Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Symposium: Painting in the 21st Century

On Saturday, September 27, 2008, from 10 am - 5 pm The Phillips Collection in DC will host a Symposium titled Painting in the 21st Century.


Yve-Alain Bois
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Spencer Finch
Artist, Brooklyn, New York

Jonathan Fineberg
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Blake Gopnik
The Washington Post

Suzanne Hudson
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dorothy M. Kosinski
The Phillips Collection and Center for the Study of Modern Art

Leng Lin
Pace - Beijing

Joseph Marioni
Artist, New York City

Stephen W. Melville
Ohio State University

Laura Owens
Artist, Los Angeles

Andrea Pollan
Curator's Office, Washington, DC

Richard Shiff
University of Texas

Elisabeth Sussman
Whitney Museum of American Art

Gordon VeneKlasen
Michael Werner Gallery

I find it curious that Blake Gopnik, a well-known acolyte for the "painting is dead" mafia is part of the panel(s). Of course, Gopnik's erudite words could be the Hannity to the Colmes of the panel's central idea. Details here.

Artists Websites: Claire Watkins

Claire Watkins, Flock of Needles

"Flock of Needles" (Needles, thread, magnet and rotating motor), in a private collection in Great Falls, Virginia

VCU graduate Claire Watkins, now living and working in NYC, made some brief appearances in the Greater DC area a few years ago on her way to NYC and all of her work was snapped by savvy collectors and her prices have skyrocketed since then and later this year will make her London solo debut.
“The digestive system turns food into eyelashes. I am in awe of the minutiae and delicate actions that make up everyday life. The machines I build reflect this awe and wonder.

My work is intimate, curious and mesmerizing in its gestures. The translation of energy is both a functional and conceptual part of my work. The circular motion of a motor is translated into a gesture that turns peacock feathers into entomological creatures. With movement, I make machines that become creatures.”

- Claire Watkins
And what enviable art creatures they are! Watkins has Parasites by Claire Watkinsbecome a sculptural master of barely discernible movement and fluid energy. Not just the energy caused by the mystery of magnetism, but the new visual discoveries that happen when she marries her assemblies, installations and machines to the magnetic dance of the rotation of the planet as it travels through the Universe.

This fascinating artist's work deliver iron filings that move and dance both to the rhythm of the magnetic poles as well as the flight of our planet through the cosmos; two unepected forces to find driving a piece of art.

The effects of electricity have been curious since its discovery and capture, and electricity also has a powerful visual presence in Claire Watkins work, traveling through metal, lights, wires, motors, lights, microcontrollers and those fascinating city drawings that are today’s circuit boards. Electricity becomes a foundation for her art as she exposes its invisibility and dual citizenship in various incarnations.

Electricity drives her rotating magnet as it in turn commands a harem of needles to dance to the tune of magnetism choreographed by the movement of the Earth. Electricity rearranges her iron filings as they torture us with their minute steps across the metal boards of her acid surfaces. Electricity lights up her filaments as she captures light to create sculpture from photons.

The digestive system turns food into eyelashes and Claire Watkins turns hidden forces into visible art.

Visit her website here.