New American Paintings/Blog


Jay DeFeo at Hosfelt Gallery by New American Paintings

In 1959 Jay DeFeo and her then-husband Wally Hedrick received a letter from Bruce Conner, inducting them into the Rat Bastard Protective Association, of which he was the President, and suggesting that they start paying dues. Other original members included Joan Brown, Manuel Neri, and Jess Collins. The group of about eight artists exhibited together in San Francisco throughout the 50s and 60s, meeting every couple of weeks at each other’s apartments and studios. They formed at a time when the Beat artists were gaining prominence in San Francisco, and began to be somewhat of a spectacle. Visitors to the city could take tour buses through the North Beach neighborhood to see the ‘Beat Scene’, and Hedrick himself capitalized on the hysteria as a paid window painter at Vesuvio cafe. Dressed in all black, he sat in the popular North Beach bar’s window and created improvisational paintings and drawings each night, performing along with the jazz band. – More from San Francisco contributor, Nadiah Fellah, after the jump!


Untitled, 1979, photocopy, 11 x 8.5 inches

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Must-See Paintings Show: September by New American Paintings

The art world comes alive again in September, as galleries reopen and collectors return from far flung locations. We reviewed upcoming September exhibitions at more than 400 galleries around the country, and there will be a lot of painting on view.

As is typical, many galleries are bringing out the big guns for the new season – from Agnes Martin at The Pace Gallery in New York to a well structured survey of Bay Area figurative painter, Nathan Oliveira, at John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco. Among the shows opening by emerging artists, it is hard to ignore the trend towards abstract painting that has swept over the art world.


Kimberly Brooks | Punk History, oil on linen, 40 x 36 inches. Courtesy of Taylor De Cordoba, Los Angeles.

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Jesse Thomas at Eleanor Harwood Gallery by New American Paintings

We were excited to find coverage of Jesse Thomas’s exhibition at Eleanor Harwood Gallery on Fecal Face. Our staff also had the pleasure of seeing Jesse’s work at the NEXT art fair in Chicago when he showed with Robert Bills Contemporary, so we know they are really great in person. Thomas, a St. Louis based artist, will be featured in the upcoming New American Paintings Midwest Issue, #95, due to hit newsstands on August 9th.

For more on pictures from the show, visit Fecal Face (all photos by Ashley Taylor).



Painting in a New Light: Michael Guidetti by openstudiospress

Michael Guidetti, Untitled (Standards), 2009 | Watercolor on canvas with animated digital projection, 30 x 40 inches; Approx 3 hour loop [VIDEO] (via Rhizome)

One of the most important and undercelebrated sites of contemporary art in the country is the Live Oak Friends Meeting House by James Turrell in Houston, Texas. While it functions as an actual meeting place for Houston Quakers, it’s also the location of the most remarkable skylight imaginable. A master of light and color, Turrell designed the ceiling so that the light is pulled inside and held within the space, making it physically present to viewers in the process.

A recent work by San Francisco’s Michael Guidetti intensely recalls this practice, and while the experiential nature of his new media painting, Untitled (Standards), is vastly different, the use of light in a physical sense remains the same. Colorful bands of light creep across the painting, slowly changing hue across a 3-hour animated digital projection cast right on the picture plane. Never mind that the use of watercolor is noticeably controlled on the canvas, which is an achievement in and of itself. The skylight, windows, and sculptures depicted in the digital projection fluctuate in tone, from rich purples to creamy blues, stunningly recalling both Turrell’s meeting house and the Surrealist light investigations of René Magritte. The work is also a sharp reflection of the role of contemporary painting in recent new media practices.  —Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large


Read more about Michael Guidetti‘s painterly new media work on his site, and watch a time-lapse clip of the 3-hour loop described above. 



In the Studio: Pamela Wilson-Ryckman by openstudiospress

Pamela Wilson-Ryckman, Looter, 2010 | Watercolor on paper, 22.5 x 30 inches. Courtesy the artist.

I recently caught up with San Francisco-based artist Pamela Wilson-Ryckman in her studio—one of many housed in converted horse stables that still bear the high ceilings and large wooden barn doors of their original structure.

A native New Yorker, Wilson-Ryckman discussed her process, the inspiration for her watercolor paintings, and her recent solo show at Paule Anglim Gallery in San Francisco. Her paintings are particularly engaging for their technical mastery and temporality—two components we can expect to see from the artist in future works. Images and our conversation after the jump.  —Nadiah Fellah, SF contributor

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Nancy White at Jancar Jones by openstudiospress
April 6, 2011, 1:10 pm
Filed under: Art World, San Francisco | Tags: , , , ,

Nancy White, #10 (Green Yellow), 2011 | Acrylic on paper mounted board, 9 x 7.5 inches. Courtesy Jancar Jones Gallery, San Francisco.

Tucked into the back of a building that used to be the San Francisco Casket Company on Mission Street, Jancar Jones Gallery provides an intimate viewing space for Nancy White’s small works. The postcard-sized paintings by White, who was featured in editions #73 and #55 of New American Paintings, stud the walls of Jancar Jones like gems. Indeed, the intimately small works are jewel toned, and the first thought the angular lines within the monochromatic pieces conjure is that of cut gemstones.

The three-dimensional aspects invoke a visual element similar to facets, or the flat faces in geometric shapes on gemstones which create the light-reflecting surfaces that allow them to sparkle. That said, White’s paintings are made using matte paint, and are a continuation of her experimentations with painting and surface texture. Her recent work falls into two categories: work on steel and work on paper. The Jancar Jones show is composed entirely of the latter, but speaks to the hard-edges, angularity, and three-dimensionality of her steel pieces.  —Nadiah Fellah, San Francisco contributor

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Alexander Kori Girard at Triple Base by openstudiospress

Alexander Kori Girard, System of Space 3, 2010 | Gouache on watercolor paper, 30 x 23 inches. Courtesy the artist and Triple Base Gallery, San Francisco.

Visit Triple Base Gallery in San Francisco’s Mission district and your head will spin for days with the colorful geometric abstractions created by artist Alexander Kori Girard. For the precision and planning needed to carry out many of Kori Girard’s pieces, it is astounding how prolific he has been, with most of the works in the show created in the last few months. The artist drew inspiration from recent trips to India for the palette employed and in the spirituality of his subjects. His compositions are built from a central axis or horizon, unfolding into structures that are at times mirror images, and others that grow out concentrically. More after the jump!   —Nadiah Fellah, San Francisco contributor

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