John Gerrard, Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas) 2017, digital video image, Photo Credit: Courtesy the artist.
I am very happy to be able to present the May 2020 issue of The Art Section. These are difficult times for all of us in light of the global pandemic. I wanted to have an issue for this time that reflects TAS’s relationship to the international art world and our particular global perspective. For TAS, now in our thirteenth year, has always been about presenting artists and writers that span the globe, a form of virtual travel.
Composers Giuseppe Gavazza and Alessandro Sciaraffa, artists from Turin, Italy, present a dialogue about sound artist Thessia Machado, who was born in Brazil and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. Machado has created concerts in spaces as small as a telephone booth in Berlin. She has said in an artist statement from 2016, “Working with sound allows me to think of the air in which we all swim as yet another malleable and responsive, physical material. It gets pushed around by sound waves and it, in turn, pushes in on our bodies and the spaces we are in, both defining and permeating these boundaries. As it bounces and is deflected by the different materials and objects, sound changes and acquires a new character that is particular to the place and time of the event—both time- and site-specific.”
Matthew Causey is a theatre scholar from Louisiana who has lived in Dublin, Ireland for the last 20 year where he was head of the School of Creative Arts at Trinity University and Director of the Arts Technology Research Laboratory. For TAS, he has written about the post-digital in the work of Irish artist John Gerrard. Gerrard is best known for using real time computer graphics to simulate sculptural installations. I particularly like a work of Gerrard’s from 2017, Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas) which “depicts the site of the 'Lucas Gusher' - the world's first major oil find - in Spindletop, Texas in 1901, now barren and exhausted. The site is recreated as a digital simulation and placed at its centre a flagpole bearing a flag of perpetually-renewing pressurised black smoke.”
For this issue, I have written about the Portuguese artist Paula Rego who has lived in London, UK, for almost 70 years. Employing narrative subject matter, Rego has tackled the question of being a woman in this time through her subversive takes on Disney-like fairy tales. When speaking about her stridently feminist works, she has said, “It is hard for me to tell. I was certainly aware that you had to be a man to be [considered] a ‘proper’ artist, but I felt like a man when I was working.” Earlier, she had stated that “painting pictures is the part of you that’s a man. It has the push, the thrust.”
This crisscrossing across the globe for artists and writers to address artworks, process, product, and philosophy has always been at the center of what The Art Section is about.
In these difficult times, everyone at TAS wishes you well. May we all be able to travel again, and see each other face to face, soon.
All my best,
Susan Rothenberg (1945 -2020)
It is with great sadness that I am sharing a notice from Sperone Westwater, announcing the passing of artist Susan Rothenberg (1945 -2020).
The Art Section recently published a text on her show at Sperone Westwater in March 2020 written by Nicolette Reim. I had the pleasure of seeing this exhibition at the Gallery.
To read this recent text: