April 29, 2010

Greater New York online preview

"Simultaneously" - MEN, Leidy Churchman's video features dancing brushes, mops, spatter, and lots of paint. 

Greater New York, the third iteration of the quintennial exhibition organized by MoMA PS1 and The Museum of Modern Art, includes  68 artists and collectives living and working in the metropolitan New York area. The exhibition, which opens on May 23, will present work made within the past five years, and also feature a number of artists' residencies in the space for the duration of the show. According to the press release, they will be shooting photographs and video, rehearsing and realizing performances, and "stretching the notions of sculpture, painting, photography, film, and video-making." Curated by Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1 and Connie Butler, Chief Curator at Large at The Museum of Modern Art, the roster includes plenty of artists whose work incorporates performance, installation, photography and video, but only nine thirteen painters: Tauba Auerbach, Kerstin Brätsch, Leidy Churchman, Caleb Considine, Franklin Evans, Alex Hubbard, Alisha Kerlin, Tala Madani, Nick Mauss, Dave Miko, Adam Pendleton, Zak Prekop, Amy Yao

How were the artists selected? Through studio visits, review of recommendations, mailed submissions, and Studio Visit, a new MoMA PS1  initiative in which artists present their artwork and studios online. Over 750 Studio Visit submissions were reviewed by the curatorial team.

Other artists include: 
Michele Abeles, David Adamo, Ei Arakawa, An Atlas of Radical CartographyDarren BaderDavid Brooks, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Leidy Churchman, Deville Cohen, Brody Condon, William Cordova, Delusional Downtown Divas (Joana Avillez, Lena Dunham, Isabel Halley), DETEXT, Debo EilersLaToya Ruby Frazier, Zipora Fried, Daniel Gordon, Tamar Halpern, K8 Hardy, Tommy Hartung, Sharon Hayes, Vlatka Horvat, Matt HoytLiz Magic Laser, Deana Lawson, Leigh Ledare, Dani Leventhal, Kalup Linzy, Ryan McNamaraAmir Mogharabi, Sam Moyer, Nico Muhly, Rashaad Newsome, Dominic Nurre, Brian O’Connell, Alice O’Malley, Virginia OvertonMaria PetschnigIshmael Randall Weeks, Gilad Ratman, Lucy Raven, Robbinschilds, Mariah Robertson, Adele Röder, Emily Roysdon, Aki Sasamoto, David Benjamin Sherry Erin Shirreff, Xaviera Simmons, A.L. Steiner, Elisabeth Subrin, Hank Willis Thomas, Naama Tsabar, Guido van der Werve, Conrad VenturPinar Yolacan.

Note: This list is from the MoMA PS 1 website, and was accurate as of April 26, but may be subject to change. Please post changes in the comments section.

April 26, 2010

Charles Cohan: Losing the original amidst repetition

Charles Cohan, "MGP09.X-XVII," 2010, colagraph print, 46 x 40," edition of one.

For the next day or two, I'll be lurking around the museums and galleries in DC. One of my favorite DC galleries is Curator's Office, Andrea Pollan's micro-gallery/office space on 14th Street. She shows small-scale work-on-paper, installations, and photography, and periodically invites a curator (museum curator, critic, artist, collector, educator, promising student, gallerist) to display a tightly focused presentation of an artist or art collective's work. Currently she's showing new prints by Charles Cohan, the Chair of the Printmaking Program at the University of Hawaii in Manoa.

As in his former airport "Terminal and Runway" series exhibited here in 2007, Cohan continues his interest in typologies imposed by humans upon the land and researched Google Earth for aerial views of his racetrack subject matter. He then visited racetrack websites to develop his imagery for Tracks. The racetrack circuits are layered according to a particular season of races. Among the races included in this exhibition are the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championships, the 2009 MotoGP motorcycle series, the 2010 Rolex GRAND-AM season, and the 2010 Deutsche Tourenwagen Master season. The resulting mysterious tangle of lines evokes a knot gone awry or a pile of unwound paper clips. In his labor-intensive process, Cohan admits to a fascination with "the graphic overlapping of a specific typology of architectonic forms, the simultaneous mapping of distinct yet coordinate information systems, the optical confusion that occurs within the overlaying of images of a shared type, and the loss of the original amidst the repetition of the similar." The show also includes prints from Cohan's "Peaks" series, in which images are based on mountains of the Pacific Northwest.

"Charles Cohan: Circuits," Curator's Office, Washington, DC. Through May 1.

April 25, 2010

Pat Steir: Effusively minimalist

Pat Steir applying a soap ground, San Francisco 1993. Image courtesy Crown Point Press.

In the Boston Globe, Sebastian Smee reports that increasingly he finds himself recoiling from the obsession with drawing that art institutions have "whipped into a kind of cult, as if putting pencil or charcoal to paper were somehow imbued with spiritual radiance, connected with deeper, more authentic modes of being." But, after a few visits to Pat Steir's drawing show at the RISD Museum, he begins to soften to the medium. "Pat Steir’s early works reflect the obsessions of the day with unimpeachable fidelity, like a light- sensitized plate," Smee writes. "Her drawings resemble worksheets, filled with grids, diagrams, color charts, crosses, dashes, and crosshatching. They’re self-consciously about process, in other words: the very building blocks of art. But they have none of the dry rigor (blooming into bliss) of Sol LeWitt or Agnes Martin, two artists she clearly revered and whose work reflects similar interests. Instead they mingle minimalist restraint with the emotive effusions and scientific obsessions of more singular artists, from Leonardo da Vinci to Cy Twombly....

"The influence of artists such as LeWitt and Martin is quickly overtaken by Courbet, Hokusai, and the whole Asian tradition of ink painting. Steir dives in, embracing chance and spontaneity, as well as the idea that in painting a waterfall, the drips of ink and oil paint and the spatter of gold powder she uses might all actually be the thing represented, not just imitations of it.

"It’s an ancient ambition. (One thinks of Zeuxis painting grapes so lifelike that birds flew down to peck them.) It may be folly, but there’s no denying the fundamental axiom that every image is a thing before it is anything else. So why not a wet and dripping, spray-soaked thing?"

"Pat Steir: Drawing Out of Line," RISD Museum, Providence, RI. Through July 3, 2010.

Today at 2:30, poet Anne Waldman will read work related to Pat Steir and other visual artists. Professor, performer, cultural activist, and author of more than 40 books, Waldman founded, with Allen Ginsberg, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

April 20, 2010

Martin Bromirski's universe

Check out Martin Bromirski's scrappy, small-scale abstractions at John Davis through Saturday. Besides working in his studio, Bromirski blogs at anaba. The charm of Bromirski's paintings is that he always goes too far, but somehow manages to make it work. In 2006, his work was featured on PaintersNYC. "This is an evocative little image," Bill Gusky wrote. "Reminds me of angels flying between planets of a saccharine-sweet, perhaps India-inspired universe. For me it evokes fringe spiritual imagery and lays it out in kitsch colors. Calls up occult power and reduces it in one stroke."

"Martin Bromirski: Cro-Mirski in Nega-View,"  John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY. Through April 25.

April 19, 2010

Who is Charline von Heyl?

Charline von Heyl at Friedrich Petzel, installation views.

Charline von Heyl was born in 1960 in Germany and has been living and working in New York since 1994. Her work has been exhibited both in the United States and abroad, including solo exhibitions at Westlondonprojects, London; Le Consortium, Dijon; the Dallas Museum of Art and in the Vienna Secession. Von Heyl's works are in the collections of the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. So why wasn't I familiar with her work until @artfagcity tweeted about it a couple weeks ago? I stopped by her show at Friedrich Petzel last week. It's terrific.

In Time Out New York Joseph R. Wolin suggests that von Heyl's paintings exploit the conventions of abstract painting while adding suggestions of representation to to her potent mix of gestural brushwork and hard-edged forms. "At once forbidding and celebratory, structured and improvisational, works like these do not exactly reinvent the genre, but they do remind us that abstract painting has always visually manifested the traces of an artist’s studio activity, making decisions and applying pigment to canvas. In Von Heyl’s hands, that is still exciting to see."

On the occasion of her 2006 show,  Jerry Saltz wrote that much of von Heyl's  art takes us to a "wonderful snake pit where styles he thought were outmoded turn dangerous again...her paintings are visually conflicted yet confident in this ambiguous state, self-conscious while being self-assured. They tell the story of their own making." Well, as @Bill Gusky pointed out, maybe not exactly "dangerous," but they're good paintings nonetheless.

"Charline von Heyl," Friedrich Petzel, New York, NY. Through May 1.

April 17, 2010

An artist's estate

Louis B. Sloan, "Frost Valley in the Catskills,"1995, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Unlike most artists whose families quietly throw all their work in a dumpster after they die, Louis B. Sloan's family is fighting over his paintings. The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Sloan had been dead only a few hours when relatives began pilfering his paintings from his Olney home. "The painter had told his artist friends that he wanted his major works to go to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. But nieces and nephews and others instead created a chaotic scene in Sloan's bedroom, witnesses told the Daily News, as they grabbed art work and his belongings.

"'The paintings were thrown all over the bed and floor,' said niece Lakia 'KiKi' Smith, who was taught art by her uncle. They were rubbing against each other, rubbing the paint off.' Some of the plunderers 'were throwing everything in trash bags,' added niece Madeline Sloan Haines. They grabbed art and other memorabilia from every room, even the bathroom and basement studio of the two-story stone rowhouse on D Street near Ashdale that Louis Sloan and his sister, Barbara Sloan, bought in 1994. Jim Sloan, 63, a brother of the artist, said that he tried to stop the art grab, telling the others, 'Let's just bury our brother before dividing his work.'" Read more.

Heffernan: "I grew up looking at a picture of Jesus"

Julie Heffernan,"Self Portrait as Budding Boy," 2010, oil on canvas, 78 x 56"

In Art in America Perrin Drumm reports on a studio visit with Julie Heffernan, who has an upcoming show at PPOW this month. "'There's just so much that our modern world doesn't offer that you only get in old paintings,' says Julie Heffernan, indicating that the references are meant to re-insert into the vocabulary of art what modernism has taken out, namely the lush worlds imagined by artists like Reubens an Velasquez. 
One direct reference, which would be homage to the masters if it weren't also a matter of naturalism is the artist's use of chiaroscuro, rendering of light and shadow. What might look in her work like a return to the old masters is simultaneously a pointed rebellion against the prevailing modes of abstraction—minimalism and conceptualism—in the late 1970s and early 80s, when Heffernan was a student at Yale, a point at which, she saus, 'The complicated paintings I loved just weren't around.' 

"Heffernan traces her approach to figure painting to her Catholic upbringing where she was exposed to little outside the realm of the Church: 'I grew up looking at a picture of Jesus.' With a visual language comprising heavily embellished Churches and portraits of Jesus and the saints (which she describes as 'sensorially abundant cinematical explosions'), it's no wonder that the minimalist credo 'less is more' doesn't apply here. 

For her latest series, 'Boy, Oh Boy,' opening next week at PPOW marks at least one departure for the artist: no more smack-in-the-middle females. After years of working in the mode of Classical, centered portraiture 'suddenly,' she says, 'I was just done with it.'" Read more.

"Julie Heffernan: Boy, Oh Boy," PPOW, New York, NY. April 29 through June 5.

April 15, 2010

Amy Sillman: The O-G Volume 3

While visiting Amy Sillman's exhibition at Sikkema Jenkins this month, readers can pick up the latest volume of The O-G for a buck. Folded inside the low-budget artist booklet is a small poster, "Some Problems in Philosophy," sort of a crib sheet to understanding the famous philosophers and their theories, from Descartes through Derrida. In handdrawn chart form, the poster (originally made as a drawing for the show) lists the "great" and "not so great" about each. In a postscript at the bottom Sillman advises readers not to worry about Hannah Arendt, Simone Weil, Elizabeth Grosz, and other women philosophers. "Women - who cares what they think?? Don't even bother--probably minor stuff--[!]" In this terrific exhibition, Sillman drolly explores the battle between conceptual art and painting, latching onto the image of a lightbulb as both muse and model. To get a copy of the zine, send a note to Two Coats explaining why you want it.  UPDATE: Oops--Sillman prefers that Two Coats NOT give our extra copy away by mail. To get one, you must go see the show!

Here are a few iPhone images of the larger paintings:

"Amy Sillman:  Transformer (or, how many lightbulbs does it take to change a painting?)" Sikkema Jenkins, New York, NY. Through May 15.

April 14, 2010

And the winner is…everybody

In March of this year, the Mindshare Awards, acknowledging innovative websites that support lifelong learning, creativity, professional skills, or social responsibility in 25 categories, were announced. The awards, from eLearners.com, a PR-savvy organization that aims to connect non-traditional college students with online programs and universities - admittedly for profit - targeted 25 categories, such as visual arts, history, writing, food, crafts, and travel. McSweeney's, The Wooster Collective, The Chronicle, Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise, SmartHistory, TED, Big Think, and numerous others (including Two Coats of Paint) were cited.

Is this a big deal? Maybe medium-sized. Bloggers are as interested as artists, curators, critics, and gallerists in competing for grant funding, promotion, and ad sales. But with no established gatekeepers or referees in the anarchical blogosphere, it's hard to separate the good, the bad, and the ugly. A Mindshare Award may not be a Pulitzer. But even modest awards bestow legitimacy on blogging and online publications. Just as novelists whose books may appear on the bestsellers' list for a nanosecond can forever be described as "bestselling authors," these websites and blogs will be "award-winning" evermore.

Prizes and other accepted forms of recognition might also help persuade academics and other traditionalists that the best art blogs, although unconventional, are as good as - sometimes better than - the ink-on-paper presses and peer-reviewed journals that quickly fall out of print. For scholar-bloggers, awards could be important in determining promotion and tenure.

Even without awards, in the mainstream media, where massive layoffs have decimated space for arts coverage and criticism, art blogs are slowly gaining respect. Art critics who previously dismissed them as impulsive vehicles of unconsidered opinion and inaccurate information are beginning to blog themselves. In addition, galleries, curators, and museums have come to recognize that coverage on the art blogs is good for business. The fact that artists are beginning to put art blogs on their publication lists indicates that online criticism is as valid as reviews in the venerable art magazines.

Of course, not everyone in the art community is warming to blogs. The same week that the Mindshare Awards were announced, Lisa Radon reported in the feisty art blog Hyperallergic that Richard Flood, curator at New York's supposedly forward-thinking New Museum, likened art bloggers to prairie dogs and declared bloggers (many of whom were locked in a fierce debate about the New Museum's integrity at the time) uninterested in truth, facts, or history.

And so it goes. For art bloggers, securing legitimacy is tough. Awards, whatever their provenance, are more likely to advance their cause than hinder it. Last year, in "Rob Pruitt Presents The First Annual Art Awards," a performance piece at the Guggenheim Museum, artist Rob Pruitt gave awards to honor and publicly acknowledge the successes and achievements of artists, curators, critics, and gallerists. No one was quite sure if they'd actually won an award or simply participated in a satirical performance piece, but the event raised money for the museum, generated publicity for the participants, and posed interesting questions about the nature of awards. I propose following eLearner and Pruitt's lead by introducing awards for independently operated art blogs. Who knows? Maybe a truly forward-thinking organization like, say, Apple would agree to be our sponsor.

NOTE: This post is also online at the Huffington Post.

April 12, 2010

Victor Pesce is dead

Victor Pesce, "Turn of the shoe," 2009, oil on canvas, 18" x 24 1/8"

Victor Pesce, "Coffee pot on a shelf," 2009, oil on canvas, 16 1/8 x12-1/8"

Victor Pesce, "Harbor 3," 2009, oil on canvas, 24 1/8 " x 30"

Victor Pesce, "Harbor 2," 2009, oil on canvas, 12" x 16 1/8"

Victor Pesce, a New York still life painter who favored spare arrangements of discarded objects and brooding color, died on March 28 at his home in Sharon, Conn. of lung cancer. At 71, he had just completed his final show at Elizabeth Harris, his wife's gallery in Chelsea. I feel as though I was just getting to know his quietly remarkable work, so I'm sorry to learn he has died.  Here's an excerpt from the obituary Roberta Smith wrote in the NY Times:

"Mr. Pesce’s first paintings were in the style of the Abstract Expressionists. He then took up more Expressionistic figurations, followed by portraits that were often inspired by poets and their work. From the beginning he restricted his colors and painted methodically with a loaded brush. His portraits, based on images from newspapers and books, became increasingly close cropped, rendering the faces nearly abstract.

"Mr. Pesce had his first solo show at Fashion Moda in the Bronx in 1981. He met Ms. Harris, who was also a painter at the time, when she visited his studio on the Bowery in Manhattan in 1980. They were married in 1982. In 1983, he began showing at her gallery, then known as the Oscarsson-Hood Gallery. Ms. Harris changed its name to her own when she decided to give up painting.

"Besides his wife, Mr. Pesce is survived by his sister, Marie Pesce, who lives in Florida.

"By the 1990s Mr. Pesce had turned to small still lifes that perfectly split the difference between representation and abstraction and reflected his preference for early American modernists like Arthur Dove and Marsden Hartley over the Abstract Expressionists.

"He painted arrangements of boxes and bottles that were stripped of detail and usually constructed from a few planes of color that together defined the wall and the tabletop and whatever object was sitting on it. Though often compared to Giorgio Morandi’s pared-down still lifes, Mr. Pesce’s paintings are more forthrightly geometric and grander in scale; space, paint and object achieve an equal density yet remained distinct. Their repeating boxes can evoke those of the Minimalist sculptor Donald Judd.

"Mr. Pesce’s palette was dark, rich and implicitly naturalistic but sparked by moments of yellow-green, hot pink or a resonant blue. To eliminate reflections, he usually painted the objects themselves before making the paintings. Sometimes he built the small boxes he was portraying, giving them crenellated profiles that made them look useless and artificial, as if they existed for the sake of painting alone, which they did."

April 10, 2010

Fiona Rae's Special Fear

Fiona Rae, "Bold as a wild strawberry, sweet as a naughty girl," 2009, oil and acrylic on canvas, 72" x 59"

Fiona Rae, "It gets angry or laughs SUDDENLY!!," 2008, oil, acrylic and photograph on canvas, 60" x 50"

Fiona Rae, "Continued unmeasured endless despair, however alive," 2009, oil and acrylic on canvas, 60" x 50"

Fiona Rae, "Slow Mother Gathering," 2009, oil, acrylic and gouache on canvas, 60" x 50"
Fiona Rae," Maybe you can live on the moon in the next century," 2009, oil and acrylic on canvas, 72" x 59"

Here's a 2008 Tate video of Rae in her studio discussing her palette, brushes, source materials, and process. "For me," she declares, "painting is completely alive and kicking."

In "Special Fear!" Fiona Rae's  current exhibition at Pace, she continues to combine divergent stylistic elements and dissonant sources within each canvas. The exuberant buoyancy of her 2006 show has been replaced by a darker, gloomier palette and cropped landscape-like spaces. Marc Glimcher, who wrote the catalog essay, warns that the images are not easily analyzed in terms of their meaning. "The disparate elements can be analyzed for their stylistic origins, but they are finally just resonant images and forms which allow the artist to construct a painting. In spite of critics’ efforts to reduce the inhabitants of Rae’s painting to a semiotic flashcard nothing could be further from the native experience of making the painting or the experience of viewing it."  

"Fiona Rae: Special Fear!" Pace, New York, NY. Through May 1, 2010.

On the waterfront

Last week I stopped by the opening of the Stonington Printmakers Society annual exhibition at Cate Charles Gallery in Stonington, Connecticut. With a 2005 grant from the Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation, artists Mara Beckwith and Sadie DeVore bought an intaglio press, set it up at Stonington High School (where DeVore is the art teacher), and began offering printmaking classes to the community. The show, curated by Slater Museum director Vivian Zoë, features prints made in the workshops. Although the prints are uneven in quality, the fact that Beckwith and DeVore have engaged the community in the process of printmaking is fantastic. Out behind the gallery, across the patio, marine painter Russ Kramer has a small gallery/studio where he paints images of America's seafaring past. Maybe it's my Mystic upbringing, but I'm always impressed by artists who paint the ocean well. Kramer will be giving a lecture on his process at the Mystic Seaport Maritime Art Gallery today at 4 pm.

Russ Kramer at work in his Stonington studio.

I also ran into artist Paul Centore. Paul has organized two life drawing sessions in Mystic and wants to get the word out. Who knew Mystic was such a hotbed of life drawing? For those who want to work from the figure and might like to take a drive to the water before the tourists arrive, here are the details:

The Cove's Edge life drawing group meets Mondays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., to draw from a nude or clothed model. They typically have several quick poses, followed by one longer pose. The artists work in many media, including pencil, pastel, watercolor, and charcoal. Easels are available onsite. The cost varies from $4 to $10 per night. The group operates on a drop-in basis, so no signup is required. Just show up at Cove's Edge Studio at 91 Noble Ave., Noank, ready to draw.

The Hollow life drawing group meets Thursdays from 7:00 to 9:30 paint, pastel, watercolor, and charcoal. Easels are available onsite. p.m., to draw from a nude model. They typically have one pose for consecutive weeks. The artists work in all media, including oil. The cost is $10.00 per night. The group operates on a drop-in basis, so no signup is required. Just show up at the old white the entire evening, and sometimes extend a pose to last two schoolhouse at 115 Welles Rd., Mystic, ready to draw.

"Images from the Stonington Printemakers Society," Cate Charles Gallery, Stonington, CT. Through April 28, 2010.

April 6, 2010

Jacqueline Humphries: Creating an illusion of being alive

Jacqueline Humphries at Modern Art, installation views.

Jacqueline Humphries presents new paintings at Modern Art in London this month. Here's an excerpt from a conversation between Humphries and painter Cecily Brown in 2009. (via Tatiana Berg)

Cecily Brown Let’s talk about how your paintings discourage stationary viewing. They seem to want to be perceived from multiple points of view. The reflectivity of your silver paintings especially emphasizes the unfixed nature of things; do you think of them as having one preferred point of view? Or does that change as our physical relationship to the painting changes?
Jacqueline Humphries What fascinates me is how little I can control their behavior in new situations. An image will coalesce and then disintegrate, giving way to another reading that sort of comes out of the background. To me some parts of a painting appear as if you’re looking down at them from an airplane window; others might evoke something that you’re very close to which is out of focus, and maybe this is interlaced with forms that feel very distant, and crisper. The objective is to knit wildly varying perspectives into a unified space. Because of the way light reacts to the metallic paint, the paintings change as your physical relationship to them changes. I like the unstable situation that depends on the light and the viewer both moving around; the painting changes before your eyes. They’re impossible to photograph—there’s no “accurate” image.

CB And that destabilization almost becomes the subject or content of the painting. Do you want uncertainty to be the content?
JH I don’t think the artist can determine the meaning of content. What I am trying to do is alter baseline conditions of viewing to anticipate a new kind of viewing, to establish a site for “content” or experience. In a way, the paintings resist meaning.

CB I wouldn’t want to pin it down that much, either. The more I look at your paintings, it seems like space and light are your subjects.
JH Yeah, well if you’re painting anything, you’re painting air to some extent. It’s not so much that I’m driving at uncertainty as content as much as I want to captivate and entertain a viewer. I think a painter’s first job is to get someone to look at a painting. Perhaps it’s about motion and light. Having a heightened sense of the painting changing in front of your eyes gives it an almost cinematic quality—light moves across the surface and makes new images before your eyes.

CB In a way, that’s what painting has always done. A painting shifts and changes as one moves backward and forward; it has from Velásquez to Pollock. If destabilization isn’t your content, it’s at least something that’s always present.
JH Yes, it is always present; that’s what makes painting so fascinating, that it’s fixed yet in motion. I read you say that somewhere. With the silver paintings, the same part will one minute be bright, as if in light, the next dark, as if in shadow. This kind of image behavior is proper to cinema. Any painting looks different on separate viewings, and it forms a kind of composite in your mind: “Today the painting did this, yesterday it did that.” Paintings do behave this way, or rather people do, so I attempted to heighten this sense of mutability.

CB It’s more like a living thing.
JH Or something that gives the illusion of being alive. This comes with its own risks: a painting can look really bad sometimes, which I’m willing to accept for the possibility that it’s going to look good at other times. Under normal conditions of viewing, some things are going to excite you and then maybe later the same thing won’t. It’s a very human thing to see a person today and like them; they attract you, but next time maybe they don’t. So you could say that consciousness is built into the actual viewing situation as an aspect of its subject matter.

"Jacqueline Humpries," Modert Art, London. Through April 24, 2010.

Call for Entries: Art in Odd Places

 Image from last year's festival, in which the theme was "Signs." Image courtesy Time Out New York.

I just got a note from Cesar Jesena of the Art in Odd Places festival inviting artists working across disciplines to propose projects for the festival's sixth installment (October 1 – 10, 2010). The application deadline is May 14 at midnight. Art in Odd Places aims to stretch the boundaries of communication in the public realm by presenting artworks in all disciplines outside the confines of traditional public space regulations. AiOP reminds us that public spaces function as the epicenter for diverse social interactions and the unfettered exchange of ideas.

Here's the information about this year's installment:

Art in Odd Places 2010: CHANCE

Taking place along 14th Street from Avenue C to the Hudson River in New York City, we encourage proposals that explore this location's rich history, configuration, and heterogeneous communities. The forthcoming edition of AiOP is informed by various interpretations of the term CHANCE, including proposition, luck, randomness, risk, and opportunity. Within this context, artists are given the opportunity to apply their practice to an unconventional structure—playing off the idiosyncrasies inherent to the urban plane.

With emerging formats of communication, our culture has become a fertile ground for broad intersections between individuals, ideas and situations. This has resulted in unpredictable exchanges, relinquishment of control, surprise collaborations, and instances of spatial revelation. AiOP 2010: CHANCE intends to provide passersby with a new perspective of an otherwise familiar environment through site-specific installations, social and spatial interventions, video and audio projects, performance, new media, and other inventive practices. In addressing the distinct manifestations of chance, the festival aims to broaden the public’s outlook on art, city dwelling, and social conventions. 2010 guest curators: Yaelle Amir and Petrushka Bazin.

For artist application and guidelines, click here.

Press from last year's festival:
New York Times
Paper Magazine
Time Out New York
Town & Village [pdf]

April 2, 2010

Mark Greenwold: A writer's painter

Mark Greenwold, "Secret Storm," 1970-71, oil on canvas, 72 x 55 1/2"

Mark Greenwold, "Spanish Mediterranean Bedroom," 1971, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 81 3/4"

Mark Greenwold, "Bright Promise (For Simon)," 1971- 75, oil on canvas, 85 x 108"

In The Village Voice Robert Shuster reports that Mark Greenwold has always been a slow painter, even back in his early days. "A novelist's relatively meager production—a single work every year, at best—would seem to have no equivalent in visual arts, where careers depend on a broad, brand-name presence. But for Mark Greenwold, a writer's painter if ever there was one, deliberation has become a trademark. Best known for rich tableaux of surreal, domestic tension (typically not much bigger than a sheet of paper), Greenwold assembles his scenes one tiny stroke of color at a time, peering through a jeweler's loupe and fussing over some sections for months.

"Still, that's nothing compared to the four years Greenwold took to finish 'Bright Promise,' the extraordinary centerpiece in an exhibit that surveys the painter's rarely seen efforts from the late 1960s and early '70s. In those days of swinger circles, the artist was filling his canvases, most quite large, with sex. Working in acrylic, Greenwold, a classicist at heart, created candy-colored interiors that play off old master studies in perspective, then added stylized figures who loll around, nude or provocatively posed, with Balthus-like disengagement. But when he turned to oil, first in the Playboy-like fantasy 'Secret Storm,' flesh met flesh in eye-popping photorealism. You won't find a more stimulating work, sexual or visual, than 'Bright Promise:' On the floor of a hallucinogenically colored bedroom, a young man mouths the breast of a naked redhead while a lithe, vampirish brunette undresses to join the fun. The details—wall shadows, tchochkes, tan lines—are astonishing (the chenille bedspread alone required a year), and the sense of imminent drama (present in all of the artist's work) is thrilling. Greenwold has fulfilled his own bright promise many times, even for a guy who's in no hurry."

"Mark Greenwold: Secret Storm, Paintings 1967–1975," DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY. Through April 17.