Friday, May 30, 2014

Cynthia Daignault's interesting show concept...

     Here's an interesting concept for a show by artist Cynthia Daignault via Lisa-Cooley Gallery in NY.  31 people brought her an object to trade for a painting of that object. The press release & photo below explain more.


May 1-31, 2014 Closing Reception: Sat., May 31, 7-9pm

6 Decades Books, 265 Canal Street #210
Hours: Fri and Sat, noon-6pm, and by appointment

"Das Tauschregal" is an experiment in participatory economics. Daignault sent an open call asking viewers to trade "objects of value" for paintings. 31 participants were chosen anonymously and each agreed to trade one object for its painted representation. All thirty-one objects will be displayed on a shelf at 6 Decades Books, beginning on the first day of May. Each subsequent day, one painting will replace the object it depicts. At the end of the month, the shelf will hold only paintings, exchanging concrete commodity for abstract representation, as in currency. Installed concurrently with the Frieze Art Fair, Das Tauschregal suggests an alternative art market, exploring the notions of value independent of price (meaning, sentiment, aesthetics, formalism, power, influence and beauty).

Cynthia Daignault was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and currently lives in New York. She attended Stanford University, and was a MacDowell Colony Fellow in 2010. Her work was featured in a solo show at White Columns in 2011. Daignault is a recipient of the 2011 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant. Her first solo show at Lisa Cooley, New York opened in Fall 2013. She has published two limited edition artist books, titled CCTV (2012) and I love you more than one more day (2013), the latter on the occasion of her solo show at the gallery. Daignault will present a new body of work at Frieze New York in May 2014, and she will be included in the group exhibition, Crossing Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Museum in Fall, 2014.

For more information, contact Rachel Valinsky at or (212) 680-0564

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Brutal review for Schnabel show

     Recently on my Gallery Guy page on Facebook, I posted a link to an interview with Julian Schnabel and asked whether his answers were honest feelings or artspeak b.s. I suppose that was because I was leaning towards the latter. So tonight someone else posted this brutal review by Laura Cummings for The Guardian about his new show in London with the title containing the words "colossally bad," so right out of the gate you know what to expect. Here's the link, and make sure to read the comments section, it's also quite interesting:

and here's the gallery link:

     I usually don't like to go neg here on The Gallery Guy. I remember reading a similar skewering review of a David Salle show in the 90s that left you almost gasping. Salle and Schnabel both hit it big around the same time and both are controversial as many question their actual skill. The "if ya can't make it good, make it big" line is often used (as the Guardian review does) when examining the merits of their artistry. And it's valid. Let's be real, it's an example of the difficulty of publicly discussing abstract and alot of post-modern work: if you say the work is just emperor's new clothes, you run the risk of sounding like a Philistine and/or ignorant. Although Ms. Cummings trots out the "why?" question a bit much, she balances that with pretty level-headed criticism of his composition, style, and technique. It's tricky for the average person to dismiss the "what does it mean?" question as the basis for thumbs up or thumbs down when viewing art. Simply put, one can enjoy a piece without knowing what the artist "meant" or reading the statement or an essay about it. But Schnabel's work seems so linked with art world artspeak (along with his own artspeak), and artspeak often carries the stigma of trying to put lipstick on a pig that it's easy to become exasperated by the hype, praise, and huge prices for his work. Ms. Cummings does a fine job channeling that into her review.