Thursday, January 12, 2006

Interface: Art & Technology

Yesterday I dropped by our Bethesda gallery to pick up some artwork that had to be handed to our delivery department (in other words me), and while there I ran into three of the artists installing work for our show opening tomorrow.

As I discussed earlier, this exhibition has been in preparation for over a year, and will showcase some truly amazing exercises of what happens when a talented artist meets technology.

I met the fair Claire Watkins, whose novel work first amazed me when I discovered it at the re-opening of the Arlington Arts Center. For Interface, Watkins has created two sets of works. In the first, she continues to explore the line of work that I first saw at Arlington - that is, wall sculptures that use hidden motors and magnets to deliver a visceral and organic pieces where metal shavings and pins move and dance on top of the surfaces of the works, in a constant and shifting and moving (almost organic) sculpture.

In a second piece, Watkins really pushes herself. She has installed a hanging wall bracket, from which a powerful (if small) earth magnet hangs. At an angle from the wall, and anchored to the wall, a series of threated needles float away from the wall, suspended in mid-air by the power of magnetism. It is minimalism at its purest and most elegant form!

And Trawick Prizewinner David Page continued to build the massive machinery that has everyone on the square abuzz.

Looking like some sort of medieval instrument of torture, the installation and performance will be take place tomorrow during the opening from 6-9PM. After that, DVDs of the performance will be available.

The exhibition includes new work by barely emerging artist Kathryn Cornelius (I'm itching to see her new video on the subject of technology), Claire Watkins, Scott Hutchison, Thomas Edwards, David Page, Philip Kohn and Andrew Wodzianski.

Don't miss this opening tomorrow at Fraser Bethesda from 6-9PM. See ya there!

Artist Housing Survey

The Cultural Development Corporation (CuDC) partners with developers to create affordable space for area artists and their families.

Currently, CuDC is hard at work cultivating new artist live/work housing projects in the District of Columbia and they need your input.

As CuDC begins to consider design specifications, amenities, and renting/owning expectations, an increased understanding of artists' specific needs is critical to the success of these projects.

Please visit this survey page to take this important survey.

Also, please join CuDC staff and other area artists to learn more about CuDC's current projects at one of the following Live/Work Housing Information Sessions:
* Tuesday, February 7, 2006, 6:30-8:30pm
* Sunday, February 26, 2006, 1:00-3:00pm

Both sessions will be held at the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint: 916 G
Street, NW, convenient to both the Gallery Place and Metro Center Metro
stations. For more information call 202-315-1324.

Gallery Round-up

Thinking About Art has a good round-up of current exhibtions along the 14th Street area.

Read them here.

And JT has added a round-up of Dupont Circle galleries. Read that one here.

Coming to the Katzen

The American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center is already asserting its presence in our region under the guidance of its savvy Director and Curator Jack Rasmussen. The Katzen is and will continue to grow as one of the most important art venues in the Mid Atlantic.

And next week they open their 2006 year with three equally interesting exhibitions; from their news release:

Remembering Marc and Komei
This exhibition introduces the outstanding art collection of H. Marc Moyens who, with Komei Wachi, owned and operated Gallery K in Washington, DC for nearly three decades until their deaths, months apart, in 2003. Mixing local and national artists with Europeans often known better abroad than in the United States, Moyens and Wachi eschewed fashion in favor of the offbeat, the magical and the visually arresting. This selection, the first of its kind since Walter Hopps curated a show of Moyens's holdings for the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1969-70, encompasses surrealistic/fantastic images by Ernst Fuchs, Jess, and Sandy Skoglund; expressive, metaphorical and raunchy figures by Lisa Brotman, Roy de Forest, Jean Dubuffet, Fred Folsom, Jody Mussoff and Joe Shannon, and diverse abstractions by Edward Dugmore, Tom Green, Pierre Soulages, and Ken Young.

From the Studio
This exhibition will showcase work by the 21 artists who make up the studio faculty in the Department of Art for the 2005-2006 academic year. The work addresses a wide range of contemporary issues through painting, drawing, sculpture, and multi-media installation. Exhibiting artists include: Tom Bunnell, Zoe Charlton, Mary Cloonan, Billy Colbert, Tim Doud, Ben Ferry, Sharon Fishel, Carol Goldberg, Lee Haner, Kristin Holder, Tendai Johnson, Deborah Kahn, Don Kimes, Isabel Manalo, Mark Oxman, Randall Packer, Luis Silva, Jeff Spaulding, Robert Tillman, Seth Van Kirk, and Susan Yanero.

Comic Reality: Political Cartoons by Ibero-American Artists
This exhibition presents more than 100 new or never-before-published political cartoons from 20 Latin American countries, Spain and Portugal, by Ibero-America's best-known practitioners of the genre. Chico Caruso of Brazil, Oscar Sierra of Costa Rica, Elizandro de Los Angeles of Guatemala, Jimmy Scott of Chile, Pancho Cajaz of Ecuador and others, present humorously incisive images leading the charge against hypocrisy, the misuse of power, scandal, incompetence and buffoonery.
All three exhibitions will open to the public on Wednesday, Jan. 18 and continue through Sunday, March 12, 2006.

Beck's art nominations announced

The nominations for this year's Beck's Futures contemporary arts prize have been announced.

The thirteen artists up for the £20,000 award include sculptors, film-makers and illustrators. I cannot think of a single American art prize where illustrators would be included as "fine artists," as in our nation, we tend to segregate illustrators away from the fine arts.

I think that is silly.

Of the 13 artists, only two come from the Americas: Mexican installation artist Stefan Brueggemann and Brazilian photographer and filmaker Flavia Mueller.

Read the story here.

Only in America

Art by jailed politician; methinks the club may expand soon. See it here.

Thanks James!