New American Paintings/Blog


Pacific Coast Juror: Anne Ellegood, Senior Curator, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles by openstudiospress

Only ten days are left for artists to apply to our Pacific Coast Competition 2011, which is open through Thursday June 30! (Apply online if you’re an artist in AK, CA, HI, OR, or WA.) We’re thrilled to feature the incredible expertise of L.A.’s Anne Ellegood, Senior Curator at the Hammer Museum, as the juror for the Pacific Coast Competition, one of our most sought-after issues of the year.

I recently caught up with the Los Angeles curator to find out more about her role at the Hammer, her thoughts on living and working in L.A., and her fondness for emerging artists. More of our Q&A after the jump! 

EJG: The Hammer has long had one of the most significant contemporary art programs in Los Angeles. What’s the most exciting thing about what you do at the museum?
AE: There is so much that is exciting at the Hammer, that’s it’s difficult to answer this question. I oversee our Hammer Projects series and also organize a lot of the Hammer Projects shows. We do anywhere from 8-10 of these single-gallery exhibitions a year in different spaces around the museum. The majority of our Hammer Projects focus on a single artist. The shows are tightly curated and usually present new work and are oftentimes the artist’s first museum show. We always have a Hammer Project on and around our large lobby wall, and these projects are particularly challenging and invigorating because they are commissioned new works and oftentimes the artist is pushing and stretching their work in new directions to fill what is a difficult but wonderful space. It’s rewarding to get to be a part of that process.

What role have emerging artists had in your time at the Hammer and in your career?
We are very committed to supporting the work of emerging artists at the Hammer. Los Angeles is a city filled with young artists, many of whom come to L.A. to go to one of the many fantastic art schools and then continue to live in the city. Our Hammer Projects series focuses primarily on emerging artists, and we have had a series of bi-annual exhibitions we call our Invitational that has always included emerging artists (the sixth one, which Douglas Fogle and I organized, was called All of this and nothing and just closed at the end of April). We have also just decided to do a survey of emerging and overlooked artists living in L.A. We are co-organizing this show with LA><ART and it will take place next summer.

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#94: Southern Competition, Juror: Dan Cameron, Now on Newsstands by openstudiospress

Cover: Marcus Jansen

For the 2011 edition of the Southern Competition, we’re thrilled to feature the curatorial expertise of Dan Cameron, the founder and director of Prospect New Orleans, a post-Katrina effort that is single-handedly changing the landscape of contemporary art in the Southern United States. As the man behind the largest international biennial of contemporary art in America, Cameron’s experience working with emerging artists dates back several years, and New American Paintings is proud to exhibit his perspective as this issue’s juror.

The Spotlight feature for #94 focuses on the work of Knoxville, Tennessee’s Jered Sprecher, whose optically charged abstractions have more in common with representational forms than they reveal at first glance. The winner of a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, Sprecher is an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a wily investigator of commonplace mark-making. Sprecher speaks with us about abstraction, Dollywood, and where you go looking for inspiration in the cornfields of Nebraska.

No conversation about contemporary work in the South would be complete without talking about Miami, and OHWOW’s Lydia Ruby speaks to us about the risk-taking sensibilities of the South Florida art capital, her move from Boston, and her experiences in the art world working with emerging artists.

With American institutions like The Whitney increasingly acquiring work from artists in the South, it’s clear that the region is more vital than ever before, and New American Paintings is excited to be a stalwart site for this growing conversation. Order your copy online! A full list of winners, and preview images, after the jump!

Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large

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South Competition Entries II by New American Paintings

Check out some of the latest entries to the Southern Competition, juried by Dan Cameron, Founder & Organizer, Prospect New Orleans. The deadline to apply is December 31, so keep the entries coming! We’ll be updating the blog with highlights throughout the competition. Apply online! For more information about this and other competitions, visit the competitions page on our website.

NOTE: The following are random selections, and in no way reflect, or influence, final selections made by the juror.


Dana Hargrove, Facade #7 | Acrylic on Panel, 30 x 30 inches



Belinda Haikes, Install View of The Duke, Vannevar, Charlie and Peter | Acrylic on Canvas



Regina Jestrow, W | Gouache, 180 x 255 inches


Karen Ann Myers, Untitled (Checkered Floor) | Oil on Canvas, 72 x 48 inches



Dan Cameron: A Q&A with the Southern competition juror by openstudiospress

Dan Cameron is single handedly changing the landscape of contemporary art in the Southern United States. So it’s no surprise that we sought him out to be the juror of the current Southern Competition of New American Paintings. (Apply online!)

A curator for more than 30 years and the founder and director of Prospect New Orleans, the largest biennial of international contemporary art in the country, Cameron has introduced audiences in the South to exceptional work from artists across the globe. More importantly, however, Cameron and Prospect have contributed significantly to a new growing contemporary scene in New Orleans and a further revitalization of the Big Easy.

I caught up with Cameron while at his New York office last week to talk Louisiana and emerging work.

The deadline for the Southern Competition is December 31 (open to artists living in AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, & WV), so keep the submissions coming! –Evan J. Garza




EJG: You started Prospect New Orleans after Katrina. How long have you been working in New Orleans?
I’d been a visitor and have worked in New Orleans, on and off, for more than 20 years. I started Prospect as a post-Katrina effort to engage the city. It was really something that the artists and the community called on me to do because they knew that I was very close to the city and they knew that I could get a lot of attention for New Orleans, and that’s how the whole process started.

I was working in New Orleans as early as January 2006 on Prospect, but I didn’t form the company until 2007. But because of raising money outside of a museum, and because of the needs of the community, it was not appropriate at all for an outsider like me to start to open up a new charity in New Orleans less than a year after the storm. So I had to be very careful not to compete with other nonprofits in New Orleans, and bring money from outside of Louisiana, so to do that you have to be in a place where there’s a lot of media, and there’s a lot of art, and that happened to be in New York. So I have two homes: an office in New Orleans and an office in New York.

EJG: Have you seen a direct effect that Prospect has had on New Orleans?
Very dramatic. New galleries have opened up, there’s more attention for museums and galleries. Before, you could barely see any mention of [the city] in The New York Times or Art Forum. Nothing had ever happened to New Orleans which was considered newsworthy on a national level, and that’s totally changed.

Now the Whitney has recently bought the work of younger New Orleans artists—that’s totally unheard of. And I think that’s only going to improve over time. More and more New Orleans artists have national and international exposure and New Orleans galleries are able to start showing their work in other parts of the country and also internationally. I would say that the number of co-op galleries in New Orleans has gone from zero in 2007 to something like ten right now. The whole St. Claude arts district, where the co-op galleries are located, has absolutely exploded. It’s far and away the most exciting new addition to the New Orleans art scene that anyone can remember and that’s all really a direct result of Prospect.

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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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