Issue Apr 2012 —

LINDSAY POLLOCK As the U.S. and Europe settle into a period of austerity, with all the associated downsizing and belt-tightening, income disparity between the super-rich and the rest widens apace. In the art world, too, a blue-chip market appears to be running on its own momentum, blithely impervious to contractions at the lower end. Our London-based correspondent Ossian Ward examines this tendency as it pertains to a trend toward large-scale art and art venues. The penchant for projects that some might call oversize is global and seems only to be growing, as multi-venue installations and giant artworks fill new, sometimes bloated museums, art fairs and extravagant gallery showrooms. Ward talked to artists and architects, critics and dealers, to determine whether art on steroids—especially that produced in a time of supposed restraint—is driven by a genuine spirit of esthetic exploration, or instead by an insatiable marketplace. Are these experiments in supersizing already passé? There certainly seems to be an audience for more modest, less commodity-based display, as is apparent at the New Museum’s current triennial, “The Ungovernables,” and the 2012 Whitney Biennial—both shows to be covered in forthcoming issues. This month, we also highlight two artists who died prematurely, but whose legacies are undergoing rehabilitation thanks to posthumous traveling retrospectives. Julian Kreimer considers the work of the pioneering Chilean-born video artist Juan Downey (1940-1993), whose first U.S. survey, “The Invisible Architect,” is currently on view at the Bronx Museum. Kirsty Bell assesses the raw yet beguiling figurative sculptures of Alina Szapocznikow (1926- 1973), a Polish artist who is woefully under known in the U.S. An eye-opening exhibition of her work arrives at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in October. Christopher Stackhouse visited the Brooklyn studio of rising art star Rashid Johnson as he prepared for his first solo museum show at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, opening this month. Their conversation touches on Johnson’s upbringing and the varieties of African-American experiences that inform his work. Finally, Paul Schimmel, chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A., pens an appreciation of artist Mike Kelley, with whom he had a long friendship and professional association. Kelley’s sudden death is a profound loss to the international art world that he helped shape. 

    Issue Apr 2012 –
    April 2012 136 Pages 0 Minutes of audio 0 Minutes of video
    In This Issue –
    Book Atlas Import Export First look Bodily Presence Backstory Exhibition Reviews
    Editor In Chief –
    Lindsay Pollock
    Design Director –
    Katharine C. Wodell
    Art In America - Issue Apr 2012  Art In America - Issue Apr 2012  Art In America - Issue Apr 2012  Art In America - Issue Apr 2012  Art In America - Issue Apr 2012  Issue Apr 2012  Art In America - Issue Apr 2012

Our Take —

Art in America started in 1913 when there seemed to be a glaring gap in the American cultural scene for a contemporary art magazine that, unlike many contemporaneous art lovers, would no longer look back to the ‘old country’ for guidance on visual culture.

Ironically, the name might now be somewhat misleading. For, if its early years were an exercise in stating the validity of homegrown American contemporary art, then it has evolved a lot over the years. Its initial raison d’etre was entirely accomplished a long time ago and, these days, it is a magazine that focuses on the international art scene as much as on homegrown product.

With highly knowledgeable and respected contributors, Art in America is a magazine that is trusted by those who are serious about art. Whilst the content is certainly meaty, as a number of key observers have noted of late, it is also an increasingly readable magazine; informative without being too pretentious. This, together with its specific American perspective –in one sense it is the only serious-but-accessible USA art title offering the right balance between text and image with a notable circulation-  puts it in a special league of art magazines beloved of the upper echelons of the international art world.

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