229. Lola Schnabel – Generation Next.
230. Tom Fruin – Didn’t like this until I saw the stitching. All our comforts, sewn together in a skin suit.
231. Shelly Silvers – Screen koan. This is really good. Loop solid.
232. Erin P. Sharpe – Sometimes painters just need to stop. Cool the way the background and foreground switch places, but I wish I had more affection for the front of the house.
233. Narendra Hayes – This one digs a deep hole and finds its way out with aplomb. Not a fear in the house.
234. Ivan Goodman – I like these, but it’s too easy to see them being bought at an art fair.
235. James Nares – I know this is a painting, but it still brings Shinichi Maruyama to mind, bigtime. That’s always a good thing.
236. Lena Imamura – The way we see, parsed out.
237. Vahakn Arslanian – I wish I liked the drawing more, but the burned and the busted part is totally ON. (NO PIC. [Seriously. What the hell was going on w/ my camera!?])
PRESS PAUSE: At least Vahakn Arslanian got an entry. This would be a good time to apologize to the handful of stragglers that didn’t make it into this marathon. Between some tech malfunctions during my visits and the fact that I must have missed the occasional corner there were bound to be some artists left behind. All apologies. Anyway, onward …
238. Natalie Shook – Crazy moving puzzle painting. Until the last time I saw it it was always in the process of the scramble, and all I could see was the gun. Now that it’s stopped all I can see is the alien field.
239. Annie Powers – Fabulous. Interactive photo booth, including discussion with the artist. The best spaces were the ones in between. Just like always.
240. Sam Linder – OK. This was exceptionally sad. Almost unbearable, but necessary. The hard lens.
241. Herb Fletcher – Not sure if this is a protest against global warming or an ode to bad surfing skills. Whatevernevermind. Gotta admit, it does have a certain power to it.
242. Unknown – Sigh. Can’t even force a response here.
243. Isola/Norzi – This shape we’re in.
244. Ouattara Watts – Ouija alien mutant freaks. As good as it sounds.
245. Unknown – No label. Must be another two-day Salle. (UPDATE: The artist’s name is Emmanuel Daval. Therefore this is NOT another two-day Salle.)
246. David Bianchi – Surprisingly voluptuous, considering the materials.
247. Krit – Thieves in the temple toni-i-ight. Actually digging the mix of the illustrative and straight painting here.
248. Mason Saltarrelli – This is an amazing painting. I wish it was closer to me. And when I say that I mean, like, in my apartment. Trusting line, color, and narrative.
249. Louis Laurita – Gravity is a bitch. One of the best exploitations of text in a painting I’ve seen in awhile. The scene. The direction. Nature. Fucked.
250. Jesse Cohen – This floats back into the wall, which is pretty impressive since in actuality it’s leaning out.
251. Unknown – No supper for you.
252. Unknown – The bride stripped bare.
253. Unknown – What’s not to like about a condom doily?
254. Donald Baechelor – And continuing with the helmet theme … You could say, “Oh, it’s just another Donald Baechelor,” to which I would respond, “So what. The charm is irresistible. I’m in.”
255. Art Club 2000 – They’re to have us? (Honestly, I don’t even know what that means, but it’s what I found in my notebook so I’m stickin’ with it.)
256. Reka Reisinger – Looks like a Franklin Evans outtake.
257. Eleanor Swordy – Another painting where the artist should have stopped with the background. The figurative foreground really doesn’t work. (Um. I take it back. Looking at my photo, I’m seeing something I didn’t when I was there. Please re-read what I just said, and think of the OPPOSITE. Really excellent. And check how she gets that yellow to move up through the space. Fuck, yeah!)
258. Hannah Liden – Amazing photo that doesn’t photograph well. Bottles bleed black. (Hey. Wait. She’s impressed me with her bleeding before. Check my 2006 Whitney Biennial review.)
259. Unknown – OK. Couldn’t find the gimmick here. Then I did. Look close. Very close. Nice critique art school budgetary issues.
260. Nathalie Shepard – OK. No Pink Panther to fall back on this time, but clearly using melted plastic materials is not being done enough. Summer. It turns me upside down.
261. Francesco Clemente – I overheard somebody say that this is the worst Clemente they had ever seen. Agreed!
262. Mark Dorrance – Please stop.
263. Nate Lowman – Comic book bullet hole updated for CSI times. Looser than Lichtenstein.
264. James Brittingham – Not as bold as it looks. Ironically flat.
265. Stefan Bendell – The raised effect is nice, but the proximity to the figurative distracts from the visual trickery. A shame, because it’s some pretty cool visual trickery.
266. Caitlin Keogh – Again. Half the battle is knowing when to stop. A good painting buried under all this.
267. Daniel Newman – Oh, tha HORRAH!!! Seriously funny, and wildly caustic towards fools. Yaay.
268. Adam McEwen – Shoot. Was I supposed to be keeping track? But seriously, made me think of a Warhol silkscreen in a yearnful kinda way. Love this piece. A fine place to land.
Well, now. That was something.
What exactly, I’m still not sure. I don’t know if I know a lot more now than I did when I decided — 5 minutes into it — to fully immerse myself in the rollicking madness of this show. That might be OK though. Nobody else seems to either. Over the summer, The Bruce High Quality Foundation tackled and tickled THE END OF THE ART WORLD with their film Isle of the Dead. We knew better though, didn’t we?
We aren’t the Thessalonians, and we don’t need a letter from Paul. Sure. We might tell ourselves tales of the apocalypse, but that’s only to comfort ourselves with the sense of control that comes with a finite narrative. The art world we knew yesterday dies every time an artist picks up a brush. I don’t need to bring the Ouroboros into this, do I?
Death and life, one bite at a time. Never confuse the infinite with the definite though. In fact, the only definite thing about The Brucennial is that there’s a price on everything. Yes. It’s all for sale. Everything else is up for grabs.
Every long drive needs a great mix tape. This was mine:
Slayer – Reign In Blood
Sheryl Crow – “Leaving Las Vegas” on Spectacle
Ted Nugent – Free For All
Big Star – “September Gurls”
Chris Squire – Fish Out of Water
High on Fire – Blessed Black Wings
Utopia – Utopia
Robert Turman/Aaron Dilloway – Split cassette
X – Los Angeles
Muslimgauze – Zealot
Hall & Oates – Along The Red Ledge
Mick Karn – Bestial Cluster
Camel – Rain Dances
Pentagram – Relentless
Brian Eno – Another Green World
Blue Öyster Cult – Agents Of Fortune
R.E.M. – Fables Of The Reconstruction
Robin Trower – Long Misty Dayss
Merzbow – Batztoutai With Material Gadgets (De-Composed Works 1985-86)
Coil – Astral Disaster
Candlemass – Live
Bola Sete – Live At Grace Cathedral
Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians – Fegmania!
Black Witchery – Upheaval Of Satanic Might
Steve Roach – Immersion : Four
Black Sabbath – Born Again
Bettie Serveert – Pharmacy Of Love
Alice Cooper – Hey Stoopid
Alice Cooper – Love It To Death
Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies
Caravan – If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You