Working Vacations

Where Does the Art World Go in the Summer?

Even though his mid-career retrospective is up and running at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Charles LeDray is another artist who will not take a breather this summer. Preparing for his first show at Sperone Westwater this winter, LeDray is stuck in his New York studio, making his labor-intensive works. "I'll be here glazing pots, sewing, and carving," says LeDray. "Other people get vacations; I get to work." Andrea Fraser, on the other hand, would love to be able to stay put this summer. "I can't afford to stay in New York," says Fraser, "so I have rented my apartment for the summer and I will hit the road again, living out of a suitcase." Still, she can't entirely complain about her summer plans, which include a visit to mom in San Francisco, dad in Hawaii, and boyfriend in Rio. After that, it's on to Barcelona, where she is working on a Spanish television series, a sitcom that takes place in a museum, loosely based on the Guggenheim Bilbao, a site that inspired one of Fraser's most hilarious videos, shown at Friedrich Petzel earlier this year. "I wanted to write myself a part as a New York curator, but so far I just make a cameo appearance," Fraser explains.

Summer is about getting back to work for Julian Laverdiere, shown here with Imperial Dragster (2002), a work in progress.
photo: Robin Holland
Summer is about getting back to work for Julian Laverdiere, shown here with Imperial Dragster (2002), a work in progress.

Should I go or should I stay? Should I work or should I play? Gregory Crewdson has worked out the best solution to the artist's summertime blues, turning his childhood vacation spot of Lee, Massachusetts, into the site of his ongoing series of staged photographs, titled "Twilight." The entire town participates in the production of Crewdson's photographs and, according to him, looks forward to his return each summer, following the academic year teaching at Yale. This year, Crewdson's departure for Lee has been delayed. "Twilight" opened at Gagosian L.A. in late June and "American Standard," a show curated by Crewdson, is currently up at Barbara Gladstone. But Crewdson can't wait to get back to his log cabin on a dirt road outside of Lee. Does he call this a vacation? "Hopefully, I am going to get back to work!" he replies.

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