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Gopnik's Daily Pic: Skating at Artisphere

By Blake Gopnik

The latest feed from my morning musings about art and objects at

(Courtesy Artisphere)

Daily Pic: Skaters "using" a sculpture called "Physical Manipulations of Structural Surfaces - A Homage to Skating," by Richard Vosseller. Both the sculpture and its video are on display in "Skateboarding Side Effects," the inaugural exhibition at Arlington County's new Artisphere complex. It seems a bit late to mount a show about skateboarding - the movement's hardly news - but this video captures just that sense of elegiac lateness.

Vosseller's sculpture channels the last gasps of modernist abstraction, in its decadent, decorative phase - think recent sculptures by Anthony Caro, Frank Stella or Richard Serra - and then presents itself to be abused by skaters who ignore its status as art. Late-modern abstraction, aging into insignificance, becomes a pile of surfaces to ride and grind, as it has on plazas all across the country. And skateboarders, doing the riding and grinding, are also caught rehashing formal and cultural cliches.

By Blake Gopnik  | October 18, 2010; 10:37 AM ET
Categories:  Blake Gopnik, Galleries  | Tags:  Daily Pic  
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Fair enough Blake. The tube socks and headband days of your skateboardin' youth have long since passed. However, I can't recall any other local show that has taken a serious look at skateboarding's influence on the indoor arts.

Posted by: james-speaks | October 19, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

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