December 9, 2010

nobody loves a genius child

Check it out - a super film by Tamra Davis about Jean-Michel Basquiat, The Radiant Child.

November 2, 2010

ROSE WYLIE what with what

DON"T MISS...What with What
Rose Wylie at Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, NY
October 14 – November 13, 2010

 The images in Wylie's large-scale paintings, such as a cat, a skull, or seemingly inconsequential details of everyday life, are drawn from a variety of sources. Memory and emotional resonance guide her selections as in the movie scenes, which she paints, unchecked against the original references, in her Film Notes. Often a doll-like, female figure appears with objects or stands alone, assuming various rolls.

To give form to the everyday, personal and emotional, Wylie draws from a comprehensive knowledge of art historical references; including Dürer woodcuts, folk painting, Egyptian figures, medieval art, El Greco and early, hand-painted Pop. She first works out her ideas in drawings on paper, which she alters, crops, collages, layers and combines. Similar processes are then employed when she reworks these drawings in oil onto raw, unstretched canvas.

One senses Wylie's visceral delight in the physical process of putting down paint, reworking it over and over, sometimes hiding unsatisfactory results with a patch of fresh canvas, white paint or simply scratching it out. Everything is in a serendipitous flux until completion, when the lines feel as if generated by themselves and every blob is in its place. Text, as Wylie indicates, is included as much for pattern as for content. This amalgamation of image and text creates a maze of narrative possibilities where the process of combining produces a distinct interplay between meaning and representation. What to express with What, What to paint with What, What to combine with What lies at the core of Wylie's process.

Rose Wylie - installation view (2010)
 Rose Wylie's work is currently garnering quite some attention: Who is Britain's hottest new artist? A 76-year-old called Rose Wylie, Germaine Greer commented in The Guardian in a full-page article, July 2010. And the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, selected her to represent Great Britain in its 2010 exhibition Women to Watch. Over the years, she has had several solo shows in London with UNION (2010 and 2006), Transition Gallery (2008) and Stephen Lacey (1995 and 1999), and has appeared several times in the Norwich Gallery's East International under such selectors as Matthew Higgs, Camille Chaimowicz, Neo Rauch, Rudi Fuchs and Jan Dibbets. Wylie was selected twice for the Jerwood Drawing Prize (2000 & 2002) and short-listed for the Jerwood Painting Prize (1997). Her work is in several public as well as high profile private collections.

October 6, 2010

Hedda Sterne !

New York VIII, 1954, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 72 1/8 x 42 inches
There is MUCH to like at the MOMA AbEx show, the above painting was my favorite from today's visit.

The following text I took  from the Krannert Art Museum at University of Illinois press release for Uninterrupted Flux: Hedda Sterne, A Retrospective (2006-2007).

Perhaps most recognizable as the only woman in the famous 1951 photo of the so-called Irascibles, Hedda Sterne was an important member of the New York School (although she prefers not be aligned with any artistic group) and exhibited with Abstract Expressionists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko. Her impressive art career spans from the late 1930s when she exhibited with the Surrealists in Paris until the present. Yet, despite her presence amongst the Abstract Expressionists in the 1940s and 50s and the dynamic body of work she has created over the greater part of the 20th century, her work has gone almost completely undocumented in art historical narratives of the post-war American art scene. Krannert Art Museum’s exhibition, Uninterrupted Flux: Hedda Sterne, A Retrospective, presents an overview of Sterne’s career, including works never previously shown to the public. Based on a series of conversations with the artist and extensive research, the exhibition explores some of the over-arching themes that unite Sterne’s incredibly versatile body of work.

 Further I, 1984, Acrylic and oil crayon on canvas., 72 x 52 inches.
 Sterne’s long career has traversed both Europe and America and has intersected with several important movements. Likewise, the list of artists with whom she personally was connected reads like a veritable who’s who in 20th century art. Sterne was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1910 and although a generation younger than Constantin Brancusi, Marcel Janco, Tristan Tzara and Victor Brauner, she was aware from a young age of the Romanian artistic avant-garde surrounding her. Brauner, a Surrealist painter and a close friend of Sterne’s family, introduced her to the Surrealists in Paris in the late 1930s. Hans Arp, impressed by a work he saw in the 1939 11th Exposition du Salon des Surindépendants, brought Sterne’s work to the attention of Peggy Guggenheim, then in London. When Sterne, who is of Jewish origin, returned to German occupied Romania, she narrowly escaped a round up in Bucharest and emigrated to the US in 1941. In New York Peggy Guggenheim introduced Sterne to a vital community of émigré artists including Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and Piet Mondrian. Sterne’s first solo exhibition was held in 1943 at the Wakefield Gallery in New York then under the direction of Betty Parsons.  When Parsons opened her own gallery in 1946, Sterne joined the roster of Parsons’ most prized artists along with Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Ad Reinhardt. Since 1943 Sterne has had nearly 40 solo exhibitions and participated in countless group shows. She is currently represented by CDS Gallery in New York.

Sterne’s continual exploration of new directions in her art has yielded a diverse body of workfrom her early Surrealist chance pieces, to the anthropomorphic machines of the late 1940s, to the abstract highways and horizon paintings of the 50s and 60s, face series of the 70s and geometric prisms of the 80s and 90s (to name only a few directions her work has taken). Furthermore, Sterne has moved fluidly between abstraction and figuration, as she has returned often to portraiture throughout her career. Her very spirit of exploration, encouraged by her vigorous reading of philosophy, theology, history and literature, provides a framework through which the diversity of her work can be understood. When discussing her work she often returns to the ideas of flux and interconnectedness — two themes that account for her remarkable openness to exploring new styles. However, Sterne’s disinterest in developing a marketable styleor as she describes it, her refusal to paint logoshas made it difficult for any one artistic movement to claim her and perhaps may have contributed to her omission from the art historical canon. Uninterrupted Flux aims to make her prolific body of work visible again and invites further exploration of her life and art.

A corner of Hedda Sterne's studio, photographed in 1970 by Duane Michals.

October 2, 2010

rainy day

my picks from a very rainy + windy day in chelsea

David Shrigley
September 15 - October 23
Anton Kern Gallery
David Shrigley, Installation view, 2010, Anton Kern Gallery, NY
Untitled, 2010, Bronze, 5 1/4 x 4 x 5 1/4 inches
David Shrigley, Untitled, 2009, Ink on Paper

September 23 – October 30
Elizabeth Dee
Mark Barrow, III, 2010, Acrylic on Hand-Loomed Linen
24 x 20 inches (61 x 50.8 cm), Textile by Sarah Parke

Mark Barrow, NIH, 2009, Acrylic on Hand-Loomed Linen
Left: 29 x 27 inches (73.7 x 68.6 cm), Right: 22 x 20 inches (55.9 x 50.8 cm)
Textile by Sarah Parke

Figurative Paintings, 1953-1966
Sep 10 - Oct 30, 2010
George Adams Gallery
Elmer Bischoff, Self-Portrait, 1955
oil on canvas, 28 x 22 inches

Elmer Bischoff, The River, c. 1953
oil on canvas, 56 x 56 inches

September 13, 2010

indian summer

the summer isn't over at David Nolan Gallery.
Summer Group Show
July 9 - September 25, 2010
Barry Le Va, Untitled, 1981, ink and acrylic on paper, 22 1/8 x 30 1/4 inches

John Duff, Inside the Kepler Conjecture III, 2010, urethane resin, steel, 47 x 22 x 22 inches

Mel Kendrick, Double Core, 2005, plywood, plaster, 52 x 31 x 36 inches

September 11, 2010

true believer

do not miss SARAH PETERS' splendid show.
APPEAL TO HEAVEN at winkleman gallery
september 9 - october 9, 2010

Dorothy May Bradford, 2010, Pencil and ink on paper, 22" x 30"

Sarah Peters, "Appeal to Heaven," installation view. Photograph by Etienne Frossard.
Descendants & Believers, #4, 2010, bronze, 11.5" x 7.5" x 9", edtion of 5

August 20, 2010

On the Road - Anna Akhmatova

On the Road

Though this land is not my own
I will never forget it,
or the waters of its ocean,
fresh and delicately icy.

Sand on the bottom is whiter than chalk,
and the air drunk, like wine.
Late sun lays bare
the rosy limbs of the pine trees.

And the sun goes down in waves of ether
in such a way that I can't tell
if the day is ending, or the world,
or if the secret of secrets is within me again.

Anna Akhmatova
translated from Russian by Jane Kenyon

August 17, 2010

joan brown

Joan Brown, The Vanity, 1973; painting; enamel on canvas, 84 in. x 72 1/8 in

 "...[Joan Brown] is an artist who is equally in love with her intuitions and the history of painting. Brown is a fancy painter, but in the good sense: you can imagine her being surprised by her own inventions....Brown paints as if she were a born mimic of different styles, and that might explain why she isn't after the unity of any one style.  She wants to mix together as many ways of painting as possible, and see if some new clarity comes out of impurity."   -  excerpted from a 1976 review by Sanford Schwartz.

Joan Brown, Bather #3, 1982

Joan Brown, After the Alcatraz Swim #3, 1975

Joan Brown (February 13, 1938 – October 26, 1990) was an American figurative painter who lived and worked in Northern California. She was a notable member of the "second generation" of the Bay Area Figurative Movement.

She was born in San Francisco and studied at the California School of Fine Art (now San Francisco Art Institute), where her teachers included Elmer Bischoff. She achieved prominence with a style of figurative painting that combined bright color, sometimes cartoonish drawing, and personal symbolism.

Brown was married to Bay Area Figurative sculptor Manuel Neri from 1962 to 1966, though their relationship and artistic collaboration dated back several years prior to this.

In the late 1970s, Brown became increasingly interested in spirituality and New Age ideas, eventually becoming an adherent of Sathya Sai Baba. She made a number of trips to his ashram in Puttaparthi, India. In 1990, she died in a construction accident while installing an obelisk at the Sai Baba's Eternal Heritage Museum in Proddatur, India.

Brown was also a competitive swimmer.

Joan Brown, Fur Rat, 1962

Joan Brown, Untitled (Bird), 1957-1960; sculpture; cardboard, fabric, string, wood, and electric wire, 12 in. x 6 in. x 8 in.  

click here to watch Joan Brown interviews 

August 15, 2010

Turner and the Masters | Prado Museum | Madrid

The following are my picks from the Turner and the Masters show at the Prado Museum, Madrid.  August 4, 2010 - The Turner show was the start to my excellent day at the Prado.

jw turner, limekiln at coalbrookdale. 1797

jw turner, the fall of an avalanche in the grinsons. 1810

jw turner, snow storm: hannibal and his army crossing the alps, 1812.

"The aim of Turner and the Masters is to reveal the extent of Turner’s links with other historically important artists and the profoundly original way in which he assimilated their influence. This comparison will assist in an understanding of how Turner’s approach to and assimilation of other artists was intended not just as an homage to them but also involved a subtle and highly original type of transformation of their teachings." Click here to learn more about JW Turner.

jw turner, peace, burial at sea. 1842
francis danby, subject from revelations, 1829.
jw turner, light and colour (goethe's theory)/the morning after the deluge, 1843.

August 9, 2010

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte - Reina Sofia | August 5, 2010 | Madrid, Spain

Jean Nouvel added an impressive expansion to the museum in 1999

below you will find work that caught my attention.

Birds in Sweden

new realism (1957-1962) Object Strategies Between Readymade and Spectacle

mimmo rotella - the two faces - 1962
yves klein - 1961 - this film documents the creation of one of Klein's Peintures de Feu [fire paintings].
jean tinguley - c. 1960s - drawing machines and videos about his larger machines

Ade-Ledic Nander II - more from Öyvind Fahlström

Ade-Ledic Nander II (detail) - 1955-57 - (74 13/16 x 83 1/16 inches)
Ade-Ledic Nander II - 1955-57 - (74 13/16 x 83 1/16 inches)

Öyvind Fahlström is included in the Museo Renia Sofia's: New Realism (1957-1962) Object Strategies Between Readymade and Spectacle.  Fahlström was Swedish and became a productive and well known artist that worked in many genres - often with political and social questions. He exhibited in Europe and at Sidney Janis Gallery in New York City in 1967, 1969, 1973 and 1976. 

The Computing Centre and the Seminar "Automatic Generation of Artistic Forms"

Manuel Barbadillo - Roseta 1967
In 1966, at the height of Franco era development, the Computing Centre of the Complutense University of Madrid began its operation, under the direction of the mathematician Florentino Briones. Starting in 1968, the Centre put into motion a pioneering project in the use of computers for artistic creation, by organizing a seminar under the title "Automatic Generation of Artistic Forms", which brought together an important group of artists, architects, mathematicians, economists, etc. The huge number of participants reveals to what point new technologies, the embodiment of the future society, were able to pull together the aesthetic and extra-aesthetic concerns in the Spain of the time. Despite its short duration, the experience marked the later career of many of its participants, not just in procedures and the use of the technologies, but also in the experimentation with materials, forms, and new work methods.

The New Topographers

Robert Smithson's film, Spiral Jetty, was included in: The New Topographers at Museo Renia Sofia. The 32 minute film is a poetic account of the conception and execution of Smithson's most well-known work. 

you can watch an excerpt from the film - click here 

Spanish Figuration to Surrealism

Jose Gutierrez Solana - The Showcases - 1910
Rosario de Velasco - Adam y Eve - c.1920s
As an answer to the revolutionary nature of the avant-garde and the climate of political instability after World War I, in the 1920's and 1930's there is a "call to order" in the European art world. Its origin is situated in metaphysical Italian painting and in German Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity). It involved a re-reading of traditional genres through a return to representation and to a set of figurative visual codes which would reveal the tensions between Modernity and Anti-Modernity. In Spain, artists such as Ángeles Santos (1911), Alfonso Ponce de León (1906-1936), o the Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) of the 20's, would move between magical realism, metaphysical painting, Surrealism and even Hyper-Realism, with no perceived contradiction. On the contrary, this nomadism was characteristic of those years.
Angeles Santos - Tertulia (The Gathering) - 1929
Remedios Varo - Modernity - 1936

Man Ray - Dust Breeding (Duchamp's Glass with Dust Notes - 1920
(This photo is a document of The Large Glass after it had collected a year's worth of dust while Duchamp was in New York. The photograph was taken using a two-hour-long exposure.)
Ives Tanguy - Belomancia I - 1927

Maruja Mallo (1902-1995) - Earth and Excrement