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American Medium

This Week’s Must-See Art Events: R&B Diva to Save Distant Brown Dwarf Star

by Michael Anthony Farley on March 20, 2017
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Much like Paddy’s experience of the Whitney Biennial, New York’s art scene this week is dominated by the political with a healthy smattering of painterly painting, ubiquitous identity politics, and the unapologetically weird.

Highlights include a talk about “the intersectional self” at the 8th Floor featuring Genesis P-Orridge on Thursday, followed by a solo show from Dona Nelson at Thomas Erben Gallery. We’re looking forward to Ernesto Burgos’ work at Kate Werble Gallery (think ab-ex in 3D) on Friday night and some afro-futurist cyberpunk world-building by E. Jane at American Medium on Saturday. If you need a moment of zen before the work week starts, head to E.S.P. TV’s closing reception at Pioneer Works on Sunday—you can join them on a corporate retreat, complete with a self-help guru.

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NADA on Top

by Paddy Johnson on December 3, 2016
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A cab driver told me there are fewer people in Miami beach this year due to Zika fears. An artist told me there were fewer artists in Miami due to Donald Trump’s election. Everyone tells me they have fair fatigue. But dealers, willing to refute any and all evidence to the contrary, say their fairs have been busy.

Whether or not anyone is suffering as a result, one thing is certain: attendance is way off from last year. There are fewer people in the streets and at the fairs across the board. Certainly this was the case at NADA yesterday, which was uncharacteristically quiet. Not that this seemed to bother the dealers. Most were relaxed and seemed content, having made their sales the day before. This stood in stark contrast to Pulse, where even the slightest expression of interest, inspired long sales pitches and desperate looks. I felt bad for them.

A slower pace and fewer jovial parties from most of the fairs came as a welcome relief, even if they were a result of election malaise. There are a few more grey hairs amongst all of us—including this reporter—and the giant, all day, courtyard parties at NADA have been replaced by a swag table and cafe that now serves fancy donuts.

The spirit, though, remains the same. More than any other fair, NADA’s dealers are defined by an investment in art that’s so intense it seems to demand generosity. For example, when visiting the Invisible Exports booth, Benjamin Tischer made a point introducing me to Jerry the Marble Faun at Situations. “That’s a rabbit hole you have to go down!” he beamed as he told me about the ceramics made by the gardener for Mrs. Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale. The two were decedents of Jacqueline Kennedy and famous for shunning the world after high society wouldn’t accept their eccentricities.

Tischer enthusiasm wasn’t an isolated incident. MacGregor Harp at 247365 recommended I see Raul de Nieves at The Company, because his beaded figurative sculptures look infused with joy and dance. And Phil Grauer, a NADA board member and partner at CANADA, offered some context. The fair wants to be more inclusive. Last year’s venue experiment with Fountainbleau didn’t work out that well for that reason. The hotel wouldn’t make more space available to the fair at a reasonable cost, so they were forced to reduce the size. It created an atmosphere they didn’t like, so they returned to The Deauville this year with the objective of offering more space to more dealers.

The efforts paid off. The fair looks and feels better. Perhaps most importantly, though, the quality art to crap ratio is better than anywhere else, making NADA the model, and fair to beat.

Highlights after the jump.

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This Week’s Must See Events: Ride the Macabre Wave

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on September 20, 2016
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Last month, Corinna Kirsch pointed out to us that NYC’s art scene is getting pretty goth this fall. A quick glance at the exhibition thumbnails below reveals this spooky prophecy was dead-accurate: graveyards, skulls, and darkness predominate.

Tuesday night, recount the psychedelic adventures of Bruce Conner at MoMA. Wednesday, the domestic gets the spotlight with projects from Chloë Bass and Oksana Todorova at CUNY and A+E Studios, respectively. Expect plenty of creep-out factor from the latter’s biomorphic, toxic household items. Thursday, Julie Mehretu’s occult-influenced new body of work takes her practice in a darker direction, and Irene Lusztig lectures about conjuring empathy from (probably) eerie archival material.

The weekend gets even more macabre. Brian Andrew Whiteley is displaying his infamous tombstone at Christopher Stout Gallery Friday night, while Ghost of a Dream builds their own dream haunted house from the ruins of art fairs Saturday at Smack Mellon. And of course, Wickerham & Lomax’s Local Atonement: A Nutshell Study of Unexplained Death opens at American Medium. Sunday, Mana Contemporary’s fall open house encompasses just about everything under the sun—from Marilyn Monroe’s poetry to Israeli textiles—but of course a little momento mori content as well. Andy Warhol’s skull paintings will be on view. 30 years after his death, Warhol still has his finger on the undead pulse of the art world zeitgeist

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AFC’s Fall Forecast: Goth Art Everywhere

by Michael Anthony Farley and Corinna Kirsch on August 19, 2016
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Winter is coming. As the nights grow longer, shadows seem to creep into the city’s innumerable white boxes.

Our prediction for what the Fall/Winter 2016 look will be in New York: goth as fuck.

Artists, galleries, and institutions across the city seem to be embracing the macabre, gloomy, and achromatic in the months leading up to Halloween (by far, the art world’s most important holiday). We’re looking forward to aesthetic darkness, existential angst, and an embrace of the occult. Is this otherworldly tragic election season to blame for our state of mourning? We’re not sure, but let’s hope some fall weather shows up in time for us to break out our all-black wardrobes.

We’ve rated New York’s darkest upcoming art shows from “one tube of black lipstick” for “somewhat bleak” to “five tubes of black lipstick” for “this gallery is essentially a food court full of crying mall goths.” Our picks, arranged by opening date:

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Summer Campy

by Michael Anthony Farley on August 8, 2016
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Has the art world been getting lonely in a slow summer defined by gallerists and museums phoning it in from the beach? That might explain why so many art people seem to be planning something fun and social this week, from a Monday night campy screening of a Paul Morrissey film starring Warhol Superstars to open studios across Brooklyn. Wednesday, both BRIC and American Medium are hosting events for artists to relax and mingle, and out by the Hamptons, the Parrish Art Museum is throwing a Grey Gardens costume contest on Thursday. If you can’t make that trek, pass the time in Yiyang Cao’s debut New York exhibition. Friday, head to Bushwick for a night of openings at Tiger Strikes Asteroid and Underonk, both of which promise to be pretty fun. Saturday night, catch up on the latest episodes of fake reality TV show “Sad Girls Club” (trailer above) at the Anthology Film Archives, which is pretty much a party in and of itself. Finally, Sunday marks the last chance to score a smiley face portrait from Nobutaka Aozaki in Corona, followed by more open studios, DJs, and more at Red Hook’s Pioneer Works.

This might not be the best week for delving into heady art in Chelsea or museums, but it’s sure a good time to embrace campiness and fun, even in the stuffiest reaches of Long Island.

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This Week’s Must See Art Events: Dad Art, Cigarettes, and Graveyards

by Michael Anthony Farley and Rea McNamara on May 10, 2016
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Thankfully, the next few days aren’t as stressfully-packed with events as Frieze Week was. But we’ve picked out a handful of options if you’re still hankering to see some art. Tuesday night, Matt Bolinger’s solo show opens at Zurcher Gallery, featuring cinematic paintings of Middle-American life. Wednesday, rising art-star Kour Pour opens a new exhibition at Feuer/Mesler that looks to be a new direction for the painter. Thursday is a big night for fans of drawing: David Nolan Gallery has a Jorinde Voigt show and The Drawing Center is offering a Josef Albers-inspired workshop.

The weekend is when things get weirder. Christopher K. Ho’s solo exhibition at Present Company looks at aging, “art dads”, religion, and more Friday night. At the same time, Invisible Exports is opening Frida Smoked, a group show about women artists and their cigarettes. Saturday, Rhizome’s annual Seven on Seven conference will present collaborations between tech insiders and artists and Underdonk will open an ambitious group show of tiny sculptures from dozens of artists. Borna Sammak’s solo show also opens at American Medium that night. But Sunday sounds like it will be the most fun—Hyperalleric has organized a walking tour of artist’s graves in Green-Wood cemetery, so go enjoy the partially-sunny outdoors after a rainy weekend.

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We Went to NADA: No Spider Bites Yet

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on May 6, 2016
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Paddy: Raging contemporary art trends: pastels, particularly in pink, smiley faces, plants, tropical themes of any sort, the 80’s.
Michael: I suppose I am always grasping for something to reassure me abstraction still has teeth and relevance beyond decor—even if that means a representational painting of tiny abstract paintings.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Grad School, Reading and Weeding

by Michael Anthony Farley and Rea McNamara on April 18, 2016
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Get ready for a week of “higher” education. Wednesday is 4/20, and American Medium has a night of corporate-retreat stoner comedy to celebrate. Art journal Packet Bi-Weekly‘s is also marking the occasion with a special “Hi-Weekly” issue. But if you’re looking for some non-weed-themed intellectual pursuits, come see our own Paddy Johnson speak at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City on Thursday or grab the latest issue of n+1 at their Friday night launch party at SIGNAL. MFA thesis exhibitions are in full swing, with programming and openings from ICP Bard, SVA’s curatorial practice MA, and Columbia on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, respectively.

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The Best Unrepresented Artists of 2015

by The AFC Staff on December 28, 2015
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As 2015 comes to a close, the internet is awash with “top 10” and “best of” lists. But one art world metric of success that’s under-discussed (and nearly-universally sought) is gallery representation. So we’ve asked past and present AFC editors to weigh in on the artists that commercial galleries haven’t snagged exclusive contracts with yet—despite acclaim from critics, museums, and audiences. In the interest of gender parity in the notoriously sexist world of gallery representation, we’re each selecting one male-identified and one female-identified artist.

To that end, here are the best and brightest boys and girls who’ve yet to be drafted

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