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Monday, June 26, 2006

West Side Stories

I managed to spend a little time in Chelsea on Saturday. Between it officially being summer now, the on-and-off rain that afternoon, and the recent art world binge in Basel, the neighborhood was the most quiet I have ever seen it on a weekend.

I did, though, make a few sightings of note:

Friday, June 23, 2006

Changing Light at the Pulitzer

Time lapse QuickTime of changing light at the Pulitzer FoundationI've said it before, but I'll say it again. For my money no one does exhibition brochures, guides, and websites better than the Pulitzer Foundation.

For the current exhibition of Hiroshi Sugimoto photographs of its own Richard Serra torqued ellipse, the Pulizter has included a great time lapse QuickTime video of the exhibition space. (Follow this link into the Flash-heavy site and click on the icon for "time lapse photography.")

What makes a day in the life of an empty gallery so engaging? It's the light.

The video shows something that visitors to the space don't typically notice in the course of an hour spent there. The light moving through Tadao Ando's space brings out different characteristics in the art over the course of the day. Notice, especially, the change in character of the permanently installed Ellsworth Kelly piece behind the stairwell.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Count Them

Seen recently: a small slip of yellow paper, of the kind used for credit card receipts, lying on the floor in the middle of a gallery. The paper's edges curled gently toward the ceiling as it rocked back and forth in response to air currents passing through the room. On the walls were a Richard Tuttle dyed canvas and a wire drawing.

Question: how many Tuttles in that room, two or three?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Do We Really Need Video Tours?

Remote ViewingI spent the week in St. Louis. This evening I managed to find an extra hour in the schedule before my flight home, so on the way to the airport I made a quick stop at the St. Louis Art Museum.

I didn't have any plans for the visit, but when I arrived I managed to sweet talk my way into a preview of SLAM's new installation of the Whitney's traveling exhibition, Remote Viewing (Invented Worlds in Recent Painting and Drawing). The show opens to the public tomorrow.

I noticed that almost everyone at the preview was walking around staring at the screen of an iPod, watching the video tour that SLAM has produced for the show. It's similar to the one that Christie's commissioned for the Donald Judd sale, and it could be the first of its kind for a museum. (SLAM has made the video content available on a special exhibition website.)

I am always an advocate for innovative educational and outreach offerings, but I can't help but question whether it's really such a good idea to encourage people to wander through galleries looking at a tiny video screen. I noticed as many eyes focused on the iPods as I did on the art that the iPods were supposed to be illuminating.

Update: I totally missed the delicious irony here: video tours for an exhibition called Remote Viewing. I'm glad someone's more on the ball than I am.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Setting Expectations, Then Bailing Out

Warning: this is one of those blogging-about-blogging posts. Stop reading now if navel gazing isn't your thing. (But before you do, I need to ask. Why are you reading blogs if it's not?)

OK, so is there anyone still looking at this page? Yes? No? My site stats tells me that there is, but I don't know if I would bother coming back to see what's new when there hasn't been anything new in weeks, and weeks, and weeks, and....

Anyway, on Sunday I said that I may have some interesting things to say this week. Maybe I still do, but I don't know that they'll show up here after all. I'm a wee bit overextended right now and don't seem to have the excess mental energy needed to finish a few of the things I want to write. I've been focusing on other things lately, and they're starting to pay off. My Gold status in the American Airlines frequent flyer program came through this week, for instance.

So, let me take the really easy way out and throw all my current opinions out here as bullet points rather than writing them up as thoughtful, reasoned pieces:

I've still got something I want to write up in depth about wall texts based on my recent visits to Tate Modern and the Barnes Foundation, but seeing as there are probably only three people in the world who care about that topic, I'm going to let it sit for a while.

Thanks for checking in. I'll be back when I'm back. See you then.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

No Longer AWOL

I'm still here, but it's been a long, hectic few weeks. I'm actually back state-side this week and may have a little something to say here for the first time in eons.

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