Oliver Herring: Lights, Camera, Action

      Oliver Herring Is Ready for His Close-up   Walking into Oliver Herring's recent exhibition titled "Areas for Actions" (October 7 to November 6 at the Meulensteen Gallery) was like entering a particularly messy photo shoot. People and cameras everywhere. An environment of materials and props. Splashes of color on the walls and windows. A scantily clad young man and a scantily clad young woman, supine on the floor, were slowly being sprinkled with glitter by the fully … [Read more...]

Paul Thek Revised: The Missing Years

      Theknologies   During this Great Recession, which comes with an art slump as well as an economic one, it is clear that during the last decade, not only did so-called theory not pay off, but that art sank, as did aesthetics. What I now call the tragic academic --- fourth generation neo-CONceptualism, neo-Pop,  and re-inSTALLation art --- is a bore. Painting is still in hiding. Sculpture, dead. Bloggers lament that there are no more art movements. Theorists cheer, not realizing that … [Read more...]

Old News at the New Museum

The Rules of the Game Brought in by my poetry elder John Ashbery in 1961, I was interviewed and then hired by the editor of Art News, Thomas B. Hess, a famous critic of that time. The avuncular Mr. Hess offered two rules: 1. Never write a review of artworks you have not actually seen. Reviews were supposed to be published when the exhibitions were still up o readers could cross-check your descriptions.  (Only newspapers manage that now.) This meant the Art News reviewer had to make … [Read more...]

Ab Ex Redux: Game-Changer or Business as Usual?

     Fasten Your Seat Belts: The MoMA Syndrome Writ Large   The MoMA Syndrome, as previously identified on Artopia, is the reverse of the Stendahl Syndrome or is the Stendahl Syndrome inside-out. Instead of swooning when you actually see the glory of Florence, the MoMA Syndrome is defined by that sinking feeling of disappointment when victims see artworks previously known only  through color reproductions or projections in a lecture hall. On John Perreault's Artopia Facebook … [Read more...]

James Franco: The Artist Who Kissed Sean Penn…and Got Paid for It!

                                        James Franco, Burning House. Video/plywood. Interior view. From "The Dangerous Book Four Boys." At the new Clocktower Gallery, N.Y.C., until Oct.1     Smile, Though Your Heart Is Breaking   As controversial as Work of Art: The Next Famous Artist, the emergence of movie star James Franco as an artist is actually much more interesting -- … [Read more...]

Rafael Ferrer Faces the Music at El Museo

                                                                        Rafael Ferrer playing drums, Philadelphia, 1967   A Life Divided? The work of Rafael Ferrer is characterized by a caesura, or so it might appear. Provocative classics of the late '60s and through most of the '70s -- installations with a … [Read more...]

Andy Warhol’s Second Act

      John Perreault by John Perreault, 2010, dimensions variable. (Image of Portrait of John Perreault by Philip Pealstein,1973, multiplied and altered with Pop Art app and Picnik).                                         "There are no second acts in American … [Read more...]


                                                                                               Bern Porter: Commentator on Contemporary Culture, 1946. Self-published pamphlet.       OUT IN FRONTAn Illustrated Lecture About New Fashions in … [Read more...]