Subodh Gupta, Everybody is Inside (Detail)

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March 9, 2005

Formerly an artist-run website, Artkrush has relaunched as an email magazine. Just what we need, you may be thinking — another art publication. But with an eye on the global picture, providing a filter on artists, galleries, events, and news, this one's different. Published by Flavorpill every other week, Artkrush in this issue celebrates the Armory Show, covers exhibitions in Berlin, London, and Los Angeles, and presents breaking news stories, an interview with Vince Aletti, and a profile on the artist Ellen Cantor. So, scroll down and get your 'krush on — we hope you enjoy our first run!

  Architecture changes you without you realizing. It influences your mood and alters your state of mind, simply with the space around you. By being aware of architecture, you can better appreciate it and understand the way it impacts you. Just like Absolut — by knowing that it's continuously distilled, you can savor Absolut's smoothness and purity.

Collector Wins Suit for Rights to Art
(The Art Newspaper, March 8)
Jean-Pierre Lehmann, a major art world collector, has won US$ 1.7 million in retributions from The Project's director Christian Haye after taking him to court over thwarted access to artwork. The lawsuit stems from an investment agreement between Lehmann and Haye involving US$ 75,000 in capital in exchange for exclusive acquisition privileges to work from the Project's artists, particularly Julie Mehretu.

Leading Polish Artist Murdered
(The Daily Sentinel, February 25)
Zdzislaw Beksinski, a leading contemporary Polish artist, who emerged in the '50s and is well known for creating dark, surrealist, apocolyptic images that oftentimes evoke death, died at 75. Two teenagers are charged in his murder — one is the son of a long-time Beksinski assistant.

Professor Under Bio-Terror Persecution
(The Guardian, February 27)
Steve Kurtz, art professor at State University of Buffalo, and member of techno-political art group Critical Art Ensemble, faces up to 20 years in prison for using biological elements in his interactive installations. Kurtz has become a post-9/11 cause célèbre, following the FBI's year-long investigation into his work.

Groundbreaking Curator Dies
(New York Times, February 25)
Harold Szeemann, considered the art world's first truly independent curator, died suddenly on Friday, February 18 at age 71, in his native Switzerland. In recent years, Szeemann curated the Kunsthaus Zurich and directed two highly regarded Venice Biennales (1999 and 2001). A longtime supporter of young, emerging artists, he initiated the Biennale's Aperto sector in 1980.

Australian government challenges return of cultural assets to indigenous communities. more »

Pop star Madonna lends two Frida Kahlo paintings to Tate exhibition. more »

Aspen-based entrepreneur and arts patron Harley Baldwin remembered (1945-2005).
more »

Global survey finds Japanese museums have record attendance. more »

Study declares David's "proportions" are physiologically correct. more »

British police smashes infamous art theft ring. more

Jeffrey Deitch turns art world into reality TV. more »

Russian culture minister refuses return of confiscated art to Germany. more »

The National Endowment for the Arts revives international advisory committee. more »

Victoria & Albert Museum advises Hong Kong to develop West Kowloon Cultural District.
more »

Note: Some online publications require registration to access the articles. If you encounter a registration screen, try akreader1 as the user name and password.

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Jockum Nordström (Details)

The Armory Show
New York

Titled after the controversial 1913 exhibit that introduced modernism to America, The Armory Show boasts 162 international galleries from 39 cultural capitals this year — a long way from its humble beginnings in 1994 as the Gramercy International Art Fair, a traveling show that, for five years, set up shop in rooms at the Gramercy Hotel in New York, Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, and the Raleigh in Miami Beach.

The first fair presented 32 galleries from 11 cities, occupying the top three floors of the Gramercy Hotel, where artists were challenged by the settings and dealers let them have their way: Jason Rhoades piled furniture into a funky sculpture; Nayland Blake lounged on Jack Hanley's bed in a bunny suit; Andrea Zittel made tunics for visitors to wear; and Karen Kilimnik scrawled texts in red paint all over the bathroom. In 1996, Takashi Murakami caught everyone's eye when he filled Emmanuel Perrotin's room with a massive balloon head; Paul Ramirez Jonas and Spencer Finch dressed as bellhops to dispense apples and oranges at Postmasters; and Tom Sachs previewed his irreverent interest in the readymade by turning Morris-Healy's suite into a whimsical manicure and nail painting salon.

This year the art world descends again on New York City, as the Armory Show hosts contemporary work from a slew of international galleries, including as Tokyo's Taka Ishii Gallery, Chicago's Donald Young Gallery, Sao Paolo's Galeria Fortes Vilaca, London's Victoria Miro Gallery, Lia Rumma from Naples, and New York's Jack Shainman Gallery. Adding to the amusement and recalling the spirit of the early days, Steve Powers (ESPO) transforms Deitch Projects into a bakery, complete with uniformed workers and baked goods; Mark Dion creates a Freud-inspired installation for Vienna's Georg Kargl; and Bellwether lets Allison Smith turn their Armory booth into, what else, an armory. (PL)

Note: The Armory Show runs from Friday to Monday, March 11 to 14.

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Inaugural Exhibition
The Long March Space
Now through March 20

  The Long March Foundation, named for Mao's epic journey across China, has been organizing international exhibitions of Chinese contemporary art since 2000. Following a project that took their avant-garde art and performances to the Chinese countryside, and their recent participation in the Shanghai Biennale, they have established a new gallery home in Beijing. The inaugural show features 18 artists working in a variety of media, from international stars such as Hong Hao, Zhan Wang and Wang Jinsong to Li Tianbing, a celebrated peasant who traded a cow for a camera in 1946 and has been documenting China ever since. (PL)

Bill Henson: 3 Decades of Photography
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Now through April 3

  Turn off the Bright Lights is what they might have titled the current retrospective of Bill Henson's photographs. The Australian photographer's moody large-scale pictures of foreboding skies and figures enveloped in chiaroscuro light are fluent in the cinematic vocabulary that is all the rage in contemporary photography. A combination of voyeurism and edgy film noir, Henson's best-known work mixes suburban landscapes at twilight with androgynous teens getting frisky after hours in a parked car. It's Larry Clark meets David Lynch with the alluring gloss of a Calvin Klein advertisement. (CYL)

Joseph Beuys: Actions, Vitrines, Environments
Tate Modern
Now through May 2

  Joseph Beuys lives in history as an artist like no other. In the 30-odd years of his career, he has explored a range of unorthodox materials — such as lard, felt, and copper — dabbled in the Fluxus movement, became a shaman, helped to found the Green Party in his native Germany, and conceived of Social Sculpture. Tate Modern's ambitious exhibition features some of the most important works of Beuys' career, such as the seminal action I Like America and America Likes Me, and the autobiographical installation I Want to See My Mountains. This rare assemblage of artworks is a vital introduction to a fascinating and enigmatic artist. (AK)

Lisa Ruyter: A Lady Mislaid
Arndt & Partner
Now through March 10

  Lisa Ruyter paints confectionary couture, a brand of high fashion usually seen on glossy pages or through dazzling shop windows. Her energetic canvases almost levitate with color, exhibiting a palette that references pop art graphics and the French fauves. Women strike a pose, smile coyly at men, and glide down catwalks. Her characters appear like perfect paper dolls against vibrant backgrounds, yet her titles reveal another dimension. Man in the Wilderness catches a forlorn figure gazing at a mannequin display while Woman Under the Influence shows a saucy model in a burlesque ball gown in front of a couture logo — giving cause to wonder whether Ruyter's subject is mockery or flattery. (JK)

A Walk to Remember, organized by Jens Hoffmann
Los Angeles
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
Now through May 15

  Leave it to LA to elevate the simple act of walking to an art form. A group of seminal LA-based artists, including John Baldessari and Paul McCarthy, have been leading walking tours of neighborhoods with special meaning for them, inviting participants to photo-document their experiences, and installing the results in the gallery on an ongoing basis. The pictures are of uneven aesthetic quality, but that is not the point. Rather, it is the rare intimacy between the artist, the citizen, and the city which emerges from each outing; engineering a reminder of fine art's power to challenge paradigms of perception and make of mundane reality something entirely new and wondrous. (SND)

Tim Hawkinson
New York
Whitney Museum of American Art
Now through May 29

  Forging a crafty form of conceptualism, Tim Hawkinson brings the Whitney Museum to life with his mechanical self-portraits, musical assemblages, and whimsical alterations of the commonplace. Covering nearly two decades of work in a variety of media, this survey comes at a timely moment when artists worldwide are embracing a do-it-yourself aesthetic. Hawkinson is a master of the style — making a feather from his own hair, a music box from a roasting pan, a pair of shorts from an electrical cord, and a flirtatious skeleton from rawhide dog chews and a slide whistle. Like attractions in a sideshow, his clever constructions repel, even as they evoke our wonder. (PL)
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Ellen Cantor

ellen cantor

Ellen Cantor has been creating videos for years, always fascinating viewers with their unpredictable mixes of found footage and personal melodrama, romanticism, and irony. But her latest, Bambi's Beastly Buddies (2004) — being shown at Sketch in London through March 12 — is in a different class. The modus operandi is much the same as her earlier work, but the realization is just so fluid, so richly layered, that it becomes something new. Surprisingly, now that the form has grown more refined, the emotional effect is even rawer: the humor even funnier and more scabrous, the sadness even more grievous. What Cantor's work points to is how the myths we imbibe from popular culture generate structures of feeling that allow for no resolution. "In the end," she writes, "it becomes a question for me as to how actually to live with 'love.'" Far from the whimsy perhaps promised by its title, Bambi's Beastly Buddies is dead serious about the question. (BS)

Barry Schwabsky is an American art critic and poet living in London. He co-edits the international review section of Artforum and has recently contributed to the catalogue for The Triumph of Painting at the Saatchi Gallery.

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Vince Aletti

Jane Harris interviews Vince Aletti on the eve of his departure from the Village Voice.
JH: During your 20-year tenure at the Voice, what art world moments have you found most compelling?
VA: It's hard to pin down a moment, but I'd have to say the development that has most excited me over the past two decades is the gradual, if at first grudging, acceptance of photography in the broader art world. The serious and respectful interest gallerists, collectors, and curators now give to photography of all sorts — from Cindy Sherman to Stephen Shore, Andreas Gursky to Seydou Keita — not only corrects years of benign neglect but finally established the medium solidly alongside painting and sculpture, where it belongs.

JH: Why has photography been your particular passion?
VA: Perhaps because my father was an amateur photographer, with a darkroom in the house that I grew up in, photographic images were an important part of my visual education from the beginning. I've always been drawn to photo books and magazines and love the way images work on the printed page, and long before I saw photos in galleries, I was tearing pictures by Penn, Avedon, Blumenfeld, and Man Ray out of magazines, and paging through my father's collection of US Camera Annuals. Much later, becoming friends with the photographer Peter Hujar helped me see and understand photography from the inside. More than anyone else, he trained my eye. I find photography's intimacy, immediacy, and variety irresistible.

JH: I know you are working on several book projects, one of which engages vernacular photography. How do you see this new genre reshaping our ideas about photography?
VA: For some time, important and discriminating curators and collectors — John Szarkowski, Sam Wagstaff, and Sandra Phillips come immediately to mind — have displayed and acquired anonymous photographs of all sorts. I think anyone even casually engaged with photography has seen flea market snapshots, news photos, advertising shots, and other "vernacular" images that are as arresting and provocative as any gallery photo. The 2000 Metropolitan Museum show and book of collector Thomas Walther's found photos, Other Pictures, was something of a turning point in this regard. Walther, who trained his eye on the finest examples of the avant-garde, recognized the accidental, throwaway brilliance of great snapshots, and once you've opened your eyes, why would you choose to close them again?

Vince Aletti, formerly a rock critic at Rolling Stone and a columnist for Creem, Crawdaddy, Fusion, and Record World (the last as a weekly chronicler of the rise of disco from 1974 to 1978), has been the photography critic for the Village Voice since 1987. Among other projects, in 2000 he was the co-curator of Settings & Players: Theatrical Ambiguity in American Photography at London's White Cube 2 gallery, and in 2001, organized a show of Steven Klein's fashion work for the Musee de l'Elysee in Lausanne.


Peter Hujar

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Monument to Now
by Jeffrey Deitch, Dan Cameron, Alison M. Gingeras, Massimiliano Gioni, Dakis Joannou, and Nancy Spector
Deste Foundation

The vitality of contemporary art comes to life on the pages of Monument to Now, a beautifully designed catalog for an exhibition organized by the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art for the 2004 Athens Olympics Games. Project manager and editor Jeffrey Deitch assembled an international team of curators to select work from the Dakis Joannou collection and contribute essays about the art (from Franz Ackermann to Zhang Huan, with momentous amounts of Cattelan, Gober, and Koons in between). Exquisite photographic spreads illustrate the enviable collection, while intimate snapshots of the artists and a collage of visual ephemera provide a clever context for a truly dynamic vision of art. (PL)

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Cover image
Subodh Gupta, Everybody is Inside (detail)
Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery

Jane Harris
Paul Laster
Andrew Maerkle
Mark Mangan

Chris Elam
Mark Barry

Shana Nys Dambrot
Allison Kave
Jessica Kraft
Jane Lerner
Christopher Y. Lew
Barry Schwabsky

Anjuli Ayer
Sameer Shah

Mailer Design
Jessica Bauer-Greene
Mark Barry

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