October 02, 2013, 8:30am
Not all paintings that pare down form and color in an indexical manner are immediately about language – though that is often the initial read. The urge to codify work that has the aesthetics of being a signifier to an unnamed symbol is as much a grasp to make meaning from where form lacks, as it does ignore what the potential of unnamed form can represent. In his current exhibition, Notes, at devening projects + editions, Alain Biltereyst displays a series of small paintings that not only question what it means to deny language, but also how purely formal exercises hinge on the spatial, and tactile qualities of an installation, beyond the painting itself. – Stephanie Cristello, Chicago Contributor
Alain Biltereyst | Notes, installation view at devening projects + editions, September 2013
October 01, 2013, 8:00am
If you’re like me, you probably drive past them all the time and never give a second thought: cell towers, radio antennas, power lines, fracking structures and electrical substations–all part of a larger infrastructure that we rely on to connects us to a variety of systems and grids to sustain life as we know it. Santa Fe-based artist Nina Elder (#96) has been documenting the intersections of the natural and man-made in the American landscape for more than a decade. In her most recent body of work, Power Line, currently on view through October 25th at the Inpost Artspace in Albuquerque, Elder continues her thoughtful examination of our relationship with these architectural oddities through the lens of landscape painting. I recently caught up with Nina to ask her a few questions about her work. – Claude Smith, Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor
Nina Elder | Hawthorne Munitions Depot, 2012, acrylic on panel, 48 x 60 inches; image courtesy of the artist
September 30, 2013, 8:00am
Jaq Chartier’s (NAP #13, #31, #61) paintings like to pose as objects other than paintings. The Seattle artist and cofounder of Aqua Art Miami is best known for Testing, an ongoing that physically experiments with her materials and processes. Chartier integrates paint with saturated inks, stains and dyes she designs to evolve over time, creating large, hyper-saturated canvases that pulse with patterns and forms that reference the imagery of contemporary science—DNA strands, glass slides, microbodies— and ultimately behave as visual experiments themselves. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor
Jaq Chartier | Lettuce Coral, 2013, acrylic, stains, paint on wood panel, 28 x 36 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Platform Gallery.
September 26, 2013, 8:00am
What is most striking about the fourteen new works by the painter Charline von Heyl on view at Petzel Gallery is their gestural energy and boldness. Each large canvas—the artist is fairly consistent in the sizing of her paintings—draws from the roots of abstraction, but with elements that border on figuration. In many, the features of faces can be seen floating among her compositions, such as disembodied eyes, mouths, and cephalic outlines. The knowledge that the artist suffers from prosopagnosia, or face blindness, makes the detached features even more intriguing, drawing viewers into an enigmatic realm occupied by swirling shapes, patterns, and fragmentary imagery. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor
Charline von Heyl | Installation view, Petzel Gallery
September 25, 2013, 8:15am
Two hypertalented young artists meet during their BFA programs in Philadelphia. One interprets contemporary urban life in found wood and industrial paint with unblinking emotion (that's Aaron Fowler), while the other revels in suburban boredom and adolescent dissent with ferocious fervor (that's Michael Shultis). Sometimes they collaborate, like in their dual debut at Thierry Goldberg Gallery, and together they're practically fearless. New York, I hope you're ready. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor
Aaron Fowler | Self Portrait, 2013, mixed-media on panel, 20 x 16 inches.
Michael Shultis | Selfy, 2013, mixed-media on canvas, 28 x 16 inches. Images courtesy the artists and Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York.
September 24, 2013, 8:00am
At 87 years old, Southern California-based artist Ed Moses hasn’t showed any indication of slowing down. Considered by many to be one of the preeminent artists of West Coast art, his oeuvre is known for it’s unpredictably and tendency to resist categorization. His penchant for exploration and experimentation could be likened better to that of a scientist rather than an artist, and in that sense, artistic expression becomes synonymous with words like “invention” and “discovery” rather than creation. His latest exhibition Green/Bronze at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art in Santa Fe, Moses showcases his “crackle” paintings as the results of countless hours of material experimentation and in many ways, these paintings serve as maps or guides down his self-described paths of “confusion and ambition.” –Claude Smith, Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor
Ed Moses | Y? Copper, 2013, mixed media on canvas 4 panels 72" x 45" each
September 23, 2013, 8:00am
Ah, suburban serenity, with its cookie-cutter domiciles by day and its after-hour socials. Michael Raedecker has worked from this bland utopia for years, picking it out in thread on monochromatic canvases. In tour, his latest exhibition at Andrea Rosen Gallery, he assumes an actively abstract relationship, cutting and resewing embroidered canvases into flitting memories and fitful dreams. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor
Michael Raedecker | place, 2013, acrylic and thread on canvas, 69 x 102 3/8 inches. © Michael Raedecker, courtesy of the artist and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.
September 18, 2013, 8:00am
When I see Amanda Valdez’s (NAP #99) paintings, I think of screwballs—specifically, the cherry flavored, pink cone-shaped, frozen screwballs sold from musical ice cream trucks. Despite the cough syrup-cherry flavoring, and the sad way the icy gumball at the bottom of the cone fractured in my mouth rather than gelling into chewable gum, the screwball was the only ice cream novelty I ever wanted. When I reminisce about the screwball now, I cannot avoid the latent sexuality that resonates between its name and ripe, all-over pinkness. Brooklyn artist Amanda Valdez’s new work in Double Down at Seattle’s Prole Drift brings to mind similar matters through its sugary hues of gumballs and cake frosting that drip and coat rounded forms, evoking primal satisfactions and their inevitable crashes. – Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor
Amanda Valdez | Tide of Pleasure: Double Down, 2013, Embroidery, fabric and acrylic, 26 x 30 in. Image courtesy of the artist and Prole Drift.
September 17, 2013, 8:00am
Not very often does an abstract painting exhibition keep a level head – but the casual, unruffled discretion of Party Cut, a collection of new work by Rebecca Morris currently on view at Corbett vs. Dempsey, is refreshing in more ways than one. The quick, and perhaps even preparatory nature of the paintings holds a certain degree of immediacy –however, all too often, a discussion surrounding paintings like these is fixated on the idea of a formal language. Acutely focused on gesture, the use of line, the myriad of descriptives used for compositional devices, and other criteria that certainly applies to this work – strictly formal terms like these kill conversation if not applied correctly (let’s pretend that there is such a thing); which is to say, if they explain the medium, but miss the affect. Morris’ paintings avoid this pit fall. The repetitive forms and all-over fields of high-keyed color are charmingly typical of midcentury patterns and decoration; yet remain distanced from an ornamental context, at once attractive and idiosyncratic. And while I was admittedly surprised by the dry, stained surfaces of the works on canvas with their more moderate and measured treatment, and less brazen tactile qualities, it would be partial to say that those material qualities were the only ones driving away the initial Pop impression of the work. - Stephanie Cristello, Chicago Contributor
September 16, 2013, 8:30am
Volume III: JOSH REAMES BRINGS TRIPPER TO CIRCUIT 12
Located in the Dallas Design District, Circuit 12 is run by husband and wife team Dustin & Gina Orlando. The Orlando’s sharp and ever searching eye brings a national and international freshness to a sweltering arts community that’s thirsty for a new flavor. What sets Circuit 12 apart is what could be thought of as the “cult of color” that the gallery presents. The space offers a crisp, brash and theatrical flair to a community that, at times, treads lightly. The gallery extends invitations to curators for their Regional Quarterly series that opens the space to experimental exercises from Texas based artists, exposing work that might not otherwise make it to Dallas. For their current show, Circuit 12 mounted Tripper, a solo show from Chicago based artist Josh Reames. The paintings in Tripper flicker light and are full of an absent neon glow that references your local corner stores cheap beer signage. Unlike the trap of a promised R&R scenario that those signs offer, Reames’ work never takes a break. It’s in constant motion and only interrupted by abrupt, painfully ordinary images. In their blatant dumbness the works beg to be dismissed as trite, formulaic approaches to painting. But Reames’ masterful sense of space and line pull these out of the naïve conversation. After recognizing their formal power, the paintings reminded me how Sean Penn’s understanding of his craft allowed for Spicoli to exist. Reames, like Spicoli challenging the oncoming wave, surfs abstraction; “Surfing's not a sport, it's a way of life, it's no hobby. It's a way of looking at that wave and saying, ‘Hey bud, let's party!’" Indeed. - Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor