November 22, 2016, 9:13am
We all know there is power in looking. What we should be looking at, right now, are the truths that are difficult to face. The truths of what it means to be an “Other” in America. What it means to be a black American or a Mexican American or a female American. What it means to live in a culture that labels you as “different.” The exhibition “30 Americans” at Tacoma Art Museum offers just such an opportunity for looking. – Lauren Gallow, Seattle Contributor
September 07, 2016, 3:55pm
Pow! Wow! Long Beach, a contemporary art festival, recently took over Long Beach, California — both in and off the streets. Pow! Wow!’s distinct gatherings take place internationally throughout the year with events expanding to Taiwan, Israel, Jamaica, Washington D.C., Singapore, Germany, and Guam — to name a few.
Founded by Jasper Wong, the festival’s inception and inaugural Pow! Wow! gathering began as a week long festival in Hawai’i. During these events, muralists take over the city, where they can be seen working on the murals from start to finish throughout the week. Additionally in July, the Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) featured an accompanying exhibit Vitality & Verve in the Third Dimension. - Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
November 23, 2015, 9:18am
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
May 18, 2015, 8:49am
A big thank you to Staci Boris from the Elmhurst Museum for doing such an incredible job with New American Paintings first ever museum show....all 40 artists from last year's Midwest Issue are included. View some images below and for more information, please visit: https://www.elmhurstartmuseum.org
December 17, 2014, 10:51am
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
September 02, 2014, 9:49am
Plastic and its lasting after-effects have been a recurring topic of conversation over the past decade. News about the accumulation of microplastics, the drastic effect of human consumption and waste, and the seemingly permanent lifespan of this man-made material fill our newsfeeds, social media, and minds. I think many of us have been aware with the problem of plastic for a long time (artists too), but it wasn't until I saw Gyre: The Plastic Ocean, curated by Julie Decker, that I really considered the extensive, massive, and exhaustive issues at hand in a more poetic and profound way. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
“Gyre: The Plastic Ocean,” installation view of Mark Dion’s “Cabinet of Marine Debris” and Andy Hughes’ UFO Plastic Gyre Series Circularity Series at the Anchorage Museum. Photos Courtesy of Ellen C. Caldwell.
December 26, 2013, 10:40am
How do we prescribe shape to flatness? For the earth, it was a ship. For painting, it was once the illusion of space opening up though the canvas into other worlds, other imaginaries. The preoccupation of rendering the dimensional out of the un-dimensional is one that the conception of pre-modern painting has struggled with from the start. This revolt, against flatness, is more deeply a fascination that centuries of artists and thinkers have since worked to undo. The rejection of depth has historically been the revolutionary voice in overthrowing “truths” in art – the denial of space representing the ultimate mutiny against illusionistic and pictorial ideologies, “changing the system against a utopian promise.” The full potentials of this upheaval are realized in a current exhibition of Paul Sietsema’s work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
In a stunning survey of paintings, drawings, and films, Sietsema recreates the photographic vernacular in its most spectacular trompe l’oeil representations; never capturing the thing itself, but instead the lens that looks onto the tactile object. Sietsema’s images often reference his own process, imitating the material inherent within the making itself – the folds, wrinkles, and markings of wear on a piece of paper painstakingly rendered on the surface of an ink drawing, the sun stained quality of a Technicolor photograph replicated in washes of de-saturated hues. The stamp of time that occupies Sietsema’s historical, and often archival, encyclopedic subjects is reworked, recontextualized, and eradicated from history – replaced instead by a commonly constructed memory of romantic subjects – sailboats at sea, pages torn out of books, postmarked parcels and traces of transcontinental travel, the paint brush on the canvas itself – a fragile texture that floats on its viewers own image of nostalgia, while opposing any facile or comfortable recognition. Like a film that erases itself as it plays, Sietsema locates a moment between the vanished and the never present – a revolutionary relationship to flatness that can only be imagined as emulating the very first moment the ship fell off the horizon. –Stephanie Cristello, Chicago Contributor
Paul Sietsema | Folded Corner, 2012. © Paul Sietsema. Photo: Ron Amstutz, courtesy of the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York.
September 13, 2013, 10:00am
Husband and wife collectors and curators, Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, started collecting African American art, manuscripts, and ephemera over forty years ago. Their passion for this art and the very art of collecting has led to a traveling body of work known as The Kinsey Collection.
One of the places the Collection is currently exhibiting is at Pepperdine University’s Payson Library. Original artworks, books, paintings, posters, letters, and documents are on display. The Collection’s motto “Where Art and History Intersect” is quite fitting for many reasons. At the opening, Shirley Kinsey said that one of the multi-layered goals of the Collection is to “preserve the past for the future,” to help remind people “where you are from and where you are going,” and to assure that viewers know “who you are and whose you are.” – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor.
Come and Join Us Brothers: United States Soldiers at Camp William Penn, 1863, Published by the Supervisory Committee for Recruiting Colored Regiments, Courtesy of The Kinsey Collection.