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Friday, December 31, 2004

Vitamin Deficiency

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Barry Schwabsky's ambitious international painting overview Vitamin P includes a total of 114 painters* living in 28 different countries, selected through a nomination process involving 69 nominators living around the globe. Best-represented nations are listed below, followed by each nation's number of included painters.

1. United States - 38
2. Germany - 17
3. United Kingdom - 17
4. France - 10

Six other nations are represented by three entries each, and the remaining eighteen countries are represented by one or two entries apiece(Cuba by one artist, China by two artists).

Slovenia is represented by three individual painters, all of whom reside in the Slovenian capital city of Ljubljana - population about 330,000. It shouldn't be surprising that the majority of the 38 U.S. entries live in New York City, but the number seems sort of high at 29. The rest of the U.S. entries consist of 6 Southern Californians, and one artist each in Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and Massachusetts. That's it.

Philadelphia, population 1,517,550** - one artist included
Boston, population 589,141 - zero artists included
Chicago, population 2,896,016 - zero artists included
Houston, population 1,953,631 - zero artists included
Miami, population 362,470 - zero artists included
Seattle, population 563,374 - zero artists included

Should I go on? The population of Florida is 16,713,149 - zero artists included. The population of Illinois is 12,600,620 - zero artists included. The population of Texas is 21,779,893 - zero artists included.

Why is it that artists living in Germany's Berlin, Leipzig, Hamburg, Dresden, Dusseldorf, and Cologne are represented in this book but evidently there are no painters worth including in Chicago? Don't lay all the blame on Barry Schwabsky, share some for the American nominators.

The book lists all the nominators and where they reside, including two Slovenian nominators who seem to be doing their best to discover, encourage, and support local artists. American nominators were:

NYC - 13
Chicago - 2 (Francesco Bonami and Dominic Molon)
Minneapolis - 1 (Douglas Fogle)
Austin - 2 (Dana Friis-Hansen and Richard Shiff)
LA - 4
Las Vegas - 1 (Dave Hickey)

Remember, this book project included two Slovenian nominators and three Slovenian entries. Who did the nominators of Chicago, Austin , and Minneapolis select - New York or international artist friends they want to get to show in their cities? Artists that might help further their careers and lead to better museum jobs in the better city? Did the New York nominators propose anyone outside of New York?

Tom Moody recently wrote that this "NYC vs. everywhere else" type post is tedious for those that live in New York. Well, sorry Tom, this post isn't for New Yorkers. Everywhere else, we should be recognizing those curators and arts professionals doing their best to help local art and artists become better - and running the useless ones out of town.

*actually there are 121 individual artists included. two entries are for two-artist partnerships and one is a five-artist collective.

**most population numbers given are currently higher. the philadelphia population quoted here is from the year 2000.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Kehinde Wiley

I've been thinking about the relationship - which exists in my own mind, if no other - between the portraits of Kehinde Wiley and Van Gogh's informal portraits of the postman and doctor. The recent NYTimes article says Kehinde will next be presenting huge equestrian portraits, but if so I hope his paintings are a lot better in real life than they are on-line. Does Kehinde have an agent or someone pressuring him to make stuff he's not ready for? Don't do it, Kehinde!


Nonprofit Artblog

Has anyone thought about or looked into making their artblog a nonprofit? Not an artblog that is an extension of an already existing nonprofit organization, but getting a nonprofit designation for the artblog itself?

Or what about creating some sort of nonprofit artblog group, which could include any artblog, non-profit or not? If NADA can do it, artblogs should certainly qualify.

Just curious.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Speed of Life

Gregg at Speed of Life has links to earthquake/tsunami relief agencies. Some friends and I were on Thailand's Koh Samui at this time in 1996, can't imagine that happening. How horrible.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Answers

I'm back!

Following are answers to some recently posed questions:

Someone at Artforum.com replied almost immediately to my question asking why Scene & Herd's Talkback option doesn't work. I received an e-mail from Artforum on December 16th stating "I have forwarded your message to our on-line editor". So now I'm waiting to hear from Elizabeth Schambelan - the "editor" that sent a NADA member to review NADA. Why get a Miami writer to talk about NADA when you can give a friend a free trip to Miami, right? It's not like you actually want to dis NADA or anything, you're all bestest friends! It was great to see Sarah Hromack of Forward Retreat include faux non-profits on her worst list (guess I should pull a Tyler Green and point out that I said it first, here and here. From now on, whenever I do that, I'm going to call it a "pulling a Tyler Green").

Someone at Connor Contemporary Art in D.C. got back to me on my Kehinde Wiley price request. The price for this digital print(you need to click on the title to see it), edition of 30, in a faux-gold frame is "2200, framed". I forgot to ask if it was signed or not, I'm assuming not. $2,200.00 times an edition of 30 equals $66,000.00. Let's suppose Kehinde makes 10 paintings a year and does the same thing with all of them - $66,000.00 times 10 equals $660,000.00. Wow. That helps to explain some of the NYTimes article. If you think I don't like this you are wrong! I'd prefer to see them made as glossy posters that can be made in editions of 10,000 and sold for $15.00 each at the mall, but either way, I am all for the artist getting paid! Only wish I liked his work more. Keep at it, Kehinde!

Didn't get my Tyler Green Top-Ten List Link. Dan Hopewell of Chicago's Iconoduel thinks it's because of this. Ya think? Actually, Tyler e-mailed me and said something about flirting and plagiarism, probably referring to this. Oh well. Tyler likes to dish it out but he certainly can't take it, and Tyler Green knocking Holland Cotter is absurd. Rothenberg, Ryman, and Johns? Oh my! I admire Tyler a lot, but I'm not going to pander for a link. Thanks anyway, Tyler!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Sanford vs. Wiley

Reading Monday's NYTimes article on Kehinde Wiley I was again reminded of the very similar but lesser known work of Tom Sanford.

I think they are about the same age, and got their MFA's a year apart. Kehinde from Yale and Tom from Hunter. Kehinde Wiley here, Tom Sanford here.

(UPDATE 2008 - i think Tom didn't get his degree... a few credits short or something)

Wiley seems to be better at marketing himself and making money, here he offers a digital print of one of his paintings in a faux-gold frame, edition of 30, price on request. I put in a price request and will let you know later how much.

I was aware of Sanford before Wiley, we were both included in a January 2002 group show (put on by EYESAW) in Tokyo, although Sanford was the featured artist and star of the show. That was a horrible night. I got trashed out of my mind on cheap wine and then attacked by chinpira from a tattoo exhibition upstairs. I was in a chokehold on the floor and can remember girls shouting "stop it, you're killing him" in both English and Japanese. If you know anything about Japan you know that tattoo exhibitions there attract gangstas. The real ones. Not sure I didn't deserve it, can't really remember very much.

I was so drunk I started to try to take down my piece and leave, but the organizers talked me out of it, and can remember being comforted by Johnny Walker and Tom's Japanese dealer Saito Tomoya. I ended up waiting for the chikatetsu (subway) gates to open and made my way to a bathroom stall where I passed out until noon, awakened by an obasan banging on the door wanting to clean the place. Nothing unusual about a drunk man passed out in a Shibuya bathroom stall but she was pretty surprised when a gaijin opened the door!

That's the last time I got blitzed.

Merry Christmas! (no more posting until after the 26th)

Next Kehinde Wiley posting: HERE

Monday, December 20, 2004

Some Favorite Art Things 2004

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Following are some of my "Favorite Art Things" from 2004.

Anish Kapoor - Whiteout- at Barbara Gladstone Gallery. Great gallery.

About Painting at the Tang Museum, Skimore College, Saratoga Springs, NY - This was a real big hodge-podge show of contemporary painting, featuring more than sixty artists, some represented by more than one piece. The website has a great page of most of them - click on the thumbnails for more info. A favorite was this silvery piece by Rudolf Stingel, stuck in a hall between a door and a window. The window had a shade on it almost the exact texture of the painting. I enjoyed that weird placement.

My show at ADA.

John Ravenal - John Ravenal is the curator of contemporary art at the VMFA and I see him at every art show in town, no matter how small. That's great, thank you John. Supposedly Robert Hobbs lives in Richmond too.

Carly Troncale - Carly Troncale spent her entire final semester as a VCU art student on a project documenting the construction of a big new building across the street. The construction crew let her paint some of the plywood sheets pink before they were attached to the building. She interviewed them wearing pink hardhats and videotaped everything. The video was great, very funny, and it was cool to look up at the building in progress and see the randomly placed sheets of pink plywood slowly being covered over with tarpaper and brick. Shortly after Carly completed her project the unfinished building was consumed in one of the biggest Richmond fires since the Civil War, if not ever. Twenty-nine buildings were damaged, nineteen had to be demolished. Richard Roth's truck melted. I think you can see some of the pink plywood in the rubble here. Wow, what an incredible finish.

An uncanny Dutch peasant dance painting at the VMFA that I don't want to talk about without an image to share. Gave me chills it's so weird.

Rachele Riley - Rachele Riley's piece in the Print Biennial at University of Richmond's Marsh Art Gallery. This was my favorite piece in the show so I was doubly shocked when during the curator's slide talk immediately following the artist's reception she projected it as an example of how hard it is to jury by slides and that if she had known what the piece really looked like she wouldn't have included it! If you were there, yes, that was me who interrupted her.

Reality T.V. - especially The Amazing Race!

Joe Fyfe - It was great meeting and learning from Joe Fyfe, even if he isn't always as right as he thinks he is. I admire his sureness and fearlessness at speaking his mind, same goes for Tyler Green. My recent post on Don Crow I was sort of thinking about how Joe Fyfe might write it. In case it wasn't clear, I loved that work! Here's an interesting piece Joe wrote on stripes.

Artblogs - I love them all, but I think the best is Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof's artblog, and I'm not just saying that because they gave my last show in Philly a nice mention, or because I'm in a show in Philly now and I want them to review that one too.

Sesshu - just because.
Jack Kirby - just because.
Donald Judd - just because.
Caspar David Friedrich - just because.
The Genji Monogatari - just because.

I'm sure there will be many other things that come to me later, but this will have to do. Richmonders with Richmond things to add please make a comment or e-mail me and I can post those later. I know you're reading this, I have a stat-counter.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

My Worst Art Things 2004

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Don't know if I have a "Best List" in me, but I definitely have a "Worst List". Lots of overlap, sorry.

The New York Academy in Rome here

The New York Book Award here

The Ongoing Consolidation of Political and Cultural Power - James Wagner has a post up now about some great gallerist that left Chicago for New York and states that "Chicago's loss is our gain". No, ultimately it isn't. You can't celebrate all the progressive-minded, talented, and creative people feeling they have to move to NYC and bitch about national politics.

The MFA Ranking System - The university ranking system has contributed to many schools making the choice to gut actual programs in favor of the marketing of those programs, and some university administrators will do almost anything to raise and maintain their rankings. Are the rise in importance of a school's ranking and the artworld's concurrent adulation of youth unrelated phenomena? I don't think so! Think "rental". More on this at a later date - anonymous tips from disgruntled gallery/university staff very welcome.

Richard Roth, Program Director of the VCU Painting Department - Why do I even say program director? He's the publicist, or P.R. guy, cog in the above system, or whatever - and very good at it. There is no program(or wasn't last year anyway), there is a collection of fifteen graduate students, a few of whom get Richard's complete attention - meaning contacts, financial support, and perks - and the rest are on their own. If you are thinking about attending VCU, and feel you had a positive meeting with Richard and will find support, I hope you got that in writing (hint: if you paint, he probably didn't like it - according to Richard, "all that painting wants to be" is not a painting). The goal is to get as many applicants as possible, and then to promote a couple of them as much as possible. Last year the student he sent to be interviewed on the program by NASAD's accrediting body was the one student who had just returned from studying abroad most of the year and least knowledgeable of the program - not only that, but he tried to keep it secret. Way to pressure the students, Richard! Smooth!

PhD as new MFA - How many of you are aware of this new effort afoot by universities? The MFA is a big enough scam, but schools have realized that there is even more money to be made. Coming soon to your university!

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts undergoing a $108 Million Dollar expansion instead of just focusing on improving the collection. School of Hals, Circle of Rembrandt. Great. More on this at a later date.

Friday, December 17, 2004

New American Paintings II

Haven't heard anything yet from the New American Paintings competition, but I have heard from a few artists who found out they were accepted. They got their acceptance letters a couple weeks ago, so it is pretty safe to assume I didn't get in. Again!

Oh well, I've known enough people who have been accepted to know not to give up. It's not like the New York Academy in Rome or anything.

Tyler Green has a nice MAN post on the death of Agnes Martin. I liked the following bit -

"At breakfast, they talked about art and art-making. John had seen photographs of Martin's apartment and noticed that she hadn't decorated it with any of her own paintings, so he asked her about it.

"Do you have any of your own paintings in the apartment?" he asked her. Martin looked at him like he was stupid. "Well, no" she said. "They all sell."

My apartment, on the other hand, is full of my paintings. Oh yeah, and there is that storage locker in Hoosick, NY I pay $30.00/month on, that's full of my paintings too.

I have three paintings I have to pick up from Krause Gallery in Atlanta. Anyone want to buy them and save me the hassle? We'll work with you!

P.S. If you happen to click on that page and see that it lists me as having an MFA, that's not true! I dropped out!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

NADA Nonprofit

Can anyone tell me what makes NADA a nonprofit?

Excerpts from an article by Benjamin Genocchio, via Tom Moody's blog.

"So far its activities have been largely social, consisting of pizza nights and cocktail parties at the galleries and homes of members. There is even talk of a softball team. (Maybe NADA could play A.D.A.A., the Art Dealers Association of America.) There have also been loans of equipment and artwork among members and some referrals of buyers. In the fall the group arranged guided tours of NADA galleries in Chelsea and Williamsburg, Brooklyn."

Beck Smith, owner of Bellwether -

"At NADA's art fair in Miami, Ms. Smith said, there was a lot of interest in her artists. "I used to joke that NADA stood for networking and drinking," she said, "but after Miami I've realized it is much more. Three years ago I would sell one print of the work of Sharon Core out of a show. I sold 25 of her photographs in Miami, ranging in price from $2,000 to $4,500. Since coming back, I've sold a couple of prints almost every day. There are even waiting lists for work she hasn't made."

It's so commercial Michelle Maccarone, owner of Maccarone Gallery, doesn't even want to join -

"But NADA's chummy atmosphere is not for everyone. Despite overtures, Ms. Maccarone remains a nonmember. She says she has a different vision and model for her gallery. "I operate more like a kunsthalle, doing four or five in-depth solo exhibitions a year," she said. "I'm also more interested in installation and site-specific work. Basically it's less market driven."

Scope is also a nonprofit, and at least their website states the following -

"Scope also devotes a portion of its program to educational forums and new media which includes moderated panel discussions and video and film screenings. Panel discussions in the past have touched on such relevant topics as Building Unique Collections and The Culture Economy. Additional events include receptions with local museums, performances and music programs."

What does NADA do besides the fair? Is there a mailing list I can join to attend one of the pizza nights or cocktail parties? I can't find any evidence that they have done anything other than the fair.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

No Lip

How come the Talkback option doesn't work on Artforum.com's Scene & Herd site?

Todd Gibson is Brilliant

Oh wow, I was reeling when I read this post on Todd Gibson's From The Floor. I wish it were true, what a great idea - I'm on the fence with both of those artists but that would have completely won me over.

Todd, that was great, my heart is still racing, your prank got me better than anything Maurizio has done yet.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Don Crow

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Reynolds Gallery is showing 17 smallish works by Don Crow until December 23rd. I was hoping I would have been able to get my hands on a camera by now and taken some photos to post, but that hasn't happened yet and Reynolds Gallery has no website - I'm sorry I have no images to share.

Paint and paper collaged constructions with no distinction made between support and surface, all 17 pieces are suspended by silver wire, hung from a nail about a foot over each painting. At first glance the hanging seems careless and ugly, but as one circles the room glints of reflected light within the paintings catch the eye; these sparkles are the staples which hold each piece together.

Crow seems to be using brown Kraft Paper to make all of these, and I say there is no distinction between support and surface because the same layers of Kraft Paper forming the ground are then folded over themselves all along the edges - creating "frames" for each piece - with additional layers of cut Kraft Paper shapes added. Some of these initial frame/grounds are left brown, with others painted either a solid color or two-toned, the frame sometimes differentiated by being painted a separate color.

One of the pieces - with waves of pink paper overlapping a green sphere - references a mountainous landscape, the rest are all abstract. Painted circles, squares, triangles, ovals, and rectangles are attached with staples, arranged in a careful row or layered. It looks like he paints a sheet of paper with a big brush before cutting out individual shapes, probably spending a lot of time arranging different colors and shapes before settling on a composition and stapling it together. Brushstrokes are easy to read, truncated by the act of scissors cutting shapes, and Kraft Paper brown is legible through the sometimes thinly applied colors.
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Monday, December 13, 2004

Rosemarie Fiore

Rosemarie Fiore's show at ADA Gallery opens tomorrow and will run through January. There will be a First Friday reception in January which Rosemarie can't attend, so if you want to meet her and say hello you need to go to tomorrow night's reception.

Following is the announcement I received from John -

"Rosemarie created these prints by converting an amusement park ride into a giant Spirograph. Rosemarie and the prints (and video) will be here tomorrow for a special OPENING RECEPTION. She can't make it for the "First Friday" frenzy in January - but she'll be here tomorrow December 14th 6-9pm at ADA Gallery - refreshments will be provided"

He says "prints" above, so I'm not sure what to expect. My understanding was that these are gigantic paintings/drawings made from the conversion of an amusement park scrambler machine into a drawing tool.

Support for the projected was supplied by Grand Arts, you can learn how to submit your own proposal here.


Friday, December 10, 2004

Charm Offensive

Brian Sholis - or somebody pretending to be Brian Sholis - has left comments to the postings by myself and Franklin Einspruch yesterday, in which we ridiculed his critical integrity. Franklin here, me here.

I also christened Brian "King of the Feneonsters", for having more art-world Friendsters than any other art-worlder on Friendster I have been able to find. He's the art-world's Kevin Bacon. A close second to Brian, and the default Queen, would be photographer Naomi Fisher. Amazingly, the two are not Friendsters. A spirited discussion on Miami resident Fisher's photography, which I like (although I've only seen it on the computer), occured here.

Brian has two HUGE advantages over Naomi in regards to future art-world recognition, respect, and financial reward:

1. He's not an artist.

2. He lives in New York.


P.S. to Walter Robinson at Artnet: Is a twenty-four year old schmoozer the best you could send to cover Philadelphia-wide The Big Nothing? Ugh.

"ICA's exhibition spearheads a Philadelphia-wide initiative that includes projects by nearly thirty museums, science centers and performing arts groups to address “nothing” in its many forms. Working with a core-group of curators and organizers over the past year—from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the Edgar Allan Poe House to the American Philosophical Society—the various independently conceived projects will occur throughout the summer all around the city." - from the ICA's website



Thursday, December 09, 2004

NADA Member Sholis Gives Good Review to NADA

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NADA member Brian Sholis gives a nice review of the NADA art fair on Artforum's blog. I said NADA member Sholis gives good review to NADA.

He closes with "the general sense that NADA's spirit of camaraderie and the sharpness of its gallery selections has provided a welcome contrast to cookie-cutter corporate fairs around the world". That's generous to NADA of you Brian, but not entirely in keeping with non-profit NADA's stated non-adversarial goals.

How does a group of over 40 commercial galleries get away with calling themselves a non-profit anyway?

I love this quote on Franklin's blog today, "The art world described in Artforum is a giant cash register lubricated with liquor and horseshit".

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

David A. Ross

From NYTimes correspondents on Bizarro-World:

David A. Ross, a former Whitney director, said that donors deserve their tax breaks. "I think it's totally appropriate and wonderful that one of the things collectors can do is buy a $1 million painting but don't actually deed the gift until it's worth $10 million and get a $9 million tax credit," said Mr. Ross, now the president of the Artist Pension Trust. "I think that's wonderful. It's the only way government supports the arts."

Tax breaks to people who can afford million-dollar artworks is not support for the arts where I live, but it is on Bizarro-World!

Kudos also has to go to the government for its generous recognition of NADA as a non-profit organization. What would we do without all of NADA's charitable work?

Thanks, Government!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Friendsters

To view the self-portraits of the following Friendsters, you do need to be signed up on Friendster. No need to sign in and out each time, sign in once and click away. I've taken screenshots of all of these, plus many many many more, and will be making digital prints and CD's for my Whitney Biennial debut! I call that big wall the elevators open up on!

Ali Subotnick here
Apsara DiQuinzio here - Whitney
Becky Smith here - Bellwether
Choire Sicha here
Christine Whatsername here
Clara Ha here – Paul Kasmin Gallery
Claudia Altman-Siegel here – Luhring Augustine
Dean Daderko here – Parlour Projects
Domenick Ammirati here - Artforum
Elizabeth Schambelan here - Artforum
Emily Wei here
Gavin Brown here – GBE
Hanna Schouwink here – David Zwirner
Janine Foeller here - Wallspace
Jen Bekman here – Jen Bekman Gallery
Jessica Ostrower here – Art in America
Joe Wolin here
Jose Freire here – Team Gallery
Kelly Taxter here - Taxter & Spengemann
Lauri Firstenberg here
Lisa Ruyter here
Maika Pollack here - Southfirst
Malik Gaines here
Mirabelle Marden here – Rivington Arms
Natalia Mager here – Luhring Augustine
Nina Arias here
Scott Hug here
Sheri L. Pasquarella here – Gorney Bravin + Lee
Stephanie Theodore here
Suzanne Geiss here – Deitch
Tina Kukielski here - Whitney
Yvonne Olivas here – Art in America
Zach Feuer here – Zach Feuer Gallery, formerly LFL

Do you want to be in the next Whitney Biennial too? It's easy! Just submit an application and you're sure to be considered!

Submissions:

All submissions to be considered for exhibition in the Biennial should include the artist's biography or resume, a brief description of the proposed work, and between six and eight images. Recommended formats for images include slides, computer printouts, digital images on a CD_ROM, audio CDs, or VHS videotapes. We do not accept original artworks in the submission package.

Submissions may be sent to:

Biennial Coordinator
Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10021

Good Luck!!!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

let's make an artblogopolis

Lenny Campello has recently noted on Washington, DC Art News that the Washington Post has reduced it's weekly gallery coverage to only twice a month. What? I can't believe it!! You mean newspapers cover art???

Richmond has two newspapers, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Style Weekly, and the Times-Dispatch is useless. Richmond artists and art-lovers only have Style to look forward to, and this week Style has no art coverage at all.

You know what, I don't even care anymore that the Times-Dispatch doesn't cover art. It's a crap newspaper anyway. Following are links to a few Richmond artists who've started blogging on art. I'm hoping for twenty more, and we can start some real dialogue.

All three of these artistbloggers are twenty-something VCU students and blogging is infrequent at best. VCU dominated Richmond could use some non-VCU artbloggers. Twenty Richmond artists each blogging a few times a week, with a lot of overlap and disagreement, would be ideal.

Ryan at Mugsy the Bear - Ryan is into video and performance art.
Judy at Play - Judy knows everything about printmaking, old-school and digital.
Cristina at Lipstick - Cristina studies painting.

Let's create a Richmond artblogopolis -- our own Montparnasse cafe, our own Cedar Bar, within which we can argue, debate, extol, praise, ridicule, criticize, and support each other's art and opinions. Let's not ignore each other or allow ourselves to be ignored!

Messy Democraticism is the new Black!!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

December Shows

I'm happy to see that Chris Norris will be having a show at Randolph-Macon College's Flippo Gallery, here for info. He was included in the last Mid-Atlantic edition of New American Paintings - along with Mike - and I later saw one of the drawings at ADA Gallery this summer. I know from a mutual friend that Chris has made some very freaky drawings he hasn't shown yet, hope some are included in the show.

On Main Street you can visit Reynolds Gallery, their shows are continuing through December. Shirley Kaneda and Carlton Newton are downstairs and I especially recommend the works by Don Crow on the second floor. I just found out today that they were all made in and shipped from Qatar(!), where he is currently living and working. Ron Johnson has a nice small painting worth asking to take a look at - not sure if it will be up because it's in the "rotating" area. Ron had a disappointing (for me) second floor show recently, the only piece I liked was the one right at the top of the stairs in that sort of hall space, but when he's good he's the real deal.

Rentz Gallery , right down the street from Reynolds, also looks to be showing some interesting work this month by Pam Longobardi and Mimi Herbert. Rentz has a nice space, one big room with a wall in the center, creating two generous exhibition areas. The Longobardi's I saw being hung looked much better than what is reproduced on the card and the gallery's website, and the work by Mimi Herbert looks really weird and exciting. Rentz also shows Fiona Ross, and Fiona Ross is fantastic.

VCU has two MFA student shows to see, one in the Fine Arts Building on Broad Street's Fab Gallery and the other in a building down on the Slip. The Fab Gallery show is a group show of all the first year Painting grads, including Eric Sall, who just won a $20,000 Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. Not the MFA grant, the professional grant! Wow. I don't even think its something you can apply for, you have to be nominated. Congratulations Eric, now buy me a drink! The other show has been curated from all the MFA students, and I especially liked the pieces by Tim Devoe, Diana Al-Hadid, Mike Martin, and Jason Hackett. Danielle Riede has another paint chip piece, this time with a really good title - VCU Rainbow #2, and Emily Hall is represented by her first painting ever, something made after she won a $5,000 Virginia Commission for the Arts Painting Fellowship! How the hell do you do that?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Artomatic

Speaking of messy democraticism, how about Artomatic?

What's odd for me about all this Artomatic stuff is that the same people who are championing it are also ranking the artists. Check out the numerous Artomatic Top Ten Lists submitted to Lenny Campello's excellent DC blog - from almost every art professional in the town! Doesn't that contradict the spirit of the whole endeavor? Artomatic's website states it is "By Artists, For Artists. Artomatic is organic; no jury, no curators".

Lenny is even conspiring with fellow gallerists to show the best of the agreed upon best. They're trying "to work out concurrent exhibitions of the "final" Artomatic Top Ten List, which will be compiled mathematically from all the lists that I have been getting from curators, critics and art dealers." Who's missing? That's right... ARTISTS! I'm pretty sure this was just an oversight though, right Lenny?

Isn't it amazing how much attention curators, critics, and gallerists pay artists when the artists get together and shut them out of the process? Every day should be an Artomatic day.