With the opening of Isa Genzken’s one-woman retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art this month, MoMA gives its official blessing to a new and relatively unknown art form, “loose jointed assemblage,” which Roberta Smith of The New York Times, in her review of the exhibit, says “may be the central, most robust aesthetic of our time.”
If that’s true, then KM (Kathleen) Ramich is bound to be the next star on the art world’s horizon; her loose jointed assemblages are every bit as original and colorful as Genzken’s but far more provocative. While much of Genzken’s work is influenced by 9/11 and its aftermath, Ramich addresses contemporary issues like gun control, the Koch brothers financial support for the Tea Party and NSA spying. See HOW DO WE ARM OURSELVES: KM Ramich's Idiosyncratic Socio-Political Sculpture (thru Dec. 28).
We were honored to have shown Boris Lurie's work at (e)merge, Washington's art fair, earlier this month. Lurie survived nearly five years in Nazi concentration camps before he arrived in New York in 1946, then spent the next 60 years creating art informed by his life's experiences. Perhaps not surprisingly, he believed that artists should engage with, and their art should attempt to influence, the social and political environment around them. Deeply troubled by McCarthyism and what he viewed as U.S. trumphalism at the height of the Cold War, Lurie founded the NO!art Movement in 1959/60 in response to Pop Art's celebration of consumerism and of celebrity itself. His frank exploration of domination and passivity, and their relation to his experience in the Nazi death camps, resulted in his marginalization by New York's art establishment. Only now, five years after his death, is Lurie's work beginning to receive the recognition we believe it deserves.