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Jon Kessler

The Whitney Biennial: Visual Screen Burn Courtesy of America’s Finest

by Paddy Johnson on March 16, 2017
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Out of the ten Whitney Biennials I’ve seen, this is the first one that could have used a vomit warning. But here we are, in Trump’s America, a future many of us never wanted to imagine, let alone live through. What is the purpose of art in this New America? This year’s Biennial bears no answers. Art doesn’t exist to defend its purpose and even if it did this exhibition was organized prior to the election. Nevertheless, it does bring then-simmering themes to a boil. So, while almost none of the work is Trump themed, as a whole the exhibition reads as a responsive to the challenges the country faces—increasing income inequality across the board, failing institutions, and the rise of hate-fueled violence. If art is a mirror, then this year’s Biennial should scare the shit out of you.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Winter is Coming

by Michael Anthony Farley on March 13, 2017
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The week is of course dominated by two news items: The Whitney Biennial and The Wintery Downfall.

After the blizzard, Wednesday is a great opportunity to get yourself in the snowy mood, art-wise. Enjoy doses of culture from freezing, windswept regions, including Marsden Hartley’s Maine at The Met Breuer (if you’re missing the Whitney’s old digs) and Berlin-based Danish/Norwegian duo Elmgreen & Dragset in conversation with Dan Cameron at The Flag Art Foundation. Later, catch the Icelandic thriller Hevn at Scandinavia House’s New Nordic Cinema screening series.

Other highlights include Fort Gansevoort’s female-perspective sports show March Madness Thursday night and TRANSFER’s four year birthday party, which will feature affordable editions from some of our favorite digital artists.

Oh yeah, and make time to check out the Biennial. I’m told it’s good, but “traumatic”. An appropriately bleak show to match our physical and political climate?

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Live From Grand Rapids!

by Corinna Kirsch and Whitney Kimball on October 6, 2014
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Cancel whatever you’re doing at 7 PM tonight, readers. Paddy Johnson will be critiquing the finalists of ArtPrize, in the 3D and time-based categories. (Peruse the finalists here. Watch the Livestream here.) The stakes are high; we expect some animated debate to light up twitter tonight.

And the rest of the week looks equally promising: fashion snarker Simon Doonan talks menswear, the New York Film Fest continues, and Philadelphia’s Vox Populi Gallery sees a weekend filled with Videofreex, Jeanine Oleson, and Jaimie Warren.

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AFC’s Stocking Stuffers: Art Profs Pick Their Favorite Books

by Corinna Kirsch on December 19, 2013
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What the smart people are reading.

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Back To School: Art Profs Pick Their Favorite Books

by Corinna Kirsch on August 28, 2013
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Say goodbye to your last week of freedom—next week students and professors head back to college. We miss drooling over the books we used to buy at the beginning of the semester, so we asked several friends of AFC to share us in on their personal favorites from their fall syllabi. From the list of options below, it looks like we’ll have plenty to read.

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Highlights from Art Basel Miami Beach

by Paddy Johnson Corinna Kirsch and Will Brand on December 6, 2012
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Art Basel Miami Beach is not fun, but sometimes, through the fluorescent lighting, puzzle-piece layout, and brazen privilege, you see some art you like. This is not a typical sentiment at an art fair, populated as they are with the type of work only a catnipped cat would love. However, this year we—and a few others—noticed something a little fishy: for an art fair, the work was in surprisingly good taste.

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[Sponsor] Gallery Diet & ART BLOG ART BLOG present ASTRAL WEEKS

by Sponsors on July 23, 2012
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Gallery Diet is extremely pleased to announce the opening of ASTRAL WEEKS curated by Van Hanos. This show is the second in a two-part series of exhibitions ART BLOG ART BLOG is presenting at Gallery Diet during the summer of 2012.

ASTRAL WEEKS will feature works by  Liz Deschenes, Brock Enright, Keltie Ferris, Jackie Gendel, Brion Gysin, Heist/Breyer P-Orridge, Corinne Jones, Jon Kessler, Nicolas Lobo, Rory Parks, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Chad Scoville, and Patrick Walsh.

ASTRAL WEEKS runs from July 19 to September 1, 2012 with an opening reception on Thursday, July 19, 6-9 pm.

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Closing Week Performa Picks

by Whitney Kimball on November 17, 2011
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This year's Performa Biennial has one week of programming left, so this is your chance to catch the last of it. This week's highlights range from a beerfest to rare revivals of groundbreaking performance works.

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Mass Distractions & Cultural Decay at Mason Gross Galleries

by Paddy Johnson on October 21, 2011
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It’s not too often I have a chance to post about my alma mater at Rutgers, but it’s always nice to be able to tout a moment when they make me proud. Mass Distractions & Cultural Decay at Mason Gross Galleries is one such instance. A politically-themed exhibition about how information is disseminated through artistic practice, the show looks back at one revolution’s children, and forward at another. How has television, magazines, and radio informed the art making practices of artists in second half of the twentieth century? How does the Internet, social media and other digital technologies informed the art practices of today?

Based on a combination of personal recommendations, and compelling images and press release, I’ll be trekking down to New Brunswick, New Jersey this weekend to find out. There’s not much time — the show closes October 22nd — and includes artists such as Clifford Owens, Marc Handelman, Martha Rosler and Ardele Lister. I recommend that anyone else who can do the same. Some images and press release excerpts after the jump.

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