This week, a number of online journals have launched new editions, the Clyfford Still Museum finally opened in Denver, the value of professional opinions in art, the 9/11 Memorial isn’t as popular as people thought it would be, the relationship of Yves Klein and Ed Kienholz, Roberto Matta at 100, does corporate culture suck and a non-digital animated GIF.
“Moscow art of the ’70s inhabited an upside-down world, one defined by the victory of anticapitalism rather than the victory of communism, socialism, or the Soviet regime.” In this world, communist ideology had already converted objects to ideas (collective property) and citizen-subjects to (non-professional) artists, so the found object, the privileging of idea over material, and the disappearance of the artist’s hand were already indistinguishable from an ideological landscape taken for granted by the artists. Interestingly, it is in this sense that Moscow Conceptualism must be considered not only as the work of dissident artists confronting the triumphs and failures of socialism, but as a continuous line of inquiry producing radically unexpected terms for non-alienated art.
In thinking about the artworld from an artist’s perspective, it’s important to remember:
1. You are puny.
2. Your ideas are runny like soft-boiled eggs — also, like soft-boiled eggs, they have probably occurred before.
3. You will not ever succeed, but once in a while you may get a swelled head and think you are magical.
4. People will want to bite you.
5. You will want to bite them.
Art experts, including art scholars, dealers, museum curators, authors of catalogues raisonnés and others who make decisions about the authenticity of visual art are all concerned to avoid legal claims over their decisions. This essay addresses a free-speech defense for these experts, under American constitutional law.
Still’s one-page will bequeathed the bulk of his work to “an American city that will agree to build or assign and maintain permanent quarters exclusively for these works of art and assure their physical survival” for exhibition and study. Owing to his conditions (that the space be dedicated exclusively to his work and that nothing be “sold, given, or exchanged”) and those added by Patricia, who left her own 30-page will, it has taken more than 30 years to make this a reality.
A year earlier, when Yves Klein and his wife arrived in Los Angeles following a short stint in New York, Kienholz had greeted the famed French artist with a welcome gift: a briefcase outfitted irreverently with certain items including a bottle of “GoodAire,” a blue-pigment-soaked sponge, and an aerosol can labeled “IKB” (for International Klein Blue). Amused by the gesture, Klein offered Kienholz in return a piece of the Void, one of a series of Klein’s works known as the Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility.
… he did not fully become conscious of the intellectual intention implicit in his art until it became clearly evident in his last paintings, that is, until he had worked through his own important “surreal” emotions (and with that his self-importance), discarding and transcending them in the process, to gain an important insight into the cosmos.
Once upon a time (in the 1980s & ’90s) there was a sticker and a T-shirt that said “Corporate Rock Still Sucks” (also the slogan of SST records). The first time he was on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine (1992), Kurt Cobain made a hand scrawled T-shirt with the words, “Corporate Magazines Still Suck.” This act gestured toward the difficulty of trying to stay independent in our society with all of the contradictions and seductions of corporate culture. These days I’m becoming increasingly confused about my/our (independent cultural producers) relationships to corporations.
Required Reading is published every Sunday morning-ish, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links (10 or less) to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.
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