DOCUMENTA STRIKES AGAIN
Are you ready for Documenta 13, which is still 15 months away, June 9-Sept. 16, 2012? The latest iteration of the granddaddy of global avant-garde art exhibitions, which traditionally lasts 100 days, seems determined to prove its credentials, not least by giving itself the orthographically irregular moniker of dOCUMENTA (13).
Back in October 2010, Documenta 13 artistic director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev struck a rather odd note when she said that she was acting "without a curatorial plan," though her further explanation seemed like so much fancy curatorial speak, when she defined the exhibition as something that didn’t so much "follow a single, overall concept" as it "choreographed manifold materials, methods and knowledges."
More curatorial mumbo-jumbo: The exhibition is to focus on "composite ontologies that generate paradoxical conditions of contemporary life and artistic production," and is slated to include work that engages with a number of abstract antipodal juxtapositions like "rootedness and homelessness," "participation and withdrawl," and "translation and untranslatability."
Christov-Bakargiev established a more personal tone in a long, meandering "letter to a dear friend," also sent out last fall (and which the Documenta press office says is not to be reproduced). Documenta 13, she says, "is a state of mind." The rather dreamy text, an exemplar of free-association, combines dozens of disparate art ideas with snatches of conversation and cryptic first-name-dropping that traces the curator’s global travels in preparation for the show, i.e. "so few people are willing in the digital age to pay the cost of being in a state of love, as Etel put it so wisely when we met in Beirut with Walid."
But New Yorkers get their own taste of the Documenta 13 stew on Jan. 28, 2011 (tomorrow), when Documenta 13 "agent" Chus Martínez -- she is chief curator at Barcelona’s Museu d’Art Contemporani as well as one of Christov-Bakargiev’s lieutenants -- takes part in the New Museum "proposition" series by presenting the question, "Aren’t we living in a world where headless men on desire decapitated women?" No physical demonstrations included, one presumes. Martínez further discusses the issue the following day with filmmaker Albert Serra; for details, click here.
Christov-Bakargiev also admits to a weakness for "notebooks," and with that in mind Documenta 13 and Hatje Cantz are publishing 100 Notes - 100 Thoughts, a series of notebooks to include work by artists Emily Jacir, Lawrence Weiner, Ian Wallace, Michael Taussig and Etel Adnan, among others. The first notebooks are due out in March 2011.
As for the artists included in the show -- well, that bit of information has not yet been announced.
MUSEUMS GO HEAD TO HEAD IN SUPERBOWL
On Feb. 6, 2011, the Pittsburgh Steelers meet the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV -- and the local art lovers are getting in on the action with a wager of their own. Up for grabs is. . . the temporary loan of a major artwork. The Carnegie Museum of Art is wagering Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Bathers with Crabs (ca. 1890-99), while the Milwaukee Museum of Art is putting up Gustave Caillebotte’s Boating on the Yerres (1877).
Milwaukee director Daniel Keegan avidly supports the Packers, and expresses confidence that his museum will soon "be enjoying the Renoir from Carnegie." Meanwhile, Carnegie director Lynn Zelevansky prefers to "let the excellence of our football team, and our collection, speak for itself." The dates of the resulting loan have yet to be finalized.
CATLETT & FRIENDS AT BRONX MUSEUM
The Bronx Museum of the Arts is getting into the swing of Black History Month with an ambitious tribute to the grand dame of African American artists, Elizabeth Catlett (b. 1915). "Stargazers: Elizabeth Catlett in Conversation with 21 Contemporary Artists," Jan. 27-May 29, 2011, organized by curator Isolde Brielmaier, highlights Catlett’s influence and legacy via 40 of her sculptures and prints, exhibited alongside works by contemporary artists like Kalup Linzy, Shinique Smith and Mickalene Thomas.
A free open house is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2011, at 2 pm, and on Apr. 28, 2011, at 6 pm, Catlett takes part in a panel discussion with artists Sanford Biggers, Renee Cox and Xaviera Simmons. For more information, click here.
"WARHOL SOUP" CLOSES OUT BARTOS GALLERY
Armand Bartos Fine Art, opened by the eponymous private dealer at Madison Avenue and 73rd Street in May 2008, has announced its final exhibition. "Warhol Soup," Feb. 16-Mar. 18, 2011, boasts a range of Andy Warhol’s works on his signature subject, including a rare 1966 cast-aluminum replica of a soup can and his original Campbell’s Soup I print set from 1969.
Why close? Bartos told Artnet News that from the beginning he planned to open the gallery for a limited time. "I’ve been a private dealer for 30 years," Bartos said, "and I decided after 28 years of dealing to open the gallery because I wanted to mount certain specific exhibitions that hadn’t been done, like ‘Warhol Soup’. I’ve done that now, and I’m ready to go back to private dealing, which is really my specialty." Bartos noted that he probably would be organizing more shows in the future as "pop-up" exhibitions.