Filed under: Art World, Features, Noteworthy | Tags: Annie Lapin, BLICK Art Materials, Honor Fraser, Reader's Choice
The results are in. We’re proud to announce that after nearly 3,000 votes, the winner of the inaugural New American Paintings Reader’s Choice Poll is Annie Lapin! We asked our readers to vote for their favorite Noteworthy artist of the last year—twelve artists from our six 2010 editions selected by both the juror and our editorial staff—and the response was overwhelming. Annie is the winner of a $500 gift certificate from BLICK Art Materials, and we thank BLICK for their support.
Saying of the Los Angeles-based artist’s work, NAP president and publisher Steven Zevitas writes, “As with many artists of her generation, Annie Lain is deeply concerned with the fluid space between abstraction and representation. In her extraordinarily lush paintings, bits of the real world emerge and recede as they actively compete for dominance with the elements of her creation—surface, stroke, and color. Lapin’s paintings are about wrestling meaning from chaos, but they are equally about an unabashed love for the medium of painting itself.”
Thanks to all who voted! Annie Lapin will be the subject of a forthcoming video, produced with Future Shipwreck, (check out our most recent video with Iva Gueorguieva!), so keep your eyes peeled for more from the L.A. painter. And come back next Monday for the announcement of the $1000 prize! More pics of Annie’s work after the jump. —Evan J. Garza
Filed under: Competitions, NAP News, Noteworthy | Tags: Amy Sherald, Annie Lapin, Annual Prize, Bart Vargas, Chris Scarborough, Ellen Sieberg, Jim Gaylord, Joseph Cohen, Matthew Bourbon, Matthew Penkala, Megan Dirks, Mike Nudelman, Reader's Choice, Vera Iliatova
New American Paintings Annual Prize: Reader’s Choice
For the first time in the 17 year history of the publication, we’re asking our readers who they think deserves some attention. We’re pleased to present the New American Paintings Annual Prize, including two components: a cash prize of $1,000 awarded to one Noteworthy artist featured this year, determined by a panel of seasoned curators, and a $500 gift certificate sponsored by BLICK Art Materials, with the winner decided by YOU, our reader! Take a look at all 12 of this year’s Noteworthy artists below and VOTE NOW!
Voting is open through January 7. The winner of the Reader’s Choice will be announced on Monday, January 17, and the winner of the Annual Prize will be announced Monday, January 31.
Filed under: Noteworthy | Tags: Disney, Duccio, Giotto, Jason Dunda, Josef Albers, Noteworthy
The Most Beautiful Electric Chair in the World (Comfy Chair Proposal), 2010 | Gouache on paper, 8 x 9 inches. Courtesy the artist.
Chicago artist Jason Dunda might work with gouache on paper, but his real love is wood. Featured as a Noteworthy artist in edition #83 of New American Paintings, Dunda’s work is as humorous as it is highly reductive. His love of wooden forms in his work led him to build his own object out of the material, and his attention to the hard-formed lines in his work is offset by subtle applications of paint and giant fields of negative space. I caught up Dunda this week to talk wood, his recent work, and what he considers painterly. —Evan J. Garza
EJG: You were featured as a Noteworthy artist in edition #83 of New American Paintings in 2009. Tell me about the work you were making then, and what you’re working on now.
It was such a great surprise to see that I’d been featured [as a Noteworthy artist] in the front of the magazine. At the time I was making this work, I was thinking a lot about the end of the world… but in a kind of stupid way. I had just read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Wall-E had just come out, and there was this show on cable called “Life After People” that digitally produced—pretty badly, mind you—what might happen if every human being on earth suddenly disappeared. I started thinking a lot about how futile it is to control our surroundings when the natural world is so powerful and chaotic. I can’t make make art without it being at least a little funny, so I responded to these thoughts by making these beautiful semi-abstractions of landscapes with pathetic man-made alterations. These led to the paintings of the useless ramshackle towers and trees made out of cut logs also published in the magazine.
Ghosts of Industrial Past, 2008 | Oil on canvas, 30 x 24 inches
Michelle Mackey was included in edition #60 of New American Paintings and was selected as a Noteworthy artist in edition #80. The Brooklyn-based artist has made some recent changes, not only to her paintings but some geographic changes as well. Now in Texas teaching at universities in Dallas, I caught up with Mackey this week to discuss her work, and to see if now that she’s gone black, will she ever go back. —Evan J. Garza
EJG: Last you were featured in New American Paintings in early 2009 you were working on your Portal series, which featured colorful, almost collage-like oil abstractions on canvas. Your current work is quite different, much more reductive in both composition and palette.
The Portal series was an effort to show a crack in the fabric, perhaps a reveal of another world. Not so much an escapist world, but a glimpse into what’s really going on. A bit more like the possibilities that quantum mechanics reveal. I’m always wanting to take a closer look at possibilities and at my own misunderstandings—that is what Portal was about and it is also what the recent black work is about… The “black” work is more about a slow reveal and less about a crack in the fabric. I had a more meditative approach to these paintings and I’ve been told the viewing process is also meditative, and the associations go into vast territory.
Trefoil, 2010 | Acrylic and enamel on resin-coated panel, 47 x 47 inches
EJG: Why the switch to black and white (and gray)?
In short, I reacted to the panels. I was working at a scene shop where they produce sets for TV shows. They had these black panels, essentially masonite with a black shiny resin coat, that I had seen for years but never really considered for my own work. When I was packing up my supplies for a residency at Vermont Studio Center, a co-worker challenged me to experiment on those surfaces. I said “sure” and threw them in the truck along with my canvases. The juxtaposition of multiple edges, landscapes and points of view in the Portal series was done through color and edge. In these panels, I could work with surface-sheen and precision, so my color voice needed to be quieter to allow for this. And, since it was a new surface, I did approach it quietly and reflectively. The black, white, and gray seemed clarifying to me. I felt like I was getting further into what I was searching for in the Portal series.
Filed under: Noteworthy | Tags: BAM, Brooklyn, Dan Cameron, Evan J. Garza, film stills, Jim Gaylord, Monica Ramirez-Montagut, Q&A
Force Field, 2010 | Oil on canvas, 36 x 60 inches. Courtesy Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York.
Jim Gaylord was included in the 2006 MFA Annual, edition #43, and was selected as a Noteworthy artist in edition #86 of New American Paintings by Northeast competition juror Monica Ramirez-Montagut, Curator, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. I caught up with the Brooklyn-based artist last week to discuss his optically-charged works, which seem as if to use movement as medium. —Evan J. Garza
EJG: Your work evokes a great deal of movement, and some of your abstractions seem as if captured by a moving camera.
That makes sense because all of the current work is made up of abstract shapes I find in film stills. They’re the kind of forms that fly by quickly and are easy to miss, but I slow down certain sequences frame-by-frame and look for something interesting to work with.
The blurring effect that’s happening in a lot of the new paintings is a result of the fast-moving subjects, but I’m finding that the motion translates into painterly brush strokes in an interesting way. The trick for me is to make them seem like they just happened spontaneously, while in reality they’re planned out. It’s kind of a contradiction, but if you think about it, it’s not really even a process of abstraction because I’m depicting something that’s actually occurring on the screen.
EJG: Did you stare out of car windows a lot as a child?
Sure, and I still appreciate being a passenger in a car or a train. I guess it’s like watching a movie, or a campfire.
Lapse of Decorum, 2010 | Oil on canvas, 35 x 60 inches. Courtesy Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York.
EJG: The line between representation and abstraction in your work is, quite literally, blurred. How do you approach your compositions and how are they produced?
I’ve always liked pictures that I had to keep looking at to figure out what I was seeing, but keep changing, so they never settle into one thing. I used to make ‘automatic drawings,’ like the Surrealists did, just making these ambiguous, stream-of-consciousness forms. But after a while, they all began to look the same, and I wanted to come up with more contemporary ways of image making.
Filed under: Noteworthy, Q&A | Tags: collage, Devin Troy Strother, Evan J. Garza, Los Angeles, painting, Skowhegan
Boom for Real, 2010 | Enamel, acrylic, gouache, ink, graphite, silkscreen, collage on paper, 21.75 x 37 inches. Courtesy Richard Heller Gallery.
To say that the work of Los Angeles-based artist Devin Troy Strother is loud is an enormous understatement. In every work, with every color and each piece of cut paper, Strother constructs rich narratives that, quite literally, cannot be contained by the panels they’re made on. Featured as a Noteworthy artist in edition #85 of New American Paintings, Strother makes paintings that are highly confrontational, not only for their brilliant visual qualities but for the subject matter at hand. I caught up with the artist this week by phone to talk about his work. —Evan J. Garza
EJG: You just finished up a residency at Skowhegan. How was that?
I’ve been working this past year on my solo show opening on Saturday, so I went [to Skowhegan] June to August. Skowhegan’s kind of a place to go and open up and experiment and try different things. Going there having to make work for a show, going there with a preset list of things that you need to accomplish [was] kind of a different thing than going there to make some shit and see what happens.
Big Hustle, Little Hustle, You Know Them Girls Be Puttin’ in Work, 2010 | Enamel, acrylic, gouache, ink, graphite, silkscreen, collage on panel, 30 x 40 inches. Courtesy Richard Heller Gallery.
EJG: Was the work you made at Skowhegan different than the work you’d been making previously?
I would say yes because the work is on this perpetual growth almost, where every piece I do is really different from the last one… All the studio visits really informed the work; a lot of feedback from a lot of people, as opposed to making work in the studio where it’s just mild feedback or just one person seeing it.
EJG: The titles are pretty great. Where do they come from?
The titles come before the work is made. I have a book that I keep of funny shit I hear or comments that I hear that are kind of interesting. It starts with a phrase or a title, and I try to genrate an image that relates to the whole narrative, this world that I’m trying to make. The titles come from things I hear in rap songs or things I hear family members say, things friends say.
California Dreaming/Love, 2010 | Enamel, acrylic, gouache, ink, graphite, silkscreen, collage on paper, 16 x 10 inches. Courtesy Richard Heller Gallery.
Filed under: Noteworthy, Q&A | Tags: architecture, Evan J. Garza, Q&A, Tommy Fitzpatrick
Sunblind Pillars, 2010 | Acrylic on canvas, 69 x 44 inches
Included with every edition of New American Paintings are two Noteworthy artists from the competition–one selected by the edition’s guest juror and another selected by the magazine–an honor in addition to being selected as a winner. This week we caught up with Texas artist Tommy Fitzpatrick, featured as a Noteworthy artist in Edition #84, whose work for the last several years has been based on the architecture of the cities in which the artist is to be exhibited.
EJG: What are you working on right now in your studio? Tell me about your new work.
TF: Over the last year I’ve been working on a group of paintings based on buildings in Berlin to be shown in Berlin.
EJG: How do you work in the studio?
TF: I think of the painting process as if it were a job. I work everyday and enjoy the early mornings the best. Music is a big part of the painting experience. I usually work on paintings one at a time and spend close to a month on each one.
Above Ground, 2010 | Acrylic on canvas, 33 x 69 inches (more…)
Hedwige Jacobs, Aqua, 2010 | marker on board, 9 x 9 inches
Included with every edition of New American Paintings are two Noteworthy artists from the competition–one selected by the edition’s guest juror and another selected by the magazine–an honor in addition to being selected as a winner. New and Noteworthy posts seek to catch up with previous Noteworthy artists and discover what they’ve been up to since they were last included in the magazine.
This week we catch up with Houston-based artist, Hedwige Jacobs (last included in #84 and featured as a Noteworthy artist for #78), who is working towards a show this fall with her gallery in Houston, CTRL.