I have been writing about art and artists for many years, and especially enjoy writing about artists and curators whose work makes a difference in our cultural landscape. In this post, I would like to share a selection of some recent pieces of mine published in Artillery Magazine.
Tony Conrad, who had a full and varied career until his recent passing, is a lesser known “artists’ artist.” He was forever pushing creative boundaries, often being the one “who got there first.” He influenced countless artists in ways that are still rippling through art schools and other artist’s practices. His exhibit at the ICA in Philadelphia was a revelation.
Two mid-career artists I was pleased to write about made intriguing and outstanding efforts. Susu Attar’s Isthmus at the Mistake Room in LA was an evocative exhibition, as was Leo Garcia’s My Alien Abduction at Highway’s Performance Space Gallery. Susu, who is of Iraqi heritage, works with violence, trauma and transformation, going beyond perhaps expected political themes. We discussed this at length. Garcia’s digital work invents a private cosmology and narrative relating back to his heritage in New Mexico. It references folkloric culture, a mixture of Christian and Native/Hispanic mythos, alien sightings, cattle mutilations, and more. His compact and powerful presentation was compelling, colorful and at times eerie.
I spoke with the wonderful Curator Rocio Alranda-Alvarado of New York’s El Museo del Bario on the occasion of the opening of Site Santa Fe’s 2016 Much Wider Than A Line. A five-curator team effort, we talked about her contribution to the exhibition and her curatorial approach to race and the body as a political site.
And finally I traveled to Pittsburgh and experienced ‘museum joy,’ curator Ingrid Schaffner’s refreshingly idiosyncratic theme or intention for the 57th installment of the Carnegie International. The breadth and scope of the show produced numerous moments and encounters with artist’s projects and installations that were thoughtfully projected to fully engage the viewer in a playful and intelligent way that was different from the recent crop of more polemical biennials.
Artillery Magazine is a terrific publication for which to write and work. Its Editor-In-Chief, Tulsa Kinney, has been a true supporter of my efforts to put on paper the thoughts and ideas of what other creative persons are doing. Keeping a magazine going in these times is a challenging enterprise but also an opportunity and Tulsa does it with enormous intelligence and grace.
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