Art Review http://culturecatch.com/art en A Middling Review http://culturecatch.com/node/4162 <span>A Middling Review</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/millree-hughes" lang="" about="/users/millree-hughes" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Millree Hughes</a></span> <span>December 14, 2022 - 15:44</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>Billy Childish: <em>Spirit Guides and Other Guardians Joining Heaven and Earth</em><br /><a href="https://www.lehmannmaupin.com/exhibitions/billy-childish9">Lehmann Maupin Gallery</a>: 501 West 24th Street, New York<br /> November 10, 2022 - January 7, 2023<br /><br /> I'm going to say upfront that this is a "middling review." I think that it's important to write bad reviews now and again because too often nowadays a lot of art reviews are positive and written to promote allies rather than for the sake of the art itself. A middling review's purpose is to suggest that with a little more focus the work could be great.</p> <p>Art criticism is justification for a particular way of looking and of enough judgement to recommend improvements. I like what Billy Childish does. I like his band "Thee Headcoats"-- the neo-prospector drag that he zhooshes* up with his handlebar mustache to "put over" his paintings. I love artists who have a costume: Klimt's embroidered muumuu or Warhol's wig (particularly in the '80s). I tried a ginger one myself for my Lummox Project, but I couldn't stick with it.</p> <p>Childish has stuck with it and going into Lehmann Maupin on 24th street you can't mistake the work and the way the paintings look in the room, for anyone else. You feel, particularly in the second room, like you're standing on a headland looking out across a wide river to another bank and a background of high hills. Like it's you and the North West Frontier for the first time. Painted as if CinemaScope could be rendered in chalky earth colours.</p> <p>He keeps his palette limited to tertiary tones -- lemon yellow and some freezing morning light blues and aqua greens. He has a very convincing line, that carves up space and fills out figures. I can almost see him doing it with a stick of charcoal across a large, buff untreated canvas. There's a stylized fill that you see in some of the dark silhouetted trees in paintings like "Salish Fisherman." It's made of squiggles on the ground of the canvas where areas of paint are "doing" something irrespective of each other perhaps for some narrative purpose.</p> <p>Pulling back, larger parts of the paintings are outlined or repeatedly outlined creating a ripple. Munch does something similar, it can be used to separate a tree from a sky or a face from a lake in the background. I think this kind of paint handling that's both decorative and spatial, sometimes serves another purpose as if some of the areas can be read as energy fields. A metaphor for the vibrations of all living things. Kandinsky and Mondrian were inspired by Madame Blavatsky to enter the spirit world on the way to Abstraction. Childish's figures in hyper-extended landscapes take us back to the end of symbolism and the beginning of modernism. I think he likes the borderlands between art movements and he wants to tap the presence of forces outside of human control.</p> <p>Looking back can automatically imbue a work with deeper contours. Done well it can summon other spirits and their era without directly quoting anyone. But the past can be an issue, while as an artist you want to place yourself relative to the art and artists you like, time has already made its decision about them, you run the risk of them overshadowing you.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1613" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-12/billy-childish-one.jpeg?itok=-9AhWWd-" title="billy-childish-one.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Sat On A Rock - Yuva River, 2022, oil and charcoal on linen</figcaption></figure><p>That said, he has definitely created his own idiosyncratic language of marks for his work. In this painting of a figure the decorated fills take up more space. The rock he's on is dashed and dotted in glittery points and the ripples around its base are tadpole strokes. In the shadow of the man are vibration lines coming out from the body. They are repainted and reiterated as if the first strike is not enough. The painting does have a wood cut feel about it. The land, the sea, and the man cut out in deep grooves.</p> <p>The figures in the boats don't look as if they're actually steering them but are turned towards the viewer "showing" themselves. His swimmer is also looking directly at us as is the one posing on the rock. It's as if they represent Childish's "neo-prospector" look, like a fashion spread or a record cover where the band are trying out a new image.</p> <p>The re-painted line stiffens the figures, making them look more posed, ossifying the initial drawing. When the loose, skittish, decorative marks are laid into areas as fill, it doesn't lighten the feel of the painting but reinforces how hemmed in they are by the iterated and re-iterated line.</p> <p>In one painting "Salish Fisherman," however, everything comes together.</p> <p>The line isn't too stultified and the fills are light and frothy. When Childish manages to balance his influences and his ideas about how paintings should look it really works. This is a great painting that looks both like an old book illustration and a living breathing update on symbolist painting. Something new out of recherche elements.</p> <p>It shows a boat heading away from us down river with two oarsmen looking back towards us. The water is cold and treacly as deep water gets.</p> <p>The forest on the other bank is lit in half tones with dashes of misty paint strokes. Facing us is a bank of darker pine trees whose branches form a loose decorative grid. A painting moment like this reminds me of other formal abstract painters but it's just a stanza here. The painter's ability to both create and decorate space is exciting. There are illustrative elements and bold expressionist strokes like a halfway place between elements, actually more like a crossroads.</p> <p>So, I think, if these were a little better they'd be exponentially a lot better. Some are held back by, on the one hand a cautiousness in the outline and on the other a dashed-off ness in the fill. Mostly if he just laid in his line and let it be I think the impact would be greater. I believe many of his paintings are in the middle, teeter tottering on the edge of greatness.</p> <p><em>*Zhoosh -- Style hair, tart up, mince (Romani -- "zhouzho" -- clean, neat).</em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=4162&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="j5TZ9CAN785zzE0refKYAWykW7DoQcyjTinYqtqQmCo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 14 Dec 2022 20:44:03 +0000 Millree Hughes 4162 at http://culturecatch.com Life in the Oak Room http://culturecatch.com/node/4157 <span>Life in the Oak Room</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>November 30, 2022 - 10:39</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="1021" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-11/2010_ancestors-i.jpeg?itok=wU8V7Jc0" title="2010_ancestors-i.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Ancestors 2010, 41 x 50"</figcaption></figure><p><b>A BRIEF INTERVIEW WITH SANDRA MUSS ON THE OCCASION OF HER EXHIBITION AT THE ALGONQUIN'S OAK ROOM IN NYC</b></p> <p><b>Kathleen Cullen: I know you travel quite a bit. Where is your favorite place to make work? </b></p> <p>Nature -- the wilderness, in particular -- is where I locate myself -- my thoughts, vision, creativity. I am fortunate to have studios in the Berkshires and Miami where I materially transcribe concepts originating in nature.</p> <p><b>Where are you from and how does that affect your work?</b></p> <p>I grew up in New York and live in the Berkshires and Miami. I am fortunate to be able to immerse myself in nature, seasons, urban and rural life and my work therefore may have a vocabulary encompassing this broad lived experience.</p> <p><b>You use so many different mediums. Do you have a favorite medium? </b></p> <p>Oil sticks, my hands and found objects come together on works characterized as assemblages.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1154" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-11/2010_bloodofthemother-oilspill.jpeg?itok=VWGas8FH" title="2010_bloodofthemother-oilspill.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Blood of the Mother (Oil Spill) 2010, 14 3/4 × 14"</figcaption></figure><p><b>How have other artists or art genres influenced your sense of aesthetics? </b></p> <p>Arte Povera influence on the  assemblages pieces at end of hall in the oak room? I would not call the assemblage work a distinct parallel to the Italian Art Povera. The assemblage work is the material representation of how I move through my life -- encountering, reflecting, gathering. I navigate through different cultures and environments and the assemblages embody moments through time and space rather than a considered attempt to align with an artistic movement.</p> <p><b>Why did you decide to have a show at the Oak Room at the Algonquin?</b> </p> <p>As you know, the Algonquin is legendary for convening some of the most brilliant and audacious thinkers and the hotel is interested in reinterpreting that Salon legacy and offering its patrons an experience they may not have expected.</p> <p><em><a href="https://www.algonquinhotel.com/the-hotel/">The Algonquin Hotel</a> is located at 59 West 44th Street | Between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in NYC</em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=4157&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="51XU186iYrY9kuRBnA9Ey4MqqDHSwKsKY8-k69Co6jY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 30 Nov 2022 15:39:48 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 4157 at http://culturecatch.com The Well-Bred Hybrid http://culturecatch.com/node/4151 <span>The Well-Bred Hybrid</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/7274" lang="" about="/user/7274" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Joel Carreiro</a></span> <span>October 14, 2022 - 11:09</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/779" hreflang="en">essay</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="941" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-10/image_1_ccws-25.jpeg?itok=Dg_2cQ8g" title="image_1_ccws-25.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>D. Dominick Lombardi, CCWS-25 (2018), mixed media, 21" x 14" x 12"</figcaption></figure><p><i>Cross Contamination with Stickers</i></p> <p>Albright College in Reading, PA</p> <p>October 27 through December 8, 2022 </p> <p>Cross contamination is usually a bad thing; having to do with bacteria transferred from one substance or object to another, with harmful effects.</p> <p>In the case of D. Dominick Lombardi's exhibition title, it can refer to his lifelong rejection of the High Modernist position that art forms like painting and sculpture should be pure of contaminants from other forms or, worse yet, from "lower" forms of art. Instead he has embraced the notion that artistic expression is renewed and extended through outside influence and interaction. He needs the combined power and reach of both "high" and "low" forms to address his concerns.</p> <p>In their 1990 MOMA exhibition and catalog, titled <em>High and Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture</em>, Kirk Varnedoe and Adam Gopnik addressed the historic effort to keep separate and distinct such activities as advertising, comics and graffiti from the lofty realms of high art.</p> <p>With their exhibition they told a very different story, one of mutual interplay and interaction between these different levels of culture in modern society. They traced the ways in which this dialogue between "high" and "low" allowed artists to redefine "the relationship between the private imagination and the shared energies of public communication."</p> <p>In Lombardi's collage and assemblage works vigorous formal mixing mobilizes the artistic fuel necessary to investigate a big ticket item -- no less than what used to be referred to as "the human condition."</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="762" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-10/image_2._ccws_99_1.jpeg?itok=PvXC-wMz" title="image_2._ccws_99_1.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>D. Dominick Lombardi, CCWS 99 (2020), acrylic, ink and charcoal on paper on canvas, 24" x 38"</figcaption></figure><p>What is it that we are? How do we build a self and determine our actions and beliefs?</p> <p>What access do we have to the reality of our environment -- both internal and external?</p> <p>Mining the collective unconscious, he layers discordant imagery such as figure drawings, themselves efforts at "high art," with floating signifiers from the nether world of dreams, racing thoughts and hallucinations. Set against activated paint backgrounds, these elements interact in a sort of parallel play, inciting each other and sparking the proverbial Surrealist jump in order to reveal the uncanny within the familiar.</p> <p>In addition to formal contamination the title also points to the literal poisoning of our environment through pollution, of our bodies through transgenic foods and our minds through apocalyptic pressures. Just as Picasso's figural distortions evoked the horrors of war in his painting <i>Guernica</i>, an early and formative influence, Lombardi`s anatomical grotesqueries and mutations reflect our absurd flirtation with global destruction.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="880" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-10/image_3._ccws_92.jpeg?itok=qTP3-zLH" title="image_3._ccws_92.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>D. Dominick Lombardi, CCWS 92 (detail) (2020), acrylic, ink and charcoal on paper on canvas, 40" x 36"</figcaption></figure><p>His tragicomic hybrids wander hyperspace like cyborgs, surrounded by their indecipherable thought bubbles -- ad hoc survivors of a consumer society with nothing left to consume. This seriously bad news is leavened with humor and wit. Against the failed state of humanity he offers the high octane capacity of his protagonists to reinvent themselves from its toxic residue. Their resilience and ingenuity exemplify essential attributes, found in short supply today, that will be crucial for human survival and renewal. -  <em>Mr. Carreiro is an artist, writer, and independent curator, who teaches at Hunter College and is based in New York City.</em></p> <p>An exhibition of works of D. Dominick Lombardi from the <i>Cross Contamination with Stickers </i>series will be featured at the Freedman Gallery at Albright College in Reading, PA, from October 27 through December 8, 2022.  For more information please call (610) 921-7541 or email gallery@albright.edu</p> <p> </p> </div> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-add"><a href="/node/4151#comment-form" title="Share your thoughts and opinions." hreflang="en">Add new comment</a></li></ul><section> <a id="comment-3796"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="js-comment"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1673960793"></mark> <div> <h3><a href="/comment/3796#comment-3796" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Dominick Lombardi exhibition</a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>We are so pleased to finally host Mr. Lombardi's work at the Freedman Gallery, Albright College. He's supplied us with some thoughtful and meaningful critiques, essays and analyses for other catalogues we've published, so, it's particularly relevant and cool to see his work in-person in our space for a change.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=3796&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="_eF9vRIdol3YKMzNa8h2dyXtn0b3oorizSDqxFIFv3U"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/extra_small/public/default_images/avatar.png?itok=RF-fAyOX" width="50" height="50" alt="Generic Profile Avatar Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> <p>Submitted by <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.albright.edu/freedman" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">David Tanner</a> on October 18, 2022 - 10:14</p> </footer> </article> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=4151&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="7LOn0Zzf0E-qj8j0gBIm6JscQE2YoW5VtBOpJpZ9Mj8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 14 Oct 2022 15:09:39 +0000 Joel Carreiro 4151 at http://culturecatch.com Truth and Beauty http://culturecatch.com/node/4149 <span>Truth and Beauty</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/millree-hughes" lang="" about="/users/millree-hughes" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Millree Hughes</a></span> <span>October 1, 2022 - 19:01</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="1036" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-10/elizabeth-magill-painting11.jpeg?itok=KtYJKfga" title="elizabeth-magill-painting11.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>"Duggans Bay" 2022</figcaption></figure><p>Elizabeth Magill's new work, up until October 15th at Miles McEnery Gallery, 511 West 22nd Street, NYC, is both haunted and enchanted. The foregrounds are usually the dark silhouette of winter trees against a vivid colour wash. But in these new paintings the trees are screen printed rather than painted. Subtle slips along the outline move from light into dark. There are half shifts into negative. It can seem like torchlight through the woods or the off register feel of the night vision setting on a GoPro camera mounted on a drone.</p> <p>This dislocated quality reminds me that despite the subject matter these are not Romantic paintings. Bare trees could come from an Atkinson Grimshaw work, and the hazy sky, from a Caspar David Friedrich. But pictorially they do not necessarily follow figurative rules, they're always shadowing abstraction. And under the surface is a Modernist unease.</p> <p>"The Troubles" haunts this work. As a child growing up in Country Antrim in the '70s she couldn’t have avoided the bombings and the murders. Local people still don't talk about it. You don't know who you might be talking to. Magill's approach is to show her colors at dusk in an ambiguous way.</p> <p>An example of a painting that both celebrates the Irish countryside and hints at some terrible past is "Duggans Bay" from 2022. It shows an opening into an estuary glowing in the deep red of an autumnal early evening. The banks are screenprinted onto the red ground. It's a subtle image with a powerful mood. It's as if something happened here.</p> <p>It's like the location of an irish murder ballad.</p> <p>"Mama went to the Boyne water,</p> <p>That is so wide and deep,</p> <p>Saying, 'Little Sir William if you are here, Oh, pity your Mother's weep,'</p> <p>"Little Sir William" Traditional</p> <p>It's a Neo Film noir still, in 1970s colours, like a Polaroid that you found in a draw. There are raw sienna hand painted strokes that are a little too corporeal somehow.</p> <p>She uses the camera to convey natural order, the way things grow. The painted branch as opposed to the reproduction is a record of a tree's life. The relationship of one branch to another and to the trunk. They have endured the extreme temperature changes of the seasons on the Antrim coastline.</p> <p>In "Flag-Iris" 2022 there's a group of figures and the faint image of a car. It's not a new car and those aren't new haircuts, maybe they're trying to cross a check point or carry something over the border. It's never specific. This is not political or historical work. Around the figures are chalk outlines that can represent changing decisions or some past tragedy.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1036" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-10/elizabeth-magill-flag-iris.jpeg?itok=CT5D5ujA" title="elizabeth-magill-flag-iris.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>"Flag-Iris" 2022</figcaption></figure><p>Elizabeth Magill's paintings are immanent, no devices this complex artist ever uses, conceptually or formally gets in the way of the internal workings of the painting. They operate at a hub where surface paint, gesture and photographic imprint meet. It's choreography and improvisation and color, all the things that color can say and the emotional temperature they take. She paints as if nothing beyond the truth of the image exists. She denies narrative because it might be misunderstood, it could be too dangerous. And if there is something beyond it, far better to trust to ambiguity and veil everything in shadows and inference.</p> <p>The paintings are flattened by pop techniques and then re deepened by more traditional landscape painting ones. She uses motifs that are meant to evoke spiritual longing and at the same time compares them to artificial light.</p> <p>She leaves only partially represented people, the slightest clouds or sea mist. A whisper of human developments like distant lights beyond the subject. Her paintings are always beautiful andthe Irish landscape and the light are unequivocal and true but there are other truths not so beautiful. Human activities that are best communicated in secrecy.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=4149&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="6DaW_BsbmXxmdrX06u9kdsdelt5Ho0R9J_uLJiymek8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 01 Oct 2022 23:01:22 +0000 Millree Hughes 4149 at http://culturecatch.com The Joy & Wonder of Rhapsody http://culturecatch.com/node/4139 <span>The Joy &amp; Wonder of Rhapsody</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>August 17, 2022 - 18:30</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/2022/2022-08/sb_03-1024x1024.jpg?itok=df10IzU-" width="1024" height="1024" alt="Thumbnail" title="sb_03-1024x1024.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p><em>The following is an introductory interview with curator Bianca Friundi written on the occasion of the three solo exhibits entitled "Rhapsody" with a review of the work of Serena Bocchino.</em></p> <p><b>Can you tell me something about the Museo Italo Americano and its history for our readers?</b></p> <p>The Museo Italo Americano was born in August of 1978, in a space above Malvina's Coffee House on Union Street in North Beach. Its parent organization was the "Archeoclub d'Italia in America," established in 1976. The founder and first executive director of the Museo was Giuliana Nardelli Haight,a native of Trento, Italy. Its present location, in a National Landmark Building in Fort Mason Center, became the home of the Museo in 1985. The space was designed by interior architect Teresa Pomodoro, andit includes galleries, a library, and a gift shop.</p> <p>The mission of the Museo Italo Americano is twofold -- to research, collect, and display works of Italian and Italian-American artists, and to promote educational programs for the appreciation of Italian art, culture, language, thereby preserving the heritage of Italian-Americans for future generations.</p> <p><b>How did you come to organize this exhibition of three painters? How long have you known about the artists' work?</b></p> <p>I have known the three artists and their respective work for several years. Serena and Kara submitted an art proposal a few years prior to the pandemic, and they were both enthusiastically selected by our Art Committee. Nola is a long-time supporter of the Museo and has previously exhibited her work at the Museo. The choice of having her exhibit with Serena and Kara was a natural one. The three artists tell three different, complimentary stories. They use different media expressing different messages and experiences; nonetheless, they fit together perfectly.</p> <p><b>What do you hope that people will experience with the work in the exhibition?</b></p> <p>I would like our visitors to experience the joy and wonder of "Rhapsody," which is a celebration of three talented, Italian American women and their artistry, ingenuity, and creativity.</p> <p><b>You titled the show "Rhapsody" which has discursive and emotional connotations. Can you tell me more about how you see these three artists on the present course of their careers and their journeys to a larger audience at the museum</b>?</p> <p>We chose the title "Rhapsody" due to the free, expressive, and ecstatic nature of the three artists' works.</p> <p>The products of their creativity encompass powerful ingredients: music, improvisation, social and environmental awareness, love of nature, dance, and tapping into one's ancestral roots. The works that are exhibited exist in the present, but they will live on as a legacy and a gift to future generations of artists and appreciators of art.</p> <article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-08/serena_with_work.jpeg?itok=nFvlsZs4" width="1200" height="1367" alt="Thumbnail" title="serena_with_work.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>Serena Bocchino has a Master of Arts Degree from NYU and has received a Pollack Krasner Foundation Award, PS1/MOMA Studio Residency the Basil Alkazzi Award USA, and The New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship in both painting and drawing. In addition to the exhibition Ms. Bocchino collaborated with curator Friundi on the bilingual children's book , <i>COSA SONA Storia di un Dipinto Astratto (Who Am I? The Story of an Abstract Painting).</i></p> <p>Serena Boccchino<i> </i>comes from a family of painters and her work is a celebration of life and the positive emotions of being alive on the planet. Bochino presents 20 years of work and also includes the drawing and collage work of her mother, Lucia Confalone Bocchino and her grandmother, Maria DeFazio Confalone's fine crochet work. Their artistic activity fueled Bocchino's ambitions and by placing their works alongside her own, one can see how their Italian heritage was passed onto Serena. There is a truth to the detail, line  and visual language of the three generations. For each artist, it is a distinctive language of one's time. Bocchino states that her family of artists -- her mother and grandmother, taught her that to be an artist with their words:</p> <blockquote> <p>"you must take the time to think with your ears, to look with your heart, to listen with your eyes, and to feel with every part of your being the preciousness of life"</p> </blockquote> <p>Abstract art all about accident trying to find a vision of what we might call reality.  If all art is a reflection of environment and time, Serena Bocchino's brushwork can be compared to a movement in music and dance.</p> <article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-08/sb_01-1024x1024.jpeg?itok=7AtOBPbv" width="1024" height="656" alt="Thumbnail" title="sb_01-1024x1024.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>Serena Bocchino found that pouring the paint was the key to making the paint work and do a wide range of things for her. It unlocked for her a limitless abstraction and made each painting it's own environment. Like the masterful Kandinsky, Bocchino's use of color connects dynamic movement while utilizing a full range of color. She walks a tightrope with each painting setting up a joyous drama in a full range of colors and movement.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1196" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-08/serena_bocchino_rhythm-blues.jpeg?itok=wlmSiXWz" title="serena_bocchino_rhythm-blues.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="750" /></article><figcaption>Rhythm Blues (from the Mirror Series), Enamel paint with applied mirrors on acrylic sheet, 2017</figcaption></figure><p>For Serena Bocchino, whose painting is a kin to the glamorous abstraction of Jackson Pollock's aggressive drips and layers across the picture surface gives the viewer a literal abyss to dive into. Bocchino's floats paint veils of color atop which is layered circular whirls of paint brushwork that bring the viewer closer to her depth of feeling and discursive association. For her, the act of abstract painting represent her intimate experiences.</p> <p>Also included in this exhibition are the two wonderful artists -- the environmental painter Kara Maria and the sculptor Nola Pardi Proll.</p> <p><em>The exhibition has been extended until September 11. The museum is located at Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd Building C, San Francisco, Ca 94123  <a href="mailto:Info@sfmuseo.org">Info@sfmuseo.org</a>   (415)673-2200</em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=4139&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="PXCQFmLOzUBVu4MiaqtOGPIcVOR9AUrpSJEidUrWnNI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 17 Aug 2022 22:30:50 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 4139 at http://culturecatch.com Color Is The Essence http://culturecatch.com/node/4137 <span>Color Is The Essence</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 29, 2022 - 17:31</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/510" hreflang="en">painters</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="1241" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-07/red%2C%20Grace%20Wapner.jpeg?itok=ZA5I7ckr" title="red, Grace Wapner.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Grace Wapner - RED 2014 BURLAP, PAPER, ACRYLIC 61.5 X 53</figcaption></figure><p>COLOR: THE PRIMARY MATERIAL</p> <p>If color is the essence of our perception of the world the pairing of Steven Alexander and Grace Bakst Wapner in the Lockwood Gallery show "Color: The Primary Material" makes for an interesting discussion about the conventions of painting, the material used and the oscillation between organic form and minimal abstraction. Both Alexander and Wampler work within a vocabulary of minimalism but with very different approaches. I would like to get to the source of their strategies as I am concerned with the period of probation or conception so I have posed questions about color as the starting point for each of these artists.</p> <p>Grace Bakst Wapner's work is ephemeral, intimate and delicate and constructs a new way of approaching painting.</p> <p><b>Grace, how does the impulse to use color arise?</b></p> <p>Color excites me. I play with color in my head,  I imagine one color combined with another color and then with a third. I get taken by color combinations I see in other artist’s work, or in a gravel path, or the accident of one color next to another while working, or in an ad for a movie or in the color of a vase. In other words I am always alert to color. The impulse to work with color comes from the desire to see it arranged and juxtaposed in the most interesting and exciting way so that I may see it. The impulse comes from wanting to see it. But then, a most crucial but then, it must inform the content of the piece I am working on, it must make emotional sense, it must be integral to what I am trying to get at. This is the constant struggle. It must illuminate the unknown.</p> <p><b>Do you do preliminary design on paper before you begin to make the works Grace?</b></p> <p>I often do make preliminary sketches but the work rarely turns out to be what I have initially imagined. A dialogue with what I am working on takes over. It is this back and forth with all the surprises along the way that makes the process compelling. It is the seeing of what comes next, of seeing what it turns out to look like after all, that pushes the work forward until 2:00 in the morning.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1500" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-07/purple_grace_wapner.jpeg?itok=WuOgCaUq" title="purple_grace_wapner.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Grace Wapner - PINK, BLACK, ROSE 2022 CHIFFON, TULLE, ACRYLIC, THREAD 41 X 28</figcaption></figure><p><b>Grace I'd like to know how the selection for the works on view were made? </b></p> <p>The selection of the pieces were made by the curator of the show, Alan Goolman, with some input from me.</p> <p><b>During which period in your career where are you the most fertile and immersed in the avant-garde milieu of New York</b>?</p> <p>I became conscious that there existed a NY Art Scene when I was invited to share studio space with Eva Hesse and Tom Doyle.  Before then I had no idea there were galleries or so many artists working that weren’t in museums. It was stimulating to see what people were making, I had always made things in solitude and it introduced me to the world of possibility. To the notion that art could be what you wanted it to be. I had grown up with a love of dance so I began to make installations about defining<br /> space and then about how people interact within space, and then large walls and barriers with openings through which you could or couldn’t see the space beyond. I see now that some of the same ideas that occupied me then persist in the work now.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1493" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-07/20220622_172100.jpeg?itok=wtOcUMvI" title="20220622_172100.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>GRACE WAPNER - BLUE, GRAY, SPLIT 2021 SILK ORGANZA, ORGANZA, ACRYLIC, THREAD 45 X 26</figcaption></figure><p><b>I am sure that people respond well at once to your work's size, with former associations and memory. Can you tell us a bit about your past friendship with Eva Hesse and the influence such friendship may have had on your work?</b></p> <p><b> </b>You ask about Eva and how she influenced me. She encouraged me to work and took my work to galleries. She told me "decoration is the art sin" which I took to mean never embellish, never add anything extraneous but took me a long while to reconcile with my love of decoration. She taught me a woman could be ambitious. Perhaps she helped me understand you must make work that is close to the bone. She influenced me in many of the unknown ways a close friend does. And does when you are with her when she dies and she is 34 years old and you are 36. But to try and answer your question I think my work has changed and evolved most here in our house in the country surrounded by woods and next to an ever changing moving stream. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1354" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-07/steven-alexander.jpeg?itok=V7A9yDa0" title="steven-alexander.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1156" /></article><figcaption>Steven Alexander - Reflector 18, oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches</figcaption></figure><p><b>Steven Alexander's work has much to do with the relationships of color where the washes on canvas and brings you on an adventure -- while drawing on associations from the past.</b></p> <p><b>If color is the primary material with which you work how do you begin. Do you do preliminary work on paper? Is the translucent under painting then over painted with a complimentary color wash?</b></p> <p>I have two different ways to begin. First is with small pencil thumbnail sketches in which I develop the basic configurations and value relationships. These are very loose and quick, but allow me to arrive at configurations that present the simplest setting for optimum spatial dynamics as conveyed by the value relationships. The second device is utilizing my rudimentary abilities in Photoshop. I do very basic color studies, experimenting with color relationships, and sometimes using the mechanical software to arrive at unexpected color situations. Then employing the configurations from the pencil sketches, I find various color equivalents for the value contrasts. All of this brings me to a starting point for a painting. Once I begin the actual painting, the preliminary sketches recede, as I build the piece out of paint, and anything can happen. Each decision is an intuitive response to the results of a previous decision. Because colors are applied in thin layers, the under painting affects the subsequent color in sometimes unpredictable ways. The final layers are very thin and translucent, and tend to unify the surface and emphasize the surface/color nuances while slightly reducing the color saturation. Even after almost fifty years, this whole process still feels experimental, and each outcome is surprising to me. I am constantly changing the procedures and materials in various ways in attempts to achieve a more sensual surface and more resonant color situations. But I often feel that, where color is concerned, my sense of control is illusory.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1500" src="/sites/default/files/2022/2022-07/clearing_1_alexander.jpeg" title="clearing_1_alexander.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Steven Alexander - Clearing 1, oil on canvas, 50 x 40 inches</figcaption></figure><p><b>What is the source of the color strategies and where do you get the impulse to use a particular color?</b></p> <p>My color sources are both art historical and observational -- the ghostly Cimabues at Assisi, the hallucinatory color of Tibetan Buddhist painting, the soft light of Titian and Bellini, the expansiveness of Rothko....and also the startling color events that occur everywhere in nature, and in the urban environment. Often, by starting with one color idea, the painting sort of makes itself as one relationship calls for another. Just as I re-employ certain configurations, I sometimes re-address certain color combinations, always with the intent of getting more out of it, finding some new variation or context. I look for color relationships that are both surprising and inevitable; that might jar your senses and attract your contemplation. I often think of the painting in terms of sound, and I see the layers of color as a sort of tempering, adjusting the timbre of the color with overtones and undertones, creating a scenario that is more than the sum of its parts. The object is of course to engage the viewer's imagination because it is in the viewer's consciousness that meaning resides. So the painting functions much like a mantra -- as an opening in the clutter of reality -- a place where one can slow down, look, and through contemplation experience the present moment.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="802" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-07/voice_12_alexander.jpeg?itok=6gAeBpeQ" title="voice_12_alexander.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Steven Alexander - Voice 12, oil on canvas 48 x 72 inches</figcaption></figure><p><b>What are the situations that you hope to set up for the viewer? Transitions and unique color situations? How do you get the majestic gradations? Do you find yourself repeating some of the tones? </b></p> <p>Because of the nature of the Lockwood exhibition and space, the works in this show are distinctly intimate, and perhaps engage in a bit different way than larger scale paintings which are more immersive. Many of the works in this show were in fact preliminary to much larger paintings, and were sometimes initial forays into some new material or configuration. So, at least to my eye, there is a tentative or contingent aspect to some of these pieces that I enjoy for its sense of vulnerability.</p> <p>It is the ongoing research and discovery, the ontological speculation, and the inclusive sensuality that continues to sustain painting as a poetic endeavor for me.</p> <p><b>COLOR: THE PRIMARY MATERIAL</b></p> <p><b>STEVEN ALEXANDER​ and </b><b>GRACE BAKST WAPNER</b><b>​</b></p> <p><b>SATURDAYS &amp; SUNDAYS 11AM - 6PM</b> <b>CLOSES JULY 30TH</b>​</p> <p><b>747 ROUTE 28</b> <b>KINGSTON, NY 12401</b></p> <p>i<a href="mailto:info@TheLockwoodGallery.com">nfo@TheLockwoodGallery.co</a>m</p> <p>​</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=4137&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="fikz-l-ooraKZEWLZ8XYIbNjcISIZVr6exvmXhQIRhs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 29 Jul 2022 21:31:03 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 4137 at http://culturecatch.com Art As A Diary http://culturecatch.com/node/4130 <span>Art As A Diary</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>July 7, 2022 - 17:25</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="1200" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-07/Imae%201.%20Yul%20and%20Gwen.jpeg?itok=GhB3sIl9" title="Yul and Gwen photo" typeof="foaf:Image" width="960" /></article><figcaption>Yul Vazquez and Gwen, Photo: Parker Burr</figcaption></figure><p>There are some of us, who can move from one art form to another and always find footing. Those individuals have a natural ability to respond to the challenges, find those inner voices they trust, and overcome every bump and detour in their journey. One of those genuine, passionate and dedicated individuals is Yul Vazquez, who credits much of his success to his mother, and a childhood filled with spiritual, social, and supportive experiences. Vazquez recalls with fondness those "mystics and spiritualists" who were his mother’s friends, and he sees Cuba as a most significant part of his being.</p> <p>At the age of three, Vazquez traveled with his mother, sister and grandmother to America from Cuba, which at the time, would have been an incredibly dangerous journey (this was 1969, after the Cuban Missile Crisis in '63, and the Bay of Pigs in '61). By the time his family fled Cuba, the Cold War was raging, travel to and from Cuba was forbidden, and the US placed an embargo of all goods flowing back and forth, virtually isolating the island. Growing up, Vazquez was exposed to a rich history of Afro-Caribbean Religions and Deities, an exposure to the occult that would follow him throughout his life, and one that would eventually appear as cryptic signs, mysterious symbols and bold sentences in his visual art.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="942" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-07/image_2._student_protest.jpeg?itok=f7V9PF_V" title="image_2._student_protest.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Student protest against the Fidel Castro government in Havana's central park. January 8, 1960, Photo: Wikimedia Commons</figcaption></figure><p>His creative journey began when his mother noticed his interest in music, especially the drums. Since it was the four of them living in a small efficiency apartment in Miami Beach, it was not the easiest commitment to make, but the drum set was there, in the corner of their all-purpose room by the time Vazquez was eight years old. His musical tipping point came when he was twelve, when he heard "Whole Lotta Love" for the first time. By then he had switched to guitar, and when he heard Led Zeppelin's iconic song it shook him to his core, "I was stunned, stopped in my tracks thinking 'What is This?'." Instantly, the die was cast for Vazquez and soon, with a lot of hard work and ingenuity, the self taught musician was earning upwards of $90 per gig!</p> <p>Even though music will always play a key role in Vazquez's life, his fate would change when he got his first acting role as Flaco in <i>The Mambo Kings</i>. Since then, he has appeared in countless movies and television series that most recently includes <i>Severance</i>, <i>Promised Land</i> and the soon to be released <i>The White House Plumbers</i>.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1200" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-07/image_3._fingers_freddy.jpeg?itok=BEG6WJM-" title="image_3._fingers_freddy.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1198" /></article><figcaption>Yul Vazquez, Fingers Freddy (2021), mixed media on printed canvas, 37 x 37 inches, courtesy of Red Fox Enterprises, Inc</figcaption></figure><p>Most recently, Vazquez has added a career in the visual arts, creating striking images that shifts between arresting black &amp; white photography, fantastical mixed media paintings and stream of consciousness drawings. Opening July 16th at Red Fox Contemporary Art in Pound Ridge, NY, Vazquez will offer a variety of his works in a solo exhibition titled <i>Bruce</i>, which promises to add quite a substantial amount of heat to mid-summer. Among his wizardry of works will be <i>Fingers Freddy</i>, a work prompted by an x-ray of a six-fingered hand he spotted on the internet. Blown up and placed in a field of black, the image becomes haunting and mystical as Vazquez adds a frenzy of words, symbols and small sympathetic characters. His keen eye, especially when observing social behavior, helps Vazquez to elucidate both his observations and his emotions, which can stem from anywhere in his personal history to his current experiences.</p> <p>If anyone has ever spent time on a movie set, it would be crystal clear how grueling the lives of actors and filmmakers are, where the 12-16 hour days waffle between endless waiting and pressure packed performing. Knowing this little detail would give you a better picture of what a wonderful, cleansing and fulfilling time Vazquez has in the solitude of his studio. In a recent conversation, he mentioned the alarm on his phone set for 3pm, which reminds him to take a "moment of gratitude" for his good life and the great people he has to share it with. I believe that gratification, his acknowledgement of his circumstance clearly comes through in his art.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1200" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-07/image_4._mother.jpeg?itok=1QQ7wRR_" title="image_4._mother.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1087" /></article><figcaption>Yul Vazquez, Mother (2022), mixed media on printed canvas, 52 x 52 inches, courtesy of Red Fox Enterprises, Inc</figcaption></figure><p>Vazquez often references his mother in his art, focusing on her light, love and strength. One example is <i>Mother</i>, where Vazquez uses a B-movie photograph of an obscure actress in a playful pose, with lightning bolts coming out of her fingers and costume. This combination of power and poise captured his attention, just like it did with the six-fingered x-ray, only this time, a weirdly iconic image of a female space alien became the center of his attention. Tags of "Where r u mother when I am so lost?" and "Your heart was always so full" crosses the upper portion of the picture plane, while on the bottom left appears a kid with a guitar who is clearly loving and cherishing her presence.</p> <p>The exhibition, which is titled <i>Bruce</i>, refers to an omnipresent ‘being’ that symbolizes all, the entire universe, including the most important human traits in the artist's mind: "kindness, never malevolence, and always having a heart of gold." Bruce appears in a painting of the same name, as a buoyant bunny who sports a huge grin and hopeful eyes. The figure eight seen here, which surfaces from time to time in Vazquez's work, signifies infinity, or no end to Bruce’s positive and all encompassing positive energy.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1200" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-07/image_5._joker_1.jpeg?itok=hSzN9TAa" title="image_5._joker_1.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="827" /></article><figcaption>Yul Vazquez, Joker (2022), mixed media on printed canvas, 75 x 52 inches, courtesy of Red Fox Enterprises, Inc</figcaption></figure><p>The multimedia work <i>Joker</i> began as a collage of bits and pieces of playing cards that happened to have the compelling distinction of a skull and crossbones on the back. Vazquez tags the blown up version of that collage with animated hearts, stars, squiggles and sprays, which are partnered with various phrasings like "Memento Mori," "Love is the Law," "Traveler" and "Mi Reina" (My Queen). Taken in all at once, a voodoo vibe breaks through the layers of iconic images, passionate declarations and whirlwinds of emotion that leave us with a potent and mesmerizing visual.</p> <p>The formidable photography of Vazquez, which is the basis of many of his multimedia paintings, can be overtly cinematic at times, especially when his night scenes shift unmistakably toward the Noir. Conversely, his more ‘candid’ images taken in Miami and New York, where pretty much anything goes, capture everything from bold decadence and pure self indulgence to desolation and despair. That feeling of hopelessness, which at times can reach surreal heights, can best be seen and felt in his photographs taken in Cuba, where time has virtually stood still, as only the strength and ingenuity of the Cuban people can offer light and life.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="494" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-07/image_6.jpeg?itok=jQ8iPT3A" title="image_6.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Yul Vazquez, Untitled (2011),digital photograph printed on paper, 13 x 31 inches, edition ⅔, courtesy of the artist</figcaption></figure><p>Vazquez, the visual artist, is like a diarist, except his tale is told through impactful phrases and images, brilliant color and iconic symbols. Fueled by an innate ability to see through the haze of the mundane, Vazquez continually takes us to a place where life can truly be enlightening.</p> <p><i>Bruce</i>, a solo exhibition of the works of Yul Vazquez, opens July 16 at Red Fox gallery, 55 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge NY 10576. For more information, please refer to <a href="https://www.redfoxartgallery.com/" target="_blank">https://www.redfoxartgallery.com/</a></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=4130&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="awOt989XX_OT3TaDhgVwop6QbPrvN5Z_JaIYnj1-XGY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 07 Jul 2022 21:25:25 +0000 Dom Lombardi 4130 at http://culturecatch.com ...Heck Is This? http://culturecatch.com/node/4116 <span>...Heck Is This?</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>May 22, 2022 - 12:24</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="1000" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-05/image_1._shade_2020_60x72in_acrylic_on_canvas_300dpi.jpeg?itok=xYYbgyPI" title="image_1._shade_2020_60x72in_acrylic_on_canvas_300dpi.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Shade (2020), Jerry Kearns, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 inches</figcaption></figure><p><i>What The…?</i></p> <p>Jerry Kearns</p> <p>Studio Artego, Queens, NY</p> <p>My first thought seeing this solo exhibition of Jerry Kearns paintings at Studio Artego is collage. The Pop artist Erró comes to mind, an Icelandic born and current resident of Spain and France who approaches his work much in the same way as Kearns, by first making a collage study. Another commonality is that both Kearns and Erró create powerful socio-political paintings based on those pieced-together preliminaries that always seem to have more than a bit of dark humor and irony in the messaging.</p> <p>Kearns' paintings are brilliantly rendered with great precision, mostly featuring blissful clouds bathed in brilliant light. This backdrop, which in one instance is a bold and blazing sunset, can either enhance or contrast the narratives in very compelling ways. The exhibition’s title, <i>What The…?</i>, may refer to the artist's constant state of concern and bewilderment regarding the way the world seems to be unraveling and regressing, especially here at home. Most of the paintings feature a comic book style subject, something in the manner of Graham Ingles (1915-91), featuring high contrast shading and theatrical gestures, modified a bit for more graphic impact. For instance, in <i>Shade</i> (2020), we see a determined grave digger that looks like it could have come right out of <i>Tales From the Crypt</i>, working feverishly as the soul of his unfortunate victim heads for the heavens. Works like this, and the silkscreen print <i>Hard Rock</i> (1992) take on even more urgent meaning as the strength of Roe v Wade once again, is being tested. Even the use of Mount Rushmore, representing four powerful men deciding the rights of women, really brings home the fear/submission of the woman in the foreground. I wonder if the man/boy responsible for the pregnancy were also subject to trial, fine or jail, if the powers that be would still be so committed to their cause.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1071" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-05/image_2._hard_rock_1992_silkscreen_26.25x30.jpeg?itok=tOzuicyw" title="image_2._hard_rock_1992_silkscreen_26.25x30.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Hard Rock (1992), Jerry Kearns, silkscreen, 26 ¼ x 30 inches</figcaption></figure><p><i>Stormy Weather</i> (2021) reveals the many techniques the artist has mastered over his extensive career. In beautifully applied and blended acrylic paints, with the occasional use of thin pencil line or graphite, Kearns shows us his focused wizardry with form, color and composition. Even the comic book style references can vary, like in <i>Stormy Weather</i>, as a more 1940s <i>Modern Love</i> type mix is combined with a symbolic silhouette reference to the BLM protests on the left, and a slightly trippy fem fatale center/front. It is also quite clear in this instance, that some things just make sense aesthetically and compositionally for the artist, as he strategically divides the picture plane with a pair of dainty legs that split the narrative, suggesting the golden ratio. Top right, the passionate politics being played out here are observed by two beautiful and very curious birds perched on hanging ivy, perhaps representing hope and a peaceful end to this complex drama.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1200" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-05/image_3._stormy_weather_2021_84x84_acrylic_on_canvas_300dpi.jpeg?itok=iSLmLJrX" title="image_3._stormy_weather_2021_84x84_acrylic_on_canvas_300dpi.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Stormy Weather (2021), Jerry Kearns, acrylic on canvas, 84 x 84 inches</figcaption></figure><p>On the main wall opposite the entrance hang three works: <i>What The…?</i> (2022), <i>Alpha</i> (2020), and <i>Diva</i> (2022). All equally sized and similar in visual weight, they tell distinctly different tales. <i>What The…?</i> encapsulates how quickly an uneventful walk on a perfect afternoon can end abruptly and painfully if you don't watch your step. Something that is happening more often these days as many of us are staring more at our phones than what is right in front of us. <i>Alpha</i> is the most eye-catching and strange of this trio. It features a bouncing baby in mid-flight, joyfully spreading its limbs. Covered in 'tattoos', the narrative transmitted from the baby quickly becomes oddly troubling. When analyzing the body illustrations, biblical or strong christian references, such as glimpses of Christ's hands on the cross, maybe a pregnant Mary and winged angels traversing the otherwise innocent form now becomes far more weighty. <i>Diva</i> is the most direct of the three, showing the passage from earth bound to heavenward as the subject's hands become transparent and thus transcendent.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1200" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-05/image_4._alpha_2020_48x48in_acrylic_on_canvas.jpeg?itok=WJLWgCmo" title="image_4._alpha_2020_48x48in_acrylic_on_canvas.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Alpha (2020), Jerry Kearns, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 inches</figcaption></figure><p>Jerry Kearns is much more than a Pop artist. The way he layers his narratives and brings added intensity can be jarring, intoxicating and perplexing to the point of no return. This all happens because his paintings trigger deep emotions, enlightening us with thoughts unrestrained by time. His focus moves freely and fluidly, uninhibited in his search for truths that are not confined by any preconceived order -- and as a seeker of truth, you have to think and project multidimensionally and Kearns does that beautifully and indelibly.</p> <p>Jerry Kearns' "<i>WHAT THE...?</i>" runs through June 17. Studio Artego is located at 32-88 48th Street, Queens, New York, 11103.    </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=4116&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="M1ISxLOu3V5Gdhpjr60z54Cm1LmHyjxkTid647ciV9s"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 22 May 2022 16:24:02 +0000 Dom Lombardi 4116 at http://culturecatch.com The Secret Language of Jian Kwon aka Solbi http://culturecatch.com/node/4113 <span>The Secret Language of Jian Kwon aka Solbi </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>May 17, 2022 - 15:48</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/204" hreflang="en">abstract expressionism</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="541" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-05/1651947984079-2.jpeg?itok=-ELNBYm9" title="1651947984079-2.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Humming, 2022 (Mixed media on canvas, 50x50cm)</figcaption></figure><p><i>Systematized Language: Humming</i></p> <p>Paris Koh Fine Arts - Fort Lee, NJ</p> <p>Starting in the 1800s the invention of the underground language Polari helped its adherents to survive at a time when homosexuality was considered illegal and a criminal activity. The Bagande in Africa created a secret language called Bangime so they could remain hidden from slave traders. Cant the secret language of thieves and rogues begun in the 16<sup>th</sup> Century, was used to circumspect the law. Such secret anti-languages as the one used by the Qumran people for the Dead Sea Scrolls and other documents, were invented as resistance of the oppressed to those in power. Jian Kwon’s solo show <i>Systematized Language: Humming</i> at Paris Koh Fine Arts features artworks dealing with cryptography. Ostensibly appearing as painted apples, or squiggly lines and candles, her works' elements hold meaning as secret communication that helps her fight against cyber-bullying.</p> <p>Kwon is also known by her music persona Solbi, whose K-pop star fame only serves to intensify aggressive cyber-attacks. Over the years Kwon has melded music and art creating performances and artworks. As a music personality she is well-known so that everything she does including art-making, is open to public scrutiny and sometimes abusive attacks. When she created a 'cake' work she was cyber-attacked as a copycat of Jeff Koons's <i>Play-Doh</i> used for the purpose of sales. But Kwon was actually paying homage with a real cake to Koon's <i>Play-Doh</i>, a not for sale work. After the attacks the artist made a performance work consisting of eating her own version of the cake, and videotaped the act. The above is only one example of the type of cyber-violence and slander Kwon has experienced. To prevent any further abuse, she created her own secret language consisting of apple motifs, candles, and abstract lines.</p> <article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-05/jian-kwon-apples.jpeg?itok=SLZzYVzS" width="1200" height="541" alt="Thumbnail" title="jian-kwon-apples.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>As a response to another cyber comment "do you know how to draw an apple?" Kwon used the apple motif to systematize her own alphabet by assigning meaning to each color corresponding to a music pitch and then using it in messages. The first of these drawings on vellum is the language key that were it followed, would allow the viewer to read her comment. This interactive aspect in the <i>Apple</i> works is also indicative of installation art. She includes Tweets such as the mean one about Obama that states "is there any way we could fly Obama to some Golf course halfway around the world and just leave him there?" to which Obama responded with "I think that's a great idea". As a follow up and in her secret language the artist writes a similar message to Obama's with apples.</p> <article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-05/jian-kwon-apple-2.jpeg?itok=vBIZZ1eQ" width="1200" height="541" alt="Thumbnail" title="jian-kwon-apple-2.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>Music informs Kwon's art-making process in several ways such as 'humming' evidenced by the title of the show and as a continuous skein of white silicone lines around the gallery’s walls connecting one work to the next turning it into an installation. Part of what describes installation art is the fact that it is designed for a specific space which in this case its true. Kwon completed a residency at this space so that this body of work was made specifically for the gallery. The installation must be seen in situ and in total to be appreciated and is tied together through the subtitle <i>Humming</i> the equivalent of Kwon's own musical language and message. Music, according to Kandinsky and as seen in Kwon, is the most abstract of the arts thus can transcend the limitations of language. Consequently, Kwon found her independence by systematizing 'humming' as well into an aural language that is seen.</p> <p>The <i>Humming</i> works are comprised of pure white melting candles and wax representing vigil ceremonies that entreat others to be kind. The skeins of silicone thread connect one piece to the next in peregrinating waves on the gallery's white walls. In her <i>Humming</i>, 2022 (Mixed media on canvas, 50x50cm) she uses horizontal lines to create jagged lines that appear almost like writing. The white textual references against the pure white backdrop surrounded by white frames, appear as if written with clouds or soft cotton. A diptych, one of her all-white <i>Humming</i>, 2022 series paintings comprise two partially melted white candles within a space filled with textual references that continue from the wall onto the painting's surface via wavy lines. The candles are guttered and one could almost hear their desperate sputtering flickers corresponding to the artist’s pleading for peace and civility.</p> <p>When taking in the whole installation the effect is one of pristine purity and impeccable lightness. Through this work Kwon has found a way to profess her pain in order to do away with the hurtful experience of cyber-bullying. She dreams of a cyber utopia where people unload their pain by forgiving each other.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=4113&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="kVtr_G8q5syhSlr9O781B-XpoItpDdDbasSr4KbnoxY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 17 May 2022 19:48:51 +0000 Thalia Vrachopoulos 4113 at http://culturecatch.com Golem Italian-Style at the Venice Biennale http://culturecatch.com/node/4101 <span>Golem Italian-Style at the Venice Biennale</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/7162" lang="" about="/user/7162" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Gary Lucas</a></span> <span>April 16, 2022 - 11:21</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/912" hreflang="en">art festival</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p> </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-center"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1208" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-04/g_lucas_golem_2_arjen_veldt.jpeg?itok=X7hAdQYx" title="g_lucas_golem_2_arjen_veldt.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Gary Lucas plays his live score accompanying The Golem at the Venice Biennale in 2003. Photo: Arjen Veldt</figcaption></figure><p>I see that The Venice Biennale is upon us again -- the Bi-annual (nuthin' to do with sexuality…just means they hold this event every couple years you nutzie dopesies!) international art, film, music, sculpture and whatever else they feel like displayin' Art-wise (3D bondage holograms anybody?) exhibition -- the ne plus ultra / Crème de la crème / topper-most of the popper-most of contemporary ARTificats from around the globe.</p> <p>We are but a mere week away from this year's official opening on April 23rd. The exhibition will run until Nov. 27th, with crowds estimated at about half a million rubberneckers give or take a few, wandering hither and yon and crowding the view in various national pavilions pitched in the Giardini section of Venezia, as well as down the Lagoon apiece in the Corderie dell'Arsenale. The theme this year is extremely timely, as curator Cecilia Alemani focuses this long-awaited 59th edition of the Biennale on Contemporary Women Artists, embracing "symbiosis, solidarity, and sisterhood." Gotta see this!! Here's an up to date list: <a href="https://news.artnet.com/art-world/venice-biennale-2022-artist-list-1796493" target="_blank">https://news.artnet.com/art-world/venice-biennale-2022-artist-list-1796493</a></p> <p>Mention of the Venice Biennale stirs up all sorts of pleasant memories. I gave a concert there as part of the 2003 Venice Biennale, performing my live solo guitar score (co-written with childhood friend Walter Horn) accompanying a screening of the German expressionist silent horror classic <em>The Golem </em>(1920, d. Paul Wegener and Carl Boese).</p> <p><em>The Golem</em> is a famous myth from Jewish folklore, a kind of a Jewish Frankenstein monster without a soul, a giant clay man brought to life most famously in 16th century Prague through the cabalistic magic of the actual historical Rabbi Jehudah Loew to become a servant of the Prague Jewish community and to protect them from annihilation. Since 1989 I've worked with this film hundreds of times performing my original solo guitar score accompanying screenings of the film at film festivals and venues around the world in over 20 countries. Some of my favorite performances include sold-out shows at Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City, at the New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center, at the Tel Aviv Next Festival, at Sao Paulo's SP Terror Festival -- and in Prague, home of the Golem. More info about my project here: <a href="http://garylucas.com/www/golem/golem.shtml" target="_blank">http://garylucas.com/www/golem/golem.shtml</a></p> <p>It was my first time setting foot actually in this loveliest of Italian cities in fact, which rapidly became my favorite city in Italia -- a land I've loved to perform in for many a year. Avant-classical-jazz piano pounder par excellence Uri Caine, a real prodigy and a very nice guy, and a staple on the NYC Downtown Music scene at that time, got tapped to put together a two-day program under the rubric of "Jewish Avant-Garde Music" -- a slippery whatsis if ever there was one -- I've been known to argue the toss both for and against the very existence of such a musical genre depending. But anyway I was happy to get the gig, it was the Venice Biennale <i>after all</i>, and so…</p> <p>Venice was incredible. I was there for about a week and got to explore its many-splendoured charms in depth. The Festival put me up in the faded grandeur of the Grand Hotel des Bains on the lovely isle known as the Lido -- a mere vaporetto ride away from the festival grounds -- so it was no biggie to get to and fro the events every day. I spent the first day or so exploring the national art exhibitions at the Biennale, and I was blown away by the loving care the curators had put into a comprehensive and awe-inducing showcase of the world's finest contemporary art. I also trucked myself around Venezia and environs to visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and its jaw-dropping display of 20th century surrealist art, Murano's famous glassworks, the old Jewish Ghetto -- only some of the many highpoints of this beautiful city. I just adored Venice, and to this day revisit it any chance I get, either playing there or visiting there in the corporeal flesh, or in re-screenings of Nicolas Roeg's <em>Don't Look Now</em> and Fellini's <em>Casanova</em>.</p> <article class="embedded-entity align-right"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2022/2022-04/gary_lucas_golem_venice.jpg?itok=RRFNUDuC" width="375" height="600" alt="Thumbnail" title="gary_lucas_golem_venice.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>Then came the day of the big Press Conference, whereby Uri was introduced to Italian journalists with his Commedia dell'arte troupe of avant-Jews from the Apple -- the Q &amp; A of which was a hoot!</p> <p>Simultaneous translations abounded -- my Italian isn't great, and no one in the large press corps covering the event seemingly spoke any English.</p> <p>"Mr. Lucas," one of my press interlocutors began. "Of course, THE GOLEM stands in for the state of Israel in your mind."</p> <p>"Absolutely not!" I fired back. "That was the furthest thing from my thoughts when I decided to work with this film. People read what they want to read into it. I don't see that myself, at all. I think the best art mystifies, amazes, and raises questions -- it doesn't supply explication or pat answers so simplistically and didactically."</p> <p>And here's another one, 'nother one...</p> <p>"Tell us, Gary Lucas. Why should we listen to your, quote, 'avant-garde Jewish music from New York’, unquote -- when we can sit back and listen to and enjoy good old-fashioned KLEZMER!"</p> <p>"Well, sir," I replied. "I didn't realize I was part of some <i>cabal</i> of avant-garde New York Jews…but if I am--</p> <p>then why aren't I working more??"</p> <p>Big laughter all around. :-)</p> <p>My concert with the film the next day went just fine.</p> <p>I broke my high E-string in the first 10 seconds of the film, and NOBODY NOTICED THE DIFFERENCE!</p> <p>I figured out a long time ago how to keep the show going when various components might randomly break down on me.</p> <p>(to do this, you got to know how…).</p> <p>In fact a Chinese female musician named Rachel Fu who'd been in attendance that very evening (a full house and a very appreciative audience) looked me up in NYC a couple months later, eager to collaborate -- and she was floored when I told her about the string breaking.</p> <p>Now I don't know if I was the first artist ever to perform at the Venice Biennale with a silent film score, and I surely was not the last.</p> <p>But I have to be the only 5-string guitarist who ever performed there without a safety net!</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=4101&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="EgqNwYfMubmg_oiD_dPDmlcmtv5gCCehyBI45RuJeCM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 16 Apr 2022 15:21:00 +0000 Gary Lucas 4101 at http://culturecatch.com