I believe that it is possible to live an entire lifetime in one day. I met Scott Putesky (sometimes better known as Daisy Berkowitz, founding member and original guitarist for the band called Marilyn Manson) in 2015 at mutual friend Mark Kostabi’s semi-annual Jazz Art Brunch. Mark, an accomplished musician himself, knows a ton of other musicians, and people always get up and jam with the band. At one point Scott played keyboards and sang a couple of cover songs. After he finished his set, I introduced myself, since I had written extensively about his band back in the day and I knew we had a few other mutual friends. Scott turned out to be very down-to-earth guy, and a terrific conversationalist, so we drank and laughed, talked about art and exchanged cards for a possible future meet up.
Hey, do you enjoy the work of legendary minimalist artist John McCracken? I sure do. According to the obituary published in the New York Times when McCracken passed away in 2011 at the age of 76, “he was one of the few artists affiliated with the [Minimalist] movement who did not object to its name, and who made most of his work by hand: sanding and polishing his enamel, lacquer or resin surfaces until their colors achieved a flawless and reflective perfection.” Continue reading John McCracken at David Zwirner
OK, so this is technically more like a “Pink-ish Thing,” since it’s called Violet Block in Two Parts. But, pinkish is close enough for me! This sculpture by the late great John McCracken is currently on display in the new home of the Whitney Museum, which I’ve managed to visit twice already since it opened in late April of this year.
The grid-like pattern you see on the sculpture’s surface in this photo is a reflection of the gallery’s ceiling.
When you set out to peruse large volumes of Contemporary Art, it is always a good idea to have an open-minded partner in crime along for the ride. Geoffrey was in LA last weekend, so I attended Frieze 2015 with a new friend, Scott, who, back in the mid-to-late-90s played guitar in one of the most notorious American Rock bands to find commercial success since the seventies, when the band called Alice Cooper staged mock-executions as part of its live show. But that story is, perhaps, for another time, because today I want to share photos with you of select pieces of art that Scott and I enjoyed at the Frieze Art Fair, which took place on Randall’s Island from May 14th to 17th.
While we traveled from booth to booth, one of the topics Scott and I discussed is how much we dislike it when an artist labels a work “Untitled” instead of giving it a proper name. WTF is up with that? It makes it seem like you don’t care. It’s lazy. It’s like not naming one of your children. And it needs to stop.
We both really liked the above sculpture, the title of which I could not locate, but I am pretty sure it is not called Untitled. It reminds me of a Jawa, the hooded characters in Star Wars, but if you look closely you can see it is a sculpture of a Red Coat as it would hang if draped on a hook, but without the hook. Clever and compelling.
A few years ago, Geoffrey and I saw a crazy great sculpture called Cloud City by Argentinian-born artist Tomás Saraceno, which was on the roof of The Met in the summer of 2012. The piece above echoes the modular shapes that are a signature characteristic of Saraceno’s work.
I remember gasping audibly when I saw these two works by Japanese artist Satoshi Ohno, which are unbelievably gorgeous. Ohno is also a Japanese Idol, actor, radio host, and singer — being the lead vocalist and leader of Japanese boy band Arashi. Talk about a Renaissance man!
Even though the above piece by Josiah McElheny is called a painting, it is really a sculpture.
Neon Lucite Sculpture by Berta Fischer. I love her work.
We love the text-based paintings of artist and poet John Giorno. It is always cool and fun to see one of his new pieces.
This Lion is made from stacked hollow tubes.
There was a fantastic selection of plank works by the late John McCracken in the David Zwirner booth.
Buzzcocks fans might recognize the above work by artist and radical feminist icon Linder (AKA Linder Sterling) from the picture sleeve of that band’s 1977 single “Orgasm Addict.” It certainly was impossible to miss, even from across the room.
The above title translates to “Doubts about the earthly paradise.” See a detail shot of this work just below.
Above, you see selected Mirror Mosaic works by legendary Iranian artist Monir Farmanfarmaian. We just saw her exhibit, Infinite Possibility at the Guggenheim, and it was beyond amazing!
Lips That Look Like a Flame? We love it.
I hope you enjoyed your free peek at this year’s Frieze Art Fair! See you next year!
John McCracken (American, 1934–2011) began producing his vibrant monochrome Planks in 1966. While the polished resin surface captures the aesthetic of surfing and car culture unique to Southern California in the 1960s, the title — The Absolutely Naked Fragrance — was drawn from advertising slogans in fashion magazines.
The work’s interaction with both the floor and wall is meant to call attention to the space occupied in the gallery by both viewer and object.
“I see the plank as existing between two worlds,” McCracken said. “The floor representing the physical world of standing objects, trees, cars, buildings, human bodies, and everything, and the wall representing the world of the imagination, illusionistic painting space, human mental space and all that.”
The Absolutely Naked Fragrance is part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City