On Saturday I took shelter from the pouring rain in Spencer Brownstone Gallery, Soho.
Tinyvices.com is a show by Tim Barber, but it contains work by over 60 artists who have contributed to the tinyvices website:
"Tinyvices is a re-conceptualized web log. It functions as a community publication, an editorial project, an art gallery and archive. The site receives thousands of daily hits, and hundreds of new images are sent in for consideration every month..."
The show is made up of an installation of a plethora of imagery (mostly photographs) from the site - the work of artists both known and unknown. The site includes an amazing array of imagery, including some fascinating imagery from World War II. At first glance the show appears to be an almost random soup of this imagery, but the installation skillfully weaves the images into some kind of incisive logic. The images are widely varied in subject and style, but the scrapbooking process of the installation manages to connect the threads and repetitions of what people have chosen to photograph, whilst hinting at something deeper: our desire to record things photographically and our interest in sharing these images within a community on and off-line. Of course the hand of Tim Barber as gallery curator/artist makes this show as much about his subjectivity as it does any individual image, creating an unusual blur between artist and curator.
The rain just got worse in Chelsea, but I did find solace in a fair bit of interesting sculpture and an oddly refreshing lack of color. Tara Donovan at PaceWildenstein and Rona Pondick at Sonnabend are as different as they are technically masterful. But they are equally thrilling to encounter. The lack of color continued at Barbara Gladstone with the Matthew Barney show (watch your step!). Whilst I've not seen "Drawing Restraint 9" yet, and always approach Mr. Barney's work with a certain degree of skepticism, on this occasion it's hard not to revel in all that textural showmanship. Here the sculpture seemed to transcend it's relationship to the film, and the collapsing container in particular felt far less contrived than many of the Cremaster 'props'. The sheer visceral presence of the piece, along with it's curious relationship to Joseph Beuys certainly left me needing to see the new film that has prompted so many divided opinions.
"The Occidental Guest" by Matthew Barney at Barbara Gladstone
Now, I'm thinking perhaps the NY Times website redesign is actually just a ploy to sell more physical newspapers. I know I've been considering reverting to home delivery since my first game attempt at reading the new front page online yesterday.
Which brings me to our topic for the week: contemporary art magazines. What with all the art-blog proliferation these days, one might wonder how the printed monthly can compete. However, being the gallery graphic designer, I must say I love being blown away by the luscious color and velvety feel of a beautifully produced page. Not to mention reading thoughtful and well-researched articles which are longer than a paragraph or two.
Who knows how they stay in business - I just hope our gallery favorites keep rolling off the presses!
It's not an actual art mag, but I like The Brooklyn Rail — more of an arts newspaper with some politics thrown in. The editor describes it as having "Slanted opinions, artfully delivered".
Courtney's Esopus is cool — it feels like a collector's item. Lot's of foldouts and detachable thingamagiggys.
And I love Me Magazine. It's where they focus on one 'cool' person (usually art-related), and then draw a family tree of sorts connecting this 'cool' person to all of his/her 'cool' friends. Like a mini guide to the connections in the art world (you get to see how everyone knows each other... who was who's roommate in college, who dated who, etc.) Very fun reading. And tiny layout, so you can stick this magazine in your purse. Cute.
Who did we forget? Who should be forgotten? Let us know what you think.