Friday, April 22, 2011

A Question of Drawing the Line

This post is about to rhyme itself into the visual equivalent of a ditty. Hold on to your hat.

Saw Adron at Starbar

listening to her is like going on a mini-tropical vacay inside a whiskey glass.

In April 6pm is apparently the witching hour.

Perfect lighting for Nancy to shoot a video in her studio. She installed new wallpaper from the Haverford College show, it looks awesome.

Table full of artists for Nancy's "Truth or Dare" dinner. I dared.

Ok, food, wall paper, repetitive color pattern, flowers, where does this take us next?

Amy Landesberg, "Rosewood Swag," 2011, Digital Print on clear and translucent film.

6pm was also the time Amy Landesberg chose to give a talk at Solomon Projects about her piece currently in the show "Something Along the Lines of Rock and Roll" and about the massive commission being completed for the new international wing (F) at Hartsfield.

Amy Landesberg, "Rosewood Swag,"detail.

The pieces derive from scanning endangered wood veneers, turning the patterns into vector based graphics, and printing them on glass and/or film.

Alex Brewer, "Untitled," 2010, silkscreen, graphite, house paint, on panel, 48'x48"

But what is most important is the way natural light projects the colors into space. It's ephemeral at heart. You can see better images of the cast light here.

Alex Brewer, "Untitled," detail

Veneer scans aside, what I also see in Landesberg's pieces are layers of graffitied and wheat pasted walls weathered into abstraction and liberated into space through light.

Alex Brewer, "Untitled," 2011, m/m on canvas, 60"x70"

And at Sandler Hudson graffiti artist and painter Alex Brewer is taking ephemeral methods and creating very solid paintings

Alex Brewer, "Untitled," detail

as part of the group show "Mark Making in Black and White."

Alex Brewer, "Untitled," detail

Brewer's gestural details build a network, however convulsing or on the edge of explosion, the marks convince the eye there is a harmony in the chaos

Alex Brewer, "Untitled," detail

like the intricate balance of a wood veneer patterning.

Brett Smith, "Spring Fireworks," 2007, Pastel on paper, 26"x40"

Also in the show, Brett Smith builds an intimacy of space in his small frenetic marks

Amy Pleasant, "How I See You, How You See Me," 2011, Latex paint on sheetrock.

and back at Solomon the fantastic Amy Pleasant takes adjacent walls and transforms them into an intimate meeting in muted color.

Amy Pleasant, "How I See You, How You See Me," detail

Pleasant removes every artifice in her study; managing to balance a massive wall-sized scale with a pair of small paper pieces, each seeming to speak at the same decibel.

Ink marks become a depth of floating figures in space.

Go see the Solomon show, it is ephemeral and beautiful.

All this talk about decibels and the corner space of a room. Last weekend was National Record Store Day and Criminal had a bunch of bands playing

including members of the recently disbanded band the Back Pockets, who are in the process of reforming into something new and equally fantastic.

Lead singer Emily Kempf's lyrics - delivered in a weaving of the guttural and the delicate -exploded somewhere beyond the cerebral cortex, somewhere much deeper,

creating a new sense of the rhyme in the chaos.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Playing Jazz Without Playing Jazz

Who said that?

I can't remember but I heard it recently.

I've been thinking about Helen Molesworth talking about "visual rhyming."

What if this blog were nothing but visual rhyming?

I'm going to try it sometime, sometime when I am feeling particularly speechless or forlorn.

You've been looking at pictures of the Imperial Opa on a rooftop in Castleberry. Julia Hill is doing some art directing! They were great.

Hanz told me that America is running out of helium.

In something like 40 years we will have run dry.

Dear Blogger, why do you always do weird things like underline text for no reason?

I guess they found that a particularly important sentence.

Apparently helium really ought to cost around $100 a balloon.

Imagine an America of limp balloons.

Oakhurst Community Garden sale = lack of self control.

What we're talking about here are not just any ordinary tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.

I have a really good feeling about the garden this year. It shall overfloweth.

Alright art blog, time to look at art.

There are a lot of good things suddenly happening right now.

John Heward, "untitled (abstractions)," 1987-2011, Canvas, rayon, acrylic, ink, oil, metal clamps.

Like John Heward's work just opened at the Contemporary

it's fantastic, this entire show is fantastic

raw and unencumbered and poetic and to the point.

John Yau had a lot to say about the elitism of materials and production in art making. Wealthy collectors are more comfortable with expensively made art (think Gursky or Koons); luxury items for a luxury lifestyle.

Completely missing the point of art.

John Heward on the other hand is exactly onto the point of art.

So if this were a visual rhyme, essentially a visual poem discussing visual things visually

there would be some nice juxstaposing images of graffiti, billboards of stark icons,

an image of my roommate's bathroom towels hanging neatly in an array of subtle color variation,

some solid representation of abstract expressionism, a nod the current trend to "free" the painting from the geometric two-dimensional structure of canvas and stretcher bars,

maybe the image from earlier of the fallen tree with all of the words and symbols carved into the trunk (or is that not primitive enough?) Heward's work is unadulterated mark making and yet

the marks are caught up in the fluidity of the fabric, changing shape based on the way the fabric is hung or draped, a gesture outside of the artist himself considering that gallery visitors have the opportunity to take part in the placement.

There is a nice accompanying video that serves to explain the work - or at least place the viewer into a particular mode of thinking about the work. With some great quotes, I think from W.H. Auden poem(s)?

"Intention, accident, acceptance."

"It's to seize and clap perception." (I found that particularly fitting).

And in other news the great Paul Boshears just wrote a review on Dongoski's show at Whitespace you ought to read. The show is in its last week, check it out.