Peaceful Places: Washington, D.C.

At the turn of the century, after the industrial revolution led people to cities in droves to find work, German philosopher Georg Simmel observed a change in human behavior. Over-stimulated by multitudes of people, advertisements, buildings, cars, and noise, city folk tended toward emotional detachment from one another, despite and because of living and working in such close proximity. Continue reading

Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape

As part of a touring Miró retrospective, which started at Tate Modern last spring and is currently up at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (through August 2012), curators Marko Daniel and Matthew Gale have published Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape, a monograph covering the entirety of the artist’s career. In contrast to your typical retrospective catalogue, The Ladder of Escape emphasizes how Miró and his work were affected by the political history of his native Catalonia, Franco’s Spain, and World War II.

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On the High Line: Exploring America’s Most Original Urban Park

In the three years since the High Line opened, it has become New York’s favorite park. Planted on the abandoned elevated railroad tracks that cross more than 20 blocks of the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea, and Hell’s Kitchen, the High Line is a unique public space, where people can get away from the city for a moment and look down on the hustle and bustle from a calm garden space. In On the High Line, lifelong New Yorker Annik La Farge thoroughly presents the park and its environs, providing histories of the railroad and its transformation over the years, the buildings around it, the changing nature of the neighborhoods it traverses, and its plants and wildlife.

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Nevin Aladağ: Sahne | Stage

Running now through May 27, 2012, Nevin Aladağ’s exhibition “Sahne|Stage” populates ARTER’s Istanbul galleries with fantastical curtains of hair. In each composition, the brightly colored, artificial strands hang from a pole, alternately parted in the middle, pulled back, even braided or in loose pigtails. Elegant and evocative, these allusive works manage to convey specific hairstyles as well as functioning stage curtains. The larger works are interactive, and visitors can step into a recessed wall space behind the hair and perform as if on a stage or watch others doing so. This performative theatricality also extends to the works themselves—synthetic and often neon colored, they are  flamboyant costume wigs that don’t even try to look like real hair.

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RE-tooling RESIDENCIES: A Closer Look at the Mobility of Art Professionals

In 2009, the European Commission began a two-year-long research program exploring the practices, outcomes, and influence of artist and curatorial residencies and assessing how such programs contribute to “artistic mobility.” The ultimate goal of the RE-tooling RESIDENCIES project was to compile an in-depth resource for artists and organizations involved—or thinking about getting involved—in the world of residencies, with a close eye cast specifically on Eastern Europe. The project culminated in a conference that brought together artists, curators, activists, managers, and theoreticians for a larger discussion of approaches to residencies. RE-tooling RESIDENCIES: A Closer Look at the Mobility of Art Professionals is a product of the project and conference.

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The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context

Historically, art-making has been associated with individual expression and artists have been seen as creative geniuses isolated from mainstream society, attempting to communicate creatively through visual means. In the aftermath of World War II, after having experienced the dire consequences of staunch individualism (i.e., nationalism), keeping the peace through cooperation arose in all spheres of human experience, including the arts. Rather than Dadaist (or other) approaches to the horrors of war, postwar art brought about a more forward-looking optimism. Artists became drawn to collaboration, and the collective was born.

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Cashing in on Culture: Betraying the Trust at the Rose Art Museum

Francine Koslow Miller, regular contributor to Sculpture and alumna of Brandeis University, was shocked to hear a couple of years ago that her beloved Rose Art Museum was scheduled to be shut down due to the economic crisis. Following the events that transpired since Brandeis University’s then-president, Jehuda Reinharz, announced the museum’s demise in January 2009, Miller has come out with a new book, tracing the history of the museum, how it almost shut down, and the community backlash that ultimately saved it.

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