October 30, 2013

Weekend Report, Part 2: Wool, Belcourt, Ellison, Kane, Motherwell and more

 Following up on Part 1, Part 2 of my Weekend JPEG Report includes a trip to the Guggenheim to see the Christopher Wool 30-year retrospective, a little Kandinsky show, and Robert Motherwell's early collages. Later I stopped by the open studios at 315 Berry Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to check out new work by Louise Belcourt, Dana Kane, Lars Swan, and Lori Ellison. And last but not least, on Sunday evening I went to the openings at Pocket Utopia and S & J Projects on the Lower East Side.

Click images to enlarge.

315 Berry Street Open Studios, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. Websites: Louise Belcourt, Lars Swan, Lori Ellison, Dana Kane.
"Christopher Wool," Guggenheim, UES, New York, NY. Through January 22, 2013.
"Robert Motherwell: Early Collages," Guggenheim, UES, New York, NY. Through January 5, 2013.
"Vasily Kandinsky in Paris," Guggenheim, UES, New York, NY. Through January 5, 2013.
 "Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson," Pocket Utopia, LES, New York, NY. Through November 17, 2013.
"James Prez: Nothing Special," curated by Julie Torres, S & J Projects, lower level, LES, New York, NY. Through December 15, 2013.
"Bruno Miguel: Make Yourself at Home," S & J Projects, LES, New York, NY. Through November 17, 2013.

 Installation of small work at Lars Swan's studio

UPCOMING: 'Painting 101,"  Sargent's Daughters, LES, New York, NY. November 6 through December 7, 2013.

October 29, 2013

The Weekend Report, Part 1: Beat Nite 9 in Bushwick, and the EFA Open Studios

Here's a JPEG report from a busy weekend that included a slew of studio visits, and Bushwick's Beat Nite. I also got a chance to see the new film about Camille Claudel at the Film Forum. After Claudel was committed to an asylum by her jealous, deluded brother in 1913, the brilliant artist's life became grindingly dull and lonely. This film captures that, plus the maddening unfairness of her intractable predicament. She remained trapped in the asylum, essentially for being different from other women (i.e., an artist), until she died in the 1940s. I'm grateful that times have changed. [Update: Weekend Report, Part 2 is available here.]

Click images to enlarge.

Craig Stockwell, 2014 Resident Artist at Marie Walsh Sharpe: Artist's website
Camille Claudel 1915, Film Forum, Soho, New York, NY.
"Beat Nite 9: All Stars," curated by James Panero, organized by Jason Andrew at Norte Maar, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY.
"Color Line," curated by Rico Gatson @ Outpost, Ridgewood, Queens, NY.
"Front Line," Lorimoto, Ridgewood, Queens, NY.
David Humphrey and Ryan Michael Ford with Jessie Brugger in the project space, Storefront Ten Eyck, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY Through November
Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program, Hell's Kitchen, New York, NY.

 Patrick Todd @ Outpost.

UPCOMING: "Water, Water..." curated by Edie Nadelhaft. Kianga Ellis Projects, Chelsea, New York, NY. November 12-19, 2013. Featuring work by Sharon Butler, Matt Enger, Elisa Bates, Ronnie Landfield, Edie Nadelhaft, Samantha Keely Smith, Bruce Stiglich, Austin Thomas.

October 23, 2013

Last chance: Julian Pretto's artists, at Minus Space

Back in the 1970s, when impoverished, downtrodden New York City was on the verge of bankruptcy, gallerist Julian Pretto would contact building owners and ask if he could curate exhibitions in their vacant Soho and Tribeca storefronts. Pretto convinced landlords that his exhibitions would bring people to the neighborhoods, raise the profile of their buildings, and help them gain permanent tenants. Eventually Pretto had several permanent galleries on the edges of Soho where his programs featured emerging and established artists, as well as guest curators like Jeffrey Deitch and Rosalind Krauss.

At Minus Space, gallery director and artist Matthew Deleget and painter John Zinsser have organized a fantastic show of the Minimalism, Post-Minimalism, Conceptual Art, hard-edge, monochrome, pattern, and gestural abstraction that Pretto championed.

October 21, 2013

Search: MFA art programs, inexpensive, top 10 MFA programs, bigstudios, graduate assistantships

Last year ArtInfo ran a post called "The 10 MFA Programs That Give You the Most Bang For Your Buck" and I was surprised that  University of Connecticut (my alma mater) wasn't at the top of the list. Here's why it should be.

October 18, 2013

Serious Sol LeWitt

Paula Cooper recently presented a sensational installation of Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing #564, which was originally conceived for the 1988 Venice Biennale.
I was knocked out by a few of LeWitt's small geometric studies on paper, hung near the front desk.

October 17, 2013

Search of the Day: Ted Cruz + painting

We can all heave a sigh of relief that the insane Ted Cruz strategy precipitating the government shutdown and a near economic collapse is finally over. I had forgotten that back in July Stephen Colbert took a swipe at the hilarious portrait hanging in the delusional senator's office. Standing on the floor of the Senate, engaging in a filibuster, Cruz strikes a Christ-like pose complete with halo and apostles. Here's an excerpt from The Colbert Report transcript. Check out the full video posted below.

From Marfa to Venice with Ellen Altfest

Guest contributor: Jonathan Stevenson / In “Showing A Little Leg” in the November issue of Harper’s, novelist Dan Keane offers a clever, peripatetic piece that delves into the history of particular paintings by New York-based Ellen Altfest, which appeared with other of her paintings at the 2013 Venice Biennale, and prompts readers to think about how art arises in general and enriches the lives of those involved. In early 2010, it seems, Keane was down-and-out on a notional “literary furlough” in Marfa, Texas, where Altfest was doing a residency, and answered her ad for a paid model.

[Image above: Ellen Altfest, The Leg, 2010, oil on canvas, 8 x 11 inches.]

October 16, 2013

Waltemath's powerful Dinwoody drawings

At Schema Projects, the unusual name for Joan Waltemath's 2005-08 series of graphite-on-Mylar drawings, "The Dinwoodies," comes from Dinwoody petroglyphs (rock carvings) associated with Mountain Shoshone and the Plains Shoshone Indians.

[Image at top: Joan Waltemath, Dinwoody I, 2005, graphite, colored pencil on mylar plot, 80 x 20 1/2 inches. Courtesy of the artist's website.]

October 14, 2013

Dan Walsh: "I have a major commitment to my brushes"

As Jerry Saltz blogged last week, silkscreening, stenciling, assemblage, collage, spray painting and scraping all play a major role in contemporary painting. To his list, I'd add masking and pouring. These are all techniques that privilege the accidental and intuitive over the intentional brushstroke. At Paula Cooper, Dan Walsh's new geometric paintings embrace traditional brushwork, each slowly built with careful, purposeful application of paint.

[Image above: Dan Walsh, Press, 2013; pencil and acrylic on canvas; 55 x 55 inches]

October 10, 2013

Scolding artists, Saltz declares painting nearly dead

Scolding artists on Vulture today, Jerry Saltz reports that he is almost ready to declare painting dead. His rant reminds me of an old art professor who would read the whole class the riot act for not working hard enough, and then double back to assure his favorite students that he didn't mean them. Here's an excerpt:
Call it Neo-Mannerism. We all know it. That ever-expanding assembly of anemically boring, totally safe artistic clichés squeezing the life out of the art world right now....

Providence report: Baziotes, Green, Bostrom, Myoda, Rubinstein...

My Instagram and Twitter friends know that I've been spending time in Providence this semester, where, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I'm teaching a course at Brown University about artists' books--not the handbound, letterpress kind, but the type that are produced with digital tools and commercial printing processes.

[Image above: One day I arrived to find the David Winton Bell Gallery staff unwrapping and photographing all the paintings from Brown's art collection. Here is Ian unwrapping Mask by William Baziotes. Image of recto after the jump.] 

October 8, 2013

Quote of the Day: Jack Whitten

“I like the idea that people are suspended while asking questions about process. I like the idea that the viewer might be frozen by wonder. I have developed many conceptual and technical approaches over the past 50 years, and now, all I’m doing is going back into my toolbox and using them...

October 6, 2013

"Abstraction is not a cul-de-sac"

"Out of Step," opens on Tuesday, October 8, at the Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery on the campus of New Jersey City University. Curated by Brendan Carroll, and including my work, the show presents an informal survey of current practices in abstract painting. I stopped by for a preview on Saturday and snapped a few jpegs.

My painting, Blue Addition, 2012, in "Out of Step." Housepaint, pigment and binder, pencil on canvas. 66 x 80 inches.

Mira Schor: Resonances and influences

Last year the College Art Asociation ArtSpace Committee selected Mira Schor to participate in the Distinguished Artists' Interviews at the Annual Conference in New York. A video of the interview, with Stuart Horodner, artistic director of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, has recently been posted online.

[Image at top: Mira Schor, Reversible Painting: Map, 2013, ink and oil on gesso on linen, 28 x 24 inches.]

David Gilbert: Documenting the lost moments


Who doesn't love photographs of work-in-progress at artists' studios? In his insightful and clever second solo show at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, David Gilbert encourages our inner voyeur, presenting staged photographs that illuminate the sometimes magical life of painting, assemblage, and installation.

[Image above:  David Gilbert, Dawn, 2013, archival pigment print, 50 x 33 inches.]

October 1, 2013

By Any Other Name: Casualism at DODGE

Guest contributor: Jonathan Stevenson / Casualism – the explicit basis for Garis & Hahn’s group show “Dying on Stage” this past summer – is merely the implicit one for two intriguing exhibitions at Dodge Gallery around the corner on Rivington.

[Image above: Jane Fox Hipple, holder/held, 2013, acrylic on cotton and canvas, 49 x 29 x 5 inches.]