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
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.
September 11, 2013, 10:50pm
September traditionally marks the beginning of the art season, at least as far as commercial galleries are concerned. As collectors and art world professionals return from summer destinations far and wide, you can feel the art world start to shift into high gear. Not surprisingly, many galleries choose to present shows by their top talent in September, and this year is no exception.
Among the dozens of strong painting exhibitions around the country this month are more than three-dozen shows by New American Paintings’ alumni. We pay careful attention to the careers of our alumni at NAP, and over the past twenty years we have seen a number of them go on to achieve great success, both critically and commercially. Some of our favorites are on view this month.
Internationally acclaimed artists Wendy White and Matthew Day Jackson were both featured in NAP when they were still finishing their graduate school work; be sure to catch their shows at Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago and Hauser & Wirth in New York City, respectively. Two solid, and in my mind underrated, mid-career painters, John Bankston and Alexis Rockman, have solo shows at Walter Maciel Gallery in Los Angeles and Sperone Westwater in New York City, respectively. If emerging artists are your thing, then don’t miss two of Los Angeles’ hottest artists, Eric Yahnker at Ambach & Rice and Devin Troy Strother at Richard Heller Gallery, or Jeanette Mundt at Clifton Benevento and Andrew Schoultz at Morgan Lehman, both in New York.
A big shout out to one of my favorite cities, Chicago, where I will be heading next week to catch the attempted reboot of Art Chicago in its glory days, Expo Chicago. Those living in Chicago, or visiting this month, have a lot of gallery shows to be excited about. Aside from the aforementioned Wendy White show, don’t miss work by the incredible Bill Traylor at Carl Hammer Gallery, or Rebecca Morris at Corbett vs. Dempsey. One of Chicago’s best known exports, Judy Ledgerwood is also on view at Rhona Hoffman Gallery. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher
Devin Troy Strother, Courtesy of Richard Heller Gallery.
September 10, 2013, 5:02pm
The monumental in one’s life is becoming less and less recognizable. When everything gets flattened, digitized and dispersed, how is one to determine what is truly remarkable from what is utterly banal? Yet still, what does it mean for an artist to recognize these parallel ideas in order to cull some sort of meaning from not only their medium but their whole damn life? More direct, at this point what role does painting play in the everyday? I didn’t intend for this introduction to have so many questions but the work of Hilary Doyle is full of existential pontifications and I can’t help but reflect that. Doyle’s work could not exist if it were not for the core question of not “Why am I here?” but rather “How do I know I am here?” Doyle’s recent solo show, Window Facing Inward, at NYC’s Active Space addresses this question and approaches notions of time, the everyday and the space in between yawn and awe. - Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor
Hilary Doyle | Hand Drier, acrylic on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2013
September 09, 2013, 9:40am
Barry McGee’s recent retrospective highlights a common dilemma in the rising popularity of bringing street art into museums and galleries—namely, how do you capture the ephemeral nature of the work and evoke its urban context in a white cube, and how does the message of the artwork change? The ICA show sought to confront these dilemmas, and the result was a show that revealed itself as an environment more than simply a survey. Replete with floor-to-ceiling wall installations, animatronic sculptures, and a massive totem of 130 television screens, the show drew heavily on McGee’s Bay Area roots and graffiti aesthetic. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contibutor (Visiting Boston!)
Barry McGee, Installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
September 03, 2013, 9:50am
For all of you unable to meet the regular deadline for the Northeast Competition because of the holiday, take note that the deadline has been extended.
Artists living in CT, DE, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, you can still apply! -
September 8th at Midnight, EST. GOOD LUCK!
*The late entry fee is $60.
August 30, 2013, 11:25am
The San Francisco painter Joan Brown achieved international recognition when she was scarcely out of her teens. By 1960, the same year she graduated from the California School of Fine Arts (now SFAI), she was represented by a major New York gallery, and was one of thirty-six artists included in the Whitney’s Young Americans exhibition. But even as she worked in San Francisco among a burgeoning cohort of fellow artists that included Elmer Bischoff, Jay DeFeo and Manuel Neri, Brown’s work developed in the following decades in a way that was distinct from others. Thinly brushed lines of enamel replaced her signature thick oil application, and shifting concerns in composition and tonal contrasts followed. However, themes within her imagery remained consistent even as her style evolved—namely, the reoccurring motif of water. Although many other California-based artists are known for their water-themed works—David Hockney for his swimming pools, and Richard Diebenkorn for his aquatic-framed cityscapes, among others—this running theme throughout Brown’s work is rarely given critical attention in the same way. - Nadiah Fellah, NYC Contributor
Joan Brown, Rio Vista, California, 1971; Courtesy of The Joan Brown Estate
August 29, 2013, 9:24am
A knockoff usually refers to a copy of a more expensive original, bringing to mind tables of faux designer handbags and leather jackets on street corners. When painter Roger Shimomura creates a knockoff, his is a human version—specifically, a person, or a punch to the face, literally knocking you off. The artist mashes up imagery from American pop icons, Kabuki actors, Korean and Japanese manga characters, Hello Kitty, Lichtenstein-style faces and Chinese propaganda, into in-your-face, self-portrait battles between himself and the stereotypes that portray Asian American people as less valuable citizens, or “American knockoffs,” the title of his new show. These works from 2009-2012 on view at Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle, WA, continue the battles Shimomura has fought for over four decades, a testament to the persistence of both the artist’s pursuit and the forces he is up against. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor
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