Posts Tagged ‘John Kane’

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.

John Kane

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

John Kane, Scene from the Scottish Highlands, c. 1927 © 2006 Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

John Kane, Scene from the Scottish Highlands, c. 1927 © 2006 Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

“On his third try in 1927, however, Kane succeeded in winning over the Carnegie jury with one of his own compositions, a painting he called Scene in the Scottish Highlands. The admission of a common house-painter and handyman to so prestigious an exhibition caused an immediate furor. Indeed, it was the first time ever that a living self-taught artist had been recognized by the American art establishment.” —Jane Kallir

“Genius has been discovered!” announced the Pittsburgh Press when John Kane’s Scene from the Scottish Highlands was accepted in the 1927 Carnegie International exhibition. The selection was indeed remarkable, for Kane was a simple laborer who entirely lacked formal artistic training and had never previously exhibited his work. His canvas, chosen from over 400 entries by most of the major painters of the day, was the only work by a Pittsburgh artist to be admitted to the show.

Reporters soon traced the artist to his shabby one-room apartment by the railroad tracks in Pittsburgh’s market district, where Kane had painted for years without an audience or recognition. Suddenly, he became a national celebrity. In the next several years he participated in four more Internationals, and in 1928, 1929, and 1932 he won prizes in the Annual Exhibition of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh. Outside the city he exhibited at Harvard University, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of Modern Art. By 1930 he had sold paintings to such well-heeled clients as Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and John Dewey, chairman of the department of philosophy at Columbia University.

Kane himself later remarked, “If I had tried the world over for an exhibition to show my work I couldn’t have found a better one than that International, right here in Pittsburgh.” He was by no means overwhelmed, however, by the honors that came his way. “I have lived too long the life of the poor,” he noted, “to attach undue importance to the honors of the art world or to any honors that come from man and not from God.”

More about Scene from the Scottish Highlands

More works by John Kane