ARTPIL Profiles of the Arts
One Day at a Time
Through Mar 11, 2019 / MOCA

Manny Farber / One Day at a Time MOCA

MOCA / Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, presents One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art, an ambitious exhibition inspired by American painter and film critic Manny Farber and his legendary underground essay “White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art” (1962). The exhibition is organized by Helen Molesworth and features approximately thirty artists and more than one hundred carefully selected works of painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, and sound dating from the 1950s to the present. One Day at a Time is conceived as a cross between a monographic exhibition and a group show – an experiment in exhibition-making in the spirit of Farber’s call for “termite art.”

 

Aliza Nisenbaum, Kayhan reading the New York Times

Becky Suss, “August” (2016) courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Joan Brown, Woman Waiting in a Theatre Lobby, 1975

Becky Suss, Bathroom (Ming Green), 2016 / Jennifer Guidi, Eclipse, 2017

Originally appearing in Film Culture magazine, “White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art” was written as a screed against the idea of the masterpiece and works of art produced by “overripe technique shrieking with preciosity, fame, ambition.” Farber championed art that was committed to observation, deep attention, and the unique temporalities of the quotidian. In his words, termite art was produced through the act of “both observing and being in the world, a journeying in which the artist seems to be ingesting both the material of his art and the outside world through horizontal coverage.”

 

Charles Ray, Tractor, 2005 / One Day at a Time MOCA, Photo Zak Kelley

Beverly Buchanan / One Day at a Time MOCA, Photo Zak Kelley

Lorna Simpson, 31 , 2002 / One Day at a Time MOCA, Photo Zak Kelley

One Day at a Time uses Farber’s idea of termite art as a methodology for assembling the contemporary works of disparate artists as a means to think about time in its many dimensions, from the daily to the cosmological. The genre of still life plays an important role in this endeavor. Long the area of Western painting in which the passage of time – and the implications of that passing in both ethical and natural terms – has been explored, still life remains a form that exemplifies Farber’s commitment, both as a writer and a painter, to the daily, the modest, and the space in between things.

 

Rodney McMillian, “a lemon” (2006–12)

Jennifer Guidi, Pink Sky Mountain (Painted White Sand SF #2C, White and Multicolor), 2017 / Josiah McElheny, An End to Modernity, 2005, One Day at a Time MOCA, Photo Zak Kelley

Moyra Davey, One Day at a Time MOCA, Photo Zak Kelley

Farber’s eye-level perspective on the subtle connections that undergird the stuff of daily life provides One Day at a Time with its structure: the hybrid approach of the exhibition is itself an outgrowth of Farber’s horizontal viewpoint. It begins with a group of Farber’s idiosyncratic still-life paintings and works on paper from the late 1970s and 1980s, then fans out from this monographic presentation to explore the ways other artists have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of the everyday. The rooms of the exhibition are envisioned as small galaxies, each orbiting around a work by Farber and bound by the gravitational pull of artists “observing and being in the world.” The manifestations of this simultaneous immersion in and reckoning with the world are both distinct and interrelated. The artists gathered in One Day at a Time immerse themselves in the natural world and record the details of daily life. In so doing, they reorder the priorities of our culture away from fame, celebrity, grandiosity, and money and instead present the detailed, the minor, and the overlooked as a way to better connect with the realm of the everyday, offered here as the space of ethics and love.

 

Roni Horn The Selected Gifts, (1974 – 2015) One Day at a Time MOCA, Photo Zak Kelley

Wolfgang Tillmans

Wolfgang Tillmans, Window New Inn Yard / Wolfgang Tillmans, One Day at a Time MOCA Photo Zak Kelley

Artists featured in the exhibition include: Dike Blair, Joan Brown, Beverly Buchanan, Jordan Casteel, Vija Celmins, Leidy Churchman, Moyra Davey, Taylor Davis, Tacita Dean, Manny Farber, Fischli & Weiss, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Jennifer Guidi, Maurice Harris, Roni Horn, Kahlil Joseph, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Chris Marker, Josiah McElheny, Roy McMakin, Rodney McMillian, Aliza Nisenbaum, Catherine Opie, Patricia Patterson, Quintron, Charles Ray, Rachel Rose, Sue Schardt, Nancy Shaver, Lorna Simpson, Becky Suss, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Jonas Wood.

A substantial full-color exhibition catalogue published by Prestel will accompany the exhibition. It will include an essay by Helen Molesworth and reprints of some of Farber’s most memorable pieces of writing, as well as an interview with filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin on the subject of termite art, a reminiscence of Farber as a teacher by artist and filmmaker Jason Simon, and a commissioned project by artists Gregg Bordowitz and Glenn Ligon.

Lead support is provided by Annenberg Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Major support is provided by Maria Seferian. Generous support is provided by Matthew Marks Gallery.

 

One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art
Through March 11, 2019 / MOCA
Curator: Helen Molesworth / Curatorial Assistant: Rebecca Lowery
For more information please visit the exhibition page >

Recent Articles
Fashioning the Black Body
Through May 4, 2019
The artists in this exhibition survey how fashion, style, and the garment…
The artists in this exhibition survey how fashion, style, and the garment act as devices of investigative storytelling,…
William Eggleston: 2¼
Through June 1, 2019
Over the course of nearly six decades, Eggleston has established a singular…
Over the course of nearly six decades, Eggleston has established a singular style that deftly combines the vernacular…
Arlene Shechet / Sculpture
Through June 8, 2019
Shechet’s work in ceramic, porcelain, wood, concrete, bronze, and other materials teases…
Shechet’s work in ceramic, porcelain, wood, concrete, bronze, and other materials teases out longstanding tensions in sculpture between…
Jaume Plensa / 1980s to the Present
Through April 22, 2019
The works of Jaume Plensa address the very condition of being: its…
The works of Jaume Plensa address the very condition of being: its physical and spiritual essence, ontological awareness…
ARTPIL / Prescription .090
There and back again
Bolsonaro rewrites Brazil’s history, India prepares for mega elections, Netanyahu to gain…
Bolsonaro rewrites Brazil’s history, India prepares for mega elections, Netanyahu to gain a 5th term, Le Pen looks…
Luigi Ghirri / The Map and the Territory
Through June 2, 2019
“I am interested in ephemeral architecture, in objects generally regarded as bad…
“I am interested in ephemeral architecture, in objects generally regarded as bad taste, but which have never been…
Alan Reynolds / A Small Retrospective
Through April 18, 2019
Celebrated from the outset, Reynolds turns his back on popularity, quietly pursuing…
Celebrated from the outset, Reynolds turns his back on popularity, quietly pursuing his inner convictions, spending a lifetime…
The Parted Veil
Through June 30, 2019
16 Irish artists use photographic images to consider ideas of remembrance and…
16 Irish artists use photographic images to consider ideas of remembrance and celebration, and especially to reflect how…
One Day at a Time
Through Mar 11, 2019 / MOCA

Manny Farber / One Day at a Time MOCA

MOCA / Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, presents One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art, an ambitious exhibition inspired by American painter and film critic Manny Farber and his legendary underground essay “White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art” (1962). The exhibition is organized by Helen Molesworth and features approximately thirty artists and more than one hundred carefully selected works of painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, and sound dating from the 1950s to the present. One Day at a Time is conceived as a cross between a monographic exhibition and a group show – an experiment in exhibition-making in the spirit of Farber’s call for “termite art.”

 

Aliza Nisenbaum, Kayhan reading the New York Times

Becky Suss, “August” (2016) courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Joan Brown, Woman Waiting in a Theatre Lobby, 1975

Becky Suss, Bathroom (Ming Green), 2016 / Jennifer Guidi, Eclipse, 2017

Originally appearing in Film Culture magazine, “White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art” was written as a screed against the idea of the masterpiece and works of art produced by “overripe technique shrieking with preciosity, fame, ambition.” Farber championed art that was committed to observation, deep attention, and the unique temporalities of the quotidian. In his words, termite art was produced through the act of “both observing and being in the world, a journeying in which the artist seems to be ingesting both the material of his art and the outside world through horizontal coverage.”

 

Charles Ray, Tractor, 2005 / One Day at a Time MOCA, Photo Zak Kelley

Beverly Buchanan / One Day at a Time MOCA, Photo Zak Kelley

Lorna Simpson, 31 , 2002 / One Day at a Time MOCA, Photo Zak Kelley

One Day at a Time uses Farber’s idea of termite art as a methodology for assembling the contemporary works of disparate artists as a means to think about time in its many dimensions, from the daily to the cosmological. The genre of still life plays an important role in this endeavor. Long the area of Western painting in which the passage of time – and the implications of that passing in both ethical and natural terms – has been explored, still life remains a form that exemplifies Farber’s commitment, both as a writer and a painter, to the daily, the modest, and the space in between things.

 

Rodney McMillian, “a lemon” (2006–12)

Jennifer Guidi, Pink Sky Mountain (Painted White Sand SF #2C, White and Multicolor), 2017 / Josiah McElheny, An End to Modernity, 2005, One Day at a Time MOCA, Photo Zak Kelley

Moyra Davey, One Day at a Time MOCA, Photo Zak Kelley

Farber’s eye-level perspective on the subtle connections that undergird the stuff of daily life provides One Day at a Time with its structure: the hybrid approach of the exhibition is itself an outgrowth of Farber’s horizontal viewpoint. It begins with a group of Farber’s idiosyncratic still-life paintings and works on paper from the late 1970s and 1980s, then fans out from this monographic presentation to explore the ways other artists have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of the everyday. The rooms of the exhibition are envisioned as small galaxies, each orbiting around a work by Farber and bound by the gravitational pull of artists “observing and being in the world.” The manifestations of this simultaneous immersion in and reckoning with the world are both distinct and interrelated. The artists gathered in One Day at a Time immerse themselves in the natural world and record the details of daily life. In so doing, they reorder the priorities of our culture away from fame, celebrity, grandiosity, and money and instead present the detailed, the minor, and the overlooked as a way to better connect with the realm of the everyday, offered here as the space of ethics and love.

 

Roni Horn The Selected Gifts, (1974 – 2015) One Day at a Time MOCA, Photo Zak Kelley

Wolfgang Tillmans

Wolfgang Tillmans, Window New Inn Yard / Wolfgang Tillmans, One Day at a Time MOCA Photo Zak Kelley

Artists featured in the exhibition include: Dike Blair, Joan Brown, Beverly Buchanan, Jordan Casteel, Vija Celmins, Leidy Churchman, Moyra Davey, Taylor Davis, Tacita Dean, Manny Farber, Fischli & Weiss, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Jennifer Guidi, Maurice Harris, Roni Horn, Kahlil Joseph, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Chris Marker, Josiah McElheny, Roy McMakin, Rodney McMillian, Aliza Nisenbaum, Catherine Opie, Patricia Patterson, Quintron, Charles Ray, Rachel Rose, Sue Schardt, Nancy Shaver, Lorna Simpson, Becky Suss, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Jonas Wood.

A substantial full-color exhibition catalogue published by Prestel will accompany the exhibition. It will include an essay by Helen Molesworth and reprints of some of Farber’s most memorable pieces of writing, as well as an interview with filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin on the subject of termite art, a reminiscence of Farber as a teacher by artist and filmmaker Jason Simon, and a commissioned project by artists Gregg Bordowitz and Glenn Ligon.

Lead support is provided by Annenberg Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Major support is provided by Maria Seferian. Generous support is provided by Matthew Marks Gallery.

 

One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art
Through March 11, 2019 / MOCA
Curator: Helen Molesworth / Curatorial Assistant: Rebecca Lowery
For more information please visit the exhibition page >