Rodney Graham

  • Donald Young at the ADAA Art Show in February 2008 with a work by Rodney Graham. (Photo: David Velasco)
    passages January 07, 2013

    Donald Young (1942–2012)

    THE LAST TIME I saw Donald Young was in January of last year. We were sitting in his attic study in the beautiful Stanford White apartment on North Astor in Chicago that he and Shirley had bought a couple of years earlier. They were scaling down, having moved there from their big house in Lincoln Park. Donald had scaled down the gallery too—he wanted to focus on smaller, publishing-related projects like the wonderful series of shows organized around Robert Walser that turned out to be his last.

    It was January 20th to be exact. I know this because of the notes on my phone. They are dated and list

  • Ei Arakawa and Karl Holmqvist, pOEtry pArk (with a painting by Silke Otto-Knapp), 2010. Performance view, Regent’s Park, London, October 15, 2010. Léa Tirabasso, Ei Arakawa, and Jenny Moule. Photo: Polly Braden.



    Gutai is often considered the starting point for postwar art in Japan, typically described as a response to American Abstract Expressionism (via Pollock, who first exhibited in Japan in 1951) and as a parallel to French art informel (via Michel Tapié). However, I want to point out two earlier collectives of midcentury Japanese art (pre-Conceptual On Kawara aside): Jikken Kōbō (Experimental Workshop)—an avant-garde art, music, and theater collective that was influenced by the Bauhaus and European Surrealism—and Zero-kai (Zero Society), whose member Kazuo Shiraga had already

  • Rodney Graham

    MY PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT with music video, that quaint relic of the television age, goes back to the early days of MTV. Around 1982, it occurred to me that making music videos would be a perfect day job for an unemployed visual artist. I managed to get my foot in the door, writing and producing a clip for a local Vancouver band with a record contract; the video did in fact help break the band in the US (and still gets played on oldies video shows). Emboldened, I tried approaching other groups with some rather slickly drawn storyboards. Jeff Wall actually did the renderings; unlike me, he could