The Modern Art Notes Podcast

Episode No. 343 features artists Carrie Moyer and Aram Han Sifuentes.

Moyer is included in "Inherent Structures" at the Wexner Center for the Arts. The exhibition features 16 artists who complicate abstract painting's traditional association with chance and aesthetic purity with work that addresses concerns that range from an exploration of materials and paints to the artists' sociopolitical interests. The exhibition was curated by Michael Goodson and is on view through August 12.

Carrie Moyer is a New York-based painter whose work has mined the history of abstract painting, particularly composition and the way artists have used different materials and techniques. Moyer's work -- and titles -- often point to contemporary life and politics. Moyer frequently writes criticism for outlets such as Art in America. In 1991 she co-founded the lesbian public art project Dyke Action Machine! The Tang Museum organized a survey of Moyer's work in 2013; she's also had solo shows at the Worcester Art Museum, and at the Katzen Arts Center at American University in Washington, DC.

On the second segment, Aram Han Sifuentes discusses her Protest Banner Lending Library, which she's organizing during a summer-long residency at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis. Protest Banner Lending Library is an ongoing, multi-city project in which Sifuentes works with a community to create banners and to borrown from her ever-growing library of handmade banners. The banners typically address contemporary sociopolitical issues. Her work has been exhibited at numerous museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the MCA Chicago.

Direct download: MANPodcastEpisodeThreeHundredFortyThree.mp3
Category:visual art -- posted at: 6:32pm EDT

Episode No. 342 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast is a holiday weekend presentation of previously recorded interview with curator and historian Ilona Katzew.

Along with Jaime Cuadriello, Paula Mues Orts, and previous MAN Podcast guest Luis Elena Alcala, Los Angeles County Museum of Art curator Ilona Katzew is a co-curator of "Painted in Mexico, 1700-1790: Pinxit Mexici." The exhibition is a broad survey of many kinds of 18th-century Mexican painting, including religious narratives, altarpieces, portraits, casta painting and more. It is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through July 22. The remarkable exhibition catalogue was published by DelMonico Prestel. Amazon offers it for $60.

Katzew is one of the world's foremost experts on New Spanish painting. She was previously on the program to discuss LACMA's acquisition of a significant Miguel Cabrera casta painting.

Direct download: MANPodcastEpisodeThreeHundredFortyTwo.mp3
Category:visual art -- posted at: 5:22pm EDT

Episode No. 341 features artist Inka Essenhigh and curator Kenneth Myers.

The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach is showing "Inka Essenhigh: A Fine Line," a mid-career survey of the New York-based Essenhigh's work. The exhibition was curated by Heather Hakimzadeh and remains on view through August 19. The exhibition's catalogue, an impressive 216-page monograph that also features work not in the show, was published by the museum. It's available from Virginia MOCA for $45.

Concurrently, The Drawing Center in New York is showing Essenhigh's Manhattanhenge, a site-specific commission for the museum's stairwell. It's on view through August 4, 2019.

On the second segment, Detroit Institute of Arts curator Kenneth Myers discusses his exhibition "Church: A Painter's Pilgrimage." The exhibition considers the paintings Frederic Edwin Church made in the late 1860s and 1870s of his trip to the Middle East and the Mediterranean. It opens at the Wadsworth Atheneum on June 2; the conversation on this week's program was recorded in December, 2017. The exhibition's excellent catalogue was published by the DIA. Amazon offers it for $41.

Direct download: MANPodcastEpisodeThreeHundredFortyOne.mp3
Category:visual art -- posted at: 5:19pm EDT

Episode No. 340 features author and historian Daniel E. Sutherland and artist Otobong Nkanga.

With Georgia Toutziari, Daniel Sutherland is the co-author of "Whistler's Mother: Portrait of an Extraordinary Life." The book, a biography of Anna Whistler, explains both the austere woman represented in James Abbott McNeill Whistler's famed 1871 painting Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1, better known as Whistler's Mother, and Anna Whistler's involvement in her son's career. Anna Whistler lived a remarkable life that started in the slaveholding South, continued in the rapidly industrializing northeast via her marriage to one of the most prominent railroad engineers of the time, and which took her and her family to St. Petersburg, Russia, Europe and London, where she became her son's unofficial art-world manager and agent. "Whistler's Mother" was published by Yale University Press. Amazon offers it for $13. (!)

Sutherland was previously a guest on The MAN Podcast in 2014 to discuss "Whistler: A Life for Art's Sake," his terrific biography of the artist. Yale University Press has just released it in paperback. Amazon sells it for $15.

On the second segment, Otobong Nkanga discusses her work on the occasion of "Otobong Nkanga: To Dig a Hole That Collapses Again" at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The exhibition, a survey of her work which continues through September 2, was curated by Omar Kholeif. Nkanga, who was born in Nigeria and who lives and works in Antwerp, makes paintings, drawings, tapestry, installation and gives performances that explore the history and impact of colonialism, especially in Africa. Much of her work addresses the way such histories have impacted the land, and the viewer's likely connections with that past. She has performed at or her work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, the Stedelijk Museum Arnhem, the Moderna Museet and the Centre Pompidou, and Documenta 14. The exhibition catalogue was published by Delmonico Prestel. Amazon offers it for $25.

Direct download: MANPodcastEpisodeThreeHundredForty.mp3
Category:visual art -- posted at: 5:52pm EDT

Episode No. 339 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features artist John Akomfrah.

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University is presenting John Akomfrah's three-channel video installation Precarity (2017-18), a work that it commissioned for its collection and that debuted at the Ogden Museum as part of the recent Prospect 4 triennial in New Orleans. (Nasher chief curator Trevor Schoonmaker was the curator of Prospect 4.)

Precarity loosely tells the story of coronet player Buddy "King" Bolden, the most popular musician in turn-of-the-twentieth-century New Orleans and a man known for improvisation and volume. In 1907, under circumstances that remain unclear, he was permanently committed to the State Insane Asylum in Jackson with schizophrenia. There are no known surviving recordings of Bolden's work, but historian Ted Gioia credits Bolden and his band with being the originator of what we now call jazz. The film is as much an exploration of New Orleans and southern Louisiana, its history and how its history impacts the present as it is a consideration of Bolden. Precarity is on view at the Nasher through September 2.

Akomfrah, a British artist of Ghanaian descent, is one of the founders of the Black Audio Film Collective, which was active between 1982 and 1998. The collective used film and media to examine issues of Black British identity through film and media. Since then Akomfrah and his producing partners Lina Gopaul and David Lawson co-founded Smoking Dogs Films. Akomfrah's work has been shown at the Tate Britain, the ICA London, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

On the second segment, we'll hear host Tyler Green's March conversation with Akomfrah, taped when the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presented the U.S. debut of John Akomfrah’s Vertigo Sea in “Sublime Seas: John Akomfrah and J.M.W. Turner.” The exhibition, which pairs a film installation Akomfrah made for the Venice Biennale in 2015 with Turner’s The Deluge, is at SFMOMA through September 16. It was curated by Rudolf Frieling.

Direct download: MANPodcastEpisodeThreeHundredThirtyNine.mp3
Category:visual art -- posted at: 5:17pm EDT