Posted inBooks

Reading Ian Berry’s Fred Tomaselli

The Brooklyn Museum’s catalog for their Fred Tomaselli exhibition is pretty mammoth for a show that only takes up three galleries. Still, the tome serves well as a way to expand on ideas presented in the exhibition and give a greater view of the artist’s work than would otherwise be possible in the limited space. Just do yourself a favor and don’t stop at the book version.

The diversity of works included in the catalog, from early installations and sculptures to constellation drug charts and later lacquered collages, is fascinating to see, but the ability to see so much at once also comes at a cost.

Posted inArt

Art Stars Fly Their Freak Flag for Hans Ulrich Obrist’s New Interview Book

Obrist is strange. There, I said it. In an event that often felt like a coffee klatch at Obrist’s house, the art world power broker known as Hans Ulrich Obrist — he’s #2 on Art Review’s Power 100 — had a book reading last Saturday at MoMA’s PS1 in Long Island City for his newest publication, Hans Ulrich Obrist: Interviews, Volume 2. The event venue looked like a cross between a set for the Last Supper and a conference stage thrown together by Leni Riefenstahl and there was coffee and books being served on the periphery of the event.

Posted inArt

How the Guggenheim’s “Play” Failed

The first offering of the Guggenheim’s Youtube Play biennial kicked off with a lot of spectacle, not limited to a ladder-perch musical performance by Ok Go and a stage setting more suited to a television show than an art exhibition. From the emcee to the nightclub vibe, this was no normal biennial exhibition. In fact, judged as an art exhibition, I think Play was a failure.

However, that doesn’t mean the whole event was a failure. In evaluating Play I think we have to first carefully state our terms- what we’re judging the show as and what we’re judging it against.

Posted inNews

Bronx Museum Helps US Artists Go Abroad

Think the United States’ image abroad could use some updating? Well, take it to your local Bronx Museum! The Bronx Museum of the Arts is at the head of a new US State Department program called smART Power, an initiative to expand diplomatic art outreach beyond the performing arts that often forms its basis.

Artists will be able to submit project proposals to the program through an open call early next year.

Posted inArt

Public Art Versus Public Good

Over the past week, I’ve been writing about art’s environmental impact and how that factors in to perceived artistic quality. What the debate boils down to for me is the question of whether art is worth its cost of production, and how we analyze a piece of art’s efficacy or value.

When we talking about public art or outdoor installations, we must factor in another aspect of the work’s impact: how does the work effect the public whose space and resources it occupies? Since public art faces scrutiny on a greater scale than most collector-driven contemporary art, it has a greater audience to please, and a greater responsibility towards transparency.

Posted inSponsored

[Sponsor] Enter to win $1,805 in the 2nd Annual Pernod Absinthe “Creator Of” Art Contest

As another step in its history of supporting the art community, Pernod Absinthe has kicked off its 2nd annual contest to find great original art inspired by both the classic liqueur and the year 1805, when Pernod Fils began distilling in France.

The Creator Of Art Contest is an open call for artists to create their own Pernod-inspired works, just as the absinthe-aficionado Impressionists did in their own day. Art history superstars Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso and Van Gogh were all big fans of the drink.

Posted inArt

Jim Herbert Is Big, Intimate and In Your Face

Jim Herbert’s paintings of naked lovers are not for the feint of heart. At first glance, viewers might want to look away as though catching a glimpse of a couple kissing. And some people will totally avert their eyes from these intense canvases. At the opening for the recent show at the English Kills Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a young couple strolled in, saw one work, and then bolted out the door.

They left because these works are not simply nudes. With today’s porn-soaked internet and sexually liberated gaze, nudity’s shock value is dismally low. Something else plays out in Herbert’s huge canvases. By depicting the tenderness between lovers, these images portray intimacy — the same emotional concept that pays therapists’ mortgages.

Posted inOpinion

What the New Museum Should Do With Its New Rose

As soon as we heard that Isa Genzken’s “Rose” will replace Ugo Rondinone’s “Hell,Yes” (2001) on the exterior of the New Museum … we immediately thought Photoshop!

Our little digital collage experiments suggest that fiction is often more exciting that fact.

A friend suggested that the New Museum amass them all, and I would assume it would eventually look like a child’s bedroom floor strewn with colorful toys.

Posted inOpinion

Guggenheim’s “YouTube Play” Greeted With Ambivalence

If you happened to be hiding under a social media rock for the past few days, you might have missed the Guggenheim museum’s short-lived multimedia/indie band/internets extravaganza that was their Youtube-sponsored “Play” biennial. The biennial was in reality a juried exhibition that anyone could submit a video to, the only requirements being that the video had to be made in the past two years and come in under the 10 minute mark. More spectacle than art experience, commentators seem generally down on the show.

Posted inNews

Is “Hell, Yes” Being Replaced at the New Museum?

A little birdie told us at Hyperallergic HQ that Ugo Rondinone’s “Hell,Yes” (2001) will be removed from its perch on the facade of the New Museum. The same little birdie told us that it is slated to be replaced by Isa Genzken’s 30 foot (8 meter) tall “Rose” sculpture.

What do we think of the newest addition to the Bowery? We’ll let you know after it’s installed in early November.