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Friday Roundup, Monday Edition

Post #917 • December 4, 2006, 7:15 AM • 32 Comments

Scientists have challenged a method of authenticating Pollocks based on fractal mathmatics, eliciting a false positive from a childlike drawing of stars. "Either our drawing is worth $40 million or [Dr. Richard P. Taylor's] criteria is [sic] wrong. I guess I'd accept either outcome." (AJ)

Cultural leaders (notably Theatre Calgary president Tom McCabe) are telling Albertan artists, of whom is fond, to vote conservative, as its present liberal administration has slashed arts expenditures to new lows. (AJ) [Update: Wrong! Facts put straight by an Albertan artist, comment #1 below.]

Anne Tschida reviews 20 Questions at Dorsch. (TNFH)

A Leonardo drawing makes its American debut at the Library of Congress for two days only.

I had a couple of robotic art history teachers, come to think of it. (Reddit)

Watch this clip from Before the Music Dies and then read this article about Dietch Projects, Ted Mineo, and ArtBasel/Miami Beach. I've written before about how the visual art business is increasingly modelling itself on the pop music business, and here you have it laid out for you. I insist on believing that there is a way around this - we just have to find it.

Here's one for the bookbinders, courtesy if'n books. (Alex)

1,600-year-old Roman coffin unearthed in London. (Reddit)

Geoff Edgers posts a photo of the MFA's unveiling of its latest denizen, an eleven-foot Roman marble depicting Eirene, Goddess of Peace, on loan from Italy for three years as part of the agreement that repatriated objects in MFA holdings. More here.

Fun with religious art. (Reddit)

Marketing yourself as an illustrator requires moxie. This, however, is going too far. "The gun-wielding cartoonist who had entered the Miami Herald building, demanding to speak with an editor Friday, has been taken into custody without incident, police said."

Grayson Perry rings up Chloe Steele about her plans for her First Site project. Hilarity (or at least drollery) ensues. (AJ)

"Pseudo Picassos, counterfeit Chagalls and other fakes are on display in London this week, part of an effort by Scotland Yard to warn dealers about forged art that it says fuels crime gangs around the world."



Marc Country

December 4, 2006, 9:44 AM

"Cultural leaders (notably Theatre Calgary president Tom McCabe) are telling Albertan artists, of whom is fond, to vote conservative, as its present liberal administration has slashed arts expenditures to new lows. (AJ)

Um, no. Not really even close, actually. Are Canadian politics really that hard to follow?

The "Progressive Conservatives" have been the governing party in Alberta for 35 consecutive years (There is no "present liberal administration"). Tom McCabe, although he arguably a 'cultual leader', has been a lifelong Conservative party member. What he was encouraging the "arts community" to do, was to vote in the Conservative party's own recent leadership race, as our long-serving Conservative Premier Ralph Klein ("King Ralph") has retired. McCabe (and others) urged the two-thirds of the Alberta population that DOESN'T normally vote Conserative in the general elections, to buy "Temporary Memberships" in the PC party, to help elect the "least worst" candidate, Jim Dinning, to the head of the party (or, more precisely, to stop the far right neo-Straussian Homophobe Ted Morton from winning, which was a fearful possibility).

A little over 100,000 of Alberta's 3.5 million residents cast a $5 ballot, and elected Ed Stelmach to be the new Conserative premier.

For more analysis on this, go to Studiosavant (the url link) and check out recent posts "My Civic Duty", "A Cold Day In...", and "Sunday Blogging".



December 4, 2006, 9:51 AM

Corrected. See update above. Thanks for clarifying that.



December 4, 2006, 10:10 AM

uh oh ....the urinals back

Marc, isnt it nice that Klein can get drunk now without public censure:):)


Marc Country

December 4, 2006, 10:24 AM

No Problem... I love corecting!

I clicked over to AJ, and note the problems there...
Number one: they call it a "Provincial Election", which it was not: it was a "Primary" (as I believe they are called down south). No other parties were in contention, and only one party's membership cat ballots.
Number two: the arts community was ENCOURAGED to "throw their support behind Jim..." In other words, encouraged by McCabe (lifelong conservative member) to buy a party membership and take part in their primary. Some took this advice. Many, many more (like myself), did not.

Analogy: Say the "Republicans" have governed for 35 years in Alberta, making it, despite its incredible wealth, one of the worst-funded provinces for the arts in the country. This virtual one-party state is due to a religious right rural vote overwhelming the left-leaning urban vote (split between two left leaning parties). In Alberta, when our "George Bush" steps down, , rather than a general election to pick a new government, the "Republicans" simply choose a new leader for their party, and that leader automatically assumes the job as head of govt.

So, up here, that "Primary" race was between (again, in rough analogy) a McCain, a Bush, and a Buchanan. The "Moderate Conservatives" like Tom McCabe, were terrified that the religious right would take over their party completely, so they encouraged "Democrats" and "Independants" to by "instant republican" memberships, so they too could vote for McCain (and stop Buchanan).... and at the end of the day, Bush wins.


Marc Country

December 4, 2006, 10:27 AM

Yes, Elizabeth, we were discussing over at Studiosavant how us Albertans will miss our narrow-minded, drunken, abusive King Ralph... Nice guy "Steady" Eddie Stelmach just doesn't quite have the same Klein Charisma...


Marc Country

December 4, 2006, 11:02 AM

For Elizabeth:
Me, ol' King Ralph, and my big blue sculpture.



December 4, 2006, 11:57 AM

Marc, why is Blue covered? to protect it from Klein? I just love that piece. Has David Mirvish seen it? He should know about you.



December 4, 2006, 2:45 PM

Re the Dietch/Mineo business, of course there's a way around it. At least I don't have any problem getting around it: Just see it for what it is, sneer vigorously, reject it and move on. Easy as pie.



December 4, 2006, 3:01 PM

I mean a way around it commercially.



December 4, 2006, 3:38 PM

Wait for a market crash? Until then, more situps and keep lying about your age (A large DCgallery asked a freind of mine to do that).



December 4, 2006, 3:51 PM

I'm not sure a market crash would help at this point. I think it would likely make everyone that much more conservative, by which I mean "more likely to make fearful, insidery choices." At least there's no harm in the sit ups.



December 4, 2006, 5:15 PM

How can people not see through this sort of manipulation? How can they fall for it? How can they respect themselves afterwards? Is there really that much pressure to go with the prescribed flow? Is it really that critical to be a card-carrying with-it type? Who the hell needs this crap (except for those doing the selling)?



December 4, 2006, 10:54 PM

Re #10, maybe that model-cum-artist guy who was on some Wynwood billboard pitching "artist's condos" or some such should look up Deitch. Of course, that guy was a little too pretty; I guess this Mineo guy is more the ticket. You know, sort of morose and dopey-looking, I mean interesting; sort of grungy, I mean real; sort of blank, I mean deep.

I know I'm excited about this star-in-the-making, or at least I would be, if we didn't have so many damn star(lets) already right here in Miami. It's an embarrassment of riches, all right--embarrassment being the operative word. But what do I know--I don't even own a warehouse.


Marc Country

December 4, 2006, 11:23 PM

Hey... wait a second...
An abstract painter wins the Turner Prize, and the news doesn't make it into the Roundup?



December 4, 2006, 11:28 PM

Oh. I guess it's Basel week. Funny, I don't feel Basel-y. Of course, if I did, I'd probably have to shoot myself. But really, I'm much better adapted now. I can blissfully ignore 95% of the frantic goings-on. The other 5% will be done my way at my convenience, and even that doesn't feel compulsory any more. Maybe I've matured. Or maybe I woke up and smelled the coffee.



December 4, 2006, 11:48 PM

Marc, she's inoffensive enough, I guess, but then again, so is Art Deco. She's no more British than I'm French, of course, but I digress. And did you see who they got to present the Prize? Be still my heart! Yes! Yoko Ono! In the flesh! Is that inspirational or what? Poor Tomma...she must have been too overcome with awe to give much of an acceptance speech. Some shallow people, though, would have gotten Grayson Perry (in drag, of course) to do the honors--much easier on the eyes.


Marc Country

December 5, 2006, 2:01 AM

Agreed on Abts (They give the prize to a German, when the least they could do is throw us over in the Colonies a bone! At least Canada's in the Commonwealth!)... A competition between Abts and Georgia O'Keefe could be a real "Clash of the Tight-'uns" (Yawn).

As for Ono, it's nice she gets invited to do these sort of things, lest anyone my age or younger unfortunately lets it slip their mind just who the hell this lady is, and why she's famous at all anyway...

(I expect a visit from Kathleen any second now, to bash us for all this blatant misogyny)

As for the remainder of your comment Jack, I am blissfully so not with it, that it all flew over my head... oh well. Somehow, I'll survive.



December 5, 2006, 5:06 AM

Guys, distinct colorful art with Hispanic flavor is [all over the damn place.] Check out [the Guidelines, which say, No ads. Whether we're talking spam or, "hey, come look at my site," unless the latter is on-topic somehow, I will yank your post down so fast your head will spin. - F.]




December 5, 2006, 5:35 AM

Hey Marc, my kid was just chosen to be on next seaons The Bachelor'... how funny is that? The canuck contingent hahahaha



December 5, 2006, 6:22 AM

It's only art Jack!



December 5, 2006, 7:25 AM

Looks like the "subtext" of this year's Turner Prize is to clearly demonstrate how stone cold dead abstract painting is, if that's the best they could find.



December 5, 2006, 10:33 AM

Now, OP, try to be open-minded. You know, like me. I expect Vasarely would have liked this stuff, at least after a few drinks. Besides, Tomma Abts is a cool name. And she's young and all. And "her titles are derived from a dictionary of first names and the process of naming marks the work’s completion." Isn't that impressive? I know I find the naming process to be a critical element. Dear Damien certainly does.

Sigh. Well, there's gin money behind this prize, after all. Hogarth would not have approved. He'd have preferred beer. Or roast beef. Or beer and roast beef. Yum. Can you imagine Hogarth faced with Emin's Bed? I'm afraid the poor man would have had to be restrained. Or shot. Still, I suppose beWare is right; it's only art.

I must say, though, that the bit about Abts's "intimate and compelling canvases" is just a tad off, as they are neither one nor the other, but let's not quibble. My favorite so far is a wan greenish one called Ert, but it's probably a typo; I think it's really Inert.


Bunny Smedley

December 5, 2006, 10:37 AM

Actually, Opie, I feel a bit sorry for the Turner Prize's Powers That Be this year.

Normally, whatever the subtexts may be, the meta-text of the Turner Prize is in fact all about text, i.e., giving the media something to drone on about - 'debate', as we all know, being good for culture, especially when it is conducted with the level of intelligence and originality we have come to expect from the British broadsheet press.

This year, however, the minor media flurry over Lynn Barber's Observer piece (in which she impied that the award was a cynical stitch-up, without drawing any particular conclusions from this about the broader state of the higher-profile contemporary art world or for that matter the media's enabling role in the whole mess) rather preempted whatever cooked-up controversy was intended by our cultural masters for the rest of us.

So in the end, all we got was 'the first painter for quite a few years' and 'the first woman ever'. Not very exciting, is it? At least, though, the 'painter' is the type who insists on describing her practice in the most off-puttingly conceptual terms, as if she was the first person to have stumbled upon this whole brush-on-canvas business, and the woman, needless to say, has great legs, an amazingly on-message frock, and the jolie-laide model-standard looks which the readers of the Guardian, if not the News of the World, will presumably appreciate.

As a conservative, I can only salute this brave attempt to keep our national traditions afloat in difficult times. I just hope not to have to read another printed word about this boring, boring, boring prize until exactly 364 days hence ....



December 5, 2006, 12:08 PM

Beeb story and Guardian story, for those following along at home.

This bit jumped out at me: "It's not that I am only interested in painting, I'm interested in all kinds of art, so I'm not a painter's painter forever," she told the BBC. "I like any other art. I don't feel I'm representing all the painters here. I'm (just) an artist." Cecily Brown said something nearly identical when she came to the MFA. I like all kinds of art too, but something about this line is beginning to sound like apologetics.



December 5, 2006, 12:35 PM

It's pretty much assumed or understood that anyone seriously interested in art, painter or not, artist or not, would be interested in various forms or types of art. In other words, this kind of statement is at best superfluous, unless it is in fact an apology for not doing something "new and different." Basically, these people want to have their cake and eat it, too. Can't look like we're possibly not sufficiently with-it, now can we? Figures.


Bunny Smedley

December 5, 2006, 12:36 PM

'I'm not a painter's painter forever.'

I wonder which 'painter's painter' she thinks she is, however briefly? Lucky old painter, eh?

Somehow, though, I doubt she'll swap media while her prices are still benefitting from the 'Turner bounce' ....



December 5, 2006, 12:39 PM

And by the way, maybe her English is to blame, but Abts would not qualify as a "painter's painter" ever.



December 5, 2006, 2:18 PM

Of course it is apologizing for not being "new and different". The whole art world, from top to bottom, is infected with this kind of apologetic, namby-pamby, nice-guy corporate hypocricy while the competitive fires burn fiercely out of sight. I'm glad I'm an old fart and can say give me a fist fight at the Cedar Tavern any day,.


every one else

December 5, 2006, 4:31 PM

oh, would i love to have a swing at your fat chin, op.....



December 5, 2006, 4:37 PM

Get in line, Elsie



December 5, 2006, 5:33 PM

Abts is the first female painter to win the TP, but not the first female (Gillian Wearing won in 1997). Then there's "Claire," Grayson Perry's travesti persona, who also won previously (or at least picked up the prize for Grayson at the awards ceremony). Abts does look fairly fetching (too German, of course, but she can't help that). I'll defer to Bunny on frock evaluations. Seems taller than average, and the legs do look promising (no first-position nonsense here, thankfully). There, have I been sufficiently un-PC?



December 12, 2006, 1:14 AM

Don't miss this thread re: Deitch/Mineo:

Mineo joins the discussion there.



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