painter http://culturecatch.com/taxonomy/term/203 en Solitary Activities http://culturecatch.com/node/3976 <span>Solitary Activities</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/349" lang="" about="/user/349" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dom Lombardi</a></span> <span>September 16, 2020 - 16:54</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="/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="/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"><p>Image 1: Jaroslava Prihodova, <i>Home Made</i> (2015), stainless steel, bred, 8 x 2 ¼ x 2 3/8 inches  (photo: courtesy of the artist)</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="750" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-09/image_1_-_jaroslava_prihodova_home_made_2015.jpg?itok=kvy4pyBv" title="image_1_-_jaroslava_prihodova_home_made_2015.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1000" /></article><figcaption>Jaroslava Prihodova, Home Made (2015), stainless steel, bred, 8 x 2 ¼ x 2 3/8 inches (photo: courtesy of the artist)</figcaption></figure><p>Raised in Velký Šenov, in the Bohemia section of the Czech Republic, and currently living in Cortland, New York, Jaroslava Prihodova's life has truly been a tale of two cities. Growing up in a Communist state, with her parents, an aunt and uncle and her grandparents, Prihodova has largely happy memories of those early days. The bucolic setting of her childhood home, that was situated next to a fruit orchard and a vegetable garden, and where chickens and rabbits were raised, the young Prihodova saw life as wholly sustainable and quite secure. On the other hand, there was always that overriding system of order and intolerance for the West imposed by the totalitarian regime that brought change and inspiration to her thinking later in life.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="750" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-09/image_2_-_jaroslava_prihodova_critical_error_series_2016.jpg?itok=JdWOKpqA" title="image_2_-_jaroslava_prihodova_critical_error_series_2016.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1000" /></article><figcaption>Jaroslava Prihodova, Objects series (2015), concrete, plastic, 11 ½ x 12 x 7 ½ inches (photo: courtesy of the artist)</figcaption></figure><p>Her art today, can be seen as a compelling and curious blend of what is considered to be the unfortunate divide between fine art and functional design. At times, Prihodova also employs humor while challenging her viewers to think creatively, with the desire to expand preconceived notions of the separation of form and function. I recently had the opportunity to ask her a few questions that I hope will shed light on her complex, and very pure vision about the marriage of art and design.</p> <p><strong>DDL:</strong>  Having never lived further than 25 miles from my birthplace in the Bronx, NY, it is hard for me to imagine the personal mental and physical upheaval that would follow a move from Central Europe to upstate New York. Even given the fact that you have considerably more freedom in the U.S., and having left a country that has Soviet oversight, there is still a lot of reorienting to consider, let alone a language barrier. In reading about your past history in the Czech Republic, you feature quite a few reminiscences of past experiences that helped mold the artist you are today. Was it the Velvet Revolution of 1989 that effected you most, or is it some far less dramatic universal change? Or maybe, was it something far more personal such as the time spent with your grandmother, who really seemed to be the matriarch of the family?</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="704" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-09/image_3_-_jaroslava_prihodova_objects_series_2015.jpg?itok=jE7WB-te" title="image_3_-_jaroslava_prihodova_objects_series_2015.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1000" /></article><figcaption>Jaroslava Prihodova, Objects series (2015), concrete, plastic, 11 ½ x 12 x 7 ½ inches (photo: courtesy of the artist)</figcaption></figure><p><strong>JP: </strong> Yes, it was a culmination of factors and realities that impacted the angle from which I view the world. As you alluded, my life took an unexpected trajectory when I moved to the Unlined States. In 2002, I was a freshly minted graduate from the Studio of Natural Materials at the School of Art and Design in Usti nad Labem, the Northern part of Czechia. I left everything behind to be with my partner, an American artist I met during my short residency in 2000. After I arrived, I welcomed a period filled with productivity and artistic growth. At the same time, it was a long stretch that was underlined by feelings of displacement and a sense of disillusion. As I spent more time here, a physical and mental distance from my motherland afforded me the ability to evaluate my roots and influences with a certain objectivity. It became more apparent that in contrast to the culture I was trying to understand and adapt to the way I was brought up had everything to do with the way I process my ideas, approach to materials, art in general and also life.</p> <p>I was in the seventh grade when the Velvet Revolution broke out. Even as a teenager, I understood that the situation was charged with an historical significance and would shape the future in a completely new way. The urgency and the weight of events that followed are permanently embedded in my memory. As one ages, the gift of time passed allows seeing reality (transformed in history), in a broader context, personal as well as cultural. When I see footage from the revolution, I am instantly taken back in time. It is an emotional event. It is curious that I feel similar when I come across documents from an earlier time when I was not even born. I once read that trauma or intense emotional experiences are passed on genetically from our ancestors to new generations. I often think that the human body retains memory and associations, almost like other materials such as paper or metal, that the aftermath, the evidence of distress, is always present. For instance, I recall my reaction visiting the Josef Koudelka retrospective at Getty a few years back (<i>Nationality Doubtful</i>, 2014-15). His political images adjacent to photographs from his series from Slovakia and other included series caused me to hold back tears. I had to leave the gallery several times to compose myself. Although I was not even born at the time these images were circling the world, I left undeniably connected to the content, and I felt like I shared this visceral moment with my parents who were young adults at the time 1968 Soviet occupation occurred.  </p> <p>I hold fond memories of my childhood, my home, and the village where I grew up. As I mentioned, my experiences as a child, my interactions with my parents, and my sister, who are all remarkably creative people and my relationship with my grandmother, imprinted sets of templates through which I view my surroundings. </p> <p><strong>DDL: </strong> It is amazing, how as you can sense that: "…trauma or intense emotional experiences are passed on genetically from our ancestors to new generations." I believe this, too, as I accept the theory of the Collective Unconscious. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="894" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-09/image_4_-_jaroslava_prihodova_vase_2010.jpg?itok=_SQWXEah" title="image_4_-_jaroslava_prihodova_vase_2010.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1121" /></article><figcaption>Jaroslava Prihodova, Vase (2010), glass, cork, 5 ¾ x 6 x 10 inches (photo: courtesy of the artist)</figcaption></figure><p>In looking at your <i>Dislocation</i> series of 2016, I see a very palpable visual weight coming across. You mention on your website "the expulsion of the German population from Sudetenland after World War II," and how the ensuing vacancies of the homes must have affected your grandfather Ladislav upon his return in 1946. That history very definitely haunts the <i>Dislocation</i> series. Then I look at your <i>Vase</i> from 2010, the <i>Planes</i> and <i>Table Light</i> of 2015, and your design sense applied to the <i>Vklad Series</i>, a ring created in 2012, and I see so many contrasting elements, yet they all somehow relate. Perhaps it is the directness you take to the narrative or the forwardness of the function, mentally and physically, that ties everything together. As Federico Fellini is quoted as saying: "All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster's autobiography." On the other hand, one can also be of many minds. Which is most true for you?</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="699" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-09/image_5_-_jaroslava_prihodova_table_light_2015.jpg?itok=TnzdfTEd" title="image_5_-_jaroslava_prihodova_table_light_2015.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="504" /></article><figcaption>Jaroslava Prihodova, Table Light (2015), pine, glass, plastic, 12 x 6 x 20 ¾ inches (photo: courtesy of the artist)</figcaption></figure><p><strong>JP:  </strong>My practice as an artist evolved from mostly formal considerations (aesthetics, use of materials, execution, scale, function, etc.) into a field of deeply personal themes solidified out of the pulp of memories and experiences in the framework of historical amnesia. With the <i>Dislocation</i> series, I let my work break free from obligatory principals and self-inflicted rules, allowing ideas to expand into a contextual narrative. This project is a personal attempt to come to terms with a troubled historical event, with consequences imprinted onto my family legacy. The work challenges the notion of a forgotten collective past, an unresolved political conflict filtered through my experience as someone who is permanently yet voluntarily dislocated from my homeland. Upon reflection, it is also important to acknowledge that the series was conceived here, on stolen land, in a place where I settled. So, how do we resolve the inner conflict with history? Is it possible to surrender to reconciliation instead of letting one be hindered by the burden of tragedy? I believe one can start with an acknowledgment. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1333" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-09/image_6_-_jaroslava_prihodova_dislocation_2016.jpg?itok=_AYwUKcw" title="image_6_-_jaroslava_prihodova_dislocation_2016.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1000" /></article><figcaption>Jaroslava Prihodova, Dislocation (2016), concrete, porcelain, glass, wood, silver-plated brass, silver-plated nickel, sterling s</figcaption></figure><p>I often try to imagine what it was like, starting life over in a new place and physically rewriting history. It is difficult to imagine what my grandfather must have felt when he arrived at this unfamiliar site, and moved into a home that was formerly occupied by a German family, filled with personal artifacts that only echoed a vibrant life. I never had a chance to speak to him about his experience since he died long before I was born. I can only speculate, but my instinct tells me that the prevailing sentiment centered on responsibility for his family. However, I think the place where everything was lost for the family that abruptly departed his home prior to his arrival left a lasting impression.</p> <p>You mentioned the other side of my practice. I don't divert from my work methods too much when I produce objects with utility. Design has always been an interest. I studied the design of lighting for four years, and I adopted some of the principles of art in general. Both art and design are rooted primarily in communication. I was fortunate to study in institutions that were largely built on the legacy and philosophy of modernism. Bauhaus's educational principals were undeniably present in my schooling. Although there are some apparent differences between art and design, I'd like to consider them as twins. One of my favorite designers is Dieter Rams. His ten commandments for good design can apply to both aspects of creative practice. In my opinion, one cannot exist without the other, as Bruno Murani said in his book, <i>Design as Art:</i> "The designer is therefore the artist of today, not because he is a genius but because he works in such a way as to reestablish contact between art and the public, because he has the humility and ability to respond to whatever demand is made of him by the society in which he lives, because he knows his job and the ways and means of solving each problem of design. And finally, because he responds to the human needs of his time, and helps people to solve certain problems without stylistic preconceptions or false notions of artistic dignity derived from the schism of the arts."  </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="520" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-09/image_7_-_jaroslava_prihodova_fold_2010.jpg?itok=tso60v-7" title="image_7_-_jaroslava_prihodova_fold_2010.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Jaroslava Prihodova, Fold (2010), laser-cut stainless steel, ¾ x 1 ¼ x ½ inches (photo: courtesy of the artist)</figcaption></figure><p>My ultimate objective is the simplicity of form and function while employing the least amount of materials and manipulation. I believe that it is quite a challenging task in both art and design. A good example is a laser-cut stainless steel ring titled <i>Fold </i>(2010). Inspired by origami, the approach illustrates how to utilize material with minimum waste, transform a flat surface, introduce volume, tension, intentionality, and the perception of size and scale.</p> <p><strong>DDL:</strong>  The creativity you show as a curator is as profound as your own artwork. At this time we are speaking, you have <i>Measured Confluence</i> on display at the Dowd Gallery at SUNY Cortland. As the curator of this exhibition, it is your desire to show how art influences science and science influences art -- and where they meet is the purity of design, as function and form coalesce. I imagine this show has been a great experience for the artists and the students to share.</p> <p>First, what inspires your curatorial process, and finally, what is most important for you to project in all of your professional practices?</p> <p><strong>JP:</strong>  I consider curating as another facet of my practice. It is an opportunity to think about art outside of my work, and to be creative in a specific way that does not involve my personal approach to making art. I am fascinated with the process of finding connections in places where they might not be evident to others. Vladimir Nabokov wrote, "There is no science without fancy and no art without facts." My primary focus is to develop impactful exhibitions that reflect and honor the diversity of thoughts, art concepts, and the people who create them. My objective is to bridge art with other disciplines to provide a broader context for our students and visitors. I want to illustrate that visual art is not an intimidating indulgence that exists in isolation, while linking it to various fields of science and humanities, as I believe that art transcends the ability to communicate disparate ideas across many areas of study. Therefore, the challenge for me is to present programs that are relevant not only to our school but also to our local cultural community and still deepen the intellectual engagement through object-based learning that fosters an appreciation for art and its cultural importance in general. We are a small gallery in a teaching institution, which allows us to be flexible with artists we bring to campus but also with collaborations with faculty members from other departments, schools, and institutions. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="526" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-09/image_8_-_robert_vlasak_artifact-naturfact_2020.jpg?itok=edBBnOGB" title="image_8_-_robert_vlasak_artifact-naturfact_2020.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="850" /></article><figcaption>exhibition view, Robert Vlasak, Artifact/Naturfact, 2020, varialble size, Dowd Gallery, SUNY Cortland, NY (Image: Robert Vlasak)</figcaption></figure><p>Mounting an exhibition is a big job that requires many details to align in a harmonious outcome both conceptionally and visually. That is where both the purpose and purity of design are most visible. The design of the show is something I take very seriously. That is the moment when everything comes together and where artworks live in a conversation with one another. It seems I push against prevailing trends in exhibition design. I prefer a minimal presentation where the work has a place to tell a story. In that aspect, I am a traditionalist.</p> <p>As someone who navigates both sides of visual arts -- producing and presenting artwork, I strive to propose ideas and forms that might not be obvious on a first glance but somehow reveal themselves in small increments equal to time invested. The reward and impact are always difficult to assess, because all of the artistic aspirations are process-oriented, unfolding over time, and rely on intellectual inquiry. In both practices, I try to emphasize innovation, interdisciplinary investigation, and exposure to cultural inclusion in the world that is continuously in flux.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="480" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-09/image_9_-_jaroslava_prihodova_untitled_2019.jpg?itok=QdE2Imho" title="image_9_-_jaroslava_prihodova_untitled_2019.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="720" /></article><figcaption>Jaroslava Prihodova 9: Untitled (2019), Bronze, porcelain, stainless steel, 6 x 4 ¼ x 3 ¼ inches</figcaption></figure><p><strong>DDL:  </strong>In a time of Covid, with shows being cancelled or rescheduled, lives and businesses being turned upside down, and the general way of doing things drastically changing for the foreseeable future -- how have your gallery and studio practices changed?</p> <p><strong>JP: </strong> When we started this interview many months ago, we did not anticipate that the world, not only the physical world but the field of art, could change in a matter of weeks. It is remarkable how much we need to prepare for, adjust, and adapt to. For our gallery, in light of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, it is extremely difficult to proceed with planned shows, and frankly, justify the financial commitment when there is a good chance that the gallery will be closed on a day's notice. I think it's a common problem that many galleries and museums are facing right now.</p> <p>I started to utilize a lot of technology to bring our visitors closer to the art we present. I believe that spatial context is still important. That is why I like to continue to install work in the gallery and employ digital tools to substitute for a lack of accessibility. It is interesting to think about new ways to consume and interact with art. We need to establish new modes of interaction between the viewer and the artwork. I see it as a challenge. If I have to predict what will occur, we might reevaluate our relationship with the immediate. Because most of us were forced to work from home for months, we faced the reality of where and how we live. I hope that this fact will emphasize more, how we live and what we surround ourselves with. This shift has the potential to offer a real platform for artists, designers, and architects to improve our living conditions and reevaluate that relationship to art. I find it fascinating and disturbing at the same time.</p> <p>As for my personal practice, nothing has changed. I proceed with the way I have worked in the past. After all, art production can be a solitary activity that dictates isolation to some degree. In a way, this situation is ideal for artists and creators. The question is how to bring results and outcomes to the audience effectively. Certainly, we have entered a transformative period for the arts.</p> <p>For more information about Jaroslava Prihodova's curatorial project <i>Measured Confluence</i>, follow this <a href="http://www2.cortland.edu/departments/art/dowd-gallery/exhibit-details.dot?exhibitid=97afe911-17f3-4178-bbc6-a5ad0340f1b6">link</a>.</p> <p>For more information about Jaroslava Prihodova's studio practices go to his <a href="https://www.jaroslavaprihodova.com/">website</a>.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3976&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="quy6cdR4HoxB0RzfKL26khOcZxScPONsuI26riui0xA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 16 Sep 2020 20:54:17 +0000 Dom Lombardi 3976 at http://culturecatch.com A Short Talk with Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave http://culturecatch.com/node/3955 <span>A Short Talk with Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/users/kathleen-cullen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathleen Cullen</a></span> <span>July 11, 2020 - 09:43</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="/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="/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/2020/2020-07/black_matisse.jpg?itok=hfrlUvAT" title="black_matisse.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Mattise Negro</figcaption></figure><p>I recently viewed the work of Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave and the imagery piqued my interest in learning more about his work. I found this quote in relation to a solo show he had at the Bronx Museum in 2015.</p> <blockquote> <p>"Jeffrey Hargrave's work taps into his own memories of growing up in the midst of a sharply divided community. Hargrave translates his personal experiences into playful, yet biting images that mix art-history clichés and racial stereotypes. Ultimately, the artist seeks to engage the viewer in a dialogue on class and privilege based on a repertoire of familiar images." - Bronx Museum Director of Curatorial and Education Programs, Sergio Bessa</p> </blockquote> <p>I think the quote really encapsulates the work and had a chance to talk with the artist, who I found to be a wonderful storyteller. I wanted to share our discussion as his work and words are a timely reflection of life in America. </p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen:</strong> The show at the Bronx Museum was a strong success for you. As you revisit the quote from the curator what would you say if anything has changed in your work and message? </p> <p><strong>Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave: </strong>It still rings true to me now as it did then, perhaps even more so at our present moment.</p> <p>Growing up in "extreme poverty" was difficult, especially in a town of exorbitant wealth. In regards to my use of racial stereotypes, it's tricky. This is especially true in an age where monuments are being ripped down, airports are being re-named overnight and police are demonized nationwide. I paint from my heart along with my experiences. The one thing I've learned is that those who forget their past are sometimes doomed to repeat it.</p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong>Can you share with us what has influenced your work? Also what impact did your professional training have?</p> <p><strong>Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave: </strong>Art History influences and informs my work. Funny, enough I failed Art History twice. The first time while a high school senior at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and The second time at the Rhode Island School of Design. Perhaps this is why I'm so captivated by it now. Professional training helped significantly, especially in regards to learning new ways of thinking and how to engage critically with my fellow students and professors.</p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong>In your work you reference iconic images from Matisse to Disney. How do you choose these images and for what purpose?</p> <p><strong>Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave: </strong>I try and select images that are most identifiable to Pop Culture.</p> <p>Then I filter images such as Mickey Mouse, through the lens of Black Culture.</p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong>In the past couple of years the art market had begun to focus on African American artists. Now it has been greatly shut down by Covid. In addition, the recent killing of George Floyd, has asked us all to re-examine our country's institutional racism. How have these factors affected your work in regards to your focus and the commercial aspects?</p> <p><strong>Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave: </strong>Not much, I've dealt with work in relation to my experience as an African American man for decades now. </p> <p>Covid may have affected the art market, but I create so that I can better understand myself and relate to others through my work. I don't make art solely for the market.</p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong>You are currently developing a print edition. Can you tell us about that project and how you are developing the images and when they will be available?</p> <p><strong>Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave: </strong>I'm working with my art dealer, Greg Smith (Owner\Director) of Contemporary Art and Editions on an upcoming Print Portfolio. I would love to see my "Matisse Negro" in print edition form.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3955&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="E880UdDKNXDr3qAGvxHyhUr9ESfyLMx_HmnvZ01-KZ8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 11 Jul 2020 13:43:39 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 3955 at http://culturecatch.com A Look Back http://culturecatch.com/node/3935 <span>A Look Back</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/349" lang="" about="/user/349" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dom Lombardi</a></span> <span>April 11, 2020 - 21:14</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="/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="/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"><article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-04/gallery_installation_view.jpg?itok=uVRZug9C" width="1200" height="431" alt="Thumbnail" title="gallery_installation_view.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>This past October was the opening of <i>Artwork/An Exhibition</i> at SBM (Small Bands of Misbehavior)</p> <p>Studio 929 Canal. The pop up gallery was situated in Middletown, NY, in a film studio run by Courtenay Williams and Kai Lee -- a place where "creating environments, transforming spaces, strengthening context, and shaping experiences" has been their primary focus over the past ten years. I met Courtenay and Kai a few years ago, when I was working as a scenic artist on a crew run by Roman Turovsky, and I was immediately impressed by their unique approach to production design and direction. Impressed because they were both extremely respectful and mindful towards all crews and members, handling every aspect of the job with a very high level of professionalism, and without talking down to.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="825" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-04/victor_barroso_untitled.jpg?itok=FB47uzfF" title="victor_barroso_untitled.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="750" /></article><figcaption>Victor Barroso, Untitled (1981), acrylic on canvas, 44 x 44 inches</figcaption></figure><p>With all this stated, I was happy to take the long drive up to their place of business to see what they had in store fine art-wise, for their local, Middletown community. The exhibition, which featured the work of over a dozen solo artists and co-conspirators, was tremendously diverse in style and media. The premise of the exhibition is that most artists, unless they are independently wealthy, must work in another or related field to survive and create. For instance, <b>Victor Barroso</b>, who works as a VFX Compositor (a mixer of digital and live action footage) and Non-Union Scenic, offered a drip painting that focused on the potential of controlling chaos. <i>Untitled</i> (1981), a canvas that was begun with a rough color field approach dominated by a bold diagonal that split the canvas in half, was riddled afterwards with colorful veils of drips cascading from all four sides. By spinning the canvas as he worked, Barosso created something of a nerve network, tension in depth that precisely recorded time and space.    </p> <p><b>Daniel Grant</b>, a Maker of Contemporary Furniture and Accessories, revealed a kinship with indigenous peoples as his paintings reflect the aesthetics of Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians. A most striking connection is <i>Arrival</i> (1984), which reminded this reviewer of how Aboriginal artists very often focused on the location of water in their mesmerizingly beautiful, and often dream-like compositions. On the other hand, <i>Unbound</i> (1979) is far more spiritual in its intent, linking all earthly beings to the higher power of the Gods of nature.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="749" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-04/image_3_andrew_heikkila-old_hay_barn.jpg?itok=SztyHZG2" title="image_3_andrew_heikkila-old_hay_barn.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="500" /></article><figcaption>Andrew Heikkila, Old Hay Barn (2019), digital C glossy print, 31x46"</figcaption></figure><p><b>Andrew Heikkila</b>, a Union Prop Specialist, presented three inspiring color photographs that uncover the more magical effects of light. <i>Makela Tree</i> and <i>Bryce Canyon</i>, both from 2019, illustrate the endless possibilities in nature both earthly and heavenly. <i>Old Hay Barn</i> of the same year is far more theatrical in its narrative as selective spot lighting intensifies the drama and the dynamics. With all three, there remains that endlessness, near feeling of vertigo triggered by the presence of the Milky Way. <b>Judith Hoyt</b>, a Childcare Provider, creates assemblages that fall primarily into the category of Folk Art, often hinting at and referencing Dada and Surrealism. One common link throughout her work is a nod to nature, while the found rusted metal she incorporates in her compositions illustrates one of the more relentless aspects of nature, its ability to reclaim lost elements.</p> <p><b>Margot Kingon</b>, who works as a Union Electrician, had a number of curiously composed and fastidiously fabricated works on display that are more current today, than the day they were made. In this time of a global pandemic, our entire planet is dealing with a number of issues and emotions including anxiety, fear and loneliness. <i>Wall/Boy</i> (2017), <i>Boy Looking Out</i> (2015) and <i>Mountain Boy</i> (2017) in particular reflect isolation and a lack of information, as we often feel frustrated by worsening mismanagement, a lack of leadership and endlessly contrasting information.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="501" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-04/margot_kingon_boy_looking_out.jpeg?itok=pTJw-D6n" title="margot_kingon_boy_looking_out.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="500" /></article><figcaption>Margot Kingon, Boy Looking Out (2015), photograph and latex paint on wood panel, 12 x 12 inches</figcaption></figure><p><b>Todd Koelmel</b>, an Engineer, appropriated a sort of 1960's Hard Edge approach to making landscape and seascape paintings. By minimizing representations of form and color, Koelmel gets down to the essence of the visual experience, while simultaneously broadening the scope of the understanding. <b>James Lee</b>, the retired Editorial Art Director, offered his version of landscape painting with <i>Fraser Valley</i>. Painted in 1958. <i>Fraser Valley </i>exemplifies a far more atmospheric approach to the representation of nature than Koelmel, an approach that left me with a soothing and comforting view of a bucolic valley where I could truly feel the moment and almost smell the pines.</p> <p><b>David Lionheart</b>, Founder of the Non-Profit for Veterans -- playforyourfreedom.org, turns wild color schemes and tumultuous texturing into challenging imagery. With titles like <i>The Joker</i>, <i>The Cocktail Waitress</i> and <i>The Hunted</i>, Lionheart offered puzzling representations of tangible subjects through distinctly non-representational means. Another Maker of Contemporary Furniture and Accessories is <b>Ingela Noren</b>. In this instance, there was an inclination to the applied arts, as Noren applies unique design concepts and bold techniques to functional, everyday objects.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="742" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-04/james_palacios_untitled.jpeg?itok=K1dDEol8" title="james_palacios_untitled.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="750" /></article><figcaption>James Palacios, Untitled (2019), plaster, pigment + grease pencil, 96 x 96 inches</figcaption></figure><p><b>James Palacios</b>, a Cook, merged multiple cultural and emotional references in a boldly blended narrative in <i>Untitled</i> (2019). Here, two partial figures, one a seated male and the other a portrait of a female, are dually interlocked in an endless pattern of power and destabilization. Even with the obvious pain suggested here, Palacios managed to create a mesmerizing visual that kept this viewer engaged, as the artist drives home his point -- the cycle of sorrow is most often facilitated by an enabler.</p> <p><b>Jane Resnick</b>, the retired Photo Stylist, presented a large variety of wood-fired ceramic vessels expressing a range of aesthetics and forms from classic design to the more organic, and even the futuristic. All together, they formed an impressive and insightful range of quality results. <b>C. E. Williams</b>, SBM -- Creative Studio Co-Owner and Union Production Designer, displayed a challenging representation of the female form with a work form the <i>Topophilia</i> series (2017-ongoing). The subject, in repose and suspended above a segmented seating arrangement, projects confidence and stature. Conversely, the multitude of textures and transitions in black and white that give the figure volume also suggest erosion and fallibility. Think Yves Klein <i>Anthropométries</i> sans the iconic blue, but more resolved anatomically.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="741" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-04/image_6_ce_williams-topophilia.jpg?itok=3eMsmZ-u" title="image_6_ce_williams-topophilia.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1000" /></article><figcaption>C. E. Williams, Topophilia (2017), drawing no. 1, pigment on Plexiglas, 48 x 96 inches</figcaption></figure><p><b>Kai Lee</b>, SBM – Creative Studio Co-Owner and Union Production Designer, teams with the aforementioned <b>Williams</b> to repurpose various colored Plexiglas, LEDs and aluminum in the creation of <i>I Don't Know Where the Sidewalk Ends</i> (2019). Here, I experienced two alluring portals crossing, perhaps indicating the convergence or overlap of unseen dimensions. String Theorists can end up with anywhere between 10, 11, or 26 dimensions, a level of understanding that is way beyond my ability to grasp or imagine. However, the possibility of there being more than the easily perceivable dimensions we live with every day: length, width and height –- maybe throwing in space-time, is endlessly intriguing. To work with and around those mind-bending concepts, and to hint at far greater possibilities, as experienced with <i>I Don’t Know Where the Sidewalk Ends</i>, gave me and many others much to contemplate.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3935&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="ej1GjYhXwgyUPE5qYIew2l9GJHi-113D7B-AH-QrML0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 12 Apr 2020 01:14:33 +0000 Dom Lombardi 3935 at http://culturecatch.com Inner Sanctuary http://culturecatch.com/node/3927 <span>Inner Sanctuary</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/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="/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="/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://culturecatch.com A Strange New Beauty http://culturecatch.com/node/3918 <span> A Strange New Beauty</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/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="/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="/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://culturecatch.com St. Petersburg 2020, and a little bit of Tampa http://culturecatch.com/node/3883 <span>St. Petersburg 2020, and a little bit of Tampa</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/349" lang="" about="/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="/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="/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://culturecatch.com A 50 Year Gaze Forward http://culturecatch.com/node/3916 <span>A 50 Year Gaze Forward</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/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="/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="/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://culturecatch.com Artist of Metamorphosis http://culturecatch.com/node/3915 <span>Artist of Metamorphosis</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6838" lang="" about="/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="/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="/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="/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="/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="/index.php/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/index.php/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://culturecatch.com The History of The World http://culturecatch.com/node/3905 <span>The History of The World</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/thalia-vrachopoulos" lang="" about="/users/thalia-vrachopoulos" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Thalia Vrachopoulos</a></span> <span>January 6, 2020 - 15:29</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="/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="/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="538" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/human_evolution_i.jpg?itok=0REPstKr" title="human_evolution_i.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Human Evolution I, 2019</figcaption></figure><p>Janghan Choi</p> <p>Korean Cultural Center - Tenafly, NJ </p> <p>Choi's multifaceted installations employ the abstracted human form in movement as sign language thus demonstrating a relationship to collective memory and Jungian archetypes, and in their essentialized forms, to cave painting also. <em>Human Evolution I, 2019</em> which a triptych of neutral background with navy and puce colored signs and a central tondo with rune-like shapes, reveals the artist's interest in pre-historic cultures. His works in general and this work in particular, can be read in terms of the four main Jungian archetypes the anima/animus representing our true self, the shadow or our negative side, the persona which is our public side, and the self that is a unified whole symbolized by a circle such as the ones in Choi's works. As Jung believed, these archetypes represent globally accepted innate forms that are part of patterns of human behavior. In addition, the psychologist found that the idea behind these ‘primordial images' or mythical/archaic archetypes were part and parcel of any human. </p> <p>These types of archetypical forms are used by many well-known contemporary artists including the Israeli Michal Rovner. But, whereas Rovner works with new media as in her <em>Tablets, 2004</em>, Choi for the most part, works with mixed media and painting. Rovner references specific traumatic events like the Palestinian crisis, Choi looks to engage with the history of humanity in general. These cyphers act as foil for Choi to examine and deploy cultural sign as language that involves looking into the human past to find the present. Both Rovner and Choi use what appear to be letters but which are abstracted human forms in dance-like movement that leave their trace on the page as does writing or inscribing on a page. Whereas Rovner re-interprets history through new media, Choi re-discovers and pays tribute to it. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="291" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/human_evolution_ii.jpg?itok=k_Ec5SsF" title="human_evolution_ii.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Human Evolution II, 2019</figcaption></figure><p>Choi's drawings can be seen as marks of communication and at the same time as cave painting and human evolution or traces of human presence. In his wall installation <em>Human Evolution II, 2019</em> Choi uses a puce color background upon which are inscribed simplified human figures in shades of brown, rust and white. Because both the white and the colored figures depict human forms through linear networks much like cave paintings or Greek geometric vase paintings, there is a resultant figure ground ambiguity that takes place where we read the white as background and as figure and vice versa. This type of inscription is similar to sgraffito used on Greek pottery but also has a relationship to ancient Chinese oracle bones. These sgraffitoed bones were usually animal scapulae that were inscribed by the King in order to divine the seasonal cycle's production a practice that began in the Shang Dynasty. Oracle bones were also known as dragon bones. This practice after the Chou Dynasty was abandoned by the King but was continued by Shamans who were more often than not women. The King or Shaman would carve the questions onto the bone, apply heat with a metal rod and then read the patterns of the cracking produced by the heat. Because these markings in the early 20th century, proved to be historical characterized by writing, we can say that Choi's engagement with them segues from the pre-historic into the historical eras. Consequently, Choi traces human existence through its traces or signs.</p> <p>Like the <em>Egyptian Palette of Narmer</em> (c.3100 BC) or the <em>Akkadian tablet of Naram-sin</em> (c. 2254-2218 BC) Choi's tablets are executed in relief sculpture but the latter is not about famous battle victories like the earlier. Choi's figures are not engaged in battle or proudly depicting a larger than life leader, they are evenly spaced and sized. The ancient tablets were sized hieratically whereas the King is the largest figure and everyone else was sized according to their importance in that society. Choi's evenly sized figures are concordant with the idea of democracy wherein individual figures are evenly configured. Marxist critic Linda Nochlin discusses George Seurat’s divisionism in terms of political allegories of parity and the "anti-Utopian" modern condition.  </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="247" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/human_evolution_iii.jpg?itok=U-YviEsI" title="human_evolution_iii.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Human Evolution III, 2019</figcaption></figure><p>The floor installation piece <em>Human Evolution III, 2019</em> because of its orientation holds similarities to Carl Andre's minimalist sculptures. Both Choi and Andre used grid formatted structures to give order to their language. They also used repetition as a way of emphasizing their linear forms and placed their sculptures on the floor. But whereas Andre emphasized the space above his works that could even be read as column, Choi focuses on the solidity attained from carving elements in relief that depict the exchange relationship between solid and void. This idea relates to the Korean concept of yin yang found in Taoism one of the religious philosophies combined with Buddhism and Confucianism prevalent in Korea of today. To Taoism and consequently to Choi who is Korean, they represent the yin and yang sign that is both solid and void simultaneously. </p> <p><em>Human Evolution III, 2019</em> appears like a checkered black and white pattern comprised of tiles inscribed by similar figures as in his wall works. In keeping with the legend of the grain of wheat and Zarathustra's game with the King, chess is a game of power. Thus, this work can also be compared to chess and brings us full circle to the start of this essay regarding cosmic archetypes as the required element necessary to battle our own egos. </p> <p> </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3905&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="EoP-82Enbfm_V9HNKioqKhcr85WPO0wOEQPrbAOH-lo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 06 Jan 2020 20:29:00 +0000 Thalia Vrachopoulos 3905 at http://culturecatch.com Game Symmetry http://culturecatch.com/node/3904 <span>Game Symmetry</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/529" lang="" about="/user/529" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Bradley Rubenstein</a></span> <span>January 1, 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="/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="/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"><article class="embedded-entity align-right"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-12/lucio-pozzi.jpg?itok=gmQNT0_F" width="314" height="449" alt="Thumbnail" title="lucio-pozzi.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p> </p> <p>The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Lucio Pozzi and Bradley Rubenstein reinterpret Mr. Proust’s concept for a new century.</p> <p>Lucio Pozzi is an Italian-born, American artist currently based in Hudson, New York, and Valeggio sul Mincio, Verona, Italy. He studied architecture in Rome before moving to New York City in 1962. Pozzi is a painter whose painterly concerns extend to environmental art and actions. He teaches, writes, and lectures. His work is in the collections of the New Mexico Museum of Art; P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center; the Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Art Gallery of Ontario; the New York Public Library; the Detroit Institute of Arts; Giuseppe Panza; the Fogg Art Museum; the Herbert and Dorothy Vogel Collection; and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Pozzi's awards include the National Endowment for the Arts.</p> <p><i>What is your idea of perfect happiness? </i></p> <p>I have no idea. Perfection is boring, but striving for it is great.</p> <p><i>What is your greatest fear? </i></p> <p>To be locked in definition.</p> <p><i>Which historical figure do you most identify with?</i></p> <p>Giordano Bruno.</p> <p><i>What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?</i></p> <p>Conformity.</p> <p><i>What is the trait you most deplore in others? </i></p> <p>Conformity.</p> <p><i>What is your greatest extravagance?</i></p> <p>Being myself.</p> <p><i>What do you consider the most overrated virtue?</i></p> <p>Success</p> <p><i>On what occasion do you lie? </i></p> <p>I try not to lie because then I forget and get caught.</p> <p><i>What do you dislike most about your appearance?</i></p> <p>My chest</p> <p><i>What is your greatest regret?</i></p> <p>No regrets.</p> <p><i>What or who is the greatest love of your life? </i></p> <p>Five women.</p> <p><i>Which talent would you most like to have?</i></p> <p>Quick repartee.</p> <p><i>What is your current state of mind? </i></p> <p>Permanently tense.</p> <p><i>What do you consider your greatest achievement?</i></p> <p>Having a curious view of life.</p> <p><i>What is your most treasured possession? </i></p> <p>Painting.</p> <p><i>What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?</i></p> <p>Lack of love.</p> <p><i>Where would you like to live?</i></p> <p>If I have a minimum of food and shelter, anywhere.</p> <p><i>What is your favorite occupation?</i></p> <p>Probing.</p> <p><i>What is your most marked characteristic?</i></p> <p>Openness.</p> <p><i>What is the quality you most like in a man?</i></p> <p>Generosity.</p> <p>What is the quality you most like in a woman?</p> <p>Generosity.</p> <p><i>What do you most value in your friends?</i></p> <p>Trust.</p> <p><i>What is it that you most dislike?</i></p> <p>Hypocrisy and greed.</p> <p><i>How would you like to die? </i></p> <p>In my sleep.</p> <p><i>What is your motto? </i></p> <p>“Why not?”</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3904&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="OrxmxC9soK4mQrfGy4WJ3GLzGL6NoeHPMzIujU9cihc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 01 Jan 2020 15:00:00 +0000 Bradley Rubenstein 3904 at http://culturecatch.com