If artists knew how to take breaks, they’d probably find different professions. True to their people, art-party company The They Co. has put together an ambitious “break” from the commercial art madness of Armory Week — a colossal, curator-driven, thematic art exhibition on three floors of an old school in Nolita. Spring/Break’s 23 curators, both independent and gallery-affiliated, from boroughs near and far, present a dynamic, thoughtful response to the inaugural show’s theme, “Apocalist: A Brief History of the End.”
After attending both the Moving Image Fair at the Waterfront Tunnel and the Independent in the old Dia:Chelsea building, I realized that art fairs and the art contained within them are suffering from the same problem as many recent exhibitions in major museums: It’s nearly impossible to appreciate the art by itself without a detailed explanation of the artist’s background and motivations.
Big art events in New York are often set up in opposition to the “establishment.” In reaction to the Whitney Biennial, there is now the New Museum Triennial and the BHQF Brucennial. The Dependent responds to the Independent. In this sense, I would compare Volta to the Armory — they are sister fairs who share VIP access cards and shuttle vans. Sort of the Lower East Side versus Chelsea. Note, the Armory was the first hotel art fair in the 1990s and, at the time, the upstart, up against the big bad and very establishment ADAA — how times have changed — is Volta an attempt to return to that kind of authenticity?
I was reminded yesterday afternoon, while walking through mazes of pop-up galleries, tent-like hallways, magazine stands and oddly placed sculptures just asking to be tripped over, that the contemporary wing of the Armory Show — which runs through Sunday at Piers 92 and 94 — means different things to different people.
LOS ANGELES — Most of us want to fly. And while we’ve generally figured out that human beings best fly through a gliding mechanism, Leonardo Da Vinci famously tried to mimic the way so many other animals fly but he never did get off the ground.
You’re supposed to complain about the art fairs … just like you’re supposed to complain about the Whitney Biennial. IN fact, it is a general art world rule that you should complain about anything you find worthy of revisiting year after year. And then you should always threaten never to go again.
This week, we’ve compiled an easy to use 2012 New York art fair reference guide. They’re all here with limited commentary but we’ve graded them out of a possible five stars based on past experiences at the fairs and buzz.
LOS ANGELES — Masterpiece Cards are a new art learning system from Susan Benford, who heads up the company. Benford developed the cards as a learning tool of those studying art history.
LOS ANGELES — I don’t know about you, but sometimes 🙂 and 🙁 just don’t cut it. Happy and sad? That’s it? There are so many more human emotions, with nuances between anger and frustration, surprise and elation. Perhaps this is what’s behind the hype around emoji for iPhone: finally, a better way to visually express emotions online.
In the Armory Modern section of this year’s Armory Art Fair, a work by Chilean artist Sebastian Errazuriz has taken the typography of wording of Occupy Wall Street signs and printed them as black lettering onto pristine white folding chairs. The effect was immediately disturbing but the artist’s explanation is more complex and intriguing.
Last night’s panel event at Storefront for Art and Architecture was a heady affair. A group of panelists, myself include, sat inside the Vito Acconci-designed structure while a 30-foot David sculpture by Serkan Özkaya lay horizontal on a flat bed outside on Kenmare Street.
“Wow your accent sounds so amazing,” is a phrase I often hear when people detect my South African accent. Whereas this is usually a compliment — and I accept it graciously — it can also have the effect of creating a distance between me and the other person if they aren’t South African. In short, it can often clarify that they belong to this place and I am an alien in their territory. But as pop star Sting’s pithy “legal alien” phrase comes to mind I quickly snap out of my self-imposed victimization. Of late, however, it has been quite obvious that the art world still propagates a fascination with the “other.”