Rirkrit Tiravanija: Fear Eats the Soul

       Talking About Relational Aesthetics by John Perreault 2011       What Is Relational Aesthetics?   Formulated by French curator Nicolas Bourriaud to explain the work of his favored artists, Relational Aesthetics is difficult to pin down. Maybe it's like jazz. When Louis Armstrong was asked what jazz was, he answered, "If you have to ask, you'll never know." But Armstrong was not a French intellectual steeped, stewed or pickled in "theory."   In … [Read more...]

Glenn Ligon: Words Apart* PLUS ARTOPIA QUIZ!

 FLASH! SEE BELOW FOR FIRST ARTOPIA CONTEST!                                                 Words or Music? If you assume poetry and art are far apart, think again. If you think poetry is made of words and art not, well, as the 19th century … [Read more...]

Steven Siegel: The Sculptor from Planet X

SCULPTURE Steven Siegel ART  Starn Twins  ROBERT SMITHSON global warming GARBAGE Matthew Barney Black Mountain College BURGESS SHALE Marlborough Chelsea  STEPHEN JAY GOULD Penland School BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLEGE Barbara Gladstone  Twin Peaks Landfill PACIFIC GARBAGE VORTEX    Unsolicited Photo Gains Artist Blue-Chip Gallery! Steven Siegel: Biography. 2008-10. Partial view; photo-composite What makes Steven Siegel's site-specific newspaper … [Read more...]

Did Art Museums Have a Future?

            Hyperbolic Internet Map, 2010                                                 Not all museums were alike. But when they                                                  were … [Read more...]

The Decline of Art and Other Visualizations

                                      Pointillism or pointlessness?      Visualizations I Have Known: A Tale of Two Villages   I am a fan of visualization. Because...when you think of it, all art is a form of same, right? Even paintings; particularly paintings. Visualization is a way of thinking and communicating. My breakthrough was the braid. I was annoyed with the way the … [Read more...]

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...]