Monday, October 31, 2005

Michael Lease

Michael Lease, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Michael Lease is showing at Chop Suey with a selection of digital prints blown up from birthday snapshots. Michael solicited friends and acquaintances for the photos, also asking to be put in contact with each contributor's mother, from whom he then requested written thoughts and birthday remembrances. Michael's correspondence with both the contributors and their mothers is all displayed in a binder, easily matched up with the photos on the walls.

Most of the photos are from the 70's and 80's, it's fun to look back at the Pac-Man pajamas and feathered hair. One kid is having his party at McDonald's with a McDonald's cake (do they still do that?) and a photo from the Bicentennial Year of 1976 features a cake covered with little paper American flags. A seven-year-old princess from 1985 is wearing a Happy Birthday tiara and leaning over a tablecloth of hearts to blow out her star-covered rainbow cake.

I've seen the exhibition twice; the first time was at the opening and it felt like a party, surrounded by all the photos of children and cakes and balloons - celebratory. The second time I was alone in the quiet gallery space and my encounter was much different, almost mournful. Most of the photos are of the moment, the moment of blowing out the birthday candles, the moment of wish-making and the exhalation of breath. It's a magic combination I hadn't considered before. Some of these little faces look so serious and intent on blowing out those candles and getting that wish, like they almost understand and are maybe even considering the worth of this acknowledgment of mortality. The all-white borders of the prints and white frames contributed to the more ethereal, elegiac feelings I had on my second visit.

Michael's last projects I saw, a photo-narrative remembrance of people from his life he has lost contact with, and his own fake obituary published in the Washington Post, had the same melancholy combination of the celebratory and mournful.

RELATED: I'm two! Three! Four! My mom's cakes look pretty simple but they are made from scratch and DELICIOUS. Maybe carrot cake or spice cake. I want to go baaack.

D'Metrius Rice

DJ, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Friday, October 28, 2005

the something of September

9/2/2005, NYTimes, Roberta Smith -

"staged, people-based photography is becoming the Pre-Raphaelite painting of our time"

9/29/2005, Artnet, Phyllis Tuchman

"Pissarro was the Hans Hofmann of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism"

9/30/2005, NYTimes, Ken Johnson -

"Arbus was a wonderful formalist and just as wonderful a storyteller -- the Flannery O'Connor of photography"


Sunflower, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

These horizontal things always get a little distorted when I put them on the blog. Click here to see it MUCH better. For the previous ones just click on the image, and click again on "all sizes" if you'd like to see it bigger and better.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Photos of Recommendation: Thumbs-Up Mandala: Judith Stein

This is art writer/collector/curator Judith Stein.
Carol Es just wrote that she visited with Judith while in Philadelphia and that "Judith has co-curated a show at Slought with Gabe Greenberg called Comicology: The New Magical Real, which includes original comic book art".
I remember seeing Judith's Horace Pippin show at the PAFA, it was so good. Great paintings, great setting.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

more OPTIONS reviews

Lenny has posted his OPTIONS 2005 review, talking about the work of local artists Suzanna Fields and Jorge Benitez, with mentions of that of Tim Devoe, Ryan Mulligan, and Randy Toy.

JT has updated his OPTIONS review page with a post on Emily Hall's work. Her piece is his favorite in the show. Her installation was one of my favorites from the first round of last Spring's VCU thesis shows also, I think it is all the same stuff that JT is liking?

Links to all the other OPTIONS reviews I've seen are here. Don't forget that Alexandra Silverthorne is doing them alphabetically throughout the run of the show.


sunflower, originally uploaded by Bromirski.
She's drinking Asahi Super Dry. The Asahi Super Dry building is topped by a giant golden turd.


sunflower, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


spoonerini, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Yes, it is amazing, I know.

Arshile Gorky

Gorky, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

I forgot to say in yesterday's Paul Ryan post that he mentioned being inspired by a Gorky painting. Not sure which one, but yes, I can see the positive/negative spaces and hints of figuration relating to Paul's own work.

JT left a comment to yesterday's post with links to his own thoughts on Ryan's work, here and here. That first post of JT's also notes the disconnect between the curatorial statement, focusing on the fashion magazine source imagery, and the paintings. I'm so confused; Paul himself stated in his talk that he has zero interest in any of that and he started using those magazines just because, living with three women, they were readily available - so why does he accompany his exhibitions with statements which so heavily promote the source material?

What's the deal, is it important to you or not? If not, why are you allowing these statements to misrepresent your work?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan is showing seven paintings at Reynolds Gallery until the end of the month, I guess for another week.

All of the paintings are long and narrow, like a narrower David Reed, a format which for me always brings to mind Japanese e-maki scrolls and an automatic invocation of narrative. I think most of the paintings in this show are 12 x 90 inches. Almost all of them consist of a band of six or seven vertical biomorphic shapes, each shape reaching and seeming to continue beyond both the top and bottom of the canvas. The paintings are mostly bright, all the shapes within a canvas are the same color and thinly painted over a lighter ground; vinyl-vivid, for example, has red-orange shapes over a yellow ground.

There is a bit of play, in parts, of positive and negative space, but because the slightly darker vertical shapes are so obviously the positives, painted over a brighter ground, it doesn't happen too much. They seem mostly playful and figurative - although in lift here and be happy I see a dog's head, maybe a German Shepherd, with a bird in it's mouth, and introducing attention, one of the most boring (and I think the only one without a clear band of vertical shapes), is like a too long and narrow Pangeic world map, in Baldessari orange.

I attended Paul's talk and he spoke a little about text, unfortunately I didn't take any notes and can't remember too many details of what was said. I do read most of these paintings from left to right, and one painting in particular, funny blue day, the only painting in which the vertical shapes do not reach the top edge of the canvas, looked like primitive simple Kanji. That painting and a couple others, with the shapes twisting across the canvas like motion study Muybridge, also brought to mind flickering candles and Degas ballerinas.

All of the shapes are made from cutouts from fashion magazines, which Paul supposedly has no interest in and uses for no reason other than that they are available. I couldn't tell and don't care. What I most remember from the talk is his stating a number of times that "concept follows form", something that seemed clear. If anything, any concept part seems like something played up a bit after the fact. Paul's wife Dinah Ryan's statement for the show claims that something about the paintings "forces attention to the ideas suggested by fashion's baroque elaboration and its pervasive, cultural grip". Uh? Nothing about the paintings or anything he said would lead one to think that. Paul's paintings are certainly okay, but might be stronger if he decided to abandon the less-than-barely-there (approval seeking?) concepts and more fully embrace his obvious interests in color, shape, space, form, and brushstrokes.

UPDATE: These Robert Moskowitz paintings, especially this one, remind me a little of Paul's and are a better example of concept and form working together. Maybe if Paul tried working from a source material that interested/motivated/inspired him?

Paul and Dinah Ryan both write for Art Papers and co-curated Adaptation Syndrome. Paul Ryan is also the replacement for recently retired Morris Yarovsky at VCU.

Paulette Roberts-Pullen on Paul Ryan for Style Weekly here.


Sunflower, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

OPTIONS 2005 stuff

From curator Olivia "Libby" Lumpkin's OPTIONS 2005 statement -

"The artists themselves represent a wildly diverse demographic" and "among the twenty artists represented in the WPA\Corcoran OPTIONS 2005 exhibition, the connecting thread may be somewhat difficult to find". It continues with - "some are still tethered to parental beneficence, while others have day jobs. One has abandoned a career as an architect; another appears to have made his way from the street. Still others were found in the most domestic netherworld of the bourgeois suburbs that constitutes the culture most foreign to the edgy domain of contemporary art."

Well... six of the seven included Richmond artists were found on a visit to VCU's MFA program, so I'm not too sure of what she is talking about. The connecting thread is pretty obvious to me. How many of the others were found on visits to MICA or elsewhere? It is pretty ridiculous that she doesn't mention the grad program studio visits in that message about how she selected work.

I haven't seen the show and most probably won't be going up, but I'll link here to all of the coverage mentioning the Richmond artists:

Michael O'Sullivan's review for the Washington Post - positive on Tim Devoe, negative on Judith Baumann.

JT Kirkland writes a response to O'Sullivan's review - agrees with O'Sullivan on Baumann and Devoe, but very much disagrees on a non-Richmond artist, Susan Noyes Vaughan.

JT Kirkland on individual works - JT has posted a bunch of photos of individual works from the show and is writing a short review of each directly below each photo. So far he has talked about Randy Toy (+), Tim Devoe, Suzanna Fields, and Ryan Mulligan (-). Still to come is Emily Hall, probably next week.

Here are some photos from the opening, including a couple from Ryan's performance.

Alexandra Silverthorne - is doing one artist a day, alphabetically. She is critical of Baumann and really liked Jorge Benitez.

James Bailey is anti-OPTIONS and anti-Lumpkin.

Although I haven't seen the show I am more than a little disappointed to note that both Judith Baumann and Emily Hall are showing the same work they exhibited six months ago at their thesis shows in April, especially considering the fact that both of them were recipients of $8,000 VMFA professional grants. Money well spent? I liked Emily's thesis installation of six or seven little "homes" in that little room with that title, but the one red structure removed and included in radius250 was a bit of a letdown, and now here it is again in the OPTIONS show.

I'd like to suggest to the VMFA that for their next round of grants they give the undergrad grants to undergrads, grad grants to grads, and the professional grants to artists who can demonstrate that they might be in it for the long haul. Also, if maybe they didn't choose a juror doing private studio visits with VCU grads that year, that might be nice.

new acquisitions

Peter Corrie, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Above is the scrappy Peter Corrie drawing I bought from his show at Nonesuch last month. It was only $30.00. This demon ghost cloud is tearing the artist to pieces, I think it came from the rug - or maybe it is the demon from the artist. It looks like my frustration.

Also, Mike Martin and his NEW WIFE Billie stayed with me last weekend, and Mike gave me a painting! They left before I could give them one also, that is the plus side of sleeping until 2pm. Mike recently finished a residency at a place in Kentucky called Artcroft. It's small, run by an older couple, he had a good time. He made this outdoor sculpture, a roller-coaster drawing amongst the trees. It will stay there until it falls down or some kid jumps on it.

P.S. Nonesuch is having Psychoterror Wednesdays!!! every Wednesday at 8pm. Horror movies. Bring your own refreshments. FREE.


Sunflower, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Sunflower, first two posts are here and here. If you click on the pictures it will take you to the flickr site, click on "all sizes" to see it a little bigger. Mostly cut paper, a little paint, her hair is black thread.


Sunflower, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Jody Sweitzer/Chris Vecchio

burnedanimals, originally uploaded by sokref1.

Sadness. All that remains of Jody Sweitzer and Chris Vecchio's installation in Philadelphia, after it was set on fire by someone.

Here's how it looked before, and here is a shot without the bars (from Roberta's flickr account).

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sheep Jones

Sheep Jones is showing new paintings at Rentz Gallery until the end of this month. Most of her paintings feature a simple house in the center of the canvas, like a Jennifer Bartlett house, although Sheep's work seems less conceptually inclined and more about seeing what she can do with paint - using the house as a sort of template. I asked the gallery to send me some jpgs of her work and they did straightaway (thank you), but I'm not using them because they weren't good enough - sorry. These paintings with all of their color and texture and incidents need to be visited to be fully appreciated.
Grid House (24"x24") is a black house with a great door, a blue frame enclosing wavy grooves of brown paint. Next to the door is a square smear of olive and gray over black which somehow has the feel of a shuttered window. Upstairs is a second window of pink, blue, green, black, white, and olive.
Cabins on a Long Pond (10"x14") is a centered line-up of three yellow awkward house shapes, each one leaning differently, and their reflected images directly below. They look like pencil tips.
My favorites were not the house paintings but the three dark, slightly nostalgic cityscapes in the alcove behind the desk, especially Augusta (20"X20"). Wow. This small, almost black painting really knocked my socks off.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Angela Willcocks

Angela Willcocks, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

The Eric Fischl lecture Wednesday didn't go off, there was a sign posted on the door of Solvent Space about some sort of travel difficulty, so instead I visited the show at nearby Artspace.

Angela Willcocks
is really good! I'm glad that lecture was cancelled or I may have missed these. She's showing seven postcard size DVD animations, each running on a short loop, each based on one of the seven deadly sins.

Vanity - Starts off with an old woman looking at the camera and explaining the different changes and cosmetic procedures she would like to have - "I would love to have slanting eyes, like this", "naturally my teeth should be much wider and sharper than they are now", "I would like to see better" and "be able to give a really big smile, like I used to".

Funny thing is that as she is descibing these things and more animation lines are added she actually does begin to look more and more strong and magical and powerful, like a monster lioness. It doesn't seem so much like she is overly-concerned with her appearance but that she would like to be stronger and more vigorous, FIERCER and immortal. Really great.

- A little golden boy, blond hair and ruby lips, shirtless (filmed from the shoulders up), standing under hot lights, running his hand through his hair and following through with a seventies finger snap and point to the camera, saying something like "pussycattin' baby, sexy!", over and over. Like some seventies six-year-old practicing his pick-up lines in the mirror, he doesn't seem to understand exactly what he is saying so the intonation and accent is different each time. Alternated with some disconcerting mugging and posing and pouting for the camera; he may not yet understand the language of seduction but even at this early age he is clearly becoming literate with it's images.

- A little boy or girl, maybe the same from Lust, standing in a kitchen looking at the camera and shouting "I hate you!" - each shout is a different take so it isn't exactly the same sound each time, and with each shout a different scratchy and kinetic animated drawing is superimposed over his head and shoulders. For example: a priest's collar, a Ku Klux Klan hood, a black ski-mask, an Osama Bin Laden beard and turban, a Jewish guy with the black hat and long curls, a skull. Sounds corny but it is effective.

Jason Coates on Angela Willcocks and the two other artists showing at Artpsace here.

Photos of Recommendation: Thumbs-Up Mandala: Sarah McEneaney

Sarah McEneaney, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

This is Sarah McEneaney, giving a digital thumbs-up. Marlene Dumas, Humberto Maturana... are you out there???

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Whitney Biennial artist gossip

Okay, so now we know that Pierre Huyghe is one of the artists included in the upcoming Whitney Biennial. Who else? Below are some rumored maybes -

Franklin Evans
Tim Gardner - click on his name under "artists"
Robert Gober
Pierre Huyghe - excellent excellent artist, my favorite on this list, but isn't he French and doesn't he live in Paris? Didn't he represent France at the Venice Biennale five years ago? What is he doing in a survey of contemporary American art?
Dana Schutz
Phoebe Washburn - I'm a collector!

Where are the curators now? In China or Ljubljana? When are they coming to Richmond? The closest I have heard they have visited (outside of NYC) is Puerto Rico.

The 2004 California Biennial consisted of all California artists. THING: New Sculpture from Los Angeles featured all LA based artists. Why did the last Whitney Biennial include Kusama Yayoi (born and lives in Japan, except for a brief period in NYC more than thirty years ago), Liisa Roberts (born Paris, lives Helsinki), and Isaac Julien (London)? I don't get it. Surely there is somebody in Philadelphia or Chicago or Seattle or Detroit or Cleveland or Indianapolis or DC or Portland doing something interesting.

electronic snoozism

Went to Stephen Vitiello and Andrew Deutsch's performance at Solvent Space on Saturday night. Vitiello has the current show at Solvent Space, which I have yet to experience (it's a sound show) - they are only open three days a week from 1-4pm - so I'm not sure how much Saturday's performance built on or was related to the exhibition.

We all sat on the floor or stood against the walls and a video was projected onto one wall while Vitiello and Deutsch worked a big pile of electronic equipment off to the side. I guess it wasn't really a video, because it was something being projected in real time, and all of it was being created on the spot.

Two small monitors sat on the floor in front of a video camera (they were what was being projected) and one of the two guys was doing something else with another camera and monitor on top of a table. Whatever he was doing is what was being played on the monitors. It's all hard to explain, lots of electronic stuff and electronic noises and feedback and distortion. The images and the sounds reacted and responded to each other, the guys jumped around filming and tweaking and turning knobs.

It was sort of interesting for about ten minutes, at most. Those first ten minutes were spent watching the effects and wondering if maybe concept is following form or form following concept or what, before eventually deciding that in this case both concept and form follow self-indulgence.

Were you there? What happened in the last twenty or thirty minutes that hadn't already happened in the first ten, except maybe for the barely perceptible sound/tone of a little girl's questioning voice that just made me groan and roll my eyes - what did that have to do with any of it?

Most of the people around me were nodding off, checking out the crowd, or fixated on their cellphones - but I'm hoping that someone really liked it and can leave an enthusiastic comment.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Murder, She Painted

grandmamoses, originally uploaded by Bromirski
My longtime screenplay idea is similar; a murder mystery set in the NY artworld of the fifties, featuring Grandma Moses as the common-sense folksy granny navigating her way through it all and solving the crime. It was to be called Murder, She Painted.

studio sublet

A friend of mine is abroad and trying to sublet her Long Island City studio, here's the pertinent info -

Crane Street Studio, right across from P.S.1
5 minutes walking distance from G, E,V and 7 train. 24hr access, work only (NO LIVING).
$380 per month about 350 sq, one month security deposit required. Electricity included. Freight elevator. Available from now until next spring (short term and long term available).
Building-wide open studio twice a year (more than 100 artists in the building).

If you are interested let me know and I will give you her contact information.

recent artblog Richmond(VCU)-related mentions

Tyler Green plugs both the current show at the Anderson Gallery and tomorrow's Eric Fischl talk. Tyler says that Surface Charge is the best contemporary group show he has seen so far this season, and also praises the website. If you click on "view exhibition" you come to a map of the galleries, and if you click on the individual artist's names you can see their work. I will definitely be going into more depth with this show at a later date (the show closes December 4th), the good and the lame. My favorite is Lisa Sigal.

Grammar Police talks about Alessandra Torres at JET Artworks. Make sure you read the comments because he gets a long rebuke from Thomas Robertello, the owner/director of the gallery.

Lenny has a couple pics from the Options show. This is the only Options stuff I've seen so far, but I'm sure there willl be more.

JT Kirkland says Kendall Buster's show at Fusebox is a knockout. Some very positive thoughts. Lenny has the link to Washington Post critic Blake Gopnik's review.

Bloggy recommends Siemon Allen (Kendall's husband) in Williamsburg. I think someone else does also, but I can't find it now - I'll update later.

Monday, October 10, 2005

God Bless Sidney and Frances Lewis

Here's an excerpt from a conversation between Elizabeth Murray and Jennifer Bartlett in the current issue of Bomb, talking about early struggles and poverty, mentioning local art collector Sidney Lewis -

"JB Do you remember all those art-for-fur-coats in the 60's?

EM That happened to us, with Sidney Lewis

JB When we got our washing machines! God bless Sidney Lewis.

EM Everybody's first TV and first washer. The thrill when that happened, being able to order anything out of that catalog, like a slide projector, a washer-dryer. It was fabulous. Sidney Lewis brought the middle class to poor artists. I remember seeing all those shiny new appliances sitting around in everybody's crummy apartments. There were no elevators; you had to carry all that stuff up these steep staircases."

Sidney Lewis was the founder of Best Products and he and his wife Frances built much of their art collection by trading with artists. They collected work from Lee Bonteceau, Alex Katz, Lucas Samaras, Andy Warhol, and so many more. They got the piece, currently hanging here at the VMFA, that Ed Ruscha tells Richard Prince is his favorite work -

"RP: Is there any painting of yours you let go that you'd like to get back?

ER: Yes, it's the one titled Noise, Pencil, Broken Pencil, Cheap Western, and it illustrates just that. It's my favorite work."

Sidney Lewis also commissioned SITE's James Wines to build some of the Best Products showrooms, like the one pictured above (Houston?) and this one in Sacramento. Are these still standing? There is very little about SITE, James Wines, or the Best buildings on the internet. I might have to look for a book.

Sidney Lewis died in 1999 but Frances Lewis is still living in their surprisingly small home on Monument Avenue. I've visited the house and it is stuffed with contemporary art and art furniture; every lamp, table, and chair is a piece of art. I think Mrs. Lewis has stopped collecting new stuff. I've also visited the warehouse where all the stuff not in the house or museum is kept, racks and racks of paintings - very dusty, many of them bent or corners poking into paintings nearby. I wonder if one of them is a 60's era Jennifer Bartlett or Elizabeth Murray? What did gallerists of the time think of the Lewis's bartering with artists? I have a feeling that they would be blacklisted today.

I want to be able to bless a collector too!!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Photos of Recommendation: Thumbs-Up Mandala: Melissa Meyer

Melissa Meyer, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

This is Melissa Meyer. She has a show up at Elizabeth Harris Gallery until this Saturday, October 8th. Why haven't I read about it yet??? I think artcritical is going to post something soon, thankfully.


Pat Adams
William Bailey
Nayland Blake
Carl Dennis
Lois Dodd
Inka Essenhigh
Roberta Fallon
Jonathan Franzen
David Gates
Peter Halley
Wolf Kahn
Ray Kass
Carl Phillips
Libby Rosof
Sherod Santos
Kai Vierstra
Larry Woiwode

Thursday, October 06, 2005

John Henry Blatter's Daily Consitutional

John Henry Blatter, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Local artist John Henry Blatter is in the process of producing a publication of artist's writings in a magazine format, called Daily Consitutional, and is seeking submissions.

The mission statement -

"The mission of this publication is to provide an outlet and forum for the individual Artist’s voice, rather than the cacophony that is the art world at large (galleries, critics, curators, museums, patrons and finally the artists themselves). To provide a place, between the art centers that are LA and NY, to express, exchange and discuss opinions, ideas and discoveries within one’s practice. This publication can only be made possible, through a collaboration of individual Artists."

Visit the website to learn more and how to submit, the submission deadline for the first issue is October 20th.


Danielle Riede, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Some openings I am sure to hit this Friday evening -

1708 Gallery - paintings by Jill Moser

ADA Gallery - work by Mike Taylor, Nicole Baumann, and Judith Page.

I think Danielle Riede may also have an installation up, not sure, I don't see her name in the paper or on the gallery's website. Danielle works with paint chips, like the one pictured above, and studied under Daniel Buren.

Judith Page had a nice mention on artnet yesterday. Isn't she giving a lecture or something at the University of Richmond?

Art6 Gallery - Andy Faith and Tricia Pearsall.

One of my September regrets is not getting up a post on the Leo Divendal show that just closed. I wanted to get a jpg (from a specific series) to post, asked at the gallery, e-mailed the two people I was told to e-mail, one of them got back but didn't seem familiar with the idea of blogs or jpgs and said he would forward my request to some VCU curator - and that was it. Sorry, Leo.

Chop Suey - a photography project by Michael Lease. Aargh, I wish I had participated. He sent out requests for childhood birthday pictures and I never got around to sending one.

Curated Culture - paintings by Fred Weatherford

Gallery5 - Christopher Carroll, Terry Wolfe, John Adams, Todd Raviotta. Reception 7-10pm, bands from 10pm-1am.

This was a lot of fun last time, except for the outrageously expensive Yuengling. And worse, the price was like $2.50 or $3.50, can't remember what exactly, and if you gave the guy a five you only got the bill back. I had to ask for my .50 cents! If you are going to charge so much please don't make me ask for my change.

Main Art Gallery - mixed media by Frank Heller


Sunflower, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Sunflower, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

talks and performances

Paul Ryan will give a talk tomorrow, Wednesday, 7pm, at Reynolds Gallery. He has a solo show of paintings on the first floor. Paul was the co-curator of Adaptation Syndrome and has recently joined the faculty at VCU.

Diana Cooper will also give an artist talk tomorrow at the VCU Fine Arts Building, 3rd Floor, at 11am. Grace Glueck just reviewed a show at Hunter that Cooper is in.

Stephen Vitiello and Andrew Deutsch will perform together Saturday, October 8, 7:30 pm at Solvent Space. Stephen Vitiello has the current show there, although the website hasn't been updated in months.

I was at Reynolds Gallery today and am HAPPY to report that Ron Johnson is back in top form. He has two big works, each on two overlapping sheets of mylar, hanging on the second floor. These pieces are a little more exuberant than his previous dark and creepy good stuff. More drawing. Ron's titles always say it all, one of these is called "Trying To Find a Way Back". I think Ron must work a lot.

I spent some time watching the slow, jerky movements of Claire Watkins robotic branch - it's like a pinned down Frankenstein butterfly trying to come to life and escape. Great electronic whirring struggling sound also. Lois Dodd has a nice little painting of an iris, and someone, I'll check back, has a clunky little gold sculpture on the windowsill.

Eric Hall

This is the little robot I bought more than a year ago from a guy named Eric Hall at Chop Suey's Bizarre Market.

It's reminiscent of a Star Wars action-figure, silver, about five inches tall, with fully articulated joints. Eric had about eight different robots, male and female, that he had cobbled together from other tiny plastic toys, putty, silver paint, and I don't know what else. Looking at the robot now it's hard to figure out what the individual pieces originally were. Eric said he was making these robots as a hobby, and when I asked for contact info he wrote "toy guy" in parenthesis after his name, so I'm not sure if he considers them art. It cost $15.00.

I haven't seen him since. Has anybody else seen Eric Hall, the toy guy?

The next Bizarre Market is October 22nd.

Monday, October 03, 2005

on struggle and sacrifice in the arts

Sheri L. Pasquarella scares me.

from her blog -

"I myself have a very uncommon background, in that while I did study art history & criticism in new york and in Paris & started working on my masters, I did bend a lot of rules in order to get where I am in such a short period of time (I was Associate Director of Marlborough Gallery-- a blue-chip gallery with several international locations-- by the time I was 23; then left when I was 25 to become Director of Gorney Bravin + Lee)"

(my resentful response to this)

The Dumas Report

Two more women writing positively on the work of Marlene Dumas, both for the September 2005 issue of Artforum -

Svetlana Alpers on The Triumph of Painting -

"Marlene Dumas also uses photos. But she is not depressed about painting. In her hands, photos are a mode of access. A way to connect with the world much as earlier painters had used the resource of paintings past. Working her medium is what matters in facing a bleak and brutal world. It is by means of the supple laying on of pale, washlike pigments that Dumas gives value to an extended strip of naked youths (Young Boys, 1993), even as she is mercilessly exposing their vulnerable bodies."

Elisabeth Sussman on the 51st Venice Biennale -

"Installed close by Bacon and Guston, Marlene Dumas’s magnificent group of paintings, many of them depicting figures lying dead or wounded, instantly recalled Gerhard Richter’s Baader-Meinhof series of 1988; but Dumas’s figures, with their white flesh and mouths and nostrils filled with dried blood, luminescent against dark backgrounds, are bravura passages of loose and spontaneous brushwork all her own."


Charlie Finch, Tyler Green, Richard Polsky, Jerry Saltz


Nicole Davis, Nicole Eisenmann (and in the comments to this previous post), Joy Garnett, Cynthia King, Sarah Milroy, Adrian Searle, Richard Vine, Carol Vogel, Elisabeth Sussman, Svetlana Alpers