As arts organizations go, New Orleans Airlift is one of a kind. Following a multi-disciplinary trajectory that has often seemed more improvised than programmatic, it has staged a number of unusually broad-based events that blur the boundaries between object and performance, vernacular and contemporary art, local and global.
Imagine a proposed and completed public artwork recording the locations of 94 fire and flood disasters in Queensland, Australia; then imagine the unveiling of the work, as the artist reveals that the list doesn’t document natural disasters at all, but a series of 19th-century atrocities against indigenous peoples.
A pioneer of light and kinetic art, Otto Piene, who lives and works in Düsseldorf and Groton, Massachusetts, has been pursuing a utopian synthesis of aesthetics and science since the 1950s. After studying painting and art education at the Academy of Art in Munich and the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, as well as philosophy at the University
Margo Sawyer’s work process is one of escalating complexity. She starts with specific grid formulas, determining proportions while drawing in Illustrator. Her drawings are further developed via CAD, establishing colors, dimensions, edge treatments, and the arrangement of sheet metal panels.
Carola Zech, an Argentinian artist recently recognized with the Grand Prize of Honor at the 2013 National Salon of Visual Arts, combines sculpture, installation, and painting to create unique, frequently site-specific, magnetic structural systems. She entered the art world at the age of nine, when she started private classes in drawing, painting, and clay modeling.
Bill Thompson’s aquiline sculptures are meticulously executed: simple abstract shapes carved in rigid polyurethane foam coated and recoated with resin, sanded until pristine, then painted monochromatically in various shiny colors. This painstaking craftsmanship also carries over into elements never seen by viewers, including the belabored hanging mechanisms mounting the pieces to the wall and the
In 1959, Bard College suspended Carolee Schneemann—for “moral turpitude,” she says. “I painted a full-length frontal nude portrait of my partner, James Tenney.”1 It wasn’t until the early ’70s that Erica Jong could write Fear of Flying, extolling the “zipless fuck,” and Judy Chicago begin her iconic feminist installation, The Dinner Party.
Paul McCarthy’s exhibition at Hauser & Wirth’s gigantic 18th Street space included sculpture carved out of blocks of walnut that were pieced together from dark and lighter segments of wood. From these composite blocks, McCarthy produced medium-size to colossal tchotchkes (a genre that is dear to him), thereby entering the arena in which Jeff Koons
Yayoi Kusama’s rise to the top ranks of the art world has been hard won. A precocious young artist trained in Nihonga cultural traditions in Matsumoto, Japan, she displayed an original vision. Her imaginative use of oil paint and other materials, and her intuitive grasp of abstraction, led to solo shows in her native town
“I’ve often heard that it’s very difficult to write about my work,” Mark Manders told me, “but I think my work is very clear.” In business discourse, there’s something called the “sweet spot,” when a product or service is strategically placed in between things and results in success.