Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Artists of Gugging

The Artists of Gugging at Ricco/Maresca Gallery. "...This exhibition focuses on the dynamic and emotionally innovative work currently being produced at the Gugging House of Artists outside of Vienna, Austria. Since 1981, Gugging Artists have gained an internationally renowned reputation due to the high quality of their drawings, paintings, photographs and writing. This aesthetically complex and dynamic body of work is drawn from nine of Gugging’s most impressive residents who, through emotional intricacy and technical precision, have carved a path becoming some of the most important representatives of contemporary Art Brut. Reductive forms are placed in sophisticated compositions creating an overwhelmingly affective oeuvre of art that marries talent, imagination, innocence, and ingenuity."

Lynne Cohen: Occupied Territory 1971–1988

Lynne Cohen: Occupied Territory 1971–1988 at Higher Pictures. "...Although Cohen’s photographs never include human beings, they are clearly about human behavior and our compulsion to observe it under controlled circumstances. This is a key implication of Cohen’s title, Occupied Territory: her photographs mark out spaces populated by the viewer’s imagination rather than physical bodies. ('Real people have no place in these rooms,' remarked William Ewing. We see more than is actually there; we see ourselves. This shock of recognition was unsettling when the photographs were newly made. It is even more uncanny to inspect these same rooms twenty five-years later, convinced they still exist, unchanged, and wondering what other tricks time is playing on us. Comparing the interpretive possibilities for Cohen’s photographs at two points in time, we can pause − if only momentarily – the ceaseless flow of art-world trends and critical vocabularies; social, economic, and political concerns; and ever-evolving cognitive habits. In such an exercise, the images in Occupied Territory are fixed in their formal perfection, but capable of carrying various meanings. The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde

Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde at MoMA. "...From the mid-1950s through the 1960s, Tokyo transformed itself from the capital of a war-torn nation into an international center for arts, culture, and commerce, becoming home to some of the most important art being made at the time. Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde provides a focused look at the extraordinary concentration and network of creative individuals and practices in this dynamic city during these turbulent years. Featuring works of various media—painting, sculpture, photography, drawings, and graphic design, as well as video and documentary film—the exhibition offers a story of artistic crossings, collaborations, and, at times, conflicts, with the city as an incubator. It introduces the myriad avant-garde experiments that emerged as artists drew on the energy of this rapidly growing and changing metropolis."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Films of Toshio Matsumoto

The Films of Toshio Matsumoto at UbuWeb Film & Video. "...After college, Toshio Matsumoto began working at Shin-Riken Film Company and created Ginrin (1955), a progressive commercial film, in collaboration with the members of Jikken Kōbō or Experimental Workshop, an artist' group consisting of composers and artists. Since then, he has produced numerous experimental documentaries in addition to developing and publishing his own film theories. In the 1960s he started making experimental films and video art, influencing many other artists. Among his works are For the Damaged Right Eye (1968), Space Projection Ako (1970) for the Textiles Pavilion in Japan Expo '70, and Mona Lisa (1973). He has also directed commercial films, including Funeral Parade of Roses (1969) and Dogura Magura (1988). His book Eizō no hakken: Avangyarudo to dokyumentari (Discovery of Image: Avant-garde Documentary) was published in 1963 and republished in 2005."

Sayonara Amy-chan

Sayonara Amy-chan. My daughter is going back to Japan today after a 7 month stay in the USA.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Works by Bird Head

Works by Bird Head at ShanghART Gallery in Shanghai, China.

New Photography 2012

New Photography 2012 at MoMA. "...From diverse points of view, the artists in this exhibition — Michele Abeles, Birdhead, Anne Collier, Zoe Crosher, and Shirana Shahbazi — collectively examine and expand the conventional definitions of photography. They challenge the assumption that photography is solely a representational medium, explore the process of picture making, exploit the proliferation of images in a media-saturated world, and blur the lines between photography and other artistic disciplines. As the medium transforms rapidly, these artists question what it means to make a photograph in the 21st century."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Learning The Game

The Hullaballoos... Learning The Game (1965, Roulette R-4612 .mp3 audio 01:51).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What Was I Thinking: 25 Year Anniversary

Keith Carter... Chicken Feathers (1992). From the exhibition What Was I Thinking: 25 Year Anniversary at Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, IL. "...The last time I picked up a camera was May 1987, shortly before graduating from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an M.F.A. in photography. A few months before I was set to graduate, while in a hotel room recovering from eye surgery, I joked with my mother that trying to make a living being a one-eyed photographer was probably not a good career plan. After much laughter, my mother asked me what I thought I wanted to do and, much to my surprise, I said, 'I think I should open a contemporary photography gallery in Chicago.'"

Bottoms Up: Wisconsin's Historic Bars and Breweries

WPT Documentaries... Bottoms Up: Wisconsin's Historic Bars and Breweries. "...'Bottoms Up' celebrates Wisconsin history by exploring the architecture and social history of Wisconsin's bars and breweries. Based on the book by Architectural Historian Jim Draeger and Historian Mark Speltz. Watch responsibly."

Leon Levinstein

Leon Levinstein at Steven Kasher Gallery. "...a survey featuring over 50 vintage black and white prints by the celebrated master of street photography. Leon Levinstein (1910–1988) is best known for his candid, unsentimental, often acerbic figure studies made in New York City neighborhoods - from Times Square, to the Lower East Side, to Coney Island. This exhibition will feature images that reflect the artist's fearless approach to the medium. Levinstein's graphic virtuosity, his raw gestures and monumental bodies, balance compassion and cruelty as he caresses and skewers his fellow citizens of the streets. This is the first survey of Levinsteins’s work since his major exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2010."

Michael Kenna: Focus East

Michael Kenna: Focus East at Steven Wirtz Gallery. "...Focus East evidences Kenna’s ongoing love affair with the Asian landscape—an obsession that began with his earliest visits to Japan. Those initial explorations inspired many return visits, which ultimately became an annual rite of pilgrimage to Japan and other locations in Asia. What unfolds from these journeys are deeply poetic images of exquisite beauty, evidencing a life of deliberate solitude in quiet, yet visually theatrical corners of the world. Representing an absence of people, Kenna’s images are perfectly still and silent. Occasionally created with lengthy exposures, Kenna’s images capture time suspended, like the last breath of anticipation before an actor strolls onto an empty stage."


Happy Birthday to my son Jamie - 17 years old today.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


The Yamashita Yosuke Trio featuring Rie Yokoyama... Umitsubame (.mp3 audio 03:34). From Tenshi no Koukotsu OST (Ecstasy Of The Angels, 1972, directed by Koji Wakamatsu).

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Political Campaigns of the Past: 1850-2009

Political Campaigns of the Past: 1850-2009 at the WHS. "...Candidates in the past spoke face to face with citizens. They rode trains or buses across the country, stood in open wagons and convertibles to give speeches, entered floats in parades and set up booths at state fairs. They also bought space in newspapers and magazines, printed posters, fliers and bumper stickers, gave away buttons and jewelry. Opponents and supporters ran political cartoons in newspapers and magazines. The Wisconsin Historical Society has a vast archive of political campaign memorabilia dating from 1850 to the present day."

The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker and the Institute of Design

The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker and the Institute of Design at the J. Paul Getty Museum. "... Ray K. Metzker (born 1931) is known for finely crafted black-and-white prints that probe photography's expressive potential through multiple and composite images, high contrast, and selective focus. Metzker's work is part of a revered tradition that emerged from the experimental approach of Chicago's Institute of Design (ID), where he received his graduate degree in 1959. Inspired by instructors Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, Metzker fashioned an entirely personal synthesis of formal elegance, technical precision, and optical innovation."

Remebering Koji Wakamatsu

Midnight Eye Feature... Remebering Koji Wakamatsu by Jasper Johns. "...Long before the relatively recent resurgence of interest in the director, the name Koji Wakamatsu was already one to be reckoned with, certainly among those with more than a passing interest in Japanese film. He was one of those rare directors of his generation about whom you could convincingly put up an argument that the recent work was just as challenging and powerful as that from the beginning of his career, and also just as politically engaged and relevant, if not more."