Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

St. Louis devotes exhibition to Serra’s ‘Twain’

For many years now I’ve been telling the story of Twain, an underrated, under-appreciated Richard Serra sculpture in Saint Louis. One of the newly expanded Saint Louis Art Museum’s first shows spotlights and celebrates Twain: Titled “Sight Lines: Richard Serra’s Drawings for Twain,” the exhibition features drawings, ‘manipulated photographs,’ and a steel model related to Twain. The exhibition was curated by Ann-Maree Walker and will remain on view through September 7. [Image: Richard Serra, photographed by Robert Pettus, Manipulated Photograph related to "Twain", c. 1975. Collection of the Saint Louis Art Museum.]

MAN’s examination of Serra, Twain and Serra’s St. Louis has included:

Richard Serra, photographed by Robert Pettus, Manipulated Photograph related to “Twain”, c. 1975. Collection of the Saint Louis Art Museum.

Richard Serra, photographed by Robert Pettus, Manipulated Photograph related to “Twain”, c. 1975. Collection of the Saint Louis Art Museum.

The Monday Checklist

[Robert Olsen, no title, 2007. Olsen, one of America's best young painters, died on April 14. He was 44. David Colker wrote the Olsen obituary for the Los Angeles Times. See more of Olsen's work at his website and more work and related images at his Flickr stream.]

1.) Must-read review: Christopher Knight in the LAT on ‘Byzantium’ at the Getty Villa. (A related show at the J. Paul Getty Museum.)

2.) Critical thoughts (edition of four): Monica Bowen on Alberti’s Window on the female body and horizontal images. David Pagel in the LAT on Helen Pashgian at LACMA. Karen Rosenberg in the NYT on “When the Stars Began to Fall” at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Jori Finkel in The Art Newspaper on Mike Kelley’s death and his art. [Image below, right: Ralph Lemon, Untitled, 2013-14, included in "When the Stars Began to Fall."]

3.) Must-read journalism: Sherry El-Gergawi in Ahram Online on how a retired Egyptian general wants the famed St. Catherine’s monastery in Sinai (and presumably the art in it) demolished. (A 2006 J. Paul Getty Museum exhibition of icons from the monastery is one of the greatest exhibition’s I’ve seen.)

4.) Journalism (edition of three): Kyle MacMillan in the Wall Street Journal on the Art Institute of Chicago’s conservation of its famed Caillebotte. Rachel Donadio in the NYT on what happens to repatriated art. Four Detroit Free Press reporters on a deal in Detroit.

5.) Museum feature (print): Lotte Johnson on MoMA’s Inside/Out on Paul Gauguin’s so-called oil transfer drawings. [Image: Paul Gauguin, Tahitian Woman with Evil Spirit (recto). c. 1900. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.]

6.) Museum feature (audio/visual): Alec Soth and Aperture on the current state of the photo book.

7.) Three tweets: From Brian Sholis. From Philippe Vergne via @MOCAlosangeles. (My response.) From the Archives of American Art.

8.) Twitter feed to follow: Jon Seydl, director of curatorial affairs at the Worcester Art Museum.

9.) Tumblr feed to follow: ScupltureCenter.

10.) This week on The Modern Art Notes Podcast: The Museum of Modern Art’s Kathy Halbreich on Sigmar Polke; Olaf Peters on “Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937″ at the Neue Galerie. How to listen: Download the show directly to your PC/mobile device. Listen on SoundCloud. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast at iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or via RSS.

11.) Other Modern Art Notes Podcast news: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is presenting “Kaz Oshiro: Chasing Ghosts” at LACMA’s satellite gallery at the Charles White Elementary School at 2401 Wilshire. Hear Oshiro on Episode No. 75 of The MAN Podcast. [Image below, right: Oshiro, Dumpster, 2010. Collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.]

12.) Web-accessible sound/video art: Joan Jonas, Volcano Saga, 1989. Via UbuWeb.

13.) Artwork in the public domain: Juan de Flandes, Christ Appearing to His Mother, ca. 1496. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Last week the Met added the tag “OASC” to many images of artworks in its collection, and posted this on its website elucidating its open-access scholarly content initiative. So far it looks like all the images are still sub-publication quality (72dpi), at least for now.

14.) Art book in the public domain: The catalogue for Phyllida Barlow’s Tate commission.

Robert Olsen, no title, 2007.

Craft beer Friday: Peekskill Eastern Standard

Peekskill Eastern Standard IPA: On draft. Faint aroma of citrus. No lacing or bubbles. Flavors of orange backed by mild chocolate malts. Some pleasant bittering on the finish. Nice, crisp, warm-weather IPA!

ABV: 6.7%.

My rating: 3.6.

RateBeer rating: 98 overall, 98 for style, weighted average of 3.71.

Brewery: Peekskill Brewery, Peekskill, NY.

The Modern Art Notes Podcast: Sigmar Polke

This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast spotlights “Alibis: Sigmar Polke, 1963-2010″ at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The exhibition is in member previews now, opens to the public on April 19 and will remain on view through August 3. The exhibition’s catalogue was published by MoMA.

Joining the program to discuss the exhibition is Kathy Halbreich, who curated “Alibis.” Halbreich is MoMA’s associate director and the former director of the Walker Art Center. Her last exhibition before “Alibis” was a 2010 installation of contemporary art from MoMA’s collection that was co-curated with Christophe Cherix.

Among the topics we discuss are

  • Polke’s address of the Nazi era, particularly the iconography of the swastika;
  • Whether amidst all the media Polke uses and the way he flits between subjects and source materials, there is a ‘unified theory’ that guided Polke’s work;
  • Polke’s skepticism, especially about belief systems; and
  • His interest in destruction, especially the atomic bomb and nuclear material.

On the second segment, Olaf Peters discusses “Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937,” which is on view through June 30. Peters is a professor at the Peters is a professor at the Institute for Art History and Archaeology in Europe at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. He curated “Degenerate Art” and edited its excellent exhibition catalogue, which was published by Prestel.

How to listen: Download the show directly to a PC or mobile device. Listen on SoundCloud. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast at iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or via RSS. Stream the program at MANPodcast.com.

The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. The program is edited by Wilson Butterworth. The MAN Podcast is released under this Creative Commons license.

For images of art discussed on this week’s program, please click through to the jump.

Continue Reading

Travel Wednesday

I’m traveling today. Back tomorrow with a super MAN Podcast. In the meantime: Check out George Braque and his WWII-era black fish.

Travel Tuesday.

I’m traveling. Check out what I wrote last year about the gradual rediscovery of Manierre Dawson.

Monday travel

I’m traveling today, so I’ll offer two things you might enjoy:

The first is a marvelous Patricia Cohen-and-Graham Bowley story in Sunday’s New York Times. It examines a tax break provided to wealthy art-buyers by certain states and asks whether an immediate reaction to the art market should determine the installations in and educational programs conducted in art museums — and whether it is appropriate to give the 1% such an outrageous, immoral tax break.

The second is a piece I wrote in 2009 on the occasion of Barack Obama’s inauguration. With “Degenerate Art” on view at the Neue Galerie, I’ve been thinking about it George Grosz a lot, especially about how he is one of the most under-appreciated artist-humanists of the 20th century. So please have a read.

Craft beer Fridays: Maine Mean Old Tom

Maine Mean Old Tom: In bottle. Crisp coffee-and-vanilla aroma. Ever-so-slight vanilla flavor followed by coffee, cocoa, and walnuts. Lots going on for a low-ish-ABV stout. Call it a ’spring stout?’ Lovely.

ABV: 6.5%.

My rating: 3.6.

RateBeer rating: 99 overall, 99 for style, weighted average of 3.79.

Brewery: Maine Beer Company, Freeport, Me.

The MAN Podcast: Hans Op de Beeck

This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Hans Op de Beeck.

Op de Beeck’s Staging Silence (2) (2013) just concluded a run at MIT’s List Visual Art Center and opens next at MOCA Cleveland in June. Also in June, the Sammlung Goetz in Munich opens “Hans Op de Beeck,” an overview of Op de Beeck’s work from the last 15 years. Op de Beeck’s work is on view through July 6 at The Baker Museum in Naples, Fla. in “Museum to Scale 1:7.”

Op de Beeck has been the subject of dozens of solo shows in the United States, Europe and Asia, including at the Kunstverein Hannover, the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Brussels’ ARGOS, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and dozens more.

Among the topics we discuss are:

  • Why he sometimes starts his film installations by revealing the illusion behind it;
  • The relationship between his work and European history;
  • The ways in which painting, particularly Netherlandish and Flemish painting, influence his work; and
  • Why he uses so much black, white and grey.

See Op de Beeck’s work: All of Op de Beeck’s film installations are on his website. Eight of them are available at 1080p on his YouTube channel. Op de Beeck’s Sea of Tranquility (2009) is on MOCAtv.

On the second segment, Kimbell Art Museum director Eric Lee discusses the Kimbell’s recent acquisition of Jacob van Ruisdael’s Edge of a Forest with a Grainfield (ca. 1656, at right), which will go on view at the museum later this month. The painting is considered one of the finest Dutch landscapes in the world.

How to listen: Download the show directly to PC/mobile device. Listen on SoundCloud. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast at iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or via RSS. Stream the program at MANPodcast.com.

The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. The program is edited by Wilson Butterworth. The MAN Podcast is released under this Creative Commons license.

For images of the Op de Beeck installations and van Ruisdaels discussed on this week’s program, please click through to the jump.

Continue Reading

AICA-USA hands out criticism awards

The United States chapter of the International Association of Art Critics did something new this year: It gave out awards not just for curatorial achievement (as it has for many years), but for “critical excellence” as well.

AICA chose Holland Cotter of The New York Times as the winner of the “best criticism” award, and gave Barry Schwabsky second place for his book “Words for Art: Criticism, History, Theory Practice.” The Brooklyn Rail won for “best art reporting,” with second place going to The New Yorker’s Nick Paumgarten for his profile of dealer David Zwirner.

Finally, it was rather neat to find out the winner for “best blog” was, well, Modern Art Notes. Mira Schor took second place. The announcement included mention of The Modern Art Notes Podcast, which posts here on Thursdays (as well as to iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, RSS and MANPodcast.com.)

I’ve never won an award before, so this is kind of cool. It’s especially gratifying because I was nominated for the award by a committee that included David Pagel, whose work I’ve long admired and to whom I’ve quite, quite often linked, and because AICA members themselves voted the winners. I’ve been an AICA member for probably ten or eleven years now. Still, I’ve never quite felt like I’m in the club.

But it’s also good to see independent, digitally-published work recognized because that’s where most of the energy in writing about art is these days. Witness Greg Allen’s take on President George W. Bush’s paintings earlier this week, a write-up that found something new and newsworthy in a subject most others had merely reacted to and at. Or William Poundstone, whose smart, often instructive posts make me wish I’d thought of this or discovered that first. Or look at how Hyperallergic has matured into a meaningful source on (mostly) New York, such as with this look at art education in the city.

Finally, I know you don’t have to read this site. This isn’t legacy media, the sort of publication you have to read to know what’s going on in the world, or the kind of site that everyone reads so they know what to discuss at the water cooler. So thanks for stopping by.