Archive for the ‘Apartment Talks’ Category

Amazing reviews!

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

He An’s What Makes Me Understand What I Know?; Photo: Josh Franzos


Untitled works by Vincent Fecteau; Photo: Josh Franzos

We worked hard on this show; gave everything and the last bit at the opening on October 4, 5, and 6; and then fell into a coma to wake up delighted about the amazing reviews. Pittsburgh had trembled at the thought of being bashed by New York, but New York discussed it (what bigger compliment is there?), liked it, and acknowledged some touchdowns. Roberta Smith of the New York Times: “This lean, seemingly modest, thought-out exhibition takes the big global survey of contemporary art off steroids…”; Peter Schjeldahl of The New Yorker: “The strikingly thoughtful new edition of the venerable Carnegie International…”; Andrew Russeth of the New York Observer: “The more time I spent [with the exhibition] the more I envied the people of the Steel City, who get to have it at their doorstep for the next five months.”

New York not being everything, there were (and still are coming, we’ll keep you posted) other reviews with great insights. Kerr Houston’s critique was one them for Baltimore’s Bmoreart; another one was Nessia Pope’s “A Seriously Playful Carnegie International Brings Welcome Attention to New Artistic Visions” for Artspace; a third was by Bryne McLaughlin in Canadian Art, and (not) finally, a more visual one was by Contemporary Art Daily.

Other journals, magazines, and blogs focused on individual artists like Taryn Simon (Telegraph), Zanele Muholi (Huffington Post), Mladen Stilinović (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review), Zoe Strauss in Artforum and in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Transformazium’s Art Lending Collection, Ei Arakawa/Henning Bohl’s interview, John Kane (prominently shown in the Carnegie Museum of Art’s collection reinstallation), Henry Taylor, and Dinh Q. Lê.

And the Lawrenceville Apartment Talks.

And the Collection component of the exhibitionsee this archive timeline, these archives on Tumblr and Pinterest, and this article from The Exhibitionist.

And The Playground Project in The New York Times by Carol Kino. Another great review by architect Sean Sheffler of AIA Pittsburgh.

And there were interviews and articles where we raised our voices (or they were raised for us)—a profile on Tina Kukielski, Dan Byers, and Daniel Baumann; Tom Eccles in conversation with the three co-curators for the British ArtReview; Jay Sanders in discussion with Daniel Baumann in Spike Art Quarterly.

Cara Erskine and Corey Escoto @ Apartment Talks

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

corey 1

Apartment Talk #14: Cara Erskine and Corey Escoto

On May 21st we hosted enlightening talks by Pittsburgh-based artists Cara Erskine and Corey Escoto, both of whom relocated here some years ago and have since been very active in the local (as well as national) art scene. They drew a big crowd of supporters who stuck it out despite stifling heat, and even dared prolonging the proceedings with some great questions.

Cara presented her sculptures, paintings, and collages that take formal and conceptual cues from sports, pop culture, and feminism. Highlighting some of her works that examine perceptions of gender and identity, Cara discussed the public reception of sports icons like Billie Jean King, a recurring figure in her work. Cara also described the important role that construction plays in the materiality of her work and her overall artistic process, from tiny collages to large-scale paintings. Cara earned her MFA from Yale School of Art in 2002 and has exhibited at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA; Front Room, Cleveland, OH; and has had solo exhibitions at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN; and Stanford University, Stanford, CA. She has taught at Carnegie Mellon University and Robert Morris University, and her art criticism has appeared in Dis Magazine. See more of Cara’s work on her website.

Corey talked about his body of experimental, large format analog photographic works created with a recently discontinued Polaroid format. Expanding the zone of instantaneous image production, Corey constructs enigmatic spaces that compress and invert idea, image, and object. These 4×5 instant film prints are unique, multi-exposure proofs created through a process of hand-cutting and registering a series of light-blocking stencils to selectively and sequentially expose the film. As an extension of this process, his sculptures are reverse engineered objects born out of the Polaroids—reifying the cycles, grey areas, and nuances of invention and production. Corey was born in Amarillo, Texas, and his work has been included in many national and international exhibitions at venues such as the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis; FRAC Nord-Pas De Calais, Dunkerque; Galerie de Kunstler, Munich; 7 Days Brunch, Basel; and Regina Rex, Queens, NY. See more of Corey’s work on his website. See also Art21’s blog, featuring a 2009 interview with Corey.



Belfast Punk Night @ Apartment Talks

Friday, June 7th, 2013


Apartment Talk #13: Belfast Punk Night

On May 13th, in collaboration with CMU School of Art, we hosted a Belfast punk event that had been percolating for over a year. I had been wanting to screen a documentary on the subject by John T. Davis, called Shellshock Rock (1979), since Duncan Campbell told me about how influential the film had been for him, but it took ages—and a circuitous train of a million emails—for me to get my hands on a copy. Around the same time as the DVD arrived from the UK, someone posted the whole thing on YouTube. So enjoy with unearned ease, but feel sorry you missed out on the dance party. That’s right: after the screening, DJ John Carson spun some records and people danced. An Apartment first (I think). (more…)

Apartment Event Update: SIX x ATE!

Thursday, April 25th, 2013


Apartment Talk #12: SIX x ATE

The jawbone of a Nicaraguan pig, scissors touched by Kim Il-Sung, a cat staring at you from a Lawrenceville window…. just a taste of the many inspirations shared by presenting artists at the SIX x ATE: Vegetable event last Monday. The SIX x ATE series is an ongoing themed dinner and lecture event promoting a more interdisciplinary arts community in Pittsburgh. The series began in the summer of 2012 at the 2013 Carnegie International apartment before moving to other sites, including the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Bar Marco. For each dinner, six artists and one cuisinier are asked to present work on a theme. The artists present for a few minutes throughout the night, as guests (a mixture of arts professionals and others connected to the theme) enjoy tasty treats, meet new people, and share ideas.

Monday’s event featured the artists of CSA PGH: Kim Beck, David Bernabo, Lenka Clayton, William Earl Kofmehl III, Alexi Morrissey, and Ed Panar. The CSA PGH project is based on the model created by Minneapolis’ Springboard for the Arts and is supported by the Sprout Fund and Fractured Atlas. Similar to the boxes of fruit and vegetables that one might get from a local farm as an agricultural CSA, the CSA PGH will create “shares” of art to feed the public’s cultural appetite. Each artist will create 50 editions, which will be packaged into 50 shares for the public. These will go on sale April 30th on, where you can also find more information about the project and the artists.

Guests of SIX x ATE: Vegetable also had a special treat from Tina, Daniel, and Dan. Their dramatic reading of the 2013 Carnegie International press release with visualization provided by Pinterest moved the audience to tears, or at least chuckles.

For more information on SIX x ATE or to subscribe to the mailing list, visit

Casey Droege was raised by two artists and a mime. Their incessant side hustles, ranging from chimney sweep to insurance sales, created the time management monster/slightly organized tornado that is Casey. And while her mother made it clear to her that she should go into computers, she now lives and works as an artist using language to objectify the subjective.

(Photos: Heather Mull)

Apartment Event Update! Chris Beauregard, Brandon Boan, and Mark Dion & Co.

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
Chris Beauregard, 2013 (Photo: Travis Snyder)
front entrance
Brandon Boan, 2013 (Photo: Jason Cohn)

Apartment Talk #11: Chris Beauregard and Brandon Boan

Recently the 2013 Carnegie International apartment hosted an evening of experimentation by Chris Beauregard and Brandon Boan. Both artists are know in Pittsburgh primarily as sculptors; Boan for his contribution to the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial of curious casts exploring interstitial spaces and detritus found in the basement of the Carnegie Museum of Art, and Beauregard for his 2012 solo show at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, which presented carefully rendered yet violently toned objects intertwining themes of Italian Futurism, Gialo, and Cult Cinema. Recently Beauregard and Boan have been attending to the intersections between object making and performance, and their new work for this event presented two different approaches to sculptural gestures of accumulation.

Entering the apartment visitors were met by Boan, dapper in a three-piece suit and wielding an enormous old CU-5 Polaroid camera, originally used for forensic and fingerprint photography. Boan politely asked that each person through the door present their teeth for documentation, and the resulting polaroids were beamed on to the 44th street-facing windows using an opaque projector. Any American with dental insurance (or without, as is more often the case) can attest to the fact that showing one’s teeth is not the same as smiling. This became ever more apparent over the course of the evening as the accumulating grins came to resemble a manically held group rictus and Boan’s collection revealed itself to be a sinister study of social nicety; mobile vulgus.

In the kitchen, Chris Beauregard worked over a small high-powered stove, cooking up batches of sugar, corn syrup, and red food dye; a mixture that, when heated to extreme temperatures becomes glass candy, and also happens to be the same recipe commonly used to make fake blood in films (a fact that he has employed in past work, such as Bloody Axis, 2012). In a gesture recalling Richard Serra’s early lead toss works, once the blood/candy had reached a temperature of 320 degrees Fahrenheit, Beauregard used a large steel ladle to hurl it into a bucket of ice cold water, where it instantly hardened. The resulting forms were gingerly removed from the bucket and placed on a light table to be admired and sampled by visitors. These organically vulgar, delicately filigreed compositions of freeze-framed blood splatter captured  the explosive moment in a film when the squib (a small explosive pouched used to simulate gunshot wounds) is deployed.

Apartment Event #12: Mark Dion and Columbia University MFAs

Another recent apartment event brought together MFA students from both Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University and New York’s Columbia University for an evening of pizza, beer, and artist presentations. The Columbians had come to town on a field trip with their mentor Mark Dion—an alumnus of the 99/00 Carnegie International and a resident of southeastern Pennsylvania, where he and his family make their home at Mildred’s Lane, a “contemporary art complex(ity)” in the upper Delaware River Valley. The next morning, after a few church sales and a hearty breakfast at the Quiet Storm, we took a tour of the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. Dion was eager to show his mentees the unique institutional model that houses such distinct elements as a collection of gems and minerals under the same roof as a gallery of Renaissance painting. What a gem!