From the category archives:

Reviews

An Artist-in-Residence at a 19th Century Library: Lu Zhang

by Michael Anthony Farley on November 17, 2015
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Lu Zhang has spent the past year as the artist-in-residence at the George Peabody Library, a massive, beautiful “cathedral of books” from 1878. Her year of non-objective research and wandering has resulted in a surprisingly logical (but playful) series of artworks.

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The Wrong Biennale: First Impressions

by Michael Anthony Farley on November 11, 2015
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Online art exhibition The Wrong Biennale’s second iteration has been live for over a week now. Much like the internet itself, The Wrong is huge and unwieldy and generated by so many authors that it’s thematically and qualitatively inconsistent beyond recapitulation or even judgement, really. That being said, The Wrong’s greatest utility might be its capacity to lay bare all the strengths, challenges, and glorious failures of displaying and viewing digital art online.

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Hotel Art That Makes You Feel Richer: On 21c in Durham

by Paddy Johnson on November 6, 2015
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I visited the 21c hotel in Durham North Carolina, which was established by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson as a means of housing their art collection.

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Is Claire Bishop Mired in Citational Modernism?

by Rea McNamara on November 5, 2015
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Going to lectures where the speakers workshop their book on you sucks. This was the case last Wednesday evening, when a crowd of artists, students and academics packed an OCAD auditorium for “Déjà Vu: Contemporary Art and the Ghosts of Modernity”, a free public lecture by art historian Claire Bishop.

From what I could gather during the lecture, Bishop believes we’re stuck in a rut she describes as ’“reformatted modernism”. The self-invented term refers to a historicist strain of contemporary art, where our downloadable obsessions with Eames chairs, van der Rohe skyscrapers and archival forms of display (think slide projectors) have rendered Modernist references in art that are all image and no function.

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Today, Miriam Simun Lets Us Taste the Future and it’s Gross (Mostly)

by Michael Anthony Farley on November 4, 2015
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Today, Miriam Simun’s GhostFood will be offering viewers a chance to smell the future at Baltimore’s Lexington Market. The project is presented by The Contemporary and imagines a future where we’ll have to eat imitations of climate-endangered foods.

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We Went to North Carolina: The Weirdest Contemporary Art Museum in the South

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on October 28, 2015
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Pretty much everyone we spoke to while we were in North Carolina was excited about Point & Counterpoint at SECCA. And for what it is—a group show of artists whose work was not selected for any kind of commonality past being a recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship—it’s not hard to see why. The show was so masterfully installed by SECCA curator Cora Fisher that it’s hard to imagine most of the work ever looking better than in that context.

That said, we were a little underwhelmed by a lot of the work on view.

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We Went to North Carolina Part 1: CAM, Lump and Flanders Gallery

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on October 27, 2015
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Two weeks ago Michael and I headed to North Carolina to visit a friend and do some studio visits at University of North Carolina Greensboro.  We ended up with an epic tour of North Carolina, from Raleigh to Winston Salem (for context, that’s about the distance from Philadelphia to Washington, DC). In part one, we’ll discuss our highlights from Raleigh.

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Marilyn Minter is the Windowlicker of Representation

by Paddy Johnson on October 23, 2015
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The show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver is the visual equivalent of “Windowlicker” an album by the electronic musician Aphex Twin that Pitchfork describes as oscillating between “harsh, uncompromising noise and remarkably warm ambient texture.” In both cases, we are repelled by what we are drawn to—a tension that ensures you never forget the work.

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Highlights From PS1’s Greater New York, Part 1

by Michael Anthony Farley on October 16, 2015
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Much has already been said about Greater New York, PS1’s massive survey of over 150 regional artists that spans deceased pioneers who cut their teeth in the 1970s to young, contemporary fashion designers. With that in mind, we’re going to offer a couple of slideshows, each with personal highlights, recommendations, and commentary from a different AFC writer. There’s really too much great work (and bad work) to cover it all in one post.

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Learning to Love a Shit Show: Jim Shaw’s Americana

by Paddy Johnson on October 7, 2015
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The number of artists who make art from found imagery and objects is now too many to count. Tumblrs and blogs are full of it and so too are the annals of art history. From Surf Clubs and The Jogging to Haim Steinbach, Robert Rauschenberg and Llyn Foulkes there’s a near bottomless reservoir of work that was made in one world and plunked into a fine art context.

I thought about this as I walked around the New Museum, mostly in awe of Jim Shaw’s three floor survey exhibition The End is Here. It’s basically two stories of art stuff produced and assembled from 1973 on—paintings, and drawings on the second floor; other people’s paintings, drawings, pamphlets, t-shirts and religious banners on the third floor. The museum reserved the fourth for Shaw’s massive cut-out theatre sets and sculptures.

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