As we continue working on a new and vastly improved NewAmericanPaintings.com, there has been a lot of time spent looking into our past. It’s been a good excuse to peruse older issues and all of the great work within. Also, in doing so, we recalled some great Spotlights that were in print and we think are worthy of another view. While the work may be a bit dated, the articles are still awesome. So in this new Spotlight Blog series, we’ll bring you some of our favorites.
To kick things off, we are going back to issue #86, released in 2010. Former Editor-At-Large, Evan J. Garza, interviewed William Cordova who was featured in our 2013 MFA Annual. Enjoy!
William Cordova |From: Untitled (the Echo in Nicolás Guillén Landrián’s Bolex), 2008-09, mixed media collage, 1 of 100 works, Courtesy: Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY
Technology creeps me out. And I realize this is a first world problem, but I find myself avoiding gadgets and the internet whenever possible. I don’t tweet, I don’t chat on Facebook, my iPod was born in 2007 and I’m audacious enough (apparently) to forego the tablet for real books. I just recently took the smart phone plunge and this was only because it became abundantly clear that, by today’s social standards, it is considered rude to let even a few minutes pass by before responding to an email. Whilst drafting the pros and cons list that eventually led me to acquiring my fancy phone I found myself wondering if I’m the only one who feels the need to heavily evaluate technology before welcoming it into my life. To my friends the answer to this query was assuredly yes, but technology runs deeper than Instagram and YouTube. At some point smart phones become the too-easy escape during a lull at the cocktail party, television becomes the determiner of when we need to be home on the couch, and social media becomes the bully taunting us with the lives of others, leaving us feeling highly uninteresting or ravenous to make sure our recent camping trip was properly, and publicly, chronicled. It’s overwhelming. Fortunately, in my quest for the perfect words to describe this tangled techno chaos I met artist Grant Miller and he showed me what this chaos looks like. Because despite the wealth of information and imagery technology affords us, the one thing it can’t seem to show us is its self. Until now. - Halcombe Miller, Kansas City Contributor
It looks quite strange when the modern and natural worlds collide. Like an alligator gut full of aluminum cans or a birds’ nest made of soda straws and bits of dental floss – we think we know what natural looks like. Artist Davin Watne began an exploration of the collision of these two worlds early in his career, but his latest work poses his gaze on a more basic aspect of this dichotomy. Using glamorously cycloptic eyes and a slew of richly hued sculptural pieces, Watne has taken his focus from the literal collision of the modern and natural worlds, slowly seeped out the physical drama, and cast his eyes upon our biology. - Halcombe Miller, Kansas City Contributor
Filed under: Los Angeles, Q&A, Spotlight | Tags: Ellen C. Caldwell, Ellen Caldwell, Frohawk, Frohawk Two Feathers, LA, Stevenson, Taylor De Cordoba
During a time when fiction dances eerily with fact, it feels appropriate to look to a contemporary artist from my generation who is using acrylics, tea-dyed paper, and a variety of mediums to blur, illuminate, disguise, and play with these lines. I first saw Frohawk Two Feathers’ (NAP #73) work at Taylor De Cordoba in 2006 and have followed him and his empire literally through many gallery and museum openings, and figuratively through 100’s of years, numerous battles, wars, and revolutions. Lives have been lost, prisoners have been taken, but Frohawk always comes out on top.
As current 30-somethings, Frohawk and I grew up in a murky time. For me, my 20’s were formative: besides being post-college and post-9/11, the 2004 elections, The 9/11 Commission Report, the United States’ invasion of Iraq, and Sarah Palin’s vice presidential nomination influenced my worldview largely. Bottom line: I don’t believe anything anyone says anymore. - Read more by Ellen Caldwell, LA Contributor, after the jump!
Frokawk Two Feather | Amir Al Bahr. Admiral Deucalion Of The Pirate Fleet of Batavia, 2011, acrylic and tea on paper, 30″ x 22″ Courtesy of Taylor Cordoba
Filed under: Art World, Spotlight, Video | Tags: Anton Kern Gallery, James Kalm, Loren Munk, Mark Grotjahn
James Kalm, AKA the well respected New York City-based painter Loren Munk, has been a well known figure in the New York City art world for years. When he is not painting, James is often busy visiting the dozens of gallery shows that open each month in Chelsea and New York’s other gallery districts. For the past several years, he has made a series of videos that document his gallery visits and offer those not living in New York the opportunity to have a “visit” themselves. Take a stroll with James as he visits Mark Grotjahn’s recent exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery:
Filed under: Atlanta, Review, Spotlight | Tags: Charles Huntley Nelson, Cordova, Jr., Paul Boshears, Saltworks, William Cordova
William Cordova’s (NAP MFA Annual 2003) recent show in Atlanta [Saltworks Gallery; September 16 – October 29, 2011] búscame en el torbellion: but also time itself is a complicated knotwork of imagery that potentially provides a rich discussion. - Read the full review by Atlanta Contributor, Paul Boshears, after the jump.
sin titulo (geronimo II), 2011, reclaimed brown paper bag, aerosol can, feathers, coin wrapper, courtesy of the artist and Saltworks
Filed under: Art World, Competitions, Features, Spotlight | Tags: Chris Ballantyne, Daniel Rich, Elisa Johns, Jim Gaylord, Lisa Sanditz, Matthew Day Jackson, MFA Annual, Michael Scoggins, William Cordova
Matthew Day Jackson, August 6th, 1945 (Dresden), 2010 | Burnt wood, lead on 2 wood panels, 96 x 123 3/4 inches. Courtesy Peter Blum Gallery, New York.
Not to toot our own horn, but there have been some pretty exceptional artists featured in the past editions of the MFA Annual competition of New American Paintings, many of whom have gone on to achieve significant international success. This month, with the 2010 MFA Annual Competition in full swing, we’re revisiting some of the strongest and most acclaimed artists to be featured in the MFA book, including Chris Ballantyne, William Cordova, Jim Gaylord, Matthew Day Jackson, Elisa Johns, Lisa Sanditz, Michael Scoggins, and Daniel Rich. (Toot toot.)
CURRENT MFA CANDIDATES: Apply online through October 31 for this year’s competition, juried by Randi Hopkins, Associate Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA). And be sure to check out our recent interview with Randi to hear what she has to say about working with emerging artists. —Evan J. Garza
Filed under: Art World, Sneak Peeks, Spotlight | Tags: Evan J. Garza, Peregrine Honig
Featured a whopping four times in New American Paintings (Editions #29, #41, #53, and #71), Peregrine Honig is no stranger to the spotlight. In fact, her work frequently deals with the idea of celebrity, using popular culture and her gritty surroundings in Kansas City, Missouri as creative fodder.
We recently made plans to interview Honig for a Spotlight feature in Edition #89, and to our surprise we discovered she was selected as a contestant for Bravo’s reality television series, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. The following is an excerpt from her recent conversation with editor-at-large, Evan J. Garza.
First featured in Edition 70, and included as the Spotlight artist in the forthcoming Edition 88 of New American Paintings, Miami-based Jen Stark produces some truly exceptional work. Captivated by naturally occurring organic forms, Stark’s kaleidoscopic palette is inspired by the tropical city she calls home, and her numbered art-making practices make incredible use of ordinary materials.