Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Washington Post Art Critic Honored

On Monday, March 22, the WaPo's Weekend art critic Michael O’Sullivan will receive a special Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts. This will take place at a press conference with Mayor Fenty at the old City Museum.

Space there will be at a premium and extremely limited, and thus very hard to attend for those who wish to congratulate Michael.

Thus, for all those artists, collectors, writers and other folks whose life and artistic careers have been influenced and or benefited from the writing of Michael O’Sullivan, there will be a special gathering right after the press conference.

This will be a very rare opportunity for the Greater DC arts community to give back a little to one of the most understanding, observant, savvy and supportive persons of the complex tapestry that is the Washington area's cultural scene.

What: Tribute Gathering For Michael O’Sullivan

Where: Rear of the Warehouse across 7th Street from the Convention Center.
Enter through The Passenger Bar
1021 7th St NW
(between N Mount Vernon Pl & N New York Ave)
Washington, DC 20001

When: Monday, March 22 , 7:30 to 8:30 pm FREE

If you want a cocktail, grab one at the Passenger on the way in.

Amy Lin at Addison Ripley

I used to have a friend who, if she found a perfect parking spot right away and right in front of wherever she was going, she'd describe it as "Doris Day parking."

"Have you noticed," she explained, "How in all the Doris Day movies she always manages to find a parking spot right in front of wherever it is that she is going?"

I knew that things had started on the right foot when last Saturday, as we drove to Addison Ripley (for the Amy Lin opening) in parking-poor Georgetown, we found a huge parking space right in front of the gallery's door.

After double checking all the parking signs to make sure that it wasn't some kind of new DC trick to give out more parking tickets (such as the trick they pulled a few years ago in G'town, when they extended the parking meters' coverage time from 6PM to 10PM without any warning, and for weeks they were in a ticket-giving orgy because people were used to the 6PM meter time and didn't realize they'd been extended to 10PM.

But I digress.

Readers of this blog know that I avoid being a detached, passionless writer and critic as much as I can. And for years now I have been very enthusiastic about the work and progress of this artist. And this opinion has been echoed by most other art critics in the region, as past Lin solo shows have both (a) received extensive and mostly positive critical attention and (b) have sold extremely well.

The one artistic danger that I once mused about in Lin's case was what I describe as the "Mondrian effect."

Picasso once said "God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant, and the ant. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things."

As an art student and years afterwards I was always very attracted to the geometrical minimalism of Piet Mondrian. Then, a handful of years ago, I recall the massive Mondrian exhibition at the National Gallery, and what happened when I walked into gallery after gallery full of works so similar that they were almost indistinguishable from each other.

Mondrian had found a formula and stuck to it. He never went on "trying other things."

And in this current Amy Lin solo at Addison Ripley, I am happy to report that Amy Lin is not only trying "other things" from her signature minimalist works of individual groupings of small dots and small circles, but also that the new explorations are perhaps her best work to date.
Amy Lin - Cellular - 25 inch x 39 inch colored pencil 2010

Amy Lin. Cellular. 25 inch x 39 inch. Colored pencil 2010.

They explore new Lin interests that sometimes owe a lot to her training as a Chemical Engineer. They seem to trick the vision into reading formulas and charts and maps of color forms. The larger ellipses in some of the works almost assume figurative forms hidden inside deceptively complex drawings.

Hydrolysis by Amy Lin - 24 inch x 24 inch colored pencil

Amy Lin. Hydrolysis - 24 inch x 24 inch. Colored pencil.

The gallery was packed, and I am happy to report that Lin's past excellent sales record continues, as there were many red dots on the walls and several key DC area art collectors present and adding Lins to their collections.

The exhibition goes through April 24, 2010. Below are some images from the show.

Isabel Manalao, Amy Lin, Annie Adjchavanich and Dr. Fred Ognibene

Isabel Manalao, Amy Lin, Annie Adjchavanich and Dr. Fred Ognibene

Pat Goslee and Philippa Hughes

Pat Goslee and Pink Line Project's Philippa P.B. Hughes

Little June's Mom and Amy Lin

Little Junes' Mom and artist Amy Lin