–as conceived by their artist inhabitants. It is the English ... More » »

Paik in presentation of 'Good Morning Mr. Orwell' at the Kitchen Gallery, NY, Dec. 8,1983, photo © Lorenzo Bianda

Nam June Paik: Becoming Robot at the Asia Society, New York

[Andrea appreciates an intimate retrospective of Nam June Paik’s forward-thinking work, in which the artist’s foresight and sense of humor are easily apparent. — the artblog editors] Go, go, GO to the Asia Society before Jan. 4, 2015 to see Nam June Paik: Becoming Robot–even if you’ve seen lots of the artist’s work before. And if you’ve only seen the work in photographs, you’ve seen nothing. I thought I had a good understanding of Paik’s output; I’d been to the big Guggenheim retrospective in 2000, had read much published material, and briefly worked with the artist in connection with a ... More » »

Studio

The posthumous making of Mondrian’s reputation

[Andrea reviews a book examining Piet Mondrian’s continued influence on aesthetics from fashion to furnishings–and comments on the copyright limitations that sometimes keep us from discussing artists’ impact. — the artblog editors] After death, various interests feed on an artist’s work This absolutely terrific book should be required reading for all students of 20th-century art, artists, and anyone else interested in how an artist’s reputation is made. It’s also a very good read, leaving the reader uncertain of just who’s the villain here. Troy explores the competing self-interest among Mondrian’s executor, his artist friends, various dealers, collectors, museums, and scholars ... More » »

Postcard

Sari Dienes — at the center of things, yet overlooked

[Andrea argues for the recognition and appreciation of Sari Dienes, a prolific and flexible artist whose work has largely been overlooked by history until this, her first solo museum show. — the artblog editors] The Drawing Center is showing a very small but powerful exhibition of the work of Sari Dienes (1898-1992), on view at the Lab gallery through Nov. 16; it is her first solo museum exhibition, and it is certainly belated. It is a must-see for anyone who is interested in the New York scene of the 1950s-80s, but doesn’t recognize Dienes’ name. Friends in all the right places Dienes ... More » »

Mary Cassatt painting

Degas/Cassatt, and Titian’s “Danae” at the National Gallery of Art — An artistic friendship and the ultimate erotic painting

[Andrea visits a recent show focusing on the close friendship and artistic interchange between Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt, including some unexpected deviations from the work we’re all familiar with. Then, she stops off to view Titian’s “Danae”. — the artblog editors] Degas/Cassatt, which was on view at the National Gallery of Art through Oct. 5, was a triumph of an exhibition, tightly conceived around ideas and artworks exchanged by the two artists in the early years of their friendship. I must admit that I had no interest in the exhibition before I saw it, thinking I knew the work ... More » »

Bridge

5×5 — A second series of temporary, public art projects for Washington, D.C.

[Andrea critiques Washington, D.C.’s newest public artwork series by individual works and on a broader level; she makes the point that sited art should be aimed at neighborhood dwellers, not visitors or curators. — the artblog editors] This year’s program of temporary, public artworks in D.C., 5×5, reflects both a broad and ambitious approach to work sited, and in some places constructed, in public venues across all four quadrants of the district. It is the second series of temporary public artworks supported by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH). The purpose of public art In a day’s viewing, I managed to ... More » »

James Lee Byars Untitled (‘Performable Scroll’) c. 1967, courtesy Michael Werner Gallery

Performing the dead and other questions around museums and authenticity

[Andrea considers the evolution of art’s “authenticity”; museums’ fetishistic need to present original works; and the practice of replicating pieces as “exhibition copies”. — the artblog editors] I received notice from MoMA that on August 17 and September 7, the museum is hosting performances by James Lee Byars, in connection with the retrospective of his work at P.S. 1. Since the artist is long-dead, what exactly is the museum presenting? Byars did many performance pieces–indeed, his life sounds like an extended performance. Some of Byars’ performances involved another person interacting with an object of the artist’s making, and Byars donated ... More » »

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Reviews of two books on artists and their studios

[Andrea reviews divergent approaches to documenting artists’ processes and workspaces, finding that the second book is inappropriate for young artists, because it will give them unrealistic expectations. — the artblog editors] Sarah Trigg is an artist who became fascinated with the range of curiosities she found in fellow artists’ studios. Focusing on specific categories, which she terms “mascots,” “collected objects,” “makeshift tools,” “rituals,” “residue,” and “habitat,” Trigg set out to record her visits with 100 colleagues who represent the range of artists working in the U.S. She described her approach as “anthropological”. Trigg knew only a handful of these colleagues ... More » »

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