Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Writing on the responses to the current Whitney Biennial, AFC's Paddy Johnson gives a nod to the series of exhibitions---Dice Thrown, Aspects, Forms & Figures, and In Defense of Ardor---I curated at Bellwether last year:

The question Lacayo and many others have on their lips is whether the unofficial Biennial theme of “lessness” amounts to much in the end. Not that this is necessarily the case of nay sayers, but I’ll admit that if the only thing I’d seen taking this approach was The New Museum’s Unmonumental and The Whitney’s Biennial, I’d probably have a fairly grim outlook on the prospects for art. Certainly these shows have given me pause, neither effectively displaying the work or necessarily even finding the best of it. By contrast, New York’s commercial galleries have been more successful this year launching unmonumental-esque shows. While the large size of the Biennial undoubtedly makes the job a little more difficult, Bellwether’s brilliantly organized three part exhibition series curated by Becky Smith and Joao Ribas could be no better testament to the success seen within the commercial world, as was Gagosian’s Beneath the Underdog, curated by artists Nate Lowman and Adam McEwen last spring. Notably New York Times critic Holland Cotter named this show one of the best gallery shows of the year. (Read more)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sterling Ruby: Chron in The New York Times/New Yorker

Sterling Ruby:Chron currently on view at The Drawing Center is reviewed by Roberta Smith in The New York Times today:

Sterling Ruby is one of the most interesting artists to emerge in this century. That’s only eight years, of course, but the claim may stick. He makes obstreperous, richly glazed ceramic vessels that suggest charred remains; totemic sculptures webbed with mucousy, macramélike drips of resin; large, dark collages dotted with constellations of tiny images of artifacts; and drawings, photographs and short videos. Read more

And from this week's New Yorker:

Artists like Ruby, whose art shifts from sculpture to photography to collage, drawing, and painting (in materials like spray paint and nail polish), can be difficult to pin down. This survey does the trick by focussing on Ruby’s use of line during the past five years. Themes range from the political to the social to the abstract—but the fulcrum is drawing. Photographs of words carved on trees rhyme visually with etched Formica benches. Ruby remains a cipher, but the show makes a strong case for considering his work as a coherent whole. A concurrent exhibition of Ruby’s ceramic works, which bridge the gap between fairy tale and science fair, are on view at Metro Pictures. Through March 27. (The Drawing Room, 40 Wooster St. 212-219-2166.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Alan Saret: Gang Drawings in Artforum

Alan Saret: Gang Drawings, which I curated at The Drawing Center, is reviewed in the current issue of Artforum. (Click on image to read)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"None of the alternatives to the gallery can reach a sizeable audience. Yet, given today's homogenized world, there has never been a deeper, more immediate need for wide-spread sowing of relevant new ideas. So there are two ways to go: if the artist would work the long revolutionary tail and address the working-class only, never mind the galleries, get out in the streets and do it. If, on the other hand, all possible creatures are worth your trouble, use the galleries and never mind: the row to hoe should be rooted-in your 'radical' works not their 'radical' system, for our muddled 'radical' critics have confounded buyers' terms with sellers' standards." Jo Baer, Radical Attitudes to the Gallery, 1977