Damien Hirst created the above art work in support of Britain staying in the EU.
Artists and curators overwhelmingly do not support the Brexit. [Frieze Magazine]
“If the medieval herald, a town crier, existed today, it would likely be a brand ambassador for Airbnb, or maybe a freelance creative-infiltrator shouting aphorisms about being self-made. Sammak’s works are a constellation of urban surpluses and negations, mapping out the city-as-paradox illustrating separate spaces and times the infiltrator and the native occupy. The high-rise and the nail house facilitate starkly different livelihoods for their respective occupants. Town Crier is a successful testament to the malignant practices of the gentrifier. The modern city project isn’t aesthetic revitalization, it’s disaster relief.” —F.T. Hinton on Borna Sammak: Town Crier at American Medium. This show sounds, and looks, really good. Sammak recreates candy-colored signage and detritus from a slightly more over-the-top version of contemporary Brooklyn. [aqnb]
Douglas Coupland speculates on the future of tech, art, and the long-anticipated event horizon where they both collapse in on one another. Chiefly: what if there are no more big, revolutionary advances coming in either field? Maybe we’ll never have another moment as transformative as Warhol or smartphones. And maybe (likely) we shouldn’t be looking to Silicon Valley—whose cultural proclivities are conservative or kitschy—to define/shape the future of art. [e-flux]
Have we reached peak think-piece-ery? Here’s a letter-to-the-editor/reply from the author (over a review of Nicole Eisenman’s new show) that is so disposed to the semantics of identity politics that the art and the artist are almost absent from the conversation. Is the reality of contemporary art discourse just listing the demographics of artists and writers and critical theory references? I can’t even figure out what this is about, except for that fact that the painter is queer and female and the author is Asian. [Hyperallergic]
TSA New York’s annual Flat File program has put out a call for entries. Submit 4 images of small, unframed work by July 31st for the chance to be shown in the gallery in December and have your work kept on file for sale through next year. [Tiger Strikes Asteroid]
John Reuter, a man who has been working to stave off the extinction of one of the world’s largest cameras—the 20×24 inch Polaroid camera—is throwing in the towel. He cites lack of demand. Chuck Close is interviewed for the piece and is not happy. [The New York Times]
What kind of bullshit is this? In early June New York’s City Council passed a measure that would impose a time limit on the public review process at the Landmarks Preservation Commission—(one year for individual properties, two for historic districts). Protestors are asking Mayor Bill DeBlasio to veto the bill. [Curbed]
Artist Jumana Jaber and her family, including her son, a dissident musician, were able to flee Syria with the help of the Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund. Now she teaches at Montclair State University (and make great assemblage-paintings) and her family can be as outspoken about the Syrian regime as they wish. This is exactly the kind of story we should be hearing more of out of the crisis. Sadly, their J-1 exchange visitor and companion visas will expire and they need to go through the insanely complicated process of applying for refugee status. [PRI]
Alissa Walker hails “The Floating Piers” in Sulzano, Italy as “Christo’s First Truly Important Work of Art.” Yes, many of Christo’s other pieces have been beautiful, but these temporary bridges could be a prototype for climate-change-related disaster relief, including a temporary bridge between Williamsburg and Manhattan during the Sandy-necessitated L train shutdown. [Gizmodo]
Missouri is installing energy generating photovoltaic tiles along a section of Route 66. These street pavers were invented by Scott and Julie Brusaw, a couple who claim that replacing all of America’s roads and parking lots with their pavers would generate more than three times the country’s electricity consumption in 2009. Let’s hope this process goes well. [Curbed]
Ted Cruz, the Republican presidential candidate who once said “We need to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts,” has dropped out of the race after losing the Indiana primary. This inspired Samantha Bee to tweet the above in reference to Cruz’s anti-abortion stance. [Twitter]
The Baltimore Museum of Art has named Christopher Bedford as its new director. Bedford is curating the American pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale and will be leaving his post at Brandeis University’s Rose Museum. [The Baltimore Sun]
Real estate developer/art collector Aby Rosen has been ordered to pay New York $7 million in back taxes after some shady art dealings. [Forbes]
Suzy Lake has been awarded the sixth annual Scotiabank Photography Award. The award includes a $50,000 cash prize and a solo show for the Toronto-based artist at the Ryerson Image Center in 2017. [Canadian Art]
App as conceptual art project: Disk Cactus, an Oakland-based artist duo, have created the iTunes app AI*SCRY. Playing off of AI and “scrying” (a method of crystal ball divination), the app adds words pulled from Microsoft’s COCO image recognition database to whatever images you choose to snap with your smartphone camera. The descriptors of this project — ”childlike”, “playful”, “whimsical” — makes this seem less conceptual art project and more an interactive art prototype that could be sold off to a start-up or adapted for an agency. [Hyperallergic]
In animal news, wild gorillas have been found to hum happy songs while they eat. Two sound files are embedded in the article. Singing might be an overstatement for what this is—it’s more like a guttural growl. [New Scientist]
The FBI has searched suspected mobster Robert Gentile’s home for clues related to the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist, one of the largest unsolved art thefts ever. [The Boston Globe]
Iranian artist Atena Farghadani has been freed after spending more than a year in prison. Farghadani was arrested last year and original sentenced 12 years for a satirical cartoon that depicted Iranian government members as monkeys and goats for bills that would restrict access to voluntary sterilization and contraception. [Art Newspaper]
The Biennale de Montreal announced their preliminary artist list. New works will be commissioned by Moyra Davey and Anne Immhof, and the rest seems to be evenly split between international (Joe Namy, Frances Stark, Nicole Eisenman) and Canadian (Valerie Blass, Luis Jacob, Nadia Belerique). [ARTnews]
Artist Eric Oglander and writer Gideon Jacobs have a new column “Accidental Internet” in which they recontextualize found imagery that is “beautiful, compelling, or interesting, that was not created with the intention of being beautiful, compelling, or interesting.” [VICE]
Ilma Gore, the artist who drew Donald Trump with a micropenis, reports that she was assaulted by a Trump supporter near her home in Los Angeles. A man in a black Honda Civic drove up, exited the car, punched her in the face, and shouted “Trump 2016!” [The Huffington Post]
This is not the week to let your inner researcher go crazy. It’s Frieze week, which means there’s a mountain of events, all of which will seem essential to visit. After spending the day combing through all the talks, the openings, and the fairs we have a little secret we can let you in on. Very little of what we’ve read about constitutes a “must-see” for the average artist. We’ve gone through and selected what we think is actually relevant to artists. That means there are no galas, no co-branding kick-off parties, and no invitation-only events we can’t attend anyway. What we do recommend is Meg Webster’s 70-foot bee magnet at Socrates Sculpture Center, a round table discussion on why artist-run galleries are the bomb, and a Chucky-like doll by Jordan Wolfson we’re pretty sure will scare the crap out of you. Brace yourself.
The Google DeepDream make up tutorial nobody asked for. Yuck. [Jezebel]
This guide of auction terms is so useful I can’t believe it’s not been done on the blogs before. (We’ve never seen it.) Lots of terms I didn’t know here, including “white glove sale”, a term that indicates every lot in the auction was sold. [Hyperallergic]
Over Twitter, Alain Servais goes through recent auction sale prices on the blue-chip contemporary secondary market. He finds that many works are selling well below their retail. There’s clearly a disconnect between the overall health of the secondary market, which appears to be cooling, and the evening contemporary sales where lots break records. I spoke to an artist yesterday who has been making a living off his work for 15 years, and talked about the market being depressed, as if it was a thing everyone knows. Unless your income is affected, I don’t think there’s any way to know, based on what the press covers. [@aservais1]
Artists think Europe needs to step up its efforts to help refugees. [The Art Newspaper]
The Blue Jays have won the AL East Division, which for this Canadian author, is news worth reporting even in our art links. Here’s how they did it. [National Post]
MacArthur genius grants were given to artists Latoya Ruby Frazier and Nicole Eisenman. MacArthur fellows receive $625,000 in unrestricted funds. [MacArthur Foundation]
Yesterday, Roberta Smith interviewed Nicole Eisenman on the grant. Eisenman revealed that she’d told about 18-20 of her closest friends and family before the award was announced and said she might get an assistant. [The New York Times]
Instead, when I put the “animated” filter on Google Image search and typed in “Nicole Eisenman”, I ended up going down an almost totally unrelated rabbit hole of the art-blog/sex toy industrial complex.
With this job, you don’t always have a chance to write up all the exhibitions you saw and loved, so for me, the 2014 year-end review is a Godsend. It gives me a chance to give a shout out to everything I saw and loved. And this year, there was an awful lot of it. May 2015 be this bountiful and more.
Time for round two of massive openings. After over a year, CANADA Gallery finally reopens in its new Broome street space, right across from P!. On Thursday night, Chelsea opens. On Friday night, something’s going down at the Redhook galleries, but we’re not sure what. And tomorrow, we hope Cleopatra’s doubles its benefit goals for artist, curator, and Dependent Fair founder Rose Marcus, to help her pay for major surgery–and so do many talented artists who’ve contributed to her benefit auction. All that, and more, after the jump!
Thanks to GalleristNY for publishing an email with the names of the Whitney Biennial artists. So far the blog’s only been able to confirm 8 of the 51 names, but we’re republishing the list with some initial thoughts.