Quick study

Today’s links concern MFA dreams of superstardom and tenured teaching jobs, disappointing public spaces, under-recognized artists, great Brooklyn shows from 2015, a residency project at Matteawan, and Nancy Spector’s move to the Brooklyn Museum.

[Image at top:  Kerry James Marshall, Above the Line, Adjacent to the High Line at West 22nd Street. On view through March 2016.]

 Students from the fully funded MFA Program at the University of Connecticut, presenting their artists’ books at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut.  

At Glasstire, Betsy Huete writes that MFA students need to understand what it means to be an artist: “To be an artist is essentially to be a self-motivated entrepreneur, but we throw young graduates into an unsustainable cash-flow system and are surprised when they give up making art and seek other employment. Instead of saddling young artists with crippling debt and funneling them into the dead-end adjunct-professor machine, we should be asking students�while they�re still in school�to devise and articulate a practical alternative for themselves once they graduate…” I’m not sure this is the case anymore.  Read more. (Thanks to Sharon Louden for posting the link on FB)
Note: Many MFA programs today incorporate seminars and activities that prepare students for the real world, so I’m not sure this is still true. A good read nonetheless. 

At Vulture, Jerry Saltz rails against the High Line and other public spaces that are primarily designed for organized events rather than quiet contemplation: “The new spaces are not for dreaming. Or love, writing, working, worrying, or anything unknown. At night, these gussied-up spaces are for whatever entertainment might be planned. And maintenance crews. But I�ve walked alone for hours in Central Park, day and night, searching for psychic quiet in moments of personal crisis, breakups, and breakdowns. I pass a hillock around 67th Street where I remember breaking up forever with a lover; elsewhere, I remember coming undone after a woman told me we were through and came into such close contact with me that I thought I’d die. Should we talk about going into the park to gather ourselves after visiting doctors or loved ones in hospitals? Perhaps only to say that this is all but unimaginable on the High Line or Culture Shed and Pier 55. I�ve sat in Tompkins Square Park insomnia-ridden, feeling sorry for myself, scared, searching for a way to be. Yet I was healed in these spaces � space as balm, places to be my inner self but not be totally alone. That’s gone now…” Read more.

At Time Out New York, art critic Howard Halle has compiled an excellent list of ten artists he feels everyone should know, and happily it includes many Two Coats faves such as Mike Cloud, Hannah Barrett, and Andrea Belag:  “There are also artists who originally couldn�t get arrested for their work suddenly being rediscovered; for the fortunate among them, this might happen during their lifetimes. Regardless of the situation, how good your art is has very little to do with how successful you are, and given the thousands of artists vying for a shot at immortality, it�s easy to lose track of quality work. We�ve compiled this list of ten artists at various stages of their careers whose efforts ought to be recognized by every true art aficionado…” Read more.

At Brooklyn Magazine, Paul D’Agostino contributes “Best of Brooklyn Art 2015: The Past Conditional Edition,” an excellent  round-up of shows he wishes he had been able to cover this year.   “I was fortunate enough to see, experience, ponder and absorb a great deal of wonderful artwork all around town this year, and I was happy to be able to write about quite a lot of it for The L and Brooklyn Magazine. Had I my druthers, though, and perhaps a few fewer part-time gigs�and maybe also the super power of ubiquity, likely wished for by many others who cover art in New York City�I would�ve written about so many more artists, exhibitions, galleries, performances, events and particular works…” Read more. 

At Matteawan Gallery in Beacon, Karlyn Benson has invited Jean-Marc Superville Sovak to do an artist’s residency in January. Sovak is engaged with “I Draw You Talk,” a project that involves having conversations with people as he draws their portriats. If you’re in Beacon, you might want to stop in and have your portrait drawn.

At Art F City, Paddy Johnson contemplates curator Nancy Spector’s move from the Guggenheim to the Brooklyn Museum, and thinks this bodes well for Brooklyn.  Read more.

At Artnet News, Ben Davis picks what he considers the most important art essays of the year–ie, the ones he’s still thinking about. Read more.


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