The D.C. Docent

What can you say about Nam June Paik? You’ve no doubt read my numerous comments over the last 2 years about how his retrospective at the Guggenheim many moons ago was one of my all time favorite museum shows; so there’s that. The new exhibition Nam June Paik: Global Visionary which opened last week at The American Art Museum gives yet another comprehensive look at his body of work (and vision) that escapes neat classification. This exhibition trailer gives just the slightest glimpse into the myriad reasons you should visit this show, but at least a glimpse is better than nothing at all.

Exhibition runs through August 2013. Also be sure to check out the extensive online resources for the Nam June Paik archive, exhibition programming and more at the link above.

As we commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, it’s worth watching this video from The American Art Museum on The Effects of the Civil War on American Art. This video is 1 out of 3 sessions. This is in conjunction with the The Civil War and American Art exhibit which opened 2 weeks ago.

It’s 2 hours long, and the scripted speaking styles of the presenters aren’t as dynamic as you’d want, but there’s a lot of great perspective and background on representations of slaves in art, tensions as reflected (or not) in works, how art institutions responded to the war and more in this video. There’s also some great information about representations of women in American art as well.

Also, check out the short podcasts on similar topics and the museum website with many other resources. The exhibit runs through April 2013.

40 Under 40: Videos from Craft Futures at The Renwick

Craft is alive. Just ask anyone who knows what’s going on…and I mean that in a completely non-ironic way. You may only know about the hipster side of craft, so I beg you not to judge! 40 Under 40: Craft Futures, a new exhibit opening at the Renwick next week, does appear to give a glimpse of the future of handicrafts and traditional decorative art craft practices such as knitting, quilting, woodworking, ceramics and more.

The show features “40 artists born since 1972, the year the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s contemporary craft and decorative arts program was established at its branch museum, the Renwick Gallery.”

My favorite part of this as yet unseen exhibit is that the future has been announced via YouTube by the American Art Museum’s YouTube Channel which has short interesting videos that each of the participating artists were asked to make. Some personal favorites include Melanie Bilenker, Olek, Jen Stark, Daniel Michalik, and Cristina Cordova.

I am ready to be wowed by crafts! And thankful to the Smithsonian for doing something cool with video!

Opens July 20th at The American Art Museum at The Renwick and runs through February 3, 2013.

Direct reblog from manpodcast:

Cory Arcangel, Video Painting, 2008. Collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Cory Arcangel, who is included in “The Sports Show” at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Arcangel is best-known for his tweaks of video games and his media-based tricksterism. 
Unlike a lot of video art, this piece is unique. See stills and more at Arcangel’s website. And wait, what’s that you’re saying… that Video Painting looked different when I posted it yesterday? Yup, exactly.
Last year the Whitney Museum of American Art hosted a show of new Arcangel work titled “Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools.” His work is in the collection of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
For the show’s second segment, I check in with the artist who held office hours in a former museum director’s office during her show. Zoe Strauss, whose exhibition “Ten Years” just closed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, explains how that unusual arrangement worked out. I wrote about my visit to her office here.
To download or subscribe to The Modern Art Notes Podcast via iTunes, click here. To download the program directly to your mobile device/PC, click here or click on the image. To subscribe to The MAN Podcast’s RSS feed, click here. For images of the works discussed on this week’s show, click here.
Direct reblog from

manpodcast:

Cory Arcangel, Video Painting, 2008. Collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Cory Arcangel, who is included in “The Sports Show” at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Arcangel is best-known for his tweaks of video games and his media-based tricksterism.

Unlike a lot of video art, this piece is unique. See stills and more at Arcangel’s website. And wait, what’s that you’re saying… that Video Painting looked different when I posted it yesterday? Yup, exactly.

Last year the Whitney Museum of American Art hosted a show of new Arcangel work titled “Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools.” His work is in the collection of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

For the show’s second segment, I check in with the artist who held office hours in a former museum director’s office during her show. Zoe Strauss, whose exhibition “Ten Years” just closed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, explains how that unusual arrangement worked out. I wrote about my visit to her office here.

To download or subscribe to The Modern Art Notes Podcast via iTunes, click here. To download the program directly to your mobile device/PC, click here or click on the image. To subscribe to The MAN Podcast’s RSS feed, click here. For images of the works discussed on this week’s show, click here.

The Art of Video Games: Your Ultimate Exhibit Countdown Starts Today!

3-2-1 BLAST OFF!

This exhibit at The American Art Museum on video games as both historical technology lesson and art medium has nerdfest and bong hits written all over it. And that means you are gonna need to prepare yourself for this show starting today.

Today (Tuesday, March 13th)

Reawaken your video game memories by watching movie versions of Tron, Super Mario Brothers, PacMan, Mortal Kombat, Modern Warfare trailers or the ultimate video game documentary: King of Kong!

Also, start hydrating.

Tomorrow (Wednesday, March 14th)

Nothing goes together better than video games and junk food. And photos of video game exhibits getting constructed. Go to 7-11 and sweep the snack aisle. Combos, Slim Jims, Cheetos—nothing is off limits. Get your salt on. Do some jumping jacks.

Keep hydrating.

The Day After (Thursday, March 15th)

Because I know you’re trying to keep it critical, over-intellectualize the meaning of this show by reading:

Critical Theory, Political Economy and Game Studies: A Review of “Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games.”

Roger Ebert’s relationship with video games as art

Gamasutra’s (yeah, I said it) Art and Video Games: Intersections

Double your water intake and buy Gatorade for later.

The Night Before (Friday, March 16th)

The show opens today, but you best prep for one more day and hit the museum early Saturday morning. Your final step? PLAY SOME VIDEO GAMES!

At Home: PS3, PSP, XBOX, Wii, Nintendo, Plug-n-Play, Atari, whatever.

On the Town: The dreaded Dave & Busters, Pharmacy Bar and ???

Jackpot! (Saturday, March 17th)

Drink the Gatorade you bought earlier this week, shower, get dressed and get thee to the museum. Game on.

Your Sunday Instruction: DC Musicians in the Museum

Just learned about “Luce Unplugged”, an acoustic concert series sponsored by the Luce Foundation Center for the Arts that invites local area musicians to play after artist-led talks at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum.

Today, Sunday, December 18th at 1:30pm the artist talk will be on Claude Buck’s The Angel Israfel and followed by a performance from John Davis of Title Tracks. See you there!

Located at 8th and F St., NW (nearest metro is Gallery Place). Art talk meets in F Street Lobby at 1:30 p.m.; performance begins in Luce Foundation Center (third floor) at 2 p.m.

Kara Walker’s DC Art Trifecta

Kara Walker is EVERYWHERE lately. Her cut-paper silhouettes are included in 30 Americans at The Corcoran Gallery of Art (an exhibit featuring 31 African-American artists); a portrait of her is part of the National Portrait Gallery’s The Black List (a collection of 50 photographs of influential African-Americans); and now, one of her prints is at The American Art Museum as part of Multiplicity (featuring the work of over 80 printmaking artists).

I really enjoy her work, but If there’s a fourth exhibit that happens in the next few weeks, I’ll have to figure out what exactly to call it!

Prints, Prints and Prints at American Art Museum

Multiplicity, an exhibit of over 80 prints from the museum’s permanent collection go on display today and includes work from Chuck Close, Sol LeWitt, Kiki Smith, Julie Mehretu, and Kara Walker.

Printmaking is one of my favorite art forms and if you’ve been following my tweets, I recently saw the phenomenal Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California as part of Pacific Standard Time at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA. I also blogged in September about the treasure trove of prints that National Gallery of Art has courtesy of the Gemini G.E.L. archives (who were a major hub of LA printmaking).

So it’s fitting that Multiplicity is taking place now. I think it’s also curious that about half of the prints in this show are recent acquisitions! Is printmaking hot again?

In conjunction with this show there are a number of programs including a discussion with Washington area printmakers on November 16th from 6-7pm. Exhibit runs through March 2012

Sunday Pick: E. Brady Robinson @AmericanArt

Tomorrow, local photographer, artist and all around art expert E. Brady Robinson will give a lecture, as part of the American Art Museum’s  and Flashpoint Gallery’s Art + Coffee series on “early landscape paintings on view in the Luce Foundation Center in relation to her own work, in which she explores the immediacy of capturing images made possible by modern technology.


Talk will be from from 1:30pm - 3:30pm, Sunday, August 28th, meet in the F Street Lobby.

Sunday, August 28 ·  1:30pm -  3:30pm

The Asian-American Experience @AmericanArt

A great BBC article about some of the artists in Portraiture Now: Asian American Portraits of Encounter, at the National Portrait Gallery. Confronting stereotypes, dueling identities, and the complexities of the American experience all make for a fascinating and compelling show. 

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program’s exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery will be ongoing through October 2012.

Multiball! This Weekend It’s All Coming At You

Friday, July 22

Dark Side of the Moon—Gallery talk (12:30-1pm) by travel writer Andrew Evans on “Fragments in Time and Space” exhibit. Lunchtime zone-out extraordinaire.

Get On Your Good Foot—National Gallery of Art’s Jazz in the Garden presents music by Elikeh, Afro-Funk from Togo from 5-8:30pm. Let it hit you one more time.

Preaching to the Choir—Hillyer Art Space opens its new monthly performance art series, Soapbox from 7-9pm with Kat Sotelo and Kunj Patel. Rice, knife, and a mini-me?

Under the Boardwalk—The Dunes hold an opening reception (7pm-1am) offering signed and numbered serigraphs from the artist Thomas Pradzynski. 1402 Meridian Place with DJ Soul Call Paul. Word Up.

Saturday, July 23

Money Talks, Bullshit Walks—Closing reception and artist talk (6-8pm) by Dan Tague at Civilian Art Projects for The Kids Are Alright exhibit.

Can’t Miss You Till You’re Gone—Opening reception (6-8pm) for Artist Tribute 2 at Irvine Contemporary. This marks the 10th anniversary of Irvine and the last show before it relocates to space unknown. Featured artists will include: Shepard Fairey, Hedieh Ilchi, Alexa Meade and Kerry Skarbakka among others.

Chakra Kahn—Last Chance to see Jenny Sidhu Mullins’ American Temple at Flashpoint. East meets West meets paper meets powder.

Strike It Up—Laurent Grasso at Hirshhorn’s Black Box is closing. Last chance to get a last chance.

Vermeer Who?—Gabriel Metsu at National Gallery of Art closes this weekend. Pre-Dickensian portraits that evoke an energy that can only be characterized as Dutch. Worth it, if nothing else for An Old Woman at Her Meal and A Baker Blowing His Horn.

So Far Away From Me, You’re so Far—Last chance to catch the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Close to Home photography exhibit of photographers putting their families on display. There’s a whole lot of Jung going on here.