Exhibition Inquisition

The stuff you look at, but don't see.

Archive for the ‘Inquisition’ Category

Richard Serra, “Sequence”

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SFMOMA, Cantor Arts Center, LACMA

This week, SFMOMA released additional renderings of its eminent expansion including new views of the interior.  Snohetta (the chic, Norwegian architects) and SFMOMA haven’t been apologetic or really skirted the issue about plans to basically gut the entire existing building, keeping only Mario Botta’s  postmodern façade.  Climbing SFMOMA’s imposing stairs is literally my first memory of being in a museum.  As a kid, I tried to recreate the alternating bands of polished and flame-finished black granite of these stairs with a set of sleek dominoes on my living room floor.   A friend and I lamented the demise of Botta’s staircase the last time we visited SFMOMA and we brainstormed potential artist projects that might utilize the soon-to-be-dismantled stairs.  (The SFMOMA expansion is going to be LEED Certified so maybe some of the black stone will be reclaimed.)

Sequence at SFMOMA of the future.

“Sequence” at SFMOMA of the future.

Alas, the released images show all of this will be eliminated in the expansion, sacrificed for the sake of greater street presence and improved openness to pedestrian traffic flow.  (The $555 million expansion will also double the current amount of gallery space, so there is that.)  New public space includes a multi-storied, glass-fronted gallery open to Howard Street.  In the renderings, this gallery space is filled with a massive Richard Serra corten-steel sculpture.  This isn’t just a filler “scalie” artwork; Serra’s Sequence (2006) will be installed in the new space when the Snohetta expansion opens in 2016.  Sequence is part of the Fisher collection, the donors who generous donated many buckets of ducats for the expansion, and who are kinda-sorta donating their incomparable trove of contemporary art to the museum.

Sequence on Howard Street.

“Sequence” on Howard Street.

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Warhol Polaroid Portraits at Christie’s

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Last September, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts announced it would auction off a chunk of its trove at Christie’s to benefit its endowment.  The other big change at the Warhol Foundation in 2012 was the dissolution of its authentication board, which was becoming overly expensive due to constant lawsuits.  Both changes were motivated by the Warhol Foundation’s desire to further its mission and increase its grantmaking activities.  Everyone, except Jose Mugrabi, wins!

On November 12, Christie’s began the Warholmania with three auctions—one for photographs, paintings and works on paper, and prints (the catalogues have some crazy graphic design).  The auctions featured 354 works and brought in $17,017,050. (There is still a ton of work to be sold by Christie’s through a selling exhibition in Hong Kong and an online sale next month.)

How did Andre Leon Talley being cute go for so low?!

How did Andre Leon Talley being cute go for so low?!

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…James Bond

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LACMA

“This dream is for you, so pay the price.”

After waiting two long years, I was prepared to love every single second of the fifth season of Mad Men.  And love them I did, particularly the very last seconds of the season.  “You Only Live Twice” is one of my favorite James Bond themes from one of my favorite Bond films so I was cringing in period-fetish-induced pleasure as Don Draper ordered a signature old fashioned in that smoke-filled bar while Nancy Sinatra crooned away. (Did he, or didn’t he have a threesome?)

Play this song while you read the rest of this post. Read the rest of this entry »

Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks

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Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

Rashid Johnson, “Self Portrait in Homage to Barkley Hendricks,” 2005.

Why is Self Portrait in Homage to Barkley Hendricks not included in the MCA’s current Rashid Johnson retrospective, Message to Our Folks?  The photographic work is included in the exhibition catalogue, and MCA curator Julie Rodriguez Widholm writes that it is perhaps Johnson’s “most understood work.”  The work is an illustrative example of both Johnson’s “dialogue with black American creative and intellectual figures whose impact has transcended race” and his “dialogue with modern and contemporary art history, specifically abstraction and appropriation.”  Both these quotes are from the curatorial statement on the MCA’s website.  True, other self portraits (some of which engage in appropriation and cultural and intellectual figures) are in the exhibition, but they don’t compare in my opinion to the stark and confrontational Self Portrait in Homage to Barkley Hendricks.

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Four Facts: Morbid Curiosity

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Chicago Cultural Center

Curious? You should go see this show.  Especially if, like me, you are looking for ways to procrastinate finishing your thesis.  If for no other reason, go see it for the exhibition design of the Kunstkammer of Death (see below image)—who doesn’t like maximalist aesthetic?

More is more: Jodie Carey’s “In the Eyes of Others.”

The show’s website claims Morbid Curiosity is one of the Culture Center’s largest—with over five hundred works and artifacts.  Where’d all this gloom and doom (seriously its not actually that dark) come from? — From Chicago collector Richard Harris’s personal closet of skeletons.  Harris, is not one of those Harrises, and seems like a pretty kooky dude (I mean, obviously).  In the immortal words of Carrie Brandshaw “I couldn’t help but wonder” how does Harris display all this stuff in his house? Like how does he fit the huge bone chandelier in his breakfast nook? (With a Liberace-sized commitment to tackiness that’s how people.)  Anyways, here are your four facts.

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