Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Fred Tomaselli

Been thinking about something Fred Tomaselli said in an interview. Author Siri Hustvedt talks about there being two aspects of perception - expectation and attention, and how we usually see what we expect to see.

Tomaselli replies : "Back when I was a high school philistine, skateboarding around California's Venice Beach, some friends and I happened to go into a gallery that was showing the work of James Turrell. The entire exhibition appeared to consist of a single, large black rectangle painted on the wall of a dimly-lit space. We all thought it was the stupidest thing we'd ever seen and began lauging at it. I reached out to touch it, and to my surprise, my hand passed through the wall and into a limitless void. Solidity literally vanished into thin air. My laughter disappeared into awestruck silence. Turrell taught me to pay attention. he taught me that what you see isn't always what you get. ... I think great art involves a little magic on the road to altering perception.... I personally like to create a fictive premise for the work that breaks down on closer reading."

Another Magazine, "Magic Realism" by Siri Hustvedt, Autumn/Winter 2007)
image below is the cover of a publication, also seen at James Cohan website)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cut paper

Jen Stark, . Paper again. Something in common with Tomaselli in the jewel-like color, detail and patterning. Interesting sculptural qualities for a flexible material we use every day for more ordinary things.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

jewel-like richness

A change back to more conventional work - well, sorta. Paintings that combine folk art, Russian lacquer work and fairy tales all updated with pills and leaves and resin. Beautiful - I want to rush out and stick stuff on black shiny surfaces! There's a need for magic in all of us - isn't it about the wonder of it all? Clear nights under the starry dome etc.

Migrant Fruit Thugs, 2006
Photocollage, leaves, acrylic, gouache and resin on wood panel
78 X 96 inches

Hang Over
, 2005
Leaves, pills, acrylic, resin on wood panel
84 X 120 inches

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Again no image - but we can imagine the sound

"The story of human kind could be narrated strictly through the history of musical instruments. Questions as to the when, where, how and why of their development amounts to the study of the rites and rituals that, taken as a whole, define human culture.

Reveille, the bugle call which signals the start of the military day, is the subject of Wake Up, a sound and light installation by the San Juan-based artist collaborative Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. ... their ongoing investigation into Vieques, an island formerly used as a bombing test site by the U.S. military... [is] ... a critique of socio-political agency in the face of increasingly remote authority.

In focusing on the trumpet, however, Wake Up has its genesis in Returning A Sound, a video in which the artists attached a trumpet to the exhaust pipe of a moped that was driven around Vieques by one of the island’s residents. A military call was replaced by the trumpet’s steady, shrill vibrato, its pitch changing with the moped’s speed. Returning A Sound was one amongst several works done and shown in Vieques. Some of the works were didactic, others involved Vieques residents."

Excerpts from Hamza Walker's article "Good Morning" :

(Figured out the link idea, finally!)

I'd love to have heard the trumpet on the moped exhaust - and the other sound explorations mentioned in Walker's article. Totally fascinating.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Staged Situation

Now here's an artwork that has no picture but conjures up a beaut.... Excerpts from:

You Can’t Hold It, but You Can Own It

Published: November 25, 2007 (NEW YORK TIMES)

Mr. Sehgal, 31, who lives in Berlin, creates what he calls “staged situations”: interactive experiences that may not even initially declare themselves as works of art.

...Yasmil Raymond, the curator of the Walker show, described a recent visit to the Biennial in Lyon, France, where she did not realize that a piece by Mr. Sehgal was on display. “He had a Dan Flavin, a Larry Bell and a Dan Graham in the corner,” she said. “The minute I entered the space, the guard came in and started stripping. I slowly crawled behind the Dan Graham. I was so embarrassed I didn’t know what to do with myself. I wanted to know the title of the piece, and I had to wait. At the end, when he takes off all this clothing, he says the title and then puts his clothes back on. It was called ‘Selling Out.’”

I'm smiling already!

read the article (sorry, its cut and paste right now - can't figure out why these links aren't live)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

styrofoam cups

, 2003
Tara Donovan
Styrofoam Cups, Hot Glue
Dimensions Variable
Ace Gallery Los Angeles, 2005

Isn't this fab? Has kinda romantic (as in sublime) overtones - storm clouds and awesome power.

Which reminds me, a friend told me the Terpsicorps dance company had performed here in Asheville the other night, a dance that was a hurricane. She said it was incredible. Couldn't find an image of it. :-(

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Virtual columns

Like the majestic columns in the Parthenon - only see-thru. Magical! Made of videotape and nails.

... 'Columns' continues the artist's startling and evocative employment of the unusual medium of unspooled videotape. Thirteen floor-to-ceiling columns of stretched tape will transform walking through the space into a dramatic physical and optical experience. The tape is stretched lengthways so that its thin edge and wide edge are seen alternately, creating a vibrant and disorienting effect as one moves around the columns. Masterfully manipulating the unusual physical properties of tape - lightweight yet strong and flexible - 'Columns' also extends its sense of confounding materiality to the gallery itself, subverting the common load-bearing association we expect of such an architectural feature."

Zilvinas Kempinas, Spencer Brownstone Gallery, NY (Jan - Feb 2006)
(note - I know this isn't exactly current news but
if you haven't already seen it... dates don't matter for good stuff.)

Shadow and light

Mary Temple, Mixed Greens, NY.

"These are trompe l'oeil paintings of light on walls, giving the appearance of sunlight streaming through a window.The painted outlines of windowpanes and plant life trick the eye as they appear to animate walls with the presence of light."


Paper folding

I'm obviously into paper just now - here is a curious piece by Alyson Shotz. Did she take origami at college level, or what? I love it.

My Living Room Rug in Hyperbolic Space, 2007
double-sided inkjet print on folded paper
12 x 81 x 105 inches

Paper Bags

To the other end of the scale - I love these, so simple but very cool. We recognize the object but it speaks of absence, purchasing, bland commodifying and lets face it, cheapness. Brown bags are the most humble of consumer goods. The shopping cart looks bigger, the tree looks sickly and vulnerable. Suggests all kinds of tangled values and realizations.

This is just my reaction, check out the work itself at

paper mechanics

check this out - they look like solid things but they are not...