Friday, November 30, 2007

In A Hurry

Hi Dear Devoted Readership,

First, thanks to those of you who were worried about my health, I'm fine, just suffering from allergies which would be OK in themselves if they didn't bring some atrocious migraines in their wake. I have a few postings I'm working on, which should see the light of the day on Sunday evening. I'll report on the photography talk a LACMA and a few other things.

In the meantime, don't forget to go to Glendale (I know, Glendale, but hey, you can go eat at La Cabanita after!) to the opening at the College Gallery, and please say hi to Roger Dickes the curator for me! I will unfortunately be at the total opposite side of the Valley myself, but otherwise I'd be in Glendale.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Andy Warhol Japanese TDK Ad

Witness the WGA- Art Workers Coalition new dating service

Your Social Life, At Home and Abroad

After the holiday hiatus FBC! is back, if slightly unwell, to help you decide on your social plans this week.

Tomorrow evening you may run into my Frenchy chic self, if I'm well enough, at LACMA for the panel discussion: Is Photography Really Art? (Tuesday, November 27 | 7:00 pm, in the Brown Auditorium, free), with Charlotte Cotton, curator and head of LACMA’s Photography Department, and artists Arthur Ou, Michael Queenland, and Mark Wyse.
Before moving back to LA a few years ago it would have seemed a tired question to me, coming from the homeland of Jean-Francois Chevrier, Roland Barthes, Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Frizot, but a few encounters with, hhhhhmmmmmm, I'll be charitable and won't explain, but, how to say it nicely? Some people here in LA are still very provincial when it comes to the subject. So the debate in LA's context is welcome and so is Charlotte Cotton, LACMA's newest curatorial addition.
You can also pester LACMA's to post information about the Charles White Elementary School exhibition, so more people would go see it. If the info is already on the website, I haven't found it so it should be made more conspicuous.

Back home in Paris, I'd advise to go see the show Americans in NY, curated by my friend Ami Barak at the galerie Michel Rein. It opened last Saturday.

Meanwhile, if you haven't made plans to go to Miami Basel and all the satellite fairs, don't feel bad. The recession is coming up and I'm sure you can use your money more wisely. Joke aside, the recession isn't even here officially and 1 in 10 American didn't have enough to eat last year, according to a snippet of info found here.
So, for all of you who thought you were sustaining the US economy by shopping on Black Friday, please be compassionate and give essential goods to soup kitchen and other worthy charities, 'cause your taxes and your governments are not.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Felt Club – not your mother’s craft fair

Frenchy But Chic! is thrilled to welcome the deliciously entertaining and talented Annie Oelschlager as our very first guest blogger! Because FBC! is in person technologically-challenged, Annie's post is divided in 2, so you can admire more of her pictures. Please click here to see some more. And because FBC!'s template of choice on is very clumsy to manage pictures in the layout, there are all gathered on top.
Please welcome Annie!

As in demand as she is, Frenchy but Chic can’t possibly attend all the worthwhile cultural events of an LA week. Thus she occasionally contracts out her appearances to correspondents such as myself. Today I had the privilege of attending Felt Club , a twice-yearly hipster crafts fair that takes place on the campus of LA City College.

Hugely popular among quirky East side girls (and a few boys), Felt Club’s booths feature handmade items – ranging from clothes to stationery to handbags to jewelry to odd items that could only be classified as “amusements.”

There were over 75 booths at this year’s Holiday Felt Club. A few of my favorites:
The gorgeous stationery of Motor Mouth Press
and Rock Scissor Paper.

Jewelry made from antique typewriter keys at The Weekend Store - I was especially taken with the cufflinks.

The patchwork fabric bags of Made by Tess - they have beautiful fabrics on the inside as well, and lots of pockets of varying sizes, as we ladies invariably need.

As a delightful bonus, my appearance at Felt Club has elevated me to Fashionista. My outfit is featured on Tokyo a la Mode , an online magazine that celebrates the worldwide spread of Japanese fashion and youth culture. I am the second from the bottom – wearing a green skirt made by my mother and a scarf my Aunt Barbie used to wear in the ‘60s.

No Frenchy but Chic post is complete without a photo of food, and I have included some felt food among the pictures of my fair favorites.

Monday, November 19, 2007

More Edgar Arceneaux To Cheer You Up!

So last Saturday I've gone on a Culver City stroll right before heading to Surfas to buy fresh yeast (and duck sausages). I didn't take pictures and I don't have much time tonight to really speak about the art at length. Just wanted to remark there's an unmistakable scent of upcoming art market recession, since there was quite a bit of video work rather than the usual slapdash figurative acrylic stuff.

1. Best show: Go see Adrià Julià: A Means of Passing the Time, at LAXart
2. The show I'm annoyed at myself for liking, but I cannot help it: Sue de Beer at Sandroni Rey (in passing, the first show I've liked at Sandrony Rey over the last 3 years). I find her work derivative, but there was a sequence in the video that looked like a crossover between Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Mike Kelley's Day Is Done sprawling installation-cum-film. It's the Goth aspect, I'm sure. BTW, not the best Cherkaoui piece but I took what was available on YouTube.
3. The show I'd like to like, but for the life of me I cannot: Slater Bradley at Blum and Poe. Bradley was there performing in his costume. It looked too much like an undergrad take on Surrealism via video, and I think Zbigniew Rybczynski has already done it so much better 25 years ago.
4.Biggest disappointment, Nicole Eisenmann at Susanne Vielmetter.

Just seeing that 3 out of the shows I mention were showing video and installation would have sufficed to make my day.
In addition, I had the ineffable pleasure to know Edgar Arceneaux had just won a USA Fellowship AND was going to be included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. I am so very happy for Edgar, whom I have known for 10 years and is one of my favorite artists in LA!
In addition to Edgar, the list of artists makes me want to truly go see the Biennial, since it will include Michael Queenland, Ruben Ochoa, Mary Heilmann, Michael Smith, John Baldessari, Walead Beshty, Rodney McMillian, Stephen Prina and a few others. LA is very well represented, as usual.
Congrats to Edgar and the LA contingent (and to Prina by extension, since he is now bi-coastal).

Next Spring, NYC, here I come!

Felt Club – not your mother’s craft fair, Part I

FBC! is thrilled to have the ever delightful Annie Oelschlager present her very first post as our guest blogger.
I'm posting pictures here and will separate her text in a second post so you, my dear readers, can admire more pictures of the events.
All pictures are copyright Annie Oelschlager, 2007. If you feel the urge to grab and repost them, please don't forget your manner and drop a line at FBC! so I can ask Annie's permission.
Thanks to Annie for contributing to FBC! and welcome!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Your Social Life, At Home and Abroad

Wow, with all the good things going on in LA, it's starting to be difficult to discriminate between events worthy of your attention!
Nevertheless, FBC! is going to bravely try and help you choose!

In Los Angeles, take advantage of this week to go see the drawing show at Steve Turner, The Charles White Elementary School Project, The Bruce Conner show at Michael Kohn, Jeffrey Vallance at Margo Leavin, and of course you can always go spend your Sunday at the Hammer, MoCA, LACMA and the Getty. If you are in the vicinity of LACMA on Sunday afternoon, there's your opportunity to see Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw in the flesh and hear them discussing Dali and Film. I have other obligations unfortunately, but if I could I'd go see them as it should be hugely entertaining and informative!

On Friday night there is a new show opening at LAXart, and if you're hungry right after and are a striking writer, go to the taco truck on Venice and La Cienega, it's worth it. No need to spend your few leftover pennies at Ford Filling Station of Fraiche, no reservations required!
The day after you can come back in the neighborhood check the Slater Bradley show at Blum & Poe and the Nicole Eisenmann show at Susanne Vielmetter.

If you are in NYC there's plenty to choose from, but I'd recommend strolling by Apex Art to see Land Grab. You can catch the very last of the Carlos Amorales show at Yvon Lambert.

And, if you happen to be in Dusseldorf this Friday, I urge you to go attend Ivan Morley's opening at Dennis Kimmerich and if you can be so kind and send my warmest regards to K21 curator Doris Krystof it would be much, much appreciated. Speaking of the K21 there is a huge installation on view by Joe Scanlan, one of my favorite artists on the planet (the most underestimated, IMHO, someone should give him a retrospective soon).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Charles White Elementary, Mark Bradford and Ruben Ochoa

The post corresponding to these pictures can be found here.
Above, pictures of the installation at Charles White Elementary, Mark Bradford and Ruben Ochoa explaining to schoolchildren what an installation and appropriation are, and one of the school artists in front of her creation. I don't know the names of the students but I will be happy to add them if someone tells me who they are.

I apologize for the clumsy 2-posts thing, but Blogger seems at odds with both Firefox and Safari this week. I can upload pictures with one but not the other, I cannot link from Safari at all and links show up where they shouldn't with Firefox, when they show up at all. Style is beyond control. But I do claim responsibility for all the typos, as usual.

The Alchemy Of Comedy, Stupid. Edgar Arceneaux book launch at LAXart with reading by David Allan Grier

The Drawing Show At Steve Turner

I'm just posing the pics while I can do it, more about the exhibition later.

Technical Interlude

Dear devoted readership,

FBC! is suffering from a bad case of slow connection issues, own troubles and God-knows-what-else. I've just switch from Firefox to Safari to see if it worked better, but I'm getting very exasperated with not being able to post correctly without links showing up where they shoudn't and images that don't want to upload. I've got 4 posts waiting to be uploaded, so please be patient until things are solved.

My Birthday In November!

Well, not really. I was born in April, same day as Nabokov, Kant and Lenin so I was doomed to dabble in lefty politics, lofty philosophy, highbrow literature, and maybe destined to live in LA too since Jack Nicholson and I also share a birthday.
Unfortunately, no famed artist or art historian was born on the same day, so that part is unexplained, so far. Maybe I landed in the wrong cultural industry?

So, why then announce Frenchy's B-Day in November, will you be asking, you my smart and observant FBC! readers? Well, for 3 reasons.

a) Because I feel like it, nan mais alors!
b) Back in April I didn't get to throw myself the huge party I usually do, for cause of too much exhaustion. But I still need a celebration, what if it's 7 months later? I don't care!
c) In case you haven't noticed, Thanksgiving is next week. Yay!

If you have just joined FBC! (welcome!) you don't know yet my regular monthly feature, Thanksgiving In [Insert Month Here]™, created to celebrate just anybody I feel like celebrating, though if you wish to join the list it's better to know me personally - it helps greatly - and generally speaking be nice. For real, everyday of your life. Otherwise, nixt. Pretend nice? Out of the way!

But this being November and the real Thanksgiving being just around the corner, I needed to do something else. And , I kinda wanted someone to celebrate me, just for once.
In person I am very, very nice, if a bit challenged in the humility department, not to mention vertically, so yeah, maybe I could be celebrated a tiny, tiny bit.
Anyway, since no one else is going to celebrate me and my B-Day was spent doing nothing, here it is.

'nuff said about my Frenchy self, I'm not going to praise myself any further, and I'll be spending Thanksgiving with lovely friends (Hi Austen and Jonathan!).
But, being an impoverished Frenchy vapidly looking for a job in these uncertain economic times, I have a bit of a wish list. I figure, if I saved you $25 (+tax) and probably a bit more by reading bad books so you don't need to, you guys could maybe pool your resources and get me presents. No? Yep, I knew you were a bunch of cool people!

So here's my list, dear Santa Claus readers. I truly need these, I swear, to keep company to my garden gnomes salt and pepper shakers. Speaking of which, this little fellow would be a welcome addition to my home. I could grow cat grass in the wheelbarrow for Pomme. She really enjoys watching me cooking, in case something would fall on the floor, and since winter is coming I need a cocotte to make stews. I'd like the 7q in yellow, thanks!
I tend to be very blue in winter (not enough daylight, and blogging doesn't help), and when I was a kid I was reading the stories of Moomin when in need of comfort. I didn't know there was a 2-volume comic-strips publication. I'd like both, please.
My nerdy self would really enjoy this translation of one of the greatest art historian in the Universe. I have a French edition but it is not complete (BTW, if someone at the Getty reads me: please put together an edition of Julius von Schlosser's complete writings. Many thanks in advance!).
I don't have a fireplace, but I do have a cat to sit on my lap when reading my Moomin books this winter, and I guess some melancholic soundtrack would be in order. I'm pretty much into Elliott Smith at the moment but don't own any of his records (I'm streaming music from here ). Any album would do, really, or better yet, the entire collection!

As much as I like being home, reading, writing the blog, cooking stews, baking cakes and cuddling my cat, sometimes my little Frenchy self needs to venture out in the big bad world, to see some exhibitions or even, the horror! attend openings. It's usually an opportunity eagerly awaited by idiot or otherwise fairly distracted drivers to hit me. It's not that I don't enjoy whiplash and other resulting debilitating back pains,really, but it is starting to grow very stale and feel a tad unfunny. So I'd like one of these, complete with driver, when I absolutely have to get out of the house.
Failing this, maybe a scapulary, a rosary, a St Christopher medal or two and one Fatma's hand could help, as well as some Jewish and Buddhist lucky charms if these exist (apologies to my Jewish and Buddhist readers for not knowing what these might be).

Aside from this, I'm fine. Of course I could do with one of these, or maybe with the entire catalogue from this place or some choice items from this one, but I don't have enough shelf space at present. I would also very much a curator's job here, but not until March as I need to finish some project first. I don't need anything from this place either, but the website is too cool and reminds me slightly of Fischli and Weiss.
My new expanded readership could also help me find someone who's an auditor at Deloitte and Touche, if possible (Accenture would do too). I need to interview someone from there to figure out what job they really do for this thing I'm writing.
Which leads me to the following:

Because, as I was telling you earlier I am very, very nice (and modest, cela va sans dire), if you do not wish to contribute to the fund to lift my little Frenchy but nevertheless chic spirits (you, cruel and mean you), I suggest you do something even kinder and more generous!
Adopt a striking writer!
Go drive by a picket line, select the most malnourished-looking one, try to lure him (did you see the pictures? They are 80% male picketers!) with some bait (beer, Groundworks coffee or such-like, In'N'Out burgers, macarons from La Maison du Pain for the sophisticated types), pick them up in your car and take them to your home. They need nourishing food, warm clothing, some place to sleep (your couch is fine) and wash (try to pick up a house-trained one), and lots of cuddling since these disenfranchised souls cannot write and occupy themselves outside of the picket lines. If you're lucky, maybe you'll even spot a cute one!
For the moment these poor stray cuties just need a foster place, but if the WGA strike prolongs itself well into the winter, it is likely they will need to find their loving forever home.
Don't let these poor innocent writers be sent to the pound redlisted by the cruel and insensitive studios and producers!
Adopt a writer today! And Jesus will thank you when you get to heavens (unlike Uncle Sam, since adopting a WGA cutie is not tax-deductible yet). If you are not a believer, the writer will thank you himself (or herself, if you pick one of the 20% female picketers) by warming your bed this winter, a more immediate reward when you see what energy prices are, no?

No Psychic But Chic!

Dear old and new readers alike (Hi Paul! Hi Ondine!),

This blog was started for no good reason at all but to fend off boredom, after sustaining some non-life-threatening but nevertheless painful injuries in a car accident. It's been growing up nicely, thanks to my nice core of faithful readers, and it is now expanding in a weird way. I mean, as an art writer I'm used to nobody ever reading my catalogue essays and so forth, so it's puzzling to see the response I get from my slightly non copy-edited, wholly un-researched but always totally whimsical statements.
It's all the more mind-boggling to me, since I'm trying not to be too reactive to the art actuality, hence the food, books and other type of posts on FBC! Also, let's face it, the artworld is a pretty boring place to be most of the time.

So much of the so-called art information mill is artificial and unnecessary. If any one of you has ever done research in old issues of Arts Magazine (remember Arts Mag?), Art in America, Artforum or even Art News*, just think for a minute about the gossip pages of 20 years ago. Or even 5 years ago.
How many of those urgently important snippets of info do you remember now?
So-and-so jumped ship to join newish brash art gallery! Nerdy curator quoted on the number of new museums being build! Many US museums looking for directors! The market is out of control!

I'm pretty certain roughly 70% of the names quoted then are forgotten now, and many of the events listed don't make any sense at all. I understand the necessity of stirring the soup for some people to feel they exist, and I find it very sad, but if we look back at these old magazines, what do we see? So-and-so has disappeared entirely from the scene, newish brash art gallery has gone bankrupt (with drug addict director disappearing abroad with the most valuable assets from the stock), nerdy curator has joined Academia, new museums have been build (or not), market stars from yesterday are, well, duds now. Or they have become film directors to get respect.

I'm also pretty certain that most of today's brouhaha is going to join that same cohort. So when I see that kind of headline, I'm wondering how short the memory of art journalists is. I'm not going to shoot the ambulance, first of all because Tyler Green spends a fair amount of time deriding Carol Vogel, and secondly because I think the NYT at large needs a good shake-up, not only the arts section.
I just want to remind our very own Cultural Industry what every one over 30 should know: each time there's a recession coming up, the art market crash follows 6 to 12 months later. Remember the late 1980s? Or the dotcom crash? After the 1980s the market took almost a decade to recover, with galleries closing one after another, art magazines folding for lack of advertising revenue, museums being unable to raise money to expand, and artists after artists, writers and curators leaving the scene completely. The recovery from the dotcom crash was much faster but they were casualties nonetheless.

Usually, when the markets start to underperform or slide completely, whatever money that's still available finds refuge in the art market for a few months. And then, after some extended period when Wall Street's electroencephalogram seems to go totally flat, the former art buyers need liquidities, go sell their stuff at auction and discover that estimates are now really, really low and the masterpiece that was flipped 7 times over during high tide is suddenly bough in.

Now, I'm no Nostradamus, merely Frenchy but chic! So I cannot foresee what's going to happen, but I've never seen a bull market growing exponentially forever when there's an unmistakable smell of recession in the air. Wild swings in the stock market, gold shooting through the roof, oil ditto, massive losses in the credit industry, etc. don't bode too well for our future.
I'm waiting for the moment when the same art dealers and other art people who were bragging about how the market was never going to crash are going to rejoice because, finally, we are only between ourselves. Let's be optimistic, maybe then someone is going to care about the art, after all.

The picture above is by Ramy Majouji, licensed under Creative Commons.

*For my growing non-art readership, Art News is more or less the equivalent of People for the art world. Risible.

A belated few pics of Bruce Conner at Michael Kohn

Apologies to my ever growing readership for lack of recent posting.
I've been quite busy last week and when I tried posting over the last couple of days my connection failed me.
Anyway, I've recently mentioned a few shows worth seeing, and since the Bruce Conner show at Michael Kohn is ending next week, I thought I should post a few pictures.
The show documents the West Coast early punk scene, but since it's an artist who took the pictures they don't look like straightforward photojournalist pictures. Rather, they constitute a shrine to a vanished scene, a number of which participants met an early death, because, you know, sex and drugs and rock'n'roll are not necessarily what brains and body need.
Conner had the gallery walls painted gray, the surface being left incompletely covered to create a club-y atmosphere, in addition to the spotlights. This being an art gallery, it doesn't look that nightclub-y to me, since it lacks a vibrant soundtrack and a great many unwashed dancing bodies, but it changes from the usual white cube.

The best part of the show however is the movie (Eve-Ray-Forever) projected in the adjacent gallery. Conner is better-known in Europe as an experimental filmmaker, and I do think this is where his talent is. It's a projection on 3 separate screen of various pictures (there's an explanation of the sequence of their apparition and their non-repetition in the gallery but I failed to pick it up) in B&W. It's fast and and dynamic but also subversively funny.
Since next week there's Thanksgiving if I were you I'd go see the show now, so you're safe re: opening hours. Please say hi to the lovely Nancy Meyer for me if you gos ee the show!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Charles White Elementary School Project, Mark Bradford and Ruben Ochoa with LACMA

Aside from the WGA strike our cousins are waging in The Other Cultural Industry, last week has been truly wonderful on the art front here
in LA. It's not so often there are so many good things to see in town, but for once it all looks pretty good.
On Wednesday was the inauguration of the installation created by Mark Bradford and Ruben Ochoa at Charles White Elementary School, in collaboration with the school children and LACMA.
Charles White Elementary is located on the Westernmost part of MacArthur Park, on Wilshire and Carondelet St., right across from the American Cement Building (awesome architecture!). There are some great Deco and Spanish style buildings around, so I'd advise to go get some grub in either nearby Koreatown or on the other side of the park (Langer's maybe, if you like pastrami), stroll around and then visit the show. I'd strongly advocate a visit on the Echo Park side or even just going up and down Alvarado for people not familiar with the area, as the artists installation is very much referring to vernacular elements of the neighborhood.

Anyway, I came to the press conference (yay! bloggers are press for LACMA! Thanks, Allison!) not knowing much about the project itself since the press release detailed a lot of the initiative behind it but very little about the art. Nevertheless, I think Mark and Ruben are two of the best artists working out of LA right now (along with Edgar Arceneaux) so I blindly trusted the project to be at the very least interesting.

I sat alongside fellow press people (you have no idea how much this sentence makes me chuckle, dear extended readership!) to endure several introductory and vague speeches by Zev Yaroslavsky (he should rehearse his speeches more or get someone to write them more precisely) and such likes, which I don't really mind, but I just mention them because the schoolchildren who were attending were so well-behaved during what must have been very long and boring for them, they should be praised here.
Most of the press release and the speeches were about how Prop. 13 effectively killed public funding for the arts in schools, how good arts are for children, and how great it is that LACMA, through its Education Department, tries to remedy some of this by funding projects and exhibitions involving schoolchildren*.

LACMA's first project with Charles White Elementary is especially meaningful because the school is located on the former site of the Otis College of Art and Design. Ruben Ochoa is an alumni and so I think is Mark Bradford, making their selection as the first artists in this partnership all the more significant.
They have been selected by the Education Dept. which worked closely with LACMA's curatorial staff to select real artworks from the collection to be displayed in the school art gallery, all of this curated and arranged in a really smart and fun installation by Ruben and Mark. The selection had to pass a very tough test from the conservation department to be allowed to go out.
The artists worked for about 10 months and ended up with an installation that incorporates visual elements of the neighborhood, which you will see in the pictures here.
My little Frenchy self has a bit of a vocabulary problem as I don't really know the words for the moving inflatable thingies for example, or for the canopy-structure in the front room, so I'll refrain for describing them. Just wanted to let you know the first room is fairly impressive, with a fabulous hand-painted didactics/credit line/title wall I didn't photograph, but totally worth the detour in itself, as the Michelin would say.

In any case I was really impressed by how Ruben and Mark, whose visual "signatures" (let's not talk about style) are very different, even if their interest in the urban and social vernacular is very similar, managed to merge their own aesthetics to create an installation that combines art objects from various cultures, civilizations and eras (from Pre-Columbian to Indian to Contemporary Western art), various mediums (painting, prints, photographs, sculptures) as well as the elementary school students drawings.
The children drawings were also amazingly good, and the kids seemed extremely happy to be in the show and talk to the real artists.
One of the pictures in the previous post shows Ruben and Mark talking to these two kids who were so eager to meet the artists, and asked what their work was. Mark explaining the concept of installation and appropriation was to die for: he simply compared buying clothes and wearing them as an act of appropriation and curating/making an artwork and an installation. Smart, simple, effective, and Mark being Mark, very funny!
It's probably one of the best shows I've seen recently, really contemporary in its use of collaborative techniques, social intent, vernacular culture meeting groundbreaking contemporary art, while firmly rooted in a local context. It also proved educational doesn't have to mean boring, as the bright smiles of the kids testified, and that the product of a collective effort can be homogeneously combine to design an elegant exhibition.

Do I have anything to complain about? No, not about this specific project. It's beautiful, open for the next 6 months (in the afternoon mostly)and totally worth going to visit. If you go see a LACMA show, why don't you hop on one of the rapid buses and go East on Wilshire to see it?

If I have to drop my 2 cents and mix my metaphors (you know how I like to freely distribute my opinions, dear FBC! readers), it's just to express the following belief:
I don't think it's the museums role to remedy the critical lack of funding for the arts in schools. I command LACMA for trying very hard, but one sole museum cannot bravely substitute itself to the State and try to stopgap a mix comprised of the absence of political consensus, low taxes and therefore small public redistribution.
I'm glad someone is trying, and I'm even gladder the role of education in museums, which is usually invisible, is brought to the light at Charles White Elementary, but I'd rather the rich pay more taxes to let future generations discover art from an early age.

*About 2 years ago LACMA's education Dept. received what I believe is an endowment from the late Anna Bing Arnold to develop public programs geared toward children. Usually big donors like to put their names on buildings or donate part of their collection - and get a tax break - but very few are involved enough to donate toward more intangible programs. I wish more museum patrons would follow this example and give donation for conservations facilities or storage, scholarly lectures, and cutting-edge exhibition programming. All things which are not sexy but absolutely necessary to run a great and efficient museum.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

It's Been A Very, Very Good Day For Art In LA

Ta di da di dam poum poum tsoin tsoin! (sung to the tune of a traditional post-hangover French song.)

Anyway, yesterday I went to see the Mark Bradford and Ruben Ochoa's project at Charles White Elementary, and to Edgar Arceneaux book launch party at LAXart. Both fabulously good events which will have their own separate posts (with lots of pictures) sometimes next week as I'm incredibly busy until Monday.
I'll post links and details too, and in the meantime I'll remind you to go see Matthieu Laurette at his opening in Belgium this Saturday. Please say hi to Matthieu for me, and don't forget to send your best wishes to Belgium!
Please see the 2 posts below for details, and if you are in LA tonight and have no plans, don't forget Kevin Salatino's talk at LACMA.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Your Social Life, At Home and Abroad

Hello my dear humongous readership,

This week is very busy, with tomorrow's Edgar Arceneaux book launch at LAXart, and Matthieu Laurette's opening at Deweer Art Gallery in Belgium this coming Saturday (pictured above, please click on link for the info).

And on Thursday evening, here in LA, a treat: a free lecture at LACMA by Kevin Salatino on Fuseli's erotic drawings. See press release below.
I can only urge you to attend because:
-a) Fuseli's drawings are amazing, erotic or not
-b) Kevin is an hilarious speaker, if very scholarly, and he is such a treat as an orator/speaker his lecture shouldn't be missed. And, it's free!

Fuseli's Phallus: Drawing Sex in 18th-Century Rome
Kevin Salatino, Curator of Prints and Drawings, LACMA

Thursday, November 8 | 7:00 pm

This lecture closely examines a remarkable group of erotic drawings made by the great Swiss-English artist, Henry Fuseli, while resident in Rome in the 1770s. Placing these drawings in their larger historical and cultural context, as well as probing the relationship between drawing and meaning, the lecture argues for a broader consideration of pornography as a liberating force in Enlightenment Europe and the important role that Fuseli played in that liberation.

Please note: some material may be considered objectionable.

Bing Theater | Free, no reservations
Call 323.857.6074 for more information

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Errare Humanum Est: Errata

The title above is just a very pedantic way to announce some corrections:

The ever delightful Alexis V. who has been profusely thanked in October signals to my attention the following: his driving school project was a series of lectures, not a show, and that his inclusion of Mrzyk and Moriceau in a group show a Monolilithic French Institution *allowed* young curators to organize within its venerable walls was also a way of curating a solo show in the context of a group exhibition.

And, in case my previous post was confusing, the LAXart fundraiser is tonight.

I'd like to take advantage to announce the book launch of Edgar Arceneaux The Alchemy of Comedy ... Stupid at the same location this coming Wednesday, 6 to 9 PM.
I've known Edgar for many, many years, and over the last 3 years I've seen him rapidly developing in a major artist on the American scene, first with a fabulous show at The Kitchen in NYC, then with his collaboration with Charles Gaines at Redcat and most recently his solo show at Susanne Vielmetter. I think Edgar is poised to become a huge artist in the next few years. And, not only he is very talented but he is absolutely charming in person, in addition to being an artist who likes to collaborate with others.
Go support Edgar!

And go support the striking writers-in-arms: donate them food, warm picketing clothes and sturdy boots, and maybe try to help them find shelter when their rent checks start to bounce. Go writers!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Your Social Life

So there's not much on the art front this weekend but the benefit auction for LAXart, Lauri Firstenberg's non-profit exhibition space in Culver City (click on the above link for all the info you need) . If you can afford it, by all means go, since LA is cruelly bereft of enough of these kinds of initiative/spaces. LAXart has been consistently showing great exhibitions by LA (and non-LA) artists and should be allowed to continue without financial hindrances.

It's all very well, you're going to tell me, but one benefit auction doesn't fill the entire weekend. What else could you do?
Well, forget Culver City and Chinatown and have a look at the Bruce Conner show at Michael Kohn, and absolutely go see the drawing show at Steve Turner. It is very, very good. Turner's website isn't updated, for those of you who don't know the gallery it is directly across the street from LACMA West. A little detour by Regen Projects to go see Glenn Ligon (I haven't seen the show yet) wouldn't hurt.
That's for your Saturday.

Sunday, after a detour at your local Farmers Market to load on all those healthy veggies, you can start with reading Julie Lequin brand new blog, and then go visit the Francis Alÿs show at the Hammer. I haven't seen the Murakami show at the Geffen yet and somehow I'm totally dragging my feet: just a look at this doesn't make me want to go.

And now it is Sunday evening, most good restaurants are closed, what can you do? I'd recommend a nice round of drinks with your pals to fortify yourself when Monday's WGA strike starts. Brace yourself for something thats supposed to affect about 200,000 workers in The Other Cultural Industry, and by ricochet all of us. If you're gainfully employed and make money, invite your writer friends for dinner and donate them some comfortable shoes and adequate clothing for their picketing shifts. Good luck to our slaves cousins in The Other Cultural Industry. We wish you many happy residuals.

Art people, please note this doesn't affect already produced PBS Art 21 series, and my friend Sal Reda nicely reminds us that in 2 weeks from now, on Sunday, November 18, the series focuses on 2 great artists who came out of Baal's mouth LA's graduate schools: the absolute genius Catherine Sullivan, who now lives mostly in Chicago (Catherine, we miss you lots) and the great, great Mark Bradford (in every sense of the term, since Mark hovers above us with 6'11" of pure talent)!

Picture above: Catherine Sullivan
The Chittendens, 2005
© The artist
Courtesy Catherine Bastide, Brussels and Metro Pictures, New York, via the Tate Modern website.