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Doug Aitken

Slideshow: Zona MACO, The Art Fair Where Commerce and Politics Make Strange Bedfellows

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 9, 2017
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Last year, I remarked that Zona MACO excels at being an “average” art fair.

I stand by that opinion this year, with the clarification that it feels a bit like the average of many art fairs: a bit of NADA, a big dollop of Design Miami, a dose of Basel, and flavors of Frieze. That makes sense, as it’s by far Latin America’s largest and most important art fair—many of the curated identities of fairs in hyper-saturated US markets come from necessity of branding when there’s competition.

And like I said last year, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Though this year, due to some floor plan rearrangements and somewhat less cohesive booths, the curated sections Zona MACO Sur and Nuevas Propuestas felt a bit underwhelming. That might also owe to (what seemed like) an increase in advertisers’ kiosks and design, publication, and food vendors, comparatively.

The good news: the quality of work in the General Section improved tremendously. Sure, there were many repeat, predictable artist, but the recent political turns in both Mexico and the United States haven’t gone unnoticed in the art world, thankfully. Scattered among the rows of polite abstraction, there was plenty of outright political work, particularly when compared to the December fairs in Miami.

Below, a sampling of the what’s on view, beginning with some of the more overtly political works.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Nightmares Before Christmas

by Michael Anthony Farley on December 12, 2016
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This week there’s not a lot of art stuff happening beyond holiday parties and craft fairs. One could say NYC’s taken an unexpectedly Middle-American turn in that regard, were it not for how morbid so much of the week’s happenings are. Tuesday night, scholars Sam Tanenhaus and Richard Wolin perform a post-election autopsy on the American Republic and speculate about its afterlife (hint: It’s not looking good) at CUNY. For a slightly less depressing evening, head to Ubu Gallery where German artist Heide Hatry is opening a new series of drawings made with the ashes of human remains. If that’s not enough mortuary holiday cheer for you, Con Artist Collective is throwing a fake memorial art show for the comedian Bill Murray (one of the few national treasures that hasn’t died in 2016). Thursday night we’re looking forward to a subversive holiday group show at Kate Werble Gallery, and a six-hour night of discussions about Art After Trump at Housing Works.

Friday night, things get a little less bleak city-wide. P! and Beverly’s are hosting events for a Bard CSS project that sprawls across Chinatown and continues with satellite events all weekend. At Brooklyn’s Orgy Park, a group show invites painters to make something collaborative, and in Queens, MoMA PS1 is throwing a holiday party for artists that looks totally bonkers. Have some spiked hot chocolate. After a week of thinking about Trump and death, you’re going to need it.

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Art Basel Feels Like Last Season’s Trunk Sale

by Paddy Johnson on December 3, 2015
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My Art Basel experience will sound familiar to almost everyone following the fair. After a day at Art Basel Miami, most dealers I spoke to still had work available. That’s not to say that sales were slow— just slower than the usual mad rush we’ve become accustomed to over the last few years. According to art consultant Josh Baer, that’s not because the art was bad, but because collectors have become more thoughtful.

Yeah right. Collectors have not suddenly transformed into more curious and discerning people. They’re just not oblivious to the obvious: most of the art on view looked like B-rate work we’d seen a hundred times already. Even people who have nothing to do all day but buy things will eventually get bored of that.

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Five Jobs: Assist Edition

by Ian Marshall on August 1, 2013
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This week we bring you assistant positions, several of which are temporary. Each one offers an opportunity to meet a wide range of coworkers in its respective institution, so even if you aren’t around for long you’ll meet a ton of important, exciting people.

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Doug Aitken Goes On Tour

by Corinna Kirsch on May 23, 2013
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Doug Aitken knows celebrities. Musicians. Filmmakers. People with money. Sometimes their ideas fall down on him like fruit from a tree—he once found inspiration by overhearing discussions at a dinner party. Now, with “Station to Station,” a three-week-long project set to debut this September, Aitken will host a road trip-party on a train, and it might involve art.

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