Sunday, May 21, 2006

Pulse, at 1708 Gallery

VMFA curator John Ravenal, in Rachel Hayes' piece. It cast green shadows on the inside walls. This blog has become The Rachel Hayes Blog; I can't help it, she keeps showing good work in Richmond. Maybe John is thinking something like this would be good to put against that big blank wall and have our group VMFA installation in?

Rachel at Anderson Gallery
Rachel at ADA Gallery.
Rachel at Sculpture Center.

Chris Ashley is exhibiting an entire year's worth of his daily html drawings, printed out and hung in a big grid on the wall; there are four or five blank sheets that I think represent a week during which he was unable to get to a computer. GO TO HIS BLOG and start following his work. I can't believe he makes/posts these things every day AND that he is able to get so much variety out of them. The recent ones are making me think of Stephen Westfall.

I like these best on the computer, seeing them printed out is sort of like seeing a print of a painting, like I'm not seeing the "real" thing; but looking at an entire year's worth all at once on the wall is also exciting. Seeing how one piece informs the next, and how a group forms, and how that leads to another group.

The prints are being sold for twenty-five dollars apiece, I think they are signed editions of one. You can also buy a CD of all of them, for something like ten bucks. With the CD you can print out as many (unsigned) copies that you want, maybe even different sizes(?).

Steve Karlik and Brad Hampton are both showing paintings. Steve's paintings, on his website, look similar to Chris' html drawings. Weird to consider that on-line you are seeing Chris' stuff as intended and Steve's stuff once removed, while in the gallery it is Steve's work as intended with Chris' work once removed. I find, in the context of both this show and on the net, Chris' work the more absorbing. The paintings were a little dry for me here.

Steve was included in Presentational Painting III at Hunter earlier this year.
Conversation/Interview between Steve Karlik and Chris Ashley.
JT Kirkland intrigued by Brad Hampton.

Annoying Part: This sentence from the curator's statement - we believe the resilience of painting reveals itself through its ability to adapt its fundamental practices to new mediums - and this part from Richard Roth's catalogue essay - the painting-like works expand our notions of painting and reinvigorate painting without having to be painting.

What a burden! Having to be painting! Richard is the most neurotic head of the most neurotic painting department on the planet. So so tired. This is a show of six artists, two of whom are showing paintings.

Get over it! It isn't painting, it's okay!


Anon amiss said...

On the annoying part: This is all going to be one helluva good joke in 20 years... I mean, yes, it's a joke nowadays, but once everyone's finally ok with coming out of denial and admitting that painting begins as a verb, we're all going to have a hearty bear-hug and hold hands and smile about it... in 20 years. Until that point, people will point and gasp and say mean things when you call Rachel's wonderful work "craft."

But let's acknowledge the difficulty of the c-word for a moment. Craft usually places strong emphasis on strong skill or technique, while the other arts focus on strong concept or effect. Perhaps we're painting the word "painting" all over all these different things because our naked emperors don't like the notion of losing their budgets and good PR to the 'conceptual crafts' department.

Fuck it. Why don't we just have a Concept department and a Skill department, and say to hell with all other divisions...

martin said...

i just can't understand the hang-ups on mediums; the idea that one medium is more relevant than another.

painters who hate everything else (everything not painting) are just as stupid.

Anon amiss said...

Agreed. They do nice work, the promotion is what's crazy.

Dennis Matthews said...

hey martin,
come on you're getting annoyed with these things but posting about 1708 and Roth. I do agree that painting begins as a verb, and that its okay that Rachel is a painter who installs fabric works. The skill and concept depts. is a good idea I talked about with some friends pretty recently. There is a lot of great art being done in Richmond, and even more artists than good stuff, but just don't overobsess about a so called scene that isn't really here. I love this place and these people but this is not the end of the race, its the gatorade stand.
p.s. martin i think you should write more and become more descriptive, submit your writings to places. The blog is a great vehicle, but I've been wondering recently if you were going to jump ahead of us all.

martin said...


separating skill from concept? dennis, i think anon amiss was being facetious, right?

um, thanks for the advice.

chrisashley said...

Hi Martin. Thanks for the kind words about the 1708 show. Much appreciated.

I am going to clear steer of the whole painting discussion for now!

Just a couple of things. You wrote:

"The prints are being sold for twenty-five dollars apiece, I think they are signed editions of one. You can also buy a CD of all of them, for something like ten bucks. With the CD you can print out as many (unsigned) copies that you want, maybe even different sizes(?)."

The pieces were printed in Richmond, so they are as yet unsigned. If someone buys one it will be mailed to me and I'll sign it and send it back. A little inefficient, but the logistics of getting the whole thing printed and installed meant that I couldn't be there to sign the prints.

The CD, 365, is a limited edition of 15, and includes a small book of 28 drawings. The CD contains a jpeg of every drawing of all 365 printed images and the HTML slideshow of all 365 images. It is priced at $50. A file on the CD states that the owner may print one copy of any drawing once for themselves- in other words, you can print all 365 if you want, but once only for your own use. The must be 8.5 x 11. The owner also has permission to print one and only one copy of any drawing as a gift to a friend. That means, if you have 365 friends and you want to print a drawing for each they would all get a different one. And you may do this only once, and they must also be 8.5 x 11. Damaged prints can be reprinted, but the damaged copy must be destroyed. I also specify what should be written on the back of the print, and nothing on the front.

My whole attitude was about getting the images used but also having a bit of control and keeping the prints true to my intended project. I ask the owner to contact me, and I am pretty agreeable. I will allow printing on material other than paper if I'm an contacted first, and if I agree.

I also specified that if someone wants to print larger than 8.5 x 11 they must contact me- they can license the image for printing larger than 8.5 x 11 for $.10 (ten cents) per square inch over 8.5 x 11. Example: 8.5 x 11 = 93.5 inches. 11 x 17 = 374 inches. The difference is 280.5 x .10 = $28.50 license.

I don't know if all of this was a good idea or if it works. It's the first time I've shown the work like this, and I wanted to find a way to circulate the images and find other uses for them without completely giving up control of them. And anyway, the intention of the installation was not to produce prints; it was to show the cumulative, repetitive and iterative time-based seriality of images made about certain subjects in a limited medium, HTML. For now it was as close as I could get to getting at the meaning derived from these images' native environment: code rendered by a web browser framed by the weblog on a daily basis.

Thanks again.

Anon amiss said...

I was being mostly facetious, yes... The problem being that we could daydream about it and come up with some damned-good ideas about how to teach art correctly, and then some bugger will walk into the conversation and claim that Art can't be taught to begin with...

Quite gives me the willies.

Anonymous said...

Nothing in a sense is untouchable

six artists with a painting sensibility--how each present / here from there--differ. However, what puts the pattern to practice are thin veils--some touchable, rethought, gooed, from drastic different positions in the real; others just in the sense of the sense.

Anon amiss said...

I stand corrected. Brent gives me the willies.

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