A Decade of Negative Thinking: Painting

I really wanted to make a hearty post about one of the fabulous essays from the Painting chapter within A Decade of Negative Thinking, however, my wonderful mom and aunt are coming to town and there has just been so much to do to prepare! BUT, I will not leave you high and dry. Here are some super amazing quotes from the essays I've been reading, all of which are so full of content. It's sort of insane how great this collection of essays is, really Mira Schor is incredible. INCREDIBLE. 

Some Notes on Women and Abstraction and a Curious Case History: Alice Neel as a Great Abstract Painter
"The excitement of an Alice Neel painting is consistently located as much  in the inventiveness and the sense of conscious commitment in each paint stroke and area as it is in the figurative subject.  Not only is Neel's portrait of Robert Smithson (1962) redolent of his intensity and intelligence, but many a painter could make and entire career from the richness of abstract painting she deploys in the small area of his cheek alone." pp.113

Like a Veneer
"A comparison of Yuskavage's women to those of her contemporary, John Currin, is instructive. Yuskavage's women, in her early works, are featureless, pink inflated sex-dolls, and, in her later work, bulbous half naked figures waiting indoors for something to happen, trapped and hypnotized by their own bodies.  Currin's women are even more perfectly 'pnuematic.'  As polished, buffed, rosy, and pumped with soma as any young woman in Brave New World, they present a cheerful silly front: after all, as a heterosexual male, Currin gets to enjoy the favors of these bouncy, smiling, young naked ladies, whereas Yuskavage has to deal with her own body's inadequacy in relation to the Playboy or Penthouse ideal. As much as any other, she is a victim of the cultures obsessive representation of the female body as a zone of fear and pleasure and of a regime of domination by impossible ideals of beauty and sexual appeal." pp.125
 John Currin

Lisa Yuskavage

Modest Painting
"Another type of painting that might be mistaken as modest or, even, and perhaps more significantly, mistaken as abject, has been manifest in recent exhibitions with the most cutting-edge curatorial ambition.  In such shows, overall aesthetic position is a calculated demonstration of the loss of belief or the lack of interest in participating in disciplines or intellectual 'isms'...  ... The makers of these paintings are not primarily painters.  They are in some cases art historians, in others agents-provocateur conceptual artists working in a variety of materials and modalities.  To even discuss their work from the position of a commitment to challenging the problematics of painting through a belief in the discipline, the materiality, or visual pleasures of painting would be to fall into the familiar trap set by one of the conceptual premises of the work." pp. 156/7
Adam McEwen

I mean, I really could sit here and analyze each one of these quotes and talk about what connections I feel they are making to contemporary art, BUT, they just seem so concise and effective in communicating without me.  I haven't decided which essay I'm going to write about, but I'd love to write about them all.. maybe I will.. maybe. 

My mom, aunt, and I are going to check out the Moma on Friday, which means I'll be seeing that huge Cindy Sherman exhibition among other things.. posts about that as well. 


Affordable Art Fair 2012

So the Affordable Art Fair was this weekend, and I was able to score a couple of tickets so Fisk and I went over and took a look... 

Tim Garwood

Jessica JH Roller

Alaina Sullivan

Marcos Tamargo

Xavi Carbonell

Xavi Carbonell

Damien Hirst

Dale May

Dale May

Overall the attendants were much friendlier at this fair than the attendants at the Armory and Volta, this was nice, but I couldn't help but feel like this fair was a good lesson on how to make work that sells. There is an element of risk that I really didn't find in any of the work I saw, most of the work was easy to digest and understand. This doesn't necessarily make it bad nor good, I enjoyed the above works and I'm sure who ever buys them will love them.  I mean, there was no shortage of trendy Pop Art...  



So... Fisk went to Finland because Helsinki is currently the design capital of the world, and his great friend Ivaylo was an artist in residence at the Arteles Creative Center.  When he showed me all of his great photos I was totally amazed and thought it would be a disservice not to share some of the best of his findings. 

It was super fascinating to see all the different fonts, hand done type, and art! As they say in Finland, if your hair is looking good, everything is good. Fisk's trip has gotten me super excited for our trip to Paris - there will be many posts about it this June. :)


Nicelle Beauchene Gallery/Bosi Contemporary/Lesley Heller Workspace

The weather is getting increasingly better, Spring is blooming, and a couple days ago I found myself strolling through the Lower East Side looking at art.  Here's a bit of what's going on.

Nicelle Beauchene Gallery: Chris Wiley  Technical Compositions

Wiley makes best use of the geometric patterns in these photos, creating compositions that facilitate a lot movement inside of the image, while utilizing color to keep your attention. The ambiguity of the top and bottom photo were interesting for their ability to make the photo look almost 3 dimensional yet simple.

: Dean Dempsey Mutatio guest curated by Renato Miracco

It was really wonderful to see Dean's work up and curated so well in the space. Dean's ability to manipulate his photographs pre and post production is evident by his utilization of light, staging, and design. His near monochromatic photos create a desire for difference which encourages you to look for the subtleties of color and human form. The search for color runs parallel to a search for figurative & sexual definition, one that is just as difficult to pin point. This push/pull was compelling, as is the would be danger of the electric light bulb nearing the water inside a pool occupied with a child, leaving an ethereal feeling of danger in the air.

 David Humphrey
Lucky me, oh my, I also ran into some pretty great paintings.  I mean, look at this painting by David Humphrey. There are so many lines and shapes that pull and whip you around the frame, some colors falling back, other coming right forward, and yet, there is something special happening, that perfect little serious face painting into all this movement. It's so oppositional, full of strength and concreteness, while the other brush strokes so easily find their way around.

 Jennifer Reeves
Something about the minimal references, paste-like texture of the multiple square units,  and smudge of yellow and blue felt sincere yet humorous all at once. I have not found out if I love this piece or not, but it was interesting none the less.  

Laura Newman
This small painting has a nice triad of shapes that are interacting with one another.  Some that look touched by fingers, sharp and industrial, and others-organic. These shapes are referential to the space within the image, how it's being used to create composition and dimension.

Good. Day. 
Skeeball Championships tonight at Full Circle. Best of luck to DEATH ROLLS.<3


Sharing from Artforum: Josephine Pryde

I read the feature in Artforum about Josephine Pryde's current and upcoming retrospective and I got excited about her so here she is! Accompanied by quotes that I liked from said feature: Test Subjects, written by Tom Holert.
"If one traces Pryde's oeuvre through the sequence of her exhibitions, all of which are carefully titled and accompanied by poignantly phrased press releases (some of which are penned at least partially by the artist herself), a certain modularity begins to loom as she delineates themes and subthemes that engage the institutionalization and commodification of art, therapeutic systems of domination and control, mechanical and biological reproduction, experimentation, gender, and animal -and childhood. She uses a serial approach to explore such concerns in greater depth, while carefully calibrating the balance between the series as alleged whole and the single picture as alleged part,"

 "Another challenge taken up deliberately in this series, is the depicted animals' limited range of expression.  Obviously, guinea pigs don't know how to pose; their gaze into the lens(or, simply, at the camera) is uniform. Those insufficiently attuned to the subtleties of rodent psychology may be hard pressed to discern any change in mood or feelings from this unvarying blank stare."

"The fact that cuteness is regularly deployed to generate and orchestrate condescension and humiliation, reinforcing the superiority of humans in relation to animal, and of adults in relation to children.  The anthropomorphism that is a central strategy of the narcissistic 'cute worldview,' Harris says, 'is one of massive chauvinism, which rewrites the universe according to an iconographic agenda dominated by the pathetic fallacy.' So the production of cuteness- from kawaii to the jeune fille -should certainly not be dismissed as innocuous, irrelevant, and artless but acknowledged as a powerful, 'all consuming folk religion' that reduces, transforms, and anesthetizes reality."

"For the images and objects are both about the possible therapeutic nature of the psychic attachment to art (whether through its aesthetic pleasure or its social dynamics) and at the same time serve to model a therapy that positions the works ersatz analysts and the viewers as patients.  Here as elsewhere in Pryde's exhibitionary proposals, the ultimate task is to acknowledge one's own potential place in the force field of theoretical intimations, historical references, feminist criticism, and fictional allusions that the artist is mapping out.  It's a tough job, especially since sooner or later we come to realize that, without fail, it is the role of the test subject, the guinea pig, that awaits us."