Masterpieces, hidden treasure, absolutely free. These are just some of the accolades of New York’s Hispanic Society, a museum that unfortunately only gets 25,000 visitors a year. With a roster of artists that includes rock star names like El Greco, Velasquez and Goya it’s hard to swallow that the Society gets so few visitors a year. Why is the collection so underrepresented? What in the name of Goya is going on here?
This summer the Studio Museum in Harlem is hosting five extensive exhibitions that hold true to its mission and bring both established artists and those in training under the same roof. Packed into the museum’s intimate space on 125th Street, the shows offer a tremendous range of mostly thought-provoking work, with only a few glitches along the way.
Peter Nadin’s “First Mark” opened at Gavin Brown’s enterprise on June 29th, the first time the artist has exhibited his work in this country since 1992. There’s been massive coverage of Nadin’s “comeback,” but is the show grabbing headlines simply because of Nadin’s backstory and the list of boldfaced names he hung out with in the 1970s and 1980s?
As geopsychically wondrous as New Orleans is, it’s not exactly the most cutting edge of places; in fact, even in these days of instantaneous communication it sometimes takes ideas and trends a little longer to make their way down here than they do elsewhere. But although we might not be au courant, we do do things down here with a certain kind of panache.
Andy Warhol’s death left us wondering how the quintessential Pop artist would have reacted, or shaped, a society that fulfilled his prophesy of universal, albeit short-lived, fame. But aside from wondering what the artist would have thought of Rebecca Black, his passing left a hole in New York City Nightlife. Thomas Kiedrowski’s new book “Andy Warhol’s New York City” and a series of new “screen tests” by Conrad Ventur speak to the nostalgia this generation feels for the days of Superstars and silver clouds.
Forget the streets: If you want to find some of New York’s best graffiti art, you have to dig a little deeper. While much of the city’s graffiti has been washed away, some of the more provocative tags still exist miles beneath the sidewalks, in nooks and crannies invisible to the pedestrian eye. I discovered these spray-painted secrets on a recent trip to the Freedom Tunnel, a legend among street art aficionados and underground urban explorers alike.
There’s Communism in the air here in Beijing! With the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party having just passed (per official accounts, the Party was founded July 1, 1921), China is in the midst of a country-wide celebration—and one that presents the perfect opportunity to take a look at some examples of crowd-sourced and “official” Party-related art.
Visiting the Barnes Foundation was always high on my list of things to do during my next visit to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, I still haven’t managed to make it to Philadelphia. Good thing the New York Times has stepped up to make a visit to the Barnes easier than ever, at least virtually.
Artists who live and make work in regions that have little to no art infrastructure often have the freedom to be creative, experimental and reactive without the boundaries that accompany exhibiting work in formal spaces. But there’s also a significant divide between achieving a sustainable art career at home and reaching the point of exhibiting and selling one’s work in the global art market.
Pity the poor parents who want to introduce their tots to the work of a contemporary artist like Takashi Murakami. Sure, all those laughing daisies and dancing bears are adorable, but how do you explain to Junior on a Saturday afternoon trip to the museum why that lady’s breasts are so big, or why that blonde dude is twirling a lasso of white stuff that’s coming out of his … uh, never mind.
Artists Stephanie Rothenberg and Dan S. Wang’s Beijing-based Journey West Travel Office is both performance and installation, a blend of “fake real” that explores tourism, mass culture and “the aesthetics of America’s parking lots.”