Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Best Photography Show of 2011

Many thanks to Richard Speer at Willamette Week, who gave the Independent and Brad Carlile the Best Photo Show of 2011.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Body Gesture on KBOO

Listen to the interview here.

Carolee Schneeman - Nude on Tracks D

This coming Tuesday Elizabeth Leach will be my guest on Art Focus. Her gallery is currently showing Body Gesture. I can’t wait for this conversation.

To read
the PR for this show is deeply satisfying. There, they said it well, so it doesn’t have to come from this middle-aged woman artist. Still I cannot help but observe how so many practices, mediums and delicious extremities in contemporary art zoom along while the innovators fell into relative obscurity (market share talks).

I saw a lot of cool things rising in the 1970s. At my very tender age, I was more a cheerleader than gang leader. Even so, I made my own version of Woman with a Gun. For years I looked back on the silly piece and thought it trite and insignificant, but no more.

There are no doubt a ton of reasons while the feminist artists didn’t maintain center stage. First, you’ve got to keep your elbows out and that generation didn’t have the cradle-to-grave training to compete (I can attest because while I am younger, I didn’t get it either). But more importantly, the fellows could pick up on the breakthroughs, adding their own twist and saga and it was so much more comfortable and familiar to watch the hero (instead of the heroine), it all just went down easier. Besides, it was the 80s (or the 90s or the new century or etc. etc. etc.) and we didn’t have to address that boring gender identity or disparity issue, did we? More and more the art world embraces and dissects power, stardom and greed and at least on the surface (and at auction, let's not forget), the guys do it better.

I think we’re catching up though.

I don’t know where to start with this exhibition; it’s all so good and there’s so much to read, not just look at. In general I'm not fond of work I must read, not experience, but I make a great exception with Body Gesture. The letters from Andrea Bower, Necessary Reminders from the Past of a Future Choice, truly make you wince. I read every single one.

The exhibition features:

Lynda Benglis

Andrea Bowers
Sophie Calle
Nicole Eisenman
Jenny Holzer
Rachel Lachowicz
Ellen Lesperance
Alice Neel
Elaine Reichek
Martha Rosler
Carolee Schneemann
Amy Sillman
Lorna Simpson
Alexis Smith
Nancy Spero
Mickalene Thomas
Hannah Wilke

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Tree

For reasons too mundane, sad or confusing to mention, I probably will not trim a tree this year. So when I came across this short and sweet reminder at Hyperallergic about the Met's tree (see above), I had to pause. For many years it was the only tree I had. I used to think of it as mine and had no idea at least 5 million other New Yorkers felt the same way. The holidays were a big retail trudge and the upper Museum Mile was the respite. And just as this piece suggests, I avoided Rockefeller Center and walked the extra 30 blocks to the Met.

I am taking a week away from KBOO but when I come back, it will be gangbusters with Body Gesture at Elizabeth Leach. In the meantime, I am collaging small cards, as many as possible. This was how the Anonymous Women broke out actually - they started out as gifts. And then I had to stop giving when I saw the new shift.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Molly Vidor on KBOO

Listen to the interview here.

There are some nice shows up this month, (anytime Eric Stotik shows, it’s a good month) but the paintings of Molly Vidor at PDX are especially delicious. She titled the show perfectly too: Honeydrippers. These are still lifes juicy and shiny, dark and deep, small yet vast and of course satisfyingly loaded with paint. When I did videos on Youtube, we had a conversation over the big pieces in a show called Destroyer. While everyone throws around the term “Rock Star” these days – gee, we all get to be one – Molly Vidor really is. She looked like one at her opening too, really great. She will be my guest on Art Focus this coming Tuesday.