Culture: July 2006 Archives

Joel Shapiro Untitled 2006 wood, casein and wire 66.5" x 23" x 23" [large detail of installation]

Perhaps not surpringly, it's not all painting.

Cheim & Read's brilliantly curated and brilliantly mounted friends of Soutine show, "The New Landscape/The New Still Life: Soutine and Modern Art" includes sculpture as well as painting. You may have already heard the superlatives of all the critics, so I'll only say here that I thought this show worthy of every one of them.

Gandy Brodie Meditation on a Kosher Tag 1963 oil on canvas 71.25" x 60" [installation view]

Susan Rothenberg Untitled 2005 graphite and oil on paper 77.5" x 58.75" [installation view

Philip Guston Lamp 1979 oil on canvas 32" x 36" [installation view]

Louise Fishman Green's Apogee 2005 oil on canvas 88" x 70" [installation view]


Ken Solomon Steakhouse Waiters - Made With Tip Money 2006 cut paper 15" x 20" [installation view]

Ray Beldner 36 Squares of Cash (after Carl Andre's 36 Pieces of Zinc, 1967) 2002 sewn U.S. currency, cork and wood squares 72" x 72" [large detail of installation]

Schroeder Romero just struck their very cool and very green summer show, "Money Changes Everything", featuring works on and of paper - of [mostly U.S.] legal tender - by Michael Asente, Ray Beldner, Barton Lidice Benes, Robin Clark, Peggy Diggs, Jed Ela, Stuart Elster, Kim MacConnel, Elizabeth Sisco, David Avalos and Louis Hock, Ken Solomon, Oriane Stender, Mark Wagner and C.K. Wilde.

New York City Breakers, excerpt from TV show "Graffiti Rock" 1984 video [large detail of still from installation]

Lillian Schwartz Papillons 1973 music by Max Mathews, video [large detail of still from installation]

Anonymous Vogue Balls: Battle Ball Finals (realness with tits performance II) 2004 DVD [large detail of still from installation, itself an excerpt]

Paper Rad Furs Gone Wild 2003 DVD [large detail of still from installation]

I guess we made it just in time. But we didn't, really. It's gone as of yesterday, and we only saw a few minutes of the screening. "Butch Queen Realness with a Twist in Pastel Colors", is described as an ongoing video program curated by Assume Vivid Astro Focus and it was being shown for one short month in the John Connelly Presents gallery annex.

This wonderful program should be installed permanently in theatres accessible to people everywhere in the world. Yes, I think the program would have to change over time, although perhaps it should only be lengthened, even though I understand it's already four hours long.

Together the four works whose stills are shown above are on the screen less than eleven minutes. I wish we could go back and camp out for a while; After these last few weeks, I'm definitely ready to shut down the outside world.

Peter Caine The Patriot 2006 mixed media animatronic sculpture 100" x 128" x 124" [large detail view of installation]

Fritz Welch Props to Rez Fink 2006 wood, paper, cardboard, plaster weld, hoodie tape, graphite, etc. dimensions variable [large detail view of installation]

During most of the summer Derek Eller will be showing a group which leaves plenty of space between the aesthetics of each piece. These sexy pieces cover virtually every medium, and they seem to have little in common but their lack of commonality, and that's enough for me.

This fine "Summer Group Exhibition" includes D-L Alvarez, Peter Caine, David Dupuis, André Ethier, Andrew Guenther, Chris Hammerlein, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Keith Mayerson, Dominic McGill, Michelle Segre, Alyson Shotz, Fritz Welch and Randy Wray.

There are more images on the gallery site, including a detail of the almost-enigmatic "Patriot", but as there's no statement, we're mostly on our own. [I often like to look at what Barry and I call the "instructions", especially when I'm totally baffled, but most of the time I can take my art straight up, as nature intended.]

Jenny Laden Airborne 2006 oil on panel 14" x 22" [view of installation]

On what was thus far one of the hottest days of the summer, any show with the tag "Flight Plan" would be welcome. The work installed at Morgan Lehman this month doesn't disappoint the visitor looking for distraction and relief, even if the only real soaring experienced is that of the spirit.

The artists included are Brook Caballero, Dana Carlson, Orly Cogan, Sean Cavanaugh, Kirsten Deirup, Franklin Evans, Philip Knoll, Jenny Laden, Dona Lief, Jeffrey Milstein, Amy Ross, and Paul Villinski.

My capture of Laden's painting was pretty successful, but I obviously couldn't include images of all the pieces here, even those that pleased me the most. Under the circumstances then I suppose it's a little perverse of me to upload a peek at two works on paper which are not in this show but which were created by an artist who has two other drawings that are.

My image of one of the framed drawings, Franklin Evans's "FFnineplayers", didn't make the cut mostly because of my technical error with the camera. Like much of the art in this show however his delicate, condensed, heavily-worked and textured paper works must be seen in person to be appreciated. Before we left Barry and I were invited to look at two of his drawings just before they were wrapped for transport to the gallery's Lakeville, Connecticut location where a small group show opens August 12.

This is what I saw on the table in the back of the gallery on 10th Avenue on Wednesday:

[a large detail of each of two works on paper by Franklin Evans]

ADDENDUM: Evans is curating a show at Moti Hasson, "Twist it Twice", which opens tomorrow.


Carol "Riot" Kane Inner Sanctum [view of installation]

31 Grand has this wonderful piece by Carol "Riot" Kane in their self-described "summer [group] show", titled "other worlds". While I can't say the installation isn't summery [I don't know anymore what a summer show is - if I ever did], I wouldn't describe the work as particularly light. And no, that's not a criticism.

The other artists heating up the space on Grand Street this month are Fanny Bostrom, Magalie Guérin, Mara Herdmann, Francesca Lo Russo, Christa Parravani, and Anthony Pontius

More of Kane here.


I saw this rusty postbox sitting on a canted sidewalk at the edge of a West 22 Street mid-block construction site a few days ago. Someone who had been by before was kind enough to try to make it more visible to the rest of us.

Dana Sperry Humpty Dumpty: the Battle for the Corner Rages On 2005 DVD video recording on LCD monitors and custom wood case, dimensions variable [view of installation]

Dam, Stuhltrager has arranged one of those perfectly-cool summer shows, a group exhibition curated by Aileen Tat and Rachel Pascua called "Stolen Time". This art will be welcoming, and quite fresh, to almost any visitor in the gallery, but fortunately it isn't simple light fare; even when it gets really hot out there art nuts have to have something of substance to get through the day.

The fourteen artists included in the show were selected on the basis of work submitted to the gallery over the previous year and the pieces are described by the curators as representing the distinctive reactions of contemporary artists to a contemporary world which increasingly compartmentalizes and accelerates ordinary experience, the "stolen time" of the show's title.

On Sunday Barry and I hung about inside the gallery and in the sculpture garden in the rear for much of an hour talking to Leah Stuhltrager and other visitors, and during this time I allowed myself to be totally seduced by Dana Sperry's piece. I was drawn to it as much for the sound design as the odd behavior of the images on the screen and the neat installation. Have you ever heard the repeated crackle of a company of muskets played backwards on small speakers?

The Nacogdoches, Texas-based artist describes his work:

Using footage from Civil War re-enactments played in reverse, the video piece explores the romantic notions attached to the spectacles of warfare. Installed in a corner and titled after a nursery rhyme originally written to celebrate a victory in the English Civil War, the work attempts to question the childish atttraction humans have towards destruction.
The other artists in the show are Conrad Carlson, Paul Davies, Sara Dierck, Gianluca Fratantonio, Tamar Hirschl, Scott Listfield, Anthony Murray, Ben Pranger, Ryan Sullivan, Jeff Thompson, Arno Tijnagel, Heeseop Yoon & Lance Wakeling.

Paul Davies Epilogue (The First War of the New Millenium) 2001 epoxy resin on wooden toolbox with custom electronics and mechanicals 25" x 15" x 8" [installation view, not including adjacent label: "Directions: Insert finger fully into opening until a click is heard. Finger will be stamped with a serial number"]

Heeseop Yoon Closet 2006 black tape on mylar and gallery space, dimensions variable [large detail of installation]

Dora Garcia All the Stories 2005 book (sample) 9" x 6" x 3" [installation view]

Donelle Woolford Number 1 Painting 2006 wood, screws, glue, latex paint 27" x 21" [installation view]

Conrad Bakker Untitled Project: Trash oil on [single blocks of] carved wood 12.25" x 8" x 10.75" (each), resting on Gerhard Richter wall-to-wall carpet designed for Vorwerk & Co. Teppichewerke GmbH & Co. KG 1991 polyester, polypropylene 52.5" x 149" [view of installation]

Karen Reimer Chicago Tribune January 20, 2002 (Custom Tailored Shit) 2003 embroidery 22" x 24" on the left, and Chicago Tribune September 29, 2002 (0%) 2003 embroidery 22" x 24" on the right [installation view]

Karen Reimer Untitled [notebook page corner] 1999 embroidery 3.5" x 2" [installation view]

Because of recent dramatic developments related to his work which are [more or less] outside of the exhibition itself I've done a separate post on one of the artists, Chris Moukarbel [see below], but there's no way I wasn't going to show some of the other excellent works in the current Wallspace group show, "Data Mining", which was curated by the artist Joe Scanlan.

"Data mining", as it has developed in sophistication into the first decade of the twenty-first century is described in the gallery's press release as an information gathering system which has become "one of the most pervasive, efficient and profitable ways for powerful entities to track and maintain their hold on things". We are reminded that the system operates largely by finding and measuring conformity and repetition and ignoring or discarding anomalies or abhorrent behaviors - precisely the territory of the artist.

The press notes continue with the observation that not all artists are interested in addressing this extraordinary and increasing concentration of power at the top, and that still others are simply not aware of the potential their own artistic creation may have for influencing what happens on the mountain - and in the valleys, where most of us live.

Luckily some artists believe their actions still matter, and think that a little research and a lot of leeway (and vice versa) can get noticed, maybe even be effective. Data Mining presents work by eight artists who take matters into their own hands by reframing aesthetics and retelling stories—in general, asserting their power as aberrant individuals inhabiting a conformist technology. Because their works draw stark contrasts between political content and modest creative means, all of the artists in Data Mining might be characterized as “folk politicians” or, if you will, “craft activists.” Whether armed with video cameras or embroidery needles, glue guns or pocket knives, the artists in Data Mining aestheticize politics and politicize aesthetics.
It's an extremely smart show, gently provocative and beautifully installed.

The two artists represented in the show whose subversive contributions I have not been able to include in an image here or on the previous post are Jay Chung and [the voice of] Robert Smithson.

Chris Moukarbel Untitled 2006 DVD projection [still from installation]

Who owns 9/11? Even the question is scary, but most of us would answer in disgust, "George Bush". Nevertheless we would have to admit that this quick response ignores the other part of the power/money equation which dominates our public and, increasingly, private lives. Chris Moukarbel's audacious new work, together with the restraining order it has provoked, dramatizes the pervasiveness of corporate and governmental control over all information - and ultimately its disastrous impact on our ability to respond to any challenge, including but not limited to those posed by terroism.

The artist's "Untitled" appears in a group show called "Data Mining" curated by Joe Scanlan and installed at Wallspace in Chelsea.

Moukarbel's reference is Oliver Stone's $60 milliion about-to-be-released film, "World Trade Center". The artist [in this context I think the noun's reference is clear] originally filmed a 12-minute video, "World TradeCenter 2006", based on a bootleg copy of Stone's script, but Paramount Pictures was able to persuade a court to issue a restraining order on the piece. What is being shown in the gallery this month is a work created from footage shot in the process of making the proscribed video. We see and hear two actors in position [trapped in debris beneath one of the towers] for their roles and conversing in character or addressing the director who remains off-camera.

Moukarbel speaks in an article which appears in today's NYTimes:

"I'm interested in memorial and the way Hollywood represents historical events," Mr. Moukarbel said in an interview yesterday, the day after his new video was shown as part of the group exhibition "Data Mining" at Wallspace, a Manhattan gallery. "Through their access and budget they're able to affect a lot of people's ideas about an event and also affect policy. I was deliberately using their script and pre-empting their release to make a statement about power."

"My film was offered free on the Internet," he said of "World Trade Center 2006." "It cost $1,000 to produce. We're at a place now where technology allows the democratization of storytelling."

It's a terrific piece with an awesome pedigree conveniently provided by the agents of power it addresses. At the opening two nights ago the gallery provided, in addition to the informational plaque attached to the wall outside the darkened viewing room, the complete text of the first video and a copy of the restraining order itself.

This page is an archive of entries in the Culture category from July 2006.

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