Frances Stark’s first solo museum exhibition, featuring The Unspeakable Compromise of the Portable Work of Art (1998 - 2002), is currently on view at the UCLA Hammer Museum. In the vault gallery, a special curvilinear room that seems to seal out all distraction the moment you walk in, a series of sixteen text and paper works hangs quietly. “Elegant” appropriately describes the work’s formal qualities. Repeated letters finally spell out a recognizable sentence (most often the same as the series’ title phrase). Stark’s phrases usually come from literary or cultural sources; in this series, Daniel Buren’s 1971 essay “The Function of the Studio” is referenced. The poetry of the work (Stark is also a frequently published writer) resonates when the content and the work’s formal qualities gel. Through August 25.
(and still deeper Bay Area roots) for lean times? Read this profile of Neal Benezra, new director of SFMOMA.
U.S. Reps. Jay Inslee (D-WA), George Nethercutt (R-WA), and Rick Boucher (D-VA) have introduced new legislation to change the grossly unfair web radio laws that recently went into effect. Read all about it and fax your representatives to help save internet radio.
LA painter Jim Doolin died Monday night at the age of 70. Doolin, who once devoted two and a half years to one canvas depicting the Santa Monica mall, had been in poor health for some time.
to make your views known. Internet radio stations have a “fax your congressperson” campaign underway to protest the recent, crippling CARP royalty ruling. All you have to do is fill in your name and address and it will automatically fax letters to your representatives. Do it before summer recess!
A new consortium of museums, founded to address digital art archiving concerns, is attempting to set guidelines for how artists think about media.
The layout didn’t help clarify the ambitious survey of art by California women at the San Jose Museum of Art. Guest curators Diana Fuller and JoAnn Hanley chose to organize the show by media, a decision that, of course, caused impossible sound bleed in the media section (where, by the way, about half of the pieces weren’t working when I visited). Given its vast scope (perhaps undertaking the entire state rather than focusing on a region was the problem) few pieces managed to shine: Mildred Howard’s installation was a smart, tight and layered work; Stephanie Syjuco’s floor installation was both funny and enigmatic; and Nao Bustamante’s performance as Ronald McDonald should not be missed. The show’s up until November.
on the occasion of the Australian Contempora Fellowship: “Big ideas that gain currency cast a shadow: they make other things harder to see. So it is with innovation and challenge. Their obvious merits for thinking about art can, ironically, obscure other important qualities…” Read more.
Check out this Examiner profile of the legendary Permi K. Gill.
The appeal of CARP royalty rates for web-based broadcasts has been filed. Strangely, the appeal was filed by traditional broadcasters who also webcast - webcasters were nowhere to be found. If anyone can fill me in on their strategy, please do.
Peter Gordon, former curator at the San Jose Museum of Art, is returning to California after a stint in Chicago. Gordon assumed duties as Arts Manager for the city of Carlsbad, in Southern California, this week.
Barry Willis reports on the peril to fair use.
Check out this nice rundown about the latest laptronica trend - video scratching.
Zero to Infinity: Arte Povera 1962-1972 is a “must see” for any serious artist or student of conceptual practices in contemporary art. The Italian Arte Povera movement has been almost invisible in the United States, but comes nicely into focus in this show. It’s clear that it set the stage for the conceptual artists of the 1970s. You can see what Bay Area artists did on that stage while you’re in the neighborhood, with a stop at the new Pasadena Museum of California Art for the spotty but worthwhile On-Ramps: Transitional Moments in California Art. The “Bay Area Conceptual Art of the 1970s” section of the show includes work by Paul Kos and Lynn Hershman, among others.
if Rep. Rick Boucher has his way. One of the only members of congress who’s fighting the good fight against the movie and recording industry lobbies, Boucher’s about to introduce legislation that sounds like it will remedy many of the more egregious injustices recently perpetrated by those lobbies. Once he does, it’s our turn to lobby, by contacting our senators (most notably Senator Diane Feinstein, who’s been siding with Hollywood) and congressmen and letting them know we’re for it.
Now posted at the Museum fuer Kommunikation, Hamburg: DIN ART 4: 560 Kuenster und 1 Formular (560 artists and 1 form). Over a twelve year period, private collector Klaus Hoemberg mailed 560 blank postcards to 560 artists, asking them to design something inside the outlines of a blank box on the front of the postcard, sign it, and mail it back. Responses ranged from Robert Longo’s “I hate the idea of mail art - thank you,” to a tangram-esque collage by British artist Tom Moseley, to “Klone Plan Misfits I-VII,” a psuedo-scientific diagram by German artist Thomas Gruenfeld (ever wondered what you get when you cross a rooster, a grouse, and a ferret?). Particularly noteworthy is Andy Goldsworthy’s contribution, a rubbing in graphite of a single leaf, its fragile veins embossed in the postcard’s blackened surface. It is both like and unlike Goldsworthy’s usual work; alike in that it underscores nature’s beauty through the artists’ intervention; unlike in that the evidence of his intervention is fixed in a medium other than photography. So go postal - the sheer volume of postcards begs two trips to the museum. Through August 18, 2002.
someone pulled the plug on Mr. Saatchi’s freezer leaving a bloody mess of Marc Quinn’s infamous sculpture, Self. Mr. Saatchi is hopping mad!
as in, “Why hasn’t anyone done that before?” Andy Goldworthy’s dazzling sculptures of stone, ice, leaves and wood raise the question in a new breathtaking documentary at the Roxie, recently extended until July 16th. It’s not just about the artist’s patience to stand in the cold for a really, really long time. When you’re done, take a trip to Stanford and see a recent wall in person.
The artists in Housebroken, at the Rena Bransten Gallery, rend domesticity limb from limb. Crisply curated by Glen Helfand (one of the original Stretcher crew) Housebroken considers the contradictions of comfort. Case in point: Casteneda/Reiman’s use of plastic skylights to suggest “rolling hills.” These pieces need to go home to subdivisions like “Cherry Orchard Village.”
Donna Schumacher on High Tech/Low Tech Hybrids recently on view at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek; Katherine Satorius covers Guide to Trust No. 2 that was on view at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; Rachel Churner on Flyaway at the Luggage Store; and Marisa Olson on You Oughta be in Pictures at Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery.
Although most of the work on view in this year’s New Langton Arts’ Bay Area Awards Show didn’t grab me or my companion, we did pause over the Net Art offering by Meta. On view were two computer screens - one, the artist’s website that offered two MP3 files, the other, densly layered images of live webcam feeds from around the world. The MP3s, cinematic soundtracks to the live feeds, created a chaotic, beautiful and amped-up vision of a networked world.
Ron Kuivila’s two contributions stood out in what was already a good Inventionen Festival. In the basement vault of the Staatsbank Berlin, his pairs of arcing wires produced a network of sparks that resonated through cardboard coffee cups, their sounds providing an erratic, rapid-fire punctuation of the darkened space. Upstairs in the same building, Kuivila’s performance of the edgy telephonic elegy, “Beautification of the Facsmile Tone” (complete with a pair of slowly modulated ringing phones - the old kind with real bells in them), wove a smartly shifting soundfield from the minimal audio language of dialtones and busy signals. Other highlights included Robin Minard’s installation of hundreds of tiny speakers in the deep end of a long-empty indoor swimming pool and Gordon Monahan’s drop-by-drop waterfall onto household objects wired for sound.