Beth Lipman: Smart Glass and Various Time Warps

    The Sins of Synchronicity?               Frantisek Vizner, Blue Bowl, 1996   Sometimes subjects and themes just fall into place. I was invited by American Craft Magazine to write a review of the work of Frantisek Vizner (Czech, b.1936), on exhibit at the Corning Museum of Glass in upstate New York. I had been impressed with Vizner's work, and seeing a goodly collection of it I was not disappointed. His severe cast-glass art - vessels in … [Read more...]


         MOCA Grand Avenue   Museums for Sale   Tongues are wagging, heads are shaking. It appears that the highly regarded   Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, is doomed. It has  been running a deficit for six of the last eight years. It has  been raiding its endowment. And now the plucked chickens, the headless fowls, have come home to roost. MOCA might not be able to go on.   What I want to know is where was the MOCA's … [Read more...]


  Agnes Denes: Photograph of Wheatfield -- A Confrontation, 1982   What Do Women Want?   In Artopia, art is gender-neutral. This does not mean we deny that women, for one reason or another, cannot offer art that deals with what are sometimes called  "women's issues." And men can deal with "women's issues" too, or for that matter, topics deemed male or manly by our weird little culture: sports, war, guns and cars (as if women were immune to these). Nor do we need to ban … [Read more...]

Street Works in Colorado; Libeskind and Kirkland in Outer Space

    John Perreault: Critical Mass Redux (1971-2008)      How History Is Rewritten   Yours truly has finally managed to get a few things off his chest. Or, more correctly, off his back. As keeper of the Street Works and Performance flame, I have carted around a burden these many years since the late '60s, waiting for someone, anyone, to delve into these phenomena.  Two-hundred-and-forty-two sheets of paper and various souvenirs are now on display in an … [Read more...]

Paul McCarthy Spin; Eliasson Falls; Bourgeois Fails

      Paul McCarthy: Bang Bang Room, 1992. Collection Fondazione Sandreto Rebaudengo, Turin. Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Hauser & Wirth Photo: Sheldan Collins     Disorientations   Who is Paul McCarthy? Not having the good grace to simmer down like a few other once-sensational artists I will not deign to name, McCarthy has never gone away, never graduated to the curious art Valhalla comprising those who are still here but gone. Or, alternatively, … [Read more...]


       Debunking Uncle Bucky   Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) invented the geodesic dome, sort of. He was not the first to use the icosahedron for construction. Walter Bauersfield in 1922 in Jena, Germany built a planetarium that had suspiciously geodesic aspects.   Moral: Whatever it is, if you do not give it a name and publicize it, it is not yours.   Artist Kenneth Snelson, a student of Fuller's at Black Mountain College, made the first "tensegrity" … [Read more...]

Chris Burden: What My Father Got Me

                                                                 Father's Day 2008   Majid Majidi's The Willow Tree (2004) is an art-house tearjerker about answered prayers. A blind man is able to see. As a crowd of well-wishers throws flowers to greet our newly sighted Professor Youssef at the Tehran airport, the camera lingers … [Read more...]