The Undead Tree of Charles Ray

Charles Ray, “Hinoki,” 2007. © 2007 Charles Ray. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

The following essay was originally published by Art21 in 2012. Charles Ray’s massive reproduction of a fallen redwood tree, Hinoki, fills one room in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. The room it occupies was built around the work. At 2,100 pounds and 38 feet… +

The Past Lives of Books

Rachel Whiteread. “Untitled (Stair),” 2001.
Judith Brotman. “Natural Selections,” 2005. Leaf, thread, trim
Ox scapula with a divination inscription from the Shang Dynasty, dating to the reign of King Wu Ding. (Wikipedia).
Euclid’s Elements: Book I, Proposition 1: wherein an equilateral triangle is made using the radii of two equal circles.
Excerpt from Dan Graham’s“Homes for America 1966,” published in Arts Magazine, December 1966-January 1967.
House of an unknown Chinese author in an abandoned cottage in Chongqing, China. Image courtesy of Croatian Times, 2010.
Gordon Matta-Clark. “Bingo,” 1974.
Rachel Whiteread. “Untitled (Paperbacks),” 1997. Plaster and steel. 15 x 16 x 20′ as installed at MoMA
Jonathan Saffron Foer. “The Tree of Codes,” 2010. Inside view.

The following essay was originally published by Art21 in November, 2012. Walter Benjamin allegedly had an opportunity to leave Germany when Axis borders were still somewhat porous. Had he chosen to flee then, it’s likely he would have survived the war. To do so,… +

Martin Creed:Work No. 405

Martin Creed: “Work No. 405 Ships coming in,” 2005; Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York

The following reflection was published by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in July 2012. Two box televisions, encased and stacked like shipping crates, rest unobtrusively in the corner of the MCA’s third-floor landing. Work No. 405: Ships Coming In by Martin Creed appears at first… +