The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, an arts-funding nonprofit that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has announced the recipients of its annual unrestricted grants. It has selected 14 artists, who will receive $25,000 each. (Thank you to Artforum for bringing the announcement to our attention.)
The artist Wu Tsang is a 30-year-old, freckled, transgendered man who dresses Williamsburg-chic but wears his glossy black hair in a high bun that somehow works for the Upper East Side, where he was on Thursday, installing his piece at the Whitney Museum, for the upcoming Biennial. He’s also in the New Museum Triennial, called “The Ungovernables,” which opens tonight—the first artist ever to land that one-two punch, not that he’s the type to care about that sort of thing. He’d just gotten in from Vermont, he said as he clacked past Lenox Hill Hospital in high boots, where he’d been teaching theory at the Vermont College of Fine Art. Many of his students there came to art late in life so the idea is that if you’re making the switch from bolo tie manufacturing to painting, as was the case with one of his students, you’re going to want some Kristeva in your head for good measure.
It is rare that art and politics collide in as dramatic a fashion as they did for the Tel Aviv-based artist Dana Yahalomi. In her case, it was art and Occupy Wall Street. Ms. Yahalomi, 29, was in New York in October and November to present a work for the Performa performance art biennial called Positions that was created by Public Movement, an art collective that she leads. She immediately began visiting the Occupy Wall Street protests at Zuccotti Park.
“It was so strange, because we had just failed in Israel,” she told The Observer by Skype on Sunday from Tel Aviv, referring to protests in that city. “The tents were evacuated and life got back on the normal track. I came to New York and it was starting again. It was like traveling in time.”
As we passed each floor, riding up in the New Museum’s elevator on Saturday evening, a faint, pulsing bass, coming from up above, got progressively louder. The doors opened onto the dimly lit seventh floor, and that rumble became deeper, almost bodily, anchoring an otherwise breezy house track.