As William H. Gass’s own writing often has something of a confessional bent, it would not be inappropriate to begin a review of the eighth collection of essays by the great novelist, philosopher and critic, Life Sentences: Literary Judgments and Accounts (Knopf, 350 pages, $28.95), with a confession. At 19, being underfunded, we lifted a copy of his pointillist 1976 classic On Being Blue from a bookstore. His listy, lush, jazzy, staccato, masterful riff on the epistemological variants, meanings and hues of the gloomiest color makes a powerful palliative in moments of blueness. That book was a dose of what he’s called his “metaphysical hot todd[ies],” elixirs we would recommend to any melancholic. Read More
By Andrew Russeth 10/11/11 6:35pm
The West Chelsea art district is rarely quieter than it is late on Sunday nights. The employees of the neighborhood’s galleries, which operate Tuesday through Saturday, are in the middle of their weekends, and even most of the local clubs settle down a bit. However, this past Sunday, The Transom found West 26th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues, abuzz with activity. Luxury cars—Cadillac Escalades, Mercedes-Benzes, a coveted Maybach—lined the street, and rap was spilling out of the second-floor Tony Shafrazi Gallery. Read More
By Andrew Russeth 9/27/11 2:20pm
“I’ve never done a hotel fair before,” Petra Leene, the director of Amsterdam’s Amstel Gallery told us, sitting on her bed in a room on the second floor of the Capitol Skyline Hotel, in Washington, D.C. “I thought the purpose of a hotel fair was that you slept in your room. I didn’t know!”
It Read More
By Andrew Russeth 9/27/11 9:04am
A $1 million Renoir painting plucked from a Houston home by an armed robber earlier this month remains at large, and local police officials now tell press that they believe that the work may be on its way out of the country. Details for the reasoning behind that suspicious have not been released. Read More
By Andrew Russeth 9/26/11 6:07pm
The board of the Frick Collection announced today that it has appointed Charles M. Royce, the president and co-chief investment officer of Royce & Associates and president of the Royce Funds, as its newest trustee. Read More
By Andrew Russeth 9/26/11 11:45am
Art dealer Daniel Reich, who began operating his gallery out of his tiny Chelsea apartment on West 21st Street in 2001, has announced that he is closing his current base of operations, on West 23rd, and will reopen at some point in the future at a new location.
“While our 23rd Street location was very successful,” Mr. Reich said in a letter sent to his mailing list, “we will scale back for a term and then do a space with more the feel of the time–however that is manifest.” He did not set a timeline for that transition to a new location. Read More
By Andrew Russeth 9/26/11 8:35am
Days after members of the Russian art collective Voina called on artists to boycott the 4th Moscow Biennale, alleging that their name was being used to represent work that they did not create, they have begun to garner some support from fellow artists, with the Yes Men art activist duo announcing that they will join the protest. Read More
By Andrew Russeth 9/23/11 5:41pm
Performance art fans, start planning your November. Performa 11, New York’s performance art biennial, today announced its full slate of events, which will run from Nov. 1 through Nov. 21. Tickets are now available for the epic array of events. Read More
By Andrew Russeth 9/23/11 3:15pm
Paintings have behaved oddly this year.
At MoMA, Jutta Koether’s became props for interactive events and then morphed into sculptures; at Friedrich Petzel, pieces made jointly by Stephen Prina and Wade Guyton disappeared after only one day; and at Carriage Trade, a series of monochromes were attributed to a nonexistent artist, their origin never quite explained. And then there is the case of Sarah Crowner’s beautiful and peculiar new show at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, on the Lower East Side.
“I like the idea that a painting can have other functions, depending on how the viewer interacts with it,” Sarah Crowner told The Observer, as she stood in her studio in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn. “A painting,” she said, “could be an environment for a performance.” She spoke quickly and seriously, as if she had thought this out and was enthusiastic about the possibilities of her choices. Read More
By Andrew Russeth 9/23/11 10:33am