Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tamayo Painting

Rufino Tamayo, Man and Woman, 1926, Philadelphia Museum of Art

I keep revisiting this painting at the PMA, Man and Woman, by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo. (The blue lines in hair are not in the painting but a reflection of lights). 

It's the rare kind of painting I don't just admire or know to be good but that I really want to have made.  I think this is a perfect painting.  He must have been so satisfied.  It touches back in time, a couple, a story simple and well known.  And it touches forward to today.  

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Hockney and a PSA

David Hockney at 18.  I feel like you can tell from his fingers that he is going to be a great painter.

Here is a great section of Hockney's essay in his book 'Pictures'.  I love the way he allows his paintings and writing to be approachable even while clearly understanding and executing extremely difficult and inventive things.  

I took this book and two others on Hockney out of the Phila Public Library.  I was going to buy one but checked the library first and I've been pretty impressed with the books they have.  The thing that really blew my mind is their subscription for films.  There is basically a Netflix for independent movies (not just offbeat stuff but really good stuff -- moonlight, lady bird etc) called Kanopy.  You literally just type in your library card number and get free movies and most library systems are members.  How did I not know about this?  Seems like a lot of people don't, so I've been dragging it out as my new trick in social settings.    They have every art doc I've ever tried to illegally download, even A Life Lived -- the one about Guston that everyone talks about but no one knows where to watch.  It is there!  And so is one on Hockney.  Check it out 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Happy New Year

Nathalie Du Pasquier

Paul Wonner

Lois Dodd

Happy New Year.  For whatever reason these images are hitting the hopeful note I'm trying to channel in 2019.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

New Radicals -- Updates!

Opening 12/1

A lot of good things have happened with New Radicals.  The opening was crowded and actually a fun time.  Lot of positive response and the show received a thoughtful review on broadstreetreview.com from Lev Feigin.  Below are most works in the show, although a few artists had multiple works.  All the images are from Cerulean Arts, so the whole show including image details and availability can be seen here.

Rebekah Callaghan

Mariel Capanna

Samantha Mitchell

Alex Cohen

Evan Fugazzi

Claire Kincade

Adam Lovitz

Dustin Metz

John Mitchell

Bonnie Levinthal

Katie Pomerantz

Liza Samuel

Bill Scott

Leigh Werrell

Here are some install shots, but its much better in person with the natural light in the gallery.

And finally...I gave a little talk about my efforts and thoughts in putting this thing together.  It has been a thoroughly enjoyable and collaborative experience.  I think without teaching my practice has gotten very isolated and this was a welcome way to introduce new thoughts and conversations.

Always and forever talking with my hands...

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Nuala O'Faolain

Achill Island, Ireland, May 2017

I heard the most moving interview with the Irish journalist Nuala O'Faolain after a sudden, terminal diagnosis.  It's a few years old but that doesn't matter, its desperate and poignant and stunning.  She offers listeners no comfort, its just the brutal sadness and searching of someone not ready to leave her life before.  I have listened three times.

This is the first half, if you click here you can hear more..

I liked it so much I got her book 'Are You Somebody?' out of the library.  Apparently it was a huge bestseller so maybe I'm the only one who missed out but it was published 20 years ago so maybe not. There are many passages I marked and felt so keenly but here are my two tops:

"My life burned inside me.  Even such as it was it was the only record of me, and it was my only creation, and something in me would not accept that it was insignificant."

"The place I was leaving had from beginning to end contained feelings so vehement, however silly they were, that even now it is hard to believe they don't live, still, somewhere else as well as in my memory."

Her vulnerability is palpable now, in nearly 2019, risky, as a woman.  So I'm sure it was scandalous at that time.  What courage she carried through life.  At one point in the interview she said she feels so devastated that all her knowledge, stupid and serious alike, will be lost when she dies.  That thought worries me too.  I'm so thankful for books and paintings that can carry some small pieces forward.  

Thursday, November 15, 2018

New Radicals at Cerulean Arts

I guest curated a show for Cerulean Arts opening next week.  But the reception isn't until the Thanksgiving wave crashes over.  Saturday 12/1 from 2-5pm, please join! 1355 Ridge Ave Phila       If you would like a postcard send me an email.  More info on the show is here: https://ceruleanarts.com

Here is my blurb on the postcard: "I am pleased to present the exhibition New Radicals featuring 14 Philadelphia connected painters chosen for their subtle, slow and pleasureful commitment to their practice: Rebekah Callaghan, Mariel Capanna, Alex Cohen, Evan Fugazzi, Claire Kincade, Bonnie Levinthal, Adam Lovitz, Dustin Metz, John Mitchell, Samantha Mitchell, Kaitlin Pomerantz, Liza Samuel, Bill Scott and Leigh Werrell.  While the work varies in form and subject, an intimate relationship with mark, color and surface is consistent.  These 14 demonstrate a loving restraint, a respect for the mystery that unfolds in process and a deference for the maker's hand.  In the face of current trends, this careful work feels radical.  I look to these painters as an antidote, as proof that the greatest painting can still be deeply felt and personal.  And I take great interest in the way this groundswell is happening here, two hours south of New York."

We will be installing in a few days and I will post some installation images.  I am really thrilled to be working with these people and their beautiful work.  I hope the space will have an exponential surge of that beauty when all their energy is in one place.  I will be giving a talk on 12/8 too, so when I fullydevelop that maybe I will post some further thoughts on curating and the themes I hope the show explores.