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).
Entries in MoMA (5)
If she were a man, would we know who Isa Genzken had been married to? Or dated when she was a student? I doubt it, not for a master artist who over her careeer has produced several major bodies of work. But Genzken is a woman and MoMA sells her work using her biography and falls into the cliches that naturally might ensue. Still Isa Genzken is remarkable and you should know her name. Her take on the city and life – particularly NYC – is a triumph and transcendent. The first of two essay on Genzken this one for The Weeklings.
Paul Elliman leans against a curved wall of St Paul’s Cathedral, illuminated by a shaft of light. He’s in the dome’s whispering gallery, and in the photo it looks like he’s listening to the building, trying to hear its secrets. In a way, he is. Elliman is a listener, a sifter of signs from buildings and subways, the streets and the underground, trying to uncover the words we give to the world and what those languages say about us.
INSTEAD OF BLACK Friday or Small Business Saturday, I have a new day-name for you in the run up to Christmas: Garage Sale Sunday. Or maybe, because this shopping experience is only available in New York City at the Museum of Modern Art, the title should be: Garage Sale Sunday At The Tony Art Institution MoMA – an event that’s made me think we could rename any number of shopping days in this post-Thanksgiving week: Twee Craft Tuesday; Moral Mondays (when you purchase a goat as a gift) and so on.
TAKE BAMBOO POLES and plastic discs stuck into a sphere and you get something that looks like a giant clocking dandelion, the seeds about to blow in the wind. But they don’t, they roll. They are designed to be carried by the wind, yes, but instead they tumbled over the ground, specifically over minefields. Detonating mines. The Mine Kafon or deminer was Massoud Hassani’s graduation project from the Design Academy in Eindhoven. Modeled on his childhood toys, the design is both lyrical and lovely – and it works better than you might expect. GPS tracks its path so you can see where it’s been and what it has cleared.