MIAMI — It’s that time of year when the art world converges on the most Latin big city in America, Miami, for the annual art pilgrimage that attracts tens of thousands of art fiends. And today it symbolically begins with the opening of the Art Basel Miami Beach, the mothership of Florida art fairs. Here are some links and events you should know about.
As members of the art world head to the home of The Golden Girls to peruse, critique and/or roll their eyes at the displays of one of the most popular art fairs in the world, a noble bunch of New York artists intend to intervene the glorified shopping mall to mitigate the devastation Hurricane Sandy caused to New York’s creative community.
BRIGHTON, UK — The difficulties facing post-war German artists can seem insurmountable. And it may not be fair to the likes of Beuys, Kiefer, or Richter to look for an adequate response to the worst atrocities of WWII; we should surely share the guilt around. But a lesser-known artist from Pforzheim has apparently cracked the worst dilemmas facing his countrymen. His name is Manfred Mohr and he has maneuvered German art out of its cul-de-sac with a healthy dose of logic and a working knowledge of early computer technology.
MIAMI — West Palm Beach is not exactly where you’d think to go to see strong work by a group of talented, emerging photographers. The place, at least for me, conjures visions of retirement communities painted a particularly Floridian shade of pale yellow. But at the Norton Museum of Art this afternoon, judges announced the winner of the inaugural Rudin Prize for Emerging Photographers, LA-based artist Analia Saban. And while the fashion choices of the sixty-some attendees at the luncheon were often quite pleasantly ridiculous, the art on view by the five finalists for the prize was across-the-board impressive.
Despite our intense familiarity with machines, there’s still something a bit foreboding about our increasingly sophisticated mechanical creations. Generally they are not evil natured or programmed to destroy us (like those pink robots after Yoshimi), but sometimes there’s a feeling of not being entirely in control of our docile electronic devices, an undercurrent creators have long fed on in iconic ways, whether it’s HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey or the seamlessly human-like replicants in Blade Runner, all reflecting back our own insecurities about robots in our lives.
As the art world expands and significance is given not just to the act of creating art but also the structural art world around it — dealers dealing, curators curating, and directors directing — it’s more than possible to have an exhibition that’s not really about the art at all.
Much of the art world may be migrating south to Miami this week, but good stuff is still happening in New York, including some experimental performance and great-sounding lectures.
Last week, I received an email plea. Someone in the art world was headed down to Miami this week, and she was feeling overwhelmed already. She wanted help figuring out how to manage her attention, and how to actually find some good art hiding in the hundreds of gallery booths she would inevitably wander through.
Jackson Pollock and John Cage are legends in American history. In the centennial year of both artists’ births, two exhibitions now on view in New York celebrate their work and underline the fact that even after their deaths, their influence continues to play an important role in how we understand, interpret, and even make art today.
At the Art Institute of Chicago’s Steve McQueen exhibition, I saw something unusual: museum-goers spending time — minutes of it! — watching moving images. In an otherwise bustling museum, the visitors in these rooms were silent and enthralled.
Pieter Schoolwerth’s recent exhibition After Troy (November 9–December 22, 2012) builds upon his previous show, tellingly titled Portraits of Paintings, at Miguel Abreu Gallery. Schoolwerth continues to address the question of what can be done after the death of painting by someone who loves to paint and draw. It is a dilemma that a number of significant painters of his generation — he was born in 1970 and studied at the California Institute of Art — feel they must grapple with, whether they like it or not. The options seem to come down to adopting a Warholian pose or electing to do something that doesn’t necessarily have institutional approval.
My first exposure to Eugène Leroy’s (1910–2000) work goes back to 1973: a small group in just as small a storefront in an eighteenth-century Flemish baroque-style building close to the historical center of Lille, a city on the French/Belgian border. I only went to see the show — mostly Flemish regional artists all of the same generation — at the insistence of some of my beaux-arts student friends. We stood in silence in front of a medium size painting by Leroy, trying to make sense of the profligacy of paint in front of us when we could barely afford the few tubes of oil paint we needed for our studies.