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January 21, 2015, 4:52pm

The 2014 New American Paintings Reader’s Choice Winner Is…

Several thousand of you voted and selected Blaise Rosenthal as New American Paintings Reader’s Choice Artist of 2014. Congratulations Blaise!

As this year’s winner, Blaise will receive $500 in cash from New American Paintings and $1000 in gift certificates to our annual prize sponsor Dick Blick Art Materials.


Across the River, 2014, 15x22 inches, acrylic and charcoal on canvas

After the jump learn more about the winner!

Listed under: NAP News, Noteworthy

January 05, 2015, 1:25pm

NAP Contributor Top 5: Erin Langner

On the occasion of the Museum of Modern Art’s show, The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World, New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl recently wrote of painting being in a state of crisis. In response to the show comprised of painters whose “approach characterizes our cultural moment at the beginning of the new millennium,” according to MOMA’s website, Schjeldahl rejects the medium’s outright death. Still unoptimistic, he concludes, “Painting can bleed now, but it cannot heal.”

As someone who has spent a lot of time with paintings over the last few years, I had to stop to consider whether I agreed: are the paintings I have encountered bleeding? In trying to answer, I found myself making my list of the five shows that made me think the most about the state of painting this year—its physicality, its lasting presence, and its bloodshed. — Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor


Sterling Ruby | SUNRISE SUNSET installation view, image courtesy of Hauser & Wirth.

Listed under: Art World, Noteworthy

December 23, 2014, 9:32am

NAP Contributor Top 5: Claude Smith

Previously we shared our Associate Publisher's top picks for 2014. Next up, Claude Smith, one of our favorite NAP/Blog contributors, shares his shows of 2015...

2014 had numerous memorable moments–both locally and elsewhere, but for me, there were a few that stood out as exceptional. These are my top 5–in no particular order. – Claude Smith, Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor


From "Pattern: Follow the Rules" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver. Jason Middlebrook | Another Vein, 2012. Courtesy the artist and DODGEgallery, New York, Photo: Karen Pearson. © Jason Middlebrook

Listed under: Noteworthy

December 19, 2014, 4:20pm

VOTE NOW! NAP ANNUAL PRIZE: 2014 READER’S CHOICE POLL

From thousands to one…In 2014 our jurors reviewed the work of more than 20,000 individual works of art by more than 5000 artists. Our jurors have the impossible task of selecting the 240 artists to be featured in New American Paintings. Of those artists, twelve (two from each issue) were distinguished as being “Noteworthy.”

Well, now it is your opportunity to help us turn 12 artists into 1. Below, you will find 2014’s twelve Noteworthy artists listed, along with an image and brief commentary. One of these 12 artists will be named the New American Paintings Artist of the Year! In addition to being featured again in our 2015 June/July issue, the winner of the Reader’s Choice Annual Prize will receive a cash prize of $500 and a $1,000 Blick Art Materials gift certificate sponsored by:

Cast your vote by Sunday January 18 (Midnight EST). The winner of the Reader’s Choice poll will be announced on Wednesday, January 21st.

We want to thank all of the artists who trusted us with their work in 2014. One vote per person will be counted!


Learn more about each artist after the jump!

Listed under: NAP News, Noteworthy

December 19, 2014, 9:45am

Top Five 2014 Exhibitions (Experiences) from Associate Publisher: Andrew Katz

Everyone's doing it, right? Over the next few weeks, some of the NAP/Blog contributors will share their favorite shows of 2015. First up, Associate Publisher, Andrew Katz...Enjoy!

I was able to travel a bit this year, so fortunately I could expand my art viewing to a few other cities. I categorized my selections to make things a little more interesting. Don't worry, Boston, you are still well represented! So many shows to consider, and almost impossible to narrow things down, so this year I focused on exhibitions that gave me a memorable overall experience.

If you saw any of these shows, I know you were equally as impressed. And if you didn't, I encourage you to look into the artists a little more. You'll like what you see. - Andrew Katz, Associate Publisher


Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's "Pulse" at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal. Photo Courtesy Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal

Listed under: Art World, Noteworthy
Tagged as: Andrew Katz, Top 5, 2014

December 18, 2014, 8:52am

Signifier and Signified: Helen Rebekah Garber at Gallery Wendi Norris

Helen Rebekah Garber’s paintings must be heavy. They’re covered head to toe in thickly impastoed oil paint revealing a layered painting process that must surely take months to complete. The paintings (on view in “Numbers” at Gallery Wendi Norris through January 9, 2015) seem heavy not only because of their size and impastoed heft but also because from a distance their nearly monochromatic surfaces can resemble talismanic rock engravings. They hang on the walls like sacred tablets. There’s a kind of spiritual allusion in Garber’s forms, at once seeming to reference mandalas, religious altarpieces, and Mayan hieroglyphs. The paintings speak to a kind of transcendentalism that we also find in the paintings of Chris Martin (like “For Paul Thek”) or even Forrest Bess (like “Before Man”). But up close Garber’s paintings tell a different story. – Matt Smith Chavez, San Francisco Contributor


Helen Rebekah Garber |
Haniel I, 2014, Oil on linen, 60 x 60 inches (152.4 x 152.4 cm), Courtesy of Gallery Wendi Norris

Listed under: Review

December 17, 2014, 10:51am

Rothkos in Space and Paintings of Dumpsters: The Absurd Worlds of Ralph Pugay

Out-loud laughter is not usually something you hear at a paintings show, particularly one inside of a museum. However, this is the reaction I saw over and over again, as I stood among Portland artist Ralph Pugay’s (NAP #97, #115) paintings, at the Seattle Art Museum. Filling a small but highly trafficked gallery that was wedged between exhibits of glass and of traditional nineteenth and twentieth century American art, the artist’s small canvases excelled at catching people off guard. The flattened, cartoonish scenes captured the eyes of people en route to another space, who would wander towards them with looks of befuddlement. The point at which the artist’s frank titles, absurdities and language games began to sink in was the moment the laughter began.— Erin Langner, Seattle contributor


Ralph Pugay | Rothkos in Space, acrylic on canvas, 24"x24", 2013. Image courtesy of the artist.

Listed under: Museum Admission, Review

December 15, 2014, 3:36pm

15 Painters to Watch in 2015 (+ 3)

As I write this, it has been a busy couple of weeks for the medium of painting. I just returned from my annual trip to art world summer camp, aka Art Basel Miami Beach, where thousands of art-hungry viewers were inundated with paintings of every conceivable scale, media, and subject matter. Some were good, some were bad, many were derivative, and most will be forgotten before the decade ends. On the heels of the various fairs closing, critic and curator Christian Viveros-Faune unleashed a caustic and much passed-around article about art fairs and their negative effect on the type of art currently being produced. He specifically targeted what he calls Zombie Painting, which he identifies as a bland and toothless sort of abstraction that seems to be all the rage. (Jerry Saltz has been beating this same drum for quite a while.)


Katherine Bernhardt. Courtesy of Canada, New York City.

Meanwhile, in the high temple of modernism––New York’s Museum of Modern Art––curator and past New American Paintings juror Laura Hoptman has just opened The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World. The exhibition features the work of seventeen painters, including Joe Bradley, Matt Connors, Mark Grotjahn, and the young and controversial phenom Oscar Murillo, and is the institution’s first serious group show on painting in a number of years. Most of the artists in this show are art market favorites, so stay tuned as the critical writing on this exhibition is sure to be a roller coaster ride. Steven Zevitas, Editor & Publisher, New American Paintings

Listed under: Art World, Must-See
Tagged as: Painters To Watch, 2015

December 09, 2014, 8:39am

The Intimate Humanness of Rocks and Walls: Q and A with Emily Gherard

I never expected to fall for a painting hung inside an alt-weekly newspaper box. Not even terribly visible through the residual scratches that coated the aging plastic, Emily Gherard’s painting of a stout, yellow mass caught my eye like the passing visage of someone I used to know. Printed on the cover of Seattle’s newspaper, The Stranger, on the occasion of her nomination for the publication’s annual Genius Awards, I had seen the artist’s work before, in galleries, where all of their subtleties of texture and layering could be rightfully appreciated. However, the unlikely humanness the artist imbues into her distinctly non-human subjects of walls and rocks played particularly well with this banged-up, human-sized metal box, living out in the world. Enshrouding Gherard’s jagged, gentle jewel, the box’s own human qualities became similarly more pronounced—its stalwart, weatherproof air of permanence that stands against its quiet shame of rusting irrelevance.  Not surprisingly, transforming banal entities into breathing beings is an intricate, intuitive process, as I found out when I recently caught up with the artist to talk about her current and upcoming projects. — Erin Langner, Seattle contributor


Emily Gherard | Untitled, 2011, Oil on canvas on panel, 12" x 9". Photo by Art and Soul Photography. Image courtesy of the artist.

Listed under: Interview

December 04, 2014, 9:47am

Field Notes: Bethany Johnson at Moody Gallery

In a strong showing, Austin-based artist Bethany Johnson’s (NAP #108) recent exhibition Field Notes at Moody Gallery in Houston explores her affinity for natural sciences and is a continuation of her interests in the “study of systems and the visual representation of information.” Field Notes is comprised of a variety of complex drawings detailing landscapes–both familiar and unfamiliar–that immediately call to mind a more electronic or mechanical means of production including computer printouts, maps, scans or 3D renderings. –Claude Smith, Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor


Bethany Johnson | Apollo stacks, 2014, ink on paper, 11" x 8 1/2"; image courtesy of the artist and Moody Gallery, Houston, Texas

Listed under: Review

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