Artist Celeste Fichter has designed this Eyeglass Lens Cleaning Cloth, which keeps lenses and screens smudge free while illustrating the difference between stimulants and depressants. The pupil of one eye is under the influence of Crack, and the other Heroin. The Difference Lens Cleaner can can be purchased in the gift shop at The New Museum of Contemporary Art in NYC for $26.00 ($22.10 for Museum Members)!
At the Surround Audience Triennial exhibit going on now at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, photos and sculptures by Korean artist Onejoon Che, a former military police photographer, explore the faux Soviet socialist-realist style of sculptures produced by a contemporary North Korean art studio specializing in the construction of massive public monuments in Africa. At once poignant and comic, these images touch upon military and economic geopolitics.
I’d intended to provide but more coverage for the current Triennial, Surround Audience, up now through May 24th at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, but there just seems to be too much else going on right now. Still, I do really like this plastic and steel piece, Grosse Stehende (Large Standing), 2014, by German artist/sculptor Lena Henke. I love that it extends the entire height of the room, and that it reminds me of a giant aquarium with a monster inside it.
Ah, David Shrigley, we love his heavily-warped worldview and sense of the absurd! This Domino Set designed by Shrigley is part of the new Play collection, a collaboration between the artist and Third Drawer Down Studios, as offered by the New Museum of Contemporary Art.
There’s rarely a dull moment when you’re playing games with David Shrigley. Instead of the traditional uniform of matching dots and tiles, you’ll find characters such as Skulls, Grumpy Old Men, and Raggedy Cats on each tile, which makes this 28-piece set a perfect diversion for when you or your partner are plotting your next move.
Available in the Gift Shop at the New Museum of Contemporary Art on Bowery and Prince Street in lower Manhattan, priced at $65 per set, $55.25 for Members.
In the tradition of Marcel Duchamp’s Ready-Mades, this 3D printed Pez dispenser by British artist Tom Burtonwood (in the likeness of Duchamp’s Fountain sculpture) combines high and low, pop and populous, and art and kitsch.
Available in the gift shop at the New Museum of Contemporary Art for $70, discounted to $59.50 for Members!
My first exposure to George Condo’s highly recognizable style of painting happened when I saw his 2010-2011 exhibit, Mental States, at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. I thought the show was pretty cool, but I can totally understand how some might consider his artwork to be an acquired taste.
People who don’t go to art galleries and museums — if they know Condo at all — probably know him as the artist who took a $40,000 Hermes Birkin Bag that Kanye West bought as a gift for Kim Kardashian and, at West’s request, “ruined” (not my words) it by custom painting a group of nude figures on the bag’s exterior. My feeling on the matter is that if you can afford to buy Birkin Bags, you can afford to have one custom painted by George Condo. Because, why not? Condo has also painted the artwork for a number of West’s CDs. That is nice work if you can get it, I am sure.
If you’re lucky enough to live in NYC, you can see a series of Condo’s new, large canvas paintings over at Skarstedt Gallery right now! The exhibit is entitled Double Heads / Black Paintings / Abstractions, and these paintings were created in 2014 at the artist’s East Hampton studio. Impressive!
Condo’s Double Heads and Black Paintings continue his investigation of the concept of portraiture. In these most recent works, Condo has adopted Harold Rosenberg’s idea of ‘action painting’ — a term used to describe the performative, often volatile energy exercised by Abstract Expressionist painters like de Kooning and Pollock — to create his own ‘action portraits.’ Through an elaborate process of layering, erasure, and reconstruction, shattered images of faces and bodies emerge from and interact within a field of abstract forms. This makes sense when you know that Condo, being well versed in art history, often references known artists by adopting their styles and techniques into his work.
Incorporating the use of silver metallic paint in Double Portrait in Grisaille on Silver, 2014, and other works in this series, Condo references Warhol’s silver paintings from the 1960’s such as Double Elvis. After preparing a ground of silver paint on canvas, Condo applies ivory black onto loose sheets of paper, which is then transferred onto the canvasses, giving them the look and surface quality of a screen print. He then creates a schism in this form by subsequently employing the traditional technique of grisaille to draw out the figures by hand.
In creating such large-scale paintings in a very confined studio space, Condo has been forced to work ‘inside’ his paintings, addressing both subject and material at close range — never stepping too far back from the canvas to allow the image in his mind to entirely materialize. Both gestural improvisation and concrete imagery are evident as he forcefully pushes and pulls the paint around the surface of the canvas until a final image emerges, fully formed yet haunted by the process of its becoming. In Beginnings, 2014, a large square format painting, a single eye peers out from the devastation of what at one time might have been a full portrait. This process of addition, subtraction and layering evokes a visceral response to both the handling of paint and the subject of the painting.
Partially obscured by violent brush marks, the likenesses of the figures and characters in Condo’s paintings are integrations of forms that the brushwork fractures. Facial features peek out from underneath fields of color as broad strokes of bold black and white paint shatter the pictorial plane. The simultaneous multiple expressions of his portraits speak to the volatility of human emotions and the unpredictability — even hilarity — of the characters one encounters in urban life.
The abstract works in this exhibition fluctuate between the lyrical and the hysterical, building upon the cacophony of interacting forms for which Condo is known. In Silver Mass, 2014, as well as several other works on view, Condo extends the lineage of his series of abstract ‘expanding canvasses’, which began in the early 1980’s, to invent ever new painterly forms and hints of human expression.
Double Heads / Black Paintings / Abstractions by George Condo will be on view through December 20th, 2014 at Skarstedt Gallery, Located at 550 W. 21st Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
One of my favorite pieces from the Here and Elsewhere, group exhibit currently up at the New Museum of Contemporary Art is a mixed media installation called Qalandia 2087 by Palestinian artist Wafa Hourani.
Qalandia 2087 fills nearly an entire gallery at the museum and is lots of fun to explore while contemplating the political and sociological ramifications of the piece, especially considering what is going on in that part of the world at this very moment in time.
Here is some information I found on the piece at Nadour Dot Org:
Built from cardboard boxes and archive photographs, Qalandia 2087(2009) is the third and last part of a series of installations by Wafa Hourani.
The artist reproduced, as an architectural model, one of main check-points and Palestinian refugee camps. Located in the north of Jerusalem, Qalandia constitutes, since 1949, Ramallah’s entrance and the exit point, dividing the country on its western bank.
Hourani was interested in this particular place in the Palestinian history, because of its proximity with its own airport, transformed into military base during the Israeli occupation. This paradox of a territory, initially connected to the rest of the world and now a place for Palestinian isolation, illustrates the politico-social reality of the country.
In Qalandia 2087, the artist proposes a futuristic vision of this place, a hundred years after the first Intifada. Contrary to the first two pieces in the series, which presented an apocalyptic vision of Qalandia – a hundred years after the exodus Palestinian for Qalandia 2047 (2006) and a hundred years after the six day old war for Qalandia 2067 (2008), the last version evokes the future of Palestine on the basis of political Utopia.
The question of the occupation of a given territory is no longer relevant, the main concern is now integration. The wall, which originally divided space between the check-point and the refugee camp, has been replaced by a mirror facade.
Qalandia Airport has also retrieved its initial function as a civil airport, while the check-point has become a place reserved for public speech. Life seems to win again.
Racing cars, airline planes, whimsically shaped TV aerials, a coffee terrace and a swimming pool transform the refugee camp into a space where communication and social links become possible again. The new party, “The Mirror,” has just won the elections and is sending each Palestinian back to their history by inviting them to take part in the construction of a better future.
— Vérane Pina
Translated by Valérie Vivancos
Here and Elsewhere is on Exhibit Through September 28th, 2014, at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, located at 235 Bowery (at Prince street) in Soho, NYC.