Two years ago, Sharon Butler came out with “Abstract Painting: The New Casualists,” an essay addressing the “studied, passive-aggressive incompleteness to much of the most interesting abstract work that painters are making today.”
Despite the best efforts of art critics and reporters, it remains inadvisable to talk about any art fair as an exhibition, or a precisely curated experience. They’re more like avalanches of information from which viewers can filter out their own message, in the manner of an aesthetic Ouija board. However, if there is one fair in Miami that most resembles an exhibition, it’s SEVEN, which collects a group of (you guessed it) seven independent-minded New York galleries.
Are you or have you ever considered becoming a hipster? You better become acquainted with the already-outdated moniker’s attendant signifier first: Irony. You have to eat it. You have to breathe it. You have to put a kitschy magnet of it on your fridge and iron it on to a jacket.
I’ve compiled a list of nine artists I think deserve more attention as some of the rising stars of the Bushwick scene.
Despite its name, the sprawling weekend (June 1–3) of Bushwick Open Studios actually overtakes the bounds of one neighborhood into the greater North Brooklyn art scene, including some spaces in another borough entirely.
At the beginning of the 2012 Queens International, the fifth biennial of Queens artists to be staged by the Queens Museum of Art, you are asked to take a journey. The exhibit’s subtitle, Three Points Make a Triangle, was inspired by the French surrealist René Daumal’s unfinished 1944 work Le Mont Analogue, a “roman d’aventures alpines, non euclidiennes et symboliquement authentiques” (“a book of alpine adventures, non-euclidean and authentically symbolic”) in which eight explorers employing science and metaphysics discover an invisible mountain. Daumal died of tuberculosis at the age of 36, the book and its journey cut short, halfway through a sentence in the fifth chapter.
In this year’s Bushwick Open Studios, I trekked across the post-industrial neighborhood in search of art. I found surveillance pets, paperback books, marble sculptures and abstract paintings.
Liveblogging performance art is a little like tweeting a dentist appointment. You go in with some anxiety about the experience, and in the case of the former, you wonder how you will be able to capture all of what you are experiencing but also remain in the moment and engaged even though your mind can wander, distracted by noises, conversations, your own thoughts, and interruptions. When you’re liveblogging you can’t look away, not even if the performer cuts their hand (happened last time and she needed 20 stitches), or pulls out a hypodermic to inject some clear liquid into their cheek (happened this time, thanks Zhennesse). It is an imperfect thing, liveblogging, but I will say it is an exhilarating way to experience performance art.
From the frothing press release for Haymaker, expectations may be running a little high for these five young artists to mount a full scale assault on the Chelsea firmament. Set up as a reaction to the Pop-driven, ever-quickening pace of the art market and the commodifying of art and the artist, Haymaker’s participants all take the market’s demand for fresh, bright, shiny objects head on, creating works that are eminently consumable. But running under the veneer of consumability is a cynicism and sarcasm that pokes fun at art market systems while still participating in them. This is no revolution, it’s a subversion.