Weiner, Walker, Hirst, and the New Museum

As Far As The Mind Can See While sauntering through the fourth floor of the Whitney ("Lawrence Weiner: AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE," 945 Madison Avenue, through February 10), I was jotting down words in my notebook. The person I was with said: I can tell which ones you like by where you stop and write down the titles. You like the early pieces that involve something physical. Right. My favorite: A 36" x 36" removal to the lathing of support wall or plaster or wallboard from a wall (1968); closely … [Read more...]

Yvonne Rainer Reigns Again

Right of Spring Drawing on a wide range of source material for movement and gestures -- from the BBC's dramatization Riot at the Rite, to Sarah Bernhardt, Robin Williams, Groucho Marx, and Yvonne Rainer -- this dance attempts to invoke the passion and furor that accompanied the premiere of the original at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris, May 29, 1913. -- 'RoS Indexical' program notes Yvonne Rainer's new dance piece, RoS Indexical --- RoS is short for Rite of Spring --- was at the Hudson … [Read more...]

Martin Puryear: The Heights

..............REVIEWS OF MARTIN PURYEAR, ALAN SHIELDS, MORIKO MORI, AND ALAN SARET..... Martin Puryear, Old Mole, 1985. Lumber Art The Martin Puryear retrospective at MoMA (11 West 53rd St., to Jan. 14, 2008) presents a panoply of engaging sculptures. The large-scale pieces in the second-floor atrium conquer that unfriendly, gigantic-broom-closet space. If you look up, you normally feel you need to avoid bird-droppings; if you look down from the sixth-floor walkway, you want to jump. … [Read more...]

Kenneth Anger Rising

Will there be a rebirth of the experimental film? Or will historical avant-garde devices merely continue to be assimilated toward narrative ends? In any case, we need some history. Most film writing is limited to promoting the latest blockbusters; most works about underground films are out of print; film-hip fans are over the hill or work as clerks in video stores. But while we await free downloads of the universal movie library, here come the DVDs. You are the projectionist. The film is a book. … [Read more...]

Prince Gets Crowned

Richard Prince, Untitled (Cowboy), 1989. One of two Ektacolor prints. Sold for $1,248,000.00 at a Christie's auction in 2005. Someday My Prints Will Come Sometimes the best work of even a very good artist needs to be underlined, leaving the uninspired trials and repetitions off to one side. Many careers would profit from pruning. But by whom? We like to think that artists know best, but this has not always proven to be the case. Just listen to what artists say about other artists, whom they … [Read more...]

Zhang Huan, Stark Naked and Covered With Flies

Zhang Huan,12 Square Meters, 1994. Bubble Gum Artopia pays no attention to the Chinese art bubble, nor to the bigger art bubble in general. Bubbles come and go. The Bigger Bubble is tied to the stock market. The stock market drops and the art market follows one year later. It has happened twice on my watch. Now it is real estate, everywhere but in New York City high-income zip codes, that is plummeting. Will art follow? Some say that the economy is now worldwide and that money piling up in the … [Read more...]

Hannah Wilke’s Farewell

Hannah Wilke, Untitled, 1974. Photos and chewing gum. (not in exhibition) Death Isn't Fun Sometimes art takes time. Time is distance. Some art is best seen later, in the past tense. Or if not exactly in the past tense, since all objects and images are technically present-tense, then "once removed." Hannah Wilke (1940-93) made that kind of art. Ironically, at first glance, her art was all about herself, all about her body, and was open to the charge of narcissism. Now it seems likely she was … [Read more...]

Jack Kerouac, Pousette-Dart, and Me

Richard Pousette-Dart (1916-1992) Lost in the Beginnings of Infinity, 1991. Acrylic on linen, diameter 72 inches. Private collection, Vienna © Richard Pousette-Dart by ARS, New York, 2007 The Final Cut Editing as authoring -- one of my themes today -- is not a rehash of Roland Barthes' death-of-the-author. The author may have been misplaced, but he or she is still alive and not just a mask for a group of anonymous meddlers or the imperatives of cultural context. Excuse me for being … [Read more...]

Richard Serra: MoMA Redeemed; Sculpture Reborn

Richard Serra, Sequence, 2006. Weatherproof steel. Overall: 12'9" x 40' 8 3/8" x 65' 2 3/16" (3.9 x 12.4 x 19.9 m). Collection the artist © 2007 Richard Serra / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Lorenz Kienzle Sculpture Returns The highly focused Richard Serra survey now at the Museum of Modern Art (to September 10) is at last the justification for that institution's cold and unpopular expansion. There's only 27 works, and the whole deal is outweighed -- if you will excuse the pun … [Read more...]

Janis Joplin’s Porsche on the Whitney’s Porch

Isaac Abrams, Cosmic Orchid, 1967 Day-Glo Days You should see, if you can, "Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era," now at the Whitney Museum, N.Y.C., to September 16. This first-time survey of the art so many would like to forget comes full-blown, paradoxes and all, from the Tate Liverpool, curated by its director Christoph Grunenberg. Certainly one strand of the art-history braid belongs to the spiritual in art. The two types of spiritual art are the propagandistic and the instrumental, … [Read more...]