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Posted inArt

Who’s Afraid of Hot Pink, Canary Yellow, and Midnight Blue?

Color is frightening. From the color of one’s skin to the color of a painting, it can stir up unlikely obsessions: all kinds of irrational responses tend to explode without provocation. Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko have two things in common: wide expanses of color and the proclivity for people to deface their paintings more than any other Abstract Expressionist work.

Posted inArt

Open Secret

Stanley Whitney is in his mid-sixties. By his own account, he struggled in the studio from the early 70s to the late 80s, “just trying to make work.” The issue was to make something that was his, rather than to make something that was the right or approved of thing to do. Although it is seldom discussed publicly, this is the dilemma facing every African-American artist. You must be a spokesperson who produces testimony that can be regarded as representative of Black culture — the “I” speaking for the “we.” (Even after the death of the author, it seems that there is at least one “we” that must be spoken for in this postmodern world.)

Posted inArt

Cory Arcangel and Pierre Bismuth Tag Team in Soho

When I walked into Team Gallery this week to see their current exhibition, Cory Arcangel vs. Pierre Bismuth my gut reaction was annoyance. The exhibition presents three works by each artist. Though Arcangel’s rise to fame has come somewhat immediately and unexpectedly, as a kind of young hip digital concept artist Pierre Bismuth’s 20-year career is equally concerned with technology and media. The result is seamless and startling to an admittedly backwards curmudgeon like me.

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