A Loss of Permanence: Monumentality in the 21st Century

Presenting a paper recently on the monumental sculptural projects of Alexander Calder, David Smith, and Robert Smithson in Italy, as a part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s wonderful symposium The Course of Empires: American-Italian Cultural Relations, 1770-1980, (my presentation and the entire proceedings are viewable here, if you are so inclined), I drew upon two quotes from the mid-twentieth century on the topic of monumentality: … Continue reading A Loss of Permanence: Monumentality in the 21st Century

Public Sculpture is Having a Moment in the Midwest

On August 8, my beloved, complex, imperfect city of Chicago did the civic/art version of an historical battlefield reenactment…sort of. The event marked the fiftieth anniversary of the public unveiling on August 15, 1967 of Picasso’s untitled metal behemoth, now known simply as “The Picasso” (see Google Maps) or in its updated 2017 social media parlance, #EveryonesPicasso. So once again the mayor (Rahm Emanuel filling … Continue reading Public Sculpture is Having a Moment in the Midwest

Image not Object: the 2017 Whitney Biennial

The 2017 Whitney Biennial closes in just over two weeks. Since its opening in March, the exhibition has been widely heralded for its “political charge” (see for example reviews by Peter Schjeldahl in The New Yorker and Jerry Saltz in New York Magazine), for its impressive diversity of artists included (though I wish this still was not so rare as to be newsworthy), and the … Continue reading Image not Object: the 2017 Whitney Biennial

#WhyArtHistoryMatters

Earlier this week, my twitter feed—heavily populated by British academics that for some reason seem to use the format more than our American counterparts—exploded around the announcement that, from 2018 on, art history would longer be offered as subject for A-Levels in the United Kingdom. A qualifying exam often required for entrance to University, the closest equivalent we have in the United States would be … Continue reading #WhyArtHistoryMatters

Saturated and Satiated: Isa Genzken at the MCA Chicago

I reached that point last week where I desperately needed to stop writing about art and just go look at some. This overwhelming hunger to consume actual things, physical objects and images, led me to do a little binge-viewing this past weekend here in Chicago. The Art Institute offered a reinstallation of their modern collection and two very “smart” exhibitions by men named Christopher, Christopher … Continue reading Saturated and Satiated: Isa Genzken at the MCA Chicago