After 33 years at LA Louver, seminal pop artist Tony Berlant has moved across Los Angeles to Kohn Gallery, in a change that reinforces the gallery’s strategy of supporting artists who helped shape the Californian and West Coast aesthetic.Read More
This piece brings us closer to the work of the American artist Bruce Conner, currently considered one of the most important artists of the American underground scene of the second half of the 20th century. The exhibition, which can be seen in the Reina Sofía Museum from February 21 to May 22, brings together about 250 works made in different media: film and video, painting, assemblage, drawing, engraving, collage,Read More
With her gaze turned skyward, Light and Space artist Lita Albuquerque draws inspiration from the cosmos.Read More
So much art wants to move you. Lita Albuquerque’s art, on the other hand, wants to ground you, align you to the cosmos, and connect you to a world bigger and deeper than the one you know.Read More
The Prix Pictet aims to harness the power of photography – all genres of photography – to draw global attention to issues of sustainability, especially those concerning the environment.Read More
The desert has long exercised its fascination over the minds of artists, architects, musicians, writers, and other explorers of landscape and soul. From the theological cast of the Biblical desert wilderness to the secular observations of Joan Didions Holy Water, it is a place of scarcity, of stark contrasts, crude survival, mystery and transformation.Read More
"BRUCE CONNER: IT'S ALL TRUE" (Museum of Modern Art, New York) MOMA delivered for Conner with this staggering retrospective that underscored the reciprocity between his moving-image and static work by giving seven films optimun projection within the 250-piece exhibition.Read More
Bruce Conner (1933, McPherson, Kansas - 2008, San Francisco) is one of the most pre-eminent American artists from the second half of the twentieth century. This exhibition, the first to present his work in Spain, brings together more than 250 works which span his fifty-year career.Read More
Mark Ryden will have a major restrospective of his work exhibited in Málaga, Spain at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga.Read More
I’ve always remembered a story my father used to tell me, about how my mother was arrested in North Beach, San Francisco in the late 1950’s for walking barefoot in public. “Howl”, City Lights Books, and Lenny Bruce were often mentioned in the same conversations. Those were days when society and government heavily censored people - their writing, speech, music, public activity, and art - primarily out of fear, fear of anything different or non-conformist.Read More
Realist. Surrealist. Hippie. Punk. Bruce Conner (1933-2008) was all of these and more. A Bay Area pioneer in experimental film, collage, photography, conceptual works, and paintings, Conner challenged the limitations of medium, genre, and style, constantly breaking new ground.Read More
In an onstage conversation Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where Directors’ Circle donors were previewing “Bruce Conner: It’s All True,” it was emphasized that Conner, “the quintessential artist’s artist” by museum director Neal Benezra’s description, was a man of paradox.Read More
He made an art film about the Kennedy assassination and delicate, meditative paintings based on inkblots and autumn leaves. His haunting assemblages, like those of a viscerally rotting “COUCH” or a mutilated and gauze-shrouded “CHILD” bound in a high chair, hold an undimmed charge more than a half century after they were made. So do his photographs of San Francisco’s burgeoning punk rock scene of the 1970s and ’80s. Female nudes proliferate in his art. Mushroom clouds of nuclear bombs are forever blooming — one from the neck of a headless man in a collage.Read More
“WHAT A SHOW! WHAT A SHOW!” The reaction of the unseen, breathless, and elated MC at the end of Bruce Conner’s moving-image installation Three Screen Ray, 2006, is likely to be the exclamation of many a visitor exiting “Bruce Conner: It’s All True,” the revelatory retrospective of some 250 works currently installed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (through …Read More
Although John Altoon died in 1969, when he 43, his paintings and drawings look as fresh as the day they were made. They may, in fact, be even fresher.Read More
There are some artists you know are great immediately because they provoke such disparate and conflicting emotions simultaneously that they practically throw you physically off balance. John Altoon is one such artist.Read More
It’s taken a long time for Bruce Conner (1933 – 2008), the polymath San Francisco artist who was a major force in the development of both found-object sculpture and experimental film in the United States, to be given a major retrospective.Read More
Things to do with ArtReview!
if you're in Copenhagen in September...
By Louise Darblay
From 29 to 31 August, ArtReview will be in Copenhagen, hosting a talks programme at CHART, the second edition of the city's boutique contemporary art fair. Here's a selection of what else to see if you join us in the city of mermaids and armwrestling.
Kohn Gallery recently staged “American Aleph,” a retrospective of the influential West Coast artist Wallace Berman (1926–1976). Mostly self-taught, Berman fueled his output with improvisation and irreverent DIY methods.Read More
IDEAL HOME NOISE (9): BREAKDOWN, BERMAN, & GALEMBO
By JEFF JACKSON
WALLACE BERMAN: AMERICAN ALEPH
Edited by Claudia Bohn-Spector and Sam Mellon
Though he’s hardly a household name, Wallace Berman’s work casts a long shadow. He helped create the vibrant West Coast art scene of the 1960s, and was one of the luminaries featured on the cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. He’s been called a Beat artist and proto-Pop artist, but curator Johan Kugelberg more accurately describes him as “proto-punk, proto-DIY, and proto-appropriation art, and also post-Dada and post-Symbolist, and this and that, and whatever you want him to be.”
Berman’s multifaceted work refuses to fall into neat categories, which is why it’s remained a vital source of inspiration in the decades since his untimely death in 1976. He’s a major figure in American art whose true significance has yet to be fully realized.
The Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles recently mounted a Berman retrospective and their beautifully designed catalog serves as an excellent introduction to his work. It captures the full breadth of his output, including sculptures, collages, photographs, drawings, posters, film stills, mail art, and even images of pieces that are no longer extant.
There’s also a nod to his assemblage and literary magazine Semina, which lasted from 1955-64 and featured work from writers including Jean Cocteau, Herman Hesse, Robert Duncan, and John Wieners. For a deeper dive into this influential project, check out the recently reissued Semina Culture: Wallace Berman and his Circle.
American Aleph discusses Berman’s far-flung influences and the paths his work followed after an early gallery show was busted on obscenity charges. The catalog is most notable for the generous selection of Verifax collages he focused on during his final decade. These works feature a hand holding a transistor radio whose visual content continually changes: religious icons, politicians, pop stars, nudes, flowers, buildings, animals, and much more. They’re accompanied by Hebrew letters, deployed in ways that suggest mystical Kabbalistic associations.
This onslaught of images feels remarkably contemporary, leaving viewers to discern their own patterns and meanings. They’re mysteries whose depths remain unplumbed, transmissions vibrating on their own disruptive frequency.