Issue #194
Tacks, Tape and a Level July 13, 2012

From the Editor

Near the end of June I attended two openings at Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies. Anti-Establishment, curated by Johanna Burton, and the subject of one of our Recommends this issue, was paired with Liam Gillick’s From 199A to 199B, curated by the programs Executive Director Tom Eccles. The two rigorous and, in many instances, irreverent exhibitions make a nice couple, especially during the summer months when the art world tends to put aside more serious matters. As mentioned in the last issue, it is the season of the summer group exhibition and for those fortunate enough to have the resources necessary to travel abroad, some big European fairs (Art Basel) and shows (Documenta (13) and Manifesta 9). Burton and Gillick’s exhibitions got me thinking about these massive exhibitions, their status as a form of institution and the way in which they set up different frameworks and hierarchies through which we end up viewing the work. How contemporary artists respond to and critique these institutions—that often welcome and absorb counter-cultural efforts (Documenta (13)‘s Artistic Director recently ‘welcomed’ the Occupy movement)—is a territory rich for exhibition and art making alike.

If new avenues for critique have become necessary than an expansion of subjects and entry-points is a must. Along those lines we’re thrilled to have artist and writer Mary Walling Blackburn (recently re-located to Dallas for a teaching position at SMU) and Brooklyn painter Marley Freeman’s text as a part of this issue. Utilizing a clip from Deep Throat (1972) Walling Blackburn and Freeman look to uncover the ‘feminine mark’ and find a new way into thinking about the politics of abstraction. We appreciate a good conversation here at ...might be good, and curator and writer Ursula Davila-Villa engages Buenos Aires-based artist Matias Duville in just such a dialogue.

Not all summer shows fit the group mold and a number of solo-exhibitions have caught our attention. Austin-based artist Erin Curtis’s show of new paintings and collages entitled Prosperity Garden is currently on view at David Shelton Gallery in San Antonio. Former ...might be good Editor and writer Claire Ruud made the trip and offers her thoughtful take on Curtis’ undertaking. In Dallas, the Goss-Michael Foundation is host to an exhibition from British artist Adam McEwen that writer and U.T. Arlington Assistant Professor Benjamin Lima lends his thoughts. Our last salvo from the review front comes from Durham-based writer and art historian Julie Thomson who visits the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia for a look at Wayne White’s exhibition BIG LICK BOOM. Houstonites may remember White’s massive George Jones puppet head from his exhibition at Rice Gallery in 2009.

In Europe? What’s on your summer reading list? Have some untold methods of institutional infiltration and critique at your ready? Let us know about them by emailing us at: askus@fluentcollab.org.

Eric Zimmerman is an artist and Editor of ...might be good.

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