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Posted inArt

Then and Now: A Conversation with Prospect.3’s Franklin Sirmans

Franklin Sirmans, curator of contemporary art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), has replaced Cameron as artistic director for Prospect.3: Notes for Now, the biennial’s latest installment. So there is a lot riding on Prospect.3, which opens on October 25 — especially for Sirmans, whose role at the helm takes him beyond the museum and into the expanse of a multi-venue biennial for the first time.

Posted inArt

California’s Triumphant Triennial

LOS ANGELES — In a world where art seems to consist primarily of hyper-conceptual art school verbiage, it’s a relief to go to a museum show and actually have something to see. The California-Pacific Triennial, now on view at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, Calif., definitely offers a feast for the eyes: paintings, video, light and sound installations, embroideries, synthetic skeletons, dead roses, a pop interpretation of Bernini (complete with Truck Nutz) and stoneware sculptures of little girls squatting in ways that are as innocent as they are bawdy.

Posted inNews

Prospect 2: Now With 66% Less Art!

New Orleans is a city of excess: we eat more good food, show more skin (at least during Carnival season), and have more fun than just about any other city in the United States, or anywhere. And when the Prospect.1 art biennial rolled into town in the fall of 2008, we could add “see more great art” to that list as well. Hopes were high that the followup would match or even exceed the scope and ambition of curator Dan Cameron’s first installment (81 artists! 39 countries! 22 venues!). But it’s not 2008 any more, and Prospect New Orleans has become subject to the New Austerity too.

Posted inArt

What To Do At Prospect 1.5’s Comeback Opening

Prospect.1 New Orleans was the biggest biennial ever staged on US soil, and that’s the least of the accomplishments of Dan Cameron’s 2008 exhibition. The show brought attention to what continues to be an area badly damaged by disaster and in danger of falling out of the public eye. Prospect 1.0 was a symbol of the resurgence of the city and the ability of contemporary art to provoke, possibly the height of the current biennial miracle vogue. The exhibition collected an international crew of artists and brought them to New Orleans to create projects that reacted to a local context. But two years later, what’s on for the show’s next incarnation?

Posted inArt

Ghosts of Disaster in New Orleans

New Orleans — The captain’s flight-deck announcement that we were now making our final descent towards New Orleans jolted me from a very uneasy sleep. The three-hour flight was my first prolonged opportunity to get prolonged (i.e. 3-hours rest) after a late night train ride, to a later night Long Island Railroad Road ride, to a crack-of-dawn flight departure from the 24-hour nightmare microcity that is New York’s JFK airport.

Confused and groggy I peered out the window as we began our descent. With eyes as bleary as my thoughts, I decided that I was surveying Gulf waters from some 25,000 feet. What are those dark streaks? I thought. Is that oil? Oh my god, that’s oil. There’s still oil everywhere. Holy shit. Oh no. They ruined the Gulf.