Interview

March 22, 2017, 9:39am

A Conversation: Stanley Whitney

Arthur Peña: We first met in 2011 while I was at RISD and what stuck with me from that meeting was a story of how your father wasn’t allowed in museums because they were still segregated. How I remember the rest of the story is you saying that when you did have your first museum show you wanted to make paintings big enough that they wouldn’t fit through the door and the museum would have to work to get them in. Did I remember that right?

Stanley Whitney: Well it’s true that my father couldn’t go in to the Philadelphia Museum. Jack Whitten calls those years the “American Apartheid.” I have lots of stories of paintings not fitting through doors but I don’t think it’s exactly those circumstances. Although, I might have mentioned something like that. It could have been related to a story from around 2006 when my dealer José Freire came to me and asked me to make the biggest work I could make to take to Basel to try and make things happen because he kept putting me in shows and no one was paying me any mind. So I made the biggest painting I could make in my studio, 96 x 96 in., and to get it out we had to cut it in half to get it through the door. We showed it on a big expensive wall and it didn’t sell.


FOCUS: Stanley Whitney at The Modern in Fort Worth, TX

Listed under: Interview

March 14, 2017, 8:20am

A CONVERSATION: ROSS BLECKNER

This interview took place on the occasion of Bleckner’s solo show, “Find a peaceful place where you can make plans for the future” at the Dallas Contemporary. 


(L to R) Dome, 2016, Oil on linen, 84 x 84 in. Ladder Painting, 2016, Oil on linen, 96 x33 in. Dome, 2016, Oil on linen, 120 x 78 in.

Listed under: Interview

November 01, 2016, 10:23am

Kristen Dodge: Back in the Game at September

Kristen Dodge is not just one of my favorite art world people, she is one of my favorite people, period. In a business replete with elusive characters, Dodge is a rare straight shooter. (She is also rare in that she combines a deep knowledge of art with deadly business acumen.) In late 2010, after a number of years in Boston, she opened Dodge Gallery in New York’s Lower East Side and did what she does best: aggressively advocated for the artists and ideas that she passionately believes in. The gallery was open for four years, at which point Dodge decided she needed a break from the art world’s frenetic pace and rapidly shifting landscape. She and her husband, artist Darren Foote, moved to Upstate New York where they embraced a very different lifestyle.

Now, just over two years later, Dodge is back, and I think the art world is the better for it. Her recently opened space in Hudson, NY, September, has already gained a lot of attention. I wanted to know what brought her back into the “game.” – Steven Zevitas, Publisher

Listed under: Interview

September 12, 2016, 8:51am

Deb Sokolow’s thoughts on Men

Those unfamiliar with the work of Deb Sokolow (NAP #41, 107, 119) might be surprised to find studio walls plastered with images of Kim Jong-un, conspicuously undetailed renderings of David Copperfield’s brain, paper models of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, as well as diagrams dissecting the psychological motivations of our country’s most notorious politicians. And over the past decade she has found excuses to cook up an impressive collection of home-brewed conspiracy theories that cover everything from subterranean pirate tunnels to coded messages in your McRib. Though while she has earned a reputation for drawing on eclectic source material, the most surprising thing about her work is its ability to synthesize all of it into something that’s not only visually cohesive, but as immediately compelling as anything in the National Enquirer.

Between exhibitions in Washington DC, Indianapolis, as well as New American Painting’s Midwest Edition show and another coming up at Chicago’s Western Exhibitions on September 17th, she has certainly kept herself busy in 2016, making it the perfect time to check and learn a bit more about what goes into her work. – Brad Fiore, Chicago Contributor


Deb Sokolow | Various notes and studies, 2016

Listed under: Interview

September 06, 2016, 9:02am

Light, Letting Go, and the LA River with Debra Scacco

Debra Scacco creates rich, multimedia pieces that play with light, reflections, shadows, walls, and borders. Her 2015-2016 solo show The Letting Go at Klowden Mann was full of works on paper, paintings, and more sculptural installation pieces that reference and play off of nature and geography in aesthetically pleasing and deeply profound ways. – Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor


Debra Scacco, Installation view of “The Letting Go” at Klowden Mann, 2015.

Listed under: Interview

April 19, 2016, 9:01pm

Camille Page’s Underwater Wonder

Camille Page’s underwater paintings blend a perfect amount of the figurative with the abstract. Painting with a palette knife in a kind of push-pull-combination of heavy applications of paint and fierce scrapings, Page creates large paintings that feel familiar and momentous.

In this series, Page captures her friends and daughter swimming and enveloped with water in order to paint from the images. With an underpainting below and the palette magic on the surface, she captures action, form, color, and light in a way that invokes a sort of contradictory feeling of both timelessness and yearning for time’s past.

On a recent trip to Kaua’i, I was able to visit her gallery and meet with Page, speaking to her about her underwater series, process, and inspirations. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor


Camille Page | Dip, 24 x 30

Listed under: Interview

April 05, 2016, 9:10am

Gallery on the Edges: Q and A with Sharon Arnold of Bridge Productions

The last time I spoke with Sharon Arnold in her first gallery in Georgetown, I found myself surprised at my own sadness. Her modest space LxWxH, hovering over a pizza restaurant, was closing. Arnold wasn’t going far—she was moving on to collaborate with another well-respected gallerist, in downtown Seattle. LxWxH was small in scale and remote by comparison, two miles south of the city center, in Seattle’s historic, industrial neighborhood of Georgetown. But its presence had bored deep into the landscape of the community’s visual art, through not only the gallery that balanced the homegrown with the sophisticated so well, but also through the accessible boxed sets of small works that she sold to foster collecting in the city. I knew I would miss this gallery’s ideas when it was gone. - Erin Langner, Seattle Contributor


Tectonic, Installation View. Image courtesy of Bridge Productions.

Listed under: Interview

January 10, 2016, 10:09am

Catchig up with Blaise Rosenthal, 2014 New American Paintings Annual Prize Winner

One of the most gratifying aspects of publishing New American Paintings over the years has been watching our alumni go on to accomplish great things. The publication's history is replete with artists who were featured early in their careers that have gone on to become nationally and, in some cases, internationally recognized artists. Among them are individuals such as Iona Rozeal Brown, William Cordova, Amy Cutler, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Matthew Day Jackson, Eddie Martinez, Allison Schulnik and James Siena. At the end of the day, New American Paintings' number one goal is to offer deserving artists a vehicle though which there work can be discovered by an engaged and geographically diverse audience.

Since 2010, New American Paintings has awarded an annual prize to one of the two hundred and forty artists featured in that calendar year's six issues (look for our 2015 poll in the next week). In 2014, the winner of that prize was self-taught artist, Blaise Rosenthal, whose dusky, minimal abstractions draw more from his personal experiences and the American landscape then they do art historical precedent. I ran into Rosenthal's work on my annual visit to the Miami art fairs in early December. As I walked down an aisle of the UNTITLED art fair, there they were in the distance. I recognized them instantly, which, in today's overcrowded and homogenized art world really says something. It may sound trite, but these paintings have genuine presence and are clearly made by an artist who is actively searching...who is digging in the dirt. There is no artifice, or pretense to them.

As it happens, the reason Rosenthal's paintings were on view at UNTITLED is that Oakland based gallery Johannson Projects had recently discovered the work in New American Paintings. By all accounts, the relationship between Johannson and Rosenthal has turned into one that has been mutually beneficial. I had the chance to speak with Rosenthal at UNTITLED, and subsequently reached out to ask him some additional questions about his work and practice. Our conversation can be found below. - Steven Zevitas, Publisher


Blaise Rosenthal | The Ridge, Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas, 26x29 Inches

 

Listed under: Interview, Noteworthy

December 10, 2015, 12:31pm

A Conversation: Joyce Pensato

It seems Joyce Pensato needs no introduction. Her legendary personality and energetic paintings speak for themselves. In fact they scream for themselves. Much has been said in terms of what her absorption of popular culture may reflect. Updated Abstract Expressionism mutated by Warhol and technology? An aggressive reconciliation of our visually saturated world? Ominous portraits signifying a collapsing sense of the role of the image? Sure, but Pensato is quick to sidestep any prolonged reading of the work and simply acknowledge her love for all things Pop. In Pensato there is a sincere engagement with the characters and people that create our unified lexicon of references. This raw sincerity begs us to never turn away from her work as she transforms photographs and cartoon characters into forceful action.  Pensato has also been known to show remnants of her studio within exhibitions. This residue which Pensato generously shares can be read as feverish and obsessive while strangely twisting her overwhelming energy into visually formidable objects. Mania made tangible. Pensato is chasing her mind through painting, the medium itself acting as the catalyst and gateway to bring all things into her loving gaze so she can squeeze tight, tighter, tighter until all is consumed by her unrelenting embrace. On the occasion of her current exhibition at the Fort Worth Modern, which presents a body of new photographs and large scale piece, we sat surrounded by Philip Guston paintings and had a conversation. - Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor


Texas Batman, 2015, Enamel on canvas. 100 x 160 in. Courtesy of the Artist and Petzel, New York.

Listed under: Interview

October 19, 2015, 9:27pm

Larry Bob Phillips: Paintings of the Electric Night

“I was told that my color wasn’t good early on, but the truth is that I worked too fast and was lazy about how I used it, so I kind of fell prey to the standard pitfalls of being a young painter,” says Larry Bob Phillips as he gestures to an enormous ink drawing tacked to his studio wall. We’re standing in his South Valley Albuquerque studio, a space that doesn’t resemble so much a studio as a wood shop; there are drawings and studies strewn about almost entirely covering a behemoth of a table saw in the center of the room. Numerous picture frames Phillips has built for clients hang on the wall amongst stacks of rough cut lumber, and his neat, hand-lettered script identifies drawers of repurposed cabinets containing various tools and other miscellaneous equipment used for carpentry and sign painting. Phillips offers, “I definitely had to work at it though, so I definitely don’t feel like color is a weakness, I’m just at that point that I feel like color stops some of the complexities that happens when you’re working with black and white.” – Claude Smith, Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor


Larry Bob Phillips | Brainbow, 2015, ink on paper, 40 x 60 inches; image courtesy the artist and PHIL SPACE

Listed under: Interview, Review

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