Friday, October 13, 2006

Sandberg at Conner

Alexandra has a very good visit to Erik Sandberg's show at Conner Contemporary in DC.

Read it here.

Peace Show

For many years now, the Warehouse Galleries on 7th Street in Washington, DC, have been the capital region's bastion for political, activist and progressive art exhibitions focused on themes such as war, peace and how artists view the world around them.

Over in nearby Arlington, John Aaron's Museum of Modern ARF has been pounding out one political show after another (and has been apparently also been in the past the subject of vandalism because of it), and many DC area artists have for many years focused a lot (if not all) of their creativity on political art, people such as Stephen Lewis, Tom Nakashima, Jefferson Pinder, Nekisha Durrett and let's not forget that Lebanese-born artist Chawky Frenn (who teaches at GMU) seldom paints anything that doesn't have a sharp political comment to it (he had a solo scheduled in late 2001 that was cancelled when his then Boston gallerist allegedly told Frenn that he couldn't show his work after 9/11).

But getting back to Warehouse...

Opening on Election Day at 8pm, Molly Ruppert brings us her Fifth Annual Peace Show, and this year's show will offer a worldview of disturbance and destruction and will feature the work of many artists spread throughout the Warehouse's eight distinct galleries.

The exhibition includes Gabriela Bulisova's photographs of the ongoing clusterbomb devastation in Lebanon, paintings by Tom Drymon, a DC artist who moved to New Orleans before Katrina, a house wrap installation for peace by Laura Elkins, and the other artistic peace efforts of many artists.

US Air Force Memorial

US Air Force Memorial

The beautiful new US Air Force Memorial (designed after the trails left by the famous Thunderbird bomb-burst formation) will be dedicated in Arlington, Virginia in several formal dedication events that will take place tomorrow, October 14th, 2006 at 1:30 p.m. on the 3-acre promontory adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery and a short walk from the Pentagon.

The Memorial is on the grounds of the Navy Annex.

The USAF has always tried to show a very modern and futuristic views to all their designs (such as the USAF Air Force Academy in Colorado and even in their uniform insignias), almost as if they've never got over being upset that science fiction has always depicted the military ranks of the future as naval ranks, and the space war machinery of the future as "ships" and space "sailing" machines and not flying machines.

After all, it's Captain Kirk, not Colonel Kirk and Admiral Adama (in Battlestar Galactica), not General Adama.

A well-deserved salute to the men and women in blue who have served over the years and who continue to serve. They should be very proud of their very beautiful memorial, and we should be very grateful for their service.

Update: I could have predicted this, but just like the WaPo's Philip Kennicott, I am sure that all the usual leftwing nuts will find something to dislike about the new memorial, or introduce a personal political agenda into the issue, while all the usual rightwing nuts will also find something to dislike in its postmodern look and somewhat abstract design and lack of militaristic "view."

Whenever one designs and builds a public memorial, you can't please everyone, but whenever it is something to do with a military service, you can bet that all the wackjobs from the left and from the right will come out and become negative from some perspective or another, fueled by their extremist and divisive agendas.

I say that as long as it pleases the people and the families of those whom the memorial is supposed to "honor" - even if it is a just spot to take one's picture - then that's good enough for me.

Numark Gallery to close

I was in DC yesterday and didn't get home until very late (thus the lack of postings). While there I was told about Numark Gallery closing its doors.

Cheryl Numark is closing the doors to her still rather "new" award-winning space, and stepping off into the world of a private independent art advisor and curator. She states that

"After some time off to focus on my family and catch my breath, I plan to start a new venture. One of the regrets in running the gallery was that the demands of the exhibition schedule prevented me from spending as much time with my clients as I would have liked. The creative process of working with like-minded art enthusiasts in search of more exposure to artists and the art world, guidance in making smart choices in building their collections, and assistance in how to present work in its final setting, seems like a natural next step.

I hope this new art advisory venture will allow me to continue working with the community of artists, curators, collectors, critics, art lovers, and other art gallerists that have been such a big part of my life over the past eleven years. Thanks to all of you who have provided so much encouragement, friendship and support.

We would like to bring that community together one last time at Numark for a celebration of our 11 years together. We will be showing the artists with whom the gallery has worked most closely in 'The Last Show', which opens Saturday, October 28."
Having recently done precisely the exact same thing (although Fraser Gallery is still quite open under Catriona Fraser's hands), I wish Cheryl the best of luck with this next phase of her life.

Weekend Online Today

The Washington Post's Weekend online chat with the Weekend section staff starts today at 11 AM.

You can send questions in ahead of time here.

The online chat with Weekend has degenerated to the point where most people ask Weekend about where to get a good pizza or something banal like that. Hopefully some of you can ask some good, intelligent questions today.