Thoughts from my studio about artwork; new pieces as well as those things that have have remained hidden in my flat file...

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Warren Craghead III at Migration: A Gallery

Drawing by Warren Craghead III

Go see Warren's show if you are heading to Charlottesville any time soon! The following information about Warren's show was taken from Warren's blog, Drawer:

"I'm happy to announce The Dot and The Line, a two-person show with Brian Mallman at Migration: A Gallery in Charlottesville Virginia.

I'll be showing pages from some recent books (including HOW TO BE EVERYWHERE) along with drawings and collages. Migration is also making available my new book The Dot & the Line. It's a small downloadable book that will be available only through their website beginning Friday. Here's more show details:
The Dot and The Line
Warren Craghead & Brian Mallman
January 2 - January 26, 2009

Opening reception Friday January 2nd, 5:30 - 8pm

Migration: A Gallery
119 Fifth Street SE, Charlottesville, VA 22902 USA

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from Alabama - I've been visiting with my brother and his family down here for Christmas with my wife as well as my mom - the average day time high has been around 72 degrees, rough eh?
I will be back in action by the 4th, so look for some new drawings in the least.
Tonight we are drving across the bay to Mobile to watch the Moonpie drop at midnight - no shit.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Weather affecting some artmaking

If it ever stops raining and dries up a bit I can seal my latest Ghost Music Studies, but for now its cold and wet outside and spraying acrylic below 50 degrees when its raining doesn't work....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Paintings

Sitting Still 61
Oil and Acrylic on Birch Panel

Sitting Still 63
Oil and Acrylic on Birch Panel

Sitting Still 63
Oil and Acrylic on Birch Panel

Sitting Still 64
Oil and Acrylic on Birch Panel

Fresh from the studio, more to come over the next month, or couple of months as I prepare for my aolo or "focus" exhibition at the Greater Reston Arts Center which goes up at the end of April. There are 20ish of these I am working on as well as some medum-sized paintings, and some big paintings are on the menu 9i will start those next month, I alreadyhave 3 or 4 Ifinished that have never been exhibited) As usual, I'd love to hear what you think.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Two Days to See My Work in NYC

I will have a small tape drawing (or painting as JT would call it) in NYC next month at Metro Pictures for the Postcards from the Edge Benefit show. A fun aspect of the show is that all of the work is hung anonymously, but a list of artists is provided. All of the pieces are 4"x6" and are $75 each, when you buy a piece you find out who the artist is. I don't want to ruin the surprise by posting it so you will have to go look for yourself.
The preview is Friday, January 8 from 6-8 pm - expect to see a packed house and work from close to 1500 artists, no work will be sold that night so this is the only chance to see all of the work before people start buying it up, but since it is a benefit, there is an admission fee of $75 for the preview which allows you to preview which pieces you would want to purchase the next morning. The sale starts the next morning, Saturday, January 10 from 11-6pm (Admission is free to the sale, but there is a suggested donation of $5). apparently people start lining up early in the morning since it is first come, first serve and the art is removed as it is purchased - Have fun and I hope you can make it!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Drawings

I've been out for a while, well actually in the studio and visiting with family. Here are some untitled marker drawings from the past two days I made in between some paintings I have going in the studio.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ghost Music Studies Part 2

The following are studies for a collaboration with composer Matt Sargent. (I will explain this as our goals and exhibitions solidify, and there is another collaboration in the works) The drawings are all graphite on polypropylene. The long horizontal pieces are 3x6" and the verticals are 9x6". I am searching for the right range of marks, any of these marks will likely find themselves in larger pieces with a change in ratio of mark to over all size of the finished pieces. Making marks...

Ghost Music Study Number One

Ghost Music Study Number Two

Ghost Music Study Number Three

Ghost Music Study Number Four

Ghost Music Study Number Five

Ghost Music Study Number Six

Ghost Music Study Number Seven

Ghost Music Study Number Eight

Ghost Music Study Number Nine

Ghost Music Study Number Ten

Ghost Music Study Number Eleven

There are a few scratches and some dust adhered to a couple I may be able to clean up.

Ghost Music Studies

Ghost Music Study Number Nine
Graphite on Polypropylene

This is the first one I am posting, but I need to run to catch a speaker at 7 in DC, more later tonight if my wife isn't working on photo stuff...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Aquifer Opens this Weekend

Aquifier opens this weekend. (Curate by JM Mahoney and Deborah McLeod) My art buddy JT Kirkland has a piece in the show, along with some other artists to look out for: Joseph Barbaccia, Richard Dana, Pat Goslee, Joanne Kent, Renee Stout and Millicent Young.

Opening Reception Recap

The "Artist Teacher" Exhibition (mentioned in the previous post) opened tonight and will be up through November 15. It is a good show of artists you may not be familiar with. JJ McCracken (clay/performance artist) juried the exhibition, which was made up entirely of Fairfax County Art Teachers. The 61+ artists have made a wide variety of work from painting, to video, functional ceramics and digital artworks. McCracken told me that she pulled my paintings into the top three on the first round. The gallery Remarks were also made with my paintings as the back ground - I think the remarks may be on channel 21 at some point. Its a short show. Go check it out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wednesday, November 5 Opening Reception

Please join me Wednesday, November 5 at the Ernst Cultural Center at Northern Virginia Community College (Annandale Campus) from 6-7:30 pm. have two large paintings in the exhibition. Please check my blog for more information about the exhibition.

Also if you haven't been to the 20x20 Exhibition at Art 17 in DC, you only have until November 20th to see "Flash", a new oil and acrylic painting on birch.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Laurel Hausler at Nevin Kelly Gallery

"The Moors" - Laurel Hausler
Gouache, pen, ink and pencil on paper - 12"x12" - 2008

Laurel Hausler at Nevin Kelly Gallery
"A History of Dogs and Witches - New Works by Laurel Hausler"

The Nevin Kelly Gallery on U Street in Washington, DC has Laurel Hausler's latest works on view through November 9th. Hausler's paintings/mixed media pieces evoke an eerie reaction from the viewer through layering of materials and distorted figures depicting "witches" and animals (not only dogs, but snakes as well).
While all of the artworks definitely seem to be created by the same hand, Hausler's style and format for the pieces varies throughout the show. Some works contain calligraphic texture created by layers of line drawing with a marker or brush, while the most successful pieces present the viewer with haunting figures constructed of ephemeral faces and body parts. The former pieces contain more layers, which one may think would make the seem more finished, but I believe distract the viewer from the layers of expertly executed ghostly forms.
"Faith Healers" - Laurel Hausler
oil on canvas - 48"x48" - 2008

My favorite painting in the show, "Faith Healers" depicts two female forms confronting the viewer, one holding a vial of acidic poison, and another terribly haunting figure holding a snake by the head (a reference to the snake handlers of Appalachia ). This figure is tilting her head, looking down her nose at the viewer, as if conjuring a spell. This face is so hauntingly executed, suggesting otherworldly movement and presence that it would make Francis Bacon jealous. Her right arm is obscured or missing all together in an aqueous swirl of paint. The figures are ambiguous, which adds to the spooky tone of the painting. The understated, but excellent asymmetrical composition pulls the viewer into the color scheme of red, yellow and blue on a shiny black ground. It is simple and wonderful. There are other great pieces in the show (including the small mixed media piece "The Moors" and several lithographs), but this painting is a stand out. Like this painting, the most successful pieces also utilize an asymmetrical composition that increases depth and tension.
The theme of the show is fitting (it is Halloween after all) but escapes the trap of feeling like holiday art. In terms of composition and execution, the show feels a little uneven, but when Hausler hits the mark, its hard to imagine it being done better. I understand this is Hausler's third solo show in different galleries this year, and I look forward to seeing more.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Paintings from New York

Here are a few more responses to things I found in Chelsea last weekend...

Jennifer Coates at Kinz, Tillou + Feigen

Coates paintings hover between landscape and psychedelic vision. The large paintings combine the illusion of ambiguous atmospheric space with clusters of geometric patterns that float near the middle of the canvases. I was drawn to several of the darker paintings, with less solidified forms. Each painting warranted several minutes and a few a second look. The exhibition was supposed to close on October 18, but was still on view on October 24.

Tamar Zinn at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts

Zinn's abstract canvases are evoke an ambiguous sense of space and utilize a pleasant warm palette that draws the viewer in. There is a subtle play in depth, the paintings never quite identify themselves as distant aerial view, abstracted city scape or pure non-objective painted surface. Reproduction of the works does little to entice someone to go see the paintings, as the subject matter seems less than unique, yet the physical presence of the actual paintings engages the viewer unexpectedly, it becomes obvious the artist truly knows the subject (dusty street, oasis, palace garden?). Every small bit of texture activates the space, each small mark seeming intentional and essential to the larger shapes in the composition. The paintings are rich, yet nothing is extraneous. The exhibition is on view through November 8.

Xiaoze Xie at Charles Cowles Gallery
"Acts and Scenes 2001-2007"

Xiaoze Xie has created a powerful group of exquisitely crafted paintings that depict meetings and conversations among political leaders from the time period. The paintings are based on photographs that were published by major news outlets throughout the world. The players and scenes are recognizable. The moments' intensity made more powerful through the blurred brushy edges reminiscent of some of Gerhard Richter's politically motivated representational paintings. The monochromatic cool color schemes give the images a cold hard realism that could only come from a disturbing memory. These are powerful paintings. A suite of beautiful ink wash drawings of American soldiers interacting with groups of apparently Iraqi civilians compliment the exhibition perfectly. Xie's craftsmanship again is excellent and his presentation superb. The exhibition is on view through November 8.

I hope to get a few more of my reactions to the shows up in the next few days, but I need to get to bed so I can have the energy to get some work done in my own studio after work tomorrow.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Live from New York...Its Saturday Morning!

Ok, I know I'm really a bad comedian, ask my students. But anyway, the elevator is broken in my hotel and I am putting off dragging my luggage down 20 flights of stairs, so here I am.
Yesterday I walked over to the 529 building on W. 20th street in Chelsea and spent a couple of hours soaking things up, and here are some rough initial reactions to what caught my eye...

Diane Samuels at Kim Foster Gallery
"Mapping Sampsonia: Part II, Close Readings"

Diane Samuels has an intimate knowledge of the immediate area around her studio/home on Sampsonia, the inner city alley where her studio is located. The asphalt colored paper pulp castings loom over the viewer on gallery walls, forming intricate monochromatic topographical maps while small pebbles and chucks of asphalt pepper the surface. The irregular reliefs reveal themselves slowly to the viewer as it becomes understood that these are the negative casts pulled directly from the pock-marked alleyway that Samuels and many others trod every day.
The true delight that brought me back for a second look were the intricate ink drawings which mapped sections of the alley on a 1:4 scale. Each drawing is made up of over a quarter of a million small circles (yes, a quarter of a million) laid side by side, producing a mesmerizing surface on the buckled Abaca handmade paper. My words cannot do these justice. I immediately thought of Linn Meyers, partially because of the ink, partially because of the obsessive intricate repetition of a simple geometric element (Diane: circle, Linn: line), but I really don't think it is fair to compare them, other than to say, if you are drawn to one, you would enjoy the other. The exhibit is up until November 15.

Ron Janowich at Howard Scott Gallery
Ron Janowich has created a series of paintings that made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. The intoxicating paintings flirt with color that slowly fades in and out of the highly reflective surfaces as the rods and cones in your eye tire from staring. Slick surface is juxtaposed with texture that has been coated with a fat layer of oil (similar to my approach) to give and aquias effect. Intimate yet monolithic, these paintings buzz with energy, I almost couldn't leave the gallery. As you may be able to see (or not see) from the images, these paintings do not reproduce well, it is all about being right there with the work. (yeah, I know how that is).
This exhibit is up through November 8.

Ok - I need some breakfast and its almost time to check out and hit some more galleries. Hopefully later this weekend I will fill you in on my thoughts about the following shows:

Duston Spear at Sara Tecchia Roma New York
Jennifer Coates at Kinz, Tillou + Feigen

Today (saturday) and Tuesday are the last days to see the five great new paintings at the Pass Gallery in the fall group show - don't miss it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reviewed at the Pass Gallery...

Kevin Mellema chimes in again. Read it here. I did get the chance to meet him briefly so I can no longer day he is a complete stranger- he is obviously looking forward to the spring solo show. You only have a few more days to see the show - Tuesday is it!

Artists Review Artists

Here is a recap of my participation in the Artists Review Artists Project at Thinking About Art.
Joanna Knox's review of my artwork. (I love her gut reaction)
My review of Sharon Butler's artwork. (Am I right on, or is it gibberish? I know what I think)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Last Weekend of Pass Gallery Group Show

Don't miss this great show at the PASS Gallery! Saturday and Tuesday are the last days the show is open - call Richard if you want to make an appointment at some other time...

Rear Entrance (by way of the alley off of 17th between Swann and S street)
1617 S. St. NW, WDC, 20009
The exhibition continues through October 28.
Contact Richard Siegman (202) 745-0796

Artist/Teacher Exhibition

I have two large paintings in this show, I hope you make it to the opening reception on November 5, from 6-7:30 (Joe and Nadine - I swear I will be there on time). See you there - its a short show - don't miss it.

New Work: Update from the studio...

Flash is my most recent finished painting, and is in the 20x20 show at Art17, which runs through November 20th. It was created especially for this exhibition, and measures 20x20" and is oil and acrylic on birch3/4" plywood. Don't miss it, and as far as I know it is still available...
I've got a ton of new work going on in the studio including 16 or 17 little paintings (10"x8.5") that are well underway, and I have cut all the wood for 6 new medium sized paintings (20"x17"). New Graphite drawings are happening too. I hope to get back on the schedule of posting new artwork every week (with a few older things dug up in my flatfile).
I'm heading to NYC on Friday to hang out with my lovely wife bounce around some galleries while she is in the New York office working, and catch a show, the first time I've done that in a few years without dragging 40 students around. More on that when I get back.
Perhaps it is a little early to announce, but I am very excited to be working on a collaboration with composer Matt Sargent as well as a collaboration with my neighbor/art buddy JT Kirkland (Who is also a newlywed and jetting around Europe right now, if you don't read his blog Thinking About Art you should check it out). JT and Matt are also working on a project, and we are looking for places to exhibit the work, we may have one locked in, but we want to take it on a tour next summer/fall, hopefully between here and new england and a few points west, email me if you are interested in helping out with that.
I know the blog has been quiet, but its a new school year, work has been crazy and full of drama, and there has been quite a bit cooking... stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Opening Reception this Friday: Pass Gallery Fall Group Show

I hope to see you this Friday at the Pass Gallery! I've got 5 new paintings in this exhibition, don't miss this eclectic group of talented artists. I got a sneak peek last night of some of the work and it looks great...

Opening Reception: Friday October 3, 7-10pm
Rear Entrance (by way of the alley off of 17th between Swann and S street)
1617 S. St. NW, WDC, 20009
The exhibition continues through October 28.
Contact Richard Siegman (202) 745-0796

Friday, September 19, 2008

Painting in the 21st Century Symposium at The Phillips Collection

I wish I could make it to this event, if you can, you should. I would really like to hear from Jonathan Fineberg
Symposium: Painting in the 21st Century

The Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street NW
Washington, DC

Saturday, September 27, 2008 10 am - 5 pm

Although widely proclaimed dead in the 1980s, painting has returned to prominence in recent years. This symposium will examine the state of contemporary painting from a range of perspectives, embracing the artist's point of view and those of the art historian and critic.

Yve-Alain Bois
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
Spencer Finch
Artist, Brooklyn, New York
Jonathan Fineberg
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Blake Gopnik
The Washington Post
Suzanne Hudson
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Dorothy M. Kosinski
The Phillips Collection and Center for the Study of Modern Art
Leng Lin
Pace - Beijing
Joseph Marioni
Artist, New York City
Stephen W. Melville
Ohio State University
Laura Owens
Artist, Los Angeles
Andrea Pollan
Curator's Office, Washington, DC
Richard Shiff
University of Texas
Elisabeth Sussman
Whitney Museum of American Art
Gordon VeneKlasen
Michael Werner Gallery

The fee for "Symposium: Painting in the 21st Century" is included in museum admission.
Symposium Information
For further information, e-Mail the Center for the Study of Modern Art
or call 202.387.2151 x 286

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

20x20 Exhibition Opens This Saturday!

Please join me for the opening reception of the 20x20 exhibition at Art 17 (Coldwell Banker, 1606 17th St. NW, WDC, 20009) this Saturday September 20 from 5-8pm. The exhibition was curated by Sondra N. Arkin, and I feel that I am in great company for the show, check out the list of artists! Each artist is exhibiting one work 20x20 inches. I dropped off a brand new painting (I'm sure it still smells like fresh oil paint) today, so I hope to see you there!
the regular Hours for the exhibition are M-F 8am-5pm and by appointment on the weekends (202-387-6180).

DC City Hall Art Collection Reception Tuesday, September 23

I have 6 paintings in this collection that were purchased as part of the original collection, 28 new artworks are being dedicated to the collection and I will be there - please come out and support this great public art event. Show DC they made the right choice to support the visual arts!

Pass Gallery Fall Group Show 2008

I've got 5 new paintings in this exhibition, don't miss this eclectic group of talented artists.

Opening Reception: Friday October 3, 7-10pm
Rear Entrance (by way of the alley) 1617 S. St. NW, WDC, 20009
The exhibition continues through October 28.
Contact Richard Siegman (202) 745-0796

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

20x20 Exhibition

Long Time No Post

Ok, I know its been a while, what can I say? What have I been doing?

Canoeing 25 miles on the Rappahannock River for a few days, among other canoe and camping trips, some fishing, lots of getting outside, looking, living life, paying attention, getting inspired, keeping my sketchbook, working in the studio and setting up a few exhibitions. I've also heard back from all of the patrons now, so the prints have been ordered. Stay posted for exhibition info. I might be lying if I say I'll be posting all the time now, so lets just leave it at stay tuned, there is more to come...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Last week of Arts Council at GRACE, response to review of this show

I know its been quiet around here, I've been working lots of day jobs and been busy with several studio visits from collectors and interested parties (thank you very much).
Kevin Mellema of the Falls Church News Press wrote and interesting review of the show. Please read it here. Some of my patrons and friends thought it was a pretty negative review and wanted to know what I thought about it (some thought I should totally be offended). I will quote the portion about my work below in orange text and then respond (black text)

"First place this year was John Adams' oil and acrylic abstract painting on birch panel titled "Specific Gravity." This, like virtually all of Adams' paintings, features his signature series of horizontal lines. In this case, they are small ridges running across the work, against which Adams has toweled an expansive smear of paint. The overall effect is akin to breaking waves over a series of underwater sandbars."
My thoughts: Ok, no problem, sounds like he is describing the work pretty well, although some thought that he was making a stab at me with the "like virtually all of Adams' paintings" comment, but naa, I don't think so.

I'm not a big fan of this series, though this execution seems more acceptable to my eye than the works last seen at Arlington Arts Center last year. Still, I prefer the fine-lined works that he showed at Fisher Gallery in Georgetown several years ago. Those paintings, with their magically disappearing horizontal lines, had a playful intelligence that seems lacking in these later efforts. The newer works seem thuggishly heavy-handed by comparison. I'm beginning to get the sense that he may be working towards a point where he can capture the engaging magic of the older works with a less fussy technique.

"Ok, so he doesn't like this series, thats ok, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I'm really glad this guy (who I don't know) has been to most of my solo/small group shows over the past few years. Although I find it interesting that what he calls "thuggishly heavy-handed" Michael O'Sullivan of the Washington Post called "muscular, yet lyrical" when he reviewed my AAC solo show last spring. Yeah, the work is supposed to be more abrupt,drastic or dramatic,maybe even more violent, its no accident. Although how can a "thuggishly heavy-handed" technique be more "fussy" than the pieces I used to make with the perfectly distributed? Trust me, from the guy who makes the stuff, the older work was much more fussy. I didn't quite get that...

"Mind you, I am in no way panning Adams' work. His large scale site specific graphite drawing on the 12th floor at this year's Artomatic was quite nice. That work had a lyrically playful sense of motion about it that was engaging and quite pleasing."

Hey - see what I mean, he goes to see it all. By all means I think its a good review, whether you agree with it or not. What are your thoughts? Have you seen the show? If not - you better go before Sunday!! Thanks again Kevin, keep it up!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Artomatic Patrons: Pick your Print

Patrons who sponsored my site-specific drawing "Relentless Continuity 2008" at Artomatic with a donation of $50 or more should respond to my email with the number below the image identifying their choice of image and their mailing address. Thank you all again.

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4

Image 5

Image 6

Image 7

Image 8

Image 9

Image 10

Artists Perspective at GRACE

Join me tonight, Thursday July 10, 2008 at GRACE for an Artist's Perspective/dialog at 7:30 pm at the Greater Reston Arts Center. Artists in the exhibiton will be discussing their work and the public is encouraged to attend - see you there!

Review of exhibition at GRACE

Kevin Mellema of the Falls Church News Press reviewed the 2008 Arts Council at Grace exhibition, read it here. I 'll comment on the review later. I know I have been pretty bad about blogging lately due to the fact that have worked 3 jobs this month, and until this weekend I'm doubling up, working two a day leaving the house a little before seven and not getting home until 10 pm. More to come!

Monday, June 23, 2008

First Place at the Arts Council at Grace

Specific Gravity
Oil, acrylic on birch panel

I am very pleased to announce that I won first place at the Art Council At GRACE for Specific Gravity! I've got two great paintings in there including one that has not been exhibited yet...
View a slide show of some of the accepted work here at the Art Council's website.
The Juror was Ragan Cole-Cunningham, Director of Exhibitions and Education at The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia.
This exhibition runs through August 2, so don't miss it!