loewy_photomurals_penn_station_1943_archpaper.jpg

A couple of weeks ago, David Dunlap looked back at the bad old days of Penn Station before the wrecking ball made it even worse.

And I found myself thinking the same thing as Michael Bierut, that Lewis Mumford's "crowning horror," a modernist, curved steel and glass ticket counter installed in 1956, was actually pretty sweet.

A quick search revealed the "clamshell," as it was known, was designed by Lester Tischy, who had worked under Raymond Loewy.

In addition to designing the Coke bottle, Loewy was a consultant to the Pennsylvania Railroad. And as this 2011 Transit Museum exhibition of the history of Penn Station showed, Loewy filled the station's main hall with photo murals to honor the 25,000+ railroad workers serving in the US armed forces during WWII.

The Times reported that the 40x25-ft headshots went up in February 1943. The photo above shows five, an engineer, a conductor, a soldier, sailor, and a marine. The paper said there were six, including a Red Cap porter. Also that models were used for all but the marine; so it would be interesting to know if the model for the Red Cap was black. Because that would be quite a monumental public depiction of an African American for 1943.

Penn Station's History Lesson [archpaper]

January 5, 2016

Untitled (Re: Graham), 2016

Prince_New_Portraits_2014_976_Inst_rastajay92.jpg
Richard Prince, "New Portraits," installation shot, Sept. 2014, Gagosian 976, image:richardprince.com

According to his copyright infringement lawsuit against Richard Prince, Rasta-fetishizing fashion photographer Donald Graham sells limited edition prints of his 1997 photo, Rastafarian Smoking a Joint in two sizes: 20x24 inches (ed. 25) and 48x60 inches (ed. 5).

A rasta/model/whatever named @indigoochild 'grammed Graham's image in February 2014. It was regrammed in May by another r/m/w, @rastajay92, three months later. In May Prince commented on it, then took a screenshot, which he eventually printed at 4x5' and showed in his "New Portraits" show at Gagosian Madison in September 2014.

donald_graham_rasta_print_20x24.jpg
Donald Graham, Rasta Smoking A Joint, 1997-, Lambda print, 20x24, ed. 5/25, sold at Heritage Auction in Nov. 2015

In his complaint, Graham's attorneys detail the alterations Prince made to Graham's image, including making a screenshot, cropping, adding text and emoji, adding all the UI and empty space, and printing at low resolution and large size on canvas. Prince's depiction is clearly of a photo on/in Instagram, with all that entails. It is clearly different in appearance, color, finish, and context, unless you're seeking a significant amount of money, in which case these differences become invisible or irrelevant.

Unfortunately for Mr. Graham, he only registered his copyright for the image after Prince's show, so even if he were able to prove infringement, he would only be able to recover actual damages. Since Prince sold his New Portrait to his dealer Larry Gagosian, those actual damages probably range between the profit from one 4x5 photo print and $18,500, Prince's half of the $37,000 retail price for the IG works at that time.

untitled_canal_zinian.jpg
greg.org, Study for Untitled (Re: Graham), 2016, Donald Graham Lambda print cut down and collaged on inkjet on canvas, 30x24 in., ed. up to 25, I guess

It strikes me that the quickest and easiest solution is to buy one of Graham's prints, cut it up, and collage it on top of the infringing Prince. They're already roughly the same size. For proof of concept, I'm glad to make a study using one of Graham's smaller, 20x24-inch prints. As it happens, the only two ever to come to auction surfaced after Prince's show: in November 2014 in Paris (EUR2600), and in Nov. 2015 in Dallas ($2,475). Delivery date's a little uncertain, but at these prices, I'm sure we can make it work. Win-win-win.

January 4, 2016

18,262 Days

on_kawara_jan-4-1966.jpg
JAN. 4, 1966, New York's traffic strike

transit_strike_nyt_jan-4-1966_kawara.jpg
just guessin', tbh

December 31, 2015

Craft + The World =

The Renwick Gallery's neon sign is utter garbage, and they're defending it like it's made of gold. It's a ridiculous institutional embarrassment.

The Washington Post reports that the Smithsonian is concocting its own legal theories for stiffarming DC's official preservationist fussbudgets, who are demanding the unapproved [and banal and tacky as hell] sign be removed immediately.

This groundless tantrum can only end badly. And for what? For WHAT? Some dumb slogan cooked up around some marketing department conference room, and then gee whizzed into existence at some misguided museum executive's whim? This is the fight you're going to pick, Smithsonian and Renwick?

Because it seems pretty clear where the Renwick got the idea for slapping a garish sign on a building: from Ugo Rondinone at the New Museum [lmao, Fred Bernstein sure hated the hell out of that sign, but wins for calling it "Hello, Kitschy."]

numu_ugo_hell-yes_dominiqueb.jpg
image: dominiqueb/flickr

Or from Martin Creed at Tate Britain.

martin-creed-work-232-tate-511x376.jpg
Work No. 232, the whole world + the work = the whole world, 2000, installed on Tate Britain, image: kunstkritikk.no

Or from Martin Creed at the National Gallery of Scotland.

creed_scottish_natl_gallery_contentcatnip.jpg
Ibid., image: contentcatnip

Or from Martin Creed at the Christchurch Art Gallery (NZ).

Martin_Creed_Work_No_2314_Christchurch_Collie.jpg
Work No. 2314, 2015, image: radionz.co.nz

The difference between these signs and the Renwick's is everything. Can they not see that? Is that what craft is now: arty minus artists? This will not end well, but it should end soon.

Signs of rebellion? Renwick Gallery is flouting signage rules, groups contend [washingtonpost]

Dan Duray has an excellent scoop on an unheralded auction last spring to liquidate the art collection of Glafira Rosales, the only person convicted so far in the Knoedler Gallery forgery scandal.

About 236 lots were sold by the US Marshals via their auction contractor. Only one, a portrait of Rosales herself, betrays any connection to the caper, but that doesn't mean they're unrelated. Most of the works were bought at auctions since 2010, which means they were presumably bought with proceeds from Rosales & co's fake postwar masterpieces.

The obscurity of the sale and the omission of the works' criminal connection practically demand a Glafira Rosales Provenance Project. Maybe in the new year.

kelly_david_herbert_glafira_104-1.jpg

Right now, though, I'll just call out two fascinating works:

This 1957 drawing by Ellsworth Kelly is of David Herbert, a dealer and gallery employee who worked with key NY figures like Betty Parsons, Sidney Janis, and Richard Feigen. Herbert was also dragged into the center of the Knoedler scam; Rosales claimed that Herbert, who died in 1995, was the source for the paintings, which she said belonged to an anonymous, but totally fictitious, European collector. As Patricia Cohen described it when the Knoedler forgeries began to surface:

Herbert planned to use the works to stock a new gallery that was to be financed by the original collector. But the two men had a falling out, and the art ended up in the collector's basement until his death.

Ms. Rosales does own a 1957 line drawing of Herbert by Ellsworth Kelly that was recently part of an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. What she does not seem to have, however, are any records that track the ownership of the two dozen or so Modernist paintings she brought to market.

Rosales had been introduced to Ann Freedman, Knoedler's president, Cohen reported, by a gallery employee Jaime Andrade. Andrade was Herbert's partner. He was, presumably, the one who sold or gave Kelly's portrait of Herbert to Rosales. This is how provenance is made: it is inferred along a chain of relationships.

warhol_poster_glafira_142-1.jpg

The other work is now my favorite. It is so perfect I have made it my own. Untitled (Glafira Warhol), 2015, is a poster for "Look at Warhol," a 1970 exhibition at Galerie Thomas in Dusseldorf. It's hard to top the Marshal's lot description

Sheet folded at text in top margin and hinged to mat, full sheet = 35.75'' x 26.75''. No frame, non-archival mat only.
That's right. The master forger and con artist who sold dozens of modern masters to the most venerable gallery in the country without detection also folded a Warhol poster into a mat from Michael's and tried to pass it off as a Warhol print.

warhol_galerie_thomas_1-2097326.jpg

In Glafira's defense, she is not alone. The web is littered with these posters, which art grifters pretend is worth $1,500 or more, even as they sell from vintage poster shops for less than fifty bucks. The Marshal appraised Glafira's handiwork at $85. It sold for $905. I can only assume it is because an astute connoisseur recognized the brazen shittiness of the hack as the ultimate souvenir of the whole Knoedler affair.

And while the original now resides in an unknown private collection, I will make Untitled (Glafira Warhol) as an authentic replica edition object as soon as the posters arrive.

Secret fire sale held of 250 works confiscated from dealer in Knoedler gallery scandal [theartnewspaper]
LOT: 104 (1) DRAWING: Ellsworth Kelly (1923 - ) Portrait of David Herbert 1957, sold for $15,200 [txauction]
LOT: 142 (1) SERIGRAPH POSTER: Andy Warhol [txauction]
Glafira Rosales' collection runs from Item number 18381 to number 18616 [txauction]

Previously, 2013: What You See Is What You Believe: Barnett Newmans From The Knoedler/Rosales Collection
2012: Here's that Knoedler Gallery Rothko

richter_untitled_2006.jpg
Untitled, 2006, 28x40cm, or roughly legal pad-size, "color print" on dibond, image: phillips

I'm still puzzled by this Gerhard Richter that sold in London a couple of weeks ago. It's a photo of a squeegee painting mounted on dibond. The print is dated 2006, but the painting it's based on is from 1999. There's no useful provenance or any other documentation mentioned, and little is expected; the auction houses, and Phillips especially, regularly bail on providing even cursory info on off-season, entry-level lots like these. Time is money.

But the artist himself hasn't published any info on it, either. It's not mentioned in his exhaustive website, and though it seems related to other Richter photo versions of paintings, there's nothing quite like it in Richter's published editions.

Until very recently, that is. This picture seems to be a precursor to the Cage Grid giclee prints, which in turn led to the "facsimile objects" Richter collector and entourage member Joe Hage has started publishing as museum fundraisers. More on those later.

richter_abstraktes_bild_858-4_8792.jpg
Abstraktes Bild CR:858-4, 1999, 50x72cm, oil on aludibond, image: gerhard-richter.com

Untitled (2006) is a photo of Abstraktes Bild 858-4. Both are on dibond panel, but the photo is 2/3 smaller: 28x40 cm vs 50x72cm. I've sized the two images above to scale for comparison. As its CR number suggests, Abstraktes Bild 858-4 is one of a series, a suite, actually, of eight squeegee paintings. Seven are on identically sized aludibond panels, and one is larger, on canvas. I have to think they were sold together out of Marian Goodman's Sept. 2001 exhibition, because they have been shown a lot, and all together.

So someone got the full set, a whole roomful of squeegee paintings, and someone else got a small photo of one, a consolation prize? A bonus? A one-off gift to a friend or employee? I have no idea, which is one reason it interests me.

Untitled (2006) is a highly realistic representation of a completely abstract painting. Yet for all its apparent transparency, it hints at an aspect of Richter's practice that is undocumented, or at least undisclosed. It's like an update of Stella: what you see is what you don't see.

9 Dec 2015, Lot 59: GERHARD RICHTER Untitled, 2006, est. £10,000 - 15,000, sold for £27,500 [!] [phillips.com]
Abstraktes Bild 858 and Cage Grid: Gerhard Richter and the Photo Copy

talamon_hammons_slauson_studio_robertstilton.jpg
David Hammons Slauson Street Studio, Bruce Talamon, 1974, image: roberts and tilton

Like Jasper Johns a decade before him, David Hammons made prints of his oiled body. Hammons' were more narrative, rich with content beyond just the impression of the artist's own body.

gabriel_orozco_waiting_chairs.jpg
Waiting Chairs, Gabriel Orozco, 1998, image: metmuseum.org

As is his wont, Gabriel Orozco found his narrative, this time in India, in the stone wall darkened by contact with the hair of people who rested against it as they sat in these seats. We don't know who they were.

I am pleased to introduce a work that combines these two threads of presence and absence, specificity and universality, anonymity and celebrity, found object and markmaking.

joan_collins_toile-de-jouy.jpg
Untitled (Joan Collins Toile de Jouy), 2015, 59 x 72 inches, patinated toile de jouy fabric, stuffing, wood

Untitled (Joan Collins Toile de Jouy) is a shaped work, a painting, really, comprising an upholstered headboard from Ms. Collins' New York apartment, altered in collaboration over the years by her and, apparently, occasionally, (an)other(s).

Interested parties, or at least those interested in having physical custody of the work, should contact me quickly, before the 14th. That'll give us enough time to get the headboard from the auction in LA. Me, I'm happy with it right where it is. And wherever it ends up.

Lot 43: JOAN COLLINS TOILE DE JOUY HEADBOARD [julienslive.com]
Previously, related: Untitled (Merce At The Minskoff)

December 8, 2015

Your Star, Skystar

olafur_eliasson_icewatch_2015.jpg
Ice Watch, 2015, image: olafureliasson.net

The big Olafur Eliasson news out of Paris last week was obviously Ice Watch, the circle of ancient Greenland glacier fragments melting and popping in front of the Pantheon.

olafur_your_star_test_flight.jpg
depiction of Your Star test flight, 2015, image: olafureliasson.net

This week Olafur is in Stockholm launching Your Star, a public art commission from the Nobel Committee. It is inspired, he explains, by the "space before an idea," the space from which an idea emerges, the moment when you first register a curiosity or change. In this case, it is the change in the night sky over Stockholm caused by an LED tethered to a balloon, which is powered by a battery charged by a solar panel that captured the energy of the summer sun. Your Star is a new star that returns the light of summer to the dark night of Stockholm in December.

rt-la_skystar_demovid_scr.jpg
RT-LTA video still of Skystar 180 deploying from its monitoring station

But even if you're still in Paris, you can get a sense that something is different in the sky, and change is afoot on the ground. @domainawareness notes that Paris intelligence officials have leased a surveillance balloon from the Israeli defense contractor RT-LTA Systems, to monitor protestors and other members of the public during the climate talks.

rt-la_skystar_balloon_jpt-20141128.jpg
RT-LTA press photo of Skystar 180 deployed with 360-degree surveillance camera

The Skystar 180 was used in Israel's war on the Gaza Strip last year, and is deployed near contested holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, as well as throughout East Jerusalem and Palestinian areas in the occupied West Bank.

One is art, one is policing. One you watch, one watches you. It's easy to think of differences, but Skystar and Your Star look so much alike that I have to wonder what else they have in common: they are both designed to exist in and affect public space. In his Nobel Week greeting, Olafur talked about the importance of public space:

It is where people come together, to exchange opinions, to disagree, to agree, and through doing all of this they help co-creating society. So does culture. I think it's very important to keep our public space alive, resilient, and open for change and renegotiation.
Think of that in Paris, where protestors try to influence the political negotiators, primarily by influencing media narratives--and where the looming presence of police surveillance seeks to document what it can't intimidate or silence by its presence.

rt-la_skystar_camera_det_ap.jpg
O hi. I am here, watching you.

And now think of the original public sites where these aerostats are permanently deployed: occupied neighborhoods where Palestinians and Arab Israelis under decades-long seige or contestation where renegotiation takes place with rocks, bullets, tear gas, and bulldozers.

It turns out both Skystar and Your Star function by being seen. The former as a projection of power and potential deterrent, the latter as an inspiration. This turns out to bear an uncanny resemblance to the original Project Echo satelloon, which was created to be a visible presence in the sky, an inspiring beacon of American power and progress. It was also intended to acclimate people to the presence of satellites overhead, to normalize the eventuality of being watched by surveillance satellites.

echo_I_popsci_jan61.jpg

When he originally conceived of a large inflatable satellite to win the hearts and devotion of the developing world, Werner von Braun called it an American Star.

Your Star [olafureliasson.net/yourstar]
Jerusalem - Spy Balloons Give Police New View Of Jerusalem [vosizneias, the voice of the orthodox jewish community]

arcades_project_x_capital.jpg

I was going to post an actual review of Kenneth Goldsmith's new book, Capital, then the attacks in Paris happened. And then I thought I would write about Benjamin's The Arcades Project, which served as inspiration for Goldsmith's compendium. But I found the texts about Paris that fascinated Benjamin to be completely unhelpful for the situation I was in. I lived and worked between New York and Paris for several years until 2000. I embraced the 1999 edition of The Arcades Project as a map into my adopted city. And now that map felt out of date.

This is all too much information, though, for what I have decided to do, since no one really needs my warm take on a book that is, by design, nearly unreviewable, about a city, New York, that is equally impervious to encapsulation.

So here is a mashup of Capital and The Arcades Project, excerpting texts from whatever page I turn to, in turn. Benjamin first, p. 306:

WB: Baudelaire
Baudelaire's fatalism: "At the time of the coup d'état in December, he felt a sense of outrage. 'What a disgrace!' he cried at first; then he came to see things 'from a providential perspective' and resigned himself like a monk." Desjardins, "Charles Baudelaire," Revue bleue (1887), p. 19.

Baudelaire-according to Desjardins-unites the sensibility of the Marquis de Sade with the doctrines of Jansenius.

...

KG: Food-Chinese
Americans looked on with wonder and asked him what the name of the food was that his chef was preparing. His answer was "Chop Suey" which meant that it was a combination of mixed foods. He explained that it was a meal consisting of bean sprouts, celery and Chinese greens, plus amy more vegetables, with a touch of meat, usually pork. The guests begged him to let them taste it. They did. Immediately they clamored for more. Overnight, Chop Suey won widespread popularity.
Chinese residents in New York soon found a new field of endeavor open to them. They opened restaurants and called them "Chop Suey Houses." Many of these original Chop Suey Houses still exist.

November 30, 2015

Starr/Bach's

Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach are decluttering and downsizing, from Monaco/Surrey/Snowmass/Beverly Hills to LA and a London apartment. Nearly 1400 lots of furniture, art, clothing, memorabilia, and borderline boot sale junk will be auctioned this week in LA. Here are some of the things:

ringo_john_yoko_table.jpg

First up, Lot 79, Originally John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Refectory Table [est. $5-7,000, sold for $19,200]

"'This refectory table was left at Tittenhurst by John and Yoko when I took over the house. Enjoy!' - Ringo." That would be in 1971. Tittenhurst Park was outside London. Starr sold it to the Emir of Abu Dhabi in 1988, but took the table with him. Hey, here it is in the living room of Rydinghurst, Starr & Bach's Jacobean estate in Surrey, which they put up for sale last year. Look at how they lay down a Google-like blur on the artwork in estate agent photos.

ringo_surrey_lr_blur_knight-frank.jpg

And speaking of tables, what is up with that coffee table? It's big and moon-shaped and filled with gazing balls. Or giant Christmas ornaments? I cannot tell, and the designer Ringo Starr doesn't weigh in this time.

Lot 351, Moon Coffee Table Designed by Ringo Starr [est. $1,000-2,000 sold for just $1,920]

ringo_gazing_balls.jpg

And speaking of gazing balls, holy smokes. Lot 608, Two Monumental Gazing Spheres [est. $3,000-5,000] They're from Rydinghurst, and each one is 36 inches across. Let's see Jeff Koons try to handle those. [WHAT, sold for just $1,920? Why didn't you ever get back to me with the condition report??]

ringo_la_galaxy_bed.jpg

And finally, speaking of satelloon-looking things, Lot 411, Galaxy Theme Platform Bed [est. $800-1,200] "'When we bought the house in 1992 in LA, we had this bed made so we could sleep under the stars and moons, and surrounded by the stars and moons.' - Ringo." Will the presumably LA-based Master Of The Ringo Starr's Bed Starscape with the initials SWG please come forward and take a bow? [Yes, well, sleeping in Ringo and Barbara's bed? Priceless, but apparently they'll take $875.]

ringo_starr_white_album_no1.jpg
Lot 1005, **RINGO STARR'S UK 1st MONO PRESSING WHITE ALBUM NO.0000001 [est. $40-60,000]

Oh wait, no, one more: It turns out Ringo got the first numbered copy of the White Album, and he put it in a vault. Now it is selling for at least $55,000. What a world. #monochrome [WHAT A WORLD INDEED: $790,000.]

Property from the Collection of Ringo Starr & Barbara Bach, 12/03/2015 [julienslive via jjdaddy-o]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

about this archive

Category: architecture

recent projects, &c.


pm_social_medium_recent_proj_160x124.jpg
Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016< br /> ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

madf_twitter_avatar.jpg
Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

chop_shop_at_springbreak
Chop Shop
at SPRING/BREAK Art Show
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

do_not_bid_or_buy_iris_sidebar.jpg
eBay Test Listings
Mar – Dec 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

shanzhai_gursky_mb_thumb.jpg
It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

therealhennessy_tweet_sidebar.jpg
TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -
about

sop_red_gregorg.jpg
Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

weeksville_echo_sidebar.jpg
"Exhibition Space"
Mar 20 - May 8 @apexart, NYC


HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.


drp_04_gregorg_sidebar.jpg
Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

czrpyr_blogads.jpg
Canal Zone Richard
Prince YES RASTA:
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99

archives