Saturday, June 18, 2005


Went to the opening of Relativity - the new show at the Anderson Gallery - on Friday and will be going back ASAP. The show features the work of four local artists (Jeannine Harkleroad, Chris Norris, SunTek Chung, James Davis) each paired with that of artists from the gallery's collection. There are some things to love and some things to hate.

One of the things to love is the bright orange room of over-the-top Chris Norris drawing/paintings. Something to really hate is the presentation of the works from the collection. I thought the curatorial connections might bother me but I wasn't prepared for how badly some of the the older work would be displayed.

I'll go into more detail in a future post.

UPDATE 6/20/2005: At the recommendation of an artist friend I contacted the curator, Amy Hauft, for more insight into some of the presentation decisions. I'll share her ideas in the next Relativity post.

RELATED: Chris Norris is also one of the members of Feast, currently showing at 1708 Gallery. I've added a little to my original post on this show. Go see it before it closes on June 25th. Feast is very good.

P.S. - Hello Richmonders! More of you are reading this since that Style Weekly article came out and I'd like to encourage you to leave comments on local shows and art things. Comments can be left anonymously, you don't need to feel shy. This blog is read by people across the country (mostly in NY, VA, and CA) and is an opportunity to give some local names more national exposure. I'm sorry it has been so much about myself lately but I've been a little busy. You are welcome and encouraged to leave comments on a show/artist not covered in the post.


Hans said...

What is a local artist ? Local sounds like second class. By the way I'd like to be a B-artist, as weird as the old B-pictures ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Martin,
Wanted to say that you were right about Chung's piece. Just because it is ironic for an Asian to be Southern or to play crochet doesn't make it art. Similar to your posting on glib art a few weeks earlier. Chuckles don't move the mind forward. I agree about the display of the Hockney and Guston, it was terrible and disrespectful in my mind. I just don't find Norris' work having anything to do with those two great artists, I do appreciate Chris' craft mostly I just think his style is overdone and can be quite boring about half the time. Feast is a 1708 Mob show who the hell really cares about them, that gallery acts as if there is no art that they do not show. I just can't remember seeing a good show there in the six years I've been around Richmond.

Martin said...

Dennis - You're a madman. Thanks for speaking your mad mind.

I think Feast and Chris Norris are really good. Don't remember what I might have said about Sun-Tek's work to you beyond a shrug of the shoulders. I plan to go back to the show soon and spend more time with all of it.

donald yi george said...

i am definitely sympathetic with dennis' plight. although i believe that anything can be interesting, most of the art i see around here is uninspired and uninformed. there are definitely exceptions though. but we are in the "provinces" and that is to be expected.
also, i am particularly into painting as i believe dennis is too, so i understand his frustration with art that concerns itself with things besides painting. i really like painting and seeing good painting. painting is after all, a "unique genre with its own complex syntax and history." hopefully, with dennis kickin' ass we'll see some more good painting around this piece.

about Sun-Tek Chungs work: i think it's kind of along the lines of Nikki S. Lee who does similar work, where she photographs herself (shes asian) immersed and costumed in different cultures (punk, skater, hiphop, etc). part of the work has to do with thinking about cultural identity. what is cultural identity? at what points do race, ethnicity and culture intersect? i don't think it has so much to do with being ironic sense but is probably more of an extension of ideas about indentity politics that were big in the 80s. i'm asian too and i've studied a little about identity politics, but i could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Martin and Donny,
Perhaps I am a madman, a young painter who still believes that the good painter does more than attempt to cleverly subvert its history and contemporary context in a media filled society. Its not enough to just discover that something happens through the medium whether it be yourself as the medium or a cellphone on vibrate happens to spiral. I just believe that it takes the highest level of guts (cajones) to paint something unlike what has been done before, you know Martin alot of people I talk to you really don't appreciate your work but I do because of this same sense of bravado and effort that has very little historical standard for example your mounds are not Guston heads nor do they come from monoliths found behind Mary in Renaissance pictures. And that is fine.

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