New American Paintings/Blog


Museum Admission: José Lerma at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago by New American Paintings

Engaging all the melodrama and frivolity of commemorative portraiture, José Lerma’s most recent exhibition, currently on view at the MCA Chicago, challenges the long-since relevant historical relationship between social status and painting. Fitting the museum with a number of works ranging from painting, sculpture, and installation, Lerma combines the pomp and splendor of honorary gestures with the sharp and undercutting wit of his overly embellished, and stylized method. Beginning in the entrance, on either side of the main lobby, monumental-scaled paper portraits hint at parade floats – the two pieces entitled Marjorie Looks at Marianne and Marianne Looks at Marjorie, refer to the patrons each lounge was named after, though it would take a certain degree of rationalization to come upon those resemblances. The large inflatable masses of color have the effect of being weightless and full of air, though they lack a celebratory attitude. Made out of photographers’ backdrops, the theatrical material quality of the busts suggests a projected read over a definitive statement. Likewise, the faces are featureless and empty, and the smooth contours of the hollow paper shell are foregrounded as equally as the figures they suppose to represent – a sculpture bound to face itself indefinitely in a farcical tête-à-tête. – Stephanie Cristello, Chicago Contributor

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Installation view, BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: José Lerma, MCA Chicago, July 2 – December 3, 2013. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

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Barry McGee Mid-Career at ICA Boston by New American Paintings
April 11, 2013, 8:30 am
Filed under: Museum Admission | Tags: , ,

Very cool to have Barry McGee at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, just a few minutes away from us. Below is an article from the Huffington Post by the Brooklyn Street Art guys Jaime and Steven. After the jump see the entire post!

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Barry McGee. Mid-career survey at ICA, Boston now on view (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Museum Admission: Monumental Consumption with El Anatsui by New American Paintings
March 29, 2013, 8:30 am
Filed under: Museum Admission | Tags: , ,

The Brooklyn Museum’s retrospective of El Anatsui’s works, entitled “Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui,” says and does a lot all at once: it’s high art (gaining international acclaim at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and quite literally, towering above viewers); it’s low art (made of repurposed trash and sometimes resting at and under visitors’ feet at the museum); and all said and done, it’s freaking beautiful.  

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El Anastsui | Gli (Wall), 2010. Aluminum and copper wire, installation at the Brooklyn Museum, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of Ellen C. Caldwell.

This show, which has been travelling around the U.S. since the summer of 2012, is truly monumental and is showing simultaneously with another large-scale retrospective of his work, appearing in 11 major cities between 2011 and 2014; in numbers, it is displaying more than 30 works, spanning Anatsui’s artistic career; and in recyclability, it is turning pounds and pounds of garbage and refuse into sheer beauty and wonder. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

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Wade Guyton: OS at The Whitney by New American Paintings

Paper jams, leaking toner cartridges, formatting errors—there are few who haven’t been frustrated by the glitches and hiccups common to printers. But artist Wade Guyton depends upon these errors in the process of his art making. The “paintings” displayed in his mid-career survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York draw on his use of inkjet printing to create large-scale works on linen, as well as small-scale works on found magazine and book pages.

The show describes Guyton’s early experimentation with mark-making to alter his materials, but says that he quickly learned typing the marks in Word documents was much more efficient. The ‘U’s and ‘X’s that have become his most signature marks dominate the works on view. These letters take on a multitude of meanings when shown without context, gesturing towards connotations of ‘you’ the viewer, or towards the myriad uses of X in pop culture—The X-Files, XXX, Xbox, X-Men. – Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor

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Installation view of Wade Guyton OS; photo: Ron Amstutz, courtesy The Whitney.

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Museum Admission: Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum by New American Paintings

There are world-class museums in Michigan and in this economy, some of them have had trouble keeping their doors open. Luckily, the threat of shutterings has started to disappear, and in the case of Michigan State University’s Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, serious cash is being dropped to ensure that Michigan remains host to some of the very best in art and culture. This $45 million museum ($28 million donated by the Broads) was dedicated November 10th to an art star-studded ceremony, and the attendance since then has continued to grow. – Robin Dluzen, Chicago Contributor

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Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth by New American Paintings
November 21, 2012, 8:25 am
Filed under: Art World, Museum Admission, On the Road | Tags: , ,

I recently went back home to Kansas City and documented my favorite spots to see contemporary art while visiting. This past weekend I traveled west again, this time to Fort Worth, Texas. My trip was short so right after landing I drove directly to the the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. I had heard great things about the building and collection, both of which ended up meeting expectations. Although I was sad that the upstairs was closed for installation (while they didn’t mention it would be closed when I paid for admission, I should have known since it was “half price”), the first floor was packed with goodies. After the jump I’ve shared some works that caught my attention, just in case you can’t make it to the Fort Worth area anytime soon. Enjoy! – Andrew Katz, Associate Publisher

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Museum Admission: Frohawk Two Feathers at MCA Denver by New American Paintings

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Denver is an institution and space that is not to be missed – as is the case with Denver itself.  Nestled near the South Platte River, Union Station, LoDo, and Commons Park, MCA is a wide-open, three-story exhibition space that has cultivated an innovative and energetic program, thanks to its visionary director Adam Lerner and its entire team.


View of MCA Denver. Image courtesy of Taylor De Cordoba.

On June 21st, MCA hosted Frohawk Two Feathers’ (NAP #73) first solo museum show opening. Co-curated by Nora Burnett Abrams and Tricia Robson, Frohawk’s We Buy Gold, We Buy Everything, We Sell Souls, features 20+ paintings on both paper and stretched leather.  The leather sculptures include drums and stretched panels on wood.  And at times, the feaux-aged paper also appears sculptural with its deep divots and contours. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

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