Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Not another Top 5 list!

Nikki S. Lee, The Hip Hop Project (13), Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects

People seem to love making fun of year-end Top 5 and Top 10 lists as much as the Whitney Biennial, but I actually like them and apparently Scott does too, so look out Cuspers, you're about to have back-to-back Top 5 lists so suck it up.

Since our fine city has a limited number of art venues, I have decided to pick my top five places where I truly have museum experiences here in Indy. These are places that you can go to day in and day out and expect a similar experience, regardless the time of year. They deal in art, architecture and design and since I rarely go north of 16th Street, I expect many comments as to places I need to frequent more often. So here it goes, Top 5 places I enjoy going by myself in Indy when I need time to escape and think:

(5) Believe it or not, this is a true tie as I could not decide between either one. First, I love the Artsgarden at the Indianapolis Arts Center. Some of the art I like, some I don't. But the setting is amazing and couple it with the fact it's completely dog friendly, it's tough to beat. Unless you go to Crown Hill Cemetery. For anyone who grew up in this town, the Riley grave has almost become a cliché, but for peace and beauty, it's wonderful.

(4) Go to the Zoo, and then walk towards downtown through White River State Park. More often than not, the city looks truly majestic. I would not feel good posting these remarks without a couple of comments on architecture in this city. For the most part, scary bad. And I don't understand why with Columbus, IN so close and doing so many wonderful things in architecture. Some of the museums have done an o.k. job, but the government and local businesses really need to step up. But I digress, you still need to go to White River State Park with a bottle of wine and a love interest, make out and enjoy the view.

(3) Form + Function on 86th Street. If you like design, let this be your Mecca. Yes it is a retail establishment, but when I need a break from museums this is where I go to find peace. If you haven't already met him, get your butt to the northside and say hi to Helmut and encourage all of your friends with means to patronize this store. He's the only in town playing this game and a true gem. I believe this city would drop down a notch or two without him, and I think you'll recognize what I mean once you step foot in his store.

(2) This is a place that I have never been, but I can dare to dream. The private collection of Thomas Robertello in Bloomington. If the representations of his collection at the IMA are any indication, I should give up Corner Coffee, Vics, and Starbucks on Mass Ave to hang out at coffee shops in Bloomington just in the hopes to meet this man. Crazy, I'm straight and still have a little crush. I mean come on, Chris Johanson, Nikki Lee, Anne Wilson abd Amy Cutler in Southern Indiana? I must be dreaming...

(1) Drum roll please, the most amazing place to go in Indy... the Fred Sandback room at the IMA. (no link to his actual work at the IMA - this is the link to their contemporary page). The largest installation of his work this side of Dia Beacon (I guess I can't confirm that fact, so if anyone has any information to the contrary, let me know and I'll crawl there on my hands and knees - I swear, it will be a performance piece). In my humble opinion, the epitome of conceptual art. Mr. Sandback teaches us that conceptual art need not be intimidating or unapproachable, it can in fact just be. I can honestly say that he and Ed Ruscha are two of the main reasons I love contemporary art, and having a room like that in our city inspires me to keep doing what I'm doing. How about we all send good thoughts to the late Mr. Sandback's wife in the hopes that someday, the words 'on loan from' can be replaced with the words 'gift from' on the labels in his gallery. We've got one, now I want them all. As they say, "It's my art damn it!" or something like that...

4 Responses to “Not another Top 5 list!”

Redvelvetto said...
January 3, 2006 at 6:13 PM

I'm with you on all that, except Nikki Lee. I don't think there is anything interesting about her work. Strippers, black people, vacations so what?...come over to my house we'll have a look through my photo album and if you want you can have a few.
I suppose I am not big on most conceptual art, I like unique stories and most of the time conceptual art lacks that. I study psychology and to me, conceptual art has more to do with philosophy, which in my opinion is several different ways of saying loosly the same thing, then bickering about the details.
I think I would add to your list because I haven't been to lots of the venues around town.
1) the Kinsey Institute had some great stuff this past year The Allure of Clothing: Function, Fantasy, Fetish, Fashion. Speaking of this we need some Leigh Bowery here....
2)I enjoyed IMOCA's Nausea II...does that count? at Radio Radio it was great they went out of the Gallery to put that on and I really enjoyed the comment it had about the art world... IMOCA had a lot of good exhibits this year. Props to you Christopher.
My two least favorite venues are:
1)Flux but I was only there once...it was just blah and so small how can you spend more than 10 minutes in there? It was like being at a garage sale.
2)I also hate Editions LTD how yucky, is it in an old dentist's office?
Venue is so important, presentation is so important because it will influence the viewer's experience of the art. The art was not poor in these locations but the location distracted me from the artwork. I guess I am talking more about venue and atmosphere...it really does matter.

Christopher said...
January 3, 2006 at 7:56 PM

Did you really say Leigh Bowery? I've been dreaming of bringing his 'work' or whatever you want to call it here. I had a chance to see his stuff in NY and Venice and loved it! That would certainly do something for this town.

I also need to make more trips to Bloomington. The Kinsey Institute is like no other in the country.

And I know a place like Flux is not where you can wander for hours and take in the art. But I like the approach they are taking. Good art with no frills. And if she can continue to keep this up with a shoe-string budget, I think it will really pay off.

Glad you liked Nausea II.

Christopher said...
January 3, 2006 at 8:00 PM

Oh yeah Red, I'm sure you have a wonderful photo album but I still like Nikki Lee. I'm kind of a conceptual art freak-o. I bet the next thing you'll say is that you hate Delia Brown too!

Thomas Robertello said...
January 9, 2006 at 2:49 PM

Hello and thank you for listing pieces from my collection at the IMA as one of your top 5 spots. I would be pleased to talk with you further about the work and give you a tour of my collection in southern IN, though much of it is in Washington DC at the moment. Please email me: tr@thomasrobertello.com
Best regards,
Thomas Robertello
PS- I was pleased to see an Indy art blog added to Tyler Green's list.

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