J. Bennett Fitts, Victorville, CA, from the series "No Lifeguard on Duty"
GOOD magazine (one of my favorites) has a wonderful series called Picture Show that highlights photographers projects. I have collected J. Bennett Fitts' work and was happy to see him gain exposure here.
I am very excited to see Herb & Dorothy, opening this Friday 6/5 in New York. I am looking forward to getting a close up view of an art collecting couple I have been admiring from afar for years. Check out the trailer on the link, and you, too, will be excited to see this film.
We have opened the application process for the 2009 West Prize. Free to apply for anyone over the age of 18 and with works priced below $10,000. We've improved the application process so that applicants can go back into their online applications to make changes and updates. The application process closes on November 1, 2009. Acquisition prize funds total $100,000 for ten artists with a $25,000 grand prize awarded to one of the ten.
Even if you aren't applying check out who is here.
A new app for your iPhone. ArtNear (HopNear Inc) is an application connecting you to galleries and museums in your area. It searches for nearby venues based on your location and you can type in an artist's name to find out where they are showing. Cool.
Peter Coe, Untitled (#6), watercolor, 9x12", estimated under $400
I have recommended Pierogi (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) to collectors for years. I recently forwarded their web address to a new collector and noticed that Pierogi's Flat Files are online and searchable. (They may have been online for a year and I am just now noticing. Forgive me.) The fact that the Flat File artists are online means you can search and take notes before you visit the Flat Files in person. You may find something to inquire about while perusing for notes. I am especially thrilled with the search criteria. You can search by price! They have a great selection of works $400 and below. I selected $400 and clicked 'Random Selection'. There are too many great artists to list here, but in the first three random selection searches a few recognizable names appeared: Polly Apfelbaum, James Hyde, Bob and Roberta Smith, David Humphrey, Joel Adas, James Esber, Jane Fine, Ellen Harvey, Allison Shotz, Edward Del Rosario. The list goes on and on. So does the search criteria: there are over 24 Media search selections (including crayon, fabric, and marker) and over 45 Tags search selections (including erotic, kinetic, and humerous). Let the collecting begin!
When talking to new collectors I often recommend that they get in on the conversation. I point out that people are talking about art all of the time. You simply need to listen. Go to lectures, visit studios, take gallery tours with curators, heck you can even eavesdrop on conversations at galleries.
Well it turns out you can now tap into pretty meaty conversations on Facebook, too. There is one that has been going on between Jerry Saltz (art critic, New York Magazine) and his "friends" for the last few days. (You have to be a "friend" of Jerry's on Facebook to tap into this conversation but with 4,340 friends I don't think he's very picky.) To summarize briefly, Jerry wrote a positive review of the New Museum's Younger Than Jesus show. He took some heat for it:
What follows his Facebook Status (above) is a conversation of sorts between Jerry and about 60 people. Fairly interesting stuff.
But then it got really interesting (to me anyway). He followed up by asking people (his "friends") to name 3-5 artists they like who emerged after 1999. He added, "don't name yourself or artists no one has heard of but you". He received over 200 lists! (Facebook automatically deleted about 65 posts in the thread so he reposted to keep going.) Now, I'm the first to warn collectors not to collect simply because someone else told you to - buy what you love, yadda yadda and all that good stuff - but here are lists for collectors to mine. Not for collecting, necessarily, but for learning. Learning about artists people are talking about. (A small group of people, but a pretty informed group.) Young artists, too. Not established. This is good stuff!
I recognized some of the artists on the lists. It was fun to see where I agreed and where I disagreed. I also added my own list of five young artists I like to Jerry's conversation.
And then the wonderful Jerry put his money where his mouth is and shared his own list of artists he likes (appearing at the beginning of this post). Yowza. If your name is on that list you have to be pretty psyched. No guarantees, of course, but one hell of a shout out!
I'm spending the next few weeks tracking down some of the artists off of not only Jerry's but all of those lists. Just for the information. A course on "Art Now" for me to take at my leisure.
I'm drawn to paper. It isn't the economy (works on paper tend to be easier on the wallet) that is attracting me to this work. it is the work itself. Here are three I like:
Her show comes down tomorrow (4/11) at Julie Saul Gallery in New York. I was completely taken by these images - and I went to the gallery not expecting a "wow" experience. They are calming. And beautiful. And skilled. She's an Ed Winkleman pick. (The images on his post are much better so check them out.) I lucked out and visited the gallery on a day when Julie (Evans) was there with family. She was lovely and spoke easily and openly about her work. If you can, get to Julie's (Saul) to see these gems before they come down. Julie Evan's blog here.
Lesson From a Guinea Hen #3, 2008, mixed water based media and colored pencil on paper, 22x30"
Geoffrey Todd Smith:
Crazy-hurt-your-eyes art is not generally something I am drawn to. But this work is stunning and mesmerizing. And, yes, obsessed. Now showing at Western Exhibitions (until May 30) in Chicago, Geoffrey Todd Smith is a local favorite and star. You most likely will be able to check out some of his work at Western Exhibitions' both at the NEXT Fair May 1-4.
Suicide Eye, 2008, ink and gouache on paper, 31x29"
OK, so this is a very different kind of work on paper, but what the f&!#... it's Powhida! I love this guy. For real. Not just because I am worried that if I don't love him I may be immortalized in one of his "New York Enemies" Drawings. (I should be so lucky.) I really find his work smart and funny just like all of the other f*#%ers out there who do...here and here. Tonight is the opening of The Writing is on the Wall at Schroeder Romero in New York. Show runs until May 16.
Note: To understand my tone and word choices, check out Shroeder Romero's write up on the show. Brilliant!
Relational Wall (detail), 2009, watercolor, colored pencil and graphite, 44x60"
I studied art history in college and graduate school. And I forget names and dates and images. All the time. I'm not great with details, more of a big picture kind of person, so this website is a sight for sore eyes (or, more specifically, sore brain).
SmartHistory is a website being developed (there are currently only 220 images on the site) by Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker. In their words, they hope their website is a "dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional and static art history textbook." Most information is presented in podcasts linked to images. They are light, short, and often romping conversations often between Harris and Zucker or with guest experts.
With more development (a big hole they mention needing to fill is non-western art) this website will become a valuable resource for students and collectors like me who need help with the details.
For those with no art history background and a desire to get the basics to assist your collecting process they have a "Where should I start?" button just for you.
E.P.A is a group exhibition surveying recent performance work from around the world that addresses current environmental crises. The exhibition will consist of videos, photographs, texts, related ephemera and a film program documenting recent performances.
The show in Florida is a sample of the larger show in New York showing only eight of the original twenty five or so artists. But all of the works in the original show were very strong (quite moving, in fact) so you can't go wrong with a truncated group.
If performance art is usually something that either scares you or makes you cringe, this is the show for you. The performances are all documented here (in other words, no one will be dousing themselves in canola oil in front of you). And I was able to fall easily into each performance, wishing I had been able to experience most of them when they originally happened. For we can all relate to what "is happening" to our planet. These artists speak loud and clear though their actions and left me contemplating their messages and work long after I had visited the show.
E.P.A: Environmental Performance Art
April 2 - May 8
The Arts Council of Stuart and Marin County
The Fredric M. Ayres, III Gallery
80 East Ocean Boulevard, Stuart, FL
You can still catch the "big show" at Exit Art. E.P.A runs until July 12 at 475 Tenth Avenue at 36th Street.