The Swimming Cities of Serenissima on the Adriatic Sea. On view in Swoon: Submerged Motherlands, at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Opens Friday. (Photo by Tod Seelie.)
- Beijing: Art Post-Internet, at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art. Through May 5, in the Chaoyang District.
- L.A.: Freeway Studies, at Ben Maltz Gallery. Opens Saturday, at Otis College of Art and Design, in Westchester.
- L.A.: The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats, at the Skirball Cultural Center. Opens today, in Bel Air.
- L.A.: Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from the Greek Collections, at the Getty Villa. Through August 25, in Malibu.
- L.A.: Elliott Hundley, at Regen Projects. Opens Saturday, in Hollywood.
- Orange County, Calif.: Sarkisian & Sarkisian, at the Orange County Museum of Art. Opens Sunday, in Newport Beach.
- Tijuana: Paisaje Urban de un Presente Bizarro, with Corrie Slawson & Marc Lefkowitz, Hugo Crosthwaite, Luis G. Hernandez and Pepe Mogt, at TJ IN CHINA Project Room. Opens Friday at 6pm, in Zona Centro.
- Chicago: Isa Genzken: Retrospective, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Opens Saturday.
- Miami: Alexander Kroll, The Sky on the Flor, at Fredric Snitzer. Opens today, in the Wynwood District.
- NYC: Masterpieces and Curiosities: Diane Arbus’s Jewish Giant, at the Jewish Museum. Opens Friday, on the Upper East Side.
- NYC: Now You See It: Photography and Concealment, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Through September 1, on the Upper East Side.
- NYC: I Scarcely Have the Right to Use This Ghostly Verb, at the Sheila Johnson Design Center. Through April 16, at Parson the New School of Design.
- NYC: Malick Sidibé, at Jack Shainman Gallery. Through April 26, in Chelsea.
- NYC: Thank You, the final show at Dodge Gallery. Opens today, on the Lower East Side.
- NYC: The Heroic Object, at Parallel Art Space. Through May 11, in Ridgewood.
A work in progress by Michael Ballou. Part of the artist’s solo exhibit Raw/Cooked: Michael Ballou, at the Brooklyn Museum. Opens Friday. (Photo by Pierce Jackson.)
- NYC: Claes Oldenburg: The Street and The Store (on the sixth floor) and Mouse Museum and Ray Gun (in the atrium), at the Museum of Modern Art. Opens Sunday.
- NYC: Photography and the American Civil War, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Through September 2.
- NYC: Tim Hetherington, Inner Light: Portraits of the Blind, Sierra Leone 1999-2003, at Yossi Milo. Opens Thursday, in Chelsea.
- NYC: B. Wurtz, History Works, at Bureau. Opens Sunday, at 6pm.
- Miami: Hernan Bas, Boys in Peril?, at Fredric Snitzer. Opens Friday at 7pm, in the Wynwood Arts District.
- L.A.: Takashi Murakami, Arhat, at Blum & Poe. Opens Saturday at 6pm, in Culver City.
- L.A.: Jennifer Pastor, at Regen Projects. Opens Thursday, in Hollywood.
- L.A.: Ernest Cole: Photographer, at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Through July 7, in Westwood.
- S.F.: Amusement: New Works from Skewville, at White Walls Gallery. Opens Saturday.
Gravity and Grace, 2010, by El Anatsui. Currently on view as part of the artist’s solo exhibit Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui, at the Brooklyn Museum through August 4. (Image courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery. Photo by Andrew McAllister.)
- Have something you need to get off your chest? Artists JEFF&GORDON want you to leave them a voice mail.
- “It’s time to restore Marcel Duchamp’s urinal to the bathroom.” Randy Kennedy has a good piece in the NYT about art as a form of social service.
- CultureGrrl picks apart how MOCA might be able to merge with LACMA. Needless to say, it would involve committees and a refund to Big Brother Broad.
- I’m digging this L.A. Times series, in which artists discuss works they find interesting or influential in SoCal museums.
- A site comprised entirely of Facebook comments.
- The Accidental Audience: Brad Troemel has a thoughtful piece on the ways in which art is consumed, shared and regurgitated on the internet — sometimes unknowingly.
- This new Art F City feature is something I can really get behind: understanding an artist through his/her stuff. First up is Paul Chan.
- Peter Schjeldahl’s review of the Piero della Francesca exhibit at the Frick makes me really want to see the show.
- Pete Brook’s “Pete’s New Friends” series. I love running into these on my Tumblr.
- The urbanist philosophies of Batman versus Superman.
- Totally late on this, but what the hey: Toyo Ito won the Pritzker Prize. And Architect magazine says, “Finally!”
- An interesting essay in the Guardian about the myth of the American cowboy. Interestingly, a lot of the language and costume is derived from Mexican tradition.
- Maureen Tkacik dismembers the Thought Leader class. Whoa.
- There is an absolute stunner of a story by Jill Lepore in the New Yorker about the legal history behind the creation of the Guantanamo detainee camp. One of the first times that the notion of the unlawful combatant was employed in U.S. jurisprudence was in the 17th century, against Algonquian Indians trying to oust the British from New England. They were sent to the Caribbean and sold as slaves. (Subscription required.)
- Journalism words to not live by, according to the Washington Post. Someone needs to come up with a list of these for art writers.
- Book writer Edward Champion is trying to raise bucks to walk across the country. Help a blogger out!
- The internet has had great giffitude this past week. Also here.
I’ll be spending the holidays looking pensive and smoldering while waiting for the turkey to emerge for the oven — like my girlfriend Susan Sontag, above. If you’re doing the same, here are a coupla things you can read while the little butterball cooks up: my weekly picks over at Gallerina (those Sarah Braman sculptures look fierce) and four reasons to go see HIDE/SEEK at the Brooklyn Museum. Seriously, if you live in new York, get on it.
Credit: Photo of Susan Sontag by Peter Hujar, 1975 — currently on view as part of Hide/Seek at the Brooklyn Museum. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. © The Peter Hujar Archive LLC, courtesy Mathew Marks Gallery, New York.
Fred Wilson, Grey Area (Brown Version), 1993. (Photographs taken by Ben Valentine at the Brooklyn Museum last December.)
Recently, while browsing an art history book, I began thinking about how much the portrayal of the human figure has evolved since the Paleolithic era (think Venus of Willendorf), through the Renaissance (Michelangelo’s David), to today — when contemporary artists seem to portray humans conceptually and aesthetically in radically different manners. This has inspired me to begin collecting contemporary representations of the human form. I thought I’d begin the series at the Brooklyn Museum, which features a wide range of artists and aesthetics (all walking distance from my apartment). Hopefully this photo series will begin to give us an idea of the many facets of identity today. It could help us see how far we have come, or simply show how psychotic we all happen to be…
A detail from Rosalyn Drexler’s Home Movies. (Photos by C-M.)
There are paintings with balls. And there are paintings with tubes. You’ll find the latter at the Brooklyn Museum’s show Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists 1958-1968. And thank goodness. This ably assembled little show makes you realise just how much the art world is dominated by sausage, because there’s no other explanation for why I haven’t seen more of these talented ladies, some of whom have some wildly acerbic views on men, the art world and their own bodies. (No earnest vag art here.) There’s been some debate among the critical set about how ‘pop’ many of the works in the show truly are. But, honestly, who cares? The exhibit contains some underseen, underappreciated, totally twisted gems. If you’ve OD’d on ’60s go-tos like Warhol, Lichtenstein and Oldenburg, then hit the Brooklyn Museum for fresh kick-you-in-the-ass perspective.
Seductive Subversion is on through Jan. 9. Check it out.
I spent a better part of Saturday afternoon wandering around Andy Warhol: The Last Decade at the Brooklyn Museum. I’ve long felt ambivalent about Warhol as an artist. I love the ways in which he innovated the use of commercial imagery, but get worn out by the relentless rich-people portraits cranked out factory-style. I like the way he could play the media, but the hijinks can grow tiresome. Some pieces are clever, others too self-aware. But the gathering of silkscreens and paintings at the Brooklyn Museum, all produced during the last ten years of the artist’s life, contained a number of works that genuinely moved me — from the whoa-nelly-this-shit-is massive Last Supper (the middle shot above) to the maligned collaborations with Jean-Michel Basquiat (there’s a hopefulness and a darkness to Sin More that I find really compelling). I was totally absorbed — primarily by the works on the fifth floor portion of the exhibit.
But above all, I learned one important lesson: It might occasionally behoove me to clean the lens on my camera.