Artist Ian McMahon is a material purist who makes monumental sculptures from raw clay and industrial plaster. The resulting works are contradictory in impression—domineering but fragile, familiar while avoiding redundancy. In his most recent exhibitions he has introduced an element of controversy for anyone who has ever engaged with the tedium of delicate materials—the work is made to be broken. Ashley Stull Meyers: Let’s talk[…..]
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Art in time of conflict is not for the faint of conviction. For its makers, it can be leveraged for communication, catharsis, or an attempt at clarity; Brooklyn-based artist Shanti Grumbine engages with all three. She cuts found text and images in reconsideration of the boundaries between absence and presence—between profane and sacred content. Her drawings, prints, and collages make hay of what remains from[…..]
I’ve recently been introduced to the term prairie madness. It’s fictional—not founded in medicine—but it captured my imagination all the same. Artist Josh Short laughed as he explained it to me: The gist is that one can be driven to psychosis by the far-flung expansiveness of the Midwest. Characters in novels have been driven to tears by the isolation, the seemingly never-ending wind, and their[…..]
As we continue our look back over the year, today’s Best of 2013 selection comes from Ashley Stull, who writes, “I’ve never been to Poland. I’ve thus far remained shielded from the weight of Communist regimes; and my best protest to date has been limiting my mother on my portion of cauliflower. Succeeding where I have failed, Michal Wisniowski visited the Wrocław Contemporary Museum and[…..]
The contrast between established arts institutions and alternative spaces is often stark—different areas of town, different audiences in attendance, different coverage (if any) from very different publications. Artforum has a ten-page spread on the latest from Martin Kippenberger, while the arts and culture section of a local blog has two hundred words on an emerging artist. But the rare moments when the two worlds collide[…..]
Imagine if we never had to define ourselves. Imagine if we could exist suspended in a sort of identity probability cloud in which we were only more or less likely to be one thing than another. Or better yet if we could be in two conflicting states at once. We may never know the luxury of being both particle and wave, but we can certainly[…..]