Post image for We Went to the LES: Solo Shows of Chris Burden and Patricia Treib

Michael: In the belly of the beast that was Frieze Week, I met up with Patricia Margarita Hernandez, Gallery Director/Assistant Curator of P! to check out some openings in the gallery’s neighborhood. We ended up at two solo shows: Chris Burden at Shin Gallery and Patricia Treib at Bureau.

I liked both of them a lot more than she did. Below, we talk nerdy masculinity, whether abstract paintings have content beyond “decor”, weird curating, and bad lighting.

Post image for The Venice Biennale, Viva Arte Viva: The Pavilions, Part One

Today we spent the majority of our time looking at the Pavilions and we’ll be spending much of tomorrow similarly. Overall, there seem to be fewer people visiting the pavilions and Biennale this year—as evidenced by shortened bathroom cues and the ability to get a cup of coffee in less than hour. It’s hard, though, to discern the reasons for this. It’s not like anyone knows in advance what the shows (or weather) will be like. Still, I wondered if the poor quality of this year’s biennale might have depressed some enough that they took the day off. And perhaps the Americans here are too worried about the President’s recent firing of FBI Chief James Comey to focus on art? I know it’s an issue for me as well as many others I’ve seen over the last two days.

As for the pavilions, it’s a mixed bag—some good, some bad, and some stinky. I mean that literally. At least three pavilions this year need stench warning signs for those with allergies.

I’ll be discussing a lot of the work in greater depth in a separate post. In the meantime, here’s a sampling of what we saw this afternoon.

Post image for Be AFC’s Neighbor: Apply For Two Trees’ Cultural Space Subsidy Program

Applications are open for Two Trees’ Cultural Space Subsidy Program. We’re a recipient, and it’s been great. Artists and cultural organizations should apply!

Post image for The Venice Biennale, Viva Arte Viva: Images from the Giardini

What’s the best way to understand art? One tactic is to see a lot of it. Another is to spend time with artists. And yet another is to curate an entire show around the idea that artist practices are God’s gift to the world and include as many studios, meditations on studios, and virtual studio renderings as humanly possible. Guess which approach Biennale curator Christine Macel takes in the Giardini section. A look at the show below. Arsenale pics here.