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August 29, 2014, 9:06am

New American Paintings Northeast Competition

Since New American Paintings’ inception, we have collaborated with dozens of curators from throughout the country in our ongoing review of American painters. In fact, with the exception of the legendary art dealer Ivan Karp, every past juror has been a curator by trade. Over the years, many artists and subscribers have suggested to me that varying juror backgrounds would strengthen the publication. I have been listening, and I am pleased to announce that for the first time ever, an artist, Michelle Grabner, is at the helm of an issue of New American Paintings. 
 

August 25, 2014, 9:06am

Amanda Manitach on Painting, Feminism, Whiskey and T-Shirts

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


Amanda Manitach | Ten Reasons Having A Dick Sucks
, ink on paper, 18 x 24 inches, 2014. Image courtesy of the artist.

Listed under: Interview

July 30, 2014, 8:30am

Storied Surfaces: Philip Miner’s Dark All Over Europe

“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


Philip Miner | One by Four & Four Minus One or Two, Maybe More. 2014, acrylic and flashe on canvas, 20 X 16 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and SEASON.

Listed under: Review

July 29, 2014, 9:22am

Mel Bochner: Strong Language at the Jewish Museum

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


Mel Bochner | Blah, Blah, Blah, 2014, oil on velvet. Courtesy Peter Freeman, Inc. Artwork © Mel Bochner.
  Photo: Bradford Robotham

Listed under: Review

July 29, 2014, 9:07am

Norman Zammitt at Andrew Rafacz

Originally published on THE SEEN

Norman Zammitt’s acrylic paintings of gradated color, currently on display at Andrew Rafacz, were produced in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, around the same time that home computers began gaining popularity. The works, much smaller in scale but similar in style to Zammitt’s Mural paintings, are composed of narrow bands of precisely calculated solid color on canvas board mounted to float about an inch away from the wall. A range of palettes, perfectly applied to smooth surfaces – Yellow Violet 43Red to Green I – often evoke scenes in nature, such as sandstorms and sunrises, and create glowing window-like spaces in the gallery. Existing as objects of obsession, the paintings reveal Zammitt’s desire for transcendence through labor and technical precision, during a period of a monumental technological shift.


Norman Zammitt | Diagonal I, 1979. acrylic on canvas board. 9 x 12 inches. Diagonal I, 1979. acrylic on canvas board. 9 × 12 inches. Carter and Citizen.

Listed under: Review

July 28, 2014, 11:37am

Frank Stella at Leslie Feely Gallery

I stumbled into this beautiful exhibition at Leslie Feely Gallery almost by accident. A mini survey of works by Frank Stella was on view in two elegant rooms. The works were made between 1971 and 1987. Historic yes, distinguished yes and a visual delight to encounter.

To begin we find on entrance wall this Malevich quote: “….only he is alive who rejects his convictions of yesterday.” Later I found the same quote printed in a 1978 Stella catalogue from the Fort Worth Art Museum. This statement is a guide to what Stella has been about since the beginning of his long and extremely productive career. - Michael Klein, Contributor


Frank Stella | Bogoria I, 1971 ( left ), Mixed Media Relief, 90 x 100 inches. Courtesy Leslie Feely Gallery

Listed under: Review

July 21, 2014, 9:29am

Painting the Uncontainable: Introductions at G. Gibson Gallery

“Central Washington Fire Not Contained,” reads the headline of the Associated Press’s silent footage showing the plumes of gray and black that presided over entire mountains full of charred treetops in Washington State over the last week. Somewhere between the brush fires that maintain a forest’s health and the catastrophic fields of flames that consume the homes and the national parks of the western United States every summer resides the invisible line that separates controlled chaos from the uncontainable. Standing among the natural phenomena dominating the paintings of Introductions at Seattle’s G. Gibson Gallery while the fires burn across other pockets of the state, the related tensions investigated by these artists take on a new level of relevancy. — Erin Langner, Seattle contributor


Susanna Bluhm | Yosemite Rock (Pretend Feathers & Corduroy Patch), 2013, oil
and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and G. Gibson Gallery.

Listed under: Review

July 17, 2014, 9:12am

Space is the Place: Interview with Chandler Wigton

Much of Durango-based artist Chandler Wigton’s (NAP #105) work deals with the subconscious and conscious imagination as a site for exploration. Guided by intuition and a desire to better understand science and appreciate its many mysteries, Wigton draws on a multi-disciplinary approach for inspiration. Many abstract concepts associated with outer space and its creation including the big bang, wormholes, and time are key themes in his work that serve as a backdrop for contextualizing other more internalized subjects such as language, the body and geography to better situate oneself within that larger, contemplative existential setting. At times, his work reveals a tendency to become map-like or diagrammatic, and in that sense, they become tools for better illuminating the objects and phenomenon they represent. I recently had the opportunity to talk with him about his work.  – Claude Smith, Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor


Chandler Wigton | Warp Speed, 2012, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 48 x 78 inches; image courtesy the artist

Listed under: Interview

July 15, 2014, 9:25am

Seeing Things Invisible: Forrest Bess at the Berkeley Art Museum

Forrest Bess never made a living as an artist. He spent  most of his working life as a bait fisherman off the Texas coast making meager wages and living in ramshackle conditions. Yet he navigated the New York art world with relative ease. He exhibited his work at Betty Parsons Gallery along other artists like Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Barnett Newman. He held a lifelong correspondence with notable art historian and critic Meyer Shapiro. And his work was purchased by distinguished art collectors like John de Menil. All the while Bess felt marginalized, perceiving that the artists of his generation thought of him as nothing more than a hick.


Forrest Bess | Before Man, 1952–53; oil on canvas; 8-3/4 x 22-3/4 in.; Collection Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College State University of New York, Gift of Roy R. Neuberger. Photo: Jim Frank.

Bess, then, was a man of dualisms, at once a rugged roughneck in the oil fields of Texas and a deep thinker who corresponded with Carl Jung. He was both a supremely accomplished painter and an isolated fisherman who struggled with alcohol and mental illness. Forrest Bess: Seeing Things Invisible, on view at the Berkeley Art Museum through September 14, presents Bess’ paintings alongside an archive of historical material that shed light on the artist’s life. -- Matt Smith Chavez, San Francisco Contributor

Listed under: Review

July 14, 2014, 9:05am

A Quiet, Creeping Reality: Buddy Bunting’s Valley Fever at Prole Drift

A tortoise, a gas station, a sleeping dog, a shadowy tree and a juvenile detention facility: these are the subjects of Buddy Bunting’s five new paintings. At first sight, the mystery of their connection hangs in the air with a sense of heavy deliberation; these unlike things are somehow meant to be together, but it is hard to see how. Then, slowly, as you linger inside Seattle’s Prole Drift gallery, that sensation of heavy air becomes more pronounced and persistent across the scenes—the stillness of the dog, the haze surrounding the tree, the immobility of the tortoise. The title that gathers them together—Valley Fever—evokes the slowed pace that feverish heat commands, and this proves to be the best approach to journeying through Bunting’s thick environs. — Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor


Buddy Bunting | Antelope Valley Juvenile Detention Center, Lancaster, California, oil on linen, 2014. Image courtesy of Prole Drift

Listed under: Review

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