Monday, September 2, 2013

Goodbye Summer

Duhn-dun-dunnn… summer is over everyone.  Well, sorta, we still have some weeks/days where summer-like activities can be enjoyed but September is the start of the art cycle. This past summer was jammed packed with art things, so how could it be more insane!? Well, brace yourselves for the fall madness that is about to ensue.  It’s good in a way, it helps you fade into the coldness and dark days that will be winter in New York and going to openings, events, parties, and other things of that sort are usually the only thing that get you out of the sheets.  I will be away for some of this, the peaked insanity of getting back into gear, but I will roil in these upcoming weeks of September with eyes rolling, a nonplussed facial expression but also with a hippity hopped stepping to the plate of this never ending game of art.  I look forward to it even though I say I don’t at times.

In expectation of the future art to come, I will take today’s post to reflect on the things from this past summer.  Enjoy the calm before the storm.

Charles Burchfield – The Whitney has hung a selection of works by American artists from the first half of the twentieth century entitled, American Legends: From Calder to O’Keefe, a bit much of a title I know, but even in this staid show there is a room of Charles Burchfield paintings paired, or more like placed, with Edward Hooper paintings that are just so fantastic.  Burchfield is one of those artists that slip my mind more often then he should but every time I see him I go, “gah” inside.  He is just splendid and refreshing to see.  The sharing of space with Hopper also works well, probably the best thing about the whole show.  Burchfield is so very good and he reminds one so much of seasons. 

EXPO1: New York, MoMA PS1 – I saw this show because it had people involved in it that I know and I like to see things that people I know do.  I saw this soon after it opened and I thought perhaps my feelings for it would change.  This was a disappointment of a show overall though and that has stuck with me since seeing it.  It is so idea specific that it somehow seems limiting, or too reliant, on the seriousness/prescience/coolness of the idea that some of the actual installations, artists selected, and works selected felt a bit checked off.  Some things were good though, of course, in a big show like this, there are always good takeaways.  The work that stuck out the most was the Olafur Eliasson’s Your Waste of Time (2013), which has remnants of the glacier, Vatnajökull from Iceland in a freezing room in which you can walk around.  There were other things that I really wanted to love like Josh Kline’s ProBio contribution but sadly I have to say that things felt a bit off somehow even though singular works were good.  I especially was eager to see Ian Chang’s work (who I think is probably one of the best artists around) but sadly the day I went it was not working, which is a part of things but yeah, a bit disappointed in the whole she-bang.  EXPO1: New York does register a bigger thing though, this mix of doom-climate-future-tech-diaspora-survival-physic-shifts that seems to be a focal point for many artists.

China Chalet – I went here for more things then I ever needed to.  Will it continue to be the place things are hosted or will there be somewhere new for the fall?  Things always, always change.

Small rooms, lots of art – This summer I went to a lot of shows in basements, garages, and tiny things up flights of stairs that were stuffed with art and people.  I know I went to many more things in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan then I did in Chelsea this summer, by more then double.  This is a thing that will keep happening.  It takes longer to get to these places since space costs much more then it did in the art world of the 70s and 80s but yes, it is a good sign that artists, art organizers and entrepreneurs will still make new things happen even if for a night, a day, or in between their work shifts. 

Book bags and baseball caps – Every girl is wearing them.  All of them.  All. Of. Them.

Dinner Parties – Hosting and going to private, intimate dinners and their likes is like a studio visit for peers and friends.  It gets you to the point of things and lets you talk deeply or vaguely about things, as you prefer, but the duration, the smallness and the directness of being able to converse and share a night, a meal with a few others is possibly my favorite thing to do.  It is different then being at a party where senses are heightened and watching and being watched is central.  It is different then going to a bar and just unraveling before each other.  It is slower, safer and in a way relieves façade.  It is about everyone wanting the other person there and that let’s people be open and relaxed which is the best way to be. 

Tall Boys – So many tall boys this summer.  I love it!

20ish year olds – Yes, there is this annoying young fetish thing that the art world is really riding on that’s dumb to me.  Not towards the young artists that may be participating but to the people/organizations that should know how obvious and mildly(very) lecherous it looks.  Anyways, youth is youth.  It will always be the best thing ever and there is a reason why it is treasured.  I think youth is great and more then that this summer I have met a lot of interesting artists, art practioners and characters in general that are 22-23-24 years old and they are like sparkles to me.  Not in a shiny object sort of way but in a, ‘wholly shit you are how young and doing what?!’ They are bringing it and they deserve to be treated as peers.  Yes, being like almost ten years older then them and being a generally maternal person anyways does make me say things like, “oh my god, you are how young?” and “oh my god, you are so adorably un-jaded” but yeah, I think most of these young ones (the good ones) will save some of the things that should be saved or perhaps to preserve the weirdness and add to the intelligence needed in the art world and its communities.  P.S. Everyone who is not 20-24, STOP ACTING LIKE IT.  It’s embarrassing.  Really.  Stop it.