Dawn Chan

  • Left: Adrian Piper, The Mythic Being, Cycle I.10, 1974, advertisement in the Village Voice, 14 x 17“. Right: Adrian Piper, Book Cover Template for Rationality and the Structure of the Self, 2004, pencil on paper, 8 1/2 x 11”. Both images: © Adrian Piper Research Archive.
    interviews February 19, 2009

    Adrian Piper

    Adrian Piper recently finished the second volume of Rationality and the Structure of the Self, the philosophical treatise she has developed for over three decades. Though both volumes were accepted by Cambridge University Press, the publishing house’s marketing department demanded cuts. Piper decided instead to self-publish the manuscripts, offering them to readers on her personal website. Here she discusses the evolution of Rationality and the Structure of the Self, and how her decisions to self-publish and advertise—as well as her long careers in art and philosophy—might shape the audience of

  • Zach Harris, Sunrises '88, 2007–2008, acrylic and wood, 21 1/2 x 18 1/4 x 1 3/8".
    picks February 03, 2009

    Zach Harris

    Zach Harris seems spellbound by the push and pull of paintings and frames—his woodcut-relief borders often dwarf the images they contain. While both elements remain largely abstract, the center panels’ acrylic renderings occasionally betray landscapes and other scenes: In one work, a Chinese fret motif encloses two dragons rearing toward each other. A floral filigree resembles a book’s marbled endpapers in another piece; elsewhere, a city flourishes in an hourglass-shaped biosphere. Sensitive decisions appear throughout the exhibition: A downward-facing beveled edge, cast in shadow, is tinted

  • Left: Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (Red Butterfly III Yellow MARK GROTJAHN P-08 Filled in M, 3 753), 2008, oil on linen, 73 x 54“. Right: Philip Guston, North, 1961–62, oil on canvas, 69 x 77”.
    interviews November 10, 2008

    Gary Garrels

    “Oranges and Sardines,” which opened at the Hammer Museum on November 9, is one of the two final shows curator Gary Garrels organized for the museum before his departure to SF MoMA. Drawing the exhibition’s title from a poem by Frank O’Hara, Garrels invited six abstract painters—Mark Grotjahn, Wade Guyton, Mary Heilmann, Amy Sillman, Charline von Heyl, and Christopher Wool—to select works by others that had influenced their thinking and practice, to be shown alongside the six artists’ own pieces. Here, Garrels talks about the conversations that shaped the exhibition.


  • Left: Consultant Karen Marta, artist Philippe Parreno, and a magician. RIght: Artist Matthew Monahan. (All photos: Ryan McNamara)
    diary October 13, 2008

    Autumn Harvest

    New York

    Chelsea always slows down a bit in October. Still, streets felt emptier than expected last Friday night. Those who showed up for openings fell into two camps: Team Envy and Team Schadenfreude. The former decided that the affluent crowds had taken Columbus Day weekend as a last call for second-home visits before winter’s arrival. The latter concluded that Hamptonites squeezing in one more trip were motivated not by Jack Frost, but by foreclosure jitters. A more likely reason for the quiet, of course, was that people had decamped early for Europe and the Frieze Art Fair.

    Either way, given the giant

  • Sun Xun, New China, 2008. Installation view.
    interviews August 15, 2008

    Sun Xun

    After studying printmaking at the China Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou-based artist Sun Xun started his own animation studio, Pi, in 2006. His work has been screened at numerous festivals, including the 2007 Torino Film Festival, and has been shown in exhibitions at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art and at ShanghART, among other venues. For his first show at an American museum, he inhabited the Vault Gallery at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles for over a week to develop the site-specific installation New China.

    APPARENTLY, THE ARCHITECTURE of the Vault Gallery was originally prepared to

  • Left: Lady Rizo. (Photo: Dawn Chan) Right: Artist Cory Arcangel. (Photo: Damien Crisp)
    diary August 12, 2008

    Geek Chic


    In the case of a legend as large as Bruce Springsteen, an extra homage never hurts—especially when said homage consists of a full-length glockenspiel concert. Inspired by the use of the instrument in the famous melody of Born to Run’s title track, artist and hacker Cory Arcangel procured one of the modest metallophones and made compositions for each song on the album. Released as a vinyl LP, Arcangel’s tracks have been performed live in snippets, but last Tuesday offered the rare chance for die-hard fans to see the full-length concert debut of the epic gesamtkunstwerk. As proof of the strength

  • Patti Smith. (Photo: Steven Sebring)
    film August 06, 2008

    Strange Messengers

    IN ANY GIVEN ROOM of people, punk icon Patti Smith is probably the most charismatic by a long shot. Steven Sebring, the director of Patti Smith: Dream of Life (2008), has that much figured out. To its advantage, Sebring’s homage to the legendary singer, poet, and all-around downtown figure—filmed with much input from Smith herself—has none of the talking heads of a typical rock documentary. It features neither cute toddler photos showing early musical proclivities nor the requisite play-by-play of a band’s lineup and history of managers. Chronology is scrapped. The film’s only sense of order

  • Left: Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. Right: Actress Summer Bishil with filmmaker Alan Ball. (Photos: Dawn Chan)
    diary July 01, 2008

    Rainbow Connection

    Provincetown, MA

    One glance at the guide to the dozen or so venues for Provincetown’s Tenth Annual International Film Festival and I felt lost at sea. Or perhaps I was simply feeling the effects of the ferry, where I had sat alongside an entertaining range of passengers: several middle-aged couples of various stripes of the rainbow, optimistically headed back to command central; a few young “rich rapist types,” (as a friend termed them); and, of course, the film-folk like IndieWIRE editor Eugene Hernandez and managing editor Brian Brooks along with IFC’s Ryan Warner. We sorted through the festival’s offerings—from

  • Left: Mary Ping, Four Sided Birkin Bag. Right: Mary Ping, Sunglasses. (Photos: Isabel Ashen Penzlien)
    interviews June 26, 2008

    Mary Ping

    At a moment when many artists are collaborating with fashion houses, it seems worthwhile to speak with a fashion designer with a fine-art background and conceptually oriented projects. Designer Mary Ping is known for both the classic pieces of her signature line and the anthropological investigations of her side project, Slow and Steady Wins the Race.

    I BEGAN MY PROJECT Slow and Steady Wins the Race a year after I first produced my signature line. The September 11 attacks had just occurred, right on the cusp of Fashion Week, and like others I began to question the meaning of fashion: Why do we

  • Egg and Gun, at Large, 2008, color photograph, 28 9/16 x 22 15/16".
    picks May 20, 2008

    Louise Lawler

    Though the title of Louise Lawler’s current solo show, “Sucked In, Blown Out, Obviously Indebted or One Foot in Front of the Other,” foregrounds the difference between her newest works and previous endeavors—several of this show’s photographs are, indeed, “blown out”—more salient is what remains the same. Most elements of her well-known earlier photos are still in place. She depicts other artists’ pieces against the white walls and shiny floors of their guardian institutions, complete with contextual cues—a museum’s wall fixture here, a collector’s lamp shade there. As an artist known to approach

  • Left: Rodney Graham in performance. (Photo: Amy C. Elliott) Right: Mikhail Baryshnikov. (Photo: Chance Yeh/Patrick McMullan)
    diary April 18, 2008

    Bomb Squad

    New York

    “It’s benefit season again,” sighed one guest as we hunted for our place cards at Bomb magazine’s gala last Friday. Indeed, said season comes with its own brand of subjects, ranging from the predictable—“My friend just bought a new country house on the North Fork”—to the positively absurd, like the tidbit about the guy who trained his dog to growl every time it hears the words “Mark Morris.” The Morris comment wasn’t a total non sequitur: The venerable choreographer had been enlisted to toast his celebrated colleague, Mikhail Baryshnikov, one of the evening’s three honorees. The other two were

  • Left: Artist Ai Weiwei with dealer Mary Boone. Right: Artist Liu Xiaodong. (All photos: David Velasco)
    diary March 11, 2008

    Weiwei . . . Don’t Tell Me

    New York

    Hours before Ai Weiwei’s opening last Saturday at Mary Boone, some wondered: Who exactly would be in attendance? I found myself hoping that Ai would jet in a bevy of Chinese compatriots, in a reprise of his 2007 Documenta piece. Perhaps he would stow them on cots behind the gallery’s reception desk or between catalogues raisonnés on Mary Boone’s shelves? In the end, this didn’t come to pass, though a large percentage of the well-wishers who turned up had ties to the Chinese and Chinese-expat art scene. Indeed, many were direct or indirect products of Ai’s influence, like Zhang Huan, who was