Last week, the Museum of Modern Art made a very important purchase, acquiring 4 minutes and 3 seconds of… nothing, just “three folded sheets of almost blank onionskin paper” — notation for conceptual artist John Cage’s 4’33″, a piece of music with no musical notes whatsoever. A silent orchestra. A conductor with a stopwatch. Instead of strings and horns, the audience experiences the sounds of waiting, of their own murmur, or — as in the open-air auditorium in Woodstock, where the piece premiered in the ’50s — of the rain, the shuddering of trees, the wind, and the piano player closing and opening the instrument that was never played. Subtle? Hokey? Radical? Here’s to work that doesn’t actually “exist” in a traditional sense, but makes its audience think, sense and feel. Calling all knee-jerking “This isn’t art!” trolls: I hope you’re ready. Here are 10 more silent, blank, absent and amazing works of art. … Read More
When the summer season hits, we become a little beach-obsessed here at Flavorpill. As a result, we recently combed the Internet to discover literary greats in old fashioned bathing outfits and rock stars in skimpy swim suits — which has led us to consider, what do artists do (and more importantly, wear) at the beach? From Pablo Picasso playing servant to his baby mama on the French Riviera and Salvador Dali using a washed-up starfish as a monocle on the Spanish coast to Tracey Emin promoting donkey rides on the English shore and Terence Koh flaunting his wedding dress in the East Hampton surf, we’ve found that most artists look fabulous on the beach — even if hours in the studio have left them a little pasty. Click through our gallery of beached artists below. … Read More
BMW recently launched a virtual museum featuring 17 of its commissioned “works of art on wheels.” Visitors can vroom around the site between the Roy Lichtenstein-ed, Frank Stella-fied, and Jeff Koons-tomized vehicles, and view short video vignettes about the making of each car. The vids drop a few curious revelations — like Rauschenberg dubbing his car a “wonderful virgin.” Generally, they are just long form commercials for BMW, with carefully selected, amorous soundbites. Still, they are worthwhile to watch for glimpses of each talent at work alone. See the individual videos at the BMW Art Car Tour and check out our favorite four-wheelers in the gallery below to see what we’ve learned. … Read More
Long before recycling became a conscious part of life, Robert Rauschenberg was combing the streets of New York and the junkyards of Florida for discarded objects to turn into poetic works of art. His combine paintings from the ’50s and ’60s included found furniture, Coca-Cola bottles, tires, and taxidermied animals, while his junk sculptures of the ’80s and ’90s utilized thrown out signs, bicycle parts, tailpipes, blinds, and radiators. On view through September 12 at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao — Frank Gehry’s fantastic structure that looks like an eccentric assemblage of steel — Rauschenberg’s humorously titled show Gluts reveals the artist at his best. … Read More
Photographer and author John Jonas Gruen’s candid portraits feature some of the most important American artists of the last 50 years — usually at the beach.
The vast archives of Gruen’s culture criticism and elegant, intimate photography are now celebrated in a Whitney Museum exhibition. His pictures of legends like John and Yoko, Willem de Kooning, Maria Callas, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres serve as both fine art and an insider’s view of a time and place in East Coast art history. … Read More
Art reporter Lindsay Pollock (one of our Twitter Followables) posted some tasty gossip this morning concerning an upcoming show at Los Angeles MOCA, the first under the forthcoming directorial leadership of New York gallerist Jeffrey Deitch. Pollock has a Los Angeles source that puts Dennis Hopper — not Edward, mind you — on the shortlist for LA MOCA’s inaugural show under Deitch, in an effort to incorporate “broad appeal” into the museum’s exhibition schedule. Dennis Hopper, in case you were wondering, is not just an actor but an avid photographer. We’ve got work samples and a Hopper primer after the… Read More
Further fanning the flames of anticipation surrounding their recently-bumped-up forthcoming album, Spoon has released the cover art for Transference, which is due out January 19, 2010 in the US. Finally. The photograph itself is one from 1970 taken in Mississippi by renowned photographer William Eggleston, a photographer accustomed to having his work featured on an album cover or two. It was originally published in Eggleston’s Guide back in 1976.
It’s lovely and it makes us a bit nostalgic for other great album art that came out of the gallery world as opposed to a record company’s art department. … Read More
Is glass the new plastic? Or, perhaps better phrased: Is the ancient, magical medium of glassworks challenging artists anew? Two European exhibitions suggest that glass is back big-time and, while still in touch with tradition, reflecting contemporary concepts of art-making.
Glas(s), Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam 1969-2009 is being held at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in the Netherlands, and Glasstress, which features an international group of artists from the past 80 years, is on view at the Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti in Venice, Italy. Taken together, these two shows represent an amazing overview of some of the best modern and contemporary artists manipulating the medium. … Read More
More than a year in the making, the 2009 Venice Biennale kicks off this week with high expectations. The ailing art world needs a shot in the arm right now, and everyone is looking to the 53rd International Art Exhibition, which runs through November 22, to provide it. Some 6,000 members of the international press and 30,000 museum directors, curators, collectors, artists, and dealers descend on “La Serenìsima,” the serene city, to view proud national pavilions and special exhibitions — turning the three days of previews and openings into one continuous party. … Read More
After reading about Jerry Saltz’s overnight stay at Carsten Höller’s Revolving Hotel Room at the Guggenheim, we got to thinking: What would it be like to spend a night in New York’s other major museums? No better way to find out than to try. We sent our more attractive reporter Adda Birnir — robe in hand — with our staff photographer Tom Starkweather to *test out the accommodations.
Jerry Saltz, we see your Guggenheim and raise you the New Museum, Brooklyn Museum and MoMA. … Read More