craft

Lick ’Em by Smiling: Jeremy Deller and Shary Boyle at the Venice Biennale

If the Venice Biennale is the United Nations of contemporary art, then the Giardini is its Security Council. The park’s stately pavilions belong to the (mostly European) nations that were best situated to claim them in the early- to mid-twentieth century. National pavilions are organized by state entities and can be counted on to present a government-sanctioned view of art, which tends toward the conceptually[.....]

Long Ago and Not True Anyway at Waterside Contemporary

Mekitar Grabedian, MG, 2006 (still); Video; 2:05. Courtesy of Waterside Contemporary, London.

In Long Ago and Not True Anyway at Waterside Contemporary, curator Pierre d’Alancaisez explores a kind of history that exists beyond the dry material of archives, records, and established national narratives. Instead, in this small London gallery nearly hidden around a corner among Islington’s high-density residential buildings, this exhibition’s artists and artworks blur the borders between uncertain subjective experience and the history it inhabits. Taking[.....]

Installation Art Reverses Production and Consumption Process

Ni Haifeng. Para-production, 2008-2012; textile shreds, sewing machines; work in progress, variable size

As part of our ongoing partnership with Beautiful/Decay, today we bring you the installation work of artist Ni Haifeng. For the better part of the last decade, Ni has been working with concepts of manufacturing and production, illustrating, in the words of curator and scholar Pauline J. Yao, “the symbolic systems that govern the movement of certain goods across international borders.” This article was written[.....]

The Transcendental Trash of Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt

Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt. The Fountain of Youth (Spritzer Thaw), 1969; Aluminum foil, plastic wrap, pipe cleaner, holographic tape, glitter, staples, mirror, colored marker; 13 x 10 x 9 in. Courtesy of the artist and Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York.

Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt makes kitsch from the kitchen, using everyday materials such as cellophane, glitter, foil, and Easter-display grass to construct minutely detailed and coded ephemera that sanctify camp, trash, and a kind of queer sentimentality particular to the artist’s experience of the 1970s Hell’s Kitchen scene in New York. Ecce Homo, Pavel Zoubok Gallery’s current three-part exhibition, orbits around this artist’s counter-historical queer aesthetic. On the heels of his extensive[.....]

Chun Kwang Young: Assemblage

Chun Kwang Young. Aggregation 07 DE146, 2007 (detail); mixed media with Korean mulberry paper; 250 x 205 cm. Image courtesy of Michael Culme-Seymour and Art Plural gallery.

Chun Kwang Young’s Assemblage at Art Plural Gallery is a series of three-dimensional sculptural works wrapped with Korean mulberry paper and assembled within the two-dimensional frame of a canvas. Taking the ubiquitous use of the mulberry paper in Korea—also known as hanji—as a material point of reference, the Assemblage series explores a desolate landscape of depressions, protrusions and coloured spots, all of which seem to reference abstract painting’s visual language of prioritising[.....]

Thukral & Tagra: Windows of Opportunity

Windows of Opportunity (2013), Jiten Thukral’s and Sumir Tagra’s (branded as Thukral & Tagra) latest show at Art Plural gallery, gives expression to the cacophonous spectacle of hybridity that defines contemporary India, a site that they deem to be a hotbed of conflicted histories and global transactions. These issues of societal flux are explored in their oeuvre through an eclectic visual language composed of cartoonish[.....]

Craft is Not Dead

Sabrina Gschwandtner, “Hula Hoop,” 2010. 16mm film and polyamide thread. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Chris Rifkin in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Renwick Gallery. Photo by Sabrina Gschwandtner.

What defines the art of craft? What is the difference between art and craft? 40 Under 40: Craft Futures at Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery blurred the lines for me, while at the same time helping me to appreciate craft in a new light. There is something about the word “craft” that connotes antiquated techniques that don’t necessarily relate to our contemporary world. This exhibition breathes new[.....]