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Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

R.I.P. Mike Kelley

The latest reports confirm that artist Mike Kelley , who was found dead in his L.A. home Tuesday, did commit suicide. Kelley’s creative roots trace back to his involvement as a college Michigan student in the self-dubbed “anti-rock” group, Destroy All Monsters. He departed the performance based band in 1976 to pursue a degree from Cal Arts. Since then, Kelley had gained prominence as a contemporary and multimedia artist, collaborating with Paul McCarthy and Tony Oursler. In 1992, his self portrait, Ahh…Youth, featuring the artist surrounded by raggedy away of stuffed animals, graced the cover of Sonic Youth’s biggest commercial success, Dirty.

Kelley’s work is slated to appear in the 2012 Whitney Biennial. He was 57 years old.

Rest in Peace.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Music, New Infos, R.I.P., Uncategorized | Comment now »


Friday, January 20th, 2012

The Stuck Up Gallery Tour

This weekend, DB Burkeman unveils the 2nd installment of the Stuck Up Tour, a traveling exhibit that accompanies the meticulous ethnography of  Stuck Up Piece of Crap (Rizzoli), his book chronicling the history of sticker art in pop culture. Those in Chicago should brave the storm and head out to Maxwell Colette Gallery on Saturday Jan 21, for an afternoon (1-3pm)  book signing featuring DB and celebrated photographer, Martha Cooper.

Coinciding with the show are a number of exiting new additions. First, there’s the free  Stuck Up iPhone ap, which allows users to browse, upload and geotag stickers around the globe. It is a fascinating addition to the overall project. Next, a new video short called Gate Wars (watch below) presents a mesmerizing montage that weaves together a tale of competition and sticker rivalry amongst New York City’s locksmiths. It really is worth viewing. And don’t forget the swag! – go cop a truly cool t-shirt here.


Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Barry McGee in Venice

Barry McGee has quietly opened a new solo show at Worshop Arte Contemporanea, a new gallery in Venice, Italy. The show marks a continuation of the artists shift in presentation.  Rather that engulfing space in wall to wall panel installations,  McGee is increasingly moving toward single isolated pieces, consisting of clusters of paintings on wood or framed photographs, and a greater use of white backgrounds as opposed to his past practice of overwhealming viewers with dizzying geometric color patterns. Recent exhibits at Modern Art (London) and Ratio 3 (San Francisco) also signal this move. The show runs through October 14.

Barry McGee
Sept. 3 – Oct. 14
Workshop Arte Contemporanea
Dorsoduro 2793 / A, 30123
Venezia, Italia

All text © Jeff Newman/TheArtCollectors
Images via  Workshop Arte Contemporanea

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Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Armory NY :: Massimo de Carlo+Carlson

Rashid Johnson, Aaron Young (All images © Jeff Newman/ThArtCollectors)

The joint booth of Massimo de Carlo and Carlson at The Armory Show was a reminder of the galleries’ cornering of several marque names of the New York scene.

A stellar example of one of Arron Young’s frenetic weaves of motorcycle burnouts, looping across a blistering sunset of color on aluminum, was the clear standout. With this continuing series, rooted in live performances whose aftereffects yield tangible works, Young has accomplished a near perfect melding of concept and material creation.

Works by Nate Lowman (who has called himself an image thief) and Rob Pruitt (who has actually been accused of being one) were cleverly hung side by side.  Both are artists of appropriation, as well as recent collaborators.

Lowman’s Axis of Evil reproduces a partially complete newspaper crossword. Taken together with its functional title (a reference to the post 9-11 war jargon of President Bush), the image suggests the degeneration of journalism into an entertainment industry and the quickly dying medium, along with news medias’ capitulation in propagating government rhetoric, with the puzzles’ blacked out areas symbolizing censorship and information control.

Rob Pruitt’s piece also dug up a metaphor for extinction. A pair of his signature glittery Panda Bears are a self portrait for an artist who was once himself an endangered species, and has resurfaced in the last decade with a carefully plotted resurrection that is nothing shy of an allegory for the life and death of careers in the finicky celebrity art world.  Ultimately, these images (which he has reproduced versions of over and over again since launching his comeback) were a reminder that at his best, Pruitt is an artist of ideas. From his now infamous cocaine buffet to the Annual Art Awards concocted with Guggenheim, watching his moves over the last several years has been more stimulating than much of the visual material he has created.

Also on view were works Dan Colen, Rashid Johnson, Christian Holstad, Roberto Cuoghi, Piotr Uklański, Rudolf Stingel, Yan Pei-Ming, Jim Shaw, Roland Flexner, and  John Armleder.

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Monday, March 21st, 2011

Armory Show :: Hits and Misses

Rosana Ricalde (All images © Jeff Newman/TheArtCollectors)

As is the case with any shopping mall of contemporary art, The Armory Show was a mixed bag of delightful hits and lackluster misses. Here are few memorable standouts on both ends of the spectrum. Read on for TAC’s hits and misses… Read the rest of this entry »

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Monday, March 21st, 2011

TAC Focus :: Sean Kelly at Armory

(All images © Jeff Newman/TheArtCollectors)

Los Carpinteros installation of recent works was a welcome extension to the Cuban duos’ recent show with Sean Kelly.  Four “architectural” watercolors encircled a melting chrome lantern, some serving as an extension to their new Rumba Muerta sculpture series. These are not merely the artists’ concept sketches, but an integral part of the Carpinteros’ overall message making, creating an extended narrative history to the primary sculptural works that were on view at the gallery’s main space. In Nueve Tabores Cuadrados pristine red congas are illustrated perfectly intact and prior to their meltdown into a bright liquid pool of red. A “blueprint” for Sala de Lectura Ovala shows preliminary plans for a reading room. Taken together with the final gallery construction which is still void of any books, the pieces relate to information control and media suppression of authoritarian political systems and are particularly relevant given the current crackdown on opposition movements in several nations including Egypt, Bahrain and Lybia.

Leandro Elich’s Subway consisted of a metal subway door recessed into the wall, with a video screen serving as its window, part of his video window series. A minute and a half silent loop of commuters Though not as nearly as mesmerizing as his 1999 Swimming Pool, a somewhere between a clever and kitschy take on voyeurism.

Though nothing special, a new study painting on paper by Kehinde Wiley and small scale sculpture were a reminder that  following the shuttering of Deitch, the artist has been snatched up by Kelly and is now in the company of Marnia Abramovic, Antony Gormley and Gavin Turk to name a few.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Fairs, New York City, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »


Monday, March 21st, 2011

Armory NY :: KAWS at Honor Fraser

Love it or hate it, KAWS’ solo Armory exhibit with Honor Fraser drew a ton of reactions. From Artinfo’s Top 5 Worst of Show, to the pre-openign six-figure sale of a single piece installation of 21 circular canvases, there is no ignoring that the once underground artist is on a fast trajectory towards becoming a major pop star, complete with accolades and criticisms the likes of Murakami or Koons.

For the newly initiated, we can see the appeal of such playful  mastery of youth culture appropriation, and likely homages to the abstraction of iconography employed by the likes of John Baldessari and Elsworth Kelley. However, for the longtime admirer, yet another batch of Spongebob paintings, further extrapolating the cartoon character into fragmented abstraction, felt like a rehashing old ideas that lacked the same energy and inventiveness of his similar Michelin Man canvases from a decade ago.  Long story short –  Same idea, new character. Flanked by a massive Accomplice vinyl sculpture, the display left us hoping for something new beyond mere size, and eager to see the day when KAWS combines his new found ability at large scale industrial fabrication with some fresh ideas.

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Monday, March 21st, 2011

Armory NY :: Turn on the Bright Lights

Ivan Navarro at Paul Kasmin (All images © Jeff Newman/TheArtCollectors)

The halls of The Armory Show were aglow with neon and light last week.  Vapid spectacle or successful minimalism? Here’s the best, and the worst, for your judgement.

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Saturday, February 19th, 2011

TAC is Back….

Stay tuned….We’ll be back in March, starting with coverage of NY Armory week.

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Friday, December 17th, 2010

Buy Art, Do Good :: Earth By Holiday Promo

Kelsey Brookes

EARTH BY, a side project of Planet Magazine, invites artists to create pieces based on their interpretation of Earth. Selling limited edition prints as well as the original work, the company donates 10% of all proceeds to  Charity: Water, which provides safe and clean drinking water to thousands of people in developing nations, and 350.org, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about climate change.

Current available editions are by Alisson Schulnik, Kelsey Brookes, Chris Scarborough, Hisham Bharoocha, Cheryl Molnar, Ernesto Caivano, and Andy Gilmore. Past contributors included Chris Johanson, Peter Beard, Aurel Schmidt, Ryan McGinness, Wangechi Mutu, and others.

Use the code HOLIDAY2010 to receive a 10% discount on all prints and 5% on all originals through Dec. 25

Allison Schulnik

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Editions, Product, Uncategorized | Comment now »