Category:projects

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Last week medieval scholar Erik Kwakkel tweeted about a largely unknown, undocumented, and apparently unique book he found in the Bibliothèque municipale/Bibliothèque Méjanes, in Aix-en-Provence.

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Titled Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l'eau [Treatise on the colors used to paint with water], it's an amazing 892-page, handwritten documentation of every available watercolor pigment and combination, each at three levels of dilution. It was written in Dutch in 1692 by an A. Boogert. Kwakkel is currently translating the introduction, but in the mean time, the illustrations are worth a long look.

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In addition to the systematic process and grid of conceptualism, there are obvious resonances with the color charts [top] and monochromes [below] of mid-20th century painting. The book format especially reminds me of Yves Peintures, the concocted catalogue for an imagined show of Yves Klein's monochromes.

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But even more than that, the starting palette for Boogert's project is uncannily similar to the 16 colors of the Dutch government's own unified, official palette, the Rijkshuisstijl, released in 2011. The RIjkshuisstijl was meant to centralize and strengthen the visual identity of the national government with colors inspired by Dutch landscape painting.

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Kwakkel doesn't mention any details yet about the context for Boogert's book, but the bibliographic record keys it to the textile trade and the Dutch East India Company.

Read and follow Kwakkel's discovery: A Colorful Book [erikkwakkel.tumblr.com]
See full scans of Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l'eau MS 1389 (1228) at the Bibliothèque Méjanes [e-corpus.org]

Previously, related: Rijkshuisstijl: the 1 Logo Project
Yves Peinture

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It's not my strategy to leave pictures sitting on my desktop so long I forget where they come from, and then I don't have to credit them or worry about posting them. If if were, I'd start a tumblr.

Given the amount of attention I've paid to various artists' Volkswagens, I honestly thought I'd be writing something more extensive about Claes Oldenburg wheeling up to the Dwan Gallery with the giant Floor Cone Peggy sewed for him strapped on top of his car. But not yet.

And anyway, it's been making the rounds, but I'm guessing it came from researching Sturtevant and Dwan Gallery a few months ago, and finding it on ArtObserved.

UPDATE: There is now a Google Doc, your one-stop source for Madoff Provenance information. Have a detail? Send it in!

Last month I proposed that the specific artworks which had once belonged to Bernard Madoff be forever associated with him, that he and his various corporate entities become an inextricable element of their history, discourse, and meaning.

For the most part, Madoff collected prints and multiples from large editions. There are usually dozens of identical examples of each artwork he collected; they're true investment-grade commodities. However, Bernard Madoff's ownership of these examples differentiates them and renders them unique among their editions. How does the historical fact that these specific artworks were owned by the perpetrator of one of the financial industry's biggest frauds affect their engagement with the art market, the art audience, and the critical structures of the art world? We shall find out.

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Study for Ex-Collectio MADF Stamp, 2014, digitally manipulated photocollage

Seven of the 53 artworks listed in the US attorney's inventory of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Services, plus one additional work, are being sold by the bankruptcy trustee at Sotheby's on May 1st.

Their lot and edition numbers are documented below, along with edition and title information for previously sold Madoff artworks whose court inventory entries were incomplete.

In accordance with art market, conservation, and art historical practice, I have created a stamp to indicate these works once belonged to Bernard Madoff and/or his corporate entities. I hereby issue an open invitation to all owners, buyers, dealers, agents and conservators handling these artworks, to accurately reflect their history, significance, and provenance by having them stamped. I am happy to provide this service, upon review, authentication, and mutual agreement, for no charge within New York City or the Hamptons or, upon prior arrangement, at art fairs in Basel, London, or Miami Beach. For other locales or times, please contact me directly. I'm sure we can work it out. This offer applies only to artworks which can be documented through court and/or auction records as having been in the collection of Bernard Madoff. No frauds or phonies.

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Not in Inv.
Lot 41 Henri Matisse, FORMES, PL. IX (FROM JAZZ), 1947, pochoir print of "plate IX of XX from the edition of 100 (total edition includes the book edition of 250 with a central fold), on Arches wove paper, published by Tériade, Paris."

So many projects, so many browser tabs, open for so many months, I've gotta clear some of these things out:

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I've wanted to remake the lost/overpainted panels from Andy Warhol's Thirteen Most-Wanted Men mural for the NY World's Fair since the Destroyed Richter Paintings days, but now with the comprehensive-sounding show at the Queens Museum opening, I've probably got a week to do it. And process it. And put it behind me. Ah well. The show does sound good, though.

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Not sure why it didn't occur to me sooner, but the news this week that MoMA's started the dismantling of the Folk Art Museum gave me a flash of inspiration: The Williams+Tsien Folk Table Collection. Turn each bronze alloy panel into a unique memento/tabletop. Maybe there's enough material inside to use for legs, &c., too. I see a couple dozen dining tables, as many coffee/side tables, and a handful of console/sofa tables. They'd be a stunning addition to the finest home, and quite the conversation piece.

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Actually, the inspiration came from Chester Higgins Jr's photo of Billie & Tod holding architectural fragments. The domestication of architecture.

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Also from the Times: Fred Conrad's great photo showing the use of photomurals to evoke/approximate historical spatial experience at the Jewish Museum's "Other Primary Structures" show. It's interesting that they're angled and mounted on wall-sized panels, not stuck to the moulding-encumbered wall. Makes them a bit more exhibition design and a bit less exhibition, I suppose.

Richter tweeted this the other day, and it's been nagging at me ever since:

the exhibition of reproductions of paintings, that is, not just paintings based on photographs. Also, of course, the show is at the world's most intensely named museum, the Topography of Terror.
I've reached out to the Topographers, hoping to find out more about how paintings function in an exhibit like this, and how the decision was made to include them as reproductions. But so far I have received absolutely no response. But I did get some screencaps from a YouTube video of the opening, which I can't find right now:

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Hmm, actually the panels look like reproductions of pages of books, not of paintings. Simultaneously more and less interesting.

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While rummaging around the Met's collection database, looking for Arthur Vincent Tack info, I Google Imaged up this hard edge painting. Which apparently hadn't been documented in the color photo era, but I couldn't find it on the Met's site.

As I was posting this I realized the filename is the accession number, 1978.565, Larry Zox. 1978's obviously too old for Hard Edge; the painting's from 1966, an at once unusual and logical size of 50x100 inches. Untitled (from the Double Gemini Series).

Turns out the Guggenheim has a very similar painting, Alto Velto, from 1969. Color really matters in these jpgs.

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Martin Bromirski posted images from a 2008 Larry Zox show at Stephen Haller.

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Christie's is selling a 20x24-inch print of Richard Prince's Spiritual America in their extra-edgy sale, titled "If I Live I'll See You Tuesday...." Though apparently it's not so edgy they feel comfortable running the image of the work. Maybe the added attention to the image that comes from a 100x increase in the pre-sale estimate--since 1999, the last time they sold the same print, 10/10 is it right that this is the only one of the 12 prints to ever come up for auction?--makes even auctioneers uncomfortable.

But the price spike has not spurred any new interest in when Prince actually made the object being sold. In both the 2014 and 1999 catalogues, the print is listed as "Signed, numbered and dated 'R Prince 1983 10/10' (on the reverse)" and so "Executed in 1983. This work is number ten from an edition of ten plus two artist's proofs."

Except it's not. Christie's quotes Prince's recent bird talk post where he recounts the creation of Spiritual America in unprecedented and fascinating detail. He'd scored a copy of a "pamphlet" Gary Gross self-published, which included an image of the sexualized photos of a 10-yo Brooke Shields, from Gross's agency. He rephotographed it, developed it, selected the image to print, and ordered a single 8x10 proof, which is what he ended up showing as Spiritual America in 1983.

Christie's' doesn't quote the part further down, where Prince writes,

eventually gave the 8x10" of Spiritual America to Myer Viceman. Frame and all.
In 1987, after I joined up with Barbara Gladstone, I editioned it. Ten copies and two APs. I had my lab print it on ektacolor paper at 20 x 24".
Which clarifies, or changes a bit what Prince said in his 2009 deposition in the Cariou v. Prince case. Cariou's lawyer was asking about a "settlement," with Gross over the rephotography of his image:
I mean Mr. Kennedy is talking about a 1992 discussion at the Whitney, and I believe at that time I bought the rights to the image for $2,000.

Q. From Gary Gross?

A. Yes.

Q. Because he threatened to sue you?

A. No. I was told by the Whitney that I--in order to exhibit that image I made a concession, or they advised me that it would probably be best that--and I believe I sort of reached out to him at the time.

Because up until then, that image that I rephotographed from that pamphlet that he had produced in 1983, I made one copy, an 8 by10, and I gave it away. And it wasn't until 1992 that it came back into the limelight, and I think my attitude changed a bit and I was sort of willing to become more part of the process I suppose.

Q. And at that time you made ten copies plus an artist proof?

A At the time there was ten copies and i believe two artist proofs, none of which I own.

So until just now, I'd thought this meant he made the edition to release in time for his Whitney show, but I think he's actually not saying that. He's saying that the Whitney was requiring him to get a license from Gross before they exhibited Spiritual America. But the editioned prints already existed. So maybe the right date is Executed in 1987. Or maybe, you know, call someone to confirm it. RP's tweet about the execution:

Now let's talk about the Whitney's insistence on getting clearances before showing appropriated work. How often does that happen?

April 12, 2014

The Absence Of Evidence

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Short Circuit (aka Construction with J.J. Flag), c. 1958? photo: Rudy Burckhardt

Errol Morris's new film about Donald Rumsfeld has me thinking a lot lately in terms of the known unknown, and the unknown unknown. As I've tried to find the missing Jasper Johns flag painting that was in Robert Rauschenberg's 1955 combine Short Circuit I've kept running into another formulation which bridges the two: what we think we know.

It's not that the story of Short Circuit as it trickled down through history in footnotes and parentheticals and anecdotes was wrong, so much as incomplete. . And the elisions have shaped the widely accepted understanding of both artists' work. But it also prompts the question, "Who's 'we'?"

Because someone knows what happened to that flag painting. Someone's always known. It just wasn't me.

monument.greg.org is now live.

I thought it'd take five minutes. hah. If I'd known how much time all the pdfs were gonna take, I would've just 'shopped a screenshot instead.

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Who Owns This Image?

We got this.

Suddenly the New Yorker headline got me thinking, and I clicked on their little jpg of Graduation, and it's 290 x 404 pixels--and its original title says it's a screenshot-- almost exactly the same dimensions as Untitled (300 x 404), and I'm like, DONE. Frankly I'm kind of embarrassed it took this long.

No need for Chinese Paint Mill; I'm ordering test prints tonight. It'll be interesting to see what that little jpg looks like at Graduation-size. Prince's Untitled (Cowboy, 2003) set the maximum for that print, just 30x40 inches. But Graduation is six feet tall, (72 3/4 by 52 1/2 inches, 1.85 x 1.33m). Could be a real mess, but that's fair use for the rest of us.

Who Owns This Image? [newyorker]
Previously, related:

May 2009
the instigation: West Trademark F@*#(up
the concept: 300x404, the making of

June 2009:
proofs: Richard Prints, Untitled (300 x 404)

June 2010
published: Untitled (300 x 404) @ 20 x 200

the review/thinkpiece: the great debate: the value of greg allen's untitled (300 x 404) [artfcity]

I said it publicly a couple of times now, and I was more cynical about them then than I am now, but when I first saw Richard Prince's Canal Zone paintings, I thought he was trying to see how bad he could paint. I half-joked that he wanted to see if his new dealer Larry Gagosian could really sell whatever shit he literally slapped together.

The higher concept way of putting that, of course, is that Prince was interested in process over product, in setting constraints and parameters on his practice, and in destabilizing himself by experimenting with techniques he knew he hadn't mastered.

I really came to appreciate the paintings, not so much for themselves--they're still undeniably shitty--but for their catalytic effect, the way the Cariou lawsuit compelled Prince to talk at length and under oath, about his work. His deposition is really pure art historical gold, and the way art is discussed in the legal context is disorienting and exciting to me, language-wise.

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Still, as the legal case drags on, I find the paintings themselves--more precisely, the images of the paintings themselves, since almost no one's seen the actual objects for years now--kind of tedious, beside the point. And my interest wasn't rekindled by Banal Zone, Jomar Statkun show of Chinese Paint Mill copies of Prince's paintings. Literally any idiot can order Chinese Paint Mill paintings. Ask me how I know! And anyway, those joints were Inkjets by NancyScans.

But I am glad that Statkun's show serves as the catalyst for Prince to birdtalk about making the Canal Zone paintings. Because CALLED IT:

But aren't I curious about the "Chinese" paintings my anonymous friends ask? No I'm not. From what I've seen they look worst than some of the paintings I've already painted. You have to understand that when I started out painting my Canal Zone paintings I had no intention of making good paintings. In fact most of them were never finished and the majority were an experiment with new painting techniques. (This is the first time I've gone on the record about this stuff). Anyway... there are a couple of Canal Zone paintings that WERE aggressive and satisfying in ways that hard to describe... they were done quickly and under the influence of certain music I was listening to at the time... and part of this "screen play" I was toying around with. They started out as storyboards for a "pitch" called Eden Rock. (You got to start somewhere). They started off innocently enough when I found this Rasta book on vacation and I simply starting to use some of the images in the book for collages. (Early on I pasted a guitar over the body of one of the Rasta's, kind of lined it up so that the Rasta looked as if he was "wailing" away... and there you go... off to the races). I can't say it more simply. Wild History.
Expecting Good Paintings out of Richard Prince is as crazy as expecting Good Photographs. It's just not how he rolls.

BIRDTALK 2/12/2014 [richardprince.com]
Garis & Hahn Presents Jomar Statkun's 'Banal Zone' [hyperallergic sponsor; direct to garisandhahn]

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Vic Muniz After Gerhard Richter (from pictures of color) (2001) and Greg Allen Destroyed Richter Painting No.2 (2012, left) and Destroyed Richter Painting No.4 (2012)

I'm really stoked to have the Destroyed Richter Paintings project included in "Para-Real," an exhibition at 601Artspace, that has been extended until this weekend [closes Feb. 8, cf. Ken Johnson's review in the NYTimes].

Magda Sawon curated the show with works from the 601 collection and others, and she paired Vik Muniz's big paint chip Portrait of Betty with one of the Destroyed Richters. I've been a big fan of Muniz's work for years and was particularly taken by his Pictures of Color series when we first saw them in Venice in August 2001. We barely knew how great we had it back then.

But anyway, that's just one of many interesting pairings of works that examine notions of the real. If you haven't seen the show already, I hope you'll put it on your itinerary.

Maybe you should put it on your calendar tomorrow, in fact, say, 7pm, when our rescheduled conversation takes place with Robert Blake, Director of Special Projects at 601 Artspace, Jennifer & Kevin McCoy, John Powers and I. I've been looking forward to it for weeks. Months, even.

A round table conversation on Para-Real moderated by Robert Blake and led by Magdalena Sawon with Greg Allen, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy and John Powers
Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 7-8:30p [601artspace.org]

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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.


our_guernica_cycle_ivanka_320px_thumb.jpg
Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
about/kickstarter | exhibit, 2017


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Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
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

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eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

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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

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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" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots


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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