Review

November 18, 2013, 4:48pm

Jamison Carter at Klowden Mann

Jamison Carter’s solo show at Klowden Mann is explosive, inviting, and bright.  Neon bright.  White Light from Dark Matter is Carter’s first solo show at Klowden Mann and it features a variety of two- and three-dimensional works that interact and play off one another seamlessly throughout the gallery’s new Culver City location.

At an artist talk and conversation between gallerist Deb Klowden Mann and Carter, Carter explained that a phrase from a song “shards of light” had stuck with him and in this show, he aimed to make that notion tangible.  And indeed he did. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor


Jamison Carter | White Light from Dark Matter, installation view1, courtesy of Klowden Mann
, photo by Lee Thompson.

Listed under: Review

November 17, 2013, 6:23pm

Tableau vs. Still Image – Jonathan Gardner, “Nudes” at Corbett vs. Dempsey

The image of the female nude is arguably the closest thing the subject of painting has to a readymade. The recent exhibition on view in the West Wing at Corbett vs. Dempsey by Jonathan Gardner, Nudes, consists of just three paintings installed in the corner of the main space, otherwise occupied by an exhibition of Konrad Klapheck’s charcoal drawings. The images recall twentieth century favorites – namely Picabia, with hints of Magritte and Balthus, currently featured in a similarly titled exhibition Cats and Girls, on view at the Met. In each of the three images, Gardner sets up simple parameters that allow for an immediate read, but not a simple one. In an off-the-cuff throwback to an antiquated genre, it appears that the approach of artist as stylist, or rather painter as the painter of styles, presents surprisingly interesting challenge for Gardner. Of course the depiction is nothing new – we’ve seen a million of paintings on the subject – but these three hold strong. Undiluted by any satirical content, the paintings are direct, yet comic and complex; for this reason they are different. Walking a fine line between representation of a subject, and representation of a style, the three tableaus are not quite sexualized enough to be perverse, nor awkward enough to be sympathetic. Instead, the nudes represent a removed and distant caricature of painterly female representation of the teens and twenties, in particular – though sans personality, and without any symbolic content; purposefully emptied of any recognizable trait that would tie them to that context. Nude or otherwise, the figures are somehow ontological – in the sense that despite their seemingly forward appearance, they are a material that serves themselves. Just as the physicality of paint serves the formalist, the image of the girl Gardner paints is the subject of that painting. – Stephanie Cristello, Chicago Contributor

Jonathan Gardner | Nude with Lemons, 2013. Oil on linen. 40 x 46 inches. Image courtesy of Corbett vs. Dempsey.

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November 11, 2013, 8:27pm

Best in Show: Painting Highlights from Seattle’s Affordable Art Fair

In Seattle, you may need something stronger than a Miami mojito to get through the shortest, darkest days of the year that surround our single, Affordable Art Fair, which inhabited the Seattle Center this past weekend. In a city where questions of whether enough people collect work by local artists to sustain the community and keep them from fleeing towards Los Angeles, Chicago and New York routinely float back into conversations, a fair that aims towards friendliness (pink knit graffiti shrouded the trees at the exhibition entrance) and transparency (all art had to be $10,000 or less, with the prices labeled) over exclusivity seems ripe with possibility.  Back for its second run in the city, and more robust in both scale and attendance, one highlight of last year remained consistent: despite its international roster, Seattle artists and galleries comprised the strongest moments of the fair’s fifty booths. Work that many of the area’s strongest painters created in the past year made appearances, creating a well-timed, “best of 2013” Seattle painting compilation, the highlights of which are after the jump. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor

Affordable Art Fair Seattle installation view. Image courtesy of the Affordable Art Fair.  Photo credit: Julia Bruk.

Listed under: Review

November 04, 2013, 8:36pm

Giving Thanks: David Ford’s I Love Indians

I struggle with patriotism. Growing up, Independence Day was a conflicting sea of perceived warmongering and Bruce Springsteen. Then came 9/11 and the outpouring of patriotic merchandise that compounded my mixed feelings, and that day closed just in time for Thanksgiving and the melancholy surrounding a day dedicated to our pilgrim ancestors who, despite their mostly unfortunate relationship with America’s indigenous peoples, made our existence possible. It’s not easy to fess up to an inherent discomfort with the culture you were born and raised in. In fact, if “these colors don’t run” then my assertion is akin to at least mild treason. The truth is I’ve always wanted to be a patriot, but it has seemed impossible to accomplish this sentiment without acknowledging Honey Baked Ham and denying words like nuclear family. Consequently, I forgot about tall-grass prairies, sod houses and head cheese. I neglected the patchwork quilts, the dandelion greens and the buffalo. I forgot about ol’America. Artist David Ford (NAP #71, #89, #107) refreshed my memory. Earlier this summer, still buzzing on hot dogs and pie from the Fourth, I met Ford in his studio, perched above his snack shop in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City. That’s right, in addition to establishing himself as a successful, self-taught artist, Ford has crafted one of the most noteworthy creative hubs in KC with YJs, his eclectic snackerie slinging coffee, American fare, and art conversation on the daily. Indeed, with an intense studio practice, a successful small business, and a well-travelled spirit, Ford may be the epitome of the American dream. – Halcombe Miller, Kansas City Contributor

David Ford | I Love Indians, 2011, Acrylic on Canvas, 36” x 48”

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October 31, 2013, 9:29pm

Tracy Stuckey at Visions West Gallery

Artist Tracy Stuckey (NAP #106) sets reality and romanticism on a collision course in his paintings of icons, legends, and heroes of the American West. In his recent work, Stuckey assumes the role of storyteller, crafting his tall tales of equal parts humor, theatricality, fiction, and reality. The artist’s “refashioned fables” put a satirical spin on mythic views of this often-romanticized region and stand as commentaries on the West today. - Karen Brooks, Guest Contributor


Tracy Stuckey | Red Rocket Rider, 2009, oil on canvas, 40 x 66 inches. Images courtesy of the artist.

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October 28, 2013, 10:25pm

Liu Xiaodong: In Between Israel and Palestine

The subject of Israel and Palestine may seem an unlikely one for the Chinese painter Liu Xiaodong. However, the issue of internal displacement and migration has been a topic within much of Xiaodong’s work, particularly in his 2003 series, Displacement, which drew inspiration from the Three Gorges Dam project in China. The twenty new works shown at Mary Boone gallery in New York take up the artist’s previous interests once again, revolving around the same set of concerns in a different part of the globe. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor


Liu Xiaodong | 
In Between Israel and Palestine 11, oil on canvas, two panels, 2013. Courtesy Mary Boone Gallery.

Listed under: Review

October 23, 2013, 8:43pm

On Race, Comedy, and Art: Devin Troy Strother at Richard Heller Gallery

In Devin Troy Strother's most recent show "Look at all my Shit!" at Richard Heller Gallery, Strother (NAP #85) packs another solo show full of his little black character cutouts or "minions" in his usual style.  Focusing this show on National Geographic and the NBA, Strother takes his characters through the jungles of Africa to the concrete jungle of the NBA stadiums.  Packed with humor, irony, wit, and satire, his shows always offer something to talk and think about.

His characters play on existing caricatured stereotypes of African Americans and speak to race quite frankly and directly.  However, it is not always clear exactly what the commentary behind his direct voice might actually be saying or thinking. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

Devin Troy Strother | That National Geographic shit: "Guuuuuurl, we need to get out of this jungle tho, these nniggas are trip pin, I got a pantha and you got a cheetah, so let's see who's the lead!", 2013, painted paper, acrylic, construction paper, and gouache, 39.5 x 50. Courtesy of 
Richard Heller Gallery.

Listed under: Review

October 16, 2013, 8:00am

Rainbow Kick – Wendy White, Pick Up a Knock at Andrew Rafacz

It is an image we all know well when we think of soccer. A player frozen in mid-air, as if swinging on an axis, legs outstretched, climbing above the head as the cleat reaches for the ball, seemingly out of reach and incredibly high and far away, until it makes that miraculous contact of an overhead kick. This image is remembered with the echo of a loud roar; it is the image sportscasters lose their voices to, where the crowd hits fever pitch – utterly spectacular and quintessentially European. But more than this, it is heroic and performative, a show of strength and superiority – it is, in a word, how sports culture codifies “male”. What is the opposite of this image? Wendy White’s (NAP #22, #28) exhibition Pick Up a Knock, currently on view at Andrew Rafacz, delivers the reverse (though not necessarily the antithesis) of the rainbow kick – the international soccer phenomena known as “flopping”. This image is almost equally as ubiquitous, though it champions the idea of failure toward success – the melodramatic falls, and frivolous collapses, all with the hopes of tricking the referee to call a foul. Within this idea of failure towards success – what has the potential to fail more than a young white woman taking on a canonized male subject matter, specifically that of a different race and language? White walks a fine line between representation and metaphor, quietly side stepping the urge to ask too many questions through the form of the exhibition itself. – Stephanie Cristello, Chicago Contributor

Wendy White | El Azteca, 2013, Acrylic on canvas, wood, enamel, 101 x 79 in. Installation view. Photo courtesy of ANDREW RAFACZ.

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October 14, 2013, 8:00am

White Light: Robert Ryman at Pace Gallery

Navigating a Robert Ryman exhibition is a dynamic pursuit. Activities include: looking at the sides of a painting as keenly as its front; walking past it multiple times to observe how the light hits the surface (is it absorbed? Does it reflect?); determining how it is mounted, and sometimes catching oneself at staring a bit too keenly at the wall around it. Ryman's six-decades-plus investigation into the infinite variations and complexities of that most neutral color — white — demands and inspires this, forever exploring paint's relationship to its support, to the room where it inhabits, and to the light that illuminates it. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor

Installation view. Photo by: Kerry Ryan McFate / Courtesy Pace Gallery. © 2013 Robert Ryman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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October 09, 2013, 8:00am

Narrative Mode: Jane Fox Hipple at DODGEgallery

Contemporary abstraction aficionados: inhale a collective breath of joy when experiencing Jane Fox Hipple's (NAP #92) return to DODGEgallery on New York's Lower East Side. Then take out your notebooks. Hipple further contorts and pushes the limits of painting and total composition across a dynamic dialogue fittingly titled Corresponding Selves. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor

Jane Fox Hipple | Corresponding Selves, installation view. Photo by Jason Mandella. Image courtesy of the artist and DODGEgallery, NY.

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