Thursday, September 06, 2007

Oh oh...

Can a critic be sued when the critic is wrong or makes a mistake that causes a loss of income or reputation?

Apparently so. The Philadelphia Inquirer's food critic Craig LaBan is being sued by a Philly area restaurant for allegedly making a mistake in the review, which then reflected unfavorably upon the restaurant.

Let' be clear, LaBan is not being sued because of his opinion, that's a right guaranteed by the Constitution. He's being sued for libel because he allegedly opined on a steak that he claims he ate at lunchtime when that steak is only served for dinner.

It would be like a gallery suing an art critic because that critic opined on a piece of work that the critic called a watercolor when in fact it was an intaglio etching... I think. By the way, something like that did happen in a major newspaper not too long ago. No one sued but we all sighed behind the critic's back.

Sounds confusing? the current issue of Philadelphia magazine just outed LaBan, who apparently likes to wear disguises when he visits restaurants. The issue has a great article by Steve Volks on the subject that will clarify this confusing issue... I think.

Read that article here.

Ben Tolman

I also first came across the work of Ben Tolman when I curated a huge, obsessive pen and ink by Tolman into "Seven" a couple of years ago.

In 2005, right after "Seven," the WCP profiled this most interesting DC artist (read that profile here) and today Kriston has a highly interesting article in the WCP again detailing a most unusual story about this highly unusual character. Read that here.

Nepotista Declaration: I now own a few of Ben Tolman's pieces.

Sara Pomerance

I first came across the work of Sara Pomerance when I curated her into "Seven" a couple of years ago.

Pomerance is one of the hardest working artists in the region, and some of her work will be at the 2007 Corcoran Alumni exhibition curated by Molly Donovan, curator of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art, and opening tomorrow, Thursday, September 6, from 6:30–8:30 p.m. at the Corcoran's North Atrium.

Also in Washington DC, three of her photographs are also on display at the Parker Gallery. These images were written about as "The real stand out in this crowd," by Kevin Mallema (read the review here).

And in Albuquerque, her newest video "Yellow Cake with Sprinkles," was on display this summer at the John Sommers Gallery, which is part of the UNM art museum.

And oh yeah... Sara is soon moving to NYC... sigh.

Trawick Winners Announced

The usual surprises!

Jo Smail from Baltimore, MD was awarded “Best in Show” with $10,000; Nicholas Wisniewski of Baltimore, MD was named second place and was given $2,000; Bruce Wilhelm of Richmond, VA was bestowed third place and received $1,000 and the “Young Artist” award of $1,000 was given to Kathleen Shafer of Washington, D.C.

The artists who had been selected as Trawick Prize finalists are:

Mary Coble, Washington, D.C.

Mary Early, Washington, D.C.

Suzanna Fields, Richmond, VA

Inga Frick, Washington, D.C.

Jeanine Harkleroad, Chesapeake, VA

Linda Hesh, Alexandria, VA

Baby Martinez, Washington, D.C.

Kathleen Shafer, Washington, D.C.

Jo Smail, Baltimore, MD

Bruce Wilhelm, Richmond, VA

Nicholas F. Wisniewski, Baltimore, MD

The jurors for this year's Trawick are Anne Ellegood, Associate Curator at the Hirschhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden; Amy G. Moorefield, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Anderson Gallery and Rex Stevens, Chair of the General Fine Arts Department at Maryland Institute College of Art. Catriona Fraser, owner of the Fraser Gallery in downtown Bethesda, is the non-voting Chair of The Trawick Prize.

The Trawick Prize is clearly the DC area region's premier fine arts prize and once again kudos to Ms. Trawick! A public opening will be held at Creative Partners Gallery on Friday, September 14, 2007 from 6-9pm in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk. Creative Partners Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12-6pm.

Rabbi Series

For your viewing pleasure, and finished just in time for my birthday, as I have done for many years, is a new "series" of works. This year it is the "Rabbi Series," a tiny set of very small drawings, all under two inches or so, of very serious men with very light-headed thoughts.

See it here.


Today is my birthday.

My grandfathers died in their late 90s, and my father is in his early 80s, so I hope to be around a long assed time as well.

Modern Paints: Uncovering the Choices

Attention painters!

Next week Dr Thomas Learner, the Head of Contemporary Art Research at the Getty Conservation Institute will be delivering a presentation on the subject on Tuesday, September 11, 5:00 p.m. at the McEvoy Auditorium, Donald W Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture (8th & G streets NW in DC).

Numerous types of paints have been used by artists over the last 70 years, including those intended for household or industrial use. In this talk, Tom Learner outlines common classes of “modern paint” and the procedures used to determine which types are present in works of art.

Several well-known paintings will be discussed, including examples by David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Morris Louis, Jackson Pollock, Bridget Riley and Andy Warhol.

Lecture presented by the Lunder Conservation Center.

If a reader attends, someone should ask the question to confirm or deny the urban legend that the Tate once sued David Hockney when it discovered that Hockney had used house paint to create the painting that the Tate had just spent a small fortune on and was already beginning to fall apart. I'm curious if that story is true.


Thanks to a $500,000 gift from Wachovia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art announced yesterday that the Museum will offer free admission to its new Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building through the end of calendar year 2007.

Dana Ellyn

Ellyn is another super hardworking artist. In the remaining days of summer she has an amazing line-up: twogallery shows, two art festivals, a live TV appearance, an article coming in the Washington Post – all coming up in the next 9 days!

Too much to list; check it all out in her website.