New American Paintings/Blog

Dead Zone: Alex Da Corte at Nudashank by New American Paintings

Technically speaking, Dead Zone (at Nudashank through March 17) is a group show curated by Philly-based artist Alex Da Corte. But this description isn’t really accurate. Rather than playing the role of curator, Da Corte is bringing in works by other artists and using them as additional materials in his sculptural assemblages. Along with the dollar store objects that Da Corte normally uses to build his works, like fringe or leggings, the list of materials for the pieces in Dead Zone also include Andrew Gbur’s “Untitled” or Sean Fitzgerald’s “16 Colors (as in the image below).  Issues of authorship, appropriation, and attribution come to the fore, as does a sense that we might be flipping through Tumblr. — Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. contributor

DZ 9
Alex Da Corte
Big Brothers
Foam, Fringe, Bleach, Andrew Gbur’s “Untitled”, Ratchet Strap, Sean Fitzgerald’s “16 Colors”, Leggings, Plastic Grapes, Broken Christmas Ornament

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David Ostrowski and Jack Henry at Nudashank by New American Paintings
July 4, 2012, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Review | Tags: , , ,

David Ostrowski’s intuitive marks — mistakes, he calls them — aggregate on the canvas like layers of paint. “It’s a constant failure,” he says in reference to his painting process, which is deliberately fast and intent on producing gestural imperfections. Indeed, there’s very little hand wringing here, as the artist’s trust in his mark making becomes palpable in the lines that he makes. At Nudashank Ostrowski, who is based in Cologne, Germany, is currently exhibiting three gritty paintings alongside the sculptures of Brooklyn-based Jack Henry. Both artists (on view at Nudashank through July 8th) share an affinity for that lyrical space that lies between painting and sculpture, as well as a penchant for provisional works that swap pristine ideals for a virtuous sense of human fallibility. — Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. contributor

Installation view of Jack Henry and David Ostrowski at Nudashank

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Paper Trail: In the Studio with Steven Riddle by New American Paintings
March 22, 2012, 8:15 am
Filed under: Interview | Tags: , , , , , ,

Steven Riddle’s paper collages are additive. They’re layers and layers of material that slope past their underlying surfaces in gentle relief. They’re also subtractive, just as much the result of recursively eliminating elements. And they’re practically alive. A single composition is often an amalgamation of pieces produced more recently mixed with others from two years prior. They’re like living, breathing documents of the artist’s extended studio history, all of it cumulatively recorded in the bins of scrap paper in his studio — blank paper that’s been air brushed, silkscreened, brushed over with gouache, monotyped , and that’s just for starters. Colorful and seemingly delicate, Riddle’s collages might seem like a reaction to the urban gray and grit of Baltimore, where he lives. Perhaps they’re escapist renditions, or more likely, ornate celebrations of a city’s latent energy.

I recently dropped by Steve’s studio at Towson University outside of Baltimore, where he’s a second year MFA candidate. You can check out his work space, and our conversation, after the jump. –Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. Contributor

Steven Riddle | A Still History, 2011, marker, gouache, acrylic, oil-based mono type, collage on paper, 26 × 33″

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Le Sigh: Gina Beavers at Nudashank by New American Paintings
February 24, 2012, 8:15 am
Filed under: DC, Review | Tags: , , , ,

There’s no escaping the physicality of Gina Beavers’ paintings. Culled from the unremarkable — quotidian moments and bits of cultural flotsam — her work is grounded by the immediacy of her source material. Despite the occasional abstraction, these representations aren’t meant to veer far from their physical subjects; they’re tethered to experiential moments that are as concrete as the sculptural reliefs on her canvases. Indeed, borrowing from the pictorial language of naive painting, Beavers’ works suggest redemption for what’s unheroic among us. Le Sigh, her solo show at Nudashank in Baltimore, opened earlier this month and I had the chance to drop by for a visit. – Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. contributor

Gina beavers | 6-color palette, acrylic & paintbrush on canvas, 12” x 14”, 2011, (courtesy Nudashank and the artist)

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Historical Lineage: Q&A with Matthew Craven by New American Paintings

Much of Matthew Craven’s meticulous work exists as both colorful abstraction and surreal historical document. His transformation of  images appropriated from history textbooks nudge and reconfigure the original historical narratives. And his modular treatment of familiar forms unexpectedly activates their hidden potential for abstraction. Painting, drawing, collage and installation are linked in Craven’s practice through his fastidiously precise lines, which run across works and from project to project. Last week I caught up with the Brooklyn-based artist — whose work is currently in the group show Paper Chasers at Nudashank — to talk about his work, his influences, and time travel. Our conversation, and lots of images, after the jump. -Matthew Smith, D.C. contributor

Matthew Craven | wooden teeth., 2010, mixed media, 17″ x 13″ courtesy of the artist
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Up all night: Q&A with Ted Gahl by New American Paintings
October 26, 2011, 8:05 am
Filed under: New York, Q&A | Tags: , , , , , ,

Ted Gahl’s new exhibition (and first solo exhibition in New York City) Night Painter, on view at Dodge Gallery though November 13th, includes an honest and uninhibited array of works that suspend memories and personal symbology in the thin stratum of Gahl’s painted surfaces.  Dense but not overcrowded, minimal paintings serve as visual respite between larger, tangled compositions where the referential and abstract overlap.  Within the dark and specific palette, each painting begins to read as a different element of memory, meditation, dream, insomnia and delirium. – Read the interview between Alex Ebstein, Baltimore contributor, and Ted Gahl after the jump.

Ted Gahl Night Painter at Dodge Gallery, Installation View, photo by Carly Gaebe, courtesy of Dodge Gallery

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Highlights from (e)merge: the artists platform by New American Paintings

Unlike the gallery platform, two-dimensional works were a bit less common in the artist platform at (e)merge. It’s not surprising — in their call to artists the organizers expressed an interest in site-specific work that engaged with the idiosyncrasies of a hotel setting. But it may also point to the organizers’ desire to favor experimentation over commerce in this portion of the fair. There were simultaneous performances throughout (e)merge, and they were hard to miss, but we also got a look at a couple of two-dimensional works as well. New American Paintings’ contributors, Matthew Smith and Alex Ebstein, discuss the artist platform at (e)merge, which closed yesterday. More after the jump!

DC Cheer!, an artist project led by Kristina Bilonick, greeted artists with encouragement as they arrived. Photo by E. Brady Robinson

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