-- A Cyberspace Review Of The Arts

Volume 17.24
October 10, 2010


Self-Destroying Art
The Flux Factory

by Gordon Fitch

— Read about it here .... — .


by Robert Sievert

(Susan Roecker: Spirochetes)
Peekskill is a sleepy little town up the Hudson River that has undergone decline, renovation and rebirth. It has a real Americana charm. Once a middle-class suburb it is now a burgeoning art community. There is artist housing, and new galleries all set in a prewar town filled with vintage storefronts that inspire images of a former America. But the 21st Century has moved in and Galleries such as Innovative Arts are ready to supply upper Westchester with a hip bohemia and cultural focus.

— More here .... — .

by Robert Sievert


Colorful guests packed EXIT ART opening night


EXIT ART is a gallery that has been around for 27 years. It had a space downtown where they specialized in fringe art, art that was out of the mainstream. Now Exit Art has morphed into "arts center" that has a space on 10th Avenue and 36th St. This was the site for a new show, ALTERNATIVE HISTORIES, that opened September 24, 2010.

The point of the show was to document the ALTERNATIVE CULTURE of the past 50 years. . . .

— More here .... — .

by Tony Scherman and David Dalton
Reviewed by Robert Sievert

I remember in or around 1975 going to OK Harris to see Andy Warhol's show of large 'political' paintings of Mao and his 'Hammer And Sickles' wanting to hate them, but resigned that they were just too good to disparage. Warhol had made serious painting irrelevant, which annoyed me.

Reading this book was quite a revelation.

— Continued here .... — .

Andy Warhol: The Last Decade

Andy Warhol: The Last Decade
at the Brooklyn Museum unitl Sept. 12, 2010.

What do you do after you've overthrown everyone's notions of art back to the Parthenon, impugned Western Civilization, and caused assassinations and revolutions? Or are alleged to have done so, greatly to your sales advantage if not your artistic reputation?

-- Find out — Here .... — .

(Coming soon: A review of Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol, a new biography chronicling Warhol's rise to fame and fortune.)

NINE at Saugerties


Jeffrey Schiller: welded steel sculpture

by Robert Sievert

Our intrepid editor went to Saugerties to see 'Nine', an exhibition of nine artists at the Clove Church. Our editor in a church? — More here .... — .

Nicolas Carone, 1917 - 2010

Nick Carone with students (1959)

by Robert Sievert

Nicolas Carone died on July 15, 2010. He was a supremely talented artist and influential teacher. He has had 3 major showings of his work in the last three years and has easily risen to the ranks of major practitioner of American Abstract Painting.

— More .... — .

Dead Flowers

— Read about it now! .... — .

Book Review:
  A Painter's Life
    by K.B.Dixon

book cover of "A Painter's Life"

by Robert Sievert


If you live in New York and are familiar with the art world you may think that it is something goes on only in the big towns. K.B. Dixon's A Painter's Life belies such thoughts with an interesting account of a fictional painter, Christopher Freeze. The book is set as a series of notes by Christopher Freeze. It reveals the ongoing life of an artist living in parts of America's West, first Phoenix, then the Northwest. The notes are like diary entries; then there are excerpts of various reviews and sections of "unpublished journals."

— More .... — .

Bill Jensen
at Cheim and Read

Bill Jensen: Linen

Bill Jensen: Linen

by Juan Seoane Cabral


— Read the article here.... — .

Richard LaPresti
at The Bowery Gallery

Richard LaPresti: Self-Portrait

by Robert Sievert

Richard LaPresti's current show at the Bowery Gallery(March 30-April 24) is a revival of many familiar themes.

For many years this artist has stuck to subject matter in which he is obviously comfortable and free to work. Self-portraits, landscapes and (my personal favorites) his beach scenes which I believe first started to appear in the 70's.

more.... — .

Pinhole Camera Pictures

by Robert Sievert


I have been admiring the pin hole photography that I have been seeing as the results of the workshops John Skelson has been doing at the Art Lab (Snug Harbor, Staten Island).

First there was a raucous shot of Times Square (above) that he showed at an exhibit at the Art Lab. There is a distinct feeling of unreal light generated by all the neon and glare of the theater signs.

By minimizing the details the overall aura of the shot is allowed to take prominence. Skelson has figured out how to use a high end digital camera to produce pin hole images.

Phyllis Featherstone has been working with Skelson and has produced some rather remarkable images. Her shot of some bottles really bought to mind the writings of Aldous Huxley. In Doors Of Perception he talks about seeing the "Dharma Body", the essential aspect of an object that is seen once the mind is cleared of superficial identities. That is what I think is so compeling about these images.

They are closer to visions than ordinary photography. They eschew the mundane for the essential.

— more pictures.... — .

Peter Halley
at Mary Boone Gallery

Peter Halley

by Robert Sievert


Peter Halley An intellectual jolt of color theory in the recent Bauhaus exhibit at MOMA was followed by the discovery of Peter Halley's work at the Mary Boone Gallery this month (Feb 13 - March 20) Halley has been painting geometric images for the last decade. His most recent work opens up the dimension of color.

— more — .


drawings at the Met

Bronzino, Head of a Young Woman

by Robert Sievert

Several interesting things emerge when one visits the Bronzino exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum (now through April 17). One thing is the scarcity of paper at the disposal of Renaissance artists. These drawings (60 of the known 62) are mostly done on letter-sized pages; many spaces are filled with more than one image. . . .

— more — .

Man Ray at The Jewish Museum

— by Gordon Fitch

Presently on view and open until March 13, The Jewish Museum is putting on a relatively large exhibition of Man Ray's work titled "Alias Man Ray". ...

— more — .

BAUHAUS by Robert Sievert

I can remember 1956 clearly; I had just graduated from high school and I was in love with German Art. I thought the Bauhaus was the most amazing historic phenomenon and because of my youth did not realize it had all happened only 20 to 30 years before then. I saw a magnificent exhibit of Paul Klee at the newly designed futuristic World House Gallery. I came in possession of a MoMA book on the Bauhaus. I listened endlessly to Kurt Weill music and poured through books on Bauhaus era Art. I began my studies at Parsons School of Design in their Industrial Design department. Many of the faculty there came from Yale and in some way represented a continuance from the Bauhaus.

I forgot most of this until last month when then I visited MoMA to see the new exhibit they have mounted on the Bauhaus. As I walked through the galleries it all came back and once again I came under the influence of the Bauhaus. ...

— more — .

Two Book Reviews

— by Gordon Fitch

Robert Crumb's Genesis and a collection of "neo-gothic" or "hyperreal" art called Art That Creeps. Read the reviews here.

Stuart Sherman Reappears

— by Gordon Fitch

Appearing Now!

Stuart Sherman was primarily known in the '80s and '90s as a performance artist. His act often took place in front of very small audiences and its materials were set out on a folding table of the sort one puts one's TV dinner on. The performances were gesturally a kind of mix of magicians' business and Dada. Since Sherman's death in 2001, they remain to us now only in the form of writeups and videos. They did not turn out to be a route to fame and fortune.

But besides performance art, Sherman went in for writing, drawing, sculpture, playwriting, and movie-making -- and I may have left something out. Much of this was hidden away, forgotten along with the man and his performances. Now, however, we have several simultaneous opportunities to observe his polymathic work; it is being revived in a variety of venues. There is a show of drawings, writings, sculpture, collage, and videos at NYU's 80WSE Gallery; there are videos and works by other artists in the same aura as Sherman's at the Participant Gallery; and various plays of his are to be performed at the Emily Harvey Foundation in December. Click "MORE" for the program and, eventually, a review and a consideration.

-- more --

Street Art Report

— by Gordon Fitch

There has probably been street art as long as there were streets, and we know that graffiti go back to Pompeii and before. The selection we have here derive from the explosion of spray-paint graffiti which struck the subways and numerous other surfaces in the 1970s and have remained with us ever since. Strongly influenced by comic books, television cartoons and advertising, it has been generally associated with the low side of pop culture. To some extent a breakout has occurred in the last several years. Graffiti-related works have not really gone over well in galleries, but influence from traditional high art, respectable illustration, and Modernist and later styles of gallery and museum art are beginning to appear. Here we're bringing you a few of the more remarkable works of the last few months. Most of those presented here appeared in the fading hipster kingdom that runs along the Left Bank of the East River from Long Island City to Red Hook in the shadow of Gentryzilla....

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Alicia Amador: NO SOMOS IGUALES (Egg tempera/canvas, 35.4" x 35.4", 2009)

Those Vanishing Days

Taller Artifex at Blue Mountain

by Robert Sievert

Tempera is the oldest known type of painting known. It was used in early Egypt and Greece and remained the reigning art technique until the development of oil painting in the Renaissance. Not being that familiar with tempera myself, I will give you what I know. One works on a panel or canvas with pigment that is mixed with egg yolk. The process has always seemed difficult to me as one has to amass dry pigments and mix them on demand. Also one can only mix small batches at a time and this medium is fast drying. But I have seen some remarkable work in tempera. New York artist Tomar Levine painted an unforgettable still life using tempera. To this day, years later, I remember the clarity and brilliance of the painting, especially notable, a robin's egg placed on a saucer. What is most memorable is the radiant blue of the bird's egg. Tempera can have some dazzling effects So when a show of beautiful paintings with a spirited glow and done in tempera arrives it seems like a special event. THOSE VA(R)NISHING DAYS was the title of an exhibition of a group of artists from Mexico City who all work in tempera. (The play on vanishing/varnishing is elaborated in their catalog). The group seem to be a studio, Taller Artifex, who produced a beautiful exhibition seen this summer at the BLUE MOUNTAIN GALLERY. This is a most compelling group of artists. They work in a variety of styles but there was a remarkable consistency to the work.

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David Mollet at the Bowery Gallery

by Robert Sievert

One of the unfortunate occurrences in the change in format Artezine underwent this spring was that certain articles were put on hold. None was more grievous than the omission of one of the best landscape shows of the season, David Mollet at the Bowery Gallery last winter.

Mollet is foremost in a Modernist tradition and school of painting. Mostly furthered by the descendents of Abstract Expressionism, chiefly practitioners of a method inspired by Hans Hoffman. Hoffman's acute analysis of the picture plane could be taught. He educated a whole generation of artists who were able to put into use the principles of the master, fusing the principles of abstraction with various degrees of figuration. Now there is a second generation of artists taught by these artists.

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A State Fair In Queens

Socrates Sculpture Park Goes To The Country

by Gordon Fitch

Note: each image below is linked to a larger version which can be viewed by clicking on the small one.

Queens is reputed to have something like 157 different ethnic groups, each with its own language and culture. Perhaps almost as remote from the common experience of most of the locals in Astoria and Long Island City as the marches of Uzbekistan (except for our Uzbek contingent) this summer's Current Exhibition, "State Fair", was themed on the eponymous public events of America's rural areas. Artists were invited to connect the historic state fair of traditional rural America with the polymorphous 21st-century physical reality of urban Queens, within sight of the tallest of Manhattan's tall, glittering towers, and indeed in the literal glitzy shadow of advancing gentrification.

The curator of this exhibition did not intend a crowded, noisy state fair atmosphere, so the results, while popular enough, were somewhat less frantic than the Platonic form of the state fair, but fit in very well with the park's neighborly, congenial atmosphere. The resultant works were diverse and surprising: above, you see one of them, a "barn" devised by Bernard Williams. But there is more, much, much more.

-- and more is here --

German Art At Blue Mountain Gallery

by Robert Sievert

Barbara Deutschmann: "Pocket Sculpture"

In an interesting experiment Marcia Clarke, director of Blue Mountain Gallery arranged an exchange show with Galerie Mani of Berlin. They would have our Gallery for a show and in exchange Blue Mountain would have a show in Berlin. (For Galerie Mani's announcement of the Berlin show, see this PDF.) When one thinks of German Art one immediately thinks of the great expressionists of German Art and the power and graphic strength of their work. What we got was not exactly that. Four artists of rather uneven accomplishment were presented. Granted that the work was complicated by the obvious size restrictions of transporting it internationally, most pieces were small. The group consisted of four artists, maybe it is unfair to expect Galerie Mani to represent German Art but the show certainly lacked power and graphic strength. ...

-- more --

“Harsh Beauty in the Smashing Elements”

Black Sunrise

Louise Guerin at Blue Mountain Gallery

by Robert Sievert

Louise Guerin's new paintings, to be seen Blue Mountain Gallery in April and May, are bold expressionist images. She is at her best in a series of almost black and white painntings that seem to explode off her canvases. Her paintings of Utah's Park City and a beach in New Zealand seem to mark a real step forward into expressive painting.

Guerin was an artist in residence at Utah's Park City last Spring and was surprised to find herself wanting to paint that landscape, since it was so unfamiliar to her. The solemn majesty of the high peaks around Park City and the quiet hush of the salt flats of Salt Lake itself both captured her imagination and ended up in very different but equally forceful canvases.

Guerin sensed massive forces as she painted this current landscape exhibition -- a deep disquiet in the air -- the pounding surf in these imposing seascapes certainly does not invite thoughts of swimming. The geographic location is her homeland of New Zealand but the general atmosphere echoes the current worldwide uncertainty in all spheres. The paintings take on an allegorical significance and mythological forces seem to be at work here.

Guerin worked from drawings and photos of a beach she has been visiting all her life. Her animated brushstrokes match the crashing waters and the sense of impending danger and challenge. The huge pieces of driftwood being washed up could be survivors of an unknown struggle further up the coast or a transplanted version of Mathew Brady's battlefield corpses from Antietam. Harsh beauty in the smashing elements.

Utah Sunrise

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Off The Chart, 2009, acrylic on tarpaulin, 42"x33"

by Robert Sievert

When I asked the man behind the desk at the Washburn Gallery "Just how old is Nick?" he hesitated and then said, "92?" It was almost an apology.

The paintings on view in the other room were all done in the past year. An amazing feat for an artist who is challenged by vision problems and what ever else comes along with being 92. No apology needed. Done in black and white, there is a visual excitement and sense of intensity in this work. Probably the finest work Carone has done yet.

This work follows a similar series shown last year at the Washburn gallery. Those were not new paintings but had been in his studio for quite awhile. I had seen them at least five years ago. They also were black and white. But it is in this new series currently on view that Carone has made his most definitive expression of his artistic vision yet. It is as if the attention of his last show has catapulted him into renewed energy and certainty.

-- more --

Visual Poetry by Diana Manister

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A New Format

With this issue, Artezine is embarking on a new format. Instead of accumulating an "issue" of articles and publishing them all at once, we're going to take advantage of the flexibility and immediacy of the Web and publish them as soon as they're ready to be seen. From time to time we'll archive the stories into a volume or issue.

Other advances are in the works.

However, past articles you've known and loved will remain here online as long as Artezine lasts.




October 10, 2010