Sunday, September 26, 2010

The blogging intern met Eggleston and saw Matisse

Eggleston and Matisse

Art has always been about being an individual, however there is a limit, to when people stop accepting the artwork one has done. Nevertheless it seems to be contradicting, because art is suppose to be open to whatever an individual believes is art, but then comes some questions have they worked on it hard enough, is there any academic art relation, and why would we call this art?

Well over the past week I have looked at two individuals who were clearly individuals in their fields of artwork making. One was William Eggleston, I watched the documentary William Eggleston: in the real world. The movie followed him around into different locations in America showing how he worked, and while he worked the movie was silent to essentially give you an idea of how it would be to just be looking and documenting, considering Eggleston said, “Photography tends to show much more than it can explain”.

His work usually shows photographs of ordinary things that people see every day, at different angles and makes people think differently about them. In the beginning he was not very welcomed by the art world, one of his shows was call, “the most hated show of the year” back in the 70’s. However he didn’t care what anybody thought which made him just continue to do his own work. Which is interesting, considering artists who stick it to the “man” end up being a well know name and person.

The second Individual I looked at this past week was Henri Matisse, at the MOMA Matisse show special. It was interesting to see the paintings he had painted and then had gone back in with pencil or pen to dramatize a certain areas. That would have been frowned upon is some areas of Europe, which was probably why in early 1900 he had with drew from the art world in Paris. He was an individual with vibrate colors, sometimes not showing the true nature of the persons skin tone, but he could show the form of a body. He definitely showed his power of the understanding of a women’s body with his sculpture of Back I, which was worked to represent a natural body. While his Back II, III IV all were distortions of the first.

He had could draw a figure the academic way but he chose to alter things to reveal drama to the picture or character, and individual artist like Eggleston and Matisse seem to draw character to the art world.

The blogging intern: Printmaking Class

beginning Etching

The other week I took a beginners printmaking etching class at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking workshop with Jennifer Melby. Taking the class was such a treat because I was able to make prints, which is what I have wanted to do at school, but have not been able to do so far. For the class I was given a plate 12 by 12 inches and I cut it up into 3 small plates and 2 medium size ones. And the class was 2 days of 3 hours each, but then we are given 6 extra hours in the printmaking studio, which is fabulous.

On Friday Austin gave me the day to make some art in the printmaking studio to use some of the time I had. It was great I was able to finish drawing what I wanted to etch and then actually fully etch and print a few more prints. I have the 2 larger plates left to etch. I am hoping to make the 2 plates connect in some way, once they will be printed, either a pattern that crosses over to the other plate or portraits of a couple. The portraits seem to be a theme in most of the work I have done so far.

It has just been real interesting to explore the world of etching and printmaking. And I believe sometime after Austin finishes her next project she might join in on a class with me, which will be wonderful, the mentee and mentor trying something new.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A quickie - Claudia Wieser

In the Drawing Room of the Drawing Center, and pictured above Claudia Wieser. Her drawings set within an installation are worth a visit!

From the press release...the works mark the experiential and the intangible through precise geometries imbued with layers of spiritual, psychic, and phenomenal meaning that lead the viewer into contemplative spaces where the primacy of mark-making and viewing become fused.

Curated by Joanna Kleinberg, Assistant Curator at The Drawing Center.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bank on it!

Time/Bank currency design: Lawrence Weiner
Photo: Julieta Aranda

e-flux is pleased to launch Time/Bank: a platform initiated by Julieta Aranda & Anton Vidokle, where groups and individuals can pool and trade time and skills, bypassing money as a measure of value. Time/Bank is based on the premise that everyone in the field of culture has something to contribute and that it is possible to develop and sustain an alternative economy by connection existing needs with unacknowledged resources.

The origins of time-based currency can be traced both to the American anarchist Josiah Warren, who ran the Cincinnati Time Store from 1827 until 1830, and to the British industrialist and philanthropist Robert Owen, who founded the utopian "New Harmony" community which banned money. The first successful contemporary time bank was started in 1991 by Paul Glover in Ithaca, New York. Following his idea, people began to exchange time, which led to the creation of a time-based currency—the "Ithaca Hours," which even local businesses began to accept, and which still flourishes. Time banking and service exchange have since developed into a full-fledged movement, usually centered around local communities.

Time/Bank at e-flux is modeled on existing time banks. Every Time/Bank transaction will allow individuals to request, offer, and pay for services in "Hour Notes." When a task is performed, the credit hours earned may be saved and used at a later date, given to another person, or contributed towards developing larger communal projects. For example, if you happen to be in Beijing or Hamburg and need someone to help you shop for materials or translate a press release, you would be able to draw on resources from Time/Bank without exchanging any money.

Through Time/Bank, we hope to create an immaterial currency and a parallel micro-economy for the cultural community, one that is not geographically bound, and that will create a sense of worth for many of the exchanges that already take place within the art field—particularly those that do not produce commodities and often escape the structures that validate only certain forms of exchange as significant or profitable.

To open a time bank account, please register at

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jim Osman Curates Melville House

gesture and geometry: new work by Chris Walsh

September 14 - November 12, 2010
Mon-Fri, 12-6pm,
Opening: September 25th, 5-8pm
September 14, 12pm
Melville House Bookstore
Melville House Gallery
145cPlymouth Street
DUMBO Brooklyn, NY

Chris Walsh’s paintings explore the unique combination of painterliness and the structure of the grid. Referencing urban landscape, Walsh makes slow paintings that bounce back and forth between what we see on a daily basis in a city space and what an artist feels through his chosen medium.

The curator Jim Osman is a favorite artist of mine and shows his work with Lesley Heller Gallery.

Oil on Canvas

Orange Strip
Oil on Linen
24" x 28"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jane Kent: Tinged in Blue

Keeping true blue to a promise I made to myself...yesterday to make quick studio visits (catchy name coming for this organically developing studio visit project), may I present Jane Kent. Jane's studio is across the hallway from my studio, so I pop in to see her a lot.

Jane is working on a new book for Grenfell Press due out in November. The book is a collaboration with Richard Ford. Jane was "artified" his book Skating with her printings. The book has 11 silk screened and etched pages. It's going to be beautiful!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The blogging intern: #2 Governor's Island

Governor’s Island Trip

Sunday everyone in the program went on another trip to Governor’s Island to the Art Fair. It was actually nice since the day wasn’t beautiful so it was not so crowded. There were so many different types of art it amazed me; I thought it was just neat to have them all at one place.

A few of the artists really caught my eye; one of them was Kiseok Kim, who does paintings with oil and acrylic to the point of perfection. I cannot do that so it is so amazing to see people who can do things you can’t obviously. Kim put’s porcelain faced people on a large-scale canvas with patterns that are psychedelic for the background.

Another one that called out to me is Wanda Acosta Gallery, she has wonderful pictures of everyday life in different parts of the world. It is always so interesting to see what other people see on a daily basis, compared to your self. It is also completely different then Kiseok Kim’s pieces because unlike the perfectionist quality of paint, the daily life is perfectly messy and different for each person.

Daehyuk Sim’s work is so precise, it really gives the feel of the human figure, in every way, shape and form. The way you are able to basically feel the bone brushing against the skin in the paintings are just unbelievable. He truly understands the human figure.

The blogging intern: Maddie's first Post

Steel Life, 1985-91

My semester begins in Chelsea

I am here in New York for a semester, “abroad” from my school, Ohio Wesleyan University (also known as owu) and I am doing internship with Austin Thomas. It has been really interesting to actually be living in the city, considering my whole life I have lived only 45 minutes outside of the city in Connecticut. But it has been amazing to have this opportunity to be able to be here all the time and the ability to go explore something new or different each day, which is unlike having to make sure you catch a train home.

Friday and Saturday of this past weekend I went out exploring into some of Chelsea’s art shows. On Friday I went to two different galleries one was Melvin Edwards: Sculptures in the Alexander Gray Gallery and the other was right next door in the Andrea Meislin Gallery, which right now has Selections from the ICP Class of 2010 called Significant Surfaces.

Melvin’s sculptures ended up being surprisingly intricate even with the largeness of the scale, with pieces of steel intertwined and coming out in different directions it has endless angles to look on from. And they bounce from being abstract forms to seeing known symbols such as hammers and other known tools. Overall it very industrial in the usage of the steel and the rough feeling of the material that gave you the feeling of hard working factory person. While still keeping making your mind wondering about each piece with works and different types of known symbols such as a mug.

Now in the Significant Surface show there were 14 different artist being represented, there was one that really caught my eye that brought me back to thinking of school, and that was Nitasha Dhillon’s work. She takes pictures and cuts parts of it out, into squares and rectangles that draws your eye to the negative space (literally) and then pushes your eye to the color. Teachers always want you to use negative space in a useful way and Dhillon did just that. It is a different and intriguing way, because you don’t ever see any of Dhillon’s full photographs you just get bits and pieces of it and you then have to try and understand and recognize.

On Saturday I went with a bunch of kids from our program house and my advisor here in New York; Emilie Clark to see Erica Svec’s new Show and to hear about her experience as an artist. I ended up thoroughly enjoying her work, it is incredibly colorful and I love color. She does painting with oils and acrylic on a large scale, and they are semi abstract but usual relate to something figurative which you can usually depict with the cast shadows that align different objects. It was very incredible I really enjoyed seeing all of the pieces I have seen thus far.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Repost - Matthew


Studio Visit: Matthew Miller and the Drama of Subtlety

Contributed by Guest Blogger JONATHAN STEVENSON

A corner in Matthew Miller's Bushwick studio.

Miller's collection of well-worn brushes.

Reading material: Frank Stella's Working Space, Wyndham Lewis Portraits, and a book about Phillip Guston's late work.

Matthew Miller self-portrait (no information available).

Last December, Sharon Butler wrote in The Brooklyn Rail about figurative painter Matthew Miller’s “quietly compelling” portraits and the deft incorporation of existential, emotional, and provincial content into his work. I knew Miller and was broadly familiar with his work, having seen his remarkable pencil drawings at Pocket Utopia and perused a few images of his paintings online. After reading Butler’s review, I was eager to see more of his work in person, so I visited Miller’s small, immaculate Bushwick studio a couple of weeks ago.

Unsurprisingly, given the evident meticulousness of his paintings, Miller works slowly and deliberately, and may return to a single painting again and again over the course of several months to perfect a single crucial line. Enthralling results reward the painstaking effort. Miller’s work exudes what I would call the drama of subtlety. In two small self-portraits, for example, visually minuscule divergences – the adjustment of an angle here, a brushstroke there – yield alter-egos in quite stark opposition: one vulnerable and probably gentle, the other impervious and latently threatening. As with his previous work, the depthlessly opaque background in these paintings serves to focus the viewer all the more tightly on the figures themselves and to anchor their qualities in space and time.

Work-in-progress depicting women suggests a more expansive and speculative vision that is just as intensely intriguing as the introverted one reflected in the male figures. In Matthew Miller’s art, whether he looks inward or outward, both heart and precision flourish.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I had the great fortune of paying a quick visit to Greg Kwiatek's studio the other night, a brief and lovely encounter. I am going to try and make more spontaneous visits to the 70 odd studios at the Elizabeth Foundation. Since I moved into a studio at EFA a few years ago, I've been wanting to visit all the studios and will plan out a journey through the floors. The plotting is something my new intern might be able to help me with, Maddie, who's here for a semester from Ohio Wesleyan and part of a program that pairs students with folks from different fields in the arts, including theater, TV, fashion, and visual art.

Maddie and I are going to doing an etching project together and in preparing for this we met another lovely artist named Donna Diamond. Donna also has a blog and recently produced a beautiful children's book, titled the Shadow. Speaking of blogs, I continue to relish all things AZ West from Andrea's blog. She is currently on a research-oriented vacation, take a look.

Looking ahead, I'm getting very excited for the next show at Famous Accountants, titled Alvin Baltrop: Color Photographs 1971–1991. One of his recently discovered images pictured above.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Guest Blog Post by Sharon Butler

The brilliant Sharon Butler has allowed me to repost her post of a few days ago about Work of Art


Sorry, Brent Burket, but, yes, here's another post about Work of Art

The latest issue of The Brooklyn Rail is the unofficial Work of Art issue.Patricia Milder contributes a roundup of quotes excerpted from the critical debate surrounding the show, William Powhida draws a game board depicting his insular art world reality ("Get Recognition, Get the Gallery, Get in Museums, Make History"), while I try to put our conflicting feelings about the show in context and look forward to the second, let's hope more successful, season.

Here's a post I wrote last year during the initial WOA casting call while I was the Blogger-in-Residence at Art21. In the post, my version of an artist's reality is completely different from Powhida's because it focuses simply on avoiding failure by contributing to the community and continuing to make art, not on clawing our way into the collections at MoMA, the Met and elsewhere. Powhida may wrap his striving and careerism in wiseguy humor, insider jokes, and estimable drawing skill, but his notion of success strikes me as outdated--as retro as his ubiquitous aviator shades.

"No matter how hard I try, avoiding reality TV is a challenge. The shows are like invasive kudzu: Nanny 911, Extreme Makeover, The Housewives of New Jersey, Jon & Kate, The Price of Beauty, COPS, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, and many, many more. This fall I’ll be avoiding American Artist, Sarah Jessica Parker’s collaboration with Magical Elves, the team behind Top Chef and Project Runway. The new show will serve a mash-up of amateur entertainers—that is, real people—engaging in old-fashioned game-show-style competition and unscripted activity. According to press reports, each episode will feature the show’s “contestants” competing in art-themed challenges from a range of disciplines—including sculpture, painting, photography and industrial design—and completing works of art that will be assessed by a panel of 'top figures' in the art world, including artists, gallerists, collectors, curators, and critics.

"If there are any producers out there (PBS?), here’s my suggestion for a better reality show about artists. Create a show that’s a little more verité, like an old-fashioned documentary. Forget about vetting 'contestants.' Cast the net wide and choose 100 art grads from all over the country in June by random lottery. No auditions, video entries, or artist statements. Abandon any attempt to frontload charisma or talent. As the competition proceeds, to minimize the artists’ artificiality and self-consciousness (and their inclination to ham it up) they would be forbidden to reveal that they are participating in a reality TV show. Inevitably, some will be genuinely talented, some avidly self-promotional, some charismatic, some absolutely clueless—just as in real life.

"Give them a list of goals to complete over the course of the viewing season. Those who fail to make the benchmarks are gradually eliminated. Here are some purposely vague goals that might be included:

  • Find suitable living/working space that they can afford
  • Get their work in three group shows
  • Contribute in some creative way to the wider art community
  • Publish three reviews (either essay or video format) of their colleagues’ art shows
  • Curate a themed group show
  • Get a grant or a teaching job
  • Arrange five studio visits with gallerists or curators
  • Get a solo show by the end of the year
"Automatic ejection results if an artist:
  • Fails to make art for more than four days during the period.
  • Works longer than forty hours a week at their day job
"In addition, in the early stages the artists are responsible for assembling a three-person crew to creatively document their progress on video, in any way they see fit. Before airing any of the results, a season’s worth of episodes would be prerecorded to avoid special treatment.
For me, a show like this, that creatively and realistically demonstrates the overwhelming challenges would-be artists face, would be must-see TV."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bushwick last night

I forgot to upload an image with my last post, so here I am trying to make up for it with a bunch of photos from last night's closing party at Famous Accountants. There are a lot of portraits missing, but I will continue to document the many faces of a rich community of artists and art lovers.

Ellen and Melissa (contributor of events to the weekly calendar, the online resource for everything about Bushwick, some Ridgewood, and maybe a slice of East Williamsburg. From art to real estate and architecture to economics, you’ll find news, commentary, listings, and photos.

more photos later after my visit to Storefront's String Theory

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Drinking beer with friends is the highest form of art.

Reposting posts, here at "Drawing on the Utopic," when I first moved to New York 16 years ago, I worked at Artists Space and the first exhibit of my one year stint there was a show featuring Tom Marioni's "Free Beer." The good ideas stick around and the Hammer Museum has re-staged Marioni's beer-focused show, featuring special guest bartenders. Read about it in the LA Times.

Closer to home James Kalm has written about the Bushwick scene, with some historical background in the Brooklyn Rail. Sharon Butler, also in the Rail, rails on "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist." Beer and Bushwick, etc. good ideas to repost. Cheers!