New American Paintings/Blog

In The Studio: Pairings with Eric Elliott by New American Paintings
January 22, 2013, 8:30 am
Filed under: In the Studio, Interview, Q&A | Tags: , , ,

Eric Elliott’s fourth solo exhibit at James Harris Gallery, called Pairings, shows a body of work getting much muckier. And the muck is getting more colorful. Paint, slowly and painstakingly built up in daubs, nearly curls off the canvas like calcified petals, resembling the flora with which he is obsessed. (His botanical illustrations fill notebooks scattered around his studio; dried bouquets languish in vases.) Elliott’s fascination with rendering the representational abstract is consistently apparent in his work: the subject of his paintings is sometimes legible, sometimes it spastically dissolves. Pairings takes this study of abstraction to a dialogic place. As per the title, Pairings displays paintings side-by-side as diptychs and triptychs, situating identical or related subjects next to one another. Yet each is executed with different approaches to material and mark making that evolve as part of the ongoing painting process. – Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor

Eric Elliott

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Unsolved Collections: The Paintings of Sarah Awad’s Transference and Speculation by New American Paintings
November 30, 2012, 8:30 am
Filed under: Review, Seattle | Tags: , ,

Sarah Awad’s orange and white parachute beams broadly like sunshine across the confines of its modest canvas. Sharing the stage with a blue alligator head, a shiny space shuttle and a set of turquoise artillery, bold objects dominate the artist’s new show Transference and Speculation at Seattle’s James Harris Gallery.  While anonymous human forms make appearances with an indifference and anonymity similar to the figures seen in her previous series, Instruments of Culture, the particular combination of recognizable and unrecognizable things the artist constructs in her new set of paintings takes the work in a more dramatic direction, building complex layers of narrative that never remain as comfortable as they first appear. – Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor

Sarah Awad | Apex, 2012, Oil on canvas, 22″ x 24.” Image courtesy of James Harris Gallery.

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Unrepresented: The Tabloid Scenes of Noah Davis’s Savage Wilds by New American Paintings
July 23, 2012, 8:15 am
Filed under: Review | Tags: , , ,

The six new paintings comprising Savage Wilds by L.A. artist Noah Davis pop wildly with disparate references, ranging from talk show host Maury Povich to Mondrian.  Evocative of flat screens with TV show logos in their corners and caption-like titles, such as Crush on Daughter In-law, this new body of work on view at Seattle’s James Harris Gallery (through August 24th) has the feel of an electronics store with screens on every surface. Creating the visual equivalent of surround sound through their flailing figures, physical confrontations and pointed details, the artist’s imagery instantly draws the viewer into the works’ commanding narratives.

Noah Davis | Crush on Daughter In-law, 2012, Oil on canvas, 48” x 48”, image courtesy of James Harris Gallery.

The title Savage Wilds references the controversial 1988 play of the same name by Ishmael Reed, in which two women hosting a game show hire an African American comedian to be hunted live on television.  When rubber bullets are mistakenly replaced with real ammunition, the stakes for questions of spectacle and exploitation rise exponentially.  Davis’s paintings achieve a similarly pointed impact through charged scenes loaded with dense imagery that exist in a space estranged from reality but still in many ways familiar.

Noah Davis | Jerry, 2012, Oil on canvas, 60” x 74”, image courtesy of James Harris Gallery.

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40 Galleries You Should Know if You Love Paint by New American Paintings
June 29, 2012, 8:15 am
Filed under: Art Market, Art World, Features | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It is a simple truth that in any given month, if you added up all of the available space in commercial galleries around the country, the amount dedicated to painting would dwarf that of all other media. The list that I have compiled consists of 40 United States’ based galleries that have a proclivity for painting. That is not to say that painting is the only medium that these galleries show; indeed, most represent artists producing work in a range of media. All of them, however, have shown a particular interest in the medium over an extended period of time, and all have stables of artists that are at least 50% painters.

Mark Flood. Courtesy of Zach Feuer

The list is obviously far from comprehensive, and I consciously avoided blue chip galleries such as David Zwirner and Matthew Marks in favor of younger spaces. Some dealers I have personal relationships with, and others I know only casually. If you love the medium of painting, these are all spaces that you should be familiar with.

I hope that you find the list informative. Directly below is a list and after the jump you’ll find some brief comments and a list of noteable artists. Enjoy! – Steven Zevitas, President/Publisher, New American Paintings

American Contemporary
Angles Gallery
Jeff Bailey Gallery
Shane Campbell Gallery
Lisa Cooley
Corbett vs. Dempsey
CRG Gallery
Devening Projects + Editions
Eleven Rivington
Feature Inc
Zach Feuer
Freight + Volume
Gallery Paule Anglim
James Fuentes
James Harris Gallery
Harris Lieberman Gallery
Horton Gallery
Inman Gallery
International Art Objects Galleries
James Kelly Contemporary
Leo Koenig, Inc.
David Kordansky Gallery
LaMontagne Gallery
Gregory Lind Gallery
Marx & Zavattero
Anthony Meier Fine Arts
Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Mark Moore Gallery
Friedrich Petzel Gallery
Sue Scott Gallery
Sikkema, Jenkins & Co
Fredric Snitzer Gallery
Texas Gallery
Susan Vielmetter Los Angeles Art Projects
Daniel Weinberg Gallery
Howard Yezerksi Gallery
Zieher Smith

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See-Through Fantasies: Mirage at James Harris Gallery by New American Paintings

The concept of the mirage is one of intrigue, as evidenced by pop culture’s frequent attempts to define its mystery. A floating desert oasis memorably deceives Daffy Duck into inhaling a mouthful of sand  (“Aqua Duck,” 1963), while Steve Wynn’s Mirage casino enchants Las Vegas visitors with its lush terrarium and waterfall-lined swimming pools.  Within the context of such widely known references, the question of how the mirage can function within a painting is an interesting one posed by James Harris Gallery’s group show focused on this theme.  –Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor

Will Henry | In the Dust, 2011. gouache on paper, 11” x 10”

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The Faces of Our Time: Give Me Head at James Harris Gallery by New American Paintings

Give Me Head at Seattle’s James Harris Gallery transpires most literally:  as a collection of 21 heads.  This group show of paintings and sculptures primarily created within the last five years offers a visual survey of the face. With very limited exceptions, a lack of expression represents the unifying theme of the imagery. Although some eyes meet the viewer dead-on and others gaze outside the confines of their frames, the intimacy affiliated with portraiture is consistently absent among these stoic figures, raising the question: why would the lack of expression define this body of work? – Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor

Give Me Head
 installation view. Left to Right: Evan Holloway, Sarah Awad, Almeida, Mark Mumford, Shimon Minamikawa, Akio Takamori. Image courtesy of James Harris Gallery.

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The Atmosphere of Painted Spaces: Sarah Awad and Storm Tharp by New American Paintings
September 9, 2011, 9:30 am
Filed under: Review, Seattle | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Playful demystification inhabits the center of Los Angeles artist Sarah Awad’s Instruments of Culture at Seattle’s James Harris Gallery, a series of large, densely painted canvases depicting the statuary and halls of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Layered with oil to the point that marble sculptures become ghostlike and courtyards become abstracted spaces of color blocks and sketched lines, this series of work accentuates the absurdities of the object display that represents standard practice in museums. The lifeless, gray masses dominating Fallenheads highlights the way severed heads of Roman statuary line the walls of myriad European galleries, while simultaneously referencing the grotesque implications typically associated with classical paintings of severed limbs. – Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor

Sarah Awad | Fallenheads, 2011, oil on canvas, 24″ x 30.” Image courtesy of James Harris Gallery.

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