And In Other Mug Shot News

April 15, 1964, publicity photo of Thirteen Most Wanted Men released by the World’s Fair

This morning Michael Lobel brought some art historically significant mug shots to the social media discourse, including one of my long-time favorites, Andy Warhol’s Thirteen Most Wanted Men, a grid of 22 mug shots mounted on the facade of the New York State Pavilion Theaterama at the 1964 World’s Fair. Within two days of its unveiling, the work drew complaints from officials, and the 25 panels were painted over with silver aluminum paint.

It seemed so bold and promising. Bettmann dates the release to the press of the image above to April 15, 1964. The original caption gives the piece a different title, but it also had World’s Fair officials—and Johnson—on record explaining and promoting Warhol’s project—for one day:

A Place at the Fair. Flushing Meadow, N.Y.: Photos of New York City’s 13 Most Wanted Criminals -resplendent in all their scars, cauliflower ears and other appurtenances of their trade, unabashedly adorn masonite facade of the New York State Pavilion at the World’s Fair. The display an arrangement of official Police Department “mug shots,” forms a 20×20 foot mural mounted on the pavilion. Philip Johnson, a designer of the pavilion, said the mural is “a comment on the sociological factor of American life.”

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Untitled (AUS), 2023 [UPDATED]

Untitled (AUS) and USM(ono)C(hrome), 2023, installation view, via CNN Pentagon correspondent Oren Liebermann

The second in what I guess will be an ongoing series. Any Republican senator could end this installation at any time.

MONDAY MONOCHROME UPDATE: Now the Navy makes it a triptych.

Untitled (AUS), Untitled (USN), and USM(ono)C(hrome), installation view,
14 Aug 2023, via Lara Seligman

Previously, related: USM(ono)C(hrome), 2023

Craig Pride

Whoops, not me having to change the folksy billboard lede to past tense when I found a 2022 Google Streetview shot from the highway

You know the gravel pit on the east end of town? Where there used to be the big vinyl billboard you could see from US-40, that says Welcome To Moffat County? The one that made Gail from the Chamber of Commerce tear up with delight first time she saw it because it “really says Moffat County”?

Well that wedge-shaped building, which the Chamber helped paint white a ways back, wasn’t always a billboard. It used to be the screen for a drive-in movie theater. On the other side, of course. And til the projection booth and snackbar burned down, and 3B Enterprises expanded the pit.

from @fromkindra’s western photolog, as regrammed by @ndybeach

In fact, this used to be a typology: drive-in movie screens with interiors. Do a reverse Google image search of @fromkindra’s Instagram road trip posts if you don’t believe me; they’re all over.

Anyway, maybe it’s time to repaint that thing.

Yves Klein Proposte Minicrome

Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers, installation view at the Walker Art Center, 2011

In the 2010-11 retrospective of Yves Klein’s work organized by the Hirshhorn and the Walker Art Center, there was a wall (in DC) and a nook (in Minneapolis) filled with early, small-ish monochromes in a variety of colors that weren’t blue. They surrounded a vitrine with Klein’s amazing 1954 catalogue for an imaginary monochromes exhibition, Yves Peintures.

Yves Klein, untitled (M 109), 1955, 10×10 cm, oil on gauze on panel, being sold at Christie’s Paris

This little red square was not among them, but can you imagine if it was, looking like an emergency button in its gigantic, beveled frame?

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Mural With Girl With A Pearl, 2023

Mural With Girl With A Pearl, 2023, paint on plaster, Vermeer, dimensions variable (installation view via @BMPMurphy)

I’m not sure I could think of a greater honor than to have work in a two-artist exhibition with Vermeer. I certainly didn’t think of anything before today.

But now I am beyond thrilled to announce my site-specific installation, Mural With Girl With A Pearl is on view at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It comprises a painting on the wall holding Girl With A Pearl, and the painting Girl With A Pearl itself. It’s hard to say how long it will be there; certainly this incarnation won’t go past March 30th, when Girl With A Pearl goes back to The Hague. Tickets to see it are definitively not available. [But if you do go, SEND PICS!]

Like Vermeer’s work, which it incorporates, it is an exploration of the subtle effects of light captured in built up layers of paint. And like those light effects, it may be fleeting, perceived only in the periphery of vision, occupying the liminal spaces around the older work that is the predictable draw of our attention.

Mural With Girl With A Pearl, 2023, paint on plaster, Vermeer (installation view via @blogexhibitions)

But for now, if you look up, and the gallery lights hit at the right angle, you will feel your field of view, and with the close looking you’ve exercised, you’ll recognize the changing world beyond the frame.

Mural With Girl With A Pearl, 2023, paint on plaster, Vermeer (installation view via @BrothersCammy)

You’ll see the new horizon coalesce just above Girl with a Pearl Earring‘s head. The loose grid of brusquely brushed forms —pearls? lights? ships? celestial figures? yet too big to be stars?—shimmering in formation in the graying sky.

While the current installation involves Girl with a Pearl, I am happy to discuss how to make the piece work for your Vermeer, too. Or, if you’re at the Mauritshuis, we can recreate the Amsterdam magic. Just because the Vermeer show is once-in-a-lifetime doesn’t mean this collab has to be, too.

Mural With Girl With A Pearl, 2023, installation view via @worldelsewhere/ig

April Update: Thanks to @worldelsewhere, I am able to say that the installation stayed up until Girl With A Pearl left for the Mauritshuis. Thank you all for your engagement.

Previous, related museum works:
The Wall, 2021, Musée du Louvre
Proposte Monocrome, gris, 2017, The Metropolitan Museum

Regina, RGB

Wolfgang TIllmans, Regina, 2002, ed. 1/1+1AP, inkjet on paper, 137 x 206cm, sold for GBP68750 at Christie’s London during Frieze Week 2018

The last time the Queen of England rode around London in the Gold State Coach was for her 50th anniversary, and Wolfgang Tillmans was there.

Halberds out: Study for Tillmans Regina, 115 x 206 cm, 2022, sky news screencap, which, alas, does not include the giant

If he was there today to see the Queen’s subjects waving at a hologram of her riding in the GSC, it might look a little something like this. Protip: the way you can tell my Tillmans from Tillmans’ Tillmans is the aspect ratio.

Study for SCREEN COVERAGE…, 2022, it’s a diptych

And while mine will ship with a separate
SCREEN COVERAGE WILL CONTINUE
AFTER THE HORSES HAVE SAFELY PASSED BY
monochrome, I feel like Wolfgang would have been able to get both screens in one shot.

Previously: Yas, Regina

Ellsworth Kelly, Red Floor Panel (1992)

Ellsworth Kelly, Red Floor Panel, 1992, acrylic on canvas on wood panel, installed at Matthew Marks

I remember the experience of walking into Matthew Marks and seeing one stunning work: the 1957 Sculpture for a Large Wall, which Marks had basically rescued from the Philadelphia Transit Building for which it had been commissioned. (The Lauders bought it for MoMA in 1998.) Anyway, now there will be another, though it seems like this time, seeing won’t be enough.

Ellsworth Kelly Westfälischer Kunstverein exhibition poster, A1 offset print, signed, via Susan Sheehan Gallery

Red Floor Panel (1992) is one of five floor paintings Kelly made, beginning in 1990. [Glenstone got the first, but how can this not be the best?] It is being shown for the first time since its original appearance at the Westfälischer Kunstverein in Münster.

Ellsworth Kelly, Münster, 1992 exhibition poster, silkscreen, signed, via Susan Sheehan Gallery
[yikes, someone cropped one down to make it look more like a print.]

How does this object exist? And how is it possible that each of these pictures is of the same object? I mean, it’s at once the most obvious and confounding thing. [update: I’ve learned the answer to the first question, and it will astound you. It did me.]

Blue Green Black Red and Postcards is open at Matthew Marks through June 25, 2022 As Lloyd Wise tweeted, “the postcard show next door will help it click into place.” [matthewmarks.com]
Marks always has great posters, but somehow not one of this. Susan Sheehan Gallery sure does, though, and then some. [susansheehangallery.com]

Wish I Was There! Ellsworth Kelly Postcards

Ellsworth Kelly, Blue/Black Squares, 1975, collage on postcard from St. Maarten, image via Ellsworth Kelly Studio

For too many years this blog was the top search result for Ellsworth Kelly postcards. I’d Google it myself, hoping to find more, and wondering if my compilations of collaged postcards Kelly made over the years would ever lure some to me. It has not, but last fall, I was rewarded with news from the Tang Museum at Skidmore College of the first comprehensive exhibition of Kelly’s postcards, organized by the Tang’s Ian Berry in conjunction with the artist’s studio and Jessica Eisenthal. Schedule complications kept me from attending, but there is an excellent-looking catalogue being released this spring, and the show will open late this summer at the Blanton Museum at UT Austin.

Domenico Veneziano/Washington Monument, 1984, newspaper on NGA postcard, via Peter Freeman back in the day

Though a couple we included in his Guggenheim retrospective in 1996, most of Kelly’s 400 or so postcards made between 1949 and 2005 have never been shown or published. Each venue will show a distinct selection of 150 of the works, and the catalogue reproduces 216 postcards at full scale. It is a veritable facsimile object blockbuster–but I still want to see the real things in person.

Continue reading “Wish I Was There! Ellsworth Kelly Postcards”

Proposte Momacron

Ceci n’est pas un miroir noir, image via like ten hot takers on twiter

Some might say this warrior president Golden Room mise-en-scène feels like a very special Continental episode of Black Mirror come to life. Me, I say, that’s no black mirror: it’s a Proposte Monocrome Macron! Srsly, though, the Struth fan who took this photo deserves a Légion d’Honneur.

UPDATE WTF: I just zoomed in to make myself an Ellsworth Kelly-style rhomboid crop, and it appears that is not a flatscsreen TV with a reflective image on it at all, but an image? Non, but it is a picture. It is a Soulages.

2 DÉCEMBRE 1989, by Pierre Soulages, acquired by the French State in 1990, and installed in the Salon Doré at the moment. image via, also © Présidence de la République

cf. Proposte Monocrome, eBay Rose

The Wall (2021) and Pas Twomblu (2021– )

The Wall (2021), dimensions and The Ceiling (2010), installed in the Salle des Bronzes in the Louvre, photographed in Feb. 2021 for the NYT by Dmitry Kostyukov

As 2021 is finally shown the door, I am pleased to announce The Wall, which was next to The Ceiling. The Wall is a Marron Côte d’Azur and Noir painting executed directly on a wall or a discrete section thereof. Even more than the 19th century neo-classicist aesthetic of Napoleon III, who first executed it in his Salle des Bronzes Antiquites, it evokes the historic moment during the pandemic when leaks about the work’s installation drew the litigious ire of The Cy Twombly Foundation.

study for The Wall, 2021, dimensions variable, an altered 150 x 100px svg ganked from a hexcolor website for Marron Côte d’Azur (#A75949)

For a few months this year, the first realization of The Wall was installed alongside–or underneath, really–The Ceiling, Cy Twombly’s ceiling mural at the Louvre. In Napoleon III’s day, the Noir was the display cases. In the 2021 installation, the boundary between the two colors was demarcated by a dado. The composition of future installations may take cues from the space, and condition of the wall and its elements.

While it is available for individual purchase or commission, The Wall will also be free with the purchase of nine other works, as a treat.

There are other works associated with both The Ceiling and The Wall, the details of which are at present insufficient.

A big panel by Yves Klein, painted in International Pas Twomblu, at the Museum of Modern Art

While making The Ceiling, Twombly friend Barbara Crawford and French painters Laurent Blaise and Jean de Seynes joked “that the unique, precise blue for this particular sky, which they’ve spent weeks fine-tuning, should be trademarked and given the name Twomblu.”

According to Grant Rosenberg’s account of this process in The American Scholar, in late 2008, the Louvre produced “several” “big” panels of monochrome blue for color testing during a Twombly site visit. It is not clear what blues these were, but we know what they were not: Pas Twomblu.

Previously, related: Proposte monocrome, gris (2017); International Jarman Blue

Untitled (Heist), 2021

Installation shot, Untitled (Heist), 2021, 96 x 121 in., enamel on plywood panel, documented in Union Square in November 2021 by Hunter MacNair, image via brokeassstuart, thanks @xintra

It has been a while since realizing works like this. Partly, it’s just the world. As Martin Creed says, The Whole World + The Work = The Whole World.

But when it exists, it also feels wrong to ignore it. Untitled (Heist) was recently installed in San Francisco’s Union Square, following a flashmob robbery of several hundred thousand dollars (retail) of merchandise from the Louis Vuitton store.

When Broke Ass Stuart ran this installation shot by Hunter MacNair on their post, “Let’s Talk About The Louis Vuitton Heist,” I first thought it would be a deep dive on the street value of the various items that got jacked.

But BAS instead went deep on luxury-fueled capitalism’s complicity in gaping inequality. And that, along with LVMH’s recent appearances in the art news, seemed like a collab-worthy context in which to encounter this work. Which I imagine will remain on view through much of the Christmas shopping season, at least. Maybe minting it as an NFT would make it last even longer.

UPDATE: As San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s office put it in their review, “I think that’s the visual for where the rule of law needs to make its stand.” [FOIA’d and published by @journo_anon] Thanks for supporting the arts, Your Honor!

Let’s Talk About The Louis Vuitton Heist [brokeassstuart]
Previously, related: Untitled (News Coverage), 2021; Untitled (Trump Plaza Black), 2016

Facsimile of Authenticity

Love the concept, but this pad of Arches watercolor paper is about an inch too small in each direction. [UPDATE: IT IS NOT, IT IS JUST FINE. The catalogue just dropped with new, slightly smaller dimensions for the Manet: 32.8 x 24.8 cm. The difference is probably the frame, but it’s good to pin these things down!]

Orders are coming in, facsimile objects are being needed, and so certificates of authenticity must also be realized. So I’ve been thinking about them.

The 1:1:1 scale of the certificate to the facsimile object to the work felt right immediately for many logical, conceptual, historical, and aesthetic reasons.

Walter de Maria, one half of his High Energy Unit (1966/69)

The coexistence of the certificate and the object remind me of Walter de Maria’s High Energy Bar, an infinite series he insisted was not a multiple, but which he also considered to unite with its certificate of authenticity to become a distinct work, a High Energy Unit. De Maria bought his fancy certificates from the old-timey stock certificate printer, and kept the registry of owners’ names secure, he promised, in a Swiss vault.

Stephen Prina, Exquisite Corpse: The Complete Paintings of Manet, 232 of 556, Berthe Morisot à l’Eventail, (Berthe Morisot with a Fan), 1874, (March 4, 2012), ink wash on rag (L) and offset print (R), image via maureen paley via ocula

Obviously, when it comes to embodying Manets, Stephen Prina’s Exquisite Corpse: The Complete Paintings of Manet (1988– ) comes to mind. I do not envision making a career of making 556 Manet facsimile objects. The circumstances that compel this one are highly specific and, if civilization (sic) can get its socio-political act together and end this pandemic, very limited. Please do not let the world of Manets exist beyond our experiential reach for much longer.

Anyway, though I have a deep spot in my heart for the monochrome, I feel like making a monochrome ink wash Minnay would end up more a Prina Facsimile Object than a certificate of authenticity for this Manet Facsimile Object. So I’m still thinking, staring, and experimenting, but soon I will also be getting paper of the appropriate size.

Also, I guess I wrote this in 2009:

Interestingly, though there are hundreds of mentions of High Energy Bar, there were only two mentions of the “complete” piece, High Energy Unit. [It makes me start to wonder about the underappreciated existence our poor certificates must lead, even as they’ve become so important to the authenticity and integrity of the work. Is anyone else making sexy artist certificates–or art about certificates, even–that remain ignored or unknown by everyone but the work’s purchaser? Will an artist make a work whose aesthetic or artistic payoff is actually the [secret] certificate itself? If you have or know of any awesome certificates languishing in any file cabinets out there, by all means, let me know.]

And here we are.

Also, related: Paul Revere (attr.), Time Capsule Plaque, engraved text on silver, c. 1795
Engraved on my memory, perhaps