October 2008

“Irony – check. Careful, considered design – check. Desirable product with cache – most definitely check. Natalia Brilli has managed to create a signature that is immediately identifiable with her blend of taking the every day and creating a finished product that appears as if dipped into leather. A laptop bag becomes a functional leather laptop case that has the keyboard carved out in the leather, a wallet has the credit cards and coins moulded onto the zip front cover, a pair of sunglasses are embossed into the leather sunglass case. At once quirky and humorous but undeniably cool and chic, the latest Men’s 09 Collection is no exception to this designers range and ability.”

– Kate Vandermeer, from The Cool Hunter



Ark, 2008 by Mark Bradford

Mirtha — a 64-foot-long and 22-foot-high giant ark, made from scavenged construction debris and covered in distressed posters —

 rests in the Lower Ninth Ward, a neighborhood of New Orleans ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. The sculpture by LA-based artist Mark Bradford forms one of the major on-site installations created for the inaugural Prospect.1 New Orleans (P.1), which opens November 1 at venues across the city, from a Baptist church to Loyola University and local historical museums. New Orleans is the latest city to enter the worldwide biennial circuit, as it still looks to rebuild in the wake of the hurricane that flooded 80% of the city and dispersed one million Big Easy residents. A mega-exhibition with 81 artists from 30 countries, P.1 is led by founding director Dan Cameron, former senior curator of the New Museum and co-curator of the 2003 Istanbul Biennial and the 2006 Taipei Biennial. Long attracted to the New Orleans’ distinct culture, Cameron brings not only major art-world names, but also showcases the Bayou’s local artists. In doing so, he hopes to bridge what many biennials only exacerbate: the stark divide between high-powered international art and local traditions.


Boeuf Gras, 2008 by Tony Fitzpatrick

Many of the international artists whom Cameron has invited to the French-influenced American locale — where Monet and Degas first exhibited in the US — have created works specifically for the biennial. Alexandre Arrechea, who is a former member of the Cuban collective Los Carpinteros, has crafted a knee-high, branch-like wooden bucket that resembles the shape of the Mississippi River (which snakes through the city) out of lumber reclaimed from the bottom of the riverbed. Paul Villinski‘s Emergency Response Studio, a solar-powered artist’s studio housed in a mobile home, echoes the FEMA trailers that many New Orleans residents were issued by the government after their homes were destroyed. Also working with reclaimed materials, Nari Ward exhibits his site-inspired work in the now-vacant, historical Battleground Baptist Church in the Lower Ninth Ward; Diamond Gym: Action Network is a diamond-shaped structure, formed from discarded exercise equipment, surrounded by mirrors, and inspired by the Harlem offices of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.


Fireworks from Heaven, 2001 by Cai Guo-Qiang

Additionally, P.1 includes an international roster with a strong showing of artists from Asia, such as the Beijing Olympics’ fireworks master Cai Guo-Qiang, up-and-coming new-media artist Cao Fei, and installation artist Haegue Yang. A strong South American contingent — often left off international biennial rosters — includes Brazilians Beatriz Milhazes and Rosângela Rennó. Connecting the international and the local, Steven G. Rhodes is a rising young sculptor from New Orleans, now exhibiting in New York and Los Angeles, whose recent projects reflect the horrors of Katrina. These artists share the limelight with two of New Orleans’ best: John Barnes Jr. creates mixed-media sculptures with a distinct, folk-art-inspired iconography, and Willie Birch‘s black-and-white drawings of local residents and rituals capture the Cajun city’s unique heritage. P.1 aims to be the first biennial where international visitors come to see the city and the art as a cohesive whole —

an exhibition that reveals the location itself, while also looking abroad at the larger world.”

– H.G. Masters, from Artkrush

Prospect.1 New Orleans takes place in outdoor sites and indoor venues throughout the city from November 1 to January 18, 2009.

This watch is tough looking. Crickey it’s badass.

“URWERK presents its new UR-202 with a steel case treated with AlTiN – Aluminum Titanium Nitride. AlTiN is a technical coating treatment originaly designed for industry for full slotting and aggressive machining of stainless steel. An AlTiN coating less than 4 microns thick has the effect of multiplying the resistance of the underlying metal to scratches, shocks, oxidation and even acids.”


“Berlin is like New York City in the 1980’s. Rents are cheap, graffiti is
everywhere and the air crackles with a creativity that comes only
from a city in transition. –NY Times 12/06

Nearly two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the cultural life
of the city has suddenly exploded again and is propelling it on its way
to becoming the new New York. -The Observer UK 10/07

Nearly everywhere you go, from the cafe-lined streets of Kreuzberg to
the leafy schoolyards in Grunewald, hastily drawn “tags” stream across
the sidewalk and crawl up the side of buildings, in an elaborate zigzag
of cartoonish graphics, puffy letters, photo-like wheat pastes and bold
stencils. Parts of the city look as splattered as a New York City subway
car from the 1970’s. –NY Times 3/08

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Brooklynite Gallery is proud to present the exhibition entitled, TIME MACHINE,
featuring artists DAIN, VARIOUS and GOULD, October 18 – November 15.
Opening Night Reception, October 18th from 7-9pm.

TIME MACHINE, the show’s title, derives from the constant comparisons being
made to the current art scene and freedom of expression in present day Berlin
as compared to what was going on in New York City in the late 60’s, 70’s and
80’s. TIME MACHINE brings together DAIN, a native New Yorker, who seems
to be very much hell-bent on reviving NYC street art back to it’s heyday, with
VARIOUS and GOULD from Berlin, two artists who are prime examples of why
comparisons to the two cities are even being made.

If you haven’t noticed DAIN’s bold, sexy, thought provoking wheat-pastes
plastered throughout the city, you must either have a lot on your mind or are
too busy looking down at the ground for something you’ve lost. He’s everywhere!

With a strong affection for the 1920’s glamour girl and their come-hither
glances, to the pop culture icons of the past in classic poses, to the stark
innocent stares of children in need, DAIN creates images that are ‘moments
in time’ —drawing you in from many angles. Incorporating hints of neon
color that pops in just the right places, repeating shapes and figures in ways
that create new ones, DAIN’s work may be moments of style, of humor or of
sympathy… but make no mistakes about it… they are without a doubt ‘moments’.

VARIOUS and GOULD sometimes conspire as a team, other times they go it alone,
either way there’s always one constant variable —brazen, affirming imagery.

As part of the upcoming TIME MACHINE exhibition, VARIOUS and GOULD will
continue collaborating on a series of silkscreened, stereotyped word and portrait
images they have plastered throughout the streets of Berlin called, IDENTIKITS.
Persons, places and words come together to reclassify, word associate and
challenge the mind to reconsider what we ‘think’ we already know. Look closely
enough and you may find your deep-set eyes, ethnic nose or cleft chin in their
dead-on, stark portraits —proving once again how we are all quite
stereotypically similar in features, yet worlds apart on our opinions of what they
actually symbolize…

IDENTIKITS are only part of the work that will be on display at Brooklynite; hence
the name, VARIOUS —as she thrives on constantly exploring different themes,
with varying media, on changing surfaces —using distinct styles. Her main
interest is to alienate or change the context; to irritate and work with contradictions.

GOULD’s paste-ups of photocopied or silk-screened drawings, photographs and
collages include images of human/animal hybrids and characters with exaggerated
facial expressions, as well as enclosed dictums communicating a range of ambiguous
emotions. One of the main subjects he deals with is human shortcoming in all its
tragicomic ways.”




— Anthony P. Munoz

Anderson Ranch at the Aspen Art Museum

In an historic collaborative effort, the Aspen Art Museum and Anderson Ranch Arts Center present an exhibition that highlights the artistic accomplishments of Anderson Ranch, its history of art-making, and its importance to the local community.

ARAC@AAM: Anderson Ranch at the Aspen Art Museum is organized from over 250 submissions received from an open call to all former artists-inresidence, workshop faculty, visiting artists and critics, and Anderson Ranch staff. Collaboratively invited by the museum and the ranch, Dan Cameron, the Director of Visual Arts at the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans; Laura Hoptman, the Senior Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York; and Lauri Firstenberg, Director/Curator of LA>ART in Los Angeles, worked together to jury and curate the exhibition, which brings together works that are as rich and diverse as Anderson Ranch’s own artistic legacy.

Featuring work by:
Laura Berman
Lisa K. Blatt
Phyllis Bramson
Emily Cameron
Squeak Carnwath
Theresa Chong
Roy Dowell
Jessica Frelinghuysen
Don Fritz
Arthur González
Chris Gustin
Harmony Hammond
Cherie Hiser
Benjamin Koch
Christine Lee
Jeffrey Marshall
Scott McCarney
Liliana Mejia
Willie Osterman
Lucy Puls
Michael Puryear
Milton Rosa-Ortiz
Buzz Spector
John Torreano
Edie Tsong
Mark Tribe

Support for ARAC@AAM: Anderson Ranch at the Aspen Art Museum provided by Baldwin Gallery, Barbara and Bruce Berger, Lee and Mel Eagle, Richard Edwards, Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy, Toby Devan Lewis, Sara Ransford, Mary and Patrick Scanlan, Betty and Lloyd Schermer, June and Paul Schorr, and Dee and Charles Wyly. AAM Art Talks are part of the Questrom Lecture Series.

Aspen Art Museum | 590 North Mill Street | Aspen, Colorado 81611 | 970.925.8050 | www.aspenartmuseum.org

–Anthony P. Munoz

Art Letter (10/17/08)

“The art season follows the school year – perhaps because people are focused indoors more than out then – and the ‘art season’ opened a month ago. I’ve noticed for years that many galleries present their strongest exhibits in the October / November slot and it is safe to say that the exhibits I’ve just previewed are superior to what I had to choose from a month ago.

I never heard of Joseph Goto, whose show opens tonight at Corbett vs Dempsey. He studied at the School of the Art Institute right after World War II and lived in Chicago for some time. He was a helluva sculptor whose work must have influenced numerous sculptors who came after him. I’m guessing that di Suvero was. Goto’s art is often lyrical and occasionally brutish, often delicate and linear and at other times just grunt basic. It feels familiar yet remains fresh. I was impressed.

I’ve known Stephen De Staebler’s art for over 3 decades. His exhibition of gorgeous sculptures opens tonight (Friday) at Zolla/Lieberman. I was once married to a woman who theorized that most artists starting doing “greatest hits” by the time they’d hit their mid-50’s. De Staebler, who zipped past 70 a bit ago, is showing by far the best work of his significant career. There are easy references to Giacometti and Pompeii, but the texture, forms and nuances are what are most striking for an artist who has been honing his expressive skill for half a century. These larger-than-life clay sculptures sing.

Enrique Santana was born in Spain and lives in Chicago and exhibits at Ann Nathan Gallery. He’s been painting buildings in downtown Chicago, but he crops them interestingly to highlight his painterly abilities. He’s very good at capturing the nuances of light and the shadows that are cast on the buildings. To some extent the paintings are about Chicago, but to a larger extent they are about the technical issues and the paintings could be anywhere.

Alfedena Gallery, has been an important gallery in Chicago since it opened two years ago. And they’ll be closing the middle of next month. Over the two year span they presented over 20 exhibitions of mostly mid-career Chicago artists. And now they’ve lost their financial backing. The last exhibition features Steven Heyman, whose work has been about the abstract qualities of light for many years, who renders his content quite differently than Santana. This most recent body of work is an extension of the large commissions he recently completed for the International Terminal at O’Hare. Downstairs at Alfedena, Paul Sacaridiz is presenting several large installations that expand on his interest in ornamentation and decorative architecture. This is good work that takes time to decipher.

Lora Fosberg, whose show opens tonight at Linda Warren Gallery, has a fun perspective on an array of issues and concerns that are common to many of us; natural disasters, societal advice, personal wisdom, or the lack thereof. But her perspective is different than mine and more fun. Clearly she cares about the subjects she draws, but she laughs at them too and then she laughs at herself for laughing at them. Fun show. In the back room at Linda Warren are some really beautiful and slightly strange photographs by Tom Van Eynde. I happened to have been in his studio about a year ago when he began working on this series. He was buying different kinds of plastic flowers and photographing them. I didn’t know at the time – and I’m not sure he did – where this work would take him. I really didn’t see much potential in the work I saw a year ago and I’m really pleased with how they came out.

In the West Loop, at Tony Wight, Tamar Halpern makes photographs that result from an unusual process. She works the same way a painter a might; starting with a photographing a random item, other photo, or artifact, and uses it the way a painter might a random mark. She then combines images as she composes. The result is always abstract, though the contents might not always be. I found it relevant that she mentioned listing to Sun Ra and how she’d noticed the sound of a shuffling footstep would be incorporated into the music.

At ThreeWalls, Amy Mayfield makes warm, playful environments for drippy, creepy content, which is sometimes disarmingly charming. Taken in parts, the pieces are slightly eerie. Taken together, it sort of feels like somebody in the Addams Family went to art school. I like the work. It’s different. I wonder if I’m affected by just having finished watching Hellboy.


Across the street at Monique Meloche is an exhibition opening by Carrie Schneider who’s just returned from a year in Finland, courtesy of a Fulbright, after getting a graduate degree for the School of the Art Institute. Her work also has a bit of an eerie quality reminiscent to me of how I felt while watching Chinatown. Schneider challenges nature in her work, creating a persona that interacts uncomfortably with nature, or she postulates impossible notions, like learning how a derelict feels by emulating a derelict’s motions and activities. This is a young artist with a solid exhibition and is worth remembering and paying attention to.

I receive digital images from artists and galleries frequently. Sometimes the work looks better on my monitor and sometimes it looks better in person. If I know the artist’s work I usually accurately grasp how the art will look in person, but when I don’t know the work seeing it in real life can be different. And that’s the case with Doug Smithenry whose show opens tonight at Aron Packer. It’s much stronger in person. Like the previous few shows the work is concept driven – Smithenry’s fascination with fleeting fame on the internet, like Lonelygirl15 and many others. A bit like Jason Salavon sampling internet content, Smithenry picks and chooses, like a painting with people named Tom, Dick and Harry – heck, it’s possible even you show up in one of his paintings.

Lastly, there’s an exhibit I didn’t get to preview that opens tonight at the Chicago Cultural Center. Titled Made in Chicago: Photographs from the Bank of America LaSalle Collection, the show features lots of black & white images of scenes in Chicago by photographers like Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind and Robert Frank. There are 150 photographs in the show, taken over the last 75 years.

Lots to see. Lots to do.”
— Paul Klein

UK magazine, ArtReview, came out with their Power 100 list today. No surprises on much of it. Damien Hirst makes his way to the number 01 position no doubt because of all his headline grabbing. I guess cutting out art galleries and going straight to art buyers is enough to get you on the Power list. The others are a who’s who of the world’s most influential artists, art dealers and major metropolitan gallery directors. Not being on the list, I only gave it a cursory glance.

Thanks to the LA Times new art blog Culture Monster I’ve been clued into the last person on the list – Thomas Kinkade, self-described Painter of Light. Check out some examples of his “illuminating” work below the complete 100 list.

01. Science (Damien Hirst)
02. Larry Gagosian
03. Kathy Halbreich
04. Sir Nicholas Serota
05. Iwan Wirth
06. Jay Jopling
07. David Zwirner
08. François Pinault
09. Jasper Johns
10. Eli Broad
11. Jeff Koons
12. Steven A. Cohen
13. Daniel Birnbaum
14. Charles Saatchi
15. Brett Gorvy & Amy Cappellazzo
16. Tobias Meyer & Cheyenne Westphal
17. Marian Goodman
18. Gerhard Richter
19. Richard Prince
20. Dominique Lévy & Robert Mnuchin
21. Michael Govan
22. Marc Glimcher
23. Annette Schönholzer, Marc Spiegler
24. Alfred Pacquement
25. Matthew Slotover & Amanda Sharp
26. Barbara Gladstone
27. Matthew Marks
28. Takashi Murakami
29. Agnes Gund
30. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan
31. Dakis Joannou
32. Bernard Arnault
33. Richard Serra
34. Sadie Coles
35. Julia Peyton-Jones & Hans Ulrich Obrist
36. Donna De Salvo
37. Simon de Pury
38. Don & Mera Rubell
39. Ann Philbin
40. Paul Schimmel
41. Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
42. Michael Ringier
43. Jose, Alberto & David Mugrabi
44. Chris Kennedy
45. Bruce Nauman
46. Cy Twombly
47. Ai Weiwei
48. Tim Blum & Jeff Poe
49. Andreas Gursky
50. Olafur Eliasson
51. Harry Blain & Graham Southern
52. Jeff Wall
53. Peter Doig
54. Roman Abramovich & Daria Zhukova
55. Bruno Brunnet, Nicole Hackert, Philipp Haverkampf
56. Marlene Dumas
57. Gavin Brown
58. Victoria Miro
59. Mitchell Rales
60. Yvon Lambert
61. Mike Kelley
62. Paul McCarthy
63. Banksy
64. Emmanuel Perrotin
65. William Acquavella
66 .Lucian Freud
67. Victor Pinchuk
68. Maurizio Cattelan
69. Cai Guo Qiang
70. Maureen Paley
71. Roberta Smith
72. Peter Schjeldahl
73. Thelma Golden
74. Ralph Rugoff
75. Robert Gober
76. Iwona Blazwick
77. Richard Armstrong
78. Massimiliano Gioni
79. Jerry Saltz
80. Reena Spaulings/Bernadette Corporation
81. Louise Bourgeois
82. Cindy Sherman
83. Okwui Enwezor
84. Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn
85. Shaun Caley Regen
86. Liam Gillick
87. Miuccia Prada
88. John Baldessari
89. Francesca von Habsburg
90. Christian Boros
91. Nicholas Logsdail
92. Subodh Gupta
93. The Long March Project
94. Paula Cooper
95. Peter Nagy
96. Casey Reas
97. Anita & Poju Zabludowicz
98. Guy & Myriam Ullens
99. Laurent Le Bon
100. Thomas Kinkade


— Anthony //

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