For Charles Clough, a solo show that raises the question: What was the 'Pictures Generation' really?
"There were so many dogmas involved," Clough told me at Saturday's opening. "There was [Clement] Greenberg’s dogma and then there was Michael Fried’s dogma, and then there was the conceptual artist with their rules. Everybody’s got their rules and my critical position is more of affirmation and inclusion. And so I’ve always retained a painterly approach—throughout storms of dogma and various points of view."(1)
“We shared and offered spare generators, gloves, masks, suits, headlamps etc during it all,” Wallspace's Nichole Caruso told me last week over email. “The camaraderie in Chelsea has always been incredible, to say the least, and during this time it was no different. Everyone banded together and helped one another where and however they could.” The gallery re-opened its show of Gaylen Gerber’s 20th-century minimalist art and African sculpture painted white and gray. A block and a half east on 10th Avenue, though, recovery seems farther down the road. Printed Matter reported having lost 9,000 books from its basement and $200,000 in damages. Nonprofit spaces the Kitchen and Eyebeam reported having lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment, and 80 percent of Eyebeam's 15-year digital archives were damaged by corrosive flood waters.
“Take a step back, breathe, and assess yourself,” said Kala Harinarayanan to a crowd of around 150 beleaguered art owners in MoMA’s Celeste Bartos Theater. Harinarayanan, the Director of Environmental Health and Safety at the American Museum of Natural History, was the first speaker at what was deemed a “Consortium on Recovery of Works of Art Damaged by Flooding.” “Once you enter a space,” she continued, “you may think you’re prepared, but your emotions can quickly take over.”
Asked why he's leaving, Hopkins framed it as a voluntary choice, sparked by a disagreement between him and those he said expected him to run a more traditional (and profitable) art gallery. "If you're ever around the people who don't get it, you have to simply leave," Hopkins said. But Hopkins refused to name names and seemed to try to avoid implicating the building’s management. "It's not the owner[s], per se, it's really a subset in the art world of two kinds of people ... one, you have people who get it, and one you have people who don't get it."
“Do you mind if I take your picture?” I asked. “Don’t ask permission…just photograph.” Lucas Samaras replied—his long, thin white hair visible from beneath his fedora; more hair tufted along his jaw and out from his chin. “I’m his art pimp. I go where the artist goes,” his conversation partner, Jed Hotchkiss, announced. “He’s an art what…what did he say, an art what?” Samaras wondered, his voice breathy and strained. “An art pimp.” Hotchkiss repeated. Hotchkiss is not an art dealer and would only reveal that he represents artists—pitching venues and galleries.
The negative responses seem to be coming primarily from art publications, which makes sense and just further proves that the show is a misrepresentation of the art world. It’s very difficult to get a job in an art gallery, even an entry-level position. I can tell you that a job posting for a gallery assistant position typically yields about 500 applications. The show seems to be placing these women in very glamorous situations. I think in an episode to come they'll be at Art Basel. No intern or gallery assistant would go to Art Basel while starting out. I've never been to Art Basel!
The system was, however, not cheap. The question of whether New York could accommodate another art fair was sort of a distraction, even a mystification. Perhaps a more pressing issue for more people was the price attached to regular admission to the fair, which was $40. (tickets to MoMA, the city’s most expensive museum, are currently $25; tickets to the Armory, the most expensive of the fairs in March, were $30.) Who would pay that much and why? And what did that $40 price tag say about the state of the contemporary art world?
Host Alison Pierz explained that Slow Art Day was inspired by the Slow Food movement. “I like to think of art as sustenance,” she said. “It sounds hokey, but it’s good for the soul. These things take time to make, so let’s take time to appreciate them.” Slow Art Day intends to draw “regular folks,” she added, but—as the members of her group made clear—it sometimes attracts more “art world people” the bigger it gets. “It’s become a thing,” said Pierz, a former gallery director. “This is like preaching to the choir to a certain extent.”
A not-quite-multimedia performance by the Guerrilla Girls at Brooklyn Museum is, as always, both self-serving and thought-provoking
The museum’s press release billed the event as an exciting-sounding “multimedia performance in full jungle drag.” In fact, the “performance” was little more than a lecture conducted by the group’s founders, who go by the pseudonyms Frida Kahlo and Käthe Kollwitz, in keeping with the Guerilla Girls’ tradition of naming themselves after famous dead female artists. The high point came at the very beginning, when Kahlo and Kollwitz, who were wearing gorilla masks, walked down the aisles handing out—and occasionally throwing!—bananas to eager members of the nearly sold-out crowd.
New York art scene comes out for gold-dusted apple slices and 'dolphin' bouncy lap-rides at blogger Paddy Johnson's inspired mess of a benefit
“This benefit is an example of what we like to call guerrilla franchising,” said Paddy Johnson, the founder and editor of Art Fag City, the popular art blog. The main goal of the first annual Art Fag City Rob Pruitt Art Awards and Auction was to raise money for the blog. But as Stephen Stern, a food and art critic in attendance, pointed out: “This must be the most impractical, ridiculous way one could have gone about achieving that goal."
With blue-chip gallery Luhring Augustine coming soon, the scrappy Bushwick art scene contemplates its future
Back in December of 2010, the Chelsea gallery Luhring Augustine bought a 10,200-square-foot warehouse, in Bushwick, a couple of blocks away from the 56 Bogart complex of galleries and studios, and ever since, the city’s artists, gallerists, and curators have been eagerly awaiting the gallery’s first move in Brooklyn. They don’t have to wait any longer. Luhring Augustine’s Brooklyn outpost is set to have its first exhibition in February, featuring filmmaker Charles Atlas. The question now is what becomes of Bushwick, presently home to an indie, D.I.Y.-driven art scene not too different from what at the turn of the 21st century had begun to spring up in neighboring Williamsburg.(4)
Billboards on the High Line, Ab-Ex all over town, plus Cattelan, Levine, Holler: A year-end art-crawl
If you’re in town for the stretch before New Year’s with time and/or visiting family on your hands, you can go stir-crazy thinking the city's fast asleep 'til 2012. But right now there’s actually a good deal of great art—in museums and galleries and city parks—still on view and mainly free. But act now, since most of these items are ending soon.(1)
Lola Montes Schnabel debuts on the New York gallery scene, and suddenly it feels like the '80s again
“This isn’t a normal gallery opening, by the way,” said art historian Brian Kirsch. The opening he was talking about was that of Lola Montes Schnabel. Five sensual, splashy, large-scale paintings hung in a large room at The Hole Gallery where Schnabel’s show, "Love Before Intimacy," her first solo painting exhibition in the United States, was having its opening night last Friday.
At Jeff Wall’s new exhibit at Marian Goodman Gallery, true to form, the Canadian artist maintains a preference for technically tight, oversize images of ordinary happenings: a man gets wet; a boy falls from a tree; a man reads a document. Yet while in the past his tableaux were packed with activity and characters, in most of the new work in this show there're far fewer people and really, not much happening at all.