Wednesday, August 02, 2006

goodbye RICHRICHRICH

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RICHRICHRICH will challenge your thoughts on what art is, what it can be or should be. The gallery, which I have stated time and time again has never failed to impress, consistently keeps its supporters and art viewers guessing and happily surprised. The last time I went to RRR, I spoke about the space transformation which began from a mess of "is this art?" piles and has since blossomed into a "real" gallery space. I only say "real" because most people have a notion of what a gallery should be or look like but the group behind this space has rejected that idea and made the space a living work of art. This last show is the most visually organized of the four shows. It is like all the little pieces of debris have been pieced back together to create the works on display by German artist Rene Zeh and other gallery artists. It is not often around here that we can see other very current, contemporary artists: this alone is why a contemporary (mocad) coming to detroit is so important (and hopefully they too will mix in michigan artists with other national/international contemporaries). The gang at RRR could have just shown their own work and not included any outside talent but they didn't. They found national artists like Wendy White, Kate Levant and internationals like Rene Zeh (who shipped his work in tubes) - yes even the large sculpture in the middle of the room came in pieces to be assembled on-site!


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This piece by nolan simon (I am sorry to say I don't have a complete picture of it, but you can see above and below) consists of two canvases turned towards the wall, a table of items, an air duct, and a door to the right. After watching a few people fail at opening the door, it was noted that the door was fake. I thought to myself..."ok, this isn't too strange seeing that the first show was a mess of visual games". I stood and looked at the installation for some time. I know Simon pretty well and I had my notions about what the whole piece meant, well up until someone told me what the piece really was.
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This picture is not taken at RRR. It is a picture of an artist's studio found on the internet and recreated by Simon. Now think about that for a moment. The relationship between the unknowing artist and Simon still has me thinking.


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This piece was inspired by the Josh Smith discussion on this blog about his palette paintings. Some people loved the show, but for many others that show got under their skin.
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From looking at the range of work on Rene Zeh's website, I was happy to see a sculpture and oversized drawings make it to RRR. Sculptures like the piece above leave little impression with me because I feel that I spend a lot of time searching for what it is about but can never entirely solve the riddle. Sometimes with sculptures, I forget to look at them like abstract paintings that carry little meaning but have tons of working visual elements. This piece is well executed and I can't argue the artist's intent but it still to me is just a structure of wood with photographs. It likely carries enormous meaning for the artist yet fails to clue me in on what it is about. I see a growing trend of art like this...art that seems smarter than the viewer...just look at the last whitney biennial. It is strange that not only is the art world seen as isolated and hard for others to grasp, but inside that community are isolated groups of artists.


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This piece was either done by mike smith or ben kiehl...maybe someone could clear that up for me?

10 Comments:

Anonymous Ben Kiehl said...

To Ann -

The piece is by Mike Smith (2005).

Centerfold, Paint, Frame

Mike Made the Piece, I own the Piece.
From Ben.

12:21 AM  
Anonymous nolan simon said...

Hey Ann,
The three drawings were of tree houses with cutouts of fashion and design ads. The sculpture too, and much of Rene's other work, references temporary living structures, "shanties" maybe. I think the fashion ads serve to bring glamor into the mix. Like the photo with the pink tree...suspended structure + hiltons.

It's not that far away.

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Brian Steck said...

Overall, good looking show. Interesting work. I just wish I was there to see it.

Also, nice piece Nolan.

Great job covering the show Ann. Thanks.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous sunny said...

check out Ron Muecks sculptures
@ royal art academy scottland!

super creepy!

10:23 AM  
Blogger cmcgraw said...

continue, please

12:16 PM  
Anonymous m. said...

I finally! got the opportunity to stop by this space and discuss the goals et all, very interesting conversation, I enjoyed it very much. But ann must have squeezed herself into the corner or right through the wall to get the photos that make the space look soooo big! lol. Very good work all aaround.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It likely carries enormous meaning for the artist yet fails to clue me in on what it is about. I see a growing trend of art like this...art that seems smarter than the viewer...just look at the last whitney biennial. It is strange that not only is the art world seen as isolated and hard for others to grasp, but inside that community are isolated groups of artists."

This was a very interesting comment. Does no one read the descriptions, or are you all just looking at the pictures? I'm surprised that with all the pointless mouth-gushing going on on other pages, no one has had anything really meaningful to say here.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Federline said...

Why didn't Rene Zeh use magizine pictures of my Baby Girl?

6:19 PM  
Anonymous m. said...

anon., I think we have already had this discussion on another thread... hence the lack of "mouth-gushing".

7:54 PM  
Anonymous m. said...

here, I can summarize for you: somebody says "It is strange that not only is the art world seen as isolated and hard for others to grasp, but inside that community are isolated groups of artists."

and then half the people take the stance that artists only need to please themselves.

the other half of the people say that art is for the community and should have ubber-meaning.

I say that there is validity to both sides but also something said for solid arts management.

then someone says something wacky to get everyone off topic like "lets make some silly shiit and misbehave".

People get mad, it's a paradoxical arguement that goes nowhere because nobody's viewpoints change drastically, the original post falls off the front page of ann's blog and we all forget about it. :-) Good?

7:59 PM  

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