from the editor
Here in the northeast the days are getting noticeably shorter. If an October snowstorm wasn’t enough of a reminder, the arcane tradition of daylight savings time went to work, exacerbating the steadily diminishing daylight and the murmurs of an impending winter. This is the time of year best suited to thinking. For me it has meant a moment of self-reflection regarding the multiple roles we occupy within our lives, a state far from unique to anyone making their way in the arts. Some days I’m an artist, others an editor, and part of the time an assistant for another artist. For a while I was a professor, and through most all of it I have managed to put down words in some form or another. Since taking on this editorial position, I’ve become acutely aware of these roles, partly because each comes with their own set of diktats, to say nothing of stereotypes, which guide my behavior and your assumptions.
Old hat, no? Perhaps, but as this occupation of multiple roles by arts workers only increases it seems as though the critical language we’re using to talk about these positions should be changing along with it. The old terminology no longer seems adequate for describing what an artist, critic or art historian is. Like all labels they rely on assumption more than fact and the facts are becoming increasingly illusive. There is certainly no shortage of advice columns hinging on these assumptions, behooving artists to act a certain way, lest they forgo success. PhD’s for studio artists only work to further muddy the waters, conjuring up the specter of a mightily serious and well-credentialed artist. But truth be told, the sediment has never really been settled. Occupational markers aside, its not that difficult to see artist statements and manifestoes as a form of art criticism, nor the work of some critics as breaching literary boundaries.
Our institutions seem equally behind, relying on an old lexicon surrounding objects and how they’re exhibited. Divisions between media and curatorial departments over-emphasize the distinctions between working methods, time-periods and artistic practice–championing difference and exclusivity over arts importance for not only other art, but the world at large. These old models have deep roots running throughout institutional structures. I try and remain hopeful regarding the confirmed merger between Arthouse and AMOA back in Austin, but I worry that this old model, utilized in some form more or less by both institutions, will simply be dressed up and applied to the new conglomerate. A strategy that doesn’t fully take into account the structural failures of the past, and the deep changes in the discourse surrounding art objects and their presentation, misses entirely the golden opportunity a union of this sort presents.
New terms, new models, new forms, fresh blood. No small order. Taking a page from my status as a crossbreed, perhaps its simply time to acknowledge the crumbling distinctions, or at least recognize that they were tenuous from the start and have, perhaps, finally run their course. Concessions of this sort don’t mean the wholesale dismantling of what’s come before, nor does it make reconciling the multiple roles we and our institutions occupy any easier. As an editor, my background as an artist often makes me uneasy. Succeeding a long line of formidable art historians and curators, I doubt my linguistic and theoretical chops each time I approach one of these letters. Everyone’s got a yardstick at the ready. As an artist, taking a position through words alone and without months to examine its nuances makes me exceedingly uneasy. Somewhere along the way I recognize that each role—each form I have to work within—can aide the other and creates a situation that is mutually beneficial. In some sense it’s a preventative measure for one-dimensionality and a perpetual challenge, one that we should embrace across the spectrum.
...might be good will be back on December 2 after a brief break for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Between bites of your favorite Turkey oriented dishes be sure to follow @mbgETC, piloted through November by Brooklyn-based artist David Horvitz.
Eric Zimmerman is an artist and Editor of ...might be good.
 Futurist’s such as Boccioni and the Russian Constructivists initially come to mind, while Art & Language and Liam Gillick offer further examples in a more contemporary context. Critics like Dave Hickey, John Ruskin, and Charles Baudelaire occupy the other side of the coin. I could also list artist-run spaces, curators who write, artists who curate, and any other number of hybrids out there.
Library Science: Notes on a Conversation with Rachel Gugelberger
By Claire Ruud
David Bunn, Youth U.S. (detail), 2004, Unique Iris print, Los Angeles Central Library catalogue file and plexiglass, Print 29 x 40 inches famed; Library card 5 x 7 x .25 inches framed, Overall dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Angles Gallery, Los Angeles.
In the paragraphs that follow, I recall an hour-long Skype conversation with Rachel Gugelberger, curator of Library Science at Artspace, New Haven. In the context of the exhibition, it is fitting that my computer did not save the majority of our conversation; technology’s memory having failed, I was left to rely on my own. Gugelberger points out that a work in the show by David Bunn explores this reliance on the analog in the event of digital failure. When the library of the Brooklyn Museum invited Bunn to do a project with its recently discarded card catalogue, he arrived to find that the replacement online catalogue (Voyager) had crashed and the electronic backup had been erased. Bunn’s No Voyager Record (2008), included in Library Science, projects the physical cards marked with the librarians’ annotations to restore the lost and missing entries. The work captures the digital’s continued reliance on the analogue, despite rapidly advancing technology.
It’s not news that the library is undergoing a critical period of change. Library Science is curator Rachel Gugelberger’s meditation on this personal, physical and intellectual relationship to the library at this moment, a meditation on what the physical library can do, what the virtual library can do and how the shift from the former to the latter encapsulates a larger cultural shift. Now is the moment to reconsider the library, Gugelberger suggests, because of the simultaneous exuberance and anxiety about the shift from physical to virtual archives. As an illustration of this ambivalence, Gugelberger relates two anecdotes: Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, is attempting to collect one hard copy of every book ever published in order to preserve them forever, and the Association of College and Research Libraries blog has encouraged librarians to prepare a cyberwar contingency plan. Gugelberger suggests that this cultural attitude toward the internet and our portal into it (the computer screen) echoes the suspicion that once surrounded the television. Ever since “the box” entered our homes, waves of panic and volleys of incrimination for societal problems have been directed against it. Now, Gugelberger sites, and recognizes in herself, a similar fear of the repercussions of the internet on our brains and behavior. Weak memories, a lack of inquisitiveness, a reliance upon spell check, endless citations, outright plagiarism and ADHD or antisocial behavior—are these the fruit of our wired lives?
Gugelberger happily admits to the show’s nostalgic, anxious and political impulses because, I think, she is using herself as a case study of the larger cultural feelings and ideas surrounding the library’s adaptation to today’s technologies. She is of the generation that witnessed the shift towards the digital, and her connection to the library is extremely personal; her mother was a librarian. She recognizes some longing within her generation for a past in which physical libraries provided access to information, community identity and public resources. At the same time, Gugelberger points out, as libraries adapt, they find new ways to provide these same public benefits.
The politics of information and control run throughout much of the work in the show, whether more explicitly as in Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S. Davidson’s actualization of the CIA’s suggested reading list for children, or more subtly through Mickey Smith’s found portraits of sitters in front of libraries or library backdrops in photography studios. (Gugelberger points out that Ted Kaczynski appears in one photograph—a rephotographed wedding portrait with a fake bookshelf as a backdrop. The FBI later used his library records to track him down). For Gugelberger, these politics are most interesting in the context of the personal relationship between an individual and an archive. Much of the work in the show is quirky and rather intimate. Madeline Djerejian’s photograph of a researcher engrossed in a large tome and Allen Ruppersberg’s online version of his studio library represent a personal connection between a particular individual and a particular archive; playful works by Erica Baum memorialize the humorous, poignant or even disturbing moments created by serendipitous juxtapositions of subject headings, and Nina Katchadourian’s arrangements of book spines serve as portraits of the library or library-holder.
In fact, Gugelberger’s investment in connection with the library is such that she organized artist projects at five New Haven libraries. She wants people to experience the library. For her, the exhibition isn’t just about libraries in some abstract sense. Library Science is Gugelberger’s prompt to viewers: get inside the library, be inquisitive. Encounter the possibilities and experience the limitations of the archive, both physical and virtual. Obviously, Gugelberger says, there’s no such thing as a perfect library; universal libraries have been the impossible dream of kings and the utopian subject of writers. Yet, there is a tinge of activist intent in the way Gugelberger speaks about the exhibition. She sees the library and the knowledge it holds as a source of power for all kinds of people, if only we choose to use it.
Claire Ruud has an M.A. in art history from The University of Texas at Austin and is pursuing an M.B.A. at The Yale University School of Management. She thinks a lot about feminism, queer theory and financing contemporary art production.
Visual Arts Center, Austin
Closed: October 22
By Andy Campbell
Ezra Masch, 2011, Music of the Spheres (Performance documentation, October 12, 2011). Courtesy of the artist. Photo Credit: James Scheuren.
Ezra Masch’s Music of the Spheres (2010), an electronic organ linked up to a metal girding dotted with brightly-gelled clip lamps, is astonishing in its almost-palpable vibratory potential. Unplayed, the organ sits, with its wires, amplifiers and power strips teasing a viewer to switch it “on”—to activate the sculpture—and start playing. It was with great expectation I went to see the instrument played by the artist himself on October 12. Maybe I should have stayed home.
Striding into the performance space fifty minutes late (about a fifth of the 100-150 people gathered there had already left by the time the artist deigned to arrive), Masch began on a self-aggrandizing note—a small band of instrumentalists/percussionists tricked out in Masch’s distinctive celestial geometric patterning, and silver-painted flower girls tossed petals in advance of the artist. These folks served as his entourage before, during and after his performance. Masch was dressed in an outfit that was reminiscent of Louis XIV (Sun-king and often the sign par excellence of extravagance), resplendent in a powdered poodle-bouffant. His face was painted, strangely, like a Dia de los Muertos skeleton. After the diva-histrionics, Masch finally sat down to play.
When the colored lamps lit up, animated by Masch’s touch and the electronic sounds of the organ, there was a great intake of breath. Those first few phrases displayed the hue and harmonic range of the instrument, descending and ascending with the lights marching right to left in stacked diagonal blinks—the spectrum sweep. And then Masch opened his mouth and began to sing…
Well, really he began to initiate a call-and-response pattern that sounded suspiciously like a stereotypical black church revival scene. Can the artist get an “Amen?” And the doe-eyed undergrads said “Amen!” Those of us in the back, who hadn’t left, remained silent. I was embarrassed.
I admit, I was thinking about something else the day I saw Masch’s performance. I had arrived from work where I had shown the video component of Adrian Piper’s Cornered in my Issues of Contemporary Art class at Texas State University. The discussion, as is usually the case when showing Piper’s work, was lively and engaged, with members of the class staking out various positions, calling Piper’s video everything from brave and informative to condescending and racist. In her video Piper presents a series of conundrums regarding the stability of race-identities, around which systems of Western power/law are constructed. Hers is an interrogative video, forcing a white viewer to come to terms with entrenched racist ideology, moving these racisms from the realm of potentially-unconscious to the politically-aware. Piper has written thoughtfully on the “grey experience,” instead of the black experience or the white experience. Cornered is flanked by two birth certificates of her father, one that lists him as an octoroon and one that lists him as white. Piper’s video-image is placed in the middle of these two divergent identities, standing behind an overturned table, legs-out. Race, then, is not just the sum total of checkboxes accumulated, but overlapping spilling signifiers (ancestry, phenotype, entrenched social conventions and more). She musses hegemonic order by suggesting that if most Americans have varying levels of black ancestry, and if historical precedent was that any person with any amount of black ancestry was deemed non-white, then most white Americans are, in fact, black.
You might think that Piper’s discussion of the paradoxical fixity and absurdity of racial identities would green-light Masch’s sloppy appropriation of church-revivalist call-and-response, when in fact, it did just the opposite. It threw into sharp focus the unwitting tactics of a young artist pulling an assemblage of references that ultimately disregarded the hodge-podge of historical/racial/cultural contexts they came from. Furthermore, whereas Piper’s is a sobering and thoughtful experience, Masch’s was an extravagant and hedonistic one, formulated as a party more than a performance.
At its heart, Ezra Masch’s performance confused self-aggrandizing behavior and cosmic importance. They’re not the same. Some would counter this assertion, claiming that Masch’s muse, the space-age Jazzist Sun Ra, confused these two. But there’s another level to Sun Ra’s gold and silver costumes and constant declarations that he and his arkestra were from Saturn, that farthest away of elsewheres. Better to be from Saturn than to be a turn-of-the-century young black man in Birmingham. Sun Ra’s “antics” are in part a dictat on dislocation, a way of making more illegible a social and musical world that rendered racialized identities (white and black) as too-legible. Sun Ra’s name change from Herman Blount to Le Sony’r Ra indexes, in part, this strategy of resistance, an active effort to make the present stranger. Meanwhile, Masch’s call-out seemed to only be concerned with the costumery and the pageantry, a strikingly superficial take on Sun-Ra.
Masch treated the black church call-and-response form in a similar matter, as a costume to inhabit rather than a practice to investigate and pull meaning from. Call-and-response is built into many religious and spiritual practices from yoga to Judaism (the latter being the one I’m most familiar with). The tone of Masch’s call-and-response marked it as specifically ecstatic-Christian. Most troubling was the elision of the historical difference between Sun Ra’s space-jazz and black church call-and-response. Even Sun Ra uses call-and-response in songs like Rocket #9, but his vocalizations are timed (almost rotely) with the music, not in a manner reminiscent of “witnessing” or other ecstatic-Christian forms. Masch’s performance was also punctuated by little awkward speeches by the artist—one in which he extolled what was unseen and unheard. I wish he had heeded his own advice more, being a gifted musician, when Masch would close his mouth and play. Music of the Spheres had the opportunity to outshine its human competition, resulting in some awe-inspiring moments.
In a series of performances called From In The Near Future, artist Sharon Hayes appropriates historical examples of dissent and transposes them onto her body. In one iteration the artist walks the streets of Manhattan holding up a sign that reads “I AM A Man,” a sign initially created and used in a strike staged by black sanitation workers in Memphis in 1968. Here, as in Masch’s art, is an artist working through an historic reference point—and one that collides with her perceived race. It’s an appropriation to be sure, but hers amplifies the historical specificity of the reference without confusing it for a costume. “I AM A MAN” could just as easily be a slogan for contemporary movements for transgender visibility, as much as it points to the artist’s own dislocated embodiment (away from blackness, away from a community of protestors). It is an image that is confusing but not confused, a tactical maneuvering through history. For a musical instrument so full of potential, an historical figure so full of meaning, a performance form so full of ambivalence, Masch does all a disservice by rendering them as the playthings of an artist who would rather party than be thoughtful about the presentation of his archive.
Less color, more grey.
Andy Campbell is a Senior Lecturer at Texas State University and is currently writing about gay and lesbian leather communities in the 1970s.
Art Palace, Houston
Through November 12
By Melissa Venator
Barry Stone, "Dark Side of the Rainbow," (Exhibition view including from left to right, Positive Eclipse of 1919, Promises Promises, Negative Eclipse of 1919, all 2011). Courtesy of the artist.
The title of Barry Stone’s first solo exhibition at Art Palace, Dark Side of the Rainbow, refers to the cultural phenomenon of playing Pink Floyd’s 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon as the soundtrack for Victor Fleming’s1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Fans claim there are moments when the lyrics or music correspond to the action in the film. References to Dark Side of the Rainbow appear throughout photographs, drawings and paintings in the show.
There is a fundamental contradiction at work in Stone’s allusion to Dark Side of the Rainbow. The musicians of Pink Floyd famously denied that the film influenced their album. Any correspondences are purely coincidental; perhaps the product of humankind’s universal tendency to look for patterns where none exist. In contrast, Stone’s works, disparate as they seem, weave a web of correspondences deliberately constructed by the artist. The colorful prism in the watercolor Prism Runaway—a clear quote of the iconic prism on the album cover of The Dark Side of the Moon—is formally similar to other works structured around volumetric abstract shapes. The most incongruous of these is a color close-up photograph of the driver’s-side window of a beat-up car, which initially seems out of sync with the other, more abstract works in the show. Its title, Tetrahedronal El Camino, explains its relationship through the strong geometric lines of the window frame. Stone’s correspondences, both between and within works, are as intentional in the exhibition as they are coincidental in the popular spectacle.
Consider the twin black-and-white drawings Positive Eclipse of 1919 and Negative Eclipse of 1919. Each work is the positive and negative of the same image: an off-set circle inscribed by a contrasting corona. In fact, they are drawings of a solar eclipse. Within the logic of Dark Side of the Rainbow, these works might refer to the last track on the album, also titled “Eclipse.” However, they embody another set of correspondences that speak directly to Stone’s larger project. As their titles indicate, the works depict a specific eclipse; in fact, they are copies of a famous photograph by astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington of a total solar eclipse that took place on May 29, 1919. The grainy image is primitive when compared to modern astronomy’s ostentatious full-color photographs of celestial bodies, but Stone faithfully captures the striking minimal aesthetic of the original image in his ink drawings.
Apart from its formal beauty, this photograph is remembered today for it central role in proving the validity of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. On one hand, the curvature of light around massive bodies predicted by the general theory of relativity and proven by Eddington resembles the refraction of light through the prism on the cover of The Dark Side of the Moon. On the other hand, within popular culture, the general theory of relativity is often misinterpreted to mean that all knowledge is relative. This understanding was expressed by the art critic José Ortega y Gasset when he wrote in 1923: “The theory of Einstein is marvelous proof of the harmonious multiplicity of all possible points of view.” In these words we find the perfect metaphor for Stone’s project: a collection of all possible points of view, both incongruous and captivating, compressed into his newest body of work.
Melissa Venator is a PhD student in the Department of Art History at Rice University.
Bari Ziperstein: The Veneer of Decorative Protection
Bari Ziperstein’s work explores America’s love of excess and desire to collect. Utilizing a collage aesthetic, her artistic practice draws attention to the way various built environments, ranging from architectural to consumer-oriented constructions, relate to desire and aspiration. Ziperstein creates site-specific sculptures that challenge viewers to discern the familiar from the strange and to question psychological, economical and emotional attachments that consumers place on spaces and objects.
Here, Ziperstein’s site-specific photographs of a distorted figurative sculpture is treated as sculptural protection between the private and public world—concerned with the aesthetics of domestic and commercial security. Through collage aesthetics, Ziperstein created connections between site, economics and class. Ziperstein’s figurative sculpture, appropriated from a 1980s wrought iron window bar advertisement directed at Angelinos, is concerned with the aesthetics of domestic security. By depicting a life-size, suspicious female homeowner decorated by her own protective window bars, an unnerving parallel between excess and fear is established.
A selection of recent solo shows includes Recollected: Long for a Home funded by the Arts Council of Long Beach Public Art (2011), Decorative Protection < Protective Decoration at Las Cienegas Projects, Los Angeles (2010); Zippy's Nickknacks, Tonics, and Magical Gadgets (2010) at Santa Monica Museum of Art and 1,095: One Year's Worth of Other People's Plates (2010), which was featured in Let Them Eat LACMA. Her exhibitions have been reviewed in numerous publications including: The Los Angeles Times, Flash Art, X-TRA, Art Lies, Los Angeles Weekly, Artnet and Art Papers.
From 2007-2011, she was on the Board of Directors at Side Street Projects and hosted a biweekly podcast series called Shoptalk of frank conversations with contemporary LA artists, sponsored by SSP. Ziperstein has taught many university courses, including site-specific sculpture, at institutions such as UCSD, UCR and CalArts. She is a member of the collaborative team Survey West with Jill Newman. Ziperstein holds an MFA from CalArts and double majored at Ohio University to receive a BFA in painting and a Women’s Studies Degree. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
mbgETC: David Horvitz
David Horvitz is a Brooklyn-based photographer and performance artist known for his often bizarre and absurdist DIY instructional projects, including work on Wikipedia. He was born in Los Angeles, California in 1980, and educated at Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. He has published several books, and his exhibitions have been shown at major galleries and museums, including Art Metropole, the Or Gallery and the New Museum. In 2011 he was nominated for the Discovery Award at the photography festival in Arles, France.
An extension of might be good’s project space, @mbgETC, provides artists with a chance to engage with Twitter as an online platform for intervention and experimentation. Participants are given a month for the realization of their projects and can be followed online at Twitter.com/mbgETC or in the feed located within each issues table of contents.
The Mobile Archive
U.T. Visual Arts Center
November 4 - December 17, 2011
Archive fever is hard to cure. The gathering together inherent within archives taps into the part of our psyches that seeks communion and the desire to collect the things that represent us. Co-organized by VAC curatorial fellows past and present, Noah Simblist and Kate Green, The Mobile Archive brings its cache of video works from the Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon, Israel to U.T’s Visual Art Center. The jet-setting archive has already made international stops in Milan, Hamburg, Sao Paulo, Basel and Zagreb amongst others, showcasing political video work by mainly Israeli artists along the way. No need to worry about comfort, the library will be installed in The Arcade gallery with seating and headphones so that you can spend the necessary time with the selections. A pseudo-domestic setting that blurs the boundary between exhibition space and ‘home’ is, after-all, the perfect one for viewing such an archive. In addition to the VAC adding twenty-five works, further screenings will engage larger audiences throughout the roaming archives stay in Austin, making this prescient collection of political work an absolute must see.
October 30 - January 15, 2012
Since 1972 Artists Space has been an exhibition space, site for experimentation and hub for discussion. To say this venerable organization traffics in ideas would be a vast understatement. A non-profit venue that supports international and emerging artists within New York City, Artists Space has a rich history of challenging projects from a wide range of significant artists including Adrian Piper, Michael Smith and Louise Lawler just to name a few. The tradition of tackling politics through contemporary art continues in "Identity" which maps the role of graphic identity since the turn of the twentieth century. Organized by Dexter Sinister, the exhibition pays particular attention to art institutions and the precarious relationship between the art and corporate worlds. In a moment when "contemporary art institutions [have] become increasingly preoccupied with their own image," "Identity" asks how corporate notions of branding and governing structure ultimately mediate our experience of artwork and the institution. Keenly aware of the politics of contemporary ideology and economic policy, this exhibition takes a welcomed look at the art world, and through graphic design looks at how art institutions attempt and negotiate these tricky waters.
Eric Zimmerman is an artist and Editor of ...might be good.
Arthouse at the Jones Center and Austin Museum of Art Merge
November 1, 2011—Concluding months of exploratory talks and deliberative meetings, the Board of Directors for Arthouse at the Jones Center (Arthouse) and the Board of Trustees for the Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) have announced that the two institutions are now one. With a strong vote of confidence, both boards approved the merger, with a primary goal to exhibit and program modern and contemporary art for the citizens of Austin, Texas, and far beyond. With an annual operating budget of $3.2 million and zero debt, combining the two organizations will save more than $1 million in operational costs in the first year alone.
The new entity will own outright two architecturally-significant pieces of property, including AMOA's historic Driscoll Villa a the 12-acre Laguna Gloria site on the shores of Lake Austin at the terminus of West 35th Street, and Arthouse at the Jones Center's exhibition space at 700 Congress Avenue downtown, designed by Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis, and formerly known as the Queen Theater. Both of these facilities are currently exhibiting works, with additional plans for a new gallery and sculpture park slated for Laguna Gloria.
The combined board of trustees has launched a national search for a new executive director and is working with New York-based search firm, Phillips Oppenheim on that effort. Since December of 2011, nonprofit and museum veteran Jack Nokes has been serving as interim chief operating officer for AMOA, and he will be the interim executive director of the new entity until a new executive director is hired and comes on board.
For more information and the full press release, please contact Dave Shaw at dave@goArsenal.com or Kevin Smothers at email@example.com.
(From the press release.)
New Orleans News
Prospect New Orleans Announces Franklin Sirmans As New Artistic Director
November 10, 2011 – Dan Cameron, Founding Director of Prospect New Orleans, along with the Board of Directors of U.S. Biennial, Inc, have announced the appointment of Franklin Sirmans as Artistic Director of Prospect.3, which is scheduled to open in October 2013. As the first curator outside the organization to take up the artistic directorship of the fledgling biennial, Sirmans will establish Prospect.3’s thematic structure, select the participating artists and projects, and collaborate with the biennial’s staff to situate the projects in suitable venues. Sirmans will also write the catalog’s principal essay.
Cameron, who worked closely with a Board committee to select Sirmans from a short list of U.S.- based curators, will continue to work with Prospect New Orleans as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of U.S. Biennial, which he founded in 2007. Cameron has also recently been appointed Chief Curator of the Orange County Museum of Art. His appointment will begin in January 2012. Prospect.2 New Orleans currently runs through January 29, 2012.
For more information and the full press release contact Deirdre Maher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(From the press release.)
Women and Their Work
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 19, 7 - 9pm
Jasmyne Graybill draws from the familiar forms of fungus, lichen, and mold to create installations and sculptures that are inspired by the innate logic of natural growth and decay. Her work reflects the intrinsic beauty of these processes and intimate ecosystems. She invents and sculpts fictional organisms that graft onto manufactured domestic objects and infest the nooks and crannies of their "host" architectural spaces.
Preservation/Conservation will involve sculptural works and altered artifacts that deal with highlighting the impossible nature of conserving and preserving what is important, mundane and absurd.
Holly Johnson Gallery
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 19, 6-8pm
In this new body of work, stockpile, Doherty explores the role of seed banks and their preservation efforts in the face of climate change, the extinction of natural species and decreased agricultural diversity.
Sam Prekop and Michael Sieben
Opening Reception: Friday, December 9, 2011, 7 - 11pm
Sam Prekop, part of the widely acclaimed band, The Sea and Cake, will feature drawings, paintings and photographs. Like his music, his visual art demonstrates a strategic restraint and focus on the subtle qualities of mood and atmosphere. Michael Sieben is a founding member of Okay Mountain Gallery/Collective. The characters populating Sieben's work seem to bear the weight of (some very heavy) experience, but maintain an almost ridiculous optimism in the face of disaster and absurdity.
Austin on View
Lora Reynolds Gallery
Through December 3
The three works on paper, titled Eclipse, Constellation and Sunset, each appear to simply be layered pieces of torn packing paper arranged to form rudimentary constructions that represent the cosmic events of their titles. The source of light particular to each event appears to emanate from behind the paper through small rips or imperfect intersections. Upon closer inspection, the drawings are, in fact, delicately and masterfully executed trompe-l’oeil renderings.
Gray Duck Gallery
Through December 18
In honor of the upcoming holiday season, grayDUCK is throwing a Wapatui! If you're not from the Mid-west, you might know this under another name: Trash Can Punch, Suicide Punch, or maybe even a Hairy Buffalo; It's a drink created by the community. In that same spirit, I've asked fifteen fabulous artists from Austin and beyond to mix up a visual Wapatui.
Through December 30
Ragnar Kjartansson’s work ranges from the use of traditional media such as painting, drawing, and video to the explorative practice of durational performance, for which he is primarily known. Throughout his practice, the concepts of theatricality, repetition, and identity serve as ever-recurring themes as he taps into nostalgic imagery from bygone eras of theatre, television, music, and art.
Arthouse & Austin Museum of Art
Through December 30
Many of the works in The Anxiety of Photography reflect on the changing nature of our relationship to the materiality of images, as artists produce photographic prints from hand-painted negatives, violently collide framed pictures, arrange photographs and objects in uncanny still lives, or otherwise destabilize the photographic object. “They use the confusion that photographs can produce to create a more careful state of looking, a more open dive into pictures.”
Blanton Museum of Art
Through December 31
Storied Past explores the expressive and technical range of French drawing through preliminary sketches, compositional studies, figure studies, and finished drawings from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. Drawn primarily from the museum's renowned Suida-Manning Collection, the exhibition includes works by Jacques Callot, François Boucher, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Théodore Rousseau, Jean-Louis Forain, and Théophile Alexandre Steinlen.
Through January 8, 2012
To produce Infinity, video art duo Yamashita and Kobayashi jogged for eight days in the pattern of an infinity sign until their footsteps inscribed the symbol in the flattened grass. Descended from artists who experiment with combinations of endurance and Land Art, such as Richard Long, Yamashita and Kobayashi employ nature as both the subject and medium of their work.
Blanton Museum of Art
Through January 22, 2012
When I Last Wrote to You about Africa is a major retrospective of internationally renowned artist El Anatsui organized by the Museum for African Art in New York City. On view September 25, 2011 – January 22, 2012, the exhibition spans four decades and includes approximately 60 works drawn from public and private collections internationally.
B. Hollyman Gallery
Through January 31, 2012
In collaboration with Austin Center for Photography (ACP), B. Hollyman Gallery will be exhibiting Henry Horenstein’s series Animalia, a collection of intimate and intriguing portraits of land and sea creatures made between 1995 and 2001. These portraits are at once abstract and telling. Horenstein shoots with a balanced uniqueness, experimenting with view, angle, and perspective.
something happened here
Through November 12
Champion is pleased to announce something happened here, curated by Jennie Lamensdorf. The two-person exhibition of painting, photography, and sculpture, features works by New York artists Yadir Quintana and Matthew Schenning.
Holly Johnson Gallery
Through November 12
Gael Stack's new drawings continue to explore the ephemeral nature of memory and the past's implacable hold on the present. Her work incorporates fragments of words and images, often layered over one another to create a visual language with which she has made duration visible.
Through November 12
LA sculptor Renée Lotenero created an assignment for herself: draw one sketch per day. Lotenero has always sketched, especially during idle moments while traveling (she exhibited 204 of these small drawings at SOFA in 2009). For Three Hundred and Sixty-Five, Lotenero decided that no matter the circumstances of her day, whether she was traveling or in the studio, busy with family or work, she would create one small drawing.
Women and Their Work
Through November 12
With images of Victoriana, pugilism, medical anomalies and barren landscapes, Margaret Meehan's work proposes a choreographed fight outside the circled square. The drawings, photographs and installations are derived from 19th c. cabinet cards. Here the innocent collide with the monstrous, evoking race, gender, and empathy for otherness. Interested in real and mythical monsters, she combines the man made with the freak of nature. Victims become aggressors and the feral becomes rarefied. White is emptied of purity and black is not in the dominion of abject mystery – instead both are transformed in a moment of spectacle filled with violence and beauty.
Through November 27
Hanne Lippard’s video Beige utilizes the simplicity of the still image and an understated narrative to explore the color beige and its context within the artist’s own life, her perception of society, and ultimately, the universe. Although the video starts by focusing on the color, it soon becomes part of a larger discussion as the artist draws upon her past life experiences.
San Antonio Openings
Opening Reception: Friday, November 18, 6:30-10pm
Unit B (Gallery) is pleased to present Más Rudas: Más Triste San Antonio on view in the gallery November 18, 2011 – January 7, 2012. Mas Rudas is Mari Hernandez, Kristin Gamez, Cristina Ordoñez, Sarah Castillo y Ruth Buentello. Their exhibition will explore the effects of a city that caters to tourism rather than its home grown residents.
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 19, 2011, 7 - 9:30pm
BOX 13 ArtSpace is pleased to present two exhibitions opening November 19, 2011, 7 - 9:30PM. Dutch invasiON fills the Downstairs Front and Back BOX with work by five artists from the Netherlands in an exhibition curated by Maria Smits. Timothy Harding explores the role of scribbling in his process of concealing and revealing information in his Window BOX installation, Omitted.
Houston on View
Spirit of Modernism
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Through January 29, 2012
The Spirit of Modernism pays tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit of businessman and art collector John R. Eckel, Jr. The friendship between John Eckel and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, lasted only five years before his untimely death in 2009. His art collection, now known as the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gift, lives on at the MFAH as an enduring legacy comprising 75 examples of Modernist American painting and sculpture, photography, and contemporary arts and design. This exhibition highlights the gifts in two locations on the museum’s campus: the Beck Building (Hevrdejs Gallery) and the Law Building (Alice Pratt Brown Gallery and Garden).
Through November 12
Darkside of the Rainbow, Barry Stone's first solo show at Art Palace, takes its title from the common practice of playing the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and Pink Floyd's Darkside of the Moon (1973) album synchronously. Just as the superimposition of film and album suggests new associations emerging from the juxtaposition of seemingly incongruous elements, so too do Stone's groupings of photographs, drawings, collage and paintings.
Blaffer Art Museum
Through November 27
At the Back of the North Wind is an exhibition of new works by Anton Ginzburg, which will be open to the public from June 3 to November 27, 2011 during the 54th Venice Biennale at the Palazzo Bollani. Curated by Matthew J.W. Drutt, the exhibition has been chosen as an official participant of La Biennale di Venezia's Collateral Program. The exhibition of new works will feature a video installation that documents the artist's search for Hyperborea, a mythical northern territory. Large-scale sculptures, site-specific bas reliefs, photography, paintings, and a series of works on paper that document artist's travels and discoveries will also be displayed throughout the two floors of the palazzo.
Dallas on View
Helen Frankenthaler and Philip Pearlstein
Talley Dunn Gallery
Through December 10
Talley Dunn Gallery is pleased to present two concurrent exhibitions by iconic artists who have re-defined twentieth century painting, Philip Pearlstein and Helen Frankenthaler. Pearlstein’s subjects present straightforward, unidealized nudes without reference to mythology or allegory.Like her contemporary Pearlstein, Helen Frankenthaler also re-defined the history of post-war American painting in her own way – with a radical treatment of the canvas. By pouring pigment directly onto large-scale, unprimed canvases and avoiding the gestural brushstrokes of the abstract expressionist painters, Frankenthaler achieved a transparency of color that has inspired subsequent generations of artists, including Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis.
Through December 4
For Aaron Parazette's exhibition at Dallas Contemporary, he will exhibit a combination of new and recent paintings along with a large-scale, site-specific wall painting. Parazette employs the formula of formalist painting through text imagery. For Parazette, his work is painting meeting both the past and future abstraction.
El Paso on View
Through December 10
Regina Silveira is one of the most prominent Brazilian artists working today, and is renowned for her explorations of architectural space through geometric constructs. Silveira created Gone Wild Reversed for this exhibition and states, “by using the tracks of absent animals, the reaction I want to provoke is the degree of amazement of the unexpected, which can take you to an imaginary realm... Footprints and tracks have constituted a significant part of the indexical imagery whose meaning I have been investigating over the past few years. Their accumulation particularly interests me for its allegorical potential to allude to a ‘ghost’ event that took place and left a mark.”
Katie Maratta and Randy Twaddle
D Berman Gallery
Through December 3
D Berman Gallery presents two Texas artists with contrasting views of landscape.
East Austin Studio Tour 2011
For nine days in November, artist studios, art galleries, and various spaces all over east Austin will open up their doors to the public for the 10th East Austin Studio Tour. E.A.S.T. is a celebration of east Austin’s creative community and a chance for the public to get a behind-the-scenes look at working artists’ spaces and processes. Visitors can purchase art, see where artists work, and visit with artists about their art process. Additionally, a number of spaces will be presenting various art and performance events on all ends of the artistic spectrum.
AMOA-Arthouse and The Paramount Theater Present
Sunday, November 13, 3:30pm
Admission: $10 general admission, $5 for members
With his ground-breaking short film La Jetee and documentary feature/travelogue Sans Soleil, French filmmaker Chris Marker explores the power of the photographic image in a fascinating way. Presented on 35mm film and in conjunction with Arthouse/AMOA's current exhibit "The Anxiety of Photography," these rare screenings are cinematic magic. Fun fact: La Jetee was later adapted into the hit scifi thriller 12 Monkeys.
The Art of El Anatsui
Blanton Museum of Art
Thursday, November 17, 6pm
Filmed over three years in Italy, Nigeria, and the United States by art historian, curator, and African art expert Susan Vogel, Fold Crumple Crush: The Art of El Anatsui gives an insider's view of artist El Anatsui's practice. (2011, dir. Susan Vogel, 53 min.). This special screening takes place during The Blanton's Third Thursday on November 17, 5 - 9pm.
Mark Rothko's Actors: Shape and Edge in the Evolution of His Art
Monday, November 14, 7pm
To honor the Rothko Chapel on its fortieth anniversary, the Menil Collection presents Thomas E. Crow, Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Professor Crow, who will speak about the American painter Mark Rothko, is a contributing editor of Artforum, co-editor of the book Seeing Rothko, and author of the forthcoming Long History of Pop: Art Scenes in New York and London.
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Thursday, 17 November 2011, 6:30 pm
Internationally renowned sculptor Joel Shapiro will speak about his upcoming Rice Gallery installation, opening 2 February 2012, and his ongoing project to liberate forms from gravity.