March 22, 2017, 9:39am
Arthur Peña: We first met in 2011 while I was at RISD and what stuck with me from that meeting was a story of how your father wasn’t allowed in museums because they were still segregated. How I remember the rest of the story is you saying that when you did have your first museum show you wanted to make paintings big enough that they wouldn’t fit through the door and the museum would have to work to get them in. Did I remember that right?
Stanley Whitney: Well it’s true that my father couldn’t go in to the Philadelphia Museum. Jack Whitten calls those years the “American Apartheid.” I have lots of stories of paintings not fitting through doors but I don’t think it’s exactly those circumstances. Although, I might have mentioned something like that. It could have been related to a story from around 2006 when my dealer José Freire came to me and asked me to make the biggest work I could make to take to Basel to try and make things happen because he kept putting me in shows and no one was paying me any mind. So I made the biggest painting I could make in my studio, 96 x 96 in., and to get it out we had to cut it in half to get it through the door. We showed it on a big expensive wall and it didn’t sell.
March 14, 2017, 8:20am
This interview took place on the occasion of Bleckner’s solo show, “Find a peaceful place where you can make plans for the future” at the Dallas Contemporary.
March 13, 2017, 12:34pm
Up close, buried in it, approached with a loupe, it feels like … Christ …. like static on the wire, like the first crepuscular creepings of dextromethorphan—mucilaginous medicine the color old blood sloshing down sulci and optic nerves and then back up again—like a cataract, hot shimmering light and textual fuzz, an uncanny fading in, selachian skin rising up from a great obfuscating darkness—the darkness of the upstairs hallway when someone other than your parents had to put you to bed; the darkness of water the first time you are bifurcated by it; the darkness of every corner after a horror movie; the darkness of depths, of fainting, of dying—which is, despite its nature, because of it? you recognize the darkness, it's the door, but you don't know it, but it's shimmering, glistening, with promise and menace both—don't shark eyes glisten, and cobra hoods, and hypodermic needles, and freshly mopped floors, and sugars and fruits and feathers and halos?—and the simple fact of the matter is, presented with nothing but this great obfuscating black door, cruel Janus!, which seems to shine like the cheek bones of a post-performance circus artist and the soft spears of light the color of heliotropes, the gentle envoys of the blinding OR brightness behind the great obfuscating black door, you have all manner of reference points—a lifetime of them, memories and experiences and impressions and moments—but not a single solitary fucking cardinal direction; is the door holding something back? is it holding you back? should you go through it? should you hope and pray and scream and kick so that you never cross its threshold?
Do you die? – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
January 25, 2017, 9:00am
In the last few weeks, artists have gotten involved in creating signs, banners, and other creative march accoutrements for the Women’s March on Washington, as well as at least 240 other domestic and international cities. Artists such as Shepard Fairey, Jessica Sabogal, and Ernesto Yerena Montejano, donated their time and creativity, offering free poster downloads like these. These ten prints were seen in many shapes, sizes, and iterations at marches worldwide. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
January 10, 2017, 8:35am
I'm visiting one of two studios that Ted Laredo occupies, and he shows me an anomalous piece with text that reads: Art is easy. It's an unexpected bit of humor in his otherwise refined body of work, and not what I expected. This piece upends his minimalist aesthetic, and hints at the range of his studio practice, which is expanding in all kinds of ways. - Diana Gaston, New Mexico Contributor
December 28, 2016, 10:20am
Here we have presented, in a perfect circle, as if in a petri dish or memorial china plate or a porthole—which, by the way, is the vanguard of windows, the aperture we gaze at when we want to be kept safely, securely, hermetically safe from whatever is on the other end of the thin pane we slick with the heat of our faces—the kind of pleasing gridded surface, so straight!, so soothing!, so perfectly correct and uniform!, bone white squares cut by aurelian lines ostensibly lineal but in actually imperfect, bulging a bit, a bit sloppy, like a military garrison on parade—so close to perfect, but still (for now) human!—or the grout lines in your bathroom … yes!, it's a bathroom floor, encircled in the petri dish, viewed through the porthole, bathroom tiles gridded out with gold, surrounded by marble (of course!), perfect save a pox, the red of dried blood—it's the brightest color in the whole room, really, this dried-deoxygenated-but-still-too-fresh blood, each splock with its own idiosyncratic hair style, pili radiating as is from the weakest sun, clumping into constellations, gentle parabolic forms like arched eyebrows, carrying in them a sense of ad-hoc exigency, the kinetic beautiful violence requisite for their application demonstrated in their forms, an abstract take on a passage from a Bret Easton Ellis novel—The bathroom reeks of bleach and disinfectant and the floor is wet and gleaming even though the maid hasn't started cleaning in here yet; Glamorama, pg. 256—a form of silent violence, an echo of a moment captured in all of its chaos atop a bone white grid, gleaming with gold, surrounded by marble, a porthole into God's own bathroom…- B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
December 20, 2016, 10:11am
Twenty-thousand years after man first huddled in a dimly lit cave and consciously placed marks upon a wall in an attempt to better understand, and perhaps change, the world, contemporary artists continue to make marks on two-dimensional surfaces with much the same intent. No matter how many times painting has “died” over the years, it keeps coming back to take another shot - reanimated, reinvigorated and ready to deliver the goods. And why not? People still respond and attend to the oldest of mediums with a reverence that no other artifact of cultural production can elicit.
In 2016, artists continued to make paintings, while galleries and cultural institutions dedicated the majority of their exhibition space to their display. During art fair week in Miami in early December, which was marred by low attendance due to post-election malaise and the specter of Zika, there was more painting on view than ever. Photography and other media were scarce. As was evident last year, much of the painting of display was representational with the preponderance of figurative subject matter being notable. Even at the younger fairs such as NADA, there was an almost complete absence of the type of bland, process-based abstraction that had been everywhere for the last five years. Ever aware of the latest trends, smart dealers of all levels have scrambled to bring image based painting into their programs.
I am happy to see that many of the artists that I selected for last year’s list had stellar years. Brian Belott seemed to be everywhere having been taken on by both Gavin Brown and Moran Bondaroff in 2016. Emerging artists Loie Hollowell and Laeh Glenn both became collector darlings in 2016, and mature artist Nancy Shaver had a very strong outing at Derek Eller that received positive critical attention. – Steven Zevitas, Editor/Publisher
December 12, 2016, 8:58am
On a recent trip to Rome, Italy, I had the great fortune of seeing and experiencing William Kentridge’s Triumphs and Laments: A Project for Rome, a vanishing frieze along the banks of the Tiber river. Kentridge is a well-established South African multimedia artist best known not only for his beautiful drawings and animated shorts such as Felix in Exile (1994), but also for his keen humor and stunning ability to shed light upon the darkest of human nature, while ultimately highlighting our human capacity to reconcile, love, and laugh. - Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles (Reporting From Rome)
December 09, 2016, 6:37am
For two years now, Pulse has been located at Indian Beach Park, which means it's not the easiest fair to get to. Hopefully, in the future, fair organizers will better take advantage of the location and allow in more natural light (take a cue from Untitled and Scope) and beach views. Regardless, it always seems worth going to Pulse given the consistent quality of the fair. Below are some highlights from this year's fair. Enjoy! - Andrew Katz, Associate Publisher
All Photographs By Andrew Katz
December 08, 2016, 10:26am
For art lovers, art fairs are a blessing and a curse. There is a lot to look at, but, unfortunately, it is almost impossible to really look at anything. Distractions are everywhere. Art Basel Miami is perhaps the most difficult environment to focus on art that I have ever encountered. Navigating the crowds that aimlessly meander from one side of a congested aisle to another is challenging enough. Pair that with the siren call of hundreds of large scale works in every media simultaneously screaming for your attention and you will find art fair malaise setting in rapidly.
The 2016 iteration of Miami Basel was as overwhelming as ever, even if, as the press has widely noted, there were fewer people in attendance. It was hard to ignore some of the “major” works there – Lee Krasner’s 6 million dollar painting at Paul Kasmin, Sam Durant’s call to arms at Blum & Poe, and Yayoi Kusama’s infinity room at Victoria Miro, to name a few – but I tried my best not to get distracted. I found that the greatest visual pleasures came in small packages this year. The fair’s Survey Sector, which is dedicated to one-person exhibitions, was the highlight of the fair for me with Howardena Pindell, Margaret Kilgallen, Betye Saar, Giogio Morandi and Romare Bearden all looking stellar. Many other great works could be found in the Miami Convention Center if you gave it time.
Here are some favorites from Miami Basel 2016. - Steven Zevitas, Editor/Publisher