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

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.