27 September 2016

corrugated metal

After seeing Rachel Whiteread's cabin on Governors Island on Saturday, with its corrugated metal bits of wall covering, it was fun to see Cornelia Parker's "Transitional Object (PsychoBarn)" with its corrugated metal roofing shingles on Sunday in the Met Roof Garden:

Buffalo for the day

It had been too long since I'd been to Buffalo and one of the shows at the Albright-Knox was closing this coming weekend: "Shade: Clyfford Still and Mark Bradford." Bradford (born 1961) selected a couple dozen paintings by Still (1904-1980) from the Albright-Knox collection. He then did several paintings in response. The works played off each other in interesting ways. Well, Bradford played off the abstract expressionism of Still. I perused the catalog and, in the interview with Michael Auping, Bradford said he saw his first Still in Europe. The show will go to Denver after closing in Buffalo. There, the Stills will be at the Clyfford Still Museum and the Bradfords at the Denver Art Museum. Too bad they won't be in the same building. The two museums are close to each other. I was delighted to visit the Still Museum in the spring of 2015 when VRA met in Denver. It's a great neo-brutalist building designed by Brad Cloepfil and Allied Works Architecture.
The reading room in the "Shade" show included iPads with the Art21 video of "Mark Bradford in Paradox" where I learned that he considers his beginnings not as an artist but as a maker in his mother's beauty shop where he did the signage. Also, "endpapers" aren't just in books; that term is also used to refer to the papers used when doing a perm.

Another show at the Albright-Knox was entitled "Defining Sculpture" and included works from the collection, from Pop Art by Marisol to a floor piece by Polly Apfelbaum, and a piece by Janet Cargill and George Bures Miller with a recording on a phone at a desk. A couple of the guards were doing a re-creation of "Imponderabilia" by Marina Abramovic and Ulay ...
... but I'm not sure it is very convincing.

In the funky underground gallery that also serves as a passageway from the main building to Clifton Hall was "Joan Linder: Operation Sunshine" which addressed waste sites in the Buffalo area, including Love Canal. Wonderful sketchbooks with long accordion-fold drawings, and hand-lettered recreations of brochures, reports, posters, and ephemera about the sites.
 (image from the Albright-Knox website, courtesy of the artist)

21 September 2016

exquisite corps(e)

Ten years ago, Sharon, Carol, Eric, and I did an exquisite corpse drawing during an ARLIS/NY meeting. Ten minutes ago, I watched an exquisite dance-film by Mitchell Rose: Exquisite Corps (42 choreographers, 1 dance). I've seen performances by a number of the dancing choreographers and the video is fine. Here's Meredith Monk:

17 September 2016

Walden on the harbor

How would Thoreau have dealt with a grand view of New York harbor from his cottage?
A group of us art librarians (and a few hangers on) went on a tour of Governors Island today. The Hills opened this year and the southern end of the island is taking shape as a park looking out into the harbor and back at the skylines of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Jersey City. The Hills are part of the landscape plan by West 8, a Dutch urban design and landscape architecture firm, who have also done proposals for helping NYC handle the rise of sea level.

Hiding in the Hills, well, not really hiding, is the Cabin by Rachel Whiteread. It's similar to some of her other ghost, inside-out, memorial projects. A conglomeration of bits and pieces from several buildings, including some corrugated metal bits.
So I'm thinking how different Thoreau's writings might have been if he had walked out of the front door of his cottage and looked out over the expansive view of New York harbor. Or maybe it's just that I went over to the NY Art Book Fair after our tour of Governors Island. There, I ran into a couple books by Elisabeth Tonnard which played with biographical re-creation. One was a collection of events from the lives of American Renaissance writers called Song of Myself and another was a collection of sentences on death and dying from different books printed on successive pages of a book, turning into a new narrative. The dealing with death reminded me of my current book -- Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope. It took the dean about 200 pages after his apoplexy to finally die. And when I was looking for a link to Elisabeth Tonnard's work, I mistakenly typed "elizabeth tunnard" into Google and got obituary notices for a person of that similar name.

After the tour and lunch, and before we returned to Manhattan on the ferry, we visited the "Michael Richards: Winged" show, sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Richards had a studio in vacant space in the World Trade Center in September 2001 and was working all night on his upcoming show. He died in the morning's attack. A good friend of mine at NYU was a dear friend of his and that made his death especially poignant. His work dealt with the Tuskegee airmen, and airplanes and flight were recurring themes. Eerie and moving.