Chris Burden, Part Two — Boys Will Be Boys

Transfixed, 1974

  “Chris Burden: Extreme Measures” is now at the New Museum to January 12. Burden has what looks like a bifurcated career, an oeuvre with a caesura. There’s the Burden of daredevil performance art, and then the sculptor Burden who famously makes outsize boys-toys. The iconic performances, in case you have forgotten, are Shoot, 1971, having himself shot in the arm and Transfixed, 1974, having himself nailed to the hood of a Volkswagen.   Although some sense of his 54 pioneering … [Read more...]

Robert Indiana: Love for Sale or The Sign Problem

$14.95

  Self-designated “sign painter” Robert Indiana recently bemoaned the success of his ubiquitous LOVE logo. With the aid of the ever-cooperative N.Y. Times he was prepping us for his Whitney retrospective, subtitled “Beyond Love” (to Feb. 2). In 1964, MoMA commissioned the LOVE device for a Christmas card, and then commercial-art hacks ripped it off. Even worse, the public to this day identifies Indiana with the LOVE icon, even if to the art world proper he is usually considered one of the … [Read more...]

Balthus: Guilty Paintings

Balthus; Thérèse Dreaming.1933

                                    Why Balthus at the Met? “Balthus: Cats and Girls — Paintings and Provocations”  is on display at New York’s Metropolitan Museum through Jan. 12. Cats and Girls? Such a serious theme! Barn cats are fine; they earn their keep. But house cats are useless. Unlike doggies, they do not offer unconditional love. You can’t … [Read more...]