Monday, March 06, 2006

A Colossal Agglomeration of Ugly Stuff

Is how Newsday art critic Ariella Buddick describes the Whitney Biennial. She adds on:

"Which would be fine, if the sculptures, videos, paintings and installations sacrificed attractiveness for thoughtfulness, profundity, visceral power or wit. But this year's Biennial is depressingly shallow. Oh, yes, and also heavy-handed, humorless, puerile and just plain boring."
I love it when a critic really goes for the jugular of a review! And this degree of passion in writing about art should be applied to both the positive and negative view of a show.

Buddick writes that
"Curators Chrissie Iles and Phillipe Vergne have selected works that conform to their murky concept of what the state of contemporary American art should be...

This vague herd, we are told, has been busily "challenging concepts," "transgressing boundaries," "blurring lines" and "investigating relationships." ...

I have some news for the curators: There are no boundaries left to transgress. Art can't be liminal in the absence of the thresholds. How can you challenge conventions that have already been burned beyond recognition? There's something almost quaint about the use of these cliches. Where have the curators been for the past 20 years?
I know where: Inside museums.

Read the whole review here

Secondsight Meeting

The next Secondsight meeting will be held on Friday, March 24 at 6.30pm. The guest speaker will be one of the areas most successful commercial photographers, Katherine Lambert

Katherine specializes in editorial and corporate portrait photography. Her work has appeared in numerous national publications including Businessweek, Time, Newsweek, People, Bloomberg, Audubon, Fortune and Forbes as well as annual reports and corporate brochures.

Secondsight is an organization dedicated to the advancement of women photographers through support, communication and sharing of ideas and opportunities. Secondsight is committed to supporting photographers at every stage of their careers, from students to professionals. Each bi-monthly meeting includes an introductory session, a guest speaker, portfolio sharing and discussion groups. Each photographer will have the opportunity to present their work within a small group of other photographers, ask for constructive criticism, gain knowledge or simply share their artistic vision and techniques.

Please visit for all the information you'll need to attend the meeting or contact Catriona Fraser at:

PO Box 34405
Bethesda, MD 20827


Check out what happened to Teague in New Orleans. And I think that it has something to do with this?

See it here.

Selected Photographers

These are the photographers and photographs selected by juror Catriona Fraser for the IV Annual Bethesda International Photography Competition.

See them here. The exhibition opens next Friday at our gallery with an opening reception from 6-9PM as part of the Bethesda Art Walk.

See ya there!


Tonight I'll be jurying an exhibition for the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, a terrific art venue on 7th Street, SE.

More on that later.

Vettriano original nets £290,000

Everytime one of Jack Vettriano's paintings comes up for auction in the UK, it's as if British art collectors spit on the face of British art critics and British museums.

One of Jack Vettriano's most popular paintings, Dance Me To The End Of Love (one of the world's bestselling posters), just sold for nearly 300,000 pounds in Scotland (and way over that once all commissions are added in) - that's a lot of dollars!

Untrained, gruff and very un-PC, Vettriano is perhaps the world's best-selling artist. He has been shunned by the high art world, with major UK galleries refusing to acquire his works. However, this self-taught Scottish artist has huge worldwide popular appeal. His painting The Singing Butler sold for almost £750,000 in 2004, the highest price ever paid for a Scottish painting at auction.

The only example of his work to be featured in a public collection in the world is a painting donated by a collector to the Kirkcaldy Museum in Fife, Scotland, Vettriano's birthplace.