29.10.12

SALEM/HURRICANE SANDY

Zone C: Residents in Zone C can expect a low likelihood of evacuation if a hurricane is expected to reach NYC   SWEET.  Nathan, Alise, Fisk and I made it back from Salem just in time for Hurricane Sandy. It seems that this Hurricane is much worse than Irene, but many people seem less worried. It's ok because I'm worried enough for everyone.. lol.  Anyway! It's a good thing I just bought 2 new books (The Shining, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest) and Fisk has an endless supply of movies to keep us entertained. 

Before all that, I thought I'd share the most creative art related material found from our spooky endeavor in Salem. I wish we went to the art museum, but to be honest, I didn't even think about it until I returned to New York! Next time. Next time. 

 The tour guide said this scene was made up.




 Pretty sure this is the face of evil.


 Blood projectile from mouth...


 Friendlies...

 Miniature hanging..




We went to the Witch History Museum and took a tour of the Witch Hunt which had a lot of sculptures set up to help us visualize the tale. They were pretty hilarious/scary/amazing. Which is the best one? Which witch is which?? Which. Okay.


OH, and just for fun. Here's a picture of what Sandy looks like:


23.10.12

Wendy White @ Leo Koenig Inc.






To quote Barry Schwabsky, "There is a great deal of bravado in her art, and sometimes a kind of frantic energy, but also fragility, self consciousness and doubt - sometimes a sense of half exhausted, half ecstatic dizziness. The paintings' repleteness seems all the greater for their ability to encompass emptiness." For a brief moment I tried to make sense of these works in relationship to pre- existing categories. The artist statement that the gallery provided was long and unhelpful in helping me to discover what it was about these works that compelled me. Schwabsky captures the essence of the work. I'm not at a point where I'm capable of breaking his thoughts down and how they directly relate to specific aspects of each work. I'm in the phase of art production (and regular painting) where it's best to see and do, they'll be more to talk about soon.  Sitting with these works and the way they live. 

17.10.12

Mark Flood @ Zack Feuer





There wasn't too much information on this show, and the artist statement did little to clarify what the point of the work was.  In this article Melissa Smith makes Flood appear to be an artist who doesn't like to come out of hiding or explain himself or his art. This persona seems to fit the bill, though, to be honest,  I liked the work better before I knew all this. The couch and Life magazines felt ironic and humorous sitting in this gallery space on a coffee table in front of this hideous couch. Of course we could sit on it if we liked, to watch a video with this sparkly yet offensive painting underneath. The paintings were quite gorgeous, and the process for how to make these was evident by the work itself. At first it was a little difficult to figure out, but the process of laying the netting, painting over it, and it's removal was the only way it could have been done. These works were so tall, which for some reason made them feel like a group of negative people. I can't really elaborate more than that. Nor could I really tell you what this work is about. It seems like he's making fun of the art world but in a serious way. Considering the space he's showing in, it seems like he's doing a good job, and like we're eating it up.

15.10.12

MELANIE DANIEL @ Asya Geisberg Gallery

These paintings had aspects about them that made them intriguing. The lack of real dimension made it easy to imagine that nearly any rotation of the paintings could be up. The mark making was varied and coming to and fro from different directions. That the steel or metal structures fell into similar hues as more organic aspects of the work made it engaging to organize and decipher. Molecular shapes are painted largely and seemingly big structures were painted small. 




The artist statement mentions Daniel's painting style as restless. I can see this, for while this paintings look done, they don't feel done, but rather feel like the middle of a giant sentence. The sentence of what story remains unclear, but seems tumultuous.  From the statement:

"Corrupt fragments turn into ominous and disembodied motifs such as barbed wire or pieces of chain-link fencing. Detritus suggests apocalyptic fallout, or nature overtaking barriers and concrete bunkers"

Aside from the ominous and disembodied (beheaded?) motifs, I think this painter really takes command of the brush stroke. How one might use the stroke to create a sense of meaning or evoke emotion.

12.10.12

Leonardo Drew @ SIKKEMA JENKINS & CO.

Carrie joined me for a day of gallery hopping through Chelsea and we stumbled upon this great show. It can be fun to lose yourself in an installation like this. The show smelled so good, the materials were charged with evidence of life, and walking under or over debris created a precarious sensation that kept everything exciting.









Upon first arrival I didn't have my camera. Second time around there were people filming for Art21. This is great news, I'd love to see an Art21 episode about this artists. What made the show even more likable was the natural artist statement that was released with the show. 
"Rooted in historical evidence, Leonardo Drew's abstract sculptural compositions are emotionally charged reflections on the cyclical nature of existence.  From the eroded fibers of human industry and the tide of urban development to the awareness of ourselves as part of the fabric of a larger universe and a connection to all things, Drew exhumes the visions of the past in a mirror of organic reality that reveals the resonance of life. - the nature of nature."
I feel like all of that could be paired down to that simple four word phrase, the nature of nature. It's all encompassing - perhaps that's why Drew needed the specificity of the first part of the paragraph. Delightful - just a single paragraph about the conceptual foundations of the work. Simple and understandable. 

10.10.12

Looking at the Overlooked/500 Things to do.

Sometimes the city wakes up and says, "Hello, here are a bunch of things that are awesome that you need to do right now." Many of them never get done, but a lot of them do, which is exciting. I've started working as an assistant to Brenda Taylor again - which is great and full of learning/meeting new people.  Ace is still Ace, Art is Art (seeing and making), Skeeball is still Skeeball, Fisk is still fantastic, and I'm still reading up a storm. With that in mind, I've got a few projects I'm working on, all to be announced by the end of the month. I won't spoil the surprise but all I can say is it will be a very exciting/fun Winter.  Now my notes on the latest, recommended by Will. 

Looking at the Overlooked: Four Essays on Still Life Painting
Norman Bryson

This book was organized well with 4 focal points:
1) Xenia - "concerns the painting of 'still life' objects in the decorative schemes that survive from antiquity, and considers them in relation to issues of representation (realism, hyper-realism, simulation) on the one hand, and on the other to issues of power (class difference, control over nature, control over representation). "
2) Rhopography - "examines the discourse in painting in which painting itself is divided into two sectors: one dealing with the exceptional act and the unique individual, with the narrative and the drama of 'greatness' (megalography), and another dealing with the routines of daily living, the domestic round, the absence of personal uniqueness and distinction (rhopography)."
3) Abundance - A lot about Dutch still life and the society's attitude towards its own wealth. "In particular this essay analyses how the sphere of consumption was re-absorbed, in still life imagery, back into the values of production."
4) Still Life and 'Feminine' Space - " asks what the distinctions between low-plane reality and high-plane reality, between rhopography and megalography, between still life and the supposedly 'higher' genres of painting, may have to do with gender positions and gender idealogy."

I would do a terrible job trying to break down each essay into a succinct paragraph that highlighted the significance of each - but I can say what I found most preferable.

Jan Vermeer, The Concert. 

Essays 1 and 3 were fantastic for their ability to discuss academically and understandably histories and specific meaning within still life painting itself. Never too often these days (I feel) do we get too much of a break down of exactly how a piece of work is functioning on a literal level - so I appreciated the discussion of works of art and their meaning within Dutch society. Through out the book I appreciated Bryson's ability to stay focused, it would have been easy to go on various tangents, but he didn't. He made one reference of Tulipmania and respectively moved on. 

Willem Kalf, detail from Still Life with Nautilus Cup.

I was very delighted to read about the opposition between Rhopography and Megalography - had I listened to Will and read this book when he gave it to me - perhaps this would have made an excellent resource for my thesis. Shoulda coulda woulda. The polarities in meaning between these two subjects and how they describe many of the fundamentals of painting itself was a joy to read about. 

Juan Sánchez Cotán, Still Life with Vegetables. 

Chapter 4 made the case that for Dutch society the home was the sphere of women. Because still life inherently depicted objects and things from the home life, it is of little surprise that these paintings spoke about the nature of this feminine space. Making clear that many paintings depicting out of doors scenarios leaned towards being about the world of men. Characteristics of paintings that would benefit any painter in knowing.





Hope everyone is enjoying this great Fall day in October - New York City is looking bright and cool. 

4.10.12

Andrew Gbur @ ELEVEN RIVINGTON

We slipped into October like it was no big deal - I just killed a spider with my ArtSmart card. Hello.  
This show is the last of 2 nights of gallery viewing. Sure enough, just as these photos come to an end, more will be produced tonight. Open. Season. 








"The gallery gives over both of its spaces to the infectious work of this artist, who explores "the cultural neuroses surrounding image-making today"; in other words, painting in a post-painting-is-dead world. On view are gridded canvases alluding to the proto-Pop works of Rauschenberg and Johns, as well as a series of "face paintings"—which are more or less exactly what they sound like."
I like what Time Out New York has to say about these works. I'm not sure I can elaborate. Fisk thought it seems like a lot of time went into the thought and culmination of the work. I can't disagree, we both really couldn't argue with the solidity of the compositions. The marks that were made were engaging but felt fast. This isn't a bad thing, it's probably why these works felt charismatic.

3.10.12

Peter Lamborn Wilson @ 1:1

Fisk and I went to this opening and we both immediately understood the kind of visual language that was happening here. Religious like altars and works of art that forced icons from different cultures to clash so close together. This did many things, most notedly it disempowered them, and also made the aesthetic of religion seem a little odd.  The work created a space where symbolism felt mundane, and criticism provoked.









It was especially nice to feel this way and then discover the history of the artist. Peter Lamborn Wilson has a rich history as an anarchist writer.  This fact doesn't surprise me, but explains most readily the motivation behind the work. There were many special moments in the show, two of my favorites were the pair of green glittered shoes, and this fruit&vegetable man.  In one aspect a pair of shoes turns into a religious relic, and in the other, the vegetable man becomes religious icon. The humor and power of that turn around was comical and engaging.