Thursday, June 30, 2005


Relativity, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Someone was kind enough to send me some photos of Relativity, the Anderson Gallery's current exhibition, featuring the work of four local artists (Jeannine Harkleroad, Chris Norris, Sun Tek Chung, James Davis) each paired with that of artists from the gallery's collection.

The galleries look good, as good as I've seen yet, but some aspects of the installation really bother me. The artwork of the four locals (all of whom work for VCU) is well-presented but that of artist's from the gallery's collection is mostly annoying and frustrating.

The picture above is of the work of James Davis paired with that of Jules Olitski. The three pieces on the wall belong to Davis; Olitski's prints are on the pedestals. Those pedestals are at least five feet high and covered with plexiglass. I'm six feet tall and except for the edges all I could see was glare. ANNOYING! I'm pretty sure that is not the way the artist intended for them to be presented. Here is what they supposedly look like, but although I've seen them for real I can't confirm that. Hey George, sometimes it is better to see things on the web!

There was a funny(?) moment at the opening when I was on the periphery of a circle admiring Davis' work (including the artist and Dean Richard Toscan) and Elizabeth King was introducing Davis and his work to a couple. She made a sweeping gesture with her arm saying something like "James did all these" which ended with her hand on the Olitski pedestals. I said those were by Jules Olitski and she looked a bit confused. I forget what we said next exactly but I did tell Toscan that I know Olitski's daughter. I was on his left and he continued to look straight ahead and sort of ignore me. Toscan looks like David Paymer to me, whenever I see him I think it's the mob guy from ABC's Line of Fire (it was set in Richmond!).

Almost as bad as the presentation of the Olitskis was the presentation of a photograph by Thomas Daniel, the artist whose work is juxtaposed with that of Sun Tek Chung. I say almost as bad because if you get on your knees and tilt your head to the side you are able to check out Daniel's photograph, whereas with the Olitskis you don't have a chance. Here it is.

At the recommendation of a more sensible artist friend I contacted the curator, Amy Hauft, for more insight into some of her presentation decisions and she wrote back explaining some of her ideas:

"In all cases with the works from the Anderson collection, I wanted to take them away from being exclusively images and force them into being "things". I did this with the Olitskis by presenting them on edge at eye level atop pedestals of their exact dimension. As mentioned in the handout, I wanted to highlight the iridescent ink that was more visually pronounced at that angle. In some ways, you could say that I was treating them the way that James Davis treats his materials. He maximizes what they are materially and then uses that materiality to create his imagery. As for the Daniel photo on the floor... certainly taking the image off the wall and leaning it against the wall turns it into more of an object. I am a sculptor and I always find power in object-ness. Because a thing is in the room with us, it is less ignorable, more undeniable. Part of it was a sense of numbers - that there were/are so many of them (the daughters)...they are waiting in the wings. Part of it is to indicate that its a working project, metaphorically rearrangeable to create other relationships."

I'm glad she wrote back and I get what she was trying to do, but I think the project fails. First of all, they were never "exclusively" images and have always been things; they don't need to be forced. The Olitski pieces now are not only no longer images but irrelevant. The "things" that James Davis' work is relating to are three five-foot-high reflective pedestals.

I'm also extremely disconcerted at the amount of curatorial liscence taken with the work. Why does the art serve the curator and not the curator serve the art? Amy Hauft is an artist herself and the creator of a fantastic installation at the Beaver College Art Gallery a few years ago but suppose a future curator were to reinstall her piece at ankle-level in a pitch-black room, or on a wall, and present it as a Hauft? What is a curator's responsibility to an artist's intention?

I'll post more about the individual artists later, I had to post about the presentation first.

RELATED: Hans Dieter Huber Artists as Curators - Curators as Artists?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


EnvironMental is opening tomorrow at Reynolds Gallery - a group show curated by Kimberly Conrad and Ron Johnson and featuring the work of Megan Biddle, Sun Tek Chung, Todd Dobbs, Emily Hall, Bryan Steiff and Sayaka Suzuki.

Sun Tek is also currently featured in Relativity at the Anderson Gallery.

Opening reception Wednesday, June 29th, 7 to 9pm.

One Day In The Garden, page 10

One Day In The Garden, page 10, originally uploaded by Bromirski.
(Please click on the page numbers above to see enlarged images of previous pages - they are much better than the somewhat pixilated images posted to the blog)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Katharina Grosse at Solvent Space

The Katharina Grosse show at Solvent Space closes July 9th. More images here. That big white space on the wall was created by working over this piece of wood and later removing it. The removed piece was placed vertically in a separate room which was left otherwise untouched.
Who's next? Daniel Buren? Ann Hamilton? Dennis Oppenheim? I hope Daniel Buren comes back.
Related - Katharina Grosse lecture blogged here and here. Installation visit here.

Friday, June 24, 2005


The kind and beautiful Contess Nally Bellati is blogging the Venice Bienniale. Scroll down to the Marie Brandolini and Mario Testino photo and work your way up.

I met Nally in NYC and she took this photo of me with my good buddy Julian Schnabel. Look in the background and you can see Jeff Koons trying to get a picture too.

He did it!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Photos of Recommendation: Thumbs-Up Mandala: Inka Essenhigh

Inka Essenhigh, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

This is Inka Essenhigh. Here's the Chuck Close version.

Inka gave a lecture at the VMFA last year and one piece of advice she had still sticks in my mind, especially when considering her own work. Talking about her abrupt switch from enamels to oil she said she did it because she knew that she wanted to eventually start painting in oil and decided there was no reason to put it off; she should just switch immediately. I’m not sure if I’m wording this very well but the gist of the advice was that if you can see yourself doing something differently in five or ten years you should make that change now.

Today on Franklin Einspruch's Artblog they are discussing Richard Serra's work; frequent commenter oldpro states "like Kelley and Johns and so many of our current art culture heros his {Serra's} virtue is to have evolved a "signature" style and stuck with it, unaffected by the changes inspiration always forces on art, for decades. It really is soulless stuff... ". I'm pretty sure that oldpro is not an Essenhigh fan but going by his definition above I don't think he could call her work soulless.

All of the following are recent Inka Essenhigh paintings: Ice Cliff(2005), Bullies(2005), Brush with Death(2004). This newer work has so much more emotional depth than the earlier stuff - much richer. Haircut(2005) is so sweet, almost like a Norman Rockwell. The earlier work had an art-nouveau futuristic feel but much of the latest stuff seems to be looking back to American art of the 30’s and earlier. I’m thinking of some members of the Ashcan School like George Bellows, Everett Shinn, and especially the under-known William Glackens (click on the title of an image and then click on the thumbnail to enlarge), and also Ryder and Rockwell; I wonder how much she and husband Steve Mumford influence each other and share sources.

RELATED: The VMFA recently acquired a 2002 Essenhigh, Green Wave, which Jennifer Reeves describes thusly at the end of this short essay on Essenhigh's work.

"One gigantic eyeball hovers among huge waves, in a recent painting, wherein a figure attempts to rise at the shoreline. This eyeball clues us in to the powerful undercurrents of imagination ready to be harvested from our very souls. Refusing to be beached along the shores of the unconscious, Essenhigh plunges headlong into its ocean of mysteries. May we take on the high waves with her, navigating between the dangerous undertows, devoutly awash in the grace of blue greens."

P.S. I had a great studio visit with her; she really narrowed in on some things, very sensitive and helpful.

Monday, June 20, 2005

One Day In The Garden, page 8

One Day In The Garden, page 8, originally uploaded by Bromirski.
(click on the page numbers above to see the previous pages)

Photos of Recommendation: Thumbs-Up Mandala: Kai Vierstra

This is Kai Vierstra.
Kai is included in Fresh Meat at Kim Foster Gallery until July 2nd along with a number of other recent graduates of VCU's MFA sculpture program. Some of the others showing are Diana Al-Hadid, Sarah Bednarek, Gabriel Bennet, Tim Devoe, and Fernando Mastrangelo. The VCU Sculpture program is ranked #1 in the country so those curious what all the fuss is about should try to see the show. I heard Jerry Saltz came by and took a bunch of notes.
Kim Foster Gallery doesn't seem to have it's own website, just an Artnet page which hasn't been updated, but fortunately Kai has a good website with all of his work including in-progress shots of Earthquake, his Kim Foster piece.
Kai is currently in residence at Skowhegan. Sarah McEneaney is up there as visiting faculty - I bet she's making some good paintings.

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.

One Day In The Garden, page 6

One Day In The Garden, page 6, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

(click on the text to see enlarged images)

Friday, June 17, 2005

One Day In The Garden, page 5

One Day In The Garden, page 5, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

One day in the garden

drawn by the scent of death, a fly came upon a murdered caterpillar.

A cry of alarm rang throughout the garden.

All of the bugs gathered to ponder the crime and to cast blame and to wonder... who could have done such a horrible thing? Then they ate the body.

The gardener could not help but notice so many bugs gathered together in his garden and took a moment to watch.

(click on the text to see enlarged images)

One Day In The Garden, page 4

One Day In The Garden, page 4, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

(click on the text to see enlarged images)

Carol Vogel and Sarah Milroy Come Out for Marlene Dumas!

Carol Vogel
has come out in support of Marlene Dumas! In her NYTimes Venice Biennial overview she remarks that the Italian pavilion "is showing masters like Francis Bacon, Agnes Martin, Marlene Dumas and Philip Guston alongside younger artists."

And in today's Globe & Mail Biennial coverage Sarah Milroy writes "and the canvases of Marlene Dumas marked her as the best of the living painters on show".


Charlie Finch,Tyler Green, Richard Polsky, Jerry Saltz


Nicole Davis, Nicole Eisenmann, Joy Garnett, Cynthia King, Sarah Milroy, Adrian Searle, Richard Vine, Carol Vogel

It is worth noting that of the pro-Dumas people more than half are women; all of the anti-Dumasers are men. Maybe there is something to a previous commenter's accusations of sexism after all. Also notable is that half of the pros are artists and there are no artists among the antis.

The anti-Marlene Dumas dudes are starting to look more and more like an Artnet circle-jerk. At least Saltz has been consistent, his dislike goes all the way back to 1993 and is actually stated in an article on painting, not a throw-away line in an article on the market like the evaluations of the other three.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

One Day In The Garden, page 3

One Day In The Garden, page 3, originally uploaded by Bromirski.
(click on the text to see enlarged images)

1708 Gallery Seeks New Director

Peter Calvert is resigning from his position of executive director of 1708 Gallery and they are searching for a replacement - read more here. It sounds like Peter will be taking a job somewhere else and he can't announce it yet?

Peter is also an artist - he's got some nice woodblock prints in the ADA Gallery 12 by12 racks.

FEAST... Against the World

feast, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Went to 1708 Gallery to see the FEAST show today. Feast (I'm not sure if it needs to be capitalized or not) is a six-member artist collective consisting of Terral Bolton, Terry Brown, Sherry Griffin, C.J. Hawn, Stephanie Lundy, and Chris Norris. Most of the work in this show is photography - but consider Feast a campy conceptual performance group. They use themselves and others as models in the photographs.
The piece pictured above is from the glamorous TULIP series, all using the same model. These TULIP pictures have a new wave fashion feel, and the model looks a lot like Lynda Carter (one of the photos is called TULIP "the lynda carter shot"). They're hot.
I'M SUSAN POWERS "and this is my fur" is a sexy 70's photo of a bare-shouldered brunette in fur and JULIE & STEVE "penthouse portrait" has no nudity but captures that sleazy swinging Bob Guccione mood perfectly. The BECCA & BRIDGET and GRETEL photos bring to mind Matthew Barney photos - stills or publicity shots from some weird campy narrative.
The 1708 Gallery people have revamped their website. Very nice. Go to the website and click on exhibitions and from there click on current - click on that photo to see a slide show of the exhibition and reception. If you saw the show and have something to say please leave a comment.

FEAST... Against the World
closes June 25th.

FYI - Paulette Roberts-Pullen has written about the Feast show and two other local photography shows in the current Style Weekly.

RELATED - 1708 Gallery is looking for a new director.

Monday, June 13, 2005

One Day In The Garden, page 1

One Day In The Garden, page 1, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Art For The Cash Poor White Hot Market Report

Saturday's Art For The Cash Poor event was hot! I had too many beers and fell asleep in the only shade available - under my table. I think I was out for two hours. I got an e-mail today from an old girlfriend from which I'll excerpt:
"Hi Martin, I'm sorry I didn't get to talk to since you were sleeping when I stopped by your table". She also had this to say - "p.s. I'm glad you've been working so much over the years. Not everyone sticks with it. Kudos". So True! Thanks Kristan.
I did get to meet some other old and new friends. MaryAnn Devine stopped by to introduce her new husband and return a painting she had been holding for me forever. Sean Kelly, an old co-worker from Borders, happened to walk by and we had a chance to catch up. Sean is now the Program Director at Eastern State Penitentiary. That place is super-cool - if you happened to catch the Virgil Marti talk earlier this year you know that ESP is the place where he had his Oscar Wilde installation. Here are the guidelines if you'd like to submit a project proposal.
Especially exciting was that I got to meet OK Artists Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof. Roberta and Libby write one of the first two artblogs I started reading (Tyler's is the other) and are a big inspiration - as both artists and artbloggers. They had a table of work from their So True and Dorothy Speaks series, much of which I had already seen on their website and written about. They were selling So True pieces for only $50.00 so I left the market to try and find a cash machine and get one. I ended up getting the piece above, which is a thin brick of wood with another painting on the reverse. Can you believe it? Only $50.00 for two paintings by artists that are going to be on the covers of Artforum and Art in America in 2020! What a bargain!!
Roberta and Libby and I spread the artists supporting artists thumbs-up magic and posed for photos with each other's work. They've already posted their photos (and you can see my table of meatballs baking in the sun behind me) but I'm still using a Kodak disposable so it will be a while until I finish that roll of film and get it developed. Daniel Buren is on that roll also.
My t-shirt is by Richmond artist Nick Kuszyk.

Stuffy's is Neverending

another untitled, originally uploaded by Bromirski
Meatballs at Stuffy's is over, but I'm going to continue showing work at Stuffy's for a while - older work and new work together. I'm putting up this one and Kindred Spirits and leaving a few meatballs.
The piece above is an untitled work from 2004. Hard to see in this picture but the line drawn between those two rocky outcroppings is a rope-bridge made of hundreds of pieces of colored thread.
Both this piece and Kindred Spirits are 37"x75".

Friday, June 10, 2005

Photos of Recommendation: Thumbs-Up Mandala: Wolf Kahn

Wolf Kahn, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

This is Wolf Kahn.

Wolf Kahn is cool. He immediately agreed to pose for a thumbs-up photo but then turned and faced the wall. I asked him to pose for another one in which I could see his face and he pointed to a sparkly paint puddle on the floor (beneath a work-in-progress) and gave it a big thumbs-up. Wolf Kahn has a huge following but he's still underrated.

When I was at the Vermont Studio Center in 1999 we were eating lunch when Louise Von Weise, a co-founder, noticed that some ducklings were being swept downstream away from their mother and so she had me and Jon Gregg jump into the river to save them. Wolf Kahn wasted no time stripping down to his underwear and jumping in too. He didn't catch a duckling, but he tried. That was fun.

I have a confession to make. I did it with Wolf Kahn!

(someone just told me his paintings are queer and he looks like an old woman, but I'm having none of it. Why do these non-art people hang around me when I'm blogging?? Go away! He's great!)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Stuffy's is Over

Meatballs at Stuffy's is officially over. The photo above is me explaining to Stuffy's workers how important it is that I show at Stuffy's and how no one else can show at Stuffy's and why I must have complete creative control.

Why Stuffy's? This past winter they had a "sub of the season", a six-inch meatball sub for only $1.50. I went to Stuffy's almost every day for a meatball sub - sometimes twice a day. Stuffy's has a double-sided sign that sticks out the front, like a small movie theatre sign, which Stuffy's staff is always changing. The side facing the Subway has said "Don't go to Subway" for months. The other side changes more regularly. For a few days it read "Your God Amuses Me", but they got a lot of complaints and now Chuck, the owner, will deny it ever said that.

You can see some Meatballs at Stuffy's photos here (they're a little blurry).

Scope Hamptons???

The more thoughts on Dumas, Saltz, the art market, etc post has generated a lot of comments on pricing. It has gotten a little weird. Commenter Snoopy made mention of reading somewhere about "posting low prices being a public proclamation of your low self-esteem" - and I'm going to the Art for the Cash Poor festival* on Saturday where nothing can be priced over $150.00! This is definitely the lowest I will ever offer a painting for, I'm going for fun and limiting how many I make available, but all the work is good stuff I've made so far this year and not stuff being thrown together to sell cheap. It will be really embarassing if nothing sells at all. Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof are going to be there too. I hope the weather is good.

Artists continue to voice opinions on the work of Marlene Dumas on the Jerry Saltz still doesn't like Marlene Dumas post. Seth, the latest commenter, has provided a partial listing of who he thinks are the "vital female painters working today" - one of whom, Ati Maier, I was unfamiliar with. Thanks for your list Seth.

*Speaking of art fairs, I can't believe there is a Scope Hamptons! That's sick! How sad.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson.
What's going to happen to Michael???
I can't believe it has been more than twenty years since I made this painting! I don't remember the exact date but it's probably from 1984 at the latest - four years before Koons!

Ryan Mulligan, Kate Hudnall, and Tim Devoe in Style Weekly

Paulette Roberts-Pullen wrote some nice things in this week's Style Weekly about the work of Ryan Mulligan, Kate Hudnall, and Tim Devoe's thesis exhibitions. She was also taken with Ryan and Kate's very different transformations of the little room and I'm especially glad she wrote about Tim because I like his work but wasn't able to say anything.

Here's the link. This week's issue also has a review of David Freed's show at Reynolds Gallery.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

David Cerny

David Cerny, a Czech artist, has a Damien Hirst parody/homage featuring a bound and underwear clad Saddam in a tank. Go to this article and look at the three photos - the description above is glib and doesn't prepare you for the impact of the photos.

Artist Hans Heiner Buhr pointed this out in the previous post's comments. have you visited his blog yet? He's in Georgia.

Walter Robinson

Walter Robinson

I borrowed an art book called post-hypnotic from the library and only after I had checked it out did I discover that Tom Moody wrote one of it's two essays (the book's main author and curator of the exhibition is Barry Blinderman). Later I was looking at the cool painting pictured above and was so surprised to see that it was created by Artnet editor Walter Robinson! Nice!

It's one of two spin-art paintings he has featured in the book, both very different. He mentions them in the last paragraph of this artnet post in relation to the sale of some of Damien Hirst's worse spin paintings to MoMA. You can see a third example in this 1997(!) artnet review of a Hirst show. Robinson is also known for his body of pulp fiction cover like work, which bring to mind Richard Prince's nurse paintings. I like Robinson's spin paintings much more than Hirst's... and the roulette wheel and and dizzy(?) drunk of this piece relate interestingly to the spin stuff.

You probably think I'm making this huge suck-up move to Walter Robinson, which I partly am, but I'll sabotage it by sharing that Robinson thinks I'm a moron. He sent me this in an e-mail a while back -

"thanks for the stab in the back -- I'll try to remember it in the future... tell your readers for me that I think you're a moron"

So there you have it, Walter Robinson thinks I'm a moron and wants me to share that with you. That sucks. The funny thing is that the moron e-mail was preceded by an e-mail only the day before which included -

"been meaning to contact you about your great post -- you know your stuff."

What does that mean though where he says "I'll try to remember it in the future"? I'm going to get panned on artnet or something? No more Richmond reviews on artnet?

That's hilarious.

UPDATE from The FUTURE: Okay, it is 10/2007, and I did not get into Geisai Miami, of which Walter was one of the judges. Touche, Walter!

UPDATE from The FUTURE II: It is now 1/2008.... hahahahahahaha.

Monday, June 06, 2005

more thoughts on Dumas, Saltz, the art market, etc.

I’m glad to see that some artists have contributed thoughts on the work of Marlene Dumas. I think that what bothers me most about all of those artnet guy slams is that they have all been so offhand, not in the context of a review or anything but usually in articles about the market and its outrageous auction prices. Just lazy throw-away remarks. The latest diss came in the Jerry Saltz article critical of the auctions; that article mentions eleven artists (Mondrian, Modigliani, Gauguin, Johns, Warhol, Cattelan, Dumas, Barney, Peyton, Currin, Tuymans) but for only one artist is an opinion stated – Marlene Dumas. I guess that was a safe one to glibly diss, five of the other six living artists mentioned are based in NYC.

George made a good observation in the comments section of a recent Modern Kicks post on Saltz’s article - “Saltz complains about speculation at the auctions, but participates in promoting the speculation at the entry level”. YES. Another interesting thing about that post for me was JL’s remark that “the shakeout he (Saltz) longs for sounds like it would cost me my job. Let the eagle soar, I say”. It made me realize again that there are so many people working in the art industry dependent on its continued growth and expansion, maybe not always in the best interests of art? Are artists the only art industry people that don’t have salaries and insurance? Why are we on the bottom of the pile? Wouldn’t it be nice if we had job security to worry about?

Aren't you artists that don't live in NY sick of hearing about this fantastic market in which shows sell out before they open and everyone has a waiting list? They keep saying "the art market" like it is the same all over, but is that what's happening in Chicago, Boston, Philly and wherever else? Seriously, I don't know, so please tell me. It isn't happening in Richmond, that's for sure. Am I the only one that doesn't sell?

I doubt it. Spector Gallery is one of Philadelphia's *hot* galleries and Jim Houser is her hot artist but look at how low most of his prices are! I'm not saying I love his work or anything but I'm surprised that a hot artist in a hot gallery in a big city is so affordable what with all of this stuff we always here about the out-of-control market. I was similarly surprised last year when Sarah McEneaney, a Philadelphia artist whose work I do love and who gets great reviews, showed at Reynolds Gallery. Her prices were lower than I would have expected also.

Friday, June 03, 2005


Futamigaura, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Here's the painting from the earlier Ray Kass post, one of my Futamigaura paintings. It's gloomy, but that rock is magical.

Art For The Cash Poor 6

AFTCP6, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Getting excited about the BIG JUNE ART FAIR, Philadelphia's Art for the Cash Poor. I'm going to (try to) sell meatballs and take orders for Social Sculpture, Packets of Rejection, Subscriptions to Rejection, and Thumbs-Up Photos. Here are some photos of a previous Art for the Cash Poor event.

*Free Art Alert* - printout yourself and show up with your favorite piece of Social Sculpture and I'll sign it for you. A savings of $2.00!!


June 15th

June 15th is the deadline to apply for a full fellowship residency at the Vermont Studio Center. I've been three times and have nothing but praise for the experience. Many of the Thumbs-Up photos I've been posting were taken during VSC residencies.

June 15th is also the deadline to submit slides for consideration to Troy, NY's The Art Center of the Capital Region. The website is not very comprehensive or informative but it's a good place to show. I had five pieces there in a group show a few years ago (and even got a good review!).

Speaking of Troy another place to consider is the Fulton Street Gallery - it's a really nice space and the people are super friendly and helpful. This is more of a grass-roots space, you won't get a lot of traffic, you may be expected to gallery-sit, and the housing mentioned on the website is probably crashing in somebody's living room - but I did it and don't regret it (I should confess that I have family nearby and stayed with them).

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Photos of Recommendation: Thumbs-Up Mandala: Ray Kass

Ray Kass, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

This is Ray Kass.

Ray Kass is lecturing at the University of Richmond tomorrow night, Thursday, June 2nd, at 6:15pm. I can't make it but if you go please share your thoughts.

P.S. - finding that Ray Kass image I came across another critic with good things to say about Marlene Dumas, Barry Schwabsky.


Originally uploaded by Bromirski.

The opening I'm sure not to miss this Friday June 3rd is that of local artist's collaborative FEAST at 1708 Gallery. The show is called FEAST... Against the World. I only know the names of two of the members, Terry Brown and Chris Norris, both of whom work independently as well. Terry is a photographer and took all of my 2003/2004 slides; Chris just showed at Flippo Gallery, ADA Gallery, and has something coming up later in the month at the Anderson Gallery. He's hot. Word is that he's maybe being "considered" for something so get your Chris Norris drawings while you can.

FEAST is hot too. They had a Jessica Dawson write-up in the Washington Post not too long ago, and I think Lenny has written about them.

See you there!

Jerry Saltz still doesn't like Marlene Dumas

I noticed that in his latest Artnet article Jerry Saltz refers to "the second-rate Marlene Dumas" - so I guess he hasn't changed his mind much since saying about her work in 1994 that "the flat-footed ways they're painted leave me completely cold".

None of the Artnet guys seem to like Dumas. Richard Polsky is always slamming her and in this article Charlie Finch calles her a "mediocre artist". Tyler Green smells blood so you can always count on him to give a little kick once it's safe.

Some critics do have good things to say about Dumas; Adrian Searle writes positively here, Richard Vine called her handling of paint "direct, notational, and extremely deft, as though Dumas were recording her dreams in their raw immediacy", and Nicole Davis writes "Dumas’s painterly quality is so sensuous that it furthers the hunger for her images" (scroll down to read more and see some images).

But really, who cares what the critics are paid to think, I'm interested in other artist's opinions. Commenter George had good things to say, Nicole Eisenmann seems to be a fan, Joy Garnett is interested. I'm definitely a fan.

Saltz going ga-ga over artists like Justin Faunce, Daniel Lefcourt, and Laurel Nakadate and dissing Dumas just doesn't make sense to me. Not that I think the above artists are bad, but their work can't hold a candle to Dumas' stuff. Maybe it's easier to over-praise stuff made by bright young locals who can fawn over you?

I'd like to hear what other artists have to say about Marlene Dumas. Please leave a comment.

UPDATE: Okay, it's 6:55pm Wednesday and 215 unique users have visited the blog so far today but only one has left a comment on Marlene Dumas. Give it up!

Paul Goode

Distant Pull
Originally uploaded by powlagua.

Paul Goode is showing drawings at Chop Suey, not sure until when, but I know he will have stuff in the ADA 12x12 bins when this show comes down. The Chop Suey show is filled with mostly small ink drawings and the room kind of felt like a selection of possible tattoos. I think the designs are created intuitively but I got a lot of cultural references out of them like Asian dragons, South American mazes, and Native American designs. Some of them start to look like something, like the forest-floor skull I see in the piece pictured above (you really need to click on the photo to see it bigger and better). See more examples here.

Paul has a blog and often writes about Richmond arts and culture. Check it out!