Ulf Puder at Marc Straus Gallery

:ULF:Ulf Taomina.jpg
Taormina, Oil on canvas,39.4 x 47.25, 2018

Marc Straus Gallery is currently presenting the paintings of Ulf Puder, a German artist whose landscape paintings are deeply evocative and strangely alluring. I was not familiar with the artist or his work, and I’ll admit, it took a beat to enter his Universe. But once in I began to see deeper into the complex issues he deals with in his paintings.

Continue reading “Ulf Puder at Marc Straus Gallery”

Jac Lahav: The Saffron Thief

Art Spiel Photo Story

A picture containing room, gallery, scene

Description automatically generated
Jac Lahav, Immersive blue vine installation on the hardship and beauty of being a foster parent

Jac Lahav: The Saffron Thief at Sugarlift is an immersive installation about the artist’s experience as a foster parent. At the center, a large sculpture titled 29, references 29 points of contact that the artist has had with different foster children. The lines of saffron and gold leaf across abstracted canvases, and a site-specific wall drawing allure visitors to enter Lahav’s world.

Continue reading “Jac Lahav: The Saffron Thief”

Keeper of the Waters

A city next to a body of water

Description automatically generated with low confidence

A Living Water Garden, Chengdu, China

For the last 50+ years, eco-artist and environmental activist Betsy Damon has devoted herself to community building – the coming together of individuals to achieve a common purpose. Since the 1980s, after a decade of engaging the public through public performances in New York City, she has worked at the intersection of art and science, focusing on the topic of water and on creating models for communities in the United States and China to know and become stewards of their own water sources. The brief descriptions below, highlighting four of Damon’s many exhibitions, ecological and sustainable design projects, publications, and organizations are only a brief glimpse into her prolific and important body of work.

Continue reading “Keeper of the Waters”

Gail Winbury: The Girl who Drew Memories at the Wilson Museum

Featured Artist

The Girl Who Drew Memories, Hunter Gallery

Gail Winbury’s multidisciplinary art exhibition The Girl Who Drew Memories at the Elizabeth de C. Wilson Museum on the campus of the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester, Vermont, addresses the intersection of art and psychology, specifically “vulnerability and creativity”. Winbury proposed to include poetry as a component of the exhibition and curator Alison Crites brought together Winbury’s paintings and collages, with poetry by living poets. The exhibition altogether raises the question “how do we tell the stories of our early childhood when at times there may be no words, or we dare not utter the words aloud?”

Continue reading “Gail Winbury: The Girl who Drew Memories at the Wilson Museum”

Crazy River Umwelt Series Part I

Featured Project

Map

Description automatically generated
Hovey Brock: Blackleg Tick, 2021, 24” x 36”, acrylic on panel

A central theme in my Crazy River project has been highlighting the emotional toll of the climate crisis by putting under a microscope, so to speak, my own feelings about not only the impacts of the crisis but the knowledge that humans’ actions are the cause. This series of three on-line essays, thought experiments if you like, expands that project to change the POV to non-human actors that are inextricably bound with the habitat in the Western Catskills: the black-legged or deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), the white-tail deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica). All three have seen their habitat change dramatically through climate change and human interventions. Using my imagination and research, I try to enter the umwelt of all three species, an impossible task, as Thomas Nagel pointed out in “What Is It LIke to Be a Bat,” for which artistic license may give us the best chance to accomplish. My intentions in doing so fall along three axes: theoretical, aesthetic, and spiritual, dimensions all essential to my own art practice. What follows is a look at the umwelt of black-legged ticks from the perspective of theory.

Continue reading “Crazy River Umwelt Series Part I”

Jody MacDonald: Under the Veneer of Whimsy

Jody MacDonald, Everywhere All Over. All Over. Everywhere. (detail), mixed media, 168″ x 180″ x 96″, 2022.

Jody MacDonald dissects in detail the concept of “identity” through a cast of small-scale 2-D and textile-based 3-D surrogates. She uses repurposed materials to create figures and detailed, miniature accessories (wigs, clothing, shoes furniture) set inside elaborate, mixed media environments with clues which shed light on the complex, often conflicting narratives.

Continue reading “Jody MacDonald: Under the Veneer of Whimsy”

Smashworks Dance – CITY STORIES at Center for Performance Research

DANCE

Smashworks Dance (Taylor Jordan, Louisa Pancoast, Haley Williams, Tyler Choquette, Laurie Deziel), CITY STORIES, 2022, Photo by Elyse Mertz, courtesy of Smashworks Dance

Though I saw Smashworks Dance’s CITY STORIES over a month ago, it still lingers in the back of my mind. As a New Yorker, how could it not? The images from the show are the images of my daily life. Flashes of scenes and movements weave their way through my commute and my coffee run, popping up like absurdist smash-cuts in early-2000s sitcoms. That’s where Artistic Director Ashley McQueen’s magic lies: the source material is everyday, the execution is something else entirely.

Continue reading “Smashworks Dance – CITY STORIES at Center for Performance Research”

Whisperings from the Wormhole with @talluts

Midlife Big Bangs

Text

Description automatically generated with low confidence
Faith Ringgold, Women Free Angela, 1971, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Drawing Committee, © Faith Ringgold / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

As an artist, have you ever looked around and felt ancient, withered, and uncool? Well, this pep talk is for you, because we’re about to find out how later in life, big bangs can be the bravest and most creative big bangs of all.

Continue reading “Whisperings from the Wormhole with @talluts”

André-Pierre Arnal at Ceysson & Bénétière New York

Opinion
Exhibition-View-Andre-Pierre-Arnal-2022-©Adam-Reich-courtesy-Ceysson_Bénétière(1)
Installation view, André-Pierre Arnal at Ceysson & Bénétière New York. Photo courtesy of Ceysson & Bénétière New York

With the advent of Modernism in the late 19th – early 20th century, differing movements, schools, and networks sprang up internationally—some were generative and sustainable, others dead-ended, though unbeknownst to most of us, traces of these persist or return. This cross-fertilization drove Modernism’s evolution until the post-World War II era the new art made in the U.S. came to dominate the narrative. The triumph of the NY School (AbEx) corresponded to the new political and economic order. In this scenario the vanguards that emerged from the rubble and detritus of the War such as C.O.B.R.A., Nouveau Realisme, Lettrist, Zero, Arte Povera, etc. were trivialized, marginalized, or came to be appropriated. To this day, the European artists whose works come to be acknowledged in the States tend to be those whose works are used to typify the whole of a critical discourse, or style. This has reduced post-War European art to a short list that includes Pierre Soulages, Antonio Tapies, Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Francis Bacon, Joseph Beuys, Gerhardt Richter, Anselm Keifer, etc. In this manner, the illusionary status of the U.S. as the cultural leader of the free world is sustained, while European art is made to appear to be broken, fragmented, or at best sporadically relevant, rather than constituting a network of competing histories, practices, and critical discourses.

Continue reading “André-Pierre Arnal at Ceysson & Bénétière New York”

Table of Contents at Time and Space Limited in Hudson

Text

Description automatically generated

In October 2021, at the periphery of the parking lot outside of the Time and Space Limited Center in Hudson, artwork by Linda Mussman appeared—about 20 large dictionaries and encyclopedias opened out on a crude wooden table. For several months, round the clock, these dictionaries were exposed to rain, sunlight, and snow, and rifled through by winds. Peach-colored streetlight bathed the texts some nights, and bright sunlight bleached the pages some days. The grass around the table receded and then returned with – mirabile dictu – a green shoot briefly fighting its way between 2 volumes. 

Continue reading “Table of Contents at Time and Space Limited in Hudson”