The insane, or seemingly insane, have constituted a good chunk of “outsider art” since the term’s inception, so it’s no surprise that When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South, now in the last week of its run at the Studio Museum in Harlem, includes a few of them.
The New York Times reported yesterday that New York City is withholding payments this fiscal year into a pension system for many cultural centers with city contracts, such as the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Basically, the city is asking if the amount they have to pay into the retirement system has been overstated in the bookkeeping of these places.
Spending all day being party-bused between the three museums — El Museo del Barrio, the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Queens Museum of Art — who are hosting the self-proclaimed landmark exhibition “Caribbean: Crossroads of the World,” I was repeatedly told by the museum directors, curators and artists just how significant and groundbreaking the exhibition is. However, I left the final museum feeling confused by the jumbled mix of artistic styles and periods shoved together.
This week we continue with more show openings for weekend art-goers in need of a nugget of inspiration. Our round-up includes the Mike Weiss Gallery, Sculpture Center, Journal Gallery, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Airplane gallery, Nyehaus Gallery and Chambers Fine Art.
This summer the Studio Museum in Harlem is hosting five extensive exhibitions that hold true to its mission and bring both established artists and those in training under the same roof. Packed into the museum’s intimate space on 125th Street, the shows offer a tremendous range of mostly thought-provoking work, with only a few glitches along the way.
The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Fall 2010 Studio magazine, a publication that functions as newsletter, press release and behind-the-scenes peek at the museum’s operation, doesn’t exactly look institutional. This edition is covered by a mottled, fibrous layer of paper that obscures the magazine itself. Simply emblazoned “Fences,” the cover is part of an artist intervention into the Studio Museum’s magazine by Dave McKenzie. Interspersed throughout the publication’s pages are photos by the artist. Yet the photos fail to escape their medium; the whole project feels too much like branding. Does this artist intervention act more like the toy at the bottom of a cereal box than a distinct work?