Tag Archive "mark-dion"


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 » »

stack of benches

Call to order at the Barnes – Mark Dion, Judy Pfaff, Fred Wilson

[Roberta goes to the press preview of the Barnes’s new contemporary art exhibit and says The Order of Things gives you lots to ponder about collecting and presenting art.  Also it’s a lot of fun. –the artblog editors] Three artists, Mark Dion, Judy Pfaff and Fred Wilson, were called to the Barnes.  The charge:  Interpret Dr. Barnes’s idiosyncratic way of hanging art, the “ensembles” he invented to weave together his collection by conscious placement of works that have unintentional allegiances; and respond to it. The result: The Order of Things, up until August 3.  Three wonderful and inventive installations commissioned by ... More » »

Jeffrey Jenkins, Monkeyman. An oversized portrait of one of Jenkins's Misfits.

Brushes, planets, misfits, and other collections at The Mildred Complex(ity) in Narrowsburg, NY

[Jennifer visits an eccentric show filled with rescued and repurposed objects, and observes how these collections relate to the issues of gender roles and environmental impact. — the artblog editors] Jeffrey Jenkins rescues abandoned and vulnerable things.  For example, over the course of four or five years, he salvaged almost 100 decrepit balls that washed up on the banks of the Hudson River. These balls form just one of Jenkins’ many object collections.  He also accumulates brushes, frayed and raggedy stuffed animals he calls “Misfits,” and old paint-by-number paintings. Jenkins revives these cast-offs in his art projects, or displays them ... More » »

View of Kassel from a frame on a sculpture overlooking the Karlsaue Park

Documenta 13 in Kassel – A celebration of political art and social practice

The train from Karlsruhe to Kassel took a little over 2 hours. Not only is Kassel north but it is higher elevation. We passed from flatlands to rolling hills and smallish mountains dotted with herds of cows, sheep and goats. When we arrived, the air was cooler than the Mediterranean soup we’d experienced in Karlsruhe. We checked into Villa Zandoli, a cute bed and breakfast in walking distance of Documenta’s hub of activities. (Thank you Andrea for that tip!) And while we didn’t see much of the town, we noticed its difference from Karlsruhe. As more of a tourist destination, there ... More » »


Books for Holiday Gifts 2011 (part 2)

Suzanne Glover Lindsay, Daphne S. Barbour and Shelley G. Sturman, et al Edgar Degas Sculpture (Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalog) (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2010)   ISBN 978-0691148977 This sumptuous and scholarly book will be welcomed by everyone interested in Degas’ work or in nineteenth-century sculpture, as well as by artists interested in bronze casting.  It is highly unusual for collection catalogs to be of interest, other than to researchers; however, the National Gallery of Art owns 52 of the 69 original works in wax, clay and plaster that survived from Degas’ studio, as well ... More » »

‘What in the World?’ recreated at the Penn Museum

‘What in the World?’ at the Penn Museum, Print Invitational at Little Berlin, ‘Dead Flowers’ at Vox Populi

For the past couple decades ever more museums have invited artists into their store rooms to curate exhibitions: in an early example, the RISD Museum invited Andy Warhol; MoMA asked Chuck Close and Scott Burden; and Fred Wilson has made a career of the practice.  The results have almost always been interesting.  Artists, of course, have their own questions of and approaches to objects and collections and it’s always enlightening to see familiar things in unexpected ways.

Weekly Update — Mark Dion channels William Bartram at Bartram’s Garden

This week’s Weekly has my review of Mark Dion’s Travels of William Bartram–Reconsidered.” Below is the copy with some pictures. More photos at flickr. See Libby’s post for more. Mark Dion and curator Julie Courtney. Image by Aaron Igler Mark Dion’s “Travels of William Bartram—Reconsidered” at Bartram’s Garden features old-fashioned display cases of objects collected on a journey coupled with up-to-the-moment documentation of the journey on a whiz-bang interactive website. Part Steve Jobs, part Victorian-era science project, the exhibit is lots of fun and educational to boot. Dion makes work fueled by an interest in nature and mankind’s relation to ... More » »

On the road with Mark Dion at Bartram’s Garden

Fishing lures collected by Mark Dion on display at Bartram’s Garden; some of them look like teething rings. Artist Mark Dion has staged an installation inside the 18th century house at Bartram’s Garden, a wonderful historic treasure on the banks of the Schuylkill. The installation is right at home here. Dion, who is known for art work that relates to collecting and the museum as an institution that skews and preserves cultural memory and knowledge, has shown his work at MoMA, the Tate and the Carnegie in Pittsburgh, to name a few. A turkey vulture in one of the collection ... More » »

Light fare at the fairs-Part 1

Maybe we went on less crowded days this year but the four fairs Libby and I saw Thursday and Friday (Pulse, Armory, Scope and Volta) were less populated with lookers than when we went to the fairs last year. But because a fair has nowhere to go but up, the numbers of exhibitors was greater than ever (as was the number of fairs–I believe there were 13 this year). We swam through masses of booths with thousands and thousands of pieces of art and found lots interesting things, and some that made us cheer (singly or in unison). Libby will ... More » »

Gardens in winter 1

Mark Dion’s expedition begins (photo taken from his blog on the William Bartram project) In case you’re not following the current travels of artist Mark Dion via his blog, it’s worth a visit. Dion is trying to retrace the journey of naturalist William Bartram (son of John Bartram) through the south to collect botanical specimens. The online updates are monthly. In the last one, Dion gets totally off track, even with help, leaving behind his maps, losing them in the water, and generally proving what a difficult thing it is to navigate in the wild (or these days, what’s left ... More » »

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