Posts archive: May 2004

Well guys, its come to this… an artist is arrested in Buffalo for his art because it may be bioterrorism. As David Byrne once sang “I love America but boy can she be a bitch”. Read ‘em and weep.

- Dale Hoyt [Sunday, May 30th, 2004]

The notion that artists might get to retire is innovative all by itself, but the Artist Pension Trust, led by David Ross, has come up with a practical way of funding such retirements that might just work. And it’s not just for big names, either. The down side? You have to be young to sign up. Actually, you can’t just sign up, either—those in the know have to designate you as an artist who has the POSSIBILITY of becoming a hot seller. But it’s a start.

- Meredith Tromble [Friday, May 28th, 2004]

Flames from a paint factory spread to a Saatchi Collection warehouse yesterday, destroying more than 100 works of art, including two of Tracy Emin’s best-known works. The Guardian reports the story and also interviewed Emin about the destruction of her work.

- Jeannine McDonald [Thursday, May 27th, 2004]

The 2004 SECA Art Award recipients were announced by SFMOMA today:
Rosana Castrillo Diaz, Simon Evans, Shaun O’Dell, and Josephine Taylor. The biennial SECA award “honors local artists of exceptional promise with an exhibition at SFMOMA, an accompanying catalogue, and a modest cash prize.” The SECA exhibition will be on view at SFMOMA from January 29 through May of 2005. Here’s a taste of what the SECA committee liked:

Shaun O’Dell, Captain Mythopoesis During Centripetal Synchronization Episode (detail) 2003; ink and gouache on paper; 28 x 36 inches; private collection, courtesy of the artist and Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco; Copyright Shaun O’Dell

- Meredith Tromble [Thursday, May 27th, 2004]

It looks like the state of the Critical Art Ensemble has gotten a lot more critical now that the FBI has taken an interest in them.

- Ed Osborn [Wednesday, May 26th, 2004]

The new director explains the rationale behind his picks for the Whitney’s new curatorial team.

- Meredith Tromble [Monday, May 24th, 2004]

Local emerging artist Anna Maltz (whose show at Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery is reviewed to the lower right of this blog) will be featured both this Wednesday 5/26 @ 7:30pm, and Friday 5/28 @ 11:30pm on Spark on KQED. The Wednesday broadcast will blur the naughty bits of Ms Maltz’s hand knitted nudity suits but the late night 11:30 Friday version will show them in all their full naked glory. As David Letterman loves to say, “wake the kids!”

- Dale Hoyt [Monday, May 24th, 2004]

Somewhat apropos of yesterday’s blog on the Turner Prize (the scent of controversy causes journalist to salivate), a Guardian review comments on the attempt to present painting as a cause celebre. “All this would be merely annoying were it not for the fact that what is being propagated here is the notion that painting is ignored by galleries and museums, that critics like me don’t write about it, that art students are encouraged by their tutors not to paint, that the public is not given an opportunity to see painting and that the international art world is a sort of repressive Smersh organisation, bent on the evil purpose of destroying a tradition. One of the artists in the show writes about “working in oil, a medium nominally regarded as near bankrupt”. This is melodramatic, as well as untrue. Studios are full of painters. There are painting shows everywhere, all the time,” writes Adrian Searle.

- Jeannine McDonald [Wednesday, May 19th, 2004]

are Kutlug Ataman, Jeremy Deller, Langlands and Bell, and Yinka Shonibare. This writer of this BBC report, which includes links to view the artists’ works, seems to savor the memory of past Turner controversies… can this year’s winner top Grayson Perry, who accepted his laurels draped in unforgettable drag?

- Jeannine McDonald [Tuesday, May 18th, 2004]

“Depraved” art and pop culture have seeped into the military: This explains the images from Abu Ghraib according to George Neumayr in the American Spectator, and Rush Limbaugh. Seymour Hersh has a different explanation: He reports in the New Yorker that a decision approved by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld laid the groundwork.

- Cheryl Meeker [Monday, May 17th, 2004]

Zbigniew Libera’s “Postives” series included in the Post Communist exhibition at at Kunst-Werke feature a concept so effective and obvious that only the man who gave us the Lego Concentration Camp would have come up with it: re-stage famous photographs of the unpleasant side of history as happy events. Images of the assassination of Martin Luther King and the napalming of Kim Phuc are twisted into enjoyable moments in which, respectively, a cluster of tourists point excitedly at something out of the frame and a group kids accompany a set of parachute jumpers down a deserted road. In an era where media reality is hard to trust, the pictures show quite clearly what the evening news looks like.

- Ed Osborn [Saturday, May 15th, 2004]

at DIA Beacon, says Roberta Smith. Having a soft spot for Martin’s paintings, which are often both delicate and astringent, I’m looking forward to seeing this show. Smith says it “demonstrates the methodical yet intuitive way Ms. Martin achieved her personal style. In short, she became hyperconscious of the most basic, even infinitessimal mechanics of painting and vision.” Martin fans have all year to make the trek—the exhibition runs through April 18, 2005. [Free registration may be required to read the entire review.]

- Meredith Tromble [Friday, May 14th, 2004]

Supernatural, Southern Exposure’s Annual Spring Fundraiser and Art Auction, is coming up this Saturday, May 15th, 7:30pm - 11:00pm. We can testify that the annual SoEx event—their primary fundrasing event for 2004—is so much fun you may forget you came to do good for the community!  The event features a Live and Silent Art Auction of over 135 works (here’s the link to preview the auction), food and drink by local restaurants, and great music. Get tickets now if you’re on a budget—$30 in advance, $40 at the door—and if you’re feeling flush, consider a VIP ticket —$150 and up gets you into a special preview reception starting at 6:00 pm. For more information, call 415.863.2141.

- Meredith Tromble [Thursday, May 13th, 2004]

The only part of the Berlin Biennale that remained in my mind well after making the obligatory rounds was the inclusion of the text of diplomat John Brady Kiesling’s">resignation letter in an otherwise unremarkable installation based around a 1997 missile attack on the US embassy in Athens. It’s a sad state of affairs when the most memorable part of a high-profile art exhibition was penned by a career bureaucrat, sadder still when those words contain an unmitigated gravity that only grows by the day.

- Ed Osborn [Tuesday, May 11th, 2004]

Well, maybe. Here’s the scoop on the new behemoth of the British art scene, run by (you guessed it) an American. Larry Gagosian supersizes the white box.

- Jeannine McDonald [Monday, May 10th, 2004]

A fine SF artist has died. Richard Gaikowski was the definitive bohemian bon vivant and grew with the culture flitting between Sixties Hippiedom, the Seventies Punk scene and Eighties and Ninties Cyber-life. He was a reporter with the Hearst Corporation, founded the Roxie Movie House, founded One Way Films - a distribution company devoted to Punk and New Wave cinema - and had a thousand and one more projects and adventures. His documentary on the Deaf Club, “Deaf Punk” is required viewing. Read of his fascinating life here.

- Dale Hoyt [Monday, May 10th, 2004]

The Yes Men, under cover as a right wing think tank, attended the Heritage Foundation’s annual Resource Bank meeting in Chicago, according to their press release. They took the stage and announced that Bush is an inadequate free-market candidate and called the war in Iraq “crony corporate welfare” and “market distortion on a fairly gigantic scale.”

- Cheryl Meeker [Thursday, May 6th, 2004]

Fire has destroyed the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, reported the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday. The Colony hosted artists’ residencies in cabins at the foot of Palomar Mountain in Southern California, but the facilities are now in ashes.

- Meredith Tromble [Wednesday, May 5th, 2004]

The Brooklyn Museum’s eagerly awaited survey of art made in Brooklyn (which means art from the liveliest group of emerging artists on the East Coast) is open, but Jerry Saltz is not impressed.

- Meredith Tromble [Wednesday, May 5th, 2004]

“There is evidence that the growing interest in museum careers from people with poorer social backgrounds and from ethnic minorities is being stymied by harsh financial realities of a career in museums,” writes Jane Thompson in this Guardian report on the dismal economics of working for a museum.

- Jeannine McDonald [Tuesday, May 4th, 2004]

From the editors