Thursday, May 21, 2020

A Great Loss: Susan Rothenberg 1945 - 2020

 Susan Rothenberg in her studio. Photograph by Jason Schmidt / Courtesy Sperone Westwater

"I was searching for an image and all I had to find it with was my head and my hand . . . That's what a painter is a hand and a head."

-Susan Rothenberg

 Blue Head, 1981

 5 Eyes (Study), 1997

 Installation view: Susan Rothenberg: The Mayor Gallery Recent Paintings, 12 Feb - 15 Mar, 1980

Red Swans, 1982

RIP, Richard Anuskiewicz: 1930 - 2020

 Richard Anuszkiewicz, 1978, Light Magenta Square, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 in.

"Art has been a way of life for me. I have never done anything else. Art was something I needed to say. It made life more than existence. I just hope that in 100 years people aren't worried about when I did something, but what I did."

Anuszkiewicz's geometric paintings dazzle the mind and eye with their exquisite use of color, seeming to glow with an inner light. In a 1985 New York Times article, David Shirey wrote: "[w]e would not know so much about color today, nor feel so much about it, were it not for Richard Anuszkiewicz. He has changed the way we think about and respond emotionally to color, and has even affected our spiritual response to it." His work has inspired us, challenged us, and, in poetic fashion, connected us with our spirits. In Anuszkiewicz's words:

"[l]ike the Impressionists, I want the viewer to mix the colors in his eye. I do not want to mix them on the palette. This way, I get greater intensity of color and greater purity, too. Unlike the Impressionists, however, I've freed such explorations from subject matter and discovered greater freedom in non-objective art."

Anuszkiewicz is considered one of the founders and giants of Op Art in America, although he maintains that he doesn't belong to a group, and his work has also been described as perceptual art and scientific art. In the era since that movement was defined and celebrated (roughly speaking the first half of the 1960s) his work has either been rebelled against - for example by Minimalists such as Donald Judd - or praised, criticized or emulated. But it has rarely been ignored. In pop culture, meanwhile, his work, and that of the Op Art movement more generally, would prove influential on the fashion, advertising and music industries. These external responses to Anuszkiewicz's art, however, have rarely impacted on the personal vision which has guided his development. His longevity, meanwhile, has ensured that this vision continues to invigorate the Op Art movement half a century after its conception. As Dennis Dooley wrote: "Anuszkiewicz's paintings force us, again and again, and in wonderfully imaginative ways, to reflect on our experience as human beings in a physical world - as well as one defined by cultural associations."
-From The Art Story 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Art During Lockdown at Plan B. Artist Studios: Unnati Singh and Siddhartha Kararwal

Unnati Singh, From the project, Stoned, 2020
© Francis Gomila 2020

In March and April during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic Unnati Singh and Siddhartha Kararwal, two visiting artists from India, experienced weeks in lockdown unable to return home.
Below is a photo essay by Francis Gomila that serves as a striking record of the artists working through that experience.

PLAN B. Artist Studios is an artist mentoring residency program in which invited artists run a variety of innovative residencies, art encounters, workshops and retreats.
The program was founded and is directed by the artist, Francis Gomila.

*All images © The Artists and Plan B. Artist Studios

Artists in residence at Plan B. Artist Studios: Unnati Singh (Mumbai) and Siddhartha Kararwal (Jaipur) Photo © Francis Gomila 2020

 Unnati Singh

Unnati Singh's artworks are an exploration into unfamiliar territories, journeys into uncharted dimensions, which aims to reveal parallel worlds in which conscious and subconscious clash into each other.
Singh lives and works in Mumbai, India.

"My practice responds to the space /site I am working in. I see each work of art as an alternative method of recording time which allows me to create a new narrative for my art and my own practice in each case."
Siddhartha Kararwal lives and works in Jaipur, India.

Unnati Singh, Olive Press, 2020 Photo © Francis Gomila 2020

Unnati Singh, Olive Press, 2020 Photo © Francis Gomila 2020

Unnati Singh, Stoned, 2020 Photo © Francis Gomila 2020

Unnati Singh, Stoned, 2020 Photo © Francis Gomila 2020

Siddhartha Kararwal, 2020 Photo © Francis Gomila 2020

Monday, May 4, 2020

Bram Bogart and the Circle Motif

The book, Bram Bogart by Francine-Claire Legrand
Lannoo, 1988 

The following images of the artist and his work come from the book Bram Bogart (ISBN 90 209 1567 3) by Francine-Claire Legrand and was published by Lannoo in 1988.

Images of Bogart's work below focus on his employment of the circle motif - - - 

All content of this post © The Bram Bogart Foundation ,and Uitgeverij Lannoo, Tielt and respective copyright holders.

Bram Bogart (1921 - 2012)
Photo by  Harry Shunk, 1984

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Gary Giordano Confronts Fear and Dread in a Time of Pandemic


The paintings in Gary Giordano's new series come face to face with the anxiety-riddled moment of fear and loss we all find ourselves in.
The works confront this anxiety in the tradition of the Expressionist painters of Germany (both past and current)
and the series of prints known as the Miserere by Georges Rouault.

 Gary Giordano in his studio last year, Lambertville, NJ
Photo © Paul Behnke 2020

"The paintings are my response to the pandemic; to the situation we all find ourselves in.
I began painting what I thought the face of the disease would look like but sometimes the original
intention of a painting is dropped and maybe something else is resolved.
I don't always know what that is. I figure it out later.
These are dark but I think, in time, I may see them differently. It's something that you begin
and continue on with because you feel your circumstance and experience compel you to."

-Gary Giordano

Monday, April 27, 2020

Bill Jensen, Raindance (Drawing for Shaman)

Bill Jensen, Raindance (Drawing for Shaman), 1980-81
Egg tempra, gouache, pastel and charcol on paper
© 2020 Bill Jensen

This Bill Jensen drawing has always felt like arrested motion and time stopped to me.

Bill Jensen

Monday, February 17, 2020

Sensuality of Living: The Painting of Julian Bender

queens command, 2018, 7.5 x 5 in, oil on pine

Julian Bender is a painter living and working in New England.
Bender's paintings display a structural hierarchy of form and color. They eschew an all over composition in favor of an amalgamation of forms. When the imagery veers more toward the figurative a subject / ground relationship can start to become evident but the distinction can very quickly disolve, charging the surface with a satisfying ambiguity.

bdyfrgn, 2018, 8.5 x 5 in, oil on pine

atcq, 2018, 5 x 6 in, oil on cedar

From the Artists Statement:

My materials are pencil, crayon and oil stick on wood. I consider myself a student of the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan. I
have been absolutely enthralled with his work for almost a decade and it has altered me deeply.
Recently I am most touched by the work of Ezra Pound. My favorite painter, at the moment is, Francisco Mendes Moreira.
In school I studied musical composition and am a music school drop out.
Things I relish include ritual, the sensuality of living and the immersions of awe in nature.
I am a timber framer by trade. And work in the tradition of mortise and tenon joinery.
As a result of that study Russian avant-garde piano compositions from the early twentieth century hold a special place in my heart
as do the spectraland aleatoric composers of the mid century.
Most of my painting supports are scraps from my framing work.
Painting is a relationship, a ratio betweenwhat is known and what goes unkown.
After becoming a father of two my painting practice shifted radically from working on large paintings for long stretches of time to painting on a small scale,
often finishing a painting in one or two nights. I bring everything to the easel, my whole boiling being. What I leave behind are gestalts of the moment,
or day or week; my own personal Rorschach.

- Julian Bender

Friday, February 14, 2020

Jeffrey Morabito at SFA Projects

Jeffrey Morabito: Birds and Flowers, Vases and Windows
On view through March 1 at SFA Projects

A detail from the precious image.
From the Press Release:
Dating back to 10th -century China, bird-and-flower painting is a genre of painting that consists not only of birds and flowers, but plants, fish, insects, dogs and cats.
Because of his multiracial heritage, residing in many different countries through his career, Morabito’s artistic identity is deeply grounded in both the Chinese and Italian traditions. As both cultural insider and observational voyeur, Morabito is compelled to reexamine said traditions to find new modes of deconstruction, examination, and interpretation. Why is a flower important when placed side by side with an animal? Is it a symbol of personal or universal beauty? Can quotidian modern objects like tennis balls be recast as a stand in for the flower in contemporary life?
Morabito recreates the bird-and-flower genre by seeing objects as pictorial containers, as vases and windows. His compositional parameters highlight the juxtaposition of what is inside, outside, far, close, clear, obstructed, real or fake. He provokes viewers to question the view represented on the canvas; is it a window looking outside or something deeper looking inward? His impasto surfaces push our visual perspectives to the limit by examining how we determine what is artifice in imagery today.
Acclaimed art historian Karen Wilkin describes the amalgamation of Morabito’s multicultural experience, saying “his extended experience of diverse places and cultures, with their often radically varied qualities of light, geography, rhythms, routines, customs, and odors – among many other things, including different languages and alphabets – all resonate within his paintings, but not in ways that we might expect.”
Considering a future of growing multiplicity and terrifying reduction, Birds and Flowers, Vases and Windows explores the significance of the past while carefully eyeing our uncertain future. 

Born in Bronxville, half Hong Kong-ese and half Italian, Jeffrey Morabito spent his early years traveling between New York and Hong Kong. He returned to Asia in 2006, to apprentice with a calligraphy master in Seoul, South. Korea. This allowed Morabito’s painting to be reevaluated into its most basic elements of individual brush strokes. He then spent six years in Beijing, beginning with a Red Gate Gallery Residency, in 2009, while teaching art at Capital Normal University. Morabito returned to New York in 2016 to pursue an MFA at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture, while also founding JMN Artists, a curatorial collective, which has produced three shows in New York.
Morabito has exhibited in “Art Beijing;” International Art Fair and Matthius Kupper Gallery, Beijing, China; N-Space and Jay Gallery Seoul, South Korea; Rosenfeld Gallery Philadelphia; Projektraum Knut Osper, Cologne, Germany; and in Eric Firestone Loft, SFA Projects and M.David & Co., New York. In 2019, he had a retrospective of his work entitled “Glossolalia” curated by Karen Wilkin at 1 GAP gallery.
A recipient of the Art Cake Studio Program, he currently works in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Seen on the LES Last Week

A detail from a painting by Jake Berthot from JAKE!
On view at Betty Cunningham Gallery thru Feb. 23

A work from Pat Passlof: The Brush is the Finger of the Brain
On view at the Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation thru April 11.

Painter Dave Pollack takes in Passlof's Untitled, 1995-96.

A detail from Passlof's Untitled, 1995

Gandy Brodie from the exhibit Post previously on view at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Gabriel Hartley at Foxy Production

Gabriel Hartley
Gabriel Hartley: Waterwood
Opening: Friday, November 22nd, 6 - 8 pm
Nov 22, 2019 - Jan 12, 2020
Foxy Production
2 East Broadway, 200
New York, NY 10038, USA

From the Press Release:
Foxy Production is pleased to present Waterwood, Gabriel Hartley’s latest solo exhibition at the gallery. Hartley is known for his abstracted paintings that evoke figures and cityscapes. His new series of acrylic and ink paintings on wood suggests vistas of landforms and weather systems, and, at the same time, images from inner space, of the body or mind. The works play with the duality of representational painting: while it may simulate the world, it can also be appreciated as a confluence of forms, colors, and textures. The exhibition taps into the visceral pleasures of the opposing drives of human perception: to both sustain illusion and to deconstruct it.
Gabriel Hartley (London, UK, 1981) lives and works in London. He holds a BA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Fine Art from the Royal Academy Schools, London.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Len Bellinger: Online Exhibition on ARTSY

Len Bellinger: Recent Paintings and Works on Paper
An online exclusive exhibition on ARTSY by M. David & Co.

View exhibition here.

From the Press Release:
For forty years Len Bellinger’s work has been committed to the exploration of abstract/non-representational painting and the ambiguous space inherent in the concept of ‘abstraction,’ from early icon-shaped minimalist panels trimmed with gold leaf as a P.S.1 studio resident in the late ’70’s to thickly manipulated paintings rich with byzantine color and an underlying architectonic structure found in his current practice.

“Taking off from the overall schemes of Renaissance altarpieces, Len Bellinger builds up heavily textured architectural paintings that have a feeling of sculptural mass. While retaining echoes of the original forms – faint, arching shapes and linear paneling – Bellinger reworks the altarpieces into very contemporary explorations of light and color…Their evident link to the past intensifies the calm strength of these meditative paintings.” 
- Grace Glueck

Eraser by Brian Edmonds and Curating Contemporary

Eraser is a new Curating Contemporary quarterly published by painter and curator, Brian Edmonds. Curating Contempoary was begun in 2012 with the goal of connecting artists, curators, and likeminded people. Since its inception, has hosted over 50 shows and the work of hundreds of artists.  

From the Press Release:

"Starting this month I will publish a Curating Contemporary quarterly titled ERASER. The quarterly will feature the work of 6 artists, interviews conducted by artists and curators, and poetry.  Volume 1, features work by Susan Carr, Sabine Tress, Melanie Parke, Valerie Brennan, Mandy Lyn Ford, and Ellen Siebers;  with interviews by Christina Renfer Vogel, Catherine Haggarty, Brianna Bass, Dana-Marie Lemmer, Jodi Hays, and Amelia Briggs; poem by Alexis Christakes. The book is available through Blurb."

- Brian Edmonds