Over the summer Joshua Abelow, painter and editor of ART BLOG ART BLOG, started a gallery (also called ART BLOG ART BLOG) in a Chelsea space generously donated by Abelow's former boss (and friend), Ross Bleckner. Abelow invited friends and acquaintances to organize quick two-week exhibitions that mimicked the fast pace of his blog, and the project became a focal point for the painting community during what is generally a slow time in Chelsea. In October, when Bleckner returned from summer in the Hamptons, the space closed.
Abelow was burned out, but overall he was pleased with the experience. He sublet his Brooklyn studio and moved back to his hometown near Washington, DC, for a few months to focus on painting and complete Painters Journal, an autobiographical book project about 1999, his first year in New York. "The book is special to me because it captures a time in my life when I was just beginning to find myself as an artist and I was crawling through a lot of internal and external muck," Abelow told me recently over a cup of coffee. I admire Abelow's enthusiasm for his own projects and, at the same time, his willlingness to create opportunities for other artists.
Here are some images of Abelow's sketchbooks and paintings. The paintings may look spontaneous, but they are built methodically using specific rules that Abelow writes out in the sketchbooks.
Abelow currently has work in "Tailgates and Substitutes," a group show through January 15 at Thierry Goldberg in NYC and is preparing work for a solo show at Devening Projects + Editions that opens on January 29th in Chicago. After Chicago, he's got a solo booth at James Fuentes at Frieze New York, where, along with new paintings and drawings, he will release Painter's Journal. In September 2012, Sorry We're Closed in Brussels, Belgium, will be hosting his first solo show in Europe.
And check out Abelow's new silkscreen print, Nude, which is available at Worthwhisland, an online project developed by Abelow's two close friends, Jason Frank Rothenberg and Alexis Rothenberg.
Look for Part II of this post, which will include excerpts from our conversation about painting, in January.
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