headlines | about |

James Kalm's blog

Andy Warhol: The Last Decade at The BROOKLYN MUSEUM

James Kalm was given full access to record this walk through of Andy Warhol: The Last Decade, and wishes to thank the Brooklyn Museum of Art for the privilege. It's been nearly a quarter century since Andy's death, but his visage within the art world has never been more prominent. As one of the most influential artists of the Twentieth Century, he's been credited with everything from the founding of Pop Art to social networking to developing self promotion to the highest of art forms. This massive show is loaded with documentary artifacts and presents many never before seen works from Warhol's late "abstract" series and his collaborative works with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Francisco Clemente. The exhibition was organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum.

INTRODUCING Regina Rex in Bushwick


James Kalm was asked to take a peek at "Big Picture", and because he's a painting fan, he obliged. This show is curated by Tom Sanford and Ryan Schneider, and presents a selection of diverse styles and approaches to contemporary figuration. From Colleen Asper's Neo Classic rendition of a witness on the stand to Wes Lang's accumulations of tattoo logos, these artists all bring the narrative of their lives into the realm of painting. "Big Picture" is a cross section of what's happening now with figurative painting in New York. Includes an interview with Tom Sanford.

The Tell-Tale Heart (Part 2) at JAMES COHAN GALLERY

Despite the summer heat, there's a chill of death emanating from the James Cohan Gallery with this presentation of "The Tell-Tale Heart (Part 2)". In this exhibition, curated by Elyse Goldberg, many of the works, produced by some of today's most recognized artists, deal with the transitory nature of flesh and the fragile state that we, the living, inhabit. Includes views of works by Maya Deren, Jesper Just, James Ensor, Kota Ezawa, Hanne Darboven, Dash Snow et al.

Swell: Art 1950-2010 at Petzel and Metro Pictures

Charlotte Posenenske Reconfigured by Rirkrit Tiravanija at Artists Space

Rirkrit Tiravanija has established "Relational Aesthetics" as one the art world's current new movements. However, for this "intervention" he was invited to reconfigure "Square Tubes Series D", 1967, by Charlotte Posenenske with some personal alteration of the piece. Tiravanija decided to place all the Square Tubes on rolling dollies and invite attendees to simply roll them into whatever configuration they wish.

Brion Gysin: Dream Machine at the NEW MUSEUM

James Kalm, through his studies of the "beat" artists, has heard rumors of the legendary Brion Gyson for years, but it wasn't until this New Museum show, put together by Laura Hoptman, Kraus Family Senior Curator, with assistance from Amy Mackie, that he was able to experience the work that spawned the myth. Since the New Museum's relocation to the Bowery, this is their first show dedicated to a dead artist. Gysin is probably best known for his long term collaboration with William Burroughs, and his invention of the "cut-up" technique, which he gifted to Burroughs and used to great effect in his collage and poetry. With over 300 works, including the famous "Dream Machine", this show should be required viewing for anyone wishing a deeper understanding of the "beat". Includes an interview with Laure Hoptman and a conversational tour with Valery Oisteanu.

Tom of Finland and then some at FEATURE INC.

James Kalm makes his way to the Lower East Side digs of Feature Gallery to preview this exhibition. Touko Laaksonen better known as Tom of Finland (1920-1991) was a pioneer of the erotic, concentrating on male homosexual fantasies. Developing his style and subject matter during the buttoned down 40s and 50s and it wasn't till the mid 70s that he began to receive the international recognition for his work that it deserved. Also included are views of works by artists who have drawn inspiration from Tom's work like Richard Prince, Judy Rifka, Larry Clark, Robert W. Richards, Brian Kenny, Sean Landers, and Raymond Pettibon among others.


Alfred H. Barr Jr.’s Diagram from the Museum of Modern Art exhibition Cubism and Modern Art, 1936.


Is knowledge of art history passé? Not if you want to be an artist. Here's why, from my latest Brooklyn Dispatch from the July/August issue of the Brooklyn Rail:

Anyone who knows me, or who might have followed my ramblings over the last several years now, would be aware that I have a great interest in the history of New York’s art community. This fascination started gradually (I’m a slow learner), when it dawned on me that to understand the mystery of art, you had to know the history of art. After 30 years on the scene, it’s obvious that despite what I’d been taught in art school—that it all depends on talent, dedication, and discipline—there are other factors that play important roles in deciding, who succeeds or fails in the art world. Chief among these are the relationships and connections among artists, galleries, critics, curators, collectors, and institutions, things as simple as where you live, who your friends are, where you went to school, or where you hang out. To get the big picture, one must be able to view these associations over a broad timeline. What might appear as chance happenings today may actually be the results of decisions or actions that took place in the 1950s, the 1980s, or last year. A thorough grasp of art history and its ancillary events is required, because you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.

Le Tableau at Cheim & Read and Shape Language at Klagsbrun

James Kalm, like the whole city, is sweltering in summer heat, and it seems local curators are trying to lower the temperatures in galleries by presenting a couple of exhibitions showing cool abstraction. "Le Tableau" curated by Joe Fyfe at Cheim & Read is a pairing of classic postwar abstract styles that contrasts American and French examples by some of the most influential artists of the last fifty years. "Shape Language" deals with current abstraction, and the vocabulary of forms used. Several works harken back to a previous generation's pioneers of shaped abstraction like Ellsworth Kelly and Frank Stella. Includes a brief interview with Joe Fyfe.

Syndicate content