Filed under: Art World, DC, MFA | Tags: 93, Baltimore, Benjamin Edmiston, Bill Traylor, Bob Dylan, Captain Beefheart, Christopher Daniels, David Hockney, Devon Troy Strother, Dire Straits, Favourite Sons, Horace Pippin, Howlin' Wolf, Jockum Nordstrom, Karl Wirsum, Kim Dorland, Leon Russell, MFA Annual, NUDASHANK, Paul Wackers, Vito Acconci
Currently featured in #93, the MFA Annual edition of New American Paintings now on newsstands, Benjamin Edmiston‘s latest work — elaborate paintings, drawings, and collages — is also on view at Nudashank in Baltimore as part of the group show Radiant Fields (also featuring Edward Max Fendley and Steven Riddle). The show opened over the weekend, so I took the opportunity to catch up with Edmiston to play a severely abridged game of 20 Questions. His thoughts on influences, music, and beer (and lots of pictures) after the jump. —Matthew Smith, DC Contributor
Filed under: Art World, Los Angeles | Tags: Evan J. Garza, Gagosian, Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Lindsay Lohan, Richard Phillips, Tamaryn, Venice Biennale
Still from ‘Lindsay Lohan,’ a film directed by Richard Phillips
Sailing through the busy canals of Venice, Italy next month will be a giant mobile video screen featuring the work of more than 80 artists; the week-long, water-going version of a New York City cab elevated for the biggest and baddest biennial in the world. Presented by Moscow’s Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, and running (or sailing) concurrently with the opening week of the 54th Venice Biennale, COMMERICAL BREAK is curated by Neville Wakefield and will include contemporary painting bigwig Richard Phillips‘ first foray into film, ‘Lindsay Lohan.’
The short film, which features the famously-troubled blonde mega-celebrity in all manner of brooding, bikini-clad swimming and sunning scenes; a portrait of the star that vividly evokes the decades-old cinematic tropes of sexy fragrance ads, in keeping with the floating exhibition’s theme of navigating commercial and creative combinations. It’s also intensely apropos of the setting next month in Venice, when tourists and art-makers share the streets for the Biennale’s five-month stretch.
Reminiscent of classic bombshell swimsuit moments — á la “10” starring Bo Derek — the film is the quintessence of convention, to the point of banality. (And that’s the point). Viewers should expect as much from Phillips’ filmic debut as they should from a Calvin Klein Obsession ad, but with a much better soundtrack. San Franciso’s Tamaryn provides the score for the minute-and-a-half film, whose epically lush, shoegazey track “Cascades” ripples over each cascading wave caught on film. ‘Lohan‘ is less significant for being a pretty insignificant piece of work, and more so for what it will bring to Wakefield’s smart, floating show.
—Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large
Filed under: Art World, In the Studio, Seattle | Tags: Broadway Boogie-Woogie, Howard House, Joey Veltkamp, Ken Kelly, Piet Mondrian, Seattle, Woodside/Braseth Gallery
Studio view. Ken Kelly, work in progress.
Ken Kelly‘s studio is a quick walk from his Seattle home. Sandwiched between two freeways, it’s a surprisingly quiet enclave of artists (Gretchen Bennett, Jeffry Mitchell, Matthew Offenbacher, and Jenny Heishman) that occupies the top floor of Roy McMakin’s Big Leaf Mfg shop.
Kelly was primarily known for his 15-year run of heavily patterned paintings, full of hidden angular skulls and third eyes created through faux symmetry. The work felt ancient and a bit mystical. Then in 2007, in what seemed to be an overnight change, Kelly abandoned his trademark calligraphic curves for freehand strokes of angular fields rendered with a minimal palette. The new work pushed his previous mysticism into a state of vibrancy that shimmers, hums and pulses.
More after the jump! —Joey Veltkamp, Seattle contributor
Filed under: Art World, Boston | Tags: Andy Warhol, Boston, Richard Pryor, samsøn, Todd Pavlisko
Installation view, Todd Pavlisko: All of Nothing, Samsøn, Boston
Todd Pavlisko gets by with a little help from his friends. We swung by Samsøn while the New York-based artist and his crew were installing (and creating) the work that makes up his first solo show in Boston, All of Nothing, including a 10-foot tall portrait of Richard Pryor made up entirely of carefully placed, differently colored plastic retail price tag fasteners. Scattered among the paintings and drawings in the show are a few sculptural installations, including a colorful nest of tall, melted bongs (excuse me, water pipes) and two works made from workout benches originally belonging to Andy Warhol.
We caught a few shots of Todd & company while they were attaching thousands of individual price tag fasteners, one by one, with price tag guns (effectively giving Pryor an especially textural afro). More pipes, and pics, after the jump!
Filed under: Art World, Houston | Tags: Bryan Miller Gallery, CTRL Gallery, Houston, Jackie Gendel
Jackie Gendel, Rosacea Dysgraphica, 2011 | Oil on canvas over panel, 16 x 12 inches. Courtesy Bryan Miller Gallery, Houston.
The paintings of Brooklyn-based, Houston native Jackie Gendel are weighted equally in a late 19th-century vernacular and an intense sense of looseness and figurative indifference. The works in her new exhibition for Houston’s Bryan Miller, who recently changed his gallery name from CTRL to something more eponymous, feel strongly rooted in styles like German Expressionism without feeling overwhelming, as if using a Fauvist palette as simply a point of entry instead of subject matter. For all the tropes of “late style” painting found in each, Gendel’s work doesn’t take itself too seriously, as both her brushstrokes and the title of the show make clear.
Fables in Slang, Gendel’s current solo exhibition at Bryan Miller Gallery, is on view through July 2, 2011. More pics after the jump!
A datamoshing video that operates as a kind of moving painting, Takeshi Murata‘s Monster Movie (2005) is all about color. One of our favorite video art pieces of the last decade, Monster Movie‘s colorful pools of pixels stream across the screen, blanketing clips of old-school monster flick with a chromatic intensity as brilliant as the piece itself. An exhibition of Murata’s new work is currently up at San Francisco’s Ratio 3 through June 11.
Do you have any favorite painting videos to share with New American Paintings/Blog? Email your favorites, or include links in the comments field, and we’ll feature them here on the blog each Friday!
Filed under: Art World, Houston, San Francisco | Tags: Art21, Houston, James Turrell, Live Oak Friends Meeting House, San Francisco
One of the most important and undercelebrated sites of contemporary art in the country is the Live Oak Friends Meeting House by James Turrell in Houston, Texas. While it functions as an actual meeting place for Houston Quakers, it’s also the location of the most remarkable skylight imaginable. A master of light and color, Turrell designed the ceiling so that the light is pulled inside and held within the space, making it physically present to viewers in the process.
A recent work by San Francisco’s Michael Guidetti intensely recalls this practice, and while the experiential nature of his new media painting, Untitled (Standards), is vastly different, the use of light in a physical sense remains the same. Colorful bands of light creep across the painting, slowly changing hue across a 3-hour animated digital projection cast right on the picture plane. Never mind that the use of watercolor is noticeably controlled on the canvas, which is an achievement in and of itself. The skylight, windows, and sculptures depicted in the digital projection fluctuate in tone, from rich purples to creamy blues, stunningly recalling both Turrell’s meeting house and the Surrealist light investigations of René Magritte. The work is also a sharp reflection of the role of contemporary painting in recent new media practices. —Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large
Filed under: Art World, Boston | Tags: Boston, Daniela Rivera, Evan J. Garza, Foster Prize, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, LaMontagne Gallery
Installation view, Daniela Rivera: Growth, LaMontagne Gallery, Boston
Tucked away in a remote, industrial corner of Southie, a stone’s throw from the Boston harbor, is South Boston’s LaMontagne Gallery and, housed within it, is Growth, Daniela Rivera‘s newest installation. Included as a finalist in the 2010 James and Audrey Foster Prize show at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston last year, and featured recently as a Noteworthy artist in edition #92 of New American Paintings, Rivera’s work for LaMontagne is not only a response to Richard Long’s 1967 work A Line Made by Walking, but also a “recognition of the presence of incompletion” in her own work.
Rivera’s work often changes the setting within which it is installed, pouring off the wall and onto the floor where viewers must walk around it, and this installation is no different. The installation of her painted panels at LaMontagne, which effectively turn the simple South Boston space into a site-specific landscape, is only half of the work. The presence, and participation, of viewers is inherent to the work itself, with people literally filling in the gaps on the floor by walking through the installation. A Line Made by Walking is, after all, based in the performative action of walking, and Growth cleverly recreates — in a very different context — the original actions that informed Long’s work to begin with.
More than just a thoughtful, coy attempt at audience participation and conceptual approach, Growth occupies a necessary place in the current moment in contemporary painting, where artists continue to walk the line between painting and sculptural and installation forms, and when the traditional spatial and material limitations set forth by the medium are abandoned in favor of better, and stronger, real estate. More pics after the jump!
—Editor-at-Large, Evan J. Garza
Filed under: Art World, Los Angeles, Q&A, Seattle | Tags: 1301PE Gallery, Abigail Reynolds, ACME, Ambach & Rice, Charlie Kitchings, Ellen Lesperance, Eric Yahnker, Francois Ghebaly, Grant Barnhart, Jeffry Mitchell, Joey Veltkamp, Karen Sargsyan, Kunsthalle L.A., Los Angeles, Marc Foxx, Ron van der Ende, Seattle
Installation view, Eric Yahnker: Cracks of Dawn, Ambach & Rice satellite exhibition @ Kunsthalle LA, Los Angeles.
Ambach & Rice is a Seattle-based gallery that first opened its doors back in 2003 as a modest book store/gallery. Over the past eight years, Seattle has had the unique opportunity to watch them grow into one of the city’s premier galleries. Their diverse roster blends international artists like Ron van der Ende and Karen Sargsyan, with Northwest artists like Jeffry Mitchell and Grant Barnhart. The gallery has always seemed to prefer the periphery to the limelight. When they outgrew their old space, instead of relocating to the Seattle’s traditional art district in Pioneer Square, they moved to outlying Ballard, an historic Scandinavian seafaring community which has slowly gentrified into a mix of eclectic shops, upscale restaurants and dive bars with live music.
Their tendency to stay on the edges, however, is about to change. It’s the final weekend for Ambach & Rice in Seattle, and when they re-open in Los Angeles this September, it will be in a very central location on Wilshire Boulevard. With this move, Ambach & Rice join other west coast galleries, like San Francisco’s Jancar Jones, who have opted to make L.A. their new home.
The final Ambach & Rice show in Seattle, The Strong, Star-Bright Companions by Ellen Lesperance, will close this Sunday. Before they skip town, I wanted to chat with Charlie Kitchings, co-owner, and his wife, Amanda, about their impending move to Los Angeles, their ability to adapt, and what led them to the move in the first place. —Joey Veltkamp, Seattle contributor
Filed under: Art World, Chicago | Tags: Art Chicago, Evan J. Garza, lucha libre, NEXT, SAIC, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Steven Frost, Swimming Pool Project Space
Steven Frost, An Audience & Lines to Speak, 2011 | Foam padding, pleather, straight pins, thread, 48 x 82 x 3 inches. Courtesy the artist.
Last Friday in Chicago, once crowds had abandoned the aisles of endless booths at the Art Chicago and NEXT fairs, the biggest opening in the city was the annual Thesis Exhibition at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. (And as someone who was there last year, it’s safe to admit the crowd this year had reached unparalleled size, making the crowd at Merchandise Mart look like a knitting circle.) The scale of the 2011 SAIC Thesis Show, and the number of MFA grads itself, had grown so immensely this year that, for the first time, two sites were necessary to exhibit all the work.
With our new MFA Annual currently on newsstands, we’ve had our eye on young MFA candidates for a while, and I was excited to take in some new work. Standing out from the pack were a group of artists (including Jesse Butcher, David R. Harper, Ivan Lozano, and Soo Shin) whose sparse — and spacious — group installation, The World is Not a Calm Place, was, in fact, a much-needed calm from the storm. Featured in the center, Steven Frost‘s installation of sculptural, fiber-based objects revealed subtle painterly qualities through the use of black sequins, pleather, and everyday materials.
Also featured at Swimming Pool Project Space in the GOFFO section at NEXT that weekend, Frost and I spoke this week about his practice, Lucha Libre, sequins, and BDSM (oh, and painting). More after the jump!
—Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large