September 12, 2016, 8:51am
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
September 07, 2016, 3:55pm
Pow! Wow! Long Beach, a contemporary art festival, recently took over Long Beach, California — both in and off the streets. Pow! Wow!’s distinct gatherings take place internationally throughout the year with events expanding to Taiwan, Israel, Jamaica, Washington D.C., Singapore, Germany, and Guam — to name a few.
Founded by Jasper Wong, the festival’s inception and inaugural Pow! Wow! gathering began as a week long festival in Hawai’i. During these events, muralists take over the city, where they can be seen working on the murals from start to finish throughout the week. Additionally in July, the Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) featured an accompanying exhibit Vitality & Verve in the Third Dimension. - Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
September 06, 2016, 9:02am
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
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