Friday, June 25, 2010

Your Social Life

It's Summer, 4th of July is around the corner, everywhere in the transglobal art world galleries and museums are installing bland group shows before taking off for a long vac, and here in LA, we have more and more stuff happening. Summer in LA means there's always some opening somewhere. Being on a few deadlines that unexpectedly piled up recently, FBC! will likely miss most of the festivities.

It's all about LACMA this week, what with the recently opened John Baldessari retrospective (in conversation Sunday at 2 PM), the Freewaves organized "video on the loose" (maybe to make up for the lack of a real video art collection at the Miracle Mile institution) tomorrow, and on Sunday the big Fallen Fruit "Eat LACMA" exhibition/street entertainment/participatory experience.

Signs of Life opens at Richard Telles this Saturday. At the Torrance Art Museum, Zoom series kick off, several consecutive Saturdays of performances, etc. with one organized by Warren Neidich on July 10. and Doctor Zomb opens tomorrow too at the Glendale College Gallery. I find that one super exciting and I'm bummed I'll miss it.

Aside from this, a few exhibitions are closing (an I know I'll miss them, dammit), such as Alice Neel at LA Louver or Tim Hawkinson at Blum & Poe.

Continuing:at MOCA, Arshile Gorsky, the lone good exhibition for a long, long time at what is now the equivalent of a totally unexciting lesser branch of the entertainment industry. Though, if LACMA really brings in the Tim Burton show next year, I guess the collective world of non-profit museums in Los Angeles should give in and sell out to Disney.
Luckily, "there's always the Hammer", and this Summer the exhibition to see there is Outside The Box celebrating the joint acquisition of printmaker/publisher Jacob Samuel.
And, if you go to the LACMA lovefest this weekend, don't neglect to swing by the 'hood branch of the MAK/Schindler House for Fractional Systems, at the Mackey Apartments/Garages on Cochran & Longwood in the 90019. You can even get coffee and pastries on the way at La Maison du Pain, it's down the street (closed on Sunday, but you can get their goodies in the morning at the new Wellington Square farmer's market on Washington

Have a good weekend, art lovers.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

John Baldessari at LACMA

I just came back from the John Baldessari retrospective at LACMA, curated by the lovely Leslie Jones for LACMA (hi, Leslie!) and the no less lovely Jessica Morgan for the Tate in London. I wish I could say something really *intelligent* about the exhibition, but alas I got to see too little of it. It's the type of opening where the entire LA art world and then some more (meaning, moneyed people who have no idea what art is) come to attend en masse.
So, every single room I entered was densely packed with at least 40 people I know within the first few yards. Plus all the ones I know but didn't see, etc, etc.

But I was lucky enough to see that one of my most favorite artwork into the entire universe was there, Everything is purged from this painting but art, no ideas have entered this work, 1966 - 1968. This is the "painting" that made me fall in love with conceptual art when I was a teen and saw it at the L'Art Conceptuel, Une Perspective exhibition in Paris, in 1989. Just for this it is well worth seeing the show.
There are of course plenty, but plenty of fabulous Baldessari works in the show, and at this stage, who cares really what the installation is like (it's great, BTW!), since there's plenty of fun to be had and great works to be seen. Smart, playful, fun. What's not to like?
Don't miss Baldessari waving goodbye to ships, don't miss his interpretation of the 7 cardinal virtues and the 7 deadly sins, don't miss anything, and come back over and over again. If you're too broke to take a Summer trip, why don't you have a staycation at LACMA, and at the Farley building in Eagle Rock (Mike Kelley & Michael Smith)? LA will never have seemed so cool in the Summer.

[I lifted the pic from a Google image search and forgot to look for credits. I apologize to whoever took that pic, will try to correct that later]

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Richard Paul - Aubergine

The 5-month old Theodore Art Gallery in NYC has recently come under my radar when they exhibited one of my favorite French photographers ever, Eric Poitevin (the other one being Sophie Ristelhueber). Following this exhibition that, alas, I didn't have a chance to see, the owner of the gallery and I started a very enjoyable correspondence. In addition to having impeccable visual taste, she also has a great musical culture, extending from classical to punk to experimental.

The gallery is located in Soho, so, should you find yourself bereft that Jeffrey Deitch has left the neighborhood (just kidding), you know where to find the next generation of the bestest artists there. Ms. Theodore did it again recently by introducing me to the photography of Richard Paul, and after I told her I really liked the picture above, she kindly allowed me to post it to the blog.

Beloved readers, please enjoy Richard Paul, Aubergine. I don't have the date or dimension, which means that if you're in NYC you *have* to drop by Theodore Art and ask about it. It's open on weekends, and as I said, the owner is the loveliest art dealer you could ever meet.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mercenaries - John Cale Sabotage Live

In the series "FBC! has been way too tame and nice and gentle recently, what with announcing well meaning but totally not radical exhibitions", let's have a total change and present you one of the most amazing song of all time.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Welsh genius John Cale, with "Mercenaries" from the album "Sabotage Live".

Let's forget our friend Tony Hayward for one moment (hi Tony! thanks for providing us with such great entertainment. May you accidentally swallow tar, somehow, and communicate with the birds and nature for once. Feels painful much, uh?) and have a thought for our other friends, the ones working for Halliburton, Blackwater and and I don't what esle.
I'm sure some of them may have a nice art collection. No?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Your Social Life - This week with No Content, Bourgeois Problems, and Departures

In LA this time, though if you are in Santa Fe this weekend you're in for a treat.

There are a few things in Los Angeles to attend this weekend, starting tonight with the book launch of Too Many Billboards at the MAK/Schindler House (scroll down to the bottom of the page for tonight's event information)
This Saturday, don't miss Shana Lutker at Susanne Vielmetter, as well as Andrea Bowers.
Another show with a hoot of a title this time, Bourgeois Problems, at François Ghebaly, curated by Catherine Taft. Right in the same vicinity, do not miss The Mystics Circle at Human Resources.
On Monday, don't miss the kick-off of No Content at LACE, a series of text-events with international writers organized by Les Figues Press, in the context of Public Interest that also includes HollywoodMerchmART! . The latter features work by such luminaries as French artist Matthieu Laurette, Brian Bress or Zoe Crosher. There are tons of things going on at LACE, so please check their website for more complete info.

Closing at Richard Telles this Saturday, Richard Hawkins. Continuing at Michael Maloney, a series of Donald Judd drawings.

Lastly, if you are feeling lazy or not too social this weekend, I recommend you check the new internet documentary series created by KCET, "Departures" with the Venice episode about Ed Ruscha, Ed Moses, Robert Irwin, etc. The entire series more or less retraces the cultural history of Los Angeles' neighborhoods. This is not restricted to visual artists as it includes anybody from a marine biologist, a street peddler, some architects, etc. The producer Justin Cram told me more episodes will be forthcoming, including the Los Angeles River, Watts, Little Tokyo, Silverlake, etc.
And, in this series, to whet your appetite before the John Baldessari retrospective at LACMA, please check this interview the Departures team did with him.

Site Sante Fe - The Dissolve Opens This Week

While the rest of the art world is anxiously waiting for the results of the über-blue chip Basel art fair, and another part of it gets excited at the sycophantic reality show on Bravo featuring a well-known NYC art critic basking in his 5' of fame, The Dissolve opens at Site Sante Fe this weekend. Of all the 3 events I've just mentioned, The Dissolve is the only real art one that I find exciting.

1) it's a real exhibition, curated by people who clearly know what they are doing, Sarah Lewis and Daniel Belasco,
2) not a commercial event where working stiffs/lackeys of the Late Capital try to unload obscenely priced blue chip works to the obscenely rich in search of either status or money-laundering
3) not a spectacle destined to humiliate its participants.

The program is exciting enough, featuring such luminaries as Cindy Sherman, Robert Breer, Kara Walker, Raymond Pettibon, etc. but also famed choreographer Bill T. Jones, as well as historical movies by Dziga Vertov, Lotte Reininger, and the Fleischer studios (I surmise their animations) as well as the Edison Manufacturing Company. The list of participants is very tight ("26 works by 30 international artists"), unlike most of the monstrous other biennials where you usually find 250 artists crammed in too many locations for a normal viewer to take it all in. The duration of this 8th Biennial lasts 6 months, another smart choice they make, meaning it leaves time for people not too broke yet to go and travel to Santa Fe. I wish your truly would have an opportunity to go see it.

Please find below the list of artists and an excerpt from the press release. If you can go there... Enjoy!

"Robert Breer, Paul Chan, Martha Colburn, Thomas Demand, Brent Green, George Griffin, Ezra Johnson, Bill T. Jones & OpenEnded Group, William Kentridge, Avish Khebrehzadeh, Laleh Khorramian, Maria Lassnig, Jennifer & Kevin McCoy, Joshua Mosley, Oscar Muñoz, Jacco Olivier, Raymond Pettibon, Robert Pruitt, Christine Rebet, Mary Reid Kelley, Robin Rhode, Hiraki Sawa, Berni Searle, Cindy Sherman, Federico Solmi, Kara Walker, with historical works by Edison Manufacturing Company, Fleischer Studios, Lotte Reiniger, and Dziga Vertov.

The artists gathered here, working in many mediums, from painting and sculpture to mixed-media installation, alchemically engage with historical models of moving-picture practices. This exhibition displays 26 works by 30 international contemporary artists juxtaposed with four historical animations dating back to the early twentieth century. It is presented through Adjaye Associates' architectural interpretation of the diverse viewing environments of the last hundred years. The result is a visual experience seen through a deliberately bifocal lens, inspired by both contemporary aesthetics and the technical developments of the moving image.

The generative impetus to animate is behind the Biennial's consideration of today's compelling use of technology at the service of the personal touch. What does this new work tell us about technology and that renewable fount of the creative process, the human imagination? Is there another more urgent question behind this new approach? Perhaps it is the search for an authentic voice in the image overload of the Internet and the hand-held that has brought such artists back to an earlier day, when new technology asserted its challenge to the subjective experience of the body. Whatever the impulse, the result is that technology becomes not an end, but a means to more effectively foreground the primacy of the human imagination."