MSB brainstorming

27 May 2008

Trailer Star on Songs Illinois Music Blog

Well respected music blog features Trailer Star album...

Songs Illinois

New song/record from Ron Sexsmith - “Exit Strategy For The Soul” (Yep Roc, July 8) (plus Trailer Star from England)May 21st, 2008

I’m always talking the talk about over-produced records and how something lofi is usually ultimately more satisfying. Well today we walk the walk with the new record from Trailer Star aka Shaun Belcher. This arrived unannounced in my inbox by way of England. Shaun Belcher is a singer songwriter along the lines of our own Jim White. That means he’s concerned with sin and salvation and creates folk music that has a southern gothic feel to it. To go along with the music Shaun creates original artwork that is clearly influenced by the folk art of the deep south. Here’s his song “Firework Factory” and the artwork that goes with it.Suit of Nettles is the new record and the limited edition cd can be purchased from the trailerstar records website.

25 May 2008

Art Radio Podcast from Corinne Schatz's Birthday Party

This weeksBAD AT SPORTS art-radio podcast show from the US is as long as your arm and brimming with what you need to know about the art world around you…

It’s a three shows for the price of one deal!!!

First Duncan takes on the Chicago Artist Coalition to find out, what they do and
what business they have publishing a magazine.

Next,Terri and Serena talk to David Adjaye and Cydney Payton at The Museum of Contemporary Art: Denver
and figure out how you go about building a museum.

As if that was not enough, Mark Staff Brandl our European Chief checks in to remind us
how important it is to be a member of a community.

The EuroShark, Mark, temporarily sans his new partner Lamis El Farra, goes to the 50th birthday party of the most important art historian of contemporary art in East Switzerland,
Corinne Schatz.

Much of the regional art scene, from famous to lesser well-known was
there. Brandl ambushes and steamrolls many of them into making
off-the-cuff comments about Corinne, something Swiss people absolutely
hate. They prefer to brood over answers for a long time, making
certain they are not stepping on any feet. Fortunately, almost
everyone here played along good-naturedly, even if no one answered the
million-dollar question, “Why should Corinne write a huge damn
monograph about you and your art?” Look for serious interviews with
many of these artists in the future, so let this serve as a
superficial introduction.


Names dropped and Interviewees include:

Corinne Schatz
Marianne Schatz
Marlis Pekarek
Josef Felix Mueller
Urs Eberli
Clemens Mueller
Rachel Lumsden
Elisabeth Nembrini
Elisabeth Keller-Schweizer
Ursula Badrutt Schoch

23 May 2008

Post-Event Artworld Arising (Slowly?); C. Knight on Matthew Barney's 'REN'

Finally, an important critic takes a clear stance on "Event Art." Will the Consensus Curatorial World that feeds on such events be analyzed soon too?

Christopher Knight of the LA Times dissected Matthew Barney's 'REN' in a recent article.

"Cliches Abound"

"The first mistake Matthew Barney made in his corny two-hour performance, "REN," at a Santa Fe Springs car lot Sunday night, was in the choice of starring automobile. The 1967 Chrysler Imperial had obvious meanings.

The year is the artist's birth date. The make is Manhattan's iconic skyscraper, a star of Barney's five-part film, "The Cremaster Cycle." Lastly, the journey from Vietnam to Iraq in America's imperialist adventures abroad was spelled out on the car's front grille.

It was that kind of night. Clich├ęs were practically announced via bullhorn to several hundred invitation-only guests. So provincial was the vision of the West that a better headline star would have been a 1967 Chrysler New Yorker. "


"Consider the interminable event over not on the day the troops come home from Baghdad or a replacement for a petroleum-based economy is found, but on the night the Chrysler Imperial's car hood shows up on the turntable at Christie's auction house."

Read the rest here

14 May 2008

Robert Rauschenberg Passes Away

Michael Kimmelman of The New York Times reports that "Robert Rauschenberg, the irrepressibly prolific American artist who time and again reshaped art in the 20th century, died on Monday night at his home on Captiva Island, Fla. He was 82.

The cause was heart failure, said Arne Glimcher, chairman of PaceWildenstein, the Manhattan gallery that represents Mr. Rauschenberg.

Mr. Rauschenberg's work gave new meaning to sculpture. "Canyon," for instance, consisted of a stuffed bald eagle attached to a canvas. "Monogram" was a stuffed goat girdled by a tire atop a painted panel. "Bed" entailed a quilt, sheet and pillow, slathered with paint, as if soaked in blood, framed on the wall. All became icons of postwar modernism.

A painter, photographer, printmaker, choreographer, onstage performer, set designer and, in later years, even a composer, Mr. Rauschenberg defied the traditional idea that an artist stick to one medium or style. He pushed, prodded and sometimes reconceived all the mediums in which he worked.

Building on the legacies of Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell and others, he helped obscure the lines between painting and sculpture, painting and photography, photography and printmaking, sculpture and photography, sculpture and dance, sculpture and technology, technology and performance art -- not to mention between art and life.

Mr. Rauschenberg was also instrumental in pushing American art onward from Abstract Expressionism, the dominant movement when he emerged, during the early 1950s. He became a transformative link between artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning and those who came next, artists identified with Pop, Conceptualism, Happenings, Process Art and other new kinds of art in which he played a signal role.

No American artist, Jasper Johns once said, invented more than Mr. Rauschenberg. Mr. Johns, John Cage, Merce Cunningham and Mr. Rauschenberg, without sharing exactly the same point of view, collectively defined this new era of experimentation in American culture."

Continue reading the article here.

02 May 2008

Brandl: Meeting Joe Fyfe at Felix Lehner’s Casting Foundary

Joe Fyfe painting

Felix Lehner and Hans Josephsohn

I've been meaning to write about this for some time, but kept getting sidetracked by other events. Last summer, I met the very interesting painter and "writer on art" Joe Fyfe.

Unfortunately I was in the throes of completing my three years of learning Latin and preparing for and taking the day-long final examinations, as well as painting for a couple of shows and teaching. Thus, I didn't get more than one real meeting with him, visiting him at the studio where he was staying and having lunch in the restaurant surrounded by the Pipilotti Rist's "Kunst am Bau," a giant red outdoor lounge. I agree with what Joe said, that it is not a metaphor that really attracts me. It was gutsy of the city to pay for and install it (most Kunst am Bau is rather flaccid, decorative geometric nonsense or quasi-event neo-conceptual entertainment novelties). Nevertheless, it doesn't hold together well and is ageing quickly and poorly.

Fyfe was doing a visiting artist/scholar residency at Felix Lehner's wonderful fine art casting foundry, a place I should hype more. St. Gallen, Switzerland is fortunate to have two of the world's best artisans-serving-fine art: Urban Stoob, a famous and remarkable stone lithographer about whom I'll write another time, and Felix Lehner.

In the Sitter river valley, a small yet dramatic drop from the surrounding area, west of the city, an industrial (more formerly than now) area is located. Here, a former textile dyeing factory was converted by Lehner into a foundry. Within 10 years it had international renown. Over a dozen expert artisans assist artists in the production of sculptural works as well as occasionally restoring important historical bronzes. And generally of very large proportions.

Felix Lehner, the founder and boss of the foundry is highly knowledgeable of contemporary art. Furthermore, he is the initiator of the "Sitterwerk" a permanent conglomeration of a handful of buildings forming a private art center (link), including a monographic museum, Schaulager and library. One area is dedicated primarily to Hans Josephsohn, a unique sculptor who you should google. The Sitterwerk and Foundary's website in English is here. The site for the Josephsohn museum, situated in the former boilerhouse, hence called the Kesselhaus, is here.

Fyfe, besides painting his own works, was there to research and rewrite an essay for Art in America on Hans Josephsohn. Fyfe had just returned from an extended stay in Southeast Asia, which he blogged about here.

Joe is, in fact, a fine and inveterate blogger. You can check in on him here, where, under July 18th, he wrote about our meeting.

Fyfe does some highly unique artworks wherein I see shades of Blinky Palermo cavorting with the soul of Matisse. Generally described, he stitches and glues found fabric together, abutting the elements rather than collaging them, and then applies very sparse strokes of paint. Very atmospheric, clear-sighted, elegant and historically aware. His writing is similar. Some bio minutiae: Fyfe was born in NYC in 1952, received his BFA from the University of the Arts in 1976. He has had recent solo shows of his paintings at JG Contemporary in New York City, and at Mai's Gallery in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He has been in recent shows at Tracy Williams Ltd. and Cheim and Read in NYC, Galerie Pitch in Paris and The Myers School of Art in Akron, Ohio. He has taught at Parsons, VCU, Temple and UT, Knoxville. He has received grants from The Pollock-Krasner and Gottlieb Foundations and he writes for Gay City News, Art in America, Arts AsiaPacific, Art on Paper and

You can read articles by Fyfe at artcritical here.

A fine interview with Joe and Merlin James titled "This Wonderful Exile of the Artist" was in Modern Painters (no kidding! A painter interviewed in Modern Painters!). It is available on the web here.

A review of Fyfe's paintings by Stephen Maine, originally in Art in America, is available here.

And while we are listing links, Fyfe is represented primarily by JG Contemporary, website here.

I felt an immediate affinity with Joe, and a similarity of perception, strangely enough, as our individual aesthetics are superficially so different. I would have liked to talk longer and repeatedly with him. Well, another time!