Friday, December 31, 2004

Vitamin Deficiency

Barry Schwabsky's ambitious international painting overview Vitamin P includes a total of 114 painters* living in 28 different countries, selected through a nomination process involving 69 nominators living around the globe. Best-represented nations are listed below, followed by each nation's number of included painters.

1. United States - 38
2. Germany - 17
3. United Kingdom - 17
4. France - 10

Six other nations are represented by three entries each, and the remaining eighteen countries are represented by one or two entries apiece(Cuba by one artist, China by two artists).

Slovenia is represented by three individual painters, all of whom reside in the Slovenian capital city of Ljubljana - population about 330,000. It shouldn't be surprising that the majority of the 38 U.S. entries live in New York City, but the number seems sort of high at 29. The rest of the U.S. entries consist of 6 Southern Californians, and one artist each in Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and Massachusetts. That's it.

Philadelphia, population 1,517,550** - one artist included
Boston, population 589,141 - zero artists included
Chicago, population 2,896,016 - zero artists included
Houston, population 1,953,631 - zero artists included
Miami, population 362,470 - zero artists included
Seattle, population 563,374 - zero artists included

Should I go on? The population of Florida is 16,713,149 - zero artists included. The population of Illinois is 12,600,620 - zero artists included. The population of Texas is 21,779,893 - zero artists included.

Why is it that artists living in Germany's Berlin, Leipzig, Hamburg, Dresden, Dusseldorf, and Cologne are represented in this book but evidently there are no painters worth including in Chicago? Don't lay all the blame on Barry Schwabsky, share some for the American nominators.

The book lists all the nominators and where they reside, including two Slovenian nominators who seem to be doing their best to discover, encourage, and support local artists. American nominators were:

NYC - 13
Chicago - 2 (Francesco Bonami and Dominic Molon)
Minneapolis - 1 (Douglas Fogle)
Austin - 2 (Dana Friis-Hansen and Richard Shiff)
LA - 4
Las Vegas - 1 (Dave Hickey)

Remember, this book project included two Slovenian nominators and three Slovenian entries. Who did the nominators of Chicago, Austin , and Minneapolis select - New York or international artist friends they want to get to show in their cities? Artists that might help further their careers and lead to better museum jobs in the better city? Did the New York nominators propose anyone outside of New York?

Tom Moody recently wrote that this "NYC vs. everywhere else" type post is tedious for those that live in New York. Well, sorry Tom, this post isn't for New Yorkers. Everywhere else, we should be recognizing those curators and arts professionals doing their best to help local art and artists become better - and running the useless ones out of town.

*actually there are 121 individual artists included. two entries are for two-artist partnerships and one is a five-artist collective.

**most population numbers given are currently higher. the philadelphia population quoted here is from the year 2000.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Kehinde Wiley

I've been thinking about the relationship - which exists in my own mind, if no other - between the portraits of Kehinde Wiley and Van Gogh's informal portraits of the postman and doctor. The recent NYTimes article says Kehinde will next be presenting huge equestrian portraits, but if so I hope his paintings are a lot better in real life than they are on-line. Does Kehinde have an agent or someone pressuring him to make stuff he's not ready for? Don't do it, Kehinde!

Nonprofit Artblog

Has anyone thought about or looked into making their artblog a nonprofit? Not an artblog that is an extension of an already existing nonprofit organization, but getting a nonprofit designation for the artblog itself?

Or what about creating some sort of nonprofit artblog group, which could include any artblog, non-profit or not? If NADA can do it, artblogs should certainly qualify.

Just curious.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Speed of Life

Gregg at Speed of Life has links to earthquake/tsunami relief agencies. Some friends and I were on Thailand's Koh Samui at this time in 1996, can't imagine that happening. How horrible.

Monday, December 27, 2004


I'm back!

Following are answers to some recently posed questions:

Someone at Artforum.com replied almost immediately to my question asking why Scene & Herd's Talkback option doesn't work. I received an e-mail from Artforum on December 16th stating "I have forwarded your message to our on-line editor". So now I'm waiting to hear from Elizabeth Schambelan - the "editor" that sent a NADA member to review NADA. Why get a Miami writer to talk about NADA when you can give a friend a free trip to Miami, right? It's not like you actually want to dis NADA or anything, you're all bestest friends! It was great to see Sarah Hromack of Forward Retreat include faux non-profits on her worst list (guess I should pull a Tyler Green and point out that I said it first, here and here. From now on, whenever I do that, I'm going to call it a "pulling a Tyler Green").

Someone at Connor Contemporary Art in D.C. got back to me on my Kehinde Wiley price request. The price for this digital print(you need to click on the title to see it), edition of 30, in a faux-gold frame is "2200, framed". I forgot to ask if it was signed or not, I'm assuming not. $2,200.00 times an edition of 30 equals $66,000.00. Let's suppose Kehinde makes 10 paintings a year and does the same thing with all of them - $66,000.00 times 10 equals $660,000.00. Wow. That helps to explain some of the NYTimes article. If you think I don't like this you are wrong! I'd prefer to see them made as glossy posters that can be made in editions of 10,000 and sold for $15.00 each at the mall, but either way, I am all for the artist getting paid! Only wish I liked his work more. Keep at it, Kehinde!

Didn't get my Tyler Green Top-Ten List Link. Dan Hopewell of Chicago's Iconoduel thinks it's because of this. Ya think? Actually, Tyler e-mailed me and said something about flirting and plagiarism, probably referring to this. Oh well. Tyler likes to dish it out but he certainly can't take it, and Tyler Green knocking Holland Cotter is absurd. Rothenberg, Ryman, and Johns? Oh my! I admire Tyler a lot, but I'm not going to pander for a link. Thanks anyway, Tyler!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Sanford vs. Wiley

Reading Monday's NYTimes article on Kehinde Wiley I was again reminded of the very similar but lesser known work of Tom Sanford.

I think they are about the same age, and got their MFA's a year apart. Kehinde from Yale and Tom from Hunter. Kehinde Wiley here, Tom Sanford here.

(UPDATE 2008 - i think Tom didn't get his degree... a few credits short or something)

Wiley seems to be better at marketing himself and making money, here he offers a digital print of one of his paintings in a faux-gold frame, edition of 30, price on request. I put in a price request and will let you know later how much.

I was aware of Sanford before Wiley, we were both included in a January 2002 group show (put on by EYESAW) in Tokyo, although Sanford was the featured artist and star of the show. That was a horrible night. I got trashed out of my mind on cheap wine and then attacked by chinpira from a tattoo exhibition upstairs. I was in a chokehold on the floor and can remember girls shouting "stop it, you're killing him" in both English and Japanese. If you know anything about Japan you know that tattoo exhibitions there attract gangstas. The real ones. Not sure I didn't deserve it, can't really remember very much.

I was so drunk I started to try to take down my piece and leave, but the organizers talked me out of it, and can remember being comforted by Johnny Walker and Tom's Japanese dealer Saito Tomoya. I ended up waiting for the chikatetsu (subway) gates to open and made my way to a bathroom stall where I passed out until noon, awakened by an obasan banging on the door wanting to clean the place. Nothing unusual about a drunk man passed out in a Shibuya bathroom stall but she was pretty surprised when a gaijin opened the door!

That's the last time I got blitzed.

Merry Christmas! (no more posting until after the 26th)

Next Kehinde Wiley posting: HERE

Monday, December 20, 2004

Some Favorite Art Things 2004

Following are some of my "Favorite Art Things" from 2004.

Anish Kapoor - Whiteout- at Barbara Gladstone Gallery. Great gallery.

About Painting at the Tang Museum, Skimore College, Saratoga Springs, NY - This was a real big hodge-podge show of contemporary painting, featuring more than sixty artists, some represented by more than one piece. The website has a great page of most of them - click on the thumbnails for more info. A favorite was this silvery piece by Rudolf Stingel, stuck in a hall between a door and a window. The window had a shade on it almost the exact texture of the painting. I enjoyed that weird placement.

My show at ADA.

John Ravenal - John Ravenal is the curator of contemporary art at the VMFA and I see him at every art show in town, no matter how small. That's great, thank you John. Supposedly Robert Hobbs lives in Richmond too.

Carly Troncale - Carly Troncale spent her entire final semester as a VCU art student on a project documenting the construction of a big new building across the street. The construction crew let her paint some of the plywood sheets pink before they were attached to the building. She interviewed them wearing pink hardhats and videotaped everything. The video was great, very funny, and it was cool to look up at the building in progress and see the randomly placed sheets of pink plywood slowly being covered over with tarpaper and brick. Shortly after Carly completed her project the unfinished building was consumed in one of the biggest Richmond fires since the Civil War, if not ever. Twenty-nine buildings were damaged, nineteen had to be demolished. Richard Roth's truck melted. I think you can see some of the pink plywood in the rubble here. Wow, what an incredible finish.

An uncanny Dutch peasant dance painting at the VMFA that I don't want to talk about without an image to share. Gave me chills it's so weird.

Rachele Riley - Rachele Riley's piece in the Print Biennial at University of Richmond's Marsh Art Gallery. This was my favorite piece in the show so I was doubly shocked when during the curator's slide talk immediately following the artist's reception she projected it as an example of how hard it is to jury by slides and that if she had known what the piece really looked like she wouldn't have included it! If you were there, yes, that was me who interrupted her.

Reality T.V. - especially The Amazing Race!

Joe Fyfe - It was great meeting and learning from Joe Fyfe, even if he isn't always as right as he thinks he is. I admire his sureness and fearlessness at speaking his mind, same goes for Tyler Green. My recent post on Don Crow I was sort of thinking about how Joe Fyfe might write it. In case it wasn't clear, I loved that work! Here's an interesting piece Joe wrote on stripes.

Artblogs - I love them all, but I think the best is Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof's artblog, and I'm not just saying that because they gave my last show in Philly a nice mention, or because I'm in a show in Philly now and I want them to review that one too.

Sesshu - just because.
Jack Kirby - just because.
Donald Judd - just because.
Caspar David Friedrich - just because.
The Genji Monogatari - just because.

I'm sure there will be many other things that come to me later, but this will have to do. Richmonders with Richmond things to add please make a comment or e-mail me and I can post those later. I know you're reading this, I have a stat-counter.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

My Worst Art Things 2004

Don't know if I have a "Best List" in me, but I definitely have a "Worst List". Lots of overlap, sorry.

The New York Academy in Rome here

The New York Book Award here

The Ongoing Consolidation of Political and Cultural Power - James Wagner has a post up now about some great gallerist that left Chicago for New York and states that "Chicago's loss is our gain". No, ultimately it isn't. You can't celebrate all the progressive-minded, talented, and creative people feeling they have to move to NYC and bitch about national politics.

The MFA Ranking System - The university ranking system has contributed to many schools making the choice to gut actual programs in favor of the marketing of those programs, and some university administrators will do almost anything to raise and maintain their rankings. Are the rise in importance of a school's ranking and the artworld's concurrent adulation of youth unrelated phenomena? I don't think so! Think "rental". More on this at a later date - anonymous tips from disgruntled gallery/university staff very welcome.

Richard Roth, Program Director of the VCU Painting Department - Why do I even say program director? He's the publicist, or P.R. guy, cog in the above system, or whatever - and very good at it. There is no program(or wasn't last year anyway), there is a collection of fifteen graduate students, a few of whom get Richard's complete attention - meaning contacts, financial support, and perks - and the rest are on their own. If you are thinking about attending VCU, and feel you had a positive meeting with Richard and will find support, I hope you got that in writing (hint: if you paint, he probably didn't like it - according to Richard, "all that painting wants to be" is not a painting). The goal is to get as many applicants as possible, and then to promote a couple of them as much as possible. Last year the student he sent to be interviewed on the program by NASAD's accrediting body was the one student who had just returned from studying abroad most of the year and least knowledgeable of the program - not only that, but he tried to keep it secret. Way to pressure the students, Richard! Smooth!

PhD as new MFA - How many of you are aware of this new effort afoot by universities? The MFA is a big enough scam, but schools have realized that there is even more money to be made. Coming soon to your university!

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts undergoing a $108 Million Dollar expansion instead of just focusing on improving the collection. School of Hals, Circle of Rembrandt. Great. More on this at a later date.

Friday, December 17, 2004

New American Paintings II

Haven't heard anything yet from the New American Paintings competition, but I have heard from a few artists who found out they were accepted. They got their acceptance letters a couple weeks ago, so it is pretty safe to assume I didn't get in. Again!

Oh well, I've known enough people who have been accepted to know not to give up. It's not like the New York Academy in Rome or anything.

Tyler Green has a nice MAN post on the death of Agnes Martin. I liked the following bit -

"At breakfast, they talked about art and art-making. John had seen photographs of Martin's apartment and noticed that she hadn't decorated it with any of her own paintings, so he asked her about it.

"Do you have any of your own paintings in the apartment?" he asked her. Martin looked at him like he was stupid. "Well, no" she said. "They all sell."

My apartment, on the other hand, is full of my paintings. Oh yeah, and there is that storage locker in Hoosick, NY I pay $30.00/month on, that's full of my paintings too.

I have three paintings I have to pick up from Krause Gallery in Atlanta. Anyone want to buy them and save me the hassle? We'll work with you!

P.S. If you happen to click on that page and see that it lists me as having an MFA, that's not true! I dropped out!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

NADA Nonprofit

Can anyone tell me what makes NADA a nonprofit?

Excerpts from an article by Benjamin Genocchio, via Tom Moody's blog.

"So far its activities have been largely social, consisting of pizza nights and cocktail parties at the galleries and homes of members. There is even talk of a softball team. (Maybe NADA could play A.D.A.A., the Art Dealers Association of America.) There have also been loans of equipment and artwork among members and some referrals of buyers. In the fall the group arranged guided tours of NADA galleries in Chelsea and Williamsburg, Brooklyn."

Beck Smith, owner of Bellwether -

"At NADA's art fair in Miami, Ms. Smith said, there was a lot of interest in her artists. "I used to joke that NADA stood for networking and drinking," she said, "but after Miami I've realized it is much more. Three years ago I would sell one print of the work of Sharon Core out of a show. I sold 25 of her photographs in Miami, ranging in price from $2,000 to $4,500. Since coming back, I've sold a couple of prints almost every day. There are even waiting lists for work she hasn't made."

It's so commercial Michelle Maccarone, owner of Maccarone Gallery, doesn't even want to join -

"But NADA's chummy atmosphere is not for everyone. Despite overtures, Ms. Maccarone remains a nonmember. She says she has a different vision and model for her gallery. "I operate more like a kunsthalle, doing four or five in-depth solo exhibitions a year," she said. "I'm also more interested in installation and site-specific work. Basically it's less market driven."

Scope is also a nonprofit, and at least their website states the following -

"Scope also devotes a portion of its program to educational forums and new media which includes moderated panel discussions and video and film screenings. Panel discussions in the past have touched on such relevant topics as Building Unique Collections and The Culture Economy. Additional events include receptions with local museums, performances and music programs."

What does NADA do besides the fair? Is there a mailing list I can join to attend one of the pizza nights or cocktail parties? I can't find any evidence that they have done anything other than the fair.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

No Lip

How come the Talkback option doesn't work on Artforum.com's Scene & Herd site?

Todd Gibson is Brilliant

Oh wow, I was reeling when I read this post on Todd Gibson's From The Floor. I wish it were true, what a great idea - I'm on the fence with both of those artists but that would have completely won me over.

Todd, that was great, my heart is still racing, your prank got me better than anything Maurizio has done yet.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Don Crow

Reynolds Gallery is showing 17 smallish works by Don Crow until December 23rd. I was hoping I would have been able to get my hands on a camera by now and taken some photos to post, but that hasn't happened yet and Reynolds Gallery has no website - I'm sorry I have no images to share.

Paint and paper collaged constructions with no distinction made between support and surface, all 17 pieces are suspended by silver wire, hung from a nail about a foot over each painting. At first glance the hanging seems careless and ugly, but as one circles the room glints of reflected light within the paintings catch the eye; these sparkles are the staples which hold each piece together.

Crow seems to be using brown Kraft Paper to make all of these, and I say there is no distinction between support and surface because the same layers of Kraft Paper forming the ground are then folded over themselves all along the edges - creating "frames" for each piece - with additional layers of cut Kraft Paper shapes added. Some of these initial frame/grounds are left brown, with others painted either a solid color or two-toned, the frame sometimes differentiated by being painted a separate color.

One of the pieces - with waves of pink paper overlapping a green sphere - references a mountainous landscape, the rest are all abstract. Painted circles, squares, triangles, ovals, and rectangles are attached with staples, arranged in a careful row or layered. It looks like he paints a sheet of paper with a big brush before cutting out individual shapes, probably spending a lot of time arranging different colors and shapes before settling on a composition and stapling it together. Brushstrokes are easy to read, truncated by the act of scissors cutting shapes, and Kraft Paper brown is legible through the sometimes thinly applied colors.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Rosemarie Fiore

Rosemarie Fiore's show at ADA Gallery opens tomorrow and will run through January. There will be a First Friday reception in January which Rosemarie can't attend, so if you want to meet her and say hello you need to go to tomorrow night's reception.

Following is the announcement I received from John -

"Rosemarie created these prints by converting an amusement park ride into a giant Spirograph. Rosemarie and the prints (and video) will be here tomorrow for a special OPENING RECEPTION. She can't make it for the "First Friday" frenzy in January - but she'll be here tomorrow December 14th 6-9pm at ADA Gallery - refreshments will be provided"

He says "prints" above, so I'm not sure what to expect. My understanding was that these are gigantic paintings/drawings made from the conversion of an amusement park scrambler machine into a drawing tool.

Support for the projected was supplied by Grand Arts, you can learn how to submit your own proposal here.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

NADA Member Sholis Gives Good Review to NADA

NADA member Brian Sholis gives a nice review of the NADA art fair on Artforum's blog. I said NADA member Sholis gives good review to NADA.

He closes with "the general sense that NADA's spirit of camaraderie and the sharpness of its gallery selections has provided a welcome contrast to cookie-cutter corporate fairs around the world". That's generous to NADA of you Brian, but not entirely in keeping with non-profit NADA's stated non-adversarial goals.

How does a group of over 40 commercial galleries get away with calling themselves a non-profit anyway?

I love this quote on Franklin's blog today, "The art world described in Artforum is a giant cash register lubricated with liquor and horseshit".

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

David A. Ross

From NYTimes correspondents on Bizarro-World:

David A. Ross, a former Whitney director, said that donors deserve their tax breaks. "I think it's totally appropriate and wonderful that one of the things collectors can do is buy a $1 million painting but don't actually deed the gift until it's worth $10 million and get a $9 million tax credit," said Mr. Ross, now the president of the Artist Pension Trust. "I think that's wonderful. It's the only way government supports the arts."

Tax breaks to people who can afford million-dollar artworks is not support for the arts where I live, but it is on Bizarro-World!

Kudos also has to go to the government for its generous recognition of NADA as a non-profit organization. What would we do without all of NADA's charitable work?

Thanks, Government!

Monday, December 06, 2004


To view the self-portraits of the following Friendsters, you do need to be signed up on Friendster. No need to sign in and out each time, sign in once and click away. I've taken screenshots of all of these, plus many many many more, and will be making digital prints and CD's for my Whitney Biennial debut! I call that big wall the elevators open up on!

Ali Subotnick here
Apsara DiQuinzio here - Whitney
Becky Smith here - Bellwether
Choire Sicha here
Christine Whatsername here
Clara Ha here – Paul Kasmin Gallery
Claudia Altman-Siegel here – Luhring Augustine
Dean Daderko here – Parlour Projects
Domenick Ammirati here - Artforum
Elizabeth Schambelan here - Artforum
Emily Wei here
Gavin Brown here – GBE
Hanna Schouwink here – David Zwirner
Janine Foeller here - Wallspace
Jen Bekman here – Jen Bekman Gallery
Jessica Ostrower here – Art in America
Joe Wolin here
Jose Freire here – Team Gallery
Kelly Taxter here - Taxter & Spengemann
Lauri Firstenberg here
Lisa Ruyter here
Maika Pollack here - Southfirst
Malik Gaines here
Mirabelle Marden here – Rivington Arms
Natalia Mager here – Luhring Augustine
Nina Arias here
Scott Hug here
Sheri L. Pasquarella here – Gorney Bravin + Lee
Stephanie Theodore here
Suzanne Geiss here – Deitch
Tina Kukielski here - Whitney
Yvonne Olivas here – Art in America
Zach Feuer here – Zach Feuer Gallery, formerly LFL

Do you want to be in the next Whitney Biennial too? It's easy! Just submit an application and you're sure to be considered!


All submissions to be considered for exhibition in the Biennial should include the artist's biography or resume, a brief description of the proposed work, and between six and eight images. Recommended formats for images include slides, computer printouts, digital images on a CD_ROM, audio CDs, or VHS videotapes. We do not accept original artworks in the submission package.

Submissions may be sent to:

Biennial Coordinator
Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10021

Good Luck!!!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

let's make an artblogopolis

Lenny Campello has recently noted on Washington, DC Art News that the Washington Post has reduced it's weekly gallery coverage to only twice a month. What? I can't believe it!! You mean newspapers cover art???

Richmond has two newspapers, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Style Weekly, and the Times-Dispatch is useless. Richmond artists and art-lovers only have Style to look forward to, and this week Style has no art coverage at all.

You know what, I don't even care anymore that the Times-Dispatch doesn't cover art. It's a crap newspaper anyway. Following are links to a few Richmond artists who've started blogging on art. I'm hoping for twenty more, and we can start some real dialogue.

All three of these artistbloggers are twenty-something VCU students and blogging is infrequent at best. VCU dominated Richmond could use some non-VCU artbloggers. Twenty Richmond artists each blogging a few times a week, with a lot of overlap and disagreement, would be ideal.

Ryan at Mugsy the Bear - Ryan is into video and performance art.
Judy at Play - Judy knows everything about printmaking, old-school and digital.
Cristina at Lipstick - Cristina studies painting.

Let's create a Richmond artblogopolis -- our own Montparnasse cafe, our own Cedar Bar, within which we can argue, debate, extol, praise, ridicule, criticize, and support each other's art and opinions. Let's not ignore each other or allow ourselves to be ignored!

Messy Democraticism is the new Black!!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

December Shows

I'm happy to see that Chris Norris will be having a show at Randolph-Macon College's Flippo Gallery, here for info. He was included in the last Mid-Atlantic edition of New American Paintings - along with Mike - and I later saw one of the drawings at ADA Gallery this summer. I know from a mutual friend that Chris has made some very freaky drawings he hasn't shown yet, hope some are included in the show.

On Main Street you can visit Reynolds Gallery, their shows are continuing through December. Shirley Kaneda and Carlton Newton are downstairs and I especially recommend the works by Don Crow on the second floor. I just found out today that they were all made in and shipped from Qatar(!), where he is currently living and working. Ron Johnson has a nice small painting worth asking to take a look at - not sure if it will be up because it's in the "rotating" area. Ron had a disappointing (for me) second floor show recently, the only piece I liked was the one right at the top of the stairs in that sort of hall space, but when he's good he's the real deal.

Rentz Gallery , right down the street from Reynolds, also looks to be showing some interesting work this month by Pam Longobardi and Mimi Herbert. Rentz has a nice space, one big room with a wall in the center, creating two generous exhibition areas. The Longobardi's I saw being hung looked much better than what is reproduced on the card and the gallery's website, and the work by Mimi Herbert looks really weird and exciting. Rentz also shows Fiona Ross, and Fiona Ross is fantastic.

VCU has two MFA student shows to see, one in the Fine Arts Building on Broad Street's Fab Gallery and the other in a building down on the Slip. The Fab Gallery show is a group show of all the first year Painting grads, including Eric Sall, who just won a $20,000 Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. Not the MFA grant, the professional grant! Wow. I don't even think its something you can apply for, you have to be nominated. Congratulations Eric, now buy me a drink! The other show has been curated from all the MFA students, and I especially liked the pieces by Tim Devoe, Diana Al-Hadid, Mike Martin, and Jason Hackett. Danielle Riede has another paint chip piece, this time with a really good title - VCU Rainbow #2, and Emily Hall is represented by her first painting ever, something made after she won a $5,000 Virginia Commission for the Arts Painting Fellowship! How the hell do you do that?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Speaking of messy democraticism, how about Artomatic?

What's odd for me about all this Artomatic stuff is that the same people who are championing it are also ranking the artists. Check out the numerous Artomatic Top Ten Lists submitted to Lenny Campello's excellent DC blog - from almost every art professional in the town! Doesn't that contradict the spirit of the whole endeavor? Artomatic's website states it is "By Artists, For Artists. Artomatic is organic; no jury, no curators".

Lenny is even conspiring with fellow gallerists to show the best of the agreed upon best. They're trying "to work out concurrent exhibitions of the "final" Artomatic Top Ten List, which will be compiled mathematically from all the lists that I have been getting from curators, critics and art dealers." Who's missing? That's right... ARTISTS! I'm pretty sure this was just an oversight though, right Lenny?

Isn't it amazing how much attention curators, critics, and gallerists pay artists when the artists get together and shut them out of the process? Every day should be an Artomatic day.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

the pot critiques the kettle

How much lower can the bar be set?

Monday, November 29, 2004

Messy Democraticism is the new Black

"art, in a democracy, is a messy, open process" - Nicolai Ouroussoff, New York Times, 11/15/04

"Chelsea is messily democratic, the most real, unbiased reflection of contemporary art's global character." - Roberta Smith, New York Times, 11/28/04

Ouroussoff's quote is from the worst MOMA review I've read, by far.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Artist's Websites

Don Crow has some excellent work on view at Reynolds Gallery until December 23rd, and though I plan to post about it soon, I'm afraid I won't be able to share any images. The gallery doesn't have a website and I can't find any images - or much information at all - for Crow on the internet.

It seems that most of my "older than thirty-five" artist friends don't have any web presence, and that most of the younger artists do. I know more than a few young artists who have yet to even form a body of work - yet have well-designed websites full of photoshopped digital images, resumes, and listings of inflated accomplishments. These kids are getting their work seen all over the country before the old-schoolers can lick a stamp. Following are some of the various ways an artist can get his work on-line, please pass this information along to your artist friends who are missing the boat and being overlooked.

Slide Registries

I think most larger cities have slide registries available for artists to join, many of them on-line. Philadelphians can submit work to Moore College of Art's on-line Levy Gallery Slide Registry. Following are two NYC slide registries open to all.

Artist's Space - the Artist's Space slide registry has no limit to the number of slides an artist can submit, and every artist who submits to the registry can have two works included in the on-line registry. As far as I can tell, this registry is not juried. You submit, you're in.

White Columns - the White Columns registry is juried and thus more competitive than Artist's Space, you must submit slides to be considered for review by the director. This registry is only open to artists without NYC gallery representation.

Group Sites (not sure what to call this heading exactly, so I'll call it Group Sites)

The following sites are open to all, for a reasonable fee.

Re-title.com - this new DIY site is good because of the amount of control offered. You have a choice of three different templates and you can re-edit and modify your page as often as you like. I guess you could update your texts and images every day. The site isn't juried but does claim to monitor for quality control. I haven't looked at every artist but have already found two friends and two friendsters included. Please visit their pages for example - I think all four of them also include links to their personal websites.

Seongmin Ahn here
Orly Cogan here
Geoffrey Detrani here
Akiko Ichikawa here

InLiquid.com - a Philadelphia based nonprofit organization, this is the site I am included on and have been very happy with. Most of the artists on here live in Philadelphia, and their weekly e-mail newsletter ( I don't think you need to be a member to subscribe) is full of information on Philadelphia area openings, lectures, and opportunities. I've been asked to be in three Philadelphia shows this year through this site, including my current exhibition, which features InLiquid artists only. This is a juried site which reviews membership applications three times a year. Please visit the following examples.

Tara K. Ivins here
Marc Salz here

Personal Sites

Formerly known as vanity sites, personal websites are de rigeur with today's young artists skilled in the arts of surreptitious self-promotion. Following are the sites of some friends who also make good work.

James "Jimmy James" Engelmann here

Timothy Michael Martin here

Fernando Mastrangelo here

Kai Vierstra - Kai! What happened? It's gone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

On Not Making a Product

Interesting article about the marketing of digital art on Slate.


What art-blogger has posted a MOMA review that I can't stop comparing to Adrian Searle's November 15th Guardian review (excerpted below)?

In one paragraph Searle talks about how Diebenkorn "owes so much" to Matisse, immediately followed by a paragraph containing an example in the contemporary galleries of a piece which intrudes on the appreciation of the pieces around it. The art-blogger meanwhile talks about a piece in the contemporary galleries intruding on the appreciation of other works, immediately followed by a paragraph on how much Diebenkorn "owed" to Matisse. Probably coincidental - and a sign that their has been both way too much redundant MOMA coverage and that I've spent way too much time reading it.

Also worth noting is Searle's new review of the great Marlene Dumas. Somebody notify Richard Polsky!

from Adrian Searle's MOMA article:

"a lovely Richard Diebenkorn Ocean Park painting, which owes so much to the internal architecture of Matisse's Piano Lesson."

"In a catch-all display of Minimal and postminimal art, a Dan Flavin fluorescent striplight casts its pinkish glow on all around it. The infinitessimaly differenciated tones of an Ad Reinhardt black painting are rendered utterly invisible, a Bridget Riley twangs in the glow, and one of Robert Ryman's white paintings blushes pink in Flavin's reflected aura. Somehow, everything looks like an example or an illustration rather than a thing in itself."

Monday, November 22, 2004

Specific Density

I have three paintings included in a show in Philadelphia, the exhibition dates are November 21 - January 21, with a reception on Thursday, December 9, 5:30-7:30pm.

"Specific Density, showing in the Borowsky Gallery, includes seven InLiquid artists whose work is dense with imagery, materials and visual ideas. Artists included in the exhibition are Martin Bromirski,Randall Cleaver, Annette Cords, Paul Loughney, Marc Salz , Marta Sanchez and Carole Sivin.

Each of the seven artists in Specific Density, offers a different experience of density. Among the four painters in the exhibit, Richmond-based Martin Bromirski sets wildly varying textures against each other, while Brooklyn artist Annette Cords orchestrates multiply-layered patterns with unexpected color placements; in the constructed paintings of Marc Salz, large and small elements jostle and slyly cross-pollinate each other, while in Marta Sanchez’s retablo-like paintings, faces and story fragments intermingle in intensely-felt portraits. Carole Sivin’s mixed-media sculptures are lush accretions of organic elements in tropical hues; Randall Cleaver, a Dumpster Diver, works by addition on his witty found-object constructions. And Paul Loughney’s monotype compositions resonate with complex associations."

The Borowsky and Open Lens Galleries are located at the Gershman Y, 401 South Broad Street (at Pine Street) in Philadelphia. Click here for directions.

Gallery hours are Sunday-Thursday 9 am-5 pm, Friday 9 am-4 pm. The gallery is closed Saturday. Admission is free.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Roberta Fallon & Libby Rosof

Philadelphia artists and art-bloggers Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof have updated their blog with another image from their So True series, a series of collaborative self-portraits. Each painting features both women, and I think they paint them together. I was going to call them autobiographical except that one painting is set in the future and features them as gray-haired grannies on the cover of ArtForum (like that will still be in print in 2020!). Now I am unsure if they really were protesting together in 1969 or if the series is also creating an imaginary collaborative past, wish fulfillment in reverse, to match the fantastic future.

Go to their main page and click on the "OK Artists" thumbnails to read and see the memoir in twelve e-mails, which is also available as a limited edition artist's book. I can relate to this one, and this one reminds me of a favorite painting by a favorite artist. Note the black horse!

Their artblog is hard to keep up with, and a testament to exactly how much is going on in Philadelphia - with already four Philadelphia art postings since wrapping up MOMA coverage on Friday. Philadelphia is a great city for art and artists - my third exhibition in Philadelphia this year opens today - and I'm sure Cinque Hicks will have some good things to say about his recent visit.

Roberta's recent post on MOMA mentioned Jeff Koons' New Shelton Wet/Dry Doubledecker, and how it seemed a funny Donald Judd critique immediately after seeing some pieces by Judd. For me that Koons piece most brings to mind Ed Kienholz's The State Hospital(make sure you use the image viewer to enlarge). My favorite Roberta post though would most definitely have to be this review of a show I was in earlier this year.

Thanks Roberta and Libby!

Friday, November 19, 2004


"Pollock is already over" - Glenn Lowry

"This is our 'Winged Victory'" - Terence Riley, comparing a Bell 47D-1 helicopter to this.

''It's facing people not with the amazing product of the great founder of modernism, but it's facing the audience with a member of the audience -- an exceptional member of the audience. There will be a wall label." - John Elderfield, explaining the selection of Portrait of Felix Feneon, by whatsisname.

Big Surprise

Excerpt from Christopher Knight article in LAT -

"Here's one symptom of MoMA's bigger problem: A lovely small drawing by Vija Celmins at one end and a graceful big drawing by Toba Khedoori at the other end are all that you will encounter by Los Angeles artists of the last 30 years. No Chris Burden, no Mike Kelley, no Lari Pittman, no Charles Ray, no _______ (you fill in the blank). Now multiply that glaring gap by a dozen other regions, including entire continents.

New York's legendary provincialism didn't matter much when art was a tiny enterprise engaging a handful of practitioners. Now it's just embarrassing. New York has finally become Paris -- a bountiful place to visit to see what great art used to be. The stunning new MoMA is its magnificent shrine."

Brought to my attention on Modern Art Notes.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Shirley Kaneda III

More from the recent Shirley Kaneda lecture, speaking about her own work -

My work is "a combination, a montage, an amalgamation. I don't believe in the singularity of abstract painting. Abstract painting can offer a kind of fluidity, experimentation, and the freedom to change depending upon what you are interested in at the time".

"the more contradiction the better, the more optimum for me"


"Language is a way to name things, not just communicate. Some things can be named in my paintings, like circle, line" but "it is difficult to name the overall unity". "It is very difficult to be specific in the naming of these paintings". "I wanted to imagine and picture a place where language couldn't take over". "When language fails us the viewer has to take up the challenge or walk away, (and what happens is) usually the latter".

"How can we have a whole that is faithful to the parts that make it whole"? "I want no focus point", "no heirarchy between the parts and the whole, everything should exist on an equal footing". I "hope to hinder any kind of automatic response" and "want to disrupt any preconceptions, I'm not interested in being didactic".


"TV and computers influence how we visualize, (with) multiple images in single frames", "if a comparison is to be made, I would like the painting to function as a hypertext, each area linking to another."

"The computer is a tool, like a brush".

The Decorative

Kaneda admitted that she feels a "shortcoming" of her work is it's "inherent decorativeness and opticality", but added that "there is a difference between the decorative and decoration" and listed David Reed, Frank Stella, Matthew Ritchie, and Joanne Greenbaum as artists who "are all involved with the decorative whether they know it or not".

An aim is to "take fragmentation as a positive quality". I "wanted to explore and build on discriminatory concepts" and to "use the decorative metaphorically to promote non-heroic themes".


My "titles are usually oxymorons" to "put into words the inconsistencies". "I want my work to reflect real illusions (this was the title of the piece being projected)". My "titles are not directly related (to the work)", they are "not descriptive or poetic"

Final Thoughts and Advice

I "don't think that abstract art is either more or less important than any other type of art", but "it is difficult to make abstract paintings today". "Painting is not privileged anymore, but not being privileged doesn't make it marginalized".

Ms. Kaneda brought up Ingres again, saying "(I'm) interested in a kind of classical quality" and that after years she had "grown tired of making paintings that were about process - you couldn't figure out how it was made". I "sort of want it to function like a Mondrian, the reproduction looks mechanical, but in life the lines are wobbly". "There is an unmistakable human quality in his work", the "image is not traditional but the way it is painted is totally traditional". I've "started thinking of my paintings as abstract photo-realism".

"Pleasure in your process is integral. If you don't enjoy the process you can't (illegible, something like 'make good work')." I "enjoy painting now more than ever, working very labor-intensive, very detail-oriented", in "almost a trance state". "The process is extremely comforting".

"Painting is hard, it takes a long time (to develop your skills)". One "can produce a similar (idea) in another medium much more easily, but the longer you paint, the better you get at it". Ms. Kaneda spoke of "growth in the medium" and " the ability to control it" and wondered if the same amount of growth is possible in other mediums - to have a similar "development of sensibilty over material".

"How do we address issues of quality? Greenberg was very specific. Today, those definitions are not enough. These questions need to be addressed, but how? Do we just take a passive attitude? Or do we take some sort of stand and address this question in our own work? Individual artists are doing this - but it's not happening collectively".

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Felix Feneon

Click here to see Against the Enamel of a Background Rythmic with Beats and Angels, Tones and Colors, Portrait of Felix Feneon in 1890.

And an excerpt from an excellent essay in Axess, by Mark Irving.

"Astute visitors, however, will pay particular attention to the way Moma has now reopened the story of the modern. Instead of Rodin's St John the Baptist Preaching, which used to stand outside the galleries, pointing to Cézanne's The Bathers, Lowry has decided to start the collection with Signac's 1890 Portrait of Félix Feneon. This, he says, is "a great magical gesture that essentially raises the curtain on the very idea of modernity. It is Signac's greatest picture, though he's not the artist you'd usually pick." Dispensing with the Cézanne (Lowry claims it is a "rétardaire picture, still wrestling with Poussin") and highlighting instead Feneon—the Parisian critic, collector, impresario and anarchist—is a telling move. "It's about showmanship, the masses, about a fundamentally different moment," he continues. "It's almost the same date as The Bathers, but it's about the curtain coming up on popular culture, breaking through the screen of avant-garde art. It pinpoints the notion of celebrity and offers us references to Warhol later in the hang."

This, then, is how Moma has recast the history of modern art as seen from our times, with showmanship and celebrity culture the dominant thread. Each generation retells history its own way, but is this really where the march of progress has taken us? It risks appearing as just a repackaging of those features of modern art that conveniently mimic our current, transitory obsessions. But for Lowry, the story of modern art is not complete without the canonisation of Andy Warhol, the original media-savvy, celebrity-driven artist. "Of the giants of this period, he is the guy," says Lowry. "Pollock is already over." "

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

REALITY intrudes

Some of these pictures are harsh harsh harsh - but look.

Pictures from Falluja, which we all have an obligation to see - because this is what is happening in our name. Try not to think of these babies when you go to sleep tonight.

A "thank you" to artist Sebastian Blanck for the wake-up.

Clarification: Sebastian informed me of the site, I don't know whose site it is.

Monday, November 15, 2004

MOMA interlude

Following are excerpts from NYTimes Architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff's MOMA review:

"the expanded museum is a serene composition that weaves art, architecture and the city into a transcendent aesthetic experience" - from the 2nd paragraph

"what the architect has done is to bind art, architecture and the city into a vibrantly powerful composition" - from the 11th paragraph

"There are those who were terrified that the garden, which has been expanded, would lose its intimacy. It has never looked better. The core of the original, with its scattering of weeping beech trees and its marble bridges spanning a reflecting pool, has been lovingly restored. To preserve its sense of scale, Mr. Taniguchi created a series of low terraces along its edges, giving the garden a degree of visual depth it never had and welding it more gently to the surrounding buildings. Two towering porticoes frame the garden on either side, giving it the feel of an immense public stage."

So... it's an intimate immense public stage?

The parts about "an aspiring young artist craving acceptance" and "art, in a democracy, is a messy, open process" made me cringe. Yuk! I'm still trying to understand what "it(the architecture) brings us closer to the art and sensitizes us to the world around us" means. I got confused because he had just been saying something about hypnotic effects and generous moments.

Why was this guy so hyped up? This was awful!

He loved it though, I probably will too. For a complete pan check out Charlie Finch.

Shirley Kaneda II

You know how sometimes you like an artist's work, and you are excited at the chance to attend a lecture and hear them speak about it, and the lecture is a big disappointment? That was not the case with Shirley Kaneda! I took so many notes and was writing so fast that I couldn't read my own handwriting. She didn't talk very much about any of her specific paintings, but more about painting in general and some of her motivations, while a survey of her work since 1990 was projected.

Born and raised in Japan, where at that time access to Western art was limited, she moved to New York as a young woman and says she was naive about art when she arrived. She started figurative, and loved Ingres, but says "figuration was not enough for me" and "I realized I wasn't interested in creating a narrative". She became enamored of abstract painting, finding "Still and Newman completely compelling". The challenge was that she "had to find a way to make abstract paintings relevant for me". She realized that she wanted to make abstract paintings but wasn't interested in following traditions, she wanted to undermine them.

For a fuller understanding of the context of the following, please read my previous post.

Kaneda said "making abstract paintings during postmodernism was a double-edged sword" because "postmodernism denigrates painting, abstract painting in particular" and spoke of how talk at the time of the ‘death of painting’ was not news, it had been going on since the early 1900's, and that she certainly didn't believe in that idea. "Many thought that the ‘death of painting’ was a fad and were relieved when it went out of style". Note how she declares that way of thinking to be obsolete – I loved it – she was looking right at RR.

This was followed up by criticism of the current state of the artworld that began, “even though I am just a painter, I think criticality is very important”. Ouch! “We have a culture where the only thing that matters is the present and what appears to be new”, in which “paintings are praised not for their freshness but for (illegible word - maybe 'tedium') and cleverness”. “Art has become a process of image consumption” and “a struggle for ideas in such a situation seems useless and hopeless”. “Abstract painting represents a choice”, “I still believe in art or painting’s ability to make some difference”.

“Artists are really not interested in self-criticality, which is a modernist goal, and God forbid we should (do that)”. “I see a staleness”, “they don’t really change anything or try to change anything, other than to try to gain attention” and “themes or contexts are recycled. An amnesia develops where we forget what happened last year”.

“The idealistic goals are not attainable, but that doesn’t mean we should give up”, it “doesn’t mean painting should be abandoned”

Wow! Shirley Kaneda is my hero! I'll continue tomorrow.

Shirley Kaneda

Shirley Kaneda lectured at VCU last week – and she had a lot to say – but first a bit of back-story.

Shirley Kaneda had been listed as being a faculty member on both the VCU Painting Department’s website and in the materials I was sent, and was one of the reasons I applied to VCU. I was coming to get my MFA after nine years in Japan, and Kaneda - born and raised in Japan - was someone I was looking forward to working with. She was also the only faculty member whose work I was familiar with, having previously read some good reviews.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after arriving at VCU that I learned she was no longer faculty, and had been so only briefly. I expressed my disappointment to the departmental chair, Richard Roth, who gave her a thumbs-down gesture, saying “you wouldn’t have liked her anyway” and that “she was no good”.

So it came as a surprise when I discovered that she would be a visiting artist this year. Not because she wouldn’t have been invited, Kaneda isn’t the only visiting artist Roth has disparaged, but because I assumed that she didn’t like him either. I’ve since been informed that her visit now is one of the ways that they are fulfilling her contract.

I’m relating all this not just to gossip, but because it helps to understand my upcoming interpretation of her lecture. Kaneda is an abstract painter and Roth is a former abstract painter, someone who likes to tell how he used to be a Modernist and is now a Post-Modernist. You know what I’m talking about - the zealousy of the converted. Inherent in this is an unspoken contempt for painting, abstract painting in particular, which might explain why Kaneda left the department. I dropped out also.

Why the painter left the painting department and the guy who quit painting runs it is unanswered.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Franklin in Miami socks it to Michael Kimmelman and also has a post on the excellent Shambhala Sun - both posts are followed by lots of interesting comments. I hadn't known Bill Viola also spent time in Japan.

Artists looking to to be informed of opportunities should sign up for Michael Mandiberg's list. It gets e-mailed to you every month or so - a ton of stuff.

Charles Giuliano is a Boston based artist/critic/curator who e-mails a newsletter covering shows he sees, mostly in Boston and Western Massachusetts, sometimes elsewhere. To receive it, e-mail him at Charles.Giuliano@verizon.net.

Thanks to Perry Woodin at GalleryDriver for including anaba on it's artblog aggregator. They list a bunch of artblogs, showing what was updated most recently, saving you the time of having to actually go to each blog to see what's new. Franklin also has one - although it is a bit slow to load.

Lastly, Seattle artist Carolyn Zick's art portal isn't an aggregator, but it seems to be the most comprehensive listing of artblog links. Thanks Carolyn!

Maurizio Cattelan

Here's a blurb from New York Magazine's April 3, 2000 issue on Maurizio Cattelan's elephant that just went for $2,751,500 --

"It's confirmed: the art world has come down with a serious case of elephantiasis. First Chris Ofili's elephant-dung works, then the paintings by elephants auctioned at Christie's, and now the sculpture of 40-year-old Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan, whose show at the Marian Goodman Gallery just closed on Saturday. His Not Afraid of Love, a seven-foot-tall painted polyester-styrene baby elephant shrouded in a sheet was sold for "the low six figures" -- a new high for Cattelan -- to the Rubell Family Collection in Miami almost immediately after the show opened. Cattelan, described by moma curator Laura Hoptman as a "trickster," has seen his prices climb dramatically in the past three years, driven by shows in Venice, Paris, and London. The "Il Supernoi" drawings of Cattelan, done by police sketch artists, have nearly doubled to $25,000. And his 1999 photographs of an actor in a huge Picasso head greeting visitors to MOMA like Mickey Mouse at Disney World have sold out for $15,000 each. Expect to see this elephant greeting visitors, too: The Rubell Collection is open to the public, and the second in the edition of two has been put on reserve for an unnamed museum."

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Marlene Dumas

Okay! I found some recent Marlene Dumas images and if you are in London you're really in luck because she is showing at Frith Street Gallery from tomorrow through December 23rd! Wow! Someone send Richard Polsky a ticket!

The link also provides her resume which lists only one U.S. solo exhibition - in Chicago - in the past ten years. Yet I'm pretty sure she showed at the New Museum in 2002. Kind of weird. Marlene Dumas is so mysterious!

Upcoming Lectures

Gregory Volk - Wednesday 11/10, 2pm - VCU Student Commons Theatre, 907 Floyd Avenue

Frederika Jacobs - Thursday 11/11, 4pm - Grace Street Theatre, 934 West Grace Street

Wendy Jacob - Thursday 11/11, 5pm (Ouch! Poor scheduling, it starts before the above lecture finishes. I wish these individual VCU departments communicated a little - the art history kids want to work at the Whitney and the art kids want to be in the Whitney, you would think the school would do something to help them meet beforehand?) - VCU Fine Arts Building, 1000 West Broad Street, Room 114

Simon Pittock & Andrew Clarkin( proprietors of Keith Talent Gallery, London) - Monday 11/17, 3:30pm - VCU Fine Arts Building, 1000 West Broad Street, Crit Room #3

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Marlene Dumas

Still thinking about how wrong Richard Polsky was yesterday in calling his segue from Marlene Dumas to outrageous auction prices "changing the subject from the ridiculous to the sublime", when it's the complete reverse! What Bizarro World is he on?

I think all of these prices are pretty nuts, but fortunately Polsky's pan didn't seem to hurt Dumas. Both of her works available went for over $900,000, this one going for $937,600. Wow! Here's a piece of crap from Damien Hirst that sold for $848,000 and a great painting by Jeff Koons, or someone, which sold for $2,248,000!!!

Jeff Koons is the shit!

Marlene Dumas

Who is Marlene Dumas???? Are you kidding me??? She's great! She's a South African-born Amsterdam-living artist who hasn't spent much time schmoozing in NYC, obviously. Even Louise and Maurizio know better than that!

A much better question would be why doesn't artnet have any images of her work from the past ten years!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Reynolds Gallery

There is a great collection of Shirley Kaneda paintings to see at Reynolds Gallery this month. I went to her lecture last Wednesday and took a ton of notes, so I hope to post about that soon and try to get over my recent NY thing.

Also at Reynolds is a nice collection of Carlton Newton drawings and a bunch more stuff upstairs.

Monday, November 08, 2004

The New MOMA

Artcritical.com has an interesting discussion on The New MOMA. It's a good read, I've only excerpted some parts for non-NYC artists to roll their eyes at, like Williamsburg being a place that doesn't get much attention and the need for curators to go all the way to Bushwick. The italics are mine.

Christian (Honesty is the Best Policy) Vivero$-Faune:

I honestly look forward to the museum returning to a sustained and growing level of interest in the art of today, and I say this not only because I aim to sell the museum more work, but because… -- I say bring it on.

Susan Jennings:

Luckily, Chelsea is not the only neighborhood with galleries. There's Williamsburg!

Rocio Aranda-Alvarado:

I find that occasionally I spend three hours in Chelsea and don't see anything truly inspirational. Williamsburg, however, is a different story, as is Newark. I believe sometimes that the more interesting things happen in the (perceived) periphery. There are some extremely motivated and wonderful young artists doing great work and organizing themselves in significant ways in these places that get less attention.

Susan Jennings:

That is why I try to go to these places and then tell people at White Columns, for example, about what I see that is outstanding. It is also why it is so important for curators, critics and dealers, not to mention artists, to go to Williamsburg, Jersey City, Bushwick, wherever the artists are.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

National Book Award?

The National Book Award finalists have been announced and all five of the fiction finalists are New Yorkers! What seems to be the big scandal in the literary world is not that they are all New Yorkers, but that they are all unknowns - - two are first-time novelists and none has a national reputation - - and that all are women.

The fact that there seems to be very little outrage in the literary press that they are all NY'ers is probably because the literary press, like the art press, is all in NY and mostly covers NY. Why do we even call them the "art world" or "literary world" anymore? Or National Book Award or American Academy in Rome or Whitney Museum of American Art? Why does Caryn Coleman have to celebrate the fact that Artforum has made mention of some exhibitions in Los Angeles, our second largest population center?

Germany, a nation the size of one of our states, has at least four individual art centers routinely attracting international critical attention - Berlin, Cologne, Liepzig, and Dusseldorf. We have a good twenty-five cities with populations greater than Leipzig and Dusseldorf, but how often do you hear about what is happening in Denver, El Paso, Memphis, Indianapolis, or Milwaukee - let alone Philadelphia, Phoenix, or Detroit! Can you even imagine a show at Marianne Boesky of the hot artists of Nashville?

The culture wars have clearly been lost and the wagons are circled, with critics and curators sent out on quick missionary visits from NY to art institutions across the country, not to discover or learn, but to spread the word of that already sanctified by the NY market. Ask almost any "top-ranked" MFA program graduate student about his plans upon graduation and you will hear of a move to NY, as recommended by the visiting critic/curator/artist. Is this cultural brain-drain going to help make the so-called red states any less so?

There has been a steady consolidation of power in this country, the consolidation of political power as well as the consolidation of cultural power. The consequences of the consolidation of cultural power to NY and the power base's choice to ignore and exclude the rest of the country, to force so many of our writers and artists to move to NY for any hope of recognition or success, can be plainly read on the Electoral College map. It's hypocritical of the cultural power players to bemoan the results of an election they are clearly not only complicit in, but abetted.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Ed Ruscha II

Since learning that Ed Ruscha will represent the U.S. at the Venice Biennale next summer I've been spending some time looking at his work. This has helped me to figure out some of my paintings, like this one, which not many people have responded to very well (a few have). Thanks Ed Ruscha, for giving me so many good ideas and helping me figure out what I'm doing!

Helpful Conversation Hint: The correct pronunciation is "Rew-shay".

Question: Is this really you?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

From the Floor

Everything Todd Gibson has put on From the Floor in the past week has been good. He's got a new Guerrilla Girls poster, NY' s response to the election, and a 5-part Robert Lazzarini interview.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Gregor Schneider

Another of the artists discussed in Ingrid Schaffner's lecture, Gregor Schneider, is being featured on artnet. Read about his un-funhouse.

Ingrid Schaffner II

Here's more on last week's Ingrid Schaffner lecture:

Ms. Schaffner referred to the Paul Schimmel curated Helter Skelter exhibition and it's becoming a surprise blockbuster, making mention of curators "feeling pressure to make museums entertainment zones". In showing slides of Damien Hirst's Gagosian exhibit, she said it was "not the individual works, but the installation, that makes the piece." She talked a lot about Matthew Barney's Guggenheim show, saying it was "not a survey" and that there was "not a critical or historical distance", that "the museum is presenting a major installation." She also said that show was "between a museum exhibition and a major installation" and that "the Guggenheim is one of the sets. You felt like you were an extra. It was very disconcerting."

Interesting facts learned about the subject of the talk, Dali's 1939 World's fair contribution Salvador Dali's Dream of Venus, were that it was backed and well publicized by William Morris - of the William Morris Agency - and burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee. Also that Dali was disappointed with what he felt was shabby craftsmanship and that he considered the whole thing a failure and an insult to the American people. Showing slides of the contemporary artists she was relating to Dali's pavilion, Ms. Schaffner did say that she doubted any of them were directly influenced or even aware of the Dream of Venus, but Dali and his pavilion do figure in Michael Chabon's prize-winning 2001 novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. An interesting interview with that author, plus many other author interviews, can be found here.

This same lecture was given last year at Swarthmore and blogged on Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof's inspiring Philadelphia artblog.

Monday, November 01, 2004

note to Italy

If you are in Italy using the American Academy in Rome's ISP, I think what you are looking for can be found by clicking on archives and scrolling down. Or take this shortcut.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Christine Hiebert

I have more from the Ingrid Schaffner lecture I'd like to share, but before that take a look at the feature artnet has on Christine Hiebert. She's a fellow graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art(now called the University of the Arts), class of 1983. In a previous post I mentioned Joe Fyfe, class of 1976. Woo-hoo! I love Philadelphia!

Ingrid Schaffner

Last Wednesday I attended Philadelphia ICA curator Ingrid Schaffner's lecture on Salvador Dali's Dream of Venus, Dali's surrealist funhouse contribution to the 1939 World's Fair.

Dali's sea-themed, Botticelli-referencing, coral-coated pavilion was entered by passing through an enormous pair of woman's legs, above which women in bikini tops and holding fishing poles attempted to reel in passerby. One of the attractions inside the funhouse was a big tank of topless aqua-ballerinas. It was interesting, in light of Janet Jackson's recent wardrobe malfunction and the subsequent public outrage, to learn about how much uninhibited public nudity this family fair in the heart of the Midwest included. Aside from Dali's mermaids, other fair attractions included Sally Rand and her Nude Ranch, the Frozen Alive Girl, nude Cuban dancing girls, and what was supposedly the most titillating, Billy Rose's Aquacade.

Schaffner attempted to relate Dali's spectacle to the efforts of more recent artists like Damien Hirst's Gagosian show (I think she was showing slides of the 2000 show, Theories, Models, Methods, Approaches, Assumptions, Results, and Findings), Matthew Barney's Cremaster, Jeff Koon's Puppy, Thomas Hirshhorn's Cavemanman, and something by Mariko Mori, but these connections seem a little forced. Yes, these works are all spectacles, but Dali's funhouse was entertainment for the masses, art second. The projects of these other artist's are all definitely capital-A Art first, and with the exception of Koons' Puppy I doubt anyone outside of the art audience is aware of them. A better example might have been Olafur Eliasson's The Weather Project, which all of London turned out for, but even that was in a museum. The best might be Arakawa & Gins' park, Site of Reversible Destiny. (Update: Re-reading this I've just realized that most, if not all, of the examples Ms. Schaffner cited were of projects shown in NYC, aaargh! And at least three of those are artists who show at Barbara Gladstone. Another Barbara Gladstone artist whose recent project would have related very well to the talk is Anish Kapoor, and this piece isn't in NYC! Barbara Gladstone is a kick-ass gallery though, that's for sure.)

For all the talk of "an image of a world without form", references to Deleuze, "rhizomes", and "a new world order based on non-hierarchical structures" I wondered how artists in the audience - mostly younger students - might best respond to the contemporary projects cited in the lecture. The pieces referenced required enormous amounts of money and organization, and most of us can barely afford basic art supplies or even just having slides made. Artists have to hire grantwriters to write proposals to raise the funds to make the projects that best meet the mission statements of the foundations doing the funding. It doesn't seem very non-hierachichal to me.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Something for Someone

Here's something for someone I know, from James Wagner's artblog.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Tilo Baumgartel

"You know what's happening in Richmond now? Collectors are flocking there and demanding paintings, and they can't make them fast enough".

Ha Ha, just kidding! I meant Leipzig!

These look nice.

Marsh Art Gallery

University of Richmond's Marsh Art Gallery has a new show up, called New Math: Contemporary Art and the Mathematical Instinct, and I wish I had posted this earlier to announce the two related lectures. Unfortunately I'm too late to announce the first lecture, it's over, but you can still catch the second one given by artist Anne Morgan Spalter on Thursday, November 4, 9-7pm.

I haven't been to the show yet but am told it's a group exhibition of art inspired by math theories and concepts, and it's got everything from knitted hats to robotics to computer art to Alfred Jensen, structured around four themes. One of the artists included is Mel Bochner, who had my favorite piece at the Reynolds Gallery's summer works on paper show.

I bet I can get my buddy Mike to take me, he'd be into it.

Hal Foster

I'm still looking at Hal Foster.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Virginia Commission for the Arts

Got my rejection for the 2004-2005 Fellowships in Painting from the Virginia Commission for the Arts today. The Commission received 104 applications for the four fellowships. The jury panel consisted of the following four Virginia painters.

Steven Kenney (no images available)
Priscilla Treacy
Heide Trepanier
Gayle Paul (no images available)

Not a big fan of Heide's work, I still think it is stylistically too derivative of Inka Essenhigh and Giles Lyon, but I did manage to catch her show at Stux earlier this year and was surprised that it looked a lot better than I had expected. Her wall piece there was better than the wall piece she had at Reynolds Gallery, and whoever hung the paintings did a good job.

I did notice in the sign-in book that her show had also been visited by Roberta Smith and some other big NY reviewing names, but never saw a review. That most be very frustrating for an artist, to see that these people have visited and then wait in vain for a review. But I guess the consolation is knowing they are following your work. I bet her next show in the new Stux space gets some reviews.

Don't know yet who actually won the VA Fellowships in Painting, congratulations to the lucky four! Those who didn't win take heart, not winning doesn't mean your work is no good, only that four people with four very different preferences were able to agree on something else. I do know that in this particular competition if only one of the four panel-members said "no", you were out of the running. You may in fact have had one or two people who felt passionately about your work, but it had to be a decision all four were comfortable with. This often leads to the selection of work everybody likes and nobody loves (or hates). Anybody have a better way?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Dan Flavin

Boring Flavin Panel

Jeffrey Weiss, Curator and Head of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Gallery
Michael Govan, Dia
Alex Potts, University of Michigan
Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Art Center College of Design
Briony Fer, University College, London
Anne Wagner, University of California, Berkeley
Hal Foster, Princeton

Two of them are artists, Gilbert-Rolfe and Hal Foster.

Barbara Fox

The Queen of Birch Crescent, Barbara Fox, will be showing new work October 29th - November 14th, at the Lab Space at ROCO. Reception Friday 10/29 7-10pm.

137 East Avenue
Rochester, NY

Where's the Beef?

Here's Tyler explaining yesterday about how academics don't really have any power in contemporary art -

"within the context of contemporary art - - or even recent art such as Flavin's - - they just don't matter. Collectors and gallerists have the first impact on new art, then curators and critics who can broaden the audience for that work. Institutions (and more curators) step in next to canonize the work, and only then do academic theorizers get a shot."

Anyone notice who's missing? The ones who really don't have any power are the ones not even mentioned... the artists!

I disagree though that institutions and academics don't have any power. If anything they have a disproportionate amount of power. Why else would Tyler spend so much time covering them? And I'm glad he's doing it.

Universities are heavily invested in promoting their own and Tyler might be surprised at the amount of university money paying for Brooklyn/Chelsea gallery receptions and art magazine advertisements. A gallery started by an Acme University graduate filled with artists who are also Acme University graduates, do you really think Acme University doesn't do anything to support and encourage that?

The university ranking system has contributed to many schools making the choice to gut actual programs in favor of the marketing of those programs, and some university administrators will do almost anything to raise and maintain their rankings. Are the rise in importance of a school's ranking and the artworld's concurrent adulation of youth unrelated phenomena? I don't think so!

Monday, October 25, 2004

The Alliance of Artists Communities

Got my rejection from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Center's studio program this weekend. I think they take applications twice a year. This is a studio program only, the same one that previously had studio space in the World Trade Center.

Here's a great source for those interested in pursuing a full residency, The Alliance of Artists Communities. I have multiple rejections from many of these programs, and some are much more competitive than others.

The Vermont Studio Center is an excellent residency program, and you have a better chance of acceptance by submitting to the Vermont Studio Center, because this is a year-round program, as opposed to something like Skowhegan, which holds only one summer session each year.

All of these programs have different missions, merits, and reputations. A residency at Skowhegan is, rightly or wrongly, considered a better "get" than one at the Vermont Studio Center. Both offer relatively the same thing, but because VSC operates year-round it can serve ten times the number of artists who are able to attend Skowhegan, and Skowhegan consequently is regarded as the more competitive and intense session. I know one guy who went to Skowhegan after VSC and when he said to his Skowhegan friends he was looking forward to going back to VSC someday was told "you can't go back". I've got three Skowhegan rejections so can't report first-hand, but from what I understand it is on average a much younger, intense, ambitious, and competitive crowd than you will meet at VSC.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Upcoming Talks

Very much looking forward to the upcoming talks by Shirley Kaneda and Ingrid Schaffner.

Ingrid Schaffner is the Senior Curator at the Philadelphia ICA, which always has something worth seeing. Her talk is entitled "Salvador Dali's Dream of Venus: The Surrealist Funhouse from the 1939 World's Fair". I imagine she will talk about how relevant that project is to so much installation and performance art today. Thomas Hirschhorn's fantastic Cavemanman and Matthew Barney come quickly to mind.

Shirley Kaneda is a painter, and had one of the best pieces in the Chelsea Art Museum's recent Surface Tension show. Her piece was the perfect size for where it was hung, and really lit up the corner. I almost didn't go in, because they charge an admission fee and the place is surrounded by free galleries, but very happy I did.

Ingrid Schaffner - Wednesday, October 27. 3 pm. 934 W Grace Street., Grace Street Theatre
Shirley Kaneda - Wednesday, November 3. 3pm. VCU Art Foundations Building. 609 Bowe Street, 5th Floor (this is easy to get confused about, it's on the top-floor of a parking garage).

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Giorgio Morandi

Joe Fyfe vs. Tyler Green!

Two reviews of the same show by two of my recent mentors, and I've met both of them in Richmond. These are interesting reading if you are like me and trying to learn different approaches to writing about art.

Coincidentally, Joe and I both got our BFA's in painting from the same place, Philadelphia's University of the Arts, and studied under the same man, the late Warren Rohrer. There was a big Art in America article on Warren earlier this year, that was very nice to see.

If you had never been to artcritical.com before, I'm glad I could introduce it to you.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Sculpture/Crafts Show

The previous post only talks about Derek Cote's contribution to the show currently on view in the VCU Fine Arts Building first floor gallery space, but there are in fact ten other artists also showing, each represented by a single work.

Three of the works feature a single commonplace material (tape, cake boxes, extension cords) in abundance, arranged in what Jerry Saltz refers to here as a "squirrely, self-replicating building system", a method of working that has quickly become tiresome. The examples seen in this show each seem to be only glimpses of unrealized room-filling installations, which even then would be unsatisfying. One of the best-known practitioners of this process is Tara Donovan, another former VCU student. DC-based Dan Steinhilber also recently showed in Richmond.

What for me is most interesting about this group show of graduate students from the separate Crafts and Sculpture departments is that you cannot tell which artist is from which department, none of the work is functional. Crafts departments in art schools across the country have long suffered from an inferiority-complex in comparison with the so-called Fine Arts, and in fact the VCU Crafts Department is now called Material Studies. What does it mean when work being created in the Materials Studies Department can't be differentiated from what is created in the #1 ranked sculpture program in the country?

I took Kiersten Ware's excellent non-profit management class last year and have become a big believer in the mission statement. Departments, what are your mission statements? And if they are all the same, why bother being separate departments?