Weekly Roundup

William Kentridge, Drawing for the film 'Sobriety, Obesity & Growing Old (Soho and Mrs. Eckstein in Pool)', 1991. Charcoal and pastel on paper, 47 1/4 x 59 in. Collection of the artist. © 2010 William Kentridge. Photo: John Hodgkiss, courtesy the artist.

With 19 bits and bites below, this week’s roundup is a whopper:

  • Five Themes, the traveling survey exhibition of work by Season 5 artist William Kentridge, has landed at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. Featuring more than 100 works, the exhibition underscores the inter­relatedness of Kentridge’s various disciplines and mediums — drawing, print, animated film, theater models and books. The exhibition is organized chronologically and in five primary themes that cut across his artistic output: “Occasional and Residual Hope: Ubu and the Procession,” “Thick Time: Soho and Felix,” “Parcours d’Atelier: Artist in the Studio,” “Sarastro and the Master’s Voice: The Magic Flute,” and “Learning from the Absurd: The Nose.” The New York installation of Five Themes has been expanded to include 38 prints from the MoMA’s collection. The exhibition is on view through May 17.
  • On March 8 at 7pm, Kentridge will perform his lecture/theatrical monologue/installation, I am not me, the horse is not mine, at MoMA. (According to museum press materials, the event is already sold out.) The piece is based on the short story The Nose (1837), by the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, which “follows the travails of a pompous Russian bureaucrat who wakes one day to find his nose has escaped his face and assumed greater clout than he.” In this solo performance, Kentridge combines narration, video projection, and a vocal and instrumental soundtrack. I am not me, the horse is not mine is part of an extensive body of work Kentridge has developed in preparation for his production of Dimitri Shostakovich’s The Nose, premiering at New York’s Metropolitan Opera on March 5.
  • On March 12 at 7pm, the New York Public Library, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera, will host a public conversation between Kentridge and Paul Holdengräber, the Director of Public Programs for The Research Libraries. Read more about the program and purchase tickets here.
  • In conjunction with all of the above, Dieu Donné, a non-profit space in New York City that focuses on the hand papermaking process in contemporary art, presents a new limited edition book of 18 watermarked images and text created by Kentridge. Sheets of Evidence was, according to the website, conceptually designed to reveal nothing at first glance. “The viewer is encouraged to delve deeper and quite literally look beneath the surface, allowing light to reveal the subtle images and text hidden in the white sheets of handmade paper…Through the use of the watermark technique the artist continues his exploration of light and perspective, and like his films these invisible drawings are revealed only when illuminated from behind.” The exhibition will also feature two earlier projects created in collaboration with Kentridge: Thinking in Water, a suite of three works; and Receiver, a limited edition book published in 2006, which features twenty-three etchings, photogravures, and dry points by Kentridge and seven poems by the Nobel Laureate poet Wislawa Szymborska. Sheets of Evidence closes March 27.
  • On March 3, the Manifest Equality project will open a one-week pop up gallery in the center of Hollywood. The exhibition brings together international and local artists in “a call to present art that unites art, activism and the message of universal equal rights into a memorable multi-media moment.” Participating artists include: Barry McGee (Season 1), Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Harvey Pekar, Karen Kimmel, Robbie Conal, Ron English, Tierney Gearon, Clare Rojas, and others. Manifest Equality specifically responds to “the growing resistance to equal rights for the LGBT population” and seeks to “raise visibility for the grass roots efforts to ensure full Equal Rights to LGBT Americans.” Follow the Manifest Equality blog here.
  • On March 5 at 5pm, Ida Applebroog (Season 3) will sign copies of her new monograph Monalisa, published by Hauser & Wirth. The event is part of INDEPENDENT, a hybrid model and temporary exhibition forum, conceived by New York gallerist and founder of X Initiative, Elizabeth Dee, and gallerist Darren Flook, from Hotel, London. Monalisa features an illustrated essay by critic and art historian Julia Bryan-Wilson and a photographic study of the Monalisa house by Abby Robinson.
  • For the annual week of New York City art fairs, Galerie Lelong will present Sheela-Na-Gig at Home, an installation by Season 4 artist Nancy Spero. First created in 1996, the piece displays Spero’s “dark humor and interests in the female experience and the grotesque” and alludes to “women’s work.” Figures of Sheela-Na-Gig are repeated and interspersed with feminine lingerie and hung on a clothesline. Placed on the floor is a television monitor showing the artist hanging the drawings and clothes. Spero conceived Sheela-Na-Gig at Home as an “instructions” work that could be installed by anyone, similar to Fluxus and Conceptual works. This is the first time the work will be presented in New York since the year of its creation. Sheela-Na-Gig at Home will be on view March 3-7 at the Park Avenue Armory.
  • Season 2 artist Maya Lin has received the National Medal of Arts, an annual award managed by the National Endowment for the Arts. Chairman Rocco Landesman said the winners represent “the breadth and depth of American architecture, design, film, music, performance, theater and visual art.” Lin’s latest project, What Is Missing?, was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal and on CNN. On April 22, her website www.whatismissing.net will go live, and a companion video will screen in Times Square.
  • Three sculptures and 29 drawings by Louise Bourgeois (Season 1) are currently on view in Seoul, Korea at Kukje Gallery. Les Fleurs, Bourgeois’ fourth solo show at the gallery, focuses on Bourgeois’ interest in drawing corporeal and psychological subjects such as nature, motherhood and women. The artist has chosen the title to “speak to her adoption of the flower and women as symbols for vitality, desire and sexuality.” Les Fleurs is on view through March 31.
  • Season 5 artist Jeff Koons (whose personal art collection was featured in the New York Times over the weekend) has curated an exhibition of work by Ed Paschke for Gagosian Gallery. Koons was Paschke’s assistant in Chicago in the mid-1970s while attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Paschke would prove to be an important mentor and formative inspiration for the young artist. The exhibition includes loans from public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad, as well as rarely seen works from the Ed Paschke Foundation. Read more about the show here.
  • For the March issue of Modern Painters, Anderson was commissioned to visit artist Marina Abramovic and discuss the recent evolution of performance art. Abramovic’s retrospective exhibition opens at the Museum of Modern Art, New York on March 14. Marina Abramovic and Laurie Anderson: Wise Women is available online. (On an unrelated note, The New York Observer recently reported that Anderson has been appointed to P.S.1’s Board of Directors.)
  • Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas has acquired a work by Season 1 artist Kerry James Marshall for their collection. The museum describes the piece: In Our Town [1995], Marshall presents a tidy vision of suburbia not unlike Thornton Wilder’s 1938 play of the same title – apron-clad mother, cookie-cutter homes, two kids and their dog – and then undercuts it with the tense expressions and postures of the children in the foreground. Yellow ribbons are wrapped around most of the trees, suggesting war or other tragedy beyond the confines of the neighborhood…Floating above the image, heralded by bluebirds bearing ribbons, the title of the work calls into question who belongs in this American idyll.” Our Town will be included in Kerry James Marshall, a retrospective exhibition opening May 8 at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
  • On March 5 at 6pm, the Salina Art Center in South Santa Fe will host a public talk by Marshall. Titled John Brown’s Body: The Representation of Black Bodies as Revolutionary Gesture, Marshall’s presentation will explore his ongoing investigation of African American identity and culture in the United States.

  • In conjunction with the exhibition Contemplating The Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum, Harvard physicist Lisa Randall, Spanish composer Héctor Parra, and Season 3 artist Matthew Ritchie have collaborated on Hypermusic: Ascension, a new site-specific monodrama. The piece “inverts and renovates the genre of opera with an experimental score suggesting the expanding reality of a fifth dimension.” Hypermusic will debut in the museum’s rotunda on March 11 at 6:30pm.
  • Reverend on Ice (2005) by Yinka Shonibare MBE (Season 5) is on view at the National Gallery of Victoria. According to the Brisbane Times, this three-dimensional rendition of Skating Minister, an 18th-century painting by the Scottish artist Henry Raeburn, is placed in the 18th-century galleries to encourage visitors to “think about the migration of ideas and culture across boundaries, from the political to the historical.”
  • Season 3 artist Krzysztof Wodiczko has been awarded a 2009 New England Art Award. The awards are organized by the New England Journal of Aesthetic Research to honor the best art made in New England and exhibits organized in 2009. The winners are picked by some 1,880 voters from across the region. In each category there are two winners — the critics’ choice and the people’s choice. Wodiczko won the people’s choice award in the category for New Media.
  • Visit Bostonist.com to read about the public conversation between Roni Horn (Season 3) and John Waters that took place at the ICA, Boston a few weeks ago. Horn’s retrospective is on view at the ICA through June 13.