May 25, 2006

Coming Sooner Or Later

Yeah, I've got a post about the MoMA gig with Jim Mangold on Tuesday, which was a lot of fun. Great guy. But first, this picture from Curbed, which was taken on 21st Street between 10th and 11th Avenues: Now compare it to this 2003 shot from the same block: In the end, we're all just food for worms, boys, warming the bench until Miuccia comes. Art is in the Eye of the Property Holder [curbed] Elmgreen & Dragset, Opening...
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Posted by greg at 12:44 PM

May 16, 2006

Here Comes The Sun (Olafur Eliasson @ Portikus)

You may know Brian Sholis from such venues as Artforum and his as-time-permits blog, In Search of the Miraculous. Brian just posted some behind-the-scenes shots of the first of twelve installations Olafur Eliasson's doing at Portikus, the Frankfurt art space. As anyone familiar with Olafur's work knows, the behind is usually as important as the front. A sneak peek at Olafur Eliasson's 'Light Lab' [insearch]...
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Posted by greg at 01:56 PM

May 11, 2006

[Sm]Art Money??

After conducting the biggest contemporary auction in Sotheby's history, Tobias Meyer told Artforum's Sarah Thornton, "The best art is the most expensive, because the market is so smart." Uh-huh. This is the market that paid a million-one for a generic Yoshitomo Nara painting just because it's big. Meanwhile, one of the last Robert Smithson non-sites in private hands--and artist hands at that, the piece was being sold by its original owner, Keith Sonnier--sold for just its high estimate, $374,400...
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Posted by greg at 08:37 PM

May 04, 2006

And The Nominees For Best Kicker In An Art Theft Story Are...

1) Truckload of Missing Art Found in Trailer Park, by Alan Feuer, NY Times. 2) A-- Actually, we have winner right there....
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Posted by greg at 06:27 PM

May 02, 2006

Metropolis Magazine Discovers Olafur Eliasson

Considering it's an architecture magazine, I'm surprised there's no mention of his architectural interventions, like turning rooms into cameras obscura [sp?] or cutting holes in the roof to make like a sundial. Never mind Olafur's proposal for a new music hall in Iceland. Still, it's a good intro. Optical Magic []...
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Posted by greg at 08:42 AM

May 01, 2006

What He Really Wants To Do Is Not Direct

While he's been actively posing questions about vision and perception and exploring the relationship between the seen/felt/experienced and reality, I've still had a sense of Olafur Eliasson as a sculptural artist. That object/space/experience thing. And I mean that, even though it's photographs looming over my shoulder as I type this, not stainless steel artichoke-shaped kaleidoscopic pavilions. But after seeing his new show at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery over the weekend, Hal Foster's phrase "cinematic delirium" stuck in my mind. Foster used...
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Posted by greg at 08:43 AM

April 27, 2006

Kids These Days

You'd never know it from the market today, but according to the Guardian's Jonathan Jones, art and money do NOT go well together. That's his explanation for why Damien Hirst sucks so bad these days--because he has £100 million--and he's sticking with it. Same thing happened to Dali and Warhol, the chumps. Got all caught up in the money and the fame and the trappings and neglected the art. OK... never mind that alongside his sellout portrait factory, Warhol did...
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Posted by greg at 10:17 AM

April 21, 2006

The Agency For Unrealised Projects [With An 'S']

Just came across the transom from e-flux:Serpentine Gallery and e-flux announce Agency for Unrealised Projects (AUP) For every planned project that is carried out, hundreds of other proposals by artists, architects, designers, scientists and other practitioners around the world stay unrealised and invisible to the public. Agency for Unrealised Projects (AUP) seeks to document and display these works through publications, a developing archive and a physical office, in this way charting the terrain of a contingent future. Unlike unrealised...
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Posted by greg at 08:07 AM

April 12, 2006

There Are Many Paths To The Top Of Mt. Fuji

That fall the curious flocked to Gladstone's gallery to watch a film depicting him scaling the gallery walls with the help of ice screws. It ended with Barney inserting the last screw into his anus. Stardom came instantaneously.Unfortunately, the rest of "Barney's Voyage," Julie Belcove's profile of Matthew Barney and Drawing Restraint 9 for W Magazine, is not available online. But Randy Kennedy's profile for the Times is, and he clears up the whole "Bjork and Matthew Barney live in...
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Posted by greg at 08:54 AM

April 07, 2006

Death And Venice

Felix Gonzalez-Torres: "All art and all cultural production is political." The NY Times report on the inclusion of Felix Gonzalez-Torres' works in US Pavilion next year in Venice gives more information on what was included in the Guggenheim's proposal. Here is what the pieces soud like to me, starting with the "never before realized" work, which will be installed in the entrance courtyard of the pavilion: "two adjoining reflecting pools forming a figure eight, the sign of infinity" sounds...
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Posted by greg at 11:00 AM

April 05, 2006

1985 Act Up 1989 FU State Dept. 1996 Died 2007 Venice Biennale

Like death and taxes, the State Department will catch up with you. One day. From an interview Felix Gonzalez-Torres once did with Rob StorrFor example, here is something the State Department sent to me in 1989, asking me to submit work to the Art and Embassy Program. It has this wonderful quote from George Bernard Shaw, which says, "Besides torture, art is the most persuasive weapon." And I said I didn't know that the State Department had given up...
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Posted by greg at 03:26 PM

Walker Center Nice

I want to love the Walker Center's Walker Channel video streams even more than I do. There was a chat between Rirkrit Tiravanija and writer Bruce Sterling, for example [here's the Walker's blog post about it] And Philippe Vergne talking with Dan Graham and his collaborators on his punk puppet opera Don't trust anyone over 30. And of course, Tyler was on the edge of his seat, waiting to watch the knives fly in realtime during the Whitney Biennial recap...
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Posted by greg at 02:40 PM

April 02, 2006

Follow The 250,000 Bouncing Balls

Joel, an eagle-eyed reader sends in this tip:Maybe nobody in the history of advertising had thought to do this, but it would appear that an artist had. Lucy Pullen, a Canadian artist living in Victoria, BC, dumped thousands of superballs onto the streets of Halifax in 1997.Pullen has shown in London and extensively in Canada, too; not that there's any monopoly on the idea of a mass ball bounce--we once rolled a dozen thrift shop bowling balls down a...
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Posted by greg at 06:55 PM

March 04, 2006

Chinati-esque: Benefit Auction

It's funny how much of the art that was donated to the Artists For Chinati benefit auction next week seems somehow Chinati-esque. Artists for Chinati catalogue introduction by Marianne Stockebrand View the lots, which go on sale Mon. March 13 at 7pm at Phillips....
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Posted by greg at 10:15 AM

February 28, 2006

Art Critic Smackdown

I've always wondered why the New York Observer didn't have an art critic, but mentioning it, well, that's not how I was raised. Fortunately, Jerry Saltz was raised by wolves or something, because he doesn't mind pointing out that the Observer's art mentioner Mario Naves is an empty, conservative prig. The fact that it comes after a rousing ode to Duchamp's urinal only makes it sweeter; and it takes "I know you are but what am I?" off the table...
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Posted by greg at 09:17 AM

February 17, 2006

On Gober-Curated Exhibitions At The Menil I Wish I'd Seen

Well, actually, there's just one: The Meat Wagon, a turn through the Menil Collection's collections by Robert Gober, which closed on Jan. 22. GlassTire has an excellent writeup....
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Posted by greg at 04:32 PM

February 16, 2006

It's Definitely Not The Pictures That Are Getting Small

I've been a big fan and collector of Hiroshi Sugimoto's work for over 13 years now [wow. Typing that just now makes me hyperaware of the passage of time, which is par for the course for Sugimoto.] So when I had a chance to meet the artist at a preview of his retrospective show at the Hirshhorn yesterday, I jumped. It's really quite a gorgeous show; stunning, even, which I think is atypical of Sugimoto's work. For all his conceptually...
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Posted by greg at 11:53 AM

February 14, 2006

Check Out The Ass On That One

I fired off an email to Charlie Finch's editor/wingman last night, and even though I'm a ridiculous apprentice of nothing, he graciously favored me with a reply. If only I had a nicer rack, he might've gotten me a group show somewhere.From: on behalf of Greg Allen Sent: Mon 2/13/2006 9:26 PM To: Walter Robinson Subject: You really need to let Charlie go start a blog of his own Hey Walter, I have to tell you, Charlie Finch's columns...
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Posted by greg at 07:46 AM

February 13, 2006

Charlie Finch Sizes, Feels Up Another Female Artist

The irony, of course, is that if Walter Robinson actually had the balls to fire Charlie Finch for this kind of crap, the skeevy old skank would probably just turn around and start a blog. Charlie Finch Goes Too Far [MAN, with a list of drumbeating links] Previously: ACFWLF: [I think this stands for "Artists Charlie Finch Would Like To F***"]...
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Posted by greg at 06:55 PM

February 03, 2006

Well Duh, Because It's Gus Van Sant.

Finally, someone's saying something about the inconsistencies, conflicts and caprices of the Warhol Authentication Board, which is wreaking quiet, opaque havoc on the market for Andy Warhol's artworks. The BBC is showing a documentary on the Board tonight on BBC1 called "Andy Warhol: Denied". The above self-portrait, from 1964-65, for example, which Warhol gave as payment to Richard Eckstract, an important collaborator in Warhol's films, was subsequently declared inauthentic. Is this a real Warhol? [ via boingboing]...
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Posted by greg at 01:34 PM

January 30, 2006

What If Sprawl Is The Real Entropy?

Maybe we have the whole Smithsonian entropy thing wrong. In 2002, Artforum's Nico Israel whined with condescension about the homogenous strip mall & fast food landscape he had to endure on his road trip from one perfectly isolated Earthwork [Spiral Jetty] to another [Double Negative]. Then, as the Jetty has re-emerged year after year, visitor traffic has increased dramatically, along with press coverage and local awareness and appreciation. Road signs to the Jetty appear in the middle of what was...
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Posted by greg at 10:33 PM

January 27, 2006

Artnet Dorks Out Over Dorkbot

Wow, Artnet associate editor Ben Davis got just what he wanted for Christmas: the chance to write at length about art and technology. He covers the video game-inspired show at Pace Wildenstein in Chelsea last month [generally, eh] and better-reviewed shows like Bit Edition's multi-artist animation collaboration in Brooklyn with vertexList, and a Dewan Brothers show at Pierogi [they're like the Harry Partch of synthesizers, very DIY.] But he saves most of the love for Dorkbot, aka Gearhacking: The Gathering,...
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Posted by greg at 01:04 PM

January 26, 2006

Cleanup Crew: 1, Entropy: 0 At The Spiral Jetty

From The Salt Lake Tribune, 1/21/06:Spiral Jetty cleanup: Utah officials last month removed several tons of junk from Rozel [sp] Point, the area along the Great Salt Lake's north shore that is home to Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty. "Anyone who has made the trip to see the famous Spiral Jetty . . . has passed through the area and certainly noted that it was an eyesore," says Joel Frandsen, director of the state Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands,...
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Posted by greg at 05:07 PM

January 25, 2006

Elmgreen & Dragset Blitz London [sic]

My boys Elmgreen & Dragset are opening their show, The Welfare State, at the Serpentine tomorrow, and there's a conference related to the show at the Goethe Institute on Friday, and there's a fat catalogue on every day, whenever you like. [oops, actually, it's not out in the US until March.] Kultureflash has images from the show's first incarnation at Kunsthall Bergen, Norway. Meanwhile, here's a photo they sent me from just before their Prada Marfa project opened last fall....
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Posted by greg at 10:14 AM

December 30, 2005

First You Get The Money, Then You Get The Power

As the year winds to an end, I think I can officially say it: the art world is whack. It's all about the Benjamins, and I don't mean Walter. I was going to post a diatribe, but instead, I'll just point out what I've already said in print: the small comparison I made between the ravenous fixation on Richard Prince's appropriations and the parodic, poll-driven works of Komar & Melamid; my calling into question the credibility of a system [i.e.,...
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Posted by greg at 11:05 AM

December 21, 2005

Free MoMA

I have 20 16 14 10 8 4 free passes to MoMA that expire on 12/31/05. If you'd like a couple, please drop me a line, and I'll mail them out to you today. [update: I ended up with 4 passes left, but now I'm out of town and won't be back before they expire. Sorry. The Target Corporation invites you to Free Friday Nights at MoMA, though... Merry Christmas, &c.]...
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Posted by greg at 12:44 PM

Hiroshi Sugimoto Interview in ID Magazine

I've been a fan of Hiroshi Sugimoto's work since discovering it in the early 1990's. Although his work had him travelling constantly, Sugimoto had been based in New York City for decades. Recently, he has spent four years building a studio in Tokyo [as well?] instead [?] Even if you haven't followed his work, this interview in I.D. Magazine will be enlightening, but also sad:Q. What effect did the tragedy have on your work, and on your attitude toward the...
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Posted by greg at 12:41 AM

December 16, 2005

Yin Xiuzhen's Portable Cities

Beijing-based artist Yin Xiuzhen's Portable Cities series are models of cities inside suitcases, made using the old clothes that city's residents. In her practice, she explores issues of globalization and homogenization, but also memory and transience. In a way, her work reminds me of the nomadic Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata, who constructs temporary structures, favelas, and whirlwind-like vortices out of scrap wood and junk he collects around the city. While they exist, they put into play issues of development...
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Posted by greg at 10:14 AM

December 08, 2005

Zaha's Cojones, Neto's Ovaries

I've been waiting for anyone else to say it, but Zaha Hadid must have some serious cojones to show up in Miami--his own home [away from home] town!--sporting a gigantic Ernesto Neto fallopian tube sculpture. I mean, Neto's Venice installation is like two blocks away in the Margulies Warehouse. Don't even get me started on Anish Kapoor's Turbine Hall. Seriously, woman, WTF?...
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Posted by greg at 12:39 PM

November 17, 2005

From The Mixed Up Files Of Ms. Nikke Finke

Mike Ovitz can fight his own battles--although he's been nothing but genial to me, I don't doubt he can be a pretty scrappy guy. But Nikki Finke's LA Weekly article on Hollywood-style dealmaking supposedly poisoning the art world is such a raw-yet-feeble Ovitz takedown attempt, I can't see why it even exists. And that's even before you notice that the story's so old, a veritable reportorial time capsule. The most recent anecdotes are from the early 1990's. Julian Schnabel--get this!--has...
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Posted by greg at 11:11 PM

November 14, 2005

So A Gate And A Floating Island Walk Into A Bar

There are some posters, and some beer, and the gas for the motorboat had to cost a pretty penny, but that's about it. Compared to the expensive (and purportedly expensive) public art it skewered, The Gate that chased Robert Smithson's Floating Island up the East River a couple of months ago cost nothing. Now the Gate and the boat, and a documentary about the project will go on exhibit 11/18 at Redhead, the gallery of the Lower Manhattan Cultural...
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Posted by greg at 11:51 PM

November 10, 2005

The Sound Of One Hand Bidding

What with the hazmat crew required to neutralize the thousands of gallons of formaldehyde and the efforts to stabilize the rotting, soaked corpse, moving Damien Hirst's shark costs an estimated $100,000. Meanwhile, Mark Fletcher and Tobias Meyer ended up donating a John Bock sculpture to the Carnegie rather than keep replacing the fresh melons in it. [Maybe they should have become Buddhists. When I was a missionary in Japan, old ladies were always offering us the fruit offerings--pyramids of oranges...
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Posted by greg at 08:25 AM

November 05, 2005

Digging Dugway

Whoa. The Dugway Proving Ground is in Skull Valley, an hour and a half west of Salt Lake City. It's where the US Army tests chemical and biological weapons and defense systems. It's the site of an incineration program for the US's stockpiles of bio/chem weapons. And it's probably the greatest piece of Earth Art since the Cuzco Lines. The DoD's alterations of the landscape--seen here in Terraserver photographs--rival the Spiral Jetty, Double Negative, Roden Crater, even, in both aesthetic...
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Posted by greg at 11:38 PM

October 05, 2005

Go On Location With Pierre Huyghe's Penguin Movie

What is it with French people and penguin movies? Next Friday evening, French video artist Pierre Huyghe will be filming the second part of "A Journey That Wasn’t," a musical based on a trip to Antarctica. The first part was filmed in June by a crew setting out from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego to an Antarctic island. The performance will be shot after dusk on Friday at Wollman Rink. The work will debut at the 2006 Whitney Biennial, presumably with...
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Posted by greg at 12:55 PM

October 02, 2005

John Powers-a-Day at Virgil de Voldere Gallery

When I first met John Powers five+ years ago, he was like a Tibetan monk with a pile of sand. Only instead of sand, he had thousands of 1-inch woodblocks, which he transformed into a huge, impossibly intricate, mandala-like sculpture that sprawled across the floor of Exit Art's gallery. Every day throughout the exhibit, he scooted around on a little skateboard chair, replicating and altering dense patterns of blocks as he went. The work wasn't "finished" when the show...
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Posted by greg at 01:17 PM

September 28, 2005

Guggenheim? Good Luck With That

Tyler goes all Observer on Thomas Krens' butt, while giving new Guggenheim director Lisa Dennison a chance to share her vision for the credibility-starved museum: "I would like the person on the street at Pastis to be able to name our top five curators." Personally, after seeing Dennison threaten to deaccession the work of an artist who criticised the the way she installed it, ["Well, if he doesn't want to be in the museum's collection, then..."] I'm sure we'll be...
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Posted by greg at 10:55 AM

September 24, 2005

All Things Considered, I'd Rather Be In Passaic

I guess there's some...irony? justice? synchronicity? between Robert Smithson's non-site works--pieces of far-off locations displaced into a gallery--and twiddling your thumbs at a boring* Smithson symposium in a college auditorium while the last 36 hours of the artist's Floating Island tick by in gorgeous, sunny, autumnal splendor. Net net: forget the next three sessions of the symposium (maybe they'll be podcast), and get your butt to the river to watch the barges go by. [*although one potential bombshell was dropped,...
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Posted by greg at 01:08 PM

Water, Gate

"So when Bob Henry, captain of the Rachel Marie, who is in charge of towing Smithson's island, looked out across the East River Thursday afternoon and saw another piece of conceptual art gaining on him, he did not view the development kindly." A Miniature Gate in Hot Pursuit of a Miniature Central Park [nyt]...
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Posted by greg at 08:04 AM

September 23, 2005

Re-Visiting MoMA's Re-installed Contemporary Galleries

greg.moma reporting: The Modern has reinstalled the contemporary galleries on the second floor, and it's an invigorating pleasure and a huge improvement. Seeing it again yesterday with my mother, I found myself paying less attention to the show's conceptual and art historical underpinnings [Kelley's and Ray's juxtaposition with the Viennese Actionist photos of a doused bride, for example] and more to its sensory pleasures [or, in the case of Nauman's cacophanous drum/rat maze piece, its assaults]. You don't need to...
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Posted by greg at 07:29 AM

September 22, 2005

Smithson Symposium Saturday 9/24

New York Is Smithson Country this week, what with the Floating Island and the Whitney retrospective and the Smithson Symposium all day Saturday. What symposium, you say? Actually, that's what I said. I had no idea. Anyway, over four sessions, artists, curators and historians will discuss the Spiral Jetty, Smithson's writings, films, travels, and influence [HUGE, in case you can't make it]. Me, I'm going to hear Nancy Holt and folks talk about the construction and evolution of the Jetty;...
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Posted by greg at 07:50 AM

September 20, 2005

Speaking At A.I.R. in Chelsea Tuesday 9/20 at 630pm

I've been invited to speak Tuesday evening (tonight) at A.I.R. on the subject of women's art and the marketplace. A.I.R. is the oldest artist-run gallery for female artists in the city, and it was established for the purpose of fostering an audience and environment for showing and making art without the overriding commercial motivations that usually accompany gallery-based work. It's an interesting venue to discuss these subjects, which I wrote about last spring in the NYT, especially in light of...
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Posted by greg at 12:01 AM

September 16, 2005

Tote That Barge

Randy Kennedy has an article on the making of Robert Smithson's Floating Island, a tree-filled barge which will chug around lower Manhattan for a week or so:Smithson's project is just as intimately connected to Central Park, which he regarded, in all its artificial pastorality, as a conceptual artwork of its own. (He revered Frederick Law Olmsted and said that he found him more interesting than Duchamp.) While not nearly as monumental as Smithson's most famous work, "Spiral Jetty," a 1,500-foot-long...
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Posted by greg at 03:01 PM

September 01, 2005

MoMA-Hatin' On My Mind, Nerves

Well, things could certainly be worse, but I'm pretty fed up with the achingly nostalgic, self-appointed populist heroic, knee-jerk MoMA-hating that passes for an enlightened, progressive cultural standpoint in certain quarters of New York these days. James Wagner takes it personally and politically when PS1 won't let him shoot images of the Greater NY show. The MoMA Man holding him down. Sure, it puts a cramp in your photodiarykeeping to not be allowed to take pictures, but please. PS1 generally,...
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Posted by greg at 10:12 PM

August 23, 2005

Art: We're Here To Please

Regine just posted about some artists in the Hungarian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale who made portable chairs available to visitors, [correction: turns out the chairs were sponsor-driven, not artist-driven.] and it got me thinking about the customer service side of artviewing, especially in a setting like Venice. So much art is about the White Cube, the experience of seeing it, a "critique" of the institution/process, but yet so little of that actual process is actually addressed. A curator friend...
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Posted by greg at 02:36 PM

Richard Serra's Go-To Guy. And Gehry's, And Safdie's, And...

Metropolis Magazine's short interview with Rick Smith is so dense with fascinating information, I'd have to excerpt the whole thing, so just got read it now. He talks about convincing Frank Gehry to buy CATIA, the aerospace industry CAD/CAM software that revolutionized Gehry's--and, increasingly, other architects'--practice. He talks about how he helps Richard Serra make those Torqued Ellipses. [I love that Serra makes them by hand, with lead sheets and wooden elliptical forms, then converts them to information -- "height,...
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Posted by greg at 01:59 PM

August 11, 2005

Tokyo Snapshots 3.1: The Plight Of The Bourgeois

Art is used to lend Roppongi Hills, the massive land grab mall/office complex I'm loving hating these days, cultural credibility. Minoru Mori, the developer, clearly fancies his development is Tokyo's Rockefeller Center--and, by extension, he's Japan's Rockefeller. At least two pieces of large-scale sculpture that were previously shown at Rock Ctr are currently installed at Roppongi Hills: Takashi Murakami's Mr. Pointy & co., and Louise Bourgeois' Maman [above]. Maman was first shown at the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall. But...
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Posted by greg at 10:24 AM

August 04, 2005

Tokyo Snapshots, 1.5: Takashi Murakami Corp.

I still have a place in my heart--and fortunately, a spot in the old collection--for Takashi Murakami. The Louis Vuitton thing was rather masterful, and the sheer superfluity of luxury and fashion maps rather well onto some of the more expendable aspects of contemporary art, too. Likewise, I'm not unappreciative of Murakami's own creation myth, in which he and his characters subverted and exploited the banal world of Japanese idol-centric television, even as they were, in turn, exploited by the...
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Posted by greg at 03:36 AM

August 02, 2005

So Who's Steven Klein Ripping Off, Er "Attuned To" This Week?

He said Pitt and Jolie remained 'in character' through most of the two-day shoot, while the photographer orchestrated their performance in the manner of John Cassavetes, a pioneer of cinéma vérité."At least he's stealing from someone dead this time. He once did a photoshoot with Justin Timberlake all beat up and stuff, that was practically a bruise-for-bruise remake of then-barely-heard-of Roe Ethridge's bloody Andrew WK portrait which was featured in the same magazine. Well, helloooo:[Klein lapdog Vince] Aletti credits the...
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Posted by greg at 11:20 PM

July 28, 2005

It's Already Simple, Deborah: S.I. Bought It All Before You Got There

Turns out the art world's problem isn't that it's a market-obsessed, commoditization-frenzied bubble; it's that it isn't a market-obsessed, commoditization-frenzied bubble enough. No need to fear, though, Domino magazine is here:“Art is another form of shopping,” [Domino editor Deborah] Needleman said by phone July 25. “It’s not like buying a toaster oven, but it’s not that different, either.” Ms. Needleman said that her magazine’s monthly arts coverage will aim to “demystify” art in the same way the magazine makes home...
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Posted by greg at 09:54 AM

July 23, 2005

Another Unrealized Project: Gregor Schneider's Venice Cube

A couple of months ago, I wrote a NYT piece about artists' unrealized projects. The piece quoted several interviews conducted by the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, who sees these unrealized projects as under-publicized and under-appreciated aspects of an artist's work, especially compared to the high level of attention regularly paid to architects' unbuilt proposals. Well, Gregor Schneider's Venice Cube 2005 is one piece that's getting plenty of publicity. Schneider proposed building a large black cube out of scaffolding and fabric...
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Posted by greg at 07:53 AM

July 14, 2005

Are You There, God? It's Me, Janet.

Sarah Boxer is disappointed in--can I say it? too late--Janet Cardiff's online piece, Eyes of Laura. Cardiff created a journal (don't tell the bloggers, but she actually calls it a blog) for a bored security guard in the Vancouver art gallery which commissioned the piece. Boxer seems to feel the work depends on a suspension of disbelief that is actually IS a work of art, particularly one by Cardiff: "Maybe the illusion of the Web site collapses because it is,...
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Posted by greg at 08:43 AM

June 28, 2005

Philip-Lorca diCourtroom

Philip-Lorca diCorcia is being sued by this guy for taking his photograph on the street in Times Square in 2001. More precisely, he's being sued for exhibiting it, selling it, and publishing it in books, and his gallery, his publishers, and unnamed others who distribute the photo are included in the complaint. I got this image from the Guardian, which wrongly describes the image as taken in the subway. It was taken on the street, under a construction scaffolding....
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Posted by greg at 12:14 PM

June 26, 2005

Earth Art Via Satellite

[via land+living]In the wake of Google Maps' release, a few sites have started collecting coordinates and satellite images of various earth art works, including Spiral Jetty, Michael Heizer's Double Negative, James Turrell's Roden Crater, and Walter deMaria's Lightning Field. Here's my own contribution, a Google Map view of The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX. You can see Judd's large concrete sculptures lined up in the field, the twin barrel vaulted warehouses with milled aluminum boxes inside, the arcing row of...
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Posted by greg at 01:56 PM

Don't Ask Me How Many TV's I Have

In the NYT, Edward Lewine talks to some collectors of video- and projection-based art to find out what it's like to actually live with work that demands both attention and extra hardware. I know collectors who have flatscreens propped all around the house and long shelvesful of viewing copies of their work; whatever they have playing when you visit, you still read and assess the spines of their VHS's the way you would their book collection. And although we have...
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Posted by greg at 01:03 PM

On Francesco Vezzoli's Mirror To The Art World

It's a relief to know that some folks in Venice did know they were being targetted by Francesco Vezzoli's Biennale-stopping Caligula trailer--and are fans of his work because of it. Our Other Man In Venice was like, "but that's the whole point--it's an institutional critique from within the system. Vezzoli is a hustler, and he sees how the system works and is exposing it. And still, he's best friends with Miuccia." And after reading about Donatella's costumes for the Caligula...
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Posted by greg at 08:08 AM

June 23, 2005

Bring The Spiral Jetty Into Your Home!

Do you ever wish you still had those Matisse Cutout posters from freshman year? Well, the good old days are back, my art advertising-loving friend. BetterWall will sell you an actual, cleaned up, polyvinyl street banner from your favorite museum exhibition--or, if that one's sold out, from some other exhibition you chose to make yourself look sophisticated-- that's ready for hanging right in your own home! They're cheaper than art, but hella more expensive than posters. But if you've got...
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Posted by greg at 01:03 AM

June 15, 2005

Sleepwalkers at White Columns

One of my top picks of 2004 for film/video art, Sleepwalkers, by the British collective Inventory, will be included in the first ever US installation of their work at White Columns. It opens Friday 17 June and runs through 23 July. Sleepwalkers was filmed at an "Americana" festival in the UK, where Britons gather to celebrate such high-minded touchstones of American culture as monster trucks, RV's, and big rig tractor trailers with huge, pimped out sleeper cabs in the back....
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Posted by greg at 11:56 PM

The Views Of Venice

Finally hearing more reports and reviews of Venice. So Francesco Vezzoli's trailer for an imaginary remake of Gore Vidal's Caligula is the favorite of Artforum-istes and the Guardian alike? How amazingly uncritical of these critics to not notice that a star-filled, 5-minute trailer filled with S&M orgies--a contrived and condensed meta-work for a film that won't exist, a series of shorthanded, empty, titillating referents--is perfectly and cynically designed for ADD-addled art worlders at a sprawling Biennale? Don't these people know...
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Posted by greg at 11:36 PM

June 10, 2005

What do Kim's Video and Janet Cardiff Have In Common?

Why, copyright, for one thing. And a quaint, lingering fixation on outmoded technology for another. Kim's St Mark's location got busted by the NYPD, the Feds--"everybody was here," says one nonbusted employee--the other day, who confiscated all the computers and arrested four employees. Although the store has been a speakeasy-type outlet for bootleg copies of Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle and Todd Haynes' Barbie doll classic, Superstar!: The Karen Carpenter Story, neither Barbara Gladstone nor Christine Vachon--as intimidating as they are--was...
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Posted by greg at 07:31 AM

June 09, 2005

WPS1: Northern Italian Exposure

Good Morning, Cicely! Whether that's Cicely Brown or Cicely, Alaska, only time will tell. WPS1 is broadcasting live from a party barge near the Arsenale, site of the Venice Biennale. The web audio programs will should be up within a couple of hours days, max, of their actual creation, so if you're the other [*cough*] art world groupie not in Venice at the moment , you can still follow along online someday. But who cares what you think if you're...
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Posted by greg at 09:08 AM

June 07, 2005

Don't Book That Spiral Jetty Trip Just Yet

Recent record flooding in Utah has raised the water level (elevation, that is) of the Great Salt Lake to a five-year record high of 4,198 feet, enough to submerge the Spiral Jetty and scuttle any art world latecomer's summer pilgrimage plans. With mountain runoff, the lake is expected to keep rising through July. Meanwhile, the rest of the artworld is in Venice, which is also sinking. Coincidence? I wonder. Floods pump life back into lake [sltrib, thanks, dad]...
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Posted by greg at 08:12 AM

June 04, 2005

Seeing Cy Twombly Naked

Actually, when I saw Cy Twombly, he wasn't naked, and neither was I. I'd gone to Houston for work, right after graduating from college, and I had an extra day, so I set out to find this Rothko Chapel I'd heard about. No luck, or maybe it's that low-slung grey clapboard building. With the blackboard Twombly in the lobby. Holy moley, what is this place? It was, of course, the Menil Collection, and while I was standing in front of...
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Posted by greg at 09:11 PM

May 19, 2005

On Land Marks

The late Cuban-American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres is well-known for appropriating minimalism--the Establishment for his generation--and for imbuing that movement's self-consciously impersonalized, content-free, manufactured forms with deeply resonant emotional, biographical, and political metaphor. So it is again with the next generation, I thought, when I saw Land Marks (foot prints), photographs by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. Gonzalez-Torres made several works, including a billboard and a series of black & white photographs, of sand churned over with footprints. They're legible...
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Posted by greg at 11:29 PM

May 05, 2005

Elmgreen + Dragset + Me: The Not-Fit-To-Print Interview

Right after their installation, End Station, opened at the Bohen Foundation (415 West 13th Street, Tu-Sa 12-5), I did a back and forth email interview with Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset for the NY Times. The paper ended up reviewing the installation and not using this piece [I'll get you, Roberta Smith! And your little-- oh, never mind.], so here it is in its entirety, cleaned it up a bit, but with all my essay questions in their full,...
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Posted by greg at 07:22 AM

May 04, 2005

The Gates, for the sake of argument, fine: $20 million

the 2+ month gap between posts on banker/nude male swimer Dana Vachon's blog/: $650,000 Vachon's last post, an interview with Christo & Jeanne-Claude: priceless....
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Posted by greg at 09:57 AM

"Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?"

After a couple of months of interviews and trying to wrap my head around the question of why there were no expensive women artists, I read Linda Nochlin's seminal 1972 essay, "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" It was tremendously prescient and helpful; many of the explanations people had given me for why women's art wasn't, in fact, undervalued--or why it shouldn't be selling for more--were identical to the rationales Nochlin laid out--and then demolished--thirty years ago. When...
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Posted by greg at 07:52 AM

April 30, 2005

Your Women. How Much For Your Women?

I wrote an article for the NY Times Arts & Leisure section about the reasons art made by women sells for lower prices than art made by men. It’s a tricky subject, partly because art is subjective and inherently difficult to compare side-by-side, and partly because the art world is not known for the transparency of its financial information and sales figures. For the article, I narrowed the data sample used to the upcoming contemporary art sales in New York....
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Posted by greg at 08:03 AM

April 28, 2005

Olafur Eliasson: West of Rome, East of LA

Who's the must-have light installation artist in Los Angeles these days? If you answered, "James Turrell," pack up your Uggs and get out. In Pasadena this week, Olafur Eliasson debuted a modernist hill houseful of installations and interventions, organized by his Italian gallerist, Emi Fontana. Check out pictures and descriptions at arcspace, or pour yourself a glass of whine at artforum diary, which features largely content-free Olafur soundbites and bitching about the opening's lack of valet parking. Or go yourself,...
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Posted by greg at 11:07 PM

April 22, 2005


The soft, supple opening to Charlie Finch's latest column on Artnet:We first met Laurel Nakadate in 2001, right after she received her MFA from Yale. While in New Haven, Laurel lived in a single-room occupancy apartment house full of lonely, homely, aging single men whom she proceeded to bait and cocktease mercilessly in her video work.By "we," I think he means "me and my lonely, homely, single hand." Critic, art world svengali, and breast man Charlie Finch stick his own...
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Posted by greg at 04:11 PM

April 14, 2005

To Do: White Columns Benefit Auction, 4/16

There's a lot of goodlooking work that's been donated to White Columns' 2005 benefit auction: nice pieces by Verne Dawson, Peter Doig, Rachel Harrison, a pointless-but-nice T-shirt by Payne/Relph, a wheel-thrown ceramic pushpin by Mungo Thompson. Silent and online bidding is on right now, and some lots will end with a live auction on the night of the 16th. White Columns 2005 benefit auction...
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Posted by greg at 05:02 PM

April 12, 2005

That Che Image And The Guy Who Made It

For an exhibition in Dublin, Dutch artist Aleksandra Mir interviews Jim Fitzpatrick, the Irish artist who created the stencil-like poster of Che Guevara. It's a fascinating story of copyright, revolution, and appropriation, told by someone who's been largely invisible, even though he made one of the most widely known--and widely copied--images of the last 50 years. Some interesting tidbits: - Fitzpatrick originally made 1,000 two-color posters, with the stars hand-colored yellow. - Several hand-printed early variations--and one painting--made for an...
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Posted by greg at 12:01 PM

April 07, 2005

Heh. If Dorothea Lange Had Worked For Allure

Popular Photography gives Migrant Mom a Photoshop makeover for April 1. [via waxy, see before/after images]...
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Posted by greg at 10:33 AM

Weekly World News: "Pope Struck By Meteor Again"

+ * 3 || [headline via the comments on Grammar Police]...
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Posted by greg at 08:53 AM

April 06, 2005


It's been a pretty crappy day, already, so don't make me decide which writing is more annoying, self-reflexive, and wilfully misinformed and misrepresentative about its subject: Lee Siegel's free-associational riffs in Slate about Cy Twombly's "doodling," which, after all these years IS apparently just like your kid could do. Bonus quote: "You cannot fully understand Twombly's art unless you know that he is gay." [huh?? I DID pick up "fatuous" from here, though.] Hilton Kramer's self-contradictory, dishonest, and obtuse reading...
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Posted by greg at 06:07 PM

April 03, 2005

Rotterdam Swag: New Shopping Bag, by Susan Bijl

I received one of these bags as a thank you gift for one of the panel discussions I did in February at Art Rotterdam. [Inside were a couple of great catalogues and a fine bottle of spirits which I shared away, since I don't drink. Thanks again to the folks from Het Wilde Weten for the opportunity.] Anyway, the bag rocks. It's made out of a super-light, super-strong coated nylon normally used for kites. It's designed by artist Susan Bijl,...
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Posted by greg at 09:21 PM

March 18, 2005

From The Armory Show Lost & Found Dept.

From my friends Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset comes a show, er, a work that could be titled, Untitled (Hah, made you look!). Right before they left town--and after the opening of their installation at the Bohen Foundation--the artists installed a piece at The Wrong Gallery, Maurizio Cattelan, Mass Gioni, and Ali Subotnick's foot-deep-gallery-in-a-doorway, next to Andrew Kreps. They dressed a Mini with all the paraphrenalia of a long trip abandoned--maps, lotion, crumbs and change on the floor--and a...
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Posted by greg at 02:23 PM

March 16, 2005

While You Were At The Armory

"And with art, there are always boobs, liberated by liquor, out where they shouldn't be, pointing around at paintings they don't understand and could never afford." -The NY Observer's Rebecca Dana reporting from the opening of art dealer Jack Tilton's new East 76th Street gallery. Bottle Racket [Don't scroll down so fast you miss: -Some adman praising his own scripts for Dasani commercials, written "intending Wes Anderson to direct" [Coke spends $2bn/yr on ads, so of course, they got him,...
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Posted by greg at 08:39 AM

March 15, 2005

Damien Who?

From the Times: But, at first, the thought of painting in this Photo Realist manner intimidated him. When he began in earnest about three and a half years ago, he realized why. "I started out airbrushing," he said. "But the images looked flat, dead. For two years I didn't think it was going to work." Finally, he said, he disciplined himself to represent each image faithfully by hand. Still, he doesn't consider himself a serious painter. "I would feel uncomfortable...
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Posted by greg at 10:55 AM

March 08, 2005

Has Anyone Seen The Flavin Show in Fort Worth?

AND at The National Gallery? I'd love to hear how it's installed in Ando's (probably) more sympathetic building. Huh. They call The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth "The Modern"....
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Posted by greg at 11:39 PM

March 04, 2005

On Demand

The other night Thomas Demand offhandedly described some of the insane details of the production of Clearing, the massive photograph of a forest which is now built into The Modern at MoMA. The photograph was laminated onto two sheets of architectural safety glass that were so large, they had to use satellite-curing ovens at ESA, the European Space Agency--at night--to fabricate it. When the request for the work, Thomas said, "no one quite knew what they were getting." [On an...
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Posted by greg at 07:31 AM

February 21, 2005

NFS: Art You Can't Buy

Tangentially related to both preparations for my upcoming talks on the art market in Rotterdam and to The Gates being rather showily not for sale, I've been thinking about art you can't buy or sell. e-flux's Do It! exhibition is full of artworks you create or complete by following the artist's instructions. Sometimes a museum paid the artist to let them keep these originally temporary works, but the museum can't sell them. And you can't buy or sell them. [You...
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Posted by greg at 10:56 PM

I'm Speaking In Rotterdam This Week

Shameless plug first: I'm speaking and participating in two panel discussions at Art Rotterdam this week. Thursday at 2000 hours [when is that? someone please tell me.] I'm talking about the effects on art and artists of the art market's global dynamic. That's at Het Wilde Weten, an alternative art space in Rotterdam, where the other panelists include: artists Jeanne van Heeswijk and Joep van Lieshout; Mondriaan Foundation director Gitta Luiten; journalist Marc Spiegler; and Amsterdam gallery owner Maurice van...
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Posted by greg at 10:42 PM

February 20, 2005

Now Available: Apprentice of Nothing T-shirts

I just made myself a little batch of "apprentice of nothing" t-shirts, which should be here in about 10 days. I'm taking a couple, and the rest are available--first come, first served--for $20, domestic shipping included. [mon. night update: they're gone.] They're American Apparel superfine jersey, not fitted (L, XL) and come in just one style: white text screened on saffron. [limited edition apprentice of nothing t-shirt] [update: in the spirit of transparency, I thought it best to lay out...
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Posted by greg at 12:49 PM

"You Ridiculous Apprentice of Nothing"

To: From: someone using the name of a recognizable artist of Christo's generation Date: 2/20/05, 22:06 Subject: the blog of greg allen!Allen, the fastidious analysis of Christo's project you make, the stupid remarks and investigations over his car, his plates, his parties and his private parts [?? -g.o] make you look a moronic paparazzo searching for the Olsen Twins for a cover in "Daily News" or any other tabloid of your choice. Now, you should say that this art...
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Posted by greg at 07:02 AM

February 17, 2005

I Get Around With A Little Help From My Friends

Just to clarify a couple of points: the Christos' $350,000 Maybach is not part of the $20 million; in fact, it's not even theirs. It's being made available to them by their friend--in the Maybach marketing department. Maybach's Leon Hustinx, coincidentally, purchased two C&J-C works related to The Gates, which he has graciously made available to the Daimler Chrysler Art Collection. The Christos' do not accept donations or sponsors for their projects, preferring to pay for everything themselves. While the...
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Posted by greg at 11:35 PM

February 13, 2005

Well That Took About A Day. Gates Jokes

No doubt after a euphoric and joyous walk through the park yesterday morning, and a group hug with the world, Daily Show writer Rob Kutner got back to work--making Gates jokes. My favorite is above: "Shut UP Jen. I'm totally at The Gates." The Gates A Photo Essay By Rob Kutner []...
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Posted by greg at 11:55 PM

The Gates Bill

Don't get me wrong; I'm just as giddy as the next schoolgirl [sic] about The Gates, I just can't see how they cost $20 million. That's what the Christos say they cost, and it's a figure which is dutifully reported in every story, but it's something which I've never seen examined or analyzed. Most discussion of The Gates focuses on their populism; this is not just public art, but an artistic experience given to the people. The back seat...
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Posted by greg at 04:41 PM

February 11, 2005

Advertisers and Links Of Note

First, I'd like to welcome and give a passionate cry to new advertiser Kinsey, an American Experience documentary airing Monday, February 14th on PBS. Psst, even though Kinsey's work is half a century old, don't tell the Secretary of Education. Meanwhile, Daddy Types may sound like something Kinsey would've been into, but it's actually a site for new dads. Check that one out, too. Art world news I shouldn't have had to find out for myself: Damien Hirst works...
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Posted by greg at 10:21 PM

All The Vermeers In New York (Plus The One In Boston)

I can't quite say why, but I had a pretty intense Jon Jost phase when I first moved to New York. I saw his All The Vermeers In New York several times, lured in by the title, but kept there by the film's demanding and precise construction, and its underlying art-vs-money themes. [That said, I don't remember it too well; better add it to the rental queue.] Anyway, I'm sure--pretty sure. kind of sure. hoping--that when the Whitney Museum put...
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Posted by greg at 03:22 PM

February 08, 2005

"Ladies, Step Away From The Bags"

Artforum's gossip columnist Rhonda Lieberman wasn't on the list for artfully poseurish artworld duo [Yvonne Force-Villareal and Sandra Hamburg] Mother, Inc.'s recent Fendi-sponsored CD listening party, so she traded a blowjob for entry. At least that's how it reads. A little context: Mother, Inc. started as backup singers for Fischerspooner. The title quote above comes from the oh-so-vigilant guards watching the sponsor's display case. Hot Commodities [artforum scene & herd]...
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Posted by greg at 11:50 PM

February 07, 2005

Every Building On The Sunset Strip--And Then Some

When I saw Amazon's A9 Local yellow pages feature, the first thing I thought of was Ed Ruscha's 1966 artist book, Every Building on The Sunset Strip. It was the first Ruscha book I bought, and it makes me laugh to remember how I thought I paid too much for it way back when (it's easily 10 times as expensive now). Anyway, using Mikel Maron's A9 whole-street-grabbing script, I tried all through that weekend to re-create Ruscha's Sunset Strip. The...
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Posted by greg at 04:23 PM

February 05, 2005


No one rips off quicker than window dressers. They take next week's ideas from last week's paper, or they stop by the magazine stand on the way to Home Depot. One Monday morning, I passed by Bergdorf's on my way to work just as they were unveiling the new windows. I stopped dead in my tracks as, unbelievably, two artist friends' works were ripped off at once: the backdrops were Stephen Hendee's crystalline architectural forms made of foamcore and black...
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Posted by greg at 11:59 AM

February 04, 2005

Watch Regarding Clementine Close Tonight

The exhibition that Choire Sicha curated which inexplicably included me, Regarding Clementine, is closing this evening. There's a swanky beer bust [sic] from 6-8, a closing party, to which the less stalker-ish among you are definitely invited. Clementine Gallery 526 W 26th St, Chelsea Arts Bldg, 2nd Floor [note: For the more stalkerish, the address is 526 East 26th st, and it starts at midnight.]...
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February 01, 2005

Look At Me, I'm At Art Rotterdam 2005 Feb. 24 & 25

Assuming they don't close down all discussions of art, film, and culture before I get there, I'll be in Rotterdam, participating in a couple of panel discussions around the upcoming Art Rotterdam fair. In one debate on Feb. 25, Saskia Bos, director of De Appel in Amsterdam, will moderate as we discuss private and public funding for the arts, particularly for museums. [I'm there to discuss my work at MoMA with the Junior Associates.] Also on the panel: Claudia Rech,...
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Posted by greg at 09:27 PM | TrackBack

January 28, 2005

Buying a Tino Seghal

Things perked up when Sehgal explained how he actually sells his work in the absence of documentary photographs or certificates of authentication—a weird tale of oral contracts memorized by lawyers and of the artist teaching the buyer how to perform the work, thus instigating a pedagogical daisy chain if and when it's sold again. Later, he convincingly refuted suggestions that his work was either subversive or a rehash of '60s conceptual strategies, asserting that it is, rather, a politicized inquiry...
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Posted by greg at 10:46 PM | TrackBack

January 21, 2005

Regard me at Regarding Clementine

I'm gonna be working at the Clementine Gallery as part of Choire's show again today. If you're in Chelsea, stop by and say hi. Clementine Gallery, 526 W 26th st, Suite 211 Previously: Regarding at Regarding Clementine...
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Posted by greg at 11:47 AM | TrackBack

January 19, 2005

On Smithson, Space & Time

Another cover from Life—the lunar surface photographed by the Apollo astronauts in 1969—yields a comparison to Smithson's cover for Artforum published just a month later: a distribution of mirrors across a square of parched earth, one of a number of illustrations from his "Incidents of Mirror-Travel in the Yucatan." Placing these images together, which speaks to an argument about travel as a form of cultural repetition that suspends an experience of the present, demands a great deal of archival legwork...
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Posted by greg at 08:41 AM | TrackBack

January 18, 2005

On Math & Art In France

Although Gustav Eiffel didn't explicitly use one himself, an American engineering professor has come up with a mathematical expression for the shape of the Eiffel Tower, based on its creator's own studies of wind resistance, torquing, and load transfer. Which reminds me of the photos by Hiroshi Sugimoto at the Fondation Cartier, Mathematical Forms. They are monumental images of beautiful, little plaster stereometric models, which were created in 19th and early 20th c. Germany to illustrate complex trigonometric formulas....
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Posted by greg at 10:44 PM | TrackBack

January 16, 2005

From Anne Truitt's Journal, 'Prospect'

I just read this Friday night on the train. Seemed apt:Brenda Richardson, deputy director of the Baltimore Museum, installed the exhibition there. We had agreed that she would install alone so when I walked into the rooms filled with work dating from First, 1961 to 1991, I had the delight of seeing it from an entirely fresh point of view. One of the trepidations I feel when my sculptures are exhibited is that they may be harmed: people like to...
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January 14, 2005

Combined With Archie Bunker's Chair, They Cover The Full Spectrum

The Smithsonian, specifically the National Museum of The American Indian, accepted a gold record for "Y.M.C.A" from the Indian guy in the Village People. For all the disco celebration in the rotunda during the handover ceremony, it pales in comparison to the Washington Post writer's own campiness. Celebrity Artifact [WaPo, via Towleroad]...
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Posted by greg at 10:20 AM | TrackBack

January 08, 2005

Marinetti, I know, but who's Mussolini?

Jonathan Jones gives a brilliantly outraged review of a show of 'Italian Aeropaintings,' a Futurist subgenre which flourished in the 1930's. The curators at the Estorick Collection say this work demonstrates "a passion for the new perspectives and vertiginous excitements of aviation - an innocent wonder we have lost in our age of routine civilian flight." What they don't say, and what gets Jones so rightly worked up: '30s Italy was ruled by fascists; the planes in the paintings are...
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Posted by greg at 09:59 AM | TrackBack

January 01, 2005

Re-inventing the Lightbulb, 2/2: Stephen Flavin

Stephen Flavin is the only child of Dan Flavin and his first wife, Sonja Severdija. Trained as a filmmaker, Stephen, who lived apart from his father since his parents divorce, began assisting his father's company, Dan Flavin, Ltd, in 1992. His first efforts--producing the artist's all-important certificates by computer (previously, they had been variously handwritten or typed) and converting the elaborate and disparate index-card-based inventory of works, which was split among several galleries, to an electronic database--have helped in efforts...
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Re-inventing the Light Bulb, 1/2: Emily Rauh Pulitzer

Although they happened too late to make the article, I had some enlightening conversations with Emily Rauh Pulitzer, a collector and curator of Flavin's work, and with the artist's son, Stephen Flavin, who manages his father's estate. They're worth sharing here for the additional light they shed [sic] on Flavin's legacy and the complexities and contradictions inherent in his deceptively simple work. I'll post them separately, first Pulitzer....
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Posted by greg at 09:20 AM | TrackBack

December 29, 2004

If I Had An Artforum Top Ten List...

I would put Origins Clear Improvement® Active Charcoal mask to clear pores as my number one. I was introduced to this miracle product many years ago, when I got a tube in a gift bag after an art benefit (Origins is owned by Estee Lauder co., which is owned by--oh, you do the math.). Well, I've been in love with it ever since. Nothing I've tried provides quite the feeling of cleansing, tautening rejuvenation that I get from just a...
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Posted by greg at 10:18 AM | TrackBack

December 28, 2004

Did Someone Say Art Market Bubble?

Richard Polsky does a round-up of the 2004 art market on Artnet and makes some predictions for 2005, and guess what? Of the dozens of artists he looks at, only four--Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Felix Gonzalez-Torres (??) and Ross Bleckner--are anticipated to go down next year. Most are going up, or are predicted to be "status quo," which I take to mean either "they'll go up, but I don't know why" or "they'll go down, but I don't want to...
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December 25, 2004

Rereading Anne Truitt

James Meyer: You turned eighty last year. Has age, in some way, affected your work? Anne Truitt: I don't think age makes any difference except that it endows a person with freedom. Age cuts you off, untethers you. It's a great feeling. The other thing is, when you get to be eighty, you're looking back and down, out from a peak. I can look down and see my life from my own little hill; I see this plain, all the...
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December 23, 2004

The People In Your Neighborhood

It took us a few months to realize it, but one summer evening, the street we were walking along grew increasingly familiar. We'd driven on this street, I told my wife, this is where we parked to go meet Anne Truitt. Sure enough, around the corner was the house she'd invited us to over a year and a half earlier, after I'd asked a curator and mutual friend had introduce us. We had a wonderful time; she was very gracious,...
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My 2004 Video Art Top Ten Seven

I first compiled this list for the NY Times, who, after clearing up (mis)communication from some over-eager assistants, didn't ask for it after all. I am publishing it here, as is. The works in the order I wrote them, nothing else. In my mind, they're all winners: Pierre Huyghe, Huyghe & Corbusier: Harvard Project - The story of the creation of Corbusier's only US building, told in puppet opera. Christian Jankowski, What Remains - Jankowski interviews aspiring actors at Cinecitta...
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December 19, 2004

The Anti-Artforum Diary

From Steven Kaplan's accounts of Art Basel Miami Beach, a report from the Rosa de la Cruz party:Before discussing the highlights of the collection, I need to address some unseemly carping that emanated from other coverage of the evening. Regarding the traffic jam -- countless limos, cars, buses and taxis -- surrounding chez [how about casa, Steven? -g.] de la Cruz, which required certain august personages to walk a couple of blocks just to reach the house (the horror!)...Dispatch from...
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December 18, 2004

The 6th-10th Most Frequently Borrowed Titles From e-flux video rental

6. Living a Beautiful Life, Corinna Schnitt, United States/Germany (2003, 13 minutes). A beautiful couple in a Beverly Hills mansion describe what appears to be their perfect life; their dialogue actually comes from Ms. Schnitt's interviews with 14-year-olds in Los Angeles about their ideas of happiness. 7. Polaroid Cocaine, Michel Auder, United States (1993, 5 minutes). A montage of images accompanied by cabaret music that, in Mr. Auder’s words, "simultaneously reveal and feed an addiction to spectacle." 8. Occupation,...
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Posted by greg at 09:38 PM | TrackBack

December 16, 2004

Im Memoriam: Agnes Martin

Untitled, 1962 exhibited in "Agnes Martin: Five Decades," April 2003 at Zwirner and Wirth, New York. Related: "Agnes Martin: Five Decades," Zwirner and Wirth On the artist in Taos: Lillian Ross meets with Agnes Martin Art worth crossing the street for Agnes Martin: Homage to Life, what turned out to be her final show at Pace Wildenstein, where she broke with her traditional grid and painted geometric shapes that recalled her earliest work. Normally, I'd say, "Thanks, Tyler," but...
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Posted by greg at 04:15 PM | TrackBack

December 15, 2004

Closing The Barnes Door After The Horses Already Left

Great art's demands are more important than the wishes of the mere collector who bought it. The fabric of our culture has been rent in twain, and no one will donate to a museum ever again. I've heard it all already. Frankly, I think they should have left the Barnes Collection where and as Barnes left it. It was the Barnes Foundation board that needed to be packed up and transplanted to the juvenile detention facility (conveniently, the future site...
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Posted by greg at 10:42 PM | TrackBack

Artforum Diary: Competitive Ennui

My secret indulgence the last couple of weeks--and the reason I didn't care that I missed Art Basel Miami Beach this year--is Artforum's new Diary feature. It's like an art world reality TV show, where the magazine's editors and contributors compete for the Walter Benjamin-inspired title of Greatest Flaneur. Translation: a bunch of highly educated, insider's insidery, seen-it-all-before snobs go to art parties, dish jaded, bitchy gossip, and try to outdo each other with how over it they are. In...
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December 02, 2004

But without the fake blood, is it even a real McCarthy?

Ceci n'est pas un McCarthy, même s'il coute $6mmA performance artist has been arrested in Germany after trying to spray blood on a sculpture of Michael Jackson. Istvan Kantor tried to squeeze a capsule of blood onto Paul McCarthy's Michael Jackson and Bubbles sculpture at Berlin's Hamburger Bahnhof gallery. So reports the BBC News this morning. Kantor, who's pulled stunts like this before, was being filmed by his own accompanying video crew. He was arrested and released yesterday. While normally...
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December 01, 2004

What We Think Of The Americans

"But enough about me, let's talk about you. What do YOU think of me?" I hate it that I have a line from Beaches burned into my brain, but once in a while, it comes in handy. I know what you're saying: "the last thing I need to hear is what a bunch of tea-sippin' euros think of Americans right now." Mercifully, The Americans being thought about here are not Robert Novak's, but Robert Frank's. On Friday, the Tate Modern...
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November 21, 2004

Given Wi-Fi Enough And Time, What I'd Like To Watch From Tate Modern's Archive

Pamela Lee: After Obsolescence The art historian talks about time and the work of On Kawara, Wolfgang Staehle, and Bill Morrison (Decasia) Todd Haynes in conversation with Richard Dyer Olafur Eliasson, around the time of his The Weather Project Painting Present: Francis Alÿs [what's up with that guy?] Agnes Varda Martin Creed some parts of Moving Image as Art: Time-based media in the art gallery [thanks, archinect]...
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November 20, 2004

Felix On Richter At DIA

When we went to DIA Beacon last fall, we gave the Gerhard Richter gallery a cursory glance on the way in, and then were transfixed by it on the way out. It's the kind of thing you have to be in the mood for, attuned to, and that seems to take some time. Felix Salmon feels similarly, but he writes about the experience much more clarity. Richter at Dia []...
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November 19, 2004

On Art At MoMA

I heard there was art at MoMA. Here are some highlights: City Square, Alberto Giacometti's tabletop sculpture of personages on non-intersecting trajectories used to be embedded in the wall at the entrance of the post-war galleries. Now it's installed in the center of the room, so you can walk all the way around it. Giacometti described his attenuated figures as existing on the edge of perception, as if they just came into view on a hazy horizon. I've always wanted...
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November 18, 2004

Hilton Kramer Wakes Up, Finds Out It's 2004

Needless to say, he's in a bad mood. Related, I'm guessing, from Christopher Knight in the LAT: "It will also drive some people nuts, which is another reason to applaud. At a preview, one notoriously fusty critic was heard to shriek, in reference to what he imagined was being done to Barr's legacy, 'This is patricide! Patricide!'" Oedipus on 53rd St [Observer]...
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November 17, 2004

Y Tu MoMA Tambien

While a few "right on"s and "elitist"s trickled in over the weekend, and my favorite--"MoMA is a corporation, the new building is a corporate HQ. You are a foot soldier"--just arrived yesterday morning, the quality of the responses to my little MoMA admissions price challenge did not improve with time. I should've wrapped this up and posted the winners a couple of days ago, but I've been too busy hobnobbing with a bunch of MoMA bigwigs (10%) and a kid...
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Raghubir Singh at Sepia International

Was it Documenta where I was taken in by Raghubir Singh's quietly masterful color photographs of India, which bring an artist's eye to documentary photos. Gabriel Orozco meets Cartier-Bresson. There was a great show at the Smithsonian last year, and now his work has come to Sepia International. In his review, The Voice's Vince Aletti tries to gently correct the art historical record to reflect Singh's early(-er) and powerful use of color. Scoot over, Egglestone, and let Singh up there...
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November 14, 2004

Talking About The Weather (Project)

The artist Olafur Eliasson will be speaking at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC about his work, including last year's The Weather Project at the Tate in London. Olafur Eliasson, The Demetrion Lecture: Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7pm. []...
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November 11, 2004

MoMA Free Passes Update

Thanks for the response so far. I should say that while I think Kurt Andersen's idea for the federal government to pay for all the country's museum entry fees is a good one, I see two problems with it: 1) the problem in the White House, and 2) it's Kurt Andersen's idea, so if you'd like me to send him the passes... Related: Free Museums for All [Studio 360, 7/28/2001] My diatribe supporting Billionaires For MoMA which, if you make...
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November 10, 2004

Free MoMA?? Try F(*#%-ing Expensive MoMA

[Update: I would point out this is my own opinion; I do volunteer work for MoMA, but I don't speak for the Museum or any of its officers. I wrote this in direct reaction to, which makes a lot of assertions about MoMA that, in my experience, don't ring true at all.] And that's why it's $20. When the MoMA's Film curator presented the story of the new building, as told through a series of silent movie title...
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November 09, 2004

Because you can?

Why else would you exhibit the same work in two different places? The Museum of Modern Art has this stack, by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, in two galleries--the Prints Galleries and the Contemporary Gallery. I'm trying to think of any other artist whose work could be shown in two places at once. Meanwhile, the new building is literally awe-inspiring. My biggest fear was that the gargantuan galleries would dwarf the art. It's not even close. I remember during the OK trial,...
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November 08, 2004

Personal Islands Off Manhattan: The Smithson Edition

This is better than pirates. Modernartnotes reports that the Whitney is preparing to realize Robert Smithson's work, Floating Island, a landscaped barge which will be tugged around New York Harbor. I've been waiting for this since Spring 1997, when Brian Conley and Joe Amrhein talked about doing it after their successful recreation of Smithson's Dead Tree at Pierogi 2000. Related: Whitney gossip at Modern Art Notes Artforum reviews Dead Tree at Pierogi 2000, May '97 Dead Tree and Floating...
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November 04, 2004

Team France Harvard Opera Police

After the stunning success of Team America World Police [Hey, turns out they got the US political climate right after all...], puppet projects are breaking out all over. At Harvard's Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, the artist Pierre Huyghe is staging a puppet meta-opera that tells the stories of Le Corbusier's design for building and Huyghe's production of the opera. [That's the "meta-" part. And yes, the puppets have puppets.] The performance is November 18th at 6pm; a filmed version...
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October 30, 2004

Love My Advertisers

Just a quick and heartfelt thanks to the wide-ranging advertisers on Be sure to show them that yes, in fact, money can buy them love, or a reasonable facsimile: Fleshbot Films' debut DVD, Necromania, "directed" by "director" Ed Wood [I mean, can you imagine what the makegoods are like over at Fleshbot? Why not stand at attention for them?], of the North Pole Kringles [A funwhat cryptic site for now, but I'm sure there's more coming. After all,...
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October 11, 2004

Yow. Guardian gets all in Pinault's business

Viva La Revolution! The Guardian's loyal apparatchik, Amelie Gentleman demands that contemporary art collector, museum-builder, Frenchman, and "rapacious capitalist" Francois Pinault confess his artistic crimes. Crimes number one, two, and three: pouring hundreds of millions of his own euros into to build a world-class collection--the likes of which doesn't exist anywhere else in France--and to turn a ruined factory--or, as she calls it, the "temple of France's workers"--into a Tadao Ando-designed museum. She tries to scare France senseless by comparing...
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October 07, 2004

On & On & On

You have 9 days and counting to see David Zwirner's show of 40 years of On Kawara's date paintings. Kawara began painting these works on January 6, 1966, and he has developed a particular set of rules for their creation: he must complete the painting by the end of that day; the date format is determined by the country where he happens to be (Esperanto where they don't use Roman characters, and always hand-painted, not stencilled); there are eight color...
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October 06, 2004

I Have Seen The Light

And it is good. Just got back from the newly opened Dan Flavin retrospective at the National Gallery this morning, and it's pretty wonderful. Some of the galleries are oddly cramped--anyone realize how unfriendly I.M. Pei's actual galleries are to art?--especially if you're used to seeing Flavins in dedicated spaces like Dia:Beacon, Dia:Bridgehampton, or Judd's Spring St. loft. But every time I start to write how there are too many Tatlin pieces in this gallery, or how that gallery would...
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September 30, 2004

Hints of the New Museum of Modern Art

In the last two days, I've heard two curators from MoMA talk extensively about what the new building and the reinstallation of the art in it will be like. To use the phrase of the evening, I've gotten mixed signals. Terry Riley discussed Yoshio Taniguchi's building as the next major datapoint in the generations-long experiment of how architecture should address modern and contemporary art. In contrast to the Guggenheims, which engage art with their own influential, expressive intent, MoMA's buildings--almost...
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September 14, 2004

A Hen in the Foxhouse

Arist Monica Bonvicini will participate in a panel discussion at Art Forum Berlin, the giant art fair, next week. Her co-panelists: gallerist Joe Amrhein, and collectors Harald Falckenberg and Mera & Don Rubell. The moderator is Marc Spiegler, an srt writer who made this sort of trouble at Basel, too. The Topic: "Bigger! Faster! Out of control! Does today's Art Market devour Artists?" From the description: "Since the early 1990s, the art market has been rocked by change. There are...
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September 04, 2004

The Woman in the Hefty Bag Speaks

"We are starting to go buggy, just getting on one another's nerves," Mrs Mildred Mauney, 81, told The New York Times, after spending the night with some strangers in a classroom-turned-shelter in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Whatever, Millie. Join the club. Mrs. Mauney's must-have accessory for evacuating their mobile home, an inflated trash bag, reminded me of a Bill Cunningham snap of hard-core fashion muse Isabella Blow that was used to illustrate a NYT street photography story in 2002. I...
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September 01, 2004

Artforum's Number One Top Ten

Whoa. Choire Sicha has gone all Kit Carruthers on Artforum's monthly Top Ten list; it's truly a site to behold. Usually, even the brainiest people have a hard time coming up with ten relevant things to say, and they pack it with esoteric crap or their friend's website or something. Choire doesn't--um, actually, he does. There's esoteric crap ("Remember that awesome Amy Globus video shown last winter at Gorney Bravin + Lee, with two octopuses sucking their way through some...
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The Cattle Guards of Box Elder County

So how did there come to be street signs for the Spiral Jetty? For years, the only way to see Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty was from the air, or in a photograph, or in the artist's own making-of film, which was plenty for 99.9% of art worlders and normals alike. When the Jetty first re-emerged from the Great Salt Lake in 1994, only a few people knew about it, and even fewer actually took the trouble to drive out and...
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August 30, 2004

How to get to Spiral Jetty? It's never been easier.

On the 10-year anniversary of the re-emergence of Spiral Jetty and my first visit, and in keeping with our family tradition of visiting the Jetty whenever we attend a wedding in Salt Lake City, we popped on over Saturday in a rented Camry. These new signs made finding the Jetty so easy, even Artforum could do it....
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Benesse Art Site Naoshima, the Marfa of Japan

While we were in Japan, we made a detour to see the growing collection of contemporary art on Naoshima, a tiny island near Okayama, and within spitting distance of the massive Seto Inland Sea Bridge. In explaining Naoshima, I've taken to calling it the Marfa of Japan, but that's only partly accurate. Benesse represents one collector's--not an artist's--increasingly significant attempt to create an internationally recognized destination for contemporary art pilgrims and to revitalize/transform a dying town in the process. I...
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August 18, 2004

Spiral Jetty: Still Spiral, Not a Jetty

Todd Gibson's posting an extensive first-hand account of his recent visit to the Spiral Jetty, which, because of an ongoing drought, is now completely out of the water. That's fast. Some friends went in early July, and it still had water around it, although the Jetty itself was entirely walkable. [via bloggy] Faithful pilgrims of contemporary art will also appreciate Gibson's account of his visit to the Lightning Field. He does get around. Related: Other Spiral Jetty and Smithson posts...
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August 17, 2004

On Collectors' Museums, or pot kettle, kettle pot

WP art critic Blake Gopnik is wants calling for DC's bigwig art collectors--capitalists all, who else can afford a Richter?--to go communist, and open a collective to share their hoard with the contemporary art-starved DC public. It'll never happen, but not for the reasons Tyler Green thinks. If Miami's experience is any indication, hyper-competitive, status-hungry collectors who open exhibition spaces have less than a 1 in 4 chance of not embarassing themselves. [When I first did the rounds of the...
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August 16, 2004

Photos from Japan, with apologies to Lightningfield, Bluejake, et al

Unsurprisingly, next to this store, which I dubbed, "Jen," was a food court where you could buy a sweetened crepe with bananas, gelato, custard, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and powdered sugar. This ramshackle building was next to our Circle K. I didn't think much of it until we walked by it at night, when it was open, and the upstairs was hopping. The next day, looking at its inventive, case study-like I-beam construction from across the street, I came...
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July 18, 2004

WPS1: Picking up speed, and not just because I'm on it

Ok, they're definitely getting the hang of it. This week, WPS1 broadcast an archival MoMA artist panel that was, in retrospect, formative to me, one of the art events that really resonates with me: In 1994, Kirk Varnedoe hosted Richard Serra, Brice Marden, and Francesco Clemente in a discussion of Cy Twombly. I went for the Twombly and Marden, but I stayed for the Serra. Through sheer intelligence and what I later came to recognize as great panel stunts--tossing off...
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July 13, 2004

The Best D.C. Art isn't in D.C.

In the late 1990's the artist Donald Moffett began making extraordinary paintings that seemed like a departure from the politically charged work that first garnered attention--and controversy--in protests against the Reagan/Bush-era AIDS debacle. Seductively minimal paintings where it seemed the material itself was the subject: oil paint extruded--somehow, the technique is hard to grasp--into lush carpets, finely woven nets, menacing razor-like bands. These highly aestheticized paint objects have a powerful physical presence. Then last year, in a show at Marianne...
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July 07, 2004

The Mellowing of Richard Serra

[via MAN] What's shocking about Richard Serra's poster for thick paintstick silhouette of the hooded Abu Ghraib prisoner--isn't his use of text or figurative representation, both completely absent from the rest of his work (with possibly one 1960's exception). And it's not his political activity. He's always been an active liberal, and his art challenges both easy commodification and conservative notions of authority. And who can forget his legal battle with the GSA and anti-NEA zealots like Jesse...
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July 04, 2004

Blake Gopnik Jumps Art Critical Shark

When the chief art critic for your town's largest paper publishes a front page review of the cafeteria's "gelato collection", do you: A) Realize now's a good time to rethink the curatorial program of the museum? B) Wish he'd reviewed the best publicly accessible "bathroom installations" while he's at it? B) Develop a strong desire to pummel said critic about the head and face? C) Remember that next door is a horrible Stella, and next to that was a concert...
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June 30, 2004

Artist-not-Bioterrorist Update

Mail fraud charges--for improperly ordering high school science-level lab samples--were announced yesterday against Prof. Steve Kurtz, a member of Critical Art Ensemble and a colleague. Despite absence of ball, game, playbook, rules, Feds decide to keep kicking....
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June 29, 2004

Pained Observer

Critics who don't buy this also don't buy this [via bloggy] I guess if the Observer isn't going to have art critics whose recommendations ever make sense, at least they can have critics whose pans are consistent signals of worthwhile shows....
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June 26, 2004

Meanwhile, Leo Steinberg c1960 on WPS1

So now my big complaint about WPS1 is that you can't link to broadcasts very easily. I've been listening to a series of lectures the art historian Leo Steinberg gave at MoMA in 1960 about contemporary art and the public's reception/perception of it. There are three hour-long lectures; the first appeared last week (6/15), so work your way back through the 'previous broadcast' section to them. I'm a lazy fan of Steinberg, whose unabashedly erudite tone I find very engaging....
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The Walker Channel

It's like WPS1, but it's almost two years old. The Walker Art Center operates The Walker Channel, an online collection of streamable artist interviews and other programming. This is one prong of the museum's strategy to maintain and expand their presence while their building is receiving a Herzog & deMeuron makeover. Most of the recordings are interviews with people I've never heard of, and there are no explanations. But there IS a 2002 interview with Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, one of the...
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June 25, 2004

She Makes Art for Hard Money

So you better treat her right. Approximately a hundred friends at Downtown for Democracy are organizing a fundraising party and silent auction of works by 35 established and emerging artists Tuesday, June 29, at Passerby. Buy a $75 ticket to bid (silent auction runs from 8-10:30) or to see the preview (11-6). [And even though Bush & Co are the world's problem, federal election regulations don't permit (non-permanent resident) foreigners to give money or bid. Sorry.] D4D is a PAC...
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June 24, 2004

Now MoMA has a weblog

In anticipation of the reopening of the midtown museum building, MoMA's design department created a new website--including a weblog--for the Junior Associates, a group of 400 or so people who do all kinds of art world-related activities. As far as I know, it's the first museum weblog. (I know, Eyebeam eats weblogs for breakfast, but they're not a museum. They ARE quite cool, though, and hosted a swell party and exhibition walkthrough for the JA's, which, although it has...
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June 22, 2004

Worshipping Bâle

In the Old Testament, prophets regularly warned God's People against bowing down to the graven images of Baal that so entranced their Phoenician and Babylonian neighbors. Bâle worship is again white-hot, or so reports Le Monde from the just-ended Bâle Art Fair. Fittingly, Baal (OT) means both "Lord" and "something possessed." Bâle, in the mean time, means acquisition. If you still don't know what the hell I'm talking about and you don't want to read French--do I have to mention...
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June 16, 2004

Just say you're going to an architecture film series.

If you're in London this Father's Day: The artists Elmgreen & Dragset have put together a short program (49') of film and video works which "examine architecture's complicit role in defining our enactment of psychological states." It will be shown at the Tate Modern, this Sunday at 15.00 (3:00 pm for the yanks). [via kultureflash] Half of that time will be taken up by Jean Genet's long-banned silent film, Un Chant d'Amour. It's from 1950, the Eisenhower Era, when prison...
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June 15, 2004

On Gabriel Orozco's Photographs

Gabriel Orozco usually installs his photos interspersed with other works--drawings, collages, and sculpture. The Hirshhorn show which opened last week is the first time they've been shown alone. The show felt instantly familiar, and not because I've been a follower, fan, and collector of Orozco's work for almost ten years. In that time, the artist has published several text-free collections of his photography. The exhibition feels like one of these artist books. Each image on its own is almost incidental....
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June 11, 2004

On Politics and Art

Rob Storr interviewed Felix Gonzalez-Torres in 1995. Felix identified Helen Frankenthaler as the most successful political artist alive, and then told about the invitation he received in 1989 to participate in the State Department's Art for Embassies Program:It has this wonderful quote from George Bernard Shaw, which says, "Besides torture, art is the most persuasive weapon." And I said I didn't know that the State Department had given up on torture - they're probably not giving up on torture -...
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WTC Site Cultural Anchor: The Drawing Center??

Wow. There's opaque and then there's opaque. The Drawing Center was selected to join The Freedom Center in one of two cultural buildings planned for the WTC Site. Their building will adjoin the WTC Memorial, while the other two cultural organizations--The Joyce and Signature Theaters--will share a performance center across the street. I'm a huge fan of The Drawing Center, as much as the aggressively unassuming, rather esoteric, old-school SoHo gallery can engender huge fandom. But how in the world...
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June 10, 2004

On an Unrealized Art Project

In 1999, I conceived and contrived to make a piece of art. It began as an idea for a commission for the artist Olafur Eliasson, but my idea was so embarassingly specific and complete, there's no way I could bring myself to ask him to do it. Even though I cannot imagine myself as an artist, or a maker of art, I had to admit that this was not an Eliasson, it was Eliasson-esque, at best. The piece is a...
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June 07, 2004

The Rise of Dependent Filmmaking

It's only half over, but I feel it's safe to declare 2004 l'Année du Court Métrage Soutenu, The Year of The Sponsored Short. Nike got some, Interpol's buyin' some, and now, if you're a socialite, an I-banker, or just a run-of-the-mill moneyed narcissist (not, I admit, mutually exclusive categories), you can get one, too. For $25,000 (don't forget to ask for your discount), you can commission an animated short film portrait by artist/filmmaker Jeff Scher. Although we're assured "many celebrities...
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June 06, 2004

Revisiting--and repeating--the past

I just found and reread this post from a couple of years ago, and I still like it very much, unfortunately. How Conceptual Art is Like a Renaissance Tapestry...
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June 05, 2004

Upcoming Sonic Youth CD now on WPS1, the online audio program of PS1, has been up for a few weeks now, and it's getting better. Some listening tips: An exclusive preview of "Nurse," the latest CD from Sonic Youth, broadcast on The Larry Rivers Memorial Music Hour #1. [Surf their unlinkable site: previous broadcasts > Week of May 24th] A raucous 1962 debate over Pop Art, where "Henry Geldzhaler and Hilton Kramer match wits with Dore Ashton, Stanley Kunitz and Leo Steinberg. William Lieberman referees, er...
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June 03, 2004

So much for real-time

I went to Houston last week for the opening of an amazing show at the Menil Collection, photographs by Olafur Eliasson. Of course, my post about it is now like a 10,000-word essay, which I don't know if even I'll ever read. So in the mean time, check out the show, and the Times article on the de Menil's Philip Johnson-designed house, which was a sharp International Style stick in the eye of Tara-style 1950's Houston....
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May 26, 2004

Imagine there is no Hell

Ouch. a 10,000sf warehouse of Momart, the leading art handler/storage company in the UK, burned to the ground yesterday, taking an as-yet unknown number of major Brit Art works with it. The Guardian has some speculative details on what burned, including Jake and Dinos Chapman's massive installation, Hell, but there's still a lot that's not known. If Charles Saatchi believed in karma, this would be devastating to him right now. But unless he's actively trying to come back as a...
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May 15, 2004

WPS1: Let's put on a [radio] show!

Umm... I was excited for the launch of WPS1: Art Radio, the new online audio programming wing of PS1. Launched three weeks ago, WPS1 is daily mp3 streamed programming in three broad categories: awesome, edge music from all over; rare and archival artist recordings from parent/affiliate MoMA's library; and self-produced art-related talk/interview shows. Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. After listening to a dozen or so art talk shows on WPS1, I find them almost unlistenable. Excruciatingly amateurish, painfully...
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May 13, 2004

?: $

$? $$$$,$$$ !!!!!!...
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May 06, 2004

WTF Decorator Manque Auction Report

Not to get all Elvis Mitchell on yer ass or anything, but if auction reports were white cotton handkerchiefs, dry, practical, and folded neatly, dutifully, and boringly into the breast pocket of some print media outlet or another, Stuart Waltzer's account of last night's Whitney Picasso sale at Sotheby's is a stunning, showy-but-inutile giant Hermes carre, silkscreened with a riot of intricate patterns, cascading like a technicolor waterfall out of the blazer of some too-tanned-for-January decorator at La Goulue....
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Law & Artists: SVU

In the Times, Roberta Smith combines a righteous review of Jon Routson's "Bootleg" series--video recordings of films Routson attends--with righteous indignation against increasingly draconian copyright legislation (like making possession of a camcorder in a theater a felony). It does not matter whether you think that Mr. Routson's work is good or bad art; it is quite good enough, in my view. It does matter that the no-camcorder laws may not do much to stem pirating while making it increasingly...
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April 30, 2004

Things to do and when to do them

In helpful, 2x2 grid format: Go to the Jim Lambie show at Anton Kern, which ends Saturday. Nice pants. (Roberta Smith agrees.) Go to Momenta Art benefit auction at White Columns Saturday night. Go to the deKooning show at Gagosian. (Roberta Smith agrees. Again. Stop following me!) The man was either a painting genius, or he had Alzheimer's his whole life. Read John Rockwell's amused, largely successful attempt to conserve and convey an admittedly ephemeral artistic experience--in this case, NYU's...
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Posted by greg at 01:58 PM

April 28, 2004

From The Spring Auctions

Inspired by Tyler@Modern Art Notes's to-bid-on list for the upcoming contemporary art auctions. I don't think I'll be bidding against him on anything, especially now that he's lining his pockets with all that ArtsJournal loot. Too rich for my blood. But a flip through the catalogues turned up at least one must-get work. If Sotheby's estimates are right for this storyboard Robert Smithson made for his Spiral Jetty movie, I may need to talk discreetly to someone about the street...
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Posted by greg at 02:30 PM

April 23, 2004

NY, NY, A Minimal Town

It's a fine hook to hang a puff piece for the Guggenheim's minimalism exhibit on: Tour the city with the curators and uncover the minimalism all around us. Should be ideal; so why would I rather take my chances on the Baghdad-Najaf local? Is it the idea of riding around in a van all day? The constant competition for most nerve-fraying whine between Nancy Spector's 3-month-old baby and chief curator/clotheshorse Lisa Dennison? ("There is a very real danger that I...
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Posted by greg at 07:11 PM

April 15, 2004

Jon Routson, they're coming for YOU

Police arrest 2 under new 'anti-camcording' law 15 Apr 2004 10:07am EDT - By Jesse Hiestand The MPAA announced Wednesdaythe first arrests under a new California law targeting movie pirates who use camcorders in theaters. Min Jae Joun was arrested on suspicion of violating the anti-camcording law after theater personnel saw a red light from his camcorder during an April 10 screening of The Passion of the Christ at the Pacific Theatre at the Grove in Los Angeles. Joun's next...
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Posted by greg at 03:04 PM

April 11, 2004

Miuccia, Silvio. Silvio, Miuccia.

WTF? Herbert Muschamp in today's NYT Magazine: "[Miuccia Prada] has made the world safe for people with overdeveloped inner lives. [I guess, by selling bagsful of $480 polo shirts to armies of style-free mooks and molls from Manhasset. [And by commissioning some hapless fop to recreate--and gut of all meaning beyond hip association through sheer and empty aestheticization--an actually controversial and culture-changing documentary by Pier Paolo Pasolini, which had already just been remade a couple of years before by some...
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Posted by greg at 11:06 AM

April 03, 2004

Anish Kapoor Selected for British 9/11 Memorial in NYC

Sculptor Anish Kapoor's design for a memorial to the 67 Britons killed on September 11 was selected for inclusion in the British Memorial Garden, which will be created at Hanover Square in lower Manhattan. Unlike the much-publicized [mea culpa], frenzied competition for the WTC Site Memorial, Kapoor's memorial design was selected the old-fashioned way: The British Memorial Garden Trust invited "twelve of Britain’s most celebrated and critically acclaimed artists" to submit proposals, and, voila, nine months later (and six months...
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Posted by greg at 09:49 AM

March 31, 2004

Modernartnotes walks into WSJ art trap

Ever the arts enthusiast in search of a common man constituency, Tyler Green wrote an op-ed for the WSJ that gamely proposes to take the Whitney Biennial on the road, to the people--in the "hinterlands." And what could be wrong with that? Besides going to bat for the perennially controversial-at-best biennial? Besides coming off as populist and condescending toward your biennial's flyover audience? Well, there's playing right into the middle of the WSJ's own FoxNews-like editorial slant, for one. Tyler...
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Posted by greg at 09:56 PM

A 4 week-old baby reviews the Whitney Biennial

She slept through the almost the whole thing*. Until we walked into the Cecily Brown gallery, when she started screaming at the top of her lungs. On this advice, we cut our visit short, leaving via the elevator so as not to disrupt the Julianne Swartz sound installation in the stairway.) * Truthfully, she also shattered the misty calm of the Gran Canaria forest in Craigie Horsfeld's video room with a post-bottle burp worthy of a trucker....
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Posted by greg at 01:23 PM

March 26, 2004

Joywar, What is it good for?

">The artist Joy Garnett just had a show called "Riot" at Debs & Co, lushly painted figures in caught in moments of distress or violence. Then she got threatened with a lawsuit by a Magnum photographer for referencing a 1978 image of a guy throwing a Molotov cocktail. Of course, the irony [?] is that, as Garnett says, "my work is ABOUT the fact that images are uncontrollable entities. It's about what happens when you remove context and framing devices."...
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Posted by greg at 09:08 AM

March 18, 2004

Sun Set

This is the last weekend to see Olafur Eliasson's installation, The Weather Project in the Tate's turbine hall. The museum's keeping the hall open until 1AM on Friday and Saturday, apparently because they're unsatisfied with only 2 million visitors. For added enjoyment, the Guardian published a diary from the Tate's manager, the one who had to deal with troupes of Santas, didgeridoo players, a man in a canoe, and people hooking up under the mirrored ceiling. [3/20 update: Michael...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2004

Modern Art Notes' Armory Show Guide

Tyler has compiled a convenient checkist for making a complete and utter ass of yourself at The Armory Show this weekend. For [my] entertainment's sake, please follow every piece of advice....
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Posted by greg allen at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2004

Talk-abouts: John Baldessari and Jeremy Blake in Artforum

Editor Tim Griffin introduces In Conversation, a new feature in this month's Artforum, artists talking to artists. To start: Jeremy Blake and John Baldessari, two artists with deep interest in the intersections between painting and ______(cinema, photography, technology, text, conceptual art). Both artists also have deep, abiding interest in film as well, which explains why this turned up on One great thread: Baldessari's contested label as a Conceptual Artist. JOHN BALDESSARI: Well, in the late '60s, I was...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2004

The Quilts of Gee's Bend of the Corcoran

One of the most rewarding shows last year in New York was The Quilts of Gee's Bend at the Whitney. For generations, the descendants of former slaves in an isolated Alabama town developed quilt designs that stand alongside--and frequently prefigure by decades--some of the best modern art of the 20th century. The reminded me of Stuart Davis, 80's Sol Lewitt, and most of all, Ellsworth Kelly. Anyway, as of yesterday, that show is at the Corcoran in DC. I...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:27 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2004

Anne Truitt Week

Since moving Modern Art Notes to Arts Journal, Tyler Green's been demonstrating his critic-as-advocate chops, sometimes with a degree of acid that'd make even professional bee-atch Charlie Finch blush. He makes nice nice this week, though, by publishing brief excerpts daily from Anne Truitt's Daybook. On top of simultaneously being a pioneer and stalwart contrarian of Minimalism, Truitt's published journals are an unsurpassed window into the artistic process. Only Daybook is in print, but you can get the other volumes...
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Posted by greg allen at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2004

On Jon Routson and the future of video art

For an artist who's only shown a couple of times and whose most well-known work --a 22-minute, reconceived-for-network-TV version of Cremaster 4--has only been seen by a handful of people, Jon Routson sure gets a lot of press. Baltimore City Paper's Bret McCabe gives Routson the full feature treatment this week, a 5,000-word cover story, complete with inflammatory comments by [at least one] wannabe playah with a weblog. With pleasant symmetry, another Baltimore artist, the indie filmgod John Waters, opens...
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Posted by greg allen at 04:31 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2004

The Leonard Riggio Spiral Jetty Visitor's Center, Valet parking to the right

Well, not yet. But after years of drought, Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty is so visible (and walkable), it's getting so many visitors, the Dia Center is thinking: upgrades. Making the bone-jarring road more accessible; maybe adding some rocks here and there; getting it up out of the water so those pesky salt crystals don't form on it anymore. As Michael Govan, the Dia's director, notes, "The spiral is not as dramatic as when it was first built. The .Jetty is...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2003

Artist Books for the Holidays

If you're still looking for just the right gift for your Jewish (you better hustle) or Christian friend (you have a little more time), try an artist book from Printed Matter. Here are my, ahem, suggestions: David Hammons, The Holy Bible: Old Testament. The complete works of Marcel Duchamp, rebound as a bible. On Kawara's CD, One Million Years (Past), which covers the years 998,031 BC to 997,400 BC. Erin Cosgrove's take on romantic fiction as conceptual art project, The...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2003

Barnes Storm

Over at Modern Art Notes, Tyler's on a roll, posting frequently and furiously about the current court proceedings to decide the fate of The Barnes Collection, the greatest assemblage of modern art in the country. Tyler does his gadfly best, providing some very useful context (and a bit of foaming at the mouth) for this big, somewhat under-/mis-reported story. Barnes was a new moneyed crank with a voracious appetite for once-unpopular art (Cezanne, Matisse, Renoir, Soutine, etc.), which he frequently...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

December 06, 2003

V(S)IP at Art Basel Miami

The S is for Self, as in Self-Important. And I wasn't alone. Far from it. The most unnecessary question of the day was the endearing, "Do you know who I am?" It wasn't unnecessary because the Swiss minions running the art fair were so gracious, but because people were always telling you how fabulous they and their taste are anyway. My VIP card didn't score me an early private screening of the only piece I wanted to see in the...
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Posted by greg allen at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2003

Art Roundup

You should feel horrible for missing Gabriel Orozco's latest show at Marian Goodman. His elegant, biomorphic sculptural shapes are recognizable at first as found objects: bones, husks, driftwood. In the rear gallery, though, less finished "sketches" of polyurethane foam extruding through fine wire mesh point to Orozco's material process. Gradually, it dawns on you that the artist didn't find the previous shapes; he created them by manipulating quick-drying foam on sheets of latex with a hard-to-fathom series of gestures...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2003

OK, I may have underestimated the ingenuity of British Protesters

If not their effectiveness. One more picture of Olafur Eliasson's The Weather Project at the Tate in London....
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Posted by greg allen at 10:49 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2003

What would buy with £25 Million?

I wonder if it's this amusing from the outside when New York acts as if its concerns are the most important in the whole wide world. The British art crowd's all worked up over a speech by Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate (and "the most powerful man in the museum world" WTF??), where he criticized the country's policy of "saving" art treasures (i.e., buying them so the Getty doesn't get them). Serota, with total disinterested objectivity, I'm sure, suggests...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:05 PM

November 09, 2003

Olafur Eliasson's The Weather Project

As you'll never see it again... As B.Logman's photos and news reports indicate, The Tate Modern has a massive-crowd-pleasing phenomenon on their hands. Now suddenly this photo I took at the preview seems worth posting, if only because who knows if it'll ever happen again....
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Posted by greg allen at 11:48 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2003

Hiroshi Sugimoto's Accelerated Buddha

Hall of Thirty-Three Bays, 1995, Hiroshi Sugimoto Hiroshi Sugimoto: I came for the Seascapes, I stayed for the Hall of Thirty-Three Bays. I love this series of nearly identical photos of the Sanjusangendo, a Kyoto shrine. They're generally underappreciated, partly because they work best when seen all together. Fortunately, Chicago has started making up for the Cow Parade embrassment by putting the whole set on display in Sea of Buddha at the Smart Gallery at the University of Chicago...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:57 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2003

"We can easily believe that Bill Viola is worth ten Scorseses."

Them's fightin' words. In his Cinema Militans Lecture, Greenaway thought he'd rile up his audience at the Netherlands Film Festival with his opening, "Cinema died on the 31st September 1983." (Killed by Mr. Remote Control, in the den, if you must know.) But it's his claim that Viola'd trump Scorsese that's the real "they bought yellowcake in Niger" of this speech. He's just got Britishvision, distracted like a fish by a shiny object passing in front of him [Viola's up...
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Posted by greg allen at 01:36 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2003

More Olafur Eliasson Pix

The Weather Project, 2003, Olafur Eliasson, at the Tate Modern The top one's shot in the mirrored ceiling. I'm working on it, but right now, I got nothing that'll top this....
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Posted by greg allen at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2003

tate update: sun worshippers

the british public treats it as the real sun, laying out on their backs as if at the beach. [10/21 update: like I said...]...
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Posted by greg allen at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2003

Olafur Eliasson: The Weather Project at Tate Modern

Just got back from the preview and party for The Weather Project, Olafur Eliasson's absolutely breathtaking installation at the Tate Modern in London. The Turbine Hall is something like 500 feet long, the full length and height of the building. I can tell you that Olafur created a giant sun out of yellow sodium streetlamps, but that doesn't begin to describe the experience of seeing it and being in the space. It is this awareness of one's own perception...
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Posted by greg allen at 07:25 PM | Comments (1)

October 12, 2003


The artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey and their team of 15 people plastered the walls of a church in South London with clay and grass seed. Read their diary at the Guardian and watch it grow to Graeme Miller's soundtrack. Related: visiting information from the London International Festival of Theatre More info on Ackroyd & Harvey and Miller on Artsadmin...
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Posted by greg allen at 07:34 AM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2003

On regime change I CAN support

Last week, I stopped by a party to celebrate the first issue of Artforum under its new editor, Tim Griffin, who I've known and admired for years, ever since he was edited the late Artbyte with ICA Philadelphia's Bennett Simpson. (For some of their collaboration that stayed online, check out the great show they curated at Apex Art in 1999, too). Combined with Eric Banks' impending relaunch of Bookforum, I think there's some good art readin' to be had....
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Posted by greg allen at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2003

Gabriel Orozco on PBS

[via Modern Art Notes] Nice, too brief info about Gabriel Orozco on the site for PBS' Art:21 series. Tyler said the program segment was "a little too languid," which sounds just about perfect for Orozco's work. The New Yorker entranceth and the New Yorker pisseth one off. The latter came last July, via critic Peter Schjeldahl's flaccid reading of Orozco's clay pieces at Documenta. Art:21 has images of a beautiful follow-up show at Chantal Crousel's gallery in Paris, and...
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Posted by greg allen at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2003

On Preserving Ephemeral Art

[via ArtForum] An interesting article in the Financial Times on the conservation challenges posed by ephemeral art, especially color photography and video. C-Prints, by far the most popular format for contemporary art photography, have a very uncertain future. Video and film, in the mean time, require a transfer plan, making sure the medium and format stays current (and the work stays true to the artist's intent). The article doesn't quite get it sometimes, though. Advocating for collectors to receive certificates?...
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Posted by greg allen at 07:02 PM | Comments (0)

David Byrne's PowerPoint Art [and another NYT article]

Slide from David Byrne's DVD/Book of PowerPoint Art Veronique Vienne's got a sweet article in the Times about David Byrne's artistic exploration of PowerPoint. She casts a rather benign look at the way PowerPoint influences forms of discourse and thought. Maybe it's Stockholm Syndrome; after all, Arts & Leisure editor Jodi Kantor used to be at Slate. ("But some of my best friends use PowerPoint!") But then, she's got a pretty clear-eyed quote from Byrne: "You have to try...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2003

On Christian Marclay

. Christian Marclay's awesome Video Quartet is on view now at LA's Hammer Museum, as part of a mid-career retrospective of Marclay's art-meets-music work. [In the LA Times, Chris Knight reviews the show--and misses some major points--with nary a mention of the video. the CS Monitor has a better review.] I remember MoMA exhibiting his 1989 piece, Tape Fall, where an audio tape of running water pools onto the floor. It was cool, but Video Quartet blew me away. Marclay...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2003

On Cows. No, Seriously. On Cows

[via WoosterCollective] Banksy, a prominent London street artist, has moved his work into a gallery for the weekend, and some people are pissed (in the American, not British, English sense of the word). Banksy tagged some live barnyard animals, and an animal rights protestor chained herself to the pen, temporarily leaving the foxes of England defenseless. Meanwhile, in the US, when artist Nathan Banks painted words on the sides of cows and transcribed the poems they produced as they wandered...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2003

Well Hung

When our DC neighbors' rather inconsiderately left their wireless networks turned off this morning, I ran over to the Hirshhorn to see their new, temporary installation of the permanent collection. It's pretty fresh, with room to breathe. A lot of wall and floor space is devoted to newer work, which had always gotten short shrift in the Hirshhorn's rather staid, historical hang (like a history teacher in May, having to cover "WWII-to-present" in a week). There are moments of real...
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Posted by greg allen at 06:21 PM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2003

On the artist in Taos

Untitled #7, 1999, Agnes Martin image: Lillian Ross makes nice as she hangs out with Agnes Martin, master of minimalistic painting, in Taos. It sounds simple, but don't bother trying this at home: "You paint vertically, but the paintings hang horizontally—there are no drips that way.” In April, Zwirner & Wirth had a small show spanning Martins' five decades of work....
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Posted by greg allen at 12:52 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2003

On PS1

First, thanks to most of you for not coming today. It was kind of nervewracking, but my gallery talk went okay. There was a group of a dozen or so people who stuck through the whole thing, but a small mob would materialize whenever we'd stop to talk. Two things that helped the crowd: Richie Hawtin didn't open the Warm Up Series, he headlined it. That, and many of the galleries were air-conditioned. Anyway, I hung out for the...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2003

A Reminder: Other things to do at 3:30 on Saturday

If you're debating whether to join me at PS1 for my gallery tour among the selected exhibits, remember that many other things are going on at the same time: at PS1: Richie Hawtin cracking open the Warm Up Series at Film Forum: The Band Wagon, "the greatest of movie musicals" (it starts at 3:15) at Anthology: La Commune (Paris, 1871), Part Two, "the Best Film of 2002" (3 hours, starting at 3) Take this time to figure out Richard Linklater's...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:09 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2003

An Eye for Collecting: Museum Tours @ P.S.1

I'd say "Come to my museum tour this Saturday," but I just realized they booked my talk against Detroit Techno-god Richie Hawtin (aka Plakstikman), who's performing in the Warm Up Series. I have no illusions.On the occasion of the exhibition Site and Insight: an Assemblage of Artists, P.S.1 offers a series of museum tours, each led by an emerging collector or a curator for a private collection. Site and Insight is curated by Agnes Gund, one of New York's most...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:31 AM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2003

Frieze Mag's SMS Reports from Venice

The Venice Biennale is opening right now, and the artworld (minus 1 or 2) is trying to crash each other's parties. Far from regretting not being there, I am getting a full Biennale experience, thanks to Frieze Magazine's, SMS reports. For the second morning in a row, we were repeatedly startled awake by my cell phone vibrating across the room. Here's one from yesterday: FriezeSMS Venice 03: Text message codes: Pav=Pavilion. Gia=Giardini. Ar=Arsenale. IO=Invite Only. Pa=Party. And this morning, a...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2003

Meteorite Mashes Marfa Minimalist Masterpiece, Maybe?

Mmmm? In Art Papers, the artist Evan Levy tells the story of visiting The Chinati Foundation, Donald Judd's minimalist mecca in Marfa, Texas. He found "a flaw, a missing corner, in one of the concrete sculptures," which Judd placed in the field beyond his converted army warehouses. Later, Levy discovered a meteorite nearby, and wondered if it's "the only intergalactic rock to have struck a work of modern art?" He built a show around it, apparently. It sounds implausible...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2003

Cremaster Roundup

The Cremaster Cycle is now playing in LA, Berkeley, SF, and Chicago. Wider exposure goes hand in hand with wider discussion, as these two very interesting links show: Wayne Bremser's article, "Matthew Barney versus Donkey Kong", for the video game magazine GameGirl Advance takes a look at video game character, mythological, spatial and narrative elements in Cremaster 3. That's the one where Barney's character scales the levels of the Guggenheim, passing various obstacles along the way. The hermetic logic of...
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Posted by greg allen at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2003

Photos--new & old--from off the Japanese Grid

Unless I missed the evite, the world didn't end Thursday. (And even if it did, Armageddon's no reason to stop weblogging.) The Pana Wavers above are using mirrors to deflect scalar waves, not just to create wonderful photos. There are more in Mainichi Daily News's Pana Wave photo special. [It reminds me that our inaugural Netflix movie was, fittingly, Agnes Varda's wonderful obsessed-with-death-in-long-lost-Paris film Cleo de 5 a 7, the Criterion edition. Varda uses mirrors beautifully through most of...
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Posted by greg allen at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2003

I [Heart] New York T-Shirt, by Maurizio Cattelan

I probably shouldn't post this until I get mine, but the artist Maurizio Cattelan created this shirt in a limited edition of 48. It's for sale at Printed Matter, the cool-since-a-long-time-ago artists' bookstore in Chelsea. Update: Jeff Jarvis wondered, rightly, if the shirt actually said "I" and "New York" (the heart, I can read). An interesting question, and not. It wouldn't be beyond Maurizio to use illegible/nonsensical script. As it turns out, at Social Design Notes, John recreated a...
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Posted by greg allen at 07:53 AM | Comments (1)

May 14, 2003

Aum2: Electromagnetic Boogaloo -- A Look at Pana Wave

I'm busy with some offline writing (just wait and see), but in the mean time, I felt the gaijin's obligation to provide some context for the recent one-eyebrow-raising >> reach-for-the-doorlocks reports of that road-trippin' Japanese cult, Pana Wave Laboratory. Their site is only in Japanese First the bad news: despite the promising name, the cult makes its money from herbal supplements and water purifiers. So no trip-hop CD is in the works. Now that that's out of the way, the...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:57 AM | Comments (1)

April 28, 2003

Things you should see, if only it weren't too late

See Landscape Escape a group show at the Crosby street SlingShotProject. Of special note: John Powers' headscratchingly beautiful sculpture, Daisy Cutter (above); Raphael Renaud's paintings of Marseilles, Cairo, Sao Paulo (which reminded me a bit of RIchter's late 60's Townscapes); and John Cliett's memorable (literally) photos of deMaria's Lightning Field. Read an incredible interview at Cabinet about taking them. Unfortunately, the show closed Sunday. See artist Robert Melee's incredible performance, This is for you, starring a diverse troupe of...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2003

Cremaster Alert: Matthew Barney

If I just heard right, Matthew Barney will be interviewed by Leonard Lopate on WNYC at 12pm. [1pm update: hmm.] The entire Cremaster Cycle is showing at Film Forum, starting Friday. Seeing it all will involve multiple tickets and rearranging your life....
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Posted by greg allen at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2003

Movie and Art Roundup

I'm in the last minute throes of editing the AM screenplay before dropping it off for a serious reading. Here are some movie and artsite suggestions to occupy you. A little "Look over there!" handwaving, so you won't notice a slight drop in posting in front of you. A Mighty Wind is pretty damn good. But just as the line is very fine between driving an 80's Volvo and driving an 80's Volvo ironically, the distinction between a folk music...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2003

On The Best Way To See The daVinci Show

Go right now, before it closes. You've got three minutes. Just after 8:00, there wasn't any line at all. Galleries were crowded at first. Seeing the drawings required surrendering your personal space in this strange, silent, dance, like having to get out of a hundred elevators. But the throngs fell away, and when we left at 9:30, artist friends were sauntering back for a leisurely second lap....
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Posted by greg allen at 09:57 PM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2003

On Art On My Mind

Generally avoiding television "coverage" of the war, but some images inevitably bleed in. Here is some art that's been on my mind as a result. [Also, gmtPlus9 went black in Japan and posted some war-related art. Thanks, Travelers Diagram.] Blast, from a series of photographs by Naoya Hatakeyama, image: LA Galerie Nacht 1, II by Thomas Ruff, who began using nightvision after the technology was popularized in Gulf War I (GWI), image: Olivier Silva, Foreign Legion 2000-2002, ongoing, by...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2003

Forget Cremaster 3, I Survived Cremaster 1-5

OK, before I talk about how seeing The Cremaster Cycle straight through changed my understanding of Matthew Barney's work, let me get a couple of things out of the way: 1) FLW didn't design those theater chairs to be sat in at all, much less for eight hours in one day Aggressive, non-user-centered architecture should be taken out and shot. 2) Best overheard comment after Cremaster 1, when a guy at a suddenly partially visible urinal complained that the mens...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:40 PM | Comments (0)

It's Cremaster Friday, Demonlover Saturday

I'm watching the entire Cremaster Cycle today, a Friday feature of the Guggenheim show. In the mean time, Matthew Barney's site,, is up and running. Check out the trailer; it's beautiful. And it doesn't take all day (unless you're on a dialup). In the mean time, brace yourself and go see Olivier Assayas' Demonlover tomorrow at Lincoln Center's Rendez-Vous with French Cinema series (or, if you insist, Rendez-vous with Freedom Cinema series. Assayas will be at the screeningNow who's...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2003

On Bar Codes And Profiling

A NYT article about Cockeyed's great barcode hack, written by David F. Gallagher (the Lightning Field one, not the shirtless one. "F." must stand for "fully clothed." David, you have my sympathies. At least you're going up against a real person. I'm still being out-Googled by an ad-agency caricature, an off-the-air bunny puppet, and a friend of Dharma, two if you count Greg Louganis.) Rob Cockerham is distributing clones of his Safeway card online, thereby commenting on/thwarting the supermarket's tracking...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2003

On Collecting Art, On Collecting Taxes

US Attorney/curator with posters of Rothko, Bacon, deKooning and either Twombly or Clemente, purchased by Sam Waksal with an 8.25% discount, at least. In the grand tradition of deposed CEO's, but with downtown sensibility (and far better taste), Sam Waksal pleaded guilty to evading sales tax on $15 million in paintings he purchased through a major New York dealer. It was the old, "send it to my factory in NJ, nah, just fax the invoice there" ploy, which has...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:14 PM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2003

Chelsea Gallery Shortlist

Untitled (Republican Years), Felix Gonzalez-Torres, 1992 currently in "Stacked" at D'Amelio Terras If you are boycotting the French right now, you're a loser. They're putting on some of the best shows in town. Additions to an incomplete list: "Back Grounds," at Andrew Kreps [Dude, get a website!] a show of intricately made B&W photographs by Liz Deschenes, James Welling, and Adolphe Humbert de Molard. Curated by Olivier Renaud-Clement. "Stacked," a group show of, well, stacked works at D'Amelio Terras....
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Posted by greg allen at 04:13 PM | Comments (0)

February 28, 2003

On A Big Art Thursday

Last night at a friend's house, Jeremy Blake showed us some recent work and talked about it. and by "house," I mean a sprawling, gorgeous Fifth Avenue apartment filled with pictures of supermodels (not kissing ones, but just hanging out ones) and by "some," I mean two of his DVD-based pieces, including Blossoms and Blood, a beautiful, expressive short film he made with Paul Thomas Anderson and Jon Brion for the Punch-Drunk Love cast and friends. It's a closely interwoven...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2003

On Museums On eBay

This AP story [via the cool] from Indianapolis sounds like the tip of the iceberg: museum curators using ebay to add to their collections. My conversations about eBay with various curator friends all follow a predictable a trajectory: surprise that we're both eBay whores; polite envy over what the other scored; caginess over what we're looking for now; relief when we find out we're looking for different stuff; quick detente and an exchange of usernames when we find...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

On Wooster Collective

As I arrived at Gawker's launch party last week, I ran into some friends from my old consulting days. (I guess it's Nick's job to know everybody, and he does.) Anyway, their shoutout just before the elevator door closed, "we have a weblog, Wooster Collective" should be nominated for Undersell Of The Year. Wooster Collective is a hoppin' arena of grafitti, stickers, stencil art and other street art, with updates coming more frequently than the 4-5-6 train at rush hour....
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Posted by greg allen at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

As If Needed Another Matthew Barney Reference...

Yeah, I want a Cremaster belt buckle, but not if it means getting executed in a salt arena... image: 'cuz it's gonna be all we talk and hear about for months (at least until Matrix Reloaded comes out). We're just suckers for an entirely fabricated, all-encompassing, and disturbing worldview. (What, the imagined world of Wolfowitz ain't scary enough?) Anyway, in the Times, Michael Kimmelman gets all sticky for the Cremaster show, which opens today at the Guggenheim. Note...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2003

On Thomas Struth On Art

Alte Pinakothek, Selbstporträt, München, 2000, Thomas Struth image: The other night, I heard the photographer Thomas Struth talk about his work. A friend (who has a far more serious art habit than even I do) hosted a reception for the artist in his office. Extra Struths, brought out of storage for the evening, rested on stacks of printer paper, an installation technique you don't see at the artist's current one-man show at the Met. Struth spoke very quietly,...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2003

See Christian Marclay's Video Quartet at Paula Cooper By Saturday

Last night I heard the artist Christian Marclay talk about Video Quartet, his enchanting, mind-boggling music/film work at Paula Cooper Gallery. It's a 13-minute musical composition of nearly 600 separate film clips, on four simultaneous channels, projected onto a 40'-long screen. It was commissioned by a friend, Benjamin Weil, a curator at SFMOMA, where it was shown last summer to wide acclaim. [Naturally, Jason Kottke wrote about it then; so did] Rather than parrot or try to outdo...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2003

Art Worth Crossing The Street For

Installation view, Anne Truitt, Danese Gallery ( Two shows of evocative new work by unrepentant minimalists are on 57th street at the moment, a moment when a pair of artists over 80 demonstrate the power and relevance of the minimalist mode, as well as the potential benefits of being in it for the long haul. Agnes Martin is showing luminous new paintings at PaceWildenstein, (who doesn't have a freakin' website, hello, 2003). Anne Truitt is showing several square column...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:39 PM | Comments (0)

Yeah, Capitalism, or In Defense Of A Collector

Also at Slate Joshua Clover writes a clever essay (very or too, depending on if those are exhibition posters or actual paintings on your wall) about Richter 858, a luxuriantly produced ode-- in book form, with specially commissioned poems and a CD (of Richtermusik, I guess) -- to a suite of Gerhard Richter squeegee paintings. Retailing at $125 and co-published by SFMOMA (who have been promised the paintings from an anonymous donor), Richter 858 is a "classic fetish item,...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:29 AM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2003

Overview: Powerpoint as Creative Medium

Bright Glow Tube (all images, Slide 1 - Background: Powerpoint invention and evolution (ref. Ian Parker's May 28, 2001 New Yorker article) Powerpoint taking over human thought. 30 million presentations made daily. (ref. Julia Keller's Chicago Tribune article today) [via Romenesko's] Career spent making/giving Powerpoint presentations (ref. "where I worked) Hay Theme Slide 2 - What this will be used for: As-Yet Unannounced Animated Musical (AYAUM) Wrest Human Creativity From Jaws of Monopolist Technology (TBD) Obligatory 3rd...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2003

Yinka Shonibare, Norton Christmas Project 2003

Dollhouse, Interior views, Yinka Shonibare for the Norton Christmas Project 2002 In lieu of Christmas cards, the art collector Peter Norton and his family began sending out specially commissioned works. [Inspired by the Nortons' example, we began commissioning artist editions--albeit at a much smaller scale--to send to family and friends as a commemmoration of various births and anniversaries.] In 2002, the British/Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare created a toy Victorian rowhouse, outfitted with his trademark Dutch batik fabrics, a photo...
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Posted by greg allen at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2002

Aspen: The Magazine in a Box (on the Web)

Serial Project #1, 1966, Sol Lewitt, from Aspen 5+6 Unbelieveable. The entire collection of Aspen: The Magazine in a Box, is now online. It's the magazine equivalent of Kieslowski's Dekalog: almost completely unknown, yet highly respected and influential within it's narrow audience. In a fit of John Cage admiration, I tracked down and bought Aspen 5+6 several years ago. In addition to some floppy little records with Cage and Morton Feldman on it, there's a reel of 8mm film...
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Posted by greg allen at 02:03 PM | Comments (1)

On Illegal Art

Superstar, 1987, Todd Haynes Last night we (finally) saw Todd Haynes' Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story last night. After years of being snubbed by the clerks at Kim's Video when I'd ask for it, and half-hearted attempts to get a bootleg copy from someone or other, we just walked over to Anthology and there it was, showing as part of Illegal Art!. (The first time I went to Kim's, a Suit workin' for the Mouse but livin' in Chinatown...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2002

Gallery and Museum Picks So Far

Untitled (Two Windows), 2002, Toba Khedoori Drawing Now: 8 Propositions at MoMAQNS, for Toba Khedoori, Chris Ofili, Russell Crotty, Paul Noble, Kai Althoff [Roberta Smith's NYTimes review; Walter Robinson's artnet review] [There's a Toba Khedoori show at David Zwirner right now, too.] Lazlo Moholy Nagy Color Photographs at Andrea Rosen Gallery: They look like they were made yesterday, not in the '30's/'40's. (Actually they were. Moholy Nagy's estate had them printed for the first time ever. Liz Deschenes did...
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Posted by greg allen at 01:21 AM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2002

Liz Deschenes, artist/photographer

Beppu, 1997, Liz Deschenes I can't believe it's been five years since I saw photographer Liz Deschenes' first solo exhibition, Beppu, at Bronwyn Keenan Gallery. It's a show that has stuck with me ever since, and not just because I go to sleep and wake up looking at photos from it (the first one I got is visible in this installation shot. It's in the middle of the far wall, to the left of the monochromes.) Listening to Deschenes...
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Posted by greg allen at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2002

On the influence of contemporary art on film, or Gurskyspotting

99 Cent, Andreas Gursky, 1999 Watching Paul Thomas Anderson and Adam Sandler discuss Punch-Drunk Love on Charlie Rose. The overly bright 99-cent store in the clip looked familiar, eerily familiar, and, sure enough, it is the same as Andreas Gursky's photo99 Cent, down to the giant "99-cents" banners on the back wall. Anderson also tapped Jeremy Blake to create abtracted hallucinations experienced by Adam Sandler's character. Although Blake has become best known for his digitally animated abstractions, he is...
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Posted by greg allen at 01:59 AM | Comments (1)

September 22, 2002

Placeholder: Spiral Jetty

Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty.avi [1.3Mb], c. 2002 This will be the entry where I write about our trip to the Spiral Jetty and post some amusing pictures thereof. It will be enlightening and insightful, yet not without wry humor. As it reverences the work itself, it will impress you and amaze you (in a quiet way) with our vision, dedication, and lack of condescension, and it will make you want to make the pilgrimage yourself. Ideally, it will ease...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)

August 07, 2002

On the amusing cluelessness of The New York Oberver in re art

A remarkably obtuse article in the NY Observer about an art world lawsuit in which the famous "'white' painter" "debunks" the prices and value of his (and, by extension, all contemporary) art. Who is the artist, you ask? Surely you've heard of "David Ryman?" You think so? Yeah, in fact, he's one of your favorite artists (or so you tell people at cocktail parties)? Well, read on. You're clearly the target audience. Recap: Ryman was sued for one of two...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2002

Praise for and blurbs re Richard Serra

Let me offer unqualified praise for the editorial acuity of Artforum's links recommendations. Two quotes from Calvin Tomkins' good Richard Serra article in the New Yorker: According to Richard Serra: Abstraction gives you something different (from figuration). It puts the spectator in a different relationship to his emotions. I think abstraction has been able to deliver an aspect of human experience that figuration has not--and it's still in its infancy. Abstract art has been going on for a century, which...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:14 AM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2002

Gabriel Orozco at Documenta 11

Contrary to one writer's opinion, Gabriel Orozco is a Mexican who can make pottery. After seeing Peter Schjeldahl's misguided critique of Orozco's work at Documenta 11 cited on ArtKrush to support an even broad(er)side on the state of contemporary art, I have to call bulls*** [Sorry, Mom.] on the whole thing. Orozco's Documenta 11 installation, Cazuelas (Beginnings), is comprised of "thrown" clay bowls. While the clay was still wet, Orozco threw smaller balls of clay into the bowls, where they...
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Posted by greg allen at 01:43 AM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2002

At the Hirshhorn Museum yesterday

At the Hirshhorn Museum yesterday (originally to see the Ernesto Neto installaion before it closed), I kind of fixated on the work of Anne Truitt, which is in the "Minimalism and its Legacy" installation on the lower floor. I wasn't familiar with Truitt's work, but a quick Google search shows an embarrassingly long and distinguished career (embarrassing for me not to know about it, that is). Go ahead, try it. Truitt was a central figure (along with Judd and Andre,...
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Posted by greg allen at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2002

Stopped off in Philadelphia for

Stopped off in Philadelphia for a couple of hours to see the big Barnett Newman exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum. One thing I hadn't known before was Newman's (and his other artist friends') battle with the relevance of painting in the wake of WWII. In a 1966 WNET documentary interview, Newman said how there was no sense painting in the early 40's, since the world was coming to an end. And in the late 40's, with global-scale destruction and atom...
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Posted by greg allen at 02:07 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2002

How Conceptual Art is like a Renaissance Tapestry

In The New Republic, Jed Perl wrote an impressive review of an even more impressive exhibition, "Tapestry in the Renaissance" at the Metropolitan Museum, which I saw last weekend. After a detailed, compelling, history-filled analysis, Perl surprisingly (and effectively) contrasts this "alternative medium" (ie., tapestry) to the current crop of "alternative media" that are generally displacing painting in current art (or curatorial) practice.. For me, though, something else stuck after seeing these unknown--or at least, wildly underappreciated--masterpieces....
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Posted by greg allen at 02:06 PM

May 23, 2002

Director's Headshot

One of the reasons I'd delayed submitting to some festivals was (of all things) my lack of a "director's photo (B/W)," which some festivals require. Last week, Roe Ethridge, a friend and artist whose work I've collected for three-plus years, took some photos of me. In the pinch, I scanned in a Polaroid and printed it out for the submission packets, but there are real prints on the way. Roe works as a photographer for a huge pile of magazines....
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Posted by greg allen at 01:06 PM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2002

I was on a panel

I was on a panel today at -scope, an art fair held here in NYC this weekend. Hoping to follow in the tradition of the Gramercy International Art Fair, which began in the mid 90's by filling the rooms of the seedy-but-cool Gramercy Hotel with young galleries from here and there, -scope put galleries into three floors of the Gershwin Hotel and scheduled a bunch of ancillary events: a benefit, a concert or something, and "Collector's Day," (aka Mothers' Day)....
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Posted by greg allen at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2002

Ricci Albenda, an artist friend

Ricci Albenda, an artist friend had a party to memorialize his installation at PS1, which will be taken down tomorrow (the installation, not PS1). I went early to see "The Short Century," Okwui Enwezor's extremely far-reaching show of contemporary African art. The most engrossing piece was actually a film Ousmane Sembéne, the first and greatest of African filmmakers. One of his first films was a 20-minute short titled, Borom Sarret, a realistically shot portrayal of a day in the life...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:34 AM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2002

Janet Cardiff at P.S. 1

Janet Cardiff at P.S. 1 MoMA: It's rare when a work of art has the power to transform, transport so completely. Forty-part motet is such a work. 40 speakers are arranged in an ellipse in the gallery, each playing an individually recorded member of a choir. The unaccompanied choir sings a work in Latin by Thomas Tallis, a 16th century English composer. [see this National Gallery of Canada link for a more detailed description.] You move among the speakers, pausing...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:31 PM | Comments (1)