Category:projects

September 23, 2014

Untitled (Muji Tote), 2014

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Untitled (Muji Tote), 2014, 19.5 x 12 x 1, acrylic on muslin

It's been brewing for a long time, basically every time I see that painting it sticks to me like the smell of a campfire.

It really should be a product, a utility, an it bag for real men, no matter what part of Brooklyn they're traversing.

But it never comes out right. No one will print right to the edge, and it really must be printed right to the edge. It could be screenprinted, but my queue's pretty stacked right now. Printable heat-transfer paper frankly doesn't do it justice.

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image from The Internet

Wouldn't you know, Kanye and Condo had the answer: just paint the damn thing. Which is a hard thing to accept sometimes. For some people. Who don't, as a rule, paint. Anyway, here we are.

My favorite part of the whole thing now is that Muji Tote could translate into Anonymous Death. So even though there's only one, and Kimye get first dibs on it [the 24hr clock starts ticking when I hit publish, get your 2nd holds ready], this really is for everyone.


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hello, new headshot

I wish I could be there right now, for the opening, but I'm stoked to announce the inclusion of some work in a group exhibition at Glitch Gallery in Charlestown, Massachusetts titled, "Challenging the law without infringing the law." The show is curated by Primavera Di Filippi, and includes Brian Dupont, Sara Hendren, Esmerelda Kosmatopoulos, Kofhschlag, and Sara Newman & Matthew Battles.

The show is the first time that Untitled (300x404), a project I began in 2009, is being exhibited IRL. The work's original is a 300x404px jpg image of a Richard Prince Cowboy photo, but the most widely known manifestation is the print edition published by 20x200.com. [Which is once again available, btw, in limited numbers.]

If you're in or near Charlestown, I hope you'll check out the show.

Glitch Gallery Exhibit 005 -- Challenging the law without infringing the law, opens Sept 20, 2014 [glitchmonster.com]

September 15, 2014

Untitled (happy place), 2014

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Untitled (happy place), 2014, 15.5x11 in., digital print on glossy stock, ed. 25+5AP, $100, shipped.

From Robert Smtihson & Mel Bochner's "The Domain of The Great Bear" to Gerhard Richter and Ellsworth Kelly's special editions of Die Welt, I've been interested print as art. A couple of years ago Printed Matter turned up a big stack of Inserts, a tabloid-sized portfolio of full-page artworks by the members of Group Material. The Public Art Fund helped the collective produce 90,000 copies, which were inserted in the Sunday New York Times on May 22, 1988, and distributed downtown and in Greenpoint/Bushwick. [even then.] A few turned up at Printed Matter a couple of years ago.

Group Material member Julie Ault recalled that they'd negotiated for nearly a year with the NY Daily News, but that when they submitted the artworks, they were rejected "on the basis that 'it wasn't art it was editorial.'" That tension or ambiguity is one of the things I like most; it upsets a seemingly small but persistent expectation.

I also love The Art Newspaper's art fair editions, reported and published on the spot every day. And when I saw this page from this summer's Art Basel paper, it seemed like an almost perfect object. It includes an excerpt from TAN editor-at-large Georgina Adams' book, Big Bucks: The Explosion in the Art Market in the 21st Century which, like so much of the page, provides a salient, vital picture of the moment.

It's taken me a little while to get it just right, but I am pleased to present Untitled (happy place) as a print in an edition of 25, with 5 artist proofs. It is digitally printed on gloss stock, handstamped and numbered, and measures 15.5 x 11 inches. It will ship flat for USD100.


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Shanzhai Gursky 002, 2014, not included in the show

Brian Droitcour and Zanna Gilbert have curated "It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information," which just opened at Franklin Street Works in Stamford, Connecticut. The show examines shifting networks, and how artists use the postal system and the web in the production and distribution of artworks.

I am quite pleased to have some pieces included in the show, which runs through November 9.

In addition to some Destroyed Richter Paintings, the show includes a photo from the Shanzhai Gursky project, previously known in less ethnosocioeconomically critical times as Ghetto Gurskys. [Though the pejorative aspects of "ghetto" still apply to the project itself, in a self-critical way, I think the racialist connotations ultimately kill it for me. "Shanzhai" seems a little pluckier and resourceful than I'd originally pictured the series to be, but I really like it.]

The series are somewhat related, in that they both originate in images circulating online. The Destroyed Richter Paintings are made by Chinese Paint Mill and based on jpgs of photos Richter took in his studio before destroying certain paintings. The Shanzhai Gursky photos are produced to the specifications of the original using the highest resolution jpgs I could find in the wild.

In both cases, the web is the source of the image and the site of production for objects which are intended to be experienced in person. For this reason, and also because the show sounds very interesting, and is put together by sharp folks, I would encourage everyone to go see it.

It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information, runs from Sept. 5-Nov. 9, 2014, at Franklin Street Works [franklinstreetworks.org]
Previously, related: Ghetto [sic] Gursky
Unrolling Ghetto [sic] Gursky (Rhein) [which, archivists take note, is now titled Shanzhai Gursky 001.]

September 1, 2014

Art In The Age Of Koons

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Well this is getting complicated: The Trouble With Donelle Woolford [dis]

August 15, 2014

l'Autre Jetée

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We went exploring the Camargue today, and came across these giant mounds of salt being processed south of Salin de Giraud, which looked a lot like the ones in Doug Aitken's app, commissioned by Maja Hoffman's LUMA Foundation in Arles. It turns out to be next to some evaporation fields which are the color of The Great Salt Lake at Rozel Point, the color which inspired Robert Smithson to choose the site for his most famous work. This panorama shows these two artists' fields together for the first time.

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The obvious thing, then, is to combine the two landscapes, creating a spiral jetty out of mounds of pure salt in the pink evaporation ponds. It won't last, of course, but that's what entropy's all about, and public art. To the extent such a word is applicable in this site and situation, the LUMA Foundation is the obvious partner and platform to make this Phantom Spiral Jetty appear.

This popped out at me while reading the Christopher Williams catalogue, The Production Line of Happiness (yellow edition, btw) last night:

"Christopher Williams, On Paris (detail), 1985; Cibachrome, Ilford Cibachrome II Paper CRC .44M; 10 x 14" (image size), 17.5 x 21.5" (framed size); The Image Bank -- Morton Beebe"2

...

2 Caption from a poster produced by Galerie Crousel-Hussenot, Paris, France, for the exhibition, "Stephen Prina, Mark Stahl, Christopher Williams," 1985 [p.36]

There was no image anywhere in the book, but in his essay Mark Godfrey discusses the show, one of a series of group shows in 1984-85, and the photo diptychs Williams produced for them:
In 1984, for his contributions to a set of group shows in Paris (at Galerie Crousel-Hussenot), Ghent (at Gewald), Amsterdam (at De Appel), and New York (at Marian Goodman Gallery), Williams juxtaposed a reshot Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of an execution by bayonet in Bangladesh with a photograph of the city where he was exhibiting, produced for the tourist industry and sourced from local image banks. When the four works were brought together in a group show at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York in 1985, Abigail Solomon-Godeau wrote that Williams's "insistence on site-specificity, both in a geographic sense (the city represented by the tourism photo is changed to represent whatever city the work is exhibited in) and in an institutional sense (the work is conceived to call attention to the museological "frame") militates against the neutralization of the works' politics by the art institution that houses it." [p.79]
There was nothing on Google, but the New Museum's awesome digital archive has installation shots of Williams' works in the show, "The Art of Memory / The Loss of History," which was curated by William Olander.

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Here is how On New York II [sic, I'm sure the actual title's 10x longer] was installed [see archive.newmuseum.org for larger images and details]. Those look like 10x8 to me, tbh, not 10x14. Here's a pairing of stock tourism photos the New Museum's calling On Amsterdam / On Paris. Fine, maybe that is 10x14.

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Anyway, it's the Paris installation that caught my attention, and that's what I'm trying to imagine. So these thin frames, these deep mats, and these two images side by side:

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a rephotograph [!] of a Dec. 18, 1971 photo by AP correspondents Horst Faas & Michel Laurent [this 2012 tribute page to Faas has a shot from a different angle of a different guy bayonetting the same guy in the plaid shirt. It doesn't take Errol Morris to realize the scene is extended and complicated, and the presence of the photographers is not neutral.]

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and a glittery night scene in a café on the Champs-Élysées, by Morton Beebe. The red awning makes me think it's Fouquet's, just south of the Georges V metro entrance, unless there was a café across the street, where the Louis Vuitton store is now.

It didn't occur to me until I started putting together this post just how sparse the online information is about Williams' work and history, but also how fragmentary any of it is. The New Museum's online archive is extraordinary and almost unprecedented in its scope and accessibility, especially for an institution of its size. And yet there is so much of the work and the experience that is not captured, so much that must be interpolated from these documentary traces. From the titles to the dimensions to the catalogues, checklists and installations, Williams's exacting practice indexes and exposes the limitations of the archival view, and thus, of photography and history.

Which had nothing to do with why I'm writing about this at all right now. It was the name Morton Beebe, the photographer of the Image Bank picture for Paris, which caught my eye. Beebe sued Robert Rauschenberg in 1979 for copyright infringement for using one of Beebe's images in Pull a Hoarfrost series print on silk. Beebe himself and the copyright industry professionals have cited the case regularly over the years as a victory against appropriation. [I wrote a couple of posts about Beebe v. Rauschenberg in 2012. Apparently I was the first/only person who'd ever requested the actual court documents. Which makes it even worse that I still haven't written my final post on the case. It's on my list, though, I swear!]

I was ready to concede that Beebe's presence in Williams's work was a coincidence, but then I remembered Beebe's battle was the opening anecdote in what turns out to be the first substantive coverage of photo-based appropriation, a 1981 article in ArtNEWS by Gay Morris titled, "When Artists Use Photographs: Is it fair use, legitimate transformation, or rip-off?" And I can't believe that Williams, of all artists who use photographs, would not have noticed.

In his canonical text, The Death of the Author, Roland Barthes states: "The text is a tissue of citations, resulting from the thousand sources of culture [...] The writer can only imitate a gesture forever anterior, never original [...] If he wants to express himself, at least he should know that the internal 'thing' he claims to 'translate' is itself only a readymade dictionary." Understood in this context, by transcribing @TheRealHennessy tweets onto canvases greg.org sheds light on the dynamics of language, appropriation, authorship and the enigmatic presence of a distinctive voice

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@TheRealHennessy Tweet Painting, Moby, 2014, 14x11 in., acrylic and screenprint on canvas SOLD

greg.org is pleased to introduce @TheRealHennessy Tweet Paintings, inspired by Donelle Woolford's Dick Joke series, which were buzzworthy standouts at the most recent Whitney Biennial.

Instead of the expressive, gestural application of paint that was so fashionable, @TheRealHennessy tweets are silkscreened onto a flat, monochrome canvas. Similar to his re-photography of existing images, this approach removed the artist's hand from the work. Despite this conceptual strategy, @TheRealHennessy Tweet works are nonetheless considered first and foremost as paintings. As he jokingly remarked, "the 'Tweet' paintings are abstract. Especially in Europe, if you can't speak English."

The series of monochrome tweet paintings, of which @TheRealHennessy Tweets, Moby is an outstanding example, presents the viewer with a strangely puzzling juxtaposition of a minimalist canvas and painted words. Although this can be interpreted as a reference to postmodern linguistic theory, the work also points to two quintessentially American features: hard-edge abstraction and popular humor. Cleverly subverting the clean and serious language of abstract painting, the tweets' amalgamation of low and high culture characterizes @TheRealHennessy Tweet's most iconic work. This intelligent fusion of conceptual strategies with popular cultural references, which has been the driving force throughout @TheRealHennessy Tweet's influential practice, is perfectly merged in @TheRealHennessy Tweets, Moby. Wittingly parodying the uncomplicated jokes from vernacular literature, the artist has found a way of incorporating a difficult subject-matter - humor - into a deeply serious artistic practice.

More @TheRealHennessy Tweet paintings are below. The first One of the remaining three paintings is available for $1,800. Please tweet, DM, or email for further information.

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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: projects

recent projects, &c.


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

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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

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


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


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

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

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