Monday, November 26, 2007

Sal Raldolph "texts" the context of instructional art and Lawrence Weiner

Yesterday, Sunday Pocket Utopia held a closing party for Lawrence Weiner and an "Excuse me, you have art in your teeth" salon with Sal Randolph.

Sal Randolph read from Lawrence Weiner's statements and those of other artists including Robert Barry, Alan Kaprow, Ben Kinmont, Alison Knowles, Lee Lozano, Yoko Ono, and La Monte Young. She opened with a discussion on the relationship of text statements to physical embodiment in conceptual and performative artwork with the Pocket Utopia's re-creation of ("A 36" x 36" Removal to the Lathing or Support Wall of Plaster or Wallboard From a Wall,"1968) as the star example. We served Pernod and Fig Newtons.

Sal presented parts of her gathered anthology of instructional based artworks and antedotes of actually "doing" an instructional artwork or just reading about doing it, and all that it implies. The afternoon was liberating in that, yes, life sometimes (and art) comes with instructions. Thanks Sal!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A collector's utopia

While in Chicago I visited an art collector's home utopia and admired this newspaper collage by Jean Dubuffet in the bedroom. All the other pictures I took didn't really come out right; the pieces Richard Tuttle made especially for the entrance way were to blurry, the Maya Lin custom stools I chopped short, the Sol Lewitt coffee table picture had too harsh a reflection from the flash, and the Klint came out too dark (I should have used a flash).

Nothing quite captured the home or the artwork just right because there was little distinction between the two.  The house was built around the art and the art was installed perfectly in it's home.  It was an experience.

I returned to my home last night to find a package from Lawrence Weiner waiting for me.  A little utopia of my own in an envelope.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Social Saturday with Libby's "Beeramid"

These pictures of building the "beeramid," one can at a time are courtesy Joy Garnett since I somehow deleted all of mine. Violet, Libby Hartle's daughter, helps stack a form then used to gather a group to drink and talk. That's what we do at Pocket U., build pyramids of color coded beer cans!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Worth repeating (from today's NYT, weekend arts section)

Lawrence Weiner: As Far As The Eye Can See This retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art consists mainly of phrases in large letters. Also above, a work in which spray paint was applied directly to the floor

Published: November 16, 2007

So here we are. Just about any scrap of canvas or even paper by Andy Warhol is worth at least a million dollars and usually several. Richard Prince’s retro “Nurse” paintings have cleared $6 million less than five years after they were made. And Jeff Koons’s least-interesting baubles, despite glimmers of anti-bauble intent, go for as much as $23 million.

Be grateful, then, for Lawrence Weiner’s mind-stretching 40-year retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, which is respite, wake-up call and purification rite all in one. It should be required viewing for anyone interested in today’s art, especially people who frequent contemporary art auctions.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Reading Show

People walk in and read. They might be graduate students from Columbia, neighbors, Lawrence Weiner fans or those who are soon to be fans.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ebay and beyond

In a fit of commerce last week, I put the entire show on ebay. We'll see what happens for the auction ends tomorrow.

A collector called from Texas requesting any Lawrence-related ephemera from the show, which we don't really have but we are thinking about making a zine. I've never made a zine so Audra is researching the artform. Now it's time to start organizing the next installment at Pocket Utopia, the Etsy Show.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Reading and working on Sundays at Pocket U.

Libby Hartle worked at her residency station on Sunday while visitors read about Lawrence Weiner. Libby and Lawrence make a good pair.

The opening featured an awesome, very funny performance by Andrew Hurst. Could it be that it was the best opening because their was no "official" artist there to measure oneself against?? Everyone just thoroughly enjoyed themselves. There wasn't an ego to negotiate around. There was the art and the performance and a good time.

When I spoke with Lawrence Weiner about the salon, he said, "...thanks," and "I'm honored..." But really I'm the one that's honored to present his work and the other things that go on at Pocket U, and I'm the one that is thankful.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Lawrence Weiner Salon opens

A Lawrence Weiner Salon opened Friday night with a reading room, a re-creation, and a text piece. Special guest artist Andrew Hurst performed brillantly. Lawrence would have been pleased.

The show presents an installation of books by and about Lawrence Weiner, a re-creation (“A 36” x 36” Removal to the Lathing or Support Wall of Plaster or Wallboard From a Wall,” 1968) and a text piece. Weiner has long pursued inquiries into language and art-making and posits a radical redefinition of the artist/viewer relationship and the very nature of the artwork. Here too, the venue or gallery and its relationship to the artist also gets redefined.

By transporting his investigations to Bushwick's Pocket Utopia, the viewer will discover a comfortable and unobtrusive means to read and experience Weiner's work and make their own assumptions about the nature of the art object. Working with the Weiner's grateful acknowledgment, Pocket Utopia democratizes access to his work. Although the artist here is all but invisible, the viewer will be able to see even farther, think a little more and read a lot.