July 25, 2015

Ruth Root’s deep integration

Guest contributor Jonathan Stevenson / Ruth Root’s seven striking shaped canvases, on display at Andrew Kreps Gallery in Chelsea and all untitled, might recall Elizabeth Murray’s transcendent household paintings, Hermine Ford’s erudite explorations of nature and artifice, or, more distantly, Kelly and Stella’s hard-edge Minimalist works. Indeed, Root has freely and openly acknowledged her antecedents. But this serially innovative painter is also onto something distinctly her own.

[Image at top: Ruth Root, Untitled, 2014-2015, fabric, enamel, Plexi, spray paint, 84 x 103 inches. ]

July 20, 2015

Seeing black at Brian Morris

Guest Contributor Jonathan Stevenson / “Cuts Noon Light,” the challenging three-person exhibition at Brian Morris Gallery on Chrystie Street, gets its title from a Pablo Neruda poem in which those words seem to refer to what a lover does, and especially what is missed when the lover is absent or gone. It’s a powerful if elusive notion, and the three artists shift it to a more general existential level in intriguing ways.

[Image: Andrew Ginzel, Cataclysm, 2008, ink, toner, gold on paper with mirror, 25 x 21 inches.]

July 19, 2015

William Faulkner on discrepancies and contradictions

As a guest at Yaddo this summer (studio pictured above with work in progress), I have access to a lovely library, which is located in a neo-classical building in the center of the compound. Built in 1910, the stucco-clad structure also houses the residency office and the grounds garage, and features a charming Tuscan colonnade. Browsing through the stacks last week, I found a number of first editions inscribed by authors who at one time or another were Yaddo guests. One book that especially caught my eye was The Mansion, published in 1959, William Faulkner's final novel of a trilogy that chronicles the life of a Mississippi family named Snopes.

July 18, 2015

Your July Horoscope! by Crystal “Kitty” Shimski

Transcribed by guest contributor Jennifer Coates / Kitty divides her time between New York City and Montauk. She is a freelance Intuitive Technique Specialist and part-time Trance Inducer. She was recently certified in Trauma Re-alignment and holds a dual Associates Degree in Breath Dancing for Painters and Creative Shock Control from the Online Academy of Spiritual Transit. She is devoted to helping painters live out their truth on the surface of their choosing. 

 [Image via Four Muddy Paws]

July 17, 2015

Elizabeth Kley and Conrad Ventur: Improbable harmony at Regina Rex

Guest Contributor Jonathan Stevenson / A two-person exhibition involving a couple of clearly kindred artists stands a good chance of being demurely satisfying on account of its agreeable predictability. But one of the features that makes for a truly outstanding show is apparent incongruity that surprisingly yields integration and harmony. Lower East Side gallery Regina Rex’s current exhibition “translucent threads of dawn” – the title itself is suitably enigmatic – is a fine example.

[Image at top: Installation view at Regina Rex.]

July 15, 2015

Punctuation: Derek Bourcier, Robert Medvedz, and Robert Yoder at Planthouse

Without the serial comma – the one inserted before “and” in a list of three or more items – a reader might infer from the sentence “I love my dogs, Elizabeth Murray and Yaddo” that my dogs were named Elizabeth Murray and Yaddo. (I assure you they are not!) But “Serial Comma” is also the title of a compelling three-person exhibition at Planthouse, located in the flower district just east of Chelsea. The show features paintings, drawings, and sculptural objects that are black, white, and color; graphic, cleanly articulated, and scrawled. It unfolds, as the title suggests, as a presentation of three distinct artists who nevertheless belong in the same sentence.

[Imager at top: Installation view, "Serial Comma" at Planthouse.]

July 13, 2015

Serious drollery at Asya Geisberg

Guest Contributor Jonathan Stevenson / Summer group shows are notorious for their looseness, but in “Character TraitsMatthew Craven has managed to curate one at Asya Geisberg Gallery in Chelsea that’s coherent as well as insightful and amusing. Leading off the show with an obscene jolt is Dawn Frasch’s large surreal canvas Pussy Phanatic(pictured above), in which a spew of toxic images, including belimbed skulls and gelatinous pistols, emerges from a petulant slattern’s crotch. If the Pandora’s Box imagery is a little on the nose in making Lisa Yuskavage and John Currin look like Shakers, it is knowingly so, and all in good fun.

July 9, 2015

Off to Yaddo

Tomorrow I leave for nearly four weeks at Yaddo, the fabled artists' community in Saratoga Springs, New York. Twenty-three artists and writers will be in residence at the bucolic 400-acre estate that was founded in 1900 by financier Spencer Trask and his wife Katrina, a poet.

[Image: In the garden at Yaddo]

July 2, 2015

Is the east end of Connecticut the new Hamptons?

Finally someone is giving Mystic the love. Troy McMullen reports in the NYPost that the Connecticut shoreline, particularly the stretch between New Haven and Rhode Island, may be the new Hamptons. An easy drive from Manhattan and Brooklyn and accessible via Amtrak and Shoreline East, towns such as Guilford, Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Mystic and Stonington offer a cheaper and less crowded alternative to the east end of Long Island.

[Image at top: Mystic, CT. Chris DeLaura, via http://www.MysticRestaurants.com]

June 30, 2015

June 30: Andrew Ginzel's list of NYC shows, openings, and events

SOME but not all NYC SELECTED SHOWS TO SEE / June 30, 2015 / Listed south to north. Compiled by artist Andrew Ginzel for his students at the School of Visual Arts. Images have been selected by Two Coats of Paint.

NOTE: Many venues are on special summer hours. Please inquire before going out of your way. Sadly, this is the last list for the summer--NYC SELECTED SHOWS TO SEE is now on summer hiatus. Have a wonderful July & August!

[Image at top: Ruth Root @ Andrew Kreps]

June 27, 2015

VERNACULAR: A painterly conversation about abstraction

By Janet Goleas / Shared from the Hamptons Art Hub / The four artists included in "Vernacular"—Eric Brown, Sharon Butler, Andrew Seto and Joyce Robins—at Bushwick’s Theodore:Art, approach abstraction with a shared sense of humility, materiality and ambiguity. Speaking in distinct but related painterly tongues, the works on view connect familiar idioms—minimalism, cubism, precisionism—with a wabi-sabi aesthetic. The conversation among these accomplished artists is smart and refreshing.

[Image: Andrew Seto, Biscuits, 2015, oil on canvas, 9 3/4 x 8 inches. ]

June 26, 2015

Blast of color: Mink and Dolnick at OUTLET

"An avalanche of color has no force," Matisse wrote in 1945. "Color attains its full expression only when it is organized, when it corresponds to the emotional intensity of the artist." At OUTLET this month, Jason Andrew presents the impressive work of Lucy Mink and Judith Dolnick, painters who seem to live for color, and since I have been exploring color in some of my new projects and paintings, I decided to ask them about their relationship to what is probably the most elusive and complex element in painting.

[Image at top: Lucy Mink, Vacation, 2014, oil and acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 inches.]

June 24, 2015

And Many More: PAFA presents at 33 Orchard

Guest Contributor Jonathan Stevenson / MFA exhibitions are notoriously hit-or-miss, not least because it’s difficult to pull together a group show from graduates who may not be following aesthetic avenues that are sufficiently kindred to ensure the coherence that a freely curated show can have. Both strong institutional guidance and a rich pool of MFA students are required. The Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts apparently has both, and, as program chair Clint Jukkala suggests in his catalogue introduction, these features have enriched “the fluidity and the cross-pollination that occurs when a group of artists work closely together over time.” PAFA’s MFA show “And Many More,” sagely juried by PAFA curator Jodi Throckmorton and up at 33 Orchard on the Lower East Side, presents an admirably balanced blend of relatively mature but still evolving work--traditional, conceptual, and video-based--by nine 2015 graduates.

[Image: Morgan Hobbs, Your Request is Being Processed, 2015, oil on canvas, 50 x 44 inches.]

June 19, 2015

Your June Horoscope! by Crystal “Kitty” Shimski

Transcribed by guest contributor Jennifer Coates / Kitty divides her time between New York City and Montauk. She is a freelance Intuitive Technique Specialist and part-time Trance Inducer. She was recently certified in Trauma Re-alignment and holds a dual Associates Degree in Breath Dancing for Painters and Creative Shock Control from the Online Academy of Spiritual Transit. She is devoted to helping painters live out their truth on the surface of their choosing.

 [Image via Four Muddy Paws]

June 17, 2015

2015 Residency Awards announced at Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program

Seventeen talented artists have been awarded rent-free studio space at 20 Jay Street in DUMBO thanks to the generosity of the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program. The jurors this year, Diana Al-Hadid, Phong Bui, Michael Berryhill, Carl Fudge, and Beverly McIver, made the selection from over 1000 applicants. Obviously, with that many applications, we could use more free studio space in the city. The residency period begins in September and runs through August 2016. Welcome to the neighborhood. I'm at 55 Washington--please stop by and say hello.

 Here is the artist info included in the press release:

Yevgeniya Baras, Brooklyn, NY – Yevgeniya Baras’s small, intimate paintings are constructed slowly over time. The dense abstractions of saturated, nuanced color cover her canvases front and back in layers of thick and reworked paint. In addition to her studio practice, Baras is cofounder of Regina Rex Gallery. Baras emigrated from Russia to Philadelphia in 1993 and has been primarily living in the US since. She received her BA and MS from University of Pennsylvania and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Maria Berrio, New York, NY – Maria Berrio's large collaged works, comprised of diversely sourced patterned papers and images, depict re-appropriated stories that blur biographical memory with South American folklore, resulting in surrealist narratives. Berrio was born in Bogota, Columbia and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA at Parsons School of Design and MFA in Painting at the School for Visual Arts.  (Image at top of post)

Julia Bland, Brooklyn, NY – Julia Bland creates large-scale textile works. Bland weaves intricate patterns with her loom, adding and subtracting elements by cutting, gluing, sewing, and tying back together. The resulting modern-day tapestries disrupt prevailing distinctions between art and craft. Bland received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and MFA from Yale University.

Mike Cloud, Brooklyn, NY – Mike Cloud is known for his hybrid artworks made of diverse materials: fabric and clothes sewn into quilts, cut-up photography books, and plastic, alongside conventional art materials: stretchers, canvas, paper, and oil paint. The resulting works are unwieldy constructions in complex shapes, featuring both text and symbolic and historical references, including the Star of David and the Confederate flag. Cloud received his BFA from the University of Illinois-Chicago and MFA from Yale University.

Cesar Cornejo, Tampa, FL – Cesar Cornejo's work explores the relationship between art, architecture, and society, to create sculptures, site-specific installations, and drawings that portray contrasting aspects of society, recomposing them in new settings that challenge our perception of reality. His work has been greatly influenced by his experience living and working in Japan, London, New York and Peru. Cornejo received his MA and PhD in Fine Arts from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and a Bachelor and professional title in architecture from Ricardo Palma University in Lima, Peru.

Michael Dixon, Albion, MI – Through his painting, Michael Dixon explores the personal, societal, and aesthetic struggles of belonging to both "white" and "black" racial and cultural identities, focusing on the unique "in between" space encounter by bi-racial people in the United States and globally. Dixon received his MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Chris Domenick, Queens, NY – Chris Domenick creates drawings, sculpture, installations, and performance with materials and gestures informed by quotidian American public spaces, suburban culture, and everyday objects. Domenick often alters the exhibition space, evoking a broad range of architectural signifiers to challenge the meanings of his artworks and accompanying found objects as they appear in customized contexts and environments. Domenick received his BFA from Tyler School of Art and MFA from Hunter College.

Austin English, Brooklyn, NY – Austin English—whose books include Christina and Charles, The Disgusting Room, and the Ignatz-Award nominated The Life Problem—creates drawings, paintings, and comics. English works primarily in graphite and colored pencil to create narrative and representational drawings, sometimes layering his work with texture, collage, and patterning. English received his BA from New School University and attended Kungl Konsthögskolan Royal Institue of Art, Professional Project Program.

Steffani Jemison, Brooklyn, NY – In her work across a variety of media, Steffani Jemison explores ideas of improvisation, repetition, and the fugitive in black history and vernacular culture. She also organizes social and archival projects, including a recent collaboration with Jamal Cyrus Alpha’s Bet Is Not Over Yet, an exhibition, reading room, and discussion space inspired by the politics of early 20th century African American periodicals. Jemison received her BA from Columbia University and MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Aliza Nisenbaum, Brooklyn, NY – In her paintings, Aliza Nisenbaum depicts flowers, textual material, household décor, and predominantly indigenous Mexicans and Latin Americans. Recent portraits focus on undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America who have come to the U.S. for work. While the dominant narrative surrounding undocumented immigrants is that they have no visibility, through her painting Nisenbaum brings them into the public sphere. She says, “Giving something or someone your attention can be a political act.” Nisenbaum received her BFA and MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Nisenbaum is a new faculty member at Columbia University.

Norm Paris, Brooklyn, NY – Norm Paris creates sculptures, drawings, and mixed-media works that explore the relationship between objects, iconography, mythology, and language. Inspired by the changing industrial landscape, he is interested in objects for their permanence relative to the ephemerality of biological life. Paris received his BFA from RISD and MFA from the Yale University.

Kara Rooney, Brooklyn, NY – In her artwork, Kara Rooney explores language and awareness, using a variety of media including painting, sculpture, performance, drawing, photography, and installation. She is interested in how the spoken and written word, along with images, allow us to communicate with other, form identity, and affect our sense of collective consciousness. Rooney received her BA from Bates College and MFA from the School of Visual Arts.

Victoria Roth, Queens, NY – Victoria Roth creates large abstract paintings through an athletic and physically demanding process that relies on movement, repetition, erasure, and readjustment. This process also informs her black and white drawings. Both bodies of work portray ambiguous environments and organic shapes that remain just beyond recognition. Roth received her BA from Brown University and MFA from Columbia University.

Jessica Segall, Brooklyn, NY – Jessica Segal investigates the link between creativity and survival, engaging current cultural attitudes towards adaptation. Her multidisciplinary practice spans video, performance, sculpture and drawing. Combining ecology, science, and art history, she presents acts of endurance and tools for survival in a precarious time. Segal received her BA from Bard College and MFA from Columbia University.

Tomas Vu, New York, NY – Tomas Vu is a multimedia artist whose primary media are painting, printmaking, and installation art. Collaging layers of silkscreen, painting, drawing, and laser-engraved images, Vu creates fantastical scenes depicting cycles of destruction, decay, and rebirth, as he explores the capacity of nature and mankind for both violence and compassion. He was born in 1963 in Saigon, Vietnam and moved to El Paso, Texas at the age of ten. Vu received his BFA from the University of Texas at El Paso and MFA from Yale University. Vu is a faculty member at Columbia University.

Nat Ward, Brooklyn, NY – Nat Ward works with image series connected by a specific subject or place and sprawling multi-image installations with images sourced from an expansive personal archive. In both instances, Ward uses both black and white and color photography to create an engrossing and emotionally evocative experience. Ward received his MFA from Columbia University.

Zachary Wollard, Brooklyn, NY – Poet-turned-painter Zachary Wollard employs an aleatoric approach to both subject matter and composition, without any planning or systemic approaches to generating imagery. The quasi-narrative themes explored in his work range broadly from ecology to biological evolution to politics to art history, which is instrumental to his practice. Wollard received his BA from Columbia University.

Note: The program’s Artists Advisory Committee members are Phong Bui, Cynthia Carlson, Chuck Close, Matthew Deleget, Tara Donovan, Janet Fish, Mark Greenwold, Beverly McIver, Philip Pearlstein, Irving Sandler, Harriet Shorr, and Robert Storr.


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