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26 Aug 2009

The James Kalm Report

The James Kalm Report


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+1 718-858-3114


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With the arrival of the mid-August, the New York art scene is in the doldrums, but your reporter James Kalm is peddling his butt all over town to bring you all the latest up-dates on shows, happenings and in the artist's studios, check it out.

'SMITHUMENTA' A Visit to the Studio of Ray Smith

James Kalm responds to a last minute facebook invitation and stumbles onto one of Brooklyn's largest underground art happenings 'Smithumenta'. Working in collaboration with the Bruce High Quality Collaborative, Ray Smith opened his magnificent studio space in the newly chic Gowanus district of South Brooklyn for this show which includes over eighty artists, young and old. Fun, frivolity and musical mayhem followed which includes a musical performance by Cucu Diamantes.

Jonathan Schipper 'Irreversibilities' at THE BOILER

James Kalm wends his way to the North side of Williamsburg and checks out two of the latest mechanical fantasies by Jonathan Schipper. 'The Slow Inevitable Death of American Muscle' poses two muscle cars in a slow-motion death collision. Running twenty-fours a day for the six weeks of the exhibition, these cars, relentlessly smash into each other under 28,000 lbs. of hydraulic pressure. In 'Measured Angst' a beer bottle is broken and reassembled in a mechanical intervention against entropy, parodying the limitations of scientific problem solving. Includes an interview with Jonathan Schipper, and a six week time lapse documentation of the collision.

'Untitled Art Project' Try-outs New York Part I

James Kalm has been hearing rumors rumbling around New York about a 'Reality' TV show dealing with artists and their careers for months. Tipped off about these auditions by Martin Bromirski, he peddles over to the West Village on a Sunday afternoon in July to see what all the hubbub is about. In the process, he's intimidated, taunted, threatened with arrest, and shunted to the side. Ironically this 'Report' delivers a reality check on 'Reality' TV, and gives exposure to many artists who failed to fit the template and clichés of the Mainstream Media.

'Untitled Art Project' Try-outs New York Part II

James Kalm returns to Greenwich Village's White Columns on Horatio Street to wrap up this investigative report on 'Untitled Art Project'. Just what is the reality of reality TV? Hundreds of artists from across North America waited in the late July heat for their chance at fifteen minutes of fame. Viewers are treated with glimpses of works varying from straight oil paintings to wind up miniature sculptures and rustic furniture made from maple-root and sandstone. These artists represent an eclectic cross section of America's creative grass roots.

James Little at JUNE KELLY

James Kalm beats the clock, slipping in to bring viewers a last minute tour of the James Little exhibition. Arriving in New York in the early seventies, Little has patiently perused his vision, constructing paintings based on a few universal abstract elements. Well respected in the New York painting community, with this exhibition, the artist has garnered big shot praise from the likes of the New York Time's Pulitzer Prize winning art critic Holland Cotter, and feature articles in influential publications like the Brooklyn Rail and Art News. James Little graciously consents to a studio visit, and discusses his encaustic painting technique, the influences of Clement Greenberg and the current state of abstract painting in America.

Thomas Lawson 'New World' at PARTICIPANT

James Kalm is performing urban recon when he discovers 'New World' an exhibition by one of the outspoken advocates of the 'Pictures Generation', Thomas Lawson. These recent paintings demonstrate the distance Lawson's practice has progressed from the norms of the early 1980s. Depicting figures in modern dress, and presenting an image referring to contemporary Youth Culture, this series was nevertheless inspired by the 18th Century fresco 'The New World' by Tiepolo, and displays a strong foundation in art history, an ironic return full circle from the a-historical crisis of the 'Pictures Generation'. Includes excerpts from a discussion with Gerard Hemsworth and Rachel Baum.

IN MEMORIAM: Gallery Closings in Ney York City

James Kalm, in his cruising, has been collecting footage to document the closings of galleries as a result of the current economic recession. With this video, viewers see the buildings left vacant by the departures of over twenty five galleries. While some are replaced with new businesses, the devastation is the worst seen locally since the collapse of the late eighties. And unfortunately, this may only be the beginning.

Dash Snow 1981–2009 A Community Memorial at DEITHCH PROJECTS

James Kalm visits the Lafayette House, a loft on the Bowery and a newly painted mural on Houston and the Bowery as well as the memorial exhibition at Deitch Projects in and attempt to document some of the important final locations in the short life of Dash Snow. Since the 2007 cover story in New York Magazine that launched him to the pinnacle of bohemian chic, Dash snow was seen as an avatar of hip. Long standing drug and alcohol problems and a tumultuous family life (Snow was the scion of the incredibly wealthy de Menil family) no doubt added to the stress that contributed to this tragic loss.

Ward Shelley Who Invented the Avant-Garde and other half truths at PIEROGI

James Kalm catches up with conceptual artist Ward Shelley on the closing day of his exhibition 'Who Invented the Avant-Garde and other half truths'. This exhibition presents three bodies of recent work, 'Archive' an installation of hundreds of 'idea boxes' that represent an externalization of the artist's mind, 'Sleeper Experiment' in which the artist is exposed to a computerized voice repeating donated texts from viewers, and the 'Timeline Paintings' which trace the developments and derivations of various cultural happenings in graphic form.
Includes extended explanations of the works by Ward Shelley.