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Posted inArt

Star Search: Heaven’s Map for Getting Lost

“Billions and billions of stars.” Carl Sagan’s awestruck if indeterminate census of the universe became a comic catchphrase in the wake of his 1980s PBS series Cosmos. Johnny Carson would intone the line, exaggerating the astrophysicist’s sing-songish repetition of billions and we’d laugh. Not because Sagan’s estimate was so low (estimates currently put the figure at between 10 sextillion and 1 septillion), but in part because the mere idea of billions of suns and consequent solar systems like our own is a patently impossible notion to comprehend. Contemplating god (as a bearded chap on a throne or some vague organizing “force) is water off a duck compared to the mental rearrangements required by the proposition that everyone alive and who has ever lived amounts to nothing more than a mote of cosmic dust. Now that’s hilarious.

Posted inOpinion

Required Reading

This week’s Required Reading has links to the garb needed to paint in the arctic, Jasper Johns and orgies, an interview with artist Sharon Hayes, a handwritten transcript by Diego Rivera, artist Cao Fei on the unsung factory workers of the Pearl River Delta and Japanese shut-ins.

Posted inArt

Why Ed Winkleman Did #Rank at the Seven Miami Art Fair

How many of the estimated 46,000 artists, dealers, collectors, and lookyloos that checked in at Art Basel Miami Beach actually made the 35-minute car trip from the stunning South Beach to industrial Wynwood for the Seven Art Fair is still unclear.

Seven was to Basel what Independent New York was to the Armory Show. An art fair (ok fine, temporary exhibition forum), yes, but set up as a museum-like display rather than sales booths, more concerned with theme and content than commodity object. Curatorial considerations made intelligent relationships between artists from different galleries, instead of an “art world greatest hits.” Because of the elimination of sales booths, the pressure was off. Here, dealers seemed to be interested in discussing ideas.

Posted inArt

5 Intriguing Projects From Dalton and Powhida’s #Rank in Miami

If you, like so many art-worlders, are heading to the Miami art fairs next week, chances are you may be feeling a little grimy. Why? Not because of the humidity, but maybe because of the exploitative economic interactions and hierarchies on display at US’s biggest art shopping mall. The antidote to all this is #Rank, an event organized by artists William Powhida and Jen Dalton in collaboration with the Edward Winkleman Gallery, which will be park at the Seven art fair. #Rank will critique the blatant displays of wealth and status and the stratification of the art world through panels, artist projects and lectures. The details of #Rank were until recently unclear aside from a call for proposals, but now Powhida and Dalton have started announcing their artist projects, and they sound great. Here’s a preview of 5 projects that I find particularly interesting.

Posted inArt

MoMA’s Abramović Ends With a Bang

The last day of the Marina Abramović’s “The Artist Is Present” at MoMA was marked by a frenzy of activity both IRL and online. The veteran performance artist has proven that her art form has come of age and it can hypnotize a whole city — and art world — into believing or “unbelieving” that she’s the biggest game in town.

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