Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Weekend Reviews

At the WaPo, O'Sullivan reviews "On Music: Tim Rollins + K.O.S. (Kids of Survival)" at the Kreeger Museum

As I noted here, on Saturday, Fusebox Gallery will open a show of paintings called "Freedom Works," putting the art of Rollins and K.O.S. in a different, broader context. An opening reception is scheduled from 6-8PM.

O'Sullivan also has a really good review of Collaboration as a Medium: 25 Years of Pyramid Atlantic

Powerless Critics

In the popular imagination, the art critic seems a commanding figure, making and breaking careers at will, but one hard look at today’s contemporary art system reveals this notion to be delusional. "When I entered the art world, famous critics had an aura of power," recalls ArtBasel director Samuel Keller. "Now they’re more like philosophers— respected, but not as powerful as collectors, dealers or curators. Nobody fears critics any more, which is a real danger sign for the profession."
Read the Art Newspaper article (by Marc Spiegler) here.
"The role of the critic has been gradually taken over by the curator," notes Stockholm’s Power Ekroth, who writes criticism for, edits Site magazine, and also curates exhibitions. "The curator builds up a career by becoming the new stronghold for validation of taste. The curator is also closer to the artist, because where the critic is trying to be 'objective' the curator is clearly subjective."

Here we go again...

Painting is dead, painting is hot... the never ending, boring debate....

Secret Service Visits Art Show

This story is a little scary.

Organizers of a politically charged art exhibit at Columbia College's Glass Curtain Gallery thought their show might draw controversy.

But they didn't expect two U.S. Secret Service agents would be among the show's first visitors.
Read the whole story here.

Secrets in the CP

Frank Warren's PostSecret project continues to grow.

Page 150 of the current edition of the Washington City Paper has one of Frank's cards and will run a new one each week; Very cool!

Frank is also working on a book deal for the project.

DC Collectors

We just closed our most successful photography exhibition ever, featuring 50 years of photography by Lida Moser. The exhibition received extensive press coverage (here and in New York), both in the mainstream media, online and on television.

And yet, it shows (again) the puzzling side of DC area "collectors." Most sales were made to New York (several pieces), Los Angeles (most expensive piece), Miami and Great Britain (multiples). In spite of all the press and really good numbers of people who came to see the exhibition, only three DC collectors (if we exclude Holly, our gallery attendant, who purchased a piece) acquired work. And the other two collectors told us that it was the "first time that they had actually bought photography from a DC area gallery."

This continues a trend (for us) that sees a rather sizeable number of our art sales going to New York and West Coast collectors, while the DC "collector" market remains hard to identify in the numbers that our area's wealth and numbers should support.


Colby Caldwell, whom I interviewed for ArtsMedia News recently, has a new BLOG called Notes from the Fieldhouse. Visit him often.

The Thursday Reviews

Nothing in the WaPo.

In the City Paper, Louis Jacobson has a superb review of André Kertész at the NGA. I am a big fan of "intimate-sized" photography, and dislike Teutonic, poster-sized photos so much in vogue in museum exhibitions these days. Jacobson writes:

These negatives were roughly 2-by-2-and-a-half inches, and the resulting works—sometimes cropped further by the artist’s steady hand virtually demand that visitors to the National Gallery put their noses up against the glass.

The constraints of these photographs’ tiny proportions demanded something of Kertész, too: a fealty to clear composition.
Jacobson also reviews Don Reichert at the Canadian Embassy’s Art Gallery and is then puzzled in his review of the Domestic Policy printmakers' group show at District Fine Arts.

The City Paper also has an excellent profile and discussion of Jonathan Blum's portrait show at Market 5 Gallery by Mike DeBonis. Elsewhere in the CP, Kara McPhillips has a tidbit on Trish Tillman and Bridget Lambert at Warehouse Gallery. Kara also reveals that someone once offered (her boyfriend) a bag of coke in exchange for her.

In the Gazette, Tracy O'Dowd reviews "H2Art" at the Carroll Arts Center, and Dr. Claudia Rousseau reviews Pyramid Atlantic's 25th anniversary exhibition, now at the District's Edison Place Gallery.

At MAN, Green discusses Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre at the NGA.

At DCist, Kirkland reviews Prescott Moore Lassman at the Fisher Gallery (and gets in somebody's "most loathsome" list in the process).

In The Washington Examiner (in page 5) there's an article about J.W. Bailey's i found your photo project.

Gallery openings this weekend

Tomorrow is the third Friday of the month (but today is not the third Thursday), and so the five Canal Square galleries will have our extended hours and new shows. The extended hours are from 6-9PM, and the openings are catered by the Sea Catch Restaurant. The five galleries are Anne C. Fisher, Alla Rogers, Fraser, MOCA and Parish.

We will have Washington's best Sangria plus the bizarre digital photographic manipulations of New York digital artist Viktor Koen, who will be making his DC debut. More work by Koen here.

Also tomorrow, Dan Steinhilber has his first solo exhibition at Numark Gallery with a reception from 6:30-8PM. Steinhilber had his DC debut a few years ago at MOCA in Georgetown, and since then has certainly become one of our best-known artists, and this should be a terrific exhibition. Steinhilber is slated for a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston next year, to be curated by Valerie Cassel Oliver. He has also been invited to a residency and commissioned to create a site-specific installation for an exhibition at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh next year.

On Saturday, Brooklyn artist Sylvan Lionni returns to Fusebox which has Sylvan Lionni: Stadia in their main space and Tim Rollins + KOS: Freedom Works in their project space, opening with a reception from 6-8PM. The exhibitions runs through May 21, 2005.

Go to an opening this weekend.

Back from Aggieland... this week's DCist Arts Agenda is here.

More later... I seem to have a lot of emails on something published by former Style section editor Gene Robinson in the WaPo this week. Will look at all that later.