The Daily Pic: Jorge Macchi makes an I-beam go limp.
A piece called “Pendulum” by the artist Jorge Macchi, and now in his solo show at Alexander and Bonin gallery in New York. I like how Macchi makes an I-beam do the one thing it is absolutely meant not to do: bend. Another crucial component: The cheap plastic stools that can only barely support the steel, and show slight signs of buckling that prove its weight. And yet the sight of a curved I-beam seems so unlikely that there’s always some suspicion that the piece is trompe-l’oeil.
The Daily Pic: Why did the AbEx-er make a print, then copy it by hand?
This pairing represents the strangest, most interesting moment in “Angels, Demons, and Savages: Pollock, Ossorio and Dubuffet”, which just closed at the Phillips Collection in Washington. The show was about contacts between its three titular artists, but a wall of Pollocks is what stopped me. The picture on the left is a photographic screenprint after a painting, and Pollock wasn’t happy with the result. So he made not one but two very, very close painted copies of the print – one is on the right here – for reasons I can’t quite figure out. I guess he was trying to put back in the spontaneity of the original canvas, but the act of copying itself negates the unmediated expression that the AbEx “hand” is supposed to be about. It looks as though process is less important than final result, even for an action painter like Pollock. Or maybe he wanted to play with perfect handmade seriality, decades before others were trying that move. (Or just one decade before Warhol did, with his soup cans.)
How big of a 'Golden Girls' fan are you? On Wednesday, Christie's is auctioning John Currin's famous 1991 painting 'Bea Arthur Naked.'
Over 20 years after its debut, the fact that John Currin's 1991 painting Bea Arthur Naked still stirs up buzz is a testament both to the painting's smart and provacative wink at a feminist icon and to Bea Arthur's lasting legacy. Much like the characters the actress played, the painting is dignified and yet irreverent. It is also a reminder of Currin's early Nineties work that led him to be labeled as a misogynist -- and which caused Village Voice art critic Kim Levin to ask readers to "boycott this show." The painting is part of Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art auction on Wednesday May 15, and is expected to go for between $1.8-2.5 million.
Ooh la la. On Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland, Christie's will auction the 'Absolute Perfection' diamond. The largest D color flawless diamond ever auctioned, the 101.73 carat jewel is expected to fetch at least $20 million. According to the Daily Mail, the diamond was cut from a 236-carat rough diamond found in Botswana.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s 11th Hour auction at Christie’s on Monday night saw record sales for artists, including Elizabeth Peyton and Mark Grotjahn. Isabel Wilkinson reports from the scene.
"$450,000," called the auctioneer, pointing to a bidder in the crowd at Christie's.
He wheeled around to another: "$500!"
Then back to the first: "$550!"
"Do I hear six?" he asked solicitously. "Six hundred thousand?"
The Daily Pic: A classic photographer is back in the vanguard.
This is Ansel Adams’s “Mount Williamson, Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California”, shot in around 1944 and now in a fascinating group show called “Expo 1: New York” that opened yesterday at PS1 in Queens. The show comes at issues of ecology and our planetary fate from all sorts of classically avant-garde angles, but its most daring move may be its inclusion of several rooms of photos by Adams, not normally a name to conjure with out on the cutting edge. Rather than rehearsing standard notions about the beauty and formal brilliance of Adams’s photographic art, the show treats him as a real purveyor of ideas and information about the American environment and our place in it. (The inclusion of multiple shots of single sites is especially clever.) One thing I think the curators left out: The place in Adams’s art of an ethos and aesthetics of mechanization. If such notions seem out of place in a discussion of Adams, take a look at my essay on a show of his landscapes held a few years ago at the Corcoran in D.C. – it may be the best thing I’ve written.
Early photographic works by the legendary actor and director are on view now at Gagosian Madison Avenue. Isabel Wilkinson talks to the artist’s daughter about the significance of the works.
Dennis Hopper, the legendary American actor and director who died in 2010, was a person who, in the words of his daughter, “liked things to be bigger and stronger.” His film work reveals as much: he commanded the screen in Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, and Blue Velvet.
Irving Blum and Peggy Moffitt, 1964. (Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, (c) Dennis Hopper, Courtesy of The Dennis Hopper Art Trust)
But his photographic work, on view this week at a new show at Gagosian’s Madison Avenue gallery in New York, shows a side of Hopper that is smaller, quieter, and more vulnerable.
Hopper took the photographs that make up this show, entitled The Lost Album, between 1961 to 1967, just before he began work on Easy Rider. His wife Brooke Hayward gave him a Nikon in 1961, which, she recalls in an interview in the accompanying catalog, “he never ever, ever, for the rest of my life with him—we got married and then divorced in 1968 or 1969—he never took it off."
The Daily Pic: The artist-designer made sound sculpture that responds to touch.
This is “Sonambient Sculpture”, made by the great sculptor and designer Harry Bertoia in 1977, after this once-famous artist had started falling from favor. I saw this table-top work, about three feet wide and made from “berylium copper”, in the booth of Lost City Arts at the Collective Design Fair now on in New York. It’s a lovely piece of late-modern formalism – except that it’s more than that. Like many of Bertoia’s pieces, it’s also an “instrument”, of sorts, responding to your touch with a lovely chiming jangle. (Click on the image to see and hear it in action). It must partly be about resisting the “don’t touch” message that most sculpture comes with.
From a recreation of Do Ho Suh’s apartment in green polyester to a creepily robotic chatty little girl, a look at what not to miss at this weekend’s exhibition on Randall’s Island.
The Frieze Art Fair in New York—the city’s answer to the famed London fair—kicked off Thursday morning in a torrential downpour. But intrepid fair-goers trekked to Randall’s Island by East River Water Taxi, where they were greeted by artist Paul McCarthy's giant red inflatable dog, which towered over the fair itself. Unsurprisingly, the more than 180 booths inside offered everything imaginable. There is a slick Doug Aitken wall-mounted sculpture with the words “ART” written in cracked mirror (to remind us of our own narcissism? Of a discipline that’s falling apart? Or maybe just to serve as a mirror in case we have something in our teeth?) There's a video by Chinese artist Qiu Anxiong, The Temptation of the Land (2009), which served as an animated commentary on the destruction caused by the construction of an Olympic stadium, known as the Bird’s Nest, on the natives of Beijing. There was an empty, haunting self-portrait by the Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic, her mouth ringed with plated gold. By midday, the fair was chock full of people: designer Valentino Garavani, in a perfectly tailored brown suit, went from booth to booth—as did the actor Andrew Garfield, who appeared to be led around by an adviser. And deals were happening here: quickly but quietly, art appeared to be selling, under the nose of tourists and kids taking Instagrams. Below, our list of art not to miss at the fair. (Frieze New York, on Randall's Island, runs May 10-13.)
1. Francesco Vezzoli, Unique Forms of Continuity in High Heels, Bronze, 2012 (Yvonne Lambert Gallery)
When you’re wandering through the wide alleys between booths, this loping golden sculpture by Francesco Vezzoli will stop you in your tracks. It’s simultaneously a riff on and commemoration of Umberto Boccioni’s 1913 sculpture, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, a touchstone of Futurism. But the original was also a symbol of masculinity: a bullish, mulscular soldier, rumbling forward through space and time. Now, Vezzoli recreates the statue in high heels—which, hopefully, will cause some gender-studies student somewhere to write a dissertation on what all this means for gender identity. Here we all are, collectively rumbling forward, in five-inch stilettos.
2. Katy Grannan, Anonymous, Bakersfield, CA, 2011, 2011 (Salon 94)
For 2013 National Design Awards.
Honoring work from across the design spectrum, the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum has announced the winners of this year’s National Design Awards. First created in 2000, the awards were given this year to James Wines for lifetime achievement, critic Michael Sorkin for design mind, TED for corporate achievement, Studio Gang Architects for architecture, Paula Scher for communication design, Behnaz Sarafpour for fashion, Local Projects for interaction design, Aidlin Darling Design for interior design, Margie Ruddick for landscape architecture, and NewDealDesign for product design.
The Daily Pic: Sebastian Errazuriz designs shelving that folds away.
I spotted Sebastian Errazuriz’s “Piano” shelving yesterday, in the Cristina Grajales booth at the new Collective Design Fair in New York. It’s a truly clever concept: The separate bars (or “keys”) that make up the shelves can be pulled down as needed, depending on the objects than you want to display. Two thoughts, though: First, if the shelves were engineered without gaps they could be used for books, which is the most pressing, and ever-changing, shelving need for most of us (bars pulled half-way down could even act as bookends); second, as things stand, there’s a danger that such witty and attractive shelves could encourage knick-knacky tendencies in even the most restrained of us, infecting modern spareness with Victorian clutter. Just because you own something nice doesn’t mean you have to display it…
The Daily Pic: In 1993, Cheryl Donegan added sex to conceptual art.
This is a still from “Head”, a strange video by Cheryl Donegan that’s in the show called “1993” at the New Museum in New York. (Click on the image to watch the video.) The piece – surprise, surprise – was made in 1993, and feels like a comic take-off on the “procedural” videos made by conceptual artists two decades earlier. (“Watch me doing something; watch me doing something else.”) Here, Donigan seems to sexualize their work, and inject some gender and power issues into their art-about-art premises.
Christie’s is set to auction a 1929 painting by Leger that reminded Gregory Peck of his wife.
How does a Hollywood legend tell the love of his life how he feels? If you are Gregory Peck, you buy her Fernand Leger’s Les deux figures. The intimacy of the contrasting figures in the painting represented to Peck the love he had for his longtime wife, Veronique Peck. The painting, which Peck bought in 1984, is expected to go for between $3-5 million, and is among notable works by Picasso, Soutine, Monet, Pissarro and Derain to be auctioned off Wednesday night in Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale.
Les deux figures, 1929, by Fernand Leger. (Christie’s)
and Vogue kicks off a second round of its photography competition. More