New American Paintings/Blog

Emerging Again: D.C.’s (e)merge Goes Into Its Second Year by New American Paintings

Last year’s preview night at (e)merge was a big, ruckus party. Amidst the large crowds it was often difficult to navigate the hallways between exhibitors, and the wait for the elevators always seemed impossibly long. While it may have been loads of fun for those of us sipping PBRs by the pool, perusing and buying artwork that evening seemed to require a bit more resolve and determination. This year, the second for (e)merge, the crowds on preview night were noticeably thinned, particularly among the younger set who were likely turned off by the $45 admission price ($60 at the door). The new cover charge seemed like a calculated move by organizers, one of a handful of changes that made this year’s event seem more streamlined and manageable for exhibitors and visitors alike. Whether these changes translated into more sales is anybody’s guess, but sales may not be the right metric to measure the success of (e)merge. At least not yet. — Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. contributor (All photos by Matthew except where indicated)

Chajana denHarder performing Singularity (Artist Platform). Photo by Tony Wilson

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Another place and time: Ian Whitmore at G Fine Art by New American Paintings
February 29, 2012, 8:15 am
Filed under: Review | Tags: , , , , , ,

It wasn’t long ago that Ian Whitmore was selling out multiple shows in Washington, D.C. before his paintings were even hung for opening night. It may have been a sign of the times — those shows at the now-defunct Fusebox gallery in the mid 00s were smack dab in the middle of the so-called great contemporary art bubble. But it was also a testament to Whitmore’s virtuosity, the right combination of bravura and painterly intellect that had just about every arts writer in town gushing, including younger incarnations of Tyler Green and Blake Gopnik.

So it wasn’t entirely surprising that Whitmore ultimately sought to broaden his artistic experiences in New York, leaving D.C. a few months before the opening of his 2009 show at G Fine Art. The news was noteworthy enough that Gopnik wrote about it for the Post, detailing the potential rewards and pitfalls of such a move. And now, three years later, the former Washingtonian returns to G Fine Art with his third solo show at the gallery, A Devil, a Shadow, the Notice of a Small Falling Leaf. The exhibition is made up entirely of paintings Whitmore composed after his departure, perhaps hinting at what’s occupied his mind since leaving D.C. behind. More after the jump. –Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. contributor

Ian Whitmore | The Bells Through the Leaves, 2008-2012, 16″ x 16″, oil on linen (courtesy G Fine Art)

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Strokes and Stencils: Maggie Michael at G Fine Art by New American Paintings
September 15, 2011, 9:30 am
Filed under: DC, Review | Tags: , , , ,

Gestural abstraction perseveres, and in Washington, D.C. few artists have been as attuned to its provisional potential as Maggie Michael (NAP #94). With There is No Rising or Setting Sun, Michael’s fourth solo show at G Fine Art, the artist has largely left the drips and splatters behind in favor of spray paint and stencils in provisional works on paper, canvas and mylar. And she’s expanded her mark making across the picture plane — gone are the central points that anchored many of her previous paintings. While immediately next door Conner Contemporary asks rhetorically Is Realism Relevant? Michael’s thoughtful consideration of abstraction formulates compelling answers of her own. – Matthew Smith, DC Contributor

Danube Series: There is No Rising or Setting Sun (Day), 2011, ink and spray paint on paper, 22″ x 30″   Image Courtesy of G Fine Art
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