via Arts & Letters:
Inside the Global Art World
By Paul Werner
Prickly Paradigm Press. 115 pp. $10
via Arts & Letters:
Inside the Global Art World
By Paul Werner
Prickly Paradigm Press. 115 pp. $10
Calling out for a DC correspondent!
We’d love to know what emerges from this forum:
DCAC presents the first of four summer art forums Sunday June 11 at 7:30pm
The Role of Social Commentary in Art
Panelists include:Â Gabriela Bulisova, Laura Burns, and Jack Rasmussen
This brief essay is the eighth in a series addressing the emergence of meaning, by James Leonard.
(Please note: the following material is Â© copyright James Leonard 2006 and may not be used in any way without permission from author)
Art making is a messy process. The lack of efficiency in my frenetic studio practices would make Henry Ford blush. But art making (even when it involves repeated forms) is a business of prototypes, not mass production. An artist works on multiple scales: zooming in to attend to details; pulling back to witness the whole of the work; abandoning one segment of production to tend to another. There is hardly anything linear about my assembly line. Instead, I unintentionally scatter my efforts. During the height of production, every refinement I make triggers a need to refine at least three other elements. Each work is a terrarium ecology bootstrapping its way into a self-sustaining existence.
And while my hands work, my mind is equally scattered. While in studio, I can’t help but tumble the presence of the emerging artwork in my brain. I imagine scenarios of others encountering the finished work. The subjects of my mental models vary widely: immediate family and friends; trusted colleagues and studiomates; hip members of the local art scene; non-art initiated viewers engaged in pop culture; and academics debating art history. I cobble together an intuition of what the work may come to mean once released into the world. This intuition directs decisions in studio. To an outsider, the logic of the studio may look backwards, self-destructive, and insane. But somehow, more often than not, I hit my mark and the finished work sings.
Jerome Witkin, a former mentor of mine, once remarked, “The path to a great work of art has more in common with a failed painting than with a good one.” In my youth, I took this as mystic wisdom. These days, I’m more inclined to think in terms of complex systems. In a complex system, such as an ecology or a society, predictions of direct linear causality (the simple logic of one event leading to another) can only be accurate for a limited distance into the future. Unintended consequences abound. The world is a noisy environment. You can try and pad your work and insulate it from this noise. Or you could try and use brute force and shout over it. That’s the path to a potentially good work. But a great work requires something different. Cast your sails and you just might harness the noise of the world. In the art business, we make prototypes: each one unique. The great ones aspire to be perpetual motion machines.
The Union of Dominican Visual Artists
In Celebration of the 4th Annual Arts Stroll, from May 31 - June 18, 2006
Presents: “El Poder del Arte en el Alto / “The Power of Art Uptown”
Rene de los Santos
121 Sherman Ave., Ste. 52, New York, NY
Saturday . Jun 3 (Only)Â Â Â Noon - 5:00 pm
Sabado 3 de Junio / de 12 a 5:00 pm
Office of NYC Council Member Robert Jackson
751 W. 183rd St. New York, NY
Reception with the Artists: Sunday, Jun 4 / 12- 5:00 pm
RecepciÃ³n de Apertura: Domingo 4 de Junio / 12 a 5:00 pm
Manhattan Times / 5000 Broadway (entrance on w. 212 St.)
New York, NY
Reception with the Artists: Tuesday, Jun 6 / 6- 8:00 pm
RecepciÃ³n de Apertura: MartesÂ 6 de Junio / 6 a 8:00 pm
Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp.
76 Wadsworth Ave., New York, NY
Reception with the Artists / Friday Jun 9Â Â 5:30-7:30 pm
RecepciÃ³n de Apertura: Viernes 9 de Junio / 5:30 a 7:30 pm
Info. firstname.lastname@example.org / phone: 646-330-6913
Music Speaks the Universal Language
Teaneck NJâ€“June 1, 2006â€“
Intunation Music Studio announces the First Annual Universal
Language Day. Universal Language Day celebrates Jazz as a medium for
communication transcending race,Â religion or nationality.
The celebration begins with a concert in the new expanded studio and
will feature Naqshonsâ€™s Leap with guitarist, Jason Caplan, William
Ruiz, log drum, Gurnam Singh, tabla drum and Shawn HillÂ on drums.
Naqshonsâ€™s Leap will be joined by the legendary Victor Bailey on
The concert includes an open mic for a full day music event.
Sign up for the open mic by callingÂ Intunation at 646-265-7596 or
email email@example.com. The concert will begin at 2pm on
Sunday, June 25, at Intunation Music Studio, 405 Cedar Lane in
Teaneck, NJ. Admission is $10.00 at the door. Public parking is
Jason Caplan will appear on Lamon’s Jazz Break at 8 on 90.3FM on
June 18, 2006. Lamon and Jason will be discussing the concept behind
Universal Language Day. The show airs between 8 and 10 pm every
Sunday on 90.3 FM and live streaming at www.whcr.org.
Jason Caplan established Intunation, LLC in 2004 and offers private
instruction emphasizing improvisation. For more information on
Intunation services, or to speak with proprietor, Jason Caplan,
please call 646-265-7596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A R TÂ Â G O T H A M
547 WEST 27th STREET (BETWEEN 10th & 11th AVENUES) | FIFTH FLOOR
CHELSEA, NEW YORK 10001 | TEL: 212.714.1100
INFO@ARTGOTHAM.COM | WWW.ARTGOTHAM.COM
SUMMER THUNDER 2006: Sculpture/Installation
Opening reception: Thursday, June 1, 2006 6pm-8pm
Works on View: 6 - May 13, 2006
T. M. Roche-Kelly
For more information, please visit www.artgotham.com or email email@example.com.
JT Kirkland reviews Steven Cushner’s show at DC’s Hemphill Fine Arts (through June 17). Cushner is one of the few artists I’ve seen who successfully incorporates symbols into his work in a way that feels deep and ancient. His shapes are at once mysterious and beautiful. They remind me of a set of authentic tantric paintings on display last year at Feature (I think). Those paintings were 8 x 10 pieces of paper with a single symbol painted, to be used as objects of meditation. Cushner’s work has the same effect on me as those drawings. I had the good luck to live with one of his paintings for a while. As it was explained to me, his process is to paint over and over the shape. I don’t know if that applies to the paintings in the current show, but it would explain the “drips” and the connectedness mentioned by JT and commenter Douglas Witmer. And it would also explain the power of the shapes as personal symbols.
I wonder what it was that JT found as appearing raw rather than being raw. I hope I make it to DC while the show is up to have a look myself.
Image: Rainbow Bridge, 2005
acrylic on canvas
86″ x 88″
I was just reminded of another expensive project, via fallon and rosof. Unlike Hirst’s celebration of life through nose-thumbing, James Turrell’s purchase of a volcanic crater is rather like apprenticing to the gods. Roberta Fallon reportsÂ that at the Fairmount Park Art Association’s 134th annual meeting, Turrell explains:
he’s not working with light; he’s working the light. “You don’t form it like clay. You don’t assemble it like steel, or cast it. But light has a thing-ness,” he says. Light is his material.
I heard him discuss his projects in a great PBS series a few years ago. The Roden Crater Project’s aim is to allow viewers to experience starlight. A bit on this and his other projects is here. The Roden Crater website is up, but not yet happening (although you can see a photo of the crater).
There seems to be a mood in the air among art lovers of expecting courtesy in the gallery. It seems like a weird thing to have to talk about–why would it be okay to ignore (or worse) your visitors/clients? But of course, these are the days when language of all kinds is extremely convoluted. Sky and I have been discussing whether it is polite to bring up how helpful, knowledgeable, and/or inviting gallery folks seem to be in describing our various gallery visits. We decided it’s useful as part of the gallery experience–that which differentiates it from other art experiences, such as viewing images online. Paige West of Mixed Greens expressed her frustration regarding the topic in her May 15 post, “Bad Behavior” which begins,
I’m tired of bad behavior in the art world. I’m so tired of it that I’m going to start naming names…sort of.
Very happy to see your work on the gallery site.
I am thrilled that the standard is so high from such a variety of artists and hope it will be interesting to gallery owners, exhibition curators and collectors to see such diverse work.
All my best,
Sky shows new drawings on the west coast this week. You can view some of the images on her site. Bon voyage and best of luck! pf
While we post most events in the Events section, which you might want to make a note to check regularly, I want to point out a show by a tremendously clever and insightful artist who is curating a show at White Box. Shoba never fails to make me smile with his biting and pointed social/political wit. I trust his curation will draw on his artistic sensibilities in this area. See you at the opening!
PERMANENT PRESENCE: YOUNG
EMERGING ARTISTS FROM BOSNIA AND
NEW YORK VIS A VIS
525 W. 26th St.
June 1 - 24, 2006
Curated by Seric Shoba
Opening reception: June 1, 2006 at 6 - 8 PM
With the work of artists from Bosnia, Herzegovina, and the United States, this exhibition will try and explore the advantages and disadvantages that both societies face in terms of access to knowledge through the usage of language and the exploration of art concepts. Here, the phrase “permanent presence” is meant to acknowledge the “current streams in contemporary art, where confusion and absence of theory are reality.” (Seric Shoba).
evening of theater at Central Park!
Works in Progress
The evening will be a small and informal showing of short performances pieces.Â You are welcome to watch or if you have a short piece you would like to present please contact me.
Dates:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â June 2 and 3 (Friday and Saturday)
Time:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The performances begin at 7pm but come early to picnic.
Location:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Central Park near the 72nd street and 5th avenue entrance inÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â front of the pond.
Directions:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Take the 6 train to 68 street or 77 street
Walk to 72nd street and 5th avenue
Make the first right after entrance
We will be on the grass on the left
Any Questions call 626 437 3603
Artists Unite’s Peter Ferko and Sky Pape took the occasion of the inaugural show at BravinLee programs to ask Thomas Nozkowski about his works on paper, his views on the art world, and his thoughts on artist community. Here’s what he shared with us.
Regarding the work
AU: Tell us about the role of drawing in your creative process.
Drawing is every bit as interesting to me as painting. Speaking broadly, I make two different kinds of drawings. Physically one group consists of oils-on-paper and in recent years they are usually 22 x 30 inches. The other group uses more traditional drawing materials â€“ ink, pencil, crayon, gouache â€“ often in combination. The former method is part of my painting process and the latter is part of my thinking process.
AU: What drives you to create a work on paper rather than a painting?
I move back and forth between them for simple and mundane reasons. The oils-on-paper are done in the painting studio and are created to capture the sidetracks and lacunae that appear and disappear in the making of a painting. I use the paint at hand, on my palette. They are the roads not taken in making one of my paintings. The more conventional drawings are done when I can’t get into the studio: it’s too cold; my time is limited; I’m traveling, and so on. They often connect to my paintings, too, but in a parallel way. As you know, each of my paintings has a source in the real world. It is my custom to use drawing as a way to test and stretch those sources: how many different ways can one make some kind of visual image of, say, that Blackbird? (And, no, I have never done a Blackbird.)
AU: Is there any different mindset in your approach to works on paper compared to paintings?
Trivially, yes. Deeply, no.
AU: Do you tend to translate drawings into paintings or vice versa?
Never, except as described above. There certainly is no direct translation or development of an image.
AU: Tell us something about your studio. Do you work on more than one piece at a time? Do you draw and paint interchangeably or work in one direction at a time?
I work on several things at once. The numbers change, but right now there are six paintings in my studio, four oils-on-paper and two prints.
AU: As an artist in what is traditionally solo, classical media, do you ever entertain thoughts about collaborations, actions, technology projects, etc.?
No. Art is not life and I think it is dangerous to confuse the two things.
Regarding the art world
AU: What do you think about the disparity in value of works on paper vs. paintings? Do you think drawing will ever gain equal esteem/value with paintings and sculpture?
If it ever will, well, now’s the time. The discourse is high enough today and the audience is as sophisticated as it could ever be, but don’t hold your breath. The happy few will always gravitate to drawings, looking for the most intimate relation with an artist, but the larger audience really desires something more public, distanced and displayed.
AU: Every generation surely must have it’s own experience of mature vs. young artists; what is your take on the current art market? Is it youth-obsessed? Is “mature emerging” artist an oxymoron in 2006?
The aesthetic atomization of the art world has created not a single complex system but many systems, each with its own rules and its own artists and these systems are merely layered one atop the others.
AU: Do you think that much great work is being produced today? Is much getting beyond the studio? Is it common or the exception?
I think that there is the usual amount of great work being done today â€“ a little bit â€“ and I think the usual amount is getting out of the studio and being seen â€“ certainly not all there is. But how much can you expect at any given moment? I see a lot of rewarding work, I see good things every time I walk through Chelsea. I wouldn’t do it otherwise.
AU: Do you feel part of a group or community of artists? If so, what does that mean to you; how does it foster your life and work?
Being part of a community that has a common language and is trying to add to its vocabulary is very important to me. That this community exists in time and across cultures is key to its meaning for artists.
AU: Artists Unite operates under the theory that these days, an arts community is based as much on whom we stay in touch with as on who lives in the neighborhood. How do you stay in touch with your arts community?
Nowadays, I hang out with my friends. At different times we each need different things. As a young artist the energy hit of the city was everything to me and I suppose I spent as much time on the street as in the studio â€“ but things change, and, today, my community is much smaller but in many ways richer and more focused.
Teaching brings me into another kind of community and I like the two-way interaction there very much.
I dislike studio visits, both giving them and getting them â€“ and resort to them only if there is no other way to see the work. I like the hermetic idea of the studio, private and solitary.
AU: What gem of creative advice has someone given you?
Wouldn’t it be great if there were something useful you could pass along in a sentence? I don’t think there is, unless it is restricted to the homely and pragmatic: Clean your brushes thoroughly! Stand up straight! Don’t give up! The best thing an older artist can do for us is to be a model of right behaviour: I will always be in debt to Ruth Vollmer and Nicholas Marsicano but not for any aphorisms or ideas.
AU: Do you collect other artists’ work? What hangs on your walls?
Joyce Robins, Jim Hyde, Mike Bidlo (a â€œWarholâ€ electric chair), Oyvind Fahlstrom, Jonathan Lasker, Gary Stephan, Philip Guston, Pablo Picasso, Neil Callendar, the Philadelphia Wireman, Judy Linn, Ruth Vollmer. Chris Martin, Sylvia Mangold, Robert Mangold, Suzanne Joelson, Arturo Herrera, John Duff and James Siena
AU: Artists Unite’s flagship project, Now:Here:This is designed in part to give artists a forum to talk about what is most important on their minds, rather than falling into always talking about art business concerns. What is the most important thing on your mind right now?
Get rid of George Bush and break the stranglehold that large corporations have on the world today.
We want to thank Thomas Nozkowski for being so generous with his time, and we appreciate the insight his comments will bring for artists in all media. We wish him great success with his show at BravinLee programs and his other activities. We also want to congratulate him on receiving the Award of Merit Medal for Painting from The American Academy of Arts and Letters.
A benefit of computers is their capacity to facilitate all sorts of new ways to present information visually. I liked this one from Aharef, which translates a given website’s various HTML tags into different colored dots. The image here is what we look like.
You can graph any website you want. I’m not sure that there’s anything important to be gleaned from the exercise, but the animated results have a kind of fishtank-like, soothing, hypnotic quality. Very cool!
[via Gothamist, which is oh so pretty too.]
If you were kicking around in the subways, streets and clubs of NYC in the heyday of the 80s, this question might pop into your head too: “so whaddya think Futura 2000 is up to these days?” Turns out the graffiti star is channeling his restless creativity into a number of positive new directions, including a wild website that takes you on an interactive journey through hundreds of pages of words, graphics, photos, and more.
Paddy Johnson of Art Fag City wrote on May 25 about the phenomenon of internet-based art and curating. I thought it made a nice read relative to Now:Here:This and other over-the-internet collaborations we’ve been participating in.
I was browsing the Anonymous Female Artist’s April 17 post, Would You Like Starch with your McConcept?, which is a nice description of my own experience of irony in works of late. An excerpt:
I think irony now, at least in mature art, is unintentional - the byproduct of insecurity; the dilemma of how to move forward. This lack of momentum, or mental lethargy happens because the art world is quicksand. You just can’t do what you want. It’s been negated already.
Ms. Edna uses Amy Sillman as an example of someone who sidesteps irony and challenges Jerry Saltz’s assessment that “There are still no memorable images in the eight paintings in her current show…,” –we wholeheartedly agree with her.
David Byrne’s May 14 post provides an emotional tale of the disconnect between music packages and tunes, and mourns their demise in the download age.
via artcult: update WASHINGTON–A bill that seeks to prevent broadband providers from offering an exclusive high-speed lane for video and other services has taken a step closer to becoming law. By a 20-13 vote Thursday that partially followed party lines, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would require broadband providers to abide by strict Net neutrality principles, meaning that their networks must be operated in a “nondiscriminatory” manner. All 14 Democrats on the committee (joined by 6 Republicans) supported the measure, while 13 Republicans opposed it. That vote is a surprise victory for Internet companies such as Amazon.com, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo that had lobbied fiercely in the last few months for stricter laws to ensure that Verizon, AT&T and other broadband providers could not create a “fast lane” reserved for video or other high-priority content of their choice. Source
I respond to June’s ARTnews grabbers: