CHICAGO — I didn’t even know the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago existed until a few weeks ago, much less that it has a regular schedule of exhibitions. I certainly didn’t expect the current show, called Body of Work, to be one of the best things I’ve seen as part of Chicago Artists’ Month 2011.
The alien remoteness of Antarctica has probably never been better depicted on stage than in 69°S., a marionette theatre experience presented at the BAM 2011 Next Wave Festival by performance ensemble Phantom Limb. I write “experience” because I’m not really sure what else to call this.
Normally crammed with artist’s books, zines and other publications, Printed Matter’s storefront window on 10 Avenue and 22 street is now home to art from Occupy Wall Street. Known for using their window spaces in the past to host exhibitions, Printed Matter has lent their window to OWS to display whatever artwork they want throughout the month. On this chilly but perfect fall Sunday, I paid a visit to the store to check out the installation, which had gone up the night before.
LOS ANGELES — October marked the beginning of the Pacific Standard Time onslaught, a collaboration between 60 institutions to commemorate and celebrate the birth of the Los Angeles art scene from 1945 to 1980. LA Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) is among a host of venues invested in translating the performative end of LA’s art scene for contemporary audiences, and this past Saturday was no exception.
It’s not often that we get to be present for a posthumous lecture given by the deceased being honored. An Evening with Diane Arbus and Marvin Israel, presented at the School of Visual Arts in collaboration with the Aperture Foundation, was just that. Out of the pure darkness of a hushed theater came the crackling sound of Diane Arbus’ voice, saying cheerfully as a slide machine started to whirr, “Let me show you some pictures.” What proceeded was a shy, stumbling, incredibly humorous and deeply meaningful lecture by the infamous and famous artist herself. On the 40th anniversary of the artist’s suicide in the summer of 1971, this presentation is a recording of a lecture Arbus gave about her artwork, interests and motivations as she saw them in 1970
Last Sunday, I found myself sitting with my head in my hands on a tiny stoop on Mercer Street, wondering how to even begin to process witnessing Gallery 89’s exhibition of graffiti writer AVONE (Destroy & Rebuild), American Graffiti. Not a graffiti art show in a pop-up gallery as promised, it was an exhibition in a bar/restaurant and on Sunday, naturally, they were serving brunch. Let me repeat that: Graffiti art … at brunch … in Soho.
Maurizio Cattelan’s All explodes on impact: all noise, heat and light, followed by gradually dissipating trails of smoke. The Italian anti-artist’s anti-retrospective at the Guggenheim, as everyone has heard, hangs in toto from the oculus of the Wright ramp.
Tuesday night’s premiere of Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset’s “Happy Days in the Art World” at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts kicked off this year’s Performa “new visual art performance biennial.” A commissioned work, the piece was clearly a work of theatre and not performance art, which the duo is better known for. If a play could give its intended audience a blow job or cunnilingus, well, let’s say this one would be very very popular.
Picture it: a skeleton with a keen eye for color paints a Zombie-pin-up-girl with severe angular outlines against a cartoonish background. What is it? It’s Ryan Ford’s “Humanary Stew” (2011) at Factory Fresh, and it proclaims the talent of the undead. This comic scene is the perfect introduction to some intriguing new work on view in Bushwick this month.
This week’s Work of Art begins with a staple of Bravo reality competition shows: children and foreboding music. Ah yes, this is the week our artistes must show that they can handle the youngins. But then, another surprise! OMG IT’S CARRIE BRADSHAW. She gives them their challenge: the artists have to make a piece complimenting work of the children brought in. And so the exploitation of children begins.
Lisa Yuskavage and Nicola Tyson have solo shows three blocks from another in Manhattan’s Chelsea art-borhood. Both focus on the appearance of the figure and how it responds to or appears in certain situations, both real and imagined. The results could not be more different.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — The Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center has been in existence since 1986 and it began with monthly art events that have turned into a four-roomed exhibition space and a monthly contemporary art walk (CAM) that collaborates with the local McNay Museum and most other San Antonio art spaces. With the legacy of being the longest standing contemporary art center in San Antonio comes a strong connection with its local arts community. The space has helped revitalize its surrounding neighborhoods, King William and South Town, and as a result its street corners have chic bars and restaurants though they maintain the eclectic “Old West meets Spanish colonial” look-and-feel typical of San Antonio. At the advice of art collector and Blue Star board member Mike Casey I drive over to check it out.