New American Paintings/Blog


Overlapping Disjuncture: Christine Frerichs at gallery km by New American Paintings
July 1, 2013, 8:30 am
Filed under: Los Angeles, Review | Tags: , ,

Christine Frerichs’ current solo show “The Conversation” at gallery km is dynamic, new, and not to be missed.

The main gallery space is filled with ten large 44 x 34 paintings that are three-dimensional, visually enticing, and inviting.  At first glance, they do not appear to have a unified theme, as they vary fairly drastically in color and abstract subject. Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

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Christine Frerichs | The Conversation – installation view. Photo by Lee Thompson, courtesy of gallery km.

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David Rathman and the Wild West Reimagined by New American Paintings
June 24, 2013, 8:30 am
Filed under: Los Angeles, Review | Tags: , ,

David Rathman’s recent watercolor exhibit “Hope I’m Never That Wrong Again” at Mark Moore Gallery featured fading sepia-toned watercolor cowboys gallivanting around a fading wild west like ghosts…It was filled with images reminiscent of Lonesome Dove that would have made Larry McMurtry proud.

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David Rathman | There Never Was Any Good Old Days, 2013, Ink and watercolor on paper, 28 x 42 inches. Image courtesy of Mark Moore Gallery.

At times these cowboys appeared to be riding out toward the viewers and at others, they looked to be fading into the background.  Regardless, they welcome us into a turbulent past… Yet Rathman’s combination of monotone colors, delicate washes, and humorous titles suggest a rebirth and reimagining of the violent days of yore, in the form of bittersweet and gritty nostalgia. – Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor Continue reading



Too Big to Fail: Painting in Place at the Farmers and Merchants Bank by New American Paintings

Site-specificity in art, as a term, claims some heritage from the specific site of Los Angeles itself. Robert Irwin was one of the main proponents of the idea in his own writing, and one the earliest mentions of it apparently comes from a 1975 Art News article by Peter Frank. The term is modern in the general sense, post-minimal (and therefore postmodern) in the terminology of contemporary art. However the idea is as old as art itself – page one of art history often describes the site-specific cave painting of early humanity. Art, it would seem, began with the intersection of painting and site-specificity, and everything else follows. An exhibition of contemporary painting by an organization that is “committed to curating site- and situation-specific contemporary art projects, in Los Angeles and beyond,” has sought to bring these two not-so-estranged notions together again, and the results offer much to ponder. Painting In Place is a group exhibition curated by LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division), an organization directed by curator Shamim M. Momim, and takes place inside the historic Farmers and Merchants Bank in downtown LA. – Jason Ramos, Los Angeles Contributor

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Installation view, A LAND Exhibition: Painting in Place, 2013. Farmers and Merchants Bank, Downtown Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of Robert Wedemeyer.

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Simone Shubuck at Taylor De Cordoba by New American Paintings
May 30, 2013, 8:30 am
Filed under: Los Angeles, Review | Tags: , ,

Simone Shubuck’s solo exhibit Do You Like Old Things or New Things That Look Old? at Taylor De Cordoba is forward and refreshing.  Deep coral hues, paint splotches, doodles, feathers, and detailed sketches of chrysanthemum-like shapes comprise her colorful paintings, at times seeming to mimic bouquets and at others, taking on anthropomorphic, creature-like appearances. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

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Simone Shubuck | Compartments Of Beliefs, 2012, Mixed media on paper,15.75″ x 11″  All images courtesy of Taylor De Cordoba.

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The Graduates: UCLA’s MFA Painters by New American Paintings

As the school year draws to a close, it’s time for graduating art students to pack up their studios, take down their thesis shows, and set out on the life of financial uncertainty and critical scrutiny they have pursued so enthusiastically for the past several years. Hopefully they are equipped with as much knowledge, ability, and determination as UCLA’s graduating MFA painters Jonathan Apgar, Leon Benn, Michael John Kelly, and Christine Wang.  I asked the four talented young artists about their work, their time in school, and their plans for the future. – Trevor Spaulding, Los Angeles Contributor

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Jonathan Apgar | Deep Gate, Violet Black, 2013, oil on canvas, 96 x 84 inches.

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Weekend Warriors by New American Paintings
May 14, 2013, 8:30 am
Filed under: Los Angeles, Review | Tags: , , , , ,

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

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Weekend front window during Odd Ghosts and Unlikely Dancers exhibition.  Photo by Jason Ramos

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William Powhida Paints in Earnest by New American Paintings

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.

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Installation view of Bill By Bill.  Photo courtesy of Charlie James Gallery

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

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