Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Park and Dodd

David Park(above) and Lois Dodd(below)
  I was enjoying the comparison pinterest made of these two works when I opened one of my boards and saw them one on top of another.  Thought I'd share here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Alice Smith, Ocean

Saw Alice Smith perform a few weeks ago.  This song was by far my favorite.  I keep listening and liking it more each time.  I want to make a painting that looks like it sounds. What a visual: "My love, I had a dream you were the ocean." 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Pick: Biala @ Queens College

Yesterday was the last day of the show Biala: Vision and Memory at Queens College.  I had really wanted to go since it opened in September, as Biala is an absolute favorite and it is a rare thing to see so much of her work at once.

But as we drove, through insane New York traffic and the bridge tolls started stacking (really quickly), I started thinking: Is this actually worth it?  And then as we roamed around campus looking for the show, ending up in a building with no sign of life or light, I thought: this was a mistake.  

But then, we turned a corner into a bright, beautiful gallery space which seemed to appear out of nowhere, on the fourth floor of the college's art studio building and Biala's paintings were there in all their glory.

It was truly the best show I have seen this year and maybe longer.  Upstairs (the first few photos above)were her work from the 30s - 60s (when she was in her 30s - 60s) and in the large room downstairs were about 20 paintings from her 70s until age 91.  The catalog had a wonderful essay which discusses her colorful life and work from throwing de Kooning's wedding reception to 'living on the edge of poverty subsisting on vegetables from the garden" to be in Paris.  I will leave you with the last paragraph of that:

"Although she regarded herself as a figurative painter, the consistent frontality and spatial ambiguity of Biala's works challenge this characterization.  Often, the immediate, sensuouis address of a seemingly straightforward composition belies its foundation in a geometric scaffolding of colored shapes.  Her life-long veneration of Matisse is manifested in such exquisitely crafted interiors as The Yard in Winter, 1981 (11th picture here) which induce sustained contemplation of formal relationships and gradual awareness of the tensions between observed reality and abstraction, presence and absence.  In canvas after canvas, she displays remarkable visual intelligence and absolute control of her medium.  If Biala's paintings offer immense gratification to the eye, they also are reservoirs of feeling and memory, lyric affirmations of the life she chose to lead."

And a quote from her:

"Like many of us, I was raised on the notion of 'painterliness' -- that what is most moving in painting is...its painterly qualities.  But when I think of the art that I love -- for example, the art of Spain, with its passion and noblesse -- I wonder if painterliness is not meant to serve something beyond itself...."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Pick: John Walker

Red Yellow and Blue, Coastal Cross North Branch, 2011, oil on canvas, 84 x 66 inches

Ostraca V, 1977, Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 96 inches

Seal Point Series N 14, 2006, Oil on bingo card, 7 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches

Seal Point Series # 38, 2005 , Oil on bingo card, 7 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches
Untitled, 2003 , Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches
I love the work of John Walker and looking at it spanning over so many years.  It makes me feel like what I am doing now is such a small window of what might be possible with decades of investigations in paint. Another favorite thing of mine that I have had bookmarked for months is an interview with him, that I read when I need a real, gritty, get-to-work voice in my studio.  Here is an excerpt:

"I love to teach, and I find one of the biggest problems I have with my students, is convincing them that you can do anything. They already feel locked into something. I think it is art history’s fault. Art history makes it seem linear. It presents Picasso as going from this to that. But really, he was a mess, creatively. In 1922, in his studio, the late Cubist painting The Three Musicians was on one wall, and on the other wall was Three Women at the Spring. Creativity is a huge mess. It really is one of the big problems: how do you convince a student that it’s a mess, because that is the last thing they want to hear. They want some sense of it all, from you or me. And I walk in and say, “No, it’s not like that in the real world.”

But read the rest, so much to chew over here.

Friday, October 18, 2013

New Studio

I finally got a studio space exterior to my living space.  It took quite some time and budgeting but we did it.  I am really, really excited about it but I think Nugget's face captures some of the anxiety that comes with settling into a new studio.  I still have to get a bunch of things to make it feel comfortable and usable but I gessoed about 12 surfaces today so that makes me excited.  I am also sharing this space, which is much larger than pictured, with three of my favorite painters/artists so that adds to the excitement. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Pick: One Auerbach Painting

Today I just have one painting I feel like looking at.  It is this one by Frank Auerbach and it has just had my eye this week.  A good recent interview with him here.

Friday, October 11, 2013

'Finding What Was Not' Recap

Below are some images of work from my two person show.  The first five are my work, and my personal favorite five out of eleven total pieces I have on display:

Blue Between our Beds, 2013

Hedging Around the Night, 2013

St. Lucia in our Living Room, 2013

One's Getting Old, 2013

For Biala, 2013

Below are five of Lauren's beautiful paintings from our show: 

Lauren Garvey, Flowers in Cellophane II, 2013

Lauren Garvey, Flowers in Cellophane, 2013

Lauren Garvey, Petrichor, 2013

Lauren Garvey, Brief Wafture, 2013

Lauren Garvey, Two Times Duped, 2013

So, our show is up and the opening is over.  It has taken me a week to post this because it has taken me some time to sort my feelings on the whole thing.  The opening was wonderful, I was so surprised to see how many people were there to support us. Many people had really positive, interesting feedback too. It felt really good and I was sort of buzzing internally.

But like the Monday after a great weekend trip, a sort of mild misery set in by Saturday.  I think most of it had to do with the fact that everything I was working towards for months was finished and final.

 Another aspect was seeing the work installed and processing that.  It is always a different experience than anticipated.  I had thought our work would be intermingled but we had two separate areas which was a surprise, but one which I have come around to understand and somewhat like.

 What I am still a little unsure of is I felt my newest, most challenging two paintings (first two above) were a bit hidden in their placement.  And that sort of exacerbated something I have been thinking anyway which is my work needs to go somewhere a little harder or sadder or something for it to express what I am after recently.  It felt a little easier to digest hanging on those pristine white walls than I'd thought.

Overall, I am pleased with the show.  I look forward to going back to see it next week already knowing how it is hung and while it is quiet and empty.  I have had a really strange few weeks in that I have not been making much work and have been hyperanalyzing my paintings in a way I don't normally do.  But this has been a great thing because I am absolutely itching to get back to work with no pressure and make some things that really push my boundaries and push into the territory I just touched with my most recent work.

If you want to see all the work in the show click here.

edit:  I went back to the gallery to look alone a few days after this post.  It was such a different experience, I felt the show was much stronger than I had in my mind.  Without all the people and with the light of day, so much of the quiet nuance was present.  I am happy.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Pick: Wim Oepts

Wim Oepts (1904-1988) was a dutch painter who spent time working in the south of France.  He was making these paintings in the late 1950's.  I love the convergence of a french sensibility with modernism's sense of flatness, shape and drawing.