Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Haim Steinbach, Meyer Vaisman... The Incomplete!

Haim Steinbach, from The Incomplete, at The Chelsea Art Museum.

I went to the opening for The Incomplete last month... lots of good work, all from the collection of Hubert Neumann. Actually, I am now remembering that I was introduced to Mr. Neumann at the 31 Grand opening in July, but then I saw James Kalm and pretty much ran over Neumann in my excitement to say hello to James Kalm. I don't know, maybe I am exaggerating... maybe it was more normal.

Meyer Vaisman
The Meyer Vaisman was a creepy favorite. It's a stuffed turkey under two black wigs, on a pedestal. Or maybe it is two turkeys? I don't know, but there is only one head. It's very sensual, very repulsive. I can't believe I have the only Meyer Vaisman photo on flickr, and it isn't even very good. Sorry, Meyer.

It was a busy opening, so I didn't get a lot of pictures or take any notes.. but I think I saw almost everything in the show (it was like three or four floors of work). Most artists included were represented by a number of works, the standouts for me included Haim Steinbach, Meyer Vaisman, Tom Sanford, Ashley Bickerton, John Simon, Haluk Akak├že, and Kelli Williams. This was the first time to see Kelli's work for real, the paintings were a lot smaller than I had imagined, really dense. Haluk's stuff was unexpected, different than the previous stuff I'd seen.

nytrip 039
John Simon, aka John F. Simon aka John F. Simon Jr. - this was one of the few artists whose work I was not familiar with, and this may have been his only piece in the show. I don't remember seeing anything else. Was really drawn to it...

Here's John Simon on James Wagner's blog two plus years ago.

Tom Sanford
Tom Sanford - sorry, this picture is crap. I love the shine, and textures that Tom builds up on some of his surfaces, or rather the devotion to surface of some of the represented objects - the bumps on the basketball, the scales on the snakeskin - and the way those contrast with the flatter parts.

Writing "devotion" above I'm thinking about how that word sort of carries through all of Tom's work for me... the format, subject, presentation. Not writing very clearly, but maybe I will edit later.

EDIE FAKE - definitely a high point of this evening was meeting Edie Fake, or seeing Edie at the show and meeting outside. I first saw Edie inside walking up the stairs carrying a big flowery suitcase, dressed kind of strangely... later, walking down the street Meridith and I saw Edie again, and we all walked together a few blocks and talked about the show. Edie also liked the John Simon. The suitcase was because Edie had just come from the NY Art Book Fair next door, and the suitcase was full of Edie's books.

RELATED: Here's a 1997 NYTimes profile on Hubert Neumann.

Blart the Blogger Show

I am in a huge real-world Blart... it's called The Blogger Show.

Very psyched to be included in a show with some of the excellent artist bloggers I was following even before I started this blog: Roberta Fallon, Eva Lake, Libby Rosof... it is cool to show with some of the people that inspire you.

The show is curated by John Morris and runs concurrently in Pittsburgh and NYC. The Pittsburgh version will show at four different venues, lots of space, so all of the artists can show a selection of stuff (if desired), with each artist represented by a single piece at the smaller NYC space.

Also included are Michael Lease, Warren Craghead, Lisa Call, Nancy Baker, Bill Gusky, Loren Munk, Mark Creegan, Amy Wilson, Marc Snyder, Christopher Reiger, Ann Gordon... and many MORE! Too many to name, plus too many really good artistbloggers to name that aren't included. I think some probably were asked and declined, and many others who could have been asked but just weren't on John's radar.

I don't think anything in the show will directly address the "blog as art" possibilities, or how much the other included artists think about that stuff. I know that I do. My piece in the NYC show will be the painting that Jerry S. passed on by in this digital photo-narrative piece (it was vertical at Stuffy's, but will be horizontal at Agni).

Special thanks goes to Marc Snyder for making this website, Stephanie Lee Jackson, and MOST ESPECIALLY Susan Constance for a stupendous amount of effort.

The Blogger Show will open in NYC this Saturday, November 3rd, at Agni Gallery (170 East 2nd Street,Storefront #3), with a reception from 6-9pm. The Blogger Show will open at Digging Pitt Gallery in Pittsburgh on November 10th, with a reception December 8 from 6-9pm.


It's been an interesting week attention-to-artblog-land-wise. For me the major thing was that Jerry S. issued that statement in New York Magazine... but also there is a Peter Plagens feature in the current issue of Art in America with a number of popular artbloggers (including Roberta and Libby), and of course Charlie Finch's artblog piece for Artnet. My feeling is that Charlie's piece is a response to, or acknowledgement of, the recent Blogger Show publicity + Jerry's response to blog + the Art in America blog feature.

Here's a 1998 Village Voice profile on Charlie. PLUS, Charlie's follow-up letter and Gary Indiana's must read follow-up letter (scroll down a little for the two letters).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Francois Dallegret

Francois Dallegret's 1966 vision of the artist of the future - "a man-in-space who instead of making concrete art objects sends forth electrical emanations..."

Dallegret diagrammed something called a High Art Space Way Complex, the legend of which explains that the Electro-Structural Overlapping Circulatory System "allows intensive chance contact between artist-senders and people-receivers".

Francois Dallegret
"this image shows the artist beaming the beginnings of an electric environment at an art appreciator; the latter is called a collector because he collects - receives - the artist's waves."

Francois Dallegret
Art in America, March-April 1966 - "projecting electric emanations into space with the purpose of creating an environment."

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Origin of Roberta Smith! Special Supplement to the Friday Edition of the NYTimes

There is, unfortunately, not much Roberta Smith in today's NYTimes... so, I will give you some Roberta Smith. But not just any Roberta Smith. I will give you the ORIGIN of Roberta Smith.

Artforum,letters page, Oct/1970
This is the 1970 letter that the twenty-two year old Roberta wrote to ArtForum, taking umbrage with Robert Pincus-Witten's review of Donald Judd, at Castelli.

The Pincus-Witten article, Fining It Down, was published in the June 1970 issue of Artforum. Roberta's letter ran in the October 1970 issue.

CLICK here to see the 1st page BIGGER. CLICK here to see the 2nd page BIGGER.

Artforum,letters page, Oct/1970
Now it can be revealed... the Secret Origin of Roberta Smith!!!

I hope Jerry has not eaten her.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

three follow-ups

- Jerry Saltz has written something in response to my post a couple weeks ago. I guess he did get yelled at.

"Two weeks ago, a blogger noted that in my article ‘Has Money Ruined Art?’ (October 15), I was guilty of using many of the same ideas, lines, and quotes that I have used in previous articles. The blogger called this ‘very lazy’; actually, he/she also called me ‘an undead zombie.'"

What is up with the use of "he/she"? He knows darn well I'm a man. Did our studio visit mean nothing???

Felt a little bit bad about that thing he had to write... but then I remembered that he has no problem gratuitously dumping on Dumas (without ever actually reviewing her), the stupid thing he wrote about Moti Hasson, all the Columbia crap... so, whatever.

- Spoke with Hudson about the products on display at Feature. Hudson first noticed Gentle Wind products in the homes of friends across the country in the 90's , and then "got into it a little" himself.

The products on display are not for sale through the gallery. Hudson is the one who did the Q&A with the Gentle Wind founder.

"I think they're more interesting than a lot of art" - Hudson. Okay, Hudson, over and out.

- Geoff Edgers article on B. in the Boston Globe. The photo of B. in the slide show is handsomer than the other photos I've seen.

RELATED: message from the Attorney General of Maine.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Salvatore Scarpitta

Salvatore Scarpitta -

"In the mid-1960s he created a series of racing cars, among them the 'Rajo Jack Special,' a reproduction of the car driven by one of the country’s first African-American racecar drivers, and 'Lynx,' a full-size, fully operational World War II armored car" - from his NYTimes obituary.

His cars were included in the 1972 Venice Biennale. Many photos on the ESSO Gallery site... check out Germano Celant!

"He raced them as part of a team at a dirt track near his second home in New Oxford, Pa., the name of his crew sponsor — the Leo Castelli Gallery — emblazoned on the side of his own car, No. 59" - from the NYTimes obituary.

"These works are extraordinary, carrying the sensibility of weight-of-the-world weariness coupled with red-eyed determination, both grim and joyous, of the working class movement." - James Harithas

Cocoa Dust, 1958

Ernie Triplett Special, 1965-69

untitled, 1958

Maybe this is Vitamin C?

Overpass, 1962

RELATED: Richard Prince at Frieze

Friday, October 19, 2007

Feature showing TOTAL CRAP! why???

Last week I made brief mention of a snooze at Feature -

"The Gentle Wind Project, at Feature - Paul LaFolley + Emery Blagdon.... without the magic, passion, or intensity ."

I knew it was a lame show, but... HOLY SHIT!... I did not realize what a bunch of complete crap it was. I've since received an e-mail about the group, and spent a little time yesterday researching them.

e-mail -

"We noticed your reference to Gentle Wind Project "healing instruments" which are, for some very strange reason, on display at a NY art gallery.

'The Gentle Wind Project, at Feature - Paul LaFolley + Emery Blagdon.... without the magic, passion, or intensity .'

We have no idea why these gallery owners, or anyone else, would want to call these snake-oil products art, but perhaps they have connections to GWP and are looking for ways to promote the group to others.

For more information, see Wind of Changes, which describes Gentle Wind as a cult and also follows their history of suing critics and former members.

Defense against Gentle Wind's lawsuits was assisted by Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and was eventually ended by the Maine Attorney General's lawsuit against the group for fraud, which put this rip-off group out of business in Maine.

For another commentary on this so-called "art exhibit" at Feature Gallery -- Disinterested Party.

Judy Garvey
former member of gentle wind project"

Hudson would not remember it, but we've met and he's awesome, and I really like Feature and most of the artists they show... PLEASE EXPLAIN what this stuff is doing in the gallery. How did they get this show?? So aggravating. I hope no suckers bought that shit. Hudson, seriously... WHY?

Is this a rental? Are you, or were you, affliated with the "group"? What is the deal? All struggling artists, please puke together with me.

Related: 5/10/2007 Boston Globe article, Cult News from Rick Ross... so much more.

PS - Feature is not reviewing unsolicited artists' documents at this time. Please check back with this page in the spring of 2008. Thank you. Blech.

UPDATE: follow-up after talk with Hudson

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Arlene Shechet

Arlene Shechet, at Elizabeth Harris.

Although I'm having trouble posting my newest photos, I do still have some recent exhibition photos that have not yet been posted. The very good Arlene Shechet show at Elizabeth Harris has closed... but here are some photos, along with Roberta Smith's review.

Arlene Shechet

Arlene Shechet

Arlene Shechet
These photos are better than usual because this day I had borrowed Meridith's camera. Thanks, Meridith!

Hey, in looking at the Elizabeth Harris site I've noticed the absence of one of my EH favorites, Melissa Meyer. She is at Lennon, Weinberg now.

can't send pictures

I'm frustrated because I've taken (cell-phone) pictures of some interesting stuff, but can't send them.

Monday, October 15, 2007

anaba reviews

It has been about three years. Can you match the anaba reviews with the reviewers? Some commenters are quoted more than once.

(there are more good ones, but so much of it is anonymous)

James Westcott
Libby Rosof
David Reed
Carla Knopp
Bill Gusky
Fairy Butler

Lee Rosenbaum
Steve Kaplan

Harry Roseman
Carson Fox
Zach Feuer

Don Joint
Walter Robinson
Bruce Wilhelm
Nicole Eisenman
Alison Fox
D. Dominick Lombardi
Paddy Johnson
Big Red & Shiny
Oliver Kamm
Kriston Capps
Paul Laster
Sarah Peters
Tyler Green
Zoe Strauss
Carol Es
Richard Polsky
Mountain Man
Edna aka Anonymous Female Artist aka Militant Art Bitch

1. Been meaning to contact you about your great post -- you know your stuff.
2. Why don't you take a little advice Martin. Some people will never be good painters. So why don't you go pound some rock salt up your ass.
3. hahahahalarious. - Nicole Eisenman (as Corny)
4. Your dim readership (as applies) should be ashamed of themselves. - Kriston Capps
5. Martin you are a lovely soul. Thanks for "keeping it real."
6. I think about the sandy canvases and odd color combinations and why would any one want to make things like this and finally I decide that they must be good paintings because they force me to retreat into my head which reinforces my decision to never leave my house again. - Bruce
7. I saw your paintings online, they aren’t bad, you should be able to “make it”, but you’ve got to get a reality check about how to “make it”.
8. Just wanted to drop you a note saying I think your Blog is swell. - Nicole E.
9. I really liked the pictures of your paintings outside of the Basel art fair. Really good.
10. Is there any way to take down the discussion about me?
11. It is a two part tender love story that shows the enduring bond that art brings into an artist’s life. Read it with a tissue in your hand people.
12. He's been nothing but supportive of my efforts, and was one of the first to plug my blog to others.
13. This comment thread is precisely why I can't read Martin Bromirski's blog. He kicks off the post with an egregious ad hominem spur, and the discussion quickly descends to a point below sea level. - Kriston
14. Tell your readers for me that I think you're a moron. - Walter Robinson
15. The thread over there is stupidly insane and the original post was idiotic.
16. Seriously, I laughed out loud about just thinking about this post today when I was by myself in the car. - Zoe
17. this is GREAT! one of your best blog entries yet!
18. I'm really not interested in corresponding with a site that allows some unknown person to refer to me as an "asshole." If you're going to dispense information, have the courage to list the person's name who's making lowbrow remarks. If you and your readers won't stand behind their convictions, then your site and its postings are irrelevant and meaningless. Think about it.
19. If it wasn't for you there would be no me. - Mountain Man
20. Martin's work for the most part leaves me confused.
21. As you have previously included me on your blog and seem a decent human being...
22. I like your paintings Martin. I would like to be included as one of your brothers.
23. Incredibly fasciniating martin, thanks for posting. Your paintings look good too.
24. You're certainly doing something different...really challenging the standards of taste - Carla
25. Martin, this is EXCEPTIONALLY good. I couldn't love it more.
26. Great to read about and see images from your visit.
27. Nice picture with Jo Baer
28. I liked you blog very much and will visit again.
29. thanks for the tip, and for starting this conversation
30. i'll take two for $2. please provide further instructions
31. I think what you are doing is great. Keep on keepin' on!
32. The judge's ecstatic art review is quoted on Martin Bromirski's Anaba blog, which is the next best thing to having been in the courtroom.
33. You have a real talent for writing, and your blog is a delight to read, as you are well informed, insightful, and have a good sense of humor.
34. Please understand I have no bitter feelings towards you, whatever your decision.
35. Martin Bromirski takes a good long look at what is going on. Based out of Richmond, VA, he is a smart guy with great ideas.
36. He's a complicated guy; you get the sense of layers of complexity beneath the surface
37. Martin Bromirski has to be one of the great ones--warm and generous and funny. What else matters?
38. This is jealous provincialism defined.
39. The Bromirsky retrospective opens, appropriately enough, with the famous Bubbles and Stuff of 2006, a painting too beautiful, to use an old fashioned word, to regard merely as a historical moment in the march forward of the modernists, and too compelling, as beauty always is, to see only as a work that influenced some important artists to begin staining canvas.

HINT: some of the matches not what you would expect, probably.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bryan Zanisnik

Bryan Zanisnik is showing a bizarro video at Priska Juschka; this was maybe the most entertaining, and subversively thought-provoking, piece in Chelsea.... one of my favorite shows. I'm trying to think who else (solo shows)... I guess Patrick Hill and Jack Whitten I'm still thinking about... what else? It was kind of thin.

The videos (and some framed stills) are edited from footage Bryan shot as a teenager, fourteen and fifteen years ago, mostly using his eighty-year-old grandmother as the *star*. I don't know that he was thinking "art" when he filmed these scenes at fourteen, probably more play than art, but Bryan the artist is the person who dug them out of the closet years later and edited the eight hours of footage into the maybe twenty minutes shown here.

It's a weird war time loop thing happening, everything is topsy-turvy. These videos were made at the end of the first Gulf War, recreating (very loosely) scenes from WWII and the Vietnam War, edited and exhibited post-9/11, concurrent with the Iraq war... when are we, what war are we in? Does it matter? Why is this old lady fighting these wars with props at home, and why is it all so funny?

The first short piece has the old lady squatting below an American flag, wearing a plastic helmet and firing a plastic machine gun... it's absurd and futile. She is shaken awake from her nightmare on the sofa, "Alice, Alice, you're having one of your flashbacks from Vietnam, wake up!"

The next video opens with the lady sitting (indoors) under a yellow tarp, being rained on, wearing combat fatigues and scanning the terrain with her binoculars, when suddenly she is fired upon by the tell-tale rat-a-tat of a plastic toy machine gun! That is her cue to put down the binoculars and stare at the camera, before remembering to gingerly search for the military space laser gun at her side, locate the trigger, and strafe the enemy!

She has been trapped in the trench for thirty days, outnumbered by Nazis thirty to one, and now the terrible storm has begun! There is only one way to make it out alive... "one Nazi down, two Nazis down, three Nazis down.... what, I'm a national hero? For takin' out thirty Nazis?". Salute!

There is more... a really good one about a psycho immigrant who hates Americans. There aren't many shows to recommend in Chelsea right now, this is one of the few.

PS - I met Bryan in 2003 through a waaay-back mutual friend - Kim Connerton! - and didn't see him again until last week at the party of another mutual friend, the day after seeing this show. So crazy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

no rules jules

Tom Sanford.

Jules, downed by law.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Wide Open, at McCaig-Wells

Nick Kuszyk has curated a huge show at McCaig-Wells. Lots of friends of Nick's, Richmond-connections, and collaborations between Nick and the artists. Last Day is October 7th!

Peter Sutherland - this is the guy that did the VBS.TV Richard Prince episodes... I went to his (old) website and am liking his work, definitely seeing the affinity for Prince.

His pictures make me pine for Travis Conner... (ps - Travis, if you are reading this, I know I still owe you money, sorry. I owe everybody money). Travis is probably not reading this of course, he is probably sitting in a boxcar somewhere...

Kai Vierstra (MY HOST!) + Nick Kuszyk - it's one of the show's many collaborations.

Kai's earthquakes and tornadoes are made by stressing and bending; the flat wooden boards get clamped and screwed to fit the curved metal parts, cracking and splintering as he tightens them. Go to his website to see the videos... nice popping and cracking sounds.

Kai's palette is usally raw - concrete, wood, metal, cactus - but for this one the board was first given to Nick to be painted orange and colonized, before being returned to Kai.

Peter Corrie

Tunde Adebimpe
Tunde Adebimpe - i can't find a link to more of Tunde's art, but you have definitely heard his music.


Also in this show are Drew Liverman, Bruce Wilhelm, Sto, Langdon Graves, Bonnie Collura, Pat Berran... TOO MANY to name them all, there are 115 pieces in the show!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Richard Prince at Second House, on VBS.TV

The third and fourth installments of VBS.TV's Richard Prince visit have been posted...

VBS.TV, Richard Prince, part 3 of 4 - in the studio... joke paintings, clay car, books.
VBS.TV, Richard Prince, part 4 of 4 - a winter visit to Second House.

My photos posted here were taken this summer, after the house was hit by lightning.

Sid Vicious was here.

Untitled Living Room.

RELATED: Links to the first and second Prince/VBS episodes are at the bottom of this Richard Prince at the Guggenheim post. Thanks, Peter Sutherland.

Daniel Rozin, Jean-Pierre Roy - closing Saturday

Two shows both closing soon - Saturday 10/6 - worth a look if you are in the (Chelsea) neighborhood -

Daniel Rozin, at bitforms - these things are amazing. Mirrors that aren't mirrors, digital art of quivering wooden pegs and laminated c-rings. Go to the website or look him up on youtube...

Jean-Pierre Roy, at RARE - four large, impressive paintings and a small triptych... disasters in saturated blues, purples and greens. A meteor shower pounding the earth, cities in ruins. Definitely a (fellow) fan of John Martin.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Exhibition Prince

Saw Richard Prince's Spiritual America at the Guggenheim...

I'm a fan, the pilgrimmage groupie appropriating scavenging kind, but instead of repeating all of the history and good things you can read elsewhere, I'm just gonna list some of the stuff that stuck out -

The big revelation for me at this show is the use of the exhibition print. Every other piece on the ramp is a photograph, and probably two thirds of those are exhibition prints... meaning that as soon as this show is over they will be removed from their frames and slashed with a razor.

(UPDATE -not slashed...)

All of those photographs that are labeled something like "title, date, edition of two, exhibition print" means that what you are looking at is a third print made specifically for the exhibition. The two originals are somewhere in the world - in a museum, a collection, a storage facility - and it is easier and cheaper to just make a new print for the show than to try to arrange for loans and shipping. I guess for a Richard Prince show this is perfect.

other things that stood out -

Woodstock photo - one of the photos in the show is a photo taken at Woodstock, supposedly by a young Richard Prince. The label includes text written by Prince sharing that he went to Woodstock with only one exposure left on his roll of film, so he decided to just randomly snap a photo rather than try to get some great shot. Is any of that true? Who knows...

related - an entirely fictional "1967" interview with J.G. Ballard.

Giant white (cast) truck tire planter, on white base - didn't get. Something you walk by without looking at on the way to the ramp, and look down on later and think "why?". Might be the lamest Matthew Barney fan art not yet on Cremaster Fanatic.

Untitled (publicity), 2003, Five publicity photographs and text, framed, The Frank Cohen Collection - Each of the five star photos includes text with his/her name printed beneath it, with Gina Gershon misspelled as "Girshon". It really stuck out, not like something deliberate, but, I guess it doesn't matter (?) -

"All successful artists produce two classes of object: their ambitious, serious efforts, generally snapped up by museums or You Know Who, and "edition"-type pieces that are really souvenirs of the major ones. When Cohen buys serious artists, these are the works he buys: little pieces that don't matter..."

De Kooning paintings - poorstarvingartdealer was right... he's a natural... really liked these. Watch the VBS.TV link below to see how he makes them.

(sorry, poorstarvingartdealer has hidden her blog from the world)

Virginia Prince check painting - one of the check/joke paintings seems oddly personal. It pairs two carefully isolated checks, apparently monthly payments for something and made out to Mrs. Virginia Prince, with one of the mother jokes with the "you fucking bitch you ruined my life" punchline.

Virginia Prince the transgender pioneer? That would explain A LOT haha. Virginia Prince fathered a son in the 1940's and "Prince's dates are not always clear and do not always make sense". It's too good to be true!!


NY Public Radio, Prince making conversation at Guggenheim opening - he says his parents had a magazine called Vague. That must have been after they got out of the CIA.

These are awesome! VBS.TV visits Prince at home and in the studio, in four parts, parts 3 and 4 are forthcoming -

VBS.TV, Richard Prince, part 1 0f 4 - pause it at the 40 second mark, compare it to this photo, and then tell me again that no hoods were in the Second House fire.

VBS.TV, Richard Prince, part 2 0f 4 - Prince talks about and shows how he made the de Kooning paintings... filmed last winter.

Monday, October 01, 2007

i'm back

I'm Back. Saw a ton of stuff (in NYC)...

nytrip 053
Kai made me sleep under his earthquake that could come crashing down at any moment. I think it was all videotaped just in case, for fun.

nytrip 052
Everything on the wall, except for that last piece on the right, is stuff Meridith has made... or rather, drawings and studies for things Meridith is making or has made.

Mike Nelson
Later at Mike Nelson's installation I cracked Kai's head with a baseball hat and left him for dead. If you smell something funny in there it is probably Kai.

met/re-met - Meridith Pingree, Edie Fake, Eric Sall, Ky Anderson, Alison Ward, Kai Vierstra, Roberta Smith, Kelli Williams, David Herbert, Matt Wycoff, Bryan Zanisnik, Jared Lindsay Clark, Thordis Adalsteinsdottir, Vandana Jain, Tom Sanford, Rachel Hayes, Glen Einbinder, Kathryne Hall, Mike Estabrook, Scott Penkava, Charles Browning... (i am adding names as i remember them)