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Posted inOpinion

Do Artists Actually Confront Our New Technological Reality?

Art historian and associate professor at New York’s CUNY Graduate Center Claire Bishop has taken to the pages of Artforum’s September edition to issue a kind of rebuke for contemporary art. She argues, in an extended essay that only briefly detours into egregious artspeak, that though the new realities of technology and the internet provide the fundamental context for art currently being made, art and artists have failed to critically confront this context and are too content simply to respond and adapt to it.

Posted inArt

David Hockney Returns Home

Bruno Wollheim’s David Hockney: A Bigger Picture is a much more straightforward account than Jack Hazan’s 1974 movie A Bigger Splash. It brings Hockney’s life full circle — the earlier film followed the artist’s move from London to Los Angeles while Wollheim’s film deals with Hockney’s return many years later to his childhood stomping grounds of East Yorkshire.

Posted inNews

What’s Up With UK Arts Funding Cuts?

Arts Council England, a group within the English governmental Department of Art, Media and Sport, is an organization entirely devoted to funding the arts, performing, visual and literary. In total, the council currently funds 880 arts organizations and events. In September, “Britain’s coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats proposed a budget that could cut arts spending by as much as 25 percent,” reports the New York Times, a move that would help reduce the country’s budget deficit.

It’s still not clear where the budget cuts will lead, but it’s clear that artists and art organizations are speaking up against the disastrous impact the cuts could have.

Posted inArt

Drawing on the iPad, an Old Medium for New Media

Despite his image of a crotchety old traditionalist, David Hockney hasn’t been one to shy away from new technology. The artist, best known for his 60s portraits painted of California intelligentsia, has been making drawings and paintings on an iPhone since 2009, and recently scaled up to an iPad, using a simple brush app and a finger or thumbnail to paint. Sent out to friends or displayed to humorous effect on a tiny easel, Hockney is taking an old medium and carrying it out with new media tools that have only become prevalent in the past few years.

Posted inBooks

Reading Lawrence Weschler on David Hockney

OUR FIRST WEDNESDAY BOOK REVIEW!

Reading Lawrence Weschler’s nigh-legendary book on Robert Irwin, Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, inspired me to next grab the New Yorker writer’s other artist-focused book, True to Life: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations With David Hockney. As entertaining as they are challenging, the two books are hard to categorize as biographies, though they concern individuals and their oeuvres. Weschler’s works are more like conversations: anecdotal histories formed less by research than by hanging out with an artist, watching exhibitions open and major works develop, witnessing a lifelong artistic practice.

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