Archive for May, 2009


Check out pictures from Fecal Face’s visit to Michael Krueger’s studio in Lawrence, KS.


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Melanie Schiff Neil Young

Melanie Schiff, Neil Young, Neil Young

In this era of slashed curatorial travel budgets, it’s pure fantasy to speculate that curators of any of the next few Whitney Biennials might have the initiative to take an out-of-pocket car trip around America, visiting artist studios and trying to make the Biennial reflect the state of American art, rather than engaging in an art world version of 1990s hip-hop East Coast/West Coat feuding.  The last biennial was comprised almost entirely artists living in New York, L.A. and San Francisco, and that’s when foundation dividends were good (Melanie Schiff was one of two artists living and working in Chicago.)

So I’m all for a sort of fantasy-football type game where we, the MWC community, try to come up with a list of names of artists working outside of those few metropolises where curators dare to travel; artists who really reflect art in this country today, artists who really deserve to be in a premier exhibit of contemporary American art.

I’m thinking that a list of up-and-coming unkowns would be good and also maybe a few older artists, whose influence or relevance may be under-recognized would be nice to come up with as well.  Vote early, vote often.  I want to get some responses here.  I’ll feel bad if you guys just leave me hanging.  Maybe some of you lurking masses can shake loose and say something.

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Thomas Hart Benton Persephone

Still thinking about not much but the American wing that’s just reopened at the Nelson Atkins.  Very likely going back ASAP.  So glad to be able to look at this amazing THB painting.  I still maintain that—while it is stylistically very much a part of the past—Benton had to have been deeply aware of the various social/moral problems he’s presented here.

For some reason the Nelson-Atkins isn’t able to have a Zoomfinder up to see way up close on this one, but here are a few of my other Nelson favorites:

Ross Braught, Tchaikovsky’s 6th: With stylized landscape painting being such a trend at the moment, I really wish there was someone working outside of the whole Radiohead album cover vein, and more like Braught here.

Thomas Eakins, Female Study:  Go to the Zoomfinder, get right up to that delicate brushwork, check out that pencilled grid.  Delicate.  Unsexy.  Lovingly painted.

Gilbert Stuart, Dr William Aspinwall:  There’s a portrait painting trick I learned about one time:  Yellow on the forehead, changing to red around the cheeks and nose and blue and blacks around the mouth.  Which makes me look at this painting as a Rothko with sad eyes.

George Caleb Bingham:  Dr. Benoist Troost: Eh.  Okay painting.  Kind of fun to look at because our local ‘bad street’ is named after the doc here.

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