Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Block Party

They've moved from Alexandria, VA to National Harbor, MD and soon I'm going to have go visit them, but Art Whino continues to invigorate the Greater DC area art scene by bringing to the metro area exciting exhibitions and ideas that challenge the viewer's ideas of contemporary art and even how a gallery is part of that scene.

Art Whino's newest exhibition, "Block Party," is an "exceptional new installation that will also serve as a reflection on art pricing and buying. Solo artist Daniel Fleres and 10 others participating in this exhibition are set to display hundreds of small paintings on wooden blocks. The exhibition will be a large installation of these little wood pieces varying in depth that are designed to be displayed singly, in groupings and even as collaboration pieces. Daniel directly addresses his dedicated following of young, new collectors with this installation, challenging the idea that good art has to be unattainable to be valuable. The exhibition was designed around around the idea that art should be accessible to people of all ages and income levels, and therefore all works in the show will be priced at the same affordable price. As an installation, the exhibition is designed to let you, the buyer, participate in the artistic process as a composer of the forms."

There are two events:

Friday September 5th 7-11pm - Preview Event at the Adidas store in Georgetown

1251 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

Live painting by Daniel Fleres, Music DJ Alex Gold and a sampling of the Saturday show will be on exhibit. This preview event is free and open to the public.

And then on Saturday, Sept 6th, from 6pm - Midnight at National Harbor, MD, Art Whino will have its Block Party.

173 Waterfront St.
National Harbor, MD 20745

The event is free and open to the public. Music by DJ Alex Gold. Show end date: Sept 31st

Huddy at Foxhall

One of the Greater DC area's most powerful and experienced watercolorists, and one of the few who is able to tackle both gigantic subject matter and huge paper sizes will be opening at the District's Foxhall Gallery (3301 New Mexico Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016) with an opening reception on Friday, Sept. 5, 6-8:30 PM.

Glass Evolving at VisArts

Art history has a curious way to re-arrange what contemporary art critics and even artists tend to think is important and new in the context of art as both part of our daily social interactions and the greater multifaceted tapestry of an “art scene.”

In the first few decades of the last century, contemporary art history credits Alfred Stieglitz as the major force who brought photography to the accepted realms of “fine art” instead of just a novel technological new way to create posed portraits, landscape images and a quick way to record an image in order to later paint from it.

Today, photography is not only accepted as a form of “high art,” but it is also one of its leading forces.

It is interesting then that the first decade of the 21st century seems to be witnessing the same phenomenon with another genre of the arts: glass.

The mere mention of glass to the most open-minded of art critics, curators and artists often brings to mind vessels, bowls and the beautiful large organic works that started to emerge from the Pacific Northwest a few decades ago, kindled by the technologic revolution introduced by Harvey Littleton in the early 60s at the University of Wisconsin.

And it also seems to bring an immediate segregation of the glass genre to the crafts side of the artistic dialogue.

And yet we’re in the middle of a new Stieglitzian event, where brave fine artists all around the world are exploring glass as just another substrate to create contemporary art.

Led in our region by the brilliant minds of the Washington Glass School artists such as Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Erwin Timmers and others, glass is being dragged away from the crafts world and into the rarified upper atmosphere of the “high art” world.

In fact, as I've said before, these artists and others are the Stieglitzes of the glass genre. They are forcing all of us to look at glass, and its marriage to video, metal, concrete, found objects and final delivery in all sort of forms and presence that run away from the vessel and bowl and astound the viewer with technological interaction, narrative presence and all manners and forms of new contributions (such as green art) to the contemporary art dialogue.

Glass is indeed evolving, and this important exhibition is another footprint in the important march away from unwarranted segregation as just craft and towards full integration and acceptance as just art.

The beautiful new Metropolitan Center for the Visual Arts in Rockville, MD will open "Glass Evolving" with an opening reception on Wednesday, September 10, 2008.

The exhibition features several glass masters from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region whose work is represented by Tyson's Corner Habatat Galleries.

Habatat Galleries has been at the forefront of the contemporary glass movement, showcasing artists that can be found in museum collections world-wide. They bring artists Dan Clayman, Jon Kuhn, Rick Beck, Robert Palusky and Dan Dailey to the exhibition.

The exhibition also showcases the work of regional artists from the Washington Glass School and others including Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Michael Janis, Allegra Marquart, Elizabeth Ryland Mears, Syl Mathis, Lea Topping and David D’Orio.

New Gugg Director?

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is expected to name as its next director the outgoing director of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Richard Armstrong, sources have told The New York Sun.

Through a spokeswoman at the Carnegie, Mr. Armstrong confirmed last evening that he is in final negotiations with the Guggenheim. He would replace Thomas Krens, who stepped down in February to become a senior adviser to the foundation on international affairs, with leadership over the creation of a planned 452,000-square-foot Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi.
Read the NY Sun story here.

When Christians riot sue

The sculpture of Christ with an erection, part of the Gone, Yet Still installation by artist Terence Koh

Representatives for a gallery in Gateshead appeared in court yesterday charged with outraging public decency, after featuring a statue of Jesus with an erection.

The artwork was part of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art's September 2007-January 2008 exhibition Gone, Yet Still, by the controversial Chinese artist Terence Koh, which featured dozens of plaster figures including Mickey Mouse and ET - all in some state of arousal.

Lawyers for Emily Mapfuwa, a 40-year-old Christian who was offended by the artwork, launched a private prosecution against the gallery for outraging public decency and causing harassment, alarm and distress to the public. Mapfuwa, of Brentwood, Essex, argues the Baltic would not have dared depict the prophet Muhammad in such a way.
Read the story here.

Two comments: (a) the Lord is really well-hung and (b) and of course the real question to the artist is: "Why not Muhammad?"

And the answer is easy: better to be sued and get some publicity than get whacked in the streets of your own hometown like what happened to Theo Van Gogh.