December 15, 2014

The strategic now

In her statement for "The Forever Now," the contemporary painting show on view at MOMA through April 5, 2015, curator Laura Hoptman makes a case that the Internet enables painters to sample styles from art history, creating an “ahistorical free-for-all” in which artists are “reanimating historical styles or recreating a contemporary version of them, sampling motifs from across the timeline of 20th-century art in a single painting or across an oeuvre, or radically paring their language down to the most archetypal forms.” As a painter and an art professor, I can confirm that this is true.

Most painters, regardless of generation, rely heavily on the Internet to find reference images, to research other artists who have trodden similar paths, and to form communities of kindred artistic spirits. Online research has been especially important in raising the profiles of under-recognized artists and art movements. I never would have discovered my own work's connection with the Supports/Surfaces artists such as Claude Viallat without the Internet.

Indeed, many of the seventeen artists included in "The Forever Now" work with abstract visual languages, imagery, and ideas found online. Who doesn’t? The more important factor that seems to tie these painters together--and this is where Hoptman’s eye comes into play--is a rather dispiriting interest in strategy and finish over experimentation and heart.

December 14, 2014

Artist's house for sale: Mystic, Connecticut

When I was a full-time faculty member at a nearby university, we bought this beautiful historic house at 9 Pearl Street in Mystic, Connecticut. The entire attic was my studio, and it was here that I began blogging at Two Coats of Paint. Now, after nearly ten years, we've decided to sell the house. If any readers are interested in relocating to a small town on the shoreline, or in buying a lovely second home two hours outside the city, or starting an artists and writers residency program, this might be a good opportunity. Priced at $495, 000 (the price of a studio apartment in New York!) it might be worth a visit. I'd be happy to give you a tour of the studio and archive or take you to Mystic Pizza for a slice.

The house features a nice kitchen with good appliances, a washer and dryer, pantry, back staircase, and doors out to the back patio and front porch. I usually host our families for Christmas here.

 The dining room has a Jotul wood stove that heats the whole first floor pretty efficiently. Note that the real estate agent asked me to take down some of the art work because it was distracting. People wanted to stop and talk about the more challenging pieces so I replaced them with groups of framed etchings that used to belong to our families and other small prints.

The living room(pictured above), dining room and kitchen all have amazing floor-to-ceiling windows and glorious morning light.

Built in 1862, the house has many of the original details, such as this handcrafted banister and etched-glass front door. At one time it was a two-family and could easily be divided into two apartments again. The floors already have separate heat and electricity controls.

The second floor has three bedrooms, and we use this one for an office/family room. Two rooms on the third floor could be used as bedrooms, too.

 The house has three full bathrooms--this one has beautiful morning light and a claw foot tub.

 The over-sized, very private backyard features a brick patio and a little shed. Unlike many of the houses in downtown Mystic, our property is big enough to put in a pool, a garage, or a tennis court. The patio is summer HQ for Two Coats of Paint.
The house is located in the historic district of downtown Mystic, one block from Main Street (pictured above), ten steps to the local Irish pub the Harp and Hound, The Mystic Disc (they specialize in vinyl), the Finer Line Art Supply, and within walking distance to the Mystic Arts Center.

I use this attic room for a painting studio. The whole house has central heat and AC, including the attic, which makes working in the summer a pleasure. The dog seems to be enjoying her morning nap.

Please forward the link to this post if you know anyone who is looking for a charming antique home with a rich New England history. For more information, and to check out more images, click here. Or send me an email at twocoatsofpaint {at} gmail dot com if you'd like to arrange a visit.

 Now back to work on my post about "The Forever Now."


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December 11, 2014

Miami, Part IV: Rebecca Morgan's eye on the figurative (and a bit of abstraction)

Guest Contributor Rebecca Morgan / The Miami fairs constitute true spectacle. I enjoyed watching it happen from a safe distance, and found it even more exhilarating to be present and in the thick of it all. The general atmosphere across the fairs and social scenes throughout the week was congenial and bright, celebratory and effervescent. The most fruitful aspect of the fairs for me was meeting the many artists, gallerists, and curators I had not encountered before in New York or elsewhere, and knew only via the Internet. And I was able to see firsthand work which I had only seen images of online or merely heard about.

[Image at top: Shara Hughes @ American Contemporary]

Miami, Part III: Heather Leigh McPherson attends a Bomb discussion, Untitled

Guest Contributor Heather Leigh McPherson / After a Saturday filled with manic art-spectating energy, I went to Untitled and attended a late afternoon panel at Select Art Fair, which presented a moment of reflection and listening. Moderated by artist, curator, and BOMB contributing editor Legacy Russell, The Artist, The Writer: A Conversation Between Creative Identities included my art-fair companion Amy Beecher as well as Bibi Deitz, Carla Gannis, and Marisa Olson. It was occasioned by the recent publication of the anthology BOMB: The Author Interviews.

[Image at top(from left): Beecher, Olson, Gannis, Deitz, and Russell.]

December 7, 2014

Miami, Part II: Heather Leigh McPherson Reports on NADA

Guest Contributor Heather Leigh McPherson / I spent twenty-six hours awake in Miami Beach. I gave Art Basel the once-over, had a long look at the NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) Fair, attended a panel hosted by Legacy Russell at Select Art Fair, and flew through Untitled in the fifty-two minutes before the guards started circling at 7 pm. Though I swooned three or four times at Untitled, NADA was the best fair I saw: more than the others, it contained objects I wanted to discuss urgently with my neighbors. Housed in the breezy, glassy Deauville Beach Resort, it was also metabolically kinder to humans than anything happening inside a convention center. I'll focus here on some of the best things I saw.

[Image at top: Andy Coolquitt @ Lisa Cooley]

Miami, Part I: Rebecca Morgan's picks from Untitled and Art Basel

Guest contributor Rebecca Morgan / As the definitive Juggernaut, Art Basel Miami Beach offers a lot to love and loathe. Personally, my love for art fairs far exceeds my disdain for them; without going into particulars as to how and why an artist can feel jaded about art fairs, I couldn't be happier to experience the froth first hand. I love the surprise discovery of work around a booth corner and social camaraderie, arguing (and bonding) over a particular atrocity or a blockbuster moment. Maybe it's corny, but I love watching it all go down.

[Image at top: Nicole Cherubini, Baby Blue, 2009, @ Samson. ]

December 4, 2014

Part I: Adira Thekkuveettil and the defaced murals in India

Contributed by Hannah Kennedy, Two Coats Intern / Adira Thekkuveettil is an emerging photographer working in Gujarat, India, who created "Women on Walls," a series of photographs inspired by the notorious 2012 Delhi gang rape incident. When she noticed that public murals depicting women that were intended to beautify the city had been defaced, she began photographing them. Thekkuveettil ultimately developed a series of images that deconstruct the notion of sexual violence and its prevalence in India, using text, photography, and performance to illuminate these themes. This is the first of a two-part interview that explores Thekkuveettil's artistic background and her "Women on Walls" series.

December 3, 2014

Art and Film: Revenge of the casualists?

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Joe Angio’s winning rock documentary Revenge of the Mekons concerns a defiantly non-commercial punk-era British rock band that has kept going with core members who started out as art students at the University of Leeds, along with a rotating cast, for thirty years. The filmmakers lock into the louche verve of the Mekons – especially frontman Jon Langford and singer Sally Timms, who says, in her inimitably offhand way: “Success is the thing that usually kills bands in the end; we’ve had none of it.” Remaining a cult favorite and still loving the unremunerative thing that they do into their late fifties constitute their revenge.

[Image: One of Joe Langford's paintings grabbed off the Walker Art Center blog.]

Press release of the week: IDLENESS vs. INDUSTRY

"The aperture on the camera Man Ray used for Dust Breeding (1920) is said to have been left open the precise amount of time it took him and Marcel Duchamp to have a leisurely lunch. The resulting photograph—capturing a section of Duchamp’s Large Glass (1915-1923) lying in an unfinished state and gathering dust—is the index for "Idleness," a new exhibition opening at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery on November 24, 2014. "Idleness" is the second Showroom program as part of Factory—a series of displays, labor demonstrations, motivational speeches, quality controls, and new product launches exploring the question, 'Is a school a factory?' The dialectical counterpoint to "Industry"—the first exhibition in the series, which celebrated traditional, industrious studio practices, and notions of labor from Auguste Rodin to El Anatsui—"Idleness" presents artists who locate the virtues of their practice in moments of pause, idleness, daydreaming, non-studio-time, convalescence, or spending time with friends.

"With Art and Calls for Indolence by Gretchen Bennett, Matt Browning, Tacita Dean, Claire Fontaine, Marcel Duchamp, Ripple Fang, Anne Fenton, Tom Marioni, Man Ray, Bertrand Russell, Edwin Shoemaker, Nicholas Bower Simpson, Mladen Stilinović, Michael Van Horn, Andy Warhol, and others."

[Image at top: Man Ray, Dust Breeding, 1920, via the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.]

"Factory Showroom: Idleness," Jacob Lawrence Gallery, University of Washington, School of Art + Art History + Design. Through January 17, 2014.


Two Coats of Paint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. For permission to use content beyond the scope of this license, permission is required.

Two Coats of Paint's Miami Correspondents: Rebecca Morgan and Heather McPherson

If you are in Miami this week, please say hello to our 2014 correspondents, Heather McPherson and Rebecca Morgan. Morgan, represented by Asya Geisberg Gallery in New York, is a native of Western Pennsylvania where she crafts sly images of mountain men, stoners, and other backwoods stereotypes with knowing humor, compassion, and imagination. McPherson, a professor at Providence College, makes large-scale paintings and big clumsy sculptures of heads, which she considers the "throbbing epicenter of consciousness." I'm looking forward to seeing the fairs through their eyes.

[Images at top: McPherson in her old-school Providence loft (top) and Morgan with one of her small sculpture-jugs at Yellowstone Park (bottom)]


Two Coats of Paint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. For permission to use content beyond the scope of this license, permission is required.

This weekend: The 6th Annual Degenerate Craft Fair

I love the Degenerate Craft Fair, the annual event where you can listen to music and drink beer while doing your holiday shopping. This weekend over 40 artists, eccentric crafters, and other makers-of-interesting-stuff will convene at the DCTV Firehouse at 87 Lafayette Street (bet. Walker and White) in Tribeca. Expect to see everything from ceramic pine cones to knitted balaclavas to sculptures made of inflatable sea creatures. Most of the items sell for under fifty bucks, so why not think creatively and bring a handmade gift to the hostesses at those upcoming holiday parties instead of the traditional bottle of wine.

Participants include: AGoodLHOOQ, ArtJAW Designs & Megan Carli, Arts + Crafts Research Studio, BKNY Bricks & Knitrocious, Black Sheep Heap, Brackish Channel, Broderpress, Broid Rage, BurnThisArt, C.M. Butzer Comics & Illustration, Caitlin Foster Print Shop, Carrie Bilbo Jewelry, Carrier Pigeon, Cherry Monkey Pimp & O’s Treats, Color My Bubble, Dylan Goldberger Illustration, Fang, FLO + THEO & Mawusi, FPOAFM Nomadic Art/Craft Collection, Gingersnap Gals, Gionna Forte, Great Boxer, Grimcartoons & Amanda Spinosa, Hi Rise Hive, Jaclyn and the Beanstalk, Jade Goheen & Richie Brown, Kara Daving, Laura Cromwell Ceramics, Oille Natural, Reset Reality, Rock+Pillar Trading Co, Sara Varon, SARUSTAR, Sneaky Peach Vintage & Jelly Fresh, Sue Jean Ko, Sweet Buttons Desserts, The Neighborgoods, Type A Fibers, Wake and Create

The Degenerate Craft Fair, The DCTV Firehouse, 87 Lafayette Street, Tribeca, New York, NY. Between Walker Street and White Street (6/N/Q/R/J to Canal Street)

December 6th: 12 pm - 9 pm / Opening night reception from 6 pm - 9 pm / Featuring music and free beer! The first fifty guests get "a free tote of goodies."
December 7th: 11 am - 6 pm


Two Coats of Paint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. For permission to use content beyond the scope of this license, permission is required.

November 23, 2014

Installation view: Paintings from Paris

In his final show at 681 Washington Street in the West Village, Peter Makebish has curated "Paintings from Paris," an eclectic, salon-style, group show of work he loves. The work in the show is wide ranging, from the geometric abstraction of Peter Demos, Teri Hackett and Alika Herreshoff to the oozing materiality of Kim Dorland and Randy Wray. Artists include Aidas Bareikis, Sharon Butler, Peter Demos, Kim Dorland, Leo Fitzpatrick, Theresa Hackett, Lane Hagood, Alika Herreshoff, Geoff Hippenstiel, Elizabeth Huey, Bill Saylor, Suzannah Wainhouse, Anke Weyer, Randy Wray.

In the new year, Makebish will be moving to a new space--details to come.

November 21, 2014

November 18: Andrew Ginzel's list of NYC shows and events

SOME but not all NYC SELECTED SHOWS TO SEE / November 18, 2014  / Listed south to north. Compiled by artist Andrew Ginzel for his students at the School of Visual Arts. Note: Images have been selected by Two Coats of Paint.

[Image: Stuart Shils @ Steven Harvey Fine Art Project]

Snaps: A visit to Maine College of Art


Readers may have noticed that posting slowed down a little last week. I spent a few days up at the Maine College of Art (known as MECA) in Portland, where I gave a  presentation about my work and enjoyed visiting studios of talented graduate and undergraduate students. Business Insider recently named Portland one of the top places to travel, calling it a "funky low-key destination that prizes quality food and cutting-edge art," and I sampled both on my short trip. Amid presenting, dining, drinking, and talking with students about their projects, I managed to wedge in some visits to faculty studios.

[Image at top: Snap of work-in-progress in Prof. Gail Spaien's campus studio. ]

News from Philadelphia: Libby Rosof to step back from daily operations at The Art Blog

I received word via email yesterday that Libby Rosof, one of the founding publishers of Philadelphia-based The Art Blog, has retired from daily operations. Rosof and Roberta Fallon started The Art Blog in 2003, four years before I started Two Coats of Paint, back when blogs and bloggers weren't taken seriously by mainstream media, art critics, or, really, anyone. They covered the art scene in Philadelphia with unprecedented zeal, and eventually received grant and advertising funding to expand into art tours, video projects, and other innovative approaches to art reporting. Rosof, who has contributed more than 1700 posts, says she wants to spend more time with family and friends. Although she won't be involved with daily operations, she plans to continue working on the site redesign. Her retirement marks the end of an era for the blogging community.

Image: Fallon (left) and Rosof (center) on one of The Art Blog's First Friday Art Safaris, which hired vans to take art enthusiasts to Philadelphia's far-flung art spaces. (Image courtesy of Knight Arts)


 Two Coats of Paint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. For permission to use content beyond the scope of this license, permission is required.

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