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Post #543 • May 20, 2005, 12:18 PM • 46 Comments

You know the drill. Me, I think I'm going to try to catch Unleashed. Any art going on?




May 20, 2005, 7:50 PM

Unleashed???? You mean you're not going to be standing in line with your light sabre?


Harlan Erskine

May 20, 2005, 7:55 PM

Tonight, Friday, May 20 there is a lecture "Why Artists Love (and Hate) Photography" from 7:30 - 8:30 pm by Christopher Phillips, Curator, International Center of Photography. The current show, The Last Picture Show is very good so this is a good opportunity to see it if you haven't or go just for the hear a free lecture or free booze.

5960 SW 57th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33143
Phone: (305)455-3333



May 20, 2005, 9:22 PM

I cant believe that frank, is ok with action movie garbage, and not ok with a damien hirst sculpture, how can you possibly justify this kind of film. {other than the rza does the sound track}



May 20, 2005, 9:42 PM

stop by the Lab tomorrow nite for an arty-party that the Gables has never seen the likes of.



May 20, 2005, 9:57 PM

Guy mentioned this on the last page, but I will repeat that Phillip Spence has some excellent acrylic paintings up opening tonight 7-10 at the CAS (Wesley) gallery on UM campus.


cesar beltran

May 20, 2005, 10:06 PM

Two excelent Cuban visual artists in town: Arturo Cuenca from New York and Jose Luis Alonso Mateo from Mexico City. Catch them!



May 20, 2005, 11:09 PM

Eddie, next weekend I break out the stormtrooper costume.

Cohen, Jet Li is a better artist than Damien Hirst. Li mastered all 18 arms of wushu and offers what he does in great humility and sincerity. My idea about greatness in art matches what Li does far more than what Hirst does.



May 20, 2005, 11:30 PM

thanks oldpro for the heads up on phillip's new stuff. Phillip was a classmate of mine and he had some really interesting work back then. I won't be back in town untill tomorrow so I'll have to miss the opening but I look forward to catching up on his stuff tomorrow. By the way, the CAS is open tomorrow right?


that guy

May 20, 2005, 11:39 PM

Don't think so Eddie. Tonight one night only. Not sure when Phillip is taking down his show but you might want to find out from him.



May 21, 2005, 12:59 AM

oh man, that sucks. actually, sounds like typical UM order of business when it comes to the art department.



May 21, 2005, 4:52 AM

A better link for Jet Li. Y'all are dying to know more, I realize.



May 21, 2005, 6:44 AM

Congrats to Phillip Spence on a nice show of abstract paintings and works on paper at UM, which was not as well attended as it should have been. I know it was a Friday night, and that the only non-UM people likely to have known about it are those who read this blog, but I see an awful lot more people at less deserving shows. Of course, many of those people are not really there for the work per se, but rather for the socializing, or the "name" (such as it may be), or the "Well, if it's showing at Venue X, it must be worthwhile." Being into the scene is one thing; being serious about art as such is another.


that guy

May 21, 2005, 8:13 AM

agreed Jack, some of those paintings were really killer. Eddie, Phillip said to call him and he might be able to show you the work in the afternoon.



May 21, 2005, 7:32 PM

Anybody see that lecture at MAC?


that guy

May 21, 2005, 9:44 PM

no, but I saw this "picture show" a few weeks back and it was a real snoozer. I can't imagine how bad it would be to have someone ramble on an on about it.



May 21, 2005, 9:59 PM

Well, Franklin, you let me down, sort of. I went to see the Hollywood All-Media Juried Biennial today, and it wasn't worth my trip. Maybe you vegetarians are different, but I need more meat in my diet. Tom Virgin had a nice woodcut there, but it was rather slim pickings. I think it would help if the jury consisted of more than a single person (in this case, Nick Cindric of Rocket Projects).



May 21, 2005, 10:39 PM

Jack, you have to admit that it was one of the more viable juried shows you've seen.



May 21, 2005, 11:10 PM

Sorry, Franklin, but I'm not feeling that generous. It's not that I hated it--it was OK, as these things go, but it just didn't do that much for me. I think a one-person jury is probably asking for trouble, though that depends on the person, and there's obviously no formula that's a sure bet. Also, the very idea of a biennial, even a local one, raises expectations, perhaps unrealistically.



May 21, 2005, 11:47 PM

The lecture was pretty dull. And the MAC staff needs to get their shit together re presenting these kinds of talks - the slide projector was out of focus for the whole thing, and all the lights are off except one bright-ass light right over the wall where the projector is pointed. At least you could hear the guy (unlike poor Martha Rolser).

The guy was boring. The best parts were when he was unintentionally funny, such as when he referred to a Man Ray photo's uncanny resemblance to "erectile tissue." One FIU professor who shall remain nameless lost it, and was cracking up through the rest of his talk.

The show at the MAC is unbelievable. For those who care about 70's conceptual art (and I may be the only one of those that comments on this blog), this show is like a real-life textbook. For those who prefer to ignore the conceptual implications of art, a lot of the pieces work on a laugh-out-loud joke level, too. Baldesari is the man, and there's even a piece from when William Wegman was good.


that guy

May 22, 2005, 12:43 AM

Alesh, I guess I just ask more of the art I like than you do. Asking it to make me "laugh out loud" or be "textbookish" isn't exactly what I had in mind. Its has to cut a bit deeper than that. I saw the show and I thought it blew as art.



May 22, 2005, 12:48 AM

well, i have something up!

truth is though i am not proud.

it was done in a rush (3 weeks from conception to execution)

i did it out of ultimatum-do it or be lost

so i chose both

to at least manage the integrity of the idea, i cant tell you where it is, exactly...but i can tell you it is in wynwood.....and i can tell you that bernice is having an opening tonight and it is right down the street.....and i can tell you that you dont have to go into the gallery to see the primary work (although it may be argued that it is technically inside)

so, come if you like- i do like the idea, it is just the technical and practical aspects that really disturb me. the intention is quite pure and noble. again, i was put on the spot, and judged poorly whether to accept or not, knowing the amount of work would be substantial regardless of whether i just put up a painting or (did what i did).

so, murphic field paramaters would dictate that to this everyone would go and get a bad impression, so i post an invitation to at least participate in the disaster.





May 22, 2005, 12:57 AM

Well, J, I don't know who you are or what you're talking about, but I can tell you I've seen a good deal of conceptual art that's not as good as your post. I wasn't planning to go to Wynwood tonight, but I may change my mind to see your "disaster."



May 22, 2005, 1:30 AM

guy~ obviously. you and i have a very different idea of what is good art. keep doing your thing (and cool out on misrepresenting my statements - i wouldn't call a show of cezanne and his ilk "textbookish" to try to make YOU feel bad).

the show is must-see for fans of conceptual art, optional for others.

j~ i tried to figure out what you were talking about, but Steinbaum's site is two months+ out of date.


that guy

May 22, 2005, 1:51 AM

I'm just trying to get you look a little harder Alesh. Come to think about it I could give a rats' ass about what kind of meaning you mongered from the show at MAC.



May 22, 2005, 1:55 AM

Alesh, I don't mean to take sides here, but "textbookish" is hardly a term one would apply to "Cezanne and his ilk" in any event, and it seems reasonable well-chosen for '70s conceptual work.

Although I must say that, as slight is it has always seemed to me, just about any70s conceptual work looks better than what is being done now, with the possible expection of the blood & guts folks, who were then and are now pointlessly repellent.


that guy

May 22, 2005, 1:58 AM

I'd rather not look at art in a "real-life textbook" either. If the best the photos in the show can do is achieve the level of a text book. what is the point? Somethings missing. Mainly the art from the art history part.



May 22, 2005, 2:17 AM

argh. I said, " this show is like a real-life textbook."

what i meant is that the show, shockingly, has almost all the pieces you would find in a textbook on the subject.



May 22, 2005, 3:03 AM

Whereas, for example, when I saw the the spectacuar line-up of Mont Ste-Victoires at the Cezanne show at MoMA in 1979, it never once ocurred to me that it was like a "real-life textbook", though, inded, it may have been. I was too busy getting zapped by the paintings.

It is a question of how one reacts to art, I think.


that guy

May 22, 2005, 3:32 AM

Maybe you could make room in your mind for the possibility that it might not be a good thing that its like a text book on 1970s conceptual art alesh.



May 22, 2005, 4:15 AM

Maybe "real life textbook" was a poor choice of words.

I went to see the Max Ernst retrospective at the Met this week. I am familiar with his work and there were several works I had only seen in reproduction before. It was a real treat to see the real thing. I could have said it was like a real life textbook. It's always cool to see artwork you are interested in.



May 22, 2005, 5:21 AM

I know. I was just trying to needle Alesh a little.



May 22, 2005, 6:04 AM

color me needled, then.

i'll stick by my choice of words - i dont' think the conceptualists would object being refered to as belonging in a textbook, whereas Cézanne might. But yeah, I just meant that it was all the big stuff under one roof. I don't think I'd think of it like that if it was any one artist's work.


Harlan Erskine

May 22, 2005, 7:12 AM

I think at the end of the day no matter how you look at The Last Picture show. Its a good collection of conceptual photography and does a good job at collecting a group of artists together that back in their day might have disliked each other, under one roof. Now you may hate conceptual artwork altogether, but that is another separate consideration. I think for many people in Miami their are not many places to view this kind of work and now since MAM brought in another Walker Art Center touring show, Let's Entertain has Miami seen anything as encompassing and engaging. I think this post would be more interesting If we began to discuss the work at that show and not weather or not the show sucked or was textbookish or boring.

The artists represented in the show were all reacting to art in the age of mechanical reproduction. From Bernd and Hilla Beatcher’s careful documentation of factories, Edward Ruscha’s artist books to Cindy Sherman’s early work I found plenty of pieces I was totally engrossed in. am I the only one? Does anyone else appreciate these artists? If not who is an artist who is current and does not make me feel old that you do like? Sure, that may not be the best way to describe art but in general it works for me. Does the piece feel old, dry and done already? For me most art in Miami feels old and tired. Even though this show covers a period from 1960-1982, it still feels relevant.



May 22, 2005, 1:43 PM

Harlan, I really am not interested whether the art is "relevant" or "old" or what label it comes under or if the show serves some kind of didactic purpose. The names on the "Last Picture Show" list are familiar and I have seen plenty of work by most of them. It is possible that I might see something new and thrilling if I went to see it but experience tells me that is unlikely, and, like anything else in life, I have to make a choice about how I spend my time. If you and others get something out of it that's great. I do not choose to prospect for gold in yet another collection of dross.



May 22, 2005, 8:06 PM

Harlan: I really love Ruscha and Sherman's work from the 70s, and despite a chorus of gasps from the old-school regulars who comment on this site, i would even go so far as to say they are beautiful both conceptually, and "visually".

Alesh: I wouldn't get too upset about Guy and Old Pro's nitpicking, it's all they have. by the way, i checked out your site and can see a bit of Ruscha in your photographs, which are really quite beautiful in their own right.


that guy

May 22, 2005, 8:41 PM

Nice try craig. If nitpicking were all we have, you wouldn't be here.



May 22, 2005, 8:42 PM

Once again, Craig, there's no need to characterize, viz. "that's all they've got". Let's keep it civil.

No "gasps" from this quarter. Ruscha and Sherman are both accomplished professionals, and I like some of Ruscha's work quite a bit, except for the straight painting, which he does not do well. I went to the Ruscha show at the MAM a few years ago; it was worth seeing.

All I am saying is that I will probably not take an hour or two out of my day to go see a few random samples of their work.



May 22, 2005, 8:59 PM

Guy: I've a lot more respect for Old Pro, Jack and Franklin when it comes to our ongoing disagreements, given that they all have a critical view that is backed up by a rigourous questioning of Conceptual art and its lineage. Most of which, I agree, is pretty sub par work. However, taking Alesh to task for using the words textbook and laugh out loud funny in his rundown of the show in question is a pretty lame arguement, and at least Old Pro has the balls to say he was only needling Alesh on that particular point. Your "comments" are not at all the reason I keep coming back to this site, it has much more to do with the others.

Old Pro: I feel that I keep coming off like an asshole when I address you, for which I apologize. I merely disagree with you on a hell of alot, but please, for what it's worth (which may well be very little), and as i mentioned above, i still have respect for you. Cheers and thanks for being such a hard ass.



May 22, 2005, 9:23 PM

Thanks, Craig. You can disagree with me and tell me my ideas are full of shit all you want. I just like to see the blog stay away from personal characterization. Guy gets abrupt and rough sometimes, but he usually sticks to the subject. You can always throw it right back at him.

I don't claim any particular courage for admitting to needling Alesh; I felt a little guilty for taking unfair advantage of him for the "textbook" statement, that's all. Sometimes I say something just to stir things up.


that guy

May 22, 2005, 9:33 PM

Lets just leave it at that Criag. I have a lot of respect for their views as well. I've been in a cantankerous mood of late, and I lose patience with sub-par work being lauded as anything other than as sub-par work. Which is the case with the picture show, because I saw it.



May 22, 2005, 10:28 PM




May 23, 2005, 4:35 AM

I absolutly positivly hate the "word paintings" Ruscha is most famous for. I sort of enjoy his photo "books." The mam show had a piece entitled "Little snitches like you end up in dumpsters all over town" which had the words, each blacked out with a bar; that was pretty sharp. Similar piece here.

Oldpro~ If you've never been to the MAC, it might be worth your while to check the show out. It's not just a random sampling of this work. It's flat-out spectacular, much more so then the MAM's geometry show (a couple pieces appear in both). You'll be impressed, if not by the work, then by the place's ability to pull together this comprehensive a show. And it's right in your backyard.

Do you guys know Charles Ray? Some of his great early work is in the show, too. Some great Baldessari pieces. A tour-de-force of Sherie Levine's Robert Frank rip-offs (which don't need to be seen to be appreciated, but are impressive anyways). Kick-ass photos of Andy Warhol in drag. Early work of Peter Fischli and David Weiss, who are my heroes. A copy of the original newspaper of the Yves Klein jump. And a wall of Sigmar Polke's photos, one of which I fell in love with at Palm Beach 3. The Bechers. On and on...


that guy

May 23, 2005, 6:33 AM

you are just making my point for me now alesh.



May 23, 2005, 6:45 AM

truly, it's my pleasure, guy.

may you one day know the pleasure of things like the kleptones' a night at the hip-hopera. good luck.



May 23, 2005, 4:47 PM

Alesh, I will try to go look, just to do my bona fides, although, as Guy intimates, your description, while enthusuastic, is hardly encouraging.

I know the work of the artists you mention, although perhaps not the particular pieces in the show. Hearing that something does not need to be seen to be appreciated does not exactly make me want to run over and see it, and I don't think Andy in drag will do much for me, but I will do my best.


cesar beltran

May 23, 2005, 9:45 PM

I'm cubanned all the time here in SoFla



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