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Posted inArt

5 Films For the Art World

The films I have chosen are not only incredible films, but also they are films I have loved for a very long time or they are films that I have grown to love after multiple viewings. A couple of them are stylish and cool, while others are extremely slow, difficult, and even tedious at times. However, they are all films that make the viewer think, and they are either films that comment upon film as an art form or are at the very least are aware of themselves as films. Hopefully people find the same joy in my recommendations as I do.

Posted inArt

At Prague’s Veletrzni Palac

Prague itself is like a museum, where contemporary architectural gems are situated next to old landmarks. It’s an embarrassment of riches. One day we walked through Prague’s 10th century castle district, then went down the hill a couple of blocks to find a Frank Gehry-designed office complex, and continued throughout the city to see Baroque, Gothic, Art Nouveau, and Cubist buildings. But if you had to visit just one Prague museum, it would have to be the Veletrzni Palac (Fair Trade Palace), a truly massive collection of Czech and European work originally built in 1925 for trade fairs.

Posted inArt

Why Am I Looking at “Pictures by Women”?

Over at MoMA, there are two big survey shows that focus on a single theme throughout the history of photography from the heyday of the daguerreotype through to the present. The first, Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography, is an “installation that comprises more than 200 works by approximately 120 artists.” The second is an examination of photography’s relationship to sculpture titled The Original Copy: The Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today, that “brings together over 300 photographs, magazines, and journals, by more than 100 artists” … A good exhibition is not a numbers game. And in Pictures by Women, which is a little diffuse, it shows.

Posted inArt

Does Cao Fei’s “Rabid Dogs” (2002) Age Well?

Everything that matters happens in an office these days. To survive in today’s world, one can’t help but burn with curiosity about why some rise to the top while others gets stuck at the bottom box of the organizational chart. The Office, Mad Men or The Devil Wears Prada all hit this nerve with verve. But what’s been missing for me is that spunkier imagery and wilder narrative that video art can get away with. Cao Fei fills this void in spades with her 2002 video “Rabid Dogs” on view till Sunday at the Asia Society.

Posted inArt

Minimalism’s Lateral Move at The Hogar Collection

I’m not sure Lateralism, a small show curated by artist Matt Wycoff bares out by the premise put forth in the press release, which promised to assess “a slice of the ever-shifting boundaries and implications of post minimal painting and sculptural installation,” but the exhibition at The Hogar Collection is definitely a wonderful installation of six works by four artists that look great together.

Posted inPerformance

Art of Video Games: “Theater of the Arcade: 5 Classic Video Games Adapted for the Stage”

Video games appear to be making oddly pervasive cameos across fields as varied as architecture, art, cinema, criticism, and now theater. Theater of the Arcade: Five Classic Video Games Adapted for the Stage is exactly that, a series of five plays that Jeff Lewonczyk wrote and Gyda Arber directed at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg through July 25.

The premise of Theater of the Arcade is to take the characters from an iconic video game — let’s say “Frogger” — and insert those characters into a world that operates according to the logic and stage vernacular of an equally iconic 20th century dramatist — let’s say Samuel Beckett à la Godot …

Posted inArt

Playing the Game at PS1’s Pole Dance

We perceive architecture, Walter Benjamin thought, in two ways: optical and tactile. There’s a progression over time in our optical perception of something that develops from looking at something into contemplating it. Black scratches to letters to a sign to an idea. But Benjamin didn’t think there was a tactile analog to contemplation when it came to perceiving something through touch.

Posted inArt

Two Must-see Sculpture Shows in Williamsburg: Barsamian at Pierogi, Mendelson at Sideshow

I attribute it to serendipity that there are currently two fantastic sculpture shows in the Williamsburg galleries. One is by Greg Barsamian, who creates simple sculptural forms filled with Eadward Muybridge-like animations out of metal, and the other by the masterful Shari Mendelson, who always finds a way to transform banal plastic refuse into beautiful things.

Posted inBooks

Review of Street Art New York, by Rojo and Harrington

Imagine a gallerist bringing new art works into the gallery. She pulls her truck up to the gallery curbside, gets out, and starts taking some paintings out of the truck bed. She takes one out just as she realizes that she hasn’t unlocked the gallery doors. So, she places the artwork on the curb and sets off to unlock the gallery. This person has intentionally placed art in the street. Is it street art? Obviously not. So what makes something street art if not the art’s being intentionally placed in the street? It might even seem that street art needn’t be literally in the street at all, so long as one accepts that Blu’s MUTO and similar works are street art — as a digital video it has no literal or direct connection to the street. Street artistic status must hinge on something else. So what is it?

Posted inArt

The Jersey City Mini-Golf Experiment: The Golden Door Is Now Open

The Golden Door is the anachronistic nickname of Jersey City, which acquired the moniker at the turn of the 20th century when it was a magnet for newly arrived Ellis Island immigrants. Today, it is the name of a new temporary mini golf course-cum-art exhibition organized by the Jersey City Museum as an innovative new summer fundraising idea that explores the idea of immigration and interactive “art.”