Archive for the ‘Weekend roundup’ Category
December 9, 2013, 8:29 am
- While the luxury end of the commercial art world was trying to attract billionaires in Miami, Roberta Smith reviewed “Come Together: Surviving Sandy,” an exhibition of and about the New York art community’s post-storm resilience.
- Christopher Knight asks how it took a Strozzi 70 years to make its way through the Nazi era to LACMA when a bunch of Cezannes made it America despite the Nazis (only to be siphoned off from their intended destination — the White House — by the National Gallery of Art).
- It’s still amazing that the Washington Post hasn’t followed up on that story. (Except, of course, that it is the Washington Post.)
- Do not miss Bob Keyes’ moving Portland Press Herald story on Maine-based painter Jon Imber, who has ALS. Advancing illness hasn’t stopped him from painting — instead, it’s driven him all the more.
- Knight on MOCA’s Tom of Finland/Bob Mizer physique mags show.
- Karen Rosenberg (NYT) and Peter Plagens (WSJ) reviewed “New Jersey as Non-Site” at the Princeton University Art Museum, which sounds pretty fascinating.
- Americans are well-familiar with the story of how modernism developed in early 20thC Paris, but not quite so familiar with the concurrent movement in Vienna. In the New York Review of Books, Andrew Butterfield reviews a show of early 20thC Viennese portraiture at London’s National Gallery.
- The Detroit Free Press’ Mark Stryker has the latest from the DIA crisis, where the museum has entered talks about separating some of the museum’s collection from city ownership.
- Knight on the silliest way you can spend $35,000. Who at the Van Gogh Museum thought that getting on board with this nonsense thought this was a good idea?! (Me too.)
- How many art museums are polling places? The Worcester Art Museum and the city are considering it.
- Just for fun: On Design Observer, Alexandra Lange and Mark Lamster look at the year that was.
December 2, 2013, 11:01 am
November 25, 2013, 8:08 am
November 18, 2013, 10:50 am
- Christopher Knight reviews “Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years,” which has touched down at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Exhibition co-curator Timothy Anglin Burgard was the guest on Episode No. 85 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast.
- NYTer Damien Cave says scholars are pushing for Mexico to treat Jose Clemente Orozco’s work with more respect.
- SF Chronicle architecture critic John King slams George Lucas’ proposed Crissy Field vanity museum.
- In the NYT, Ken Johnson reviews the MFA Houston’s “War/Photography” exhibition, which has arrived at the Brooklyn Museum. Exhibition co-curator Anne Wilkes Tucker talked about the show on Episode No. 53 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast.
- ICYMI on Friday, Glenn Greenwald & Co.’s forthcoming journalism venture will cover art, culture.
- Roberta Smith smartly rolls her eyes at the auction market. One note that will only make sense after you read her piece: I understand what Smith is saying in comparing a $1M Jasper Johns to a $142M Francis Bacon, but that’s a magnitude of difference. Within that magnitude lies the sin.
- Even the LA Times misrepresented the announcement that the University of Texas’ Ransom Center has acquired material from Ed Ruscha’s archive. The LAT: “The archives of Ed Ruscha will reside at the University of Texas at Austin…”, making it sound like the whole darn thing is going to UT. That’s not true. Some archival elements from Ruscha’s collection are going to Austin. But significant other elements from his personal archive were previously deposited at the Whitney Museum of American Art and at the Getty Research Institute.
- Dallas Morning News architecture critic Mark Lamster offers up the latest on Nasher Sculpture Center v. Museum Tower Death Ray.
- Andrew Russeth reviews the two-part-ish Ad Reinhardt show at NYC’s David Zwirner. (Remind me again why so many art museums loaned paintings to a commercial art gallery in support of the art market? Not that Association of Art Museum Directors has much credibility when it comes to its own guidelines, but AAMD does have guidelines that would seem to be against that kind of thing…)
- On this week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast: Erwin Redl discusses the grid, Fred Sandback, and his turn away from electricity in a significant new installation at the Toledo Museum of Art, and lots more. Then “Francesco Vanni” co-curator John Marciari and I discuss the leading painter of early 17thC Siena, who is receiving his first monographic exhibition now, at the Yale University Art Gallery. How to listen: Download the show to your PC/mobile device. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast at iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, or via RSS. Stream the program at MANPodcast.com.
November 4, 2013, 9:25 am
- The Boston Globe asked New England museum directors to pick favorite artworks in their museums’ collections. Lots of interesting choices.
- Carol Vogel is the most infamous example of an art journalist whose breathless promotion of the art market induces wincing. Jori Finkel veers into that territory pretty often too, including in this NYT piece about Robert Heinecken. Finkel’s story is built around the tenet that dealers are bringing Heinecken’s work back and suggests that Heinecken’s work has been a mere “curiosity.” Um, well, hold on there a second. Earlier this year, the Museum of Modern Art announced an Eva Respini-curated Heinecken retrospective for the spring of 2014. (That just might have something to do with dealers offering Heinecken shows now, no?) And Heinecken hasn’t exactly gone away: His work was the subject of a 1999 MCA Chicago retrospective that traveled widely, a 2003 exhibition at the Center for Creative Photography, a 2006 exhibition at the Hammer Museum, a 2007 exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, and this Heinecken exhibition during Pacific Standard Time was one of the biggest critical hits of 2011. And as a teacher, Heinecken was mighty important to the careers of two artists receiving big retrospectives right now: John Divola and James Welling. Shorter version: Dealers aren’t manufacturing a Heinecken moment, they (and perhaps the art market) are responding to developments in the historicization of his oeuvre. [Image: Heinecken, Are You Rea #1, 1964-68. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.]
- Speaking of Divola, Christopher Knight raves about Divola’s work, but not about the nearly 300 miles he had to drive to see a three-museum retrospective. (May the three-museum retrospective go the way of the dodo.) Check out Divola on Episode No. 102 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast.
- Somehow this was a 2,100-word story in the WSJ: Rich guy buys art, promotes self, collection because he has lots of money, can.
- In the Washington Post, Philip Kennicott reviews “Damage Control” at the Hirshhorn.
- Artist Zak Smith’s 67 Tips for Art Critics, which Smith posted to Twitter on Sunday and compiled at that link, is excellent. Don’t miss it. (I don’t agree with all 67, but so what?)
- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences museum at-ish LACMA, effectively rolled out in this Mike Boehm story in the LAT, sounds like “Howard the Duck”-in-the-making. First, the story seems to equate success with attendance, which is a terrible way of defining success for museums and other non-profits. Next, the museum thinks it will do 25 percent of its revenue from admissions. MoMA, typically the most admissions-dependent art museum in the U.S., relies on entrance fees for the high-teen-percents of its operating revenue. At the Met, the number is around nine or ten percent. LACMA, like most other museums not reliant on tourism-related revenue, is typically around three or four percent. So 25 percent? Good luck with that. Next, the story (and perhaps the museum) seems to hold out a recent Tim Burton “retrospective” as a template for how the museum will historicize film. The Burton show was one of the worst exhibitions at major American art museums in the last decade.
- Randy Kennedy reports that a judge ruled for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a couple of suggested admissions fees-related lawsuits.
- On this week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast: Eleanor Antin talks about the personae she adopted in her work from 1972-1991 (surveyed now at Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery) and more. Then Menil Collection curator Toby Kamps discusses the first-in-the-U.S. Wols retrospective that he co-organized. How to listen: Download the show to your PC/mobile device. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast at iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, or via RSS. Stream the program at MANPodcast.com.
October 28, 2013, 7:28 am
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Marie Antoinette moment: New York’s 1% mayor secretly conspires with the director, 1%ers on the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to give the museum the option to screw the 99% who want to visit the Met. The “amended” policy allows the Met to make admission fees — now a steep, suggested $25 — mandatory (with the city’s consent). Director Tom Campbell and president Daniel Brodsky should be ashamed of their betrayal of their local audience. (Why the Metropolitan would want the option to have its audience look more like Bloomberg’s New York is beyond my comprehension.) Here’s hoping that New Yorkers organize against Campbell, Brodsky and the museum’s evident ‘let them eat cake’ derision for the 99%. [Ed note: Parenthetical added at the end of the second sentence. Hope that's a bit clearer, especially for readers who don't click through to Kennedy.]
- UPDATE, 8:22 pm: Why the ire? I probably should have been clearer on this earlier today: The Met could have worked with the city to codify something completely different: An affirmation that its admissions fee would remain “suggested,” period. It did not. Instead the possibility that the Met could make the admissions charge not suggested, mandatory, is what came out of the process.
- Christopher Knight on the relationship between Picasso’s Guernica and Warhol’s paintings of Jackie Kennedy. Be sure to stay for the end. [Image: Details from Picasso, Guernica (1937) and Warhol, Two Jackies (1964).]
- Block that quote: For the better part of the 21st century, this website has taken note of critics/writers who have misunderstood the famed ‘Matisse/art/comfy/armchair’ quote. It happened again last week when Leah Ollman using it wrong in the LA Times when writing about the marvelous Maureen Gallace. (Ollman is a repeat offender: She previously used The Quote in a 2005 review of Candida Hofer’s work.) Here is the real story and context of Matisse’s famed quote. (I could have also noted this in that post: The then-new moderns, such as Picasso and Matisse, were also under attack for ruining French art and France. After all, Picasso was Spanish and, at the time, Matisse was substantially supported by a Russian.)
- Ollman also looks at Lewis Baltz’s surveillance mural, which is on view at Santa Monica’s Gallery Luisotti. I wrote about the piece in my Modern Painters column after the Snowden-leaked stories broke.
- In the NYT, Ted Loos looks at the Renzo Piano Era of museum building.
- Roberta Smith is very good on the Christopher Wool retrospective at the Guggenheim.
- Blake Gopnik previews the Hirshhorn’s “Damage Control” exhibition, with a special focus on works that couldn’t be in the show. (Which is pretty revealing/fascinating.)
- Sebastian Smee admires the Worcester Art Museum’s rehang of its Old Masters collection.
- Kenneth Baker reviews David Hockney at the de Young.
- Andrew Russeth sees the right things well in his review of Dorothea Rockburne at MoMA.
- Mark Lamster loves him some Alfredo Jaar at the Nasher.
- On this week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast: The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston is showing a mid-career survey of Amy Sillman, who joins me on the first segment. Then Time art critic Richard Lacayo details the Clarice Smith Distinguished Lecture on artists after age 70. He’ll give Wednesday at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. How to listen: Download the show to your PC/mobile device. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast at iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher or via RSS. Stream the program at MANPodcast.com.
October 21, 2013, 7:13 am
- Roberta Smith looks at the Philadelphia Museum’s Leger & Co. show, and thinks it’s substantially about trying to elevate Leger’s The City (1919, at right) to the level of Picasso’s Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon. Fascinating idea, but the mountaintop of which Smith writes is not occupied by only the Picasso.
- In the LAT, Sharon Mizota reviews the James Welling survey at the Hammer. Welling was a guest on Episode No. 99 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast.
- In the SF Chronicle, Kenneth Baker notes that one of the successes of Carrie Mae Weems’ work — her mid-career survey just touched down at Stanford’s Cantor Center — is that it so often feels relevant. Weems was the lead guest on Episode No. 47 of The MAN Podcast.
- The Washington Post’s Philip Kennicott reviews this van Gogh show at the Phillips Collection.
- Matthew Leifheit does a nice Q&A with Vince Aletti for Art F City.
- In the Wall Street Journal, Tom Freudenheim tells a super story about the re-assembling of a major art collection at England’s Houghton Hall.
- The Buffalo News’ Colin Dabkowski looks at the Burchfield Penney’s new projected-at-night video art program.
- More Dabkowski: A major art museum receives new public funding? Doesn’t happen often, does it?
- NYTer Ken Johnson laughs along with the Tony Feher survey, now at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
- Motivated by a Pace/MacGill show, NYTer Philip Gefter tells the story of Robert Rauschenberg’s interest in photography.
- How come no one has asked Washington, DC museum directors the question the Globe’s Geoff Edgers asked Boston museum directors? Oh, yeah, duh: The Washington Post’s arts reporting is worse than awful.
- On this week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast: John Divola might be the most underrated American artist to come to prominence in the 1970s. With three southern California museums teaming up to survey his career, Divola is the lead guest on this week’s show. Then, to mark the Portland Art Museum’s presentation of Robert Adams’ work in his home state of Oregon, the show features previously un-aired segments of my 2012 conversation with Adams. How to listen: Download the show to your PC/mobile device. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast at iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher or via RSS. Stream the program at MANPodcast.com.
September 30, 2013, 7:24 am
- An Amy Sillman career survey opens this week at the ICA Boston, so Ted Loos profiles Sillman for the NYT.
- Sebastian Smee is a big fan of this Eija-Liisa Ahtila exhibition at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College. Makes me wish I was at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College. (Between Sillman, Ahtila, the de Cordova biennial, Sargent watercolors at MFAB and more, I wish I had a trip to Boston on my schedule.)
- In Hyperallergic, Ben Valentine writes of the latest curatorial departure from the troubled Indianapolis Museum of Art. I can’t remember the last time I read a departing curator slam a director the way Sarah Green disses the IMA’s Charles Venable.
- Roberta Smith comes with with an appropriate way of shrugging her shoulders at the Met’s Balthus exhibition.
- Quirky Magritte-at-MoMA review by Holland Cotter. Think of his lede thus: When Joan Didion puts her name on an essay in the New York Review of Books, you know it’s gonna be good. When Anne Umland curates a show… Also: As far as obligations to history and all (make it to the end, dear reader), Umland’s show revealed something significant that A) I didn’t know; B) I missed in reading the catalogue: The intensity of Magritte’s interest in stereographs and photography in general.
- In GalleristNY/NYO, Michael H. Miller looks at why Nicholas Fox Weber’s Balthus biography isn’t in the Met’s bookstore. Juicy stuff.
- Speaking of juicy stuff, NYOer Maika Pollack v. NYTer Ken Johnson.
- Worcester Telegram-Gazette outdoors columnist Mark Blazis went hunting at the Worcester Art Museum. Fun! [Image: Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Still Life: A Dead Hare, A Dead Red-Legged Partridge, and Two Dead Snipe, 1750. Collection of the Worcester Art Museum.]
- Lest you think I exaggerate when I note the poor quality of the Washington Post’s art coverage, compare Carol Vogel’s NYT write-up of Virginia Dwan’s gift to the National Gallery to this embarrassingly thin blurb Katherine Boyle wrote for the Post. On the bright side, at least it wasn’t as error-strewn as Boyle’s last (co-)effort.
- Three recent examples of how architects make the new exist with the neo-classical: Steven Holl’s addition for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, David Chipperfield at the Saint Louis Art Museum and this Marion Blackwell featured by the Dallas Morning News’ Mark Lamster.
- On this week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast: James Welling discusses the James Crump-curated retrospective of his career that has just touched down at the Hammer, and Steve Roden discusses his concurrent solo shows in New York and Los Angeles (!). How to listen: Download the show to your PC/mobile device. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast at iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher or via RSS. Stream the program at MANPodcast.com.
September 23, 2013, 8:01 am
- A new Detroit Free Press poll finds that 78 percent of Detroiters want Detroit’s city manager and Christie’s to keep their hands off of a key building block of Detroit’s future: The city’s art collection at the DIA. Joe Guillen and Brett Snavely have the story.
- Speaking of the Freep, Mark Stryker checks in on the latest edition of ArtPrize and asks: What has to happen for the exhibition-cum-event to keep on keeping on?
- It is nothing short of astonishing that the Washington Post failed to correct the multiple errors in this Thursday story on the resignation of Smithsonian chief G. Wayne Clough. How bad has the Post’s coverage of Clough and “Hide/Seek” been since 2010? The only paper that I can think of that’s flubbed a cultural story as badly over the last three years is the Indianapolis Star, which has been dreadful on the ongoing Charles Venable/IMA story.
- Further example of the Post’s blowing it: The LAT’s headline on Clough’s departure: “G. Wayne Clough, Smithsonian chief who pulled artwork, to step down.” The Post didn’t so much as mention the defining event of Clough’s tenure until four paragraphs from the bottom of its story.
- Must-read for all any cooler-than-thou types who roll your eyes at installations of Janet Carfdiff’s transcendent The Forty Part Motet: Jim Dwyer visits The Cloisters for the NYT.
- On NPR, Carolina Miranda talks photography with Ed Ruscha.
- Sebastian Smee offers a nice take on Katy Siegel’s Jack Whitten show at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University.
- If you listen to The Modern Art Notes Podcast: We’re about 130 survey responses away from statistical significance for this year’s MAN Podcast listener survey. Please click here to fill it out. It shouldn’t take more than five minutes and it will help keep the show in production — and free.
- On this week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast: With the aforementioned show at the Rose and new work at Alexander Gray Associates in Chelsea, Whitten talks painting. The second segment features Gohar Dashti discussing pictures on view at the MFA Boston and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. How to listen: Download the show to your PC/mobile device. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast at iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher or via RSS. Stream the program at MANPodcast.com.
September 16, 2013, 8:34 am