All those moments, taken from film and television, are now on view in Suspicious of rooms without music or atmosphere, the duo's latest exhibition at the Cheim and Read gallery in Chelsea. That exhibition title—theatrical, even melodramatic, a little sad and quite funny—tells you a great deal about McDermott and McGough’s work, which is, in its latest incarnation, a superrealist assemblage of juxtaposed '60s movie stills. (“Suspicious” brings together scenes from several films released in 1967.) Even before they trained their exacting eye on the cinema, the pair’s work has been cinematic, in the sense of immersive, sweeping mythmaking.
I think that's something that's a thread: collecting, I suppose. Collecting in relationship to found material…. But also, something that's quite specific is that many people are showing work by other artists. Jason Simon, for instance, is showing his collection of Chris Marker material. And Julie Ault, we're showing some material related to Theodore Kaczynski [the Unabomber]. There's a thread going through the show of artists who have responded to something interesting in the world, I suppose, and have translated that into the process of collecting and representing. I guess that goes hand-in-hand with the idea of the White Columns Annual, which is essentially that you're representing things that you saw elsewhere. It's almost more a form of collecting than curating.
Forty-two swings are attached with chains to the incredibly high ceiling of the armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall; each is also rigged by wire and pulley to a lightweight, silk curtain at the center of the hall, which oscillates as participants thrust themselves higher and higher on the swings. Overhead lights punctuate all the action. Situated above each swing, they create dramatic shadows below. Even though Hamilton’s installation defies strict genre-casting, it’s clear that the work is concerned with the ephemeral moment, and with the work of art being put into motion—made real—only with the participation of the visitor who mounts a swing and pushes off.
In Walker’s handling, “tell me what you’ve bought, and I’ll tell you who are” is less accusation, more intellectual puzzle, an investigation into the various ways the marketplace of products is also a marketplace of selves: “Branded material culture is something we tend to take for granted and don't think about very seriously,” Walker explained in an email exchange on the eve of the show’s opening. “And it's a pretty constant goal of everything I do to try to prod people to see something new in what's previously been overlooked.”
Gagosian said in its release that Dylan has “transformed popular design elements—from Bondage Magazine to Babytalk—by reconsidering the purposes of each: the graphics, syntax and chromatic content.” Further, Dylan “combines a wide range of popular styles, the sources of which he has reshaped to produce new conflations of image and meaning.”
When the lights and elevators turned back on, the company decided to devote 15,000-square-feet of the space for a set of conservation labs called Art Crisis Solutions. Dozens of distraught artists, gallerists, and collectors from around the city flocked to the space, carrying their waterlogged and potentially mold-infused art objects in tow. “We basically created a M.A.S.H. unit,” said Leslie Gat, the director of the Art Conservation Group, which is based out of a light-filled studio on the third floor with enviable views of Manhattan. “We’re putting all our efforts into stabilizing the effects of the flood.”
A Reagan-era Ed Kienholz installation is mounted again with a different president, and the same political message
Across the eyes of each of the large figures were blindfolds with the word ‘NO’ scrawled across them. It’s part of the piece’s operational rules. The country in which it’s displayed determines the color of the flashing lights and the flag held by the vice president, while a poll determines if the blindfolds read “YES” or “NO.” Pace had held a poll in the weeks leading up to the show asking art “Are you satisfied with your government?” I asked Kienholz how she felt about politics today. “Same as I felt about it then,” she replied swiftly.
Ligon’s stepmother, Charlene, was hovering around “Nov. 6, 2012,” (the piece is titled One Black Day). I asked her why she thought it wasn’t lit up like the others “I was thinking,” she said, “Oh, Glenn. That means he'll light it November 6th when the right person is in office.” “Do you know what November 6th is?” a woman nearby wondered aloud. “It’s election day,” I said. A friend of the woman jumped in. “So why is the title One Black Day?” he asked. Without waiting for an answer he walked over to Ligon to ask the artist dieectly.
“Ryan [McGinley] told me Sandy Kim is the next Ryan McGinley,” The Hole's director, Kathy Grayson, said. “Which gets really funny for him to say, but whatever, other people have said it too. She's 23 and a Korean-American girl. She obviously has a cool, fun life and interesting looking friends, but there is also something magic about her photographs.” But some attendees weren’t buying the magic.
Vik Muniz and others figure out how to make profound photos in a world that generates 30 billion images a year
“That’s my favorite Aperture book,” Muniz said. “That art book of [Edward] Weston’s, but it doesn’t have that picture.” Muniz said pointing to his work, a portrait of Weston’s lover titled The White Iris, “I actually used the book to make that picture so instead of putting the picture back in the book, I put the book in the picture. If you look at the side, all the bits and pieces are from the book, put together.” “So you tore an archival book?” the woman asked. “Yes, it was a first edition!” Muniz responded, “It was very cannibalistic.”(1)
Fab 5 Freddy ended up introducing a host of fellow graffiti artists to Astor, who welcomed them with open arms. Then, in 1981, Astor and co-founder Bill Stelling opened the gallery on a whim. He had a space. She had her friends who were artists. Together, they had a gallery. FUN became known for graffiti art. The uptown boys like Fab and Futura, as well as admirers like Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat all had shows there. B-boys from the Bronx became fixtures in the scene.
Overall, the auction was successful, with evening results totalling $1,517,250 against a low estimate of $1,352,000 for the 28 works. That’s nothing to be sad about. Still, most of the lots that did sell hovered just above their low estimates, and 30 percent of the lots didn’t sell. It seems that at this moment, a showcase of Avedon’s strange, glamorous world doesn’t garner much excitement.
Alexis Boehmler of Bomb magazine said the fair helps small booksellers stay relevant in a media-soaked art world. "A lot of the people here are our target audience in that they are interested in art. And we want more people to know about Bomb. We've been around for a long time. There is so much out there, especially online, it's good for us to be in front of people's eyes. What happens when you're not here is people wonder if you're still around."
The French first lady visits her countryman, a Brooklyn gallerist, but he's more impressed with the neighbors
“I really never leave the block,” he confessed. “When people see me on Atlantic Avenue, a few streets away, they call out: “What are you doing so far from home? It’s dangerous out here!” Interestingly, Boerum Hill reminds him less of the Left Bank than of Cairo or Alexandria. “In Paris, everything is clean, flat, like a museum,” he said. “Brooklyn is chaos everywhere. There is garbage outside in the street, for instance, and it smells when it’s hot at night. In Cairo you have that same smell. Also there is dust on the trees here, which you find in Cairo but not in Paris. I love that."(1)
“You know, they’ve raised a lot of money already … like a million bucks on this portfolio,” Rosenquist said. The gallery is offering a special Artists for Obama 2012 portfolio, which includes 19 limited edition lithographs in exchange for a $28,000 donation to Obama’s re-election campaign. It features work from a powerhouse group of artists including Bruce Nauman, Brice Marden, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra, Richard Tuttle, as well as Rosenquist.