June 01, 2015, 8:28am
Alexandra Wiesenfeld (NAP #61) paints massive landscapes suggestive of the California painting tradition of the past, but she reinvigorates these on a grand scale and reimagines them with bold colors, frantic lines, and bursts of energy.
Her recent show “When I When If When Lie When Life (Xavier Villaurrutia)” at Klowden Mann offered viewers a delightful experience of envelopment. Her grandiose oil paintings run six feet tall or wide and powerfully connect the walls of the gallery, enclosing viewers in with a warm, painted, and natural embrace.
Working at times from more well-known images like those of Ansel Adams, Wiesenfeld also works from unique composite images she has disassembled and pieced back together. She creates a fantastical photo collage from which to paint and then enlarges them to a monumental scale on canvas. - Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles 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
May 18, 2015, 8:49am
A big thank you to Staci Boris from the Elmhurst Museum for doing such an incredible job with New American Paintings first ever museum show....all 40 artists from last year's Midwest Issue are included. View some images below and for more information, please visit: https://www.elmhurstartmuseum.org
May 07, 2015, 8:47am
Michaël Borremans US premiere of his survey show As sweet as it gets brings together 50 paintings, 40 drawings and 5 films from the last fifteen years. The show opened at the Dallas Museum of Art and was organized by Jeffrey Grove, the Museum’s Senior Curator of Special Projects & Research, who worked closely with Borremans to showcase this impressive body of work. The films in the show function to establish their importance to Borremans process of culling frames from moving images but the films also maintain an independence all of their own. The most effective film piece, The German, showcases an enclosed diorama which houses miniature figures standing in front of a stories tall (in terms of scale to the miniatures) screen that features a man’s face speaking.
The work expertly showcases Borremans imagination and most importantly his acute sense of scale that is also present in his drawings which exploit scale to depict grandiose ideas and scenes in a restrictive size.
Michaël Borremans | A Mae West Experience, 2002, Pencil, watercolor on paper, 6 13/32 x 8 in. (16.3 x 20.3 cm), Private Collection, Belgium, Courtesy Zeno X Gallery Antwerp © Photographer Felix Tirry ©Michaël Borremans
April 28, 2015, 8:41am
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
April 24, 2015, 8:37am
David E. Peterson (NAP #112) takes industrial design as his inspiration and turns it into art for your wall. Moved by the bold colors, layout, and rhythms of storeroom floors and wall displays, Peterson set out to mimic and recreate those aesthetic triggers in his wall sculptures.
Bright and bold, his works offer an immediately recognizable visual suggestion and allusion to references we consume daily while driving past storefronts, window shopping on a stroll, and going through the motions of daily urban living. Shying away from commenting on materialism directly, Peterson reflects both our consumer-driven culture and our need to consume art and design, even while shopping. – Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
April 21, 2015, 8:59am
When I went to see JD Banke’s Peasant Dreams, the paintings were in the middle of a photo shoot. Lighting apparatuses and tripod stands loitered around Glass Box Gallery’s small, jigsawed-together spaces, the artwork’s real-life interrupting its day job of just hanging out. The photographers politely tried to move aside in a space with little room to move, but they didn’t need to; I liked it this way. The comingling of the utilitarian things with the art-things created the best possible space for hearing the most vocal part of Banke’s work—a persistent, self-assured pronouncement of being alive. — Erin Langner, Seattle contributor
April 20, 2015, 9:32am
Skylar Fein (NAP #112) combines text and paint to create powerful imagery on paper, aluminum, and wood. With a burst of dry verbal wit and starkly contrasted style, his works bite you subtlety and leave you thinking.
With the rise and renaissance of hand-lettering, Fein’s work recalls that of both pop art masters and signage gurus in works like his series of oversized matchbooks (featured in both the 2014 show Giant Metal Matchboxes and 2015 Strike Anywhere) and other works like his presidential silhouettes such as “Red FDR/Fried Chicken,” named for the color of the text signage and that which it is advertising. Here, Fein discusses text-based art, the darker side of pop, and the failure behind great 20th century revolutions. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor
April 17, 2015, 8:39am
There are entire worlds—entire existences—suspended within there, floating up to gazes which have been detached long enough—or ran down, heaving and glassy eyed, caned and fatigued—to pick up on such things, looming forms ascending like the prophetic pyramid out of the cuttlefish-ink abyssal underbelly of an 8-ball, rising and falling and materializing out of the blood brume; there are entire continents, cream continents adrift in an angry sea of cadmium, a granular expanse—as if someone chunked up a block of anatomist's arterial wax, dumped it into a pneumatic cannon, and proceeded to broadside raw canvas—ripe for pareidolia. Their borders are fringed, cloudy, a particulate demarcation of crimson gnats, and that fuzz is really what the fuss is all about, an adroit—if blatant, once one sees it—analogue to the fungible nature of perception, memory, and self; there are images contained within the blood brumes, although it is only by the grace of Angel Otero's exposition that we are privy to this, as they have been translated, riven, reconstituted, and then pressed—like a witch!—into their current, beautifully abused form; these were photographs once, the ultimate form of mimesis, until a triturator has placed his hands upon them, riven them, splayed them…and look at the bloody, powdery mess made of ipseity now! – B. David Zarley, Chicago Contributor
April 08, 2015, 2:56pm
For more than twenty years, the critically acclaimed publication, New American Paintings, has featured the work of more than 3000 painters from throughout the United States, many of whom have gone on to receive international recognition. A lavishly-illustrated exhibition-in-print, each issue of New American Paintings results from a highly selective juried competition and aims to share the work of deserving artists to a wider audience. Selected by Elmhurst Art Museum Chief Curator Staci Boris from more than 400 submissions, the 2014 Midwest Edition features forty of the most promising artists from Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Iowa working within the context of contemporary painting. For the first time in its history, the New American Paintings publication will jump from the page to the museum as EAM presents the exhibition New American Paintings: Midwest Edition.
May 17 - August 23, 2015