Archive for the ‘art’ Category

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Line Items: New drawing form embraces color and abstraction at Nina Freudenheim

May 22, 2009

Painting can seem like such a loaded endeavor. So it’s nice to sit down with the more intimate immediacy of drawing — its focus on line and mark-making and casualness of materials — as an antidote to modernism’s impervious bigness.

Read the rest of my review in the Buffalo News

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Louise Bourgeois and Scheherazade

April 17, 2009

Louise Bourgeois is the rare artist whose orbit intersects with many big thinkers and personalities of the last century, while always remaining relevant and enduring. Not bad for ninety-seven. I love the way she hones her images and takes them into new psychological spaces, and even the way her voice sounds when she speaks. On June 25th, 1984 she wrote:

“Scheherazade talked to ward off castration (assassination). She talks as a last defense. It is a pretty miserable motive, useless and dangerous, silence is wonderful.”

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Uta Barth’s Distrust of Narrative/Cause and Effect

April 10, 2009

Writing is most alive when directly engaged in the experience—as a cartography of an encounter or inner space. Recently I stumbled across an interview with photographer Uta Barth where she was asked why narrative annoyed her. Barth’s response captures a lot of what I’ve been thinking:

Narrative holds out for a certain inevitability, it places deep faith in cause and effect. Narrative is about reconstructing a chain of meaningful events based on a known outcome. I’m curious about visual art that’s about the visual. Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees is the title of Robert Irwin’s biography. Originally, it was a line in a Zen text. Narrative in art makes us think about all sorts of interesting things, but it derails the engagement with a visual experience.

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Thomas Hirschhorn’s Monuments and Displays

April 3, 2009

Thomas Hirschhorn’s work parallels elements of a project I worked on and developed for a number of years called the Tollbooth Gallery. The Tollbooth was a reclaimed hunk of concrete in a public space that housed a twenty-four hour outdoor video galley and paper-based installations (video, audio, and paper) in an urban setting. The exhibitions changed every six weeks and featured work from artists from around the world. One of the most exciting aspects of the project was the precariousness of the materials and equipment that were left in public spaces even in the most extreme weather. The project was always in danger of vandalism, theft, or weather failure, but that became part of the work and how it was received. In order to succeed the project had to create a relationship where it trusted in the casual passerby and chance encounters. Like the Tollbooth, Hirschhorn’s work often consists of hewn together spaces in public locations that house an idea or event.

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Letter From Sol LeWitt to Eva Hesse

March 10, 2009

M and I were talking about this, so he sent me a copy of it. I thought I’d put it here, because it’s good advice:

Dear Eva,

It will be almost a month since you wrote to me and you have possibly forgotten your state of mind (I doubt it though). You seem the same as always, and being you, hate every minute of it. Don’t! Learn to say “Fuck You” to the world once in a while. You have every right to. Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping, confusing, itchin, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, grumbling, humbling, stumbling, numbling, rumbling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning, horse-shitting, hair-splitting, nit-picking, piss-trickling, nose sticking, ass-gouging, eyeball-poking, finger-pointing, alleyway-sneaking, long waiting, small stepping, evil-eyeing, back-scratching, searching, perching, besmirching, grinding, grinding, grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO!
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Process Letter to My Advisor 5.2

March 1, 2009

Dear XXXXX,

How have you been? I’ve been in LA for almost a week and spent my birthday somewhere in Oklahoma. Working on this packet while sitting next to the hot tub has been a nice change from Buffalo winter…er… as that’s not my usual practice. Now I’m at the conference and finishing up. Today was mostly people presenting papers on panels and Friday is Robert Irwin. I’m staying at the Biltmore for the next several days, which I have come to discover was the site of a couple of early Oscars ceremonies, oh and the last location the Black Dahlia was seen alive before her murder. It’s kind of glamorous in an old hotel way with elaborate ceilings and fountains (the sphinxes have very large breasts… which led me to realize I am indeed in LA), but the rooms themselves are rather lackluster or standard I guess. After the conference we go back to staying at M’s parent’s place to the south of the city.

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Agnes Martin’s Writings

February 4, 2009

Agnes Martin’s Writings read like art torah, striving towards an inner perfection and finding a place of honesty in one’s efforts. In my work I am at a crisis and wish I could spend more time wrapped in her process. Her ideas are profound, yet resonate with the dailiness of life, as she seeks an underlying awareness of perfection. I found myself wishing I had some Agnes Martin chip I could have installed in my head (keeping these ways of thinking at the forefront of my thoughts about art and writing). She is wise in exactly the way I am not.

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