2012 in Review
Though there was no shortage of great debuts around town in 2012, it felt like an especially strong year for rediscoveries—exhibitions that offered the chance to revisit artists that the New York market and most mainstream art histories have, for various reasons, overlooked. All around town, museums and galleries presented artists who are late in their careers and who have shown little in New York in recent years (or in recent decades)—if they have even shown here at all.
On July 21, the literary journal Abe’s Penny will host a poetry reading at SculptureCenter inspired by Bill Bollinger’s work in the retrospective currently on view there (recently reviewed by Observer critic Maika Pollack). Anna Knoebel, Abe’s Penny‘s co-founder, “sought poets who deal with form and reference material,” according to a press release.
Sprawling across SculptureCenter’s main gallery right now is an ordinary chain-link fence that lies flat for nearly the length of the space, rises to a torqued wave, and then lies flat again. You may feel foolish to have trekked all the way out to Long Island City to see such a workaday object, but you shouldn’t. Cyclone Fence 1968 (2012), a reconstruction of a piece by the late, relatively obscure artist Bill Bollinger, has much to tell us about sculpture being made by young artists today.
Over the past five years sculptures that are, superficially at least, totally banal—barrels filled with water, pipe pieces connected by rubber tubing, columns covered with sheets of linoleum tile, shelving units—have come to be commonplace in galleries. Bill Bollinger, who died in 1988 and was the kind of artist who might shop for his materials in a hardware store, is a patron saint of this school, and he is finally getting a posthumous, long overdue retrospective in “Bill Bollinger: The Retrospective.”
MONDAY, JUNE 18
Benefit: “Block Party 2012,” at the Arsenal in Central Park
The Horticulture Society of New York (“The Hort”) hosts a silent auction and meet-and-greet with artists, in support of its GreenHouse program, which provides horticultural therapy and vocational training for inmates on Riker’s Island. In support of the cause, artists Barry McGee, Sue Kwon, Chris Johanson and Steve Powers have all donated works, and graffiti artist KAWS has produced something specifically for this event. Photographer Lawrence Schiller has donated one of the just-published photographs of Marilyn Monroe featured in Vanity Fair. The event is free and open to the public. —Rozalia Jovanovic
From the Archives
The epic and beautiful Bill Bollinger retrospective on view at Long Island City’s SculptureCenter is set to contract a bit after this weekend.
A temporary annex that is located down the block from the kunsthalle’s main building and that now hosts four Bollinger sculptures will close after today. The space, which had been provided gratis by its owner, has been leased to a new occupant.
For Friday, a little pleasure reading. In his positive New York Times review of the Bill Bollinger retrospective now on view at SculptureCenter, critic Ken Johnson notes that the artist’s “return to art-world consciousness is owed in large part, if not entirely, to a remarkable essay by the sculptor Wade Saunders published in Art in America in 2000.”