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Mat Gleason
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Hi... I will resist the urge to talk about myself in the third person...
"A famously provocative local art critic."-Stephen Kinzer, New York Times

•I Founded Coagula Art Journal in 1992.

Phone: (424) 2COAGULA
Email: matg64 at gmail dot com
Mail: P.O.Box 5228 • Huntington Park, California 90255

•Watch my 2-Minute+ REEL in case your project needs a talking head.

•I also blog about baseball as Rev Halofan at Halos Heaven.

"Mat Gleason, a maverick LA art critic, is insufferably cynical, always 'on' with a glib comment." -Phillip Kennicot, Washington Post

Education: Expelled from high school and five colleges.

•I've curated contemporary art exhibits since 1996 and own an art gallery now to do just that.

•There is a polaroid out there of me drinking with Charles Bukowski.

Entries by Mat Gleason

Odd Nerdrum Lands in the Lap of LowBrow

(1) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 4:18 PM

In a jaded art world, painter Odd Nerdrum still manages to divide people along passionate lines. He has always been seen as a convoluted kitschy throwback by the Scandinavian cognoscenti, themselves desperate to be taken seriously in all things modern and contemporary. Others see him as a superior manifestation of...

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Is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Art?

(4) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 3:49 PM

You've seen the videos sweeping social media. Whether it is close friends or national celebrities, the call to have a bucket of ice water dumped over one's head has nothing to do with conventional ways of raising money for a medical charity. There are Telethons, Walk-a-thons, Public Service Announcements, art...

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Is George Bush a Better Painter Than Thomas Kinkade?

(9) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 12:29 PM

Unlike every art pundit phoning in an internet review of George Bush's painting exhibition in Dallas, I actually flew down to the Big D last week to see them for myself. The exhibition is at his presidential library on the SMU campus. I had lunch at Cafe 43 there to...

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Insiders Are Not Outsiders: A 2014 Whitney Biennial Review

(2) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 11:38 AM

Thirty years in the art world and I had never been to a Whitney Biennial. That was actually something worth bragging about and especially after having been to one I can unabashedly lament that I will never be able to say it again.

The Whitney Biennial carries immense weight in...

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John Waters And Jeff Koons: A Chat To Nowhere

(3) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 11:24 AM

Los Angeles turned out in force to see John Waters interview Jeff Koons at the Orpheum theater, part of a series of conversations sponsored by The Broad. Yes, The Broad Museum is being branded with a text-driven logo reading "THE BROAD" even though, and we were reminded of this, it...

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Why Is Art LA Contemporary L.A.'s Leading Contemporary Art Fair?

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 11:17 AM

The headline on the Art Los Angeles Contemporary art fair website proudly announces:

ALAC returns to the Barker Hangar for its fifth edition, featuring an expanded international roster and a continued dedication to the L.A. art scene

And that it has - it is a sprawling, smart show...

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Art Fair Pests Are Everyone's Problem

(4) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 12:00 PM

There were a hundred booths at the art fair and I could see this one guy walk into each one and leave with a spiteful look upon his face. He stuck out in a crowd, though, and an art fair crowd is one where every other person is desperately trying...

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In Praise of Sky High Art Auction Prices

(13) Comments | Posted November 16, 2013 | 10:38 AM

Read the headlines: The auction prices are rising for top works of art! And guess what, the scolds are out. There are three arguments that the scolds use to bemoan artworks publicly selling for outrageous sums. Each of these arguments are backward and terribly wrong. When art sells for high...

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The Warehouse Era Begins in the Los Angeles Art World

(6) Comments | Posted June 25, 2013 | 4:24 PM

The word in the Los Angeles Art World is Warehouse.

The Warehouse Era is upon us. Galleries are suddenly going big, bigger than ever. They are leaving the traditional Westside enclaves in search of real estate to show larger artworks. Following the aesthetics and commerce of international art fairs, galleries...

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Baseball Goes Post-Modern in Los Angeles Art World

(16) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 11:01 AM

The National Pastime might seem out of synch with the high-end art world. Clean well-lit indoor galleries that serve free wine to an elite client base seems to be the polar opposite of an outdoor stadium overcharging for watered-down beer sold to the masses.

But like many a muse, baseball...

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The Brave Gestures Of Gary Lang

(5) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 12:00 PM

Painter Gary Langhas enjoyed a celebrated career worthy of his keen talent. Free of the burden of conceptual angst that plagues most artists of our era, he penetrates optical space in his large circular paintings that defy the nihilism of both Duchamp's mechanical spinning wheels and Jasper Johns'...

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LACMA Rolls Out the Propaganda for MOCA Takeover

(13) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 8:07 AM

The big story out of the Los Angeles art world is that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has proposed acquiring the financially troubled Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. According to a Jori Finkel-penned report in the LA Times labeled an "exclusive", LACMA was approached by...

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Robert Williams: A Tribute on His 70th Birthday

(6) Comments | Posted March 1, 2013 | 5:19 PM

On Saturday, March 2, 2013, artist Robert Williams turns 70 years old. His significant contribution to fine art was rediscovering classical figurative painting techniques and reintroducing them to an American audience with a revolutionary twist - it came to be called "Low-Brow," but in his earliest major paintings in the...

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Regulating Art Markets Saves Billionaires Millions!

(13) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 10:33 AM

The 20th century's paper of record, The New York Times, recently published a long-winded piece imploring (or if you subscribe to the myth that the Grey Lady has clout, "nudging" might be a better word) the state legislature to more heavily regulate various aspects of the commercial art world.

If...

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Are Art Galleries the Labor Unions of the Art World?

(44) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 3:36 PM

An art gallery functions much the same way that a labor union functions. Both of them seek the best price and conditions for labor. One negotiates with management for a group of workers, the other negotiates with collectors for a select group of artists. There are Teamsters Locals nationwide and...

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While MOCA is Punished for Populism, LACMA Pleases the Masses

(17) Comments | Posted October 10, 2012 | 9:04 AM

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has quietly taken the lead in this city as the most interesting art museum. The Norton Simon still has, picture for picture, by far the best collection. The Getty still has the most money. MOCA and the Hammer are in a tussle for...

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Do You Still Need to Break Those Bad Art Habits?

(2) Comments | Posted September 17, 2012 | 11:00 PM

In January I wrote a piece suggesting twelve bad habits the art world should break in the coming year. September ushers in a new art season, so what better time to examine whether these bad art habits are still holding you back from making great art?

Of course,...

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How to Argue with a Deitch-Basher

(72) Comments | Posted August 10, 2012 | 8:50 AM

The Los Angeles art world is populated by a large number of rigorous intellectual rationalists whose reason for existence is to kill any notion of romanticism or sentimentality in art, be it through irony, deconstruction or outright mockery.

But mention the current coup at the Museum of Contemporary...

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The Art Collector Youth Fixation Factor

(18) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 9:09 AM

The art world discriminates based on age. I would advise every artist reading this to immediately remove your birth year from your website, from your Facebook page, from your CV/Resume. Oh sure, you strident few might squeal, "but I'm proud of my age." Well, power to you, Gramps. Art collectors...

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Why Art Critics Really Hate Art Fairs

(14) Comments | Posted May 24, 2012 | 8:15 PM

Suddenly the essays decrying art fairs appeared out of nowhere, a tsunami of scolding. Every time the term "art fair" was mentioned in an online or print essay, some embittered art critic was picking apart the art fair establishment in mock horror. Art critics reflexively hate art fairs. Art critics...

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