Quick study

Pedro Vélez
At left, Pedro Vélez, “Hardcore Rose,” 2016; At right, “Surrender Flag with Dollar Skull, or Surrender Flag with Zombie Abstraction,” 2015 and “Surrender Flag with Broken Wing,” 2015. At Tulane University’s Newcomb Art Museum.

LINKS: Casualism in Puerto Rico, Kurt Cobain’s paintings, legislation to ease student loan debt for artists, an interview with Brian Belott, artists recommend books, Tatiana Berg picks shows in London, Saul Ostrow on Antoni Tàpies, the best artist-published art blogs, and Franz West’s estate. ////  At Hyperallergic, Allison Glenn covers Beyond the Canvas: Contemporary Art from Puerto Rico an intergenerational group show at Tulane University’s Newcomb Art Museum. “In the exhibition, the tension of the US-Puerto Rico relationship is articulated through an engagement with the materiality of painting itself, specifically the canvas,” Glenn reports. “Concepts coalesce around the stretching, ripping, and rubbing of this substrate, and how these actions can be a metaphor for a constant negotiation with history.” Read more.


Kurt Cobain painting
Kurt Cobain, cover art of “Incesticide,” Nirvana’s 1992 collection of B-sides.

According to Jori Finkel in the NY Times, an LA talent agency that seemed to be crossing over into artist representation when they opened a project space last year, plans to participate in the Seattle Art Fair in August. Look for some of Kurt Cobain’s art work in the United Talent Agency booth, alongside work by Raymond Pettibon, Dash Snow, Mike Kelley and Elizabeth Peyton. Read more.


New York State Representative Nydia Velazquez, who hails from the 7th district (Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, Queens) has introduced legislation to ease student loan debt for professionals employed in the arts. “Under the bill, in order to qualify for forgiveness, individuals must be employed full-time in the performing, visual or musical arts that provide services to seniors, children or adolescents. These individuals would qualify for up to $10,000 of loan forgiveness. The bill would also amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to state that professions offering these services are deemed to be in the public interest.” This is a good start, but what about all the artists who, in the gig economy, aren’t lucky enough to have full-time jobs?  Read more. (via AO)


Brian Belott
Brian Belott at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, installation view.

At Art F City, Irena Jurek interviews Brian Belott on the occasion of “Dr. Kid President Jr.,” his solo at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. Since 2014, inspired by innovative child psychologist Rhoda Kellogg, Belott has been making copies of children’s artwork. “I wanted to humbly make a copy. Quite a few people told me that I should blow up the scale, which would signal to the viewer that art had been made and something had been transformed. If you see a five or six foot painting done in a child’s style, you’re probably going to think that an adult did it, because of the materials children usually work with and the materials that are normally at their disposal. I wasn’t interested in any of the solutions that the holy white cube insist we do.” Read more.


At the Artsy News blog, Scott Indrisek contributes “18 Artists Share the Books That Inspire Them.” Sean Landers suggests Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Derek Fourjour recommends Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, Trudy Benson picks Terence McKenna’s True Hallucinations. Indrisek, formerly Editor in Chief at Modern Painters, is looking forward to Alissa Nutting’s Made for Love, which will be released in early July, “a smart-and-perverted tale of deranged tech geniuses and dolphin romance.” Read more.


Richard Smith
Richard Smith, Untitled, 2000. Courtesy of Flowers Gallery.

In her day job at artnet news, painter Tatiana Berg has put together a new Must-See Guide to shows in London that includes Richard Smith, Lisa Yuskavage, Gilbert & George, and more.  “Whatever may be happening with politics, public housing, or the fallout of Brexit, London’s artists and art scene remains undaunted.” Read more.


Antoni Tàpies, installation at Nahmad Contemporary.

At artcritical, Saul Ostrow contributes an insightful post about “Antoni Tàpies: Paintings, 1970-2003” at Nahmad Contemporary. At first Ostrow thought the ferocity of Tàpies early work had become overly refined, but then: “Given this selection, it appears that by the ’70s, Tàpies was no longer seeking existential agony and beauty in the abject. This less familiar Tàpies seems to be engaged in the more Postmodern project of questioning: what does painting do, what might painting have the capacity to record? This doubtfulness is suggested by the slowness of these works. The gestural marks are no longer abrupt or spontaneous; instead they depict images. Their materiality is now a formal device as well as a sign. Subsequently, the effect of this is something akin to what happens in later works by Francis Bacon and Robert Motherwell—artists who, like Tàpies, had used gesture, earlier in their careers, to communicate urgency, intuitiveness, and intensity.” Read more. 


Big thanks to Will Fenstermaker and Artspace for including Two Coats of Paint on this terrific list of the best artist-published art blogs. We’re in good company with Greg.org: The Making Of, Painters’ Table, ARTS.BLACKContemptorary, Talking Pictures, Artist’s Texts, and Temporary Art Review. Read more.


Franz West,  Sisyphos IV, 2002, papier-maché, styrofoam, cardboard, lacquer, and acrylic, 57 1/8 × 45 5/16 × 41 5/16 inches (145 × 115 × 105 cm); © Franz West Privatstiftung, via Gagosian website.

Artists, get your estates in order: The Art Newspaper reports that the courts have ruled in favor of Franz West’s children in the dispute over his estate. “The family of the late Austrian sculptor Franz West won a legal victory today (27 June) in a five-year battle over the artist’s estate, when a Viennese court concluded that a new foundation established days before his death to manage his rights and assets was created without a proper contract. ‘They were done in the hospital, just two days before he died and just hours before he had to receive medication,’ says the family’s lawyer, Christoph Kerres of Kerres Partners.” Read more.

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1 thought on “Quick study”

  1. Remembering Richard Smith– so glad to see an image of Dick’s painting at the top of your newsletter. Many years ago, I saw his amazing kite paintings hanging from the ceiling of the Tate in his impressive solo exhibit there and he became one of my favorite artists. Soon after, we moved to Tribeca where my sons were schoolmate friends with Dick’s sons and I was excited to learn that they lived directly across the street. Being young and naive, I knocked on his studio door, he was kind and gracious, we became friends and had many discussions about art and life. Although he was happy living in NYC, he always remained a slightly misplaced British painter. I really like his thoughtful, elegant small paintings and was surprised that they were actually inspired by commercial signs and cigarette packs– Dick remains one of my favorite artists and a lovely person as well.

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