Showing posts from February, 2009

Martin Kippenberger at the Museum of Modern Art | Review by Jill Conner

The much anticipated survey of Martin Kippenberger titled, "The Problem Perspective," is set to open next week at the Museum of Modern Art. This exhibition is astounding in scale and crosses an array of media all at once. While Kippenberger would easily lead one to believe that his vast number of multi-media installations, drawings, and paintings together portray him as a jack-of-all-trades and a master-of-none, this show stands as his critique upon the shallow nature of the conspicuous art market, the need for new trends and the disingenuousness that has been placed upon the artistic process.

Kippenberger added a self-portrait in nearly every work of art to frame the context of the contemporary art world upon himself, the individual artist. However due to his representions and appropriations of modern masters like Picasso, Joseph Beuys and Gerhard Richter, scholars have interpreted Kippenberger's work to represent a longing for such grand status. But Kippenberger…

Carolee Schneemann at P.P.O.W Gallery | Review by Jill Conner

Carolee Schneemann has been most remembered as a performance artist who dared to show and perform with her body in the early 1960s, when it was entirely taboo to do so. Intent on investigating whether a female sexual identity did in fact exist, many thought the artist used her own body as a canvas. However Schneemannn's art career began as a painter, and she always considered her physical body to be an extension of the paintbrush, and her performances, an extension of action painting. Due to the fact that performance art, at this time, progressed in tandem with larger socio-political movements such as Civil Rights and Vietnam War protests, the complete trajectory of Schneemann's career was truncated and eventually brushed aside once those turbulent social issues, so critical to the era, were seemingly solved. And yet Maura Reilly, curator of this show titled, "Painting, What It Became," has brought back the artist's paintings for further view due to the fact …

Panels at the New Museum and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council | Review by Jill Conner

by Jill Conner

Over the last two weeks, the New Museum and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council each hosted an event that directly took on the issues which New York City and the larger, globalized art community find themselves now facing. Budgets have fallen as companies throughout many sectors have laid off overwhelming numbers of staff, leaving many in the art community to wonder what will happen next? Are we headed for the 1970s all over again? "Museums and Civil Society - The Role of Artists, Institutions and Politics Now!" took place at the New Museum on February 12, 2009 and was divided into three panels that were hosted by the Austrian Cultural Forum. The LMCC, on the other hand, presented "The Shifting Skyline: Branding New York in Times of Financial Crisis," on February 18, 2009 which was a presentation by urban sociologist Miriam Greenberg. Although it is clear that all arts institutions will need to reconsider exactly how they can reach out to an eve…

Two Solo Shows at Smack Mellon | Review by Jill Conner

Kristen Hassenfeld and Jennie C. Jones feature two separate exhibitions within Smack Mellon's expansive space. Hassenfeld presents a series of monolithic-sized sculptures made primarily out of paper while Jones offers a compilation of sounds that emanate from several speakers located in the back. When put together, the sound art and sculptural installation play off of one another to create an ethereal environment, transforming the massive gallery space into a cathedral-like setting.

"Dans La Lune," (2009) is a small French phrase that means "head in the clouds" and consists of large, white jewelry-like ornaments that hang at all levels from the gallery's extremely high ceiling as an elaborate visual obstruction. Using the glass crystal ball as her modeling source, Hassenfeld meticulously assembled each component to look like flamboyant, baroque-chiseled forms that are held together by large, hand-made gems. Light emanates from just a few of the artist&#…

Erik Guzman at The Front Room Gallery | Review by David Gibson

Every artist these days has more than a simple aesthetic, they have their own mythology to promulgate. It’s as if they want to present their art work not only as an example of their creative qualifications, but to manifest elements across the spectrum of their artistic history as individuals. The determination of quality being highly subjective, we are required to engage ourselves with the work on hand to such a degree that its mythos becomes evident.

In the drawings and sculptures of Erik Guzman, we are presented with work which depends upon, and in some cases actually produces, a light source. Think of the light bulb going off in the thought balloon of a cartoon character. Other sources of light are less allegorical but no less mimetic, such as the sun pacing its track across the sky, developing a notion of transience and duration even as it falls prey to the same immutable forces. The sense of alarm, an interruption of daily life to manifest a sense of eventfulness, is the paramount…