Archive for October, 2008

Matta, Glimmer of Violence, 1958

from the permanent collection of the Mildred Lane Kemper Museum of Art at Washington University in St. Louis.  And here’s Let’s Phosphoresce by Intellection  II, ca. 1950 from the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City. 

Zoom in on the KC Matta here.

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UA Fort Smith (where I work this year) went on an excursion today to see a really excellent sampling of James T. Dyke’s collection, which is chiefly work on paper.  The show is at the Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock’s art museum.  I think we’ve discussed elsewhere on the blog, the AAC is worth putting on your map even if your not an Arkansan, because they specialize in drawings and other work on paper.  This opens doors rather than closes them, as many other non-megalopolis city museums just try to cover all the safest bases and wind up with a handful of lesser works by great artists.  Work on paper is something else.  It’s often an opportunity to look at process.

Here’s my quick and dirty run-down of the show.  By no means comprehensive, though, there are over 100 pieces in the show.  The work was presented kind of pedagogically.  All in pairs, paired most frequently by formal similarities, with some interesting results.  I’m not really commenting on the pairings too much here:

Frank Auerbach – NICE.  Portrait of his son, I think.

Joseph Raffael – it’s abstract; it’s representational; it’s fish. You may remember a similar one from the Color and Contemporary Painting text.

Jake Berthot – an oblique drawing, even for Berthot.

Magdalena Abakanowicz – two pretty damn tough drawings, one was paired w/ the Auerbach, which was also pretty damn tough.

James McGarrell – all in, as always.  Where the hell is (isn’t) the sun in this drawing?

Lyonel Feininger – was Edwin Dickinson a Feininger fan?

Joan Mitchell – Little poem-painting (typewriter text and paint or pastel or somethin’), I think the poem’s about having big emotions and being in Europe.

Lots of photorealism, too.  I was taken by one by one Richard Wyatt, of an older woman.  Warm and spooky at the same time.  Also, Susan Hauptman. Never seen one of hers before, a self-portrait, straightforward, very cool-eyed, sort of idealized yet particularized.

A two drawing pair: about an hour’s worth of Pearlstein, and ten minute’s worth of Hockney.  But then, I’ll take a ten-minute Hockney over a lot of other stuff.

Speaking of English, the Rackstraw Downes drawing is sweet, too.  No dabbling little affair there.  The painting is right next to it, too, in case you just want to look at one thing the whole time you’re there.

Also, a nice Jerome Witkin nude.

Lots of suggestive but not specific loose-hand abstractionist drawings, too, some along the lines of the ‘Remote Viewing’ group show that the Walker sent around a while back.

There’s a catalog, too, $20.


ALSO there is a Warhol show.  I had to pay to get into that one (because apparently Warhol wasn’t rich enough while he was alive, but whatever, the show’s in Little Rock, so I’m happy), and it was a really well-selected, convincing slice of his work.  Several pieces in there that would be cases-in-point that Warhol was a really good colorist (even if he was just okaying someone else’s choices on the way out of the Factory doors).  The portrait of Lenin, the flower paintings, a big wall of camo paintings and several others are what I’m thinking of here.

I had a realization in the floating silver balloon-pillow room, which I’ve seen before in Pittsburgh: that installation is like a Warhol decoder ring.  Reduce the gravity.  Keep it moving, but not too fast.  Make it out of reasonably cheap, available materials.  A lot of the same thing.  Reflects reality, sort of, not really.

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un-blink/blink by Steve Budington from his solo exhibit, the Pioneers, October 27-November 14 2008, at the Colburn Gallery at the University of Vermont.


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Ideal (Dis-) Placements presents Old Master paintings borrowed from the St. Louis Art Museum and the Fogg Museum of Art at Harvard University in the Pulitzer Foundation’s amazing Tadao Ando-designed building.   I(D)P  gives viewers the chance to see these works in a decidedly contemporary space that may in some ways be more historically authentic.  From the Pulitzer’s website:

“The display of these works makes the Pulitzer galleries appear as  reminders  of historic spaces, such as the Grande Galerie of a  seventeenth-century aristocrat or the interiors of  Medieval and Renaissance churches.  Since Ando sought to emphasize the effects of ever-changing daylight at the Pulitzer, the visitor will  be able to see the majority of the works without the assistance of electric lighting. The Pulitzer exhibition therefore hopes to contribute to a better understanding of  the viewing conditions of the past, allowing an appreciation of the works outside of the confines of today’s traditional museums.”

Sounds kind of gimmicky, I know, right?  But that Ando building really is a pulse-slowing, contemplation-inspiring space.  If there’s any place that this could work, it’s the Pulitzer.  I believe.


Ideal (Dis-)Placements is on view October 24, 2008-June 20, 2009.


Here’s a link to a flickr search for photos of the Pulitzer’s building.

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Anne Thompson images up at ANABA

ANABA has posted some images from Anne Thompson’s exhibit at Hudson/Franklin Gallery in NYC.  There’s even a shot that shows the special hanging device for those reversible paintings, something that Sam wondered about the last time we posted her work.  Here is the link to the ANABAHere is the link to our earlier post.

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Ke-Sook Lee

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Logan Grider at Thierry Goldberg, October 17-November 16, 2008 (via)

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The Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock recently acquired a Rackstraw Downes drawing, which is on view until December.  Details here.

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The Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville is hosting ‘Slow Dancing’ (2007), a work by David Michalek.  Michalek uses a military-grade super-slow motion camera to record dancers at 1000 frames per second, then plays them back at the usual fps but REALLY REALLY BIG.  More info here.  I’d embed some kind of image but the Slow Dancing site says don’t do that.  It’s been shown in New York, L.A., Toronto, Venice, Hanover NH, and now, (ever the underdog cultural hub) Northwest Arkansas.

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Kim Piotrowski

Kim Piotrowski

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