August 08, 2016, 3:37pm
The monsoon season is late in coming this summer, but the rains are finally upon us. Scott Greene (NAP # 18, #30, #54, #66, #78, #96, #108) has been imagining this deluge for some months, as he works on a large painting in his studio just north of ABQ. His work is shown with regular frequency in San Francisco, to the point where it might be easy to think of him as a Bay Area artist, but he has been rooted in New Mexico since completing his MFA in painting from the University of New Mexico. – Diana Gaston, New Mexico Contributor
August 03, 2016, 4:49pm
Stephanie McMahon’s first solo exhibition in Boston, and the first painting show hosted by T+H Gallery this year, “Close to Me” reverberates with the saturated colors of summer, from the blazing neon of flower gardens viewed at midday to the cool shadowed tones of the woodlands after rainfall. This contrast, seen throughout the galleries, can be summed up with Earthwork, a dynamic abstraction built with sheer layers of oil paint on panel. Soft-edged shapes work in tandem with more static, geometric forms, and engagingly lush brushstrokes hover in changeable depths of field. – Shana Dumont Garr, Boston Contributor
July 01, 2016, 10:42am
There is constant irregular conflict behind the eyes—flash! electronic fusillades jumping viciously into the breach! burning, burning chemical warfare! psychological warfare, of the most personal and literal kind!—whether the brutal bedfellows Mercury and Mars, tussling for dominance and fucking to fuck you, or the constant recce and rendering benign of the dangerous and volatile thoughts accrued from the moment one awakes and slips into Society, or the punching of mirrors, or the delicate handling of nitroglycerin emotions, or the silencing of vicious tongues, or the bolstering of saintly patience, or the valiantly held redoubt, behind which happiness flies beautifully, vulnerably, the tattered and torn through—victim of a thousand missiles, from a thousand enemies, from a thousand directions—standard which, if all goes to plan (hah!) serves as both signal and spur … but few battles of the brain are more foundational, and therefore more potentially devastating, than the Soviet Spy style, low and slow, inevitable conflict between reminiscence and reality, the fungibility of memory a rose-colored radiation, seeping into every sulci, every incident, a terribly malleable foundation—Memory!—for us to build ourselves upon, leaving us all Houses on the Sand … – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
June 22, 2016, 10:28am
For the second year in a row, the Elmhurst Art Museum is presenting an exhibition that features work from all of the artists featured in the most recent Midwest Issue of New American Paintings.
This year’s publication and exhibition was thoughtfully curated by Kelly Schindler, associate curator at the St. Louis Contemporary Art Museum. The artists participating in this year’s NAP broadly span the spectrum of varying themes in contemporary painting, including figural representation, material studies, optical abstraction and spatial depictions, while continually redefining the limits of formal categorization.
All photos by James Prinz
June 13, 2016, 9:18am
There is a deeply committed sense of play in the work of SCUBA, the collective duo of Santa Fe-based artists Sandra Wang and Crockett Bodelson. When they relocated from San Francisco to New Mexico in 2011 they brought with them a collaborative approach and a performative way of engaging an audience with a kind of daring, sweet audacity reminiscent of Claes Oldenburg's 1961 installation The Store in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The SCUBA duo melds retail and pure installation seamlessly, finding alternative solutions for showing art, an approach inspired as much by the accessibility as the performative nature of the mobile/pop-up gallery trend. – Diana Gaston, New Mexico Contributor
June 06, 2016, 8:18am
There are the trees, dark forms rising imperiously, and that's ok though, right?, a trick of the light, ombre over eyes, the natural failures of rods and cones—except they are so fucking black, atrous, really, black as coal, carbon, the remnants of fire, a sharp melange of serrations, selachian arcs, brachial bunches of alveoli, histological stains of striated muscle, pied abrasions, a forest seared into a wall, ashen memory, holocaustic photograph of a nuclear flash-lamp—and there is the sky, brilliant orange, too orange, unnaturally orange, not the color of monarch butterflies or poison dart frogs or innumerable other toxic lifeforms, not the color of citrus or lantanas or marigolds—dreadfully close to poppies, however—but safety orange, menacing safety orange, the kind commercial fishermen wear to be plucked from the black maw of the sea or hunter's place like a cuirass to protect against the accidental rending of human flesh, orange like the apocalypse, like literal and burning heat death, like the first and last glow of an existential risk, Nacarat Extinction, and it is apparent that East of Eden lies a place alien, fearful, sublime, hot and vibrating like catgut, verdant shoots even now erupting from the carbon and man-overboard-orange, and in the curve of the trees against the sky there is something pareidolic, a ghost in the nature, the SunSetter brow of an emaciated gorilla, perhaps, or, chest towards us, stereoscopic eyes thankfully looking away in majestic profile, the lean form of an ancient, savage, leopard, soft-gummed and eyeteeth innervate with pain, the kind which drags us, supposed Apex Animals, Fauna-cum-Gods, screaming into the impenetrable Cimmerian night, Jim Corbett save us!, sacred heart and sacred gun, the snuffing out of the flashes in the pan that turned the trees to cinder and the sky to fear. – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
May 31, 2016, 9:28am
Zach Reini’s (NAP #96) solo show For the Fun Of It All opened at Bill Brady Gallery this May. Perhaps the exhibition is “fun” at a cursory glance. The candy-coated color, pop culture imagery, holographic shininess, and hard-edged painting draw your eye, giving the impression of a light-hearted space. However, nothing could be further from the truth. With additional viewing, the subject matter smacks you in the face with its dark irony. – Sherèe Lutz, Kansas City Contributor
May 24, 2016, 10:05am
For the second year in a row, EAM is organizing the exhibition New American Paintings: Midwest Edition. Based on the acclaimed juried publication, an exhibition-in-print, this year’s version was selected by Kelly Schindler, associate curator at the St. Louis Contemporary Art Museum, and features an equally diverse group of artists and practices from across the Midwest. The thirty-nine artists participating in this year’s NAP broadly span the spectrum of varying themes in contemporary painting, including figural representation, material studies, optical abstraction and spatial depictions, while continually redefining the limits of formal categorization. EAM’s exhibition includes a combination of works featured in the catalogue and new works by selected artists in an effort to expand our understanding of this most traditional and fluid of artistic mediums.
Issue #119...Cover Artist, Alex Jackson
April 26, 2016, 10:16am
Grace Ndiritu’s solo show A Quest for Meaning Vol. 7: Bright Young Things opened at Klowden Mann last week. Ndiritu’s work offers viewers a refreshing mix of definitive push and pulls to the viewer experience.
In a piece called “African Textiles,” for instance, Ndiritu presents viewers with a detailed photograph of textiles, printed on a fibrous paper, thus blurring the line between both textile and photography, representation and imitation. Similarly, in her “Abstract Expressionism” series, Ndiritu paints small works on felt using industrial paint, then she photographs the work, then blows it up, and finally prints it on canvas. This results in a work that then serves as both a painting and a photograph on canvas. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
April 25, 2016, 9:07am
Well now… and just what in the fuck are you doing here, hmm?, suspended or rising or, fuck, sinking, but underwater all the same, completely ensconced in this cool, sterile little personal void, a pet abyss in somebody's back yard, all over your head at the bottom of a David Hockney painting, the anti-body fluid which releases your limbs and evokes a feeling of weightlessness, even as you sink, cool, calm, muted, in color and temperature and tone and vibe and feel and yet you are burning, immolating?, burning in the eyes—those chemicals, the chemicals of preventive healing … the entire thing, the in-ground pool, is, after all, little more than a highly cultivated, perfect, meticulous planned, and violently executed wounding of nature, the leveling, the digging, the shattering of any earth which dares resit—Jesus, remember the mournful howls and paroxysmal wails of the car alarms, the whole development screaming and jabbering and chittering, like big frightened birds, when that massive jackhammer came down, down, cracked the obstinate, rattled walls, windows, pictures, homes, set those crying beasts shaking on their suspensions—and then, upon the wound's completion, the endless prevention of healing, the shoring up of the gouge with concrete, the endless application, testing, balancing, and application again of a myriad of chemical agents to kill, relentlessly, to remove life from your water, to create a private sea antiseptic, safe, unflaggingly beautiful—and burning, relentless, desperate burning in your chest, and you are alone at the bottom of that sea, a world of off-white filtered through water, tiles the horizon line between here, which is beautiful and cold and clean and where you most assuredly do not belong, and there, with its air, its sound, its sun, its unfiltered light … the light, the light dances across the tile line, some of it finding its way to the bottom, to you, some of it being arrested, locked into a dark form, on the deck, some of it hurtling quixotically towards the pool's surface, shattering itself against the top, exploding into clinquant little pieces, the brilliant light of sun, of the surface, of life … of hypoxia? - B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
Suzanne Gold | The deep end, 2016, screen print on canvas, 65 x 41 inches. Photo by Cory Malnarick