Posted inArt

Can Art Replace Therapy?

Welcome to New York City’s newest treatment center. You pay fifteen dollars to enter a desolate concrete basement filled with men and women in lab coats. They hand you pillows to sit on and advise you to close your eyes and visualize your problems, to later be treated by an assortment of self-improvement exercises. Mexican artist Pedro Reyes is the Gestalt and Marxist-influenced mastermind behind this mental ward, and he’s here to solve all your city-induced psychological stress.

Posted inArt

Internet Art Safari

This past Wednesday, June 8, curator Lindsay Howard mounted a guerrilla “Speed Show” at an internet cafe in Williamsburg. Featuring the websites of eight internet-based artists and collectives as art objects, the exhibition presented a different way of showing net art: in its natural, interactive habitat.

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Cory Arcangel’s (Al)ready-mades

Remember Oakley M-Frame sunglasses? They’re supposed to look like the future, with gradient lenses in a variety of neon colors and knotted frames that bear a resemblance to tensed muscle and ligaments. What they actually look like is a future imagined from the 1980s, in which some mixture of cyberpunk fashion, steroidal athlete aesthetic and Gatorade-style visual punch is totally au courant. New media prankster Cory Arcangel has turned these glasses into monuments, casting them in bronze and immortalizing them in a series of readymades called “Sports Products” (2011). Are you ready for 80s nostalgia? You better be, because it’s ready for you.

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Alexander McQueen’s Sartorial Savagery

What becomes a legend most? How are those cultural superstars chosen, the ones whose very names invoke awe, wonder, or at least a gasp? Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, the comprehensive retrospective of the late designer’s ravishing raiment now on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art certainly provides a clue. With an hour and a half wait to enter (on a good day), a de facto gala in his honor and almost unanimous praise from critics, the McQueen legend continues to thrive in the eerie, operatic halls of the exhibition space. He may have a spectacular artistic output, and he may have defined an era of rising fashion stars, but the question remains how his deification came to be, how he came to define 21st century fashion with a short, tragically romantic career.

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Oklahoma Art Is OK!

Ever since I moved to New York, I’ve been telling people that great contemporary art is coming out of my homestate of Oklahoma. Benrimon Contemporary in Chelsea is finally bringing some evidence to New York in the group show Red Country Pictures. The exhibit focuses on one particularly influential little college on the plains, East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.

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A Perceptual Dance Party for Your Eyes

Abstraction is a fickle shapeshifter. Outlines of horses and bulls in caves and geometric markings on ceramic flatware were the earliest embodiment of the craft. Since then, abstraction has travelled through an unbelievable number of incarnations. James McCoy Gallery recently took on the challenge of presenting a hiccup’s worth of abstraction from the 20th Century, anticlimactically titled 70 Years of Abstract Painting: Excerpts. The showing was based on the gallery’s strong holding of abstract art, looking to “initiate an unusual dialogue” between past and present.

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Under Construction at Parker’s Box

If contemporary art remains far too removed from daily life for some people, Briac Leprêtre’s Like It Is exhibition at Parker’s Box makes the case for exactly the opposite. On the walls of the Williamsburg gallery viewers encounter carefully constructed watercolors of unfinished domestic interiors and on the floor are concrete sculptures that almost resemble utilitarian objects arranged around the room. The watercolors are a crucial part of the display but their painterly touch is stiff and restrained. In the center of the space, there is a massive column that is far too large for the gallery but feels strangely at home, as if it had been there all along.