James Welling —

Art In America’s familiar offer of reviews, news and feature articles on the international art world and its players provides a number of notable treats in its February issue. Mark Prince observes internationally acclaimed video artist Kutlug Ataman’s return to his native Turkey for a substantial solo at the Istanbul Modern and concomitantly provides a catch-up history of one of the world’s most prominent contemporary artists currently working with the moving image. Steel Stillman undertakes a studio visit with legendary American artist James Welling whose low-key, relaxed responses to the questions are far more forthcoming than his beautifully abstracted and often opaque images. And Alex Gartenfield ponders the work and practice of Jonathan Meese whose dissonant and absurdly humourous installations that grapple with the heart of European identity creaking under the weight of its own history have long since won him international acclaim.

The range of articles less focussed on individual artists is equally rewarding. Eleanor Hartney meanders through the current landscape of Central Asian art where a whole new generation of artists are mounting their responses to the ancient local condition of literally being in between East and West. And architectural critic and theorist Aaron Betsky poses some incisive questions about the latest slew of blockbusting and costly new museums in Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago. Not only is he interested in whether form fits function, but, indeed, in the economics of what it takes to make a building that truly serves contemporary art.

Naturally, there are also all the usual punchy short reviews and international news items that are standing features of every issue.

    James Welling –
    February 2011 124 Pages 0 Minutes of audio 0 Minutes of video
    In This Issue –
    Kutlug Ataman Michelangelo pistoletto Jonathan Meese Hide / Seek Central Asia Report In The Studio: James Welling Artwork
    Design Director –
    Katharine C. Wodell
    Editor In Chief –
    Marcia E. Vetrocq
    Art In America - James Welling  Art In America - James Welling  Art In America - James Welling  Art In America - James Welling  Art In America - James Welling  James Welling  Art In America - James Welling

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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