New American Paintings/Blog


New American Paintings Spotlight Archive: William Cordova by New American Paintings
April 5, 2013, 8:30 am
Filed under: Spotlight | Tags: , , ,

As we continue working on a new and vastly improved NewAmericanPaintings.com, there has been a lot of time spent looking into our past. It’s been a good excuse to peruse older issues and all of the great work within. Also, in doing so, we recalled some great Spotlights that were in print and we think are worthy of another view. While the work may be a bit dated, the articles are still awesome. So in this new Spotlight Blog series, we’ll bring you some of our favorites.

To kick things off, we are going back to issue #86, released in 2010. Former Editor-At-Large, Evan J. Garza, interviewed William Cordova who was featured in our 2013 MFA Annual. Enjoy!

Untitled (Echo in Nicola¦üs Guille¦ün)

William Cordova |From: Untitled (the Echo in Nicolás Guillén Landrián’s Bolex), 2008-09, mixed media collage, 1 of 100 works, Courtesy: Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY

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Dina Deitsch: A Q&A with the Northeast Juror by openstudiospress

It’s time to begin preparations for one of our most anticipated issues of the year, the Northeast Competition! (The deadline to apply is August 31, and the competition is open to artists in CT, DE, ME, MA, NJ, NH, NY, PA, RI, and VT. Apply online!)

For nearly two decades, the Northeast book has featured artists of exceptional promise who have gone on to incredible international success, and NAP alums from the region include such celebrated contemporary artists as Matthew Day Jackson, William Cordova, Eddie Martinez, and countless others.

We are beyond thrilled to feature the perspective of talented curator (and friend) Dina Deitsch, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art for the deCordova Sculpture Park + Museum, Lincoln, MA. Dina’s years of experience working with emerging artists for the museum’s deCordova Biennial and her intensive work with multiple media, make her an incredible candidate for jurying the Northeast Competition. 

I chatted with the Cambridge-based curator this week to talk up the competition and her experience with emerging work. She also shares with us her thoughts on recent developments in contemporary painting, which you don’t want to miss. Our conversation is below! More after the jump!  —Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large

EJG: As the curator for a sculpture park and museum, how do you address painting in the museum’s program?
DD: Easily and often! While deCordova is a sculpture park, and a fantastic one at that, we also have a good 5000 sq ft of gallery space that we program with not only sculpture but general contemporary art. One branch of our mission is to collect and promote artists from the New England region, which we do through single-artist PLATFORM projects and our sprawling Biennial program. In that particular program, variety is the name of the game and there’s always room for painting! I also organize group thematic shows that often do and can include or even center on painting, such as the forthcoming show I’m curating with you, Paint Thing (working title), which looks at painting as a spatial art, and where and how it meets sculpture.

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Hirsute Pursuits: Aaron Smith at Sloan Fine Art by openstudiospress

Aaron Smith, Chopsy, 2011 | Oil on panel, 28 x 24 inches. Courtesy Sloan Fine Art, New York.

Upon examining his work, one can only imagine that Los Angeles-based painter Aaron Smith is somewhat of a romantic. His thick, impastoed brushstrokes in oil, when combined with his nostalgic 19th-century era figures, deeply recall the gesture-heavy application of the Post-Impressionists imbued with a freshness (and palette) that is altogether contemporary.

A connoisseur of whiskers in his own right (he rocks a mean curly mustache), Smith fills his canvases with images of men belonging to another time. However, his approach to representation—which is simultaneously direct and abstracted—takes these characters from the past and fervently pulls them into the present, primarily through his use of color. Using a palette that could be culled from the Fauvists, Smith’s otherwise brooding men are brightly colored, flipping ideas of masculinity on their pastel heads.

More beards, and pics from his solo show at Sloan Fine Art, after the jump!  —Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large

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The Pure Space Animate: Annie Lapin at Honor Fraser by openstudiospress

Annie Lapin. TOP: The Leaf/Body/Between Element Embodied (From the series: Distilled and Abstracted Elements of Idealized Landscape), 2011 | Oil on canvas over panel, 45 x 45 inches. BOTTOM: The Animate Diptych I, 2011 | Linen on panel, 2 elements: 33 x 31 inches and 31 x 23 1/2 inches. Images courtesy Honor Fraser, Los Angeles.


We make no qualms about how excited we get about Annie Lapin‘s work. Last year, she was the winner of both our first Reader’s Choice Poll and the inaugural NAP Annual Prize, selected by you, our very own readers, and a panel of prestigious curators. (As a result, you might have seen our video feature on the Los Angeles artist, shot by the man behind Future Shipwreck, our buddy Graham Kolbeins.)

Lapin’s current and much anticipated solo show for Honor Fraser in L.A. finds her at a pivotal point in her practice, where her interest in obfuscating figuration through a remarkable language of painterly abstraction has extended to chunky, fabric-heavy linen pieces and circular oil on panel works. While materially and spatially set apart from previous work, Lapin’s new series wholeheartedly reveal the explorative nature of her studio practice, weaving both mystery and meaning into the brushstrokes and fluid fields of paint that have become her trademark.

 Pic after pic of new work, and installation shots, after the jump! Not to be missed.
Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large

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Sex Sells: Richard Phillips redeems himself with ‘Sasha Grey’ (VIDEO) by openstudiospress

Stills from ‘Sasha Grey,’ a film directed by Richard Phillips

A week ago we posted a story about contemporary painting star Richard Phillips‘ filmic debut, ‘Lindsay Lohan,’ a stunningly banal minute-and-a-half portrait of the blonde super-celebrity in the style of sexy fragrance ads. In keeping with the commercial theme of the mobile video show which it was made for, currently sailing down the canals of central Venice for the 54th Venice Biennale, Phillips second film for the floating screener, ‘Sasha Grey,’ leaves ‘Lohan‘ in the dust.

Unapologetically interested in selling sex — and rightly so given the context — Phillips’ muse for the eponymous film is Sasha Grey, a lesser known star recognized largely for her work as a performance artist working in the adult film industry, as well as her lead role in Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Girlfriend Experience’ (and even lesser known as the front-woman and brains behind aTelecine, her brooding electro goth-rock band). Phillips’ film was shot in the San Fernando valley, the site of many of Grey’s previous adult film performances, and the film fluctuates between alternate portraits of the adult film star turned cinematic screen siren. 


(via V Magazine, courtesy Gagosian Gallery)

‘Sasha Grey’ is blanketed in raw sexuality, almost a complete 180 from the energy phoned-in from Lohan. L.A.’s Chelsea Wolfe provides the score for the film, which feels surprisingly painterly. The still frames of Grey’s face, on her back on a sofa (in the famous John Lautner Chemosphere House off Mulholland Drive), evoke rich ties to portraiture and recall Phillips interest in the figure. 

Which film do you like more? Do you have a video to suggest for video Fridays on the blog? Email us at blog@newamericanpaintings.com or leave us a comment!



Eau de Portrait: Painter Richard Phillips’ New Mini-Film, ‘Lindsay Lohan’ (VIDEO) by openstudiospress

Still from ‘Lindsay Lohan,’ a film directed by Richard Phillips

Sailing through the busy canals of Venice, Italy next month will be a giant mobile video screen featuring the work of more than 80 artists; the week-long, water-going version of a New York City cab elevated for the biggest and baddest biennial in the world. Presented by Moscow’s Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, and running (or sailing) concurrently with the opening week of the 54th Venice Biennale, COMMERICAL BREAK is curated by Neville Wakefield and will include contemporary painting bigwig Richard Phillips first foray into film, ‘Lindsay Lohan.’

The short film, which features the famously-troubled blonde mega-celebrity in all manner of brooding, bikini-clad swimming and sunning scenes; a portrait of the star that vividly evokes the decades-old cinematic tropes of sexy fragrance ads, in keeping with the floating exhibition’s theme of navigating commercial and creative combinations. It’s also intensely apropos of the setting next month in Venice, when tourists and art-makers share the streets for the Biennale’s five-month stretch.


(via GagosianGallery)

Reminiscent of classic bombshell swimsuit moments — á la “10” starring Bo Derek — the film is the quintessence of convention, to the point of banality. (And that’s the point). Viewers should expect as much from Phillips’ filmic debut as they should from a Calvin Klein Obsession ad, but with a much better soundtrack. San Franciso’s Tamaryn provides the score for the minute-and-a-half film, whose epically lush, shoegazey track “Cascades” ripples over each cascading wave caught on film. ‘Lohan‘ is less significant for being a pretty insignificant piece of work, and more so for what it will bring to Wakefield’s smart, floating show.  

Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large



Walking the Line: Daniela Rivera at LaMontagne by openstudiospress

Installation view, Daniela Rivera: Growth, LaMontagne Gallery, Boston

Tucked away in a remote, industrial corner of Southie, a stone’s throw from the Boston harbor, is South Boston’s LaMontagne Gallery and, housed within it, is GrowthDaniela Rivera‘s newest installation. Included as a finalist in the 2010 James and Audrey Foster Prize show at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston last year, and featured recently as a Noteworthy artist in edition #92 of New American Paintings, Rivera’s work for LaMontagne is not only a response to Richard Long’s 1967 work A Line Made by Walking, but also a “recognition of the presence of incompletion” in her own work.

Rivera’s work often changes the setting within which it is installed, pouring off the wall and onto the floor where viewers must walk around it, and this installation is no different. The installation of her painted panels at LaMontagne, which effectively turn the simple South Boston space into a site-specific landscape, is only half of the work. The presence, and participation, of viewers is inherent to the work itself, with people literally filling in the gaps on the floor by walking through the installation. A Line Made by Walking is, after all, based in the performative action of walking, and Growth cleverly recreates — in a very different context — the original actions that informed Long’s work to begin with.

More than just a thoughtful, coy attempt at audience participation and conceptual approach, Growth occupies a necessary place in the current moment in contemporary painting, where artists continue to walk the line between painting and sculptural and installation forms, and when the traditional spatial and material limitations set forth by the medium are abandoned in favor of better, and stronger, real estate. More pics after the jump!

Editor-at-Large, Evan J. Garza

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