Beginning in 1974, Paula Cooper Gallery hosted an annual reading of Gertrude Stein’s epic novel The Making of Americans around New Year’s Eve, with scores of people taking turns reading sections of the lengthy text. The event ran each year through 2000. (At the suggestion of John Cage, they switched to James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake for two of those years.) Earlier this year, the online arts journal Triple Canopy revived the practice at 155 Freeman, the Greenpoint culture venue that is also home to Light Industry and the Public School, hosting a read from Jan. 20 through 22.
SculptureCenter in Long Island City has started a $5 million campaign toward a major building expansion. The news comes from Mary Ceruti, SculptureCenter’s executive director, who made the announcement at the organization’s benefit gala last night at the Edison Ballroom. The center plans to break ground next year on a one-story addition in the front of the building’s courtyard that will serve as a new lobby entrance and provide additional exhibition space. The renovations will tentatively be complete in 2014, and SculptureCenter will, for the most part, remain open during construction.
Wilt Chamberlain, who was so good on a basketball court the NBA had to widen the free-throw lane in order to keep him back from the net, wrote two autobiographies. The first, from 1973, Wilt: Just Like Any Other 7-Foot Black Millionaire Who Lives Next Door, boasts of certain sexual extravagances. The second, 1991’s A View From Above, is more specific; it includes the famous unverified statement that the number of Chamberlain’s sexual encounters was “closing in on twenty thousand women,” a claim that adds a certain layer of subtext to his on-the-court nickname, the Big Dipper. He presents this lofty figure in the manner of a basketball statistic. “Yes that’s correct, twenty thousand different ladies. At my age, that equals out to having sex with 1.2 women a day, every day since I was fifteen years old.” Chamberlain, by the way, still holds the record for most rebounds for a career—the fairly coincidental figure of 23,924.
The artist Paul Pfeiffer, whose debut show at the Paula Cooper Gallery opened last week, is known for his clever manipulation of sports footage. Basketball is a recurring interest. It feels almost inevitable that he should have chosen Chamberlain as his muse for his first exhibition in New York since 2007.
Hanging on the walls of Paula Cooper’s sky-lit gallery on 21st Street, as if projected by the two small prism sculptures made of lead crystal cast inside urethane resin that stand on white pedestals in the middle of the floor, are 12 evanescently unstable new disruptions of the idea of disrupting the picture plane.
Seven of Tauba Auerbach’s new paintings use no paint at all. Slice I, Bend I, Slice II, Ray I, Ray II, Glass I and Shift Wave are instead woven from strips of raw canvas—about a centimeter to an inch wide, depending on the piece—into complicated patterns and calculated, gestural divergences from pattern, directly over wooden stretchers. Whether you can see the patterns depends on the angle of light coming through the skylight and how far away you stand. From an ordinary distance in the early afternoon, Shift Wave looks like nothing. But over time, and from top to bottom, there emerges a complex of overlapping right angles that create rows of triangles in alternating directions, which themselves form descending sine curves with their peaks and troughs flattened out, like a Marimekko shower curtain or sea serpents in an early video game. Stand closer, and you notice that the canvas itself is made with a kind of houndstooth weave that catches the light differently on either side, so that each strip is a subtle, two-toned off-yellow and gray; stand right by the wall, to the side, and the depth of the overlapping strips may bring to mind Wayne Kusy’s matchstick Lusitania in the American Visionary Art Museum.
Tauba Auerbach’s announcement card for her show at Paula Cooper Gallery, which opened to a throng of fans on Saturday evening, is, like her art, a paragon of an airy, smart and inventive beauty, suggesting a future model of living in which artist-mathematicians craft rigorous yet elegant solutions to even the most intractable artistic problems. Read More
Today it was announced that the Israel Museum jointly acquired Christian Marclay’s The Clock with the Tate in London and Centre Pompidou in Paris. It’s hard to believe it’s been less than a year since Mr. Marclay’s 24-hour-long film, which cleverly counts down the seconds of a full day using images of clocks from throughout the history of cinema, had its New York debut at Paula Copper Gallery. The piece caused a sensation, leaving many critics enraptured–aside from a few scattered sticklers. The Clock came in an edition of six, and most have already landed in the permanent collections of major museums.
Triple Canopy, the nonprofit online arts magazine, will be inaugurating their new arts and culture center at 155 Freeman in Greenpoint with a marathon reading of Gertrude Stein’s 900-page novel The Making of Americans. The reading will likely take about 48 hours (January 20-22), or at least that’s how long it usually took at Paula Cooper Gallery, where members of the downtown art scene would gather on New Year’s Eve from 1974 to 2000 to read Stein’s novel straight through (for a couple of years they read Finnegans Wake because John Cage was bored with Stein).
“We’ve been timing ourselves,” said Sam Frank, an editor at Triple Canopy who is organizing the event. He said he’s shooting for 48 hours, but “whatever happens will happen.”
Art Basel Miami Beach 2011
As The Art Newspaper noted last week, painting dominated Art Basel Miami Beach 2011.
Reporters Georgina Adam, Charlotte Burns and Riah Pryor argued that was because dealers were playing it safe: compared with sculpture (to say nothing of video or installation art), paintings are relatively easy to ship–and sell. Not every collector has room for another large Thomas Houseago piece, though most can find room for a new painting.
The Lowell Hotel, situated rather inconspicuously on the stately block of East 63rd Street that stretches between Madison and Park, is filled with antiques and orchids. Its rooms, to which guests ascend in a tiny, black-walled elevator, have fireplaces and terraces. As its general manager, Ashish Verma, took care to remind The Observer, it is often referred to as “a jewel of Manhattan.”
Beginning at the end of the day on Thursday, at midnight, there will be an unusual guest staying in one of the Lowell’s best-appointed suites. With its plush furniture and carpeting, space is at once cozy and spacious; it runs about $1,850 a night. The guest is an artwork called Room, an installation by the French artist Sophie Calle.
Room will fill the hotel suite with dozens of objects, including a bathrobe and a coffee cup, dice and a Polaroid camera. “What I am bringing is more or less a suitcase,” Ms. Calle, who turned 58 on Sunday, told us last week, sounding like any other smart, efficient traveler to New York. She was speaking to us over the phone from Paris, where she lives. Like any other smart, efficient traveler, she is shipping her more cumbersome objects in advance. One of them is a wedding dress.