Thursday, May 10, 2007


April was a record-breaking month for Mid Atlantic Art News with nearly 80,000 visits, which by many politico blogs standards is piddly numbers, but for a visual arts blog dedicated generally to a specific region is pretty good (I think), and further makes me think that we're doing something right.

Thank you and keep 'em coming!

Newhall on Sam Gilliam and "Post Painterly Abstraction"

The Inky's Edith Newhall reviews "Post Painterly Abstraction" at Locks Gallery, and also DC's Sam Gilliam at Sande Webster Gallery.

Read her review here.

Wanna go to a Baltimore opening tomorrow?

Touchet Gallery has an opening tomorrow, Friday, May 11, for their new erotic art exhibition which is titled "Uninhibited."

Painting by Ray Donley

The exhibit features the works of Austin artist Ray Donley, Larry Scott, the Baltimore City Paper’s 2005 Best Visual Artist and Philly sculptor Christopher Smith.

Opening reception: May 11, 6-9pm and then there's an after-party at Koopers Tavern in Fells Point.

Wanna go to a DC area opening tomorrow?

"Trio: three artists, one show" featuring work by Azeb Zekiros, Amy Kincaid, Kendra Denny and running May 11 — May 31, 2007 has an opening reception on Friday, May 11, 6:30 to 9:00 pm at Artful Gallery located at 1349 Maryland Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002.

Also of note, at Touchstone Gallery in the District, Ellyn Weiss and Rima Schulkind have an opening on Friday, May 11th from 6:00 to 8:30 pm.

Or you can also swing by Bethesda and do the Art Walk (or take the free mini bus ride) and see about a dozen openings and shows in one walk-through. Details here. There's also a free guided tour that starts at 6:30PM - Details here.

Mark your calendar

There's a ton of art events happening this weekend, but certainly one not to miss and taking place on the Bethesda streets is the IV Annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival. Nearly 130 artists from all over the country, music and food.

This really cool (and free) outdoors fine arts event will take place on Auburn and Norfolk Avenues in the Woodmont Triange of Bethesda, MD. The event is located six blocks from the Bethesda Metro station and is near several public parking garages where visitors can park for free on Saturdays and Sundays. Last year around 40,000 of your fellow Washingtonians and suburbian kinfolk showed up and bought a ton of artwork, so make plans to visit the fair.

Artists, restaurants, directions, details and photos here. Saturday, May 12 - 10am-6pm and Sunday, May 13 - 10am-5pm.

Go and buy some art!

Wanna go to some Philly openings tomorrow?

Friday is the city's ever growing Second Fridays gallery openings and extended hours. Swing by Seeber Fine Arts for recent paintings and drawings by Rachel Bomze. Opening is from 5-9PM.

The Sun on Probst

It tells you something about DC's daily newspapers when an out-of-town newspaper has better coverage of an exceptional DC gallery show than the local daily rags.

Granted, the Sun's art critic Glenn McNatt is also a photographer and thus has a deep interest in photography shows. His review of Barbara Probst at G Fine Arts in DC is good, but it also makes us sigh because it is rare when a DC-based newspaper gives the same kind of attention to a local DC gallery that McNatt gives G Fine Art's superb exhibition.

And granted, I suspect that Baltimore galleries probably get a little ticked off when their hometown paper's chief art critic goes to another city to review a gallery show.

But the point is that a DC gallery show attracts the attention of a critic from another city's major newspaper while it is essentially ignored by DC's own comatose daily newsmedia.

Good thing we have the CP.

No Representation at Warehouse

Closing this Saturday, May 12 Just extended through June 9, 2007 is one of those shows that makes the Warehouse Galleries and Theatre complex such a key member of the DC art scene.

Curated by Molly Ruppert, Sondra Arkin, Ellyn Weiss and Philippa P.B. Hughes, "No Representation" is as close as any show can come to deliver a powerful mini survey of DC area artists working the abstract genre of art.

Spread through three of the Warehouse's warren of art spaces, the exhibition is a treat to the eyes in its successes and a quick glance in its failures. It is also next to the two galleries hosting the "Supple" exhibition, as by now everyone in the DC area knows that the Warehouse came to the rescue of that show when its initial venue backed out at the last minute.

The unexpected juxtapositioning of "Supple" and "No Representation" works for me. In fact, had there not been a sign declaring the name difference between the two shows, I'd challenge anyone not to flow from gallery to gallery and not think that it was not a single show.

But I digress; back to "No Representation."

I've been following the work of Rex Weil for many years, usually through his inclusion in many of the old Gallery K's shows. For the most part I've always remained distant and mostly uninterested in Weil's works.

Until this show.

His piece "Black Stars a/k/a You Are Here" (oil and enamel on wood and a steal at $2,500) finally grabbed my attention. "The dark areas take out all the romance out of this beautiful painting," said the woman who was in the gallery looking at the work, almost hypnotized by it.

Black Stars a/k/a You Are Here by Rex Weil
They do. Weil's work is a visceral work that enters that realm where the eyes can't stop examining and wandering all over it many surfaces, spills, finger tracks, accidents. And the black areas that so attracted the visitor purposefully work to herd the composition and sidetrack and bend the viewing in a way that they do erase the beauty out of the painting and in an unexpected way make it more sophisticated and bleak and ultimately one of the most successful abstract works that I have seen in a long time.

I also liked Anita Walsh's "Living Drawing 5x5" (rubber, birch and brass on plywood), and Andres Tremols' "Untitled Blue Form" (archival digital print on paper), a gorgeous work where beauty works like it is supposed to, in a blazing display of Tremols' logical progression from working in glass to taking the glass imagery to a two dimensional plane.

Andres Tremols - on wall

Finally, in the Cafe gallery, the stand-out piece by far was Janis Goodman's "Wedge, Low Tide" (graphite on paper). As most of you know, I have a particular soft spot for good drawings, and this piece exemplifies all that is good about drawing, especially when executed in the hands of a talented artist. In fact, more often than not, dig a little into the record of a bad painter, and you'll find an artist with minimal drawing skills.

Wedge, Low Tide by Janis Goodman
But Goodman flexes her artistic muscles in this drawing, showing the sensuality of the simplest of art materials - graphite and paper - to deliver a complex and elegant composition that is organic and somehow sexual, perhaps like the after results of a wet, lapping ocean.

Other stand-outs in the show were the deceptively complex text rearrangements of Mark Cameron Boyd, the mixed media pieces of Pat Goslee, and many others.

The last day to see "No Representation" is May 12 June 9, 2007.

Salary Parity for Anne d'Harnoncourt

Anne d'HarnoncourtLet me join in Lee Rosenbaum's call for salary parity for the Philadelphia Museum of Art's able Director and Chief Executive Officer Anne d'Harnoncourt.

CultureGrrl points out that on page 13 of the current issue of The Art Newspaper, you can read the results of their 2006 international survey of salaries for museum directors, and according to Rosenbaum, it appears that d'Harnoncourt's compensation is among the lowest in her peer group of US museum art directors.

Time for the PMA trustees to consider why and then fix it.

Who done did doe'd it?

The WaPo's Reliable Source columnists tell us about a $10,000 art kidnapping.

Read it here.

Tim Tate Ransom Note