Monday, December 31, 2007

Fantastic Four 2007

Neither of my two most indelible art things for 2007 are "art"... maybe. I'm not sure. Both might be art, yet neither is currently claimed to be art by either involved artist.

1. Christoph Buchel/Mass MoCA, culminating in the motion hearing - almost art, or art?

2. Richard Prince's Second House, after being struck by lighting - once was art, is it still?

When does something become art? When does something stop being art? How much does artistic intention matter?

- i want to articulate more - about liminal sites and situations, social sculpture, aura, context, architecture, failed projects, trespass, hubris - but am not feeling clear-headed. maybe later, maybe never.

3. Jenny Holzer's participation in, and contribution to, Hoosick Rocks. From her signs pasted in public spaces, through her spirit of collaboration and community, to her engraved granite benches, this was quintessential Holzer, and I don't think it is part of any edition. Someone got something really special.

4. Empire State Plaza - this is not new, but I hadn't previously realized how fantastic it all is. I went back again last week, and will be posting more photos soon.

some favorite shows, and favorite works from group shows -

John Beech
Herman 'Ray' Davis
Rosalyn Drexler (scroll down)
Michael Hakimi
Patrick Hill - at Bortolami
Jack Whitten (scroll down)

also Jo Baer, Charlie Hammond, Lauren Luloff, Sarah Peters, Lamar Peterson, David Shapiro, Haim Steinbach, Bryan Zanisnik.

in group shows - Shirley Jaffe, Jon Kessler, Al Loving (photos to come), Andre Masson (not really a group show), Joe Overstreet, Meyer Vaisman, Roger White, Wendy White (at both John Connelly and Monya Rowe).

WORST art stuff -

1.White Columns under Matthew Higgs - post one, post two, post three.
2. gross Paik thing...
3. Molecules that Matter, at the Tang Museum.
4. Gentle Wind Project's magic craplastic instruments, at Feature. Here is a follow-up after speaking to Hudson.

UPDATE: i forgot so many good art things... here are some more.

Friday, December 28, 2007

empire state underground christmas

Al Held.

Lee Bontecou.

Snowflakes and Held.

I went back to see the Empire State Plaza collection. It's amazing how accessible and empty this long white wide space is... absolutely no people except for random packs of roaming kids. Is it open all night long? Do they ever lock the doors? More pictures next week.

RELATED: my previous visit, with information, Jen Graves' visit.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Artist's No-BS Market Report

Hey artists, let's do an unscientific no-bullshit survey on the artfair market. Just be anonymous, NO NEED to be strategic or to protect/promote a position.

Tell us how many pieces you had in Miami this year, and how many (if any) sold. Please try to be relatively specific, while retaining your anonymity. For example, "I had X number of pieces, at X number of galleries, at X number of fairs - X number of pieces sold", plus any other relevant information you feel comfortable sharing.

If nobody comments I'll probably delete this post with the new year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


It is kinda weird, for someone who is rarely in NYC and is always hearing about how HOT the art market is, with artists supposedly under pressure to produce new work for fairs, to come across so much stuff I have seen in NYC shows re-represented in people's shots from Miami. What are the chances that work from the few shows I have seen in Chelsea are the ones that just happen to get photographed and put on the internet by people visiting ABMB? Makes me think that if I were a (more) frequent visitor of the galleries and had gone to Florida I would've seen A LOT of familiar stuff.

PLUS, so much of it got good press in New York. I don't know much of anything about the art market, and am not a participant, but if good stuff that is getting good reviews in the NYTimes is not selling... how "hot" can the market be?

Albert Oehlen in Concrete Works, at Mitchell-Innes & Nash - priced at $425,000, it good a good mention in the NYTimes review of the show.

- in Miami at Luhring Augustine.

Michael Zahn, in Late Liberties, at John Connelly - positive mention in the Bridget Goodbody NYTimes review of the show.

This show (and Zahn) got A LOT of mostly positive press; Time Out New York, Gay City News, New York Sun, Bloomberg, James Wagner, more. Actually, I wasn't too into this show, except for the Wendy White and Carrie Moyer.

- in Miami at 11 Rivington.

Sarah Peters, at Winkleman - this was a good show, good prices, and she got a very good review in the NYTimes, by Roberta Smith (scroll down)! What the hell, why is there so much of it in Miami? I don't get it.

HOT Market + GOOD Work + EXCELLENT Review + by ROBERTA Smith! = SHOULD Equal they are all GONE, right? Something does not compute... input dekimasen... system overload... CRASH.

- in Miami at Winkleman.

There is more, I just wanted to hit the NYTimes ones. Maybe it's because they were summer shows? OR/and is the market hype a big bluff, and it's over? OR/and are NYtimes reviews no reflection on sales? It looks like the Overstock.com warehouse.

UPDATE: forgot to include this great post/thread in which Frank Holliday comes onto Wendy's blog to defend his review of the Late Liberties show.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Jason Fox

Jason Fox. On PaintersNYC 1/16/06, on PaintersNYC 6/3/06.

...Daniel Buren, Mildred Greenberg, Joe Overstreet, Steven Parrino.

interview blogz

THREE artist interview blogs -

A couple of weeks ago I posted about being on an artist interview blog, and have since discovered a new artist interview blog... so here are the three artist interview blogs I'm currently aware of.

1. The eXTra finGer - this one has been running for more than a year, posting regularly enough that I wish there was some sort of alphabetical index of all the artists he's interviewed. Claudio Parentela is an artist who lives and works in Italy, and his blog queries artists from all over the world... mostly Europeans and Americans.

Claudio has a preference for figurative work, especially stuff that is a little bit dark or disturbing, and lots of Juxtapoz-like stuff.

Dana Carlson, Carol Es, Rosemarie Fiore, Susan Jamison, Gina Magid, Terri Saul, Kim Scott. - these examples don't necessarily fit the description above, these are just some of my favorites.

2. Life, The Universe, and Art - by Belinda Haikes, focusing on a different artist each month. This one is the best. !!!

3. The Old Gold - this is the newest one, by Jon Lutz, an art historian (and an artist?) with the good idea of focusing on artist's older, less-known, work.... from way back in 2002-2005. What? Anyways, it's an effort, but would be a more interesting concept (to me) if he looked at work from 10-20+ years ago, made by artists who have only relatively recently started to get more national/international exposure. I'm thinking of artists like Joe Fyfe, Joanne Greenbaum, David Humphrey, James Siena, Amy Sillman - artists born in the 50's whose pre-2000 work most of us have probably never seen.

My examples are all painters. I wonder if that means something, other than the fact that I love painting.

Wendy White, on The Old Gold.

PLUS: some of my "Old Gold".... stuff from 1989, more 1989, 1990/91.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


painting (it's cropped, the edges aren't really so even).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Paris aka Holy Joseph

Got an e-mail from someone who came across one of my Paris posts! FINALLY!!!!!! Thank YOU.

"It’s really nice to see some other work by Paris. He and I became very close when I was in Philadelphia.

It is really hard to know what part Paris’ stories were true and what was imagination, I chose to believe that the stories and imagination were one in the same.

He had mentioned that he was a chef on the Queen Mary. He always ate at fancy buffets and take out places, often not finishing his food, a sign of a sophisticated taste (I have a drawing of the Queen Mary that he did, it is gorgeous). One other reason that I choose to believe him is the evidence of great depth in his imagery. He must have been to Europe at some point. It is more than some Jungian connection to shapes and symbols in our collective DNA.

I have many pieces by him. Maybe 10 or so. One piece was done in the back room of - the gallery I worked at - , where paintings were kept, on a cold winter night when I was closing up. He was cold so I allowed him to come in and made him a cup of tea. It was partially a plan to see him work. He sat down for an hour or so and made me a drawing. He used some gold from a chocolate wrapper and pinned it on with fancy art hanging nails that I gave him. The nails seemed like a strange connection to the established art world, it might have been the closest he’d ever be to getting his work in a gallery. (I know that he was part of a show at Moore college of Art. He created a little stir and was asked to leave.)

One day in Spring (eighty something), he told me that he was leaving town. He said that he was going South. I admire Paris for his courage and dedication. He is a hero of mine."

Not sure if this person wants his name on-line or not... forgot to ask. He seems to have known Paris before I had moved to Philadelphia in 1986, the Paris I knew was never quite so lucid. I wonder if Paris actually went South somewhere for a while? He was definitely around 1986 through 1993/1994.

Hopefully this person will get back in touch with some more memories and/or photographs of Paris' work.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

oooh, wicked

Did you see Christoph Buchel's Protect me from what I want Jenny Holzer reference, hidden under the schoolkid's desks of his Hauser & Wirth Miami Basel installation? I noticed it in the photo from the NYTimes slideshow.

Buchel's installation is called Training Ground for Training Ground for Democracy, a coda to his Mass Moca peter-out, and has reportedly sold for $250,000 to the Flick Collection. Jenny Holzer is the artist whose work currently occupies the Mass Moca space abandoned (held hostage? sabotaged?) by Buchel, the first artist to do so.

It's good to see Buchel back at a scale he is happily able to handle, on familiar artfair ground. He's also got a bunch of limited edition prints of his Mass Moca legal correspondence on exhibit at Maccarone's booth, beside McCarthy's chocolate Santas (as advertised in Vanity Fair). Maccarone is the anti-market gallery, or something. I'm not sure..

Make sure you click on Christoph Buchel... it's necessary to keep the world's first google image search sculpture alive.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Artist's Artist


Dec/07 Artforum feature, The Artist's Artist, Nate Lowman selects Richard Prince: Spiritual America -

"Richard Prince is a boring fuck and so are all of his boring fuck head friends and stupid shit for brains fans and I'm glad he did this show"

BONUS: Richard Prince, recent Reviews and Features -

R.C. Baker, The Village Voice
Steven Daly, Vanity Fair - some good pictures in the magazine. Maccarone has an ad in this issue for her Paul McCarthy show, it looked good and was unexpected to see an art show ad in Vanity Fair, especially one for Maccarone.
Charlie Finch, Artnet
Blake Gopnik, The Washington Post
John Haber, Haber's Art Reviews
Howard Halle, Time Out New York
James Kalm Youtubes Richard Prince
Randy Kennedy, The New York Times, 12/06/07
Randy Kennedy, The New York Times, 9/23/07
me, anaba, + richard prince label, click and scroll down
John Perrault, on his blog, Artopia
Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker
Roberta Smith, The New York Times
John Yau, Brooklyn Rail - this is a good one.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Molecules That Matter

Molecules That Matter, at the Tang, REALLY helps one appreciate the presence and role of a good curator. This is not a knock at the curator of Molecules That Matter, because no curators were involved. The show was co-assembled by a chemistry professor, the Director of the museum, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. It's an art and science show, organized around an introduction to ten molecules, each of them represented by big models, so you can learn at a rudimentary level about things like "what is aspirin" and "how it works"... with superficially related art and a lot of visual aid set props and labels sprinkled throughout.

Maybe if you are studying or teaching 8th grade art or science, you might like this show, otherwise... don't go out of your way.

Isooctane - Gas! This molecule is explored through the display of an oil barrel, a gas pump, an Ed Ruscha gas station print, and an edited montage/collection of non-stop movie car chase scenes from various movies. Michael Oatman and Eddo Stern have done similar movie time-tunnel sequence videos, but I don't think this piece is intended as art, rather it's provided as a visual aid for what gas does.

Frank Moore - I generally like Frank Moore, but this is not the most interesting Frank Moore. Doesn't have all of the little things going on, scale shifts, no busy-ness or funky frame. It completely has not registered what molecule this piece was serving.

Jean Shin - This piece is worse than the worst undergrad Tara Donovan fan art. Towers of empty prescription pill bottles stacked on round mirrors, some from the floor and some from the ceiling. I think there is supposed to be some endless column thing happening within the mirrors, but it's not working because when you look up you can see all of the white caps reflected back at you. Internal logic functioning or not, this piece is horrible. I can't believe it's been shown at Sculpture Center, University Museum at Albany, now the Tang, and will travel elsewhere with this show.

Copies of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, and some old t-shirts and buttons, on pedestals under plexiglass cubes. I'm forgetting what molecule this was about, sorry. Oh, it was probably the DDT.

Alexis Rockman, Romantic Attachments (2007) - a big painting, like a bodice-ripper romance cover, of an ape-man standing over a freakily constructed naked woman, and he has a torch raised in the air. This is a sublimely ugly painting. It seems like it might be really bad, but there are interesting combinations of paint things happening, like the underside of the girls hair, which is kind of a dark stain of drips, and how the slathered and smeared tree is put together. The sky is poured and stained, and the grass is like palette-knife applied amateur painting class grass. So many weird and backward things happening in this total form and concept PROTO-PAINTING, with the apeman bringing fire to the naked human girl, and the amateur moves.

Here is some good advice from Alexis Rockman on how to get ahead, from an article on Ross Bleckner - "Ross taught me a lot about how to be an artist, both socially and professionally - how to make myself available, how not to alienate anybody."

Fred Tomaselli - an old one, with columns of aspirin embedded under resin. Representing the molecule known as aspirin.

Michael Oatman - Michael Oatman has a big collage in an antique test-tube frame, a piece which might actually be something the Tang still had leftover in storage from his big show there a couple years ago. Yes?

Polyethelyne (plastic) had some tupperware, pink lawn flamingos, and good art by Roxy Paine and Tony Cragg.

Thomas Asmuth - this guy got screwed. His piece is included with the Prozac display... it's a soft sculpture of the Prozac molecule, like a big cuddly caterpillar... but instead of being flopped down and presented as something that is accessible and friendly, with which you can snuggle and seek comfort, it's standing upright, suspended by a cable, on a white pedestal, with a DO NOT TOUCH sign.

This piece is ruined by the presentation, and feels like a case of a relatively unknown artist who is being (felt) forced to make concessions to be included in a museum show. The Tang is SUPER anal about anything possibly being touched or photographed.

Bryan Crockett - three larger-than-life pink marble sculptures of genetically engineered rats, based on real experiments, representing three of the seven deadly sins. An obsese rat, a freakazoid steroid attack pit-rat, and I forget the other one. The marble is cast marble, with details carved or added later.

At least three of the artists in this show (Crockett, Moore, Rockman) were also included in Exit Art's Paradise Now, which I saw in NYC but had also came to the Tang. It's almost like they flipped through the catalogue of that previous art and science show, searching for artists that could be applied to selected molecules. I definitely get the sense that the molecules came first and the applied artists were an afterthought.

Monday, December 03, 2007

interview blog

Belinda Haikes has included me on her artist interview blog, Life, the Universe and Art, which features a different artist every month.

Previous artists -
Mary Kate Maher
Caitlin Perkins
Lane Cooper
Joe Hu

Thanks, Belinda! It means a lot to be asked to do something like that, and has made me want to dig out and re-read my old Humberto Maturana book.

RELATED: Humberto!, and the potatoes that became the brains of Humberto.