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09 Feb 2010

James Kalm Frames New York on Babelgum

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James Kalm Frames New York


Jamesa Kalm

James Kalm

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As the New Year takes hold, and the dust settles from the economic crisis, the New York art scene moves in to high gear with some of the most provocative exhibitions seen in seasons. Along with these developments, the James Kalm Report has expanded its reach with an all new channel featuring exclusive content at Babelgum

The following videos give viewers a sample of what's available at the most exciting online streaming video channel in the world. You won't find up close and personal art coverage like this anywhere else.

Tracy Emin: Only God Knows I'm Good at Lehmann Maupin, and Kristin Baker, Splitting Twilight as Deitch Projects

James Kalm is out and about when he takes in a pair of shows by two of today's most dominant female artists. Tracey Emin represented Great Britain in the 2007 Venice Biennale and she has been acclaimed for her twenty year traveling retrospective. Much of the work in this show bluntly depicts her continuing themes of sex, love and lust.

Kristen Baker challenges our received notions of painting, comingling landscape with the most modern of techniques collage, to produce monumental paintings of surprising complexity. Recalling both torn paper and stained glass, these works also incorporate day-glow colors, and resist easy accessibility with their strident experimentation.

Phil Pearlstein, Al Held, Five Decades at Cuningham, and Lynda Benglis at Cheim & Read

James Kalm brings viewers along as he tours a pair of shows by some of New York's most recognized artists. Philip Pearlstein and Al Held navigated the ins an outs of the art scene for over fifty years. Arriving in the city just after the war, they diverged from the ethos of Abstract Expressionism to form a dialectic response that paved the way for generations of artists. Philip Pearlstein discusses his relationships with Held and Warhol.

Lynda Benglis is a founding member of New York's Feminist Art movement, but always remained apart due to her 'bad girl' attitude. These latest wall sculptures display a rugged abstractness that combines an organically active surface with synthetic materials, geometric forms and curving planes that extend into space

Bob Nickas' Cave Painting Part II, and Norbert Schwontkoski at Michell-Inness & Nash

James Kalm comments on the scandal brewing at the New Museum over its announced exhibition of Board Member Dakis Joannou's collection curated by Jeff Koons. Viewers are then whisked to the sub-basement of 511 West 25th Street to attend the opening of Bob Nickas' 'Cave Painting II' and check out this opinioned perspective of contemporary abstract painting. The episode wraps up with a run through of 'Ångstroem' recent works by one of Germany's most provocative artists, Norbert Schwontkowski at Mitchell-Inness & Nash.

1969 at PS1

James Kalm brings viewers along for a trip down memory lane. !969 was a seminal year marking the end of the age of Aquarius and the depth of the quagmire in Viet Nam. The art world was in revolt politically and aesthetically. Changes were coming fast and furiously. In hind sight many of these 'radical' positions have become accepted and represent the current establishment. Still, this run-through allows us to appreciate the first dawnings of this new horizon of creative energy. Organized by Neville Wakefield, P.S.1 Senior Curatorial Advisor; Michelle Elligott, MoMA Archivist; and Eva Respini, MoMA Associate Curator of Photography.

Eric Fischl at Mary Boone

James Kalm ventures into Chelsea to sample the latest group of paintings by Eric Fischl. Titled, 'Corrida in Ronda', this group of bullfighter paintings balances somewhere between the sincere desire to maintain the classic tradition of 'Spanish' painting, and an over the top kitsch projection of contemporary 'taste'. Spliced in are excerpts from the lecture 'How Painting Died' given by Fischl at Pratt Institute on December 3. 2009.

Maximum Perception Performance Festival at English Kills

James Kalm treks to the eastern edge of Greater Williamsburg to partake in some of the shenanigans involved with the Maximum Perception Performance Festival at the English Kills Gallery. Despite the numerous commissioned pieces and prestigious venues recently filled with works for the month long local performance series 'Performa 09', many practicing artists in the community were overlooked. This upstart festival gives hardcore performance fans a chance to experience some of the most cutting edge work being produced in New York. This program features an unedited documentation of 'Untitled' and action piece by Erik Hokanson, and an interview with event curator Peter Dobill.

Patti Smith and Steven Sebring at MILLER

James Kalm wonders into Chelsea and takes the opportunity to record glimpses of a rare artistic appearance by underground music legend Patti Smith. This collaborative show celebrates the televised documentary, 'Dream of Life' produced by Steven Sebring, which aired on PBS and represents an eleven year long commitment. The works in the exhibition present a mélange of practices and approaches including painting, drawing, assemblage, instillation, video, photography and written text. A swarm of celebrities came out in support of Smith including Calvin Klein and Jonas Mekas.


James Kalm joins throngs of fans, admirers and groupies to elbow his way through 'The End of an Era' the latest offering from Damien Hirst. With his worldwide fame peaking from the recent auction of his work, which coincided with the global economic crisis, in 'End of an Era Hirst' plays out his opulent critique of materialism. Featuring a pickled bull's, a gold plated case with nearly 30,000 manufactured diamonds and photorealistic paintings of renowned gems this show displays a wide variety of medium and approaches used by the artist.