This old-fashioned Claw Foot Enamel Bathtub with Pink Water draining from it onto the floor is actually a sculpture called Down Below (2018), by the artist Sarah Lucas. The ‘water’ is made from rubber acrylic.
Photographed in the New Museum of Contemporary Art in NYC
This past weekend, Geoffrey and I finally made it to Surround Audience, the Triennial at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibit fills nearly every floor of the museum and, as such, is a bit overwhelming with all of its fabulous, arty things to take in over just one visit. Rather than recap the entire show, I decided to write about a few of my favorite individual pieces, one of which is this aquarium-like sculpture creation called Distant Feel, by NYC-based French artist Antoine Carala.
Distant Feel (2015) features a new symbol for empathy — E3, or two Es facing each other — and a communication campaign for a message with no product except feeling. Recognizing how an inundation of the various causes that are blared on the news and on social-media feeds can inure us to the pain of others, or the urgency of issues and movements around the world, the artist set out to rebrand Empathy and devise and distribute a more effective expression of this feeling. The project was inspired by the genesis of the peace sign and conceived as a potential generational update.
There are no fish in this tank, but the organic sculpture closely resembles a coral reef, supporting an assortment of live plants in pastel shades of pink and violet. It’s really lovely and calming to look at. I don’t remember if this piece is on the second or third floor of the exhibit, but I am pretty sure it is adjacent to the gallery with NSA Teletubbies — which is a must-see..
Find out more about the Triennial, on through May 24th, 2015, at This Link
The Linda Benglis retrospective opened at the New Museum back in February, but I just got around to seeing it this past weekend. I’m so glad I can give everyone a head’s up in time to see this exhibit, because it is fantastic. This current exhibition is the artist’s first retrospective in twenty years – and the first one ever in New York. Works displayed span the range of Benglis’s career including her early wax paintings, her brightly colored poured latex works (the Fallen Paintings), the “Torsos” and “Knots” series from the 1970s, and her recent experiments with plastics, cast glass, paper, and gold leaf.
You’ll also get to see a number of rarely exhibited historic works including Phantom(above, 1971), a dramatic polyurethane installation consisting of five monumental sculptures that glow in the dark, and the installation Primary Structures (Paula’s Props), first shown in 1975 – all very, very cool.
One teeny word of warning that I’d like to put out there: although there were lots of kids visiting the museum with their parents, the exhibit also includes a collection of the artists “adult themed” photographs and erotic sculptures (read: dongs) which aren’t necessarily my thing, but whatever. Although Benglis’s sculptures are kid friendly, if I were a parent I’d be cautious about kids seeing what I’d call “Adults Only Material,” unless you really want to have that kind of conversation with your 10 year old. It’s easy enough to avoid that particular gallery, however. You’ll know which one it is when you enter it.
Linda Benglis is on Exhibit Through June 19, 2011, in the Lobby and Second floor Galleries of the New Museum, Located at 235 Bowery (Below Houston), New York, NY. Hours are Wednesday 11 AM – 6 PM, Thursday 11 AM – 9 PM, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11 AM – 6 PM
Following a brief visit to the New Museum this afternoon (2nd and 5th floor galleries closed = brief visit) I decided to try and catch the M103 bus uptown at the corner of Bowery and Houston. It’s a rare warm day (40 degrees, woo hoo!) in the city, and while that’s considered to be fine weather for a long walk home, I was actually a bit over-dressed and wanted to cut the trip short. Waiting at the stop with me, I couldn’t help but recognize a couple of local rock stars: the very handsome Jon Spencer (of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) and his equally attractive wife, Cristina Martinez of Boss Hog, despite the fact that they were covered up by their “winter uglies” (i.e. bad beanies and, like me, too much outerwear). I have interviewed both Martinez and Spencer on separate occasions for publications that are surely long out-of-print at this juncture, and will confess that while he isn’t necessarily the easiest person in the world to have a conversation with, she is certainly quite lovely. After about 10 minutes of the sun beating down on us, they hailed a cab, piled in with their bags from Whole Foods and sped away. I waited a few more minutes before giving up on the bus and following suit: trudging up Bowery towards 14th Street, navigating sidewalks that had transformed into rivers between banks of rapidly melting snow, and feeling happy about life in general.
Original Dreamachine Sculpture by Brion Gysin – 1916 -1986 (Image Source)
It is a wee bit of an understatement to say that I see a lot of art. I always find it to be such a curious surprise when discovering something “new” in the art world involves me being introduced to an artist’s body of work decades after that artist’s death. Usually, the works are so vast and impressive that I can’t believe I never heard of that person before. It happens more than I would like to admit. Geoffrey and I had this experience again yesterday when we popped in to the New Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Manhattan and were delighted by Brion Gysin: Dream Machine – neither one of us being at all familiar with Gysin’s amazing art or very interesting life story.
Brion Gysin: Dream Machine is the first US retrospective of Gysin’s work, which includes a comprehensive variety of mediums or par with, say, Andy Warhol. The exhibition includes over 300 drawings, books, paintings, photo-collages, films, slide projections and sound works, as well as an original Dreamachine – a kinetic light sculpture that utilizes the flicker effect to induce visions when experienced with closed eyes. In 1959, according to he museum’s write up on the exhibit, “Gysin created the Cut-Up Method, in which words and phrases were literally cut up into pieces and then rearranged to untether them from their received meanings and reveal new ones. His Cut-Up experiments, which he shared with his lifelong friend and collaborator William S. Burroughs, culminated in Burroughs and Gysin’sThe Third Mind, a book-length collage manifesto on the Cut-Up Method and its uses. Transferring this notion to experimenting with tape-recorded poems manipulated by a computer algorithm, Gysin created sound poetry and was among the earliest users of the computer in art.”
Artists, poets and musicians citing Gysin as an influence include John Giorno (who was Gysin’s lover), Brian Jones, David Bowie, Patti Smith, Genesis P-Orridge and Keith Haring, among many others. I really enjoyed all of the works on view and especially loved learning something about how Gysin lived and his philosophy of art and life, but my favorite of Gysin’s works at the New Museum were his many colorful, abstract paintings that include his use of calligraphy-like writing that was inspired by both Japanese and Arabic scripts. Beautiful and intriguing.
The New Museum is super-strict about not allowing any photography of their exhibits (even >Geoffrey, who is usually so talented when it comes to avoiding the gaze of the Art Nazi’s, was unsuccessful at getting any images in his camera) so I can’t give you much of a preview of the exhibit. You are going to have to drop by yourself, but trust me, it will be worth it.
Dream Machine runs through October 3, 2010 at New Museum (second floor gallery) 235 Bowery, NYC.