From the Editor
Summer is here. Alongside the increased predominance of images of the weather forecast appearing in social media feeds is the ubiquitous summer group show. Some are curated by art world big-shots, others organized by the gallery staff, some you apply for, some you have to be Canadian and others are put together by artists in some far away outpost. You name the premise and there’s a summer group show that it fits. I’ve attended a few already and like the infinite number of frameworks the quality is equally diverse. As a participant and viewer of these exhibitions I readily admit to enjoying them. Things are a little less serious in the summer, move at a more reasonable pace and are generally accompanied by some cold, cheap, beer. On a larger scale, Made in L.A., Los Angeles’ first biennial opened this summer with the work of sixty artists, three exhibiting venues and the $100,000 Mohn Prize which joins the Whitney’s Bucksbaum Award as the largest financial award given to an individual artist in the country. L.A. resident and writer Catherine Wagley lends her always thoughtful pen to this exhibition (coming just on the heels of Pacific Standard Time) and its effect on the art being made in the City of Angels.
Heading southeast from L.A., San Antonio’s Artpace has an exhibition of five of its recent Texas residents. Writer Wendy Atwell dives into the show and discovers exciting progress being made in the work of Katie Pell, Katrina Moorhead, Alex De Leon, Juan Miguel Ramos and Lordy Rodriguez since their residencies. If summer exhibitions represent a relaxing of the seriousness typical of the artworld than might we recommend a trip to Dallas to see Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto’s Kink (2012) at the Nasher Sculpture Center. The Nasher itself has been in the news lately as the neighboring 42-story Museum Tower is reflecting so much sun light from its mirrored exterior that its threatening not only the Nasher, but the entire district. While you may be skeptical of Neto’s immersive, colorful and playful installations, a read of Fort Worth-based writer Erin Starr White’s review will assuage your concern. Physical engagement with his work offers sheer joy and an opportunity to reflect on the history of human/art engagement, which for White is embodied by Robert Morris’ 1971 retrospective at the Tate Britain.
In a sense Neto, and Morris before him, fulfill our desire to touch the art, which is otherwise frowned upon at most institutions. Perhaps it is human nature to want things that we can’t have, or to touch the things we really shouldn’t. Most of us, with the exception of fugitive ‘street’ artist Uriel Landeros who recently vandalized a Menil Collection Picasso and has since put his tail between his legs and ran, can control our urges. Austin-based artist and Texas State University Associate Professor Jeff Dell is thinking about some of those very issues, and his contribution to our Artists Words feature elucidates them in a refreshing and reflective manner. If you’re in Houston be sure to swing by Art Palace Gallery’s summer exhibition to see some of Dell’s work in person. Our Project Space is always a small exhibition space of sorts and this issue it features Brooklyn-based artist Scott Calhoun who’s recent paintings use his recent paintings as tools for their creation. Finally, if you happen to be embarking on a summer road trip through the midwest be sure to stop in Omaha and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. They’re currently host to Michael Jones McKean’s staggering project, The Rainbow: Certain Principles of Light and Shapes Between Forms, which should truthfully not be missed. Check out this issue's mbg Recommends for more info.
As you're out seeing summer shows, basking pool-side with a Lonestar or just enjoying our latest issue drop us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow us on Twitter, @mbgETC and Facebook where we promise you no images of the 10-day forecast.
Eric Zimmerman is an artist and Editor of ...might be good.