July 17, 2015, 9:41am
There’s a piece of public art installed in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco that is quintessential Richard Serra. Two 80-ton steel slabs emerge from ground at a slight angle, tilting vertically as they extend 50 feet into the air. Like other works by Serra these are experiential sculptures, un-monuments meant to affect the way we perceive the space around them. That work is titled “Ballast,” referencing the performative heft of the piece as it serves as a kind of anchor in a transitive cityscape. Serra’s etchings at “Zero to One on Paper,” on view at Ratio 3 through August 21, share the same name, though in this case the titles are “Ballast II” and “Ballast III”. Like his public sculpture at Mission Bay the works at Ratio 3 are monolithic and textural, anchor-like in the expansive gallery space that also has works by a host of painters and other artists making editioned work on paper. - Matt Smith Chavez, San Francisco Contributor
July 16, 2015, 9:01am
In David Salle’s solo museum show at the Dallas Contemporary, Salle owns his art world persona. His works playfully lure in the viewer only to smoothly transition into a seriousness that could only come from years of knowing the ropes (quite literally, in two paintings he has attached a velvet rope). The paintings are easy to enjoy and showcase Salle’s ability to carve out figures with subtle washes and delicate line while excavating Painting’s history. The images in the work are perfectly timed and slyly hilarious. – Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor
July 15, 2015, 8:39am
The blood is voltaic, salt and copper and life and death, flowing fast and high around the fever dream haemalducts of Edie Fake's The Blood Bank, imbued with a passionate glow which seems to radiate in juxtaposition with the cold, flat surfaces—marble? tile? stone?—which constitute its flowing surface, a room of stately and imposingly beautiful columns and arches, its facade shot through with sharp geometry, like a thousand black shark's teeth on pallid sand, the columns topped with ornate weeping bull's eyes; a dazzling array of colors—rococo patterns formed from tiles the color of salmon and toothpaste, bands of claret and powder blue, jade and bubblegum, lace of electric orange-red—is lost to the eye by the great flowing blood's final destination, a pool fit for a Bathory, its deep center a rich bordeaux, fed by the blood flowing through the veins around the room's ceiling, flowing hot—like lava around the edge of a caldera—hot in color and consequence, biologically and ethically, burning in memory with fear, anger, paranoia, colored the red of passion and hazard both, blood from them, blood begetting panic, the blood of the AIDS crisis, the dread invisible specter preying on the edges, closing the bath houses and haunting the blood banks, a nightmare, blood a commodity and curse, the mark of Cain and the gift of vigor, forever pouring into Fake's pool, which must be deep, deeper than the sea, to never jump its cold, slick sides, leaving not so much as a patina as its waves lap and stop with a clinical precision, and one stares into the sanguineous abyss, is presented—with disconcerting pulchritude—the horrors of a not-so-distant past, a spiritual kind of hemorrhagic shock. – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
July 14, 2015, 9:14am
Camille Hoffman beautifully applies paint and mixed media to create collaged worlds that are fantastically mesmerizing, while also grounded and painterly. Her works inhabit a liminal space walking the line between realistic and other-worldly; timely and eternal.
In her recent work, Buried High in Heaven: Journey through nine antinomic realms, Hoffman uses golf course calendars, hair, plastic from a tablecloth, photos, and oil paint to create a monumental ode to her own artistic process and practice. Many of the allusions and collaged images in the work include references to her past weaving installations, thus welcoming viewers into a meditative space to reflect upon Hoffman’s own challenges, goals, and successes as a practicing artist. - Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
Camille Hoffman | Buried High in Heaven: Journey through nine antinomic realms, 2015, Oil, photos, plastic tablecloth, golf course calendars, and hair on board, 108 x 48 inches.
July 13, 2015, 3:50pm
“One Foot on the Ground is not a themed exhibition.” When I read this on the wall of Seattle’s James Harris Gallery, my impulse was to immediately look for a theme. After scouring the works of the six painters featured in the group show guest-curated by Los Angeles artist Alexander Kroll, I conceded that the claim held true. However, as I stood among Erin Morrison’s (NAP #97) palm tree leaves and the graffiti-like palettes of Tomory Dodge, I was drawn to their ties to the City of Angels. I might have been breaking the rules by clinging to the concrete in a show that insisted it was about abstraction. Or, maybe the show was designed so I would unearth my own themes. Maybe I had fallen into a trap that had been there all along.—Erin Langner, Seattle contributor
June 19, 2015, 8:55am
Good God!, did it ever fucking multiply; springing forth from the singular mind of the cartilage-crushingly on-the-nose-named Art Paul, who needed a mascot-cum-logo for this eccentric's girly mag, a product, like Paul himself, of the Hog Butcher of the World—when that Lake Michigan wind blows, it blows, baby!—and ended up with an icon, an honest-to-goodness American deity, a long-eared, bow tied rabbit, a lapin a la mode who kept cocked ear bent towards what is comme il faut for the jet age gentleman, who is to sex and a certain cigar-smoke cured, bourbon-splashed, wood-paneled, velvet-touched kind of groomed wolf masculinity what the spider or coyote or raven is to chicanery, arguably the most famous bunny in the world—and here his hare straitens its bow tie, takes a pull off the tumbler, and exhales, in a cloud of fine, fine tobacco smoke, “Not much, doc; what's up with you?”—and an image that would have to be included in any kind of even semi-holistic and honest pastiche of American popular culture, the Playboy bunny!
It has been manifested in a million different inks and mediums, from gloss magazine stock to newsprint to flesh, rendered in rhinestones and sequins and neon tubes, in white and black and pink and a veritable zoo of animal print, looking dapper both soft-core and hard-core, on hats, shirts, sweaters, swizzle sticks, and thongs, across an entire sea foaming with licensing and corporate fornication, hopping—if one can excuse the turn—from one bedfellow to the next like, like … like a goddamn rabbit, one supposes, achieving that absolutely most rare and august of atmospheres wherein a piece of visual art can be both of the commercial sphere—bathing, in filthy lucre and public adoration, for immortality like Báthory—and above it; that bowtied cottontail created a cuniculus to very empyrean itself, and the bunny's enormous brood is both Paul's lasting impact—unfair or not—and lasting curse. – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
June 16, 2015, 9:25am
Anthony Palocci’s (NAP #104) large-scale paintings are at first glance abstract grids of beautifully painted lines, repetitive marks that vibrate with painterly energy. Then, with a steady gaze, their thing-ness snaps into focus, taking enough time that you may indulge in the liminal shift, from the initial effect of reductive abstraction to a three-dimensional view. In Looking Up, I first saw an entire building with a few glowing windows, the accident of who was still awake in that building at 1 am, before I realized the subject was actually much closer to me. - Shana Dumont Garr, Boston Contributor
June 08, 2015, 9:32am
Opened this past year late in 2014, Satellite Contemporary is a newcomer on the Vegas art scene. Nestled in the Emergency Arts building on Fremont Street in downtown Vegas, the gallery is a small, cozy space pushing the limits and expanding the local programming.
Installation view at Satellite Contemporary | Left to right: Erik den Breejen, “ELLIOTT SMITH (HAPPINESS)” | Christopher Kane Taylor, “Flying V” | Joe Wardwell, “Maybe Just Happy” | Erik den Breejen, “JONI MITCHELL (CALIFORNIA)” | Erik den Breejen, “ABUQUERQUE AT THE BEACH (ALONE AT THE MICROPHONE)” | Courtesy of Satellite Contemporary.
Three artists and professors from Flagstaff, AZ, came together to start the gallery. Nicole Langille Jelsing, Christopher Kane Taylor (NAP #108), and Dennis K. McGinnis share the goal to bring established and emerging artists to their space, creating cohesive, yet unexpected group shows. – Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
June 05, 2015, 8:45am
The hedge maze is one of the most memorable images of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. In the Northwest, most of us know this labyrinth isn’t real (it was part of a constructed set) because we are familiar with Oregon’s Timberline Lodge, whose building served as the hotel’s exterior in the film and has no maze. Seattle artist Victoria Haven’s (NAP #6, #49) show at Greg Kucera Gallery, They all stopped walking, references a scene that takes place inside The Shining’s maze. At first, it was hard to see a connection between this new work and the artist’s earlier paintings and sculptures of abstracted, geometric forms that I knew so well. The older forms even make a few appearances, as does an entire wall of words extracted from text messages that had been turned into woodblock prints and separated into pairs that only make sense together sometimes. I found myself intrigued but unsure of how everything came together. I was on the brink of lost.
But, when Haven spoke of her desire to question abstraction in the new pieces, the pathway became clearer. The disjointedness that had felt so rigid and real—between words, between mediums, between what I had seen before and what I was seeing now—dissolved, as if it had been in my imagination all along. In its place, I found a show that continues an artist’s longstanding pursuit by starting from a new, unexpected place.—Erin Langner, Seattle contributor
June 01, 2015, 11:57am
Heidi Draley McFall (NAP #30, #113) creates monumental pastel portraits that are haunting and endearing, personal and startling. Through heightened contrast in black and white, she invites us to explore the souls and personalities of those she depicts. There is an openness and volatility to her subjects that instills a closeness and sense of shared humanness between the artist, her viewers, and her subjects.
McFall first takes photographs, then prints them, and then draws with pastel on paper to create these large six feet portraits. She recently updated her process, embarking on a darkroom photography class so that she could add an extra layer to her process by printing the photographs herself rather than going through a lab.
In this installment of Process of a Painting, please explore McFall’s fascinating multi-step process and read her own words about her work below. - Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor