Bruce Porter / Butes , the Bee-Master / 2003 / Acrylic on canvas / 44 x 70 inches / Sundaram Tagor Gallery
This is a great show of abstract paintings at Sundaram Tagor Gallery. Ill have more to say in a few days.
Bruce Porter at Sundaram Tagor Gallery, 547 West 27th Street, through June 14Tags: abstract painting, hans hofmann, hunter college, pop art, abstract art, sundaram
June 4, 2008 No Comments
Jonathan Lasker / Hunter’s Heart / 1983 / oil on paper / 30 x 22 inches / BravinLee Projects
works on paper
BravinLee Projects, 526 West 26th Street, Suite 211, through July 11
May 29, 2008 No Comments
Jake Berthot / The Ridge, Night Haze and the Moon / 2008 / Oil on linen / 35 1/8 x 45 1/8 inches / Betty Cuningham Gallery
I hadn’t intended to walk into this show when I went down to Chelsea last week, but I’m glad I did, and I’ve been back a couple of times since. This is a great show. Unfortunately, the web images do a grave injustice to the paintings. These are paintings that you have to sit with and look at for a long time in an area where there is natural changing light. As the light changes the paintings change. This is oil painting at its richest. Each is a quiet contemplative, typically dark, space with reference to landscape. Landscape entered into Berthot’s painting following his move from from New York City to upstate New York in 1996. These new works continue to have the central deep meditative space of his earlier work, in the 1970’s a gently touched rectangle, in the 1980’s a bar or hovering oval, and now a quietly emerging tree or glimpse of light.
Entering from the street on a bright sunny day, at first, it was hard to see anything. Impenetrable dark rectangles on the wall, flat geometrical black masses. As my eyes adjusted the paintings slowly began to reveal themselves. In the dim lighting of the first room ochres and venetian reds began to glow, prussian blues flowing and vibrating, the solid masses of chromium oxide green standing still against all this movement – trees against the wind. I was mesmerized as my eyes strained to see more. To make out shapes and forms, a tree, a lake, a horizon, a forest, a scene. Dark moody lighting. Dusk. Ominous. Tumultuous nature. Contemporary echoes of the Hudson River School.
Jake Berthot at Betty Cuningham Gallery, 541 West 25th Street through 5/10New York City, Paint, painting intstructor, woodstock, paintings, hudson river school
May 8, 2008 No Comments
It’s been a busy week between work, painting, and hanging a group show last Sunday, but I was able to get to a bunch of shows that I will try to write about this weekend. Stay tuned….
Chihung Yang @ ChinaSquare
Tom Leaver @ McKenzie Fine Art
Tony Magar @ Mike Weiss Gallery
Andre Butzer and Walter Robinson @ Metro Pictures
Miriam Schapiro @ Flomenhaft
Subhankar Banerjee @ Sundaram Tagore
Andre Millner @ Tria Gallery
Monica Mary @ Explorations
Deborah Ragasto & Michael Souter @ Allen Gallery
Tening Rigdol & Palden Weinreb @ Dinter Fine Art
Rudol De Crignis @ Peter Blum Chelsea
Los Carpinteros @ Sean Kelly
100 Stories @ Hosfelt Gallery
Peter Hujar @ Matthew Marks
Martians & Homeland Insecurity @ Esso Gallery
ASS•AS•SIN: hashish anyone @ Lombard-Freid Projects
New Ukrainian Painting @ White Box
April 25, 2008 No Comments
Amy Sillman on John Chamberlain
6:30 Monday 28 April 2008
Dia Art Foundation – 535 West 22nd Street New York, NY
This Monday, 28 April, painter Amy Sillman will give a public talk on the art of American sculptor John Chamberlain, whose work is currently on view at Dia Beacon. The program is part of Dia Foundation’s Artists on Artist series where artists are invited to speak about the work of older colleagues.Tags: Chelsea, Artist, dia art foundation, New York, American, john chamberlain
April 25, 2008 No Comments
Katy Moran / Smokers Junction / 2008 / Acrylic on canvas / 18 x 15 inches (46 x 38 cm) / Andrea Rosen Gallery
Roberta Smith of the New York Times picks up on an issue I’ve been thinking about and struggling with in my own work.
Tags: contemporary art, jackson pollock, andrea rosen gallery, Andrea Rosen, Pollock, new museum of contemporary art
Excerpted from the NY Times
Small may be beautiful, but where abstract painting is concerned, it is rarely fashionable. Big has held center stage at least since Jackson Pollock; the small abstractions of painters like Myron Stout, Forrest Bess and Steve Wheeler are mostly relegated to the wings, there to be considered eccentric or overly precious. Paul Klee was arguably the last genius of small abstraction to be granted full-fledged membership in the Modernist canon.
But what is marginalized can also become a form of dissent, a way to counter the prevailing arguments and sidestep their pitfalls. It is hard, for example, to work small and indulge in the mind-boggling degree of spectacle that afflicts so much art today. In a time of glut and waste on every front, compression and economy have undeniable appeal. And if a great work of art is one that is essential in all its parts, that has nothing superfluous or that can be subtracted, working small may improve the odds.
Small paintings of the abstract kind are having a moment right now in New York, with a luminous exhibition at the New Museum of Contemporary Art spotlighting the wry, fastidiously wrought work of the German painter Tomma Abts; and PaceWildenstein presenting in Chelsea the latest efforts of James Siena and Thomas Nozkowski, two older American whizzes at undersize abstraction. Even post-war Modernism could be downsized a bit, with a show titled “Suitcase Paintings: Small Scale Abstract Expressionism” opening next month at Baruch College.
Four young painters who embrace smallness are now having solo shows — three of them New York debuts — that challenge the importance of the big canvas.
Small abstractions avoid the long realist tradition of painting as a window, and also the shorter, late-Modernist one of painting as a flat wall. Instead these smaller works align themselves with less vaunted (and sometimes less masculine) conventions: the printed page, illuminated manuscripts, icons and plaques.
And yet, as each of these four exhibitions demonstrates, abstraction allows a serious exploration of process despite the limited real estate. This expands the already considerable pleasure of looking at paintings that are not much larger than your head. [Read more...]
April 21, 2008 1 Comment
Norihiko Saito: A Hill in His Heart / 2007 / 70 x 165 inches / mineral pigments on screen panels / © Norihiko Saito. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy of the artist and Dillon Gallery
I was able to run down at lunch today to the Dillon Gallery to catch the Ma: New Traditions in Nihonga exhibition before it closes on 4/22. While I can’t speak to the history of Nihonga painting, I thought the work was excellent with both strengths and weaknesses. As a painter when I look at paintings I look at a number of things, first what is the space depicted by the artist, how are they create space in their work, what are they spacial divisions? Is it flat, is it a deep space, perspective, overlapping planes? What are the major shapes and forms and how do they move in space. For the most part the paintings in this exhibition were very flat, relying more on elegant divisions of the surface – positive and negative spaces, contrasts of intense pigments or metal leaf with the airy quiet of the washi paper or silk support – to move the eye and create a sense of mood or drama. At notable exception is Asami Yoshiga’s Invitation Pond, a stunning piece of sumi ink on multiple layers of translucent silk, that moves your eyes into a deep atmospheric space. All of the pieces, use beautiful and luscious pigments that sing and sparkle on the surface and almost appear to be woven in to the silk. It made me lament our over ground tube paints that tend to be more filler than pigment.
The show is a visual treat for the eyes offering a wonderful play of colours, textures, and light. While satisfying my hunger for visual stimulation the works incline toward the decorative and leave weighter issues and ideas aside, but then again there more then plenty of conceptual work to go around. Ma: New Traditions in Nihonga Painting is a fabulous little show not to be missed.
Nihonga is a technique whose roots extend back more than a thousand years. The term, created in the 19th century to distinguish traditional painting methods from Western-influenced art, has often been synonymous with art of the past. Its practitioners incorporate time-honored materials such as silk, rice-paper, ground semi-precious minerals as well as gold and silver leaf into their paintings. Nihonga artists have tended to look to the visual forms and conventions of the past during most of this century. The most recent generation of Nihonga painters, however, has reinvigorated the style in an attempt to change the way the practice is perceived. For a preview click here.
Tags: washi paper, negative spaces, mineral pigments, ink, art, dillon gallery
Asami Yoshiga / Invitation Pond / 33 x 47 inches each, 2 pieces / sumi ink on silk / © Courtesy of the artist and Dillon Gallery
April 17, 2008 No Comments
Thomas Nozkowski On a Hike
This is another good one. A painter’s perspective…a painter looking at the world…
Abstract painter Thomas Nozkowski on a hiking trip talking about painting, nature, and finding inspiration for his work in the random juxtapositions of things on the ground…Tags: abstract artist, mason gross school of art, pace wildenstein gallery, Paint, abstract painting, thomas nozkowski
April 16, 2008 No Comments
Thomas Nozkowski – video
I’ve been twice now to see the Thomas Nozkowski show currently up at Pace Wildenstein Gallery. It is a great show and I’ll talk about why I think he is a painter worth studying in depth in the next couple of days when I have a moment to collect my thoughts. In the meantime, head over to Chelsea to check out the show or and enjoy this little video that I dug up.
April 16, 2008 No Comments