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Ann Hirsch

This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Have Your Cake & Smash It Too

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 6, 2017
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Welcome to the new normal. We at AFC have noticed a decline in artistic output from Brooklyn’s DIY scene as of late, while commercial galleries and institutions in Manhattan (and a few in Queens) have been gearing-up for battle mode with politically-charged programming. We’re hoping this is because everyone in Brooklyn is too busy thinking about resistance, and not because they’ve fled the country.

Tuesday night, The New School is hosting a talk about female bodies online, and Wednesday, the New Museum is opening a massive Raymond Pettibon show. After checking it out, head down the block to ICP, where curators will be discussing the loaded Perpetual Revolution: The Image and Social Change. More talks will come Thursday, such as the Brooklyn Museum’s call to defend immigrants and the Flux Factory/ABC No Rio potluck/opening/discussion about artists’ mutual aid in times like these. Friday night, take a break from political angst to get lost in the dreamy paintings of Jordan Kasey at Nicelle Beauchene, or the likely dreamier office set E.S.P. TV has staged at Pioneer Works. The weekend brings more great art and opportunities for creative resistance: be sure to check out the Queens Museum’s event to build climate change resistance coalitions between artists and activists.

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ONLINE PREMIERE: “Ways of Something – Episode 3”

by Paddy Johnson on January 30, 2017
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With John Berger’s death this month, the online premiere of Lorna Mills’ “Ways of Something, 3” feels particularly poignant. While Mills’s “Ways of Something” wasn’t conceived strictly as an update, as 117 person re-interpretation it effectively functions as such. To complete this piece, Mills invited over 100 artists to remake all four parts of Berger’s 1972 BBC series “Ways of Seeing”, minute by minute. Each artist was given 60 seconds of video—doled out on a first come first serve basis—with the sole condition that they would need to retain the text used in captioning. What they did to the captioning font, the visuals, the sound, was entirely up to them.

The result is almost certainly the largest video exquisite corpse in existence. Similar to the first Surrealist conceived exquisite corpse drawings, where each half is made blind of the other, each artist creates a minute without knowing what will come before or after it.

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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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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: Gatekeepers Be Damned

by Paddy Johnson and Rea McNamara on February 9, 2016
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During this hallmark week in which we celebrate our love for our partners, what romance is the art world serving up? Nothing we’ve listed, save for an anti-gentrification protest at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this Valentine’s Day. In fact, it seems the entire week has been taken over by activists. From the Act Up—Dyke Action Machine talk at The 8th Floor to the Affordable Housing Show at Hunter, there’s plenty of discussion about how to make change.

Meanwhile, those with a sense of humor should balance all this seriousness out. Between Jayson Musson and Sean Patrick J Carney at SVA tonight to Larissa Valez-Jackson’s improv dance comedy at DANCEROULETTE this Thursday, you’ve got plenty of events to fill up your calendar.

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