Archive for the ‘exhibitions’ Category

Hey big bloggy, I’ve seen a lot of art lately. Turning over stones during listless hours of surfing my favorite art reporting interweb outlets.  Summer is always a cool time to catch up and since my art production in the studio is ramped up as I hammer out a new body of work and  forge ahead getting ready for some exciting exhibition opportunities I like to slip away during the day job to wash the stench of corporate complacency off my body with a refreshing gallery visit or internet poke around. Here is what I found recently.

I secretly ghost traveled with James Kalm to see Katy Moran at Andrea Rosen Gallery. She had a solo show last year in Columbus at the Wexner Center that was great. I’ve enjoyed for the past few years running into Morans work. Each time it changes and grows in ways I love to see in an artist practice. It shows explorations and searching in the studio and in thinking about process and painting that to me exemplifies the spirit of a true painter. These paintings are not as slick as usual. They are manhandled and struggled with. It shows work and thinking.

I also really like the Mark Grotjahn show at Anton Kern Gallery. I think the same work or similar from this series was shown recently at Blum and Poe, none the less the work is magical. Along the same lines as Moran but I think with much more confidence, Grotjahn creates these heavily worked and layered decorative works that suggest to me the tribal drum circle ritualistic haze and magic of a serious painting session. I love the connection between some sort of tribal ritual and the energy, motion and movement of a really serious painter working out problems and personally connecting with making art. Plus just wanting to smell that paint all day would send someone into a K-hole of extacy induced spinning….or maybe that was just me, back in the 90’s.

As I mentioned before I entered Hey Hot Shot last week and just when I was feeling confident I am confronted with Martina Lindqvist as a critics pick of HHS blog. I mean these pictures are poetic, dark, moody and they take you there. You want to be there.  Martina  can execute her vision with clarity and passion. These slick pictures have the feel and drama of a Hollywood-esque high production value Crewdson picture but land more toward the moody, dark outside looking in singularity of man, camera and landscape of Todd Hido. If this is my competition, I’m doomed. Ha-ha.

from NYMAG

And last I end with Urs Fischer at the Venice Biennale.  His installation of a 3 wax sculptures one, my favorite a portrait of the artist Rudolf Stingel that just happens to have a wick in it. A giant man candle. It burns bright from the mind but melts all over. It’s the perfect show piece. Poetic and accessible. Urs has usually bombed for me. Big budget, yadda yadda yadda. But I really like this trio.


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Lori Ott @ MOCA

I am really excited about the openings at MOCA this season. Lorri Ott and I had a printmaking class together at Kent when I was briefly flailing and failing there for the world’s shortest MFA stint. I’m a late bloomer and at the ripe age of 25 I wasn’t ready for the time constraints of an advanced art degree. MFA for me at the time was like the pressures of a time-lapse flower in bloom. I however needed the spring rains to wash over the ground and slowly let the earth warm in order for me to photosynthesize.

I’m rambling. So it makes me happy to see a brief fellow artistic traveler get recognized…at MOCA none the less. I can’t wait to see the work Lorri and curator Megan Lykins Reich has put together. Otts assemblages of both found and created detritus are rich in metaphor and material. Her relatively modest scale sculptures exhibit a poetic randomness like the way colored trash and debris magically find themselves curated together in an alley where cross winds have swirled them together.

Can’t wait to see it. Lorri Ott:Passive Voices opens this Friday at The Museum of Contemporary Art and runs till May.

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I will be participating in an incredible exhibition opening January 21 st  at the CSU Art Gallery. Curated by the always awesome Mark Slankard the show explores the subtle ways photograph can be manipulated to exploit its nature of recording “reality”. I am honored to be included with such great artists as Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman, Matt Siber, Kerry Skarbakka and the totally incredible Lori Nix.  To top it all off I will be hopefully weaving some coherent and knowledgable sentences together as not bore the audience during a talk at the opening.

So come on by, please, and see some truly incredible works at the show.

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Most of my art is born from the probing and analysis of why I am why I am.  But more specifically about identity as an American male who grew up a pretty average suburban kid. Americana and the implication on ideals, desire and entitlement-perhaps.  So of course cars are hugely engrained in my psyche not only as an object of desire but as a symbol for all kinds of status, maleness and identity.

I’m veering away from my point. If I had a ticket for an aeroplane that could fly directly into Chelsea, release the giant yellow inflatable slide that would shoot me directly into one show, it would be the Kristen Morgin show at the new Zach Feuer gallery. I watched this, thanks James Kalm, and immediately clicked on Orbits to see if I could get a one day pass on Continental to get to New York. The show for me is a revelation.  Morgins masterfully hand crafted and I think found objects reflect, critique and illuminate an American nostalgia that at once is wonderful and probematic. A sort of over romanticized mid-century America that we piece together and form a new millennium history of a “better time”. It is the notion that makes us think we need to go back to move forward. Regan is our answer. The truth is, we need to move forward to get ahead.

But back to the art and my favorite piece, besides the busted up and dirty used Monopoly set, and what James Kalm describes as the show stopper, Wrecked Spider. An uncanny reproduction of a 550 spyder, presumably James-the king of all things American-Deans Porsche that single-handedly solidified the mantra Live fast die young. The piece is haunting. A relic that reminds me of the pictures of Pompeii that show the moment frozen in time when everything changed. And now we think back to this time with fondness of a perfect and beautiful society. I’d love to see it in person.

So in honor of Morgins, internal combustion, Detroit and the gulf. Here are some examples in a long history of car art.





Violette-cooler than Colen. Not a car but I like the piece.

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Happy birthday Chris, if you’re reading. If you want to know what I will be doing on your birthday, it will be running the circuit. SPACES has a chipotle burrito sized opening on Friday. A rubber flour tortilla skin just barely containing the 10 pounds of art in a 5 pound gallery. The list runs down like this, Nandipha Mntambo a South African artist whose spent the last 5 months in Cleveland on exchange through the SPACES SWAP program. I’m interested to see the work that comes from such a cultural exchange, especially since her discipline often deals with identity. I wonder how her time in Cleveland will mix and meld with her African heritage and experience.  To continue in SPACES mission to be the artistic UN, they host Jerzy Goliszewski from Poland who will explore human psychology through how we live. The press release is vague but the project sounds very intriguing. To round out the  meal Chris Kulcsar, a Cleveland based artist will create a sound installation that is interactive. I actually love sound art that works with and enhances an environment. Sound is such an important yet often overlooked and ignored aspect of everyday experience. I like when artists create with it.

Hey Chris, what’s that you say, the heady stuff isn’t your bag? Well lucky for you on your birthday there is the Bonfoey Gallery who will be hosting some top-notch abstraction. Fan favorites, Eric Neff and Dana “hardest working lady in show business”  Oldfather will be teaming up to make I am sure a buffet for the eyes. Both artists are proficient paint slingers who can really craft space and weave a visual narrative through the use of paint, line and shapes. Never to disappoint.

So cheers big brother here’s to thirty-something.

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I had a long list of places to get to on Friday but only managed to get to 2, 3 if you count my grape leaf and beer infused encore at The Prosperity. Friday, was gorgeous and I first checked out Spaces where I was greeted by the wonderful Dana Oldfather and Lou, sorry Lou didn’t catch your last name we were too busy discussing the infuriating life long struggle of having a silent J starting surname. But Lou was super nice and Spaces was fresh, sporting an extreme home makeover of open  floor plan for easy entertaining. The look was sparse, minimal. A walk around the gallery was  more about having things revealed to you. Like the way you would walk around an abandoned building to find interesting details in the emptiness. Stand-outs were the spinning well or gold flakes and oil? or black enamel?. It was a mystery spot and the spinning richness of the substance evoked many an idea of magic and the power of material or of oil, black gold, a black hole, the sublime? I also liked the delicate geodesic DNA sculpture of very thin metal and solder. The piece was so delicate like alloy smoke. It managed to be present in the space that it occupied but still reveal everything that was around it. It was at once visible and invisible. I didn’t really get the slide show of the milk crate, maybe I was missing something. But the big canvas leaning against the wall opened my eyes a little to the loveliness of mundane materials. Overall the show was challenging and I was up for it. I am still deciding if it was totally cohesive but regardless there were good things to be discovered.

On to Asterisk where I found sensory overload….in the best possible way. This show really opened my eyes up to Dana Depews vision. Seeing it all together opened up a world full of sensual colors,  lights and textures, rustic DIY sensibility and intense non-sentimental personal and collective history.  The whole scene was one of monument. Homages to industry, ruins of manufacturing, scavenging and ingenuity in the face of failure. Dana has a real vision and I really connect with it because I feel like it is distinctly American. It is the ruins of the American worker. Post industry, post consumer monuments of the city and of industry. If there was a quintessential rust belt artist, it is Dana. Hats off Dana you’re the man.

We drank the kool-aid with Jim Jones in the basement @ Asterisk

Dana-The Tom Waits of Art

Love the Prosperity

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Michelle Muldrow

Chris Ballantyne

Todd Hido

The summer season is just about over and that familiar August white noise, dead air being broadcast over the art world airwaves just waiting for the new programing to begin has got me rather lazy about posting.  Its hot in my studio and life has seemed to slow down just a bit. Which is  good and nice and a welcome change. What it has allowed me to do is realize that a very important group show that has been on all summer is wrapping up in a bout 2 weeks and I never posted a congrats to Cleveland based artist Michelle Muldrow.

Jen Bekman the mastermind behind 20×200 and longtime gallery owner has put together a fantastic summer show that explores our use of the land. Called Land Use Survey, the exhibition brings together a very diverse group of fantastic artists who interpret or use the imagery of human intervention in the landscape in many ways. Some ironic, some documentary some are poetic responses but all are an extremely cohesive and intellectual grouping that tells a story of or is influenced by the ultimate oppression and the ultimate conflict, man vs nature.

This show is a smart addition to the long running dialogue of such themes. And Michelle’s pieces in the show are great. Cool and detached these observations are painted with a lush-ness of materials and moody overtones reserved for old epic 19 century landscape painting. It’s as if Michelle set out to paint the land and find the sublime but all she could come up with was strip malls. I love the balance of the beauty of the paint with the banality of the subject matter.

Ms. Muldrow is in great company too with such greats as William Wegman and Alec Soth and other great works by one of my favorite contemporary painters Chris Ballantyne and photographer Beth Dow.

So you can see the exhibition images on the JB website and if you’re in NYC till August 15th you can see the show.

Beth Dow

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