New American Paintings/Blog

Northeast Issue #98 Sneek Peek! by New American Paintings

The 2012 Northeast Issue, #98, is now hitting newsstands across the US. We expect them to ship to subscribers in the next 1 to 2 weeks, so check those mailboxes! The juror for the Northeast issue was Dina Deitsch, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA.

Deitsch notes in her essay, “While the Northeast can be characterized by its cold weather, ties to the earliest days of American history, a collection of some very good schools, and perhaps, what is politely termed a Yankee frugality or better yet, pragmatism, the truth of the matter is that the art here bears no such defining characteristics. In the realm of painting, where the limits are the mind and hand, there is a remarkable range of forward-thinking ideas, subject matter, and technique. In the grouping of painters featured in this issue of New American Paintings you’ll come across works that speak more to the human experience—both local and global—and a broadening effect of thinking through painting as a material, as color, and less as a means to an end. This shift towards the materiality of paint seems to almost reinvigorate the medium, taking it into the space of the world itself.”

— View a list of all featured artists after the jump!

You can pre-order the issue by calling 617-778-5265.

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Painting like a Sculptor: In the Studio with Peter Opheim by openstudiospress

For all the implied detail that jpegs provide, there’s nothing quite like seeing a painting in person. I was certain that when I set out to visit German-born artist Peter Opheim at his Chinatown studio in New York, I had a pretty good handle on what I would expect to see. But appearances can be deceiving, and a closer inspection of the surface of his works was not unlike being whispered a very important secret, with all the weight of the work carried with it. The surface quality of these paintings is both remarkable and remarkably important to the understanding of his work.

When viewed in their entirety, or seen from a distance, Opheim’s large-scale paintings reveal very little about their surfaces. Based on individual sculptural maquettes made of clay (which I had the rare pleasure of seeing in the studio), the artist’s colorful subjects are rendered with a very small brush, effectively making his painted works seem more like hand-made objects. Each tiny brushstroke appears as if Opheim has instead sculpted the paint with his fingers, casting a very sculptural glow over his oil paintings.

For Opheim, the result is less about an accurate representation of his clay maquettes and more about the careful abstraction of his compositions. For decades, the artist worked almost exclusively with abstracted imagery, and his recent work deeply recalls that spirit. I caught up with Opheim as he was preparing for a solo show at VOLTA NY with Steven Zevitas Gallery. More after the jump!

—Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-large

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