Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Even More of a Poet Than a Painter

Detail fromThe Birth of Venus by Cabanel, 1863

"Yes, my friend," the old man replied as he wakened
from his trance, "you must have faith, faith in art, and
you must live a long time with your work to produce
a creation like this. Some of these shadows cost me a lot
of hard work. Look there--on that cheek, under the eyes
--that faint shadow which you'd swear was untrans-
latable if you saw it in nature.  Do you suppose an effect
like that didn't cost me incredible difficulties to re-
produce?  But also, my dear Porbus, consider my work
closely, and you'll understand something more of what I
was telling you about the way I handle the modeling
and the outlines.  Look at the light on the breast and you'll
see how, by a series of brushstrokes and by accents ap-
plied with a full brush, I've managed to capture the truth
of light and to combine it with the gleaming whiteness of
the highlights, and how, by an opposite effort, by smooth-
ing the ridges and the texture of the paint itself, by ca-
ressing my figure's contours and by submerging them in
half tones, I have eliminated the very notion of drawing,
of artificial means, and given my work the look and the
actual solidity of nature.  Come closer, you'll see better
how it's done.  At a distant, it vanishes.  You see? Here,
right here, I believe it's truly remarkable."

And with the tip of his brush, he showed the two
painters a patch of bright color.

Porbus clapped the old man on the shoulder, turning
toward Poussin.  "You know," he said, "We have here a
very great painter."

"Even more of a poet than a painter," Poussin replied

"Here," continued Porbus, touching the canvas, "Right
here ends our art on earth."

---from The Unknown Masterpiece by Honore De Balzac.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Lorna Simpson @ Salon 94

Inaugural Exhibition @ Mulherin + Pollard

Raffaella Chiara @ Frosch & Portmann

Daniel Peddle @ NP Contemporary Art Center

William Stone @ James Fuentes LLC

Jesse Willenbring @ Laurel Gitlen

Grace Knowlton (Gallery 1)
Four Sculptors 1968-1980 (Gallery 2) @ Lesley Heller Workspace

Hillary Harnischfeger @ Rachel Uffner Gallery

David Adamo @ Untitled

Diana Shpungin @ Stephan Stoyanov Gallery

Indeterminate Activity @ Nicelle Beauchene Gallery

Matthew Craven @ Allegra LaViola Gallery

Friday, May 27, 2011

Three @ Theodore:Art

Three – Damien Flood, Joy Garnett, Andrew Seto
14 May – 19 June 2011
53 Mercer St. NYC 10013
212. 966. 4324
Gallery hours Friday – Sunday 12 – 6 pm or by appointment

Stephanie Theodore of Theodore:Art presents a studied exhibition of contemporary abstractions that blur the lines between figuration and non-objectivity.

From the gallery's press release: 

"Damien Flood's work is situated between fact and fiction. The paintings are modern landscapes that reference the history of painting with an underlying fantastical element. A fleeting familiarity can be found in the work that is soon replaced by an ambiguous questioning.
Joy Garnett utilises painting to investigate the modern experience of global events as mediated and choreographed by images from news media and social networks. Walter Benjamin’s prediction that alienated man would be dazzled by the spectacle of destruction seems prescient in light of Garnett’s lushly painted scenes of disaster and chaos.
Andrew Seto makes paintings of paradox, positing immediate sensory experience as viscerally urgent questions. Texture and colour of a rich, sensual nature approach the threshold of order within an indeterminacy of form. Not so much answers as much as resolution, an equilibrium of sorts, is found."

The three painters share a predominately muted palette, a rough painterliness, and a small scale that add rigor and a sense of seriousness to the work. These are strong attempts toward a personal vision that confront, and shame their slicker Chelsea contemporaries.

Three is hung in a way that emphasizes the similarities and differences of the painters. By mixing the work and presenting it in small clusters Theodore allows the viewer to compare and contrast the concerns and approaches of each painter more readily without confining the paintings according maker. This curatorial decision strengthens the concept behind the group show.
Happily, the show is not over hung. Each painting or grouping has room to breathe thus occupying it's own physical space as well as space in the viewer's mind.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Heidi Pollard: Recent Works

Heidi Pollard, 2011, (l to r) Imperial Numerals, Blade, oil on canvas, and Bitter Lake Homage, collaged wood/masonite scraps, oil paint.
Image courtesy of the artist.

Heidi Pollard: Recent Works 
May 21 - July 4, 2011

TransVagrant @ Warschaw Gallery
600 S. Pacific Avenue
San Pedro, CA 90731

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Unsung: Peter Pinchbeck

Peter Pinchbeck 1931 - 2000

Twist of Fate, 1995, 64 x 72 in.

Untitled, 48 x 62 in.

Converse, 64 x72 in.

Yearning for the Infinite, 48 x 66 in.

Dusk, 60 x 72 in.

Untitled, 36 x 48 in.

"In the aftermath of his life, I find myself compelled to fight his battle for him: 
I am convinced that my father's art is late breaking news from the last century.
The work he left behind is probing and profound, abject and obstinate, 
luminous and eerie, eccentric yet true to its own inner logic. It revels in 
metaphysical doubt; it radiates the belief of its maker."

- From the article Need to Believe by Daniel Pinchbeck
Read the article here.