Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Haigh Jamgochian and his Markel Building

Here is the new sign outside Haigh Jamgochian's Markel Building.

"The Markel Corporation commissioned architect Haig Jamgochian, a Richmond native, to design their headquarters in 1962. The aluminum clad conical structure was inspired by a baked potato wrapped in foil served to Jamgochian while attending an American Institute of Architect's dinner. Each floor consists of a single piece of 555-foot aluminum. They are the longest unbroken pieces of aluminum ever used as siding material. Jamgochian personally sledge-hammered crinkles into the 3rd floor siding before contractors finished the job on the other two floors in 1965. The building is a unique architectural example of its era."

(uh oh, did they spell his first name wrong? every other thing i have read spells it "haigh")

Jamgochian's original plan for the site was larger; six mushroom pods under a circular frame made of masonry and glass. One of the two newspaper articles linked to below states that "the site was built over a creek, so mushrooms naturally came to mind, he said. His inspiration for the one pod office came at a dinner -- a foil-wrapped baked potato". I think that the original, larger plan came in within the budget, but they then asked what he could do for half that much; I guess they were really impressed with how much he could do within the budget?

Each floor of Jamgochian's Markel Building is wrapped in a single 555-feet piece of aluminum. 555 feet because that is the height of the Washington Monument. Jamgochian used a sledgehammer to hammer all the dents into the third floor band himself, in only four hours. The whole building is covered in metal patches and duct tape today, which makes it look even better, somehow. Click on that top photo to see it larger and you can see some of the patching.

Richmond was the headquarters of Reynolds Metals (Reynolds Wrap), so aluminum was a natural choice; the former Reynolds headquarters building, designed by Gordon Bunshaft, is now the worldwide headquarters of Philip Morris, and that building too is made almost entirely of aluminum, including the threads in the carpeting. Wow!

The Markel Building is one of the only two of his designs that were EVER built, the other was known as the Moon House. The Moon House was built for a used car salesman named Mad Man Dapper Dan. Mad Man Dapper Dan wanted a house that was out of this world. The moon house was built with bullet proof glass because of the threats on Dapper Dan's life. Mad Man Dapper Dan's real name was Howard Hughes. Sadly, the Moon House was bought by a developer and torn down a few years ago, so the Markel Building is the only Jamgochian building left now.

READ THIS ARTICLE on Haigh Jamgochian... he is so interesting. He's been a locksmith, a teacher, a plumber, and was a yoga teacher long before yoga was fashionable. Jamgochian is still alive, maybe eighty-two or so, and spends most of his time and energy re-arranging his land.... moving rocks and logs around.. making some kind of paradise garden. The first time I heard of him was on a tv news profile a few years ago, it was good, he was so exuberant. I'd like to see that again.

Art of This Century
I can't believe I am having a show in the Markel Building!!!

RELATED: Style Weekly; 4/5/2006, Richmond Times-Dispatch; 6/12/2006, some photos (but I'd like to get some better ones).

Vincent Brooks, senior archivist for architectural records with the Library of Virginia, has collected all of Jamgochian's papers and models, and is planning an exhibit for next year, I think. Can we go and look at the models and things? I want to see them.

THANK YOU to Pettus LeCompte, current owner of the building, and to Mike Pittman and Joe Throckmorton, for helping me get my work up.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Art Basel: Stuffy's!!!!

Art Basel: Stuffy's is now open! You can see many booths, and art!!!


Michelle Arthur
Martin Bromirski
Travis Conner
Don Crow
Paul Dipasquale
Scott Eastwood
Micheal Lease - don't miss Alley-Oop!
Drew Liverman
Oura Sananikone
Tom Harte
Rachel Hayes
Timothy Sean Johnston
Fiona Ross
Barbara Tisserat
Bruce Wilhelm

October 23 - November 30, 2006

Stuffy's Subs
411 N. Harrison Street
Richmond VA

The postcard announcement is also a coupon, good for 10% off your next purchase at Stuffy's!

Bloggers, apply for press passes! You won't be turned away! Photographers, send me your photos from the fair!
ABMB: Press Pass!

RELATED: Meatballs at Stuffy's

Alley-Oop Opens FRIDAY

This looks like it will be an interesting show.... look at the documentation.

sometimes i miss posting shows

This is a photo of Imi Hwangbo's piece from Ashley Kistler's Garden, the show that recently closed at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. They have good shows... but for some reason I never get around to featuring them here... not often enough anyways.

Other good shows at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond that I've seen but spazzed out on spotlighting were Judith Shaecter's , Barbara Tisserat's, and Carrie Mae Weems'. Barbara got a good review in Art Papers.

Reed Anderson
Reed Anderson - Reed Anderson's piece from Garden... kinda liked it, but then not; I liked slowly noticing all the owls. Saw those owls in some student work recently, he inspired some kids. Nice studio shot... maybe I need to see more stuff.

Dario Robleto - One of Dario Robleto's pieces from his Weatherspoon show, a little like the Anderson; so much stuff, but something still missing for me. He'll be speaking at VCU soon.

RELATED: My "garden" piece, One Day in the Garden. You blew it, Kistler!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

on the street

on the street

Art of This Century

My SOLO SHOW 2006 is NOW UP at GUGGENHEIM RICHMOND, also known as the "BIZARRO GUGGENHEIM", also known as the MARKEL BUILDING.

UPDATE: photos from the installation!
UPDATE: read the review!

The show runs October 20th - November 30th, 2006, at the Markel Building, 5310 Markel Road, Richmond VA. The building is only open Monday - Friday, about 9-5.

Directions from NYC: Get on the Chinese bus to Richmond, get off the Chinese bus in Richmond, look right and you will see the building.

There will be no reception.

Interview with ADA Gallery's John Pollard at Scope London

Here's a video interview with ADA Gallery's John Pollard at Scope London. Getting into these fairs had been a big goal of his... I think he took work by Kate Woodliff, the Spahr Brothers, Daniel Davidson, Eric Sall, A.J. Liberto, Bruce Wilhelm, Casey Jex Smith, Charles Yuen, Tricia Keightley... others.

John Pollard
Here is John scoping out Scope Miami last year... trying to figure out how to get in.

UPDATE: That video has now had more "views" than any of the other London art goings-ons videos (Frieze, Scope, etc.) on that site....

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

upcoming lectures

Some upcoming lectures, let me know of others and I can add them -

10/25 Ron Johnson, 7pm, Reynolds Gallery - Oh man, did you see that photo in the Richmond Times Dispatch? Poor Ron.

from Fast Times at Ridgemont High

10/30 Dario Robleto, 3pm, VCU Commons Theatre - We saw his show at the Weatherspoon; I wasn't very interested, but the interns were into it.

10/31 Stephen Westfall, 3pm, VCU Commons Theatre - I'm psyched for this one (Westfall on Artnet, Westfall on The Brooklyn Rail, Saltz on Westfall).

11/1 William Pope L., 10am, VCU's Art Foundations Building

The Black Factory!!!
Strident orange is people!!!

11/1 Beverly Semmes - Where and what time I don't know. Is this really the same day as PopeL?

11/13 Sina Najafi, 3pm, VCU Commons Theatre - this is the Editor in Chief and Co-founder of Cabinet Magazine.

11/15 Eric Fischl, 4pm, VCU Commons Theatre

11/20 Jennifer Pastor, 230pm, VCU Commons Theatre

11/29 Kehinde Wiley, 6pm, Viginia Museum of Fine Arts - Good Kehinde comments on this post.

Also coming will be Cory Arcangel and Josiah McElheny, both of which should be good. Not sure of the dates.

Cory was my Friendster friend for a little while, but then he commited Friendster suicide... BUT, I took a screenshot of him (and others) and saved them to disk. It is part of my Time Capsule now. Anyways, now you can be Cory's friend on Myspace. Or mine, I just did it.

I am still on Friendster!!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

good grief, jonathan franzen

Jonathan Franzen on Charles Schultz -

"Schulz wasn't an artist because he suffered. He suffered because he was an artist. To keep choosing art over the comforts of a normal life ......is the opposite of damaged. It's the sort of choice that only a tower of strength and sanity can make."

Jonathan Franzen

RELATED: Powell's interview with Jonathan Franzen, BOMB interview with Jonathan Franzen, Slate's "Jonathan Franzen: A Defense".


Zombies are coming! This was kind of scary, standing here until the last second.

There was a girl zombie in an orange shirt around here who was a super good zombie, all my pictures of her are blurry or lost because when I would stand still to focus on her she would start to shuffle toward me and I had to escape before I could press "store".

The one on the right almost got me.

A few more zombie photos on my flickr. Whooooaaah!!!! I am only just now noticing that zombie hand in the bottom left corner! Holy fuck, that was close!!!

Nice zombie shadow.


Friday, October 20, 2006

zombie walk

where is this going to be? and when exactly? i think saturday... but where?
anybody know?

i want to see some zombies.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Steven Parrino

Steven Parrino, Skeletal Explosion
Skeletal Explosion

Steven Parrino

Parrino, Death in America #1, 2003
Death in America #1, 2003

Steven Parrino, The No Title Painting, 2003
The No Title Painting, 2003

Steven Parrino

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

sorry, art basel

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

addresses, please

Please send me your mailing addresses if you would like to be sent postcard announcements... I'm putting up a couple shows... both in Richmond, but postcards are nice to send anywhere.

E-mail me.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Jo Baer's letter to Artforum, September 1967

Jo Baer's 1967 letter to Artforum, in defense of painting. She was pissed because there was so much anti-painting sentiment at the time; she'd been left out of some shows she felt she belonged in, she'd been in an argument with Donald Judd, and then Artforum ran two Summer 1967 articles (one by Michael Fried, the other by Robert Morris) that really set her off -

Jo Baer's letter to Artforum,  September 1967
Click here to see BIGGER.

Jo Baer's letter to Artforum,  September 1967
Click here to see BIGGER.

Jo Baer's letter to Artforum,  September 1967
Click here to see BIGGER.

Judith Stein's interview with Jo Baer is good. This excerpt makes me think of Edna -

Judith Stein: Speaking of being rude....
Jo Baer: It's the only way to be, if you're female. You don't get anywhere otherwise.
Judith Stein: You decided to speak up, and you wrote that letter to Artforum ["Letters," Artforum, Sept. '67, pp. 5-6].

Friday, October 13, 2006

High Times, Hard Times... part two

more favorites from Katy Siegel and David Reed's High Times, Hard Times, continued from yesterday....

Kusama Yayoi, Self Obliteration, 1967 - So many wonderful and mysterious things happening in this video. She starts off covering a horse and herself with white paper circles, she is wearing a red gown and has long black hair... they are both covered with the white circles and she is riding slowly around. The video is old, it has an old home movie quality, but slow.. she brings the horse to a pond to drink, there are white circles floating on the water.

She walks into the reedy black pond, her white robe is spread out and floating.. she's putting the circles on the water.. then she is standing in the water, above her waist, in front of a floating canvas and painting red circles onto that. It is all very quiet.

There is much more, it's GREAT.

Mary Heilmann has two pieces in the show. The Book of Night, 1970 is made of black cloth, with jaggedy holes cut in each page, through which you can see silver paint on pages below, like stars. Her other piece, Ties in My Closet, is a painting from 1972 that I liked better without knowing the title. The "ties" are all collaged fabric, but it looks like paint until you get close.

It's interesting to learn that she started painting sort of as an act of contradiction... that she didn't get along with painters, basically thought painting was dead... but chose it to have something to argue with people like Joseph Kosuth and Robert Smithson about.

Joe Overstreet, Purple Flight, 1971
Joe Overstreet, Purple Flight, 1971

Alan Shields - I've been liking the Overstreet and the big Shields the more I think about them, especially the Shields. It's a big hanging hippie diamond-grid piece of stained and colored canvas, and looping beads... coming out at an angle into the center of the room. It isn't attached to any walls, it's all suspended. He was into Buckminster Fuller's dome-style architecture and was imagining work built for future geodesic dome houses, spaces without conventional flat walls. He has another piece in the show like a little tie-died alien pyramid. I'm very into this idea right now, of not just making the painting but imagining the space or world to which that painting belongs.

Mary Heilmann, Au Go Go, The Painting, 1997
Mary Heilmann, Au Go Go , The Painting - This 1997 Heilmann painting isn't in the show of course, I'm posting it because it reminds me of both Overstreet's piece and Shield's hippy colored strings. I can see the Harmony Hammond's rugs in Heilmann's new furniture work as well.

Peter Young and David Diao - They have a conversation about their "checkered careers" in the catalogue which ends with David Diao saying "in any case, thirty-six years later, whatever we don't have, we do have 'a body of work' and, well, storage problems."

Harriet Korman, Untitled, 1971

Pat Steir, Night Chant Series No. 1: Beauty Way for J.B., 1973 - Still going strong, she was on PaintersNYC yesterday. A lot of the women in this show are still very visible... Louise Fishman, Mary Heilmann, Elizabeth Murray, Joan Snyder, Pat Steir.

Guy Goodwin, C-Swing, 1974
Guy Goodwin, C-Swing, 1974 - This painting is made of just five big strokes, each done on a different day. I stole this photo from David Reed's website... David Reed's studio looks big, he even has shows there.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

High Times, Hard Times

Kenneth Showell
We went to see Katy Siegel and David Reed's High Times, Hard Times at the Weatherspoon on Friday... it was very much worth the trip from Richmond (about three hours), but if you want to see it soon you better hurry because it closes October 15th. The show travels, so you can see it when it opens back up again in DC November 21 or in NYC opening February 17th.

The first room has Kenneth Showell's Besped, 1967 (pictured above), Dan Christensen's Pavo, 1968, Ralph Humphrey's Untitled, 1969, and Jane Kaufman's 6 p.m., 1971. What a great mood to open the show with... you walk around the corner not knowing what to expect and get hit with all this color and vibrancy and experimentation and fun; it just feels good standing there with those paintings. Good vibes.

Taking photos was prohibited.. so we don't have many and of course the few that I got are with a camera phone and not looking that great.... if you have seen the catalogue and are liking it you will be much happier seeing them in real life, the colors in the catalogue are not very good. Jane Kaufman's 6 p.m. is orange at the center and pink along edges, something that even for real took some time for your eye to register.. in the catalogue you can't see any of that.

We all spent a while experiencing and studying each of these four paintings. The Kenneth Showell is a very big warping grid, and it was nice seeing so many of his pencil lines underneath... I thought of Michael Mewborn.

Hey! I just remembered that Michael Mewborn made those new paintings after a thirty year break from art making... that's another "long break" artist I have thought of since the Jerry Saltz lecture and his advice or whatever that if you don't work for a year, you are maybe a year better, but if you don't work for two maybe you are not an artist (that is not an EXACT quote). Agnes Martin stopped for seven years, Emily Carr stopped for fifteen years... there are many others, I'm sure. Ugh... I don't want to get into the Jerry lecture now, but I really get annoyed by advice on "how to be an artist" from people that aren't artists. Jerry lecture talk, with good comments, is HERE.

Dan Christensen's Pavo, 1968 - this is wonderful.. a little metallic. big unbroken loops of color.

Ralph Humphrey, Untitled, 1969 - that yellow part seems stronger in the photo than I remember. this is not a favorite, i'm not into the edge.. stopping it before the edge.

Matt (looking at the piece) couldn't get off work to come see this show, but he came anyway. Bye, job! Matt and Cindy are my new unpaid interns.

some favorites -

Lee Lozano, Punch, Peek, Feel, 1967-70 - very nice piece.. there is a line of grapefruit-size holes in the canvas that run down it, you can see the stretcher bars. It feels curved but it isn't curved at all, it's a perfect rectangle. The two cuts keep it from being too perfect, thankfully.

She is so fascinating... all of her whacked text pieces, her cartoony tools and guns. Lee Lozano would probably be blogging now, a killer blog.

Jo Baer , V. Speculum, 1970 - I liked the brown and cream palette, and the painted sides angling over.. it seems futuristic, an object, a totem... a futuristic totemic object. This was painted a few years after her infamous letter to Artforum.

Here's a big Jo Baer interview with Thumbs-Upper Judith Stein.

i have too much for one post, more tomorrow (or, i mean, probably later today)...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Lucio Fontana

Lucio Fontana

Lucio Fontana

Lucio Fontana

Lucio Fontana

Lucio Fontana

Lucio Fontana

Oura and friends

Oura Sananikone has hung a small informal show of his friend's work, at Velocity Comics. I think the show is called Oura and friends, but I'm not sure and there was no list of names.

a friend.

RELATED: Oura curated the Plush Art show at Nonesuch last year.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Make Haste Slowly

make haste slowly
Make Haste Slowly - these are all from 1993 (i think). from 1989 through 1994 everything i did was on 64" wide rolls of Rives BFK hung about six feet high... in fact, i only worked on paper from 1989 until my first residency at the Vermont Studio Center in 1999.. ten years.

almost all of that work is rolled up and sitting in a storage locker in Hoosick, NY... (assuming somebody is paying that bill!).

wasp's nest
Wasp's Nest - mostly paper collage - there used to be branches, but i painted over them (not after, at the time).

click the highlighted and italicized titles to see the pieces a bit bigger.

beaver lodge
Beaver Lodge - this beaver has a paintbrush in his mouth. his fur is glittery. the beaver lodge is the taj mahal of beaver lodges.

i think there is a photo of me making this; i will look for it.

Ladder - i used to take home all the packing paper that came with the books sent to us at Borders, this is before they started using styrofoam peanuts or whatever. sometimes the paper was colored.. so you see that grey-blue, and all the yellows and browns. the pink paper came in with the postcards. taking colored paper home from work was cheaper than buying paint. the silver and gold apples and stars are most likely made from foil from candy bars.

all of these use that edging from computer print-outs, the dot matrix stuff, i don't know what it is called. Laurie handled all the accounts at Borders and used to pull it all off and save it for me, it would be yellow or white, sometimes pink. it is used in the wasp nest, the beaver lodge, the ladder. you can still see a lot of it used all the way up to these 2003 paintings, but it looks like maybe the last time i used that paper was in this 2004 piece, where it was thrown on in clumps.

The Sower, 1994
The Sower - this is maybe the last one i made before leaving Philadelphia for Albuquerque, so it is from early 1994. his wings are made of newspaper feathers. the moon is the silver disc that came with my microwaveable pizza-for-one.

i didn't do much work for the six months before leaving philly for albuquerque, or in albuquerque, or in korea after that... so maybe almost a year and a half before i started up again in japan.