September 26, 2014, 9:17am
In his first solo exhibition at James Kelly Contemporary in Santa Fe, Phoenix-based artist and recent NYC transplant Matt Magee (NAP #14) offers a bit of a departure from his typically looser, more shapely and often-codified works. In this stripped-down, analytical offering, Recent Paintings and Sculptures features works inspired by observed and imagined forms, collections, data analysis and the Arizona sky. – Claude Smith, Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor
September 25, 2014, 9:21am
The first time I came to Seattle was to board a cruise ship, the same reason so many other Northwest outsiders first experience this city. Since I had been traveling with family (not to mention thousands of other cruisers), the only time I recall being alone on the trip was during the cab ride back to the airport, after we returned to port. Sitting in the backseat, moving alongside the lines of cars traveling southbound on I-5, the faint image of Mount Rainier floated among the license plates. It was among this swarm of rendered, friendlier mountains that I first saw the real Rainier, looming seventy miles away, above the mass of clouds that coated the passenger-side window.
Although I have lived here for nine years, and few things I saw during the cruise visit look the same to me now as they did fresh off the ship, Mount Rainier still radiates the same sense of severe immensity, even during its sunniest appearances. Walking into SAM Gallery’s Made in the Northwest show, I was met with a similar hum of severity—this time coming from Seattle artist Ryan Molenkamp’s (NAP #97) painted volcanoes. — Erin Langner, Seattle contributor
September 24, 2014, 9:49am
Edgar Arceneaux’s “A Book and a Medal: Disentanglement Equals Homogenous Abstractions” opened at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects earlier this month. Challenging and compelling, the show is a triple threat of musts (must-see, -feel, and -experience) all in one.
Edgar Arceneaux | installation view of PLATONIC SOLID’S DREAMING/DETROIT’S SHRINKING (Dodecahedron), 2014, Paintings on mirrored glass, graphite and ink on vellum, layered over colored paper, in a hand crafted steel frames. Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.
The exhibit features the contents of a partially redacted 1964 letter from J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI and part of the “Suicide Package,” blackmailing Dr. Martin Luther King by referencing his extramarital affairs and encouraging him to commit suicide. Another letter that serves as the former’s bookend came 50 years later as Bernice King, MLK’s daughter, urges her siblings not to sell their father’s Nobel Prize and bible (objects for which the show is named). Arceneaux explores the complexity of iconicity and monument-making; history and storytelling; and forgetting and memorializing. Using mirror installations and the shape of the redacted letter as a recognizable and repeated template throughout the exhibit, he creates a mood of intrigue, redundancy, and disjuncture. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
September 22, 2014, 9:28am
As the Houston Fine Art Fair is in full swing, one can’t help but think of her younger, hotter sister, Texas Contemporary Art Fair, which finished its three day run last week. Here’s an overview of the state of painting at this year’s Texas Contemporary. - Seth Orion Schwaiger, Austin Contributor
September 09, 2014, 9:50am
In A Smile That Ain’t a Smile But Teeth, artist, performer, and storyteller, Umar Rashid opened his first solo show under his aforementioned birth name this past weekend at the Reginald Ingraham Gallery. In the art world, Rashid is better known as “Frohawk Two Feathers”—his nom-de-plum and alter ego (NAP #73). This Homeric and Tolkien-esque raconteur is known for reweaving and reinventing a master narrative based on the supposition that France and England had united as “Frengland.” In his painted and sculpted saga, Two Feathers invites viewers through tales of woe and into bloody battles, introduces them to traitorous heroes and lost loves, and amuses them with his wit, humor, and biting sense of irony. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
Umar Rashid | installation view of “Post Physical Slavery American Negro Archetype Numbers 1-4,” acrylic and graphite on canvas, four canvases - each 36”x 48.5”. Photo by Ellen C. Caldwell, courtesy of artist and Reginald Ingraham Gallery.
September 02, 2014, 9:49am
Plastic and its lasting after-effects have been a recurring topic of conversation over the past decade. News about the accumulation of microplastics, the drastic effect of human consumption and waste, and the seemingly permanent lifespan of this man-made material fill our newsfeeds, social media, and minds. I think many of us have been aware with the problem of plastic for a long time (artists too), but it wasn't until I saw Gyre: The Plastic Ocean, curated by Julie Decker, that I really considered the extensive, massive, and exhaustive issues at hand in a more poetic and profound way. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
“Gyre: The Plastic Ocean,” installation view of Mark Dion’s “Cabinet of Marine Debris” and Andy Hughes’ UFO Plastic Gyre Series Circularity Series at the Anchorage Museum. Photos Courtesy of Ellen C. Caldwell.
August 29, 2014, 9:06am
August 25, 2014, 9:06am
Knowing what to expect from Amanda Manitach is a tricky endeavor. The Seattle artist, writer and curator has linked the goring of a matador to menstruation, through imagery of red platform stilettos and dripping shards of beets. She has embroidered lambs’ tongues with clusters of tiny, antique beads, discarding the meticulously renedered work upon completion. She draws and paints works on paper that fuse classical nudes, horses detailed with prominent genitalia and melancholic ghost figures. But, a pair of legs in black stilettos walk behind the lamb tongue scene, and the tongue’s bulbous shape billows like the clouds that tint her watercolors, amending the surprise that the abrubpt shifts within her body of work evoke with the sense that perhaps we should have seen this coming, after all. A similar sensation continued in my conversation with Mantiach on her new show, T-Shirts, at Seattle’s Joe Bar, during which we discussed Instagram inspiration, third-wave feminism, sex murder, and the time she lied about her relationship with painting. – Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor
July 30, 2014, 8:30am
“You have to touch the paintings,” Robert Yoder, owner of Seattle’s SEASON gallery suddenly insisted, as he, artist Philip Miner and I stood beside a set of five canvases included in Miner’s new show, Dark All Over Europe; the artist stopped his train of thought to emphatically agree. Titled One by Four & Four Minus One or Two, Maybe More, the acrylic and flashe paintings in question stood side by side, in a tight row, coated with a texture that looked like a literal manifestation of blood and sand—speckled, saturated, and sticky. The surface that met my fingers, however, was the precise opposite. These paintings were so uniformly slick it was hard to believe they were made by a human hand. While One by Four & Four Minus One or Two was unique in its need to be touched, each work in Dark All Over Europe had a story that started at its surface. — Erin Langner, Seattle contributor
July 29, 2014, 9:22am
Mel Bochner has always been a Conceptual artist. Today his focus is on paintings but his ideas and subject matter remains the same: the use and limits of language. Over the many years of his career Bochner has used language on paper, on the wall, on the floor wherever you could go with a pencil a piece of chalk or a pen. Words for Bochner have the same weight, texture, power as color or form. Actions, feelings and thoughts are transcribed to the viewer in terms of words. - Michael Klein, Contributor