Minimalist Poetry as Installation

Artist Obsession

Okay, this is too cool not to share. Mikko Kuorinki created this installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Finland called “Wall Piece with 200 Letters,” and I love it. The concept, the execution, everything. It’s simply beautiful.

As the title implies, Kuorinki created a poem or phrase from a finite set of letters which changed every week for a year. Part performance and part installation, the exhibit used text as both and aesthetic element and as a way to disrupt conventions of human behavior and communication.

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Here are a couple favorites but the whole exhibition is documented on Kuorinki’s website.

Millennials in Museums

Art World News

I found this on Tumblr recently and thought it was kind of fabulous. You’ve gotta love the irreverence millennials have for ancient art and museums. It’s ridiculous.

Cell Phone Art

There is, however, a lot of serious and merited debate currently happening in the museum world over this very topic. Should we embrace this type of behavior or condemn it. A lot of museums are starting to do away with or readjust their iphone policies.

Juarez Women

Art World News, Painting

Initially I was a little skeptical of an Irish man making art about murdered Mexican women. However, his work and his statements are a thoughtful and respectful tribute and I am glad this important crisis is getting the attention it deserves. The portraits themselves are beautiful, powerful and tragic. It’s important work by Brian McGuire and definitely deserves a look.

“The killing campaign in Mexico has taken the lives of more than 1,400 young women since 1994, mainly factory girls working in maquiladoras,sweatshops of sorts, who were abducted around town. Maguire spent time with the victim’s mothers, discussing their daughter’s lives and premature deaths, before beginning to paint two portraits of each victim: one representing the young girl during her life and another, after death. Though his works are intuitively somber in subject matter and style, they convey a subtle hopefulness in the boldness of strokes and in the unexpected pops of color.”

 

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maguire juarez women

The title of this seres is The Absence of Justice Demands This Act and it’s showing at Fergus McCaffrey in New York through the end of the month. Check out this article and the gallery website, if you’d like.

Artist Obsession: Paola Pivi

Artist Obsession, Contemporary Women Artists, Mixed Media

This is so cool.

I came across this awesome pearl-encrusted canvas on Tumblr (I find all sorts of neat shit on tumblr) and was absolutely captivated. I love how it seems to explode out from the wall but in a way that is completely refined and subdued. Pearls are such an innovative medium to work with and I love how they are used here. I also love how this is a sculpture that is kind of pretending to be a painting.Paola Pivi Pearls

When I looked further into Paola Pivi and her work, I was surprised to find that nothing else she has been doing lately is nearly this subtle. It’s all bright and big and crazy. Neon colors and strange large-scale installation pieces. Still really cool but really different. I debated splitting this into multiple posts (and maybe I will still write more later) but I thought I should include some of her recent weird stuff.

The Bears: they are massive neon taxidermy bears that have been arranged in little gallery scenes. Yep. Paola Pivi Bears

The Machine: This is an installation piece which shoots out money at gallery-goers which is a pretty interesting concept. A little intimidating though…Paola Pivi Machine

I’m so glad I came across Paola Pivi and I am definitely going to keep tabs on her to see what she’ll do next. And definitely check out her website. It’s lots of fun.

What’s it worth?

Art World News

“One of the reasons there’s so much talk about money is that it’s so much easier to talk about than art.” –David Zwirner

Art as a business is such a crazy concept. There are massive amounts of money being thrown around in the US and internationally for works whose value is inherently subjective. What makes one piece worth more than another? It isn’t just the aesthetic value, or the prominence of the artist, or the size, or cost of materials. It is all of these things combined but somehow the end value is greater than the sum of its parts. There is an “it” factor to art that probably has more to do with marketing and PR than talent. And possibly has even more to do with people like the ones Zwirner refers to; those who would rather talk about price than about art.

It is clear from this New Yorker article and others like it that the art industry is a formidable economic force. But what does that mean for the art? And for the artists? How does one navigate this cutthroat consumerist landscape without sacrificing the meaning and integrity of his or her work?

“The Familiar and the Indefinable in Clay”

Art World News, Contemporary Women Artists

I just stumbled into the Ruth Chandler Williamson Art Gallery after class yesterday to discover that the new ceramics exhibition is finished and open to the public! I’ve been so crazy busy lately that I completely missed the opening reception (apparently it happened last weekend?) and was delighted to discover one of the most whimsical ceramics show I’ve ever seen. Scripps is well known for its Ceramics Annual and this is the 71st, guest curated by Julia Haft-Candell. I immediately got caught up in the beautiful colors, shapes and textures and was almost late to work because of it. (Oops.)

I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time with the art as I would have liked but fully intend to go back in the coming weeks for closer inspection. Here are a couple of pictures from my initial walk-around. I’ll probably post more later as I predict several new “Artist Obsession” posts in my future…

Happy Friday!

Scripps Art Show 2

Scripps Art Show 3

Scripps College Art Show

The New Artists

Art World News

I came across an interesting article in The Atlantic today which addresses the current cultural shift towards “creatives” instead of “artists.” Art as an industry has always been defined through the money-making apparatus attached. From craftsmen and artisans to renaissance geniuses; art changes along with society. But where has the artist ended up?

This article argues that the rise of the internet and the ability to self-promote online has resulted in the “Death of the Artist and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur.” The industry has migrated online, appealing directly to potential customers.

“The push of institutional disintegration has coincided with the pull of new technology. The emerging culture of creative entrepreneurship predates the Web—its roots go back to the 1960s—but the Web has brought it an unprecedented salience. The Internet enables you to promote, sell, and deliver directly to the user, and to do so in ways that allow you to compete with corporations and institutions, which previously had a virtual monopoly on marketing and distribution. You can reach potential customers at a speed and on a scale that would have been unthinkable when pretty much the only means were word of mouth, the alternative press, and stapling handbills to telephone poles.”

There seems to be a lot of building going on: you’re supposed to build your brand, your network, your social-media presence. Creative entrepreneurship is spawning its own institutional structure—online marketplaces, self-publishing platforms, nonprofit incubators, collaborative spaces—but the fundamental relationship remains creator-to-customer, with creators handling or superintending every aspect of the transaction.”

The internet has democratized countless other industries. So why not art? But the shift from artist to creative is one that merits special attention. I find that the most successful artists online are choosing to label themselves differently. They are stylists, illustrators, designers, creative directors, graphic designers, art directors, creative content creators, makers, photographers, or some complex combination of three or more of these titles. And they are running their art like a business.

So what will all this mean for artists and for art? For training, for practice, for the shape of the artistic career, for the nature of the artistic community, for the way that artists see themselves and are seen by the public, for the standards by which art is judged and the terms by which it is defined?”

Seriously, go read this article. It’s interesting.

(image is from designlovefest one of my fav design blogs which exemplifies this type of art/entrepreneurship. Bri is the ultimate creative hybrid.)

Cady Noland is a Bit of a Rebel

Art World News, Contemporary Women Artists

I just stumbled across an interesting article about Cady Noland in ArtNet which asks who is crazier: Noland or Richard Prince?

Since I am conducting my Senior thesis research on Richard Prince, anything with his name in the title immediately piques my interest. Prince is a notoriously strong personality and, if you ask me, kind of an asshole. Apparently Cady Noland is also incredibly intense and hard to work with. She rarely gives permission for her works to be shown and has gotten into legal issues with collectors over her refusal to remount pieces.

Once a work is sold, the artist really doesn’t have much control over when, where, and how it’s being shown. She no longer owns it. However, Noland’s work in particular is quite precarious and is entirely dependent on how it is assembled. It seems to be intended as something ephemeral which exists only in a single context. However, museums and private collectors are constantly trying to reshow the most famous works of her past. I understand how incredibly frustrating that might be for some artists. Your name will be attached to a work forever, even after you have no rights to control its display. Is it still Cady Noland’s art is she didn’t set it up or approve the positioning? Or is it just a bunch of empty beer cans? Where does the art happen?

The cynic in me must also question if this is just some part of her public persona, perpetuated to establish notoriety and mystery. Does it make the works more valuable? She seems entirely in conflict with the business side of the contemporary art world. Ironic for one of the top-selling female artists of her lifetime…

“It’s an interesting predicament, given that Noland is one of the top 10 most expensive female living artists, with her 1989 sculpture Oozewald holding the record for the highest price ever paid for an artwork by a female living artist at $6.6 million. In a way, her refusal to cooperate with the people who want to buy, sell, and display her work is the ultimate biting of the hand that feeds. Considering the current state of the art world, in which artists often complain of feeling like part of a meat market buffet, it’s a fascinating, if somewhat misguided, act of rebellion.”

I saw her work exhibited (without permission) at the Brant Foundation over winter break in Deliverance which also featured works from Prince, Christopher Wool, and Larry Clark. It is weird to look at an artist’s work while being acutely aware that they did not want it to be seen. It makes me kind of sad for her. I mean yes she seems really extreme and rather antisocial. But not having control over your own art would be supremely frustrating. Then again if she is making $6 million off a single piece, I can’t pity her too much…