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 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:

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.  

Monday, November 5, 2018

Vuillard's Doubt

Portrait of Thadee Natanson, 1897, Oil on Cardboard mounted on Panel, 20 x 15 inches, Brooklyn Museum

I liked this enough to copy it by hand into my sketchbook, but now I don't know which book on Vuillard it came from.  I think its perfect, except maybe for the word 'charm' (feeling too nice by today's use.)

"...has a melancholy quality, neither romantic nor disdainful, but discreet, with a sense of everyday; has a tender, caressing quality, almost I would say timid if such a word could possibly be used in connection with so much skill.  But, despite all his success I sense the charm of anxiety and doubt.  He never uses a color that is not immediately toned down by subtle and valuable relationships."

The Green Lamp, 1893, Oil on Board, 8.25 x 10.25 inches, Museum of Modern Art

Monday, October 29, 2018

Images of Mary Fedden's Home

I don't mean to pry but I came across one image of Mary Fedden's studio and through google quickly found images of her home.  I have loved her work for a long time and now I want to live in her house.    She has a magical touch.

Monday, October 22, 2018

My Work on Artsy

My gallery, Nancy Margolis, has joined Artsy.  Work in inventory can be viewed there or you can contact NMG directly.  I have the dates of my next show:  April 18 - June 1 -- opening April 18...more to come...

Monday, October 15, 2018

Recent Shows of Note

I admit I have become a bit of a difficult, curmudgeonly visitor recently.  Many shows that have been recommended to me I have found lacking in some way.  I think its probably largely my attitude right now, I'm finding everything too happy for such a depressed climate or too depressing, dragging down an already depressed climate.  Haha, nothing feels right except complaining.  

So I found ways to take small issues with some of the things here but for the most part these are some exhibitions in Philly and NY worth the trip in my opinion.  (P.S. I really understand the Eeyore character from Winnie the Pooh now, I always wished he didn't exist as a kid, I felt bad for him but didn't want to spend the time, now I realize he is there for the adults reading and watching.  Like a little nod, 'you are not alone...' ahhhh) 

Philadelphia, PA

Edwin Dickinson at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Milton Avery in the Dickinson Show
There was an interesting note in the wall text with this painting (which I didn't take a picture of.)  It said something like Dickinson refused to sign the 1953(?) decree against AbEx work that representational painter friends drafted.  I know nothing about this and figured I could google it later but now I can't seem to find any further info.  Anyone know anything or have a source?

Chelsea, New York
Patricia Spergel at The Painting Center

Joan Mitchell at Cheim and Read

Kathy Butterly at James Cohan 

Drea Cofield (detail) at Nancy Margolis Gallery

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Art at Kings Oaks 2018

I have three paintings in a massive and innovative project called Art at Kings Oaks in Newtown, PA.  For the 7th year painter and curator Alex Cohen and co-curator Clara Weishahn have brought together work of artists from all over to this farm setting, installing the work in a 19th century stone barn and chapel.  Its really beautiful and such a different viewing experience.  Below are some photos I took at the opening.  I will be back for the closing on October 21st.  Here is a link to more details...

The artists in this year's show include:
Rotem Amizur
Brett Baker
Charity Baker
Linda Brenner
Alex Cohen
Dennis Congdon
Fran├žois Dupuis
Perky Edgerton
Miriam Hitchcock
Kenichi Hoshine
Martina Johnson-Allen
Albert Kresch
John Lees
Heidi Leitzke
Aubrey Levinthal
Susan Lichtman
David Ludwig
Dan Miller
Kristen Peyton
Ron Prigat
Brian Rego
Jacqueline Shatz
Clintel Steed
Gwen Strahle
Robert Winokur
John David Wissler

My work behind Alex and Clyde

Charity Baker, Heidi Leitzke

Jacqueline Shatz

John David Wissler, Gwen Strahle

Brian Rego, Cintel Steed