Brian Fee

April 28, 2015, 8:41am

Caitlin G. McCollom: The Artist is Present

Caitlin G. McCollom lays it all out in Blood and White, her solo exhibition at Pump Project on Austin's east-side. These modest- and large-scale mixed-media paintings on synthetic paper — described by the artist as “indirect abstractions...represent[ing] the quiet panic of the disordered mind and the beautiful decay of the diseased body” — are the result of both six months of sheer studio work and a more complicated cocktail of interstate relocation and return, illness, temporary art-making hiatus, and a subsequent wellspring of creative energy. — Brian Fee, ever-traveling contributor


Caitlin G. McCollom |
Ovum, 2014-15, Acrylic and varnish on synthetic paper, 11 x 14 inches. Image courtesy the artist and Pump Project, Austin.

Listed under: Review

May 26, 2014, 10:48pm

Surface Readings: Peter Shear at Big Medium

Spend some time with Peter Shear (NAP #107), whose mostly small-scale gestural abstractions invite close up viewings. But check yourself: the allure of Casting, Shear's array of colorful, mixed-media compositions — so simple in a sidelong browse yet curiously addictive, like Candy Crush on canvas — and his debut solo exhibition at Big Medium in Austin, may charm you longer than you expected. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor


Peter Shear |
Hold, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 10 x 8 inches. Image courtesy the artist and Big Medium, Austin.

Listed under: Review

May 16, 2014, 4:19pm

Color Pollination: Leigh Anne Lester at grayDUCK Gallery

If your produce shopping is limited to sustainable farmers markets rather than the neighborhood big-box — or if you haven't followed decades of GMC developments — you may be unaware of genetically modified crops' tenacious pervasiveness in the global community. In Venomous Cabbage and other demands satisfied, the inaugural show at grayDUCK Gallery's new eastside location in Austin, Leigh Anne Lester wields graphite and rich color as her magnifying glass to this agricultural reality. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor


Leigh Anne Lester | Deviant Pollination, 2014, graphite and color pencil on drafting film, 29 x 24 inches. Image courtesy the artist and grayDUCK Gallery, Austin.

Listed under: Review

May 05, 2014, 9:24am

Personal Ties: Wura-Natasha Ogunji at MASS Gallery

Connectivity is a recurring theme in Wura-Natasha Ogunji's work, within personal space and interpersonal relationships — to family, to a homeland, to both hemispheres of one earth. In her solo exhibition Your heart is clean at MASS Gallery, Ogunji unveils a body of works on paper and video installation developed during return trips to her father's homeland of Nigeria and time shared between industrial metropolis Lagos and Austin, TX. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor


Your heart is clean
installation view, MASS Gallery, April 25 – May 31, 2014. Image courtesy the artist and MASS Gallery, Austin. Photos taken by Sandy Carson.

Listed under: Review

April 09, 2014, 9:39am

Lasting Impressions: Miguel A. Aragón at Tiny Park

Trauma permeates Miguel A. Aragón's very physical printmaking, both in subject matter (victims of Mexico's drug wars) and in process (depending on the intended result, he burns, abrades, or hand-drills the works). Aragón's return to Austin — his first solo here following the critically-lauded exhibition Fractured Memories, Assembled Trauma at Mexic-Arte Museum in 2012 — is both potent and bittersweet, as while the artist's bracing techniques continue to advance the compositional potential of paper, it also coincides with the final outing at eastside gallery Tiny ParkBrian Fee, Austin contributor


Miguel A. Aragón | De brazos abiertos, 2014, hand-drilled paper with layered Xerox, 72 x 192 inches. Image courtesy the artist and Tiny Park, Austin.

Listed under: Review

March 23, 2014, 3:01pm

Homage to Exploration: Katia Santibañez at Morgan Lehman Gallery

As winter segues slowly into spring in New York City, Katia Santibañez's (NAP #104) latest suite of hypnotic investigations into the natural world instill warmth into our gray worldview and chilled bodies. Docere, Delectare, Movere, her fourth exhibition at Morgan Lehman Gallery, follows several months in Rome and a residency at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, imbuing this series with vitality and fearlessness in contrasting colors. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor


Katia Santibañez |
Interlude, 2013-14, acrylic on panel, 16 x 12”, image courtesy the artist and Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York.

Listed under: Review

March 04, 2014, 9:05am

Past Featured NAP Artists at VOLTA NY 2014

One of the privileges of working for a contemporary art fair whose focus is solo-artist projects is the opportunity to see a range of works by artists from all over, be they from Bushwick or Berlin. This could mean their newest series or a multiyear survey of their oeuvre, sort of like a mini retrospective staged within their exhibiting gallery's booth. 


View more shots from VOLTA NY 2013 by clicking here.

As in years past, VOLTA NY features a plethora of artists working with paint. The range is fantastic, and I think indicative of contemporary trends within the medium: angular figures and aggressively colorful compositions in a New Objectivity vein from very young, non-German artists including Anna Navasardian (Armenian but New York-based, showing with Galerie Andreas Binder, Munich) and Pawel Sliwinski (Polish, showing with Beers Contemporary, London); representational works in thick, gestural impasto, both in Kim Dorland's grand, en plein air style (Angell Gallery, Toronto), and in Bobby Mathieson's intimately scaled portraiture (Lyons Wier Gallery, New York); and abstraction both super-reductive (like Clare Grill, showing with FRED.GIAMPIETRO, New Haven) and cosmically colorful (Jennifer Lefort, showing with Patrick Mikhail Contemporary, Ottawa); plus every conceivable style in between. - Brian Fee, Austin Contributor

Listed under: Art World, NAP News

February 27, 2014, 4:17pm

Closer Encounters: Josephine Halvorson at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

In her 2011 exhibition What Looks Back at New York gallery Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Josephine Halvorson enlivened inanimate industrial objects and surfaces, spellbinding this art-lover and writer. Now that she's got our attention, Halvorson returns with a tightly cropped and edited grouping of eleven canvases, each thrusting its subject up close and personal. Her structures are no longer content to be ignored or forgotten: in Facings, they assert themselves. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor


Josephine Halvorson | Heat 1, 2013, Oil on linen, 10 x 15 inches. Image courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

Listed under: Review

February 06, 2014, 3:21pm

Soul Seeking: Alexandra Grant at Lora Reynolds Gallery

Have you ever Google'd yourself? (Is it profane even, to use 'Google' as a verb?) As we leave digital footprints over multiple social media platforms, like a slightly exaggerated profile on an online dating site or a carefully composed Instagram shot (to one-up our friend's idyllic beach photo), we may ask ourselves 'how much of me is there?' And how much of that factors into our presence in and understanding of the greater physical world? In Century of the Self, organized by independent curator Sarah C. Bancroft at Lora Reynolds Gallery, artist Alexandra Grant dives into feverishly detailed compositions that embrace language as both quotable texts and visual tools. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor


Alexandra Grant | Alexandra Grant: Century of the Self installation view, January 18 – March 15, 2014. Courtesy the artist and Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin.

Listed under: Review

December 23, 2013, 10:06am

Mutations of Progress: Maria Hansen at Pump Project

The unwavering march of progress, of societal convenience and betterment with a blind eye to consequences — what consequences? Damn the consequences! But there is always a response, a reaction to action, as Maria Hansen depicts in tight grouping of watercolors at Pump Project on Austin's east side. Within her flickering, vignette-like compositions, we find that some of these Mutations of Progress develop into favorable conclusions on their own, when life is left to run wild. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor


Maria Hansen | Pripyat, 2013, ink and watercolor on paper, 29 x 37” framed. Image courtesy the artist and Pump Project, Austin.

Listed under: Review

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