MANILA, Philippines — Over the past few months, I’ve watched with envy as stunning museum shows have gone up in my old haunts in Los Angeles and New York. Thankfully, in recent months three museums have released exhibition-related apps for the iPad and iPhone. To see how they stack up, I reviewed three apps (CA Design HD at LACMA, AB EX at MoMA, Cattelan at Guggenheim) in their iPad incarnations. Here are my thoughts.
On Saturday I visited Underemployed at Zurcher Studio on Bleecker Street. I read the press release for the show and got excited. First of all, the show is curated by an artist, Josh Blackwell. The premise of the show hinges on Oscar Wilde. His quote from The Decay of Lying: An Observation gives Blackwell’s exhibition form: “The ancient historians gave us delightful fiction in the form of fact; the modern novelist presents us with dull facts under the guise of fiction.” The art in this exhibition tickled my fancy and my funny bone, but I’m not sure that much of it stood up on its own.
In October I had the opportunity to go to the opening of Tour and Trance, Matt Blackwell’s exhibition at the Edward Thorp Gallery. It’s a strange animated narrative that contains a whole cast of characters experiencing events and simultaneously forming and disintegrating in one moment. That evening we had some conversations on his life and thoughts and the stories that came out felt like some of the missing puzzle pieces. So, we began a conversation. I realized, I didn’t want to ask him the details behind specific pieces or anything detailed in general. I wanted to ask him vague open questions with a lot of room for rambling so we could meander around in his thought process the way his paintings meander around this weird world.
You can bet most tourists (and some persuaded New Yorkers) will be gawking at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree this holiday season, but the tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has always been one of my personal favorites of decorated evergreens that spring up around the city for the holidays. Tucked away in the museum’s Medieval Sculpture Hall on the ground floor, the tree is a 20-foot blue spruce this year adorned with its traditional decor of 18th-century Neapolitan angels and cherubs.
The pop up alternative exhibition has become a digital alternative to the fixed “alternative” space of yesteryear. Most of these experiments are on Brooklyn or the Lower East Side, and unusually accompanied by a fair mess of e-hype. When I was invited by a close friend to accompany her to Second Guest Projects an apartment based space in the East Village, I couldn’t help but smiling. Here was the respite from the free tote bag giveaway credit card and Ford Taurus-sponsored art world that can be so headache inducing.
MANILA, Philippines — The words “Catholic” and “Zen” rarely appear in the same sentence together, but there’s a potent history of mixing of these traditions. Benedictine monk Thomas Merton famously studied Zen and Taoist classics as part of his meditative practice, and Zen Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh has written often of Christian-Buddhist dialogue.
Michaël Borremans’s The Devil’s Dress, and Neo Rauch’s Heilstätten grapple with the human figure and landscapes in contemporary painting. Both artists provide inscrutable visions of humanity, but differ in approach and aesthetic. Where Borremans seems to use a scalpel to paint, Rauch uses a shovel. Borreman is Felix to Rauch’s Oscar.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma — Curious what the Flaming Lips, the psychedelic rock band, would do with their own gallery? Then get to Oklahoma City, but be sure to catch an opening, because otherwise their Womb gallery is available for viewing by appointment. Over my holiday weekend visit to my (and the Flaming Lips’) home-state, I tried to see the Womb and a couple other downtown Oklahoma City art spaces, including [Artspace] at Untitled and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Since the raid on Occupy Wall Street’s home in Zuccotti Park, news on the Arts and Culture front of the movement has slowed down a bit. Yet one OWS art topic that has yet to receive much attention are the films created by protesters and affiliated artists that express and document the uprising of the %99. Video and film are possibly the most powerful medium to track developments of the movement, used as both a social media tool and immediate evidence of police brutality as well as an artistic outlet for statements on the myriad of issues surrounding OWS.
This week, China announces that this week, “it’s time to sell out.” Because no one has “sold out” by going on a reality show, right? Anyways, the challenge is to create art to sell in the street and also display in the gallery. Art and commerce! The challenge rules are a little different: everyone works in teams of two, and they have five hours to combine shopping and studio time.
The ingeniousness of the Windowfarms Project is that from the beginning Britta Riley didn’t keep it to herself. It’s easy to imagine a parallel story in another universe: the mad scientist toiling away, alone in a laboratory, striving to build the invention that will change the world.
So the whole point of Miami Art Basel is the parties. Wait, no it’s not, it’s the ton-o-fairs available to man or beast. Before I even arrived I was totally confused.