Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Interactive Blogpost-Collections, Rituals, Time: Eleanor Caldwell

Collections, Rituals - Time
Eleanor Caldwell is an artist living in the UK. She studied fine art at Loughborough and received her Master's degree in Book Arts at Camberwell Art College in the UK. I have never met Elanor but have been reading her blog for a while - A Good idea on paper . I would love to see her work first hand, having only seen images on-line. I find it intriguingly subtle and thoughtful. She is the first responder to this interactive posts. Thank you, Eleanor.

Below are pages from one of her book Encore made of drawings on Japanese tissue paper.

She says,
"I use the book to create sequences that allude to visual narratives through space or time, or both. ‘Reading’ a book is a process of waiting. Waiting for something to change, for something to happen, for some kind of conclusion. This never happens in my books. The book’s structure and inherent tactility has become an essential element of my work. Each page of a book suppresses the view of the next and previous page, the length of the book deciphers the length of the wait, and the paper itself has a memory."
(excerpt from Eleanor's statement)

Images: pages from Eleanor's sewn Inkjet Book. (sewn Inkjet images on Japanese paper)

I also want to thank artist and blogger Pam Farrell for her ISBP postings (among her other interesting posts) who gave me the idea for the interactive post. She is not the only blogger who does interactive posting but one that I read often and whose work I admire as well. Another artist and blogger, Joanne Mattera, offers interactive posts from time to time as well.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rituals, Collections and Time

Above: Work by Jill Sylvia (Image from Bob Calloway 's Blog Art Fever)

Recently, I had an idea for a blog post about other artists whose work is somehow connected with a repeated activity or image and is also related to my idea of rituals and collections, however slight. Amy Stillman and Jill Sylvia are two artists whose works touch on these themes.

Coincidentally, the exhibition Thrive popped on the scene last weekend and after looking over that exhibition I decided to expand the discussion here to the broader theme --- "notions of time."

Thrive is curated by Mary Ross Taylor and is currently on view at Diverse Works Art Space through December 20th. It was held in conjunction with a conference presented by The University of Houston Women's Studies Program, Gender, Creativity and the New Longevity, that took place November 13-18---last weekend. Below is a listing of the participating artists and the short description about the conference and exhibiton taken from Diverse Works web site. Clicking on the highlighted names will take you to the artist's web site. Clicking on Kathy Hall will take you to Mary Ross Taylor's short YouTube video about Taylor's work in Thrive.

Notions of time play through the work of 16 notable artists from Houston in Thrive, an exhibition organized in conjunction with a conference at University of Houston: "Gender, Creativity and the New Longevity." The exhibit and accompanying programs are a co-presentation of Diverse Works and Women's Studies program at University of Houston. Artists include Elia Arce, Laura Bennett, Ellen Berman, Suzanne Bloom, Joanne Brigham, Kathy Hall, Roberta Harris, Rachel Hecker, Mary Jenewein, Lauren Kelley, Charles Mary Kubricht, Lynn Randolph, Debra Rueb, Toby Topek, Kelli Vance and Dee Wolff.

(from Diverse Works web site)

Charles Mary Kubricht is the only artist from Thirve that I will discuss here. Both Amy Stillman and Jill Sylvia were found on the internet.

This photograph is one in a series of works by Charles Mary Kubricht. Her work in Thrive was a series of black and white photographs of Mt. Livermore gridded on one wall. Each photo documented a particular plant, a distant view, or some other object/artifact found at the site.
She speaks about the mountain's location in relation to Mexico and how it is being used today as a border crossing and as a route for drug smugglers. However, the mountain has also been designated a "sky island" by the Nature Conservancy.

Amy Stillman "investigates concepts of time, memory and our interaction with nature." She is interested in the "everyday, often meaningless or overlooked objects and fleeting moments of experience, and the ways in which they are collected, preserved, and remembered." (Taken from her statement.) This is one in the series "Daily Painting" of pieces of the sky.

Daily Paintings (detail): September 2006
acrylic and gouache on paper on panels
26” x 25” x 3/4"

‘August’ Garden-in July
photograph of garden installation
8" x 12" on 11" x 14" paper

In this installation, Stillman documents the garden at different stages of growth and deterioration.

Both Stillman and Kubricht draw our attention to things in our surroundings we often take for granted. Both use the grid format as an organizational strategy. Stillman's in Daily Paintings is suggestive of calendars. Kubricht's work seems to be concerned with the convergence of historical moments technological stages and political agendas at Mt. Livermore.

I am particularly drawn to the work of Jill Sylvia, below. Monotony comes to mind as I visualize her cutting page after page the little rectangles from the ledger page but perhaps meditation is how she sees it.

Jill Sylvia
detail, Untitled (Book 2)
Hand Cut Ledger Paper
11 x 17 x 2, 2005

Jill Sylvia
Hand Cut Ledger Paper & Matte Board
Dimensions Variable, 2007

As you can see from the few images I have posted here, ledger books are transformed into sometimes "ghost pages", sometimes three dimensional structures. Organizational strategies, time management, loss of time seem part of her concerns.

Here is where you come in. I am interested in finding other artists whose work is related to any of these issues. If your work is concerned with "notions of time", with rituals or collections in in any way, feel free to share your work by sending me a Jpeg image or two of your work (identified with title, size and medium) along with a short statement that I can post and I will share it on this blog. Include your url address for you web site or blog and I will post that too.
(Send in an E-mail marked Interactive blog response to gplunkett@rocketspeed.net)

Below are links to more of Mary Ross Taylor talking about Thrive.
Mary Ross Taylor
Mary Ross Taylor

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hidden Rhyme - Kay Ryan on Charlie Rose

A conversation with Kay Ryan, U.S. Poet Laureate and James Billington, Librarian of Congress

About her work, J. D. McClatchy has said: "Her poems are compact, exhilarating, strange affairs, like Erik Satie miniatures or Joseph Cornell boxes."

Poet Laureate Kay Ryan and James Billington were on Charlie Rose last evening. If you didn't catch it and have the time now, click on the link for the YouTube recording. Kay Ryan reads some of her verses. So does Charlie. She does a better job.

I don't often read poetry but I often use the analogy of the brevity of poetry to some of my painted abstractions. Sometimes I refer to my paintings as non-narrative narratives but I think they are related more to short verse than narrative.

Dr. Billington uses words like wit and humor, brevity, depth, and hidden rhyme when describing Ryan's verses. She uses the analogy of condensed powdered soup.

I like that.
Condensed soup!

I will read her poetry.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Two Exhibitions and the Gift of Time

Song Birds and the Birds of Humility, Monotype
Artist: Rick Bartow

There is never enough time to get around to all the galleries hosting artist receptions on any given evening in Houston unless you plan to spend much of your time in your car driving (fast) from place to place and with little time to spare for looking at the art. Choices have to be made up front. Last evening Lydia and I made good choices.

At Nau-haus Art Space, an extension of Texas collaborative Arts in the Heights on 11th, we met Rick Bartow, an artist and musician and were gifted time; time to share his vision and time to listen to his song. In his brief but eloquent gallery talk, time was the subject. Not himself, not his monotypes or drawings, nor his music. He thanked us for gifting him our time we spent with him and his work, listening to his music. In return, he gave us his time by sharing his images, his vision, his song. Time, he said, is the most important thing we have. We need to stop thinking our time away. Put our time to good use and do.

Rick Bartow is part Irish, part Native American. His "tribal affiliation and heritage is Wiyot of Northern California." Transformation and mythology are integral to his life and much of his work.

This exhibition featured mostly works on paper including large strong colored mixed media drawings on handmade papers, monotypes --- a portfolio of some that were made in collaboration with TCA studio, as well as a few small paintings on panel.

I felt, looking at the images, that these were strong responses to private and/or shared events full of personal iconography---iconography that threads through this body of work.

Though not derivative of them, two artists came to mind when I walked into the gallery. Frances Bacon and Nathan Oliveira. In conversation with the artist, he did mention Bacon. But the images presented are Bartow's own personal statements.
For me, it is the way he blurs out parts of images, the way he layers one image on top of another, and the way he is so creatively moves back and forth between the positive and negative spaces that creates the connections for me. Having said that, they remain part of Bartow's voice and not Bacon's or Oliveira's. These "visual devices" seem appropriate and useful to him in describing transformation and myth.

Rick Bartow, For Ireland, Mixed Media on paper

Rick Bartow, Wind Over Cantebury, Acrylic Painting on panel

The opening reception for this exhibition was held on October 3rd. This evening was a private champagne reception celebrating the artist and set aside for his talk. As an added gift, Mr. Bartow along with artists/musicians Ed Wilson and Bob Russsel presented us with an informal and personal musical treat. Old Lead Belly tunes and some of Bartow's own were on the play list and the listening was as enjoyable as the viewing.
Thanks to Dan Allison and Nau-haus Gallery for this experience. Runs through October 26.
Our next and only other stop was to visit M Squared Gallery on 19th in the Heights. "Conspire" is the exhibition on view there, a collaborative exhibition of works by artists Ray Phillips and Michael Arcieri.

The exhibition included works by the individual artists in the back part of the gallery and their collaborative works in the front part of the gallery.
As you can see in the images below, many of Michael Arcieri's paintings are very realistic--- these in particular influenced by the Dutch Still Life tradition.

The work of Ray Phillips ranges from quietly abstract like the one below to much busier compositions like Edit. Some of his work is very similar to what is presented in this collaboration.

above: Edit, by Ray Phillips

Paintings below are part of the "Conspire" collaboration. In many, that old phrase
"Something old, something new" comes to mind with layered images from the present along with familiar imagery from the past. Text and pattern play an integral part in these collage-like paintings as well.
For instance one painting (sadly not pictured here,) a diptych, the image is a still life. A bowl of apples is on one side and a bowl of oranges on the other. (I am thinking Michael Acieri's hand in this part but there is much more that fruit.) On top of these realistically rendered still life paintings are other things, among these, diagrams or schematic drawings floating around. Then the text. The text (Italian and painted on backwards) is layered over the lower part of the whole painting. Apples and Oranges it says.

Rukus, Collaborating artists Ray Phillips and Michael Arcieri, mixed media

I have seen collaborations before but usually in the form of diptychs. In these, the two artists took turns it seems, painting on the same canvas. Interesting concept. Interesting work.

This exhibition runs through October 26.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Without Words - Paper Artworks by Kyoko Ibe

I often find it difficult to come up with the right words in a statement about my work that really gets to the sensibility of the visual image. As John Tallman said in his July 10th post on Color Chunks, musicians are not asked to paint a picture to go along with the musical composition...nor writers, or poets. But for visual artists today, it seems essential, required.

Below is Kyoko Ibe whose exhibition, The World of Yugen: Japanese Paper Artworks, is on display at Krannert Art Museum located at University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign through Jan. 4, 2009. "The Japanese concept 'yugen' is used to describe the profound, the remote, and the mysterious. Yugen is that which cannot be easily grasped or expressed in words, but rather revealed through spiritual strength and grace." Click on the title of the exhibition above to read more.
Kyoko Ibe - At work installing his Japanese Paper Art
This concept speaks to me. Without Words!
But at Color Chunks, John Tallman offers artists an opportunity or perhaps a challenge, to write about a word not your art.
He says: "
Below you’ll see a list of words in no particular order. Read over the list. If a word jumps out at you, if you feel there is a word that might relate somehow with the art you do, please write a few sentences on it(maybe a paragraph or two—more?), send it to me with a jpg of your work and I’ll post it on “Color Chunks.” (July 10th post)

As I see it, this offer is to relate a word to some part of your creative process, not use it to explain your painting. I see this as a creative opportunity to be playful with words, to make a creative "word document" that perhaps parallels your working process in some way.
I'm thinking about taking up the challenge. Artist Pam Farrell is one artist who has taken this challenge. And Joanne Mattera. Check out these and more at Color Chunks.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

One of My Favorites-Louise Bourgeois-Thanks Joanne!

"In the classic Mapplethorpe image of Louise Bourgeois, the artist is holding a giant plaster-and-latex penis under her arm like a brobdingnagian baguette. The irony is that if she had an actual penis, if she were Louis Bourgeois, she’d be bigger than Picasso. Bourgeois is an immense talent who has been making art for over 70 years. Her arc spans Surrealism, Modernism, Post-Minimalism, Feminism and Installation Art, and her oeuvre—essentially organic and increasingly narrative—includes work in wood, stone, metal, wax, resin, fabric and found (or chosen) objects." This is from the most recent post from Joanne Mattera's blog. Read the rest along with great images at Joanne's blog. I just wish I were in New York to see the exhibition.

I do love Louise Bourgeios's work and mind. It isn't just her ability to continue to work into late age that impresses me so. It is the strength of the work in her late years that is so amazing.

I am not sure Louise Bourgeios thinks of herself as a feminist as the rest of us do but she sure sets a good example of how to do it.

How appropriate to have this post snuggled right next to Joanne's sidebar post "OXYMORON OF THE DAY: . . . . . ANTI-CHOICE FEMINIST", her reaction to John McCain's VP pick. I love it!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer Exhibitions in Texas

I didn't get pictures Saturday night at the events in the Heights...White Linen Night Heights
Most shops and galleries were open and lots of people were enjoying the night out in spite of the heat and humidity, and some...yes....dressed in their whites. Read more about it here. We arrived late and didn't linger but did visit galleries on 11th....G Gallery, Red Bud Gallery, and The Texas Collaborative plus we stopped by Koelsch Gallery on Yale before we gave in and went to dinner.

At G Gallery artist Todd Allison was showing work and at
Naü-haus Gallery artist Lydia Balahutrak had two paintings in that group exhibition (that gallery's one year anniversary.) We had a yummy frozen mojito at Koelsch but didn't stick around to listen to the band.

Earlier in the day some friends and I had driven to Galveston to visit the exhibition at Buchanan Gallery and lunch. (See Below)

C. Ellen Hart and Sandra York - Two Solo Exhibitions at Buchanan Gallery
220 26th St., Galveston Island, Texas
Exhibition continues through August 16, 2008

C. Ellen Hart , L.Shadow Study #62 (ShootingStar) 30"x 24"; R. Seafarer 30"x 24" both oil on canvas

C.Ellen Hart, Botany Bay, 54"x72, oil on canvas

C. Ellen Hart, Sea Shadow#106, 30" x 24" oil on canvas

Sandra York, from left to right: Sea Glass (30"x24"), Meditation (24"x24"), Chinati Marfa (24"x24"), Saint of the Animals (24"x30") all oil on canvas.

Sandra York, Ama de Casa, 45"x 76.5", oil on canvas

Sandra York, Meditation, 24"sq, oil on canvas
Craighead-Green New Texas Talent Dallas
Juror: Julie Kronick, Corporate Art Curator for Neiman Marcus
Exhibition runs through August 30th

The recepetion for this event was Saturday, July 26th. It was hot, hot, hot, in Dallas but the art patrons were not deterred. Unlike Houston where the humidity equals the temperature sometimes, it was relatively dry and speaking from that perspective, not so unbearable.
Most of the artists selected had two or three images presented.
Below are some of the paintings in the New Texas Talent at Craighead-Green Gallery that impressed me.

Mel Hombre, Sea of Cortez series, acrylic on paper.

Roma Misra, ....shifting...., Mixed Media on canvas, 36" x 48"

Janet Wayte, works on paper

Lee Ken Tan, Rorschach Humor No. 1, China ink on rice paper, 40" x 78"

Shelly Porter, The Smallest thing Will Not Be Forgotten, watercolor on paper, 27" x 24.5"

These three pieces very coated with a smooth glossy resin. Very nice. Apologies to the artist for no name or title.

Donna Perkins-Graphite on paper, Detritus Aggressor, Detritus Aquatic, Detritus Amuse, 14"x 11" each

Nathaniel Glaspie, Aspen Lane, Ink on Wood and Plexi, 20" x 30"

Julia Kiovumaa, Diptych, Encaustic on panel

Gwendolyn Plunkett, L. Garden/Red; R.Garden/Intruder; both oil on canvas, 36"x 36"

Red, White and Blue at Darke Gallery July and August
It was a hot and humid night in Houston but the band played on. Unfortunately, not long enough for me to get pictures. I only got shots of the band as they were leaving. (My camera came late!) It was a well attended event and the band was great!

L. Linda Darke Swaynos (wax and oil on canvas) & R. Julia Koivumaa (Encaustic on panel)

Gwendolyn Plunkett: Ritual Series, Encaustic Collage, 12" x 12" all

Detail : Joseph Cohen, Proposition 22

L. Joseph Cohen, Proposition 22 R. Linda Darke Swaynos

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Congratulations Are In Order

The images below were painted by artist John Schiro formerly from Houston. The two gallery shots are part of his thesis exhibition that took place earlier this year at Rutgers in New Jersey. I don't have titles or sizes. You can get a sense of the size in the gallery shots. This post is a personal congratulation to him on his completion of his graduate work there. It is also a nod to his conversation with color. While his work would not be considered geometric it certainly participates in the dialog about color that is an on-going part of Joanne Mattera's conversation with color in her own paintings as well as on her blog.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Montserrat Report - Encaustic Conference

The 2nd Encaustic Conference has come and gone. It was as good this year as last....maybe better. Right off the bat, with Kay WalkingStick the keynote speaker on Friday night, the tone was set for more conversation about the message our work sends. She is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and has been an active part of the renaissance of NativeAmerican fine art in the United States. It was truly a pleasure to hear her speak about her work.

There was plenty of art to be seen at Montserrat this year. "Hue Again", Joanne Mattera's exhibition was displayed in the Schlosberg Alumni Gallery on the first floor of the school.

On the second floor hallway was the "Diptych Project", an exhibition of work by artists from both the International Encaustic Artist (IEA) and New England Wax (NEW) groups.

In the Montserrat Gallery you could see the exhibition "Therefore & Because: Decoding Norman Laliberté"

The 301 Gallery again housed this years juried exhibition "On the Edge" juried by Laura Moriarity. These are just a few of the images that I loved in this exhibition. There were others. These two paintings on paper are by Russell Thurston.

Work by Cari Hernandez.

Paintings by Paula Roland.

The flowers planted around Salem and Beverly were as beautiful this year as last. I particularly loved the Peonies and Rhododendrons. Deanna Wood and Kate Miller and I took a break on Monday for a visit to Rockport where this picture was taken. Little gardens in front almost every shop were filled with all kinds of flowering plants. I had fried clams for lunch there and they were wonderful! We drove over to Rockport to see "Waxing Well: Encaustic Painting", an exhibition of work by artist's Lynda Cole, Chris McCauley and Mari Marks Fleming but the gallery was closed. Still, it was a nice respite from the bustle of the conference.

Below are pictures from the two after conference workshops I attended. Tuesday was Critical Feedback with Joanne Mattera and Shawn Hill. It was an intensive day with every one there eager to get critical dialog about their work. The criticism was constructive and considered and well worth our time. I only got images after it was all over when we were all packing up to leave for the day. Below is Karen Freedman packing up her painting. Karen had work in the "On the Edge" exhibition.

This is Nancy Natale packing up.

Below is George Mason who instructed the workshop "Painting with Stencils" that I attended on Wednesday.
There is much more commentary to follow, mostly about the conference sessions that I attended. These will be posted later on the
texaswaxhouston blog.