Thursday, December 23, 2004

Jeffry Cudlin Goes Yard

That's new baseball talk (new to me) for hitting a home run. The current issue of the Washington City Paper has Cudlin's review of the area's visual arts year gone by.

And I'll be damned if Cudlin doesn't just hit a very readable homer, but also throws a couple of tight fastballs (awright, awright... enough with the baseball talk).

On Blake Gopnik:

"Ostensibly, Blake Gopnik is the Washington Post’s art critic of note. But his coverage of the art scene this year has seemed less concerned with Washington than with a certain city to the north: He wrote a travelogue on the galleries of Chelsea, and he recently began conducting studio visits with artists living and working in Brooklyn. Still, certain D.C. events were on Gopnik’s mind, if not on his itinerary. We could count on him to draw attention to anything confirming his worst suspicions about his occasional hometown — say, those PandaMania bears, or, yes, the redundant controversy of Artomatic (in which I participated)."
That was very good, and it takes cojones to say it; and there's more. Cudlin praises Dixon, references a well-known BLOG and slams Jessica:
"Meanwhile, thoughtful freelance critic Glenn Dixon — the only area reviewer to write on a 19.3 grade level, according to one local art blog — bailed on the Washington City Paper and made an auspicious debut in the Post’s Galleries column. Then he promptly thought better of it and bailed once more —which leaves column readers again with Jessica Dawson and only the blandest publicizing imaginable. But now only twice a month."
Ouch! I do disagree with Cudlin's broad characterization of cooperative galleries when he writes that "Numark [Gallery] stands out in a ’hood that’s home to craftsy emporiums such as Zenith Gallery and — even more dubious — pay-to-show member galleries such as Touchstone."

I disagree 1000% with his characterization of artist-run cooperative galleries.

Cooperative galleries such as Touchstone are not "dubious" and in fact cooperative galleries in this town are some of the oldest galleries in our area, surviving the demise of many private galleris, and have been a breeding ground for many, many artists, who now show in other galleries - including now showing in most of the independent, private commercial fine art galleries mentioned in Cudlin's article.

In fact, I am told that at least one of those "other" galleries mentioned elsewhere in Cudlin's article is one that unfortunately has charged artists to exhibit. This is called a "vanity gallery" and it is much different than a cooperative of artists all sharing the costs of running a gallery space. Being a true "vanity gallery" is unethical especially when the gallery pretends to be a "regular" gallery and in private charges artists a fee to exhibit in their spaces. Very unethical.

Otherwise a superb round-up! Read Cudlin's entire article here.

Bravo Cudlin!

WCP's Top 10 Photography Shows of the Year

Louis Jacobson delivers his take on the photography year for 2004 in our area with a very good piece in the current Washington City Paper.

Lou's Top 10:

1. "Lost Images: Berlin Mitte" at Addison/Ripley Fine Art.

2. "Winogrand 1964" at the S. Dillon Ripley Center International Gallery.

3. "Maxwell MacKenzie: Markings" at Addison/Ripley Fine Art.

4. "Jacques Henri Lartigue: Vintage Photographs, 1905–1932" at Sandra Berler Gallery.

5. "Martin Kollar: Slovakia 001" and "Darrow Montgomery: Postcards From Home" at the Kathleen Ewing Gallery.

6. "ABCDF: Portraits of a City" at the Art Museum of the Americas.

7. "Room Service" at Panhwa Art Studio.

8. "Aaron Siskind: New Relationships in Photography" at the Phillips Collection.

9. "Christopher Burkett: Resplendent Light" at the Kathleen Ewing Gallery.

10. "Viggo Mortensen: Miyelo" at Addison/Ripley Fine Art.

Anne Truitt

One of the Washington area's best-known and most respected artists, Anne Truitt, born in Baltimore in 1921 and a resident of the Greater Washington, DC area for many years, has died at age 83.

Her work was and is represented locally by the Ramon Osuna Gallery in Bethesda.

Our best wishes to the Truitt family.

My current exhibition of nude drawings at Fraser Gallery Georgetown is online here.

Comments, criticisms and purchases welcomed.

The Lebanese newspaper Daily Star has an article discussing the work of GMU Professor Chawky Frenn, who is of Lebanese ancestry.

The article discusses the Dartmouth exhibition where Frenn outshocked Damien Hirst.

Read the Daily Star story here.

The Art League

The Art League is our area's largest artists' organization, with over 1,200 members. The Art League also operates a school with over 2500 students per term and a supply store for the purchase of art supplies by students and members.

When I first re-arrived to the Washington area in 1993, the first thing that I did was to join The Art League, and was a member for several years.

Each month The Art League has a juried competition, where members can bring two original works of art to be juried by a guest juror. Selected works are then hung at The Art League's large gallery on the ground floor of the Torpedo Factory.

The current show was selected by Maurine Littleton, the owner and director of the terrific gallery by the same name in Georgetown that is perhaps the finest glass gallery in the world.

I have been asked to be the juror for the January competition and will be doing so during the first week of January.

To get more details on becoming a member of the Art League, call them at 703/683-1780 or view their application form here.

A couple of days ago I was filmed by a TV crew who is doing a 13 part TV series called "Art Adventures." It is focused on collecting art, mostly for beginning collectors.

They also focused on the work of Tim Tate, as the series also identifies new emerging artists.

It was supposed to be a five minute screen time, which in TV-land always means a couple of hours of shooting.