As Feburary 2nd approaches, we wait in anticipation for Punxsatawney Phil’s yearly weather prognostication. Will early spring arrive or should we expect six more weeks of winter? (Or, will the day keep repeating itself like in Artspace’s favorite February-themed Bill Murray movie?) READ MORE
In the 1960s a group of artists emerged in the United States who, driven by a sense of dissatisfaction with the increasing commercialization of art as well as the politically activist spirit of the times, began creating conceptually-oriented works that used or become part of the landscape in which they were situated. Looking to escape the strictures of the art-market establishment, these artists used found natural materials like rocks, soil, and trees to create works that couldn’t be easily confined to a traditional gallery context, often working on a monumental scale. READ MORE
Opening for David Seymour and Roman Vishniac: “Affirmation” at Howard Greenberg Gallery, 41 East 57th Street, 14th Floor, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Starting Friday, the International Center of Photography’s sprawling show of work by Magnum photojournalist David Seymour—who went by the pseudonym Chim (pronounced “shim”)—and Russian-American photographer Roman Vishniac will be supplemented by “Affirmation,” a more intimate gathering of their work at Harold Greenberg Gallery, offering a second chance to become acquainted with the heady careers of these daring photographic icons.
In an art world that all too often resembles a boys’ club, the artist Deborah Kass has long been an agent provocateur on behalf of the feminist perspective, infiltrating the male spotlight through works freighted with her own Jewish female identity. This has been the primary focus of her so-called “Art History” paintings, in which she detournes famous images by artists like Andy Warhol and Frank Stella to incorporate her own viewpoint, such as in her series of paintings sneaking her own face into the Pop artist’s self-portraits. READ MORE
Art critics often complain about their lack of influence, but last year’s ink-stainedrevolt against the murky and financialized art market has bubbled into something resembling real impact: a front-page (front-page!) article in the New York Times casting a sharp light on the unregulated nature of the market. Coming at a time when an unstoppably climbing market, a spate of ugly lawsuits (Knoedler, Gagosian, et al.), and a new drive to treat artworks as investment vehicles divorced from aesthetic considerations, the article, by art reporter Robin Pogrebin and special-projects editor Kevin Flynn, strongly suggests that “monitoring has not kept pace with the increasing treatment of art as a commodity.” But, as the piece details, there have been various pushes to ensure fairness in art commerce for decades. Why is regulation so difficult to pull off? READ MORE
In an era when appropriation has become a standard-issue artistic tactic, Bill Claps turns the process inside out by appropriating the appropriators, transmuting images from the Pop art lexicon into gilt facsimiles—that just happen to be irresistibly beautiful art objects. Drawing on the influence of Andy Warhol as well as that seminal artist’s precursors (Dali, Duchamp) and successors (Richard Prince), he mines their controversial terrain with deeply thoughtful results. We spoke to the artist about his labor-intensive work, and why he feels that “it’s all derivative.” READ MORE
— THE BIG STORY —
It may still be January, but already New York is bracing for this year’s lineup of art fairs—and in the continuing battle to woo collectors, the gauntlet has been thrown down. Marking the 100th anniversary of the original Armory Show exhibition, the Armory Show art fair (which may not change ownership after all, despite reports to the contrary) has released its list of more than 200 exhibitors that will be coming to its twin piers on the Hudson, and Warhol Museum director Eric Shiner will be organizing its special focus section on the state of American art.
Then, in May, Frieze will return for its second New York edition on Randall’s Island with 180 galleries (some from last year’s debut have defected back to the Armory Show), a new mix of elite, foodie-mecca restaurants, and even an homage to Gordon Matta-Clark‘s legendary SoHo artist-run eatery Food, organized by Frieze NYC Projects curator Cecilia Alemani. The New York outpost of the edgy NADA fair, meanwhile, will come back for a second year in May too, but not in the old Dia building this time. Instead, it will take place in the sprawling parquet-floored Basketball City court space at Pier 36. READ MORE
Artists and writers have played a vital role in political struggles throughout history, not only acting as the recorders of significant moments but also championing causes and calling out injustices. In 1957, for instance, Bob Henriques, a photographer who chronicled the zeitgeist of the 1950s and 1960s, captured striking shots of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking to a Washington, D.C., crowd during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace—the first time the preacher captivated a national audience as he demanded voting rights for all Americans. Nine years later, after Senator Robert Kennedy—a presidential candidate whose campaign supported the fundamental belief in equality—was assassinated, photographer Paul Fusco…. READ MORE
When abstract art burst onto the stage in the Western art world in the early 20th century, its practitioners quickly resolved themselves into two distinct camps: the gestural abstractionists, who built upon the liberatingly loose compositions of Post-Impressionists like Cezanne to create non-objective paintings emphasizing the artist’s hand, and the geometric abstractionists, who seized on the it-is-what-it-is essentialism of Euclidean geometric shapes. Inspired by the developments of Cubist and Futurist painting, in which the natural world was translated into a stark pictorial language of shapes, lines, and angles, Russia was one of the primary breeding grounds of pure abstraction…. READ MORE
The question that soon arises after the euphoria of surviving into the new year wears off is, “What sort of future do we find ourselves in?” Two shows this week in particular take cracks at providing an answer: Suzanne Treister’s “Hexen 2.0” exhibition at P.P.O.W. outlines the implications of past government intelligence-gathering suggests coming generations can expect, and “How to Tell the Future From the Past,” a group show at Haunch of Venison, insinuates that maybe humanity isn’t progressing as quickly as we think (or at all). READ MORE