“My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.” – Woody Allen Markus Hansen, the Paris-based German artist, is trying in more than a decade’s worth of projects to see what it might be like to be someone else, and then to confront that very notion of being someone else. Using a Felix the Cat bag o’ tricks to flesh out the narrative or even the feeling he’s someone else (you), one senses the tugging or nudging – imagine Peter Pan’s moment he lost his shadow – out of one’s singular identity. It’s a bit more than ... More » »
Pssst…Can we talk about money? I keep on getting press releases from Phillips de Pury about all the wonderful things they’ve sold, the auction records they’ve broken – Richard Prince’s “Cowboys and Girlfriends” portfolio fetching $146,500; Andy Warhol’s “Grapes” topping $104,500 – and the next pot of gold waiting in the auction markets in New York and London. And if it’s not from an auction house, the emails chime in from the art fairs in Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Geneva or galleries in India, Hong Kong or some new white cube that just opened here in Paris.
Dan Walker has a thing for glue. The former lawyer and somewhat former film producer and writer with Force Majeure, (he’s still making films), launched his first exhibition of paper bits, tape and rubber stamps and glue in Paris, a perfect place to land when you are ready to get “unstuck” from your past and literally put your diaries on display. Born 1964 in London, the lawyer-turned-producer/writer-turned artist has always carried and worked in Moleskine books, organizing a disparate collection of the ephemera from his life, and adding texts in an effort to give these small compositions a direction (even ... More » »
The most famous bricks are perhaps the ones thrown by Ignatz, George Herriman’s irreverent mouse, at Krazy Kat, his love object. Issued from a seemingly endless pile and zipped through the air, these weighty missives rarely missed their target – Krazy’s Kat’s head – and exploded into floating hearts. Launched in cartoon world, the brick is a metaphor, of course, for ideas. So it was with delicious irony that I attended and immensely enjoyed 100 Briques Pour Madagascar, an artist benefit auction at Artcurial where very well-heeled French art collectors threw money at bricks.
Unrest in Egypt? New York’s Mike Weiss Gallery has it covered. The boys acting up in the streets of Cairo? Christian Vincent is on the case. Well that’s the message received yesterday from the gallery’s director Anna Ortt. The urgent e-mail tunes us in: “Media Alert: Parallel between painting exhibition in New York and riots in Cairo.” Is it cause and effect? Has the Los Angeles-based Vincent been working on these “riot pieces” in anticipation of a break out of street violence in the Middle East (or anywhere else?). Or has his paintings of boys with bats or boys lined ... More » »
When the Nazi army rolled over Paris in late spring, 1940, and occupied the city on June 14, 1940, one might say the lights went out in the world’s greatest cultural beacon. But the truth is more complex, morally and aesthetically, as artists, performers, writers and others in the Paris culture industry either co-existed or collaborated outright with the occupiers. Artists and intellectuals “survived” the war in a fashion, and others, particularly in cinema, enjoyed a “good war.” Sartre famously burnished his war credentials after the Occupation; Picasso was largely selfish and unpolitical; painters Derain and Vlaminck traveled as visiting ... More » »
The title of this post is deceptive. Sorry. I actually saw thousands of photographs at the annual photo bash in Paris, Paris Photo, (Nov. 18-21), but 12 photographs (or groups of photographs) caught my eye as I wandered through the offerings at the Carrousel du Louvre. Among the thousands, there were hundreds of images from the new capitalist China – buildings going up, people moving around, even Chinese people underwater, swimming or sunbathing. Strange because the theme this year centered upon our friends from the East, that is Eastern Europe. Anyway, there were plenty of antique photographs from the early ... More » »
Does contemporary art swing from one pole of “everything” to its opposite of “nothing”? This very casual notion stems from two French artists, Yves Klein and Arman. In the late 1950s Klein famously exhibited “Le Vide” (The Void), an empty space “sensitized” by the artist, at Iris Clert’s gallery in Paris. About a year later, Arman countered with “Le Plein (The Full-Up), filling the gallery with a ton of garbage. (Arman’s sardine can souvenir multiples from the show can be seen here). This year’s Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC) (October 21 -24) dances around this idea in ways probably unknown ... More » »
“Are you lonely?” asks my British hostess during a dinner at her home in London. The question issues from a conversation about loss, death, and in some indirect way how loss eviscerates the landscape of the mind and heart and makes social networks and chance encounters both meaningful and empty. My hostess explains she’s suffering from the loss of a beloved parent. I know this feeling. “Am I lonely?” I repeat. Do I look lonely? I am planning on seeing the Exposed exhibition at the Tate Modern, so I was thinking about this question. So am I?
It’s hard to be a bad boy in the art world these days, but Mike Ballard is trying. His installation “Whose Coat Is That Jacket You’re Wearing?” fulfills a contemporary art world wet dream: A crowded display of illegally-gained goods (Armani, Diesel and other expensive brand name leather jackets, parkas, sport coats) and their contents (cash, drugs, cellphones, jewelry), all tagged, cataloged and reeking of human body odor just waiting to be returned to their rightful owners in a month-long act of contrition. What’s not to like?« Previous Page — Next Page »