March 30, 2015, 9:01am
Play, Shuffle, Repeat: Annelie McKenzie at CB1
Painting, perhaps more than any other medium, has existed as a site for reconciling the systemic biases of art history, of which a large percentage are encapsulated in painting's own history. Painting has historically referenced previous imagery – subjects of the Renaissance were aesthetic updates to earlier depictions of the myths of the Bible and ancient Greco-Roman cultures found in past sculpture, frescoes, mosaics, manuscripts, textiles, etc. Subsequent derivative idioms, such as the master's copy and homage, have lineages stretching back long before anything could have even been labeled pre-modern. Neoclassicism was an agenda-based, aesthetic do-over by definition; Modernism's brief, valiant attempt at creating a future caught its breath in the late 20th century and painting began, again, to eloquently engage in a conversation with itself about itself. Although in contemporary art this is not unique to any one medium, there is enough cultural resonance specific to painting that it justifies the reflexive nature of artists continuing to investigate its unique position in history. – Jason Ramos, Los Angeles Contributor
Annelie McKenzie, The Enthusiast. Exhibition installation images courtesy of CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles.
March 20, 2015, 9:15am
Wrestling Between Dimensions: Q and A with Gala Bent
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
Gala Bent | Wrestler (The impossibility of a single dimension in the mind of someone who lives in several), 2015, mixed media on paper, 45 x 52 in. Image courtesy of the artist and G. Gibson Gallery.
March 18, 2015, 9:03am
Visualizing the Uncanny: Scott Anderson
Sitting huddled around an electric space heater in Scott Anderson’s (NAP #35, #53) studio located in the rural township of La Cienega–about 20 minutes south of Santa Fe–he confessed, “I had these aspirations to be in New Mexico even before I had ever been to New Mexico. My wife and I had this 10 year plan to eventually get to Santa Fe, and drop off the face of the earth–or at least we thought so.” On a day in early March, New Mexico had just seen record snowfall for the year and my drive north from Albuquerque was punctuated with unusually grey skies and the vague threat of new precipitation. Anderson preempted my visit, warning that his enormous studio–originally built to accommodate the large sculptural works fabricated by the building’s previous occupant–would be slow to warm up. – Claude Smith, Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor
Scott Anderson | Foyer, 2013, oil on canvas, 60 x 75 inches; image courtesy the artist
March 17, 2015, 12:13pm
Death Rattle: Philip von Zweck
It's the end of the world, Ragnarok, the apocalypse, and it's coming … well, erratically, in fits and bursts, dives, dips, Archimedean spiraling and humming all the while, fitfully humming, aggravated and unabated, zzzzzzzz the score to the very end, death born upon a cello string … death!, thousand eyed, six-legged, sword-endowed, floccose sickly-sweet smelling death in the personage of a honey bee, listing to one side like the Costa Concordia, vascular window pane wings over its corpse like a widow's umbrella, the victim of colony collapse disorder, laid low by a syndrome we do not understand, a fatal flaw in its system—maybe some sort of inherent vice?—or something wrought by our own machinations, with the little fellow ending up dead regardless; the flowers and crops and agrarian economies wilt, and the apocalypse comes banded black and yellow, apian entropy. – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
Philip von Zweck | Dead Bee, 2015, acrylic and oil on canvas, 9x 11 inches. Photo courtesy of Michelle Harris
February 26, 2015, 7:39am
Joy of Flighty: Rebecca Shore at Corbett vs Dempsey
Now here is a piece of art with a burlesque sensibility: Rebecca Shore's 20, whose Cambridge blue undercarriage, gartered in a lascivious claret, is thrust out to the viewer in come-hither sharp angles with a celerity that implies confidence and a bit of coquettish teasing rather than desperation—note that this brazen display of usually subdued dimensions will not be readily apparent if one comes up off the stairs into Corbett vs Dempsey running along the wall whisker-bound like a house mouse; abstract art favors the brave—and invites the viewer up its ascending staircase—a second set of stairs!—into an exhibition comprised of familiar motifs and vibes and colors and sensations predominantly sans any mimetic analog, which, yes, abstract art is meant to do, albeit not always so adroitly. – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
Rebecca Shore | 20, 2014, acrylic on linen on panel, 14 x 16 inches. Photo by Tom Van Eynde, courtesy of the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey
February 25, 2015, 11:35am
In The Studio: Process of a Painting with Susan Logoreci
Susan Logoreci (NAP #61, #109, 2003 MFA Annual) draws urban sprawl in the most beautiful way. As Los Angelenos, New Yorkers, and big city dwellers know well, the view out of your airplane window when you arrive back in your city is often one that is at once overwhelming and bittersweet. I love the feeling of coming home and am at once warmed over by the minuscule aerial view of my large hometown, though I have panged feelings of being simultaneously shocked and awed at its sprawling enormity.
Logoreci captures that feeling beautifully in her drawings. In this Process of a Painting, we are looking at her detailed hand behind the creation of U.S.C. (Urban Swarm Contemplated), 2014. Using colored pencil on paper, she creates a wonderfully and surprisingly rich and bold palette, while exploring an equally intricate subject.
After seeing her process, I asked Logoreci to tell us about the inspiration behind U.S.C. and her aesthetic approach to the commission. Please follow along and join us on this wonderful aerial adventure.
Susan Logoreci | U.S.C. (Urban Swarm Contemplated), 4′ x 6′, colored pencil on paper, 2014
February 19, 2015, 9:10am
Frozen Time: Rebecca Bird’s “Niagara Falls” at Kopeikin Gallery
Rebecca Bird’s painting show “Niagara Falls” at Kopeikin Gallery is compelling and beautiful. The show features a mix of delicate watercolors on paper and equally fragile acrylics and oils on wood. Something about the balance between the very subtle nature of her works combined with the hard, angular movements within her details compelled me to contemplate and wonder. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
Rebecca Bird | Double Niagara, 2014, Watercolor on paper, 12 x 16. Photo Courtesy of artist and Kopeikin Gallery.
February 16, 2015, 9:22am
Better than the Beyond: Bed Bath & Between at SOIL Gallery
When I think of a Bed Bath & Beyond store, all I can see are things: things lining the walls, filling the floor space, packed onto shelves, coating the store in all forms of home goods. The section filled with informercial gadgets is my favorite, for the way it makes real the items that seem particularly made up, giving the store a mildly utopic element: here, you can buy bizarre, useless things that are supposed to only live on TV. When Seattle artists Julie Alexander, Nicholas Nyland and Matthew Offenbacher announced they were curating a group show, called Bed Bath & Between, at Seattle’s SOIL Gallery, it was hard to know what to expect, given the store reference. And, what would be the outcome of changing the “beyond” into the “between?” - Erin Langner, Seattle contributor
Installation view, including work by Julie Alexander, Maria Britton, and Nicholas Nyland. Wallpapers by Julie Alexander, Nicholas Nyland and Matthew Offenbacher. Photo by Julie Alexander.
February 04, 2015, 11:09am
Ugh, fuck, can you … can you feel that? That!, right there, that sensation in the auditory canal, the Eustachian tube, curving down along the jaw line, there is something in there … psychosomatic, right? A slight pressure, a loss of hearing—like water in your ear, or an underground platform right before the train arrives—which compresses and builds, and something is most definitely working its way inside, inside where it does not belong. The moth. Ugh, the moth! Wings folded flat, branched rachni of the antenna slicked back, its whole furry body, so stupidly erratic in flight, now looking determined, sinister, a penetrative medical instrument leaving scale-flecked cerumen in its wake … it could unfurl that proboscis and touch tympanic membrane, could keep forever crawling forward and assault the fleshy nautilus of the cochlea, could cause such unthinkable damage, right?, this harmless little moth, by virtue of its position, by its complete and utter disregard for our great corporeal agreement with the world, namely that we—our precious selves, our physical selves, our prosopopoeia with which we acquire tactile knowledge of existence and so satisfyingly, concretely exert ourselves upon it—is entered into only through our consent. To find one's self—literally, one's very self—entered in any other way, to be invaded, is just … wrong. – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
Vesna Jovanovic | Moth, 2013, ink and graphite on polypropylene, 80 x 60 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist and Packer Schopf Gallery.
January 28, 2015, 8:45am
2015 Midwest Deadline
Apply to the New American Paintings Midwest Competition if you reside in: IL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, OH, or WI.
This year's juror: Kelly Shindler, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.
Deadline: February 28th, 2015, Midnight (EST)
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