a tale of a few cities

Cindy Sherman Retrospective at SFMOMA

July 14 – October 07, 2012

Cindy Sherman is recognized as one of the most important contemporary artists of the last 40 years and arguably the most influential artist working exclusively with photography. This retrospective traces the groundbreaking artist’s career from the mid-1970s to the present. Bringing together more than 170 key photographs from a variety of Sherman’s acclaimed bodies of work, the presentation constitutes the first overview of her career since 1997 in the United States. Sherman has served as her own model for more than 30 years, generating a range of guises and personas that are by turns amusing and disturbing, distasteful and affecting. The exhibition showcases the artist’s greatest achievements to date, from her early experiments as a student in Buffalo in the 1970s to her recent large-scale photographic murals.

Cindy Sherman, renowned American photographer and film director, is 58 today.

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Michael Rakowitz, Climate Control, 2000 – 2001

Michael Rakowitz

Climate Control
2000 – 2001
Galvanized steel ductwork, fans, timers
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY
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Most museums and exhibition spaces have a central climate control system for maintaining the standard temperature and relative humidity (r.h.) necessary to preserve art works on exhibit. P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center lacks such a mechanism and, during the winter, turns its radiators up to 90˚F, ignoring the institutional standard of 68˚ – 72˚F. The dry heat of the radiators engenders a relative humidity reading of approximately 11%, potentially damaging to objects like paintings or prints, which require stabilized environments of between 40% – 50% r.h.
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In order to lower the temperature of the Special Projects room to which it is confined, Climate Control, an apparatus consisting of ductwork and fans, incorporates the existing radiator system on the interior of the building with the cold winter temperature outside. The resulting maze of ductwork features a central absurd element: the continuous duct which travels outside the windows and then directly back in, visible from the street. An internal humidifier feeds off moisture in the air and maintains a relative humidity of 20%, in keeping with the standard for exhibiting artworks made from galvanized steel. While the system is adjustable and can maintain a stabilized environment for the display of even delicate works on paper, there is no space to exhibit other art: Climate Control completely engulfs the room. The result is an absurd machine built to maintain itself. – Michael Rakowitz
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I first heard of Chicago-based artist Michael Rakowitz through his collaborative project “Spoils,” a culinary/art experience utilizing plates found in Saddam Hussein’s fallen palaces and held at Park Avenue Autumn this past October. After doing a few searches, I discovered his 2001 Climate Control installation at P.S.1 and was really taken by the Rakowitz’s clever use of space.
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I wouldn’t be surprised if Rakowitz’s Climate Control spurred the installation of a climate control system at P.S.1, albeit slowly.
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Dietch Projects SF, New Art In The Streets

Up until yesterday I was having a lot of fun being friends with Jeffrey Dietch on Facebook. I was a little slow to cotton-on to the joke, but when I did, I thought it brilliant. There appeared on his Facebook wall, a photo of a fellow sitting looking very smart in a cavernous, modern, all white interior above the heading, ‘Getting the space ready for San Francisco opening.‘ ‘LMAO!‘, was my response and contribution to the comment thread. After clicking the notification that Jeffrey Dietch liked my comment, I was returned to this page. The Facebook profile had been shut down. All sorts of artists had friended Dietch and posted on his wall, thinking him to be Jeffrey Deitch of the eponymous SoHo gallery, Deitch Projects. (Owner Jeffrey Deitch closed his gallery to the public in June 2010 as a result of being appointed  director of L.A.’s MoCA).

I thought the whole Dietch Projects SF to be a wonderful guerrilla stunt. Some didn’t, as evinced by a writer at New York based Blog Mixed Greens. The writer at Mixed Greens mentions Dietch Projects SF logo being ‘ripped off‘ from the original.  Wtf? – how can you ‘rip-off‘ a logo that’s already been ripped off? The writer suggested that Fake Deitch was responsible. I thought that a lame scapegoat but figured I’d pursue @FakeDeitch to prove Mixed Green’s wayward hunch wrong.

I love Dietch Projects SF’s promotional photo (top), snatched from Chicks With Steve Buscemeyes.

Heading out to Gallery Heist tomorrow evening anyway, I’ll probably mosey over to 441 O’Farrell to check things out. 

Dietch Projects SF
New Art In The Streets
Dec 8 – Jan 6
441 O’Farrell Street,
San Francisco 94102
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UPDATE Dec 9: Went down to 441 O’Farrell last night, turned out that was the Ever Gold address. Next door sat large construction hoarding plastered with ‘UNDER CONSTRUCTION SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE & the Dietz Projects logo (with an address change of 445 O’Farrell). It was pretty funny, the hoarding, about 10ft high stuck out roughly 15ft to the curb and I’d say it was about 20ft wide in front of a low rent hotel. Pedestrians jostled dutifully between the protruding structure and the curb. A friend and I spotted a fellow being admitted into the hotel so we slipped in behind him and ventured into the main lobby area to catch a glimpse through the front window (backside of the hoarding). It was simply a false front completely void of any construction. A total stunt. Staff at the grotty Hotel whose frontage was completely obscured seemed oblivious to the fact. Especially hilarious was a clerk yelling at us from a far away front desk in the dimly lit cavernous lobby of what must have been a grand-ish hotel in it’s time, asking us what we were doing there. We were taking pictures. He looked bemused – stunt – what stunt? It was as if he were utterly incognizant of the hotel’s current frontage. Even so, the artwork lived up to its namesake, ‘New Art In The Streets’. I figure Ever Gold artist Jeremiah Jenkins was responsible for the Guerilla installation. I could be wrong.


John Baldessari, The First $100,000 I Ever Made

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Photos by Friends of the High Line Courtesy John Baldessari and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.


HIGH LINE BILLBOARD

The First $100,000 I Ever Made by John Baldessari
On View Friday, December 2 to Friday, December 30, 2011
Billboard next to the High Line at West 18th Street

High Line Art, presented by Friends of the High Line, today unveiled The First $100,000 I Ever Made, a new work created by legendary artist John Baldessari for the 25-by-75 foot billboard next to the High Line on 10th Avenue at West 18th Street. This is the first of three works to be presented as part of a new series called HIGH LINE BILLBOARDThe First $100,000 I Ever Made will remain on view until Friday, December 30, 2011.

My Submission to Postcards from the Edge, NYC

Peter Combe, Damien Hirst at SFMOMA, 2011 

Above is my submission to Postcards from the Edge, NYC. When I saw Andy Bosselman’s photo of San Francisco based artist, Xiang Gao outside SFMOMA – I cracked up and knew I wanted to incorporate Damien Hirst‘s noggin.

Postcards from the Edge is an exhibit and benefit sale of over 1500 one-of-a-kind postcard-size works of art by established and emerging artists. All artworks at Postcards from the Edge benefit are exhibited anonymously. The works are signed on the back only and though viewers receive a list of all participating artists, they don’t know who created which piece until purchased.

Postcards from the Edge will be hosted at Cheim & Read from January 6-8, 2012

Visual AIDS utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue and supporting HIV+ artists.

visualAIDS

2011/2001

Peter Combe Parallels, Maurizio Cattelan: All, Guggenheim Museum, 2011/Stanley Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I couldn’t help but see the parallels.

Thanks to @Guggenheim for sending this blogpost into the Twittersphere, and to SFMOMA for featuring it on their blog.

Update Nov 28: Sadly the @Guggenheim Ow.ly link has now now fails since I changed my Blog URL a few days ago not realizing previous incoming links would fail. I did however get a hefty 1,000 very appreciated hits before the change.

 

 

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gugg

Help a poor girl out…

The artwork, entitled When It Starts Dripping From The Ceiling, consists of a trough under a wooden tower of slats. Photograph: Bernd Thissen/EPA

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An overzealous cleaner in Germany has ruined a piece of modern art worth over $1,000,000 after mistaking it for an eyesore that needed a good scrub.

The sculpture by the German artist Martin Kippenberger, widely regarded as one of the most talented artists of his generation until his death in 1997, had been on loan to the Ostwall Museum in Dortmund when it fell prey to the cleaner’s scouring pad.

The work, called When It Starts Dripping From the Ceiling (Wenn’s anfängt durch die Decke zu tropfen), comprised a rubber trough placed underneath a rickety wooden tower made from slats. Inside the trough, Kippenberger had spread a layer of paint representing dried rainwater. He thought it was art: the cleaner saw it as a challenge, and set about making the bucket look like new.

A spokeswoman for the museum told German media that the female cleaner “removed the patina from the four walls of the trough”.

“It is now impossible to return it to its original state,” she said, adding that it had been on loan to the museum from a private collector and was valued by insurers at €800,000 (1,103,400.00 USD).

She said that cleaning crews had been told to keep 20cm (8in) away from artworks, but it was unclear if the woman – who worked for a company to which cleaning had been outsourced – had received the memo. After reading the above in The Guardian, I was reminded of an article I’d read a couple of years ago about an ‘in demand’ contemporary art restorer.

The Ostwall Museum spokeswoman needn’t get her knickers in a knot, it just so happens that the 2nd sentence into The Art Doctor, an article that appeared in the May 11, 2009 issue of The New Yorker, there is mention of another damaged artwork by Martin Kippenberger and after further reading, its repair. Christian Scheidemann, a conservator of contemporary art who runs a company called Contemporary Conservation has repaired contemporary works by artist as diverse and challenging as Takashi Murakami, Rudolf Stingel, Wifredo Lam, and Paul McCarthy. A few years ago, Scheidemann had to trim a new piece of elephant dung to fill a gap in a Chris Ofili painting.

Dear overzealous (and no-less traumatized) outsourced cleaner, refer the museum to Christian Scheidemann at www.contemporaryconservation.com 

Readers, if you’ve time enough, give the lowly cleaning woman some slack and forward this post to mo@stadtdo.de with ‘Seien Sie gütig zur Dame der macht das Reinigen‘ in the subject line. 

He Xiangyu, Der Tod des Marat

Posted in All is not as it seems., Art, artists, China, Exhibitions, Homage, paris, portraits, RIP, Sculpture, surrealism by petercombe on November 3, 2011

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In an edition of three, “Der Tod des Marat” (“The Death of Marat”) consists of a life-size version of ’s body laying face down on the floor, dressed in a suit. He Xiangyu, an artist represented by Beijing’s White Space Gallery and Galerie LOFT in Paris, reportedly hand-knotted actual human hair onto the plastic and fiberglass effigy to create a representation of the artist plausible enough to shock and offend unsuspecting locals. The sculpture was on view at the Künstlerhaus’s Laden No. 5 exhibition space until November 1. According to Xiangyu, the sculpture was the exhibit was intended to praise Ai’s defiant actions despite the Chinese government’s constant threats of imprisonment. Ai, who helped lead the design at the Bird’s Nest Stadium, remains one of Beijing’s most vocal and outspoken critics.

Passersby are mistaking it for a human corpse, and, not surprisingly, have already alerted local authorities. “Several people had already called within days of the exhibition going up,” said Peter Steger, a spokesman for the police in Bad Ems. A local resident also filed charges for disturbing the peace of the dead, thinking the corpse was real.

Künstlerhaus Schloß Balmoral >

The London Open

Posted in Art, Artist call, artists, contests, Exhibitions, London by petercombe on October 20, 2011

The London Open is a snapshot of the latest art from London in 2012. This new incarnation of the Whitechapel Gallery’s triennial open submission exhibition is open to all artists aged 26 or over living and working in the London postal district (i.e. N, NW, SW, SE, W, WC, E and EC postcodes). The first edition of The London Open is selected by writer Patricia Bickers, artist Rodney Graham, collector Jack Kirkland, curator Marta Kuzma and Kirsty Ogg, curator, Whitechapel Gallery.

For the Application Form you will need:

– Your personal details (name, address, email address, telephone number, date of birth);
– A one page A4 CV set in minimum type font 10;
– Your 500 word personal statement;
– Up to 5 examples of your practice in the form of images, web-links or a combination of both (plus details – title, medium, dimensions/duration, date);
– £25 application fee.

Open for submissions
3 October-25 November 2011

Exhibition
4 July-14 September 2012

Image: Design by The 2 Group 2011

Click here to apply now.

Do you want to be in the Rencontres d’Arles, 2011?

Posted in appropriation, Art, Artist call, Exhibitions, Photography by petercombe on July 1, 2011

David Horvitz at Les Rencontres d’Arles (Discovery Award 2011)

Last minute special: Horvitz will turn his hotel room into a “bootleg-satellite-exhibition-space”. And everyone is invited to participate. Atrium Hotel Arles, 3.07— 10.07.2011. More info: http://tinyurl.com/join-arles

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