The annual Armory Show, held February 23-26 on a pier in NYC and billed as a giant showcase for contemporary art, is:
a. A massive gallery in which all sorts of art, some contemporary, some merely not antique just yet, is for sale, often for sums of money that will buy you an '09 bungalow.
b. Not the starfucking series of fashion shoots w/ art backdrops that Miami Basel is (Heard firsthand from a reliable source + read so in New York magazine = truish).
Art Capades was technically on vacation (leaving behind her computer for the first time since joining the Current as a freelancer in 2003) and skipped two Texas-related events: a reception for Artlies magazine - which is edited by Contemporary Art Month co-director Anjali Gupta - and a reception for a group show that included local sculptor and multimedia artist Chris Sauter. So she feels especially compelled to report the good chisme that Artlies is going to collaborate with Houston-based electronic art journal Glasstire.com. Details to follow.
Art Capades' favorite Armory Show takeaway: Allison Smith's The Muster. The pocket-size book, published by the Public Art Fund of NYC, documents the recent Artpace resident's public-art project on New York's Governor's Island - where Smith coopted the tradition of Civil War reenactment by asking dozens of artists to create installations that answered the question "What are you fighting for?" That was also the refrain for Smith's reworking of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" in her recent Artpace residency, and a picture of Smith in uniform on her Artpace Hobby Horse made it into The Muster just in time for printing (the horse, btw, was purchased by London super-collector Charles Saatchi & will be installed at the Saatchi Gallery later this year.
If you want to bask in some statewide synergy, head on up to Austin this weekend for the opening of the second Texas Biennial. Several SA artists made the cut, including Michelle Gonzales Valdez (aka Bunnyphonic), Gary Sweeney, Charlie Morris, Linda Pace - and Mimi Kato, winner of the CAM 2006 Hickey Award for overall excellence (yours truly being a panel member for that one). Artpace curator Kate Green was one of the jurists for the '07 biennial.
The show opens at four venues - the Dougherty Art Center, Okay Mountain, Site 1808, and Bolm Studios - starting today; all locations are open this Saturday from noon-5pm. Info on the website.
(Read about the inaugural 2005 Biennial here - and don't mind the missing-image black boxes, a hangover from January's server meltdown.)
Speaking of the talented Ms. Green, the opportunity cost for Art Capades' NY weekend was missing the launch of art e-journal NeoAztlan: an iParty (guest DJs + iPods = iParty) at Holden's 101 in Southtown, where she took a turn at the digital table. Those of us who missed it are in luck, though, b/c the event (sponsored in part by the Current) was so successful, a monthly encore is in order to celebrate each new issue. Stay tuned for details.
- Elaine Wolff