February 27, 2013

Medium unspecificity prevails

For artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Claude Viallat, Elizabeth Murray, Blinky Palermo, Rochelle Feinstein, and Michael Venezia, painting has arguably been about the object more than about the image, and in the past decade or so, a slew of artists working with found materials, furniture, lumber, and more have adopted a painting-as-object, amalgamated approach to art making. This year, museum curators have begun to take notice.

 James Hyde, LOUNGE, 1998, acrylic on cement and glue on Styrofoam, 30 x 24 x 17 inches, courtesy of the artist.

At the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, curators Dina Deitsch and Evan Garza have organized "PAINT THINGS: beyond the stretcher," an exuberant exhibition that focuses on work merging painting, sculptural form, video, performance, and installation strategies. The curators selected artists who are exploring materiality, context and space--physical, social, political, or emotional. I wish Clement Greenberg, the art critic who championed color and flatness in the 1940s, could see the show. I wonder why painters were so intrigued with Greenberg's notion of medium specificity back in the day?

Looking at the work in this show, though, a better title might be "Things with Paint." Do these artists identify as painters or do they just happen to use paint in these particular pieces? Does it matter?

Artists in "PAINT THING" include Claire Ashley, Katie Bell, Sarah Braman, Sarah Cain, Alex Da Corte, Cheryl Donegan, Franklin Evans, Kate Gilmore, Alex Hubbard, James Hyde, Sean Kennedy, Wilson Lawrence, Steve Locke, Analia Saban, Allison Schulnik, Jessica Stockholder, Mika Tajima, and Summer Wheat.

Installation view, left to right: James Hyde, LOUNGE, 1998; Sarah Braman, 8pm, 2011, In the Woods, 2012, and Time Machine (I lost my mind), 2012; Alex Da Corte, Blood Brothers, 2012; and Sean Kennedy, untitled, 2012 (ceiling).

Franklin Evans, paintthinks, 2013, acrylic on canvas, digital prints, laminations, photographic sculpture, painted tape, wall painting, sound piece, Courtesy the artist and Federico Luger, Milan.

 Analia Saban, The Painting Ball (48 Abstract, 42 Landscapes, 23 Still Lives, 11 Portraits, 2 Religious, 1 Nude), 2005, oil, acrylic, watercolor on canvas, 26 x 26 x 26 inches, Image courtesy of Thomas Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Photo: Joshua White.
Jessica Stockholder, [JS 492], 2009, glass table top, plastic shower curtain, cloth curtain, yellow coveralls, rubber boot, fluorescent orange plastic, green plastic tray, green VHS cassette cases, plastic and real wood, fake fur, hardware, glass topped table, lamp, vase, carpet, plastic parts, copper foil, oil and acrylic paint, cloth tape, green extension cord, power board, brass tacks, courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, NY; Analia Saban, The Painting Ball (48 Abstract, 42 Landscapes, 23 Still Lives, 11 Portraits, 2 Religious, 1 Nude), 2005, oil, acrylic, watercolor on canvas, 26 x 26 x 26 inches, courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, NY; and Mika Tajima, Furniture Art (San Diego); Furniture Art (St. Moritz); Furniture Art (Rotterdam); Furniture Art (Calgary); Furniture Art (Manila); Furniture Art (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), 2011, spray enamel and Plexiglas, 24 ¼ x 18 ¼ x 1 ¼ inches (each), courtesy of the artist. 

Claire Ashley, DOUBLE DISCO, 2012, rehearsal still, Defibrillator Performance Space Chicago, IL, two performers, spray paint on PVC coated canvas tarpaulin, blower fans, and backpacks, courtesy of the artist.

Kate Gilmore, Like This, Before, 2013, video, wood, glass, paint, 6 x 18 x 8 feet (approximate), Courtesy of the artist. At right: Cheryl Donegan, HEAD, 1993, video, 4:31 minutes (color, sound), Courtesy of the artist and Electronic Arts Intermix. 

Jessica Stockholder, Kissing the Wall #5 with Yellow, 1990, metal strapping, spools of thread and wool, plastic cord, cloth, wood chair, oil and latex and acrylic paint, fluorescent light, paper, glue, 30 x 36 x 54 inches, courtesy of The Carol and Arthur Goldberg Collection. 

Sarah Cain, killing me softly, 2013, installation view, mixed media, dimensions variable, Courtesy of the artist and Honor Fraser, Los Angeles, CA, Galerie LeLong, New York, NY, and Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA.  Also in view: Sarah Braman, 8pm, 2011, camper chunk, steel, Plexiglas, and paint, 41 ½ x 52 x 48 inches, collection of Mr. James Keith Brown & Mr. Eric Diefenbach; and Jessica Stockholder, [JS 462], 2008, framed oil painting from TJ Maxx, green plastic, brown plastic, bamboo bead mat, yarn, cloth, copper, plastic bits, thread, lexel caulk, oil and acrylic paint, hardware, 29 x 27 x 8 inches, courtesy of Anne & Joel Ehrenkranz. 

 Cheryl Donegan, Kiss My Royal Irish Ass (K.M.R.I.A.), 1992, video, 5:50 minutes (color, sound), Courtesy of the artist and Electronic Arts Intermix; and K.M.R.I.A. Seat, 1992, plastic and metal, 31 x 17 x 14 inches, courtesy of the artist.

Katie Bell, Blind Impact, 2013, acrylic, vinyl, wood, laminant, foam, window blinds, plaster, drywall, 8 x 16 feet (approximate), Courtesy of the artist.

"PAINT THINGS: beyond the stretcher," curated by Dina Deitsch and Evan Garza. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA. Through April 21, 2013. A catalogue with essays by both curators is now available.

Photos by Clements Photography & Design, Boston, unless otherwise specified. Courtesy of the deCordova.


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February 26, 2013

2013: Neo-Neo-Expressionism?

In Art in America this month Raphael Rubinstein, after reading issues of AiA from thirty years ago, considers the fate of Neo-Expressionism, a movement popular in the 1980s championed by painters such as Sandro Chia, Enzo Cucchi, Francesco Clemente, Markus Lüpertz, and Julian Schnabel that was ultimately overshadowed by the more cerebral work created by artists like Jenny Holzer, Sherry Levine, and Richard Prince--what we now call "The Pictures Generation."

Sandro Chia, The Idleness of Sisyphus, 1981, oil on canvas, two panels, 10' 2" x 12' 8 1/4" (309.9 x 386.7 cm). Acquired through the Carter Burden, Barbara Jakobson, and Saidie A. May Funds and purchase. © 2013 Sandro Chia. Image courtesy of MOMA website.

Rubinstein concludes that
Clearly, something was at stake in these early 1980s disputes among critics and artists. Art magazines may no longer be the prime locus where such discourse occurs, but it’s vitally important that we have, someplace, a public forum where we can argue with each other about new art. I often worry that the art world is adopting the MSNBC/Fox News model—closed spheres where clusters of like-minded partisans never have to con- front opposing views.

And, if I may, one last point. Maybe we shouldn’t be so certain about who won the Neo-Ex vs. Pictures Generation bout. Lately, I’ve sensed MFA students responding to the oeuvres of Sherman and Prince with yawns or sneers, but when I bring up Schnabel their curiosity awakens. Could it be that, 30 years on, we are once again ready to take up “The Expressionism Question”?
After engaging in plenty of online discussions with people holding opposing opinions about the direction of painting, I'm not sure I completely agree about Rubinstein's first point, but to some extent the lack of funding for arts writing may be to blame. Unfunded critics don't have time to sit down and write 3000 words staking out critical territory--600 word posts with links and comment threads have become the norm.

However, I absolutely agree that expressive approaches, sometimes even non-ironic, are widely embraced in the painting community today. And the fact that painters are more likely to read (and write) poetry and art blogs than the post-structuralist theory championed in MFA programs in the 1990s has everything to do with it.

 Enzo Cucchi, Musica Ebbra, 1982, private collection. Image via Wikipedia.

Image at top: Francesco Clemente, Secret, 1983, oil on linen,  78 x 93 inches. Courtesy of the artist's website.


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February 25, 2013

Julian Kreimer: Recognizable and contemplative

A few weeks ago I saw "Coming and Going," Julian Kreimer's absorbing exhibition at WEEKNIGHTS, a small gallery Jen Hitchings opened in Bushwick back in August and, according to her website, is soon "transitioning into a slightly newer gallery, with more space and a new staff."

The following week, while teaching at Purchase College (where Kreimer, an assistant professor of Painting and Drawing/Art Theory and Criticism, is on sabbatic leave) I misplaced the notebook outlining all my upcoming posts. Mentally adrift without my roadmap (if you found it, please return asap), I didn't get the post up before the show came down, but nonetheless I want to share images of Kreimer's exhibition, which included both observed imagery and abstraction.

 Julian Kreimer,  16 Packets, 2010-12, oil on linen, 19 x 19 inches.

 Julian Kreimer,  A Beep to Say Hi, 2009, oil on linen, 13 x14 inches.

According to Kreimer, the abstractions
began as an exercise in color, not initially intended to become their own body of work, but as time went on, they started taking on aesthetic and technical qualities that the observational work, made on location, had been built upon. The paintings began informing each other, many times unknowingly at first. The muted color palette and linearity of mushrooms laid out to dry on a table can make their way into works consisting of large seemingly haphazard brushstrokes, layered and scraped away. The accuracy of color placement and representation of light in the observational paintings inform the abstractions, allowing both to exist as windows into environments either recognizable or contemplative.
I wonder, in our age of interdisciplinary practice, why more painters aren't freely including both mimetic and non-objective paintings in their exhibitions. When so many painters express an interest in the "terrain between abstraction and representation," why do so few dare to paint in both modes? Does Kreimer's exhibition signal that the days of rigorous seriality and artist branding are finally over?

 Julian Kreimer,  Field, 2012, oil on linen, 18 x 21 inches.

 Julian Kreimer, My Husband’s First Wife, 2012, oil on linen, 24 x 24 inches.

 Julian Kreimer,  Pictures on Fridges, 2009-13, oil on linen, 22 x 27 inches.

Julian Kreimer,  Tammy, Susana, 2012, oil on linen, 20 x 24 inches.

 Julian Kreimer,  Shiitakes, 2012, oil on linen, 20 x 18  inches.

 Julian Kreimer,  They Have Their Own Precinct, 2010, oil on linen, 18 x 21 inches.

 Julian Kreimer,  Please Stop Telling Me About Your Divorce, 2012, oil on linen, 24 x 24 inches.

Julian Kreimer,  All Kinds of Them, 2009, oil on linen, 16 x18 inches.

"Julian Kreimer: Coming and Going," WEEKNIGHTS, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. February 9 - February 17, 2013. All images courtesy of WEEKNIGHTS.


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Painting of the Day: Jason Karolak

At McKenzie Fine Art through March 10:  Jason Karolak. Above: Untitled (P-1004), 2010, oil on linen, 14 x 12 inches. Karolak has two types of paintings in the show, big ones with brightly colored geometric wire-like frames floating on black backgrounds and charming small ones like the densely painted beauty pictured above.


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February 23, 2013

Giacometti in Bushwick: "Art, reality and the myth of life became one"

Norte Maar director Jason Andrew recently curated "Giacometti and a selection of contemporary drawings," an exhibition that links contemporary drawing with the work of Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966). In his statement for the show, Andrew writes that Giacometti
holds a special place in the history of 20th Century art. Any encounter with a work by Giacometti whether it is a drawing or painting or sculpture, provides an opportunity to access the strength and sincerity embodying the best art that contributed to the rise of Modernism. With an oeuvre stretching five decades, it is in Giacometti’s most mature work, say from 1947 to 1965, that his most successful and distinctive ability to obscure the boundaries of abstraction and representation are revealed. Giacometti struggled to uncover a personal kind of modernism that measured abstraction against the known, and the representational against subconscious mystery. His very process alludes to a sort of mythology of humanity, which Giacometti expressed so poetically in a short text of 1957, Ma réalité: Art, reality and the myth of life became one.
The exhibition, which looks spectacular in Andrew's light-filled apartment gallery, features drawings by Anthony Browne, Maria Calandra, Kevin Curran, Ryan Michael Ford, Libby Hartle, Francesco Longenecker, Eric Mavko, Thomas Micchelli, Mathew Miller, Andrew Szobody, and an amazing two-sided drawing by Alberto Giacometti himself (pictured above and at bottom), hanging by chain link from a three-dimensional wooden frame. Readers interested in contemporary figure drawing who haven't seen the show should go ASAP-- this is the last weekend.

Here are some images from the show, with excerpts from Andrew's statements about each artist. 

Ryan Michael Ford.
Along with Arp and Picasso, Giacometti was one of the most authentic sculptors of his time.[iv] From his early Surrealist roots he created a simple vocabulary based on shapes—half-spheres, crescents, spikes, cones—and animated these forms into “scenes suggestive of sexual encounters and cruel confrontations.”[v] These suggestive scenes and their subconscious dreamlike compositions continued throughout Giacometti’s career. Ryan Michael Ford straddles the real and the surreal in his paintings and sculptures. It is this theme that Ford shares with Giacometti.

Francesco Longenecker.
Scholars note the influence of post-impressionist arranging of color planes to create a pictorial space in Giacometti’s work, “model[ing] according to Cezannean technique of building up volume with a patchwork of complementary colors and highlights.”[vi] It is this layering and modeling to reinvent space that connects Francesco Longenecker to Giacometti. “My recent drawings explore the relationship between architecture and landscape through invented space,” Longenecker explains,

“These works are inspired by traditional cel animation and comprised of several layers of transparent and semi transparent surfaces. This allows for three different drawings to be placed directly on top of one another and viewed at the same time. The imagery of the preceding surface becomes the foundation for the mark making on the next.  Where cel animation uses physical layering to separate the background from subject, I am using the layers to connect the background and subject creating a type of spatial netting that continually shifts from deep to shallow space, linking both setting and subject and conveying a sense of immediacy and discovery.

Thomas Micchelli.
Giacometti famously said, “It’s the totality of this life that I want to reproduce in everything I do.” This totality is “the closest verbalization we can propose for the mythical dimension of Giacometti’s compositional ideas.”[vii] With the figure as his primary vehicle Giacometti sought out this totality. The work of Thomas Micchelli, with the figure at the center, seems to be on the same journey.

“Alberto Giacometti is a key figure in the development of my work,” states Micchelli, “I vividly recall discovering The Palace at 4 a.m. at the Museum of Modern Art when I was a teenager, and I regularly returned to his art – the early Surrealist phase as much as the signature Existentialist period – as I looked for ways to filter the influence of Modernist European figuration through the materials-based, formalist concerns of American postwar abstraction. The drawings in the series Facing AG (2012) approach specific Giacometti sculptures through a set of inversions: male figures become female and vice versa; the heavily reworked contours characterizing the late drawings and paintings are distilled to single, precise lines; the obsessive modeling that all but obliterates facial and bodily detail in the Existentialist sculpture is replaced by purposefully individuated features. I regard the series as a kind of leave-taking, a conflict without resolution.”

Maria Louisa Calandra
Giacometti was famous for making drawings of the interior of his studio. These drawings became visual inventories and today stand as details of time and place. Finding inspiration to sketch what’s readily on hand and very often simply drawing the objects and the space of a studio connects Maria Louisa Calandra to Giacometti.

“My current ongoing project consists of visiting artists in their studio,” she explains, “While there, I draw their space and talk with them about their artwork and practice. We talk about their life as an artist. My visits become an intimate look inside the artist’s space, both literally and philosophically. My drawings become a study of detail; from the rag that slips under the corner of a painter’s table to a hidden collaged element found on the multi-layered surface of a canvas. Mostly, I hope to be giving way to new possibilities in embodying the idea of the artist’s practice.”

Alberto Giacometti
"Reality for me has never been a pretext to make art objects, but art a necessary means to render to myself a better account of what I see […] All that I will be able to make will be only a pale image of what I see and my success will always be less than my failure or, perhaps, the success will be equal to my failure. I do not know whether I work in order to make something, or in order to know why I cannot make what I would like to make."  –Paris, May 17, 1959

"Giacometti and a selection of contemporary drawings," curated by Jason Andrew. Norte Maar, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. Through February 24.


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February 13, 2013

AdventureLand: A new artist-run space in Chicago

If you're in Chicago, please stop by AdventureLand, the new exhibition space organized by Tony Fitzpatrick in conjunction with Firecat Projects. In keeping with Fitzpatrick's belief that artists, not the market, should drive the bus, Adventureland will focus on connecting young and underknown artists with Chicago art patrons and the wider art community. Hear, hear. Imagine if all successful artists believed it was their responsibility to make the art community a better place.

Thanks, Tony, for inviting me to show a few pieces in "Necessary Strangers: Abstraction at an Intimate Scale," which also features work by Jane Fine, Ati Maier, Kelly Houlihan, Jesse Sioux Achramowicz.

Here are a few installation snaps of the show.

Looking back toward the office and flatfiles, with Jane Fine's work on the right.

 Kelly Houlihan and Sharon Butler

 Ati Maier and Jane Fine

A full house at the opening reception.

Jesse-Souix Achramowicz, exhibition organizer, in front of her work.

Ati Maier

Jane Fine

"Necessary Strangers: Abstraction at an Intimate Scale," AdventureLand, 1513 N. Western Ave.Chicago IL. Open Wednesday - Saturday, 12-4 or by appointment. For more info, please call (312) 617-5168.


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February 12, 2013

The last week: Precisionist Casual at Pocket Utopia, Kate Wadkins on 'zines

"Precisionist Casual," my solo show at Austin Thomas's Pocket Utopia, is on view through Sunday, Februaray 17, so please stop by and have a look if you haven't already.

On Sunday, concluding the events organized in conjunction with the exhibition (thanks Raphael Rubinstein for an excellent presentation on poetry and Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy for sharing their Gorky's Granddaughter videos) we've invited Kate Wadkins to hold forth about 'zines. Here's a little background about Kate from a 2011 profile that ran in Scoutmob:
Everyone around me growing up made zines, and zines have always been a vital information source for me, so it was a natural progression. I am really fond of the widespread access that zines afford by their low-cost quality. As someone who works in print and collage, zines speak a lot to my artistic process. I recently co-edited and published International Girl Gang Underground (IGGU) with Stacy Konkiel, which was my first experience ever working on a compilation zine. IGGU is an 82-page multimedia zine with a web component about feminist cultural production twenty years after the riot grrrl movement and in the wake of its legacy. The zine was tons of work but so rewarding. There are lots of exciting things going on in the zine world: Cindy Crabb of Doris is raising money to publish a new collection, The Doris Encyclopedia. I curate a zine and print collection at STOREFRONT called Brain Waves, which includes a lot of my favorite local artists and features many works by Pen Fifteen Press, a local press and studio. There is a ton of new work constantly being made in my community.
So stop by on Sunday and see what Kate has been up to lately. Should be very interesting.....

"Sharon Butler: Precisionist Casual, New Paintings," Pocket Utopia, 191 Henry Street, Lower East Side, New York, NY. Through February 17, 2013.

Image above: Sharon Butler, Egress, 2013, pigment and binder, pencil, staples, stretcher bars, 12 x 12 inches. Private collection.


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February 9, 2013

Free and Open to the Public: ARTspace events at the 2013 CAA Annual Conference

ARTspace, a conference within the College Art Association Annual Conference, is tailored to the interests and needs of studio artists, and, unlike the traditional conference panels, it's is free and open to the public. Organized by the Services to Artists Committee (I'm a member) ARTspace includes panel discussions, a Media Lounge, artist interviews, and an exhibition event known as ArtExchange. The conference takes place this week in New York at the New York Hilton.

Highlights include interviews with distinguished artists Mira Schor and Janine Antoni, several panels that examine the artist's role as activist, a selection of "Meta-Mentor" panels that tackle the business of being an artist, and a  roster of innovative videos in the Media Lounge curated by Micol Hebron, Conrad Gleber, and Cindy Smith.

Wednesday, February 13

7:30–9:00 AM
Morning coffee, tea, and juice

9:30 AM–12:00 PM
On the Practice of Artist Arbiter

Chairs: Shannon Rae Stratton, threewalls and School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Duncan Mackenzie, Columbia College Chicago
With Our Powers Combined / Queer Collaboration, Distribution, Intervention, Gentrification / Anthea Black, independent artist
Where’s the Art? Hosting/Framing Creativity / Laurie Beth Clark, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Migrating Archives: How I Became a Matchmaker and Archive Activist / E. G. Crichton, University of California Santa Cruz
Parallel Practice: The Artist as Curator / Reni Gower, Virginia Commonwealth University
On Nested Authorship / Philip Von Zweck, Columbia College Chicago

12:30 PM–2:00 PM
Meta-Mentors: How to Make a Living as an Artist, With or Without a Dealer

Chairs: Sharon Louden and Sharon Butler
Moderator: Sharon Louden
Hudson, Feature Gallery
Matthew Deleget, Minus Space
Jay Gorney, Mitchell-Innes and Nash Gallery
Michelle Grabner, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Magdalena Sawon, Postmasters Gallery

2:30 PM–5:00 PM
Design as Intermedia Practice

Chair: Jacki Apple, Art Center College of Design
Annie Chu, Chu+Gooding Architects and Woodbury University
Kati Rubinyi, Civic Projects Foundation
Nobuho Nagasawa, Stony Brook University, State University of New York
Ini Archibong, Design by INI
Joe Doucet, Joe Doucet Studio

Thursday, February 14

7:30–9:00 AM
Morning coffee, tea, and juice

9:30 AM–12:00 PM
The Imaginary City in the Twenty-First Century

Chairs: Ayse Hazar Koksal, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University; Ayse Nur Erek, Yeditepe University
High Speed Urbanization: Exploring the Rise of Urban Culture in Contemporary São Paulo /Alexander Lamazares, Bronx Community College, City University of New York
Flânerie’s Art and Measure of the Globalizing City / Kathryn Kramer, State University of New York College at Cortland
The Negotiation of Interstitial Space in the Glocal City at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century / Gabriel Gee, Franklin College
The City as Contact Zone / Bettina Lockemann, Braunschweig University of Art

12:30 PM–2:00 PM
Meta-Mentors: Hybrid Practices

Chairs: Vesna Pavlovic, Vanderbilt University; Niku Kashef, California State University, Northridge
Yvette Brackman, independent artist
Hope Ginsburg, Virginia Commonwealth University
Samantha Fields, California State University, Northridge
Max Schumann, Printed Matter, Inc.
Jenna Spevack, New York City College of Technology, City University of New York

2:30 PM–5:00 PM
The Artist as Ethicist: Who Is Responsible?

Chair: Blane de St. Croix, Indiana University Bloomington
Sara Reisman, Percent for Art
Jeffrey Gibson, independent artist
Martha Schwendener, independent critic
Dread Scott, independent artist

Friday, February 15

7:30–9:00 AM
Morning coffee, tea, and juice

9:30 AM–12:00 PM
Pieces and Bits: Hybrid Art that Combines Physical Forms with Internet Components

Murray Hill Suite, 2nd Floor, Hilton New York
Chair: Robert Lawrence, University of South Florida
Possible Taxonomies of Hyperbridity and an Introduction to Contradiction Aesthetics, Now that Friend Is a Verb / Robert Lawrence, University of South Florida
Digital Anonymity as Physical Autonomy / Brad Troemel, independent artist
The Aesthetic Internet as Source, Matrix, Tool / Abigail Susik, Willamette University
Bridging Bits and Bricks: Integrating Digital Artworks into Gallery Contexts / Robert Hult, Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery
Virtual Performance: Implication and Potentialization Online / Nathaniel Stern, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

12:30 PM–2:00 PM
Meta-Mentors: Double Duty

Chairs: Niku Kashef, California State University, Northridge; Timothy Nolan, independent artist
Phong Bui, The Brooklyn Rail
David Brody, Maryland Institute College of Art
Christopher Joy, Gorky’s Granddaughter
Austin Thomas, Pocket Utopia
Amelia Winger-Bearksin, Art Art Zine and Vanderbilt University

2:30 PM–5:00 PM
Annual Distinguished Artists’ Interviews

Mira Schor will be interviewed by Stuart Horodner, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, and Janine Antoni will be interviewed by Klaus Ottmann, The Phillips Collection.

5:30–7:00 PM
Organized by Sharon Butler and hosted by Timothy Nolan

East Ballroom Foyer, 3rd Floor
CAA’s Services to Artists Committee sponsors ARTexchange, an open forum for sharing work at the Annual Conference. The event is free and open to the public; a cash bar is available. Utilizing the space on, above, and beneath a six-foot table, participating artists show prints, paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, and small installations; performance, sound, and spoken word may also be included.

Saturday, February 16

7:30–9:00 AM
Morning coffee, tea, and juice

9:00 AM–11:00 AM
The Artist as Activist:  Art as a Catalyst for Social Change, a Critical Assessment

Chair: Blane de St. Croix, Indiana University, Bloomington
Mel Chin, independent artist
Maureen Connor, Queens College, City University of New York
Elizabeth M. Grady, smARTpower, Bronx Museum
Martha Schwendener, independent critic
Sacha Yanow, Art Matters Foundation

11:00 AM–1:00 PM
The Artist and the Law: Testing Boundaries, Challenging Limits

Chair: Blane de St. Croix, Indiana University, Bloomington
Aissa Deebi, American University of Cairo
Amy J. Goldrich, Lynn|Cahill LLP
Alix Lambert, The Brooklyn International Theater Company
Jenny Marketou, independent artist
Dread Scott, independent artist

1:00 PM–2:00 PM
Attention and Experience: Public Dialogue

Mel Chin, independent artist
Maureen Connor, Queens College, City University of New York
Blane de St. Croix, Indiana University, Bloomington
Aissa Deebi, independent artist and scholar
Amy J. Goldrich, Lynn|Cahill LLP
Elizabeth M. Grady, smARTpower, Bronx Museum
Alix Lambert, The Brooklyn International Theater Company
Jenny Marketou, independent artist
Martha Schwendener, independent critic
Dread Scott, independent artist
Sacha Yanow, Art Matters Foundation

2:00 PM–4:00 PM
Panel and Screening
Film and Video as a Social Art: Contemporary Moving Images and Social Practice

Caryn Coleman, independent curator and writer; Jenny Krasner, independent artist
A play off of Amos Vogel’s seminal avante-garde film anthology, Film as a Subversive Art (1974), this program explores the function of film and video in prescribing meaning as it positions this affective medium as an attempt to increase a collective understanding of the world. The panel and program will look at film and video works that inscribe a documentary approach (often co-mingling fact with fantasy) in the post-9/11 landscape. Artists include Josh Azzarella, My Barbarian, Karl Erickson, Alix Lambert, Stephanie Sinclair, and several others.


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February 8, 2013

EMAIL: Austin Thomas in residence at Brooks School

This week, in conjunction with "Collage Insights," a solo exhibition of collages, sketchbooks and never-before-shown source photographs, galler-artist Austin Thomas of Pocket Utopia was the Artist-in-Residence at Brooks School, a 9-12 grade college prep in North Andover, Massachusetts. With Amy Graham, the art department chair and director of the Lehman Art Center, Thomas worked with the students, teaching them that drawing is a language not an academic discipline. "Tomorrow I will set up a still life and the students will look at it (and not draw) for 20 minutes, " Thomas wrote me from Brooks on Tuesday. "They will be 'still with life,'  and then they will describe their 'drawings' to me. It's part Beuysian, part Agnes Martin, all Pocket Utopia - relational and collaged." Here are some of the pictures she sent along with her note.

Students at work.

One student's finished drawing.

Some of Thomas's sketchbooks in the exhibition.

Installation view of her source photographs

Thomas (on right) answers questions about her work during the opening reception. Note: Installation images are from the school's website.

Heading home before the snow storm hits.

"Austin Thomas: "Collage Insight," Robert Lehman Arts Center, Brooks School, North Andover, Massachusetts. Through March 25, 2013. 


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Snow day paintings: Tom Thomson

Tom Thomson (Canada, 1877-1917) worked as a commercial artist and then a painter and wilderness guide in Northern Ontario.

According to the National Gallery of Canada's website,
Thomson sketched mostly in the spring or summer, wintering in Toronto where he worked his sketches up into larger canvases. By late 1915, Thomson's approach to landscape painting was more imagination-based. He often sought some natural feature corresponding to his pre-existing ideas, or painted landscapes in his Toronto studio from memory. Thomson's design experience permeates his late canvases, which feature stylized tree branches and flat areas of strong colour. The National Gallery of Canada owns many of Thomson's sketches, as well as the larger paintings he made from them.
In July 1917, Thomson drowned under mysterious circumstances during a canoeing trip on Canoe Lake. After his death, his painting buddies, including J.E.H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer, Frederick Varley, Frank Johnston, and Franklin Carmichael went on to found the influential Group of Seven, a circle of painters inspired by Scandinavian art and dedicated to developing a distinctive Canadian style.

In 2002, the National Gallery mounted a comprehensive retrospective of Thomson's work that included more than 140 oil sketches, paintings and designs, as well as work by his contemporaries.

All images are oil paintings by Tom Thomson,  bequest of Dr. J.M. MacCallum, Toronto, 1944, courtesy of National Gallery of Canada.

If you're in the northeast, stay warm and safe during the blizzard. Forecasters are predicting a record 18-24 inches by tomorrow evening and, in many states, the schools and roads are closed already. Bonus day in the studio, right?


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