Dancing Around the Bride at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA)through Jan. 21, 2013 is an extraordinary, multi-dimensional exploration of a significant period in American art history. While the ideas it presents are hardly new, the sensitive installation, designed by the artist, Philippe Parreno, emphasizes the multi-disciplinary nature of the mutual personal and artistic influences among Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. This is an exhibition as Gesamkunstwerk, and it offers the best, possible understanding of the interconnected, artistic experimentation in New York City in the late 1950s-1960s. Parreno’s installation pivots around a low, platform ... More » »
News In the days since Hurricane Sandy’s devastation of the East Coast, thousands of people have been confronted with unimaginable losses. Many of our friends have suffered damage to their homes, their property, and their artwork, as pictures and articles can attest. But as we’ve also seen, people have stepped up to help one another in a variety of ways. Hyperallergic has posted an instructive list of resources for artists, art organizations, museums and collectors affected by the storm, while 20×200 has issued a print benefiting the American Red Cross’s Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the storm. ... More » »
Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage at the Princeton Art Museum through June 26, 2011 realizes the alchemists’ dream of turning dross into gold – in that Schwitters created his marvelous collages and assemblages from recycled garbage. This first U.S. survey of the artist’s work in twenty-five years does not attempt to cover his entire production; the roughly 80 works include several of the Merz assemblage paintings, a large number of exquisite Merz drawings (collages on paper), several small sculptural works and a reconstruction from photographs of the Hannover Merzbau, which was destroyed in WWII. While much of the work is ... More » »
Spring has filled the Meltem Birey Gallery in the form of Jerry Mischak’s brightly colored, playful sculptures. Imaginary Solutions, which runs through May 3, uses a combination of consumer materials and urban debris, including small pieces of electronics.
The Making of Art (Buchhandlung Walther Koenig: Cologne, 2009) ISBN 978-3-86560-586-3 Target Practice; Painting Under Attack 1949-78 (Seattle Art Museum, 2009) ISBN 978-0-932216-64-9 Those of us involved in the art world never seem to tire of looking critically at the way that world works. Self reflection has been the basis of a number of exhibitions in recent years; I saw two devoted to artists’ studios: The Studio at the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane (discussed on Jan. 3, 2007) and Picturing the Studio at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009-10). The Making of Art, at the ... More » »
There are now two stories about Hide/Seek: the exhibition, and the controversy. This piece will cover the first; a second one will address the controversy. Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, at the National Portrait Gallery, (NPG) , Smithsonian Institution through Feb. 13, 2011) is a serious examination of artistic conventions, particularly those of portraiture, as they concern a subject heretofore unspoken in the polite precincts of mainstream American museums. It addresses the manner, sometimes overt but often hidden, in which sexual difference has been manifest. The artists and their sitters include straight, gay, and the fluid range of ... More » »
The white monochrome painting, once a joke –”cow in a snowstorm” – at other times a beacon heralding modernism (Malevich’s White on White, 1918) has carved out a serious place in the canon of aesthetics. Nearly every art movement over the last 150 years, if only a shake or a jitter, has paused long enough to produce an all-over, single-color performance. There are thousands of monochrome works dotting the history of art, pointing to a kind of serial of reduction-minded dramas. Stripped down, these works, bold in their simplicity, end up being complex philosophical constructions gesturing to a manifest aesthetic destiny.
Barry Bergdoll and Leah Dickerman’s Bauhaus 1919-1933; Workshops for modernity (2009, Museum of Modern Art, New York, ISBN 978-0-87070-758-2), the catalog for MoMA’s exhibition of the same name, would serve as an excellent introduction to the Bauhaus for a serious scholarly or general audience. The book, as did the exhibition, addresses the Bauhaus primarily as an educational institution, rejecting common usage of the term to describe a style, often associated with modernism in general.
The only thing dull about The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection at the National Gallery of Art: Selected Works (NGA) through May 2, 2010 is the exhibition title. I’d rather call it, with apologies to Wallace Stevens, Ten Ways of Looking at a Painting, with further apologies for the handful of drawings, prints and 3-dimensional works; it is overwhelmingly a paintings exhibition. The works, some already donated, the remainder promised to the NGA, are superb and the curatorial decisions intelligent, provocative and subtle. Harry Cooper, curator of modern and contemporary art, arranged ten sections, each labeled with a subject to ... More » »