reviews, artists, Bibliography

Crusty old curmudgeon vs Easy to please?

I have returned from the rain and the general pavement hardness of NYC with a little nugget to share after a long silence. The New Museum's current show "The Generational: Younger Than Jesus" peaked my interest in its showcase of 50 international artists under the age of 33. Not quite fitting into that category, myself, but damn close enough to care (me and Jesus, forever 33!), I found to my surprise that out of the show, the simplist gestures were the things that stuck.

...Like the gallery attendant wearing a long, red ponytail and a white Adidas tracksuit who troubleshot a cranky plasma display on Floor #4. Look closely to see the most delicate red paint stains on her clean, sporty duds. Or, the banana peel tossed on the gallery floor. Accident? Art? Pay attention...they are the purposeful gestures of Ryan Gander and Adriana Lara (in that order). In an age where Attention Deficit Disorder seems to be the M.O., I was glad that my focus allowed me to catch these small incongruities and appreciate them.

Ziad Antar "Wa" (2004), video, installation view

Above: Ziad Antar, "Wa", 2004, video (installation view from "Younger Than Jesus" show at the New Museum.)

Maybe this pegs me as over the hill...but my favorite piece, hands down, was Lebanese artist Ziad Antar's short film "Wa". Starring two solemn, pajama-clad children singing along to a synthesizer's demo tune, they pierce past their own cuteness in their mono-syllabic shorthand for a baby's cry. This little gem was so simple, yet stuck with me throughout the sensory overload of the rest of the show, and beyond. You can view it at the tank.tv moving image site (requires free registration and login, but it's worth it).

 

 

"DEREK HARDING AND JASON GREEN" for Artscope Magazine (Mar/Apr 2009)

 "DEREK HARDING AND JASON GREEN" for Artscope Magazine (Mar/Apr 2009)

DEREK HARDING AND JASON GREEN

Bannister Gallery
Rhode Island College
600 Mount Pleasant Avenue
Providence, Rhode Island

April 2 - 28, 2009

<<--CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE-->>

By Meredith Cutler (for Artscope Magazine)

Article Excerpt:

Ceramic artists Derek Harding and Jason Green share a friendship,
a medium and a common vocation; they are both Massachusetts
high school art instructors. This exhibition, curated by RIC
Associate Professor of Art Bryan Steinberg, positions these two
artists, working in such parallel realms, at the fork of a seemingly
common path diverging in the results of their labor.

Both artists employ creative moldmaking techniques derived from historical industrial practices. Harding’s modular “Saddle” was created while in residency at Kohler Co., the nation’s leading manufacturer of plumbingware. Green discovered an affinity for brickmaking while in residence at Maine’s Watershed Ceramics Center, the site of a former brick factory.

<<--CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE-->>

Image: Jason Green, "Variant", 2008, Terra cotta, slip, glaze, 18.5" x 37" x 3".

Come Sail Away

Okay, I've had about enough of these freezing cold temperatures. I was just watching Bravo and Matilda (my feral yard cats) trying to cross the pavement for feeding time, eight paws all sliding in separate directions over the ice. Tragic.

Around this time in the frozen depths of winter's dark, dry exhalation, I start to fantasize about summer. Beach. Boat. SPF 45...

Ship by CW Roelle

ABOVE: Title Unknown by CW Roelle, 2008, 7.5"x6", coated wire

Since we don't have summer, and since we don't have a boat, (and I'm certainly not in much need of sunblock) I purchased this small piece by CW Roelle as a Christmas gift for my husband. I'm trying to stimulate a little art collecting dialogue between us, as one way that we can improve our lives AND help the economy at the same time...without helping anyone evil that we don't like and doesn't deserve us.

But we like this artist, and we'll be looking for more from him. And while there isn't a force on earth that can pry me from my house today, I can gaze into the waters of this little vignette and smell the salt spray.

 

You Are What You Eat

The final weeks of 2008 loom before us, with their annual promise of copius consumption shadowed by the thin specter of our economic downturn. This Thanksgiving holiday, I turn to art for answers, and am not left empty handed.

Sink your teeth into some tasty nuggets of photography from Matthew Carden. Married to a chef and working as a commercial photographer, Carden hones in on our culture's afterthought of abundance in his Small World series by juxtaposing playful, tiny human figures in collosal landscapes of food.

Matthew Carden, "Sweet Potatoes" - limited edition print

Above: Matthew Carden, "Sweet Potatoes", limited edition print

With their tiny plastic hardhats, uniforms and scuba gear implying industry, Carden's figures call to attention the often invisible energy and process underlying our food chain. Feast your eyes on the playful and portent on Carden's website, 350 Degrees.

"RISD's NEW CHACE CENTER BRIDGES THE DIVIDE" for Artscope Magazine (Nov/Dec 2008)

"RISD's NEW CHACE CENTER BRIDGES THE DIVIDE" for Artscope Magazine (Nov/Dec 2008)

RISD's NEW CHACE CENTER BRIDGES THE DIVIDE

Rhode Island School of Design
Chace Center
20 North Main Street
Providence, RI

<<--CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE-->>

By Meredith Cutler (for Artscope Magazine)

Article Excerpt:

The long-awaited Chace Center at the Rhode Island School of Design opened to the public on September 27, adding 43,000 square feet of sophisticated, mixed-use space to bridge key areas of RISD’s eclectic campus with the public arena of Providence’s Market Square.

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect José Rafael Moneo, the
five-story, LEED certified facility offers the entire community much needed programming and educational space to be shared by the RISD
Museum, risd|works, The Minskoff Center for Prints, Drawings and
Photographs, the new Gelman Student and Dryfoos Student Media
Galleries, and expanded office, studio and classroom facilities.

Serving as a new front door to the RISD Museum, the ground level houses an airy visitor reception area, adjacent to the relocated risd|works
retail store, now offering café service alongside a range of consumer
products designed by RISD faculty and alumni. Easily accessible during
the museum’s off-hours, the 210-seat Metcalf Auditorium affords crucial
presentation and event space to benefit both the RISD community and
greater Providence. 

<<--CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE-->>

Image: The Chace Center, Rhode Island School of Design. Courtesy, RISD Museum of Art. Photo by Erik Gould.

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