April 17, 2015, 8:39am
There are entire worlds—entire existences—suspended within there, floating up to gazes which have been detached long enough—or ran down, heaving and glassy eyed, caned and fatigued—to pick up on such things, looming forms ascending like the prophetic pyramid out of the cuttlefish-ink abyssal underbelly of an 8-ball, rising and falling and materializing out of the blood brume; there are entire continents, cream continents adrift in an angry sea of cadmium, a granular expanse—as if someone chunked up a block of anatomist's arterial wax, dumped it into a pneumatic cannon, and proceeded to broadside raw canvas—ripe for pareidolia. Their borders are fringed, cloudy, a particulate demarcation of crimson gnats, and that fuzz is really what the fuss is all about, an adroit—if blatant, once one sees it—analogue to the fungible nature of perception, memory, and self; there are images contained within the blood brumes, although it is only by the grace of Angel Otero's exposition that we are privy to this, as they have been translated, riven, reconstituted, and then pressed—like a witch!—into their current, beautifully abused form; these were photographs once, the ultimate form of mimesis, until a triturator has placed his hands upon them, riven them, splayed them…and look at the bloody, powdery mess made of ipseity now! – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
April 08, 2015, 2:56pm
For more than twenty years, the critically acclaimed publication, New American Paintings, has featured the work of more than 3000 painters from throughout the United States, many of whom have gone on to receive international recognition. A lavishly-illustrated exhibition-in-print, each issue of New American Paintings results from a highly selective juried competition and aims to share the work of deserving artists to a wider audience. Selected by Elmhurst Art Museum Chief Curator Staci Boris from more than 400 submissions, the 2014 Midwest Edition features forty of the most promising artists from Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Iowa working within the context of contemporary painting. For the first time in its history, the New American Paintings publication will jump from the page to the museum as EAM presents the exhibition New American Paintings: Midwest Edition.
May 17 - August 23, 2015
April 06, 2015, 10:13am
There's these streams, these, like … death streams, running all along the hollers and open wounds and scars and deep, dark hills of southeastern Ohio, like in Athens county or Crooksville, Sunday Creek country, these fucking chameleon streams, born crystal virgin pure—a hideous faux-virginity! pure fatality, no other kind of purity suspended in there!—and eventually, running along like Leiningen's ants or pyroclastic flows or Kali, in that dread, beautiful motion, which sweeps life away, they eventually begin blooming into this fabulous reddish-orange, the color of rafflesia petals, and running along with nothing but gravity and iron and sulfuric acid in it, no aquatic life at all. This ichor flows all along the hills, perfectly beautiful and perfectly deadly, a conflation of the earth and the vicious byproducts we left when we entered the earth, gross seeping wounds we didn't bother to cauterize or seal properly when they stopped sustaining us, when the black precious coal could no longer be found, when blood from a stone no longer made economic sense, and after we left the earth cut open, vivisected and scooped out, it sat still and decided to slowly poison us, poison the fish and crawdads and deer, in vengeful retribution. – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
March 30, 2015, 9:01am
Painting, perhaps more than any other medium, has existed as a site for reconciling the systemic biases of art history, of which a large percentage are encapsulated in painting's own history. Painting has historically referenced previous imagery – subjects of the Renaissance were aesthetic updates to earlier depictions of the myths of the Bible and ancient Greco-Roman cultures found in past sculpture, frescoes, mosaics, manuscripts, textiles, etc. Subsequent derivative idioms, such as the master's copy and homage, have lineages stretching back long before anything could have even been labeled pre-modern. Neoclassicism was an agenda-based, aesthetic do-over by definition; Modernism's brief, valiant attempt at creating a future caught its breath in the late 20th century and painting began, again, to eloquently engage in a conversation with itself about itself. Although in contemporary art this is not unique to any one medium, there is enough cultural resonance specific to painting that it justifies the reflexive nature of artists continuing to investigate its unique position in history. – Jason Ramos, Los Angeles Contributor
March 20, 2015, 9:15am
An unusual element of Gala Bent’s new show makes it striking from a distance. A particularly standout press image or an intriguing promise of newness are often an opening’s easiest selling points. In the case of the Seattle artist’s show at G. Gibson Gallery that opened earlier this month, it was a single work’s title that latched onto my mind and stayed there until I made my way to the painting: Wrestler (The impossibility of a single dimension in the mind of someone who lives in several). While enough of Wrestler’s forward boldness came through the thumbnail image I had seen to make me want to meet it, the idea of someone living in several dimensions was what turned the work of art into something I had to see. When I spoke with the artist about the work, the show and her practice, it quickly became clear that Bent herself is immersed in a similarly multi-dimensional existence—with a mind constantly in flux between observing and making tangible the theoretical ideas she encounters, her art living similarly between open-ended abstractions and a fixed set of controls.—Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor
March 18, 2015, 9:03am
Sitting huddled around an electric space heater in Scott Anderson’s (NAP #35, #53) studio located in the rural township of La Cienega–about 20 minutes south of Santa Fe–he confessed, “I had these aspirations to be in New Mexico even before I had ever been to New Mexico. My wife and I had this 10 year plan to eventually get to Santa Fe, and drop off the face of the earth–or at least we thought so.” On a day in early March, New Mexico had just seen record snowfall for the year and my drive north from Albuquerque was punctuated with unusually grey skies and the vague threat of new precipitation. Anderson preempted my visit, warning that his enormous studio–originally built to accommodate the large sculptural works fabricated by the building’s previous occupant–would be slow to warm up. – Claude Smith, Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor
March 17, 2015, 12:13pm
It's the end of the world, Ragnarok, the apocalypse, and it's coming … well, erratically, in fits and bursts, dives, dips, Archimedean spiraling and humming all the while, fitfully humming, aggravated and unabated, zzzzzzzz the score to the very end, death born upon a cello string … death!, thousand eyed, six-legged, sword-endowed, floccose sickly-sweet smelling death in the personage of a honey bee, listing to one side like the Costa Concordia, vascular window pane wings over its corpse like a widow's umbrella, the victim of colony collapse disorder, laid low by a syndrome we do not understand, a fatal flaw in its system—maybe some sort of inherent vice?—or something wrought by our own machinations, with the little fellow ending up dead regardless; the flowers and crops and agrarian economies wilt, and the apocalypse comes banded black and yellow, apian entropy. – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
February 26, 2015, 7:39am
Now here is a piece of art with a burlesque sensibility: Rebecca Shore's 20, whose Cambridge blue undercarriage, gartered in a lascivious claret, is thrust out to the viewer in come-hither sharp angles with a celerity that implies confidence and a bit of coquettish teasing rather than desperation—note that this brazen display of usually subdued dimensions will not be readily apparent if one comes up off the stairs into Corbett vs Dempsey running along the wall whisker-bound like a house mouse; abstract art favors the brave—and invites the viewer up its ascending staircase—a second set of stairs!—into an exhibition comprised of familiar motifs and vibes and colors and sensations predominantly sans any mimetic analog, which, yes, abstract art is meant to do, albeit not always so adroitly. – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
February 25, 2015, 11:35am
Susan Logoreci (NAP #61, #109, 2003 MFA Annual) draws urban sprawl in the most beautiful way. As Los Angelenos, New Yorkers, and big city dwellers know well, the view out of your airplane window when you arrive back in your city is often one that is at once overwhelming and bittersweet. I love the feeling of coming home and am at once warmed over by the minuscule aerial view of my large hometown, though I have panged feelings of being simultaneously shocked and awed at its sprawling enormity.
Logoreci captures that feeling beautifully in her drawings. In this Process of a Painting, we are looking at her detailed hand behind the creation of U.S.C. (Urban Swarm Contemplated), 2014. Using colored pencil on paper, she creates a wonderfully and surprisingly rich and bold palette, while exploring an equally intricate subject.
After seeing her process, I asked Logoreci to tell us about the inspiration behind U.S.C. and her aesthetic approach to the commission. Please follow along and join us on this wonderful aerial adventure.
February 19, 2015, 9:10am
Rebecca Bird’s painting show “Niagara Falls” at Kopeikin Gallery is compelling and beautiful. The show features a mix of delicate watercolors on paper and equally fragile acrylics and oils on wood. Something about the balance between the very subtle nature of her works combined with the hard, angular movements within her details compelled me to contemplate and wonder. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor