Saturday, April 30, 2005

Away at the Fair

Still in Richmond for a weekend of trying to sell some art. In spite of the rain, it was a surprising good start today, with a few nice sales.

Also ran into an old friend, the fair Rebecca D'Angelo, who photographs for the Washington Post and others and was covering the fair.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Kirkland on Art Blogging

JT has a good piece on the state of the art (Blogging) in DCist. Read it here.

New Art BLOG

Alexandra Silverthorne has a new art-focused BLOG. It is called Solarize This and you should all visit often

P.S. See... I didn't mispell your last name!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

NNE Gallery

A new (at least new to me) gallery is NNE Gallery, located at 1312 8th Street, NW, Washington DC 20001 and phone is 202-276-4540.

NNE Gallery had an opening reception tonite (I wish I'd had the press release earlier) for Washington DC artist, Nooni Reatig.

Per the release, Reatig first gained recognition in 1998 at the age of seventeen for a series of controversial paintings entitled, Red Alert. It was reviewed in The Washington Post, "A Young Artist's Naked Ambition," where Nooni claimed that she would "make a difference" (in the art world).

Upon graduation from The Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore in 2002, and then a brief stint at The Corcoran College of Art and Design, she has been working on series of sculptures showcased in this exhibition.

Welcome aboard!

Airborne today

Hellooooooooo Betty!

I'm heading home late tonight; on the redeye to Dulles.

On the flight home I will be finishing Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe.

Busy weekend, as I arrive early tomorrow morning and then immediately drive south for an art fair over the weekend.

Should be fairly exhausted by Monday...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

2005 Lucelia Award Announced

A few days ago the Smithsonian sent a news release to everyone announcing the winner of the Lucelia Award:
The Smithsonian American Art Museum announced today that Andrea Zittel is the fifth annual winner of its Lucelia Artist Award, established by the museum in 2001 to encourage leading contemporary American artists. This award is part of the museum's commitment to contemporary art and artists through awards and acquisitions.

An independent panel of jurors chose Zittel for the award in recognition of her ability to "create objects and total settings that reconsider the relationships between art and life. A utopian yet rigorously formal sensibility dominates."

"The timing of the Smithsonian American Art Museum couldn't have been better," said Zittel. "I have been working on a number of new ideas recently and the Lucelia Artist Award will really help me continue with the projects."

"Andrea Zittel has shown a sustained commitment to distinctive work that challenges conventional thinking and expectations about the nature of art, which is exactly what the Lucelia Artist Award is intended to celebrate and support," said Elizabeth Broun, the museum's Margaret and Terry Stent Director.

The jurors continue in their statement, "Zittel's art is shaped by a serial-based comprehensiveness in which discrete works are part of ongoing experiments and the continuous development of ideas. An investigatory attitude prevails. Her practice embraces the recycling of materials and large-scale, public-art projects as much as the creation of custom-made objects and an extreme attention to personal, particularizing details. She has become a leading figure in the international art world and a strong influence on generations of artists worldwide."
Locally, the three jurors are now in the second phase of downselecting from the first set of semi-semifinalists for the $14,000 Trawick Prize.

Ms. Trawick has also added another $10,000 for the Bethesda Painting Awards, also being selected now.

Today Bake Gopnik in the WaPo has a nice story about the award. It would be nice if Gopnik also did a piece on whoever gets selected as the Trawick Prize winner; this would give Gopnik a chance to actually focus some of his printspace on an area art event of some significance.


To our own Tim Tate (represented by us), who recently signed on with WeissPollack Galleries in New York, which will represent his work there.

Tate will also create an installation for WeissPollack Galleries for SOFA New York, this coming June.

Important Opening this Weekend

"I really want to see..." a group show of new work or work never shown in the area by Laura Amussen, Maria Anasazi, Noah Angell, Ken Ashton, Mark Behme, Natalia Blanch, Margaret Boozer, Hsin-Hsi Chen, Noche Christ, Lynden Cline, John Dumbacher, Joseph Dumbacher, Susan Fenton, Thom Flynn, Inga McCaslin Frick, Marc Ganzglass, Francie Hester, Jason Hughes, Berta Koltenuik, Maggie Michael, Galo Moncayo, Brandon
Morse, Lee Newman, Foon Sham, Claire Sherwood, Richard Vosseller and John Winslow.

Reception to meet the artists: Saturday, April 30, 2005 6 - 9pm. Free and open to the public. Gallery Four, 405 West Franklin St. 4th Floor, Baltimore, MD, or call 410/962.8941.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

San Diego

Spent all day indoors lecturing... but last night I visited my usual secret dining spot, Ortega's again for my fix of poblano mole and of Carnitas.

Tuesday Arts Agenda

The DCist Tuesday Arts Agenda is here.

Anderson on Flynn

Thom Flynn at Osuna Gallery
By John Anderson

For some the talk of collage in art receives a yawn and a "been there, done that." And though their applications have probably been beaten like a dead horse well throughout the last hundred years - since Picasso glued the caned backing of a chair to a canvas and framed it with rope - there is still something intriguing about a bunch of trash glued and stapled together into something. Or, at least, when it is done well it is intriguing, and sometimes seductive.

This seems to be the case for Thom Flynn, who currently has work on display at Osuna Gallery in Bethesda, MD through May 12, 2005.

Though ample work is not on display throughout the space, it does command the gallery well enough to attract attention at the very least from the simple curiosity of the people, if not some time for reflection.

While initial glances at Flynn’s work might evoke the work of artists like Mimmo Rotella and Jacques Villéglé, the relationship ends with poster material and some method of adhesive. Whereas Rotella and Villéglé were prone at times to treat their décollage as found objects, Flynn’s compositions involve both additive and subtractive elements of collage and décollage until so much of the image is lost in the development that what remains is a series of rips across the picture plane.

Flynn’s work reads as drawing. The rips are gestural across the surface with their varied thicks and thins. And, like the master draftsman he is with these rips, Flynn mixes it up just enough to keep the eye moving throughout the composition, yet controlling enough to maintain our attention in the gallery.

Sometimes the rips repeat, piling up one after the other. They intersect, lines lost in the overlap. Flynn lets us know just how much control he has over the compositions, and the compositions do not lose intensity and fall apart with a shift in scale.

The other point of major interest is the thickness of his pieces. They are constructed like topographical maps, with so many peaks and valleys the surface is begging to be touched. Guests of the gallery can often be seen looking from one side of the piece to the other to determine just how thick the pieces are, and how many layers back they can see.

Where things become problematic is twofold. First is the simple way the pieces are unified.

Constructed with staples adhering layer to layer, the final piece is shellacked with a gel medium that provides additional bonding strength to the staples, and arguably holds the whole piece together. While this act of preservation offers an interesting dialogue in contrast to the deteriorating condition in which these posters were found, as a solution it feels "too quickly arrived upon" and not as well planned in consideration to additional issues of texture, variety of surface throughout the composition.

Secondly is a more pressing issue, where does the work go from here? In the last few years Flynn has demonstrated his ability to work in this method throughout several exhibitions. While some might be frustrated trying to "read" the piece through the fragmentary images, it is obviously not necessary, as it is not the artist’s intention. Unfortunately, in the quest to see what information is peering around the tears becomes akin to a Where’s Waldo game, searching for what might be some random body part. In addition, without this style moving forward, it is likely to be relegated as furniture.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Airborne Today

Heading to the Left Coast once again... come back later and I should have some postings once I get to California.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Wanna Ask John Currin a Question?

Do you want to interview John Currin? Is there something you'd like to ask him?

With Flash Art, now you can.

This spring, Flash Art is giving you the opportunity to interview John Currin. Flash Art is now soliciting questions from anyone, the readers of Flash Art and the Flash Art newsletter.

They will present the best of these questions to John Currin, and he will respond to them in an exclusive interview published later this year.

Please e-mail all questions to Matt before the deadline - Wednesday, 4 May, 2005.

Gopnik on Steinhilber

Gopnik doesn't pay too much attention to DC galleries, so make sure that when he does, we do as well... read it here.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Jenkins on Steinhilber
by Dan Steinhilber
Guest Review by Mark Jenkins

I work beside Numark Gallery and have been passing by this exhibit daily and so thought to contribute a brief piece about my reaction to it in this blog -- just for fun.

The first work that grabbed me in this show is a large canvas on the ground tilted against the wall with a small orange ball centered on its edge that seems to light up the wall behind it. The friend I was there with wondered if it was a light as I’m sure many will.

I won’t ruin the secret of it, but if you can jump as high as me -- I barely dunked a basketball some years ago, but that was some years ago -- you’ll see it too. It was this act -- perhaps a reward for my effort and for not caring if I looked a little bit like a fool -- that enabled me to begin to understand the way Steinhilber’s mind enjoys reality. He does so by creating or uncovering simplistic enigmas of the everyday item.

I remember in one of the Dune books Frank Herbert said something about a character The Changer: "He illuminates the banal in a way that terrifies."

While Steinhilber hardly terrifies he certainly illuminates the ordinary in a way that gets you thinking. The caterpillar made from forks and plates, the cardboard boxes that seem like a family of acrobats, the sorrowful kite riled by a fan like a chained canary, and a small tape metropolis with one tower deconstructing itself, all share this Changed spirit.

One other thing to mention or rather advise -- go to the show on a full stomach or you’ll find yourself seriously considering taking a bite out of the giant cheeto.

Kirkland on Steinhilber

JT's review can be read in DCist here.

Friday, April 22, 2005

For next week...

Creating from Within by Tricia Ratliff, Silvia Santiago and Shannon Chester is an exhibition of original paintings, collage and photography to create awareness about EP's innovative public art project- Synergy!

The opening is this coming Wed. April 27 , from 6-8 p.m. at Karma Lounge (19th and I Street in DC). Artwork will be on view through May 14th.

This showing is a fundraiser for Synergy. With each purchase, you'll receive free ($40) tickets to The Artists Reality Show, a very unique performance event to be held on May 14, at The Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum, in Bethesda, Maryland.

Tickets and information about The Artists Reality Show will be available at the opening.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Katzen Arts Center
Jack Rassmussen
American University's Katzen Arts Center is about to open, and it includes a new gallery with 30,000 square feet of exhibition space, which is certain to become one of the key exhibition venues in the whole Eastern seaboard.

This will be a great new addition to our area's art scene, and lucky for us, it will be guided by a steady and experienced hand in the person of Jack Rasmussen, who as most of us know, is a highly experienced arts professional with a very deep knowledge of the DC area and Blatimore area art scenes.

And Jack steps into the new job with a brand new BLOG! Is that cool or what?

Visit the new BLOG here.

The Thursday Reviews

In the City Paper, Louis Jacobson reviews Barbara Probst at G Fine Art and also Maria Friberg at Conner Contemporary.

In the WaPo, Jessica Dawson has her usual third Thursdays set of mini reviews. Also in the Post, Jacqueline Trescott has a story on The National Endowment for the Arts' "scaling back" their initiative to "send the best of American culture around the country and is starting with only a tour of visual arts." Trescott reveals that the "NEA announced yesterday that it is giving the Phillips a grant of $100,000 to support a traveling exhibition of 20th-century painter [and my former art professor] Jacob Lawrence."

In DCist, Kirkland reviewed Victor Schrager at Adamson and JT tells me that later today DCist will have his review of Dan Steinhilber at Numark.

In the Gazette, Karen Schaffer has an article on Sandra Pope's Colour Art Studio and Gallery, a new art space in Silver Spring.

Also in the Gazette, a byline-less article discusses that as part of the Montgomery College annual Holocaust Commemoration program, Montgomery College Professors Jon Goell and Brian Jones, former Montgomery College students John Hoover and Susan Maldon Stregack, and Holocaust survivor Nesse Godin will discuss their participation in the exhibit "Portraits of Life."
Goell and Jones acted as project leaders and chief photographers of the exhibit, photographing and interviewing local Holocaust survivors in their homes. The professors were assisted by Montgomery College adjunct faculty member Rollin Fraser, students and former students, who acted as photo assistants, interviewers and photographers. Jane Knaus, the college's creative services director, designed the exhibit and coordinated its production.

More than 30 Holocaust survivors have been photographed for "Portraits of Life," creating a lasting legacy of their lives and their stories of survival.
The "Portraits of Life" photography exhibit will be on display at the college's Communication Arts Technologies (CAT) Gallery. It will officially open at the Holocaust Commemoration event and will remain on display through the end of April.

Arts Talk Today

Curator Susana Torruella Leval, Director Emerita, El Museo Del Barrio, New York, will lead a roundtable discussion on "Latin American" Art: Expectation and Reality, today at the Arlington Arts Center starting at 7PM. Free and open to the public.

The exhibition "Art with Accent: Latin Americans in the Mid-Atlantic States," which was curated by Torruella Leval, is currently on exhibition at the Center and showcases work by Aldo Badano, Juan Bernal, Gute Brandao, Mark Caicedo, Ana Cavalcanti, Irene Clouthier, Pepe Coronado, Gerard de la Cruz, Felisa Federman, Luis Flores, Eva Holz, Tamara Kostianovsky, Rosana Lopez, Carolina Mayorga, Lara Oliveira, Alessandra Ramirez, Victoria Restrepo, Helga Thomson and Maria Velez.

Bethesda Lit FestivalThe 6th annual Bethesda Literary Festival starts tomorrow, Friday, April 22 through Sunday, April 24, 2005 throughout downtown Bethesda's art galleries, bookstores, restaurants, arts organizations and venues and retail businesses.

The festival will bring together novelists, poets, journalists, nonfiction writers and children's authors and illustrators who represent the rich diversity of modern literature. The Bethesda Literary Festival also features essay contests, poetry slams, kids' and youth book parties and the 2nd annual Play In A Day.

On Saturday, April 23rd from 1-2PM we will host Alexandra Robbins, author of Quarterlife Crisis and its sequel Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis and Jen Chaney, the Washington Post's DVD and movie columnist. Robbins and Chaney will join together to share their insight on modern day living.

And then, on that same day from 2:30-4PM, we will host authors Jim Grimsley (Comfort & Joy); Susan Leonardi (And Then They Were Nuns); Michael Mancilla (Love In The Time of HIV: The Gay Man's Guide to Sex, Dating, and Relationships); and Kathi Wolfe, a local poet. The authors and poet will offer a look inside gay and lesbian literature.

See ya there!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Opportunity for Artists

Call for entries, Gateway Georgia Avenue, and Jesse Cohen's Art in Transition.

Info here, Although you have to log in to read it, but it only takes a second or two to create an account. Below is the gist of the call for artists.

An proposal has been accepted, and they have received permission from the owners of a Georgia Avenue property near Takoma Park to conduct an art show and exhibition.

This show will allow them to represent all or most of’s membership, that they can fit. It will present the opportunity for a semi-curated show. All those who apply will be allowed to hang at least one piece on a first come first serve basis limited by the space available on the install date.

The works will be hung in salon style to take advantage of nearly 1300 square feet of open office space. There is the opportunity for use of a balcony for 3D and other weather proof or performance art. If artists have ideas for an event, please contact They are interested in developing master classes, studio days, and music events. The more the ideas, the better.

The call for entries will be 100% digital. Submit via CD, images must be at least 4" by 6" at 300 dpi. They are interested in all types of art. 2D, 3D, and more. Submit at the meeting this coming weekend; exact time, date and location TBA.

What: Gateway Georgia Avenue, and in Transition

Where: Off of Georgia Avenue, MD in Raw Transitional but Empty Office Space.

When: Install May 14, 2005 Opening May 21, 2005 Closing June 17, 2005

Theme: What does it mean to EMERGE!

Requirements to show:

-Must be registered at with completed profile including username, interests, webpage if available.

-Must live with in 150 miles of Washington, DC.

-Must submit a CD of at least 1 to 5 images of available work. They will select at least one image. (4" by 6" at 300 dpi or larger).

-A $20 dollar Hanging Fee which will be applied to marketing costs, show maintenance, and possibly the development of the next show.

-Volunteer time to gallery sit or help install and de-install, Canvas neighborhoods, or develop programs. (They are flexible 3-6 hours total or more if you like).

-A resume and/or artist statement with completed application.

-Most important, include a paragraph or poem to be displayed with your work about the meaning of emerging within the art world, and the effect it has had on you. Be personal.

-You may consider yourself emerging or established to apply.

-Self promotion and flyer posting. Each artist should post at least 10 flyers for the event.

-Artists should attend the openings.

-Please limit the size of your work to allow room for other artists.

MOCA Opening this Saturday

"Forgotten Memories" opens with a reception this coming Saturday at MOCA in Georgetown's Canal Square from 6 to 9pm. The exhibition includes Michael Dax Iacovone's Experimental Photography and Ben Premeaux's Mixed Media Paintings. The Exhibition runs Saturday, April 30th.

Craghead on Bailey on Botero

Warren Craghead's excellent Drawer has a counterpoint to Bailey's Botero Letter, and also a couple of comments by Bailey. Read it all here.

Bailey on Botero

That word-processing living machine known as J.W. Bailey responds to my call for reviews and art commentary with the below open letter in response to AP reporter Dan Molinski’s article, "Botero’s Latest Muse: Abu Ghraib," as published in the Washington Post. Comments welcomed:
"The Deconstructed Portrait of a Postmodern Art History Teacher"
By James W. Bailey

The postmodern art theorists (translate: anti-American French and wannabe French "art philosophers") must be having a field day around the world preparing their glowing reviews of Colombian artist Fernando Botero’s new series of propagandistic Abu Ghraib paintings in which he predictably pours gasoline on the exaggerated horrors of the unfortunate documented abuses of some Iraqi prisoners by a handful of American soldiers.

Fernando BoteroOne can easily picture Botero’s sycophant leftist art fans standing at the ready outside museums in Paris anxiously awaiting the arrival of this vapid artistic pabulum while passing the time muttering their memorized anti-Bush screeds in clever but meaningless French art speak phrases, with lit Gitanes cigarettes hanging from their cynical lips prepared to flick them onto the inflammable canvas of art and politics that Botero has composed for his choir.

Botero is quoted by the AP as saying the following: "No one would have ever remembered the horrors of Guernica if not for painting." What self-serving deluded narcissistic tripe! Only the relativist philosophy of postmodernism would be so bold as to ludicrously encourage us to believe that wrapping a female panty around a male Iraqi prisoner’s head equates to Franco and Hitler conspiring to kill more than 1,700 innocent people in the Basque region of Spain by bombing and shooting them to death.

But then again, only such a shallow philosophy as postmodernism could inspire an aging super-famous mega-wealthy artist living in an ivory tower penthouse who longs to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize before he dies to say something like that and expect it to be taken seriously by anyone but a burned-out religious convert to the fraudulent philosophy of postmodernism in the first place.

However, to play Botero’s art history game: If Botero is so concerned about horrors being preserved and presented in art so that it can serve as a leftist platform for politically correct history lessons, where are his paintings of the innocent Iraqis who dared to dissent with the ruling elite and were tortured to death by Saddam Hussein and his gang of thugs? Where are his paintings of the Kurds being gassed to death? Where are his one million paintings of the one million Rwandans being hacked to death while Bill Clinton and his gang of State Department cronies diddled around trying to parse the United Nations’ international definition of genocide?

Closer to his native land, where are his paintings of innocent Colombians being blown to bits in Medellin by wealthy drug lords? Are they still in the hands of wealthy private collectors locked away for private viewing? (Some of Colombia’s cocaine barons have no doubt long been enamored of Botero’s strained ruminations on the invented mythology of America’s endless abuse of power throughout the world because their own rabidly anti-American positions on international terrorism seem to dovetail so nicely with his – considering that Botero has already painted a sympathetic portrayal of Pablo Escobar being killed by Colombian police, they’re also probably on his collector’s list as every true mass-murdering gangster longs to be celebrated in art by a famous sympathetic artist at some point in his life, or death.)

I find it quite interesting that Botero, in a classic postmodern art theorist move, has numbered his Abu Ghraib series from 1 to 50, rather than taking the time to research the names and identities of those prisoners he painted that he claims were "tortured." Undoubtedly, Botero’s international art attorney advised him that to attribute names to the faces in his paintings would raise the troubling issue of exploitation of unlicensed imagery for financial gain – that is, royalties might have to be paid out of Botero’s back pocket to those "victims" he's so concerned about.

Of course, good postmodern art theory does not allow for the "innocent victim" of a right wing government to object to their image being used by a leftist artist without their permission if such use advances an exploitative anti-American opinion that intersects with an impending world museum tour – no, such theories better suggest that the leftist artist in question just keep the names, identities, facts and truth out of the whole picture... and keep all the profits once that fraudulent picture is sold to the world by a compliant media all to himself.

But God help you if you happen to be a real innocent victim of a left wing government – the true French postmodern art theorists will never remember your death because they are not about to condone, let alone critically review, any artist that would dare to stray from the party line and paint that aesthetically confusing picture. They would much prefer that history lesson never be remembered and taught through art.


James W. Bailey
Experimental Photographer
Force Majeure Studios
Opposing views on this subject:
Mike Whitney at Counterpunch and also at Al Jazeerah.

Elizabeth Nash at The Independent.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Tuesday Arts Agenda

DCist's Tuesday Arts Agenda is here.

Kirkland on Schrager

J.T. Kirkland reviews Victor Schrager at Adamson Gallery on DCist.

Correcting Green

From Tyler Green's Modern Art Notes:
Here in DC I've noticed that people are doing less talking and more writing. DCist, part of the often poorly-behaved -ist empire, has rounded up a few arts bloggers and encouraged them to review area shows for publication on DCist. Sure, DCist had a false start or two -- notably a gallery owner and dealer wrote reviews until blogger Kriston Capps called DCist on it --

I am the linkless "gallery owner and dealer" that Green mentions (he conveniently omitted blogger), but considering that Green once wrote that "I [Green] make sure that items... are accurate before they go up on MAN. It doesn't go on MAN if it is wrong, could be wrong or might be wrong. It only goes on MAN if it is solid and accurate. I check things."

Mr. Green: I've never written a review for DCist.

What I did do for DCist, for about four or five weeks, was to provide them with a listing of gallery openings and visual arts events cut and pasted from the many news releases that the galleries send me. It was an attempt on my part to help spread the word, through DCist's huge reading public, about the DC art scene.

What Green regurgitates today is that last March blogger Kriston Capps on G.P. wrote that:
"It's bitchy of me to say— and I don't know the extent to which Lenny Campello of DC Art News contributes or what Cyndi Spain [the DCist Arts Editor] has to say on the subject— but I twitch whenever I see a feature with Lenny's name attached on DCist about work on display at the gallery he operates. I don't doubt the conviction Lenny clearly feels about the art he represents or enjoys, and I don't think that it's unreasonable that he writes about artists he represents on his own blog. But you really can't don the critic's cap when you're a producer in the community."
Rather than drag DCist through an unwarranted ethics debate, I immediately quit contributing directly to DCist, who published this statement.

After nearly sixty back and forth comments in response to that G.P posting, including several by Green (including a childish one on March 14 at 7:40PM), I believe that some issues had been ironed out, and I did and still disagree with the premise that a gallery owner cannot write art criticism (which I never did for DCIst) is flawed and ridiculous.

Unlike Green's own writing career, which started four or five years ago and was succinctly profiled by the Washington City Paper, I've been writing about art since 1977 (and about DC art since 1993) and have no intention of stopping on his or anyone else's account. At the time, I thought that my contributions to DCist, which were simply listings of other galleries shows, would be good for our art scene.

You see, what a self-proclaimed elitist, and an arts newbie and gallery-world outsider like Green does not know yet (he'll learn with experience), is that the best thing for art galleries, is more art galleries.

And in order to have more art galleries, then all galleries have to do well, and then a city's cultural tapestry grows and becomes stronger. In helping to promote other galleries via what I do here at DC Art News and what was being used by the DCist Arts Editor to publicize openings, etc., I had hoped to help expand our area's gallery scene and this helps all galleries, including mine.

But now Green, who although living here in DC, generally manages to avoid informing his 900 or so daily online visitors about anything dealing with the DC art scene, other than the DC museum show here or there, or bitching about pandas and Corcoran conspiracies, has wasted his precious informative online resources to add unwarranted negativity aimed at DCist and at me.

I've never met Tyler Green and have no idea what he looks like; I've corresponded with him via email and even once or twice invited him out for a beer.

Enough niceties; I hope that I never meet him and will avoid doing so, for at any given place the plebian Brooklyn in me may resurface and he may now be one beer away from a well-deserved ass kicking.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Kino Jewels

The New York Times' Carol Kino has a couple of really good pieces in the New York Times. User ID is logos and password times (thanks to

In the first article: Trendy Artists Pick Up an Old-Fashioned Habit, Kino reveals the surprising list of contemporary artists returning to live model drawing.

In the second piece: When the Work Is a Workstation, she discusses that "if you buy a work from Lucas Samaras's current show at the PaceWildenstein and Pace/MacGill galleries, you'll need $15,000 - and a small moving truck. For your money, you'll get not just 4,432 photographs and 60 movies, but also the Mac Mini computer on which they're stored (as iPhoto and iMovie files), an Apple Cinema HD display, an Ikea Hannes desk and two Design Within Reach chairs."

New Kids on the Block

Most of the area's universities have their senior and MFA Thesis exhibitions hanging right now. This is a good opportunity for an early look at this year's crop of art students and graduates. There are shows at American University's Watkins Gallery, and at GWU's Dimock Gallery, and a new show opens at Catholic University's Salve Regina Gallery on Thursday.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Wanna go to an Opening Today?

The League of Reston Artists Annual Judged Fine Art Exhibition has an opening reception today from 2-4 pm, with a musical performance by Just Friends.

The reception is at the JoAnn Rose Gallery, Reston Community Center at Lake Anne. The exhibition runs until May 3, 2005 and is free and open to the public. Info and direction here.

Another choice is at Photoworks at Glen Echo Park, where "Creative Digital Printmakers" feautures six artists showing scrolls, frescoes and prints on handmade paper and glass. The artists are Rona Eisner, Sandy Lebrun-Evans, Carol Leadbetter, Sheila Meyer, Dorie Silber and Grace Taylor. The exhibition runs until May 23, and the reception is today from 2-4PM. At Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd.

Use me

Once again I'd like to renew my offer to have anyone email me area art reviews, comments on our area arts, interviews, etc. for publication here.

Sent a letter to the Arts Editor and it never got published? Send them here and provided that it contributes to our area's art dialogue, I'll publish them here.

Last Night
Reliquiary by Tim Tate
Last night I went with Tim Tate to the Renwick Alliance fundraising auction.

I was very pleasantly surprised at the generosity of the bidders, as I often find that most art fundraising auctions end up being give aways. Not with this crowd (a lot of whom came from as far as Los Angeles for the function). In fact, a set of Tate's reliquiaries went for over $6,000, and a piece by William Morris broke $60,000.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

True Stories from the Gallery World

Setting: A group show of 25 or so artists from around the US, Europe, Latin America and the region. A casually dressed couple, having just finished dinner at the Sea Catch Restaurant in Georgetown step into the gallery.

Him: Can we come in?

Me: Yes of course, welcome to the gallery.

Him: Does it cost anything to come in?

Me: Of course not! Come on in and look around, let me know if you have any questions.

They come in, and start looking at the works on exhibit, which as with any group show, include a variety of styles, genres, and subjects.

Her: We didn't know there were any art galleries here...

Him: Are these all by the same artist?

Me: Uh... no, it's a group show by artists from all over the US, some from Europe and some area artists.

Her (pointing to a large etching): I really like this piece.

Me: It's an intaglio etching by --

Him (looking closely at the wall label with title, artist and price info): Is that the best that you can do?

Me: It is the price for the work sir, this etching is an edition of 10, and several pieces have already sold and --

Her (Looking at a small drawing): I really like this one too.

Him: Is that the same artist?

Me: No, that's a graphite drawing by --

Him: How come it is the same price as the other one (pointing to the etching)? That other one is at least twice as big.

Me: This is an original drawing; it is one of a kind, and the other piece that you liked is a limited edition print, and there are 10 of them, although there are only three left in the edition.

Him (looking incredulous): Somebody bought all the others?

Her: I really like both of these... they're much more interesting than all the stuff that you have hanging at the house.

Him: If we buy both of them, will you give us a deal?

Me: Well, they're very fairly priced as they are, but if you buy both of them, we will gladly offer you a 10% collector's discount.

Him (adding up the Math in his head): How about $1500 for both of them?

Me: Sorry sir, that's more like a 50% discount - you wouldn't want to do business with any art gallery that has a price structure where you can obtain "art" at half price.

Him: I always get at least 40% at other art stores.

Me (clearing my throat): We don't exhibit work that can be ethically discounted to those extremes, and most reputable art dealers do not either; it hurts both the artist and the collector.

Her (staring hard at him): I really like both of these; I've never seen work like this before and I really like them.

Him (beginning to get the message): How about 25% off?

Me: With a 10% collector's discount you are getting a very fair price for two framed works of real... art.

Her: Just get them...

Him: Awright... We'll get them if you deliver them to Virginia and that way it will save us the sales tax.

Me (hoping that my eyes are not rolling): Where in Virginia?

Her: Great Falls.

I swallow hard, do the paperwork, and after explaining to them that they'll have to wait until after the exhibition is over, close the sale. A couple of weeks later, I contact them to arrange the delivery.

Using our delivery service (in other words me), I drive to Great Falls, and find their home, or shall I say mansion, one of those monster houses with acres of lawn. I knock on the door.

A Filipino maid actually wearing one of those French maid outfits opens the door. I explain to her that I am delivering two pieces of artwork, and after she stares at me and the two pieces of art, she lets me in, and shouts something in Tegalog towards the upstairs. A second uniformed Filipino maid comes down, and speaking in English says that the owners are out, but left a message for me just to leave the two pieces of art.

I do so, and ask her if it is OK for me to look at the owner's art collection. She nods and leaves.

And I look at wall, after wall full of gaudily-framed decorative work... you know: Impressionistic women in Victorian dresses with umbrellas in the wind, large Parisian scenes in thick, bright oil paints, men and women in hats that cover their eyes playing pool, seductive-eyed vixens staring dreamily into the viewer, Kinkaidian landscapes, and strangely enough at least six huge photos of those dog portraits by Wegman.

I sigh, thinking of all the tens of thousands of dollars spent in "wall decor," and almost feel as if I am leaving two small hostages behind.

The English speaking maid checks up on me, as I leave.

Me: Who usually buys the... uh... artwork?

Maid: These are all Mr. ____'s.

She points to the two that I've left behind.

Maid: Those are the first two that his new wife has bought.

I drive away with a tiny bit of relief; very tiny.

Wanna go to a Gallery Opening Tonight?

Fusebox Gallery will open an exhibition titled "Freedom Works," showcasing the the artwork of Rollins and K.O.S. with an opening reception tonight from 6-8PM.

Kirkland on Probst

J.T. Kirkland reviews Barbara Probst at G Fine Art in DCist.

The Chelsea Manifesto

DC Arts Center is launching a series of Sunday Discussion Forums and tomorrow, April 17, 2005, Christopher Lee will lead "The Chelsea Manifesto," an engaging and humorous look at the contemporary artworld.

Session One: DADA TO PRADA begins at 7:30pm, it is preceeded by "The ARTROCK Social Hour"... a chance to meet old and new friends while grooving to the sounds of art rock classics from the Talking Heads, Nico, Laurie Anderson, the B52's and more - 6:30pm-7:30pm.

Please visit the DCAC website for details on the Sunday Discussion Forums.

K & Connecticut
Mark Jenkins Install at K and Conn

Mark Jenkins
strikes again.

Friday, April 15, 2005

WPA/C Artists' Directory

The WPA/C is beginning to gather artists' info for the new 2006 WPA\C Artist Directory. Details and info for the 2006 WPA\C Artist Directory can be obtained here.

This will be the third issue of the Directory, and it is one of the great assets and resources that area artists have. I encourage area artists to participate (I do).


Dr. Libby Lumpkin, curator of the OPTIONS 2005 exhibition has scheduled her second visit to the area later this month. She will be continuing her tour of graduate programs in the area, as well as reviewing remaining written submissions in the WPA/C office.

Light Up The Warehouse

WarehouseOn May 14th, Warehouse is hosting a "Light up the Warehouse" party to raise funds to pay for new lights and sound equipment for the theater and they need your help.

Warehouse Theater and Gallery is another one of the great jewels in the cultural tapestry of our region.

I intend to donate a piece of art and so do the following DC area artists (so far):

Jim Adams, Tommy Adams, Felix Angel, Sondra Arkin, Scott Brooks, Gabriela Bulisova, Beth Cartland, Chez Chez, Mark Clark, Kevin Cowl, Lily Cox-Richard, Richard Dana, John De Fabbio, Margaret Dowell, Michael Dumlao, Dara Friel, Christopher Goodwin, Pat Goslee, Stuart Gosswein, Carlos Graupera, Ryan Hackett, Michael Wm Hall, Eric Hammesfahr, Bing Huang, Brece Honeycutt, Joroko, Mariah Josephy, Seth Kaplan, Jenufa Kent, Karey Kessler, Richard Kightlinger, Soumiya Krishnaswamy, Bridget Lambert, Chris Lee, Marian Lemle, Heather Levy, Mike Lowrey, Tim Martin, Rosetta McPherson, Ryan Miller, Isabel Manalo, Tim Martin, Elizabeth Morisette, Dan Murray, Noonieneon, Frederick Nunley, Steven Ochs, Dino Paxenos, Gail Peck, Mark Planisek, Philip Pradier, Mary Beth Ramsey, Karie Reinertson, Jose Ruiz, Charles St Charles, Andy Scott, Jessica Shull, Alexandra Silverthorne, Stoff Smulson, Steven Stichter, Randy Stolfus, Elena Strunk, JD Talasek, Tim Tate, Ira Tattleman, Ruth Travarrow, Susanna Thornton, Trish Tillman, Anita Walsh, Justin Winokur, Peter Wood, and Ellyn Weiss.

A preview party honoring the artists will be held May 6th. Artists wishing to donate a work of art should email Molly Ruppert at

Then, on May 14, the "Light Up the Warehouse" Fundraising party will take place at Warehouse. They are planning to sell 100 Sponsor tickets at $150.00 each, which will include and original work of art. Each $150.00 ticket holder may then buy a companion ticket for $50.00 entitling the companion to the dinner, drinks, music, live and silent actions. There are also general tickets available for $100.00 for dinner, drinks, music, live and silent actions. The special artist price for the same is $50.00.

Again, artists wishing to donate a work of art, or collectors who'd like to get a ticket, should email Molly Ruppert at or contact her at 202/257 5989 or 202/783-8263 or 202/783-3933.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Weekend Reviews

At the WaPo, O'Sullivan reviews "On Music: Tim Rollins + K.O.S. (Kids of Survival)" at the Kreeger Museum

As I noted here, on Saturday, Fusebox Gallery will open a show of paintings called "Freedom Works," putting the art of Rollins and K.O.S. in a different, broader context. An opening reception is scheduled from 6-8PM.

O'Sullivan also has a really good review of Collaboration as a Medium: 25 Years of Pyramid Atlantic

Powerless Critics

In the popular imagination, the art critic seems a commanding figure, making and breaking careers at will, but one hard look at today’s contemporary art system reveals this notion to be delusional. "When I entered the art world, famous critics had an aura of power," recalls ArtBasel director Samuel Keller. "Now they’re more like philosophers— respected, but not as powerful as collectors, dealers or curators. Nobody fears critics any more, which is a real danger sign for the profession."
Read the Art Newspaper article (by Marc Spiegler) here.
"The role of the critic has been gradually taken over by the curator," notes Stockholm’s Power Ekroth, who writes criticism for, edits Site magazine, and also curates exhibitions. "The curator builds up a career by becoming the new stronghold for validation of taste. The curator is also closer to the artist, because where the critic is trying to be 'objective' the curator is clearly subjective."

Here we go again...

Painting is dead, painting is hot... the never ending, boring debate....

Secret Service Visits Art Show

This story is a little scary.
Organizers of a politically charged art exhibit at Columbia College's Glass Curtain Gallery thought their show might draw controversy.

But they didn't expect two U.S. Secret Service agents would be among the show's first visitors.
Read the whole story here.

Secrets in the CP

Frank Warren's PostSecret project continues to grow.

Page 150 of the current edition of the Washington City Paper has one of Frank's cards and will run a new one each week; Very cool!

Frank is also working on a book deal for the project.

DC Collectors

We just closed our most successful photography exhibition ever, featuring 50 years of photography by Lida Moser. The exhibition received extensive press coverage (here and in New York), both in the mainstream media, online and on television.

And yet, it shows (again) the puzzling side of DC area "collectors." Most sales were made to New York (several pieces), Los Angeles (most expensive piece), Miami and Great Britain (multiples). In spite of all the press and really good numbers of people who came to see the exhibition, only three DC collectors (if we exclude Holly, our gallery attendant, who purchased a piece) acquired work. And the other two collectors told us that it was the "first time that they had actually bought photography from a DC area gallery."

This continues a trend (for us) that sees a rather sizeable number of our art sales going to New York and West Coast collectors, while the DC "collector" market remains hard to identify in the numbers that our area's wealth and numbers should support.


Colby Caldwell, whom I interviewed for ArtsMedia News recently, has a new BLOG called Notes from the Fieldhouse. Visit him often.

The Thursday Reviews

Nothing in the WaPo.

In the City Paper, Louis Jacobson has a superb review of André Kertész at the NGA. I am a big fan of "intimate-sized" photography, and dislike Teutonic, poster-sized photos so much in vogue in museum exhibitions these days. Jacobson writes:
These negatives were roughly 2-by-2-and-a-half inches, and the resulting works—sometimes cropped further by the artist’s steady hand virtually demand that visitors to the National Gallery put their noses up against the glass.

The constraints of these photographs’ tiny proportions demanded something of Kertész, too: a fealty to clear composition.
Jacobson also reviews Don Reichert at the Canadian Embassy’s Art Gallery and is then puzzled in his review of the Domestic Policy printmakers' group show at District Fine Arts.

The City Paper also has an excellent profile and discussion of Jonathan Blum's portrait show at Market 5 Gallery by Mike DeBonis. Elsewhere in the CP, Kara McPhillips has a tidbit on Trish Tillman and Bridget Lambert at Warehouse Gallery. Kara also reveals that someone once offered (her boyfriend) a bag of coke in exchange for her.

In the Gazette, Tracy O'Dowd reviews "H2Art" at the Carroll Arts Center, and Dr. Claudia Rousseau reviews Pyramid Atlantic's 25th anniversary exhibition, now at the District's Edison Place Gallery.

At MAN, Green discusses Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre at the NGA.

At DCist, Kirkland reviews Prescott Moore Lassman at the Fisher Gallery (and gets in somebody's "most loathsome" list in the process).

In The Washington Examiner (in page 5) there's an article about J.W. Bailey's i found your photo project.

Gallery openings this weekend

Tomorrow is the third Friday of the month (but today is not the third Thursday), and so the five Canal Square galleries will have our extended hours and new shows. The extended hours are from 6-9PM, and the openings are catered by the Sea Catch Restaurant. The five galleries are Anne C. Fisher, Alla Rogers, Fraser, MOCA and Parish.

We will have Washington's best Sangria plus the bizarre digital photographic manipulations of New York digital artist Viktor Koen, who will be making his DC debut. More work by Koen here.

Also tomorrow, Dan Steinhilber has his first solo exhibition at Numark Gallery with a reception from 6:30-8PM. Steinhilber had his DC debut a few years ago at MOCA in Georgetown, and since then has certainly become one of our best-known artists, and this should be a terrific exhibition. Steinhilber is slated for a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston next year, to be curated by Valerie Cassel Oliver. He has also been invited to a residency and commissioned to create a site-specific installation for an exhibition at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh next year.

On Saturday, Brooklyn artist Sylvan Lionni returns to Fusebox which has Sylvan Lionni: Stadia in their main space and Tim Rollins + KOS: Freedom Works in their project space, opening with a reception from 6-8PM. The exhibitions runs through May 21, 2005.

Go to an opening this weekend.

Back from Aggieland... this week's DCist Arts Agenda is here.

More later... I seem to have a lot of emails on something published by former Style section editor Gene Robinson in the WaPo this week. Will look at all that later.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Airborne Today

Heading West to College Station, Texas to do some lekturin' in Y'All country.

More later...

Monday, April 11, 2005

Kirkland on Lassman

J.T. Kirkland debuts on DCist with a terrific review of Prescott Moore Lassman's current exhibition at the Fisher Gallery.


A two-year renovation project at the home-turned-museum of legendary Mexican painter Frida Kahlo has uncovered a vast wardrobe of previously undiscovered clothing and other valuable artifacts, Oscar Arana reports on ABC News.

Commonly known as the Blue House because of its indigo external paint job, Kahlo and her husband, famed muralist Diego Rivera, lived in the home in the Mexican capital's fashionable Coyoacan neighborhood until her death in 1954.

Rivera turned it into a museum four years after his wife's death, but it wasn't until work to restore private areas began last summer that officials found the 180 articles of clothing which included traditional Mexican dresses depicted in Kahlo's famous self-portraits, as well as shoes, shawls, and pre-Hispanic jewelry that belonged to her.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: May 2, 2005.

Downtown Frederick Partnership is looking for artists to submit their ideas about creating an interactive, temporary piece of public art to be created and/or displayed during their First Saturday Gallery Walk on June 4, 2005.

Artists must submit a completed application including photos, sketches etc. of their idea for the public art piece by May 2. The artist will receive $500 to cover the cost of materials and payment for producing the art piece.

For more information please contact Kara Norman at the Downtown Frederick Partnership Office at 301-698-8118 or email them at

What was the best thing before sliced bread?

George Carlin

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Laura Amussen

To area artist Laura Amussen, whose Void/Filler II recently opened at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This site-responsive piece continued the dialogue, began in Void/Filler first shown at the old Elizabeth Roberts Gallery, of loss, emptiness, yearning and desire. Dancer Andrea Workman choreographed and performed a modern dance in response to this piece.

Andrea Workman dancing

Wanna Go To An Opening Today?

"The Light I Saw," a black and white photography exhibit by Karen Keating at Multiple Exposures Gallery, inside the Torpedo Factory Art Center, in Old Town Alexandria, VA, Studio #312 is on exhibit until May 1, 2005 with an opening reception today, Sunday, April 10, from 2-4pm.

Multiple Exposures Gallery is open daily 11am-5pm.

Bethesda Lit FestivalThe 6th annual Bethesda Literary Festival will be held Friday, April 22 through Sunday, April 24, 2005 throughout downtown Bethesda's art galleries, bookstores, restaurants, arts organizations and venues and retail businesses.

The festival will bring together novelists, poets, journalists, nonfiction writers and children's authors and illustrators who represent the rich diversity of modern literature. The Bethesda Literary Festival also features essay contests, poetry slams, kids' and youth book parties and the 2nd annual Play In A Day.

On Saturday, April 23rd from 1-2PM we will host Alexandra Robbins, author of Quarterlife Crisis and its sequel Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis and Jen Chaney, the Washington Post's DVD and movie columnist. Robbins and Chaney will join together to share their insight on modern day living.

And then, on that same day from 2:30-4PM, we will host authors Jim Grimsley (Comfort & Joy); Susan Leonardi (And Then They Were Nuns); Michael Mancilla (Love In The Time of HIV: The Gay Man's Guide to Sex, Dating, and Relationships); and Kathi Wolfe, a local poet. The authors and poet will offer a look inside gay and lesbian literature.

See ya there!


I'm jurying this art show next. Entries must be postmarked by May 31, 2005. There are $1500 in cash prizes.

Click here for details or send a SASE to:

League of Reston Artists
PO Box 2513
Reston, VA 20195

Sunday Artsilliness

Are there any editors awake at the WaPo?

Maybe I'm just too brittle by now, but does this belong in an art criticism column?
Finch is a slight 42-year-old, with a feathery crop of short blond hair that's thinning on top. His eyes are a pale, watery blue, and they tend to look away as he explains himself, rather shyly, to a stranger. He's dressed in worn khakis and Adidas (but not the trendy ones that scenesters wear). An old white T-shirt reveals surprisingly well-muscled arms: They hint at time spent at the gym, and are the only sign of an artist's narcissism in a man who might otherwise be almost any kind of junior academic.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

It's All Good

Our current Lida Moser: 50 Years of Photographs at our Georgetown gallery has become (by far) our best-selling photography show ever, thanks in part to great reviews in the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, On Tap, and soon in The Morning News, but mostly due to Lida Moser's spectacular eye over the last 65 years or so.

Even the mighty Christie's is coming by next Wednesday (last day to see the show) to look at the exhibition.

Wanna Go to an Opening Today!

Scott Lassman has an opening artist's reception today from 1-3 p.m. for his solo photography exhibition entitled "Domesticated Animals" at the Fisher Art Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Fisher Gallery is located on the upper level of the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center.

Also last night, at Warehouse Gallery, Trish Tillman and Bridget Lambert opened a collaborative show titled "Love Me Lose Me".

According to Trish, "Love Me Lose Me" consists of "solo and collaborative fabric and print installations based on themes of getting attention when it is unwanted, vs. looking for attention that isn't there. Confrontational issues are touched upon regarding anger/relationship turmoil, sexual exploration and sexual abuse, as well as the coping mechanisms that we fall into to get by."

The exhibition runs until May 8.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Another Opportunity for Artists

The Center of the Washington DC Center for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People (GBLT) Community Center is currently seeking artist to participate in an exhibition over the month of June. The art should reflect their experiences as a member of Washington's GLBT community. The exhibit will take place in the Center.

There will be special events open to the public during the month that will draw a large number of people into the space to view the art.

Interested artists should submit proposals for participation to Scott Billings at

Opportunity for Artists

The Greenbelt Community Center Art Gallery in Greenbelt, MD, part of the Greenbelt Recreation Department Arts Program is currently seeking artists for exhibitions between July, 2005 and June, 2006.

Apply before May 27 for best chances. No residency restrictions apply. The gallery hosts professional-level exhibitions of contemporary art in an educational community setting.

Proposals may be submitted by individual artists, groups, or curators. Artwork may deal with serious content but must be appropriate for a public building with an intergenerational audience. Preference will be given to artists who are interested in leading one or more paid workshops or other community-oriented program in conjunction with their exhibition.

Send a letter articulating your concept for the exhibition, identifying the contributors, and describing a related workshop or public program (if any) which you would like to produce. Also enclose: photo cd (preferred) or slides (no limit); resume for each contributor; sound or video recording if applicable; documentation of past community-oriented projects if available; and padded return envelope with postage.

Send materials to:

Nicole DeWald
Arts Coordinator
Greenbelt Community Center
15 Crescent Road
Greenbelt, MD, 20770
For more information, call 240-542-2057 or email Nicole here.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Power of the Web (local Bloggers do good)

J.T. has a solo show coming, G.P. is on CNN, Green will be curating a gallery show, and that living word-processing machine known as J.W. Bailey, strikes again.

Congrats to all!

The Thursday Reviews

Jessica Dawson has an excellent piece about A Proud Continuum: Eight Decades of Art at Howard University, an exhibition that I was not aware was taking place, and which sounds superbly interesting.

Dawson also writes about David Adamson Gallery's move while she looks at Victor Schrager's book still lifes and four landscape prints by William Christenberry.

And in an unexpected orgy of Thursday visual arts coverage, the usually visual art-stingy WaPo also offers a magnificent profile on area photographer John Gossage, whose last book is by Bethesda-based Loosestrife Editions, which produces beautiful photography books.

This profile of Gossage is extraordinary not only in the sense that it profiles a very important (and very good) area visual artist, but in the sense that it is there (in Style) at all. I hope that it signifies a course correction change by the Style section's new editor (Deb Heard), in doing for visual artists what the section already does for local musicians, dancers and actors.

In the City Paper Louis Jacobson has a very good review of our current Lida Moser exhibition in Georgetown.

Elsewhere in the WCP, Bidisha Banerjee has an excellent review of Prof. Peter Charles at Irvine Contemporary; a show which I quite liked as well.

The CP again comes through with a superb artist profile, in this case by Adam Mazmanian about Alexandria artist Mike Lowery.

In The Gazette, Karen Schafer discusses The Baltimore Watercolor Society 2005 Mid-Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition at Strathmore Mansion.

In The Georgetowner, Gary Tischler reviews Faces of the Fallen.

The Friday Openings

Tomorrow is Bethesda's time to showcase their galleries, and tomorrow is the Bethesda Art Walk, with 17 participating galleries and art venues.

Free guided tours begin at 6:30pm. Attendees can meet their guide at the Bethesda Metro Center, located at the corner of Old Georgetown Road and Wisconsin Avenue. Attendees do not have to participate in tours to visit Art Walk galleries.

Ozmosis Gallery has "A Single Vision" by Deanna Schwartzberg, while Elyse over at Gallery Neptune has an exhibition of artists' made flower by Pluta
bookmarks, Marin-Price has paintings by Roxie Munro. Many of her oils and watercolors are views from the roof of her sky-lighted loft studio in Long Island City, just across the East River from her home in mid-Manhattan. And Creative Partners has large watercolors by Valerie Watson.

We have the second solo show by Canadian photographer Andrzej Pluta, who uses a lot of darkroom tricks (like photographing the subject flowers underwater) to deliver some of the most unusual series of flower photographs in contemporary photography.

Read the review of his 2003 solo show here.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Arts Agenda

The DCist Arts Agenda Listing has the best of this week's openings.

Time of the month for the Bethesda Art Walk on Friday.


Kahlo Winner by LopezOver the last few months I've been curating a worldwide call to artists for an Homage to Frida Kahlo hosted by with the sponsorhip of the Cultural Institute of Mexico and the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City.

Like every single one of the hundreds of art shows that I've juried or curated or organized over the years, it was an extremely difficult task. Putting together a group art show, no matter what the subject or focus, is never easy.

I reviewed about 500 entries and selected sixty or so for exhibition at

Check out the prizewinners here.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery is scheduled to reopen in July 2006, and emulating their namesakes in England and Scotland, they are now institutionalizing and sponsoring a major new national competition for painted and sculpture portraits: The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.

logo of competitionOne portrait completed since January 1, 2004 may be entered between June 1 and September 6, 2005. Winner will receive $25,000 commission to complete a portrait for the Gallery's collection. Smaller awards for other finalists. Entry fee is $25 for online entries and $35 for snail mail entries.

Up to 500 paper entry forms accompanied by slides of the portrait will be accepted. Submit one or two slides for a painting and up to four slides for a sculpture. A paper entry form must be requested via e-mail from after May 15, 2005. The entry fee will be $35, payable by credit card, certified check, or money order.

The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2006 will be judged in two stages. First, a panel of experts will use an online jurying system to select approximately 120 semifinalist works. The Gallery will then arrange to ship these paintings and sculptures to Washington, D.C., where the panel will meet again in early March of 2006 to select the 50-60 finalists. These works will be installed in the National Portrait Gallery’s newly renovated second-floor special exhibition galleries.

Details here. I think that it is a shame that only two genres (painting and sculpture) are being admitted to the competition. That decision leaves out the potential for the NPG to explore other rich and vibrant genres like printmaking, collage, photography, even video.

Insider's Hint: I know one of these jurors quite well, and at least in that juror's perspective, he/she will be looking for portraits that really "expand" the definition of portraiture. I will be really, really surprised if a "traditional" portrait is chosen; but I could be wrong.

Don't Mess with the (Russian Orthodox) Church!

(Thanks Joseph)
"The director of the Sakharov Museum was convicted Monday of inciting religious hatred with a controversial art exhibition that was deemed "blasphemous and profane" by the Russian Orthodox Church.

A federal district court fined museum director Yuri Samodurov and curator Lyudmila Vasilovskaya $3,600 each for organizing the 2003 exhibit, which featured dozens of artists' expressions on the subject of religion."
Read the story here. Password available here.

New Website

I keep forgetting to mention it, but our galleries website has been completely redesigned and relaunched.

New website has been designed by Mark Jenkins. Check it out here.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Art Prizes

Chris from Zeke's Gallery in Canada, has an interesting posting with a listing of a variety of American and International Art Prizes, links and the most recent winners.

See it here.


To Janet Solinger, now Vice President, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Public Programs, and who previously directed the now-national Smithsonian Resident Associate Program from 1972–1992.

Ms. Solinger has been selected to receive DC ArtTable's "ArtSpark" award, given to women who have achieved a distinguished career and made significant contributions to art in America.

New Art BLOG

Warren Craghead has a new BLOG called Drawer. Visit often!

Trawick Prize

This coming Friday is the deadline for artists to submit slides to the Trawick Prize. This is the third annual prize competition that awards $14,000 in prize monies to four selected artists.

Deadline for slide submission is Friday, April 8, 2005 and up to fifteen artists will be invited to display their work from September 6, 2005 – September 30, 2005 in downtown Bethesda at Creative Partners Gallery.

The competition will be juried by Olga Viso, the Deputy Director at the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Andrea Pollan, an independent curator, fine arts appraiser and art consultant and Dr. Thom Collins, Executive Director of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, MD.

The Trawick Prize was established by the generosity of local small business owner Carol Trawick. Ms. Trawick has served as a community activist for more than 20 years in downtown Bethesda. She is the Chair of the Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. and Chair of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District.

The Trawick Prize is separate and different from the Bethesda Painting Awards (also sponsored through the generosity of Ms. Trawick; the deadline for the Bethesda Painting Awards has already passed). But Ms. Trawick now ponies up $20,000 of her own money to award to area artists (the competition is open to DC, MD and VA artists); this is especially commendable because she's a small business owner who has stepped forward and put her money where her mouth is (in her community), while other area business giants have ignored repeated requests to help add to the prize monies. By the way, we contribute $1,000 for a Young Artist's Award.

Wouldn't it be nice if our area's business giants like... Giant Supermarkets, or AOL or Lockheed Martin each threw in a measly (to them) $20,000 to this pot of money so generously started by a small local business?

That would mean a local art prize of $80,000! That would certainly change an artist's day, presence and stature, uh?

Forward this link to major area business giants and maybe we can shame them into participating in what Ms. Trawick has seeded.

The application for the prize is online here.

Sock to the Jaw

And yet another person (in this case Sarah Corteau) challenges Blake Gopnik's treatment of a historical subject. She opens with:
In his March 26 Style review of the National Gallery of Art's Gilbert Stuart exhibition, Blake Gopnik used pop psychology to interpret the artist's portraits.

Stuart's life was indeed rich with drama. Until his death, Stuart teetered on bankruptcy -- as likely an explanation for his prolific production as ego or desire for celebrity. But Mr. Gopnik never mentioned this fact, instead choosing to put Stuart on the shrink's couch.
Read the piece here.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Wanna Go to a Gallery Closing Reception Today?

exisiting to remainCurated by Margaret Boozer and Claire Huschle, "Existing to Remain" at DCAC closes today with a gallery talk at 3PM when you can join the artists and curators for the Gallery talk and Closing Reception.

In "Existing to Remain," four artists use ceramics and other materials as a point of departure to study transformation in the artistic process. The title refers to designations on architectural drawings denoting what is to be destroyed and what will remain during renovation. Kate Hardy examines the slippery delineation between Art and Craft in public collections. Rebecca Murtaugh considers frequency, time, and permanence. Claire Sherwood looks closely at notions of the feminine in the transformation of materials like coal and cement. Dina Weston studies aggregation and biography in an installation that uses existing architecture.

DCAC is located at 2438 18th Street, NW in Washington and can be reached at 202/462-7833.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Thanks G.P.!

click hereClick on the Van Gogh Google and prepare to die laughing!

My day has been made and soon I will head out to the Arlington Arts Center for their opening tonite.

See ya there!

DCist Review

DCist has a review of the new William Christenberry show at Hemphill by Seth Thomas Pietras; the first of what I hope are many more visual art reviews by DCist.

Faces of the Fallen

Michael O'Sullivan writes some intelligent viewpoints about the Faces of the Fallen exhibition that makes up for the unexcusable pulpit-preaching piece earlier written by Philip Kennicott.

I do find this quote puzzling:
Vivienne Lassman, a former gallery owner and freelance curator who helped to install the final works, put it as bluntly as possible: "This is not an art exhibition."
She's wrong.

This is an art exhibition.

The debate as to the quality of the portraiture could apply to any group show in the history of art; what clouds this issue is that politics got involved in the mix, and because neither the pro nor the anti-war sides were allowed to kidnap this project (the Honorary Chairs for the exhibition include Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA), Senator John McCain (AZ), Senator John Warner (VA), Congressman John Dingell (MI), and Congressman John McHugh (NY) among others), the sore losers on both extremist sides are whining. The show, as it stands right now (and as O'Sullivan points out), is is largely nonpartisan and agenda-free.

There are some really amateurish, inept portraits, and there are also some superbly well done portraits; but let's not mix words: it is an art exhibition, and a powerfully memorable one at that.

Plus, and as O'Sullivan points out:
After all, you don't go to a showing of the AIDS quilt, or "This Is New York," the open-to-all-comers traveling exhibition of photographs of 9/11 and its aftermath, and critique the sewing technique of the quilters or the tonal qualities of the mostly amateur shutterbugs' prints.
I think that it is an impressive, emotional and memorable art project and send my thanks to every participating artist and the organizers for creating such a memorable event.

I also think that the artists who were rejected by the curator for trying to inject a political mix into the project have a solid and deep set of opinions that should be expressed, and I certainly hope that they unite and find a venue to show their anti-war or pro-war or political viewpoint portraits. If and when that happens, that will be good for the dialogue created by an important art exhibition, and their exhibition will also be art.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter

Blogcritics: news and reviews

This gif is freely copyable. Just right click, save
Powered by
RSSify at WCC

Top Blogs

Arts blogs

Listed on Blogwise

Blogarama - The Blog Directory