03/01/06 12:00am
03/01/2006 12:00 AM |

It’s Whitney Biennial time again, so brace yourselves for a flood of cynical criticism and a parade of new art stars. This year’s incarnation promises novelty if nothing else — the co-curators Chrissie Iles, of the Whitney Museum, and Philippe Vergne, of the Walker Art Center, are placing a big emphasis on film and video art, featuring masters such as Kenneth Anger and Michael Snow as well as youngsters like Anthony Burdin, Aaron Young, and Paul Chan. For the first time, the exhibit will also include non-American artists and will have a title, Day for Night — a reference to the English translation of Truffaut’s film La Nuit Americaine and a nod to the dark mood of much contemporary art. Here are some of the highlights. Whitney Museum,945 Madison Ave.

5 Themes of the Show


It’s all about getting along this year, as the Biennial features half a dozen artist collectives that downplay the whole ego thing.

Musicians are the new artists, with Jim O’Rourke, Momus, and Daniel Johnston all contributing to the show.

Thank god! No more butterflies and frolicking children, there’s nothing but destruction and gore this year.

I know, Biennials are always political, but this time everybody’s really pissed off.

There’s nudity, there’s ornament, there’s glitter — more is more!

5 Must Sees

Pierre Huyghe
The culmination of a three-part project, A Journey That Wasn’t is a film of Huyghe’s journey to Antarctica and his spectacle at the Wollman Rink in Central Park.

Don’t Trust Anyone Over Thirty
This collaboration between Dan Graham, Tony Oursler, Rodney Graham, Laurent P. Berger, and the hipster band Japanther, is an inflammatory puppet show.

The Wrong Gallery
The founders of the Wrong Gallery, including Maurizio Cattelan, are curating Down By Law, a show within the show.

Rodney Graham
The oddball video artist is turning away from his usual inscrutable narratives and offering us a single, spinning chandelier.

Rirkrit Tiravanija and Mark di Suvero
In a recreation of di Suvero’s Peace Tower from 1966, the two are soliciting panels from hundreds of artists to construct a tower in the Whitney courtyard.

5 Under the Radar

Jay Heikes

This jack-of-all-trades makes paintings, sculptures, and videos about the pop icons who live and die for us.

Paul Chan
The politically minded video artist, originally from Hong Kong, treads new ground with an ominous projection of light and shadows.

Zoe Strauss
Strauss’ wacky photographs of people and their bad accessories will make you laugh out loud.

Martha Colburn
Absurd and grotesque collages come to life in Colburn’s animated films.

Yuri Masnyj
Masnyj’s sharp, black-and-white drawings incorporate Constructivist imagery in enigmatic scenes. 

5 That Beg the Question "Is This Art?"

Reena Spaulings
A fictional artist created in 2004 by a group of collaborators; they run a gallery and create art and music under the pseudonym.

Bernadette Corporation
This collaborative group has generated a fashion line, a magazine, a novel, and several films.

Critical Art Ensemble
This group of five radical artists writes books and organizes biotech projects to challenge “authoritarian culture.”

Natalie Jeremijenko
Her Bureau of Inverse Technology is a database of the government’s anti-terror actions.

Center for Land Use Interpretation
A research organization that studies the effect of human development on the natural landscape.

5 Heaviest Hitters/VIPs

Kenneth Anger

This experimental film guru is showing a trippy Mickey Mouse adventure.


A contemporary of Warhol’s, she’s been making copies of other people’s work for 40 years.

Robert Gober

The master of quirky, sassy, and totally inexplicable sculptures.

Richard Serra

Lemme guess, another black square on paper. Can’t we see some more steel?

Taylor Mead

One of Warhol’s Factory boys, Mead was born in 1924! He’ll be reading his poetry and exhibiting some drawings.

5 Political Crusaders

George Butler
His film Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry traces the presidential candidate’s war years and political ascendance.

Deep Dish Television Network
This grassroots satellite network broadcasts left-leaning programming about our government’s bad decisions.

Jimmie Durham
A Cherokee artist, Durham makes work about the heritage of American Indian culture.

Dominic Angerame
His recent film Anaconda Targets documents the bombing of a military target in Afghanistan.

Robert Pruitt
His drawings and sculptures confront racial tensions with unflinching honesty.

08/03/05 12:00am
by |
08/03/2005 12:00 AM |

Rob Andrews: Your Big Buddy Will Sleep On Your Dreams

About the Project:
Artist Rob Andrews, Your Big Buddy, in conjunction with The L Magazine is extending offers to help you out. We all know the future is dicey, and we need to rely on one another. This 12-part series of performances depends wholly on collaboration between Your Big Buddy and You!

Your Big Buddy is offering to sleep on your dreams. Send a detailed retelling of one or more dreams to Your Big Buddy. He will read them and sleep with them under his pillow. Naturally, they will change and grow. When they do, Your Big Buddy will send them back to you.

Your Big Buddy dreamed a hateful hissing rabbit last night. He woke afraid. Does it have to be this way? No. Not for you. Hot and swirling, let’s bend these stories together.

07/20/05 12:00am
by |
07/20/2005 12:00 AM |

Red Share Project
Jul 22 to Jul 24

Opening Reception: Friday, Jul 22 from 7 to 11pm
The location that previously housed One Arm Red’s theatre and arts space has been occupied for the last two months by six talented artists, each receiving a free studio space in exchange for his or her willingness to participate in an experimental collaborative exhibition. The former space for One Arm Red was tranformed (largely with abandoned materials found in DUMBO) into a multi-textural visual experience.

45 Main St, Suite 1009, Hours: Sat, Sun 2pm to 11pm, 718-797-0046

07/06/05 2:00am
by |
07/06/2005 2:00 AM |

Your Big Buddy Is Your Bosom Buddy
About the Project:

Artist Rob Andrews, Your Big Buddy, in conjunction with The L Magazine is extending offers to help you out. We all know the future is dicey, and we need to rely on one another. This 12-part series of performances depends wholly on collaboration between Your Big Buddy and You!

Here we are. With other lives and other friends. Do you ever wonder who’s out there? What other stories you could be a part of? Sometimes, so do I.

Your Big Buddy is offering to be your friend. Let’s forget about the scaffolding of this ad, and think about the future together. This isn’t about romance, it’s about community. Let’s begin as pen pals. Simple. Tell me something about yourself, and Your Big Buddy will tell you something about himself and we’ll take it from there.

Contact Your Big Buddy at to set up a time to speak at your convenience.

06/08/05 2:00am
by |
06/08/2005 2:00 AM |

Brooklyn Museum
Michelangelo of the Menagerie: Bronze works by Antoine-Louis Barye; closes Jul 24.
Barye devoted his career to animal subjects. He blended the romantic taste for the exotic, and the sublime power of nature with the scientific exactitude of a flourishing modern zoology, lending an air of accuracy to every claw, fang, and scale.

Monet’s London: Artists’ Reflections on the Thames, 1859-1914; closes Sep 4. This exhibition documents the multifaceted excitement aroused by the Thames in the second half of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th, seen through the eyes of a wide variety of artists whose very definition of art was changing in step with the scenery they depicted.
200 Eastern Parkway, at Washington Ave, Bklyn; 718-638-5000, Sun, Sat 11am to 6pm, Mon, Tue closed, Wed-Fri 10am to 5pm; $8 suggested contribution, $4 students and seniors, free for children under 12;

Art of Tomorrow: Hilla Rebay; closes Aug 10.
As an active participant in the avant-garde, Rebay exhibited on several occasions and had the opportunity to create woodcuts for covers of the gallery’s journals and catalogues.

Kandinsky Gallery: An Inaugural Selection; ongoing.
Over the course of the next two years, the Guggenheim Museum will highlight Kandinsky’s innovative work together with the museumís own visionary collectors, Hilla von Rebay and Solomon Guggenheim.
1071 Fifth Ave, at 89th St. 212-423-3500, 10am to 5:45pm, Fri 10am to 8pm; Thu closed; $15 adults, $10 students and seniors, children under 12 and members free

The Metropolitan Museum
Defining Yongle: Imperial Art in Early 15th-century China; closes Jul 10.
The Yongle emperor was the most powerful, effective and extravagant ruler of the Ming dynasty (1368 — 1644).

Max Ernst: A Retrospective; closes Jul 10.
A founding member of the Surrealist group in Paris (1891-1976), Ernst was one of the most inventive artists of the 20th century. His paintings were steeped in Freudian metaphors, private mythology and childhood memories.

Matisse: The Fabric of Dreams; opens Jun 23, closes Sept 25.
The impact of Henri Matisse’s lifelong interest in textiles are shown in a selection of approximately 75 paintings, drawings, prints, and painted paper cutouts
1000 Fifth Ave, at 82nd St. 212-535-7710; Fri, Sat 9:30am to 9pm; Sun, Tue-Thu 9:30am to 5:30pm; Mon closed; $15 recommended for adults, $10 seniors, $7 students;

Greater New York 2005; closes Sept 26.
This exhibition presents approximately 150 artists from New York’s five boroughs who’ve emerged since 2000, with work exploring this specific time period, during which NYC has changed dramatically.
22-25 Jackson Ave, at 46th Ave, Long Island City 718-784-2084, Thu-Mon noon to 6pm; Tue, Wed closed; $5 suggested donation, $2 students and seniors, free for MoMA members;

Museum of Modern Art
Friedlander; closes Aug 29
This major retrospective surveys one of the most inventive and prolific careers in the history of photography.

Hayao Miyazaki & Isao Takahata: Masters of Animation; closes Jun 30.
The two filmmakers, who became friends in the late 1960s while working at Toei Animation, collaborated on several projects.

The Third MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation; closes Jun 20. Every year, the member institutions of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) preserve hundreds of motion pictures, working together to find the best surviving materials for each film.
11 W 53rd St, 212-708-9400, Hours: Sat-Mon, Wed-Thu 10:30am to 5:30pm; Fri10:30am to 8pm; Tue closed; $20 adults, $16 seniors; $12 students; children and members free;

Whitney Museum of American Art
Remote Viewing; closes Oct 9.
A major overview of recent abstract paintings and drawings that explore themes of virtual reality, the deep unconscious, nomadic travels and public space.

Sue de Beer: Black Sun; closes Jun 17.
Inflected with an interest in the aberrant, de Beer’s photographs, videos, and installations emerge from an intimate engagement with notions of time and memory. Black Sun continues de Beer’s exploration in a compelling video installation viewed within a large-scale wooden house environment.
945 Madison Ave, at 75th St, 1-800-WHITNEY. Mon, Tue closed, Wed, Thu 11am to 6pm; Fri 1 to 9pm Sat, Sun 11am to 6pm; $12 adults, students and seniors $9.50, group tours $9.50 per person;

05/25/05 10:00am
by |
05/25/2005 10:00 AM |

Get Something Off Your Chest With Your Big Buddy

About the Project:

Artist Rob Andrews, Your Big Buddy, in conjunction with The L Magazine is extending offers to help you out. We all know the future is dicey, and we need to rely on one another. This 12-part series of performances depends wholly on collaboration between Your Big Buddy and You!

What is it about your day-to-day that’s weighing on you? What do you have trouble telling your wife, husband, partner, parents or friends? Or perhaps you’ve told them all so many times that you’re afraid they’re not listening anymore. What you have to say needs to be said, and Your Big Buddy is offering to meet with you at a place you choose, and just listen.

Reach out to Your Big Buddy if: You’re not sure what’s getting you down and have to talk through it ALL with someone, even just to hear yourself out; you have a secret and are going to burst if you don’t tell someone; you’ve done something you are ashamed of.

You are important! Just verbalizing what you think are the trifles in your life will make you feel better, because you may realize they’re not such trifles after all. Your Big Buddy will sit down across a table from you and just listen: without judgment, without questions and without response if that’s what you prefer. Your Big Buddy will provide drinks and a snack, or buy them if your preference is to sit down in a coffee shop or bar.

Your Big Buddy is committed to providing a safe and comfortable environment for you to get something off your chest. This is about trust and the opportunity for you to simply enjoy a sympathetic ear. If you have any questions about the circumstances or confidentiality of the project, don’t hesitate to ask. Your Big Buddy is more than happy to answer all of your questions.

Your Big Buddy will readily provide character references at your request. Please write to to set up a time to speak at your convenience.

04/12/05 2:00pm
by |
04/12/2005 2:00 PM |

Gallery Receptions
Marco Maggi:
The Ted Turner Collection
Josée Bienvenu (Chelsea)
Thursday, Apr 14, from 6 to 8pm
Sterling Ruby
Foxy Production (Chelsea)
Thursday, Apr 14, from 6 to 8pm
Pablo Helguera: Swan Song
Julia Friedman Gallery (Chelsea)
Friday, Apr 22, from 7 to 8pm
She Blinded Me With Science
Gallery 138 (Chelsea)
Wednesday, Apr 13, from 6 to 8pm
Paul Sharpe Contemporary Art (Tribeca)
Wednesday, Apr 13, from 6 to 9pm
Closing Soon
Social Democracy Revisted
Apexart (Tribeca)
Apr 16
Brooklyn Fire Proof, Inc. (W’burg)
Apr 16
Model Modernisms
Artists Space (Soho)
Apr 23
The Art of Peter Bagge
MF Gallery (Lower East Side)
Apr 24

03/30/05 12:00am
03/30/2005 12:00 AM |

Entering one of the back galleries of Damien Hirst’s new show of representational paintings “The Elusive Truth” — a big, potentially risky departure for the mostly installation-based British artist renowned for encasing dead animals in formaldehyde — I heard either Julian Schnabel, or his friend (I’m not sure which) declare, “He’s a good artist,” after looking at two pieces depicting the progressive, devastating effects of crack addiction on the faces of two women. It’s as if, with this show, it had been decided — Hirst is definitively a talent to be reckoned with. The almost 40, and supposedly sober ex-YBA party boy needed a good, serious show in New York to maintain his status as one of the contemporary art world’s big guns, and with “The Elusive Truth,” 24 oil paintings depicting images mostly from magazines and newspapers centering on themes of destruction, mortality and addiction (a story by J.G. Ballard, whose work deals in similar themes, The Intensive Care Unit, is reproduced in full and illustrated with paintings from the exhibition in the show’s large format catalogue) Hirst seems to have achieved this. Both the tone and caliber of the paintings are evident in the large 120 x 180 Mortuary, 2003-2004 — the first painting one sees when one enters the gallery — creating a sense of excitement for the rest of the show. From afar it looks almost like a photograph, with its shiny steel table and fridge, gleaming porcelain sink and bright white towels. Most of Hirst’s paintings share this hyperrealist, representational, photographic quality — some more than others — but up close, fall short of any such clear-cut categorization.Hirst’s predominantly strong show is rumored to have sold out — mostly
to major collectors — before it opened. When you see the paintings,
you’ll know why.