Making boldface generalities is of course a recipe for disaster, but for many artists the long hours and repetitive demands of making something by hand is part of the parcel.
I have always thought it unfair that Peter Doig is chiefly known for the headlines associated with the sale of his “White Canoe” painting by Charles Saatchi at auction in 2007 for £5.7 million ($9.31M). This made him Europe’s most expensive living painter and the acknowledgement was accompanied by all the market-related press and interest that such titles generate.
Scott Reeder is something of an enigma. His newest exhibition at Lisa Cooley Gallery, People Call Me Scott, is too. The work on view appears disjointed at first glance, which is relatively typical of the artist, who’s currently putting the finishing touches on his first feature-length film, Moon Dust, set to come out next year.
Christopher Wool is having a moment. Arguably his most famous painting, “Apocalypse Now,” will be offered on the auction block on November 12 as part of Christie’s postwar and contemporary art evening sale, with an estimate of $15–20 million. His retrospective at the Guggenheim, organized by associate curator Katherine Brinson, opened late last month to much fanfare.
It is probably appropriate that the first time I heard of Josh Abelow was through his website, Artblog Artblog. It is more of a stream of consciousness image and info dump than a proper “blog” — there isn’t much writing to speak of.
The great thing about the outgrowth of exhibitions showcasing and examining emerging contemporary abstract painting is that the novelty is starting to wear off.
When I first became of aware of the work of Alfonso Ossorio, it was through his off-the-wall (no pun intended) assemblages from the 1960s. Though they’re extremely approachable, these works can also make one feel uneasy; they vibrate with the sort of psychedelic energy that marks that decade.
Recently I was talking to a sculptor friend and made a flippant remark that it seemed to me as if “abstract painting is back.” A seasoned 65 to my slight 27, he smiled as he asked: “Again?”
Allan McCollum is the author of a story describing a character that Damien Hirst embodies.
Good art commands attention — it forces an opinion and is often an acquired taste. The sheer economic pressure of an art fair seems to discourage this kind of display. While this year’s Armory Show provided the expected dose of the boring, the polite, and the decorative, it also reminded me that it can, and has often, served as the perfect stage for challenging art. James Capper’s solo exhibition Power Tools, presented by Hannah Barry Gallery of London, seems to revel in the politeness of many of its neighbors at the fair. After all, the more china in the shop, the more there is for the bull to trample.
Those who do make physical objects today are sometimes in danger of retreating so far into their own medium as to remove themselves from the conversation. I recently went to objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, an exhibition of six contemporary painters and sculptors at Chelsea’s Kravets/Webhy Gallery, and I was reminded of the tricky balance that painters today must maintain.
I have to be honest: as a child, I wasn’t a big fan of recess. All is well and good when you’re running around the dodge ball court — until someone gets pegged in the face. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a big fan of capture the flag, and who doesn’t love a little fresh air, but that shit can be brutal. That’s what the word conjures for me, at least: 100 wild young children running around, consumed by the wild thrill of unmonitored free time. It just always seemed so stressful.