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 the exact measurements of a 1959 Twombly canvas as if he’d memorized the catalogue raisonnee, witty tie-em-up-with-a-bow metaphors and descriptors–he OWNED the evening.
One offhand comment he made haunted me for years, how art history since had been based on a misinterpretation of Cezanne. By about the third time I talked with him, I finally had to ask what he’d meant. He politely pretended to remember what the hell I was talking about, but he didn’t, in fact, have some deeply revisionist art historical theory lurking beneath his thick paintsticked hide.
[In painful contrast, Schnabel was there, too, on the front row, pointedly not on the panel, but nevertheless he put himself on it with a rambling self-congratulatory statement about “Cy” and “Cy and Jasper” that took up a big chunk of the q&a.]
I asked my question of Marden, though, and his reticence bit me in the ass. Clemente jumped in and mis-answered my paragraph-long question–the last of the evening. Marden asked me to repeat it, to groans from the audience. For his answer, I’ll just say, let’s go to the tape. But over a year later, I got stopped on the street and asked if I was the guy who’d asked that question at that one MoMA event. And then he laughed at me.
In any case, Marden taught me that making highly successful work doesn’t automatically mean he has to talk very garrulously about it; if Marden could convey everything he wanted to in mere words, he might not need to paint.
In another future-historical broadcast, WPS1 also has Yvonne Force, Tom Eccles, and Anne Pasternak talking for an hour about laying casino carpet in Grand Central.
And last but not least, Steven Schaefer interviews Danish director Per Fly about his new film, The Inheritance.

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 the exact measurements of a 1959 Twombly canvas as if he’d memorized the catalogue raisonnee, witty tie-em-up-with-a-bow metaphors and descriptors–he OWNED the evening.
One offhand comment he made haunted me for years, how art history since had been based on a misinterpretation of Cezanne. By about the third time I talked with him, I finally had to ask what he’d meant. He politely pretended to remember what the hell I was talking about, but he didn’t, in fact, have some deeply revisionist art historical theory lurking beneath his thick paintsticked hide.
[In painful contrast, Schnabel was there, too, on the front row, pointedly not on the panel, but nevertheless he put himself on it with a rambling self-congratulatory statement about “Cy” and “Cy and Jasper” that took up a big chunk of the q&a.]
I asked my question of Marden, though, and his reticence bit me in the ass. Clemente jumped in and mis-answered my paragraph-long question–the last of the evening. Marden asked me to repeat it, to groans from the audience. For his answer, I’ll just say, let’s go to the tape. But over a year later, I got stopped on the street and asked if I was the guy who’d asked that question at that one MoMA event. And then he laughed at me.
In any case, Marden taught me that making highly successful work doesn’t automatically mean he has to talk very garrulously about it; if Marden could convey everything he wanted to in mere words, he might not need to paint.
In another future-historical broadcast, WPS1 also has Yvonne Force, Tom Eccles, and Anne Pasternak talking for an hour about laying casino carpet in Grand Central.
And last but not least, Steven Schaefer interviews Danish director Per Fly about his new film, The Inheritance.

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 Boesky, Moffett completely transformed his paintings by projecting video–of The Ramble in Central Park–onto their silvered surface. The intricacies and painterly effects were still there, but deliberately harder to read. Meanwhile, the uneven surface of the canvas lent the slightly distorted video loops a ghostlike, immpermanent air. Questions of furtive, hard-to-pin-down identity filled the bucolic, elegant works.
Now through Saturday at London’s Stephen Friedman Gallery, Moffett is showing D.C., a similar body of paintings-and-projections, and it feels like one of the art world’s veteran protestors has come out of retirement, to show a new generation how it’s done. D.C.‘s projections feature the FBI building, the White House, Watergate and other loaded symbols of power. Definitely check out White House Unmoored, one of the few works where the artist used a handheld, rather than a fixed, camera. And read Moffett’s interview with Kultureflash; he’s one of the nicest, gentlest people I’ve ever met, but boy, does he sound pissed. [US pissed, angry. Not UK pissed, drunk. just to clear that up…]

The Mellowing of Richard Serra

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[via MAN] What’s shocking about Richard Serra’s poster for pleasevote.com–a 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 Helms which culminated in the destruction in 1989 of his sculpture Tilted Arc (besides pretty much everyone, that is)?
No, what shocked me was his positively statesman-like restraint, which stands in contrast to the horrible image in his drawing and to current levels of Administration discourse. With STOP BUSH, Serra–who’s well known for his angry temper–let’s George off easy.
In 1990, he made an etching as a fundraiser for North Carolina Senate candidate Harvey Gantt, who lost after his opponent ran some race-baiting ads that have become recognized dirty tricks classics. The title of that piece (sorry, mom) was Fuck Helms.

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 starring Barry Bostwick, Robin “last BeeGee standing” Gibb backed up by the whitey white whitest choir EVER, and Clay Aiken singing the William Tell Overture, so why are you EVEN surprised?
E) All of the above.
Related, but not mentioned, an actual piece of art: Art Domantay’s 31 Flavors of Hell.
Related: Hirshhorn Museum men’s room features “The Lexus of baby changing tables.”

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.

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.

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. He invariably uses it to deliver extremely smart insights, all the while bringing you along his observational and analytical path. His method and criticism still strike me as entirely applicable to art-seeing and -making today.
It’s about as much fun as an audio recording of a slide lecture can be, I imagine. And it’s fascinating to listen back on a time when artist like Jasper Johns or John Chamberlain were seen as controversial provocateurs. Check it out.

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. He invariably uses it to deliver extremely smart insights, all the while bringing you along his observational and analytical path. His method and criticism still strike me as entirely applicable to art-seeing and -making today.
It’s about as much fun as an audio recording of a slide lecture can be, I imagine. And it’s fascinating to listen back on a time when artist like Jasper Johns or John Chamberlain were seen as controversial provocateurs. Check it out.

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 principals in the cool Tokyo architecture firm Atelier Bow-Wow. They published Pet Architecture, which is a very cool book and site.
It’s simultaneously heartening and depressing to note that this interview with an architect I’m very interested in is almost as excruciatingly underproduced as the early WPS1 bits I whined about earlier.

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 principals in the cool Tokyo architecture firm Atelier Bow-Wow. They published Pet Architecture, which is a very cool book and site.
It’s simultaneously heartening and depressing to note that this interview with an architect I’m very interested in is almost as excruciatingly underproduced as the early WPS1 bits I whined about earlier.

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 mobilizing the arts and creative community to raise hard money to, among other things, clean up the language on the Senate floor.

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 mobilizing the arts and creative community to raise hard money to, among other things, clean up the language on the Senate floor.

Now MoMA has a weblog

ja_heading.gif

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 passed, remains enshrined in a gif on the JA welcome page.)
When Picasso painted a portrait of Gertrude Stein (which she gave, alas, to the Met), someone said it didn’t look like her. “It will,” he replied. Such is the long horizon on which art’s influence operates. Remember this when you look for the weblog on the JA site, because the Museum has called it a ‘notebook’. A Typepad-powered notebook. We may not call weblogs notebooks now, the Museum seems to say, but we will.
I, of course, trendchaser that I am, suggested that the site be called JA Rule. After all, it/they does/do. For a young person in the city, it’s probably the greatest opportunity to get involved with a truly amazing institution. And as the calendar of events attests, JA’s get to do some really cool stuff. (For the reopening shindig this fall, being a JA is like having the golden ticket.)
In the end, the Museum’s rejection of my JA Rule idea was correct. The main requirements for becoming a JA, you see, are 1) an interest in seeing and learning about art, 2) a desire to support the Museum, and 3) $500 a year, or as it’s known in the haut monde of museum committees and high-priced benefit galas, 50 Cent.