Monday, March 31, 2008

The Carnegie International - Mark Bradford + Cao Fei

Continuing with CI08 artists

Mark Bradford Kryponite

Additional sources here and here

Hey, here's one that I am looking forward to seeing in meatspace. The image above is really rich, great texture. Really frenetic. But make sure you check out both of the above links. As an added bonus -- And stretching the length of the cavernous room is his latest project, "Ridin' Dirty," an ambitiously sprawling mural for the São Paulo Bienal later this year. "The goal of the piece," he says, "is to make the viewer feel the presence of global 'ghost economies,' cities covered with rectangles of paper made identical by visual hyper-local communication." It already measures 15 by 25 feet, but Bradford says he wants it "larger, much larger." You can read the rest of the article of of the Sikkema Jenkins site t the above link. Just click on Press.

Cao Fei i, Mirror

Look, this is a catalog, kind of. I am including, alphabetically, all of the artists in CI08. But let me just mention right up front here that I have a great antipathy to video art. I believe that the medium is fraught with subtext. I believe that the media is difficult to achieve anything beyond the most ephemeral of ideas. It is too tied to one timestream for me.

But for those of you that don't feel the same way, here is a link to a few of Cao Fei's videos.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Life on Mars - Kai Althoff

Continuing with the CI08 preview -

From Kai Althoff's Saatchi my Gallery - Althoff's soldiers are drawn with delicate stylized dandyism. Conveyed with refined nobility, debauchery and humanity become indistinguishable; cruelty is portrayed with an acute tenderness. Flattened to an almost decorative motif, Althoff’s scene reads like theatre. Reminiscent of Georg Grosz's depictions of Berlin’s WW1 underworld, deplorable action is staged for consensual pleasure, a chic poster glamorizing the (un)desirable.

The thing that first struck me about this artist's work was the antique quality of his imagery. Instead of depicting a modern soldier, he has chosen to depict soldiers from decades ago. I saw this particularly on the Saatchi gallery page. Although in the Google image search there are a number of pieces whose depiction was more contemporary, I would say that the majority took their inspiration from the 1920's - 40's. I've noticed this a lot with contemporary representational artists. I am sure that this is supposed to be ever so ironic and referential and all of that contemporary Art-As-Cloistered-Society vibe.

At any rate, this is a pretty strong contrast to what I found for Doug Aitken.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Life on Mars

Well, I was poking around a bit on the Carnegie Museum site, hoping that the promised CI08 website would be up. I did find an interview that was good -

From Frieze Magazine: James Trainor interviews Douglas Fogle
DF: The show will be about the relationship between a viewer and an object, and between the artist and the world. Viktor Shklovsky, the Russian formalist critic, wrote in 1917 that the revolutionary poet is one who can make the stone a little bit more stony. I love this: it sums up what an artist does, taking a little slice of the world and showing it to us again slightly differently. I think art can affect the world, and I think it does so in an intimate way. This is the kind of art that I’m interested in for the show. Read the article

Doug Aitken

Heart As Arena has posted about Doug Aitken a few times. I have never seen this artist's work, but given Brent's enthusiasm, I am looking forward to seeing what is included in the Life on Mars exhibit. Unfortunately, the sites I have been looking at won't allow me to snag any test for this post; you'll just have to follow the links out from Brent's posts. Please do, you won't be disappointed.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Carnegie International - Just the facts

So, there have been some changes with Carnegie International. Usually, this survey of contemporary art is held in alternating years. The last one was four years ago. Historically, the show opened in Septemebr and ran through the end of the year. This International will open in May, just a scant six weeks away. But it will run until mid-January of 2009. This is also the first themed International, Life on Mars.

Here is the roster of artists appearing in Life on Mars --

Doug AITKEN, United States, b. 1968
Kai ALTHOFF, Germany, b. 1966
Mark BRADFORD, United States, b. 1961
CAO Fei, China, b. 1978
Vija CELMINS, United States, b. 1938
Phil COLLINS, England, b. 1970
Bruce CONNER, United States, b. 1933
Peter FISCHLI, Switzerland, b. 1952 and David WEISS, Switzerland, b. 1946
Ryan GANDER, England, b. 1976
Daniel GUZMÁN, Mexico, b. 1964
Thomas HIRSCHHORN, Switzerland, b. 1957
Richard HUGHES, England, b. 1974
Mike KELLEY, United States, b.1954
Friedrich KUNATH, Germany, b. 1974
Maria LASSNIG, Austria, b. 1919
Sharon LOCKHART, United States, b. 1964
Mark MANDERS, The Netherlands, b. 1968
Barry McGEE, United States, b. 1966
Mario MERZ, Italy, b. 1925, d. 2003
Marisa MERZ, Italy, b. 1931
Matthew MONAHAN, United States, b. 1972
Rivane NEUENSCHWANDER, Brazil, b. 1967
NOGUCHI Rika, Japan, b. 1971
Manfred PERNICE, Germany, b. 1963
Susan PHILIPSZ, Scotland, b. 1965
Wilhelm SASNAL, Poland, b. 1972
Thomas SCHÜTTE, Germany, b. 1954
Ranjani SHETTAR, India, b. 1977
David SHRIGLEY, England, b. 1968
Paul SIETSEMA, United States, b. 1968
Rudolf STINGEL, Italy, b. 1956
Katja STRUNZ, Germany, b. 1970
Paul THEK, United States, b. 1933, d. 1988
Wolfgang TILLMANS, Germany, b. 1968
Rosemarie TROCKEL, Germany, b. 1952
Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL, Thailand, b. 1970
Andro WEKUA, Georgia, b. 1977 - male
Richard WRIGHT, England, b. 1960
Haegue YANG, Korea, b. 1971

I did start to run searches on some of the artists, but not enough to get a feel for how the show will look. However, this post is more statistical than analytical. Just for my own edification, I found that of the forty artists in the exhibit, twelve are female and twenty-eight are male. I also did a break down on age --

1 deceased
5 over 60 y/o
6 in their 50's
14 in their 40's
14 in their 30's