The week Kevyn Orr decided the Detroit Institute of Arts was fair game in the city's bankruptcy and hired Christie's to assess the collection. I found myself in Detroit with a day to spare and got to visit the collection. Here's my assessment – opinionated, art historical(ish), feminist on what should stay or go and why which appeared on The Weeklings and then Salon.
Entries in Eva Hesse (4)
Take art, add bacteria. Question minimalism, and you get Jennifer Sirey’s experiments with science and bacteria make some of the most compelling and disturbing art today. I write about them in The Weeklings...
FOR MICHELLE LOPEZ, the surface is all. It’s folded, glossy, wilting, crumpled, covered in glinting skateboard grip tape or high-luxe leather and else powder-coated. And, somehow in the surface truth is revealed, a truth that goes deeper than skin, deeper certainly than the powder-coated metal, but getting to that truth, you want to know your art history. She quotes the past, questioning it and subjecting it to an elegant dialogue and a rather brutal debate – sometimes involving her own work.
OBERTA SMITH PRAISED Michelle Segre ebulliently in the Times this spring going on about her “porous, freewheeling somewhat crazed assemblages.” The Brooklyn Rail began its piece on her with a long disquisition about art that gets bigger and slicker and ever more market driven, then cuts to the chase and says Segre is none of the above. She most definitely is not. She is the fairy tale gone awry, and her work sports giants gods eyes and chicken bones. It’s somewhere between folk art and the Watts Towers or, as she puts it: Eva Hesse, Time-Life Science books and Star Trek. There is a weirdness to her work, with the handmade made giant, and she will use whatever is to hand. Witness her last show with a mailbox and milk cartons and pitchforks. There’s trash and found objects. “Even,” she says, “an object my eight year-old has attacked with nails and hammer. Everything is up for grabs.” Including her own work. It is ready to be digested and repurposed. That chicken bone, say? It was originally from a series she did in 1997 of giant chicken bones. All to scale. Now It looks like it’s been given conduit pipe arms and is holding hands with string. The piece is called “Transmissions of The Threadbare, 1997-2012.” She fully admits, “I didn’t literally work on that for 15 years, the dating is a little joke on seeing artists [with their grand claims and monumental aims] date their work with five year time spans.”