[Roberta reviews a photographer's attempt to document American public libraries. The resulting tome provides a good public service for all. -- the artblog editors] Dawson’s citizen-archiving Robert Dawson‘s photo book, The Public Library, is a wonderful example of citizen-archiving. Dawson is not an academic; he’s a photographer and a library-lover, and his 192-page hardcover book trumpets its library love with straightforward joy and ownership, like a volunteer marching band playing a Sousa march in your neighborhood Fourth of July parade. The many color and black-and-white photos taken by the photographer over the last 18 years of traveling around the US are great. ... More » »
[Andrea hits the road to visit Donald Judd's Marfa, Texas art installations, and lauds the way the unconventional site highlights the featured artworks. -- the artblog editors] To those of us in the art world, “Marfa” means Donald Judd’s installations at the Chinati Foundation. The site opened to the public in 1986 and I’ve wanted to go since then, but Marfa is three and a half hours’ drive from the airport in El Paso, and even further from San Antonio, and I don’t like highway driving on my own. My good friend Hilary Jay, director of the Philadelphia Center for Architecture, ... More » »
(Andrea tells us about some interesting books for arty holiday gifts.–the artblog editors) Lucy R. Lippard 4,492,040 (New Documents, Vancouver: 2012) ISBN 978‑1927354-00-1 For people aware of Lucy Lippard‘s numbers exhibitions who’ve never seen the 1969-74 catalogs, this reprint of the four – 557, 087 (Seattle), 955,000 (Vancouver), 2,972,453 (Buenos Aires) and c7,500 (Valencia) – will come as a revelation. In keeping with the conceptual art they featured, the catalogs consisted of cheaply-reproduced, un-bound 3″ x 5″ cards, a format now largely obsolete but common at the time, when the cards were standard for library catalogs and bibliographic note-taking. Each ... More » »
(Andrea calls the just-opened Leger show at the PMA a fascinating and dynamic exhibition that captures perfectly the early 20th Century optimism about cities and industry.) Léger, Modern Art and the Metropolis at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) through January 5, 2014, is pervaded with an optimism about industrialization and urbanization at a time, centered on the 1920s, when they were seen as the answer, not the problem, for twentieth-century society. It opens with a wall-sized projection of a film taken by Thomas Edison as he ascends the Eiffel Tower, viewing Paris through its cage of industrial steel. The ... More » »
If you haven’t yet planned a summer trip, want to get an early start for next year, or are simply an armchair traveler, several guides focused on contemporary art may prove useful. They are also entertaining and certain to add locations to your art world map, no matter how detailed it is already. The stand out, and by far the broadest is: Amy Dempsey Destination Art (Berkeley, University of California Press: 2006) ISBN 0-520-25025-7 Don’t be fooled by the image of Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels on the book’s cover. This is much more than a listing of land art projects. ... More » »
Four Houses, Some Buildings and Other Spaces, an exhibition curated by Berta Sichel at NYU’s 80 WSE Gallery through March 16 brings together ten artists (or artists-collaborations) around the ideals and memories invested in buildings, other man-made structures, and their remains. They investigate the subjects of who determines the built environment, who establishes its meaning, who tells its history, and which of multiple histories are preserved. The story they tell is complex, nuanced and provocative, without being tendentious. The artists, from Europe, North and South America, are primarily interested in buildings as bearers of ideas – either those of their ... More » »
Free workshops at black comix convention The 10th Annual East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention is back! Philadelphia will again host the convention on May 21 at The Crown Plaza Hotel on 1800 Market Street from 10 am – 7 pm.
Flying over snow-covered mountains in western Pennsylvania long ago, I was struck by the ambiguous appearance of this wintry landscape, as viewed from 30,000 feet. Was I looking at mountains—or and dunes in the desert, waves in the ocean, ripples in a pond? Chad Gerth’s urban photographs and Lydia Jenkins Musco’s constructions of urban materials [Tiger Strikes Asteriod, February 4 - 27, 2011] both explore the difficulties the eye faces in making sense of the world.
Los Angeles. You have to wonder when the United States is going to kick its cultural amnesia and get on with some real, workable, world-historical consciousness; when it’ll finally enter History rather than just history. My guess is in a century or two, when we’ve joined the underdogs and the past seems prettier and not so conveniently forgotten. But History is not so much forgotten here as it is repressed and replaced; forced so far down that it pops up with the weirdest, WTF symptomology.
The Centre Pompidou, located in the heart of Paris, was originally conceived as a temporary structure in 1977. Though it has become a permanent and thriving cultural hub the Pompidou’s original temporary identity remains intact as witnessed by the current installation of cardboard – based works by the Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata on the centre’s facade.Next Page »