Saturday, January 31, 2009

4 american painters

I promised a friend I would do a plug for his European debut at SCHUEBBE PROJECTS in Dusseldorf. I could not get a press release but the exhibition is an introduction to the work of four American painters. If you are a German reader of this blog, please stop by the show and support these artists.



Justin Allen, Michael Houk, Josh Peters, Andrew Sendor

SCHUEBBE PROJECTS, Neubrueckstrasse 6, 40213 Duesseldorf

Dates: January 31- March 13, 2009

image: Michael Houk

Friday, January 30, 2009

COMESEEART - tonight at Brandeis

As mentioned yesterday:
tonight from 6-8 pm in the Shapiro Campus Center(Brandeis) a group of students will present COMESEEART, a activist performance piece. "Using images from the Rose’s collection of over 6000 art objects. COMESEEART is the beginning of a conversation on the nature of visual imagery and authenticity, the future of art at Brandeis, and how this weak decision can strengthen us as a community."
from the press release:

The “unanimous” decision by the Trustees of Brandeis University to liquidate the Rose Art Museum’s outstanding permanent collection and to close the facility is not only ill advised, but destructive to the entire Brandeis community. We demand a more detailed explanation as to how this decision was reached, considering the Rose is one of Brandeis’ greatest cultural offerings.

This situation must be remedied in efforts to defend both the reputation of the school and its many concerned students and faculty. We must consider the impact that the Trustees’ decision will have on our experience as students, and our future as professionals.

If you are in the Boston area I encourage you to lend support. Also if you are an alumni of the school please make your voice heard. Some suggestions are here. As Paddy at AFC notes, the Trustees decision was made without consulting the museum director, the community, or anyone else who might be effected by the closure. This is a unilateral move with unclear intent.

image via AFC

Creation - Painter Man

via Steven LaRose

Thursday, January 29, 2009

the Madoff effect - on Foundations

Nicholas Kristof just published an opinion piece at the NY Times on the Madoff scandal. This is apparently the most comprehensive list currently available. As he points out, most of the media coverage is about the evil genius of Madoff and all the fat cats he suckered. The real story though is how the scheme has been bankrupting foundations - 147 and counting - many that you care about.


Mr. Madoff attracted a large share of investments from foundations and non-profits. If you’re running a Ponzi scheme, you might want to manage foundation money — the principal is likely to stay invested for the long term.

I’m posting the list because this is a matter of public concern: These foundations serve the public interest, and if the non-profits that rely on them have been financially crippled we should get a heads up.

Do click the link above for the pdf. Incredible really, just makes you slack jawed.

Save the Rose Art Museum

I thought I would post some actions being taken regarding the situation with the Rose Art Museum. Get involved if you can. The following is from Adam Schwartzbaum.

If you're in Boston, TODAY at 1 pm an organized sit in will take place at the Rose Art Museum. I have not spoken to the organizer, but I believe this is a wonderful opportunity to bring positive attention both to the Rose itself and to this movement. I request that if you attend to please be respectful and set a good example for all of us who would like to be there. My suggestion is to make this sit in an inspiring and fun event that reflects the artistic spirit of the Rose itself. I encourage people to bring poems to read, songs to sing, instruments to play, and paper and markers to make signs, posters, banners... and how the world what Brandeis University is all about.

On Friday, from 6-8 pm in the Shapiro Campus Center, a group of students will present COMESEEART, a activist performance piece. "Using images from the Rose’s collection of over 6000 art objects, COMESEEART is the beginning of a conversation on the nature of visual imagery and authenticity, the future of art at Brandeis, and how this weak decision can strengthen us as a community." Sounds like it should be very cool

Today at Brandeis University, Jehuda Reinharz hosted a meeting with students on the future of the school. I want to encourage people who attended to share their thoughts and reflection on this event with all of us on the discussion board. A discussion on this topic has already begun on Facebook.
Sign the Petition supporting the Rose and invite others to do so:

4. Write a letter to Malcolm Sherman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and email a copy of it to all the administrators in the news section.
Sherman's address: Mr. Malcolm Sherman, chairman, office of board of trustees, 415 south st ms 102 waltham 02453

Some have also suggested speaking to the Attorney General's office about blocking this sale, which has sparked some controversy. If you would like to take this route, the number is: 617.727.2200.

Charles Darwin gets a Hirst re- brand

Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species is now 150th years old and a special edition is due for release next month. Damien Hirst gets the cover honor

Hirst in his own words [the Guardian]:

The painting sits firmly in the tradition of "still life" and is made up of objects I've come to imbue with my own meanings, some of them Darwinian in origin, and that I guess are seen in other areas of my work. The painting has an X-ray-like quality to it, as if it is revealing something about the structure of the objects painted.

I suppose the work, in a modest way, acknowledges Darwin's analytical mind and his courage to believe in those ideas that questioned the very fabric of existence and belief in his time.

Discuss amongst yourselves. It's a very Schnabel moment - smirk.

Image: Copyright Damien Hirst 2009
hat tip: phronesisaical

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Brandeis-Rose scandal

In case you missed the urgent situation at Bradeis: Brandeis University has a projected annual budget shortfall of $10 million and is using that as cause to liquidate the entire collection at the Rose Art Museum?!!

Tyler Green on what is happening:
Yesterday, while perusing the website of a particularly well-respected newspaper, I saw that it said Brandeis was "forced" to sell its art museum's art collection because of a financial crisis. (The newspaper quickly came to its senses and changed its reference.) It reminded me that loose phraseology and blurry explanations of what's going on at Brandeis are effectively part of the problem. So to be clear: Brandeis is not forced to do anything. So far as we know, the university is not on the cusp of failure, insolvency or closing. It is not in danger of lacking the resources to care for the art in the Rose Art Museum. (As, say, Fisk University plainly was.) Part of the problem with the word and the conceit behind it is that it accepts this as natural and sensible: If the university is facing a declining endowment and a surfeit of donations, well then of course it would close its art museum and sell the art. Hogwash. It is no more logical that a university sell off the art in its art museum than it is logical that a university would sell the trees off this quad, the books out of its library, or the science labs in its engineering buildings.
Is this some kind of canary in the coalmine? A perverse and cynical move to cover some hidden financial gamble? Unethical for sure, perhaps illegal? Winkleman has more to say with additional links. A Facebook group has been created - Save the Rose Museum.

In closing here is the mission statement of the Rose Art Museum.
Mission Statement of The Rose Art Museum:

Founded in 1961, The Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University is an educational and cultural institution dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting the finest of modern and contemporary art. The programs of the Rose adhere to the overall mission of the University, embracing its values of academic excellence, social justice, and freedom of expression.

An active participant in the academic, cultural, and social life of Brandeis, the Rose seeks to stimulate public awareness and disseminate knowledge of modern and contemporary art to enrich educational, cultural, and artistic communities regionally, nationally, and internationally. The Rose affirms the principle that knowledge of the past informs an understanding of the present and provides the critical foundation for shaping the future. It promotes learning and understanding of the evolving meanings, ideas, and forms of visual art relevant to contemporary society.


our cherished apathy

Newsflash - Global warming is 'irreversible'.

A team of environmental researchers in the US has warned many effects of climate change are irreversible.

The scientists concluded global temperatures could remain high for 1,000 years, even if carbon emissions can somehow be halted.

Their report.... appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Joseph Romm at Climate Progress has more:

NOAA stunner: Climate change "largely irreversible for 1000 years," with permanent Dust Bowls in Southwest and around the globe

Important new research led by NOAA scientists, "Irreversible climate change because of carbon dioxide emissions," finds:

...the climate change that is taking place because of increases in carbon dioxide concentration is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop....

Alarmist hype? Perhaps, in terms of some model variants but so what. If even a percentage of this is accurate we should all be in emergency mode. These are not back burner scenarios. Collectively and politically however that is exactly what we are doing. Consider the recent Pew chart here.

That is the current priority list among surveyed Americans. Global Warming is dead last. It wasn't even truly addressed at the inaugural either. A serious PR campaign needs to get underway. I know everyone is worried about jobless, understandably, but this lack of concern or even interest is too big to ignore.

From the L.A. Times:

Even if by some miracle the nations of the world could bring carbon dioxide levels back to those of the pre-industrial era, it would still take 1,000 years or longer for the climate changes already triggered to be reversed, scientists said Monday.

....Over the long haul, the warming will melt the polar icecaps more than had previously been estimated, raising ocean levels substantially, the report said.

And changes in rainfall patterns will bring droughts to the American Southwest, southern Europe, northern Africa and western Australia comparable to those that caused the 1930s Dust Bowl in the U.S.

...."The policy relevance is clear: We need to act sooner, even if there is some doubt about exactly what will happen, because by the time the public and policymakers really realize the changes are here, it is far too late to do anything about it," [said Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research].

top image:
hat tip: FDL, MJ

Monday, January 26, 2009

dear friend

Get your pre-order legacy edition now!

[click to enlarge]

via John Cole

Thursday, January 22, 2009

why not enjoy a few more moments from Tuesday

As always, The Big Picture at the Boston Globe delivers some incredible photographs.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the covers

After an incredible day yesterday, it really is sinking in...take a look at the covers. This is real.

via Ben Wikler

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


the day is here...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Suspension of Disbelief

"Suspension of Disbelief"
: A Photography Exhibition on Social Commentary" examines our ability, and sometimes necessity, to create new ways of understanding what lies in front of us. The exhibition will showcase photographs depicting alternative ways of thinking, through demystification and fantasy.

The Salena Gallery at Long Island University

Brooklyn Campus

January 20 – February 27, 2009

Reception January 22 6-8 pm

Curated by Eddy Steinhauer

Works by Kristi Steinke, William Mwazi, Katherine McDowell Peterson, Ned and Shiva Productions, Nikki Johnson, Cynthia Edorth, Lucas Thorpe.

from the press release:

On January 20, 2009 Americans will witness the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America – having elected a man who will become the first African American to take the highest office in the country. His improbable ascension is due in large part to the enormous galvanization of grassroots organizations – groups often sidelined when it comes to participation in national dialogues. Come January 20, 2009 the new President, indeed all of America who did or did not elect him, inherits two major wars, a severe economic recession, global warming and dwindling energy resources. A reasonable question to ask is "how will all of these problems be solved."

image: Jorge Rojas and Salena Gallery

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

the most loathsome

So yes, I'm posting another list for our dearly departed 2008. Sometimes a list comes along that is so scathing, brilliant, and timely you have to look to it for guidance and perspective. I present Buffalo's the Beast - 50 Most Loathsome Americans. This is a brutishly cynical masterpiece about our collective narcissism and dysfunction. In other words it's mean - you'll love it. THE TOP 50

43. You

Charges: You think it’s your patriotic duty to spend money you don’t have on crap you don’t need. You think Hillary lost because of sexism, when it’s actually because she’s just a bad liar. You think Iraq is better off now than before we invaded, and don’t understand why they’re so ungrateful. You think Tim Russert was a great journalist. You’re hopping mad about an auto industry bailout that cost a squirt of piss compared to a Wall Street heist of galactic dimensions, due to a housing crash you somehow have blamed on minorities. It took you six years to figure out what a tool Bush is, but you think Obama will make it all better. You deem it hunky dory that we conduct national policy debates via 8-second clips from “The View.” You think God zapped humans into existence a few thousand years ago, although your appendix and wisdom teeth disagree. You like watching vicious assholes insult each other on TV. You support gun rights, because firing one gives you a chubby. You cuddle falsehoods and resent enlightenment. You think the fact that 43% of whites could stomach voting for an incredibly charismatic and eloquent light-skinned black guy who was raised by white people means racism is over. You think progressive taxation is socialism. 1 in 100 of you are in jail, and you think it should be more. You are shallow, inconsiderate, afraid, brand-conscious, sedentary, and totally self-obsessed. You are American.

Exhibit A: You’re more upset by Miley Cyrus’s glamour shots than the fact that you are a grown adult who is upset about Miley Cyrus.

hat tip: Jeffrey Weaver

Monday, January 12, 2009

Secretary of the Arts!

This is a timely idea. The creation of a cabinet level position to reassert the country's 
commitment to the arts would be a huge step forward for a country in need of getting
back to the fundamentals of an open society.

Quincy Jones has started a petition to ask President-Elect Obama to appoint a
Secretary of the Arts.
While many other countries have had Ministers of Art or Culture
for centuries, the United States has never created
such a position. We in the arts need
this and
the country needs the arts-- now more than ever. Please take a moment to
sign this important petition and then pass it on to your friends
and colleagues.

Friday, January 02, 2009

um, the power of art

Excellent goof on Simon Schama's Power of Art.

via: Daily Dish

Thursday, January 01, 2009