Eleanor Antin review on KCRW Art Talk by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp
"Carl Cheng and Eleanor Antin: Hunter Drohojowska-Philp talks about focused shows of art from the 60's and 70's" (June 2, 2016)
June 3, 2016
Hunter Drohojowska-Philp reviews Eleanor Antin: "What time is it?" for KCRW 89.9 fm "Art Talk" on June 2, 2016.
"Galleries in LA are increasingly acting like mini-museums in presenting art of historical interest. Blum and Poe has done a lot this year with their survey shows of Cobra artists and Julian Schnable while Kohn Gallery has a survey of work by Wallace Berman. Now two more galleries are presenting little known work from the 1960's by well-known artists.
Performance art, related photographs and books are central to the parallel development of Conceptual and Feminist art in Southern California. One of most important practitioners is Eleanor Antin. Her work is well-known internationally but despite a 1999 retrospective at LACMA, some of her earliest pieces have never been presented together here.
What Time Is It? is the title of Antin's second solo exhibition at Diane Rosenstein Gallery and brings together two series of assembled tableaux. It is on view through June 18.
"Portraits of Eight New York Women" combines everyday objects that capture some aspect of a personality. The driven dancer Yvonne Rainer is portrayed as a stationary bike with a basket full of flowers on the front and a sweatshirt tied around its seat. Such everyday objects are combined with Antin's quirky typed narratives and they riff on identities of women as varied as anthropologist Margaret Mead and performance artist Carolee Schneemann. The series was originally presented in 1970 in a rented room at the Chelsea Hotel.
Antin was a dedicated New Yorker when she moved to San Diego with her poet/critic husband David Antin to teach at UCSD. She has remained ever since but her first impressions of the area still resonate in the 1969 series California Lives. LA art dealer Molly Barnes is represented by a pink bathmat, electric razor, a powder puff and some white pills. Other sculptures are fictional, at times political allegories of the impact of the Vietnam War. When shown in 1969 at the New York alternative space Gain Ground, the late great critic Amy Goldin wrote aptly that Antin "petrifies the sociological moment as the snapshot immobilizes the physical one…" This Saturday, there is a conversation between Antin and Museum of Modern Art curator Emily Liebert at 4pm. Free but reserve your seat at firstname.lastname@example.org."