Branden W. Joseph

  • Robert Rauschenberg, National Spinning / Red / Spring (Cardboard), 1971, cardboard and string, 100 x 98 1/2 x 8 1/2".

    Robert Rauschenberg

    Among the approximately sixty-five works on view in Porto will be selections from his series of the early 1970s—“Cardboards,” “Jammers,” “Venetians,” and others—many attempting to turn away from the dense semiotic fields of his Combines and silk screens of the ’50s and ’60s to focus on the sculptural, the abstract, the diaphanous, and (above all) the colorful.

    Relatively little attention has been paid to Robert Rauscenberg’s work form the early 1970s, a period that culminated in his all but official designation as a “contemporary old master” with his 1976 retrospective at the National Collection of Fine Arts in Washington, DC. In the years immediately prior, however, Rauschenberg had valiantly sought ways to avoid that (already) inevitable fate. Among the approximately sixty-five works on view in Porto will be selections from his series of the time—“Cardboards,” “Jammers,” “Venetians,” and others—many attempting to turn away

  • Mike Kelley, Playground, 1995.

    Mike Kelley

    This retrospective—the artist's first in a decade—will feature nine installations, five of which directly related to Educational Complex (including the never-before-exhibited Rose Hobart II, 2006), as well as a multitude of photographs, paintings, and mobiles.

    For his 1995 Educational Complex, Mike Kelley reconstructed every school he ever attended, leaving out interiors he couldn't remember (sites harboring dark secrets, one presumes)—producing a sprawling model that resembles at once an ersatz world's fair and Superman's bottled city of Kandor. With its meditation on childhood trauma, repressed memory, architectural space, and institutional power (not to mention satanic ritual), this work forms the epicenter of concerns that have motivated Kelley's practice for the past several years. This retrospective—the artist's first

  • Tony Conrad, Yellow Movie 3/31–4/2/73, 1973, gull-white flat interior latex paint on studio-white seamless paper, 116 x 106".


    LARGE PAINTED PAPER SHEETS with a rectangle approximating the proportions of a film screen, Tony Conrad’s “Yellow Movies,” 1972–73, were inspired by the stark dichotomy between art and cinema at Documenta 5 (1972)—where filmmakers such as Conrad had their movies screened only once in the community cinema, while other artists’ works in film and video were shown continually in Kassel’s Museum Fridericianum. As attested to by the petition published that summer by Documenta artists Hans Haacke, Sol LeWitt, Dorothea Rockbourne, and others, demanding more control over the display of their work,

  • Robert Rauschenberg, Lake Placid / Glori-Fried / Yarns from New England (Cardboard), 1971, cardboard, rope, and wood pole, 9' 6 3/4“ x 13' 5” x 8".

    “Robert Rauschenberg: Cardboards and Related Pieces”

    Robert Rauschenberg’s Cardboards were one of the most startling and entirely unexpected revelations of his 1997 Guggenheim retrospective.

    Robert Rauschenberg’s Cardboards were one of the most startling and entirely unexpected revelations of his 1997 Guggenheim retrospective. Made between 1971 and 1972, these large, wall-mounted arrangements of partially flattened boxes saw his return to the single-image pictorial mode he had mastered, and then all but abandoned, in Bed, 1955. Despite their obvious deployment of the readymade, the Cardboards engage primarily with Abstract Expressionist scale—a scale that produces the impact of these works and is, needless to say, unappreciable in reproduction. To challenge

  • Michael Graeve

    ACCORDING TO THE media archaeology laid out in Friedrich A. Kittler’s Gramophone, Film, Typewriter (1999), the functions of film and phonograph can be distinguished by analogy with the psychoanalytic functions Jacques Lacan described as the “imaginary” and the “real.” Where the imaginary was once stimulated, in the era of the book, by the discrete flow of words, in the age of media it is directly controlled by the cinema’s manipulation of attention through techniques like the close-up, the zoom, and shot/countershot alternations. The phonograph, by contrast, acts as a repository and reproduction

  • Pat O’Neill

    Recent years have seen a succession of exhibitions devoted to “expanded cinema,” a genre-busting category that includes everything from multiscreen projections to happening-like performances to early experiments with video and other electronic technologies. From the Whitney’s “Into the Light” to the Vienna Museum of Modern Art’s “X-Screen” to the ZKM in Karlsruhe’s “Future Cinema,” this once-neglected genre has returned to the artistic mainstream. With “Pat O’Neill: Views from Lookout Mountain,” the Santa Monica Museum of Art surveys the forty-five-year career of the eminent Los Angeles–based

  • Billy Klüver preparing Jean Tinguely’s Homage to New York, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1960. Photo: David Gahr.

    Branden W. Joseph on Billy Klüver

    THE FIRST ART PROJECT to which Swedish engineer Billy Klüver—who passed away on January 11, 2004, at the age of seventy-six—lent his energy and expertise was Jean Tinguely’s Homage to New York, the machine that famously self-destructed in the garden of the Museum of Modern Art on March 17, 1960. “The Garden Party,” Klüver’s written account of the event, opens by noting that Tinguely built his suicidal contraption inside the Buckminster Fuller dome exhibited on the grounds. Although this detail is often overlooked, the two structures formed a telling dialectical pair. While Tinguely’s animate