Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jan 29, 2010: Opening Reception of Harry Roseman's Hole in the Wall at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar

Harry Roseman gave a talk on Friday evening at Vassar on the occasion of the official opening of his installation, Hole in the Wall in the atrium of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at the college. 
Roseman's talk, along with a screening of a video documenting his Woven Walls installation at the Kleinert Art Center in Woodstock in 2008 preceeded the opening.  The main lecture hall was filled to capacity, so a second hall was enlisted, offering a projection of a live online stream of the talk.  

Unfortunately, the webstream had some form of buffering issue and we weren't able to see the entire talk.  A recording of the talk is available for viewing here.
The upside to this technical glitch was that those of us in the second hall were able to go in and view the work before the crush of people filled the space...and fill the space they did.  It got claustrophobic quickly, so I bailed out prior to the performance by Adrienne Elisha of a composition she created which was inspired by the installation. 

It had been too long since I last visited the Loeb.  There's really no better place in the area in which to casually stop in and indulge in morsels sized portions of great work.  The small size of the temporary exhibition and permanent collection galleries offer a remarkable opportunity to get a fix without needing to devote a great chunk of time.  

Artma Auction takes place in Denver, Feb 6, 2010 6-10 pm

Repose oil on canvas 30"x36" 1998

The biennial Artma art auction event is happening again in Denver next Saturday, Feb 6.  from 6 to 10 pm.  The event benefits the Morgan Adams Neuro-Oncology Fund at the Children's Hospital in Denver.

My contribution to this year's event is a bit of a throwback.  It's a piece from 1998 called Repose.

Remember, bid high, bid often and have a great time.

Anthony Easton's pilgrimage to Poughkeepsie - and kork

kork's current offering is a collection of snapshots by Toronto based artist Anthony Easton (his blog).  I met up with Anthony and his friend Pat at Dia Beacon on Jan 17.  The two had conceived a multitasking road trip, the first portion of which focused on visiting religious pilgrimage sites in upstate NY, like the Sacred Grove in Palmyra where Joseph Smith received the revelation that gave form to the Book of Mormon and the Mormon church.  The trip culminated in the installation of Anthony's work on the kork board in Poughkeepsie.

Anthony Easton placing photographs on the board of kork.

Anthony's project on kork consists of the photographic documentation of his vacation/research trip in upstate NY.  
In his statement, Anthony cites the recognizeable experience of suffering through a viewing someone else's vacation photos.  This curse of living vicariously through representations of other's experiences has only been magnified through proliferating technology and the annointment of all as producers of content, banal though that content may be. Anthony invokes the traditional banality of this form of vacation documentation, and gives it the pride of place that any individual gives to the relics of their fondly held memories.  These photos are the very same vestiges of leisure time that find their way into office cubicles on on to desks as rememberences of places visited and things during those non-work times spent away from the workplace.  They're emblems of experience and of the personal flown as flags of home in the pseudo home of the office. 

My contact with Anthony had been limited to short email exchanges until we rendezvoused at Dia the day before installation. 
His endeavor of vacation as form of pilgrimage strikes a chord with one of the underlying tenets of kork:  how do we experience art?  Can a bulletin board in an accounting office become a cultural destination?  For me, the nature of pilgrimage and primary experiences plays a role in the broader implication of this work in this office in Poughkeepsie.  Would someone venture to POK to view the expression of an artist on a bulletin board in an office? Does the percieved value of such a site warrant such a trip? Is it sufficient to simply experience it remotely?  Is it enough to know that something is going on somewhere, and get the gist of it rather than making the effort of getting there?  Maybe, and yes - sometimes no.  Folks are more than welcome to stop into the office and check out the artworks.  They are equally welcome to feel satisfied that what they see online gives them some form of full experience. 
The kork project as a whole partially rests on the calculation of reward divided by effort exerted - both in the creation of the works and the viewing of them. In this case the artist tested that calculation for himself.  
I'll admit to some anxiety when Anthony contacted me last year, interested in creating a project, and willing to travel to POK from Canada, and making that travel part of the piece.  I felt, but restrained, the need to inform him fully of the informality of the project and  he might not want to knock himself out over it.  But his coming is the realization of the kind of primacy of the primary experience that is self rewarding and not dependent on a climax resolution for validation.  I respect that attitude.  I know I'm projecting here, but I read it as an imperviousness to futility. It's a key to living, and making art; to dig a hole, not to retrieve something, nor to deposit something, and if something is found, to feel free to leave it in place, then fill in the hole once again and take something away from the whole endeavor.

This array of office implements and corresponding newsclippings is the most naturally sculptural and consistently enjoyable vision I behold whenever visiting the office of Bailey Browne CPA & Assoc.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

November 2009 in Denver: Staged @ Michele Mosko Fine Art and Jessica Stockholder/John McEnroe at Robischon

Angelika Rinnhofer's Varsity I and Varsity V

On November 14 while in Denver,  I served as Angelika's proxy at the opening reception of Staged, a group exhibit in which two photographs from her Varsity series are on view through Jan 9 at Michele Mosko Fine Art.  Poor planning on my part thwarted my intention of carrying around a lifesize photograph of Angelika on a broom handle to get some papparazzi photos of the artist with reception attendees.

From that show Marc Willhite and I made our way to Robischon Gallery for the opening of exhibits by Jessica Stockholder, and John McEnroe.
Stockholder's offering included two sculptural pieces and some half dozen high keyed, dimensional and often furry "monoprints".  Rich and wild and totally refreshing was how this exhibit felt.  The nuances of texture and the effect of the compression of the various layers in each piece simply don't translate in photos - but here are a few for your perusal.  The gallery website has images of all the artwork in the exhibit.

Marc checking out Two Frames, Swiss Cheese Field 36, and Swiss Cheese Field 14

Jessica Stockholder, Untitled

Jessica Stockholder, Swiss Cheese Field 18

Jessica Stockholder, (l-r) Swiss Cheese Field 14, Swiss Cheese Field 20, Swiss Cheese Field 24

Jessica Stockholder, Swiss Cheese Field 20

Jessica Stockholder, Swiss Cheese Field 23

John McEnroe Untitled (Blue Red)

John McEnroe was represented by his pendent nylon forms as well as floor standing assemblages consisting of melted and burnt plastic toys. 
These exhibits at Robischon just closed on December 31.  Both artists are featured in the exhibit of installation called Embrace at the Denver Art Museum through April 4, 2010.

From Robischon, we stopped in to Marc's studio space in RiNo District and then on to Pints Pub to share a cheese and cracker plate.  I lived two blocks from Pints Pub for 6 yrs and had been in a couple times for drinks, but never knew about that cheese and cracker plate - I wish I had, it might have replaced my Friday afternoon happy hour buffet habit at the Church.

Friday, January 01, 2010

2 + 2 = 2010! : HNY!

 My contribution to kork Advent.

Today wraps up the month of kork Advent emails.  It was fun putting this together.  My thanks go out to all the fine participating artists and all the folks who subscribed and opened the emails each day.   Accompanying the work each artist created was a quote, thought, rant, or definition that each artist scrounged up or concocted themselves.  The text that accompanied my work for Jan 1 is an excerpt from the Forward of E.E. Cummings' book is 5.  Here's the entire text:

On the assumption that my technique is either complicated or original
or both, the publishers have politely requested me to write an intro-
duction to this book.
At least my theory of technique, if I have one, is very far from
original; nor is it complicated. I can express it in fifteen words, by
quoting The Eternal Question And Immortal Answer of burlesk, viz.
"Would you hit a woman with a child?--No, I'd hit her with a brick."
Like the burlesk comedian, I am abnormally fond of that precision
which creates movement.
If a poet is anybody, he is somebody to whom things made matter
very little--somebody who is obsessed by Making. Like all obsessions,
the Making obsession has disadvantages; for instance, my only interest
in making money would be to make it. Fortunately, however, I should
prefer to make almost anything else, including locomotives and roses.
It is with roses and locomotives (not to mention acrobats Spring
electricity Coney Island the 4th of July the eyes of mice and Niagara
Falls) that my "poems" are competing.
They are also competing with each other, with elephants, and with
El Greco.
Ineluctable preoccupation with The Verb gives a poet one priceless
advantage: whereas nonmakers must content themselves with the
merely undeniable fact that two times two is four, he rejoices in a
purely irresistible truth (to be found, in abbreviated costume, upon
the title page of the present volume).


My buddy Rich originally cued me into this piece and it really resonated with me as very suitable summing up of much of my sentiments around what I do and my motivations for doing it.
Now I just have to figure out what to do for next year.
In the meantime, the next kork project (Jan-Feb) will feature Canadian based artist Anthony Easton who will be coming down to Poughkeepsie in mid January to produce a series of photographs around town which he will then install on the board.

Update, 1/2/10: I woke up this morning all leisurely like, began reading and then I suddenly gave myself start  thinking that I had a kork Advent email to send out. But that part of my life is over now...