Monday, June 27, 2011

Out and About in June, 2011

by Patricia Frischer

I viewed a wonderful video talk sent out by Dan Springs about shattering your miss-conceptions by Jared Cohen and realized yet again how important it is to have an open mind to allow creativity to flow. I also know that we can’t just talk about ideas we have to do things and do them with passion and conviction. That is why I am so excited about the DNA of Creativity project. I spent a day and a half at the Art of Science Learning Conference at Calit2 and then we held a DNA of Creativity meeting where 28 professionals gathered to further discuss the project, give in put and feedback. This was our third meeting and I think we now have a project which has legs and will help us meet the goals not only of SDVAN but to follow the mission to fuse the art and science communities.

Now that Art Meets Fashion is almost over, I have had a chance to go to a few exhibitions and boy has it been fun to see what is up and about in San Diego. I am not claiming to have made a survey of everything out there, but I just visited the shows that were in my path.

Italo Scanga mini retrospective is at the Oceanside Museum of Art to Aug 21 and I am looking forward to seeing a selection of his more intimate objects at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. He broke new ground in San Diego but I think it is the way that his colleagues speak of his zest for art and his welcoming spirit that adds to his status. Also at the OMA is Beatrice Wood Drawings and Ceramics to Sept 18, a charming eccentric women with an exciting love life that she captured in her often naïve way which makes art so accessible to all. Jeff Yeoman was a star at the Gold Coast Paintings of Southern California, California Arts Club now over. There were a few other paintings that made the show worthwhile. I liked Eric Merrell and Ken Goldman and I imagine these lush landscapes were a treat for the Oceanside audience.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Daily Art Nag: Sushi closes

from Kinsee Morlan and CityBeat

photo: San Diego CityBeat

Sushi gone

A local arts group is no more and I, for one, am ready to rant

Shame on me. Shame on you. Shame on anybody interested in keeping this city's cultural scene alive.

When The San Diego Union-Tribune reported last week that Sushi Contemporary Performance and Visual Arts is closing its doors, most people acted shocked and surprised, but as board chairman Indra Gardiner Bowers put it to me over the phone last Friday, "It's like, 'Really? How many times did you go to a Sushi performance? How much money did you donate?'"  For my part, I should have done a better job at covering Sushi's plight.

The story started writing itself the moment the once homeless, cutting-edge arts organization moved into its new East Village digs just as the recession hit.

Read more.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Sent to us by Kim Richards is news of Engine28 temporary website that pops up just for a set of art events and then disappears. it is always fascinating to see what others are doing and it must morph into something else but we am not sure what that will be. They are hoping to address the problem which we certainly experience in SD of ”Hey You! critic” when a hapless news journalist ordered by an editor to switch beats overnight and cover the arts because somebody hadn’t been planning ahead. We think this sounds rather like the super heroes of journalism, flying in to save the day. Wouldn’t we like to have that great team here!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Daily Art Nag for June 15, 2011: Art Must Be Revolution

by Kevin Freitas

The French philosopher Alain Badiou said the other day in a lecture at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, “Art must be revolution.”

The topic, in which Matthew Barney also headlined, was billed as Can Art and Politics Be Thought? I immediately misread the topic as Can Art and Politics Be Taught, which, to this writer, is an infinitely more interesting question. Helas, I agree with Badiou and feel any sort of revolution (if not activism) in art would be a welcome one. I would be happy to throw a few pavés in the general direction of change.

In a separate article, Sebastian Smee, art critic for the Boston Globe and this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner for criticism writing on the Venice Biennale, commented, “Contemporary art likes to pretend it has no past. Every year, artists shamelessly recycle conceits that established others’ reputations mere decades earlier. Aging geniuses are relegated to the history books well before their time is up. Amnesia reigns.” More importantly, though, he made a comment about how the "gesture" in art these days has replaced the idea. “The received wisdom is that contemporary art is mostly about ideas. In truth, however, it’s mostly about gestures. Sustained engagement and the kind of mental activity that generates actual ideas are rare. In today’s art world, one gesture is completed, and a new one must be dreamed up.”

I also agree with Smee. There’s a certain level of comfort knowing that gesture has to some extent replaced any real meaning or ideas in art; it helps one to accept the inadequacy and quality (the missing content) of a lot of work I see these days – especially in San Diego.

It might also be a convenient label I can slap on any work that doesn’t meet my approval. Who's to say? But there is a fine line between "gesture" as a means to an end, a sort of justifiable irresponsibility in an artist’s intent or production (the artwork), and "gesture" in the form of, say, personal investigation, which might have more to do with ideas and a process (method, technique, material) fueled by a passion and the resulting fruitful labor of its outcome.

And so while we can pretend to effect change within our cultural ranks – for the good of the cause – there are those who gesture and leave us rotting in jail and those who point decisively. I much prefer the latter and artists who can do so with works that can lead the way.

Article first published as Art Must Be Revolution on Blogcritics.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Daily Art Nag for June 10, 2011: Heath Fox goes to the Broad

from Mike Boehm and Culture Monster

Eli Broad's museum names veteran of San Diego museums -- and U.S. Marines -- as second-in-command

Heath Fox, a retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel who made a second career helping to run art and photography museums in San Diego’s Balboa Park, was named Wednesday to serve as second-in-command at the Broad –- the downtown art museum that will house Eli Broad’s contemporary art collection and is expected to open in about two years.

As deputy director of operations, Fox, 57, will report to museum director Joanne Heyler. He begins June 27 and will spend the coming two years helping to devise the museum’s operating plan and management approaches. When the Broad opens, he’ll be responsible for planning and operations.

After retiring from the Marines in 1996 after 20 years of service, Fox became associate director of administration at the Museum of Photographic Arts from 1997 to 2001; he oversaw its $6-million expansion in 1999-2000, which increased the museum's size from 7,500 square feet to 31,000.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Daily Art Nag for June 5, 2011

Shawnee Barton, contributor to the UT's Sketchbook blog, published a recent article on how she was taking steps to become a better arts patron.  While her efforts are certainly admirable, I came up with a few of my own that I believe might have a longer lasting affect within our community.  Here they are:

1. Open a gallery or alternative exhibition space, commercial or otherwise.

2. Buy a piece of artwork. Get your FB friends to buy artwork. In fact, get everyone who lives in your apartment complex or on your block to buy artwork. Prices for work in SD are extremely reasonable and affordable.

3. Buy art supplies for an artist. Sponsor an exhibit or installation. Help stretch a canvas. Buy a frame.

4. Take a friend to a museum or gallery, and then buy them the catalog.

5. Take a collector to lunch (if you know one). Introduce yourself as Delacroix and hand them your wet paint brushes (to paraphrase Larry Rivers & Frank O'Hara).

6. Start an art publication, a real one, on paper - not a blog. Newsprint is still cheap and so is Kinko's.

7. Write about art, no seriously, write about it. Trust me on this one.

8. Buy a building, property, an empty warehouse, a tool shed if you have to. Stake a claim, build your empire, and invite other artists to join.  Live there, invite others to live with you, make lots of art.

9. Instead of sending an email to your local city council, become a city council member yourself.  You can affect change from the inside - it's warmer. If this isn't possible, protest, take to the streets, throw bricks. Kansas is going to end up biting us all in the ass if we are sitting on ours.

10. Make the best art you can and get rid of the rest. Become an arts editor, your own.

11. Get educated. Knowledge is power and history is good but art history is better.

12. Yours?