Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Words and Images

Brigitte Waldach works in red and combines words with images of people. The compositions are spare and powerful. I've always appreciated Eastern Drawings with their calligraphy, but here we can actually read the text. So we have a bit of a different spin on a very old eastern tradition of combining images with words.

Visit her Website for more images.

Image is from Archblog.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Good Spot, Bad Dot

If you weren't aware of  Damien Hirst's Spot Paintings extravaganza this spring, then you really need to get out more (on the Internet). There was so much ink spilled over those simultaneous shows that I'll not rehash it. At any rate, it was very refreshing to hear that he now has a show of works that are representational, with dots that he actually painted himself. I really was anxious to see these new works, but try as I might, just can't bring myself to like them. And it has everything to do with composition and balance. A few are nice enough, but so many of the paintings just seem to be off balance and feel uncomfortable.
See for yourself.

This image is from his current show at the While Cube Gallery.

You'll see some great installation shots  HERE, which gives you a better feel for the show.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Importance Of Dots

Using dots as a compositional tool; that's exactly the thought that struck me upon seeing "Butterfly (La Primavera)" by Tat Ito. This painting so easily does it's job and makes it crystal clear that something as simple as a dot(s) can accomplish what's necessary when making a work of art.

This image is from his current show at the Joshua Liner Gallery.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Crossing The Line

I hope you can bear with me for just a moment as I dig up a very old and what might seem like a totally irrelevant and useless word; Pointillism. Lets start by saying that the prefix "point" in pointillism brings to mind something small, like the tip of a small brush, when in fact, Pointillism (the movement) was all about individual brush-strokes. So if we could broaden our vision just a bit to include larger brush-strokes and then allow abstraction as well as realism or representation, you'll find that we're in a new place.
And this is what I'd like you to consider as you look at the paintings of Judith Murray. Pointillism was/is a very good idea (way to think about painting) and through the years many an artist has proudly picked up this banner to carry it forward. But what goes unnoticed are all the artists who have joined the ranks and don't fly the colors. If you read any text about Judith's work, no one it talking about her breaking down the picture into brush-strokes (which would be pointillism). Instead they're using all the current verbiage that one uses to promote a female painter. And she deserves any and all the praise and promotion they can give her. But I'm just hoping that now, what you'll see in her lovely paintings is the fresh, reincarnation of Pointillism; a wonderful old tool that still works well.

Be sure to visit her Website.

Enjoy the video.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Show of Text Paintings

There's a show up, at the RH Gallery called Text In Progress and it's my kind of show. They have  a couple of the usual suspects like Leon Farrari and Fiona Banner who bring some familiarity to what might be a whole new experience for some gallery-goers. I can't tell you how excited I get when I encounter a painting that you can read. For me there's just something magical about that.

Other than Leon's work, I was most intrigued by Joe Hardesty. The image is from his Website.

The sticky question for me is whether this is word-text paintings or language-based art. . . . .

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Beautiful Scribbles

or should I say elegant tangled lines ?

detail of Bon Chance 2

I've had the distinct pleasure of making the acquaintance of Allen C. Smith aka Denny Smith and watching his oeuvre expand and mature. It wasn't that many years ago that he was working plein-air on a 15ft "painting" of sailboats at the Keuka Lake Art Fair in Hammonds Port, NY. and a friendship was born. Back then he was using wax crayons and both the subject matter and the medium seemed meant for each other. Later he began a series of geo-minimal compositions using graphite; these were amazingly elegant and luxurious and a quantum leap in seriousness. But alas, these too had inherent problems which lead him to experiment with yet, other mediums.  He's currently working in water color and his Bon Chance Series is particularly interesting because he's using both rules and chance to determine the colors, lines and layers in these grid-oriented compositions. Once, during a studio visit he explained how that when he sets his mind free and gets into his "zone", that the motions of his painting are akin to scribbling - unplanned gestures that are free of intellectual guidance; and the enjoyment he fells when the physical supersedes the mental. Obviously it's all under control, and it was special to be privy to this artist's inner guidance system.

Visit his Website to view his Portfolio.

You'll find studio and installation shots on his Blog.

Image is a detail of a painting and from his Website.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Hybrid Painting

Paintings by Wendy White are at first confusing; like you've stumbled into a nether world where urban art, studio practice and signage have all collided. But it doesn't take long to feel comfortable with these surprisingly sane and sensible works where language is front and center.

Her Website is straight-forward and easy to navigate.

Image is from a pieces about her in The L Magazine.