From protesting the most current threats to creative freedom to uncovering a long-forgotten painter from art history, this weekend’s links celebrate the power of the artist’s voice, with sometimes hilarious results.
Kay Sage, White Silence, 1941, Oil on canvas, 30 × 40 1/4 inches, Private Collection. Photograph by Stewart Clements. (Source: Katonah Museum of Art)
Fuck yeah Anish Kapoor: Playing true to form after dedicating his Leviathan installation at Paris’ Grand Palais to Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor has refused to show his work at the National Museum of China in protest of Ai’s ongoing imprisonment. With so many arts institutions all too content to lend exhibitions and tacit approval to the Chinese government, from the politically deaf-mute Milwaukee Art Museum to the British Council that still plans to proceed with their show regardless of Kapoor’s withdrawal, it’s reassuring to see individual artists exercising their own power to draw a line in the sand.
The seldom-seen bride of Tanguy: Two Coats of Paint’s Sharon Butler was as surprised as I was to discover that Yves Tanguy was merely one half of a great surrealist marriage with his lesser-known wife, the painter Kay Sage. Starting from the accidental allure of a solitary painting in the Mattatuck Museum, Butler unearths the story of this individualistic maker of eerily precise landscapes who defied the Abstract Expressionist trend of her day.
Revenge of the Artists (via C-Monster): It’s understandable that a tech-driven publication like Wired is a bit behind the times on street artist Blu’s ill treatment at the hands of LA MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch. But they more than make up the difference with a survey of artists throughout history who have mobilized their work in the name of sweet revenge against their patrons. My personal favourite is an anecdote on 14th century painter Buonamico Buffalmacco, who “substitutes a bear cub for baby Jesus” when the buyer refuses to pay for his commissioned fresco of the Virgin and Child. Awesome.
The new reality: This has cropped up in several spots online apart from its original publication in Frieze‘s summer issue, but I saw it first at Ed Winkleman. Jennifer Dalton’s art-about-the-art-world practice isn’t always to my taste but her fake application form for an art reality show even more tastelessly vapid than Work of Art is truly inspired. Or else a godsend for anyone willing to flash their tits (ladies) or have them waxed (gents) for the sake of their careers.