June 30, 2008
June 29, 2008
About the artist: After receiving art instruction in Antwerp, Brussels and Paris in the late 19th century, Percival De Luce returned to New York City where he began a successful career as a portrait and genre artist. He exhibited widely across many venues including the Brooklyn Art Association, 1871-1885, 1891; the National Academy of Design, 1872 - 1900; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1876-1899; and the Boston Art Club, 1881-1900. He studied at the National Academy in New York and was designated ANA in 1897. De Luce's daughter, Olive, also an artist, joined the faculty of Northwest Missouri State University in 1915. Following her death in 1970, De Luce left her entire art collection of 19th- and 20th- century painting, named The Percival De Luce Memorial Collection, to the University. The Fine Arts Center at NMSU is named after Olive, although little information is available about her own art.
June 28, 2008
"Present Tense," curated by Don Christensen with Mary Heilmann. Spanierman Modern, New York, NY. Through August 2, 2008. The paintings included in the show aim at producing instant and visceral responses in the viewer, without the necessity of background information or context. Each artist works in the abstract formalist tradition, but, through the development of new painterly vocabularies and use of unusual materials, attempts to redefine the boundaries of painting. Artists include Polly Apfebaum, Emery Blagdon, Don Christensen, John Duff, Hermine Ford, Joe Fyfe, Mary Heilman, Steve Keister, Chris Martin, Stephen Mueller, Arlene Shechet, Taro Suzuki, Stephen Westfall, and Stanley Whitney. Endorsed by Martin Bromirski at Anaba, with pictures.
"Echo, Implant, Imprint, Reverb," curated by Stephen Maine. A Viewing Room flatfile project at Frederieke Taylor Gallery, New York, NY. According to Maine these artists "derive rather than contrive their work's rhythm and traction, through the peculiarity and specificity of their improvisational, open-ended procedures. The risk of failure is ever present, but Gunn, Janowich, Keller and Kim seem preternaturally equipped to snatch form from the jaws of the void. As artifacts of that confrontation with chaos, their work is authentic, disarmed, and a bit alien, as if it just crawled out of the mouth of a cave, dazed and blinking in the hot flat light." Artists include Edwin J. Gunn, Ron Janowich, Marthe Keller and Joyce Kim. While you're there, check out Lisa Krivacka's new show, "Almost Utopia." Both shows are up through August 8.
"The Idea of Nature," curated by Bill Weiss. 33 Bond Gallery, New York, NY. Through July 31. The artists selected don't depict the natural world per se, but rather evoke the idea of nature through abstraction. Artists include Elisa D’Arrigo, Heather Hutchison, Andrew Masullo, Leslie Wayne, Bill Weiss, Stephen Westfall and Michael Pribich.
June 26, 2008
"Vilhelm Hammershøi: the Poetry of Silence," Royal Academy London, June 28 - September 7. Travels to the National Museum of Western Art and Nikkei Inc., Tokyo.
June 25, 2008
"Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave," organized by Connie Bulter, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), in association with The Museum of Modern Art, New York . Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA. Through Sept. 22. Traveling to MoMA, New York, December 14, 2008 -February 16, 2009, and The Menil Collection, Houston, -March 26 -June 21, 2009.
Marlene Dumas: Contented Bohemian
At Anaba Martin Bromirski keeps track of Dumas mentions and reviews in Marlene Dumas Tally Reaches Fever Pitch
Culturegrrl's take: News Flash: Official Announcement of Changes at Art in America Magazine
June 24, 2008
In The Boston Globe Sebastian Smee writes that Rockman's attempts to marry this gutsy, semi-abstract idiom with more traditional representation don't quite come off. "Near the bottom of his huge, vertically oriented painting of a blizzard, for instance, is a minuscule snowplow, its switched-on headlights poignantly feeble in this vast, virtually lunar landscape. Other works contain a tiny airplane, a chairlift, irrigated fields, or wind farms. These figurative details, all fastidiously rendered, are dwarfed, in each case, by vast clouds of colored paint that swell, surge, suck, and stream. Despite Rockman's best attempts at uniting them, you can't help feeling that there are two different visual registers at work. And far from producing an interesting tension or dissonance, the clash produces a kind of distraction - a desire in the mind's eye to marry them that is continually frustrated." Read more.
“Alexis Rockman: The Weight of Air,” organized by Michael Rush.Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. Through July 27.
June 22, 2008
Am I the only artist who loathes arranging studio visits with dealers? Apparently not. In the NY Times today Dorothy Spears writes about artists who may not have been good at cultivating dealers and collectors when they were alive, but now that they're dead, galleries are happy to represent them. According to Spears, if you're aiming for posthumous recognition, art market success isn't as important as gaining the respect of your peers. Of course you won't reap the financial rewards, but you don't have to arrange studio visits, attend the opening receptions for your shows, or cultivate collectors. Steve Parrino, Al Taylor and Jack Goldstein all refused to play to the market during their lifetimes, and are now experiencing fabulous success. "With the soaring prices of contemporary art, dealers admit that they have a strategic incentive to seek dead artists and give them recognition. 'It’s supply and demand,' said David Zwirner, the Chelsea dealer and co-owner in Zwirner & Wirth, which represents Mr. Taylor’s estate. He said the limited inventory imposed by an artist’s death can end up increasing prices. 'Although overall market conditions are not our only motivation, we are a for-profit gallery,' he added. 'There is a commercial angle, or we’d be going out of business...'
According to Al Taylor's widow, Al was lousy at the business of art. "He would have never gone around to David Zwirner and said, ‘Would you come to my studio?’ And he wouldn’t have let me do that while he was living. He wasn’t into the audition."
The backstory: Poons and Taylor
Steve Parrino's sex and death paintings
Jack Goldstein at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, NY. Through August 1.
June 21, 2008
"Carroll Dunham Prints: A Survey," curated by Allison N. Kemmerer. The Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA. Through July 13.
June 20, 2008
Ken Johnson reports in the NY Times that Marc Simpson, the Clark Art Institute's curator of American art, has gathered 41 paintings, dating from the 1870s to 1919, by 15 Americans for their current exhibition “Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness, and the Art of Painting Softly." "The works are mostly landscapes in which painterly gestures, sharp edges and other signs of technical effort are minimized. Quiet, blurrily luminous scenes of natural calm by Whistler, George Inness, John Twachtman and Thomas Wilmer Dewing, among others, appear like mirages, as though they’d magically materialized on canvas....The show includes no female artists, but women are subjects of several paintings. William Merritt Chase’s gorgeous, mostly red painting of a young woman relaxing in profile in an armchair is undoubtedly a hedonistic response to his friend Whistler’s famous portrait of his formidably upright mother. Gender is most conspicuously at issue in the works of Dewing, who painted young women in neo-Classical garb in vaporous pastoral environments. These women are fashionable beauties, but they are also nature goddesses. From today’s perspective his paintings may seem laughably sexist and vapidly decorative. But consider the times, a period of explosive industrial and economic growth driven by ruthlessly ambitious men. Dewing’s paintings — and soft painting in general — might represent an alternative way of being, a 'feminine' state of sensuous receptivity, soulful indolence and communion with nature. So, while soft painting may seem superficially disengaged from gritty social reality, a deeper view might interpret it as a cry for attention from the repressed feminine side of America’s male-dominated collective psyche. That, at least, is one way to account for the tantalizing effect of this exhibition." Read more.
Another reason to make the trip besides the beautiful setting: CAI has a new building by the Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
“Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness, and the Art of Painting Softly," curated by Marc Simpson. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA. Through Oct. 19. Includes work by including Whistler, Inness, William Merritt Chase, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, John Twachtman, Eduard Steichen, "and others." (Why don't museums and galleries list all the artists on the website?)
June 18, 2008
Jonathan Jones, visual art critic, on football
Hull City v Bristol City at Wembley, May 24
"Watching football is, in theory, a bit like looking at art. The view from my seat (which has its own little TV monitor) might be compared to looking down on a vast green abstract canvas laid flat, with dots oscillating about like some 1960s piece of kinetic art. But while I can find deep meaning in, say, an abstract by Jackson Pollock, the game of football has always been as indecipherable to me as some people profess to find modern art. I am a football philistine." Read more.
Steve Bierley, tennis correspondent, on visual art Louise Bourgeois at the Pompidou Centre, Paris, May 31
"From the top of the Pompidou Centre, Roland Garros - the home of the French Open tennis championship, and my home for a fortnight every spring - was lost in the morning mist. Sport is essentially about youth, and about absolutes. Sport makes you feel elated or depressed. The works of Louise Bourgeois, 97 years old this December, make you feel unsettled, repelled. Roland Garros seemed a million miles away. Faced with a new sport, which is unusual these days, my first instinct is to ignore the detail. Observe and record; don't get bogged down in too many facts or statistics. So I came to Bourgeois with no prior knowledge of her work, no inkling of the deeply disturbing web she was about to wind around me. Her huge spider, installed on the ground floor, should have been a hint." Read more.
Where did you get it?Amsterdam. It's a Van Gogh painting from, I think, the Van Gogh museum. I don't go to museums, I just go to museum gift shops. If someone said to me, 'Oh that's a Van Gogh painting on the cover,' I'd go, 'Yeeesh,' [laughs] but I think that's like a really good Van Gogh painting. I just found out army bases don't want to carry the book because they think the skeleton's smoking a joint. So the publisher had to call them and explain that the painting was done in like 18-something and that they didn't have joints then—it's a hand-rolled cigarette. But that's pretty silly to me. Soldiers, American soldiers...you don't want to tempt them with a joint. You also don't see books with black covers too often. Well, the Bible. ...And I think it looks really good—all that black on the cover." Read more.
June 16, 2008
Whether 'Who's Afraid' is successful or not, Saltz reports that something freeing did happen the night of the opening. "It was Shafrazi’s birthday. At the large after-party, Brown and Fischer presented him with a five-foot-long cake decorated with a perfect rendition of Guernica. Brown climbed atop a table and, amid much yelling, toasted Shafrazi. He then thrust a cake decorator filled with red icing into Shafrazi’s hands. As the crowd screamed, Brown implored, 'Write, Tony! Write!' Shafrazi started moving the device over the cake. Slowly he wrote the words I AM SORRY. Time stood still. It was like an angel of redemption had entered the room to take away Shafrazi’s guilt. The room went silent. I was shocked. Then, Shafrazi began writing again. He wrote one more word: not! It was like the Sopranos finale. Just as you thought everything was going to change, everything only became more of what it already was." Read more.
"Who's Afraid of Jasper Johns," conceived by Urs Fischer and Gavin Brown. Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, NY. Through July 12.
"No Chromophobia," curated by Richard Witter, OK Harris, New York, NY. Through July 11, then Sept. 2-6. Artists include Carla Aurich, Diane Ayott, Kate Beck, Siri Berg, Sharon Brant, Cathleen Daley, Julie Gross, Molly Heron, Kazuko Inoue, Marthe Keller, Joanne Klein, Pat Lipsky, Joanne Mattera, Lynn McCarty, Joan Mellon, Margaret Neill, Mary Obering, Doug Ohlson, Rose Olson, Paula Overbay, Susan Post, Cora Roth, Rebecca Salter, Susan Schwalb, Yuko Shiraishi, Louise P. Sloane, Linda Stillman, Rella Stuart-Hunt, Soonae Tark, Li Trincere, Suzanne Ulrich, Jean Wolff, Tamar Zinn.
Awash in Color: "No Chromophobia"
According to Publishers Weekly, Sarah Thornton offers an elegant, evocative, sardonic view into some of the art world's most prestigious institutions. "The hot, hip contemporary art world, argues sociologist Thornton, is a cluster of intermingling subcultures unified by the belief, whether genuine or feigned, that 'nothing is more important than the art itself.' It is a conviction, she asserts, that has transformed contemporary art into 'a kind of alternative religion for atheists.' Thornton, a contributor to Artforum.com and the New Yorker, presents an astute and often entertaining ethnography of this status-driven world. Each of the seven chapters is a keenly observed profile of that world's highest echelons: a Christie's auction, a 'crit' session at the California Institute of the Arts and the Art Basel art fair. The chapter on auctions (where one auction-goer explains, '[I]t's dangerous to wear Prada.... You might get caught in the same outfit as three members of Christie's staff') is one of the book's strongest; the author's conversations about the role of the art critic with Artforum editor-in-chief Tim Griffin and the New Yorker's Peter Schjeldahl are edifying. 8 illus."
June 15, 2008
'Yes,' he said, mystified as to how they knew. The weight of her culture is in her work, and her brilliance is that she makes it float." Read more.
"Sherry Markovitz: Shimmer," curated by Chris Bruce and Keith Wells at Washington State University. Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA. Through Sept. 7. Travels to Schneider Museum of Art, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, WA, September 25, 2008 - December 13, 2008.
"Sherry Markovitz: The True Story," Greg Kucera, Seattle, WA. Through June 28, 2008.
June 14, 2008
In the NY Times Magazine Deborah Soloman profiles Marlene Dumas. "'I never learned to ride a bicycle, and it is too late now,' Dumas told me with a hint of pride, before going on to list her other negative achievements. 'I never learned to drive. I never learned to swim.' At 54, Dumas is a jovial and garrulous presence, with a tangle of blond curls and fair skin. She speaks English with a heavy accent, in a wheezing, thinned-out voice. 'I was so pleased when I read that Rossellini loved to lie in bed,' she continued, referring to the Italian filmmaker, a confirmed hypochondriac who, she discovered, would take to his bed for two or three days at a time, reading thick novels. 'Now people do exercise, and they have hobbies, and they take holidays,' she said. 'I am not one of those. I don’t go to a psychiatrist. I don’t go to a gym. I run away from my accountant, I run away from my dentist. They are all supposed to help you, but I like to stay in bed, where I have a chance to reflect, like Rossellini.'" Read more. Check out the slide show."Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave," Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA. Opens June 22.
At Anaba Martin Bromirski keeps track of Dumas mentions and reviews in Marlene Dumas Tally Reaches Fever Pitch
"Delia Brown: Precious" D'Amelio Terras, New York, NY. Through June 21.
June 12, 2008
Mark Rappolt chatted with Ellsworth Kelly about contemporary painting at Art Basel last week. "How does the man inspired by the past feel about exhibiting alongside the stars of today? 'Art has changed so much over the past 10 or 15 years,' Kelly says. 'Young people are making it in a different way. They’re doing work that has changed the way you look at pictures – installation work. It’s different from looking at Soutine. That’s more my style. I’ve known those paintings all my life. If I see a Cézanne painting, even the same one several times, I see it differently every time.' Kelly is diplomatic, yet it’s clear that he doesn’t completely approve of their art. 'I’m not so sure that young painters are thinking about permanence,' he says. 'They’re thinking of something more fashionable, that’s part of the style right now. But you want your pictures to be part of the future.' " Read more.
June 11, 2008
"Kerry James Marshall: Black Romantic," Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, NY. Through July 3.
Interview with Bushwick artist Deborah Brown
"What’s your favorite part of living in Bushwick?: I like the mix of people, the authenticity. I like the gritty landscape, the pockets of beauty, the eccentricity of the architecture, the clash of cultures and customs, the sense of possibilities. I like my neighbors. I love being part of the artistic community and getting to know other artists working here. I love what the organizers of Arts in Bushwick are doing."
June 10, 2008
In The Brooklyn Rail Tom Micchelli puts Resnick's paintings, on view at Cheim & Read, in their proper historic context. "More than a painter’s painter, Resnick (1917-2004) was an artist’s artist whose radical aesthetic drove him to extremes of spiritual purity in his work and genuine indifference, even hostility, to the makings of a career. As the youngest member of the original Abstract Expressionist vanguard, he has often been overlooked as a part of that generation—most recently, and inexplicably, by the current'Action/Abstraction' show at the Jewish Museum—even though he belonged to the 8th Street Club and worked in close contact with Willem de Kooning, Philip Pavia, Franz Kline and others during the late 1940s and early 1950s....A fundamental difference becomes apparent between Resnick’s achievement and that of his AbEx peers. His paintings never reach a point of classical resolution (like de Kooning, Rothko or Newman) or a sensation of release (like Pollock, Kline or Still); rather, they feel suspended in a condition of precarious vulnerability. Their embrace of instability and their undertow of harrowing randomness (even at their most joyously colored) feel as contemporary as the Deconstructivist designs of Coop Himmelb(l)au and Peter Eisenman. The first artist I thought of when I saw the epic “Swan” (1961; from the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth) was not de Kooning, Pollock or Kline, but Mark Bradford, who was born the year it was painted." Read more.
"Milton Resnick: A Question of Seeing, Paintings 1958-1963," Cheim & Read, New York, NY. Through June 20.
June 8, 2008
"Susanne Kuhn," organized by MCA Denver and Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany. Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver, CO. Through August 10. NOTE: Beware the MCA Denver website--it's all animated Flash pages with no separate URLs. Argh.
"By the end of the decade, while living off a gallery credit card, he began to incorporate wire, fabric and even cars into his work. The resulting installations and reliefs were a critical flop, and his market began to dry up. He said he had been stunned and wounded by this fall from grace, something he now ascribes to hubris. But Mr. Garrels said he saw the situation differently. 'I think that Adam felt that painting came too easily to him,” he said. “His facility was so natural that he had to create problems that he had to solve.' During the art market crash of the early 1990s Mr. Cvijanovic turned to decorative painting to get by, and specialized in landscape murals. (One early client was the collector Henry Buhl; Mr. Cvijanovic’s trompe l’oeil painting helped transform Mr. Buhl’s SoHo loft into a Renaissance palazzo.) When Mr. Cvijanovic resurfaced in the art world some years later he was painting grandly scaled landscapes that seemed to embrace many of the conventions of 19th-century American painting, like its sublime take on nature and its awe-inspiring illusionism. Made with house paint and Flashe, a French vinyl acrylic, on Tyvek, the paintings could also be moved and reinstalled with ease. Mr. Cvijanovic referred to them as 'wallpapers,' a contrarian stance that put him precisely in tune with the post-postmodernist times." Read more.
"Adam Cvijanovic's Colossal Spectacle," Bellwether, New York, NY. Through July 3.
June 7, 2008
The June issue of The Brooklyn Rail has gone online today. My contribution examines studio space, and how some artists making traditional art objects (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.) are rethinking the studio paradigm. Read how Deborah Fisher, Austin Thomas, Simon Draper, Cindy Tower, and I are moving beyond the romanticized notion of the artist's loft.
"Renaissance artists were members of professional guilds, maintained studios known as workshops, and staffed them with assistants to help complete monumental commissions. But that was an era in which princes and popes extolled artists as the aesthetic lifeblood of the city-state and supported them accordingly. In modern times, artists haven’t been able to count on such public largess. Yet, in spite of reduced expectations, the compulsion in even unseasoned artists to secure dedicated workspace has persisted....When I was in my twenties, my friends and I yearned for square footage. Renting a loft was a rite of passage, and after graduation we all tried to find as much space as possible, preferably in an old sweatshop or other disused manufacturing building. Cavernous studio space, no matter how raw, cold, and uninviting, was the Holy Grail. We’d heard about the storied Coenties Slip in lower Manhattan, where Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Fred Mitchell, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Lenore Tawney, Jack Youngerman, and others all homesteaded in the fifties. Older artists had already colonized Tribeca and Soho, so we expanded into Brooklyn, targeting DUMBO and Williamsburg. Being a genuine artist meant having a vast, if unheated, space close to Manhattan. No matter how skimpy the résumé, a capacious urban loft said you were a serious artist...." Read more.
June 6, 2008
Studio update: Itinerant painter (May 9, 2008)
Habitat for Artists: Studio shack update (May 18, 2008)
Studio update: Unplugged in Beacon (June 6, 2008)
Studio update: Studio visits, exhibitions, new work (July 12, 2008)
June 5, 2008
"With limited amenities, the artists are restricting/rethinking their use of media, resorting to battery-powered hand tools, or even depending on the illumination provided by local street lamps passing through the translucent corrugated plastic panels of the roof to do their work by. Recognizing the limited nature of our resources, Draper’s project emphasizes the importance of resourcefulness instead. The compelling aesthetic (and ultimately, political/economic/ecological) question raised here is: How much can you go a long way with? In this extraordinary project, sustainability is transformed into a visionary aesthetic in its own right—as it must be, if we are to cope with the challenges ahead. "
"Catherine Murphy: New Work," Knoedler, New York, NY. Through August 1.
June 4, 2008
"Paul Campbell: Facebook Profiles II," Drabinsky Gallery, Toronto, Canada. June 14 - July 12. "Paul Campbell: Facebook Profiles," Roebling Hall, New York, NY. April 10- May 10, 2008.
June 3, 2008
"I'm not too sensitive to colour, not really. I don't use it with any nuance that I know of. The form of the thing is more interesting to me than colour. I take the colour as primary - like, if it's the woods, it's green; if it's blood, it's red; if it's earth, it's brown....I'm not a professional painter, since I don't go to the studio and work nine to five like a lot of artists. When something hits me, or I see a painting, or when I see something in nature, it gives me a thing and I go for it. But I don't care if I don't go for three or four months. You know, when it comes it comes.... Graffiti is linear and it's done with a pencil, and it's like writing on walls. But [in my paintings] it's more lyrical. In those beautiful early paintings like Academy, it's graffiti but it's something else, too. I don't know how people react, but the feeling is more complicated, more elaborate. Graffiti is usually a protest - ink on walls - or has a reason for being naughty or aggressive. " Read more.
"Cy Twombly: Cycles and Seasons," organized by Nicholas Serota and Nicholas Cullinan. Tate Modern, London. June 19 through September 14.
"David Park: Works on Paper 1930-1960," Hackett-Freedman, San Francisco, CA. Through June 28.
June 1, 2008
"Josie Merck: Working the Lands," Atlantic Gallery, New York, NY. Through June 14.
"Future Tense: Reshaping the Landscape," Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, Purchase, NY. Through July 20. Unfortunately for the artists, the museum's website doesn't include a full list of the artists included in the show.