Filed under: Chicago, Review | Tags: David Salle, Stephanie Cristello, The Arts Club of Chicago
How can a figure pretend to be invisible, yet still remain the focus of the painting? David Salle begs the question with his recent exhibition at The Arts Club of Chicago – a stunning collection entitled the Ghost Paintings, which displays a collection of work produced by Salle in the early 1990s. The level of artifice referenced by the title, which though acknowledged in perhaps a witty sense, is never coy or masked – make no mistake, the mask may very well be the subject – but Salle’s relationship to form in these paintings is much more Classical than that. Like folds carved out of alabaster marble, the forms the figures take in the paintings are heightened by their sculptural presence. Each canvas in the exhibition carries on it a similar photographic image exposed directly onto photosensitized linen, depictions of longtime model Beverly Eaby, who was asked to pose in Salle’s studio covered in a simple white sheet. Like cinematic portraits of an unseen performer, where dreams of phantasmagoria meet the hard-edged formalist, Salle’s theatrical, yet frivolous and unrehearsed canvases assail the reciprocity between the image, and how it is constructed. – Stephanie Cristello, Chicago Contributor
David Salle | Ghost 3, 1992, ink on photosensitized linen, 85 x 75 inches, © David Salle, VAGA, NY. Photographer: John Berens.
Sam and I sat in a coffee shop a day before he left from his residency at the University of Texas at Dallas residency program, CentralTrak. His residency produced new paintings and drawings for his solo show, Aran, currently on view at Talley Dunn Gallery. Speaking of his early years in LA, Reveles recalls an integral moment. Beginning from there, Sam and I had a conversation. – Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor
Filed under: Interview, Seattle | Tags: Amanda Manitach, Roq la Rue Gallery, Stacey Rozich
Stacey Rozich’s Within Without Me opened May 2 at Roq la Rue Gallery in Seattle. The 22 watercolor and gouache paintings on display cast the artist’s trademark colorful, convivial monsters in a new light—or new darkness, rather. The series is about “the light and the shadows of faith, devotion and the power of lies” and illustrates the misadventures of drunkards wielding shotguns, decapitated monsters with demonic masks and spiritual elders hoarding piles of blood money. Blackbirds lurk in many of the images, waiting to devour the dead. For the week leading up to the show, Rozich painted a huge mural on the virgin walls of the gallery’s new space in Pioneer Square (Roq la Rue recently moved from its decade-old location in Belltown). Curious about the origin of this series, I asked Rozich a few questions about the work. - Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor
Stacey Rozich | Collection Day At The Shrine, 2013, watercolor and gouache on paper, 11 x 7.5 inches. Image courtesy of Roq la Rue Gallery.
Don’t bother asking Mark Gottsegen – founder of AMIEN, author of The Painter’s Handbook, teacher, artist, and all around art materials guru – what’s the best type of paint to use? “I get asked this all the time,” said Gottsegen, who took time out from writing to speak to me last week. “And I say, well, I can’t tell you that.”
It’s not that he doesn’t have opinions on the matter, but as someone devoted to the scientific study of art materials he realizes the importance of maintaining an unbiased position. AMIEN, which stands for Art Materials Information and Education Network, bills itself as “the only unbiased source of information about art materials on the internet.” They do not accept advertising and do not allow the promotion of any specific products. In a series of forums on the AMIEN website, users can post their questions about art materials and get answers from a team of knowledgeable moderators and other experts in the field who monitor the site. (Gottsegen informed me that he personally reviews each answer for accuracy). AMIEN’s board of directors includes conservation scientists from top institutions, founders of well-known art supply companies, and artists from around the county. Many of them help answer user’s questions on the site as well. - Trevor Spaulding, Los Angeles Contributor
To know Judy, a wonderful and generous artist and teacher, one has to reconcile her kind spirit with her absolutely gruesome work. Body parts, heads (so many heads!) and objects of destruction are rife throughout her recent solo show at Betty Cunningham Gallery. Glantzman’s raw imagery, what Peter Plagens of the Wall Street Journal called “studenty” (a term Glantzman enjoys) is tough to deal with. Addressing her personal relationship to the idea of war while pulling from the works of Goya and Picasso, Glantzman “orchestrated” over 200 pieces for the viewer to work through, a feat for both sides. After mounting her show and while commuting between Providence and New York, Glantzman and I had a conversation. - Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor
Filed under: Los Angeles, Review | Tags: Jason Ramos, Jay Erker, John Mills, John Pearson, Weekend, Weekend Space
At the shared edge of Hollywood and Los Feliz, across from La Luz de Jesus Gallery / Wacko / Soap Plant, down a block from Cheetah’s gentlemen’s club, and next door to a tattoo place, lies the residence of artists Jay Erker and John Mills. The front room of their place is also Weekend, described on their website as “a new artist-run space dedicated to showing the work of under-represented and emerging contemporary artists in Los Angeles and beyond.” Since Erker and Mills opened Weekend in 2011, it has become one the defining outposts of Los Angeles’ thriving community of artist-run and alternative spaces, with a string of acclaimed and engaging exhibitions, including of their own work. The niche that Weekend and other alternative spaces fill in the contemporary art scene of LA is surmised in their words – “There is a tremendous amount of excellent work out there that falls through the cracks of the commercial art world and we like to think we provide a way for some of that work to be seen. We hope that in the end spaces like ours can provide a launching pad for artist’s careers, helping them along the path to success.” - Jason Ramos, Los Angeles Contributor
Filed under: Interview | Tags: Albuquerque, Center for Contemporary Arts Sante Fe, CHERYL, Claude Smith, David Leigh, Larry Bob Phillips, The Big Hoot
The Big Hoot is the result of a fruitfully epic collaboration between Albuquerque-based artists David Leigh and Larry Bob Phillips that draws on the persuasive power of comic-inspired renderings to convey themes of nature, violence, death, beauty and the absurd. The floor-to-ceiling fun-house of expertly rendered grotesquery not only serves to overwhelm the viewer with its vast imagery references and chaotic narrative, but it also provided a backdrop for an interactive performance by CHERYL, a four member, semi-anonymous collective based in Brooklyn, NY. Leigh and Philips spent the better part of three months cooped up in their studios working at a frantic pace to create the individual larger-than-life “pendants,” that would eventually fill the 16’ x 75’ exhibition space. Using an approach that could be considered an architect’s answer to large-scale collage making, images were painted on thin plywood veneer, cut out and stacked away in the artists’ studios. During the installation, Leigh and Phillips curated the images from their sizeable pendant archive they felt best fit the criteria of both practical and conceptual considerations. I recently had the opportunity to ask David and Larry Bob about their thoughts and process of preparing for The Big Hoot. – Claude Smith, Albuquerque & Santa Fe contributor
Patrick McDonough’s lawn chairs are not meant for sitting. And if they begin to seem functional, well, it’s all pretend. The sculptures offer the formal concepts of lawn chairs without actually closing the deal — legs and armrests have gone missing, for starters, and the works themselves are decidedly non functional. Instead of functionality McDonough is interested in their allusions to an American iconography of leisure. Take a look at them and it’s not difficult to imagine the smell of freshly cut grass or the skyward boom of summertime fireworks. It’s part of what the artist describes as his overarching interest in the aesthetics of free time. But there’s something else that’s also at work here; each piece has a significant stake in pure color, in hard edged geometry, and in the rectangular chromatic plane. You won’t need to dig too deep before you start thinking of abstract painting. - Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. Contributor
Filed under: Los Angeles, Review | Tags: Charlie Jame Gallery, Los Angeles, Trevor Spaulding, William Powhida
At first glance, William Powhida’s new show Bill By Bill at Charlie James Gallery looks like a fairly typical survey of contemporary art. Just about all of today’s most common approaches to object-driven art making are represented. There’s a post-minimalist sculpture, some neo-modernist wall pieces, a hard-edged abstraction, three large digitally printed color field paintings, a neo-expressionist painting, a taxidermied animal, and a neon sign.
At second glance, the show looks like one big joke about the contemporary art world. Powhida farmed out the making of these ‘artworks’ to assistants, mimicking popular contemporary tropes. He then created some of his signature text-based pieces to accompany each of the works, satirically describing the labor (or lack there of) and intellectual rigor (or lack there of) that went into their creation. - Trevor Spaulding, Los Angeles Contributor
Filed under: Dallas, Review | Tags: Arthur Pena, BLK JPG, Blow Up Gallery, Bret Slater, Brian Ryden, Cassandra Emswiler, Dallas, David Ayllsworth, Eli Walker, Forth Worth Drawing Center, Francis Giampietro, Francisco Moreno, Gregory Ruppe, Jesse Morgan Barnett, John Dickinson, Kerry Pacillio, Kevin Ruben Jacobs, Kim Owens, M, Marcelyn McNeil, Michael Francis, Michael Mazurek, Michelle Mackey, Michelle Rawling, Nathan Green, Raychael Stine, Thomas Feulmer, Trey Egan, Vincent Falsetta
I want to keep this simple. There is a core group of artists in Dallas making the rounds and putting interesting work into the local and national converstion and I just want to put this hard working bunch of artists on blast. Below are a few images from 3 recent group shows curated by Dallas based artists. Most of the artists in these shows, as well as the curators, have links to their site. This, dear reader, is so that you can follow up on an artist or work you might find engaging. Everyone couldn’t get an image into this article so hopefully you will take a minute and click on the artists names to see what they got going on. So, please, take some time to get to know these artists as they very much want to get to know you. Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor