Post image for A Melancholic Stroll through the Sony Photography Awards

Only a terribly mean person could find fault with the traveling edition of the annual Sony Photography Awards. As both a showcase of a specific kind of photographic venture (more on that in a moment) and, likely more to the point, a brand-enhancing exercise in “excellence” promotion, the exhibition does exactly what it promises and is devised to do.

The competition specializes in the subset of photography most of us identify with National Geographic Magazine and its world-of-wonders aesthetic.

I know that sounds snarky but I do not mean it that way. Everybody loves this kind of photography, me included, for a reason – it is lovely and provocative, a moment of otherness, of not us/not here viewed from a safe distance. I buy a lot of postcards, and I have no shame when it comes to finely focused close ups of adorable mammals with pink ears.

What prompted my unease after wandering around this exhibition was a strong feeling that in a half-generation or less, shows like the Sony Photography Awards will be, at best, retro-cute, or at worst antique and irrelevant.

Post image for This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Painted Rooms, Painted Faces, Digital Everything

Well, we hope the art world had a good summer vacation because school is officially back in session. There are so many good shows opening on Thursday night in Chelsea we just couldn’t list them all—Matthew Barney at Gladstone, Rashid Johnson at Hauser & Wirth and Lynda Benglis at Cheim & Read, to name a few.

We’ve focused on the absolute can’t-miss openings and those that might get overlooked below. From Wednesday night’s opening exhibition on the work and collaborative legacy of early digital/conceptual artist Alison Knowles at The Graduate Center to Thursday night’s absolute must-see double exhibition of Meleko Mokgosi [pictured] at both of Jack Shainman’s Chelsea locations there’s plenty to see and do.

But to offer a quick summary of where the most openings which nights, expect to spend Wednesday on the LES, Thursday in Chelsea, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday rushing from neighborhood to neighborhood. This should be a good week for Uber.

Post image for Taking A Curatorial Gamble At The Mattress Factory’s “Factory Installed”

PITTSBURGH–What do you get when a curatorial vision is so generic, there’s almost nothing for an artist to work with? The Mattress Factory rolled these dice with their current show Factory Installed and came out ahead. Or at least 50/50, which for a show with no organizational principle, is pretty good.

According to the exhibition’s website, the organization started with a selection of artists who “demonstrate a uniquely different approach to the creative process.” You can’t get more generic than that.

Post image for Looking Forward to Next Week’s DiMoDA 2.0 Launch

We’re excited for DiMoDA’s second exhibition: Morphḗ Presence to open in one week. The virtual reality museum’s first show was totally mind-blowing.