Thursday, January 04, 2007

Selected Art-O-Matic

No Art-O-Matic this year? No problem! The Examiner's Robin Tierney writes a nice pre-opening salvo of the mini-AOM joint exhibition that several Bethesda, MD galleries, AOM organizers and Jesse Cohen's ArtDC are putting together.

Conservative anti-AOM critics have cited the lack of a curatorial hand as AOM's main flaw, as opposed to a more liberal and democratic view of it as an open show. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the picks by well established and successful art gallerists.

The gallerists selections will appear at Heineman-Myers, Fraser, Neptune, Washington School of Photography, Creative Partners and other Bethesda galleries with joint opening receptions on Friday, January 12, 2007 as part of the Bethesda Art Walk. Details, maps, etc. here.

Kim Ward's Top Shows of 2006

Kim Ward is the hard-working WPA/Corcoran Executive Director and she comes in with the following:

"One exhibition that was, as Mary Poppins would say, 'practically perfect in every way,' in 2006 was the Hiroshi Sugimoto show at the Hirshhorn.

Picking a non-profit/alternative group, I think that Ashley Kistler is doing fantastic curatorial work at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, an example being the latest show 'Time for Design' which is a micro view of design in the greater Richmond area --- fashion, architecture, etc.

DCAC is creating some fabulous panels discussing art topics that are timely and in need of community feedback.

I have found stunning work at the Arlington Arts Center Spring and Fall solo shows and I applaud Molly Ruppert and Jack Rasmussen for their commitment to art that is politically charged and difficult. They consistently show political work and have been doing so for quite awhile.

Cuban Art

I'm in Florida for a few days, and of course Florida and all things Cuban are now tied together. Reading the Dec. 25, 2006 issue of Business Week. On page 116: "Art's New Frame of Reference," retired real estate investor, Howard Farber starting buying contemporary Chinese art a decade ago. Now, he recommends work by Indians, Russians, Polish, Cuban and Chinese artists. Here the Cuban part:

"These artists may get a boost from the expected opening of Cuba after Castro's demise... Cuban artists such as Armando Marino, 38 who lives in Spain have little auction history and sell for under 12K. To learn about this market, pick up a copy of Cuba: Avant-garde:Cuban Art from the Farber Collection (Harn Museum of Art, $29.95) coming out in March.... Pieces of his collection will be featured in a show at the University of Florida at Gainesville on May 29th.
A few years ago I co-curated and helped to introduce contemporary Cuban art to the Greater DC area art region with an exhibition titled "De Aqui y de Alla" (From Here and From There). It was an exhibition of Cuban art by Cuban artists and artists of Cuban ancestry from around the world and not only did the exhibition sell out, but it also yielded several key shows by the gallery, which picked up representation of many important Cuban artists since then. Two of the hottest ones, Sandra Ramos and Aimee Garcia Marrero will be showing at Fraser this coming May.

Laura Roulet's Top 10

Independent curator Laura Roulet, who amongst many great accomplishments helped to curate the great Ana Mendieta retrospective at the Hirshhorn a few years ago, sends in her pick for the top 10 DC area art show of 2006; her list is not in any order of preference:

"Dada," National Gallery of Art

"Societie Anonyme," Phillips Collection

The Walters (Ok, it's Baltimore, but that's close enough. This was a brilliant i"Louise Bourgeois: Femme,"nstallation)

"Joseph Cornell," SAAM (the re-opening of the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art was one of the top 10 noteworthy events in general)

"Hiroshi Sugimoto," joint installation at the Hirshhorn Museum and Freer/Sackler

"Oliver Herring, Task," One day performance at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

"Janet Cardiff, The Paradise Institute," Corcoran (not new, but the opportunity to experience it again was fabulous)

"Other Than Art," jointly held at Provisions, G Fine Art and the Curator's Room

And two group shows highlighting some of our best local artists:

"Conversions," WPA/Corcoran and Ellipse Art Center

"Phantom Floor," Catholic University Art Gallery