Richard used to rent a place
next to the church on Union
Street, and also in my barn
behind Curtiss House, mainly
for spraypainting some of his
deeply, appealingly weird wire figures.
As the link above notes, Artschwager works could not be fit into any neat category; his art was truly sui generis. I remember being both baffled and charmed when I first saw his drawings and sculpture in person (as opposed to reproductions) in Soho at Mary Boone in the early ’90s. The bafflement was part of the charm. He truly made art only for its own sake, following his own peculiar path.
I saw his wife Ann just a
few days ago in T.J. Maxx
of all places. She mentioned
that Richard’s retrospective at
the Whitney was just closing,
and moving on to L.A. It’s at least wonderful that the
retro happened in his lifetime.
Some 22 years ago, my first paid writing gig was for a British magazine, reviewing a Ralph Earl show at The Wadsworth Athenaeum, which was then celebrating its 100th Anniversary. A short business trip to the Hartford area brought me back to the Wadsworth for the first time since then. And I found its eclectic collections just as impressive as two decades ago.
Now, many regional museums have eclectic collections. It’s a function of availability and necessity—they take whatever they can get, by any reasonably-recognizable artis. But the Wadsworth is both eclectic and selective, with deep, well-chosen areas of expertise from early American furniture and painting to Minimalism (Sol Lewitt in particular).
There isn’t much else to see in Hartford, but if you’re ever in the area it’s absolutely worth a visit... Below is a gallery of some additional cameraphone shots of rooms and pieces there.
Thursday through Sunday are the last four days to see Laetitia Hussain’s three-story elevator shaft installation, Sycamophology, at John Davis Gallery in Hudson (362 1/2 Warren Street) before it comes down—along with the rest of the excellent group show of which it is a part. The gallery is open from 11 am to 5 pm.
The event, which featured an installation of Puryear’s work Vessel, also included a performance on a 300-year-old standup bass, a catalog essay by Carter Ratcliffe, and a separate gallery of paintings by Wides’ husband Jim Holl:
The interview by Andrew Goldman is lively, but he seems a bit more intent on gathering gossip about the artist’s love life and appearance than having a substantive discussion of her art. Perhaps as a result, the comments so far on the article are pretty much of the know-nothing, dismissive variety that Abramović has endured for much of her career, and of which the documentary (shown recently at the Berkshire International Film Festival) makes mincemeat.
During the Q&A after Saturday’s Berkshire Film Festival screening of the documentary The Artist is Present, Marina Abramović clarified an important point about her planned institute in Hudson.
The center will focus, she explained, on all of the performing arts—including for instance music and dance—not just on the specific type of performance art for which she herself is known... The kicker being that she intends to focus on “durational” performances of six hours or more, from many disciplines.
… Abramović Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art (previously announced as The Center for the Preservation of Performance Art), can be found at Rem Koolhaas’ firm’s site.
The museum, as pretty much everyone has already heard, is slated for the former Community Tennis building on the corner of Columbia and 7th Streets in Hudson and will be designed by Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu. (Note: There’s no marina at the Waterfront because City leaders think that the River is only good for moving gravel.) Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture site includes exteriors and interior visualizations, along with proposed floor plans.
Many suspect it will take some time for the money to be raised to bring this to fruition. Certainly, many other big projects announced with great fanfare for Hudson have taken a long time to come to be, or never materialize at all. Still, Abramović is at the very pinnacle of her niche in the art world; and Koolhaas's firms involvement lends that much more credibility.
The museum is being branded as a mecca for “duration-based performance,” which sounds unfortunately a bit like some kind of phony male enhancement product for sale on the counter of the gas station up the street.
(Prediction for popular local Halloween costume this year: People in black slacks and white lab coats. Check out the Koolhaas site and you’ll see... Meanwhile, if OMA really wants to curry favor locally, they might consider adding a big sign announcing the availability in the museum cafeteria of Legendary Serbian BBQ.)