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Ward Shelley Who Invented the Avant-Garde and other half truths at PIEROGI

Is there such a thing as "Meta-Art"? Ward Shelley delves into the aestheticization of art history, mapping movements and individuals from art and pop cultural history. Despite his neutral approach, these works tend to show how the narrative is shaped, bent and fitted.

James Kalm catches up with conceptual artist Ward Shelley on the closing day of his exhibition “Who Invented the Avant-Garde and other half truths”.

Old School Future

With the summer doldrums in full effect, the market downturn still wreaking havoc and most of the city’s cognoscenti sipping Mojitos in the Hamptons, I thought it might be a good time to take a brief review of what’s happening with the art publishing industry. Is art criticism printed on paper an anachronism? What will replace it? This is a repost of a piece that appeared in the May issue of the Brooklyn Rail.

Dash Snow 1981–2009: A Community Memorial at Deitch Projects

I didn’t know Dash Snow. Like a lot of the New York art world, I became acquainted with him after the feature article that appeared in New York Magazine in 2007. Due to the hyper-competitive nature of so many here, Dash became the butt of nearly every young artist on the make, less a person than a target, a symbol of all the reasons the scene sucks. Now, with his passing, we’ll see what the long term value of his art really is. After this visit to the memorial, the thing that is most striking and sad is how young he was, just a kid. How will his family and young child carry on without him? Sometimes the life of an artist is brutal. Let's try to take better care of each other.

In Memoriam: Galleries Closing in New York City

“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.” Yikes, the number of galleries that are closing (hey it’s just temporary, we’re looking for something cheap on the Lower East Side) becomes unignorable. Over the last six weeks I’ve been collecting images of galleries that have closed. Some are old friends, who I’ll miss. Others were supposed “solid” operations that could weather the storm because of friends with heavy connections and deep pockets.

Thomas Lawson “New World” at PARTICIPANT

James Kalm is performing urban recon when he discovers “New World” an exhibition by one of the outspoken advocates of the “Pictures Generation”, Thomas Lawson. These recent paintings demonstrate the distance Lawson’s practice has progressed from the norms of the early 1980s.

Ready For Your Close-up?

New York Try-outs for "Untitled Art Project"

Part I

James Kalm has been hearing rumors rumbling around New York about a “Reality” TV show dealing with artists and their careers for months. Tipped off about these auditions by Martin Bromirski, he peddles over to the West Village on a Sunday afternoon in July to see what all the hubbub is about. In the process, he’s intimidated, taunted, threatened with arrest, and shunted to the side. Ironically this “Report” delivers a reality check on “Reality” TV, and gives exposure to many artists who failed to fit the template and clichés of the Mainstream Media.

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