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



Gallerist at Home: Mixed Greens by New American Paintings

If you are not familiar with Mixed Greens in the art world, it is much like it sounds – a mixed collection of vibrant and forward-thinking curators and directors who have come together, established a lasting artistic reputation with more radical roots, and who now forge ahead with a traditional New York gallery space.

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MIXED GREENS GROUP PORTRAIT: 
In the back (L-R): Monica Herman and Courtney Strimple. In the front (L-R), Heather Darcy Bhandari and Steven Sergiovanni.

Setting out to document this Gallerist at Home spread with four distinct gallerists, homes, and art collections was tricky, but it is wonderful to see where their tastes and collecting practices overlap, shedding light on their collaborative processes.  Focusing on exhibitions coordinator Courtney Strimple and directors Steve Sergiovanni, Heather Darcy Bhandari, and Monica Herman, I asked them to explore their two favorite interior spaces and works of art and to share the stories behind them.  Enjoy this look into the more private collections and art inside the homes of the faces behind Mixed Greens. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

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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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In the Studio: Process of a Painting with Erin Murray by New American Paintings

Erin Murray’s (NAP #69, #98) oil paintings have a way of making the everyday environment feel surreal, fluid, informal, and in flux.  Regular land- and cityscapes are painted to feel slightly off, making the viewer feel faintly uneasy compositionally, yet vaguely at home geographically.

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Erin Murray | Settling (good neighbors), 2013, oil on panel, 24” x 24”

Familiar scenes – a pool, a backyard, a house, a farm – look commonplace, but feel so subtly upended that it leaves me, as a viewer, uncertain about the lonely and troubling feeling I have in contemplating and taking in her works.  Regardless of my feelings while processing Murray’s works and subjects, the end result of her works is something for which most artists strive and most viewers yearn – her paintings are thought provoking, conceptual, and meditative, all in one. - Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

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In the Studio: Process of a Painting with Matthew Bourbon by New American Paintings

Matthew Bourbon (NAP #90, #102) creates a wonderful balance in his paintings – he fills organic shapes and figures with loud, bold, geometric shapes.  Rather than seeming meddlesome or intrusive, though, these shapes look and feel quite at home in the spaces they occupy.

1. The Psychologist 2012
Matthew Bourbon | The Psychologist, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 48.5″ x 30″

Bourbon shared his step-by-step process for and thoughts behind his painting Ms. Motives in this Process of a Painting piece…There are quiet andwonderful moments throughout his process – one of my favorites being the point in the painting where he has painted Ms. Motives’ legs so naturalistically, before covering them in their metaphorical and painterly geometric “tights.” -  Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

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Plein-Air, Process, and the Political: Q&A with Juan Devis and Hillary Mushkin by New American Paintings
April 8, 2013, 8:30 am
Filed under: Interview | Tags: , , ,

KCET’s multimedia project Artbound works at many different levels and with many different audiences to report on the cultural affairs of Southern California.  First, it is a series of online articles written by artists, journalists, curators, and art-world experts from the Southern California region who focus on a variety of topics and disciplines.

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Hillary Mushkin | Incendiary Traces 1, 2013, inspired by 1991 footage of Baghdad.  Courtesy of Artbound.

Next, it is an interactive social media hub, wherein readers can interact with, share, and publicize their favorite articles.  Based on its reach and shares, the most popular article is paired against an editor’s choice, so the two go out to readers for a vote.  Of those two, the winning article is turned into a short documentary that is then published online and in the Artbound TV series. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

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Alejandro Cartagena’s “Car Poolers” by New American Paintings
April 4, 2013, 8:30 am
Filed under: Review | Tags: , , ,

To start, I am a big fan of Alejandro Cartagena’s photographs.  In his recent series Car Poolers, he documents and captures construction workers carpooling to and from work. Compositionally, they are compelling and even painterly.  Often displayed in a grid at the Kopeikin Gallery, each photograph feels just as powerful when together as when they are apart. 

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Alejandro Cartagena | Car Poolers grid, 2011-2012. Courtesy of the Kopeikin Gallery. 

Cartagena takes photographs in Monterrey, Mexico, documenting parts of everyday life there that he sees as depicting “a global issue from a local perspective.”  In a town that has a relatively new, booming construction market, Cartagena decided to document a side of the day laborers’ lives that might not often be seen: the commute to and from work at various construction sites.

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Henry Taylor at Blum & Poe by New American Paintings
April 3, 2013, 8:30 am
Filed under: Review | Tags: , ,

Henry Taylor’s second solo show at Blum & Poe mixed historical commentary with a raw style, witty edge, and large-scale abstraction.

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Henry Taylor, Installation view, 2013. Courtesy of Blum & Poe.

Although the show featured three large galleries of work, for me, the central heart of the show laid in the first gallery amidst the tilled rows of soil.  As viewers walked into the gallery through the recreated school principal door, they were confronted with the familiar smell of dirt and multiple juxtapositions and incongruencies – all of which were moving, bold, and beautiful. - Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

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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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