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Katherine Bernhardt

This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Old School Survival

by Paddy Johnson and Rea McNamara on June 6, 2016
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Urban survival, whether it’s the cost of living in New York or even riding along Sag Habour in a self-sustaining houseboat, looms largely in this week’s events. Tonight’s lecture at the Morbid Anatomy Museum suggests that this dates back to Weimar Berlin’s era of anarchy and decadence, where fake fakirs — religious ascetics who live solely on alms — got by with their gnarly nails and pins piercing. Flash forward to Saturday’s MoMA opening of Nan Goldin’s famous 1986 visual diary “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency”, and those piercings became the battle scars of surviving the East Village’s punk bohemia. Today, we’re thankfully more practical in eking out our incomes: we look to the sun and its instruments (see this Thursday’s opening of the “Heliotropes” group show at Geary Contemporary) or envision terrible futures in our analogue pasts (“that old school dystopia” at Theodore:Art on Friday). But sustainability, if we quickly cut to the chase, really involves supporting each other, which is why this weekend’s workshops around the nuts and bolts of artist finances or even writing and editing an artist statement will get you ahead. No need for any physical scars.

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We Went to Frieze: Ate Shit, but Didn’t See the Ass

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on May 4, 2016
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One could more or less have the same experience of Frieze by looking at documentation of most of the work. This, despite the fact that visitors can sample dystopian “food” products and see a live donkey (sometimes).

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The Best 25 Shows of 2015

by The AFC Staff on December 31, 2015
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2015 was great for art. For all the bitching that went on about art fairs, the dominance of the market, and sub-par museum shows (cough, cough Björk), I saw more great shows than I have in my ten years working as a critic in New York. Rather than try to whittle our picks down to a few select shows, we wrote up every show we thought was truly exemplary.

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We Went to No Man’s Land: Women Artists from The Rubell Family Collection

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on December 21, 2015
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At the Rubell Family Collection, dozens of contemporary women artists working in every conceivable medium left us very impressed.

Michael: Here, the blue-chip market and a private collector managed to accomplish something many institutions or independent curators haven’t—presenting an all-female show that feels as if it has nothing to prove.

Paddy: I still can’t get over how many monumental art works in this show so effectively dominated the space that you’d literally feel awestruck by their presence.

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