December 2005 Archives

A Christmas quote

The vision of Mary we've been given sounds like no Jewish woman I've ever known.

-- Bruce Cockburn

[Disclaimer: this post is a bit of a mess and I keep revising it to try to say what I really think.]

It's Steve and Jen's news blog, especially since Steve and Jen disagree on the strike and are both writing about it.

I started reading this blog again after Tom Moody wrote about the strike and linked to it.

I will say I think the union is managing its PR and strategy rather badly. We should be reminded constantly of how incompetent/devious the MTA executives are, including their ability to "find" an extra $1 billion in the budget once in a while, or the fact that in a time of supposed terrorist threats, they are closing token booths and forcing us to rely on turnstile exits that will cause a huge number of deaths in an emergency. See more by Ray Sanchez on MTA security. Now would be an excellent time for Bloomberg to start pushing to have the MTA become a city-controlled agency, rather than a state one, but he's busy acting more like a billionaire than a mayor at the moment.

I will say I'm troubled by the actual strike. I don't think it had gotten to the point where a strike was necessary. I don't know what leverage a union has in this age, but a strike by transit workers hurts so many working people in the city.

Sweet Pea - the home movie

sweet pea video still

I realized this morning that we have one Quicktime video of Sweet Pea from soon after he arrived. It's big, since I don't know how to optimize QT movies, and about 30 seconds long. Yes, the mirror looks a bit smudged. He liked to lick it. You'll hear our voices in the background, trying to encourage him to bob or dance.

Sweet Pea 10MB Quicktime

Sweet Pea RIP

Sweet Pea

Brooklyn Parrots - Master Builders


Check out this amazing photo essay from the Brooklyn Parrots site.

[photo from]


Like me, the artist/blogger who writes Art Fag City is a huge fan of Cory Arcangel.

His Her write-up of The Believer's art event at PS1 is informative and hilarious. Go read it.

[minor update - just learned AFC is a she, not a he]

ArtKrush on art blogs


If you don't already subscribe to ArtKrush, now would be a good time if you're interested in art blogs. They have a feature on the subject coming out tomorrow, which will include some people you might have heard of...

I will post a link to the web version of the newsletter tomorrow for those that aren't subscribers.



The newsletter is now online.


William Powhida, detail of installation


Kristen Jensen

We saw these two shows on Saturday, and I highly recommend you stop by before they both end on Sunday. The piece by Kristen in the photo is a porcelain shower cap.

If you do go, look for the drawings of James and me on the right side of his drawing titled Everyone I've Ever Met From Memory (That I Can Remember).

I heard from the gallery, and from Platform Gallery in Seattle, that William's drawings were quite the hit in Miami.

[bottom photo supplied by Dam, Stuhltrager]

Miami art highlights

In no particular order, with an emphasis on art for which I have images...

We did not make it to the "main" fair (Art Basel Miami Beach), or Scope (unfortunately), or the containers, but we did hit the Rubell and Margulies collections, plus NADA, Aqua, and a tiny bit of Frisbee.


Remember how I recommended Elena Kovylina's Waltz before we left? I did dance with her one round, but passed on drinking vodka with her. It was an intense and heart-breaking performance, and it felt odd to see such a work in the bright Miami sun.

Her performance was presented by Schroeder Romero. They presented work by an artist new to the gallery (and new to me) named Ken Weaver. An exhibition of his work will be their inaugural show in Chelsea in January. They really stood out as one walked by the booth at NADA - dazzling red and white images.


Ken Weaver
Just call me the queen of the world 'cause I just got ROYALLY FUCKED!, 2004
(large queen)
oil pastel on paper
60 × 40 inches, paper size

Several galleries impressed with their overall programs. One was Galería Comercial, which is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It exists somewhere between the non-profit and commercial gallery worlds -- but on purpose unlike some galleries! At NADA, they showed posters and other works by Pedro Vélez, plus a number of other artists working in media ranging from painting to video.

Another space with an impressive booth was the artist-run Transmission Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland. The experience reminded me a little of when we were at the Affordable Art Fair, and the non-profit Center For Emerging Visual Artists (Philadelphia) stood out in a big way. I see plenty of great work from commercial galleries, but several of the non-profit/artist-run spaces really stand out at fairs like this. Transmission will be at The Armory Show in March. Here is an image of the wall installation by Lorna MacIntyre in their booth:

transmission lorna macintyre

Speaking of entire booths, Galerie Kamm (Berlin) devoted their entire space to the work of Katharina Jahnke. The work included sculpture, works on paper, and fabric works incorporating paint and sewing. Here is one of her sculptures, from the gallery web site:

katharina jahnke

Katharina Jahnke
Sparkling Isolation, 2005
wood, spy-mirror
117 × 156 × 241 cm

To be continued...

For those so inclined, ArtCal now has RSS feeds. You can also add an openings subscription to your iCal or other calendar programs.

Miami - Gallery House

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One of our great discoveries in Miami, thanks to our host Michael, was the Gallery House project. It's an early 20th century house filled to the brim with art. There are things hanging on the walls, in the closets, and there are wall paintings and installations too. The vibe was more like visiting a show in someone's loft in the East Village a decade or more ago than being in Miami for the whole art fair thing.

Not only did we enjoy the work, as we were leaving we saw two white possums sitting in the tree in the front yard, watching the activities. They were in a tree to the right of this view:


A lot of the work we saw was by Don Shearer, including everything you see in this image below. I like the Felix Droese-esque angles in the corner.


Here are some detail shots of a wall painting/installation by Don Shearer, R. Grimes, Ryan Simmons Ferrell, and Francesco Locastro:

miami-gallery-house-3.jpg miami-gallery-house-2.jpg

They have no web site yet, so here is the contact information:

the Gallery House project
454 NE 38th Street, Miami 33137
305 576 2697
GalleryHouse AT bellsouth DOT net

[images provided by Gallery House Project]

Miami - The Collections

donna dennis subway margulies collection.jpeg

Donna Dennis
Subway with Silver Girders, 1981-82
Wood, metal, mixed media
Margulies Collection

I wish New York had private collections such as the Margulies and Rubell Collections that are open to the public. I enjoyed aspects of the Rubell, particularly the exhibition of contemporary Polish work, and the paintings of Norbert Schwontkowski, but it doesn't feel like the "personal" collection that the Margulies does. It has smart choices, but there was very little that surprised me, and very little (other than the two things I just mentioned) that wasn't already familiar. It also felt rather odd to see gift shops inside (including t-shirt sales).

I found the Margulies Collection very moving. I loved the focus on work with a social or political aspect, and the very intelligent curating of the works on display, with juxtapositions such as Peter Friedl's King Kong video placed near work documenting the ruins of Detroit, the G8 riots in Genoa, and ruins of Kabul.

Go read Sir Pinter's speech while I'm working on my Miami posts.

Posting to resume soon

We didn't have an internet connection in Miami, and I seem to have come down with something since we got back -- probably caught it on the American Airlines flight home.

I will post some notes/findings on Miami soon.

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