Exhibition: Color Jam by Jessica Stockholder

The intersection of State Street and Adams in Chicago has been given a colourful facelift by American multimedia artist Jessica Stockholder. ‘Colour Jam‘ is a 3-dimensional site specific painting installation, transforming the streets and adjacent buildings of the intersection into a vibrant, experiential art piece. The project was commissioned by Chicago Art Loop, and is the city’s largest public art installation to date.

‘Color Jam’ by Jessica Stockholder at Sate St. and Adams, Chicago IL

June 5-September 30, 2012


Case Study: 40,000 Year Old Art Found In Spanish Cave

New research into cave paintings found at various Spanish locations shows that some of the art dates back over 40,000 years, making them the oldest examples of art in Europe. Faint red dots found in the El Castillo Cave in Cantabria, Spain, can now accurately be dated back some 40,800 years, and leading scholars in the field are inclined to believe the work was produced by Neanderthals.

Read on for a detailed article from BBC News.

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Case Study: Cy Twombly Foundation to Open Museum

In memory of the late mid-century painter Cy Twombly, a foundation he set up has purchased a mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with plans to open a museum and education centre. The Cy Twombly Foundation paid $27.5million for the 5-storey building, located at 19 East 82nd St., a hop and a skip from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Although Twombly spent most of his adult life in Rome, he was born and raised in the United States and was considered to be one of the most influential and important American painters in the post-Abstract Impressionist movement.

Read an article from The Wall Street Journal detailing the purchase after the jump.

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Case Study: Influence vs. Plagiarism in the Creative Arts

One of the primary roles of good art is to push culture to move forward into new, previously unexplored territory.   The purpose of the “avant-garde” is to lead via innovative expression of truly creative thought.  Accordingly, it can be argued that the most legitimate way to properly judge the relevance of artists is not by the commercial value of their work but rather by the influence they have on their peers and followers in the creative fields.  When the market system works properly, monetary value of artworks follows this flow of influence, not the other way around.

With the benefit of hindsight, we clearly perceive the marks great artists’ efforts imprint on society and their directional impact on the flow of culture.  Beethoven, Lennon and Cobain are proper examples of great leaders in music whose leadership and influence can be compared with Kubrick, Spielberg, and Tarantino in film and Manet, Duchamps, and Warhol in visual art.  Damien Hirst, on the other hand, who showed so much promise in earlier stages of his career, has recently offered a mega-series of inane spot paintings that may achieve spectacular hammer prices but, because they will leave no durable effect on the psyche of important artists to come, these works will be forgotten except in footnotes of art historical discussions about early 21st century art market fluctuations and excess.  These ridiculous works are the visual equivalent of Britney Spears’ discography; well-known Pop constructions that reach a mass audience but offer nothing of value nor interest for future generations to emulate.  His recent still-life paintings, largely ridiculed by the critical art world, continue this declining trajectory into gross commercial soup.  (Oops, he did it again.)

So, greatness is best revealed over time through clarity of influence.  What, then, is the difference between influence and plagiarism in the creative arts?  When an artist borrows and makes clear reference to earlier work, how are we to judge this as a good or bad thing?

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Case Study: Damien Hirst Skewered in Guardian Review

Read on for an absolutely scathing (and hilarious) review of Damien Hirst‘s latest exhibition of still life paintings, by Jonathan Jones of UK’s The Guardian. By the first few sentences he’s already compared the artist to former Libyan dictator Muamar Gaddafi’s son (whose “art” can be seen here), and the review just keeps picking up steam from there.

Damien Hirst’s Two Weeks One Summer is being exhibited at London’s White Cube gallery from May 23-July 8, 2012.

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Case Study: MTV and Video Art

Earlier today, MTV announced a very cool new art initiative.  The music channel will air a series of ten original video art works commissioned and curated by Creative Time and MoMA PS1.  The videos, produced by some of the most exciting emerging artists, will be broadcast on MTV, MTV.com, and MTV’s Facebook and Tumblr pages starting April 2nd and running through the rest of the year.

Art Breaks, as the series of videos will be known, will access nearly 600 million viewers worldwide, bringing cutting-edge contemporary video art to what could very well be the medium’s largest audience ever.  The series actually harkens back to its pioneering 1985 incarnation of the same name that broadcast TV spots created by a vanguard of downtown artists including clips from Jean-Michel Basquiat and Richard Prince.

The first five artists to participate will include: Rashaad Newsome (2010 Whitney Biennial, Centre Georges Pompidou, MoMA PS1 Greater New York); Mickalene Thomas (Santa Monica Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum); Tala Madani (The New Museum, the Saatchi Gallery, and the Venice Biennale); Jani Ruscica (Centre Pompidou, TATE Modern, and MoMA); and Mads Lynnerup (San Francisco Museum of Art, the Miami Art Museum, and MoMA PS1).   The second group of five participating artists will be announced and debut on-air and online during the summer of 2012.

“We are very excited to be working with MTV,” said Creative Time president and director Anne Pasternak, ”in honoring its iconoclastic and influential roots in introducing cutting-edge art and culture to millions of people around the globe.”

The press release for Artbreaks can be found here.

Case Study: Damien Hirst’s New Site Features 24 Hour Live Streaming Video

Damien Hirst has just launched a revamped version of his website, now featuring 24-hour live streaming video from his studio with two interchangeable camera angles. Although it’s pretty neat to have a glimpse into the creative factory of one of the highest-earning visual artists on the planet, it would be a somewhat more interesting experience were Hirst to make a cameo or two. It’s no secret that he employs a small army of assistants to put his work together, but it’s still fair for one to assume that he would attempt to visit his own studio or perhaps even work on one of his pieces, if only for the cameras. However, in an article in the Speakeasy section of the Wall Street Journal, they mention that viewer feedback has stated consistently that only miscellaneous assistants have made appearances in the live stream so far.

Click here to see for yourself; perhaps you’ll be the first to spot the elusive Mr. Hirst!

Case Study: David Shrigley to Grace High Line Billboard (NYC)

ARTINFO has reported that David Shrigley will be the next artist to be displayed on the massive, 25′ x 75′ billboard that sits above Manhattan’s High Line at 18th Street and Tenth Avenue. The highly coveted space, formerly used for advertising, will debut Shrigley’s piece entitled How Are You Feeling (pictured above) on April 5 and will be on display until May 7.

Case Study: Oxford American’s 100 Under 100

Publication Oxford American, a nonprofit quarterly on arts and culture, has just released their 100 Under 100 list in their latest issue, The Visual South. Profiling the rising stars of the southern United States’ contemporary art scene, the list was compiled by polling curators, established artists and gallery owners of the region.

Click here to order a copy of the latest issue of Oxford American to learn more about the artists profiled in the print edition, and here for the artists that made it into their online edition.


Case Study: Occupy Wall Street’s Arts & Labor Protest Whitney Biennial

The Arts and Labor division of the Occupy Wall Street movement has issued a letter today to the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan, requesting that they put an end to the Whitney Biennial. They argue that the Biennial “upholds a system that benefits collectors, trustees, and corporations at the expense of art workers,” and therefore must cease to exist in its current form by 2014. The Biennial, which opens to the public on Thursday, has been a biannual tradition of the museum since 1932 and features work from emerging contemporary American artists.

Read on for the full letter from the Arts and Labor group.

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