Archive for June, 2012

Poor Yokelist’s Almanack: Upcoming Events

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 7 p.m.
Lynne Tillman speaks as part of an Art Institute of Boston program at Boston University’s Kenmore Classroom Building, 565 Commonwealth Ave., room 101, Boston. Free.

Wednesday, June 27, 7:30 p.m.
Zines event featuring talk by Somerville zinesters Marissa Falco and Alana Kumbier; a visit from Papercut Zine Library; and a zine swap. Organized by Tim Devin. At Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville, Massachusetts. Free.

Wednesday to Sunday, June 27 to July 1
St. Peter’s Fiesta at St. Peter’s Square, Gloucester, Massachusetts. stpetersfiesta.org

Wednesday, June 27, 7 p.m.
Helen Mirra speaks as part of an Art Institute of Boston program at Boston University’s Kenmore Classroom Building, 565 Commonwealth Ave., room 101, Boston. Free.

Thursday, June 28, 7 p.m.
Peter Rostovsky speaks as part of an Art Institute of Boston program at Boston University’s Kenmore Classroom Building, 565 Commonwealth Ave., room 101, Boston. Free.

Thursday to Wednesday, June 28 to July 4
Boston Harborfest at Boston City Hall Plaza.

Monday, July 2, 6:30 p.m.
Atlanta artist Radcliffe Bailey speaks at Maine College of Art’s Osher Hall, 522 Congress St., Portland. Free.

Kowloon

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Kowloon restaurant on Route 1 in Saugus, Massachusetts, which was established by the Wong family in 1950 and seats some 1,200 people in several themed dining rooms, as photographed by The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research.

Animated volcano mural and seating amidst faux sailing ship in the “Volcano Bay Room.”

Fountains, palms, and grass huts under simulated starry skies in the “Tiki Lagoon” room.

Rainbow mural in the “Thai Grille” room.

What Harvard doesn’t know….

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Jasper Johns show undermined by basic errors
The most surprising thing about Harvard’s current exhibit of Jasper Johns prints is that the curators seem to not know much about printmaking.

“Jasper Johns/In Press: The Crosshatch Works and the Logic of Print” at the Harvard Art Museums aims to be a close scholarly examination of how printmaking influenced Johns’s art, inspiring repetition, copying and mirroring. “The broader impact of Johns’s work … derives largely from its engagement with print processes,” Harvard professor Jennifer Roberts writes in the catalogue.

Unfortunately the thesis is undermined by rudimentary errors of fact and interpretation about printmaking.

Before beginning work on the Johns show, “I didn’t know much about what he did in the ‘70s,” Roberts said at a press preview. “I knew he was a printmaker, but I didn’t know he was still considered one of the major printmakers today.”

Roberts wrote the catalogue, and curated the show with help from four of her undergraduate students, Jacob Cedarbaum, C. Andrew Krantz, Mary Potter and Phillip Zhang; Harvard PhD candidate Jennifer Quick, and Harvard Art Museums curator Susan Dackerman.

What do they get wrong? Roberts develops one thesis about Johns and the body in printmaking. As she develops the idea, she writes in the catalogue “lithography is probably the most physical” form of printmaking because the stones used as printing plates are so heavy. Unfortunately, lithography isn’t the most physical form of printmaking. It was first adopted in the 19th century because it was less physical than other printmaking techniques. The traditional method of drawing with crayons on lithographic stones is easier and more direct than, for example, woodcuts, which require carving, or etching, which involves burning designs into printing plates with acid.

Roberts seems to come to this elementary factual error from an anecdote about Johns enlisting Robert Rauschenberg and a passing vagrant to help lug the heavy stones upstairs to his studio. “He soon began traveling out to Grossman’s studios because he realized that it was much easier to transport himself back and forth to Long Island than it was to haul the stones over the same distance,” Roberts writes. But the weight of lithographic stones becomes immaterial for Johns because he had others doing the physical labor of actually printing his plates.

Roberts wants to backdate the influence of printing on Johns to his mid ‘50s work, writing that during that decade “Johns was already working and thinking like a printer.” This is a curious thesis since Johns only took up printmaking in 1960 after he was approached via written invitation by Tatyana Grosman of Universal Limited Art Editions on Long Island, New York. She sought him out; he didn’t go looking to get into printing.

The Harvard show doesn’t note that the 1960s revival of American fine art printing was driven by master printshops that were created to fill a market niche that opened up when the American art market took off in the 1950s and priced out many buyers—including museums. (Which is part of why the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’s post-War collection is so heavy on works on paper.) Grosman’s Universal Limited Art Editions on Long Island, New York (founded 1957), Tamarind in Los Angeles (established 1960) and Gemini G.E.L. (founded 1966) mainly produced more affordably priced works by already established art stars like Johns, and could often in effect be considered high end poster makers. ULAE began by reproducing paintings by Chagall and Grandma Moses. Johns is hands-on in designing his prints, but nearly all of his prints are derived from previous paintings. The “postwar print renaissance in America,” as it’s often dubbed, wasn’t so much a creative revolution as a market evolution.

The real artistic revolution in printmaking in the 1960s was the psychedelic screenprinting and offset lithography produced by Andy Warhol and Bay Area artists around the rock and roll and drug scenes.

Roberts also makes incorrect analogies that lead to faulty interpretations. She mistakenly equates encaustic painting with wax used in etching. In the first, the artist makes marks by directly applying pigmented wax; in the second, the artist makes marks by scratching through a wax coating over the printing plate. To support an idea about Johns’s inspiration for supposed cylindrical designs in his work, she equates Mesopotamian cylinder seals to the rollers of printing presses to rollers used to ink litho stones. It’s an an apples to oranges to bananas comparison; each of these devices serves a very different function. The seals are, in effect, cylindrical printing plates. But the rollers of presses (except for offset lithography, which seems not to be a method Johns focused on) are used to press plates against printing paper when making prints; they don’t actually convey the image, and usually don’t even come into contact with the print. The rollers used to ink stones distribute ink to the printing plate, but also don’t convey the image and never touch the print.

Pictured at top: Jasper Johns, with master printers Bill Goldston, James V. Smith, and Juda Rosenberg, at Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE), Long Island, New York, Scent, 1976. Lithograph, linocut, and woodcut from four aluminum plates, four linoleum blocks, and four woodblocks on Twinrocker paper.

Jasper Johns, prostitutes, sex dolls and glory holes

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

From our review of “Jasper Johns/In Press: The Crosshatch Works and the Logic of Print” at the Harvard Art Museums:

The title of Jasper Johns’s 1975 painting “The Dutch Wives” refers to a slang term for, alternately, a prostitute or sex doll or a glory hole. As the starting point for “Jasper Johns/In Press,” it signals the modern master’s twin strategies.

First, the core of Johns’s work is visual games and optical illusions, often producing philosophical conundrums. His breakthrough 1950s canvases painted like American flags were also in essence flags themselves. Or were they? Second, the gay artist often makes coded sexual references, decipherable to those in the know, but hidden to the homophobic mainstream.

Read the rest here.

“Jasper Johns/In Press: The Crosshatch Works and the Logic of Print” at the Harvard Art Museums, 485 Broadway, Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 22 to Aug. 18, 2012.

Video at top: Katy Martin’s “Hanafuda/Jasper Johns” (1978–81), DVD from Super 8mm film, color, 35 minutes, documents Johns at work on the screenprints “Cicada” and “Usuyuki.”

Above: Katy Martin’s “Silkscreens” (1978), DVD from Super 8mm film, color, 20 minutes, sound by Richard Teitelbaum, shows printmakers working on The Dutch Wives (1977), a twenty-nine-screen print executed two years after the painting of the same name.

Jasper Johns, “The Dutch Wives,” 1975. Encaustic and collage on canvas (two panels mounted together).

Jasper Johns, with master printers Kenjiro Nonaka, Hiroshi Kawanishi, and Takeshi Shimada, at Simca Print Artists, New York, “The Dutch Wives,” 1977. Screenprint from twenty-nine screens on Kurotani Kozo paper.

Jasper Johns, with master printers Kenjiro Nonaka, Hiroshi Kawanishi, and Takeshi Shimada at Simca Print Artists, New York, “Cicada,” 1979. Screenprint from sixteen screens on Kurotani Hosho paper.

Jasper Johns, with master printer Donn Steward at Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE), Long Island, New York, “0 through 9,” from the portfolio 1st Etchings, Second State, 1969. Etching and open bite on Auvergne paper.

Giant, stinky “corpse flower” blooms at Franklin Park Zoo

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

The Franklin Park Zoo’s giant Amorphophallus titanum “better known as a titan arum or corpse flower (due to its production of a very pungent aroma like that of a rotting carcass)” is blooming! The Boston zoo reports on the rare flower, which they’ve affectionately dubbed Morticia: “Today is the last day to see Morticia. Our greenhouse will be open (regular admission applies) until 5:00 p.m. The greenhouse will reopen from 6:00-8:00 p.m. (at no charge). The smell is already starting to dissipate and Moriticia is beginning to wilt a bit.”

The zoo’s photo above is from last night at 8:20.

Brian Chippendale’s studio

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Our profile of Brian Chippendale (above) is in the June issue of Juxtapoz magazine. In February, we photographed his Providence studio (sometimes known as the Hilarious Attic), which he shares with his partner, artist Jungil Hong.

Previously:
Review of Brian Chippendale and Jungil Hong’s show “In Habitat” at Buonaccorsi + Agniel in 2011.
Brian Chippendale interviewed in 2008: part one and two.
Photos of Chippendale’s studio in 2008.
Review of Chippendale’s exhibit “Human Mold” at Stairwell Gallery in 2008.
A review of “Wunderground,” a 2006 survey at the RISD Museum of the Providence underground scene which starred the Fort Thunder and Dirt Palace collectives.

Pictured above Chippendale’s “The High Castle.” Studio photos by The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research.






Photo publication “3200K” debuts

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Sarah Pollman, a Boston photographer and MFA student at the Museum School, has launched “3200K,” a new blog and quarterly print publication showcasing “light-based media employing traditional analog photographic methods.” Right now that mainly means Boston-region photographers. The blog began in January and the first print issue came out last week (we think). Check it all out here.

MCC deputy director departs

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Charlie McDermott is leaving the Massachusetts Cultural Council, after serving as the state arts agency’s deputy director since 1995, to become director of finance and operations for the Fayerweather Street School in Cambridge. He had been with the MCC since 1990.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be the next deputy director, the job listing is here.

Poor Yokelist’s Almanack: Upcoming Events

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Monday, June 18, 6 p.m.
Architects Sheila Kennedy, Franco Violich and Dan and Marie Law Adams discuss “the changing role of infrastructure in Boston and other postindustrial cities” at BSA Space, 290 Congress St., Boston. Free.

Monday, June 18, 7:30 p.m.
Sprout, 339R Summer St., Somerville, Massachusetts, holds a spaghetti dinner with discussions and performances on the theme of “Preserve & Collect.” $10.

Tuesday, June 19, noon
Professor Andrzej Turos of the Institute of Materials Technology in Warsaw, Poland, speaks about “Proton beam reveals secrets of ancient Egyptian wall paintings” at Smith College’s McConnell Hall auditorium, College Lane, Northampton, Massachusetts. Free.

Wednesday, June 20, 4 p.m.
Professor Andrzej Turos of the Institute of Materials Technology in Warsaw, Poland, speaks about Modern analytical techniques for the study of cultural heritage” at Smith College’s McConnell Hall auditorium, College Lane, Northampton, Massachusetts. Free.

Thursday, June 21, 2012, 5:30 p.m.
Artist Howie Sneider speaks at AS220’s Project Space, 95 Mathewson St., Providence. Free.

Thursday, June 21, 6 p.m.
Larry Tye, speaks about his book “Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero” at Boston Public Library, Central Library Orientation Room, 700 Boylston Street. Free.

Thursday, June 21, 6:30 p.m.
New York Times art and architecture critic Michael Kimmelman speaks about “New York to Europe and Back Again” at Maine College of Art’s Osher Hall, 522 Congress St., Portland. Free.

Saturday, June 23, 10 a.m.
Children’s book creator and Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art co-founder, Eric Carle signs books at the museum, 125 West Bay Road location in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Saturday, June 23, 2 p.m.
Jedediah Caesar speaks at DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Sunday, June 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Chinatown Main Street Festival in Boston’s Chinatown. Free.

Monday, June 25, 6:30 p.m.
Wisconsin glass artist Beth Lipman speaks at Maine College of Art’s Osher Hall, 522 Congress St., Portland. Free.

Monday, June 25, 7 p.m.
Joan Jonas speaks as part of an Art Institute of Boston program at Boston University’s Kenmore Classroom Building, 565 Commonwealth Ave., room 101, Boston. Free.

Tuesday, June 26, 7 p.m.
Lynne Tillman speaks as part of an Art Institute of Boston program at Boston University’s Kenmore Classroom Building, 565 Commonwealth Ave., room 101, Boston. Free.

Hera director Islay Taylor departing

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Islay Taylor will be stepping down as director of Hera Gallery after leading the Wakefield, Rhode Island, venue for five years. She “intends to stay on as an artist member,” the gallery reported.

Dora Szekely of Westerly has been named the next director. She “has worked with other local non-profit organizations such at the Johnny Cake Center and the Westerly Arts Collaborative; she has also organized local pop-up exhibitions as well.”

Art schools are most expensive colleges

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

RISD, Boston Museum School near top of list

Art schools lead the list of the most expensive college educations in the United States, after scholarship and grant aid are taken into account, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Education.

The top three most expensive schools on the list are the School of the Art Institute of Chicago ($40,654), California Institute of Arts and Rhode Island School of Design ($38,872). Fourth was the Boston Conservatory. Berklee College of Music was eighth. The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston was 23rd.

More here.

Pictured: RISD’s Chace Center photographed by Warren Jagger Photography, 2008, courtesy of RISD Museum of Art.

Dragon Boat Festival

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

The 33rd annual Boston Dragon Boat Festival, featuring rowing races as well as music and dancing along the Charles River in Cambridge and Boston today, as photographed by The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research.




2012 Boston Pride Parade

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

The 42nd annual Boston Pride Parade from Boylston and Clarendon streets to City Hall Plaza today as photographed by The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research.























“Moonrise Kingdom”: La Vida Loca in RI

Monday, June 4th, 2012

“Here I am in a cardigan sweater, sitting here in Newport, Rhode Island, living la vida loca,” Bill Murray (above) says in introduction to the Wes Anderson film “Moonrise Kingdom,” which premiered May 25. The Rhode Island Film & TV Office would like you to know it “was filmed entirely in the Ocean State and will showcase the beautiful destination to a global audience.”