Paul Klee and Rex Ray
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
May 20 – October 9, 2017
Our dear friend and artist, the late Rex Ray, is in an exhibition at SFMOMA with art world luminary Paul Klee. This intimate exhibition places artworks by Swiss-born modernist Paul Klee (1879–1940) alongside dazzling paintings by San Francisco artist and designer Rex Ray (1956–2015). Although separated by both time and place, their works share stunning formal similarities, including an exploration of geometric forms, the use of vibrant color, and playful, organic designs. Among other works, the exhibition features a rarely exhibited, intimate pastel watercolor by Klee from 1917 and an eye-popping collage by Ray from 1999. A link to the exhibition is here.
Special Guest Blog Post, Written by Jeff Kelley upon Hung Liu’s return to China for the 100th anniversary of her high school.
Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal University
(formerly Girls Middle School Attached to Peking Normal University)
September 2, 2017, by Jeff Kelley
Hung Liu has always cherished her experiences as a student at the “Girls Middle School Attached to Beijing Normal University.” (The Chinese are famous for clunky bureaucratic names.) A girls’ boarding school so elite that even Mao‘s daughters went there, the campus was/is about a mile west of the Forbidden City (Mao’s daughters were picked up and dropped off everyday). Hung has often talked with fondness about dorm life, camaraderie among the girls, the passion of teachers, and of the sense that the Experimental High School was a gateway to a modern China as well as to the nation’s classical, ancient past.
Hung loved her teachers, especially Mrs. Xia Xiurong, who taught Chinese literature. Earning excellent grades, she also loved the process of learning.
This sense of enthusiasm, however, was shattered in 1966 with the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. It was in Hung’s own school that teenaged Red Guards first rebelled, replacing subjects like history, literature, the arts, and even the sciences with the practice of revolution. Mao appealed to the youth of China to destroy anything (and anyone) corrupted by capitalism or tradition, and they did so with the zealous self-righteousness of impassioned teenagers. In August, 1966, campus Red Guard leader Song Binbin lead fellow students in the beating of the school’s Principal, Bian Zhongyun, to death.
Bian was the first teacher killed in the Cultural Revolution, and her slaying led to further killings of educators throughout China by the Red Guards. Hung was not at school that day, and, because of her family history (and personal disposition), she was neither a Party member nor a Red Guard, but she was shocked that so many of her classmates – girls receiving the best education in Beijing – could turn so quickly from a class of elite students to a mob of violent revolutionaries.
Two weeks later, Song Binbin became famous throughout China when she was photographed pinning a red armband on Mao in front of one million people in Tiananmen Square. In 2014, Song Binbin, who earned a doctorate at MIT, apologized publicly for her role in killing Bian Zhongyun, describing her shame at having “not protected” the school’s teachers as a source of “life long regret.” She also returned for the 100th anniversary.
Hung recalls that between 1966 and 1968 no classes were offered – they practiced revolution instead. In 1968, she was sent, as were so many others, to the countryside to undergo “proletarian re-education” as a peasant farmer, not returning to Beijing until 1972. During the 70s, she studied to become an art teacher at Beijing Normal University. For the next several years she taught art to middle school students. In 1979 she was admitted to the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing – the nation’s best art academy. Finally, Hung came to the US where she studied at UCSD. Still, one gets the sense that her enthusiasm for learning – her love of art, literature, and the sciences (she wanted to become a doctor before the Cultural Revolution) – was kindled in high school, and that she cherished her experience there, despite the murder of Principal Bian.
On September 3rd, this year, Hung returned to Beijing for the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Experimental High School. Thus, nearly 50 years after she and her classmates were sent to the Chinese countryside, they came together again to celebrate the centennial of their school. Perhaps most movingly, their literature teacher, Mrs. Xia Xiurong, now in her 90s, attended the reunion. Her students were overcome with emotion at seeing her, especially Hung. Mrs. Xia told Hung (true story) that she had been her best student, whose written compositions were always memorable. Sometimes in life the yawning gap between the past and present collapses like an accordion, so that, as in this case, student and teacher are back together, if only for a moment. Despite the violence and madness of the late 60s in China, Hung and her classmates were able to re-wire history in terms of their solidarity as a generation, their love of learning, and the selflessness and sacrifice of their teachers. Perhaps they are comforted by the knowledge that history – so coveted by the zealots of a revolutionary era – now belongs to the (once) young women who cherished learning over ideology.
We are very happy to announce that Wanxin Zhang has four upcoming museum exhibitions opening in the fall of 2017.
You can see his work in the show “Bay Area Clay” at the Benicia Art Center in Benicia, California from 14 October through 19 November 2017, as well as in “From Funk to Punk, Left Coast Ceramics” at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York from 10 November 2017 through 15 April 2018.
His work is also included in the exhibition “Sabbath” at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco from 12 November 2017 through 25 February 2018, and in the AnRen Art Biennale in Chengdu, China from 28 October 2017 through January 2018.
Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Recommendation by Amanda Malloy
Continuing through October 15, 2017
Tucked in an inner room here is a series of portraits and vignettes that might have been convincingly pulled from Hieronymus Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights.” Romanian artist Georges Mazilu’s “A Survey of Paintings and Drawings” is both other-worldly and surprisingly human. Mazilu’s work is rooted in dualities. Both classically trained in portraying the human figure as a master in realism, and at one time a strictly abstract artist, Mazilu’s paintings recall both the portraiture of the Renaissance masters, and a futuristic world of fantastical creatures and fairy-tale-like characters.
Set against dark minimalist backgrounds, Mazilu rarely conducts any planning for his figurative-based compositions. Often starting with abstract forms, his subjects grow out of his imagination, letting the characters in his paintings unfold naturally. He explains, “I try to keep my logic from interfering, and slowly convert these signs into figures as late in his process as possible, when a strong suggestion appears.” By working improvisationally, and allowing abstract forms to become figurative, Mazilu’s characters appear caught in a liminal space between object and human, as if the subjects in his paintings are puppets come to life. While each piece depicts a private scene or portrait, Mazilu works in rich blues and greens that connect the works that implies all of these creatures and characters exist in the same world. While Mazilu’s world is strange and a bit unsettling, it is certainly a pleasure to witness.
SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART PRESENTS WEST COAST EXCLUSIVE OF ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG: ERASING THE RULES
Major Retrospective Includes Vast Array of Work from the Boundary-Breaking Artist’s Six-Decade Career
Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules
November 18, 2017–March 25, 2018
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (June 22, 2017)—A fuse was lit in the 1953 art world when Robert Rauschenberg convinced artist Willem de Kooning to allow him to erase one of his drawings; fellow artist Jasper Johns executed the inscription within the frame: “ERASED DE KOONING DRAWING ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG 1953.” Now seen as a bombshell that shook the foundations of Abstract Expressionism, Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953) is an outstanding example of Rauschenberg’s irreverent yet incisive style, and it famously pushes the limits of what art can be.
This special work was acquired by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) from Rauschenberg through a gift of Phyllis C. Wattis, an instrumental member of the board of trustees who befriended Rauschenberg late in her life. It now anchors the museum’s exceptional holdings of the artist’s early work and is a highlight in the West Coast exclusive of Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules, on view at SFMOMA from November 18, 2017 through March 25, 2018.
Formerly presented at Tate Modern, London, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the exhibition’s iteration in San Francisco pays special tribute to SFMOMA’s close and longstanding
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relationship with Rauschenberg. From hosting his first retrospective—organized by Walter Hopps in 1976—to spearheading the recent Rauschenberg Research Project—an ambitious digital resource published on sfmoma.org that makes art historical and conservation research about Rauschenberg works widely accessible—SFMOMA has long been devoted to this extraordinary and trail-blazing figure. This presentation is also dedicated to Phyllis C. Wattis, in honor of her generosity and cherished relationship with the artist and SFMOMA.
“Robert Rauschenberg and Phyllis Wattis were kindred spirits,” said Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA. “Both were eager to discover new ideas that broke old boundaries. They relished life and art with expansiveness of spirit and always with a twinkle in their eyes.”
A defining figure of contemporary art, Rauschenberg produced a prolific body of work across a wide range of media—including painting, sculpture, drawing, prints, photography and performance— frequently and fearlessly defying the traditional art practice of his time. Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules marks the first retrospective of the artist’s work in nearly 20 years, celebrating the depth and scope of his six-decade career. SFMOMA’s presentation emphasizes his iconoclastic approach, his multidisciplinary working processes and frequent collaborations with other artists.
Largely organized chronologically, the exhibition begins with the artist’s wide-ranging early work, from bold blueprint photograms and intimate photographs to his delicate Scatole personali (boxes filled with found objects). These galleries introduce Rauschenberg’s eagerness to experiment with and break from artistic conventions, his innovative approach to materials and his multi-disciplinary and collaborative nature, all of which were driving forces throughout his career. This early period plays out across three locales: Black Mountain College, a fertile ground for experimentation where Rauschenberg studied with Josef Albers and Hazel Larsen Archer, and undertook his first important collaborations with Susan Weil, Cy Twombly, John Cage and Merce Cunningham; North Africa and Italy, where Rauschenberg traveled with Twombly; and lower Manhattan, where he set up his early studios and worked in close dialogue with Jasper Johns.
Among the many highlights of the exhibition is Automobile Tire Print (1953) in SFMOMA’s collection, made when the artist instructed composer John Cage to drive his Model A Ford through a pool of paint and then across 20 sheets of paper. The layered paper and fabrics in his Black paintings and Red paintings led to the artist’s landmark Combines (1954–64), a body of work that breaks down the boundaries between painting and sculpture. Collection (1954/1955) and Charlene (1954) are presented together for the first time in almost four decades, providing a rare opportunity to see and compare the range of strategies Rauschenberg explored in the Combines’ formative stages. Monogram (1955– 59), his landmark work assembled from a taxidermied goat with a painted tire around its body, anchors this presentation.
The exhibition continues by presenting key periods of the artist’s career in depth, including a gallery devoted to transfer drawings and silkscreen paintings. For the Thirty-Four Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno (1958–60), Rauschenberg clipped pictures from magazines and newspapers, illustrating Dante’s epic poem with images from contemporary American life. Rauschenberg’s merging of classical themes, art history references, contemporary politics and pop culture culminate in the silkscreen paintings, such as the vibrant Scanning (1963) and Persimmon (1964). Rauschenberg also actively explored technological innovations for his performances and artworks in the early 1960s. Collaborations with Billy Klüver and a team of engineers lead to the inclusion of embedded radios in
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Oracle (1962–65). For the sound-activated work Mud Muse (1968–71) the artist constructed an enormous vat of vigorously spurting and bubbling mud. Originally conceived for an exhibition in Los Angeles and inspired by a hydrothermal basin in Yellowstone National Park, this presentation marks Mud Muse’s first return to California since 1971.
In 1970, Rauschenberg relocated his primary residence and studio to Captiva Island, Florida, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. These new surroundings prompted the creation of the series Cardboards (1971–72). SFMOMA’s Rosalie/Red Cheek/Temporary Letter/Stock (Cardboard) (1971), one of the earliest of the series, encapsulates this move with a mailing label from Rauschenberg’s New York studio to his Captiva address affixed to its front. Far from isolated in Florida, Rauschenberg constantly welcomed visitors, many of them artists, and continued to travel frequently. A trip to India inspired his striking, lively series Jammers (1975–76); a 1982 visit to China ultimately lead to the launch of ROCI (the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange), an intense seven-year project encompassing travel, art-making and exhibitions in over 10 countries. Rauschenberg’s own photos from this period of travel appear in many later works including SFMOMA’s Port of Entry [Anagram (A Pun)] (1998).
SFMOMA’s presentation also will be distinguished by a single gallery presentation featuring Hiccups (1978), an extraordinary work comprising 97 pieces of handmade paper, each with transfer images and collaged bits of fabric and ribbon. Individual sheets are connected with zippers, with the intent that they could be reorganized into any order. In 1999, Rauschenberg gave Hiccups to SFMOMA in honor of Phyllis Wattis. This treasured work will be installed as a continuous frieze around the perimeter of a gallery.
The exhibition culminates with Rauschenberg’s late work, including his series Gluts (1986–94), assemblages of scrap-metal that point to the excessive consumption of American society, yet also incorporate humor. The artist’s metal paintings of the 1990s, such as Holiday Ruse (Night Shade) (1991), feature subtly layered images silkscreened onto sheets of aluminum and bronze with tarnishing agents. The color transfer paintings of the 1990s and 2000s employ photographs printed with environmentally-friendly inks via cutting-edge digital printers and image-editing software, a testament to the artist’s ongoing embrace of emerging technologies and materials.
About Robert Rauschenberg
Born in Port Arthur, Texas, Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) was creative from a young age, and active in school theatre as a costume and set designer throughout high school. He attended the University of Texas, Austin, before he was drafted into the United States Navy. After his honorable discharge in 1945, he studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and the Académie Julian in Paris, France. Later he attended Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where he studied with Josef Albers, among others.
Rauschenberg launched his artistic career in the early 1950s, during the peak of Abstract Expressionism. Challenging this painterly tradition with an egalitarian approach to materials, he brought objects and images from the everyday world into his art. Working alone as well as in collaboration with artists, dancers, musicians and writers, Rauschenberg invented new interdisciplinary forms of artistic practice that set the course for present day art. He developed new modes of performance work, organized collaborative projects that crossed the boundaries between different mediums and different cultures and created works that merged traditional art materials with ordinary objects, found imagery and the cutting-edge technology of an emergent digital age.
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Major exhibitions include Robert Rauschenberg: A Retrospective (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1997); Robert Rauschenberg: The Early 1950s (Menil Collection, 1991); Robert Rauschenberg: The Silk- Screen Paintings, 1962–64 (Whitney Museum of American Art, 1990); and Robert Rauschenberg (National Collection of Fine Arts, 1976).
Rauschenberg’s work took him throughout the U.S. and across the globe, including Central and South America, Asia, Europe and Africa. From 1970, he worked from his home and studio on Captiva Island, Florida.
ORGANIZATION AND SUPPORT
Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules is organized by Tate Modern, London, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in association with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition is curated by Achim Borchardt-Hume, Director of Exhibitions, Tate Modern, London, and Leah Dickerman, The Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The SFMOMA presentation is organized by Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture, and Sarah Roberts, Andrew W. Mellon Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The Global Tour Sponsor is Bank of America. Major support is provided by the Doris Fisher and the Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for Traveling Exhibitions. Generous support is provided by the Mary Jo and Dick Kovacevich Family, Christine and Pierre Lamond, Helen and Charles Schwab, Lydia Shorenstein, Thomas W. Weisel and Janet Barnes and Carlie Wilmans. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Select programs in conjunction with Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules are made possible through a grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.
Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue, which examines the artist’s entire career across a full range of mediums. Edited by Leah Dickerman and Achim Borchardt-Hume, the book features commissioned essays by eminent scholars and emerging new writers, including Yve-Alain Bois, Andrianna Campbell, Hal Foster, Mark Godfrey, Hiroko Ikegami, Branden W. Joseph, Ed Krčma, Michelle Kuo, Pamela M. Lee, Emily Liebert, Richard Meyer, Helen Molesworth, Kate Nesin, Sarah Roberts and Catherine Wood. Each essay focuses on a specific moment in Rauschenberg’s career, exploring his creative production across disciplines. Integrating new scholarship, documentary imagery, and archival materials, this is the first comprehensive catalogue of Rauschenberg’s career in 20 years.
HOURS AND ADMISSION
Open Friday–Tuesday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Thursday. Closed Wednesday.
Annual membership begins at $100, and members enjoy free admission. Adult general admission to SFMOMA is $25; admission for seniors 65 years and older is $22; and admission for visitors ages 19 through 24 is $19. Visitors aged 18 years and younger receive free admission to the museum, including special exhibitions.
Private guided tours and group discounts for Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules are available through the SFMOMA Group Sales Department. Tours are one hour in length and are not included with museum admission. Tours must be booked at least two weeks in advance. For more information or to submit an inquiry, please visit sfmoma.org/groups.
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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
SFMOMA is dedicated to making the art for our time a vital and meaningful part of public life. Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, a thoroughly transformed SFMOMA, with triple the gallery space, an enhanced education center and new free public galleries, opened to the public on May 14, 2016. In its inaugural year, the expanded museum welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors.
Visit sfmoma.org or call 415.357.4000 for more information.
Jill Lynch, email@example.com, 415.357.4172
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Robert Rauschenberg, Persimmon, 1964; oil and silkscreen ink on canvas; private collection; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Robert Rauschenberg Press Release 5
October 10, 2017
West of Student Resource Center (SRC)
Lecture & Reception (Comments by Art Historians Tonya Turner Carroll and Wesley Pulkka)
October 10, 2017
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Jeanette Stromberg Library, SRC
“Growing Strength” Installation
The monumental sculpture commemorating CNM’s first 50 years is nearing completion. The expansive three-piece sculptural group stands in the xeriscape garden west of the Student Resource Center (SRC). Two benches, fabricated by CNM welding students, will face the large work from the shade of spreading elms across the walkway, and provide a comfortable place to relax and enjoy the view.
“Growing Strength” was commissioned from artist Karen Yank, known for her large-scale, steel-ornamented public sculptures and her award-winning freeway interchange designs in Albuquerque. Yank, a widely exhibited and nationally recognized sculptor, has works in cities and prestigious public collections across the United States. She works in welded steel construction, taking full advantage of the characteristics of the material and pushing the limits of the medium to construct dynamic and imaginatively engaging works. She is currently represented by Turner-Carroll Gallery in Santa Fe.
The work echoes and plays off of design motifs in the SRC, which provides a contrasting architectural backdrop. “The sculpture is abstract, combining elements of a mountain topped by a wildflower growing out of a fractured rock. The flower has a petal that drops to the ground, flowing into a bench seat,” Yank said. “The mountain is a metaphor for CNM’s strength and stability and how the college has grown, and the flower represents CNM’s fruits of labor and what the school gives back to the community.”
The delicate flower also symbolizes the qualities of growth through the learning process. The shape of the entire piece contains curves and angles that are in some places fluid and graceful and in others jarring and awkward. The complete picture is one of wholeness, intention and fulfillment.
“The sculpture is designed specifically to embody CNM’s mission and values and was created for this particular location, but it also expresses the strength and vitality of Karen’s maturing artistic expression” said Mary Bates-Ulibarri, project director and CNM Libraries branch manager. “The piece is connected to the SRC, and it is intended to be a centerpiece for the Main Campus, just as the SRC is the hub of student learning. We are fortunate to have what is sure to become an important piece in Karen’s body of work.”
“The design of my art expresses a context that can be understood in a moment but with layers that can be seen by those who pause to look deeper,” Yank explains. “My overall goal is to develop a visual language that is compelling within the given environment and community.”
The artist was selected through a very competitive, formal juried selection process, organized by Arts in Public Places, under the New Mexico Division of Cultural Affairs. She was among six finalists, selected from approximately 200 applicants from all over the United States. The selection committee was comprised of faculty, staff and student representatives, who brought different expertise and diverse cultural and professional perspectives.
“The committee chose Karen based on the strength of her past works, the quality of the proposed work, how well it matched the criteria of the committee’s prospectus, and her willingness and ability to engage the CNM community,” Bates-Ulibarri said.
Fabrication and installation of “Growing Strength” was a collaboration between the artist and Damon Chefchis, owner of CMY, Inc., a custom metal fabrication shop in Albuquerque’s South Valley. The two bench seats across the walkway were fabricated by CNM welding students under the direction of Welding Department Chair, Kay Hamby, welding instructors Ron Hackney and Trent Moore, with the assistance of Welding Technician Jasen Thomas, “From the beginning, we developed the intention of involving CNM students as much as possible, in the spirit of the Campus as a Living Lab initiative,” recalls Bates-Ulibarri. The artist and fabricator also invited CNM students to view the work in progress at CMY’s shop, offering insight into the process of designing and constructing a large-scale work, and the importance of planning, teamwork and communication required to succeed in such a venture.
The project is funded by the “One Percent for Art Program,” managed by Arts in Public Places (AIPP), a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. The budget for “Growing Strength” was $112,750, which included the artist’s fee, materials, labor, sales taxes, licenses, permits and inspections, site preparation and site restoration. The project was attached to the construction of the SRC.
Jamie Brunson Interview in Articiple July 17 2017
“Painter and mixed-media artist Jamie Brunson is well known in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lived and worked for many years. Jamie relocated to New Mexico in 2014, but continues to exhibit in the Bay Area. Her current show at Andrea Schwartz Gallery is on view through July 21.
In our conversation Jamie shares thoughts on the significance of meditation for her art practice, the influence of the New Mexican landscape on her new work, and the pleasure of revisiting earlier investigations.”
Articiple: Your art is closely connected to your practice of Kundalini meditation. You’ve described your art practice as the process of translating the perceptual states of meditation into a formal visual language. The relationship between meditation and art seems intuitively evident in some ways, but very elusive in others. Could you explain a bit about Kundalini meditation, and how that ancient practice came to have such relevance for your life as a contemporary artist?
Jamie: The sitting meditation practice I follow is based on a form of controlled, “circular” breathing. It’s an active “fire method” practice with a complex esoteric, philosophical, and ideological history. My teacher has written extensively about it, but I might make the analogy that you don’t need to know the principles of the combustion engine to know that if you put gas and oil into your car, and turn the key, it will go.
The practice might be seen as a near-cousin to Buddhist mindfulness/breathing meditation: by breathing through a circuit of chakras, you open, expand and link the chakras while burning away accumulated negative energies.
As with Buddhist practice, over time you gain the capacity to put space around certain reflexive reactions as they arise. With continued practice, you eventually enter the Void body, an expansive unbounded state that’s hard to describe, except to say that it’s a palpable sensory experience with specific qualities that most practitioners collectively agree upon. So it’s not arbitrary or imaginary, it’s somatic and specific. It has color qualities, spatial qualities, visual attributes, yet those qualities might be regarded simply as indications of having entered a state of being and awareness, which is the true goal. But, I do bring some of the visual and sensate information from the practice into the studio.
My Kundalini teacher, Dr. Mark Levy, is also an art historian who has written extensively about the relationship between metaphysical states and art practice, going back to primary shamanic rituals done for the benefit of healing communities. His research and writing have been a profound influence on my studio work. Perhaps I gravitated to his ideas because I’ve always intuitively understood the relationship between formalism and physical, sensate experiences? I’ve always experienced art making as a transcendental process that can lead to altered perceptions of time, deep engagement with the present moment, and a sense of affinity with the materials. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes this sense of engagement as a “flow state”. I see a strong correspondence between meditation practice and studio practice because they both require full participation and presence to enter that state.
Articiple: The term “translation” suggest several interesting possibilities: maybe a process of visually rendering perceptions that you’ve experienced during meditation, or a process of recreating a meditative state of mind as you work on a painting. How do you characterize the process of translation in your work?
Jamie: I think your question contains the answer—both ideas are true.
I should say that because I’m a formally trained visual artist, of course I learned the academic principles of color, composition and design: contrast, harmony, rhythm, surface qualities, distribution across a picture plane, the illusion of spatial depth, et cetera. These principles are an important part of my studio work because they’re the elements that make any artwork function well…
Nina Tichava in Santa Fe Reporter: Three Questions
3 Questions, with Nina Tichava
The Santa Fe Reporter
August 23, 2017, 12:00 am
By Alex De Vore
Artists who represent landscapes are many. It’s almost a default position, though we can’t blame anyone in that there are so many ways to go about it. Enter Nina Tichava, an artist born in Vallecitos, New Mexico, who trained in the Bay Area but always felt the call of home. Abstraction tends to be Tichava’s focus, though her mother—whom she describes as an artist who doesn’t consider herself an artist—instilled a certain crafty (think weaving) style into her ethics and aesthetics. Tichava’s work can be seen in galleries and spaces around the country, but for these-here 3Qs, we reached out about the upcoming show New, New Mexico Abstraction, opening this Friday evening at Turner Carroll Gallery (5 pm. Free. 725 Canyon Road, 986-9800) in which Tichava shows self-described “borrowed landscapes,” actual postcards of infamous places and momuments made new through Tichava’s abstract practices.
Trying to approach something as traditional as landscapes in a fresh way is challenging. I’m not a landscape painter, and when you get closer [to my landscape], it becomes more abstracted. I was never very interested in them, but now I’m starting to see the nuance and skill.
What the heck is a “borrowed” landscape anyway?
It’s a term I totally made up. This is a new project and new vein for me. After the last election cycle, I was really freaked out and was trying to think of commonalities—landscapes was such an obvious one. It was something small I could keep myself busy with. I wasn’t happy with the results of the last election. I was excited to have the first female president. I was shocked, and the environment was one of the first things I was worried about. Climate change is so important right now, and I felt like it was pushed to the side. It’s about shared perspectives; the idea was I didn’t want to take pictures and make landscape paintings—I’m an interloper in the world of landscapes. They’re beautiful in person. They’re cool and magnetic and sexy and there’s subtle political commentary. I have an atomic bomb, that’s my favorite one I made. I did the White House in gold, the Supreme Court in gold. My goal was to mimic the first 100 days of the presidency and trying to understand, ‘Why did people vote for this person who’s a miogynist and has no interest beyond his own ego?’
Were you on the lookout for specific scenes or ideologies with the postcard imagery?
Initially it’s because I’ve always collected old stationary and postcards. So when I was like, ‘How can I talk to people through art about politics?’ I thought it was an interesting idea. I’d go on eBay and search for vintage postcards, and a lot of them are just what I happened to find.
Nina Tichava and Jamie Brunson in Santa Fe Arts Journal: Finding Quiet in Abstraction 23 August 2017
Turner Carroll Gallery highlights recent work by two New Mexico-based abstract artists in its show “Nina Tichava and Jamie Brunson: NEW New Mexico Abstraction,” which opened on August 23 and is on exhibit through September 12.
Tichava, who was born in the small New Mexico village of Vallecitos north of Abiquiu and raised in New Mexico and northern California, has focused her creative time during the past year on finding a place of calm within her studio practice. “I spent half my life on the Pacific coast, near the ocean,” Tichava explains. “When seeking equanimity, my mind turns to memories of the sea. These remembered images and sounds provide comfort and grounding, a quiet that can be hard to find amidst the chaos of contemporary existence. The sea soothes in rhythmic ways, and a conveyance of that feeling is the goal of these new paintings.”
Tichava, a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant in 2007, describes her paintings as about relationships. She’s fascinated by the interactions between materials and methods and the relationship between color and space. ”My process-based paintings are as unplanned as possible,” she says. “I search to convey a feeling of immediacy and to enhance the very physical and tactile elements of my artwork.”
Using painting and printmaking techniques, Tichava interweaves drawing and collage with a variety of media. Paintings are multi-layered. “A prominent element of my work is the application of thousands of beads of paint, painstakingly and individually painted with a brush and used to create screens and patterns,” she adds.
Brunson, who moved to northern New Mexico from California’s Bay Area three years ago, has historically focused on experiences that occur during her Kundalini meditation practice. “The sensations in Kundalini are ones of opening or expanding, as if the boundaries between oneself and the external world were dissolving into an interconnected, energetic field,” she says. “For many artists, studio practice produces that same sense of total identification with the materials, the moment and the process.”
The Santa Fe New Mexican article on Hung Liu Turner Carroll exhibition describes how she grew up in China under the harsh rule of Mao. She labored in the fields, along with the women she paints. Her goal is to give these women lives unlike the lives they led in reality. She gives them lives of beauty fit for an empress. Liu layers paint upon gold leaf and resin layers, creating a regal portrait of women who were regal in their spirits, if not their realities. She does this in order to show the sanctity of each human spirit, and to illustrate the fact that all people are the same, no matter what class to which they are born. Such is the case with Liu’s work throughout her career, from her earliest paintings created in China to the most recent works she has painted and which hang in numerous prestigious museum collections in the United States.
The woman in Hung Liu’s painting Equus III isn’t looking at the viewer. Under thick black bangs, her gaze lifts off to the side. One corner of her mouth is pulled back, as though she’s unnerved, if barely. The woman is surrounded and overlaid by loosely sketched soldiers on horseback, a silver fish, a waterlily, and Liu’s characteristic incessant circles and paint drips, achieved by thinning the pigment with linseed oil. With its beautiful young woman and with flowing brushwork that looks, from a few feet back, like a gold-woven tapestry, Equus III could easily be misconstrued — and dismissed — as decorative, pretty. But Liu’s aesthetic is in the service of narrative: her work is deeply rooted in cultural history and personal experience.
New paintings by Liu are included in a show at Turner Carroll Gallery called Survival, which opens Friday, Aug. 1. Survival features five other artists and is described by the gallery as “artwork by well-known artists who lived under regimes not appreciative of their efforts.”
- Adele Oliveira
In December of 2007, a few days before Christmas, hundreds of enthusiasts from all over the world gathered at the Sixth International Chess Festival in Benidorm, Spain. One of the highlights of the festival was a demonstration by World Champion Viswanathan Anand, during which he played thirty-five simultaneous games against skilled opponents, conceding only one loss and five draws. Photographs of Anand’s contest show him penned in by a ring of tables, surrounded by chequerboards, with the black armies of his challengers advancing and falling back, ant-like, around him – an image of supreme mental achievement. But inside another smaller and dingier room at the festival, a very different and much more significant contest was taking place. In the first event of its kind ever staged, thirty-one competitors participated in a Freestyle Advanced Chess tournament, a form of the game in which players may use the technology of their choice to assist them during competition. Tables were covered with multiple laptops, tower computers and monitors, and players pored over databases of plays, whole histories of chess, and calculated thousands of possible moves ahead. The play was fast, frenetic, and unlike any other games played in tournament before.
Advanced Chess has grown in popularity in recent years, and we can date its inception – its genesis, if not its first deployment – with great accuracy. Ten years and seven months before the Benidorm tournament, in a hotel auditorium in New York, Gary Kasparov lost in 3.5 to 2.5 games to a computer: IBM’s Deep Blue. Kasparov, widely regarded as the greatest Chess player of all time, has never accepted the loss, but he saw which way the wind was blowing. Human intelligence, and more specifically the uniqueness of human intelligence in nature, is no longer unquestioned. As a result, Kasparov developed the new discipline of Advanced Chess: humans, aided by machines, playing against other humans aided by machines. The result has been a revolution in Chess. While the theory and practice of computer chess, as well as its hardware, has advanced rapidly, to a point where any Grandmaster today will struggle against relatively simple machines, human-computer teams routinely triumph over the most complex machines in the world. Co-operation, not competition, seems to be the answer when it comes to thinking through our trickiest problems.
Advanced Chess is also known as “centaur play”, called so after the half-human, half-horse monsters of Greek mythology. The origin of these strange creatures is often attributed by scholars to the arrival among the non-riding cultures of the Aegean of mounted raiders from Asia, who saw them as terrifying, hybrid apparitions. Their shock is echoed in our own reaction to the new monsters in our midst: augmented natures, of our world but unlike it, demanding to partake in our events. In the light of such uprisings, we must rethink our relationship with technology, and our place as masters of our tools, and our environment. As our technological achievements take on strange, new lives of their own they reshape us too – and, if we are serious about no longer putting ourselves at the centre of our thinking, we must rethink our relationship to what we once termed the “natural world” through the lens of technology too.
Our modes of representation and interaction are increasingly conditioned by the systems we use every day: the pixels of the digital camera which captures antelope at play on the savannah and ourselves, bathed in the screenlight, before video chat; each image transmitted as light through fiber optic cables and reconstituted on screens far away, to be downloaded, processed, and re-screened. The processes of encoding and decoding by which we approach the digital world are literal instantiations of the emotional and social processes we have always carried within us, made explicit by the technologies we have written to enable them at scale and distance.
It is this interdependence of modes of thinking which is called to mind by George Dyson when he writes: “In the game of life and evolution there are three players at the table: human beings, nature, and machines.” Dyson picks sides, for himself and for the other players, but I’m not sure the gaming metaphor suffices here, or not the one that Dyson intends. It is in the spirit of cooperation rather than competition, entanglement rather than distance, that these assemblages manifest. As the political theorist Jane Bennet has written, there is no true separation possible between the agency of people and things; rather we must acknowledge ‘thing-power’: “the strange ability of ordinary, man-made items to exceed their status as objects and to manifest traces of independence or aliveness, constituting the outside of our own experience.” In Bennet’s taxonomy of vitality, ‘things’ – animals, edibles, commodities, storms, metals, silicates, stem cells, machines – “act as quasi agents or forces with trajectories, propensities, or tendencies of their own”.
The layers of agency in Shawn Smith’s sculpture echo and restate these trajectories. Starting with digital images of living creatures, the artist manipulates their likeness in software programmes, which have been coded and compiled by hundreds of software engineers, based on the findings of computer and natural scientists over decades, in the fields of colour theory and image processing. Each pixel is cut to shape, expanded, coloured, before it ever leaves the screen – or may be undigitised, sketched onto graph paper, hand-coloured and planned out.
Some of Smith’s animals undergo further manipulations, further explorations of this material plane. The griffon vulture is a scavenger, a consumer of the dead, an apt avatar for Smith’s own consumptive practices. Smith’s griffon has been digested itself, its raw information cleaved apart and reconstituted in a hex editor, which allows the user to manipulate data at the lowest level. Tinkering with such base materials, the DNA of digital representations, results in a spray of the most unnatural colours, a rainbow of artificial pinks, yellows and greens. The results, however, are unpredictable: the “glitch” is both a glimpse into the inner workings of the machine’s vision, and an emergent, non-human artistic possibility, a form of creativity claimed by software, which we can only guess at.
Finally, these images are reconstituted in paint and plywood, an intensely industrial material comprised of multiple layers of laminated woods, peeled, patched, graded, glued and baked together, as far from “natural” wood as any mass-produced plastic product. And in the space of the gallery, they continue to toy with definition, appearing both close and immediate, frozen in motion, while on approach breaking apart, becoming dead, and uncanny, like digital images themselves.
On the one hand, Smith’s work serves to bring us to a new accommodation with nature in all its mediated wildness, to bring it close to us when it has been so removed by documentary and digital distance, to revivify it in an age of cities and networks, perhaps even to assert that such experiences of nature remain natural even when mediated. If we cannot love nature in the raw, we should at least learn to love our digital experience of it. But at the same time it troubles all of these distinctions, and reminds us that the space between nature and us, between nature and the things we make, and between us and our own tools, is always illusory, has always been a contested and confusing space.
Smith’s sculptures then, in their raw vitality, evoke not only the majesty of nature and the functioning of technological assemblages, but also their mystery and their emergent possibilities: their thing-power. Their references multiply, allowing us to see in one the glazed eye of the machine gazing upon the world, in another the beady eye of nature gazing back, and in the whole a reflection of ourselves: predator, or prey, or something else, moving amongst these creatures, fleshy and metallic, endlessly entangled with their being, and trying to make sense of them.
- James Bridle
Hung Liu Women Warriors Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Exhibition is made possible with assistance from Turner Carroll Gallery in Santa Fe.
Female strength in the face of persecution is the thread running through Women Warriors: Portraits by Hung Liu, opening at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts August 5.
The exhibition contains 20 mixed-media, painted, and photographic works that show the power and perseverance of Chinese women throughout history–from imperial concubines to warriors of the Red Army and survivors of the Cultural Revolution–like herself.
Hung Liu has exhibited widely throughout the U.S. and internationally. Her paintings and installations are in collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is a two-time recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts painting fellowship, and is Professor Emerita of Studio Art at Mills College, Oakland, CA.
Liu was born to a captain in the Nationalist Army of Chiang Kai-shek in Changchun, China in 1948. Her father was captured by Communist forces, and imprisoned in a labor camp. When Hung was 11, she and her mother fled to Beijing, where she survived Mao Zedong’s “Great Leap Forward” and the mass famine it induced. To protect the family, Liu’s mother destroyed all the photographs he was in.
Sent into the countryside at 20 for “reeducation” Hung Liu worked every day for four years as a farm laborer. It was there she began to secretly take photographs with a friend’s camera–some of which are seen in her current work.
“This exhibition presents visions of determined, strong, beautiful warriors–fragmentary glimpses of unknown women–enveloped within new lives of beauty and dignity,” says KIA Executive Director Belinda Tate.
Hung’s work often makes use of anonymous Chinese historical photographs, particularly those of women, children, refugees, and soldiers. Many are based on photographs of Chinese concubines and prostitutes she discovered in an old shop when she returned to China in 1990. Hung says “the majority of girls were sold by poor families. Girls were not as precious as boys; they could not carry on the family name.”
Liu points out that photography in China, originally used by the royal court, commodified these oppressed concubines even as it gave them a place in history alongside the highest strata of society. She strives to give these anonymous women a new life of beauty, often employing gold or silver leaf along with symbols of rebirth, immortality, wisdom, and good fortune between layers of resin. The resulting images are amalgamations of beauty, history, and transformation.
Viewers may wonder about the circles and drips in Hung Liu’s paintings. The circle references immortality and infinity, and functions as the period at the end of a Chinese sentence. In school in China, Hung’s instructor would circle his favorite part of her work. She suggests the drips represent the blurring of memory, reinforcing our responsibility to remember the past clearly: every day is Memorial Day, every day is Thanksgiving.
An opening celebration for the exhibition is set for Friday, August 4, 5-8 pm at the museum, as part of August Art Hop. Admission is free.
This exhibition is organized with the assistance of Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and supported in Kalamazoo by the Joy Light East Asian Art Acquisition and Exhibition Fund. It will be on view in the museum’s Joy Light Gallery For Asian Art.
About the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts believes the visual arts are for everyone, and that they inspire, transform, and fulfill. Chartered in 1924 as private non-profit organization, the KIA offers opportunities to explore, enjoy, and create art. With more than 4,700 fine artworks in its permanent collection, the museum presents collection-based and touring exhibitions in 10 long-term and changing galleries. The Kirk Newman Art School hosts four terms of community-based art classes for all ages.
A link to the exhibition at KIA is here.
Pay attention. This is the guiding principle of Alan Magee’s art. As a realist, Magee’s images may at first seem simply a re-presentation of the familiar. However, what Magee highlights in his careful selection of such recognizable subject matter is the act of looking itself. He reminds us that we are all viewers and that every act of seeing is a dynamic process.
In his contribution to the exhibition catalogue, Jonathan Weiner writes, “…like the best work in any medium, Magee’s paintings seem to exist outside all schools. Partly, perhaps, because he grew up in small towns, not cities, his paintings are not about art, about trends or theories, but about the beauty and magic of the things seen, and the things unseen beyond it.”
Alan Magee was born in 1947 in Newtown, Pennsylvania. He received a degree in illustration from the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) in 1969. After working as a successful illustrator for publications such as Time, Playboy, the Atlantic Monthly and the New York Times, as well as Bantam, Ballantine, and Simon & Schuster, he began to concentrate on his personal paintings in the late 1970s. Since that time, he has had several solo exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe. Magee’s early training in illustration, and the discipline’s emphasis on perception and technical skill, continues to inform his artistic practice today.
Alan Magee: Paintings, Sculpture, Graphics includes nearly 100 paintings, prints, and sculpture created over three decades. The exhibition demonstrates Magee’s broad range of styles and techniques, from his realist works in watercolor, acrylic, and oil, to his spare monotypes and idiosyncratic sculptures. New to his oeuvre and included in this exhibition is a series of large-scale tapestries based on images from his other works. A major monograph accompanies the exhibition. Published by Forum Gallery in 2003, it includes essays by Jonathan Weiner, Richard V. West, and an interview with the artist by Barry Lopez.
Organized by the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine.
On the heels of his exhibitions at the New Mexico Museum of Art and 516 Arts, Scott Greene’s paintings will be featured in an exhibition at the Las Cruces Museum of Art. Keiko Ohnuma writes that Greene’s paintings “seem to announce that Romanticism never died out in America, but still animates our hopes and dreams as it continuously reappears as the driving spirit of the counter-culture…the undying Romantic will still remain standing with his illusionistic bag of tricks, brimming with hope and sadness, documenting it all as beauty.”
Don’t miss this opportunity to see this quasi-retrospective of Greene’s finest paintings at the Las Cruces Museum of Art from May 6 through July 16, 2017.
28 April 2017
Fausto Fernandez in the Tucson Museum of Art
This October opens the exhibition Dress Matters: Clothing as Metaphor, where you’ll find Fausto Fernandez in the Tucson Museum of Art. Fausto’s monumental painting from Turner Carroll Gallery– “Waves of Impact as a Method of Truth-Telling”-– will be featured in the exhibition at the Tucson Museum of Art. The museum says the exhibition “examines clothing in art as symbols of power and identity. Artists use garments to address interpersonal issues and conditions as well as to relay stories and raise issues about gender, age, history, society, race, and culture.” Fausto’s inclusion in the Tucson Museum of Art’s exhibition is significant, because it places his painting alongside such contemporary art luminaries as Christian Boltanski, Robert Longo, Nick Cave, Jim Dine, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, and Catherine Opie. Though Fernandez is still quite a young artist, his work have been drawing attention from several museums, art centers, and public arts institutions lately. Recently, Fernandez won the public art commission for a major installation of his work at the Hollywood/Burbank Airport. Fausto’s works have also been included in a traveling exhibition titled “Beauty Reigns,” at the McNay Art Museum and the Akron Art Museum. Fernandez was also awarded several arts residencies in the last year, including a residence in Miami, Florida–the Eileen Kaminsky Family Foundation.
The Tucson Museum of Art describes the exhibition as follows: “Dress Matters: Clothing as Metaphor examines clothing in art as symbols of power and identity. At once functional and aesthetic, garments are worn to protect the body from the elements, enhance the beauty of the wearer, establish rank in society, and signal to others our differences or similarities. Garments also point to interpersonal issues and conditions as well as larger societal and cultural concerns. Works in this exhibition reveal how artists use concepts and images of clothing to relay compelling messages about gender, age, ethnicity, history, profession and the world around us in general.”
A Celebration Honoring
Emmy award-winning writer, artist, educator;
Philanthropist and conceptual artist;
and Lifetime Guild members
Alberta Cifolelli and Bonnie Ford Woit.
This year’s annual Living Art Awards Benefit will celebrate preeminent thought leaders in Art Education who have reached thousands through their teaching, philanthropy, and lectures. In these lifelong educational endeavors, we see artists who truly exemplify a dedication to “Living Art”.
The works in Drew Tal’s new show “Silent Worlds,” which opens on May 11 at Turner Carroll Gallery, focus on the faces of children.
“There is an innocence in children but also a kind of underlying depth, judgment-free wisdom and fearless attitude that I find challenging and inspiring,” explains Tal, an Israeli-born artist who divides his time between living in Florida and the south of France.
“Silent Worlds” was inspired by a trip to the Forbidden City, a walled city within the city of Beijing, China. It features around a dozen large photographs layered with texture and pattern which were created through a process that Tal says is both laborious and artistically satisfying.
“The Forbidden City is a massive complex of palatial architecture that I found extremely fascinating,” he adds. “As I was wandering around the hundreds of impressive palaces and structures, I couldn’t help imagine what life was like behind these walls. I especially wondered what it was like for the children. The series of portraits I created zooms in on these sheltered children; some dressed in the finest of silks, some posed behind windows, all staring into the viewer’s eyes.”
Traveling, whether it’s to the remote Sahara desert, walled Medieval cities in Italy, the fjords in Norway, the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia or Medieval hilltop villages in France, has been an integral part of Tal’s personal and professional life for decades. Each journey, he says, has brought with it a fresh need to create.
“I am now and have always been very visual and therefore inspired and artistically stimulated by a great many different things,” Tal explains. “Typically, it is a face that will inspire me to begin a new piece, but I am also constantly inspired by old walls, trees, clouds, fabrics, nature and textures of all kinds.”
To See is to Have: Navigating Today’s Art Ecosystem: May 18 – August 6, 2017
The inspiration behind To See Is to Have: Navigating Today’s Art Ecosystem is to make private art public, and to share with every member of our community selections from the diverse collections of members of the McNay Contemporary Collectors Forum (MCCF). The artworks on view open doors to new worlds of discovery, and have been selected from the personal collections of the members of MCCF, who dedicate themselves to learning about, engaging with, and collecting contemporary art.
Accompanied by an illustrated gallery guide that attempts to break down the barriers to collecting art, To See Is to Have: Navigating Today’s Art Ecosystem encourages and emboldens visitors to embark on their own journeys of discovery of contemporary art.
This exciting exhibition features Hung’s most recent work inspired by the time and images of the American Dust Bowl, as well as a thoughtful presentation of her work from the 1990s and 2000s, and even earlier works from the mid-1970s. These earliest paintings are small works of oil on paper, painted sub-rosa as they do not represent authorized images of immediately pre- Cultural Revolution China. Hung refers to the series as her Secret Freedom paintings; a terrible irony as the subject of most of these paintings is the beauty of the countryside, devoid of people.
Hung Liu San Francisco Women’s March Speech
Saturday, January 21st, 2017
I was born in China in 1948, near the end of the civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists. My father was a captain on the Nationalist side, and we lived in Changchun, a city under siege by Communist forces. During the 150 days of that siege, nearly 150,000 people starved to death. Many tried to leave, but were caught in a no-man’s-land between the two armies. The only way to survive was to flee, so my mother and her older sister, along with my uncle, my father, and my grandparents, tried to escape – I was 6 months old.
When I was six years old, my mother told me a story about that journey that I have never forgotten. She said that while fleeing the fighting around Changchun with countless other refugees – with no food and under fire – our family passed by a river. Sitting alone on the riverbank was a baby. The baby’s mother had set it down and stepped into the river’s rushing water. Nobody picked up the baby. Everyone just kept walking. I asked my mother if she would ever have drowned herself and abandoned me by the river. She looked at me and said, “I don’t know.”
In 1968 – at the age of twenty – I was sent to the countryside for proletarian re-education during the Cultural Revolution. I worked as a peasant 360 days a year for four years, mostly growing wheat and corn. I remember one day looking up from the field and seeing an airplane high overhead, cutting silently through the sky. I wondered where it was going, and if I would ever be able to go there too.
After long days in the fields, the only escape was into the pages of books, most of which were politically dangerous. I hid them under my pillow, and my friends and I would secretly pass them between us. They included Chinese translations of “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William Shrier, Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables,” Balzac’s “The Human Comedy,” and “Jean-Christophe,” by Nobel Prize winner Romain Rolland.
“Jean-Christophe” repeats the legend of Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, who carried people across a dangerous river. One day he carried a small child who was unknown to him, and the child became so heavy, and the river became so strong, that Christopher barely made it across. In Rolland’s telling, it took all night, and as the new dawn broke across the eastern sky, Christopher turned to the child and said: “Here we are! How heavy you are. Child, who are you?” The child replied, “I am the day soon to be born.”
In 1981 I applied for a Chinese passport so I could study in the United States. After making me wait for four years, the Chinese government finally let me go. Meanwhile, it took only four minutes to get my visa from the American embassy in Beijing. My first time on an airplane I flew to San Francisco. I carried $20 and two suitcases. I was 36 years old and I had just crossed the Pacific.
The story of America as a destination for the homeless and hungry of the world is not only a myth. It is a story of desperation, of sadness, of uncertainty, of leaving your home. It is also a story of courage, of sacrifice, of determination, and – more than anything – of hope. There will be many rivers to cross in the months and years ahead, some of them dark and swollen. But we must not become hopeless.
I never knew what happened to that baby by the river. In my heart, I have carried her with me all my life. I am here only because my mother carried me. Now, we must carry each other until a new dawn breaks across the American sky.
A lot of Hung Liu’s art starts with an old, black and white photograph from China. Most of the subjects in the photos are anonymous.
“You don’t know anything about this person,” says the Chinese-American artist from Oakland. The anonymity, she explains, gives her the freedom to take something specific and universalize it. “I will never know her name, but her image will be enshrined, in a way.”
Take one photo of an old woman cooking on a big stove that became the inspiration for Luzao (Stove), pictured above. “Definitely, she’s not cooking for herself,” Liu says. “Reminds me a little of my grandma. She made shoes, but she cooked every day, day in, day out.”
Adventures in Birdland—Suzanne Sbarge once again uncages her otherworldly birds for a one-woman exhibit opening this week at Mariposa Gallery (3500 Central SE). Her collage paintings conjure up dreamy sequences that are simultaneously homey and adventurous. The new show is called Breathing Space. If you haven’t seen Sbarge’s work, you’re advised to attend the reception this Friday, March 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. If you have seen her work already, then I’m guessing your calendar is already marked. The show will run through the end of the month. For details, call 268-6828.
Sarah Silver of the Stephen Petronio Company will perform at this year’s Global Dancefest.
Bigger, Better—For the seventh year in a row, Global Dancefest is back, bringing the best in contemporary dance to Albuquerque. Six performances will take place between March 7 and March 14, and this year there will also be an accompanying visual art component with an exhibit by Taos artist and poet Minori Yata. We’ll have more details in next week’s issue. If you don’t feel like waiting around, log on to www.vsartsnm.org for more information.
Georges Mazilu, La femme jardin
Before escaping Romania during the reign of harsh dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, Mazilu had grown up in a beautiful small Medieval village in Romania. In our quest to better understand the mystery and complexity of Mazilu’s paintings, Michael and I travelled to Romania in 1993, to see how this setting had influenced Mazilu’s highly personalized style. Certainly, the amalgamation of scale, color, and shape, on Mazilu’s style was immediately apparent.
Georges Mazilu did the typical multi-year tenure in art school in Romania, with the first several years focusing on realistic depiction of the human figure. Only after mastering the human form, could one declare a specialty in artistic media of choice. Mazilu chose painting, and continued painting the human form and occasional landscape until his escape from Romania in 1982. Art was in service of the State, so he could veer from realism only slightly while living in Romania.
Mazilu fled to France, where he celebrated his new-found artistic freedom by incorporating abstraction into his work, which he had always longed to do. The abstract forms he knew came from the Medieval architecture in his native Romania, as you can see in the images above, as well as the clothing patterns used by his father–a tailor.
La femme jardin, featured above, marks an important evolution of Mazilu’s artistic style, with all the flourishes of a quintessential Mazilu work. This painting, though, offers something additional–it places Mazilu undeniably within the European tradition of timeless master painters. His references to European artists who have informed his work are obvious in the glistening earrings (Vermeer), the melancholy light tones of Rembrandt, and the ornately floral head piece (Arcimboldo). The patterned attire is definitively Mazilu’s, stemming from his upbringing in rural Romania in a household of tailors. The mystery of the work, combined with the other-worldly composition reminds us of Bosch. The confident gaze and compact body shape references Velazquez’s Las Meninas.
Georges Mazilu, Femme en robe rouge
In Femme en robe rouge and La femme au chapeau de soie, one can envision these figures walking through the streets of Mazilu’s home village, at dusk. The pieced-together garments and quirky Medieval feel of these paintings make them timeless and evocative of memories buried deep in European ancestral past. The Femme en robe rouge is a Madonna, or a Medici. La femme au chapeau de soie, with her hat and harlequin-patterned cloak, alludes to the harlequin’s long past in European Tarot and art history.
Georges Mazilu, La femme au chapeau de soie
Noted art historian and Professor Emeritus of Princeton University, Sam Hunter, wrote the most recent monograph on Mazilu, but preeminent South African writer Andre Brink describes Mazilu’s work most poetically:
“Faces luminous as moons, shining not with reflected light but from the inside. Figures that hesitate on the threshold of the subtly coloured backgrounds from which they have emerged and towards which they seem ready to return. The dialogue with the dark. The dialogue with light. The dialogue with the interminable silence of things….A dialogue, too…with a procession from the past: with Bosch, sometimes Brueghel, the fantastic imagery of the Middle Ages…with creatures from hallucinations or from A Midsummer Night’s Dream….”
“Mazilu’s originality, even when he mockingly inserts himself in an admirable and exciting tradition, lies in moving beyond what has been done, in painting precisely what Bosch or Redon or Dali have not imagined. This is the challenge to which each picture responds, each constituting a ludic leap of the imagination, or of faith, into the dark of the as yet unimaginable: it is this motion towards ‘something beyond,’ this act of ‘crossing over,’ of defying limits and boundaries, that defines the…dynamism, of an art that dazzles as much through its technical virtuosity as the subtlety and outrage of its imagination.”
After several months of searching, the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority has chosen an artist to design large-scale artwork to be mounted on the transportation center at Hollywood Burbank Airport.
Commissioners unanimously voted during a meeting on Monday to award New Mexico artist Fausto Fernandez an $85,000 contract to come up with six different designs for each of the panels outside of the building along Hollywood Way.
The airport authority is required to put up art pieces on the center to fulfill Burbank’s Art in Public Places obligation after the building was constructed, said Nerissa Sugars, who is in charge of the authority’s marketing and business development.
Jamie Brunson is featured in a new exhibition at SJMA titled Your Mind, This Moment: Art and the Practice of Attention. This really interesting show is referred to by the curators as an experiment. From the museum’s web page, We offer the following: “Fifteen seconds. That’s the length of time the average museum visitor spends in front of a work of art—much of it reading the wall label. Even the Mona Lisa commands only fifteen seconds of attention. That’s half the time we wait for an iPad or smartphone to power on…Your Mind, This Moment: Art and the practice of Attention presents works of art as objects of meditation. With input from an advisory group of artists who are also meditators, the gallery will be designed as an intimate space that encourages quietude.”
A link to the exhibition is here.
Twenty years ago I spent one of the most memorable days of my life in the company of John Berger. On a trip to visit my dear friend in Paris, filmmaker Rodrigo Dorfman, we decided to meet Mr. Berger, and tramped off to find him. Some hours later we were warmly ushered in to his cozy house in the Paris suburbs. As a university student we read and studied his seminal work, Ways of Seeing. As a relatively newly-minted art dealer, to meet the author sent me over the moon. We did not talk about art history for long, however. The extraordinarily kind John Berger wanted to know all about my friend and me, and after some number of bottles of wine I opened up with a torrent of tears about the death of my mother. Hours later Rodrigo and I poured ourselves onto the street wide-eyed and ready to devour the world. For me as a young man at the beginning of his life’s work, to meet Mr. Berger, the man, sent me to the stars.
Kelly Skeen wrote up a great piece on Turner Carroll’s newest artist, Nina Tichava. Kelly uses extensive quotes from Nina to tell a very personal story of Nina’s journey from a small town in northern New Mexico, to her life as an artist. Exposure to Native and Hispanic culture and art helped shape Nina’s visual language, the intense handwork and geometries of craft being foremost. Please come by to see Nina’s new work in the gallery. Thank you Kelly!
A link to the feature is here.
516 ARTS spotlights two of Albuquerque’s most prolific painters with concurrent solo exhibitions exploring contemporary changes in the landscape while referencing the rich history of classical and 19th century American Landscape painting. Scott Greene: Bewilderness is featured downstairs and Beau Carey: Rise is upstairs.
“Bewilderness exists beyond imagination, myth and reality. It is located somewhere between Arcadia and dystopia, and where the past and present collide. It is a state of mind in which contradiction is essential and even celebrated. Awe-inspiring natural beauty revealed to be a construct, it is a refuge with no shelter, a place of spiritual certainty, utter confusion and blissful ignorance.
My work explores the balance between the natural environment and artificial constructs, and questions that the two are mutually exclusive. The notion of pristine wilderness as an embodiment of the sublime endures, yet exists side by side with the idea of nature as something to be controlled and exploited. I believe it could be argued that beauty in nature is a construct, and that all human activity, no matter how artificial and deleterious to the environment, is not only part of evolution, but also possesses some semblance of beauty.”
Scott Greene studied at California College of the Arts before receiving his BFA in painting from San Francisco Art Institute in 1981, and his MFA in painting from the University of New Mexico in 1994. A recipient of the Roswell Artist in Residency Grant, he has exhibited nationally and internationally at the Kulturtorvet Gallery, Copenhagen, Austin Museum of Art, Canton Museum of Art, Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, Albuquerque Museum, and the Kohler Art Center. His work has been featured in Harpers, McSweeneys, Zyzzyva, Artweek and New American Paintings. Greene’s work has been represented by Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco since 2003.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Mariposa Gallery, now celebrating its 42nd year, is hosting “ORBIT,” a visually provocative seven-artist collage exhibition inspired in part by dada, surrealism and postmodernism.
The show is the result of a series of gatherings of collage artists who formed a loosely defined support group to share ideas and techniques. The artists chose the same one or two images based on vintage photographs of the moon as a theme for the exhibit.
The group includes Roberto Appicciafoco, Zach Collins, Jeff Drew, Kelly Eckel, Valarie Roybal, Suzanne Sbarge and Greg Tucker.
The broad variety of approaches and use of the lunar pictures reveal how creativity can be beautifully enhanced rather than squelched by limitations.
The range covered in the 22-piece collection runs between pure collage works without the obvious hand of the artist to predominantly hand-painted pieces like Sbarge’s offerings and Tucker’s mostly wood construction.
Although Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque coined the term “collage” from the French word “coller” (to glue) in the early 20th century, the technique of gluing overlays of paper and imagery together actually began in China around 200 BC. From there, the technique traveled to Japan by the 10th century and finally arrived in Europe during the 13th century.
Until Picasso and Braque reinvented collage as a modernist fine arts technique, collage was a decorative craft mostly practiced by women.
Appicciafoco, who considers collage to be a liberating process, is inspired by music, films and everything else he sees. His well-executed images – such as the truly stunning “Honeymoon,” an organic view of space, and “Rocket Girl” – have the look of carefully designed pop-surrealist paintings with hints from graphic artists like Andy Warhol of course sans soup cans and scrub pad boxes.
Collins works in miniature to create constructivist compositions that are the most successful abstract miniatures I’ve seen. I love the fact that a large section of the moon can be captured in a less than 4-inch rectangle. Collins has a great sense of composition and scale. His earth-tone palette lends a tasteful touch as well.
Drew presents a series titled “Secret History of the Moon,” which includes an image of a woman about to bite into the Earth as she holds our world in her well-manicured hand, replete with brightly polished fingernails.
The mandala form inspires Eckel in “Patterns,” a dynamic design with embellishments.
Roybal offers “Saturn Man” to the fray, a nicely designed juxtaposition between the business-suited human and his saturnine head.
I have not always been a fan of works by Sbarge, but over the years I have come to truly appreciate the careful artistry that she puts into her collages and have turned a corner regarding her beautifully executed selections.
Besides a great sense of design and color, her work has evolved from early inspirations drawn from her mentor, Holly Roberts, into a personal iconography that is most often breathtaking. Three pieces drew my attention. “Wild Turkey,” in the gallery but not the show, “Arctic Owl” and “Duck” are all near perfection of technique and mysterious.
Longtime newspaper, magazine and book illustrator Greg Tucker, who studied fine arts from childhood through university, is offering “Lunar Rhythmic Device” a beautifully rendered mixed-media sculpture.
Tucker’s four-wheeled “machine” features a wind-up metronome that emblemizes the moon’s regular influence on earthly events like ocean tides, women’s menstrual cycles and, according to his artist’s statement, creativity among artists and scientists.
Although these connections may indicate a modicum of lunacy, the show makes one wonder whether Allen Ginsberg wrote “Howl” under the influence of a full moon. It’s a great show, and the gallery is chock-full of other notable creations.
Orlando Leyba, Walter Robinson and Squeak Carnwath: Symbol Pleasures was written up as a recommendation by the most excellent Jon Carver as a recommendation in the 15 October 2016 edition of Visual Art Source. “Make my funk the P-Funk…”
A link to the feature in VAS is here.
In celebration of art uniting us all, Turner Carroll joins forces with master oud musician Rahim AlHaj and internationally acclaimed artists and writers, to support Iraqi and Syrian children. AlHaj will perform music from his upcoming collaboration with musicians from Palestine, Iran, and North Korea, which will later be performed at Kennedy Center, in Washington, D.C.
AlHaj, born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq, is uncontestably one of the finest Iraqi musicians to find refuge in the United States. His music has been nominated for Grammy Awards, and he has performed and taught all over the world. His upcoming performances include venues such as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and a music fellowship in China. He plays an instrument that is at least 5000 years old–the oud–but he gives it the voice of compassion, beauty, and struggle, that is embedded in our contemporary culture.
Click here for Rahim’s music and information. Photo by Douglas Kent Hall.
Seating is limited. For benefit tickets please contact Tonya at firstname.lastname@example.org
Performance Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 7pm
[n.b. that this event takes place in Santa Fe]
As the presidential campaign nears its crescendo, the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center offers something of a refuge: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are entirely missing from the six exhibitions that just opened. Yet the place is hardly free of ideological tumult.
Although quite different in form and content, all of the shows are as politically charged as the latest campaign reports. Included are illustrations by the Black Panther Party’s former minister of culture; a commemoration of a Chilean exile who was assassinated in Washington 40 years ago; and a survey of work by a noted American artist who learned her craft in Mao’s China. The centerpiece of that show, Hung Liu’s “Daughter of China, Resident Alien,” is a pile of some 200,000 fortune cookies atop tracks that evoke the role of Chinese labor in building American railways. In a large painting based on the artist’s green card, she takes the name “Cookie, Fortune.” Many of Liu’s paintings are derived from photos or propaganda-film stills and dissolve realism into abstraction to represent the evaporation of Marxist-Leninist China and her memories of it. But Liu also gazes further into the past to imagine the lives of Chinese Americans long before she arrived here in 1984. One of her pictures is derived from an anti-Chinese cartoon from a 19th-century newspaper. View Rest of Article
The monsoon season is late in coming this summer, but the rains are finally upon us. Scott Greene (NAP # 18, #30, #54, #66, #78, #96, #108) has been imagining this deluge for some months, as he works on a large painting in his studio just north of ABQ. His work is shown with regular frequency in San Francisco, to the point where it might be easy to think of him as a Bay Area artist, but he has been rooted in New Mexico since completing his MFA in painting from the University of New Mexico. – Diana Gaston, New Mexico Contributor
Blue Mesa Review, the literary magazine of the University of New Mexico’s creative writing program, continues its tradition of publishing outstanding and innovative stories and poems along with interviews and essays that serve as a forum for thoughtful discussion on a broad range of issues, ideas, and literature.
Issue #22 contains the very best and most exciting work available from across the United States. This issue includes fiction from Milagro Beanfield War John Nichols as well as an exclusive interview with the author by Greg Fraser. You’ll also find fiction by Yelizaveta Renfro, Mary Helen Specht, Rachel Newcomb, Tatjana Soli, Jaclyn Dwyer, Melissa Olson-Petrie, and 2009 Fiction Contest Winner Steven Ramirez.
Poets in #22 include Maureen Seaton, Jenny Hanning, Martin Arnold, John Nizalowski, Keith Montesano, Jared Walls, and B.J. Best. There are essays by Gary Fincke and Paul Bogard, as well as stunning visual art by Suzanne Sbarge.
Published By Blue Mesa Review
The May edition of Santa Fe’s own THE Magazine carried a great review of our newest artist, Walter Robinson, for his exhibition “Placebo.” Our exhibition runs concurrently with Walter’s Museum of New Mexico Alcove Exhibition. Reviewer Richard Tobin thoughtfully compares a child’s teeter-totter to Walter’s “Teeter” which is a teeter-totter cannon. Richard deftly outlines the nature of Walter’s placebo to the real thing.
A link to a downloadable PDF of the exhibition is here.
- Work Ethic
- Advice to a New Father
- Santa Fe Schools
- New York
- Real Estate and Property Management
- Painting and the Creative Process
- The Hotel Business
- And much more
Listen to the Interview
We are very proud to announce that Scott Greene’s Turner Carroll exhibition “The Course of Empire” was chosen by Visual Art Source as one of the best shows in the country by reviewer Jordan Eddy. This comes after Scott’s Museum of New Mexico Alcove Exhibition in March 2016, and his stellar 516 Arts exhibition “Bewilderness” in Albuquerque this past winter.
A link to the VAS review is here.
Robinson’s work investigates the mechanics of cultural and social anthropology. Using text and the strategies of appropriation, conflation, and dislocation, he uncovers the subconscious and biological human imperatives hidden beneath social, political, religious, and capitalist packaging. Robinson’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the San Jose Museum of Art and Villa Montalvo, as well as numerous group exhibitions across the United States and abroad. His work is included in many public and private collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Crocker Art Museum, Nevada Museum of Art, San Jose Museum of Art, the di Rosa Preserve: Art & Nature, The Sheldon Museum of Art, and the Djerassi Foundation. His work received critical attention from a number of publications including Artforum, ArtReview, Vanity Fair, and the San Francisco Chronicle. This Turner Carroll exhibition is concurrent with Walter’s paintings featured in Alcoves 16/17.2 at the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe.
Brief talk by Walter Robinson Saturday, May 7 at 3 pm, Turner Carroll
Opening Reception Friday, May 6, 2016 from 5 to 7pm
[n.b. that this event takes place in Santa Fe]
Located at the Fashion Industry Gallery, adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art in the revitalized downtown arts district. Featuring new works by gallery artists Fausto Fernandez, Hung Liu, Squeak Carnwath, Drew Tal, Jamie Brunson, Rusty Scruby, Edward Lentsch, Wanxin Zhang, Suzanne Sbarge, Karen Yank, Scott Greene, Holly Roberts, and more! Fair hours are Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16 respectively, from 11am to 7pm, and Sunday, April 17 from 12pm to 6pm, with an opening preview gala Thursday, April 14.
A link to the Dallas Art Fair is here.
Santa Fean April May 2016 | Digital Edition
In a great article in the March 11, 2016 Santa Fe, New Mexican, Michael Abatemarco gives us a superb review of the Museum of New Mexico Alcove Show 16/17.1, and Scott Greene‘s place in the exhibition.
Abatemarco writes, “In the 2013 painting La Bajada Bluff, Scott Greene depicts a bison driven over the edge of a cliff, a historic means of slaughtering buffalo that was used by Native tribes. But Greene’s buffalo has been pushed over by the detritus of modern society, not by hunters, crowded out by a towering mountain of barrels, pipes, discarded electronics, abandoned mobile homes, and other trash that’s become the foundation on which civilization rests. ‘The idea for that painting came from a landfill that’s not too far away; I live in Bernalillo,’ Greene told Pasatiempo. ‘It’s an older landfill. It’s a compaction of stuff that’s been here for a long time. The image was inspired by hiking around and looking at archaeological depositions where you have deposits of different matter that are all compacted together. I started thinking, ‘What are the depositions that we’re creating?’ You’re seeing this bluff that’s sheared away and you see all the stuff that we’re layering up.’ ”
A copy of the article is here.
Top international culture and travel site The Culture Trip chose Turner Carroll again as on of the top contemporary galleries in Santa Fe. Along with SITE Santa Fe, the Center for Contemporary Arts and Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, Turner Carroll got props for the international scope of our program.
A link to the article is here.
Squeak Carnwath’s first New York exhibition in over a decade was tightly packed with paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the 1990s to the present. The earliest piece on view was the painting Things Green (1995). Designed as a giant chart, it presents a list of nouns floating in a field of bright green above a 12-by-21-unit grid, each cell containing a number and a dab of paint. The color swatches represent a wide range of tints, from lemon yellow and sky blue to gray and olive brown, all of which may conceivably contain green pigment. Similarly, every written word has a connection to green, through custom or association. The list includes “snake,” “stone” and “grass” as well as “house,” “peace” and “beret.”
The list of nouns is far from exhaustive, the enumeration inaccurate and some of the cells empty, yet the flaws of the Things Green chart become assets of the painting, which combines poetic sensibility with irresistible physical presence. Carnwath’s principal talent is her ability to transform inert materials into something akin to living matter. In her work, every wobbly line has a character, each handwritten word has its own quirky temperament, and dabs of color have different shapes and moods, like specimens in a collection of bugs.
Carnwath’s most recent paintings were installed in the second gallery. Dense with titles of popular songs handwritten in block letters on narrow bands of contrasting colors, they were each accompanied by a small iPod shuffle playing the referenced songs—a pleasant but redundant gesture. In some paintings, the found poetry of individual song titles accumulates to powerful effect. In Girls (2015), for example, the titles painted in various shades of pink, red and purple reflect many different aspects of gender, from innate character to performative identity to social function: “I Was Born This Way,” “Bang Bang,”“Piece of My Heart,”“I Am Woman.”
Text and color swatches comprise only part of a large vocabulary of shapes, symbols and gestures that have recurred throughout Carnwath’s paintings over the years, traveling from one piece to another and generating a visual conversation among the works. One of the frequent motifs is a trompe l’oeil sheet of lined notebook paper. In the 2002 diptych Everything 2, three such sheets, covered with various marks and pencil scribbles, are depicted on the right-hand panel, painted with easy and casual confidence on top of dozens of vertical stripes of color. The diptych’s left panel features marks and vignettes scattered on a pale background: a handful of colored circles; schematic images such as a rabbit and a palm-reading chart; laconic statements painted in large block letters (“THIS IS A BRILLIANT PAINTING” and “PLEASE HELP”); another trompe l’oeil notebook page; several bits of text floating in different parts of the canvas; and dozens of painterly trifles and accidents, from doodles scraped into wet ground to droplets and streaks of multicolored paint enhancing the canvas’s already richly nuanced surface.
Like most of Carnwath’s pieces, Everything 2 demands sustained viewing. The abundance of visual and textual information seems to imply that some kind of message is there waiting to be deciphered. The clues, however, do not point in a single direction. None of Carnwath’s works in fact offer a comprehensible statement, consistent argument or specific emotion. Instead, they mesmerize the viewer with their tremendous arsenal of painterly gestures, symbols and contradictory statements, transporting one into a state of sensory overload, intellectual excitement and puzzlement.
Wesley Pulkka wrote a great piece about Scott Greene on December 20, 2015 for the Albuquerque Journal. The article highlights Scott’s “first local solo show in the past 20 years titled ‘Bewilderness’ a gob smacking tour-de-force of virtuosity that may lead lessor talents to hang up their brushes.” The exhibition is at 516 Arts in Albuquerque.
A copy of the article may be seen on the Albuquerque Journal website here.
Fausto Fernández Nació en El Paso, Texas. Artista de collage y técnicas mixtas cuyas obras incluyen una variedad de pinturas abstractas, arte público y proyectos de vinculación con la comunidad. Lic. en Pintura y en Diseño Gráfico, egresado de la Universidad de Texas. Durante los últimos 15 años ha producido y desarrollado su disciplina artística en Phoenix, Arizona y Los Ángeles. Fue aceptado en el programa Border Art Residency 2014-15.
Willy Bo Richardson was recently featured in the Latin American edition of Dental Tribune. In addition to having the cover, Willy was interviewed for the magazine by photographer Eric Kroll, A link to the article is here. Inside Magnolia Editions: Collaboration and Innovation opens at the Art Museum of Sonoma County on 12 December 2015. Under the direction of Don and Era Farnsworth since 1981, Magnolia Editions has been on the front lines of innovation, collaboration, and advocacy for timely and pressing social and political issues. The exhibition runs through 7 February 2016. A link to the museum is here.
Turner Carroll artists Rupert Garcia, Squeak Carnwath, Deborah Oropallo, Chuck Close, Enrique Chagoya and Hung Liu all have works represented in the show. Also showing this month is Wanxin Zhang at the San Jose Museum of Art. The show Character Studies: Clay from the Collection runs through 7 February 2016. Wanxin’s work was pointed out “one of a new generation who are continuing this region’s legacy of prominence and innovation in the medium.” The exhibition page of the museum’s web site is here.
In the November 26 to December 2, 2016 edition of the Alibi, Maggie Grimason’s interviews with Beau Carey and Scott Greene describe both painters “canary in the coal mine” approach to painting. Grimason writes, “Where there is a felt absence in Carey’s paintings, Scott Greene approaches the topic differently, explicitly incorporating man-made detritus into his compositions. ‘I see artificial constructs everywhere and try to include a vestige of what’s natural,’ Greene stated of his works in Bewilderness.”
The exhibitions run parallel at 516 Arts in Albuquerque
A copy of the article may be seen on the Alibi website here.
Artist Karen Yank and Damon Chefchis, fabricator and owner of CMY, Inc, giving a public presentation this morning on the large scale metal sculpture that they’re making for CNM. It was a great turnout with lots of CNM art students in attendance!
In ancient Egyptian religion, the soul was conceived as being composed of separate parts. Upon one’s death, the ba, an animated component of the soul endowed with the qualities of the deceased, was permitted to leave the tomb of the dead in preparation for the next phase of the journey to the afterlife. The ba was often depicted in flight, as a human-headed bird, sometimes a falcon. Ba-like birds with human heads are a recurring theme in California-based artist Jenny Honnert Abell’s works. Her hybrid creatures are rendered through a combination of sewing and painting with collaged illustrations of old engravings culled from books. They rest on branches and perch atop the trunks of cut trees. Each of Abell’s hybrid forms has its own personality, and each is given a different face. “I’ve been studying ancient Egypt as a hobby of mine for several years,” Abell told Pasatiempo. “I’ll tell you a little about how the human-headed bird thing started, but it was before I knew what the ba was. I was working in a studio space that was pretty small at the time. I was doing mostly collage then, not a lot of applications of other materials. There’s always all this stuff lying around on my table. I’m pretty organized, but it’s a small space, and I’m tearing books apart and, there’s just piles of stuff. I noticed the torn off head of Raphael next to a bird body. It might have been lying on the body. I never intentionally went to make a human-headed bird. I just saw it, and it really resonated for me.” Abell’s exhibition Pretty, Peculiaropens at Turner Carroll Gallery on Friday, Oct. 16.
The show includes Abell’s large-scale panel works as well as small compositions created on book covers. The covers exhibit an array of surreal imagery, much of it rendered in relief by sewing and stuffing fabric into various shapes such as the tree branches that exist in some works, and the bodies of the birds (the heads are collaged). “I started the book covers in 2004,” she said. “It is a more prominent, popular body of work than the panels in general.”
Abell began to appreciate the covers of the antique books she was buying for her collage work. “I started to notice how lovely some of the covers were. At the same time, I wanted to come up with something I could do that was smaller, which would be less expensive and would be quicker to do.” Unlike her painted panels, the backgrounds of her book covers are left untouched, allowing the patina and texture of the old tomes to become part of the composition, which is dominated by a central figure: sometimes a human-headed bird, sometimes floral imagery, or more ambiguous, organic shapes with reaching, fingerlike tendrils. Abell set a goal for herself to do one book cover a day. “It was just kind of an exercise to teach me to be much more spontaneous and just lighten up a little bit because the work is intense. I never was able to stick to the one a day. There were a couple that came together pretty quick but some of them were still pretty labor intensive.”
There is a contradictory aspect to the imagery in Abell’s pieces, as evidenced in one called For Myself, a large painted panel Abell originally intended to keep to herself. In the work, the cancerous head of a human sits atop the squat, plain white form of a bird, the ugliness of his affliction at odds with the ornate, bejeweled branch on which he’s perched. “I want people to look at that piece and immediately think how beautiful it is. The jewels are really rich, and it’s all real high quality, good stuff. Then you’ve got this white, plain bird that’s got this diseased face. I think it’s beautiful, but what is the piece saying? You’ve got this bird that’s obviously dealing with this horrific situation, this face that kind of puts you off but then it’s on this gorgeous branch.”
Abell stresses the value of working with quality materials in her collage work, preferring the high-quality papers found in older books to the cheap glossy pages of magazines. “I never use magazines. The only thing I use magazines for are the eyes.” The materials used on the branch in For Myself are antique glass jewels. The branch itself is made from eight-ply rag board, stuffed with cotton and sewn around the edges, making it jump from the surface in relief. “All those jewels are sewed on, and it’s very dimensional. I would venture that the head was from a book from the late 1800s. It’s hand-colored, and the quality of the head is super fine. I made the bird, and it’s a pretty good integration; you can’t really tell where it’s joined. The bird is also stuffed, making it dimensional.”
Abell made a connection between personal experiences and the themes of her work when Turner Carroll Gallery staff asked her for an artist statement. Abell began the series in 2007 when she was dealing with depression. “It came up in conversation that they’re about escape,” she said. “I started to think about it, and I still hold to that now, but I was just doing them because, intuitively, they felt right to me.” Abell’s birds embody something that seems integral to the Egyptian ba: a spirit unfettered by bodily constraints but still connected to the world. “Every human I know wants to know what it’s like to fly, myself included. By putting a human head on the bird it allowed me to be able to fly away and still be human. I could be above it all, but still see it and interact.”
We are very proud to announce the representation of artist Holly Roberts. As fans of hers for years, Turner Carroll now has the opportunity to join forces with Holly in advancing her career, as well as adding her prestige to our select group of artists. Holly’s work includes abstract underpainting, while metamorphic beings illustrate archetypal emotional or dream states. Her subject matter has expanded from the internal to a more topical, wider worldview, touching on religion, technology and the environment. The subject of many museum exhibitions and three monographs, Holly’s work may be found at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Norton Museum, Chicago Art Institute, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.
Artwork by Hung Liu is on display at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. She is included in the exhibition First Look: Collecting Contemporary at the Asian. The museum says “For the first time ever, we’re presenting a large-scale exhibition of contemporary highlights from the museum’s collection. These pieces are remarkable on their own, but they also activate the rest of the museum’s collection in compelling new ways, infusing traditional themes and mediums with present-day ideas. The exhibition features artists from Asia as well as from the United States. Yako Hodo abstracts the traditional art of basket weaving, while works by Yang Yongliang and Xu Bing push Chinese ink painting into new media. First Look also features Bay Area favorites like Hung Liu and Zheng Chongbin.” The exhibition runs 4 September through 11 October 2015.
A link to the exhibition is here.
Congratulations to Hung Liu for receiving this prestigious award from the Fresno Art Museum. The award is granted annually to a woman artist who “has spent thirty or more years in the studio and has created a unique and prestigious body of work.” Past recipients include Turner Carroll favorites Viola Frey, Ruth Asawa and Inez Storer. In addition to the recognition, Hung was awarded a solo exhibition at the museum in the fall of 2016. Lectures and a catalog will accompany the exhibition which runs 23 September 2016 through 8 January 2017.
A link to the Distinguished Woman Artist Award is here.
In the spirit of Forrest Gump’s assertion that “life is like a box of chocolates – you just never know what you’re going to get,” the Albuquerque Museum invited 2,000 people to visit 97 local artists’ studios over three consecutive Saturdays and pick their favorites.
The result is “Public Selects: a Crowdsourced Exhibition” with works from 12 studios by 13 artists in a sampler of media chosen by 1,100 respondents.
The winning artists are Jane Abrams, Timothy Cummings, Kristin Diener, Elizabeth Fritzsche, Thomas Christopher Haag, Ed Haddaway, Kei and Molly Textiles (Kei Tsuzuki and Molly Luethi), Jami Porter Lara, Orlando Leyba, Dennis Liberty, Suzanne Sbarge and Kevin Tolman.
THE Magazine asked a clinical psychologist and two people who love art for their take on this mixed-media piece—Pasture II—by Suzanne Sbarge. They were shown only the image and were given no other information.
Many peaceful images are layered inside this bucolic scene. While flowers symbolize a plethora of topics (e.g., romance, sympathy, commitment, friendship), the image of a beautiful young woman holding a flower reminds me of the 1960s hippie movement. Bulls are typically thought to represent strength, power, and fertility. Yet they are resting comfortably here. It seems the animals feel safe enough to let their guard down. A bluebird emerges from the woman’s eye like something from Greek mythology. Could this woman be the Goddess of Harmony? Bluebirds are known to symbolize happiness, hope, and the spring season in various cultures. Alternatively, this face may represent Mother Nature presiding over her creation. A mist appears like a tranquil glaze over the scenery. Its presence suggests dawn, an emotionally and physically quiet time. Psychologically, houses are thought to symbolize the psyche and even the personality. They are common dream images. Perhaps this painting is the artist’s dream. If this is true, we are seeing his or her wish for peace.
—Davis K. Brimberg, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
In spite of the tight fence around Mother Nature’s delicate neck, She looks back at us with knowing, smiling eyes. While humans attempt to separate themselves from Her universe, She rises transcendent and free. Although disguised behind a flower-mask, Nature continues dominant above humankind’s naïve attempts at taming Her. Poised over the landscape of an idealized bucolic scene stolen from a children’s fairytale, Nature glows triumphant. The pastoral illustration fades into the background. Whatever contentment is depicted within it exists only because of Nature’s blessing. She is the ultimate landlord—renting space on the planet as humankind builds houses soon to become vain towers of Babel. Mankind attempts to organize Nature, but his quaint country roads soon turn into ugly, brutal express highways made possible by his disastrous exploitation of fossil fuels. In order to assure his food supply, His simple domestications will turn the rainforests into lifeless dust. All his efforts to exploit Nature will be as the swallow on the wing—fleeting and incomplete.
—Gershon Siegel, Writer
The cut-out and chalked-over photo of a young white woman’s face stares out at us from behind a flower and a bird, and from within Currier & Ives’s American Homestead Summer. The shadow of her neck and shoulders embrace the pastoral scene. She both emerges from and dominates the scene. The sharpest shapes in the piece are the corners of her eyes and lips, the arrow of the cutout cheek, and the bird’s wingtips; all causing my eye to linger and return to the upper left of the collage. But, her blank expression only says, “I am here.” I then explore the pastoral landscape for meaning. The Homestead series of 1868 evoked quintessential American seasonal allusions and illusions, and likely provided the comfort of escape to many white citizens just a few years after the end of the Civil War. Back to the face: could it be Nicky Hilton (or Paris?) of the Hilton Hotels family, so white, so rich, so pretty, staring out at me from within the idyllic American countryside? The fullness of an American summer’s bounty, pretty lips, young white flesh, a red blossom, and a blue bird: how comforting. Unpretty and awkward magazine cutouts glued onto a reproduction of an old lithograph of cows, grass, and trees: how odd. Young, pretty, and innocent questions like “I see red, white, and blue, how ’bout you?” wafting over the clean green setting like a white rich shadow after a civil war.
—Lisa Pelletier, Graphic Designer
Our exhibition Glow: Riffs on Beauty Reigns received a very nice recommendation on Visual Art Source. Writer and critic Drew Lenihan noted that the show “…show explodes with painterly vibrancy and poetic abstraction.” We at Turner Carroll love painting, and are very pleased that exhibition artists Rex Ray, Jamie Brunson and Fausto Fernandez were written about that way. A link to the article on VAS is here.
A pdf of the article may be downloaded by clicking the picture of it on the box to the right
Squeak wraps up her residency at the Lux Art Institute in Encinitas this month with an exhibition running from 13 June to 8 August 2015. To quote from their website, “At Lux, you don’t just see finished works of art; you see the artistic process firsthand, engaging with internationally recognized artists in a working studio environment.” A link to the exhibition is here.
A bit later, from 29 July to 27 September 2015, Squeak will have a solo exhibition at the diRosa. The show, Collection in Focus: Squeak Carnwath, features a group of important and understudied works from the 1980s that are Carnwath pieces held in the di Rosa’s extensive collection. The di Rosa wensite goes on to say about Squeak that she “has been fiercely committed to painting for decades…Carnwath often combines layers of words and images, fragments of things she comes across in daily life…Her paintings are just as much about the process as they are the product, becoming an extension of herself and her search for meaning, and allowing for imperfections and unplanned results.
Issue 80 of Fusion Magazine has a nice story on our own Fausto Fernandez. Fresh from his Phoenix Airport commission and his New Mexico Residency, Fausto is working toward his museum show in El Paso later this year. Fusion is an arts and culture magazine covering the scene in Texas and Northern Mexico. A link to the Issuu version of the magazine is here.
Meanwhile in Yountville, California, the Napa Valley Museum has mounted an exhibition called Napa Valley Collects which highlights significant artworks from the outstanding collections throughout the Napa Valley.
Included in the show are works by Andy Goldsworthy, Robert Buck, Deborah Oropallo, Kara Walker and Morris Graves. The exhibition runs through May 31, 2015. A link to the Issuu catalog is here.
During our very successful presence at the Dallas Art Fair during the weekend of April 10-12, we received a lot of attention for the artists we brought and for our sixth visit to the fair. Perhaps the the best recognition we received came from the Huffington Post. In her article highlighting the fair’s pieces at the fair, author Courtney Price tipped Turner Carroll with not one, but two of the top works. Specifically, Hung Liu “Equus I” and Shawn Smith “Absconder” were those featured in the article.
A link to the article is here.
The 7th annual Dallas Art Fair, founded by John Sughrue and Chris Byrne, kicks off this evening with the Preview Gala. The number of exhibitors has grown from an initial 35 to 95 prominent national and international art dealers representing painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, video, and installations by modern and contemporary artists. An interesting thing to note is that participating galleries and dealers must be chosen by previous exhibitors, which keeps the bar high and the art trendy.
“This year’s fair will feature our largest and most diverse selection of exhibitors to date,” says Chris Byrne, co-founder of the Dallas Art Fair. “Many of the world’s leading galleries will debut in our city for the very first time.”
The 2015 Fair will once again anchor the official ‘Dallas Art Week,’ highlighting the city’s leading art organizations with major exhibition openings and art-related programming. MTV RE:DEFINE returns on Friday, April 10th, with a major benefit honoring iconic artist Michael Craig-Martin to support the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and the Dallas Contemporary. Coinciding with the MTV RE:DEFINE auction, gala and exhibition, The Goss-Michael Foundation will present an exhibition of 10 artworks by Michael Craig-Martin placed at prominent public spaces throughout Dallas from the beginning of April through May 2015. On Saturday, April 11th, the Dallas Museum of Art will celebrate Art Ball 50 — the 50th anniversary of the museum’s annual gala featuring a seated dinner, live auction and festive after party.
“During the week of the Dallas Art Fair, Dallas’ museum’s and institutions unite to present to collectors and the community an infinitely rich opportunity to experience the contemporary arts,” notes John Sughrue, co-founder of the Dallas Art Fair.
The Art District is buzzing with a schedule of exciting events and a stunning range of talent to inspire art lovers- let’s take a look at a few highlights from this year’s fair:
Tal has a particular emphasis on the Muslim figure. From his childhood memories, the artist remembers: Israel was a colored collage of ethnic groups from North Africa and Eastern Europe, each with its own facial features, specific culture, customs and costumes. This fascination for the ethnic face never left him and he was the nucleus of his photographic art for the last 10 years.
Professional Artist Magazine just published a great interview with our own Squeak Carnwath. Artist Brenda Hope Zapitell asked great questions, and, in turn, received great and elucidating answers. You can find out why Squeak is a “painting chauvanist” and see a hand-printed list by Squeak asking “What artists do you like? A very partial list.” Good stuff.
A link to the article is here.
We are very happy to report the acquisition of Hung Liu’s “Visage I” by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. The museum is located on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene. The holds extensive collections of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and American artworks. The painting was purchased from our booth at the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair in 2015. Congratulations, Hung!
The world lost a great artist and human today. Rex Ray passed away after a prolonged bout with cancer. Please note that all remaining works by Rex Ray will go to his estate for legacy and museum planning. No more works will be for sale excepting his limited edition “Pyzinerol” lithograph.
Rest in peace my friend.
Looks like we hit a nerve. No, not “Reds under the beds,” but the color. Our latest exhibition received lots of coverage, and the analytics show an overwhelming preference for this hue. The Santa Fe New Mexican, Pasatiempo from 26 December 2014 article is here. A link to the Artsy article is here. The Artnet link is here. We also had the cover of the Santa Fe Monthly for February 2015. You can see artwork in the exhibition here in our ISSUU catalog. Happy Holidays!
Look for us in Palm Springs in February 2015 at the convention center in Palm Springs for the Palm Springs Art Fair. Hung is the subject of a special interview in our booth (#607) with noted Los Angeles art critic Peter Frank from 12 to 12:30 on Friday, 13 February. With Hung Liu’s solo, touring museum retrospective opening less than two weeks later at the Palm Springs Museum of Art, Turner Carroll will position Hung in our booth (#607) and through a special additional installation (booth P4) by Hung, as the star attraction of the fair.
As a part of NM’s growing interest in fine art (they collected a Rex Ray for their Walnut Creek, CA store in 2012) they chose a piece by our own Rex Ray for the cover of the 2014 Christmas catalog. According to the Neiman Marcus blog “For this issue of the book, Ray’s energetic swoops and swirls form a fanciful interpretation of NM’s house symbol, the butterfly. The piece began as a painting/collage, with digital flourishes and color-play added later. “This type of hybrid allows me to mix a wide variety of mediums–painting, block-printing, silk screening, as well as digitally augmented coloring and textures,” explains Ray. “In this way, the work references nature, ornament, technology, and modernism.”
Lots of news from San Francisco of late. Wanxin Zhang sent us this great photo of him with fellow sculptor, and good friend, Manuel Neri. Neri is a long-time favorite of Turner Carroll, and a storied Bay Area artist having studied with art world legends Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff. Neri was also a big part of the influential Six Gallery with compatriots Joan Brown, Jay DeFeo and Bruce Conner.
Hung Liu’s wine labels for Imagery Estate Winery are also making the rounds. We found this image on www.thesavory.com. According to the article by Ross Gardiner “The added attention given by the artwork has certainly helped to make them standout from the crowd. Every vintage of every variety has label art commissioned by the winery. Healdsburg-based artist Bob Nugent provided the original paintings, and since then has acted on a full-time basis as the curator. The winery has commissioned over 400 pieces of art to date, and receives over 200 requests per year to show art on their bottles.”
Late Harvest, the feature exhibition of the 2014 fall season, juxtaposed contemporary art made with taxidermy with historically significant wildlife paintings, resulting in intriguing parallels and startling aesthetic contrasts. The exhibition simultaneously confirmed—through historically-significant wildlife paintings—and subverted—through contemporary art and photography—viewers’ preconceptions of the place of animals in culture. This fully illustrated catalogue gives a thorough, in-depth discussion of the exhibition and also serves as the field guide for the 2014 Art + Environment Conference. Stunning photographs, exquisite design, and introspective scholarship defines this book.
On Sunday, September 21, 2014 from 12 to 4pm Wanxin Zhang will be a part of an important symposium of ceramic sculpture at the Vessel Gallery presented by the Friends of Oakland Art Murmur. Artists include well-known California ceramists Christine Assad, James Melchert, Juan Miguel Santiago, John Toki and Wanxin Zhang. The keynote will be given by longtime art historian, curator and educator Nancy Servis who is currently a Research Fellow at the American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona. For more information and tickets please go to www.oaklandartmurmur.com.
The month of August finds us featuring artists we have shown for a very long time along with artists more recently represented. All have the common experience of growing up in single-party states where they ran up against the authorities. Most have since emigrated from their countries of origin. The show features distinctly humanistic themes that struck a chord with the press. The July 30, 2014 Santa Fe Reporter ran a big, beautiful image by Nele Zirnite, and the Santa Fe New Mexican Pasatiempo features a long article with large color images by Hung Liu going over her personal story. We also got a nod from The Culture Trip out of London as one of the top contemporary galleries in Santa Fe. See the article here.
A copy of the Reporter article is here.
Turner Carroll Gallery is excited to conclude the summer season with a group exhibition, “Survival,” presenting work by Traian Filip, Hung Liu, Georges Mazilu, Igor Melnikov, Wanxin Zhang, and Nele Zirnite. In this exhibition, we will celebrate the work of artists who escaped the oppression of their birthplace and learned to survive and flourish in a new home by translating their stories through art. These artists used their artistic practice as their means of survival, and by sharing their visual histories, they inspire us all.
“Beauty Reigns: A Baroque Sensibility in Recent Painting” runs from 11 June through 17 August at the McNay Museum in San Antonio, Texas. Included in the show are pieces by artworld favorites Beatriz Milhazes, Ryan McGinness and Annette Davidek. The exhibition, curated by René Paul Barilleaux, “assembles thirteen emerging and mid-career abstract painters whose art is characterized in whole or part by high-key color, obsessive layering of surface imagery, use of overall and repeated patterns, stylized motifs, fragments of representation, and a tension between melancholy and the sublime. To date, little focus has been placed on works which celebrate the exoticism, exuberance, and optimism found in the work of the painters assembled in Beauty Reigns.”
We are pleased to have a write-up in the new weekly Santa Fean NOW. Brought to you by Bruce Adams, publisher of the Santa Fean magazine. NOW is a weekly calendar and magazine of the fine arts in Santa Fe. The Art Preview Josh’s work is featured in covers our exhibition Biomorphed that features new work by Josh Garber, Shawn Smith and the very well-known Rex Ray. The exhibition opens 11 July 2014, and runs through the end of the month. This show explores shapes in each artist’s practice inspired by, and gleaned from, organic patterns and the amazing expression of life itself.
A copy of the article is here.
“For me, these are not portraits of children, but portraits of human souls,” says Moscow-born artist Igor Melnikov. Each is a picture “of a soul immersed in itself, reticent, perplexed, searching for and preserving a hope. If you take the message of this portrait to your heart, it is a portrait of you.”
Since Melnikov moved to the United States in 1996, he has attracted growing international interest. In a new book on the artist published by the Downey Gallery of Santa Fe, Suzanne Deats eloquently explains why. “His art cuts to the quick, for it reveals the original truth that every adult carries within, however deeply buried beneath the incrustation of society and survival.” She observes, “These fragile children … are oneself, one’s ancestors, one’s unborn grandchildren.”
Melnikov notes, “I often find that my subjects are perceived incorrectly, as children’s faces that are meant to be merely touching.” Although he may base his pictures on children he knows, images from memories or dreams, or old photographs, he is after more than an evocation of personality or an ephemeral emotional effect. “The face of an adult is biography; the face of a child is metaphysics,” he says. “I don’t like poetic generalizations, particularly about my own work. But, if I can dare to qualify the subject that interests me most of all, it is this: the little, weak human beings coming into this huge, brutal, senseless world, and being unwanted, uninteresting, and unloved by anyone. Ultimately, the existential conflict is expressed most clearly as the awakening conscience of the little human being in the face of the cosmos.”
Born in Bucharest, Romania, Traian Alexandru Filip took his Master’s degree from the ‘Ioan Grigorescu’ Institute of Fine Arts. As a painter, etcher and sculptor, he held one-man shows in Romania, Italy, Sweden and the United States and took part in several dozens of national and international group exhibitions. Of his numerous awards, we mention the National Union of Fine Arts Award (Romania), the UNICEF Award for Graphic Art and the Silver Medal of The Society of Illustrators (USA). His works have been acquired for museum and private collections in Romania, the United States, Japan and Europe, including the Vatican. From 1989 to his tragic and premature death he lived and worked in the United States.
A definite thumbs up for the curator of the show; the combination of Shawn Smith, Rex Ray and Josh Garber speaks of an unintentional similarity where all three of them clearly share a passionate about the power of nature and uses it as their blueprint in creating intricate and mesmerizing artworks. Opening on the 30th of June until the 27th of July 2014 at Turner Carroll Gallery in Santa Fe; it’s such a pity I don’t get to see the real works myself.
San Francisco based fine artist Rex Ray, Dallas born sculptor Shawn Smith and New York graduated Josh Garber not only all display a full portfolio of solo exhibition experiences, series of commissioned works as well as collections of impressive innovations done in the past years; they are all fearless in the usage of their chosen mediums, incorporating bursting palettes for some and repetitive patterns as well as edge cutting forms of execution for others.
In the show “Bio-Morphed”, Rex Ray display works that are influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, which undertakes textile designs as well as pattern works through the abstract form of expression, where floral reminding images in vibrant colors are boldly shown on various sized paintings, mixed media and mixed media on linen. Having worked with brands like Apple, Dreamworks, Sony Music, and Warner Brothers just to name a few and celebrity such as The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Bjork as their graphics, poster and packaging designer; no wonder his works scream a sort of graphical outlook that easily attracts the audience.
Shawn Smith, interested in the idea of how nature and technology influences each other, has been creating numerous 3D prints and wooden animal sculptures that pull the audience closer to nature, but at the same time detach the bonding relationship with his form of pixelated execution. Challenging the naturalistic form with bleached away colors for his 3D prints; the silent heads of featured animals scream an epiphany of how technology can only imitate nature’s appearance without its true essence.
Last but not least, one of our personal favorites are the twisted dynamic shapes of aluminum, steel and bronze created by 2011 Pollock-Krasner grant receiver Josh Garber. Industrial, intricate, but appearing to be ripped from the material’s common function; the patterns created in fact reminds one of neuroscience, bonding such cold collections with notions of the human body. The new form given to these strong material encompasses them with a new sense of fragility, a lava like flow, as if a magnetic force holds them randomly together. The contrast of regularity and irregularity is strong, making it a vivid but interesting comment on the forms of nature.
6/30/14 – 7/27/14
Turner Carroll Gallery: 725 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501 USA
Artsy just ran an editorial for Kate Petley’s upcoming solo exhibition “Lined.” This will be Kate’s first solo with us at Turner Carroll. The article draws great comparisons from Franz Kline and Jules Olitski, forward to Kate’s use of resin and film.
A link to the article is here.
We just wrapped up a very successful Dallas Art Fair. Our fifth iteration at the fair brought significant Sales for Eric Zener, Tex Ray, Hung Liu, Rex Ray and Rusty Scruby. Press included a great piece on blouinartinfo.com with a view of our booth. A link to the 60-second video is here.
Hung Liu’s etching “Luzao (Stove)” featured in the SF Chronicle review of West Coast Ink at the Sonoma Museum. Link to the article is here. In addition, Hung is in conversation with Peter Selz at University Press Books in Berkeley, California on 16 April 2014. Selz is one of this country’s most prominent art critics and writers, having published 17 books, and held posts at the University of California at Berkeley, and at MoMA in New York.
Also in the news in Squeak Carnwath, who spoke at Mills College. in Oakland, California recently.
London-based TheCultureTrip.com just finished a journey through Santa Fe. We are very proud to be included in their 10 Best Contemporary Art Galleries list. Their eagle-eyed writer Lauren Englund chose us along with SITE Santa Fe, Charlotte Jackson Fine Art and David Richard Gallery. Their prescient commentary included this passage: “Santa Fe presents a variety of cutting-edge exhibitions by up-and-coming, as well as significant blue-chip artists. These ten contemporary art galleries put Santa Fe on the map as a key destination for high quality art in New Mexico.”
A link to the article is here.
We are very happy to now be a part of Artsy, the largest and most prestigious collection of contemporary art available online. This lovely site is a joy to use. In Artsy’s own words their mission is “Powered by The Art Genome Project—a way of providing pathways for discovery for experts and non-experts alike—Artsy hopes to foster new generations of art lovers, museum-goers, collectors, and patrons. We are honored to partner with 1,500+ leading galleries, as well as 200+ museums and institutional partners from around the globe.
A link to our page is here
Michael gave an interview last week to the very talented Kathryn Davis. Kathryn is the host of ArtBeat, a long-running fine arts radio program that covers the Santa Fe scene in-depth. Michael and Kathryn dug into the guts of the post-feminist move toward the handwork in fine art. The interview is about 15 minutes, and is available here. After the interview with Michael, Kathryn interviewed Jen and Michael Tansey about their new gallery, Tansey Contemporary. In addition to his new gallery in Santa Fe, Michael is involved in the Art Miami fair.
DREW TAL: WORLDS APART
1. When you were a young boy growing up in Israel, what did you think of becoming when you got older?
I was very visual from an early age but I did not know where it was going to take me. It wasn’t until I got to New York City, in my early twenties, when I discovered photography and later on digital art that I found myself. I always knew that it was going to be something artistic and I first pursued architecture, but it was not as fulfilling as what I have since discovered later on in life.
2. How do you study humans?
The main subject in my photography is the human face, especially ethnic faces and their “exotic” features. In my travels I study ethnic groups of Asia, the Far East, India, as well as the Middle East, some of which are featured in my current exhibition. Travel ignites inspiration for me. When I visit foreign countries and observe the people in their unique garb, going about their daily routines, praying, celebrating, or even protesting, I absorb what they are, what they look like, how they are dressed as well as their colorful traditions. When I come back to New York, that inspiration leads to the creative process for me.
3. How do you come up with the different photo concepts and themes?
Creating is not something I calculate or premeditate. It is an instinct. It is an intuitive process. It could start with a person I see on the street, an exotic piece of Indian jewelry, an Arab model I discover online, that may spark the inspiration to create which leads to a strong desire to fulfill it. The next step is to capture it on film, followed by transforming that conventional image via digital tools, to a final art piece, which fulfills my artistic vision.
4. What takes longer for you, taking photos or editing them?
Taking the photos is usually simple and quick. Bringing it into the form of an art piece hanging on a gallery wall takes a very long time. Fortunately, I take pleasure in every stage of the process, from finding the right subject to photograph, designing the lighting, sets and styling of the photo shoot, up to the most important stage of digitally editing and transforming the chosen image. Editing and transforming a single image may take weeks, sometime months, but for me it is the most fulfilling stage of the process.
5. When do you know or feel satisfied with an image?
I can work on an image for a whole year, but then a special moment occurs. It is as when you take a very long journey, not knowing where the final destination is going to be, and then there is this moment when youknow you have arrived…a euphoric moment in which you feel complete and ‘at home’. I never go back or touch that piece after that moment.
6. How was it making the transition from fashion to art photography? How did you become involved with galleries and museums?
I was a fashion photographer for 15 or more years, but when I discovered digital tools such as Photoshop, I realized that there is more potential to conventional photography and decided to go in to that direction, mostly for myself. My fashion clients had no idea that I was working on the computer until four in the morning creating all these images. I did it to satisfy an inner need.
7. What is your favorite image out of all the images that you have?
It is the female half of a diptych image entitled ‘Porcelain Promises.’ Completing her was a euphoric moment. She is my favorite, and every time I look at her image it makes me happy. It took about a year of very difficult work to complete it, but the minute it happened I actually started laughing. It was in the middle of a night and I was alone. There was this one moment, after hundreds of different options, when the image looked just right. I stood up and started laughing. I thought I was going mad for about five seconds. It felt incredible. The image was done.
8. What advice do you have for emerging photographers?
Stay true to yourself and follow your own inner voice. It is always nice to hear other peoples’ opinions, but listen to your artistic inner voice and what it is communicating with you.
9. Tell us about your current project and its inspiration and message to the world?
This is another chapter in my travels. I have been to several Muslim countries, such as Morocco, Jordan, and various countries in South Asia such as Malaysia and Indonesia. Visiting those countries brought me the inspiration to create the pieces in this exhibition.
The message in the art is really what the viewer wants the message to be. They make up their own story while they are viewing a particular piece. I am really just an observer of these subjects. I agree with the concept that, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” –Edgar Degas
10. What do you want your audience to feel as they see your work?
I am celebrating the differences between societies, cultures and religions. I hope that the viewer will join me in celebrating the diversity in humanity and see that beautiful images can be created even of such “un-beautiful” subjects, like war and social injustice. Yes, we are different from each other, but perhaps there is something we all have in common, perhaps there is hope. There is beauty in all cultures. Although we are worlds apart from each other, there is some hope for mutual understanding and unity.
11. What is your astrology sign?
I am a Libra and my birthday is on October 7th.
Interview and photos by Marsin Mogielski
Arranged into four sections, the show begins with a gallery devoted to “I.” Largely composed of works that address shifting perceptions of personal identity, this space will contain pieces by John Coplans, Robert Gober, Robert Mapplethorpe, Mark Morrisroe, Catherine Opie, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Francesca Woodman, among others. Though many of the works are self-portraits, others play with notions of individuality such as Jasper Johns’s Racing Thoughts (1983) and Glenn Ligon’s 1990 painting Untitled (I Do Not Always Feel Colored).
Moving into the “YOU” section, the perspective shifts outward as works portray intimate interactions between artists and their subjects. Within this section are Sally Mann’s pair of photographs of her son in Jessie as Jessie and Jessie as Madonna (1990); Jim Dine’s etchings of his wife in Nancy Outside in July IV (1978) and Nancy Outside in July XXI: The Red Frame (1981); and Richard Avedon’s portrait, Bill Curry, Drifter, Interstate 40, Yukon Oklahoma 6/16/80 (1980). Included in this section are also works by Peter Hujar, Alfred Leslie, Hung Liu, Andrea Modica, Shirin Neshat, Jack Pierson, Richard Prince, David Salle, and Lorna Simpson.
A link to the exhibition is here.
Hung Liu had a great write-up in Visual Art Source this August. The journal VAS gave her solo exhibition at Turner Carroll an Editorial Recommendation in light of the cohesive and deep body of self-portraits she created documenting her years in China and her work in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution.
This body of work “Portraits of a Chinese Self” is based on surviving photographs of Hung’s early life in China. This exhibition runs through 18 August 2013. Art patrons in San Francisco area can see Hung’s work concurrent to this exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Art through 29 September 2013.
A link to the article is here.
Wanxin and his exhibition here at Turner Carroll received notice as a Watchlist Artist in the August 2013 edition of ArtSlant. Wanxin takes as his starting point the Yuan tomb warriors: thousands of actual-faced, terra cotta soldiers buried with China’s first emporer in 210 B.C. Bringing them forward in time, Wanxin’s terra cotta figures are stripped of weapons, and given more modern accoutrements, suggesting a dialogue between China and the viewer.
A link to the article is here.
We are very proud to announce Rupert Garcia is the 2014 winner of the SGC International Award for Lifetime Achievement in Printmaking. This award includes an invitation to give a public address to the membership of SGCI at the 2014 International Conference, “Bridges: Spanning Tradition, Innovation, and Activism,” to be held in the San Francisco Bay Area from March 26-30, 2014. The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the professional development of printmaking as a fine art. Recent winners of the Lifetime Achievement
in Printmaking award include Chuck Close (2004), William Wiley (2005), Warrington Colescott (2006), Xu Bing (2007), Kerry James Marshall (2008), Leonard Lehrer (2009), Judy Pfaff (2010), and our very own Hung Liu (2011).
Reminiscent of the ancient Cycladic sculptures and Picasso’s works, Mavis McClure’s sculptures depict strong, beautiful characters. These bronze and clay figures are larger than life, with exaggerated hands and feet and lean bodies.But the beauty is in their expressions: a faint smile or a persistent stare, whichever emotion Ms. McClure wants to depict, she succeeds.
Mavis McClure is a self thaught artist. Her works have been exhibited in numerous galleries such as: the Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, the City of Oakland Art Gallery Oakland, California. Her sculpture “Pablo” was installed in the Fourth Street Shopping District in Berkley, California. It is the first public sculpture installation in Berkeley since the 1970s. Her works have also been commissioned by SOFA Chicago, Chaco Gallery, and the Olive Grove Sculpture Walk and are in the permanent collection of the American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pasadena, California.
The second installment of Hung Liu’s touring solo museum shows opened last week at the San Jose Museum of Art. According to the SJMA “This exhibition showcases surprising new, intimate work by Liu. She contemplates the cycles of life, death, and memory in an installation of three videos titled Black Rain, Candle, and Between Sky and Earth (2013). The videos are based on snapshots made daily with her iPhone over the course of the year following her mother’s death. These simple images of burning candles; fallen birds and deer; Buddha’s hand citrus fruit; and cloud formations poetically reflect Liu’s contemplative state of mind.
Kate Petley has a very nice write-up in the Denver Westword site. In addition to being able to see some of her fabulous work, there is an informative interview with Kate on such topics as which artists are interesting to Kate at this moment, as well as her agends for 2013. A link to the article is here.
Since you only have until June 1 to catch Flatlanders & Surface Dwellers before they take it down, Pyragraph rang up 516 ARTS director Suzanne Sbarge in Albuquerque for a quick chat to get caught up.
Pyragraph: How did Flatlanders & Surface Dwellers go?
Suzanne Sbarge: It’s been great, there’s been a lot response from the general public; people have really responded to the tactile nature of the show and the colorful quality of it. There’s visually enticing work in the show and artists especially have enjoyed it because there’s a real feel for the making of the show.
Pyragraph: Will you have any programs or workshops going on while you’re switching shows during all of June?
Suzanne Sbarge: We won’t because it’s such a big process to take down one show and pick up another. But June 29th will be a very big day, which is unusual for us. Usually we just have an opening, but he’ll have the opening, a panel, and some events at the farmer’s market. It’s the first time we’ve ever done it. It’s a print-making action, a print blitz, at the Downtown Grower’s Market, at 9 a.m. And then we’ll have a parade of flags at 11.
Pyragraph: Were you there for Nicole Dextras’ talk on May 11 (Salvador Dali’s birthday!)?
Suzanne Sbarge: It was wonderful! It was a relatively small audience but an enthusiastic audience. There were a lot of gardeners there! Her talk was fascinating. She brought up many interesting issues about sustainability and the production of clothing and the economy and the environment; also, very humorous and imaginative the way she has carried out actions in community. The dresses she makes, they’re sculptural objects she has models wear and they go out into the community and interact with the public in interesting ways.
Pyragraph: So, 516 ARTS has full Native-American-related programs all summer? Is this art show linked to any bigger movement?
Suzanne Sbarge: For us, it’s part of a two-season series called Placed/Displaced, a series of exhibitions and programs that explore cultural identity through place. Our Fall show is about the U.S.-Mexico border. The Air, Land, Seed exhibit downstairs is part of something these artists and curators are doing at the Venice Biennale that have gone for many years in different configurations at the Venice Bienniale. Air, Land, Seed was made for Venice Bienniale and 516. We have resident artists John Hitchcock and Emily Arthur, and it’s the first time we’ve done it with the Visual Artist Network (we are new members). It’s a prestigious national organization and they help produce residencies. (In) the week leading up to the opening, the resident artists are doing a printmaking banner project. People can come to the gallery while they’re working and participate and observe. They’re working in the Native American tradition of giveaways and they give these prints away.
Great article in The Economist on the Dallas Art Fair and the efforts of its organizers Chris Byrne and John Sughrue on making a distinctive and epic fair. In this spirit, Dallas culturemap.com of 12 April 2013 quotes Michael Carroll “People here are starved for culture — no they’re devouring culture — and are willing to turn out.” Dallas is incredibly hungry for the arts, and the Dallas Art Fair delivers the goods. 83 galleries worth. Read about it in The Economist.
A link to the article is here.
SquareCylinder.com ran a great article on Hung Liu and her solo retrospective at the Oakland Museum of California and its now finished companion exhibition at the Mills College Museum of Art. The article gives us very good information about Hung’s past, and how it plays out in her work–the counter-revolutionary act of looking backward into the past rather than looking forward in the Maoist manner.
A link to the article is here.
The indefatigable Leanne Goebel has a new piece up at Adobe Airstream. Ten Colorado Artists You Should Know About – They Happen to be Women gives us great images by Kate Petley and nine other very strong artists. The title says it all! A link to the article is here.
Jenny and her work are the subjects of a very nice and extensive article in the Healdsburg Press Democrat recently. Specifically, the article highlights Jenny’s work being commissioned by the Art in Embassies Program, and her trip to Senegal where the work will live in the new U.S. Embassy. The Art in Embassy program is a program of the U.S. Department of State and a “legacy of President John F. Kennedy’s administration, designed to promote national pride and cultural identity by displaying American art throughout the world.” The other artist selected for the initial Dakar program is the fabulous Nick Cave of Soundsuits fame.
A link to the article is here.
Hung Liu is one of the most important artists working today. Matthew Harrison Tedford has written a splendid profile of Hung Liu in Art Practical. Covering arts in the Bay Area, Art Practical is running this article in advance of Hung’s talks at the Asian Art Museum, at Mills College, and her solo exhibitions at Mills College, the Oakland Museum of California, and the San Jose Museum of Art. Hung Liu is recognized as America’s most important Chinese artist. Hung Liu: Offerings (on view through March 17) examines the themes of cultural identity through works that navigate the complex journey of immigration and returning home. Trained as a social realist painter and muralist, her paintings, prints, and installations serve as memorials to the past while acknowledging the rapidly changing cultural dynamics in contemporary China.
A link to the article is here.