Saturday, December 18, 2010

Recommended Reading and Some Announcements

Shepard Fairey with Jeffrey Deitch and Fab 5 Freddy at Fairey's exhibition at the Deitch Gallery last May
By Charles Kessler

I never liked Shepard Fairey and this clinches it. The weasel "obeys" his dealer, now LAMOCA Director Jeffery Deitch, and defends the whitewashing over Blu's mural.

Europe Rules That Dan Flavin and Bill Viola Artworks Are Not Art
...the European Commission ruled that installations by Dan Flavin and Bill Viola cannot be classified as "art" by the galleries importing them. Instead of being subject to the five percent VAT (value-added tax) on artworks, such pieces will be taxed at the standard VAT, which will rise to 20 percent in 2011.

I wanted to write something on museums reaching out to visitors, but Gail Gregg says it all in this Art News Article.

Via the always informative Art Newspaper:
When the High Line opens its second segment, known simply as Section 2, in the Spring next year, it will double the length of the public art park. This will “greatly increase the possibilities for artists to work site-specifically,” says Lauren Ross, the curator and director of art programmes for Friends of the High Line.
Some Jersey City announcements:
  • Pro Arts is having its third “Art Eat-Up” event on January 14th, 7-10 pm, Grace Church. For a small donation, there’s a meal, entertainment and you get to vote for proposals that artists submit. All profits go to the winning artists. Past "Eat-Ups" have been real uppers. Go here for details.
  • Also, Pro Arts is looking for a part-time Executive Director. Details are here.
  • Art House Productions will be having their annual "Snow Ball" on January 22nd. This is one of the classiest, most fun events in Jersey City, and it supports an impressive organization. Here are the details.


Carl Belz said...

I'm not convinced Gail Gregg says it all, just as I'm not convinced that the current rage for "contextualizing" is the most effective route to providing access to what works of art are about. The appeal to a narrative urge is as clear as it is seductive, but it can too easily lead to a reductive view of the artistic enterprise.

Charles Kessler said...

Of course I agree, Carl -- I exaggerated when I wrote Gail Gregg said it all. Nevertheless, I think her main point is important — that museum-goers need to be educated about the work — not in a dumbed down or simplistic narrative manner, but somehow.

It’s hard for me to believe that people really enjoying looking at art when I overhear inane conversations in museums about the frames, or the sex life of the artist, or how much the art is worth. I worry that museums, like churches, will feel it necessary to become more and more entertaining to keep their attendance up.

And I think educating the public can be done the right way. For example, last year’s Getty Museum exhibition, “Rembrandt and His Pupils,” compared the same subjects drawn by Rembrandt with those done by his pupils. They pointed out via texts, slides of details and videos, why Rembrandt’s work was better. It was one of the rare times I experienced people talking intelligently about the work and really being excited by it. I wrote about it here: