The Whitney To Present “Making Knowing: Craft In Art, 1950–2019,” Highlighting Rarely Seen Artworks From The Museum’s Collection

On November 22, the Whitney Museum of American Art opens Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019, an exhibition that foregrounds how visual artists have explored the materials, methods, and strategies of craft. Beginning in the 1950s—at a time when many artists embraced fiber arts and ceramics to challenge the dominance of traditional painting and sculpture—Making Knowing moves through the next seven decades, presenting works that speak to artists’ interests in domesticity, hobbyist materials, the decorative, vernacular American traditions, “women’s work,” and feminist and queer aesthetics.

Drawn primarily from the Whitney’s collection, the exhibition features over eighty artworks in a variety of media, including textiles, ceramics, painting, drawing, photography, video, and large-scale sculptural installation. The more than sixty artists represented include Anni Albers, Richard Artschwager, Ruth Asawa, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Robert Gober, Shan Goshorn, Harmony Hammond, Eva Hesse, Sheila Hicks, Mike Kelley, Yayoi Kusama, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, Simone Leigh, Robert Morris, Claes Oldenburg, Pepón Osorio, Howardena Pindell, Ken Price, Robert Rauschenberg, Faith Ringgold, Miriam Schapiro, Arlene Shechet, Kiki Smith, Lenore Tawney, Peter Voulkos, Marie Watt, and Betty Woodman.

Liza Lou (b. 1969), Kitchen, 1991–96. Beads, plaster, wood and found objects, 96 × 132 × 168 in. (243.8 × 335.3 × 426.7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Peter Norton 2008.339a-x. © Liza Lou. Photograph by Tom Powel, courtesy the artist

One of the greatest pleasures and responsibilities that comes with digging into the Whitney’s collection is the way it continually compels us to reevaluate our received ideas about taste, style, and even what counts as art at any moment,” remarks Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. “By focusing on materials and techniques associated with craft, Making Knowing will offer jolts of surprise, emotion, provocation, and discovery through an incredible range of works, more than half of which have never been on display in our galleries.”

Harmony Hammond (b. 1944), Hug, 1978. Acrylic on fabric and wood, 64 × 30 1/4 × 14 in. (162.6 × 76.8 × 35.6 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Rosemary McNamara 2017.208a-b. © 2019 Harmony Hammond/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Making Knowing is organized chronologically and thematically, beginning with a gallery of works from the 1950s. Throughout this decade, artists such as Ruth Asawa, Robert Rauschenberg, and Peter Voulkos experimented with wire, scavenged fabric, and clay. Others, including Sheila Hicks, Lenore Tawney, and Ann Wilson, explored weaving, both on and off the loom, and painting on found quilts. By employing marginalized craft media, they challenged the power structures that determined artistic value. Presenting these artists together reveals the profound influence that craft had on abstraction during this period.

Betty Woodman (1930–2018), Still Life #11, 1990. Glazed and polychromed ceramic, 35 × 10 1/4 × 7 5/8 in. (88.9 × 26 × 19.4 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Julia Childs Augur 92.25. © Betty Woodman0

Subsequent galleries demonstrate how artists working in the 1960s and 1970s frequently questioned why fine art was more accepted and valued than more vernacular or utilitarian traditions. Among them, Richard Artschwager, Eva Hesse, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Morris, Howardena Pindell, and Alan Shields experimented with unconventional materials such as rope, felt, and string, and in doing so influenced various art historical movements, including Pop Art, Minimalism, and Process art. In Shields’s J + K, 1972, the canvas border creates a satirically legitimizing frame for craft materials like strands of beads.

Alan Shields (1944–2005), J + K, 1972. Acrylic, thread, beads on canvas, 107 × 252 7/8 × 2 3/4 in. (271.8 × 642.3 × 7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Paula Cooper 2017.165a-l. © Estate of Alan Shields

Making Knowing also highlights modes of making from the 1970s and 1980s frequently categorized as “women’s work.” While this phrase denigrated certain materials and aesthetics associated with femininity, artists purposefully worked in these ways in order to question gender roles in both the art world and society at large. Artists such as Barbara Chase-Riboud, Harmony Hammond, Kim MacConnel, Elaine Reichek, Miriam Schapiro, and Betty Woodman used cloth, embroidery, sewing, and ceramics to elevate the often-disparaged tradition of the “decorative,” and to attest to the impossibility of tethering these techniques to a single use or means of expression.

The works on display from the 1980s and 1990s exemplify how artists during this period looked at art and its relationship to devotional practices and often grappled with an ambivalence towards organized religion. Arch Connelly, Robert Gober, Mike Kelley, Lucas Samaras, Kiki Smith, and Rosie Lee Tompkins used wide-ranging materials including quilts, found and sewn textiles, candles, artificial flowers, and beads in artworks that reveal the relationship between the spiritual and the worldly. Working at the height of the AIDS crisis, several of these artists’ attention to handcrafting objects attempted to provide an emotionally reparative experience in the absence of aid from the government or religious authorities.

A gallery dedicated to artwork from the mid-1990s to the present broadly addresses issues of the body and place. Liza Lou’s monumental installation Kitchen, 1991–1996, is a handmade, life-size kitchen composed of sparkling beads. Through subject matter and materials, Lou combines the physical labor of domestic life and the painstaking making of an artwork. On view for the first time here are recent acquisitions by Shan Goshorn, Kahlil Robert Irving, Simone Leigh, Jordan Nassar, and Erin Jane Nelson.

Many of the artists in Making Knowing have taken up historically marginalized materials in order to upend hierarchies that have persisted in art history and in museum collecting practices,” explains co-curator Jennie Goldstein. Elisabeth Sherman, co-curator, continues, “Together they demonstrate that craft-informed techniques of making carry their own kind of knowledge, one that is indispensable to a more complete understanding of the history and potential of art.

Making Knowing offers a fresh look at a prominent, ever-present thread of the Whitney’s collection. The exhibition’s title reformulates the historical tension often separating craft and fine art by leveling the distinction between the world of the handmade, “making,” and the world of ideas, “knowing.”

Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 will be on view beginning November 22, 2019, in the Museum’s sixth-floor collection galleries. The Whitney’s sixth-floor galleries continue to serve as a space to present challenging, thematic exhibitions that explore and rethink various threads of the Museum’s collection. Past sixth-floor collection exhibitions include An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1940–2017 (2017–2018) and Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018 (2018–2019).

Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 is curated by Jennie Goldstein, assistant curator, and Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curator, with Ambika Trasi, curatorial assistant.

Support for Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 is provided by the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation.

This Just In!: David Breslin And Adrienne Edwards Will Curate The 2021 Whitney Biennial

The Whitney Museum of American Art announced today that its 2021 Biennial, the 80th edition, will be co-organized by two brilliant members of the Museum’s curatorial department, David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards. The 2021 Whitney Biennial exhibition will open in the spring of 2021 and is presented by Tiffany & Co., which has been the lead sponsor of the Biennial since the Museum’s move downtown.

Image credit: Adrienne Edwards and David Breslin. Photograph by Bryan Derballa

Alice Pratt Brown Director Adam D. Weinberg noted: “The central aim of the Biennial is to be a barometer of contemporary American art. Each Biennial is a reflection of the cultural and social moment as it intersects with the passions, perspectives, and tastes of the curators. David and Adrienne will be a great team. They are inquisitive, curious, and are acutely attuned to the art of the current moment. No doubt they will bring fresh outlooks to this historic exhibition and reinvent it for these complex and challenging times.”

With a long history of exhibiting the most promising and influential artists and provoking debate, the Whitney Biennial is the Museum’s signature survey of the state of contemporary art in the United States. The Biennial, an invitational show of work produced in the preceding two years, was introduced by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, and it is the longest continuous series of exhibitions in the country to survey recent developments in American art.

Initiated by founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, the Whitney Biennial is the longest-running survey of American art. More than 3,600 artists have participated, including Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, Alexander Calder, Louise Bourgeois, Joan Mitchell, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, Agnes Martin, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra, Lynda Benglis, Frank Bowling, Joan Jonas, Barbara Kruger, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, David Wojnarowicz, Glenn Ligon, Yvonne Rainer, Zoe Leonard, Kara Walker, Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Mike Kelley, Lorna Simpson, Renée Green, Wade Guyton, Julie Mehretu, Cecilia Vicuña, Mark Bradford, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Ellen Gallagher, Rachel Harrison, Wu Tsang, Nick Mauss, Sarah Michelson, Laura Owens, Postcommodity, Pope.L, Jeffrey Gibson, and Tiona Nekkia McClodden.

The biennials were originally organized by medium, with painting alternating with sculpture and works on paper. Starting in 1937, the Museum shifted to yearly exhibitions called Annuals. The current format—a survey show of work in all media occurring every two years—has been in place since 1973. The 2019 Biennial (still on partial view on the Museum’s sixth floor until October 27) was organized by two Whitney curators, Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley. It featured seventy-five artists and collectives working in painting, sculpture, installation, film and video, photography, performance, and sound.

David Breslin was recently named the DeMartini Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Initiatives, a role he will assume this month. Since joining the Museum in 2016 as DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection, Breslin has spearheaded the Museum’s collection-related activities, curating a series of major collection exhibitions and overseeing acquisitions. Working closely with his curatorial colleagues, he has organized or co-organized four timely and thematized collection displays, including Where We Are: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1900–1960, An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1940–2017, Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s, and The Whitney’s Collection: Selections from 1900 to 1965, which is currently on view on the Museum’s seventh floor. In 2018, he co-curated (with David Kiehl) the landmark retrospective David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night.

Breslin came to the Whitney from the Menil Drawing Institute, where he created an ambitious program of exhibitions and public and scholarly events and helped to shape the design of the Institute’s new facility. He also oversaw work on the catalogue raisonné of the drawings of Jasper Johns and grew the collection. Prior to the Menil, Breslin served as the associate director of the research and academic program and associate curator of contemporary projects at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA; he also oversaw the Clark’s residential fellowship program and taught in the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. Breslin co-edited Art History and Emergency: Crises in the Visual Arts and Humanities (Yale University Press, 2016), a volume that grew from a Clark Conference he organized with art historian Darby English.

In 2018, Adrienne Edwards was named Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance at the Whitney. Previously, she served as curator of Performa since 2010 and as Curator at Large for the Walker Art Center since 2016.

At the Whitney, Edwards curated Jason Moran, the artist’s first museum show, now on view on the Museum’s eighth floor. She originated the exhibition at the Walker in 2018; it previously traveled to the ICA Boston and the Wexner Center for the Arts. The exhibition features a series of performances, Jazz on a High Floor in the Afternoon, curated by Edwards and Moran. She organized the event commencing the construction of David Hammons’s Day’s End, featuring a commission by composer Henry Threadgill and a “water” tango on the Hudson River by the Fire Department of the City of New York’s Marine Company 9. Earlier this year, Edwards organized Moved by the Motion: Sudden Rise, a series of performances based on a text co-written by Wu Tsang, boychild, and Fred Moten, which presented a collage of words, film, movements, and sounds.

For Performa, Edwards realized new boundary-defying commissions, as well as pathfinding conferences and film programs with a wide range of over forty international artists. While at the Walker, she co-led the institution-wide Mellon Foundation Interdisciplinary Initiative, an effort to expand ways of commissioning, studying, collecting, documenting, and conserving cross-disciplinary works. Edwards’s curatorial projects have included the critically acclaimed exhibition and catalogue Blackness in Abstraction, hosted by Pace Gallery in 2016. She also organized Frieze’s Artist Award and Live program in New York in 2018. Edwards taught art history and visual studies at New York University and The New School, and she is a contributor to the National Gallery of Art’s Center for the Advanced Study in Visual Art’s forthcoming publication Black Modernisms.

Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, said, “David and Adrienne truly represent the best spirit and ideals of the Whitney. Not only are they devoted to—and beloved by—living artists, but they bring to the art of our time a deep historical and scholarly awareness. The most recent editions of the Biennial have reaffirmed its vitality and relevance, and I look forward to discovering how another pair of Whitney curators will lend their voices to our signature exhibition.”

America Is Hard to See: Film & Video Screenings at The Whitney Museum of American Art

As part of the landmark exhibition America Is Hard to See, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents a screening series showcasing films and videos from the Museum’s collection by approximately fifty artists. Programs screen on select Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in the Susan and John Hess Family Theater on the Museum’s third floor. Special Saturday evening events feature expanded cinema performances and rare screenings of works on film.

SCREENING SCHEDULE

Nayland Blake (b. 1960), still from Negative Bunny, 1994. Video, color, sound, 30 min. looped. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Lin Lougheed  2014.268 © Nayland Blake 1994; image courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

Nayland Blake (b. 1960), still from Negative Bunny, 1994. Video, color, sound, 30 min. looped. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Lin Lougheed 2014.268 © Nayland Blake 1994; image courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

Normal Love
July 3, 11 am
August 22, 7 pm
September 6, 4 pm

In Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures (1962–63), David Wojnarowicz’s A Fire in My Belly (1986–87), Nayland Blake’s Negative Bunny (1994), and Kenneth Anger’s Mouse Heaven (2005), intense desire is often expressed through indirect means, including role-playing and emulation or appropriation of popular culture.

Jack Smith  (b. 1932, Colombus, OH; d. 1989; New York, NY), Flaming Creatures, 1962–63. 16mm film, black‑and‑white, sound, 43 min. Gift of Gladstone Gallery, New York 2010.209

David Wojnarowicz (b. 1954, Red Bank, NJ; d. 1992, New York, NY), A Fire In My Belly (Film In Progress) and A Fire In My Belly (Excerpt), 1986–87. Super 8mm film transferred to video, black‑and‑white and color, silent, 13:06 min. and 7 min. Purchase with funds from the Director’s Discretionary Fund 2012.4

Nayland Blake (b. 1960, New York, NY), Negative Bunny, 1994. Video, color, sound; 30 min. Gift of Lin Lougheed 2014.268

Kenneth Anger (b. 1927, Santa Monica, CA), Mouse Heaven, 2005. Video, color, sound; 10 min. Gift of the artist 2006.226

Mike Kelley (1954-2012), still from Day Is Done, 2005-2006. Video, color, sound; 169 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from Randy Slifka  2009.128 © Estate of Mike Kelley; Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

Mike Kelley (1954-2012), still from Day Is Done, 2005-2006. Video, color, sound; 169 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from Randy Slifka 2009.128 © Estate of Mike Kelley; Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

Day Is Done
July 3, 2 pm
August 16, 11 am
September 19, 1 pm

Mike Kelley based his 2005–6 Day is Done on a series of high school yearbook photographs of “extracurricular activities,” which Kelley transformed into a fractured, quasi-narrative musical that cycles through themes such as personal trauma, the structure of the institution, repressed memory, mass cultural ritual, and adolescence.

Mike Kelley (b. 1954, Detroit, MI; d. 2012, South Pasadena, CA) Day Is Done, 2005–6. Video, color, sound; 169 min. Purchase with funds from Randy Slifka 2009.128

Matt Saunders (b. 1975), still from Century Rolls, 2012. Video, color; 10:45 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee 2013.81 © 2015 Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders (b. 1975), still from Century Rolls, 2012. Video, color; 10:45 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee 2013.81 © 2015 Matt Saunders

The Art of Vision
July 3, 8 pm
August 21, 11 am
September 19, 5 pm

The program includes Julie Murray’s Untitled (light) (2002), Sandra Gibson’s NYC Flower Film (2003), Stan Brakhage’s Chinese Series (2003), Bryan Frye’s Oona’s Veil (2000), Luis Recoder’s Linea (2002), and Matt Saunders’s Century Rolls (2012). Examining the material and formal conditions of film, video, and animation, these artists build on the tradition of American avant-garde filmmaking. On September 19, Sandra Gibson’s NYC Flower Film will be screened on film, and Gibson will be present.

Brian Frye (b. 1974, San Francisco, CA), Oona’s Veil, 2000. 16mm film, black and white, sound; 11 min. Purchase with funds from the Film and Video Committee 2002.160

Julie Murray (b. 1961, Dublin, Ireland), Untitled (light), 2002. 16mm film, color, sound; 5 min. Purchase with funds from the Film and Video Committee 2004.46

Luis Recoder (b. 1971, San Francisco, CA), Linea, 2002. Two channel 16mm film, black and white, silent; 18 min. Purchase with funds from the Film and Video Committee 2005.23

Sandra Gibson (b. 1968, Portland, OR), NYC Flower Film, 2003. Super 8 film transferred to video, color, silent; 5 min. Purchase with funds from George Kaufman 2004.642

Stan Brakhage (b. 1933, Kansas City, MO; d. 2003; Victoria, Canada), Chinese Series, 2003. 16mm film, color, silent; 2 min. Purchase, with funds from the Orentreich Family Foundation  2005.119

Matt Saunders (b. 1975; Tacoma, WA) Century Rolls, 2012. Video, color, silent; 10:45 min. Purchase with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee 2013.81

Maya Deren (1917-1961), still from At Land, 1944. 16mm film, black-and-white, silent, 15 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee  2015.45 © Estate of Maya Deren; image courtesy Anthology Film Archives

Maya Deren (1917-1961), still from At Land, 1944. 16mm film, black-and-white, silent, 15 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee 2015.45 © Estate of Maya Deren; image courtesy Anthology Film Archives

Dream States
July 4, 11 am
August 16, 3 pm
September 6, 2 pm

Made in the 1940s, Maya Deren’s At Land (1944) and Hans Richter’s Dreams that Money Can Buy (1947) draw on dream imagery and surrealism to produce non-narrative experimental cinema.

Maya Deren (b. 1917, Kiev, Ukraine; d. 1961, New York, NY) At Land, 1944. 16mm film transferred to video, black-and-white, silent; 15 min. Purchase with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee  2015.45

Hans Richter (b. 1888, Berlin, Germany; d. 1976, Minusio, Switzerland) Dreams That Money Can Buy, 1943. 16mm film transferred to video, color, sound; 85 min. Purchase with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee  T.2014.151

Yvonne Rainer (b. 1934), still from Five Easy Pieces, 1966-69. 8mm and 16mm film transferred to video, black-and-white, silent; 48 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo in honor of Ron Clark and The Independent Study Program  2011.91 © Yvonne Rainer; courtesy Video Data Bank, www.vdb.org

Yvonne Rainer (b. 1934), still from Five Easy Pieces, 1966-69. 8mm and 16mm film transferred to video, black-and-white, silent; 48 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo in honor of Ron Clark and The Independent Study Program 2011.91 © Yvonne Rainer; courtesy Video Data Bank, http://www.vdb.org

Inner and Outer Territories
July 4, 3 pm
August 21, 2 pm
September 6, 11 am

The social and psychological space presented in Yvonne Rainer’s Five Easy Pieces (1966–69) and David Lamelas’s The Desert People (1974) is set against the landscape of the deserts of the American West represented in Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels (1978) and Walter De Maria’s Hardcore (1969).

Yvonne Rainer (b. 1934, San Francisco, CA), Five Easy Pieces, 1966–69. 8mm and 16mm film transferred to video, black‑and‑white, silent, 48 min. Purchase with funds from Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo in honor of Ron Clark and The Independent Study Program  2011.91

Walter De Maria (b. 1935, Albany, CA; d. 2013, Los Angeles, CA), Hardcore, 1969. Two‑channel 16mm film transferred to video, color, sound; 28 min. Gift of Virginia Dwan  94.79

David Lamelas (b. 1946, Buenos Aires, Argentina), The Desert People, 1974. 16mm film, color, sound; 52 min. Gift of the artist  2001.238

Nancy Holt (b. 1938, Worcester, MA; d. 2014, New York, NY), Sun Tunnels, 1978. 16mm film transferred to video, color, sound, 28:31 min. Purchase with funds from Cristina Enriquez‑Bocobo in honor of Cody Smith  2010.142

Howardena Pindell (b. 1943), still from Free, White and 21, 1980. Video, color, sound; 12:15 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee  2015.35 © Howardena Pindell

Howardena Pindell (b. 1943), still from Free, White and 21, 1980. Video, color, sound; 12:15 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee 2015.35 © Howardena Pindell

Radical Takes
July 4, 6 pm
August 23, 11 am
August 30, 4 pm

Made at the height of the feminist movement, Howardena Pindell’s Free, White and 21 (1980), Cynthia Maughan’s sixteen selected videos (1973–78), and Suzanne Lacy’s Learn Where the Meat Comes From (1976) present frank, derisive, and at times humorous commentary on identity, including female subjectivity, and—in Pindell’s case—race.

Howardena Pindell (b. 1943, Philadelphia, PA), Free, White and 21, 1980. Video, color, sound; 12:15 min. Purchase with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee  2015.35

Cynthia Maughan (b. 1949, Bell, CA), Scar/Scarf, 1973–74; Arteries and Veins, 1974; Frozen & Buried Alive, 1974–75; Coffin from Toothpicks, 1975; Statue, 1975; Razor Necklace, 1975; The Way Underpants Really Are, 1975; Chart of the Solar Systems Showing Gods Home on Venus, 1975; Monster Voice, 1975; Candy Mexican Hats, 1977; The Four Horsemen, 1977; Tsetse Fly, 1977–78; On Being in Love, 1977–78; I Tell Three Cats About Jail, 1977–78; Tamale Pie, 1978; Calcium Pills, 1978. All: Video, sound; running times variable. Purchased with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee  2015.1.1–16

Suzanne Lacy (b. 1945, Wasco, CA) Learn Where the Meat Comes From, 1976, from the series Anatomy Lessons. Video, color, sound; 14:20 min. Purchase with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee  2014.142

Kevin Jerome Everson (b. 1965), still from Act One: Betty and the Candle, 2010. 16mm film transferred to video, black-and-white, silent, 11:25 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee  2012.17 © Kevin Jerome Everson; courtesy the artist, Tribolite-Arts DAC, and Picture Palace Pictures

Kevin Jerome Everson (b. 1965), still from Act One: Betty and the Candle, 2010. 16mm film transferred to video, black-and-white, silent, 11:25 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee 2012.17 © Kevin Jerome Everson; courtesy the artist, Tribolite-Arts DAC, and Picture Palace Pictures

Lyrical Observations
July 5, 11 am
August 14, 7 pm
August 29, 11 am

Robert Beavers’s Sotiros (1975–96), Kevin Jerome Everson’s Act One: Betty and the Candle (2010), Anna Gaskell’s SOSW Ballet (2011), and David Hartt’s Stray Light (2011) are intimate observations that become poetic—sometimes lyrical, sometimes pensive—in their sustained duration.

Robert Beavers (b. 1949, Brookline, MA), Sotiros, 1975–96. 35mm film, color, sound; 25 min. Purchase with funds from the Film and Video Committee and preserved with funds from the National Film Preservation Foundation  2003.90

Kevin Jerome Everson (b. 1965, Mansfield, OH), Act One: Betty and the Candle, 2010. 16mm film transferred to video, black-and-white, silent, 11:25 min. Purchase with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee  2012.17

Anna Gaskell (b. 1969, Des Moines, IA), SOSW Ballet, 2011. 35mm film, color, sound; 27:04 min. Purchase with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee  2012.20

David Hartt (b. 1967, Montreal, Canada), Stray Light, 2011. Video, color, sound; 12:12 min. Purchase with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee  2013.80

Liz Magic Laser (b. 1981), still from I Feel Your Pain, 2011. Video, color, sound; 180 min., with poster. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo and The Dorothea L. Leonhardt Foundation, Inc. in honor of Ron Clark, Director, Independent Study Program  2013.14 © Liz Magic Laser 2011. Performa Commission. Featuring Annie Fox and Rafael Jordan. Photograph by Yola Monakhov

Liz Magic Laser (b. 1981), still from I Feel Your Pain, 2011. Video, color, sound; 180 min., with poster. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo and The Dorothea L. Leonhardt Foundation, Inc. in honor of Ron Clark, Director, Independent Study Program 2013.14 © Liz Magic Laser 2011. Performa Commission. Featuring Annie Fox and Rafael Jordan. Photograph by Yola Monakhov

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Sundance Institute Announces Films and Installations for 2014 Edition of New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival

FEATURING U.S. PREMIERE OF DOUG AITKEN’S THE SOURCE (EVOLVING)

KLIP COLLECTIVE SHOWCASES FESTIVAL’S 30-YEAR LEGACY WITH 3D-MAPPING PROJECTIONS

NEW LOCATION, EXPANDED OFFERINGS MARK 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL pdc_sundance2014logo The films and installations to be featured in the 2014 edition of New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival, as announced by the Sundance Institute, includes the U.S. premiere of The Source (evolving) by renowned artist Doug Aitken and a 3D projection-mapping project by Klip Collective. The 2014 Sundance Film Festival takes place January 16-26 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

New Frontier champions films that expand, experiment with, and explode traditional storytelling. Recognizing the crossroads of film, art, and media technology as a hotbed for cinematic innovation, New Frontier is also a venue showcasing media installations, multimedia performances, transmedia experiences, and panel discussions that explore the expansion of cinema culture in today’s rapidly changing media landscape.

Most of the installations will be housed at a new, 5,000-square-foot location at the Gateway in Park City, which is adjacent to Main Street; Doug Aitken’s The Source (evolving) and the Klip Collective exterior projections on the Egyptian Theatre will be in nearby locations along the Main Street corridor. Admission to all New Frontier installations is free.

This year’s expanded ‘New Frontier’ allows artists to continue pushing the boundaries in telling their stories,” said Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute. “In addition, this expanded work helps us mark the 30th anniversary of the Sundance Film Festival,” he added.

Shari Frilot, Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer and curator of the exhibition, said, “As human and machine, biological and media experiences blur and hybridize, the distinctions between them are also becoming irrelevant. The digital and the organic integrally constitute a new primordial pool. What does creativity and storytelling look like if we revel in this new way of being?”

U.S. PREMIERE OF DOUG AITKEN’S SITE-SPECIFIC FILM INSTALLATION THE SOURCE (EVOLVING) The 2014 edition of New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival will host the U.S. premiere of The Source (evolving) by renowned artist Doug Aitken.The Source (evolving) is a series of filmed conversations about creativity in the 21st Century in which Aitken conducts short candid conversations with groundbreaking pioneers in different artistic disciplines.

The piece creates a fast and rhythmic kaleidoscope of dialogues with the creative individuals who are shaping modern culture. The conversations are grounded by two questions: where does the creative idea start, and what is the journey to the finished creation? The Source (evolving) is filmed on location in unique and diverse destinations throughout the world and premiered at the Tate Liverpool last year. The Source (evolving) will be housed in the Pavilion, a new 2,000-square-feet, stand-alone, circular structure to be custom-built by the Festival in a location adjacent to Park City’s Main Street. The architecture was created in collaboration with David Adjaye. Six-channel video projections of The Source (evolving) span the entire width of the structure’s interior and are also visible from the outside, wrapping the structure’s exterior.

For the Festival, Aitken will develop an accompanying interactive website for The Source (evolving). The website will connect audiences not attending the Festival with the work and serve as a living archive that Aitken will continue to populate with interviews in the years to come. Currently, the interviewees include William Eggleston, Ryan Trecartin, Thomas Demand, Richard Phillips, Lucky Dragons, Paolo Soleri, Jack Pierson, James Murphy, Stephen Shore, Jacques Herzog, Philippe Parreno, Liz Diller, Jack White, Mike Kelley, Devendra Banhart, Beck, David Adjaye, Tilda Swinton, Alice Waters, Aaron Koblin, Liz Glynn, Theaster Gates, and James Turrell.

Aitken said, “The Source (evolving) examines the entire process of creation, not just the finished result, and speaking directly with the creators whose work has the ability to steer culture in a significant way, The Source (evolving) takes viewers on a fast-moving road trip through the modern landscape of creativity.”

As such, The Sundance Film Festival, with its legacy of discovering inspired independent artists and attracting audiences curious about the creative process, is the perfect platform to host the U.S. premiere of The Source (evolving). Aitken’s work was last featured at the Sundance Film Festival in the 2008 edition of New Frontier, where he presented a special single-channel version of Sleepwalkers, his groundbreaking MoMA installation that transformed an entire block of Manhattan into an expansive cinematic experience as he covered the museum’s exteriors walls with projections. The U.S. premiere of The Source (evolving) at the Festival is made possible by a generous contribution from The Maurice Marciano Family Foundation.

KLIP COLLECTIVE EXTERIOR PROJECTIONS ON EGYPTIAN THEATRE

KLIP COLLECTIVE EXTERIOR PROJECTIONS ON EGYPTIAN THEATRE - "What’s He Projecting In There,”  (Photo Credit: Pier Nicola D'Amico)

KLIP COLLECTIVE EXTERIOR PROJECTIONS ON EGYPTIAN THEATRE – “What’s He Projecting In There,” (Photo Credit: Pier Nicola D’Amico)

KLIP COLLECTIVE EXTERIOR PROJECTIONS ON EGYPTIAN THEATRE - "What’s He Projecting In There,”  (Photo Credit: Pier Nicola D'Amico)

KLIP COLLECTIVE EXTERIOR PROJECTIONS ON EGYPTIAN THEATRE – “What’s He Projecting In There,” (Photo Credit: Pier Nicola D’Amico)

KLIP COLLECTIVE EXTERIOR PROJECTIONS ON EGYPTIAN THEATRE - "What’s He Projecting In There,”  (Photo Credit: Pier Nicola D'Amico)

KLIP COLLECTIVE EXTERIOR PROJECTIONS ON EGYPTIAN THEATRE – “What’s He Projecting In There,” (Photo Credit: Pier Nicola D’Amico)

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MoMA PS1 PRESENTS MAJOR COMPREHENSIVE RETROSPECTIVE OF MIKE KELLEY THIS FALL

LARGEST EXHIBITION OF ARTIST’S WORK TO-DATE WILL OCCUPY ALL OF MOMA PS1

Mike Kelley

October 13, 2013–February 2, 2014

MoMA PS1 (Entire Building)

MoMA PS1 presents Mike Kelley, the largest exhibition of the artist’s work to-date and the first comprehensive survey since 1993. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of our time, Mike Kelley (1954-2012) produced a body of deeply innovative work mining American popular culture and both modernist and alternative traditions—which he set in relation to relentless self- and social examinations, both dark and delirious. Bringing together over 200 works, from early pieces made during the 1970s through 2012, the exhibition occupies the entire museum. This exhibition marks the first time the entire building of MoMA PS1 has been dedicated to a single artist. Mike Kelley is on view from October 13, 2013 through February 2, 2014.

Mike Kelley. Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites. 1991/1999. Plush toys sewn over wood and wire frames with styrofoam packing material, nylon rope, pulleys, steel hardware and hanging plates, fiberglass, car paint, and disinfectant. Overall dimensions variable. (c) Estate of Mike Kelley.  Images courtesy of Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Los Angeles. Photography: Joshua White/JWPictures.com.

Mike Kelley. Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites. 1991/1999. Plush toys sewn over wood and wire frames with styrofoam packing material, nylon rope, pulleys, steel hardware and hanging plates, fiberglass, car paint, and disinfectant. Overall dimensions variable. (c) Estate of Mike Kelley. Images courtesy of Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Los Angeles. Photography: Joshua White/JWPictures.com.

Born in Detroit, Kelley lived and worked in Los Angeles from the mid-1970s until his tragic death last year at the age of 57. Over his thirty-five year career, he worked in every conceivable medium—drawings on paper, sculpture, performances, music, video, photography, and painting. Speaking of his early work and artistic concerns at large, Kelley had said, ―My entrance into the art world was through the counter-culture, where it was common practice to lift material from mass culture and ‗pervert‘ it to reverse or alter its meaning… Mass culture is scrutinized to discover what is hidden, repressed, within it.‖ Through his art, Kelley explored themes as diverse as American class relations, sexuality, repressed memory, systems of religion and transcendence, and post-punk politics. He brought to these subjects both incisive critique and abundant, self-deprecating humor.

Mike Kelley. Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites. 1991/1999. Plush toys sewn over wood and wire frames with styrofoam packing material, nylon rope, pulleys, steel hardware and hanging plates, fiberglass, car paint, and disinfectant. Overall dimensions variable. (c) Estate of Mike Kelley.  Images courtesy of Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Los Angeles. Photography: Joshua White/JWPictures.com.

Mike Kelley. Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites. 1991/1999. Plush toys sewn over wood and wire frames with styrofoam packing material, nylon rope, pulleys, steel hardware and hanging plates, fiberglass, car paint, and disinfectant. Overall dimensions variable. (c) Estate of Mike Kelley. Images courtesy of Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Los Angeles. Photography: Joshua White/JWPictures.com.

Kelley‘s work did not develop along a purely linear trajectory. Instead, he returned time and again to certain underlying themes—the shapes lurking underneath the carpet, as it were—including repressed memories, disjunctions between selfhood and social structures as well as fault lines between the sacred and the profane. The work Kelley produced throughout his life was marked by his extraordinary powers of critical reflection, relentless self-examination, and a creative—and surprising—repurposing of ideas and materials. Continue reading

Murdered Out: Christopher Wool, Mike Kelley, Cady Noland, Richard Prince at Skarsted Galley New York

September 12 – October 19, 2013

Preview and Reception: Thursday, September 12, 6-8pm

Skarstedt Gallery New York (20 E. 79th St. | New York, NY 10075 | tel 212.737.2060 | fax 212.737.4171 |

Richard Prince -  In Live Free or Die

Richard Prince – In Live Free or Die

info@skarstedt.com) is pleased to present Murdered Out, a group show which explores the dark underbelly of the American psyche as represented by Christopher Wool, Mike Kelley, Cady Noland, and Richard Prince. Inspired by the urban slang term, Murdered Out refers to a roguish car covered in matte black paint from roof to rim; the works in this exhibition examine American culture through a masked or metaphorically “blackened-out” lens.

Cady Noland’s Chicken in a Basket channels the violent foundations of American history via signs of confinement sprinkled with wry wit and humor. An assemblage of branded and anonymous objects – a rubber chicken, beer cans, turkey baster, American flags, and a cross wrench – Noland’s work is both tragic as well as sardonic. Part time capsule and part trash heap, Chicken in a Basket probes and symbolizes the American dream. Similarly, in Untitled (Walker), Noland invites several art-historical and cultural allusions, including the industrial materials of Minimalism and the appropriation of the American flag. As Jasper Johns famously did in the 1960’s, Noland points to the iconic status of the American flag as she drapes it on an orthopedic walker. Limply hanging from the walker’s highest bar, Noland questions the conventions and implications of what the American flag represents.

Just as Noland alludes to themes of violence, car culture, consumerism, and patriotism in her work, Richard Prince depicts this in his Gang series. In Live Free or Die, Prince combines nine unrelated images from magazines of scantily clad women on motorcycles. Indulging niche subcultures of “sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll,” Prince is also dispassionately commenting on them.

Christopher Wool’s Untitled (And If You Can’t…)

Christopher Wool’s Untitled (And If You Can’t…)

Like the murdered out car, both intriguing and unattainable, Christopher Wool’s Untitled (And If You Can’t…) is at once explicit in text and ambiguous in meaning. Emerging in the 1980s, amidst New York City’s surge in crime, Wool’s word series reflects the urban grit and the violence of the time. An all-over composition, Untitled (And If You Can’t…) murdered_out_image0_1compounds a stark contrast of foreground and background with a seemingly hostile de-contextualized statement. Difficult to decipher, the broken words are incorporated onto a grid-like system forcing the reader to decode meaning, which is both authoritative and subversive.

Mike Kelley’s Ahh Youth… is a visual “black nostalgia.” Subverting contemporary modes of appropriation and minimalism, this assemblage is composed of seven panels of smiling stuffed animals, and one panel displaying Kelley’s yearbook photo. The artist’s disgruntled self-portrait interrupts the sequence of lighthearted stuffed animals, creating a sense of alienation and isolation. Referring to Ahh Youth…, the artist comments: “… a kind of black nostalgia, and by that I mean something akin to black humor. I am not ‘going back’ to reclaim some longed-for positive experience from my youth, but to reexamine, from an adult point of view, some aesthetic experience that I feel I was unable to understand at that time …“**

(** M. Kelley, quoted in “Black Nostalgia. An Interview with Mike Kelley by Daniel Kothenschulte,” in D. Kothenschulte (ed.), Mike Kelley, Peter Fischli, David Weiss, Ostfildern-Ruit, 2000, p.30.)

Whitney Museum of American Art to Open Pioneering Exhibition of Downtown New York Performance of the 1970s

Exhibition Schedule: October 31,m 2013 to February 2014

This fall the Whitney Museum of American Art will present Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980, a groundbreaking look at a vibrant community of artists and the experimental performance art they produced. This exhibition showcases works created in alternative spaces, lofts, storefronts, and city streets that expressed the radical potential for theater and art performance as a new means of artistic expression. Organized by Jay Sanders, the Whitney’s Curator and Curator of Performance, Rituals of Rented Island will be on view from October 31 to February 2014 in the Museum’s third-floor Peter Norton Family Galleries.

Jared Bark (b. 1944), LIGHTS: on/off, performance at The Clocktower, June 21, 1974. Photograph by Babette Mangolte; © 1974. All reproduction rights reserved

Jared Bark (b. 1944), LIGHTS: on/off, performance at The Clocktower, June 21, 1974. Photograph by Babette Mangolte; © 1974. All reproduction rights reserved

The Whitney’s inventive presentation will create an immersive experience that both documents the era and recreates it in part with installations of sets and environments, objects, film and video, photography, drawings, ephemera, and live performance by the following artists: Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Jared Bark, Ericka Beckman, Ralston Farina, Richard Foreman/Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Julia Heyward, Ken Jacobs Apparition Theater of New York, Mike Kelley, Kipper Kids, Jill Kroesen, Sylvia Palacios Whitman, Yvonne Rainer and Babette Mangolte, Stuart Sherman, Theodora Skipitares, Jack Smith, Michael Smith, Squat Theatre, Robert Wilson/Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds, and John Zorn/Theatre of Musical Optics.

Built upon the foundation of Fluxus, Happenings, and the Judson Dance Theater, the art scene in Manhattan—particularly SoHo—remained an epicenter for avant-garde performance throughout the 1970s. Experimental theater flourished in venues such as Jack Smith’s two-story Plaster Foundation of Atlantis studio and Robert Wilson’s Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds. Nearby, both The Kitchen (founded in 1971) and Artists Space (which opened in 1973) became seminal venues for an emerging generation of artists whose performances pushed the formal limits of music, theater, and dance. The performances in these spaces were unlike those of the 1960s. Instead of trying to break down the boundaries between art and life, this younger generation reacted to the growing cynicism and disillusionment of the decade.

Their solo and ensemble performance works addressed social, political, and media constructions and were revolutionaryimage in incorporating references to both high- and low-brow entertainment. Moreover, the work produced during this time period provided a necessary footing for the next generation of artists, which coalesced as the vibrant East Village scene of the 1980s and its associated styles of No Wave, New Wave, and Post-Punk.

I see this constellation of artists representing a fascinating and unarticulated ‘secret history’ of New York art of the 1970s and of important and under-recognized currents in performance,” says Sanders. “While much of the radical work of the ’60s has come into view, many of the most groundbreaking aspects of this subsequent decade still remain elusive. This work speaks fundamentally to strategies being investigated by emerging artists today in the ways it addresses the commercial world, media space, user-interfacing, persona and personal experience, and the body in performance. It’s clear that these more obscure aspects of the ’70s are extremely rich and important to our concerns today and give us many alternative ideas of what art can be.” Continue reading