In honor of the most recent American Federation for the Arts’ 2011 Cultural Leadership Award recipient, I introduce: Marina Abramović – A Love Story.
Marina Abramović, also known as the “grandmother of performance art,”
b. November 30, 1946, Belgrade, PR Serbia.
最近二十，三十年来，中国的艺术发展得很快，变化巨大。在今年十月份的 ARTnews 杂志里有一篇文章描述下一代的中国艺术家。笔者 Barbara Pollack 解释，中国现在似乎有两代艺术家。老一代的艺术家跟年轻一代来比，他们的艺术作品，想法，生活方式等差别很大。中国的当代艺术也给国家，经济带来了很大的影响。这真是与一柄双刃剑：艺术作品有助于国家的经济发展，但是中国的艺术也许给艺术家，管理和负责人，欣赏人带来了重要的社会问题。
徐冰，Book from the Sky 天书，1987－1991
中国的老一代艺术家是1950年，1960年出生的。他们是文化大革命时期（1966－1978），在毛泽东时代长大的。所以他们受到了毛泽东和共产党的教育和培养。这一代艺术家在1990年代中期火起来以后，全中国，乃至全世界都可以意识到他们有一种从国际世界隔离的中国培养出的“中国身份”。比如说，一些流行的主题就是宣传文化大革命的画面，毛泽东的图像，改革开放的风景等。两位很有名的这种老一代的艺术家是徐冰（b. 1955）和张晓刚（b. 1958）。徐冰现在是中央美术学院的副校长。张晓刚的一幅“Bloodline: The Big Family No. 3” 2008年在 Sotheby’s 拍卖的价格是$600万。 徐冰，张晓刚以及另外一些老一辈艺术家的身份地位都很高，在中国和国际艺术界很有影响。
张晓刚，Bloodline: The Big Family No. 3，1995
A Lesson in Relativity – Roles and Relations in Art Dealing
If I have gleaned one lesson from my experiences in the realm of visual arts and art history, it is a lesson in relativity. Throughout art history and continuing to modern day art dealing, there have been and still are specific roles, rigid rules, and established relationships when it comes to the handling of art and passing of its histories. The work is viewed and understood within its cultural, social, and political setting. Similarly, the gallery in which art is housed must be examined in the contexts of the visitor, the gallerist, and the artist.
Varujan Boghosian, Swan and Serpent, 2011, collage, 16 1/2 x 15"
I. The Visitor
I found myself at the Victoria Munroe Fine Art Gallery one dreary afternoon last week. The air down Newbury Street on this particular day in Boston was horribly humid and I was expecting an equally hostile, if not altogether stifling, atmosphere as I stepped into the gallery. Evidently my previous experiences in Newbury Street galleries had been less than warm and welcoming, rendering totally obsolete my desire to return. However, to my surprise, my entrance into the gallery was smooth, effortless, and dare I say it, even graceful. I was greeted by a whimsical display of collages and assemblages, romanticized images and scenes composed of swans, boats, old-fashioned maps, and the like. It felt less like a gallery visit, and instead reminded me of a shopping trip into a local Anthropologie store.
“It is, therefore, a source of great virtue for the practised mind to learn, bit by bit, first to change about invisible and transitory things, so that afterwards it may be able to leave them behind altogether. The man who finds his homeland sweet is still a tender beginner; he to whom every soil is as his native one is already strong; but he is perfect to whom the entire world is as a foreign land. The tender soul has fixed his love on one spot in the world; the strong man has extended his love to all places; the perfect man has extinguished his.”
- Hugo of Saint Victor
(12th-century monk from Saxony, Germany)
While I do not necessarily agree with this statement, I believe it is an important one to consider. We each decide how we wish to live our lives; I prefer to be strong, not perfect.
Ate my way across NYC yesterday, and looked at some art along the way…
Nick Cave at the Mary Boone Gallery, Chelsea
A few highlights:
Nick Cave - at the Mary Boone and Jack Shainman galleries in Chelsea.
I had seen one of Cave’s soundsuits at the Seattle Art Museum in May, 2010. There it was displayed next to an El Anatsui tapestry, and while the two sculptural fibers works did create a lovely, lively dynamic, it was nothing compared to the displays of Cave’s works in these two Chelsea galleries. I swear I must have heard each person gasp as they walked into the enormous industrial, warehouse space in the Boone gallery. Cave’s larger-than-life soundsuits were positioned in a dense forest of these… creatures. Creatures? Made of twigs, crocheted patches, sequins, buttons, toy figurines… Unbelievably gorgeous, visually rich, and completely mind-blowing. Cave’s exhibition continued in the Shainman gallery, a few blocks’ walk from the Boone. Equally as stunning, and seemingly more sinister. (See these bunnies.) Here, the audience could view a video of performances that highlighted these soundsuits. I came to the realization that these intricately woven, sewn, and otherwise mysteriously adhered costumes are actually functional. The performers were dancing, prancing, whipping the soundsuits around, and somehow they held up despite the wear and tear. Nothing short of amazing.