A Brief History of John Baldessari


A biographical video at its finest … directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman with narration by Tom Waits


Rudi Gernreich

This seemed like a fitting extension of yesterday’s celebration of Op Art king Victor Vasarely.  While he was the ruler of the canvas, Rudi Gernreich was the total look, super mod fashion god!  Just amazing.  Why don’t things look this good today?!








Victor Vasarely

“My art transposes nature thus one more time, this moment right now, the one of physics that renders the world physically comprehensible.” 

                                                                          —VICTOR VASARELY (1906-1997)










Vincent Price Collection for Sears Roebuck

On October 6, 1962, the first exhibit and sale of “The Vincent Price Collection of Fine Art” took place in a Sears store in Denver, Colo. Original works of the great masters – Rembrandt, Chagall, Picasso, Whistler and more – as well as those of the best contemporary artists at the time were offered for sale.

Items ranged in selling price from $10 to $3,000. Sears customers could also purchase items on an installment plan for as little as $5 down and $5 a month. Each work in the program was guaranteed as an original work of quality, just as Sears offered quality guarantees on its lawnmowers and TVs. The program was an instant success. So many pictures were snatched up the first day that an emergency shipment had to be flown in lest the walls be bare the next day.

The program expanded in the weeks that followed, adding exhibits in 10 additional Sears stores including Hartford, Conn., Harrisburg, Penn., San Diego, Calif., Evansville, Ind., Madison, Wis., and Oklahoma City, Okla. After the successful exhibition and sale of these first 1,500 pieces, the program was expanded nationwide to all of Sears stores throughout the country, bringing original works of fine art to the American public in unprecedented quantity and quality.

Works from the collection were also offered for sale through a special catalog in 1963 and 1964. In 1966, the Sears Vincent Price Gallery of Fine Art was opened in Chicago, Ill., providing a mass audience for talented, but less well-known, young artists. The collection also held temporary exhibits in several hundred communities throughout the country and permanent galleries operated in several cities

By 1971, when the program ended, more than 50,000 pieces of fine art passed through a constantly changing collection into American homes and offices.

Anish Kapoor Thinks Big

I’d say the work of sculptor Anish Kapoor speaks for itself.  I’ll leave it at that.

I think it’s pretty awe-inspiring in its immense simplicity.  Just beautiful.

Space Program: Mars in NYC

Last night, Tom Sachs and his team of 13 astro-artists went to Mars and back, all within the comfort of the Park Avenue Armory for Space Program: Mars.  The space crew built every bit of the experience from scratch – from the shuttle down to the red space rocks on the floor of the “alien planet” – in Sach’s signature Bricolage style.  The result is nothing short of mind-blowing!

Sachs even collaborated with Nike to create a NIKECraft line that is worn by all of the space crew, and is available for purchase at the Armory.  “The five-piece collection, which will be available at the Park Avenue Armory, includes the Mars Yard Shoe, a sneaker with a vintage-style orange and tan upper and futuristic space-style soles; a lightweight Marsfly jacket; the Chester Trench, with an olive green front and a silver lining featuring the periodic table of elements; the Airbag, a duffel bag featuring a paracord that can double as a tourniquet; and a lightweight tote. Sachs and Nike used innovative materials such as automotive airbags and boat sails to make the items, giving many a double functionality, like zipper pulls that serve as storage containers.”

Lucky for all of us, last night’s opening wasn’t the only mission the team will be making.  The show will be open until June 17th, and Sachs and his space mission team will man the installation, regularly demonstrating the myriad procedures, rituals, and tasks of their mission, including “lift-off,” with real-time demonstrations playing out various narratives from take-off to landing, including planetary excursions, their first walk on the surface of Mars, collecting scientific samples, and photographing the surrounding landscape.  I’d say this one is a must for anyone who happens to be anywhere near NYC in the next month!  For more info check out the Armory website.

Interiors by Roy Lichtenstein

During the mid 1990s Roy Lichtenstein abandoned comics and still lifes for the great world of interiors.  The paintings are all rendered in his trademark, comic book-inspired style, but they definitely reflect a great appreciation for modern furniture and architecture, highlighting the simple forms and atmosphere of decorative apartment life during this time period.

I especially love how Lichtenstein-esque works hang on the walls of these homes, alongside Warhols of course!

Pretty excellent.

Your Surrealism for the Day, a la Pedro Friedeberg

Pedro Friedeberg‘s, Artist Statement….
“I was born in Italy during the era of Mussolini, who made all trains run on time. Immediately thereafter, I moved to México where the trains are never on time, but where once they start moving they pass pyramids.
My education was first entrusted to a Zapotec governess and later to brilliant mentors such as Mathias Goeritz, who taught me morals, José González, who taught me carpentry, and Gerry Morris, who taught me to play bridge.
I have invented several styles of architecture, as well as one new religion and two salads. I am particularly fond of social problems and cloud formations. My work is profoundly profound.
I admire everything that is useless, frivolous and whimsical. I hate functionalism, post modernism and almost everything else. I do not agree with the dictum that houses are supposed to be ‘machines to live in’. For me, the house and it’s objects is supposed to be some crazy place that make you laugh.
Americans do not understand Mexicans and viceversa. Americans find Mexicans unpunctual, they eat funny things and act like old-fashioned Chinese. When André Breton came to Mexico he said it was the chosen Country of surrealism. Breton saw all kinds of surrealist things happen here every day. The surrealists are more into dreaming, into the absurd and into the ridiculous uselesness of things. My work is always criticizing the absurdity of things. I am an idealist. I am certain that very soon now humanity will arrive at a marvelous epoch totally devoid of Knoll chairs, jogging pants, tennis shoes and baseball caps sideway use, and the obscenity of Japanese rock gardens five thousand miles from Kyoto.
I get up at the crack of noon and, after watering my pirañas, I breakfast off things Corinthian. Later in the day I partake in an Ionic lunch followed by a Doric nap. On Tuesdays I sketch a volute or two, and perhaps a pediment, if the mood overtakes me. Wednesday I have set aside for anti-meditation. On Thursdays I usually relax whereas on Friday I write autobiographies.”
Don’t we all?!