Friday, January 23, 2009
Erik Wenzel • Life up to This Point (detail) • 2008 • fabric • courtesy of the artist and 65GRAND
My colleague Matthew Metzger and I are representing the University of Chicago in the North American Graduate Art Survey which opens this weekend in Minneapolis. NAGAS, as it is called was juried by Christopher Atkin, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Art Department at Macalester College. "In addition to teaching, his interest in visual cultures inform his exhibition reviews, essays, are large-scale research projects. He received his MA & MRes degrees from Goldsmiths College, University of London," state the organizers of NAGAS. Students selected are from MFA programs across the US and Canada such as Yale; Tyler School of Art; Hunter College; the Art Institute of Boston; the University of the Arts, Pennsylvania and RISD among others.
If you happen to find yourself in The Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, do come by. It's been literally 20 years since I left. I remember the late summer/early fall afternoon the family car pulled out of Toledo Circle in Bloomington, Minnesota. [cue improvised sound effects and Garrison Keillor describing the scene with quaint phrases and a hint of deadpan sarcasm] We headed down to Chicagoland for the second time in less than two years. This time for good; and this time to the South Suburbs. I'm looking forward to returning and plan to visit sites like the Walker Art Center. There will probably be photos of this excursion in the future as well, so that is something for you to look forward to.
North American Graduate Art Survey
Juried by Christopher Atkins
January 20 – February 19, 2009
Opening Reception: Friday, January 23, 6-8:30 pm
Katherine E. Nash Gallery
Regis Center for Art
University of Minnesota
405 21st Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Open: TU - SA: 11A - 7P
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Installation view of a piece by Patrick W. Welch.
A set of forty-some images from the exhibition Art Legend: Miniature Paintings 1997 - 2007 by the late, great Patrick W. Welch is up on the Art or Idiocy? Flickr page. The images are also viewable as a slideshow. It is a fairly comprehensive tour through the show at this Hyde Park alternative space.
This weekend marked not only the celebration of MLK and the inauguration of a much-anticipated, well-loved and much-needed new President. Sunday was also the close of Prospect.1 in New Orleans, commemorated with what else, a Jazz Funeral. How appropriate, not only for the biennial, but for this time in the city and the nation as a whole. Images from P.1 are forthcoming. If you haven't had a chance to read my reviews on ArtSlant, the links are below.
Friday, January 16, 2009
You have probably gotten at least seven email forwards imploring you to sign a petition to have President-Elect Obama appoint a Secretary of the Arts. It was all started because of a comment Quincy Jones made on a radio show stating that the next time he talked to Obama he would "beg" for a Secretary of the Arts.
My first impression was disinterest. I don’t really like “The Arts” as an idea. I am not interested in many of “the arts.” And I am not interested in lumping theater, literature classical music, popular music, fine art, visual art, whatever it is that I do that’s art and all the rest of it into one big marketing wet dream for a brighter tomorrow.
A significant concern about appointing an “Art Czar” or “Art Tsar” (the threat of that term coming into vernacular is enough reason to oppose it) is agenda. In the art world there is a lot of bickering about people and institutions having “aesthetic agendas.” Certain artists or types of art getting more love than others. Imagine the effect the agenda of a cabinet-level chieftain would have on the cultural production of this country? What sort of things would receive support, what sort of things would be excluded? Obviously there would be need for impartiality.
Clearly this and many other concerns would be addressed, at least in a cursory manner, in a petition supported by Quincy Jones and widely reported by several news outlets. Maybe the details of the proposal would be so boring that I only read the first paragraph.
Except the petition, in totality reads:
To: President Barack ObamaIf you count the classy ALL CAPS BANNER AT THE TOP, then it also says:
Congratulations and thank you for all you do.
Your good friend Quincy Jones said: "...next conversation I have with President Obama is to beg for a Secretary of Arts."
[November 14th 2008 WNYC interview by John Schaefer on "Soundcheck."]
We the undersigned support Quincy Jones' plea.
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD! PLEASE INVITE AS MANY AS POSSIBLE TO SIGN! MAKE IT A GOAL TO GET AT LEAST 3 OTHERS TO SIGN. LET'S ALL WORK TOGETHER FOR A BETTER WORLD AND FUTURE! PRESIDENT OBAMA WILL NEED MASSIVE NUMBERS OF GRASSROOTS SUPPORT TO HELP HIM IMPLEMENT LONG LASTING AND POSITIVE CHANGES.
That’s the petition. That is why I am not signing this overblown chain letter. I think there are more pressing matters for the incoming administration, and I don’t think having this position is at all necessary. It actually makes me cringe a little. It is akin to asking for a Secretary of Religion.
Over at The Art Newspaper David A. Ross has a pretty good list of suggestions that are concise, clear thought out and give some detail. Number 9 of the 10 things addresses the whole Secretary issue. I disagree with him on proposing a position that high, but maybe if his blurb were the petition I’d have signed. Even with his single multiple-clause sentence, Ross has done a far more thorough job in outlining the idea than the author of the petition, Jaime Austria.
> THE TEN FIRST STEPS THAT BARACK OBAMA COULD TAKE TO RENEW THE ARTS
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Looking north near the US Mint Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans
Lot’s to report today. Probably the largest chunk of writing I’ve done in one session is up on ArtSlant. First is the report from New Orleans. Reviews of the Contemporary Arts Center and US Mint venues of Prospect.1 and an essay on the city are on the Worldwide site.
> WAREHOUSE Dist.
> US MINTY
Installation view of Presents curated by Milwaukee International at Rowley Kennerk Gallery
And from Chicago: David Schutter at Tony Wight, Ulf Puder at Kavi Gupta and Presents at Rowley Kennerk.
> CHICAGO REVIEWS
Ulf Puder • Rückbau • 2008 • oil on linen • 59 x 79 inches • Kavi Gupta Gallery
Coincidentally, tonight PBS airs The Old Man and the Storm, a report on post Katrina New Orleans from Frontline. This will be good, and depressing. Frontline is one of the best, perhaps only, in-depth and carefully researched programs out there today. It is much lauded for things like “journalist integrity” and “objective reporting” and rightly so. Frontline gives you the information you might not want to hear, but need to be informed of. And it does it in a way that is as free of agenda and spin as you can get. You should be able to watch online.
> OLD MAN & THE STORM