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/BFA.com

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

Sophie Calle: Bury your Secrets at Green-Wood Cemetery!

Photo by Leandro Justen, Courtesy of Creative Time.

Today’s blog is about a personal secret and a super-cathartic art event that will continue for 25 years. Sophie Calle is a major writer, photographer, and performance artist; her stunning photographs and finely-printed books are currently at 192 Books, New York. Her book True Stories reveals all kinds of intimate encounters, including shipping her bed to a stranger recovering from heartbreak and her last week with a lover with whom she was breaking up. Continue reading

Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms

Lygia Pape Sculpture

Lygia Pape (Brazilian, 1927–2004) Livro do tempo (Book of Time) 1961–1963 Tempera and acrylic on wood; 365 parts Photo by Paula Pape © Projeto Lygia Pape

The Lydia Pape exhibition at the Met Bruer through July 23 is a revelation. Altogether, every aspect of its catalog demonstrates the artist’s originality, her ways of championing Brazil’s indigenous cultures and architecture – such as the impoverished seaside Favela da Maré built on stilts, and her geo-philosophical ways of making art. Continue reading

In the Studio with Saya Woolfalk’s Empathics

Saya Woolfalk sculpture

Saya Woolfalk. Virtual Chimeric Space, 2015 (Installation View). Mixed media with HD Digital Video Projections 42 x 12 x 12 feet. Commissioned by the Seattle Art Museum

Saya Woolfalk’s invented universe at Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects through May 6 is immediately accessible yet infinitely complicated. Her Chima TEK Empathics live in a future world that reframes core questions facing us today: identity, cultural transference, cloning, and virtual reality vs. real life. Continue reading

In the Studio: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: A Universe of Fragile Mirrors: Experiencing the Materiality

Marché Salomon: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Marché Salomon, 2015. Courtesy the artista and Galería Agustina Ferreyra

Marché Salomon: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Marché Salomon, 2015. Courtesy the artista and Galería Agustina Ferreyra

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is gifted at researching, performing, and filming alternative narratives of Caribbean cultures that incorporate anthropology, cosmology, and spiritual beliefs while also paying attention to the ways that politics and government may alter/distort/interfere with those cultural traditions. Muñoz’s solo exhibition at El Museo del Barrio on view through April 30, 2017 has traveled to New York from the Perez Art Museum, Miami and was curated by PAMM Curator Maria Elena Ortiz. El Museo has invited Muñoz to curate her selections from its collection as well, starting with the Taino objects at the opening of her exhibition. Continue reading

Ruth Hardinger: In the Studio

 

Ruth Hardinger Sculpture

Layers Rise #1, 2016, concrete, concrete, cardboard, graphite, plaster, marble dust, acrylic, Photos by Robert Lowell

Ruth Hardinger is a passionate environmental activist, and her art-making materials, processes, and forms stem from this. Her studio — about 900 square feet with high ceilings — is filled with different series she has made or is still making. Some will be in a solo show at the David & Schweitzer Contemporary, Bushwick from February 17 –March 12, 2017.  D&S will also exhibit Hardinger’s work at Volta, March 1-5, 2017. Heavy totem-like cement sculptures stand above medium-tall and smaller works; the walls, tables, and floor are covered with beautiful natural rocks and smaller cement and mixed media pieces. Stacks of graphite works on paper and graphite on flattened milk cartons lie in a large mound in one area.  Monumental framed graphite works weighing over 200 pounds each hang high on studio walls, and a giant graphite rubbing titled 72 of 74 commands the back wall. I estimate that the studio holds more than 40 large and small sculptures and more than 200 two-dimensional works. Hardinger has another studio upstate as well. Playwright Edward Albee III (3.12.1928 – 9.16.2016) owned seven of her works. Continue reading

Jes Fan in their Studio: The Miracle of Gender

Jes Fan Sculpture

Jes Fan, Testosoap

Hurry to Jes Fan’s studio at the Museum of Art and Design (MAD) to see the wonders they have been creating between October and January.¹ ⁺ ²  If you like, return February 27 – April 9 to see their exhibition in MAD’s Project Room and plan to see their show at Vox Populi in May/June. Even after my second visit, there was too much to see in the small MAD studio where Fan is a Van Lier Fellow. As I look around, I admire their play with materials, contradictions, and ideas about identity politics, including gender and race. The pink and black barbells and weights are light instead of heavy, twisted or curving instead of straight. Jes is making hanging sculptures out of soybeans, the miracle bean that was a food staple in China since 2800 B.C.  One soybean-encapsuled object is shaped like adrenal glands, which secrete the body’s hormones. A silicone slab form with embedded soybeans is setting in its mold. As Fan lifts it, they relate, “Silicone is a bodily material that stays wet physically.” Nearby two hairbrushes lie sideways, a long swirl of black hair (instead of bristles) connecting the two handles.

Continue reading