In late January, the artist Donelle Woolford, a black woman with short hair who looks to be in her mid 30s, was at the Los Angeles Art Book Fair, outfitted in a 1970s-style suit and mustache, doing a Richard Pryor routine. It went well, but it could have gone better. The book fair, she wrote in an email shortly afterward, “maybe wasn’t the best context for a Richard Pryor routine.” This particular routine was recorded as the final episode of Pryor’s 1977 television show (which only lasted four episodes) and was pretty much engineered to be censored. “I think the audience was a bit taken aback by all the N-bombs and F-bombs,” she said. Everywhere she has gone—a museum in San Francisco and community centers in Chicago and Oakland have been among her stops—audiences have reacted differently. Read More
“Tötet Helmut Kohl” (“Kill Helmut Kohl”) read the banner that got German artist Christoph Schlingensief arrested. It was 1997, and the sign aimed at the conservative chancellor was part of his project for Documenta, the prestigious quinquennial art festival in Kassel, Germany. He could have gotten off the hook by telling the authorities it was “just art,” but he and the young curator backing him had other plans. Read More
Great news. Phaidon has just published a new monograph for the late, great New York artist Harvey Quaytman (1937–2002), and it is a excellent.
Art historian Dore Ashton provides an illuminating introduction to the work of the hard-edge painter, which includes warm remembrances of the friendship that they shared for decades. There’s also a discussion from 1987 between the artist and Kimmo Sarje, an artist, curator and philosopher of aesthetics, in which Quaytman discusses the shifts in his thinking about his work over the years. It includes a super inspiring bit about the value of art, which follows below. Read More
Really loving the current issue of San Francisco Art Quarterly! In a special booklet about performance that is packaged within the print edition, the magazine’s publisher and editor-in-chief, Andrew McClintock, interviews Vito Hannibal Acconci and things get pretty interesting. Mr. McClintock asks him, “What’s the worst performance you’ve ever seen?” Read More
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is hot, hot, hot. Just a few weeks ago Kim Kardashian was there getting a personal tour from Michael Govan and posing with Chris Burden’s Urban Light installation. Now Drake has apparently visited the museum’s James Turrell retrospective. Read More
The Siren Song of Liz Glynn: The Artist on Shipwrecks, Pirates and Sending a Performer to Staten Island
Last week, the artist Liz Glynn was standing with me in the back room of Paula Cooper Gallery’s space on 10thAvenue, beneath the busted hull of a to-scale 18th-century shipping vessel she had constructed for her new exhibition. It was hanging by rope from the ceiling. She built it with hardwood, which is not easy to find in Los Angeles, where she lives, and used traditional planking techniques to assemble it. The piece, she said, is an homage to piracy and “thieves taking everything that they want off a ship and then burning it and then allowing it to sink,” something she researched intensely through journalistic accounts, along with Daniel Defoe and “The Wreck” by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
After taking the stage to warm applause at MoMA P.S. 1’s Performance Dome on Sunday afternoon, the artist Frances Stark held up a little tissue. “I have a Kleenex, just in case,” she said with a sad smile.
Ms. Stark, who is probably best known for the funny, strangely moving videos she has been making over the past few years with transcripts of online chats that she has with strangers, was at P.S. 1 to give a lecture about her longtime mentor, Mike Kelley, who killed himself in 2012 and is now the subject of a galvanizing and almost unanimously praised retrospective that fills every gallery in the museum, as well as quite a few of its hallways and stairwells. She had titled the talk “Complex Education: Paying Homage.” Read More
When I first met Raqib Shaw, the Kashmiri pop painter who lives in London and recently opened a three-part show at Pace Gallery’s Chelsea spaces, he’d arrived 20 minutes late to the mid-block gallery, this after having pushed our meeting a half-hour later. When he did arrive, it was with a group of middle-aged women, who I assumed were collectors, along with Andrea Glimcher, Pace’s director of communications, who towered over him in heels. She’d brought her son with her, a small blond boy who shortly after arriving laid face down on the floor. “Oh, don’t mind him,” Ms. Glimcher said. “He thought he was going to the Natural History Museum today.” Read More
Lanky Martin Creed was standing on the first floor of Hauser & Wirth gallery on the Upper East Side, dressed in lightly paint-splattered, black pants that rose up just above the ankles and an ever-so-slightly mismatched navy shirt, his frizzy gray hair pulled into a ponytail and his face covered by glasses so large they looked like protective eyewear. He was laughing enormously about—something. With apologies to our brothers and sisters across the pond, his giggles were punctuated with bursts of indecipherable Scottish twang, made all the more difficult to discern by the presence of his parents, making use of their own heavy slurs. This was somehow appropriate, though, because “what is he trying to say” is a frequent starting point for the uninitiated in conversations about Mr. Creed.