Eye Level

Eye Level is the blog of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery. Publishing behind-the-scenes museum stories since 2005.

Another (Alternate) Year, Another Biennial

These days biennials are met as often with fanfare as with handwringing about the state of the curated art survey. Mark Stevens discusses this year’s curator–critic matchup in his New York Magazine pregame analysis of the 2006 Whitney Biennial, “Day for Night,” which opens March 2.
Kriston on March 3, 2006

Site Specific

In light of the recent passing of both Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, Americans may take solace that some progress has been made toward realizing an institution that will pay tribute to them both: the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).
Kriston on March 1, 2006

Installation Piece by Piece

This timelapse video shows SAAM staffers Caroline Little and Dale Hunt installing one of the first cases in our new Luce Foundation Center for American Art.
Cassandra on February 24, 2006

Olympian

As I'm sure many readers know by now, the tremendous video and Fluxus artist Nam June Paik died last month at the age of 74. Of his many works that have been discussed both in the press and the blogosphere over the last two weeks, one especially comes to mind now that the winter Olympics have begun: the more the better. An installation comprising 1,003 screens, the work was staged in honor of the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
Kriston on February 22, 2006

The Clay's the Thing

Over the last few months no fewer than three local exhibitions have featured works by Margaret Boozer, giving viewers ample opportunity to think and rethink about her work.
Kriston on February 15, 2006

A Nod From South by Southwest Interactive

Late Friday we got word that Eye Level is a finalist for a South by Southwest Interactive Web Award in the Blog category. SXSW defines this category as "Sites that revolutionize the power of publishing by providing regularly updated content of a personal or professional nature."
Kriston on February 9, 2006

Lucelia Class of '06

And the 14 nominees for the 2006 Smithsonian American Art Museum Lucelia Artist Award are:
Kriston on February 6, 2006

Forward Motion

I think it's a safe bet that there will be 50 to 60 new and bona fide (i.e., seriously authored by qualified people) art world blogs by the end of the year. Why is this significant? In some cases, the blogs may speed up the infotainment machine that's impacting the actual, hands-on, real-world art scene, locally and internationally.
Kriston on February 1, 2006

The Lonesome, Crowded West

When I take my roadtrip one day through the American Southwest to see its many site-specific earth artworks, the last stop will be the furthest frontier in American earth art: Joshua Tree, California.
Kriston on January 27, 2006

iChiaroscuro

There’s a discussion buzzing on the Eye Level backend about Caravaggio: una mostra impossible, the “impossible” Caravaggio exhibit at the Loyola University Museum of Art in Chicago. The exhibit features 57 backlit digital reproductions of works by the artist—masterpieces, all, that surely could never be seen together in any one place at any one time. Some of us are quite critical of this exhibit, while others are ready hitch a ride to Chicago to see the show and buy the T-shirt.
Michael Edson on January 19, 2006

Ask the Artist: William Christenberry

With SAAM’s reopening set for this July (after a six year top-to-bottom renovation of our  building), we begin a series of posts to give you an inside look at our reopening preparations.

Jeff on January 13, 2006

Primetime Artists

I TiVoed Imagining America: Icons of 20th-Century American Art but didn’t have the time to sit down and watch it before I set off for a vacation in Texas.
Kriston on January 6, 2006

Sense and Design

I don’t consider Dutch Design to be design generated in the Netherlands. I consider Dutch Design a kind of work, or an attitude about work, or even a brand of work, that could theoretically occur anywhere at anytime.
Kriston on December 29, 2005

You Say You Want a Revolution

On a flight recently I saw so many people reading books by Malcolm Gladwell—three reading Blink (myself included) and one other reading The Tipping Point—that I began to suspect it was a new Federal Aviation Administration security mandate. (At least I would have been on the right side of the law.)
Kriston on December 21, 2005

Updike Takes On...

I nearly forgot about the recent NPR interview with John Updike, author of Still Looking, a collection of essays on artists, along with scores of novels and literary essays.
Kriston on December 19, 2005

Miami Art Machine

This year I had planned to attend Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB)—the 4-day Miami gala comprising five contemporary art fairs [Art Basel, Pulse, Aqua Art, New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA), and Design05]—but the weekend disagreed with my schedule. Stuck out in the cold.
Kriston on December 15, 2005

Featuring Birds

Here's an excerpt from Paul Richard's Washington Post article about Audubon's Birds of America, selections from which are on view at the National Gallery of Art's Audubon's Dream Realized exhibition:
Kriston on December 13, 2005