The D.C. Docent

Tag Results

1268 posts tagged dc

Playing Now: Art and Craft - I watched this film over the weekend; depending on how much you like documentaries and/or art crimes, you can catch it at E Street theater or wait until it goes to DVD. Either way, it’s an interesting look at Mark Landis, a known “philanthropist” forger, and Art Registrar Matt Leninger, who undertakes an effort to make Landis’ profile known to museums across the country. Overall it was good but I wish the doc had been edited down a bit, and had looked more closely at museum practices and how so many national museums accepted forged works. No doubt that Landis is a talented forger, but there was also clearly a failure by museums to do their homework on the pieces being donated by him to their collections.

5 Ways the Emerge Art Fair Can Save Itself

Last weekend was the fourth year of (e)merge, D.C.’s homegrown art fair. I’ve been to each of its manifestations, and every year there are artists and experiences to appreciate, admire and even in some cases, swoon over. But every year, the quality of the fair seems to diminish, and it feels more out of sync with the D.C. arts community.

D.C.’s artists and local arts community have some incredible things going for them, and we need a mirror to the rest of the world that reflects the ethos, practice and possibilities within our community. If Emerge is trying to be that mirror, then it is failing.

I have 5 suggestions for the organizers of Emerge if they intend to continue holding their annual art fair:

1. Get a New Location - The Capitol Skyline hotel isn’t working…for anyone. Whether it’s the unworkability of the rooms/spaces for artists and gallerists (think about how much better the art installations in the garage tend to be), the isolated location, or the lack of foot traffic—-it’s clear that the location is holding the event back from being accessible to a larger audience and a better version of itself.

2. Focus on Local Artists - Emerge should be about D.C. artists, or artists with ties to D.C….forget about bringing in random galleries from abroad or the rest of the U.S. (unless there’s a true D.C. connection). Also, give artists their own spaces (independent and represented) instead of galleries—-I’m envisioning something akin to VOLTA, where galleries feature a single artist per space. Let galleries have multiple spaces that can be dedicated to each artist they want to feature at the fair—-or give gallerists more freedom to curate their spaces.

3. Bridge the D.C. Museum Gap - Yes, Emerge called 5 local museums “Cultural Partners” this year, but other than the Phillips Collection, these partnerships appeared largely cosmetic. With the loss of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the need for D.C.’s national and federal museums to interact and partner with the local arts community is more crucial than ever. Emerge could try to be the catalyst for that change.

4. Choose Curatorial Depth Over Cash - Every year the number of crappy exhibitors at Emerge seems to increase and the number of patrons seems to decrease. I think there’s a correlation. The really good non-local galleries haven’t seem to come back—-certainly, the local galleries have almost completely stopped participating partly due to price and local politics—-but the cost of putting on an art fair remains, and my guess is that crappy gallerists are being allowed to participate to make up the cost. It’s been mostly downhill in quality since Emerge’s first year.

5. Put the “e” in (e)merge - This is 2014 and some of the most exciting things happening in contemporary society and the art world are happening in technology, telecommunication and social media. Why not try giving us a plugged-in, online and virtual experience to magnify the physical art fair? Emerge primarily exists in a material world; a Twitter and Instagram account just aren’t enough.

D.C.’s local arts community has undergone so much upheaval in the last two years, but there is still so much interesting work happening here. It’s a shame to me that after 4 years, Emerge still hasn’t figured out how to effectively showcase our artists or our community to the world at large. I hope that if Emerge returns for a fifth year (which I think is questionable given Connersmith’s creeping extraction from D.C.) the fair’s organizers will rethink the current model and really give D.C. artists and gallerists the platform they deserve.

Surface Ten! Tonight!

You need something cool and refreshing tonight? Something down a dark alley with only a one-way exit? Then maybe you wanna check out Surface Ten, a group show by some young local artists.

I only know about it because I saw it on Instagram (which is where I spend most of my time these days…ahem, follow me @TheDCDocent). Artist include: Amy Hughes Braden, LA Johnson, Becca Kallem, Jordan Sanders, Thomas Flynn, Sally Kauffman, and Caroline Battle; it is co-curated by local performance sprite Eames Armstrong.

Tonight, Friday, August 8, 2014, 7-9pm at 1469 Harvard St NW, WDC.

Civilian Art Projects Opens It’s New Space Tonight!!!

It’s been several months since Civilian left its space over on 7th St., NW due to building issues. As Jayme McLellan, Civilian’s Director, is happy to tell you, the gallery itself wasn’t closing (duh). A while back I posted about Civilian’s collaboration with G Fine Art to share space in the same building, which tonight, you can witness for yourself with the debut of a solo show by local artist Amy Hughes Braden (who you should follow on Instagram @hughesbraden). Amy’s celebrity portraits at the Corcoran NEXT show a few years back will always be one of my highlights from BFA Corc students. Her painting since then has only gotten better and her portraits more complex. So what I’m saying is be there tonight!

Amy Hughes Braden “Are You Gonna Eat That?” at Civilian Art Projects, 4718 14th Street NW, Saturday, May 10, 2014, Opening Reception 6-8pm.

Tomorrow: Exposed DC 2014 Opening Night

The thing I like about ExposedDC is that they’ve been consistent in seeking to show the DMV area “not as a political venue or tourist destination, but as a place where we live and work and love every day.” Most people outside of D.C. only have one view of the city; we are not an either/or proposition.

Tomorrow night’s opening reception will showcase 49 images of D.C. by mostly local photographers at Long View Gallery. Expect a wide range of genres, quality and subject matter. Also expect affordable art that supports local artists; a win-win proposition.

Show runs from March 19 to April 6, 2014, with opening night reception on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 from 6-10pm. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Afterparty at The Passenger, free entry and cash bar, 8pm. Long View Gallery is located at 1234 9th St. NW. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m. Free.

Your Sunday Instruction: Damage Control Artwork Screenings at The Hirshhorn

Disclaimer: I have yet to see Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950, but I’ve had a lot going on. Trust me.

Today, indulge yourself by checking out this exhibit of modern and contemporary works about artistic expression and destruction. Follow up your browsing with a viewing of some film/video works you may never get a chance to see on the big screen and which aren’t part of the works in the galleries. The screening includes work by Cyprien Gaillard, Bruce Conner, Johan Grimonprez, Ant Farm, Superflex, Christian Jankowski, and Doug Aitken. You know some of these names, but not all of them.

I am most interested in Ant Farm’s Media Burn and Bruce Conner’s Crossroads form the mid-70s. They both comment on the state of America, with Media Burn satirizing the emerging media-circus state and Crossroads appropriating footage of the first underwater atomic bomb test and turning it into something altogether fascinating, fantastical and otherworldly that shows, rather than tells, a distinctly American viewpoint.

Screenings in the Ring Auditorium, split into two programs at 11am & 2pm, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Damage Control runs through May 26, 2014. Admission is free, first come first served.

One Night Stand: (re)activate Tonight

Good weather, a vacant lot, time-based works, performance art and some of your favorite local faces including Animals & Fire, James Huckenpahler, Patrick McDonough, Kendall Nordin, Jose Ruiz and more.

Who’s behind this set-up? Hamiltonian and Angie Goerner mostly, but with support from lots of other locals. Get going there because this is one-night only.

Takes place in the empty parking lot at the southwest corner of U & 9th Street, NW, tonight, Saturday, March 15th between 6:30pm - 9:30pm.

Corcoran Redux: Best of the Worst News

I’m not done sharing my two cents, but if you’d like to read what others are saying, click below:

A Timeline of the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s Troubled History

Former Director of the Corcoran, David C. Levy talks mistakes (but makes no mention of any personal culpability)

Finding consolation in the breakup of the Corcoran

At Corcoran, a tumultuous week takes its toll (with feedback from staff and students)

Tyler Green compares Corcoran to MCI or Enron (and he’s not wrong)

GWU student journos assess the change