Wednesday, April 29, 2009

DUMBO: The Marie Walsh Sharpe Open Studios

The Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, one of the most competitive and prestigious free studio space programs in the country, had their open studios last weekend, and I wanted to share some of the highlights.

Franklin Evans

Entering Franklin Evans studio felt like you were actually stepping into one of his intensely detailed paintings. The ambitious space was covered in strips/pieces of vibrantly painted tape, wall drawings, works on paper; and the floor was tiled with art journal and press release printouts. Evans talked about using his time in the program to create and document a working space that would push his work in new and unexpected directions.

Eric Sall

Eric Sall had some new large paintings on display in his studio that push abstraction’s ability to continually re-invent itself. The background surfaces of these new works were reminiscent of Helen Frankenthaler or Morris Louis, injected with his varied application of surface and texture. He also had an entire wall dedicated to drawings, photographs, skateboard decks and assemblages that serves as a revolving salon of visual prototypes.

Erik Benson

Erik Benson had a nice mixture of his signature building and landscape paintings, layering pieces of acrylic of re-imagined parks, high-rises, and perhaps as a nod to Ed Ruscha, the Ikea in Red Hook, billowing black smoke. The new paintings, with their gentle washes of white and sophisticated color decisions, have a mature simplicity to them, achieving a deeper psychological space.

Kristine Moran

Kristine Moran uses representational imagery as a jumping off point for her fleshy, loose oil painting. Playing around with editing and masking her subjects with bold gestures, Moran develops her surfaces with a direct application and earthy palette, which gives the paintings a classic aura. The spaces in the paintings have a real physical force about them—projecting a movement and intensity comparable to Francis Bacon.

Frank Webster

The focused paintings of Frank Webster appear to capture fleeting moments at the beginning or end of a day. His most recent work has developed the subtle color shifts with careful precision that give the images a quiet, powerful authority. Webster glazes layers of detailed brushstrokes to render the light of the sky against hulking urban structures or delicate pieces of debris caught in the branches of a tree.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The homage post part 1

Between blogs, Facebook and Twitter, the art world has populated the internet and is seemingly all the better for it.

KCLOG is now a bi-coastal blog with almost as many readers in LA as in NYC thanks to Cole Case, Twitter and the support of Try Harder, a LA based art blog. Try Harder posts photos of shows and openings of art events in LA. You really have a sense that you're at the opening. I always get a kick out if it when I spot a friend that I have not seen in a while.

Here are a few art sites both from NYC and LA that I have come to enjoy and think others may like too.

For the latest news and reviews on all thing LA and beyond check out Art Whirled. .This blog features "Give it a Whirl"...a good source of shows opening in LA.

If your in LA or anywhere outside of NYC you must know about the James Kalm report. James Kalm rides his bike all over NYC to video record openings, shows and the occasional studio visit. Here is a link to his channel on YouTube. Below is the video of "Younger Than Jesus".

A great source of art world insight and good advice check out Edward Winkelmans blog. I highly recommend reading "How to do your home work part 1 and 2". Here is part 2.

Two Coats of Paint is an excellent resource for all things paintings. Two Coats is authored by artist Sharon L. Butler and posts articles, reviews and writings about painting. One could spend many days reading the wealth of information posted here.

Art Cards is the coolest single purpose website. It's designed for organizing openings in NYC. Just click on the openings you wish to attend and they will appear in the field on the right and print or email the list to yourself and friends. It makes organizing openings with friends super easy.

For more all encompassing websites check out Art Cat and NY Art Beat. Art Cat calls itself the opinionated guide to New York art and galleries. They have a great section on openings and picks. NY Art Beat is the one stop shop to all things New York Art and design.

Most of these sites have Twitter feeds all of which are worth following and enhance the blog and site experience. For example Art Cat will Tweet openings and events for the day which always come in handy.

Stay tuned for part 2 which will focus on smaller sites and sites that interact with the art world in a different way.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Aaron Curry & Ivin Ballen: April 2009

Wanted to write a bit about Aaron Curry and Ivin Ballen, a couple of artists recently featured on the KCLOG whose work shows a strong commitment to process, materials and craftsmanship. Their work has a specific West/East Coast feel to them, but what makes it unique is their ability to balance creating art out of seemingly throw away objects/imagery with a carefully considered and executed approach.

Aaron Curry’s recent show of new sculpture and works on paper at Michael Werner Gallery uptown continues to work in the easy, loose style that the LA-based artist has developed a reputation for. Curry's materials consisted of wood and cardboard earlier in his career, but the recent works are mostly fabricated in steel. Despite the heaviness of the material the works have an unusual light-hearted cackle to them because of the artist’s willingness to allow the shapes to exist in a primitive, naturally absurd way.

In addition to presenting these contrasts in structure, his color choices also demand attention; yet feel sophisticated at the same time. Using fluorescent purples, bright oranges or the sparkling sheen of a California Lowrider…Curry is clearly influenced by his West-Coast surroundings.

For his works on paper, he gathers source material from pictures in books, comics, magazines, advertisements and treats them with a real cut-and-paste collage feel. As in his sculpture, he uses open negative space to develop his loose, seemingly haphazard compositions. But upon closer inspection…the works appear to be well thought out before being silk screened on the paper, leaving himself carved out white space to scatter loose brushwork with meticulously painted water droplets.

Had the opportunity to check out recent some sculpture/paintings from Ivin Ballen at Pulse during Armory week. Ed Winkleman, his gallerist and writer of the excellent was very gracious and insightful in discussing his work.

Ballen takes the temporary nature of found objects, casts them in resin and gives them their own identity by altering the surface with familiar and unexpected color applications. He keeps a pretty good running blog of his studio practice and offers some insight into his process for a finished piece.

Working with a mash-up of found objects of packing supplies of tape and cardboard, he dresses up the structures with surfaces reminiscent of soft pillows or garbage bags inflated with air. This interplay of familiar and re-imagined objects is what allows the viewer to question if the illusion of the found materials actually becomes more desirable than the ready-made originals.

Looking at his most recent work it appears that he’s blurring the lines even more by offering variations of complex works, as well as paintings developed with simple, modern shapes and creating a homage to objects such as stop signs and a large, pink tongue.

All Ballen images via

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chelsea April 2009 part 2

Jacqueline Humphries @ Greene Naftali

Greg Bogin @ Leo Koenig

"Off the Books" @ Frederieke Taylor Gallery. Featuring works by Alex Degen, Eric Fertman, Justin Valdes, Anton Vojacek, Yuri Masnyj. Curated by Benjamin Degen.

Ian Davis @ Leslie Tonkonow

Group Show @ Friedrich Petzel

Thomas Scheibitz @ Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Adel Abdessemed @ David Zwirner