Tag Archives: art


Visual Arts A-Popping

In the news:  Hiroshi Sugimoto uses dioramas to photograph; a Spegelman mural installed in a Manhattan H.S., an act of vandalism claimed as high art that cites Surrealism as a defense in a minor modification of Mark Rothko’s art.

Now… I love Sugimoto.  His horizon and lightening series have been among my favorites ever in Chelsea galleries. To frame lightening, Sugimoto created it in his studio, using a miniature generator. It was gorgeous stuff that raised questions about reality and art within the serene style I love in his other work.  Taking place near the High Line, the diorama series seems to raise similar questions.

Spiegelman continues to establish his NY creds by supporting the HS he attended.

The vandalism case raises the most far-reaching questions, though it will probably be treated as crime and not art, as the artists involved, Vladimir Umaneta and Marcin Lodyga, claim.  Raising the innteresting question:  if Surrealism lives, does it live in moments like this? Art and private property might not mix but are long established facts of life. Or is publicity the name of the game—Warhol moments?

This is a random note on how the visual arts seem to be claiming not just the day but the major thinking about the arts—

and a-popping.


Bringing the World into the World

Bringing the world into the world; giving time to time:  the arresting phrases belong to Alighero Boetti, subject of a new show at MoMA.  He died at 54 and so we’ll never know where his art would have gone over time.  [It was a brain tumor… so sad.]  But what I saw in NY confirmed my sense of what I had seen earlier that he was a talented thinker.

It’s conceptual art but also has the obsessive edge I value.  Again and again, he plays with words reproduced and arranged at random but with a symmetry that brings order out of chaos or, better yet, plays order against chaos, relishing the tense effect.  Again and again, he finds art where others would not:  in the arrangement of stamps; in graph paper lines reproduced by hand where the errata make their mark; in maps coded by color and national flags in works that are tapestries rather than painting to sculpture.

It’s the genre crossing I like here:  the maps, and (below) woven work, some done during a decade of visiting Afghanistan.  Those carpets must have taken a lot of time and they reproduce bar codes and iPhone scanning.  Those multicolored paintings are really woven fabrics, cut out and assembled collage style.  The found object:  the world.  The arrangement:  the world.  All performed, over time.