New American Paintings/Blog

Excavating the figure with Bianca Beck by New American Paintings

It is remarkable what a single gestural stroke or gouged marking can do towards turning a murkily colored abstract painting into something uncannily figurative, erotic, mortal even. In a long New York weekend, I knew I had to see Bianca Beck’s solo exhibition, the appropriately titled Body, at Rachel Uffner Gallery. I’d been taken by her inclusion in Joe Fyfe’s curated Le Tableau exhibition at Cheim & Read last summer, a cross-generational survey beginning with post-war European Art Informel action painters like Jean Fautrier and Hans Hartung and featuring contemporary responses. Beck wasn’t just among the youngest voices in the show, but her small-scale oil on incised wood panel work Baby was as intuitively aligned, and breathlessly enlivening, as the original Art Informel group. This new grouping of mixed media works and first-time sculpture finds Beck channeling that vivacity even further. – Brian Fee, Austin Contributor

Bianca Beck | Untitled, 2011, oil, ink, and burns on panel, 16” x 12”. Courtesy the artist and Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York.

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

(e)merge kicked off with a preview and poolside party on Thursday evening. Featuring two platforms, one for galleries and the other for unrepresented artists, the fair occupies the first three floors of the Capitol Skyline Hotel as well as the lower level parking garage. I took a look around the gallery platform on Friday — just about 40 exhibitors — and will be checking out the artist platform on Saturday. My report on the galleries, with lots of images, after the jump.  – Matthew Smith, DC Contributor

Bathroom installation by Andy Moon Wilson, at Curator’s Office

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D.C.’s Fair Share: a Q&A with the organizers of (e)merge by New American Paintings

The (e)merge art fair (September 22 – 25, 2011) — founded and organized by Conner Contemporary Art co-directors Leigh Conner and Jamie Smith, as well as by Helen Allen, founder and former director of Pulse — officially opens its doors tonight at the Morris Lapidus-designed Capitol Skyline Hotel in Washington, D.C.. The focus of the fair is on emerging artists, but not just those arriving via their dealers and gallerists. Nearly half of the approximately 80 exhibitors will be unrepresented artists vetted by a selection committee that included White Columns director Matthew Higgs, megacollector Mera Rubell of the Rubell Family Collection, among other art professionals. Which practically guarantees that (e)merge won’t be another big-box art fair. Earlier this week I caught up with the organizers of (e)merge, no doubt very busy with last minute preparations, to talk about the concept behind their project. Our conversation after the jump. – Matthew Smith, DC Contributor

The Capital Skyline Hotel, site of the (e)merge art fair. Image courtesy of (e)merge.
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