Allyce Wood’s new works on paper feign modesty. The watercolors and pencil drawings that comprise Latent Utility, Present but Not Active Worth at SOIL in Seattle, WA pose as straightforward flora studies from a forlorn time and place, but the depth is in the details. Against a backdrop of the overtly “small batch” and “hand foraged” aesthetics characteristic of the urban crafting currently in vogue across the Northwest and beyond, the artist steeps this body of work in restrained, carefully considered elements of the natural world that feel rich in their compositions while representing hollow, decaying remnants of traditional craft processes—cavernous driftwood, crumpled leaves, dried garland, woven shoots. Working without direct physical references, Wood’s new series promises an authentic, if imperfect, strive for genuineness that resonates against the trends it quietly defies. I caught up with the artist to find more about these ideas and processes behind Latent Utility. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor
Filed under: Dallas, Q&A | Tags: Arthur Pena, Charles Mayton, Dallas, Making [in] Dallas, The Power Station, Two Step
Vol. 2: Charles Mayton, The Power Station and the Long Vision
Before I go any further, here is some official literature about The Power Station:
“The Power Station is a not-for-profit initiative dedicated to providing a platform for ambitious contemporary art projects in Dallas, Texas. Housed in a Power & Light building constructed in 1920, artists are invited to respond to the raw character of the architecture, offering an alternative to the traditional gallery and museum context.
Geared toward an international audience and most immediately, the community of Dallas, the bold programming serves as a catalyst to provocate public discourse around art and culture.
Projects and publications at The Power Station are made possible through funding provided by The Pinnell Foundation.”
Filed under: New York, Q&A, Review | Tags: Bold as Love, James Cohan Gallery, Nadiah Fellah, SHINIQUE SMITH
On display at the James Cohan Gallery in New York are over twenty large-scale paintings and sculptures by Shinique Smith. The show, Bold as Love, combines the artist’s disparate inspirations drawn from calligraphy, literature, music, dance, fashion, and spiritual elements, which are literally and symbolically “tied together” in her sculptural pieces. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor
Shinique Smith | No Key, No Question, 2013, Ink, acrylic, fabric and collage on canvas over panel, 60 x 60 x 2 inches, Courtesy James Cohan Gallery
Filed under: Interview, Q&A | Tags: Arthur Pena, B. Wurtz, Metro Pictures
An afternoon with B. Wurtz is one filled with ruminations on art and life, the relationships between the everyday and the uneventful and your choice between a cheese or hummus sandwich. Wurtz himself is a welcoming spirit with an ever-present eye for the details that make up the world around us. Looking at his work, Wurtz’s meditative hand and delicate nature are overwhelmingly apparent. I can’t help but believe that only Wurtz could have the diligent restraint to caress plastic bags, tin foil pans and other materials that “service/serve us” into objects that challenge the conventions of art history while acting as mirrors to this space/place that we occupy. Sitting with Wurtz at his home in the lower eastside, surrounded by his work, we had a conversation. – Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor
B. Wurtz | Untitled, 2009, Plastic bags, acrylic paint, string, canvas, 75 x 90 x 1 ½, inches. Photo courtesy of Metro Pictures.
Filed under: Gallerist at Home, Q&A | Tags: Cole Sternberg, David B. Smith, David B. Smith Gallery, Denver, Ellen C. Caldwell, Gallerist at Home, Hong Seon Jang, Laura Ball
Denver’s burgeoning contemporary art scene is anchored by such galleries as David B. Smith Gallery. Representing artists like Laura Ball (NAP #61, #97), Hong Seon Jang, and Cole Sternberg, the gallery is at once contemporary and relevant—and growing with the times.
David Smith (center, in tie) at opening reception for Hong Seon Jang, Labyrinth, at David B. Smith Gallery, Denver, May 2012. Time-lapse photograph courtesy of Paul Winner.
In his home, as with most other “gallerists at home,” Smith’s passion and enthusiasm for the artists he represents professionally is clear. Pairing paintings with photography and sculpture, he has created a warm and inviting space that reflects his humor and personality as well. - Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
The limits of the human mind have something to do with really big numbers. There’s no insight into knowing that Earth is one hundred million miles away from the Sun, for example — it’s just real far. Partly, it’s a matter of scale. Cornell mathematician Steve Strogatz tries to rein in this vastness in his description of the Sagan Planet Walk, a scaled replica of the solar system in Ithaca, NY. There, Earth is the size of a pea and just a couple of steps away from the sun, itself the size of a serving plate. Pluto, the farthest planet in the solar system, is scaled to the size of a couscous grain and nearly a mile away, or a twenty minute walk. Needless to say there’s no Sagan Planet Walk that includes the other 100 billion stars in the Milky Way, or the rest of the 100 billion visible galaxies in the universe. — Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. contributor
Felipe Pereira Goncalves | space…the unfuckable frontier, 2011, acrylic and spray paints,glue, and glitter on canvas, 32″x 50″
Filed under: In the Studio, Interview, Q&A | Tags: Amanda Manitach, Eric Elliott, James Harris Gallery, Pairings
Eric Elliott’s fourth solo exhibit at James Harris Gallery, called Pairings, shows a body of work getting much muckier. And the muck is getting more colorful. Paint, slowly and painstakingly built up in daubs, nearly curls off the canvas like calcified petals, resembling the flora with which he is obsessed. (His botanical illustrations fill notebooks scattered around his studio; dried bouquets languish in vases.) Elliott’s fascination with rendering the representational abstract is consistently apparent in his work: the subject of his paintings is sometimes legible, sometimes it spastically dissolves. Pairings takes this study of abstraction to a dialogic place. As per the title, Pairings displays paintings side-by-side as diptychs and triptychs, situating identical or related subjects next to one another. Yet each is executed with different approaches to material and mark making that evolve as part of the ongoing painting process. - Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor
Filed under: Q&A | Tags: #99, Arlington Arts Center, Laura Hudson, Matthew Smith, NAP
Laura Hudson (NAP #99) has been getting out of the studio. The Baltimore-based painter organizes participatory events, documents them on video, then culls her compositions from the nuanced moments hidden in the hours of footage. For her latest project Laura organized a sleepover at the Arlington Arts Center in suburban Washington, DC. The event was meant to be a sentimental throwback to the days of slumber parties — the artist and 15 of her friends ate junk food, chatted, and played cards all night before nodding off into sleeping bags. It’s all part of her painting process now, bringing her together with friends as much as it pushes her into the isolation of the studio.
The resultant series of paintings, On Common Ground, are currently exhibiting in the same gallery space where the sleepover was organized. In this regard they’re meant to function like a site-specific installation, integrating the viewer into the composition and blurring the boundary between the audience and the painting. Another project, Art Opening (pictured below), takes what is perhaps a more direct path at this, as painted subjects and gallery goers comingle in the same functional space.
I recently had the chance to chat with Laura about her work and her process. Our conversation after the jump. – Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. contributor
Filed under: Los Angeles, Q&A | Tags: Andrewshire Gallery, Ann Bridges, Beer Belly, Ellen C. Caldwell, Gucci has my Blessing, Koreatown, LA, Marion Lane, MR44, Vincent Sabella, Wilshire Center Art & Architecture Walk, Yoshi Takahashi
On October 25th, Koreatown launched a new monthly art walk in the Wilshire Corridor. Self-described, the Wilshire Center Art & Architecture Walk “is a monthly celebration of sustainable urban living showcasing historic architecture, galleries, artists, photography, restaurants, bars, shops, and businesses located in Wilshire Center.”
Laura & Manfred Menz | Gucci has my Blessing, Courtesy of Andrewshire Gallery.
While the inaugural walk did not show signs of large masses walking from place to place, the way one might see at LA’s Downtown Art Walk or Culver City Art Walk, the art at the participating Ann Bridges Art Studio, Andrewshire Gallery, and the popular Beer Belly restaurant was young, fresh, and uniquely LA. - Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
Practical necessity is Judy Rushin’s (NAP #64, #76, #100) muse. Well, not exactly. Her Modular series of sculptural paintings are made to be disassembled and reconfigured again; site-specific works that can travel well. Individual modules are aggregated into compositions for new exhibition layouts, then stacked and shipped. They’re spatially and geographically untethered — mobile paintings for a mobile economy. Indeed, if practical necessity is the unintended muse of most projects (unless your name is Jeff Koons), Rushin’s Modular paintings offer the idea of practical necessity as an evocative conceptual and material framework. There’s a clear immediacy to them, perhaps because they reflect our own untethered geographies.
Judy was one of the independent artists exhibiting at the (e)merge art fair in D.C. a few weeks ago, and I recently caught up with her to chat about her work and her process. –Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. contributor (more…)