26 posts categorized "Museum Shows"

June 03, 2010

Eve Sussman's "whiteonwhite" to be shown at MOMA.. This Sunday June 6th!

Eve Sussman's   (and her creative think tank group, The Rufus Corporation) "whiteonwhite" film is to be shown at MOMA.. This Sunday June 6th at 5:30pm!

So here's an event not to be missed, if you are interested in the world of cutting edge Contemporary Art Film.

Eve_Sussman_WhiteOnWhite_hotelvacuum Eve Susman who, is possibly the most well known female Art Film maker of our time. Her work, The Rape of the Sabine Women, has graced the cover on Art in America, and been shown around the world. (Photo 1, from Rufus corporation website, "Vacuum Hallway"..I believe is part of whoteonwhite.. )

By the way... Artist, Eve Sussman, is also one of the many star artists represented by that contemporary art powerhouse, The Winkleman Gallery on 27th street. 

Her film,  89 Seconds at Alcazar, was highly regarded as the "Darling of a Whitney Biennial"..check this interview out.. 

So now, here is your chance to see Eve's latest and greatest Film Noir work...at MOMA. There will also be a Q&A session with the artist after the movie.

Get your tickets soon.. cause this event is sure to sell out. MAO will be there too!

More details here:

whiteonwhite:randomthriller [alphaversion]

  • 2010. USA. Eve Sussman and Rufus Corporation.

New York theatrical premiere. Followed by a Q&A with Sussman, Messman, Garneau, and Wood

Sunday, June 6, 2010, 5:30 p.m.

Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2

whiteonwhite:randomthriller [alphaversion]

2010. USA. Written and directed by Eve Sussman and Rufus Corporation. MoMA's Creative Capital exhibition concludes with the New York theatrical premiere of an exciting and provocative new experimental work by the creators of the gallery installation 89 Seconds at Alcázar (2004) and the theatrical feature The Rape of the Sabine Women(2006). Shot primarily in post-Soviet Central Asia and billed as “New Wave futurist noir” and “a study of utopia and desire,” the “alpha” version of whiteonwhite:randomthrilleris a film of indeterminate length whose continuously evolving narrative is generated by computer code. The unfolding project will also manifest itself as an episodic television miniseries and a feature film. In the MoMA presentation, custom-built randomizing software edits the film in real time from a server loaded with thousands of clips, creating suspense through surprising and novel juxtapositions. The story follows the observations and surveillance of a geophysicist code writer held captive in “City-A,” a dystopian metropolis where nouveau riche capitalists preside over the dregs of communism. The film will run for approximately fifty minutes, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers

March 16, 2010

MOMA Event - An Evening with Artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

MOMA Event - An Evening with Artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Monday March 22nd at 7:00pmin the The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2.

OK.. so I'll bet most MAO readers don't know this artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, too well.

Up until a year ago.. MAo didn't either.. But we have to say.. you should take a close look at this artist's work if you've not seen it before. Singer, Songwriter, writer, and artist, Genesis is a cutting edge British born gender bending artist from the 60's and 70's who's still working, and relevant today.

Here's the MOMA comment for this Monday Evening's event...

New York–based artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (b. Great Britain, 1950) has been testing the limits and conventions of music, language, art, and identity for almost forty years. As a founding member of the seminal industrial band Throbbing Gristle, P-Orridge made music history. More recently, in collaboration with his partner Lady Jaye, the artist started an ongoing experiment in body modification aimed at creating one “pandrogynous” being. For this discussion, P-Orridge focuses on works created with the 1970s British avant-garde performance collective COUM Transmissions. The group’s collaboration culminated in the 1976 retrospective PROSTITUTION at London’s I.C.A. Gallery, which was vehemently attacked by the press and even debated in British Parliament. P-Orridge will show rare footage and images of COUM’s performances. Please note: This program may contain explicit material.

MAO was impressed during Armory Week, we got to visit the collections and homes of some of NYC most well respected art collectors (think the posh, stuffy, and polite society of NYC!), and we saw the work of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge proudly on display. WHat??  ...Who??..   Really? ....Genesis! YES!!

So, We were a bit surprised to say the least to see such smutprovocative Artwork on the walls of an Upper East Side Mansion.. what would the neighbors Biff and Buffy say??. But there it was, for all the VIP's to see!


Well.. Here's just one example...
Photo #1 by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
Sigil (Full Strength)/B-Right-On, 1985/2002
Mixed media
20 x 14.75 inches
on 23.5 x 19.5 inch paper
MAO has never been a big art collage fan.. It always seems a bit too crafty and some times childlike..
but when
we saw how powerful and a bit shocking, the works of Genesis can be, we were intrigued.
It's certainly worth a second look.
The first show of this artist's  work we ever saw was in a small bleeding  cutting edge Lower East Side Gallery..
Invisible--Exports.. which is where you'd think this type of Art work would stay.
But we guess some smart people on the Upper East Side in High Society have an dark adventurous side! YEA!
So, My little MAO-ettes, get your tickets for this MOMA lecture today.  This event is going to be popular.. and if nothing else, it's bound to be very interesting!!
Photo #2 by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
English Breakfast, 2002-2009
Mixed media
14 x 11 inches
Edition of 3
See you MONDAY at MOMA!

July 03, 2008

Something to get excited about, Guggenheim's Catherine Opie Mid-Career Survey

Guggenheim's Catherine Opie Mid-Career Survey show to open in the fall!

We at MAO are very excited to see a major NYC museum FINALLY doing something risque a large scale cutting edge contemporary photography show. We just love love love Catherine Opie and her brilliant photography!!

This show also marks one of the first major museum shows by a living OUT female artist to ever be exhibited in NYC. It's about time!! Congrats Catherine!!

Catherine_Opie_Self_Portrait As they say... one picture is worth a thousand words... Well...here's 2,000 at least !!

(Photo #1 by Catherine Opie, Self Portrait / Nursing, 2004, C-Print, edition of 8, 40 x 32 inches)

(Photo #2, by Catherine Opie; Self Portrait/Cutting, 1993; Chromogenic color print; 39 5/8 x 29 15/16 in.)

Here are all the details...We can't wait!!! 

Catherine Opie: American Photographer
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue, New York
On View: September 26, 2008 – January 7, 2009
Media Preview: September 25, 10AM - 12PM

Since the early 1990s, Catherine Opie has produced a complex body of photographic work, adopting such diverse genres as studio portraiture, landscape photography, and urban street photography to explore notions of communal, sexual, and cultural identity. From her early portraits of queer subcultures to her expansive urban landscapes, Opie has offered profound insights into the conditions in which communities form and the terms by which they are defined. All the while she has maintained a strict formal rigor, working in stark and provocative color as well as richly toned black and white. Influenced by social documentary photographers such as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and August Sander, Opie underscores and elevates the poignant yet unsettling veracity of her subjects.

Catherine_Opie_self_portrait_cutting Catherine Opie: American Photographeris organized by Jennifer Blessing, Curator of Photography; with Nat Trotman, Assistant Curator.

This exhibition is supported by The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Inc.

The Guggenheim Museum gratefully acknowledges the Leadership Committee for Catherine Opie: American Photographer.

The exhibition will gather together significant examples from several of Opie’s most important series in a major mid-career survey. Though Opie’s photographs have been shown extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan—including one-person exhibitions at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; Artpace, San Antonio; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California; St. Louis Art Museum; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Photographers’ Gallery, London—no single exhibition has yet offered an overview of her richly diverse artistic projects. Catherine Opie: American Photographer will serve to fill this void.

Opie first came to prominence with her Portraitsseries (1993–97), which celebrates the queer community in San Francisco and Los Angeles, including practitioners of drag, transgendered people, and performance artists. Set against brilliantly colored backgrounds, these figures confront the viewer with intense gazes, asserting their individuality and destabilizing conventional notions of gender. Opie describes these sitters, all of whom she knew personally, as her “royal family”; by adopting a style inspired by portraitists like the 16th-century German painter Hans Holbein, she offers an affirmative and even tender portrayal of a subculture often rendered invisible by dominant cultural norms.

Concurrently with the Portraits, in the mid-1990s Opie began to photograph urban landscapes throughout Los Angeles. Her first city series, Freeways (1994–95), pictures the city’s highways devoid of human presence, their sweeping slabs of concrete set against the sky. Nearly abstract and printed on an intimate scale, these photographs are nonetheless analogous to Opie’s portraits in their majesty. As documents of a primary aspect of daily travel in Los Angeles, the Freeways suggest that the strategies and structures intended to connect people can in fact divide them.

The Houses series (1995) continued Opie’s urban exploration through crisp, frontal views of Beverly Hills and Bel Air mansions that, like the Freeways, appear devoid of human presence. Yet each pristine façade retains as distinct a character as each of the friends Opie portrays—these houses structure and signify the community within which their occupants exist. Symbols of the archetypal “American Dream,” they are nonetheless armed with complex security systems, massive doors, and ornate gates, marking an entirely separate community, one closed off to the artist, the viewer, and the rest of the surrounding city.

Opie’s interests in portraiture and domestic architecture continued to develop, and began to merge, in her series Domestic(1995-98). Produced during a three-month trip across the country, these large-scale, color photographs document lesbian families engaged in everyday household activities, in settings varying from city apartments to country homes. Repositioning these unconventional families within the iconography of the classic American home, Opie envisions a more inclusive, complex image of the contemporary family. More recently, Opie has turned to her own domestic life in the series In and Around Home(2004–05), in which she photographs her own family and friends amidst the diverse cultural setting of her Los Angeles neighborhood.

Following the Freeways, Opie has continued to investigate the ways communities form and display themselves within urban settings, in an extended series of panoramic black-and-white photographs called American Cities(1997–present). Exploring the urban environments of Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Chicago, and St. Louis, among others, Opie reveals the variety of communities that exist within each city. For example, the Mini-Malls, the group of photographs that initiated American Cities, focuses insistently on the billboards, signs, and architectural elements that identify various ethnic and cultural groups in each eponymous setting. Characteristically, all the series’ photographs are emptied of human presence. With their romantic purity, each of the American Cities becomes an iconic, ideal platform for potential community interaction.

Ever seeking to diversify her artistic work, Opie has also turned away from the city, looking toward nature and the itinerant communities that exist upon it. In Icehouses(2001), she turns to the brightly painted structures built by ice fishers on frozen lakes in Minnesota. Viewed from afar, surrounded by an infinite vista of misty snow and atmosphere, the patchy assemblage of icehouses seems diminutive and immaterial. Similarly, the subjects of Surfers(2003) are virtually engulfed in the vast and gloomy shoreline of Malibu, where they watch and wait to be swept up by oncoming waves. Picturing their changing positions over the course of fourteen photographs, Opie presents a rich visual metaphor for the shifting and contingent nature of community itself, as it exists in any environment.

Catherine Opie: American Photographerwill be accompanied by a major publication, the first to gather all of Opie’s various projects in one volume. Each of the artist’s series will be reproduced in full color plates made under the artist’s supervision, including works beyond those displayed in the exhibition, in order to give the most complete overview of Opie’s work ever available. The catalogue will feature a lead essay by Jennifer Blessing, the Guggenheim’s Curator of Photography, which will survey Opie’s artistic career and its historical contexts, as well as a series of interviews with the artist by Russell Ferguson.

In addition, the museum has commissioned a brief personal reflection by internationally renowned novelist Dorothy Allison, whose work explores concerns similar to Opie’s. Finally, the catalogue will also include introductory essays on each of the artist's series by Nat Trotman, Assistant Curator at the Guggenheim, as well as a newly researched, exhaustive exhibition history and bibliography. Together, the exhibition and catalogue will prove to be the primary source for an understanding of Opie’s work, providing audiences with a valuable opportunity to examine firsthand the interconnections between the artists’ various styles and subjects.

January 18, 2008

Free Artist Lecture at the New Museum!

For anyone willing to brave the cold.. and the Lower East Side this weekend..

There's going to be a fun group talk tomorrow, Saturday, Jan 19th at 3pm at the New Museum.

And to answer the question... YES. We at MAO are now Obsessed by the New Museum.. so we're going to be posting more and more about it! It's All NEW. all the time!

The talk...  :  Mark Bradford, Christian Holstad, and Wangechi Mutu discuss “Collage: The Unmonumental Picture” this talk will be moderated by Chief Curator Richard Flood. Pretty Cool..

It should be fun, here are the 3 artist biographies..

Wangechi_mutu_peltart750 Mark Bradford, Born 1961, Los Angeles, California/Lives and works in Los Angeles, California. 

The social dynamics of community, determined by race, class, gender, sexuality, migration, and their attendant stereotypes, inspire Mark Bradford’s work in collage, video, photography, and installation. Bradford explores public space by excerpting and recomposing its contents—from billboard posters to beauty salon endpapers—to create abstract compositions whose grids, lines, and fields of color flicker with the visual and informational juxtapositions that characterize the urban experience. Through the formal limitations and restrictions that he imposes on his artistic practice, Bradford structures his works’ explosive energy, elegantly corralling it into an abstract narrative that reflects our geographical and geopolitical surroundings.

Christian Holstad. Born 1972, Anaheim, California/Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. 

Holstad’s artistic practice consists of photography, drawing, sculpture, installation, and collage. A selfdescribed “visual junkie,” the subject of his work includes the ways in which appearance-based stereotypes obscure individual sexual identity. Referring both to the mainstream and subculture, Holstad’s collages often depict erotic couplings of gay men whose bodies are composed of decorative patterns and textures extracted from magazines ranging from high-end fashion and lifestyle rags to small-press porn publications. These intimate scenes are set in unexpected or even contradictory surroundings such as immaculate, designer-home interiors, monumental architectural settings, or surreal landscapes. This juxtaposition of at least two kinds of decadence and desire serves to both charge conventional environments and cheerfully normalize same-sex erotic activity.

Wangechi Mutu, Born 1972, Nairobi, Kenya/Lives and works in New York. 

Wangechi Mutu’s wall paintings, collages, and installations make reference to race, politics, fashion, and African identity. Mutu assembles portraits that challenge media depictions of fashion, pornography, and ethnography. Her idiosyncratic renderings of female sexuality catalyze multiple interpretations: each exquisite portrait incorporates the contradictions, stereotypes, and expectations of African women and the African diaspora. (Photo #1, by Wangechi Mutu, from her "Exhuming Gluttony Exhibit" courtesy of Salon 94 Gallery)

Plus you'll get to see the great lecture hall they have built in the basement of the New Museum.

Here are the details from the New Museum website... Click Here For More Info

We at MAO have heard Mark Bradford speak before.. and let's just say.. she's one totally Fierce Artist!

So OK... MAO-ettes... if you attend the talk... Please be sure to say hi to MAO!!

January 04, 2008

Something to look forward to.. The New Museum's Next Show!

So..we at MAO love the new New Museum Building.... but the first show didn't exactly hit a high note Newmuseum_building with the MAO editorial staff. Even Dr. Quiz said it totally sucked was a bit disappointed at the opening night.

Oh.. and in case you missed it...here's a story..by Roberta. We agreed with her "visually messy, way too hip, and a tad monotonous" part of the NYT story..

But January 16th... they add part 2 of the (4 part) "Unmonumental" Series, which will continue to run until March 30th.... and this time it even includes some of MAO's favorite artists..

So.. you'll see us at the next opening...

and hey..

it has to improve the current show..

Well... at least now, they will have something on those nice new walls !

Here's the list of artists

included in the Collage : The Unmonumental Picture (with a A big MAO congrats to all these artists)

Mark Bradford
Jonathan Hernández
Thomas Hirschhorn
Christian Holstad
Kim Jones
Wangechi Mutu
Henrik Olesen
Martha Rosler
Nancy Spero
John Stezaker
Kelley Walker

Oh.. and MOA-ettes... be sure not to miss Mark Bradford's new solo show opening up at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. on Jan 17th !! It's sure to be a total MAO WOW!

July 19, 2007

Oh.. NO!!! Summer of Love at the Whitney is Totally Loveless!!

So... we went to see the Summer of Love show at The Whitney last night..

Summer of Love revisits the unprecedented explosion of contemporary art and popular culture brought about by the civil unrest and pervasive social change of the 1960s and early 70s, when a new psychedelic aesthetic emerged in art, music, film, architecture, graphic design, and fashion.

Well.. the nicest thing we can say about this new artistic road kill Whitney show... is... the 5 or 6 Lavender Mist Cocktails we had at the charity event, tasted OK...

Wow.. what were these clueless curators thinking??  The show lacked energy, any excitement, and totally missed the entire spirit of the psychedelic era of the 1960's. We've never before seen so many psychedelics look so dull. Flat, sterile, antiseptic, are the words best fit to describe the exhibit. Displaying these 1960's posters under plexi on a neon orange painted wall.. didn't add a damn thing.  Even the docent... other than saying.. "it's colorful..." couldn't think of an intelligent utterance about many of these works in the show.

OK.. maybe we're being a bit harsh... don't believe MAO.. but here's what Jerry Saltz (of NY magazine)  .. and Holland Cotter (NY Times) had to say...

So.. in lieu of some terrible Summer of Love pics.. here's a few more photo's from our trip to Storm King!!!

Menashe_kadishman_suspended_2This first photo includes the work Suspended,1977 by Menashe Kadishman...

and in white in the background set high on the hill is the majestic sculpture by Alice Aycock, Titles Three-Fold Manifestation II, 1987.

On the left in red was a large steel work by Alexander Liberman, titled Adam, 1970.

Mark_disuvero_mother_peaceIn the center of the Mark diSuvero field.. was our (photo #2) sentimental favorite sculpture in the Storm King park...
Mark di Suvero,
Mother Peace 1969 -70.

Now that's a great 1960's work of Summer of Love Art!!

January 17, 2007

Getting Real with Ron Mueck in Brooklyn

The Ron Mueck show at The Brooklyn Museum is contemporary realism at it's best.
So this weekend Dr. Quiz and I made our way over to the Brooklyn Museum.

Much to our shock and awe.. At noon this Sunday, there had to be at least 500 people waiting on line outside the museum.. and maybe another 500+ people on line inside. But the sad joke of it all... was most of these people were waiting to see the wrong show! But dedicated MAO readers already know, they were all there to see the pathetic disappointing Annie Leibovitz show.

Ron_mueck_wild_manThe real prize at the Brooklyn Museum.. is the new photo-realistic Ron Mueck retrospective show on the 5th floor. Which IMO, was very poorly placed by the Brooklyn Museum, in the former Rodin sculpture rooms.. and way too close to the Leibovitz show.. it made for insane noisy crowds, and security was loose to impossible.

Ron's hyper realistic creations will simply dazzle you.

If you haven't seen it yet.. Run. don't walk to The Brooklyn!! The show is unsettling. It's been a long time since we've been so moved in a museum. Ron's larger than life sculptures are mesmerizing... We just starred at them waiting for them to breath. The Wild Man (Photo #1) was by far our favorite..shocking... the hair, the nails, the skin, the eye lashes.. all a wow... and amazing!

But we probably spent a solid 20 minutes just staring out this self portrait, Mask II. (Photo #2) It's a huge.. 30 x 46.5 x 33.5".. it's scary.. plus you can get real close..thanks to the sleeping,stupid accommodating museum guards.
Ron_mueck_mask_iiBy the way.. the urge to touch is terrible.. cause they are not to be believed...but, please try to keep you hands in your pockets..

There's also a great video playing.. part of which is on the Brooklyn Museum Website.. and of course there's a nice book as well to take home.

Check out these great installation photo's on Jamie O'shea's blog.

Here are some of the many reviews we found around the web..

The Ron Mueck Show continues through Feb. 4 at the Brooklyn Museum.

December 29, 2006

Naughty or Nice? A Post Christmas Art Outing in NYC

So most of the Art World is closed for the entire week in NYC... just one of the many signs that times are too good.

So Dr. Quiz and I have spent the last few days fattening ourselves up for the long cold winter. But while I was looking through the bottom of my empty tasty pudding bowl, I was surprised to read in this weeks TimeOut Magazine, Andrea K. Scott's "The Best (and Worst) of 2006"  a positive listing for the current show at the newly re-opened Bronx Museum. Hence an Art plan for this weekend; dust off the Atlas.. and find trek up to the Bronx. It's a show of Brazilian Art from the 1960's to today.. guest-curated by Carlos Basualdo, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. So how bad can it be??? Plus, I just loved the Banner Ad for the show by AVAF...

So?? anyone up for a road trip to the Bronx? Has anyone reading ever been to the Bronx this museum?? Do we need to bring a language interpretor our passports?

Tropicália: A Revolution in Brazilian Culture


(Photo #1: assume vivid astro focus,Baby, 2003, Floor sticker,Dimensions variable)

The show has recieved several rave reviews :

  1. 5 Stars from Joseph R. Wolin of TimeOut Magazine
  2. New York Magazine, Review by Mark Stevens
  3. NY Times review by Holland Cotter
  4. Jamie O'Shea of the Blog supertouch
  5. Ariella Budick and Justin Davidson of Newsday

November 29, 2006

Kiki Smith - A Gathering, At the Whitney

So.. while everyone in NYC was out doing their post Thanksgiving shopping or packing up their entire gallery inventory for their trip to Shop Art Basel Miami.
Kiki_smith_bronze_whitney1Dr. Quiz and I went to the Whitney this weekend, and while they may need some more space..
maybe even a new space in Chelsea..
they've packed one hell of an amazing group of shows in that museum.
The Most impressive was the new :
Kiki Smith, A Gathering, 1980 - 2005
show on the third floor.
The show, organized by the Walker Art Center looks 100% perfect at the Whitney!

Since it's already been everywhere, here's a few essays and reviews..


The exhibition has a full spectrum of Kiki's thought provoking work, including prints, drawings, Wax sculptures, books, and jewelry.

But, I have to admit.. we were blow away by her bronze statues.  There were several..all beautiful and just a bit unsettling.

(photo #1, Lilith, 1994, silicon, bronze and glass, 33 x 27 1/2 x 19 inches)

We also loved (photo #2 :Untitled, Crystal and Rubber, 1989-90) from Kiki's sexual reproduction series.  In this one, Kiki Smith has hand crafted a large pool of 200 crystal spermatozoa swimming in circles on black rubber, both amusing and a little creepy. Reportedly.. each crystal sperm is unique, and even include the artists fingerprints. Absolutely well worth seeing in person.

Oh.. and FYI.. if you didn't take our wise advice, you can go see the June'06 - MAO Art buy of the Month.. both of these Crown Point Press prints are in this Whitney show! They look great too!

Don't miss it! The show runs till February 11th. There's also a great Walker Show Catalog.

October 23, 2006

Going The Long (or Wrong) Way to Brooklyn - Annie Leibovitz

By Now..everyone knows about the new "Annie Leibovitz : A Photographer's Life" show at The Brooklyn Museum.

Sadly, Dr. Quiz, Dutch, Hobbit and I all missed a hot young uptown party & the big 27th street west Gallery Openings to attend a "special" opening this Friday Night. You can read the reviews for yourself..

  1. Roberta Smith in the NYT
  2. Janny Scott preview in the NYT
  3. Deepti Hajela of the Canadian Press
  4. The Associated Press in the International Herald Tribune
  5. Blogger NewYorkology
  6. Wendy Zarganis on Brooklyn and Peter Marshall on Photography both at About.com
  7. Michele Norris of NPR.org
  8. Even CNN ran a review of the Leibovitz Show

Annieleib_demi_moore We all found the show a total bore. It's impressive all these reviewers were even able to find something nice to say. The show proves one thing.. there's a reason why Annie Leibovitz is known as a celebrity portrait artist.. because that's what she does best!  Actually her inclusion of tons of  "personal photo's" of friends and family while cute, and tragic at times, all fall very simple and flat in this show.  These numerous unremarkable images added little to nothing, and are more of a distraction to some of the stronger celebrity portraits.  There are almost no images which show the photographer's interaction with these "Personal Photo's" leaving a cold disconnect. Even after reading the short text in the book, and at the show.. you gain little in site into the Leibovitz/Sontag relationship.  We all felt, presenting these photos along side her commercial work added almost nothing to the show. (FYI, Annie's 2001 photo of the George W. Bush cabinet is amazing....which almost makes the trip to Brooklyn worth the trek.. but not quite!)

In total the show is as painful, as your next door neighbor taking hours to show you tons of slides from their last family vacation. Only in this case it's Annie, her girlfriend Susan Sontag, their children, and her dying father. But what really screams of mediocrity are her huge tacky billboard size landscape/nature photos.  It proves, bigger is not better, and they completely waste occupy one of the largest rooms in the museum.  For us, all of these photo's said nothing other than.. "There are several reasons why Annie Leibovitz is not, and never will be well recognized as a Landscape, Nature or Social/Biographical Art photographer..... "

The show is up in Brooklyn till January, and then it travels to San Diego, Atlanta, DC, San Fran, Paris and even London. Wow!!! Now that's a lot of mileage for so little. I'm not sure if it was even worth the subway ride across the east river.

Also, if you need a few extra dozen pounds of useless paper art book, there is a new giant sized book to rationalize document the show. Look for it on sale at Costco, and I'm not sure who's getting the copy I have for Christmas yet.. but, let me know if you have a mother-in-law and need a big gift??

September 07, 2006

So.. Who's Your DADA?!

Yes.. last night was the premier of The Wooster Group's DADA inspired performance at MOMA. Manray_dada Dutch, Hobbit, Dr. Quiz and I all managed to sober up enough, to leave our comfortable table at Estiatorio Milos to attend.

The show, which lasted about an hour, was filled with funny readings from the Dada Manifestso (by both Tzara, and Hugo Ball),  live video, Dada poetry, music, and the occasional exploding audience chair. Which MAO was lucky enough to fall victim to...Ha Ha.. yes the joke was on me.. Yea.. everybody laughed..I become part of the show.. Wooster Group members Kate Valk, Scott Shepherd, and Ari Fliakos did a great job of warning the audience, but just wait till one of my lawyers get a hold of them! Grrrr!

Anyway...there are 2 more performances tonight and Saturday. If you get a chance to leave Chelsea and like Dada Art, it's well worth checking out. And be for warned.. stay away from those little black and white stools unless you really want to become part of their performance.

July 26, 2006

Studio Museum Opening Party

The Studio Museum of Harlem has a new show!

Well.. It's summer.. so it's been a slow few weeks for the art obsessed in NYC. Which means in order to get a desperately needed art fix, one has to travel to all ends of the earth.  FYI..in NYC this would be defined as..the outer boroughs or any block north of the Guggenheim.  Anyway..it was a good excuse to trek way the hell uptown.. to 125th street!! Yikes!  It's actually somewhat uncharted art country up there, so I needed a travel guide, and a body guard to drag along this bad little lost Sheep, and my pal JG.  Oh, just one note about JG, since leaving art publishing, he's looking and sounding more and more like my old high school English teacher everyday! Can you say fashion emergency?? Carson.. Help!

So.. we attended the opening and the "clearly too cool for us" dance party last week at the Studio Museum.  The party was rockin!! The sculpture garden was packed with lots of uber chic people busy guzzling the free booze, and tearing up the hip-hop dance floor.  Naturally, being in the NYC art hinterland, we saw many people with shaved heads, chain mail jewelry, bandannas, and combat boots.. and those were just the women! Or in other words... we blended right in with the crowd! NOT!

Studio_museum2It would seem the Spike Lee look is "in" on 125th street. (See photo #1) So I probably shouldn't have been surprised when someone ask me if we were the Museum's audit team from Pricewaterhouse!  Just kidding.. actually... they only asked JG that question! But I digress..

Well.. for those who are completely clueless don't know, The Studio Museum of Harlem is mostly focused on the work of local black artists. Many of their featured resident artists have grown to have international reputations, such as current art stars Wangechi Mutu, and Kehinde Wiley just too name a few MAO favorites..

The new show is a culmination of the work just completed by their current Artist-in-Residence program. The exhibition is named "Same Difference" and includes work by Rashawn Griffin, Karyn Olivier and Clifford Owens.  You may recognize both Karyn Olivier and Clifford Owens, since they have recently been featured in the successful Greater New York 2005 show at P.S.1.  As for this group show, there's not much of a real connection between any of the artists works.  But there are some innovative individual pieces presented, and it's still well worth a look if you find yourself lost   way up north anytime soon. This group show is up until October 22.

So..here's a bunch of additional pictures from the opening night party which were posted on someone's New York Social Diary.....needless to say.. we didn't make that cut. But I'll stay on the lookout, there's always a chance our ugly mugshots pictures could be in the next Studio Museum's annual report or financial statements!

June 27, 2006

Summer Party Time at P.S.1

Brianfinke_fratboyz2 OK.. For those stuck in NYC this summer.. as all real New Yorkers know, Summer time is PARTY TIME at P.S.1!

If you're looking to escape the annoying hordes of lost tourists crawling all over Manhattan.. Go to P.S.1.  (FYI..no this is not me in the photo. it's one of my all time favorite summer party boy photo's from photographer Brian Finke's Frat Boy Series..) Here's just a bit of what P.S.1 has going on this summer :

P.S.1's 30th Anniversary Kick-Off Party at the ROXY!, Tuesday, July 18th @ 8pm

Where: Roxy at 515 W 18th St., New York, NY, 10011
: DJ Spun (Jason Drummond) of Rong Music and WPS1 Art Radio; Duane Harriott of NegroClash NYC, Audio Archeology, and Other Music; and Jeannie Hopper of Liquid Sound Lounge and WPS1 Art Radio. I hear roller skates maybe included, but beware of the Canadian Roller Derby Art Bloggers (AFC) on the rink!!

Tickets: $30 per person. Available via Ticketweb. Visit www.ps1.org and click on 30th Anniversary.

P.S.1 Warm UP Saturday's - Starting Sat July 1st, and going on for the next 10 Saturdays at 7pm.

Warm Up is P.S.1's critically acclaimed music series and has become one of the most anticipated summer events. The series is housed within the architectural installation created by the winner of the annual P.S.1 and MoMA organized Young Architects Program . Together, the music, architecture and exhibition program provide a unique multi-sensory experience for music fans, artists, and families alike. Warm Up was conceived in 1997 as a summer-long dance party to attract crowds to P.S.1 and Long Island City, Queens. The series runs every Saturday from July through early September and draws thousands of local and international visitors each day. Advanced tickets are suggested. Here's a video from Warm UP 2005!

May 25, 2006

ICP's Second Triennial, Keeping it Young and In Focus!

In this fast pace world of Contemporary Art Photography, NYC's ICP would have to be considered the market leader and they've even exhibited a Loretta Lux! The center was instrumental to helping launch the careers of Vik Muniz, Liu Zheng, Tomoko Sawada, Chien-Chi Chang, and Shirin Neshat just to name a few...

So it's with great anticipation every Art Photography Enthusiast has been watching for the list of included artists for their next 2006 Triennial. Plus..as everyone on Fire Island knows.. the best things in life come in threes!

It's now posted on the ICP website... and it looks like a very interesting list of photographers. Led by senior curator Brian Wallis, they've chosen a topic and name : Ecotopia. Here's their blurb..

In a time of rampant natural disasters and urgent concerns about global environmental change, this exhibition demonstrates the ways in which the most interesting and engaging contemporary artists view the natural world. Shattering the stereotypes of landscape and nature photography, the thirty-nine international artists included in this survey boldly examine new concepts of the natural sphere occasioned by twenty-first-century technologies; images of destructive ecological engagement; and visions of our future interactions with the environment. Considering nature in the broadest sense, this exhibition reflects new perspectives on the planet that sustains, enchants, and—increasingly—frightens us.

Marymattingly_mobilityofhome You'll notice, for this show, they have avoided many of the hot hot artists...but, some MAO favorites have made the list.. like Mitch Epstein, Joan Fontcuberta, Thomas Ruff, Qingsong Wang, and Mary Mattingly (her cool photo to right, titled "The New Mobility of Home", 2004)

Plus there are several very young new artists. Of the 42 listed, 26 are under 40 years old.. 13 of these artists were born in the 70's, and one of these pups was even born in the 80's! OMG can you  say, I feel so old!

Given the topic of "destructive ecological engagement", I was surprised not to see included Edward Burtynsky, Chris Jordon, Stan Douglas, Alfredo Jaar, and Robert Polidori.  But I guess they had to make some tough choices..

The show opens September 14th!!

Art News also posted a brief story yesterday.

April 21, 2006

Sneak Preview : The new Installation of MOMA's Atrium Gallery

TGIF everyone!!  As always the impatient observer.. MAO was snooping around MOMA yesterday.
Here's a photo of the Jennifer Bartlett's Rhapsody, 1976 (a story about it) work being installed in MOMA's main atrium gallery as part of this up coming "Against the Grain: Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection" show.


The "Rhapsody" painting is composed of 987 painted steel panels, each 12 x 12 inches. It fills 153 running feet of wall space and wraps the entire atrium.

It was once called by John Russell of the NYT, "The most ambitious single work of new art that had come his way since he started to live in NY"

Well.. Honestly, it's sad to say, but the work didn't look much better in person than it does in my lame ass photo.  Maybe it's the size of the space, volume, height, intense bright light, etc.. But, After reading so much about this work.. I was expecting to be impressed.. It looks flat, and unexciting. Well then again, maybe I'm just a jaded New Yorker!

Hopefully the rest of the amazing Broida gift (175 works) will be more impressMoma_signive.

The new exhibit opens May 3rd!

March 31, 2006

MAO does Art in the Bronx!

So I dragged my pal JG all the way up to the Bronx this weekend. Actually she practically lives there anyway.. plus he speaks Spanglish Spanish... Which I found out, it's almost a necessity if you're hungry when going above 98th street!! Yikes!!

Well..Yes..!! There is a Contemporary Art Museum in the Bronx believe it or not! I had never been there before, and I grew up in NYC!  So we took our passports, maps, and went up to The Grand Concourse.. which isn't so grand by the way..  to The Bronx Museum of The Arts to see AIM 26 curated by Lydia Yee and Assistant Erin Salazar.  It's largely a student art show, but pretty good!!  We were pleasantly surprised.

The Show features the work of 36 emerging artists from the 2005-2006 "Artist in the Marketplace program" (AIM), which annually provides artists in the NY metro area with professional development seminars and an exhibition venue (this show).

DavidantoniocruzThere's some really fun fresh work to see. Both JG and I enjoyed the show more than we had ever expected. The funny part.. we were in the museum for about an hour and a half on a Sunday afternoon.. and we were the only people in the museum the entire time! In fact when we walked into the museum, the guards rushed over to us, and quickly asked us "Can I help you?" I guess they assumed we just wanted to use the El bano!

This (photo #1) was my favorite painting from the show by David Antonio Cruz called "Puerto Rican Pietra on la Culla Fortaleza". His use of historical reference presented in a modern Puerto Rican American context was brilliant. This large scale painting is both arresting and beautiful.

Thebettertoseeyou Other standouts (photo #2) were two video works by Jessica Lagunas, "The Better to See You" which features the artist continuously putting on Mascara for 57 minutes, and "The Better to Kiss You", which features 58 minutes of her applying bright red lipstick! Both completely hilarious! 

Also Alison Ward's video of "Into the Woods" is a childhood fantasy you just have to see. No.. it's not the Musical! It's hard to explain.. but it's fun!

Lastly Both JG and I stood for a good 15-20 minutes watching and laughing with the 2 video's with sound by Artist Gautam Kansara. It's a great clash of 3 family generations and Indian American culture piece called, "Apart From US, 2005".

All in all.. it's a show well worth going all the fuck uptown to see. Just be sure to bring your passport, a map, an appetite for great rice and beans, and a Puerto Rican Spanish translator!

The show is on view till July 2nd.

Be sure to Come Back tomorrow.. for the April MAO Art QUIZ!!

March 27, 2006

Felix Gonzalez-Torres "Early Imprressions" El Museo del Barrio

Went this weekend with Dr. Quiz and JG to see the Felix Gonzales-Torres retrospective "Early Impressions" at El Museo del Barrio.   Lucky for JG..  Dr. Quiz was very tired from his week long trip to the wrong coast for Beeker School.... so JG got a pass on the typical Dr. Quiz Inquisition.

But I digress.. Felix Gonzalez-Torres, I love the artist, and love his work.. But, I think we all felt this show didn't have enough (only 12) art works on display, in 2 small rooms. The show also could have used some narrative details of the artists life to help put the few works they did have in perspective.  Given the potential to display some truly amazing work by this artist such as Perfect Lovers (A MAO favorite), etc ......which almost none were included, I was a bit disappointed.

Anyway, these were my favorites that did make it to the show..The first one : "Untitled"1991. Offset print on paper, endless copies. 7 inches high x 45.5 x 38.5 inches.


and this second one
(please click on it to read the text)

"Untitled", 1988 Wooden pedestal and photocopies on paper, endless copies, 6" at ideal height x 8.5 x 11 inches each sheet,
pedestal 30 x 9.5 x 12.5 inches.

The show is on view till May 21, 2006.


March 06, 2006

Art Attendance?

If you had any question.. Where is all the growth/demand (geographically) in the Art World going to be over the next few years..???  Here's a list of the most widely attended art museum shows from around the world during 2005.

2005 Museum Show Ranked By Daily Attendance

1. Hokusai: Tokyo National Museum. (9,436 daily)

2. National Treasures of the Toshodaiji Temple: Tokyo National.

3. 19th-Century Masterpieces From the Louvre: Yokohama Museum.

4. Vincent Van Gogh Drawings: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.(6,571 daily)

5. Cezanne and Pissarro: Museum of Modern Art, New York.

6. Turner Whistler Monet: Grand Palais, Paris. (6,043 daily)

7. 19th-Century Masterpieces From the Louvre: Kyoto City Museum.

8. Thomas Demand: Museum of Modern Art, New York.

9. Tutankhamun and the Pharaohs: Los Angeles County Mus. of Art.

10. Van Gogh in Context: National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

11. Masterpieces From Museum Island, Berlin: Tokyo National.

12. Tutankhamun, Golden Beyond: Kunst der Bundesrepublik, Bonn.

13. Chanel: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

14. Friedlander: MoMA, New York.

15. Works From the UBS Collection: MoMA, New York.

16. Groundswell, Contemporary Landscape: MoMA, New York.

17. Matisse, His Art and Textiles: Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

18. Salvador Dali: Philadelphia Museum of Art.

19. Turner Whistler Monet, Tate Britain, London. (4,024 daily)

20. Dresden, Mirror of World: Nat. Mus. of Western Art, Tokyo.

(Source: Artnewspaper, London)

So, 4 of the top 7, and 6 out of the top 11 were in Japan!! This is the second year of Japan topping the list! Here's a full story & extended list with all the detail numbers from Artnewspaper.. Download artAttendance.pdf

Also very interesting.. 2 of the top 6 US Museum shows in attendance were of Photography by Living Artists!  Thomas Demand, and Lee Friedlander.  Is this just popular fancy, US museums pandering to the public masses for purely financial interests.. or a continuing trend towards acceptance of new media as a dominate force in 21st century Art?

Hmmm.. Maybe that's why those opportunistic wise people  at Sotheby's are holding their first..

Contemporary Art Asia: China Japan Korea Auction on March 31st in NYC !

March 02, 2006

2006 Whitney Biennial Members Preview

First off.. Who knew The Whitney had so many god damn members??  Whenever I've been to the Whitney Museum, it's almost always empty!  Well... We, and like 1000+ other members, waited in the freakin cold for what seemed like "Day and Nights." This ??  Just to get into the typically uninteresting preview opening for the Whitney Biennial 2006 "Day for Night" Show last night.

By 8:30pm, the line stretched around 2 city blocks.. that's right..!! Not 1.. but 2+ full city blocks!! So by the time we got in.. it was insanely crowded.. the coat check looked like something out of a Barney's Warehouse Sale.  Plus, we only saw the first, and half the second floor's of the show before the over whelmed guards pushed everyone back out into the cold.

So... Picture_022Here's a picture of the sidewalk, and a cool piece of chromed disassembled bicycle parts, not sure who's the artist. But, this is where we spent most of the night.. freezing our butts off!! I was numb (not in a good way) by the time we got inside.

Well..it may have been worth the wait and hypothermia.  Much to my surprise, even from what little I got to see..the show is very interesting and engaging.  Not at all what I expected from a Biennial!  Lot's of artists were new and refreshing to me, but the works all had a well connected feel.  It was not just a big kitchen soup of gallery hyped art like some of the past Biennials. One small negative.. There was very little photography.. but hey.. you can't please everyone!  What?  No Loretta Lux, No Ruud Van Empel, No John Currin, No Mike Kelley, No Gregory Crewdson, No Andres Serrano, No Richard Prince, No Damien Hirst..Etc... ?? Wow.. How Refreshing!!

In the lobby of the 3rd floor was this sculpture by Liz Larner, RWB's, 2005... I'm not sure if it was my camera, cause it just seemed like one big blur to me!!  Well, we were pushed out so fast into the damn stairwell..  I barely had a chance to see it!Picture_026

In the lobby of the second floor was this neon lit covered wagon. Actually pretty cool.. again not sure who the artist was.. since it was jammed, and I couldn't find the wall label.Picture_024

They have some really cool video's. I loved the Gore Vidal Caligula film trailer by Italian artist (I thought the WB was all about American Art?) Francesco Vezzoli. In this age of American obsessed media and TV.. this piece takes a refreshingly funny stab at our Hollywood Celebrity Crazed Cinema. Plus it's got a very fitting ending by none other than Courtney Love.. it doesn't get any more kitchy than this! I loved it! This weekend Linda Yablonsky of The NY Times gave a detailed report of the work with some funny comments by Mr. Vezzoli's

The Kranky Klaus, 2002 color video (26 minutes)by Cameron Jamie was mesmerizing. You just have to love his horned hairy goat people roaming the Austrian countryside, and their pagan myth of Krampus. It's not exactly for the UES prudish moviegoer, but, I'll have to go back to see the rest of this one.

Other standouts... The Zoe Strauss slide show.  Don't miss it!  Her gritty South Philadelphia Inner City Photography has all the beauty, wit, and sensations of Alec Soth's wonderful Mississippi work from the last Whitney Biennial.

Lastly the 2 large Kelley Walker digital prints on canvas were suggestive of classic silk screened Warhols, but with a very different twist.  These pieces are not slick clean lined-up TV icons, but he's spun them around, and tarnished the media images with stains of chocolate syrup. Giving the work a bruised trampled feel of some dark underground world.

All I can say.. I'll have to go back to see the rest of the show.. and Shame on The Whitney for giving out way too many invitations to last night's event.  Making your supporting members wait hours out in the cold for the preview was foolish, unnecessary, but I guess it's better than waiting out in the snow like people will be doing today!

Some 2006 Whitney Biennial Reviews are already out (I'll add more as I find them)...

  1. Jerry Saltz of the Voice,
  2. Lance Esplund of The NY Sun,
  3. "Red, White and Bleak," Washington Post by Blake Gopnik
  4. Michael Kimmelman NYT, "Biennial 2006 : Short on Pretty, Long on Collaboration"
  5. Linda Yablonsky, Download File Blommberg News

February 24, 2006

Ethics and Greed at the Biennial??

Question : So why was the Lion walking behind a herd of elephants eating the elephant dung??

Answer : Because it had just eaten a 2006 Whitney Biennial Co-Curator and wanted to get the bad taste out of it's mouth.

Edna Well.. I know this is just possibly rumor and speculation by one smart tipped off Anonymous Militant Art Bitch blogger.. But you've got to read Edna's Post today!

Even if they didn't profit intentionally.. it smells pretty bad and the co-curators should have known better!  As a frequent Whitney Museum donor..it's depressing (but not too surprising) to think the heralded Biennial has been corrupted for personal gain by one of it's curators.

February 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Dr. Quiz!! & Edvard Munch

HAPPY Birthday Dr. QUIZ!!

Munch_scream OK.. you'll have to call and wish her a Happy Birthday for yourself.. and YOU can ask THE QUESTION..!!  cause if I ever put her age on this blog.. my 11 year relationship would never make it to a dozen!! Now I just need to find a birthday cake large enough to fit all these damn candles !!

So, I went to the preview (with all the rest of NYC) Thurs night to see the "Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul" show at MOMA.. on view now till May 8th.  amazing show.. too many people (most drinking at the free bar and talking too much..). But the show was great.. I had never seen so many of these works in person before, cause, like who ever goes to Oslo?  Where?? So don't miss your chance to see it here! The only disappointment with the show is there's no SCREAM painting.. just 2 litho's in The back.. (NYT- review)

   But bring some good friends (or some Prozac) with you to see the show.. cause the work is powerful.. but such depressing images !! Yikes!

February 05, 2006

Sugimoto Show at The Japan Society Gallery

The History of History, by Hiroshi Sugimoto at the Japan Society Gallery (Sept 23- Feb19th) It travels to the Smithsonian Institution next month. It's been described as "a unique investigation into the experience of time & history from a perspective of internationally acclaimed artist Hiroshi Sugimoto."

      As an ICP Focus event, I attended a private viewing of this Sugimoto show last week. This was a joint event, with the MOMA and Guggenheim Contemporary Groups.. Sadly, this crowd was scary not my thing! Unlike most ICP events, which tend to be fun and very casual, this crowd was filled with that UES attitude, little black-dress wearing, bland snappy chattering, socialite type.  Needless to say.. I was under dressed out of my element.  What I found particularly funny, was how few people were looking at the art show.  Most were foolishly feeding standing around the sushi bar in the buildings lobby.  Lucky for me, I thought, I've got the gallery tour almost entirely to myself. Well, as it turns out, I was not so lucky! The show was a dud!

Sugimoto_caribsea          I've long been a fan of Sugimoto's very subtle, minimalist photography.  His recent architecture series, his time-laps theaters, and tranquil seascapes shots are magical. They have an austerity few photographers have been able to capture.  Unfortunately, this show is mostly filled with his new assemblages, taken from his personal collection of Fossils, East Asian Art and other ancient objects. To me, these new works felt very clumsy and manipulated.  Hiroshi Sugimoto is a great photographer, but this show has only 7 large photographs.  And while bigger is not always better for most photographers, Sugimoto photo's are very subtle (see image #1 Carribean Sea). So the large prints give Sugimoto's work power, as your eye can explore the wonderful details. It's disappointing, and a lost opportunity not to see many of them in this show. 

      There was only one theater photo, which was ignored in the basement, poorly lit, and next to the coat check (not even in the gallery space!).  Are they kidding?  While, the works that actually made it into the gallery, I found completely forced and contrived.  Sugimoto's greatest work, focuses our attention to the essence of time, nature and life.  Here they are jammed into new work, he's taken many ancient Japanese artifacts, and forced them together unsuccessfully with modern materials and images.  It's anything but subtle. I found myself almost laughing at these contraptions. It was very heavy handed.

For example.. one new very large prominent work consisted of : a large 7ft phallic stone rod from the Jomon Period, ca. 10,000-300 BCE, which he's set upon a 1950's Shinny Hospital gurney.  It has the ever so brilliant title of "Testament of a Penis" OK! Size Queens! Need I say more?

Sugimoto_time This stupid "large awkward" work.. was positioned in front of 3 large wonderful Seascapes, possibly Sugimoto's most thoughtful contemplative photographs.  This contrast was as artfully coordinated as last years New Orleans flood control team! Even the tour guide had a hard time not blushing, rationalizing explaining this piece! What was he thinking?? 

Another example (see photo #2), was a bit better. And is on the cover of the exhibition's book. The item is named "Time's Arrow, 1987" Here Hiroshi Sugimoto has taken a seascape, and included it into a reliquary bronze fragment from the Kamakure period, 13th century. I couldn't help but think, what was in that space originally? And why did he ruin an artifact from the 13th century for this silly self serving show!

Well.. this was probably the best of the new works in the show. I think Sugimoto should probably stick to photography, and leave ancient artifacts alone.. for history's sake!

Once I saw this, I now knew why everyone from the Contemporaries were huddled around the free Sushi and Saki bar!  At least they had wonderful George Nakashima furniture in the lobby to admire, pretty people to smile at, cold drinks, and fresh sushi!  Maybe those UES attitude, little black-dress wearing, bland snappy chattering, socialite type were not so foolish after all!

The Show Closes on February 19th. I won't miss this one!

February 01, 2006

MAO Road Trip - Wadsworth Antheneum Museum In Hartford, CT


MAO Weekend Sunday road trip to Hartford, CT. Destination The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

So Dr. Quiz, our friend Dutch aka.. The Duchess, Whitey our Jeep 4x4, and I went for the 90 min trek to see a museum in the hinterlands! Like there could ever be decent art west of 11th ave 12th Ave, Manhattan!  Mostly I really wanted to see the Kota Ezawa show, but hey.. we had nothing else better to do.. and Dr. Quiz knew if he didn't go with us, Dutch and I would get into trouble.   Plus even after 11 years of our LTR, Dr. Quiz still doesn't trust me with Whitey.. Can you say controlling?  He sites some crazy excuse of I not having a drivers license anymore (long tragic story.. to be told most appropriately over beers at another time) License?? Who needs a license..?? like we don't have a marriage license either!! But I digress..


Anyway..Much to our surprise the Wadsworth is awesome!  Our first stop was to see the 2 installed project works of Kota Ezawa in their Matrix Galleries. They were very cool. I loved "The Unbearable Lightness of Being, 2005" 16mm film projection. It's kind of a South Park/Julien Opie meets 1960 photo-journalism.  The work is very original, but yet in several ways comments on our human ability to retain mental images of historic events, in a similar way that only the amazing work of Vik Muniz manages to do.  Mr. Ezawa simplifies these video images down to their most very basic shapes and colors, but yet your mind immediately knows the referenced images.
       It's the same for his slide projection project, "The History of Photography Remix, 2005" (Ezawa, After Struth, Pic #3) These works make the viewer realize how much useless art imagery "Visual History" you have stored in the back of your mind. These pictures are all completely familiar photographic icons, and yet you are also seeing these images in a completely new way. I loved the work.. and could have watched it for another hour.


They also had a wonderful Auguste Rodin exhibition which had just opened.  Featuring about 80 of his most notable Bronze works... There are many works from his first big commission, "The Gates of Hell" (The Thinker, The Three Shades, The Falling Man, & The Kiss),  Plus Bronzes from The Burghers of Calais, as well as several Balzac works. They also have several early Busts, and my favorite Rodin work.. Rodin_cathedral The Cathedral (picture #4), along with a few other great hand sculptures.  Actually it was the most comprehensive Rodin show I've ever seen outside of France.  I think this show may even have pulled together more works than whats at the Rodin Museum in Philly.


Lastly, the Wadsworth is also the home of a surprisingly strong 18th and early 19th century portrait collection, but I was most impressed with their Hudson River School Collection. A total WOW ! Certainly more works (over 65) that you can see in the big museums of Manhattan (But the NY Historical Society has an impressive collection , and their "Nature and the American Vision" Hudson River show runs through Feb 19th). Actually seeing these amazing works, made we aware of how lacking some of the NYC museums are when it comes to The Hudson School Artists.  Here's how they describe their collection:

The core of the Museum's renowned Hudson River School collection (the finest of its kind) was formed by two major patrons of American artists who lived in Hartford—Daniel Wadsworth (1771-1848), a picaresque traveler, amateur artist and architect, and founder of the Wadsworth Atheneum; and Elizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt (1826-1905), widow of arms manufacturer Samuel Colt and the creator of a major private picture gallery during the Civil War Era. Wadsworth became one of the most important patrons of Thomas Cole, from whom he commissioned and acquired seven paintings; he later discovered and launched the career of the young Hartford artist Frederic Church. Wadsworth's private art collection formed the core of the Museum's American painting holdings. Later in the century, Elizabeth Colt worked with Frederic Church to form one of the finest private picture galleries in the country including works by Church, Albert Bierstadt, Sanford Gifford, and John Kensett. The collection of over 65 Hudson River landscapes includes thirteen Coles, eleven Churches, and five Bierstadts.

They also, have a small but nice collection of impressionist works (Photo #5). 

Overall pretty impressive for an art hinterland museum!!!  The Wadsworth Who, Hartford Where?  It was a great time, even though I wasn't allowed to doing the driving! But the best part.. The Wadsworth only charged $10 to get in!!  Worth every penny!  WooooHooo!

January 22, 2006

The Jackson Pollock Matters Exhibition

   So, imagine going into your now deceased mom & dad's old storage container and finding some gay porn interesting modern art.  Well.. now, think of not just finding interesting art, but, how about discovering several never seen before works by Alberto Giacometti, Calder, Philip Guston, de Kooning, and exactly 32 early Jackson Pollock drip paintings?? All in all, you find about $40 million in what some experts might considered the most important missing links in Modern Art History.  Well, that's exactly what happened to Alex Matter, son of Artist Herbert & Mercedes Matter out in the Hamptons (Wainscott) about 4 years ago. The story is already legendary!

Jacksonpollock_borghi    These amazing works were found wrapped in a brown paper package, labeled in Herbert Matter's distinctive handwriting as

"Pollock (1946-1949), Tudor City (1940-1949), 32 Jackson experimental works (gift + purchase)"

in the family's untouched "Home Sweet Home" storage locker out in Wainscott.   Here's one of the paintings, I found it listed on Artnet.com... "Untitled", is 11.8 x  16 in

There are 2 others posted, so I guess for all you multi-millionaires reading my blog.. they are all for sale.. Contact Mark Borghi Fine Art.. I hear they make great birthday gifts.. Note, MAO is accepting all donations if you don't have any wall space left.

     Hence these 32 small paintings are all thought to be early examples of Pollock's first drip paintings while Jackson boozed it up worked in the Matter's Family studio in Tutor City.   Further adding to their authenticity, were found some 10,000 archived photographs by Alex's father Herbert depicting the Matter family with Lee Krasner, Pollock, and several other notable art figures from their days out in the Hamptons.

  Well... before you go searching through your parents attic this summer looking for gay porn lost art treasure.. you can make the trek out to East Hampton to see an announced show of "Pollock Matters" at Guild Hall.  As reported by this weeks Dan's Papers, On August 11, 2006, the 50th anniversary of Jackson's drunken deadly Springs-Fireplace Road accident, The Pollock Matters exhibit will open.   

      Additionally the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in the beautiful Historic East Hampton Springs(Coincidentally, only a few doors down from the MAO Art Center East... better know as the "PupSchwitz Work-Camp" to my BF Dr. Quiz & our friends.. but I'll save that story for another time) will be holding it's own Pollock Show. Their show will include several small drip works from 1943 to 1950.

Vik_pollock_2   Actually, for the 50th anniversary, 2006, it's looking to be an "All Pollock Summer."  For those in NYC not willing to brave the East End attitude summer traffic, The Guggenheim Museum in NYC is also planning a Pollock show, "No Limits, Just Edges: Jackson Pollock Painting on Paper" featuring 60 works on paper. That show opens June 2 and is up till September 29th.

Well.. like any great find in the art world, the Guild Hall "Pollock Matters" show is not without it's bitchy queens detractors.  There's been some debate over the origin of the works.  Mr. Eugene V. Thaw, past president and founder of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation refuses to acknowledge the works authenticity, for what sounds like mostly bullshit, cover his ass, legal liability issues.  There was also a story today in the Sunday Long Island NY Times by Julia C. Mead, that says the show "may open." So I guess it's not officially done yet. But, Oh, and Yes.. MAO was out in EH, at The Pupschwitz Work-Camp, this weekend.. so we only had the LI Sunday NYT Edition!

   The "Pollock Matters" show organized by Mark Bourghi Fine Art, has been Curated by Ellen G. Landau who authored "Jackson Pollock (Abrams 1998)",  and Lee Krasner: A Catalogue Raisonne (Abrams 1995). Ellen G. Landau, who has officially authenticated these early works as Pollock, is also suppose to be authoring a publication for this exhibition to be named "Pollock Matters" published by Harry Abrams.

For more details about this important show, check out this cool website created just for the "Pollock Matters" show. Now it's back to yardwork.. ahhh.. Puplschwitz!

December 11, 2005

Stephen Shore and Peter Hujar at P.S.1

There's Contemporary Art Outside of Manhattan?? One of the best kept secrets in the NYC art world.. is P.S.1! It would seem some smart bloggers from the wrong west coast found it on their last tripl!

So, I got out my Atlas NYC tour book.. and traveled across water, into QUEENS to find P.S.1!
Img_0610And yes, I've been there before, the trip, as always, was well worth it!  P.S.1 was totally empty this Sunday, and while it may not be pretty to look out from the outside, it has some impressive sites inside. Currently 2 great shows, plus a entire host of extras.

The Stephen Shore : American Surface show has about 300 color photo's taken during his road trip across country from 1972 and 73. I found it almost too much to see in just one visit.  In a rebellion against the current art photo trend of Shore_july97frig_1 bigger is better size queens, all these photos are shown in ~8x10 prints.  There's no doubt in my mind Mr. Shore belongs right next to William Eggleston in the list of "Daddys" "Fathers"of color art Photography.
    I wasn't familiar with many of these images, but it was clear to see Shore's influence on so many modern color art photographers. Certainly Wolfgang Tillmans, Alec Soth, and Phillip Lorca DiCorci just to name a few, have copied  referenced Shore's work.  Many of the shows rich color images are of white trash common everyday things in middle America. His striking Michigan July 1972 image  (photo #2)of the inside of an empty dirty fridge, and some of his great dining table images just turn the typical concept of still life photography upside down. They are truly magical! A show not to be missed.. it's there only until Jan 23rd.Hujar_fayette

The other great show, is the first American museum exhibition dedicated to Peter Hujar(1934-1987) since 1990. Unlike the Matthew Marks Gallery, Peter Hujar:Night show this summer, this show is a full spectrum of Peter's work, some 70 images, many never exhibited or reproduced before.

   I've always thought of Hujar as one of the greatest portrait photographers of the 1980's.  This becomes clear with this show.  In the way Daine Arbus exploited drew attention to her freaks subjects oddities, Hujar's images almost romanticize their differences.  Here portraits of circus clowns, an ugly dog, a contortionist, and drag Queens/transvestites are made beautiful and normal.  Unlike the Night Show this summer, throughout all of this work you can seen Hujar's sense of mortality.  The images are much more somber but yet inspirational.  This feeling is most evident in his portrait of Candy Carling dying in a hospital bed.

The show is up until Jan 16th. Now, I just wish P.S.1 were in Manhattan!!

December 06, 2005

Rob Fischer @ The Whitney's Altria Gallery

     When I see an abandoned Toyota pickup truck, oil drum, used water pipes, and a beat up mobile home, I think of Urban waste.  Artist Bob Fischer sees people's choices, the decisions many individuals have made in their lives to leave something behind.  It's exactly those items he's chosen to re-use giving them new life in his art.

      Last night I caught a Whitney Contemporaries educational program lecture at the Whitney Museum at Altria By Artist Rob Fischer and Shamim M. Momin (Branch Director and 2004 Biennial Co-Curator). Rob_fischer_altar

     The project was commissioned specifically for the Altria Gallery and the great sized sculpture garden atrium of the 42nd street office building.  The 7 large sculptures were mostly built on site, and tightly relate concepts of time, mobility, human usefulness, monumentality, birth and re-birth to one another.

     The sculpture court, is anchored by 2 giant almost skyscraper feeling towers opposing each other.  The 23 foot tall mirror covered green and rust metal garbage dumpster (photo #1) is  titled "I bet you think this song is about you, 2005", while the 35 foot high (photo #2) "Your vigor for life appalls me, 2005" is constructed of wood, and white plaster of hallways and closets.  Both these monument like pieces while very different in color and material appearance are deeply related. They share common human concepts concerning life cycles, choices, vanity, hubris, and pathways. Img_0603

     The true standout work is in the formal Altria Gallery.  This 16 foot tall x 15 foot wide industrial looking sculpture is mostly constructed from chopped up parts of Rob Fischer's previous work "Ten Yards, 2003."  It had been exhibited in the 2004 Whitney Biennial where it featured a large steel and glass sided filled garbage dumpster. At the time, it seemed an impressive complete work of art. Now he's sliced, and combined the work with other past projects into a more mature, complex re-born sculpture.

       Named: "30 Yards (Minor Tragedies Dissected), 2005" (photo #3) Rob additionally adds in remnants of several of his past exhibition work featuring a mobile home, a glass greenhouse, a cut in half pickup truck bed, a row boat and more.  He loosely ties these diverse pieces with metal plumbing in an effort to breath life into this pile of used junk.  He succeeds.  The sculpture has great tonal qualities, volume and movement.  It also seems both solid and yet fragile. The viewer is presented with great abstract shapes and patterns from every side in ways that MOMA's Elizabeth Murray can only hope to attain.  But what adds to it's dimension is the material's art history, to know these were items in previous museum works the artist sacrificed to create something new and possibly more complete is refreshing.  The viewer can't help but wonder... where and when is this transformation going to end?

        Looking at the other works in the show, I look forward to seeing what Rob Fischer does next with these sculptures. The exhibition is only on view till Jan 22ndImg_0606, and given Rob's propensity to reuse his materials, I can say with certainty it's the last chance you'll have to see these sculptures in this form!