Sunday 16 March 2014

Can u have too much art? A visit to the Tay - the longest river in Scotland and Loch Tay one of the most beautiful - got me thinking. With so much capital committed to art today, & international trends gaining ground among the rich in Russia, the Arab States & China, how can Joe Public keep up, or indeed want to keep up? 

The Armory is New York’s leading fair for contemporary & modern art: 200 leading galleries from 29 countries with 65,000 visitorsThis year the fair's focus was ChinaPlus there's the original establishment ADAA show at Park Avenue Armory (yes, names very confusing) of  72 leading art dealers, plus 10 satellite fairs, Meanwhile the Whitney Biennialwhere 103 artists chosen by 3 curators spread over 3 floors. Reports not good: "nebulous, inert & perplexing." & "Handicrafts carry the day."
One curator loves poetry, another looks to Latin American & Asian art while the 3rd, Michelle Grabner, says"New Materialism and Affect Theory are politically compelling to me. The free market & its influence on art making, distribution, & value construction have to be looked at carefully if one is to truly understand contemporary art.

With Sotheby's & Christie's sponsoring these events & having at least an auction or 2 a day somewhere in the world, u may wonder at this art saturation, and how art dealers are coping. Answer - not well. 
Also in NYC is GAUGUIN at MoMA: 150 prints & drawings from 1889 to his death in 1903. Called "dark, bizarre & much more challenging than his lush Tahitian paintings" according to the Guardian, it's the first exhibition to take an in-depth look at these experimental radically “primitive” woodcuts etc.

As if this overload is not enough The Whitney Biennial has a spinoff in the form of the Brucennial, a rammed exhibition featuring around 600 female artists(can 600 be true?) organised by Vito, Schnabel's son. (Women’s representation had been getting better in recent Whitney Biennials, but they account for less than a third this year.)
So - HOW Beatrix Potter?? 
Potter spent her childhood holidays around Dunkeld & wrote the first Peter Rabbit here. She was also an eminent botanical illustrator & naturalist. In Dunkeld she met Charles McIntosh the local postman, who was also an expert on fungi & discovered previously unknown species. He boxed them up & sent them to Beatrix in London where they arrived - very smelly- for her to draw. While in Dunkeld she borrowed books from the Birnam Institute and on the strength of this, they have an extension, cafe & Potter play area, video etc and in June will exhibit the original fungi watercolours, normally helded in Perth Art Gallery.  
                                                 Beatrix as a child & her parents in Perthshire
                                        Birnam Arts   
Back in Manhattan ASIA WEEK is now on, till 22nd March: 47 specialist dealers from all over the world + shows in 19 museums and institutes including the Met which has Contemporary Ink Art & Edo prior paintings. I love traditional Asian art but we all have to learn about  their contemporary work. 
                         Video by Nalini Malini at the Asia Society NY. 
           Indian 1780
                                                                M Wang 2010
 ancient chinese

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