April 24, 2015, 8:37am
David E. Peterson (NAP #112) takes industrial design as his inspiration and turns it into art for your wall. Moved by the bold colors, layout, and rhythms of storeroom floors and wall displays, Peterson set out to mimic and recreate those aesthetic triggers in his wall sculptures.
Bright and bold, his works offer an immediately recognizable visual suggestion and allusion to references we consume daily while driving past storefronts, window shopping on a stroll, and going through the motions of daily urban living. Shying away from commenting on materialism directly, Peterson reflects both our consumer-driven culture and our need to consume art and design, even while shopping. – Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
April 20, 2015, 9:32am
Skylar Fein (NAP #112) combines text and paint to create powerful imagery on paper, aluminum, and wood. With a burst of dry verbal wit and starkly contrasted style, his works bite you subtlety and leave you thinking.
With the rise and renaissance of hand-lettering, Fein’s work recalls that of both pop art masters and signage gurus in works like his series of oversized matchbooks (featured in both the 2014 show Giant Metal Matchboxes and 2015 Strike Anywhere) and other works like his presidential silhouettes such as “Red FDR/Fried Chicken,” named for the color of the text signage and that which it is advertising. Here, Fein discusses text-based art, the darker side of pop, and the failure behind great 20th century revolutions. – Ellen C. Caldwell, 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
December 09, 2014, 8:39am
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
October 14, 2014, 10:10am
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
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
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 17, 2014, 9:12am
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
June 10, 2014, 8:57am
After my April review “Dan Gluibizzi and the World Wide Archive,” painter Gavin Bunner (NAP #65, #97) and I discussed the process of sourcing images from the internet. Bunner expressed curiosity about whether Gluibizzi and Penelope Umbrico (also mentioned in the review) have noticed any changes in search engines over time and we wondered how these changes have impacted or inspired their work.
And so began this roundtable conversation with three artists, all who use the internet as a source of primary material for their work. Both Gluibizzi and Bunner are painters who find their source images online (Gluibizzi often using Tumblr and Bunner preferring Google images). Umbrico uses photography as both the medium and subject of her work, tapping sites like Craigslist, eBay, and YouTube for shared tags and similarities.
Though the three artists’ end products vary drastically in look and feel, they all capture something of the cultural zeitgeist pulsing through the world wide web. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
June 09, 2014, 8:51am
Allison Watkins (NAP #109) uses hand-stitched embroidery to bring her drawings of clothing to life, creating a sort of trompe l’oeil effect where her textile “paintings” are imitating and standing in place for other textiles.
Watkins uses her own clothing as source imagery and inspiration for her work, which is why there is probably such a feeling of warmth, comfort, and familiarity embedded in the very fabric and overall feel of the pieces. In her works, each item of clothing hangs fantastically in an undefined closet as if floating in an otherworldly space where it is just us—the viewers, and the clothes. These items take on a life of their own, calling attention to the uniqueness of our clothing and the delicate details that differentiate and define our very own dress and style.
I spoke to Watkins about her art and inspiration, shedding light on her process and plans for future projects. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor