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Comment Archives: stories: Arts: Art

Re: “Grand Arts takes avant-garde's pulse and finds Ecstatic Resistance

Ecstatic Resistance is an effort well worth the effort. There is so much to see and think about and rethink and rethink again. I have a feeling that Emily Roysden has internalized William Blake and brought him into relevancy in a very real way for a new generation. If there are many roads to the Palace of Wisdom this, "contemporized Chautauqua for social justice" is surely the perfect Baedeker for the journey. Steiner's wall of femina-centric depictions of women is refreshing and maybe shocking and certainly distinguished by its unwillingness to be undermined by the jaundiced eye of the male gaze. This installation by itself is a compelling reason to attend Ecstatic Resistance. Yael Bartana's film demands a closer, deeper, more nuanced reading. Things are not always what they seem. This is cinema where every assumption opens a door and becomes a contradiction. It can be construed as a pious memento mori, yet there is has a much fiercer narrative truth embedded within in the celluloidal quicksand of the easy first impression.It is hiding in plain sight...

Posted by John on 12/09/2009 at 10:19 AM

Re: “Grand Arts takes avant-garde's pulse and finds Ecstatic Resistance

Ecstatic Resistance is an effort well worth the effort. There is so much to see and think about and rethink and rethink again. I have a feeling that Emily Roysden has internalized William Blake and brought him into relevancy in a very real way for a new generation. If there are many roads to the Palace of Wisdom this, "contemporized Chautauqua for social justice" is surely the perfect Baedeker for the journey. Steiner's wall of femina-centric depictions of women is refreshing and maybe shocking and certainly distinguished by its unwillingness to be undermined by the jaundiced eye of the male gaze. This installation by itself is a compelling reason to attend Ecstatic Resistance. Yael Bartana's film demands a closer, deeper, more nuanced reading. Things are not always what they seem. This is cinema where every assumption opens a door and becomes a contradiction. It can be construed as a pious memento mori, yet there is has a much fiercer narrative truth embedded within in the celluloidal quicksand of the easy first impression.It is hiding in plain sight...

Posted by John on 12/09/2009 at 10:19 AM

Re: “The Nerman's Aberrant Abstraction is tamer than it sounds

There is no real theme for this show. It's false premise: a dubious and murky notion about 'aberrancy in abstraction' is just another example of curatorial babble. This is a gnostic, suburban goulash of west elm castoffs artfully posed in a sterile setting. It is thin on idea and top heavy with promises not kept. There are no aberrations--aesthetic or otherwise--to be had here. What remains is the hubris of a curator scrap-heaping a gallery for an end-year non event.

Posted by John on 12/03/2009 at 4:41 PM

Re: “The Nerman's Aberrant Abstraction is tamer than it sounds

There is no real theme for this show. It's false premise: a dubious and murky notion about 'aberrancy in abstraction' is just another example of curatorial babble. This is a gnostic, suburban goulash of west elm castoffs artfully posed in a sterile setting. It is thin on idea and top heavy with promises not kept. There are no aberrations--aesthetic or otherwise--to be had here. What remains is the hubris of a curator scrap-heaping a gallery for an end-year non event.

Posted by John on 12/03/2009 at 1:41 PM

Re: “The Nerman's Aberrant Abstraction is tamer than it sounds

I cannot get past this line, I'm laughing to hard: 'How can you reinterpret a classification that so easily assimilates any nonrepresentational work? And what exactly constitutes an "aberrant" abstraction? A realistic painting of a log cabin, maybe?' Can't wait to read the rest of the article, once I calm down a bit.

Posted by Tracy on 12/02/2009 at 1:42 PM

Re: “The Nerman's Aberrant Abstraction is tamer than it sounds

I cannot get past this line, I'm laughing to hard: 'How can you reinterpret a classification that so easily assimilates any nonrepresentational work? And what exactly constitutes an "aberrant" abstraction? A realistic painting of a log cabin, maybe?' Can't wait to read the rest of the article, once I calm down a bit.

Posted by Tracy on 12/02/2009 at 10:42 AM

Re: “Kemper's Wyeth family reunion spans three melancholy generations

...this is a finely focused and deeply felt appreciation of the Wyeth's. They are out of fashion in fashionable art circles. Maybe it is time for a fresh look. I will never understand the fixation with Helga. That is someone I would not want to wake up with on even the warmest of mornings.

Posted by Riley on 11/25/2009 at 12:29 PM

Re: “Kemper's Wyeth family reunion spans three melancholy generations

...this is a finely focused and deeply felt appreciation of the Wyeth's. They are out of fashion in fashionable art circles. Maybe it is time for a fresh look. I will never understand the fixation with Helga. That is someone I would not want to wake up with on even the warmest of mornings.

Posted by Riley on 11/25/2009 at 9:29 AM

Re: “Wolfgang Laib spoons out an economy of scale at the Nelson-Atkins

Brilliant! Your assessment of Laib's self mythologizing peregrination into the colliding energies of biology and philosophy illumines the emptiness of an idea (is there an idea here) actualized in real time and space. I like my metaphors fat with possibility. An endless-seeming,horizon-crunching chiaroscuro of "handcrafted" rice mounds simmering in the destitute sibilance of curatorial babble leaves me kinetically underwhelmed. Why not use ham hocks and collard greens to get the message across? Or how about pig shit and sauerkraut! There are many paths to the palace of aesthetic satori. The real message embedded within this doctrinaire effort in the zenescent-sublime, announces the bankruptcy of conceptual praxis. It is an art world conceit whose moment has passed.

Posted by John on 11/11/2009 at 1:19 PM

Re: “Wolfgang Laib spoons out an economy of scale at the Nelson-Atkins

Brilliant! Your assessment of Laib's self mythologizing peregrination into the colliding energies of biology and philosophy illumines the emptiness of an idea (is there an idea here) actualized in real time and space. I like my metaphors fat with possibility. An endless-seeming,horizon-crunching chiaroscuro of "handcrafted" rice mounds simmering in the destitute sibilance of curatorial babble leaves me kinetically underwhelmed. Why not use ham hocks and collard greens to get the message across? Or how about pig shit and sauerkraut! There are many paths to the palace of aesthetic satori. The real message embedded within this doctrinaire effort in the zenescent-sublime, announces the bankruptcy of conceptual praxis. It is an art world conceit whose moment has passed.

Posted by John on 11/11/2009 at 10:19 AM

Re: “The Belger's Oxford Project: That was then, this is now

I would be very interested to know if Raylene actually attended this exhibition. Her reaction is completely different from the one expressed to me by the vast majority of visitors during the previous five weeks of this exhibition ( it runs through Dec. 31). I am fifty-four years old and have never seen an entire town age and reflect over a more than 20 year period of time. The only project I can compare it to is the 7UP series, which tracked 14 people in England over many decades. We've had well over 1,500 visitors so far and I hope more will come and make up their own minds as to the usefulness of such projects. Thanks for spreading the word!
Mo Dickens
Gallery Assistant
Belger Arts Center
Nov. 10, 2009

Posted by Mo Dickens on 11/10/2009 at 11:30 AM

Re: “The Belger's Oxford Project: That was then, this is now

I would be very interested to know if Raylene actually attended this exhibition. Her reaction is completely different from the one expressed to me by the vast majority of visitors during the previous five weeks of this exhibition ( it runs through Dec. 31). I am fifty-four years old and have never seen an entire town age and reflect over a more than 20 year period of time. The only project I can compare it to is the 7UP series, which tracked 14 people in England over many decades. We've had well over 1,500 visitors so far and I hope more will come and make up their own minds as to the usefulness of such projects. Thanks for spreading the word! Mo Dickens Gallery Assistant Belger Arts Center Nov. 10, 2009

Posted by Mo Dickens on 11/10/2009 at 8:30 AM

Re: “The Belger's Oxford Project: That was then, this is now

This fallow field has been over-plowed one time too many. Let us have a moment of silence for the quiet dignity of semi-polluted small town life. Please pass around the barf bags while the clouds part and distant bugles announce the coming of the saviour; sociologized in the guise of reverential truth telling,phallocratic savant. "My cousin Earl" does a much better job anatomizing the quotidian and tragicomic exigincies of white trash culture than this uber-unctious, barely-breathing exercise on hand wringing for middle class white folks with college degrees. If there is indeed any art to be had here, it is in the self delusion and hubris of the art-professionals who conceived this piss-pious examination of how tough life really is in the mindless terra incognita of relational aesthetics.

Posted by Raylene on 11/06/2009 at 8:42 PM

Re: “The Belger's Oxford Project: That was then, this is now

This fallow field has been over-plowed one time too many. Let us have a moment of silence for the quiet dignity of semi-polluted small town life. Please pass around the barf bags while the clouds part and distant bugles announce the coming of the saviour; sociologized in the guise of reverential truth telling,phallocratic savant. "My cousin Earl" does a much better job anatomizing the quotidian and tragicomic exigincies of white trash culture than this uber-unctious, barely-breathing exercise on hand wringing for middle class white folks with college degrees. If there is indeed any art to be had here, it is in the self delusion and hubris of the art-professionals who conceived this piss-pious examination of how tough life really is in the mindless terra incognita of relational aesthetics.

Posted by Raylene on 11/06/2009 at 5:42 PM

Re: “The Belger's Oxford Project: That was then, this is now

Thanks for the coverage of our exhibit. You get it and that's always rewarding. Two little things. I take exception to the use of the word freaks. Someone once asked Diane Arbus why she chose to photograph freaks. Her response was that we're all freaks. My response would have been that none of us are freaks.

The other thing is a small, but important misread. Blanche Smith, the foster mother of Brianne Leckness, was not the religious fanatic mother. That came after Bobby Jo (her name as a child) had to leave Blanche's house.

These are little things, but important to me that they be clear. Thanks again for your article.

Posted by Peter Feldstein on 11/04/2009 at 1:53 PM

Re: “The Belger's Oxford Project: That was then, this is now

Thanks for the coverage of our exhibit. You get it and that's always rewarding. Two little things. I take exception to the use of the word freaks. Someone once asked Diane Arbus why she chose to photograph freaks. Her response was that we're all freaks. My response would have been that none of us are freaks. The other thing is a small, but important misread. Blanche Smith, the foster mother of Brianne Leckness, was not the religious fanatic mother. That came after Bobby Jo (her name as a child) had to leave Blanche's house. These are little things, but important to me that they be clear. Thanks again for your article.

Posted by Peter Feldstein on 11/04/2009 at 10:53 AM

Re: “Union Station makes child's play of Andy Warhol

If there is a point to this unfocused murkfest it is hidden behind miles and miles of overdetermined and under-nourished journalese.
Simply put-- Andy made pretty pictures that speak to what ails us as a culture. WE 'consume'. As an end in itself, unquenchable and mindless, it is our national pastime. Consuming in America is the complicit activity that unites us and defines us. Andy aestheticized this collective pathology and rendered it's apotheosis as Art.

Posted by Cordell on 10/30/2009 at 1:47 PM

Re: “Union Station makes child's play of Andy Warhol

If there is a point to this unfocused murkfest it is hidden behind miles and miles of overdetermined and under-nourished journalese. Simply put-- Andy made pretty pictures that speak to what ails us as a culture. WE 'consume'. As an end in itself, unquenchable and mindless, it is our national pastime. Consuming in America is the complicit activity that unites us and defines us. Andy aestheticized this collective pathology and rendered it's apotheosis as Art.

Posted by Cordell on 10/30/2009 at 10:47 AM

Re: “At Dolphin, Eric Sall paints a colorful escape route

are you channeling Dana,or worse- Alice? What is this? It reads like a PR release for the Dolphin. Describing a painting is not a review or a critique. It is just bad writing. And it is boring to the nth degree of recorded time. Were you in a coma when you wrote this? Hire a goddamn critic with an attitude and a discernible aesthetic and an edge. This does not honor the work at all...

Posted by John on 10/24/2009 at 1:41 PM

Re: “At Dolphin, Eric Sall paints a colorful escape route

are you channeling Dana,or worse- Alice? What is this? It reads like a PR release for the Dolphin. Describing a painting is not a review or a critique. It is just bad writing. And it is boring to the nth degree of recorded time. Were you in a coma when you wrote this? Hire a goddamn critic with an attitude and a discernible aesthetic and an edge. This does not honor the work at all...

Posted by John on 10/24/2009 at 10:41 AM

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