Filed under: Los Angeles | Tags: David O'Brien, Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles, My Pet Doppelganger, Richard Heller Gallery
David O’Brien | Hey Let’s Get Together and Figure this Thing Out (DETAIL), 2012, 48 x 66 inches. Photo Courtesy Ellen C. Caldwell
From afar, many of O’Brien’s photographs look like solar systems – the swirling nature of the spirographed patterns of people look distinctly like stars of the Milky Way. Staring at the paintings for even a few moments, one might recall sitting in a planetarium or staring up at a desert sky. - Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
Filed under: Interview, Seattle | Tags: Amanda Manch, DILF, Erin Langner, Platform Gallery, Robert Yoder, SEASONS, Sharon Butler, SQUEEZE HARD (HOLD THAT THOUGHT)
Artist Robert Yoder’s gallery, known simply as SEASON, resides on a wide thoroughfare between two north Seattle neighborhoods, somewhere between a deli and a city park. One of several residential spaces appearing in disparate corners of the post-recession city as other spaces downsized or faded away, SEASON fills not only a gap in available spaces for artists to show work but also creates a distinct venue for relationships between artists to manifest. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor
Robert Yoder. Untitled (Lukas). 2011, oil on panel, mylar, 25 x 19 inches. Copyright © 2012 Robert Yoder.
A practicing artist himself, Yoder’s personal home is the gallery, enabling a particular sense of comfort and confidence in his deliberate placements and pairings of largely emerging artists. This month’s SQUEEZE HARD (HOLD THAT THOUGHT) includes the illustrated fabric works of Seattle artist Allison Manch and paintings by New York’s Sharon Butler, comingled in small groupings throughout the living and dining rooms. Butler’s manipulated canvases extract and reconfigure abstracted elements of modernist sculpture from the National Gallery of Art, while Manch’s embroidered and watercolor works isolate well known symbols of the western desert in scenes that create the sense of a figure in search of its narrative. Simultaneously across town, Robert Yoder’s new oil and collage canvases, as well works on paper, comprise DILF!, the artist’s solo show at the more conventional Platform Gallery. I took this opportunity to discuss the relationships fostered by SEASON with Robert, Allison and Sharon.
Erin Langner: Allison and Sharon, did knowing these works would be shown in a residence impact the decisions you made in what to show?
Allison Manch: Yes. When I created work for SEASON, I knew I could make pieces that could be displayed in unexpected ways. My studio is in my apartment (my living room and sometimes my bedroom) so portability is always key to my practice. This translates to the work I made for SEASON since I wanted to make work that could be adaptable to different rooms or situations.
Sharon Butler: I had never been to SEASON when I agreed to do the show, but I knew it was in Robert’s mid-century modern home, so I suspected there were lots of windows, an open floor plan, and relatively little wall space. I was working on large, unstretched paintings inspired by the mid-century sculpture by guys like David Smith, Tony Smith, and Mark Di Suvero, and the paintings could be draped anywhere, for instance, over a couch. The setting seemed perfect. I also included several small paintings that could be grouped in various ways and an unstretched tondo made of painters’ tarp that I envisioned draped over a shower curtain pole, like a bathmat.
Allison Manch, Cave Creek, 2011, hand embroidery and acrylic on cotton with ink and natural dyes, 29 x 24.5 inches.
EL: What was the process for determining where in the house the two sets of works are located?
SB: I love the way Robert organized and hung the show. He draped my largest works over the fireplace and over a very low pedestal and then interspersed the smaller pieces with Allison’s. Our work is rooted in kindred ideas, and we have a similar aesthetic, so looking at the individual pieces together creates an interesting conversation.
Robert Yoder: It may confuse people as to knowing who made what, but I prefer to mix the work by the artists within walls. I couple the artists in each show because I see some tenuous parallel between their work; then, I just let them make what they make. The show design fits with how I see these parallels. I’m always surprised at the deeper connections and associations that start to appear when the work arrives.
EL: The highly textural quality of Sharon’s paintings and the painterly sensibility of Allison’s works makes the pairing appear so natural, it is very intriguing to hear that Sharon had never been to SEASON prior to agreeing to the show. Upon seeing the final hanging, were there new aspects of the work that resonated when seen together?
RY: Absolutely. So much of the work in the show is new, so I really relied on what I knew of their previous work when putting it together. For Allison, much of her earlier work was text-based although you could see the beginning of a move towards image-based embroideries. These new pieces are stunning in the way they evoke a sense of dry, arid desolation. They are physically small but their impact conveys tremendous space. For Sharon, I was mostly familiar with her smaller canvases that were these quirky abstractions, and I only knew of one really giant painting. Most of the work she sent is also mid-sized, and again, by abstracting these monumental sculptures, she shrunk the scale but increased the view. I remember laying out all the work when it arrived and thinking that they must have spoken with each other in the months leading up to the show.
SB: The primary attribute uniting our work is that we both craft carefully made objects that, in terms of their physical objectness, exude an aggressive nonchalance. Yes, at first glance, our work looks similar, but hanging it side-by-side also makes the differences more obvious. Where my paintings embody a Minimalist’s ennui, Allison’s embroideries manifest the raging torment of a jilted lover—a more Neo-Expressionist approach than Minimalist despite her spare use of materials. I’m energized seeing these paintings installed with Allison’s embroideries—it’s like finding a treasure chest of new approaches and ideas.
AM: Sharon’s work that I had seen previous to this show struck me as really fresh and inspiring, Her approach to materials encouraged me to take a lighter touch when I created new works for the show. When I saw the final installation, it was fun to experience the formal connections between our work. Robert’s work with SEASON is indispensible in that he is building a community and uniting ideas with a very wide scope. I agree it’s really invigorating.
EL: Robert, has showing and living with other artists’ works impacted your practice since you opened SEASON in 2010?
RY: Absolutely. At first, I knew it would be a way to stay actively involved with art in a different manner. What I didn’t expect was how it would allow me to recognize ideas of my own that had be just below the surface– ideas that were waiting to happen. I see a common theme in the work I show and I recognize that theme in my own work. I’m certain I’m playing off these ideas in ways I wasn’t two years ago. Having the shows in the house makes me work harder; certainly I’m feeling competitive, but more importantly, I’m feeling like I have a place with like minded artists, both in Seattle and elsewhere.
Robert Yoder. Untitled (Brian). 2012, oil and acrylic on gatorboard, 22 x 20 inches. Copyright © 2012 Robert Yoder.
SQUEEZE HARD (HOLD THAT THOUGHT) featuring work by Sharon Butler and Allison Manch is on view at SEASON through June 30, 2012. Robert Yoder’s solo show DILF! is on view at Platform Gallery through June 16, 2012. Both galleries are located in Seattle, WA. Check out yesterday’s blog post featuring a conversation with Robert and artist Ian Toms.
Filed under: Seattle, The Conversation | Tags: Amanda Manitach, Ian Toms, Platform Gallery, Robert Yoder, Season, The Conversation
This is the first in a series of discussions conducted between professionals – gallerists, collectors, curators, artists – who have some kind of connection or partnership that elicits conversation about practice, collaboration, or the business of art. Robert Yoder (NAP #7, #85) is a Seattle-based artist who has shown work internationally and is no stranger to New American Paintings. He runs a gallery called SEASON out of his mid-century home in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle. Ian Toms is a young painter and sculptor who has developed a close working relationship with Yoder. Both of their work flirts with provocative obfuscation and dabbles in a vernacular of glamorous filth. Perhaps flirts and dabbles are too weak of terms.
The following interview took place in Toms’ studio. It’s sparse, gritty. There are a lot of spray paint cans and sharpies scattered around, canvases stacked up, ripped magazine images and sketches taped to the walls. One of the sharpie drawings on the wall shows an S-shape repeated randomly on the page. - Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor
Filed under: Other Voices | Tags: Michael Klein, Other Voices, Robert Baribeau
In the countryside north of NYC Robert Baribeau has been feverishly at work on a thirty-year exploration of the impact of landscape and place on abstraction. He is the measure of what he purveys and so his canvases and paintings on paper are simple declarations or essays on the way in which all aspects of nature can be construed through color, form and texture. While for some painters nature is translated in terms of representation or naturalism, Baribeau measures landscape through the dynamics of color and texture.
Robert Baribeau | Field Series, Untiled 466, 2003, mixed media on paper mounted on canvas, 51 1/2 x 73 inches
Courtesy Allan Stone Gallery, New York
Of course Baribeau’s landscapes are seen through the temperament and eye of a home grown abstract painter, someone whose roots are among the mystical painters of the Northwest of the 50s-he is from Aberdeen WA after all and the later stages of the New York School of the 60s. His paintings are a synthesis of sources perhaps influenced by the early Ab Ex works of Grace Hartigan, who also recorded the impression of places through striking colors on large canvases or the later abstract distillations of Joan Mitchell whose eye and palette were attuned to her years in France and working near Monet’s garden in Giverny.
Transplanted to the lower Hudson River Valley he is certainly not revitalizing the 19th century school of painting but though recognizing the sublime power inherent in nature and therefore finding pictorial equivalents of color and sign to match its wonder and chaos. - Read more by Michael Klein, NAP Contributor, after the jump.
Filed under: DC, Q&A | Tags: Contemporary Wing, Lauren Gentile, Matthew Smith, Next Generation
A few months prior to opening her new storefront gallery, Lauren Gentile organized the group show Next Generation in a raw warehouse space in downtown D.C. It was timed to coincide with the Rubell Family Collection’s 30 Americans at the Corcoran last winter, and it tapped a few art stars from the Rubell show to select a batch of up-and-comers they viewed as the next generation of great artists. It was a novel conceit for an exciting show, as well as a clever pooling of disparate resources that included direct mayoral intervention.
As of earlier this month Gentile’s putting that resourcefulness to work in Contemporary Wing, her new exhibition space on 14th Street. It’s a coming home of sorts — Gentile was the longtime gallery director at Irvine Contemporary, which occupied the same address until it shuttered last summer. And she’s inaugurating the new digs with an aptly titled solo show, I’m Coming Home, by Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi (NAP #87 and #100), a recent MFA graduate from American University. I recently caught up with Lauren to chat about her new gallery and inaugural show, as well as the Next Generation exhibition. Our conversation after the jump. –Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. contributor
Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi | Detail view of “Knok Knok, Who’s There?”, 2012. Acrylic, gouache, imitation gold leaf and handpainted collage on Mylar. 40 x 30 inches
Filed under: Gallerist at Home | Tags: Deborah Gribbon, Ellen C. Caldwell, Gallerist at Home
Former Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, and recent Interim Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Deborah Gribbon is by no means a gallerist or collector in the typical sense of the words. But she is most definitely a quick-witted, intelligent, and gifted scholar in the art world, both in and outside of Los Angeles.
For this column, I use the term “gallerist” loosely in order to explore the ways in which people involved in the art world in various capacities collect and showcase personal art in their private homes (see previous features Heather Taylor and Catlin Moore). Our interest in such personal showcases certainly has a voyeuristic undertone, but it is also my hope that this column uncovers a deeper and more intricate connection between art historians, cultural curators, and gallerists and the art they collect. - Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
Filed under: Review | Tags: #84, #87, Brian Porray, Ellen C. Caldwell, NAP, Western Project
The wide open space of Culver City’s WESTERN PROJECT is the perfect white-walled arena for Brian Porray’s (NAP #84 and #87) looming, neon, psychedelic architectural landscapes. – Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
Walking into the gallery, the viewer is met with such massive, loud, and bright paintings that a really engaging and interactive experience begins immediately. Porray, who was born and raised in Las Vegas, based this entire solo show “–(\DARKHOR5E/)–” on his psychological interpretations of and experiences around the city’s Luxor Hotel.
Brian Porray | –(\DARKHOR5E/)–, synthetic polymer, spray paint, paper on canvas (three parts), 96″ x 216 inches.
Another weekly recap, for those that simply couldn’t follow along the past few days on our blog…“after the jump,” as they say.
Sam Gordon | Impossible Object, 2010; acrylic paint, spray paint, ink-jet iron-on transfer on sewn clothes and fabric remnants; 58 x 58” (Photo courtesy of Feature Inc)
Filed under: Art World, Unlocking The Vault | Tags: Bridget Riley, John Pyper, Shuttle II, Unlocking The Vault, Wadsworth Antheneum
Museums have gone crazy for traveling group blockbusters but the works in their collections can still inspire. In the coming months, our Boston Contributor, John Pyper, will explore some of the works in permanent collections in a column called: Unlocking The Vault
Bridget Riley, Shuttle II, 1964
Bridget Riley, Shuttle II, 1964. Emulsion on panel; 42 1/8 x 42 1/8 in. The Alexander A. Goldfarb Contemporary Art Acquisition Fund and the Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1994.5.1
One of the great things about being in Boston’s South End is that we have tons of great art all around us. You may think that we have enough art to look at, given the competitions we manage, but it’s always nice to see original works right in front of our eyes, rather than in digital and printed reproductions. Especially when the local installation belongs to one of New American Paintings past featured artists. I was passing by Samson Projects today (thanks to a lazy lunch during our 70 degree weather), just three doors down from the Open Studios Press, and had an urge to document the Steve Locke show, You Don’t Deserve me, and share it with our readers. So I grabbed my camera, and here’s what I got. You may recall Steve from a conversation we did on the blog a while back. He was also featured in New American Paintings, Issue #86. Needless to say, we are all fans here of Steve and his work. Andrew Katz, Associate Publisher