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THE DAILY PIC: I saw this shirt on a recent visit to the Textile Museum in Toronto. It’s part of a series called “Les nébuleuses,” from a solo show by the clothing-artist Ying Gao.
Some of her pieces are very high-tech, deploying motors and sensors of various kinds. These ones, made of a fabric called “super organza”, go in just the other direction. They are so simple, so barely-there, that they’re at the point where clothing dissolves into nudity – where it’s more thought than substance. (Photo by Dominique Lafond)
The Daily Pic also appears at ArtnetNews.com. For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive

Aug 20, 2014

THE DAILY PIC: I saw this shirt on a recent visit to the Textile Museum in Toronto. It’s part of a series called “Les nébuleuses,” from a solo show by the clothing-artist Ying Gao.

Some of her pieces are very high-tech, deploying motors and sensors of various kinds. These ones, made of a fabric called “super organza”, go in just the other direction. They are so simple, so barely-there, that they’re at the point where clothing dissolves into nudity – where it’s more thought than substance. (Photo by Dominique Lafond)

The Daily Pic also appears at ArtnetNews.com. For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive

Posted at 4:00 PM
[Permalink] 9 notes #art  #ying gao  #textiles  #clothing 

THE DAILY PIC: Here’s Jackson Pollock’s “One: Number 31, 1950”, now (and always, one hopes) on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. I recently spent an hour in front of it with Christian Viveros-Fauné, taping the latest of our “Strictly Critical” videos, which edits those 60 minutes down to five. (Click on my image to watch the vid.) One discussion whose details ended up on the cutting-room floor was about how Jackson Pollock’s enemies were endlessly comparing his work to tablecloths and ties and other works of design. I haven’t done the in-depth research yet, but that seems to imply that designers had come up with some of the painter’s ideas before he did. Of course, sociologically and in terms of semiotics, a tie and a canvas – or any work of design versus any work of art – are very different things, however much they may look the same. The makers of Duchamp’s urinal can’t take credit for what it means as art. Still, I want to know precisely what Pollock’s critics had in mind when they saw parallels to his art in fabrics. Was it just about repeats, alloverism, and laciness, or were the textile precedents stronger than that? If they were, there’s no way a tough-guy AbEx-er like him could admit to borrowing from such feminine arts: He might as well have gone around wearing an apron.
The Daily Pic also appears at ArtnetNews.com. For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive

Aug 19, 2014

THE DAILY PIC: Here’s Jackson Pollock’s “One: Number 31, 1950”, now (and always, one hopes) on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. I recently spent an hour in front of it with Christian Viveros-Fauné, taping the latest of our “Strictly Critical” videos, which edits those 60 minutes down to five. (Click on my image to watch the vid.) One discussion whose details ended up on the cutting-room floor was about how Jackson Pollock’s enemies were endlessly comparing his work to tablecloths and ties and other works of design. I haven’t done the in-depth research yet, but that seems to imply that designers had come up with some of the painter’s ideas before he did. Of course, sociologically and in terms of semiotics, a tie and a canvas – or any work of design versus any work of art – are very different things, however much they may look the same. The makers of Duchamp’s urinal can’t take credit for what it means as art. Still, I want to know precisely what Pollock’s critics had in mind when they saw parallels to his art in fabrics. Was it just about repeats, alloverism, and laciness, or were the textile precedents stronger than that? If they were, there’s no way a tough-guy AbEx-er like him could admit to borrowing from such feminine arts: He might as well have gone around wearing an apron.

The Daily Pic also appears at ArtnetNews.com. For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive


THE DAILY PIC:  Today, I begin a Koons-o-rama. Once a week for the next little while, the Daily Pic will visit and revisit the almost-perfect Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. I have huge respect for my fellow critics who feel that Koons is nothing more than a  symptom of everything that’s wrong with our art world, and maybe with our culture in general. On my first visit to the show, to shoot a video with my chum Christian Viveros-Fauné, I almost let him convince me that Koons was precisely as bankrupt and shallow a figure as his fiercest critics say. Since then, I’ve spent longer with the Koons show than with almost any display I can remember (with the very notable exception of my week-long inspection of “Las Meninas” at the Prado). On visit after visit, accompanied by any number of deep thinkers on art, I’ve found that Koons has payed major intellectual and visual dividends.  His art is simply too productive to be dismissed. I feel as though his haters’ larger, principled – and admirable – objection to certain Koonsian trends in art-world dynamics have blinded them to the details of what Koons has produced. 
Today’s Daily Pic, for instance, shows the Whitney digging deep into a little-known prehistory of Koonsiana. It turns out that as far back as 1979,  Koons was acquiring and displaying product  from some of the stranger corners of popular culture. With “Inflatable Flowers (Short Pink, Tall Purple)”, he makes us want to know how it was that certain late-70s tchotchke producers felt it worth their while to make dumb inflatable flowers with such complex engineering. Koons so appreciates this redundant complexity that he displays his vinyl blossoms on mirrors, just as museums show Fabergé eggs, so that we can take in their details from every side.
Here’s another peculiarity of these works as shown at the Whitney: Koons cares so much about the details of his original vinyl flowers that he has had them laboriously refabricated for this retrospective, making sure that passing time and decaying matter would have no leverage on their appearance. That means that they pass out of the realm of normal Duchampian readymades – objects purchased and presented as art, mostly for the sake of the gesture itself – into a new realm of “re-made readymades”, where the objects themselves matter as much as the action of showing them. (At the risk of once again incurring the wrath of some of the more simpleminded Duchampians, let me say that I consider Marcel’s artisanal remakes of his classic found objects something else altogether than Koons’s; Duchamp’s 1950s urinals are not a recapitulation of the original Dada works, but a piss-taking new riff on what “Fountain” had come to mean.)
On one visit to the Koons retrospective, the room with his vinyl flowers was full of tiny children whose art teacher had told them to draw Koons’s inflatables. This struck me at the time as one of the more colossal misunderstandings that I’d  witnessed in a museum: Works of tremendous conceptual complexity were being used to teach kids the most conservative notions of what art should be. But then I was forced to rethink. One of the glories of Koons’s works is that every one of them is a kind of Trojan horse, coming across at first as the simplest, dumbest aesthetic gift, and then turning out to ambush almost every conventional artistic model. I’m afraid to say that some of my Koons-hating colleagues may be a bit like those Koons-sketching kids: They’re stuck on first impressions of the art, and that keeps them from feeling obliged to look deeper. (Collection of Norman and Norah Stone; ©Jeff Koons) 
The Daily Pic also appears at ArtnetNews.com. For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive

Aug 18, 2014

THE DAILY PIC:  Today, I begin a Koons-o-rama. Once a week for the next little while, the Daily Pic will visit and revisit the almost-perfect Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. I have huge respect for my fellow critics who feel that Koons is nothing more than a  symptom of everything that’s wrong with our art world, and maybe with our culture in general. On my first visit to the show, to shoot a video with my chum Christian Viveros-Fauné, I almost let him convince me that Koons was precisely as bankrupt and shallow a figure as his fiercest critics say. Since then, I’ve spent longer with the Koons show than with almost any display I can remember (with the very notable exception of my week-long inspection of “Las Meninas” at the Prado). On visit after visit, accompanied by any number of deep thinkers on art, I’ve found that Koons has payed major intellectual and visual dividends.  His art is simply too productive to be dismissed. I feel as though his haters’ larger, principled – and admirableobjection to certain Koonsian trends in art-world dynamics have blinded them to the details of what Koons has produced. 

Today’s Daily Pic, for instance, shows the Whitney digging deep into a little-known prehistory of Koonsiana. It turns out that as far back as 1979,  Koons was acquiring and displaying product  from some of the stranger corners of popular culture. With “Inflatable Flowers (Short Pink, Tall Purple)”, he makes us want to know how it was that certain late-70s tchotchke producers felt it worth their while to make dumb inflatable flowers with such complex engineering. Koons so appreciates this redundant complexity that he displays his vinyl blossoms on mirrors, just as museums show Fabergé eggs, so that we can take in their details from every side.

Here’s another peculiarity of these works as shown at the Whitney: Koons cares so much about the details of his original vinyl flowers that he has had them laboriously refabricated for this retrospective, making sure that passing time and decaying matter would have no leverage on their appearance. That means that they pass out of the realm of normal Duchampian readymades – objects purchased and presented as art, mostly for the sake of the gesture itself – into a new realm of “re-made readymades”, where the objects themselves matter as much as the action of showing them. (At the risk of once again incurring the wrath of some of the more simpleminded Duchampians, let me say that I consider Marcel’s artisanal remakes of his classic found objects something else altogether than Koons’s; Duchamp’s 1950s urinals are not a recapitulation of the original Dada works, but a piss-taking new riff on what “Fountain” had come to mean.)

On one visit to the Koons retrospective, the room with his vinyl flowers was full of tiny children whose art teacher had told them to draw Koons’s inflatables. This struck me at the time as one of the more colossal misunderstandings that I’d  witnessed in a museum: Works of tremendous conceptual complexity were being used to teach kids the most conservative notions of what art should be. But then I was forced to rethink. One of the glories of Koons’s works is that every one of them is a kind of Trojan horse, coming across at first as the simplest, dumbest aesthetic gift, and then turning out to ambush almost every conventional artistic model. I’m afraid to say that some of my Koons-hating colleagues may be a bit like those Koons-sketching kids: They’re stuck on first impressions of the art, and that keeps them from feeling obliged to look deeper. (Collection of Norman and Norah Stone; ©Jeff Koons)

The Daily Pic also appears at ArtnetNews.com. For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive

Posted at 4:00 PM
[Permalink] 616 notes #art  #jeff koons 

THE DAILY PIC: Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler are two unsung heroes of socially-conscious conceptualism, and this is their “Give and Take”, on view for another week in a mini-retrospective at Galerie Perotin in New York. (Click on my image for a closeup.)
There’s a very obvious link to Marcel Duchamp’s “In Advance of a Broken Arm,” the snow-shovel-as-art that Duchamp came up with in 1915, as one of the first-ever readymades. (A version of that work is in the Duchamp exhibition at Gagosian gallery that I should be Daily Pic-ing soon, if I can get a decent image.)  But Ericson and Ziegler, as always, added a do-gooder social dimension: These tools were real ones on their last legs, as used by gardeners in Central Park; Ericson and Ziegler spent the proceeds from selling them as art to buy the workers brand-new, functional ones. Here’s radically modern art trying – or at very least pretending – to improve the world, one rake-tine at a time. This is a genre that I’ve called the “functional readymade”, and I rather like it: It’s like inviting museumgoers to pee in Duchamp’s urinal. (Image courtesy Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler and Galerie Perrotin)For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive

Aug 15, 2014

THE DAILY PIC: Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler are two unsung heroes of socially-conscious conceptualism, and this is their “Give and Take”, on view for another week in a mini-retrospective at Galerie Perotin in New York. (Click on my image for a closeup.)

There’s a very obvious link to Marcel Duchamp’s “In Advance of a Broken Arm,” the snow-shovel-as-art that Duchamp came up with in 1915, as one of the first-ever readymades. (A version of that work is in the Duchamp exhibition at Gagosian gallery that I should be Daily Pic-ing soon, if I can get a decent image.)  But Ericson and Ziegler, as always, added a do-gooder social dimension: These tools were real ones on their last legs, as used by gardeners in Central Park; Ericson and Ziegler spent the proceeds from selling them as art to buy the workers brand-new, functional ones. Here’s radically modern art trying – or at very least pretending – to improve the world, one rake-tine at a time. This is a genre that I’ve called the “functional readymade”, and I rather like it: It’s like inviting museumgoers to pee in Duchamp’s urinal. (Image courtesy Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler and Galerie Perrotin)For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive


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