Friday, December 31, 2004
The current Timeout 2004 guide for Washington, DC has really good coverage of DC art galleries; in fact it is the only DC guide that offers any decent "guiding" to Washington area galleries.
It is written by Jessica Dawson, who also pens the "Galleries" column for the Washington Post.
Read her introduction (you'll need an Amazon password) here and her favorites here under "Names of the Game."
Jessica nails it when she recognizes in her intro that a new "optimism" is kindling a really good art scene in our region.
Throughout the pages dedicated to the galleries, and as it is to be expected, there are quite a few comparisons to New York this, New York that all over the place.
And reading through Jessica's descriptions of the various galleries also offers an honest and rare insight as to how this critic evaluates and views (she seems to have something about "safe art," whatever that is) most of our region's art galleries. For example Dawson praises Zenith Gallery's Margery Goldberg for her "tireless activism," but describes the gallery as "while influential in the neon art scene, consistently shows mediocre painting and craft."
Addison/Ripley is praised for selling "high-calibre paintings, photography and prints," but "their selections, while lovely, are awfully safe."
Cheryl Numark is "Washington's power dealer", while Leigh Conner shows work by the "kind of cutting-edge artists that Washingtonians usually travel to New York to see."
MOCA is "DC's answer to the hip, alternative galleries of New York."
We "concentrate on photography, but occasionally shows innovative sculpture and work in other media," while our Bethesda outpost is a "bright, glass-walled gallery [that] exhibits realist painting and photography."
Hemphill Fine Arts "plays host to many of Washington's strongest artists," but "the art here tends towards the decorative."
Fusebox is "sharp and savvy," and has "raised the bar for visual art in Washington," and their openings are "events to see and be seen at."
Does anyone know why Jessica has never reviewed Fusebox in her "Galleries" column? Fusebox is easily one of our top area galleries, and I'm curious as to why it is so nicely praised in Timeout, but (so far) avoided in Dawson's bi-weekly column at the WaPo.
Anyway... Bravo Timeout!
One strong sign that the Greater Washington area "art scene" is really strong and gathering more heat is evidenced by the significant number of new galleries that opened in 2004, and the news that a few more will open in 2005.
I hear of a "Plan B Gallery" opening soon at 1530 P Street, as well as a second gallery (don't know name) being opened by a former Fusebox intern at 12th and U Street. If anyone has details on these two new spaces, email me.
And Zoe Myers is still looking for a large space so that she can open a gallery. If anyone knows of a substantial available space, then email her with details.
Yesterday I posted James W. Bailey's clever marriage of DC's top visual art shows with the cultural contributions of the mighty state of Mississippi.
Within a few hours, Bailey had received phone calls from the Directors of the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Mississippi Museum of Art thanking him and DC Art News for publishing the piece.
And get this... Bailey has even received a phone call from Governor Hally Barbour's Chief of Staff acknowledging that the Director of the Mississippi Museum of Art had forwarded the piece to the Governor's office.
The WaPo's excellent Weekend section art critic checks in with his top 10 visual art shows for 2004:
1. "The Quilts of Gee's Bend." Sewn together by craftswomen from rural southwestern Alabama from scraps of denim work clothes, corduroy of many hues and whatever else was lying around the house, these boldly cockeyed quilts, on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, could have gone head to head with anything from the museum's collection of contemporary abstract painting -- and won handily.
2. "Douglas Gordon." From a video depicting the fingers of a man's hand appearing to, er, copulate with his own fist to "24 Hour Psycho," in which the Hitchcock thriller is slowed down to two frames per second, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden's exhibition of the contemporary Scottish artist's conceptual yet eye-catching work demonstrated the strangeness of the familiar.
3. "Drawings of Jim Dine." There's nothing pure about Dine's drawings, which incorporate bits of sculpture and painting, pop and classicism. Still, as the contemporary draftsman's show at the National Gallery of Art proved, there's something in Dine's blend of virtuosic technique and dark, smoky romanticism that lends his work on paper a surprising, enduring heft.
4. "Samuel Mockbee and the Rural Studio: Community Architecture." The National Building Museum's examination of the Auburn University architecture program, co-founded by the late artist, architect and educator -- whose students are taught that building solutions should come from within the community, not without -- was full of examples of design featuring wit, good sense and boundless imagination.
5. "Sally Mann: What Remains." Death is a difficult subject. Its ugliness, its frightening beauty, its inevitability are enough to make anyone squirm. Mann's show at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, with its photographs of decomposing human remains, Civil War sites, the bones of a beloved family pet and portraits of the artist's children, stirred up thoughts about mortality -- hers, mine and ours -- even as it spelled out a message about the endurance of love that cast these predictably disturbing images in an oddly reassuring light.
6. "Thinking Inside the Box: The Art of Andrew Krieger." The Washington-based artist's retrospective featured more than 100 drawings, etchings, box constructions and surreal "mail poems" squeezed into the Rotunda of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. While it could feel a little like a bric-a-brac shop at times, the crowded, flea-market flavor of the room underscored Krieger's themes of fading memory, miscommunication and the inadequacy of technology.
7. "Kerry James Marshall: One True Thing, Meditations on Black Aesthetics." Featuring photography, painting, sculpture, video and installation, the MacArthur "genius" grant winner's topic-hopping exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art was, despite its title, neither singular nor especially true. That is to say, it tackled themes of slavery, multiculturalism, gentrification, cultural assimilation and art, offering up not answers but questions that you were challenged to answer on your own.
8. "Calder Miro: A New Space for the Imagination." The subtitle of this artistic pairing at the Phillips Collection is intended to be taken both figuratively and literally. On one level, it refers to the creative interchange that went on between these two longtime friends, while on another it refers to the museum building itself, whose renovated Goh Annex makes the perfect setting to see both of these familiar modernists in a new light. Through Jan. 23.
9. "Treasures." In a year when the notion of "nonhegemonic curating" (to use the New York Times' wonky phrase) took center stage with the opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of African Art's latest exhibition -- the first in a series showcasing works from the permanent collection and other private collections -- shows how to do the label- and context-free thing right. That is to say, in moderation, and with an eye for clean, contemporary gallery design that lets visitors savor each and every object for the gem it is. Through Aug. 15.
10. "Cai Guo-Qiang: Traveler." The two-part show, featuring the rotting carcass of a boat resting on a sea of broken white porcelain at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and large-scale drawings, in burnt gunpowder, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, references two kinds of traveling: time and distance. The work, by the Chinese-born, New York-based artist whose projects often involve explosives and fireworks, is impressive, in a monumental, big-idea kind of way, yet there's as much here to chew on as there is to look at. Through April 24.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
(Thanks AJ). According to this article, yearly art sales are now reaching an estimated $10 billion in the United States alone, and "While money invested in the stock market's S&P 500 Index -- a conservative bet on Wall Street's top 500 companies -- has earned an annualized 11 percent return over the past decade, that same money sunk into the contemporary art market would have produced a whopping 29 percent return."
That's impressive, but I want to know where the figures to determine these claims come from? Secondary art market sales? Examining the IRS returns of all art galleries in the US? Reviewing all the appraisals of artwork done over the past decade?
And I got my answers to those questions; not from the article but from doing a bit of digging on the web.
This all comes from a team of Wall Street analysts behind Fernwood Art Investments, a new firm with offices in Boston, New York, and Miami (I can understand New York and Miami, but Boston?).
According to their website Fernwood Art Investments is a
"...research and investment company focused on the art economy. We are the first independent firm to develop a comprehensive suite of art-focused investment research, advice, financial products and services for sophisticated investors and collectors. Our work generates new ways to participate in the art market and, in the process, brings significant new capital to the art economy.Anyway, their website has some pretty impressive, if Wall Streetish sounding documentation and references and studies and words that show me that these guys seem to know what they are talking about.
In short, Fernwood is employing rigorous portfolio management techniques traditionally applied to equities, bonds and commodities, in combination with academic and art trade expertise, to derive investable art insight. We invite you to explore our vision of art investing."
And yet "investing" in art is such a fungible science (at best). I mean, basic investment means buy low sell high. Or to be safe, buy a steady, safe investment and keep it for a loooooong time and then sell it.
In art, to me that means something akin to buying a Cindy Sherman set of photos 20 years ago (and sell them now!), or a Jack Vettriano painting in 1989 (when I was offered one for 300 pounds) and selling them now for a couple of million... you get my point? The buy "low" is done at the early point in an artist's career, when more often than not, he or she is under the "radar" of most people that I imagine as "investing in art."
And the "safe art guys" are the masters, and they are already pricey, so only investors with bucks could buy a Picasso, or Van Gogh, or Renoir, etc. Buy one one, keep it for 20-30 years and it is certain to increase in price (less the 10% auction house commission).
And this is where it gets intriguing.... because, maybe... and just maybe... if a firm like Fernwood could gather a dozen rich investors, and acquire a Picasso oil with their funds, and then hold it for them, and when the time was right, sell it at a good profit... then this could work!
But the hard work for Fernwood will be to identify the up and coming emerging artists about to make it big, and buying their artwork early on, and holding onto it while it increases in price. That's a formidable task.
My tip to them? If anyone from Fernwood is reading this: Buy Tim Tate.
Leave it to James W. Bailey to take a simple listing of the top visual art shows from our region and end up with several thousand words on the subject.
Bailey’s had quite a good year in 2004 himself, with several national level group exhibitions, plus his premiere Washington, D.C. area solo exhibition, "The Death of Film," which opened in August of 2004 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria, Virginia. Bailey’s "Rough Edge Photography" will also be featured in two solo exhibitions in 2005: "Stealing Dead Souls," which opens in January at the Black Rock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Maryland, and, "Burnversions," which opens in August in Reston, Virginia. Bailey will also be curating a found photography exhibition, "i found your photo," that will open in November of 2005 in Reston, Virginia.
Bailey won three major national art awards in 2004: An Honorable Mention Prize for "Circle Theatre – New Orleans" at the 3rd Bethesda International Photography Competition, awarded by William F. Stapp, the first Curator of Photography for the National Portrait Gallery; The Albert J. Turbessi Award at the 47th Chautauqua National Exhibition of Art for "Woman at the Tomb," awarded by Dr. Donald Kuspit, considered as one of America’s leading art critics and art historians; The Juror’s Choice Award at the Peninsula Fine Art Center Biennial 2004 for "Angel of Death," awarded by curator for the High Museum of Art, Carrie Przybilla.
Here's his Top Five List:
2004 – The Year a Small Army of Mississippi Rebel(lious) Artists Invaded Washington, D.C.
For the last couple of years I have enjoyed some success (well, some might say so!) as a critically acclaimed experimental photographer who has been exhibited across the country, internationally, as well as right here in the Washington, D.C. area. As a native son of Mississippi, I have been proud and honored to represent my home state with my art.
I currently live in Northern Virginia and my wide range of artistic activities keeps me in constant contact with many independent visual artists, as well as with a large number of arts professionals who work with some of the most important museums, art centers and art galleries in the country.
Wherever I travel to exhibit my photography, my Mississippi background seems to quickly become the subject of intense conversation. Art knowledgeable people outside the South are fascinated by Mississippi; yet, the question I get asked most often lately by non-Southern art elites goes something like this: "How did an open-minded liberal white artist like you ever manage to develop in such a backward state that is on the bottom of every list that is so steeped in racist attitudes with such a hate filled history and populated with so many ignorant conservative Republican Christians?"
Of course, the art sensitive people who ask the above question are usually far too sophisticated to use such crude and direct language (the way we routinely do in the South!) so I’m forced to try and translate their unspoken thoughts... but I’m sure you get the point.
The negative stereotypes about the people of Mississippi are incredibly pervasive in the cosmopolitan world of high art. Many educated arts professionals that I deal with in the Washington, D.C. area seem to operate under this absurd media induced stereotype that the average white Mississippian is a dangerous gun-toting NRA member NASCAR-fan racist redneck Republican who drives around in a beat-up pick-up truck with Rebel Flag bumper stickers plastered all over his vehicle cruising the back roads of the state looking for liberal democrats to beat up.
Many people in the rarified heights of the art world don’t know, and don’t really want to know, anything about the real Mississippi. That’s a shame because this place called Mississippi, with a population less than 3 million, has produced more creative people than any other place in the United States of America.
But despite the condescending comments mouthed by those art snobs who soar in the thin air of high altitude art with the rest of the enlightened and seasoned cultural elite, the meaningful cultural legacy of the grounded dynamic multi-cultural vibrancy of artist heritage of Mississippi will be around long after these people have passed into historic obscurity and, indeed, long after the United States of America even ceases to be united. And no matter what happens in this world, no matter how bad things get, the creative energy of artistic Mississippians will continue to be one of the major forces of passion, hope and love of life that will inspire the world to be a better place.
Black or white, race doesn't matter, artists from Mississippi have a deep love for the world and have longed shared their talents (talents born from a reality that many of the elites in the world of high art will never understand) in a genuine effort to make the ordinary genuine person who lives in every neighborhood in America, and in every neighborhood of every country in the world for that matter, laugh or think or smile or cry.
This is what being a passionate liberal Mississippi artist and proud conservative Southern person is all about for me.
If you don’t get it, you never will... I guess it’s just a Southern thing.
There were 4 deceased Mississippi artists who have had a profound artistic impact on the world who were exhibited and/or noted in a major way in Washington, D. C. in 2004.
There was also a 5th living Mississippi artist/photographer who may have had (some are saying he did!) a certain impact in the D.C. area as well; I will let someone else comment on that fella’s contributions, if any, when that glorious day arrives:
1. Samuel "Sambo" Mockbee - "Samuel Mockbee and the Rural Studio: Community Architecture" at the National Building Museum."A true architect practices all three professions simultaneously. The role of an architect/ artist/ teacher is to challenge the status quo and help others see what the possibilities can be." – Samuel "Sambo" MockbeeOnly in the South could a white man get away with insisting that he be referred to as Sambo!
Sambo worked in architectural practice for many years prior to founding the Rural Studio. In 1977, immediately after completing his internship, he founded Mockbee Goodman Architects with friend and classmate Thomas Goodman. The firm quickly built a regional reputation for utilizing local materials in its exceptional designs, winning more than 25 state and regional awards in four years.
Architect Samuel Mockbee was convinced that "everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul" and that architects should lead in procuring social and environmental change. But he believed they had lost their moral compass. The profession needed reform, he believed, and education was the place to start. "If architecture is going to nudge, cajole, and inspire a community to challenge the status quo into making responsible changes, it will take the subversive leadership of academics and practitioners who keep reminding students of the profession’s responsibilities," he said. He wanted to get students away from the academic classroom into what he called the classroom of the community.
Architecture students enrolled in the Rural Studio actually live in and become a part of the community in which they are working. This "context based learning" format teaches them critical architecture skills with an eye towards social responsibility. It is said that to his students, Mockbee presented architecture as a principle that must be committed to environmental, social, political and aesthetic issues.
Samuel Mockbee was awarded the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant in 2000 shortly before he died at the age of 57. He was post-humously awarded the 2004 AIA Gold Medal by the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects.
I considered Sambo to be a friend, an inspiration, a humanitarian and a consummate artist.
2. Walter Inglis Anderson – "Walter Inglis Anderson: Everything I See is New and Strange" at the Smithsonian Institution's Arts and Industries Building.
"I am continually arriving from some strange place and everything I see is new and strange." – Walter Inglis Anderson
Southern museum goers and art collectors have known of Walter Anderson for more than 50 years. They were introduced to him in 1948, when Memphians John and Louise Lehman persuaded Louise Bennett Clark, director of what was then the Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, to mount the first show ever of Anderson’s work. Art critic Guy Northrop, writing in The Commercial Appeal, instantly declared him a "genius." Memphians saw that genius at work again in 1950, when the Brooks focused on Anderson’s block prints, watercolors, and ink drawings, and again in 1967, when the museum put together a major retrospective.
Southern artists knew of Anderson too. Burton Callicott, painter and instructor at what would become the Memphis College of Art, traveled to Ocean Springs in 1948 for a crash course in pottery under Peter Anderson, the artist’s brother and head of the family’s business, Shearwater Pottery. (Walter’s "gift" to Callicott? A mound of clay, no note attached, one morning at Callicott’s door.) MCA students still camp every summer on Horn Island, Anderson’s Gulf Coast retreat 10 miles offshore from Ocean Springs, and the work they do there is still exhibited at the start of every school year.
Did Anderson have an "uneasy" life? Yes, to judge from Anderson’s difficulties as a breadwinner and also from the history of his sometimes fragile mental health — periodic verbal and physical violence, sudden disappearances, incidents of self-mutilation, cryptic utterances, and near-catatonic states, until Anderson, in a series of hospitalizations, underwent treatment at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield.
But it was Horn Island that, in a sense, saved him.
3. George Edgar Ohr – "The Mad Potter of Biloxi" by Bruce Watson in the February 2004 edition of the Smithsonian Magazine.
"I am the potter who was." – George E. "The Mad Potter of Biloxi" Ohr
Despite his reputation for eccentricity, George Ohr was a hard worker. In the later part of his life, he produced quality art pottery that will be appreciated and remembered for centuries. George cultivated the idea that he was crazy, calling himself "The Mad Potter of Biloxi." He said that he was "unrivaled" or "unequalled" and was, by his own estimation, the "world's greatest potter." His antics, self-promotion, and playful spirit are what people remember, rather than what was more likely the case, a determined artist who sought to create attention to his creative production through his eccentric character.
Ohr's skills exploded when he became an "artist-potter." His claim there were "no two alike" was true. The pinched, folded and twisted clay forms, thinness of the clay wall, fluidity of form, tendril-like handles, and freshness of Ohr's creations illustrate a technical skill that is still unrivaled. One hundred years later, potters marvel at his skill and cannot rightly say exactly how it was done. Critics of the day praised Ohr's glazes, but as his admiration for pure forms executed in clay increased, he left many pieces unglazed in bisque form. He believed only in this state could the form be clearly perceived.
Ohr's serious creations did not find popularity with the public. And because the Victorian art pottery of the day was carefully controlled and decorated, Ohr’s energetic and expressionistic treatment of clay was too wild even for refined tastes. Ohr was passionate about his work and supremely confident in his talent. He wrote to an art critic, "I am making pottery for art’s sake, God’s sake, the future generation, and — by present indications — for my own satisfaction, but when I'm gone my work ... will be prized, honored and cherished." In l899 he packed up eight pieces and sent them to the Smithsonian Institution. One of the pots was inscribed, "I am the Potter Who Was."
4. Eudora Welty – Passionate Observer: Photographs by Eudora Welty at the National Museum of Women in the Arts."I traveled the entire state of Mississippi taking pictures. I saw so many people who had nothing.. . . But even as people struggled, I was aware at a deep level of the richness of life going on all around me. I felt something about this time so strongly that the image stayed with me always." — Eudora WeltyWelty’s career as a photographer comprised a brief part of a long life, but it complemented her later work as a writer. In the late 1930s, Life magazine published Welty’s photographs. She also had exhibitions of her more artistic photographs in New York in 1936 and 1937. In the early 1940s, Welty’s career as a photographer for the most part ended after she decided to instead concentrate on writing.
The photographs that Welty took while traveling through Mississippi for the WPA didn’t get published until nearly four decades later in the book "One Time, One Place: Mississippi in the Depression." However, Welty’s photographs were never widely exhibited during her lifetime, besides a few limited-edition portfolios. In fact, most people did not even know of her years as a photographer until after her death in 2001.
5.) GUESS WHO?
The above 4 artists from Mississippi have all passed away and gone on to art heaven. Their living spirits collectively exert a tremendous influence on me and my art and my philosophy of life and art.
As I mentioned above, there was also a 5th Mississippi artist, a certain experimental photographer who will remain unnamed, who also exhibited around and made his presence known in the metro Washington, D.C. region during 2004.
I won’t mention his name or comment on his place in the pantheon of great artists because my Mississippi momma and Mississippi grandmothers raised me to be too humble to be so rude! I’ll leave it to the certified art critics, professional art historians and other credentialed art experts to decide what page, if any, this eccentric Mississippi photographer gets to occupy in the official art canon at the end of his life.
What does it mean to be an artist from Mississippi? Simply this: It means being true unto yourself and your vision and trying to do the right thing.Where am I going?
What am I doing?
I don't know I don't know
Just try to do your very best
Stand up be counted with all the rest
Cos everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam
– Mississippi Goddamn by Nina Simone
JET Artworks will be opening January 7, 2005 in Elizabeth Roberts' old space at 2108 R St. NW.
The gallery will feature contemporary paintings, photography and sculpture. Their first exhibition is a group show by several of their gallery artists including Conor McGrady (whose work was seen in the 2002 Whitney Biennial), Gregory Euclide, Greg Murr, Michel Tsouris and Ken Bucklew.
DC Art News sends a welcome aboard to JET Artworks!
Molly Ruppert announces ArtRomp #17 on December 31 at Warehouse on New Year's Eve 6-9pm. Meet old friends, meet new friends, watch performance and performance art (Performance artists Larkin and Ed at 7 & 8 PM), see art, hear music, see more art. Food, drinks, a picnic in the parking lot. And it's all Free!
1021 7th Street NW
btwn NY Ave and L Street
202 783 3933
Metro: Gallery Pl & Mt Vernon Sq.
ArtRomp runs 6-9PM
Warehouse cafe/bar, theaters & music run 9-2am.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
"A Cuban woman who moved to New Orleans in the 1850s and eloped with her American lover, [her name was] Loreta Janeta Velazquez, fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy as the cross-dressing Harry T. Buford.This is sort of a Cuban-Southerner-Confederate "Fidelio." I will do some more research on this subject which is sure to become my next series of drawings.
As Buford, she single-handedly organized an Arkansas regiment; participated in the historic battles of Bull Run, Balls Bluff, Fort Donelson, and Shiloh; romanced men and women; and eventually decided that spying as a woman better suited her Confederate cause than fighting as a man.
In the North, she posed as a double agent and worked to traffic information, drugs, and counterfeit bills to support the Confederate cause. She was even hired by the Yankee secret service to find 'the woman . . . traveling and figuring as a Confederate agent' — Velazquez herself."
Loreta Janeta Velazquez hereby displaces Cuban Confederate Colonel: The Life of Ambrosio José Gonzales by Antonio Rafael de la Cova and the definitive biography of a Cuban and Confederate rebel; as my next obsessive subject.
Get the book here.
For example, our gallery website gets about 525,000 hits a month, but this last October it received a whooping 1,048,825 hits (our first month over one million hits) and 48% of those hits came on October 7, 2004.
I called my ISP to verify that this was correct and not a blip in their stats program, and the stats are correct.
So now I'm going crazy trying to figure out what happened on October 7, 2004 to cause nearly half a million people to come to our gallery website.
And the closest answer that I can come up with, is the fact that on October 7, 2004 I was on the Kojo Nmandi show!
But that fact alone cannot equate to 458,448 hits in one day, and in reviewing the show's audio files, the website is never given out or mentioned. And most of the hits came during hour three of that Internet day, whatever that means. And 36% of the hits that month came directly to the gallery URL, which means that those people knew our website; only about 5% of the hits came through referral from search engines.
Next is for us to review our October sales and see how many Internet sales we had in October.
Secondsight's next meeting will be held on Friday, January 28, 2005. The guest speaker will be Connie Imboden.
Secondsight is an organization dedicated to the advancement of women photographers through support, communication and sharing of ideas and opportunities. Secondsight is committed to supporting photographers at every stage of their careers, from students to professionals. Each bi-monthly meeting includes an introductory session, a guest speaker, portfolio sharing and discussion groups. Each photographer will have the opportunity to present their work within a small group of other photographers, ask for constructive criticism, gain knowledge or simply share their artistic vision and techniques.
For more info visit Secondsight's website.
My DC Art Test seems to have raised some interest among some of you.
DC area artist Rosetta DeBerardinis adds the following questions:
1. What is Gallery magazine?
2. Who was DC artist Alma Thomas?
3. What is the group Americans for the Arts?
4. Where is Penn Quarter?
5. Which DC artist is known for his hearts?
6. Which was the first contemporary art museum in America?
While James W. Bailey (as it is to be expected) submits one of the longest questions ever devised for an DC Art SAT:
"If you found yourself being extradited to permanent life-long exile on a remote non-populated island (Navassa Island near Haiti comes to mind) because of a perceived subversive piece of art criticism printed in the Washington Post that severely disturbed the national security interests of the United States, and you could choose to take with you one work of art from any living contemporary artist, or any one work of art from any private or museum collection in the world (including the Mona Lisa from the Louvre), what piece would you choose and why?"That's an easy one for me. I would take Adam Bradley's lifesize sculpture Please. There's enough knives and hardware in that piece to help half a dozen people survive and even start a small war on that island.
Emma Mae Gallery, founded by Sandra Butler-Truesdale, opened last month in Washington. The new gallery is located at 1515 U Street, NW in Washington, DC. For further information call 202-667-0634 or 202-246-6300
Currently on view there are works by Sandra Butler-Truesdale, John Zaire El-Badr, Afrika Midnight Asha Abney and many others.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Montgomery College Drawing National II
Deadline: January 20, 2005 (snail mail entries)
January 21, 2005 (email entries)
Exhibition dates February 21 - March 11 at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD. Open to artists living in the United States. All drawing media. One to three entries. No entry fee, no commission, return shipping paid for mail-delivered work. No size restrictions. Work must be ready to hang, presented in a professional manner. Insurance.
Approximately 35-40 works will be exhibited. Looking for straight, creative, and unusual approaches to drawing.
Juror: Sarah Stecher, Associate Professor of Art, Montgomery College. 301-251-7649, Email her here.
View and download prospectus here.
Deadline: January 17, 2005
Job: Assistant Director of the Art Gallery at the University of Maryland.
The Assistant Director works closely with the Director in the overall management and administration of the Gallery's exhibition program, permanent collection, education program, and fundraising.
The successful candidate will fulfill the following requirements: Possess a bachelor's degree. Must have 2-3 years experience in a museum of gallery setting involving exhibitions, handling art objects, and grant writing. Excellent organizational, time management, and oral and written communication skills. Ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks and deadlines. Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to interact with a diverse public. Additionally, the preferred candidate will: Possess a bachelor degree in art, art history, or related fields. Possess a graduate degree. Demonstrate academic training in art history and/or art and understanding of current museum standards.
Salary: Low to mid 30's
For best consideration send a letter of application, resume or curriculum vitae and three names of references by January 17, 2005 to:
David C. Driskell Center
2108 Tawes Fine Arts Building
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Job: Assistant Professor in Graphic Design: American University
Deadline: Until filled
Assistant Professor rank. Tenture Track. Beginning Fall 2005. Qualifications: MFA or equivalent terminal degree in the discipline. Teaching and professional experience preferred. The applicant should be knowledgeable of current issues in design, the demands of the professional field and the tools, technologies and resources inherent to the discipline. Expected familiarity with theoretical issues of graphic design as well as its historical background. Ability to contribute to the teaching of interactive and experience design courses a plus.
Responsibilities: Teach courses in graphic design at the undergraduate level, basic through advanced levels; stduent advising, including mentoring women and minority students. Scholarship/Creative work: active professional in the field. University service: serving on Department, College and University Committees. Salary is competitive and dependent on qualifications and experience. Applications will be reviewed beginning January 15, 2005 and continue until the position is filled.
Selected candidate will begin appointment working at facilities located in a brand-new building. Visit www.design.american.edu and www.american.edu for further information on the University and design program. Include letter of application stating teaching philosophy, curriculum vitae, a minimum of 20 slides or disk media with samples of own work and (if available) examples of students' work, and printed writing samples if any.
Salary: Competitive and dependent on qualifications and experience.
Send materials along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope for their return, and three letters of recommendation to:
Graphic Design Search Committee
Department of Art
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC 20016-8004
DCist was one of the best things that happened to our area's cyberspace information grid (how's that for a new acronym? the CIG!). Anyway, they have their Top 10 DCist Posts of 2004 and were kind enough to have a few nice words about DC Art News.
Read their list here.
"No one paid much heed last year when the Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn stopped showing his work in Switzerland to protest a right-wing populist's entry into the government. Now, in a new exhibition in Paris, a biting critique of Swiss democracy, Mr. Hirschhorn has provoked stormy scenes in the Swiss Parliament that have turned him into his country's most talked about artist overnight."Read the latest case in the NYT here. If you don't have a NYT password, get one: it's free! (or useAJ's).
Even the Swiss! Geez!
Faith Flanagan is a local art fan, collector in the rough, and sometime guerilla curator. Here's her top DC area shows of the year:
Calder/Miro, The Phillips Collection
Douglas Gordon (with emphasis on 24 hour Psycho), Hirshhorn
Jason Gubbiotti and Ian Whitmore, Fusebox
Jenny Holzer, Xenon for DC, Curator's Office
Avish Khebrehzadeh, Conner Contemporary Art
Sally Mann, Last Measure, Hemphill Fine Arts
Ana Mendieta, Hirshhorn
Maggie Michael, Run, G Fine Art
Brandon Morse, These Things Happen, Strand on Volta
Esther Hidalgo - Lara Oliveira - Katherine Radke - Christopher Saah - Dylan
Scholinski, THE EXERCISES--E1: Contemplating Process, Transformer Gallery
Addendums -- (aka TG Awards):
Best After-Party: WPA/C Auction 2004, Black Cat
Best (sort of borrowed) Fundraising Idea: Anonymous One, Flashpoint
Best Non-exhibition art event: Opening of 1515 14th Street, NW
Best Place to look, as an emerging collector, for a great emerging artist (without really trying): Academy, Conner Contemporary Art, August
Monday, December 27, 2004
I have been informed that the Washington Post has decided to hire a second freelance writer to augment Jessica Dawson's "Galleries" reviews.
Since the Arts Editor (John Pancake) is still out of the country on a teaching sabbatical, and will not return until mid January (and maybe because the Post has received some many complaints from all of us), the newspaper is curently looking to hire a freelance art critic to replace Dixon and augment Dawson at "Galleries."
The Washington Post has assigned the task of finding a replacement to its Chief Art Critic, Blake Gopnik.
I'm glad that they're looking to hire a second voice and I am holding my fingers crossed that it will be someone who actually knows something about DC area artists and galleries and who can name more than five galleries and more than half a dozen artists.
In fact, free to Mr. Gopnik and the Post, I have devised a clever test in order for Gopnik and/or the Post staff to test a prospective applicant's knowledge of the DC art scene, since (as we all know), Mr. Gopnik has so far succesfully avoided writing about our artists and galleries.
Here's the test:
1. Signal 66 is/was a:Hey! That was kind of fun! If any of you have any more questions that we can add to our questionnaire, please email them to me.
(a) TV show
(b) Gridlocked highway
(c) DC art gallery
(d) All of the above
2. What DC artist was included in a recent Whitney Biennial?
(a) Sam Gilliam
(b) Lou Stovall
(c) Chan Chao
(d) Maggie Michael
3. Which of these is not a real DC area art venue?
4. Which of these DC area gallery owners are artists as well?
(a) Norm Parish
(b) Alla Rogers
(c) Elyse Harrison
(d) All of the above
5. What DC area artist was included in a recent Venice Biennale?
(a) Sam Gilliam
(b) Muriel Hasbun
(c) Kelly Towles
(d) Jason Gubbiotti
6. What DC area artist has been featured in the Hirshhorn recently?
(a) Chan Chao
(b) Muriel Hasbun
(c) Dan Steinhilber
(d) Sam Gilliam
7. What happens on the first Friday of each month?
(a) WaPo employees get paid
(b) Dupont Circle art galleries have their extended hours
(c) Corcoran has free pizza for all of its unpaid docents
(d) None of the above
8. What is Art-O-Matic?
(a) A computer virus that erases all the images in your hard drive
(b) A new British painting robot
(c) A huge, open art show roughly held every couple of years.
(d) An Irish racing horse
9. Which of these embassies also have associated art galleries?
(d) All of the above
10. What was the last piece of art that you purchased?
(a) A painting
(b) A print
(c) A photograph
(d) I have not purchased any real art recently, only a video
11. Which of these DC area art venues is a museum?
(a) Museum of Contemporary Art
(b) Museum of Modern ARF
(c) Artists' Museum
(d) None of the above
12. Name one DC area artist who's ever had a retrospective exhibition at the Hirshhorn.
(a) Ana Mendieta
(b) Carlos Alfonzo
(c) Fernando Botero
13. Name a reason why Sam Gilliam has never had a major DC area museum retrospective.
(a) He refuses them
(b) Who is Sam Gilliam?
(c) He has had many
(d) He lives in Washington, DC
14. John Currin is to Big Tits as Gene Davis is to __________?
(a) Angela Davis
(b) Spanish Tapas
15. Which of these former DC area artists became really well-known soon after they moved away from DC?
(a) Joyce Tenneson
(b) Tara Donovan
(c) Martin Puryear
(d) All of the above
16. Name the single and only black artist who's ever had a retrospective at the National Gallery of Art.
(a) Jacob Lawrence
(b) Wilfredo Lam
(c) Romare Bearden
(d) Sam Gilliam
17. What is the Torpedo Factory?
(a) A sandwich shop in Adams Morgan
(b) A building full of artists and galleries in Old Town Alexandria
(c) A super secret building in the Navy Yard
(d) A chic clothing shop in Georgetown
18. Roy Lichtenstein is to comic books as Clark is to ___________?
(b) Candy bars
(c) Strip joints
(d) George Washington
Sunday, December 26, 2004
I'll have a really interesting bit of information to post tomorrow; make sure you check in!
Saturday, December 25, 2004
Friday, December 24, 2004
Michael O'Sullivan reviews Kelly Towles' current exhibition at David Adamson and declares being a fan of Towles' work.
This is one of the reasons that I like O'Sullivan's writing. When was it the last time that you read a WaPo art critic declaring that they were a "fan" of anybody's work?
Other than O'Sullivan (this and in other past reviews), never. It is as if declaring that one actually likes the work being reviewed, with just a little bit of passion or enjoyment, is verbotten in the how-to handbook of modern art criticism.
With the large number of commercial fine art galleries, embassy galleries, non-profit galleries, artists cooperative galleries, alternative art venues and museums that we have in our Greater Washington, DC area, the task of selecting a list of top anything is not a trivial task.
To make matters worse, everytime that I've done this in the past, and after I see someone else's list, I always go "crap! I forgot about that show!"
Nonetheless, here's my top ten visual arts show of the year for our region, sans our shows of course. I was tempted, as 2004 allowed us to bring to the DC region some brilliant work by world-class Cuban artists like Sandra Ramos, Cirenaica Moreira, Marta Maria Perez Bravo and Aimee Garcia Marrero (all of whom were in Art Basel Miami Beach) as well as a spectacular second sold out show by Tim Tate, who enjoyed what can best be described as a record-setting 2004.
My Top 10 (in no particular order)
Ana Mendieta at the Hirshhorn
Sally Mann at the Corcoran
Chan Chao at Numark Gallery.
Bruno Perillo at Irvine Contemporary Art
Ian Whitmore at Fusebox
The Quilts of Gee's Bend at the Corcoran
Margaret Boozer at Strand on Volta
"In 2Words: Numbers" at Target Gallery.
Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya at the National Gallery.
Dan Flavin at the National Gallery of Art.
Washingtonian magazine's national editor, Harry Jaffe, has an article in the current issue titled "Three Best Post Columnists — and Two Worsts."
Worst Review: Glenn Dixon on the Calder Miró showRegardless of how one feels about Dixon's animus, my question to Mr. Jaffe and to Washingtonian: How can you publish a magazine about Washington, DC and not have a regular column each month that reviews a gallery or museum show?
Reading Post art reviews, one sometimes imagines the critics walking into exhibitions with their noses so high in the air they can’t see the walls. The height of naive nastiness came from Glenn Dixon in his October 10 review of the Calder Miró show at the Phillips Collection. Dixon, a freelance writer, tried to be more dismissive than the Post’s main critic, Blake Gopnik.
He succeeded in that but failed to describe the exhibition. He doesn’t like Miró. He denigrates Duncan Phillips, the museum’s founder. Every line reeks of animus. Viewers have flocked to the Phillips to see the wondrous and playful collection. Ignore Dixon; see the show, which closes January 23.
Like (cough, cough) the elegant and eloquent reviews of restaurants that the magazine publishes in issue after issue?
We need more critical visual art voices in this town to write about our artists, our galleries and our museums. And glossy magazines like Washingtonian need to step up to the plate and add to our city's cultural scene with more than just restaurant reviews and more than just listings of museum shows and the rare page about an artist or a show here and there.
One half page review a month is not much to ask, is it?
How about we kick start another letter writing or email-sending campaign? Let's all write to Mr. Jaffe and ask him to add a regular monthly art review column to the magazine (and not just museum reviews for chrissakes!). Make sure that you also copy the magazine's editor John Limpert and the arts editor, Susan Davidson.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
That's new baseball talk (new to me) for hitting a home run. The current issue of the Washington City Paper has Cudlin's review of the area's visual arts year gone by.
And I'll be damned if Cudlin doesn't just hit a very readable homer, but also throws a couple of tight fastballs (awright, awright... enough with the baseball talk).
On Blake Gopnik:
"Ostensibly, Blake Gopnik is the Washington Post’s art critic of note. But his coverage of the art scene this year has seemed less concerned with Washington than with a certain city to the north: He wrote a travelogue on the galleries of Chelsea, and he recently began conducting studio visits with artists living and working in Brooklyn. Still, certain D.C. events were on Gopnik’s mind, if not on his itinerary. We could count on him to draw attention to anything confirming his worst suspicions about his occasional hometown — say, those PandaMania bears, or, yes, the redundant controversy of Artomatic (in which I participated)."That was very good, and it takes cojones to say it; and there's more. Cudlin praises Dixon, references a well-known BLOG and slams Jessica:
"Meanwhile, thoughtful freelance critic Glenn Dixon — the only area reviewer to write on a 19.3 grade level, according to one local art blog — bailed on the Washington City Paper and made an auspicious debut in the Post’s Galleries column. Then he promptly thought better of it and bailed once more —which leaves column readers again with Jessica Dawson and only the blandest publicizing imaginable. But now only twice a month."Ouch! I do disagree with Cudlin's broad characterization of cooperative galleries when he writes that "Numark [Gallery] stands out in a ’hood that’s home to craftsy emporiums such as Zenith Gallery and — even more dubious — pay-to-show member galleries such as Touchstone."
I disagree 1000% with his characterization of artist-run cooperative galleries.
Cooperative galleries such as Touchstone are not "dubious" and in fact cooperative galleries in this town are some of the oldest galleries in our area, surviving the demise of many private galleris, and have been a breeding ground for many, many artists, who now show in other galleries - including now showing in most of the independent, private commercial fine art galleries mentioned in Cudlin's article.
In fact, I am told that at least one of those "other" galleries mentioned elsewhere in Cudlin's article is one that unfortunately has charged artists to exhibit. This is called a "vanity gallery" and it is much different than a cooperative of artists all sharing the costs of running a gallery space. Being a true "vanity gallery" is unethical especially when the gallery pretends to be a "regular" gallery and in private charges artists a fee to exhibit in their spaces. Very unethical.
Otherwise a superb round-up! Read Cudlin's entire article here.
Louis Jacobson delivers his take on the photography year for 2004 in our area with a very good piece in the current Washington City Paper.
Lou's Top 10:
1. "Lost Images: Berlin Mitte" at Addison/Ripley Fine Art.
2. "Winogrand 1964" at the S. Dillon Ripley Center International Gallery.
3. "Maxwell MacKenzie: Markings" at Addison/Ripley Fine Art.
4. "Jacques Henri Lartigue: Vintage Photographs, 1905–1932" at Sandra Berler Gallery.
5. "Martin Kollar: Slovakia 001" and "Darrow Montgomery: Postcards From Home" at the Kathleen Ewing Gallery.
6. "ABCDF: Portraits of a City" at the Art Museum of the Americas.
7. "Room Service" at Panhwa Art Studio.
8. "Aaron Siskind: New Relationships in Photography" at the Phillips Collection.
9. "Christopher Burkett: Resplendent Light" at the Kathleen Ewing Gallery.
10. "Viggo Mortensen: Miyelo" at Addison/Ripley Fine Art.
One of the Washington area's best-known and most respected artists, Anne Truitt, born in Baltimore in 1921 and a resident of the Greater Washington, DC area for many years, has died at age 83.
Her work was and is represented locally by the Ramon Osuna Gallery in Bethesda.
Our best wishes to the Truitt family.
Comments, criticisms and purchases welcomed.
The article discusses the Dartmouth exhibition where Frenn outshocked Damien Hirst.
Read the Daily Star story here.
The Art League is our area's largest artists' organization, with over 1,200 members. The Art League also operates a school with over 2500 students per term and a supply store for the purchase of art supplies by students and members.
When I first re-arrived to the Washington area in 1993, the first thing that I did was to join The Art League, and was a member for several years.
Each month The Art League has a juried competition, where members can bring two original works of art to be juried by a guest juror. Selected works are then hung at The Art League's large gallery on the ground floor of the Torpedo Factory.
The current show was selected by Maurine Littleton, the owner and director of the terrific gallery by the same name in Georgetown that is perhaps the finest glass gallery in the world.
I have been asked to be the juror for the January competition and will be doing so during the first week of January.
To get more details on becoming a member of the Art League, call them at 703/683-1780 or view their application form here.
They also focused on the work of Tim Tate, as the series also identifies new emerging artists.
It was supposed to be a five minute screen time, which in TV-land always means a couple of hours of shooting.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
At the risk of sounding nepotic (and definitely waaaaaaaaay past objective!), I think she really drilled into what some of the artists that she writes about are trying to deliver. It's hard to write eloquently about a group show (always some good.. always something forgettable).
Before moving to our area, Rousseau was one of Latin America's most influential art critics. It is no surprise that she gets Cuban artist Sandra Ramos right off the bat and writes:
"Cuban artist Sandra Ramos' approach to figuration uses a surrealist vocabulary to convey politically charged content. "In my paper prison" is part of "Isla prisión," a strongly emotive series about Cuba as a prison in both political and artistic senses. Here, the artist's body, wearing the uniform of Castro's "Communist Youth," lies in the shape of the island behind prison bars formed by pencils. Ten unmounted paper sheets in plastic sleeves comprise "The Inability to Trap Images." Each shows a silk-screened hand with a small image printed above it.And she gets our own area's Tim Tate; she writes about him:
Taken together, Ramos' work can be interpreted as a reference to the failure of artistic censorship, or simply to the travails of the artist to capture reality. Either way, the images make an indelible impression because they clearly have profound meaning for the artist, and hopefully, for the viewer."
Glass artist Tim Tate's new works, "A Slice of Heaven/A Slice of Hell," the first an icy blue, the second red, hang side by side in long, narrow cast bronze frames. An examination of their imagery presents the same provocative vocabulary that has made Tate so successful in recent years. Much of it appears universal, even Dantesque, but is instead very private and autobiographical in nature. For example, what may recall a Catholic votive for many viewers -- a red glass flame topping a blown glass heart bearing a cross, in turn containing yet another red flame -- is titled with a distinctly non-religious ring: "Hunka' Hunka' Burnin' Love." Yet for the artist, the eternal flame on top, inspired by John F. Kennedy's tomb site, is a healing image, intended to convey ideas of love and spirit outliving death and pain.Read the whole review here.
Tate uses private images of healing all through his works. In "Nine Paths to Heaven or Hell," a circular piece made of nine glass voussoirs (wedge-shaped pieces that form an arch), the topmost element contains a hand surrounded by rays holding a beaded ball (a nucleus perhaps?), also conceived as a healing image.
Tate's technique is impeccable. Yet his allusive and mystifying content is a far cry from the craft approach often associated with glass art.
Potomac, a wealthy Maryland suburb of Washington, DC is located within the Soviet Socialist Republic of Montgomery County, and it is one of the nation's most affluent regions, with an average household income of $246.271 and a median housing value of $919.958, and yet... there's not a single fine arts gallery anywhere in Potomac.
Soon to be resolved!
Potomac will have its first active fine arts gallery beginning early next year. The Kathleen Margaret Srour Gallery promises that it will offer an artists' cooperative gallery and will offer a cooperative management, quality work and low commissions.
Yolanda Prinsloo, its director and founder, is currently reviewing artists for membership. Anyone who is interested, please contact Yolanda at this email address or call her at 301.765.6739.
Premium artists' studio available immediately. Huge, open studio space on ground floor. Secure, 24 ft high loft ceiling, mezzanine, loading dock in prominent Brookland artists' building. Blocks from Metro. $2000/month. Smaller unit available also. Call 202/543-3370 for info or email to this email address.
Christina DePaul, the Dean of the Corcoran College of Art + Design has submitted the following response to the resignation of Rex Weil.
"Rex Weil is well loved by his students and respected by Corcoran faculty for his energy, passion and unique approach to teaching. We are sorry that he has chosen to resign and find it unfortunate that he does not agree with the direction the College is taking to advance the curriculum and integrity of the institution."My thanks to Ms. DePaul for taking the opportunity and time to respond.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Talking about New Orleans, another unusual fact that I discovered in my recent reading of Prof. Louis Perez's excellent book On Being Cuban was the fact that Truman Capote (who was born and raised in the Big Easy) got the "Capote" last name from his Cuban stepdad.
Deadline: April 30, 2005
Call for Submissions: Radford University Art Museum, Virginia. Artists are encouraged to submit slides or a CD with images of recent work, along with a vita and artist's statement. They have several exhibition spaces ranging from 250 to 1750 square feet, and are open to novel approaches to the exhibition process. Qualifications: "Thoughtful and thought-provoking artists."
Send materials to:
Radford University Art Museum Curators' Committee
Radford, VA 24142
Everyone is invited to the 20th Annual Mayor's Arts Awards on Monday, January 10, 2005 at The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
I've been attending these award ceremonies for the last few years and it is packed with great entertainment: dance, singing, poetry, music, etc.
This free evening of entertainment will feature award presentations and performances by the finest talents in the city. For more information visit the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities website here.
You can view Mayor's Arts Awards Winners since 1981 here.
Change, Inc. provides one-time $1,000 emergency grants to visual artists of any discipline who are facing possible eviction, unpaid bills, fire damage or any other emergency that the Change, Inc. board deems worthy.
Applicants must be professional artists who can demonstrate need. Send a letter of need, proof of inability to pay bills or rent, a resume, any reviews or press releases of past exhibitions, photos or slides of work and two reference letters from others in the field. Grant applications should be sent to:
PO Box 54
Captiva, FL 33924
Tel: (212) 473-3742
Kurt Godwin, is an Adjunct Art professor with Virginia Commonwealth University and a lecturer at Catholic University of America. He sends in his top 10 DC area art shows, saying that they are "perhaps in no particular order."
1. Mr. Whistler's Galleries - Avant-Garde in Victorian London, Freer Gallery
2. These Things Happen - video by Brandon Morse, Strand on Volta
3. All the Mighty World - Roger Fenton, photography at the National Gallery
4. Cai Guo Qiang - Hirshhorn Directions and the big boat at the Sackler
5. Surrealism & Modernism - at the Phillips Collection
6. Picasso - Cubist Portraits of Fernande Oliver - National Gallery
7. Diego Rivera - Cubism - National Gallery
8. 2004 Summer Juried Show - Signal 66
9. Articulating the Intangible - Group show - McLean Project for the Arts
10. Post Mortem: And Away We Go... - Group show - Signal 66
Monday, December 20, 2004
If anyone around here sees a lot of art shows, then let me tell you: It is DC area artist Rosetta DeBerardinis!
Not only is she a talented and highly collected DC area artist, but for the last few years she has been leading guided gallery walks around the city, most recently as the leader of the new Bethesda Art Walk Guided Tours.
Rosetta gets to see a lot of gallery shows! And here are her top 10 picks:
1. Chan Chao at Numark.
2. Edward Clark at Parish. (Rosetta says that this show was her favorite).
3. Jason Gubbiotti at FuseBox.
4. Joan Konkel at Zenith.
5. Wayne Trappe at Zenith.
6. Sica at Zenith.
7. Tim Tate at Fraser.
8. Rima Schulkind at Touchstone.
9. David Flavin at the National Gallery.
10. Gyroscope at the Hirshhorn.
Rex Weil, who is the DC area editor for Art News magazine, as well as a highly respected artist, and part of the faculty at the Corcoran College of Art & Design has resigned and sent around the following note:
Dear Friend & Colleagues:I don't know what the issues that caused this "atmosphere" at the Corcoran College of Art & Design are, but I hereby invite the Corcoran to respond if they so desire, and I hope that they do, as this key DC area museum and school seems to keep getting into the news for the wrong reasons, and it deserves better. Furthermore, Weil is a very respected name in our area, and I am sure that his resignation will raise questions, as it already has done with me.
At the end of last week, I resigned from the Corcoran College of Art & Design. The teaching atmosphere at the Corcoran has become intolerable. I hope this will be heard as a resounding vote of NO CONFIDENCE in the administration of the College.
Corconites, the ball is on your court.
I'll try to go and see this show soon. I must admit that I am a bit surprised to see David Adamson exhibit a young, new artist like Kelly Towles, as Adamson has historically, at least in my memory, rarely exhibited emerging local artists, and has focused more on exhibiting established artists and the Gyclee reproductions of the many art superstars that his superb digital printmaking reputation brings to his fold.
Earlier this year, Ms. Michael was also awarded $5,000 from the the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Maggie Michael is represented locally by G Fine Art.
As I've discussed before, the Post's Style section will soon have a new Assistant Managing Editor leading it. Deborah Heard will be the person in charge of Style starting January 1, 2005.
I believe that this offers all of us in the area's visual arts community an opportunity to see if we can convince Ms. Heard to augment the WaPost's tiny coverage of art galleries and area artists and I have asked all of you to write to her, or at least email her, with copies to her boss, Lenny Downie and the Arts Editor, my good friend John Pancake.
In this spirit I have written a letter to Ms. Heard, with copies to Downie and Pancake.
December 19, 2004I hope that some of you write Ms. Heard as well, and I think that with enough notes and emails, she will realize that some changes need to be made under her leadership.
Washington Post Style
1150 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20071
Dear Ms. Heard,
Congratulations on your promotion to Style section editor. It is our sincere wish and that of the artists whom we represent that you not only enjoy this important position, but it is also our hope that you may consider bringing some needed changes with respect to coverage of our area’s art galleries and visual artists.
It is thus why I am writing to you, in the hope that I can bring to your attention the perception by our area’s visual arts community of artists, fine arts galleries, alternative arts venues and artists organizations, of the poor coverage now afforded by the Washington Post to them/us.
As an artist, freelance art critic, radio arts commentator, publisher of DC Art News, and co-owner of the two Fraser Galleries, I believe that I have my finger on the heartbeat of our region’s visual art scene, and as I have discussed many times in the past with my good friend John Pancake, it is also my subjective opinion (but backed by empirical facts), that the Post does a very, very poor job in covering our area’s art galleries and visual artists, especially in comparison to your excellent coverage of the local theaters, area performance venues, as well as movies, fashion, books, etc.
For example, although there are almost twice as many art galleries in the Greater Washington region than theatres, for the last several years, the Style and Weekend section have consistently offered five to six times more print space, in the form of reviews, for theatres than galleries. Even plays in Olney get reviewed consistently (and we applaud you for this), while important visual art shows get ignored, simply because the Galleries column is the only regular column in the Post to cover local area gallery shows, augmented occasionally by the On Exhibit column in the Weekend section.
To make matters worse, the Washington Post is the only major newspaper that I know of, that has a Chief Art critic (Blake Gopnik) who does not review local galleries, and only (with a very, very rare exception) reviews museum shows. In fact, it was quite embarrassing earlier this year, when Gopnik was asked on the air (at the Kojo Nmandi show on WAMU) to discuss his favorite Washington area artist and he could not come up with a single name. In comparison, the chief art critics of major newspapers such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, etc. not only review museums, but also the galleries in their cities. It has been a mystery to our art scene why Mr. Gopnik has been allowed to segregate himself to only review our area and other cities’ museums and other cities’ art galleries and other cities’ artists, but not Washington area art galleries and artists. Does this make any sense to you?
Furthermore, your Thursday Style banner still claims that Thursdays is focused on Galleries/Art News, and yet, and consistently, there have been more theatre reviews on Thursdays than actual gallery reviews. Additionally, as you know, several years ago, the Arts Beat column, which used to be published every Thursday, was reduced to twice a month. Not only that, but that column, which used to often augment visual arts coverage, now has become, under the last two or three writers, a jack-of-all-arts column, more often than not writing about theatre, or music.
The evidence that the Washington Post has unexplainable apathy towards our area’s visual arts community is also highlighted by the recent issue with the reduction of the Galleries column to a twice-a-month column rather than weekly.
While we realize that a final decision has not been made in this issue, and that you are awaiting John Pancake’s return from his teaching sabbatical to finalize the issue, it nonetheless shows and adds evidence to the claim that the Post simply does not care about our city’s regional visual art scene (when it comes to our galleries and artists).
Why? Simply imagine that several of your many theatre critics all quit at once, leaving you with only one theater critic, who could only write one theatre review every couple of weeks. Would you reduce your theatre coverage from its very generous, almost daily occurrence, to twice a month?
I doubt it.
Why? Because it is clear that the Washington Post is dedicated to helping to grow our theatre scene, and this is a great effort that has yielded brilliant gains to our area’s cultural tapestry. Your effort includes not only daily coverage of the theatre, but also (I believe) around $300,000 in pro bono advertising for theatres.
This is great! And we all applaud the great theatre coverage. But what about us?
We also applaud your consistent coverage of our area museums, and as we are lucky enough to have some of the great museums in the world in our city, we are also grateful that the Washington Post affords great coverage through Mr. Gopnik in Style and the Sunday Arts, Mr. Richard once in a while in Style, and through Mr. O’Sullivan in Weekend, with Jacqueline Trescott and Teresa Wiltz also adding news articles and stories also dealing with our museums.
This is great! And we all applaud this informative coverage. But what about us?
And the Style coverage of movies (often then reviewed again by a different writer in Weekend), music (often then reviewed again by a different writer in Weekend), and dance is also adequate and informative, if somewhat repetitive, putting into question one excuse given in the past for not augmenting gallery coverage: "lack of newsprint space."
I will close this verbose letter with one last statistic: In the last couple of years the Style section has had over twice as many reviews and articles about fashion shows in Europe, New York and other cities, elegantly illustrated with color photos of gaunt models on the runways of Rome, New York, London and Paris, than reviews of art galleries in the Greater Washington area.
In my prejudiced opinion, I find it hard to believe that your readers would be more interested in un-wearable fashion from the runways of Europe than on our area’s art galleries and artists.
We welcome the change in command at Style and I sincerely and warmly wish you the best of luck in the job. I also hope that you bring an open mind to this subject, and consider augmenting gallery coverage to a level commensurate with Style’s coverage of the other cultural genres.
F. Lennox Campello
Cc: Leonard Downie
Sunday, December 19, 2004
"[Contemporary] photography no longer bears any resemblance to photography in the past century's sense. If anything, it's a lot closer to the way old-fashioned figurative painting used to be."Read Jessica's reviews of The Staged Body at Curator's Office, Athena Tacha at Marsha Mateyka and Brandon Morse at Strand on Volta.
And at the WCP, read Jeffry Cudlin's review of Brandon Morse here.
And also at the WCP, Louis Jacobson has three reviews: Christopher Burkett at Kathleen Ewing Gallery, and "Opening on 14th" at Hemphill Fine Arts, and "All the Mighty World: The Photographs of Roger Fenton, 1852–1860" at the National Gallery of Art.
This is the first of about a dozen Top 10 art shows of 2004 that I've received so far. It comes from Philip Barlow, a well-known DC area art collector, board member of several DC art organizations and a knowledgeable member of our visual arts scene. I'll be posting the others during the rest of the week.
Barlow passes that his list is in order and that it was unintentional that he wound up with 10 different galleries in the list.
1. Invisible Things, Dan Treado, Addison/Ripley Gallery, May 15 – June 19
2. Run, Maggie Michael, G Fine Art, September 18 – October 16
3. Evidence, Robin Rose, Numark Gallery, February 27 – April 10
4. Leo Villareal Show, Leo Villareal, Conner Contemporary, May 15 – June 26
5. Concentrics, Craig Dennis, Jae Ko, Kathleen Kucka, Andrea Way, Marsha Mateyka Gallery, June 5 – July 24
6. AM I THE BeST, Carroll Sockwell, Washington Arts Museum (Edison Place Gallery), November 3 – December 17
7. On The Line: machines, maps and memory, Perry Steindel, Sylvie van Helden, Jennifer Swan, Andrew Krieger, Andy Holtin, Katy Uravich, District of Columbia Arts Center, April 30 – May 30
8. These Things Happen, Brandon Morse, Strand on Volta, November 18 – December 18
9. The Out-of-Towners, Laura Amussen, Lily Cox-Richard, Harrison Haynes, George Jenne, Michele Kong, Transformer Gallery, December 13, 2003 - January 17, 2004
10. Thom Flynn, Thom Flynn, Nevin Kelly Gallery, April 21 – May 9
Saturday, December 18, 2004
What's going on in Fairfax County? As James W. Bailey points out, in 2004 there were three large sculptures stolen or dumped in Fairfax County!
1. Marc Sijan’s $40,000 "Legs Folded" from the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. (It was eventually recovered from the apartment of the thief in Fairfax County).
2. Zach Oxman’s sculpture of Robert S. Simon in Reston. (Also recovered from Lake Anne and reinstalled at Lake Anne, Fairfax County).
3. And the PandaMania Panda found dumped in Fairfax County. (Recovered in Fairfax County - In today’s WaPo Metro section there is a picture with a photo caption line of a Fairfax County Police Officer pulling a stolen PandaMania Panda (originally stolen from the corner of Connecticut and Florida Avenues NW) from the Pohick Creek in Lorton.
I had such an overwhelming response to my call for Artomatic Top 10 artists, that I thought that it may be fun to also have a call for readers' Top 10 DC area art shows.
I will have my top 10 listed soon.
Email me your Top 10 list and I'll post them here. I'd like to restrict the list to the Greater Washington area galleries and museums and other visual arts spaces.
Since I was just there...
Deadline: December 3, 2004
The John S & James L Knight Foundation seeks work for permanent installation at the foundation's Miami headquarters. A total of 26 works will be selected, corresponding to each of the communities where the Knight brothers operated newspapers. For submission guidelines contact: Steven F Greenwald Design.
Deadline: December 3, 2004
The Fifth Annual Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition, a joint project of Polk Museum of Art and the City of Lakeland, is accepting submissions for a Public Art exhibition in downtown Lakeland. Open to sculptors working in North America. Ten works will be accepted and will receive $1,000 to offset transportation expenses. $3,000 Best of Show. Deadline is December 31, 2004. Non-refundable $15 entry fee.
Artists should submit labeled slides of up to three completed works, with 2-3 views of each work, along with a resume, and one paragraph artist statement. Electronic submissions will be accepted via email or PC compatible CD. Images must be in .jpg format, no larger than 600 pixels wide at 72 dpi; and artist statement should be in plain text, Word, or .pdf format.
Send all materials to: Polk Museum of Art, Att: Outdoor Sculpture Competition, 800 E Palmetto St, Lakeland FL 33801-5529. No incomplete works or project proposals will be considered. All works must be able to be anchored to concrete and maintenance free for the duration of the exhibit. For full prospectus/further details, visit this website or call 863-688-7743 ext. 289.
Friday, December 17, 2004
I just flew in from Miami... boy are my arms tired!
Anyway, back in town; came straight from the airport to my opening at Fraser Gallery Georgetown. Thanks to all of you who came down and said hi and also thanks to those who bought some work!
Anyway... a couple of good online links:
One of the reader's of Jesse Cohen's excellent ArtDC reports on one of the art casualties of the baseball move to DC. Read it here.
Jesse, in a separate thread, asks the question: Should blogs follow the rules of journalism? Read all the interesting comments here.
And in today's Post, Michael O'Sullivan has a nice review of Alex Bay's terrific sculptural show currently at our neighbor MOCA. There's a couple of spectacular wall pieces in this show that ought to go directly to one of our area's museums.
Kelly Towles, whose work appeared in quite a few of the Artomatic lists, also opened tonight at David Adamson. This should be a good show to visit. This is the second (that I know of) of quite a few Artomatic artists' exhibitions that are mushrooming all over the city. And last week Jan Sherfy opened at Delila Katzka Fine Art.
JT Kirkland, over at Thinking About Art has a great opportunity for artists to discuss their work through the Ellipse Arts Center's space in Arlington. Read about it here.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
See you there!
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
I'm still down here in Miami, but I thought that this opportunity may be of interest:
The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), a working retreat for writers, composers and visual artists, has received a grant from the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation to support fellowships for Washington area writers, composers, and visual artists. Applications are currently being accepted.
The program will support Fellowships for Washington area artists to attend the VCCA over the next several months. Artists, writers, and composers who are making serious work are encouraged to apply.
The next postmark deadline for applications is January 15 (for summer 2005). For more information, or to print an application, visit their website at www.vcca.com or call 434.946.7236 between 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. weekdays, or to receive an application in the mail, please send a #10 self addressed, stamped envelope to the VCCA at 154 San Angelo Drive, Amherst, VA 24521.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Hello from the land of exiles, still buzzing over Art Basel. Three of our represented artists, Sandra Ramos and Tania Brugera and Marta Maria Perez Bravo did exceptionally well during Art Basel.
Today I received a wonderful tour of the public art collection of the Federal Reserve Bank - Miami Branch. A beautiful building with a predictable collection of forgetable abstract paintings (lest we insult anyone with a representational painting that someone might actually understand visually).
It is astounding to me the buzz and interest and support that this area gives to the visual arts. I am jealous (and fired up).
Anyway... Another painter mocking Bush is getting publicity over idiots censoring his painting. Read the story here.
On the flight here, I began to read Louis Perez voluminous On Becoming Cuban (what an appropriate book to read before heading to Miami, uh?).
I discovered quite an interesting fact.
The father of the modern Irish republic was Eamon de Valera, who was born in New York in 1882. His father, Juan de Valera, although technically a Spaniard, was really a Cuban, born in Cuba (which was part of Spain back then), the son of a Cuban sugar planter and escaped to New York during the Independence Wars with Spain. There he earned his living as a piano teacher. He met and married Irish immigrant Catherine Coll. Juan died shortly after the birth of their son Eduardo. After Juan's death, his wife sent Eduardo to Ireland, where her family changed his name to the Gaelic version of Eduardo: Eamon.
Whodda thunk it?
Monday, December 13, 2004
Do not however, forget that this coming Friday is the third Friday of the month, and thus the five Canal Square Galleries (Alla Rogers, Parish, Fraser, MOCA and Anne C. Fisher) in Georgetown's Canal Square will be having their opening nights and extended hours. From 6-9 PM.
We will be having an exhibition of my recent charcoal drawings. About 20 new figurative charcoal nudes.
Warning: More self promotion coming.
I've had the December show since 1997, not just one of the bennies of co-owning the gallery, but also because of the curious fact that December (at least in Georgetown) is a very dead month for art in general, and my past shows have sold well and even generated some press.
My 1997 show consisted of portraits of porn stars. Several of the women attended the opening, as well as a few thousand men! The Washington Post's review called that show "irritating."
The 1998 show was based on my interest in Celtic history and legend. The Potomac News wrote that I was a "throwback... but in tune with the times." It was also reviewed by The Bowie Blade.
The 2000 show was "Literary Drawings," and consisted of drawings inspired by some of my favorite books and literary characters. It was reviewed by The Georgetowner
The 2002 show was "27 Years of Frida Kahlo" and it consisted of my work about Kahlo since I first came across her work in 1977. It was reviewed by The Washington City Paper and was a "Hot Pick" in the Washington Times.
Last year's show was Pictish Nation and it was reviewed by The Washington Times and The Georgetowner.
Pictured above is "La Llorona" (The Crying - or Weeping - Woman), one of the new drawings in the exhibition. Learn more about the legend of "La Llorona" here.
Openings are from 6-9 PM. See ya there!
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Blake Gopnik, the Chief Art Critic of the Washington Post is now making studio visits and writing a terrific and highly readable plug of the artist and his art. This is great news!
Read his first studio visit here. This character Jonathan Grossmalerman sounds like a Peter Sellers who can also paint.
By the way, Blake went to Brooklyn for his studio visit.
I am sure that LA is next, but I am also sure that will soon be making studio visits to DC artists as well. After all, it's easier to catch a cab to a DC area artist studio than the train to New York and then the cab to Brooklyn. Unless Blake subways to Brooklyn.
When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, my house was within a couple of blocks of the Atlantic Avenue stop of the LL subway line and by the time I was 12 or 13 I was a master of the New York subway system.
Betcha he took a cab.
Saturday, December 11, 2004
As J.T. noted over at Thinking About Art, photographer J.W. Bailey, in response to the whole recent controversy of the WPA/C's OPTIONS 2005 show, has created his entry for the new OPTIONS curator Libby Lumpkin in the form of an Anti-OPTIONS 2005 website detailing his extensive and deep correspondence and research and battle (still ongoing) caused by the firing of Philip Barlow as the original curator.
This is either brilliant or demented. I am not yet sure which, but it is certainly interesting and certainly shows what can be fused when you mix talent, passion and a human pit bull like Bailey.
See Bailey's site here.
I am curating an online exhibition for Art.com on the subject of an "Homage to Frida Kahlo."
There is no entry fee and Art.com is funding the following prizes:
1st Prize: Airfare, hotel and expenses for 3-day/3-night trip for two to the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City, Mexico. (Total package valued up to $2,500)
2nd Prize: $1,000
3rd Prize: $150 towards a Print on Demand order through Art.com Original Art & Photography
Work is uploaded online and there is no entry fee. The work must in some way relate to Frida Kahlo and her life, work, etc. No reproductions of Frida's own paintings will be considered, unless they introduce a new idea or vision or concept to the Kahlo phenomenom. To enter, click here.
The 2005 juror for our annual photography competition has been selected and it is acclaimed photographer Connie Imboden. You can read about the juror here. Her work is represented in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The National Museum for Women in the Arts, The National Museum of American Art, Washington D.C., Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, France, and many other public and private collections in Europe and the Americas.
This is our annual juried opportunity for photographers. The deadline for entries is February 3, 2005. In addition to cash prizes, the Best in Show winner will be offered a solo show in 2006. Other award winners will also be included in some of our future group shows.
To look at the prospectus for the competition, click here.
Friday, December 10, 2004
Louis Jacobson reviews our current exhibition of Cuban artist Aimee Garcia Marrero in our Georgetown Gallery.
This is a very young Cuban artist and perhaps one of the most intelligent and talented painters pushing the ancient medium forward. Her show runs until December 15, 2004.
You spot a Chris Ofili print and think it would look lovely in the front room. You simply must have that Tracey Emin drawing to hang above your fireplace. Then you see the four-figure price tag and think again.I don't know how I missed this story, but I guess the British, with their 17% Value Added Tax (VAT) on top of things can come up with ideas such as this.
Those frustrations are over, if the Arts Council England gets its way. It is planning to offer interest-free loans of up to £2,000 to aspiring contemporary art collectors, aiming to encourage uninitiated buyers into galleries.
Of course don't forget to add 17% VAT to the Chris Ofili print or Tracey Emin drawing. So the loans appear to be a way to gather some new tax revenues in the form of loans.
Ha! Those devious British taxmen! The Beatles were right!
Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
Just back from opening night in Bethesda... and guess what? It rained again!
Not only that, but apparently there was some kind of a huge sinkhole on Wisconsin Avenue just a block from the gallery.
The avenue was closed (which really did a number on traffic of course) and The Madonna of the Trail statue was in such danger because of the sinkhole that opened up right in front of it, that a huge crane was brought up to remove the 17-ton statute. The sinkhole was caused by a water main break.
Nonetheless, small but decent crowds and even a nice group for the guided tours. There were even Christmas Carols singing groups going around making the rounds.
But rain plus street sinkholes plus a large statue in danger of tipping over into the sinkhole plus the closing down of a main street artery do NOT add up to being very helpful for a good opening...
The joys of being a gallerista.
Makes my head hurt.
The Bethesda Art Walk now features free guided tours to participating galleries and studios during select Art Walk Fridays. Guided tours will give Bethesda Art Walk patrons the opportunity to learn about downtown Bethesda’s galleries and studios as well as their current shows featuring exhibiting artists. Tours will begin at 7pm. Attendees can meet their guide at the Bethesda Metro Center, located at the corner of Old Georgetown Road and Wisconsin Avenue.
We will host our annual Winter Group show, showcasing new work by gallery artists as well as invited artists. Our catered opening reception is from 6-9 PM. Free and open to the public.
See ya there!
John Aaron's Museum of Modern ARF presents "Hand Picked," the first of several city wide exhibitions by diverse galleries derived from the recently closed Artomatic mega exhibition.
Aaron has picked a select group of small affordable works by around twenty of his favorite artists from Artomatic. The opening reception is tomorrow, Saturday, December 11 from 6-9 PM. The exhibition runs until January 5, 2005.
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, based on our recommendations has awarded the following fellowships to DC area artists, shown in order of votes by the advisory panel members (by the way, the fellowships are partially -- and substantially -- funded by Pandamania "profits"):
Artists Fellowship Media:
Artists Fellowship Visual Arts:
1. Prescott Moore Lassman
2. Joey Manlapaz
3. Byron Peck
4. Margaret Steinhilber (Maggie Michael)
5. Daniel Steinhilber
6. Luis R. Salcedo
7. Patricia Tobacco Forrester
8. Cheryl P. Derricotte
9. Allison Miner
10. Anne Marchand
11. Elaine Langerman
12. Roderick Turner
13. Kris Swanson
14. Anna Demovidova
15. Colin Winterbottom
16. Stuart Gosswein
As I've noted before, I was disappointed on the low number of applications that were submitted by DC visual artists, and hope that the next cycle (deadline is next June) has more applicants.
To get an application, contact the DC Commission and ask them to put you on their mailing list. Congratulations to all selected artists!
Thursday, December 09, 2004
There was no "Galleries" column. Get used to it. There were, however, four music reviews on the day that the Style section is supposed to focus on Galleries and Arts News.
Angela Kleis was one of the participating artists in this year's AOM and is the President of the Centreville Regional Art Guild. She says that "these are the artists whose work I searched out and spent a lot of time at, as much as I could."
1. Colin Winterbottom - Photography; his is my absolute favorite!
2. Kathryn Cornelius - Installation, before it was shut down. I LOVED it! I'm glad I had the opportunity to experience it before it was closed. Very powerful.
3. Robert Weiner - Glass. Beautiful!
4. M. Rion Hoffman - Lightboxes. So much to see inside those little lighted boxes.
5. Kay Lane - Abstract painting.
6. Gregory Ferrand - Painting. Faces with Desperation. They made me very uncomfortable, and it was great!
7. Haya Alhossain - Photography; Cities-Paris. The only foreign city I've ever visited, and these photographs captured it perfectly.
8. Meghan Taylor - Drawing/painting
9. Scott Davis - Photography
10. Ruza Spak - Painting; very simple, very powerful, very large.
Matt Hollis is DC area artist, who also exhibited at AOM and submits the following list:
1. The lips on the boys painted by Rob Van der Zee.
2. The richness of Richard Kightlinger's coilor pallet.
3. Scott Davis' River Tower photo.
4. Christine Cardellino's Tower of Babel paintings.
5. The pictures of Beth Hinners as a child at the Children's Museum she had next to her collage.
6. The swirling masses of debris and color by Inga McCaslin Frank.
7. The subtle beauty of the plants in Aaron Flemming's drawings.
8. The personalization of another culture's craft in Mark Jenkins' pubic hair quilts.
9. The flashbacks of being at the Children's Museum as a child.
10. The opportunity to meet and share with other DC artists.
On the flight back today I read Mea Cuba by Guillermo Cabrera Infante, a spectacular book that documents (from the perspective of perhaps the greatest living Cuban writer) what Castro has done to Cuban artists, writers and poets, and Cuba.
I had an interesting experience on this flight back.
I had originally planned to fly back on Friday, but I finished my business early and thus changed my flights so that I departed from San Diego early this morning. So I called Moe, who is a taxi driver that I've been using for years to pick me up to and from the airport. I called him and told him that I had taken care of everything a day early, so he needed to pick me up tonight at BWI.
From San Diego I flew to Phoenix, and I was sitting there, waiting for my connecting flight to BWI, reading Mea Cuba , when this very large, cop approached me and asked me:
"Excuse me sir, are you Lenny?"
"Yes," I answered, wondering how this very large cop knew my name and why was he asking me for it.
"Can I speak to you for a minute?" he said.
"Sure," I answered getting up and walking with him, while a few dozen Baltimore-bound passengers looked at us in alarm and my mind was running several algorithms trying to figure out what was going on.
We walked a few feet away, and I looked at his name (Officer Contreras - a very large, shaved-head, imposing cop).
He was very nice and professional, and it turns out that someone in San Diego, a fellow passenger at the terminal, had overheard me talking to Moe, and somehow deduced from my conversation with my taxi driver that I was a Mafia hitman, so this alarmed citizen, as soon as the plane landed in Phoenix, went to the airport police and demanded that they investigate.
"How did you know my name and what I looked like?" I asked Officer Contreras, intrigued and impressed at the efficiency of the whole event (and after showing him some ID, which he dutifully recorded in his notebook). He explained that this concerned citizen had listened to my conversation (where I mentioned my name to Moe) and then taken a snapshot of me with his cell phone, which he had then shown the Phoenix Airport cops and demanded that they arrest me before I completed my next Mafia job in Baltimore.
Now, I sort of feel like Dan Rather with the whole "What's the frequency Kenneth?" episode.
I'm expecting black helicopers to fly over my house tonight.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Last year, the Washington Post's Chief Art Critic Blake Gopnik's art history was challenged by William Woodhouse.
William Woodhouse scolded Blake in a Letter to the Arts Editor, for "being misled" about the importance of Toledo in El Greco's Spain as described in Gopnik's review of El Greco at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
In his review Blake anchors much of El Greco's unusual success with his odd realism upon the fact that El Greco was working "in the safe isolation of a provincial Spanish town" and essentially the locals didn't know any better. But William Woodhouse corrected Gopnik's perception of Toledo by pointing out that "it is a mistake, however, to characterize the ambiance of 16th-century Toledo as 'the safe isolation of a provincial Spanish town' vs. the court of Philip II in Madrid."
Woodhouse thus delivered a big hole in the review's central theory. But I defended Blake by pointing out that his Oxford Anglo-centric education probably gave him a skewed and flawed view of European history, especially of England's arch enemy, Spain.
But now Kurt Godwin, who is an Adjunct Art professor with Virginia Commonwealth University and a lecturer at Catholic University of America, writing in the new (and excellent) Signal 66 Gadfly makes a series of powerful points in reference to Gopnik's recent review of Gerhard Ter Borch and reveal a lot about Gopnik's surprising art history weakness and even more about his use of his pulpit to preach his own personal art history agenda.
Why Seer Jeers Vermeer Remains UnclearProfessor, Therein lies the key to Gopnik's attempt to bring Vermeer down a notch or two: The public loves Vermeer and lines up for hours to see his paintings. In the mind of old-fashioned elitists like Gopnik, if the public likes something or someone, then it can't be any good.
Blake Gopnik begins his review of the Gerhard Ter Borch exhibition that recently opened at the National Gallery proclaiming this artist's superiority over his more familiar contemporary Johannes Vermeer (Washington Post, Style section 11/7/04).
Intrigued to see how this conclusion was derived I looked forward to finding a solid argument supporting this declaration. While, alas, this wasn't to be found other notions expressed proved to be real head scratchers.
To wit: Crediting Ter Borch with introducing the Netherlands to the supposed Velasquez "bare bones" means of portraiture Gopnick forgets that Hans Holbien the Younger perfected this method almost one hundred years earlier in neighboring Germany. Ter Borch could have easily been caught up in the sway of such readily accessible influences.
Gopnick continues to enthuse that Ter Borch's paintings in small scale are "almost as impressive" as Velazquez's large-scale work. Such a statement begs for further analysis.
Perhaps we'll be clued-in some other day.
Despite Gopnik's assertion otherwise, many of these paintings are narrative driven using such classic allegorical metaphors as letter reading and writing, the faithful dog, as well as playing card symbolism. Discussing the genre painting "A Gallant Conversation," Goethe is presented as an interpreter of that painting's implied narrative. Mysteriously, Gopnick refers to the German philosopher's novel not by title but solely by its publication date of 1809.
If famous authors serve as any sort of aid to art criticism, for good measure, let us not forget Marcel Proust's reference to Vermeer's "View of Delft" that played such an important role in the classic novel "Remembrance of Things Past."
The admiration Gopnik bestows on Ter Borch's supposed lack of narrative or allegorical pretensions is because, as he states, it favors "a kind of uninflected realism like cryptic reality itself." He goes on to chastise Vermeer for his "hint of portentous, poetic mystery." It's hard to imagine much of a chasm between describing a portrayal of life either as "cryptic reality" or "poetic mystery."
Later he refers to this artist's rendering of life as "captured in all its cryptic contingency." The repetitive use of this adjective is very cryptic indeed.
In his description of Ter Borch's innovative techniques and discoveries Gopnik offers this explanation: Observing "light bouncing from form to form and then into our eye, then coming up with surrogates for them using a handful of pigments."
With the exception of two painting done with collaborators, these paintings are rather dark. Vermeer's subtle, light infused paintings are their antithesis. What Gopnik has described is the painting process in generic terms rather than some unique 17th century development.
Continuing he exclaims the kind of "micro-bravura" (a phrase that seems to be an oxymoron) that Ter Borch provides should thrill us as much as the "macro-virtuosity" of a Hals or Rembrandt.
What these terms mean I can't attest to. Except for the fact they are all of Dutch origin lumping together these artists with such different painting styles is unclear.
To solidify his case for Ter Borch's superiority over contemporaries like Vermeer, he suggests it necessary to put ourselves in the shoes of a "17th century art lover."
Whoever that may be.
If we have to do that, and as he states, "rejecting modernism's hackneyed taste for the capricious," we are dealing with an artist who cannot transcend his own era much less achieve the timelessness and universal appeal that is the acknowledged mark of a true master. In other words we can't just merely be our selves to fully appreciate this art. We must have the specific perspective of an "art lover" four centuries ago. Maybe he's just suggesting that may help.
It is Gopnik's prerogative to champion anyone. Pairing two painters like a couple of racehorses might have proved interesting if a case was made.
Painting isn't a competition anyway. Perhaps posterity's fickle spotlight will further illuminate this particular artist's reputation. Despite Gopnik's wish I have a hunch there won't be long lines eager to gain entry to see this show unlike exhibitions in the recent past by a couple of other dead Dutch guys.
"The Honors recipients are recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts: whether in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures or television. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. The Honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement; the selection process, over the years, has produced balance among the various arts and artistic disciplines."He also suggests that "if visual artists were eligible, though, it would have to go to relatively respectable, late-in-their-career types like Jasper Johns, Wayne Thiebaud, Rauschenberg, etc. Maybe Joseph Stella or Louise Bourgeois in sculpture. Philip Johnson in architecture, maybe Gehry, Venturi and Graves in 10-15 years."
Good nominations! My question now: So what's the equivalent of the Kennedy Honors for visual artists? Should the National Gallery of Art institutionalize something? Do we even need it?
I recall that one of my art school professors, Jacob Lawrence, received a Presidential Medal of Freedom (I think) in the 1980s from Pres. Reagan. And yet he was and has been ignored by the NGA for a retrospective, although the Phillips Collection did organize a great one a few years ago.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
“Lack of available print space” was an older excuse that the Post hierarchy once gave me when I challenged them as to why they only had one “Galleries” column a week, while they have extensive multi column coverage of theatre, opera, performance, movies, dance, books and music.
And yet, yesterday's Post was a good example of the kind of pap that the Style section offers its readers and which takes up valuable print space.
No, no, I am not referring to their orgasmic coverage of the Kennedy Center awards; well-deserved and my congratulations to all the award winners (are visual artists eligible for these awards? Has any visual artist ever been nominated? If not, who could we nominate?).
Back to the pap:
One is a piece by freelancer Jennifer Silverman titled “Swinging Singles, Lost in a Forest of Smug Marrieds,” and the other beauty is by freelancer Martha Randolph Carr titled “That Wonderful Glorious Summer of Perfect Hair.”
They don't even deserve a hotlink.
Makes my head hurt…
Monday, December 06, 2004
Everyone seems to be predicting the end of newspapers as we know them.
Today the WaPo has a story by Amy Argetsinger titled California Enclave Tires of Being Artsy. It discusses a story first published here and in other Internet art sites and BLOGs several weeks ago, but just making it to the newsprint pages of the WaPo. Chances are that quite a significant percentage of the Post’s readers may have been already exposed to this story.
How can the WaPo and other lamestream media survive the future? it is not a matter of if, but of when, and the future (as George Carlin said) is just now becoming the past.
But the WaPo (and some other newspapers) can (and must) adapt and they will survive if they do so.
The WaPo has made two smart moves already, but a third, and very important one is needed if it is to check-mate its own future demise. I will tell them, by the end of this posting, what they need to do.
The first good move that they made was their decision to go online a few years ago. Incredibly enough, that decision (I am told) was made pretty much against the will of the corporate hierarchy, which thought that going online was a waste of money and would shrink newspaper subscriptions. It’s a good thing that more visionary thinkers won that battle and that the WaPo went online. Subscriptions to the Post have declined substantially, but that is a trend that has affected all newspapers, regardless of website presence.
Now their website receives near a million visitors a day, and generates substantial income for the paper through banner advertising and those annoying pop-up ads.
The second smart move was to create the Express, which although free, is widely read by the morning commuter crowd. It is made of short, quickly read, stories, highlights, etc. As I’ve discussed here before, it is interesting to me that a small mention of an exhibition in the Express generates substantially higher number of inquiries and attendance than a full fledged review in the Post.
So how can the Washington Post prevent their imminent dismissal as a source of news, information, opinion and culture (cough, cough)?
Simple: Marry the two concepts!
Actually, not just marry the two concepts, but expand on them! Have the marriage yield a child, an issue; a WaPo Saviour, if you will.
This is what they have to do: Expand the printed version of the paper, with its army of editors stuck in “this is how things have been done” land, with a fresher, rawer, online version. Not just an online version of their print version, but that plus online-unique content.
For example, in their much criticized and anemic coverage of the arts, they could augment the various fields and genres of art with online columns, reviews, commentary, photography, and yes even BLOGs! All the major cable news programs and cable newscasters are already doing this – it is the lamestream media that doesn’t seem to get in step with the 21st century.
And this can be done without reproducing their bricks and mortar hierarchical structure that publishes their old fashioned newsprint edition. An online Post writer – freelancers all of them, I would assume – would never have to set foot inside 1150 15th Street, NW. No need for secretaries, no need for assistants, etc Just online editors whose job would be editing and editing alone; the software handles the rest.
Biggest obstacle in this idea (other than the mindset of an old fashioned business empire rapidly declining?): The unions, I suspect.
Deadline: Friday, January 21, 2005.
The Cultural Development Corporation (CuDC) is requesting proposals for exhibitions in the Gallery at Flashpoint for the September 2005 to August 2006 season. This request is open to artists, independent curators, arts organizations, private galleries or anyone choosing to present contemporary work in any medium. Deadline for proposals is 6pm Friday, January 21, 2005.
For a 2005-2006 Request for Proposal application, please visit their website or email them
Faith Flanagan passes that ArtHelps will be having their Fourth Annual Art Auction and Reception for Charity with DCAC as one of its beneficiaries. The auction is on Wednesday, December 8, from 5:00pm to 10:00pm. It will be held at JAM Communications, 1638 R Street, NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20009.
Please take a moment to view the ArtHelps website and download a donation form, and you can designate DCAC as your charity. If you have any questions, please give Faith a call at 202/744-8770.
Sunday, December 05, 2004
DC area artist Marilyn Banner is an exhibiting AOM artist and the is co-founder and co-director of Washington Musica Viva, a popular new music, poetry, and visual arts performance series which takes place in her Kensington, Maryland studio.
Gina Marie Lewis
The WPA/C concept of ANONYMOUS returns with an opening preview reception on Thursday, Dec. 9, 6:30-8:30pm and the first day to purchase artwork is Friday, Dec. 10, 6-8pm.
This is a second installment of this popular show concept featuring all new artists and curators. 100 artists create two feet by two feet works of art to be sold for $500 each. Buyers will not know the artist until the work has been purchased. No works will be sold at the preview reception and only one piece is allowed per patron. Curated by: John Aaron, K.B. Basseches, Mary Del Popolo, Djakarta, Chawky Frenn, David Jung, Prescott Moore Lassman, Anne Marchand, Marie Ringwald and Alan Simensky.
Sales will commence on Friday, December 10 at 6:00pm. One piece per patron. You may send a proxy if necessary. Cash, checks and credit cards accepted. First come, first served. The show hangs until December 23, 2004.
Location: 1027 33rd Street, NW (Georgetown)
Times: Thursday & Friday 12pm-8pm
Saturday & Sunday 12pm-6pm
Transformer celebrates the work of six artists furthering a new and engaging fashion sensibility in Washington, DC with Rejoice! This new Transformer show Features dynamic visual creations by Washington DC area artists and designers Jess Feury, Sarah Hagen, Jennifer Potter, Karie Reinertson, Valerie Soles, and Justin Spivey.
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 11, 2004 7-9pm. The show runs until January 22, 2005.
"At first glance, any big survey of contemporary art is likely to come across as an anything-goes mess of unrelated objects. But hang around in the art world long enough and you start to notice that a certain sameness, built around a handful of recurrent themes and strategies, underlies all that variety."Gopnik does a pretty good mini-review of Jennifer Dalton's PowerPoint presentation at Curator's Office and buys a CD ROM of Dalton's piece.
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Why doesn't somebody in Washington do this?
Postcards from the Edge is an annual Visual AIDS benefit and this year it is being hosted and held at Brent Sikkema in New York City. I have participated for several years and encourage all artists to join us next year.
The Preview Party is tonight Saturday, December 4, from 6-9 PM. $50 cover at the door (Participating artists get in free) Door cover includes one free raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets are $20 each. Special Host: Alan Cumming. There's also an open wine bar sponsored by Wine & Spirits Magazine.
This is the only opportunity to get a sneak peek at the entire Postcards From the Edge exhibition. No work will be for sale on the Preview Night. One lucky raffle winner will be able to select any artwork that evening before anyone else!
Postcard artwork is hung anonymously, so come to the preview party and scout your favorites early!
Benefit Sale: Sunday, December 5, 2-6 PM
First-come, first-served - No entrance fee
Postcards sales only $50 each.
Cash and checks only – ID needed for checks
Over 1400 original postcard-sized works. This exhibition is famous within the art world as the most exciting and affordable way to build a collection of work by internationally renowned artists as well as young and emerging artists. Postcards are displayed anonymously and the artists' names are only revealed upon purchase. A collector might end up with a work by a famous artist or someone they don't yet know. Either way, they walk away with a great piece of art while supporting the programs of Visual AIDS.
Postcards from the Edge exhibiting artists include: Karen Abato, Samira Abbassy, David Abbott, Joshua Abelow, Rachel B. Abrams, Vito Acconci, Diyan Achjadi, Irina Adam, Faith Adams, Raymond Adams, Suzanne Adams, Chuck Agro, Ruben Ahumada, Tatiana Akoeva, Yasmin Al-Mutawa, Norman Alcantara, Susan Alden, Meredith Allen, Antonio Allotta, Jacie Lee Almira, Carol Alonge, Alonys, Barbara Alper, Cristina Alvarez, Jose Alvarez, David Ambrose, Blanka Amezkua, Shannon Amidon, Mohammed Aminyar, Emma Amos, Marie Anakee, Joseph Anastasi, Chad Andrews, Stephen Andrews, Jonn Angelbeck, Larry Angelo, Victor Angelo, William Anthony, Tijana Antonic, Polly Apfelbaum, Tomie Arai, Joan Arena-Mastropaolo, Goil Arm, Karen Arm, Bill Armstrong, John Felix Arnold III, Yelena Aronson, Andrea Arroyo, Mike Asente, Dotty Attie, Dominick Avellino, Patricia Ayala, Alice Aycock, Nancy Azara, Aziz + Cucher, Franny B, Adam Baer, Ralph Baginski, Kayode Bahard-Adowa, Sung Baik, Allison Bailey, Bradford Bailey, Patrick Michael Baird, Francis Baker, Paul Baker, John Baldessari, Ranjan Banerjee, C. Bangs, Gerard Barbot, Perry Bard, Sarah Barker, Burt Barr, Byron Barrett, Frank Barrett, Katie Barrie, Megan Barron, Rita Barros, Mark Barry, Michael Barry, Beth Bartholomew, Hugo Xavier Bastidas, Larissa Bates, Virginia Batson, Hilary Batzel, Amy Bay, Kristin Beal-Degrandmont, Robert Beck, Michael Bedlin, Guy Beining, Adam Bell, Andrew Bell, Caroline Bell, Tom Belloff, Stuart Bender, Barton Lidice Benes, Garry Benet, Robert A. Benevenga, Brian Benfer, Lynda Benglis, Andrew Sumner Benson, Stefany Benson, Kermit Berg, Katherine Bernhardt, B. Berrner, Adriana Bertini, Victoria Bevan, Stephen Beveridge, Rebecca Bird, JoAnn Bishop, Darla Bjork, Jill Blagsvedt, George Blaha, Nayland Blake, Julie Blattberg, Ross Bleckner, Meryl Blinder, Theresa Bloise, Deborah Boardman, Marcelle "Malka" Bock, Marion Boddy-Evans, Daniel Bodner, Sarah Jane Boecher, L. Webb Boles, Debby Boman-Lawrence, Helen Bonham Short, Jerome W. Bono, Chakaia Booker, David Borawski, Dane Borda, Frank Boros, Michael Boroskey, Desiree Borrero, Filip Bosevski, Matthew Bourbon, Louise Bourgeois, Jacqueline Bovaird, Susan Bowen, Astrid M. Bowlby, Aaron Bowles, George Box, Mark Bradford, S. Kendall Bradford, Meghan Brady, Maea Brandt, Dana Brauckmann, Mai Braun, Susan Breen, John Breiner, Corey R. Breneisen, Nancy Brett, Val Britton, Ann Brody, Mona Brody, Nancy Brooks Brody, Candyce Brokaw, Molly Brooks, Alana Brown, Miriam Brumer, Matthew Buckingham, Trang Bui, Amy J. Bullano, Ann F. Bunn, Christopher Burke, Kathe Burkhart, Tim Burns, Nancy Burson, Scott Burton, Dietmar Busse, Preot Buxton, Kit Callahan, Michael J. Cambre, Mary Campbell, F. Lennox Campello, Maria Capolongo, Rene Capone, Suzanne Caporael, Marina Cappelletto, Karlos Carcamo, Claudette Carino, Luis Carle, Arnold Carlson, Joel Carlson, Victor Carnuccio, Kate Carr, Mary Ellen Carroll, Mark Carter, Rob Carter, Amelia Caruso, Diane G. Casey, Janice Caswell, Andrew Catanzariti, Corliss Cavalieri, BJ Cavnor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Cawley II, Celso, Bindu Chadaga, Mark Chamberlain, Anthony Champa, Richard Lang Chandler, Wade Chandler, Jennifer Chapek, Christiane Chaponniere, Alejandro Chavez, Amy Cheng, Julia Chiang, Michael Chiarello, Kim Chivers-D’Amato, Soyeon Cho, Cecile Chong, Alice Jee Chung, Amanda Church, Diane Churchill, Vincent Cianni, Kate Clark, Stephen Taro Clark, Nuala Clarke, Rob Clarke, Robert Clarke-Davis, Christopher Clary, Veronica Jay Clay, Judy Clifford, Aaron Cobbett, Colin Cochran, Jon Coffett, Orly Cogan, Susan Colgan, Cecy Colichon, Chris Collicott, Sarah Colligan, C.J. Collins, Greg Colson, Matthew Liam Conboy, Ernest Concepcion, Elisabeth Condon, Rhys Conlon, Graham Connell, Emily Conover, Lauren Cook, Monica Cook, CB Cooke, Cyndi Coon, Marcia Cooper, Pam Cooper, Stuart A. Copans, David Correa Muñoz, Margarida Correia, Jose Luis Cortes, David Corwin, Geraldine Cosentino, Eileen Costa, Fiona Couldridge, Erika Cramer, Peter Cramer, Fred Cray, Brian Crede, Kathleen Creighton, Elizabeth Crisman, Judith Croce, Jerstin Crosby, Ave Maria Cross, Sarah Crowner, Albert Crudo, Pedro Cruz-Castro, Janet Culbertson, Alan Cumming, Daphne Cummings, Megan Cump, Amie Cunningham, Doris Currier, Anne Cypcar, Peggy Cyphers, Brita d’Agostino, David Dalessandro, Amanda Dalmat, Harriet F. Damianakes, Priyanka Dasgupta, Edgerton Y. Davis, Eric Davis, Reginald Davis, Xiomara De Oliver, A. De Shong, Blase DeCelestino, Elisa Decker, Gloria DeFilipps Brush, Cezar Del Valle, Brent Delf, Tom DeLooza, Jason Deneault, Dustin Dennis, Priscilla Derven, Susan Deseyn, Anjali Deshmukh, Yoko Devereaux, Denise DeVone, Uday Dhar, Max Diel, Erica Dietrich, James Diffin, Denise Segreti DiGiovanna, Simone DiLaura, Danielle Dimston, George Dinhaupt, Scott Dolan, Rory Donaldson, Todd Doney, William Donovan, Elissa Dorfman, Jessica Doyle, Jeffrey du Vallier d’Aragon Aranita, Melanie Ducharme, Daniel Dueck, Beth Duerr, Jeffrey Dugan, Lauren Dunkle, Heather Dunn, Jeanne Dunning, Chad Durgan, Julie Durkin, Matthias Duwel, Annie Dwyer Internicola, Marcel Dzama, Michael Eade, Brent Nicholson Earle, Janae Easton, Jonathan Easton, Mat Eaton, Brad Eberhard, Marlene Eckhardt, Adam S. Eckstrom, Melissa Eder, Allison Edge, Cynthis Edorh, Frank Egloff, Per Eidspjeld, Eric Elias, Fredrick Elms, Elise Engler, Donna Jean Engstrom, Joy Episalla, Mitch Epstein, Patricia Erbelding, Christa Erickson, Yvonne Estrada, Dore Everett, Branden Ezell, Joan Fabian, James Fackrell, Lisa Fain, Chris Fang, Neil Farber, Adriana Farmiga, David Faulk, Nicholas Fedak II, Tony Feher, Josh Feldman, Wynn Fermin, Ramon Fernandez-Bofill, Eliza Fernbach, Brad Fesmire, Suzanna Fields, Angelo Filomeno, Janet Filomeno, Hannah Fink, Michael A. Fink, Brian Finke, Lisbeth Firmin, Christina B. Fischer, Joseph Fisher, Louise Fishman, Jacques Flechemuller, Mark Fleming, Sean-Michael Fleming, Robert Flynt, April Fontaine, Roy Foo, Jean Foos, Tom Foral, Juliana Forero, Taylor Forrest, Alison Foshee, Johnston Foster, Nicole Fournier, Bradley Fox, Mark Fox Morgan, Tara Fracalossi, Audrey Frank Anastasi, Travis Frazelle, Christopher Frederick, Sharon J. Frey, Sabra Friendman, Steven Frim, Gina Fuentes Walker, Adam Fuss, Felipe Galindo, Kristen Galvin, Asha Ganpat, Arturo Garcia, Laurel Garcia Colvin, Milton Garcia Latex, J.J. Garfinkel, Joy Garnett, Yvonne Gaspar, Alexandra Gates, Bob Gates, Jeff Gauntt, Paul Leroy Gehres, Asya Geisberg, Madeline Gekiere, Terri Gelenian-Wood, Amy Geller, Mike Geno, Timothy W. Gerken, Elena Mercedes Getto, Cris Gianakos, Eric Gibbons, Sam Gibbons, Byron Gibbs, Haya Gil-Lubin, Stacy Gilinson, Eric Ginsberg, Frances Giron, Luis Gispert, Christopher Glancy, Judy Glantzman, Milton Glaser, Marilyn Glass, Robin Glassman, Sybil Gleaton, Angela Glennon, Virginia Glessner, Godforbid, Michele Godwin, Monika Goetz, Anthony Goicolea, Jo Going, Kenneth Sean Golden, Keren Golden, Michael Golden, Ellen Goldin, Ben Goldman, Lance Goldsmith, David Goldstein, Ana Laura Gonzalez, Maria Elena Gonzalez, Kathy Goodell, Alicia Goodfarb, Johnny L. Goodwin, Kay Gordon, Lee Gordon, Kalika Gorski, Alyce Gottesman, Meira Gottlieb, Shaun Gough, Michelle Grabner, Leor Grady, Deborah Grant, Garry Grant, Robin Graubard, Joanne Greenbaum, Holly Greenberg, Rodney Alan Greenblat, Meryl Greenblatt, Kira Greene, Sarah Greer Mecklem, Stan Gregory, Peter Griffin, Michela Griffo, Samantha Grimm Hallenus, Ellen Grossman, Katrin Grotepass, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Edgard Guanipa, Patricia Guardiola, Lynn Gufeld, Carl Gunhouse, Sophia Guntherz, Juan Pablo Gutierrez, Hans Haacke, Theresa Hackett, Patricia Haemmerle, Bill Hall, Lavonne Hall, Katy Hamer, Harmony Hammond, Jane Hammond, John Hampshire, Victoria Hanks, Kim Hanson, John Hardy, Allison Harkavy, Joann M. Harrah, Dike Harris, Pamela Harris, Mary Beth Harry, Keira Hart, Dominic Harvey, Ellen Harvey, Peter Harvey, Michael Harwood, Naj Hasani, Ava Hassinger, Skowmon Hastanan, Sarah Hauser, Stuart Hawkins, Tom Hawkins, Joseph Hayes, Karen Heagle, Valerie Hegarty, Mary Heilmann, Mara Held, Amy Helfand, Neddi Heller, Miranda Hellman, Thomas Hellstrom, Doug Henders, Sarah Henderson, Geoffrey Hendricks, Jon Hendricks, John Hendriks, Ed Herman, Molly Heron, Matthias Herrmann, Valerie Herteen, Alex Hetherington, Corin Hewitt, Laura Heyman, Amy Hill, Jan Hilmer, Juan Hinojosa, Bryan Hiott, Annamarie Ho, Sarah Hoddy, Jim Hodges, E. Featherstone Hoff, Chet Holcomb, Anamika Holke, Kim Holleman, Frank Holliday, Andrea Holt, Joel Holub, Gregg Hoover, Rinaldo Hopf, Brooke Horne, Jarrod Houghton, Joel Hoyer, Mary Hrbacek, Amanda Huang, Arthur Huang, Heather Hudson, Robert Huff, Kat Hughes, Morgan Hughes, David Humphrey, Sheryl Humphrey, Jennifer Hunter, Yolanda Hunter, Adam Hurwitz, Nancy Hwang, James Hyde, Nash Hyon, Jessica Iapino, Shigeno Ichimura, Ijeoma D. Iheanacho, Jasmine Imperial, Ketta Ioannidou, Shaun Irons, Carmen Isasi, Junichiro Ishida, Anna Jaap, Alfredo Jaar, Tim Jablonski, Sandra Jackman, Clarke Jackson, Derek Jackson, Georgia Jackson, Jackson Photografix, Brooke Jacobs, Bill Jacobson, Jimmie James, Matthew Jankowski, Benjamin T. Jarosch, Allison Jarvela, Janusz Jaworski, James Jaxxa, Jim Jeffers, Bill Jensen, Gerry Jensen, Tom Jezek, Jiro, Lennon Jno-Baptiste, Jessika Joe, Simen Johan, Laura Johansen, Chris Johanson, Christine Johnson, Eric Anthony Johnson, Erick Johnson, Hasan Johnson, Holly Johnson, Liz Johnson, Paddy Johnson, Bill Jones, Darrell Jones, Darren Jones, Rula Jones, Ken Jones Jr., Michael Joo, Saskia Jorda, Jovani, Michael Joyal, Emily Joyce, Jenny Jozwiak, Roberto Juarez, Miranda July, Paul Justice, Patricia Kaegi W., Ellen Kahn, Kai, Indra Karpaviciute, Elaine Karton, Marie Christine Katz, Andrew Kaufman, Betsy Kaufman, Jessica M. Kaufman, Pat Kaufman, Dionisios Kavvadias, Eleni Kavvadias, Takeshi Kawashima, Ameer Kazmi, Judy Kazmi, Marya Kazoun, Darra Keeton, Betsy Kelleher, Marthe Keller, Jamie Kelty, Sebron Kendrick, Michael "Misha" Kennedy, Shirin Khaki, Swati Khurana, Hee Sook Kim, Heige Kim, Jaesung Kim, Jingyung Kim, Jullian S. Kim, So Jung Kim, David King, Kelly King, Marcy King, Matt King, Susan Kirby, Michael Kirwan, Barbara Klein, Rosanne Kleinerman, Elisabeth Kley, Lucretia Knapp, Barbara Knight, Elizabeth Knowles, Woon Won Ko, Viktor Koen, Philip Kogan, Carol Kohn, Francine Kohn, Kathy Koller, Thomas Koole, Fran Kornfeld, Aaron Krach, Kara Kramer, Michael Krasowitz, Andre North Krauss, Fawn Krieger, Larry Krone, Liliana Krynska, Louis Kunsch, Melissa Kuntz, Michelle Kurlan, Allison Kurtz, Anita Kushner, Michael Kwiecinski, Ben La Placa and Mary Klie, Eliot Lable, Jaclyn Labozzetta, David Lachman, Stephen Lack, Miles Ladin, Thomas Lail, Emily Noelle Lambert, Lehni Lamide Davies, Lisa LaMonica, Marc Landes, Klara Landrat, Eve Andree Laramee, Erin Lareau, Larian, Kristin Larson, Catherine LaSota, Heidi Lau, Ayala Laufer-Cahana, Louis Laurita, Shelley Lavell, Glenda Lavin, Louise Lawler, Beatrice S. Lebreton, Roberto Lebron, Amanda Lechner, Charlie Ledbetter, Marjeta Lederman, Cal Lee, Deanna C. Lee, Margaret Lee, Brian Lemond, Taliah Lempert, Zoe Leonard, Barbara Leven, Les Levine, Barbara Ann Levy, James Levy, Georgina Lewis, Sol LeWitt, Julia Lichtblau, Daniel Licul, Michael Liddy, Edward Lightner, Glenn Ligon, Yuki Lim, Alexandra Limpert, Conner Limpert, Nicole Limpert, Tai Hung Lin, Nikki Lindt, Martha Link, Megan Lipke, Marcia Lippman, Lump Lipshitz, Jackie Lipton, Frank Liu, David Livingston, Luis A. Locarno, Patricia Lofgren, Amy Lombardo, Tim Lonergan, Jason Longchamps, Aimee Louchart, Chris Louchart, Whitfield Lovell, Gina Lovoi, Michael Lownie, Robert Ludwig, Cecilia Lueza, Vera Lutter, Annica Lydenberg, Holly Lynton, Noah Lyon, MacDermott and MacGough, Mary Macey, Marci MacGuffie, Megan Maguire, Charles Werner Mahal, Jr., Jennifer Mahlman, Rebecca Major, Sakura Maku, Luis Mallo, Linda Mangan, Craig Manister, Ed Manner, Erica Mapp, Philomena Marano, Mitchell Marco, Harriet Regina Marion, Thom Markee, China Marks, Sandy Marostica, Adria Marquez, Norma Marquez Orozco, Christopher Marquis, Kathleen S. A. Marquis, Charlotte Marra, Mary V. Marsh, Kerry James Marshall, Katy Martin, Trevor Martin, Max Carlos Martinez, Magdalina Martinez Franco, Bob Marty, Amy Mascena, Scott Massarsky, Christina Massey, Thomas Matsuda, Amy Matthews, Kegera Matthews-Lawrence, Mary Mattingly, Meghan Matuza, Brooke Maxwell, Esperanza Mayobre, Michael Mazzeo, Xanda Mc Cagg, Emma McCagg, Maureen McCarron, Melissa McCarthy, Paula McCartney, Mark D. McComb, Peter McCoubrey, Janice McDonnell, Tim McDonnell, Sarah McEneany, Dominic McGill, Alison McGoran, Thomas McGovern, Conor Mcgrady, Paul McHale, John Mckaig, Craig McKenzie, Anne Q. McKeown, Chuck McKinney, John McLachlin, Mark McLoughlin, Meridith McNeal, Sarah McNulty, Jamie McPartland, Beverley McQuillan, Bill Mcright, Justin McSimov, Lisanne McTernan, Michael Meads, Roberto Medina, Russel Mehlman, Julie Mehretu, Linda Meisenhelder, Brad Melamed, Derick Melander, Margery Mellman, John Melof, Ann Messner, Lucia Alba Mettler, Chris Metze, Michael Nathaniel Meyer, Mica, Maggie Michael, Ellen Miffitt, Holly Miller, Judith S. Miller, William H. (Billy) Miller, Shizuka Minami, Marilyn Minter, Elizabeth Miseo, Kenneth Mitchell, Michael Mitchell, Tadashi Mitsui, Joseph Modica, Sharon Molloy, Jorge Luis Moncayo, Sean Monesson, Sarah Monroe, Gregory Montreuil, Cindy Moore, James Moore, Jessica Moore, Nik Moore, Randy Moore, Paul Moran, Tom Morbitzer and Gail Amornvivat, Janet Morgan, Andrea Morganstern, Lora Morgenstern, Ricardo Morin, Juri Morioka, Amy Morken, James Morrison, Leo Morrissey, Arezoo Moseni, Adrienne Moumin, Carrie Moyer, K-- Mroczek, Roger Mudre, Fred Mugford, K. Muldoon, Matt Mullican, Vik Muniz, Margaret Murphy, Elizabeth Murray, Kevin Muth, Pieter Myers, Jeremy Nadel, Stefanie Nagorka, Andrew Nance, Chuck Nanney, James Nares, Antonella Natale, Marcia Neblett, Joseph Nechvatal, John W.M. Neely, Rodrigo M. Negreira, Heidi Neilson, David Nelson, Laura Nelson, Diogo Neto, Brandon Neubauer, Chyna Ng, Christian Nguyen, Sophia Nilsson, Martha Nilsson Edeheit, Michelle Nixon, Liz Nofziger, Nick Normal, Scott Norris, Emily North, Mardi Nowak, Paul Nudd, Robert O’Donnell, Elin O’Hara Slavick, Veronica O’Hern, Carrie O’Neil, Leah Oates, Angelo Ocasio, Dustin Odgin, Sun-Duck Oh, Eri Oishi, Nancy Olivier, Ron Omlin, Soner On, Tomomi Ono, Yoko Ono, Patricia Onorato, Christian Oppel, Richard Orjis, Dianne Orkin Footlick, Novella Osuorah, Tom Otterness, Michael Ottersen, Vivian Outlaw, Joe Ovelman, Rachel Owens, Tori Pace, Carol Padberg, Enrique Padilla Jr., James Paladino, Kelsey Palmer, Marcy Palmer, Ruby Palmer, Wilna Panagos, Nicole Parcher, Eung Ho Park, Jung Eun Park, Jennifer Parker, Margo Parker, Robert Miles Parker, Suellen Parker, Charles Parker Boggs, Sam Parks, Avani Patel, Laura Paulini, Sarah H. Paulson, Jim Pavlicovic, Manuela Paz, Junanne Peck, Carol Peligian, Elisabeth Pellathy, Claudia Pena, Sheila Pepe, Keith Perkins, Quimetta Perle, Jules Perlmutter, Perry, Daniel Perry, Gilda Pervin, Lamar Peterson, Kyriakos Petropoulos, Christina Pettersson, George Pfau, Laura Sue Phillips, Sisavanh Phouthavona, Doug Piccione, Tracee Pickett-Armoni, Pietrapiana, Mary Pinto, Kim Piotrowski, Drew Pisarra, Joe Piscopia, Jesus Polanco, Anne Polashenski, Bekky Pollack, Ben Polsky, Nuno Pontes, Sabrina Pooler, Dayna Poon, William Pope L., Tara Popick, Amy Jean Porter, Chuck Potter, Maggie Prendergast, Lily Prentice, Jennifer Presant, Mel Prest, Rhiannon Price, Rick Prol, Amy Pryor, Susan Prytherch, Dianne Purdy, Antonio Puri, Matthew Pych, Wayne Pyle, Michael Raaum, Svetlana Rabey, Magdolena Rachwel, Dean Radinorsky, Carol Radsprecher, Helaine Rainier, Christina Ramirez, Paul Henry Ramirez, Debra Ramsay, Lisa Ramsay, Fernando Rangel, Jessica Rankin, Meryl Lynn Ranzer, Rappel, Kaylyn Raschke, Moriah Ray, Lisa Reddig, Erwin Redl, Catherine Renae, Richard Renaldi, Andreas Rentsch, Reto, Cynthia Rettig, Barbara Jo Revelle, Paolo Reverbel de Souza, Miguel Angel Reyes, Reynolds, Eric Rhein, Alice Rice, Barbara Richards, Robert W. Richards, Brian Riley, Joyce Riley, Brooke Ripley, Meg Ripley, Barbara Ritz Jenny, Greg Rivera, Daniele Robbiani, Dale Roberts, Daniel H. Roberts, Marie Roberts, Sandy Lee Robertson, Andrew Robinson, Steven Robinson, Roberta Rocca, Gabriel Rocha Z., T.M. Roche-Kelly, Dorothea Rockburne, Debbie Rodenhauser, Anthony Rodriguez, Tim Rollins & K.O.S., Dan V. Romer, Roncallo, Yarminiah Rosa, Francisco Rosado, Matthew Rose, Kay Rosen, Michael Rosen, Rob Hugh Rosen, Robin Ross, Phyllis Rosser, Alfredo Rossi, Arnold Roth, Ryan Roth, Andrew Roy, Lisa Rubin, Christina Sitja Rubio, Donna Ruff, Mayda Rumberg, Lisa Rundstrom, Thomas Rupich, Arlene Rush, Dan Rushton, Craig Russell, Ellen Ryan, Betye Saar, Ken Sahr, G. Sampson (Bieberich), Joel Sanders, Toni-Lee Sangastiano, Edward Santalone, Carmine Santaniello, Santiago, Katia Santibanez, Nelson Santos, Jennifer Sarkilahti, Gordon Sasaki, Anthony Satori, Amelia Saul, Richard Sawdon Smith, Joe Saxe, Denise Schatz, Sebastian Schaub, Dimitri Scheblanov, Irys Schenker, Carolee Schneeman, Kenny Schneider, Mira Schor, Collier Schorr, Susan Schwalb, Molly Schwartz, Sandra Scicchitani, Chris Scroggins, Greg Seagrave, Christinea Seely, Anson Seeno, Analia Segal, Jessica Segall, Joan Semmel, Luciano Senger, Gregory Sengletary, Christina Serchia, Jennifer Serchia, Emily Severance, Paul Kent Sewell, Grant Shaffer, Don Shanley, Amy Edith Shapiro, Norman Shapiro, Denise Shaw, Dr. Gerald Shaw, Emma Shaw, Herb Shaw, Marc Shaw, Nancy Shaw, Patrick Shaw, Renee Shaw, Erica Shearer, Frank Sheehan, Mark Sheinkman, Kate Shepherd, Rudy Shepherd, Etienne Latour Genore Hughes Sheppard, Kayo Shido, Taki Shimura, Heesun Shin, Jean Shin, Sangah Shin, Ellen Shire, Peter O. Shire, Kiriko Shirobayashi, Shmuel, Allison Shockley, Alyson Shotz, Joyce Siegel, Amy Sillman, Tawnie Silva, Kelly Simbirdi, Ellen Singletary, Sonita Singwi, Carri Skoczek, Jennifer Skoda, Tom Slaughter, Susannah Slocum, Aminah Slor, Oren Slor, Wendy Small, Michael Smit, Clifford D. Smith, Lory Smith, Louise Smith, Michael Smith, Eleni Smolen, Bambilee Snyder, Dorothy Snyder, Christopher T. Sojka, Deanne Sokolin, Lori Solondz, Hector Solorio, Thomas R. Somerville, Mario Sostre, Jeff Soto, Lisa C. Soto, Beverley Southcott, Teddy Spath Jr., Maria Spector, Nancy Spero, Gary Speziale, Margot Spindelman, Jered Sprecher, Francis Stallings, David Staniunas, Tamara Staples, Jessica Steele, Barry Steely, Pat Steir, Joshua Stern, Lindsay Stern, John Michael Stevison, Michael Still, Rae Stimsom, Mark Stockton, Steve Stone, Claire K. Stringer, Michelle Stuart, Bobbi Studstill, Christine Stuht, Kelly Anne Sturhahn, Pablo Sue-Pat, Kunie Sugiura, Ilene Sunshine, Rachel Sussman, Ferenc Suto, Rilette Swanepoel, Jane Swidzinski, Edward Swift, Liam Swon, Betty Sword, Paul Szabo, Radek Szczesny, Don Tabler, Barbara Takenaga, JD Talasek, Herb Tam, Jeff Tambussi, Sam Tan, Joey Tang, Kim Rae Taylor, Morgan Taylor, Steed Taylor, Sonia Tedsen, LaVerne Telles, Mary Temple, Austin Thomas, Gwenn Thomas, Sharon Thomas, Emily Thompson, Lex Thompson, Mark Thompson, Chrissy Thomsen, Brenda Thour, Michael Tice, Elizabeth Tillotson, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Zdravko Toic, Jutka Tolcser, Mette Tommerup, James Tomon, Anne Marie Torrez, Jennifer Toth, George Towne, Bill Travis, Richard J. Treitner, Becky Trotter, Daniel Trout, Janaina Tschape, Marina Tsesarskaya, Arlene Tucker, Colleen Tully, Spencer Tunick, Chris Twomey, Type A, Kako Ueda, Christopher R. Ulivo, Penelope Umbrico, Alex Umen, Peter Urban, Urbanthropologie (Carol-Anne-Ryce-Paul), Maria M. Valez, Teressa Valla, Marc Van Cauwenbergh, Kathryn Van Steenhuyse, Chris Vander Schans, Maura Vanderpoorten, Sharon VanStarkenburg, Marsha Vaughn, Tony Michael Vecchio, Alberto Velasco, Jayastree Venkatadurai, Guido Vermeulen, Alejandra Villasmil, Grazia Vita, Don Voisine, Bruce Volpone, Anna Von Gwinner, Natasha von Rosenchilde, Leonard Von Webb, Whitney Vosburgh, Elysa Voshell, Melanie Wadsworth, Lori Wakefield, Robert Walden, Glen Walls, Shelton Walsmith, Lucia Warck-Meister, Jeff "Jeffu" Warmouth, Tom Warren, Rebecca Wasserman, Jack Waters, John Waters, Rose Watts, Mary Weatherford, Hannal Weaver, Patrick Webb, Tenesh Webber, Joan Weber, William Wegman, Theres Wegmann, Ellen Weider, Louise Weinberg, Dan Weiner, Lawrence Weiner, Ejay Weiss, Barbara Weissberger, Alan Wells, Carolyn Weltman, Kimmy Wentling, Frederick Weston, Dirk Westphal, Charmaine Wheatley, Stuart Wheeler, Jojo Whilden, Ken Whitbeck, Lili White, Mark Wiener, Veronica Wilkinson, Darrell Wilks, David M. Williams, Diane Williams, Shane Williamson, Emily Piah Wilson, Fred Wilson, June Wilson, Kate Wilson, Letha Wilson, Albert Winn, Edie Winograde, Sue Winton Parrish, James Wodarek, Ann F. Wong, Colby Wong, Virgil Wong, Thomas Woodruff, Aicha Woods, Cindy Workman, Suzanne Wright, Jennifer Wroblenski, Brooke Wyatt, Tamara Wyndham, Noel Wynn, Rob Wynne, Cathy Wysocki, Junko Yamada, Lynne Yamamoto, Carrie Yamaoka, Chin Chih Yang, Bernard Yenelouis, Maria Yerman, Leyla Yildiz, Bo Sung Yoom, Sunhee Yoon, Irene Young, Laurence Young, Penn Young, Candice Yu, Kosuke Yuki, Carlo Zanni, Patricia Zarate, Valerie Zars, John Zaso, Richard D. Zauner Jr., Jody Zellen, Emna Zghal, Chuck Zimmer, Alice Zinnes, Anthony Zito, Katherine Zuckerman, Nina Zurier, and Gary Zyra.
All Postcards from the Edge proceeds support the programs of Visual AIDS. Founded in 1988, Visual AIDS strives to increase public awareness of AIDS through the visual arts and supports artists living with HIV/AIDS.
Why doesn't somebody in Washington do this? In fact I'm going to contact the organizers and see if there's interest in staging one of these here next year!
Adrienne Mills is not only a woman of mystery, but she's also a very talented photographer, a participating AOM artist and body painter extraordinaire. She told me that she has "walked AOM at least 50 times," and thus her list (and her comments) comes after miles of re-visitng these works (the links lead to Mills' photos of the AOM artists' works):
Christopher Edmunds (I came to the realization that I have a head fixation).
Kathryn Cornelius then and now (I luuuuv you! ...I guess you had to be there before it was shut down.)
Sherill Anne Gross
Rob Vander Zee (The heads behind Bryan T)
Erwin Timmers (I like his stuff way better than Tim's but Tim gets all the press and play).
Thomas Edwards (I want to lick you! ... you can't imagine how many times I've thought that about different people. It's good to know I'm not the only one).
Lisa Schumaier (I like cats. Maybe that's why I want to lick people).
Jared Davis (even better when he has the music going).
Video guy (I don't remember his name).
*Amy Marx* (Amy gets the "close, but no cigar" award. The black fabric stretched on the frames was a bit ragged but I still like the overall effect. I would bump Sherill if the black fabric was in better shape).
Artists are finally sending me their Top 10 AOM Lists. I'll be posting Marilyn Banner's and Adrienne Mills' later today.
For the next two weeks I'll be on the road; traveling to Miami and to San Diego. Nonetheless I will still be posting from the road, including my final mathematical compilation (from all lists) of the Top 10 AOM artists, whom will then be offered a group show at a DC area gallery in 2005. I am working the details with that gallery and will announce it all next week.
By the way, four other galleries that I know of (both Fraser Galleries, the Anne C. Fisher Gallery and Gallery Neptune) are also offering shows to AOM artists based on some of the DC Art News AOM lists. Is that great or what!
I love shopping for food at Whole Foods, and how there's always all kinds of foods, cheeses, dips, etc. around to taste and eat as you shop. If the grubs knew about this, I am sure they may stop attending art gallery openings and start hanging out at Whole Foods.
But I digress... Every Whole Foods store has a resident artist, and several of them (such as Kelly Towles) are also exhibiting artists at this year's Artomatic.
And the Whole Foods area management sent all their employees the below email, encouraging them to attend the final weekend of Artomatic.
Bravo Whole Foods!
Friday, December 03, 2004
My good colleage J.T. Kirkland, over at Thinking About Art has been nominated for a WebLog Award for his terrific Thinking About Art BLOG.
Let's help him out by pretending we're Chicago Democrats or any and all Louisiana voters and by voting as often and as many times as possible here.
Artist JS (Jim) Adams sends in his AOM list of his favorite artists and makes the point that he "respectfully excludes several long-time favorites and peers whom are well documented on other's lists (Brooks, Tattelman, Tate, Seesow, and Miner)" and adds that he is also purchasing one of James Calder's photographs and a piece from Louise Kennelly.
James Calder, photography
Alan Callander, video
Kathryn Cornelius, installation
Linda Hesh, mixed media + photography
Louise Kennelly, painting
Syl Mathis, glass
Nicholas Syracuse, photography
Bridget Vath, phobic fashion
Jeff Wilson, painting
Dennis Yankow, mixed media + photography
Openings from 6-8 PM generally. If you make the gallery rounds, do not miss Erik Sandberg's current show at Conner Contemporary. Sandberg is one of the best painters in our area and this show is my top pick for the month. Read the Michael O'Sullivan review of the show here.
And this weekend is the last two days for Artomatic. Most of the artists will be there tomorrow, and if you want a great tour, the Triangle Artists Group (Metro DC's gay artists collective) will be hosting a site tour of its members "along with other LGBT and queer artists who are participating in Artomatic 2004" on Saturday.
Meet the TAG tour guides tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 4) in the AOM Lobby for guided tours at 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.
Also on Saturday is the Funky Furniture Auction. On Saturday, December 4th, 2004 at 9pm, all of the Funky Furniture works will be auctioned in a must-attend party/auction to be staged at the Funky Furniture display area at AOM. Admission to the cocktail pre-auction reception is $20 per couple, which also gets you a bidding badge.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Sometimes it takes someone far from the eye of the hurricane to see clearly that there's calm in the center (that almost sounded like something Dan Rather would say... yuk!).
Martin Bromirski makes an excellent point about AOM, lists and me in his excellent ANABA art BLOG.
So, more artists should email me their AOM lists!
When I started the AOM Top 10 List thing, I invited anyone and everyone to send me their list; so far that has caused a significant (and astounding) response from gallery owners, art critics, art collectors, art curators, etc., but only a few artists have sent in their list.
Only a few days left... the offer is still open!
A slightly different version of the below review will be published by the Crier Media newspapers, which also syndicates it. If it follows the usual pattern, it will also be then picked up by a few Latin American newspapers, translated and published in Spanish.
Artomatic Energymatic Daggermatic
Art critics, like most writers, usually get paid by the word, sometimes by the article, and occasionally by an infinitesimal percentage of whatever profits their writing generates. And most art critics and writers visit a gallery show or museum exhibition, get a few handouts and spend about half an hour studying the works on the wall before heading home or to the office to pound the word processor’s keys and earn their buck-a-word for the review.
You can’t do that with Art-O-Matic, the huge, almost every two years, open visual arts extravaganza that this year hosted over 600 visual artists and another 400 performance artists at the laberynthic former convent building that last housed the Children’s Museum on 3rd and H Street, NE.
The idea behind Art-O-Matic is simple: find a large, empty building somewhere in the city; work with the building owners, and then allow any artist who wants to show their work help with staging the show and with some of the financial needs. This year, AOM artists paid a $60 entry fee plus worked a few hours assisting with the show.
And this year around 600 visual artists brought their art to the public.
In order to write a proper, ethical review of AOM, a writer must spend hours walking five floors of art, jam-packed into hundreds of rooms, bathrooms, closets and stairs. And I think that this is one of the main reasons that most art critics love to hate this show. It overwhelms them with visual offerings and forces them to develop a "glance and judge" attitude towards the artwork. It’s a lot easier to carpet bomb a huge show like this than to do a surgical strike.
Add on top of that an outdated, but "alive and kicking" elitist attitude towards an open show, where anyone and everyone who calls him or herself an artist can exhibit, sans the sanitizing and all-knowing eye of the latest trendy curator, and you have a perfect formula for dismissing a show, without really looking at it.
This quaint and elitist attitude towards art is not new or even modern. It was the same attitude that caused the emergence of the salons of the 19th century, where only artists that the academic intelligentsia deemed good enough were exhibited. As every art student who almost flunked art history knows, towards the latter half of that century, the artists who had been rejected from the salons (because they didn’t fit the formula of good art) organized their own Salon Des Refuses, sort of a 19th century Parisian Art-O-Matic.
And a lot, in fact, most of the work in the Salon Des Refuses was quite bad, but amongst the dreck were also pearls like Manet's Le Dejeuner sur 'Herbe (Luncheon in the Grass), Monet's Impression: Sunrise, (and we all know what art "ism" that title gave birth to) and an odd and memorable looking portrait of a young lady in white (The White Girl, Symphony in White, No. 1) by an American upstart by the name of James McNeill Whistler.
Everyone who was anyone in the art world hated and dismissed this anti-salon exhibition; except for the only "anyone" who actually counted: art history.
But then somewhere in the next century, the salons and their formulas returned. Only their name and their display styles had changed. They were now called Biennials, Biennales, Bienales, Documentas and their settings were in museums, entire cities or pristine white cubes around the world.
Only their reasoning and misguided logic remained constant: "Only we know what is good art."
And that is why these modern salonists and their acolytes will never respect, like, or understand Art-O-Matic: they recall that the Salons des Refuses almost broke their control over art; it won’t happen again.
And like the poet Marti wrote: "I know the monster well, for I have lived in its entrails." You see, over the last two decades I have been the juror, curator, decision-maker for hundreds of shows. And as a freelance art critic I have written and evaluated hundreds of artists and shows. I have been a minute gear in the world-wide machinations to keep control of what is art and never let a new Salons des Refuses wrest control again.
OK, OK, I know that am going overboard here; but... do you get the point?
But I am also an artist, and I like the concept of Art-O-Matic.
And not just because of the miles of artwork on display, much of which is mind numbing bad art; in fact, so bad that it is sometimes almost good in its exorbitant mediocrity. The main reason that I like Art-O-Matic is the palpable amount of artistic energy that it delivers to Washington, DC every couple of years. It is as if some invisible visual art battery in this ignored art scene comes to the forefront and gets recharged with brilliant white light (made as we all know, of all colors in the spectrum), and 50,000 people who generally would not set foot in a gallery or museum come and see art and artists and absorb the positive energy that only creative minds can generously give away.
So I enter my fourth Art-O-Matic with several preconceived ideas in my very subjective agenda:
(a) It’s going to take several visits and many hours to write my fourth review of Art-O-Matic in as many shows.
(b) There’s going to be a lot of dreck in the show. But art is in the eyes of the beholder; my dreck could be your pearl.
(c) I’m going to find several pearls in the show
(d) I’m going to re-charge my visual arts battery
(e) Our gallery will pick up some new artists from this show
On visit one, during the press preview, glass sculptor Tim Tate (Disclaimer: whom we represent and whom we "discovered" at a past Art-O-Matic) whizzes a group of us through the five floors of the show. It still takes three hours or so, but I have taken notes. Five visits and more than twenty hours later, I feel comfortable to start writing about the show.
A lot of the artists in the show are well known to me, and so I begin to discover "new" ones – at least new to me. Judy Jashinsky, who is one of the firebrand organizers who keeps this (and past) Art-O-Matics running, grabs me and asks me if I’ve seen Mark Jenkins’s pubic hair tapestries.
And Jenkins is one of the first memorable discoveries in this show. Tucked away in a corner space, Jenkins has created two noteworthy entries into the show. First in everyone’s lips are his photographic explorations of close-ups of pubic hair (loupe included in the installation) that through the magic of digital manipulation become interesting designs of elegant abstracted qualities. A second Jenkins emerges from his crowded little room: the tape sculptures.
Jenkins uses common transparent packing tape (yards and yards of it) to create superbly crafted and visually attractive figurative sculptures, as well as the odd, unusual organic shaped one. Through documentary photography, we see what happens when Jenkins places these plastic figures in a public venue. A passing man stares incredulously at a plastic man inside a dumpster; or a beach jogger is surprised by an alien looking tape creature that the sea has washed ashore.
Iver Olson is another talented discovery for me. He gets the award for the best porn in the show, although his display is also peppered with some otherwise just plain sensual photo-collages. It is almost as if there were two Olsons in the show: a really torrid, sensual photographer, and a brilliantly inventive pornographer.
In one of his photos, Olson has a woman with her hand buried inside the vagina of a second woman, who is sitting on a couch, seemingly bored, while her friend is searching inside her vagina, with (as an artist friend of mine put it) a "did a leave my keys in there?" sort of look. Somehow Olson has transformed the hardcore act of lesbian fisting into an almost funny scene of lustless abandon. Other good porn in the show is offered by Eduardo Rodriguez, Alexis Bine and Rudy K.
Another discovery is Ira Tattelman’s installation titled "They taught me to wash away my desires." I don’t know if it is because the building was once a convent, but there is certainly a strange, palpable energy in some parts of the building; people like Stephen King feed on this sort of energy and produce brilliant books; it is clear that Ira Tattelman also absorbed and channeled this energy into his installation.
"They taught me to wash away my desires" is inside a smallish bathroom furnished with a shower, a tub and some archaic 19th-century type bathroom stations (such as an enema station). Tattelman has installed a small pump in one of the stations that keeps re-circulating brownish, brackish water and add a watery sound to the room. To the right, inside and around the dirty tub is what at first sight appears to be a dismembered human body (they're actually some sort of artificial legs).
Put together the Stephen Kingesque feel of the room, the moist sound effects, the outdated chrome and dirty tile bath stations, and the human parts, and you have an installation that would give Hannibal Lechter a nightmare. It’s brilliant and somebody better put police ankle trackers on Tattelman now.
A couple more artists who deserve to be mentioned in the Hannibal Lechter art list are the very good and macabre sculptures by Stephon Senegal: this is a young artist to keep an eye on; in my opinion possibly the best sculpture in the entire show. Some other pieces by very good artists in this new trend of Lechterism are "Joroko" and also the installation "Sun Ray" by retro-recycling master Ray Jacobs.
M. Rion Hoffman really impressed me with her photography negative boxes installed along one of the main hallways. Hoffman’s boxes are delicate and have that ability to bring the viewer in for an intimate, close-up exploration of whatever story this talented artist wants to deliver. However, her large photo-collages, displayed next to her boxes, appear brutish and heavy handed by comparison, although part of me kept being re-directed from them to her brilliant boxes.
Matt Dunn is a mother load of photographic talent with a built-in magnet to attract, discover, capture on silver gelatin film, and then show us, the really interesting, throat-clearing substrata of human society that makes Diane Arbus’ photographs look like Sears portraits. This is a master portraitist in his element.
In the glass room, Washington Glass School directors Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers have created the most professional looking set of rooms in the entire building and provided the means to discover a couple of new talents in that beautiful genre. Another fact that surfaces very quickly is that the Washington Glass School is certainly stamping its own imprimatur, its own "school brand" in a sense, upon many of our area’s young glass artists. I particularly liked the figurative "man" vessels of Michael Janis, where Janis takes Tate’s seminal idea of narrative biographical wall panels and marries it with Tate’s apothecaries (nine of which were acquired by the Renwick Alliance) to deliver a fresh, new set of ideas in glass.
In these rooms I also liked Syl Mathis, who reminds us that the true beauty of glass lies mainly in its simplicity. Mathis delivers a series of pieces exploring the "boat" theme in glass. I preferred the simpler, more elegant forms by Mathis over some of the more elaborate pieces, perhaps made a bit distracting by their complex support stands and crafty materials.
Allison B. Miner is a very talented painter, and at the last Art-O-Matic, where I first discovered her small, in-your-face paintings, I singled her out as one of the best painters in that show. Miner is still one of the best painters in this show, and her talent with the brush and composition is clearly evident to the most casual observer. I do however, think that it is time for Miner to move on and push her enviable painting skills beyond the tight, close-up routine that she has come dangerously close to boxing herself in. This is a very good painter at the beginning of her career and I am sure that we are but seeing but a tiny bit of what Miner can and will deliver.
Joseph Barbaccia is another artist whom I have been observing for the last few years and this year his crayon self-portrait – literally made out of hundreds and hundreds of crayons in a postmodern pointillist style – easily qualifies as one of the best pieces of art in the whole AOM.
Barbaccia is hard to pin down as a painter, sculptor, uh... crayonist? He explores and pushes art in all dimensions.
Staying within two dimensions, and doing a magnificent job of it are three enviably talented painters: Margaret Dowell, Michal Hunter and Jeffry Cudlin. All of these artists have that spectacular technical mastery of the brush that it is so easily dismissed by people who have never tried to mix cerulean blue with Payne’s gray and ended up with mud. Dowell’s paintings show not only extraordinary technical skills, but also a hungry sense of desire and intelligent understanding of her subjects – who are often transgender and cross dressing personages around our area.
Michal Hunter is also a technical virtuoso of the brush, with only one painting in the entire show; tucked away so far and so difficult to find, that had I not run into Hunter while she was on hallway monitor duty, I would have missed it completely. I am glad that I didn’t, as it is a very powerful work by a woman who is slowly re-affirming her once solid place in the Washington, DC art scene.
Jeffry Cudlin surprised me by delivering some very strong compositional works that are really excuses for Cudlin to use a representational subject to offer works such as "Author, Author," that are really more about the intelligent employment of color and shapes and composition. I write that he surprised me because I am not usually a big fan of these sorts of "interior" works. However, because the paintings are all about shape, color and composition, I found myself admiring them for those points, rather than for their subject matter.
Creating a new place for himself is an illustrator named Scott Brooks, who in this new Art-O-Matic incarnation is like a strange, macabre John Currin, but can paint and draw a lot better than Currin ever learned to. A lot of people were talking about Brooks' disturbing images; this is usually a sign of success for any visual artist. Both the police and art collectors need to keep an eye on this talented artist.
But quite possibly the most talked about (well, at least the most listened to) pieces in the show are the two robotic installations by Thomas Edwards.
Located on the main hallway of the fourth floor, Edwards first greets the passerby with an installation of several of those mechanical talking fish that move their heads and sing songs. He has changed the original recordings and instead of a Christmas carol, the fish now beg you to stop eating their eggs or complain that they’re dying, etc. It is funny and inventive. Edwards’ second piece is a motion sensing robotic head that follows you along a wall track and peppers you with irritating questions like "where did you get your hair done?"
Edwards’ installations are intelligent creative and they fit well right into the Hollywoodism tradition of past Art-O-Matics.
There is a lot of channeling of well-known artists in this AOM. Two artists stand out: Mark Stark channels Dan Flavin and Erin Hunter continues to somewhat channel Erik Sandberg.
I also enjoyed Bridget Vath’s very inventive use of Kevlar to design and construct dresses and other clothing apparel; I suspect that Vath could start a very successful line of Kevlar clothing with good markets in Baghdad, Beirut, Bogotá, Atlanta and most of the Balkans.
The funniest piece in the show, other than Thomas Edwards’ annoying talking fish is also one of the most famous paintings in the world.
I am referring to Kayti Didriksen’s now infamous portrait of Bush and Chaney titled "Man of Leisure: King George," where Didriksen has regurgitated Manet’s famous painting Olympia and has Vice President Chaney serving an oil well to a nude Dubya.
This image, a few weeks ago, at the height of the Funky Furniture controversy with the City Museum, was the most downloaded Internet image in the world.
It is a terribly funny, badly painted and highly successful work. Didriksen not only captures Bush’s likeness perfectly but also delivers an interesting expression (that’s perfect for the subject) in the much abused President (abused by a lot of AOM artists that is) and also offers a hilarious VP Chaney with a neck that seems inflamed by gout.
As with past AOM’s, a lot of artists explore the nude human figure in both paintings and photographs. This is a subject not usually seen in Washington area galleries, and I can't recall the last time that I saw an exhibition of nudes in any of our area’s museums. I noted Peggy McNutt, Shannon Chester (especially well done is "No. 10, Chair 2"), Adrienne Mills, Chris Keely, Dana Ellyn Kaufman and Candace Keegan.
Of these, Kaufman and Keegan both use their own bodies to deliver interesting ideas and suggestions. In Kaufman’s case, extremely acidic, caustic and pointed commentaries with provocative titles married to insane figurative paintings. In Keegan’s case, she pushes a lot of moist buttons in our psyche by playing with stereotypical Hustlerian depictions of women: See Keegan suggestively sucking on her necklace; see Keegan in pigtails offer her breasts to the viewer. However, in the end what we do see are two strong women who use their art intelligently and use the taboo nude to converse elegantly with the viewer.
There is a lot of forgettable abstraction at AOM. Two artists who stand out from the masses (and happen to be sisters) are Andrea Cybik and Jan Sherfy. Their work explores colors and action and also stands out by their very professional presentation.
In summary, I’ve been to every single Art-O-Matic ever staged, and I am in the minority opinion that they’ve improved each time, and each time they give us a most precious gift: the energy that only several hundred creative minds working together can deliver. I hope Art-O-Matic grows to become a national level open show and then grow some more and become a worldwide showcase for the world’s largest open international art exhibition and a new dagger to the heart of the 21st century salons.
Jessica Dawson reviews Hemphill Fine Arts' new floorplan in George's new beautiful space on 14th Street and is also disturbed by Chan Chao's nude photographs currently on at Numark.
I wasn't too surprised that when Jessica first stepped into Chao's exhibition, she "wanted to step right back out" [because]... "Twenty just-over-life-size portraits of naked women ring the gallery's walls. Yet the mood isn't sexy. Or playful. It's utterly vulnerable and uncomfortable. For you and me, for sure, and even more so for Chao's subjects."
I write that I wasn't too surprised because both Dawson and her predecessor in the "Galleries" column appear to me to be rather uncomfortable with nudity. I could be wrong, I guess, but it is something that I've noticed in their demeanor and their writing over the years.
I was also surprised that Jessica writes that Chao "has applied the same clinical, pseudo-journalistic approach he used on the pro-democracy guerrillas of Burma -- those pictures were a hit at the 2002 Whitney Biennial -- to naked women, many of whom are the artist's friends or associates. Despite Chao's attempts at evenhandedness, or perhaps because of them, the results feel exploitative and manipulative."
This is in fact backwards! Those familiar with Chao's photographs before he turned his camera to the pro-democracy guerrillas of Burma, know that prior to that he used to focus on the nude figure, and in fact applied the "same clinical, pseudo-journalistic approach" that he used with his earlier nudes to the pro-democracy guerrillas of Burma, not the other way around.
Chao abandoned the nude for a few years, returned to his native Burma and photographed the pro-democracy guerrillas of Burma. It was a big hit with curators all over the nation, landed him a spot on the 2002 Whitney Biennial and national acclaim. I personally thought those photographs were boring and repetitive; I have, on the other hand, always liked and admired his nude portraits and I think that his current Numark show is spectacular!
Chao has just returned to the nude now; that's all. And I think that Dawson is just uncomfortable around nudes.
I could be wrong. For a different (male) perspective on this show, read Louis Jacobson at the WCP.
P.S. Blake Gopnik also reviews Iraq and China: Ceramics, Trade and Innovation at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art.
The December/Jan issue of Budget Living magazine has a nice spread on artist Mark Bennett's LA pad. The article mentions his hardworking DC art dealer Conner Contemporary and highlights how his Damien Hirst silk screen just coincidently happens to match his raw-silk sofa that he got for $200 in a Long Beach thrift store. Also shows outsider artist John Patrick MacKenzie's word-play piece that goes nicely with Bennett's sitcom-centric surroundings.
It would be nice if the WaPo (either Style or the Post's Magazine) or Washingtonian magazine, could run more feature articles like this about our area artists and collectors living with their art. Furthermore, it would be nice if the Post would identify the artwork (they never seem to do that in the captions) in any of their glossy features about other locals in their pages.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
The father of YBA art and one of the world's best-known art collectors is Charles Saatchi.
And the Art Newspaper has recently interviewed Saatchi with questions submitted via email by people from all over the world.
From what DC Art News readers info'd me as they sent emails to the Art Newspaper a few weeks ago through the announcement in this posting, at least two of the questions that Saatchi chose to answer came from DC Art News readers. They are:
Question: Did you personally burn, or did you contract with a professional arsonist to burn, your warehouse filled with your art?Ouch! Read all of the questions and answers here.
Saatchi: It wasn’t terrifically amusing the first time dull people came up with this. Now it’s the 100th time.
Question: Blake Gopnik, the Chief Art Critic for the Washington Post has stated that "painting is dead and has been dead for 40 years. If you want to be considered a serious contemporary artist, the only thing that you should be doing is video or manipulated photography." Do you agree or disagree and why?
Saatchi: It’s true that contemporary painting responds to the work of video makers and photographers. But it's also true that contemporary painting is influenced by music, writing, MTV, Picasso, Hollywood, newspapers, Old Masters.
But, unlike many of the art world heavy hitters and deep thinkers, I don’t believe painting is middle-class and bourgeois, incapable of saying anything meaningful anymore, too impotent to hold much sway. For me, and for people with good eyes who actually enjoy looking at art, nothing is as uplifting as standing before a great painting whether it was painted in 1505 or last Tuesday.
Since the Washington Post has decided to reduce its gallery coverage by 50%, starting tomorrow DC Art News will start a weekly Thursday review, in an BLOGish attempt to fill part of the void left by the Post's [we hope] temporary decision to publish the "Galleries" column only twice a month (instead of weekly, as it has been for years).
Thus, I am opening DC Art News to anyone who'd like to email me a review of a visual art show in our area. I reserve full editorial rights.
Art critics, opinionated art fans and art-critic-wannabes: Email me your review!
Tomorrow I will have my review (at last!) of Artomartic 2004.
Philip Barlow is a well-known DC art collector, arts activist, a great supporter of our area artists and art scene, and nearly a curator. He is one of the most vocal supporters of Art-O-Matic and after many trips to AOM, he sends in his top 10 list. Barlow passes that he did not consider artists whose work he has collected and most of the artists on his list are artist who are unfamiliar to him (prior to AOM)
1. Elizabeth Lundberg Morrisette
2. Kathryn Cornelius
3. Dylan Scholinski
4. Mary Beth Ramsey
5. Mona El Bayoumi
6. Nader Hadjebi
7. Robert Redding
8. Megan Rains
9. Jeff Wolfram
10. Darren Smith
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