For a moment, Seth Price dropped out of the art world. In the summer of 2013, he stopped producing new work, laid off his assistants, canceled his upcoming exhibitions, and requested that online magazines remove articles written about him. He did all of this to begin a new career as a writer....Read more
by Risa Puleo
Numerous science-fiction tales have speculated about life on Mars. Such fantasies may become reality as soon as 2026, as corporate investors fund expeditions to the planet. In "The Interview: Red, Red Future" at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston (Feb. 2…Read more
by Scott Cook
Primarily an instrument of astronomical exploration, space photography is traversed by multiple discourses—scientific, esthetic, epistemological. Viewed in an art context, as in a recent museum exhibition, such images resemble yet differ from the earliest…Read more
Is there any other artist whose body is as routinely conflated with her oeuvre as Charlotte Moorman? “Discover why Charlotte Moorman was called [. . .] the Topless Cellist” is the Barnumesque lure on a postcard advertising “A Feast of Astonishments: Charl…Read more
C. Spencer Yeh modestly describes himself as an “uncoordinated and tone-deaf” musician, but that hasn’t lessened the demand for his performances at high-profile art venues. Over the next few weeks, he will present vocal abstractions, violin improvisations…Read more
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It seems difficult to reevaluate Robert Mapplethorpe’s career today, partly because the furor over the cancellation of his first retrospective at the Corcoran Gallery in 1989 inspired such thoughtful assessments of his work then. No one will ever sum up t…Read more
Last November, FotoFocus organized a conference at the CAC to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the exhibition and to celebrate members of the city's art community who stood up for Mapplethorpe's work. A high point of the conference was artist Catherin…Read more
Twenty-six years ago, Robert Mapplethorpe’s BDSM photographs were successfully defended in court as elegantly rigorous artworks that transcend their maverick origins. But did that normalizing rationale sacrifice more personal and artistic liberty than it …Read more
“Why buy art when you can buy the artist?” wonders Leroy LeLoup, the main character in Alex Bag’s The Van (Redux)*, 2015. LeLoup, played by Bag’s brother Damien, first appeared in Bag’s 2001 video Untitled (The Van). He is an art dealer whose MO is to troll kindergarten classrooms in search of the “the weirdos, the loners” whom he can mold into commercially successful artists. Shot at the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami for Bag’s recent show there, the video opens with a view of the museum’s exterior. In this continuation of the 2001 video, Bag satirizes the perpetual “hunt” for new talent that preoccupies dealers, curators and art advisers through the brazen and predatory LeLoup’s staging of a “residency” for child artists-in-training. The reside...Read more
Mernet Larsen makes precise, quirky paintings depicting the seemingly unpromising banalities of everyday, middle-class life. Faculty meetings, drinks at a café, a family snack, reading in bed: all are enacted by boxy figures seen in reverse perspective, shrinking as they approach the picture plane. Larsen’s unique pictorial idiom—echoing the dynamic geometry of El Lissitzky’s Constructivist compositions and the clunky polygons of early computer graphics—is almost always animated by a narrative force, however slight. Born in 1940, Larsen taught for 36 years at the University of South Florida. Her solo show at James Cohan was her second in New York, and the work on view manifested a sense of confidence and ease honed over decades of painting, often in relative obscurity.
In Punch (2016), o...Read more
Between Pop art and Takashi Murakami’s Superflat lies a minefield of bad taste, a universe of objectified femininity and commodified childhood, endless poop and booby jokes, frivolous consumerism and comics that border on child porn. In the ’90s, that morass was sanitized and repackaged as contemporary Japanese art. One key phenomenon that failed to graduate—which is unfortunate, because it challenges Murakami’s portrait of ’80s and ’90s Japan as a land of anime-consuming nerds and provides evidence of the Americanized obsessions of the early postwar period lingering to the end of the century—was hyperrealism.
While hyperrealism in Japan was strong in painting and comics, the trend’s figurehead, Sorayama Hajime, worked in commercial illustration. Sorayama is represented in MoM...Read more
Cameron Rowland’s work combines research and strategic contractual agreements with the presentation of objects selected for their socially illuminating value. His exhibition at Artists Space, “91020000,” comprised a selection of new works (all 2016) that served as a multilayered genealogical investigation into slavery and its ties to economic development and mass incarceration in the United States.
Integral to the show was a partnership established at Rowland’s request between Artists Space and Corcraft, a division of the New York State Department of Correctional Services that employs inmates to produce everything from highway signs to classroom furniture. The sale of such items is mostly restricted to state entities; however, as a nonprofit with an educational mandate, Artists Space was eligible to use the s...Read more
by Carol Becker
Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde's energy-conscious projects—a bike path, condensed-smog jewelry, an outdoor air cleaner, an illuminated dance floor and various large-scale urban light projections—posit a cleaner, saner, more efficient tomorrow.…Read more