Art Review http://www.culturecatch.com/index.php/art en Buddhist Sculpture Exhibit http://www.culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3930 <span>Buddhist Sculpture Exhibit</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/index.php/users/kathleen-cullen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathleen Cullen</a></span> <span>March 21, 2020 - 19:02</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/871" hreflang="en">asian art</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1553" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-03/gold-boddhisatva.jpg?itok=3_qFplkL" title="gold-boddhisatva.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Standing Bodhisattva, Northern Qi Period 550-577 CE, Limestone with Gilt and Polychrome, H: 47 in.</figcaption></figure><p>Asia week gets a timely extension by appointment only at the <a href="http://www.throckmorton-nyc.com" target="_blank">Throckmorton Fine Art Gallery</a> at 145 East 57th Street, New York, NY, 10022 917-562-0188 where the <em>Transcendence From Northern Wei to Tang: Buddhist Sculpture from the Fifth-Ninth Centuries</em> will be on view through May. This show serves to provide insight into the amazing art of this period but also of the passion of gallerist Spenser Throckmorton.</p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong>How did the show originate?</p> <p><strong>Spenser Throckmorton: </strong>The answer to that question is really a story. 20 years ago, while on a visit to Hong Kong, I learned that many Buddhist sculptures had been unearthed and were being offered for sale. Ironically the sculptures were not favored at the time by Chinese collectors. This was probably due largely to the fact that the contemporary Chinese regime had an indifference towards religion. I found them extraordinary and purchased a large number of sculptures, many more than my colleagues thought prudent. I just couldn't help myself. I found them irresistible. My admiration has endured while the appreciation for the work has grown. Today Buddhist Sculptures from these periods are in many collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>You said  that your admiration has endured. Can you explain what that means?</p> <p><strong>ST:</strong> This show is my fifth exhibit of Chinese Buddhist sculpture. I have held exhibits in 2007, 2009, 2014 and 2016. Accompanying each exhibit I produced a lavishly illustrated catalog that offered essays by leading scholars of Chinese Buddhist art. For this exhibit the catalog includes an essay by Dr. Chang Qing.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>The show is clearly a passion project for you as reflected by the stunning installation. The opening of the Catalogue starts off with an essay by Dr. Qing that really is a terrific summation of the history of this art and the periods during which they were created.</p> <p>"After the spread of Buddhism to China during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 CE), the Chinese began producing Buddhist imagery based on Indian prototypes but adapted to Chinese sensibilities. Over its long history in China, devotees established the foundations for Buddhism and its artistic expression during the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589). Buddhism and its art reached its apogee during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). From the fifth to the ninth century, Buddhist art was a primary influence on many artists, resulting in a more individualistic artistic expression after the tenth century. Most of the extant works of Chinese Buddhist art have been discovered in northern China. During the five hundred years from the fifth to the ninth century, Pingcheng, Chang'an and Luoyang held pivotal positions in the areas of Chinese politics, culture and religion. The three cities had served as either the capital of a unified empire or of a regional kingdom for a long time. Therefore, Buddhist iconography from these three areas played key roles in the development of Chinese and Buddhist art in other parts of China. In addition, many important Chinese artists produced new artistic styles, based on those transmitted from India and Central Asia. Their work, in turn, served as models influencing other regional artists to think beyond the art they produced in the three-capital region. Still, Pingcheng, Chang'an and Luoyang were central in the development of Chinese Buddhist iconography during the fifth to the ninth century."</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1553" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-03/standing-buddha.jpg?itok=ClmZf4iU" title="standing-buddha.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Standing Buddha, Northern Qi Period / Sui Period 550-618 CE, Limestone, 41 inches</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>Additionally the essay reveals the impact and legacy the sculptures had in China both during and after that period. Has the interest i this type of work changed in China?</p> <p><strong>ST: </strong>Ironically the Chinese government, after having long been indifferent to Buddhist imagery, prohibited in 2009 the export of early Chinese Buddha sculpture. All of the pieces in the show left China well before the ban. We owe a debt of gratitude to the unknown Buddhist monks who had the devotion, foresight and courage to bury the works to prevent their mindless destruction.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>That is yet another fascinating aspect of the show. Accompanying the sculptures is a special exhibition of photographic images from photographer and Fulbright Scholar Don Farber. Farber works to document Buddhist life internationally. Like the monks, Farber is working to ensure these Buddha images endure time. - Kathleen Cullen &amp; Michelangelo De Risi</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3930&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="Fd89L5OGLZGHCyJ48Yy4k1tvcIHeU758a61kncBktyQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 21 Mar 2020 23:02:41 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 3930 at http://www.culturecatch.com Inner Sanctuary http://www.culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3927 <span>Inner Sanctuary</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/index.php/users/kathleen-cullen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathleen Cullen</a></span> <span>March 1, 2020 - 21:41</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1003" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-03/karpovas_it_flies_artsy.jpg?itok=VTbb5eyI" title="karpovas_it_flies_artsy.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>“As It Flies Away,” 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 72 inches, Photo credit: Fyodor Shiryaev</figcaption></figure><p><em>Between The No-Longer As Still-To-Come</em>: Darina Karpov</p> <p>Pierogi Gallery, NY</p> <p>Darina Karpov's artistic journey began in a communal apartment in St. Petersburg to being awarded an MFA at Yale University. Infused with color and shape we asked about her influences and direction in conjunction with her new show at the Pierogi Gallery, 155 Suffolk Street, New York, NY, 10002  <a href="mailto:info@pierogi2000.com">info@pierogi2000.com</a>. Pierogi will also be participating in the Armory Show from March 4th-8th at Booth 719 at Pier 94. Karpov describes how her beginnings fostered her artistic sensibility.</p> <p>"The communal apartments were not communes, but just shared living quarters. Most people lived as roommates -- several families per one apartment, sharing a bathroom and a kitchen. Each family had at least one room which served as a living/dining room during the day and was converted to a bedroom at night. My family was considered privileged as we 'inherited' (apartments were assigned by the government as there was no private property) the more spacious apartment than most from my great grandparents who were prominent scientists -- geologists, leading researchers at the St Petersburg Mining University. We shared with just one unrelated family, but there was also our extended family (cousins, aunts, great aunts, etc. living there. The apartment was large -- 6 bedrooms situated in the main historic square of the city overlooking the Mayor's Palace and St. Isaac's Cathedral. </p> <p>The contrast between the luxuriousness of the location and the derelict state of the apartment -- with no running hot water, leaking ceilings and cracked walls, albeit the grandeur of czarist era moldings, and detailing, is what I think really stuck with me aesthetically and comes through in my work."</p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen:</strong> In your bio we learn that you father was a geologist and you grew up in St. Petersburg in a small apt with loads of other people living there (commune style). Your mother also worked but since there was no money for a babysitter she dropped you off at the Hermitage museum. How did these life experiences impact you're work and how you saw the world? </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="582" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-03/karpovunspooling_2_artsy.jpg?itok=JAy9EKRx" title="karpovunspooling_2_artsy.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>“Unspooling II,” 2020, Ink, watercolor, graphite on paper, 26 x 55 inches Photo credit: Fyodor Shiryaev</figcaption></figure><p><strong>Darina Karpov:</strong> My father was an engineer, and my mother studied economics but ended up working as a teaching assistant at the school we went to. Once in a while when she ran errands she dropped us off at the Hermitage Museum as it was a really safe place. Traditionally the guards at the museums were pensioners, very severe old ladies, who took any opportunity to discipline my sister and I. It was a great escape to wander the grand opulent rooms of the Winter Palace and see the collections -- as a small child I especially loved the peacock room with giant mechanical peacock clock that was set in motion at the same hour every day. There were also small marble tables inlaid with semi precious stone mosaics arranged into flowers, landscapes and mythological themes. Later as a teenager I preferred to look at the northern renaissance Dutch and Flemish art. </p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>It has been said  your work is an abstract reaction to the Russia she grew up in? In the culture of the dilapidated apartment there were no boundaries and things and people flowed into each other.  In such an inward landscape or memory of growing up in Russia- what is the social narrative?</p> <p><strong>DK: </strong>I wouldn't say there were no boundaries, however there was definitely very little privacy and private space was not very respected. There was no place to hide, so I had to develop a strong sense of inner sanctuary -- a magic place. I shared a small room with my very socially active older sister. People constantly came and went, especially because we were located right on the main square. </p> <p>In my work I want to express the density and complexity and interconnectedness of relationships through time, that's why there's so much movement. I am not trying to simply represent the space I felt as a childhood memory, it's also how I always see and feel the space -- it's embodied through time. I did an <a href="https://bombmagazine.org/articles/darina-karpov/" target="_blank">interview for <em>Bomb</em> magazine</a> a few years ago where I talk about the space and movement in my work in more detail.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="869" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-03/karpovtygertygerdtl_artsy.jpg?itok=7HrQNiPa" title="karpovtygertygerdtl_artsy.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>“Tiger Tyger,” (Detail) 2019, Glaze and underglaze on porcelain, 9 x 8 x 8 inches, Photo credit: Fyodor Shiryaev</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>How are the childhood memories reflected in the ceramic orbs?  Is there an influence of the all-over opulent patterning of the Faberge eggs?</p> <p><strong>DK: </strong>I studied Russian miniature tempera techniques and looked at Russian folk art, especially through the lense of Russia Folk revival movement  -- World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) movement from the turn of the 20th century. I don't specifically look at Faberge eggs, but Faberge aesthetic arose in the turn of the 20th century, and I believe was also influenced by the Russian folk miniature tradition which might explain the connection.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>You did a series of drawings called "Magic Days," which were a mix of abstraction and figuration. </p> <p><strong>DK: </strong>I described it best for the press release and it applies for the "Magic Days" series as well.</p> <p>Certain objects and situations recur as if in a dream or a memory from childhood or early adolescence. These include objects strewn over the dilapidated communal apartment I grew up, scenes from abandoned, industrial parks and yards of the apartment buildings where we gathered as teenagers, Electronic equipment that my father worked with as an engineer. Many characters reappear from old sketches, culled from various sources. Even though much of my work is essentially abstract, I'm constantly drawn toward story telling, culling from cultural myths and cosmological structures which are open ended and circular. </p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>Ultimately there is a "transitional state" referred to in the press release from the drawing into clay sculpture. Are the ceramics an outlier to what she is doing on canvas.  </p> <p><strong>DK: </strong>In the last few years, I began to branch into three dimensional work, sculpting and creating reliefs in porcelain. The process emerged organically from my drawing practice. Cutting through, layering and collaging my drawings naturally led me to work in relief, eventually to build and carve porcelain clay. The need to create three dimensional objects also arose from giving birth, as if I had given birth to a new form of drawing. Working in porcelain, I work on an intimate scale, hand building the abstract, semi-figurative objects. I then carve, creating various relief patterns on the surface while the pieces are leather hard. Once they are bisque fired, I apply underglaze to cover the surface in the intricate patterns and figurations. The initial form and relief of the earlier stages echoes the drawing -- creating a dialogue and interplay between various modes of mark making.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1500" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-03/karpovmagicdays_dsc03854_artsy.jpg?itok=TDZo7LHL" title="karpovmagicdays_dsc03854_artsy.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1149" /></article><figcaption>“Magic Days,” 2019, Glaze and underglaze on porcelain, 11 x 7 x 7 inches</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>What are the different themes that you have developed over the years and what new influences inspired you?</p> <p><strong>DK:</strong> Movement, arrested motion, density, spatial structures in the state of formation are the recurrent overarching themes that stem from my process. Organic structures found in nature or referencing the interiority of the body, The work is always rooted in abstraction and the narrative vignettes weave in and out of it as lines of recognized lyrics in a song.</p> <p>I've been looking at a lot more Soviet-era story books, manga and anime, graphic novels, but also as I mentioned, the World of Art movement, and Silver Age women artists Olga Rozanova, Natalia Goncharova, Alexandra Exeter, Sonia Delaunay.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3927&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="sk_H3lrTu_WqqAM6t-CT3ixPll1Fz6MXm8nmHRKj0og"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 02 Mar 2020 02:41:44 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 3927 at http://www.culturecatch.com Muralism http://www.culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3922 <span>Muralism</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/index.php/users/kathleen-cullen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathleen Cullen</a></span> <span>February 13, 2020 - 21:55</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/867" hreflang="en">murals</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1560" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/mural_-_79369a.jpg?itok=aE0t_Xb6" title="mural_-_79369a.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>government palace mural by Diego Rivera, photo credit Pacific &amp; Atlantic Photos Inc.</figcaption></figure><p><em>Muralism: Identity and Revolution</em></p> <p>The Throckmorton Gallery, 145 East 57th Street.</p> <p>The new show at the Throckmorton Fine Art Gallery, <em>Muralism: Identity and Revolution</em>, serves as a important companion piece to the upcoming <em>Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945</em> at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The show actually documents this artistic period through photographs of both the art work and the artists. In fact the Whitney actually will be featuring photographs from the Gallerist Spencer Throckmorton's collection. We wanted to interview the gallerist to highlight both the show and the artistic period.</p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong>People are familiar with the mural work of Diego Rivera but may not know his work was part of a larger movement. Can you explain what started this movement and the subject matter?</p> <p><strong>Spenser Throckmorton: </strong>At the end of the Mexican Revolution, which historians place as happening between 1917 and 1920 there was a resurgence of Mexican art. Artists sought to reimagine the Mexican identity and focus the subject of the work on the poor, the Indian, the peasant, and the worker. This was a movement away from academic tradition which was viewed as elitist. The goal was to bring art closet to those Mexicans long marginalized. Murals were the most celebrated of the art forms and were painted all over Mexico in public sites including churches, palaces, government buildings, schools and museums.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>Who were the important artists? What themes did their work share?</p> <p><strong>ST: </strong>In addition to Diego Rivera, other artists include David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco. The themes were a celebration of the lives of everyday people, the work they did and the lives they lived.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1248" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/mural-28293_1.jpg?itok=YFd4ZE0A" title="untitled-Diego Rivera by Hector Garcia" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>untitled, Diego Rivera by Hector Garcia</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>What role did this movement play in the culture at the time?</p> <p><strong>ST: </strong>The murals depicted a true break from the past in that the subjects featured were non-European heroes including Aztec warriors fighting the Spanish, peasants fighting for the revolution and modern day laborers building Mexico City.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>Can you describe the work in the current show and what influenced you to do this show at this time?</p> <p><strong>ST: </strong>I've always been interested in this work because the murals in Mexico is so commanding and memorable. The photos in the show are very rare as they were not printed in great amounts and they were not seen as the artwork but seen as something cataloguing they work. There are photos of murals that no longer exist and these photos are the only documents.</p> <p>Diego Rivera hired Tina Modotti, who supported herself taking pictures of artists' work, to photograph his murals so he could advertise his and get commissions. People may be familiar with his murals in Rockefeller Center that were so controversial they were later destroyed. In the United States Rivera also did murals for the Detroit Institute of Arts and the City Club in the San Francisco Stock Exchange. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1510" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/mural-56010.jpg?itok=GCsH75JK" title="mural-56010.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>mural study: untitled (hanging laundry) by Tina Modotti</figcaption></figure><p>The show features 26 pictures by Modotti as well as other photographers with a focus on both the murals and the people in and around the movement. Modotti, who was Italian, was very familiar with this group, as, in addition to being a photographer, she was an activist for the communist party. She was actually exiled from Mexico in 1930 only to return in 1939 to live there under a pseudonym.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>What do you hope viewers will take away from the show?</p> <p><strong>ST: </strong>We hope to not only highlight this period and the work, but the show helps to both preserve and document this time in Mexico's and the art world's history. It’s also a way we connect this work to a new audience.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3922&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="O8HgWBt7Z7ls3g4tjJppUqZyVm3uRLzkr8KZvBKmOWs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 14 Feb 2020 02:55:23 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 3922 at http://www.culturecatch.com A Strange New Beauty http://www.culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3918 <span> A Strange New Beauty</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/index.php/users/kathleen-cullen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathleen Cullen</a></span> <span>February 8, 2020 - 10:20</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="800" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/tb_20_003l.jpg?itok=qaBCY5-n" title="tb_20_003l.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo Credit: Petzel Gallery</figcaption></figure><p>Troy Brauntuch explores the documentation of the Great German Art Exhibitions that have been compiled by GDK Research in order to expose how information can be manipulated and referenced later as truth. He accomplishes this through digital image manipulation adding elements that can reflect on our current socio-political climate. The show --  <em>A</em> <em>Strange New Beauty -- </em>is on view at the Petzel Gallery at 35 East 67th Street in New York City until March 7th. </p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong>You were put in the spotlight at a young age in 1977 with the <em>Pictures</em> show and have sustained a long career. Over the years much had been written about your work. Can you reflect on what has been written - not the positives and negatives? Has it impacted your work? How you deal with feedback and the press? Other areas of your life? </p> <p><strong>Troy Brauntuch: </strong>Usually when people have written on my work it has been critically positive, but I must say I remember the writings and critics that were not so kind the most. Many years ago, I had a review of an exhibition of mine that is memorable. One day, I visited the gallery and there was only one other person in the large space at the time. She looked like she was writing or sketching as she spent time in front of my artwork. It turns out she was reviewing my show for the NY times, an the review came out later that week. The review was void of most content but very descriptive of images that were not actually in the paintings. Things like schools of fish and swinging monkeys. Needless to say, not her favorite show.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>You have had a long career as a teacher. Is the way you teach different from the way the instructors you had taught?</p> <p><strong>TB: </strong>I was very close to, and am grateful for the teachers that I had in college. I think that the way that I was instructed is definitely in my DNA for my teaching. It was a very different time and my program felt much less academic than programs of today, but that’s why it was so special. It was a small community of faculty and students at Cal Arts in the early '70s when I was there, which made instruction intimate and generous. John Baldessari had an open seminar class that was the doorway to the art world of the day. My painting instructors had studios on campus and were always present for meetings and discussions. I played poker weekly with faculty and students as well as dean of the Music School, Leonid Hambro and Paul Brach, dean of the Art school. This was very cool and would not happen today.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="900" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/TB%2020_xxx8L.jpg?itok=eAgLjkf5" title="TB 20 xxx8L" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo Credit: Petzel Gallery</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>I don't know if you would agree but for most artists it's about light. Your work seems to be all about the dark (or ghost images?) What is the attraction to the palette you use?</p> <p><strong>TB: </strong>I really wanted all imagery and content to be and become very visible in this latest exhibition. I always felt during my career that if time was spent looking at my paintings, that slower and more difficult process of recognition was important to the content of the work. I specifically left glass off the framed letterpress prints so there could be no veil or refection to stop the light illuminating the metallic silver inked images. I would say light and dark co-exists equally in this exhibition as does beauty and the sublime. </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3918&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="CDLjNVgf743JSmIdaB9m3mZYfaiXFh78S2ljmZT02hw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:20:26 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 3918 at http://www.culturecatch.com St. Petersburg 2020, and a little bit of Tampa http://www.culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3883 <span>St. Petersburg 2020, and a little bit of Tampa</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/349" lang="" about="/index.php/user/349" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dom Lombardi</a></span> <span>February 7, 2020 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="868" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/virginia-cuthbert-inner-city_1.jpg?itok=KcXdYnWl" title="virginia-cuthbert-inner-city_1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Virginia Cuthbert (American, 1908 – 2001), Inner City Industrial Scene, 1942, oil on canvas, Museum purchase</figcaption></figure><p>One of the nice things about visiting a museum over the years is the strength and timelessness of the art displayed, as compared to how we evolve as individuals. When we change over time, we bring different references to each new experiences. As a result, our response to culture, visual art, film, music, theater, dance etc. will be transformed over time. Just think about how much your taste in music has changed in your lifetime, from the time you were a pre-teen to where you are now.</p> <p>With all this said, I return to the <b>Museum of Fine Arts, St Petersburg</b> and find new/old works to study and enjoy. Virginia Cuthbert’s <i>Inner City Industrial Scene</i> (1942) was painted shortly after she arrived in Buffalo, NY. It depicts the view from inside a street level store, looking out the front windows and glass door toward an industrial-looking swath of buildings. The somewhat geometric crumpled up paper and empty box in one window gives the viewer a sense of loss or exodus, as if a business just closed, while the scene outside, which is devoid of any people, enhances the desolate feeling of the entire location. I was immediately thinking of Charles Sheeler, a fellow <i>Precisionist</i>, who too created stunningly mesmerizing scenes like Cuthbert's to indicate a range of starkness or dread in certain aspects of 'modern life', while at the same time, getting us lost in the drama of a line/form dynamic.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1050" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/george-biddle-fletcher-martin.jpg?itok=1-Y5alBC" title="george-biddle-fletcher-martin.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="780" /></article><figcaption>George Biddle (American, 1885 – 1973), Portrait of Fletcher Martin with a German Pistol, 1943, oil on canvas, Museum purchase</figcaption></figure><p><i>Portrait of Fletcher Martin with a German Pistol </i>(1943) by George Biddle is another work that now gets my attention. As noted on the wall text, Biddle was the chairman of the <i>United States War Department’s Art Advisory Committee</i> and Martin, the subject of the painting, was on assignment for <i>Life</i> magazine. Painted when they were both in Tunisia, Biddle captures a quiet moment in an otherwise bucolic setting. The suspense comes in the form of Martin’s dark eyes that are darting to his left, as if to spy some very suspicious movement or activity outside the picture plane. Overall, the exceptionally even quality of the paint application and brushwork, and the scheme of color that emphasizes both nature and camouflage are all quite masterful.</p> <p><i>The Church at Montigny, Effect of Sunlight</i> (1908) by Francis Picabia, was painted when the artist was in his late twenties. Executed before he met the likes of Jaques Villon and Marcel Duchamp, Picabia was then influenced by the <i>Impressionists</i>. Done with rather heavy, deliberate vertical, horizontal and an occasional diagonal brushstrokes, Picabia clearly captures the time of day in pinks, blues and purples much in the same way Monet captured it in the <i>Rouen Cathedral</i> series from 1890. In the end, it is always a pleasure to see the works of a great and influential artist before they hit their more ‘well known’ period(s), when you can see their struggle to find themselves, and acceptance, in the art world.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1478" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/3._francis_picabia_french_1879_-_1953_the_church_at_montigny_effect_of_sunlight_1908.jpg?itok=w46UDiU3" title="3._francis_picabia_french_1879_-_1953_the_church_at_montigny_effect_of_sunlight_1908.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Francis Picabia (French, 1879 – 1953), The Church at Montigny, Effect of Sunlight, 1908, oil on canvas, Gift of Costas Lemonopou</figcaption></figure><p><i>A Wooded River Landscape, With a Fish Market and Fishing Boats</i> (1610) by Jan Brueghel the Elder is a brilliant work that captures the eye initially with its two-thirds bright and one-third dark composition, which is comfortably divided by a curved, ascending meridian. Once you are drawn in, you begin to see the bustling activity of this fishing village, which is immediately followed by a receding narrative -- first, in the form of two dark crimson figures on the right and left of the foreground, then to the slightly washed out, sunlit reds of a few more figures in the early mid ground, to the more faded pinkish tones of select figures in the far ground. In the end you find yourself at the proud windmill, where you realize just how carefully and surely the artist carried your gaze through the intricate depth of this vista.</p> <p>For the next few months, the Museum of Fine Arts will also feature a number of excellent exhibitions that address a wide range of interests including the <i>Ancient Theater and Cinema</i>, which correlates ancient Greek objects with stills from familiar feature films. <i>Explore the Vaults</i> is another fascinating exhibition that reveals a collection of works on walls and in modified print draws, of a number of prints and photographs that reflect the burgeoning and explorative age of Toulouse-Lautrec. On view through May 10th is <i>Art of the Stage: Picasso to Hockney</i>; and on March 14th, <i>In Full Bloom: Netherlandish Flower Paintings and Trade</i> will be open to the public.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="816" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/4._jan_brueghel_the_elder_flemish_1568_-1625_a_wooded_river_landscape_with_a_fish_market_and_fishing_boats_1610.jpg?itok=F0loJkTc" title="4._jan_brueghel_the_elder_flemish_1568_-1625_a_wooded_river_landscape_with_a_fish_market_and_fishing_boats_1610.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Jan Brueghel the Elder, (Flemish, 1568 –1625), A Wooded River Landscape with a Fish Market &amp; Fishing Boats, 1610, oil on copper</figcaption></figure><p>While I was at the <b>Morean Arts Center</b> to open a show I curated titled <i>I Am...,</i> I was able to walk through two one-person exhibitions in the adjacent galleries. The first is <i>Kirk Ke Wang: Landscape of Human Skins</i>. The term "Human Skins" is a metaphor for the used clothing seen at disaster sites. Calling his work "Social Abstraction," Wang focuses our attention on the environment as it relates to catastrophic events, as well as the migration that such tragedies create. In <i>Landscape of Human Skins -- Green Spring</i> (2017) we see a jumble of swirling representations: a fish, a bird, a section of broken chain link fencing and tree roots from a recently logged tree all hovering above what appear to be household items, and we get the immediate sensation of the suddenness of a severe storm and its aftermath.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="934" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/5._kirk_ke_wang_landscape_of_human_skins_green_spring_2017.jpg?itok=jQzkJuki" title="5._kirk_ke_wang_landscape_of_human_skins_green_spring_2017.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Kirk Ke Wang, Landscape of Human Skins, mixed media on canvas, 78 x 102 inches (photo: courtesy of the Morean Arts Center)  </figcaption></figure><p>The next solo show has the work of Perri Neri. The exhibition, <i>Perri Neri: Past Tense; Present</i>, features a number of angst-ridden, predominantly red and blue dynamic figurative paintings plus a few very detailed biomorphic drawings. Seemingly working against the clock as the artist observes the spiraling decline of humanity, Neri reveals some gut-wrenching moments when it all becomes too real and altogether overwhelming.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="729" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/6._perri_neri_bindle_2017.jpeg?itok=cUVPTazi" title="6._perri_neri_bindle_2017.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1000" /></article><figcaption>Perri Neri, Bindle (2017), graphite on Arches paper, 22 x 30 inches (photo: courtesy of the Morean Arts Center)</figcaption></figure><p>Crossing the street, my next stop is the <b>Chihuly Collection</b>. Being very familiar with the larger public installations of Dale Chihuly, and having never been to one of the museums that feature his work, I was pleasantly surprised by the many unfamiliar works. <i>Float Boat</i> (2007) consists of several 'glowing' planet like orbs that fill up and are scattered around a rowboat. The overall narrative made me think of some otherworldly, off-site area past the confines of the known universe where planets-in-wait might be held.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="900" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/7._dale_chihuly_float_boat_2007.jpg?itok=yrNz84xd" title="7._dale_chihuly_float_boat_2007.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Dale Chihuly, Float Boat (2007), gift of Bill and Hazel Hough, (photo: courtesy of the author)</figcaption></figure><p><i>Ikebana Drawing on Acrylic </i>(2010), which looks to be dripped, flung, swished and patted acrylic paint on a clear sheet of clear plastic glass that is front and back lit, brings forth the mindset of certain Modernists who favored the no-holds-barred primitive side of expression, while <i>Sliver Gilded Scarlet Piccolo Venetian with Curls</i> (2000) has just the right amount of whimsy.</p> <p>One gallery at the museum is dedicated to artists who relate in some way to glass. Currently, the duo of Jenny Pohlman and Sabrina Knowles offer <i>In the Light of Winter</i>. Their collaborations, which began some 25 years ago, culminate here in a series of works that embrace many facets of our global culture including personal stories, religion, politics and current affairs. In one instance, with <i>In the Light of Winter, Tapestry</i> (2019), the artists create something like an oversized charm bracelet with chains of glass and metal objects. I am reminded of the work of Esperanza Cortés, who created <i>I.D Bracelet</i> (2013) comprised of frescoes, amulets, glass beads, metal and chain. <i>Lodestar Portrait Series</i> (2017), the one consisting of thirteen circular portraits and birds, is the most powerful piece in the exhibition as it produces a very potent sense of sisterhood, freedom and community.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="900" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/Jenny-Pohlman-Sabrina-Knowles.jpg?itok=bKHyCdDU" title="Jenny-Pohlman-Sabrina-Knowles.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>In the Light of Winter, Tapestry (2019), blown, sculpted, mirrored, sandblasted and polished glass, metal, beads, 49 x 59 x 9 ½</figcaption></figure><p>Jenny Pohlman and Sabrina Knowles, <i>In the Light of Winter, Tapestry</i> (2019)</p> <p>There are two important exhibitions that just opened at the <b>University of South Florida's Contemporary Art Museum</b>. <i>FloodZone</i>, a solo exhibition by Anastasia Samoylova, consists of numerous large format color and black and white photographs that line the slickly colored walls of an angular gallery. This compelling installation is further enhanced by the addition of images mounted on both sides of freestanding kiosks sporadically placed throughout. My initial impression was one of a challenge, as various, and sometimes confusing messages quickly emerge. However, once engaged, the story of rising sea levels reveals the very strained relationship between "environmentalism, consumerism and the picturesque." If you have not already, after seeing this exhibition, you can not help but wonder seeing all the bustling boulevards and condo laden shorelines of the nearby area, which science-based predictors of future climate change the developers are looking at. It's nature vs. naysayers, as Samoylova brings the undeniable to the disbelievers.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="900" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/anastasia_-_instlallation.jpg?itok=EHnD-qR-" title="anastasia_-_instlallation.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo: courtesy of the author</figcaption></figure><p>Anastasia Samoylova, Installation<i> </i>view,<i> FloodZone</i>, (left to right) <i>Pink Sidewalk</i> (2017), <i>Painted Roots</i> (2017), <i>South Beach Reflection</i> (2017), <i>Green Mold</i> (2019), archival pigment prints, courtesy of the artist and Dot Fiftyone Gallery, Miami, FL.</p> <p>A second one-person exhibition is that of Hope Ginsburg. Her multi media installation is titled <i>Sponge Exchange</i>, which consists of three floating screens for video projection, an arcade-like "Coastorama dioramas" of educational discovery displays, and a side room with various photographs and paraphernalia created and accumulated during the lengthy process that lead up to the creation of this exhibition. The concept here is the exploration of "the impacts of the climate crisis on marine species." Working with USF students and professors Maxwell Parker and John Byrd, the exhibition emphasizes the role us humans can play in what amounts to something like reforestation, only this time it is happening in our seas and oceans to rebuild important and structural marine life.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="900" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/hope-ginbsburg-installation.jpg?itok=du9n90_0" title="hope-ginbsburg-installation.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Hope Ginsburg, Installation view, Sponge Exchange (photo: courtesy of the author)</figcaption></figure><p>Brava Ginsburg and Samoylova for your hard work, vision and ability to shed much needed light on one of our planets most dire emergencies. Time is running out and it is efforts like these two exhibitions that builds much needed direction and hope.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3883&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="NlvM5P3F7-IiFUC8Nwy1F3nqTxZE3e9o9jtInA2dyVg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 07 Feb 2020 15:00:00 +0000 Dom Lombardi 3883 at http://www.culturecatch.com Physical Graffiti http://www.culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3917 <span>Physical Graffiti</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/529" lang="" about="/index.php/user/529" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Bradley Rubenstein</a></span> <span>February 1, 2020 - 10:42</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/280" hreflang="en">sculptor</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p> </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-center"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="484" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/ehrsam-vanishing_point-1.jpg?itok=mhC_Yo_B" title="ehrsam-vanishing_point-1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="468" /></article><figcaption>Vanishing Point (Unifying Theory of Everything), 2019</figcaption></figure><p>Anna Ehrsam is a fine artist, patented inventor, and a professor of art history and studio art. Ehrsam is the Editor-in-Chief for <i>Battery Journal</i> and co-directs Park Place Gallery. She has also been involved in museum education and exhibition fabrication and design for over 20 years. A few of the museums she has created sculptural installations for include The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC National Mall; The National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN; and The Smithsonian's American History Museum, Washington DC National Mall. Ehrsam is an internationally exhibiting artist. Her work is interdisciplinary involving new technologies and the development of a unified theory, as it relates to relational systems order theory. She is engaged in a rigorous exploration of new ideas, technology, and forms. The objective of her work is to expand the languages of form, color, light, sound, text, and context, using their intrinsic physical properties to make concrete and ephemeral phenomena, which she embodies in large sculpture, intimate artifacts, immersive installations, images, drawings, documents, and social sculpture. Her recent work captures manifestations of the physical and metaphysical by generating and embodying moments expressed in infinitely permutable forms, images, text, light, video, performance, and photography. Ehrsam makes videos, books, performances, photographs and experimental work with digital and analogue space. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.</p> <p><b>Bradley Rubenstein:</b> When I sat down to start thinking about your work for this talk, I realized it has been about 20 years that I have been following it. I knew you when you were in grad school, and if I remember correctly we used to run together sometimes. Somehow that seems to be a good place to start. The thing that strikes me most about your early work in performance and sculpture was the physicality of it—in the sense that a lot of your work deals with the body as a subject or field and also that much of your work was very labor-intensive.</p> <p><b>Anna Ehrsam:</b> Proving and testing myself with feats of mental and physical endurance have always been part of my work. My physicality gives me the ability to shape matter, words, stone, video, and performance in a way that allows me to network and flow through ideas and material without recognizing limits. I always push beyond in my effort to explore and understand something new.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="698" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/ehrsam-being-1.jpg?itok=tK8XIfnN" title="ehrsam-being-1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="468" /></article><figcaption>Being, 1996, Plaster and Felt, 16 ’ x 12’ x 16'</figcaption></figure><p><b>BR:</b> This was at a time when a lot of work being made was what Chuck Close called "Staples Art," meaning that New York was expensive, artists couldn't afford large studios, so there was a lot of Conceptual Art being made from office supplies.</p> <p><b>AE:</b> As an undergrad in NYC at SVA I studied with Lynda Benglis, Alice Aycock, Jackie Winsor, Roni Horn, May Stevens, art history with Donald Kuspit, and other great minds to whom I owe so much. Here I discovered performance, video art, and installation and created immersive works of art with a wide range of materials such as steal, plaster, mold-making, video, performance, installation, film, as well as directing. My desire to create immersive works of art in the form of large installations was an attempt to make hermetic alternative realities for myself and others to explore. My work posed an alternative that questioned the collective cultural assumptions about gender, race, class, and power in a political and social context. I focused on issues of power and domination and the inequalities and cultural ills that I witnessed. My body is my primary tool in all of my existential and phenomenological experiments. I set up ways of exploring the physical world and embodying that exploration in the way that best suits the idea. I feel it is the artist's job to train and tune their sensory apparatus to facilitate the fullest perception, reception, and transmission of their experiential relatives in all of its subjective, object, and metaphysical complexity. Artscience is a way of exploring with an arsenal of tools, technology and methodology that allows for the fullest range of possibilities and a distinctly existential way of being, acting, and becoming through conscious self-making.</p> <p><b>BR:</b> And before that...</p> <p><b>AE:</b> I was an only child who successfully passed as a boy for years. Gender and identity politics are a part of my work. Gender is enculturated and is toxic for both males and females in this culture and at large. We need new behavioral models that allow for the expression of a much more nuanced and healthy form of gender expression and fluidity. I saw clearly the pervasive cultural inequalities of sexism, racism, and classism rampant in our culture of perpetual war. This bigotry was hostile, as was the cultural climate, and I saw these influences as they were enacted by children at play on the playground. Just as I fought to defend kids on the playground from bigotry and bullies as a child, I fight today to defend against the repressive forces in culture that plague society. The playground has changed to a global field of injustice, corruption, ignorance, and war, but my mission to bring about change in the world and help overcome the injustices remains. Through education, art, and technology I strive to enact positive cultural change.</p> <p>My countercultural upbringing gives me a unique cultural perspective as an outsider. As a child I perceived the adult hegemony as largely untrustworthy because they had clearly fucked up the world so royally. I knew at that time I needed to help change culture and vowed to be a champion for the underdog. I perceived the systemic, enculturated sexism, misogyny, and violence against girls, women, boys, and men as intolerably evil, and I vowed to fight back with all of my might.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="720" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/ehrsam-infinte_body-1.jpg?itok=gFGFP_Yd" title="ehrsam-infinte_body-1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="375" /></article><figcaption>Infinite Body, 2010
, Plaster, 9’ x 3’ x 2’ 
</figcaption></figure><p>I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, a progressive international college town where Indiana University is located. Bloomington was a cultural mecca; I was surrounded by artists, intellectuals, and an international academic community. Without a TV or computer I was engaged in deep, durational thought and exploration of my surroundings in a quiet, contemplative, and complex way. Immersed in this radical countercultural environment of artists, musicians, and intellectuals, during a time of social and political unrest and foment, I was often left to my own devices, necessitating that I invent things, draw, build, even make earth works, and construct new narratives. The forest was one of my classrooms. This shaped me in important ways. I spent my time roaming the woods with my dogs, communing with trees, nature, animals, minding my mind. All the while I was painfully aware of the threat of imminent Nuclear Armageddon and perpetual war. But my world was full of art, nature, animals, peace, love, and harmony in a community of artist intellectual hippies. I lived communally with other kids and parents for a time The adults started a daycare and a school, which is still going strong with kindergarten through twelfth grade under one roof. It's called Harmony School. I was distinctly aware of the cultural and institutional ills of the day, most of which still persist. My artwork stems from a desire to bring about cultural change.</p> <p>I went to Yale for graduate school where I received my MFA and studied with the brilliant art historian and artist Johanna Drucker, along with many great artists such as Richard Serra, Nayland Blake, Jessica Stockholder, Ron Jones, and John Newman. At Yale I continued my performance, video, sculpture, and installation work. I was in Yale University's first video class, taught by Carol Scully the protege of Ken Burns, both of whom are visionary documentarians. Strangely, this pioneering class was held in the video conferencing rooms for the medical school. During my time at Yale I made several monumental works concerning institutional critique, using my body, large architectonic sculpture, video installation, and performance to explore the nature of space, architecture, and ideology. This was institutional and cultural critique from the inside of the ultra-elite bastions of power. I focused on deconstructing ideological structures, rites, rituals, and power relationships using my body as the interlocutor. I moved back to New York City after graduating with an MFA from Yale University and embarked on a large collaborative project with a fellow Yale graduate.</p> <p><b>BR:</b> When you did move to New York, you and your partner at that time were collaborating a lot. I remember your big studio building in Long Island City that was like a giant installation. There was a piece you did that I saw at Exit Art, a large morphing thing, that very presciently used the World Trade towers as imagery.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="646" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/ehrsam-joint-1.jpg?itok=gDEpjr5r" title="ehrsam-joint-1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="468" /></article><figcaption>Joint, 2011, Steal, Magnets, 12’’ x 16” x 12’</figcaption></figure><p><b>AE:</b> I make multidisciplinary complexes, connections, and ideas embodied in installations, sculpture, video, as well as cultural documents. Working with a variety of materials and technologies, I created networks across disciplines to manifest the most stimulating and rewarding experiences, while learning as much as I could about all manner of materials, techniques, and disciplines such as art history, art and cultural theory, physics, materials science, and process. If I'm not making art for myself, other artists, or museums, I am reading, going to art exhibitions, or engaged in discourse about art, culture, and politics with other artists. It was an intense immersion and an invaluable period for me as a developing artist. My early work in NYC was largely based on social political issues of power and domination. I was reading Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Rosalind Krauss, Lynda Nochlin, and Donna Haraway, among others.</p> <p>The body is imprinted and imposed upon by culture; we become gender labeled, classified, and commodified. We need new models of gender performativity and new relationships to nature and power structures. The landscape contains the idea of freedom and openness, yet it is cultivated, circumscribed, colonized, bought and sold, commodified, and exploited. My sculpture is about body as it relates to landscape, architecture, culture, and power. We are all increasingly cyborgian and have bodies without borders. In terms of physics we are all connected in an infinite web of vibrating strings, exchanging molecules with each other all the time. We are all one organism and part of the same ecosphere. We need new narratives, language, and behavior -- and new ways of being in harmony with nature, animals, each other, and our environment. I am working on an app for conservation biology and ecology called Humanimal, which will promote health and wellness for humans, animals, and the planet.</p> <p><b>BR:</b> I have always made a distinction between experimentation in art and demonstration. There are a lot of artists who do their homework and then create things that pretty much look like homework. To experiment means you are manifesting your ideas in a material way, which sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t, but requires a greater degree of risk. Both kinds of work can produce interesting results, though. An aspect of your practice does involve pedagogical sculpture, work that has specific parameters. Can you talk about how that plays out in your work as a whole -- does that influence you at all? Joseph Beuys and Hans Hofmann come to mind as ones who synthesize their practice.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="560" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/ehrsam-hyper_object-1.jpg?itok=aiE06Nkx" title="ehrsam-hyper_object-1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="468" /></article><figcaption>Hyper Object, 2018, Mixed Material, 22” x 22’’</figcaption></figure><p><b>AE:</b> I am pleased you asked this question. Pedagogy and social justice are deeply embedded in my work and life. I have been a teacher for 20 years with a mission to encourage social activism and critical thinking. As for social sculpture, I have created an art and cultural journal to give a context to my fellow artists and cultural producers. It is important to me to make art that has the power to expand consciousness and promote equality and cultural change. In addition to teaching and art making, I expanded my art scholarship and radical pedagogy beyond the realm of text into a living dialogue with cultural producers. I am also co-founder of Park Place Gallery, where I host and curate exhibitions that promote art, science, and technology in the service of ecology. Art is the heart, soul, and intellect of a culture, and I believe as an artist and educator it is my mission to empower others by promoting critical thinking and creative problem solving in the service of conservation, biology, and equality.</p> <p><b>BR:</b> So, much of your recent work explores art, science, and perception. It seems like you have moved away from that physicality in your work and maybe on to something more abstract.</p> <p><b>AE:</b> The body's sensory apparatus and physical phenomena have always interested me and inspired me to invent and explore new ways to experience the world, using my body as a vehicle. My interest in physics, science, technology, and my patent work are all part of my exploration of the world.</p> <p><b>BR:</b> You are also involved in projects with your work in education and environmental issues. At first these might seem outside of your sculptural work, but I was thinking about Beuys and his idea of a social sculpture. Do you see it the same way in your practice?</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="468" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/ehrsam-beingperformance-1.jpg?itok=zLGF_B1R" title="ehrsam-beingperformance-1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="468" /></article><figcaption>Being, 1996, Plaster, felt, and performance</figcaption></figure><p><b>AE:</b> I believe artists, innovators, inventors, educators, and free thinkers can change the world by presenting radical alternatives to current repressive paradigms and systems, like capitalism, sexism, and racism. I implement a radical pedagogy that interrogates the repressive ideological systems of power, domination, and control. These systems are embedded in culture and inculcated and normalized in the body politic; these repressive systems and norms are accepted as reality. My students accept these repressive socio-political economic systems and conditions as natural because they have not been taught to question authority or the norm. I use art, cultural theory, and art history to present new narratives and possibilities. I show them that language itself is plastic and malleable and that they can control it and shift ideas and outcomes to create new ideas, forms, and meaning. I teach my students to question and interrogate authority through creative thinking and problem solving, and they learn to imagine new self-empowering forms, narratives, and language, which they embody.</p> <p>Art is the most fundamentally important tool for expanding consciousness and shaping intellectual growth. Through teaching I help shape, guide, and change people's lives. We could classify my creative endeavors as political art, activism, or even social sculpture. In this sense my work is engaged in a relational way with culture shifting and social praxis. Through my cultural production and mentorship I endeavor to promote change on a daily basis.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3917&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="-tc8nuNgOO-Kd0V1HvcHg0qD-pl6Za7LT8_-z1xHwDc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 01 Feb 2020 15:42:10 +0000 Bradley Rubenstein 3917 at http://www.culturecatch.com A 50 Year Gaze Forward http://www.culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3916 <span>A 50 Year Gaze Forward</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/index.php/users/kathleen-cullen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathleen Cullen</a></span> <span>January 30, 2020 - 09:23</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1168" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/139468-landfield126a.jpg?itok=BCBQo2Pq" title="139468-landfield126a.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1021" /></article><figcaption>Angel in the Wind, acrylic on canvas, 47 x 41 inches</figcaption></figure><p><em><strong>Ronnie Landfield 50th Anniversary Exhibition</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Findlay Gallery, NYC</strong></p> <p>In 1962 Ronnie Landfield first exhibited his work in New York and in 1969 had his first one man show at the David Whitney Gallery in New York City. Now over 50 years later Findlay Galleries is presenting a show of his latest work. We spoke with the Findlay Galleries Associate Director,  Matthew Shamnoski about the show.</p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong>The show recently got an important and really positive review. Can you describe how that happened and the impact on the show? </p> <p><strong>Matthew Shamnoski: </strong>The review came about through a lifelong follower of Ronnie’s work and career, Ara Osterweil. She felt that given the occasion -- 50 years since his first solo exhibition -- a review of his most recent body of work was in order. In addition to the 2019 paintings, our exhibition also included a few from the 1990s. These were important to give the viewer context, showing a bit of where Ronnie is from and where he intends to go next. Since the review, we have extended the length of the exhibition and have received an influx of gallery visitors. Beyond this, we have also received a very favorable response from our clients. Who could possibly ignore Ara's opening line,</p> <blockquote> <p>"He may not yet be a household name, but Ronnie Landfield is one of the best abstract painters in America."</p> </blockquote> <p>Any collector would be pleased to hear that an artwork they've acquired or are considering acquiring is described as such.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>How did Ronnie Landfield respond to the reception? </p> <p><strong>MS: </strong>Ronnie was ecstatic. As an artist of his magnitude, who often seems to be glossed over in the canon of art history, I think this review represented a big step forward for both him and his career. We hope that we can build on this momentum and achieve what Area mentions in her last line, which is "…a museum show in his hometown."</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>How do you think his work fits in the context of today's contemporary art scene?  </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="597" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/139481-landfield132a.jpg?itok=poV1EIKu" title="139481-landfield132a.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Vision of Tomorrow, acrylic on canvas, 37 1/2 x 75 inches</figcaption></figure><p><strong>MS: </strong>Ronnie Landfield provides a connection to a generation of the art world that has all but passed. His work at once reaches back to early Lyrical Abstraction and stain painting while also remaining fresh and relevant. Through his interest in current events and happenings, he has a remarkable ability to capture the feelings of this moment in which we live. His paintings are portals through which we are able to view nature as both an idealized world as well as one affected by humankind. </p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>Besides being a contemporary art pioneer, Ronnie, is an accomplished teacher and mentor. How was putting a show together with him differ than when you work with someone early in their career? What made it more difficult? What made it easier? </p> <p><strong>MS: </strong>We often do not change the ways in which we curate shows for artists early in their career versus artists like Ronnie who are much more established and historic. The basic ideas and principles remain the same -- shows are hung chronologically, thematically, or based on simple rules of design such as shape and color. Curating a show for Ronnie has never been difficult. All of his paintings have individual stories to tell, but are imbued with chromatic unity and an innate ability to create a dialogue with one another. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1106" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/138384_landfield_hr.jpg?itok=FlTBfVcc" title="138384_landfield_hr.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Edge of Ulysses, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 50 1/2 x 54"</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>Hope to get it out in late spring. I felt strongly about one of the smaller pieces. Having had a gallery, I always found that there was one piece I coveted. Is there one in this show that you feel that way about? Please tell us which piece and why?</p> <p><strong>MS: </strong>As you can imagine, it's always difficult to pick a favorite. But, if there was one that I would love to take home and hang on my own wall, it would be "Coming Home, 2019," the painting reproduced in the ArtForum article. "Coming Home" has all of the qualities one would want in a classic Ronnie Landfield, while also taking on a newer point of view. It incorporates bands, directive brush strokes, and of course organic staining. But "Coming Home" is also a decidedly more brooding, moody composition. Ronnie captures a subtle optimism through hues of orange and the emergence of vivid yellow -- as sunlight would break through clouds after a storm. In a way he's telling us a brighter future awaits.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3916&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="one5AqqQkCXcaNW0RaLobtFefg9CMA7WSPBuseRd8BA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 30 Jan 2020 14:23:43 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 3916 at http://www.culturecatch.com Artist of Metamorphosis http://www.culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3915 <span>Artist of Metamorphosis</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/6838" lang="" about="/index.php/user/6838" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Siba Kumar Das</a></span> <span>January 29, 2020 - 09:13</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1431" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/mary_hrbacek_burgeoning_acrylic_on_linen_30_x_3622_2019_2.jpg?itok=otIbWDk4" title="mary_hrbacek_burgeoning_acrylic_on_linen_30_x_3622_2019_2.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Burgeoning 2019, acrylic on linen, 30" x 36"</figcaption></figure><p><b>Mary Hrbacek - </b><em><strong>Human Nature: Pefka and Sycamore</strong></em> </p> <p><strong>Elga Wimmer PCC, NY</strong></p> <p>Mary Hrbacek's art makes us see trees with fresh eyes.</p> <p>Her new paintings, drawings, and painted drawings on display at Elga Wimmer PCC till February 1, 2020 are not just beautiful. They so create an affinity between ourselves and the world of trees that we know right away that a web links us with all living things in the world.</p> <p>Taking walks in Manhattan's Riverside Park as well as traveling in Greece, Italy, Russia and China, Hrbacek was wonderstruck by the seeming anthropomorphism of many trees. Similarities between tree shapes and human limbs gave rise to hybrid forms in her imagination that in turn inspired her to see trees and the world of nature with a new wonder. She thought of Ovid's stories of metamorphosis, which, together with his <i>Fasti</i>, have given us most of our Greek and Roman mythological tales and inspired much of Western art and literature. She thought of Daphne becoming a laurel tree in Bernini's statue <i>Apollo and</i> <i>Daphne</i> as well as Antonio Pollaiuolo and Giovanni Battista's paintings of the same episode -- the paintings bookending Bernini’s magnificent sculpture over a period ranging from the late fifteenth century to the mid-eighteenth century. All three are masterpieces but still rooted in their times. All three celebrate the beauty of the laurel tree and the beauty of Apollo and Daphne's delightfully human bodies -- or rather their human-like divine bodies. But the two domains remain separate. Hrbacek's work, on the other hand, fuses them into a single biological reality. The insight driving this unification permeates "Burgeoning," "Enclosed Torso," and "Enmeshed Tree."</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1809" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/mary_hrbacek_enclosed_torso_acrylic_on_linen_28_x_3622_2018.jpg?itok=b16ob9NQ" title="mary_hrbacek_enclosed_torso_acrylic_on_linen_28_x_3622_2018.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Enclosed torso, 2018, acrylic on linen, 28" x 36"</figcaption></figure><p>The transmutation of natural forms links Hrbacek's imagery with much of the work of Georgia O'Keefe, perhaps the greatest American woman artist of the twentieth century. In terms of art’s ramifications for the environment, O'Keefe was an artist ahead of her time. She felt a great affinity with the New Mexico's Pedernal Mountain in the shadow of which she lived for many years. She perceived an organic connection between trees and animals (see her "Deer's Skull with Pedernal"), but perhaps given the times she lived in, she did not extend that linkage to humans. It is Hrbacek who has built the missing bridge. (To be sure, O’Keefe did make the connection between human physiognomy and features of flowers, but that topic has been treated elsewhere.)</p> <p>We might think also of the great twentieth-century storyteller and fantasist J.R.R. Tolkien's novel <i>The Lord of the Rings</i>, in which he depicts marvelous biological entities called the Ents. The Ents are trees that are very similar to humans -- they can do almost everything humans can do. Long before climate change and other looming environmental disasters became existential challenges, Tolkien tried so to remove from our eyes the "drab blur of triteness or familiarity" that we could see trees anew. May I suggest that Hrbacek achieves the same effect?</p> <p>Hrbacek's artistic process starts with her taking photographs of trees that give her ideas of transmutation and metamorphosis. She then makes charcoal drawings and, these days, also painted drawings entailing the application of acrylic paint on canvas in addition to charcoal. Both drawings and painted drawings may inspire paintings or remain as free-standing works of art.  Examples of all three genres are on display in the Elga Wimmer show. The charcoal drawings (see "Twisted Naxos") are especially evocative, for they create an immense suggestiveness, similar to that of Robert Motherwell's "Elegies to the Spanish Republic." You might also think of Georges Seurat's enigmatic drawings.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1876" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/mary_hrbacek_enmeshed_tree_naxos_acrylic_on_linen28_x_3622_2018.jpg?itok=pnfwkaB7" title="mary_hrbacek_enmeshed_tree_naxos_acrylic_on_linen28_x_3622_2018.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>enmeshed tree naxos, 2018, acrylic on linen, 28" x 36"</figcaption></figure><p>Suggestiveness or reverberation or resonance are centrally important in all the world's artistic traditions. In his book "Art Without Borders: A Philosophical Exploration of Art and Humanity," Ben-Ami Scharfstein of Tel Aviv University reminds us that, in the sixteenth century, Chinese philosopher Wang Yang-ming wrote that a person has fellow feelings with all living things -- birds, beasts, and plants -- and even with such things as tiles and stones. By virtue of her travels in China, Hrbacek has been exposed to such thinking, and she responds to it through her art.</p> <p>Hrbacek has created an art of reconciliation with nature. At a time when nature is seriously endangered, she pushes us to reimagine that reconciliation. Her art is an ecological force. - <i>Siba Kumar Das</i></p> <p><em>Mr. Das is a former United Nations official who writes about art. He served the U.N. Development Program in New York and several developing countries. He now lives in the U.S., splitting his time between New York City and upstate New York. He has published articles on artists living in the Upper Delaware Valley, and is presently focusing on art more globally. Recent articles have appeared in </em>dArt <em>International, </em>Arte<em> </em>Fuse<em>, and </em>Artdaily.com<em>. </em></p> </div> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-add"><a href="/index.php/node/3915#comment-form" title="Share your thoughts and opinions." hreflang="en">Add new comment</a></li></ul><section> <a id="comment-1661"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="js-comment"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1581626059"></mark> <div> <h3><a href="/index.php/comment/1661#comment-1661" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Sina Kumar Das&#039; review of Mary Hrbacek&#039;s exhibition</a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I have been following Mary Hrbacek's career for many years and this is one of the best reviews ever written about her work. And that includes a few that I have penned. Just Saying! Fast Eddy Rubin, NYC-based writer, curator, artist.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1661&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="diIQOkoPeUuOR9UnQtyzFPV_3ndrXUPaDLEHkKgX_IY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/extra_small/public/default_images/avatar.png?itok=RF-fAyOX" width="50" height="50" alt="Generic Profile Avatar Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> <p>Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Edward Rubin</span> on February 12, 2020 - 15:27</p> </footer> </article> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3915&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="EgybNQfyb1s6A2xO1LiCw-AxL0w29Rehw6gbbM98nLM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 29 Jan 2020 14:13:54 +0000 Siba Kumar Das 3915 at http://www.culturecatch.com Short Talk with Paul Laster http://www.culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3909 <span>Short Talk with Paul Laster</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/index.php/users/kathleen-cullen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathleen Cullen</a></span> <span>January 15, 2020 - 22:41</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/851" hreflang="en">outsider art</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="924" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/esther_hammerman._collection_nicole_eisenman.jpg?itok=TAuMD_A3" title="esther_hammerman._collection_nicole_eisenman.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Esther Hammerman painting. From the Nicole Eisenman collection.</figcaption></figure><p>Welcome to Short Talks -- highlighting the many voices of the Art World. Today we are talking with curator Paul Laster, who's current exhibition, <em><a href="https://www.outsiderartfair.com/program-new-york/oaf-curated-space-relishing-the-raw-contemporary-artists-collecting-outsider-art" target="_blank">Relishing the Raw: Contemporary Artists Collecting Outsider Art</a></em>, opens at the <a href="https://www.outsiderartfair.com/new-york" target="_blank">Outsider Art Fai</a>r at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York on Thursday, January 16 and runs through Sunday, January 19, 2020. </p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong>Can you explain the the term Outsider artist and how that is different from mainstream artists? </p> <p><strong>Paul Laster:</strong> In my understanding of the term, Outsider artists are self-taught artists, who do not have an institutional education; artists who have been institutionalized because of mental conditions; and artists who were born with physical or mental disabilities that impair their work options. There is also another category of naive artists, who may have a college education in one field but start making art, which they had not been institutionally trained to do, at a later point in life. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1800" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/curtis_cuffie._collection_kenny_schachter.jpg?itok=4vCeIhYP" title="curtis_cuffie._collection_kenny_schachter.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Curtis Cuffie sculpture. From the Kenny Schachter collection.</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>Who are some of the self-taught artists that we may already be familiar with but don't necessarily put in this genre? </p> <p><strong>PL: </strong>Niki de Saint Phalle, who has an upcoming survey show at <a href="https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/5111" target="_blank">MoMA PS1</a> was self taught, as was <a href="https://www.artsy.net/artist/carol-rama" target="_blank">Carol Rama</a>, who was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2003. Vincent Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo and Jean-Michel Basquiat were self-taught artists, and Jasper Johns, who dropped out of school, could also qualify as one.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>Your exhibit will feature Outsider Art from the collections of many established artists. What would you say their interest in the work is?  How is it different than art collectors or the person who makes an occasional art purchase?</p> <p><strong>PL: </strong>I believe that most of the contemporary artists that are lending works to "Relishing the Raw" are attracted to the work of Outsider artists because they find it to be art that's made for pure reasons rather than for the market. Some are drawn to works that have an affinity to their own work and others are fascinated with the obsessions of the Outsider artists. And some yet have simply started collecting these artists because they repeatedly ran into them on street corners in cities around the country. Unlike traditional art collectors, very few of these contemporary artists are buying Outsider Art for investment value, especially at today's prices for established Outsiders. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1441" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/jon_serl_collection_sam_messer.jpg?itok=PIwH0suC" title="jon_serl_collection_sam_messer.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Jon Serl painting. From the Sam Messer collection.</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>Describe from your experience the interest in Outsider Art and why, if you agree, there is growth both in interest and investing?</p> <p><strong>PL: </strong>I was studying art and photography at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology while working part-time at the Museum of Modern Art. When a full-time job became available I decided that I was learning more at the museum than I was in college and dropped out. I had also studied with Lissette Model, who was a self-taught photographer and Diane Arbus's teacher, at the New School. I became successful as an artist and an independent curator and turned to writing around the same time that I started going to the Outsider Art Fair at the Puck Building in Soho. As I began covering the fair as a journalist, my interest in Outsider Art grew. At the fair's invitation, I organized a talk on the untrained art of Jean-Michel Basquiat in 2014; and after organizing subsequent panels, I curated a show for the Paris edition last year.</p> <p>In regard to the growth in interest and investing in Outsider Art, I would say that the innovative management of the Outsider Art Fair by Wide Open Arts, which acquired it in 2013, and blockbuster exhibitions like "<a href="http://moussemagazine.it/55vb-the-encyclopedic-palace/" target="_blank">The Encyclopedic Palace</a>" for the 2013 Venice Biennale and "<a href="https://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/2018/outliers-and-american-vanguard-art.html" target="_blank">Outliers and American Vanguard Art</a>" at the National Gallery of Art in 2018, which imaginatively mixed the work of Outsider artists with modern and contemporary artworks, should be credited. The 2018 exhibition "History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift" (link title to <a href="https://www.metmuseum.org/press/exhibitions/2018/history-refused-to-die">https://www.metmuseum.org/press/exhibitions/2018/history-refused-to-die</a>) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art also played an important role in uplifting the status of Outsider Art.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>Can you describe some of the outlets in which these artists work independently, with a group or as part of agency?</p> <p><strong>PL: </strong>There are several institutional groups in the United States and abroad that supply artists with materials to make work and a system to sell it. <a href="https://creativegrowth.org/" target="_blank">Creative Growth Art Center</a> in Oakland, <a href="https://landgallery.org/" target="_blank">LAND Gallery</a> in Brooklyn, <a href="https://www.projectonward.org/" target="_blank">Project Onward</a> in Chicago and <a href="https://www.fountainhousegallery.org/" target="_blank">Fountain House Gallery</a>, and <a href="https://www.purevisionarts.org/" target="_blank">Pure Vision Arts</a> in New York, which are all doing the fair this year, are just a few that come to mind.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1272" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/lady_shalimar._collection_cindy_sherman.jpg?itok=Nl8ptLHV" title="lady_shalimar._collection_cindy_sherman.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1010" /></article><figcaption>lady shalimar painting. From the Cindy Sherman collection.</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>How were the artist collectors that participated in your show selected? Have you known of their interest in Outsider work for sometime?</p> <p><strong>PL: </strong>Once the proposal for my exhibition was accepted, I reached out to dealers in the field and artist friends and their galleries to compile a list of contemporary artists who collect Outsider Art, and to learn about the self-taught artists they treasure. Communicating with more than 100 artists, curators and dealers, I discovered a big community of contemporary artists attracted to this genre. If the artist I contacted didn’t collect this type of work, they knew of another artist who was a fervent fan. While some artists passed on showing works from their collections and a few didn't respond at all, most said yes -- leading to what I hope will be an exciting exhibition.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>Are there any Outsider artists you see as being on the horizon, that you believe may be on their way to a larger success?</p> <p><strong>PL: </strong>I like the work of <a href="https://landgallery.org/raquel-albarran" target="_blank">Raquel Albarron</a>, whom my wife Renee Riccardo, an independent curator and consultant, discovered making work at LAND in Brooklyn, and later went to see and support when Albarron had a one-person exhibition at <a href="https://fortnight.institute/" target="_blank">Fortnight Institute</a> in 2018. I also like the work of Walter Mika, who currently has a solo show at <a href="https://shrine.nyc/" target="_blank">Shrine</a> on the Lower East Side.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>What are you most excited about for "Relishing the Raw," in terms of individual and/or collective work, growing interest/larger recognition and introducing new voices or stories into the art market?</p> <p><strong>PL:</strong> I'm excited for visitors to see how much interest contemporary artists actually have in the work of Outsider artists -- how much they appreciate it for the variety of reasons that I earlier stated. It shows that being self-taught and making art should no longer be classified as Folk Art, rather it should be considered part of the contemporary art dialogue.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1472" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/paul_esparza._collection_terry_winters.jpg?itok=qXymjcC9" title="paul_esparza._collection_terry_winters.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Paul Esparza painting. From the terry Winters Collection.</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>Can you name an outsider artist whose work you covet or already own?</p> <p><strong>PL: </strong>The Outsider Art that I most covet is the painting, sculpture and photography of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein. I like Von Bruenchenhein for his imagination, experimentation and the diversity of mediums, materials and forms that he explored. I own a number artworks that are made by anonymous self-taught artists, but my wife and I also have a substantial collection of paintings by <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_Goe" target="_blank">Carolyn Goe</a>, who is a less celebrated Outsider artist. We discovered her selling her paintings near Cooper Union in the mid-1980s and repeatedly bought them to support her endeavor and lifestyle. Gracie Mansion had shown her work back in the heyday of the East Village art scene and <a href="https://www.whitecolumns.org/sections/exhibition.php?id=1463" target="_blank">White Columns</a> resurrected the work with a solo exhibition of Goe's paintings from novelist and cultural critic Lynne Tillman's personal collection last year.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>What do you hope people see, feel and experience with the work in the exhibition?</p> <p><strong>PL: </strong>Enchantment would be good for the art and wonderment works for the contemporary artists collecting it.</p> <p>Paul Laster is an artist, critic, curator, editor, and lecturer. He is a contributing editor at <i>ArtAsiaPacific</i> and <i>Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art</i> and writer for <i>Time Out New York</i>, <i>Galerie Magazine</i>, <i>Harper's Bazaar Arabia</i>, <i>Architectural Digest</i>, <i>Cultured</i>, <i>Garage</i> <i>Magazine</i>, <i>Ocula</i>, <i>ArtPulse</i>, <i>Observer</i>, <i>Conceptual Fine Arts</i> and <i>Glasstire</i>. He was <i>Artkrush</i>'s founding editor, started <i>The Daily Beast</i>'s art section and was art editor of Russell Simmons' <i>Oneworld Magazine</i>, as well as an Adjunct Curator of Photography at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, now MoMA PS1.</p> <p><em>[This conversation was conducted online and edited by Kathleen Cullen and Michelangelo De Risi.]</em></p> </div> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-add"><a href="/index.php/node/3909#comment-form" title="Share your thoughts and opinions." hreflang="en">Add new comment</a></li></ul><section> <a id="comment-1650"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="js-comment"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1581437889"></mark> <div> <h3><a href="/index.php/comment/1650#comment-1650" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Curriculum Cuffie</a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Enjoyed the interview. It brought to mind my past experience with Curtis Cuffie, Carla Cubbitt, and Dorthella Branch. I had them in a show I curated back in '97.</p> <p>It got slammed by the NYTimes. Here's the link to the review:</p> <p>http://media.icompendium.com/ddlombar_Assemblage-Review-NYTimes-1997-.pdf</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1650&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="5ag2i_lL8mlVpPR8Rfoq3McDXkrVURQy_jCOmxHGAQc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/extra_small/public/default_images/avatar.png?itok=RF-fAyOX" width="50" height="50" alt="Generic Profile Avatar Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> <p>Submitted by <a rel="nofollow" href="https://ddlombardi.com/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="D. Dominick Lombardi ">D. Dominick Lo…</a> on February 3, 2020 - 23:43</p> </footer> </article> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3909&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="X4C9POnqturxbwLtxYKFmXDmj07TDlsfwqWkESupYiA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 16 Jan 2020 03:41:46 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 3909 at http://www.culturecatch.com Short Talk with Michael St. John http://www.culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3907 <span>Short Talk with Michael St. John</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/index.php/users/kathleen-cullen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathleen Cullen</a></span> <span>January 14, 2020 - 12:18</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/858" hreflang="en">artist interview</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1489" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/tg-10.jpg?itok=_l24QwN7" title="tg-10.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Democracy (Love)</figcaption></figure><p>Welcome to <em>Short Talk</em>. We hope to bring the voices of the art world front and center with short interviews of artists, curators, gallerists, and all the parties in between that keep the world spinning, and we mean spinning. We kick off the series with artist Micheal St John who's new show -- <em>Democracy Portraits --</em> will be at New York City's Team Gallery at 83 Grand Street from 1/16 until 2/22/20.</p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong></p> <p>Who were the artists that influenced you most? Do you feel that their influence continues in your work today?</p> <p><strong>Michael St John:</strong></p> <p>Warhol and Rauschenberg mostly, the idea of recording the time and ideas I live in (the days events) is especially important to me. "The gap between art and life." Their ideas continue to inspire me still. As Jokerman in <em>Full Metal Jacket</em> says:</p> <blockquote> <p>"I am in a world of shit and I'm alive and not afraid."</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>KC: </strong></p> <p>Has the changing political landscape changed your art?  Do you think that the current political landscape is reflected in your <em>Democracy Portraits</em> show? What do you think about your depiction of Trump in these new paintings?</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1424" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/MSJ_Witness.jpg?itok=McoZ5pbs" title="MSJ-witness" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>democracy (witness), acrylic on canvas, 2019</figcaption></figure><p><strong>MSJ: </strong></p> <p>As far as the political content, it has been weaving in and out of my work since I started showing. It became more urgent with the election of Dick Cheney (ha ha) and all the presidents and politicians since! For more, read <em>Capitalist Realism</em> by Mark Fisher. </p> <p><strong>KC:</strong> </p> <p>What are your thoughts about the contemporary art scene? What are the biggest changes that you have seen in the artworld?</p> <p><strong>MSJ: </strong></p> <p>The biggest change I've seen is the breakdown of time or the disregard of what time it is. The repurposing of inventions and styles from the past to make supposedly "contemporary art." I also see it throughout the culture, so maybe it's just a reflection of our present time that seems to entertain all time at once.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1487" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/tg-18.jpg?itok=Vk9nf5YY" title="tg-18.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>democracy (tony soprano), oil on canvas, 2017</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong></p> <p>Some think your artwork is elitist as it eludes to art history? What are your thoughts on arts for the masses?</p> <p><strong>MSJ:</strong></p> <p>Art history, as an artist, is my language. It's the A-B-C's you make words out of to speak. And I don't mean just the canon. I mean as much as you can take in. It's the toolbox and the more tools the better. It's a big world! </p> <p><strong>KC: </strong></p> <p>Has your work changed since you stopped teaching?</p> <p><strong>MSJ: </strong></p> <p>The only thing that's changed since I stopped teaching is all my time <em>is</em> my time!</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3907&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="1n8TXe8jLhSbFLhnhhBR3lqoarwUjRLb1n95gUT2i3s"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 14 Jan 2020 17:18:40 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 3907 at http://www.culturecatch.com