Friday, June 10, 2016

Final Show: An Occasional Dream at Life on Mars

Farrell Brickhouse

It's bittersweet to be included in Life on Mars' final exhibition.
Looking forward to a blow out of an opening with friends and peers that I respect and that have done so much to promote the medium we love in the neighborhood we love!

From the Press Release:

Life on Mars Gallery is pleased to present An Occasional Dream, our final exhibition celebrating our creative community.

This show will feature Life on Mars artists: Todd Bienvenu, Farrell Brickhouse, Mandy Lyn Ford, Brenda Goodman, Arnold Mesches, Fran O'Neill and Karen Schwartz. We have also invited regulars from our artistic community, including Len Bellinger, Paul Behnke, Paul D’Agostino, Daniel John Gadd, Catherine Haggerty, Elisa Jensen, Zachary Keeting, Thomas Micchelli and Dave Pollack. I will also be showing one of my pieces to raise a painterly toast to all that we have accomplished within the Bushwick community and at the gallery.

Fran O'Neill

Opening: Friday June 24, 6 - 9 pm

Life on Mars
Brooklyn, NY

Friday, June 3, 2016

Jonathan Cowan and Rachael Gorchov at Simuvac Projects

Rachael Gorchov (left) and Jonathan Cowan

From the Press Release:

“The arithmetical world is there for me only when and so long as I occupy the arithmetical standpoint. But the natural world, the world in the ordinary sense of the word, is constantly there for me, so long as I live naturally and look in its direction.” [1]

Simuvac Projects is proud to present the two-person exhibition "Nonspecific Places" featuring the works of Jonathan Cowan and Rachael Gorchov. Their work, exhibited together for the first time, allows viewers to inhabit a removed reality in which the natural world is at the forefront, although often placed at arms length. While Cowan and Gorchov begin with specific places, Cowan painting from photographs of visited locales, and Gorchov working from her sketches of the lawns, ponds, and plant life of the suburban landscape, ultimately they each remove any specificity through their respective multilayered processes.

Cowan’s surfaces straddle the calm and the cautionary, the familiar and the unfamiliar. While he traditionally begins his landscapes as paintings on paper, which he then photocopies and transfers to his surface, he has, for the works included in "Nonspecific Places", painted directly onto his surface. After completing a painting, Cowan embroiders multicolored forms that hover over the landscape and both suggest and deny the presence of the spiritual. The embroidered abstract shape at the center of "Form in the Sky" (2016), from which thin lines of various colors emerge and cut across the ominous cloud that dominates the picture plane, recalls both a Christ figure with open arms and Maleveich’s Suprematist forms, which replace traditional icons with the non-representational.

Gorchov’s painted three-dimensional pieces allow viewers to simulate the actions of exploration that are slowly diminishing along with the natural landscape. For her recent works Gorchov has introduced the use of a Claude Glass, an 18th-century observation device through which she views the suburban landscape, sketches it on site and then returns to her studio where she “builds a highly subjective experience that highlights what is hidden in plain view”. "3:00" (2016) takes the shape of an inverted Claude Glass and requires the viewer to peer around the curled edges to see its backside, a soft-yellow. covered with multicolored strokes and patches. Continuing to the front, one finds an abstracted landscape, comprised of a deep blue background over which Gorchov has painted bright green flora; when viewed closely it surrounds the viewer, “creating a forced perspective and panoramic experience.”

Jonathan Cowan was born in 1982 in Temple, Texas. He attended The University of Texas at San Antonio in August of 2003 where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in drawing in 2006. He currently lives and works in New York City.

Rachael Gorchov received her BFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University and her MFA from Hunter College, City University of New York. She has participated in exhibitions at The English Folk Dance and Song Society in London, Galeria Arsenał in Białystok, Poland and in New York, recently at Driscoll Babcock Galleries, Owen James Gallery and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). She is a member of Tiger Strikes Asteroid, an artist-run gallery in Brooklyn and is Full Time Faculty at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Originally from Philadelphia, she lives and works in New York City.

[1]Edmund Husserl, "Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology", in Literary Theory: An Anthology, edited by Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan, (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004), 139.

Nonspecific Places: Jonathan Cowan and Rachael Gorchov

 Opening tonight: 6-9 pm

Simuvac Projects
Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

David Rhodes @ Hionas Gallery

Untitled 10.4.16, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 118 x 78 in.

From the Press Release:

Hionas Gallery is pleased to announce the forthcoming solo exhibition from David Rhodes, entitled Between the Days, comprising three new large-scale abstract paintings, including one diptych, composed of fractured forms cast in interlocking angles that evoke distinctive yet ambiguous qualities. 

The show will run from June 2 - 25, 2016. 

Rhodes’ approach to painting is as much constructive as spontaneous, wherein moments of both precision and improvisation may occur. With this latest body of work, the contrast between painted space and lines of exposed canvas is lessoned, yielding a gestalt of rhythms and unified forms that seem to instantaneously accumulate throughout the painting. And while those familiar with Rhodes’ work will recognize a continuity in the resulting compositions, applying lines over and within an illusionistic pictorial space, for these newest paintings the artist has stopped most lines short of coinciding directly with one another. This allows a greater measure of spatial depth to take hold. Exposed canvas lines tend toward relationships that no longer define a form, but rather exist independently. 

The deft balance of line, plane, volume and space, while exacting to an astounding degree, is countered by elements of the artist’s touch, which reveal themselves in unexpected, arrhythmic variations. The geometry at hand acknowledges a sense of temporality, in both a consistent and contradictory way, approximating the complexities of time as experienced from day to day.

Rhodes’ title for the exhibition is a reference to process, both in life and in painting. Each vertical shift that deviates from a line’s trajectory, each abrupt stop, jagged edge or soft exit that a form takes bears its own trace or mark over time. Rhodes has introduced a diptych, the two parts of the painting separated by a vertical space, extending the single painting contemplation of time and its inconsistencies. “Between the Days” points to both the ruptures and redux of memory, with its expansive rhythms and unanticipated flux. 

The opening reception for Between the Days will take place on Thursday, June 2, at 6:00 PM. The artist will be present. For more information visit 

David Rhodes (b.1955) is originally from Manchester, UK. He has exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the U.S., with solo exhibitions at Some Walls, Oakland, CA; Galerie Katharina Krohn, Basel; Centrum Berlin, Berlin; Palacete dos Viscondes de Balsemão, Oporto, Portugal; and Habitat, Kings Road, London, as well as dozens of group exhibitions worldwide, most notably with Lion and Lamb, London; JiM Contemporani, Barcelona; Kunsthaus, Tosterglope, Germany; ParisCONCRET, Paris; Mass MOCA, North Adams, MA; Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, New York; and Pierogi, Brooklyn, among others. Rhodes is also a prolific writer, publishing reviews for Artforum, The Brooklyn Rail, and Artcritical, as well catalog texts about the work of Ernst Wilhelm Nay for Michael Werner Gallery and Mary Boone Gallery, New York; Nathan Peter for PSM Galerie, Berlin; Henri Matisse for Museum Ludwig, Cologne; and Mary Heilmann for Museum Ludwig. Previous shows with Hionas Gallery include the solo exhibition Schwarzwälde (2013); the group exhibitions Drifter (curator) (2013), Almost Delancey (2014), and #TBT (2015). 

David Rhodes: Between the Days

Hionas Gallery
New York, NY


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Working Clothes!

Frank Stella, ca. late 50s early 60s
photographer unknown

I recently ran across this old photo of Frank Stella in a ratty but obviously well loved studio sweater and it occurred to me what a strong role our studio get ups play in maintaining consistency and ritual in our studio lives, perhaps even serving as armor or confidence builders as we face the days work.
So, I asked some of my favorite artists from all over the world to submit photographs of themselves in the working clothes they felt most comfortable wearing while making their art.
The results are below . . .

Debra Ramsay, New York, NY

Mandy Lyn Ford, Los Angeles, CA

Joan Mellon, New York, NY

Arvid Boecker, Heidelberg, DE

Nooshin Rostami, Brooklyn, NY
Photo taken at the Artel Residency in India, 2016

Katrin Mäurich, London, UK

René Korten, Tilburg, NL

Sharon Butler, New York, NY

Sabine Tress, Köln, DE

Brian Edmonds, Huntsville, AL

Samantha Keely Smith, New York, NY
photo by Thomas Feiner

Paul Behnke, Brooklyn, NY
photo by Alice Zavadil Wiggins

Andrea Belag, New York, NY

Karl Bielik, London, UK
photo by Lorna Milburn

David Pollack, Brooklyn, NY
photo by Emily Raw

Helen O'Leary, Brooklyn, NY
photo by Eva O'Leary

Cristina Muñiz, Kansas City , MO

Matthew Neil Gehring, Brooklyn, NY

James Erikson, Philadelphia, PA

Mie Yim, Brooklyn, NY

Damien Flood, Dublin, Ireland

Gabriele Herzog, based in London and Berlin

Gary Petersen, Brooklyn, NY

Michael David, 1992 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Julie Torres, Brooklyn, NY
photo by Eric Trosko

*all photographs courtesy of the artists

Monday, May 16, 2016

Reckless in an Ever-Changing World at Life on Mars

Clintel Steed,  Men Finding His Conchise on Mars, 2016. Oil on wood panel. 48 by 65 inches 

Reckless in an Ever-Changing World 
Curated by John Yau  

Featuring works by Phil Allen, Karen Schwartz, and Clintel Steed
May 20 – June 26, 2016 

Opening Reception: Friday, May 20th from 6 – 9 PM 

From the Press Release:

Life on Mars Gallery is pleased to present Reckless in an Ever-Changing World, curated by John Yau with works by Phil Allen, Karen Schwartz, and Clintel Steed. 

In 1976, the American expatriate artist, R. B. Kitaj, organized an exhibition for the Arts Council of Great Britain that he named Human Clay. I was reminded of Kitaj’s title when I began thinking about how to put together this exhibition. I wanted to make a distinction between painters who made images and were interested in resemblance, and those who worked with paint as if it were some kind of clay, a material to shape and interact with, while responding to their subject matter. This is not exactly what Kitaj had in mind when he coined the term, but I think the viewer will see what I am getting at. 

The focus of this exhibition is on three artists who have concocted figures and faces out of paint. This is how Clintel Steed, one of the artists in the exhibition, characterized the relationship between painter and subject matter: “Nothing comes close to human contact, real human presence. Nothing ever will.” 

In addition to Steed, I have selected two other artists – Phil Allen and Karen Schwartz – for whom painting is also an open-ended process. They do not know in advance what the outcome will be as they develop a painting; improvisational in approach, they bring both observation and imagination into play. It is the interplay between the seeing eye and the mind’s eye that unites these artists: they believe that painting is a means of discovery rather than an efficient delivery system. 

Along with figures and making portraits, they have painted landscapes, both seen and dreamed; abstractions made up of interlocking facets of paint, or populated by mythic creatures, or filled with brushstrokes and evocative forms within a traversable space. No matter the subject, all of their work celebrates materiality, which is paint. By unlocking its inherent possibilities and varied viscosities, these intrepid artists discover the particularities of their subject. They seem to have no set vocabulary, lexicon of symbols, or signature marks. They are adventuresome. 

The subject might be an astronaut on Mars, a pop music icon, or a voracious goddess devouring a hapless human. Courting chaos and the inchoate, their work is energetic and reckless. It is out of the collision between the desire for order and the recognition of disorder that their work emerges. All kinds of contradictions are woven into their paintings and works on paper. 

Phil Allen began exhibiting in 1979, and showed regularly throughout the 1990s, both in America and Europe. During that time, he received an Award in the Visual Arts from SECCA (1983), and Fellowships from CAPS (1980), the National Endowment for the Arts (1982) and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation (1986). This is his first exhibition in New York in more than a decade. He lives in New York City and has been known to busk when the spirit moves him. 

Karen Schwartz is both a painter and a psychotherapist. She is represented by Hathaway David Contemporary in Atlanta, Georgia and by Life on Mars Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. Her first solo exhibition at Life on Mars (May 2015) was widely reviewed by critics as diverse as James Panero for the New Criterion, Kristi York Wooten for the Huffington Post, and Thomas Micchelli for the online magazine, Hyperallergic

Clintel Steed’s work was included in the 2015 Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts hosted annually by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He first exhibited in New York City in 2004 and has been showing regularly ever since. He had a two-person show with Todd Bienvenu at Stephen Harvey Fine Art Projects in 2015. 

John Yau 

Life on Mars
Brooklyn, NY

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

If Color Could Kill, Curated by Jeff Frederick at the Salena Gallery LIU

 Photo by Jeff Frederick

 Photo by Jeff Frederick

Photo by Robin Stout

 Brooke Moyse, Partick Berran, Trudy Benson, Jeff frederick, Gary Petersen, Robert Otto Epstein and Paul Behnke. Photo by Jake Cartwright

Paul Behnke, Craig Taylor and Trudy Benson

 Trudy Benson

 Paul Behnke

 Keltie Ferris, Robert Otto Epstein, Paul Behnke

 Trudy Benson

 Craig Taylor

 Brooke Moyse

 Curator Jeff Frederick and Paul Behnke
Photo by Robin Stout

 Brooke Moyse

 Gary Petersen

Partick Berran

If Color Could Kill
curated by Jeff Frederick

Featuring work by: Paul Behnke, Trudy Benson, Patrick Berran, Robert Otto Epstein, Keltie Ferris, Brooke Moyse, Gary Petersen and Craig Taylor

April 4 - April 29, 2016

Salena Gallery at Long Island University

**If Color Could Kill will travel to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. 
Check this blog in the future for details.**


From the Press Release:

William Turner Gallery is pleased to present Ed Moses at 90, a milestone exhibition and the first comprehensive retrospective of the artist's drawings and paintings since 1996. The installation will occupy two venues: William Turner Gallery and the former Santa Monica Museum of Art building at Bergamot Station. 

On the occasion of Moses' 90th birthday, the exhibition will celebrate the varied and prolific career of this indelible Los Angeles art world fixture. A painter and "mutator", whose allegiances have been to tireless experimentation rather than to the tenets of any one movement, Ed Moses has been honing a distinct visual vocabulary for over 60 years, obsessively mining the possibilities of abstraction. At 90, Moses continues his dogged search for the elusive metaphysical power of painting, creating works that are about the expression of temporality, process and presence, beyond the physical limitations of surface.

The exhibition will survey works spanning the entirety of Moses' career, including a selection of never before seen paintings. Earliest examples include meticulous architecturally inspired drawings from the 50s, the well-known Rose and patterned graphite drawings from the 1960s and 70s, cross hatch and screen paintings, looser gestural paintings from the 1990s, and more recent works that include the craquelure and mirror paintings. The restless energy with which Moses has borrowed from pre-existing formal vocabularies and adapted their morphologies to make them his own, attest to the mutable nature of his vision. A self-described "mark maker," his concerns exceed formal ones and slip easily into philosophical and anthropological spaces. He has described his own process as a shamanistic offering, a self-assertion and proof of existence left for posterity to the "tribe"; a primitive desire to leave one's mark. Above all else, the work is about the process of making, and the fragile reconciliation of chaos and control it requires. In Moses' own words: "The point is not to be in control, but to be in tune."

A member of the original stable of artists showing at LA's legendary Ferus gallery, Moses exhibited there for the first time while still an MFA student at UCLA in 1958. Exhibiting among the likes of Billy Al Bengston, Robert Irwin, Ed Kienholz, Larry Bell, and John Altoon, all of whom became known as the fabled "Cool School," Moses was among those who shaped the infancy of the West Coast art scene. A maverick among them, given his preference for process driven abstraction over strict adherence to the Finish Fetish and Light and Space movements championed at the time, Moses has always done things a bit differently. With an itinerant aesthetic, he has continued to embrace transformation and change as a matter of course. In 1974, following an exhibition in New York with André Emmerich, Clement Greenberg himself immortalized Moses as a "player."

Ed Moses works daily, to create out of doors en plein air. His unique Venice, California studio accommodates this freedom structurally with fluid transitions between indoor and outdoor spaces. This is the artist's third exhibition with William Turner Gallery. Previous exhibitions include, Ed Moses: Now and Then (2015), and Ed Moses & Larry Poons: The Language of Paint (2014).

Ed Moses: Moses@90

Through June 25

William Turner Gallery
Santa Monica, CA