Posts Tagged ‘conceptual art’
I’m going to experiment with a new, more regular (hopefully) feature to summarize the exhibitions I come across. (I still plan on a series of posts about private collectors who build museums for their collections, because “that shit cray.”) Also meet my colleague and art world partner in crime: Bonnie O; she’s going to be blogging about her art adventures (of which she has many).
This Week’s Four Facts:
Light Years: Conceptual Art and Photography, 1964-1977
At the Art Institute of Chicago, through March 11
1 – Early Eleanor Antin work is in the show, and it’s great to see something other than her historical tableaus. Although a personal goal of mine is to be in one of those photo shoots. I look great in a toga, Eleanor! Read the rest of this entry »
Written by exhibitioninquisition
February 5, 2012 at 8:12 PM
Tagged with art adventures, art history, Art Institute, Baldessari, Boetti, Chicago, conceptual art, conceptual photography, cremation, Duchamp, Eleanor Antin, exhibition, Four Facts, Gordon Matta-Clark, la moca, Leonardo Da Vinci, LHOOQ, Light Years, Los Angeles, MOCA, Office Baroque, photography, SAIC, toga, Warhol
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
This is LACMA’s logo. It was designed by Baldessari. Now it is used as a font at LACMA for signs, brochures, and on their blog. It is the same red as those Renzo accents on BCAM and the Resnick Pavilion, that’s called BRANDING people! Baldessari has a history, and working relationship with LACMA. In 2006, he was invited by Michael Govan (genius) to do some exhibition for the Treachery of Images show. In a Magritte-esque move Baldessari carpeted the galleries with clouds and wallpapered the ceilings with a knot of freeways. Extra wall paper and carpeting from that collaboration ended up installed in both the board room and in Govan’s Office.
From the small scale of a font, to the level of exhibition design, now to the large scale: LACMA presents a retrospective, Pure Beauty. Co-organized by LACMA and the Tate (the show’s first venue) this show closes September 12th, then heads to the Metropolitan of all places. The show is organized chronologically (obviously), but is curated effectively to show progressions and themes in Baldessari’s work; introducing imagery and concepts that appear over and over again, or sudden once again at the end of the show. The first room contains some rare early works (rare because Baldessari torched all the pre-1966 in his position work in 1970) Falling Cloud, 1965 (loaned by the Falckenberg Foundation) and God Nose, 1967 among them. The early works introduce the imagery of clouds and a decapitated nose which specifically appear again at the end of the show.
The next room is all about Baldessari’s famous text paintings. A series of building and addresses paintings; the title work Pure Beauty, 1966 (loaned by Glenstone); the humorous Tips for Artists (from the Broad Art Foundation); and LACMA’s own Wrong, 1966 all share space with the massive (and continually growing) A Painting That Is Now Documentation, 1966 (from the collection of Norman and Norah Stone). This room, other than being an impressive feet of loan negotiations, is visually mind numbing, but conceptually amazing. The irony in the Broad Tips and the power in Painting showcase Baldessari’s daring experimentations as well as demonstrate how they still address very contemporary issues.
The last canvas added to Painting lists its showings at the Tate, its second stop at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, and its current showing at LACMA. Damn this show gets around. There won’t be enough room for the show’s last venue; so another canvas will have to be added to the piece before it goes to the Met. However it does look like the previous older canvases all have six venues each. The paragraphing on the most recent canvas is larger, and will only accommodate five venues. I’m not saying this was intentional, so that they just had to add another canvas during the run of the show, but I’m not saying it wasn’t intentional either. Yeah curators, I’m calling you on this.
The third room was larger than the previous two and was full of photographic works and three video displays, clearly demonstrating Baldessari’s transition into exploration in those media. Once again there was a work on loan from the Getty Research Institute (these pieces are everywhere in LA!), an artist book. This work was housed in a vitrine alongside a “Proposal for Information,” a sketch that is directly relates to a very recent show that happened at Margo Leavin Gallery, both works utilize Han Holbein’s creepy Dead Christ(with erection). Margo Leavin has another strategically-timed Baldessari show on going on until August 31, look I’m giving them some press, see strategic, yes I’m a PR student.
The fourth room entered the 70s, and the work in these rooms exemplified Baldessari’s continual and evolving usage of photograph. Portraits, and self portraits seemed numerous in this room, including LACMA’s own Portrait: Artist’s Identity Hidden with Various Hats, from 1974. The work is a recent acquisition and LACMA’s only Baldessari from the 70s. Dedicated, continual acquisition of an artist makes a retrospective of that artist’s work logical. Or, perhaps reverse that order of reasoning.
Walltext in the west galleries proclaims that the 80s marked a “growth in complexity” for Baldessari. I don’t know if complexity is the most accurate term, but larger pieces and pieces with multiple elements and layers certainly develop. One “complex” work is On High and Low Virtues and Vices for Giotto from 1981, which utilizes the whole height of the galleries, with frames skimming the floor and poking the ceiling of the room. This work, and its play with the gallery’s dimensions, might even be labeled in the genre of institutional critique.
The next few rooms show more developments in the late 80s and into the 90s: Baldessari’s usage of filmstills and his own photography, as well his new usage of colored dots, to simultaneously “protect” the identities of the people in the photographs and turn them into personalities or characters. Some of the works in these rooms include the LACMA-owned Heel, 86 (that means LACMA has one work from the 60s, one from the 70, and one from 90s); a work from the Fissures and Ribbons cycle, a large work on loan from the Deutsche Bank; and Hope, 1991 from the Tate.
The last room of the exhibition, shows continued exploration, mostly with color, and mostly in a very ironic, and definitely “conceptual way.” This room also shows Baldessari’s continual usage with certain imagery. Recent works with isolated body parts, duh a nose, are direct descendants of work from the first room—God Nose. The other imagery employed at the beginning and at the end is clouds. Falling Cloud, 1966 was one of the earliest works in this retrospective and Brain/Cloud, 2009 is one of Baldessari’s most recent works.
The work’s full title is Brain/Cloud (Two Views): with Palm Tree and Seascapes. The work occupies its own gallery: a photo of a palm tree is plastered on one wall and a gargantuan, grotesque white brain is mounted on another. On a third wall a live video feed is projected, of what you ask?—Why a video you of course! The camera is hard to find at first; you find it by orienting yourself to the camera angle in the video. Creepy, conceptual, and contemporary.
But the show doesn’t end in this last room, oh no. First you have to walk past a little annex of a gift shop, chalk full of Baldessari-oriented products including clever, Baldessari-designed erasers. You know I hate gift shops, but I guess LACMA has got to make some money to pay for this show. LACMA has also upgraded the banners that hang outside BCAM on its Wilshire-facing façade. The originals were getting real dirty, and Baldessari was nice enough to design another round of them. And LACMA fulfills its promise to continually change the banners with new art.
Oh god that was a corny caption on that picture. Don’t read it again!
Written by exhibitioninquisition
August 27, 2010 at 2:42 AM
Tagged with A Painting that is Now Documentation, Baldessari, banners, BCAM, brain, Brain/Cloud, Broad Art Foundation, California art, clouds, conceptual art, Contemporary, Dead Christ, Deutsche Bank, exhibition design, Falckenberg Foundation, Falling Cloud, Fissures and Ribbons series, font, Getty Research Institute, giftshop, Glenstone, God Nose, Guggenheim, Hans Holbein, Heel, Hope, imagery, John Baldessari, LACMA, loans, logo, Los Angeles, Magritte, Margo Leavin Gallery, Metropolitan Museum, Michael Govan, Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona, Norman and Norah Stone, nose, On High and Low Virtues and Vices for Giotto, paint colors, palm tree, photography, Pure Beauty, recent acquisition, retrospective, self portrait, Tate, Tips for Artists, Treachery of Images, video art, Wilshire Boulevard, word and text painting, Wrong