A couple of weeks ago, Sze talked to Ben Luke for The Art Newspaper’s podcast about her Artangel commission, Metronome, which is installed in a South London railway station waiting room. Because of the pandemic, the timing for these two major shows slid on top of each other.
For both exhibitions Sze has created streams of video or audio content that slip and loop in a seemingly non-repeating way, creating seemingly random confluences and juxtapositions. In Forster’s footage, we see Sze’s images, but don’t hear about them. In Luke’s we hear her talking about her sources, but don’t see them.
A poster from “Untitled,” 1993, the endless stack of free posters Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Christopher Wool first made for Printed Matter as a fundraising edition [!] is being sold a “Poster for an exhibition” and an “offset print” from “a so-called ‘Stack’-work” by Christopher Wool. It would be, I believe, Wool’s first and only Stack-work.
Gonzalez-Torres’ stack piece made with an image of Wool’s painting is, of course, in the Sammlung Hoffmann in Mitte. So if you lose the auction, maybe just head into town one weekend and pick up an uncreased copy.
In case you were wondering if there’s anything he can’t do or hasn’t done, the answer is not yet. Outgoing director of Printed Matter, Max Schumann has produced two prints for the upcoming Spring Benefit Bash. Each 14-color silk screened print of flower arrangements is embellished by handpainted blossoms.
The pictures fit well within Schumann’s own longstanding “outsider painting practice,” as PM puts it. Though titles notwithstanding, they do also feel like the brightest quadrant of “the dark energy at the heart of American politics, capitalism, and consumerism” that is the subject of Schumann’s critique.
The larger print, We Will Attack, is an edition of 35, and the smaller one, Threat Level, above, is an edition of 100. They both look great, but I posted Threat Level because the email drop for the prints had an animated GIF of it, toggling between the printed and embellished state, and it looked awesome. I ended up deciding not to serve a giant gif from my server, though, thanks. Some of us are even more not-for-profit than Printed Matter these days.
One problem with Christie’s selling the Fra Angelico after Basel is that as soon as my Fra Angelico Gofundme reached 10% I’d siphon it off to buy this gorgeous piece of Danh Vo’s We The People at Chantal Crousel’s booth. I’m only posting it because I assume it’s already been snapped up by someone in an earlier timezone.
Michael Lobel posted this cursed image on social media the other day.
While he was visiting Washington DC in 1976, Andy Warhol photographed Henry Kissinger accosting actress-turned-icon-turned-DC wife Elizabeth Taylor Warner, who was then married to Virginia Republican senator John Warner.
In 1976 Kissinger was Gerald Ford’s Secretary of State.
When I went to college I figured I wanted to be a banker, and since bankers collected art, I should study art history, to know what to collect. And so I studied Italian Renaissance painting. Which was fascinating and enthralling and transporting, but which is also the least collectible period of art imaginable. It’s even hard to see it in person.
So the idea of a 60cm tall painting by Fra Angelico being for sale is momentarily giving me pangs of regret for not sticking with banking. Anna Brady’s report on the Christie’s announcement has more detail about the painting, history, context, and scholarship than the Christie’s announcement itself, so that’s nice.
The painting of a crucifixion, dated roughly to 1419-1424, will be on view in New York from 10-14 June. Meanwhile, I’ve got about a month to scare up an extra £6 million. BRB.
NGL, it is wearying to keep wading into the legal minutiae, especially when it all feels like it’s missing what’s obvious. and. right. there. in. the. works. I guess it is literally just me. On the bright side, though, there’s a new deposition, which I am trying to get my hands on. Unlike the Cariou trial, only a very few pages have been excerpted so far, so no book. Yet. [Here’s a pdf of the filing, though, have fun.]
The Queen Elizabeth portrait is an entire Prince joint, though. Like he did with his Family portfolio, Prince posted QEII’s coronation portrait to his own Instagram account, and started composing. The Brant Foundation must have had notifications turned on, to get their white power emoji in there within the four hours between posting and screenshotting.
It’s all long gone now, of course, like the Queen herself. This 22×15 inch poster, unsigned and unnumbered in an edition some places say is 500, others just don’t know, is the only artifact left to mark this historic Instagram moment.
I lost track of the Schwartzes selling Sturtevant’s Oldenburg Store Object, Pie Caseamidst the Pompon hype. It was one of the most prominent objects from Sturtevant’s April-til-June 1967 repetition of Oldenburg’s The Store, and it was being sold by some of the most important collectors of Sturtevant’s work. [Eugene organized the 1986 Sturtevant comeback show at White Columns that brought her work into the context of the appropriationist Pictures Generation.
The Glenstone retrospective is, of course, amazing, but also closed today. Unless there a whisper network of private visits on days the museum is closed? I would certainly hope so.
If you can go back in time, definitely see the Kelly retrospective at the Guggenheim in 1996, one of the most phenomenal art experiences of my life and, along with the Dan Flavin installation and Hilma af Klint, one of the the greatest shows ever installed in that museum. The Guggenheim has resurfaced a nice 2004 Q&A with Kelly for EK100.
John Coplans’ 1969 Artforum cover essay is one of the first serious attempts to understand Kelly’s work on his own terms, and to recognize the foundational importance of his early work in France to his project.
Kelly’s oeuvre is very diverse, even though his mode of thinking allows for periodic returns, canceling any attempt at pinpointing a linear evolution. Better here to state his patience: very early on, he had understood the field of Modernism as an enterprise of motivation (it is against the arbitrariness and subjectivity of “invention”-as-expression that he had coined his various strategies); at the very beginning of his career, he had surveyed this field, seen both its limits and, within those, its vast expanse of fallow territory. Because he was alone then in envisioning all at once the many possibilities it could yield, he had accepted his historical task as that of tilling this land, digging out many unexpected treasures along the way.
Now, in a culmination of remembrances of his life and work—and his practice combining the two—I wonder about his relationship to time. To the way he found something from his own past to make work from in a certain present. How long did it take? When was it ready? How did he know? What did it need? What if the indexing of works to their archival, historical sources wasn’t an accounting tedium, but a way to understand and experience the work—and the life—more fully?
“Everywhere I looked, everything I saw became something to be made,” Kelly said, “and it had to be exactly as it was, with nothing added.” How long it would take, and when it would be made, he did not say.
Kelly never sat by the same Seine twice, but he did build bridges across time, between the things he saw, and the things he made, and those bridges are only beginning to be mapped.
Hauser & Wirth just showed this gorgeous Jack Whitten work from 1975 at Frieze. It’s a grid of 42 Xeroxed images on legal-size rice paper (8.5×11 in.) mounted on canvas, and it’s called Xeroxed! III.
In his 2009 oral history at the Archives of American Art, Whitten explains how Xerox invited him and several artists to Rochester to experiment with the tech, the equipment, talk to engineers, make work, and put on a show. Whitten’s own interest was in the highly manual process of early Xerox flat plate technology. I assume the exclamation point in the name is from the executives’ reaction to Whitten using their freshly trademarked brand as his title. The show never happened.
Gerhard Richter’s 128 Details from a Picture, meanwhile, happened three years later.
[few minutes later update: Harvard Art Museums have a single sheet Xerox work called, Broken Spaces #4, from 1974, where Whitten worked the toner powder across the surface of the paper with a scraper, and it began tracing out the electrostatic waves he was generating. Amazing, and consult a conservator, I guess!]
Lawrence Voytek began working for Robert Rauschenberg in 1982, right out of RISD. He set up a workshop in Captiva, Florida, and for decades was involved in helping the artist fabricate his work and solve complicated technical challenges.
Yesterday, artist Eric Doeringer sent me an Instagram Reel Voytek posted for Memorial Day. Voytek shows off a small, bright Jasper Johns-style American flag on a wood panel, which he holds with one hand while recording with his phone in the other. I’ve transcribed the Reel for Art History:
Happy Memorial Day, everybody. This is an encaustic flag. There was a painting that Bob did [Short Circuit, obv] that had a Jasper Johns that was stolen, and it was at Captiva for a while. Bob asked me to make a kind of a copy of the Jasper, doing the real encaustic. He didn’t use it on it; they had a Mary Stravant [sic, Sturtevant] flag that had newspaper and stuff. But this was kind of fun. I melted Crayola crayons, and I had hot wax, and I made a Jasper Johns flag so there you go. Happy Memorial Day.
in 1954 Bob was with Jasper when Jasper had the dream of painting an American flag, and that really sort of was a gamechanger.
Indeed it was, Lawrence, indeed it was.
Voytek’s oral history doesn’t mention Johns, Short Circuit, or Flag (this one or any others). Rauschenberg’s story from Voytek’s caption, though, about asking to paint some of the original Flag is out there. Johns’ story about the dream is, by definition, solitary. But I think this is the first account I’ve seen that acknowledges someone else was in the bed.
I knocked off Donald Judd because I had to; there was no such thing as a Judd Crib. Michael and Gabrielle Boyd, meanwhile, knocked off Donald Judd because they could. By acquiring an extremely rare 1 of 2 Judd armchair in galvanized steel directly from the artist in life, they generated an auratic bubble where fabricating your own Douglas Fir ply chairs was apparently preferable to buying estate editions. Which, in 2010, were fully available, btw.
After he made a giant Italian fresco-colored wall work for them in Hartford, the Wadsworth Atheneum curated Sol Lewitt into the 1996 São Paulo Biennale, where he made giant fresco-colored wall works there, too. Bands of color radiated off of three-, four-, five-, six-, seven-, eight-, and nine-pointed stars. The project was memorialized in a t-shirt collab with M. Officer, the Brazilian Gap. The giant label on the front confirms it was sponsored by the United States Information Agency, The National Endowment for The Arts, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Arts International IIE [The Institute for International Education].
Five years ago, you could have bought two of these t-shirts for $418. Or you can get one right now on eBay for $1500. If you want to try splitting the difference, a t-shirt owned by modern design aficionados Michael and Gabrielle Boyd is being auctioned in a few days. Me, except for figuring out if these were really screenprinted, I’m not that interested. I’m happy to see what the next Uniqlo collab drags in.
I could be doing worse than to be known as the guy trying to find Cy Twombly’s first Picasso. This is at least the second, which makes the other one at least the third.
Amanita, a Florence-based gallery founded by “a veritable boy-band” of dealers, including Twombly’s grandson Caio, opened a permanent space on the Bowery last fall. Their current show of 28 drawings spanning 100 years, includes at least two works by Nonno Twombly, including the extravagantly framed Picasso head above.
For those keeping a timeline, the head above is from 1985, three years before the copy Twombly made of a 1939 painting. That still leaves Twombly’s first Picasso, which is also the first painting he ever made, he said, unseen. That, any any additional Twombly Picassos in between. [shoutout to ctorre, 165bleeckerst, and matt/touchtone7 for sending this image along via instagram. We’ll get our Twombly Picasso boy band back together soon, I can feel it.]