Friday, May 25, 2018

Getting Schooled in Kinderhook

 How perfect is this installation? Art by Lyne Lapointe, wall by years of overpainting and the ghosts of a chalkboard and clock. Dapper gent at right was a serendipitous element.
The Piano, left, and The Moon, both 2017, mixed media

For all the bad stuff going on in the country right now, indeed, the world, art is ever the antidote—even if it references our current situation. This is the lesson I came away with after visiting The School in Kinderhook, New York. The fabulous brainchild of Chelsea gallerist Jack Shainman, The School is a former high school repurposed, à la P.S. 1 in Queens, as a place to experience art. It’s about two-and-a-half hours north of Manhattan via the beautiful WPA-era Taconic Parkway. I drove up on Sunday, May 20, for the opening of this season’s exhibition. 

The opening on a cloudy-rainy-sunny day celebrated 11 artists with gorgeous installations and a schoolyard full of tents with food and drink, a performance stage, and a DJ booth. Four gallery-chartered buses drove up from the city. Rumor had it that Alicia Keyes was there (her husband, Swizz Beatz, was DJ-ing). I can’t confirm this, because while everyone was outside, I went inside to photograph the exhibitions. I did get to see powerhouse performer Toshi Reagon, though. More of that in a bit.

Eleven artists, most of them represented by the Jack Shainman Gallery, were each given a room in which to show. The spaces ranged from hallways to the gymnasium to the Girls’ and Boys’ Washrooms, as well as classrooms 

Formerly the Martin Van Buren High School, the building was reportedly purchased for $250,000 and refurbished for $1 million (I eavesdropped on a private conversation). The renovation, replete with air conditioning, was pristine in some rooms—classic clean, well-lighted spacesand beautifully incomplete in others, in which the remnants of tiles and chalkboards complemented and challenged the art in the best possible ways 

 Let’s enter:
Radcliffe Bailey was the featured artist with a large number of works created within the past decade. Travelogue, as this survey was called, was given the first floor, with hallways, and a basement gymnasium whose ceiling was removed to make it double height. There were so many people in the gym that photographing was impossible, but you can see a small selection of Bailey's work here

 Above and below:
Radcliffe Bailey, Windward Coast-West Coast Slave Trade, 2009-2018; piano keys, plaster bust, glitter. With a small replica of a slave ship and a head barely visible above the roiling ocean of piano keys, this work commemorates the Middle Passage, the lives changed by it and the lives lost to it

Radcliffe Bailey, Manumit, 2016, mixed media including iron rods and sculpted head, 72 x 54 x 14 inches

Radcliffe Bailey, Untitled (Mende), 2011, wood and mixed media

Radcliffe Bailey, Astro Black, 2018, mixed media and steel

. . . . .

Now we ascend to the second floor, where each of the other 10 artists had a solo show installed in one of the rooms

Leslie Wayne installation in the Boys' Washroom (we know it's the boys' room because the tile remants  are blue). The suggestion of windows with broken glass and the illusion of peering through them continues a theme from Free Experience, Wayne's Fall 2017 show at Shainman's 24th Street Gallery

Leslie Wayne, Boarded, 2017, oil and roofing nails on panel

Leslie Wayne, Boarded 2, 2017, oil on panel

Leslie Wayne, Blinded, 2018, oil on wood

Leslie Wayne, Breakthrough South, 2018, printed window film on the window in the building's south stairway

Vibha Galhotra installation in the Girls' Washroom (yes, the remnant tiles are pink)
Altering Boon, 2011; glass beads, wire, and wood

In the alternate view below, you can see the world map made of glass beads. I take this work to be a visual reminder that despite the divisions of land mass and politics, we are one worlda message that bears repeating, especially to those who would build more walls

Nina Chanel Abney installation in Southeast Gallery. A scrim of white fabric filters the afternoon sun

Nina Chanel Abney, #21, 2018, acrylic and spray paint on canvas

Nina Chanel Abney, All These Flavors and You Choose to Be Salty, 2017, pigmented print and spray paint on canvas, 92 x 92 inches

Brad Kalhamer in the Southwest Gallery

Above: For Gotham Girls + Boys Club, 2014, mixed media on bed sheet, 102 x 137 inches
Below: Super Catcher VI and V, both 2016, bells and wire

Valerie Blass in the Northwest Gallery

Above: Foreground, I See Your Nose Grow, 2013, laser print on granite
Below: Unknown, 2017, mohair and polymer

In the Hallway: Gordon Parks
Foreground, Untitled, 1941 (I believe this is a self portrait); Langston Hughes, Chicago, Illinois, 1941

From the hallway we walk into a large gallery in the middle of the floor, once the principal's office. Here, Gordon Parks photographs on north and south walls. On south wall: a series of  prints of Alberto Giacometti, shot in Paris, 1951
Sculpture: Math Bass, Crowd Rehearsal, 2017; wood, canvas, and latex paint

Margaret Kilgallen in Unfinished Classroom East
Above: Untitled (Saro), 1997; acrylic on paper, stitched; 21 x 14; and Untitled (Ever), 1997, acrylic on board, app. 21 x 21 inches

Below: Margaret Kilgallen, Untitled, 1997, acrylic on board

Lyne Lapointe in Unfinished Classroom West
Above: Installation with the ghost of a clock
 From left: La Fantoma/The Ghost, 2017; paper, wood, linen, straw, hay, oil paint, and ink; Piano (shown larger below); and The Moon, 2017; paper, wood, linen, oil paint, and hay

Below: Piano, 2017; paper, wood, linen, straw, hay, oil paint

 Performing: Toshi Reagon on acoustic with her band
If you don't know about Reagon, more here with a taste of her eclectic acoustic/electric music here 

The schoolyard transformed with a food-and-drink tent. Performance stage and DJ booth are farther back. When I left with friends sometime before 6:00 p.m., festivities were still underway. The buses were scheduled to depart at 6:00. I hope everyone caught their ride back to the city

The School is open through October 6, but only on Saturdays, 11:00-6:00. More info here

Friday, May 18, 2018

Art News: The JM Edition

I haven't been posting much lately, but if you follow this blog you know that I write about exhibitions I've seen. And for the past couple of years, I've been publishing occasional posts on women artists in my Mothers of Invention series. (I have one coming in June, another in July.) But this post is all about me. One of the great things about being at it for several decades is that now don't have to go looking for opportunities; invitations just arrive. This spring there have been a preponderance of invitations. Allow me to share a peek with you. 

Crazy Beautiful III
At Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Larchmont, N.Y.
June 8-July 27
Reception: Friday, June 8, 6:30 to 8:30; I'll be there

I'm delighted to be included in this show, which offers visual pleasure as its theme thanks to Kenise Barnes's unerringly elegant eye. Nine artists are included in the show, including Jackie Battenfield, Mary Judge, and me.

Read the online catalog here.

A chromatic selection of my Silk Road paintings for Crazy Beautiful, all 2018, encaustic on panel, 18 x 18 inches
Below: Some individual paintings for the show

Silk Road 410

Silk Road 414

Silk Road 415

Silk Road 412


Three exhibitions in Provincetown, Massachusetts, to coincide with the International Encaustic Conference

May 25-June 24
Reception: June 1, begins at 7:00

This ambitious exhibition offers visitors an opportunity to examine a curated selection of 24 artists whose work in wax or encaustic is aligned along a spectrum of aesthetic inquiry. A full catalog, cover shown left, is available to purchase or to view online at no cost.

Installation, clockwise from top left: Silk Road 404, 401, 353, 402; all 2018 (except 353, 2017), encaustic on panel, 18 x 18 inches
Below: Some individual paintings in the show

Silk Road 401

Silk Road 404

Installation view by Susan Lasch Krevitt

. . . . . .

The Blues
Adam Peck Gallery
142 Commercial Street
June 1-6
Opening: Friday, June 1, 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Every year Adam and Marian Peck organize a large show in their small gallery to coincide with the Conference. This year it's inspired by cobalt, cerulean, turquoise, and all the other hues that evoke  jazz, evening, sadness,and the endless range of aquatic hues at the tip of Cape Cod. 

Silk Road 369, 2018, encaustic on panel, 12 x 12 inches

. . . . . .

Keep it 100
Curator: Winston Lee Mascarenhas
OnCenter Gallery
352 Commercial Street
June 1-14
Reception: June 1, 6:00 p.m.

From the curator: "The contemporary vernacular of our theme is about keeping it real . . . the invitational message thus being inclusive of varied innovative, compelling, and unique artistic expressions."  
Chromatic Geometry 26
These three paintings: 2015, encaustic on panel, 18 x 18 inches

Chromatic Geometry 27

Chromatic Geometry 30


New York Art Lab
Osaka; traveling to Kyushu and Hiroshima

After a successful week in Osaka in early May, curator Shuhei Yamatani is taking his New York Art Lab--with artists such as Rene Lynch, Julian Jackson, and myself--on the road with  additional stops in Japan, including Kyushu and Hiroshima. This year Yamatani selected a number of my unique digital prints to include in the show.

The prints, approximately 8 x 8-inch images on archival 11 x 8.5 paper, began as a serendipitous fluke when, in the process of printing a Silk Road image, my printer began to run out of ink. Since printers are programmed to print no matter what, some interesting things happened to the image. Read more about them here.
Silk Trail 298

Silk Trail 342

Silk Trail 345

Silk Trail 362


Coming in August

Chromatopia: An Illustrated History of Colour
By David Coles
Thames & Hudson, Australia

Last year paintmaker David Coles and painter Louise Blyton curated Chromatopia: A History of Colour in Art for the Tacit Gallery in  Melbourne, Australia. Since then Coles, the master paintmaker behind Langridge Oil Colours, has produced a book based on the research he did for the exhibition with images of work selected by Blyton. 

Above: Installation shot from the 2017 exhibition, courtesy of the curators

The book includes and international lineup of works by Samara Adamson-Pinczeski, Irene Barberis, TJ Bateson, Louise Blyton, Richard Bottwin, Peter D Cole, Kevin Finklea, Connie Goldman, Brent Hallard, Jeanne Heifetz,  Euan Heng, Ruth Hiller, Suzie Idiens, Ash Keating, Emma Langridge, Simon Leah, Tom Loveday, Joanne Mattera, James Austin Murray, Munira Naqui, Redbox Peter, Debra Ramsay, Michelangelo Russo, Marlene Sarroff, Wilma Tabacco, Jim Thalassoudis, Richard van der Aa, Don Voisine,  and Ian Wells.           .

Below: My Silk Road 207, 2014, encaustic on panel, 18 x 18 inches, seen on right wall of the installation above

I'll be back in touch in early September with another all-about-me post. I know it's a lot, but I hope you'll share this very full art year with me.