AT THE END OF A BANNER YEAR

Tracey Emin: I Can Feel Your Smile Hope for Art I have been pondering the state of art and have become quite optimistic. As usual, many of the artworks I see are of no lasting value (or even of immediate interest), but on the whole art remains a worthwhile pursuit. Although some museum shows were particularly disappointing, an end of the year roundup would have to celebrate both the Robert Smithson and the Richard Tuttle exhibitions at the Whitney. And let's not forget Marina Abramovic's series … [Read more...]

ABRAMOVIC AT THE GUGGENHEIM

Abramovic: How To Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare, 2005. Notes on Performance Art Conventions rule. The iron hand of custom, as outlined last time around, keeps the art world under control. We must have art that stays the same for each visit, over time. We must have catalogues. And catalogues cannot be written about art before it exists. Biographies and pictures of previous works are not quite the same thing as a thorough, thoughtful analysis or...postmortem. The ephemeral, both in museums and … [Read more...]

TUTTLE REDUX

Richard Tuttle: Purple Octagonal, 1967 Richard Subtle   "To make something which looks like itself is the problem, the solution."               Richard Tuttle The new Richard Tuttle retrospective, initiated by SFMOMA and now at the Whitney (945 Madison Avenue, to Feb. 5), opens old wounds. But a rehash of yesterday's art rages is instructive in outlining how hierarchies function, how blame is apportioned, and how custom … [Read more...]

YVES KLEIN’S BLUES

Yves Klein, Untitled Monochrome Souvenirs of the Future                    Georges Mathieu: What is artfor you?                     Yves Klein: Art is health! What is one to do with Yves Klein? A museum-quality painting survey at the L & M Arts Gallery ( "Yves Klein: A Career Survey;" 45 East 78th Street, to December … [Read more...]

OBSESSIVE DRAWINGS, OBSESSIVE QUESTIONS

As a service to loyal readers, Artopia can now offer notification of new installments of John Perreault's Art Diary as they are made available. If you should desire an Artopia Alert, please send an e-mail to that effect to perreault@aol.com.      Eugene Andolsek, Untitled. When Outsiders Come Inside If work by the five artists presented in "Obsessive Drawing" (American Folk Art Museum, 45 W. 53rd St., to March 19) were displayed in a Chelsea Gallery sans Outsider i.d., … [Read more...]

PHOTOGRAPHY: THE PERFECT FAKE

                 The Dead Are Dumb New age beliefs have made the notion of contacting the dead quaint rather than bizarre. Once upon a time photography was thought capable of offering proof of spooks. Hence the charm of "The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult" at theMetropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.C.(through Dec.31); and, as they say, it's packing them in. On the surface the exhibition is more sociological … [Read more...]

MIKE BIDLO: THE END OF ART?

                                Re: Mike Bidlo: "Erased de Kooning Drawings," Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, 22 East 80th St., to Nov. 11, 2005 Once, not too long ago, I was in charge of a project that involved several artists, each making a separate installation. One of the artists -- who was, by the way, a joy to work with -- asked me to … [Read more...]

9/11: ART AS IT IS WRITTEN

                                    Anonymous: 9/11 Shrineat Ground Zero, 2001. (Photo: J.Perreault) Where Were You? Artist responses to 9/11 are, I suspect,as varied as lay responses. Defiance, withdrawal, denial, bewilderment. And good, old-fashioned anger. But somehow we expect artists to express their feelings in … [Read more...]

SMITHSON’S FLOATING ISLAND

                                       Robert Smithson: Floating Island... Dead Man's Float Thirty-five years in the making, Robert Smithson's Floating Island to Travel Around Manhattan Island is being tugged along the Manhattan through next weekend (to Sunday, Sept. 25). Smithson, as we know, died in a … [Read more...]

GHOSTS OF STATEN ISLAND

The Past Is Another Place I could tell it was going to be one of those adventures. Sylvia Sleigh, a painter I've known for many years, phoned me about going to the opera this fall. Sylvia at 89 goes to the opera a lot. Her late husband, the art critic Lawrence Alloway, had hated opera, so she is making up for lost time. I hated opera queens more than I hated opera. I simply could not get interested in the eternal question of who is greater, Callas or Tebaldi? I think Schwarzkopf is greater than … [Read more...]