Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

Miami picks I

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When I walked into Art Basel Miami Beach on Wednesday at 12:01 pm, my first stop was The Project. They were offering a Julie Mehretu painting, the unexceptionalness of which led me to lean in toward the label to see if it was brand new. It was. In fact, it was so new it was dated “2008.” Apparently galleries are so eager to get work from their artists for a big fair that they’ll show next year’s work this year. (A Projectian quickly corrected the label with a Sharpie.)
I don’t have any big overview-type thoughts this year. After six iterations of the Big Shindig there’s really not too much new to say, unless you care about the market. (And I don’t.) Over the next few days I’ll post some work that caught my eye. I’ll start with artists who have never been mentioned on MAN before moving on to artists we know. I’m not posting these in any particular order — JPEG availability trumps all else.
DonVoisineAbsentTelamon.jpgDon Voisine at McKenzie Fine Art (NYC): Between my recent posts on 1950 at MoMA, and the Birth of The Cool show at the Orange County Museum of Art, I have hard-edge painting on the brain. Apparently Voisine is thinking about hard-edge too, because his oil-on-board abstractions are elegant updates of classic, pre-minimalist, hard-edge painting. Each of Voisine’s paintings mixed soft, almost gentle color (mauve instead of red, orange or purple, a faded bluish teal instead of blue, and so on) with inky blacks and right angles. Those inky blacks were rarely uniformly black on any one canvas. Sometimes they were shiny, sometimes matte, sometimes textured. Parts of his paintings sucked up light, parts of them threw it back at you. And like the best hard-edge paintings they grabbed my eye, threw it around the painted surface, and kept me looking far longer than their seeming simplicity would seemingly require.
LillyMcElroySquare2.jpgLilly McElroy at Robertello (Chicago): McElroy is already an internet phenomenon. A video of her performance The Square made the round of the internets earlier this summer, complete with plugs on Rocketboom and NPR.org. (McElroy’s website makes it near-impossible to find. But if you click on ‘performative videos’ at the bottom of the page, and then on ‘The Square,’ you’ll find it. Good luck.)
In The Square McElroy marks off an area of a busy sidewalk with a chalked white square. Then she stands inside it Marcel Marceaux-style, effectively creating personal space amidst the mayhem of the concrete trail. She’s essentially daring anyone to invade the ‘personal space’ that she’s created in the middle of a busy area. And, remarkably, no one does. McElroy’s performance is a clever metaphor for the seeming difficulty of finding a place of one’s own — spiritually and physically — in an ever more-dense world. And it’s funny as heck — something you almost never, ever, never see in performance art.

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