Page 1

Jonathan Allmaier Annalisa Perazzi Tamara Gonzales

Kim Jong Il Ronald Reagan EJ Hauser Matt Kleenex Stephen Truax Ramon Esquiverna Laetitia Ann-Saedler Maria Walker Camilla Perowski-Wittgenstein Edo Udo Rachel Minnesota

The escape from the The Longest banal everyday life to the Show Title world of the ideal of the Universe Curated by Brooke Moyse is Here From November 2 to November 30, 2012 Curated by: Opening Reception: Friday, November 2, 7-9 PM Franklin Delano and NURTUREart Gallery Eric Sutherland 56 Bogart St., Brooklyn, NY 11206 From April 26 to May 28, 2012 Opening Reception: Friday, May 28, 7-9 PM NURTUREart Gallery 56 Bogart St., Brooklyn, NY 11206


Arthur Dove, Fog Horns, 1929. Oil on canvas, 21 ½ x 28 ½ inches. Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado. Copyright, The Estate of Arthur G. Dove. Courtesy Terry Dintenfass, Inc.

The escape from the banal everyday life to the world of the ideal by Brooke Moyse Artspeak If Art would only talk it would, at last, reveal itself for what it is, what we all burn to know. As for our certainties, it would fetch a dry yawn then take a minute to sweep them under the rug: certainties time-honored as meaningless as dust under the rug. High time, my dears, to listen up. Finally Art would talk, fill the sky like a mouth, clear its convulsive throat while flashes and crashes erupted as it spoke—a star-shot avalanche of visions in uproar, drowned by the breathy din of soundbites as we strain to hear its august words: “a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z.” Dorothea Tanning


The title of this exhibition is taken from a note in artist Charles Burchfield’s sketchbook. Burchfield worked in relentless pursuit of the elusive center of his artistic practice. His sketchbooks are filled with elaborate notes and codes, which he would deliberately refer to in crafting his surrealistic landscape paintings. Burchfield’s paintings and drawings are unique in that they do not fit into conventional formal categories. They are simultaneously surreal, abstract, and representational descriptions of the natural world. The sincerity of his marks make it difficult to know if he thought that he was fabricating environments, or believed he was painting from life. These fantastical landscapes gave Burchfield a framework through which to investigate his true subject: the ability of a work of art to transcend the constrictions of its own physicality. This exhibition brings together five artists - Jonathan Allmeier, Tamara Gonzales, EJ Hauser, Stephen Truax, and Maria Walker - who make abstract work that is simultaneously conceptual, formal, and sincere. Their works discuss the history of the art object and mark-making, and the way that these two things can join to articulate a new experience. I am presenting pieces that are a bit different from what each artist is known for, and that share a particular power that I feel is relevant to the idea of making timeless and vital art. Formal abstraction first started to emerge through the Symbolist movement of the late

Charles E. Burchfield, Dawn of Spring, ca. 1960s. Watercolor, charcoal, and white chalk on joined paper mounted on board, 52 x 59 1/2 inches. DC Moore Gallery, New York; image courtesy Burchfield Penney Art Center.


19th and early 20th centuries. American artists who were interested in mysticism at that time often used nature as a departure point in exploring those ideas. Many artists, like Arthur Dove or Georgia O’Keefe, gradually moved on from nature into formal abstraction as their interests in the occult and mysticism became essential source material for their paintings. The intuitive and non-representational nature of formal abstraction lent itself to the investigation of the more personal (rather than institutional) type of spirituality that these artists were considering at the time. The new form of art thus became more about exploring the human mind and the role of the artistic object towards deepening our understanding of it, than about literally telling a story. The first half of the 20th century was an incubator for the formal and ideological developments of abstract art, introducing concepts and notions that would become establishment by the 1960s. While the critical establishment was preoccupied by the formal elements of abstraction, the artists who were exploring it were primarly interested in its power for conveying a transcendental experience. The subsequent years of modernism and postmodernism have changed the way that we experience art. Our relationships with images and objects have evolved as both became more disposable and less precious in this age of excess and remote living. Digital reproduction has helped to make the impossibility of creating an original image increasingly obvious. However, the great secret behind this notion is the knowledge that it has always been the case, and that there probably has never been an original image, since it all first appeared in nature. What makes this time interesting for art and for abstraction


in particular, is the way that abstract gestures have become less precious and more colloquial. Companies like Apple have brought modern design into mainstream life, causing those lines to become more familiar and prevalent in places like street signs or web design. This attention to form and design affects the way that we interact physically with the art object, and perhaps even what that experience means, since looking at a painting is a uniquely slow and meditative interaction. “I’ve always felt with her a sense of common purpose, ambition and predicament: that painting should engage an urgent sense of responsibility to life in this moment, yet with no roadmap for how to even begin, there is a void which begs the question: what is real? What can be made vivid? What is the cost of launching oneself into this act against all odds of making it new and vital?” Jacqueline Humphries on Charline von Heyl’s work, in the catalog for von Heyl’s Tate Liverpool exhibition, 2012.

The artist Jacqueline Humphries’ observation of the inherent impossibility of making a “new and vital” image in art directly reflects not only the digital age’s wealth of resources, but also the always-present weight of art history. Charline von Heyl is an example of an artist who does not discriminate between sources or influences. She has a deep and varied body of work that is at once current, ancient, and futuristic. In a 2010 interview with Shirley Kaneda for BOMB Magazine, von Heyl states that “What I’m trying to do is to create an image that has the iconic value of a sign but remains ambiguous in its meaning. Something that feels like a representation but

Charline von Heyl, Untitled (L.S. #3), 2007. Oil on canvas, 18 x 20 inches.

isn’t. Something that looks as if it has a content or a narrative but hasn’t. Something that is kind of hovering in front of the painting instead of just being it.” Von Heyl is talking about the desire to somehow present or create a vital and authentic experience that balances between having no roots, and remaining deeply integrated with all aspects of history and culture. Additionally, the idea of creating an image that hovers in front of the painting reflects the timelessness and spacelessness of the Internet, and brings us back to the nonlinear commonality between it and art history. The abstract quality of the pieces in this exhibition is a consequence of the artists’ pursuit of a similar sense of authenticity. Their works reflect both the sincerity of ambition and the pointed power and presentness where Charles Burchfield intersects with Charline von Heyl. The power of the work is located in that ambiguous experience between the viewer and the painting in which the image attempts to transcend its objecthood (thus “hovering in front of the painting”). In bringing these artists together, I hope to facilitate such an experience of groundlessness in the gallery, as boundaries between new and old, virtual and real, disappear to reveal something similar to Burchfield’s vibrating auras.


Ali vs. Foreman; POV and personal identity by Jonathan Allmaier

In Ali vs. Foreman, 1974, “The Rumble in the Jungle”, we can see the triumph of point of view over personal identity. When Ali does the rope a-dope, he does not say “I am Ali,” or “this is Ali.” The rope-a-dope is not about identity – it is about context. The rope-adope only addresses the (contingent) circumstance at hand; it does not assert a (necessary) identity. Foreman fights the way he fights: he punches hard, and so he usually wins. The fight is for him an abstraction, and necessity is how abstractions are addressed. For Ali, there is no Platonic fight, just the fight he happens to be fighting that moment. The actual fight at hand is all that is real for Ali; this fight is what dictates his actions. The rope-a-dope would be absurd in another fight; punching hard in a fight is never absurd. Since Foreman’s punching is categorically necessary – it is who he is as a fighter – it lacks the immediate necessity that only exists within a particular circumstance, regardless of his enragement. His necessity, his punch, has an arbitrary flavor, precisely because it is always so strong. The rope-a-dope – not in general, but in this particular fight, 1974, Zaire – is urgent: it is necessary because it is dictated by contingency.


Jonathan Allmaier Untitled (Green Point), 2011. Oil on canvas, 92 ½ x 75 inches.


The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Part VII. by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This Hermit good lives in that wood Which slopes down to the sea. How loudly his sweet voice he rears! He loves to talk with marineers That come from a far country. He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve— He hath a cushion plump: It is the moss that wholly hides The rotted old oak-stump. The skiff-boat neared: I heard them talk, ‘Why, this is strange, I trow! Where are those lights so many and fair, That signal made but now?’ ‘Strange, by my faith!’ the Hermit said— ‘And they answered not our cheer! The planks looked warped! and see those sails, How thin they are and sere! I never saw aught like to them, Unless perchance it were

I am afeared’—’Push on, push on!’ Said the Hermit cheerily. The boat came closer to the ship, But I nor spake nor stirred; The boat came close beneath the ship, And straight a sound was heard. Under the water it rumbled on, Still louder and more dread: It reached the ship, it split the bay; The ship went down like lead. Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound, Which sky and ocean smote, Like one that hath been seven days drowned My body lay afloat; But swift as dreams, myself I found Within the Pilot’s boat. Upon the whirl where sank the ship The boat spun round and round; And all was still, save that the hill Was telling of the sound.

Brown skeletons of leaves that lag My forest-brook along; When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow, And the owlet whoops to the wolf below, That eats the she-wolf’s young.’

I moved my lips—the Pilot shrieked And fell down in a fit; The holy Hermit raised his eyes, And prayed where he did sit.

‘Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look— (The Pilot made reply)

I took the oars: the Pilot’s boy, Who now doth crazy go,


Tamara Gonzales The Sun Goes Down, 2011. Spraypaint on canvas, 60 x 88 inches.


Laughed loud and long, and all the while His eyes went to and fro. ‘Ha! ha!’ quoth he, ‘full plain I see, The Devil knows how to row.’

O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been Alone on a wide wide sea: So lonely ‘twas, that God himself Scarce seemed there to be.

And now, all in my own country, I stood on the firm land! The Hermit stepped forth from the boat, And scarcely he could stand.

O sweeter than the marriage-feast, ‘Tis sweeter far to me, To walk together to the kirk With a goodly company!—

O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man! The Hermit crossed his brow. ‘Say quick,’ quoth he ‘I bid thee say— What manner of man art thou?’

To walk together to the kirk, And all together pray, While each to his great Father bends, Old men, and babes, and loving friends, And youths and maidens gay!

Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched With a woeful agony, Which forced me to begin my tale; And then it left me free. Since then, at an uncertain hour, That agony returns; And till my ghastly tale is told, This heart within me burns. I pass, like night, from land to land; I have strange power of speech; That moment that his face I see, I know the man that must hear me: To him my tale I teach. What loud uproar bursts from that door! The wedding-guests are there: But in the garden-bower the bride And bride-maids singing are; And hark the little vesper bell, Which biddeth me to prayer!


Farewell, farewell! but this I tell To thee, thou Wedding-Guest! He prayeth well, who loveth well Both man and bird and beast. He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all.” The Mariner, whose eye is bright, Whose beard with age is hoar, Is gone; and now the Wedding-Guest Turned from the bridegroom’s door. He went like one that hath been stunned, And is of sense forlorn: A sadder and a wiser man He rose the morrow morn.

Tamara Gonzales Love, 2011. Spray paint on canvas, 60 x 88 inches.


Wish for Paul (Thek) + Susan (Sontag) by EJ Hauser

Above and Right EJ Hauser juicyfruit, 2012. Oil on canvas, 63 x 60 inches. moonflower, 2012. Oil on canvas, 14 x 11 inches.



Reproduced photographs 2005/2012 by Stephen Truax

Three 24x36 inch framed photographs are enlarged images of three unique 4x6 inch photographic prints taken and printed in Rome, Italy, in 2005. The prints were drum scanned edited and printed by photographer Scott Tavitian in Los Angeles. Fingerprints, scratches, creases, dust, paint splatters, tack holes, and other traditionally undesirable elements that developed on the original prints through years of being present in the studio are visible in high resolution on the reproductions, fetishizing the originals. These elements link the objects back to the practice of painting. They qualify the minor action of taking a snapshot and using it as source material in a painting practice as an artistic gesture. All four snapshots were taken in quick succession to capture a unique light phenomena that lasted only a few minutes at Santa Maria in Trastevere. Sunlight projected through stained glass windows and as colored oval shapes on marble columns. Although the images are difficult to identify, they address the clichĂŠ of light streaming through cathedral windows, an image often invoked to suggest the literal presence of God. The images are motion blurred and out of focus, suggesting the haste of their making in a moment of inspiration. The images depict signifiers



of true authenticity: real marble columns, light, an ancient cathedral, etc.; their all-over compositions and emphasis on color have a strong relationship to abstract painting. The light picked up on the edges of the prints making them seem larger, heavier, and more sculptural than the originals ever could be. Despite these signifiers of authenticity, the final artworks are reproductions: photographs of photographs. They have been highly refined and run through multiple professional and technological processes to realize the final works. Romantic excitement about an instant of visual beauty is analyzed and reproduced to a degree that negates the original’s spontaneity, and questions the authenticity of the actual experience.

Right A picture of the interior of Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome, taken by artist Stephen Truax. Previous and Next Page Stephen Truax Reproduced Photographs, 2005/2012. 3 parts, each 24x36 inches, Ed. 1 of 3.



Five Poems for and from the Studio by Maria Walker

A stretcher A shelf A sled A ladder

The Shaker Room at the Met

Painting says I can stand on my own, see

“ultility, neatness, simplicity, perfection pine, cherry, maple, beech, cedar

work see wait look work see wrong look and there wait work work space look Hello. Painting, we hang up your coat of canvas today you are standing wood.


Blanket chest Boxes Hangers Candlestand Side chairs Work stand Revolving chair Sconce Candlesticks Bed Work table Spool stand Rocking chair Sewing steps Stove, shovel, tongs Wash stand Looking glass (cedar, maple) Towel rack�

What are the Materials of Painting? There is the wood. There is the cloth. There is the paint. There is the water, the staples, the wood scraps, screws and glue. There are the tools— hammer, pliers, jars, drill, plastic, arms.

Wise Object (Talking to a Tough Painting) Ladder, what? What? What? What? What? What? What?

The Studio Window The studio window brings light and night to the studio.


Maria Walker Untitled Stand #2 (front and detail of back), 2012. Acrylic, canvas, wood, 100.5 x 21.5 inches.


Maria Walker Color Series 1-2, 2012. Acrylic, drop cloth, gesso, wood, 17.75 x 15.375 inches.


NURTUREart Non-Profit Inc. is dedicated to nurturing contemporary art by providing exhibition opportunities and resources for emerging artists, curators, and local public school students. The unique synergy between NURTUREart’s programs generates a collaborative environment for artistic experimentation. This framework, along with other far-reaching programming, cultivates a supportive artistic network and enriches the local and larger cultural communities. NURTUREart Non-Profit Inc. is a 501(c)(3) New York State licensed, federally tax-exempt charitable art organization founded in 1997 by George J. Robinson. NURTUREart is funded in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Barclays, City Council Member Diana Reyna, City Council Member Stephen Levin, the Greenwall Foundation, the Greenwich Collection, the Harold and Colene Brown Foundation, the Laura B. Vogler Foundation, the Leibovitz Foundation, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Department of Education, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation and generous individuals. It receives legal support from Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

NURTUREart Sponsors : The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts City Council Member Diana Reyna City Council Member Stephen Levin The Durst Family Foundation The Greenwall Foundation The Greenwich Collection, LTD The Harold and Colene Brown Family Foundation The Laura B. Vogler Foundation The Leibovitz Foundation Lily Auchincloss Foundation Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation New York City Department of Cultural Affairs New York City Department of Education New York State Council on the Arts Urban Outfitters WNYC Star Initiative The Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation Many generous individuals Thank You : Brooklyn Brewery Societe Perrier Printing For Less







an Morg

56 Bogart Street Brooklyn, NY 11206 L train to Morgan Avenue T 718 782 7755 F 718 569 2086 E Directions: By Subway: L train to the Morgan Avenue stop. Exit the station via Bogart Street. Look for the NURTUREart entrance on Bogart Street, close to the intersection with Harrison Place. By Car: Driving From Manhattan: Take the Williamsburg Bridge, stay in the outside lane, and take the Broadway / S. 5 St. exit. Turn left at light onto Havemeyer St. Turn right next light onto Borinquen Place, continue straight, street will change name to Grand Street. Turn right onto Bushwick Ave, left onto Johnson Ave, then right onto Bogart Street. Look for our entrance at the corner of Bogart Street and Harrison Place.

The escape from the banal everyday life to the world of the ideal  

This eBook catalog was published for the exhibition "The escape from the banal everyday life to the world of the ideal," curated by Brooke M...

The escape from the banal everyday life to the world of the ideal  

This eBook catalog was published for the exhibition "The escape from the banal everyday life to the world of the ideal," curated by Brooke M...