Walking the Green Line: For the Walker’s 2001 exhibition Painting at the Edge of the World, Francis Alÿs punctured a can of paint and walked out of the museum and around the neighborhood, dribbling color as he went, and ended up back in the gallery, where he nailed the can to a wall. Was it a nod to the performative act of painting? Was he stretching Jackson Pollock out in a straight line? When he did the piece in 2005, it took on a different set of possible meanings. He did it in Jerusalem, and as he walked he drizzled green paint along the border of the state of Israel, which was literally drawn in green ink on a map when the Arab/Israel armistice was brokered in 1948. As Holland Cotter writes in his review of the Alÿs show on view at David Zwirner, “he recreates a barrier that exists in physical form, as a series of concrete partitions separating Israelis and Palestinians, and as a separatist symbol, both triumphant and oppressive. Mr. Alÿs takes no political position on this; he merely points it out.”
Typefaceoff: Can you tell the difference between Helvetica and Arial? If the two omnipresent typefaces–one drawn in the ’50s by Haas type foundry, the other “borrowed” by Microsoft and bundled in its OS–were in a fight, which one would win?
Housing Market: Guided by the observation that in Los Angeles, architecture is inseperable from art, new LACMA director Michael Govan is dreaming of collecting mid-century residential homes for the museum the same way he does paintings or sculptures. While the museum has no money dedicated to the plan (he’s hoping for donations of homes), Govan says the idea was met with an “enthusiastic response” by its trustees. He’s already made small steps toward the goal: despite the museum’s lack of a design or architecture department, Govan has discussed his desire to have one historic Santa Monica home in its collection, that of famed LA-based architect Frank Gehry.
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