Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Peyton’

His and Urs

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
The talk of the town – in the WSJ, the New Yorker, New York Magazine – is Marguerite de Ponty, the solo show “introspective” of Urs Fischer at the New Museum.  The artist takes on the three floors (and ceilings) of exhibition space.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704024904574475312171391366.html
The mouthpiece of the show – and organizer – is Massimiliano Gioni, Director of Special Exhibitions and cocurator of “Younger than Jesus.”  The show originated from “Jet Set Lady,” the 2005 solo show of Urs Fischer at the Trussardi Foundation, where Massimiliano Gioni is artistic director, alongside Laura Hoptman, a Trussardi advisory board member by night, Senior Curator at the New Museum by day.
The main attraction is A technical tour de force that required more than 25,000 photographs and over twelve tons of steel, ” according the the New Mu.  It includes about 50 shiny stainless steel boxes bearing silkscreen prints on all visible sides.  It’s an assortment of objects depicted from all three Cartesian axes, x y and z.
The boxes, engineered in Zurich, are immaculately seamless and the prints masterfully applied.   There seems to be no room for error, and one wonders how the printmakers juggled the images, which demand vertical and horizontal orientations.  Moreover, how did the photographers shoot, scan, and splice these dimension-defying captures?  It’s especially excited in the photos of photos, such as the Installing the heavy cubes required wizardry, too: preparators were not allowed to touch the sculptures.  So they unsheathed them from their crates and slid the plinths from underneath.  But how did they mount the vertical “chain” piece to the ceiling?
Meanwhile, the monumental molten crags on the third floor reveal seams where the component pieces conjoined.  Why would a precisionist perfectionist like Urs Fischer permit this?  Don’t we lose our illusion when we see the stitching?  Maybe it’s a trick to remind our eyes that the towering turds are more than surface, even if that battered surface fascinatingly reports the thumb impressions that shaped it in its fetal stages.

Dearth 'vator
Dearth 'vator

Opening today is the new hotness, Marguerite de Ponty, the solo show “introspective” of Urs Fischer at the New Museum.  The artist has his way with the three floors (and ceilings) of exhibition space.

The showman, mouthpiece, and organizer is Director of Special Exhibitions and cocurator of “Younger than Jesus,” Massimiliano Gioni, 35, older than Jesus.  The show originated when Gioni and Fischer erected Jet Set Lady, Fischer’s seminal 2005 solo show at the Trussardi Foundation, where Gioni is artistic director, and where Laura Hoptman, Senior Curator at the New Museum, is a Trussardi advisory board member.

This is a good time for Gavin Brown.  Fischer is the second artist from Gavin Brown’s Enterprise to have a solo show at the New Museum.  Brownian Jonathan Horowitz just concluded And/Or at P.S.1 and his soul- and gallery-mate, Rob Pruitt, is hosting the First Annual Art Awards this week at the Guggenheim.

P.S. Wish “good luck” to SVA alumni “and/or” faculty who are nominees: Elizabeth Peyton, Mary Heilmann, and Jerry Saltz.

Urs Fischer at New Museum
Urs Fischer at New Museum

The main attraction ($$$) of Marguerite de Ponty (a pseudonym used by Mallarmé when writing on fashion) is “a technical tour de force that required more than 25,000 photographs and over twelve tons of steel,” according the the New Mu. Sounds pretty MACHO for an institution founded by feminist Marcia Tucker.

Cary Leibowitz, Marcia Tucker Puffy Print, 2007
Cary Leibowitz, Marcia Tucker Puffy Print, 2007

It includes about 50 splendid stainless steel boxes, silkscreened on all visible sides with photos of an assortment of objects, depicted from all three Cartesian axes, x through z.  Despite the roid-rage marketing, the installation invokes non-Hulk Hogans: Guyton/Walker + John McCracken + Warhol + maybe Cady Noland in a good mood.  -And Robert Morris cubes, Judd boxing, Picasso cubism, Duchamp readymade, Dutch still life. With flat images adhered to flat, reflective boxes that all share axes, it’s a vista without perspective – no transverse lines, like drawing with an Etch-a-Sketch.

Artists Frank Benson and Xavier Cha
Artists Frank Benson and Xavier Cha

Only 40 visitors are allowed in at once, but it’s worth the wait in line, because population control is to labyrinths what rent control is to apartments: you feel good about staying for a long time.

The boxes, engineered in Zurich, are immaculately seamless.  There seems to be no room for error, and one wonders how the printmakers, in Austria, juggled the tumbling vertical and horizontal orientations.  Does this site help us? The effect is especially exciting in the photos of photos, such as the giant Ashanti, who looks real from the front, but surprises us as a cardboard cutout.  Look closer, and the cardboard’s crumbled corners and scored surfaces revolt against the surgical, sterile surfaces.

Hunk Hendrik Gerrits with Peres Projects' Sarah Walzer
Hunk Hendrik Gerrits with Peres Projects' Sarah Walzer

Preparators were not allowed to touch the sculptures, so they unsheathed them from crates and slid the plinths from underneath.  But how did they mount the vertical “chain” piece to the ceiling?  If you see Hendrik Gerrits, who oversaw the installation, you should ask him.  He looked really relieved last night.

His and Urs
Sincerely Urs

In contrast to the rigid order below them, the monumental molten crags on the third floor are all accident.  Yet they reveal seams where the component aluminum sections conjoined.  Wouldn’t that bother a precisionist perfectionist like Urs Fischer?  Don’t we lose our illusion when we see the stitching?  Maybe it’s a trick to remind our eyes that the towering turds are ugly on the inside, too – even if we want to stay with the fascinating thumb impressions on the surface.

Now that's what I call ART
Now that's what I call ART

That’s right, foxy; I’m talking to YOU!

IMAGES: Michael Bilsborough

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Pey to Play

Monday, July 6th, 2009
“Male beauty is a more free area of beauty,” she declared, mildly.
Yes, it is!  Male beauty is more expansive than female beauty, liberated because it isn’t as codified.
“Women’s beauty is more cliché somehow,” she continued, hesitantly.
Hm, okay, well, I guess you mean that the standards of beauty are cliché, and maybe due for an overhaul.  But then Botticelli’s Venus is nothing like Agyness Deyn, who looks like our Twiggy, who looks like a boy, which…returns us to male beauty.
“There’s something about men finding their individuality as an object,” she concluded.
As an object?  Is that all I am to you, Elizabeth?
Elizabeth Peyton chose a slideshow with iTunes accompaniment for her lecture, instead of the stream of penetrating insight the audience might have expected from her.  The playlist is below.
Did it work?  If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.  That rule censors me and seems to have guided her.  I will say that the music selections affirmed her eclectic awareness of music across generations and subcultures.  http://www.papermag.com/?section=article&parid=3410
1. Led Zeppelin Over the Hills and Far Away
2. The Notorious B.I.G. Everyday Struggle
3. The Clash Stay Free
4. Patti Smith Frederick
5. Nirvana Rape Me (Acoustic)
6. David Bowie Lady Stardust
7. LCD Soundsystem Someone Great
8. Arctic Monkeys Cornerstone
9. The Killers Mr. Brightside
10. The Jam In the City
11. Julian Casablancas 11th Dimension
12. The Horrors Scarlet Fields
13. Hellhole Ratrace Girls

Photo of Matthew Barney by Elizabeth Peyton
Photo of Matthew Barney by Elizabeth Peyton

“Male beauty is a more free area of beauty,” she declared, mildly.

Yes, it is!  Male beauty is more expansive than female beauty.  It is an undeveloped and wide range of “types,” numbering much higher than the constricted fjords of female beauty and its “types.”  Which is unfair.  Maybe male beauty is liberated because it isn’t as codified.

“Women’s beauty is more cliché somehow,” she continued, hesitantly.

Hm, okay, well, I guess you mean that the standards of female beauty are outmoded.  But whose standards? Botticelli’s Venus is nothing like Agyness Deyn, this decade’s Twiggy, who looked like a boy, which…returns us to male beauty.

Agyness Dean, sizzling at any age
Agyness Dean, sizzling at any age

“There’s something about men finding their individuality as an object,” she concluded, quizzically.

As an object?  Is that all I am to you?

Elizabeth Peyton @ SVA
Elizabeth Peyton @ SVA

Superstar Elizabeth Peyton selflessly accepted SVA’s invitation to do a Distinguished Alumni Lecture – open to the public – an act as generous as the a$tounding donations she’s made to SVA Alumni Benefit Auctions. As an alum, I was excited; and I can’t even fathom how thrilled the throngs of undergrads must have felt to see a mid-career titan open up about her work, collected in depth by MoMA.

Elizabeth Peyton @ SVA

Looking neatly coiffed, rosily passionate, and unambiguously lovely, the artist had envisioned a slideshow, with iTunes accompaniment, of paintings and photographs of her numerous, numinous friends; instead of delivering the stream of penetrating insight the audience might have anticipated.  The playlist is below.  Was this a good idea?

Elizabeth Peyton's desktop
Elizabeth Peyton's desktop

-What’s that adage?  “Something-something-something…don’t say anything at all?”  It censors me here, but doesn’t explain her muteness there.  I learned that her eclectic taste in music spans generations and subcultures; and that she paints the musicians she listens to, or maybe listens to the musicians she paints.  For example, Brandon Flowers of the The Killers pops up in her jukebox and in her work. Same with Julian Casablancas, who in his own words, canonized an avoidance tactic unlike that quoted above, which applied to the individuals filing out early: “So I walked out/ Oh, baby, don’t care no more, I know this for sure, I’m walkin’ out that door.”

In life, Elizabeth Peyton paints exquisite, secular icons that exhale intimacy while bursting with bold gesture.  Her work would stir Ingres, who once wrote, “A painter is perfectly right to be preoccupied with finesse, but to that he should add force, which does not exclude finesse – far from it.  The whole of painting resides in drawing that is at once strong and delicate.  Let anyone say what he will, painting is a matter of drawing that is firm, proud, and well characterized…”

Emitting phenomenal glow, her paintings are beacons to guide me through the torrents of soulless painting, and they draw me near, like a maternal whisper.  Her idols are poised like royalty and wistful like poets, and they shimmer with splendid, nectarous colors that make my mouth water.  I love them.  The subjects and the objects.  My senses cheer in their presence, just as my organs thrive with vitamins.  In his lyrics, Julian Casablancas wants to “steal your innocence,” but in her paintings, Elizabeth Peyton wants to preserve it forever, making each of her dreamy subjects a “container and record of their time.”  Just look at her Sid Vicious: merely a bad boy too big for his britches, not a dirty needle-addled butcher.

But do the paintings speak for themselves?  What do I know?  “This amphitheatre is really nice,” I heard someone say.

The Peyton playlist (“Peylist?”), note that the linked versions aren’t nec. those played tonight:::::

1. Led Zeppelin – Over the Hills and Far Away

2. The Notorious B.I.G. – Everyday Struggle

3. The Clash – Stay Free

4. Patti Smith – Frederick

5. Nirvana – Rape Me (Acoustic)

6. David Bowie – Lady Stardust

7. LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great

8. Arctic Monkeys – Cornerstone

9. The Killers – Mr. Brightside

10. The Jam – In the City

11. Julian Casablancas – 11th Dimension

12. The Horrors – Scarlet Fields

13. Hellhole Ratrace – Girls

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