I’ve had countless people express strong feelings against modern and contemporary art, as if “art” were a dirty word. (As a more high-profile example, filmmaker Werner Herzog’s declaration of despising art comes to mind.) But equally as problematic is the art world’s mocking response to the naysayers: The unease of many people is met with “That’s because you just don’t get it.”
Can Lin Tianmiao Break Free of Gender?
The first survey of Chinese installation artist Lin Tianmiao at Asia Society, called Bound Unbound, could not have a more fitting title. The artist’s sartorial sculptures, grotesque bodies, and fibrous compositions illustrate an artist bound by cultural convention creating art unbound in technique and concept.
Turning the Seven Year Itch into a Retrospective
LOS ANGELES — Most artist retrospectives occur decades after an artist’s career really takes off, once their name has been recognized in the annals of art world lore. But long time collaborators Chan and Mann — Audrey Chan and Elana Mann, respectively — have organized their own retrospective to recognize their “seven year itch” of collaboration and “historicize now.”
Cindy Sherman’s one-woman retrospective is profound, provocative and sadly incomplete, most noticeably in relation to her earliest works despite the inclusion of the entire black and white “Untitled Film Stills” (1977-1980), the “encyclopedic roster of stereotypical female roles” that skewered the post modern discourse on photography right through its kabobs.
Artist Karen Finley Talks New York of Yesteryear, Women in the Arts, Lady Gaga and More
Has she no decency? At long last, has she no decency? The transgressive, titillating performance artist Karen Finley was denied a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1990 because the language and content in her work was deemed “indecent.” Along with three other artists she became part of the infamous Supreme Court case The National Endowment for the Arts v. Karen Finley, which culminated in the discontinuation of individual artist grants. In her interview with Hyperallergic, Finley reflects on the past of New York City, the state of women in the arts, Lady Gaga and more.
More than What Meets the Eye at a Little Known LES Arts Center
This week I skipped the Chelsea gallery scene (the show I wanted to see was unexpectedly on hiatus when I got there) and found myself on a road less traveled for me and I am sure other art-goers as well. The destination was the Henry Street Settlement Abrons Art Center on Grand Street between Pitt and Columbia Streets. As I walked the several blocks from the F train Delancey stop (several more than I expected), it seemed that the dust of the previous tenement neighborhood still settled on these streets. Not only did it remind me that, as much as New York reinvents itself, the past is never far behind, but it was also a refreshing art viewing experience that I probably would not have found in the white boxes of Chelsea.
Can You Name Three Women Artists?
Out of the 55 artists represented at the 2010 Whitney Biennial, 26 were women. While that’s still less than half, it’s certainly better than the days when only one or two members of the “fairer” sex fought to be included. Lynn Hershman Leeson’s new documentary !Women Art Revolution, now playing at IFC Center, compiles interviews spanning 40 years that document the tumultuous battle women artists fought for proper representation in the world of galleries and museums.
Jennifer Bartlett’s Building Blocks of Art
Jennifer Bartlett’s latest exhibition Recitative at Pace Gallery shows the artist continually breaking down and rebuilding the base particles of art. In the enormous, open gallery installation, enamel-coated steel tiles spaced in rising and falling grids line the exterior walls. Each square holds its own combination of disparate elements of art, remixing line, shape, color and texture into an infinity of combinations. This central installation, “Recitative” (2009-10), is Bartlett’s longest painting composition ever at 158 feet. What at first appears to be a gallery-size abstraction coalesces into a didactic walk-through of art at the atomic level and a joyful celebration of what it means to make a purposeful artistic mark.
Guerrilla Girl Attempts to Stay Relevant By Talking Georgia O’Keeffe
The Guerilla Girls caused a big stir in the late 1980s and 90s but now a founding member of the once revolutionary group talks about the Georgia O’Keeffe show, which makes me wonder, “Are they still relevant?”