Friday, February 06, 2009

Joe Fyfe

Joe Fyfe, at James Graham & Sons.

Joe Fyfe


Melissa Meyer. Melissa has a show opening 2/12 at Lennon Weinberg.

PS - i am posting from a laptop given to me by Elizabeth Riley!!! it's an old one and has some quirks - i can check and read all my e-mails but i can't delete or send any... i can comment on blogs and make new blog posts but i can't make any links, make text bold or italicize, or edit previous posts... i can get all my photos from my camera to flickr... i can do facebook and pretty much read whatever on the internet. so anyways, if you are sending an e-mail thanks i got it but i can't respond from this computer (yet).


eageageag said...


zipthwung said...

whats the dealio with email?
I use gmail cuz it's portable and browser based.

But if it's old and doesn't have the latest operating system then you will run into headaches. That sucks.

At some point install firefox.

Martin said...

i think the e-mail prob is just with hotmail, and all of this will be solved if i upgrade the system or something. yeah, i need to add firefox but right now it won't do it. not sure yet if the computer can handle the updates but we'll see.

anyways, it's a lot better than going to the knickerbocker internet bodega and being surrounded by high school kids playing music and watching youtube really loud.

kind of... actually it was fun last time because these three kids with their baggy pants and headscarves and strange oversized helmet/baseball-caps were going through all these eighties new wave songs... stuff i never thought they would like (fpr example they were playing the "men at work" video that goes "do you come from a land down under")and i asked are you listenig to this as a joke or do you really like it?and they really liked it. i showed them devo... they had never heard of devo.

it was fun because i was about their age when those songs had all come out.

blah blah blah blah

what do you think about joe fyfe?

Anonymous said...

like it

Anonymous said...

i really wish i could see this show. i heard him say once at a lecture that he had been a figurative painter bur could not shake a feeling of melancholy that he had about it. of course course many many would say the same thing about abstraction, and maybe his own stuff too. But it thoroughly lacks that ha ha cleverness that lots of people found in Joe Bradley's work. Fyfe's work is earnest in a way that makes of earnestness a polemic. he would probably disagree.
its like a less annoying james hyde

Anonymous said...

the pillowcase thing - polly Apfelbaum anyone?

Martin said...

you mean the polly apfelbaum pillowcases pictured here? in this show that also included joe fyfe? -


yeah, joe's piece made me think of that apfelbaum... but it's much different... and i don't think joe's is a pillowcase.

Chris Ashley said...

Is Joe really hemming all of the holes in the fabric piece? The holes look like they've been hemmed on a sewing machine. That surprised me.

Apfelbaum is an obvious reference, but I think of these as related to stained glass, soft versions, made in the kinds of materials he's been using for awhile. There is a feeling of light. I can't help but think of this: the dark fabric with pierced holes and bright color projecting from it makes me think of certain kinds of candle holders for tea lights- the outside covered in chips of colored and clear glass, and as the light shines through the glass in different colors the flicker flame creates movement, changing color. Because of the fabric and way it's hung this does not feel like a static, rigid piece- there is the possibility of movement because air or a body can move it, and because it can be arranged in different ways.

I also think of Matisse's cutouts, Arp's shapes and seeming randomness, and Fontana's piercing the surface. It seems natural that since Fyfe is working with fabric that he wonders what it will look like off the stretcher. Letting the piece hang loosely with folds alludes to drapery- plenty of that in painting history- and even Robert Morris' felt pieces.

The patchwork effect makes this feel like a handmade, humble object that may have origins other than art first, or at least to reference other origins. It feels like a cloak seen from behind- near the top looks like a hood- I can imagine pulling it on over my shoulders. Anyone who has seen a show of quilts, for example, the Gees Bend quilts, will appreciate the fine line between craft and fine art. I would think that Fyfe is making this work with full knowledge and appreciation for, one, things found in the ordinary world that are utilitarian and employ craft-based aesthetics, as well as contemporary or modern painting.

One precedent for this piece might be Simone Hantai's folded and stained paintings, and even someone like Sam Gilliam, a name that doesn't come up often enough.

The integration of awareness of and approaches to history and craft does not mean derivation- this makes the work even stronger and interesting, and I think ultimately Fyfe is finding his own way.

The lecture Anon refers to can be viewed at http://joefyfe.com/Lecture.asp.

Martin, I'm no Win expert, but do you have to log in to this laptop? And if you do, does the user account you log in with have Admin privileges? If not, this may effect your ability to change settings and preferences. I am wondering, for example, if there is a firewall installed that is currently blocking certain protocols, or something like that. Just a thought.

Martin said...

chris - nice. actually, there was a small stained-glass piece in the show, you are right on.

i don't know if joe cut and hemmed the holes... i wouldn't be surprised if he simply found the fabric like that and added the other pieces of fabric.

Chris Ashley said...

Really, there's a stained glass piece? I guess since there isn't one on your flickr page you don't have a photo of it, do you? There isn't one at the gallery site.

Martin said...

no, i didn't get a photo.

it's a small piece, on a low base, leaning against the wall... the top of it is at shin level.