Sunday Reading List – November 18

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Gertrude Stein Questionnaire: Lisa Lance

“Dying Cactus” (2012), Solar Plate Etching, archival inkjet print,embossing on paper by Christine Neil

 Baltimore CityPaper: Voices In Print: Soledad Salamé teaches accomplished artists printing techniques By Cara Ober

For many artists, printmaking is a magical act. Working in a series, with the ability to make subtle changes, is an ideal way to make art because it mimics the flexibility of the thinking process. However, few artists today make prints, favoring more direct methods of expression, like drawing, painting, or collage. Unless you’re making dead-fish prints, like many elementary school kids do, you will need a press, ink, brayers, printing plates, special paper, expertise, and a host of toxic cleanup supplies. Although the majority of artists will tell you they would love to make prints, there are very few opportunities and environments to do so.

Washington Citypaper: Openings- Chuck Close and “The Civil War and American Art” by Katie Fiegenbaum

What’s new this weekend in local arts: Get out and absorb a little art before the countdown to Thanksgiving face-cramming begins. A couple of must-see shows are opening this weekend. Today at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, an exhibit opens that shows how famous American artists of the time period represented the Civil War and its aftermath. “The Civil War and American Art” consists of 75 works (57 paintings and 18 battlefield photographs), most of which were created during the war, that document the shifts in American consciousness over time—from “palpable unease on the eve of war,” reads the museum’s website, “to heady optimism that it would be over with a single battle, to a growing realization that this conflict would not end quickly and a deepening awareness of issues surrounding emancipation and the need for reconciliation.” Runs to April 28, 2013 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F streets NW. Free.

Art Fag City: Biggest Contemporary Art Links at AFC New York. Again. by Corinna Kirsch

The art market keeps on breaking records, but reporters have started becoming a bit suspicious of such grandiose figures. Last night’s contemporary art auction at Christie’s reeled in $412 million dollars, giving rise to headlines like Brian Boucher’s “Biggest Contemporary Art Auction at Christie’s New York. Again”. [Art in America]

Will Barnet, visionary artist, passed away at 101. He made many, many works about cats, including this one. [Will Barnet’s Blog]

Kyle Chayka doesn’t like the Guggenheim’s Gabriel Orozco show. Chayka thinks Orozco’s rows and rows of collected objects look like the type of well-organized stuff you’d find in any budding designer’s blog: “It’s all more Pinterest than powerful,” he concludes. Yep. [Hyperallergic]

When food critics attack, we notice. In this week’s New York Times, Pete Wells lambasted Guy Fieri’s new Times Square restaurant, giving it possibly the worst review in the magazine’s history. The restaurant received zero stars. “Is the entire restaurant a very expensive piece of conceptual art?” Wells asks in his piece addressed to Fieri himself. The entire review is one rhetorical question after rhetorical question, finishing with the clincher, “Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish?” [The New York Times]

You probably know by now that GIF became the “word of the year”, but that was only for the United States. In the United Kingdom, the word of the year was “omnishambles.” Stupid Americans! [Jezebel]

To read more:

Hyperallergic: Is Mark Bradford the Best Painter in America? by Thomas Micchelli

I didn’t expect to write about the new show from Mark Bradford, who has been called by Guy Trebay of The New York Times “if not the best painter working in America today then certainly the tallest,” when I walked into Sikkema Jenkins on Tuesday morning.

New York Times: Investors Fly to Contemporary Art by Souren Melikan

Never underestimate the amazing amount of cash swirling around the world in search of a home. This week, close to $1 billion was spent on contemporary art.

When businessmen in dark suits compete wildly over pictures by painters who explicitly cultivated the art of the absurd or spread paint across their canvases with no easily identifiable purpose, this tells you something about the state of the world economy.

New York Magazine: Saltz: How I Came to Embrace Richard Artschwager’s Weirdness

For 30 years, my reaction to the complexly speculative art of Richard Artschwager has been “Huh?” It’s like his work speaks in some alien language that only occasionally gets through to me. I can love any one of his ­quasi-photo-realist monochromatic paintings on Celotex—oddball things on crenellated surfaces, with blurs of charcoal that coalesce into images that then disperse into abstract patterns. Yet seeing lots of them turns the effect redundant and I glaze over. Similarly, I can marvel at the magnificent oddity of any one of his oversize geometric Formica-covered ­furniture-sculptures that look like crates but are art that acts like furniture. In groups, they’re boring.

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