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Monday, August 07, 2006

Michael Mewborn


Very much liked the Michael Mewborn paintings at ADA Gallery. The piece above is the one that I first stared at from outside, through the window, trying to get. Those aren't reflections on the painting, it isn't warped at all, there is no black framing... it is all just paint.

Michael Mewborn
Here is a detail of the painting above, showing all the grays and the black border.

Everything at the gallery is recent work made after a thirty-year break from painting. Colors and shapes are often (always?) chosen randomly, using some kind of random number generator on the computer.

Michael Mewborn
All of the other paintings are bright and colorful.

I was thinking of Stephen Westfall and Edna Andrade, two artists whose work I like A LOT.

Michael Mewborn
The lines are all wobbly and shaky.. everything is painted by hand.. no tape.


Computer aided paintings.. but not really. Hard edge paintings... but not really.

Michael Mewborn
I asked another artist what he thought and he said he wasn't into them because he doesn't like minimalism.. are these minimalism? So much color and busyness? Op-art, okay. I pressed him and he said that he meant he "likes work that is more visually complex". I'm so confused! What??


Usually don't like to see signatures on the front like this, but with these paintings... YES! Look at the signature in the little white box of the first image posted.. so cute!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

A thirty year break from painting? Staggering.
Looking forward to checking it out. like the wobbly lines.

martin said...

i can think of a number of artists who had long breaks from art-making... agnes martin, mildred greenberg, emily carr.. others. maybe i'll do a post on that.

n.s. said...

The purple one... Swinging night club, or game-show? The one below that one looks like its colors were influenced by Picasso. I dunno, I always feel like a painting is from the Western 19-teens if it has a certain degree of flesh-tones and neutral colors in it.

The reduced pallete is definitely to his advantage, I have a dis-like for roygbiv.

martin said...

i liked them all. kind of exciting... the crazy colors and energy.. the hand-madeness in the for real.

Bill Gusky said...

crazy like a Post-Op party in your eyeballs -- cool show!

Anonymous said...

BE FOREWARNED OF NEGATIVITY

like do u go into ikea and have art orgasms over the textiled bath mats too?

martin said...

like, no.

and i wasn't interested in the work of any of the other (3?) artists that were showing.

DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE NEGATIVITY! feel free to dump anytime, the differing views make the blog much more interesting.

did you see the show? what did you think about the work in the front?

ADA viewer said...

Yeah, I thought the work up front needed some ...work.


I dunno. Clouds? Clouds featuring added brushstrokes on panel #2? Clouds featuring marks from an exacto blade on panel #3, an exacto blade that happened to be curiously set upon my studio desk/easel since art school?


I mean... we can pull this off in art school and people will applaud because you're technically doing something consistant, but to leave it consistantly vacuous is a disservice to both the viewer and yourself.


What's hard is that no matter how empty, there's a strongly american and popular degree of being genuinely empty. The ironic consequence is that artists are beginning to look a lot like characters in films by Wes Anderson, but even the true characters aren't genuinely this empty or one-dimensional. So when you come upon someone standing on the street saying "I make clouds." today what are you supposed to do? Give him a dollar and say "Good for you!" or do you encourage him to be something more? This is a serious question in art today.


This is the problem within relativism in the post-modern era, and the answer is CRAP-tastic.





For God's sake, look what it's done to Javier Tapia!

http://tapiajavier.com/special/special.htm

Anonymous said...

What is it that you want there to be? It is a picture not a lecture or the evening news. Is it not enough for a picture to be about the picture? Just like Michael Mewborn there does not seem to be a story or what ever. It is about the viewer lookinng at the picture and thinking about what they see. Is the problem relativism in the post-modern era? could it be that most watch MTV and want painting and art in general to be something that they can easily understand and describe to their friends with out having to think about what is before you. I think Jeffrey Majer's paintings were interesting. Some better then others like every group of paintings. The color combos were fresh and some of the works had great surface Subdlties (sp?). They were quiet in many cases but what if they were not clouds and just abstract paintings would they be good enough to get out of art school?


Virginia Nostrand Lee in the back had a nice show too, there seems like there is some story or what ever it is that relates to the post-modern era

Anonymous said...

same anonymous as the one message before
forgot to say
I also love Javiern Tapia's paintings

martin said...

just to be clear - the link above is to the art of javier tapia, of chile, born 1976.... not the javier tapia that teaches at vcu.

anonymous - which javier tapia's work do you mean to say you like?

Anonymous said...

I ment the javier that was quoted in the above web address but I like javier Tapia that is the techer too.same anonymous as before

doug utley said...

Dear Anonymous Blogger above,

You give true identity to your idea of "being genuinely empty" by not stating your true identity. I mean, do you really want to live in a world in which you have to be "anonymous" to state your views on things? Jeff Majer doesn't live in that world. He's put his paintings out there for all to see and to criticise.
I have to admit that I am somewhat biased on this issue, since I have known Jeff for many years and have watched his work progress for a long time now, but I thought his work was some of the strongest I've seen in a long time in Richmond. Jeff isn't some art school temporary painter who couldn't decide what else to do with his life; he is a dedicated and long-term artist who has been working and exhibiting his work for many years now.
That's right, he's in it to win it, and he's not afraid to put his paintings out there with his name boldly displayed beside them. Who are you, mister anonymous? Probably an adjunct proffessor at VCU or an old fart ex art school graduate.
Well let me give you a piece of advice mister anonymous, if you had the balls to write with your name attached, to stand by your product, you might be worth something to me and the rest of us, but as long as you remain mr. anonymous you're just another independently wealthy art school grad student who has no room to criticise anyone.
Stick to academia, or join the ranks of the rest of us, living in the real world; but please don't try to be an art critic until you're willing to accept responsibility for your words and claim them as your own.

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