Weapons of Choice: Chris Burden Talks Porsches, Cannons, Sailboats and Meteorites

'The Big Wheel,' 1979. (Courtesy the New Museum)

One day the artist Chris Burden was poking around eBay, looking at meteorites. “I was buying little ones and stuff, and all of a sudden I see this one, the biggest meteorite I had ever seen for sale,” he told me earlier this month at the New Museum, the day after a retrospective of more than 40 years of his art opened there. “And there was free shipping, you know?” He paused. “What, a 400-pound meteorite? Free shipping? I’ve never seen one that big. So I bought the meteorite with no idea what I was going to do with it whatsoever, and then I started thinking.” Read More

On View

Llyn Foulkes at the New Museum

'Portrait of Leo Gorcey,' 1969. (Photo by Sheldan C. Collins/New Museum)

These days, with newspaper headlines that alternate between gun violence and Disney pop stars, we seem to be living in Llyn Foulkes’s America. The still-somewhat-obscure 78-year-old artist, whose retrospective is now at the New Museum, came of age in Washington State in the late 1940s and early 1950s—juvenilia show him drawing Mad-magazine-inspired caricatures of the square types in his small town—but he is strongly identified with Los Angeles, where he has lived for most of his life. Drafted into the army, he lived briefly in Germany before settling in L.A., where he studied art at Chouinard and became part of the burgeoning scene around the famed Ferus gallery. The nearly 100 works in this exhibition, curated by Ali Subotnick of L.A.’s Hammer Museum, form a compelling portrait of that endangered, quintessential American character—the eccentric outsider, critical of the system and hell-bent on doing things his own quirky way. Read More


Rhizome Joins With Tumblr to Promote the Internet


Art and tech bloggers nearly lost it last month when the first piece of “Vine art” sold at the Moving Image Art Fair, and now they have something else to get excited about. Starting today, Rhizome and Tumblr are accepting project proposals for their new Internet Art Grant, an award that will underwrite the production of three winning entries. (The size of each grant will depend on the proposal, and Tumblr declined to say how much money they will be willing to offer.) The jury, which includes Massimiliano Gioni, associate director and director of exhibitions at the New Museum, artists Laurie Anderson and Jon Rafman, and Christopher Price a.k.a. Topherchris, Tumblr’s editorial director, will choose commissions based on their innovation and feasibility. Read More


New Museum Offers Up Oral Histories From 1993 on City Pay Phones

1993 is calling. (nicholaspaulsmith/Flickr)

It’s apparently going to start raining or snowing at any moment in New York, if it hasn’t already. So, move quickly, find your nearest pay phone, and ring 1-855-FOR-1993 (that’s 1-855-367-1993). You’ll be greeted by a recording of someone telling a story about living in the neighborhood you’re calling from in 1993. The campaign, titled “Recalling 1993,” is part of the New Museum’s “NYC 1993″ exhibition, and apparently works from any of the roughly 5,000 public telephones in Manhattan. Read More

On View

‘NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star’ at the New Museum

Art Club 2000, 'Untitled (Conrans I),' 1992–93. (Courtesy the artist and the Estate of Colin de Land)

Named for a Sonic Youth album, this exhibition, part of which opened last week (the rest opens on Feb. 13), is a madeleine opening onto memories of the grunge era. Gathering artworks that were made or shown in New York in 1993, the curators—Massimiliano Gioni, Gary Carrion-Murayari, Jenny Moore and Margot Norton—make the case that art-making had a vastly different role at that time. Read More


Art of Darkness: Ellie Ga’s North Pole Tell-All

Ellie Ga, "The Fortunetellers." (Courtesy New Museum)

World travel for most New York-based artists born during the Ford administration consists predominantly of trips to Venice, London, Paris, Berlin and maybe Sharjah or Hong Kong for a residency or a biennial. Not so for Ellie Ga, whose work in the last few years has focused on archival material gathered during a five-month expedition to, of all places, the North Pole—about as far away from the art world, not to mention civilization, as one can hope to get. In September 2007, Ms. Ga took a Twin Otter plane from Svalbard, an archipelago (pop. 2,394) halfway between Norway and the North Pole, and joined a small crew aboard the Tara, a 90-foot-long ship that was shaped like an olive pit and was drifting in the Arctic ice. Its rudders had been removed and the engines shut off, so that the boat and its crew were left at the mercy of wherever the frozen ocean took them. Last week, as part of the monthlong group exhibition “Walking Drifting Dragging” at the New Museum, Ms. Ga presented a performance piece about the expedition called The Fortunetellers, a kind of roving lecture series/vacation slide show combining overhead projections, photographs, maps, charts and sound installations—mostly the sound of the Tara scraping against the ice and, in Ms. Ga’s words, “the slow swell of the ocean.” Read More