Monday, June 29, 2009

Inside and out and over

Walking Grant to camp this morning through a quiet Manhattan gave me an opportunity to look up. I love spotting old and sometimes original widows that haven't been replaced by energy-efficient double hung numbers. Pictured here, these old windows provide me with a view. Spotting old pane is my sidewalk obsession.

Not a pane, but a panel or rather a salon, the final salon occurred yesterday and into the evening at Pocket Utopia. I think Kevin Regan and Andrew Hurst make for a good pairing. They were like a window, one an upper and the other a lower half...Temporal and spatial joined together in a place with white walls.  Now all is quiet with Grant at camp and my entire apartment needs a cleaning including my six dirty windows.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I went to a great show at the Nathan Cummings Foundation
tonight, organized by the Provisions Library in Washington, D.C. The show, titled Close Encounters 2: Acts of Social Imagination runs through August 28th.

Provisions Library is a social change learning resource that amplifies compelling voices that challenge and redefine the mainstream. Its library and online services are a trusted source for alternative perspectives on a wide range of social change topics and its innovative exhibitions and public projects strongly engage the arts as a powerful means of exploring social issues.

Provisions features on-site programs such as exhibitions, screenings, workshops as well as fully accessible online study guides, virtual exhibitions. Provisions is grounded in the values of peace, justice, sustainability, social responsibility and respect for the diversity of life. Awesome!

I saw Brice Marden at the show and he asked me if I wanted to go walk the High Line! It was a perfect night for a stroll!

Image above Patrick Keesey from the Bespoke Gallery

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All things Dumbo & Beauty Underfoot at Smackmellon

I'm having a closing gathering for a show I have in Dumbo on Saturday from 4pm to 7pm:

111 Front ST. #224, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Sat-Sun 1-6pm

subway: F train to York, A/C train to High Street-Brooklyn Bridge

Austin Thomas
Practice Space

June 4 - June 28, 2009
closing reception: Saturday, June 27, 4-7pm

There are also 2 other good shows to check out in Dumbo:

Beauty Underfoot
curated by the amazing Jeanne Gerrity
92 Plymouth Street @ Washington
Brooklyn, NY 11201

with Adriana Farmiga, Petrova Giberson, Isola and Norzi, Fawad Khan, Gareth Long, Alison Owen, Mike Quinn, Yumi Janairo Roth, Jen Schwarting, Secret School and the K.I.D.S., Charwei Tsai


Dumbo Arts Center
Structured Simplicity
Curated by Felicity Hogan
30 Washington Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

with Mai Braun, Hilary Harnischfeger, Elana Herzog, Fabienne Lasserre and Amy Yoes

Smackmellon is doing amazing things!

Peter Greenaway

I've always been a Peter Greenaway fan and Roberta Smith wrote up a nice review of his current piece in Venice. Greenaway's multimedia installation is based on the Italian Mannerist Paolo Veronese’s gigantic painting, The Wedding Feast at Cana. The installation is set in a Palladio-designed refectory, a salient element for the installation, for Palladio is considered the quintessence of the High Renaissance with his calm and harmonic construction. Sounds like the ultimate Venetian experience; sight, sound, architecture, water, and art (and good food). Let's go.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Final Salon @ Pocket U, Sunday, June 28 - 4 pm

Pocket Utopia presents: "Finally Utopic"
The Final Salon
Sunday, June 28th at 4:00 pm
with readings by Andrew Hurst and Kevin Regan and Ben Godward's Goddess will flow again! Please join us.
"Finally Utopic" also features the work of
Rico Gatson, Valerie Hegarty, Molly Larkey and Jonathan VanDyke

1037 Flushing Avenue
[Just off the Morgan L, Bushwick]
Open Saturday and Sunday 12-6 p.m. and by appointment
Call: 917-400-3869
Pocket Utopia, 1037 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237
image: Ben Godward "Goddess (With post modern tits)" 2009 dim. variable Mixed media with beer

Friday, June 19, 2009

Endeavors by artists

If you are hungry in Bushwick and you are in your studio and don't want to leave, just contact Farmcart. Organized by artist Michele Lopez, Farmcart offers an array of delicious sandwiches that make me want to move my studio from the Garment District.

Remember, real artists buy from other artists!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Robert Colescott

From Tuesday's NYT:

When asked if he didn’t feel an obligation to serve “the black community,” Mr. Colescott replied, “The way that one serves is to serve art first,” adding that “the way you serve art is by being true to yourself.”

- Robert Colescott, an American figurative painter whose garishly powerful canvases lampooned racial and sexual stereotypes with rakish imagery, lurid colors and almost tangible glee, died Thursday at his home in Tucson. He was 83.

pictured above: “George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page From an American History Textbook,” 1975

Friday, June 5, 2009

Finally Utopic

OPENING, Saturday, June 6th 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.
1037 Flushing Avenue
[Just off the Morgan L, Bushwick]
Open Saturday and Sunday 12-6 p.m. and by appointment
Call: 917-400-3869

Pocket Utopia is pleased to end its 2-year, 20-exhibition run with “Finally Utopic,” a group exhibition, and Bushwick Biennial venue, of artists from the neighborhood. As an artist-run space, Pocket Utopia is an extension of a social practice and is a social sculpture. It is also a gallery and a post-studio artist residency that blurs the lines between artist, dealer, gallerist, viewer and participant.

In this last show, at a nicely renovated old storefront in Bushwick, we artists are looking at other pocket utopias, and continuing to discuss art-world issues, art-making, and community. Valerie Hegarty helps box up this pivotal moment by creating a paper monument, Andrew Hurst completes a Pocket Utopian performance trilogy, and Rico Gatson also returns to the space with two adjacent or mirrored images of his particular pocket utopia.

Kevin Regan, who has been working in the space as the resident artist, installs himself and serves us all coffee. Ben Godward will serve beer. From cups of coffee to bottles of beer, all the artists are like studio mates, contemplating their ineluctable states of becoming. Another returning artist, Jonathan VanDyke punctures the space with dripping paint and Molly Larkey compliments VanDyke’s drips and puddles of color with a series of drawings that attempt to capture a sculptural aura. Austin Thomas displays a definitive statement with a small text piece that defines the mood.

Whether dripping or serving, mirroring or becoming, all the artists and by extension the surrounding community unite in one small place that has made the best of what was on hand, a temporary pocket of utopia. Pocket Utopia is and has always been a relational exhibition, salon and social space run by artist Austin Thomas.

Monday, June 1, 2009

some questions can never be answered, but ask them anyway

The above pictures are of Pocket Utopia's renovation and of the first show. The quote below is from yesterday's New York Times, written by the affable and Pulitzer Prize winning Holland Cotter.

Isn’t the point of art, though, to acknowledge that some questions can never be answered, but to ask them anyway? Isn’t part of the job of artists to refuse smoothness and to keep opening up space, formal, temporal, psychic, emotional, whatever you want to call it? In the end the generational model may be most useful for showing us the artists who don’t fit, who aren’t interested, who think old when they’re young and young when they’re old, to whom it may or may not occur as they walk past the hall of fame, “not me, not here, not yet.” -Holland Cotter, NYT - May 31, 2009