PAT STEIR: MOON PAINTINGS & A RIVER

Pat Steir, Blue River In Praise of Painting If someone were to ask me who the best underrated painter is now, I'd have to say Pat Steir, who started exhibiting in 1964. Brice Marden is not underrated; he's having a show sometimes soon at MoMA. There, when it happens, we will have to deal with the caesura between his early monochromes (sometimes leaving thin, spattered strips at their bottom edge, giving the effect of a window shade almost-but-not-quite pulled to the sill) and his "painterly" … [Read more...]

DIANE ARBUS AND LARRY CLARK

  Larry Clark, "Untitled" (from Teenage Lust). Courtesy Luring Augustine Gallery.                 What Photography Was The battle for photography is pretty much over. If you can sell it as art, it's art. Of course, bigger is better because bigger has got to be more expensive. On the upside categories are unstable -- which infuriates the insecure. And since categories rule, who or what will be in charge when they are … [Read more...]

PRAGUE BLOG

Prague in the Fog          The Prague Balance Sheet Travel is one of those mysteries I will never understand. Certain cities you know you will like ahead of time (Reykjavik, Rio); some will take you by surprise (Stockholm). Others, like Prague, are cities you know you should like but...      The Czech language is made up entirely of consonants, yet is enough like the Polish of my grandmother to give me a craving for stuffed … [Read more...]

CHRISTO AND JEANNE-CLAUDE’S THE GATES

The Gates of Hell There are three things Christo and Jeanne-Claude do not do together:* They never fly in the same aircraft. * Jeanne-Claude does not make drawing, she was not trained for that. Christo puts their ideas on paper, he never had an assistant in his studio. * Christo never had the pleasure of talking to their tax accountant.                           from … [Read more...]

WHAT I DID IN ARIZONA

John Perreault, Toothpaste Mural II, 2005                "How to Innovate" Lecture given at Cochise College, Sierra Vista, Arizona. February 2 and 3. For better or worse, the art world puts a premium on innovation. Well, more or less. The history of modernism (and of its subset, postmodernism) is a history of innovations. Doing something new in the right way at the right time is rewarded, if not immediately, then sooner or … [Read more...]

PETAH COYNE

                    Coyne of the Realm At first one might not know what to make of the mass of wax ("specially formulated," at that) and "human and horse hair, ribbons, pigments, black spray paint, fabricated rubber, wire tree branches, curly willow, chicken wire fencing, wire, acrylic primer, silk flowers, bows, acetate ribbons, wire, feathers, plywood, metal hardware, pearl-headed hat pins, and tassels." … [Read more...]

BRUCE CONNER’S LUKE

Bruce Conner: Luke                             Not Lukewarm You get beautiful blurred images, motion streaks, bare-chested male "zombies" shoveling dirt, moody music, behind-the-scenes views of a movie scene; nearly Muybridge-ian, almost dancelike motion-analysis of lumbering extras, key grips, gaffers, best boys, and script girls in jagged slow-motion; … [Read more...]

BARNES STORMING

                A Prison for Art I have always found the Barnes Foundation just a bit too hard to get to and some of its rules strange. There's not enough parking. You have to pay in advance by credit card when you book and there are no cancellation refunds. With your online confirmation, you will learn: All coats and similar bulky garments, which do not fit flush against the body, must be checked in the Coat Check … [Read more...]

MUSEUMS TODAY

                                     Museums Without Boards? Although Artopia is still on vacation, the following items of interest in regard to museums are offered for your perusal: #1. If you want a humorous, sarcastic take on art museums, then The Art Museum Activity Book by The Guerrilla Girls, published by Printed … [Read more...]