Monday, October 1, 2012

Art News

By Charles Kessler

Piero della Francesca paintings are coming to the Frick.
According to a report in the New York Timesfrom February 12th through May 19th, The Frick Collection will be exhibiting seven works by this great 15th century Italian artist. It will be the first exhibition in the United States devoted to Piero. 

Out-of-towners —plan your visit to New York accordingly!
Piero della Francesca, Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Angels, c. 1460-70, Oil possibly with some tempera on panel, transferred to fabric on panel, 107.8 x 78.4 cm (The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute).

Two interviews and a profile:
An entertaining interview with Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight.
 I go to a show, and I see a bunch of stuff, and I have some thoughts, and I get confused, and I don’t know what that is, and I take a bunch of notes. It’s a way of processing it for myself. Then I sit down and start to write about it to figure what it is I think. And that’s when it happens. It doesn’t really happen in front of the work. It happens when I’m writing.
And a reverential interview with intelligent answers from the mononymous Hudson, the director of Feature, Inc., one of the oldest and best galleries in the Lower East Side.

Hudson at work
And this long-overdue profile: The Man Behind the CalArts Mafia: A Portrait of Jack Goldstein, 10 years after his suicide.
Jack Goldstein, White Dove, 1975, a still from a 20-second 16mm film with sound.
An enormous geometric mosaic was recently discovered in Antoichia ad Cragum, an ancient city along the southern Turkey coast. Not only is the mosaic of significant artistic value in itself, but it's also evidence of the great reach of the Roman Empire. Check here for more photos. 
Poolside Roman mosaic, probably third or fourth century, 1600 square feet (Photo: University of Nebraska, Lincoln).
Clements makes the case that non-profits, because of their tax-free status, use money that would have been public money but that becomes privately controlled, usually by white, very rich men. Wealthy individuals can thereby fund organizations that promote their personal beliefs rather than letting the public, through their representatives, decide how the money should be spent. 

In addition, he poses these provocative questions:
Why does the nonprofit structure have to mimic corporate structure? Could you work within that structure to place artists and community members on the board and in leadership roles? Are you working to preserve a salary or to pursue a mission? And are your goals served by having to maintain a staff, be subject to the demands of funders, and adopting someone else’s leadership model? 

Two Chelsea exhibitions:

Jackson Pollock & Tony Smith: Sculpture. An Exhibition on the Centennial of their BirthsMatthew Marks Gallery, 502 West 22 Street (until October 27th). 
Jackson Pollock, untitled, 1956, plaster, sand, gauze and wire, 9 x 12 x 5 inches (Photo: Matthew Marks Gallery).
This extraordinary exhibition consists of two practically unknown sculptures by Jackson Pollock, made just weeks before he was killed in an auto accident on August 11th. They were created in the backyard of Tony Smith's house on the same weekend as Smith made his very first sculpture (cast from an egg crate — see below), which is also in the exhibition along with two other sculptures Smith made that year. 
Tony Smith, Untitled, 1956, concrete 3 ¾ x 8 ⅜ x 6 ⅝ inches (Photo: Matthew Marks Gallery).
An enormous Tony Smith sculpture on display further down on 22nd Street, in Matthew Mark's large space (until October 27th), took my breath away. Smith came a long way in a decade.
Tony Smith, Source, 1967, painted steel, 132 x 354 x 408 inches.

More New York 1970s - 1980s. 

The New Museum has two panel discussions coming up about this period:
Graffiti/Post Graffiti screening and panel discussion, Thursday, October 4th at 7 pm ($8, free for members). They will be screening Paul Tschinkel’s Graffiti/Post Graffiti (1984, 28 min), a documentary that includes interviews with artists Jean-Michel Basquiat, Rammellzee, and Lady Pink, and gallery dealers Patti Astor and Tony Shafrazi. Participants on the panel will be Patti Astor, Fab 5 Freddy, Marc H. Miller, and Paul Tschinkel.

Alternatives in Retrospect: Artist-run Spaces in the 1970s and 1980s, Friday, October 5th, 7 pm (free).
This panel is about the development of alternative spaces in New York and how they were critical for presenting young artists and new ideas. Participants will be Stefan Eins, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Becky Howland and Joe Lewis. It will be moderated by Walter Robinson.

Finally, there's the heart-rending film How to Survive a Plague, a documentary about the efforts of a group of young people with no scientific training who fought for the development of promising new drugs to fight AIDS and pushed to move them quickly through experimental trials, thereby saving the lives of thousands during the worst of the AIDS epidemic. 
Still from the documentary, How to Survive a Plague.

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