Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"A Complexity That Trumps Similarities"

"Sometimes I think the British artist-musician Martin Creed makes art for dummies, not excluding myself. At the same time, his accumulations and arrangements of everyday objects and materials initially seem so rudimentary and forthright that they can also make you feel smart."

"The dumb-smart continuum is very much in play in Mr. Creed’s concurrent shows at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the West Village and the uptown gallery of Hauser & Wirth. On this occasion he has made art from such mundane items as bricks, I-beams, colored yarn, rolls of toilet paper and light bulbs, rarely using more than one material or kind of object per work. Together these exhibitions provide an unusually complete picture of his subversive wit and rather restrained, almost classic sense of beauty, not least because he uses the two locations for call-and-response exchanges."

Click New York Times link to read more.


john said...

Well, speaking of great looking end-of-aisle toilet paper displays (and that truly is awesome, not for the originality, but for the volume), have you heard the news that A&P Stores have merged with Stop&Shop, and the new company will be called Stop&Pee?

Old, true, but I still like it.

Chip Ahoy said...

Oh Martin. He spent the night here one time. When he left my closet was all organized.

Chip Ahoy said...

This is one of the things that Camille Paglia said on the YT video, that when Marcel Duchamp placed a urinal upside down and called it "fountain" and other such avant-garde movements as dadaists, post modernists, in her view the piniclexxxx pinaclexxxx pinnacle seen in Andy Warhol then pretty much everything following that is second/third/fourth rate (level) weak tea imitation of that same thing. But crucially, in her view, the artists hurt for it. At the time, if you remember, they were not praised for that. Glenn interjects but she is fast to snatch back, Mapplethorpe's plastic figure upsidedown in the artist's own urine is not art, not by a longshot, but that is the state of art criticism today and art critics falling over themselves in support of that derived unimaginative plastic piss, rather in support of distancing regular Americans from art, is the reason and how art critics make art more distant (to Americans) and discredit themselves to Americans in general. She wrote a book on this. And my problem with such art retrospective books is that I never do get past Egypt, that is, I am always stuck on the first pages, I'll flip through to the end, of course, but those pages hardly get read. Come on, it all happens at the front.

ricpic said...

The Times can say anything it wants, Creed is clearly a mediocrity. I'll confine myself to the uptown show which consists of unoriginal unstriking attempts at expressionist portraits. This sort of thing was old hat and already derivative in the 1920's. One of the few enlightening comments I've ever read by an art critic (Roger Fry?) was in a review of a circa mid-20's show of German expressionists and their precursors, the main one being Van Gogh. What the reviewer noticed was that the German expressionists were trying, straining really, to convey the genuine anguish that was so manifest in Van Gogh's work. And it showed. Whereas Van Gogh wasn't trying to emote, it was a byproduct of his struggle to get down what was in front of him, they, the expressionists who followed Van Gogh were straining to be tortured ala Van Gogh. To capture and re-present the Van Gogh affect. In short there work was derivative. Forced. And Creed's work is derivative twice, since he's straining after the affect of the expressionists who themselves had been after an affect not an effect.