Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Art in America online/Urs on Film

Urs on Film

Swiss director Iwan Schumacher's new documentary, Urs Fischer, studies the intensely creative years that culminated in the New York-based artist's first U.S. solo museum show, "Marguerite de Ponty," at the New Museum in 2010. The film, which premieres tonight at the New Museum, opens with a close-up of a dashboard statuette of Elvis Presley. The potential comparison between the performer and Fischer isn't accidental: Schumacher is interested in Fischer as an artist, and as a natural-born performer who instantly captures the camera's affection.

The director combines the creation and installation of the New Museum show with documentation of shows in Australia and Rotterdam, and quotidian scenes from the artist's Brooklyn studio.

Throughout Fischer evokes a modern day Orson Welles, his comportment and charisma mirroring his larger-than-life sculptures. "Everything about him is so very physical—the way he walks, his gestures," Schumacher told A.i.A. "You can see that physicality in the work. That's what drew me to him. He's like an actor from a '40s French movie."

Fischer's day-to-day dramas occur primarily around the kitchen in his studio, where he conducts meetings with curators and chats with friends and assistants. The close, intimate feel of these domestic scenes came about because the director often worked alone, without an obtrusive crew. "At the beginning, the film wasn't financed, so I did a lot of the shooting myself," he says.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Art in America online/Kon Trubkovich

Kon Trubkovich's Static Pictures

Erich Fromm's 1956 book The Art of Loving—a treatise on developing one's natural abilities toward authentic affection—includes a chapter titled "Love and Its Disintegration in Western Society." The chapter argues that in Western culture capitalism has leeched meaning from relationships, causing contemporary society to view romantic partnerships as emblems of status. Kon Trubokovich's new show, "Leap Second," at OHWOW gallery in Los Angeles takes as its inspiration not just Fromm's amorous call to arms, which advocates for the creation of authentic love divorced from money and ambition, but also the physical act and mental conception of disintegration.

Consisting of nine paintings, an audio installation and eight works on paper, the exhibition begins with Put my guns in the ground (all works, 2012), an oil-on-linen portrait that translates a video still of Trubkovich's mom's face, captured at a party. The portrait is accented with low-resolution video scan lines; the image is sliced through horizontally with seams of static, recalling a television screen displaying a paused video. The piece is followed by subsequent paintings of the same video still, each possessing less and less of the figurative elements of the first. "Each portrait becomes more distorted and more abstracted, one after the other," Trubkovich told A.i.A., in his Brooklyn Navy Yard studio.
VIEW SLIDESHOW KT4-20 1059 Put my guns in the ground 2012 oil on linen 72X56    ; KT4-20 1066 If you can take the hot lead enema, then you can cast the first stone. 2012 oil on linen 47X54    ;

Friday, May 11, 2012

Art in America online/Rita Ackermann

Rita Ackermann Has a Fire in Her

"If my work can relate more to poetry, then I am getting closer," says Rita Ackermann, discussing "Fire by Days," her most recent series of paintings and works on paper. The loose, understated abstractions are often rendered exclusively in indigo and red oil and enamel—newer works also include a nude tone—and touched by bursts of spray paint. The title of the series derives from "Vacancy in Glass" by poet Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, whom Ackermann discovered through the writings of Antonin Artaud. The poem's final lines, "In a swift white line/On a black space/A brushstroke/Signifying absence," imply the flight of a bird as a symbol of loss, and reflect the artist's new impetus toward unbound, gesture-based abstraction. 
VIEW SLIDESHOW Rita Ackermann"Fire By Days", 2012Installation ViewThe Journal Gallery   ; Rita Ackermann"Fire By Days", 2012Installation ViewThe Journal Gallery ;

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Art in America online/Charles Long

Made for These Times: Charles Long Brings Pet Sounds to Madison Square Park

"It's fun to look at the faces on art world people when you mention Burning Man," laughs artist Charles Long. "They're just like, ‘ewww.'" Set to reveal his first major public art project, Pet Sounds,  today at Madison Square Park in New York, the Los Angeles-based Long culled his inspiration from myriad sources, including Nevada's famous temporary art community.

Comprised of six long, amorphous, Crayola Tempera-colored aluminum-and-fiberglass sculptures, Pet Sounds features surfaces embedded with sensors that activate sonorous electronic tones when caressed. (The work, which takes its title from the 1966 Beach Boys record, offers a verbal interpretation of pet noises.) Long was in the middle of composing the sounds when he spoke to A.i.A. by phone from Los Angeles on Friday. After a first listen, he began dabbling with ascending and descending electronic arpeggios, punctuated by the screech of a seagull. These sounds were being produced for a blue sculpture that Long says "looks very marine-like."

VIEW SLIDESHOW Rendering of "Pet Sounds" (2012) in Madison Square Park by Charles Long. Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery / Madison Square Park Conservancy; Rendering of "Pet Sounds" (2012) in Madison Square Park by Charles Long. Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery / Madison Square Park Conservancy;