Clothes Few Dare to Wear

Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons objects on display at The Met’s Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between advance press event. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art/

Rei Kawakubo invented Comme des Garçons (like some boys) in Japan in 1973, and her Paris debut in 1981 made fashion history. Rei’s art is boundary-breaking and remarkable: Continue reading

Grand Arts: Visions that Provoke and Disrupt

Grants Arts Sculpture

Rosemarie Fiore, process photo, The Good-Time Mix Machine: Scrambler Drawings, 2004.
Acrylic paint on vinyl, 60 x 60 ft. (Photograph courtesy E.G. Schempf)

Art creation takes more than time and money: it takes research, focus, and many kinds of support/teamwork. That’s one main message in Grand Arts 1995 – 2015 Problems and Provocations. When Glenn Harper assigned me to cover the Grand Arts opening of Pattie Cronin’s Memorial to a Marriage – a Carrara marble, Hosmer-inspired mortuary sculpture in Kansas City, Missouri around 2002, I had heard of Margaret Hall Silva’s arts foundation from artist Jeff Aeling (1996 awardee), but I didn’t realize until I read this book how messy and blindly optimistic Grand Arts was to commission work as revolutionary as Cronin’s Memorial and Sanford Biggers’ Blossom – a piano “born” from a tree, which, on its own, plays a soulful version of Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit. Continue reading

Eyal Weizman’s The Roundabout Revolutions Critical Spatial Practice 6

Eyal Weizman Sculpture

Eyal Weizman, Folly, 2013. Photo by Kyungsub Shin

For the latest edition in the Critical Spatial Practice series from Sternberg Press, Israeli intellectual and architect (and Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmith’s College in London) Eyal Weizman has turned his attention to protest and revolution. In a perhaps timely (and at this point arguably necessary fashion), he gives particular attention to the Arab Spring Protests that began in Tunisia in December 2010, the ripples of which are still shaping global politics at the moment with Civil Wars in Syria and Libya especially.   Continue reading

Tom Burtonwood’s Twenty-Something Sullivan


In the Makerverse, Tom Burtonwood is a familiar name. Since 2014 he has contributed to Make‘s Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing. Scroll Thingiverse, and you’ll likely cross paths with one of his more than 200 designs (most likely one of his score of scans for the Art Institute of Chicago). On occasion, one of his 3D projects makes a couple of waves on boingboing, 3Ders, and the tech section of other websites. Most recently, he’s produced a 3D-printed book entitled “Twenty-Something Sullivan,” which features nine architectural details created early in Louis Sullivan’s career. The project is a two-year collaboration with his friend, City of Chicago Cultural Historian Tim Samuelson, and will be on view in the exhibition “Transmissions,” at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mount Vernon IL, Feb 20 – May 1. Continue reading

A Languid Wander: a catalog review of A Better Nectar

A Better Nectar Sculpture

Bob and Jessica at his studio working on the score for Resonant Nest. Photograph by Aisha Singleton, 2014

Mid-September saw the publication of A Better Nectar by University Art Museum at the California State University Long Beach: a profusely illustrated 88-page catalog for the exhibition of the same name by Jessica Rath. The exhibition ran from January 27 through April 12, 2015. As the title of the catalog and exhibition might suggest, it has something to do with bees. Continue reading

Boaz Vaadia: Sculpture 1971–2012

Boaz Scultpure

The work of Boaz Vaadia is among the most recognizable sculpture in today’s gallery, museum, and public art venues. His stacked-stone figures (solo, in family groups, sometimes with companion animals) are evocative and distinctive. A handsome book from Hudson Hills Press, with text by Wendy Steiner, Ivan C. Karp, Anthony Brown, and the artist himself, not only gives many excellent photographs of the work but also a great deal of context for the sculpture and a good sense of the origins and development of Vaadia’s art. Continue reading