‘Upside down, Boy you turn me, Inside out, and round and round’ 

Martin Creed, the English born, Scottish bred artist is well known as the ‘lights-on, lights-off’ Turner Prize winning sensation. Over the years he has consciously made works of art that use the exact amount of materials like Work No.201, half the air in a given space where he calculated the amount of air in a room, then filled balloons with exactly half the air and unloaded them into the space.  Out of a simple experiment like measuring the density of air, Work No.201 exhilarated even the most modest of humans, as they bounced around in squeals of delight on Creed’s sea of latex.

Martin Creed, London, 1998. Photograph by Mary BaroneReturning to New York this weekend for his third solo exhibition at Gavin Brown’s enterprise (GBE), Creed will continue to wow the masses creating a spectacular site-specific installation remaking the entire gallery floor at GBE’s 620 Greenwich Street space with a horizontal arrangement of more than 100 types of marble from around the world all sourced through a foundry in Carrera, Italy.  Creed said he likes to think of the piece as the whole world, a line that forms a linear equation of a permanent installation he created in 2003 to inaugurate the GBE space when it relocated from 15th Street to 620 Greenwich Street. Work No 300: the whole world + the work = the whole world, a black painted text wrapping around the corner of the GBE building’s white brick façade is a mission statement, a manifesto declaring the continuity between artistic gesture and everyday life.

Seven years later, GBE will inaugurate another space, a gallery expansion into the old LaFrieda Meat Purveyors building next door at 601 Washington where Creed will premiere a new work: a film of an erection, a 35mm black and white film of the torso of a naked man in profile achieving an erection. Like a time-lapsed photographic study of manhood, a film of an erection is accompanied by a new chromatic composition by Creed played by a live violinist from the Manhattan School of Music during the run of the exhibition. He will also show Work No.909, a black stage curtain calibrated to open and close at regular intervals.  The three separate rigorously time-based artworks have not been sequenced and will take on natural rhythms.  While the violinist moves up and down a 12-note scale, the curtains will flowingly open and close all the while the film of a man’s penis slowly rises up and down.  States of flux never felt so tranquil.

Martin Creed in rehearsal with violinist Akiko Kobayashi at the newly expanded Gavin Brown enterprises (GBE), 601 Washington, New York City, May 7, 2010 (photograph by Mary Barone)Martin Creed at Gavin Brown’s enterpise (GBE) opens May 9, 2010 with a reception for the artist from 4-6pm.  The exhibition will be on view through June 19, 2010.


Women Do Mean Business

 Author and journalist, Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the “Huffington Post” at the Pierre Hotel, April 8, 2010

In the past decade, women-owned businesses have nearly doubled and surveys report 80% of consumer goods purchasing decisions are made by women, so it came as no surprise on April 8th to find the ballroom of New York’s Pierre Hotel jam-packed with women from the worlds of music, fashion, business and media decked out in their finest in support of the Coalition for the Homeless 16th Annual Women Mean Business luncheon raising $165,000 for the Coalition’s FIRST STEP JOB TRAINING PROGRAM. The event, emceed by Hollywood actress Caroline Rhea, proudly introduced the keynote speaker, Arianna Huffington.  The ever-amazing Greek-American author and syndicated columnist astounded the audience with a passionate sermon on unemployment, homelessness and ‘this unprecedented moment in American history, when instead of upward mobility, the essence of the American dream, we have downward mobility.’ Huffington concluded ‘…but a crisis can be used as an opportunity for us to step up to the plate…and create a critical mass for us to give back that will transform not only the lives of people in trouble…but our own lives, and the life of our country.’

Mrs. Evelyn Lauder at Marlborough Gallery, West 57th Street, New York City, April 12, 2010

The following Monday the Directors of the Marlborough Gallery and Evelyn and Leonard Lauder hosted a special viewing of Celebrating the Muse: Women in Picasso’s Prints 1905-1968, to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  Over 200 people in attendance marveled at the exhibition curated by Marlborough Vice President, Tara Reddi, who appeared to be on cloud nine from the shining review of the show by “New York Times” art critic, Roberta Smith.

While guests sipped pink-hued pomegranate martinis I overheard Mrs. Lauder comment that people had to pay up before they could walk through the door.  Guests included fashion designer Maggie Norris, Fern Tessler, Diana Picasso, artist Tom Otterness and Olivier Picasso who flew in especially from France.  The event raised close to $10,000.


Altmann’s In The House

Emmy award-winning actress Patricia Clarkson with the Poet and Playwright Howard Altmann at a cocktail reception hosted by Tom Healy to celebrate "In This House", Altmann’s second book of poetry published by Turtle Point Press. March 24, 2010, New York City

Last Wednesday night in one of the most stylish apartments on New York’s lower Fifth Avenue, the poet and playwright Howard Altmann’s second book of poems “In This House” was celebrated with a cocktail party hosted by Tom Healy. A few nights earlier the Emmy award-winning actress Patricia Clarkson read a selection of Altmann’s poems at Barnes & Noble and one guest at Healy’s soiree gushed that her reading was ‘warm from the soul and faithful to its fires,’ a line he later told me was quoted from the 18th century English poet, Alexander Pope. Prodded by guests to read from his new work, Altmann relented and after a witty account of how the book came to be published he opened it and read ‘Stones’

I would like to be a stone.
By the side of a road.
On a roadless island.
Of no interest to man.
Of no curiosity to animals.
Invisible to birds.
I would like to step out of my stone.
And be another stone.
On the other side of the road.
Prized by man.
Of solace to animals.
A spot for birds.
And on my stone
both stones, please.

All I could say was eat your heart out Alexander Pope. Altmann remained completely at ease among friends, fellow poets and a few newcomers to his work like the art world insider, Bettina Prentice, who was excited to discover that Altmann taught poetry at Bayview Women’s Prison in Manhattan. She discussed her own mission to empower women through Coalition for the Homeless’ First Step, a job training program for homeless and low income women that boasts a 75% success rate. Prentice is slated to co-host the 16th Annual Women Mean Business Luncheon on April 8th at the Pierre Hotel, a First Step fundraising event. Acclaimed author and nationally syndicated-columnist Arianna Huffington is this year’s keynote speaker. For further information and tickets visit: Howard Altmann’s “In This House” is published by Turtle Point Press and available at Barnes & Noble and online at:

Bettina Prentice with the celebrated New York painter, Duncan Hannah


Long Live Colette!

Justine and the Victorian Punks. A Visual Art Band by Colette ©1978 from “Colette is Dead: Justine and the Victorian Punks Prevail. It’s all over Now Baby Blue” seriesIn keeping to a long tradition of exhibiting and performing her art in unexpected places, on February 8th, the multi-disciplinary artist COLETTE (and New York’s most treasured BAD GIRL) unveiled “Metaphysical Portraits” in the window and art gallery at DESTINATION New York, in the heart of the Meatpacking District.  The works stay on view through March 9, 2010. 

During a post-opening visit with Colette, I pored over volumes of press books crammed with articles and critical essays many by leading art writers and historians.  The writings date from her early street performance work of the 1970s when she was often arrested and carted off by the NYPD.  In her archive is an MP3 download from an oral history project on PS.1’s Clocktower Gallery where Jeffrey Detich vividly brings to life a piece from 1974 that Colette staged at the space.  You can listen here:
…and be sure to catch COLETTE at Destination.

Colettesizing the window at Destination, New York Meatpacking District, February 8, 2010



“ARTFORUM” publisher, Knight Landesman at the opening of ‘Look Again’ at Marlborough, Chelsea, January 2010“Look Again,” a group exhibition curated by Casey Fremont and Karline Moeller opened at Marlborough Chelsea, New York, January 13, 2010

Downtown curators Casey Fremont and Karline Moeller brought a youthful glow to the legendary blue chip art gallery, Marlborough, Chelsea.  The show titled “Look Again” focuses on appropriation, subversion and trompe l’oeil devices employed by an international roster of 18 artists including Vik Muniz, Raymond Pettibone, Peter Coffin, McDermott & McGough, Louise Lawler, Chakaia Booker, and some from Marlborough’s own stable. The curators were less inclined to explore the themes as genre but rather melded together a selection of works that juxtaposes established artists with emerging voices who share a common thread of challenging the viewer’s ‘eye’ with visual tricks and sleight of hand.  What you see isn’t often what you get.