While it doesn’t push the envelope or any obvious buttons, the 2013 Carnegie International serves up delights and high points along with the comfort and reassurance of familiar faces. It’s a humanist show that is mining territory that’s been mined before – history, community, anti-capitalism. And bravo for all that! Community and Archival Projects Many artists featured in the show are working with communities. Here are our favorites. Let’s hear it for Zoe Strauss! She didn’t win the Carnegie Prize or the Fine Prize (those went to Nicole Eisenman and Zanele Muholi respectively — congrats to those two wonderful women ... More » »
On the whole, we found the Armory Show contemporary pier (Pier 94) to be a disappointing mix. It felt like a cloud of low energy had descended and sucked the life out of the fair. Much of the sculpture and painting we saw seemed uninteresting–at least it didn’t interest us. Mostly photographs and video held our interest. Ivan Navarro’s light fence — which was so bright it might have been there to prevent the onset of SADs in the viewers — was no help. Ten minutes spent near its fluorescent rays contributed to our depression as we wandered around.
High Society at the Wellcome Collection through February 27 is a fascinating look at the cultural history of mind-altering drugs as used by a broad range of societies; its approach is remarkably non-judgmental. The introductory text explains Every society on Earth is a high society. Very few people live their lives without using some sort of mind-altering substance, whether it’s a cup of coffee, a chew of betel nut or a tablet of MDMA (ecstasy). The exhibition includes actual drugs in various forms (a ball of opium – the form in which the British East India Company transported it, bottle ... More » »
The plane to Chicago for the College Art Association (CAA) Annual Meeting left from a concourse I rarely use so I saw different art than usual as part of the airport’s Exhibition Program, which certainly provides the best distraction I’ve found at Philadelphia International Airport. Nick Kripal’s Swarm was a terra cotta landscape of an alternative, multi-culti character with forms cribbed from the kitchen cabinets; what looked like a Moorish dome turned out to have been cast from a pudding mold! I’d love to see him do animations based on them.
Anthony McCall Line Describing a Cone (1973, 16mm film) at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s exhibition, Into The Light (2001-2). Photograph © Henry Graber, 2002. While in D.C. lobbying for arts legislation last week I had just enough extra time to catch an exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The Cinema Effect explores the way movies have influenced film and video artists. The exhibition is in two parts; the first, Dreams is up through May 11. Part two, Realisms, will be shown June 19-September 7. Since the museum is open only during the daytime the exhibition was ... More » »
Image is a Stephan Balkenhol carving and a Candida Hofer photograph from Pier 90 at the Armory Show. The small figure seeming to look at the big picture is kind of how I felt when I walked around the huge international show. We went to the Armory Show Thursday afternoon. And for four hours we marched up and down Pier 92 and Pier 90 on the Hudson River looking at work in 154 booths by exhibitors from around the world. What struck me most (apart from the weariness factor of being bombarded visually by all that stuff) was the sheer ... More » »