Filed under: Art World, Chicago, Dallas, DC, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Must-Sees, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Santa Fe | Tags: Exhibitions, February, Must-See, NAP, Paintings, Publishers Pick, Steven Zevitas
One of the best parts of my job is getting to see the careers of artists that we have worked with take off. Artists such as James Siena, Amy Cutler and Matthew Day Jackson were all featured in New American Paintings long before they reached the international spotlight. This month is not only an extraordinary month for the medium of painting at galleries around the country, it is a particularly strong month for New American Paintings’ alumni. No fewer than twenty artists featured in past, or upcoming editions, have their work on view in February. Two of my favorites, Summer Wheat and Benjamin Degen, will be featured in the soon to be released 2012 Northeast Edition (#98).
I want to bring special attention to the work of Sarah McEneaney, who was first featured in the mid-1990s. Based in Philadelphia, Sarah is a profoundly gifted artist, and, in my opinion, simply one of the best painters working today. Her painstakingly crafted egg tempera paintings have always had a startling immediacy. Of the many micro-trends that are noticeable in current painting practice, a certain predilection for “faux-naïve” representation is high among them. Sarah was entrenched in this pictorial language long before it washed over the art world. Unlike many younger artists, her creative direction is not a conceptual gambit; rather, it is born out of an internal necessity. - Steven Zevitas, Editor/Publisher
Filed under: Austin, Review | Tags: Brian Fee, Champion, Daniel Heidkamp, Freight and Volume, Wild Beasts
Daniel Heidkamp’s solo exhibition at Champion (on view through February 25th) in Austin, TX highlights his strengths as a painter. I write this with the embedded pun fully in mind. He is a master of capturing light—whether tempering a fireplace’s glow into this overall pulsing warmth or emblazoning a backyard with patterned tree-limb shadows. Heidkamp’s light is an emotive presence throughout the excellently titled Glow Drops At The Chill Spot. - Read more by Austin contributor, Brian Fee, after the jump!
Filed under: New York, Review | Tags: CRG Gallery, Kahpenakwu, New York, NYC, Robert Buck, Whitney Kimball
A horned cow skull on a nine-foot-tall cement totem looms in the entrance of CRG Gallery. As all of the works in Robert Buck’s show Kahpenakw
u (“west” in Comanche), of paintings, drawings, and large sculpture, it serves as a tombstone for Native America, transforming the gallery into an industrial wasteland.
Beyond the totem is a stack of cinder blocks, arranged like the last wall of a dilapidated forge. Otherwise haphazard winter-edition Coca Cola cans have been lightly squeezed and positioned in a ceremonial ascension up the wall’s back; facing the gallery, a few thorny reeds shoot up from the blocks with a similar, seemingly-incidental decorum. - Whitney Kimball, NYC Contributor
Filed under: Competitions | Tags: Illinois, Indiana, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Iowa, juror, lisa d. freiman, Michigan, Midwest, Minnesota, Missouri, NAP, nap #101, Ohio, Wisconsin
It’s a leap year, so the deadline for this year’s Midwest Competition is February 29th (Midnight EST). If you’re a painter residing in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, or Wisconsin, this is your opportunity to submit work to New American Paintings.
The juror for the 2012 competition will be Lisa D. Freiman, Senior Curator and Chair of the Department of Contemporary Art Department, Indianapolis Museum of Art. We will post more about Ms. Freiman in upcoming weeks.
In the meantime, if you live in the Midwest (IL, IN, IO, MI, MN, MO, OH, WI), APPLY NOW!
Filed under: Q&A | Tags: 96, Ellen C. Caldwell, Ellen Caldwell, NAP, NAP 96, Nox Contemporary, Thomas Aaron
Thomas Aaron’s (NAP #96) birds-eye visions of natural landscapes shift the viewer’s perspective instantly. His paintings offer us satellite-like images of the earth, highlighting both nature and man’s imposition upon it.
His work reflects something of a combination of photographic realism and fantasy, as Aaron’s forced positioning of structured order, gridlines, and commoditization of the earth is projected in subtle earth-tones and paintings that somehow evoke peacefulness and calm rather than violence and degradation. - Elen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
Filed under: Noteworthy, Q&A | Tags: Art Institute of Chicago, Bill Arning, Ellen C. Caldwell, Ellen Caldwell, James Rondeau, Matthew Smith, Miami Art Museum, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, William Betts
This year’s New American Paintings Annual Prize has been awarded to William Betts. If you’re a longtime subscriber to New American Paintings you’re probably familiar with the work of the Houston-based artist. Betts has appeared in editions #60, #72, #84 and most recently as an Editor’s Pick in #96. Even if you’ve never picked up an issue there’s a chance you’ve seen his work somewhere — he’s represented by galleries in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Albuquerque and Denver, and is currently preparing for a group show at Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. In other words, William Betts is an artist that’s hitting his stride, and this year’s Annual Prize is one more item in a growing list of accolades.
Selected by a jury of distinguished curators and previous jurors, Betts will receive a cash gift of $1,000, courtesy of the magazine, and a $500 gift card sponsored by Blick Art Materials, for supplies. And, thanks to NEXT ART CHICAGO, Betts will also have a painting hung at the fair in April.
The panel for the Annual Prize consists of three previous NAP jurors who have not made selections in the last year, including Bill Arning, Director, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), James Rondeau, Curator and Chair of Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and Peter Boswell, Senior Curator, Miami Art Museum.
Fellow NAP contributor Ellen Caldwell and I caught up with Betts earlier this week to talk about his work and process. – Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. contributor
Filed under: Review, Seattle | Tags: Akio Takamori, Almeida, Erin Langner, Evan Holloway, James Harris Gallery, Jason Teraoka, Mark Mumford, Sarah Awad, Shimon Minamikawa, Travis Collinson
Give Me Head at Seattle’s James Harris Gallery transpires most literally: as a collection of 21 heads. This group show of paintings and sculptures primarily created within the last five years offers a visual survey of the face. With very limited exceptions, a lack of expression represents the unifying theme of the imagery. Although some eyes meet the viewer dead-on and others gaze outside the confines of their frames, the intimacy affiliated with portraiture is consistently absent among these stoic figures, raising the question: why would the lack of expression define this body of work? - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor
Give Me Head installation view. Left to Right: Evan Holloway, Sarah Awad, Almeida, Mark Mumford, Shimon Minamikawa, Akio Takamori. Image courtesy of James Harris Gallery.
Filed under: Q&A | Tags: 96, Chelsea James, Dolby Chadwick Gallery, Ellen C. Caldwell, Ellen Caldwell, NAP
Painter Chelsea James (NAP #96) captures everyday scenes that are soft and enduring. Personal nooks, quiet contemplative spaces and belongings, and everyday interiors are captured in a warm and nostalgic light.
Something about her work makes me want to live in these homes and spaces she both creates and reflects upon. – More by Los Angeles Contributor, Ellen Caldwell, after the jump!
Always, there is a gap between new ideas and public acceptance. Art history is rife with iconic figures and work which initially met with decades of rejection, not to mention a tendency toward posthumous adoration. It’s no leap to suppose that, whether due to market forces, critical trends, or perceived level of completion, an important chunk of today’s work remains in artists’ studios. As part of a new interview series “Not For Sale,” (inspired by the PS1 show of that title), I ask artists to discuss pieces which are unlikely to appear in a gallery.
With this is mind, I recently visited the Brooklyn studio of painter Angela Dufresne. Her sweeping, cinematic landscapes are formally similar to music: richly colored panoramas, mashing rock, film, and art history, are painted- or performed- with the sensitivity and virtuoso of a legendary electric guitarist. Angela describes her own process as such: the painter as performer, as cover artist, as groupie. - Whitney Kimball, NYC Contributor
Filed under: Dallas, Q&A | Tags: Conduit Gallery, Dallas, Darke Gallery, Fish and Folw, Steven J. Miller
On a recent plane ride, I couldn’t help but recall his folk-like imagery of airplanes sailing above mountains, minute in comparison to the power of nature and call of the wild. Miller’s paintings are powerful because of his distillment of reality. Planes hover above a combination of earth and manmade structures, yet somehow feel calming. His use of vivid color planes and flattened space heightens this alternative reality, creating something that sticks with you and makes the world feel a bit more fantastical. - Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor