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Trustees at the Tate Gallery turned down 21 paintings by the American artist Mark Rothko in the late 1960s which could now be worth as much as $1 billion (Ł630 million), according to notes written by its late director. Rothko was in talks with Sir Norman Reid to bequeath 30 works to the London gallery, but in the end Tate took only nine, according to The Art Newspaper. Now it has emerged that the abstract artist, who painted vast canvases of reds, mauves, blacks and greys, "touched on the possibility of giving all the paintings to the Tate".

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andy pool

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Warhol understood that fame is a social fig leaf on personal vacuousness. Peyton thinks it is the fullness of being, showing how shallow her understanding of celebrity is compared to Warhol’s. His awareness that fame dies -- thus the fame of his death imagery -- was his way of debunking it. Peyton blindly embraces it, not knowing it is the kiss of death. Thus she is the victim of fame rather than its master, like Warhol. He made the famous jump through his photographic hoop, like animals in a circus, while Peyton adores and pets them, never realizing, as Warhol did, that they are beasts one doesn’t dare get close to. Peyton cozies up to her human subject matter, while Warhol coolly stares it down, for he knows that it is just another matter of social fact, and he knows its secret vulnerability.

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a change is gonna come

via lisa
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20 abandoned cities world wide

via zoller
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best grass roots container project to date by kathy tafel via justins materialicious

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rip yma sumac ( apparently not amy camus from long island after all )

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If you liked WFMU's RNC Remix in 2004, you're going to love what we've got in store for Election Day. While our normal Tuesday programming airs online and over the airwaves, we'll be running a separate webstream to appease our most politically-obsessed listeners. WFMU's Electile Dysfunction '08 features political music, comedy, commentary, and audio art. And when the first polls close at 6pm, we'll bring you live election returns coverage hosted by Chris T., Billy Jam, Clay Pigeon, and Evan "Funk" Davies. The full schedule is after the jump.

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kapt kopter

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The cinder-block house, completed in 1959, was built on a steep hillside overlooking the Potomac River in McLean, Va. Its 2,500 square feet of living space are contained in a structure that appears solid from the front but on the inside reveals its spectacular view through 80 feet of floor-to-ceiling windows. By the time the Mardens reached old age (Luis died in 2003, and Ethel, now in her late 90s, lives in an assisted-care facility), the house was badly in need of repair. And, given its desirable site, it was a sitting duck for someone who wanted to tear it down.

But an unlikely white knight happened to live next door. James V. Kimsey, a philanthropist and the founding chairman of America Online, had recently completed an enormous and expensive house for himself — he refers to it wryly as “a monument to wretched excess” — when he bought the Mardens’ house in 2000. He had no interest in living in the diminutive structure but saw its potential as a guest house and a place for parties. “I thought of making alterations,” he recalled, “but people told me not to. It wouldn’t be a Frank Lloyd Wright house anymore, they said.”

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Pollock and Placement

Recommended: Brian O'Doherty review of Victoria Newhouse's book on reading artworks through their surroundings, particularly how singular works look when placed in different museums. (Hat tip JWS.) Newhouse's test cases are the famous Laocoon-and-snakes statue, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and forty years of Pollock exhibitions.

The article seems especially germane to this post of Paddy Johnson's. An obviously fake Pollock (would he ever make dominant whitish lines that hesitant or obvious? no, he wouldn't) seems even faker with a self-professed hater of abstract art standing next to it, gesturing towards it like a carnival barker.

filed under: general - tom moody

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halloween divotional

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While Dan Rice slapped brushloads of rabbitskin glue onto the cotton duck canvas, further loads would slop down, warm and pungent, on his head and shoulders. Mark Rothko teetered on a ladder above, heavy as a bear and notoriously cackhanded, rushing his handiwork so that the two of them could cover the entire stretch of fabric before the size cooled. Moving on to another canvas almost nine feet high, the workers might swap places, with Rice getting to rain down on Rothko. The residues that ran off them as they showered afterwards would have been tinted maroon: as a personal variant on standard procedure, Rothko liked to feed pigments into the pan on the hot plate, as his sheets of glue dissolved. That way, the stretched canvas would have a character – a complexion, at least – from the very outset, even before the two of them applied similarly coloured resinous primers to support the upper layers of brushwork. A complexion, a disposition, a bias; this object that Rice had hammered together for him, out of wood and coarse cloth bought at an awnings supplier on the Bowery, would bristle with an inbuilt material resistance.

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Before Pop there was Abstract Expressionism. From September 26, 2008 to February 1, 2009 the Tate Modern in London will be presenting a major exhibition of the late work of Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko including, for the first time, 14 of his Seagram murals.

Achim Borchardt-Hume (curator of the Tate Modern's Rothko exhibition):

This is the first exhibition to examine Rothko's late work from 1958 to 1970 in greater depth... One of the highlights of this exhibition will be a large gallery dedicated to the Seagram murals bringing together for the first time 14 murals including Tate's nine murals - the first time ever since they left Rothko's studio really. This exhibition could only happen at the Tate in this current shape as Tate has nine of the Seagram murals which were specially selected by the artist and because of their condition are generally not lent... It's just because of the unique nature of this exhibition that we agreed to bring these works together so it will really happen once and that will be it." (

Mark Rothko's Seagram murals were originally commissioned for the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram building in New York. But after Rothko visited the restaurant he backed out of the project, angrily commenting "Anybody who will eat that kind of food for those kind of prices will never look at a painting of mine." (

The murals were eventually distributed to various museums. The Tate ended up with nine of them. They arrived at the Tate Gallery on February 25, 1970 - the same day that Rothko's body was found on the kitchen floor after he committed suicide. (

Pop art, relying on figurative imagery, was the antithesis of Abstract Expressionism. Whereas Warhol often utilized "found" imagery in his paintings, Rothko used abstract forms and colour - although he denied being an "abstractionist" as recalled by Selden Rodman in his book Conversations with Artists.

Mark Rothko: "You might as well get one thing straight... I'm not an abstractionist."

Selden Rodman: "You're an abstractionist to me... You're a master of color harmonies and relationships on a monumental scale. Do you deny that?"

Mark Rothko: "I do. I'm not interested in relationships of color or form or anything else."

Selden Rodman: "Then what is it you're expressing?"

Mark Rothko: "I'm interested only in expressing basic human emotions - tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on - and the fact that lots of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I communicate those basic human emotions... The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by their color relationships, then you miss the point!" (Selden Rodman, Conversations with Artists (NY: Capricorn Books, 1961) pp. 93-4)

Despite his denial of being an "abstractionist" Rothko and other Abstract Expressionists had fought hard over several decades for public acceptance of abstract art - through exhibitions, protests and writings. When Pop reared its figurative head in the early 60s, Rothko saw it as a step backward rather than forward. When Sidney Janis presented many of the Pop artists (including Andy Warhol) in his 1962 exhibition, "The New Realists," Rothko, along with Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston and Robert Motherwell, resigned from the gallery. Guston's daughter Musa Mayer recalled that "Overnight, it seemed, the art world changed. My father was in despair over the selling of art, over the slick, depersonalized gloss - not only of Pop Art, but of Minimalism as well - that was taking center stage in New York. Art was no longer struggle; art had become marketing." (

Ruth Kligman recalled that when she attempted to introduce Rothko to Warhol when she and Warhol ran into him on the street, Rothko walked away without saying a word. Warhol (via Pat Hackett) also recalled attending a party given by Yvonne Thomas, where Rothko was one of the guests during the early sixties. Marisol, who was with the same gallery as Warhol, brought both Warhol and Robert Indiana to the party. When they arrived Warhol overheard Rothko say to Thomas, "How could you let them in?" Thomas replied, "But what can I do? They came with Marisol." (

Despite their aesthetic differences, Warhol and Rothko do have one thing in common. They are the only American artists with paintings on the list of the "10 most expensive paintings sold at auction."

The Rothko exhibition at the Tate Modern and the Warhol exhibition at the Hayward this autumn are both rare chances to see the work of two modern masters of their respective art movements - Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Both exhibitions are not to be missed. (Specific details of the Hayward's Warhol exhibition will be posted here when confirmed.)
via warhol stars
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inverted jenny


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Axis Company presents EAST 10TH STREET: SELF PORTRAIT WITH EMPTY HOUSE, a new play by and about Downtown performance icon Edgar Oliver and directed by Randy Sharp. This look at a life on the fringes of New York's Lower East Side comes on the heels of what could be Oliver's breakthrough role in the upcoming film from Napoleon Dynamite's Jared Hess, Gentlemen Broncos (opposite Sam Rockwell), as well as a national advertising campaign for mobile phones in Ireland that has become a cult phenomenon.

In EAST 10TH STREET: SELF PORTRAIT WITH EMPTY HOUSE, long-standing, downtown theatre icon Edgar Oliver takes the audience on a fantastic voyage through the strange rooms of the apartment house where he has lived since his first years in New York. Inhabiting the dark, mysterious halls of an East Village tenement building are a dwarf Cabalist, a possible Nazi, the landlord's former wet nurse who apparently lives in a nest of rags, and many other memorable persons. Edgar leads the audience up to the final room, his own, at the top of the derelict stairs, wherein lie the secrets of his own family and the unbelievable odyssey that brought him there. This incredible cast of characters illuminate the sad, funny, brilliant and deeply personal story.

Georgia native Edgar Oliver started performing in New York at the Pyramid in the mid-1980's alongside artists including Hapi Phace, Kenbra Pfahler, Samoa and playwright Kestutis Nakas. As a playwright, many of Oliver's plays have been staged at La MaMa and other downtown NYC theatres, including The Seven Year Vacation, The Poetry Killer, Hands in Wartime, Motel Blue 19, and Mosquito Succulence. As a stage actor, he has performed in countless plays including Edward II with Cliplight Theater, Marc Palmieri's Carl the Second, Lipsynka's Dial M for Model, and numerous productions at Axis including A Glance at New York (Edinburgh Festival & NYC), Julius Caesar, USS Frankenstein, Hospital, and Seven in One Blow. Edgar is also one of the most beloved story tellers at The Moth. His film roles include That's Beautiful Frank, Henry May Long (directed by Axis' Randy Sharp) and Gentlemen Broncos. His published works include A Portrait of New York by a Wanderer There, Summer and The Man Who Loved Plants (published by Panther Books).
via vz
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ELECTION NIGHT SPECIAL - SLEEPOVER AT STOREFRONT FOR ART AND ARCHITECTURE To mark the closing of the White House Redux exhibition, Storefront will hold an all-night election vigil in the gallery with live a large-screen CNN projection, 5 cable news channels, blogging stations and wi-fi for blog reading (and writing). The event, organized in association with Control Group, will continue until the 44th President of the United States is announced. Everyone welcome! Event begins 6pm. Drinks will be provided while they last - BYO food and sleeping bags. Coffee and croissants from Ceci Cela will be served at 7am.

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making rip-rap

deans rock sorter

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The only thing gloomier than the weather today was the members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, sitting out this morning’s thunderstorm as they decided the fate of Albert C. Ledner's iconic O’Toole Building, which St. Vincent’s Hospital hopes to demolish and replace with a new 300-foot-tall hospital.

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The Mad Auction

MAD has saved the best for last. In the words of legendary MAD editor Bill Gaines, these three dozen pieces of art represent "the heart and soul of MAD Magazine."

Now these last three dozen are going to be up for auction. After that, the vault is not only closed, it's empty. For an entire generation that cut its comic teeth on MAD - an influence still felt today in television, film, Internet and print - this will be the final chance to own a piece of humor history.

"You have some of the most iconic MAD covers and special art from the amazing original group of artists at the magazine," said Jared Green, Vice President of Business Development at Heritage. "These are names like Norman Mingo, Jack Davis, Bob Clarke and Richard Williams."

"These final 36 pieces were retained from three previous sales of the MAD archives at Heritage, Sothebys and Christie's," said current MAD editor John Ficarra. "We have waited until all the rest of the great artwork of MAD was sold to offer this final collection. It just doesn't get any better than this."

"MAD Magazine set the standard in the mid-20th century for humor magazines and the three sales of the MAD archives have shown how highly readers value it," said Green. "Heritage could not be happier that MAD and DC Comics have come back to Heritage to close out this historic collection."
via vz
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"The Last American Hero is Junior Johnson. Yes!" by Tom Wolf from The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Steamline Baby. Copyright 1965 by Tom Wolfe. Originally published in Esquire. Reprinted by permission of the author.

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the correct size wood stove for your space guide

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The colossal cast-iron rings embedded in the eastern slurry wall at ground zero were — if such a thing can be imagined — the birthmark of the World Trade Center.

They were the last visible remnant of the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad, a commuter line that New Jersey officials insisted in 1962 that the Port Authority take over, before they approved the trade center project in New York. (The H. & M. was renamed PATH.) The rings marked the railroad’s route into the old Hudson Terminal, whose location determined where the twin towers would be built, since the trade center was designed to incorporate a new PATH terminal.

And the rings offered a lesson in scale. Seen from across West Street, they did not look much larger than a water pipe. But in fact, they formed a tube large enough to enclose a railroad tunnel 15 feet 3 inches in diameter. Visitors to ground zero who knew that could marvel at the dimensions of the slurry wall into which the rings were set.

This month, the rings vanished.
more here on the hudson tubes
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american tar and rope

via justin. thanks!
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