Monday, April 30, 2012

Robert de St. Phalle

Robert de St. Phalle on Thursday!

Here is an interesting project...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Artforum forum on Painting: Thick and Thin

Please post your chosen quote(s) from the forum and tell us why you thought it was interesting and relevant!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to Make It in the Art World

A lot of fun reading here, and some good demystifying of the New York art world.  Can you imagine becoming part of this?  Do you plan to try?

Hennessey Youngman at Family Business

Many of you are fans of Henessey Youngman and will be excited to learn about his new show.  It's just unfortunate that you missed his open call for art...

"Last month, Jayson Musson, an artist best known for his YouTube ­performances as the droll hip-hop art critic Hennessy Youngman (“a.k.a. the pedagogic pimp”), issued an open call for a show at a tiny storefront called Family Business that had just opened amid the grand name-brand galleries of Chelsea. “Anyone, and I mean anyone, bring their work down. Bring the fucking family couch,” he said. “Bring big-ass paintings, little-ass paintings, things you painted in 1998 which is ugly as fuck … you got big-ass sculpture you want to show that won’t fit through the door, bring it down and we’ll just cut that bitch in half and reattach it when it’s back inside.”

Monday, April 23, 2012

Iva Gueorguieva on Thursday!

Los Angeles based painter Iva Gueorguieva will speak in the series on Thursday, April 26.  Here is an article and a review that will give you a sense of her painting practice.  Please note, students enrolled in ART 485 are assigned an additional reading on painting that will be circulated over email!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Makode Linde

Forget Damien Hirst, this is actually interesting.  A cake that draws attention to genital mutilation.  And the the Swedish culture minister's participation as a stand in for colonial power.  Makode Linde is doing some provocative stuff.  Hirst's fascination with the macabre looks like solipsistic indulgence by comparison.  Oughtn't art in fact mean something? 

More Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst's retrospective is now at the Tate Modern in Britain, and the Guardian has some interesting features on aspects of his work.  The butterflies have always been one of my favorite of Hirst's "media," if that term applies.

He discusses making the platinum and diamond skull here.

I am weary of Hirst.  Doesn't it seem like the art world sort of forces us to acknowledge and discuss his work?  If there is enough money involved, you can't tune it out.  Sort of like Mitt Romney.

Art and "Taste"?

What does it mean to have good taste, or bad taste?  What does "taste" have to do with art--good or bad?  I am confused.

When Bad Is Good | ARTnews

I do love a quote from Paddy Johnson in this article on Thomas Kinkade:  "most contemporary art is allowed to look like total garbage, so long as the concept is solid."


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Larry Bell on Thursday!

Folks, you have to admit that we have an interesting Visiting Artist series!  It's about to get more interesting.  Larry Bell is coming on Thursday.  He will do studio visits with our grads and a discussion with our BFAs, as usual, but his assistant has asked if he can bring his 80 lb. bulldog PINKY on these studio visits.  I wonder if PINKY will attend the talk as well.

Anyway, please acquaint yourself with this major artist.  Read Tyler Green's recent post on Bell, but also listen to the Modern Art Notes podcast that he links to.

Friday, April 13, 2012

More Edgar Arceneaux

I'm so glad to hear from a number of you that you loved Edgar Arceneaux' talk!  I wanted also to share these links with you.  I didn't want to circulate these before his visit so as not to overshadow his time here.  It was clear from his talk that Arceneaux' work is conceptually complex and invites prolonged, thoughtful engagement.  And he didn't even talk about other critically acclaimed recent works, including "Alchemy of Comedy...Stupid" (that I saw at the 2008 Whitney Biennial) or "The Algorithm Doesn't Love You.

Anyway, you might be interested to learn about the current situation at the Watts House Project, as told in an LA Times story dated April 8.  But also be sure to read the articulate response by Sue Bell Yank that puts in perspective what might be going on.  Artists engaged in social practice can take risks and have much more at stake than a solitary individual accountable only to oneself; the WHP involved negotiating with powerful people and bureaucracies, as well as gaining the trust and involvement of residents.,0,117418.story

Monday, April 9, 2012

Edgar Arceneaux on Thursday!

Edgar Arceneaux will speak on Thursday at 7pm in HFA 257.  Please note location.

Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light

Thomas Kinkade died a few days ago.

I first learned of this from Martha Rosler's facebook feed.  She selected this quote from the obit:
He read classic books but also enjoyed shooting and blowing up things on his ranch.
This phrase stuck with me.  To me, there is a sense of violence underlying the idea of Kinkade, whose "artistic philosophy was not to express himself through his paintings like many artists, but rather to give the masses what they wanted: warm, positive images."  Kinkade, painter of light (a thinly veiled reference to a kind of divine imperative), painted nostalgic, picturesque scenes--Disneyesque landscapes merged with pastoral views of America.  Some of his work was produced in conjunction with Disney and includes Bambi and friends romping about in saccharine landscapes, always with rainbows.  He spawned a cottage industry surrounding his painterly oeuvre that included a brisk business in reproductions, including reproductions highlighted by assistants that are a kind of hybrid between originals and copies.  But what is truly fascinating, to me, is the collaboration with housing developers (at the height of the mid-decade housing boom) who created planned communities that bring to life Kinkade's paintings, with faux tudor details, pretend wilderness, fountains, etc.  These are not just paintings, they are an outlook, a philosophy, a way of life.
Why violence?  It seems to me that there is a kind of violence associated with the nostalgic denial of the realities of contemporary life.  The fanaticism surrounding Kinkade seems rooted in myths of America as a pristine, pastoral place--far from the realities of global warming and the social and economic inequities that define contemporary America.  Kinkade's work is dissociative, almost surrealist in the psychic distancing from reality that it entails.
What do you think?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lari Pittman and the number 5

I enjoyed this post from Tyler Green's Modern Art Notes.  I hadn't before thought of high-fiving as "a type of code of heterosexuality."  What do you think?  Would you have read this populist content into the painting had you not know Pittman's thoughts?

There has been a lot of discussion recently about coded meanings in artworks, especially paintings, that conceal sexual identity in portraiture.  This conversation largely stems from the notoriety surrounding the exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Identity in American Portraiture which was censored when it ran at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in the fall of 2010, and is now on view at the Tacoma Art Museum.  If you aren't familiar with this exhibition and incident, do familiarize yourself!