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November 19, 2014, 9:30am

MUST SEE PAINTING SHOWS: NOVEMBER/DECEMBER

There has been a lot of talk as of late about the receding importance of brick and mortar gallery spaces and a perceived dearth of quality programming at those that still exist. While the internet and the general ease of global communication are sited as causes, the rise of the art fair is most often blamed for the trend. I did not see a lot of evidence of gallery Armageddon as I conducted my monthly review of painting shows. Even on the eve of art world spring break (aka Miami art fair week), dozens of commercial spaces around the country are mounting first-rate solo and group exhibitions.

New American Paintings’ alumni look great this month. In Chicago, one of the city’s most interesting emerging artists, Dan Gunn, has new abstract work at Monique Meloche, as does Terence Hannum at Guest Spot in Baltimore and Seth Adelsberger at ltd los angeles. In New Orleans, Havana-born local legend Luis Cruz Azaceta looks good at Arthur Roger Gallery. My own gallery in Boston has been taken over by the great Franklin Evans, who is presenting new paintings in the context of a floor to ceiling installation. Former New York City dealer, and all around great guy, Jeff Bailey, has relocated to Hudson, NY, where, this month, he is presenting work by University of Iowa Professor and painters’ painter, John Dilg. In the City, Sarah McEneaney continues to blow me away with her suite of hard won new paintings at Tibor de Nagy (Be sure to read Roberta Smith’s review of the show in the New York Times.)


Jaqueline Cedar. Courtesy of Gallery 106 Green, Brooklyn.

I want to give a special shout out to one of my favorite emerging artists, Jaqueline Cedar, who has four new large-scale paintings at Gallery 106 Green in Brooklyn. I first did a studio visit with her when she was finishing her B.F.A. at UCLA, and she was already a skilled painter. She subsequently attended Columbia and since graduating in 2009 has only gotten stronger and stronger as time goes by.

Some of the many strong solo exhibitions around the country this month include: Angelbert Metoyer at Deborah Colton Gallery in Houston; Donald Moffett at Lora Reynolds Gallery in Austin; a beautiful show of figurative works on paper by New York School founding member Jack Tworkov at Valerie Carberry Gallery in Chicago; Brian Bress at Cherry and Martin and a major show of new work by Jonas Wood in David Kordansky’s cavernous new gallery space, both in Los Angeles; and Whiting Tennis at Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle. As usual, New York City is brimming over with strong shows. Top among them for me are: Bill Traylor at Betty Cunningham Gallery; Lily Ludlow at CANADA; Alexander Ross at David Nolan Gallery; Sean Landers at Petzel; R.H. Quaytman at Gladstone Gallery; Ridley Howard at Koenig & Clinton; Huguette Caland at Lombard Freid Gallery; Gladys Nilsson at Garth Greenan Gallery; Kara Walker at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.; and be sure to catch the work of emerging artist Ted Gahl in a project room show soon to open at Zach Feuer.

I am a huge fan of well-conceived group exhibitions of which there are a number around the country this month. Two in particular caught my eye, not only because they are well curated, but because, as a pair, they effectively speak to disparate, but vital tendencies within the realm of painting. In Los Angeles, Overduin & Co. presents “Seven Reeds,” a group exhibition that includes an international cast of five of the most talked about emerging artists on the planet – including Jacob Kassay, Julia Rommel and Fredrik Vaerslev - each of whom are pushing abstraction to new places. On the opposite coast in Brooklyn, The Journal Gallery has just opened “The Great Figure.” In this show six artists working in a figurative mode – including Dana Schutz, Henry Taylor and past NAP cover artist Keith Mayerson – demonstrate how the oldest of subject matters can, in the right hands, be as relevant as ever. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher

Listed under: Must-See
Tagged as: Must See

November 13, 2014, 11:28am

Now accepting applications to our 2015 Southern Issue

Apply now to our Southern Competition if you live in states: AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV. For more information visit the competitions page of our website. Good luck!

Juror: Dominic Molon, Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art, RISD Museum of Art

Deadline: December 31st, 2014

Listed under: Competition

November 03, 2014, 9:34am

Rebecca Farr’s Sweet Broken Now

Rebecca Farr’s recent solo show at Klowden-Mann was a strong force to be reckoned with--both in terms of the physical presence of her paintings and in the contending contemplation her subject demanded.

With heavy paint on blotted and torn, layered paper, Farr collages print photos from 1970s and 80s coffee table books as her source material. She layers those with paper and heavy paint on wood panel, creating works that feel dense and heavy, yet very exciting and current.

Farr paints photos into vague suggestions of landscape paintings, as if her subjects inhabit a ghost world or ethereal dream. In “Sweet Broken Now,” Farr’s third solo show at Klowden-Mann, Farr made Manifest Destiny her subject of inquiry and aimed to capture the complex history arising from the ideology and religious fervor that justified white westward expansion during the early 1900s. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor


Rebecca Farr | Installation view featuring Tilth 1, 2014, Mixed media on wood panel, 48 x 72”. Courtesy of Klowden-Mann.

Listed under: Review

October 29, 2014, 8:46am

Being There Again and Again: Joy Garnett at Platform Gallery

Most of the time, as soon as I am awake, I begin scrolling through the layers of news on my phone, while still laying in bed. The ISIS updates, the new Ebola cases, and the pithy comments on the latest art world drama barely stick during this first round of skimming headlines and images, my awareness of the day coming into focus as I work through the tweets and the “Likes.” This activity would seem to have little to do with the meticulous, studied ways we usually interact with paintings. However, Brooklyn artist Joy Garnett proves otherwise, as evidenced by her new show, Being There, which opened at Seattle’s Platform Gallery last week. Pulling images from the media—including photographs of conflicts in the Middle East and screen grabs of leaked US military videos—Garnett’s new paintings bleed and blur their scenes into places that seem as familiar as the widely-disseminated photographs they reference. However, the artist also brings out the distant, fleeting way we absorb these images, turning their subjects into things we can never fully know. —Erin Langner, Seattle contributor


Joy Garnett | Standoff, 2013, oil on canvas, 38 x 44 inches. Image courtesy of Platform Gallery.

Listed under: Review

October 14, 2014, 10:10am

Far North: Interview with Beau Carey

As a culmination of a recent winter residency in Denali National Park, Far North marks Beau Carey’s second exhibition at Goodwin Fine Art in Denver, CO. This recent offering showcases a group of exquisitely painted artic environments that highlight contemporary themes of globalization, environmental concerns and the variety of constructs that shape our perceptions of landscape. No stranger to the harsh conditions of the northern-most hemisphere, Carey’s inclusion in the Artic Circle Residency in 2012 prompted an interest in coastal surveying and profiling, a theme he hopes to continue next year during a residency at Rabbit Island, a remote, 91-acre forested island on Lake Superior three miles east of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. I recently caught up with Carey to discuss his work. – Claude Smith, Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor


Beau Carey | Batholith, 2014, oil on canvas, 40 x 46 inches; image courtesy the artist

Listed under: Interview

October 13, 2014, 9:46am

The Notion of Landscape: Michael Cook

Albuquerque-based artist Michael Cook (#42, #114) has long been exploring the vast terrain of both landscape and our perceptions of it. Citing an interest in semiotics and specifically, the point at which “objects become visible in culture” he often conflates symbols, language and diagrams to build complex, multi-layered compositions. In his current exhibition The Notion of Landscape at the Francis McCray Gallery of Contemporary Art at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, NM, Cook presents a diverse body of work that spans the years 1981-2009. –Claude Smith Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor


Michael Cook | Venetian (Alamogordo) 2007-2009, oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches; image courtesy the artist

Listed under: Review

October 09, 2014, 9:12am

MUST SEE PAINTING SHOWS: OCTOBER

After a sleepy summer the art world is once again up and running full tilt. Among the hundreds of painting shows on view throughout the country this month are close to three-dozen solos by New American Paintings’ alumni. They range from shows by talented emerging artists such as Samantha Bittman at Andrew Rafacz in Chicago and Suzannah Sinclair in Boston to strong mid-career painters such as the phenomenal Sarah McEneaney at Tibor de Nagy in New York City and Emily Eveleth at Miller Yezerski Gallery in Boston. I want to give a special shout out to my buddy Eddie Martinez, whose show at the new Kohn Gallery space in Los Angeles confirms what many already knew: Eddie is one of the best natural painters of his generation.


Sarah McEneaney. Courtesy of Tibor de Nagy.

There is a lot of good abstraction on view this month. For those in New York City, the fearless Chris Martin has his debut at Anton Kern Gallery and the much-hyped Norwegian artist Fredrik Vaerslev can be considered at Andrew Kreps Gallery. Also in New York, co-curator for the 2014 Whitney Biennial and juror for our upcoming Northeast issue, Michelle Grabner, has just opened a must-see show at James Cohan Gallery. In Los Angeles, don’t miss Sam Falls at Hannah Hoffman and Pia Fries at Christopher Grimes Gallery. If you are in the Bay Area, visit Jessica Silverman Gallery to see the work of Hugh Scott-Douglas, who, like an increasing number of emerging artists, is obsessed with process.

While abstraction continues to look good this season, representational painting has been making a comeback and it owns the month. Over the past two years, more and more young artists have been engaging with imagery, in particular the figure. There are the aforementioned exhibitions by Sarah McEneaney and Suzannah Sinclair to consider. In New York City, emerging artist Gina Beavers continues to push impasto to the limits in her new group of paintings at Clifton Benevento and the virtuosic Angela Dufresne has a new suite of paintings with figure in landscape at Monya Rowe Gallery. Other shows of note around the country include: Storm Tharp at PDX in Portland, OR; Angela Fraleigh at Inman Gallery in Houston; Whitney Bedford at Carrie Secrist in Chicago; and the group show “Bedtime Stories” at Alpha Gallery in Boston.

In a quiet, but extraordinary exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York, LA-based artist Paul Sietsema renders carefully selected imagery with such technical dexterity that they almost revert to real objects. Sietsema is not interested in trompe-l’oeil for the sake of showing off; at the end of the day, his paintings and works on paper are a highly considered critique of the production of cultural objects and the roles that they play as they circulate. Taken as a whole, this exhibition represents the various aspects of how a painting can function. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher

Listed under: Must-See
Tagged as: Must See, Painting

October 03, 2014, 9:48am

MFA Annual Competition Deadline

Entry Deadline: October 31, 2014 (Midnight EST)

CALL FOR ARTISTS: MFA ANNUAL
Current Master of Fine Arts Candidates + Current Year MFA Graduates


Benjamin Rogers | Inside the painter's studio - painting in the abbreviated field, 2012, oil on canvas, 45" x 56", courtesy of the artist.

Listed under: Competition

September 26, 2014, 9:17am

Matt Magee at James Kelly Contemporary

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


Matt Magee | Narita, 2013, oil on panel; image courtesy of James Kelly Contemporary

Listed under: Review

September 25, 2014, 9:21am

Erupting Unknowns: Ryan Molenkamp’s Fear of Volcanoes

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


Ryan Molenkamp | View from Mt Erie, 
acrylic on panel, 30 x 40 in., 2014. Image courtesy of the artist.

Listed under: Review

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