AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY MARCH 2011
Caroline Walker February 24 - April 2
Ana Cristea Gallery
521 West 26th Street New York, NY 10001 www.anacristeagallery.com
Mark Kessell specimen box & unmet friends Shigeru Oyatani
Fantastic Lucid Dream
March 17 - April 23, 2011
Kim Foster Gallery 529 West 20th St. NY, NY 10011 212.229.0044 / email@example.com / www.kimfostergallery.com
things we said that were important but now forgotten
works on paper
painted wooden works
feb 26 > apr 9 | 2011
h tues by appt wed to fri 11 am > 5 pm sat 12 > 5 pm pentimenti 145 north second street philadelphia | pa 19106 p 215 625 9990 w pentimenti.com e firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Allen GhosT ship rodez The MoMo ChroniCles
10 March â€” 16 April 2011
45 North Venice Boulevard Venice, California 90291 Tel 310 822 4955 www.lalouver.com
Lora Schlesinger Gallery BRUCE HOUSTON NEFERTETES, TRUCKS & ASSEMBLAGES
February 5, 2011 - March 12, 2011 Reception: Sat., February 5, 5-7 p.m
monochromes No. 10, 2010, oil & alkyd on canvas, 23 x 23 "
w w w . l o r a s c h l e s i n g e r. c o m 2525 Michigan Ave. T3 Santa Monica CA 90404 t (310) 828 -1133 email@example.com
FEBRUARY 19 - APRIL 30
“Some Assembly Required” Group Exhibition
Assemblage & Collage
Modern & Contemporary Paintings Drawings Jordi Alcaraz Hannelore Baron Romare Bearden Hans Burkhardt Joseph Cornell Jim Dine Claire Falkenstein Llyn Foulkes Mathias Goeritz Patrick Graham George Herms Freindensreich Hundertwasser Edward Kienholz MarcaConrad Marca-Relli Robert Motherwell Louise Nevelson Man Ray Robert Rauschenberg Mark Tobey Frank Stella Gordon Wagner Jerome Witkin & Others
January 19 - 23
Los Angeles Art Show L.A. Convention Center Booth D-120
Gordon Wagner, “Construction,” 1950 , 45 x 19 x 11 1/2 inches
JACK RUTBERG FINE ARTS
357 North La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90036
Telephone (323) 938-5222
EDWARD CELLA ART
AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY MARCH 2011
Mike Saijo, Dream Deferred (see page 39)
EXHIBITIONS New York Washington DC Boston Los Angeles
34 37 37 38
FEATURES 21 25 28 30
A Guide to Armory Week Finding the Noble in Ignoble Times Letter from Washington DC Profile: Gina Genis
ARTISTS 44 Ricky Allman 47 Myungwon Kim
Myungwon Kim (see page 47)
Richard Kalisher PUBLISHER Donovan Stanley EDITOR Eric Kalisher DESIGN New York Editor Tali Wertheimer Washington DC Editor F. Lennox Campello Sam Gilliam, Nite II, 2010, acrylic on birch, 30” x 17.5” x 4.75” (see page 28)
COVER Sala de Lectura Ovalada - Los Carpinetros 2011 (interior detail) Ultralight MDF, 118.13” x 276.5” x 166.87”, unique with 1AP. Photo: Jason Wyche. © Los Carpinteros. Courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. (see page 34)
Contributing Editor Roberta Carasso
Advertising Inquires firstname.lastname@example.org 561.542.6028 / Richard Kalisher
© 2011 R.K. Graphics. All Rights Reserved. Content courtesy of represented institutions.
RUTH BACHOFNER GALLERY Bergamot Station Arts Center Unit G2 Santa Monica, CA 310 829 3300 www.ruthbachofnergallery.com
Walker, 2010, Oil on linen, 70” x 60”
DAVID KAPP New Paintings
January 15 – March 12, 2011
BLEICHER GALLERIES BGartDealings.com email@example.com
(Ann McCoy Feb /2011)
CB Gallery [Caporale/Bleicher] BG Gallery [Bleicher/Golightly]
355 N. La Brea Avenue, LA, CA 90036 (323) 545-6018
1431 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 878-2784
Zone (5), 2011, Ink, ink wash and acrylic on Xuan paper, 60 x 65 inches
Obtrusive / Elusive Recent Ink Work by Zheng Chongbin February 17 - April 2, 2011
H A I N E S GALLERY 49 Geary Street Fifth Floor San Francisco 415.397.8114 www.hainesgallery.com
Marine Contemporary Opens March 2011
Marine Contemporary 1733 — A Abbot Kinney Blvd Venice, CA 90291 T: +1 310 399 0294
Ricky Allman Wendy Heldmann Tom Hunter Jow Dennis Koch Littlewhitehead Peter Lograsso Christopher Michlig Robert Minervini Christopher Pate Stephanie Pryor Debra Scacco
Inaugural show Christopher Pate Camp Alpha March 19 — April 30, 2011 Opening Reception March 19, 6—9 pm
A First Person Guide to Armory Week by Tali Wertheimer
Tali Wertheimer is a curator for TS+ Projects, which she co-founded in 2010. TS+ Projects is an art advisory and curatorial firm that specializes in contemporary art. This year they will be giving collecting tours of VOLTA and The Armory Show. Talia will also be walking around with director Ric Klaus to select artwork to use as the backdrop for his latest film “Excuse Me For Living.”
You can follow Tali’s up-to-the-minute travels around the New York art world on Twitter @tsplusprojects and on Foursquare @tplus!
It will be an action-packed week with benefits, performances, and of course art fairs! Here are some of the highlights from my calender.
Tuesday, March 1st ArtProjix is the video art and new media pop-up theatre, sponsored by the Armory and VOLTA. It will be hosted at the SVA theatre from March 1-6. Unlike the fair, ArtProjix is 100% free and open to the public. It will include six days of programming, beginning at 10am and going into the night, from the world’s leading galleries, museums, and curators. The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) is kicking off Armory Week with the Art Show Gala Preview. Artists, collectors, dealers, and socialites will fill up the Park Avenue Armory for a sneak peak at the fair! All proceeds from the Art Show Gala preview, as well as ticket sales from the run of the show, directly benefit The Henry Street Settlements social services and arts programs. Celebrating 30 years of conversations between artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians, directors, and performers, BOMB Magazine and Marlborough Chelsea present a unique lineup of collaborative performances. Ongoing
Wednesday, March 2nd The Armory VIP Preview starts at 2 p.m. This will be my first chance to take a look at the selections from over 100 galleries from all over the world. After my first walk through, I will narrow down my selection to 5-10 galleries to highlight in the collector seminar that I will be leading on Saturday for members of “The Contemporaries.” The Armory is divided categorically between Modern and Contemporary Masters and geographically between Piers 92 and 94. It will take more than one trip to see everything, but the best works will be sold by opening the next morning. (clockwise from above): the Armory Show; Rashaad Newsome; Dawn of Man, video still from a site-specific projection at Armory 2011; Dawn of Man, Holy Cow (detail); Adam Krueger, #4 Missy Hernandez 11-04-09; Barnett Suskin, Untitled. Images courtesy of artists, Armory show.
Tuesday, March 1st continued
performances will be punctuated by some shorter pieces throughout the evening, all to culminate in a musical finale conducted by Rashaad Newsome. I am especially excited to see what Newsome has in store. His video work of dancers voguing in empty undecorated rooms was a showstopper at the 2010 Whitney Biennale. His solo show, which recently opened at the Wadsowrth Antheneum Musem of Art, consists of collages, both sound collages and works on canvas, that explore the relationship between the values of hip hop culture and the Versailles of Louis the XIV. One video collages together snippets from popular hip hop music videos to recreate the “Carmina Burana.” Newsome has completed two sections of the six part classical composition and will likely surprise attendants with the third section at the BOMB Magazine Party.
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Next, I head to the MoMA for the Annual Armory opening night party, benefiting MoMA and PS1. This year, Dawn of Man was commissioned to project site-specific video installations onto the ceiling of the first and second floor Atriums. The collective was nice enough to email me the password to their vimeo site so I could get a sneak-peak of the videos! You can expect a kaleidoscopic vision of nature linked with an impressive DJ set. I got close to the crew when I was running programming for photo L.A. earlier this year. TS+ Projects invited the collective to project images onto the outside of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Los Angeles during that fair, including a three-story tall cow with a halo, laconically chewing invisible grass, entitled Holy Cow.
Thursday, March 3rd The VIP Preview for VOLTA is one part cocktail reception and one part trip to the museum. Unlike any other art fair, the galleries at VOLTA only bring one artist from their stable and showcase a mini-retrospective. People tend to linger longer in the booths at VOLTA, because they value the educational experience and connection to an artist’s work. VOLTA provides a much-needed reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the other fairs. That evening TS+ Projects will be hosting a dinner and private tour of Barnett Suskind’s painting studio at the aritst’s home in Tribeca. Barnett paints ethereal nudes of fat women and darker portraits of hardened old men. The women are voluminous and sculptural and the men are gaunt and geometric, but all are painted with historical intention and wide brush strokes. We will be in good company, with Carlos Rivera of Rivera & Rivera Gallery, Los Angles, Simmy Swinder of Carmichael Gallery, Los Angeles, and Andre Escarameia and Alex Slovensky of Rooster Gallery, New York, at the table. There will be plenty of sake for this omakase sushi dinner.
Saturday, March 5th Today I will shift into curatorial overdrive. Along with ArtStar founder Chrissy Crawford, I start out giving tours of VOTLA to members of the Soho House. I am very happy to be working with Chrissy, whose company is dedicated to making top-tier artist works available at affordable prices. Her website, ArtStar.com, releases limited edition prints of original works by leading contemporary artists. Prices range from 25 to 250 dollars. I was asked to be Guest Expert on the site last month and fell in love with a Jim Riswold photograph titled Jeff Koons goes to the Bank, which depicts a shopping cart full of balloon dollar bills. The photograph pokes fun at sceptics who think that contemporary artists are playing a practical joke by creating work that doesn’t adhere to traditional ideas of aesthetics. At the same time the artist is seriously questioning the out of control spending in the art world.
Friday, March 4th Today, I will take a break from the art fairs to check in with the auction world. The success of the Sotheby’s London Contemporary evening sale on February 15 brought a restored sense of excitement back into the depressed art market. Art professionals are looking up as high results signify an end to the bitter years of economic downturn. Good results at The Phillips De Pury Contemporary sale will renew collector confidence and could lead to big sales during the final days of the art fairs. If you can’t make it to Phillps to view the upcoming lots, download the Phillips de Pury iPhone app and browse the catalogue anywhere, anytime. Applications specific to the the art world are on the rise, with all auctions and fairs investing in online counterparts to their on-the-ground sales. James Cohan’s online only VIP Art Fair seemed like an original concept a few months ago, but now it seems that every art fair will be moving towards online intergration. I will most likely leave the auction a bit early and head over the to the Chelsea Art Museum for the Humble Arts Foundation party celebrating the launch of The Collectors Guide to New Art Photography Vol. 2. The book is comprised of 100 photographs selected by Vanessa Kramer, the Director of Photographs at Phillips De Pury & Company.
Mint and Serf are back! Formally the directors of the Canal Chapter in Chinatown, the street art duo are moving to Chelsea after a two year hiatus. The opening show will be a salon style showcase of their favorite artists and a percentage of sales will go towards the Free Arts Foundation. I am hoping to snag new work by Adam Krueger, who will be presenting a series of still lifes. This series consist of drawings in plastic bags that mimic evidence collected at a crime scene. On closer inspection, the drawings are remnants of a failed relationship, including a hyper realistic rendering of the DVD “Home Alone” hermetically sealed in plastic. Adam compares the mysterious and ominous objects that remain in the aftermath of an unknown violence to the pain and isolation left behind after a break up. Adam crafts a haunting metaphor about the lingering pain caused by absence and impermanence through comedic interpretation of shocking events. From there I will head to Susan Sarandon’s Ping Pong Club SPiN for the official VOLTA NY party. After a long week of buying, selling, and schmoozing, I’ll be letting my hair down at this artist vs. art dealer ping pong tournament. Nothing like some healthy competition — and complimentary gin cocktails — to unwind after a long week. Around two a.m. I will spill into a cab and head to Le Bain at the Standard Hotel for some deep-into-the-night disco. My gallery friends from London, Los Angeles, and Paris will all be leaving soon and the night will end with promises to link up soon at Art Basel, Switzerland and in Venice for the biennale. [Even before the show, I received emails from my closest girlfriends asking whether their cotton summer dresses will wrinkle during the plane ride to Switzerland.]
Sunday March 6th Time to recover from Saturday’s festivities. Following a brunch of the buttermilk pancakes at Joe Doe on First Street, I will head over to the Metropolitan Pavilion and take one last look at the PULSE Art Fair before heading home and tumbling into bed.
FINDING THE NOBLE IN IGNOBLE TIMES by Roberta Carasso
Entering Darkness: Dorothy Wahlstrom, Nurse At Dachau, 1945, 2001, oil On Canvas, 130”x387” inches (six panel).
Jerome Witkin’s art begins with cityscapes, landscapes, individual portraits, but soars when he creates monumental depictions of cataclysmic and heroic events that span multiple canvasses. In each painting, he takes us through a powerful visual journey narrated through meaningful mark-making, colors, shapes, and textures. Even after viewing a painting multiple times, there is still much to discover; Witkin’s art is not a depiction nor is it meant to be a likeness. The work demands to be contemplated, digested, experienced, and felt on a the level of the soul. Witkin, now 71, has developed a masterful body of work. The subject that I find most captivating is how Witkin gives us an x-ray view into the nature of good and evil and, most importantly, how he portrays the enormous efforts it takes for good to prevail. In an interview, speaking off the cuff, he revealed what makes his art stand out above others. He said that he searches “for the noble in ignoble times.” Through his passionate art, Witkin conveys the limitless capacity of the human spirit — its individual holiness even in the midst of its tremors, tragedies, and bliss. Ensconced as a professor of art at Syracuse University for 40 years, 2011 will initiate a traveling exhibition of 40 years of Witkin’s art. The retrospective will begin at Syracuse University and be shown across the US. His primary dealer, Jack Rutberg, of Jack Rutberg Fine Arts in Los Angeles, orchestrates many of his exhibitions. But while other artists clamor to be in the center of art, Witkin creates his unique
body of work far from mainstream influences. The distance from New York City, or from any major art center, allows him to work independently with greater freedom, be master of his convictions, and undeterred by trends and fashions. Yet, whenever Witkin exhibits his art — and he continually does — his paintings dominate whatever gallery or museum they are in. As a result, his enormous following includes many people who travel great distances to see whatever Witkin exhibits. Witkin’s sensitivity to social issues of justice and injustice was formed early. In Brooklyn, he was born one of triplets. His sister died at birth, but he grew up with his identical twin brother Joel. Unheard of in 1939, Witkin’s father was Jewish and his mother Catholic. The schism made the intelligent child question who he was, where he owed his allegiance, and how he fit in. The dilemma raised conflicts and questions, particularly because the marriage
Taken, 2002-03, oil on canvas, 108”x348” (4 panels).
broke up and his youth was spent during the Holocaust era when news of the war and what was happening to Jews by non-Jews was a never ending topic. Drawn to art to express the unexplainable, at seven Witkin went to a Catholic after-school art program run by nuns. Although he continued for several years, the child questioned their rigid approach to art-making and their offering a conformist point-of-view for a boundless activity. As a teen he attended the prestigious Music and Art High School, composed largely of Jewish students and Jewish teachers, where he was impressed with feeling comfortable in this highly intellectual and freely inquiring atmosphere. With a Catholic upbringing, he struggled to choose which belief system suited him. He resolved the conflict into a valuable salvo: “arrive at your own ideals and stick to them.” Witkin grew into the quintessential promising young art student, winning a scholarship to the then fairly new Skowhegan School of Art in Maine. Never being out of
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Greenpoint, the Brooklyn boy rubbed elbows with such greats and social minded artists as Isabel Bishop, George Grosz, Jack Levine, Rafael Soyer, and Ben Shahn. For the first time, he saw how professional, committed artists conduct their lives, pursue their art, and were undaunted in expressing their beliefs. Excelling in art as an older teen, Witkin became complacent until, as an undergraduate, he met at Cooper Union his instructor, the painter Victor Candel. Witkin, now a bit smug and lacking humility, was ignored by his instructor, who never invited him for a crit as he did other students. Realizing that something was wrong, Witkin asked Candel for a crit. Candel, a very small man with a thick accent left to go to the library, returning with a huge art history book. He opened it to Michelangelo’s Pieta. The two stared in silence, until Candel said: “Vitkin, do you think she is babysitting?” This perceptive statement caused an immediate paradigm shift, as Witkin, realizing the shallowness of what he had been creating, understood the message. Never again did he make art that was meaningless. Today Witkin spends from two to three years to complete a painting. They are not only large in size, but immense in concept, context, and spirit. He works on a series and rotates the work, spending a great deal of time in contemplation and down and dirty paint work. A characteristic of Witkin’s brush is how the marks change depending on what he paints. In scenes of goodness and perfection, his strokes sing, lovingly applied, glistening with grandeur. But when he deals with unsettling subjects of human aberrations, the brush begins to growl, strokes become distorted, and colors are duller. Witkin’s paintings are never uniform in expression. Seen in a larger context of paint applications -- brushstrokes, colors, textures, and composition -- they each respond to the narrative as powerful voices that insist on being heard. Witkin has taken on difficult, even impossible subjects of a lone individual or a group of individuals who display superhuman courage to right a wrong: the Holocaust, Black History, Martin Luther King, the Trial of Adolph Eichmann, Hiroshima, 9/11, and obscure saints and heroes, as well as homage to artists he admires — Käthe Kollwitz and Rembrandt Van Rijn. The apex of Witkin’s talents is
when his heroic protagonist intuits the need to fearlessly stands up for principles — even against all odds — and in the end, triumphs. With honest yet wry humor, Witkin states: “I don’t know how to make polite paintings.” In 2001, Witkin created six irregularly shaped panels on the theme of the Holocaust. They were shown at the 2006 Broken Beauty exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, CA. The exhibition, a theme rarely examined, looked at the dark side of suffering. But there was a lighter side too, as artists selected for the exhibition showed that the human spirit always moves towards resolution, even when beauty is broken. Like the Hebrew language, Witkin’s paintings, entitled Entering Darkness, is read from right to left. The narrative is based on a diary of a little known Christian nurse from Minnesota, Dorothy Wahlstrom, who, in 1945, was among the first liberators to enter Dachau, the infamous concentration camp. Witkin places the nurse in every panel, except the third. Dressed in her angelic white uniform, Wahlstrom moves through the panels. Flashlight in hand, her healthy purity is a sharp contrast to the filth surrounding her and the hell that was the camp. For Witkin, creating the series was his response to atrocities, portraying horrors at their most glaring. His goal was to shed light on truth. Witkin’s contribution to the Broken Beauty exhibition is his conviction that evil can never be eradicated unless it is recognized and exposed. In the last panel, the evil now exposed changes Wahlstrom. She sits meditatively alone on a cot wearing her military jacket, as the freed survivors leave healthy and renewed. In his work, Witkin creates for those among us who realize that art can be a powerful weapon. Wrenching subjects in the hands of a lesser artist would be impossible to reduce to a canvas or a series of canvasses. But here is where Witkin is master. Through his forthright paintings, he tackles, head on, the nature of ignobility, plowing deeply through the muck that is hell until he arrives at portraying, in epic proportions, the noble soul of a rare few. For this alone, Jerome Witkin’s art will stand the test of time, become classic, and will be appreciated far into the future.
Jerome Witkin: (opposite page top) Rocco’s Garage: The Light Before Rain, 2001, oil on canvas, 36”x56”; (opposite page bottom) The German Girl, 1997, oil on canvas, 80”x124” overall; (directly below) Vincent Van Gogh and Death, 1987, mixed media drawing, 84”x48”; (bottom of this page) The Insult And Young Martin, 2004-2007, oil on canvas, 25’ 6” (five panels). Images courtesy of Jack Rutberg Fine Arts.
Letter from Washington, DC F. Lennox Campello The new buzz around the DC art scene these days has been art,” said Mera Rubell. “DC is known for its extraordinary created by the announcement of a new type of art fair comcultural institutions and as an international political capital, ing to DC later this year. The fair will be called (e)merge and and we’ve discovered it also has a uniquely plugged-in, vital the organizers describe it as a “vetted art fair focused on and energetic arts community that’s poised for broader recemerging artists and ognition.” galleries with emergApplications for galing art.” The fair will leries, nonprofits, and run September 22artists will be available 25, 2011, at the Moron (e)merge’s Web site ris Lapidus-designed in the near future. A Capitol Skyline hotel committee of internain Washington, DC, tional art professionals which is owned by the will evaluate submiswell-known and highly sions. Artists, currently respected art collectwithout representaing couple Mera and tion, wishing to exhibit Don Rubell and adjawill submit proposals cent to the site of the for experimental projtheir future museum. ects in noncommercial According to the orformats. Vetting and ganizers (Leigh Conadvisory committee ner and Jamie Smith, lists will be announced co-founders of Conat a later date. Addiner Contemporary in tional info about the Washington, DC, and art fair is available at Helen Allen, founder emergeartfair.com. and former director of PULSE Contemporary Elsewhere in the DMV Art Fair), “(e)merge (how locals describe will feature multiple the area or “District – platforms: dozens of Maryland – Virginia”): international galleralthough we saw a sigies; artist, curator and nificant decrease in collector panel discusthe number of DMV sions and tours; pergalleries attending the formances; and, exhiArt Basel art fair week bition opportunities extravaganza in Miami for artists currently last December, one of without representathe consistent fair partion to present, free of ticipants is Civilian Art charge, performances, Projects, and their exinstallations, intervenhibition titled “climate, tions or other work. control,” a three-per“There’s an exciting son exhibition curated art scene happening by Kristina Bilonick Sam Gilliam, "Nite III", 2011, acrylic on birch, 30 x 17.5 x 4.75 inches. in DC and I’m thrilled and Karyn Miller feathat Capitol Skyline will be the site of (e)merge. This fair is turing J.J. McCracken, Jan Razauskas, and Millicent Young a fresh, original and provocative approach to experiencing is one not to miss this winter. The exhibition title “climate,
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control” refers to the artists' “response to their immediate surroundings” and since the three artists in this exhibition work in drastically different materials, that response will be an interesting one to observe. I suspect that the superbly talented J.J. McCracken will steal this show as she often does whenever she’s in a group show environment. McCracken is just one of those wizards who have the rare gift of transforming mundane materials and objects into sublime conceptual realizations. This is a rare talent in a postmodernist era where often ideas are more interesting than their artistic delivery. Sam Gilliam (see opposite page) is the DMV’s best known and most accomplished artist, and his newest paintings are on exhibition at Marsha Mateyka Gallery through March 22. These new works continue Gilliam’s abduction of painting from the common stretched canvas onto all kinds of new substrates. What Gilliam has done so intelligently over the many years of his historical practice, and continues to do with this exhibition, J.J. McCracken, Libation Vessel, with Young Rhizopus Hyphae, 2008, archival pigment print, 28”x23”, edition: 4. is to guide the reinvention of painting through a variety of new places and things where the paint itself finds anchor to deliver (Director of The Kreeger Museum), Marsha Mateyka (Gilbeauty and composition. Concurrent with this show, "Sam liam’s dealer and owner of the Marsha Mateyka Gallery) Gilliam: Flour Mill", a site specific installation at The Philand Claudia Rousseau (a well-known DMV art critic and lips Collection (as part of the museum's "90 Years of New" art historian). As stated by Rousseau, “Creating a group celebration) opened at the end of January and continues portfolio and exhibiting together express the ideas of unity through April 24, 2011. and identity that are underlying motives of the project, and Gilliam’s deep footprint on the DMV art scene is also which are vital to sustaining a thriving artistic communion view at the Kreeger Museum, where their show titled In ty.” This show, like any group show, has its weaknesses and Unison: 20 Washington, DC Artists was essentially a show strengths. On the latter, the venerable E.J. Montgomery, derived from a monoprint project initiated by Sam Gilliam. and the multi-talented Martha Jackson-Jarvis and Michael To put together the Kreeger show, Gilliam invited 19 esB. Platt delivered superb entries to the show, while acadetablished and respected painters, sculptors, printmakers, micians Paula Crawford and Walter Kravitz disappointed digital media and installation artists working in different somewhat. The show goes through February 26 styles, to join him in creating several print portfolios. Each artist then made a set of five monoprints, one of which was For more Washington, DC, news from Lenny Campello, chosen for the show by Sam Gilliam, Judy A. Greenberg read his blog online at dcartnews.blogspot.com. Feature
PROFILE: GINA GENIS by Roberta Carasso
Gina Genis uses her camera as her inner eye, panning intensely to excavate hidden behaviors of the human condition. I first saw Genis’ images at the highly touted OsCene exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA. OsCene is in its third incarnation, a type of biannual of the best local artists. Genis exhibited some of her Window Peeping series by peering into windows of senior citizens at night and finding out how they live. Like a voyeur, Genis created another series, entitled Things We Leave Behind. Genis asked to go into a deceased man’s house and discovered his tendencies to hoard. At first going into strangers’ home felt intrusive, but the discoveries were worth the inconveniences. She was introduced to collections, compulsions, and things people find important to save, personal effects, letters, utensils, and objects of nostalgia. Everyone seeks his own details and everyone is obsessive in some way. Genis captured these in rare photos that
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tell much about the individual soul and its desire to keep its secrets. The two series — Window Peeping and The Things We Leave Behind — reveal Genis’ dedication to showing how society is getting older and how the elderly are treated. In this sense, her work is often a social commentary based on factual research. Even in her 20s she understood that people can become invisible. Our youth obsessed culture can even make people feel and be discarded. Needless to say, the photographs brought her much attention. They were filled with life and loneliness, pain, deprivation, and ways of coping in a society where the elderly and sickly can easily be forgotten. Window Peeping won Genis a dual solo exhibit at Cypress College, along with another series entitled Kala (a Sanskrit word for time). Genis was unexpectedly juried into the Minneapolis Photo Center show with August at Inspiration Point, an image from the
Kala series. It has to do with our responsibilities with controlling nature; or, as she questions - is it possible? As in all her photography, Genis is a deep thinker, offering the viewer something to chew on while never presenting “just a pretty picture.” Genis’ latest endeavor is entitled the Tunnel series. The best of these were exhibited in November 2010 at Notion Fine Art in Laguna Beach. It began when she was given specialized lenses by the lens company who sponsored her work. Genis came upon a tunnel at Aliso Creek Beach and walked into it, camera in hand. This led unexpectedly to an emotional response to a completely fresh situation. With the idea that some people are afraid of the dark and in a tunnel there is that proverbial light at its end, Genis began to shoot, eager to see what would transpire. Because of back lighting,
the bright light came out in distortions of colors, creating a strange luminosity from the irregularity of light waves moving in a circumscribed area. The colors look eerie even manipulated, although they are not, and always appear wonderful. In them, Genis captures an enchanting scenario
Genis: (top) image from Things We Leave Behind series, (bottom) from Window Peeping series.
where the scene seems real, but the distortion of light and color catch the viewer off guard. Intrigued by the new effects of light, Genis realized that the tunnel offered her enormous lighting possibilities. Artists have always been captivated by the contrast of light and dark. The idea of chiaroscuro was first used in the Renaissance to distinguish the sharp contrast of light from dark and to delineate an object. Over centuries, artist found that light and darkness afford broader meaning that became essential to the contemporary artistic vocabulary. In her current series, Genis shows us the essence of darkness as it contrast with the essence of light and how colors become altered because of the combination back lighting and the architectural nature of tunnel that forces light into one area. Although the Tunnel series was a particular situation, for Genis, it is when she is actually shooting that the work sparks ideas. Characteristically, her work is a reaction to a highly emotional situation that is neither happy nor pretty. As a professional, Genis spends a lot of time working through possibilities. She has been a serious photographer since she was 16, going on to complete a degree from Parsons The New School for Design in NYC. Photography was her first visual form and love. At first, photography meant designing for the theater. But being such an outdoors person, photography then meant hours and hours in the dark room. Who would want to spend beautiful days indoors when the world of nature beckoned outside? Genis could not bring herself to be inside. She shifted to being a painting major. Still drawn to photography, she became involved with mixed media of illuminated manuscripts because she could combine photography and painting. But a miracle occurred; the digital camera came on the scene. In 2004 she bought her first digital camera, another in 2006, and another 2007. With each photograph-
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ic improvement, she came closer and closer to working as if she were painting with great clarity. It is important to add, that having the intimate experience of working in a dark room and watching the development of an image from its inception to completion has added to her visual expertise. Even when using a digital camera, Genis is always aware of the photographic process and the best ways to bring an image to fruition. Perhaps that is why I believes that Gina Genis is a photographer to be watched. For more information, visit ginagenis.com
NEW YORK CITY Los Carpineteros Sean Kelly Chelsea [through Mar 19]
LOS CARPINTEROS: (top) Cuarteto, 2011 (detail), painted wood, metal and chromed bronze, unique. (bottom) Sala de Lectura Ovalada, 2011 (interior detail) Ultralight MDF, 118.13”x276.5”x 166.87”, unique with 1AP. Photos: Jason Wyche, New York. Both works © Los Carpinteros. Courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery, New York.
Hope Gangloff Susan Inglett SoHo [through Mar 12] (right) Gangloff, Polish Springs and Things, 2011, Acrylic on canvas, 36”x58” / 38”x61”x2.5”.
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Los Carpinteros are without question the most significant artists to have emerged from Cuba in the last decade. The central theme in their work is the idea of transformation. According to the artists, that transformation sometimes occurs “in the morphology and physicality of an object and at other times in its meaning, interpretation and function.” As such, Los Carpinteros allow the titles “to reveal something, a certain form of meaning or to subvert the official meaning that people attribute to things.” The title of the new exhibition, Rumba Muerta, is meant to conjure up an imaginary world evocative of the dying notes at the end of a bittersweet song. The exhibition will be comprised of three distinct sculptural installations. Luces del Estadio del Pueblo (People´s Stadium Lights) will be installed in the first gallery and alludes to an ambivalent symbolism sometimes associated with urban architectural structures. Its form is inspired by the PanAmerican stadium in Havana, which was built for the PanAmerican Games in 1991. The stadium was intended to be a symbol of economic strength, but instead became an indicator of the acute financial crisis that occurred during the Nineties. The harsh glare of the lights from the imposing sculptures will
flood the gallery as a reminder of the perennial threat of observation in totalitarian regimes. The second gallery will contain Cuarteto (see left), a melted salsa band comprised of drums, congas and a standup bass. The work addresses politics and ideologies with the artists’ trademark sense of humor. The musical instruments appear to be melting into brightly colored pools on the ground, as if they had been exposed to high temperature or pressure – literally having a “meltdown” – a metaphor for the psychological meltdown of individuals in some constrained societies. Sala de Lectura Ovalada (see left), a ten-foot high reading room devoid of books, will be installed in the main gallery, surrounded by three large-scale drawings. The installation references ideas about confinement through the control of individuals and information. This reading room, which functions as both furniture and architecture, takes its shape from panopticon prisons, a configuration developed in the 18th century allowing a centrally placed guard to watch prisoners without them being aware that they are being observed and monitored. Rumba Muerta is timed to coincide with this year’s Armory Show, which focuses on Latin American art.
Hope Gangloff’s is a life examined and perceptively recorded with unfailing attention to detail. Paintings of friends and colleagues capture a personal American Vision, a modern day Dick and Nicole Diver who by some turn of events have found themselves inhabiting a Brooklyn coldwater flat. Psychological portraits, each picture hints at a back story and inner life as suggested by the artist’s frenzied line and distinctive palette. Gangloff paints
a picture of being in a modern world, an eloquent hard won beauty. [Concurrently a survey of Hope Gangloff ’s work can be seen at the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, CT.]
EXHIBITIONS In the 1980’s, Mel Kendrick was recognized for his small-scaled sculptures carved from wood. By cutting, slicing, rearranging, gluing and doweling fragments of wooden blocks, Kendrick created eccentric vertical configurations suggesting spiraling movement and expression while at the same time evoking the static and anchored aspects of totems and primitive art. In 1995, however, Kendrick broke radically with the work of the previous decade to embrace a more conceptual and analytical approach to material and process. This reappraisal, as well as a new acknowledgement of the anthropomorphic nature of the vertical objects, exposed more clearly the informal narrative. As his approach became more straightforward and his decision-making was made more visible, fewer cuts severed the wood while bases and supports for the pieces became subject matter within the sculptures themselves. This exhibition, Works from 1995 to Now, features five sculptures and work on paper. In “Black Trunk,” one of the sculptures in the exhibition from 1995, a formidable, hollowed out tree trunk has been cut apart horizontally and reassembled. Dovetail joints originally held the sculpture together but were later removed when Kendrick realized that by the pressure of its own weight, the sculpture would remain intact and standing. Voids left by the dovetails allow light to permeate the dark brooding mass of the emptied whole that measures close to ten feet tall. Kendrick inked the cylindrical surface of “Black Trunk” to create a ‘woodblock’ of the surface entitled “Trunk Drawing.”
In a surprising result, the print becomes a seismographic read out of the process of the reconstruction of the trunk with the dovetails functioning as markers on the time line. “BDF” (“Big Daddy Fun” 1995) is the only cast sculpture in the exhibition. Comprised of a grotesquely gnarled and cut tree branch standing next to its cast rubber double, both objects appear poised in ungainly mid-step. Kendrick was interested in pairing two objects in which one emerges from the other yet remains unique, much like Robert Rauschenberg’s fascinating yet absurd and ultimately futile attempt at creating identical paintings with “Factum I” and “Factum II.” Dialectical relationships also came into Kendrick’s visual vocabulary of pairings when he began to think in terms of interior versus exterior space--and top versus bottom. In “First Coring” (2000), the inside pulp of the limb of a tree was cored out and reassembled in jigsaw fashion right next to the bark or “skin” of the same element. White plastic ties suture the exterior of the branch together while steel rods, bolts, and nuts support the interior. A similar process is employed in the making of “Plug and Shell” (2000), “plug” referring to the hollowed out part of the sculpture and “shell” to the exterior skin. In this case, the rough and highly recognizable “treeness” of the exterior serves as a stark contrast to its denuded twin. Mel Kendrick currently lives in New York. Most recently, Kendrick’s sculpture was featured in the Mad. Sq. Art Public Program at Madison Square Park in New York 2008-2009. Beginning March 26, his new work will be shown at Mary Boone.
Cast, a collection of recent works by Kris Scheifele, is comprised of a selection of works from the artist’s Contortion series project, exploring the process and the investigation of what paint can do physically. Scheifele’s objects, which she labels as Contortions, are created by the buildup of acrylic paint applied in layers on top of one another. These coated slabs are pulled up, then sliced, carved, and/or peeled, and hung on the wall. When hung, gravity takes over, which stretches, sags, and bends the Contortions into shapes that allude to time,
physical presence, and the manipulation of human form. The work is raw in both its process and presentation, as it displays paint solely as paint. These pulled and pierced shapes comment on the common tradition of supports by eliminating them all together, while creating a fresh display of art as material. Kris Scheifele’s work has been included in numerous shows, including exhibitions at CUE Art Foundation, PS122 Gallery, 92YTribeca, and LMAK Projects. She was a 2009 Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant recipient.
Mel Kendrick David Nolan Chelsea [Mar 17 - Apr 30]
Mel Kendrick: (top) Big Daddy Fun, 1995; (bottom) Plug And Shell, 2000.
Kris Scheifele Janet Kurnatowski Brooklyn [through Mar 20]
Scheifele, Sacrificial Contortion, 2010, acrylic paint, acetate, 70"x18"x26". Photo: Cary Wittier.
EXHIBITIONS Caroline Walker Ana Cristea Chelsea [through Mar 16]
Caroline Walker: (top) Vantage Point, 2010, oil on canvas, 71.5”x 83”; (bottom) Conservation, 2010, oil on canvas, 79”x114”. Courtesy of the artist and Ana Cristea Gallery.
Mark Lombardi Pierogi Brooklyn [through Apr 3] Mark Lombardi: (top) Bill Clinton, the Lippo Group, and Jackson Stephens of Little Rock, Arkansas (5th Version), 1999, graphite and colored pencil on paper, 61.25”x80.5”. (bottom) Inner Sanctum: The Pope and His Bankers Michele Sindona and Roberto Calvi, ca. 1959-82 (5th Version) , 1998, colored pencil and graphite on paper, 56.5”x126.25”. Photos: John Berens.
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Vantage Point, British artist Caroline Walker's first solo exhibition in the United States, beckons the viewer into a strange world somewhere between the real and the virtual; a world the French philosopher Michel Foucault has called 'the utopia of the placeless place.' The works Walker has made for this show derive from sets she created in a house in London. Yet though the starting point for Walker's work is an actual place, the strange and unexpected vantage points she exploits result in a painted world that feels like a surreal version of reality. The scenes she creates open up, turn around and delve behind the surfaces of mirrors. With their vertiginous angles and strategically-placed, suggestive props (rubber gloves, hair clips, plastic bags, oranges), Walker's paintings are indebted to both Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958) and the recent film Chloe (2009), which opens with the female protagonist looking at herself in a mirror. Paintings of the past and present are even more obvious influences on Walker's work. Hockney's early L.A. interiors come to mind, as does Manet's lively depiction of the mirrored Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882), but the domestic scenes and nudes are also reminiscent of the Euston Road School and Lucian Freud. In choosing to engage with the female model as subject,
Walker follows in a long and grand tradition. But as a younger woman depicting a slightly older, often sensuous yet vulnerable woman, Walker is arguably turning that tradition on its head as the viewer is confronted with a kind of implied sisterhood: one woman observing another's toilet, empathising with her anxieties and insecurities, and laughing with her as she cavorts in her underwear and explores the unknown terrain of a stranger's house. Walker only works with one female model at a time, but because of the mirror, her subject is endlessly repeatable. Is the woman she depicts engaging with multiple versions of herself, or is Walker playing with her own various imaginings of her subject? Certainly the viewer is privy to an intensely focused drama: a woman's seemingly private moments made public in a dream-like atmosphere. The mirror that recurs in Walker's work (and that has been historically associated with vanity or esoteric knowledge) is surely the most obvious manifestation of her interest in objects with special symbolic and art historical resonance. At times disturbing, at others humorous or even wondrous, Walker's paintings direct the viewer to a world that is both familiar and strange. Neither wholly real nor fully imagined, it is indeed a 'placeless place.'
Mark Lombardi (1951-2000) is primarily known for his diagrammatic drawings that he referred to as “narrative structures.” This exhibition will include a number of those drawings — from simple preparatory sketches to precisely executed pieces — but will also focus on the working process he employed to develop and complete them; featuring a reading area with a selection from his reference books, the sole video interview with the artist, and other materials. Lombardi was fascinated by the subjects of his drawings and became interested in the topics long before he incorporated
them into his artwork. He continued to be fascinated by power relationships and avidly followed reporting on the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s and early '90s. He became interested in writing on these topics but, at a certain point, realized that the diagrams he'd begun making — keeping the details visually organized in order to keep them organized in his mind — were potentially of much more interest than his writing. The same research materials he'd used for his writing became the source material for his drawings; primarily syndicated news articles and published books, by this time. A selection of these materials will be included in the exhibition. On view will be the full length version of the sole video interview where the artist describes and demonstrates his working process. Also included are rarely-seen, black and white abstract paintings.
WASHINGTON / BOSTON Image/Fame/Memory features works by four major portrait and documentary photographers: Curtis Knapp, Gerard Malanga, Billy Name, and Kate Simon. They are all known for the iconic power of their images in circulating fame and contributing to the cultural memory of the past four decades. Many of the photographs are being exhibited for the first time. Two of the photographers, Billy Name and Kate Simon, have also recently collaborated with Shepard Fairey in the creation of new images that extend the memory and symbolic power of the original photographs in a new medium and new cultural moment. Fame, celebrity, and memory are inseparable from
the photographic image as it circulates in all forms of media. As Madonna herself famously said in her 1991 movie, Truth or Dare, "what’s the point of doing anything off camera?" Most of the people represented in these images are known through many years of conventional celebrity photo genres--magazine spreads, staged promotional shots, and media coverage. The photographs in Image/Fame/Memory were selected to show photographers working in more personal, reflective, candid, and interpretive ways with their subjects, creating images that compel us to reconsider the people known only through multiple streams of photographic imagery.
Amend, an exhibition of 6 photographs from Canadian collaborative team Nicholas & Sheila Pye. In this exhibition, the Pyes once again perform in front of the camera to create a series of tableaux that reflect the transition from their union to their separation from one another. The artists explore the powerful ties that unite people on different levels, even during separation and departure. In these six works the artists delve into powerful subjects such as the death of a relationship, vulnerability, denial, acceptance and release with an ambiguous undercurrent of hopeful transformation and resurrection. The Pyes relentlessly blur the borders between their lives and their art as they tackle the highly charged yet poetic is-
sues that arise from their own relationship. The Pyes allude to their own relationship in a creative way, yet their work shares universal themes about a union that is no longer tenable between people. One trenchant aspect of this body of work is that the Pyes give the impression that they are faking their deaths to take mortality, blame, and repentance into account. The title, Amend, refers to the modification of their relationship in search of something better and raises questions about what it means to get angry, to refuse, to love and lose, to accept that change and be forever altered. [This exhibition coincides with the presentation of their three-channel video installation, The Coronation, at The Phillips Collection.]
Jack Schneider is painterly, as long as we don’t mean the return to abstraction as art. He, and other painters of today, slur both abstractions and representations, ignoring the idea of a single reality from which abstractions can be made. The fervent rendition of inaccuracy and the anchoring of this similarity in difference, is the practical representation of our experiences. Oddly similar to the bold graphic and geometric themes of Kenneth Noland/Louis and their muse, Frankenthaler, the hounds tooth pattern is used by Schneider as a scalable
graphic linked to retail backgrounds and the subliminal issue of captivation and social issues like gender that are unavoidable when considering salesmanship. Imperfect and worn, the surface of these works are alive. He distances his work further from the European model of easel painting and American abstraction, in the way he handles surface in his paintings and sculptures: he treats them as equals. His optically corrupt surfaces are not blunders but instead emphasize the boundary between optical trick and subjective insight. -John Pyper
“Image/Fame/Memory” Irvine Washington DC [Mar 11 - Apr 16]
Shepard Fairey (in collaboration with Billy Name and Kate Simon), Nico, canvas screenprint, 2010, collaborative image with photograph by Billy Name.
Nicholas & Sheila Pye Curator’s Office Wash DC [through Apr 2]
Nicholas & Sheila Py, Amend, 2010, archival digital C-print mounted onto aluminum, ed. 1/5 from an edition of 5 + 2 APs. Courtesy of Curator's Office, Washington, DC.
Jack Schneider Anthony Greaney Boston [through Mar 31]
Jack Schneider, installation view.
LOS ANGELES Terry Allen and Rebecca Campbell L.A. Louver Venice [Mar 10 - Apr 16]
(top) Terry Allen, Ghost Ship, 2010 , mixed media variable dimensions, ship suspended approximately 4' above floor, overall: 14'x15'x10', floor space: 15' x 15'. (bottom) Rebecca Campbell, Bang 1, 2010, oil on canvas, 16 x 12 in. Images courtesy of LA Louver.
Katrin Kampmann Garboushian Beverly Hills [Mar 19 - Apr 30]
Kampmann: (top) Beauty Mark, Indian ink, acrylic, print and oil on canvas, 120 x 140 cm. (bottom) Goodbye Tomorrow. Indian ink, acrylic, linocut and oil on canvas, 250 x 400 cm.
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This new multimedia, multi-dimensional exhibition by Terry Allen that includes two video/sculpture installations, a soundbased environment, and over a dozen multi-paneled works on paper. In GHOST SHIP RODEZ: The Momo Chronicles, Allen pursues a fictional investigation of what may have happened in the mind of French artist, playwright and actor Antonin Artaud during a 17-day journey restrained in the dark hold of the freighter Washington in 1937, and later, in various mental institutions. Allen developed this visual and sound-based exhibition from his ideas and sets for a theatre piece, also titled Ghost Ship Rodez. A 40-minute recording of the performance features in the installation that is presented in L.A. Louver’s south gallery. In this sound-based piece, acclaimed actress, writer and artist Jo Harvey Allen performs as the voice of “Daughter of the Heart,” a clairvoyant chameleon and multi-voiced narrator. The exhibition will also feature two large-scale video/sculpture works: Ghost Ship, 2010, evokes the Katrin Kampmann has arisen as the pioneer of Berlin’s burgeoning neue junge wilde (“new young wild”) art scene—a painterly movement marked by gestural strokes of color and a simultaneous layering and leveling of visual information. Central to Kampmann’s work is the battery of pictorial dismemberments— of the icon from the real thing, of the event from its aftermath, of the signal from the noise, of the two-dimensional rendering from its four-dimensional reality, and of the image where it’s created from the image where it’s displayed—which the artist exacts upon the viewer. Using a range of media and techniques—linocuts, oil, acrylic, watercolors, and Indian ink—painted, printed and poured onto the canvas, Kampmann reveals (and conceals) layers of phenomenological possibility. Negative space and positively charged color dominate Kampann’s canvases, while compositional hierarchies themselves appear to be dismembered—
environment of the ship hold and the cot to which Artaud was laid captive, and includes screens with projected excerpts of films in which Artaud performed. The second, MOMO Lo Mismo, 2010, is a videobased multi-screened installation presented in marionette form, with projections of Jo Harvey Allen’s “Daughter of the Heart” performance. Romancing the Apocalypse, an exhibition of new paintings by Rebecca Campbell, is a meditation on extremes. Her subjects are drawn from both nature: the ephemeral light of rainbows and the radiance of young girls, and the man-made: the spectacular light of fireworks and the power of the atomic bomb. Campbell captures the energy of her subjects using broad, sweeping brushstrokes, and a rich, varied palette, in over a dozen, smaller-scale paintings (no larger than 20” x 12”). These singular subjects, are accompanied by two large paintings (4’x8’ and 5’x7’), each of which explores a complex psychological drama and extremes of sensory experience. central figures and their surrounding environments seem to be given equal value in an abstracted tableau in which pop and historical references spring up against personalized narratives, both real and imagined. The return to painting, and the possibilities held therein, is a central tenet of the neue junge wilde scene mushrooming in a naturally spontaneous response to the multimedia art trend that has dominated German art and art schools over the past two decades. Drawing its name from Germany’s Junge Wilde (“young wild”) movement—a neo-expressionist painting style that centered in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne in the 1980s—the neue junge wilde shares with its predecessor an emphasis on subjectivity and private coded language, as well as gesture and strong coloring. As a former master student of Karl Horst Hödicke (often considered the “Father of the Junge Wilde”), Kampmann is a natural de facto spearhead of the painterly revolution currently taking place in Berlin.
EXHIBITIONS Mike Saijo’s latest exhibition features a mixed-media installation depicting moments in history of unexpected and lesser know cultural convergence. By looking at three different ethnographic subcultures; Japanese-Americans, African Americans, and the Jewish communities in and around the Los Angeles area, Saijo discovered that the cultural histories of each group all shared one vast intersecting history. Though ideologically different, each culture has a shared struggle and a shared human experience. Saijo also discovered that part of this shared experience was realized directly through shared space, namely the city of Los Angeles where each culture played an integral role in the daily lives of one another. The various ways in which these groups historically and spacialy con-
verged are what created both the physical and the social landscape of modern day Los Angeles. Saijo’s Project is an attempt to reconsider this history as cultural material and to explore the various ways in which cultural material is produced. These works are new development for Saijo, known for his large scale ‘book pieces’ deconstructing books into art surfaces, primarily with xerox transfer. For this show, Saijo has not entirely forgone pages but instead created a series whose narrative is best expressed through through photography, sketching, collage, and most notably, trans-historical paintings done in a contemporary style. The works stay true to his explorations in reorganising spacial, historical and cultural relationships to find deeper meaning. - Tracy Lefebvre
In Camp Alpha, a solo exhibition by Christopher Pate, the artist sees the US military base Camp Alpha in Babylon, Iraq as a touch point for how history becomes fodder for progress. Camp Alpha was controversially constructed upon a sensitive archaeological site in which areas were leveled to accommodate helipads and parking lots for heavy vehicles. The exhibition Camp Alpha is not specifically an investigation of the base and its political and moral implications, but rather a meditation on the type of human activity it represents. Residents of Los Angeles are keenly aware of how artifacts of the past are built upon, demolished or otherwise cleared away for new construction, often at an alarming rate. This layering, whether violent and destructive, or carefully considered and engineered, enables new forms while leaving behind an irreversible void and sense of loss. We hold on to all we can grasp in the process, knowing that what we have before us will
someday fade as well.The artist explores this effect in paintings on burlap featuring found fabrics, collageoriented works on paper and digital prints. The works feature a dynamic hybridization of abstraction and representation. Pate is concerned with the physical structure of painting - a concern that has always operated in tandem with a focus on surface and pictorial qualities within abstraction. His use of vintage tablecloth “screens”, are a literal and conceptual grounding in the idea of actual space, particularly American space. A dialogue is formed not only with the historical content of the collaged elements, but with the style and sensibility of past graphic designers and in some cases, imagery of the art and artifacts of Native Americans. In the process of making these works, destruction and obfuscation of imagery takes place on surfaces that are abraded and layered upon. The resulting works offer both odes to the past and paeans to future possibilities.
Peter Tunney brings art and life to everything and everyone he encounters. Dictionary Daze; a solo exhibition of new works by the artist, is a presentation of his obsession with words and what he describes as “one of the most incredible books of all time.” Peter has spent serious time with dictionaries, looking up words, tearing up pages, glu-
ing them in his book, wallpapering small rooms, and covering his precious denitions to make paintings. Debuting his newest work and his first experience making silkscreens by his own hand, Peter shows us the lexicon from his unique perspective. Peter works painstakingly and meticulously to bring to life his art.
Caporale/Bleicher Santa Monica
[Mar 18 - Apr 5]
Saijo: (top) Sasajima; (bottom) Breed Street Schul.
Christopher Pate Marine Venice [through April]
Christopher Pate, United States, 2010, collage and mixed media on paper, 19.5”x19.75”.
Peter Tunney Kana Manglapus Venice [Mar 10 - Apr 18]
Peter Tunney, Remain Calm.
EXHIBITIONS James Benning and Jenny Herick Steve Turner Los Angeles [through Mar 12]
(top) James Benning, Two Faces, 2010, single channel video. (bottom) Jennry Herrick, installation view, 2011. Courtesy of Steve Turner Gallery.
William E. Jones David Kordansky Los Angeles [through Mar 26]
William E. Jones: (above) Spatial Disorientation, 2010, sequence of digital files, color, silent, 4:45 minutes, looped; (below) In Mathew Brady's Studio (detail), 2010, sequence of digital files, b&w, silent, 3 hrs 21 min, looped.
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Two Faces, a single channel video installation by James Benning, marks the filmmakerâ€™s recent transition to digital as well as to his return to installation. The piece is comprised of two three second shots of 16mm film digitally transferred and extended to twelve and a half minutes each that produces a disorienting picture of subtle change. At first the images appear to be stills but then reveal themselves to be gradually morphing. Over the last forty years, Benningâ€™s films have been acknowledged for their mastery of the static shot, for their mathematical precision, and for their composi-
tional integrity. In re-photographing film onto video, Benning has utilized technical incompatibility to make distortion poetic. Going Nowhere, a solo exhibition featuring new works by Los Angeles-based artist, Jenny Herrick. Through a series of gouache drawings, intaglio prints, video loops, and a laser-cut wood panel, the exhibition explores the futility of action. The show is comprised of objects whose forms deny their own potential, whose cyclical nature prevents progress, whose implied actions lead to their own demise and whose very existence are depictions of nonexistence.
William E. Jones is an artist, filmmaker, photographer and writer known for using appropriation, documentary and historical research to call attention to the inextricable relationships between images and power. In recent years his focus has shifted away from the production of films made to be screened in cinemas, and towards gallerybased works of extreme and concentrated visual impact. The exhibition will consist of three new movies, as well as two new printbased works, that investigate the roles of film and photography during moments of cultural upheaval. To create the movies, Jones applies formal and organizational strategies to existing photographs and film footage, seeking to reveal the hidden, and even suppressed, historical narratives latent in their content. Since Jones works on the frames individually in Photoshop and then sequences them as animations, each frame retains an incredibly high level of photographic detail, and the finished movies occupy an unstable position between film and video. In Mathew Brady's Studio makes use of 100 portraits taken by the seminal American photographer in his Washington, D.C. studio after the Civil War. These
images represent men prominent in the political establishment of the time, but Jones pays particular attention to the studio props with which their subjects are posed; 60 of the photographs feature a Greek-style patterned fabric, and 40 feature a vase with a floral relief. The movie consists of three loops projected next to each other. The sequence on the left zooms in and out of the fabric, the sequence on the right zooms in and out of the vase, and the projection in the center zooms slowly into the subject's face and ends at the eye closer to the camera. The work draws parallels between a transitional period in the country's past and the current political climate, in which divisions loom larger than shared interests. Spatial Disorientation utilizes film footage shot from the cockpit of a U.S. Air Force plane performing practice maneuvers in 1969, at the height of the Vietnam War, and is perhaps the most visually complex of the movies Jones has made to date. The looped image of a cloudy sky spins vertiginously as the plane spirals through the air. However, Jones worked and altered digital scans of each individual frame according to a rigorous mathematical system, creating a series of variations based on color and motion blurs applied to the image. During transitional moments, there are intense stroboscopic effects that challenge the viewer's ability to look at the work. By interacting with the material in this way, Jones brings out the psychedelic potential of military footage, forging an unlikely connection between cultural forces that are at direct odds with one another.
EXHIBITIONS Erica Steiner’s newest series of oil and gold leaf paintings, Heaven is Not the Wide Blue Sky, explores a collective longing to touch and know realms beyond, to transcend both time and existential uncertainty in the face of rapid environmental degradation on a globally unprecedented scale. The work dwells at the psychic intersection of imagined, archetypal pasts and paradoxically playful yet apocalyptic futures, at once seeking to confront the gravity of our current human predicament while finding refuge in the pursuit of deeper patterns and rhythms that pulse beneath the sur-
face of all life, imbuing the material world with beauty and life force. Incorporating elements of landscape, ornamentation and abstraction, the paintings employ a highly detailed visual language drawn from a wide range of influences, including traditional Indian, Tibetan Buddhist and Aboriginal painting, psychedelic art, contemporary graphic design, Japanese landscape painting, medieval Catholic illuminated manuscripts, mid-century modernism, Mexican folk art, and Victorian fashion. The work is rendered in oil and gold leaf on canvas, painted in many layers, over time.
Recent work by New York based artist Scott Campbell opens OHWOW’s Los Angeles gallery. In Noblesse Oblige, Campbell uses copper, currency, graphite, ink, and neon, to transform tattoo subculture iconography into delicate and tempered work. He expands his use of cut currency, sourcing uncut sheets of dollars directly from the United States Mint, to create large, intricate work with a sunken relief effect. One piece uses $5,000 worth of currency sheets to create an over two-foot cube, into which a three dimensional skull is carved-out. These works employ the familiar blue-collar vernacular of tattoo flash-boards — a skull smoking a cigarette, a skeleton's hand
in a provocative gesture, a single eye emitting a penetrating ray — and highlight the irony that exists within that imagery. Noblesse Oblige also includes a suite of prints. Using a tattoo gun, Campbell has engraved a collection of copper plates to make a group of etchings. By using the same plates to compose the separate prints, the artist plays with visual semantics — how meaning changes through arrangement. A series of drawings, executed onto the interior of ostrich eggshells, also flirt with interpretation. Morbid images, rendered in graphite onto these fragile surfaces that represent birth and transformation, point out the delicacy of opposition.
The Date Farmers, consisting of Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez, coined their name early in their careers after joining artistic forces in 1998. Their paintings, collages, sculptures, effigies, installations, and videos are infused with both commercial references and political content. Rooted in their Mexican-American heritage and Californian pop culture, their work contains elements influenced by graffiti, Mexican street murals, traditional revolutionary posters, prison art, Oaxacan sign painting, and tattoo art. The artists often travel across the border into Mexicali and Oaxaca scavenging for found materials such as discarded signs, wood, and corrugated metal that they reconfigure, often juxtaposing pirated images and text with their original artwork. The Date Farmers have been given free reign in mounting their ever-evolving ex-
hibition, morphing and customizing it into their highly idiosyncratic universe. The artists’ primal drive for personalization and craft within the playground of soulless advertisements makes the work intellectually stimulating and visually compelling. Originally from Indio, California, a desert region a few hours east of Los Angeles, the duo have been living and working on their art in the peaceful seclusion of the desert until recently when the two artists also took a studio in Los Angeles to assist them in creating their exhibition for Ace Gallery. The Date Farmers combine familiar pop iconography (e.g., Mickey Mouse, Darth Vader, Spiderman) – to “amended” corporate logos with figures from comics, folklore, and Catholicism. The duo uses larger-than-life figures and ideas, like Jesus and brand-names, in what they call “Super Loco.”
Erica Steiner Edgar Varela Los Angeles [Mar 12 - Apr 9]
Example of Erica Steiner’s new work.
Scott Campbell OHWOW Los Angeles [Mar 19 - Apr 22]
Scott Campbell, Studio View, 2011. Courtesy of OHWOW, Los Angeles.
The Date Farmers ACE Los Angeles [through April]
Armando Lerma & Carlos Ramirez as “The Date Farmers”, Peligro Los Derechos, 2010, acrylic & mixed media on canvas, 49.5"x49.75"x3.5". Image courtesy of ACE Gallery.
HEI MYUNG C. HYUN recent works february 26 - april 2, 2011 http://www.tpaulfineart.com
THOMAS PAUL FINE ART 7270 beverly boulevard los angeles, ca 90036 ph: (323) 525-0444
Suzy Barnard: atmosphere & undercurrents Now through March 26, 2011 Catalog with essay by art writer and curator DeWitt Chang available and introducing Luis Gutierrez
togonongallery.com 77 Geary Street San Francisco, California
Landscapes That Reflect Colliding Forces
(clockwise from bottom left) fluid redux, acrylic on panel, 36”x48”; safe keeping, acrylic on canvas, 36”x48"; deconcretize, acrylic on canvas, 48”x36”. All images 2010.
Ricky Allman's paintings are a hybrid of mountainous landscapes and architectural structures that juxtapose nature with the environment constructed by man. The artist manipulates light and space to create new experimental worlds that are both foreign and familiar to the viewer. Allman's paintings capture a sense of movement and space through the heavy use of varying perspective, layering, and complex connections. Tight, fine lines are balanced with loose, painterly strokes. Bold colors are contrasted with subtle, grounded tones. Geometric shapes commingle with organic masses. Allman's fascination is with contrasting forces that work with and against each other, that intersect and collide, shaping natural and man-made structures alike to create a captivating, challenging landscape for the viewer to experience. Allman's works often explore his struggle to reconcile the religious belief system he was raised with and his current
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world-view. His paintings are tinged with both an existential concern and a cautious optimism for the future. Although he grew up in a tradition concerned about apocalyptic events, he has become more interested in humanity's disregard for the future and the hope that such disregard can be overcome. Allman's inspiration for his work comes from a myriad of sources: everyday experiences and observations, environmental surroundings, current events, sci-fi movie stills, and reflections about the past and present. This series of works represents a new level of experimentation, maturity, technique and sophistication for the artist. Ricky Allman is an American painter born and raised in Provo, Utah. He is currently an assistant professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He received a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art, and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2007. For more information, visit rickyallman.com.
F. LENNOX CAMPELLO
“Superman flying naked and low to the ground in order to avoid radar” Charcoal on paper. 20x24 inches. Circa 2009.
ALIDA ANDERSON ART PROJECTS WASHINGTON, DC • ALIDAANDERSON.COM
MAYER FINE ART
NORFOLK, VA • MAYERFINEARTGALLERY.COM
PHILADELPHIA, PA • PROJECTSGALLERY.COM
IN HER OWN WORDS
Discovering Freedom in Artistic Expression
Myungwon Kim, Untitled 02, 2010, oil paint and 4 different black pigments mixed with acrylic paint on Mylar, 9.8’ x 16’.
I am interested in the physical act of making marks and the physicality of the materials that I use in my art work. My body becomes a tool, and I begin to explore the medium. The series of black paintings are an investigation of color and medium as well as a documentation of my intimate relationship with them. I believe my intuition to study my medium could be credited to my father. With a doctorate in western philosophy and as a professor at university in Korea, my father is also a published poet and calligrapher. Growing up in Korea, I have spent a lot of time watching my father perfect his calligraphy. He practiced his brush strokes over and over until he mastered them. Each stroke and the marks symbolized precision and discipline and a clear meaning. It was fascinating to watch the controlled movements of his body and the direct results of the ink on the tip of his brush leaving a purposeful mark on the paper. He fully understood his materials; the brush, the sumi ink and the rice paper and the relationship between them.
I decided I wanted to be an artist and attended Maryland Institute College of Art. In my drawing class, the professor challenged us to create a drawing with unusual tools. I was always drawn to Janine Antonil’s photograph of her using her hair. I was inspired and decided to use my hair. With a big piece of paper on the floor and a bucket full of sumi ink, I dipped my hair and began to draw. It was one of the most liberating experiences of my life. I gave up a certain amount of control because I could not see what kinds of marks I was making and instead I relied entirely on my body and my movements. After I finished, I looked at my work, it was almost calligraphic, I knew where I started and where I finished and was left with an imprint of my experience. I was also interested in lithography, a printmaking technique, during this time. I was drawn to lithography for its labor-intensive and process-oriented medium and I wanted learn more about it. I applied and was accepted to Tamarind Institute, a print shop Artists
Myungwom Kim, Untitled 01, 2010, oil paint and 4 different black pigments mixed with acrylic paint on Mylar, 9.8’ x 12’.
and school to train future Lithography printmakers and masters. After graduating from the most intensive printmaking program, I then realized that I knew how to deal with the process of lithography, that I had a feeling for it, and that I could use the technique in a way that it hadn’t been used before. So I had a certain freedom to move right into it and incorporate the process of lithography into my drawings. I started using mylar (thin transparent film) instead of paper and Xerox toner instead of sumi ink, which is commonly used in the process of printmaking. I started to invest a lot of time not only drawing with my hair and body but also slowly started to use different domestic tools around me to create different sizes and style of marks. I became more physical with my work. There was still something to work-out in my black and white drawings. The drawing created a type of discourse that I did not want in terms involving the viewer’s experience. I did not want the viewer to look at the work and automatically assume the piece purely as abstract expressionist and walk away. I slowly realized that the white brought out drama, emotion, visual
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texture, and the illusion of dimension to the work. I had to eliminate the white and started spending more time on my primary material - black. I had always been using the color black in my work but something about the Xerox toner black on top of mylar gave a different kind of sensibility and physicality to the work. I researched more about black pigments and realized that black is very complex color. I started to mix different pigments of black with oil and acrylic base ink. I used the process of lithography and started to roll up the mylar with a roller. The lithography oil base black gives a physical depth to the work, which absorbs the light and blocks the visual sensation. On the other hand, the black pigments that I mixed with acrylic transparent ink slowly reveals itself when the viewers physically move around the work, which provides the visual sensation. What I strive to achieve is to engage the viewer's body - the viewer's physical movements dictate his/ her personal experience of the work - like my experience as the artist when creating the work. For more information, visit myungwonkim.com.
“SELF-PORTRAIT” 1932 FROM THE BAYER FAMILY COLLECTION
EMIL NELSON GALLERY 2864 COLORADO AVE SANTA MONICA, CA 90404 310-266-9904
Contemporary Fine Art Paintings Sculpture Works on Paper Tucson, Arizona since 1976
154 East 6th Street, Tucson, Arizona 85705
An issue of American Contemporary Art magazine, published March 2011