Thursday, April 21, 2016

NY Photos

Me: left, Jane Freilicher: right

I spent a good weekend in NYC April 9-11th.  Conveniently, I was in two shows and one opened Saturday, the other Monday, so I could make one trip and enjoy some time up there.  Not so conveniently the first show, April Flowers, was at Queens College which by way of public transportation in the rain was quite the feat.  

I laughed when I got home and noticed I took these three photos on different public trans through the day.  Philly subway to subway to Boltbus to NY subway to subway to bus...and repeat back.  Good husband right there.

But, it was worth it!  To be in a show with my painting heroes -- Biala, Victor Pesce and Jane Freilicher was pretty absurd.  I felt a little like an impostor but simultaneously happy as hell.  Its a beautiful show curated by Xico Greenwald.  It was a rare opening in that I got the chance to really look at and think about the work.  Very subtle and strong, a favorite show to be a part of.

left: Paul Resika, right: Xico Greenwald

 left: Edith Schloss, right: Janice Biala

 left: Thaddeus Radell, right: Saskia Sutherland

 left: Victor Pesce, right: me

The second show which opened Monday April 11th is Drishti: A Concentrated Gaze, curated by Patricia Spergel and Elizabeth Heskin.  It is at 1285 Avenue of the Americas in the lobby of the UBS Building.  Its a huge space and a 33 person show, so a very different experience of a group show and my own work.  I was able to see the show before the opening which was a good thing because there were probably 500+ people mulling about which was totally overwhelming -- I felt like I was at a wedding for paintings.  But it was fun.  I thought it was so thoughtfully organized and curated for the space, drawing connections between a diverse group of painting and sculpture but all with a love of material and form.  Here are a few photos I took or am borrowing from kind people who uploaded them to my facebook.

 The first painting I saw was this gorgeous Judith Simonian.

 furthest left: Hiroyuki Hamada, near left: Patricia Spergel, right: Sharon Horvath

 furthest left: Kathryn Lynch!! (love her work), mine, right: detail from Tracy Miller!! (also loovee)

Here is the list of artists in the Drishti show:

Andrew Baron
Jebah Baum
Paul Behnke
Emily Berger
Mary Bucci McCoy
Sasha Cohen
Guy Corriero
Beth Dary
Graham Durward
Ashley Garrett
Nicola Ginzel
Elizabeth Gourlay
Hiroyuki Hamada
Julian Hatton
William Holton
Sharon Horvath
Erick Johnson
Zachary Keeting
Osamu Kobayashi
Jaena Kwon.
Aubrey Levinthal
Timothy Linn
Sarah Lutz
Kathryn Lynch
Amy Mahnick
Jackie Meier
Tracy Miller
Keiko Narahashi
Petra Nimtz
Fran O’Neill
Mary Schwab
Judith Simonian
Sandi Slone
Patricia Spergel
Sarah J. Tortora
Katharine Umsted

This show is up through July 1, M-F 8am-6pm.  AND...its like 2 blocks from MOMA where I spent Monday morning at the Degas: A Strange New Beauty show pretty much drooling over the monotypes.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Bosch Interactive and New Yorker Podcasts

This is the most amazing thing I have seen in a long time.  It is an extremely high resolution, fully immersive experience into Bosch's famous painting The Garden of Earthly Delights.  There are so many things I never saw in the reproductions before, like this group of miniature people having a berry seance.  The way you move around the canvas feels like you are walking in the painting and there are accompanying sounds that are really, really good.  At this part, underneath a classical kind of melody you can hear hints of babbling water and chewing!  Check it out!! 

Game of Thrones has nothing on his imagination.  

I found this site thanks to the New Yorker Radio podcast which I am really enjoying.  

One of my favorites is from New Yorker Fiction in which David Sedaris reads a beautiful short story by Miranda July.  So many good things colliding at once.  Listen here -- #43

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sunday Pick: Ilse D'Hollander

I went to the Armory about a month ago at this point and have had these two images on my phone since then.  I found them to be so wonderful - quiet and insular - quite the opposite of the majority of the experience, garish and pathetic in its aesthetic and desire to make viewers take note.  I finally looked into them further, remembering they were shown by Sean Kelly.  

These paintings on paper along with many others were shown in January at that gallery as the first solo exhibition of Ilse D'Hollander's work in the United States.  Such a tragic life, she made these in Belgium, in the year or two preceding her suicide at the age of 29 in 1997.  Being the same age, and having felt so connected to these paintings knowing nothing of their making, I can't help but look for her thinking and experience within the images and I feel I come up with more with each pass.  

And as the press release notes, she wrote: "A painting comes into being when ideas and the act of painting coincide. When referring to ideas, it implies that as a painter, I am not facing my canvas as a neutral being but as an acting being who is investing into the act of painting. My being is present in my action on the canvas."  I think she succeeded marvelously at leaving her thinking and actions in the work.  Beautiful, poetic notations to leave behind.

Here are a few more courtesy of the Sean Kelly website:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

April Flowers at Queens College

 Announcement for an upcoming show I have a painting in:

On view from April 4th through April 29th, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 9th, 2 to 4pm

“April Flowers,” a group exhibition at the Queens College Art Center, presents floral-themed artworks—paintings and sculptures full of the joys of spring—by 22 artists.

From the vegetal patterns of Islamic tile design to Warhol’s iconic silkscreens of hibiscus blossoms, flowers have long served as artistic inspiration. With a range of color as dazzling as any artist’s palette, they epitomize brevity and beauty. Dutch Golden Age “vanitas” canvases often included flowers—bud, bloom and decay—to symbolize the transience of human existence. Manet’s poignant paintings of bouquets brought to his bedside by friends during his final months are celebrations of life. As he suffered from the side effects of syphilis, the Impressionist painter was revived by flower arrangements, remarking, “I would like to paint them all.”

As the azalea bushes and cherry trees bloom across the Queens College Campus, this exhibit aspires to amplify the sense of renewal and optimism of springtime. The 22 artists in “April Flowers” vary in style, but are united by an ebullient approach to their subject matter.

As Tony Bennett sings:

Beneath the deepest snows
The secret of a rose
Is merely that it knows
You must believe in spring

Xico Greenwald, 2016


Alix Bailey
Janice Biala
Joe Brainard
Simon Carr
Ryan Cobourn
Peter Colquhoun
Deborah Freedman
Jane Freilicher
Xico Greenwald
Eric Holzman
Ginger Levant
Aubrey Levinthal
Ying Li
Tine Lundsfryd
Gerben Mulder
Jan Müller
Victor Pesce
Thaddeus Radell
Jessica Ramirez
Paul Resika
Edith Schloss
Saskia Sutherland

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sunday Pick: Ignacio Iturria

El Mago, 2013, a/t, 130 x 160 cms (Private Collection, Santo Domingo)

  n.d., oil on canvas, 80 x 70 cm

El Casamiento, n.d. oil on canvas

To look at the bizarre and fantastic paintings of Ignacio Iturria (b. 1949, Uruguay) is to enter his world.  These are the stuff of dreams and occasionally nightmares, based in the reality of blinding light and convincing shadow.  Improbable scenes made possible, as the scale of things are free to slide.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Drawn from Courtly India @PMA

A Prince and Courtiers in a Garden, c 1720-30
I saw a really nice show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's adjacent space, the Perelman Building.  It is a show of drawings (probably at least 50) from 1500-1800 from royal courts in Northern India.  The work is exquisite in its precision and line but also imaginative in its narrative and structure.

I liked the way the show was displayed as well.  Dark green walls and double sided plinths displayed papers with drawings on both sides throughout the room.  One of the drawings had a light behind it that illuminated the perforation done to transfer the drawing.  The effect was quite beautiful (below).



 It was a nice collection too in terms of finish.  Some of the drawings were working drawings with mutliple edits, others were partially finished in watercolor and others were sketches, more immediate and uninhibited. 

These felt like an antidote to so much of what I am fatigued by in contemporary work.  With limited materials of usually just pencil and paper and limited scale, these drawings possess the strength that comes with extreme consciousness on the part of the maker for every compositional element, every touch to the page.  Within these limitations what is made seems boundless, grand stories of war with monsters to a modest cup of tea shared between two friends.  The show is up until March 27th and worth the trip.  Here is a link.