April 24, 2015, 8:37am
David E. Peterson (NAP #112) takes industrial design as his inspiration and turns it into art for your wall. Moved by the bold colors, layout, and rhythms of storeroom floors and wall displays, Peterson set out to mimic and recreate those aesthetic triggers in his wall sculptures.
Bright and bold, his works offer an immediately recognizable visual suggestion and allusion to references we consume daily while driving past storefronts, window shopping on a stroll, and going through the motions of daily urban living. Shying away from commenting on materialism directly, Peterson reflects both our consumer-driven culture and our need to consume art and design, even while shopping. – Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
April 21, 2015, 8:59am
When I went to see JD Banke’s Peasant Dreams, the paintings were in the middle of a photo shoot. Lighting apparatuses and tripod stands loitered around Glass Box Gallery’s small, jigsawed-together spaces, the artwork’s real-life interrupting its day job of just hanging out. The photographers politely tried to move aside in a space with little room to move, but they didn’t need to; I liked it this way. The comingling of the utilitarian things with the art-things created the best possible space for hearing the most vocal part of Banke’s work—a persistent, self-assured pronouncement of being alive. — Erin Langner, Seattle contributor
April 20, 2015, 9:32am
Skylar Fein (NAP #112) combines text and paint to create powerful imagery on paper, aluminum, and wood. With a burst of dry verbal wit and starkly contrasted style, his works bite you subtlety and leave you thinking.
With the rise and renaissance of hand-lettering, Fein’s work recalls that of both pop art masters and signage gurus in works like his series of oversized matchbooks (featured in both the 2014 show Giant Metal Matchboxes and 2015 Strike Anywhere) and other works like his presidential silhouettes such as “Red FDR/Fried Chicken,” named for the color of the text signage and that which it is advertising. Here, Fein discusses text-based art, the darker side of pop, and the failure behind great 20th century revolutions. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
April 17, 2015, 8:39am
There are entire worlds—entire existences—suspended within there, floating up to gazes which have been detached long enough—or ran down, heaving and glassy eyed, caned and fatigued—to pick up on such things, looming forms ascending like the prophetic pyramid out of the cuttlefish-ink abyssal underbelly of an 8-ball, rising and falling and materializing out of the blood brume; there are entire continents, cream continents adrift in an angry sea of cadmium, a granular expanse—as if someone chunked up a block of anatomist's arterial wax, dumped it into a pneumatic cannon, and proceeded to broadside raw canvas—ripe for pareidolia. Their borders are fringed, cloudy, a particulate demarcation of crimson gnats, and that fuzz is really what the fuss is all about, an adroit—if blatant, once one sees it—analogue to the fungible nature of perception, memory, and self; there are images contained within the blood brumes, although it is only by the grace of Angel Otero's exposition that we are privy to this, as they have been translated, riven, reconstituted, and then pressed—like a witch!—into their current, beautifully abused form; these were photographs once, the ultimate form of mimesis, until a triturator has placed his hands upon them, riven them, splayed them…and look at the bloody, powdery mess made of ipseity now! – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
April 08, 2015, 2:56pm
For more than twenty years, the critically acclaimed publication, New American Paintings, has featured the work of more than 3000 painters from throughout the United States, many of whom have gone on to receive international recognition. A lavishly-illustrated exhibition-in-print, each issue of New American Paintings results from a highly selective juried competition and aims to share the work of deserving artists to a wider audience. Selected by Elmhurst Art Museum Chief Curator Staci Boris from more than 400 submissions, the 2014 Midwest Edition features forty of the most promising artists from Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Iowa working within the context of contemporary painting. For the first time in its history, the New American Paintings publication will jump from the page to the museum as EAM presents the exhibition New American Paintings: Midwest Edition.
May 17 - August 23, 2015
April 06, 2015, 10:13am
There's these streams, these, like … death streams, running all along the hollers and open wounds and scars and deep, dark hills of southeastern Ohio, like in Athens county or Crooksville, Sunday Creek country, these fucking chameleon streams, born crystal virgin pure—a hideous faux-virginity! pure fatality, no other kind of purity suspended in there!—and eventually, running along like Leiningen's ants or pyroclastic flows or Kali, in that dread, beautiful motion, which sweeps life away, they eventually begin blooming into this fabulous reddish-orange, the color of rafflesia petals, and running along with nothing but gravity and iron and sulfuric acid in it, no aquatic life at all. This ichor flows all along the hills, perfectly beautiful and perfectly deadly, a conflation of the earth and the vicious byproducts we left when we entered the earth, gross seeping wounds we didn't bother to cauterize or seal properly when they stopped sustaining us, when the black precious coal could no longer be found, when blood from a stone no longer made economic sense, and after we left the earth cut open, vivisected and scooped out, it sat still and decided to slowly poison us, poison the fish and crawdads and deer, in vengeful retribution. – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
March 30, 2015, 9:01am
Painting, perhaps more than any other medium, has existed as a site for reconciling the systemic biases of art history, of which a large percentage are encapsulated in painting's own history. Painting has historically referenced previous imagery – subjects of the Renaissance were aesthetic updates to earlier depictions of the myths of the Bible and ancient Greco-Roman cultures found in past sculpture, frescoes, mosaics, manuscripts, textiles, etc. Subsequent derivative idioms, such as the master's copy and homage, have lineages stretching back long before anything could have even been labeled pre-modern. Neoclassicism was an agenda-based, aesthetic do-over by definition; Modernism's brief, valiant attempt at creating a future caught its breath in the late 20th century and painting began, again, to eloquently engage in a conversation with itself about itself. Although in contemporary art this is not unique to any one medium, there is enough cultural resonance specific to painting that it justifies the reflexive nature of artists continuing to investigate its unique position in history. – Jason Ramos, Los Angeles Contributor
March 20, 2015, 9:15am
An unusual element of Gala Bent’s new show makes it striking from a distance. A particularly standout press image or an intriguing promise of newness are often an opening’s easiest selling points. In the case of the Seattle artist’s show at G. Gibson Gallery that opened earlier this month, it was a single work’s title that latched onto my mind and stayed there until I made my way to the painting: Wrestler (The impossibility of a single dimension in the mind of someone who lives in several). While enough of Wrestler’s forward boldness came through the thumbnail image I had seen to make me want to meet it, the idea of someone living in several dimensions was what turned the work of art into something I had to see. When I spoke with the artist about the work, the show and her practice, it quickly became clear that Bent herself is immersed in a similarly multi-dimensional existence—with a mind constantly in flux between observing and making tangible the theoretical ideas she encounters, her art living similarly between open-ended abstractions and a fixed set of controls.—Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor
March 18, 2015, 9:03am
Sitting huddled around an electric space heater in Scott Anderson’s (NAP #35, #53) studio located in the rural township of La Cienega–about 20 minutes south of Santa Fe–he confessed, “I had these aspirations to be in New Mexico even before I had ever been to New Mexico. My wife and I had this 10 year plan to eventually get to Santa Fe, and drop off the face of the earth–or at least we thought so.” On a day in early March, New Mexico had just seen record snowfall for the year and my drive north from Albuquerque was punctuated with unusually grey skies and the vague threat of new precipitation. Anderson preempted my visit, warning that his enormous studio–originally built to accommodate the large sculptural works fabricated by the building’s previous occupant–would be slow to warm up. – Claude Smith, Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor
March 17, 2015, 12:13pm
It's the end of the world, Ragnarok, the apocalypse, and it's coming … well, erratically, in fits and bursts, dives, dips, Archimedean spiraling and humming all the while, fitfully humming, aggravated and unabated, zzzzzzzz the score to the very end, death born upon a cello string … death!, thousand eyed, six-legged, sword-endowed, floccose sickly-sweet smelling death in the personage of a honey bee, listing to one side like the Costa Concordia, vascular window pane wings over its corpse like a widow's umbrella, the victim of colony collapse disorder, laid low by a syndrome we do not understand, a fatal flaw in its system—maybe some sort of inherent vice?—or something wrought by our own machinations, with the little fellow ending up dead regardless; the flowers and crops and agrarian economies wilt, and the apocalypse comes banded black and yellow, apian entropy. – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor