Thursday, June 30, 2011

White Hot @ Margaret Thatcher Projects

Omar Chacon, 2011

Reception: July 7, 6 - 8 PM
July 7 - September 17

539 W. 23rd Street

Including works by: 
Jaq Belcher, William Betts, Omar Chacon, Freddy Chandra, Carlos Estrada-Vega, Kevin Finklea, Adam Fowler, Teo Gonzalez, Susan Graham, Rainer Gross, Jus Juchtmans, Aric Obrosey, Joie Rosen, Analia Saban, Fran Siegel, William Steiger, Lars Strandh, Barbara Takenaga, Bill Thompson, Heidi van Wieren, and Venske & Spänle

Four A.M. by Wislawa Szymborska

Philip Guston, Sanctuary, 1944

Four A.M. by Wislawa Szymborska

The hour between night and day.
The hour between toss and turn.
The hour of thirty-year-olds.

The hour swept clean for roosters' crowing.
The hour when the earth takes back its warm embrace.
The hour of cool drafts from extinguished stars.
The hour of do-we-vanish-too-without-a-trace.

Empty hour.
Hollow. Vain.
Rock bottom of all the other hours.

No one feels fine at four a.m.
If ants feel fine at four a.m.,
we're happy for the ants. And let five a.m. come
if we've got to go on living.

-from Poems: New and Collected 1957- 1997

Monday, June 27, 2011

Studio Visit: Nicholas Hamilton

Street view of Hamilton's studio in Greenpoint.

Recently I was invited to the Brooklyn studio of Nicholas Hamilton.
Hamilton was born in Omagh, Northern Ireland in 1979 and his upbringing and cultural background continue to inform much of his present work. Far from being dry and pedantic Hamilton explores the politics, social strife and rich history of his country from an intimate perspective, while never forgetting that he operates in a visual medium. In Hamilton's work the narrative power of abstraction is summoned when cold, hard facts strike against the imaginative vision of an artist who is coming to terms with a very personal history.

Below are images of Hamilton's work and studio accompanied by the artist's own words.

Chuckies, Croppies, Fenians, Left Footers, Mickeys, Papists, Popeheads, Shinners, Stickies, Taigs, Tims
India ink on paper, 32 x 48 inches.

"These drawings were created by spelling out the sectarian terms of abuse in the titles using stencils. Once the contours of one letter were traced in pencil I then moved the next letter in the word ever so slightly in a circular pattern to the point that the phrases became abstracted. I then used India ink and a fine brush to draw over the pencil lines. Some of the slurs are historical and not all of them are still in use."

India ink drawings with The First Breath (9th March, 1954) in the foreground.

The First Breath (9th March, 1954), detail. Silver and gold thread, black fabric, 3 x 5 feet.

"The title of this piece refers to the birth date of the hunger striker Bobby Sands, one of the most iconic figures from the period of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland known as The Troubles. He died thirty years ago as a result of starvation on 5th May 1981.
During the hunger strikes of the early 1980’s black flags were placed outside homes that were in solidarity with the hunger striker’s cause. In addition to using this symbol I commissioned an astrological natal chart for Bobby Sands, which I then stitched onto the black fabric that makes up one side of the flag. It depicts the alignment of the planets within the twelve houses. The other side shows the stars and position of the planets on the day he was born. 
Crucially, I should mention that as I was growing up his image became a source of nightmares for me. I come from a Protestant background and far from being a heroic martyr I saw him as the bogeyman. For me, he was the archetypal ‘other’ and in the process of embroidering the flag I wanted to explore my own projections and demonization of this figure."

Hamilton in his studio. To his left:
Billys, Blackmen, Huns, Ironrods, Steelrods, Jaffas, Orangies, Prods, Proddies, Proddy Dogs

Above: Four studio views.

Hamilton in his studio with The First Breath (9th March, 1954)

Text in italics are the words of the artist.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Studio Visit: Henry Samelson

Over the weekend I stopped by Henry Samelson's studio in Greenpoint.
Henry makes street smart abstractions that have their roots in a gritty formalism. The paintings are aggressive and tense but the many layers of paint never  overpower the works' intellectual underpinnings.
On June 25th Samelson's work can be seen in the group exhibition Shakedown @ Dodge Gallery. Opening Reception: June 25, 6-8 PM.
The show will run until July 30 at 15 Rivington Street New, York, NY.
Follow the links for more information on Samelson's work and upcoming exhibits.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Northside Open Studios: The Pencil Factory

Above: Paintings by Kerry Law. Including an ongoing series of the Empire State Building.

Above: Work by Caroline England.

Above: Recent horizon paintings by Joel Adas.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Breasley's Advice

"Paint. Just paint. This is my advice. And leave the clever talk to the poor sods who can't."
-Henry Breasley

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In Chelsea Today

Monique Ford
Monique Ford

Susan Ross

Monique Ford (rt.) and Susan Ross

Susan Ross
Susan Ross

Emily Berger

Emily Berger

Emily Berger

Above: The Painting Center, Shared Space w/ Susan Ross + Monique Ford. Emily Berger: New Works

Lincoln Tobier, Wayne Gonzales, Jim Lambie, Ben Schumacher, Chris Martin

Clare Woods

Nathaniel Robinson, Sarah Crowner, Jim Lambie

Lisa Beck

Jules de Balincourt

Davina Semo

Above: Martos Gallery, We Regret To Inform You There Is No Space Or Place For Abstract Painting

Noam Rappaport

Alex Ebstein
Alex Ebstein, Ted Gahl, Maria Walker

Katie Bell

Cordy Ryman, Michael Dotson, Kadar Brock, Conor Backman

Above: Nudashank @ Art Blog Art Blog, Out Of Practice

Above images: Leon Kossoff

Above: Mitchell- Innes and Nash, Leon Kossoff

Above images: Louise Bourgeois

Above: Cheim & Read, Louise Bourgeois: The Fabric Works

Robert Mapplethorpe: Portraits of Deborah Harry, de Kooning, and Patti Smith

Above: Sean Kelly Gallery, Robert Mapplethorpe: 50 Americans 

Above: CUE Art Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundaion 2010 MFA Grant Recipients

Participating Artists: 
Molly Anderson Smiegelski, Tulane University
Janet Bruhn, Virginia Commonwealth University
Micah Daw, The Ohio State University
Michel Droge, Maine College of Art
Patricia Fernandez, California Institute of the Arts
Rhema Ghuloum, California College of the Arts
Erik Gonzalez, Yale University
Kristin Haas, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Erik Kniss, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Jon Lee, Syracuse University
Caitlin Lonegan, University of California, Los Angeles
Cobi Moules, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Brian Porray, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Ashley Shellhause, Miami University
Michael Sirianni, University of Illinois at Chicago