Saturday, January 19, 2008

Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century & Collage: The Unmonumental Picture

Kim Jones, Untitled, 1994-2004
Acrylic and ink on color photograph
28 1/2 x 39 in


Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century & Collage: The Unmonumental Picture
New Museum
Through March 23, 2008

At the halfway point of the New Museum's accumulating exhibition, many works stand out as some of the more transient examples of current trends in contemporary art. The first installment of this show, "The Object in the 21st Century," displays works in which underinformed notions of the role of artist as cultural commentator are toxically mixed with a low-as-high underpolished execution. As an example, "Split Endz" (1) fails almost entirely to elevate its components beyond the echelon of nostalgic thrift store articles. Not all the works in this exhibition fall into this pitfall of contemporary art. Marc Andre Robinson's "Myth Monolith (Liberation Movement)"(2) metamorphosizes a mass of chairs into a wave of motion. While it is built from refuse of contemporary life, the work propels itself beyond nostalgic reference to its materials and becomes instead reminiscent of Hokusai's most famous print from his series "Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji." Though both of these pieces certainly fit the curators' goal of "zeroing in a way that visual art can help define the moment in which we are living,"(3) I do wonder how many of these pieces will survive this moment and be revisited by future generations of artists.

From the show's second installment, "Collage: The Unmonumental Picture," the noteworthy include:
Mark Bradford, "Helter Skelter I & II"
Christian Holstead
Kim Jones
Wangechi Mutu

(1) Jim Lambie, Split Endz (wig mix), 2005, Wardrobes, mirror, belts, training shoes, and gloss paint, 72 7/16 in x 53 15/16 in x 47 3/16 in / 184 cm x 137 cm x 120 cm
(2) Marc Andre Robinson, Myth Monolith (Liberation Movement), 2002-2003, Dimensions Variable
(3) Pg. 1, Unmonumental: An Exhibition in Four Parts, No Author Given, New Museum of Art, New York, NY: 2007.

Mark Bradford at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Mark Bradford at Saachi Gallery

KIM JONES, by Peter Clothier
March 24 - May 19, 2007 at Cal State L.A., Luckman Gallery, East Los Angeles

Wangechi Mutu at Saachi Gallery

No comments:

Post a Comment