New American Paintings/Blog


#gobrooklynart by New American Paintings
September 7, 2012, 8:30 am
Filed under: Art Market, Art World | Tags: , , ,

This weekend, September 8–9, 2012, from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, artists throughout Brooklyn will open their studio, so that visitors can decide who will be featured in an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum at the end of the year. After the jump is a brief explanation of the voting process and exhibition from the Brooklyn Museum website. But first, check out the video! We hope you can check it out and vote (link to register is also after the jump)!

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Historical Lineage: Q&A with Matthew Craven by New American Paintings

Much of Matthew Craven’s meticulous work exists as both colorful abstraction and surreal historical document. His transformation of  images appropriated from history textbooks nudge and reconfigure the original historical narratives. And his modular treatment of familiar forms unexpectedly activates their hidden potential for abstraction. Painting, drawing, collage and installation are linked in Craven’s practice through his fastidiously precise lines, which run across works and from project to project. Last week I caught up with the Brooklyn-based artist — whose work is currently in the group show Paper Chasers at Nudashank — to talk about his work, his influences, and time travel. Our conversation, and lots of images, after the jump. -Matthew Smith, D.C. contributor


Matthew Craven | wooden teeth., 2010, mixed media, 17″ x 13″ courtesy of the artist
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Body Body Body: In the Studio with John Copeland by openstudiospress
February 23, 2011, 1:00 pm
Filed under: In the Studio, New York, Q&A | Tags: , , , ,

John Copeland‘s vast Brooklyn studio is like one giant mood board, and as straight forward as the work produced in it. Copeland’s unique brand of painting—marked by crudely-rendered forms, elaborate drips, and a romanticism and fullness not often attributed to acrylic paint—is informed by scraps of old magazines, music, his father’s Playboy magazines from the 1960s, and an intense fondness for both abstraction and the figure.

Fresh off the heels of a solo show with Galerie Alex Daniels in Amsterdam, I caught up with Copeland in his Bushwick studio (just around the corner from Chuck Webster) to talk about nudes, his work, and have a couple of beers. Our conversation, and dozens of studio pics, after the jump.

—Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large

Note: Some photos are not safe for work (NSFW).

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Tacos (& a studio visit) with Chuck Webster by openstudiospress

Tucked away in a two-story walk-up in a northeast corner of Brooklyn is Chuck Webster‘s Bushwick studio and apartment. And, lucky for him (and me), there’s a pretty mean Mexican taqueria across the street from the Jefferson stop on the L, just a few of blocks away. Since great Mexican food is hard to find in Boston, I jumped at the invitation while in New York last week to have a few chorizo tacos with Chuck and take a look at his work for My Small Adventures, his upcoming solo show of new paintings with ZieherSmith in Chelsea, opening this Thursday.

Chuck’s work occupies a necessary place in contemporary abstraction, where insistence of form is met by both a genuine investigation of mark-making and child-like curiosity. The vehicle for his works are wooden panels (equipped with shelf-like grids on the back) whose surfaces are deeply sanded, discolored, and scratched — offering a kind of weathered, wistful context by which to examine his forms. That nostalgia was furthered during my visit after Webster opened his flat files, which are filled with collaborations between he and Eddie Martinez, as well as several colorful drawings made by Webster at the age of 10. Astonishingly, the contours of the monsters depicted therein strongly resemble the forms that Chuck still creates to this day. If it’s true that some artists spend their entire lives trying to paint like a child, then Webster doesn’t have to work very hard. The truth, however, is that he does. More pics after the jump.

Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large

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In the Studio: Jaqueline Cedar by openstudiospress
December 10, 2010, 1:00 pm
Filed under: In the Studio | Tags: , , ,

Way down in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, in a studio building a stone’s throw from the water’s edge of Gowanus Bay, Jaqueline Cedar is pushing pink paint around on a canvas. Included in edition #73 of New American Paintings, Cedar teaches painting at Columbia and works in the education department of the Guggenheim, but her most important role is working as an artist. And her recent work is pretty exciting.

Fascinated by Arshile Gorky and Orphic Cubism, Cedar’s work pushes and pulls figures back and forth between rich geometric backdrops of abstraction, constantly toying with figuration, color, form, and space. She often works on several paintings at a time, and Cedar isn’t afraid of constantly moving around. She lives in Little Italy, works uptown, and commutes to her studio not far from the tail end of the N train in Brooklyn. I stopped by for a studio visit this week. More photos after the jump. – Evan J. Garza

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New & Noteworthy: Jim Gaylord by openstudiospress
September 20, 2010, 10:00 am
Filed under: Noteworthy | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Force Field, 2010 | Oil on canvas, 36 x 60 inches. Courtesy Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York.

Jim Gaylord was included in the 2006 MFA Annual, edition #43, and was selected as a Noteworthy artist in edition #86 of New American Paintings by Northeast competition juror Monica Ramirez-Montagut, Curator, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. I caught up with the Brooklyn-based artist last week to discuss his optically-charged works, which seem as if to use movement as medium. —Evan J. Garza

EJG: Your work evokes a great deal of movement, and some of your abstractions seem as if captured by a moving camera.
That makes sense because all of the current work is made up of abstract shapes I find in film stills. They’re the kind of forms that fly by quickly and are easy to miss, but I slow down certain sequences frame-by-frame and look for something interesting to work with.

The blurring effect that’s happening in a lot of the new paintings is a result of the fast-moving subjects, but I’m finding that the motion translates into painterly brush strokes in an interesting way. The trick for me is to make them seem like they just happened spontaneously, while in reality they’re planned out. It’s kind of a contradiction, but if you think about it, it’s not really even a process of abstraction because I’m depicting something that’s actually occurring on the screen.

EJG: Did you stare out of car windows a lot as a child?
Sure, and I still appreciate being a passenger in a car or a train. I guess it’s like watching a movie, or a campfire.

Lapse of Decorum, 2010 | Oil on canvas, 35 x 60 inches. Courtesy Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York.

EJG: The line between representation and abstraction in your work is, quite literally, blurred. How do you approach your compositions and how are they produced?
I’ve always liked pictures that I had to keep looking at to figure out what I was seeing, but keep changing, so they never settle into one thing. I used to make ‘automatic drawings,’ like the Surrealists did, just making these ambiguous, stream-of-consciousness forms. But after a while, they all began to look the same, and I wanted to come up with more contemporary ways of image making.

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