We love this line from Roberta Smith’s piece on Michael Mahalchick: “In Mr. Mahalchick's best work an almost devotional sense of precision shines through a thin veneer of slovenliness. Elsewhere the veneer thickens.” [NY Times]
In other newspaper-critics-agreeing-with-us news, Adrian Searle doesn’t like the Hans-Peter Feldmann exhibition at the Serpentine (which was largely drawn from last month’s groan-worthy 303 Gallery show). [The Guardian]
On the other hand, Frieze has a review of a Richard Prince show that honestly starts like this: ”'Good artists borrow, great artists steal' is a quote often ascribed to Pablo Picasso. It could also be the motto of Richard Prince, who is known for appropriating existing photographs, and hence taking the Picasso quote almost literarly [sic], something that has caused him copyright lawsuits in the past.” For real, guys? Can we start using the big-boy ledes, please? I think I started an essay with that quote in tenth grade. [Frieze]
New York has a piece by Justin Davidson about what the renovations coming to Times Square will look like. The answer? Boring. Which is exactly what Times Square needs. [New York]
So The Times sent art critic Holland Cotter to Africa for a month. His verdict: everything is African, too African, or not African enough, but at least now we’re making things more African, and also less African. It’s a sensitive, inquisitive dispatch, but we’re not sure where it’s going. [NY Times]
Nadja Sayej says she got a Documenta press kit that consisted almost entirely of photographs of curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. We understand that there wouldn’t be much in the way of installation photographs—the exhibition, after all, is still six weeks away—but still, these photos are hilarious. [ArtStars*]
Morley Safer’s feature on the contemporary art world for 60 Minutes last night was 13 minutes of boring but we’ll probably talk about it anyway. In the meantime, Jerry Saltz has already penned more than 700 words on the subject. [NYMag]
Martin Gayford visits the Tate and concludes that Damien Hirst hasn’t had a good new idea in 20 years. Are there any living critics who like the bulk of what he’s made in his career? [Bloomberg]
Certainly not Adrian Searle, who says it’s impossible to strip away the repetition in Hirst’s body of work. Nothing compares to the cows head and flies he made back in 1990, except perhaps “the large, sealed double vitrine from the following year, containing a desk, chair, ashtray and packet of cigarettes (The Acquired Inability to Escape), but even this has the feel of an extrapolation rather than a development.” Ouch. [The Guardian]
John Yau’s been writing some really great stuff over at Hyperallergic. This weekend he talks about Sylvia Plimack-Mangold ascribing to her paintings a “conceptual complexity… that critics often deny is possible in all painting, as if somehow painting is all just a matter of hand and eye coordination, with no thinking.” [Hyperallergic]
Closed Systems: Generative Art and Abstraction. Set aside a bit of time to read this. It requires more head space than a lot of the bloggy chatter out there. [Marius Watz]
Kat Kinsman shares a horrific story of torment she endured in junior high on account of her big nose. Many years later, art school cures her woes. [CNN]
IMAGE: Syliva Plimack-Mangold, “Exact and Diminishing” (1976), acrylic on canvas, 30 x 72 inches
A handful of performances, new and old, deliver a welcome jolt. Banksy might be just like us, and Ai Wei Wei gets a job. Art activities may now include plant-growing and drug trafficking, so pot dealers rejoice!
This week in Massive Links: Annoying. Four year old Aelita Andre opens first solo show at Agora Gallery. The media cares. CultureGrrl readers have had a treat over the last few years — constant coverage of Ourousoff’s so called fuck ups. Also, all those Tintorettos in Venice? Total overkill.