Friday, November 25, 2011

Pipilotti Rist at the Cinema Manzoni, Milano

Yesterday I took in this intallation by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist. The Cinema Manzoni, a beautiful  but out of business movie theater built in 1947, was filled with her work. From outside, looking through the huge glass doors at the entrance, you see the  underpants chandelier titled Cape Cod Chandelier .  The artist projected a video on the sculpture, giving it a "lit from inside" effect. On the ground floor on the movie screen there was a loop of her (reminded me of Jenny Saville paintings-but Rist, I am pretty sure, did this first) smashing her face on a pane of glass, mixed with what looked like the inside of a psychedelic lava lamp, called Open my Glade, from 2000. I liked this part of the film, because it was so much like painting. My interpretation of this piece is that we are basically slime and jelly, like the lava (trails of saliva, make-up, ect were left as evidence on the glass).

One of the windows of the Armani Store across the street-It took up the entire block and was pretty amazing and as good as the art across the street. 

The best was upstairs! A video of two Swiss misses frolicking in leaves - very psychedelic- was projected on the ceiling titled Homo Sapiens Sapiens from 2005. What made it richer was the glittery mosaic of the old theater's ceiling. There were pillows made from pairs of pants to wrap around your neck and shoulders, for your viewing pleasure. I did not take pictures of this because I think I had an acid trip flash-back from the seventies, and was too spaced out. It also could've been having that warm pillow around my neck.  I wasn't expecting to like this, and was pleasantly surprised. The not thinking really makes you think, like doing yoga and emptying the mind. Brava Pipilotti!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ten Tousand Kilometers of the Yangtze River, by Wu Guanzhong

"Ten Thousand Kilometers of the Yangtze River"is by the late Chinese artist Wu Guanzhong, who died last year at the age of 91. This oil painting just sold at auction in China for the equivalent of 23.6 million dollars. Painted in 1973-74, it is considered one of the artist's best works. Ihis is a detail of the painting. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Minimalism and Biography

Lynda Benglis, looking extremely cool.

Eva Hesse, looks about eighteen. 

Lucy Lippard-simpatica.

Simone Forti-dancing

Yvonne Ranier in a leotard.
Ana Mendieta, performing "Blood"
Just for fun I found images of the women artists mentioned in "Minimalism and Biography" by Anna Chave.

Cecily Brown at Gagosian, Rome

Cecily Brown is a painter whose work I have admired for a long time. She is the late David Sylvester's daughter, btw.

Friday, November 4, 2011

FutureModern: Josh Smith at Luhring Augustine

FutureModern: Josh Smith at Luhring Augustine

installation Josh Smith

drawings and artist book

artist book
more artist books

I discovered this interesting artist at the Venice Biennial. Here is my photograph of his giant installation in the Arsenale. There was also an exhibition of his artist books in the Biennial library. What I like about Smith is his youthful energy and simple materials.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Paintings

  "Abstract Expressionism and the American Experience:A Reevaluation" by Irving Sandler, from 2009, is the author's second book on abstract expressionism. The first book Sandler wrote in 1970 when he published "The Triumph of American Painting." He worked on it for twenty some years. Lee Krasner was omitted the first time, but is included in the new book(she's the only woman included-grrr). The following is a passage that I like.

"The advanced New York painters made use of accidental drawing and painting, but they recognize that reflection and critical appraisal were required to invest a painting with a sense of emotional truth and a cogent pictorial structure. Actually their painting was more improvisational than spontaneous."     Irving Sandler

Spontaneous means visceral. To improvise means to devise.

The following paintings are still referring to elements in the city; building sites, subway and train stations, scaffolding, disgarded tires. My mentor suggested that I look at colors from photographs I have taken. I did this and also have been using imagery from the internet and newspapers. I am thinking about how shaky everything is these days, from the toppled Italian prime minister (yes!), to dramatic climate changes (floods in Liguria, at the Cinque Terre) and the toxic waste problem that plagues southern Italy and elsewhere. There was a small photograph of a river of garbage in the paper that found its way into "A Napoli"(In Naples).
acrylic, spray paint on canvas 100x60cm title: Escalating

acrylic, spray paint on linen 40x50cm untitled
acrylic on linen 40x50cm untitled
acrylic on linen 40x50cm untitled

acrylic on linen 130x100 cm title:A Napoli (this refers to a river of garbage that overflowed during recent heavy rain). There is a huge toxic refuse problem in Naples.  

acrylic on canvas 120x120cm title: M 

acrylic on canvas 130x130cm title:Bolted

130x130cm acrylic on canvas title: Toxic Towne

acrylic, spray paint on canvas title: Tires

acrylic ,spray paint on linen 100x130cm title:Skeleton

130x100 acrylic on linen title: Infinity Tires