Posted inNews

NYT Goes Museums, Hosts Twitter Chat [LIVEBLOG]

In the mood for some museum news? You’re in luck, because the New York Times has more than you could EVER READ. Their annual special “Museums Section” was just published, and we sorted it for you. Check out a selected list of their stories here, plus stay tuned for an NYT Twitter chat this afternoon about museums and social media. [UPDATE] We have a collection of the best tweets from the #nytmuseums conversation in this liveblog.

Posted inArt

Japan Society’s Goodbye to Hello Kitty

Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Japanese Art at Japan Society presents an alternative view of Japanese contemporary art, one separate from that obsession we seem to have with “kawaii” (cute) Japanese art, embodied by the pop culture icon of Hello Kitty, and exemplified in the Superflat work of Takashi Murakami. The artists on display here engage with a different side of Japanese culture, a side more invested in history, medium and prolonged looking. The exhibition is also a rousing, energetic call to action– rethink Japanese contemporary art!

Posted inArt

Jagged Strips of Paint, Two LES Shows

Serendipity often plays a role in gallery going. Occasionally you come across two shows at unrelated galleries that suggest a connection that couldn’t possibly have been planned. You could argue such occurences have the makings of a zeitgeist, but sometimes they are simply coincidences that reveal common interests or goals among a few artists who make work in different places. Kristine Moran’s Protean Slip at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery and Gianna Commito’s self-titled show at the Rachel Uffner Gallery were the source of my latest visual connection making, and both painting shows at Orchard Street galleries are some of the best at the moment.

Posted inBooks

Birdsong’s Zine Scene

Birdsong is a collective of artists, writers, printmakers and publishers, but it’s also a zine press, and it’s also a cultural moment. You may have noticed editor-in-chief Tommy Pico’s place on the L Magazine’s “Young New Yorkers Who Are Better Than You” feature. Self-consciously confessional, diaristic and young, the pieces and creators that make up the latest two editions of Birdsong the bimonthly zine (numbers 13 and 14) might have a hipster sheen, but what makes them worth reading is their desire to go past the slick surface, an unwillingness to be superficial. Birdsong boasts a solid heart of dedicated writing, drawing and thinking, and it’s this thoughtful center that makes the short zines worth picking up.

Posted inOpinion

Watch Picasso Paint

When I was 13, I got my entrance into modern art through a book that explored the development of modernism artist by artist and piece by piece. My favorite artist from that book? Pablo Picasso, of course. That early art-viewing experience still makes it inspiring to watch the artist paint in this video, a cut from the 1950 documentary Visit to Picasso.

Posted inOpinion

US Ambassadors Get Awesome Art Through Embassy Program

At the Winfield House in London, US ambassador to England Louis B. Susman and wife Marjorie are using their diplomatic powers for artistic good, showcasing modern American artists in the Neo-Georgian space. What’s interesting about this display of American artistic diplomacy, with Mark Rothko, Ellsworth Kelly and Brice Marden all leaving their mark, is that it was made possible by a US State Department program called ART in the Embassies, a project that works to place American art and artists abroad on a large scale. This includes offering travel fellowships, commissioning art installations and bringing foreign artists to the US.