Friday, September 26, 2014

Sunday Pick: Liliane Klapisch

I am enjoying the work of Liliane Klapisch.  A painter born in France in 1933 who now lives and works in Jerusalem, Israel.  Her roots in french painting (thinking Vuillard & friends) are present but there is an emptying out and simplification that reminds me of a modernist I love: Biala.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Friend Paintings

Georges Braque, Oiseaux, 1962

Raoul de Keyser, Proloog, 2003

I love it when this happens...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Metaphysics of Presence at Q Art Salon

Night desk, oil on panel, 2014, 7 3/4 x 10.5 inches
Asparagus, 2014, Oil on Panel, 12 x 12 inches

Four of my paintings, including the two above, are included in what looks to be an excellent group show Metaphysics of Presence at Q Art Salon this October, out in Santa Ana, California.

Artists include: 

William Wray, Curator
Douglas Fryer
Logan Maxwell Hagege
Rocky Hawkins
Quang Ho
Aubrey Levinthal
Dan McCaw
Danny McCaw
John McCaw
Mark Daniel Nelson
Mikael Olson
Tony Peters
Emily Thompson
Scott Wills
Ashley Wood

(Links to the websites of artists I know are correct.)

The idea behind the show is to highlight painters that work between and/or inclusively with abstraction and representation.  It is interesting to see within this umbrella, threads of similarity but also a good amount of diversity in the look and aesthetic of the work.  Being a show that has painters from all over the country, it is curious to see how this way of working and thinking manifests in the different places and studios.  

Below are a few examples of works in the show, hopefully more to come...  

Harry Stooshinoff

If you are in the area please check out the show, opening October 4th.

Friday, September 12, 2014

On Openings

Opening with Hipsters, 2014, Oil on Panel

Above is a recent painting I made.  It came from deep in my subconscious brain.  I seriously started the painting with four pink balls and before I knew it they became heads and this was in front of me.  I have no clue who the people are except that the short head in the front is mine.  It came after a particularly awkward night of openings that prompted me to write this post -- an issue I have been thinking about for a long time: openings.

I always set out going to openings with such optimism.  From a month's distance they seem like the perfect social gathering -- people interested in the same things, looking at artwork over a glass of wine.  And then I enter the show and usually pretty immediately things start to go awry.

It's a type of awriness (should be a word) that is so subtle.  I mingle with a first person who its great to see but I'm simultaneously aware that I'm very sober and fairly sweaty from the walk.  The more I start thinking about how sweaty I am in the lights of the gallery, the more my hands feel like foreign objects attached to my arms that are growing quickly and need to be folded awkwardly over my chest to be contained.  I excuse myself to get a glass of wine.  As I am pouring, I am rewinding the scene that just occurred so spontaneously and still deciding whether my enthusiasm was way too excited over the person's comment when someone else usually pulls up.  We talk, I inevitably do something weird. 

The thing is: there are two types of opening goers.  There are those who want to really engage and have a great conversation for a long time broaching all subjects and those who want to bop around and say hi and take in the show quick and easy.  Both philosophies are great.  It turns out I am neither of these.  What I am is the opposite of whatever the person I am talking to is.  I don't mean to be but I must not pick up social cues well or something, every conversation I either feel like I need to pivot and run or am grabbing the person on the shoulder trying to scream a stupid story into their ear.  

The finale comes when, after so many of these start to accumulate, I eventually am talking to someone and the voice in my head is just replaying the 'aubrey's awkward highlight reel', the painfully weird and overly enthused things I have spewed at various points in the night and I can no longer take it.  Which is when I dash out to the nearest bar (hopefully I am with a friend or Alex) and drink away the socially inept artist that I am and wait four weeks to do it again next month.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Report from NY (Sept 2014)

Maria Lassnig at P.S. 1

I spent the day in NY yesterday.  It was the perfect, perfect weather for a day of exploring -- the day right between summer and fall, warmth in the sun but wind in the trees.  A great iced cafe con leche and grilled corn at Cafe Habana and a glass of wine at the cozy, classy Freeman's.  (I kept thinking the place was like walking into a nature morte painting)  

Notice I haven't mentioned the art yet?  That's because the large majority was either forgettable or I am hoping to forget it soon.  At one point my aunt made the hashtag for the day, she said, "god, everything is either boners or bad."  Hahah.  So I'll spare you that and touch on the best things.

We went to P.S. 1 MOMA which I had actually never been to before.  What a great space.  

Roof of P.S. 1 where there is a vegetable garden you can take tomatoes and basil from...

We went there because it was the last day to see the Maria Lassnig show but I think my favorite part was walking around the building; the roof had a beautiful view and really great Richard Serra installation room.  And the different stairwells had installations from William Kentridge and other artists that evolved as you went down.  Not to mention the old public school feel with a 'boys' entrance on the exterior and great light fixtures and tiled bathrooms.

 The Lassnig show we had heard a lot about and didn't want to miss.  I felt it was pretty good but not as good as everyone was saying.  The best works were small watercolors on paper and older works from the first 20 years of her career in my opinion.  The work she is most known for felt too constant in its sense of space, composition and mark, there was not enough searching for me.  

This was a nice one that had great color passages

Small watercolors

Loved this dog..

We left there for the LES on a pretty high note.  Spent some time wandering around and this is when the comment of the day, referenced above, was uttered.  Everything was so surface.  And that's not to say the surfaces were nice.  It was all about a superficial theme or aesthetic.  There was no sense of a deep exploration, personal questions or parameters, no nod to form or materiality.  Regardless of my initial impulse against a lot of the work I would go up close and look only to feel assaulted by a disregard for the construction of the thing.  

The exceptions to this were: Jenny Perlin at Simon Preston gallery, Helen O'Leary's two back room works at Lesley Heller Workspace and Stanley Lewis at Betty Cuningham.  These were nice works with individual investigations.  

Made me think about something I notice with students a lot -- a desire to have a 'style' or 'theme'.  This comes organically, by accident, from making work and figuring out what it is that gets under your skin and makes you want to make work forever.  A dialog with yourself in your studio.  It does not come first. That reversed way of thinking is what many of the shows I felt were bad were doing -- trying to arrive at a 'look' without a means of getting there.

Helen O'Leary at Lesley Heller
The best show of the day for me was Leaves at SHFAP.  It was a group show of various processes and content.  There was a lot of work to look at for an extended period of time, asking different questions but as a good show does, also asking questions of other works in the show due to their contrast.

Peter Acheson

Bad photo of a beautiful installation of Sangram Majumdar 

Katherine Bradford