Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

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.

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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.

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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.

Takeover delay?

Yesterday was supposed to be the day by which the terms of the National Gallery of Art’s takeover of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the George Washington University’s assumption of the Corcoran College of Art and Design was set. The institutions told the Washington Post that April 7 was the “deadline” to “set the details.” (However, as the congregants noted here, the reason April 7 was a “deadline” was never clear. As the congregants also noted, and repeatedly, ‘lack of clarity’ seems to be a consistent theme at the NGA these days.)

Yesterday: Crickets. So is it dead?

Apparently not. Last night on Twitter, David Montgomery, the ace Post reporter on all things Corcoran-disaster-related, said that he thinks news on the takeover will be out by May 1.

The Monday Checklist

1.) Must-read review: Timothy Rub in the Wilmington News-Journal on art museums and stewardship.

2.) Critical thoughts (edition of two-plus): Roberta Smith in the NYT (and from Dallas) on an ex-president’s hobby. (TJ Clark would disagree with Smith on the biographical point. His Mellon Lectures address such.) Martin Gayford in the Telegraph on Veronese and the battle he picked.

3.) Must-read journalism: Michael Granberry in the Dallas Morning News on how Dallas’ Museum Tower may be backing down from its torching of/conflict with the Nasher Sculpture Center.

4.) Journalism (edition of four): Steve Johnson in the Chicago Tribune on the “Art Everywhere” project. Nick Squires in the Telegraph on a tiny Caravaggio self-portrait. Jennifer Maloney in the WSJ on Tom Finkelpearl, the new NYC cultural affairs commissioner. Benjamin Sutton on Artnet with Jim Campbell. [Image above: Jim Campbell, Exploded Views (Improv), 2011-12. Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.]

5.) Museum feature (print): The Cortauld Institute on a hidden Seurat self-portrait.

6.) Museum feature (audio/visual): The National Gallery of Art has already begun posting this year’s Mellon Lectures online. This year’s lecturer is Anthony Grafton. His subject is “Past Belief: Visions of Early Christianity in Renaissance and Reformation Europe.” Here is his first lecture (of six).

7.) Three tweets: From Julia Halperin. From Hillary Shields. From Carolina Miranda.

8.) Twitter feed to follow: The Burlington Magazine.

9.) Tumblr feed to follow: Photographs on the Brain.

10.) This week on The Modern Art Notes Podcast: The show spotlights the latest issue of Aperture magazine, titled, “Documentary, Expanded.” The guests are Hito Steyerl, Emily Schiffer, Teru Kuwayama and Talia Herman. 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: Mary Reid Kelley’s work is on view at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in “Rose Video 03: Maria Lassnig and Mary Reid Kelley.” Hear from Reid Kelley on Episode No. 90 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast. [Image below, right: Kelley, Sadie, the Saddest Sadist (detail of still), 2009.]

12.) Web-accessible sound/video art: Yvonne Rainer, Hand Movie, 1966. Via Greg Allen’s Top Ten Sixteen List for UbuWeb.

13.) Artwork image in the public domain: John Singleton Copley, Sarah Sherburne Langdon, 1767. Collection of the Dallas Museum of Art. Included/offered in the “Art Everywhere” project.

14.) Art book in the public domain: “American Icons: Transatlantic Perspectives on Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century American Art,” edited by Thomas W. Gaehtgens and Heinz Ickstadt. Published by Getty Publications.

15.) Non-art must-read: Dan LeBatard on ESPN.com on understanding where Yasiel Puig comes from.

Craft beer Fridays: Uinta Detour

Uinta Detour Double IPA: Aroma of honey and pine cone. Flavors of stone fruit, and something sweet and high-register, like schnapps. There’s lots of sweet here and almost no malt presence. Some faint grapefruit at the finish (and still more sweetness).

ABV: 9.5%.

My rating: 3.5.

RateBeer rating: 97 overall, 85 for style, weighted average of 3.66.

Brewery: Uinta Brewing Co., Salt Lake City.