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Monday
Apr212014

Simplest Means, Jeff Bailey Gallery 

Oh the Quakers, how we love them. And, they always get dragged out once a decade or so for some reason or other. And man, do I wish it were to talk about something like income inequality – which they detested, hence why they embraced such simple designs. Here, in a review for Frieze magazine I get to talk about that, but also, weirdly, formalism. I think the last time I got to even say the word I was in college... And you know it was kind of fun to talk about formalism. Whisper the word to yourself and then read the review...

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Friday
Mar282014

The Plagiarist is Present: Thoughts on Art, Theft, Shia, Marina and Jay-Z

This started out as an essay on four paintings by Rochelle Feinstein, an artist whose work I love. It's tricky, funny, smart and angry. She also finds something like the Abramovic Method, which bugs her and me, and uses it to generate work. I took the Abramovic Method, which involves something a bit between EST and ESP and thought about the real, copying, fidelity, plagiarism and celebrity. Plus Big Foot and two fake Vermeers in Washington DC. The essay is weird, additive, hybrid – and also makes me damned glad for The Weeklings which published it, that there is a place to push the boundaries of the form. Also a place where I can write about contemporary art like this. So without further ado (and with video of Lady Gaga naked): The Plagiarist is Present.

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Thursday
Mar202014

"I now find myself on the other side of the curtain."

This March the Whitney Biennial opened. And, this year one of the curators was an artist, Michelle Grabner. She also lives and works outside what's typically considered the art world's centers. She lives in the 'burbs, runs a gallery, the Suburban, with her husband in her garage and another, The Poor Farm, in rural Wisconsin – on a former poor farm. We talked for the Believer about the process behind curating the Biennial, a show that has never once included Michelle. We talk about that being pretty weird, the establishment stuff and wanting to make the whole process transparent. I have to say, being one who lives outside the art world's centers and can find that world a bit daunting, while liking art very much and liking to write about it and also wanting to be in a rural place and write and think about art in that place and make art that might be seen by a wider audience, I find her pretty inspiring. She's also nice and likes football and wears gray sweatshirts supporting the Packers. Oh, and one other thing, process interviews for the Believer are generally with an artist about putting together a single work. So, obviously this whole idea riffed on that idea...

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Wednesday
Mar122014

Brand Crazy

Every museum wants a new logo, a new identity. Why? I went to a meeting with one and came back to report on it. I won't say where or for whom, but it did lead me to think about all the new logos and what lies behind them. They all seem like a version of the same thing – and the same goals. I wrote this for Metropolis magazine, where I am a contributing editor.

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Tuesday
Mar112014

Genzken and the City

The Isa Genzken retrospective at MoMA was great for many reasons and one is to see how Genzken tangles with cities, with architecture and built spaces and asks bigger questions of our world. Her work is amazing, enlarging, funny, sometimes troubling and her take on the city both transgressive and transcendent. It also seemed the perfect riposte to MoMA's Folk Art Museum hell and the "art bay." I mean what else would an artist who puts oyster shells on the outside of a moquette think? I wrote this take on her work and the art bay for Design Observer. (Also if you read it on their site, Lorrain Wild who designed the catalogue, logs on with a smart comment on Genzken too).

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