New American Paintings/Blog


NAP Contributor Tribute by New American Paintings
February 1, 2013, 8:30 am
Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , ,

In case you haven’t noticed, we have the best art writers in the world. Seriously, it’s true. Our blog contributors are stationed all over the country, scoping out shows, visiting studios, and interviewing the best contemporary painters in the art world. Recently we asked our most prolific bloggers to answer a few questions about themselves and their thoughts on 2012. It’s your chance to get to know a handful of the talented individuals that bring you the New American Paintings/Blog! There are many more writers, and we hope to feature them soon.

Thanks to everyone that contributes to our blog, helping us bring our readers rich and exciting content on a daily basis!

IN2180
When we asked Brian Fee which piece “moved him” in 2012, he responded: James Rosenquist | F-111 Reinstallation, 1964-65, Oil on canvas with aluminum, twenty-three sections, 10×86′

Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles
Ellen’s NAP/Blog Posts

Caldwell - headshot

What was your favorite show of 2012?

EC: That is a tough question, but it would probably have to be Ken Gonzales-Day’s recent show at Luis de Jesus Los Angeles. I have been a big fan of his work for a long time and it was great to see a couple of Gonzales-Day’s ongoing series in one space together.  His work sums up visually so many complex ideas that I teach, write, and think about that I just love seeing it and experiencing it in person.

Were there any trends in the contemporary art world that you observed in 2012, either the popular use of specific  imagery or medium?

EC: I think textiles and woven works are getting a lot more attention – and it’s fun to see this work popping up in interesting and unexpected ways… The “street knitting” or “urban knitting” movement, for instance, is something I am loving and I think these kind of nonconventional approaches to installation art will get more and more attention.

What artist are you going to be watching the most in 2013?

EC: Well, not to be too NAP-nepotistic, I have two favorite artists whom I have written much about and who just happen to be New American Paintings artists as well: Jen Pack and Frohawk Two Feathers. They are both wonderfully innovative, intelligent, and witty—in their work and personalities.  I’ve collected their work and curated shows with them, so I am a major follower and fan. I’m also loving Elyse Graham’s geode sculptures and jewelry pieces.

Was there a single piece that you saw in 2012 that moved you?

EC: I am really digging Hew Locke’s work right now. His multimedia works say so much, using so many different approaches, vehicles, mediums, and messages.  He’s also a huge one I am watching in 2013, and always.

Hew Locke-thoseinperil1
Hew Locke’s “For Those in Peril on the Sea,” 2011.  Approximately 70 boats suspended in the Church of St Mary & St Eanswythe, Folkestone, Mixed Media. Photo courtesy of Hew Locke and Indra Khanna 2011.

What do you do in addition to writing for NAP Blog?

EC: I teach art history at Mt. San Antonio College and I work in curriculum assessment and research at Pepperdine University.  These jobs definitely keep me busy when I am not seeing art and meeting artists!

Which post has been the most fun to write on the New American Paintings Blog and why?

EC: Probably History Revisited: Federico Tomasi’s Puputan Paintings – though it is a really tough choice!  Partially, it was just amazing to be in Bali and explore the art scene there a bit.  But I also really loved seeing Tomasi’s work and meeting him to discuss his historical inspirations.

I love research and his work definitely inspired me to look more deeply into the history of colonization in Bali.  Whenever I can tie together contemporary art with historical writing, it really excites me.  Working on the Gallerist at Home and Process of a Painting columns, though, has also been really exciting.  It is nice to return to a continuing series throughout the year.

Other than your own, what’s your favorite city to visit to go gallery and museum-hopping?

EC: Also a tough question – I love gallery and museum-hopping anytime I am traveling.  It’s a great way to see a city.  That said though, my favorite is probably San Francisco, because it feels like a home-away-from-home since I get to go so often.  It is nice to know the places I love to frequent, where I want to return whenever I am there.

What are your favorite galleries to see emerging art in your region? 

EC: Taylor De Cordoba, Mark Moore Gallery, and Richard Heller Gallery.

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Brian Fee, Austin, NYC, Tokyo
Brian’s NAP/Blog Posts

Brian

What was your favorite show of 2012?

The Generational: The Ungovernables at New Museum, New York.

BF: Runners-Up: Daido Moriyama COLOR at Taka Ishii Photography, Tokyo and Constructed Dialogues: Concrete, Geometric, and Kinetic Art from the Latin American Art Collection at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Were there any trends in the contemporary art world that you observed in 2012, either the popular use of specific  imagery or medium?

BF: Artists plundering pop culture, for good (recycling mass-produced media into unique works, like Sheila Gallagher) or for evil (Beast Jesus).

What artist are you going to be watching the most in 2013?

BF: Analia Saban: she bent and busted through the rules of painting at her debut solo at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; she’s an accomplished sculptor and installation artist; and she won the Norton Museum of Art’s inaugural Rudin prize…for photography.

Was there a single piece that you saw in 2012 that moved you?

BF: James Rosenquist F-111 reinstallation at MoMA, New York (pictured above). Runner up: Richard Wentworth “A Room Full of Lovers.”

RichardWentworth_fee
2012, steel, chains, and C-clamps (Peter Freeman, Inc, New York; Art Unlimited at Art Basel)

What do you do in addition to writing for NAP Blog?

BF: I am the press manager for an international contemporary art fair.

Which post has been the most fun to write on the New American Paintings Blog and why?

BF: Bianca Beck at Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York and Daniel Heidkamp at Champion, Austin.

Other than your own, what’s your favorite city to visit to go gallery and museum-hopping?

BF: Tokyo.

What are your favorite galleries to see emerging art in your region? 

BF: Tiny Park and grayDUCK Gallery  in Austin, plus University of Texas at Austin’s MFA and Studio Art programs.

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Matt Smith, Washington DC
Matt’s NAP/Blog Posts

MattSmith

What was your favorite show of 2012?

MS: That would probably be Of This World by Tom Green at Curator’s Office. These were Green’s final paintings after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. He passed away last September. I loved the paintings and I think they showed the artist at the top of his game near the end of his life. That was a powerful thing to see.

Were there any trends in the contemporary art world that you observed in 2012, either the popular use of specific  imagery or medium?

MS: Gingham. More please.

What artist are you going to be watching the most in 2013?

MS: I love Anna Betbeze’s work and I’m always going to be curious about what she’s up to with those rugs, whether its 2013 or 2020. I’m also curious about Artie Vierkant and his Image Objects, and the way the work merges physical objects with the digital world. They make you  wonder if it’s a harbinger of things to come as software and the internet take on greater and greater roles in our lives.

Was there a single piece that you saw in 2012 that moved you?

MS: The topic of Imi Knoebel came up during my interview with artist Judy Rushin and Knoebel’s piece OOMMMM really stuck with me.

08483-IK
Imi Knoebel | OOMMMM, 2002, acrylic/aluminum, 120” x 180” x 4 ½” Image courtesy of Mary Boone Gallery

Also, a piece of writing that moved me this year was Dan Fox’s open letter to Claes Oldenberg in Frieze. He reads the letter in the video below, or you can read it yourself here.

What do you do in addition to writing for NAP Blog?

MS: I’m currently curating a show that opens on March 1. That’s kept me busy the last couple of months. And when I’m not sitting in front of my computer typing these words I’m in my studio at the Arlington Arts Center, probably on my sewing machine. I also spend a sizable portion of my workweek in a gray cubicle at an undisclosed location.

Which post has been the most fun to write on the New American Paintings Blog and why?

Hands down it was CTRL+P at the Arlington Arts Center. Firstly, there was some great work and in the show. But since it was a printmaking show I ended up writing about printmakers producing painterly work and painters using printmaking techniques. So I had to think about the nuts and bolts of the artists’ processes. All the artists I contacted were really open to sharing the details of their studio practice, including some great photos of works in progress (not all of which made it to the blog post). It gave me a chance to ask people about their physical studio processes and not just about conceptual ideas.

What are your favorite galleries to see emerging art in your region? 

I’m really into the artist-run projects that have popped up in D.C. over the last year or two — Pleasant Plains Workshop, Delicious Spectacle, Porch Projects, and Outer Space because you get to see what young artists in D.C. are doing. Also, I’m totally biased since I have my studio there but I love the Arlington Arts Center. In terms of commercial galleries, Heiner Contemporary has been a great addition to D.C.  And in Baltimore sophiajacob and Nudashank are always doing some cool shows.

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Erin Langner, Seattle
Erin’s NAP/Blog Posts

Langner

What was your favorite show of 2012?

EL: I still keep thinking about pieces of Mark Bradford’s paintings from his retrospective, which I saw at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts back in February. Initially I was most excited to revisit Mithra, the artist’s large scale ark made from wheat paste posters and salvaged barricade fencing I had last seen outdoors, in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans in 2008; in San Francisco, it lived again as Detail, wedged inside a relatively modest gallery, as a towering, beached form that refused to be forgotten. However, it was ultimately Bradford’s use of tiny, hairdressing perm papers as if they were paint, in his older, highly charged works that keeps hovering in the back of my mind.

Were there any trends in the contemporary art world that you observed in 2012, either the popular use of specific  imagery or medium?

EL: During Seattle gallery openings this year, I noticed more frequent additions of temporary “live” or performative elements within otherwise static installations. While I like the idea of artists experimenting with a more interdisciplinary practice, often the integration between the two was too estranged to benefit either.

What artist are you going to be watching the most in 2013?

EL: I am looking forward to Roger Shimomura’s upcoming show, An American Knockoff, at Greg Kucera Gallery, in August, given his perspective’s relevance to the ever-prominent political environment. A group of Seattle artists also have been working on an annual, creative salute to Seattle’s severe sun deficiency this time of year, called ONN/OF Festival, so I am anxious to see what they come up with this weekend.

Was there a single piece that you saw in 2012 that moved you?

EL: Susie Lee’s Still Lives series still haunts me on multiple levels—its references to Goya evoke my longtime fascination with the Spanish artist’s most grotesque figures and scenes while the contemporary subject matter introduces a more personal connection, as seen through the eyes of a person who appears so present, yet so ready for a very certain end.

servillano
Susie J. Lee | Still Lives: Two Men Gazing, 2010, Single-channel high definition video portrait, 31 minutes, 34 seconds, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Artwork supported by funding from 4Culture Site Specific.

What do you do in addition to writing for NAP Blog?

EL: I work at the Seattle Art Museum, overseeing educational programs for adult audiences, the best part of which is working with artists from the community to develop workshops, performances and other experiences. I also contribute arts writing to other publications in Seattle, such as The Stranger, and spend the rest of my time reading the New Yorker cover to cover every week.

Which post has been the most fun to write on the New American Paintings Blog and why?

EL: Visiting Kimberly Trowbridge’s studio was an amazing experience. Her one-room space is crammed to the brim with large scale paintings and is disguised as a shed, in a humble neighborhood of Seattle called Top Hat, which I had never been to prior to writing the post. Speaking with her there was probably the closest I have felt to visiting an actual atelier, in the most classical and romanticized sense of the term.

Other than your own, what’s your favorite city to visit to go gallery and museum-hopping?

EL: I love the range of artists and museums in Los Angeles, and it is a quick enough jaunt from Seattle that I can focus on one facet of the scene on a given weekend and then return again to explore something entirely different. I also have an affinity for the quirkier museums of Las Vegas, such as the Neon and Mob museums.

What are your favorite galleries to see emerging art in your region? 

EL: Prole Drift and Season, which are both very intimate spaces run by artists but consistently offer some of the more unexpected shows, either through their selection of artists or through the way the artists they show evolve within their spaces.

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Nadiah Fellah, San Francisco, NYC
Nadiah’s NAP/Blog Posts

Nadiah_Pic

What was your favorite show of 2012?

NF: Although I know its cliché to say so, I’d name last year’s Whitney Biennial. I like that you’ll always see something new at these shows, and that they’re great sources of controversy, you hope. Even the artists whose work you’ve seen before can seem different when set against other emerging artists’ work. The New Museum’s Triennial that happened at the same time acted as a counterpart to the Whitney show and went in a more subversive direction, which I liked. Another favorite was the Mark Bradford retrospective that was organized by the Wexner and toured several venues. I like Bradford’s work because, even though he entered the scene later in life, he’s got a personality that moves a mile a minute, and you can see that reflected in the rapid growth of his artistic practice. I think he’s an artist that has a lot of offer and will continue to create exciting work.

Were there any trends in the contemporary art world that you observed in 2012, either the popular use of specific  imagery or medium?

NF: Definitely time-based work, whether its performance, films, sound, or a combination of them, and work that’s project-based and socially-geared in particular is popular. There’s been a surge in this type of work by artists like Tino Sehgal, William Kentridge, Theaster Gates, and The Otolith Group. While it’s encouraging to see works that challenge the confines of a traditional practice, it can also make seeing every work in large show an epic or impossible experience.

What artist are you going to be watching the most in 2013?

Wael Shawky is someone I’ll be watching this year. He’s an Egyptian artist whose recent works look at conventional notions of history and cultural traditions, and turns them upside down. He has not shown much in the US, but will included in a show at MoMA in the spring, and is absolutely someone to look out for.

Was there a single piece that you saw in 2012 that moved you?

NF: I saw William Kentridge’s The Refusal of Time this summer, which was spectacular. It was similar to other pieces he’s created—multi-channel projections, animated sculpture, dynamic and impeccably scored music—but it was really the space that made it so cool. It was installed in an old train station in Kassel, Germany, a building with its own rich history, and the room was left as-is, so that his projections were done on uneven brick walls with the structure’s exposed beams intact, and the acoustics were really eerie. I remember it being more narratively driven than other works of his I’ve seen, which reinforced his ongoing themes of South African history, time, and industrial modernity. Even though I’m sure it will be installed in other venues in the future, I feel fortunate to have experienced it in such a unique place.

Kentridge_The_Refusal_of_Time_2012
William Kentridge, The Refusal of Time, installation, 2012.

What do you do in addition to writing for NAP Blog?

NF: I’m working towards a doctorate in art history from The CUNY Graduate Center in New York.

Which post has been the most fun to write on the New American Paintings Blog and why?

NF: I wrote a piece on the art of the occupy movement, which once posted took on a life of its own, so it was almost more enjoyable to see how many others connected to the story and photographs, and read their comments.

I also did an interview with the San Francisco artist Libby Black last spring, which was so fun because it allowed me to meet the artist, who is an amazing person—and another artist to keep an eye on!

Other than your own, what’s your favorite city to visit to go gallery and museum-hopping?

The amount of art to see in Mexico City is literally endless, which is why its one of my favorite places to visit. You’ve got the murals, the archeology museum, and the ruins, but there are also great galleries, alternative art spaces, and since the Colección Jumex opened around 2001, an awesome contemporary art museum.

What are your favorite galleries to see emerging art in your region? 

I’m new to NYC, and still exploring the gallery scene, so any recommendations for spaces off the beaten path are enthusiastically welcomed!


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Opps, too early in the morning. Let’s try again. This time without typos. What, no Chicago? Chicago has a fine scene with some terrific artists and some wonderful galleries. I am always amazed at how often it is overlooked.

Comment by Ed Valentine

Overlooked how, Ed? We happened to just interview a few of our contributors that have made an impact on our blog. Of course there are many more we could have featured from many other states! We will do this again….

Comment by New American Paintings

Thanks for the reply. No offence intended.

Comment by Ed Valentine

None offense taken! You’re stilling making our “Must-See” list for February 🙂

Comment by New American Paintings

Fantastic! Thank you.

Comment by Ed Valentine




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