Monday, September 29, 2008

Remember two weeks ago, when I was talking about this?

Well, here's an update: Oops.

Thanks to everyone who came out to hear our panel discussion, From the Gallery to the Street, on a rainy Friday evening--and to those who stayed to watch the debate on the big screen, too. It was a wonderful way to close out the show.
The talk was successfully recorded...I hope to have a player here on the blog at some point; in the meantime, you should definitely go over to the invaluable Charlottesville Podcasting Network--where my good friend Sean Tubbs has the entire event available for streaming or downloading.
Listen to Victoria F. Gaitan, Alberto Gaitan, Lisa Blas, Welmoed Laanstra, Kriston Capps, Josh Shannon, Rex Weil, Rick Reinhard, Mary Coble, John Anderson, and Judy Byron here.
Pictured: Randall Packer and John Anderson, installation view of A Season in Hell and America's Grave

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lenny mentioned tonight's panel on art and politics at the AAC, and asked this question:
Is all contemporary American political art on the left wing of the political spectrum? Is there such thing as right wing political art?

This was actually the topic of a discussion at last year's CAA conference in New York. That panel included The New Criterion's James Panero and artist Martha Rossler. Rossler made two competing claims, if I remember correctly (and I may not, at this point): That most of the contemporary art we actually get to see is enfranchised by large corporations, moneyed collectors, and institutions, and is, therefore, conservative; and that right-wing intellectuals at some point lost the war of ideas in the academy--hence the lack of overtly right-wing artistic expression; hence Republican distrust of elites and eggheads. (A seductive explanation, but also a serious overstatement.)

Panero, meanwhile, proved that yes, there is such a thing as right wing political art. As evidence, he drew on the favorite source for art historians and scholars the world over: ABC World News Tonight's "Person of the Week" segment. See below:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Philippa posted the September Art in America review of the Dan Steinhilber show that was up at G Fine Art back in March.

The piece was written by senior editor Janet Koplos...interestingly, I think Janet took away the exact opposite impression of the show that I did. She also doesn't mention the connection between the photographs and sculptures in the gallery show and Dan's earlier, ephemeral piece at the Baltimore Contemporary Museum of Art.

Regardless of her take, it's always nice to see the mention of a D.C. gallery show in AiA, instead of the experience I usually have whenever I skim the reviews in the back: Shows in New York, more shows in New York, more shows in New York, followed by...Louisville, Kentucky?? Then Berlin.

Guess we could learn a thing or two from the Bluegrass State.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

This Thursday evening, join Pink Liner Philippa Hughes and sculptor (and string enthusiast) Barbara Liotta for a discussion on how to commission a sculpture.

That's at 7 pm, at REYES + DAVIS, 923 F Street NW, #302.

First five attendees all get a FREE SCULPTURE!

(No, they don't.)
This Saturday from 10 to 5, you can hear all about the state of contemporary painting. Symposium: Painting in the 21st Century will answer that lingering question: Is painting dead? (Spoiler alert! No, it's just sleepy.)

Panelists include Elizabeth Sussman from the Whitney, artist Spencer Finch, Blake Gopnik from the Post (gee, I wonder what he'll say), new-ish Phillips director Dorothy Kosinski, and the ever-fabulous Andrea Pollan from Curator's Office.

No additional cost beyond the price of a ticket to see the collection.

Monday, September 22, 2008

There's been some nice ex post facto press for She's So Articulate: A review in Art Papers by Pyramid Atlantic's Helen Frederick, and a review in the new-ish (well, new to me) publication, Art Voices, by Grammarpoliceman Kriston Capps.

I announce this here despite the complete lack of linkable online content. Thanks, glossy art mags! Hopefully just knowing that these reviews exist will fill you with a sense of well-being--or send you scurrying to Borders.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Courtesy C-Monster, via Eyebeam ReBlog: The art criticism of Andy Rooney. Best comment on YouTube: Why is John McCain talking about public art??

Monday, September 15, 2008

This is too depressing for me to think about right now.

And, hey, if you're a fan of the paper, and need to be more thoroughly demoralized, you can also scroll down to the comments on this bit in DCist and see the usual cretins pooping on the CP's writing, too.

Obviously I'm hopelessly, utterly biased, but the only reason I ever aspired to write for the CP in the first place was the quality of the prose--readable, but considered. There's no reason to slap the reader around with jargon and dense verbiage; at the same time, there's no call for insulting the reader's intelligence, either. In my view, critics ought to assume people are reading because they're actually interested in the subject at hand.
Okay, so the piece might be a bit of fluff, but it's a much-deserved nod: Philippa, Tyler, and Jefferson all get nice mentions in the WaPo's Fall Arts Preview--as youngsters on the move! Those crazy kids.

Saturday: I arrived at 1515 just after 8:30--which would ordinarily be pushing my luck, anyway, but doomed me this night to miss most of the openings. Both the performance in the parking lot and the promised after-partying seemed to encourage everyone to shut down and get the heck out early.

I apparently also missed the most dynamic part of the YAY team's performance: They pulled into the parking lot in their El Camino; both artists were clad in black leotards (how else would you know it was performance art?), and wielding sledgehammers.

I'm told that they kicked out the car's front window and dramatically rolled out onto the hood...but by the time I had arrived, they were just slowly pacing around the car, effortfully raising their sledgehammers and letting them bounce ineffectually off of the car's frame.

I'm also told that the car was actually their car, which certainly adds some sort of dearness to the piece. It was, after all, billed as a "goodbye to guilt"--presumably the guilt of owning a gas guzzling car. But the kooky uniforms made the event feel less like a personal adieu to materialism and more like bad theater, or like one of those college/frat house fundraisers that includes car smashing as part of the entertainment.

I did enjoy hearing the hammer blows as I walked up the street and approached the crowd, and also enjoyed seeing the responses of some accidental spectators. Otherwise, I don't know. Still, I was happy for the change of pace, and frankly would like to see a lot more performances, successful or not, happening in conjunction with the usual openings.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I expect I'll see you tomorrow night on 14th Street for openings at Curator's Office (works on paper by Kate McGraw and Ann Tarantino--looks a bit like Janis Goodman, but isn't), Irvine (paintings by Teo Gonzalez), Randall Scott (photos by Julia Fullerton-Batten, who maybe should join forces with Kerry Skarbakka), and this Meat Market event in the parking lot at 1515:

Also, tonight next Friday, September 19th: Hemphill has an offsite show for John Watson, whose work I adore. See "Better Now than They Once Was" over at 1341 H Street NE, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Worth the trip!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I have been a naughty blogger, writing about nary a thing, and leaving all of you in the dark. Couldn't be helped, though.

By the way, thanks to everyone who came to the opening of Picturing Politics last Friday. It was yet another strong AAC turnout--so much so that I apparently failed to connect with a number of people who braved the rain to be here. Apologies if I missed you while making the rounds!

All sorts of things are happening this weekend: It's Fall, and the art world is finally emerging from hibernation. Tomorrow I'll take a look at what's opening where.

Friday, September 05, 2008

John Anderson hammers away at Jessica's review in last week's WaPo.

Tonight. AAC. Picturing Politics. Reception. Arrive!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Below are installation shots for Picturing Politics at the AAC. Come to the opening reception this Friday, September 5, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and meet curator Rex Weil as well as a whole crowd of terrific artists.

Thanks to
Lenny for linking to my post on Jessica's review of the show. See what she was--or wasn't--talking about below.

Not included: The gallery of veterans' photos and video downstairs, and a show upstairs by our international summer guest resident artist Eugenie Beer and former AAC resident artist Caroline Danforth. I'll try to add those photos before the reception.

Rick Reinhard:

Mary Coble:

Alberto and Victoria F. Gaitan:

Jefferson Pinder and Matt Ravenstahl:

Meg Mitchell and Wendy Babcox:

The Pinky Show:

Benjamin Edwards:

Lisa Blas:

Renee Stout:

Judy Byron:

Helga Thomson:

experimental galleries:

Jose Ruiz:

Randall Packer and John Anderson: