Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Wanna lecture abroad?

Fulbright Grants are available for artists for 2-6 week lecturing and research abroad. There's no application fee, and stipends are available.

Fulbright Senior Specialist Program
Council for International Exchange of Scholars
3007 Tilden St NW, Suite 5L
Washington, DC 20008-3009

Phone: 202/686-7877; email: apprequest@cies.iie.org; website: www.cies.org

Is there anything new out there?

A lot, really, a lot, of art critics are stuck in the quagmire that art has to be "new" in order to be good.

"The secret to creativity, is knowing how to hide your sources."
-Albert Einstein
This interesting article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (thanks AJ) discussses the myth of the "new" and submits that there's even a sprinking of the "new" going on out there in the various genres of the arts.

Is that a boy or a girl?

I walked through Warehouse Gallery a couple of Sundays ago to look through "Hey, is that a boy or a girl?" Artists look at gender, an exhibition curated by Ruth Trevarrow and Richard Kightlinger featuring a variety of artists looking at the way that we are all looked at by each other.

Perhaps the most interesting piece in the entire show was the curator's (Ruth Trevarrow) own fascinating "Boy or Girl," which is an interactive piece that details about forty faces or parts of faces in a portrait grid on the cafe gallery's main floor. The idea is to study the faces and then (using a printed form that comes with the piece), to take a "test" to see who you think is a boy or a girl.

After taking the test, to my surprise I had at least ten of them wrong! I really like art that delivers not only visual pleasure, but also educates us or reveals a little about ourselves or our world.

I also found Kelley A. Donelly's "Skin Deep" to be quite engrossing. It is a painting full of controlled rage highlighted by a frenetic brushstroke that reminds me of the potential danger of barbed wire and anger mixed together.

On the top floor gallery, Abby Freeman's "Hell # 3" deliver three interesting panels completely woven and made from thousands of matches sewn together. Freeman adds this interesting work to the ever-growing canon of DC artists working art from disposable materials or easily accessible materials; anything and everything can be art.

A couple of paintings nearby the incediary tapestry stand out: one is Isabel Bigelow's "Birthday," a gorgeous dark painting floating up from a dark palette, but whose relationship to the theme escapes me. More in tune with the show was Scott Brooks' "The Resurrection of Miss Rita Fyne," as was a clever sculpture titled "Inter-Sexed Valet" by Ruth Trevarrow.

Photography is best represented by an odd piece by John Borstel titled "Stillborn" that features a somewhat spooky (and oddly attractive) figure hugging a tombstone. Somewhere there's an X-file about this subject.

"Paper Roses" features what we used to call in Art School "fanny prints," cleverly created in this show by Matthew Rose as portraits of an amazingly diverse set of tushes and vaginas from the art and entertainment world. If you want to know how Rose visualizes Thelma Houston, Camille Paglia, and others' bottoms, then this is your destination.

Finally, Allison Miner has a series of nice drawings from a series titled "They told me to work bigger" that steal this show and are a steal at $400 each. Collectors of DC area artists have an excellent opportunity to add a really nice Miner to their collection. Go get one!

The exhibition hangs through December 4, 2005.