New American Paintings/Blog

Tracing Technology: Painting with Kim Cadmus Owens by New American Paintings
February 11, 2013, 8:30 am
Filed under: Interview | Tags: , , ,

Kim Cadmus Owens (NAP #78 and #102) creates large oil paintings that are striking in color and subject.  Glancing at a work such as “Smoke and Mirrors” or the “Alamo,” you feel as if you are moving with her paintings at the speed of light.

Smoke and Mirrors: coming and going
Kim Cadmus Owens | Smoke and Mirrors: coming and going, 2011acrylic and oil on canvas, 48” x 156” UF (diptych)

Owens found inspiration for her work amidst technology blunders and anomalies, such as frozen, overtaxed computer screens and fragmented desktop patterns.  Embedding these within her land- and cityscapes, Owens also places the viewer amidst bright and bold scenes.  Many of these locales are reminiscent of old, empty, western wastelands – featuring what appear to be aged or abandoned buildings.  However, because she amps up the color and imbues them with such a force of their own, and because she fragments her works with impending lines and fractures, they feel alive, burgeoning, and even hectic.  The heightened feeling she creates is amplified by the visually pleasing nature of her oil paint eye candy.  Her work makes me want to be on that road trip she is on, but in the meantime as I am speeding on the freeway on my own, her paintings inspire me to see things quite differently and much more brightly.  – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

All images courtesy of the artist and Holly Johnson Gallery.

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In the Studio: Q&A With Susanna Bluhm by New American Paintings
June 21, 2012, 8:25 am
Filed under: In the Studio, Q&A | Tags: , , , , ,

This month in the back gallery at Prole Drift, Susanna Bluhm is showing her latest installment in an ongoing series of works based on passages from The Bible’s nightmare-and-sex-heavy Song of Solomon. You may remember her lush paintings of islands (not part of the biblical series) reviewed alongside work by Cable Griffith at SOIL Gallery last September. This new work at Prole Drift cites the darker passages of the Song of Solomon and comprises fifteen prints pulled from a single plate that’s been etched with images of an infant’s incubator, breathing tubes, little foxes, twigs, creeping ivy and bottles of milk. The prints themselves are wildly different, having been inked or wiped with varying degrees of thickness, then collaged or painted over.

On a work table in Bluhm’s studio is a small children’s Bible bound in red leather that she says she picked up at a local Goodwill. It’s spread open to a chapter in The Song of Solomon and has been heavily annotated with red ink and underlined in pencil, outlining plans for paintings. – Amanda Manitach, Seattle Contributor

Susanna Bluhm

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By Any Means Necessary: Q&A with Chip Allen by New American Paintings
December 20, 2011, 8:15 am
Filed under: DC, Q&A | Tags: , , ,

Chip Allen’s letting loose. He’s squeegeed, splattered, and gesturally brushed over his geometric abstractions, and by the looks of it action painting’s winning out. His loose, intuitive marks and smudges run interference across seemingly systematic lines, the resulting balance a taut non-resolution that tugs from opposing ends, even if one end does so a bit harder. But there’s no subjugation here. Amalgamation is more like it, and a methodical contemplation on the all-encompassing potential of his medium — oil in his most recent paintings. Brooklyn-based Chip Allen (NAP #75, 2007 MFA Annual) is exhibiting in a group show at Heiner Contemporary in Washington D.C. I took the opportunity to catch up with the artist and ask him a few questions. His answers and more images of his work after the jump. — Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. Contributor

Chip Allen | LALC 01, 2011, Oil on Paper, 22 x 26 in, courtesy of the artist and Heiner Contemporary
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Fabrications with Jen Pack (NAP #73) by New American Paintings
September 7, 2011, 9:30 am
Filed under: In the Studio, Los Angeles | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Jen Pack (NAP #73) deconstructs, reconstructs, sews, and stretches fabric onto frames and into large masses in a way that creates something at once familiar and yet also new.  Her works resonate with viewers and remind them of a variety of other arts and images, creating a kind of cyclical “trialogue” – a dialogue between artist, art, viewer, and back.

From her nuanced and detailed stretched chiffon pieces to her large installation work with kite-like nylon, Pack’s work is both moving and provoking, aesthetically and mentally. – Ellen Caldwell, LA Contributor

Scrap 1, chiffon/thread/wood, 31.25″ x 19″ x 3.5″  2010

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New & Noteworthy: Jim Gaylord by openstudiospress
September 20, 2010, 10:00 am
Filed under: Noteworthy | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Force Field, 2010 | Oil on canvas, 36 x 60 inches. Courtesy Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York.

Jim Gaylord was included in the 2006 MFA Annual, edition #43, and was selected as a Noteworthy artist in edition #86 of New American Paintings by Northeast competition juror Monica Ramirez-Montagut, Curator, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. I caught up with the Brooklyn-based artist last week to discuss his optically-charged works, which seem as if to use movement as medium. —Evan J. Garza

EJG: Your work evokes a great deal of movement, and some of your abstractions seem as if captured by a moving camera.
That makes sense because all of the current work is made up of abstract shapes I find in film stills. They’re the kind of forms that fly by quickly and are easy to miss, but I slow down certain sequences frame-by-frame and look for something interesting to work with.

The blurring effect that’s happening in a lot of the new paintings is a result of the fast-moving subjects, but I’m finding that the motion translates into painterly brush strokes in an interesting way. The trick for me is to make them seem like they just happened spontaneously, while in reality they’re planned out. It’s kind of a contradiction, but if you think about it, it’s not really even a process of abstraction because I’m depicting something that’s actually occurring on the screen.

EJG: Did you stare out of car windows a lot as a child?
Sure, and I still appreciate being a passenger in a car or a train. I guess it’s like watching a movie, or a campfire.

Lapse of Decorum, 2010 | Oil on canvas, 35 x 60 inches. Courtesy Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York.

EJG: The line between representation and abstraction in your work is, quite literally, blurred. How do you approach your compositions and how are they produced?
I’ve always liked pictures that I had to keep looking at to figure out what I was seeing, but keep changing, so they never settle into one thing. I used to make ‘automatic drawings,’ like the Surrealists did, just making these ambiguous, stream-of-consciousness forms. But after a while, they all began to look the same, and I wanted to come up with more contemporary ways of image making.

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Q&A: Chris Hagerty by openstudiospress
September 13, 2010, 10:00 am
Filed under: Q&A | Tags: , , , ,

Mall and Explosion, 2010 | Oil on canvas, 30 x 20 inches

Featured in edition #86 of New American Paintings, Chris Hagerty reveals an intense duality in each work he creates: unyielding and radiant color and the earth-toned, inescapable terror of war scenes from Iraq and Afghanistan. At odds in both palette and subject matter, Hagerty’s paintings are as intense as they are eerily humorous. We caught up with the Brooklyn-based artist this week to catch up and talk about his work.  —Evan J. Garza

EJG: In your work you conflate war scenes with shopping mall architectural layouts. How did you arrive at this combination?
I started making paintings of shopping mall architecture as a type of meditative response to the shared environment that people place themselves in. The commercial interiors are an environment that I ‘keyed up’ to a type of unreal space, much like landscape paintings of the past based on actual locations could become fantastic and unrealistic through the depiction by the artist. The photographs of war began to appear just like another field of color in the environment. The synthesis of these photos with those of the shopping mall images felt like a natural combination of two related elements. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan is figuratively in the background of our minds as Americans while it is literally in the background of the paintings.

Garden Of Babylon (double JDAM), 2010 | Oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches

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Q&A: Gregory Euclide by openstudiospress
August 24, 2010, 10:00 am
Filed under: In the Studio, Q&A | Tags: , , , ,


The following was written by Kirsten Incorvaia for My Love For You Is a Stampede of Horses, a blog by Meighan O’Toole cataloging low brow and contemporary art, and originally posted on August 17. Gregory Euclide is based in Minneapolis and was featured in editions #83, #71, & #53 of New American Paintings. You can read more about Euclide’s work on My Love For You… as well as his blog.


Names can be very telling of one’s personality and even their tomorrow, which seemed to ring true for Gregory Euclide. When he was a boy, a loved one gave him a plaque engraved with the meaning of his name: “The Watchful One.” As an adult, Gregory’s observations span from city life to rural country and the fine art scene to high school classrooms. Flat surfaces are not enough for Euclide to relay his findings, which manifest themselves in an assemblage of paint, moss, dirt, paper, styrofoam, and beyond. His unconventional landscapes are so realistic that they actual require watering.

Do Gregory’s natural renditions critique human destruction? What happens when precious living matter decays right off the surface of his paintings? These are the questions we presented Euclide with, and he shared an intelligent, compelling interview in response.

Gregory Euclide

Growing up in Wisconsin, how did you relate to nature? What woods and fields did you play in, how often did you go there, where did your imagination take you?

We lived out in the country surrounded by farm fields. There were ponds, gravel pits, dumps, farms and abandoned barns. It was a pretty amazing landscape to grow up in. Of course, as a kid I was not thinking about this stuff the way I am now. My parents left a majority of the yard grow natural, so there was a large area of tall grass. When other people moved into the subdivision they did the same. This left great fields for wandering and the property lines were blurred. I would walk the fields and go into the 50 foot forests that separated the farm fields almost every day. I used to bury Ball Jars containing maps of the forts I had created. I was always thrilled to see what had happen to the ink when I dug them up years later.

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