Friday, June 19, 2009

In the News

With the Venice Biennale in full swing, the New York Times has an extensive gallery of images and audio commentary on the best exhibitions of the festival. The United States performed admirably in this year’s festival – the artist Bruce Nauman represented the US and won the prestigious Golden Lion for Best National Participation with his exhibition entitled Topographical Gardens.

Another interesting artist to check out is Ragnar Kjartansson. In his performance piece for the Icelandic exhibition, Kjartansson is painting a portrait each day for the next six months (until the Biennale closes in November) of his friend Pall Bjornsson wearing a Speedo, smoking a cigarette, and drinking a beer. The focus of the piece, entitled “The End,” will not be the paintings that Kjartansson creates, but the detritus that arises from the act of creation – the empty beer bottles, the cigarette butts, the hundreds of empty and filled canvases. An article in the New York Times from earlier this month contains a conversation with Kjartansson and his model, both who feel a bit daunted by the enormity of their endeavor.

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