Monday, February 28, 2005

Steve Mumford lecture

Steve Mumford will be lecturing in the VCU Student Commons Theatre, Wednesday March 2nd at 2pm.

You can still see a small selection of his Iraq painings at Reynolds Gallery - I think that show will be closing in a couple weeks.

Roberta Fallon (the one that doesn't have a problem with landscape painting) recently reviewed a Philly group show he is included in with something different. Also, Roberta's comparison in that same review of the Joy Garnett painting with Ryder's The Racetrack (Death on a Pale Horse) is spot-on!

Joy Garnett would be in my Whitney Biennial for sure.


A local artist whose work I'm a big fan of has a review in NYArts Magazine of the recent Rosemarie Fiore show at ADA Gallery.

I'm flabbergasted because as much as I like his work, I have never heard him say a word about his own or anybody else's work! This includes a miserable year in the VCU Painting program - of which he is a faculty member with an office directly across the hall from my old studio. Not a word!

Work it, Ron!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Nick Cave

Holland Cotter has a positive review of Jack Shainman Gallery's "The Whole World Is Rotten: Free Radicals and the Gold Coast Slave Castles of Paa Joe" in which he states of artist Nick Cave -

"Mr. Cave is a Chicago-based dancer and couturier; this is his first appearance in a gallery show. I am sure there will be others."

Not so! Nick Cave had a fantastic solo show here in Richmond at the Hand Workshop Art Center. I'm not sure what Mr. Cotter meant by that. Cave's first show in a commercial gallery? His first show in New York? Whatever - you can find Nick Cave's three-year-old resume here. Will the NYTimes run a correction? I know there are a lot of sticklers for the facts out there.

The other part of that review that made me wonder is -

"At Mr. Simard's (the gallery director) request, he (artist Paa Joe) produced a set of 13 coffins - suitable for burials but intended as sculptures - depicting European-built fortresses on the Ghana coast that once served as holding pens for America-bound slaves."

What does that mean? Did the gallery director direct the artist on what he should make? How much? It sounds like a great show but who is the artist? If someone like my main man Jeff Koons orders the fabrication of artwork for an exhibition it's in his name - not the craftsperson's. Does the artist work for the gallery? Was this more of a collaboration? What choice did the artist have?

Final Question: Now that Nick Cave has exhibited with a commercial gallery that advertises on artnet will artnet put up some images of his work?

Poor Marlene Dumas!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Erling Sjovold

Cynthia at Fresh Paint has a recent post on local painter Erling Sjovold, including a couple photos of his work. Sjovold was recently included in 1708's three-person More Than A Perfect World - he's really good, dreamy.

His Chicago gallery has a good selection of images here.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Sort of a Roundup

Two reviews in this week's Style Weekly on local exhibitions, Heide Trepanier here and Pivot Points here.

I've already talked about Heide's show so please consider this alternative viewpoint. It looks like she has got her own website up now and she's also currently showing at Stux in NYC.

A recent commenter asked if I'd seen the Pivot Points show and the answer is yes - might talk about it later. The Style Weekly review is probably more enthusiasm than you'll get from me though, sorry.

Local artist Jason Coates wrote both reviews.

Idea for Slate

It has been noted that Slate doesn't have the greatest art coverage, most recently here.

I would like to see Slate feature or link to a different city's artblog every week. There are so many they could do this for six months easily. A few that come to mind -

Las Vegas
Los Angeles
New York
Richmond - that's me!
San Francisco
San Pedro
Washington DC

All of the artblogs would get tons of new readers and Slate would have art coverage every day - it's win-win!

Artnet or Artforum.com might want to consider this also.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Origin of Gonzo

On the occasion of the death of Hunter S. Thompson, the origin of gonzo, reprinted with permission from the latest e-mailed issue of Charles Giuliano's Maverick Arts Magazine.

"A sad but predictable end. Taking to the grave misinformation regarding the origin of Gonzo. My word. First stated during a colorful story I told, think it was about 1969, in which it was the punch line. That occured in the presence of Bill and Suzy Cardoso, Jim Silin, Brian and Patty Dreher. At the time Cardoso was a Boston Globe writer/editor and friend of Thompson. Who famously wrote to him that, "You are a journalist, a gonzo journalist." Cardoso defined the guidelines of Gonzo Journalism that included a group of us but Hunter became its most renowned exponent. Said letter was published on the front page of a short lived magazine called Scanlon's. Cardoso took credit for the term which he had glommed from me. Thompson then stole it from Cardoso. It has been misreported ever since. At the time I published the word for the first time, beating all others to print, and I can prove it, when in a review in the Boston Herald of Ten Years After at Harvard Stadium I used gonzo. My editor at the time, Samuel Hirsch, questioned the usage. I told him it was a hip new term and appropriate to a rock review. It ran. Cardoso later convinced Paul Szep to use it as a caption in a Globe cartoon and the Gonzo wars were off and running. Jim Silin formed a Gonzo band for which I was the drummer. We had one gig at the Plough and the Stars. His wife, Kathy, a genuine gonzo, knew a couple of songs, like “Poison Ivy” and "Love Potion Number Nine." Barry Savenor got Gonzo vanity license plates for his yellow Duster car which soon became so banged up that it too was total gonzo. All this I published in a letter to the editor in the old Real Paper. That was a long time ago. People have forgotten that. So be it. Now Hunter is total gonzo."

From a Hunter S. Thompson website -

"Gonzo journalism is a highly subjective and extremely personal form of reporting. While Dr. Thompson's writing style has not changed dramatically since the sixties (although his form has), the first piece of writing to be called gonzo was The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved written for Scanlan's and illustrated by the Welsh cartoonist Ralph Steadman. As the deadline approached, and with his article still not done, Dr. Thompson resorted to ripping pages out of his notebook and send them to the editors. What resulted was "gonzo", as Bill Cardoso called it. (Gonzo is really an Italian word for absurdities - gonzagas. Cardoso claimed it was a corruption of the French Canadian word "gonzeaux" which means "shining path". To my knowledge, no such word exists)."

Sandra Luckett Lecture

Just got an e-mail Wednesday night that Sandra Luckett will lecture on her work tonight - Thursday Feb 24th - at 6pm at ADA Gallery.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Latest Rejections

I've gotten three or four rejections in the last week; I'll list them -

Delfina Studio Trust - this would have been great. London!

Segal Foundation - if I had gotten this I would have bought a 1976 Winnebago. i wrote about applying for this here.

Ota Museum Fellowship - i want to go home! i wrote about applying for this here.

I have so many rejections!!! I'm taking consolation in the knowledge that I am one of many. I am legion. I've discovered a boomlet of over-the-top anonymous artist's blogs, here are some quotes from a couple of them -

From Mountain Man's artisticthoughts:

"I don't understand gallerists. I feel so puny today!!!!"

"In thinking about the artworld from an artist's perspective, it's important to remember: 1. You are puny."

"I'm defeated. So. You know how I'm googling my enemies. Well. I googled an enemy and it turns out that she got into something I applied for. UNACCEPTABLE!"

From Art Star's Planet Mega Ultra:

"Lately I am thinking that I need have sex with someone who has a career. That may be a good way to go."

"There are a few women out there who seem to know how to work it. I want to be like them and have my picture posted on artnet with a drink in my hand and a coy but knowing look on my face."

Mountain Man is hilarious - I can't keep up. I like Art Star too. I think they are all applying for the Deitch MTV thing?

I did get one acceptance into a group show, I'll announce it when I have all the info.

Congratulations to Todd Gibson on his new baby!!!!


I forgot to mention Fairy Butler's phantastic:

"I am an artist. The psuedo spring rings its bells but I fail to answer them. I am imprisoned by failure. The Greater New York Show. What is so great about it? Why do these crafty titans refuse me? Ignore me? Stifle me with their pale curatorial efforts?"

Fairy Butler on getting his/her latest rejection here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

How to Get an Interview at The Drawing Center

Last month I let you know how you can have your work considered for inclusion in the Whitney Biennial - at the end of this post. Now I will show you how to cheat your way into an appointment to show your work to a curator at The Drawing Center, for possible inclusion in a Selections Exhibition, even if your submitted slides have been rejected.

The Drawing Center has two excellent programs, the Viewing Program and the Slide Registry. Submitted materials are reviewed by the curatorial staff for possible inclusion in the Slide Registry and for a portfolio review at The Drawing Center. At the portfolio review, a staff curator meets with each artist to offer comments and advice.

I've had two private meetings with Drawing Center curators, the first I got legitimately and was a complete waste of time which I will relate later. The second time I cheated my way into an appointment, and was fortunate to meet with someone who really took the time to study my work and let me know what he thought (he didn't like it, but he was so good it didn't matter).

If you get a legit invitation to make an appointment to bring your stuff in for review you will be sent a letter requesting you call the Drawing Center and schedule the appointment. Nobody will doublecheck this. So all you have to do is call and say "I'm calling to make an appointment to show my stuff for the Viewing Program. I got a letter". It's that easy. Actually, I didn't call, I just happened to be at the Drawing Center when I got the idea and went up to the girl at the reception desk. She made an appointment for me the next day!

Good Luck!! (Don't tell any Curators!!!!!)

Monday, February 21, 2005

Agnes Martin

Following is some advice I've lifted from an Agnes Martin essay called Beauty is the Mystery of Life -

"The way of an artist is an entirely different way. It is a way of surrender. He must surrender to his own mind."

"There is so much written about art that it is mistaken for an intellectual pursuit"

"You must discover the art work that you like and realise the response that you make to it. You must especially know the response that you make to your own work. It is in this way that you discover your direction and the truth about yourself. If you do not discover your response to your own work you miss the reward."

"The newest trend and the art scene are unnecessary distractions for a serious artist. He will be much more rewarded responding to art of all times and places. Not as art history but considering each piece and its value to him."

"To progress in life you must give up the things that you do not like. Give up doing the things that you do not like to do. You must find the things that you do like."

"While you go along with others you are not really living your life. To rebel against others is just as futile. You must find your own way."

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Glorious Opportunity!

John Ravenal is jurying radius250, a major art show featuring artists working within a 250-mile radius of Richmond. The 250-mile radius encompasses Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Charleston WV, Charlotte NC, Baltimore, Washington DC and everything in between.

This should be great, I hope the other artblogs within the submission area will post the info for their readers.

Deadline for submissions is April 30, 2005. The $25.00 entry fee sucks. The VMFA should consider a curated show of work from the same area.

Good Luck!!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Adaptation Syndrome Panel III - The Shocking Conclusion!!

This is the third and final post on the Adaptation Syndrome panel discussion.

STARRING - Richard Roth, Susan Glasser, Myron Helfgott, Dominique Nahas, and Bill Fisher!

SPECIAL CAMEO APPEARANCES BY - Gerald Donato and John Ravenal!

Unfortunately, I have misplaced my notes and can only relate the gist - feel free to leave a comment on what you recall.

Richard Roth - Richard was good. He used The Misfits story of the death of the West and myth of the cowboy as a metaphor to talk about the death of painting and the myth of the painter. Richard has some serious issues with painting, and seems genuinely unaware of how completely he has bought into the myth of Duchamp, but if it was 1988 I would think Richard was a genius.

Finally, after close to two hours, the individual panelists had finished speaking and an actual panel discussion was bagged in favor of jumping straight into questions. Susan Glasser broke an uncomfortably long silence by saying "I don't get it". I think she was speaking for most of us in that much of the work in the show seemed unrelated to the curatorial dogma (thanks anonymous commenter) which seemed unrelated to most of what the individual panelists had to say.

Bill Fisher then took the microphone and went a little nuts with a very aggressive "I don't give a fuck if it's bullets in aluminum or bullets in bluejeans", what's the difference, and shit something. Fisher was sitting about five rows directly in front of me so I had a great view of John Ravenal down front whipping around with the most incredulous look on his face. Gerald Donato, who never says a peep, shouted "Shut up!" from all the way down front!

Myron Helfgott said some very smart things about artistic intention and "why not bullets in bluejeans". He started with Roth but ended with Nahas, who in an apparent defection from the panel stated agreement with Helfgott.

This panel has ended up being the talk of the town! Anybody who can recall the details or remembers something differently please post in the comments!

The Adaptation Syndrome exhibition closes March 13th - Thanks to the Hand Workshop and the Ryans for making things interesting!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

VMFA Fellowships

The deadline for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Program is March 1, 2005.

The program is open to undergrads, grads, and professionals. All the info can be found here.

Good Luck!

i didn't know!

Yesterday I stopped by Reynolds Gallery and Kimberly asked why I didn't come to Heide Trepanier's gallery talk.

Today I went to the VCU slide library and saw a flyer for a February 6th talk on Iona Rozeal Brown that curator Tosha Grantham gave at the VMFA.

I didn't know! I would have loved to have gone to both, especially because I am not into either's work (reasons here and here) and would have liked to learn more and maybe even have my mind changed. Heide's murals look more interesting than her paintings, I've found a nice slideshow of them here.

Who knew about these talks and how did you find out? I go to every arty place in town and never saw that Iona Rozeal Brown flyer until today.

Congratulations, by the way, to Tosha Grantham on winning a travel/research grant from the American Center Foundation!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

James Hyde Lecture (Part 2)

James Hyde
was in Richmond recently for the inaugural exhibition of Solvent Space - I caught his lecture and took a bunch of notes of which this is the second posting. The first post is here.

On the pieces he calls handles Hyde said that they are "very gestural, like De Kooning" and "really stupid conceptualism". He thinks of the "purposefulness of a handle" but that these pieces are "also completely useless" because "you can't really operate a wall in a mechanical way".

Hyde told a story about some Chinese artist that disappeared into his painting, something like Harold and the Purple Crayon, and that he was looking to "try to find a way to put the viewer inside the painting". A good example would be Privacy Stall, which for me now brings to mind a confessional - especially so after getting such a Last Supper vibe from this piece.

For Hyde, painting is "not an existential statement of humanity" but "more of a performance". He considers his tables and chairs to be both painting and real furniture, and "not a sideline" endeavor. The "furniture becomes a painting surrogate", and one can "be totally with the place of the painting". He seemed happy with this exhibition at Philadelphia's Basekamp because it was "not just a physical perceptual thing but became a social space". Those "ceiling clouds" pictured in the Basekamp show were later paper-mached and hung with colored bulbs to become really cool chandeliers*(I'm not sure if that linked example is one of those in particular, but you get the idea).

The best part for me may have been his talk of mobiles. He said mobiles are " a great low-tech way of doing video". They're "a ruined genre" and "don't exist in a meaningful way" other than as "museum kitsch or children's toys". Hyde feels mobiles have an "elegalic quality" and likes his Fallen Mobile for it's sense of pathos. More on Hyde on mobiles here.

* incidentally, I was sitting right behind Virgil Marti at this lecture, the only other contemporary artist who comes to mind as someone who makes cool chandeliers.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Whitney Is Shunning Me!

I e-mailed the Whitney for answers to the questions posed at the bottom of this post but so far no response! Am I the only one curious about this?

Here are the questions:

How many submissions were received for the last Biennial, and of those how many were from individual artists and how many came from galleries. Also, were any artists actually selected for the Biennial from the submission process?

In case you're late to this topic, submission information was posted at the bottom of this page on the 2004 Whitney Biennial website.

Forward this post to pressoffice@whitney.org

Send your Whitney Biennial 2006 submissions to:

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

Good Luck!!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Artnet Art L.A. FYI - Joe Fyfe

I'm pretty sure that in this photo from Artnet's OUT AT ART L.A. page those two guys are standing in front of a couple Joe Fyfe paintings.


Comments - Lots of comments added to a number of posts last week, especially Oliver Kamm and VCU Open Studios. I think the Kamm posts are over but feel free to continue discussing the merits of the VCU (or any other) MFA programs - this might be a good forum for students, staff, and faculty to have the discussion that is evidently needed.

It would also be great if some of you locals posted comments agreeing or disagreeing with some of my views on local shows. I've posted negative on Heide Trepanier, positive on Ron Johnson, and yesterday mentioned some of the work that I liked from the VCU Open Studios. Another blogger posted a defense of Trepanier on his own blog and somebody here added an anonymous comment wondering why I was giving Ron so much play - anybody else want to chip in and improve the local discourse?

Anonymous commenting is perfectly understandable in the cesspool of cronyism that is the artworld, but it would really help if you adopt a pseudonymous cyber-handle.

Nicole Cherubini - Nicole Cherubini is showing her G-Pots at ADA Gallery this month. James Wagner is a fan. Style Weekly ran a short blurb describing the work as "the “glitz” of the Jewish culture meeting the “bling” of the hip-hop world" but I talked to her at the opening and she said that wasn't quite accurate (maybe the Wagner description is better). I forgot to ask why they're called G-Pots. Is it a play on G-Spot? Are they Grafenberg Pots?

Here in Richmond the pots are on black pedestals, and with all the fur and shiny jewels I couldn't help but compare them to the work of David Altmejd. Nicole's husband, artist Patrick Purcell, told me she loves Altmejd's work.

Gentlemen! Everything you need to know about this so-called G-Spot here. Surprise someone special this Valentine's Day.

Blogroll - The blogroll to the right omits links to many other artblogs I've since discovered, and I mean to update that eventually. Apologies to other artbloggers like Sarah and Joy who have linked to anaba without getting a link back.

1708 Gallery - 1708 Gallery has a good three person show up that I've been meaning to say something about but haven't gotten to yet. More Than A Perfect World is curated by Alyssa Salomon and features the work of sculptor Chris Chase and painters Hiroshi Kimura and Erling Sjovol - the show closes February 22nd!!

Television - Tuesday Jonathan and Victoria from The Amazing Race will have a Romance Rescue with Dr. Phil! Thursday is the season premiere of Survivor followed by Martin Bashir's Michael Jackson's Secret World!

Courtesy of Forward Retreat: ARTSTAR is holding an open casting call for a new reality series culminating in a show at Deitch - I'm not sure if this is something that will really be on anywhere, certainly not network. Maybe some obscure cable channel. I'd rather try out for the Amazing Race with my sister, that would be FUN. My brother almost got on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Art Contests - Lenny of Washington DC Artnews always has the goods on Mid-Atlantic artist opportunities - if you are of a mind to enter art contests make sure you read him. I printed out the application of McLean Project For The Arts' Strictly Painting for consideration but I've since noticed the juror is Jonathan Binstock. Binstock was also the juror for the latest Mid-Atlantic round of New American Paintings so if you entered that contest and didn't get accepted you might want to re-think entering this one also. What's the point? Thanks for being such a contest hog, Jonathan Binstock!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

VCU Open Studios II

I went to VCU's open studios night last week - lots of good stuff being made. I won't go into detail now because it was mostly work-in-progress but I especially liked what I saw in the studios of Tim Devoe, Sarah Bednarek, J.D. Garn, and Timothy Michael Martin; all of whom will be graduating this year and holding thesis exhbitions in the Spring.

Some of the studios were closed and/or the work was very much in progress so the above mentions are definitely not intended to be read as a "best of" list. Go to the exhibitions in the Spring - I think they have one round the last week in April and a second round the first week in May - and see for yourself!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Oliver Kamm has a blog

Chelsea gallerist Oliver Kamm has a blog - not exactly an artblog but he does talk about his NADA art fair experience and a few museum visits - it's good. I like it because it seems very real, not just a promotional tool for the gallery*. I sort of felt like I shouldn't be reading it, and that I'm not supposed to share it - but it's an on-line blog right?

On the most recent NADA fair he shares that he broke even at 11:20 am, and the fair opened at 11:00 am. Also that he was misquoted in Artforum's notorious on-line NADA review. Everybody still talks about that column, am I the only one that isn't reading it?

His take on the new MoMA is here, a funny link here.

If someone wants to "invest" $3,000 in me I'm thinking about applying to this Chicago fair. It looks like artists can apply without a gallery. Either that, or I will wait for the inevitable and cheaper 100% artist fair.

I was wondering where Kamm went after he left Friendster - he's one of the few art people on Friendster I didn't get a screenshot of. That would have been a good one.

*note to gallerists running blogs, I realize this sounds like a cheap shot - but it really isn't meant to be. Caryn and Lenny are especially inspiring, each in their own way.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Adaptation Syndrome Panel II

More from Friday's Adaptation Syndrome panel -

Margaret Evangeline - Margaret Evangeline has three aluminum with gunshot pieces included in the show. She said she was interested in "taking a very pure square" and doing "a kind of mark-making that changes it and takes away from it's purity". She liked the idea of "a painting about the sensation of painting without using paint". Something I didn't notice on my previous two visits to the show is that the back of these pieces are lined with porcelain, something to look at "through the wound".

I wasn't completely clear but it sounds like Evangeline sometimes rents out her studio for fashion and photography shoots, and things from her studio wind up being used in these shoots. This, along with Bruce Nauman's Mapping The Studio, inspired her to make a video in her own studio incorporating elements of the fashion shoots. The video, Bataille, was a dreamy floor-level view of the studio floor covered in some kind of silvery foil. A woman in spike heels - we can only see the feet - walks around and stamps the foil with her heels, bits of curling foil popping up with each stamp that sort of reminded me of shell casings. Occasional cuts to a glittery framed mirror on a shadowy wall had a noir fairytale feel.

Damage, glamour, dependence, ruin, subjugation, rebellion, resentment, role-playing, degradation, sex, sabotage - yup, that sounds like Bataille (I think, I'm no expert). Margaret Evangeline's work is way more complicated than I first thought, and I'm struggling to think of how to articulate ideas I now have about it - a conflicted desire for subjection to some idea of an absolute (I'm practically stealing that line from a Maud McInerney essay, but can't word it any better). I guess this might be a good time to segue into Dominique Nahas.

Dominique Nahas - I stated previously that Margaret Evangeline and Dominique Nahas are a couple or something. Mr. Nahas talked a little about inner-space and outer-space, the public and private, and wondered about what constitutes a sanctioned art practice. Good questions.

Incidentally, Dominique Nahas was from 2000-2004 an Associate Curator at the Palm Beach ICA and Margaret Evangeline had a solo show at the Palm Beach ICA in 2001.

Nahas mentioned a few artists but I'm hesitant to go into it because I'm unsure if they were artists he was perhaps paid to plug or not.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Adaptation Syndrome Panel

Went to the Adaptation Syndrome panel on Friday - lots to share.

Co-curator Dinah Ryan was at the lectern for about forty-five minutes before giving it up to husband Paul. An hour of explanation was more than enough.

Some quotes from Dinah include "artworks are indistinguishable from image production", "nobody's a visual virgin anymore", "to make an effective image one no longer has to be an artist", and something about the distribution of "broad-based wide-ranging intelligent and deliberate" images being "as big a shift as the Guttenberg press". The audience was asked to set aside all context, reasons, ideology, and politics while viewing images of custom cars, mouse hairs, space, cells dividing and satellite images of the recent tsunami and then told that "images that have nothing to do with artmaking" have "outclassed what artists are doing". Is there a term for this? Creating an artificial situation that attempts to force people to agree with you?

A comparison was made between a photograph of the mushroom cloud created after the bombing of Hiroshima with a photo of one of the planes hitting a WTC tower on 9/11 and something about one being a deliberately created image and the other not, one created for dissemination and one not. I'm a little confused here, my notes are bad, and I also think her breadth of knowlege might not extend far enough into WWII military history. That mushroom cloud was certainly intended to be seen and impress a message on the populace - more people were killed in a single night of firebombing Tokyo than from the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. She was just plain wrong in her belief that the atomic bombings were not an example of a "purposeful display".

Amazingly, after spending more than an hour trying to explain the concept of their show, Dinah said that included artist Ron Johnson was "not making deliberate reference to image" and that "he's an anti-image painter" whose "reflected shadows and colors militate against image". So what is he doing in your show??? Artist Margaret Evangeline later talked herself out of the curatorial concept when explaining her own working process.

I'll share more tomorrow.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Whitney Museum Seeks Biennial Coordinator

The Whitney Museum is looking for a Biennial Coordinator. It's just like Field of Dreams.

Biennial Coordinator

A full time, temporary position is available for a Coordinator to work on the next Biennial exhibition, scheduled to open in March 2006.

Responsibilities include: research of works with curatorial team; coordination with artists and galleries; coordinate loans; work with designer; coordinate installation with registrars, art handlers and building staff; assist with the organization of the accompanying publication; assist with didactic materials for labels, brochures, and calendar copy; work on producing audio and visual components of the exhibition; other relevant duties as assigned.

Job requirements include: B.A. and background in contemporary art; two years related research and installation experience; excellent writing and oral communication skills; collaborative spirit; knowledge of high technologies and world wide web; and editorial and word processing skills (Microsoft Word for Windows). Individual must be very well organized, self-motivated, and flexible.

Good Luck!!!

For Artists wishing to submit, I think the deadline is August 1, 2005. Submission info can be found at:

Iconoduel, The OC Artblog, Artnet, Megan and Murray McMillan, The View from the Edge of the Universe, Washington DC Artnews.

I'm curious how many submissions were received for the last Biennial, and of those how many were from individual artists and how many came from galleries. Also, were any artists actually selected for the Biennial from the submission process?

Friday, February 04, 2005

James Hyde Lecture (Part 1)

James Hyde
was in Richmond last week for the inaugural exhibition of the exciting new Solvent Space. I caught his lecture and took a bunch of notes of which this will be the first posting. Please note that Hyde's exhibition at Brent Sikkema will be closing Saturday and is one of artcritical.com's exhibitions under review tonight at the National Academy.

Hyde began the lecture with the announcement that his Large Air Cushion featured at Solvent Space is something that hasn't been shown publicly before and that painting it was sort of a response to 9/11 - "not an expression of pain and futility or death" but as "a way to be constructive when my city was so broken". He also stated, quoting a woman he met at an event sometime after the election, that "states that voted for Bush were overwhelmingly states without the arts" and affirmed his belief that the arts are important in teaching "knowledge, empathy, consideration, and independent thinking".

Some introductory quotes included "I generally work in a purposeful manner" and "tend to use material not as simply medium or vehicle" but "tend to emphasize the physical overlooked qualities of painting". "I like to scramble the hierarchies of painting". "Ventilation is important to me. Not quite sure what that's about but I'm always thinking about it". "I'm increasingly interested in framing".

On Large Air Cushion, and maybe he was speaking of his pillow paintings generally, Hyde said "it would be really horrible if it were on stretched canvas but the panel saves my ass" and "when they're vertical they take on a more figural aspect, they become cyphers for the body". A slide was shown of a large pillow slumped against the wall and Hyde revealed that it was stuffed with about three or four hundred pounds of crumpled newspaper.

Hyde showed a slide of something that he called a painting that is a pedestal with pockets, saying that he had the urge to make it but that "I still don't know what that's about". He talked about looking at the world around him - fashion, hip-hop fashion, baggy jeans - and noticing that "most paintings are like Calvins, as in 'nothing comes between me and my Calvins'", leading to the idea of making "baggy paintings". Hyde shared that the baggy paintings are coated on the back with many layers of a urethane foam and that they are in fact "hard like a surfboard".

A nice group of works of colored concrete on shaped styrofoam that Hyde said he had made by asking himself the question "what if monochrome was just a little bit friskier?" looked great in the Paris gallery installation shot we were shown. The space had been loaned out to a dance company and breakdance performance was put on. It was perfect, the paintings looked like they were twisting off the wall to join the dancers.

Part 2

Thursday, February 03, 2005

VCU Open Studios

VCU Open Graduate Studios will be held this Friday, february 4th, 7-9pm, School of the Arts, Fine Arts Building, 1000 West Broad Street, all floors and lobby.

Yay! Open Studios are the greatest.

But.... the Adaption Syndrome panel (see two posts down) runs from 4-6pm and the opening reception for that show is immediately following, running 6-8pm. Uh oh, could be a conflict.

Richard Roth, the head of the Painting Department, is also sitting on the Adaption Syndrome panel so you would think that an effort would have been made to avoid this conflict - unless of course you are familiar with how the Painting Department is run. Richard didn't attend last year's Open Studios either.

Very few people* went to last year's Open Studio's, not because of a conflict, but because nobody knew about it. This year even less of an effort has been made to get the word out. Who would've thought that possible?

for information call 804-828-1477

*VMFA curator John Ravenal came! He always makes the effort!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

On the Goodness of Art Fairs

Tyler Green says:

"One other thing on fairs: They're mostly good for artists, who get to sell work and who have a team of organizers working to attract curators and critics to their work."

but Jerry Saltz says:

"In reality, they're adrenaline-addled spectacles for a kind of buying and selling where intimacy, conviction, patience, and focused looking, not to mention looking again, are essentially nonexistent. They are places where commerce has replaced epistemology, and the unspoken contract that existed between artists, dealers, and collectors has been scraped. As one private dealer gleefully told The New York Times recently, "It's one-stop shopping. The mall experience . . . fashion, parties, and fun all wrapped up in one."

Zach Feuer admits:

"I can't stand them, but I made as much money at the first NADA fair in Miami as I did that entire year in my gallery."

Jerry Saltz continues:

"Collectors go to galleries and cultivate relationships with dealers and artists. They look, deliberate, and buy in private, often acquiring works from various periods of an artist's career. Typically, collectors are affluent and involved, if sometimes annoying about their obsessions. Buyers are the opposite: They're affluent but detached and are almost always annoying. They tend to buy only in public, acquire impulsively, and usually buy only one work by an artist. They rarely cultivate relationships with dealers or artists".

Martin Bromirski says:

Art fairs may be fun, but as is they suck for art and artists. Saltz is right - the unspoken contract that has existed between artists and dealers has been scrapped, or scraped, or something. It's busted in the dealers favor.

The old contract between an artist and a dealer was one of reciprocal risk and reward - a gallery selected an artist, gave that artist a month-long solo show, made announcements he shared with the artist, maybe took out an ad in a magazine.

Sometimes nothing sells. The artist is terrifically grateful to the dealer for believing in his work and taking a chance on him. Loyalty and respect accrue. Sometimes sales are made - a show may even sell out! Eight works sell at $3,000 each and the artist hands over half of that to the dealer. Friends and family say "how come they take so much?!?" and the artist explains how sometimes nothing sells at all. Usually one or two pieces sell, nobody really makes anything but at least the bills get paid.

With art fairs, an artist gives a dealer a piece he may have spent two months working on to hang in a crowded booth full of other often completely unrelated work for three days. It might sell, and the dealer will take 50%. I get how the dealer might be happy with this arrangement – same money for less time and work – but who actually thinks the artists are happy with this? Why are the artists supposed to continue to allow the dealer to take 50% when they get so much less in return?

Art fairs are good for voracious consuming, seeing as much new stuff as quickly as possible. The best thing about art fairs is that it probably won't take long for artists to pick up on the fact (see Zach's quote above) that most of a gallery's annual sales are made at the fairs. Who needs a gallery to organize an art fair?

Panel on Friday

Adaption Syndrome, Painting in Contemporary Image Culture
Introduction and Panel Discussion, 4 - 6 p.m., Grace Street Theater, 934 West Grace Street
With exhibition curators Dinah and Paul Ryan, painters Margaret Evangeline and Ziga Kariz, critic Dominique Nahas, and Richard Roth, chair of the VCU Painting Department.
Opening Receptions, 6 - 8 p.m., Hand Workshop Art Center, 1812 West Main Street and Reynolds Gallery, 1514 West Main Street

This will be interesting. I think Margaret Evangeline and Dominique Nahas are a couple or something. They came together to my Philly Art Alliance show in 2002, Evangeline included a nice note of encouragement in my sign-in book. I've gone to Evangeline's website and like the unpainted stainless steel pieces more than the painted aluminum ones, and of those the warpy ones more than the flat ones.

No, Nahas didn't sign, although he did sign the book of the better-known artist/curator upstairs - but I know he looked, the security guard told me. A lot of bigger name people signed that book without signing mine, another lesson in artworld politics - sign up. No, that's not true, the real lesson is always sign!

Ziga Kariz is coming here from Ljubljana, Slovenia. Hello! What is up with Ljubljana? How does an artist living in Ljubljana come to the attention of the Reynolds Gallery and the Ryans? I'm not hinting anything, I don't think, just wondering what the hell they are doing right in Ljubljana.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Adaptation Syndrome III - Ron Johnson Plus

My other favorite work in the Adaptation Syndrome show is by Ron Johnson. Ron is showing three paintings, one of which I really like a lot and one which seems to be a failure - but an interesting failure because it seems he struggled with it, and that it might not be a failure at all but the beginnings of some change or possibly a new direction.

Unfortunately I can find no Ron Johnson images on the web to share, so I'll try to describe what his work usually looks like. He works flat on small panels or stretched silk, onto which he pours two to four pools of solid color that have a strange oil-slick quality. He probably waits a while before pouring another color because the slithery pools overlap but the colors don't mix. Weird colors and color combos, not exactly seventies, not exactly vampirish, somewhere in between. Did the batcave have a kitchen? All of Ron's work also includes a thin cloth strip, no wider or longer than a shoelace, which I imagine he holds by one end as he lowers it onto the canvas and it curlicues around like the end of a colonial signature. The curlicued strips catch and hold pools of paint and can also be two-toned, hiding a color themselves that can only be seen from the side or upon close inspection.

Do you know how you are supposed to hold the brush when practicing Kanji? Vertical to the paper and with your fingers holding near the top or at the tip. So Ron's lowering of this canvas strip onto his painting is sort of like writing Kanji, with the "brush" lowering itself into the work. The piece that sticks out is called Elemental Return and is unusual because it both references landscape and Ron appears to have had second and third thoughts about including his signature strip. It was obviously laid down once and ripped up after the paint had dried, then it was laid down again in a different spot. Is he starting to get sick of feeling he has to add this strip everytime? Is he tired of abstraction? It is very interesting to note that Johnson studied under James Hyde - perhaps the original inspiration for the strips - and that Hyde's latest show at Brent Sikkema flirted with representation and landscape.

Margaret Evangeline and Rosemarie Fiore are also both included in this show, and so for the first time I consider the relationship between Evangeline's bullet riddled sheets of painted aluminum and previous works of Fiore's I've seen at ADA. Fiore has exhibited fireworks drawings - fireworks she's lit on paper - and gun rubbing mandalas.