Thom Yorke's latest project is a 432-hour-long soundtrack, which has no two minutes sounding exactly the same, The Independent reports. Dubbed Subterranea, the evolving project is playing in the background of a new, 18-day-long Stanley Donwood exhibition ("The Panic Office") in Sydney, Australia. (Yorke did Donwood the majorly dedicated solid because the latter is the guy who has designed a massive chunk of Radiohead's album art.) The show began May 21 and will continue through June 6; it so far sounds like "an eerie mix of ambient textures, experimental sounds, and field recordings," according to Australia's radio station Triple J. Consequence of Sound adds that the work's "subs will boom from the floor, mids will echo through the walls, while the highs rain down from the ceiling." Neat. At the moment, it unfortunately looks like the marathon track won't be released to the public after the exhibition, but you can check out a preview here. (And if you're really into it, I guess you can buy plane tickets here.)
Jeffrey Deitch is back in New York and as ubiquitous on the art scene here as ever, even without (at least so far) a space to program as his own. One of his great successes out at MoCA in L.A. was 2011's "Art in the Streets" and now, working with Thor Equities, which is redeveloping the ragtag urban resort, he's invited a slew of famous street artists to light up walls in Coney Island. The Times recently called Deitch an “itinerant showman and dealmaker.” It’s true that he’s without a permanent base in New York — dealer without portfolio — but perhaps, at this point, he doesn’t need one. As he told SEEN of his explorations in Brooklyn’s Red Hook, “When word got out that I was considering doing something here, people suddenly began offering me free spaces.” His reputation for fun still precedes him.
Book Expo America, the publishing industry’s largest trade show, tends to kick off with keynote speeches by nonfiction celebrities (your Alan Greenspans and Barbra Streisands). But this year, with pop stars channeled toward consumer-facing BookCon — which runs at the Javits this coming weekend on the heels of BEA — the focus has turned literary. Critic Laura Miller launched the fair a couple of hours ago by interviewing Jonathan Franzen, whose new novel Purity is out in September. A few astute questions followed from the audience. He isn’t planning too much press in advance of the book's arrival, so the hour-long talk might be the most we hear from him for a while. Here he was on various subjects of the day, himself included.
A$AP Rocky's new album At.Long.Last.A$AP dropped just days ago, and as part of the inexorable convergence and cross-pollination of pop music and art, he's collaborating with a visual artist, too. Somehow, in between the wild time he had at South by Southwest (copping LSD from Makonnen and then indulging in three acid-fueled orgies), A$AP Rocky and the artist/"snarchitect" Daniel Arsham met up for a photo shoot. That went well, and the two paired up again at Arsham’s Greenpoint studio, where Arsham took some photos and shot some footage that became the video for the Danger Mouse–produced track “Pharsyde” off Rocky's album. Later, Arsham went off to Istanbul, where SEEN met up with him, and he shared with us the photos he took with the rapper.
As the elevating allure of fine art exerts a greater pull on the more utilitarian creative industries of fashion, music, design, architecture, and high-end real estate, we’re witnessing the emergence of a new format for its dissemination. Where biennials once segregated art and artists into self-contained didactic exhibitions like so many exotic white rhinos at the zoo, the new rash of arts festivals mingle practitioners of every field into sprawling series of lectures, performances, dinners, and de-facto bar crawls across neighborhoods all over the world that serve as their city’s East Berlin or East Williamsburg.
Rumors have circulated for years that Colin Firth would take on the role as phoneticist Henry Higgins, without any official announcements. Reviving the rumor, "Page Six" reports that Broadway tycoon James Nederlander Sr. said that the revival is on: “New generations never saw it. Colin Firth is already set. The female isn’t cast yet.” (In the past, young actresses from Carey Mulligan to Anne Hathaway have been linked to the role of Eliza Doolittle.) As to whether or not Colin Firth's vocal cords would be up for it, Nederlander said, “Rex Harrison didn’t either. And everyone wants to see Colin Firth.” We can at least confirm that that is true.
The other day, I happened to mention to a woman I’d just met, a respected former contemporary art gallerist, that I was taking my two daughters to the David Zwirner Gallery so they could have a turn stickering Yayoi Kusama’s The Obliteration Room with cheerfully bright polka dots. “Oh, I didn’t realize they were doing a kids’ project there!” she exclaimed.
Technically, of course, Zwirner isn’t hosting an after-school program, but one could easily be forgiven for mistaking the Kusama installation — an all-white replica of a living room and kitchen that viewers “paint” with multicolored sticker versions of the artist’s signature dots — for some sort of fun house.
Mary Ellen Mark — the documentary photographer best known for her haunting portraits of adults and children on the margins of society — died in New York yesterday at the age of 75.
“I think it was the connection with people that astounded me,” Mark writes of her first experience photographing in her forthcoming book, Mary Ellen Mark on the Portrait and the Moment, which is due out from Aperture this June. “I saw that my camera gave me a sense of connection with others that I never had before. It allowed me to enter lives, satisfying a curiosity that was always there, but that was never explored before ... I realized all of the possibilities that could exist for me with my camera; all of the images that I could capture, all of the lives I could enter, all of the people I could meet and how much I could learn from them.”
“It’s an old firehouse, so this is probably where the fire engines were kept and washed,” said Huma Bhahba as we roamed into her expansive studio in Poughkeepsie, New York. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1962, Bhabha has lived upstate for 13 years. She occasionally teaches at Bard College in the summer MFA program, but the appointment wasn’t the reason for landing in the region. “It was because I knew somebody who had moved here who was an artist. I started teaching at Bard much later. I’ve been here about 13 years.” After completing her MFA at Columbia University, Bhabha lived in New York for 13 years before abandoning it owing to rising real-estate prices. About living outside the gravitational pull of the city, Bhahba confirmed, “It’s a shock but you can manage it.”
Now that summer's here, school is getting out, and temperatures have finally topped 80 degrees in New York, one thing is inevitable: Tourists are about to flock to the High Line in hordes. But there are some appealing things to see from the High Line, and we’re not (just) talking about exhibitionist hanky-panky in the Standard Hotel. We’re talking about the extensive, expertly curated group of works part of High Line Art, the initiative that commissions pieces specifically for the elevated park, and switches up the roster of artists each season.
It makes for some lovely things to look at while dodging taco stands and lost French people.
Two forthcoming books approach this question from opposite sides. Anthony M. Amore’s The Art of the Con recounts notorious art forgeries, thefts, and fraudulent sales with all the salacious detail of a heist movie. Noah Charney’s more ruminative The Art of Forgery, on the other hand, takes a more empathetic view. “Forgers are complex psychological characters,” Charney writes, “driven by many different impulses to a life of crime.”
From these books, here are eight of the shrewdest, strangest, and most imaginative ruses in the history of art.
Jessica Lange will return to Broadway for the first time in over a decade next spring, with the Eugene O'Neill classic Long Day's Journey Into Night. Lange reprises the role of the morphine-addled matriarch Mary Tyrone, a character she played in London's West End back in 2000, for which she received an Olivier nomination. She'll co-star alongside In Treatment's Gabriel Byrne, who plays the patriarch of the family, James Tyrone, and John Gallagher Jr., as their son Edmund. But if you thought that this would be a Ryan Murphy–free universe, you would be mistaken! The New York Times reports that Murphy holds the stage rights to the play and approached Todd Haimes, the director of the Roundabout Theater Company, about producing the play with Lange, who is maybe playing Elsa Mars playing Mary Tyrone. After all, everything is connected.
A couple of weeks ago, inspired by a nap at the new Whitney, Jerry Saltz solicited stories of people making out, or more, in museums — a pastime he worried was getting harder and harder, so to speak, now that museums were so crowded. The anecdotes told another story, and last week Jerry even showed up on “Sex Lives,” New York Magazine's sex podcast, to talk about them.
“I would walk Hollywood Boulevard with this Rolleiflex camera,” remembers Dennis Feldman. “I would say to someone, ‘Would you mind if I take your picture?’ They would usually ask me ... ‘How do you want me to be?’”
His new book Hollywood Boulevard came out of that. It’s a time capsule of the long-ago outlandish. He captured Southern California characters who strutted up and down the Walk of Fame between 1969 and 1972 with square-format portraits. “I kind of made this book in 40 years, and I also made this book, I guess, in the last two,” he says. “There’s a famous story where William Goldman supposedly wrote a screenplay in two weeks, and he explained that ten years earlier he had written a first draft and put it in a box, and he’d taken it out ten years later and wrote it in two weeks of intense work. He said, ‘What, did I write it in two weeks or ten years?’”
From the outside, the “theater” looks like a shipping crate, the kind roadies roll around, except that it’s customized with various lights and bump-outs and a door that says AUDIENCE. Ushered inside by a guide in bright coveralls, you find yourself in a very red, very small space, perhaps four feet square; your seat is a sort of PVC throne, donated by a guy who usually makes them for peep shows. Another door, two feet in front of your face, is shut, but you know that the “stage” must be behind it because it’s surrounded by lights. Before you can really get your bearings, though, that door suddenly slides open, and a play begins. A short play, certainly; depending on which one you get (there are seven, presented in semi-random rotation) it may be anywhere from four to eight minutes. But even so — and even with just a black chair for a set — it’s a real play nonetheless, with a real character, a real theme, and a real actor. Perhaps two.
“You know, we sort of let Kim and Dan do whatever they wanted,” said Tim Griffin, the director of the Kitchen, and that explained why the people who come to galas found themselves picking at a raspberry tart as little-known British female punk duo the Raincoats wailed away onstage, because “Kim” was Kim Gordon and “Dan” was Dan Graham. As he stood off to the side of the cavernous old bank on Wall Street that’s now a Cipriani, he looked particularly pleased with this situation, with punks filling in for the usual bland crooners who entertain the tables at these things.
These past few weeks, SEEN has bounced between Venice, Detroit, Randalls Island, and downtown, circa 1981, So why not Washington, D.C.? This month, the National Gallery of Art commemorates the 25th anniversary of its photography program with an exhibit called “The Memory of Time.” With a focus on contemporary photography, it explores how photographs have evolved from a recorder of (supposedly) unbiased truths, to a multifaceted medium where image, time, memory, and history are all manipulated. The exhibit opened on May 3 and runs until September 13.
In 1975, John Ashbery, already a celebrated poet (he was to win the Pulitzer Prize the next year for Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror), began a five-year stint as the art critic for New York Magazine. Ashbery, then 48, had previously been the art editor for the European edition of the New York Herald Tribune and a Paris correspondent for Art News, and back in New York, was close with the Warhol crew, especially Gerard Malanga. Since then he’s remained inspired by art (see: his poem published in 1999, “Girls on the Run,” which is loosely based in the imagined world of outsider artist Henry Darger.)
With Memorial Day here (which means more time for reading!), we wanted to revisit and share some of his best pieces of criticism, which were at times biting but always colorful and perspicuous. Here are 12 of his takes on the art scene of the late 1970s, covering everything from sculpture to photography to painting.
Almost 70 years ago, newlyweds Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock moved into a greying, shingled house from 1879 in Springs, a little-known fishing town six miles northeast of Grey Gardens in East Hampton. They got the house with $5,000 of borrowed Guggenheim cash, and there was a barn that fishermen had used. Pollock moved it to open up a view of the small creek the property abuts and put his studio in it, then famously painted on the floor.