Monday, March 30, 2009

The Artist's Studio

We see the final product at a gallery, in a magazine or on the Web, but it's rare that we ever get to watch the creative process or even get to look in the studios where they're birthed.

The John Annesley Company makes stretchers, supports and other related products and I learned several new things by visiting their site. What's really great is that they have a page to showcase the artists who use their products. Some of the artists have a link to a photo tour of their studio. There are over 60 studios that you can "visit". Some are expansive, while others are just another room in the house; and everything else you can imagine in between. Some are tidy and ready for company, while others are just a big mess. The range of differences here is enormous and entertaining. So fix a cup of coffee or tea, sit back and enjoy.

The picture of the stacked wood is from Tony King's studio set. I couldn't help but admire the sensibility of mixing the sizes of wood this way and making it so handy.
The two pictures below are from Lyn Jamie's set. Imagine having your studio on a bluff overlooking the ocean. . . .


Friday, March 27, 2009

Just Dotty

I don't know about you, but for me these two collaborations by Jon Casey Clary and Bruce Wilhelm are tremendously entertaining. The images are from the Retractions Exhibit at Root Division in January. Originally I spotted these on Jon's blog, mylifeasawinner and they just plain make me happy every time I look at them.

The word mash-up comes to mind for describing the work of Bruce Wilhelm. As for Jon, the first sentence of his response in an interview "As a kid I loved superheroes and cartoons.", says a whole lot about the images they show of his work. Hopefully we'll see more collaborations from this dynamic duo.

Click images to enlarge.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Macro Pointillism ?


Julie Gross is another pointillist who uses a compass in her preliminary sketches. Her Website has a very nice video that gives so much insight by letting you see each part of her process. (If you don't have broad band, let the video load and come back to it - it's well worth your time.) Click on literature to read her concise and informative Artist Statement.

Pointillist ? Yes, Macro Pointillism. Think about it. Although she and the galleries that represent her may describe it other wise, I think it quite nicely categorizes a new genre that she and others have accidentally created. Fallon and Rosof , in a May 17, '06 Post describe her work as " . . inflated balloons, squeezing the air out of one another . . ". Either way, another artist has found her niche and is plumbing the depths of it; all for our entertainment and edification.

This image is from her Web Site. She's represented by several Galleries which are listed on the Links page.
Top image is from the Dec. 20 post on Joanne Mattera Art Blog and Joanne's coverage of the Art Fairs down in Miami. You really should check them out !
You'll really enjoy this VIDEO of Julie at work in her studio. It's wonderful to see the process.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Geo-Minimal Pointillism


AJ Oishi is an artist who's not afraid of the pointillism word. In fact, she embraces it and proudly names her influences. She earns my respect for being so straight forward about her work. In her Artist Statement and Interview there's no double-speak or pretense; just honest assessments. Best of all, when you go to her Web Site, you'll notice that there's a 1,2 and 3 under each image. Click on #2 to see a closeup; click #3 to see a view of the side. She uses wrap-around canvases and paints clear around the edges. TOO COOL !

She's also represented by the Terra Gallery.
Both images are from her Web Site.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Inkjet Pointillism


As you look at this image, one word comes to mind; pointillism. This is absolutely a new and updated version of that genre; completely undeniable. And yet the statement about Jeff Perrott's work never mentions that word. Maybe it's just too old fashioned to mention these old school ideas in these oh so contemporary, free wheeling times. Not calling a rose by it's name doesn't diminish the lovely smell. It's also fascinating that like other artists who try their hand at dots, he too experiments with words, letters and numbers.

Top image is from the Morgan Lehman Gallery, where he's on exhibit from Mar 15 - April 18.

This image is from the Barbara Krakow Gallery.

At the moment, Jeff's styles are pretty wide ranging. I do hope he'll stick with the pointillism; he's got a lot to offer in updating that genre.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Words and Mark Making

It's hard to imagine a time when only landscapes and portraiture were the order of the day. We are surrounded by so many kinds of art today, that considering any restraints is nearly impossible. Here we are in the 21st century, where using words, letters, marks and gestures is quite common. Writing has become such an integral part of many an artist's oeuvre. One such artist is Biagio Cepollaro. In some of his work, there's the enigma of seeing legible words without being able to understand them, which makes us wonder what he's saying; what ideas are being proffered. In other works, it's only the gesture of writing that he captures and he uses that as construction, with no intention of conveying a meaning. But whether readable or not his compositions are all about writing and marks. Instead of looking at a still life or landscape, here we are appreciating something totally human; a man's thoughts and gestures.

Both images are from his Blog.

Unfortunately everything I found was in Italian (?), but there are plenty of images on his blog.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Unreadable Script Painting


Ethiopian-born, Wosene Worke Kosrof's language based paintings work so well because of what they don't say. It's obvious that we're not going to understand the language, if there is one, but our eyes still search for clues, for some sort of meaning in this jungle of characters. Using signs and letters as props in his compositions, he tends to drift between calligraphy, graffiti and cubism. Some works are all about the letters and others are more about color and movement. The top image, from Artnet (with no information) is even more different.

This image is from his 2006, Trans/Forms Exhibit at the Skoto Gallery. Viewing the 21 images from that show gives a good overview of his work. Also worth a look, are some images from his Shows in 2004 and 2002.
Avisit to his Web Site sheds even more light on his oeuvre.

Thursday, March 12, 2009



I like the way Karoline Schleh thinks. She uses writing in her paintings as a visual tool rather than a verbal one. Her intentions are quite straight forward, as expressed in her Artist Statement. By using antique scripts and backwards writing, her plan is to confuse any meaning we might find; it's all about the visuals. It's all about appreciating the gesture and structure of alphabetical characters and words and how they become star players in the composition.
It's a natural impulse that when we encounter words, we must read them; must comprehend the meaning. Even though we enjoy the composition, our minds still try to cobble together some kind of meaning from the bits and pieces of text that we recognize. But Karoline forces us to appreciate the writing, only as a visual element of the painting and this creates a layer of mystery that gives the work more depth.

All three images are from her Web Site and if these two, seem familiar and organized, it's because they remind you of the old, vintage stereo grams that she's even done a series of "drawings" on.
She's also represented by Ann Connelly Fine Art and reading her one paragraph Artist Statement there is very intriguing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Painting Collage

Was reading Art News today and saw a beautiful advert for work by Cecil Touchon at Gilman Contemporary. Seeing those images made me want to visit His Web Site where I stumbled across these two great examples of his oeuvre. The work on the left is a 9"x 6" collage on paper; on the right, a 54"x 36" (diptych) acrylic painting on canvas. Quite obviously his collages inform his paintings. After reading some Statements and press Releases, searching for a short explanation of his oeuvre, it seemed that comparing these two works would best sum up the mechanics of his visual poetry. His compositions are always splendid, the collages are amazing and then when he adds the trompe l’oeil effect to the paintings - well you really must treat yourself and visit his site.

Click to enlarge images.

Now and then I pat myself on the back when I find a prestigious gallery that has several artists that I like and follow, in their stable. In this case they are Alex Couwenberg, John Dempcy, Bernd Haussmann and of course Cecil. Gilman's whole line-up is a great mix of good artists that are well worth your time.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Organizing Chaos


Honestly, the work of Pierre Imhof makes me think of pointillism.
The original Pointillists quite specifically wanted to break down the composition into it's smallest parts and let the viewer's eye blend the colors to enjoy the tableau. Postmodern Pointillists have found many more reasons to either tear the picture apart or present us with puzzle pieces or just simply celebrate the dots/marks of color for their own sake. So I think the work of Imhof is quite relevant to this widened territory of a fractured picture plane. It's as though we've gone deeper into this space and can now see the full personality of all those dot/points and the space between; rather like the effect of using a stronger microscope. There's nothing in any of the material about him to suggest that this is the case though; his oeuvre is more about the juxtaposition between chaos and order.

Although I did manage to find eleven examples of his work at Artnet, it's almost as if Pierre is hermetically sealed within his representing gallery. But Broadbent Gallery provides enough images and information about his work for you to understand his oeuvre.
Both images are from Broadbent Gallery.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Lines and Gesture


There's a little bit of a mystery to the seemingly simple works of Alfred Harris. The old question of "how'd he do that" has a very nice answer to it and I'm a big fan of the aesthetics of it. In the simplest of terms, he paints on paper, randomly cuts it up, repositions it to his liking on another support and then ties it all together with resin. My very first encounter with his work made me wonder if this was about language or calligraphy, but it's all about line and gesture. He's represented by Froelick Gallery and both images are from the 31 examples they have of his work. Visit His Web Site to see other works on paper, panel and canvas. You'll want to watch this You Tube video of his Exhibit "Drummer Hodge", from last year. Even though it's not the best interview in the world, if you stick with it, Alfred explains his oeuvre quite well. You'll enjoy hearing him explain the process that yields these medium and large sized, collaged works.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Dancing Doodles

When I started this blog, it was about abstract calligraphy; or so I thought. Turns out that there's a tremendous amount of art that falls into the category of Marks, Gestures and Scribbles. And you can believe me when I say that the dividing lines are most often blurred.

Shen Wei has definitely been influenced by calligraphy, but his work is about mark-making and gesture. He's foremost a Dancer, Art Director and Choreographer with his own dance troupe, though, and what he's most famous for are the productions where his troupe creates huge paintings during the course of their dance. You can read about that Here. It's quite fascinating how he combines the dancing and the painting into his oeuvre. In fact you can almost see these oil paintings as a plan for, or memory of a modern dance ballet.
This image is from, and he's represented by Chambers Fine Art. For installation shots of his 2007 exhibit and more insight into his work go Here.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Artistic Doodling


William Saroyan is better know as a prolific playwright and novelist, but more and more, people are coming to recognize and appreciate his work as an Abstract Expressionist.
The stories about him and how he went about painting these works are both fascinating and inspiring. Using watercolors, he'd create these in a flurry of activity; sometimes to relax and at other times he would draw even while speaking with friends. Go Here for those stories - a great read. The photo to the right (clickable) is from the Centennial Celebration Site. You can visit the Anita Shapolski Gallery, where you'll find a bio and more images of his work.

The top image especially, appeals to me. Titled "Rain In My Childhood" (May 12, 1963 NYC), it really does convey the feeling of rain and once again I'm impressed that someone made a career of making beautiful paintings by using nothing more than the simple gestures we use for writing. That image is from the where you'll find 16 clickable images and something a bit unusual at the bottom of their page.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Take A Little Trip

For several hours, last night, I wandered around the globe seeing amazing people, places and things. To pick one photo to represent that trip would be impossible, but this particular pic did make me feel the sun and the wind and aren't those mountains amazing ?

All this was courtesy of Esben Agersnap and his wonderful Blog. I won't waste your time trying to describe it. You really must pay a visit, you'll thoroughly enjoy "seeing the world".