Stefan Kalmár, Executive Director/Curator, and Richard Birkett, Curator of Artists Space, a nonprofit art gallery and arts organization founded in New York by arts administrator Trudie Grace and critic Irving Sandler in 1972, share their insights into the history and current life of this alternative space that continues to set the bar. As Roberta Smith of the New York Times has proclaimed, “True to its word, Artists Space provides alternatives; they constantly bring to our attention things that for one reason or another are being missed. They remind us that there are other things going on than what is presented by more established institutions.” Artists Space has changed the institutional and economic landscape for contemporary art by lending support to emerging artists and emerging ideas alike, often critically challenging and controversially contributing to the intellectual and artistic status quo in New York City and beyond. The site of provocative discussion and experimentation within contemporary artistic debate, regarding issues including the postmodern image, identity politics, institutional critique, and the AIDS Crisis, Artists Space facilitates between local and global critical dialogue. The current exhibition, Macho Man, Tell It To My Heart: Collected By Julie Ault, suggests Artists Space’s mission through the genuine and time capsule-like collection of the artist, writer, and curator Julie Ault, which was aptly described as “a portrait, in objects, not just of one person but of many; the diary of an era that valued community as retold in a time that doesn’t. It’s a view of a collection not as a monument carved in stone, but as energy gathering and dispersing, as a page still being written on” by Holland Cotter in his New York Times review (December 19, 2013).
This special Tuesday Evenings presentation features artist David Bates in conversation with Tyler Green for a live-audience taping of an episode of the Modern Art Notes Podcast.
David Bates is the renowned Dallas-based artist whose work is the subject of David Bates, a two-part exhibition presented jointly by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas. Early in his career, Bates attended the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program before completing a Masters of Fine Art at Southern Methodist University and returning to Texas to make his work and build his career. Almost a decade after his return to this region, Bates was included in the prestigious 1987 Whitney Biennial for his renowned ability to capture the essence of his subjects and transport his viewers, qualities still evident in the artist’s materially conscious paintings, drawings, reliefs, and sculptures.
Modern Art Notes is a production of and wholly owned by Modern Art Notes Media and is enabled by advertising from over a dozen art museums, including The Museum of Modern Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. The Modern Art Notes Podcast, which is released each Thursday at noon ET, is available on Modern Art Notes, MANPodcast.com, iTunes, SoundCloud, and wherever podcasts are downloaded.
Fred Tomaselli, featured in the Modern’s special exhibition FOCUS: Fred Tomaselli, is renowned as one of the premiere artists of today. In this Tuesday Evenings presentation, he shares ideas and work that span his career and brings us to his current endeavors. As a central figure in the 1970s punk rock and hallucinogenic counter culture, Tomaselli began making visually dynamic and conceptually loaded collages, photomontages, and paintings, eventually developing a reputation for his inclusion of pharmaceuticals, cannabis leaves, and other mind-altering substances suspended in resin as elements within collaged and painted images. In the recent interview “Better Living Through Chemistry: Fred Tomaselli's Psychedelic Art” for The Artery, the artist explains that it has been years since he’s included drugs in his work, but his themes of utopian notions nevertheless prevail. As curator of FOCUS: Fred Tomaselli, Alison Hearst writes of the work, “Tomaselli’s scenes bend reality, illustrating age-old utopian and transcendental ambitions of art.”
Newton and Helen Harrison, a collaborative team often referred to simply as "the Harrisons," are among the leading pioneers of the eco-art movement. They have worked for almost 40 years with biologists, ecologists, architects, urban planners, and other artists to collectively initiate promising dialogue to uncover ideas and solutions which support biodiversity and community development.
The Harrisons' concept of art embraces a breathtaking range of disciplines. They are historians, diplomats, ecologists, investigators, emissaries, and art activists. Their work includes proposing solutions and involves not only public discussion, but extensive mapping and documentation of these proposals in an art context. Past projects have focused on watershed restoration, urban renewal, agriculture, and forestry issues, among others. The Harrisons' visionary projects have often led to changes in governmental policy and have expanded dialogue around previously unexplored issues leading to practical implementations throughout the United States and Europe.
For Tuesday Evenings at the Modern, Helen and Newton Harrison present "The Force Majeure - from the Tibetan Plateau, to the Highlands of Europe, to the Sierra Nevada, and then the Bays of San Francisco."
This special Tuesday Evenings presentation is produced by the Modern in partnership with MAP - Make Art with Purpose for MAP 2013, a festival and exhibition of projects that restore and preserve the environment, promote social justice, and advance human knowledge and well-being.
In a conversation with two other artists from Inside Out and art historian Arden Decker, which was published in the exhibition catalogue, Okón explains, "I have a preoccupation with routines that are connected to my everyday life and in the way these very local issues connect to a global context. Whether I produce a piece in LA or in Munich or in Mexico City, I operate with the same approach." He goes on to say, "One of the reasons I make art, and I think a lot of my fellow artists do, is because I want to talk about how complex the notion of identity is."
Yoshua Okón shares his ideas and presents a selection of his video installations from the past 15 years for this special Tuesday Evenings artist talk.
Melanie Smith, born in Poole, England and living and working in Mexico City since 1989, is an artist whose work has been characterized as a re-reading of the formal and aesthetic categories of avant-garde movements. Recognized nationally and internationally for work intimately related to a certain expanded vision of the notion of modernity - with a particular understanding of what this means in Latin America, especially Mexico - Smith was chosen in 2011 to represent Mexico with Red Square Impossible Pink for the 54th Venice Biennale.
In an interview with Alison Hearst in the exhibition catalogue for México Inside Out: Themes in Art Since 1990, Smith gives a sense of Mexico City and her own development as an artist in a dynamic, if sometimes challenging, time and place, explaining, "It is all these little, hazy, fractured zones and unknowns that we live in here in Mexico that interest me. . . . I see how people live in Europe; I don't know if I'm necessarily interested in that way of living. I think these pockets [of ambiguity] in Mexico City create potentialities." For Tuesday Evenings at the Modern she presents "Melanie Smith. Skewed vision: in and out of Mexico."
José Antonio Vega Macotela, a Mexico City-based artist, is represented in México Inside Out: Themes in Art Since 1990 with work from his poignant and long-standing project Time Divisa (Time Exchange), a series of exchanges with prisoners explained by the artist as an outcome of his interest in the concept of time - the idea of "doing time" making prisons a rich source of exploration. Laying out the physical realities and philosophical ties of Time Divisa, a May 2011 article for Artforum by Chus Martínez explains that "the true politics of Macotela's enterprise is premised on his articulation of possibilities for agency, solidarity, and even trust within this system - and by extension, across the 'carceral continuum' that Foucault envisioned as contiguous with society as a whole."
Vega Macotela's ambitious ideas and poetic manifestations, as found in work such as Time Divisa and the more recent investigations of his Study of Exhaustion series, have brought the artist a great deal of attention and success, with recent solo exhibitions in Los Angeles and El Paso, an artist-residency at Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam in 2011, inclusion in the New Museum's second triennial exhibition The Ungovernables, and the third Poly/Graphic Triennial of Puerto Rico in 2012, as well as this year's Transitios at Artpace in San Antonio.
For this Tuesday Evenings presentation, Jose Antonio Vega Macotela shares his use of art as a tool for shifting, resignifying, and recontextualizing the meaning of everyday life as he focuses on the past three years of his work.
James Timberlake, FAIA, is a founding partner of KieranTimberlake, an internationally recognized architecture firm based in Philadelphia and recipient of numerous honors including the 2008 AIA Architecture Firm Award and the 2010 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award. By undertaking a path of research into new materials and potential technologies that alter fabrication and delivery methods and influence the way we live in our environments, KieranTimberlake tackles broad questions such as: How do we reconcile the contradictory demands for low energy and abundant natural light? How do we recover the embodied energy in a building? How do we achieve greater quality and environmental responsibility in less time?
In conjunction with AIA Fort Worth's annual Design Awards, the Modern invites you to join James Timberlake, this year's lead juror, as he discusses inquisitive approaches to clients' needs, as well as the needs of the environment, and how that has broadened his firm's vision of the relationship between process, craft, and form in this Tuesday Evenings presentation titled "Inquiry."
Andy Coolquitt, an Austin-based artist, creates installations that are activated through casual but precise arrangements, suggesting purpose and relationships between elements made of what Coolquitt terms "somebodymades," as well as manipulated and combined flotsam and jetsam of the artist's urban environment. Stephanie Buhmann of the Brooklyn Rail writes, "Coolquitt's crops find meaning primarily through re-organization. Combined and fused into larger constructions, these objects are reincarnated." Coolquitt himself explains his practice as an "interest in basically, creating a place . . . all these objects are just things I can use to that end."
Coolquitt has shown from Milan, to Berlin, to New York, to Vienna, to closer to home with a recent solo exhibition, attainable excellence, organized by the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston and opening at AMOA_Arthouse in Austin in fall 2012, as well as having an artist's residency and exhibition this summer at 21er Haus in Vienna, Austria. Despite his international exhibition history, Coolquitt has actually had a quiet and steady career rooted in his domestic setting. In fact, he is perhaps best known for a house, a performance/studio/domestic space that began as his master's thesis project at the University of Texas in 1994 and continues to the present day.
For Tuesday Evenings at the Modern Andy Coolquitt presents "You Had to Be There."