Art Competition Odds

Art Competition Odds: Queens Museum-Jerome Foundation Fellowship Program for Emerging Artists in New York City

The Queens Museum-Jerome Foundation Fellowship Program for Emerging Artists in New York City received 824 applications for three fellowships available.

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Selected artists comprise about 1:56, or 0.3% of applicants.

See all Art Competition Odds.

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Research

Visiting Artist’s Residencies

Artist-in-resident talks frankly about residencies. 

Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan shares the scoop on how to visit an artist’s colony, without being a resident. Along the way, she divulges the charms and annoyances of artist residency programs, including Djerassi, the Headlands, MacDowell, Yaddo, Ragdale, and the Studios at Key West.

Many artists don’t publish their thoughts about anyone who’s largesse they’ve benefitted from, either out of shyness, appreciation, or caginess. It’s a shame. There’s so much lack of transparency in the art world, and artists are just as guilty. Cheers to Tan.

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Uncategorized

Impressions: No More Place, Christopher Williams, and Robert Gober

Art, through a cold-induced fog.

Post-Eve Of… and pre-day-job-slam, I saw an artist-organized show in Newark, and subjected myself and GQ to the pain and pleasure of the MoMA. I have a cold that’s largely fueled by brainpower, so pardon if these impressions lean extra impressionistic.

Julie Nymann, Shreds of Laughter, 2014, 0:06:00, 9:16 HD, Vertical projection, stereo, wood shavings // Source: julienymann.com.

Julie Nymann, Shreds of Laughter, 2014, 0:06:00, 9:16 HD, Vertical projection, stereo, wood shavings // Source: julienymann.com.

Through 19, 2014
No More Place
93 Market Street, Newark, NJ
Gallery hours: M-F 1-5; Sat & Sun 3-6

No More Place is an artist-organized group show featuring 20 participants who met in the Bronx Museum of the Arts’ Artists in the Marketplace program. I made the trek to Newark to support my colleagues’ grassroots efforts,* and was impressed with several new works on view.

There’s lots of strong work displayed over two large, open floors. It ranges from painting, sculpture, video, installation, and photography, to site-specific wall drawings (notably, Margaret Inga Wiatrowski’s window project engaged Newark history, and she seemed to make a strong personal connection with passersby).

Some of the works that left the most lasting impressions on me were videos. Catherine Telford-Keogh’s video of an act of extreme intimacy—eyeball-to-eyeball contact—will haunt the squeamish. Tatiana Istomina’s edit of a film of a Ronald Reagan speech didn’t include any words by the former president. He’s shown pausing, sighing, and breathing. Yet the audience reactions sounded occasionally, at a slightly-above-comfortable volume. Compellingly, the absences became provocative.

Julie Nymann’s video installation, Shreds of Laughter (2014) was shot as a bird’s eye view of the artist hand-planing a wood panel, but the surface of the wood was replaced with a video portrait of the artist laughing (though it also seemed like crying at times). As she scraped, she obliterated her own image. The projection was in a stairwell covered in wood shavings. Viewing it offered time for reflection: Was she silencing the ego? Overcoming emotions? Facing mortality? Nymann’s technical proficiency as both a performance and video artist made it engaging, while the gesture’s poetry was satisfying.

Also mesmerizing were David Gregory Wallace’s 3-D animation using drone footage (it’s under the stairs; don’t miss it), and Brian Zegeer’s installation using macramé, bicycle tires, wallpaper, and audio. This latter work seemed the most successful in negotiating the second floor’s quirky architecture, specifically the angled mirrors chamfering the space—vestiges of once-ubiquitous retail surveillance preceding our security camera-studded present.

[*As in The Eve Of..., the artists had to change over a rough space, using time, money, and skills to make an exhibition out of an idea. I heard that Tasha Lewis took on much of the leadership and responsibility for the install. It's challenging for one person to assume so much responsibility; but it's also hard to know how groups of artists can distribute labor more evenly. I've been thinking about this a lot: how to step up and step back, and how groups of individuals equitably contribute.

I also enjoyed the chance to check out Newark’s art scene. It’s easy for New Yorkers to complain about the same old same-old; it’s harder to get off the beaten path. Crying about how you can’t see art at openings? Then make the extra effort to frequent spaces where you won't be "seen" or "run in to" "people."

The Newark scene seems anchored by Gallery Aferro, which made No More Place possible. In a cluster of galleries on one block, there were window interventions, a community-based art exhibition, and an exhibition of works examining queer African identity. One gallery was selling Newark-pride T-shirts, including an 80s retro overall print on a tiny crop top. It felt buoyant. Looks that sassy don’t just happen anywhere.]

Installation view of Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness, The Museum of Modern Art, 2014. Photo by Jonathan Muzikar. © The Museum of Modern Art, New York // Source: moma.org.

Installation view of Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness, The Museum of Modern Art, 2014. Photo by Jonathan Muzikar. © The Museum of Modern Art, New York // Source: moma.org.

Through November 2
Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness
MoMA

I don’t know much about Williams, but what I take away from this show is that he’s fearless. The list of things he’s not afraid of include:

  • boring subjects
  • a seemingly-random range of subjects
  • shooting in an almost-no-style style, reminiscent of any product shot ever
  • hanging things on a exaggeratedly low (48″?) centerline
  • showing only modest-sized (16×24″) prints in one’s MoMA retrospective
  • not pandering to audiences by:
    • evincing technique and craft
    • including didactic texts in the galleries
    • including a curatorial statement in the foyer
  • displaying what text there was inscrutably, running off walls like pages of RayGun Magazine, and set in McDonald’s-like yellow on red.

Indeed, it seemed like most visitors I saw didn’t “get” the Williams show—most were walking through too fast, like flicking pages in a waiting room magazine. Without wall labels to anchor the images in information, they hadn’t any signposts to orient themselves. Is that a fault of viewers or curators? Is it a sign of a poor experience, or an unusual challenge? Does everything have to be contextualized?

Robert Gober (American, born 1954). Untitled Leg. 1989–90. Beeswax, cotton, wood, leather, human hair, 11 3/8 x 7 3/4 x 20″ (28.9 x 19.7 x 50.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Dannheiser Foundation. © 2014 Robert Gober // Source: moma.org.

Robert Gober (American, born 1954). Untitled Leg. 1989–90. Beeswax, cotton, wood, leather, human hair, 11 3/8 x 7 3/4 x 20″ (28.9 x 19.7 x 50.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Dannheiser Foundation. © 2014 Robert Gober // Source: moma.org.

Through January 18, 2015
Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor
MoMA

The 2009 Charles Burchfield survey curated by Robert Gober blew me away, and made me re-consider this mysterious sculptor of sinks and white collar, White guy legs. Rumors of installation feats were also going around the art handler gossip mill, so I was really looking forward to this retrospective. It exceeded my expectations.

Yes, there are sinks.

They are made of wood, wire mesh, plaster, and paint. When I’ve seen them before, they looked like regular old sinks. But maybe because I am a bit more familiar with the laboriousness of actually sculpting something, or maybe because the lighting’s better, or maybe because I looked harder, the handmade-ness of these works came through better.

Yes, there are legs.

They stick out of walls, wear leather dress shoes, long grey socks, and slacks. They also wear tennis shoes and no pants. They also are burrowed out with drains, or project candles. They get whiter and whiter until they seem no longer attempt to simulate flesh tones. They evolve to include children’s legs, taking a hyperrealist-surrealist gesture further into nightmarish territories.

And, there are prints.

But they look like scraps of paper: ads, clippings, receipts. And yet they are intaglio prints, wood engravings, and unbelievably, potato prints. The absurdist rendering of one disposable thing in a labor-intensive fine art medium reminded me of works I wanted to make in grad school, which I had neither the mastery nor patience to see through.

And there was much more.

Many rooms were completely wallpapered in custom prints. Some were fun, some were trippy. There was a church-like installation, with two similar but significantly different peephole-like views. There were two rooms generously dedicated to showing other artists (no artist is an island). There were oddly rough sketches and wacky oil paintings that were strange to square against such precise realism and craftsmanship. There was, in fact, an installation feat worthy of even jaded art handlers’ gushing, and though most people had an “Oh, cool!” reaction, they missed crucial elements seen from only one view.

Throughout, Gober seems to be saying, “Look again!” Yet there were times when I also thought about Felix Gonzales-Torres, Tom Friedman, and Marcel Duchamp. The verdict? Definitely worth a visit. Be prepared to be both unnerved and amazed.

Exhibition design challenge: Compare and contrast the use of labels in the Williams show (where they were absent) and Gober show (they were informative, revealing disguised techniques and media, and ultimately, more understanding of Gober’s craft and interests). 

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Citizenship, Meta-Practice

More on the Power of “No”

Artists, where is your line? How do you know you’ve crossed it? Are you prepared to do what’s necessary after you’ve crossed your line?

Artist Steve Lambert pledges to give away any prize money received from a right-wing, anti-civil rights family whose fortunes are made in pyramid schemes and the military industrial complex.

So today I pledged, if I win I will not keep any of the money. I will hand over all my award money to the LGBT Fund of Grand Rapids. I will also volunteer to come back to Grand Rapids with the Center for Artistic Activism to work with LGBT to fight for equality.

The reason I became an artist is because I believe it helps create free human beings. It can show us other ways of looking at the world, other ways the world can be. It makes us more empathetic, more understanding, and more open. It helps us grow. I think the money behind ArtPrize is working against, what I see as, the spirit of art itself.

http://visitsteve.com/news/no-thanks-artprize/

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Make Things (Happen), News

10/16-11/26: Make Things (Happen) in Social in Practice @ NYU Tisch

October 16–November 29, 2014
Social in Practice: The Art of Collaboration
NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Photography and Imaging galleries

Gulf + Western Gallery (1st Floor) and 8th Floor Galleries @ DPI
721 Broadway at Waverly Place
New York, NY 10003
[Google Map]

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 16, 6-8pm

Gallery hours: M–F 9–7, Sat 12–5
Free and open to the public

Make Things (Happen) is a participatory project organized by Christine Wong Yap featuring 29 artist-created activity sheets to make things or make things happen.

Activity sheets freely available in Make Things (Happen) at Social in Practice at Nathan Cummings Foundation, NYC.

Activity sheets freely available in Make Things (Happen) at Social in Practice at Nathan Cummings Foundation, NYC.

Artists: Lauren F. Adams, Oliver Braid, Maurice Carlin, Kevin B. Chen, Torreya Cummings, Helen de Main, double zero, Bean Gilsdorf, Galeria Rusz, Sarrita Hunn, Maria Hupfield, Nick Lally, Justin Langlois, Justin Limoges, Jessica Longmore, Mail Order Brides/M.O.B., Meta Local Collaborative, Roy Meuwissen, Dionis Ortiz, Kristina Paabus, Piero Passacantando, Julie Perini, Risa Puno, Genevieve Quick, Pallavi Sen, Elisabeth Smolarz, Emilio Vavarella, David Gregory Wallace, Lexa Walsh.

makethings-happen.christinewongyap.com

 

 

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The Making of The Eve Of... Self-initiated Residency and Exhibition, a timeline flow chart after Alfred H. Barr, Jr.

Christine Wong Yap, The Making of The Eve Of… Self-initiated Residency and Exhibition, 2014. A timeline flow chart after Alfred H. Barr, Jr. [PDF]

Produced for the Open City/Art City panel, SOS ARTISTS: Strategies of Survival, curated and moderated by Christian L. Frock, and held at YBCA on October 4, 2014.

Meta-Practice, The Eve Of...

The Making of The Eve Of… Self-initiated Residency and Exhibition, a timeline flow chart

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News, The Eve Of...

10/4: The Eve Of… as Survival Strategies at Open City/Art City

The making of The Eve Of…, in diagrammatic and GIF forms.

The Making of The Eve Of... Self-Initiated Residency and Exhibition.

The Making of The Eve Of… Self-Initiated Residency and Exhibition.

Here’s a tiny teaser of a detailed diagram on the making of The Eve Of…; along with a narrated video, it’ll be presented this Saturday at Open City/Art City at YBCA. I’ll be there in spirit, but not in person. It’s too bad, as my other panelists, assembled by the formidable Christian L. Frock, are fantastic artists for whom I have tons of respect.

SOS ARTISTS: Strategies of Survival

Curated and Moderated by Christian L. Frock, Independent Writer, Curator and Educator
This interactive session will present strategies for developing self-made public opportunities for artists at all stages of development, with an emphasis on what is possible through autonomy and collaboration. In addition to the live event, documents relevant to the discussion will be available to freely view and share online at www.invisiblevenue.com

Participants:

  • Christian L. Frock, writer and curator, Invisible Venue: On creating public platforms through unconventional organizational partnerships
  • Jonn Herschend, artist and co-publisher, The Thing: On recent high profile commercial projects and creating equitable corporate collaborations with integrity
  • Ernest Jolly, artist and co-curator, ArtComplex, Oakland: On ArtComplex’s experimental exhibition model and creating opportunities within transitional real estate
  • Favianna Rodriguez, artist and activist, on producing multiples and direct studio sales to raise funds to advance larger projects
  • Stephanie Syjuco, artist and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Visual Arts Fellow: On self-publishing her successful Guggenheim application, and transparency as a mode of working amidst competition
  • Christine Wong Yap, artist: On the development of her self-initiated New York residency and solo exhibition, and building new models of production in public spaces

More info at opencityartcity.tumblr.com.

That’s the brains of the thing. Here’s the behind-the-scenes braun:

The Eve Of... installation and deinstallation.

The Eve Of… installation and deinstallation.

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