Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jennifer Dalton in New York Magazine and TimeOut New York

A double dose of discerning responses to Jennifer Dalton's current exhibition, The Reappraisal, are out this week. First is Jerry Saltz's thoughtful Critic's Pick take at New York Magazine:
For The Reappraisal, Jennifer Dalton photographed everything in her home, then lined a gallery with shelves full of small plastic frames that tell you each item’s market value and what it is worth to her. The dress she bought for $35 is worth $100,000 to her because she wore it at her wedding; her sex toys and porn, bought for $20, are valued at $50 grand for personal reasons. Dalton’s encyclopedic index of her own life is a confession, a denial, folly, fantasy, and a wonderful visual-cerebral experience. Plus everything’s really for sale.
And then Jane Harris' wonderful contextualization of Jen's project in TimeOut New York:

With diligence and wit, Jennifer Dalton’s data-obsessed work explores class and gender disparities in the art world, usually from an autobiographical viewpoint. Like Mark Lombardi’s elaborate conspiracy maps and Danica Phelps’s daily activity logs, the information Dalton assembles is copious and detailed, involving long lists, pie charts and color-coded schemes to make sense of it all.

Her latest installation, The Reappraisal, revisits a 10-year-old work, The Appraisal, in which Christie’s auction house assessed the monetary value of the artist’s "estate." After Dalton tirelessly photographed and cataloged every object in her home, from pencils and cleaning supplies to family heirlooms, Christie’s assigned a sum total of a mere $11,290 in 1999. The artist’s estimate? $42,607. More humbling still is the fact that most of the discrepancy lay in the value of Dalton’s art.

A married homeowner and mother now, Dalton’s overall worth has predictably increased, as has the worth of her art. The Reappraisal makes these changes clear. Organized on 5" x 7" cards under images of each assessed item, the values Christie’s assigned then and now can be seen alongside the artist’s valuations. But there is a new, more nebulous factor structuring the work: emotional value.

Beginning with an unfinished artwork Dalton pegs at $500,000, and ending with an Ikea chair she says is worth $5, the 545 items between tell a story of personal attachment that defies monetary logic. Intriguing, funny and entirely subjective, the results remind us that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure: an adage, if ever there was one, for these trying times.—Jane Harris

The exhibition runs through May 9. I hope you'll stop in to see it!

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Cedric Casp said...

How does Jeffrey Saltz know that a dress was for a wedding? Is it written on the card? Is this a personal journal?

I'm not sure his comment is "thoughtful". He merely describes the art and says he likes it very much. Well..He used the word "confession". Is Jennifer Dalton the new Tracey Emin? Judging from her past work (and title) I'm not sure that a personal journal is the right angle (neither is the inter-relational aspect, as both critics attest by almost ignoring it). I think she really aims at stabbing Christie's, Wall Street, that sort of Goliath, and that she uses personal value as her trojan horse.

She is almost a political artist?

Cedric Casp

4/28/2009 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger kalm james said...

Sorry for the delay, a video report is in the works. Should pop in a couple of days. Stay tuned.

4/28/2009 06:46:00 PM  

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