Art I’m Loving: Christoper Wool

Today I finally made my way to the Guggenheim here in New York to see the Christopher Wool retrospective. I have always loved Wool’s work, which I’ve most often seen hanging in private collections. Recently, however, I have been happy to see his immediately-recognizable paintings popping up everywhere, including Christie’s recent record-breaking $691 million evening sale, during which a personal record was set for the artist, who’s Apocalypse Now sold for $26 million, blowing away the $20 million high estimate.

The current landscape of contemporary art is littered with artists who work  in a variety of mediums, however painting as a medium is often thought of as outdated. The reason I am so drawn to Wool’s work is because in his practice he consistently addresses the complexities of painting while playing with various processes. Wool emerged on the New York art scene in the 1980s, and the anarchic punk influences from around that time period can easily be seen in his work.

The Guggenheim exhibition aggregates works that showcase each of the distinctive processes he has explored over the course of his 30 plus-year career. In the late 80s he used “paint rollers incised with floral and geometric designs to transfer patterns in severe black enamel to a white ground.” What I love about this body of work is that he allows for imperfections on his canvases even within this mechanized framework. The show also displays a selection of his iconic text-as-subject series, in which he stenciled words and phrases in a geometric grid, “freely stripp[ing] out punctuation, disrupt[ing] conventional spacing, and remov[ing] letters.” In addition, the exhibition highlights some of Wool’s incredible silkscreens, a process most predominantly used by the artist over the past 15 years. It was during this time Wool also started incorporating his familiar looping lines, applied haphazardly with a spray gun.

If you haven’t had a chance to see this incredibly organized show, I highly recommend visiting before it closes on January 22, 2014. Below is a difficultly-edited selection of some of the pictures I took.

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I love how the works were hung – as if they are floating throughout the rotunda

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Paint roller patterns

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Truth.

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Spray-gun + paint = stunning

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A series of his stenciled words

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View of the installation in the rotunda

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Art I’m Loving: James Turrell

So I know everyone and their brother has been raving about the James Turrell retrospective, an exhibition that debuted at LACMA earlier this summer and is now at the Guggenheim, where it is currently on view until the end of September. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go on a private tour of the exhibition last week, and I can attest honestly that it lived up to all the hype.

The retrospective marks the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York since 1980. This is not to say Turrell stopped creating new work over the past 33 years, he has simply been devoting all of his time to working on Roden Crater, a 5,400-foot-high extinct volcano near the Grand Canyon that he has been transforming into a visionary work of land art. The massive sculpture in works is inspired by the pyramids, Machu Picchu, and other ancient sites that toy with signature Turrell themes such as time and space.

So it’s no wonder that The New York Times and Time Magazine articles I cited above delve into how Turrell “knocked the art world off its feet” and “conquered the heavens.” His work is literally impossible to explain; instead, it is meant to be experienced and interpreted via visual interaction with his installations. Our tour guide explained how what one person sees while viewing an installation may be completely different than what someone else does because Turrell’s “materials” are not really “materials” at all in the literal sense of the word, but rather light, color, space, and perception itself. His pieces are almost always site specific.

We started our tour in the rotunda, where we viewed Aten Reign, a major new project that “recasts the Guggenheim rotunda as an enormous volume filled with shifting artificial and natural light.” The complete transformation of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed  architecture uses the natural void within the museum to create the most captivating play on light and space with gradating color I could stare at for hours. Though the rotunda is the highlight of the show, additional works from Turrell’s career are on view in the museum’s annexes. If you are in New York prior to September 25th, I cannot encourage you enough to head to the Upper East Side for this incredible show.

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My (sneakily-taken) Instagram of the rotunda

© 2013 Scott Rudd www.scottruddevents.com

A view from afar in the rotunda, showing how the color transforms the entire rotunda; © 2013 Scott Rudd

The first light installation created by Turrell

The first light installation created by Turrell, on view in an annex

 

 

Art I’m Loving: El Anatsui

A few weeks ago, I attended the Brooklyn Artists Ball, an annual fundraiser event at the Brooklyn Museum. It was an incredible event – starting with a seated dinner in the Museum’s beautiful Beaux-Arts Court featuring unique tables each designed by a different artist. Dinner was followed by drinks and dancing, and the turn out was incredible.

One of my favorite aspects of this event is that the Museum’s exhibitions remain open for viewing throughout the night. It isn’t often you get to experience a museum after hours without hundreds of other people in your way when you are trying to read wall tags or see a piece close-up. This allowed for unobstructed access to the Museum’s current El Anatsui exhibition—the first solo show for the artist at a New York museum. The internationally-acclaimed African artist displayed over 30 of his metal and wood artworks that transform appropriated objects into site-specific sculptures.

Twelve monumental wall sculptures were made entirely of bottle caps “pieced together to form colorful, textured hangings that take on radically new shapes with each installation.” These installations were breathtaking; my pictures below definitely don’t do them justice. I highly recommend visiting the exhibition this summer before it closes August 4th. Visitor details can be found on the Brooklyn Museum website.

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Red Block, 2010. Aluminum and copper wire, Two pieces, each 200 3/4 x 131 1/2 in.

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Drainpipe, 2010. Tin and copper wire

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Gli (Wall), 2010. Aluminum and copper wire

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Gli (Wall) (detail), 2010. Aluminum and copper wire,

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Art I’m Loving… Nick Cave

After a brief blogging hiatus for a much-needed vacation, I am finally back at the computer to bring you all things art and fashion—starting with my current artist obsession, Nick Cave. While I have always been captivated by the visual and performance artist’s signature Soundsuits—extravagant ensembles meticulously handcrafted from found objects, recycled remnants, and discarded materials—the artist is currently having quite a moment here in New York City.

As part of a series of events celebrating the centennial of Grand Central Terminal, Creative Time and MTA Arts for Transit have organized Heard•NY.  For this week-long event, Cave transformed Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall with a herd of 30 colorful life-size horses that peacefully “graze” and twice-daily break into choreographed movement (“crossings”) accompanied by live music. Himself a trained dancer, Cave called upon The Ailey School students to perform these daily crossings.

I attended the performance yesterday, and was blown away by the beauty of the soundsuits, the fluidity of the performance, and how engrossed I felt within everything happening around me (see pictures below). The soundsuits, according to the artist, exist as both sculptures in themselves and, when occupied by the body, activated forms, and reference dress and ritual attire from around the world, responding to the globalization of cultural identity. While acquiring a soundsuit is a bit out of my budget, the artist makes rather affordable prints of people in mid-soundsuit performance (which you can purchase here).

Check out my video of Heard•NY, and if you get a chance to go see it today before it ends (11am and 2pm), I highly recommend it!

Some other soundsuits:

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Art I’m Loving: Mickalene Thomas

Today, everyone is going to be talking about the fashion from the Golden Globes. But I am talking about art, and the oh-so-talented Mickalene Thomas (have no fear, I will post my favorite looks from the award show tomorrow). The artist has been featured in multiple solo shows, including “How to Organize a Room Around A Striking Piece of Art” at Lehmann Maupin in New York, which closed on January 5th, “Origin of the Universe,” which was on view at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and is now at the Brooklyn Museum through the 20th, and an exhibition at the ICA Boston through April 7th.

As if helping to organize these solo shows wasn’t enough, the artist spent last year working on a mural commissioned for the new Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn (which you can read about in my post here) and incorporating actress Jessica Chastain into a work of art for W Magazine’s annual Art and Fashion Issue, on newsstands now.

Thomas is best known for her elaborate, collage-inspired paintings, embellished with rhinestones, enamel, and colorful acrylics. Her depictions of African American women explore a spectrum of black female beauty and sexual identity while constructing images of femininity and power. She often draws on images from art history, inspired by genres that range from the Hudson River School to Impressionism to contemporary popular culture. Her work is a glammed-up, multicolor retinal blast that is both shocking and smart. It is no wonder she is highly sought after by top museums and notable collectors alike. I look forward to watching her career blossom even more over the next decade.

Three Graces: Les Trois Femmes Noires, 2011; Rhinestones, acrylic and enamel on wood

Three Graces: Les Trois Femmes Noires, 2011; Rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel on wood

Din, Une Tres Belle Negresse 2, 2012; Rhinestones, acrylic, and oil on wood panel

Din, Une Tres Belle Negresse 2, 2012; Rhinestones, acrylic, and oil on wood panel

interior- Zebra with two chairs and funky fur, 2012

Interior: Zebra With Two Chairs And Funky Fur, 2012; Rhinestone, acrylic, oil, and enamel on wood panel

What's Love Got to Do With It? 2008; Mixed media installation at Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum

What’s Love Got to Do With It? 2008; Mixed media installation at Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum

Chastain in Thomas's Tamika, 2012

Jessica Chastain in Thomas’s Tamika, 2012 for W Magazine

images via MickaleneThomas.com, ICA Boston website, and Wmagazine.com

Art I’m Loving: Christian Marclay

Last night, I went to The Museum of Modern Art for a viewing of and opening party for Christian Marclay’s The Clock. I can honestly say it was the most incredibly addictive and inspired work of art I have seen in a long time. I was unable to see the extremely popular screenings held previously at Paula Cooper Gallery and Lincoln Center, so I was thrilled to hear it would return to New York for a third run at MoMA. Starting today, MoMA is screening the 2011 Venice Biennale Golden Lion award-winning film, which meticulously arranges thousands of clips from across 100 years of cinema into a 24-hour epic work of art. Each clip references a specific time of day, often by displaying a watch or clock, and the film is screened so that each minute referenced perfectly matches up with the local viewing time.

On New Year’s Eve and for three weekends in January, The Clock will be shown its entirety. For more information on times and dates, view MoMA’s website here. Only 170 visitors are allowed to view the film at one time, and viewers are let in on a first come, first serve basis. I would suggest going to get in line now.

Christian Marclay. Detail of The Clock. 2010. Single-channel video with sound, 24 hours. © Christian Marclay

Christian Marclay. Detail of The Clock. 2010. Single-channel video with sound, 24 hours. © Christian Marclay

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Christian Marclay. Detail of The Clock. 2010. image via NYTimes

 

 

Art I’m Loving: Andy Warhol

It’s been a while since I focused on my art obsession-of-the-moment, but I can’t stop thinking about my most recent excursion to the Met to see Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years. It was such a well-done exhibition and honorably traced Warhol’s influence on other artists both during and after his career. Consistent themes within Warhol’s oeuvre  were compartmentalized in different rooms, and his paintings, sculptures and prints were juxtaposed with those by other artists who reinterpreted such themes in their own manner.

Warhol’s work was truly groundbreaking in that he truly challenged the definition of fine art and changed the way people looked at and talked about art forever. He appropriated images and took inspiration from popular culture rejecting elitist notions of art and made the case that art could be anything, seen anywhere, and of any medium. Moreover, it was Warhol who really merged the worlds of art and fashion, culture and commerce, by pulling inspiration from fashion and fashion marketing in much of his work. Without Warhol and Pop Art, I wonder if YSL would have ever sent his Mondrian dress down the runway in the 60s, for which he received so much attention he followed it up with an entire Pop Art collection. Warhol’s artwork is what this blog is all about, and I hope you will all make your way to the Met before the exhibition closes on December 31st.

Flowers, 1964, acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen

The Souper Dress, Warhol collaboration with Campell’s Soup, 1966-7

Double Elvis (Ferus Type), which sold for $37M at Sotheby’s earlier this year

Brillo Soap Pads Box, 1964, silkscreen ink on synthetic polymer paint on wood

Dollar Sign, 1981

 

Art I’m Loving… Diana Al-Hadid

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to tour the newest exhibition, “The Vanishing Point,” at Marianne Boesky Gallery, guided by none other than the artist herself: Diana Al-Hadid. I was not very familiar with the artist’s work prior to my visit, but I was blown away by the scale and thoughtfulness behind her art. It first reminded me of the fantastical, sculptural creations of Rachel Feinstein (who I talked about in my post here), but Al-Hadid’s ideas were truly unique and inspired. When describing the process behind the creation of Suspended After Imageit was hard not to feel like I was a part of that development, as if I was there with her in her studio and in Austin (where pieces of the work were constructed and where the work first displayed), as she tested ways to obtain the perfect drip paint technique. Hearing the passion behind an artist’s vision always makes me love their work more, and such was the case here.

For an in-depth analysis of the exhibition, you can read the press release on the gallery website. Or, you can let the pictures below speak for themselves (although pictures cannot possibly do these sculptures justice – I highly recommend visiting the show before it closes on October 20th).

At The Vanishing Point, 2012, steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, wood, foam, aluminum foil, paint

Divided Line, 2012, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, gypsum board, plaster, wood, steel, paint

Suspended After Image, 2012, wood, steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, high density foam, plaster, paint

Antonym, 2012, steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, wood, foam, paint

 

Images via Marianne Boesky Gallery

Art I’m Loving… Black and White Photographs on Artspace

For those who haven’t explored Artspace yet, I highly suggest you spend your procrastination time at work doing so (it is much more exciting than Facebook – trust me). Artspace is a new online start-up hoping to make artworks by big name contemporary artists more accessible worldwide. Essentially, if you don’t live in New York, London, or anywhere else with established contemporary art galleries at arms reach, Artspace gives you the opportunity to purchase their high quality works from wherever you can get an internet connection. Artspace also partners with artists directly to produce limited editions and prints, as well as with museums and institutions. Why I like it? It’s affordable – which means I have the opportutnity to collect works by artists like Vik Muniz, John Baldessari, or Ed Ruscha without auctioning off everything I own.

Right now I am really into black and white photographs, and am eying a few on the site. (FYI – my birthday is coming up in October).

Doug Geraghty, Grand Central, 2009

Pamela Hanson, Chelsea Hotel, 2003/2011

Vik Muniz, Pictures of Paper Noon Rush Hour on Fifth Ave., 1949 after Andreas Feininger, 2009

Judith McMillan, Optic Exploration: Iris Kaempferi, 2001

Sally Mann, Jessie in the Wind, 1989

Art I’m Loving… Dale Frank

Dale Frank is an Australian abstract painter whose art has been exhibited around the globe, including at the Venice Biennale (1984), Sydney Biennale (1990), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2000). His practice has evolved, and his current creations involve merging numerous vivid colors together on a singular surface. He does this by tilting his canvases at different angles every so often, allowing his paint to move across the surface until the varnish is set as he so desires. The colors interact and separate from other, resulting in a bold statement of dramatic colors that affect all the senses. A single work can involve up to 24 hours of continuous attention, though the paint application appears random and spontaneous. Are you as in awe as I am?

10. The Unattended Funeral where a beautiful soul masks a stranger stronger indifference, 2007

13. It seemed of little wonder anecdotally, 2008

20. The Unattended Funeral the artist’s unattended living funeral, 2007

12. A decent person cannot have what they have, a decent person cannot get away with what they get away with without knowing they have got away with it when they should not have., 2008