November 23, 2015, 9:18am

Museum Admission: Brenna Youngblood at the Seattle Art Museum

When I walked into Brenna Youngblood’s (NAP #103) abstracted realities, at the Seattle Art Museum, I thought this would be a show about its painted subjects.  The eight works’ contents—an oversized “x”, a confetti of dollar-bill signs, a dripping map, a Chuck Taylor sole atop a pyramid—held so much depth on their own.  Knowing her also to be an artist whose practice extends to mediums rooted in physical objects, including sculpture, collage, assemblage, and photography, objects at first seemed to be the heart of the matters here. — Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor

Chuck Taylor,
2015, Brenna Youngblood, American, b. 1979, color photograph
and acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 in. Courtesy of the artist and Honor Fraser Gallery.

Listed under: Museum Admission, NAP News, Review

October 26, 2015, 9:00am

Nina Rizzo: Environmental Impact

It takes a moment for the eyes to adjust—atavistic mimesis! faux-fear, sympathetic nervous system goosing, the ultimate success of the palette of the night!—and for the wild bereavement of the eyes being divorced from the mind to subside, basic outlines, the context, the color, the safety, to materialize like haints in the gloaming, signposts and sirens demarcating and drawing through the darkness, through midnight and navy blues, still-warm oxblood, unfathomable purples, shadows thick enough to smother, to obfuscate, to kill, great ragged heaping breaths—ribcage expanding gulps—in the brief flashes —royal! the sky? a flower?—which open like false editorial spread irises to provide for the killing of Kurtz and the comforting recognition of shapes, shapes engorged, swollen sweet and suspended, striated like carapaces or the long, primed, puckered muscles of the thigh, like ladders from Pluto, the fat wet tongues of leaves lapping against and pulling the eyes, as if by slow jungle steamer, into and through Nina Rizzo's Conradian jungle. –  B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor

Nina Rizzo | Long Night in the Garden, 2015, oil on canvas, 60 x 120 inches. Photo courtesy of Linda Warren Projects

Listed under: Review

October 20, 2015, 10:08am

Paintings For The Future: Shannon Finley at Jessica Silverman Gallery

If you get up close to Shannon Finley’s paintings, on view at Jessica Silverman Gallery through October 29, you’ll catch a glimpse of the warp and weft of the canvas beneath all that color. It’s there, visible along the very edges of the work where the stretcher bars made tight contact with Finley’s pallette knife and squeezed out all the paint. But from the distance of your monitor you may not even realize that the slick compositions are paintings at all -- they originate on Finley’s computer, all polygons and symmetry and speaking a kind of digital language. Take one step closer and they’re unmistakably beautiful paintings, as engrossing and aesthetically wrought as large beautiful paintings tend to be. One step closer still and they performatively reveal their material processes -- scrapes from the palette knife trace the artist’s path, and dried globules of paint point to a temporal kind of accumulation. And the support, that canvas I mentioned earlier, begins to allude to that postmodernist bent of turning painting inside out, of making paintings that reveal themselves via their own constitution. But that’s not quite what’s happening here. At least not exactly. - Matt Smith Chavez, San Francisco Contributor

Installation view of “Paintings For the Future.” 2015. Courtesy of Jessica Silverman Gallery and the artist.

Listed under: Review

October 19, 2015, 9:27pm

Larry Bob Phillips: Paintings of the Electric Night

“I was told that my color wasn’t good early on, but the truth is that I worked too fast and was lazy about how I used it, so I kind of fell prey to the standard pitfalls of being a young painter,” says Larry Bob Phillips as he gestures to an enormous ink drawing tacked to his studio wall. We’re standing in his South Valley Albuquerque studio, a space that doesn’t resemble so much a studio as a wood shop; there are drawings and studies strewn about almost entirely covering a behemoth of a table saw in the center of the room. Numerous picture frames Phillips has built for clients hang on the wall amongst stacks of rough cut lumber, and his neat, hand-lettered script identifies drawers of repurposed cabinets containing various tools and other miscellaneous equipment used for carpentry and sign painting. Phillips offers, “I definitely had to work at it though, so I definitely don’t feel like color is a weakness, I’m just at that point that I feel like color stops some of the complexities that happens when you’re working with black and white.” – Claude Smith, Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor

Larry Bob Phillips | Brainbow, 2015, ink on paper, 40 x 60 inches; image courtesy the artist and PHIL SPACE

Listed under: Interview, Review

August 31, 2015, 9:59am

Endless Summer: Prolonged Moments Among SEASON Gallery’s Paintings

A few weeks ago, I was lying out with a friend, beside a massive swimming pool, in the 108-degree heat of Las Vegas. The unrelenting desert sun splayed its dense rays over our skin with more thickness than the sunscreen we had put on in vain. Sweat came without the slightest movement. Our phones had gone black and refused to function. Yet, we stayed there for hours. Sometimes we slept, sometimes we swam, but mostly we just lay there, watching the stillness of the palm trees and of the people standing in the pool, lingering in a prolonged state of thought. I thought of that heat-induced slowness and its heightened state of perception when I was back in Seattle a week later, walking through two shows by SEASON. – Erin Langner, Seattle contributor

Slow Enhancers installation view, including Seth David Friedman, FORTHELIVEDEVIL, 2011, Carrara marble, and Dawn Cerny, Anaheim, 2015, Gouache on Silkscreen. Image courtesy of SEASON.

Listed under: Review

August 21, 2015, 9:36am

Deciphering Bart Exposito’s “Strange Alphabet”

After living in Los Angeles for 14 years, Bart Exposito knew the exact moment returning to life as usual in sunny California was no longer an option. In 2012, after participating in a residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute, his mind was made up and as he put it, “I just decided right then I wasn’t leaving.” He marks his return to L.A. with Strange Alphabet at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, which showcases his latest body of work as a continuation of his interest in design, typography and affinity for line. – Claude Smith Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor

Bart Exposito | Untitled, 2015, acrylic on canvas 60" H x 48" W (152.4 cm H x 121.92 cm W) Gallery Inventory #EXP106, Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles ProjectsPhoto: Robert Wedemeyer

Listed under: Interview, Review

August 08, 2015, 2:13pm

Dropping In on the Dropouts

MacArthur Park in the Westlake area of Los Angeles is only about 3 or 4 miles away from the University of Southern California. Driving around the streets of this dense neighborhood, the exclusive academic world of the Trojans seems very, very far away. Los Angeles is not known for being a walking city, but you wouldn’t guess it by looking at modern Westlake. The sidewalks during most days are teeming with people, and vendors line the streets in front of frenetic backdrops of small-business signage and big-business advertising. Westlake had the second highest density of any LA neighborhood according to the 2000 census, over 70 percent of it Latino, making a median income of a little over $26,000 a year. Park View gallery is tucked a few blocks away from the concentration of activity around MacArthur Park, in an apartment in an older 2-story residential building. The former 2016 class of USC’s Roski School of Art, referred to as the USC7, have mounted an exhibition of their works in this apartment-gallery entitled Recesses, and it is within the political context of their circumstances that this exhibition takes place. Park View, according to a report by the LA Times’s Carolina Miranda in 2014, is the creation and apartment of Paul Soto, formerly of the staff of Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Park View is one of many idiosyncratic alternative and/or artist-run initiatives in the Los Angeles area, and it is easy to guess what the appeal of the venue might be for the USC7. – Jason Ramos, Los Angeles Contributor

All photos courtesy of Park View.

Recesses installation view

Listed under: Review

August 04, 2015, 1:13pm

Nancy Murphy Spicer’s Disrupted Drawings

In Carroll and Sons’ back gallery, we can see all but one piece of Nancy Murphy Spicer's exhibition, Disrupted Drawings, before specific works call for undivided attention. The frames hang in grids on two adjacent walls that face large windows overlooking Harrison Avenue. Visitors first walk through the exhibition by Damien Hoar de Galvan to reach Murphy Spicer's show, and the slouchy, distinctly untrendy colors contrast with the blues, reds, and neons that de Galvan incorporates in his wood sculptures. – Shana Dumont Garr, Boston Contributor 

Installation view, Nancy Murphy Spicer, Disrupted Drawings, Carroll and Sons, Boston, MA, July 3 - August 22, 2015

Listed under: Review

July 17, 2015, 9:41am

Printmaking, Abstraction: “Zero to One on Paper” at Ratio 3

There’s a piece of public art installed in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco that is quintessential Richard Serra. Two 80-ton steel slabs emerge from ground at a slight angle, tilting vertically as they extend 50 feet into the air. Like other works by Serra these are experiential sculptures, un-monuments meant to affect the way we perceive the space around them. That work is titled “Ballast,” referencing the performative heft of the piece as it serves as a kind of anchor in a transitive cityscape. Serra’s etchings at “Zero to One on Paper,” on view at Ratio 3 through August 21, share the same name, though in this case the titles are “Ballast II” and “Ballast III”. Like his  public sculpture at Mission Bay the works at Ratio 3 are monolithic and textural, anchor-like in the expansive gallery space that also has works by a host of painters and other artists making editioned work on paper. - Matt Smith Chavez, San Francisco Contributor

Zero to One on Paper, July 2 – August 21, 2015, Installation view: Ratio 3, San Francisco, Courtesy of the gallery

Listed under: Review

July 15, 2015, 8:39am

Space: Edie Fake at Western Exhibitions

The blood is voltaic, salt and copper and life and death, flowing fast and high around the fever dream haemalducts of Edie Fake's The Blood Bank, imbued with a passionate glow which seems to radiate in juxtaposition with the cold, flat surfaces—marble? tile? stone?—which constitute its flowing surface, a room of stately and imposingly beautiful columns and arches, its facade shot through with sharp geometry, like a thousand black shark's teeth on pallid sand, the columns topped with ornate weeping bull's eyes; a dazzling array of colors—rococo patterns formed from tiles the color of salmon and toothpaste, bands of claret and powder blue, jade and bubblegum, lace of electric orange-red—is lost to the eye by the great flowing blood's final destination, a pool fit for a Bathory, its deep center a rich bordeaux, fed by the blood flowing through the veins around the room's ceiling, flowing hot—like lava around the edge of a caldera—hot in color and consequence, biologically and ethically, burning in memory with fear, anger, paranoia, colored the red of passion and hazard both, blood from them, blood begetting panic, the blood of the AIDS crisis, the dread invisible specter preying on the edges, closing the bath houses and haunting the blood banks,  a nightmare, blood a commodity and curse, the mark of Cain and the gift of vigor, forever pouring into Fake's pool, which must be deep, deeper than the sea, to never jump its cold, slick sides, leaving not so much as a patina as its waves lap and stop with a clinical precision, and one stares into the sanguineous abyss, is presented—with disconcerting pulchritude—the horrors of a not-so-distant past, a spiritual kind of hemorrhagic shock. –  B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor

Edie Fake | The Blood Bank, 2015, ink and gouache on paper, 22 x 30 inches. Photo courtesy of Western Exhibitions

Listed under: Review