New York Times Style Magazine touts Zwelethu Mthethwa’s “fashion photography,” Art Fag City finally changes their name, the Ice Age Lion Man, Saltz on Matisse at the Met, Joshua Wade Smith’s Long Walk, The Outsider Art Fair, and Georg Baselitz is a big ol’ sexist…. and more….

New York Times Style Magazine: Zwelethu Mthethwa’s ‘Brave Ones’ by Linda Yablonsky

Marc Jacobs, eat your heart out. The young Zulu men pictured in new photographs by the South African portraitist Zwelethu Mthethwa are all wearing kilts of the sort that Jacobs favors — except theirs are solid black or pink-and-white gingham and they’re not just making a fashion statement. These men are dressed for church.

The kilts, combined with white, fringed-hem blouses, long emerald-green ribbon ties, soccer-player knee-highs, steel-tipped boots and fluffy pompom headbands, are customary male drag for the monthlong ceremonial retreats that the Nazareth Baptist Church, or Shembe, stages twice a year near Durban, Mthethwa’s hometown. http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/zwelethu-mthethwas-brave-ones/

 

Art F City Redesigns by Paddy Johnson

It’s a big day for Art Fag City. Today, we launch our redesign, move to a new url, and change our name. From now on we’ll be going by Art F City. The reasons for this change are probably obvious: after seven years as Art Fag City, we’ve finally grown tired of having our emails automatically filtered into spam, living without a Facebook page that actually uses the blog’s name, and being referred to anonymously in the mainstream media as “an art blog” that did such and such. We’d like that to change.

So, consider this a first step (we’ll be launching mobile shortly). We’ll be tweaking the design a little as the days go forward, but I’m pleased with what we’ve got here. So take a bit of time with the site, adjust the background to the GIF of your choice (you can do this by toggling through the number menu on the right-hand side of the site), and enjoy. http://www.artfagcity.com/2013/02/01/art-f-city-redesigns/

 

The Art Newspaper: Ice Age Lion Man is world’s earliest figurative sculpture: Work carved from mammoth ivory has been redated and 1,000 new fragments discovered—but it won’t make it to British Museum show By Martin Bailey

The star exhibit initially promised for the British Museum’s “Ice Age Art” show will not be coming—but for a good reason. New pieces of Ulm’s Lion Man sculpture have been discovered and it has been found to be much older than originally thought, at around 40,000 years. This makes it the world’s earliest figurative sculpture. At the London exhibition, which opens on 7 February, a replica from the Ulm Museum will instead go on display.

The story of the discovery of the Lion Man goes back to August 1939, when fragments of mammoth ivory were excavated at the back of the Stadel Cave in the Swabian Alps, south-west Germany. This was a few days before the outbreak of the Second World War. When it was eventually reassembled in 1970, it was regarded as a standing bear or big cat, but with human characteristics. http://www.theartnewspaper.com/articles/Ice-Age-iLion-Mani-is-worlds-earliest-figurative-sculpture/28595

 

New York Magazine: Saltz: The Met’s Matisse Exhibit Is Intoxicating, Possibly Dangerous By Jerry Saltz

Midway through the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” I ran into the painter Alex Katz. He looked at me, agog, and said, “I thought I was going to faint when I saw these paintings.” He gestured at two Matisse still lifes from 1946. Already in a stunned state of my own, I followed his lead and gulped at the revolutionary pictorial power and radical color radiating off these two powerhouses, one dominated by a celestial red and an arrangement on a table. In the foreground were either a dog and cat chasing each other or a pair of animal-skin rugs. http://www.vulture.com/2013/01/saltz-the-mets-matisse-in-search-of-true-painting.html#

Baltimore City Paper: In the Long Run – Artist explores adventure, endurance in walk from Baltimore to Washington By Chloe Helton-Gallagher

It took Joshua Wade Smith 24 hours over two days to walk from Baltimore to D.C., roughly following the MARC train line that he uses to commute.

Joshua Wade Smith is a Baltimore-based artist currently in his second year of a fellowship at D.C.’s Hamiltonian Gallery. Smith got his BFA at Texas State University in 2006 and graduated from MICA’s Mount Royal MFA program in 2010. His current exhibit at the gallery, Here Not There, combines performance, photography, and sculpture to explore themes of endurance, physicality, and the adventure-narrative. Performance-and-video piece “Head on/Long Game,” pays homage to Barry Le Va’s 1969 “Impact Run” and makes formal nods to Dan Graham, while photographs and objects document a two-day trek the artist undertook on foot from Baltimore and D.C. http://citypaper.com/arts/stage/in-the-long-run-1.1436657

 

Artcritical: In From The Cold: The Outsider Art Fair by David Cohen

After several recent years of rather lethargic instalments in less-than-inspiring surroundings, the Outsider Art Fair received a double adrenalin shot this year with a new proprietor, in the person of Chelsea dealer Andrew Edlin, and a sparkling new venue, the former Dia Arts building at 548 West 22nd Street.

Founded in 1993, the fair took place for many years in SoHo’s Puck Building where aficionados were introduced to the likes of James Castle and Bill Traylor, and a host of novel or familiar images by self-taught and otherwise marginalized individuals. Startlingly inventive, sometimes obsessive-compulsive, sometimes childlike objects and images would conform to art lovers’ longings for an art of inner necessity implicitly deemed missing in the work of the mainstream professionals.

The whole discourse of “outsider” is arguably turned around in an art world where academic training has largely dispensed with formal skill sets and where artists are encouraged to dwell upon their obsessions or aspects of their identity that makes them “other.” But this doesn’t make anyone an outsider. Nor does it seem to rob the genuine outsiders of their authenticity. http://www.artcritical.com/2013/02/02/outsider-art-fair/

Hyperallergic: Georg Baselitz Is a Sexist Grump by Jillian Steinhauer

Women, ladies, girls, however you identify — if you’ve got two X chromosomes, I’m talking to you, and I have an unfortunate announcement: You can’t paint. At least not well. So if you’re thinking about becoming a painter, don’t do it; you’ll never be any good. If you already are one, I’m sorry; you should probably take up knitting instead.

This cold, hard, and disappointing truth comes courtesy of Georg Baselitz, the renowned German painter who turned 75 last week and seems pretty damn grumpy about it, at least compared to the other septuagenarians I’ve known. “Women don’t paint very well,” Baselitz told Der Spiegel in a recent interview. “It’s a fact.” http://hyperallergic.com/64356/georg-baselitz-is-a-sexist-grump/