On Friday night at the Louis B. James gallery, in a spare white room, a predominantly white and relatively good-looking American Apparelesque crowd gathered under the auspices of queer-art-fashion-activism for the launch of the Purple and Gold capsule collection.
According to documents released this morning, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the New York Office of the FBI have charged a former studio assistant to Jasper Johns with the theft of 22 “unauthorized” Johns works. The assistant, 51-year-old James Meyer of Salisbury, Connecticut, had worked for Johns for over 25 years, and allegedly stole the pieces from a file he was responsible for keeping of artworks specifically prohibited by the artist from being sold.
Holding a sign that reads “I am your worst fear, I am your best fantasy,” a photograph of a proud and defiant woman at a gay liberation march in the 1970s opens Phaidon’s newly published Art & Queer Culture, illustrating the dual visions of queer identity by the field of art history.
BRIGHTON, UK — Swapping out pieces in a game of chess is only a smart move provided you hold the most on the board, or at least the strongest position. But a new show at the Barbican in London suggests chess could be a “metaphor of exchange” between the artists it lines up. According to the theory, Duchamp swaps ideas with acolytes: John Cage, Jasper Johns, Merce Cunningham, and Robert Rauschenberg. And yet the Frenchman, superb chess player that he was, came out conceptually on top by the time of his death in 1968.
The owner of a foundry in Long Island City was arrested yesterday for allegedly making a bronze sculpture and trying to pass it off as an original Jasper Johns. But this isn’t quite your run-of-the-mill art fraud, because the man, Brian Ramnarine, actually has a real mold from Johns; the artist gave it to him in 1990 to make a wax cast for the 1960 sculpture “Flag.”
There is the American flag, and there is the painting “Flag” (1954–55) by Jasper Johns, which is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Flying over federal courthouses, churches, schools, post offices, lawns, construction sites and, in the months after 9/11, nearly ever taxi in New York, the American flag signifies nationalism and a set of ideals over which there has been increasingly rancorous debate. Each generation must wrestle with three basic questions: who is American, what does it mean to be an American and what is an American entitled to?
With a final series of performances beginning tonight and continuing through New Year’s Eve at the Park Avenue Armory, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company will close, ending nearly sixty years in operation.
While at the landmark exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture at the Brooklyn Museum, I realized I had to start my review with a statement that will look simple and quite possibly stupid: Hide/Seek is more than David Wojnarowicz’s “A Fire In My Belly.”
Dear Merce Cunningham,
As your company comes to a close this winter, I have been on the look out for all things Merce. Wanting to understand you better and hoping that I could still understand you even after you have passed, I visited Charles Atlas’s video tribute to you now at the New Museum not just once, but twice.
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.
The Star-Tribune has the story of how Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota purchased a treasure trove of American art accumulated by dance legend Merce Cunningham. The stash “includes at least 150 major objects and perhaps thousands of smaller items,” according to the newspaper.