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The second installment of “On Finishing” will be posted next week.  In the meantime, I wonder, are you listening to the Hidden Brain podcast from NPR’s Shankar Vedantam?  There’s an episode from last month, “Near Wins and Not Quites: How Almost Winning Can Be Motivating” that might be interesting to think about to as you read the artists’ responses in this series.   I can’t vouch for the interview with the country singer at the end…skipped it…but the rest of the podcast is good!

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Turning his attention toward some quieter moments, Dmitry Samarov has an exhibit of paintings at Rational Park in Chicago.  While the still-lifes bustle with traces of hustle and human disorder, the cityscapes seem to depict a more subdued side of  Chicago than his work from Hack, which we have featured here before. See more of Samarov’s work at his website.  The exhibit runs until May 1, 2015.

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Farstad03.There'sAUnicorn… Julie Farstad, “There’s a Unicorn…”, 2014, oil on clayboard, 4″ x 4″

Julie Farstad is a painter who has worked here in Kansas City for quite some time now.  Typical descriptions of her paintings point out that they are meticulous, jewel-like and radiant, as well as uncanny and a little nightmarish.  Through some sort of impressive mental gymnastics, the work has become increasingly tender and playful over the last few years as the color has tended a little more toward harmony and the spaces have become a little more contained, all the while maintaining a subtle scent of danger.  Her 2014 exhibit at PLUG Projects was an impressive showing of new, mostly smaller paintings and work incorporating collage.

Farstad generously answered our questions at length, so I will keep this intro short.  There is a lot to read below.  Lots of substantive thoughts about making paintings, lots of good pull quotes.  You can see more of Julie Farstad’s work at her website. Please give our readers a little bit of information about yourself (upbringing, education, location, news, etc.):

I was born and raised in Elmira, New York. I earned my BFA in painting at the University of Notre Dame and my MFA in painting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I currently live in Kansas City, Missouri with my husband and our four and a half year old son. I am the chair of the painting department at the Kansas City Art Institute. I am represented by Zg Gallery in Chicago and Byron Cohen Gallery in Kansas City.


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Many of you know that Brett Baker is the sort of like the glue that holds together an unfathomably huge amount of the dialogue about painting on the internet together.  That’s through his online magazine, everyone’s go-to, Painter’s Table.  He’s also a painter.  A really good painter, of thick, material-centric  paintings.  The paintings tend to use a controlled set of marks, usually parallel and evenly space.  Because the paint is applied thickly and saturated with pigment, the surface undulates–both literally and visually–and allows for the eye to rove over the surface, forming and reforming the Gestalt.  In my mind, this kind of puts Baker’s paintings in line with the best, most essential human rituals, like the Catholic Rosary or Native American ceremonies, just without the dogma.  Baker has a show that just opened at Elizabeth Harris Gallery in NYC.    See more of his work at his own website.

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The interview Kathy Liao did for us was one of our most popular posts last year.  Now she’s recorded a skype lecture for Northwest Oklahoma State University.  Watch above.

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Angela Dufresne, “The Lost Fishing Village of Diderot, Boucher and Lorraine”, from the collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.  Here’s a short podcast of Dufresne discussing her work and teaching.  And a link to our still-popular 2009 post with Dufresne as part of a panel discussion about form and narrative in contemporary painting.

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For Artists Only

“I’m painting again!”

For anyone and everyone who spent too much time grading in the last week or two.  More to come on MWC soon…

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Joseph Noderer (whose painting was included in MWC’s 2012 Tenses of Landscape exhibition) has a new exhibition up at Linda Warren Projects in Chicago. Exhibition runs concurrently with a solo exhibition by Heather Marshall. View Joe’s exhibition inventory here.

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Wayne White at TedxKC

Wayne White gave an enjoyable talk at this fall’s Ted mini-conference in Kansas City.

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Sangram Majumdar: Peel

Sangram Majumdar: Peel at Steven Harvey Fine Arts in NYC, Nov. 20-Dec. 22, 2014. Looks awesome!

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