June 30, 2012

A big THANK YOU to our June sponsors

I would like to take a brief moment to thank this month’s sponsors. These are the organizations and companies that keep Two Coats of Paint publishing, so be sure to check them out! 

Featured Advertisers
  • Brooklyn Museum- GO is a community – curated open studio project. Artists across Brooklyn will open their studio doors, so that you can decide who will be featured in a group show at the Brooklyn Museum.
  • Parrish Museum - The Parrish Road Show is  an off-site creative summer series that will feature artists’ projects and related programs that will be sited in atypical public spaces.
  • Art Southampton – The Premiere International Contemporary & Modern Art Fair in the Hamptons, July 26-30
  • Saatchi Online – Online gallery that connects artists and art lovers directly
  • International Center of Photography - The ICP-Bard Program in Advanced Photographic Studies offers a curriculum of professional and studio practice, critical study, and Resident Artist Projects.
  • MassArt - Art New England Summer Workshops in Bennington, Vermont provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in your art without the interruptions and responsibilities of daily life. Workshops start July 15.
  • Danube University – Leonardo Scholarship - Danube University offers Leonardo Scholarship for Media Art Histories
  • Corey Helford Gallery - Motion: The Art of Movement, a major group exhibition open through June 30
Network Sponsors
If you are interested in advertising on Two Coats of Paint, please get in touch with Nectar Ads, the Art Ad Network.

Image: Dolphins frolicking on Bushwick rooftops during Bushwick Open Studios. Read about the Two Coats of Paint BOS2012 exhibition, "INQUIRY curated by Austin Thomas," on the Nectar Ads blog.


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At Minus Space: Nothing is everything

In an elegant group show at Minus Space, "Neither Here nor There but Anywhere and Everywhere," curator Matthew Deleget has selected work that looks visually simple, but each piece tells a deeper story about camouflage, subterfuge, and the act of making art. Rooted in stripped-down Minimalist aesthetics and the work of the 1960s French Supports/Surfaces artists who focused on deconstructing the materials (canvas and stretchers) rather than creating an illusion with paint, the pieces in the Minus Space exhibition use materials as image, illusion, and metaphor.

Carrie Pollack, Soft Sky, 2012, pigment ink on canvas, 34 x 24 inches. Simultaneously evoking both presence and absence, Pollack prints an image--a photograph of a clear blue sky that's been converted to greyscale--on a loosely stretched canvas. Or is the the printed image, which makes the canvas look like unprimed linen,  creating the illusion of looseness?

Victoria Munro, OR, THE WHALE, 2010, white porcelain, 10.5 x 10.5 x 1.5 inches. Contemplating the post-modern painters' challenge, Munro creates delicate porcelain sculptures that look exactly like primed, unpainted canvases.

Julian Dashper, Untitled (2002), 2001-2002, cut cedar stretcher, 36 x 36 x 1.25 inches. Cutting the stretcher into a geometric shape, Dashper activates the surrounding space, causing confusion between negative and positive space, image and object.

Linda Francis, Interference, 2011, oil on aluminum, 3 panels, 3 x 9 feet 2 inches overall, each panel 3 x 3 feet. Francis told me at the opening that her piece, which looks like a photographic enlargement of small cloud puffs arranged in a grid format, is derived from a microscopic photograph of the silicon structure/coating on the heat shield of the Challenger, the 1986 space shuttle  in which all seven crew members died in a horrific explosion during the launch.

Michelle Grabner, Untitled, (front) 2007, Flash and black gesso on canvas, 50 inches diameter. Grabner's painting hangs in the middle of the gallery. 

Michelle Grabner, My Oyster, (back) 2012, 4 art works by Michelle Grabner, 1 art work by Brad Killam, child’s chair, green washcloth, steel cable, 50 x 50 x 13 inches overall. From one side, the piece is a series of small, obsessively rendered monochromatic dots that  coalesce into a geometric pattern evoking aboriginal dot paintings of Papunya. As the tondo slowly turns, the back reveals a series of smaller paintings and household objects attached carefully to the stretchers. I like the idea here, but I'd like to see a more chaotic arrangement of junk and debris. (But I guess that tells you more about my experience than about the work per se, right?)

Russell Maltz, S.P./DWG, 2002, ink on 4 papers, steel pin, 29 x 11 x 2.5 inches. A compulsive stacker, Maltz contributes a piece that looks like charred shingles hanging from a nail, but they are actually pieces of heavy paper doused in multiple layers of chalky, dried black ink. I think he would like this picture.

Vincent Como, 4.5 Cubic Inches (Volume of the Inside of My Head), 2007, cast Sumi ink, shelf, 4.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches. Como, who has narrowed his quasi-conceptual practice down to what he sardonically calls the Singularity of Black and Infinite Blackness, creates a small sculptural object using dried Sumi ink. Perhaps if we distilled all the ideas that artists have ever explored, the result would be as rich and dense as Como's cube.

Also: I'm looking forward to checking out "Stretching Painting," a group show at Galerie Lelong, curated by Veronica Roberts, that explores similar Supports/Surfaces strategies. Artists include Patrick Brennan, Sarah Cain, Hilary Harnischfeger, James Hyde, Alex Kwartler, Jim Lee, Lauren Luloff, Donald Moffett, Gabriel Pionkowski, and Kate Shepherd. 

"Neither Here nor There but Anywhere and Everywhere," Minus Space, DUMBO, New York, NY. Through August 11, 2012. Artists include Vincent Como, Julian Dashper, Linda Francis, Michelle Grabner, Russell Maltz, Victoria Munro, and Carrie Pollack.

Note: All images courtesy of Minus Space.

Related posts:
Claude Viallat: Exploring Casualist abstraction in 1960s France (2011)
 Erik Saxon's rigor and play (2011)
A Loren Munk report (2010)


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June 29, 2012

Roberta Smith scolds curators for the dearth of contemporary painting shows in NYC museums

"Maybe it [painting] appears that way [dead] if you spend much time in New York City’s major museums, where large group shows of contemporary painting are breathtakingly rare, given how many curators are besotted with Conceptual Art and its many often-vibrant derivatives. These form a hegemony as dominant and one-sided as formalist abstraction ever was.

But that’s another reason we have art galleries. Not just to sell art, but also to give alternate, less rigid and blinkered, less institutionally sanctioned views of what’s going on." Read more.

 Josephine Halvorson in "The Big Picture," at Sikkema Jenkins

 Josephine Halvorson in "The Big Picture," at Sikkema Jenkins

 Josephine Halvorson in "The Big Picture," at Sikkema Jenkins

Smith's review includes:
'The Big Picture," Sikkema Jenkins, Chelsea, New York, NY. Through July 27.
"Context Message,"Zach Feuer, Chelsea, New York, NY. Through Aug. 3. 
"Everyday Abstract--Abstract Everyday," James Cohan, Chelsea, New York, NY. Through July 27.
"Painting in Space,"Luhring Augustine, Chelsea, New York, NY. Through Aug. 17.
"Stretching Painting," Galerie Lelong, Chelsea, New York, NY. Through Aug. 3.

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June 28, 2012

The super-sizing of American art museums

In the NYTimes Robin Pogrebin writes about the problem with museum expansion, a topic I covered in "The Super-Sizing of American Art Museums," an article published in The American Prospect in 2007. Unfortunately, the problems I anticipated five years ago during the museum expansion boom have arrived. Here's an excerpt from my piece:
American art museums are experiencing an unprecedented growth spurt, from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento to smaller museums elsewhere. Museum directors argue that the expansions will better serve the public's need for more exhibition space and modern amenities. Less altruistically, they maintain job security by ramping up fundraising and construction requirements, and gild their résumés with impressive credentials. Art collectors queue up to donate money for stylish wings that will bear their names. Cities herald the projects as cornerstones for mammoth downtown development and revitalization projects. The media provide the fanfare, lavishly covering the initial announcements, building progress, and grand openings.
But all this capital investment in high-profile architecture and fattened collections and programming -- this super-sizing of museums -- does not necessarily reward the art-viewing public. Museum directors and curators need to consider expansion plans more critically. Often such plans result in oversized, over-designed new structures.... 
With higher maintenance and staffing costs for bigger buildings, funding shortfalls can end up making an expanded art museum less economically viable and imperil its position in the community. Some museums, like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, have been forced to sell artwork from the permanent collection when fundraising efforts for new initiatives have fallen short of projected targets.... 
Read more
 Art Institute of Chicago (via)

  Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento (via)


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Edvard Munch's damaged retina

An Edvard Munch exhibition opens at Tate Modern today. Curator Nicholas Cullinan writes on the Tate blog that the exhibition looks "beyond the clichés of Munch as an angst-ridden and brooding Nordic artist who painted scenes of isolation and trauma" to focus on the neglected aspects of his often radical work, particularly his use of film and photography, and his "obsessive reworking of motifs."

Edvard Munch The Artists’s Retina: Optical Illusion from the Eye Disease, 1930, watercolour and pencil on paper 49.7 x 47.1 cm, Munch Museum/Munch-Ellingsend Group/DACS 2012. Courtesy Munch Museum, Oslo.

I also learned at the Tate blog that when Munch was 66, he suffered a serious intraocular hemorrhage in his right eye, and, later, another one in his left. The condition left a blind spot, splotches and blood clots that impacted both his vision and his painting. He documented the effects in watercolors and drawings, but the visual impairment affected his other work as well. Michael F. Marmor writes in Tate, etc. that
Munch drew several types of images during his convalescence. A recurrent one is a set of concentric circles, often vividly coloured, which resemble the aura that one sees around bright lights on a foggy day. It is possible that these represent a view through his resolving haemorrhage as he looked towards an electric light or the sun. He annotated many of his drawings “electric light”, “sunshine”, etc, to indicate the conditions under which they were made, but did not actually date them. The order of colours varies, so they don’t appear to be illustrating a rainbow effect, which would be constant. Whatever else, they do show that Munch must have been intrigued by the patterns of light and colour that suffused his eye as the haemorrhage slowly cleared.
Read the entire fascinating story here.

Edvard Munch, Disturbed Vision, 1930, oil on canvas 80 x 64 cm. Courtesy of the Munch Museum
Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait: Between the Clock and the Bed, 1940–3,
Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye, curated by Nicholas Cullinan, curator of international modern art, Tate Modern,with Shoair Mavlian, assistant curator. Tate Modern, London,  28 June – 14 October.

Related post:
Munch: Navigating the messiness of his own present (2009)


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June 27, 2012

Quick study: Twitter notes

Here are a few recent links from the Two Coats Twitter Feed. For readers unfamiliar with Twitter, "RT" indicates the item has been repeated, or "retweeted," from someone else's Twitter feed.

Doesn't this sculpture look sort of like a Joshua Abelow character?
Chelsea block party on a Tuesday night in July w food trucks and a DJ

Stefan Wieland, KUBIST WERDEN HEILBAR SEIN, 2011, 104 x 87 cm, Acrylglas, Lack, Vinylfarbe, Acrylfarbe, Sprühlack auf Leinen und Sackleinen

Check out Stefan Wieland
Amusing 1994 video of Gillian Wearing dancing in the mall
One of my favorite websites: #stalking
Storm King tomorrow!
EXCELLENT!! RT: Hey y'all. I'm the new art editor at The L Magazine. Deets here:
RT @culturegrrl How do you make online art journalism profitable? Time runs out for Walter Robinson's widely read Artnet Magazine.
RT@joygarnett  Good-Bye to All That: Artnet, 1996-2012
Charlie Finch calls art critic Dave Hickey a "bulbous phony" (c. 2009)
Charlie Finch chewed out painters in 2010
Agree completely, esp. re Charlie Finch / RT : A few thoughts on
The Strolling -Down-Memory-Lane Department: Charlie Finch on art blogs in 2007 (or so)
So does Charlie Finch end up or ?
No more ??!
POTUS took Michelle to the Chicago Art Institute on their first date. #heartthrob


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June 25, 2012

Studio update: Bushwick paintings

I haven't done a Studio Update post since I moved to the new studio in Bushwick, so if readers are interested in what I've been working on, check out Paul Behnke's recent post. Paul, whom I met at the NurtureArt Benefit a couple years ago (I selected his painting), has a studio around the corner, and last week he came over for a visit. We had a great conversation about painting, he took lots of pictures and then wrote about it on Structure and Imagery. The new paintings reference the contingent architecture and rooftop structures in the neighborhood.

 Pile of finished paintings and canvas scraps on the floor of my studio. Image: Paul Behnke.

Related posts:

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Amy Feldman: Practiced and rehearsed

If the imprecision in Todd Chilton's work (discussed in the previous post) is the result of a slow, intuitive process, the drips and imprecision in Amy Feldman's work, on view at Blackston through July, have become calculated gestures.
Her punctuated, icon-like abstractions are derived from her drawing practice, and the same seemingly casual attitude is translated from drawing to painting. The images in her drawings, practiced and rehearsed many times over, are studied provocations, decisive and spontaneous --fortuitous indicators for her paintings. Feldman reaches a desired balance in her work. Awkward yet poised, her paintings evoke a toxic-classicism, stunning with their purity and imperfection. (via Blackston)
Feldman's earlier work uses the same irregular forms, monochromatic format, and drippy paint handling, although on a much smaller scale. At Blackston, her first NYC solo show, Feldman quotes herself, creating large-scale versions of her earlier images, a strategy that reveals, for better or worse, a young artist in the process of creating a brand. 

Amy Feldman, All or Nothing, 2012, acrylic on canvas 96 x 80 inches.

Amy Feldman, Pressure Points, 2012, acrylic on canvas 80 x 90 inches.

Amy Feldman, Owed, 2012, acrylic on canvas 80 x 80 inches.
Amy Feldman, In & Out, 2012, acrylic on canvas 75 x 80 inches.

"Amy Feldman: Dark Selects," Blackston, Lower East Side, New York, NY. Through July 27, 2012.

Related posts:
February round up: Handmade, utopic, urgent and obsessive (February 2012)
MsBehavior in Chelsea (May 2012)
The New Casualists (June 2011)


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Todd Chilton: Determined imprecision

In the Gorky's Granddaughter interview with Thomas Nozkowski that I posted last week, Nozkowski said he never uses tape or rulers to draw his lines because he believes that painters should work to their "level of performance." I saw two shows this weekend that reminded me of this: Todd Chilton at Feature and Amy Feldman at Blackston.

At Feature, Chilton presents vibrantly colored, small-scale geometric abstraction. He writes in his statement that "meaning comes through determined imprecision, broken or sagging structures and the obvious hand that created the painting." So true. Although the painterliness doesn't read in JPEGs, his work is both charming and anarchic, breathing life into the overly familiar triangle motif.

Next post: Amy Feldman at Blackston.

Todd Chilton, Split and Quartered, 2012; oil paint on linen; 27 x 23 inches.

Todd Chilton, Gray Triangles, 2012; oil paint on linen; 27 x 23 inches.
Todd Chilton, Steps, 2012; oil paint on linen over panel; 18 x 16 inches.
Todd Chilton, Orange Triangles, 2012; oil paint on linen; 27 x 23 inches.

Todd Chilton, Sails and Wedges, 2012; oil paint on linen; 27 x 23 inches.

"Todd Chilton: Steady," Feature, Inc., Lower East Side, New York, NY. Through June 30, 2012.

Related posts:
When the personal infiltrates the formal (2011)
Todd Chilton: accepting imperfection (2007)


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June 22, 2012

Matthew Higgs rounds-up the everyday in non-representational art

Four years ago White Columns director Matthew Higgs's proposal for the 6th Berlin Biennale considered the relationship between non-representational art and everyday life, but his submission was rejected in favor of Kathrin Rhomberg's "what is waiting out there."  Higgs has finally dusted off the original proposal and used it as the basis for "Everyday Abstract--Abstract Everyday" an eclectic and amusing exhibition at James Cohen Gallery through July 27. Higgs writes in his statement that
This exhibition seeks to develop these earlier ideas around what I termed “vernacular” or “everyday” abstraction: that is artistic practices that actively privilege and operate in the grey area between an essentially non-representational image/object and the use of quotidian materials and processes.

Collectively the works in "Everyday Abstract – Abstract Everyday" seem most interested in the point at which the self-contained rationality of earlier modernist abstraction is ruptured. This sense of “rupture” – both physically and psychologically - is perhaps the prevailing aesthetic attitude that unites the otherwise highly idiosyncratic artists – and art works – brought together in "Everyday Abstract – Abstract Everyday." In the work of all these artists traces of our material culture are transformed, or perhaps more accurately, re-purposed into something that is simultaneously familiar and strange.
Higgs has selected a wide range of engaging work, but the concept for the show is so obvious, it saps the best work of the strange, leaving primarily the familiar.

  JOE FYFE, Comme le pays, 2012, found vinyl objects and canvas, gauze, and cord, 67 x 26 x 10 inches.
 TONY FEHER, Painting, 2007, oil stain on plywood, 17 3/8 X 11 5/8 inches.
 MICHEL FRANÇOIS, Untitled, 2012, paper, approx. 8 x 12 feet.From afar, doesn't this piece look like a big Tauba Auerbach painting?
 DAVID HAMMONS, KOOLAID DRAWING, 2004, Koolaid and pencil on paper, 43 29 inches.
 ANN CATHRIN NOVEMBER HØIBO, Untitled #06, 2012, bronze cast of instant noodles, 4 x 3 ¾ x 1 ¼ inches. LOL, right?

 JOSH SMITH, Untitled, 2009, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 inches. Why is this painting included? Is it because Smith paints everyday?
 AGNES LUX, #91-L, 2012, graphite on postcards, 82 5/8 X 52 1/2 inches.
JUDITH SCOTT, Untitled, 2004, mixed media, 23 x 19 x 16 inches. Does this ball of mixed media include any rubber bands?

 NANCY SHAVER, Fanny, 2011, Scrap metal, found upholstery board, upholstery fabric, canvas, glue, paper, house paint, acrylic paint, 66 x 27 x 20 inches. LOVE this.
 GEDI SIBONY, The Two Simple Green Threes, 2012, dropcloth, 137 X 95 inches. This was one of my favorite pieces in the show.

 ANDY WARHOL, Oxidation Painting, 1978, copper metallic pigment mixed with mixed media on canvas - twelve panels, 48 X 49 1/2 inches. Or, you know, piss.

  B. WURTZ, Untitled, 2010, collage and acrylic on paper, thread, string, plastic lid, 48 x 30 ¼ inches.

 "Everyday Abstract--Abstract Everyday," installation view. All images courtesy James Cohen Gallery.

"Everyday Absract--Abstract Everyday," curated by Matthew Higgs. James Cohen Gallery, Chelsea, New York, NY. Through July 27, 2012. Artists include Walead Beshty, Alexandra Bircken, Sarah Braman, Wolfgang Breuer, Tom Burr, Ernst Caramelle, Andy Coolquitt, Paul Cowan, N. Dash, Tony Feher, Michel François, Joe Fyfe, Kim Gordon, David Hammons, Richard Hawkins, Ann Cathrin November Høibo, Bill Jenkins, Sergej Jensen, Udomsak Krisanamis, Jason Loebs, Agnes Lux, David Moreno, Virginia Overton, Manfred Pernice, Judith Scott, Nancy Shaver, Gedi Sibony, Michael E. Smith, Josh Smith, Shinique Smith, Al Taylor, Bill Walton, Andy Warhol, Hannah Wilke, Philadelphia Wireman, B. Wurtz, Amy Yao

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June 20, 2012

Side by side: Piet Mondrian and Ellen Lechter

On left: Piet Mondrian, Painting No. 9, 1939 -- 1942, oil on canvas; 31 3/8 x 29 1/4 inches. Gift from the estate of Katherine S. Dreier, 1953. Paintings, 1374, Dutch. On display in Goh Annex, Gallery 103, West. I saw this beauty at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, last week. Sure, Mondrian was a genius at organizing space, but when I'm standing in front of one of his paintings, I'm always bowled over by his remarkable sense of touch.

On right: Ellen Letcher, Tea and Toilet Paper, 2012, collaged magazine pages, color laser print  & acrylic paint on paper,  25 x 19 ½  inches. Ellen Letcher's exhibition, "Photo Still," is at Pocket Utopia through July 15. I'll be heading over there this evening for some conversation--the gallery stays open until 8pm on Wednesdays. Letcher's new work crackles with energy and wit.


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June 19, 2012


Artists flew in from all over the world for Bushwick Open Studios, and several participated in ALLTOGETHERNOW, a collaborative drawing project and abstract painting exhibition organized by Bushwick artist Julie Torres. Once the roster of participating artists was determined via Facebook, Torres helped select work and arranged for everyone to stay at the homes of local artists. Here are a few images from the drawing party, exhibition, and some images of work by individual artists grabbed from their websites. I'm looking forward to seeing if the experience leads to new collaborations between the participants, and whether individual styles and images begin to migrate from artist to artist.

 Paul Behnke, Austin Thomas, Julie Torres and Brian Cypher during the collaborative drawing party on Wednesday night at the Hyperallergic office in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photo: Vincent Hawkins.

 Julie Torres, Stephen Wright, Justine Frischman, Ian White Williams, Paul Behnke, Brian Cypher, David E. Williams and Brian Edmonds organize their work and figure out how to hang the show at The Coin Locker. Photo: Vincent Hawkins.

Brian Cypher (Washington)

 Brian Edmonds (Alabama)

David T. Miller (Pennsylvania)

Ian White Williams (Philadelphia)

 Inga Dalrymple (Sydney, Australia)

 Julie Alexander (Seattle)

Justine Frischmann (San Francisco)

Peter Shear (Bloomington, Indiana)
 Julie Torres (Brooklyn, New York)

 Stephen Wright (Los Angeles)

Vincent Hawkins (London, UK)

 Yifat Gat (Aix-en-Provence, France)

To learn more about the project, check out this interview with Julie Torres at Bushwick Daily.

"ALLTOGETHERNOW," organized by Julie Torres. The Coin Locker, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. June 1-3, 2012. Artists included Brian Cypher (Washington), Brian Edmonds (Alabama), David T. Miller (Pennsylvania), Ian White Williams (Philadelphia), Inga Dalrymple (Sydney, Australia), Julie Alexander (Seattle), Justine Frischmann (San Francisco), Peter Shear (Bloomington, Indiana), Stephen Wright (Los Angeles), Vincent Hawkins (London, UK), Yifat Gat (Aix-en-Provence, France).


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