an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

Death & Art – the Seattle edge

The admirable Douglas Britt at the Houston Chronicle reports on a one-night show in a funeral home. What will these "visionary" Houston artists think of next?Seattle's Charles Krafft had a show in a funeral home in 2003, and not, as in Houston, by hanging portraits on the wall. Krafft's art in a dead house was made from the dead: He's making urns from human ashes, following a formula Josiah Spode invented in 1797, producing fine English china glaze by adding calcinated cow bone to the company's clay mixture. (more)As Larry Reid likes to say, … [Read more...]

They who dig newspapers…

Can represent the U.S. at the 2011 Venice Biennale.Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla (image via) … [Read more...]

Molly Norris needs us

From the Seattle Weekly: On the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, "going ghost": moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity. She will no longer be publishing cartoons in our paper or in City Arts magazine, where she has been a regular contributor. She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program--except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab. It's all because of the appalling fatwa issued against her this summer, following her infamous "Everybody … [Read more...]

An unsettled era: more in suitcases

Pack up all my cares and woes....(previous)Chiharu Shiota - Circle the suitcases!Demetrius Oliver's Asterism - black stars on the move.Huma Mulji - Arabian DelightRobert Capa's long-lost Mexican suitcaseThe Art Guys - Suitcase WheelPreston Singletary - Bentwood Box … [Read more...]

John Grade loves your elephant skin

Take your skin that's smooth as a baby's bottom and shove it. John Grade loves puckers, knots, sags, discolorations, ruts and rough spots. Grade, pronounced Grotty, Circuit 2010 - Glazed ceramic bonded with gypsum polymer to corn-based resin embedded with marine netting. 9 x 24 x 24 feetAfter its exhibition at Davidson Galleries, Circuit will spend a year on a mountain, accumulating changes as a fast-forward into old age.Jerry Pethick mined the vein of weathering change before Grade. Time Top was Pethick's last major work before his death in … [Read more...]

Amy Blakemore’s homemade family photography

One step up from a Cracker Jack toy, Diana cameras entered the U.S. market from China in the late 1950s and were a novelty hit through the 1960s. WikipediaThe Diana is a very simply constructed box camera with a mechanical film advance, spring-loaded shutter, and a plastic viewfinder of questionable utility. It is constructed primarily of low-quality phenolic plastics of the type commonly found in toys imported from Asia during the 1960s. Because of wide variances in production quality, combined with a poorly-designed camera body latching … [Read more...]

Meat attire, the Gaga sequel, plus ceramic wear

As Christopher Knight pointed out, Lady Gaga's meat dress is set firmly in repeat mode. Jana Sterbak sewed wet, raw red muscle into a garment in 1987. (Photos of both items on the Knight link.) Knight: Sterbak's Vanitas: Flesh Dress for an Albino Anorexic is now in the collection of the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris' modern art museum -- an appropriate locale, given that city's intersection of art and fashion. Most recently it has been on view in the exhibition "elles@centrepompidou," a changing year-long survey dedicated to women … [Read more...]

The day Robert LaVigne woke up dead

On September 15, 2002, the painter Robert LaVigne discovered he was dead. His demise was announced in The New York Times, the paper of record, which gave the pronouncement weight. He felt himself - arms, hands, chest, knees - and took a deep breath. Still here.The occasion for the error was an occasional column known as The Way We Live Now. The Times printed a photo that included Lawrence Ferlinghetti and asked for his commentary. I am the only one in the picture still alive, because I work out all the time. They didn't work out except raising … [Read more...]

Martin Creed welcomes you

To the left of the entrance of Western Bridge (designed by Roy McMakin, owned by Bill & Ruth True) is an over-sized domestic window. These days, it sports a curtain that opens and closes. Opens, and closes. Opens, and closes.Standing in the parking lot, we're sitting on the edge of our imaginary seats. As befits everyone's busy schedule, we enjoy the beginning and end without having to suffer through the middle. The curtain offers what Paul Valéry wanted to convey in his writing, "the sensation of a story without the boredom of its … [Read more...]

In the age of torture…

Myriad methods present themselves. By intrusion:Erwin WurmBy solitude:Tim Roda By force:Regina José Galindo By restriction:Jack DawsBy projection:Roger ShimomuraBy an excess of self-regard: (USA! USA!)Grant BarnhartBy bad choices: Susan RobbBy malign intent:Scott Fife … [Read more...]

Monks in Seattle, then and now

On view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, Monk at the Moment of Enlightenment, Yuan Dynasty, 14th CenturyOpening Oct. 2 at Kobo at Higo, Tommer Peterson's Ordinary Household Gods, including, below, Rogue Monk, 2010. … [Read more...]

Foot fetish – Robert Gober to Jennifer Campbell

Robert Gober - false evidence of an ordinary lifeKathleen Faulkner - shoes made of river stones, transforming your feet into a riverMatthew Barney - excess to bolster an excess Iris Schieferstein - the jealousy of the flightless biped, grounding othersMarilyn Minter - glamour and nausea Do-Ho Suh - power corruptsJennifer Campbell - She did it to herself. … [Read more...]

Carl Dennis & Laura Komada – Relatives

Dennis, from RelativesRemember your old cousins, Those fish who crawled from the seaWhen the seafood was plentiful And the land bare. Think of the voices they strained to hearAs they chose to hobble on tender finsPainfully in the sun's glare.Komada: … [Read more...]

Zoe Strauss – pride & prejudice

Via … [Read more...]

The afterlife of art

The art that matters to you lives in your head. It emerges into consciousness whenever the world presents its echo. On a fine day, for instance, you note Fragonard clouds. In the rain by a pond, you see John Constable muck. Smashed glass on the street, Gretchen Bennett. White-out paint passages to cover graffiti, Matt McCormick. Open any old refrigerator, and you remember a video of a wolf chasing down dinner. (Vanessa Renwick, Hunting Requires Optimism.) See a pit bull cock its head to note the approach of a stranger, and Michael Spafford's … [Read more...]

an ArtsJournal blog